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Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings

DigiTrad:
TURTLE DOVE DONE DROOPED HIS WINGS


Dani 18 Jun 01 - 05:39 PM
Sorcha 18 Jun 01 - 05:43 PM
Burke 18 Jun 01 - 06:16 PM
Stewie 18 Jun 01 - 09:51 PM
Stewie 18 Jun 01 - 10:54 PM
Tedham Porterhouse 19 Jun 01 - 08:16 AM
Dani 19 Jun 01 - 09:09 AM
Burke 19 Jun 01 - 09:47 AM
Dani 19 Jun 01 - 10:48 AM
W y s i w y G ! 19 Jun 01 - 10:51 AM
Dani 19 Jun 01 - 12:12 PM
Burke 19 Jun 01 - 01:51 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 19 Jun 01 - 05:39 PM
KAS 19 Jun 01 - 11:28 PM
GUEST 19 Jun 01 - 11:44 PM
Dani 20 Jun 01 - 09:27 AM
W y s i w y G ! 20 Jun 01 - 09:39 AM
Bill D 20 Jun 01 - 10:31 AM
Dani 20 Jun 01 - 11:45 AM
Tedham Porterhouse 20 Jun 01 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Manders 15 Aug 07 - 04:01 PM
GUEST 10 Sep 09 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Sep 09 - 09:50 AM
Joe Offer 11 Sep 09 - 12:05 PM
TonyA 11 Sep 09 - 06:34 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 10 - 10:43 AM
MMario 13 Aug 10 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,listemily 25 Jul 13 - 10:35 AM
Ron Davies 26 Jul 13 - 09:53 AM
Ron Davies 26 Jul 13 - 10:00 AM
GUEST 14 Jul 14 - 08:47 AM
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Subject: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Dani
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 05:39 PM

Hey guys!

Anyone know this song, and know a little background? All I've found is that The NexTradition credits "the singing of Bessie Jones", and the DT says it's "sung by Sandy and Caroline Paton" (which, by the way, is like seeing a sign on a tree that says, "made by God". Or as my husband says, "remember the night we drank beer?).

So anyway, this is my new favorite song to sing, but I can't figure it out for the life of me. I get the Sacred Harp connection, but what about the rest of the words, for Pete's sake? There's definitely a gospel connection there, but it's darn hard to follow.

Any insights?

Dani


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Sorcha
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 05:43 PM

Clickie to DT lyrics


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Burke
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:16 PM

You can hear Bessie Jones sing it on the Lomax Recording, Georgia Sea Island Singers Southern Journey, V. 12: Georgia Sea Islands -- Biblical Songs and Spirituals.

The CD has fairly long notes on this song. From memory, it was not a Sea Island song, but one Smith learned from a grandfather? There is a Turtle Dove in Southern Harmony & some Sacred Harp editions, that is entirely different. The line of syllable uses both do & re so it is actually do-re-mi (7 syllable) rather than the 4 syllable of Sacred Harp.


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 09:51 PM

Burke's memory is correct. The note to the Lomax collection is:

Mrs Jones learned 'Turtle Dove' from her ex-slave grandfather, Jet Samson. The old people said this song of rejoicing was sung by the angels when the devil was put out of heaven, 'Sa-sa-la-do' being the solfege of this glorious refrain. This unique spiritual reflects in its many mysterious lines the mysticism of slave Christianity. [Southern Journey Georgia Sea Islands: Biblical Songs and Spirituals Vol 12 Rounder CD 1712]

Lomax also records a conversation between Mrs Smith Jones and himself about the song . She said she used to sing it with her grandfather when she was little and it was 'his song' - her grandfather died at the age of 105 in 1941. She said the song was sung at weddings wherein people jumped over a broom to marry. After slavery, people married by licence.

