Red Hot Breakdown

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RED HOT BREAKDOWN. Old-Time, Breakdown/Song. The song, from the playing and singing of north Georgia fiddler Earl Johnson [1] [2] (1886-1965) and his group the Clodhoppers, is a member of the "Sugar Babe"/"Crawdad Song" song family. The Clodhopper's words on the 1928 recording go:

The Red Hot Breakdown

Way down yonder where I come from,
In the morning, in the morning, so soon,
Way down yonder where I come from,
In the morning, in the morning, so soon, Way down yonder where I come from,
They fed the niggers on hard ... corn,
Sittin' on the bench where it wasn't no use,
Feet stickin' out like a chicken on a roost,
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.

Two little niggers was black as tar
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.
Two little niggers was black as tar
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.
Two little niggers was black as tar,
Tried to get to heaven in a 'lectric car
And they couldn't get thar
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.

Some folks says a preacher won't steal
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.
Some folks says a preacher won't steal
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.
Some folks says a preacher wont steal.
I caught two in my watermelon field.
Eat all of the watermelon, part of the rind,
Picking and a-praying all the time,
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.

Two little boys had a fight
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.
Two little boys had a fight
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.
Two little boys had a fight,
Trying to get to heaven on the tail of a kite.
Kite tail broke and they both fell.
Instead of going to heaven they went (fiddle note),
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.

If you want get to heaven, I'll tell you what to do
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.
If you want get to heaven, I'll tell you what to do
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.
If you want get to heaven, I'll tell you what to do:
Grease your feet in the mutton stew.
Catch the devil right by the hand.
Slide right over in the Promised Land
In the morning, in the morning, so soon.

Modern versions, of course, omit or massage the racist elements in the lyric.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Carryon Records 002, "Ace Weems and the Fat Meat Boys." County Records ‎543, Earl Johnson and His Clodhoppers ‎– "Red Hot Breakdown" (1976). Tom, Brad & Alice - "Holly Ding." Okeh 45209 (78 RPM), Earl Johnson & His Clodhoppers (1928).

See also listing at:
Hear Earl Johnson's recording on youtube.com [3]
See the Bluegrass Messengers comprehensive notes on the song and song family [4]




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