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He no longer had a guitar and he hadn't played much in twenty years, but when I asked him if he could still sing and play he straightened and said, "I'm better now than I ever was" - Sam Charters tracks down Furry Lewis in 1959, from Walking a Blues Road

Author Topic: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics  (Read 4836 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2015, 04:27:34 PM »
Hi all,
Kokomo Arnold's "Grandpa Got Drunk" has a really interesting and unusual set of lyrics.  It seems like the grandson is trying to set the old man straight.  Kokomo Arnold is playing slide out of Vestapol and using an accompaniment that he used many, many times, but the lyrics and his vocal really make the song work.  Here is his performance of the song:



INTRO

Grandpapa got drunk this mornin', and it made Grandmama mad
Grandpapa got drunk this mornin', and it made Grandmama mad
'Cause he done lost all the money, Lord, that they ever had

Now, there's no use to worry, there's no use to grieve and moan
Now, there's no use to worry, got no use to grieve and moan
Now, just go ahead and be happy, try to carry my good works on

Now, you're too old to marry, and the law won't let you divorce your wife
Now, you're too old to marry, and the law won't let you divorce your wife
Now, go ahead and try to be happy, Grandmama might take your life

Now, you know you're old, and your doggone blood runnin' cold
Now, you know you're old, and your doggone blood runnin' cold
Says, you used to be a hot papa, but you can't stand no more sweet jellyroll

Now, listen here, Grandpapa, Grandmama says, "Set down and be yourself!"
Cryin' listen here, Grandpapa, Grandmama says, "Set down and be yourself!"
For, that's the day that she quit you, you know you can't get nobody else

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:19:43 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2015, 05:48:41 PM »
Hi all,
Kokomo Arnold recorded a really unusual version of "Salty Dog", accompanying himself with a slide out of Spanish tuning.  Unlike most of his Vestapol playing, which sounds as though it was played lap style, "Salty Dog" would pretty much have to have been played with the guitar in the conventional position, unless he was fretting chords from above a guitar held in the lap, like "Thumbs" Carlisle.  The way Arnold plays descending chromatic lines on his fourth string is reminiscent of how Jim Jackson played "Wild About My Lovin'", and his whole rendition is inventive.  Lightnin' Wells has recorded an excellent version of this song, on his "Ragged But Right" CD.  Here is Kokomo Arnold's performance of "Salty Dog":

   

SOLO

Won't you let me be your salty dog, I don't want to be your man at all
You salty dog, aw, you salty dog
There's just one thing that's worryin' my mind, all of these womens, ain't none of 'em mine
You salty dog, aw, you salty dog
Oh, you salty dog

SOLO

Scared as I ever been in my life, old Uncle Bud like to caught me kissin' his wife
You salty dog, aw, you salty dog
Now, the big fish, little fish playin' in the water, come on back here, man, and give me my quarter
You salty dog, aw, you salty dog
Oh, you salty dog

Won't you let me be your salty dog, I don't want to be your man at all
You salty dog, aw, you salty dog
Oh, you salty dog

SOLO

Just like lookin' for a needle in a barrel of sand, just to try to find a woman ain't got no man
You salty dog, aw, you salty dog
Says, God made the woman and he made 'er mighty funny, the lips around the mouth just sweet as any honey
You salty dog, aw, you salty dog
Oh, you salty dog

Old Uncle Bud is a man like this, he saves his money and used his fist
You salty dog, aw, you puppy,
Oh, you salty dog

SOLO

All best,
Johnm

 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:20:32 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2015, 02:45:03 PM »
Hi all,
Kokomo Arnold had a big and well-deserved hit with his version of "Milk Cow Blues", played out of Vestapol tuning with a slide.  I remember first hearing this on the old RBF set, "The Rural Blues", curated by the late Samuel Charters.  Arnold's vocal on this song is superlative, very rhythmically punchy and syncopated and his falsetto leaps in the lyric breaks that follow the first two verses are really exciting--wow!  Here is his rendition:



INTRO

Holl'in', "Good Mornin'", I said, "Blues, how do you do?"
Holl'in', "Good Mornin'", I said, "Blues, how do you do?"
"Do mighty well this mornin'.  Can't get along wit' you."

How can I do right, baby, when you won't do right yourself?
How can I do right, baby, when you won't do right yourself?
Lord, if my good gal quits me, well, I don't want nobody else

Now, you can read out your hymnbook, preach out your Bible
Fall down on your knees and pray the Good Lord'll help you
'Cause you gon' need, you gon' nee-eed my help someday
Mama, if you can't quit your sinnin', plea-ease quit your low-down ways

Says, I woke up this a-morning, and I looked outdoors
Says, I knowed my mamlish milk cow, pretty mama, Lord, by the way she lowed
Lord, if you see my milk cow, buddy, I said, please drive her home
Says, I ain't had no milk and butter, mama, Lord, since a-my cow been gone

Says, my blues fell this mornin', and my love come fallin' down
Says, my blues fell this mornin', and my love come fallin' down
Says, I'll be your low-down dog, mama, but plea-ease don't dog me around

Takes a rocking chair to rock, mama, a rubber ball to roll
Takes a little teasin' brown, pretty mama, just to pacify my soul
Lord, I don't feel welcome, plea-ease, no place I go
Lord, the little woman I love, mama, have done drove me from her door

OUTRO

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 06:36:17 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2015, 08:32:25 PM »
Hi all,
Kokomo Arnold accompanied himself out of Vestapol tuning for "Sagefield Woman Blues".  He is very active in his accompaniment for this song, playing some really wild and inventive fills.  Here is his performance:



INTRO

Hollerin', little girl, what kinda little old girl are you?
Hollerin', little girl, what kinda little old girl are you?
Says, you actin' so funny, mama, what do you want your papa to do?

