BLUES LYRICS and HOODOO:

SUPPLEMENTARY TRANSCRIPTIONS

from HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
by catherine yronwode




Return to BLUES LYRICS and HOODOO Index

Return to HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE Table of Contents



Note: I have placed the trasncriptions for three versions of this song
(1953, 1965, post-1989 live) on one page as they vary in lyrical content.

TITLE: Hoodoo Man Blues
MATRIX NO.:
SINGER: Junior Wells (Amos Wells Jr.)
COMPOSER(S): {says Wells, but actually Williamson; see notes below]
DATE OF REC.: June 8 1953, Chicago
ORIGINAL ISSUE(S): States 134
REISSUE(S): Delmark LP "Blues Hit Big Town" (DS 640)
TRANSCRIPTION:
HOODOO MAN BLUES (1953)
by Junior Wells

Lord, I wonder what's has got the matter
          Wit' time, you know, wit' time
It seems like the hours, oh, everything done changed

But I hold up my hand,
I'm just tryin' t'make her understand
Lord, you know, everybody tells Little Junior
That somebody done hoodooed the hoodoo man.

Now, I'm goin' down to Louisiano
          an' get me a mojo hand
My little woman she done quit me for some other man

But I hold up my hand,
I'm tryin' to make her understand
Lord, you know, everybody they tells me,
That somebody done hoodooed the hoodoo man

(Spoken) Well that's what I'm talkin' --

harp and guitar duet

Now I buzzed your bell this morning
          You had your elevator running slow
I buzzed your bell, little woman, to take me on the third floor

But I hold up my hand,
I'm just trying make you understand
Lahw, you know, ever'vody tells Li'l Junior,
"Somebody hoodooed the hoodoo man."

TITLE: Hoodoo Man Blues
MATRIX NO.:
SINGER: Junior Wells (Amos Wells Jr.) (with Buddy Guy)
COMPOSER(S): {says Wells, but actually Williamson; see notes below]
DATE OF REC.: 22/23 Sep 1965, Chicago
ORIGINAL ISSUE(S): Delmark 612
REISSUE(S):
TRANSCRIPTION:
HOODOO MAN BLUES (1965)
by Junior Wells and Buddy Guy

Lord, I wonder what's the, got the matter
          Time, you know with time
It seems like the hours, everything done changed

But I hold up my hand,
Lord, I'm trying make you understand
Lord, you know, uh, everybody they tell me,
Somebody done hoodooed the hoodoo man

Now you know I buzzed your bell this morning,
          you had your elevator running slow
I buzzed your bell, little girl, to take me up on the third floor

But I hold up my hand,
Lord,I'm trying make you understand
Lord, you know, uh, they tell's the baby
That somebody done hoodooed, the hoodoo man

(Spoken) Ha ha ha ha, look a here, baby

harp solo

I said, "I'm gonna tell you this time, baby,
          and I ain't gonna, tell you no more
The next time I tell you, I'm gonna have to let you go"

But I hold up my hand,
Lord,I'm trying make her understand
Lord, you know, uh, everybody they tell me
Somebody done hoodooed the hoodoo man

TITLE: Hoodoo Man Blues
MATRIX NO.:
SINGER: Junior Wells (Amos Wells Jr.)
COMPOSER(S): {says Wells, but actually Williamson; see notes below]
DATE OF REC.: (circa 1996?)
ORIGINAL ISSUE(S): "Live at Buddy Guys' Legends" (Telarc CD-83412)
REISSUE(S):
TRANSCRIPTION:
HOODOO MAN BLUES (LIVE VERSION, after 1989)
by Junior Wells

Lord, I wonder what's got the matter
          Wit' time, you know, wit' time
It seems just like the hours, everything done changed

But I hold up my hand,
Lord, I'm trying make her understand
Lord, you know, uh, everybody they tell me,
An' every day, Lord, somebody done hoodooed the hoodoo man

Kiss me =(mmmph)= and don't let me go
          but tell everybody
You know I got the blues

But I hold up my hand
Lord, I'm trying to make you all understand
Baby now, baby now, baby now
Somebody done hoodooed, great God almighty, child!

