Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Show 61 - Preacher Blues


As frequently as the blues was called the devil's music, it's no surprise that blues singers had a little something to say about preachers as well. There are plenty of songs about the hypocrite that says one thing from the pulpit, while he's stealing your crops or your woman. Hi Henry Brown sang about why he wanted the preacher to stay away from his house in 1932's Vocalion recording Preacher Blues.

If you want to hear preacher curse
Bake the bread sweet mama and save him the crust
Lord, if you want to hear preacher curse
Just bake the bread sweet mama and save him the crust
Preacher in the pulpit, bible in his hand
Sister in the corner crying "There's my man"
Preacher in the pulpit, bible in his hand
Well the sister’s in the corner crying "There's my man"
Preacher comes to your house, you ask him to rest his head
Next thing he want to know, "sister, where your husband at?"
Preacher comes to your house, lord, ask him to rest his head
Next thing he want to know, "baby, where your husband at?"
Come in here and shut my door
Want you to preach the same text you did night before
Come in here and preach at my door
Want you to preach for me same text you preached night before
See that preacher walking down the street
Fixing to meddle with every sister he meets
Well you see that preacher walking down the street
He’s fixing to meddle with every sister he meets
Preacher, preacher, you nice and kind
Better not catch you at that house of mine
Swear you’re nice and kind
Better not catch you at that house of mine

Frank Stokes and Dan Sane recorded You Shall in 1927 in the form of a prayer that told the story of a stealing preacher:
Oh well it's our Father who art in heaven
The preacher owed me ten dollars, he paid me seven
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
If I hadn't took the seven, Lord I wouldn't have gotten none
Had to fight about it, but he owed me my money
Oh well some folks say that a preacher wouldn't steal
I caught about eleven in the watermelon field
Just a‑cutting and slicing got to tearing up the vine
They's eating and talking most all the time
They was hungry,
Don’t rob me preacher, my melons
Oh well you see a preacher laying behind the log
A hand on the trigger got his eye on the hog
The hog said mmm, the gun said zip
Jumped on the hog with all his grip
They had pork chops, had backbone, had spareribs
Now won’t the good Lord set me free
Now when I first went over to Memphis Tennessee
I was crazy about the preachers as I could be
I went out on the front porch walking about 
Invite the preacher over to my house
He washed his face, he combed his head
And next thing he want to do was slip in my bed
I caught him by the head, man, kicked him out the door
Don't allow my preacher at my house no more
I don’t like them
They’ll rob you
Steal your daughter, take your wife from you
Eat your chickens
Take your money, you see
They’ll rob you

Madlyn Davis' Too Black Bad also talks about a preacher stealing from the field:
I'd rather be in the shifty river floating like a logThan to stay around here, be treated like a dogNow that’s my rag, now that’s my rag and it’s too black bad
Now all the little children playing around in a ringPlaying hooky from school just to rag that thingNow that’s my rag, now that’s my rag and it’s too black bad
Now it's some folks say a preacher won't stealBut I caught a preacher in my Daddy’s fieldNow that’s my rag, now that’s my rag and it’s too black bad
Now one had the sack, the other had the hoeIf that ain't stealing, boys, I'd like to knowNow that’s my rag, now that’s my rag and it’s too black bad
Hey everybody, come on and rag with me
Hey, whup that thing down to the break boys
Play it a long time, don't you hear me talking to you hey hey hey
Here come my father with his gun
You ought to seen them preachers runNow that’s my rag, now that’s my rag and it’s too black bad
Georgia Tom Dorsey accompanied Madlyn Davis on that song. He wouldn't be singing many lyrics like that after he became known as the father of gospel music, Thomas A. Dorsey.

Joe McCoy recorded his Preacher Blues in 1931:
Some folks say a preacher won't steal
I caught three in my cornfield
One had a yellow, one had a brown
Looked over by the mill, one was getting down
Now some folks say that a preacher won't steal
But he will do more stealing than I get regular meals
I went to my house about half past ten
Looked on my bed where the preacher had been
Now some folks say that a preacher won't steal
But he will do more stealing than I get regular meals
He will eat your chicken, he will eat your pie
He will eat your wife out on the sly
Now some folks say that a preacher won't steal
But he will do more stealing than I get regular meals
I been trying so hard trying to save my life
To keep that preacher from my wife
Now some folks say that a preacher won't steal
But he will do more stealing than I get regular meals
I went out last night, came in late
I found out where he had made his date
Now some folks say that a preacher won't steal
But he will do more stealing than I get regular meals
I done told you once, done told you twice
Keep over that preacher you be done lost your wife
Now some folks say that a preacher won't steal
But he will do more stealing than I get regular meals
In Who’s Been Here from 1938, Bo Carter wondered who'd been in his bed. He was pretty sure it was the preacher:
Baby who been here since your daddy been gone
Says he must have been a preacher daddy, had a long coat on
Says he must have been a preacher daddy, had a long coat on
Baby who been here since you daddy been gone
I don't know who the man was daddy, had a derby on
He had a derby on, had a derby on
I don't know who the man was daddy, had a derby on
Baby who been here since you daddy been gone
Says he must have been a jellybean had long shoes on
Had long shoes on...
Says he must have been a jellybean had long shoes on
Baby preacher's on the pulpit just trying to save souls
And his daughter's out on the highway corner selling sweet jellyroll
Selling sweet jellyroll
Says his daughter's out on the highway corner selling sweet jellyroll
And the preacher's in the pulpit jumping up and down
And the sisters back in the amen corner their saloon bound
Bob Robinson along with Meade Lux Lewis recorded The Preacher Must Get Some Sometime in 1930:
The preacher must get some sometime, when and wherever he can
The preacher must get some sometime, just like any other man
Brother, don't make no mistake, I just take a little gin for my stomach ache
The preacher must get some sometime, just like any other man
The preacher must get some sometime, when and wherever he can
The preacher must get some sometime, just like any other man
I found this sister all alone with her little blue silk pajamas on
The preacher must get some sometime, just like any other man
The preacher must get some sometime, when and wherever he can
The preacher must get some sometime, just like any other man
Now I ain't trying to hang no bluff, but you don’t blame me for wanting this stuff
The preacher must get some sometime, just like any other man
The preacher must get some sometime, when and wherever he can
The preacher must get some sometime, when and wherever he can
The preacher must get some sometime, just like any other man
Oh she serves that stuff in her negligee, it was doggone good, Lord, I must say
The preacher must get some sometime, just like any other man


Songs:
Preacher Blues - Hi Henry Brown
You Shall - Frank Stokes
Too Black Bad - Madlyn Davis
Preacher Blues - Joe McCoy
Who's Been Here - Bo Carter
The Preacher Must Get Some Sometime - Bob Robinson

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