I Love a Good Slightly Racist Song

This fall, I started to learn swing dancing, Lindy Hop more specifically. I am absolutely loving it, but not just for the dancing. The music is also absolutely phenomenal. I knew of some of the songs played before, but I’ve also not heard many, so I am also engaged in finding good music I had never heard. It was during one of these sessions to build my Swing play list on Spotify that I found this awesome gem called the Oriental Swing that’s a little racist, but totally acceptable to me (an Asian) considering it was done in 1938. 🙂

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It’s Been a Bad Few Days for the Armstrong Clan, RIP Neil and Lance

First, Lance Armstrong quit the drug fight and basically took his place among the cheaters as far as I’m concerned. He had a bigger ego than any of them, but not all of them combined, apparently.

Now, Neil Armstrong has left Earth for good. I wonder if they’ll scatter his ashes in space or land it on the moon or something?

I will be sad to never hear from Neil again, but there will always be that historic recording I could listen to over and over again.

I would be glad if I could never hear from Lance again, but I’m afraid I’ll still hear him yapping about his supposed innocence over and over again.

Neil was class.

Lance was ass.

Rest in peace, Neil.

Rest in tease, Lance.

Either way, let’s hope the Armstrongs will have better days ahead!

Have You Heard Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye Singing When the Saints Go Marching In?

When the Saints Go Marching In is an American gospel tune that is very popular and been interpreted in many genres and by many artists. If you know the song, quickly think what’s the best version you’ve ever heard. If it isn’t the one done by Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye like the title of this post, have a listen in the video below and tell me you’ve heard a better version.

No. Seriously. Do tell me in the comments at the bottom if you like another version better. I’d love to hear it. Whether I agree or not isn’t the point, really. I want to hear all the variations of that tune. But right now, this one is far above the rest in my opinion, and I am posting it to share it with you in case you haven’t heard it.

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A Dirty Song Called All That Meat and No Potatoes? (and Lyrics)

There once was a time when you could take a dirty phrase to make a classy hit song out of it. I don’t know when it ended, but it was certainly alive in the 1940s when this song came about! This is the Louis Armstrong version, with Velma Middleton and the Louis Armstrong Orchestra, not the original Fats Waller version (at the end) that wasn’t nearly as good.

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Hey Pops! What’s wrong Daddy?
You look like somethin’ botherin’ you
Ain’t nothin’ botherin’ me honey
That a piece of roast beef can’t fix up

A man works hard then comes on home
Expects to find stew with that fine ham bone
He opens the door, then start to lookin’
Say, Woman, what’s this stuff you cookin’?

Now all that meat and no potatoes
I just ain’t right, dey like da green tomatoes
Here I’m waitin’
Palpitatin’
With all that meat and no potatoes

All that meat and no potatoes
All that food to the alligators
Now hold me steady
I’m really ready
Now all that meat and no potatoes

I don’t think that peas are bad
With meat most anything goes
Yes, I look into the pot
I’m fit to fight
‘Cause, woman, you know that mess just ain’t right

Oh, Pops!

All that meat and no potatoes
Just ain’t right, like green tomatoes
Woman, I’m steamin’, yeah!
I’m really screamin’
All that meat and no potatoes

Say, I don’t think that beans are bad
With meat most anything goes
I look into the pot
And what a sight!
Oh, woman, you know that without rice
Beans just ain’t right

Oh, Pops!

All that meat and no potatoes
Just ain’t right, like green tomatoes
Now woman, I’m steamin’
And I’m really screamin’
All that meat and no potatoes

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Louis Armstrong & Velma Middleton

 

When I first heard this song, I found it really groovy, and I still do, but I thought to myself, why would someone write such a great song about meat and potatoes?

Well, after some researching, I found out.

The title of this song, All That Meat and No Potatoes, was a slur from the early 1940s that was used to described a big figured attractive woman with small breasts. Gee, don’t you wish English was still that classy these days?

Hey, some people will never be classy, but you could help them by giving them language like this rather than, well, you use your own choice words.

Anyhoo, the story regarding how this song came about was that Fats Waller liked some female vocalist he was working with, except that she was all that meat and no potatoes. So he wrote a song about it.

