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I'm a leftover from the sixties. Like someday you'll be a leftover from the nineties - Larry Johnson, to David JacobsStrain, Port Townsend 98

Author Topic: Spark Plug Smith Lyrics  (Read 2667 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.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Evening Breeze / Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2015, 12:55:34 PM »
Hi Roi,
I'll give it a shot.  Here goes:

1.4 WHY I'S SEEKING HER,

2.1  PLEASE, breeze that blowed my gal away
2.3  THAT SUNDAY morning
2.4  You can't always sing THROUGH the trees
2.5  And when I woke up this morning she was gone, AH, BUT GEEZ,

3.3 JUST hear my plea
3.4 HEAR me, beggin' from my knees
3.5 Please blow back, SWEET evening breeze

I hope this helps.  And I'll add the performance to the list of songs played in F position.  This is a neat find, Roi!
All best,
Johnm 
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 06:25:59 AM by Johnm »

Offline roig

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Re: Evening Breeze / Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2015, 01:38:10 PM »
Thanks for the help, John! I think the fourth line might be "why I'm seeking FOR her" but really good catch on that one.


Offline Lignite

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Re: Evening Breeze / Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2015, 03:05:26 PM »
This is an old pop tune written in 1919 as Breeze (Blow my Baby Back To Me). It was recorded by many jazz and country artists over the years and is somewhat of a standard. Artists who recorded it include The Shannon Four, Riley Puckett, Andy Kirk and his Twelve Clouds Of Joy, Cowboy Copas and Jim Reeves. I've never heard the Spark Plug Smith version before and I really like it. Here are the original lyrics if they can help you any;


Breeze (Blow My Baby Back To Me)                                                             Geier, Werner/Hunter, Rodney/Conquest, L . 1919


It's an ill wind that blows nobody good
Blows nobody good they say
It's an ill wind that blows nobody good
But it blew my gal away

Breeze, you blew my gal away
I've had the blues all day
Since early dawn, early dawn
You come a whisperin' through the trees
Little breeze
When I woke up this morning she was gone, she was gone
Breeze, you blew her from my side
She was my blushing bride
Oh, hear my plea, hear my plea
Hear me begging you upon my knees
Blow her back sweet evening breeze
Blow my baby back to me

Offline roig

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Re: Evening Breeze / Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2015, 12:15:12 AM »
Lignite - thank you very much for this! I wasn't aware of this at all! That really helps with the lyrics, and lines 2, 3 and 4 in the 2nd section finally make sense!
There the complete Spark Plug Smith version:

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
Why I was seeking for her

Please, breeze that blowed my gal away
I?ve had the blues all day
Since early mornings
You came a-whispering through the trees
And when I woke up this morning she was gone, oh but gee

breeze, you blew her from my sight
She was my blushing bride
Just hear my plea
Hear me begging on my knees
Please blow back sweet evening breeze
Oh blow my loved one back to me

Offline Johnm

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Re: Spark Plug Smith
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2015, 04:17:21 PM »
Hi all,
This Spark Plug Smith Lyrics thread currently has three song threads which were merged to make it.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 04:20:05 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Spark Plug Smith Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2016, 06:29:22 AM »
Hi all,
Spark Plug Smith accompanied himself out of C position in standard tuning for his recording of "Vampire Women".  The song begins with an unusual two-stanza intro, followed by a segue into the chorus, at which point it becomes a common raggy progression.  Spark Plug Smith had a kind of mild, sedate delivery which was really droll, especially considering his subject matter.  Here is his performance:



Now, vampire women, they've taken the day
Causing all these married men to go astray
You can see them standing, each and every day
Waiting for some vamp to come their way

She'll ast him for five, he'll give her ten
Says, "If that ain't enough, mama, call around again."
Now, he'll go stone crazy and he'll go stone wild
Go home and mistreat his wife and his child

