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Origins: Wheat in the ear - Weevily Wheat?

DigiTrad:
WEEVILY WHEAT


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Charlie's Song (The Halliard recording) (9)
(origins) Origins: Weevily Wheat (37)


GUEST,Abby 23 Jun 00 - 04:54 PM
Bill D 23 Jun 00 - 08:06 PM
Pene Azul 26 Jun 00 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Don Meixner 26 Jun 00 - 01:22 PM
kendall 26 Jun 00 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,BanjoCircus 11 Jan 10 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,999- 12 Jan 10 - 11:54 PM
GUEST,Abby 11 Jan 17 - 08:37 PM
Joe Offer 11 Jan 17 - 08:49 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Jan 17 - 09:54 PM
Nigel Parsons 12 Jan 17 - 04:38 AM
Nigel Parsons 12 Jan 17 - 05:21 AM
Joe_F 12 Jan 17 - 06:17 PM
Bob the Postman 15 Jan 17 - 01:28 PM
EBarnacle 16 Jan 17 - 10:35 AM
Bob the Postman 16 Jan 17 - 11:55 AM
Bill D 16 Jan 17 - 03:55 PM
Joe_F 16 Jan 17 - 08:50 PM
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Subject: Wheat in the ear
From: GUEST,Abby
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 04:54 PM

In "Captains Courageous" (Kipling) -- the book, not the movie -- Kipling wrote a couple of verses of a song that I think is genuine (i.e. not made up by Kipling). I'd like the rest of the lyrics and the tune and the reference if anyone knows them:

"Wheat in the ear, my true love's posy blowing,
Wheat in the ear, I'm going off to sea,
Wheat in the ear, I left you fit for sowing
When I come back, a loaf of bread you'll be."

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Wheat in the ear
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 08:06 PM

There is a version sung by Gordon Bok on, I 'believe', a Smithsonian production of "Songs of the Sea"...there IS a version in the Database, but it doesn't have that line.The version in the datebase is a sort of play-party song that usually includes dancing...(saw John McCutcheon lead it at a dance once)

Gordon's goes something like it, with the verse you quote inserted to make just a song about going to sea and returning, and some of the play-party verses removed...it is hard to give a definitive version of it.

Gordon's version has a wonderful symmetry with verses going 1,2,3,4,3,2,1 where you end on the verse you started,,,I'll see if I can get down to the archives later and remind myslf of the order


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Subject: RE: Wheat in the ear
From: Pene Azul
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 10:23 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Wheat in the ear
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 01:22 PM

I know the song as "Weevily Wheat" which I have on a Verve Forecast recording of Gordon Bok's.
That example being the chorus.
    Take her by the lily white hand
    Lead her like a pidgeon,
    Make her dance to Weevily Wheat
    And scatter her religion.

    Chorus:
    I don't want your weevily wheat,
    I don't want your barley,
    Take some flower in half an hour
    And back a cake for Charlie

    Chorus:

and I think there is another verse but my memory is a little lite on this one.

Don


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Subject: RE: Wheat in the ear
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 02:25 PM

Trading boats are going ashore
Trading boats are landing
Trading boats are going ashore
All loaded down with brandy..

Gonna find a pretty little girl
Not averse to loving, hug her neat kiss her sweet
And go no more a rovin'

Weevily wheat my true love posey blowin'
Weevily wheat I'm going back to sea
Weevily wheat I left you fit for sowing
When I come back what a loaf of bread you'll be.


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Subject: RE: Wheat in the ear
From: GUEST,BanjoCircus
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 11:57 PM

"Sounds and Songs of the Sea" is an excellent album. It was put out by National Geographic.


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Subject: RE: Wheat in the ear
From: GUEST,999-
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 11:54 PM

Oh Charley he's a fine young man
Oh Charley he's a dandy!
Charley likes to kiss the girls
And he can do it dandy

I don't want none of your weevily wheat
I don't want none of your barley,
I want some flour and half an hour
To bake a cake for Charlie.