Big fat woman
          with the meat shakin' on her bones
She make a little skinny thing like me just wanna come back home

But I hold up my hand
Lord, i'm just trying to make you all understand
Right here ...mmmmmm mmmm. yeah heaheaheaheah
Sssssomebody, sssssomebody done hoodooed the hoodoo man
TRANSCRIBED BY: cat yronwode (cat@luckymojo.com) 30 Sep 2000 (1953 version and live version)
and Chris Stovall Brown (boogie@gis.net) 16 Sep, 2000 (1965 version)
with thanks to Alan Balfour (abalfour@dial.pipex.com) for a tape of the 1953 version
and to David J. Jones (djj2@cornell.edu) for a tape of the live version

DISCOGRAPHY BY: Alan Balfour (abalfour@dial.pipex.com) (1953 and 1965 versions);
a full discography for the live version is still needed, but Alan noted that it
must have been recorded after 1989, for that was the year that Buddy Guy opened
his "Legends" night club, and the album is titled "Live at Buddy Guys' Legends."
He dates it to the mid-1990s with this note: "I was looking up an old issue of
"Blues & Rhythm" magazine (#124, Nov. 1997) and chanced to go through the
reviews. What do I find but one for "Jr Wells Live AT BG's Legends"
(Telarc 83412). The review only says it's his latest release and not
when the material was recorded other than to comment that the band is the
same as that which toured Europe the previous year (1996). This should at
least narrow it down to mid-90s and be easier to find reviews in other
mags. -- AlanB

COMMENTS BY CAT YRONWODE: This remake of Sonny Boy Williamson's
"Hoodoo Hoodoo" was erroneously credited to Wells as composer.
Further, having listened to all three versions myself, i feel
that the earliest is by far the best in terms of both lyrical
coherence and musicianship.

RELATED LYRICS:
(1) The entire song is a remake of "Hoodoo Hoodoo" by Sonny Boy Williamson, 1946.

(2) For the refrain "somebody done hoodooed the hoodoo man" see
"Somebody Done Hoodoo'd the Hoodoo Man" by Louis Jordan 1939,
"Hoodoo Hoodoo" by Sonny Boy Williamson, 1946, and
"Hoo Doo Blues" by Lightnin' Slim (Otis Hicks), 1957.

(3) Re:the 1953 version, V.2: compare:

RELATED LYRICS: compare:

Going to the Louisiana bottom to get me a hoodoo hand
Going to the Louisiana bottom to get me a hoodoo hand
Gotta stop these women from taking my man.
          (Louisiana Hoo Doo Blues, Ma Rainey, 1925)

I'm going to Louisiana, to get myself a mojo hand
I'm going to Louisiana, to get myself a mojo hand
'Cause these backbiting women are trying to take my man
          (Mojo Hand Blues, Ida Cox, 1927)

I'm going to Louisiana, get me a mojo hand
I'm going to Louisiana, get me a mojo hand
Just to see when my woman got another man
          (Tell Me Woman Blues, Texas Alexander, 1928)

I'm going to Louisiana to get me a hoodoo hand
I'm going to Louisiana to get me a hoodoo hand
Gonna stop you women from messing with my man.
          (Superstitious Blues, Hattie Burleson, c.1928-1930)

Lord, I'm goin' to Louisiana, I'll get me a mojo hand
I say, I'm going to Louisiana, I'll get me a hoodoo hand
I'm gonna stop my woman an' fix her so she can't have another man
          (Two Strings Blues, Little Hat Jones, 1929)

I'm goin to New Orleans to get this toby fixed of mine
I'm goin to New Orleans to get this toby fixed of mine
I am havin' trouble, trouble; I can't keep from cryin'
          (Spider's Nest Blues, Hattie Hart (MJB), 1930)

'Cause i'm going to Lousiana just to get me a mojo hand
And i won't stop trying 'til i get you under my command
          (Anna Lou Blues, Tampa Red, 1940)

I'm going down in New Orleans, hmmmh, get me a mojo hand
I'm going down in New Orleans, get me a mojo hand
I'm gonna show all you good looking women, just how to treat your man
          (Louisiana Blues, Muddy Waters, 1950)

Now, I'm goin' down to Louisiana an' get me a mojo hand
My little woman she done quit me for some other man
          (Hoodoo Man Blues, Junior Wells, 1953)

I'm goin' to Louisiana, and get me a mojo hand
I'm goin' to Louisiana, and get me a mojo hand
I'm gonna fix my woman so she can't have no other man
          (Mojo Hand, Lightning Hopkins, 1960)

FURTHER INFORMATION: The following web pages can be consulted for more details about the topics referenced in this song:
V.1 (all versions) hoodoo (definition)
V.2 (1953) mojo hand


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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