Now, it ain't no need of that you keep on raisin' sand
Ain't no need of that you keep on raisin' sand
Lord, if you want to quit me, mama, don't you get you another man

Blues come down the alley, made it up to my back door
Blues come down the alley, made it up to my back door
I had the blues today, mama, like I never had before

And I believe, I believe I'll dust my broom
I believe, I believe I'll dust my broom
So some of you low-down rounders, Lord, you can have my room

Now, when I'm gone, mama, the blues will follow you night and day
Now, when I'm gone, the blues will follow you night and day
Says, you gonna be sorry, mama, Lord, that you done begged me to stay

All best,
Johnm 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:21:30 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2017, 03:18:32 PM »
Hi all,
Kokomo Arnold accompanied himself out of Vestapol tuning for his recording of "Rocky Road Blues".  I know it has been surmised in the past that he played lap-style slide, but on this song, the little IV and V7 chords that he voices at the base of the neck would require him to fret the chords from above, were he playing lap-style--not a very likely option.  There are lots of different versions of "Rocky Road Blues", and I've never heard two that were the same (apart from covers), which is kind of unusual.  Here is Kokomo Arnold's version:



INTRO

Now, my road is rocky, but it won't be rocky long
Now, my road is rocky, but it won't be rocky long
Says, I been catchin' the devil, ever since my good gal been gone

Said, my Mama, she told me, Lord, when I was quite a child
Said, my Mama told me, Lord, when I was quite a child
"Son, you must always remember, Lord, that you was born to die."

Now, I've got so many wagons, 'til I done cut that good road down
Now, I've got so many wagons, 'til I done cut that good road down
'Cause the little woman that I been lovin', she said she do not even want me around

Says, she won't write me no letter, she won't send me no telegram
Says, she won't write me no letter, and she won't send me no telegram
She just a hard-headed woman, and she don't even give a damn

Now, I'm gonna smoke my reefer, drink my good champagne and wine
Now, I'm gonna smoke my reefer, drink my good champagne and wine
Say, I ain't gonna let these hard-headed women, make me lose my mind

OUTRO

All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:22:21 PM by Johnm »

Offline alyoung

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2017, 02:04:11 AM »
Agree completely that he's playing slide, rather than steel, John. The Twelves is another song in which he is quite clearly fretting notes with his fingers as well as the slide. When I was quite a bit younger and faster than I am now, I worked out The Twelves and even played it out (to the bemusement of folk audiences); it's not that difficult in concept -- it's playing as cleanly and quickly as Kokomo did that's the tricky part.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2017, 04:54:03 PM »
Hi all,
Kokomo Arnold accompanied himself out of Spanish tuning with a slide for his recording of "Your Ways And Actions".  What a cool title!  At various points in the course of the rendition it sounds like there is another guitarist seconding Kokomo Arnold, but I don't think there was--he's just getting a very full sound with big thumb brush strokes, playing time.  Here is the song:



INTRO

Now, your ways and your actions, speaks almost as loud as words
Now, your ways and your actions, speaks almost as loud as words
'Cause your dreamy eyes told me something, Lord, that I never heard

Now, you know that you love me, mama, why don't you tell me so?
Now, you know that you love me, mama, why don't you tell me so?
Because you're always hangin' 'round, knockin' on my door

Every time I see you, baby, my flesh begin to crawl
Every time I see you, baby, my flesh begin to crawl
Says, why don't you be good, put my mule a-kickin' in your stall?

How can I miss you, mama, Lord, when I got dead aim
How can I miss you, mama, Lord, when I got dead aim
Says I feel so different, 'til this old world don't look the same

Now, there's nothing that I can do, I've did all in this world that I could
Now, there's nothing that I can do, I did all in this world that I could
Now, she's gone and left me, she didn't mean me no good

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:23:16 PM by Johnm »

Offline alyoung

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2017, 03:53:52 AM »
There is a bass (or "imitation string bass") behind Kokomo on this track.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2017, 06:39:33 AM »
Thanks for that information, Al.  I thought it sounded kind of thick there sometimes.  I'll note that in Weeniepedia.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2017, 05:13:09 PM »
Hi all,
I figured that since I was going to offer the opening verse of Kokomo Arnold's "Slop Jar Blues" for the Quote Oracle, I may as well transcribe the whole song.  I'd say Kokomo Arnold didn't have a lot of problems getting in touch with his anger, at least lyrically.  Peg Leg Howell preceded Kokomo Arnold in singing the second verse, in his "New Prison Blues".  How did audiences of his day react to such a line?  Was it considered funny?  It's pretty intense for mass entertainment.  He played the song out of Vestapol, and it is musically identical to a host of his other songs.  Here it is:



