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Lyr Req: Born in Hard Luck (Chris Bouchillon)

13 Jul 03 - 10:11 PM (#982642)
Subject: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: Jeep man

Hope someone has this or can direct me to the complete lyrics. I have searched just about everywhere and no luck. Thanks, Jim


13 Jul 03 - 11:21 PM (#982673)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: Sorcha

I had no luck this time, Jim. Sorry. Will ask around.


13 Jul 03 - 11:24 PM (#982675)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: Jeep man

Thanks, buddy. I find the first verse and thats all. Be well. Jim


13 Jul 03 - 11:29 PM (#982677)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: Sorcha

Jim, please post the first verse. That might help.


13 Jul 03 - 11:45 PM (#982686)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: Jeep man

Sorcha, I can remember only a line or two. "Folks I was born to hard times
I was born on the last day of the month
the last hour of the day
the last minute of the hour
and the last second of the last minute

To tell the truth, I almost did't get here at all."

I have to go now but will find his web site tomorrow and send it unless we have it before then. Jim


14 Jul 03 - 12:25 AM (#982707)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: Stewie

Jeepman, I don't have it, but the correct title is 'Born in Hard Luck'. It was reissued on an Old Homestead album. There is a discography of Bouchillon on Stefan Wirz's site. John Cohen recorded a 'Talking Hard Luck' on Vol III of the New Lost City Ramblers which has been reissued on CD: NLCR 'Early Years' Smithsonian Folkways SF CD 40036. Cohen's talking blues is a composite of Bouchillon's 'Born in Hard Luck' and Lonnie Glosson's 'Arkansas Hard Luck Blues'. Glosson's piece has been reissued on Various Artists 'The Roots of Rap' Yazoo 2018, but I don't think Bouchillon's has made it to CD. The composite may be found at page 214 of 'Old-Time String Band Songbook' {previously NLCR Songbook}(Eds) J.Cohen, M.Seeger and H.Wood. The whole thing is quite long, but the bit attributed to Bouchillon by NLCR is short:

Now people, I'm gonna tell you what
a hard luck man I really am. Ya know
I was born in hard luck. I was born in
the last month of the year, the last
week in the month, the last day in the
week, the last hour in the day, the last
minute in the hour, to tell the truth now, I
like not to have got here at all. Oh,
I'm hard luck all right.

Ya know, I was born down there in the
country on a little farm where the
land's so poor, that you got to put
fertiliser around the telephone poles
before you can talk over the wires,
but it is a good place to be from anyways.

There's probably more to Bouchillon's piece, but that is all the NLCR's note they used in the composite - the telephone bit is also in Glosson's.

--Stewie.


14 Jul 03 - 01:50 AM (#982729)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: 12-stringer

There's also a version of this on Tom Ashley's Folkways LP from the late 60s, with a C-A7-D7-G7-C progression underneath. It includes a couple of verses about losing jobs in (very) mildly risqué circumstances. If I recall correctly, he ends it up with a stanza and chorus of "Don't Let the Deal Go Down" ("I walked on down the road singing a little song and it went like this ... " At least, that's how I always did it, and I don't think I invented that part.)

I think it's called "Tom's Hard Luck Blues" on the LP, which is very out of reach at present. I played this myself a gazillion times in the 60s but even with the 12 on my lap I can't remember exactly how it went.


14 Jul 03 - 07:49 PM (#983383)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: Jeep man

Thanks, you guys. Mudcatters are special when it comes to help. Stewie, as usual, you are right on and your research is fine.

Stringer and Sorcha too, many thanks, Jim


14 Jul 03 - 08:00 PM (#983395)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: Sorcha

There is a sound clip here if you can snag it.


01 Aug 03 - 08:16 PM (#995374)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: Jim Dixon

Here's my transcription of the sound sample that Sorcha mentioned above.

BORN IN HARD LUCK
(Chris Bouchillon)

Folks, I want to tell you what a hard luck man I am.
I was born in hard luck.
I was born on the last month in the year,
the last week in the month,
the last day in the week,
the last hour in the day,
the last minute in the hour,
and the last second in the minute.
And to tell the truth about it, I liked not to got here at all.

I had a job one time workin' in a grocery store. A lady came in and I...


02 Aug 03 - 06:14 PM (#995668)
Subject: Lyr Add: BORN IN HARD LUCK (from Clarence Ashley)
From: GUEST,Arkie

This was transcribed from Clarence Tom Ashely's recording. There were a few words I could not make out, but this is pretty close. I'll have to keep looking for my Chis Bouchillon lp.

Well folks, I guess its about time
I was telling you a little about myself
Ya know I'm that old hard luck.
I was born in hard luck.
I was born in the last month of the year,
The last week in the month,
The last day in the week,
The last hour in the day,
The last minute in the hour,
The last second in the minute, ha, ha,
I like to a not got here at all.

