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The sweet, passionate melody captivated his heart from the first note; it was full of radiance, full of the tender throbbing of inspiration and happiness and beauty, continually growing and melting away; it rumoured of everything on earth that is dear and secret and sacred to mankind; it breathed of immortal sadness and it departed from the earth to die in the heavens - Ivan Turgenev

Author Topic: Blind Joe Lyrics  (Read 433 times)

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Online Johnm

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Blind Joe Lyrics
« on: September 13, 2013, 10:50:03 AM »
Hi all,
Blind Joe was recorded by the Lomaxes at a penitentiary in Raleigh, North Carolina.  He played his song, "In Trouble", out of C position in standard tuning.  He was a terrific guitar player, very influenced by Blind Blake by the sound of his playing.  For the song, he has a number of hummed verses, which he sometimes concludes with the tagline to the previous verse--shades of Texas Alexander, though Blind Joe otherwise sounds nothing like him.  The last verse is truncated and is missing its tagline, the opening of which is unintelligible.  As Prof. Scratchy noted in the Blind Joe thread, if this song was in fact autobiographical, he must have been very unusual in being sent to prison for bigamy, a word I don't recall every having heard used elsewhere in a blues lyric.  Here is "In Trouble":



Opening solo (with humming)

First time I was ever in trouble was 1934
First time I was ever in trouble was 1934
When that high sheriff come rolling up to my Mother's door

I was sitting to the table, eating my noon-time meal
I was sitting to the table, eating my noon-time meal
When I heard the brakes on that Chev'olet car wheel's squeal

Solo with humming, until
When I heard the brakes on that Chev'olet car wheel's squeal

Yes, he took out his paper, and he began to read
Then he took out his paper, and he began to read
He say, "I got you charged here, Joseph, for bigamy."

Solo with humming, until
Say, "I got you charged here, Joseph, for bigamy."

My Mother come to me and said, "You'll get out in 1935."
My Mother come to me and said, "You'll get out in 1935."
Said, "You have been you a good boy, I have to let you pass by."

Solo with humming, until
She said, "You've been a good boy, I reckon I have to let you pass by."

They took me 'fore the judge, he give me one dear year
They took me before the judge, he give me one dear year

All best,
Johnm



« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 05:32:02 PM by Johnm »

Offline mr mando

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Re: Blind Joe Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2013, 12:10:10 PM »
Hi Johnm,

thanks for posting the lyric transcription. The booklet to FLY LP 259 mentions that the singers recorded during the same trip in prisons in Georgia also sang of the reasons that brought them behind bars. Got to listen if there are more unusual instances like bigamy.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 01:18:05 PM by mr mando »

Online Johnm

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Re: Blind Joe Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2013, 01:13:46 PM »
Hi all,
"When I Lie Down" finds Blind Joe accompanying himself out of C position in standard tuning again, using a stop-time accompaniment, which he delivers expertly.  I'm stuck on the the first two lines of the last verse.  I'll put the problem areas in bent brackets and sure would appreciate some help with them.  I suspect the ride he's talking abut taking is on his pretty mama, not a train.  Thanks again to Mister Mando for making these cuts available over in the Blind Joe thread in the Main Forum.  Here is "When I Lie Down":



When I lie down last night, I heard a train whistle blow
When I lie down last night, I heard a train whistle blow
Every time I hear a train whistle blow, makes me want to go

When I woke up this morning, with traveling on my mind
I woke up this morning, baby, with traveling on my mind
Thought about leavin' my baby, couldn't hardly keep from cryin'

Oh, come here, pretty mama, set down on your daddy's knee
Oh, come here, pretty mama, set down on your daddy's knee
Can't you tell me somethin', ease my poor heart, please

I only got one dollar, people it's two 'til I ride
I only got one dollar, baby, for that three-tail I ride
Come and get it, pretty mama, before this poor boy dies

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 05:33:04 PM by Johnm »

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