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Lyr Add: songs by Uncle Dave Macon

DigiTrad:
ALL IN AND DOWN AND OUT BLUES
THE GAL THAT GOT STUCK


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Whoa Mule (Uncle Dave Macon) (8)
Lyr Add: Worthy of Estimation (Uncle Dave Macon) (3)
Lyr Add: Country Ham and Red Gravy (Dave Macon) (4)
Lyr Req: Morning Blues / Mourning Blues (10)
Lyr Add: I Don't Reckon It'll Happen Again (16)
Lyr Req: Walk, Tom Wilson, Walk (Uncle Dave Macon) (8)
Lyr Req: Old Ties (Uncle Dave Macon) (7)
Lyr Req: Got No Silver nor Gold Blues (7)
Lyr Req: Don't Get Weary (Uncle Dave Macon) (15)
Lyr Req: Good Old Summertime (Uncle Dave Macon) (17)
Lyr Req: Wish I Had Stayed In The Wagon Yard (4)
Uncle Dave Macon (17)
Lyr Req: Hill Billie Blues (Uncle Dave Macon) (4)
Lyr Req: Over the Mountain (Uncle Dave Macon) (11)
Lyr Req: Rise When the Rooster Crows (Dave Macon) (14)
Review: rare video Uncle Dave Macon (36)
Lyr Req: Hold the Woodpile Down (Uncle Dave Macon) (12)
Uncle Dave Macon's Birthday (7 Oct 1870) (5)
When are the Uncle Dave Macon days? (3)
Lyr Req: Kissin' on the Sly (Uncle Dave Macon) (7)
Lyr Req: Oh, Lovin' Babe (Uncle Dave Macon) (6)
Uncle Dave Macon Video? (9)
ADD: We're Up against It Now (Uncle Dave Macon?) (6)
Lyr Req: When the Train Comes Along (Dave Macon) (5)
Chords Req: Nashville (Uncle Dave Macon) (7)
Lyr Req: Take Me Home Poor Julia (Uncle Dave Macon (5)
Lyr Req: Take Me Home Poor Julia (Uncle Dave Macon (2)
Lyr Req: Little Cat (Uncle Dave Macon) (4)
Lyr Req: Country Ham and Red Gravy (Dave Macon) (2)
Lyr Req: I've Got the Mourning Blues (Dave Macon) (7)
Lyr Req: Sweet Marie (Uncle Dave Macon?) (2)


Geoff the Duck 19 Feb 01 - 06:43 AM
Pinetop Slim 19 Feb 01 - 10:03 AM
Geoff the Duck 19 Feb 01 - 06:55 PM
Dale Rose 19 Feb 01 - 08:04 PM
Geoff the Duck 20 Feb 01 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Mark Ross 22 Feb 01 - 12:51 AM
Arkie 23 Feb 01 - 12:26 AM
Abby Sale 23 Feb 01 - 05:45 PM
Abby Sale 23 Feb 01 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,Gene 23 Feb 01 - 08:41 PM
GUEST,GtD at Alt Amiga show Huddersfield England 24 Feb 01 - 09:59 AM
Gern 24 Feb 01 - 10:05 AM
Stewie 26 Feb 01 - 09:02 PM
Stewie 26 Feb 01 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,fox4zero 27 Feb 01 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,fox4zero 27 Feb 01 - 11:31 AM
Stewie 04 Mar 01 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 04 Mar 01 - 04:32 AM
Stewie 04 Mar 01 - 06:21 PM
Stewie 04 Mar 01 - 08:44 PM
Stewie 05 Mar 01 - 06:37 PM
Stewie 05 Mar 01 - 07:13 PM
BanjoRay 06 Mar 01 - 04:22 PM
Stewie 07 Mar 01 - 07:21 PM
Stewie 08 Mar 01 - 11:08 PM
Stewie 11 Mar 01 - 08:12 PM
Stewie 12 Mar 01 - 09:49 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 13 Mar 01 - 12:18 AM
Stewie 13 Mar 01 - 06:59 PM
Stewie 13 Mar 01 - 07:02 PM
Geoff the Duck 14 Mar 01 - 11:42 AM
Geoff the Duck 14 Mar 01 - 11:43 AM
Stewie 14 Mar 01 - 09:13 PM
Stewie 17 Mar 01 - 01:10 AM
Stewie 17 Mar 01 - 01:19 AM
Stewie 18 Mar 01 - 01:56 AM
Wendy_ 19 Mar 01 - 02:24 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 03 Apr 01 - 06:00 PM
Stewie 04 Apr 01 - 09:06 PM
Paul B 29 May 01 - 04:11 PM
Stewie 29 May 01 - 08:50 PM
GUEST,Denise :^) 09 Jul 01 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Denise:^) 09 Jul 01 - 01:46 PM
Geoff the Duck 06 Sep 01 - 08:50 PM
Stewie 14 Nov 01 - 09:10 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 14 Nov 01 - 11:21 PM
Sir Roger de Beverley 15 Nov 01 - 04:00 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 15 Nov 01 - 04:25 AM
Lin in Kansas 15 Nov 01 - 11:58 AM
Stewie 15 Nov 01 - 05:47 PM
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Subject: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 06:43 AM

I've just been to a festival at Gainsborough (Lincolnshire, UK) organised by the "Friends of American Old Time Music and Dance" (FOAOTMAD). Performing were Jim Costa and Jim Lloyd, who recreate performances of songs by Uncle Dave Macon and Sam McGee from around the 1930's/40's.
Watching them reminded me that years back I found a copy of the LP Laugh your blues away, and intended to learn some of the songs from it. My problem was that I could only decipher half of the lyrics (a combination of old recordings and muffled american accents).
Do any of you know if any of Uncle Dave's songs have been put into print, either on paper or on the web?
Two from the LP which I partially transcribed were "Go on, Nora Lee" and "Come on buddie, don't you want to go". Can anyone supply me with a set of words for either?
Many thanks in advance, Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 10:03 AM

Bet you'd find Waterbound on the DT, maybe others. Deer Chase is in Lomax's Folk Songs of North America.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 06:55 PM

I tried the digitrad for the two particular sets of lyrics which I am after, but could not locate anything resembling them. That's why I am looking for help from mudcatters. Are there any Dixie Dewdrop fans out there?
Quack
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Dale Rose
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 08:04 PM

We're here, Geoff, it's just that sometimes it takes a while. I am sure that somewhere over in the corner, several are hard at work, madly transcribing their favorite Uncle Dave songs.

I know you said you searched the Digitrad, but to see what others have written about him and his songs over the years, have you entered DAVE MACON in the Digitrad and Forum Search box? Many good leads there.

Here are a couple more. Check out the thread Lyr Add: Wait Till The Clouds Roll By As a bonus, there is a link to the Real Audio of the song by Uncle Dave, and a clip of same by Cathy Barton and Dave Para. I certainly hope people are clicking on it, because it is a really great song!

You can find the sheet music for Peek-A-Boo at The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music, written by William J. Scanlan in 1883 and one of my favorite Uncle Dave songs. Friends of mine perform it, but as an instrumental, Peek-A-Boo Waltz.