There's a fine version on Jody Stecher's 'Going Up on the Mountain' which has recently been reissued on CD [Acoustic Disc ACD 39]. Stecher learned it from Mrs Smith Jones. He asked her about the mysterious words, 'Sasalado on Salasari', in the chorus: 'She had sung it on other occasions as 'Fa Sol La Do on Sol La Sa Ri' which is pretty close to solfege. "Doremi Falasido?", she asked. "Why I know what 'Doremi Falasido' means". She probably did too, but she never really said other than delivering a magnetic and elliptical soliloquy about Eden, gifts, speaking "in tongues" and how even the original songmaker did not know the meaning'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 10:54 PM

My apologies - twice in the above posting I turned 'Mrs Jones' into 'Mrs Smith' [a bird of a very different wing]. In my mind, I associate 'Bessie' more often with 'Smith' in respect of singers. Both are glorious singers though.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 08:16 AM

On Bessie Jones' recording of the song in Alan Lomax's Southern Journey series, she sings the song as "Turkle Dove," and it is transcribed as such in the liner notes.


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Dani
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 09:09 AM

Thanks! Guess I need this CD, huh? But y'all have helped a lot.

One more question. I've heard it sung a few different ways, and it seems important to know if THIS is correct:

Adam and Eve, don't tell it to me Meet me at the door, don't tell it to me

Or if it is "WON'T you tell it to me."

Also, it would be nice to know WHAT should or shouldn't be told.

Any ideas?

Dani


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Burke
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 09:47 AM

I see I made the same mistake Stewie did! Jones to Smith. Mia culpa!


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Dani
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 10:48 AM

Also, another unclarity in the lyrics I've noticed between hearing and the DT:

"When I get to heaven I know the 'rules' or is it 'roads'"?

If Ken, or Alison, or Sandy or Caroline could help confirm or change lyrics before I share this song, I can be sure to pass on the right stuff.

Thanks,

Dani


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 10:51 AM

Dani,

See our discussion in the MJH song thread, "Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me."

*G*

~S~


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Dani
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 12:12 PM

Exactly.

When you're singing in the shower it's one thing - it's another if you're passing a song on, and you don't want to memorialize your mistakes ; )

Dani


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Burke
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 01:51 PM

Here are the words you're wondering about as transcribed in the notes for the Lomax recording. They sound accurate to me. The chourus:
Adam and Eve, do, do
Adam and Eve, don't tell it to me.
Just meet me at the door, don't tell it to me.
There's sa-sa-la-do on sa-la-sa-ree.

and it's O when i get to heaven, I know the rule.

I don't think I'd try to hard to make sense out of this song. It's a spiritual going back to slave times. It seems like the words are only half remembered anyway since the solfege is likely to be filler for forgotten words.

Bessie Jones was originally from north Georgia & moved to the Sea Islands when she married.


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 05:39 PM

This is also on the Sharon Mountain Harmony album put out by Folk Legacy records. I think it's sung by Peter and Mary Alice Amidon and friends- a great recording of great old hymns!


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: KAS
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 11:28 PM

Hi Dani, hi guys,

Surely a collision of a couple of traditional forms. I had heard Lomax's field recording, as well as the Amidons singing it on the Sharon Mountain Harmony album (a magnificent album all around), but I remember years ago hearing Dave Olive sing it - probably at a FSGW Getaway. Looking at the SMH liner notes here, I see the Amidons said they learned it from Dave, and there's an Editor's Note (presumably from Sandy & Caroline)which says "Dave Olive tells us that he, in turn, learned the song from the singing of Bessie Jones." Hmm.

I don't remember now whether I consciously altered the lyrics from any version that I had in my head. I do that sometimes, especially in the shower. Just personal poetry choices. I'm going to go back and listen to Ms. Jones... Alison and I are singing:

Adam and Eve, come tell it to me,
Meet me at the door, won't you tell it to me

- and:
When I get to Heaven, I know the rules


I wanna hear you sing it! Cheers,

Ken


PS: Of course, Dave Olive was also the person from whom I learned "I'm a Hog for You Baby, Can't Get Enough of Your Love..."


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 11:44 PM

I thought Mary Alice and Peter Amidon sang:

Adam and Eve, won'tcha tell it to me?
Meet me at the door, won'tcha tell it to me?

I'll have to go back and listen to that tape again. That'll be enjoyable. Thanks for the nudge.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Dani
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 09:27 AM

Well, thanks all. I do think if it makes any sense at all, WON'T YOU makes more sense than DON'T YOU. And that's the way we sang the heck out of it yesterday. Which I will do while I keep trying to get to the bottom of it. Love it.

