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Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)

Azizi 01 Sep 09 - 12:32 PM
W y s i w y G ! 01 Sep 09 - 12:56 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 01 Sep 09 - 12:57 PM
Azizi 01 Sep 09 - 01:38 PM
Azizi 01 Sep 09 - 01:43 PM
Azizi 01 Sep 09 - 01:52 PM
Richie 01 Sep 09 - 02:03 PM
Richie 01 Sep 09 - 02:10 PM
Azizi 01 Sep 09 - 02:21 PM
Azizi 01 Sep 09 - 02:24 PM
Jack Campin 01 Sep 09 - 03:46 PM
Richie 01 Sep 09 - 04:09 PM
Azizi 01 Sep 09 - 05:17 PM
Azizi 01 Sep 09 - 05:28 PM
Richie 01 Sep 09 - 07:03 PM
Azizi 01 Sep 09 - 07:24 PM
Richie 01 Sep 09 - 07:34 PM
Richie 01 Sep 09 - 07:43 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 01 Sep 09 - 08:04 PM
Azizi 01 Sep 09 - 09:42 PM
Joe Offer 01 Sep 09 - 10:39 PM
Gibb Sahib 01 Sep 09 - 10:41 PM
Richie 01 Sep 09 - 10:44 PM
Richie 01 Sep 09 - 11:03 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 12:32 PM

Thomas Washington Talley's 1922 book Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise And Other Wise is an important collection of African American secular songs from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Lyrics to a number of songs from that book have been posted to various threads on this forum. Those posts usually include comments about those songs.

The purpose of this thread is to present a hyperlinked list of Mudcat posts that include the lyrics of some songs found in Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes, or otherwise refer to that book.

Another purpose of this thread is to post links to and excerpts from reviews of Negro Folk Rhymes and another book "The Negro Tradions" that was edited by Thomas Washington Talley. Furthermore, I'll be posting several other songs from Talley's collection on to this thread, along with comments about those examples.

I'm hoping that this rhread becomes more than a place to present links, information, and song lyrics. I'd love it if Mudcat members and guests would share examples and/or comments about these songs and about related songs & rhymes, as well as information about Thomas W. Talley himself.

Thanks in advance for reading this thread and for posting to this thread.

Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 12:56 PM

Talley material is likely to be so interwoven with spirituals that have been posted in the past that I cannot even begin to imagine how I'd dig it all up at this point, but people are free to look around in there (in the Spirituals Permathread) and have a go.

Song titles listed there may or may not be the same as Talley titles.

Talley titles that appear to be in there may or may not have been the source for titles that appear to duplicate.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 12:57 PM

Strangely I passed over a copy of that at archive.org, just yesterday! There are several copies available for download, eg Negro Folk Rhymes: wise and otherwise, Talley, 1922. (If you want to download the pdf, you'll find it easier to click the HTTP link first and then download the pdf from there, otherwise you'll run round the houses when it's a google download).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 01:38 PM

In my next post , I'll provide some excerpts from several reviews of Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes. But first I'd like to comment about the use of the group referent "Negro".

"Negro" is a long retired referent for Black Americans. Since at least the early 1980s, the preferred formal group and individual referent for Americans with some Black African descent is "African American". Note that this referent is always spelled with two capital "As".

Also since the 1980s, "Black" is usually considered to be an acceptable informal referent for African Americans. Note that when "Black" is used as a group or individual referent, it's usually considered acceptable to write that word with a capital "b" or a lower case "b".

It should be further noted that for African Americans, "Black" refers to people from continental Africa (and its contiguous islands) and people of African descent (also known as the Black Diaspora). Thus, "Black" refers to a larger group of people than does "African Americans". (All African Americans are Black, but all Black people aren't African Americans).

Since 2000, the even larger group referent "People of Color" (PoC) has gained in popularity. "People of Color" refers to all people in the world who are non-White. PoC isn't the same as "Colored People", a referent that was used in the mid 20th century and earlier for Black Americans and which is still retained in the name of the civil rights organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). "People of Color" is also not the same as the Coloureds of South Africa. And yes, I know that this may be confusing.

To further complicate matters, the referent "Negro" is usually never used by African Americans nowadays unless it's used as an insult. In those instances "Negro" will be written with a small "n" to further emphasize that the person so identified is acting as a person who is an Uncle Tom. This small letter "n" is written that way on purpose as it imitates what used to be the practice of most of this country's mainstream media. Unlike other racial, ethnic, and national names whose first letters were routinely capitalized [ English, Chinese, sSpanish, Jewish, Indians, Japanese, Irish etc], the "n" in "Negro" was routinely written with a lower case letter. The messsge inherent in that practice was that we (Black people) were thought to be less than all other peoples of the world. Ironically, shortly after the long fought movement to get the "n" in "Negro" written with a capital letter was successful, the group referent "Negro" lost support among African Americans. The debate about which group referent we preferred was intense for a period of time. However,for about 30 years, "African American" has been generally accepted as the "correct" formal referent and "Black" has generally been accepted as our informal referent. But "Black" is supposed to be used as an adjective (such as "Black people") and not as a noun ("The Blacks"). While there are still some Black Americans who, for various reasons, don't like the referent "African American" or don't like the referent "Black" or don't like either referent, most of us use these two terms interchangably in semi-formal conversation such as that found on this forum.

Hopefully, this comment has helped to clarify this subject. I decided to write about this subject on this thread since the thread's title might lead some people to think that it's socially correct to still use the referent "Negro".

Short summary-It's not socially acceptable in contemporary usage to refer to African Americans as "Negros". And it really is a no no to use the written form "negro" to refer to African Americans.


Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 01:43 PM

Susan and Mick, thanks for posting to this thread.

Talley's book "Negro Folk Rhymes" is available online at:

http://books.google.com/books?id=kp5iqVY_5YcC&dq=negro+folk+rhymes+talley&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=QI_3PxX1u4&sig=9prji

**

Also, see

That site has this notation for Talley's 1922 book "Negro Folk Rhymes":

"Available for free downloading

Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook."

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/27195


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 01:52 PM

Here are two reviews from Amazon.com of Talley's "Negro Folk Rhymes":

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Talleys-Negro-Folk-Rhymes/product-reviews/0870496735/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoint


Absolutely essential!, May 13, 2000
By "thisnicknameisnottaken" (Australia)

"Anyone even remotely interested in folklore, folk music, or American history should get this book. It contains over 400 rhymes (some with music) collected in the early 1900s by Thomas W. Talley, a black chemistry professor from Tennessee. Most of the rhymes are American, but there are a few from Africa, Jamaica, and elsewhere.
This alone would be worth the price of admission, but this edition also contains a new essay on the work, plus an updated bibliography and index, plus the original introduction by Thomas W. Talley (an excellent 50-page essay which covers performance practice and even details of instrument construction), plus additional rhymes and music that didn't make it into the original edition.
Great to page idly through or to read cover-to-cover, this book would be a fantastic addition to anyone's collection."

**

The Best Collection of African-American Secular Folksongs,
December 7, 2006
By Andrew Calhoun (Chicago)
   
"Negro Folk Rhymes" is one of the great American poetry anthologies; and it is fascinating as it is heartbreaking, to see how racism affects folklore, and folk life. White collectors who also published in the 1920's, Newman I. White, Dorothy Scarborough, Howard Odum, weren't able to collect this quality and kind of material. White commented that "the negro's songs about his women makes an unflattering exhibit." Talley collected another kind of song, a song that possibly would never have been sung for white people in the 1920's. Many of these animal "nonsense" songs carry a double message about racism and injustice; and there is also a wealth of tender and beautiful love songs from both sexes, and the sweetest lullabies. Talley's book was published in 1922, complete with a thinly veiled, condescending racist introduction from a shrivel-souled academic named Walter Clyde Curry, who simply missed the essence and genius of these songs and poems. Charles K. Wolfe did a great service rescuing these melodies from manuscript. These are nothing like the blues, the melodies have the same wise/innocent quality of Scottish and Irish folksongs, though they're not quite like that either. There is many a striking melody - the one for "The Old Man's Song" in the Phrygian mode, rare in Western music. One gathers from Wolfe's introduction that there was a common folk/string band music among blacks and whites in the South, but the record companies emphasized the differences, putting the blacks in blues and gospel and the whites in country and bluegrass, and the world, unfortunately, followed. Contemporary and traditional folk and country music are now nearly entirely white genres, but their roots are equally black and white. The commercial world, for whatever purpose, strove to divide rather than unite Americans. Let us not be unaware of how this pertains today. I wish that these tunes and words appeared on the same page; anyone wishing to match these tricky tunes with the lyrics, and actually sing them, must make a xerox copy. Quibbles. This is a brilliant production and best read aloud; many rhymes are riddles which are better apprehended by the ear than the eye. "Milly Biggers" is as great a folksong as we have, from deep in slavery times."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 02:03 PM

Hi Azziz,

Many of the African-American songs collected by Odum, Talley, White, and Scarborough are very important links to the origin of many songs.

Scarborough's book is on-line as are other early collections that include African-America folk songs- Brown, Perrow and Odum.

There is one short book from Texas online (with Alabama Bound circa 1911) and I hope that Newman Ivey White's book and Gates Thomas' Texas folk songs will be available soon.

If you need any help identifying songs I'll be glad to lend a hand.

Good luck,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 02:10 PM

In my research I completely eliminate all derogatory racial language using an asterisk * and then put edited.

I use black sometimes if necessary: *black man and a white man playing seven up.

I also substitute "mourner" and "feller" or other words. There's no sense perpetuating degrading language IMHO, regardless of it's historical importance. The change should be footnoted but that's all.

There are some great old songs that should be sung but the language must be changed.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 02:21 PM

Here is Part I of a hyperlinked list of references in Mudcat's public threads to Thomas Washington Talley's book Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise and Other Wise.

My method of compiling this list is to use Mudcat's internal search engine (I put in the words Negro Folk Rhymes). I apologize for missing any references to those songs that are in Mudcat public forum threads. Also, these threads are listed in the order that they are found in Mudcat's internal search engine, which may or may not be in chronological order. Part I just ends where I arbitrarily ended for this session. Note: these posts contain textual analysis and other comments as well as song lyrics..


MUDCAT DISCUSSION FORUM POSTS ABOUT TALLEY'S "NEGRO FOLK RHYMES"-
Part I.   

Subject: RE: origin and lyr: Sail Away Ladies
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 31 Dec 06 - 08:23 PM

Song-Sail Away Ladies
thread.cfm?threadid=97649#1923656

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Subject: Lyr Add: LEAD A MAN and MY MAMMY STOLE A COW
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 31 Dec 06 - 09:08 PM

Song "Lead a Man" is from a song entitled "Dance Song" that is found in Dorothy Scarborough's 1925 collection On The Trial of Negro Folk Songs.

"Mammy Stole A Cow" is found in Talley's book.


thread.cfm?threadid=97649#1923675

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Subject: RE: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 10:26 PM

song-"A Man Of Words"

thread.cfm?threadid=103320#2102884

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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 02:00 PM

song-"Old Man Know-All"

thread.cfm?threadid=103320#2102875

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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 07:15 PM

song-"She Hugged Me And She Kissed Me"

thread.cfm?threadid=103320#2103682

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Subject: RE: Racial Referents-Negro, Quadroon, etc
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 25 May 08 - 09:42 AM

song-"Stand Back, Black Man"

thread.cfm?threadid=111488#2348765

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Subject: RE: Racial Referents-Negro, Quadroon, etc
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 25 May 08 - 10:15 AM

song-"I Wouldn't Marry A Yellow Or A White Negro Girl"

thread.cfm?threadid=111488#2348784

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There once was a rabbit developed a habit
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 09:11 PM

song -"There once was a rabbit developed a habit"
thread.cfm?threadid=69479#2085232

Note: I quoted an excerpt of a review but mistakenly indicated that this was a review of "Negro Folk Rhymes". Actually, the review was of another Talley book The Negro Traditions, edited by Charles K. Wolfe and Laura C. Jarmon.

http://utpress.org/a/searchdetails.php?jobno=T00433

**

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Behold That Star
From: Mary in Kentucky - PM
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 04:05 PM

Includes an excerpt from Charles' Wolf's introduction to the 1991 edition of that book; This portion is about about Talley's original composition. The Christmas song "Behold That Star"
Mary in Kentucky indicates that this information from Mudcat was gathered by Mudcatter Masato Sakurai.

thread.cfm?threadid=41958#607367

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 01:04 AM

song-"Here Comes A Young Man Courting"

thread.cfm?threadid=80573#1469660

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Q - PM
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 03:54 PM

-song No. 287 Taking a Walk [from the 1991 Univesity of Tennesse edition of this book, edited by Charles K. Wolfe)

thread.cfm?threadid=80573#1471589

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 04:33 PM

song-"Gooseberry Wine"

This song includes the verse:
Oh walk chalk, Ginger Blue!
Git over double trouble

thread.cfm?threadid=80573#1471629

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Subject: RE: Origins: Who wrote Polly Wolly Doodle
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 09:19 AM

This post includes this comment about the source of the rhymes found in Talley's book:

..."Talley, an African American professor at Fisk, indicated in his book that these rhymes were from his childhood memories as well as collected from his [African American] students. He also writes that many of these songs were very old..

Beyond that, no other sources are cited {for instance, Talley didn't say that x song was from y student from a specific state who heard the song in a specified year under specified circumstances. While these kind of demographics would have been great to have, I'm very grateful that Talley documented these songs."…

thread.cfm?threadid=6378#1608110

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Subject: RE: Origins: Who wrote Polly Wolly Doodle
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 11:58 AM

This post includes a number of "went to the river but couldn't get across lines; and other lines found in or similar to verses in the folk song "Polly Wolly Doodle".

thread.cfm?threadid=6378#1359792

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Subject: Lyr Add: CHICKEN IN THE BREAD TRAY and CHICKEN PIE
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 08:58 PM

Song-"Chicken In The Bread Tray"

This song starts with the verse:
"Auntie, will yo' dog bite?"
"No, chile, No!"

