Mance Lipscomb
Ruler
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All lyrics on this site are for private study, scholarship, or research purposes only. Read the copyright notice before printing/copying anything from this page.

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Ruler

Table Of Content (11 songs, 9 soundclips)

You are now in page 1

Page 1

Ain't You Sorry
'Bout A Spoonful
Charlie James
Cocaine Done Killed My Baby
Knockin' Down Windows
Long Tall Girl Got Stuck On Me

See See Rider
Shake Shake Mama
Sugar Babe It's All Over Now
Take Me Back Baby
You Don't Mean Me No Good

Ruler

Ain't You Sorry

soundclip


by Mance Lipscomb
recording of 19
from
Texas Songster, Vol. 4 (Arhoolie 1033), copyright notice

Ain't you sorry to your heart?
Best o'friend, you know, they got to part
Ain't you sorry, sorry that you did me wrong?

Now, me and my girl had a fallin' out
Bet you don't know what was about
She's sorry, sorry that you did me wrong

Now, go on girl, you needn't flirt
I know you done tore you underskirt1
Ain't you sorry, sorry to your heart?

Well, I'm going up North, 'tain't goin' to stay
Got a girl, chances gonna pay my way
Ain't you sorry, sorry to your heart?

Ain't you sorry, sorry to your heart?
But the best o'friend, you know, got to part
Ain't you sorry, sorry you did me wrong?

__________
Note 1: this line is figurative, "To tear one's drawers", a fashionable black expression of the twenties, is to make a spectacle of oneself.

 

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Ruler

'Bout A Spoonful

soundclip


arranged by Mance Lipscomb
recording of probably 1960
from
Texas Sharecropper & Songster (Arhoolie 1001), copyright notice

I've been drinkin' bad whiskey all night long, got the headache now
Yes, been drinkin' bad whiskey all night long, oh Lord, mama, got the headache now

Tell me, what you gonna do with your brand-new daddy, 'bout a spoonful?
Tell me, what you gonna do with your brand-new papa, oh Lord, mama, 'bout a spoonful?

And late last night when come home from gettin' a spoonful
It was late last night I come home from gettin' a spoonful

Oh Lordy, mama, oh Lord, daddy, just a spoonful
All I want, baby, in this world, oh baby, just a spoonful

Eve and Adam was the first two people got a spoonful
Tell me, Eve and Adam was the first two people, oh mama, got a spoonful

Late last night when I lay down and got a spoon...
Baby, late last night I lay down, oh mama, got a spoonful

Oh, I drinkin' bad whiskey all night long, got the headache now
I been drinkin' bad whiskey all night long, oh mama, got the headache now

Tell me, what you gonna do with your brand-new daddy, 'bout a spoonful?
Oh what you gonna do with your brand-new papa, 'bout a spoonful?

Put him in the bed, gonna run him crazy, 'bout a spoonful
Put him in the bed, gonna run him crazy, oh Lord, mama, 'bout a spoonful

All I want in this wide world is just a spoonful
Baby, all I want in this wide world is just a spoonful

Tell me, what you gonna do with your brand-new mama, 'bout a spoonful?
Tell me, what you gonna do with your brand-new mama, oh Lord, baby, 'bout a spoonful?

 

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Ruler

Charlie James

soundclip


by Mance Lipscomb
recording of 19
from
Mance Lipscomb Texas Songster, Vol. 2, copyright notice

If you see Charlie James comin' down the road
Say you, please don't tell him which a-way you see me go

In the mornin' soon, in the mornin' soon
Yes, I'm goin' back to Houston1 in the mornin' soon

Had a whole lotta money one day, one day
Next day I didn't have a dime

Look down the road just as far as I could see
And I thought I spied my old-time used-to-be

In a whole lot of trouble one day, one day
Next day I didn't know what to do

Look down the road just as far as I could see
And I thought I spied my old-time used-to-be

When a man gets in trouble, everybody throws him down
A killing for his friends and they won't come around

Nobody ever knows you when you're down and out
Ask 'em for a favor, they don't know what's all about

Well, you may go, you may try to stay
But you'll be back some old rainy day

__________
Note 1: Lipscomb was a Texas native.

 

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Ruler

Cocaine Done Killed My Baby

soundclip


by Mance Lipscomb
recording of 19
from
Mance Lipscomb Texas Songster, Vol. 2, copyright notice