Now excuse me, while I go over there into the corner and get back to work.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 05:46 AM

Thanks Dale, I'll check them out.
Quack!
GtD


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: GUEST,Mark Ross
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 12:51 AM

Some of Uncle Dave's songs can be found in THE OLD TIME SONG BOOK(formerly known as the NEW LOST CITY RAMBLERS SONGBOOK.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Arkie
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 12:26 AM

Two performers whose performances are reminiscent of Dave Macon are Doc Wilhite of Kentucky and Leroy Troy, the Tennessee Slicker. Doc does a lot of Uncle Dave's songs and stories. Leroy does not do many of the Dave Macon songs but is a joy to watch as well as hear. He twirls and flings the banjo about as he plays and is certainly an entertainer in the Macon Style. As for songs, one of my favorites which is seldom heard these days is "The Wreck of the Tennessee Gravy Train". The chorus goes "If we were ever up against it, we're up against it now."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Abby Sale
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 05:45 PM

Uncle Dave Macon's Lyrics Page (Clicky)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Abby Sale
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 06:23 PM

Well, it just shows to go that life is a mysterious and transatory and uncontrolled thing - and that I need to update my links every 10 to 13 years... that lyrics page I type in has been kidnapped and ain't there. I just don't know where it is at all. I did find a pretty good old timey page at http://www.folkcircle.com/ though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 08:41 PM

* CLICK TO: UNCLE DAVE MACON CD/NFO *


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: GUEST,GtD at Alt Amiga show Huddersfield England
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 09:59 AM

It's not so much geting the recordings of the songs as being unable to quite understand the singing that I have a problem with. That is why I am after something as text - I can usually read that - although when I spent five years editing a local magazine some of the regular contributers put that ability severely to the test.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Gern
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 10:05 AM

Abby, your link didn't work (for me, at least,) and I'd really like to find some lyrics. Uncle Dave is notoriously hard to figure out. Let me second the two names mentioned earlier. Doc Wilhite is a dentist from Calhoun, KY, who dresses up like Uncle Dave (with "chin whiskers and gates-ajar collar") and plays songs like "Poor Sinner Fare Thee Well" and "Chewing Gum." Leroy Troy is great! Authentic nostalgia on banjo and vocals. He was a Hee-Haw regular and performer on the 'General Jackson,' and won the big Heritage Award last year at Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro, TN (where both Leroy and Doc can be heard each July.) Leroy's Uncle Dave songlist includes "Bully of the Town," "On the Dixie Bee Line," "Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy" and others. I've been more successful at pilfering Uncle Dave's lyrics from covers by other artists: Grandpa Jones' "Way Down the Old Plank Road," Stringbean's "I'm the Man Who Rode the Mule Around the World" and the Hotmud Family's "When the Train Comes Along."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: Stewie
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 09:02 PM

I have posted a few Uncle Dave lyrics to the forum. Since there is nothing offering elsewhere on the web, perhaps we could use this thread to post lyrics to Uncle Dave's songs. It seem Gern's got a few to begin with.

Here's links to what I can find in the DT and Forum already.

In the DT:

Rock About My Saro Jane

All In and Down and Out Blues

The Gal That Got Stuck

Sail Away Ladies

Old Plank Road

Chicken This is a composite version.

In the Forum:

Wait Till the Clouds Roll By

Hold the Woodpile Down

Oh Lovin' Babe

Take Me Home, Poor Julia The river name need to be corrected to 'old Peedee'.

Don't Get Weary Partial transcription only - gaps to be filled.

County Ham and Red Gravy

I've Got the Morning Blues Line breaks need to be inserted.

Death of John Henry

We're Up Against It Now


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Subject: Lyr Add: GRAY CAT ON THE TENNESSEE FARM (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 09:08 PM

Here's one to start the ball rolling. Any other takers?

GRAY CAT ON THE TENNESSEE FARM
(Uncle Dave Macon)

Jes' look to the man who can if he will;
Prosper in the valley of the Tennessee hills.

Chorus:
Oh the gray cat spit in the little kitten's eye,
Little cat, little cat don't you cry.
Do love liquor and-a we'll take a dram
I'm gonna tell you, pretty Polly Ann.

Cattle in the pasture, hogs in the pen
Sheep on the ranch
And-a wheat in the bin.

Chorus
Corn in the crib, and porter in the yard
Meat in the smokehouse
And a big can o' lard.

Chorus

Fruit in the cellar, and cheese on the board
A big sack o' coffee
And-a sugar in the gourd.

Chorus

Horses in his stable and money in his pocket
A baby in the cradle
And a pretty woman to rock it.

Chorus

Oh the gray cat spit in the little kitten's eye,
Little cat, little cat don't you cry

Source: Reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD 3505. Recorded 9 May 1927.
PS.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: GUEST,fox4zero
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 04:08 AM

Check out the Tennessee Folklore Society, Middle TN State College,Murfreesboro, TN. A few years ago I bought a VINTAGE Uncle Dave Macon songbook (small pamphlet size) for 35c. It was published and sold by him.I know it had Weevly Wheat and perhaps a dozen others. If it is no longer available, I will fax copies to those who request same. Larry Parish


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dave Macon songs
From: GUEST,fox4zero
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 11:31 AM

Correction to my previous message (what do you expect at 4 AM, perfection?) The booklet is entitled "Songs and Stories of Uncle Dave Macon" and the cost is $2. Membership in the TFS is $15 and worth every penny of it. There is NO S&H charge. Tennessee Forlklore Society MTSU-English Dept Box #70 Murfreesboro TN 37131


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Subject: Lyr Add: GO LONG MULE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 02:20 AM

GO LONG MULE

I've got a mule, he's such a fool
He never pays no heed
I built a fire right under him
And then I made some speed

Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies

Oh Jerry Aches and Dottie Pain
Got married on the train
And now they'll say that Georgy woods
Is full of Aches and Pains

Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies
He, he, hehe, ha, ha haha etc

I drove right down to the graveyard once
For to see those pals of mine
But when that black man crossed my path
I sure, lord, changed my mind

Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies

I bought some biscuits for my dog
And I laid them on the shelf
I slept so hard, I shot the dog
And ate that bread myself

Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies
He, he, hehe …

A man way down in Georgy
Pulled his gun on me
But when he fired that second shot
I passed through Tennessee

Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD –3505. Recorded on 9 May 1927.

This song was from the minstrel tradition. It was first recorded by Ukulele Bob Williams, a black songster, for Paramount in November 1924. Howard Odum reported that it was 'sung with remarkable effect at the Dayton, Tennessee, Scopes trial, with hundreds of whites and Negroes standing around the quartette of Negroes who came for the occasion'. John Thomas Scopes was a biology teacher who had defied the state law prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution. He was tried and found guilty. Ukelele Bob's version was recorded a year before the Scopes trial. His first stanza and chorus coincides with Uncle Dave's except that he sang in the chorus: 'You can't change a fool for a doggone mule/Is a mule until he dies'. Ukelele Bob also had the 'biscuits for the dog' stanza and the following:

My mule refuse to work for me
I know the reason for that
He found out that I was a Re-publican
And he's a Demo-crat
Oh go 'long mule …

The song permitted the easy addition of new verses. Odum collected one referring to a KKK gathering:

They're gonna hold a meeting there
Of some society
There's 'leven sheets upon the line
That's ten too much for me

Uncle Dave could well have picked up the song at medicine or minstrel shows. [Above information from Paul Oliver 'Songsters & Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records' Cambridge Uni Press, 1984, pp 104-105]
PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NASHVILLE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 04:32 AM

Good thread. Art Thieme has a Uncle Dave Song called "Nashville" on his "The Older I get the Better I Was" CD. I am surprised that this is not in the DT. I wouldn't mind having the chords for it.

