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Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon

DigiTrad:
ALL IN AND DOWN AND OUT BLUES
THE GAL THAT GOT STUCK


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Good Old Summertime (Uncle Dave Macon) (17)
Lyr Req: Old Ties (Uncle Dave Macon) (3)
Lyr Req: Wish I Had Stayed In The Wagon Yard (4)
Lyr Add: Country Ham and Red Gravy (Dave Macon) (3)
Uncle Dave Macon (17)
Lyr Req: Morning Blues / Mourning Blues (9)
Lyr Req: Hill Billie Blues (Uncle Dave Macon) (4)
Lyr Req: Over the Mountain (Uncle Dave Macon) (11)
Lyr Req: Rise When the Rooster Crows (Dave Macon) (14)
Review: rare video Uncle Dave Macon (36)
Lyr Add: I Don't Reckon It'll Happen Again (9)
Lyr Req: Hold the Woodpile Down (Uncle Dave Macon) (12)
Uncle Dave Macon's Birthday (7 Oct 1870) (5)
When are the Uncle Dave Macon days? (3)
Lyr Req: Kissin' on the Sly (Uncle Dave Macon) (7)
Lyr Req: Oh, Lovin' Babe (Uncle Dave Macon) (6)
Uncle Dave Macon Video? (9)
Lyr Req: Got No Silver nor Gold Blues (6)
ADD: We're Up against It Now (Uncle Dave Macon?) (6)
Lyr Req: When the Train Comes Along (Dave Macon) (5)
Chords Req: Nashville (Uncle Dave Macon) (7)
Lyr Req: Don't Get Weary (Uncle Dave Macon) (9)
Req: Take Me Home Poor Julia (Uncle Dave Macon) (5)
Lyr Req: Take Me Home Poor Julia (Uncle Dave Macon (2)
Lyr Req: Little Cat (Uncle Dave Macon) (4)
Lyr Req: Country Ham and Red Gravy (Dave Macon) (2)
Lyr Req: I've Got the Mourning Blues (Dave Macon) (7)
Lyr Req: Sweet Marie (Uncle Dave Macon?) (2)
Lyr Req: Whoa Mule (Uncle Dave Macon) (2)


Geoff the Duck 19 Feb 01 - 06:43 AM
Pinetop Slim 19 Feb 01 - 10:03 AM
Geoff the Duck 19 Feb 01 - 06:55 PM
Dale Rose 19 Feb 01 - 08:04 PM
Geoff the Duck 20 Feb 01 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Mark Ross 22 Feb 01 - 12:51 AM
Arkie 23 Feb 01 - 12:26 AM
Abby Sale 23 Feb 01 - 05:45 PM
Abby Sale 23 Feb 01 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,Gene 23 Feb 01 - 08:41 PM
GUEST,GtD at Alt Amiga show Huddersfield England 24 Feb 01 - 09:59 AM
Gern 24 Feb 01 - 10:05 AM
Stewie 26 Feb 01 - 09:02 PM
Stewie 26 Feb 01 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,fox4zero 27 Feb 01 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,fox4zero 27 Feb 01 - 11:31 AM
Stewie 04 Mar 01 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 04 Mar 01 - 04:32 AM
Stewie 04 Mar 01 - 06:21 PM
Stewie 04 Mar 01 - 08:44 PM
Stewie 05 Mar 01 - 06:37 PM
Stewie 05 Mar 01 - 07:13 PM
BanjoRay 06 Mar 01 - 04:22 PM
Stewie 07 Mar 01 - 07:21 PM
Stewie 08 Mar 01 - 11:08 PM
Stewie 11 Mar 01 - 08:12 PM
Stewie 12 Mar 01 - 09:49 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 13 Mar 01 - 12:18 AM
Stewie 13 Mar 01 - 06:59 PM
Stewie 13 Mar 01 - 07:02 PM
Geoff the Duck 14 Mar 01 - 11:42 AM
Geoff the Duck 14 Mar 01 - 11:43 AM
Stewie 14 Mar 01 - 09:13 PM
Stewie 17 Mar 01 - 01:10 AM
Stewie 17 Mar 01 - 01:19 AM
Stewie 18 Mar 01 - 01:56 AM
Wendy_ 19 Mar 01 - 02:24 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 03 Apr 01 - 06:00 PM
Stewie 04 Apr 01 - 09:06 PM
Paul B 29 May 01 - 04:11 PM
Stewie 29 May 01 - 08:50 PM
GUEST,Denise :^) 09 Jul 01 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Denise:^) 09 Jul 01 - 01:46 PM
Geoff the Duck 06 Sep 01 - 08:50 PM
Stewie 14 Nov 01 - 09:10 PM
Dicho 14 Nov 01 - 11:21 PM
Sir Roger de Beverley 15 Nov 01 - 04:00 AM
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Lin in Kansas 15 Nov 01 - 11:58 AM
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Q 08 Sep 03 - 11:50 AM
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Q 08 Sep 03 - 08:37 PM
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Stewie 14 May 05 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,OTP 01 Jun 05 - 12:44 AM
BanjoRay 01 Jun 05 - 06:09 AM
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Subject: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 06:43 AM

I've just been to a festival at Gainsborough (Lincolnshire, UK) organised by the "Friends of American Old Time Music and Dance" (FOAOTMAD). Performing were Jim Costa and Jim Lloyd, who recreate performances of songs by Uncle Dave Macon and Sam McGee from around the 1930's/40's.
Watching them reminded me that years back I found a copy of the LP Laugh your blues away, and intended to learn some of the songs from it. My problem was that I could only decipher half of the lyrics (a combination of old recordings and muffled american accents).
Do any of you know if any of Uncle Dave's songs have been put into print, either on paper or on the web?
Two from the LP which I partially transcribed were "Go on, Nora Lee" and "Come on buddie, don't you want to go". Can anyone supply me with a set of words for either?
Many thanks in advance, Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 10:03 AM

Bet you'd find Waterbound on the DT, maybe others. Deer Chase is in Lomax's Folk Songs of North America.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 06:55 PM

I tried the digitrad for the two particular sets of lyrics which I am after, but could not locate anything resembling them. That's why I am looking for help from mudcatters. Are there any Dixie Dewdrop fans out there?
Quack
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Dale Rose
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 08:04 PM

We're here, Geoff, it's just that sometimes it takes a while. I am sure that somewhere over in the corner, several are hard at work, madly transcribing their favorite Uncle Dave songs.

I know you said you searched the Digitrad, but to see what others have written about him and his songs over the years, have you entered DAVE MACON in the Digitrad and Forum Search box? Many good leads there.

Here are a couple more. Check out the thread Lyr Add: Wait Till The Clouds Roll By As a bonus, there is a link to the Real Audio of the song by Uncle Dave, and a clip of same by Cathy Barton and Dave Para. I certainly hope people are clicking on it, because it is a really great song!

You can find the sheet music for Peek-A-Boo at The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music, written by William J. Scanlan in 1883 and one of my favorite Uncle Dave songs. Friends of mine perform it, but as an instrumental, Peek-A-Boo Waltz.

Now excuse me, while I go over there into the corner and get back to work.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 05:46 AM

Thanks Dale, I'll check them out.
Quack!
GtD


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: GUEST,Mark Ross
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 12:51 AM

Some of Uncle Dave's songs can be found in THE OLD TIME SONG BOOK(formerly known as the NEW LOST CITY RAMBLERS SONGBOOK.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Arkie
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 12:26 AM

Two performers whose performances are reminiscent of Dave Macon are Doc Wilhite of Kentucky and Leroy Troy, the Tennessee Slicker. Doc does a lot of Uncle Dave's songs and stories. Leroy does not do many of the Dave Macon songs but is a joy to watch as well as hear. He twirls and flings the banjo about as he plays and is certainly an entertainer in the Macon Style. As for songs, one of my favorites which is seldom heard these days is "The Wreck of the Tennessee Gravy Train". The chorus goes "If we were ever up against it, we're up against it now."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Abby Sale
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 05:45 PM

Uncle Dave Macon's Lyrics Page (Clicky)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Abby Sale
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 06:23 PM

Well, it just shows to go that life is a mysterious and transatory and uncontrolled thing - and that I need to update my links every 10 to 13 years... that lyrics page I type in has been kidnapped and ain't there. I just don't know where it is at all. I did find a pretty good old timey page at http://www.folkcircle.com/ though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 08:41 PM

* CLICK TO: UNCLE DAVE MACON CD/NFO *


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: GUEST,GtD at Alt Amiga show Huddersfield England
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 09:59 AM

It's not so much geting the recordings of the songs as being unable to quite understand the singing that I have a problem with. That is why I am after something as text - I can usually read that - although when I spent five years editing a local magazine some of the regular contributers put that ability severely to the test.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Gern
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 10:05 AM

Abby, your link didn't work (for me, at least,) and I'd really like to find some lyrics. Uncle Dave is notoriously hard to figure out. Let me second the two names mentioned earlier. Doc Wilhite is a dentist from Calhoun, KY, who dresses up like Uncle Dave (with "chin whiskers and gates-ajar collar") and plays songs like "Poor Sinner Fare Thee Well" and "Chewing Gum." Leroy Troy is great! Authentic nostalgia on banjo and vocals. He was a Hee-Haw regular and performer on the 'General Jackson,' and won the big Heritage Award last year at Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro, TN (where both Leroy and Doc can be heard each July.) Leroy's Uncle Dave songlist includes "Bully of the Town," "On the Dixie Bee Line," "Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy" and others. I've been more successful at pilfering Uncle Dave's lyrics from covers by other artists: Grandpa Jones' "Way Down the Old Plank Road," Stringbean's "I'm the Man Who Rode the Mule Around the World" and the Hotmud Family's "When the Train Comes Along."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Stewie
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 09:02 PM

I have posted a few Uncle Dave lyrics to the forum. Since there is nothing offering elsewhere on the web, perhaps we could use this thread to post lyrics to Uncle Dave's songs. It seem Gern's got a few to begin with.

Here's links to what I can find in the DT and Forum already.

In the DT:

Rock About My Saro Jane

All In and Down and Out Blues

The Gal That Got Stuck

Sail Away Ladies

Old Plank Road

Chicken This is a composite version.

In the Forum:

Wait Till the Clouds Roll By

Hold the Woodpile Down

Oh Lovin' Babe

Take Me Home, Poor Julia The river name need to be corrected to 'old Peedee'.

Don't Get Weary Partial transcription only - gaps to be filled.

County Ham and Red Gravy

I've Got the Morning Blues Line breaks need to be inserted.

Death of John Henry

We're Up Against It Now


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Subject: Lyr Add: GRAY CAT ON THE TENNESSEE FARM (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 09:08 PM

Here's one to start the ball rolling. Any other takers?

GRAY CAT ON THE TENNESSEE FARM
(Uncle Dave Macon)

Jes' look to the man who can if he will;
Prosper in the valley of the Tennessee hills.

Chorus:
Oh the gray cat spit in the little kitten's eye,
Little cat, little cat don't you cry.
Do love liquor and-a we'll take a dram
I'm gonna tell you, pretty Polly Ann.

Cattle in the pasture, hogs in the pen
Sheep on the ranch
And-a wheat in the bin.

Chorus
Corn in the crib, and porter in the yard
Meat in the smokehouse
And a big can o' lard.

Chorus

Fruit in the cellar, and cheese on the board
A big sack o' coffee
And-a sugar in the gourd.

Chorus

Horses in his stable and money in his pocket
A baby in the cradle
And a pretty woman to rock it.

Chorus

Oh the gray cat spit in the little kitten's eye,
Little cat, little cat don't you cry

Source: Reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD 3505. Recorded 9 May 1927.
PS.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: GUEST,fox4zero
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 04:08 AM

Check out the Tennessee Folklore Society, Middle TN State College,Murfreesboro, TN. A few years ago I bought a VINTAGE Uncle Dave Macon songbook (small pamphlet size) for 35c. It was published and sold by him.I know it had Weevly Wheat and perhaps a dozen others. If it is no longer available, I will fax copies to those who request same. Larry Parish


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: GUEST,fox4zero
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 11:31 AM

Correction to my previous message (what do you expect at 4 AM, perfection?) The booklet is entitled "Songs and Stories of Uncle Dave Macon" and the cost is $2. Membership in the TFS is $15 and worth every penny of it. There is NO S&H charge. Tennessee Forlklore Society MTSU-English Dept Box #70 Murfreesboro TN 37131


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Subject: Lyr Add: GO LONG MULE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 02:20 AM

GO LONG MULE

I've got a mule, he's such a fool
He never pays no heed
I built a fire right under him
And then I made some speed

Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies

Oh Jerry Aches and Dottie Pain
Got married on the train
And now they'll say that Georgy woods
Is full of Aches and Pains

Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies
He, he, hehe, ha, ha haha etc

I drove right down to the graveyard once
For to see those pals of mine
But when that black man crossed my path
I sure, lord, changed my mind

Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies

I bought some biscuits for my dog
And I laid them on the shelf
I slept so hard, I shot the dog
And ate that bread myself

Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies
He, he, hehe …

A man way down in Georgy
Pulled his gun on me
But when he fired that second shot
I passed through Tennessee

Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD –3505. Recorded on 9 May 1927.

This song was from the minstrel tradition. It was first recorded by Ukulele Bob Williams, a black songster, for Paramount in November 1924. Howard Odum reported that it was 'sung with remarkable effect at the Dayton, Tennessee, Scopes trial, with hundreds of whites and Negroes standing around the quartette of Negroes who came for the occasion'. John Thomas Scopes was a biology teacher who had defied the state law prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution. He was tried and found guilty. Ukelele Bob's version was recorded a year before the Scopes trial. His first stanza and chorus coincides with Uncle Dave's except that he sang in the chorus: 'You can't change a fool for a doggone mule/Is a mule until he dies'. Ukelele Bob also had the 'biscuits for the dog' stanza and the following:

My mule refuse to work for me
I know the reason for that
He found out that I was a Re-publican
And he's a Demo-crat
Oh go 'long mule …

The song permitted the easy addition of new verses. Odum collected one referring to a KKK gathering:

They're gonna hold a meeting there
Of some society
There's 'leven sheets upon the line
That's ten too much for me

Uncle Dave could well have picked up the song at medicine or minstrel shows. [Above information from Paul Oliver 'Songsters & Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records' Cambridge Uni Press, 1984, pp 104-105]
PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NASHVILLE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 04:32 AM

Good thread. Art Thieme has a Uncle Dave Song called "Nashville" on his "The Older I get the Better I Was" CD. I am surprised that this is not in the DT. I wouldn't mind having the chords for it.

The lyrics are:

NASHVILLE
(Uncle Dave Macon)

Oh, the roosters they lay eggs in Nashville,
yes the roosters they lay eggs in Nashville.
The roosters they lay eggs, they're as big as old beer kegs,
they have whiskers on their legs
in Nashville

They chew tobacco thin in Nashville,
yes they chew tobacco thin in Nashville
They chew tobacco thin and it dribbles down their chin,
and they lick it back again
in Nashville.

Oh potatoes they grow small in Nashville,
yes, potatoes.....
The potatoes they grow small and they pick them in the fall
and they eat them coats and all
in Nashville

The women dress knee high in Nashville,
yes,....
The women dress knee high,
and as they go walking by
they make the old men cry
in Nashville

Herbert Hoover was elected in Nashville,
yes,...
Herbert Hoover was elected and Al Smith he was rejected
but he is highly respected
in Nashville.

If you want to get a drink in Nashville
yes.....
If you want to get a drink, give the Democrats a wink
You'll get it quicker than you think
in Nashville.

It is a great song and Art does a good job of it with his own banjo accompanyment.

Murray


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER (Lowry)
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 06:21 PM

Uncle Dave did a fine rendition of Robert Lowry's hymn 'Shall We Gather at the River' with his Fruit Jar Drinkers. They recorded it, and another 15 sides, in New York as the Dixie Sacred Singers. There's a version of 'Shall We Gather' in the DT, but it is somewhat truncated:

DT version

With a few minor changes, Uncle Dave's is closest to the lyrics given in the Pentecostal Online hymnal:

Pentecostal hymnal version

The Cyber Hymnal has a fifth stanza that neither the Pentecostal hymnal nor Uncle Dave use:

Cyber Hymnal version

Uncle Dave's version is as follows:

SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER
(Rev Robert Lowry)

Shall we gather at the river
Where bright angels feet have trod
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing from the throne of God?

Chorus:
Oh, yes, we'll gather at the river
The beautiful, the beautiful river
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows from the throne of God.

On the margin of the river
Washing up its silver spray
We shall walk and worship ever
All the happy golden day.

Chorus

Ere we reach the shining river
Lay we every burden down
Grace our spirits will deliver
And provide a robe and crown.

Chorus

Soon we'll reach the shining river
Then our pilgrimage will cease
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace

Chorus

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'The Country Music Hall of Fame Series' MCA MCAD-10546. Recorded on 10 May 1927 (Vocalion 5162) in New York City.
PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE'S GOT THE MONEY TOO (Lockwood/Wild)
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 08:44 PM

SHE'S GOT THE MONEY TOO
(C.T. Lockwood/J. Wild)

I am just as fond of beauty as anyone can be
The rosy cheeks and pearly teeth I dearly love to see
I know one that has them except me and you
Oh she is the sweetest girlie, and she's got the money too

Chorus:
Now won't I love my honey
(Lord, yes)
And won't I spend her money
(It is a sin (?))
I am as happy as a flower
That sips the falling dew
For I know a little girlie
And she's got the money too

She takes me out a-riding whenever I come down
She owns the finest Cadillac and Buick in the town
She tells me that she loves me, oh listen wouldn't you
Oh she is the sweetest girlie, and she's got the money too

Chorus

I asked her the question, if she would be my bride
She said, You are the sweetest boy that ever lived or died
I told her that I meant it, she said she did too
Oh she is the sweetest girlie, and she's got the money too

Chorus

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Travelin' Down the Road' County CCSCD-115. Recorded on 24 January 1938.
PS.

Uncle Dave garnered his material from a variety of sources. This is a vaudeville song from his youth (it comes from 1869). Charles Wolfe in his notes to the above CD attributes the words to C.T. Lockwood and the music to Johnny Wild. The original was 'And he's got the money too'. The Levy collection attributes both words and music to Lockwood. The direct link to the song at Levy wouldn't work, so you need to put 'And he's got the money too' in the search box at the Levy site: http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/index.html

The American memory collection attributes it to Lockwood/Wild:

American memory

Whatever, as well as changing the sex of the protagonist, Macon and/or the folk process have expanded on the original considerably.

There's a version in the Hunter collection from Mrs Virginia Morris of Springfield, Missouri.

Hunter collection


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD TIES (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 06:37 PM

OLD TIES

Fare thee well old ties now we're over
I had loved thee for many a year
May the waters of time deeply cover
All our feelings that once was so dear

Chorus:
Vain, vain are the vows we have plighted
I would that we'd never had met
Love's a flower that blooms to be blighted
And the star of hope arose but to set

Do not think of me then too unkindly
Nor cherish one ill thought for me
I had loved thee, but loved thee too blindly
And now through my blindness I see

Chorus

Aye forever you give to another
All the charms that were once fondly mine
Will you think of me then as a brother
And as a sister, the love shall be thine

Chorus

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD-3505.

This sounds like a late 19th century tearjerker, but I have been unable to find anything at any of the sheet music sites. Uncle Dave's performance is simply delightful.
PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHOOP 'EM UP CINDY (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 07:13 PM

WHOOP 'EM UP CINDY

Went upon the mountain top, give my horn a blow
Thought I heard Cindy say 'yonder comes my beau'

Chorus:
Whoop 'em up Cindy, lord, lord
I love Cindy, lord, lord
Whoop 'em up Cindy, lord, lord
Gone forever more

Went up to the mountain top, cut my sugar cane
Every time I cut a stalk, thought about Cindy Jane

Chorus

Cindy she's a rattlin' girl, Cindy she's a rose
How I love Cindy girl, God almighty knows

Chorus

I got a girl in Baltimore, got one in Savanah
One in Baltimore named Lise, other little girl's named Hannah

Chorus

Higher up the mountain top, greener grow the cherries
Sooner the boys court the girls, sooner they get married

Chorus

Cindy in the summertime, Cindy in the fall
If I can't have Cindy all the time, don't want her at all

Source: New Lost City Ramblers 'Volume II' Folkways LP FA2397. Uncle Dave Macon 'Whoop 'Em Up Cindy' Vocalion 15323.
PS.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: BanjoRay
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 04:22 PM

What a great thread this is - I've been after these lyrics for eons - lets have more, Stewie....please!

