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I haven't been this nervous since that whore walked into church - Carl Rutherford, Port Townsend 98

Author Topic: Spark Plug Smith Lyrics  (Read 2666 times)

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Offline Pan

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Spark Plug Smith Lyrics
« on: October 22, 2012, 06:26:13 PM »
Hi all

Again I'm turning to your collective help. I'm trying to figure out what Spark Plug Smith is singing in his "In a shanty in old shanty town", with not much succes. Here's what I've got.

Only a shanty, in old shanty town.
The roofing is slanting, touch on the ground.
That old tumbled down shack,  down by that railroad track.
Like a millionaire's mansion, it?s calling me back.

I?d give up a million, if I were a king.
More than a palace, it?s my ev?rything.
When there's a queen waiting there, with a silvery crown,
in a shanty in old shanty town.

Here's the video (with supposedly the only known picture of the man):



The chord changes are pretty basic cycle of 5ths ragtimey stuff in C. In the intro he plays an F# triad, instead of the F#dim7 that seem to appear on the rest of the song.

Thank you for your help!

Cheers

Pan

Edited to add: not knowing the song I didn't realize that there are plenty of versions made, and I found some lyrics too!

Edited again according to the corrections kindly made by uncle bud.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2012, 07:04:43 PM by Pan »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Spark Plug Smith "In a shanty in old shanty town"
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 06:57:13 PM »
Hi Pan -

It was a pop hit in the early 30s and Spark Plug Smith no doubt was trying to capitalize on that. He also does a parody of Blue Heaven. Here's what I have:

ONLY A shanty in old shanty town.
The roofing is SLANTING, touch on the ground.
That old tumbled down shack down by that railroad track.
Like a millionaire's mansion, it?s calling me back.

I?d give up a million, if I were a king.
More than a palace, it?s my ev?rything.
WHEN THERE'S a queen waiting there with a silvery crown,
in a shanty in old shanty town.

I think he sings SLANTING though the original lyric is SLANTY as you have it.

Fun version.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2012, 06:59:18 PM by uncle bud »

Offline Pan

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Re: Spark Plug Smith "In a shanty in old shanty town"
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 07:01:05 PM »
Thank you, uncle bud.

I'll make the changes. I obviously have holes in my knowledge of old pop tunes!   :-X

Cheers

Pan

Offline CF

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Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Spark Plug Smith "In a shanty in old shanty town"
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 07:50:14 PM »
Pan - as do I! I had to look it up to confirm the era.

CF thanks for the link to Big Bill's version. Nice one, as you might expect from the master. I haven't explored these recordings you also mentioned in the Lomax thread. Looks like I have some listening to do.

Since I was listening to it after Shanty Town, here's the parody of My Blue Heaven, called "New Blue Heaven (My Little Blue Heaven)". Some lines still missing:

Me and my old lady that's name was Sadie
Don't get along so well
That's why you hear me yell

Neighbors are squabblin' 'bout the way me and my wife keeps arguing
And [how we/I went to shelter?? home every night]

Last Saturday night, while things were quiet
I had a big fight in my blue heaven

I turned to the right, then I turned out my light
Oh how we did fight in my blue heaven

And then a rolling pin struck me under my chin, then a brick or two
When I awoke my jaw was broke and both eyes were blue

Just Molly and me
My mother-in-law she make three
They whupped the devil out of my
In my blue heaven

I turned to the right, then I turned out my light
Oh how we did fight in my blue heaven

And then a rolling pin struck me under my chin, then a brick or two
When I awoke my jaw was broke and both eyes were blue

Just Molly and me
My mother-in-law she makes three
They whupped the devil out of my
In my blue heaven



edited to pick up corrections from dj and John Lee.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 06:20:35 PM by uncle bud »

Offline JohnLeePimp

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Re: Spark Plug Smith "In a shanty in old shanty town"
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 03:54:12 AM »
Haha... that's pretty good

For the second verse I think it's:
I went into a shelter home every night

Also Buddy Moss did Shanty Town at the college concert:
http://cdm272901.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15131coll4/id/2354/rec/3
...so blue I shade a part of this town.

