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DeBellum Blues

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 2:24 am
by drake
Anyone out there know this song or who did it (first)?
I used to play it many years ago and would like to recover the lost words/elements of this tune, re learn it, so to speak.
A verse went
"If you go down to De bellum keep your money in your shoes[2]"
Them Debellum women 'll give you debellum blues"
--or something like that.

RE: DeBellum Blues

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 3:34 am
by bighollowtwang
[updated:LAST EDITED ON May-10-05 AT 11:34 PM (EST)]The song you're thinking of is called "Deep Ellum Blues" and the title refers to a neighborhood in Dallas called "Deep Elm" - the name has been corrupted over the years.

It was first recorded around 1935 by the Shelton Brothers (aka The Lone Star Cowboys) and became something of a standard with old-time string bands, and has been recorded by the Prairie Ramblers, Doc Watson, the Maddox Brothers, the Delmore Brothers, Jimmy Revard and his Oklahoma Playboys, the Balfa Brothers, Charlie Feathers, even Jerry Lee Lewis. Personally I really like the Hank Thompson version.

RE: DeBellum Blues

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 4:16 am
by david
Here in western Kentucky most old timers in the rural areas still pronounce the tree name "elm" as "ellum."

They'll all tell you that what the world needs more of is a liberal application of "ellum tea," which referred to mothers using an elm branch for a switch.

RE: DeBellum Blues

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 2:07 pm
by ricochet
Around here it was "hickory tea."

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

RE: DeBellum Blues

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 5:16 pm
by david
Most likely depended on which was growing closest to the kitchen door.

I only know of ellum tea second hand. My Granny kept a razor strap hanging inside the closet door under the steps. Usually all she had to do was look that direction to get the desired results.

I live in that house now and the nail the strap hung on is still in the door, but times have changed and the razor strap got away from us.

(I have, rarely, whipped my kids, but only with my bare hands--I never used a weapon. They've never shot or stabbed anybody yet.)