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: Lyr Add: WRECK OF THE TENNESSEE GRAVY TRAIN (Macon
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 07:21 PM

WRECK OF THE TENNESSEE GRAVY TRAIN
(Uncle Dave Macon)
The people of Tennessee want to know who wrecked our gravy train
The one we thought was run so well and now who can we blame
They want to know who greased the track and started it down the road
This same ol' train contained our money to build our highway roads

Chorus:
But now we're up against it and no use to raise a row
But of all the times I've ever seen, we're sure up against it now
The only thing that we can do is to do the best we can
Follow me, good people, I'm bound for the promised land

Now, I could be a banker without the least excuse
But look at the treasurer of Tennessee and tell me what's the use
We lately bonded Tennessee for just five million bucks
The bonds were issued and the money tied up and now we're in tough luck

Chorus

Some lay it all on parties, some lay it on others you see
But now that you can plainly see what happened to Tennessee
For the engineer pulled the throttle, conductor rang the bell
The brakeman hollered 'all aboard' and the banks all went to hell

Source: transcription of reissue on Various Artists 'Hard Times Come Again No More Vol 2' Yazoo CD 2037. The original recording (17 December 1930?) was released as Okeh 45507. In this performance, Uncle Dave was accompanied by Sam McGee on banjo-guitar.

Uncle Dave was very fond of topical songs and wrote many more than he actually recorded. This one related to a state scandal of the embezzlement of highway funds. The first 2 lines of the chorus had been used by him in an earlier topical song 'We're Up Against It Now' (Vocalion 15447, recorded 8 September 1926) – see link earlier in this thread to lyrics in forum. The chorus therein was:

We're up against it now
There's no use to raise a row
But of all the times I've ever seen
We're sure up against it now

In his notes to 'Rich Man Poor Man: American Country Songs of Protest' (Rounder 1026), Mark Wilson suggested that the lyrical similarity of the choruses indicates Macon may have 'based both on some antecedent bit of minstrelsy'.
PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN THE TRAIN COMES ALONG (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 11:08 PM

WHEN THE TRAIN COMES ALONG

Some comes walkin' and some comes lame
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along
Some comes walkin' in my Jesus' name
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along

Chorus:
Oh, when the train comes along
Oh, when the train comes along
Oh lord, I'll meet you at the station
When the train comes along

Sins of years are washed away
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along
Darkest hour is changed to day
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along

Chorus

Doubts and fears are borne along
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along
Sorrow changes into song
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along

Chorus

Ease and wealth become as dross
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along
All my boast is in the cross
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along

Chorus

Selfishness is lost in love
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along
All my treasures are above
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'The Country Music Hall of Fame Series' MCA MCAD-10546. Original recording released on Champion 16805, Champion 45105 and Decca 5373. Recorded in Richmond, Indiana, on 14 August 1934. Uncle Dave Macon, vocal and banjo, was accompanied by Kirk McGee on banjo and Sam McGee on guitar. One or both of the McGees sang in the choruses.

Uncle Dave Macon's rendition of this song is the only evidence of its existence in white tradition. In his notes to the above cited CD on MCA, Charlie Seemann of the Country Music Foundation stated that this was a McGee Brothers (Sam and Kirk) composition. The McGees may have been responsible for some of the lines in this variant, but the concept and refrain were well-known in the black tradition. In his 'Long Steel Rail', Norm Cohen quoted from John W. Work's 'American Negro Songs and Spirituals' [New York, Bonanza Books, 1940, p94] the usual version that consisted of one chorus and two verses:

I may be blind an' cannot see
But I'll meet you at the station when the train comes along

I may be lame an' cannot walk
But I'll meet you at the station when the train comes along

When the train comes along, when the train comes along
I'll meet you at the station when the train comes along

Norm Cohen commented that he had been unable to find anything in print relating to the origins of variants of the song, and no traces before 1925. The first recording was made in September 1926 by Odette and Ethel [Odette Jackson and Ethel Grainger] who accompanied Rev J. C. Burnette on many of his recordings. The black Texan songster, Henry Thomas, recorded the song in October 1927. Thomas' repertoire shared several pieces with Uncle Dave's - 'Arkansas', 'The Fox and the Hounds', 'Jonah in the Wilderness', 'Shanty Blues' and 'When the Train Comes Along'. However, as Tony Russell pointed out in his 'Blacks, Whites and Blues' [Studio Vista, 1970, p47], the songs concerned were 'so old that Thomas need not have learned them from, nor even heard, Macon's interpretations'. In this instance, Uncle Dave recorded after Thomas. It is, however, an interesting example of common stock in the black and white traditions.

For the purposes of comparison, I post Henry Thomas' version:

WHEN THE TRAIN COMES ALONG

When the train come along, when the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

I may be blind, I cannot see
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

The train come along, the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

I marched on the shore, I cannot see
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

When the train come along, the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

I'm going to the Son and thank him in my heart
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

When the train come along, the train come along
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

I may be blind, I cannot see
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

The train come along, the train come along
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

When my mother wanted me, I prayed for religion
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

Well, the train come along, well, the train come along
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

I may be blind, I cannot see
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

The train come along, the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

I'm praying in my heart, I'm crying out my eyes
Jesus died for my sins

I will meet you at the station, I will meet you in the morn
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

When the train come along, the train come along
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

I may be blind, I cannot see
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

The train come along, the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

I'm praying in my heart, I'm praying for my soul
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

The train come along, the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

Source: transcription from reissue on Henry Thomas 'Texas Worried Blues: Complete Recorded Works 1927-1929' Yazoo CD 1080/1. Original recording issued as Vocalion 1140. Recorded in Chicago on 7 October 1927.

PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOVERNOR AL SMITH (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 08:12 PM

GOVERNOR AL SMITH

(Spoken) Getting' right now

Al Smith nominated for president, darlin'
Al Smith nominated for president, darlin'
Al Smith nominated for president
My vote to him I'm a-gonna present, darlin'

Al Smith is a mighty fine man, darlin'
Al Smith is a mighty fine man, darlin'
Al Smith is a mighty fine man
He wants to be president of our land, darlin'

(Spoken) Hot dog! In Chicago, just from Tennessee and here's what the people say:

Al Smith is a-getting on a boom, darlin'
Al Smith is a-getting on a boom, darlin'
Al Smith is a-getting on a boom
He don't favour the open saloon, darlin'

Smith wants everything to be just right, darlin'
Smith wants everything to be just right, darlin'
Smith wants everything to be just right
The law's gonna get you if you get tight, darlin'

I think I'll buy me a little camphor gum, my darlin'
I think I'll buy me a little camphor gum, my darlin'
I think I'll buy me a little camphor gum
For then I think I can buy a little rum, my darlin'

Moonshine's been here long enough, darlin'
Moonshine's been here long enough,, darlin'
Moonshine's been here long enough
Let's all vote right and get rid of such, darlin'

Many a good man's been poisoned to death, darlin'
Many a good man's been poisoned to death, darlin'
Many a good man's been poisoned to death
And with a real drink was never blessed, darlin'

Four dollar bills and a bottle of beer, darlin'
Four dollar bills and a bottle of beer, darlin'
Four dollar bills and a bottle of beer
I wish to the lord my honey was here, darlin'

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'The Country Music Hall of Fame Series' MCA MCAD-10546. Original issue Brunswick 263, recorded in Chicago, Ill, 26 July 1928.

This is another example of Uncle Dave's forays into social commentary. It was written during the 1928 presidential campaign when the Governor of New York, Al Smith, ran on the Democatic ticket against Herbert Hoover. Macon's support seems a little odd given that Smith was a Northerner and a catholic whose core constituency was immigrants groups in the larger cities. However, Smith was opposed to Prohibition and, by this stage, many country people were beginning to believe that Prohibition was doing more harm than good because of poor drink and general disregard for the law. Although he was a genuinely moral and religious man, Uncle Dave didn't mind a drop or two. As Charles Wolfe put it, there was a duality to Uncle Dave (and to many country singers), 'a curious combination of traditional morality (what man should be) and life-embracing gusto (what man is)'. [Quote from Charles Wolfe in 'Stars of Country Music' Ed Bill C. Malone and Judith McCulloh, Urbana, Uni of Illinois Press, 1975, p59].

PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WALKING IN SUNLIGHT (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 12 Mar 01 - 09:49 PM

WALKING IN SUNLIGHT
(H.J. Zelley/G.H. Cook)
(Spoken) Now, folks, when it comes to the scientifical parts of music, I know nothing about it, but I can play. And thank God a man who can't read the bible can pray. Listen, a man comes into this life naked and bare, he goes through life with troubles and cares, he departs this life and goes we don't know where, but he'll be all right there if he lives all right here.

Walking in sunlight all of my journey
Over the mountains, through the deep vale
Jesus has said 'I'll never forsake thee'
Promise divine that never can fail

Chorus:
Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight
Flooding my soul with glory divine
Hallelujah, I am rejoicing
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine

Shadows around me, shadows above me
Never conceal my saviour and guide
He is the light, in Him there's no darkness
Ever I'm walking close to his side

Chorus

Source: transcription of reissue of Uncle Dave Macon and His Fruit Jar Singers 'Walking in Sunlight' on Various Artists 'How Can I Keep From Singing: Early American Religious Music and Song' Vol 1' Yazoo CD 2020.

The Cyber Hymnal site indicates the words to this hymn were written by Henry Jeffreys Zelley and the music by George Harrison Cook. It was published in 1899 in 'Gospel Praise' by William Kirkpatrick and Henry Gilmour. The inspiration for the hymn is from 1 John 1:5 'God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all'. The original has an additional stanza:

In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing
Passing my way to mansions above
Singing His praises, gladly I'm walking
Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love

PS.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 13 Mar 01 - 12:18 AM

You think you Brits have trouble understanding Uncle Dave? So Do Yankees. Just in case you are not aware of osit, "Yankees" only live in the 5 New England states. Rhode Island, which formally declared it's independence on MAY, 4Th 1776, (two months before the rest)Massachusetts,Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. We don't object when Britons call all Americans, "Yanks", it's kind of a compliment, but, When Southern Americans refer to ALL Norherners as, "Yankees" we resent the Hell out of it, because they usually dont use it as a compliment and almost always add the prefix "Damned". Dasve Macon definitely did not have a yankee accent. Britts should have no trouble with with a Yankee accent, sounds a lot like a combination of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. At least that's what their accents sounded like to me when I was stationed in England in the USAF. Leadbelly was just as hard to understand, except that I knew him when I was a Kid living in New York City in 1946 &47. I learned a lot of Leadbelly's songs right from the horses mouth, and did a lot of "Huh"?, "What was that"? (whuch you can't do with a recording) I remember that he was very patient with "chillun" and liked to perform for them and having them around. He even would change the words to some songs, (on the spot) rather than give them any bad advice. I'll give you one example. He was singing for a bunch of school kids and sang the last line of the last verse of "Irene" to "I'll run away and hide" instead of "I'll take morphine and die". While we're still on the subject, in spite of the TV movie about Leadbelly's life, he did not pronounce his name "Hew-dee", his name was Hudson Ledbetter, and he pronounced it "Huh-dy".

Love and kisses


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Mar 01 - 06:59 PM

Hi CY, it's very difficult for us in Oz as well. However, it is not only his accent, but also his mumblings and poor enunciation at times. Mostly, he is reasonably easy to understand, but there are passages where he is impossible. If you note errors and mishearings in the transcriptions that I am posting, I would very much appreciate your drawing them to attention.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'LL KEEP MY SKILLET GOOD AND GREASY
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Mar 01 - 07:02 PM

I'LL KEEP MY SKILLET GOOD AND GREASY

I'se gwine down town for to buy me a sack of flour
Gwine cook it every hour
Keep my skillet good and greasy all the time, time, time
Keep my skillet good and greasy all the time

I'se chickens in my sack, bloodhounds on my track
I'm pullin' for my shanty home, home, home
I'm pullin' for my shanty home

If they beat me to the door, I'll put 'em under the floor
Keep my skillet good and greasy all the time, time, time
Keep my skillet good and greasy all the time

I'se a-walking down the street and I stoled a ham of meat
Got my skillet good and greasy all the time, time, time
Got my skillet good and greasy all the time

I'se gwine to the hills for to buy me a jug of brandy
Gwine give it all to Mandy
Keep her good and drunk and boozy all the time, time, time
Keep her good and drunk and boozy all the time

Honey, if you say so, I'll never work-a no more
I'll lay round your shanty all the time, time, time
I'll lay round your shanty all the time

There's a man on the log, finger on the trigger and eye on the hog
Gun it went blip and the bullet it went zip
Fell on the hog with all of his grip
Got my skillet good and greasy all the time, time, time
Got my skillet good and greasy all the time

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Travelin' Down the Road' County CCS-CD-115. Original recording 22 January 1935.

Uncle Dave first recorded this song acoustically in 1924 and it was his first 'hit'. It continued to be a favourite so it was redone in better sound in 1935. According to Charles Wolfe, Sid Harkreader always said Uncle Dave got it from 'an old coloured man' who worked at the Readyville mill near where Macon worked.

The song was part of that 'common stock' of banjo and fiddle tunes and songs in the black and white traditions – pieces that drew on a huge collection of couplets and quatrains that were nearly all interchangeable from one to another. The 'gwines' and 'I'ses' link it to the minstrel era and the last verse here betrays its connection to the large 'Some people say a nigger/preacher can't steal' / 'Mourner, You Shall Be Free' family. In Uncle Dave's version, it's 'a man' on the log. In his wonderful 'Screening the Blues: Aspects of Blues Tradition' [New York, Da Capo Press, 1968], Paul Oliver traces the history of 'Mourner' from the minstrel days where it was 'a nigger' on the log, through to 'the preacher' taking his place as a figure of derision. Frank Stokes, a medicine show performer from Memphis, recorded in his version of 'Mourner', the title of which was abbreviated to 'You Shall':

Well you see that preacher laid behind the log
Hand on the trigger, got his eye on the hog
The hog says (grunt), the gun says 'zip',
Jump on the hog with all his grip
He had pork chops, yeah,
And backbone, and spareribs, yeah,
Now when the good lord sets me free
[Transcription from Frank Stokes 'You Shall', reissued on Frank Stokes 'Creator of the Memphis Blues' Yazoo CD 1056. Original recording August 1927, Paramount 12518].

Oliver suggest (op cit p58) that the target in Stokes' song was changed possibly because Paramount was 'alive to the sensibilities' of his listeners', but when Howard Odum collected the song [Howard W. Odum 'Folk-Song and Folk-Poetry as Found in the Secular Songs of the Southern Negroes', Journal of American Folklore, vol 24, no 94, 1911], the words still ran:

Great big nigger, settin' on a log
One eye on the trigger, one eye on the log

PS.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 11:42 AM

When I started this thread / question, I hoped for some response. At first it was sparse, and I thought I was going to be disappointed. I still haven't got words for the two songs which originally sparked off my enquiry, but I would like to thank Stewie for his almost single handed determination to get Uncle Dave's lyrics down for us all to use.
I've currently mislaid my partial transcriptions, but they were mostly holes and question marks anyway. If I can locate the folder with them in I will post them (with missing lines) so that others might be able to provide guesses and opinions about what he sang.
Keep up the good work !!!
Quack!!!!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 11:43 AM

When I started this thread / question, I hoped for some response. At first it was sparse, and I thought I was going to be disappointed. I still haven't got words for the two songs which originally sparked off my enquiry, but I would like to thank Stewie for his almost single handed determination to get Uncle Dave's lyrics down for us all to use.
I've currently mislaid my partial transcriptions, but they were mostly holes and question marks anyway. If I can locate the folder with them in I will post them (with missing lines) so that others might be able to provide guesses and opinions about what he sang.
Keep up the good work !!!
Quack!!!!
GtD.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GO ON NORA LEE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 09:13 PM

Geoff, the trouble is you asked for two real stinkers. I have been listening to them repeatedly and working on them, but 'Buddie' in particular is incredibly difficult.

I will post my attempted transcription of 'Go on Nora'. I am not sure whether he has broken his 'neck' or 'leg', but most often it sounds like 'neck' to me. The way Uncle Dave sings it, it sounds like 'gwine', but I have opted for the 'Go on' from the title and I thought 'gwine' usually means 'I'm going to' rather than 'go on' (but I may be wrong). The bits in square brackets indicate that that is my best shot and it may be something quite different. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

GO ON NORA LEE

Whisky is the one thing sure people's gonna make
But when they get you on the chain gang
You done seen your mistake

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck (leg?) and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Way up on the mountainside when nobody's been around
[Just the time you makin' a run, you fall] and brought it down

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Never thought of any young man the [lord gets so tight]
My father made it day and night and everything's all right

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my leg and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Used to walk in a saloon, call for whisky and beer
Now you have to look around, you can find it everywhere

All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my leg and I couldn't get away

Source: Uncle Dave Macon 'Laugh Your Blues Away' Rounder LP 1028. Original recording made on 17 December 1930 (previously unissued).


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Subject: Lyr Add: GO ON NORA LEE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 01:10 AM

I posted my transcription of 'Nora' on the old-time music newgroup and asked for help. Chris Berry gave his deciphering of the verse lines - sounds great to me. He confirms that it is the 'neck' that is broken and that Uncle Dave is singing 'Go on'. Chris also provided a transcription of 'Buddie' which I will post in a separate message - he has an amazing ear for Uncle Dave lyrics.

CORRECTED VERSION OF 'GO ON, NORA LEE' FOLLOWS.

GO ON NORA LEE

Whisky is the one thing sure people's gonna make
But when they get you on the chain gang, you better seen your mistake

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Way up on the mountainside where nobody's been around
Just the time you'll make a run, you're caught and brought to town

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Never thought, when a young man, the law'd get so tight]
My father made it day and night and everything's all right

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Used to walk in a saloon, call for whisky and beer
Now you have to look around, you can find it everywhere

All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck and I couldn't get away

Source: Uncle Dave Macon 'Laugh Your Blues Away' Rounder LP 1028. Original recording made on 17 December 1930 (previously unissued).


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Subject: Lyr Add: COME ON BUDDIE, DON'T YOU WANT TO GO
From: Stewie
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 01:19 AM

COME ON BUDDIE, DON'T YOU WANT TO GO

Who's been here since I been gone?
Pretty little gal with the red dress on

Roast beef, chicken and whisky too
I'm so happy don't know what to do

Chorus:
I'm gettin' happy, don't you know
Come (sometimes Run) along buddie don't you want to go?
Set myself in a pan of grease
Slipped and fell against the mantlepiece
Take care boys of raising sand

Chorus

Left your booze and chucked your cider
Lemon extract and old Budweiser

Horsetail pills, a little oxtail tonic
The good book says a little's good for the stomach

Chorus

Crank your Ford, I'll hold your baby
Whisky's scarce and I don't mean maybe

I have trusted to my sorrow
Pay today and credit tomorrow

Chorus

Went myself in a Cadillac 8
Turned around the corner at a rapid rate

Met a young lady passing by
I throwed her a kiss and I heard her cry

Chorus

There is something that I know
If you want to get to heaven get right and go

Never get to heaven on a ballroom floor
Satan gonna slide you right through the door

Chorus

There is something sure enough
Never get to heaven with a nose full of snuff

There is something sure in life
Never go to heaven with another man's wife

Source: original recording 17 December 1930. Issued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Laugh Your Blues Away' Rounder LP 1028 (previously unissued).

The above transcription was kindly posted to the old-time music newsgroup by Chris Berry. Chris said that he is not sure of the 'pills' and 'tonic' stanza but I reckon that, if it is not right, it is as close as anyone is going to get.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FROM JERUSALEM TO JERICHO (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Mar 01 - 01:56 AM

FROM JERUSALEM TO JERICHO
(Rev W.M. Robertson)

From Jerusalem to Jericho along that lonely road
A certain man was set upon and robbed of all his gold
They beat him and they stripped him and they left him there for dead
Who was it then that came along and bathed the aching head?

Chorus:
Then who (then who), tell me who (tell me who)
Tell me who was this neighbour kind and true
From Jerusalem to Jericho we're travelling every day
And many are the fallen ones that lie along the way

From Jerusalem to Jericho a certain priest came by
He heard the poor man crying but he heeded not the cry
He gathered his robes about him and he quickly passed away
Who was it then that came along and ministered that day?
Chorus

From Jerusalem to Jericho a Levi came along
He heard the poor man crying that lie upon the ground
He lifted his hands up to the heavens and he quickly passed him by
Who was it then that came along and heeded that needy cry?
Chorus

From Jerusalem to Jericho when life was ebbing away
Along came that Samaritan who was despised they say
He ministered to the dying man, he carried him to an inn
He paid his fare and told the host to take good care of him

Chorus

From Jerusalem to Jericho we're travelling every day
And many are the fallen ones that lie along the way
Oh some despise and some reject it, but it is no matter how they've been
When everybody turns you down then Jesus takes you in

Chorus

Source: transcription from reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Travelin' Down the Road' County CCS-CD-115. Original recording made on 3 August 1937.

