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Author: Subject: Ramblin' Man

Peach Master





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  posted on 4/30/2008 at 03:29 PM
Got a question for you folks that I've been wondering for awhile. When my band sings the song Ramblin' Man, I always change the lyrics from "Delta women think the world of me" to "Delta women mean the world to me" because I didn't like the egotistical connotations. Do you think it changes the meaning of the song at all? Is it kosher to change the lyrics? Is my interpretation all wrong? Thanks for any help!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/30/2008 at 03:52 PM
quote:
Got a question for you folks that I've been wondering for awhile. When my band sings the song Ramblin' Man, I always change the lyrics from "Delta women think the world of me" to "Delta women mean the world to me" because I didn't like the egotistical connotations. Do you think it changes the meaning of the song at all? Is it kosher to change the lyrics? Is my interpretation all wrong? Thanks for any help!


I don't think " Those Litani River Women think the world of me" quite captures the essence of the song.

 

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  posted on 4/30/2008 at 03:54 PM
Sing it the way it was written.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/30/2008 at 03:58 PM
Sing it the way it was written! The change you describe really changes the original meaning.

 

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  posted on 4/30/2008 at 04:55 PM
Sing it the way the master wrote it, or don't sing it all. ''Egotistical connotations'' ? Give me a break.

 

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  posted on 4/30/2008 at 05:31 PM
Hey, my .02 is that music is art, art is open to interpretation, so you should do it your way. It's not like you're completely butchering up the song or anything

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 4/30/2008 at 05:51 PM
quote:
The change you describe really changes the original meaning.


Wow, thanks for all the thoughtful replies. I appreciate the responses but I could still use a little help. Many thought I should sing it the way it was written but failed to mention why. Sorry, but "cuz that was the way it was written" doesn't help me. I've heard many bands change lyrics to fit the times (Warren Zevon sung Werewolves of _____ depending upon what city he was in and Bob Weir sang about _____ girls in Minglewood blues for the same reason--just two quick examples).

And what IS the original meaning? I guess what I'm really asking is what are your interpretations of this line?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/30/2008 at 05:52 PM
All art is open to interpetation

Even Gregg changed his lyric a bit for Aint Wastin Time No More

Play it the way you feel it

 

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  posted on 4/30/2008 at 06:23 PM
quote:
quote:
The change you describe really changes the original meaning.


Wow, thanks for all the thoughtful replies. I appreciate the responses but I could still use a little help. Many thought I should sing it the way it was written but failed to mention why. Sorry, but "cuz that was the way it was written" doesn't help me. I've heard many bands change lyrics to fit the times (Warren Zevon sung Werewolves of _____ depending upon what city he was in and Bob Weir sang about _____ girls in Minglewood blues for the same reason--just two quick examples).
And what IS the original meaning? I guess what I'm really asking is what are your interpretations of this line?
In the song "Back Where It All Begins", Dickey changed the line "little star up in the sky" to "tell her one more goodbye".
I think it works much better, whatever the reason is he changed it!

 

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Peach Head



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  posted on 4/30/2008 at 07:08 PM
The original line is a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers but I can't remember which song.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 5/2/2008 at 12:37 PM
Why is this song recorded a half step up? Was it sped up during the mixing process?

 

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  posted on 5/2/2008 at 12:54 PM
Sing it the way Brother Dickey wrote it. I believe it wasnt ego driven at all, yet
from the band...ahhhh, New Orleans ladies.

 

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  posted on 5/2/2008 at 01:06 PM
Well, my ABB tribute band plays this song at every show and we sing it like it was written. I think if you are going cover a well known ABB song like this one, the words need to be right because there are a lot of folks out there who know the words and you may get called on it. If you don't care about that, then improvise away and maybe no one will notice....

 

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  posted on 5/2/2008 at 01:12 PM
quote:
quote:
The change you describe really changes the original meaning.


Wow, thanks for all the thoughtful replies. I appreciate the responses but I could still use a little help. Many thought I should sing it the way it was written but failed to mention why. Sorry, but "cuz that was the way it was written" doesn't help me. I've heard many bands change lyrics to fit the times (Warren Zevon sung Werewolves of _____ depending upon what city he was in and Bob Weir sang about _____ girls in Minglewood blues for the same reason--just two quick examples).

