Terraplane

by Scott Ainslie

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1.
I Got To Find My Baby (Joe Clayton) Well, I searched the town—from door to door Woman I love I can’t—find no more I got to find my baby I declare I wouldn’t lie. Ain’t had no real good lovin’ since that gal said ‘Goodbye’. When the sun start reachin’, I grab my hat and coat, cause that Cocaine and Reefer won’t grease my ‘case no more, I got to find my baby I declare I wouldn’t lie. Ain’t had no real good lovin’ since that gal said ‘Goodbye’. I don’t care if it’s the last thing I ever do in my life, I’m gonna find that long-leg, brown hair, Lord, and Make her my wife. I got to find my baby I declare I wouldn’t lie. Ain’t had no real good lovin’ Since that gal said ‘Goodbye’. When that sun starts sinkin’, I grab my hat and coat, cause that Cocaine and Reefer won’t grease my ‘case no more, I got to find my baby I declare I wouldn’t lie. Ain’t had no real good lovin’ Since that gal said ‘Goodbye’.
2.
Parchman Farm Blues (Bukka White) Judge give me life this mornin’, down on old Parchman Farm. Judge give me life this mornin’, down on old Parchman Farm. I wouldn’t hate it so bad, but I miss my wife and my home. Now, good-bye wife, all you have done gone, all you have done gone. Well, good-bye wife, all you have done gone. But I hope someday you will hear my lonesome song. INSTRUMENTAL You go to work in the mornin’, just the dawn of day, just the dawn of day. Go to work in the mornin’, just at the dawn of day. And at the settin’ of the sun that is when your work is done. Now, listen you men: I don’t mean no harm, I don’t mean no harm. Now, listen. You men. I don’t mean no harm. If you wanna do good you better stay off old Parchman’s Farm. INSTRUMENTAL I’m down on old Parchman’s Farm, but I sure wanna go back home, Wanna go back home. I’m down on old Parchman’s Farm, but I sure wanna go back home. And I hope someday that I will overcome. Judge give me life this mornin’, down on old Parchman Farm. Judge give me life this mornin’, down on old Parchman Farm. I wouldn’t hate it so bad, but I miss my wife and my home.
3.
Chumpman Blues (Blind Arthur Blake) I’m going down to the river – take a great big jump. I’m going down to the river – take a great big jump. I used to be a wise man, but this woman made me a chump. Now, it sure is funny how hard a man can fall. Now, it sure is funny how hard a man can fall. When he gets to thinkin’ that one woman has got it all. Well, she threw me out; I went walkin’ down the track. She threw me out! I went walkin’ down the track. But I turned right around, (Lord have mercy), and begged her to take me back. (and I said…) (She wasn’t listenin’ so I went on..) Well, she ain’t no good, but I can’t leave her somehow. Naw, she ain’t no good, but I can’t leave her somehow. I used to be a wild cat, but this woman has chained me down. Now, sh-, sh-, she don’t act sweet – she’s that mean and naggin’ kind. Naw, she don’t act sweet – she’s that mean and naggin’ kind. But she’s got this little quiver, make a strong man lose his mind. (When she walks, she goes…) So, I’m goin’ down to the river, take a great big jump. Right after I get done singin’ right here tonight, I’m gonna jump. I used to be a wise man, but this woman made me a chump.
4.
Terraplane (Robert Johnson) And I feel so lonesome, you hear me when I moan. And I feel so lonesome, you hear me when I moan. Who been drivin’ my Terraplane, for you since I been gone? I said I flash your lights, your horn won’t even blow. (Somebody’s been running my batteries down here…) I even flash my lights, mama—this horn won’t even blow. Got a short in this connection, hoo-well, way down below. I’m gon’ hoist your hood, mama–I’m bound to check your oil. I’m gon’ hoist your hood, mama–I’m bound to check your oil. I got a woman that I’m lovin’—way down in Arkansas. BRIDGE: Now you know, the coils ain’t even buzzin’ Little generator won’t get that spark. All’s in a bad condition, you gotta have These batt’ries charged, I’m cryin’ Please–please don’t do me wrong. Who been drivin’ my Terraplane now, For you since I been gone. Mr. Highway man, please don’t block the road. Mr. Highway man, please don’t block the road. She’s regist’rin’ a cold one hundred and I’m booked and I got to go. Mmmmm—Mmmmmmmmmm. Mmmmm——You hear me weep and moan. Who been drivin’ my Terraplane For you since I been gone. I’m ‘on’ get deep down in this connection Keep on tanglin’ with yo’ wires. I’m ‘on’ get deep down in this connection Keep on tanglin’ with yo’ wires. And when I mash down on your little starter Then your spark plug will give me fire.