This post also includes the song or an excerpt of the song:
"Chicken Pie"

And "Chicken Pie"
thread.cfm?threadid=61157#982076


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 02:24 PM

Thanks, Richie for your comments. I wholeheartedly agree with the method you use and the points you made.

I'll be in touch with you through pm.

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 03:46 PM

I presume the Gutenberg one won't have the music.

I can't get any of the download links to work. Anybody got a direct, no-messing-about hyperlink to a PDF file of the whole thing?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 04:09 PM

I'll look at some of Talley's songs. The first song is a dance, with dance calls. The leader would come up with an idea and sing: "Setch a kickin' up san'" and the group would respond "Jonah's Band!"

JONAH'S BAND PARTY

Setch a kickin' up san'
Jonah's Band!
Setch a kickin' up san'!
Jonah's Band!
"Han's up sixteen! Circle to the right!
We're going to get big eatin's here tonight".

Setch a kickin' up san'!
Jonah's Band!
Setch a kickin' up san'!
Jonah's Band!
"Raise your foot, kick it up high,
Knock dat Mobile Buck in the eye.

Setch a kickin' up san'!
Jonah's Band!
Setch a kickin' up san'!
Jonah's Band!
"Stand up flat foot. Jump Dem Bars!
Karo bac'ards. Like a train o' kyars."

Setch a kickin' up san'!
Jonah's Band!
Setch a kickin' up san'!
Jonah's Band!
"Dance round , Mistiss, show'em de p'int;
Dat *dancer don't know how to Coonjaint."

-Thomas W. Talley, Negro Folk Songs 1922

"Coonjaint," (a derivative of coonjine) "Mobile Buck," "Karo (Cairo)
and "Jump Dem Bars" are African- American dance steps. Talley gives more info on the dance.

*edited

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 05:17 PM

Jack Campin, sorry. I don't have any other information about how to download that book.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 05:28 PM

MUDCAT DISCUSSION FORUM POSTS ABOUT TALLEY'S "NEGRO FOLK RHYMES"-
Part II

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hop High Ladies
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 08:17 AM

-song "How To Get To Glory Land"
thread.cfm?threadid=6130#2658474

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Prisoner's Song (Dalhart , et al.)
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 04:44 AM

Song- "Mamma's Darling"

thread.cfm?threadid=20334#2599648

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Subject: RE: Origins: Go Tell It on the Mountain
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 08:59 PM

song-"I Would Rather Be A Negro Than A Poor Black Man"

song- "When My Wife Dies"

thread.cfm?threadid=3744#2500434

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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:07 PM

song-"Green oak tree! Rock'o!"

thread.cfm?threadid=108439#2256117

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Subject: Biblical Place Names Songs
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 30 Dec 07 - 12:23 PM

song-"Behold That Star", An Original Jubilee Carol by Thomas Washington Talley

I don't believe that this song is in the book "Negro Folk Rhymes".

thread.cfm?threadid=107323#2224956

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Subject: RE: Folklore: Crocodile crocodile ..kids game.
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 19 Jul 07 - 04:52 AM

Childen's Game: "Hawk And Chicken Play" also known as "Chickama Chickama Cranie Crow"

thread.cfm?threadid=103388#2106609

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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Q - PM
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 09:23 PM

Comments-including, information about the addition material in the 1991 edition of "Negro Folk R hymes" compared to the 1968 edition.

thread.cfm?threadid=103320#2103766

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Subject: RE: Folklore: Play Ground Hand Jives
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 07:44 PM

song-"I Love Coffee, I Love Tea"

thread.cfm?threadid=102055#2090493

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Subject: RE: Folklore: Jumping the Broom
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 07:46 PM

Song- "Slave Marriage Ceremony Supplement"

thread.cfm?threadid=101239#2039871

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Subject: RE: Juba
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 24 Feb 07 - 10:33 AM

song-"Juba"

thread.cfm?threadid=8972#1977942

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Subject: Add: Lyr: Two Secular Slave Songs
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 02:43 PM

"Master Is Six Feet One Way"' a song which clearly ridicules "massa":

Die In The Pig Pen Fighting , a call for Black people to fight for their freedom

thread.cfm?threadid=7873#1960250

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: fragment: '..a hippy won't steal'
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 03 Apr 06 - 09:56 PM

Two rhymes in which the Black preacher is the butt of jokes
"This Sun Is Hot"

"How To Please A Preacher"

thread.cfm?threadid=90272#1709878

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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi - PM
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 10:08 AM

"My Pretty Little Pink"

thread.cfm?threadid=82629#1514183

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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN I WAS A ROUSTABOUT (?) (from Talley)
From: Q - PM
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 09:18 PM

song- "W'en I was a "Roustabout"

thread.cfm?threadid=28009#1337161

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Subject: Lyr Add: DRINKING RAZOR SOUP
From: Dicho - PM
Date: 26 Jan 02 - 12:14 AM

song-Drinking Razor Soup

thread.cfm?threadid=43386#635868

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Subject: RE: Lyr add: Poontang Little, Poontang Small
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman - PM
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 09:00 AM

rhyne-"Antebellum Courtship Inquiry"( "Flyin' Lark, Settin' Dove")

thread.cfm?threadid=123037#2706091

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Subject: Lyr Add: SUGAR IN COFFEE (from Thomas W Talley)
From: Jim Dixon - PM
Date: 20 May 09 - 08:59 PM

rhyme-"Sugar In Coffee"

thread.cfm?threadid=40593#2637125

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Subject: RE: SF Blues Fest cancelled after 36 years
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 28 Feb 09 - 01:58 PM

Comments about Black people's attitudes about the Blues reflected in our reaction to some of the text of Tally's book

thread.cfm?threadid=118975#2577959

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Subject: RE: BS: Modern Day Uncle Toms & Aunt Jemimas
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 10:41 AM

rhyme- "Aunt Jemima"

thread.cfm?threadid=118128#2552909


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 07:03 PM

The next song in Talley is:

LOVE IS JUST A THING OF FANCY

Love is jes a thing o' fancy,
Beauty's jes a blossom;
If you wants to git yo' finger bit,
Stick it at a 'possum.

Beauty, it's jes skin deep;
Ugly, it's to de bone.
Beauty, it'll jes fade 'way;
But Ugly'll hoi' 'er own.

It's incredible that there is so much wisdom in these two simple verses. Both are well known folk sayings:

Teh first usually appears in Bile Dem Cabbage Don as from Frank Warner:

"Love it is a killing thing,
Beauty is a blossom,
If you want your finger bit,
Poke it at a possum."

or

"Love is a funny lookin' thing
Shaped like a blossom;
If you want your finger bitten,
Stick it to a possum."

or in the song "Mabel":

Love it is a an awful thing and beauty is a blossum,
If you want your finger bit just poke it at a 'possum.

Perrow had an ealier vesion, he collected from African-American in Virgina in 1912:
Love it am a killin' thing, beauty am a blossom;
Ef yuh want tuh get yuh finger bit, poke it at a 'possum.

BEAUTY'S BUT SKIN DEEP is a poem by John Davies of Hereford
from 1616.

There is also an old jingle, author unknown, which parodies the famous beauty line. It reads:
"Beauty is but skin deep, ugly lies the bone;
Beauty dies and fades away, but ugly holds its own."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 07:24 PM

Here's how I learned the saying "Beauty's only skin":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PU1PEA8S6M&feature=related

The Temptations - Beauty Is Only Skin Deep


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 07:34 PM

STILL WATER CREEK- Talley #3

'WAY down yon'er on Still Water Creek,
I got stalded an' stayed a week.
I see'd Injun Puddin and Punkin pie,
But de black cat stick 'em in de yaller cat's eye.

'Way down yon'er on Still Water Creek,
De *wimmins grows up some ten or twelve feet.
Dey goes to bed but dere hain't no use,
Caze deir feet sticks out fer de chickens t' roost.

I got hongry on Still Water Creek,
De mud to de hub an' de hoss britchin weak.
I stewed bullfrog chitlins, baked polecat pie;
If I goes back dar, I sho's gwine to die.

This is mostly from minstrel songs:

Usually it's "Way down yonder on Beaver Creek"
Keemo kitty won't you kymeeo
*Wimmins there grow to be ten feet." Keemo Kimo


"And de white cat picked out de black cat's eye." Jim Along Josie

*edited. This seems to be a standard edit. Some bluegrass versions use "gals" instead.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 07:43 PM

POSSUM UP DE GUM STUMP Talley #4

'Possum up de gum stump,
Dat raccon in de holler;
Twis' 'im out, an' git 'im down,
An' I'll gin you a half a doller.

'Possum up de gum stump,
Yes, cooney in de holler;
A pretty gal down my house
Jes as fat as she can waller.

'Possum up de gum stump,
His jaws is black an' dirty;
To come an' kiss you, pretty gal,
I'd run lak a goobler tucky.

'Possum up de gum stump,
A good man's hard to fin';
You'd better love me, pretty gal,
You'll git de yudder kin'.

Charles Wolfe, in notes to Thomas Talley's Folk Rhymes (1991), says the first two stanzas of the song below were collected from both black and white sources, although the last two stanzas are rather rare.

This dates back to minstrel era- 1830s (lyrics also found in Zip Coon); 1925 (Scarborough); Early recording is Skillet Lickers: Corn Licker Still in Georgia, Voyager VRLP 303, LP (197?), trk# A.09 [1927-30]

RECORDING INFO: Ford, Ira W. / Traditional Music in America, Folklore Associates, Bk (1965/1940), p 29b
Bromberg, David. My Own House, Fantasy F-9572, LP (1978), trk# A.02c
Critton Hollow (String Band). By and By, Flying Fish FF 355, LP (1985), trk# A.02
Curley, Clyde. Songer, Susan; & Clyde Curley (eds.) / Portland Collection. Contra..., Portland Collection, Fol (1997), p161
Forrester, Howdy. Devil's Box, Devil's Box, Ser, 23/1, p22a(1989)
Gish, Don; and Lloyd Wanzer. More Fiddle Jam Sessions, Voyager VRLP 304, LP (1971), trk# 19
Jenkins, Snuffy; and Pappy Sherrill. Snuffy Jenkins. Pioneer of the Bluegrass Banjo, Arhoolie 9027, CD (1998/1962), trk# 3
Kelley, Lewis. Randolph, Vance / Ozark Folksongs. Volume II, Songs of the South and ..., Univ. of Missouri, Bk (1980/1946), p361/#280 [1928/01/05]
Kuntz, Andrew. Fiddler Magazine, Fiddler Mag., Ser, 11/3, p43c(2004)
Ransom, Stan. I Love Long Island, Connecticut Peddler, CD (1997), trk# 16a
Taylor, Hollis. Fiddler Magazine, Fiddler Mag., Ser, 14/2, p41(2007)
Tonge, Marge. Silberberg, Gene (ed.) / Complete Fiddle Tunes I Either Did or Did Not., Silberberg, Fol (2005), p150
Walters, Bob. Paddy on the Turnpike, MSOTFA 109, Cas (1993), trk# B.07
Wheeler, Carol Ann. Joy of Fiddlin' Vol II, Yahoo, LP (1980), trk# A.01b
Whited, Ralph. Possum Up a Gum Stump, Alabama Traditions 103, LP (1988), trk# B.09 [1986/12/12]
Hiter Colvin, "Rabbit Up the Gum Stump" (Victor V-40239, 1930/Montgomery Ward 8148, 1939)
Henry Truvillion, "Come On, Boys, and Let's Go to Huntin'" (AFS 3983 B2; on LC8)

OTHER NAMES: "Possum Up a Gum Stump, Cooney in the Hollow," "Rabbit Up the Gum Stump" "Come On, Boys, and Let's Go to Huntin'" "Going/Off to California," "Whiskey You're the Devil," "Whiskey in the Jar," "Lexington," "Old Towser," "Gypsy Hornpipe," "Fireman's Reel," "Buttermilk and Cider."

RELATED TO: "Lynchburg Town" "Old Zip Coon" "Uncle Reuben" (floating lyrics) "Bile Them Cabbage Down" (floating lyrics) "Going Down to Town"

SOURCES: Fiddler's Companion; Folk Index; BrownIII 415, "Lynchburg Town" (3 texts plus 2 fragments, 2 excerpts, and mention of 2 more, all with the "Lynchburg Town" chorus, but "A" and "B" have verses from "Raccoon" and "Possum Up a Gum Stump and "D" and "E" are partly "If I Had a Scolding Wife" ("Lucy Long (I)"); only "C" seems to be truly "Lynchburg Town") Randolph 280, "Possum Up a Gum Stump" (1 short text, 1 tune)BrownIII 161, "Possum Up a Simmon Tree" (6 texts, all of a single stanza; some are probably not this piece, but they're too short to classify)Scarborough-NFS, p. 177, (no title) (1 fragment) 1925; Lomax-ABFS, p. 238, "Little Gal at Our House" (1 text, 1 tune)

NOTES: The tune was mentioned in chronicles before the year 1830 (Mark Wilson). Lomax reports this as a "patting chant" -- sung to the accompaniment of hands clapping or slapping against the thighs. It was cited as having been played in a 1914 Atlanta, Ga. fiddlers' contest, and listed in the Northwest Alabamian of August 29, 1929, as one of the tunes likely to be played at an upcoming fiddlers' convention. The title appears in a list of traditional Ozark Mountain fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954. See also related tune family under "Dubuque."