The lyrics are:

NASHVILLE
(Uncle Dave Macon)

Oh, the roosters they lay eggs in Nashville,
yes the roosters they lay eggs in Nashville.
The roosters they lay eggs, they're as big as old beer kegs,
they have whiskers on their legs
in Nashville

They chew tobacco thin in Nashville,
yes they chew tobacco thin in Nashville
They chew tobacco thin and it dribbles down their chin,
and they lick it back again
in Nashville.

Oh potatoes they grow small in Nashville,
yes, potatoes.....
The potatoes they grow small and they pick them in the fall
and they eat them coats and all
in Nashville

The women dress knee high in Nashville,
yes,....
The women dress knee high,
and as they go walking by
they make the old men cry
in Nashville

Herbert Hoover was elected in Nashville,
yes,...
Herbert Hoover was elected and Al Smith he was rejected
but he is highly respected
in Nashville.

If you want to get a drink in Nashville
yes.....
If you want to get a drink, give the Democrats a wink
You'll get it quicker than you think
in Nashville.

It is a great song and Art does a good job of it with his own banjo accompanyment.

Murray


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER (Lowry)
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 06:21 PM

Uncle Dave did a fine rendition of Robert Lowry's hymn 'Shall We Gather at the River' with his Fruit Jar Drinkers. They recorded it, and another 15 sides, in New York as the Dixie Sacred Singers. There's a version of 'Shall We Gather' in the DT, but it is somewhat truncated:

DT version

With a few minor changes, Uncle Dave's is closest to the lyrics given in the Pentecostal Online hymnal:

Pentecostal hymnal version

The Cyber Hymnal has a fifth stanza that neither the Pentecostal hymnal nor Uncle Dave use:

Cyber Hymnal version

Uncle Dave's version is as follows:

SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER
(Rev Robert Lowry)

Shall we gather at the river
Where bright angels feet have trod
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing from the throne of God?

Chorus:
Oh, yes, we'll gather at the river
The beautiful, the beautiful river
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows from the throne of God.

On the margin of the river
Washing up its silver spray
We shall walk and worship ever
All the happy golden day.

Chorus

Ere we reach the shining river
Lay we every burden down
Grace our spirits will deliver
And provide a robe and crown.

Chorus

Soon we'll reach the shining river
Then our pilgrimage will cease
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace

Chorus

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'The Country Music Hall of Fame Series' MCA MCAD-10546. Recorded on 10 May 1927 (Vocalion 5162) in New York City.
PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE'S GOT THE MONEY TOO (Lockwood/Wild)
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 08:44 PM

SHE'S GOT THE MONEY TOO
(C.T. Lockwood/J. Wild)

I am just as fond of beauty as anyone can be
The rosy cheeks and pearly teeth I dearly love to see
I know one that has them except me and you
Oh she is the sweetest girlie, and she's got the money too

Chorus:
Now won't I love my honey
(Lord, yes)
And won't I spend her money
(It is a sin (?))
I am as happy as a flower
That sips the falling dew
For I know a little girlie
And she's got the money too

She takes me out a-riding whenever I come down
She owns the finest Cadillac and Buick in the town
She tells me that she loves me, oh listen wouldn't you
Oh she is the sweetest girlie, and she's got the money too

Chorus

I asked her the question, if she would be my bride
She said, You are the sweetest boy that ever lived or died
I told her that I meant it, she said she did too
Oh she is the sweetest girlie, and she's got the money too

Chorus

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Travelin' Down the Road' County CCSCD-115. Recorded on 24 January 1938.
PS.

Uncle Dave garnered his material from a variety of sources. This is a vaudeville song from his youth (it comes from 1869). Charles Wolfe in his notes to the above CD attributes the words to C.T. Lockwood and the music to Johnny Wild. The original was 'And he's got the money too'. The Levy collection attributes both words and music to Lockwood. The direct link to the song at Levy wouldn't work, so you need to put 'And he's got the money too' in the search box at the Levy site: http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/index.html

The American memory collection attributes it to Lockwood/Wild:

American memory

Whatever, as well as changing the sex of the protagonist, Macon and/or the folk process have expanded on the original considerably.

There's a version in the Hunter collection from Mrs Virginia Morris of Springfield, Missouri.

Hunter collection


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD TIES (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 06:37 PM

OLD TIES

Fare thee well old ties now we're over
I had loved thee for many a year
May the waters of time deeply cover
All our feelings that once was so dear

Chorus:
Vain, vain are the vows we have plighted
I would that we'd never had met
Love's a flower that blooms to be blighted
And the star of hope arose but to set

Do not think of me then too unkindly
Nor cherish one ill thought for me
I had loved thee, but loved thee too blindly
And now through my blindness I see

Chorus

Aye forever you give to another
All the charms that were once fondly mine
Will you think of me then as a brother
And as a sister, the love shall be thine

Chorus

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD-3505.

This sounds like a late 19th century tearjerker, but I have been unable to find anything at any of the sheet music sites. Uncle Dave's performance is simply delightful.
PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHOOP 'EM UP CINDY (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 07:13 PM

WHOOP 'EM UP CINDY

Went upon the mountain top, give my horn a blow
Thought I heard Cindy say 'yonder comes my beau'

Chorus:
Whoop 'em up Cindy, lord, lord
I love Cindy, lord, lord
Whoop 'em up Cindy, lord, lord
Gone forever more

Went up to the mountain top, cut my sugar cane
Every time I cut a stalk, thought about Cindy Jane

Chorus

Cindy she's a rattlin' girl, Cindy she's a rose
How I love Cindy girl, God almighty knows

Chorus

I got a girl in Baltimore, got one in Savanah
One in Baltimore named Lise, other little girl's named Hannah

Chorus

Higher up the mountain top, greener grow the cherries
Sooner the boys court the girls, sooner they get married

Chorus

Cindy in the summertime, Cindy in the fall
If I can't have Cindy all the time, don't want her at all

Source: New Lost City Ramblers 'Volume II' Folkways LP FA2397. Uncle Dave Macon 'Whoop 'Em Up Cindy' Vocalion 15323.
PS.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: BanjoRay
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 04:22 PM

What a great thread this is - I've been after these lyrics for eons - lets have more, Stewie....please!

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: Lyr Add: WRECK OF THE TENNESSEE GRAVY TRAIN (Macon
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 07:21 PM

WRECK OF THE TENNESSEE GRAVY TRAIN
(Uncle Dave Macon)
The people of Tennessee want to know who wrecked our gravy train
The one we thought was run so well and now who can we blame
They want to know who greased the track and started it down the road
This same ol' train contained our money to build our highway roads

Chorus:
But now we're up against it and no use to raise a row
But of all the times I've ever seen, we're sure up against it now
The only thing that we can do is to do the best we can
Follow me, good people, I'm bound for the promised land

Now, I could be a banker without the least excuse
But look at the treasurer of Tennessee and tell me what's the use
We lately bonded Tennessee for just five million bucks
The bonds were issued and the money tied up and now we're in tough luck

Chorus

Some lay it all on parties, some lay it on others you see
But now that you can plainly see what happened to Tennessee
For the engineer pulled the throttle, conductor rang the bell
The brakeman hollered 'all aboard' and the banks all went to hell

Source: transcription of reissue on Various Artists 'Hard Times Come Again No More Vol 2' Yazoo CD 2037. The original recording (17 December 1930?) was released as Okeh 45507. In this performance, Uncle Dave was accompanied by Sam McGee on banjo-guitar.

