Pick Poor Robin Clean

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Example Pre-War Blues Video Lesson

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Overview

This song is an interesting one for Geeshie; kind of like They’re Red Hot for Robert Johnson, in how it’s a ragtime piece which strays from the rest of the repertoire. It’s interesting in that it shows how she was in tune with the “pop” feel of the time, doing the 20s-style jazz scatting, and playing the ragtime-picked chord progression.

Workstation

Standard — but each string detuned one half-step, so Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb

[Spoken]
Thomas: Hello there, Geeshie
Wiley: Hello there, Slack
Thomas: What are you doing down here?
Wiley: I’m just down here trying to play these boys the new Cock Robin
Thomas: Let me hear it, then

I picked poor Robin clean, picked poor Robin clean
I picked his head, picked his feet
I woulda picked his body but it wasn’t fit to eat
Picked poor Robin clean, picked poor Robin clean
And I’ll be satisfied having a family

Lord, did that jaybird laugh when I picked poor Robin clean
Poor Robin clean, picked poor Robin clean
Oh did that jaybird laugh when I picked poor Robin clean
And I’ll be satisfied having a family

Get off my money, and don’t get funny
‘Cause I’m a Negra, don’t cut no figure
Then old Miss Sadie, she is my baby
(ET sings “Ah, Miss Sadie”)
And I’m a hustling coon, that’s just what I am

You bet I picked poor Robin clean…

I picked poor Robin clean, picked poor Robin clean
I picked his head, picked his feet
I woulda picked his body but it wasn’t fit to eat
Picked poor Robin clean, picked poor Robin clean
And I’ll be satisfied having a family

Won’t be long now

I picked poor Robin clean, picked poor Robin clean
I picked his head, picked his feet
I woulda picked his body but it wasn’t fit to eat
Picked poor Robin clean, picked poor Robin clean
And I’ll be satisfied having a family

Song History

Grafton, WI
Paramount 13074

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