The version by The Hill Billies (east Tennessee) on Vocalation 5118, 1926 (78 RPM) is really a version of Sally Goodin. The tune/song appears in several collections, including Brown (3:207), White (236-38), Scarborough (173), Randolph (2:361) and Lomax and Lomax (American Ballads and Folk Songs), pg. 238. Source for notated version: Joe Hermann with the Critton Hollow String Band (West Virginia) [Phillips]. Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; pg. 29. Kuntz, Private Collection. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), Vol. 1, 1994; pg. 187. Flying Fish FF 355, Critton Hollow String Band - "By and By" (1985). Recorded Anthology of American Music, 1978 - "Traditional Southern Instrumental Styles."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 08:04 PM

Jack

This should be a direct link to a pdf at archive.org: Talley

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 09:42 PM

MUDCAT DISCUSSION FORUM POSTS ABOUT TALLEY'S "NEGRO FOLK RHYMES"-
Part III

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bile Them Cabbage Down
From: Michael Morris - PM
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 12:27 PM
Comments about & lyrics of "Bile Them Cabbage Down"

thread.cfm?threadid=4566#2445967

**
Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs about Horses
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 07:20 AM

"Gray And Black Horses" (Another "Went To The River And Couldn't Get Across" rhyme.

thread.cfm?threadid=113151#2402084

**

Subject: RE: Racial Referents-Negro, Quadroon, etc
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 25 May 08 - 10:47 AM

Comments about a line from a song in Tally's collection "Stand back Black man" being found in contemporary versions of children's playground rhyme :I Love Coffee, I Love Tea (also known as "Down Down Baby")

thread.cfm?threadid=111488#2348800

**
Subject: RE: Cadence or Marching Songs
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 02 May 08 - 03:11 PM

Comments about lines of and tunes used for a number of military cadences being modified versions of 19th/early 20th century African American dance songs and rhymes

thread.cfm?threadid=10803#2331405

**

Subject: RE: BS: 'I'm goin' down town to smoke my pipe,
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 07:57 PM

Comments about the possible connection between the children's game song "I'm going downtown to smoke my pipe" and "In A Mulberry Tree", a song in Tally's collection that includes the lines

"One cain't read, an' de t'other cain't write.
But dey bofe can smoke deir daddy's pipe"

thread.cfm?threadid=110753#2326571

**
Subject: RE: Law Officers in Songs &Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:40 PM

Rhyme : "Forty Four", each verse in this rhyme ends with mention of the number "forty four"

He met a robber
Right at de do!
An' de robber, he shot 'im
Wid a forty-fo!...

Dat Preachah, he read.
He read, I know.
What Chapter did he read frum?
"Twus Forty-fo'!

thread.cfm?threadid=110403#2316749

**
Subject: RE: Law Officers in Songs &Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 06:23 PM

Another "policeman" rhyme, a man wanted by the police tells his story but is distracted while telling it because he sees "Sarah Jane". This rhyme includes a variant of the floating verse "I went to the river but I couldn't get across".

"I runs to de river, I can't git 'cross;
Dat Police grab me an' swim lak a hoss.
Oh hello, Sarah Jane!"

thread.cfm?threadid=110403#2316727

**
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: JAYBIRD DIED OF THE WHOOPING
From: Q - PM
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 04:48 PM

Comments & lyrics; "Jaybird died of the Whooping Cough"

thread.cfm?threadid=37475#2315540

**
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Liza Jane
From: Janie - PM
Date: 13 Dec 07 - 07:57 PM

Comments & lyrics; "Liza Jane" songs including "Rejected by Eliza Jane" in Talley's collection

thread.cfm?threadid=107006#2214913

**
Subject: RE: BS: American Pies-Questions & Answers.
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 23 Nov 07 - 09:01 PM

"Don't Ask Me No Questions"

A rhyme about woman taking pie making ingredients from the White folks to make pies for her (?) child:

"Don't ask me no questions,
An' I won't tell you no lies;
But bring me dem apples
An' I'll make you some pies"

thread.cfm?threadid=106520#2201053

**
Subject: RE: BS: American Pies-Questions & Answers.
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 23 Nov 07 - 08:27 PM

"Chicken In The Bread Tray"

Starts with the verse:
"Auntie, will yo' dog bite?-
"No, Chile!-No!"
Chicken in de bread tray
A makin' up dough"

thread.cfm?threadid=106520#2201037

**
Subject: RE: Origins: A-1-a-TWO(?)-a 1 2 3 4 Count-in mystery
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 10:29 PM

"A Race Starter Rhyme"

"One for the money
Two for the show
Three to get ready
And four to go"

thread.cfm?threadid=102832#2087905

**
Subject: Lyr Add: SHE HUGGED ME AND SHE KISSED ME
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 08:38 PM

Comments in the "Bang Bang Rosie" thread comparing this verse in Carl Sandberg Song book:

"My Lulu hugged and kissed me,
She wrung my hand and cried,
She said I was the sweetest thing
That ever lived or died."

And this verse in the Thomas W. Talley collection

"She hug me, as' she kissed me,
She wrung my han' an' cried.
She said I wus de sweetes/ thin
Dat ever lived or died."

thread.cfm?threadid=84511#1970264

**
Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 08:49 PM

Comments about the likely connection between "Raise A Rukus Tonight" and the children's playground rhyme "Ten little angels all dressed in white"

thread.cfm?threadid=81350#1964466

**
Subject: RE: Origins: Cotton-eyed Joe-true story/composite?
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 03:24 PM

Comments about the song "Cotton Eye Joe"

thread.cfm?threadid=13537#1957653

**
Subject: RE: Origins: Short'nin' Bread
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 28 Jan 07 - 08:53 AM

Comments about various dances mentioned in songs in Talley's collection.
"… I believe that "led" refers to the cover of a fying pan {skillet}. And there's no question that "cut the pigeon wing" is an African American dance from at least the 19th century American South.

In his 1922 book "Negro Folk Rhymes" Thomas W. Talley, an African American professor of Fisk University, indicates that the following references in the rhyme "Juba" were specific dance steps: "skin the Yellow Cat","cut that Pigeon's Wing", "[do] the Jubal Jew", "Raise the Latch", and [do] "the Long Dog Stratch"." …capitalizations by Talley.

Also citations of online articles that refer to the Pigeon Wing dance

thread.cfm?threadid=51174#1950308

**
Subject: RE: Secular Songs From Spirituals
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 05:47 PM

A Parody of the religious song "Reign Master Jesus, Reign"

thread.cfm?threadid=98058#1937662

**
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Prettiest Little Girl in the County-O
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 06:06 PM

In "Sugar In Coffee", a young girl affirms that she is the "prettiest girl in the country". This rhyme is significant because it demonstrates that even in the face of racial oppression, some Black people found ways to affirm their beauty and their self-worth.

"I'se de prettiest liddle gal in de country-o.
My mammy an' daddy, dey bofe say so.
I looks in de glass, it don't say no.
So I'll take sugar in de coffee-o."

thread.cfm?threadid=97735#1935626

**
Subject: Lyr Add: SUGAR IN MY COFFEE
From: Stewie - PM
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 08:31 PM

Presents verses of "Sugar In My Coffee from The Fiddler's Companion and cites the song in Talley's collection as a precursor of those verses.

thread.cfm?threadid=40593#582325


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 10:39 PM

Jack's in the UK, I believe. Is there anyone in the UK who can provide a link for download of this book. Apparently, the US link Azizi provided, doesn't work in the UK.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 10:41 PM

The germ of the so-called "Dead Horse" chantey -- probably better called "Poor Old Man" IMO -- is found in Talley's "He is My Horse." The lines, about "Old man your horse will die" were pervasive, often cited under the guise of minstrel routines, but also appearing, for instance, in Allen's "Slave Songs" book.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 10:44 PM

JOE AND MALINDA JANE Tally #5

OLE Joe jes swore upon 'is life
He'd make Merlindy Jane 'is wife.
Wen she hear 'im up 'is love an' tell,
She jumped in a bar'l o' mussel shell.
She scrape 'er back till de skin come off.
Nex' day she die wid de Whoopin' Cough.

WALK, TALK, CHICKEN WITH YOUR HEAD PECKED! Talley #6

WALK, talk, chicken wid yo' head pecked !
You can crow w'en youse been dead.
Walk, talk, chicken wid yo' head pecked !
You can hoi' high yo' bloody head.

You's whooped dat Blue Hen's Chicken,
You's beat 'im at his game.
If dere's some fedders on him,
Fer dat you's not to blame.

Walk, talk, chicken wid yo' head pecked!
You beat ole Johnny Blue!
Walk, talk, chicken wid yo' head pecked!
Say: "Cbck-a-doo-dle-doo !"

Im not familiar with these two. "Nex' day she die wid de Whoopin' Cough." is a familiar minstrel line.

WALK, TALK, CHICKEN WITH YOUR HEAD PECKED! might be a misheard lyric. It could be Walk Chalk Chicken With Your Head Pecked. Walk Chalk Chicken is found in few fiddle tunes, if I remember right Melvin Wine did a tune. Walk Chalk Line is a type of obscure dance step.

There's also the familiar "jawbone walk, jawbone talk" lyrics but this doesn't seem to fit this song.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 11:03 PM

TAILS #7

DE coon's got a long ringed bushy tail,
De 'possum's tail is bare;
Dat rabbit hain't got no tail 'tall,
'Cep' a liddle bunch o' hair.

De gobbler's got a big fan tail,
De pattridge's tail is small;
Dat peacock's tail 's got great big eyes,
But dey don't see nothin' 'tall.

See also Talley's BEDBUG which is a comparison song that uses the well-known "she get's there just the same" line. TAILS is fairly well know and is used in "Bushy Tail," "Bile Dem Cabbage" and other songs.

If I remember correctly it comes from "Do Come Along, Ole Sandy Boy," 1846, more directly "Uncle Gabriel" 1854 and possibly other minstrel songs. I'll look for my minstrel texts and give them next post.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 11:20 PM

T.J. Booth's Kentucky minstrels UNCLE GABRIEL from Marsh's Selection 1854:

Mr. Coon is a mighty man,
He carries a bushy tail.
He steals ole Massa's corn at night,
And husks it on a rail.

CHORUS: Den cum along ole Sandy boy
Oh do cum along, oh do.
What did Uncle Gabriel say?
Jenny won't you cum along too.

De squirrel hab a bushy tail
Stumpy grows de hair.
De Coon's tail am ring'd all 'roun',
De possum's tail am bare.

De Peacock's tail am berry high,
It reach up to de moon,
He cast his eye upon his foot,
Tail drop bery soon.

This is the best version of Uncle Gabriel to show the link with talley's #7 TAILS.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 11:31 PM

CAPTAIN DIME Talley #8

CAPPUN Dime is a fine w'ite man.
He wash his face in a fry'n' pan,
He comb his head wid a waggin wheel,
An' he die wid de toothache in his heel.

Cappun Dime is a mighty fine feller,
An' he sho' play kyards wid de *mens in de cellar,
But he will git drunk, an' he won't smoke a pipe,
Den he will pull de watermillions 'fore dey gits ripe.

Most everyone know this is a version of Old Dan Tucker circa early 1830s attributed to Dan Emmett. I also remember this line:

Cappun Dime is a mighty fine feller,
An' he sho' play kyards wid de *mens in de cellar,

I think this is usually now; "And he plays cards with the boys in the cellar"... maybe from Bob Wills. Anyone?

Richie

*edited


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 11:37 PM

I knew I'd seem this recently, right where it should have been:

From Brown Collection; Circa 1930

C. 'Old Dan Tucker.' Contributed by Katherine Bernard Junes of Raleigh. Not dated.

1. Old Dan Tucker was a fine old fellow
But he would play cards with the *men in the cellar.

There's still a more modern usage


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 11:54 PM

CROSSING THE RIVER Talley #9

I WENT down to de river an' I couldn' git 'cross.
I jumped on er mule an' I thought 'e wus er hoss.
Dat mule 'e wa'k in an' git mired up in de san';
You'd oughter see'd dis *feller make back fer de lan'!

I want to cross de river but I caint git 'cross;
So I mounted on a ram, fer I thought 'e wus er hoss.
I plunged him in, but he sorter fail to swim;
An' I give five dollars fer to git 'im out ag'in.

Yes, I went down to de river an' I couldn' git 'cross,
So I give a whole dollar fer a ole blin' hoss;
Den I souzed him in an' he sink 'stead o' swim.
Do you know I got wet clean to my ole hat brim?

These are some great and humerous lyrics and versions of these lyrics can be found in minstrel songs, jug band songs and blues (Step It Up And Go). Off hand I know there are earlier lyrics in Perrow and also Brown.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:11 AM

T-U-TURKEY Tally #10

T-u, tucky, T-u, ti.
T-u, tucky, buzzard's eye.
T-u, tucky, T-u, ting.
T-u, tucky, buzzard's wing.

Oh, Mistah Washin'ton! Don't whoop me,
Whoop dat *feller back 'hind dat tree.
He stole tucky, I didn' steal none.
Go wuk him in de co'n field jes fer fun.

This is an obscure African-American fiddle tune with silly lyrics. It's found in Eldred Kurtz Means - Biography & Autobiography- 1919:

He teached me a song 'bout de turkey-buzzard when I wus jes' a little shaver. It went like dis: "Tu tucky, tu ti, Tu tucky-...

and History of the University of North Carolinaý - Page 90 by Kemp Plummer Battle - Education - 1907:

Then the floor would be swept and the neighborhood fiddler, often as black as ebony, would strike up "Molly put the Kettle on," or "Tu Turkey, Ty Tie.

Apparently it was recorded in 1951 as "Tu-Turkey Ty." I'd like to find more. Anyone?