Charlie's neat and Charlie's sweet
And Charlie, he's a dandy,
He loves to hug and kiss the girls
And feed them sugar candy.

Over the river and through the trees
Over the river to Charlie,
Over the river to feed my sheep
On buckwheat cakes and barley.

Coffee grows on white oak trees
Rivers flow with brandy,
I've got a pretty little blue-eyed gal
Sweet as 'lasses candy.

Mama's gone to Harlem town
Papa's gone to Dover,
Sister's wore her slippers out
A-kickin Charlie over.

Take her by her lily-white hand
Lead her like a pigeon,
Make her dance the weevily wheat
'Til she loses her religion.


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Subject: RE: Wheat in the ear
From: GUEST,Abby
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 08:37 PM

Many years later--but thanks, everyone who answered!











It's many years later, but sincere thanks to all who answered! I'm restarting my search. Gloucester has produced some wonderful sea shanties and other work songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wheat in the ear / Weevily Wheat
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 08:49 PM

I'm not all that convinced the requested song is "Weevily Wheat." Opinions?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wheat in the ear - Weevily Wheat?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 09:54 PM

When my son Ted (now 50) was a baby, I could virtually ALWAYS
stop him from crying by singing a cowboy song I called
Goin' To The Party. MAGIC! And no other song would do it,
and no others who tried singing it could work the magic.

The song went thisaway:

GOIN' TO THE PARTY

We're goin' to the party, dontcha wanna come along?
Goin' to the party, dontcha wanna come along?
Goin' to the party, dontcha wanna come along?
We'll dance till the break of day!

Over the river and through the woods,
We'll waltz 'em like a pigeon
We'll make 'em dance the weevily wheat
And scatter their religion!

Oh, rare back chicken and crow for day
Rare back chicken and crow for day
Rare back chicken and crow for day
Oh ladies, fare thee well!

The higher up the cherry tree
The riper grow the cherries!
The more you hug and kiss the girls,
The quicker they will marry!

Oh, goin' to the party, dontcha wanna come along?
Goin' to the party, dontcha wanna come along?
Goin' to the party, dontcha wanna come along?
We'll dance till the break of day!

I THINK that's all there was to it.

But it was magic if Ted was crying. No idea why.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wheat in the ear - Weevily Wheat?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 12 Jan 17 - 04:38 AM

I'm with Joe on this one. I think at some time someone has conflated the two titles, and it's been passed down this way. The song makes no mention of "Wheat in the ear" although it's a phrase that comes down to us from the Bible.
The original verse (or chorus?) doesn't appear to fit with the other verses given in any way.

For context, a longer quote from Kipling's "Captains Courageous":

Then Manuel touched the jangling, jarring little nachette to a
queer tune, and sang something in Portuguese about "Nina,
innocente!" ending with a full-handed sweep that brought the song
up with a jerk. Then Disko obliged with his second song, to an
old-fashioned creaky tune, and all joined in the chorus. This is
one stanza:

"Now Aprile is over and melted the snow,
And outer Noo Bedford we shortly must tow;
Yes, out o' Noo Bedford we shortly must clear,
We're the whalers that never see wheat in the ear."

Here the fiddle went very softly for a while by itself, and then:

"Wheat-in-the-ear, my true-love's posy blowin';
Wheat-in-the-ear, we're goin' off to sea;
Wheat-in-the-ear, I left you fit for sowin';
When I come back a loaf o' bread you'll be!"

That made Harvey almost weep, though he could not tell why. But it
was much worse when the cook dropped the potatoes and held out his
hands for the fiddle. Still leaning against the locker door, he
struck into a tune that was like something very bad but sure to
happen whatever you did. After a little he sang in an unknown
tongue, his big chin down on the fiddle-tail, his white eyeballs
glaring in the lamplight. Harvey swung out of his bunk to hear
better; and amid the straining of the timbers and the wash of the
waters the tune crooned and moaned on, like lee surf in a blind
fog, till it ended with a wail.

"Jimmy Christmas! Thet gives me the blue creevles," said Dan.
"What in thunder is it?"
"The song of Fin McCoul," said the cook, "when he wass going to
Norway."


Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wheat in the ear - Weevily Wheat?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 12 Jan 17 - 05:21 AM

A quick search for "When I come back a loaf" gives only links to this thread, or to Captains Courageous, or to other sites which in turn link back to that book.

It looks suspiciously like the words were original to Kipling, and written for the book. While I've nothing to back that up, there does seem to be a lack of any contra-indications.

Also the construction of the verse:
Now Aprile is over and melted the snow,
And outer Noo Bedford we shortly must tow

suggests (to me) a verse being constructed on the spot. (possibly to fit with an established chorus)
If it was part of a longer song then other verses would probably relate to other sailings, and that (first?) verse would be "When April is over . . ."
Other verses could then start:
"When July is starting for Hartford we sail . . ." etc.


Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wheat in the ear - Weevily Wheat?
From: Joe_F
Date: 12 Jan 17 - 06:17 PM

My take on Kipling's verses is that it's a whaler about to go to sea again and musing on the fact that his business makes it impossible for him ever to see his wife thru a pregnancy. I would expect the continuation (if any) to deal further with his & his wife's feelings, rather than to further stages in the voyage.

As to whether Kipling made up the verses, I dare say he might have; but he might also have heard them in the field. He was living in Vermont and spent a good deal of time in Gloucester.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wheat in the ear - Weevily Wheat?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 15 Jan 17 - 01:28 PM

I too dare say that Kipling made up the "wheat in the ear" verse himself, but I think it's about adolescence, not pregnancy. The sailor takes leave of a pretty girl and returns to find a beautiful woman.

Here are the words to "Wheat In The Ear" as sung by Gordon Bok on the National Geographic LP alluded to above. The tune has two parts, the indented verses taking the B part.

Take her by the lily white hand
Lead her like a pigeon
Make her dance to Weevily Wheat
And scatter her religion

    Wheat in the ear, my true love's posy blowing
    Wheat in the ear, I'm going back to sea
    Wheat in the ear, I left you fit for sowing
    When I come back what a loaf of bread you'll be

I don't want you weevily wheat
I don't want your barley
I want some flour and half an hour
To bake a cake for Charlie

Trading boats are going ashore
Trading boats are landing
Trading boats are going ashore
All loaded down with brandy

    Weevily wheat, my true love's posy blowing
    Weevily wheat, I'm going back to sea
    Weevily wheat, I left you fit for sowing
    When I come back what a loaf of bread you'll be

Take her by the lily white hand
Lead her like a pigeon
Make her dance to Weevily Wheat
And scatter her religion

Here is a link to the Bok song "Wheat In The Ear": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d88EdItUdas

Here is a link to Austin Rogers playing and singing "Weevily Wheat" to the same tune that Bok uses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp6iB6d7wRg


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wheat in the ear - Weevily Wheat?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 16 Jan 17 - 10:35 AM

Does anyone else see the logical inconsistency in the chorus? Wouldn't weevily wheat fail to mature, as the weevils would have eaten it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wheat in the ear - Weevily Wheat?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 16 Jan 17 - 11:55 AM

Plus also, it's not very nice to compare your girlfriend to maggot-infested cereal.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wheat in the ear - Weevily Wheat?
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jan 17 - 03:55 PM

Thanks to Bob the Postman! That IS the one I know, and the album I couldn't find. Obviously, there are various versions and several of the verses migrate from one song to another.... I just really enjoy Bok's version. If I'd thought, I'd have checked Youtube in recent years.. now I have both the tune reset and the words in front of me..
   Over to you, Abby....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wheat in the ear - Weevily Wheat?
From: Joe_F
Date: 16 Jan 17 - 08:50 PM

It is odd that all the versions have the refrain alluding to the seaman's wife's pregnancy, but only Kipling's stanza develops the metaphor. My guess is that, indeed, "Now Aprile is over..." is all we have left of the original "Wheat in the Ear", besides the refrain, which was subsequently stolen by "Weevily Wheat". I would sure like to have the rest.


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