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Origins: My Donkey Want Water

MorwenEdhelwen1 21 Apr 11 - 09:17 PM
Gibb Sahib 21 Apr 11 - 09:37 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 21 Apr 11 - 09:46 PM
Gibb Sahib 21 Apr 11 - 10:09 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 21 Apr 11 - 10:13 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 21 Apr 11 - 10:14 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 01:04 AM
Gibb Sahib 22 Apr 11 - 02:44 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 03:11 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Apr 11 - 04:41 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Apr 11 - 04:52 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Apr 11 - 05:05 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Apr 11 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Apr 11 - 06:04 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 06:11 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 06:34 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 07:45 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Apr 11 - 01:46 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Apr 11 - 10:03 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 10:10 PM
Ross Campbell 22 Apr 11 - 10:28 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Apr 11 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 22 Apr 11 - 10:55 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 May 11 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 10 May 11 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,lively 10 May 11 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,lively 10 May 11 - 03:54 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 May 11 - 09:43 PM
Gibb Sahib 11 May 11 - 12:18 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 May 11 - 01:15 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 May 11 - 01:50 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 May 11 - 02:00 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 13 May 11 - 07:47 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 13 May 11 - 09:36 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 27 May 11 - 01:02 AM
Q 27 May 11 - 02:47 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 27 May 11 - 05:45 PM
Q 27 May 11 - 05:54 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 27 May 11 - 05:58 PM
Q 27 May 11 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 28 May 11 - 03:27 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 28 May 11 - 03:38 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 28 May 11 - 04:12 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 03 Jun 11 - 04:29 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 03 Jun 11 - 04:48 AM
Q 10 Jun 11 - 07:04 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Jun 11 - 07:21 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Jul 11 - 09:14 AM
kendall 12 Jul 11 - 09:26 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Jul 11 - 09:28 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Jul 11 - 03:46 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Jul 11 - 03:57 AM
GUEST,DJGIBS 09 Jun 12 - 01:48 PM
Q 09 Jun 12 - 03:50 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Jun 12 - 06:15 AM
James Fryer 25 Jul 12 - 05:24 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 25 Jul 12 - 08:06 AM
Q 25 Jul 12 - 11:54 AM
James Fryer 27 Jul 12 - 04:55 AM
Gda Music 27 Jul 12 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Julien 10 Aug 14 - 10:31 PM
Q 11 Aug 14 - 12:03 PM
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Subject: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 09:17 PM

I found a thread on "Tingalayo", but not on this song.My inspiration to start this thread was from Suibhne Astray's comment that Rolf Harris was inspired by Harry Belafonte's recording of this to write his famous "Tie Me Kangaroo Down". Does anyone have any idea whether this song- also called "Hold 'em Joe", "Hol' Im Joe", or "Hold Them Joe", is traditional? The earliest recording I can find on Youtube is Macbeth the Great's 1946 one, but apparently it was also recorded earlier than that in about 1910 by Lord Executor. Does anyone know about this? If it is traditional there should be field recordings. And also, I've heard that this song has sexual innuendo.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 09:37 PM

FWIW this song is also common in the Jamaican mento repertoire. There is even a (later) skinhead reggae version of the song (by Symarip). You'll find lots of later interpretation in Jamaican music under the title "Hold him Joe". The mento website (I believe you were linked to it elsewhere) would have info. There is also a similar (?) song "Tie the Donkey's Tail".

Most mento songs had sexual innuendo! Though mento songs often were borrowed from calypso (which may be the case here), and the genre also seems to be influenced by Cuban music IMO...though calypso songs have that political messages, mento was mainly just sexy stuff!

Getting off track...but the foundations of Jamaican music IMO is bawdiness....nowadays called slackness!

The political songs appealed more to foreigners!


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 09:46 PM

Gibb Sahib, I have checked that lead. Do you think those mento performers got their version from Harry Belafonte? And do you believe that the song is traditional? I ask because I've seen to references to it as a work song or "slightly risque traditional West Indies folk tune" on Google Books. Can anyone point me to folk song collections? Who is Joe in the song? I imagine a group of men trying to pull a donkey with a rope! "This donkey of mine, do no work at all, all he want to do is break the boards of his stall."


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 10:09 PM

No, they didn't get it from Belafonte.

I don't know if there is a known composer, but nonetheless the song is regarded as "traditional."

I really don't know how old the song is. Mento recordings generally date only to the 1950s, as far as I know.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 10:13 PM

Thanks! Do you believe that this song can be interpreted in the right way by a female singer?