Cocaine done killed my baby,
cocaine try to run me crazy
Cocaine gonna kill you after a while

I'm goin' away to leave you,
I know it's goin' to grieve you
Cocaine gonna kill you after a while

Don't say that I didn't love you,
I don't think myself above you
Cocaine gonna kill you after a while

Cocaine done run crazy,
and I tried to kill my baby
Cocaine kill you after a while

Cocaine done run crazy,
I believe gonna kill my baby
Cocaine gonna kill you after a while

I'm goin' away to leave you,
it's goin' to grieve you
Cocaine gonna kill you after a while

Don't say that I didn't love you,
I don't think myself above you
Cocaine gonna kill you after a while

 

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Ruler

Knockin' Down Windows

soundclip


by Mance Lipscomb
recording of probably 1956
from
Texas Songster, Vol. 3: Texas Songster In A Live Performance (Arhoolie 1026), copyright notice

Goin' uptown, what do you want me to bring you back?
Yes, I'm goin' uptown, what do you want me to bring you back?
I was knockin' down windows, tearin' down doors
Tryin' to get even with a girl I love

A brownskin woman make a preacher lay his bible down
Tell me, a brownskin woman'll make a preacher lay his bible down
I'm both knockin' down windows, was tearin' around doors
Tryin' to get even with a girl I love
Brownskin woman'll make a preacher lay his bible down

An' a jet-black woman'll make a rabbit hug a hound
An' a jet-black woman'll make a rabbit hug a hound
Knockin' down windows, was tearin' around doors
Was tryin' to get even with a girl I love
Make a rabbit hug a hound

 

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Ruler

Long Tall Girl Got Stuck On Me

soundclip


by Mance Lipscomb
recording of 19
from
Texas Songster, Vol. 4 (Arhoolie 1033), copyright notice

Well, a long tall girl got stuck on me
Well, a long tall girl got stuck on me

I'm goin', don't you wanna go?
Well, I'm goin' where I never have been before

And late last night, 'bout twelve
Was late last night, just 'bout twelve

Thought I heard my baby call my name
Well, I thought I heard that woman call my name

Lord, I'm goin' to hole in the ground
Well, I'm going to the hole deep in the ground

Baby, if you don't want me why'n't you say so?
Give me down my clothes and I will go

Goodbye, babe, baby goodbye
Honey, bye-bye baby, bye-bye-bye

'Morrow may be my trial day
What in the world is the judge gonna say?
Tell me, where you stay last night?
Ain't none of my business but I know it ain't right

 

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Ruler

See See Rider


arranged by Mance Lipscomb
recording of probably 1960
from
Texas Sharecropper & Songster (Arhoolie 1001), copyright notice

See see rider, see what you done done
You done made me love you, honey, now your man done come

I'm goin' to Louisiana, you know that's across the line1
Goin' to Louisiana, you know that's across the line
Goin' to Louisiana, you know that's across the line
I'll be seldom seen, baby, and hard to find

If I had two women and my partner didn't have none
If I had two women and my partner didn't have none
Had two women an' my partner didn't have none
I'd take one of my women and give my partner one

Soon one mornin', blues knocked on my door
Soon one mornin', the blues knocked on my door
Oh, soon one mornin', the blues knocked on my door
"Come here to stay with you, won't be leavin' no more"

__________
Note 1: Lipscomb is a native of Texas

 

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Ruler

Shake Shake Mama

soundclip


by Mance Lipscomb
recording of probably 1960
from
Texas Sharecropper & Songster (Arhoolie 1001), copyright notice

Oh, ain't gonna give you no more cherry ball1
Oh, ain't gonna give you no more cherry ball
You gone drunk and showed your Santa Claus2

Oh, a little bitty woman, hips just like a snake3
Oh, a little bitty woman, her hip just like a snake
...baby, it really take

Oh, late last night my love come fallin' down
Me and my baby on our last go-'round

Oh, shake, shake mama, I'll buy you a diamond ring
Oh, shake, shake mama, I'll buy you a diamond ring
You don't shake, ain't gonna buy you a doggone thing

Oh, my clutch start to slippin', carb's won't even sing
Oh, my clutch start to slippin', my carb's won't even sing
Blues in the compression, fire my piston ring

