BLUES LYRICS and HOODOO:

SUPPLEMENTARY TRANSCRIPTIONS

from HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
by catherine yronwode




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TITLE: Old Black Cat Blues (Jinx Blues)
MATRIX NO.: C-9653-A
SINGER: (James) Kokomo Arnold
COMPOSER(S): (James) Kokomo Arnold
DATE OF REC.: January 15, 1935 Chicago
ORIGINAL ISSUE(S): Decca 7050
REISSUE(S): Old Original Kokomo Blues (Pea Vine / P-Vine PCD 5727, 1997)
TRANSCRIPTION: Chris Smith
OLD BLACK CAT BLUES (JINX BLUES)
by (James) Kokomo Arnold

I believe that I've got those black cat blues
I believe that I've got those black cat blues
Lord, if I win on Friday, please, Saturday night I'm sure to lose

Yes, these black cat blues, mama, ain't nothin' but a doggone heart disease
Said these black cat blues, mama, ain't nothin' but a doggone heart disease
Said I was broke and disgusted, I didn't have no money for Christmas Eve

Says the black cat blues, mama, don't mean no one man no good
Says the black cat blues, mama, don't mean no one man no good
Said all my friends done forgot me; everybody's down on me in my neighborhood

Lord, some folks say blues is trouble, nothin' but evil runnin' 'cross your mind
Some folks say blues is trouble, nothin' but evil runnin' 'cross your mind
When you get to sittin' down thinkin' 'bout the black gal's treated you so nice and kind

Ah, if the black cat blues was money, I would be rich as Henry Ford
Man, if the black cat blues was money, I would be rich as Henry Ford
Lord, if the black cat blues don't leave me, mama, Lord, I've got to get further down the road
TRANSCRIBED BY: Chris Smith (chris@skerries.demon.co.uk), 1997

DISCOGRAPHY BY: Chris Smith (chris@skerries.demon.co.uk)

COMMENTS by CAT YRONWODE:
There are four symbolisms for the black cat in hoodoo rootowrk:
          First, the bone of a black cat confers invisibilty.
          Second, the bone of a black cat can be used in love spells intended to compel a lover to return.
          Third, a black cat with its tail up is deemed good for gambling luck.
          Fourth, in keeping with European admixtues to hoodoo, a black cat crossing one's path is a sign of impending misfortune.
It is in this last sense that Kokomo Arnold refers to the black cat, which also explains the intention behind the subtitle, for to suffer a
jinx or crossed conditions means to have a run of bad luck.

FURTHER INFORMATION: The following web pages can be consulted for more details about the topics referenced in this song:
Subtitle crossed conditions or jinx
V.1 black cats


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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