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 10:14 PM

Does anyone else have opinions on the origins of this song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 01:04 AM

I'm asking the question I did on the fifth post because sometime in the future I would like to upload a recording of me singing "My Donkey Want Water" onto this site.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 02:44 AM

Post the lyrics, please. Or *a* set of lyrics you think you might sing. Then we might be able to give an opinion.


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Subject: ADD: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 03:11 AM

Lyr Add:Two verses: Anne Ching's
My Donkey Want Water (varied and reworked lyrics- influenced by Macbeth the Great's 1946 version)


MY DONKEY WANT WATER

I say, hold him Joe, hold him Joe, hold him Joe, and don't let him go.
Hold him Joe, hold him Joe, hold him Joe and don't let him go.

My donkey wants water, (hold him Joe)
Better hold your daughter,
Oh, he wants some water
(Hold him Joe)

Me and my donkey went up to town,
My donkey pulled me across the ground.
Some people say that my donkey is bad,
And that it's because he comes from Trinidad

This donkey of mine, does no work at all
All he does is break the boards of his stall
He won't do what he "oughter" (hold him Joe)
You've got to hold your daughter, hold him Joe

My donkey wants water,
My donkey needs water,
My donkey wants to drink and sometimes at night
He'll come kick your leg in a fright.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 04:41 AM

And also, I've heard that this song has sexual innuendo.

I'd say that has to be Mudcat Understatement of the year so far.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 04:51 AM

Suibhne, maybe I'm naive, but how rude is this song? Might you know anything about its origins? Is it a traditional song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 04:52 AM

PS - I must say a big thanks for all this calypso stuff by the way; I'm happily listening to Lord Invader on YouTube which is all new to me - the boastful free style battling is worthy of the best hip-hop MCs...

Macbeth the Great's Donkey is a real treat, just the thing for a sunny Good Friday morning in Lancashire...


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 04:55 AM

Thanks. A few posts up I posted my own reworking. I want to be able to do that "free-style battling" in calypso myself:).


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 05:05 AM

How rude is this song? About as rude as you can get. The Donkey metaphor / euphemism for the more brutish aspects of male sexuality is an old one, but listening to Macbeth's rendering I'd say it becomes even more explicit somehow, especially in equating liquid refreshment with female sexual response.

my donkey want water / better hold your daughter

Origins?

Well, my thinking is that the Tradition of music is largely defined by its structure, culture and idiom. A song may arise from structure & idiom even by way of freestyling and still be traditional of that idiom - if you see what I mean. A lot of Folk Songs & Folk Processes operate in this way - they only become frozen at the point of collection, which is a different thing from these old studio recordings, which seem possessed of a greater freedom somehow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 05:14 AM

Whoa! Better not sing it to my little cousins! Then again, they might just think it was a funny song.. end up singing it around the place.. and I'm so proud of having reworked it. Take a look. I am seventeen and I know a rude song. Wow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 05:46 AM

Just one, eh? When I was 17 (way back in rare old times of 1978/79) I was all about the euphemistically rude folk songs - which you'll find by the shed load in the English Tradition of such things. Never reworked them though, which one doesn't, but obviously Calypso is a different scene to Revival Folk Song, which aren't there to be messed with in quite the same way. Even a song like Seeds of Love is full of random euphemism - as oppose to hard & fast symbolism which I dispute anyway; Butter & Cheese & All likewise, both of which are pretty surreal as narratives, though the latter is quite fun on the surface of it. These things work on all sorts of levels though, metaphors, euphemisms, otherwise it's just innocent fun for all ages with images of a thirsty donkey kicking his stall to bits.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:04 AM

PS - Although here on this most solemn day in the Christian Calendar a song like My Donkey Want Water becomes a more graphic depiction of the sort of sinfulness for which Christ was supposedly crucified. Nature untamed - the mindless beast beating at the stall for escape into the wilderness of depravity. The stall is elightenment - containment & discipline: the donkey is instinctive impulse tamed and (hopefully) docile. Let's not forget the Biblical significance of donkeys in both the Nativity and the Passion, this most humble of beasts bearing the most noble of riders...


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:11 AM

Well, I guess I'll teach it to them next time I see them, then!