According to Charles Wolfe, this hymn was from the pen of Rev W.M. Robertson in 1891 and appeared in several early hymn books. Uncle Dave first recorded it in 1925. I cannot find the original at any of the gospel and sheet music sites and no mention of Rev Robertson either. Can anyone post the original for purposes of comparison? The Cyber Hymnal site mentions a hymn with the same title by a Frederick Arthur Graves (1856-1927), but gives no text. Is this related or a totally discrete piece? Uncle Dave made another non-commercial recording of the hymn, with his son Dorris backing him on guitar, some time during 1946 (issued on Rounder LP 1028). In that recording, Uncle Dave inverts the last line of the final stanza to: 'When everybody takes you down, then Jesus turns you in'. Whether that was deliberate or accidental, as Charles Wolfe has pointed out, it does make 'a certain amount of Uncle Dave sense'. In my trawls across the net for information about this hymn, I came across an interesting article on the parable in Luke's gospel on which the hymn was based:

Click here for parable article


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Wendy_
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 02:24 PM

There is a discussion of 'Whoa Mule' in this thread .


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 06:00 PM

Uncle Dave was a real social change advocate. Bearing in mind, that he was singing to rednecked Southern Farmers in the 20's and 30's, It's a wonder he didn't get lynched. He was one brave man. For instance second verse to "Take me Back to Tulsa"

LITTLE BEE SUCKS THE BLOSSOM, BIG BEE GETS THE HONEY.
DARKY GROWS THE COTTON, WHITE MAN GETS THE MONEY.

Take me back to Tulsa, I'm too young to marry
Take me back to Tulsa, I'm too young to marry.


His son "Dorris" recalled that one opf Uncle Dave's Black Farmhands was about to have his own little farm, and home, foreclosed on by a bank. Uncle Dave Bought the Mortgage AND GAVE IT TO HIS FARMHAND.


His anti KKK verse, mentioned previously , was not an uncommon occurrance.
I can't understand him either.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JORDAN AM A HARD ROAD TO TRAVEL (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 09:06 PM

JORDAN AM A HARD ROAD TO TRAVEL

I'm a-gonna sing you a brand new song
It is all the truth for certain
We can't live high if we get by
And get on the other side of Jordan

Chorus:
Oh pull off your overcoat and roll up your sleeves
Jordan am a hard road to travel
Pull off your overcoat and roll up your sleeves
Jordan am a hard road to travel I believe

The public schools and the highways
Are raisin' quite an alarm
Get a country man educated just a little
And he ain't a-gonna work on the farm

Chorus

I don't know but I 'blieve I'm right
The auto's ruined the country
Let's go back to the horse and buggy
And try to save some money

Chorus

I know a man that's an evangelist
The tabernacle's always full
People will come from miles around
Just to hear him shoot the bull

Chorus

You may talk about your evangelistss
You may talk about Mr Ford too
With Henry really shakin' more hell out of folks
Than all of the evangelists do

Chorus

It rained forty nights but it rained forty days
Gonna rain on the Allegheny Mountains
Gonna rain forty horses and dominecker mules
Gonna take us on the other side of Jordan

Chorus

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD-3505. Original recording made on 9 May 1927.

This song originated with a ministrel tune by Daniel Decatur Emmett in the second half of the 19th century. Emmett's song can be found in the DT database: Emmett's Song. Sheet music for Emmett's song may be found at the American Memory site: American Memory. Information on Emmett may be found Here and also Here.

The song became a vehicle for various parodies almost immediately. One of these may be found in the DT database: Richmond is a hard road to travel. In respect of this parody, I found on the net a short explanation by John R. Thompson:

Many Civil War songs were parodies­­songs that set new, topical words to a familiar tune. In 1863 John R. Thompson, a famous southern editor, drafted the following song, based on the minstrel tune Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel, lampooning the Union army's many failures in Virginia in the first two years of the war. [The song refers] to Pope's defeat at Second Bull Run and Burnside's horrendous losses at Fredericksburg. The proclamation referred to was not Lincoln's famous emancipation edict, but Pope's arrogant announcement that his troops were to always advance and never retreat; the boastful Union commander soon found himself frantically racing back to Washington after Lee crushed him at Manassas

Uncle Dave's parody reflects his love of writing songs that comment on current problems of his day and, once again, he takes the opportunity to have a go at the automobile. The Traditional Ballad Index refers to Uncle Dave's recording and gives to 2 citations under the title 'The Other Side of Jordan': Ballad index entry. The text in Silbur is taken directly from the Cohen/Seeger/Wood songbook ['Old-Time String Band Songbook' Oak Publications – former title was 'New Lost City Ramblers Songbook'].

My transcription differs in minor respects from the C/S/W songbook. Perhaps they were working from a different recording of Uncle Dave's, but their last stanza does not accord with what Uncle Dave is singing in his 1927 recording. Norman Blake [Rounder CD 11505] follows Uncle Dave more closely. C/S/W give 'Allegheny Mountains' in the last stanza and I have gone with that even though I can't hear it – it sounds more like 'Alligator' or 'Alligaty' to me. Like many old-time singers, Uncle Dave can be hard to decipher and mondegreens are almost inevitable. I saw a posting from Tom Paley in the banjo news list that the chorus of this song has been misheard as:

Take off your overcoat, roll up your sleeves
Yearnin' in your heart for trouble
Take off your overcoat, roll up your sleeves
Yearnin' in your heart for trouble I believe


In a posting to the forum a Mudcatter gave a possible explanation for 'dominecker' (dominicker) – that, in respect of chooks, it refers to being like a Domincan in colour (reference to the priests' black and white habit) and Uncle Dave may have transferred this to similarly coloured mules.

C/S/W also refer to a version by Tex Logan who learned it as a boy in Texas and taught it to Red Belcher. They refer also to a version by the great Riley Puckett from Georgia. They note that Riley used some verses that are close to those in 'The Old Minstrel Song Book'. They give no details of this book in the headnote or in the bibliography. Can someone provide the details of the editor, publisher etc of this? I have had a search on the net, but have come up with zilch. My attempted transcription of Riley's version follows. There is one line that I was unable to decipher [Riley is not as bad as Uncle Dave, but he has his moments] – it is probably a stock minstrel verse. With its obvious relationship to the 'coon song' tradition, this version would be totally offensive today. Riley has the 'I believe' in the second line of the chorus and his last stanza harks back to Emmett's original:

THE OTHER SIDE OF JORDAN

If I was the president of the United States
Well I'd make my laws recorded
The niggers I'd sell, let the British all go
I'd put 'em on the other side of Jordan

Chorus:
Haul off your overcoat, roll up your sleeve
Jordan am a hard road to travel I believe
Haul off your overcoat, roll up your sleeve
Jordan am a hard road to travel
[Whistles melody above guitar]

If you want to do well go down to the hotel
Get your washing and your board on the credit
If they ask you when you'll pay just tell 'em right away
They may get (it) on the other side of Jordan

Chorus and whistling

Two little niggers went out to play
All the people thought they's a-fightin'
When they hollered to the big nigger get out of the way
'Cos little niggers going to (?)

Chorus and whistling

Daddy caught a turkey in the woods the other day
Well he put him in the oven for to cook him
He jerked back his head and he knocked off the lid
Well he gobbled on the other side of Jordan

Chorus and whistling

David and Goliath had a fight the other day
Found one thing certain
He hit Goliath on the head with a bar of soft soap
And it sounded on the other side of Jordan

Chorus and whistling

Source: Riley Puckett 'Waiting for the Evening Mail' County LP 411.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'LL RISE WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWS (Macon)
From: Paul B
Date: 29 May 01 - 04:11 PM

I'll Rise When the Rooster Crows

As recorded by the Binkley Brothers Dixie Clodhoppers on the CD "Nashville: the Early String Bands Vol. I,” County CD-3521. The song was recorded 10/2/1928.

Stewie says that this is quite similar to the Uncle Dave version.

Paul B.

Chorus:
I'll rise when the rooster crows
I'll rise when the rooster crows
I'm going back south where the sun shines hot
Oh down where the sugar cane grows

Verses:
If the golden shoes you hear so much about
Was worn down here you'd soon wear 'em out
We're gonna take up 'em yonder for to put on my robes
Gonna put on my golden shoes

Don't let old Satan try to fool you
For the gates'll be closed and you can't get through
With a long white robe and the white socks too
Gonna put on my golden shoes

When Gabriel comes for to blow his horn
Well you needn't pull back for you gotta go on
So prepare yourself for the judgment day
For you can't take money and buy your way

We'll have cider all the fall
For I said I's going to the ball
Where the duck chews tobacco and the goose drinks wine
The old hen cackle while the rooster keeps the time

Whatcha gonna do when the women all dead?
Gonna sit in the corner with a hung down head
Well if I had to marry I wouldn't marry for riches
I'd marry a big fat gal who couldn't wear the britches

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 14-Nov-01.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'LL RISE WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWS (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 29 May 01 - 08:50 PM

Hi Paul, thanks for posting the Binkleys version. Below is your transcription amended to what I hear Uncle Dave singing. His is more difficult to decipher than the Binkleys so, as always, it is open to correction. However, as you will note, there are only minor variations from the version you have posted - plus a spoken introduction. In the second stanza, unlike the Binkleys version, I don't hear Uncle Dave singing 'socks' but, if not, I don't know what it is. I was thinking 'spats', but it does not sound like that either.

I'LL RISE WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWS

{Spoken} Now, good people, there's the little sweet golden daisies. Now I'm a-gonna give you something from the land hog and hominy, pumpkin and possum, and where whisky is made out of corn and women don't smell like talcum powders – let's go for it.

The golden shoes that they hear so much about
Oh the gospel children gonna wear them out
Gonna wear them up yonder where they put on the robe
Where I get on my golden shoes

Chorus:
I'll rise when the rooster crows
Oh rise when the rooster crows
I'se a-going back south where the sun shines hot
Oh down where the sugar cane grows

Don't let old Satan try to fool you
For the gates'll be closed and you caint get through
With my long white robe and my white [socks?] too
Gonna put on my golden shoes

When Gabriel comes for to blow his horn
There's no need to pull back for you gotta go on
Prepare yourself for the Great Day
For you caint take money and buy your way

We'd have cider all the fall
Oh get out of the barn to the ball
Where the duck chews tobacco and the goose drinks wine
The old hen cackles while the rooster keeps the time

Whatcha gonna do when the women all dead?
Gonna sit in the corner with a hung down head?
Yes, if I had to marry, I wouldn't marry for riches
I'd marry the big fat gal who couldn't wear my britches
Source: Uncle Dave Macon 'Same' RBF Records RF 51. Original recording Vocalion 15321.

By virtue of the generosity of fox4zero (Larry), I have heaps of other Uncle Dave lyrics to post. It is a matter of searching for background stuff and finding a 'round tuit'. I will certainly post them in due course.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DIXIE BEE LINE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: GUEST,Denise :^)
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 01:38 PM

Well, I had my request out everywhere, and it looks like the Cyberpluckers (Autoharp) came through.

Here are "best guess" lyrics from Kathie--feel free to correct them if you know better!

DIXIE BEE LINE

Well, some folks say that a Ford won't run,
Just let me tell you what a Henry done.
She left Louisville about half past one,
And we pulled into Nashville at the setting of the sun.

CHORUS: On the Dixie, on the Dixie Bee Line,
Gonna rise and shine, gonna stay on time,
Rise and shine, gonna stay on time,
When you're riding in that Henry of mine.

Well, Henry Ford went to Muscle Shoals,
To bring to the people of the South pure gold.
Let them have it, and oh, my Lord,
We'll all ride to heaven in a Henry Ford.
CHORUS

Well, that old Buick certainly treated me mean,
She took all my money for to buy gasoline.
She may be warm, but I don't know,
The Buick won't come where the Henry will go.
CHORUS

Well, I went to the mountains for to get some booze,
The Henry Ford car was the one I'd choose.
The officer got right on me, I'd say,
And I pulled it wide open and I made my getaway.
CHORUS

Well, everybody knows a Henry Ford car,
Everybody knows they're the best they are.
You want to take a ride, just get in a Ford,
Step on the throttle and oh, my Lord.
CHORUS

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 14-Nov-01.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,Denise:^)
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 01:46 PM

Aargh!! I want you all to know that I didn't type the lyrics in long lines like that!


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 08:50 PM

I think it is about time this thread re-surfaced!


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 09:10 PM

Uncle Dave's 'Buddy, Won't You Roll Down the Line' is in the DT under the title 'Roll Down the Line':

Buddy, Won't You Roll Down the Line

Judging by own listening and transcriptions in Green's 'Only A Miner' and Seeger etc 'Old-Time String Band Songbook', there are several inaccuracies in the DT transcription. Here are some corrections - in square brackets:

Stanza 1, line 1: 'Way [back] yonder'

Stanza 1, line 2: 'against free labour [stout]'

Stanza 2, line 1: '[Every] Monday morning, [they've got 'em out on time]'

Stanza 2, line 2: '[March them] down ... [said] to look'

Stanza 2, line 3: '[March] you ... [said] to look'

Stanza 2, line 4: 'Very [last word] the captain [say], you better get your [coal]

Stanza 3, line 2: 'The meat [it is burnt up]' - no 'all'

Stanza 3, line 3: ' ... task done, [you're glad to come to call]' - Green has 'at all' instead of 'to call', but I agree with the Seeger transcription

Stanza 4, line 4: 'Very next [time they call on you, you'll bet you'll have your coal]'

For extensive background to this song and its relatives see Archie Green 'Only A Miner' Uni of Illinois Press, pp 195-239.

--Stewie.

Stanza 3, line 4: '[For] anything ... [it tastes] good'


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Dicho
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 11:21 PM

These wonderful songs not entered in the DT yet, I see. The Work and Henry Thomas versions of "When the Train Comes Along" should be placed under @religion, @spiritual and @gospel as well as @railroad when they get around to it.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 04:00 AM

Geoff

I've got a copy of that New Lost City Ramblers Songbook mentioned in an earlier response. Let me know if you want to borrow it - I have already lent it to Les from Hull and Oombanjo but have it back in my possession now.

R


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 04:25 AM

Geoff I also have the following Uncle Dave recordings which you are welcome to borrow too:

Sail away Ladies Go Long mule Backwater Blues I'm goin' Away in the Morn Hold the Woodpile down Way Down the Old Plank Road Buddy Won't you Roll Down the Line

R


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 11:58 AM

Stewie:

Re; your comment above on "dominecker mule" in "Jordan Am a Hard Road to Travel"--I had always heard references to "dominecker hens" growing up in Texas. My Random House dictionary has this to say (which would at least agree with the coloration theory):

"Dom•i•nique
n. Animal Husb. one of an American breed of chicken, having slate-colored plumage crossed by light and dark bars, raised for its meat and brown eggs. Also, Dominick.[1800–10, Amer.; named after F Dominique"

So, a dominecker mule would be one with dark gray and light gray bars (stripes?) on its hide, I think.

Lin


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 05:47 PM

Thanks, Lin. That gives a bit of authority to the theory.

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 11:07 AM

Sir Roger! - Many thanks for the offer of loans. I do have a copy of the Old-Time String Band Songbook (a.k.a .New Lost City Ramblers), and have Uncle Dave recordings of the songs on your list with the exception of Buddy Won't you Roll Down the Line.
I would be interested in the track which I don't have. I do not recognise your Mudcat Name as being somebody I know from other circles. Do I know you personally by another name? (A P.M. would answer the question if the open forum is not suitable).

By the way - I am pleased that a simple request for lyrics has turned into such a useful Dave Macon resource. In particular, many thanks to Stewie for being the Dave Macon Oracle!
Quack!!!!!
Geoff the Duck!

HTML fixed. --JoeClone, 18-Nov-01.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 11:12 AM

Whoops - forgot to close the Italics HTML!
QUACK!


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Oversoul
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 07:39 PM

For a really fine little book about Uncle Dave's life, contact:

Rutherford County Historical Society P.O. Box 906 Murfreesboro, TN 37133-0906

This the real stuff Macon-ites! Ask for Publication #35.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 02:58 AM

FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN

[Spoken] Now good people I wagoned and farmed for over twenty years and the style on my wagoning firm was the Macon Midway Mule and Mitchell Wagon Transportation Company. Situated on the dividing line, operated by gentlemen on and up to time. Main office eight and a quarter mile East Main Street, Murfreesboro and ten and three-quarters West Main Street, Woodbury, Tennessee. Now here's my song!

I remember the year when I began to haul, it was during the summer time
Back in the those good old days, you could find whisky, beer and wine
I'd walk right in to every saloon, I was strictly up to time
Never was a night that I didn't drive home, wouldn't pull me the end of the line

Chorus:
Been a-wagoning for over twenty years, and living on the farm
I'll bet a hundred dollars to a half a ginger cake, I'm here when the trucks is gone

Gonna tell you now, said the bone-dry Tom, you can't find whisky that good
Done quit all of my drinking, done gone to serving God
I love to go to big meetings, and I'm a-gonna tell you why
I love to sing and pray to God, sweet Heaven when I die

Chorus

An auto-truck has a guiding wheel, while I hold my lines
Whoa when my feet and body gets cold, I'm walking half the time
I speak right to my power, they understand my talk
And when I holler, way get right, they know just how to walk.

Chorus

An auto-truck runs quick and fast, a wagon hasn't such speed
Four good mules and a Mitchell wagon is the safest, oh yes indeed
I'm on my way to Heaven, and I tell you just how I feel
I'd druther ride a wagon and go to Heaven, than to Hell in an automobile

Chorus

Source: transcription from 'Uncle Dave Macon: Country Music Hall of Fame Series' MCA CD MCAD-10546.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,n_kovars@hotmail.com
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 05:33 PM

If anyone can help with the lyrics to "BACKWATER BLUES" including the refrain that sounds like ("OH MY LOVE LONESOME ROAD, OH MY LOVE LONESOME ROAD") I would be eternally grateful. I love the song and would like to have any iformation available on it. There doesn't seem to be any real info from the Internet. Thanks alot


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 05:57 PM

This Link claims to have the lyrics to all of Uncle Dave's songs. However, I did not see "Backwater Blues", though it may be listed under something else.

Be forewarned! This site is not very well organized. The songs are not in any kind of order that I can decipher. It's also all one big file. Don't try to print it unless you want the whole thing. For individual songs, you have to copy and paste to a word processing program and you may have to re-insert line breaks/carriage returns.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,nina-kovars
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 06:03 PM

Bee-dubya-ell, Thanks for the link I've checked the whole list and oh course it's not on it... This seems to be a mystery song in regard to finding much on it. Let me know please if you have any other ideas on obtaining this info, thanks again.. Nina


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Subject: Lyr Add: BACKWATER BLUES (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 02:17 AM

BACKWATER BLUES

Spoken:
Well good people, y'all know water will put out fire but, when water backs up, it makes you put out, right up the mountain, just like old wreck of the 97, goin' down the grade at 90 miles an hour. Now, I'm a-gonna give you a little imitation how that old train was a-goin'.

Instrumental break ['Wreck of Old 97']

Spoken: Hot dog! I'm old but I'm round here!

Backwater's up and the people are runnin'
I'm a-goin' to the mountain, I'm a-goin' huntin'
Fare you well, oh my little darlin'
Lord, lord, ain't I gone

Oh my love, lonesome road
Oh my love, lonesome wood

I love you and you can't help it
You love me, but you won't confess it
No you don't, oh my little darlin'
Lord, lord, ain't I gone

Oh my love, lonesome road
Oh my love, lonesome wood

Two little children lyin' in the bed
The water was a-risin' over their head
Their mother's up town, was never found
Lord, lord, wasn't that sad
Oh how bad, oh how sad

I heard a man talkin' to a feller
The water was a-risin' in his cellar
Rise any more and a-comin' through the floor
Lord, lord, open the door

Oh my love, lonesome road
Oh my love, lonesome wood

Nashville is a favourite town
The back water's got us a-runnin' around
Lord have mercy, ain't I gone
Lord, lord, fare you well

Oh my love, lonesome road
Oh my love, lonesome wood

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon (and Sam McGee) 'Backwater Blues', recorded 11 May 1927 in New York City. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD3505.

It seems to me that Uncle Dave is singing 'wood' in the second line of the refrain, but I am not certain. Any corrections?

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 08:24 AM

Have to add me to the list of skeptics/careless researchers. It raised no remembrance in my mind either, so much so that I didn't even bother to look ~~ worse yet.

