The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #17760   Message #205690
Posted By: harpgirl
02-Apr-00 - 03:36 PM
Thread Name: Origins/Meaning: Follow the Drinking Gourd
Subject: RE: Help: Follow the Drinking Gourd meanings
...Hi Dave...I have really enjoyed your singing and playing on hearme by the way! I read the notes on "Follow the Drinking Gourd" from RUS. McGrath's question is interesting! RUS says trad. arranged by Lee Hayes and The Weavers 1951 and renewed 1979 Folkways Music Publishers etc. Thi song derives from the time of the underground RR and offers instructions to runaway slaves for reaching freedom in Canada-above all of course to keep heading toward the "the drinking gourd" (The Big Dipper). On Sparky Rucker "Heroes and Hard Times", Pete Seeger "I can see a new day" and "50 Sail, Weavers"At Carnegie Hall" & Gr H "Bright Morning Star Arisin", Kim and Reggie Harris "M & the underground rr", & Shays Rebellion "Daniel Shay's Hwy." In the Weavers SB, S of the Spirit, Carry It on, Here's to the Women & Children, S for a Friendly Planet.
I first heard it at the FFF done by Last Rites, a stellar group from South Florida. Dr. Sound and I, who have started to play gigs together, are going to be working on it for a Friday night Art Opening at City Hall in Tallahassee. It is a community wide art show, a fitting venue for such an important song.
Could our scholars suggest more such songs? Barry and I find them very sympatico to our politics and intent in musical expression...harpgirl