BLUES LYRICS and HOODOO:

SUPPLEMENTARY TRANSCRIPTIONS

from HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
by catherine yronwode




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TITLE: The Blues What Am
MATRIX NO.: D7 VB 704
SINGER: (Bill) Jazz Gillum V/hca with Eddie Boyd, p; Willie Lacey, g; Ransom Knowling, b; Judge Riley, d.
COMPOSER(S):
DATE OF REC.: 24 Apr 1947, Chicago
ORIGINAL ISSUE(S): Vic 20-2580
REISSUE(S):
TRANSCRIPTION:
THE BLUES WHAT AM
by Jazz Gillum

I don't want my rooster crowin' after the sun go down
I don't want my rooster crowin' after the sun go down
Don't bring peanuts in my house, it will make a coffin turn around

I don't want nobody to put their bare hands on my head
I don't want nobody to put their bare hands on my head
I don't eat everyone's cooking, i am suspicious of my corn bread

Don't touch me with your broom, don't let my lamp get low
Don't touch me with your broom, don't let my lamp get low
Don't let the dogs start to howling, 'cause somebody have got to go

(harp solo)

Take your hat off of my bed and hang it on a nail
Take your hat off of my bed and hang it on a nail
If i set down on your trunk, I am bound to go to jail

I don't want my brother to put his bare feets in my shoes
I don't want my brother to put his bare feets in my shoes
Somebody stole my rabbit's foot and I've got the suspicious blues
TRANSCRIBED by catherine yronwode (cat@luckymojo.com) 30 Sep 2000

DISCOGRAPHY BY: Alan Balfour (abalfour@dial.pipex.com) 5 Oct 2000

COMMENTS BY CAT: This well-known compilation of bad omen beliefs was first sung by Washboard Sam in 1938, then covered by Jazz Gillum in 1947. In 1962 Willie Dixon slightly rewrote the lyrics and recorded it under the title "I Ain't Superstitious." On the re-make, Dixon credited himself as the composer, which is not strictly true, as a comparison among the three versions will reveal. The unfortunate omens themselves (in both versions) are a mixture of Anglo-Irish and African American beliefs, and are more or less self-explanatory. Thanks to Alan Balfour for a copy of this song.

FURTHER INFORMATION: The following web pages can be consulted for more details about the topics referenced in this song:
V.2 body fluids in food
V.2 spider eggs in food
V.5 bare feet
V.5 rabbit foot


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Individual acknowledgements for transcriptions and discographical data appear on each song-page, but i want to note that this Blues Lyrics and Hoodoo archive would never have been possible without the contributions of Gorgen Antonsson, who generously shared with me the format and content of his own personal lyrics archive, and Alan Balfour and Chris Smith, who have devoted a great deal of time to supplying me with tapes, transcribed lyrics, and detailed discographical information. Additionally, i wish to thank the kind members of the prewar blues e-list who have aided my research in innumerable ways. If you have missing data to supply, hear a substantially different take on a transcription, or want to let me know about a song that has been overlooked in these pages, please contact me through the prewar blues e-list: http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/pre-war-blues.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Due to certain social, economic, and political paradigms in place at the time of their composition, many early blues songs were improperly copyrighted or not copyrighted at all. Many bore no composer credits. Many were ripped off by unethical music publishers who falsely claimed authorship and copyrighted them in their own names. Many that were once copyright-protected are now in the public domain due to publishers' or composers' failures to properly renew the copyrights. Many have since been ripped off by unethical performers or music publishers who have pretended to be the composers for the purpose of securing a belated copyright or who have claimed "arranger's" credits on songs they falsely swore were "traditional" when in fact the songs were composed by the people who originally performed them on record. It is my sincere belief that the song transcribed on this page bears the implied moral copyright of its composer, whoever that may be. If you believe that you control the copyright by virtue of authorship or legal legerdemain, you may contact me in a civil and polite manner and i will attempt in good faith to satisfy your needs in the matter of obtaining formal permission to quote the lyrics in this scholarly publication.

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