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> Seeking Song Lyrics
Tony
post Feb 11 2009, 05:23 AM
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Hoping that somebody can provide the lyrics to: "Here Comes My Ball and Chain." Can't make them out on the Coon-Saunders record, and a google search proved futile.

Thanks!
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gregoryagogo
post Feb 11 2009, 07:03 AM
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Me neither! ph34r.gif


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Roseman
post Feb 11 2009, 06:56 PM
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Here's what I hear....

Here Comes My Ball and Chain

I'm like search lights in the night,
Gorgeous teeth and snowy white,
Take a look at my ball and chain.

She's a funny gem to me,
Tons of personality,
Take a look at my ball and chain.

Ah, we do the huggin' when we hit a chair,
How she can cuddle is no man's affair.

I looked around from pole to pole,
Found a really sugar bowl,
Look out, here comes my ball and chain
.
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Tony
post Feb 12 2009, 06:47 AM
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Thanks so much, Roseman. I'm trying to imagine your ear plastered to a speaker, as mine was, the differance of course being that you don't suffer from hearing loss as do I. Only sissies wore hearing protectors on the Navy deck gun crews that I served in...

I recall a lengthy discussion some time back on another site about the number of otherwise technically balanced recordings made in this era that are "ruined" by the simply fact that when it came time to do the vocals, the band or orchestra failed to tone down its overall volume, thereby swamping the singer(s) enunciations. Most of us have come across examples of this oversight -- made the more puzzling by the fact that what was so obvious to our layman's ear wasn't detected and flagged by a recording engineer. I believe the better sound recording studios of the distant past were very cognizant of this danger, and much more likely to concern themselves with not smothering the lyrics, recording equipment being what it was in those days. That said, there are certainly many old recordings that slipped through the cracks in this regard, and when you add wear and tear to the equation...well, it would be darned helpful to have a hearing-ear dog on hand who also speaks English.
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pictureroll
post Feb 12 2009, 02:51 PM
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QUOTE (Tony @ Feb 12 2009, 12:47 AM) *
Thanks so much, Roseman. I'm trying to imagine your ear plastered to a speaker, as mine was, the differance of course being that you don't suffer from hearing loss as do I. Only sissies wore hearing protectors on the Navy deck gun crews that I served in..well, it would be darned helpful to have a hearing-ear dog on hand who also speaks English.

There is such a dog....on public television, her name is Martha and she eats Alphabet Soup and she speaks English.
Cheers From Dallas
Jerry F Bacon


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[font="Book Antiqua"][/font][size="2"][/size]Cheers From Dallas,Tx
Jerry F Bacon
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victrolajazz
post Feb 12 2009, 04:54 PM
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QUOTE (Roseman @ Feb 11 2009, 12:56 PM) *
I'm like search lights in the night,


Here's what I hear here:

[b]EYES like searchlights in the night.


QUOTE (Roseman @ Feb 11 2009, 12:56 PM) *
Found a really sugar bowl,
.[/b]


and here:

Found HER IN a sugar bowl.

Eddie the Collector






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hvickery
post Feb 14 2009, 02:07 PM
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Here are the lyrics as I've understood them from the time I first heard the record nearly 45 years ago. I've played the Red Hot Jazz version as I copied them to confirm.

Eyes like search lights in the night
Gorgeous teeth and snowy white
Take a look, here comes my ball and chain

She's a Sunny Jim to me
Tons of personality
Take a look, here comes my ball and chain

Oh, we do a-huddle when we hit a chair
How she can cuddle is no man's affair

I looked around from pole to pole
Found her in a sugar bowl
Mm-mm Look out, here comes my ball and chain.

At the end of the record, Sanders takes it from the release:

Oh, we do a-huddle when we hit a chair
How she can cuddle is no man's affair

I looked around from pole to pole
Found her in a sugar bowl
Mm-mm Look out... here comes... my ball...and chain

An explanation of the misunderstood lyrics and why I think these are the correct lyrics.

Her eyes are bright, like searchlights in the night.

