Mudcat Café message #3056085 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4280   Message #3056085
Posted By: BrooklynJay
17-Dec-10 - 09:51 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Add: Poor Howard / Green Corn (Leadbelly)
Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Poor Howard/Green Corn (from Leadbelly)
Here are the lyrics and notes to Poor Howard, transcribed from page 53 of Lead Belly - No Stranger To The Blues:

Transcribed from 1940 Library of Congress sessions now available on Lead Belly/Gwine Dig A Hole To Put The Devil In, Rounder CD 1045. Other Lead Belly recordings: Lead Belly/In The Shadow Of The Gallows Pole, Tradition CD 1018, Lead Belly/Bourgeois Blues and Lead Belly Memorial Vols. 3 & 4, Collectables Cds 5183 and 5604 (1939 Musicraft sessions). Additional Library of Congress recordings are included in two monologues on square dances or sooky jumps: Lead Belly/Go Down Old Hannah, Rounder CD 1099 and Lead Belly/The Library of Congress Recordings, Elektra boxed LP set EKL-301/2.

He was the first fiddler after Negroes got freed in slavery times. Po' Howard was a Negro, used to play for 'em at the sooky jumps and the number he played it was "Po' Howard, Po' Boy." ...Because they dance so fast, the music was so fast and the people had to jump, so they always called them sooky jumps...Sooky, well that's a cow - sometimes when you tell it "sooky, sooky, sooky", you know, sookin' the cow away.
                                                Huddie Ledbetter, 1940


Old Howard's poor boy.
Old Howard's dead and gone.
Left me here to sing this song.

Left me here to sing this song. (3)
Who's been here since I've been gone? (2)

Pretty little girl with a red dress on. (2)
Pretty little girl with a red dress on, old Howard's poor boy.
Left me here to shout for joy.
Old Howard's dead and gone.

Left me here to sing this song. (2)
Left me here to sing this song, old Howard's dead and gone.
Old Howard's poor boy, old Howard's poor boy.
Left me here to shout for joy, goodbye Howard, dead and gone.

(additional lyrics from Elektra Library of Congress recording)

Who's been here since I been gone?
Big black man with a derby on,

The day I left my mother's home
The day I left my home
The day I left my father's door
The day I left my home
The day I left my friends (4)