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:34 AM

Does anyone have any evidence of this song before 1910? (At the mento website i read that this was recorded by Lord Executor in that year.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 07:45 AM

Well, "Marianne" is originally bawdy as well. She was turning tricks down by the seaside. I'd love to sing that. Of course, that's more explicit than "My Donkey Wants Water". BTW Suibhne, have you heard the Harry Belafonte version of MDWW?He calls it "Hold 'Em Joe." I'm wondering if he sanitised it slightly to make it more palatable to his audience.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 08:38 AM

Tingalayo, according to the mento music site, is "a variation of Hold "Em Joe".


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 01:46 PM

I checked it the Belafonte version when I read the Rolf Harris autobiography a few years ago; hadn't heard of Macbeth the Great which is in a different league somehow. All this Calypso is perfect listening for the heatwave, though we plumped for a CD copy of Three Feet High and Rising in the HMV bargain racks in Blackpool today which has a similar feel - old-school upbeat yearning nostalgia!

Next up: Lee Scratch Perry, old Studio One Burning Spear (DOOR PEEP SHALL NOT ENTER etc.) Augustus Pablo and Martin Denny.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 08:06 PM

Suibhne mentions something interesting, saying that "the donkey metaphor/ euphemism for the more brutish aspects of male sexuality is an old one." Are there any examples of songs in other traditions which use a donkey as a sexual metaphor? Can someone post an example? Also, from the St. James Infirmary Blues" thread, can anyone guess at how "My Donkey Want Water" varied enough to become "Tingalayo?"


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:03 PM

My opinion is that if you are 17 you should not be singing or studying certain songs. Leave them for when you are older. And I would suggest not engaging in even scholarly discussions of this nature on the internet with people you don't know, even though most are perfectly fine. It can just be sort of creepy. If you do decide to engage in conversations of a scholarly nature, let your parents in on the conversation. If you would rather they would not be in on the conversation, then I would save said conversation for when you are at least legally adult. mg


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:10 PM

This is my last post this year. I am going to apologise for being annoying on this site. Guest mg, I respect your opinion and i will leave this song until my 18th birthday. Sorry again for any annoyance I may have caused.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:28 PM

That would be a shame. New visitors bringing up unfamiliar but potentially rich fields of study is one of the thingss that keeps people coming back to Mudcat. Take mg's thoughts on board, but don't be discouraged from following your chosen field.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:49 PM

No please don't leave. You have a fascinating perspective and interest. You have to be extremely cautious on the internet though because there are creeps and certain conversations should be had with your age peers or in what you know to be a safe setting, like a university class. Now, this is a great group of people, for the most part, but I personally, being old enough to be your grandmother, would not engage in a public discussion with them on this matter. mg


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:55 PM

Only gone until my birthday! Have to concentrate on schoolwork anyway.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 May 11 - 09:11 AM

Just noticed something interesting about this song. The Trinidadian version seems to be more explicit than the Jamaican ones. According to Gibb Sahib's post, "most mento songs are bawdy". I have a songbook, "Mango Time:Folk Songs of Jamaica". This song is on page 38 under the title "Hol'Im Joe".

Note: The only comment on the origin of this piece is that it is "A song about an unusual donkey".


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 10 May 11 - 09:45 AM

Now, this is a great group of people, for the most part, but I personally (...) would not engage in a public discussion with them on this matter.

This forum gets weirder by the day.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 10 May 11 - 03:24 PM

"It can just be sort of creepy."

Mg is correct - did anyone see the lengthy 'scholarly' attack this poster received from one of the supposed Mudcat 'elders'?

When this poster then defended themself, another well established poster then criticised them for being "defensive" in response to the onslaught.

I was perfectly appalled, not merely by the initial post, but for the support of it.

A great way to engage enthused youthful members, not!


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,lively
Date: 10 May 11 - 03:54 PM

Albeit my comments were somewhat tangential to those of Mg. But irrespective, I was personally quite affronted by the completely unsupported (and supported in this forum) hostility expressed to this poster for (apparently) deigning to be inspired by a culture other than their own.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 May 11 - 09:43 PM

And something else- I think I may have just discovered the earliest date of collection for this song. It appears in a 1904 collection, "Jamaican Song and Story" edited and collected by Walter Jekyll, as a digging sing under the title "Me donkey want water".


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 May 11 - 12:18 AM

Jekyll's is the "standard" source for Jamaican folk songs. Glad you found it. I had checked in it when you were asking about the Brown-eyed Girl song, but didn't spot anything.
Good luck!!