Uncle Dave was very fond of topical songs and wrote many more than he actually recorded. This one related to a state scandal of the embezzlement of highway funds. The first 2 lines of the chorus had been used by him in an earlier topical song 'We're Up Against It Now' (Vocalion 15447, recorded 8 September 1926) – see link earlier in this thread to lyrics in forum. The chorus therein was:

We're up against it now
There's no use to raise a row
But of all the times I've ever seen
We're sure up against it now

In his notes to 'Rich Man Poor Man: American Country Songs of Protest' (Rounder 1026), Mark Wilson suggested that the lyrical similarity of the choruses indicates Macon may have 'based both on some antecedent bit of minstrelsy'.
PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN THE TRAIN COMES ALONG (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 11:08 PM

WHEN THE TRAIN COMES ALONG

Some comes walkin' and some comes lame
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along
Some comes walkin' in my Jesus' name
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along

Chorus:
Oh, when the train comes along
Oh, when the train comes along
Oh lord, I'll meet you at the station
When the train comes along

Sins of years are washed away
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along
Darkest hour is changed to day
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along

Chorus

Doubts and fears are borne along
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along
Sorrow changes into song
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along

Chorus

Ease and wealth become as dross
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along
All my boast is in the cross
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along

Chorus

Selfishness is lost in love
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along
All my treasures are above
Gonna meet you at the station when the train comes along

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'The Country Music Hall of Fame Series' MCA MCAD-10546. Original recording released on Champion 16805, Champion 45105 and Decca 5373. Recorded in Richmond, Indiana, on 14 August 1934. Uncle Dave Macon, vocal and banjo, was accompanied by Kirk McGee on banjo and Sam McGee on guitar. One or both of the McGees sang in the choruses.

Uncle Dave Macon's rendition of this song is the only evidence of its existence in white tradition. In his notes to the above cited CD on MCA, Charlie Seemann of the Country Music Foundation stated that this was a McGee Brothers (Sam and Kirk) composition. The McGees may have been responsible for some of the lines in this variant, but the concept and refrain were well-known in the black tradition. In his 'Long Steel Rail', Norm Cohen quoted from John W. Work's 'American Negro Songs and Spirituals' [New York, Bonanza Books, 1940, p94] the usual version that consisted of one chorus and two verses:

I may be blind an' cannot see
But I'll meet you at the station when the train comes along

I may be lame an' cannot walk
But I'll meet you at the station when the train comes along

When the train comes along, when the train comes along
I'll meet you at the station when the train comes along

Norm Cohen commented that he had been unable to find anything in print relating to the origins of variants of the song, and no traces before 1925. The first recording was made in September 1926 by Odette and Ethel [Odette Jackson and Ethel Grainger] who accompanied Rev J. C. Burnette on many of his recordings. The black Texan songster, Henry Thomas, recorded the song in October 1927. Thomas' repertoire shared several pieces with Uncle Dave's - 'Arkansas', 'The Fox and the Hounds', 'Jonah in the Wilderness', 'Shanty Blues' and 'When the Train Comes Along'. However, as Tony Russell pointed out in his 'Blacks, Whites and Blues' [Studio Vista, 1970, p47], the songs concerned were 'so old that Thomas need not have learned them from, nor even heard, Macon's interpretations'. In this instance, Uncle Dave recorded after Thomas. It is, however, an interesting example of common stock in the black and white traditions.

For the purposes of comparison, I post Henry Thomas' version:

WHEN THE TRAIN COMES ALONG

When the train come along, when the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

I may be blind, I cannot see
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

The train come along, the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

I marched on the shore, I cannot see
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

When the train come along, the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

I'm going to the Son and thank him in my heart
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

When the train come along, the train come along
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

I may be blind, I cannot see
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

The train come along, the train come along
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

When my mother wanted me, I prayed for religion
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

Well, the train come along, well, the train come along
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

I may be blind, I cannot see
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

The train come along, the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

I'm praying in my heart, I'm crying out my eyes
Jesus died for my sins

I will meet you at the station, I will meet you in the morn
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

When the train come along, the train come along
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

I may be blind, I cannot see
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

The train come along, the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

I'm praying in my heart, I'm praying for my soul
I will meet you at the station when the train come along

The train come along, the train come along
I'll meet you at the station when the train come along

Source: transcription from reissue on Henry Thomas 'Texas Worried Blues: Complete Recorded Works 1927-1929' Yazoo CD 1080/1. Original recording issued as Vocalion 1140. Recorded in Chicago on 7 October 1927.

PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOVERNOR AL SMITH (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 08:12 PM

GOVERNOR AL SMITH

(Spoken) Getting' right now

Al Smith nominated for president, darlin'
Al Smith nominated for president, darlin'
Al Smith nominated for president
My vote to him I'm a-gonna present, darlin'

Al Smith is a mighty fine man, darlin'
Al Smith is a mighty fine man, darlin'
Al Smith is a mighty fine man
He wants to be president of our land, darlin'

(Spoken) Hot dog! In Chicago, just from Tennessee and here's what the people say:

Al Smith is a-getting on a boom, darlin'
Al Smith is a-getting on a boom, darlin'
Al Smith is a-getting on a boom
He don't favour the open saloon, darlin'

Smith wants everything to be just right, darlin'
Smith wants everything to be just right, darlin'
Smith wants everything to be just right
The law's gonna get you if you get tight, darlin'

I think I'll buy me a little camphor gum, my darlin'
I think I'll buy me a little camphor gum, my darlin'
I think I'll buy me a little camphor gum
For then I think I can buy a little rum, my darlin'

Moonshine's been here long enough, darlin'
Moonshine's been here long enough,, darlin'
Moonshine's been here long enough
Let's all vote right and get rid of such, darlin'

Many a good man's been poisoned to death, darlin'
Many a good man's been poisoned to death, darlin'
Many a good man's been poisoned to death
And with a real drink was never blessed, darlin'

Four dollar bills and a bottle of beer, darlin'
Four dollar bills and a bottle of beer, darlin'
Four dollar bills and a bottle of beer
I wish to the lord my honey was here, darlin'

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'The Country Music Hall of Fame Series' MCA MCAD-10546. Original issue Brunswick 263, recorded in Chicago, Ill, 26 July 1928.

This is another example of Uncle Dave's forays into social commentary. It was written during the 1928 presidential campaign when the Governor of New York, Al Smith, ran on the Democatic ticket against Herbert Hoover. Macon's support seems a little odd given that Smith was a Northerner and a catholic whose core constituency was immigrants groups in the larger cities. However, Smith was opposed to Prohibition and, by this stage, many country people were beginning to believe that Prohibition was doing more harm than good because of poor drink and general disregard for the law. Although he was a genuinely moral and religious man, Uncle Dave didn't mind a drop or two. As Charles Wolfe put it, there was a duality to Uncle Dave (and to many country singers), 'a curious combination of traditional morality (what man should be) and life-embracing gusto (what man is)'. [Quote from Charles Wolfe in 'Stars of Country Music' Ed Bill C. Malone and Judith McCulloh, Urbana, Uni of Illinois Press, 1975, p59].

