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Freddy the Pig
11-28-2006, 09:50 AM
In The Devil Went Down to Georgia, the devil challenges Johnny to a fiddlin' contest. The Devil plays first, and we hear him as an instrumental--technically very astute, but perhaps lacking a certain artistic elan. He's the devil, after all.

Then Johnny plays, and Charlie Daniels narrates over the music to tell us what he's playing:

Fire on the mountain, run boys run
Devil's in the house of the rising sun
Chicken in the bed pan, picking out dough
Granny does your dog bite, no child no
However, as I am not a devotee of country or bluegrass music, none of the above means anything to me. The "house of the rising sun" is perhaps a reference to the song made famous by the Animals, although that song doesn't sound anything like the exuberant fiddling being played in the background.

Are these real songs, or snippets of lyrics from real songs? What the heck is Johnny playing?

Mangetout
11-28-2006, 10:09 AM
The "house of the rising sun" is perhaps a reference to the song made famous by the AnimalsUnlikely - I think the folk song you're referring to predates The Animals' song by quite a bit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_the_Rising_Sun

robby
11-28-2006, 10:13 AM
It's "Chicken in a bread pan pickin' out dough...", not "bed pan," you know. ;)

Spoke
11-28-2006, 10:27 AM
Fire on the mountain, run boys run
Devil's in the house of the rising sun
Chicken in the bread pan, picking out dough
Granny does your dog bite, no child no

The bolded bits are all titles of traditional Appalachian songs, though the fiddle playing we hear in "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" doesn't actually match any of them, IIRC.

Wile E
11-28-2006, 10:29 AM
It's "Chicken in a bread pan pickin' out dough...", not "bed pan," you know. ;)

That is going to have to go into the funny "Misheard Lyrics" file.

Spoke
11-28-2006, 10:37 AM
Fire on the Mountain (http://mandolinsessions.com/apr06/FireMountain.html)

And I may have to correct myself. I think the "Granny does your dog bite?" line is part of the same song as "Chicken in the bread pan."

Gfactor
11-28-2006, 10:39 AM
Fire on the Mountain (http://mandolinsessions.com/apr06/FireMountain.html)

And I may have to correct myself. I think the "Granny does your dog bite?" line is part of the same song as "Chicken in the bread pan."


So it seems: http://bluegrassmessengers.com/master/chickeninthebread.html

Gfactor
11-28-2006, 10:43 AM
This guy raises a few good points:

1. The Devil won that fiddling contest, right?

2. Because isn't that totally amazing fiddle feedback thing the Devil plays (which sounds like Hendrix gone bluegrass) a hundred times better than that high-school-band piece-of-crap tune Johnny plays? Thirty-Nine Questions for Charlie Daniels Upon Hearing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (http://mcsweeneys.net/2005/8/16moe.html)

minlokwat
11-28-2006, 10:49 AM
Am I the only one who thought the devil actually won?

Starts with a nice guitar riff / shuffle and then a bass line doubling over with the keyboard --and this by a band of demons mind you who are generally not considered to be the most musically talented in the spirit world...

The devil was screwed I tell you.

Freddy the Pig
11-28-2006, 10:59 AM
That is going to have to go into the funny "Misheard Lyrics" file.More like mis-typed lyrics. :smack:

Gangster Octopus
11-28-2006, 11:08 AM
[Futurama quote]
Fry: Wouldn't a solid gold fiddle weigh hundreds of pounds and sound crummy?
[/Futurama quote]

Sunrazor
11-28-2006, 12:20 PM
The thing we have to remember about this song is that Charlie Daniels never actually wrote any lyrics for it. Like "Sweet Home Alabama" was to Lynyrd Skynyrd, this was a throwaway song, never really meant to be a hit. Daniels has said in several interviews that they made it up as they went along, so it's not surprising that the song's lyrics raised at least 39 questions about it.

