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A phrase that should live in infamy appears all too often in the Gennett ledgers: "Rejected - too much backwoods" - Richard Nevins, entry on the Shepherd Brothers in R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz and Country

Author Topic: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band  (Read 905 times)

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Offline Cleoma

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Once more I throw myself on your mercy with deciphering these weird hillbilly lyrics!  Here are two versions of the same song.  One is Yodeling Blues, by the Buck Mountain Band (Wade Ward on banjo).  The other is Hesitation Blues by Reaves White County Ramblers (Arkansas string band, with pump organ).  You've heard this song before, but maybe not these renditions. My lyrics are below.  There are just a few lines in each that I just can't make out.  I'll attach MP3s of both.  I'm especially curious about the turnip Greens/submarine verse....
Thanks in advance,
Suzy

Here is "Yodeling Blues":



Yodeling Blues ? Buck Mountain Band

Rather be in the mountain, sitting on a log
Than to be in Galax, treated like a dog
Tell me how long, have I gotta wait
Can I get you now, must I hesitate

Yo-del ay-ee  dee-hee yay-del ay-ee, oh-del-ayee

I?ve got a girl, she?s got a sister too
If I don?t get her, I dunno what I?ll do
Tell me how long?.

If I don?t get her, don?t want any at all
??????something good girl.....????

Rocks in the mountain, just as big as the sea
That Galax girl made a fool out of me
Tell me how long?

Went down to the river, to jump in and drown
Seen my woman smile and I couldn?t go down

Hesitation Blues ? Reaves White County Ramblers



Rocks in the mountain, and a Fish in the sea
I believe to my soul got a buzz on me (????)
Tell me how long will I have to wait
Can I get you now, or-a hes-o-tate

???  And Turnip greens
....submarine

Oh I went to the river to jump in and drown
I thought of my honey And I couldn?t go down



[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 09:49:21 AM by Johnm »

Offline Rivers

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 11:51:51 PM »
Whew, tough going. I got just maybe a couple of words.

Yodeling Blues:
3.2: [something] but the father-in-law, tell me..




Offline dj

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 04:45:23 AM »
The second verse of Hesitation Blues sounds like:

MAMA IN THE KITCHEN, turnip greens
PAPA ON THE OCEAN, submarine

It would seem like a word or two is left out of each line: "eatin'" or "cookin'" in the first line and "in a" in the second line. 

Offline dj

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 04:51:54 AM »
Verse three of Yodeling Blues:

If I don?t get her, don?t want any at all
NOT INTEREST' IN TH' girl BUT THE FATHER-IN-LAW

What I have as a heavily elided "interested in the girl" could just as well be "interestin' girl".  The sounds are the same, but I think the way I have it makes more sense.

Of course, I could be totally wrong.... 

Offline Lyle Lofgren

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2012, 07:05:20 AM »
Here's what Uncle Willie heard in his wordbooks. As I've said before, I find them to be about 90% accurate:

YODELING BLUES
Buck Mountain Band

1. Rather be up here, sittin' on a log,
Than to be in Galax, treated like a dog.

CHORUS:
Tell me how long have I gotta wait,
Can I get you now, must I hesitate?
YODEL

2. I've got a girl, she's got a sister, too;
If I don't get her, I don't know what I'll do.

3. If I don't get her, don't want any at all;
Not after the girl, but the mother-in-law.

4. She walks around just as big as you please,
That Galax girl made a fool out of me.

5. Went down to the river, jumped in to drown;
Seen my woman smile, and I couldn't go down.

As to the Reaves' song, Willie couldn't make out anything but "turnip greens" and "submarines" either, but I think I hear the "mama's in the kitchen" and "papa's on the ocean" lines mentioned earlier, so I'm taking the liberty to add them to Uncle Willie's words:

HESITATION BLUES
Reaves White County Ramblers

1. Rocks in the mountain and the fish in the sea,
I believe to my soul I've got a bug on me.

CHORUS:
Tell me how long will I have to wait,
Can I get you now, or hesitate?

2. Mama's in the kitchen: turnip greens,
Papa's on the ocean: submarines.

3. I went to the river to jump in and drown,
I thought of my honey, and I couldn't go down.

Do you plan to perform this as a hesitation medley? If so, I'm looking forward to it. Or maybe do the John Cage version: 4 minutes and 33 seconds of nothing but hesitation.

Lyle


Offline uncle bud

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2012, 08:14:16 AM »
In verse 3 of Yodeling Blues, I agree with Uncle Willie above. Father-in-law would be another story. Not that's there's anything wrong with that.

In verse 4, I do hear "Rocks in the mountain just as big as the sea"

In Hesitation Blues, verse 2, I hear cookin' and possibly takin':

Mama in the kitchen COOKIN' turnip greens
Papa on the ocean TAKIN'?? submarine

I agree with Uncle Willie that's it's BUG in verse 1.

Great versions both of them. Thanks for pointing them out, Suzy.

Online banjochris

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2012, 11:35:10 AM »
Could be:
Mama in the kitchen cookin' turnip greens,
Papa on the ocean SINKIN' submarines.

Offline Lyle Lofgren

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2012, 02:41:15 PM »
If you're planning on doing a proper job with the Reaves piece, Suzy, come out to Minnesota. Bud has a pump organ in his basement, and it sounds great.

Lyle

Online Johnm

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 03:37:11 PM »
Hi all,
I can't hear anything between "ocean" and "submarine" in "Hesitation Blues".  It sounds like
   Papa on the ocean submarine
Maybe "ocean" is used as an adjective rather than a noun here.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Lyle Lofgren

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 03:51:53 PM »
I don't hear anything between "ocean" and "submarine", either. I like your theory, Johnm, distinguishing  between ocean submarines and lake submarines (not to mention dry land submarines).

Lyle

Offline Cleoma

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 05:45:03 PM »
I love the John Cage version idea...

Here's my current set of words (both versions) incorporating the various suggestions.  Thank you all!
Suzy

Hesitation Blues ? Reaves White County Ramblers

Rocks in the mountain, and a Fish in the sea
I believe to my soul got a bug on me
Tell me how long will I have to wait
Can I get you now, or-a hes-o-tate

Mama in the kitchen Turnip greens
Papa on the ocean Submarine

Oh I went to the river to jump in and drown
I thought of my honey And I couldn?t go down

Yodeling Blues ? Buck Mountain Band

Rather be on the mountain, sitting on a log
Than to be in Galax, treated like a dog
Tell me how long, have I gotta wait
Can I get you now, must I hesitate

I?ve got a girl, she?s got a sister too
If I don?t get her, I don' know what I?ll do
Tell me how long?.

If I don?t get her, t?won?t any at all (???? don't want any at all???)
Not after the girl, but the mother-in-law

Rocks in the mountain, just as big as the sea
That Galax girl made a fool out of me
Tell me how long?

Went down to the river, to jump in and drown
Seen my woman smile and I couldn?t go down



Online banjochris

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Re: "Hesitation Blues" Reaves White County Ramblers, Buck Mountain Band
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2012, 06:02:50 PM »
I don't hear anything between "ocean" and "submarine", either. I like your theory, Johnm, distinguishing  between ocean submarines and lake submarines (not to mention dry land submarines).


There's definitely a word there. It's swallowed even more than "cookin" in the previous line but it's there.

 


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