Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hey Hey! Four cent cotton!

       Four cent cotton is a song about moonshine, which can have a cottony whitish appearance.  Lowe Stokes from Georgia cut a version in 1930 with the Skillet Lickers.  The song was also listed in the Fayettte Northwest Alabamian in 1929. 

       Some commentators have suggested that the tune is similar to Sally Gooden.   

       The song has a similar title to 11 Cent Cotton, 90 cent meat, but that song seems to be a farmer's lament about low market prices.  It also doesn't have much if any connection musically to Four Cent Cotton.  It's clear enough from Four Cent Cotton that several verses are about moonshine whiskey or some other alcoholic beverage.  
    This is a fantastic song for beginners to learn with because you can play nothing but C and make it work!  On the other hand fiddle players really have to earn their pay as it is a very fast song and there is some major league bowing needed (oh that's right---there ain't no pay for Old Time fiddle players.  Sorry).  

    At the Trolley Stop, we tend to stick in a G bass to use as a turnaround chord.  

      C     C     C   G/C
      C     C     C   G/C

    Fiddler Ben Cooper usually sings lead on this, and more often than not, the audience joins in on the "Hey Heys."  For that reason alone it is a great tune to play in front of an audience.   

 There is a Lowe Stokes version on Youtube: 

I also like this version from a group called the Georgia Crackers.  The video was made circa 2009: 

Fours cent Cotton, by Lowe Stokes (see the Bluegrass Messengers, http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/four-cent-cotton--lowe-stokes--1930.aspx

Old John Davy is dead and rottin’
He got drunk on four-cent cotton
Hey,  hey four-cent cotton
Hey,  hey four-cent cotton  


Sleep all night with a hole in your stockin’
Get no more of the four cent cotton’
Hey,  hey four-cent cotton
Hey,  hey four-cent cotton


All year runnin’ in cotton
I went broke on four cent cotton.
Hey,  hey four-cent cotton
Hey,  hey four-cent cotton


Billie goat a-runnin’ in the holler
We gonna sell some four cent cotton
Hey,  hey four-cent cotton
Hey,  hey four-cent cotton


Four cent cotton sure as you’re born
I’m gonna drink some Georgia corn,
Hey,  hey four-cent cotton
Hey,  hey four-cent cotton


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This House is Not For Sale!

    Rick Good has really done it this time.  Channelling the likes of  Woody Guthrie, Uncle Dave Macon and Pete Seeger, he has written and performed a song called This House is Not for Sale.

    We played it last week at the Trolley Stop and got a terrific reception from it.  Everyone wanted to know where to get a copy of the lyrics (answer:  check out the website of Rick and his missus Sharon Leahy, http://www.leahygood.com/ , or I've appended the lyrics to this song below). 

     Rick's political sympathies are evident from the lyrics, but as I see it, it really is not a matter of left nor right, but a matter of supporting  the traditional American value of equality, and opposing influence buying.  

   I hope that no matter who we elect, that person will turn out to be someone who will not sell out their values.  Do you suppose that is naive?  

   Well, maybe, but I believe in America, and in my friends and neighbors, and in common sense and that the people are not going to be pushed around as easily as the special interests think.  

    And I also believe in the husband and wife team of Rick Good and Sharon Leahy, and I hope this video goes absolutely viral! 

The video itself is absolutely priceless, what with some really cool drawings from the grandkids (aided and abetted by Sharon),  but there is also a version with a full band, which is available from cdbaby.com.  You may download your own copy here:



On Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.
There is a house, a monument, as fine as it can be.
If you are the President it’s where you do reside.
If you are a billionaire it’s one thing you can’t buy.
It’s not for sale, not the White House, this house is not for sale;
Though you are spending millions just to make this Union fail.
If you weren’t filthy rich you’d be in jail.

1. You get one vote, that’s all she wrote,
2. So Koch and Rove go stuff you trove,
3. Like Paradise it has no price,
4. You can change the rules but we’re no fools,
5. You get one vote, that’s all she wrote,
This house is not for sale.

You can buy a congressman. You can buy a judge.
You can back a super-pac and give your lies a nudge.
But we the people know the truth and we still have the right
To take a stand and build a land where money is not might.
You live for gold, you sold your soul, you take more than you need.
You push and pull till you’re so full someday you’ll die of greed.
The Bible calls it Avarice, this sickness in your mind,
And the Devil’s waiting for you underneath your bottom line.
Just a dozen years ago democracy went down.
The highest court threw out your vote & gave King George his crown.
Now we’re still cleaning up the mess from W’s devastation,
While plutocrats and old fat cats are out to buy our nation.
Our founding fathers wrote the Constitution for us all,
But even then they did amend to clarify the law.
So, if you doubt what I’m about then tell me if you can,
How does a corporation have the legal rights of man?
© Rick Good, 2012
New Standards Music, BMI