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Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)

DigiTrad:
LINSTEAD MARKET


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Q 31 May 11 - 05:57 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 01 Jun 11 - 02:13 AM
Nigel Parsons 01 Jun 11 - 11:39 AM
Q 01 Jun 11 - 01:24 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 01 Jun 11 - 05:48 PM
Q 01 Jun 11 - 07:52 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 02 Jun 11 - 08:58 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Jun 11 - 08:46 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Jun 11 - 09:18 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Jun 11 - 09:56 AM
Q 04 Jun 11 - 01:25 PM
Q 04 Jun 11 - 01:37 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Jun 11 - 06:13 PM
Q 04 Jun 11 - 10:50 PM
Q 05 Jun 11 - 03:29 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 05 Jun 11 - 05:00 PM
Q 05 Jun 11 - 05:36 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 06 Jun 11 - 12:38 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 06 Jun 11 - 01:04 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 06 Jun 11 - 01:24 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 06 Jun 11 - 04:23 AM
Q 06 Jun 11 - 12:39 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 30 Aug 12 - 06:49 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Q
Date: 31 May 11 - 05:57 PM

Lyr. Add: Murder in de Market
Barbados, Trinidad, Canal Zone of Panama

Murder in de Market, murder.
Murder in de Market, murder.
Murder in de market, murder.
Betsy Thomas, she kill Payne stone dead.

Murder in de market, murder.
Murder in de market, murder.
Murder in de market, murder.
Betsy Thomas, she kill Payne stone dead.

Payne dead, Payne dead, stone dead.
Payne dead, Payne dead, stone dead.
Payne dead, Payne dead, stone dead.

Betsy Thomas she kill Payne stone dead.
"oh, I ain't kill nobody but me husband.
Oh, I didn't kill nobody but me husband.
Oh, I didn't kill nobody but me husband.

Oh, I ain't kill nobody but me husband,
So I could face de judge independent!

Murder in de market, murder.
Murder in de market, murder.
Murder in de market, murder.
Betsy Thomas she kill Payne stone dead.

De big Grand Session is tomorrow,
De big Grand Session is tomorrow,
De big Grand Session is tomorrow,
Betsy Thomas she kill Payne stone dead.

She ain't kill nobody but she husband,
Oh, she didn't kill nobody but she husband,
Oh, she ain't kill nobody but she husband,
Betsy Thomas, she kill Payne stone dead.

Murder in de market, murder.
Murder in de market, murder.
Murder in de market, murder.
Betsy Thomas kill Payne stone dead.

Pp. 34-36, musical score, notated for voice, guitar, drums and bass.
Edric Connor, Songs from Trinidad, 1958, Oxford University Press.

A version sung by Young Tiger, 1953, is on youtube.

Discussed in Louise Cramer,"Songs of West Indian Negroes in the Canal Zone." California Folklore Quarterly, vol. 5, no. 3, July, 1946. (JSTOR)
This article (not seen) is the basis for assigning the song to Barbados, and has the story behind the song. (It may have the date of the event).

Rewritten and revised as "Stone Cold Dead in the Market" by Wilmouth Houdini*, a calypso singer, in 1939, an adaptation of "He Had it Coming" (another title), it was a hit for Ella Fitzgerald, Belafonte and others. See thread 34020 for the Belafonte version as posted by Joe Offer.
Belafonte

*Franklin Bruno, 2011, Popular Music and Society vol. 34, issue 1, pp. 7-21.
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a933307712


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 02:13 AM

Q, Betsy Thomas' murder of Thomas Payne occurred in the 1870s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 11:39 AM

I see similarities with Stone Cold Dead in de Market

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Q
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 01:24 PM

Nigel, yes, as I noted in remarks posted with "Murder in de Market."

Morwen, your source for the 1870s date?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 05:48 PM

i have the songbook "Folk Songs of Barbados" collected by Trevor Marshall, Peggy McGeary, and Grace Thompson. They include the song and its melody, unfortunately no accompaniment :( and the date of the events, stating that "Betsy Thomas, the common-law mate of one Thomas Payne, allegedly murdered him during a quarrel". There is a mention of the song in Trinidadian songbooks. What I find interesting is how distanced the folk version is from the events, compared with "Stone Cold Dead in The Market", which is from a first-person perspective, and is, in my opinion, one of the best songs about battered woman syndrome ever, done before battered woman syndrome was ever named or recognised. Also in the case of murder ballads based on true stories, how does a person find information on the actual incident? Because some American murder ballads seem to have a large proportion of people on this forum who have information about the real incident.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Q
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 07:52 PM

The event was usually reported in the local papers, so a search of their archives would find it. The archives would have to be digitized or otherwise well-organized, and one should be able to set a time interval for the search, in order to cut down on time and expense.

Most papers and journals charge for use, so not cheap or easy.
Some of the more common songs (Frankie and Albert sort of song) have books and articles written about the event, so library and internet search usually turns up the information.

I have paid an archive for copies of rare sheet music a couple of times. Expensive!

Often the folk song bears little relation to the story- singers make up what they think is a better one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 08:58 AM

I take back what I said about accompaniment. There are chords on the score I have.
She lived in St. Thomas Parish, very isolated, according to the notes. I'm thinking the chorus "I ain't killed nobody but muh husband" actually is what she was (supposed) to have said?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 08:46 AM

My transcription from YouTube:


MURDER IN THE MARKET
As recorded by Young Tiger (George Browne) in 1953

Stone cold dead in de market,
Stone cold dead in de market,
Stone cold dead in de market,
Well, she killed nobody but she husband.

