The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134562   Message #3061454
Posted By: GUEST,Bluesman James
26-Dec-10 - 09:32 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Origins of Hooka-Toka/Green Rocky Road
Subject: Folklore: Origins of Hooka-Toka/Green Rocky Road
Greetings and Happy Holidays Folks:
I found a new version of a song I have been playing with and its very disturbing:
I knew this song as "Green Rocky Road" and I learned it from Danny Kalb who learned it from Dave Van Ronk who learned it from - whoever:
To me Green Rocky Road was a great finger picking exercies in alternating bass. Played by both in "Dropped D Tuning" you play this melody against an alternating bass. "When I go by Baltimore, paint' no carpet on my floor." and the chorus "Green Green Rocky Road. Promenade in Green" and of cours4e "Hooka Tooka, does your mama chew tobacco"
I should point out Tim Hardin had a version different than the above in lyrics and guitar accompaniment. I asked Dave about Tims version and he replied "Timmy had a version as I was developing mine - its different"
As I said, I never paid the lyrics any mind I was more concerned about getting the alternating bass right as I picked the melody.
Side tracking here: Danny Kalb is an excellent finger picker who has the Merle Travis style down pat He gets little recognition for that.
On day while talking about Judy Henske (she still around in CA) I found this version on You tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsAt9hrrKh0
This group and funky version = claims the song actually is a rhyme sung by Children whose mothers work in brothels
They even have this lyric which I never heard before
"Your mother is a Nig*r, your father is a Jew
Your sister is a daygo, who the hell are you"
I know from listening to Leadbelly and Robert Johnson and Josh White, many of our traditonal blues have very disturbing origins but this one. I thought is was a children's' nursery rhyme
I know there are some serious folklorist here, so I was hoping someone knows the story. Thank you for your involvement.