And what IS the original meaning? I guess what I'm really asking is what are your interpretations of this line?


You would have to ask Mr Betts himself what the line means, and the possible Jimmy Rodgers reference is interesting.

Still, the song is about himself, and perhaps there is a little ego in that line, but it's harmless and probably mostly true anyway that many Delta women do think highly of him. Your line change makes the song partly a tribute to Delta women, when the writer is describing himself throughout the song. Not the same as a city reference swap.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 12:45 PM
quote:
Your line change makes the song partly a tribute to Delta women, when the writer is describing himself throughout the song. Not the same as a city reference swap.


You are correct that it is different from a city reference swap. However, I think the line about "Always havin a good time down on the Bayou" is talking about sex and it makes as much sense that the ramblin' man is indebted to these women (for providing all those 'good times') than he is glad they love him. I know I will get completely slammed for this, but I think the line change actually improves the song. Go ahead, hang me!

 

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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 12:49 PM
What difference does it make?

Do you watch the view?

 

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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 12:53 PM
Why don't you write your own songs instead of covering tunes with lyrics that offend you?

Dickey has been writing and playing for 40+ years...he's in the Music Hall of Fame and is a founding member of the ABB. When you get somewhere close to that body of work then you can claim that your words are better than his. Until then, be quiet.

 

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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 01:18 PM
I used to sing "Let My Love Open the Door" by Pete Townshend in a cover band. That song has the line, "Love can cure your problems/You're so lucky I'm around" and that line always seemed colossally egotistical to me and I felt like a dope singing it, so I changed it to "We're so lucky it's around". The line in "Ramblin Man" isn't nearly as self-satisfied and I'd probably not change it if I sang it, but I understand where you're coming from.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 01:19 PM
Because if he's a 'Rambin' Man' he's admitting he's a little cocky and self centered, so it makes sense that he would say that "Delta women think the world of me," not "mean" the world to me which suggests a more sensitive guy, and is not consistent with the message of the song.
 

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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 02:39 PM
quote:
All art is open to interpetation

Even Gregg changed his lyric a bit for Aint Wastin Time No More

Play it the way you feel it



I agree and while Dickey's lyric there shows his ego I still don't think it demeans Delta Women. So what if some Delta Women DON'T think the world of Dickey. Those women that Don't Like Dickey can be offended and they can take offense. The world isn't going to come to an end. Let Dickey have his ego line and sing it however you want to.

 

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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 03:47 PM
Having lived with 2 British brothers in Gainesville while we attended the U of Florida, and watching how they practically had to dodge thongs thrown from American women, I can see how Delta women could love Dickey's Ramblin' Man character. Making an issue of the lyrics and changing them is ridiculous and I'll just stop there.

[Edited on 5/3/2008 by bdwalton77]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 04:04 PM

Is your fax machine unplugged?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 08:03 PM
quote:
Got a question for you folks that I've been wondering for awhile. When my band sings the song Ramblin' Man, I always change the lyrics from "Delta women think the world of me" to "Delta women mean the world to me" because I didn't like the egotistical connotations. Do you think it changes the meaning of the song at all? Is it kosher to change the lyrics? Is my interpretation all wrong? Thanks for any help!


Of course it changes the meaning. The original way he's saying the women dig him, he's a ladies man. The other way he's saying he likes them. The song has egotistical connotations because the narrator is egotistical. That's the main point.

Doug

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 08:04 PM
quote:
All art is open to interpetation

Even Gregg changed his lyric a bit for Aint Wastin Time No More

Play it the way you feel it


Gregg changed it because "warfreaks "seemed a little dated and I assume he was no longer cool with "and just get high" given where he was in life.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/3/2008 at 08:07 PM
quote:
quote:
All art is open to interpetation

Even Gregg changed his lyric a bit for Aint Wastin Time No More

Play it the way you feel it



I agree and while Dickey's lyric there shows his ego I still don't think it demeans Delta Women. So what if some Delta Women DON'T think the world of Dickey. Those women that Don't Like Dickey can be offended and they can take offense. The world isn't going to come to an end. Let Dickey have his ego line and sing it however you want to.




Why is everyone assuming its autobiographical? It's a story. Was Dickey born in the backseat of a greyhound bus? Did his father end up on the wrong side of a gun?

 

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