CapnPitt
11-28-2006, 12:45 PM
I thought Judge Mills Lane disqualified the Devil when the band of demons jumped in. Clearly with the demon backing group, the Devil had a patently unfair advantage. So Johnny didn't actually even have to play well, he simply had to play and got the walkover victory.

Turek
11-28-2006, 12:46 PM
Johnny - A little bit country
The Devil - A little bit rock and roll

AskNott
11-28-2006, 01:01 PM
Bluegrass/jazz fiddler Vassar Clements claimed most of the music was stolen from his "Lonesome Fiddler Blues," which Vassar wrote in the 1940s. So, if the claim is valid, Johnny played Lonesome Fiddler Blues.

thwartme
11-28-2006, 01:09 PM
Am I the only one who thought the devil actually won?

Starts with a nice guitar riff / shuffle and then a bass line doubling over with the keyboard --and this by a band of demons mind you who are generally not considered to be the most musically talented in the spirit world...

The devil was screwed I tell you.

Listen again, my friend. I think you'll find that the Devil was quite clearly playing disco. Automatic disqualification.

And to give a semi-serious answer to the OP, the lyrics in Johnny's chorus are call-outs to 'classic' country fiddle tunes, wheras the Devil was clearly playing that sinful boojie-woojie music. Hence, Johnny wins.

thwartme

JacksonRoykirk
11-28-2006, 01:35 PM
Why did the Devil win? Easy. He bet on Johnny, then took a dive. He has a history of doing things like that. See South Park episode 108, "Damien."

JacksonRoykirk
11-28-2006, 01:36 PM
Why did the Devil win? Easy. He bet on Johnny, then took a dive. He has a history of doing things like that. See South Park episode 108, "Damien."

D'oh! :smack: I meant, "Why did the Devil let Johnny win?"

mr. jp
11-28-2006, 01:47 PM
Isn't it the case that Johnny played all those songs the narrator mentioned? If so, I suppose those are really good, and that is the reason that Johnny wins.

Freddy the Pig
11-28-2006, 02:00 PM
Isn't it the case that Johnny played all those songs the narrator mentioned? If so, I suppose those are really good, and that is the reason that Johnny wins.I'm willing to accept that they couldn't fit the entire competition into a four-minute pop tune, so we only hear excerpts of each player playing. In the "real" competition, Johnny would play, or at least sample, each of the songs mentioned.

For the record, based on the excerpts, I've always felt that Johnny won, but I have a tin ear for this kind of stuff.

Thanks for the links, folks. One more question--in the "Bluegrass Messenger", it says that Granny does your dog bite "also is a floating title". What does this mean?

silenus
11-28-2006, 02:07 PM
"I told you once, you son-of-a-bitch, I'm the best that's ever been."

Johnny may have won the contest, but the Devil got him in the end on a Pride rap. :D

mr. jp
11-28-2006, 02:12 PM
No, the devils bit is best. But if we imagine that Johnny is playing bits from other songs we don't even hear, then it makes sense that Johnny wins.

minlokwat
11-28-2006, 02:12 PM
I thought Judge Mills Lane disqualified the Devil when the band of demons jumped in. Clearly with the demon backing group, the Devil had a patently unfair advantage.
I disagree.

While some supernatural beings seem to possess some musical talents (angels are known to be proficient harp players, fairies can generally produce a pretty good falsetto) not so with your ordinary band of demons.

Anyway Judge Lane never mentioned any of that in the pre-fight instructions.


from thwartme: Listen again, my friend. I think you'll find that the Devil was quite clearly playing disco. Automatic disqualification.

Really? I suppose thatís open to interpretation but there was certainly nothing in the ground rules that specifically stated certain inferior genres of music would be grounds for automatic dismissal from the contest.

And I would have liked to have seen Daniels include that one in snappy lyric form.

Gangster Octopus
11-28-2006, 02:18 PM
"I told you once, you son-of-a-bitch, I'm the best that's ever been."

Johnny may have won the contest, but the Devil got him in the end on a Pride rap. :D

I'm pretty sure Johnny says that line.