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:26 AM

Her's the 1909 full quote: A cotton picking, according to Kemp Plummer Battle is "analagous to quiltings, corn-shuckings, and log-rollings, providing toothsome refreshments. The cotton was placed in the middle of the room, parties would pick against each other, and amid good-humored rivalry and rustic merriment the work would soon be finished. Then the floor would be swept and the neighborhood fiddler [. . .] would strike up 'Molly put the Kettle on,' or 'T-u Turkey, Ty Tie, T-u Turkey Buzzard's Eye' or 'Crow He Peeped at the Weasel,' or 'Old Molly Hare'"

The song or a lyrics version is found in Brown, but I haven't located it yet.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:42 AM

Uncle Remus-WHY THE BUZZARD'S HEAD IS BALD


T-u, Turkey, t-u, ti,
T-u, Turkey Buzzard's eye!
You kin see her a-sailin' way up in de sky!
Ef she wuz ter shet her wings an' fall
You'd see fer yo'se'f dat 'er head is bal';

P-o, Peter, P-o, pan!
Her head des ez bal' ez de pa'm er yo' han',
An' a mighty good reason but dat's a tale,
Ez de 'possum said ter de slippery rail.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:59 AM

CHICKEN IN THE BREAD TRAY Talley #11

"AUNTIE, will yo' dog bite?"

"No, Chile! No!"
Chicken in de bread tray
A makin' up dough.

"Auntie, will yo' broom hit?"

"Yes, Chile!" Pop!
Chicken in de bread tray;
"Flop! Flop! Flop!"

"Auntie, will yo' oven bake?"

"Yes. Jes fry!"
"What's dat chicken good fer?"
"Pie! Pie! Pie!"

"Auntie, is yo' pie good?"

"Good as you could 'spec'."
Chicken in de bread tray;
"Peck! Peck! Peck!"

This is a version of teh fiddle tune "Granny Will your Dog Bite" or Chicken in the Bread Tray"

OTHER NAMES: "Betty Martin," "Boatin' Up Sandy," "Brad Walters," "Chippy/Gippy Get Your Haircut," "Hog Eye and a Tater," "The Hog Eye Man," "Hog Eye," "Jake Gilly," "Old Mother Gofour," "Old Granny Rattletrap," "Pretty Betty Martin," "Very Pretty Martin," "Sally in the Garden," "Tip Toe Fine,""Fire on the Mountain," "Gate to Go Through;" "Buck Hord/Hoard" "Johnny Get Your Hair Cut," Incorrectly named for Old Jake Gillie.

RELATED TO: These branches and connected groups

1)"Hog-Eye" songs
2)"Betty Martin; "Tip Toe Fine" "Johnny/Chippy Get Your Hair Cut" songs
3)"Fire on the Mountain" songs
4)"Sally in the Garden" songs                     

RECORDING INFO: 1928 recording of Pope's Arkansas Mountaineers (Sally in the Garden); Armstrong, Sarah. Hill Country Tunes: Instrumental Folk Music of Southwestern Penn, Amer. Folklore Society, fol (1944), 71 (Johnny Get Your Hair Cut); Fraley, J. P. and Annadeene. Gallynipper, June Appal JA 0058C, Cas (1990), cut# 8; Fraley, J. P. and Annadeene. Maysville. Old Time Fiddle Tunes, Rounder 0351, Cas (1995), cut#A.06; Jarrell, Tommy. Rainbow Sign, County 791, LP (198?), cut# 8; Lamb, Dwight. Dwight Lamb, American Heritage, LP (196?), cut# 13; Lamb, Dwight. Joseph Won a Coated Fiddle, Rounder 0429, CD (1999), cut# 20; Mabus, Joel. Clawhammer, Fossil, Cas (198?), cut# 10b; Milnes, Gerry. Old Time Fiddling of Braxton County. Vol 2, Augusta Heritage AHR 013, Cas (1992), cut# 5; Parrish, Pete. Galax International, Heritage (Galax) 067, LP (1988), cut# 11; Robertson, Lonnie. Fiddle Tunes - Ozark Style, Vol. 2, Caney Mountain CLP-233, LP (1980), cut# 11; Walters, Bob. Old Time Fiddler's Repertory, University of Missouri --, LP (1973), cut# 1; West Orrtana String Band. West Orrtana String Band, Revonah RS-924, LP (1976), cut#B.07; Wine, Melvin. Vintage Wine, Marimac AHS 6, Cas (1993), cut#B.06; Augusta Heritage AHS6, Melvin Wine - "Vintage Wine." Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers' Association, Dwight Lamb (b. 1937) - "Old Ladies Pickin' Chickens." Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers' Association, Bob Walters (1889-1960) - "Old Time Fiddler's Repertory" (1976). Revonah Records RS-924, "The West Orrtanna String Band" (1976). Voyager VRCD 344, Howard Marshall & John Williams - "Fiddling Missouri" (1999).

SOURCES: Dance to the Fiddle by Bayard; Traditional Music in America, Folklore Associates, Bk (1940/1965), p 36a; ); Collins, Sherman. Fiddle Book, Oak, Bk (1967), p 82; Bob Walters (1949, Burt County, Nebraska) [Christeson, Phillips]; Sherman Collins (Pawnee County, Oklahoma) [Thede]. R.P. Christeson (Old Time Fiddlers Repertory, Vol. 1), 1973; No. 1, pg. 3. Ford (Traditional Music in America), 1940; pg. 36. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), 1994; pg. 102. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; pg. 87. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964/1981; pg. 58. Thede (The Fiddle Book), 1967; pg. 82; Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 67, "Hog-eye;" Darling-NAS, pp. 254-255, "Hogeye;" Kuntz, Fiddler's Companion, http://www.ceolas.org/tunes/fc;

NOTES: Kuntz: "This melody is popular under several titles, however, the title "Granny Will Your Dog Bite" also is a floating title. It was frequently played at Mid-Western fiddle contests. R.P. Christeson says his version is dissimilar to the tune of the same title in Ford (1940), but is similar to "Tip Toe, Pretty Betty Martin" in the same book. Bayard (1981) notes the resemblance between this tune and the "Betty Martin" variants, many listed as alternates above. The tune was recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist Vance Randolph from Ozark Mountain fiddlers in the early 1940's. See also related tunes "Gate to Go Through" and "Old Coon Dog."

"Ford (1940) said that "occasional verses" were sung by fiddlers while playing the tune, and indeed, various verses have been collected from both white and black sources. (Ford's collection area was the Mid-West, often Missouri, and Thede printed Oklahoma versions). Charles Wolfe (1991) remarks the tune has been collected widely from Mississippi to California, and notes that Ray Browne (writing in The Alabama Folk Lyric, 445) heard it often as a banjo tune popular more with blacks than whites."

From 3rd Maine Volunteers Home Page: "Granny" was a popular fiddle tune in the 1850s, and was adapted by Military Fife-and-Drum Corps on both sides of the Civil War. It is a regular part of the repertoire of the 3rd Maine Regimental Field Music (F&DC) Reenactment Unit. It has a really kickin' rudimental drum beat to it - particularly the bass, which really thunders. One set of lyrics used by 3rd Maine are: "Granny will yer dawg baht?; Hellfahre, no!"

On the Ken Burns Civil War series, a historian recalls how when one Volunteer Regiment had all of its musicians shot down in battle, one enterprising infantryman with a fiddle approached the Commanding Officer with the offer to "fiddle the boys in" on the next charge... which he did, to a rousing rendition of "Granny". It was his last tune.

The inherent problem with "Granny Will your Dog Bite" is that the name has been used for so many tunes and related songs. The "Granny Will your Dog Bite" lyrics appear in everything from "Devil Went Down to Georgia" to a book of nursery rhymes.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 01:27 AM

T-u Tucky ty (Talley #10) was recorded by swing recording artist Les (Carrot Top) Anderson on Decca released June 30, 1951. If anyone know more about this let us know. Here's a bio:


Les (Carrot Top) Anderson
Born: February 20, 1921
Died: October 4, 2001
Western Swing Society Hall of Fame (1990)
Town Hall Party


"Carrot Top" was one of the featured acts on the Town Hall Party that originated in Compton, California. He was also a star performer with many top name bands in the Western field for many years and was on many radio and television shows.

Les was set to make an appearance on KFVD in Los Angeles, California back in 1948 or so on the "Spade Cooley Time" show. A magazine took a different approach to writing an article about him. They chose to instead show up on the date Les was to appear on the show, introduced himself to the emcee of Spade's show, George Sanders and told him all he wanted to do was observer Les Anderson at work - but Les wasn't to know he was being observed.

At the time, the Spade Cooley Time show aired from 10:00pm to 2:00am. Les was due to perform at 12:00midnight. The author of the article mentioned that he had seen many artists that like to 'arrange an entrance' and considered it 'their sacred duty to hold up the show for several minutes', even if all they were doing was sitting outside the studio in a car and just wait until they were due on the air. Les on the other hand got his guitar and was in the studio well over an hour before his scheduled time.

Now the author of the article mentions that he got holed up in Studio "B" with Les, and Ernie Howard and they proceeded to have a bit of a picking session among themselves with that guitar Les had. They were having almost too good of a time as the show's emcee, George Sanders started giving them frantic gestures and Les hurriedly picked up his guitar and made it to the microphone with about a couple seconds to spare.

Les' interview with Spade Cooley lasted about 20 minutes, during which Les did four solo numbers. Since most late radio shows were usually short of help, the article author (probably the publisher of the magazine, Wm. T. Allen) got assigned to handle the switchboard during Les' appearance. Well, he said he must have answered about 75 phone calls during that appearance. Les had related how he had to live in a housing project in Wilmington, CA as he hadn't been able to find a house for his family. Well, within five minutes, the author said he had taken several offers for Les for housing.

After the interview, Les, the writer and Ernie went back to their jam session until the show ended at 2:00am. Afterwards, Les, George Sanders, Mr. & Mrs. Ernie Howard and the writer went across the street to an all-night coffee shop and stayed until 3:30am drinking loads of coffee and enjoying themselves.

It sounds like Les had a charm as such they couldn't get him to talk about himself much, but they managed to tell him about them instead. But they did learn that Les' real name was "Clelland", which was his grandfather's name. He was also called "Red" Anderson throughout his career up to when he joined Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. It seems that Bob Wills had a pet peeve of sorts that no one knew why about anyone using the name 'Red' and so "Red" Anderson became known as "Les" Anderson on the steel guitar. But when "Les" left Bob Wills' group in 1946, the name stuck with him.

Back around that time, Stuart Hamblen had a horse named "El Lobo". The author of the article we found discovered that Les was the one that had broken the colt for Stuart.

Many times you'll hear the "show must go on" in the entertainment business. Les seemed to follow that credo too. The story we found related an incident where his two year old son, David, had been run over by a car just a couple hours before his appearance on KFVD on Spade Cooley Time. The child was uninjured thankfully. And even more, Les got pulled over in a police blockade on the way to the show and was nearly booked because he was a 'suspicious character'.

In late 1948, early 1949, Les was appearing as a featured soloist and steel guitarist in Spade Cooley's Western Varieties Show. He was also signed by EXCLUSIVE records at the time who purchased sevearl masters made by Les a few years earlier and released a couple of them - "And I Shook" with "This Is Southland". They said an upcomning release would be "Together Forever" with "What A Wreck".


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 02:00 AM

MOLLY COTTONTAIL, OR, GRAVEYARD RABBIT Taley #12

OLE Molly Cottontail,
At night, w'en de moon's pale;
You don't fail to tu'n tail,
You always gives me leg bail.[1]

Molly in de Bramble-brier,
Let me git a little nigher;
Prickly-pear, it sting lak fire!
Do please come pick out de brier!

Molly in de pale moonlight,
Yo' tail is sho a pretty white;
You takes it fer 'way out'n sight.
"Molly! Molly! Molly Bright!"

Ole Molly Cottontail,
You sets up on a rotten rail!
You tears through de graveyard!
You makes dem ugly 't hants wail. [2]

Ole Molly Cottontail,
Won't you be shore not to fail
To give me yo' right hin' foot?
My luck, it won't be fer sale.

[1] Leg bail = to run away,
[2] t Hants = ghosts or spirits.

The American wood rabbit (Lepus sylvaticus) is also called Molly cottontail.

Here's a an explanation of Molly Cottontail by a former African American slave:

"His old granny done told him to try it and he did. He conjures hisself by takin' a good, soapy bath so de dogs can't smell him and den say a hoodoo over he rabbit foot, and go to de creek and git a start by wadin'. Dey didn't miss him till he clear gone and dat show what de rabbit foot done for him.

"O, Molly Cottontail,
Be sho' not to fail,
Give me you right hind foot,
My luck won't be for sale."

De graveyard rabbit am de best, kilt by a cross-eyed pusson. De black folk all 'lieved Gen. Lee carried a rabbit foot with him. To keep de rabbit foot's luck workin', it good to pour some whiskey on it once in a while.

If you has a horseshoe over you door, be sho' it from de left, hind foot of a white hoss, but a gray hoss am better'n none."
PATSY MOSES, enslaved in Texas

Molly Cottontail is an African American folk tale. In the story Molly Cottontail is able to outsmart Mistah Fox and Hungry Billy by playing a little trick. Molly eats all of Mistah Fox's butter and ends up passing the blame onto Hungry Billy. In the end there is a separation in the fox family all because of a crock of butter.


Here's a peom about "The Graveyard Rabbit" from Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). An American Anthology, 1787–1900. 1900.

1288. The Graveyard Rabbit By Frank Lebby Stanton


IN the white moonlight, where the willow waves,
He halfway gallops among the graves—
A tiny ghost in the gloom and gleam,
Content to dwell where the dead men dream,

But wary still!         
For they plot him ill;
For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm
(May God defend us!) to shield from harm.

Over the shimmering slabs he goes—
Every grave in the dark he knows;         
But his nest is hidden from human eye
Where headstones broken on old graves lie.