5.
Death Don't Have No Mercy (Rev. Gary Davis) Death don’t have no mercy in this land. Death don’t have no mercy in this land. Well he’ll come to your house, but he won’t stay long. Look in the bed and somebody’ll be gone. Death don’t have no mercy in this land Death’ll go in any family in this land. Death go in any family in this land. Well, he’ll come to your house and he won’t stay long Well, you look in the bed and one of your family will be gone. Death don’t have no mercy in this land. Well, he never takes a vacation in this land. Old Death never takes a vacation in this land. Well, he’ll come to your house and he won’t stay long Well, you look in the bed and your mama be gone. Death don’t have no mercy in this land. INSTRUMENTAL #1 Well, he’ll leave you standin’ and cryin’ in this land. Well, Death’ll leave you standin’ and crying in this land. Well, he’ll come to your house but he won’t stay long, Look in the bed and your father will be gone. Death don’t have no mercy in this land. Oh, Death always in a hurry in this land. Death—always in a hurry in this land. Well, he’ll come to your house, but he won’t stay long Look in the bed and one o’ your family will be gone. Death don’t have no mercy in this land. Well, they won’t give you time to get ready in this land. No, they won’t give you time to get ready in this land. Well, he’ll come to your house but he won’t stay long, Look in the bed and somebody will be gone. No, they won’t give you time to get ready in this land.
6.
If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day (Robert Johnson) If I had possession over judgement day. If I had possession over judgement day. Any woman didn’t want no lovin’ wouldn’t have no right to pray. I went to the mountain and it burned my eyes to see. I went to the mountain and it burned my eyes to see. Some other man got my woman and these lonesome blues got me. Well, I rolled and I tumbled and I cried the whole night long. I rolled and I tumbled and I cried the whole night long. When I woke up this mornin’, my biscuit roller gone. Had to fold my arms and I slowly walked away. Had to fold my arms and I slowly walked away. I said in my mind, “Your trouble gonna come some day”. Now run here baby, set down on my knee. Yes, run here, baby, set down on my knee. I want to tell you all about the way they treated me. If I had possession over judgement day. If I had possession over judgement day. Any woman didn’t want no lovin’ wouldn’t have no right to pray.
7.
Police Dog Blues (Blind Arthur Blake) Said, all my life—I been a ramblin’ man. Said, all my life—I been a ramblin’ man. Livin’ alone, I try to do the best I can. I shipped my trunk down—down to Tennessee. I shipped my trunk down—down to Tennessee. It’s hard to tell—’bout a man like me. I met a girl—I couldn’t get her off my mind. I met a girl—I couldn’t get her off my mind. She passed me up—didn’t like my tie. (Here she’s walkin’ away…) I’m afraid to bother around her house at night. I’m afraid to bother around her house at night. Police dog is crazy and want to bite. Well, his name is ‘Rambler’ and when he gets a chance; His name is ‘Rambler’ and when he gets a chance; He leaves his mark—-on everybody’s pants. (here’s the dog….) So I guess I’ll travel, I guess I’ll let her be. I guess I’ll travel, I guess I’ll let her be. Before she sets that Police Dog on me. Said, all my life, I been a travelin’ man. Said, all my life, I been a travelin’ man. Livin’ alone, try to do the best I can.
8.
My Baby Walks On Fire (Scott Ainslie) My baby walks on fire, but she never gets burned. My baby walks on fire, but she never gets burned. You want to walk with her, boys, you got a lot to learn. She’s a regular fire eater—like that high wire, too. She’s a regular fire eater—like that high wire, too. No telling what she might do, when she’s in the mood. She’s hot, and she knows she is: Pony up, boys, and some lucky fool gets kissed. She’s hot, she’s got burning lips, She’ll set you on fire with her finger tips: She’s hot. She’s hot. She’ll walk into the lion’s den, hungry lions all around. She’ll walk into the lion’s den, hungry lions all around. The good Lord gave her something; make all them cats lie right down. Well, she’s hot, and she knows she is: Pony up now and some lucky fool gets kissed. She’s hot, boys, you know she is: Set you on fire with her finger tips: She’s hot. She’ll stand up on two white horses, jewels in her crown. She’ll stand up on two white horses, jewels in her crown. Drop down in that saddle and ride that little pony all around. My baby walks on fire, but she never gets burned. My baby walks on fire, but she never gets burned. You want to walk with her, boys, you got a lot to learn.
