Candy Man

Reverend Davis and a friend.

We all learned this tune from Reverend Gary Davis. By we I mean Dave Van Ronk, Jack Elliot, Roy Bookbinder, and everyone with finger picking guitar aspirations, including me. Reverend Davis did not sing these words, at least not after his religious convictions moved him to abandon such sinful singing. I'm not sure where these verses came from. I've collected them from assorted performances and threw in a couple of bits from Leadbelly's "Relax Your Mind."

As you see, I play it on the banjo. I haven't come across anyone else who does though I think it works surprisingly well. Reverend Gary Davis was an excellent banjo player himself.

Lyrics: 

Candy man, (6 times)
I’d give anything in this God-a-mighty world to get my candy man home

Run get the pitcher get the baby some beer, (6 times)
I wisht I was in New Orleans siting on a candy stand

Candy man, Salty dog (3 times)
If I can’t be you loving candy man lemme be your salty dog

Little red light, little green light (3 times)
Gotta step on the red and go on the green stay away from mister in-between

Run get the pitcher get the baby some beer, (6 times)
I’d give anything in this God-a-mighty world to get my candy man home

Little red light, little green light (3 times)
The light’s all red but when the light turn green put-yo foot on the gasoline.

Big leg Ida, (6 times)
Big leg Ida I loves that girl god knows I do

Little red light, little green light (3 times)
When the light turn red remember what I said put-cho foot on the break instead.

Peppermint stick and a big brass band (3 times)
I wisht I was in New Orleans siting on a candy stand

Run get the pitcher get the baby some beer, (6 times)
I’d give anything in this God-a-mighty world to get my candy man home

Instruments: 
Tuning: 
C standard