“Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (recording, Fields and/or Crockett Ward)
Keywords: hardheartedness loneliness courting floatingverses dancetune baby lover
Found in: US(SE)

Description

Singer tells of troubles with ex-sweetheart. She says he is the "meanest boy that ever lived or died." Later, she throws her arms around him "like grapevines round a gum." At his last visit, she had "Johnny's arms around her, and the baby on the floor."

Long description

Singer tells of troubles with ex-sweetheart; he goes to see her but she says he is the "meanest boy that ever lived or died." He goes again; she throws her arms around him "like grapevines round a gum." He tells listeners to tell her "if she goes to make her bread, to wash her nasty hands" and that "if she don't like my way of doin', to get some other fella." The last time he's seen her, she had "Johnny's arms around her, and the baby on the floor."

Notes

While one verse and a phrase float, most of the rest of the song is original; the verses sound like floaters but aren't. If, as I suspect, Frank Blevins wrote the piece, it was a remarkable achievement; it's a brilliant song, his fiddling was superb, and he was all of fifteen years old when he recorded. - PJS

It appears to me that this song is actually closest to "Liza Jane"; a Stanley Brothers version has several stanzas in common with this piece. But it does appear to be at least an adaption of that framework. - RBW

I don't think so; Liza Jane is much more a collection of floaters, whereas this has a unifying theme of the singer's rejection by the girl. If the Stanley Brothers' version of "Liza Jane" -- recorded decades later -- includes overlapping verses, my guess is they were taken from this song, rather than the other way around.

Well, here's a conundrum; the Allen Bros. "Ain't That Skippin' and Flyin'" uses an identical tune with "Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind," but the verses are floaters, without the implicit plot of this song. Frank Blevins's recording of, "Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind" was made first -- by three days, and for the same record company. But then, the Ward recording predates both, and its title splits the difference. Its words are floaters as well. - PJS

Cross references

Recordings