Stewie, I hear wood, just as you do, but it doesn't seem to make sense. But then, how much of that does make sense? For it to make any sense at all, it has to mean wood in the sense of woods, forest, etc.

It's really quite minor, but it sounds to me like you cleaned up his grammar a bit, as I hear just like old wreck of 97, goin' down grade 90 miles an hour. ~~ minus two thes and an at. And of course, he is saying you cain't hep it. That's a pronunciation that you will still hear here in the South ~~ maybe not as much as years ago, but still common enough usage by people of all ages.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I TICKLED NANCY (from Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 12:53 PM

I found this while searching for a different song about tickling. (See Lyr Req: Shotgun Tickle for the original request.)

Transcribed from a RealAudio file at the Honking Duck site:
http://www.honkingduck.com/BAZ/baz_side.php?meth=t&letter=i&title=I%2520Tickled%2520Nancy&cuid=20483A
Click to play. There are a few words or phrases I'm uncertain about; these are marked with (?).

I TICKLED NANCY
(Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers, 1926)

Been living in the city, but I like the country life.
A dear little country girl I'm going to call my wife.
The first time that I met her, the night was very dark
And you can bet I'm happy with the whole big (?) jolly lark.

CHORUS: For I tickled Nancy and Nancy tickled me
For when we are married how happy we will be.
For we will sit together as happy as can be,
For I'll tickle Nancy, and Nancy'll tickle me.

Now Nancy is a lovely girl; to me she is a charm,
And I can trust her without any alarm.
As we were walking to the home, I placed my loving arm
Around her waist so carefully (?) until we reached the farm.

CHO: Then I'd tickle and Nancy'd tickle me...

And now we are married, we invite you all to call
To come around to ... (?) with us in the fall.
In the winter by the fire, set Nancy on my knee.
For I'll tickle Nancy and Nancy'll tickle me.

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, ... (etc. for an entire verse.)


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 06:55 PM

Hi Jim,

I think the missing bits are as follows:

Stanza 1, line 4: 'And you can bet I'm happy as a holy [or perhaps wholly] jolly lark'

Stanza 2, line 4: 'Round her waist she kep' it until I reached the farm'

Stanza 3, line 2: 'Come around, pick apples with us in the fall'

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: Over the Road I'm Bound to Go
From: Stewie
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:02 AM

OVER THE ROAD I'M BOUND TO GO

Spoken: Let's go, over the road I'm bound

Judge and jurymen can't you see
I have murdered in the first degree

Bound to go, bound to go
Over the road I'm bound to go

Every station I pass by
I thought I heard little Ella cry

Weep not, my dear honey
I'm bound to go

It may rain, it may snow
But over the road I'm bound to go

Fare you well I'm bound to go

I rolled out to preach and call
They looked at me: it was the law

Bound to go, bound to go
Over the road I'm bound to go

Every station I pass by
I thought I heard little Ella cry

Bound to go, bound to go
Over the road I'm bound to go

It may rain, it may snow
But over the road I'm bound to go

I rolled out to preach and call
They looked at me: it was the law

Bound to go, bound to go
Over the road I'm bound to go

Every station I pass by
I thought I heard little Ella cry

Weep not, my dear honey
I'm bound to go

It may rain, it may snow
But over the road I'm bound to go

How them women, they did shout
They looked at me, it was all about

Bound to go, bound to go
Over the road I'm bound to go

It may rain, it may snow
But over the road I'm bound to go

Bound to go, bound to go
Over the road I'm bound to go

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Over the Road I'm Bound to Go' recorded on 25 July 1928 in Chicago and issued as Brunswick 329 in August 1929. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD-3505.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 06:27 AM

A couple of days back on Mudcat, there was a proposal that we use Mucat Resources to get together a file of lyrics to songs in the Honking Duck collection of recordings. It occurred to me that this thread probably contains a lot of the Dave Macon songs within that archive. I also suspect that someone will already have listed which of the lyrics posted in this thread belong to the songs on the Honking Duck website.
Here is a link to that thread, if anyone wants to get the ball rolling with data they already have available. Mudcat Honkingduck Oldtime Project Proposal . I am not sure how the project has been visualised, but it sounds like a good idea.
Quack!
Geoff the Duck!


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 06:35 AM

Whoops - wrong clicky cut and pasted into the above posting. The clicky to Honking Duck should have been HONKING DUCK WEBSITE - OLDTIME MUSIC RECORDINGS ONLINE
If any joeclones could correct the link and remove this post I might keep some reputation........ probably not!
Quack!


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Subject: ADD: 'Weevily Wheat'
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 04:26 AM

'Weevily Wheat' came up in a thread creep in the 'Ida Red' thread and I posted Kelly Harrell's version, titled 'Charley He's a Good Ol' Man' there. Uncle Dave's version of 'Weevily Wheat' was printed in his 1938 songbook, but I don't think he recorded it. I'm am indebted to sometime Mudcatter, Larry Parish, for kindly photocopying the Macon songbook for me. You can find the other thread HERE.

WEEVILY WHEAT

' Way down yonder in the maple swamp
The water's deep and muddy
There I spied my pretty little miss
Oh there I spied my honey

Chorus:
Weevily wheat ain't fit to eat
And neither is your barley
Have some flour in half an hour
To bake a cake for Charley

How old are you my pretty little miss?
How old are you, my honey?
She answered me with a 'Yes sir-ee
'I'll be sixteen next Sunday'

Marry me, my pretty little miss
Oh, marry me my honey
She answered me with a 'Yes, sir-ee
'Just go and see my Mammy'

'Way down yonder in Bangor town
Once there lived a Quaker
Every man had to own some land
If not but half an acre

Charley he's a handsome man
Oh, Charley he's a dandy
Charley he's the very man
That sold his hat for brandy

Source: 'Songs and Stories of Uncle Dave Macon' Uncle Dave Macon c/o of WSM, Nashville Tennessee 1938. Copyright Uncle Dave Macon 1938. Reprinted by the Tennessee Folklore Society.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 11:08 AM

I have just spotted this thread with another Uncle Dave lyric.
Lyr Add: I Don't Reckon It'll Happen Again
The lyrics are a composite of two sets transcribed from the Honking Duck. One by Dave Macon and the other version by Bill Chitwood.
Quack!
GtD


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,Gern
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 10:43 AM

I second the chicken connection,relative to 'domenicker' adjective. Refer to Minnie Pearl's spirited rendition of the Carter Family's "Jealous Hearted me:" "Take your domenicker rooster and your shanghai hen/ Get a fer piece away and don't you come again, I'm jealous..."


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Subject: ADD: Just From Tennessee
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 01:54 AM

Here is how I hear Uncle Dave's 'Just From Tennessee' - subject, as usual, to confirmation by other ears. I'm not certain of the 'eats greens' stanza, but the remainder should be pretty accurate.


JUST FROM TENNESSEE

Spoken: Hello folks, just as soon as I get the epiglottis and diaphonics of my throat cleared up a little, I'm gonna sing you a song. Now I'm gonna give you (a little of) the variations of 'Cotton-eyed Joe'.

Instrumental

Spoken: Hot dog! Ready and rarin' to go!

Listen, good people, to what I say
Just from Tennessee in my weavin'(?) way
Born(ed) in Warren County, raised in Tennessee
If you don't like my looks, don't look at me
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away
Whooo!
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

Been to Muscle Shoals and I been to Beaver Dam
I've seen no place like Alabam
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

I got a girl, says she's so tall
She sits in the parlour with her feet in the hall
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

I got a girl, says she eats some greens
She shakes her wicked foot and she shakes it mean
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

Coffee in the pot, there's sugar in the bowl
Papa won't eat without jelly roll
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

Just one thing, and I don't understand
Why a bow-legged woman likes a pigeon-toed man
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

Just one thing that makes me unhappy
I haven't got a daughter for to call me pappy
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away
Whooo!
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away
Whooo!

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Just From Tennessee' recorded on 13 April 1925 in NYC and issued as Vo 5075 in February 1927. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Early Recordings 1924-1925' Old Homestead OHCD 4184.


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Subject: ADD: 'Save My Mother's Picture From the Sale'
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 01:44 AM

SAVE MY MOTHER'S PICTURE FROM THE SALE

I've been thinking of the day which has long since passed away
When my mother through sickness drooped and died,
In the quiet and silent room when they laid her in the tomb
I remember then how bitterly I cried

I, but a boy then, my age was scarcely ten,
Through sorrow I had grown thin and pale
When the home had to be sold, I cried with grief untold,
Oh, save my mother's picture from the sale

The table where I played, the cot on which I laid
All passed away like chaff before the gale
But when the end came near, I cried with piteous fear,
Oh, save my mother's picture from the sale

My mother's face, that dear old face,
Whose loss I ever shall bewail
Don't break an orphan's heart, with this don't make me part
Oh, save my mother's picture from the sale

The picture round was passed, and questions they were asked.
A price for it was bid just here and there.
The tears streamed down my face, I could scarcely keep my place
When I saw the picture pass without a care

But an angel of a girl with a mass of golden curls
Who was struck to see my face so sad and pale,
Outbid them all, you see, and presented it to me
And saved my mother's picture from the sale

My mother's face, that dear old face,
Whose loss I ever shall bewail
Don't break an orphan's heart, with this don't make me part
Oh, save my mother's picture from the sale

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Save My Mother's Picture From the Sale' recorded on 16 April 1925 in NYC and issued as Vo 15100. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Fun In Life' Bear Family LP BF 15519.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 09:11 PM

LONG JOHN GREEN

Here we have the story of Long John Green
An old bank robber from Bowling Green
Put him in jail just the other day
And late last night he made his getaway

Long gone!
Wasn't he lucky
Long gone!
From old Kentucky
Long gone!
That's what I mean
He's done gone from Bowling Green

Long John a-standing on a railroad tie
Waitin' for a freight train to come by
Here come the freight just a-puffin' and a-flyin'
You oughta for to seen John catch that blind

Long gone!
Wasn't he lucky
Long gone!
From old Kentucky
Long gone!
That's what I mean
He's done gone from Bowling Green

Caught him in Bristol at Steven's Place
Put him in jail one evening late
Out on the house tops gonna escape
The coppers forgot to lock the Golden Gate

Long gone!
Wasn't he lucky
Long gone!
From old Kentucky
Long gone!
That's what I mean
He's done gone from Bowling Green

Long John went to a burlesque show
Got him a seat right in the front row
The girl come out with a [high-flown?] dance
They had to put a hole in an am-bu-lance

Source: transcription from 'The Tennessee Folklore Society Presents Uncle Dave Macon At Home, His Last Recordings 1950' Davis Unlimited LP DU-TFS 101.

For background information on this song, see the 'Long John/Lost John thread:

Click Here

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,Over the Road
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 01:41 AM

Stewie posted in September. I think the first two lines are:

Judge and Jury came to see
I had murdered in the first degree

rather than "J&J can't you see" etc.


The lyric which puzzles me the most is the last line of the chorus to "I'm goin' away in the morn"

With sorrow in our hearts?????

Has inspiration struck anyone else?

Great thread; only happened upon it yesterday


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 08:07 PM

Hi Guest

Thanks. I listened again to 'Over the Road I'm Bound', but I am sure Uncle Dave is singing 'can't you see' - whoever did the transcription for the NLCR songbook also hears this. Your 'came to see' would certainly make more sense though.

The last line of the chorus of 'I'm Goin' Away in the Morn' is also a complete mystery to me. I've seen it as 'with sorrow in her heart', but I can't hear that either. Sometimes I hear something like 'sounds of the dinner horn'. Whatever it is, it is probable that the final word would rhyme with 'morn'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: 'Sourwood Mountain Medley'
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 08:26 PM

Richie posted the lyrics of 'Sourwood Mountain Medley' to 'Molly Put the Kettle On' thread: Click Here for 'Molly' thread


SOURWOOD MOUNTAIN MEDLEY

[Spoken] Hello folks, I was walking down the street with one of the ugliest men I ever saw in my life. We passed a really pretty girl, and the ugly fellow said, 'Did you see that girl smile at me?' ' Well', I said, 'Good Lord, man, that's nothing. First time I saw you, I laughed outright. Ha, ha, ha!'

Asked that girl to be my wife, what'd you reckon she said,
She would not have a poor boy, if everyone else was dead.

Chorus:
Ain't gwine get no supper here tonight,
Ain't gwine get no supper here tonight.
Oh, my don't tell, Oh my ring the bell,
Ain't gwine get no supper here tonight,
Ain't gwine get no supper here tonight.

On my way to Sourwood Mountain, fare you well I'm a-going away,
Fare you well I'm a-going away.

Had a big boom in Florida, boys, we know it, we know it.
Forty-nine banks in Georgia closed and that's the way they showed it.

Oh, Jenny put the kettle on, Sally blow the dinner horn,
Jenny put the kettle on, the banks have gone.

Ain't gonna get no supper here tonight,
Ain't gwine get no supper here tonight.
On my way to Sourwood Mountain,
Fare you well I'm a-going away,

[Panic/Tax men] come the bank went broke, we know it, we know it.
Twenty-eight thousand dollars lost, and just the figures to show it.

Oh, Jenny put the kettle on, Sally blow the dinner horn,
Jenny put the kettle on, the banks have gone.

[spoken] I never was as hungry in my life, you know I hadn't had
nothing to eat for three long days, hadn't had a thing but
water. And folks I had had to drink so much water my stomach
thought my throat was taking in washing, and then they come
giving me this:

Ain't gwine get no supper here tonight,
Ain't gwine get no supper here tonight.

On my way to Sourwood Mountain, fare you well I'm a-going away,
Girls all sweet on Sourwood Mountain, fare you well I'm a-going away.

Good pay isn't in one town, we know it, we know it,
Three banks in the town went broke and the people's look do show it.

Oh, Jenny put the kettle on, Sally blow the dinner horn,
Jenny put the kettle on, the banks have gone.

Ain't gwine get no supper here tonight,
Ain't gwine get no supper here tonight.

Source: Uncle Dave Macon "Sourwood Mountain Medley" Vo 5005, reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Country Music Hall of Fame Series' MCA MCAD-10546.

Note: What is being sung in the square brackets in the first line of stanza 5 is a puzzle. Sounds something like 'panam' or 'panum'. 'Panic' and 'Tax men' are suggestions. See Richie's 'Molly' thread, linked at the beginning of this posting, for more discussion of this mystery.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WAY DOWN THE OLD PLANK ROAD
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 09:14 PM

Richie posted his transcription for 'Way Down The Old Plank Road'. I believe it is more accurate than the transcription already in the DT and linked to earlier in this thread. See Richie's 'My Wife Died On A Sat. Night' thread for associated songs: CLICK HERE


WAY DOWN THE OLD PLANK ROAD

[Spoken] Hot dog, buddy let's go

Rather be in Richmond, midst all the hail and rain,
Than for to be in Georgia boys, wearing that ball and chain.

Chorus:
Won't get drunk no more, won't get drunk no more,
Won't get drunk no more, way down the old plank road.

I went down to Mobile for to get on the gravel train,
Very next thing heard of me, had on a ball and chain.

Chorus

Doney, oh dear Doney, what makes you treat me so?
Caused me to wear the bail and chain, now my ankle's sore.

Chorus

[spoken] Glory halelujah there!

Knoxville is a pretty place, Memphis is a beauty,
Want to see them pretty girls, hop to Chattanoogie.

Chorus

[Spoken] Glory halelujah there! Fare thee well I'm gone!

I'm gwine to build me a scaffold on some mountain high,
So I can see my Dora girl, she goes riding by.

Chorus

My wife died Friday night, Saturday she was buried,
Sunday was my courting day, Monday I got married.

Chorus

[Spoken] Gee horse there!

Eighteen pounds of meat a week, whiskey here to sell,
How can a young man stay at home, pretty girls look so well.

Chorus

[spoken] Fare thee well!

Source: Uncle Dave Macon (with Sam McGee) 'Way Down The Old Plank Road' recorded on 14 April 1926 in NYC and issued as Vocalion 15321 in June 1926 and as Vocalion 5097 in February 1927. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD-3505.

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: Old Dan Tucker
From: Stewie
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 09:10 PM

Here is Uncle Dave's take on 'Old Dan Tucker'. Words I am not sure about are in square brackets. The word in square brackets in the second spoken passage is an Uncle Dave creation of some sort.

OLD DAN TUCKER

Spoken:
Hello folks, you know I been a-pickin' and tryin' to pick a banjer for forty years or more. I used to just play the imitations, but now I'm a-gonna give you a little of the variations of 'Casey Jones'.

Instrumental

Spoken:
Gentlemen – now folks, I'm a-gonna give you a little of 'Old Dan Tucker' containing more heterogeneous, [ 'constapolicies ?'], double flavour and unknown quality than usual.

Old Dan Tucker was a fine old man,
Washed his face in the frying pan
Combed his hair with a wagon wheel
Died with a toothache in his heel

Git out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
You come too late to get your supper

Tucker was a horrid sinner
Never said grace over his dinner
The old hog squealed, the pig did squall
[Held ?] the whole hog with the tail and all

Git out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
You come too late to get your supper

Old Tom Wilson got on a drunk
Fell in the fire and kicked up a chunk
Charcoal got inside the shoe
I'll bet you, honey, how the ashes flew

Git out of the way, Old Dan Tucker
You come too late to get your supper

Here's to booze and Choctaw batter
Lemon extract and old Budweiser
[Horse ?] tastes bitterer'n the doctor's tonic
The good book says a little good for the stomach

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Old Dan Tucker' recorded on 13 April 1925 in NYC and issued as Vocalion 15033 in August 1925. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Fun In Life' Bear Family LP 15519.

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: 'Wouldn't Give Me Sugar In My Coffee'
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Jan 03 - 01:58 AM

Here is a transcription of 'Wouldn't Give Me Sugar In My Coffee'. Any corrections?

WOULDN'T GIVE ME SUGAR IN MY COFFEE

Instrumental [banjo] introduction.

[Spoken] Hot dog! People, you know, a gentleman asked me last night what I was doing. I said, 'Well, sir, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I don't do anything'. He says, 'Well, what do you do on Thursday, Friday and Saturday?' I says, 'Why, I rest'. He says, 'You do anything on Sunday?' 'Oh, yes sir, that's my busiest day'. He says, 'What are you doing on Sunday?' I says, 'Getting ready to do nothing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday'. Ha! Ha!

I'll be dogged if I can see,
How my little honey got away from me,
Been there once, I'm going home,
Wouldn't give me sugar in my coffee-o

Just one thing that bothers my mind,
A world full of women and none of 'em mine
Been there once, I'm going home,
Wouldn't give me sugar in my coffee-o

Well try to look for a needle in the sand,
Try to find a woman that's got no man
Been there once, I'm going home,
Wouldn't give me sugar in my coffee-o

Jaybird sitting on a hickory limb,
Picked up brickbat took him on the chin - hi-ho mister don't you do that again,
Brother, you'll kick the bark off a seasoned hickory limb
Been there once, I'm going home,
Wouldn't give me sugar in my coffee-o

Preacher went to Florida, the truth to tell, he went to Miami at a big hotel,
He went to the beach and the bathing was fine,
Sued for divorce in an hour's time
Been there once, I'm going home,
Wouldn't give me sugar in my coffee-o

Never you mind what your mammy say,
Shake your little foot and sail away,
Been there once, I'm going home,
Wouldn't give me sugar in my coffee-o

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Wouldn't Give Me Sugar In My Coffee' recorded on 8 September 1926 and issued as Vocalion 15440 in December 1926 [also as Vocalion 5002 in February 1927]. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Wait 'Till The Clouds Roll By 1926-1939' Historical LP HLP-8006 [1975].

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: 'Peek-A-Boo
From: Stewie
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 10:10 PM

PEEK-A-BOO

On a cold winter's eve when business is done
And to your home you return,
What a pleasure it is to have a bright, bouncing boy,
One that you love to admire
You'll hug him, you'll kiss him, you'll press him to your heart,
what joy to the bosom it will bring,
Then you'll place him on the carpet and hide behind the chair,
And to please him you'll commence to sing.

Chorus:
Oh, peek-a-boo, coochee coochee coo
Come from behind the chair,
Oh, peek-a-boo, you rascal you,
I see you hiding there.