Awww. Wasn’t that romantic? 🙂

But you’ve got to give credits to Fats, and his manager Ed Kirkeby. They wrote a good song on the literal end of things, expressing discontent with cooking that had a lot of meat and no potatoes, as a metaphor for Fats’ feelings towards this woman.

Then Louis came along and just took it to another level. Compare the version above to the version below.

It might be jazz, but I’ll tell ya, can Louis rock it or what???

The Louis Armstrong version of this song goes on my list for Best Songs I Heard for the First Time in 2010. I make a list every year. Please click here for links to other songs I have put on this list so far.

Guitar and Ukulele Tabs for Blueberry Hill (Louis Armstrong Extra Lyrics Version)

Louis Armstrong, "Satchmo"

There are tons of guitar tabs online, so why am I posting guitar tabs on my blog? Two words: more information.

More information which will help you figure out what was on my mind in creating every part of the tab and decipher it better if you use it. And for me, I eventually will have my guitar tabs set online so I can access it from anywhere that has an Internet connection!

The main problem with guitar tabs is that there is so little information compared to sheet music that you can’t hope to know what was going through the tabber’s mind when certain chords were written out. They might have been listening to a version of the song you weren’t. They might have arranged it a little differently because they sang it a little differently than the version they referenced. Sometimes they do this because with just one guitar instead of a band, certain things just don’t sound good so void of other musical support (a sign of a bad song). But overall, let’s face it, the general guitar tabs out there isn’t professional quality stuff. That’s why there are so many versions for each song.

With some advances to blogging and web technology, as well as efforts of others to post things, the guitar tabs I present will have more feature containing information you can reference to learn them and/or modify them for your own versions. First, I will have videos with recordings of the pieces I referenced so you can hear them for yourself. Second, there are notes written out, even if just letters rather than sheet music style. Notes an octave apart will be identified by capital letters for the higher notes. That way, if I modified anything, you can figure it out and understand what I did, then decide for yourself if you want to leave it or change it yourself. Finally, the chords appear exactly where they should be as I change them so there is no doubt.

In my first guitar tab on this blog, I present an exotic version of Blueberry Hill, the Fats Domino classic many people know, some of whom via the favourite song of Richie Cunningham from the Happy Days sitcom from 1974-1984. Fats’ version is the bottom of two videos below, included for comparative purposes. The version I present is by Louis Armstrong, from 1949 and recorded in Canada, no less! I like it because has a whole bunch of extra lyrics, with some scatting, that will either challenge you or allow you to duet with someone. Its video is below, meant to accompany the guitar tab above, although you’ll probably want to do it at a much slower, nostalgic sort of tempo to squeeze everything in.

One day soon, I hope to record a version so I can really demonstrate how I envisioned it to be played with solo guitar or ukulele, and not just ask you to figure it out from the video below.

I hope you enjoy!

All I Want is You, U2 Guitar Tabs Letter Sized PDF

All I Want is You, U2 Guitar Tabs Tabloid Sized PDF

All I Want is You, U2 Ukulele Tabs Letter Sized PDF

All I Want is You, U2 Ukulele Tabs Tabloid Sized PDF

These tabs all fit on one page to avoid the inconvenience of page turns. However, the letter size tabs (8.5″ x 11″) may be too small for your eyes. If so, you can either enlarge to tabloid size (11″ x 17″) using an automatic enlarge feature on many photocopiers, or download the tabloid sized versions for printing. The tabloid size tabs can be inserted into a typical letter sized binder on the 11″ size, and folded almost in half to fit. You just open each tab to use it.

Please click here for guitar and ukulele tabs and chords to other songs on this blog.

 

Louis Armstrong’s version of Blueberry Hill

Artist: Louis Armsrtong with Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra
Title: “Blueberry Hill” (Lewis-Stock-Rose)
Label: Decca Personality
Cat No: 24752-B
Release Year: 1949
Country: Canada
Format: 10″ Shellac Record
Thanks to VinyltoVideo YouTube user for the post!

Fats Domino’s well-known version of Blueberry Hill

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 9.1