Saturday, April 18, 2009

Let It Shine on Me

there's little you have to say about leadbelly since most people know it all, but he lived what he sang, he was the real deal. born 1888, died 1949. got locked up a bunch, escaped a chain gang once, got a pardon from the governor by writing a song to him, went to prison another time for stabbing a guy, he had a crazy life. but he was incredible at playing music, knew the songs and sang em raw, crazy 12 string guitar playing, he did the rhythm and lead at the same time. this here is the third volume of lomax's library of congress recordings of him, called "let it shine on me." it's mainly religious songs, but it's sung by a guy who meant it. the first half has him singin, the second has him singing and playin guitar. it's real intense, there are five other volumes but this should at least get you started some.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Midnight Special

i give you the words to a great old song called "midnight special." i knew of it from leadbelly's singin it, pete seeger did too, but mostly people know of it by creedence clearwater revival's playin of it. incredible song, especially if it's sang by someone who personally knows what the song's sayin. it's a song about prison, i have no experience with anything they're sayin here but it's an incredible song, and maybe it means a little something more to one of you. if not, though, sing it and it'll at least mean something.

when you wake up in the morning
hear that big bell ring
go marchin to the table
you get the same damn thing
knife and fork are on the table
nothing in my pan
if you say somethin bout it
you got trouble with the man

let the midnight special
shine a light on me
let the midnight special
shine an everloving light on me

well jumpin little judy
was a mighty fine girl
she brought that jumpin
to the whole wide world
she brought it in the morning
just before the day
she brought me the news
that my wife was dead
and that started me a grievin
and a hollerin and cryin
it started me a thinkin
about my great long time

well yonder come my woman
tell me how do you know
i can tell her by her apron
and the dress she wore
an umbrella on her shoulder
piece of paper in her hand
marchin up to the captain
sayin "i want my man"

if you ever get to houston
boys, you better act right
you better not squabble
and you bettter not fight
or the police will arrest you
and they'll bring you down
if the jury finds you guilty
well you're prisonland bound