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add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds

Azizi 14 Jul 07 - 10:19 PM
Peace 14 Jul 07 - 10:22 PM
Azizi 14 Jul 07 - 10:26 PM
Azizi 14 Jul 07 - 10:31 PM
Azizi 14 Jul 07 - 10:37 PM
Azizi 14 Jul 07 - 10:48 PM
Peace 14 Jul 07 - 10:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Jul 07 - 10:52 PM
Azizi 14 Jul 07 - 10:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 07 - 11:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 07 - 11:47 PM
Azizi 15 Jul 07 - 09:17 AM
Peace 15 Jul 07 - 11:13 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 07 - 12:04 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Jul 07 - 12:25 PM
Azizi 15 Jul 07 - 01:24 PM
Azizi 15 Jul 07 - 01:43 PM
Azizi 15 Jul 07 - 01:48 PM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 07 - 03:34 PM
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Subject: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 10:19 PM

I'm curious about the origin of this poem:

A MAN OF WORDS AND NOT OF DEEDS.   

A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds;
And when the weeds begin to grow,
It's like a garden full of snow;
And when the snow begins to fall,
It's like a bird upon the wall;
And when the bird away does fly,
It's like an eagle in the sky;
And when the sky begins to roar,
It's like a lion at the door;
And when the door begins to crack,
It's like a stick across your back;
And when your back begins to smart,
It's like a penknife in your heart;
And when your heart begins to bleed,
You're dead, and dead, and dead indeed.

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/mother-goose/mother-goose%20-%200395.htm

This poem seems very similar to this children's handclap rhyme that Iona and Peter Opie include in their book "The Singing Game":

SAN-TEE-TI
San-tee-ti, san-tee-ti
San-tee doddle-um, doddle-um –di.
There was a farmer, so full of greed,
When the seed began to grow
Like a meadow full of snow.
When the snow began to melt,
Like a ship without a belt.
When the ship began to sail,
Like a bird without a tail.
When the bird began to fly,
Like a diamond in the sky.
When the sky began to roar,
Like a lion at your door.
When the door began to crack,
Like a stick upon my back.
When my back began to smart.
Like a penknife in my heart.
When my heart began to bleed,
"Twas death and death and deth indeed.

Ipswich, c 1897; Usually 'There was a man indeed'. Versions , with or without the introductory sounds; Grols[ie, W.W.B. Nicholson, 1897 Games of Argyleshire, R.C. Maclagan, 1901, Kerr's Guild of Play, c. 1910; and from a number of correspondents. "The Singing Game";
p. 443; The Opies listed this as a handclap rhyme

**

I'm wondering if that children's rhyme is still known in England.

Also, I'm curious if you think I'm making too much of a stretch to see a connection between those two examples and the "There's A Place On Mars" {also called In The Land Of Mars" and "In The Land Of Oz"} children's handclap rhymes. Here's one example:

THERE'S A PLACE ON MARS
theres a place on mars
where the women smoke cigars
and the men wear bikinis
and the babies drink martinis
every step you take
is enough to kill a snake
when the snake is dead
you put diamonds on his head
when the diamonds crack
you put mustard on its back
when the mustard dries
its year 1969.
then you tell the king
and the king says FREEZE!
-September;http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php ; July 11, 2006

**

???

Thanks for any input. If you'd like to use this thread to share examples of any of these poems/rhymes, that would be great.

{I tried to look for previous Mudcat threads about any of these poem/rhymes/songs but couldn't find any. If there are any such threads or posts, I'd appreciate a link to them or mention of their thread}.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Peace
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 10:22 PM

"The inspiration of the nursery rhyme 'A man of words and not of deeds' might have originated in the words of the Elizabethan author John Fletcher 1579-1625 - John Fletcher was born Rye, Sussex, and buried in St. Saviour's, Southwark. He was a contemporary of William Shakespeare.The quotation "Deeds, not words" can be found in the Lover's Progress (act III, sc. 6) by the Elizabethan playwright, John Fletcher."

from

www.rhymes.org.uk/a4-a-man-of-words.htm

Lots of pop-ups there.


