BLUES LYRICS and HOODOO:

SUPPLEMENTARY TRANSCRIPTIONS

from HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
by catherine yronwode



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TITLE: Dry Southern Blues
MATRIX NO.: 2475-1
SINGER: Blind Lemon Jefferson
COMPOSER(S):
DATE OF REC.: c. March 1926
ORIGINAL ISSUE(S): Paramount 12347
REISSUE(S): Yazoo 1069, ...
TRANSCRIPTION:
DRY SOUTHERN BLUES
by Blind Lemon Jefferson

My mind leads me to take a trip down south
My mind leads me to take a trip down south
Take a trip down south and stop at a fatmouth's house

One train's at the depot with the red and blue lights behind
One train's at the depot with the red and blue lights behind
Well, the blue light's the blues, the red light's the worried mind

I hate to tell you, sugar, it t'ain't nobody there
I hate to tell you, sugar, it t'ain't nobody there
If a man stay here, he'll stay most anywhere

I got up this mornin', ramblin' for my shoes
I got up this mornin', ramblin' for my shoes
The little woman said to me, "It's all the world-weary blues"

Uncle Sam was no woman, but didn't he draft your man?
Uncle Sam was no woman, but didn't he draft your man?
Tell me them good-lookin' womens on the border's raisin' sand.

Well, women on the border's drinkin' over the water trough
Well, women on the border's drinkin' over the water trough
I wished Uncle Sam would hurry up and pay these soldiers off

I can't drink coffee and the woman won't make no tea
I can't drink coffee and the woman won't make no tea
I believe to my soul sweet mama gonna hoodoo me

I asked the girl did she love me, said, "Lemon, I don't know how"
I asked the girl did she love me, said, "Lemon, I don't know how"
Caught me commentatin', "Yes, I love you sky high"

She had feet like a monkey, head like a teddy bear
She had feet like a monkey, head like a teddy bear
And a mouth full of lip, I guarantees it's everywhere.

I've got a girl in Cuba, I've got a girl in Spain
I've got a girl in Cuba, I've got a girl in Spain
I've got a brownie yonder in Dallas, I'm afraid to call her name
TRANSCRIBED BY: Gorgen Antonsson (antonsson.se@mbox304.swipnet.se), 30 Dec 1995
and Chris Smith (chris@skerries.demon.co.uk) Sep 21 2000

DISCOGRAPHY BY: Gorgen Antonsson (antonsson.se@mbox304.swipnet.se), 30 Dec 1995

PRINTED TRANSCRIPTIONS: R.R. Macleod. // In: Macleod, R.R.: Yazoo 21-83. - Edinburgh : PAT Publications, 1992. - P. 392-393

DIFFERENCES from R. R. Macleod version:
v. 1:2: ... South and jump at Santa Monica. ;
v. 2:1: one train left the depot ...
v. 2:2: ... red light's the worry in mind ;
v. 5:1: ... he grab your man? ;
v. 5:1 (2nd time); I can say he was no woman ...;
v. 8:1: ... I don't nohow." [note: "... preferred to 'don't know how'."] ;
v. 8:3: 'Cause of me commentatin' ... ;
v. 9:1: She has feet ...;
v. 9:2: ... I guarantees it everywhere

RELATED LYRICS: "Love in Vain" by Robert Johnson (verse 2, train with blue and red lights)

COMMENTS BY CAT YRONWODE: Verse 7 expresses the common African-American man's refusal to drink coffee prepared by a woman for fear that she may have put her menstrual blood in it to hoodoo him with a coercive love-drawing spell. This belief is also encountered among Sicilians and Sicilian-Americans. Verse 6 may refer to a similar hoodoo belief, that if one drinks from a water trough where horses are watered and one ingests a horsehair, the hair will grow into living snakes within your body, a condition commonly called "live things in you."

FURTHER INFORMATION: The following web pages can be consulted for more details about the topics referenced in this song:
V.6 may refer to the belief in "live things"
V.7 menstrual blood in coffee
V.7 hoodoo


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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