PS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WALKING IN SUNLIGHT (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 12 Mar 01 - 09:49 PM

WALKING IN SUNLIGHT
(H.J. Zelley/G.H. Cook)
(Spoken) Now, folks, when it comes to the scientifical parts of music, I know nothing about it, but I can play. And thank God a man who can't read the bible can pray. Listen, a man comes into this life naked and bare, he goes through life with troubles and cares, he departs this life and goes we don't know where, but he'll be all right there if he lives all right here.

Walking in sunlight all of my journey
Over the mountains, through the deep vale
Jesus has said 'I'll never forsake thee'
Promise divine that never can fail

Chorus:
Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight
Flooding my soul with glory divine
Hallelujah, I am rejoicing
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine

Shadows around me, shadows above me
Never conceal my saviour and guide
He is the light, in Him there's no darkness
Ever I'm walking close to his side

Chorus

Source: transcription of reissue of Uncle Dave Macon and His Fruit Jar Singers 'Walking in Sunlight' on Various Artists 'How Can I Keep From Singing: Early American Religious Music and Song' Vol 1' Yazoo CD 2020.

The Cyber Hymnal site indicates the words to this hymn were written by Henry Jeffreys Zelley and the music by George Harrison Cook. It was published in 1899 in 'Gospel Praise' by William Kirkpatrick and Henry Gilmour. The inspiration for the hymn is from 1 John 1:5 'God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all'. The original has an additional stanza:

In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing
Passing my way to mansions above
Singing His praises, gladly I'm walking
Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love

PS.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 13 Mar 01 - 12:18 AM

You think you Brits have trouble understanding Uncle Dave? So Do Yankees. Just in case you are not aware of osit, "Yankees" only live in the 5 New England states. Rhode Island, which formally declared it's independence on MAY, 4Th 1776, (two months before the rest)Massachusetts,Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. We don't object when Britons call all Americans, "Yanks", it's kind of a compliment, but, When Southern Americans refer to ALL Norherners as, "Yankees" we resent the Hell out of it, because they usually dont use it as a compliment and almost always add the prefix "Damned". Dasve Macon definitely did not have a yankee accent. Britts should have no trouble with with a Yankee accent, sounds a lot like a combination of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. At least that's what their accents sounded like to me when I was stationed in England in the USAF. Leadbelly was just as hard to understand, except that I knew him when I was a Kid living in New York City in 1946 &47. I learned a lot of Leadbelly's songs right from the horses mouth, and did a lot of "Huh"?, "What was that"? (whuch you can't do with a recording) I remember that he was very patient with "chillun" and liked to perform for them and having them around. He even would change the words to some songs, (on the spot) rather than give them any bad advice. I'll give you one example. He was singing for a bunch of school kids and sang the last line of the last verse of "Irene" to "I'll run away and hide" instead of "I'll take morphine and die". While we're still on the subject, in spite of the TV movie about Leadbelly's life, he did not pronounce his name "Hew-dee", his name was Hudson Ledbetter, and he pronounced it "Huh-dy".

Love and kisses


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Mar 01 - 06:59 PM

Hi CY, it's very difficult for us in Oz as well. However, it is not only his accent, but also his mumblings and poor enunciation at times. Mostly, he is reasonably easy to understand, but there are passages where he is impossible. If you note errors and mishearings in the transcriptions that I am posting, I would very much appreciate your drawing them to attention.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'LL KEEP MY SKILLET GOOD AND GREASY
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Mar 01 - 07:02 PM

I'LL KEEP MY SKILLET GOOD AND GREASY

I'se gwine down town for to buy me a sack of flour
Gwine cook it every hour
Keep my skillet good and greasy all the time, time, time
Keep my skillet good and greasy all the time

I'se chickens in my sack, bloodhounds on my track
I'm pullin' for my shanty home, home, home
I'm pullin' for my shanty home

If they beat me to the door, I'll put 'em under the floor
Keep my skillet good and greasy all the time, time, time
Keep my skillet good and greasy all the time

I'se a-walking down the street and I stoled a ham of meat
Got my skillet good and greasy all the time, time, time
Got my skillet good and greasy all the time

I'se gwine to the hills for to buy me a jug of brandy
Gwine give it all to Mandy
Keep her good and drunk and boozy all the time, time, time
Keep her good and drunk and boozy all the time

Honey, if you say so, I'll never work-a no more
I'll lay round your shanty all the time, time, time
I'll lay round your shanty all the time

There's a man on the log, finger on the trigger and eye on the hog
Gun it went blip and the bullet it went zip
Fell on the hog with all of his grip
Got my skillet good and greasy all the time, time, time
Got my skillet good and greasy all the time

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Travelin' Down the Road' County CCS-CD-115. Original recording 22 January 1935.

Uncle Dave first recorded this song acoustically in 1924 and it was his first 'hit'. It continued to be a favourite so it was redone in better sound in 1935. According to Charles Wolfe, Sid Harkreader always said Uncle Dave got it from 'an old coloured man' who worked at the Readyville mill near where Macon worked.

The song was part of that 'common stock' of banjo and fiddle tunes and songs in the black and white traditions – pieces that drew on a huge collection of couplets and quatrains that were nearly all interchangeable from one to another. The 'gwines' and 'I'ses' link it to the minstrel era and the last verse here betrays its connection to the large 'Some people say a nigger/preacher can't steal' / 'Mourner, You Shall Be Free' family. In Uncle Dave's version, it's 'a man' on the log. In his wonderful 'Screening the Blues: Aspects of Blues Tradition' [New York, Da Capo Press, 1968], Paul Oliver traces the history of 'Mourner' from the minstrel days where it was 'a nigger' on the log, through to 'the preacher' taking his place as a figure of derision. Frank Stokes, a medicine show performer from Memphis, recorded in his version of 'Mourner', the title of which was abbreviated to 'You Shall':

Well you see that preacher laid behind the log
Hand on the trigger, got his eye on the hog
The hog says (grunt), the gun says 'zip',
Jump on the hog with all his grip
He had pork chops, yeah,
And backbone, and spareribs, yeah,
Now when the good lord sets me free
[Transcription from Frank Stokes 'You Shall', reissued on Frank Stokes 'Creator of the Memphis Blues' Yazoo CD 1056. Original recording August 1927, Paramount 12518].

