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One of them gal's got a sugar farm, the other one got a oil-well in her back yard - Arthur Big Boy Spires - Which One I Love

Author Topic: Brownsville Son Bonds Lyrics  (Read 812 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Brownsville Son Bonds Lyrics
« on: February 23, 2017, 02:03:54 PM »
Hi all,
Brownsville Son Bonds was joined, I believe, by Sleepy John Estes on second guitar for his rendition of "A Hard Pill To Swallow", a song that ended up being covered by a lot of musicians, Shirley Griffith among them.  Both guitarists work out of G position in standard tuning, right on top of each other, and they sound none the worse for it.  Here is their performance: 



INTRO

It's a hard pill to swallow, fills my heart with pain
It's a hard pill to swallow, fills my heart with pain
Now, don't you hear me, people, I ain't no lyin' man

I woke up this mornin', I looked up at the sun, I thought about what my baby had done
That was a hard pill to swallow, it filled my heart with pain
Well, don't you hear me, people, I ain't no lyin' man

I went down on the corner, to the paper stand, I caught my baby making love with a man
That was a hard pill to swallow, it filled my heart with pain
Don't you hear me, people, I ain't no lyin' man

Well, the police walked up, and I didn't even run, now I'm serving my time, and my babe out havin' her fun
That's a hard pill to swallow, yes, it filled my heart with pain
Don't you hear me, people, I ain't no lyin' man

Well, when I was in prison, servin' my time, when I came back home, I heard a baby cryin'
That was a hard pill to swallow, it filled my heart with pain
Yeah, don't you hear me, people, I ain't no lyin' man

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 09:11:52 AM by Johnm »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: "A Hard Pill To Swallow"--Brownsville Son Bonds
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 07:39:37 AM »
Wonderful version John. I hadn't heard this before. I know it from Shirley Griffith's solo Prestige album which I picked up in '68, and immediately added it to my performing repertoire. Haven't played it in years. Its a great busking song, catchy lyrics with a narrative that lend themselves to being sung loud!ly


« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 07:50:06 AM by Mr.OMuck »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline Johnm

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Re: Brownsville Son Bonds Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 09:48:28 AM »
Hi all,
Brownsville Son Bonds was joined by Sleepy John Estes on second guitar for his recording of "Old Bachelor Blues", recorded at a session in New York City on April 22, 1938.  Bonds plays, surprisingly, out of A position in standard tuning--surprising because Bonds particularly favored G position in standard tuning and used it for the great majority of his blues recordings.  Sleepy John is working out of C position in standard tuning, flat-picking by the sound of it, and playing lots of florid bass runs.  It's possible the guitar roles are reversed, but unlikely, I think, because with Bonds handling the singing, it would have been tough for him to sing and play the bass runs simultaneously.  Bonds really sings this expressively, but he closes his mouth on held notes in a way that makes transcribing some of the lyrics very tough.

   

INTRO

I'm a broken-hearted bachelor, travelin' through this world all alone
I'm a broken-hearted bachelor, travelin' through this world all alone
Uses railroad for my pillow, the jungle is my happy home

This old jungle is so dark, I'll be sleepin' by myself
This old jungle is so dark, I'll be sleepin' by myself
Well, then I believe I'll go, I done found somebody else

Now, it's by me bein' a bachelor, travelin' through this world all alone
Now, it's by me bein' a bachelor, travelin' through this world all alone
Well, you know I got to find, me another home

Now, Lord, this old jungle, cinders blowin' back in my face
Now, Lord, this old jungle, cinders blowin' back in my face
I'm gon' get me a little woman, go find some other place

I decided that I would marry, I believe I'll settle down
I decided that I would marry, I believe I'll settle down
Because it's the life that I'm livin', some day is going to carry me down

All best,
Johnm     
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 01:14:19 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Brownsville Son Bonds Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 09:58:40 AM »
Hi all,
Brownsville Son Bonds was joined by Hammie Nixon on harmonica for "Back And Side Blues", recorded in Chicago on September 6, 1934.  Bonds accompanied himself out of G position in standard tuning, his favorite playing position, and used the melody and phrasing of "Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl" for the song.  He's singing right at the top of his vocal range, and it makes for a very bright sound.



INTRO HARMONICA SOLO

My head don't hurt me, no, my head don't hurt me
My head don't hurt me, it's just my back and sides
Now, if you wanta have a little trouble, just wait 'til after a while

Here's my hand, Lord, here's my hand, Lord,
Here's my hand, Lord, lead me where you want me to go
Now, I thinks I can do better, baby, than I did years ago

I''m goin', I'm goin', gone, I'm goin', I'm goin', gone
I'm goin', I'm goin', gone, I won't be gone so long
Lord, I'm tired of bein' worried, just about you doin' me wrong

GUITAR SOLO

I'm singin' a little song, babe, I'm singin' a little song, babe
I'm singin' a little song, babe, I won't be singin' it long
I'm gon' put my box on my shoulder, and down this highway road I'm goin'

Don't need no schoolgirl, don't need no schoolgirl
Don't need no schoolgirl, and neither no mannish kid
I don't need a soul, anybody to be worried and bothered with

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 01:15:03 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Brownsville Son Bonds Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 05:25:09 PM »
Hi all,
For "Come Back Home, Little Girl", Brownsville Son Bonds was joined by Sleepy John Estes on backing guitar and Raymond Thomas on imitation (and inaudible) bass.  The piece was recorded at a session on September 24, 1941 in Chicago, and had both Son Bonds and Sleepy John working out of G position in standard tuning, with Sleepy John flat-picking a very active accompaniment.  I suspect Son Bonds was operating in the same sort of territory as did Scrapper Blackwell with Leroy Carr--it's hard to get any attention as a vocalist when you're working with singers like Leroy Carr and Sleepy John Estes, notwithstanding the fact that both Scrapper and Son Bonds were really strong singers.

