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Author Topic: CAMP HOLLERS - Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & MAYBE Willie Brown?  (Read 1513 times)

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Offline CF

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I've been meaning to attempt transcribing this for years & I've been working on a Willie Brown discography & this came up as a track of interest. Willie is supposed to be one of the voices here but I'm not sure I hear him. Also the loose narrative seems to suggest that Son & Joe are going to go get Willie to come join them on Levee work. There's one point where Son is possibly calling out to Willie by name ['William'] & no doubt Willie is at least among the crowd heard in the background if not one of the response voices throughout.
There's a word Joe is saying that I cannot understand. I have it in my head that it's a southern town or village but can't seem to find anything. I'm hearing something like 'Bodocha'. It could also be the name of his mule or lover???
Any help or clues would be greatly appreciated!




CAMP HOLLERS
c. August 24-31, 1941
Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin, possibly Willie Brown [Leroy Williams was also present
at this recording session & may be part of the general voices in the background]

SH: Well if I had of followed boys my ol second mind . . . I say I'da been up the country my ol second time . . . whoo!

FJM: Yes! Yes!

SH: Boy I'm feelin' lowdown today

FJM: I . . . I know you is Son, go sing them Old Levee Camp Blues, I know you've got 'em, sing 'em

SH: Oh-Oh Mr. Charlie, Mr. Ludlow Joe [?], I done decided oh boy I won't work no more

[group laughter]

FJM: Oh looky here. Oh I'm going get/to the Levee camp [in] ??Bodocha??-- Lord, for to hold my head . . . ??

. . . SH: Slip/Speak your own, boy . . . [laughter]

. . . FJM: I'm gonna get ??Bodocha?? women for to make up my bed . . .

SH: Hey, get up there will ya?/William!

FJM: Well looky here boy, that old mule ain't gonna get back, you ain't gonna drive him no more.

SH: I see . . . 

FJM: Well looky here you gotta . . . [??]

SH: Well I done walked this old levee boys 'til my feet got numb . . .

FJM/?: Ooo boy!

SH: . . . If you see Mr Charlie ask him did his money come?

[group laughter]

FJM: Woah boy!

    Oh my hamstring is poppin', boys is my collar a-cryin' . . .

SH/?: Sho', sho'!

FJM: . . . Ain't nothin' breakin' boy but the long sideline . . . ??

[group laughter]

SH: Yay hey-hey, get over there Charlie!

FJM: Well looky here, I tell you one thing we gotta build that levee way up yonder the river ??

SH/?: Well/Man! . . .

FJM: And Son House if you don't feelin' you'll get tired of workin' on this levee but I'm gonna try it out ??

SH: Well you know, ain't nothin' for us no-how but livin' & killin' ??

FJM/?: Yeah!

FJM: Yeah, come on in there, dial Willie now you know Son cause I'm, I'm gonna find him, come on down, yeah

SH: Hmmm, I looked at the captain boy & I walked away . . .

FJM: Ha boy!

SH: . . . I asked the straw boss man what is the time of day?

FJM: Lord boy, o boy, o boy, looky here, I tell ya boy(s), I'm going on down the river
   
   Woah Lord . . . ??[talking to his mule?] get on over there [clicks], how you gonna do there??

Man looky here I'll tell you one thing, that ol pretty little mule . . .

   Ohh, boy for to pack some sack(s)

   Oh babe I'm gonna bring you some money when I come back . . .

SH/?: Go your own . . .????

FJM: ??This Spring in June?? you know I'm bound to do what I say, yeah yeah yeah

SH: I heard ya when ya first drive up!

FJM: Come on, you know, you know Son we gotta go, gotta see about Willie Brown, yes sir

SH: OK
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 03:47:30 PM by cheapfeet »
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline dj

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Re: CAMP HOLLERS - Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & MAYBE Willie Brown?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 12:38:48 PM »
Quote
I'm hearing something like 'Bodocha'.

Could be Bogalusa, Louisiana.  Sounds like "Bog'losa" to me.

Offline CF

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Re: CAMP HOLLERS - Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & MAYBE Willie Brown?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 07:40:37 AM »
Hey DJ, thanks for that. Hmm, I'm not hearing 'Bogalusa'. It sounds very much like Bo-do-sha (phonetically) to me. 

Also, it sounds like Fiddlin' Joe is talking to his mule at one point & says something like 'Bodosha get on over there!' & clicks to the mule . . . So I'm confused  ???
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 07:46:24 AM by cheapfeet »
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline jpeters609

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Re: CAMP HOLLERS - Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & MAYBE Willie Brown?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 07:49:42 AM »
This is just looking at a map, but there's a Bolatusha about 20 miles east of Yazoo City.
Jeff

Offline uncle bud

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Re: CAMP HOLLERS - Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & MAYBE Willie Brown?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 08:34:43 PM »
I agree that phonetically it sounds very much like "Bodosha", whatever that may be, mondegreen or otherwise. Just wondering whether this was transcribed on the Negro Blues and Hollers CD?

