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Thread: Mule Skinner Blues?

  1. #1

    Default Mule Skinner Blues?

    Can anyone lead me to a TAB or .TEF file of The Mule Skinner Blues for mandolin? I've been looking without success

    Thanks for your help,
    Randy

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    is there a particular version you are after - I am somewhat fond of the Tony Rice version from "Cold on the Shoulder" - never tried to play it from notation or tab though.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    is there a particular version you are after - I am somewhat fond of the Tony Rice version from "Cold on the Shoulder" - never tried to play it from notation or tab though.
    I would like Monroe's original version.

  4. #4
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Quote Originally Posted by rlinam59 View Post
    I would like Monroe's original version.
    Hardly "Monroe's original version." Bill Monroe neither wrote nor was the first to record Muleskinner Blues. Good luck with your query though.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule_Skinner_Blues
    Last edited by Ranald; Aug-09-2022 at 7:49pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Big T...

    But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
    And London never fails to leave me blue
    And Paris never was my kinda town
    So I walked around with the Ft. Worth Blues

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    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Thanks Fretbear, and what a Great Great record that is!
    I a thinking that is Sam on mandolin on that cut.

    I am hearing 1 4 5 in G

    so G C D

    i think riffing over the chord changes in pentatonic blues and hopefully working off the singer for "ornamentation" should work.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

  8. #7
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    My favorites are Jimmy Rodgers, and Jerry Reed with Chet Atkins

    Sorry, don’t have mandolin sheet for Bill Monroe’s version.
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  9. #8

    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Not sure what your skill level is but I recommend listening until you can hum it and try picking it out. It’s the best way to really make something yours.

    If that doesn’t appeal to you then take a lesson with someone and thy’ll teach it to you. For Monroe style Christopher Henry, Casey Campbell, Mike Compton are but a few that can help you.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  10. #9

    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Lotsa good versions, not necessarily bluegrass, but I like the Fendermen version best!

  11. #10
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    I like this one.


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  13. #11

    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    Thanks Fretbear, and what a Great Great record that is!
    It's mighty fine; I really like this version by Hag as well

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qYWbxyhp6U
    But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
    And London never fails to leave me blue
    And Paris never was my kinda town
    So I walked around with the Ft. Worth Blues

  14. #12
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Back before Jimmy Rogers and George Vaughan wrote "Blue Yodel #8" (aka "Muleskinner Blues"), there was this song by the blues singer Tom Dickson, in which the Black muleskinner complains about his treatment by the boss:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L0_...mDickson-Topic




    It's, "Good morning, Captain", it says, "Good morning, Shine"
    It's, "Good morning, Captain", said, "Good morning, Shine"
    "'Tain't nothin' the matter, Captain, but I just ain't gwine."

    I don't mind workin', Captain, from sun to sun
    I don't mind workin', Captain, from sun to sun
    But I wants my money, Captain, when payday comes

    Worked me all this summer and you started on this fall
    Worked me all this summer, started all this fall
    Now I've got to take Christmas in my overhalls

    If you good men want to keep her out of town at night
    If you good men want to keep her out of town at night
    Just feed her little pork chops, soothes her appetite

    Now, there 'tain't no tellin' what a Mississippi gal'll do
    Well, there 'tain't no tellin', a Mississippi gal'll do
    She will get your money, then pull game at you

    It's, "Go on, pretty mama, gonna need a friend again."
    It's, "Go on, pretty mama, need a friend again
    You gon' sit and sob when you wants me to be your friend."

    SOLO

    Hey, tell me, woman, where did you stay last night?
    Hey, it's tell me, woman, where did you stay last night
    Well, your shoes unfastened and your skirt don't fit you right
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  15. #13

    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Back before Jimmy Rogers and George Vaughan wrote "Blue Yodel #8" (aka "Muleskinner Blues"), there was this song by the blues singer Tom Dickson, in which the Black muleskinner complains about his treatment by the boss:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L0_...mDickson-Topic




    It's, "Good morning, Captain", it says, "Good morning, Shine"
    It's, "Good morning, Captain", said, "Good morning, Shine"
    "'Tain't nothin' the matter, Captain, but I just ain't gwine."

    I don't mind workin', Captain, from sun to sun
    I don't mind workin', Captain, from sun to sun
    But I wants my money, Captain, when payday comes

    Worked me all this summer and you started on this fall
    Worked me all this summer, started all this fall
    Now I've got to take Christmas in my overhalls

    If you good men want to keep her out of town at night
    If you good men want to keep her out of town at night
    Just feed her little pork chops, soothes her appetite

    Now, there 'tain't no tellin' what a Mississippi gal'll do
    Well, there 'tain't no tellin', a Mississippi gal'll do
    She will get your money, then pull game at you

    It's, "Go on, pretty mama, gonna need a friend again."
    It's, "Go on, pretty mama, need a friend again
    You gon' sit and sob when you wants me to be your friend."

    SOLO

    Hey, tell me, woman, where did you stay last night?
    Hey, it's tell me, woman, where did you stay last night
    Well, your shoes unfastened and your skirt don't fit you right
    Historically interesting, today would offend some people. Seems to borrow some lyrics from Sitting On Top Of The World or vice versa, not sure...both from the same time period...

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    Ranald 

  17. #14

    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    This explores some of what you may be looking for:


  18. #15

    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Seems to borrow some lyrics from Sitting On Top Of The World...
    Or 'In the Pines'
    "I play BG so that's what I can talk intelligently about." A line I loved and pirated from Mandoplumb

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  20. #16
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Historically interesting, today would offend some people. Seems to borrow some lyrics from Sitting On Top Of The World or vice versa, not sure...both from the same time period...
    "Shine" is definitely offensive, and I'm sure it was offensive way back when. However, when Tom Dickson sings it, he's illustrating from a Black man's viewpoint how the white boss, "captain," talks to the Black labourer. Almost every white person, I've heard do "Muleskinner" sings "shine," though I suspect that not every singer knew the meaning (for years, I thought it the phrase was "good morning, son"). Interestingly, Bill Monroe doesn't use shine in "New Muleskinner Blues" (Post #10). According to the lyrics printed on Google, he was saying "Good morning foreman, good morning, boss," though it sounds to me like "good morning, boy" which isn't much better than the original. Still, I may be hearing wrong. Being of British/European extraction, I'd drop "Shine" if I were to sing either Muleskinner or Labor Blues.

    Most twelve-bar blue songs contain "floating verses," which move around from song to song, so it's not surprising that similar verses appear in "Sittin' on Top of The World" and "In The Pines." This practice is also true of many traditional, non-blues, dance songs. If no story is being told, with many songs you can throw in whatever verse fits or make up a verse on the spot (see different versions of "Old Joe Clark," "Jubilee," "Turkey in the Straw," or "Angelina Baker"). Perhaps the opening lines of Muleskinner Blues were around before either Jimmy Rogers or Tom Dickson sang them, and both borrowed them from other singers. I have no complaint (other than the racist language) about how Jimmie Rogers and many others interpreted the song. I really enjoyed Monroe's New Muleskinner Blues (above). Thanks to everyone for posting different versions.

    Apologies to the OP, sometimes threads develop subtopics.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  21. #17

    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Someone, inevitably, is going to post this; might as well be me.

    For me second only to Rodgers' original and definitive of Baker's perfection:

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=bill+monro...%3DtiRu03RgSWw

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    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    I'll see your Monroe/Baker and raise you a Dolly Parton

    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

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    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?


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    Default Re: Mule Skinner Blues?

    Dang there goes my new pair of shoes
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

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