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Subject: RE: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 10:26 PM

Here's another example of "A Man Of Words" from Thomas W. Talley's 1922 book "Negro Folk Rhymes" {Kennikat Press edition, 1968, p.208-209} :

A MAN OF WORDS
A Man o' words an' not o' deeds,
Is lak a gyarden full of weeds.
De weeds 'gin to grow
Lak a gyarden full o' snow.
De snow 'gin to fly
Lak a eagle in de sky.
De sky 'gin to roar
Lak a hammer on yo' door.
De door 'gin to crack
Lak a hick'ry on yo' back.
Yo' back 'gin to smart
Lak a knife in yo' heart.
Yo' heart 'gin to fail
Lak a boat widout a sail.
De bat 'gin to sink
Lak a bottle full o' ink.
Dat ink, it won't write
Neither black nor white.
Dat man o' words an' not o' deeds,
Is lak a gyarden full o' weeds.


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Subject: RE: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 10:31 PM

Thanks, Peace!

Thanks for that lead.

Here's the link to that website:

http://www.rhymes.org.uk/a4-a-man-of-words.htm


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Subject: RE: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 10:37 PM

Here'a another example of the children's handclap rhyme "There's A Place on Mars":

COCA COLA WENT TO TOWN/THERE'S A PLACE ON MARS
Coca Cola (clap clap clap)
went to town (clap clap clap)
Hi-C (clap clap clap)
knocked him down (clap clap clap)
7up (clap clap clap)
picked him up (clap clap clap)
Dr. Pepper (clap clap clap)
gave him (clap clap clap)
sleeping pills (clap clap clap)
jelly rolls (clap clap clap)
Theres a place on Mars
where the ladies smoke cigars
every puff they take
is enough to kill a snake
when the snake is dead
you put diamonds in his head
when the diamonds break
it's enough to bake a cake
when the cake is done
it is 1991
when you tie your shoe
it is 1992
when you get stung by a bee
it is 1993
when you slam a door
it is 1994
when you dance the jive
it is 1995
when you pick up sticks
it is 1996
when you like a boy named devon
it is 1997
when you close the gate
it is 1998
when you're feelin' fine
it is 1999
then it gets all cold
then you
FREEZE!
- Miranda;http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php at August 19, 2004


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Subject: RE: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 10:48 PM

So whatdaya think. Do you see the similarities between the first two rhymes that I posted and the "There's A Place On Mars" rhymes?

Also, these poems/rhymes seem similar in structure to the poems, songs, rhymes that substitute or trade one thing for another over and over again only to find that the traded thing is somehow also defective. I'm thinking of a song such as the {at least 19th century} secular African American song "I went to the river but I couldn't get across/so I traded my grey horse for a mule [or something or another]". I'm also thinking of the African American lullaby "Hush Little Baby Don't You Cry" [daddy's gonna buy you a mockin bird...].

Is there a name for these types of poems/rhymes?

They're not cumulative rhymes, right?

Is there a general name for this type of structural pattern?


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Subject: RE: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Peace
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 10:50 PM

Saw on another site that the Italians have an expression like it, too. No doubt from Latin.


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Subject: RE: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 10:52 PM

See also thread  Man of Double Deed  and DT file  Sandie Toy.


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Subject: RE: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 10:58 PM

Those links are very interesting.

Thanks, Malcolm Douglas!


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Subject: RE: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 11:36 PM

A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds
For when the weeds do begin to grow
Then doth the garden overflow.

This seems to be the origin of the first; found in a couple of books of quotations. Anon.
Also found in Nursery Rhyme Books, with this added to it:

It's like a lion at the door;
And when the door begins to crack,
It's like a stick across your back;
And when your back begins to smart,
It's like a penknife in your heart;
And when your heart begins to bleed,
You're dead, and dead, and dead, indeed.

Possibly a translation from Charles Perrault (1628-1705), "Contes de ma mere l'Oye," as "Mother Goose Tales." Someone may have the straight of this.

The entire rhyme, as you give it from the traditional music site, is found in Halliwell, 1846, "Nursery Rhymes of England," No. LXXV of "Fourth Class- Proverbs."
Halliwell remarked: "One version of the following song, which I believe to be the genuine one, is written on the last leaf of MS. Harl. 6580, between the lines of a fragment of an old charter, originally used for binding the book, in a hand of the end of the seventeenth century, but unfortunately it is scarcely adapted for the "ears polite" of modern days."

Gee, what are we missing??

The complete Halliwell in on line, and is worth downloading.