Offline dj

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Re: Spark Plug Smith "In a shanty in old shanty town"
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 04:52:18 AM »
A few suggestions:

Me and my old lady, THAT's name was Sadie

Neighbors are squabblin', 'bout the way me and my wife keeps arguing
And HOW WE [left old shelter?] home every night

They whupped the devil out of ME






Offline Pan

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Re: Spark Plug Smith "In a shanty in old shanty town"
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2012, 03:59:26 PM »
Thanks everybody for the additional information and versions! Great versions by BBB and BM!
Since the tune apparently is already covered to death, my possibly butchering it won't do much harm anymore!  :)

Cheers

Pan

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Spark Plug Smith "In a shanty in old shanty town"
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2012, 06:17:24 PM »
Thanks dj and John Lee. I will listen to the "shelter" line some more for New Blue Heaven. Making other changes, not sure why I typed "my" and not "me".   :o  dj, I currently hear "THAT's name was Sadie" as you suggest, but later her name is Molly. Hmm.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 06:21:59 PM by uncle bud »

Offline roig

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"Stopped Clock Blues" by Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2014, 05:04:17 AM »
Dear all
Could anyone kindly help me complete "Stopped Clock Blues" by Spark Plug Smith? Probably my favorite of his recordings, but I can't seem to figure out some rather significant parts. Thank you!



Clock?s on the ??  ??. on the shelf
If I can?t get you baby I don?t want nobody else
Oh baby, baby what have I done?

It was at the dawn of day
When I heard you say
?I?m leaving, daddy and I?ll be gone a long time?

Now you can leave me
You leave me all alone
It will grieve me while you?re not at home

My clock stopped ticking, my ???.. went out
Daddy?s in the corner and he?d began to shout
?Lady, baby won?t you please come home?

My ??. ??? ??. ?..
How in the world can you be so mean?
Oh baby, baby won?t you be mine

When you left me you left me blue
You know I don?t want no one but you
Oh baby, baby won?t you be mine

Plenty of times you call me over the telephone
?Come home, daddy, you?re baby?s all alone
Oh baby, baby won?t you please come home?

Oh, my clock it stopped ticking, my ?????.. went out
Daddy?s in the corner and he?d began to shout
?Oh lady, lady won?t you please come home?

Oh baby, you know you done me wrong
Why should you worry ?? ?. ??
Oh baby, baby please come home

Sometimes I worry, then again I feel blue
Thinking of no one but you
Baby, baby please come home
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 05:07:18 AM by roig »

Offline Lignite

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Re: "Stopped Clock Blues" by Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2014, 06:08:28 AM »
I think the missing lines are;
 "Clock's on the mantle, the lamp's on the shelf"
"My clock stopped ticking, my lamp it went out"
"My shirt collar's dirty, my socks ain't clean"
"Why should you worry 'fore you go"

Offline roig

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Re: "Stopped Clock Blues" by Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2014, 09:25:03 AM »
Sounds about right. Thank you very very much!

Offline roig

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Evening Breeze / Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2015, 09:17:58 AM »
Dear all
Would anybody be willing to help me with this nice little tune?
Shouldn't take too long, it mostly the fourth line that's really problematic, the other parts I'm just not 100 % sure about.



There?s a mean old breeze that blowed my gal away
I hope it will blow back someday
As far as anyone wants to know
? ? ? ?

This breeze that blowed my gal away
I?ve had the blues all day
And ?certainly? / ?early? mornings
You can?t always sing to the trees (?)
And when I woke up this morning she was gone

Oh but the breeze, you blew her from my sight
She was my blushing bride
Girl, hear my plea
Got me begging on my knees
Please blow back the evening breeze
Oh blow my loved one back to me
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 02:52:38 PM by Johnm »

Offline roig

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Re: Evening Breeze / Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2015, 09:21:40 AM »
It's definitely blushing *bride* and not *bright*. Changed!

Offline roig

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Re: Evening Breeze / Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2015, 09:23:16 AM »
Something about the "sing to the trees" line is definitely wrong. Makes no sense.

 


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