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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,catherine yronwode Origins: Duncan and Brady (97* d) RE: ADD: 'Been on the job too long' - Wilmer Watts 23 Aug 06

Back in 2003 Stevie posted a transcription of the Wilmer Watts version of Been on the Job Too Long / Duncan and Brady with one line unclear. I have not completely unravelled it, but here is my take. It is the second line in this stanza that is at issue:

Early in the morning, just about nine
Horses in the high [court?] formed a line
White and the black all gathered around
They're gonna take Mr Brady to the buryin' ground
Been on the job too long

I have always liked this verse, despite Watts' poor enunciation, because on the surface the "black and white" seems to refer to the horses, but since the song also involved black and white people (James Brady being white, and Harry Duncan black), the song speaks to complex racial conditions in (East?) Saint Louis at the time of composition and to the fact that desite the modern "electric car", automobiles had not yet replaced horse-drawn hearses.

Also, for what it's worth, i like the theory Earl proposed about Diamond Jim Brady's electric car being tansferred to the policeman James (Jim) Brady.

I also like the idea that GUEST,Brady Layman proposed, in which the King Brady dime novels influenced the nick-name of King Brady for the policeman.

catherine yronwode

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