The Santee-ti rhyme obviously is a variant.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 07 - 11:47 PM

Bartlett, "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," 14th ed. (1968) is where I found the two quotations, and the reference to Perrault. I don't think it is in Perrault, but Halliwell puts it back almost that far with his MS. remark.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 09:17 AM

Q, I appreciate your posting that information.

But I'm confused now. Here's a quote from the website that Bruce found: "The inspiration of the nursery rhyme 'A man of words and not of deeds' might have originated in the words of the Elizabethan author John Fletcher 1579-1625".

Somehow I didn't notice the word "might" in that sentence.

So, I guess that currently no one is sure who composed "A man of words and not of deeds" and when it was composed. Is that right?


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Peace
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 11:13 AM

S'far as I can find, Azizi, all the mentions I've encountered of it give 'author unknown'.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 12:04 PM

Azizi, "Deeds not words" quotation from Fletcher need have no bearing on the rhyme. It seems to me that the thought behind that could easily be 'thunk up' by different writers. On the other hand- there's always the possibility that the writer of the rhyme in Halliwell knew of Fletcher's work. That is an 'indeterminable.'
Halliwell was a pretty good researcher; he leaves it without an author, and 'author unknown' is better than unverifiable speculation.

More interesting to me is the variation found in Talley. Halliwell's "Nursery Rhymes of England" went into several editions and was popular in America; the variation shows that his rhymes reached to African-Americans- possibly in slavery times.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 12:25 PM

Websites devoted to nursery rhymes frequently contain more misinformation than anything else, though that seems to come with the territory. The site linked to earlier presents all manner of discredited speculation as fact, and appears to identify no sources for anything. It should be treated with extreme caution, particularly as there is no evidence that the compilers have even consulted the standard work on the subject, ODNR. Perhaps they did but chose to ignore it, as it pours a good deal of cold water on many of the romantic and anachronistic fantasies so often associated with nursery rhymes in the popular imagination.

Back to our rhyme. Opie, Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes no. 322:

'A rhyme of strange fascination: many people have recalled the awe-inspiring effect it had on them when children, and yet how they continued to want it repeated to them. In Gammer Gurton's Garland (1784) the rhyme starts

A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds.

This couplet in various forms appears to have been proverbial; it is found in several proverb collections, e.g. in James Howell's collection (1659), where is also included 'Good words without deeds are rushes without weeds'. Similar sentiments occur in Harley MS. 1927, of the time of James I, Harley MS. 6580, and Sloane MS. 406.'

Fletcher's use of the term 'deeds, not words' may indicate no more than an early recorded example of proverbial usage; or it may be no more than a coincidence. At any rate, we have no record of the rhyme itself until quite a bit later.

The Opies also quote the full text from Halliwell (though not his mysterious comments) and refer to 'a ball-bouncing song sent by a correspondent in 1946' and to other English examples recorded in the 1930s and '40s.

In the earlier thread, I quoted Roud number 2103 in relation to this; either I mis-typed the number or it has subsequently been re-classified. 2103 is actually 'The Other Side of Jordan' (though one entry under that heading, 'There was a man from Aberdeen', may just possibly be a form of our rhyme) and the correct number is 19103. The current Roud Index can be searched via the website of The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library:

Roud Folk Song Index.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 01:24 PM

Malcolm, as a relatively new student of folklore, I confess that I'd never heard of the Round Index or the The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Thanks for that info.

I decided to try to insert a number of titles in to see whether this folk index included the titles of certain spirituals, African American [at least 19th century] dance songs, and children's songs {rhymes}. And the answer appears to be yes for some and no for others. For instance, I found "Promises of Freedom" {my ole mistus promised me/when she died she'd set me free"}, "Mary Mack", "Juba", "Swing Low,Sweet Chariot", and "Shortnin Bread". But I didn't find "Johnny Cuckoo" {"Here Comes One Johnny Cuckoo/on a cold and frosty night"}, "Here We Go Zudio" {or "Zoodio"}, and "Did You Feed My Cow" which are in Bessie Jones and Bess Lomax Hawes' book on Gullah children's game songs "Step It Down" {among other sources}.

Is "new" material added to that Index and Library?

Be that as it may, as there are that Index and library are great resources.

Thanks again for posting those links.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 01:43 PM

Q, with regard to Tally's inclusion of a version of "A Man Of Words" in his collection of "Negro" folk rhymes, you may be interested in learning that that example was included in the section for "Wise Sayings."