9.
Walkin' Blues (Robert Johnson) I woke up this morning, feel around for my shoes You know by that I got these ol’ walkin’ blues, I woke Up this morning, feel around all for my shoes. You know by that I got these ol’ walkin’ blues. I feel like blowin’ my, ol’ lonesome home; Woke up this mornin’ my gal was gone…. Leave this mornin’ if I have to: gon’ ride the blind*, I been mistreated and I don’t mind dyin’… Well, some people tell me that the worried blues ain’t bad, Worst old feelin’ I most ever had…. She’s got the Elgin movement** from her head down to her toes, She breaks in on a dollar most anywhere she goes…
10.
Change My Name (Scott Ainslie) Well, the whole town’s in an uproar, all up and down the street; I owe everybody, but nobody owes me! I’m gonna start with the very next person I meet: Next time you see me there ain’t no tellin’ who I’ll be. I got to change my name. I got to change my name. I got to change my name, that’s what it’s all about. Now, ‘Guitar Wizard’ rhymes with gizzards, which I can’t abide, And I can’t be ‘Reverend’ and I sure ain’t ‘Blind’ Lightnin’ doesn’t suit me ’cause I move too slow And if you ever called me ‘Tampa’ I wouldn’t know where to go, And if I’m gonna change my name: it sure won’t be ‘Kokomo’. I got a letter from my mother askin’ me was “she to blame” And my father want’s to know, “Son, what’s wrong with your name?” I got to change my name. I got to change my name. I got to change my name, Man, that’s what it’s all about. Well I tried ‘Funny Papa’, that didn’t sound too bad, I thought ‘Big Scott Ainslie’, but I’d have to wear shoulder pads. I thought I’d take the name of a famous president, But I had trouble finding one I did not resent, And if you’re gonna change your name, brother, that’s what it’s all about. Well, the record man said, “It’s a cryin’ shame. “I like your music, son, but-uh, what about this name? “You see that spinnin’ ’round on the phonograph “Now a DJ couldn’t read that so save his own (ass)…” So, I’m leavin’ this town. I need a change of scene. I’m gonna marry the first girl ‘can tell me what-uh, ‘MOJO’ means I got to change my name. I got to change my name. I got to change my name; that’s what it’s all about.
11.
Spike Driver Blues. (Mississippi John Hurt) Take this hammer and carry it to the captain, Tell him I’m gone. Tell him I’m gone. Oh, tell him I’m gone. Take this hammer and carry it to the captain, Oh, tell him I’m gone. Tell him I’m gone. I sure am gone. It’s a long way from east Colorado, honey, to my home, Honey to my home…. It’s a long way from east Colorado, honey, to my home. …..That’s where I’m going. John Henry was a steel drivin’ man, but he went down. But he went down….he sure went down. John Henry he left his hammer, laying side the road. John Henry he left his hammer, all over in rain. All over in rain. Laying side the road. INSTRUMENTAL This is the hammer that killed John Henry, Lord, it won’t kill me. This is the hammer that killed John Henry, but it won’t kill me….sure won’t kill me.
12.
You Gotta Get Up (Scott Ainslie) Push me to the ground, Try and keep me down I’m gonna get up! Treat me like a slave, Put me in my grave, I’m gonna get up! Throw me into jail, With no money for my bail I’m gonna get up! You know you’re bound to die, When you come into this life, You gotta get up. Greet me with a curse, Steal the money from my purse, I’m gonna get up. Waste the labor of my hands, Help my enemies advance, I’m gonna get up. Fill my head with lies, Turn a deaf ear to my cries, I’m gonna get up. You know you’re bound to die, When you come into this life, You gotta get up. When there’s lightning up above, And the sea is filled with blood, You gotta get up! You either break or bend, If you try and fail again You gotta get up. In this desert land, With no one to take your hand, You gotta get up. You know you’re bound to die, When you come into this life, You gotta get up. When the trumpets call And the stars begin to fall, I’m gonna get up. If my progress slack and stall, If I stumble, if I fall, I’m gonna get up. Turn me back at the gate, Take the bread from my plate, I’m gonna get up. You know you’re bound to die, When you come into this life, You gotta get up. Sound the trumpet, Beat the drum When the Judgement comes I’m gonna get up. Come the darkest hour, ‘mid the glory and the power, I’m gonna get up. When they break the seventh seal And every fear is real, I’m gonna get up. You know you’re bound to die, When you come into this life, You gotta get up. When there’s lightning up above, And the sea is filled with blood, You gotta get up! You either break or bend, If you try and fail again You gotta get up. In this desert land, With no one to take your hand, You gotta get up. You know you’re bound to die, When you come into this life, You gotta get up.