Yes you know It happened upstairs behind the stove
They was nobody at home that day but Aunt Sara
Pa and Ma they'd went to town with a load of dried fruit
Well I come out from behind the stove
And went on down the street
To hunt me a job, hard luck.
Well I got me a job down there in town at the clothing store
It was men's ready to wear garments --
Oh I thought I'd like that job
One day a good looking girl come in
She waltzed right over to me ----
Says young man I would like to see your underwear
Oh I said, pardon me sister, I don't have on any underwear
Oh well I lost that job ------ got fired
Hard Luck.

Well I went on down the street huntin' work
I got me another job
Down there a working in a ladies ready to wear store
Oh I knowed I like that job
I was getting along pretty good I thought
One day a great big good looking fat gal come in
And walked right over to me
She said young man I'd like to try on a pair of hose
I said pardon me sister we don't have a dressing room
Well the boss overheared the conversation
He came walking over and he says I will take care of her
Says all you men clerks you go in the back side of the store
Let the lady sit here on this chairl and try on a pair of hose
And the very first one of you men that
I catch a peeking that will be your job
Well after I got fired from that job, Hard Luck
I just went on down the street singing me a little song.
And it sounded kind'a like this

SUNG
Well I've been all around the whole wide world
Been down to Memphis Tennessee
Oh its any old place I hang my hat is home sweet home to me
Oh its Don't let your deal go down
Honey don't let your deal go down
Oh its don't let your deal go down little gal
Til your last old dollar's gone.


02 Aug 03 - 08:07 PM (#995705)
Subject: Lyr Add: BORN IN HARD LUCK (from Chris Bouchillon)
From: GUEST,Arkie

BORN IN HARD LUCK
Chris Bouchillon

[SPOKEN:] Folks, I want to tell you what a hard luck man I am.
I was born in hard luck.
I was born on the last month in the year,
The last week in the month,
The last day in the week,
The last hour in the day,
The last minute in the hour,
And the last second in the minute,
And to tell the truth about it, I liked not to got here at all.

I had a job one time a-working in a grocery store.
A lady came in and I asked what I could do for her,
And she says: "What is your butter today?"
I said: "Lady, my butter is butter today."
She said: "Well, I'm glad it is,
That I got here yesterday was axle grease."
So the boss fired me. Oh, I'm hard luck.

So I went on down the street and I got me another job,
In a ladies' shoe store.
That was a good job too.
All I had to do when a lady came in to try on a pair of shoes
Was just to lace up her laces,
But the boss fired me there. He said I got above my job.

So I went on down the street and I got another job in a department store.
One day a lady came in, and I asked her what could I do for her.
She said: "I'd like to see your underwear, young man."
I told her: "You'll have to excuse me this time.
I don't wear any. It's too hot."
The boss fired me there too. Oh, I'm hard luck. Ain't no doubt of that.

Then I got another job, in a dry-goods store.
One day a lady came in and wanted to buy a pair of hose.
I asked her what size she wore.
She said she forgot her number,
And I told her I was sorry but we didn't have any dressing room to try 'em on in.
So the boss came back there wantin' to know what the trouble was,
And I told the boss about it. He said: "Well now, I'll tell you what to do:
All you young men clerks go back to the back end of the store,
And let the lady go behind the counter and try her on a pair of hose,
And the first one I catch of you looking, I gonna fire him right then."
Well, after I lost that job, I started to singing for a living.

And now I'm gonna sing you all a little song entitled
"In Time of Trouble, Prepare for Walkin'".

[SUNG:]My bonnie bent over his gas tank,
The height of its contents to see.
He lighted a match to assist him.
Oh, bring back my bonnie to me.
Bring back, bring back,
Oh, bring back my bonnie to me.


14 Aug 03 - 07:43 AM (#1001798)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Born in Hard Times,Chris Bouchillon
From: Jim Dixon

A version of "Born in Hard Luck" similar to the above transcriptions was also recorded by Snuffy Jenkins on "Pioneer of the Bluegrass Banjo" 1998.

Something called "Born in Hard Luck" has also been recorded by Peg Leg Sam, on "Kickin' It" 2000, and "Medicine Show Man." I'm not sure if it's the same "song" or just a monologue on the same theme. I transcribed this from a sound sample at Yahoo! Shopping > Music:
    [Spoken, unaccompanied:]...if I go up the street walkin' fast, I run over som'n'.
    I'm in such hard luck, if I go up there walkin' slow, som'n' run over me.
    I'm in such hard luck, if I'm settin' down, I'm in ever'body's way.
    I'm in such hard luck, if it's rainin' down soup at this very minute, ever'body'd be standin' with a spoon while I'd have a fork.
    Oh, I's bo'n for hard luck.
    I'm in such hard luck, if my daddy...