Now, married men, that's not right
Go home and treat your own wife right

For if you dress your wife like you do the women in the street
Believe me, you'll have a vampire, too
Running around here, messin' with every single woman you meet
That will never do
Says, you wake up some of these mornings, she'll be feeling bad
She'll give you the biggest black eye that you've ever had
Just dress your wife like do the women in the street
B'lieve me, you'll have a vampire, too, I mean,
B'lieve me you'll have a vampire, too

SOLO

I said, dress your wife like you do the women in the street
Believe you'll have a vampire, too
Now, runnin' around here messin' with every single woman you meet
That will never do
Now, you wake up some of these mornings, another mule in your stall
Vampire women gon' be the cause, it all
Dress your wife like you do the women in the street
Believe you'll have a vampire, too

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 06:34:20 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Spark Plug Smith Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2016, 12:35:19 PM »
Hi all,
I realize it's a long while since the song has been posted to, but I think what Spark Plug Smith sings for the mystery line in "New Blue Heaven" is:
   In our little shelter home, every night
with "our" pronounced "oura".  Here are the lyrics for "New Blue Heaven" with a couple of other minor changes.

INTRO

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 squabbling
'Bout the way me and my wife keeps arguing
In our little shelter home, every night

Last Saturday night, while things were quiet
I had a big fight in my blue heaven
I've turned to the right, then I turned out my light
Oh, how we did fight in my blue heaven
I mean, 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 made three
They whupped the devil out of me in my blue heaven

SCAT SOLO

GUITAR SOLO

I turned to the right, then I turned out my light
Oh, how we did fight in my blue heaven
I mean, 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 made three
They whupped the devil out of me, in my blue heaven
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 12:49:56 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Spark Plug Smith Lyrics
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2017, 01:40:03 PM »
Hi all,
For "Deserted Man Blues", Spark Plug Smith chose to accompany himself out of E position in standard tuning.  The way he opens the song and his later solo are reminiscent of Luke Jordan's "Church Bell Blues".  Smith has a lot of nifty touches in his playing, and his time is so straight-up-and-down.  He goes a bit awry on his outro.  Here is his performance:



INTRO

My wife left me, what in the world am I to do?
My wife done left me, what in the world am I to do?
I wouldn't hate it so bad, but she left me feeling blue

When she left me this morning, the peacock was crowing for day
She left me this morning, the peacock was crowing for day
She put me on a pallet, 'cause I had nowhere to stay

When your good girl leave you, what in the world for you to do?
When your good girl leaves you, what in the world is for you to do?
Then you go to your other one, and she will leave you, too

SOLO

The reason I know, I had it on my hands
The reason I know, I had it on my hands
And my best girl left me, just for another man

I ain't gon' worry, ain't gon' even get mad
I ain't gonna worry, I ain't  gon' even get mad
'Cause, for it's my own fault, that I lost the best pal I had

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 02:33:08 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Spark Plug Smith Lyrics
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2018, 01:48:23 PM »
Hi all,
Spark Plug Smith accompanied himself out of A position in standard tuning on his version of "Motherless Boy".  His intro is really unusual, but once he starts singing he returns to more familiar territory, with his somewhat sedate and very straight-up-and-down time.  The last verse communicates an odd reason for gratitude.  Here is the song, with apologies if it is not viewable for non-U.S. weenies:



INTRO

My Mama left me, before I was a man
My Mother left me, before I was a man
And she left me in the world, just living from hand to hand

Say, when your mother leaves you, you have no friends at all
When your mama leaves you, you have no friends at all
No one to pity you, when you have your downfall

Mmmm, something really worries me
Mmmm, something really worries me
It may be my troubles, I don't know what it can be

They taken my mother, they laid her in a tomb
They taken my mother, they laid her in a tomb
Ever since that day I've been wondering what will be my doom

Mmmm, I ain't gon' worry no more
Mmmm, I ain't gonna worry no more
Have all of my friends telling me, "Please leave from my door."

But the Lord have been good to me since He taken her away
But the Lord have been good to me since He taken her away
He's caused me to live from day to day

All best,
Johnm

 


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