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It was along about that time that Blind Lemon Jefferson came through, and he stayed around there about a month. He stayed with the other colored fellows and they worked on the railroad there; he'd just sing and play to entertain the men in the work camp. I think that right about there I started on the guitar - Hobart Smith recalls Lemon in Virginia, c. WWI, from Blacks, Whites and Blues by Tony Russell

Author Topic: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics  (Read 10633 times)

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Offline banjochris

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2010, 08:27:43 PM »
UB -- I agree with all of your suggestions. Hard to tell on the preacher/preachers, but I think it's more likely he'd be talking about one. Dreamt a dream is an excellent catch. I was pretty unsure on "dreadful".
Chris

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2011, 07:20:12 PM »
I will attempt to do "Can't Keep No Brown" in the coming days. I just heard "gonna write me a letter, mail it in the air. so if the March wind blows..." This guy sang and played incredibly fast!
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2011, 12:17:33 PM »
Hi all,
I've been working on the lyrics for the slide version of "You Can't Keep No Brown", and I think I have it with the exception of the lyric breaks that open the last two verses.  I'd appreciate any help.

I woke up this mornin', mama, blues all 'round my bed
Soon this mornin', mama, blues all around my bed
Thinkin' 'bout the kind words that my mama had said

Now my Mama's dead, so is my Daddy, too
Now my Mama's dead, so is my Daddy, too
That's the reason I tried so hard to get along with you

Now, where there ain't no lovin', there ain't no gettin' along
Where there ain't no lovin', there ain't no gettin' along
'Cause you'll have more trouble, honey, now the days is long

So many days, I stoled away and cried
So many days, I stoled away and cried
Poor boy's been mistreated, I can't be satisfied

Now, I'm gonna write a letter, mail it in the air
I'm gonna write a letter, gonna mail it in the air
Because the March wind blows, blows news everywhere

'Cause I'm going up the country, won't be very long
Sweet gal, you can count the days I'm gone

Awful tender-hearted, don't have to fight,
The gal I get she's got to try to treat me right
I'm crazy 'bout my Jane, tell the world that I am,
'Cause I'm goin' where they sing Long Distance Blues

Now you get way back, you ball the jack,
Begin to fight you get to snatch it back
I want to see my Jane, tell the world that I do,
'Cause I'm goin' where, sing Long Distance Blues

Edited 7/20 to pick up corrections from banjochris


All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 10:59:11 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2011, 07:08:45 PM »
[ ?      ], don't have to fight [?]
I'm thinkin' 'bout my Jane, tell me what did I do?
'Cause I'm goin', got to sing Long Distance Blues

If I can get bareback[?], you ball the jack, gal, [?]
I want to see my Jane, tell me what did I do?
'Cause I'm goin' where, sing Long Distance Blues

John, I'm definitely going to have to listen to these verses some more because they're still perplexing me, but I have suggestions for the last two lines that I'm pretty sure of. In the first of these, I think it's:

I'm crazy 'bout my Jane, tell the world that I am,
'Cause I'm goin' where they sing Long Distance Blues.

In the second:
I want to see my Jane, tell the world that I do,
and the last line same as you have

I'll listen some more later tonight.
Chris

Offline banjochris

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2011, 09:27:25 PM »
OK, here's what I came up with.

Awful tender-hearted, don't have to fight,
The gal I get she's got to try to treat me right
I'm crazy 'bout my Jane, tell the world that I am,
'Cause I'm goin' where they sing Long Distance Blues.


Now you get way back, you ball the jack,
Begin to fight you [gettin' to snatch it back]
I want to see my Jane, tell the world that I do,
'Cause I'm goin' where, sing Long Distance Blues.

Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2011, 10:21:07 PM »
Well, that's really terrific, Chris!  He really spits those words out, doesn't he?  That is really great work.  It sounds like in the last verse he may say in that second line,

Begin to fight you get to snatch it back

Thanks for the help.
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2011, 09:21:17 PM »
I think you're right on the get vs. gettin' -- that was the hardest line to get. Jackson is just amazing, vocally and instrumentally. And really weird, too.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2011, 10:54:24 AM »
Yes, I agree, Chris.  He always sounds like he could barely contain himself, but it's such controlled playing and singing despite that wound-up quality.