"Sunny Jim" "Sunny" Jim Bottomley was the star first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals at the time this song was written. In 1928, just before this song was first recorded, Bottomley had hit .325 with 31 home runs and 136 RBI, and led the Cards to the World Series. The lyrics could be a reference to the subject's greatness in the eyes of the singer. Sunny Jim kind of fits with her personality, plus she hits a home run in her heart. The alternative explanation is that the term "Summy Jim" originated with a character found on the boxes of "Force" cereal who according to the cereal's advertising was a crab until he ate Force. After eating Force, his friends all called him Sunny Jim because of his new personality. The term "Sunny Jim" worked its way into the vernacular. I wouldn't doubt that Bottomley's nickname might have something to do with the cereal and his personality (whether he was like that, or is often the case with nicknames, just the opposite). OR...it could be a combination of both. At any rate, "Sunny Jim" refers to her bright, "sunny" personality, which she has tons of.

"Huddle" rhymes with "cuddle." The lyrics might be a-huddle or a huddle. I've never heard the phrase, "We do a huddle." The usual phrase is "We form a huddle." That's why I chose the hyphen. At any rate, when they are in a chair they huddle together (as a later generation called it, "neck.")

"Found her in a sugar bowl": Where else would you find someone so sweet?

This post has been edited by hvickery: Feb 14 2009, 03:08 PM


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gregoryagogo
post Feb 14 2009, 04:36 PM
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QUOTE (Tony @ Feb 11 2009, 10:47 PM) *
Thanks so much, Roseman. I'm trying to imagine your ear plastered to a speaker, as mine was, the differance of course being that you don't suffer from hearing loss as do I. Only sissies wore hearing protectors on the Navy deck gun crews that I served in...

I recall a lengthy discussion some time back on another site about the number of otherwise technically balanced recordings made in this era that are "ruined" by the simply fact that when it came time to do the vocals, the band or orchestra failed to tone down its overall volume, thereby swamping the singer(s) enunciations. Most of us have come across examples of this oversight -- made the more puzzling by the fact that what was so obvious to our layman's ear wasn't detected and flagged by a recording engineer. I believe the better sound recording studios of the distant past were very cognizant of this danger, and much more likely to concern themselves with not smothering the lyrics, recording equipment being what it was in those days. That said, there are certainly many old recordings that slipped through the cracks in this regard, and when you add wear and tear to the equation...well, it would be darned helpful to have a hearing-ear dog on hand who also speaks English.


Ah... all those years listening to that loud rock music!!

g


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victrolajazz
post Feb 14 2009, 08:44 PM
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This topic reminds me of how often some lyrics are so hard to understand on 20's records--here are a couple of examples that provided a puzzle to me for years:

Ah-Ha!

In the Paul Whiteman version, for years the line "Ah-Ha, you're begging for a kiss" sounded like "Ah-Ha!, you're making borakee".

and the line "I bruise and I kill" sounded like "I room and I kill".

It wasn't until I got a piano roll of the song that I solved the mystery.

The very first record this happened on was Alma Gluck's Listen to the Mockingbird, which my paternal grandparents gave me as a four-year-old. The very first line "I'm dreaming now of Hally, sweet Hally", sounded like "I'm dreaming of Hosettie, sweet Hosettie", which is not that far off and could have easily been a 19th century name in a song from 1855.

In about 1953 or 1954, we had the Mercury record of Patti Page's Tennessee Waltz. On the flip side was the song Long, Long Ago. There is a line that goes "Do you remember the path where we met?" "Long, Long Ago, Long, Long Ago". As a nine-year-old, I heard those lyrics as "Do you remember the fat boy we met?", "Long, Long Ago, Long, Long Ago". It never occurred to me how incongrous this would be for song lyrics. A year or two later I was visiting a friend who was taking piano lessons and he had the sheet music of this song for one of his practices--when I read the lyrics, I told him they were wrong, that the record said "fat boy"--of course I was the one who was wrong.

Eddie the Collector

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hvickery
post Feb 14 2009, 11:49 PM
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It's not just lyrics from records in the '20s that have hard to understand lyrics. I grew up in the '60s and misunderstood all kinds of lyrics from the rock 'n' roll records of that era. In fact, there is a whole web site devoted to misunderstood song lyrics where most of the songs are from the '50s to the present. I think one of the contributing factors in that era was the tinny transistor radios we all held to our ears.


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Tony
post Feb 18 2009, 05:12 AM
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Incomparable decoding team work, gentlemen. I'm surprised Mr. Hoffa's whereabouts didn't come to light in the process....a kind of casual "....oh, and by the way..."

The "Ball and Chain" lyrics, sifted and deciphered, now conjure up vivid images and consequently make much better sense. The Ultra codebreakers at Bletchley Park couldn't have done better.

