Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Need help with these lyrics please...
Need help with these lyrics please...
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Heart2Harp
113 posts
Aug 05, 2010
4:27 PM
Hi,

I want to play ''Move across the river'' for a gig tomorrow evening. It is the second song in the embeded youtube video. I've figured out all the lyrics except for the very last verse. Can anybody help me figure it out?

Thanks

Mathieu



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Heart2Harp

Heart2Harp
nacoran
2427 posts
Aug 05, 2010
6:02 PM
This is another band doing a song that seems to have something to do with it, with lyrics, but it's not the same version. It looks like different people have had their way with it. (In case anyone else is trying to figure it out, in your video it starts at about 2:34)



This version has some of the same lyrics too...



and another version...



and a random quote

It seems you can make up your own lyrics. What do you have so far? Maybe if I see what you have it will be easier to figure out the rest.

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Nate
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Last Edited by on Aug 05, 2010 6:04 PM
arzajac
308 posts
Aug 05, 2010
7:55 PM
Starting at the 5:02 mark, I can make out the following:

I got myself a (***?) dog shepherd, three greyhounds
Three (high?) (***?) two blacks, one brown
Gonna move across the river
If the ship don't sink and the train don't turn around.


Good Luck.

...What the hell's a "Yoller?"

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Last Edited by on Aug 05, 2010 7:55 PM
nacoran
2429 posts
Aug 05, 2010
8:16 PM
The Kansas City version (first video) has that verse listed as:

"I got one bulldog, two shepards and a greyhound,
Two high yellow, three black and one brown,
We gonna move to Kansas City..."

edit: I think based on Arzajac's analysis, the lyrics in the other version and what I can hear-

"I got myself a bulldog, shepherd, three greyhounds
Three high yellow, two blacks, one brown
Gonna move across the river
If the ship don't sink and the train don't turn around."

That's what it sounds like, although he has to be counting his dogs kind of funny...

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Nate
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Last Edited by on Aug 05, 2010 8:28 PM
wolfkristiansen
39 posts
Aug 05, 2010
11:00 PM
From wikipedia, for what it's worth:

"High yellow, occasionally simply yellow (dialect: yaller, yeller), is a term for very light-skinned black people. It is a reference to the golden yellow skin tone of some mixed-race people. The term was in common use in the United States at the end of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century, and appears in many popular songs of the era, such as 'The Yellow Rose of Texas'."

I have a feeling the Terry/McGhee lyrics are loaded with double meaning.

wolf k.
arzajac
309 posts
Aug 06, 2010
5:03 AM
I woke up this morning feeling bad
thinking about the good times I must have had
gonna move across the river
gonna move across the river
if the boat don't sink and the train don't turn around.

The Mississippi River is long and wide
God! I'd love to be on the other side
gonna move across the river
gonna move across the river
i'm gonna move, baby, to where the grass is green

You don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree
I ain't after your women, they after me
gonna move across the river
gonna move across the river
if the boat don't sink and the train don't turn around.

I've got myself a bulldog, a shepherd, three greyhounds
three high yellow, two black, one brown,
gonna move across the river
gonna move across the river
if the boat don't sink and the train don't turn around.


(The dog-math doesn't add up unless he's counting himself. What an awesome lyric!)

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Last Edited by on Aug 06, 2010 5:04 AM
The Gloth
439 posts
Aug 06, 2010
5:13 AM
Seems to me that the "dogs" must be understood as "women after me".

I love the line : "You don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree".
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CMo
51 posts
Aug 06, 2010
8:17 AM
I don't know if this adds to the discussion or helps the OP but I have found that when you "make a song your own" by adding new lyrics or adding your own style, people appreciate it more. I think it is important for the audience to be able to say, that is Sonny Boy, or that is Slim, but it really makes an impression ( I believe) when you add a bit of your own twist on the song. Soooo, maybe you don't even need to know the lyrics word for word. Just a thought.
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Heart2Harp
114 posts
Aug 06, 2010
10:07 AM
Thanks to everyone for your input and song interpretation tips. I was wayyyyy off. I thought he was talking about how he had a boat and it would take him ''2 long hours to Clark and Brown (which, I guessed, must have been towns aroud the mississipi river). I had no idea he was talking about dogs (concretely or metaphorically).

I look forward to playing this song tonight!

Thanks again
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Heart2Harp

Heart2Harp
nacoran
2431 posts
Aug 06, 2010
11:01 AM
These are some great lyrics. If you have a recording of the show when your done, I'd love to hear it! I wonder if anyone knows any good articles or books on how songs evolve from artist to artist? Seeing a song turn into another song was pretty cool.

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Nate
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nacoran
3930 posts
Mar 27, 2011
2:07 PM
Kind of off topic, but I was citing this thread in a post on Facebook. It chose the most appropriate thumbnail in could find, which in this case, was a pic of Arzajac!

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Nate
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Matzen
111 posts
Mar 27, 2011
4:29 PM
@wolfkristiansen: Thanks for the info! I wasn't aware of that meaning. Reminds me of that Disney movie Old Yeller!

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nacoran
10239 posts
Mar 21, 2020
6:31 PM
Weird bump...

I've already FB'd Mathieu to see what he remembers but it seems that either every single song linked in this video got removed from Youtube or that Youtube changed the formatting of their urls at some point and they are broken. I was wondering if anyone had any guesses as to which it was, and if it's the urls changed if anyone knows how to find them with the old info (I've noticed a fair number of old video links are broken in the archives.)

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Nate
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First Post- May 8, 2009
Raven
176 posts
Mar 25, 2020
10:28 AM
Whenever I'm trying to get the lyrics to a song and have a hard time figuring out words that seem to be slurred, I go to some of the lyric websites on the net and hope that someone else already figured them out. However, I've found a massive amount of mistakes on those sites as well as alternate copy. I always try for the original artist version since many covers will change up the lyrics. It can always be a challenge. And we can still be entirely wrong. Who doesn't remember CCR's "bathroom on the right"?

Last Edited by Raven on Mar 25, 2020 10:29 AM


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