BLUES LYRICS and HOODOO:

SUPPLEMENTARY TRANSCRIPTIONS

from HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
by catherine yronwode




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TITLE: Louisiana Hoo Doo Blues
MATRIX NO.: 2138-1
SINGER: Ma Rainey
COMPOSER(S): Ma Rainey, cop. 1925
DATE OF REC.: May 1925
ORIGINAL ISSUE(S): Paramount 12290
REISSUE(S): VJM 82, Biograph 12001
TRANSCRIPTION:
LOUISIANA HOO DOO BLUES
by Ma Rainey

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.

Down in Algiers where the hoodoos live in their den
Down in Algiers where the hoodoos live in their den
Their chief occupation is separating women from men.

The hoodoo told me to get me a black cat bone
The hoodoo told me to get me a black cat bone
And shake it over their heads, they'll leave your man alone.

Twenty years in the bottom, that ain't long to stay
Twenty years in the bottom, that ain't long to stay
If I can keep these tush-hog women from taking my man away.

So I'm bound for New Orleans, down in goofer dust land
So I'm bound for New Orleans, down in goofer dust land
Down where the hoodoo folks can fix it for you with your man.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Sandra Lieb. // From: Lieb, Sandra: Mother of the Blues : A Study of Ma Rainey, University of Massachusetts Press, 1981, p. 111

PRINTED TRANSCRIPTIONS: V. 1, 3: Paul Garon. // In: Garon, Paul: Blues & the Poetic Spirit (Eddison, 1975), p. 167

DIFFERENCES:
V. 1:2: To try to stop ...
V. 3:2: And, "Shake it over their head, they'll ..."

LITERATURE: Lieb, Sandra: Mother of the Blues : A Study of Ma Rainey, University of Massachusetts Press, 1981, pp. 111-112

DISCOGRAPHY BY: Gorgen Antonsson (antonsson.se@mbox304.swipnet.se), 13 Sep 1997

RELATED RECORDINGS:
V. 2: Papa Charlie Jackson "The Cats Got the Measles" (c. Jan 1925)

COMMENTS BY GORGEN ANTONSSEN: Composers credit according to: Lieb, Sandra: Mother of the Blues : A Study of Ma Rainey, University of Massachusetts Press, 1981, p. 194

COMMENTS BY CAT YRONWODE: Some folks probably need to be told who the "tush-hog women" in V. 4 are: A tush-hog is a wild or feral pig with long tusks or "tushes." The symbolism of a bo' hog (boar hog) rootin' up the ground with his tushes is often encountered in blues lyrics, where it signifies a man who is having an affair with one's lover or wife. There is a root called Lovage Root used in hoodoo love spells that in the South goes by the name of Bo' Hog Root, due to the bo' hog's reputation for sexual aggression. Likewise, the singer Armentier Chatmon, who specialized in sexually suggestive songs, took the name Bo Carter to express his boar-like virility. Thus the term "tush-hog women" is a slur -- it refers to women who are so sexually agressive that they are acting "mannish."

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 hoodoo hand (mojo bag)
V.1 hoodoos (practitioners)
V.3 black cat bone (for return of a lover)
V.5 goofer dust


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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