Oliver suggest (op cit p58) that the target in Stokes' song was changed possibly because Paramount was 'alive to the sensibilities' of his listeners', but when Howard Odum collected the song [Howard W. Odum 'Folk-Song and Folk-Poetry as Found in the Secular Songs of the Southern Negroes', Journal of American Folklore, vol 24, no 94, 1911], the words still ran:

Great big nigger, settin' on a log
One eye on the trigger, one eye on the log

PS.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 11:42 AM

When I started this thread / question, I hoped for some response. At first it was sparse, and I thought I was going to be disappointed. I still haven't got words for the two songs which originally sparked off my enquiry, but I would like to thank Stewie for his almost single handed determination to get Uncle Dave's lyrics down for us all to use.
I've currently mislaid my partial transcriptions, but they were mostly holes and question marks anyway. If I can locate the folder with them in I will post them (with missing lines) so that others might be able to provide guesses and opinions about what he sang.
Keep up the good work !!!
Quack!!!!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 11:43 AM

When I started this thread / question, I hoped for some response. At first it was sparse, and I thought I was going to be disappointed. I still haven't got words for the two songs which originally sparked off my enquiry, but I would like to thank Stewie for his almost single handed determination to get Uncle Dave's lyrics down for us all to use.
I've currently mislaid my partial transcriptions, but they were mostly holes and question marks anyway. If I can locate the folder with them in I will post them (with missing lines) so that others might be able to provide guesses and opinions about what he sang.
Keep up the good work !!!
Quack!!!!
GtD.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GO ON NORA LEE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 09:13 PM

Geoff, the trouble is you asked for two real stinkers. I have been listening to them repeatedly and working on them, but 'Buddie' in particular is incredibly difficult.

I will post my attempted transcription of 'Go on Nora'. I am not sure whether he has broken his 'neck' or 'leg', but most often it sounds like 'neck' to me. The way Uncle Dave sings it, it sounds like 'gwine', but I have opted for the 'Go on' from the title and I thought 'gwine' usually means 'I'm going to' rather than 'go on' (but I may be wrong). The bits in square brackets indicate that that is my best shot and it may be something quite different. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

GO ON NORA LEE

Whisky is the one thing sure people's gonna make
But when they get you on the chain gang
You done seen your mistake

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck (leg?) and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Way up on the mountainside when nobody's been around
[Just the time you makin' a run, you fall] and brought it down

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Never thought of any young man the [lord gets so tight]
My father made it day and night and everything's all right

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my leg and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Used to walk in a saloon, call for whisky and beer
Now you have to look around, you can find it everywhere

All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my leg and I couldn't get away

Source: Uncle Dave Macon 'Laugh Your Blues Away' Rounder LP 1028. Original recording made on 17 December 1930 (previously unissued).


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Subject: Lyr Add: GO ON NORA LEE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 01:10 AM

I posted my transcription of 'Nora' on the old-time music newgroup and asked for help. Chris Berry gave his deciphering of the verse lines - sounds great to me. He confirms that it is the 'neck' that is broken and that Uncle Dave is singing 'Go on'. Chris also provided a transcription of 'Buddie' which I will post in a separate message - he has an amazing ear for Uncle Dave lyrics.

CORRECTED VERSION OF 'GO ON, NORA LEE' FOLLOWS.

GO ON NORA LEE

Whisky is the one thing sure people's gonna make
But when they get you on the chain gang, you better seen your mistake

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Way up on the mountainside where nobody's been around
Just the time you'll make a run, you're caught and brought to town

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Never thought, when a young man, the law'd get so tight]
My father made it day and night and everything's all right

All night long and I couldn't get away
All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck and I couldn't get away
Couldn't get away and I couldn't get away
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee
Oh go on Nora, Nora
Go on Nora Lee
Go on Nora, my true love
Have a little jubilee

Used to walk in a saloon, call for whisky and beer
Now you have to look around, you can find it everywhere

All night long and I couldn't get away
Break my neck and I couldn't get away

Source: Uncle Dave Macon 'Laugh Your Blues Away' Rounder LP 1028. Original recording made on 17 December 1930 (previously unissued).


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Subject: Lyr Add: COME ON BUDDIE, DON'T YOU WANT TO GO
From: Stewie
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 01:19 AM

COME ON BUDDIE, DON'T YOU WANT TO GO

Who's been here since I been gone?
Pretty little gal with the red dress on

Roast beef, chicken and whisky too
I'm so happy don't know what to do

Chorus:
I'm gettin' happy, don't you know
Come (sometimes Run) along buddie don't you want to go?
Set myself in a pan of grease
Slipped and fell against the mantlepiece
Take care boys of raising sand

Chorus

Left your booze and chucked your cider
Lemon extract and old Budweiser

Horsetail pills, a little oxtail tonic
The good book says a little's good for the stomach

Chorus

Crank your Ford, I'll hold your baby
Whisky's scarce and I don't mean maybe

I have trusted to my sorrow
Pay today and credit tomorrow

Chorus

Went myself in a Cadillac 8
Turned around the corner at a rapid rate

Met a young lady passing by
I throwed her a kiss and I heard her cry

Chorus

There is something that I know
If you want to get to heaven get right and go

Never get to heaven on a ballroom floor
Satan gonna slide you right through the door

Chorus

There is something sure enough
Never get to heaven with a nose full of snuff

There is something sure in life
Never go to heaven with another man's wife

Source: original recording 17 December 1930. Issued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Laugh Your Blues Away' Rounder LP 1028 (previously unissued).

The above transcription was kindly posted to the old-time music newsgroup by Chris Berry. Chris said that he is not sure of the 'pills' and 'tonic' stanza but I reckon that, if it is not right, it is as close as anyone is going to get.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FROM JERUSALEM TO JERICHO (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Mar 01 - 01:56 AM

FROM JERUSALEM TO JERICHO
(Rev W.M. Robertson)

From Jerusalem to Jericho along that lonely road
A certain man was set upon and robbed of all his gold
They beat him and they stripped him and they left him there for dead
Who was it then that came along and bathed the aching head?

Chorus:
Then who (then who), tell me who (tell me who)
Tell me who was this neighbour kind and true
From Jerusalem to Jericho we're travelling every day
And many are the fallen ones that lie along the way

From Jerusalem to Jericho a certain priest came by
He heard the poor man crying but he heeded not the cry
He gathered his robes about him and he quickly passed away
Who was it then that came along and ministered that day?
Chorus

From Jerusalem to Jericho a Levi came along
He heard the poor man crying that lie upon the ground
He lifted his hands up to the heavens and he quickly passed him by
Who was it then that came along and heeded that needy cry?
Chorus

From Jerusalem to Jericho when life was ebbing away
Along came that Samaritan who was despised they say
He ministered to the dying man, he carried him to an inn
He paid his fare and told the host to take good care of him

Chorus

From Jerusalem to Jericho we're travelling every day
And many are the fallen ones that lie along the way
Oh some despise and some reject it, but it is no matter how they've been
When everybody turns you down then Jesus takes you in

Chorus

Source: transcription from reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Travelin' Down the Road' County CCS-CD-115. Original recording made on 3 August 1937.

According to Charles Wolfe, this hymn was from the pen of Rev W.M. Robertson in 1891 and appeared in several early hymn books. Uncle Dave first recorded it in 1925. I cannot find the original at any of the gospel and sheet music sites and no mention of Rev Robertson either. Can anyone post the original for purposes of comparison? The Cyber Hymnal site mentions a hymn with the same title by a Frederick Arthur Graves (1856-1927), but gives no text. Is this related or a totally discrete piece? Uncle Dave made another non-commercial recording of the hymn, with his son Dorris backing him on guitar, some time during 1946 (issued on Rounder LP 1028). In that recording, Uncle Dave inverts the last line of the final stanza to: 'When everybody takes you down, then Jesus turns you in'. Whether that was deliberate or accidental, as Charles Wolfe has pointed out, it does make 'a certain amount of Uncle Dave sense'. In my trawls across the net for information about this hymn, I came across an interesting article on the parable in Luke's gospel on which the hymn was based:

Click here for parable article


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Wendy_
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 02:24 PM

There is a discussion of 'Whoa Mule' in this thread .


