Taking Names

“There’s a man going ’round taking names” – this old gospel influenced me in the sixties and motivated me to learn guitar playing and singing the blues. Maybe the reason is, that my life started 1945 in an orphanage. Aged three a man came to adopt me. But there was always corporal punishment day for day (18 long years) and I was not happy, that he took me and gave me his name. “There’s a man going ’round taking names” sung by Leadbelly, Josh White or Mungo Jerry – this ballad describes a slave seller, walking around in an African harbor with his paper list in his hand doing a devil’s job: catch a crowd of young men in Africa to ship them in chains to America’s cotton fields – this ballad seemed somehow to be the story of my life too…
version with Gernot Baur (harp):

version with Ian McAulay (e-guitar):

links to wikiloops:

comment at soundcloud:

Dar Mlodziezy, visitor from Poland

There’s a man going ’round taking names
There’s a man going ’round taking names
He’s been taking my father’s name
and he left my heart in vain
There’s a man going ’round taking names.

About frizztext

writer, photographer, guitarist

7 responses to “Taking Names

  1. This is heart rending, Frizz. The Josh White version is soulful, I love it.
    It’s good that you can talk about it, and also use your music to heal.
    Sunday hugs to you.


  2. Love this catchy song, Frizz. 🙂


  3. Forgot to say that I like your version the best. I’m so glad that this song encouraged you to learn guitar and to sing the blues. It’s a wonderful gift. 🙂


    • hello Sylvia,
      you wrote about FAMILY (it’s good to have a family, where is friendly communication): “In October last year, we were visiting our son and family…” – compare my situation now (I’m aged 68 in the meantime): our children (a banker in Munich, an architect in Berlin) and our 4 grandchildren are also out of reach 600 miles away from our home – so we have to use e-mails, our blog, cell phone – or SKYPE – to stay connected. 4 times a year we travel to meet each other, it’s expensive, but it’s family …


  4. I never fail to be moved when you mention your very hard growing up, Frizz. But what wonders you create from that place too. You inspire us all.


  5. Ian McAulay

    It was a pleasure ‘working’ with you – this song has special meaning to me too and I hope to collaborate with you on more projects in the future.


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