woensdag 4 oktober 2017
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (1927) / Two White Horses In A Line (1931) / One Kind (Of) Favor (1952) / Sad And Lonesome Day (1935) / Vigilante Man (1940) / Lonesome Day (1944) / A Dying Man's Plea (1962)
"See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" is a song recorded by American blues musician Blind Lemon Jefferson in two slightly differing versions in October 1927 and February 1928 that became "one of his most famous compositions".
The most commonly used name for this song is "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean", but other titles used are: "One Kind Favor", "Two White Horses In A Line" and "Dig My Grave With A Silver Spade" or variations on these titles. The traditional/bluegrass song "Sad And Lonesome Day" is another variation of the song. Many recordings give writing credit to Blind Lemon Jefferson but it was an existing "folk spiritual" that Jefferson learnt as "Two White Horses In A Line". It is likely that a number of similar songs existed.
The following site mentions other possible sources: http://www.earlyblues.com
Blind Lemon Jefferson's first version appears to have been issued as Paramount #12585, with matrix 4579 ("He Arose From The Dead") and matrix 20074 ("See That My Grave Is Kept Clean") coupled.
The same #12585 was re-issued coupling matrix 4579 and matrix 20073 ("Where Shall I Be ?").
Lemon Jefferson originally recorded this song under the pseudonym “Deacon L. J. Bates”
(o) Deacon L.J. Bates (=Blind Lemon Jefferson) (as "See That My Grave's Kept Clean")
Recorded October 1927 in Chicago.
Released on Paramount #12585
It's odd that on the release coupling "Where Shall I Be ?" with "He Arose From The Dead", for the latter the matrix-number 20074 is used.
Riverside Records Discography: 1925-1930
See That My Grave's Kept Clean - Weeniepedia
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean - Wikipedia
(c) Blind Lemon Jefferson (1928)
Recorded February 1928 in Chicago
Released on Paramount 12608
On May 28, 1930 Son House also recorded a version of "See That My Grave is Kept Clean", which was never issued, but on the same day he used the melody for "Mississippi County Farm Blues".
(c) Two Poor Boys (1931) (as "Two White Horses In A Line")
Recorded May 20, 1931 in New York City
Released on Oriole 8081
Also released on Perfect 182 and Romeo 5081
It is generally assumed that in 1940 Woody Guthrie lifted the melody for "Vigilante Man" from the Carter Family's "Sad And Lonesome Day".
But on his turn "Sad And Lonesome Day" is a reworking of Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean".
(c) Carter Family (1935) (as "Sad And Lonesome Day")
Sara and Maybelle Carter (vocal duet) / Sara Carter; guitar
Recorded May 7, 1935 in New York
Released on Conqueror 8735 and Melotone 7-04-53
(c) Woody Guthrie (1940) (melody used in "Vigilante Man")
Recorded April 26, 1940 in Camden, New Jersey
Released July 1940 on the 78RPM album "Dust Bowl Ballads Vol 2" on the B-side of Victor 26624
Vigilante Man - Wikipedia
And in 1944 Woody covered the Carter Family's "Sad And Lonesome Day".
(c) Woody Guthrie (1944) (as "Lonesome Day")
Woody Guthrie: vocal/mandolin, Cisco Houston: vocal/guitar, Sonny Terry: harmonica
Recorded April 25, 1944
Released in 1952 on Stinson SLP 44
Woody Guthrie - Woody Guthrie, Vol. 1 (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs
(c) Lightnin' Hopkins (1952) (as "One Kind Favor")
Recorded 1950/1951 in Houston Texas for the Quinn Recording Company
Producer: Bill Quinn
Released in 1952 on RPM # 359
(c) Lightnin' Hopkins (1952) (as "One Kind Of Favor")
Lightnin' Hopkins: vocal/guitar, Donald Cooks: bass
Recorded 1951 in Houston TX
Producer: Bob Shad
Released on Sittin' In With # 649
CD Album - Lightnin' Hopkins - The Remaining Titles - Volume I: 1950-1961 - Document - Austria
(c) Dave Van Ronk (1961) (as "Please See That My Grave Is Kept Clean")
As Dave Van Ronk was Bob Dylan's "first New York guru", this might be the reason 1 year later Dylan also covered the song on his first album.
(c) Bob Dylan (1962) (as "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean")
Bob recorded it again with the Band, which is included on The Genuine Basement Tapes.
This version was re-titled "One Kind Favor" on the Bootleg Series Vol 11; the Basement Tapes Complete
CD Album - Bob Dylan And The Band - The Bootleg Series Vol 11: The Basement Tapes Complete - Columbia - Europe
(c) Staple Singers (1962) (as "A Dying Man's Plea")
Recorded February 1962 in New York City
The Staple Singers - Hammer And Nails (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs
(c) Peter, Paul and Mary (1964) (as "One Kind Favor"),
Vinyl Album - Peter, Paul And Mary - In Concert - Warner Bros. - USA
(c) Canned Heat (1968) (as "One Kind Favor")
Vinyl Album - Canned Heat - Living The Blues - Liberty - USA
45cat - Canned Heat - Going Up The Country / One Kind Favor - Liberty - USA - 56077
(c) Grateful Dead (as "One Kind Favor")
Recorded live on July 30, 1966 in Vancouver, Canada
CD Album - Grateful Dead - Grateful Dead - Rhino - Europe
In November 2001 Lou Reed recorded a live version of "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean".
An abridged version was used on the soundtrack of the 2003 movie "Martin Scorsese presents The Blues - The Sooul of a Man"
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
But here's the magnificent full 12 minute version.
In November 1999 Lou Reed had recorded an electrified version, which was released in 2006 on the Harry Smith Project.
In 2004 Mavis Staples recorded "A Dying Man's Plea", which she previously had recorded with the Staple Singers in 1962 (SEE ABOVE)
Mavis Staples - Have A Little Faith (CD, Album) at Discogs
In 2015 Mavis Staples recorded the song again as "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" for her album "Your Good Fortune".
It won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best American Roots Performance.
(c) Mavis Staples (2015) (as "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean")
NOTE: musically speaking "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" has a little resemblance to
"Loveless Love" / "Careless Love".
SEE: ----Joop's Musical Flowers: Kelly's Love (1911) / Loveless Love (1921) / Careless Love (1923)
And there's also a little resemblance to "Fare Thee, Honey, Fare Thee Well" / "I'll See You In The Spring, When The Birds Begin To Sing".
More versions of "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" here:
Cover versions of See That My Grave Is Kept Clean by Blind Lemon Jefferson | SecondHandSongs
The Originals © by Arnold Rypens - SEE THAT MY GRAVE IS KEPT CLEAN
Grateful Dead Family Discography: One Kind Favor / See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (Blind Lemon Jefferson)
"See That My Grave Is Kept GREEN" is an example of a similar song.
Although it doesn't have much in common with Blind Lemon Jefferson's song, it does have the lines "This one little wish I ask of you, see that my grave is kept green."
The sheet music can be seen at the Historic American Sheet Music site.
In 1928 Bela Lam and his Greene County Singers recorded a version of "See That My Grave Is Kept Green".
Listen here: https://www.amoeba.com/music-player.php?type=track&id=11144331
And in 1933 The Carter Family also recorded a version of "See That My Grave Is Kept Green".