Oh, rider, you ain't foolin' me
Look-y here, rider, you ain't foolin' me
You been slippin' to your old-time used-to-be

Oh, I like my babe but I don't like her teddy bear4
Oh, I like my woman but I don't like her teddy bear
I'm gonna buy her a box-back, maybe it'll work

__________
Note 1: cherry ball is probably blues slang, fostered by the 1930 Memphis Minnie composition "Cherry Ball Blues" which begins "I ain't gonna give you none o' my cherry ball". James uses it to personify sex or (according to one's point of view) "dehumanize" women;
Note 2: one of the country blues' least known sexual euphemisms, "Santa Claus" may have an idiomatic basis in the Southern speech. Tossing a quarter dollar to an elderly Negro, a character of writer Faulkner remarks, "Buy yourself some Santa Claus";
Note 3: hips just like a snake, said of people who can twirl their bodies impressively;
Note 4: teddy bear, a woman's one-piece undergarment, worn in the twenties.

 

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Ruler

Sugar Babe It's All Over Now

soundclip


by Mance Lipscomb
recording of probably 1960
from
Texas Sharecropper & Songster (Arhoolie 1001), copyright notice

(spoken: It was the first'un I learnt)

Sugar babe, I'm tired of you,
ain't your honey but the way you do
Sugar babe, it's all over now

All I want my babe to do,
make five dollars and give me two
Sugar babe, it's all over now

Went downtown and bought me a rope
Whupped my baby till she Buzzard Lope1
Sugar babe, it's all over now

Sugar babe, what's the matter with you?
You don't treat me like you used to do
Sugar babe, it's all over now

Went to town and bought me a line
Whupped my baby till she changed her mind
Sugar babe, sugar babe, it's all over now

Sugar babe, I'm tired of you
Ain't your honey but the way you do
Sugar babe, it's all over now

__________
Note 1: a strutting dance step/solo dance. Milovan says: "It can also mean "to make her get a move on"." Thanks to Milovan for this contribution.

 

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Ruler

Take Me Back Baby

soundclip


by Mance Lipscomb
recording of probably 1956
from
Texas Songster, Vol. 3: Texas Songster In A Live Performance (Arhoolie 1026), copyright notice

(spoken:
Here's about the oldest number that I could
recall, back in the days I was learnin' and
heard people play, "Take Me Back")

Oh baby, take me back
I won't do nothin' you don't like

Oh, I went down that railroad track
Beggin' my baby to take me back

Take me back, me, one more time
Won't do nothin' to worry your mind

Tote your water and cut your wood
Make your fire, if I could

Oh baby, didn't you say
You're gonna lemme have my way?

'Tain't but the one thing grieve my mind
My woman quit me in the wintertime

Kill your chicken, baby, save me the wing
Think I'm workin', ain't doin' a thing

I got a girl, her name is Mar'
Works over yonder in the white folks yard

She rushed me chicken, rushed me a goose
Precious little turkey, well it 'tain't no use

Take me back, take me back
Won't do nothin', baby, you don't like

 

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Ruler

You Don't Mean Me No Good


by Mance Lipscomb
recording of 19
from,
copyright notice

Baby, you don't mean me no good nohow
Baby, baby, you don't mean me no good nohow
But I'm gonna let you go, baby, I don't need no woman now

Got up one mornin', I sure was feelin' bad
Got up one mornin', I sure was feelin' bad
Thought about my baby and the only girl I had

Everybody hollerin' "mercy!", wonder what do "mercy" mean?
Everybody hollerin' "mercy!", wonder what do "mercy" mean?
If it means any good, Lord have mercy on me

I met a man this mornin', down on bended knee
I met a man this mornin', down on bended knee
Say, it wasn't for no religion, "Gimme my good gal, please"

"If you gimme my woman, Lord, I won't bother you no more
If you gimme my woman, Lord, I won't bother you no more
You put her in my house, just leave her at my door"

If I feel tomorrow like I feel today
Feel tomorrow like I feel today
I'm gonna pack my clothes and make my getaway

My baby she left, didn't even shake my hand
My baby done left me, didn't even shake my hand
That's all right, mama, some day you're gonna understand

 

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Ruler

Created by:
Bluesman Harry
Page last updated on:
June 8 2000


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