Wary still!
For they plot him ill;
For the graveyard rabbit, though sceptics scoff,         
Charmeth the witch and the wizard off!

The black man creeps, when the night is dim,
Fearful, still, on the track of him;
Or fleetly follows the way he runs,
For he heals the hurts of the conjured ones.      

Wary still!
For they plot him ill;
The soul's bewitched that would find release,—
To the graveyard rabbit go for peace!

He holds their secret—he brings a boon         
Where winds moan wild in the dark o' the moon;
And gold shall glitter and love smile sweet
To whoever shall sever his furry feet!

Wary still!
For they plot him ill;         
For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm
(May God defend us!) to shield from harm.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 09:12 AM

Talley #12 MOLLY COTTONTAIL Should have this footnote added:

* This embraces the old superstition that carrying in one's pocket the right hind foot of a rabbit, which has habitually lived about a cemetery, brings good luck to its possessor.

Talley # 11 TU TUCKY from Brown Collection has this short fragment:

T-U turkey, T-Y tie
T-U turkey buzzard's eye.

Contributed by Sarah K. Watkins REported in both Anson and Stanly counties.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 09:48 AM

JUBA- Talley #13

JUBA dis, an' Juba dat,

Juba *skin dat Yaller Cat. Juba ! Juba !

Juba jump an' Juba sing.

Juba, *cut dat Pigeon's Wing. Juba! Juba!

Juba, kick off Juba's shoe.

Juba, dance dat *Jubal Jew. Juba! Juba!

Juba, whirl dat foot about.

Juba, blow dat candle out. Juba! Juba!

Juba circle, *Raise de Latch.

Juba do dat *Long Dog Scratch. Juba! Juba!


*The expressions marked* are various kinds of dance steps. Talley adds:

Let us glance at the Dance Rhyme "Juba" with its Supplement, "Juba! Juba!" to illustrate this special use of the Supplement. "Juba"
itself was a kind of dance step. Now let us imagine two dancers in a circle of men to be dancing while the following lines are being patted and repeated:

"Juba Circle, raise de latch,

Juba dance dat Long Dog Scratch, Juba ! Juba!"

While this was being patted and repeated, the dancers within the circle described a circle with raised foot and ended doing a dance step called "Dog Scratch." Then when the Supplement "Juba!
Juba!" was said the whole circle of men joined in the dance step "Juba" for a few moments. Then the next stanza would be repeated and patted with the same general order of procedure.

The Supplement, then, in the Dance Rhyme was used as the signal for all to join in the dance for a while at intervals after they had witnessed the finished foot movements of their most skilled dancers.

Juba is a group dance, of West African origin, characterized by complex rhythmic clapping and body movements and found in the southern United States as early as the 18th century. "Patting Juba" is rhythmic rapid slapping of thighs and hips found in African-American dances.

One early printed reference I know to "patting Juba" is found in chorus of Limber Jim (Hearns 1876). It uses the same call and response as Talley #1:

Limber Jim,
[All] Shiloh!
Talk it agin,
[All] Shiloh!
Walk back in love,
[All] Shiloh!
You turtle-dove,
[All] Shiloh!

The familiar rhyme for the Juba songs is the old children's rhyme:

Juba dis, Juba dat,
Juba kill a yaller cat.
Juba up, Juba down
Juba runnin' all aroun'.

Juba patting even made it to the professional stage and was part of the Golden and Grayton vaudeville stage act in a dance they called Patting Rabbit Hash. You can hear Billy Golden's 1905 recorded on the interenet archive:

http://www.archive.org/details/BillyGolden


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 10:23 AM

Thanks to all who have posted to this thread thus far.

Special thanks to Richie for posting so many examples of & information about these songs.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 10:31 AM

MUDCAT DISCUSSION FORUM POSTS ABOUT TALLEY'S "NEGRO FOLK RHYMES"-
Part IV


Subject: RE: Old mother sow
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 21 Oct 08 - 09:24 AM

Chickama Chicama Craney Crow
thread.cfm?threadid=115451#2471712

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bile Them Cabbage Down
From: Michael Morris - PM
Date: 20 Sep 08 - 12:27 PM

Song: "Bile Dem Cabbage Down"

Questions & comments aboutthe possible "Smiling Polly" connection to 'Bile dem Cabbage Down'

Comments about the African-American origins of this song-being evident in the collections of White, Scarborough and Brown—all from black informants; mention of the song also being in Talley's collection

thread.cfm?threadid=4566#2445967

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Subject: RE: Cadence or Marching Songs
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 02 May 08 - 03:11 PM

Comments about how some children's playground rhymes and/or some military cadences appear to be modified versions of the following songs found in Talley's collection. Examples given of rhymes, cadences that appear to be based on these songs from Talley's collection: Excerpt from T-U-Turkey (lines, "don't whoop me/whoop ____ behind that tree); "Shortnin Bread"; "Hambone",and "The Crawdad Song"

thread.cfm?threadid=10803#2331405

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 10:00 PM

Song-"The Origin Of The Snake"

thread.cfm?threadid=59194#1828858

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 09:50 PM

How To Keep or Kill The Devil

First two verses:

"If you wants to see de Devil smile.
Simpully do lak his own chile.

If you wants to see de devil git spunk,
Swallow whisky, an' git drunk."

thread.cfm?threadid=59194#1828853

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Subject: Lyr Add: OUTRUNNING THE DEVIL
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 06:07 PM

Song- "Outrunning The Devil"

Another song that includes a line about a snake biting someone on his heel; also includes the line "jumped into a hornet's nest"

thread.cfm?threadid=92940#1782960

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Subject: RE: Origins: Cotton-eyed Joe-true story/composite?
From: Q - PM
Date: 15 Jun 06 - 10:49 PM

Comments about the song "Cotton-Eyed Joe", comments about the meaning of the term "cotton-eyed"

Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=1761111

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Big Feet
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 20 May 06 - 02:01 PM

Song "Aunt Jemina"

A prime example of city folk lookin down on people who come from the "backwoods" or retain those "backwoods" ways
thread.cfm?threadid=91646#1744547

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Big Feet
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 20 May 06 - 01:55 PM

Song: "Johnny Bigfoot"

Another song disparaging "county folks"; supposedly one characteristic of country folks was that they have "big feet"

thread.cfm?threadid=91646#1744543

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about Big Feet
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 20 May 06 - 01:51 PM

Excerpt of "Brother Ben and Sister Sal"

Another song that mentions big feet:

Ole Sis Sal's got a foot so big,
Dat she canin't wear no shoes an' gaiters.
So all she want is some red calico,
An' dem big yaller yam sweet taters."

thread.cfm?threadid=91646#1744540

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 19 May 06 - 08:01 PM

Excerpt from the song "Susan Jane"

Focus on the floating verse "if I live to see next fall", as a reminder of the fact that many enslaved people lived under the constant shadow of sudden death:

"If I lives to see nex' Fall;
Susan Jane! Susan Jane!
I hain't gwineter sow no wheat at all.
Susan Jane! Susan Jane!"

thread.cfm?threadid=91455#1744242

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 18 May 06 - 10:53 AM

Note:
"Fisk University of Professor Thomas W. Talley wrote in his introduction to "Negro Folk Rhymes" that many of the songs included in that book were quite old. Some were from his Southern [African American]childhood, some were from the recollections of his Fisk University students, and others were from other African Americans he and they knew."

thread.cfm?threadid=91455#1743171

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Subject: RE: Military Jodies?
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 14 May 06 - 10:24 PM

An example of a military cadence "C-130" which includes lines from "When I die..bury me deep" that is found in a song from Talley's collection.The entire cadence is given. The specific lines are that are based on the "when I die..bury me deep" verse are:

If I die on the old drop zone
Box me up and ship me home
Pin my wings upon my chest
Bury me in the leaning rest
If I die in the Spanish Moors
Bury me deep with a case of Coors
If I die in Korean mud
Bury me deep with a case of Bud
If I die in a firefight
Bury me deep with a case of Lite
If I die in a German blitz
Bury me deep with a case of Schlitz
If I die, don't bring me back
Just bury me with a case of Jack

thread.cfm?threadid=2915#1740855

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Subject: Lyr Add: JUMP JIM CROW
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 02:01 PM
Lyrics of "Jump Jim Crow" in Talley's collection and other comments including this one:

"The words, "Pick a Bale of Cotton" are not known before the Depression Days of the 1930s, but the tune, of course, is old and well-worn. "Jump down and turn around" is either an old Negro dance step or originated with the blackface minstrels. It is in versions of "Jump Jim Crow" of blackface origin, this one a Negro revision, from Talley, "Negro Folk Rhymes," No. 20:

thread.cfm?threadid=2864#873963


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:15 PM

MUDCAT DISCUSSION FORUM POSTS ABOUT TALLEY'S "NEGRO FOLK RHYMES"-
Part V

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Black Woman
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 05:13 PM

Examples of skin color preferences in African American songs including this song from Talley's collection "I Wouldn't Marry A Black Gal" ("black here means "dark skin color")

thread.cfm?threadid=14514#898613

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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN MY WIFE DIES (from Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 14 May 06 - 06:06 PM

Song: "When My Wife Dies"; burial customs:

"W'en I comes to die, you mus'n bury me deep.
But pit Sogrum mollasses close to my feet.
Put a pone a' co'n bread way down in my han'
Gwineter sop on de way to de Promus Lan'."

thread.cfm?threadid=91455#1740782

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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 11 May 06 - 07:59 PM

An example of the "A Man Of Words" rhyme:

The full rhyme is given. The first verse is:
l
A man o' words an' not of deeds,
Is lak a garden full o' weeds.
De weeds 'gin* to grow
Lak a gwarden full o' snow.

thread.cfm?threadid=8831#1738497

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Subject: RE: Wearing Red-or another color
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 10:55 PM

Song: "To Win A Yellow Girl"

("Yellow", usually given in this genre of songs as "yalla", means a light skinned Black person.)

thread.cfm?threadid=91064#1731020

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Subject: RE: Origin and Lyr: Molly and Tenbrooks
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 05:02 PM

Song; I Wouldn't Marry A Yaller gal"

Comments including this one:

"All the "I wouldn't marry verses are widespread from the mainland to the Caribbean, and found in books that include Negro secular song. They are floaters in a number of dance and party songs. The origin is believed to be minstrel (see Ethiopian Serenaders verse, below)".

thread.cfm?threadid=54707#976195

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Subject: Lyr Add: RATTLER (from Talley)
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 30 May 03 - 02:23 PM
Song: Rattler

Comments, including:
"Rattler seems to have originated in rural, rather than prison song.
The earliest version was printed by Natalie Curtis Burlin in Hampton Series, Negro Folk Songs, vol. 4 (p. 38) in 1919, under the title "Hyar, Rattler."

thread.cfm?threadid=2410#962066

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Subject: RE: Wearing Red-or another color
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 10:19 PM

Song excerpt: "John Henry"
Note about a John Henry's wife wearing a dress that was the color "red":

"John Henry had dat pretty liddle wife,
An' she went all dress up in red.
She walk ev'y day down de railroad track
To de place whar her steel-drivin' man fell dead."

**
thread.cfm?threadid=91064#1730996

Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 17 Apr 06 - 04:06 AM

Song: "Stealing A Car"
inclues the rhyme pattern: "black as tar/railroad chyar" (car)

thread.cfm?threadid=90660#1720013

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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 17 Apr 06 - 03:50 AM

Song: "Goosberry Wine"

Excerpt:
"Oh walk chalk, Ginger Blue!
Git over double trouble.
You needn' min' de wedder
So's de win' don't blow you double."

My comments about the meaning of "ginger blue", "walk chalk", and "double trouble".

Note that the phrase "double trouble" is still found in a few African American children's playground rhymes.

thread.cfm?threadid=91064#1730996

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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 17 Apr 06 - 03:42 AM

"When My Wife Dies"

This is an example of what has been recently termed "colorism" (skin color preference). In this case, the Black man expresses a strong preference for a light skinned wife.

thread.cfm?threadid=90660#1720003

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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 17 Apr 06 - 03:24 AM
Song: "My Pretty Little Pink"

My theory is that among Black people "My pretty little pink" was a reference for a light skinned female. Consider the American movie "Pinkie".

thread.cfm?threadid=90660#1719996

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Subject: RE: Skin color in songs & singers' names
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 17 Apr 06 - 03:20 AM

Song: "You Love Your Gal"

You loves'yo' gal?
Well, I loves mine.
Yo'gal hain't common?
Well,my gal's fine.

I loves my gal,
She hain't no goose-
The blacker 'an blackberries,
Sweeter 'an juice

Note that the saying "The blacker the berry/the sweeter the juice" found in that song is still widely used as an affirmation by dark skinned Black women and men who like dark skinned women.

thread.cfm?threadid=90660#1719995

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Subject: ADD lyrics: HE IS MY HORSE
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 05 Jun 05 - 04:58 PM

Song: "He Is My Horse". In my opinion, this song is an affirmation of self-determination among 19th century African Americans.

thread.cfm?threadid=81179#1500714

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Subject: RE: African American Secular Folk Songs
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 05 Jun 05 - 11:43 AM

This is an example of what used to be a large genre of African American children's song about rabbits:

Here's an excerpt (the post includes the entire song)

Rabbit! Rabbit! You'se a mighty habit,
A-runnin' through degrass,
Eatin' up my cabbages;

thread.cfm?threadid=81179#1500519

**
Subject: ADD: LEARN TO COUNT {NAUGHT'S A NAUGHT}
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 19 May 05 - 08:35 AM

Song: "Learn To Count"

This is probably one of the most widely known example of the word "N****r" being used in an African American secular folk rhyme is this one that also provides a perspective of African Americans view of racism and the unfairness of life:

Naught's a naught,
Five's a figger.
All fer de white man,
None for the N****r.

thread.cfm?threadid=81179#1488016

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Subject: ADD: JACK AND DINAH WANT FREEDOM
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 19 May 05 - 08:28 AM

Song: "Jack And Dinah Want Freedom"

Lyrics and comments including this:

"This example also adds to the discussion we've been having about what might happen if individuals shared their plans to flee slavery with others."

thread.cfm?threadid=81179#1488011

**

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Q - PM
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 03:54 PM

Comments about song No. 287 "Taking a Walk"

We's a-walkin' in de green grass *dust, dust, dust.
We's a-walkin' in the green grass dust.
If you's jes as sweet as I thinks you to be,
I'll take you by yo' liddle hand to walk wid you

Note: "Botkin and Newell say 'dust' is a corruption of the Scots (Old English) adist, meaning 'this way, come hither.'"

thread.cfm?threadid=80573#1471589

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Don't Touch the Bumble Bee
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 05:56 PM

Song: "Juba This And Juba That"

Comments about the etymology of the name "Juba" including this:

"Juba" and "Juber" were names used by Southern African American males during slavery. This name may have derived from the Akan {Ghana, The Ivory Coast] name "Juba" also given as "Cuba" which means "female born on Monday". The male form of that name is "Cudjo". However I understand that there are other examples of the name "Juba" or similar names in other African languages.   