Yes, she hit him in de head wit' de fryin' pan,
She hit him in de head wit' de fryin' pan,
She hit him in de head wit' de fryin' pan,
And if she kill him, he had it comin'.

And so he's stone cold dead in de market,
Stone cold dead in de market,
Stone cold dead in de market,
Well, she killed nobody but she husband.

Last night he went out drinkin',
And den he came in and gave her a beatin' [not sure; recording has a glitch at this point]
So she picked up de rollin' pin,
And worked on his head till she bashed it in.

And now he's stone cold dead in de market,
Stone cold dead in de market,
Stone cold dead in de market,
Well, she killed nobody but she husband.

Now his family is swearin' to kill her,
His family is swearin' to kill her,
His family is swearin' to kill her,
So if she kill him, he had it comin'.

And now he's stone cold dead in de market, mother! [or "murder"?]
Stone cold dead in de market,
Stone cold dead in de market,
Well, she killed nobody but she husband.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 09:18 AM

YouTube also has the recording by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan from 1946. This is the basis for the transcription in the DT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 09:56 AM

There is also a recording of the original folk song by the opera singer Lorna Myers.Murder in De Market- Lorna Myers


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Q
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 01:25 PM

(Ouch!) I'll pass on her.
Edric Connor recorded it in 1960 with the Southlanders, might be better (not heard).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Q
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 01:37 PM

The 1960 lp by Connor is selling for $200-300 used. I guess I won't hear it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 06:13 PM

The same with me, Q. She obviously didn't *try* to shake off the classical influence in her singing. This song is creepy in an enigmatic kind of way, as a matter of fact. It doesn't mention in motive of Betsy Thomas in the killing of Thomas Payne, while "Stone Cold Dead In De Market" attributes it to Battered Woman Syndrome. Interestingly, that version also gets rid of the specifics such as her name and the name of the man she was living with- perhaps to make more identifiable?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Q
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 10:50 PM

I collect a lot of classical, but it sounded like she didn't understand the music or the story. Just bad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Q
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 03:29 PM

(Houidini's) "Stone Cold Dead describes a murder in Port-of-Spain's Grass Market in 1939. He recorded it himself in 1939 (as "He Had it Coming) but it got no popularity until Songstress Fitzgerald unearthed it......"

Time Magazine, Music: King of Calypso, Aug. 26, 1946. Unsigned article about Wilmoth Houdini (Edgar Leon St.-Clair his real name).

The 1939 incident may have been an unintentional copycat murder?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 05:00 PM

No, Wilmoth Houdini's real name was- wait for it- Frederick Wilmoth Hendricks! It might have been. I can't find anything on it beyond this article, but maybe I'm not looking hard enough.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Q
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 05:36 PM

He claimed birth in Port of Spain, Trinidad, 1895, and Brooklyn NY in 1902, and that his family moved to Trinidad when he was two years old. The name on his passport is Edgar Leon Sinclair (New Yorker article by Joseph Mitchell). He also used the names St. Clair and Hendricks. He died in New York in 1977, where he spent most of his life.
He worked steamships and may have made different claims to satisfy employers, I don't know.
Houdini was first used in 1916, when he was with the "African Millionaires" group.
Most of the above from www.allmusic.com/artist/wilmoth-houdini-p39437/biography


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 12:38 AM

So, apparently he was a colourful type and no-one can really tell what his actual name was or what his real birthdate and place of birth were? If he was born in New York that makes him American, but raised in Trinidad. There is a way you (general "you") could find out where he was really born and what his name was... and that would be searching for a birth certificate in 1895 or 1902, for someone named "Edgar Leon Sinclair" or "Frederick Wilmoth Hendricks." But as you've said, it would be time-consuming and the certificate may be lost or not even exist. I may wait a number of years until I go to university to do the research on calypso and calypsonians.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 01:04 AM

Wikipedia calls him "Frederick Wilmoth Hendricks" and gives his birth date as November 25, 1895, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 01:24 AM

Q, re "He may have made different claims to satisfy employers", might that have been about his name as well as his date and place of birth?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 04:23 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: Q
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 12:39 PM

Not much point in further comment until unless his birth certificate is found. One problem would be in tying any birth certificate to a person unless there are relatives who have the family history recorded. His U.S. passport (which would require birth information for the application) is the best information that we have- details would require inquiries to the government agency with the records, and that is a time-consuming job in itself.

Morwen, a graduate dissertation study of the roots and early performers of Caribbean folk-calypso would be an admirable study; I hope your interest continues.

Mudcat is a good place to post lyrics and basic information, but I doubt that you will be able to elicit any detailed background from members here.

Remember that even in the case of old performers who recorded, people who knew them are mostly "stone cold dead" by now- Executor's Decca recording of 1938-39 was some 70 years ago.
The information that members here possess come from sources that you can find easily yourself on the net; much else would be hearsay.

Finally, please use 'refresh' only after the thread disappears from the list- more frequent use serves no purpose. I usually wait a week before I try again.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Murder in de Market (Caribbean)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 06:49 AM

BTW, other calypsonians hated Houdini and accused him of stealing their ideas.


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