INTRO

Come back home, little girl, please now, mama, don't you hear me cryin'?
Come back home, little girl, please now, baby, don't you hear me cryin'."
Baby, can't you see, the tears standin' in my eye?

I looked 'cross the water, it's as fur [sic] as I could see, nothin' but my baby, wavin' her hands at me
Hollerin', come back home, little girl, please now, baby, don't you hear me cryin'?
Baby, now can't you see, tears standin' in my eyes

Well, you tellin' everybody, that you don't want me no more, baby, the thing that hurt me, you had your trunk outdoors
But come back home, little girl, please now, baby, don't you hear me cryin'?
Now, mama, can't you see, tears standin' in my eyes?

SOLO

You know I was just your kidman, and you told me so, the reason why you quit me, I told everything that I knowed
Come back home, little girl, oh baby, don't you hear me cryin'?
Well now, baby, can't you see, tears standin' in my eyes?

All best,
Johnm
     


Offline Johnm

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Re: Brownsville Son Bonds Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 02:52:35 PM »
Hi all,
Brownsville Son Bonds was accompanied by Sleepy John Estes on second guitar for "I'll Work Up To You Someday", which was recorded at the same session as "Old Bachelor Blues", in Chicago on April 22, 1938.  Bonds is playing out of G position in standard tuning, relying on many of his pet licks, while Sleepy John is capoed three frets up, playing out of E position in standard tuning.  Sleepy John plays the V chord as a minor seventh chord, X-2-0-2-0-X, which lends an exotic sound to the accompaniment.  Son Bonds' singing of this song is a masterpiece of phrasing; each verse begins with a four-bar lyric break, which changes from one verse to the next, and Bonds' stop-and-go negotiation of the complex set of lyrics is a treat to hear.  This one is worth seeking out.  It can be found on the JSP Sleepy John Estes set, which has in addition to all of Sleepy John's early recordings, all of Yank Rachell's early sides, all of Brownsville Son Bonds' early sides, and all of Charlie Pickett's early sides.

INTRO

Now, when I was in trouble I was all, deep down in mind, now babe, I didn't find nobody, now, said they would, go my bail
REFRAIN: Mmmm, you really treat me in a dirty way
Now, if I don't work up to you baby, you gonna really work down to me someday

Well now, I've got a little gal, she livin', down by the jail, she got, up on the sign, she said, "right chere [sic] for sale"
REFRAIN: Now, now, now, you still treat me in a dirty way
Well, if you want to be mine, you really got to change your ways

Now, let me down, mama, in your cool iron bed, if I don't get no better, baby, then you come and rub my head
REFRAIN: Mmmmm, you really know you've be gettin' good to me
Well, if I don't work up to you, baby, now, you gon' really work down to me someday

Now, I'm in trouble and I'm all, deep down in mind, I got, the blues for my baby, that I left behind
REFRAIN: Mmmmm, you really treat me in a dirty way
Now, if I don't work up to you, baby, you gonna, really work down to me someday

All best,
Johnm
 
 

« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 10:52:17 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Brownsville Son Bonds Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2017, 01:13:05 PM »
Hi all,
Brownsville Son Bonds and Hammie Nixon recorded "Tennessee Worried Blues" at a session in Chicago on September 11, 1934.  Sammie played harmonica and Son Bonds accompanied himself out of G position in standard tuning.  The song shares its melody with "New Minglewood Blues".

HARMONICA INTRO SOLO

And I'm worried now, baby, and I won't be worried long
Now, I'm worried now, baby, and I won't be worried long
Lord, I found we're all together, we worried anyhow

Now, this time tomorrow, I wonder where me and old Hammie be
Now, this time tomorrow, I wonder where we, me and old Hammie be
Lord, we may be 'way down in Memphis, walkin' down on Cherry Street

Now, it makes a man feel so bad for your partner to go back on you
Now, said a man feels so bad when your partner go back on you
When you have done everything, babe, everything in this world that you can do

Now, if you catch me stealin', mama, stealin' back to my same old used-to-be
Now, if you catch me to stealin', mama, back to my used-to-be
Now, if you want to know where my regular skips free, 'way down in Tennessee

OUTRO

All best,
Johnm 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Brownsville Son Bonds Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2017, 04:11:23 PM »
Hi all,
Brownsville Son Bonds and Hammie Nixon recorded "Weary Worried Blues" at a session in Chicago on September 8, 1934.  Son Bonds chose to accompany himself out of G position in standard tuning, by far his favorite playing position (at least as reflected on his recordings).  I love that opening line of the next-to-last verse.  Here is the duo's performance of the song:



HARMONICA INTRO SOLO

I'm worried now, babe, I won't be worried long
Now, I said I'm worried now, baby, I won't be worried long
Now, when we's all boiled together, it's got to be carried on

Now, did you get that letter, baby, that I wrote you?
Oh, did you get that letter, baby, that I wrote you?
Aw, you said I ain't in the shade, babe, I 'clare you just won't do

HARMONICA SOLO (Spoken: Lay it down!)

Now, I said once ain't forever, baby, two time ain't but twice
Oh, once ain't forever, and two time ain't but twice
Now, when you get a good woman, you just won't treat her right

Mmmmmmmm, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord
Mmmmmmmm, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord
Now, if I can't be your regular, mama, I sure ain't gon' be your dog.

All best,
Johnm




 


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