I have this thing (a la the Gospel/Belief thread) about wanting to know where a song is coming from, which usually means more than the actual words say. This song is a great example of that.

Thanks, both, for keeping a special song moving through the world. And thanks all for your help with this.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 09:39 AM

I wonder, in using "Don't," if the sense of it was like when we say "Don't you love it when..." or "Don't you know it!"

It does not seem to make sense to say "Do NOT tell me that!" in this song... one can take DON'T YOU as a sort of AMEN to what is told.

It would make sense, from that view, if the two words are variant expressions of a similar thought.

On the other hand, I kind of like what is implied in "Don't TELL me, just MEET me, I now the rules already!" That sort of says, "Hey, I am a saved person, just let me in there to find Jesus and see Him face to face."

~S~


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 10:31 AM

Dave Olive was THE source for that song for many people. It is one of my earliest memories of being in FSGW, 22-23 years ago....and I wouldn't doubt that he got it straight from Bessie Jones....

I have stood at Dave's shoulder as he , wove, caressed and belted out "Turtle Dove" and he did sing " Adam & Eve , wont'cha tell it to me"....wow! I can hear it in my head now.

(I can hear "I'm a Hog for Ya' Baby", too, because I found an old Getaway tape of Dave doing it!!!...I wonder if there are others who have old tapes that we could make a memorial complilation of.)


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Dani
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 11:45 AM

Yeah!

Especially for those of us who didn't have the pleasure of knowing him...

Dani


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: Tedham Porterhouse
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 02:00 PM

Can't say that I ever heard Dave Olive, but Bessie Jones was performing it at folk festival's like Newport and Mariposa during the 1960s.


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Subject: RE: Help: turtledove done drooped his wings
From: GUEST,Manders
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 04:01 PM

Thanx so much for sending me over to this discussion - it was quite interesting. My daughters sing and play out & about & here & there, and this one seemed like it might be a possibility to learn. I just really felt like I needed a bit more to go on before we went and committed to learning this song. So thanx again, and if anyone else knows any more about it, I'd greatly appreciate it!!Take care
Amanda


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Subject: RE: Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 10:19 AM

sas a la do so la sa ree


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Subject: RE: Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 09:50 AM

In case this is ever read by anybody who wasn't deluged by Bible stories from childhood on, I off the following gloss.

TURTLE DOVE DONE DROOPED HIS WINGS


Turtle dove done drooped his wings
[Dove is the symbol of peace and of the Holy Spirit]

Went on Zion's hill to sing
[Zion - Jerusalem, where the Temple is, or Heaven]

Adam and Eve, no, no
Adam and Eve, don't tell it to me
[Adam and Eve brought sin into the world. caused us to lose the wonderful life in the Garden of Eden]

Meet me at the door, don't tell it to me
There's sasalido on salasaree
[In my opinion, this is a corruption of something else.]

My name is written on David's line
[David, famous for singing songs on the harp (?) has my name in his lyrics. Presumably up in Heaven, because David reigned about 1000 BC. We don't really know what instrument he played.]

I'm going home on the wheel of time
[google 'Ezekiel saw the wheel.']

When I get to heaven I know the rules
[Heaven has rules? Heck!]

I keep on down to the bathing pool
[Prob. a reference to a pool in Jerusalem which would rise suddenly at times and had healing qualities. May have been called Bethesda. Jesus healed a man who was too crippled to get to the pool.]


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Subject: RE: Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 12:05 PM

"There's sasalido on salasaree"

I've always thought that was a corruption of sol-fa notation, but that's only my own interpretation.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
From: TonyA
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 06:34 PM

quote: There's a fine version on Jody Stecher's 'Going Up on the Mountain' which has recently been reissued on CD [Acoustic Disc ACD 39]. Stecher learned it from Mrs Smith Jones. He asked her about the mysterious words, 'Sasalado on Salasari', in the chorus: 'She had sung it on other occasions as 'Fa Sol La Do on Sol La Sa Ri' which is pretty close to solfege. "Doremi Falasido?", she asked. "Why I know what 'Doremi Falasido' means". She probably did too, but she never really said other than delivering a magnetic and elliptical soliloquy about Eden, gifts, speaking "in tongues" and how even the original songmaker did not know the meaning'.