According to Gibb Sahib's post, "most mento songs are bawdy"

To clarify (in case it wasn't), I wasn't stating that any particular item of repertoire would be "more bawdy" in a Trini or a Jamaican context. I was saying that my impression of the repertoire of mento *as a whole* is that it focuses on bawdy or off-color songs, whereas calypso repertoire is *also* full, as is well known, of political commentary/parody.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 May 11 - 01:15 AM

Thanks, Gibb. Can anyone offer a suggestion as to how this song may have become "Tingalayo"? How do drastically different variants of a song develop? I understand that ones with a few different names or words changed, but are still recognisable as being derived from an older version, may be due to word of mouth or singers singing what they heard, but what about those versions which are barely recognisable? I could only recognise "Tingalayo" and "Hold Him Joe/My Donkey Wants Water" as similar when I read another post speculating about the similarities and relationship between the two songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 May 11 - 01:50 AM

Another interesting thing; if you go to YouTube and search "Tingalayo", you will discover that most of the versions seem to be from children's albums or performed by children. Don't know whether any kindergarten or preschool teacher would want to teach their children Macbeth's version or even Belafonte's, which seems to be combined with another song, "Lemme Me Go Melda". ("Oh, lemme go darlin' Melda, you breakin' me backbone".)


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 May 11 - 02:00 AM

The other song seems to be called "Melda Massi". Does anyone know who wrote it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 May 11 - 07:47 PM

Thanks for the clarification.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 May 11 - 09:36 PM

Have started a thread on "Lemme go Melda Marcy."


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 27 May 11 - 01:02 AM

Is anyone still interested in this thread? One significant thing I noticed is that in the versions sung by Macbeth, Belafonte and apparently Sam Manning, the donkey is unnamed but in "Tingalayo", he is named. I am still curious as to other posters' opinions as to how this song became "Tingalayo"


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Q
Date: 27 May 11 - 02:47 PM

The "calypso" Tinga Layo by Lionel Belasco and Massie Patterson (singer) and transcribed by Maurice Baron in the rare publication Calypso Songs of the West Indies, 1943, was posted in thread 8164, with Creole and English translation.

The donkey is not named.
Thread 8164: Add Tingalayo

The song is well-known in Panama and Central America as well as in Trinadad and the Caribbean. One verse:

Ven, mi burrito, ven.
Tingalay-o
Ven mi burrito, ven.
Burrito si, burrito no
Burrito come con tenedor

Come, little donkey, come;
Tingalay-o
Come, my little donkey, come

My donkey eat, my donkey sleep
My donkey kick with his two hind feet
Refrain
My donkey walk, my donkey talk
My donkey eat with a knife and fork
My donkey sing, my donkey hum
My donkey play on his little round drum

And variations...

http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1984/3/84.03.04.x.html#top

Carmen Greenia, "A Folklore Approach to Teaching Spanish Exploratory Classes"


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 27 May 11 - 05:45 PM

Q, if the donkey isn't named, then what's "Tingalayo"? A nonsense word? Panama and Central America? There are small communities of West Indians in Central America (Costa Rica and Panama, possibly other countries?). It might have been an English/French Creole language song originally and been borrowed into Spanish, or the other way around. That link is definitely interesting.


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Subject: ADD: Hol 'Im Joe
From: Q
Date: 27 May 11 - 05:54 PM

Assumption here that "My donkey want water' preceded "Tingalayo," a widespread song in Central America and the Caribbean.

Verssion of "Hol 'Im Joe from Mento site

HOL 'IM JOE

Hol 'im Joe. Hol 'im Joe and don't let him go. (2x)
Me donkey want water. Beg you hide yo daughter.
Me donkey want whiskey. Me donkey want champagne.
Me donkey want green grass. Me donkey want white rum.

Lead 'im Tom, lead 'im tom.
Him drink white rum. Him wi' tumble down. (2x)
Me donkey want water. Beg yo hide yo daughter,
Me donkey want whiskey, Me donkey want champagne.
Me donkey want green grass. Me donkey want white rum
Me donkey is dying... Me donkey is dead.
---------------------

Which versions came first, the ones suitable for mamalisa, or the XXX-rated? A good topic for a thesis, but the answers probably will remain clouded.

(mg and wait till eighteen.! I think my interest in XXX-rated songs came before puberty.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 27 May 11 - 05:58 PM

Ha, ha! I have to admit that I always like the catchy songs with lots of rude symbolism (like this one) and "Melda Marcy".