Whom -- other than a determined Dismuker -- would have thought to connect figures and events of the long-ago past to a phrase from the same time period, in order to unravel a musical crossword puzzle?

Yup -- eyes and ears sure can play tricks. For 50 years I heard "Mister Saturday dance" instead of "Missed the Saturday dance."

T.



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Gart
post Feb 18 2009, 11:30 PM
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My thanks to all who translated this great Coon-Sanders song. Love it! Especial kudos to 'hvickery' (is there a first or last name?) for all the footnotes, too. I thiought he was initially incorrect. Then I got out my CD: The Coon-Sanders Nighthawks: Everything is Hotsy-Totsy Now. He's correct. It is Sunny Jim! Amazing!! I'm in total awe!! I have copied the lyrics into my file of lyrics. It makes the song so much more enjoyable!

Thanks to all! Is there another challenge ahead?

Best, Frisco
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hvickery
post Feb 19 2009, 04:20 AM
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QUOTE (Gart @ Feb 18 2009, 05:30 PM) *
My thanks to all who translated this great Coon-Sanders song. Love it! Especial kudos to 'hvickery' (is there a first or last name?) for all the footnotes, too. I thiought he was initially incorrect. Then I got out my CD: The Coon-Sanders Nighthawks: Everything is Hotsy-Totsy Now. He's correct. It is Sunny Jim! Amazing!! I'm in total awe!! I have copied the lyrics into my file of lyrics. It makes the song so much more enjoyable!

Thanks to all! Is there another challenge ahead?

Best, Frisco


"h" is the first name: Hal
"vickery" is the last name: "Vickery"

Thanks for the kudos. I've liked Coon-Sanders since I was a teenager and picked up the old RCA Vintage Series LP shortly after Joe Sanders passed away. "Ball and Chain" was the first cut, and I played it and the instrumental "High Fever" to death.


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Tony
post Feb 27 2009, 07:50 AM
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Here's my epilogue on the subject...

Because I stuttered -- and badly -- until around 18 years of age (thanks to a washing machine wringer that caught my left arm at age 4, forcing me to switch to the right), then you might understand my amazement just last year to come across a flapper era tune entitled: "You Tell Her, I S-s-stutter." I half expected to hear my name sh-sh-shouted out at the end of the recording.

I can't recall the vocalist or the recording company, nor the name of the band. But in listening to the singer's delivery I was further surprised to note that his enunciation was clear and understandable. Stutterers are VERY good at what they do; imitators usually VERY bad, unless they put in a LOT of practice time. And so, I've since wondered how many takes it took for that poor guy to get it down just pat, leaving no doubt whatsoever as to the words he intended to convey, and yet come off as an "authentic" stutterer.

Heaven knows what the socially correct label is today ....maybe "vocalically challenged?"

Incidentally, a phenomenon among virtually all stutterers (sorry) is that they can sing without stammering in the slightest. That was certainly my experience. If you connect this logic to the next step, then it must be said that a true stutterer cannot intentionally stammer while singing (see my P.S. comment below).

I cured my own affliction by tucking a couple imitation pearls from one of my mother's broken necklaces behind my lower lip, like a chew of tobacco. Swallowed quite a few along the way. But in 5 months I was made whole again. It worked for Demosthenes, too.

Tony

P.S. An interesting forum factoid I just came across: "Mel Tillis, country singing star, and Robert Merrill, famous Metropolitan Opera baritone, both stuttered -- but they could sing beautifully. Merrill seemed to overcome his stuttering by 'singing in his mind' while he spoke. Apparently the vocal chords are in continuous movement while singing and therefore there's no need to stop and then start the vocal chords again, which is where stutterers have their problem."

This post has been edited by Tony: Feb 27 2009, 09:10 AM
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victrolajazz
post Feb 27 2009, 04:41 PM
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QUOTE (Tony @ Feb 27 2009, 01:50 AM) *
you might understand my amazement just last year to come across a flapper era tune entitled: "You Tell Her, I S-s-stutter." I half expected to hear my name sh-sh-shouted out at the end of the recording. I can't recall the vocalist or the recording company, nor the name of the band. But in listening to the singer's delivery I was further surprised to note that his enunciation was clear and understandable.

The version of "You Tell Her, I S-t-u-t-t-e-r" I'm familiar with that has a vocal is by the Cotton Pickers on Brunswick from 1923 and the vocalist is Billy Jones of Jones and Hare fame--it's one of my favorites. My mother also had the sheet music to the song.

Eddie the Collector
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