13.
Run Like Water (Scott Ainslie) Needle in a haystack, diamond in the rough. Bright like a mirror, and blind like love. Run like water, taste like wine; Walk into town—about supper time. If the water’s high, roll up those pants; We got lips to kiss—and feet to dance. You know (a) great big girl—good for your soul, Let the banjo ring, let the guitar roll. I was cornbred righteous—on black-eyed peas, Biscuits and gravy—like you never seen! They say bounty comes from tended seeds, Everything—-a body needs. I confess to other loves, But not so many as the stars above; Made me happy, made me blue, Taught me something about loving you. Well, the kettle sings–it’s mornin’ tune, Dog in the bed—be getting up soon. Now, the coffee’s hot—and the table’s set: Roust your bones, you sleepy head. Needle in a haystack, diamond in the rough. Bright like a mirror, and blind like love. Run like water, taste like wine; Walk into town about supper time.
14.
Ramblin' On My Mind (Robert Johnson) I got ramblin’—-I got ramblin’ on my mind. I got ramblin’—I got ramblin’ on my mind. Hate to leave my baby, but she treats me so unkind. I got mean things—-I got mean things all on my mind. hate to leave you here, babe, but you treat me so unkind. Runnin’ down to the station, catch the first mail train I see. (I believe I hear it comin’ in now..) Runnin’ down to the station, catch that old first mail train I see. Got the blues ’bout Miss So-And-So, and that child got the blues about me. And I’m leavin’ this mornin’ with my arms folded up and crying. I hate to leave my baby, but she treats me so unkind. And now, baby—–I will not forgive you anymore. And now, baby—–I will not forgive you anymore. If you didn’t want me darlin’—baby, why did you tell me so? I got ramblin’—-I got ramblin’ on my mind. I got ramblin’—-I got ramblin’ on my mind. Hate to leave my baby, but she treats me so unkind.
15.
Rocks and Gravel (John Jackson, traditional) It takes rocks and gravel to build a solid road. Takes rocks and gravel to build a solid road. It takes high priced whiskey—t’ satisfy my soul. Now, tell me baby, where’d you stay last night? Tell me baby, where’d you stay last night? Come in this mornin’, you’re clothes ain’t fittin’ you right. (Where’d you stay baby?…) Well, I love my baby, love her all night long. Yeah, I love my baby, love her all night long. Love her when she’s here, Lord, I love her when she’s gone. But I leave here running, I walked in here too slow. yeah. I leave here running, walked in here too slow. I’m leavin’ you baby, never comin’ back no more. It takes rocks and gravel to build a solid road. Rocks and gravel….to build a solid road. It takes high-priced Whiskey, to satisfy my soul.
16.
Amazing Grace (John Newton) Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found; Was blind but now I see. ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed. Through many dangers, toils and snares, We have already come. ‘Tis grace that brought us safe this far, And grace will lead us home. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now, I’m found; Was blind, but now I see.

about

A solo roots blues record featuring solo acoustic, resonator, and electric guitar blues, a one-stringed cigar box guitar (diddley bow), and great vocals: exposed tracks with little decoration. You can hear it all.

credits

released September 22, 1997

Scott Ainslie, guitars, voice, cigar box guitar.
Scott Sawyer, electric blues lead on My Baby Walks On Fire.
Gabriel Ainslie, rimshot on Change My Name.

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Scott Ainslie Brattleboro, Vermont

A long history with older black blues and gospel players in the mid-South marks Ainslie's work deeply. He transcribed all of Robert Johnson's recorded songs for "Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads" (Hal Leonard, 1992) and has a teaching DVD on Johnson's music. A fine songwriter with a social conscience and a belief in the power of music to move and inspire, Ainslie's voice is a great force for good! ... more

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