Heptune presents:

Beale Street Mama

    (Turk, Robinson)
Photograph of Esther Bigeou.
Transcribed from vocals by Esther Bigeou, recorded March 15, 1923,
FromThe Complete Works of Esther Bigeou, Lillyn Brown, Alberta Brown & the Remaining Titles of Ada Brown in Chronological Order (1921-1928), Document Records DOCD-5489.

Mamie Neale, down in Beale,
Gave her papa the air,
Left him cold, got him told,
Like she didn't care;
Poor Joe, her beau,
Looked just like he would die;
If you would see her, you would hear her, sob this mournful cry:

Beale Street Papa, why don't you come back home?
It isn't proper to leave your mama all alone.
Sometimes I was cruel, that's true,
But your sweet mama never did two-time you;
Ah, ooh, I'm blue!
So how come you do me like you do?
I'm cryin'!

Beale Street Papa, I mean, don't you mess around with me;
There's plenty petting I can get in Tennessee,
I get my lovin' constantly, but not the kind you served to me,
So please, sweet papa, come back home!

Beale Street Papa, I mean, don't you mess around with me;
There's plenty petting I can get in Tennessee,
I bought a razor, rifle, rope and knife,
But if the police comes for you, baby, gonna save my life,
So Beale Street Papa, come back home!


Beale Street Mama

    (Turk, Robinson)

Photograph of Bessie Smith.

Transcribed from vocals by Bessie Smith, recorded April 11, 1923.
From Bessie Smith: 1923; The Chronological Classics 761.

Jenny Neale,
Down in Beale,
Gave her papa the air;
Left him cold,
Got him told,
Said she didn't care.
Old Joe, her beau,
Looked just like he would die;
If you was near him,
You would hear him
Sob his mournful cry:

Beale Street Papa,
Why don't you come back home?
It isn't proper to leave your mama all alone!
Sometimes I was cruel, that was true,
But Papa, you know Mama never two-timed you!
Boo-hoo, I'm blue;
So how come you do me like you do?
I'm cryin'!
Beale Street Papa, don't mess around with me!
There's plenty pettin' that I can get in Tennessee,
I'll still get my sweet cooking, constantly,
But not the kind you served to me,
So Beale Street Papa, come back home!

So how come you do me like you do?
I'm cryin'!
Beale Street Papa, don't mess around with me!
There's plenty pettin' that I can get in Tennessee,
I bought a rifle, razor and a knife,
A full support [?] can't save my life;
So Beale Street Papa, come back home!



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Return to the Esther Bigeou page.

Find lyrics and musical scores in Bessie Smith Songbook!

Published 9/23/99.
Updated 11/19/99.
 


 
 

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