Ghanima
11-28-2006, 02:26 PM
This guy raises a few good points:

Thirty-Nine Questions for Charlie Daniels Upon Hearing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (http://mcsweeneys.net/2005/8/16moe.html)
8. If the Devil went down to Georgia 'cause he was looking for a soul to steal, why does he arrange what appears to be an honest competition?

DUH! It's because he was in a bind and he was way behind and he was willing to make a deal.

Gfactor
11-28-2006, 02:32 PM
One more question--in the "Bluegrass Messenger", it says that Granny does your dog bite "also is a floating title". What does this mean?

WAG: It means that the title is one that has "floated" among different songs.

E.g., http://ibiblio.org/folkindex/g08.htm#Grawiyod
and see,
the title itself "Granny Will Your Dog Bite" is also a floating title attached to several tunes.http://ibiblio.org/fiddlers/GRA_GRAPE.htm

Ludovic
11-28-2006, 02:46 PM
I don't recall the song well enough to judge whether the Devil or Johnny won, but I do think they'd both be bested by just about any real bluegrass fiddler imaginable - it sounds like they had to work to get the fiddle parts to sound that bad.

Turek
11-28-2006, 03:21 PM
I'm pretty sure Johnny says that line.

Pride is a sin, thereby resulting in Johnny spending eternity in The Hot Place.

silenus
11-28-2006, 03:22 PM
I'm pretty sure Johnny says that line.

Which is why Johnny lost his soul. Overweening Pride is one of the Seven Deadlies (http://bookofratings.com/sins.html), remember? :D

Marley23
11-28-2006, 03:57 PM
Am I the only one who thought the devil actually won?
No, you're not.
I'm willing to accept that they couldn't fit the entire competition into a four-minute pop tune, so we only hear excerpts of each player playing. In the "real" competition, Johnny would play, or at least sample, each of the songs mentioned.
Fair enough. Still, if the excerpt is the best of what Johnny played, I'd demand a recount.

DeadlyAccurate
11-28-2006, 04:19 PM
I don't know if you can watch it if you're not a subscriber, but I just watched the music video (a live by the band performance) on Yahoo Music. Do a search on videos.

The song ends with the son-of-a-bitch line, so I'm not sure if the devil would've gotten Johnny's soul or not in the end.

CapnPitt
11-28-2006, 04:34 PM
I disagree.

While some supernatural beings seem to possess some musical talents (angels are known to be proficient harp players, fairies can generally produce a pretty good falsetto) not so with your ordinary band of demons.

Anyway Judge Lane never mentioned any of that in the pre-fight instructions.




Really? I suppose thatís open to interpretation but there was certainly nothing in the ground rules that specifically stated certain inferior genres of music would be grounds for automatic dismissal from the contest.

And I would have liked to have seen Daniels include that one in snappy lyric form.


Helloooo...your so-called "ordinary" band of demons is the only explanation for disco. A loving and merciful creator would never have thrust that upon us. Demons, I tell you, demons.


On as serious a note as I can muster, doesn't Johnny obviously win because the lyrics go something like "the devil laid the golden fiddle on the ground at Johnny's feet because he knew that he'd been beat." The Devil, prideful as he is in legend, wouldn't readily admit defeat, I wouldn't reckon. Further, greedy as he is, I don't think he'd easily part with a gin-u-wine Golden Fiddle unless he'd lost. Actually, deal or no deal, I think if he'd lost, he'd just have vaporized Johnny and sent him on to his eternal reward, not even giving him the chance to say the oh so awesome son-of-a-bitch line. Then again, I might be overthinking this. :D

Marley23
11-28-2006, 05:02 PM
On as serious a note as I can muster, doesn't Johnny obviously win because the lyrics go something like "the devil laid the golden fiddle on the ground at Johnny's feet because he knew that he'd been beat."
We know Johnny wins, but the Devil's solo is obviously better. :D

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