Offline Pan

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Re: CAMP HOLLERS - Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & MAYBE Willie Brown?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 04:03:39 AM »
Just wondering whether this was transcribed on the Negro Blues and Hollers CD?

A great point, uncle bud, as it actually is!  :D

The first appearence of "Bodocha" is transcribed here as "boys, dough share" (referring maybe to be getting paid?), the second one "both dose women".

Also," Mr. Ludlow" appears here as "Jones" not "Joe". There are some other differences too; I think I'll just copy cheapfeet's transcription and highlight them. The transcription doesn't give any assumptions as to who is singing or speaking, so I'm going to save the form cheapfeet provided us with. Note that I don't necessarily agree with the transcription on the record sleeve, and in fact, at places I'd personally prefer cheapfeet's transcription. At some points cf is hearing words that are omitted from the record sleeve. I tried to put those inside paranthesis.


SH: Well if I hadduh followed boys my ol second mind . . . I say I'da been up the country my ol second time . . . whoo!

FJM: Yes! Yes!

SH: Boy I'm feelin' lowdown today

FJM: I know you is Son, go sing [them] Old Levee Camp Blues, I know you've got 'em, YOU sing 'em

SH: Oh Mr. Charlie, Mr. Ludlow JONES.  I done decided oh boy, I won't work no more.

[group laughter]

FJM: boy looky here.

Oh I'm going get/to the Levee camp, BOYS, DOUGH SHARE.  LAWD, for to hold my head .

. . . SH: GET your own, boy . . . [laughter]

. . . FJM: I'm gonna get BOTH DOSE women for to make up my bed .

SH: Hey, get up there will ya?

FJM: Well looky here boy. That old mule ain't gonna get back... You ain't gonna drive 'EM no more.

SH: I see HE AIN'T

FJM: Well look A' here you gotta . . .

SH: hey I done walked this old levee boys 'til my feet got numb . . .

FJM/?: Oh boy!

SH: . . . If you see Mr Charlie ask him did his money come?

[group laughter]

FJM: Oh boy!

    Oh my hamstring is poppin', boys, is my collar CRY!

SH/?: Sho', sho'!

FJM: . . . Ain't nothin' breakin' boy but the long SIGHT LINE .

[group laughter]

SH: Yea hey!  Get over there Charley!

FJM: Boy look a'  here, I tell you one thing we gotta build that levee way up yonder [the river?]

SH/?: Man?. . .

FJM: SLAUGHTER HOUSE,  you don't FIT IN YOUR GUITAR WORKIN'  on this levee but I'm gonna try it out.

SH: Well you know, ain't nothin' for us nohow but (yeah) livin' & killin'.

FJM/?: Yeah. Yeah.

FJM:Come on in there, (Yeah). DRIVE ON IN THERE, YOU OLD SON, 'cause I'm, I'm gon' SPOT 'EM.  C'mon now. Yeah

SH: Mmmm, I looked at the captain boy & I walked away . . .

FJM: Ha boy!

SH: . . . I asked the straw bossman what's the time of day?

FJM: Lawd boy, o boy, o boy, look a' here, I tell I'M 'BOUT 'IM. I'm going on down the river
   
   Woah Lord . . . ??[talking to his mule?]LUCY,  get on over there [clicks], WHA'  you gonna do there?

Man look a' here I'll tell you one thing, I GON' PULL  that old mule . . .

   Ohh, boy for to pack some SLACK.

   Oh babe I'm gonna bring you some money when I come back !

[SH/?: Go your own ?]

FJM: WELL TOOK YUH...CAT SPIT AND JONES, YOU KNOW BOY. I'm bound to do what I say, I AM. 

SH: I heered you when ya first drive up!

FJM: Come on, son,  you know, you know son we gotta go.  Got to see 'bout Willie Brown. Yes suh!

SH: Okay.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 07:01:08 AM by Pan »

Offline CF

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Re: CAMP HOLLERS - Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & MAYBE Willie Brown?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 07:38:58 AM »
That's great Pan, thanks so much, wish I had known there was already a transcription before I started.

I'm still hearing the elusive 'bodocha'. 'Boy, dough share' & 'Both dose women' don't sound right to me.
We're perhaps dealing with a personal nickname Fiddlin' Joe used or a word that has no paper trail?
I think my transcription & the CD's have most of it, I may try for a take II this afternoon if I have time.
Thanks again for that Pan, what a help! 
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline banjochris

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Re: CAMP HOLLERS - Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & MAYBE Willie Brown?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 09:11:39 AM »
Some other suggestions:

I hear Ludlow JOE

SON HOUSE, YOU KNOW OLD FIDDLIN' JOE GETS TIRED of workin' on this levee but I'm gonna try it out


pack some SACKS


SAYS FIDDLIN' JOE YOU KNOW I'M BOUND TO DO WHAT I SAY

Offline CF

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Re: CAMP HOLLERS - Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & MAYBE Willie Brown?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 10:15:19 AM »
Good catches as per usual Chris, thankee.