Repeat chorus

When I am away from my home and at work,
He's at home with his mama's care so dear,
All the whole day long, you can hear his little song,
Echoing so calm and so clear,
His playthings on the floor, he's happy evermore,
What joy to his mama's heart he brings,
Then you'll find him on the carpet and watching at the door,
For me when I come home to sing

Oh, peek-a-boo, you rascal you
Come from behind the chair,
Oh, peek-a-boo, I see you,
I see you hiding there

Chorus

Source: Uncle Dave Macon & Smoky Mountain Glen 'Peek-A-Boo' recorded on 24 January 1938 in Charlotte, NC, and issued as Bluebird B7779 in October 1938.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 01:45 AM

Further to the matter of 'dominecker' chooks, Gershon Legman in his notes to Randolph's 'Unprintable Ozark Folksongs and Folklore' gives this delightful quatrain:

Said the dominecker rooster to the bow-legged hen
I ain't had any since the Lord knows when
So rustle up your feathers and h'ist up your tail
'Cause I'm goin' to have a little if I have to go to jail

Legman also confirms Lin's definition above, stating that 'Dominecker' refers literally to 'gray-barred, rose-combed Dominique chickens'. He notes also that 'bow-legged', when referring to a girl or woman, almost always means having had extensive sexual experience. [Vance Randolph, Ed G. Legman 'Blow the Candle Out: Unprintable Ozark Folksongs and Folklore Vol II' Uni Arkansas Press 1992, p 599].

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 06 May 03 - 08:05 PM

Abby Sale posted to the Ballad-L list a link to some wonderful photos of plank roads. Worth a look.

Plank Roads

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CAP'N TOM RYMAN
From: Stewie
Date: 14 May 03 - 08:49 PM

The transcription of 'Rock about my Saro Jane' in the DT - CLICK - is missing a line in the chorus. There should be an extra 'Oh, rock about my Saro Jane' line; it should read:

Chorus:
Oh, there's nothing to do but to sit down and sing
And rock about, my Saro Jane
Oh, rock about my Saro Jane
Oh, rock about my Saro Jane
Oh, there's nothing to do but to sit down and sing
And rock about, my Saro Jane

In his book on the birth of the Grand Ole Opry, Charles Wolfe gives some fascinating information on how Uncle Dave came by this piece:


                           "Cap'n Tom Ryman"

In a further instance of historical irony, Uncle Dave liked to sing a song about the builder of the Ryman Auditorium, riverboat man Tom Ryman. The song, entitled 'Cap'n Tom Ryman', was collected from Macon by folklorist George Boswell for his then-unpublished collection of Tennessee folk songs. Uncle Dave never commercially recorded it, though he did record a related version as the widely known 'Rock About My Saro Jane'. Boswell's text reads as follows:

Cap'n Tom Ryman was a steamboat man,
But Sam Jones sent him to the heavenly land,
Oh, sail away
Oh, there's nothing to do but to sit down and sing
Oh, rockabout my Saro Jane, oh rockabout my Saro Jane,
Oh, rockabout my Saro Jane
Oh, rockabout my Saro Jane
Oh, rockabout my Saro Jane
Oh, there's nothing to do but to sit down and sing
Oh, rockabout my Saro Jane

Engine give a scratch and the whistle gave a squall
The engineer going to a hole in the wall,
Oh, Saro Jane
There's nothing to do but to sit down and sing
Oh, rockabout my Saro Jane

Uncle Dave, when asked about this song, gave this history to Boswell:

Now that tabernacle what was built down there where we play, Rev'rend Sam Jones converted Cap'n Tom Ryman. He had six steamboats on the Cumberland River and you ought to have seen that wharf just lined with horses and mules and wagons hauling freight to those boats and bringing it back. And Sam Jones preached the low country to him so straight he took them niggers all down there Monday morning and bought all that whiskey and poured it in the river. Took them card tables and built a bonfire and burned 'em up. Clean up. Niggers started this song.

The song would make an interesting case study in Uncle Dave's use of traditional material in his music. As with many of his pieces, the 'core' of the song seems borrowed from black tradition, as he always acknowledged. The chorus of 'Saro Jane' might have referred to a steamboat originally, and the piece could have been a form of work song. Yet the couplet at the beginning of each stanza seems to have been interchangeable, like a blues stanza. On Macon's 1927 recording of 'Rock About My Saro Jane' (Vocalion 5152), he sings words identical to those above except that he does not include the 'Cap'n Tom Ryman' stanza and does include several other stanzas which seem to have little in common with one another. Although Uncle Dave probably did sing the 'Tom Ryman' couplet earlier than 1950, when Boswell collected it, he probably used it simply as a random stanza in 'Rock About My Saro Jane'. But, after he saw the Ryman Auditorium become the home of the Opry, he might have shifted the emphasis of the song to the more topical subject of Tom Ryman. Macon was notorious for mixing parts of different songs and 'recomposing' them to suit himself, and some day some poor folklorist is going to ruin his liver trying to track them all down.
[Charles K. Wolfe 'A Good-Natured Riot: The Birth of the Grand Ole Opry, Appendix I to Chapter 6, 'Take It Away, Uncle Dave', The Country Music Foundation Press 1999, pp 116-117.]


--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BAKE THAT CHICKEN PIE
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 08:07 PM

Lyr. Add: BAKE THAT CHICKEN PIE

Well, if you want to see a darky made happy,
I'll tell you what to do,
Trip over to the neighbor's yard,
There take down a chicken or two,
Why you slip around a dark night,
When the chickens cannot see,
Gwine see that the bulldog's tied up,
Then peek up to the tree,
For you take a pole just to knock them off,
Then slap him like a goat,
Well, if he hollers loudly,
Want shove 'em up under your coat.

Chorus:
Bake that chicken, ord put on lots of smiles,
Oh, Lord how I'd like to have just a piece of that chicken pie.

Well, the pullets that flop their wings and crow,
When the darky passes by,
Seems to say that they can't be caught,
And there ain't no use for to try,
And worse than all that happens,
Yes, like that you ever hear like before,
Whenever you go to travel you find,
There's a lock on the chicken coop door.

Chorus

This country am gwine to the dogs at last,
When the farmers sit and watch,
Big bull dog and a big steel trap
In the watermelon patch,
And worse than all that happens,
Yes, that you ever hear like before,
Whenever you hear that er-er-er,
There's a lock on the chicken coop door.

Chorus (twice)

Dave Macon lyrics (not checked against the Honking Duck recording) from http://departments.mwc.edu/hipr/www/206/songtext/uncle_dave_macon.txt

See thread 61157, Bake that chicken pie, for comments: Chicken Pie


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Subject: Lyr Add: ARCADE BLUES
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Sep 03 - 11:48 PM

Transcribed by me from www.honkingduck.com:

ARCADE BLUES
(1926)

[Spoken:] "Hot dog! Sung especially for Mr. Charlie Keys and Mr. Hyde in the Arcade who will play your records on both sides."

They got the arcade blues. (2x)
They got the arcade blues so bad.
Got the arcade blues. (2x)
That's a trouble I never had. (2x)

These silk-dressed women (2x)
This arcade's always had.
These silk-dressed women (2x)
Make a married man feel bad. (2x)

If you got a good woman, (2x)
I'd advise you to leave her at home.
These arcade boys (2x)
Won't let a good woman alone. (2x)

If you got a good woman, (2x)
Don't never bring her to town.
But a red-headed woman (2x)
Make a gray rabbit love a hound. (2x)

Gonna lay my head (2x)
Up on some railroad track.
It'll carry me away (2x)
But it will not bring me back. (2x)

A rubber-tired hearse (2x)
Like a great big Cadillac
Carry you over to the graveyard, boys, (2x)
That man won't bring you back. (2x)


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Sep 03 - 11:55 PM

Regarding FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN, which Stewie posted back at 18 Jan 02 - 02:58 AM:

I hear the first line of the second verse differently:

"I'll tell you now, since the bone-dry's come, you can't find whiskey that's good."

I take the "bone-dry" to mean Prohibition.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 02:35 AM

Jim, after another listen, I reckon you are quite right. Thanks for the correction.

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CARVE THAT POSSUM (from Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 01:19 PM

A version of CARVE THAT POSSUM has been posted here, but it's not Uncle Dave Macon's version. Following is my transcription from The Record Lady's All-Time Country Favorites, on "Requests Page Five". (Actually, I started by copying other transcriptions from the Internet--specifically, here and here--and then making a few corrections based on my own hearing.)

I must admit some serious doubts about the word "on" in the phrase "On, children, on!" and the word "come" in the chorus. I have left them the way I found them. Logically, it would make sense to use the same word in both places. It would also make sense for that word to be "carve," but I'm not convinced that that's what they're singing. Based on hearing alone, and disregarding logic, it sounds equally like "hard" or "horn" or "harm." It's possible that different singers sing different words. It seems that Uncle Dave sings the verse, two or more other singers sing the refrain "On, children, on" and all of them together sing the chorus.

My dog treed. I went to see. (On, children, on!)
There was a possum up that tree, (On, children, on!)
And that possum began to grin. (On, children, on!)
I reached up and took him in. (On, children, on!)

CHORUS: Oh, carve that possum. Carve that possum, children.
Carve that possum, children. Oh, come, children come.

Carried him home and dressed him off. (On, children, on!)
Hung him out that night to frost. (On, children, on!)
One way to cook the possum sound, (On, children, on!)
First parboil, then bake him brown. (On, children, on!) CHORUS

Possum meat am good to eat. (On, children, on!)
Always fat and good and sweet. (On, children, on!)
Three [or "grease" or "sweet"] potatoes in the pan, (On, children, on!)
Greatest eating in the land. (On, children, on!) CHORUS

Some eat early and some eat soon. (On, children, on!)
Some like possum and some like coon. (On, children, on!)
That possum's just the thing for me. (On, children, on!)
Old Rattler's got another'n up a tree. (On, children, on!) CHORUS


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 09:01 PM

Hi Jim,

I agree with you - there seems to be a 'h' sound rather than 'on', but I can't think what it might be. In fact, I am not sure the word is even 'children' - it sounds like it begins with a 'd' sound to me. However, I believe Uncle Dave is singing 'oh, carve, children, carve' in the last part of the chorus and this is clearest in the very last chorus. I can't hear 'grease' or 'sweet'; it seems to me he is simply singing 'Three or four potatoes in the pan'.

Meade indicates that Uncle Dave Macon & The Fruit Jar Drinkers was the only old-time group to record this. It was recorded on 7 May 1927 in New York City and issued as Vocalion 5151 in August 1927. It has been reissued on CD: Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD-3505.

Earliest attribution in Meade is to Sam Lucas ca 1875. The Fiddler's Companion entry for this is:


CARVE DAT POSSUM [1]. See "'Possum Pie" and "Bile Them Cabbage Down." Old-Time, Song. USA; Tennessee, Oklahaoma. G Major. Standard. One part. Charles Wolfe (1991) identifies this as a piece written and performed by black minstrel Sam Lucas about 1870, that appears in a few collections of minstrel songs. Thede printed the following stanza with the tune, collected from Oklahoma fiddlers:
***
Carve dat 'possum Hannah,
Carve dat 'possum soon;
For de pan am ready,
An here am de spoon.
***
African-American collector Thomas Talley, in his book Negro Folk Rhymes (reprinted in 1991, edited by Charles Wolfe), gave the title as "An Opossum Hunt" and printed the text:
***
Possum meat is good an' sweet Carve him to de heart,
I always finds it good to eat, Carve him to de heart
Cho:
Charve dat possum!
Charve dat possum!
Charve dat possum!
Oh charve 'im to de heart!
***
My dog tree, I went to see Carve him to de heart,
A great big possum up dat tree Carve him to de heart,
I retch up an' pull him in, Carve him to de heart,
Dat ol' possum 'gin to grin, Carve him to de heart,
***
I tuck him home an' dressed him off Carve him to de heart,
Dat night I laind him in de' fros', Carve him to de heart,
De way I cooked dat possum sound, Carve him to de heart,
I fust parboiled, den baked him brown Carve him to de heart,
I put sweet taters in de pan, Carve him to de heart,
'Twas de bigges' eatin' in de lan' Carve him to de heart.
***
Thede (The Fiddle Book), 1967; pg. 69. Vocalation 5151 (78 RPM), Uncle Dave Macon (1927).

POSSUM PIE. AKA- "Carve Dat Possum," "Bile Them Cabbage Down." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA. G Major. Standard. One Part. The tune is identified by Thede as a Negro 'banjo tune'.
**
Carve that 'possum Hannah,
Carve that possum soon;
For the pan is ready,
And I am the spoon.
**
Thede (The Fiddle Book), 1967; pg. 69.


--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Q
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 09:38 PM

The version from Thede, above, is very similar to the one in Odum and Johnson, 1925 (1976), "Carve 'Im To De Heart." Apparently a very common song. Last three verses; the first two are almost identical:

I went up dar to fetch 'im down,
Carve 'im to de heart.
I bus' him open agin de groun',
Carve 'im to de heart.

De way ter cook de 'possum nice,
Carve 'im to de heart,
Fust parbile 'im, stir 'im twice,
Carve 'im to de heart.

Den lay sweet taters in de pan,
Carve 'im to de heart;
Nuthin' beats dat in de lan',
Carve 'im to de heart.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 09:19 AM

Re: CARVE THAT POSSUM

There aren't enough syllables for "three or four potatoes" (although that might be the intended meaning). It could be "three-fo' 'tatoes" or "three potatoes." Either way, it sounds odd to me. I would expect him to say either "potatoes" or "taters" but not "'tatoes." On the other hand, why would it be exactly three? Anyway, I decided "three potatoes" was most likely. And since I was uncertain, I decided to document the fact that I had found "grease" and "sweet" in other versions or other people's transcriptions, but I don't hear those words either. I probably should have shown it differently, e.g.

Three potatoes [or "Three-fo' 'tatoes"] in the pan


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Q
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 11:50 AM

In the first verse second line, I hear "Sky wus barkin' up that tree,"

I agree with the "three-fo tatoes"

Now I can't get the song out of my head---


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Subject: RE: ADD:
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 07:23 PM


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Subject: Lyr Add: CARVE THAT POSSUM (Corrected)
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 07:42 PM

Hi, Jim and Q, deciphering this song was also annoying the hell out of me so I emailed Lyle Lofgren and asked if he would consult Uncle Willie's wordbooks. Uncle Willie [Willard Johnson] was an original member of Lyle's group which began in the 1960s as Uncle Willie and the Brandy Snifters. Uncle Willie was a master of deciphering the mutterings of old-time recording artists. Lyle kindly sent me Uncle Willie's transcription with which he agrees totally, as no doubt you will too. It is bloody amazing that once you know what it should be, you can hear it clearly! From the African-American songs, we should have guessed 'carve him to his heart'. I knew it wasn't 'on children' at the end of the verse lines, but I could have sworn it was 'carve, children, carve' at the end of the chorus. There you go. Have another listen with Uncle Willie's transcription in front of you and reckon that, like me, you will agree he was spot on:


CARVE THAT POSSUM

My dog treed, I went to see (carve him to his heart)
There was a possum up that tree (carve him to his heart)
And that possum began to grin (carve him to his heart)
I reached up and took him in (carve him to his heart)

Chorus A:
Oh, carve that possum,
Carve that possum, children,
Carve that possum, children,
Oh, carve him to his heart

Carried him home and dressed him off (carve him to his heart)
Hung him out that night to frost (carve him to his heart)
Well, the way to cook the possum sound (carve him to his heart)
Cook, fry, boil, and bake it brown (carve him to his heart)

Repeat Chorus A

Possum meat am good to eat (carve him to his heart.)
Always fat and good and sweet (carve him to his heart)
Sweet potatoes in the pan (carve him to his heart.)
Sweetest eating in the land (carve him to his heart.)

Chorus B:
Oh, carve that possum,
Carve that possum, children,
Carve that possum, children,
How? Carve him to his heart

Some eat early and some eat soon (carve him to his heart)
Some like possum and some like coon (carve him to his heart)
That possum's just the thing for me (carve him to his heart)
Old Rattler's got another'n up a tree (carve him to his heart)

Repeat Chorus B

Thanks to Lyle Lofgren,

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Q
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 08:37 PM

Gee! Someone changed the words on the recording before the last post!
Yep, you're right.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOLD ON TO THE SLEIGH (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 09:40 AM

Here's another one I transcribed from Honking Duck. Several words and phrases are highly doubtful; corrections are welcome.

HOLD ON TO THE SLEIGH

[Spoken:] All right, you can go get a little Sweet Marie now.

[Banjo solo]

1. Just as the rain was over and the snow was a-falling fast,
Got my mule harnessed, boys, and got him hitched to that.

2. Drove up to Miss Lizy's all for to take a sleigh.
Would not tell I bobbed that mule. I's scared he'd run away.

CHORUS: Whoa, I tell you. Whoa, I say.
Whoa, I tell you. Hold on to the sleigh.

3. We're off down ... all for to take a ride.
Never felt better in the world with Liza by my side.

4. Said, "Hold tight, Miss Lizy. Sleigh's not very stout.
Watch this mule I backed in here. I'm scared he'll kick us out." CHORUS

5. The mule was fairly prancing, all so innocent.
While I's a-making love to Lizy, he run us in the fence.

[Shouted:] I declare!

6. Just where you gwine, my darling? You act just like a fool.
Hold your lovesick talk to me and try to hold the mule. CHORUS

7. Gwine down to the parson's. Now, Liza, you keep cool,
For I ain't got time to kiss you now. I'm busy with the mule. CHORUS


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOLD ON TO THE SLEIGH (Corrected)
From: Stewie
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 08:06 PM

Hi Jim,

Lyle posted Uncle Willie's transcription to this one in the old-time music newsgroup last year. I don't think the recording has made it to CD yet. In his note to the reissue on a Vetco LP, Bob Hyland explained the spoken bit: 'The song is given a prelude on the banjo of an old ballad 'Sweet Marie' written in 1893'. This is how Uncle Willie heard it:

HOLD ON TO THE SLEIGH

(Spoken): All right, people, gonna give you a little 'Sweet Marie' now.

Just as the rain was over
And the snow was a-fallin' fast
Got my mule harnessed, boys,
And got him hitched at last

Drove up to Miss Lizy's
All for to take a sleigh
Would not tell about that mule
I'se scared he'd run away

Chorus:
Whoa, I tell you
Whoa, I say
Whoa, I tell you
Hold on to the sleigh

Well, off to town we went
All for to take a ride
Never felt better in the world
With Liza by my side

Said, 'Hold tight, Miss Lizy
'Sleigh's not very stout,
'Watch this mule lie back his ears
'I'm scared he'll kick us out'

Chorus

The mule was very fancy
And all so innocent
While I was a-makin' love to Liza
He run us in the fence (I declare!)

She says, 'Where you gwine, my darlin'
'You act just like a fool
'Hush your lovesick talk to me
'And try to hold your mule'

Chorus

'Gwine down to the parson's
'Now, Liza, you keep cool
'For I ain't got time to kiss you now
I'm busy with my mule'

Chorus

Source: transcription posted to rec.music.country.old-time newsgroup Click Here.

Uncle Dave Macon 'Hold On To The Sleigh' recorded on 9 September 1926 and issued in NYC and issued as Brunswick 114[E21926-27]. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'The Dixie Dewdrop' Vetco LP 101. See Meade et alia 'Country Music Sources' pp524-525 for numerous related old-time recordings under the generic title 'Whoa Mule'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SINCE BABY'S LEARNED TO TALK (Macon)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 10:55 PM

Here's another one I transcribed from Honking Duck. The audio quality was much better on this recording, so I think I got it nailed, except for one part where Uncle Dave seems to stumble over the words. I think the line that begins "Spill the ..." was supposed to end with "silk" in order to rhyme with "milk," but he mistakenly began the line "Spill the silk" which caused him to mumble the end of the line.

The tune reminds me of "Keep on the Sunny Side."

SINCE BABY'S LEARNED TO TALK

I'm a real contented dad. See me smile. I'm awful glad.
I have news to tell you all. 'Twill make you laugh.
First, we'll call the neighbors in, let the jollities begin,
And after that, we'll kill the fatted calf.
When our baby got his tooth, we adored the little youth.
In ecstasy, we saw the darling walk.
'Twas our reg'lar jubilee between the baby's ma and me,
When first our little cherub learned to talk.

Oh, it's pleasant since the baby learned to talk.
Very agreeable since the baby learned to talk.
It was fun to see him walk, better still to hear him talk.
Oh, it's pleasant since the baby learned to walk and talk.


Oh, at dinner on my knee, oh, it really pleases me
To see that kid dissect a plate of hash,
Jam the fork into his eye, pour the vinegar on the pie,
And on his plate to mix a lot of trash.
Drop molasses on the cat, pour the mustard in my hat,
Spill the silk (?) upon his mama's nice ...,
Throw the pepper in the fire, tell his papa he's a liar,
And slyly mix the ketchup with the milk.

Oh, it's diff'rent since the baby learned to talk.
Very agreeable since the baby learned to talk.
It was fun to see him walk, better still to hear him talk.
Oh, it's pleasant since the baby learned to walk and talk.