In his commentary section, Talley writes that "Many Rhymes were used to convey to children the common sense truths of life, hidden beneath their comic, crudely cut coats. Good examples oare "Old Man Know-All", "Learn To Count", and "Shake the Persimmons Down"...{p.241}...

Also, Talley wrote that "The compiler of the Rhymes was quite interested to find that as a rule the country-reared Negro had a larger acquaintance with Folk Rhymes than one brought up in the city...{p.245}

Another interesting point that Talley made was that "The Folk Rhymes were not often repeated as such or as whole compositions by the "grown ups" among Negroes apart from the Play and the Dance. If however, you had has an argument with an antebellum Negro, had gotten the better of an argument, and he still felt confident that he was right, you probably would have heard him close his side of the debate with the words "Well, 'Ole Man Know-All is dead". This is only a short prosaic version of his rhyme "Old Man Know-All," found in our collection. Many of the characteristic sayings of "Uncle Remus" woven into story by Joel Chandler Harris had their origin in these Folk Rhymes..." {p. 246}

-snip-

[all pages are from the Kennikat Press edition of this book, 1968}

I'm not sure if Thomas W. Talley assumed that all the examples in his collection originated with African Americans. Although I believe that many of them did, certainly there are a number of examples in that collection-such as "A Man Of Words" that came from non-African American sources.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 01:48 PM

Correction-

Roud Folk Song Index


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 02:00 PM

Off-topic.

Since the rhyme "Old Man Know-All" was mentioned in my last two posts, I'll share it here:

OLD MAN KNOW-ALL
Ole man Know-All, he come 'round
Wid his nose in de air, turned 'way frum de ground.
His ole woolly head hain't been combed fer a week;
It say: "Keep still, while Know-All speak."

Ole man Know-All's tongue, it run;
He jes know'd ev'rything under de sun.
When you knowed one thing, he knowed mo',
He 'us sharp 'nough to stick an' green 'nough to
grow.

Ole man Know-All died las' week.
He got drowned in de middle o' de creek.
De bridge wus dar, an' dar to stay.
But he knowed too much to go dat way.

Thomas W. Talley, {"Negro Folk Rhymes"; Kennikat Press, Inc. 1968; pps. 211-212; originally published, 1922 The Macmillan Company}


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 03:34 PM

"Old Man Know All" has also been around for a long time. One of the best-known is Czech, a version told by Karel Jaromir Erben. Text and history of the Czech story, in English and Czech, here:
http://www.europeantales-conteseuropeens.net/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=171
Old Man Know All

Do the European tales have anything to do with the Af-Am "Old Man Know All? Here is a fragment, source??:

OLD MAN KNOW-ALL

...Ole man Know-All's tongue, it run;
He jus know'd ev'rything under the sun...
She Hugged Me and She Kissed Me
Den I axed her w'en she'd have me,
An she jes say "Go long."

(Not sure if these are two separate fragments or if they were found together; the same spacing is maintained in the text).
The article has a useful bibliography.

Poetry: A View of African American Life,
Jean Sutherland. Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.
http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1994/2/94.02.11.x.html
A View
-----------------------------------------
Also see: "Slave Proverbs: A Perspective." John W. Roberts, "Callaloo, no. 4 (Oct. 1978), pp. 129-140.

Dudley Randall, ed., 1971, "The Black Poets." Bantam. (Not seen)

Daryl Cumber Dance, ed., "From My People, An Anthology." (Not seen. New Book)


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 07:15 PM

SHE HUGGED ME AND KISSED ME

I see'd her in de Springtime,
I see'd her in de Fall,
I see'd her in de Cotton patch,
A cameing from de Ball.

She hug me, an' she kiss me,
She wrung my han' an' cried.
She said I wus de sweetes' thing
Dat ever lived or died.

She hug me an' she kiss me.
Oh Heaben! De touch o' her han'!
She said I wus de puttiest thing
In de shape o' mortal man.

I told her dat I love her,
Dat my love wus bed-cord strong.
Den I azed her w'en she'd have me,
An' she jes say "Go long!"

