Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tampa Red - "Uncle Bud (Dog-Gone Him)" sound file & lyrics

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a sound file of the song "Uncle Bud (Dog-Gone Him)".

Note that this is a relatively clean example of an "Uncle Bud" songs. Many of those folk songs/Blues are quite "bawdy" (contain profanity and sexual explicit references).

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Tampa Red for his musical legacy. Thanks also to the transcriber of this song, to all those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the publisher of this sound file on YouTube.

Lyr Add: 'Uncle Bud' Obscene Southern US Song

[WARNING: That Mudcat discussion thread includes examples of dirty (profanity and sexually explicit)versions and examples of clean versions of Uncle Bud songs.

comment posted by Barry Finn, 01 Dec 06 - 03:52 PM
" "Uncle" Bud Russel was the "Transfer Man" for the Texas Prison System for 40 yrs starting in 1912. He had already beem in the employ since 1908 as assistant transfer agent. The transfer wagon was called originally the Black Maria, "We call Uncle Bud's old wagon Black Betty". "Then one morning I heard chains rattling down the corridor of the jail & somebody hollered that Uncle Bud had come & Black Betty was waiting" (290-291, The Land Where the Blues Began-Allan Lomax), Black Betty would take you there but it wouldn't take you away. Bud Russel would travel around picking up the convicted prisoners from around the different counties & bring them to Huntsville (also called "The Walls") which I believe would've been the "new man house" from there the "cons" or "victs" would be eventually be transfered to other state prisons or farms. When Bruce Jackson was collecting in the mid to late 60's "Bud Russel's name was still used throughout the system: 'We'll, let's go go get Uncle Bud's cotton,' or 'Let's get some a Uncle Bud's cows' Whatever it might be, it's still uesed"(p. 290-291 Wake Up Dead Man-Bruce Jackson). Bruce Jackson says that Bud's wagon was also called Black Annie.
[as examples, Barry Finn cites lines from these Blues songs that mention Uncle Bud: "The Midnight Special", "Go Down OLd Hannah", and "Sure Make A Man Fell Bad"]

comment posted by Jim Dixon, 03 Dec 06 - 07:40 PM
"The Library of Congress American Memory Collection, has a recording of Zora Neale Hurston singing this song. She was already a published novelist, and working for the Federal Writers' Project in Florida when she made this recording in 1939. Here's my transcription:

[Spoken:] UNCLE BUD is not a work song. It's a sort of social song for amusement, and it's so widely distributed, it's growing all the time by incremental repetition, and it is known all over the South. No matter where you go, you can find verses of UNCLE BUD, and it's a favorite song, and the men get to workin' in ev'ry kind o' work, and they just yell down on UNCLE BUD, and nobody particular leads it. Ever'body puts in his verse when he gets ready, and UNCLE BUD grows and grows and grows.

Q. it sung before the respectable ladies?

A. Never! It's one o' those jook songs, and the woman that they sing UNCLE BUD in front of is a jook woman.

Q. Of course, you've heard it....

A. (Laughs) Yes, I've heard it from....
This post continues with some bawdy "Uncle Bud" verse that Zora Neale Huston sung."

"jook" = another term for "juke" as in "juke joint"
"Juke joint (or jook joint) is the vernacular term for an informal establishment featuring music, dancing, gambling, and drinking, primarily operated by African American people in the southeastern United States. The term "juke" is believed to derive from the Gullah word joog, meaning rowdy or disorderly.[citation needed] A juke joint may also be called a "barrelhouse".

Classic juke joints found, for example, at rural crossroads, catered to the rural work force that began to emerge after the emancipation."...

From the unexpurgated folk songs of men
... an informal song-swapping session with a group of Texans, New Yorkers, and Englishmen exchanging bawdy songs and lore, presented without expurgation . . .

COLLECTED BY MACK McCormick Recorded in Texas, 1959.
A review of the song "You Be Kind To Me" indicates that "the last two verses are usually sung about the lecherous "Uncle Bud.".

A long entry about Uncle Bud includes information that is given in the first Mudcat post that is quoted above, along with excerpts of various songs including "Salty Dog"*. The author of that article suggests that the lecherous description of Uncle Bud may have developed as a way of mocking notorious Texan [prison] transfer man Bud Russell.

That may be so, but it seems to me that Uncle Bud became an anti-hero, a man that other men looked up to because of his sexual prowess and his disregard for and flaunting of society's rules.
Information about "Salty Dog" from
""Salty Dog Blues" is an early 1900s[1] folk song. It is in the public domain.[2][3] It has been recorded by blues, jazz, country music, bluegrass groups and other styles. The oldest recordings of the song credit Papa Charlie Jackson, who adapted the song directly from the African-American traditional for Paramount and for Broadway in 1924.[4] According to Jas Obrecht, "Old-time New Orleans musicians from Buddy Bolden’s era recalled hearing far filthier versions of 'Salty Dog Blues' long before Papa Charlie’s recording."[5] Similar versions were recorded by Mississippi John Hurt and Lead Belly.[4]"...

Definition of "salty dog" from
..."Another meaning of the term "Salty Dog" comes from the archaic practice of rubbing salt into the coat of one's favorite dog as a flea repellent. Therefore, one's "salty dog" is one's favorite person, best friend, etc... This is the meaning of the line in "Salty Dog Blues": "Let me be your salty dog, or I don't wanna be your man at all." The phrase could also have a sexual meaning. The lyric "Honey, let me be your salty dog" could also be translated to mean "Let me be your sexual partner.""

SHOWCASE EXAMPLE: Tampa Red, Georgia Tom - Uncle Bud (Dog-Gone Him)

Nico Fournier, Published on Sep 28, 2014

As sung by Tampa Red on "Tampa Red Vol. 2 (1929)" (2005).

1. They told me Uncle Bud was a mighty good fella
But my … boys, you will all know better.

CHORUS: Uncle Bud, Uncle Bud,
Uncle Bud, dog-gone him, Uncle Bud.

2. Let me tell you boys what Uncle Bud will do:
Steal your jelly, make a monkey of you.

3. Now I took Uncle Bud to be my right-hand friend.
He stole my jelly 'n' in my face he grinned.

4. He ain't got no sense 'cause he didn't go to school,
But the women all thinks he's a jelly-beatin' fool.

5. Now I ain't two bits; don't talk about my friend.
Gonna kill him if I catch him at my house again.

6. Now Uncle Bud's old lady, she's a good old soul,
But I just can't stand her; she's 'most too old.

7. You might think he's all right but don't pay him no mind.
He's a-whippin' your jelly 'most all the time.

8. Boy, if you catch him at your house, don't do him no harm.
Just ask the old man to be a-moving along.

9. He's built like a tadpole, shaped like a frog.
When he love your woman, she'll holler "Hot dog!"

10. Just keep it, young lady; Tampa Red don't want it.
Uncle Bud done had his ol' paws all on it.
In the context of this song, "jelly" means your woman (your sexual partner). By extension, "jelly beating" means to engage in sexual activity. The women are praising Uncle Bud when they think is a jelly beating fool. In other words, they think that he is "very good in bed".

Source: Subject:
Lyr Add: 'Uncle Bud' Obscene Southern US Song, posted by Jim Dixon 09 Oct 12 - 10:55 AM

Click for a pancocojams post on "Folk Songs, Blues, & Children's Rhyme Examples Of The Verse "Never Went To College, Never Went To School"...
That verse is given as #4 above.

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