Also note that some versions of "Juba" include the "double trouble" line:

Juba this and Juba that
Juba skinned a yellow cat
and jumped over double trouble
Juba!

thread.cfm?threadid=79504#1452045

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Subject: RE: Help: Railroad Bill
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 22 Jan 05 - 12:33 PM

Song "Wild Negro Bill"

thread.cfm?threadid=21456#1385275

**

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: old zip coon
From: Q - PM
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 01:28 AM

Song- "Captain Dime"

Comments about the song "Captain Dime" which is a variant form of "Dan Tucker".

thread.cfm?threadid=77453#1381190

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Subject: RE: Tune Req: I'd Rather be a Nigger than a Poor W
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 05:40 PM

Comments on the song "I Would Rather Be A Negro Than A Poor White Man"

(My apologies for the full spelling of that word).

In the KenniKat Press edition that I have Talley's title for this song is titled "I Would Rather Be A Negro Than A Poor White Man". But Talley does use that other referent in the song's lyrics.

thread.cfm?threadid=77254#1376198

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: what became of the monk? (Animal Fair)
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 11:21 PM

An early version of the children's rhyme: "Animal Fair"
thread.cfm?threadid=6796#1362750

**
Subject: RE: 10 Little Indians
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 09:59 AM

Song-"The End Of Ten Little Negroes"

Lyrics and comments about the rhyme, and about race/racism
thread.cfm?threadid=12823#1361098

**
Song: Bought Me A Wife

thread.cfm?threadid=10834#1356720

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lula Gal (Jawbone Walk)
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 05 Dec 04 - 09:04 PM

Song:" Jawbone"

Note: The floating verse "Jawbone walk/jawbone talk/jawbone eat with a knife and fork" is found in a number of folk songs including the Caribbean children's song :"Tingalayo"

thread.cfm?threadid=13654#1348398

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Java Jive
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 06:43 PM

"Vinie"

The first verse to that song is

"I loves coffee,an' I loves tea.
I loves you, Vinie, does you love me?"

I believe that this song is the source of the very widely known children's playground rhyme "I Love Coffee, I Love Tea"

This post also includes my comments about "Sugar nicknames" such as "Shug" among African Americans and my opinions about the reasons why there are so many slave songs that mention food.

thread.cfm?threadid=73372#1299271

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Subject: RE: Jim Along Josie: lyrics and origin
From: GUEST,Azizi - PM
Date: 25 Jul 04 - 12:35 AM

In this post I correct two mistakes that I made on my website about the song "Jim Along Josie". That mistaken information was subsequently posted on Mudcat. I attributed a version of "Jim Along Josie"to Talley that was actually found in Dorothy Scarborough's 1925 collection "On The Trail Of Negro Songs".

Also I indicated that one meaning of the word "josie"; "Josie" is the name of a type of woman's coat, and not an undergarment. "Josie: is also a female name and the name of a dance.

[Also, FWIW, this happens to be my first Mudcat post ]

thread.cfm?threadid=52464#1233225

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bile Dem Cabbage Down
From: Q - PM
Date: 19 Jun 04 - 08:01 PM

Comments about a floating verse from Talley's version of the song "Bile Dem Cabbage Down"

"The raccoon has a bushy tail,
Possum tail, she bear,
The rabbit has no tail at all,
But a little bunch of hair."

thread.cfm?threadid=15777#1210656

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Subject: RE: rabbit up a gummy stump poem or song?
From: Q - PM
Date: 11 May 04 - 02:09 PM

Song: "Possum Up De Gum Stump"

thread.cfm?threadid=69650#1183046

**
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: meaning of the words in DIXIE
From: Q - PM
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 03:02 PM

Comments about composers and songs of that time including these:

"Henry Clay Work, who wrote "Kingdom Coming" (aka Year of Jubilo), and "Marching Through Georgia," was an abolitionist and printer as well as a composer, whose father had been sentenced to 12 years in a Missouri jail in 1841 for assisting fugitive slaves. When he was freed, he moved to Illinois, a "free" state.

The biting sarcasm in his songs was apparent to the blacks of his time and much appreciated by them; versions appear in collections of Negro folk songs collected from blacks (see especially the work of the black educator, Thomas W. Talley, "Negro Folk Rhymes")."

thread.cfm?threadid=40349#1134076

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Subject: RE: Jimmy Crack Corn - Man or Myth
From: Q - PM
Date: 04 Nov 03 - 06:49 PM

Excerpt from and comments about the song "Sheep Shell Corn"

thread.cfm?threadid=25188#1048063

**
Subject: RE: Play Party pronunciation
From: Q - PM
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 07:20 PM

Song: "Shake Dem 'Simmons Down"

thread.cfm?threadid=62886#1017885

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD HEN CACKLED
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 03 Aug 03 - 11:24 PM

Song: "The Old Hen Cackled"

thread.cfm?threadid=61809#996205

**

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nathan Killed the Bell Cow
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 30 May 03 - 01:57 PM

Comments about several 19th century and earlier songs including "keemo Kimo"

Also lyrics of and comments about "The Buzzard And Hawks" song from Talley's collection:

"The buzzards and the hawks appear in a number of old Negro rhymes and tales. One in Tally (collected in the 1920s):
Once: De hawk an' de buzzard went to roost,
An' de hawk got up wid a broke off tooth.
Den: De hawk an' de buzzard went to law,
An' de hawk came back wid a broke up jaw
Dat buzzard tried to plead his case,
Den he went home wid a smashed in face."

thread.cfm?threadid=60024#962047

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: HARRIS, PLANTATION SONGS
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 02 May 03 - 02:19 PM

Comments about and excerpts from several animal songs from Talley and other collectors

thread.cfm?threadid=59230#945023

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Subject: RE: Children's songs
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 09:15 PM

Lyrics to the children's song "Did You Feed My Cow"

thread.cfm?threadid=10254#865547

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Subject: Lyr Add: AUNT DINAH DRUNK
From: masato sakurai - PM
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 08:50 PM

Song: "Aunt Dinah Drunk"

"Probably an amalgam of diverse minstrel stanzas, this particular version does not appear in standard black collections. The third part, with the refrain, "Way down on de old plank road," appears in the recorded repertoire of Uncle Dave Macon (Vocalion 15321, 1926). Tally's papers contain two versions"...

thread.cfm?threadid=54913#852364

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Subject: Lyr Add: WAY DOWN THE OLD PLANK ROAD
From: Richie - PM
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 07:11 PM

Song: Way Down On The Old Plank Road

Comments including this one:

"African-American collector Thomas Talley (born c. 1870) printed a tune called "Aunt Dinah Drunk" in his 1922 work Negro Folk Rhymes, which includes a chorus which shows up in the Macon song "Way Down the Old Plank Road."

thread.cfm?threadid=54913#852338

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Subject: RE: Steamboat coonjine songs
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 08:19 PM

Another Anchor Line song, from Talley

thread.cfm?threadid=54404#848006

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: JORDAN IS A HARD ROAD TO TRAVEL
From: GUEST,Q - PM
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 10:58 PM

Song: "The Other Side of Jordan"

Included in the new edition of Talley's book, p. 219

The post includes the entire song in that book. Here's the refrain:

"Pull off you' coat boys, roll up yo' sleeves,
Jurdon's a hard road to travel!
Pull off yo' coat boys, roll up yo' sleeves,
Jurdon's a hard road to travel!"

thread.cfm?threadid=53122#819583

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Subject: RE: Jawbone Origin and Categorization
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 12:15 AM

Comment:
"An 1856 edition of one of the minstrel volumes was printed in Ireland. I have lost the reference to the title of the book, but it did contain the Jawbone song. It also appeared in "The Negro Minstrel," Glasgow, 1850 (Talley, Negro Folk Rhymes).
Minstrel songs from the States were very popular in the British Isles, and the minstrel troupes went over and played there. The books and tours may be the "Irish" source."

thread.cfm?threadid=52308#800849

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Subject: Lyr Add: HARVEST SONG
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 08:27 PM

Comment and lyrics -"Harvest Song"

thread.cfm?threadid=52033#795146

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Subject: RE: Origin of Ida Red
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 11:21 PM

Comments about the song "Chicken In The Bread Tray" including these:

"So, far, it seems that "Ida Red" is an old fiddle tune to which have been applied verses from numerous sources.

The verses belong to previously existing songs

There is a parallel fiddle tune called "Chicken in the Bread Tray" or "Granny, Will Your Dog Bite?" Here is what Talley says about it. "Ira Ford, in his Traditional Music of America (1940) lists this as a square dance tune, with the lyrics as "occasional verses" fiddlers sang in calling sets. It has been called [Chicken- Granny] and has been collected widely from Mississippi to California [Note- also by Brown in North Carolina and by Randolph in Missouri]." "Ray Browne, in The Alabama Folk Lyric [1979], notes that he has heard it often as a banjo tune and that it "seems to be a greater favorite with Negros than Whites." The opening quatrain appears often in white old-time music recordings of the 1920s." Lines appear in "Shootin' Creek - Ida Red."

thread.cfm?threadid=51808#791456

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Subject: RE: Origin of Ida Red
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 10:07 PM

Song: #175 "Looking For A Fight"

thread.cfm?threadid=51808#791433

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Subject: RE: Help: Shortnin' Bread
From: Dicho - PM
Date: 08 Sep 02 - 01:24 AM

Lyrics and comments including these:

"The complete three verses of "Saltin' Bread" (Salt Rising Bread) from Talley is given in thread 29791: Saltin'
The notes by C. K. Wolfe, p. 71, in addition to those given by Masato, state that "Talley was apparently the first to present a black-derived version of this piece, more commonly known as 'Shortenin" Bread.'" It was in the manuscript "Leading Themes Used in Singing Negro Folk Rhymes, Manuscript, ca. 1921, Talley Papers, Fisk University"

-snip-

This post also includes information about the differences between "shortnin' bread" and "saltin' bread" contained bits of bacon or crackling, with information about the meaning of "cracklin"

thread.cfm?threadid=51174#778956

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Subject: Lyr Add: SALT RISING BREAD
From: masato sakurai - PM
Date: 07 Sep 02 - 08:54 PM

Song: Shortnin Bread

Comments including these:

"SHORTENIN' BREAD [1]. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; east Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, north Georgia, Arkansas. A Major: D Major (Fuzzy Mountain String Band). Standard, ADAD (Reaves White County Ramblers) or AEAE. AABB. The melody has wide currency in the South, and appears in many traditional song collections starting with Perrow (1915). Perrow's version was collected from East Tennessee white singers, and has been called an "east Tennessee favorite" by musicologist Charles Wolfe. Mattie Cole Stanford, in her 1963 book Sourwood Tonic and Sassafras Tea, listed it as one of the tunes played at the turn of the century by fiddler George Cole of Etowah County, Alabama (Cauthen, 1990). It was one of the first tunes recorded by Kentucky fiddler Doc Roberts in the 1920's and was recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, from the playing of Ozark Mountain fiddlers in the early 1940's."
This post also includes a description of "shortinin bread."

thread.cfm?threadid=51174#778866

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jawbone
From: Stewie - PM
Date: 16 Aug 02 - 10:40 PM

Information about the song "Jawbone" including this:

"The earliest reference given in the Meade, Spottswood, Meade biblio-discography is to 'S.S. Steele pre-1865'. They also reference 'Minstrel Songs Old and New' (1882), Talley 'Negro Folk Rhymes'(1922), Tennessess Folklore Society Publications (1935), Randolph 'Ozark Folksongs II' (1950) and Browne 'Alabama Folk Lyric' (1979)."

thread.cfm?threadid=26693#766781

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: Dicho - PM
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 10:57 PM

Song: "As I Went to Shiloh"

thread.cfm?threadid=48893#744144

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: John Minear - PM
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 03:40 PM

Comments and Lyrics: "Buck-Eyed Rabbit! Whoopee!" (#269, p.149)
thread.cfm?threadid=48893#743415

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: John Minear - PM
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 10:27 AM

Comments about "Limber Jim" from other collections as well as comments about other songs.