As a moral, I suggest: of all things it is the best
To bring your children up as they should go.
Never let them stray behind. Always treat them good and kind.
To appease their ev'ry want, do not be slow.
And when you're old and gray, in the corner hid away,
With the rheumatics you're crippled, cannot walk,
I tell you what they'll do: kick the rheumatics out of you.
Oh, it's diff'rent since the baby learned to walk and talk.

Oh, it's diff'rent since the baby learned to walk.
Very diff'rent since the baby learned to talk.
Get so full it makes him stammer, slugs the old folks with the hammer.
Oh, it's diff'rent since the baby learned to walk and talk.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 01:59 AM

Jim, I agree he sings 'silk' when he should have sung 'milk', but I reckon the line was meant to be 'Spill the milk upon his mother's nicest silk'. What do you think?

'Since Baby's ...' was recorded on 21 June 1929 in Chicago and issued as Brunswick 362 in December 1929. According to Meade, words and music were by Barney Fagin 1883 and was printed in his 'Dashing Drum Major Songster' 1883.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 09:29 AM

Both The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music and The Library of Congress American Memory Collection have several songs by Barney Fagan (note spelling) but not this one, I'm afraid.

I have a slight bias against mentioning milk twice in the same song. I think it would be funnier if he spilled something else on his mother's finest silk.

I notice the song lists practically every condiment that is commonly kept on a southern dinner table: vinegar, molasses, mustard, pepper, ketchup. Only salt is missing, but salt wouldn't do much damage to silk. How about "Spills the coffee on his mama's nicest silk"?


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 10:06 AM

I hope y'all found the thread from last year where I had looked up and listed the ones already posted here.... I was never able to get back to the project due to health and data management issues, but I did find a lot of stuff. Glad to see a "team" of you working on this.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 11:02 AM

Jim, in that stanza, there are rhymes within the lines - knee/me, eye/pie, cat/hat, fire/liar - and that's why I would opt for milk/silk even if milk occurs twice.

The 'Fagin' was probably a missprint in Meade. That is what he had in the song entry at page 266 and I went with that. However, it is spelled 'Fagan' at the songster reference at page 914. Looks like I opted for the wrong one.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 03:53 PM

Yes, but... the internal rhymes all occur on the odd-numbered lines, which are longer than the even-numbered lines.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JUST TELL THEM THAT YOU SAW ME (P Dresser
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 09:29 PM

Here's another one that you can hear at Honking Duck. Macon's words are practically identical to those in the sheet music at The Lester S. Levy Collection.

JUST TELL THEM THAT YOU SAW ME
(Paul Dresser, 1895.)

[Spoken:] Now, people, I'm gonna sing you a beautiful sympathetic song.

While strolling down the street one eve upon mere pleasure bent--
'Twas after business worries of the day--
I met a girl who shrank from me, in whom I recognized
My schoolmate in a village far away.
"Is that you, Madge?" I said to her. She quickly turned away.
"Don't turn away, Madge. I am still your friend.
Next week I'm going back to see the old folks, and I thought
Perhaps a message you would like to send."

CHORUS: "Just tell them that you saw me," she said. "They'll know the rest.
Tell them I was looking well, you know.
Just whisper, if you get a chance, to Mother dear and say
I love her as I did long, long ago."

"Your cheeks are pale. Your face is thin. Come tell me, were you ill?
When last we met, your eye shone clear and bright.
Come home with me when I go, Madge. The change will do you good.
Your mother wonders where you are tonight."
"I long to see them all again, but not just yet," she said.
"'Tis pride alone that's keeping me away.
Just tell them not to worry, for I'm all right, don't you know.
Tell mother I am coming home someday." CHORUS

* * *

Uncle Dave Macon recorded this in May, 1926; it was issued as Vocalion 15324. It is also sung by Red Smiley and the Bluegrass Cut-Ups on "20 Old-Time Favorites," Rural Rhythm CD 211, 1997; and by Dan W. Quinn on the compilation album "The 1890's, Vol. 2: Wear Yer Bran' New Gown," Original Cast Record CD 9239, 2002.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 10:40 PM

According to Meade, Uncle Dave recorded 'Just Tell Them That You Saw Me' in April 1926 in NYC and it was issued in May. There were 2 earlier recordings, both by Vernon Dalhart, in August and September 1925. Recordings by other old-time artists included Buell Kazee [1927], John Ryan [1927], Andrew Jenkins & Carson Robison [1928], Frank & James McGravy [1931] and Clayton McMichen & His Georgia Wildcats [1939].

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GIVE ME BACK MY FIVE DOLLARS (from Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 11:30 PM

GIVE ME BACK MY FIVE DOLLARS

[Spoken]: Well, friends, I'm mighty sorry to tell you, but mens are gettin' mighty sorry in my state, in Tennessee. Now I'm going to sing you a song of a young man that's married three weeks and got a divorce and wanted the poor old Methodist preacher to give him his five dollars back. But you must remember King David and King Solomon lived merry, merry lives for they had many, many wives but, when old age overtook them, they became very calm – King Solomon wrote the proverbs and David wrote the psalms.

We decided to get married, my little girl and I
The day I bought the licence, I let my freedom fly
We walked up to the preacher, said yes to all he said
And if I had to do it again, I'd shoot myself instead

Chorus:   
Oh, give me back my five dollars I paid for a wife
I was a fool to pay someone to sentence me for life

The first month she was sweet as a melon on the vine
I thought it was my lucky day when I asked her to be mine
She looked so doggone pretty she like to've took my breath
But when I saw my mother-in-law, I darn nigh choked to death

Chorus

I took her to our home up east, I told her to see the sights
She'd come in about daylight, oh 'Where did you spend your nights?'
She bought out half the city, silk dresses and gold braid
I could have bought the Brooklyn bridge with all the bills I paid

Chorus

So now, young men, stay single for married life's baloney
It would break a millionaire to pay her alimony
Oh, single men, stay single don't marry you a wife
A bachelor's life is heaven compared to married life

Chorus

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Give Me Back My Five Dollars' recorded in Charlotte, NC, on 26 January 1938 and issued as Bluebird B8325. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Travelin' Down the Road' County CCS-CD-115.

This is an Uncle Dave original composition. Text checked against Uncle Dave's little songbook reissued by the Tennessee Folklore Society. It is now out of print, but fox4zero kindly made a photocopy for me.

For a song in a similar vein see this thread: 'Give Me Back My Fifteen Cents' (Binkley Bros)

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN THE HARVEST DAYS ARE OVER (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 02:45 AM

WHEN THE HARVEST DAYS ARE OVER

When the harvest days are over and the chaffs of wheat and clover
Have been gathered from the field and stored away
We'll be sorted in the morning for the bible gives us warning
That accounts shall all be rendered on that day

If we've laid up heavenly treasures, we'll receive unstinted measures
In that land of crown and mansions in the sky
If we've blown an earthly bubble, it will burst and burn like stubble
When the harvest days are over by and by   

Chorus:
When the harvest days are over, by and by (by and by)
And we stand around the judgment throne on high
We shall know what we have known, we shall reap what we have sown
When the harvest days are over by and by (by and by)

Day by day the seed we're sowing is increasing while it's growing
Wheat or tares, what shall the final harvest be?
What a wailing, what a weeping, what a sad eternal reaping
When the wicked hear his voice, 'Depart from me'

Let me love the righteous rather, hear ye blessed of the father
'For a kingdom I've prepared on high for you'
And in mansions up in glory we will shout redemption's story
When the harvest days are over by and by

Chorus

When the summer days are ended and the crops have all been tended
And we gather for the final harvest home
We'll receive our increased measures, endless drought or heavenly treasures
For we'll reap the kind of seed our lives have sown

To the spirit let us labour, love our self less than our neighbour
Then we'll reap eternal life and never die
We will drink of life's pure river, on its banks we'll rest forever (Hear me brother!)
When the harvest days are over by and by (by and by)

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon & The Delmore Brothers 'When the Harvest Days Are Over' recorded on 22 January 1935 in New Orleans and issued as Bluebird B5842 in April 1935. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Fun In Life' Bear Family LP 15519.

Note: Meade groups this in with the 1900 love song 'When the Harvest Days Are Over, Jessie Dear' by H.Graham/Harry Von Tilzer which may be found on the Levy sheet music site linked by Jim above. The tune may be the same - I don't know - but the content is totally different.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ONLY AS FAR AS THE GATE, DEAR MA
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 10:31 PM

ONLY AS FAR AS THE GATE, DEAR MA
(G.Williams/J.P. Skelly)

My sweetheart's a sly little fairy, her age it is just seventeen
Her parents think she is too airy, but a sweeter girl never was seen
At night she steals out of the cottage, her mother cries after Kate
She answers, Dear Ma, I'm not going far
Just a-going as far as the gate

Chorus A:
Only as far as the gate, dear Ma, just down to the old garden gate
Oh, the night is so warm and there's no sign of storm
I love to stand by the gate

Of course, at the gate I am waiting, and sweet are the words that we say
While inside the old folks are debating the price of the next load of hay
Sometimes I call gently for Katy, she answers, Dear Ma, 'tis not late
The night is so warm and there's no sign of storm
I love to stand by the gate

Chorus B:
Only as far as the gate, dear Ma, just down to the old garden gate
Oh, the moon is so bright and it's such a fine night
I love to stand by the gate

They say she's too young to be married, but with them I cannot agree
Love's message I've carried to Katy, and a kiss was her answer for me
We'll wander way by the moonlight, much longer I'm sure we can't wait
Some night, by and by, to the parson's we'll fly
When Katy comes down to the gate

Repeat chorus A.

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Only As Far As the Gate, Dear Ma' recorded on 16 April 1926 and issued in June 1926 as Vocalion 15323. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Fun In Life' Bear Family LP 15519.

Note: words by Gus Williams and music by J. Plumber Skelly 1882. Other old-time recordings: (Sid) Harkreader and (Grady) Moore 'Only As Far As the Gate' ca June 1926, Pmt 3035; Red Patterson's Piedmont Log Rollers 'My Sweetheart's A Shy Little Fairy' March 1927, Vi 21187; and Vernon Dalhart 'I'm Just Going Down to the Gate, Dear Ma' May 1929, Harmony 946-H.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 11:18 PM

Jim posted the 1926 recording of 'I tickled Nancy' Here Uncle Dave recorded it twice, and the recording that I have under the title 'I'll Tickle Nancy' must be the one recorded 22 January 1935 in New Orleans and issued as Bluebird BB 5873. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Fun In Life' Bear Family LP 15519. It has an extra stanza before the last stanza that Jim posted:

The next night that I met her, and the next night after that
We kissed one another and then she told me flat
'Of course, that means you'll take me to church'. Of course, I answered 'Yes'
In about a week we'll married be and the rest why you can guess

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: Country Ham and Red Gravy (Corrected)
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:59 PM

Someone was seeking 'Country Ham and Red Gravy' in another thread. I posted an attempted transcription before this Uncle Dave thread was started. There is a link to it above in message 26 Feb 01 - 9.08. There are several inaccuracies in that transcription. Below is a transcription that I am pretty happy with now - corrections and disagreements are still welcomed though. Uncle Dave seems unphased by mixed tenses in the refrain - 'yell', 'heard', 'smell'.

COUNTRY HAM AND RED GRAVY

Talk about your old cow meat
Your mutton and your lamb
Come for to see them people's eyes shine
Show 'em that good sweet ham

Oh how them darkies yell
When they heard that dinner bell
Oh how that ham meat smell
Three miles away

Rich folk gone to market house
Buy'd that mutton and lamb
I'm goin' back to (the) butcher's shop
To get that good sweet ham

Oh how them people yell
When they heard that dinner bell
Oh how them onions smell
Three miles away

Talk about your fried chicken
It's nothing but a sham
If you want a real meal
Call for country ham

Oh how them boarders yell
When they heard that dinner bell
Oh how them onions smell
Three miles away

Talk about your red snapper fish
Hot cakes from the pan
I'm going back to farm smoke house
To get that good sweet ham

Oh how them poor did yell
When they heard that dinner bell
Oh how that ham meat smell
Three miles away

Talk about your fried chicken
You think you're livin' easy
That ain't nothin' to compare
With the country ham and gravy

Oh how them darkies yell
When they heard that dinner bell
Oh how them onions smell
Three miles away

Of all the meat I ever eat
Ain't gwine to tell you no sham
Bake it high, stew or fry
Still it's good sweet ham

Oh how them boarders yell
When they heard that dinner bell
Oh how them onions smell
Three miles away

Source: Uncle Dave Macon 'Country Ham and Red Gravy' Recorded 24 January 1938. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Travelin' Down the Road' County CCS-CD-115.

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: 'Shoo Fly, Don't You Bother Me'
From: Stewie
Date: 31 Jan 04 - 02:42 AM

SHOO FLY, DON'T YOU BOTHER ME

Long banjo intro

Spoken: Hot dog! Get around here!

I went up to New York
I'se walkin' down Broadway
All them pretty girls lookin' at me
You oughta heard me say

Chorus:
Shoo fly, don't you bother me (x3)
For I belong to Tennessee

George Washington was a great man
A lie he'd never tell
But when he got the hatchet
Give that cherry tree hallelujah

Chorus

Trouble in the kitchen
It's worse up over head
Me love she said she'd have me, boys
She'd like to kill me dead

Chorus

Instrumental break

Chorus

An old man come mopin' in,
He's tired out of life
A young man comes skippin' in,
'Run kiss me, my dear wife'

Chorus

Snow up on the mountain
Sunshine on the lake
Hard times never get this child
He's too wide awake

Chorus

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Shoo Fly, Don't You Bother Me' recorded 9 Sept 1926 in NYC and issued as Vocalion 15448 in December 1926 and as Vocalion 5010 in February 1927. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Fun In Life' Bear Family LP 15519.

See the SHOO FLY thread for information on this song.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'SE GWINE BACK TO DIXIE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 08:20 AM

I don't know whether these are the same words Uncle Dave sang.

There's a version of this in the DT called GOING BACK TO DIXIE. It has had its dialect deleted, and has a different 3rd verse, and no date or attribution.

The following lyrics are transcribed from The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music;
The Library of Congress American Memory Collection also has several copies.

I'SE GWINE BACK TO DIXIE
"Companion to 'Old Home Ain't What it Used to Be' "
C. A. White. 1874.

1. I'se gwine back to Dixie. No more I'se gwine to wander.
My heart's turned back to Dixie. I can't stay here no longer.
I miss de ole plantation, my home and my relation.
My heart's turned back to Dixie and I must go.

CHORUS: I'se gwine back to Dixie. I'se gwine back to Dixie.
I'se gwine where the orange blossoms grow.
For I hear the children calling. I see their sad tears falling.
My heart's turned back to Dixie and I must go.

2. I've hoed in fields of cotton. I've worked upon the river.
I used to think if I got off, I'd go back there, no, never.
But time has changed the old man. His head is bending low.
His heart's turned back to Dixie and he must go.

3. I'm trav'ling back to Dixie. My step is slow and feeble.
I pray the Lord to help me and lead me from all evil.
And should my strength forsake me, then, kind friends, come and take me.
My heart's turned back to Dixie and I must go.

[The Virtual Gramophone has 4 recordings of this song, made between 1902 and 1926, by Harry Macdonough, Henry Burr, and Florence Easton.

[Also recorded by Uncle Dave Macon, The Leake Country Revelers, and The Edison Quartet.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'VE GOT THE MOURNING BLUES (Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 06:56 PM

WARNING: some lyrics in this song may offend.

In the square brackets is what I hear differently from the transcription in the Bear Family box set.

I'VE GOT THE MOURNING BLUES

Been in business and I've been in love
I used to fly high like a turtle dove
Had the blues a-many a time
There's just a woman on a poor man's mind

Chorus:
I've got the mourning blues, oh so bad
Honey, come and kiss me, they're the worst I've ever had

Ashes to ashes and it's dust to dust
Show me a woman that a man can trust
Nickel's worth of grease and a dime's worth of lard
I would buy more but the times is so hard

Chorus

There ain't no use me a-workin' so hard
For I've got a woman in the white folk's yard
She brings me meat and she brings me pie
I'm eatin' something of everything the white folks buy

Chorus

She brings me chicken and she brings me cake
You just ought to see me lick that plate
A big honey biscuit and a mutton[s] chop
Will make a nigger's lips go flippity flop

Chorus

There stands a fellow right over there          [Like there's a fellow …]
He's got blue eyes and he's got black hair
Talking to his sweetheart, she looks so neat
She calls him honey and he calls her sweet

Chorus

There stands a fellow right over yonder
He looks like he wants to founder    [ponder]
Look at that hair all around his mouth
Like he swallered a mule and left the tail a-hangin' out

Chorus

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'I've got the mourning blues' at page 67 of the book accompanying Uncle Dave Macon box set [Bear Family BCD 15978 JM].

Uncle Dave Macon 'I've got the mourning blues' recorded in New York City on 14 April 1926 and issued as Vo 15349, 5095.    Uncle Dave accompanied by Sam McGee on guitar.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: KISSIN' ON THE SLY (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 01:15 AM

KISSIN' ON THE SLY

Spoken:
Now people listen, a kiss is nothing divided by two. Now you kiss an old maid once, she'll scream out with delight. You kiss her twice, she'll set up all night. You kiss her three times, she'll holler for more because she knows how the old thing works – she's been there before.

When a man falls in love with his little turtle dove
He will linger all around under her jaw
He will kiss her for a mother, a sister or a brother
Till her father comes and kicks him from the door

Pulls a pistol from his pocket and vows he will cock it
And blow away his giddy brain
His duckie says he mustn't , 'tisn't loaded and he doesn't
So they're kissin' one another each again

For the old maids love it, the widows are above it
They've all got a finger in the pie
Some girls think it haughty as it is so very naughty
But you can bet they're all a-kissin' on the sly

When a girl is seventeen, she'll think it rather mean
If she don't get on to something for a smash
She will pucker up her mouth with a pretty little pout
As she fumbles underneath a big moustache

She will make a fellow shrivel, she'll make him jump the river
And stick as close as granulated glue
You had better never tell her you're some other girl's feller
She will masticate your smeller if you do

If you want to kiss her neatly, kiss her sweetly and completely
If you want to kiss her so's to kiss her twice
When you get a chance to kiss her, make a dodge or two and miss her
Then slap it on and kiss her once or twice

Banjo instrumental

Hot dog!

Source: transcription at page 74 of book accompanying Bear Family Uncle Dave Macon box set [BCD 15978 JM].

Uncle Dave Macon 'Kissin' on the sly' recorded in New York City on 9 September 1926 and issued as Vo 15452, 5013. Uncle Dave solo, acc by own banjo.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 17 Apr 05 - 05:55 PM

I would love to index any of these that were based on spirituals (not minstrel-show stuff), if anyone has time to check them out by either the details that were posted above, or by any additional knowledge you might have.

If you find any, can you drop me a PM or list the titles AND THIS THREAD NUMBER in the African American Spiritulas permathread, please?

Thanks!

~Susan


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Subject: ADD: 'Shout Mourner You Shall Be Free'
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Apr 05 - 10:49 PM

SHOUT MOURNER, YOU SHALL BE FREE

[Spoken]
Now folks, talk about your gentle in-folks
I'm going to give you the genteel

Banjo instrumental

Hot dog!

I saw Sal when she went out, I saw Sal pick out her route
Seen her lock the door, and I seen her hide the key
She's a mighty sharp nigger, but she can't fool me

Chorus:
Shout mourner, you shall be free
Shout mourner, you shall be free
When the good Lord sets you free

Did you have a song, baby, did you have a song

Oh, Miss Doe said you treated me mean
I'm a-tired of livin' on your pork and beans
You [she] may be warm, but I don't know
She ain't so warm 'til she melts the snow

Did you have a song, baby, did you have a song

Chorus

[Oh my little honey what happened in the lot
Keep out running in the buzzard trot]
The big mule throwed so the little mule kicks
That big nigger throwed the little in a ditch

Did you have a song, baby, did you have a song

Chorus

Me and my partner and two or three more
Hanging around Sam LaFevre's door
Buying whiskey and buying gin
Just a-getting right to go again

Gotta have a song, baby, gotta have a song

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Shout mourner, you shall be free' recorded in NYC on 8 September 1926 and issued as Vocalion 15445 in December 1926 and as Vocalion 5007 in February 1927.   Reissued on CD 3 in the Bear Family box set of Uncle Dave Macon recordings – BCD 15978 JM.

Note: what I have given in square brackets for the first 2 lines of stanza 3 is from the transcription at page 71 of the book accompanying the Bear Family box set. I don't think it is right, but I have no better idea of what he is singing. Any suggestions?