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Q
Date: 27 May 11 - 06:01 PM

Tingalayo seems to be a meaningless word. So remarked by some, but may have once had meaning, or was 'patoi'd' from one that did. Who knows?

Forgot to mention site for "Hol 'im Joe." Jamaican Calypso Songs.
http://www.mentomusic.com/images/jcs10.jpg


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 28 May 11 - 03:27 AM

There was a query above for any other songs re donkey as a sexual metaphor. Surprised no-one mentioned Donkey City. I was sung a version by a Jamaican ex-ambassador - to I think the UN - as follows.

I went to Donkey City, with me little donkey
And me donkey went, and he stood by a mule
But the mule he say to the donkey
'Sagga boy, don't you walk behind me
Donkey whoa, don't mess up me junior commando

'Cause I get it already, soft like jelly
Slip down me belly, sweet as honey'
And the mule say to the donkey
'Sagga boy, don't you walk behind me
Donkey whoa, don't mess up me junior commando'

Now, if the above may seem a little explicit for a 17 year old to know about - he or she could have got married at age 16!
When I was 17 I sang songs far more explicit. And knew what was meant, in theory at least.
Ewan


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 28 May 11 - 03:38 AM

You can't get married in Australia without parental consent if you are under the age of 18. I believe most of the other girls (and some boys) that I know would sing something a lot more explicit than the topic of this discussion. As you and other posters indicated, Ewan, you sang songs with sexual meanings at the age of 17. These types of songs are very common among people my age and around it. There are songs which are much more explicit than this.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 28 May 11 - 04:12 AM

Forgot to add this to the marriage of underage people in Australia comment: (:


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 04:29 AM

Apologies to Ewan McVicar if I misconstrued your post. Thanks for the verses of :"Donkey City".


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 04:48 AM

I also think the lyrics, which talk of a donkey which drinks water, white rum, etc. are related to the widespread cultural belief that donkeys are "stubborn", so the donkey avoids hard work after a long period and has a drink instead. Also, this song lends itself to improvisation on its tune and lyrics, mostly due to its origins as a work song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Q
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 07:04 PM

Digging-Sings

LXXXIV
Me donkey want water, etc.

"The pickers [pickaxes] fall with slashing strokes to:-"

Me donkey want water, rub him down Joe,
rub him down Joe, rub him down Joe;

Me donkey like a *peeny, rub him down Joe,
rub him down Joe, Joe, rub him down Joe;

Me jackass gone a pound, bring him come Joe,
*bring him come Joe, bring him come Joe;

Me donkey full of capers, rub him down Joe,
rub him down Joe, Joe, rub him down Joe.

*peeny- candlefly; shines like the donkey's coat.
*bring come= bring; "very common, and in the same way they say "carry go," the "come" and "go" indicating the direction of motion."

With musical score, pp. 183-184;
Walter Jekyll, coll. and edit., 1904, Jamaican Song and Story, Folk-Lore Society LV, (published for), by David Nutt, London; Dover reprints.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 07:21 PM

Thanks for that, Q!


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 09:14 AM

BTW, I believe the song Rolf Harris was inspired by was a similar Jamaican mento piece called "Jackass Jump An' Bray" with the lyrics "Tie me donkey down there, let him bray". I don't remember whether or not Belafonte recorded it- though he seems to have recorded "The Jack-Ass Song" which could be this song under a different name.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: kendall
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 09:26 AM

Gordon Bok sings this and his version is not bawdy at all.

..he don't like the slag iron

..I don't think I trust him...


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 09:28 AM

Yep, the "Jack-Ass Song" seems to be "Jackass Jump An' Bray" given a different name.Swedish webpage with lyrics for Belafonte songs . Certainly sounds like a more plausible candidate for the inspiration of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down" - it actually has the line Suibhne Astray quoted- " Don't tie me donkey down there". Is it possible Rolf Harris actually misremembered the song he heard? Both songs have the theme of an unusual and unruly donkey and use directions as part of the chorus- "hold him" and "don't tie him down there".


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 03:46 AM

Refresh. Anyone have comments?


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Subject: ADD: Jackass Jump An' Bray
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 03:57 AM

Just thought this might be of interest- Add: Jackass Jump An' Bray (from "Mango Time: Folk Songs of Jamaica" p 48 musical score)


JACKASS JUMP AN' BRAY

1. Yu no heary whe' di young man sey? No tie yu donkey dung de!
Yu no heary whe' di young man sey? No tie yu donkey dung de!
Di jackass a jump an' bray. Mek 'im bray, mek 'im bray.
Di jackass a jump an' bray. Mek 'im bray, mek 'im bray.