I have a couple of suggestions for "Devil And My Brown Blues", which my recent listening to Bo Weavil Jackson has led me back to.  I think most all of the heavy lifting has already been done by uncle bud, LD50 and banjochris.  Here goes--see what you think. Here is the transcription that has been arrived at thus far:

Devil and My Brown - Bo Weavil Jackson

No gypsy woman, no gypsy woman can't fry no meat for me, lordy mama
No gypsy woman can't fry no meat for me
I ain't scared, I'm skittish she might poison me

'Cause I woke up this morning, woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me, lordy mama
Woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me
Must've been a weevil, thing they call a stingaree

A bo weevil's here, a bo weevil's there, itchin'? mama's everywhere, the preachers tell me that --
Bo weevil's here, bo weevil's everywhere
I dreamt a dream last night, it was all in your flour there

The farmer went to the merchant, said, "I want meat and meal", lordy mama
Farmer went to the merchant, said, "I wants meat and meal"
The merchant screamed, "No, no, the bo weevil's in your field"

Bitin' spider, bitin' spider, crawlin' on the wall, mmm-mmm
Bitin' spider now, crawlin' on the wall
Grinds it nat'ral but he's crazy 'bout his alcohol

I heard a mighty rumblin' down under the ground, lordy mama
Mighty rumblin' way down under the ground
The boll weevil and the devil was [thievin'/cheatin'?] with somebody's brown

Daddy was low and squatty, daddy was cut for speed, lordy mama
He low and squatty, daddy was cut for speed
Says he has everything that a poor bo weevil needs

Now bo weevil, now bo weevil, sittin' down on the square, the first time I seen
Mister Bo Weevil, sittin' down on the square
Next time I seen him, mama, he had his whole family there

Bo weevil told that farmer, "Buy no Ford machine", lordy mama
He told the farmer not to buy no Ford machine
'Cause he's gonna fix it so he can't buy no gasoline

Here are suggested changes:

2.3 Must've been a weevil, thing they call THE stingaree

3.1 A bo' weevil's here, a bo' weevil's there, EACH AND, mama's, everywhere, the preachers tell me that ("each and everywhere" turns up often in lyrics)

4.2 Farmer went to the merchant, SAYS, "I wants meat and meal."

6.3 The boll weevil and the devil was t'ievin' with somebody's brown (I think he meant to say "teasin'", but got the "v" from "thievin'" in there)

7.1 SAID HE was low and squatty, SAID HE was cut TO speed, lordy mama
7.2 HE'S low and squatty, SAID HE was cut TO speed

That's all I have.
All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 06:36:00 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #38 on: August 15, 2011, 10:12:22 PM »
Hi all,
Just wondering what you Bo Weavil Jackson fans thought about the suggested lyric changes in the last post.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2011, 06:25:43 AM »
Hi John. I had a listen and I agree with all of your suggested changes. I was listening to the version found on Times Ain't Like They Used to Be - Volume 7 put out by Yazoo, which has a somewhat better transfer than the Document Backwoods Blues disc. I think you can hear your suggested changes even better on the Yazoo (which also adjusts the speed slightly downward).

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2011, 08:39:19 AM »
Thanks for re-listening to "Devil and My Brown Blues", uncle bud.  Here are the lyrics with the suggested changes incorporated.

Devil and My Brown - Bo Weavil Jackson

No gypsy woman, no gypsy woman can't fry no meat for me, lordy mama
No gypsy woman can't fry no meat for me
I ain't scared, I'm skittish she might poison me

'Cause I woke up this morning, woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me, lordy mama
Woke up this morning, heard somebody callin' me
Must've been a weevil, thing they call the stingaree

A bo weevil's here, a bo weevil's there, each and, mama's everywhere, the preachers tell me that --
Bo weevil's here, bo weevil's everywhere
I dreamt a dream last night, it was all in your flour there

The farmer went to the merchant, said, "I want meat and meal", lordy mama
Farmer went to the merchant, says, "I wants meat and meal"
The merchant screamed, "No, no, the bo weevil's in your field"