For information on this song, refer to this thread: CLICK HERE.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,ntnelson1@aol.com
Date: 13 May 05 - 10:20 AM

i was wonderin if yall have the lyrics for cumberland mountain deer race


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Subject: Lyr Add: CUMBERLAND MOUNTAIN DEER RACE
From: Stewie
Date: 14 May 05 - 09:09 PM

CUMBERLAND MOUNTAIN DEER RACE

Away and away we're bound for the mountain
Bound for the mountain, bound for the mountain
Over the mountain and the wild steed's a-bounding
Away to the chase, away, away

We'll heed not the cold, the tempest nor the danger
For over the mountain away goes the ranger
Over the mountain, the hills and the fountain
Away to the chase, away, away

Oh, Rover, Rover, see him, see him
Rover, Rover [it's] catch him, catch him
Over the mountain the hills and the fountain
Away to the chase, away, away

Oh, listen to the hound bells, sweetly ringing
Over the mountain, the wild deer springing
Over the mountain, the hills and the fountain
Away to the chase, away, away

See there the wild deers, trembling, panting
Trembling, panting, trembling, panting
One moment pausing, no longer standing
Away to the chase, away, away

Oh, Rover, Rover, see him, see him
Rover, Rover [it's] catch him, catch him
Over the mountain the hills and the fountain
Away to the chase, away, away

Now we're set just right for the race
With the hounds and the horses right in the chase
The deer is a-bouncing, and the hound is a-sounding
Right on the trail that leads o'er the mountain
Over the mountain the hills and the fountain
Away to the chase away, away

Oh listen to the hound bells heavy bay
   sounding tide o'er the way
All night long till the break of dawn
    merrily the chase goes on
Over the mountain, the hills and the fountain
Away to the chase, away, away

Oh, Rover, Rover, see him, see him
Rover, Rover [it's] catch him, catch him
Over the mountain the hills and the fountain
Away to the chase, away, away

Listen to old Rockwood fall in there,
   will you – getting on a hot trail now
Hear ol' Flyin' Mule step in – Whee –
Listen to the cricket – Whee – Whee

Source: Uncle Dave Macon 'Cumberland Mountain Deer Race' recorded on 26 January 1938 in Charlotte, NC, and issued as Bluebird B7951 in February 1939. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Travelin' Down the Road' County CCS-CD-115 and also in the Bear Family box set.

The above is the transcription at page 116 of the book accompanying the Bear Family Uncle Dave box set.   I can't hear any 'it's' in the Rover stanza and I think Uncle Dave is singing the plural 'Rovers, Rovers', which would be more logical, but I couldn't swear to it.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,OTP
Date: 01 Jun 05 - 12:44 AM

Hi folks,
I wrote the final transcription for the Bear Family complete UDM. I learned a lot of Uncle Dave's songs personally from Mr. Kirk McGee who helped me sort out lyrics that I couldn't hear at the time. I lived around Nashille for 20 odd years and played old-time music for ten years with The Stillhouse Reelers a fine four-piece string band. I am a two-time National Old-Time Banjo Champeen (Uncle Dave Macon Days) and still play Macon and McGee tune every day. I spent several months on the record project and believe it to be about as complete as it can be (bar the typos from Bear Family). It certainly made a difference that I lived there and knew well that part of the country, as well as having the fabulous opportunity to met and play with a number of Opry old-timers (Herman Crook and Lewis Crook, Sid Harkreader, Deford Bailey, Omer Forrster, Blythe Poteete and many others of that generation). It didn't hurt as well that I married a girl whose family first settled that part of Tennessee in the 1790s. Some of the tunes I listened to 3 or 4 hours a day for a solid week to try and understand the meaning of the lyrics, but I got 'em! I hope now that there is a compendium of Uncle Dave's songs that you all sing 'em loud and often. That is how to keep their memories alive.

Sorry for buttin' in,
Paul Ritscher


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: BanjoRay
Date: 01 Jun 05 - 06:09 AM

Great to have you on board, Paul. We have a good few Uncle Dave fans here in the UK, mostly members of FOAOTMAD

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: Lyr Add: OVER THE MOUNTAIN (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: GUEST,tarheel
Date: 01 Jun 05 - 03:21 PM

I searched all through the threads here and did not see my favorite Uncle Dave Macon song, OVER THE MOUNTAIN.
..................................................................

1. I'm always lighthearted and easy.
Not a care in this world have I,
Because I am loved by an Ollie
And I wouldn't forget if I tried.
She lives far away o'er the mountain
Where the little birds sing in the trees,
And the cabin's all covered with ivy,
And my Ollie, she's waiting for me.

CHORUS: It's over, it's over the mountain
Where the little birds sing in the trees,
And the cabin's all covered with ivy,
And my Ollie, she's waiting for me

2. Now the day I said goodbye to Ollie,
That day I shall never forget,
For my tears bubbled up from their slumber,
And I fancy I see them yet.
They looked like the curls on the ocean
As she told her tale of love,
And she said, "My dear boy, don't forget me
'Til we meet here again or above." CHORUS


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 01 Jun 05 - 07:09 PM

Pleased that people are still "Butting In".
OTP - if you have extra information are you interested in sharing it with us here - or elsewhere?
Let us know!
Thanks!
Quack!!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: OTP
Date: 01 Jun 05 - 10:50 PM

I'd be glad to help with any lyric questions I can. After listening to Uncle Dave for 33 years I'd be remiss in not sharing. When Mr. Kirk taught me songs and tunes and I'd finally "get it" he would say to me, "now that song is yours and you have to pass it along to someone else". So here goes...

Over the Mountain:

The name of the girl is Annalee or as UDM says Ann i lee or 'ilee
They looked like the 'pearls' in the ocean

Hope that helps,
Paul


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: tarheel
Date: 02 Jun 05 - 07:45 PM

thank you OTP...dang ,learn something new in here all the time...never knew those word existed foir the song...i listen to it msany times and it seemed like OLLIE to me...but again,thanks for the correct words!
the " curls in the ocean" i thought represented the white foam as the waves break at the beach...
but thanks again and now..i'll be singing it right!!!!
you're terrific OTP!!!!


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Subject: Lyr Add: WALKING IN SUNLIGHT (HJ Zelley/GH Cook)
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 05 - 08:43 PM

I am so glad I saw this thread. First of all, the lyrics of "WALKING IN SUNLIGHT" (H.J. Zelley/G.H. Cook)

Walking in sunlight all of my journey
Over the mountains, through the deep vale
Jesus has said 'I'll never forsake thee'
Promise divine that never can fail

Chorus:
Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight
Flooding my soul with glory divine
Hallelujah, I am rejoicing
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine

Shadows around me, shadows above me
Never conceal my saviour and guide
He is the light, in Him there's no darkness
Ever I'm walking close to his side

seem to me to be very similar to a song I heard in a Hollywood movie on TV some years ago, but I think it was "Beautiful Sunlight, Beautiful Sunlight", etc. A nice tune which I can still remember even though I only heard it once. Can't remember the name of the film, who acted in it, or what it was about; can anyone help (I think it was set in more or less modern days in the USA)? One scene might have involved a mental patient impersonating a doctor called Dr. Baird leading to the real Doctor Baird being mistaken for the mental patient and put in a padded cell or straightjacket, but possibly this is a completely different film.

Clearly Uncle Dave Macon was some influence on my favourite band, the Incredible String Band (Original members Robin Williamson has recorded "Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel" and Clive Palmer has recorded "Rise When the Rooster Crows" though uses some different lyrics to the ones given above.

Several of the other songs recorded by Macon were recorded by The Holy Modal Rounders, another of my favourites (eg Sail Away Ladies). No doubt some of my other favourite artists have recorded some songs UDM wrote or performed.

I also have several Uncle Dave Macon songs on a CD called Hard Times in the Country (or something similar - there is a song with that title on it) which I got from Roots and Rhythm records several months ago. It includes The Wreck of the Tennessee Gravy Train, From Earth to Heaven, etc. It is a very enjoyable album (with good songs by others also) but unfortunately has developed a fault with some tracks jumping so needs replaced).


I think this thread will run and run!


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: OTP
Date: 02 Jun 05 - 11:31 PM

Something to muse upon:
Until I worked on the Bear Family project I hadn't realized just how autobiographical Uncle Dave's songs were. There are lots of local references and even a mention about him working for the railroad when he was younger. In the Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase he refers to his dogs, Rockwood, Old Fly, Old Mule and Limber. In Walk Tom Wilson the first verse refers to the game of Rolleyhole, an elaborate form of the game of marbles still played in Middle Tennessee. He lived much of what he sang about and deliberately chose songs for his repertoire the he could personally relate to. I also was struck by the use of antiquated terms like Billie (comrade or companion) and Doney (girl friend or sweetheart). Hillbillie used to mean something different. And we don't even have to mention The Gayest Old Dude That's Out or the New Dude In Town who's a regular la, la la (the girls all say). Some things never change.

Anybody remember the old tune - Head for the Roundhouse Jenny! (The Boys Cain't Corner You There)?
Paul


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 03 Jun 05 - 05:13 PM

Guest - A good source for a lot of old-time music and song recordings is the Honking Duck. It is a collection taken from original recordings and can be listened to online or tracks can be downloaded to your own computer. Check it out if you haven't already been there.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Andrez
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 10:50 AM

Hi,

What a cool thread. I'd appreciate it if someone could provide some details as to what is available recording wise of Uncle Dave's output.

Are there any digitally remastered reissues? If so is there a link that someone could post so I can buy a CD or CD set? I wasnyt able to find anything on Amazon a few days ago so any info would be appreciated as I'm a long way in the land of OZ.

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 07:29 PM

Andrez: If you want to learn about current or recent recordings, try allmusic.com. Practically every CD ever issued by a major label is listed there, and quite a few LPs and minor labels are there, too--at least for US labels. I don't know about Australia, though.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 07:41 PM

Check cduniverse, deepdiscountcd and Camsco!
http://www.cduniverse.com/sresult.asp?HT_Search_Info=uncle+dave+macon&HT_Search=ARTIST&image.x=0&image.y=0&cart=257360652&style=music&altsearch=yes


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 08:03 PM

Amazon has the complete works box set from Bear Family:

CLICK

County sales also has the box set plus some on County and Old Homestead. The two on County are great, but I would avoid Old Homestead - my personal experience with them is that they are shoddily done and the painted surface of the disk on my copy of 'Early Recordings' lifted completely!

Put Uncle Dave Macon into the quick search box on the home page of County Sales:

CLICK.

If you don't want to purchase online, telephone Denys Williams at Hound Dog's Bop Shop in Melbourne. He can supply the box set and the Countys. His shop only opens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Alternatively, you could contact Steve Reid at Yesterday and Today Records in Paramatta who can supply any Bear Family records.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 09:16 AM

Tarheel, I've puzzled over that "Ollie" too.

Close as I can come, it sounds like "Amalie," accent on the second sylLAble. Fits the first verse reference better, and it is a popular 19th century girl's name.

Note he seems to slip in a quick first syllable before the "Ollie" in the second verse, that's what gave me a tipoff.

Gus Meade's Country Music Sources says it was written 1882 by William Scanlon. If anyone can turn up the original sheet music, we could clear this one up. Meade cites a few printed references but there's no way of knowing whether THEY are accurate.

I love it too. One of the prettiest ever.

Bob


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 09:19 AM

Oops, I missed the "Annalee" ref above & I'll defer to that, though because of the distortion of accent, for my money "Amalie" still sounds better when sung.
Bob


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Andrez
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 10:19 AM

Thanks for the info on recordings I'll spend some time on the weekend and go thru the links. My god though.........Hound Dogs Bop shop is actually still going strong after all these years? Next time I'm in sunny Melb I'll definitely look that shop up. Great thread here!

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: OTP
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 01:18 PM

Anna Lee or Annie Lee or Annie Lea is a name used in many songs of the later 19th century, such as "Carry Me Back to Tennessee" recorded by the Blue Sky Boys. Uncle Dave tended to slur syllabels and even drop tenses in order to keep the meter and to avoid grouping (for example) words ending in 's' next to words beginning with 's'. His word breaks tend to be rather sophisticated, but coupled with the Middle Tennesse linguistic tendency to slur and understate words (to say nothing of his beloved 'lemonade') it makes it difficult to hear. Part of listening to his songs is looking at the context of each particular word or phrase. Amalee is not a name I have ever heard, and in the larger context of Uncle Dave's work obscure names don't appear.

Paul


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Subject: Lyr Add: OVER THE MOUNTAIN (William Scanlon)
From: OTP
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 03:16 PM

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subj: Over the Mountain

I thought this might clarify the current thread, but it doesn't. I will alter my reading of Uncle Dave's version to "an Eily." It's kind of like passing a sentence around a table, it just comes out a little different each time. Plus, look - another verse!

Paul


Dear Mr. Ritscher:
Shirley Wall forwarded your research request concerning the lyrics to "Over the Mountain" by William Scanlon. I have pulled the sheet music in our collection, which is in a bound volume. It is dated 1882 and here are the lyrics:

1. I'm always light hearted and aisy, Not a care in the world have I,
Because I am lov'd by a Colleen, I couldn't forget if I try.
She lives far away o'er the mountain, Where I know she's still thinking of me,
Arrah! Cushla McChree were I with you, This moment how happy I'd be.

CHORUS: Its over, yes, over the mountain, Where the little thrush sings on the tree;
In a cabin all covered with ivy, There my Eily is waiting for me!

2. The day I bid good-bye to Eily, That day I will ne'er forget,
How the tears bubbled up from their slumber, I fancy I see them yet.
They look'd like the pearls in the ocean, As she wept the tears of love,
Says she, "Teddy my boy, don't forget me, 'Till we meet again here or above. CHORUS

3. Oh, water and land may divide us, Friends like the flow'rs come and go;
The face of my Eily will cheer me, For in that dear face I well know.
The imprint of love and devotion. Surrounded by thoughts chaste and pure,
Will serve as the star to the sailor, Whilst plodding the wold raging moor. CHORUS

Hope this helps. The name in this version is Eily, no where does it say Anna Lee. Let me know if there is something else we can help with.

Lucinda Cockrell
--
Lucinda Poole Cockrell, C.A.
Coordinator of Research Collections
The Center for Popular Music
MTSU Box 41
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
615/898-5884
615/898-5829 (FAX)
http://popmusic.mtsu.edu


2 of 48


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Ferrara
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 12:07 AM

Re: Over the Mountains. Thank you, Mrs. Cockrell, and OTP, too! So useful to get this information.

Still not absolutely sure what Uncle Dave actually sang; it almost seemed he changed it from verse to verse, but "my Eily" works well in most places. Maybe the song had been "folk processed" by the time he learned it, or maybe he was singing it from memory and changed a few things here and there.

For myself I'm going to let it all sift itself out, and listen to the recording until I just decide how I want to sing it. All the above guesses and information are great, thanks everyone.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Jul 05 - 11:24 PM

Maybe he had more than one girlfriend and kept getting them confused... :-)


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Gern
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 05:07 PM

Does anyone have the words to "Poor Sinner Fare Thee Well" and "Railroading and Gambling"?


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Jan 06 - 05:49 PM

From The Traditional Ballad Index:

Railroadin' and Gamblin'

DESCRIPTION: Uncle Dave Macon surrealism. Singer has been in the state house and the court house; he is broke from gambling. Chorus: "Railroadin' and gamblin'/Pickin' up chips for mammy/Lawd, lawd, lawd/Take your feet out the sand, stick 'em in the mud."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1940 (recording, Uncle Dave Macon)
LONG DESCRIPTION: More Uncle Dave Macon surrealism. Singer has been in the state house (prison?) and the court house, and is broke from gambling despite his mother's advice. "Lawd, that preacher got, ain't that a sin/Johnny get your whiskers cut, here comes the wind." Chorus: "Railroadin' and gamblin'/Pickin' up chips for mammy/Lawd, lawd, lawd/Take your feet out the sand, stick 'em in the mud." You figure it out.
KEYWORDS: prison gambling railroading nonballad nonsense
FOUND IN: US(SE)
RECORDINGS:
Uncle Dave Macon, "Railroadin' and Gamblin'" (Bluebird 8325, 1940; on RoughWays2)
Notes: Almost certainly of minstrel origin; a few lines are in dialect. While I use the keyword "nonsense," I suspect there was meaning in the song once. - PJS
File: RcUDRaG


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Ferrara
Date: 16 Jan 06 - 07:33 PM

Does anyone have the words to "Me and My Henry," I think that's the title, it's in praise of his Ford auto.


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Subject: ADD: Railroadin' and Gamblin'
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Jan 06 - 09:48 PM

'Railroadin' and Gamblin' seems to have been a source of contention for people who attempt to decipher Uncle Dave's lyrics. The main areas of dispute are the chorus and the 'Johnny get' verse. For all manner of mondegreens on the 'pickin' up chips' line do a search of the oldime music newsgroup archives. Lyle Lofgren of the Brandy Snifters reported that his group had discussed the song with Kirk McGee in the sixties. Although Kirk hadn't seen a text, he was close to Uncle Dave when he sang the song. As Lyle remembered Kirk's take, the chorus was:

Oh, railroadin' and gamblin'
Pickin' up chips for a mammy
Lord, lord, lord
Get your feet outa the sand
And put 'em in the mud
Get your feet outa the sand
And put 'em in the mud

Personally, I cannot hear an 'a' before 'mammy' and I agree with what is in the ballad index entry posted above by Jim:

Take your feet outa the sand
Stick 'em in the mud

For the 'Johnny get' verse the New Lost City Ramblers went with:

Says that preacher, 'golly ain't it a sin?
Johnny get your britches 'cause here comes the wind'

Lyle and the Brandy Snifters went with:

'Johnny get your wood cut, 'cause here comes the wind'

Lyle wrote to the oldtimey newsgroup:

'When we asked Kirk about what he thought the verse might mean, he
looked at us as if we were daft. He said something like, "They were
just words. Uncle Dave sang quite a few verses like that". My
interpretation would be that it's a sin to not provide fuel for the
cold weather ahead. It might be something else, though. This sounds like a "floating" verse, but I've never heard it in any other song'.

However, once again, my hearing concurs with that of the writer of the ballad index entry quoted above:

'Johnny get your whiskers cut, here comes the wind'.

Below is what I hear after consideration of various interpretations. To paraphrase the immortal lines of 'The Open Book' poem:

Now that I've opened the ledger on Uncle Dave interpreters just as they be
Some half-assed bronc stomper or free holy chomper
Will kick all the shit out of me

RAILROADIN' AND GAMBLIN'

What your mammy am told you, six months ago
Keep on your coat and hat, be ready to go

Chorus:
Oh railroadin' and gamblin'
Pickin' up chips for mammy
Lord, lord, lord

Take your feet outa the sand, stick 'em in the mud
Take your feet outa the sand, stick 'em in the mud

Been in the statehouse, been in that hall
Been in that courthouse, the worst place of all

Chorus

Says that preacher, 'God ain't that a sin'
'Johnny get your whiskers cut, here comes the wind'
Lord that preacher, 'God ain't that a sin
'Johnny get your whiskers cut, here comes the wind'

Cars on the roadside, cars on the track
Spent all my money, no way to get back

Chorus

Take your feet outa the sand, stick 'em in the mud
Take your feet outa the sand, stick 'em in the mud

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Railroadin' and Gamblin' recorded on 26 January 1938 in Charlotte, NC, and issued as Bb B8325. Reissued on County CD 115 and in Bear Family Uncle Dave Macon box set BCD 15978 JM.

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: Poor Sinners, Fare You Well
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Jan 06 - 11:24 PM

Here is the transcription from book accompanying the Bear Family box set. I don't think what is in the square brackets is accurate, but I don't know what it should be either.

POOR SINNERS, FARE YOU WELL

Spoken:
Now people I'm going to analyse myself to you. You know I'm Methodist. And the last time I was home, I went to the colored church because there wasn't no white meeting going on. And the parson was very clever, he invited me in, and I heard him take his text from the two two verse of [the sixteenth epostle (sic) who took the epistle and fired at John]. And he got up and said: 'Now this is contribution day and I'm going to have the contribution box passed, and bear in mind there's one man in this house been goin' around with another man's wife, and if he don't put in five dollars in that box today, I'm a-gwine expose him. So I stayed there 'til the box went around and she come in with seventeen five dollar bills and one two-dollar bill with a note written plainly, pinned to it, saying, 'Brother, for ever hold your peace, you'll get your other three dollars before the sun goes down'. Now I'm going to sing one of their favorite songs.