I used to have the LP of "Going Up the Mountain." Probably 20 years ago. I can't find it now, so I guess I sold it long ago; but I put Turtle Dove in my songbook based on hearing him sing it, and I made some notes about the song under the lyrics. I remember my notes as having come from the LP liner notes, but I can't be completely sure of that in light of the different version given by Stewie. I can't think where else I might have gotten this information, but it's possible that I got it mixed up and it was actually someone else who said these things, not Bessie Jones, or maybe not as she told it to Jody Stecher. But my notes say that this is how Bessie Jones explained the meaning of the lyrics:

(a) She said the chorus ("Adam and Eve, no, no; Adam and Eve, don't tell it to me") is what God said when he heard about the apple.

(b) She said no one knows the meaning of "sasalado on salasari," it jus' God talkin' to God. The original singer, whoever that was, didn't make up the words, but sang God's words while possessed by the holy spirit.

(My notes say the Stecher LP is Bay Records #210, and the pre-CD version of that Bessie Jones and the Georgia Sea Islanders' recording is Prestige-International #25002)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 10:43 AM

Interesting. I am looking for something that a non-believer can sing when a group drifts into "God songs." This is a great song and the religious elements are indirect enough that I might feel comfortable singing it.
When Bessie Jones was at the Country Dance & Song Society's Pinewoods Camp, I bought her book, "Step It Down" rather than a record or tape (no CD's then). This song is not in the book, but it was fun looking back at the book.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
From: MMario
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 10:49 AM

If you don't believe, why would it bother you to sing "God songs"?    It's no different then a guy singing a song from a women's point of view or vice versa; or singing a nonsens/patter song where the words don't make sense.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
From: GUEST,listemily
Date: 25 Jul 13 - 10:35 AM

I just heard this song for the first time (sung by Crow Jane) and it charmed me. My interpretation of "David's line" was the descendents of David. Not being religiously knowledgeable I googled the phrase and saw on wikipedia:
"Modern Davidic Descendants: The Imperial Solomonic Dynasty of Ethiopia and the royal Bagrationi Dynasty of Georgia claim descent from the House of David. Although both lines are non-reigning royal houses, both claims of descent enjoy a high degree of legitimacy from their respective Orthodox Christian churches and form an important element of national identity in both modern Ethiopia and modern Georgia."
and
"In Bible prophecy, several verses relate to the future of the Davidic line. Christians (including Messianic Jews/Jewish Christians) argue that Jesus fulfills these prophecies, while skeptics and Jews (in general) disagree."
So there seems to be the possibility of a double meaning here, if this is originally a slave song. Clearly this is wild speculation, but it could mean both, "In my faith I am a descendent of Jesus & David" and "Though I may be a slave here, I am a literal descendent of David".


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Subject: RE: Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
From: Ron Davies
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 09:53 AM

"sol-fa notation".   I think Joe is right. It's pretty close.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
From: Ron Davies
Date: 26 Jul 13 - 10:00 AM

Like Bill, I also remember Dave Olive doing it.    And so much else. Like a version of "Hand Jive" with the whole room doing the gestures, and accompanied, I think, by the dead goat (Bulgarian bagpipes?).    Or was that Mark Gilston?   He played the pipes, I know.

At any rate, one of the best things about "Turtledove" is it's so much fun for the audience to sing (lots of call and response).

Needs to be resurrected for the Getaway.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Turtledove Done Drooped His Wings
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jul 14 - 08:47 AM

If "sasalado on salasari" is solfeggio, then what note is represented by sa? What note is represented by ri?

I have no musical education. Can someone who does tell us the actual notes each of those syllables is sung to? And what are those notes in sol-fa notation based on the key the song is sung in? I.e., what actual sol-fa notation would be used to sing that phrase?

It sounds to me like "sasalado" is all the same note, and "sala" is a higher note, and "sari" is two notes descending from that.


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