See this excerpt from that post:

"I've been taking "Limber Jim" apart and looking at the various pieces and trying to trace possible connections…
In THOMAS W. TALLEY'S NEGRO FOLK RHYMES: A NEW, EXPANDED EDITION, WITH MUSIC, edited by Charles K. Wolfe, there is a song, #110, called "Salt Rising Bread" (pp. 71-72), that has a verse that refers to dancing "Shiloh":

I loves saltin', saltin' bread.
I loves saltin', saltin' bread.
You loves biscuit, butter, an' fat?
I can dance Shiloh better 'an dat.
Does you turn 'round an' shake yo' head?-
Well;I loves saltin', saltin' bread.

thread.cfm?threadid=48893#742204

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Subject: Lyr Add: YEAR OF JUBILEE
From: Dicho - PM
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 08:38 PM

Song-"Year Of Jubilee"

thread.cfm?threadid=48667#731829

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Subject: RE: Background of Brother Ephus
From: Dicho - PM
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 09:53 PM

Comments about the song "Brother Ephus" that is found in a number of collections including Talley's.

thread.cfm?threadid=48470#728033

**

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Kids' songs: Miss Mary Mack & Miss L
From: Dicho - PM
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 05:50 PM

This post includes the complete lyrics of four children's songs from Talley's collection:

"Blindfold Play Chant"; excerpt:
Oh tu'n Eas'! Oh tu'n Wes'!
Ketch us if you can.
Did you thought dat you'd cotch us,
Mistah blin' man?

-snip-

Witch Play
"Human call: "Molly, Molly, Molly bright!"
Witch 'sponse: "Three sco' an' ten!"
Human call: "Can we get dar 'fore candle-light?"
Witch 'sponse "Yes, if yo' legs is long an' light!"
Conscience, warning call" "You'd better watch out,
Or de witches'll git yer!"

-snip-

"Kneel On This Carpet"; excerpt:
Jes choose yo' Eas', jes choose yo' wes'.
Now choose de one you loves de bes'.
If she hain't here to take 'er part,
Choose someone else with all yo' heart

-snip-

"Bedbug", excerpt:
De June-bug's got de golden wing,
De lightning-bug de flame;
De bedbug's got no wing at all
But he gits dar jes' de same.
thread.cfm?threadid=44270#651110

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Subject: Lyr Add: REDHEAD WOODPECKER (from Talley)
From: Dicho - PM
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 03:59 PM

In the 1991 rev. ed, Negro Folk Rhymes, no. 275.

Redhead woodpecker; "Chip! Chip! Chee!"
Promise dat he'll marry me.
Whar shall de weddin' supper be?
Down in de lot, in a rotten holler tree.
What will de weddin' supper be?

A liddle green worm an' a bumblebee,
Way down yonder on de holler tree.
De redhead woodpecker, "Chip! Chip! Chee!"

thread.cfm?threadid=44133#649339

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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY IS MY DARLING & SIEGE OF VICKSBURG
From: masato sakurai - PM
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 08:15 AM
Comments about other songs as well as this one:

"African-American collector Thomas Talley, in his book Negro Folk Rhymes (1922, a new edition 1991 edited by Charles Wolfe), prints a unique version of the song as "Salt Rising Bread," which goes:

I loves saltin', saltin' bread,
I loves saltin', saltin' bread.
Put on dat skillet, nev' mind de lead,
Caze I'se gwinter cook dat saltin' bread;
Yes, ever since my mammy's been dead,
I'se been makin' an' cookin' dat saltin' bread.


'Saltin' bread' seems to refer to bread made from water-ground corn meal, remarks Charles Wolfe, while the more common 'shortenin' bread' is bread mixed with bacon bits or bacon gravy, sometimes called 'cracklin' bread"

thread.cfm?threadid=36#571146

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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THE OLD GRAY HORSE CAME TEARING ...
From: Joe Offer - PM
Date: 24 May 99 - 06:49 PM

Lyrics and comments including this one:

"Talley says the song has been labeled, variously, as a Negro spiritual. A play-party song, and a lullaby. It was popular with white fiddlers in the 1920's."

thread.cfm?threadid=11138#81397

****

This concludes my list of Mudcat posts about Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes book. This list does not include posts made after as of 01 Sep 09 - 12:32 PM. I apologize for any duplicates or omissions.

Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:57 PM

Azizi and others,

I've no time to analyze all this material myself, but it raises a recurring, burning question for me:

To what extent did minstrel shows and songs borrow from authentic African-American forms...and...how should we interpret the material in books like Talley's given the legacy of popular minstrel music...as not only a strong influence on all American popular music, but also as a body of material that was coded as "Negro" (i.e. regardless of who may have created it)? That is, to what extent are the lyrics in Talley "authentic" African-American music if they are based in minstrel songs? It seems one either has to accept that: 1) many lyrics in minstrel songs were based on authentic African-American songs, or 2) a chunk of what came to be embraced as "our music" by African-Americans by the end of the 19th century originated in minstrel songs, perhaps penned by non-Blacks.

If we say that such and such song in Talley derives from a minstrel song, it may appear to remove the agency from African-Americans or even suggest that the item is not "authentic folklore." However, to make that observation does not necessarily imply that, since earlier minstrel songs may have derived from African-Americans' rhymes (i.e. they've come full-circle). We may even be forced that admit that, with regards to a certain chunk of the material, there is really nothing "Negro" or not-Negro about it --- that is, it doesn't necessarily pertain to any long traditions of African-Americans, but rather, it is material that was merely ascribed to that community at the time of writing for some reason.

I realize this question is WAY too big to be dealt with here, but the reason why I raise it is because I think such broad studies of the material, piece by piece, as would be facilitated by this kind of list, may be the only way to give modest answers to the question.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Richie
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 03:15 PM

Hi,

We know that Dan Emmett and others borrowed from traditional African-American sources. The extent of the intermingling of traditional and composed music we will never know.

We only know that the African-American influence on all American music and much of the music overseas was and is enormous. By the early 1900s many of the folk rhymes and songs Talley collected that came from minstrel sources had entered tradition.

By looking back we can see where the songs started. More importantly- we can use the songs today- creating new songs from the old that are a testiment to our musical heritage.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 05:25 PM

To what extent did minstrel shows and songs borrow from authentic African-American forms...and...how should we interpret the material in books like Talley's given the legacy of popular minstrel music...as not only a strong influence on all American popular music, but also as a body of material that was coded as "Negro" (i.e. regardless of who may have created it)?
-Gibb Sahib


Gibb, the phrase "popular minstrel music" at first glance seems to be an oxymoran. I say that because from my personal experiences from my reading and from other mass media resources, it appears to me that minstrel music is one of the most, if not the most unpopular forms of music among the majority of African Americans. That is not to say that during its hey day from there weren't a larger number of African Americans than there are who genuinely liked most songs that are now categorized as "minstrel".

But I wouldn't be surprised at all if those Black Anerican who liked certain songs from that period that we call "minstrel songs" such as music on this website A collection of minstrel and plantation songs, didn't think of all those songs as "minstrel". And I wouldn't be surprised if some Black people (and some non-Black people) who liked some of those songs back then and who like some of them now made a distinction between that body od songs and other aspects of minstrelsy that they considered/consider to be abhorrent. I'm not just referring to "blackface" but also to the demeaning caricatures who were created by minstrelsy, and which have become the signature of minstrelsy.

The book Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies & Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in Am by Donald Bogle is an informative read on this subject. Unfortunately those caricatures have had a huge influence on the American stage, screen, and television. And Black caricatures, sans blackface paint, are still prominent in Black media. Some of these caricatures like Amos and Andy and others in their show, used to be popular with a number of African Americans. And others, like Madea in recent Tyler Perry movies seem to be very popular among a large segment of African American adults, though I definitely don't count myself as one of those who like those movies.

I see that I've come full circle back to your question, Gibb, though I've expanded it a great deal. I'll pull back those expansions vut ask other related questions. If in the 19th century, and the early 20th century, and even the mid and late 20th century, there were a considerable population of Black people who liked songs that Black people (and non-Black people) nowadays would consider to be "minstrel songs", why was that? And furthermore, if there are African Americans nowadays who like minstrel music, why do I think that is?

It seems to me that there are four core reasons why people like certain music:

1. Its sound conforms to what they consider to be aesthetically pleasing

2. It can be used to accompany dancing and other body movements that they consider to be aesthetically pleasing

3. It evokes positive memories for them

4. It has largely positive cultural significance to them or to the group or groups with which they identify

I believe that many of the songs from White minstrels were taken from or modeled after Black people, given the text, and structure of those songs, as well as the rhythmic, percussive danceable nature of those tunes which have survived. And so I have re-baptized those songs in the name of "Blackness". Instead of calling those songs "minstrel music", I call them "secular slave music" or "19th century and earlier Black dance songs".

And using the points that I enumerated above, when they are cleaned up from any (what I consider to be offensive language such as the "N" word, "mammy", and so-called dialectical "des" and "dems) songs such as "Jim Along Josie", "Hambone", and "Shortnin Bread" meet all but point #3 in the list that I gave above.

I consider these songs to testimonies to African American creativity, resiliency, and humanity. (point #4 in my Reasons Why People Like Certain Music list above). Like the old time string band composed of African Americans who are far younger than me, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, I am very committed to reclaiming this music as part of African American heritage. And I'm committed to sharing information about this music with other Black people and with non-Black people.


Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 06:32 PM

I'm going to post some additional songs from Talley's book which I think addresss another question that may not be as important, but is interesting to me as a community folklorist whose primary interest is in children's playground music.

As I read more examples from the rhyme family "Not Last Night But The Night Before", I found a number of versions that end with the line "one had a pancake tied to his bum". Here's an example of that rhyme from an old Mudcat thread:

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pig with a pancake on his bum
From: Tam the man - PM
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 11:28 AM

I remember a wee thing that went

not last night but the night before
three wee witches came to the door
the first had a trumpet, the second had a drum,
and third had a pancake stuck to it's bum

thread.cfm?threadid=84508#1559841

Other versions of that rhyme from the United Kingdom (and maybe also from Australia and New Zealand?) have the three who came to the door being pigs, or monkeys, or some other characters.

Another version of that rhyme is:

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pig with a pancake on his bum
From: Fergie - PM
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 08:56 PM

From a dim and distant childhood (54 years ago) comes a plaintiff memory of a skipping rhyme we used to sing in Dublin. It goes as follows;

There was a little man and he had a little gun,
and up the mountain he did run
with a bellyful of fat and an old tall hat
and a pancake tied to his bum, bum, bum.

3, 6, 9, the goose drank wine
the monkey chewed tabacco on the streetcar line
the line broke the money got choked
and they all went to heaven in a little row boat

It must be something that came from America, because in Ireland we had/have no streetcars (not even one called Desire).
Fergus

thread.cfm?threadid=84508#2713671

-snip-

In 2005, when that thread was first active, someone asked about the meaning of that line. Mudcatter weelittledrummer posted two comments that this custom was related to a Michaelmas tradition. Apart from one post in July 2009, that thread was retired in 2005.

I visited that thread on September 1st, 2009 looking for answers to the meaning of "pig with a pancake on his bum", I found weelittledrummer's Michaelmas posts, and I thought that he was serious. I later found out that-in true Mudcat tradition-he was "joshing".

Even when I thought he was serious, I looked on the Internet for any information about this "Michaelmas tradition" but (surprise surprise!) I couldn't find anything. But that started me thinking more and more about what that line could possibly mean.

To make a long story short (with information summarized on a post this and on this post, I reached the conclusion that a "pancake on a pig's (or a monkey's, or a witche's, or a man's) bum was a medicinal plaster put there because of a boil. [Note: some examples of children's rhymes refer to "a pimple on the bum" or a "pimple on the belly". And I've found one rhyme so far that refers to someone having a "pancake on his nose"]

To bring all of this back to the point of this thread, I found two rhymes in Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes that are called "Plaster" and "A Fine Plaster". These rhymes may not have anything to do with "pancake on the bum".

But then again they may.

I'll share both of those examples in my next post to that thread, and I'll cross-post those examples on that "Pigs on the bum" Mudcat thread.


Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 06:44 PM

PLASTER

Chilluns:
Mammy an' daddy had a hoss,
Dey want a liddle bigger,
Dey sticked a plaster on his back
An' drawed a liddle N****r.

Den:
Mammy an' daddy had a dog.
His tail was short an' chunky,
Dey slipped a plaster 'round dat tail.
An' drawed it lak de monkey.

Well:
Mammy an' daddy's dead an' gone.
Did you ever hear dir stiry?
Dey sticked some plasters on deir heels,
An' drawed 'em up to Glory!

pages 60-61

**

A FINE PLASTER
W'en it's sheep skin an' beeswax.
It sho' a mighty fine plaster.
De mo' you tries to pull it off,
Se mo' it sticks de faster.

page. 124

[Both of these examples are from the 1968 Kennikat edition of Thomas W. Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 07:07 PM

FWIW, let me try to rephrase this one sentence from my post of 02 Sep 09 - 05:25 PM:

That is not to say that during its hey day there weren't a lot of   African Americans who genuinely liked most songs that are categorized now as "minstrel".


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 07:33 PM

Here's a 5th reason why people may like certain music:

5. The text speaks to them; they like the the songs says and/or the emotions that the lyrics evoke. And they like how the song says what it says.

-snip-

Depending on the song, this point may be true for me about specific 19th century dance songs, especially if those songs have what I consider to be offensive language or dialect.

In my opinion, because of their association with slavery (even as far as the referent "plantation song"), a period of time that many African Americans still find it uncomfortable to talk about, few African Americans are going to rush to embrace these songs. Another reason why I think that few African Americans have any interest in these songs is the fact that so many of these songs include the "n" word, and other socially offensive words like "darky" , "mammy", "massa", "missus", and dem. des, and dose dialect.

But in studying these 19th century secular slave songs, a far different picture of African Ameican slave cultures emerges than what mainstream society teaches.

And for me, that is one of the key reasons why I want to learn more about these songs.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 09:25 PM

Thanks, guys, for considering my somewhat irksome and ultimately un-resolvable question.

Richie notes that,

By the early 1900s many of the folk rhymes and songs Talley collected that came from minstrel sources had entered tradition.