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 06:00 PM

Uncle Dave was a real social change advocate. Bearing in mind, that he was singing to rednecked Southern Farmers in the 20's and 30's, It's a wonder he didn't get lynched. He was one brave man. For instance second verse to "Take me Back to Tulsa"

LITTLE BEE SUCKS THE BLOSSOM, BIG BEE GETS THE HONEY.
DARKY GROWS THE COTTON, WHITE MAN GETS THE MONEY.

Take me back to Tulsa, I'm too young to marry
Take me back to Tulsa, I'm too young to marry.


His son "Dorris" recalled that one opf Uncle Dave's Black Farmhands was about to have his own little farm, and home, foreclosed on by a bank. Uncle Dave Bought the Mortgage AND GAVE IT TO HIS FARMHAND.


His anti KKK verse, mentioned previously , was not an uncommon occurrance.
I can't understand him either.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JORDAN AM A HARD ROAD TO TRAVEL (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 09:06 PM

JORDAN AM A HARD ROAD TO TRAVEL

I'm a-gonna sing you a brand new song
It is all the truth for certain
We can't live high if we get by
And get on the other side of Jordan

Chorus:
Oh pull off your overcoat and roll up your sleeves
Jordan am a hard road to travel
Pull off your overcoat and roll up your sleeves
Jordan am a hard road to travel I believe

The public schools and the highways
Are raisin' quite an alarm
Get a country man educated just a little
And he ain't a-gonna work on the farm

Chorus

I don't know but I 'blieve I'm right
The auto's ruined the country
Let's go back to the horse and buggy
And try to save some money

Chorus

I know a man that's an evangelist
The tabernacle's always full
People will come from miles around
Just to hear him shoot the bull

Chorus

You may talk about your evangelistss
You may talk about Mr Ford too
With Henry really shakin' more hell out of folks
Than all of the evangelists do

Chorus

It rained forty nights but it rained forty days
Gonna rain on the Allegheny Mountains
Gonna rain forty horses and dominecker mules
Gonna take us on the other side of Jordan

Chorus

Source: transcription of reissue on Uncle Dave Macon 'Go Long Mule' County CO-CD-3505. Original recording made on 9 May 1927.

This song originated with a ministrel tune by Daniel Decatur Emmett in the second half of the 19th century. Emmett's song can be found in the DT database: Emmett's Song. Sheet music for Emmett's song may be found at the American Memory site: American Memory. Information on Emmett may be found Here and also Here.

The song became a vehicle for various parodies almost immediately. One of these may be found in the DT database: Richmond is a hard road to travel. In respect of this parody, I found on the net a short explanation by John R. Thompson:

Many Civil War songs were parodies­­songs that set new, topical words to a familiar tune. In 1863 John R. Thompson, a famous southern editor, drafted the following song, based on the minstrel tune Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel, lampooning the Union army's many failures in Virginia in the first two years of the war. [The song refers] to Pope's defeat at Second Bull Run and Burnside's horrendous losses at Fredericksburg. The proclamation referred to was not Lincoln's famous emancipation edict, but Pope's arrogant announcement that his troops were to always advance and never retreat; the boastful Union commander soon found himself frantically racing back to Washington after Lee crushed him at Manassas

Uncle Dave's parody reflects his love of writing songs that comment on current problems of his day and, once again, he takes the opportunity to have a go at the automobile. The Traditional Ballad Index refers to Uncle Dave's recording and gives to 2 citations under the title 'The Other Side of Jordan': Ballad index entry. The text in Silbur is taken directly from the Cohen/Seeger/Wood songbook ['Old-Time String Band Songbook' Oak Publications – former title was 'New Lost City Ramblers Songbook'].

My transcription differs in minor respects from the C/S/W songbook. Perhaps they were working from a different recording of Uncle Dave's, but their last stanza does not accord with what Uncle Dave is singing in his 1927 recording. Norman Blake [Rounder CD 11505] follows Uncle Dave more closely. C/S/W give 'Allegheny Mountains' in the last stanza and I have gone with that even though I can't hear it – it sounds more like 'Alligator' or 'Alligaty' to me. Like many old-time singers, Uncle Dave can be hard to decipher and mondegreens are almost inevitable. I saw a posting from Tom Paley in the banjo news list that the chorus of this song has been misheard as:

Take off your overcoat, roll up your sleeves
Yearnin' in your heart for trouble
Take off your overcoat, roll up your sleeves
Yearnin' in your heart for trouble I believe


In a posting to the forum a Mudcatter gave a possible explanation for 'dominecker' (dominicker) – that, in respect of chooks, it refers to being like a Domincan in colour (reference to the priests' black and white habit) and Uncle Dave may have transferred this to similarly coloured mules.

C/S/W also refer to a version by Tex Logan who learned it as a boy in Texas and taught it to Red Belcher. They refer also to a version by the great Riley Puckett from Georgia. They note that Riley used some verses that are close to those in 'The Old Minstrel Song Book'. They give no details of this book in the headnote or in the bibliography. Can someone provide the details of the editor, publisher etc of this? I have had a search on the net, but have come up with zilch. My attempted transcription of Riley's version follows. There is one line that I was unable to decipher [Riley is not as bad as Uncle Dave, but he has his moments] – it is probably a stock minstrel verse. With its obvious relationship to the 'coon song' tradition, this version would be totally offensive today. Riley has the 'I believe' in the second line of the chorus and his last stanza harks back to Emmett's original:

THE OTHER SIDE OF JORDAN

If I was the president of the United States
Well I'd make my laws recorded
The niggers I'd sell, let the British all go
I'd put 'em on the other side of Jordan

Chorus:
Haul off your overcoat, roll up your sleeve
Jordan am a hard road to travel I believe
Haul off your overcoat, roll up your sleeve
Jordan am a hard road to travel
[Whistles melody above guitar]

If you want to do well go down to the hotel
Get your washing and your board on the credit
If they ask you when you'll pay just tell 'em right away
They may get (it) on the other side of Jordan

Chorus and whistling

Two little niggers went out to play
All the people thought they's a-fightin'
When they hollered to the big nigger get out of the way
'Cos little niggers going to (?)

Chorus and whistling

Daddy caught a turkey in the woods the other day
Well he put him in the oven for to cook him
He jerked back his head and he knocked off the lid
Well he gobbled on the other side of Jordan

Chorus and whistling

David and Goliath had a fight the other day
Found one thing certain
He hit Goliath on the head with a bar of soft soap
And it sounded on the other side of Jordan

Chorus and whistling

Source: Riley Puckett 'Waiting for the Evening Mail' County LP 411.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'LL RISE WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWS (Binkley
From: Paul B
Date: 29 May 01 - 04:11 PM

I'll Rise When the Rooster Crows

As recorded by the Binkley Brothers Dixie Clodhoppers on the CD "Nashville: the Early String Bands Vol. I,” County CD-3521. The song was recorded 10/2/1928.

Stewie says that this is quite similar to the Uncle Dave version.

Paul B.