Gwine down on the river, down on Jordan's stream
All those children crying, Lord, Lord, I've been redeemed

Chorus:
Crying, mmmm, mmmm
Them-a golden slippers I'm bound to wear
Them-a golden slippers I'm bound to wear
Them-a golden slippers I'm bound to wear
Poor sinners fare thee well

Jews didn't believe in Jesus, not a word was said
Then he went down to Lazarus' grave,
Raised him from the dead

Chorus

Shout if you are happy!

Just come out of the water, ain't got fairly dry
If you don't mind old Satan make you tell a lie

Chorus

When I get to heaven, know I'm gonna smile
Sit down by my Saviour's side, be one welcome child

Chorus

Recorded by Uncle Dave Macon on 16 April 1926 and issued as Vocalion 15324 in June 1926.

Meade ('Country Music Sources') notes that the text at page 153 of Anthony J. Showalter 'The National Singer' (Dalton, Ga, A.J. Showalter Co, ca 1885) is a close approximation of the Macon recording.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Jan 06 - 11:37 PM

Ferrara, if what you are after is 'On the Dixie Bee-Line (In that Henry Ford of Mine)', the lyrics have been posted to the forum in this thread:

CLICK.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Ferrara
Date: 17 Jan 06 - 08:33 PM

Yes!!! Thanks, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,OTP
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 09:35 PM

I John 3:22 reads: And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Oldtimers I knew said that Uncle Dave could and would preach impromptu sermons whenever he felt the need. If one relates this chapter and verse (there are only 2 books of John with 22+ verses) to the intro of 'Poor Sinners Fare Thee Well' it is easy to see that this is what he was referring to. I have found that there is very little hidden meaning in Uncle Dave's singing and speaking, and altho he took liberties with the language (such as alliteration and ostentatious word-play) he 'said what he meant and meant what he said'.

Best,
OTP


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 09:57 AM

I love that song too, thanks for workin on the lyrics now i can play it. the whole theme of the flood is so cool. Sry i cant be of much help i have a hard time understanding the old dude myself. Tennessee jubilee is another tough one to crack, if anyone knows about it post it up sometime


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 11:25 AM

Uncle Dave could incorporate the preachin' right into the song. I'm still working on a detailed transcription of this: (He could sing it to open meetings for the Kansas School Board)

The Bible's True


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Q
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 06:33 PM

"Poor Sinners, Fare You (thee?) Well"-
I didn't find it here. Anyone have Macon's lyrics?


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Artful Codger
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 09:10 PM

If you start listening to the clip above and think "Huh?" when you hear "Will There Be Any Stars", don't worry: it IS the right clip; "The Bible's True" follows a little later.

This song, despite Uncle Dave's intentions, has always struck me as a satire of creationism, rather than support for it. It may be because of the spirited rendition I heard by The Lazy Aces (on The Young Fogies compilation.)

I like to tack on a reprise of the "God made the world" verse this-a-way:

God made the world,
Then he made man,
Woman for to read his beads
And beat him with a fryin' pan.

This infectious tune just begs for more verses.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 09:35 PM

Q, I posted the Bear Family box set transcription of Macon's 'Poor Sinners ...' above: Date: 16 Jan 06 - 11:24 PM. Do an edit 'find' on this page.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,gumpuddin
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 04:41 AM

Re: Cumberland Mountain Deer Chase


Oh, Rover, Rover, see him, see him
Rover, Rover [it's] catch him, catch him
Over the mountain the hills and the fountain
Away to the chase, away, away

Stewie earlier in this thread says:
"I can't hear any 'it's' in the Rover stanza and I think Uncle Dave is singing the plural 'Rovers, Rovers', which would be more logical, but I couldn't swear to it."



50 years ago, when I was growing up and visiting my cousins who lived in rural NC and loved to hunt ... I used to hear them talk to their dogs ...
and it sounded something like this:

"skit him, skit him"

What they were slurring was ... "Let's get him; Let's get him."

Perhaps this "Rover" stanza is


"sketch him, ketch him"
or
"'s catch him, catch him"
from
"Let'd catch him, catch him."

gp


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 05:16 AM

That would certainly make some sense.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Artful Codger
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 10:29 PM

The Red Clay Ramblers also recorded "Cumberland Deer Chase", so you might find their take on the lyrics helpful.


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Subject: Lyr add: All Go Hungry Hash House
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 07:31 PM

ALL GO HUNGRY HASH HOUSE

Banjo riff.
Spoken: Hello folks, I'm in New York and from the country, but you can't tell me roastin' ears ain't corn.

There's a hotel in the city as we climb the golden stairs
And they serve the hash up on the second floor
There's a graveyard in the cellar, doctor's office in the parlour
And the undertaker keeps his shop next door

'Touch Me Not' was on the teacups, skeleton crossbones on the plates
'Carve Me Right' is on that turkey you could spell
Oh the biscuits they are named, and I'm going to have them framed
At that all go hungry hash house where I dwell

Oh the donuts they are wooden, and we have limburger puddin'
We kneel in prayer before we go to grub
If you chance to get a breeze of that ambologneous cheese
You'd have swore somebody'd hit you with a club

That hotel where I stay, it is turning my hair gray
For the landlord is always full of beer
All the beds our bugs have rented, and the air was sweetly scented
By an old-fashioned tan yard in the rear

All the sausages they are marked, if you touch them they will bark
It's a relic sent from Bingen on the Rhine
All the boarders have the croup, caught from drinking frozen soup
At that all go hungry hash house where I dine

They have India rubber pickles, exercises on bicycles
And a dinner bell and gong they can't afford
When they open up the gates, we'll come skippin' on roller skates
At that all go hungry hash house where I board

There's a woman called the duchess, brings the coffee in on crutches
And the cake looks like a sponge that's petrified
Oh the pies are old and grey, they were tackled by a jay
Who went right out and committed suicide

Oh the molasses made of paint, if you smell them you will faint
They are yellow and dished up in a gourd
Oh the eggs are made to match, if you touch them they will hatch
At that all go hungry hash house where I board

Source: Transcription of Uncle Dave Macon (vcl/bjo) 'All go hungry hash house' recorded 14 April 1925 in New York City and issued September 1925 as Vo 15076 and in January 1927 as Vo 5076.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 08:45 AM

I've replaced "The Bible's True" (noted above) on my storage site. I have some others if anyone wants to hear Uncle Dave's recordings. I can't leave them up permanently, but will try to respond to requests.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 08:58 AM

By the way! Here is a link to a text file for most of the Uncle Dave lyrics. (as heard by the poster) http://departments.umw.edu/hipr/www/206/songtext/uncle_dave_macon.txt


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Sep 08 - 09:08 AM

It seems those lyrics were posted by a folklorist at Mary Washington College.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: Q
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 03:26 PM

"Rise When the Rooster Crows," transcribed from a Macon recording, in thread 8269:
Rise when the Rooster Crows


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon - Mule Song
From: GUEST,Kelly
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 07:22 AM

Oh Thank You, Thank You for posting lyrics to the "So Long Mule" song. My grandpa (farmer born 1899 in Knox County Indiana) used to sing it to me but all I could recall was the refrain. As I remembered him singing it was "Get a'long mule, quit a'rollin them eyes. . .you can change a fool, but a doggone mule. . .is a mule until he dies."

I've searched by the refrain for a long time without success until today. Again, many thanks!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 03:36 AM

Richie has posted the lyrics to Uncle Dave's 'Hill Billie Blues' in this thread: Hill Billie Blues.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 11:25 PM

Corrections to the lyrics of OLD DAN TUCKER that Stewie posted 30 Dec 02 - 09:10 PM:

VERSE 1 LINE 3: Combed his head with a wagon wheel

VERSE 3 LINE 4: Lord bless you, honey, how the ashes flew

VERSE 4 LINE 1: ... booze and Choctaw cider

VERSE 4 LINE 3: Hostetter's bitters* and the doctor's tonic

* an actual brand name. I looked it up!


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Subject: Lyr Add: TENNESSEE JUBILEE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 08:11 AM

You can find an mp3 file of this song here.

There are gaps in my transcription:


TENNESSEE JUBILEE
As recorded by Uncle Dave Macon, June, 1929, Brunswick 355.

SPEAKING: Well, well, folks, I'm feeling fine. Just eat a hearty dinner. Now I'm going to give you something that's round here: An old Tennessee jubilee. But before I sing you the piece, I have a cousin lives down in Rutherford County, Tennessee. She's a woman. And her brother was telling me about her swappin' a dry cow for an old second-hand Ford car last summer, and she learned to run it pretty well in the wheat fields after they got done thrashing, and she decided she'd go into the city on Saturday, but she drove out to the highway and the traffic was so thick, she backed out, and decided to go in at night. So when she did drive in, the first thing she done, she run over the signal line. And the traffic officer stopped her. And there she was, and she stuck her head out the window and said, "What's the matter?" The traffic gentleman says, "Why, you haven't got your dimmers on." She says, "Lord, Lord! I reckon I have. I put on ever'thing Mam laid out for me to wear 'fore I left home."

And she says, "Who is you, anyhow?" He says, "I'm the traffic jam man, ma'am." Says, "Well, I'm mighty glad you told me. Mam told me to fetch her a quart. Have it ready for me as I go out, will you, please?" Ha-ha-ha-ha!

SINGING: Well, it's me and my doney was a-ridin' of a pony,
She in front and me behind the ...
... she'd always ...
She thinks I'm workin' but I ain't doin' nothin'.
Turkey in the hay, ha-ha! ha-ha-ha!

...a tune called Turkey in the straw.

Well as I went down the old state field,
A black snake grabbed me by my heel.
Said I started runnin' but I do my best
To run my head in a hornet's nest

Turkey in the hay, ah-ha-ha
...
...a tune called Turkey in the straw.

UNKNOWN VOICE, SPEAKING: Uncle Dave, you a awful old man to be a-cuttin' up that-a-way.

DAVE, SPEAKING: Yes, but listen, Bud—

SINGING: It's nobody's business, nobody's business
Nobody's business what I do.

Backbone, that's sausage meat,
Hog head and pickled feet,
Nobody's business what I eat. No!
Nobody's business, nobody's business,
Nobody's business what I do.

She buys the gasoline.
I crank the old machine.
Nobody's business what I do.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BIBLE'S TRUE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 09:04 AM

You can find an mp3 of this song on this page (or click to play).

There's a version of this in the DT, but it contains a few errors.


THE BIBLE'S TRUE
As recorded by Uncle Dave Macon, April, 1926, Vocalion 5098 and 15322.

1. Evolution teaches man came from a monkey.
I don't believe no such a thing on the days of the week or Sunday.

CHORUS: Well, the Bible's true; oh, yes, I believe it.
I've seen enough and I can prove it.
What you say, what you say,
It's bound to be that way.
God made the world and everything that's in it.
He made man perfect and the monkey wasn't in it.
What you say, what you say,
It's bound to be that way.

2. I'm no evolutionist that wants the world to see.
Ain't no man from anywhere, boys, make a monkey out of me. CHORUS

3. God made the world and then he made man,
Woman for his helpmate. Beat that if you can. CHORUS


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Subject: Lyr Add: FARM RELIEF (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 11:36 AM

You can find an mp3 file of this song here.


FARM RELIEF
As recorded by Dave Macon & Sid Harkreader, June, 1929, Vocalion 5341.

[SPOKEN:] Howdy do! Well, folks, you've heard about the farm relief, read about it, heard them talk about it. Well, it's finally got here. They've just about relieved the farmer of everything he's got. Now I'm telling you right. Now I'll sing you about it after I play you a pretty little prelude on the banjo.

1. Farmer just lately moved to town,
Trying every way to cut expenses down.
He lost his job and he didn't do well,
And everybody believes he's gone back to the farm,
Gone back to the farm, gone back to the farm.

2. Hoover was elected president.
Al Smith went right down in defeat.
Majority voted for the high, high chief,
But show me a farmer who's got relief,
Who's got relief, who's got relief.

3. What farmer has to buy is too high yet.
What he has to sell's too low to make a hit.
Bust up your corporations and your trusts,
For if you don't, then the farmer's gonna bust.
Yes, the farmer's gonna bust. Yes, the farmer's gonna bust.

4. Went in a store for to buy the other day.
Here's just what the merchant had to say:
Nothing a-doing on fall terms.*
Without their money, said the wheels won't turn,
Said the wheels won't turn, said the wheels won't turn.

5. Used to go to church for to hear them shout,
Telling the good Lord what 'twas all about.
Now the congregation is all so far
Riding around in new Ford cars,
Them new Ford cars, them new Ford cars.

6. Washington is the law-making place.
The poor old farmer has[n't] enough to say grace.
If there ain't something done for to help his grace,
The poor old farmer's gonna lose his place,
Gonna lose his place, gonna lose his place.


[* on fall terms, that is, on credit, to be repaid in the fall when crops are sold.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: TAKE ME BACK TO MY OLD CAROLINA HOME
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Sep 10 - 04:15 PM

At YouTube you can see an excerpt from the 1940 Hollywood film "Grand Ole Opry" in which Uncle Dave Macon and his son Dorris sing TAKE ME BACK TO MY OLD CAROLINA HOME. He never recorded this song.

(I did, however find that several other artists recorded songs called CARRY ME BACK TO MY CAROLINA HOME or MY CAROLINA HOME, which I assume are related.)

The film shows Uncle Dave performing various acrobatic tricks, even dancing, with his banjo. I think I can hear banjo chords being played during these acrobatics. Am I being fooled by an off-camera musician, or is Uncle Dave really doing this?

The story told by the song seems rather disjointed, making me wonder if we aren't hearing mere excerpts from a longer song.


TAKE ME BACK TO MY OLD CAROLINA HOME
As sung by Uncle Dave Macon (on banjo) and Dorris Macon (on guitar)

1. Me an' my buddy(?) started out the other day,
Studyin' a plan how to get away.
Light come on an' it caught us in the dark,
Waitin' for the Chesterfield train to start.

2. Conductor was a-standin' right nigh the rope(?)
An' he hollered to his passengers, "All aboa'd!"
Then he reached up and he pulled the string.
Bang-a-bang-a-bang-a went the banjer string.

CHORUS: Take-a me back. (Take-a me back.)
Take-a me back. (Take-a me back.)
Take-a me back to that ol' Car'lina home. (Oh, yes!)
Take-a me back. (Take-a me back.)
Take-a me back. (Take-a me back.)
Take-a me back to that ol' Car'lina home.

3. Well, the train pulled on to the very next stop.
I looked around, about seventeen cops.
'Cross the hill you oughta seen me run.
Bang-a-bang-a-bang-a went my Gat-a-ling gun. CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: GUEST,jack Warshaw
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 12:00 PM

Colleagues,
I've been singing this for over 30 years and transcribed it slightly differently - corrections in CAPS below:

FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN

[Spoken] Now good people I wagoned and farmed for over twenty years and the style on my wagoning firm IS the Macon Midway Mule and Mitchell Wagon Transportation Company. Situated on the dividing line, operated by gentlemen on and up to time. Main office eight and a quarter mile East Main Street, Murfreesboro and ten and three-quarters West Main Street, Woodbury, Tennessee. Now here's my song!

I remember the year when I begIn to haul, it was during the summer time
Back in the those good old days, you could find whisky, beer and wine
I'd walk right in to every saloon, I was strictly up to time
THERE Never was a night that I didn't drive home, wASN'T pullING the end of A line

Chorus:
Been wagoning for over twenty years, and living on the farm
I'll bet a hundred dollars to a half a ginger cake, I'LL BE here when the trucks is gone

I'LL tell you now, THAT THE bone-dry'S COME, you can't find whisky that'S good
Done quit all of my drinking, done gone to serving God
I love to go to big meetings, and I'm a-gonna tell you why
I love to sing and pray to God, sweet Heaven when I die

Chorus

An auto-truck has a DRIVING wheel, while I hold my line
OH when my feet and body gets cold, I'm walking half the time
I speak right to my power, they understand my talk
And when I holler, WAGON RIGHT, they know just WHERE to walk.

Chorus

An auto-truck runs quick and fast, a wagon hasn't THE speed
Four good mules and a Mitchell wagon is the safest, LOAD yes indeed
I'm on my way to Heaven, and I'LL tell you just how I feel
I'd druther ride a wagon and go to Heaven, than to Hell in an automobile

FINAL CHORUS

NOTE: The 'bone dry' refers to the Federal Prohibition of Alcohol Act in force from 1920 to 1933. So Uncle Dave was taking a swipe at bad bootleg whiskey.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: GUEST,Minneapolis
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 10:47 PM

Hello, I'm looking for lyrics to "The Station Will Be Changed After Awhile."

If anyone's able to help, that's great. A lot of these old links seem to have expired. Thank you.


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Subject: Lyr Add: STATION WILL BE CHANGED AFTER A WHILE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 11:30 PM

Here's my transcription from a recording which I found on Spotify. It appears on several albums:


STATION WILL BE CHANGED AFTER A WHILE
As sung by Uncle Dave Macon

SPOKEN: Now, good people, I'm gonna try to play you a pretty little instrumental piece and sing you a beautiful sentimental song.

[INSTRUMENTAL PIECE]

SPOKEN: Now this is a song that is sung by a colored preacher. And he told the congregation that he's a-gonna preach to 'em from the one-eyed chapter of the two-eyed verse of the three who failed to see Peter in the four-corner of the Corinthians. And remember, people, the station will be changed after while.

1. There are people in this world who will try to pull you down,
But I's a-gwine to glory to wear the starry crown.
It's no matter what they do and say,
Gwine to fall on my knees and pray
That the station will changed after while.

CHORUS: Oh, the station will be changed after while.
When the Lord himself shall come,
And the work on earth is done,
Why, the station will be changed after while.

2. Oh, the Bible plainly tells you of that awful judgment day.
That awful day am comin' an' no matter where I be.
You may bury me in the ocean.
You may bury me in the sea,
But the station will be changed after while. CHORUS

3. Oh, the gospel train am comin' an' she's runnin' through the land.
King Jesus is the conductor and she always makes her time.
When she makes the station blow,
You'd better be ready to go.
Why, the station will be changed after while.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OYSTER STEW (parody of "Just Tell Them...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 08:44 PM

Uncle Dave Macon didn't sing this. I'm posting this here only so that the lyrics of the parody will be in the same thread as the lyrics of the original. A guest requested this song in the thread 'Mother Songs' of the tear-jerker variety but it isn't really appropriate for that thread either.

From The Alabama Folk Lyric: A Study in Origins and Media of Dissemination edited by Ray Broadus Browne (Bowling Green: Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1979), page 391:

154
Oyster Stew
Parody of "Just Tell Them That You Saw Me"

Spaeth (History of Popular Music, p. 277) says there were many parodies of "Just Tell Them That You Saw Me." This one, however, is the only one I have collected. It shows a vigorous reaction against the sentiment of the song.

"Oyster Stew," sung by Mrs. Ruth Clements, Holt, Tuscaloosa County, 1952.

A man happened to an accident upon a railroad train,
A-trying to ride and would not pay his fee.
The doctors they consulted, examined him, and said:
"We'll have to saw his leg off at the knee."
They tried to give him chloroform but he wouldn't take the stuff,
Said, "Go ahead while I'm brave and strong.
And while you're sawing off the leg, oh, please, sir, let me sing."
They did, and then he started up this song:

CHORUS: Just tell them that you saw me and I was losing flesh,
To ups and downs will always be a slave.
Just whisper to mother dear if you get a chance,
Her darling boy has one foot in the grave.

I went to a church festival about three weeks ago,
Was just because I had nothing else to do.
Of course I stayed for supper, which was fifty cents a chair.
The waiter brought me in some oyster stew.
I dipped my spoon into the stuff and found it was all milk.
I swore I'd never go there any more.
At last one lonely oyster came strolling up the top.
He looked me in the face and bravely said:

CHORUS: Just tell them that you saw me and I was in the soup.
I've been brought here just sixteen times alone.
Please, mister, don't you eat me; I'm the only one they have.
Remember you have children all your own.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 08:53 PM

I have a version of "Keep my Skillet Good and Greasy" where it sounds like Uncle Dave Macon says "nigger on the log, finger on the trigger and eye on the hog". Does anyone else believe that's what it is? Sorry if the question has already been answered, I only skimmed most of the thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Jan 14 - 06:25 PM

To our last guest: You're right. As it explains above, Macon recorded KEEP MY SKILLET GOOD AND GREASY twice. He made the first recording in June, 1924, and it was released on the Vocalion label; the second, made in January, 1935, was released on the Bluebird label.

I believe I have listened to both versions on Spotify. One version, which I suppose is the first, is 2:32 in length, and he sings "There's a nigger on the log." On the other, which is 2:44 in length, he sings "There's a man on the log."

If you want to sing this, please use the "man" version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 07:38 PM

I agree, I would definitely use the "man" version if I were to sing it aloud.


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