Bitin' spider, bitin' spider, crawlin' on the wall, mmm-mmm
Bitin' spider now, crawlin' on the wall
Grinds it nat'ral but he's crazy 'bout his alcohol

I heard a mighty rumblin' down under the ground, lordy mama
Mighty rumblin' way down under the ground
The boll weevil and the devil was t'ievin' with somebody's brown

Said he was low and squatty, said he was cut to speed, lordy mama
He's low and squatty, said he was cut to speed
Says he has everything that a poor bo weevil needs

Now bo weevil, now bo weevil, sittin' down on the square, the first time I seen
Mister Bo Weevil, sittin' down on the square
Next time I seen him, mama, he had his whole family there

Bo weevil told that farmer, "Buy no Ford machine", lordy mama
He told the farmer not to buy no Ford machine
'Cause he's gonna fix it so he can't buy no gasoline

All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2011, 08:34:15 AM »
Hi all,
Bo Weavil Jackson accompanied himself out of G position in standard tuning for "Some Scream High Yellow", and his accompaniment is perfectly amazing; the sheer quantity of invention, and the ferocity of his execution--whew--to say nothing of being able to play what he played while singing.  Moreover, he takes sounding like himself and no one else to a completely different level than other players, even the most original ones.  
I take the tagline to the third verse to mean that he's speaking of a gal who would say, "I ain't got no man.".  As usual, I'm missing some of these lyrics, or have them wrong.  I'd appreciate help.

   Now, the rolling mill, Good Lord, burnt down last night
   Now, the rolling mill, Good Lord, burnt down last night
   And they ain't shippin' no iron in this town today

   I think I will, travelin' on my mind
   Sometime, I b'lieve, travelin' on my mind
   I ain't got no right to leave, I ain't got no right to change my mind

   Now, did you dream lucky and wake up cold in hand?
   Now, did you dream lucky, wake up cold in hand?
   Then you'll want to see some good gal, ah, ain't got no man

   Now, sometime I think I will, again I think that I won't
   Sometime I think that I will, again I think that I won't
   Sometime I think that I do, Lord, then I think that I don't

   Mmmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmmm
   Mmmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmmm
   Sometime I think that I will, and then I think that I won't

   Some screamin' high yella, I screams black or brown
   Some scream high yella, I screams black or brown
   'Cause high yella may mistreat you but black won't turn you down

   Mama, I got a notion, honey, and I believe I will
   I got a notion, mama, and I believe that I will
   Catch a long jumpin' Judy and go on across the hill

   SOLO X 2

Edited 9/12 to pick up corrections from uncle bud

All best,
Johnm    
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 10:34:59 AM by Johnm »

Offline dj

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2011, 08:51:36 AM »
Something like: I (CAN?/CAN'T?) SKIP IT, GOIN' in this town today?  I'm not sure that's it, but I think it's closer than what you've got.

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2011, 08:58:57 AM »
This is only peripherally related to your lyric transcription, John, but it's something that's bugged me for a while. The lyric phrase "did you ever dream lucky, wake up cold in hand" (and its variants) turns up repeatedly in blues songs of the era, but -- for me, at least -- the meaning has been elusive. This may have been addressed in an earlier thread, and I believe I have heard those who say that "cold in hand" means to have nothing, whether it's money or love or what have you.  

But an alternate interpretation seems more likely, to my mind. If I were to have "dreamed lucky," I would probably be dreaming about getting lucky, if you know what I mean, with some special rider. But when I wake up, I discover it was all a dream, and any pleasure that I had derived came from the fact that I had "coal in hand" -- that is to say, a good ol' chunk of black coal (in other words, my privates) in my hand.

I dreamt I was having sex, but I woke up and realized I was only pleasuring myself. As far as blues lyrics go, this just makes more sense. I mean, what in the heck does "cold in hand" really mean???
Jeff

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bo Weavil Jackson Lyrics
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2011, 09:00:32 AM »
Thanks for the help, dj, I will re-listen.  It's hard to see how that tagline pertains to the opening line, isn't it?
All best,
Johnm