Chorus:
I'll rise when the rooster crows
I'll rise when the rooster crows
I'm going back south where the sun shines hot
Oh down where the sugar cane grows

Verses:
If the golden shoes you hear so much about
Was worn down here you'd soon wear 'em out
We're gonna take up 'em yonder for to put on my robes
Gonna put on my golden shoes

Don't let old Satan try to fool you
For the gates'll be closed and you can't get through
With a long white robe and the white socks too
Gonna put on my golden shoes

When Gabriel comes for to blow his horn
Well you needn't pull back for you gotta go on
So prepare yourself for the judgment day
For you can't take money and buy your way

We'll have cider all the fall
For I said I's going to the ball
Where the duck chews tobacco and the goose drinks wine
The old hen cackle while the rooster keeps the time

Whatcha gonna do when the women all dead?
Gonna sit in the corner with a hung down head
Well if I had to marry I wouldn't marry for riches
I'd marry a big fat gal who couldn't wear the britches

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 14-Nov-01.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RISE WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWS (Macon)
From: Stewie
Date: 29 May 01 - 08:50 PM

Hi Paul, thanks for posting the Binkleys version. Below is your transcription amended to what I hear Uncle Dave singing. His is more difficult to decipher than the Binkleys so, as always, it is open to correction. However, as you will note, there are only minor variations from the version you have posted - plus a spoken introduction. In the second stanza, unlike the Binkleys version, I don't hear Uncle Dave singing 'socks' but, if not, I don't know what it is. I was thinking 'spats', but it does not sound like that either.

RISE WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWS

{Spoken} Now, good people, there's the little sweet golden daisies. Now I'm a-gonna give you something from the land hog and hominy, pumpkin and possum, and where whisky is made out of corn and women don't smell like talcum powders – let's go for it.

The golden shoes that they hear so much about
Oh the gospel children gonna wear them out
Gonna wear them up yonder where they put on the robe
Where I get on my golden shoes

Chorus:
I'll rise when the rooster crows
Oh rise when the rooster crows
I'se a-going back south where the sun shines hot
Oh down where the sugar cane grows

Don't let old Satan try to fool you
For the gates'll be closed and you cain't get through
With my long white robe and my white [socks?] too
Gonna put on my golden shoes

When Gabriel comes for to blow his horn
There's no need to pull back for you gotta go on
Prepare yourself for the Great Day
For you cain't take money and buy your way

We'd have cider all the fall
Oh get out of the barn to the ball
Where the duck chews tobacco and the goose drinks wine
The old hen cackles while the rooster keeps the time

Whatcha gonna do when the women all dead?
Gonna sit in the corner with a hung down head?
Yes, if I had to marry, I wouldn't marry for riches
I'd marry the big fat gal who couldn't wear my britches

Source: Uncle Dave Macon 'Same' RBF Records RF 51. Original recording Vocalion 15321.

By virtue of the generosity of fox4zero (Larry), I have heaps of other Uncle Dave lyrics to post. It is a matter of searching for background stuff and finding a 'round tuit'. I will certainly post them in due course.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DIXIE BEE LINE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: GUEST,Denise :^)
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 01:38 PM

Well, I had my request out everywhere, and it looks like the Cyberpluckers (Autoharp) came through.

Here are "best guess" lyrics from Kathie--feel free to correct them if you know better!

DIXIE BEE LINE

Well, some folks say that a Ford won't run,
Just let me tell you what a Henry done.
She left Louisville about half past one,
And we pulled into Nashville at the setting of the sun.

CHORUS: On the Dixie, on the Dixie Bee Line,
Gonna rise and shine, gonna stay on time,
Rise and shine, gonna stay on time,
When you're riding in that Henry of mine.

Well, Henry Ford went to Muscle Shoals,
To bring to the people of the South pure gold.
Let them have it, and oh, my Lord,
We'll all ride to heaven in a Henry Ford.
CHORUS

Well, that old Buick certainly treated me mean,
She took all my money for to buy gasoline.
She may be warm, but I don't know,
The Buick won't come where the Henry will go.
CHORUS

Well, I went to the mountains for to get some booze,
The Henry Ford car was the one I'd choose.
The officer got right on me, I'd say,
And I pulled it wide open and I made my getaway.
CHORUS

Well, everybody knows a Henry Ford car,
Everybody knows they're the best they are.
You want to take a ride, just get in a Ford,
Step on the throttle and oh, my Lord.
CHORUS

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 14-Nov-01.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: GUEST,Denise:^)
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 01:46 PM

Aargh!! I want you all to know that I didn't type the lyrics in long lines like that!


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 08:50 PM

I think it is about time this thread re-surfaced!


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 09:10 PM

Uncle Dave's 'Buddy, Won't You Roll Down the Line' is in the DT under the title 'Roll Down the Line':

Buddy, Won't You Roll Down the Line

Judging by own listening and transcriptions in Green's 'Only A Miner' and Seeger etc 'Old-Time String Band Songbook', there are several inaccuracies in the DT transcription. Here are some corrections - in square brackets:

Stanza 1, line 1: 'Way [back] yonder'

Stanza 1, line 2: 'against free labour [stout]'

Stanza 2, line 1: '[Every] Monday morning, [they've got 'em out on time]'

Stanza 2, line 2: '[March them] down ... [said] to look'

Stanza 2, line 3: '[March] you ... [said] to look'

Stanza 2, line 4: 'Very [last word] the captain [say], you better get your [coal]

Stanza 3, line 2: 'The meat [it is burnt up]' - no 'all'

Stanza 3, line 3: ' ... task done, [you're glad to come to call]' - Green has 'at all' instead of 'to call', but I agree with the Seeger transcription

Stanza 4, line 4: 'Very next [time they call on you, you'll bet you'll have your coal]'

For extensive background to this song and its relatives see Archie Green 'Only A Miner' Uni of Illinois Press, pp 195-239.

--Stewie.

Stanza 3, line 4: '[For] anything ... [it tastes] good'


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 11:21 PM

These wonderful songs not entered in the DT yet, I see. The Work and Henry Thomas versions of "When the Train Comes Along" should be placed under @religion, @spiritual and @gospel as well as @railroad when they get around to it.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 04:00 AM

Geoff

I've got a copy of that New Lost City Ramblers Songbook mentioned in an earlier response. Let me know if you want to borrow it - I have already lent it to Les from Hull and Oombanjo but have it back in my possession now.

R


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 04:25 AM

Geoff I also have the following Uncle Dave recordings which you are welcome to borrow too:

Sail away Ladies Go Long mule Backwater Blues I'm goin' Away in the Morn Hold the Woodpile down Way Down the Old Plank Road Buddy Won't you Roll Down the Line

R


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 11:58 AM

Stewie:

Re; your comment above on "dominecker mule" in "Jordan Am a Hard Road to Travel"--I had always heard references to "dominecker hens" growing up in Texas. My Random House dictionary has this to say (which would at least agree with the coloration theory):

"Dom•i•nique
n. Animal Husb. one of an American breed of chicken, having slate-colored plumage crossed by light and dark bars, raised for its meat and brown eggs. Also, Dominick.[1800–10, Amer.; named after F Dominique"

So, a dominecker mule would be one with dark gray and light gray bars (stripes?) on its hide, I think.

Lin


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Subject: RE: ADD: Uncle Dave Macon Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 05:47 PM

Thanks, Lin. That gives a bit of authority to the theory.

Cheers, Stewie.


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