2. Yu no heary whe' di young man sey? No tie yu bulldog dung de!
Yu no heary whe' di young man sey? No tie yu bulldog dung de!
Di bulldog a jump an' howl. Mek 'im howl, mek 'im howl.
Di bulldog a jump an' howl. Mek 'im howl, mek 'im howl.

3. Yu no heary whe' di young man sey? No tie yu ram goat dung de!
Yu no heary whe' di young man sey? No tie yu ram goat dung de!
Di ram goat a jump an' bawl. Mek 'im bawl, mek 'im bawl.
Di ram goat a jump an' bawl. Mek 'im bawl, mek 'im bawl.

4. No tie di ram goat pon de fence. Yu waan di man come ax mi fi rent?
Di ram goat 'im renk so tell An' 'im look like somet'ing a smell.
Di ram goat wi tan de bawl, 'Im wi bawl, 'im wi bawl.
Di ram goat wi tan de bawl, 'Im wi bawl, 'im wi bawl.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,DJGIBS
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 01:48 PM

Sam Manning first recorded "Hold Him Joe (My Donkey Wants Water)" in 1925 for Columbia Records (2409-X). Columbia credits the song to Manning himself but I'm quite sure it was already a well known Jamaican "digging song".
Here's the original 78... oh how I'd love a copy!!!
http://www.popsike.com/SAM-MANNING-Hold-Him-Joe-COLUMBIA-2409X-E/360312746382.html

As for Lord Executor, he did not record anything in 1910. It is a well known fact that the first "Calypso" (Calinder music with vocals) on record was Iron Duke in 1914. Executor came to fame for his battles with WIlmoth Houdini in the '30s (ie; "My Reply to Houdini"). I've never heard of him even performing "Hol' Him Joe".

Belafonte barely wrote anything. All of his best songs were covers of well known Calypsos. His "Jackass Song" sounds like a cover of "Donkey Brae" (recorded in 1956 by Lord Flea) but even that was taken from part of a 1951 Mento-Calypsos medley by Lord Fly.
Yu nuh hear weh de old man seh? Yu no tie no donkey dung deh. Jackass fi jump and brae, mek him brae, mek him brae.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Q
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 03:50 PM

"Me Donkey Want Water", as posted above, 10 Jun 11, is found in Walter Jekyll, 1904, "Jamaican Song and Story," Digging Sings, no. 84.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Jun 12 - 06:15 AM

I posted "Jackass Jump an' Bray" last July, on the 14th.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: James Fryer
Date: 25 Jul 12 - 05:24 AM

One of the best versions of Hold 'im Joe I have heard is by The Charmer (Louis Farrakhan). He has an extended section where he sings:

What kind of water? (Hold 'im Joe)
Any old water! (H. i. J.)
Dish water! (...)
Ditch water! (...)
Tap water! (...)

then goes on to name a variety of alcoholic beverages.

This version used to be on the internet but I can't find it any more.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 Jul 12 - 08:06 AM

James: Louis Farrakhan used to be a singer? I heard about that, but it still sounds like a surprise.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Q
Date: 25 Jul 12 - 11:54 AM

Louis Farrakhan made the album "The Charmer," Calypso Favorites 1953-1954, and several other albums.
His early training was as a classical violinist.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: James Fryer
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 04:55 AM

He was not a calypsonian, I think he was taking advantage of the "calypso craze" of the 50s. I don't like the other stuff he did, but that one song is brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Gda Music
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 10:30 AM

The Charmer - Louis Farrakhan.
Interesting facts researched by Ray Funk are detailed in his December 28th 1999 "Kaiso Newsletters"(index 31).
mustrad.org.uk/articles/kaiso.htm


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: GUEST,Julien
Date: 10 Aug 14 - 10:31 PM

For the origins the song was attested in 1904 by a English farmer established in jamaica named Walter Jekyll. That man published a nice book of stories and songs he had collected. The book is open source so you can check the page 183:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/35410/35410-h/35410-h.htm#Page_183


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Subject: RE: Origins: My Donkey Want Water
From: Q
Date: 11 Aug 14 - 12:03 PM

The song from Jekyll 1904 was posted 10 June 11 in this thread.

Walter Jekyll, 1904, Jamaican Song and Story, Folklore Soc. LV, Digging Songs LXXXIV. The book was reprinted by Dover in 1966.


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