This is also my understanding. However, rather than stop at the point of "Well, we may never know the extent" (which strictly speaking may be a true statement), the inspiration for my question was the possibility that one can give an informed idea of the extent through an analysis of these texts. It's certainly very possible to show which "rhymes" were existing earlier as minstrel songs -- that is, written down.

Talley appears to characterize the material as "Negro lore," handed down through generations as the traditional songs of an ethnic community. To some extent that's probably true, but it is too much of a simplification. He ignores the influence of 90 or so years of popular music. His interest seems to be in circumscribing a body of "Negro lore."

To be sure, if such and such rhymes entered "the African-American tradition" via popular music sources, that does not make them any less "authentic" in my book. They may have been less authentic in Talley's however -- because showing the rhymes came from more recent, popular sources, and not necessarily Black ones at that, would weaken the notion of "Negro lore."

I happen to be of the belief that authentic African-American rhymes were heavily borrowed by White performers in their minstrel song compositions, albeit to what extent these were damaged or contorted in the process I can't say. And unfortunately we don't have enough record of African-American songs before that time to judge from. However, I do know that minstrel music, thus born of multi-ethnic influences, went on to have an enormous impact on the music making of all ethnic communities. Azizi, in my opinion the issue of demeaning characterizations in minstrel routines is not so relevant because we know in fact that regardless all kinds of people were influenced by the songs -- the proof is in the pudding.

Azizi, I think your comments are most relevant in understanding why someone like Talley would want to ignore the popular influences.

Again, my personal opinion (for what its worth) is that the "Negro folk rhymes" are no less rich, regardless if many had been recycled from other sources. But, I do wonder to what extent we need to accept them as specifically African-American. By that point in history, I think a creole musical culture had already developed, in which it would not be possible to ascribe this music to one ethnic group. At the same time, however, something else had developed: the idea of certain material (drawn from both minstrel and authentic African-American performances) being ascribed as "Negro" material. There have been motivations for identifying "Negro lore" for the purpose of celebrating it (Talley) just as there have been motivations to identify such an entity to denigrate it (minstrel routines).

This is why we can't have blinders on to block off other things going on. I strongly suspect that the rhyme Azizi quoted above, "Plaster" was one of the bases (or at least cut from the same cloth) as the sea chantey "Haul Away Joe" (which also may have drawn from "Jim Along Josey"). However, you'll find very few chantey enthusiasts that would take me up on that, as they've not had the good fortune to learn from you folks and discover these other songs outside a rather pre-conceived contemporary idea of where chanteys belong culturally.

To put this all in the context of my original question:
I've no doubt that: 1) Black music was one of the bases for minstrel music style; 2) Minstrel songs lyrics entered and re-entered the African-American song vocabulary 3)Minstrel song lyrics also entered the song vocabulary of White singers; 4) African-American song lyrics entered the song vocabulary of White singers.
What I'm interesting in is getting a sense of extent of these influences on one another and a sense of the process by which this music all developed. That would be a huge project, but a list like this one that Azizi has started, so far as it helps us see the roots and influences of each "rhyme" that Talley found current among Black singers in 1922, has potential for a revealing analysis. Thanks and sorry for my wordi-ness.

Gibb


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 02:46 AM

Gibb, there are songs/rhymes in Talley's collection and in other collection of 19th century or earlier "plantation songs" that are known to have been of English origin or of other European origin.
I'm going to ignore the question of what degree of influence Africans (including but not exclusive to the Moors) and their mixed race descendants who by the 19th century were largely absorbed into "White populations) may have had upon European song (and dance) traditions, and on any specific songs before the 19th century when the American minstrel shows traveled to Europe (and to South Africa) I suppose we may never the answer to that question, though maybe there is some research out there on the influence of the Moors on British song and dance traditions (beyond Moorish dances). I'll just refer to all of the pre-American Minstrel show songs as "European songs".

In her 1925 book On The Trail of Negro Folk Song Dorothy Scarborough includes a chapter of British folk songs that had been learned and adapted by African Americans. That chapter entitled "The Negro's Role In Transmitting The Traditional Songs And Ballads" includes versions of the following songs:

1. Hangman Slack Your Rope
2. Lady Isabel And The Elf King
3. Frog Went A' Courtin
4. Old Bangum
5. A Little Ball Threw His Ball
6. Lord Lovell
7. So We Hunted And We Hollered
8. Old Circus Song
9. The Noble Stewball

Scarborough reports that a "Professor Smith who is custodian of the Virginia Folk-Lore Society, tells of other instances of Negro versions of ballads, as found by members of that society."
-snip-

The two specific songs that Scarborough mentioned after that sentence are "The Old Man In The North Country (Child, No. 10) "taken down from the singing of Negroes in Fairfax County) and "The Cherry Tree Carol (Child, no. 54) which "is said to be current among Negroes in North Carolina as well as in Virginia". [both quotes p. 60]*

Scarborough also wrote that "'Lord Arnold's Wife' (Child, no. 81) has been heard sung by Negroes in Campbell County, Virginia. [p.61]
Furthermore, Scarborough writes "Child, in his third volume, page 515, says that "'Lamkin'" has been sung in Prince William County by Negroes who learned it from Scotch settlers." [p. 61]. In addition, Scarborough wrote that "the ballad "Our Gentleman, or "Home Cam [cic] Our Good Man, which was spread from Great Britain into Germany, Hungary, and Scandinavia, is sung among the Negroes of Campbell County, Virginia as "Hobble and Bobble". [p.61].

*All page numbers are from the 1963 Folk-Lore Association Edition of this book.


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 03:27 AM

I'm aware that there are songs in Talley's Negro Folk Rhyme that are African American adaptations of European songs. The first example that comes to my mind is the song "Here Comes A Young Man Courting" which is clearly based on "Dukes A' Riding".

In 1997 I collected a variant form of "Here Comes A Young Man Riding" called "We're Riding Here To Get Married" from an African American woman who remembered it from her childhood in 1950s Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania. I posted that game song on several Mudcat threads including this one: thread.cfm?threadid=106986#2214411.

A similar version of "We're Riding Here To Get Married" was posted on another Mudcat thread by Mudcat member kendall (Anglo-American, New England, Maine?) who said he learned it from his grandmother:
thread.cfm?threadid=20909#334376.

You will note that kendall's version starts with the "Dukes a'riding verse", but the 3rd verse is "We're coming here to get married".
And his 4th verse is "You are too black and dirty". The comparable verse in "Riding to get married" is "You'll get all dirty and greasy
Greasy".



Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 04:07 AM

I'd love for people who are knowledgable about British and other European folk songs to confirm my belief that the following songs from Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes book are adaptations of European folk songs and children's rhymes. I'm excluding "Frog Went A'Courting from this list because I know that one is of European origin. But I think the following songs may also be of British or other European origin-learned by 19th century or earlier African Americans via Anglo-Americans or perhaps by African American sailors who traveled to Europe:


1. I'll Wear Me A Cotton Dress" (Milly Biggers)
2. Randsome Tansome (Gwine to de fair)
3. A Man Of Words
4.Old Man Know-All

-snip-

There are probably other songs in that collection that have been traced to British or other European folk songs, but I don't know enough about European folk songs to identify them.

**

Talley's collection includes a rhyme called "The Elephant" that has the verse about a girl getting 15 cents to see the elephant jump the fence. This verse is clearly part of the very widely known American children's rhyme "Miss Mary Mack".* However, Talley's song doesn't include the name "Mary Mack". Nor does it make reference to her having "silver buckles down her back".

I've learned from reading Mudcat that there is a British (?) folksong "Mary Mack" (Going to Marry Me). And I remember reading at least one (I believe it was) British children's rhyme that included the line "silver buckles down her back" that didn't include the name "Mary Mack", though I can't recall which rhyme that was. And I also remember reading some online article-though which one I can't recall-that said that "Mary Mack dressed in black/silver buckles down her back" was an English riddle for "What is a coffin". I'd love to know if that is true or if it is fakelore.

* I think this rhyme is more widely known among African Americans than non-African Americans. It usually chanted by girls (around ages 5-10 years) while doing partner handclap routines. From 1997-2006 I I facilitated game song sessions and special programming sessions for mostly African American children (ages 5-12 years) in various Pittsburgh neighborhoods and in several other Black neigborhoods in surrounding communities. An integral part of my program was asking the participants to share what handclapping "songs" they knew. In most of my years of facilitating these after-school and summer sessions, it appeared as though "Miss Mary Mack" was the most widely known children's rhyme (among the African American children). However, by 2005-2006 it appeared that this rhyme was at least slightly less known to the participating African American children from some communities.

**

My point in all of this is that the question about which of the songs in Talley's collection and other collectors of his time are of (majority) African American origin or are of (majority) Anglo-American origin has to exclude those songs and rhymes that are known to be adaptations of British or other European folk songs & rhymes.

I'll be interested to see where this study leads.


Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Negro Folk Rhymes (Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 10:56 AM

Another example of a 19th century African American children's song that is based on "Three Dukes A-Riding" is "Johnny Cuckoo". The words to that song, and its performance activity are found on page 71 of Bessie Jones' & Bess Lomax Hawes 1987 book Step It Down: games, plays, songs, and stories from the Afro-American heritage

http://books.google.com/books?id=nTWTyVFBipkC&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=here+comes+one+johnny+cukoo&source=bl&ots=IZgPtbkSKg&sig=r1JNK

These examples are from the Georgia Sea Isles.

**
I posted the words to "Johnny Cuckoo" on this Mudccat thread thread.cfm?threadid=34425#2380122 "Help: johnny cockaroo" along with this comment:

"'Johnny Cuckoo; is a traditional game song from the Georgia Sea Isles. The song is included in a four CD collection of Southern folk songs (Alan Lomax, Sounds of the South Disc 4 Atlantic Recording Corp, 1993). The song is also included in Bess Hawes & Bess Lomax Hawes' book of Georgia Sea Isle rhymes Step It Down.

This song probably dates from the Civil War era. In my opinion, "Johnny Cuckoo" used dramatic play to teach & reinfornce self-esteem and self-confidence. Hopefully, the children internalized the affirmation that "I'm just a good as you are" for the times when they would experience put downs as children, teens, and adults.

I'm not certain if "Johnny Cuckoo" is still sung in Georgia or elsewhere. I have no knowledge of it from my childhood in New Jersey, and haven't come across anyone who knows it in my adopted city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania."

-snip-

Also see this additional comment that I made on that thread:

Subject: RE: Help: johnny cockaroo
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 11:17 AM

I meant to add that the game song "Here Comes One Johnny Cuckoo" and the folk character "John The Conqueroo" could very well be related.

It's possible that the name of the character in the song could suggest to those hearing it the strength & power of John The Conqueror. The intended message of the song may have been "In order to be powerful like John The Conqueror you have to feel good about yourself".

-snip-

I also should mention that the tune to my untrained musical ears "We're Riding Here To Get Married" are similar but aren't the same. Also, my "informant" Barbara Ray used a moderate tempo for that game song that was faster and more percussive than the rendition of the "Johnny Cuckoo" song that is recored on the Sounds of the South Disc (although the section of that song that is recorded as "You re too black and dirty" is faster and more percussive than the "Here comes one Johnny Cuckoo" part of the song.

**
Note that there are slight word differences in the "Songs of the South Disc" and in the "Step It Down" book". In "Step It Down" this line is given as "You are too black and browsy" while in the "Songs of the South" CD the line is given as "You are too black and dirty".

**

The game song "Johnny Cuckoo" is described in "Step It Down" as a "courtship play". "Play" here is Bessie Jones' description of children's songs that involve dramatization.

I can't proof my theory that one of the reasons for this song was to help Black children get used to be insulted* and ,at the same time, strengthen their self-esteem**. However, that theory is part of my overall view that children's singing games and rhymes aren't just recreational activities, but also part of how children learn society's values, and expectations for them. However, it's unlikely that children are aware that they are being socialized while they are playing these games. Also, it's unlikely that adults who pass on these games to children are aware that they are teaching those children their society's norms, and also teaching children coping mechanisms and other survival skills. That said, some adults may be aware that these games teach children social skills such "teamwork" and "being a good winner and being a good loser". My theory about these games teaching "survival skills" and "strengthening self-esteem" is an expansion of the idea that these games teach social skills.

For example, during many circle (ring) games, one person is arbitrarily picked to go into the middle of the circle. At a certain point in the singing, the child in the middle has to perform a "motion" (amovement such as a dance step). At another point in that song, that child has to pick another member of the group to take her or his place in the middle of the circle. These types of songs teach children that
1. they must be alert (since they never know when they will be called to go into the center of the ring)and

2. they should be prepared with a "plan A" and a "plan B" (since they're supposed to come up with a motion that no one preceding them has performed and they may have to substitute another motion because someone has done what they wanted to do.

When I conducted game song groups for children, I used to include several circle (ring) game songs in my repertoire.*** Prior to the children (and the youth and adults present) playing these games, I would give a casual talk about that game teaching people to be being "alert and ready". I shared with them that this type of thinking may have been important for chilren in slavery times and it is still important now.

*Calling a Black person "black" as well as calling them "black and dirty" or "black and browsy"-I'm assuming that "browsy" means "unkept"-was probably considered to be an insult in Civil Rights time. Unfortunately, calling an African American child "black" may is still be considered as an insult today.

** The affirmation part of the song is "I'm just as good as you are".

*** For the record (no pun intended), although I like this song,I haven't taught it to any children. I made that decision because calling someone "black" [which is usually given as "blackie"] can be such a volatile statement among African American children that I decided "not to go there". Yet, if I ever had the opportunity to share information about 19th century African American folk songs and children's rhymes in an academic (and not a limited time recreational) setting-particulrly if that class room setting was for children ages 12 years and up- I would definitely include "Johnny Cuckoo" in that curriculum.


Azizi Powell


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