INTRO

Says, I feel just like, mama, throwin' my slop jar in your face
Says, I feel just like, mama, throwin' my slop jar in your face
Says, you done lost your mind, and let that low-down rounder take my place

Now, I could cut your throat, mama, and drink your blood like wine
Yes, I could cut your throat, mama, and drink your blood like wine
'Cause you's a old dirty buzzard, and you sure done lost your mind

Mama, here I am, right out in the cold again
Mama, here I am, right out in the cold again
Says, the woman that I'm lovin', got brains just like a turkey hen

Says, I'd rather be a catfish, down in the Gulf of Mexico
Says, I'd rather be a catfish, down in the Gulf of Mexico
And to hear the woman I'm lovin', says, "Sweet papa, I got to go."

Then I cried, 'til my pillow got soakin' wet
Then I cried, 'til my pillow got soakin' wet
Says, I walked all the way up Beale Street, I bow my head at every gal I met

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 01:24:04 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2021, 06:17:35 AM »
Hi all,
Kokomo Arnold recorded "Cold Winter Blues" at a session in Chicago on January 12, 1937, accompanying himself in Spanish tuning with a slide. He sounds very much on top of his game here, and completely comfortable and at home with what he's doing. Here is "Cold Winter Blues":



INTRO

I taken sick last Winter, I didn't get well 'til the other day
Said I taken sick last Winter, mama, didn't get well until the other day
Soon as I got well and hearty, I didn't have no good place to stay

Now it's too cold to travel, and it's too cold to sleep outdoors
Now it's too cold to travel, mama, and it's too cold to sleep outdoors
When I was throwin' away my summer money, I should have been buyin' my winter clothes

Now the snow is fallin', mama, Lord, and it's fallin' fast
Now the snow is fallin', mama, Lord, and it's fallin' fast
I got icicles hangin', down from my yas-yas-yas

Now I just can't see how, go through this big world by myself
Now I just can't see how, go through this big world by myself
But I gotta keep on travelin', 'til I find somebody else

Now the freight trains done quit runnin', and the porter won't let me ride the blind
Now the freight trains done quit runnin', and the porter won't let me ride the blind
But I gotta keep on travelin', 'til I find that little gal of mine

CODA

All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2021, 11:27:01 AM »
Hi all,
Kokomo Arnold recorded "Bad Luck Blues" at his last commercial recording session, in New York City on May 12, 1938, accompanied by an unknown pianist, and backing himself on guitar with a slide in Vestapol tuning. In some respects, Kokomo Arnold seems like an unlikely candidate for recording in duo settings with a pianist, but a fair amount of his records were done that way, and they work out fairly well. His accompaniment and vocal melody were re-treads here, or iterations of accompaniments he had done many times in the past at that point. The song bears no resemblance, musically or lyrically, to Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Bad Luck Blues". I'd very much appreciate help with the two bent bracketed places and any other places you think I have wrong. Here is Kokomo Arnold's version of "Bad Luck Blues":



INTRO

Now it's trouble, trouble, I've been hounded all my days
Now it's trouble, trouble, I been hounded all my days
Lord, it seems like trouble's, goin' to put me in my lonesome grave

Now, my woman, she got ways, just like a wildcat in the woods
Now, my woman, she got ways, just like a wildcat in the woods
Sure be raisin' hell and disturbance, right chere in my neighborhood

I'm scared to stay here, scared to leave this old bad-luck town
I'm scared to stay here, scared to leave this old bad-luck town
So when I wake up every morning, my head is goin' 'round and 'round

Now listen here, people, I don't want noone's advice
Now listen here, people, I don't want noone's advice
I done changed my way of livin', gone back to one that treat me right

I'm going to tell everybody, what bad luck I've had in my life
Gonna tell everybody, what bad luck I've had in my life
I'd kill my sister and my brother, now the woman that wrecked my life

OUTRO

Edited 8/26 to pick up corrections from Harry

All best,
Johnm



« Last Edit: August 26, 2021, 05:35:53 PM by Johnm »

Offline Blues Vintage

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2021, 12:08:52 PM »
Sure be raisin' hell in the [standards?] and disturbance, right chere in my neighborhood

Offline Blues Vintage

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2021, 12:18:39 PM »
Some more suggestions,

Verse 1
Now it's trouble, trouble, I've been had it hounded all my days
Now it's trouble, trouble, I been had it hounded all my days

Last verse
I'd kill my sister and my brother, got a woman that wrecked my life

very hard to  hear, could be    I'd kill my sister and my brother, got a now the woman that wrecked my life

Offline Johnm

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Re: Gitfiddle Jim/Kokomo Arnold Lyrics
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2021, 05:36:59 PM »
Thanks very much for your help, Harry. All of your suggestions were right on the money, and I will make those changes. Thanks!
All best,
Johnm

 


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