Hey I got an email from a 'little bird' suggesting 'Bodacious' may be our mystery word . . . I like it.
'Bodocha' would be Fiddlin' Joe's rendering/pronounciation of the word (in this theory).
Bodacious/Bodocha is used itself to suggest a bodacious or sexy woman . . . so . . .

I'm going to the Levee camp, 'bodacious' [sexy women] for to hold my head
I'm gonna get 'bodacious' women for to make up my bed.


The wiki dictionary entry recognizes it as southern slang, a portmanteau I think it'd be called (of 'bold' & 'audacious')?

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bodacious

Could be way off but it's my fav suggestion thus far.
Thanks little bird!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 10:20:51 AM by cheapfeet »
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline CF

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Re: CAMP HOLLERS - Son House, Fiddlin' Joe Martin & MAYBE Willie Brown?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 11:52:49 AM »
Alright here's a second draft with the 'Negro Blues & Hollers CD' transcription (see http://www.loc.gov/folklife/LP/AFSL59_BluesandHollers.pdf) by Marshall Stearns & Bob Carlin & Weenie Campbell members suggestions added. Still having trouble with the last sung part by Fiddlin' Joe where he seems to be talking to his mule but the rest is sounding real close. 'Bodacious' is still open for debate.

CAMP HOLLERS [revised]

c. August 24-31, 1941

Son House & Fiddlin' Joe Martin [ possibly Willie Brown and/or Leroy Williams as they were present for this session & may be among the general voices in the background. Also possibly the recorders John Work, Alan Lomax & Lewis Jones]

SH: Well if I hadduh followed boys my ol second mind . . .

I say I'da been up the country my ol second time . . . whoo!

FJM: Yes! Yes!

SH: Boy, I'm feelin' lowdown today

FJM: I . . . I know you is Son, go sing them Old Levee Camp Blues, I know you've got 'em, sing 'em!

SH: Oh-Oh Mr. Charlie, Mr. Ludlow Joe/Jones . . .

I done decided oh boy I won't work no more . . .

[group laughter]

FJM: Oh look-a here:

Oh I'm going get/to the Levee camp bodocious', Lord, for to hold my head . . .

SH: Get/Slip your own, boy . . . [laughter]

FJM: I'm gon' get bodocious women for to make up my bed . . .

SH: Hey, get up there will ya?

FJM: Well look-a here boy, that old mule ain't gonna get back, you ain't gonna drive him no more.

SH/?: I see he ain't . . . 

FJM: Well look-a here you gotta . . .

SH: Well I done walked this old levee boys 'til my feet got numb . . .

FJM/?: Ooo boy!

SH: . . . If you see Mr Charlie ask him did his money come?

[group laughter]

FJM: Oh boy!

Oh my hamstring is poppin', boys is my collar a-cryin' . . .

SH/?: Sho', sho'!

FJM: . . . Ain't nothin' breakin' boy but the long sight line . . .

[group laughter]

SH: Yea hey, get over there Charlie!

FJM: Well look-a here, I tell you one thing we gotta build that levee way up yonder [the river]

SH/?: Man . . .

FJM: Son House, you know (old) Fiddlin' Joe gets tired of workin' on this levee but I'm gonna try it out!

SH: Well you know, ain't nothin' for us no-how but livin' & a-killin' ??

FJM/? Yeah!

FJM: Yeah, come on in there, drive on in there, you know Son, 'cause I'm, I'm gon' spot 'em,  C'mon down . . . yeah

SH: Hmmm, I looked at the captain boy & I walked away . . .

FJM: Ha-a boy!

SH: . . . I asked the straw boss man what is the time of day?

FJM: Lord boy, o boy, o boy, look-a here, I'll tell ya 'bout it, I'm goin' on down the river!   

Woah Lord . . . ??[talking to his mule?] get on over there [clicks], how you gonna do there??

Man looky here I'll tell you one thing, that ol pretty little mule/I'm gon' pull that ol mule . . .

   Ohh, boy for to pack some sacks

   Oh babe I'm gonna bring you some money when I come back . . .

SH/?: Go your own . . .

FJM: That's Fiddlin' Joe, you know boy I'm bound to do what I say, yeah yeah yeah

SH: I heered ya when ya first drive up!

FJM: Come on, you know, you know Son we gotta go, gotta see 'bout Willie Brown, yes sir

SH: Okay
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

 


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