Thomas W. Talley, {"Negro Folk Rhymes"; Kennikat Press, Inc. 1968; p. 131; originally published, 1922 The Macmillan Company}

-snip-

This is the first song that Talley included in what he titled "Love Song Rhythm Section". As noted in my previous post, Talley included "Ole Man Know-All" in his "Wise Saying Section". See the last excerpt that I quoted below from Talley's commentary in which he wrote that he sometimes chose a particular version of a rhyme. Given this statement, and given the folk process itself, perhaps there was a version of the song "Ole Man Know-All" that included lines from the song "She Hugged Me And She Kissed Me".

The complete title for Thomas W. Talley's now classic collection is "Negro Folk Rhymes Wise And Otherwise". The cover page also notes that Talley wrote a commentary about these songs. Talley called this section "A Study Of Negro Folk Rhymes".

Here are a few excerpts from that study:

"A few of the Rhymes bear the mark of a somewhat recent date in composition. The majority of them, however, were sung by Negro fathers and mothers in the dark days of American slavery to their children...The little songs wer similar in structure to the Jubilee Songs, also of Negro Folk origin". [p. 229}.

-snip-

"As a rule, Negro Folk verse is so written so that it falls into measures of music written 4/4 or 2/4 time." [p.230]

-snip-

"The Negro then, repeated or sang his Folk Rhymes, and dance them to 4/4 and 2/4 time...The reader may wonder how a Rhyme simply repeated was used in dance. The procedure was as follows: Usually one of two individuals "star" danced at time. The others of the crowd {which was usually large} formed a circle about this one or two who were to take their prominent turn at dancing. I use the terms "star" danced and "prominent turn" because in the latter part of our study we shall find that all present engaged sometimes at intervals in the dance. But those forming the circle, for most of the time, repeated the Rhyme, clapping their hands together, and patting their feet in rhythmic time with the words of the Rhyme being repeated. It was the task of the dancers in the middle of the circle to execute some graceful dance in such a manner that their feet would beat a tattoo upon the ground answering to every word, and sometimes to every syllable of the Rhyme being repeated by those in the circle. There were many such Rhymes. "'Possum Up The Gum Stump", and "Jawbones" are good examples"...[pps 231-232"]
-snip-

"Many Negro Folk Rhymes were used as banjo and fiddle {violin} songs. It ought to be borne in mind, however, that even these were quite often repeated without singing or playing. It was common in the early days of the public schools of the South to hear Negro children use them as declamation." [p. 235]
-snip-

"As is the case with all things of Folk origin, there is usually more than one version of each Negro Folk Rhyme. In many cases the exercising of a choice between many versions was difficult. I can only express the hope that my choices have been wise. [p. 247]


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 07:30 PM

Continuing this side bar discussion, it seems to me that it would have been fairly easy in the 19th century and earlier American South for Black folk to learn any number of European folk songs. After all, Black people and White people were not segregated.

Not only did some Black people work in the homes of White people {"house slaves"}, but some Black individuals lived in towns and cities and worked as skilled & unskilled laborers in farms and plantations and in towns & in cities. Black people would have had occassion to hear European folk songs, or the White adaptations of those folk songs when they worked in the shipyards, and when they worked on the ships which had "checkered" crews. Furthermore, Black musicians would have had opportunities to learn European folk tunes and European folk songs when they were called upon to play for White dances. And I'm sure there were other opportunities to hear and learn European songs that I'm omitting.

Far be it from me to [further] delve into the often heated debate about whether Black people created or imitated our songs. It's my position that we did both then-and still do so today.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Joe_F
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 09:15 PM

It seems a good guess that the initial couplet was proverbial before someone spun it out. Benjamin Franklin parodied it:

A man of deeds, and not of words
Is like a garden full of --


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 09:23 PM

Azizi, many of us have a different edition of Talley's book, "Negro Folk Rhymes, a new expanded Edition, with Music," Edited Charles K. Wolfe, pub. Univ. Tennessee. It includes "A Study in Negro Folk Rhymes" (pp. 233-285) as well as a number of songs not in the 1922 edition. None of the page numbers march those in the edition you have, so it takes looking in the index to get matched up, e. g., "She Hugged..." is on p. 113-114 with music score. I should have looked for it and would not have run together two separate songs. I assume the edition you have has the same material but it is differently arranged.

The note with "She Hugged...," that 'bed-cord strong' referred to the 18th c. practice of using ropes strung across bed frames, should be extended to the 19th c.; I have a bed which is made that way, dating about 1850 and used not uncommonly in rural areas and on the westward-moving frontier.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jul 07 - 09:34 PM

"I assume the edition you have has the same material but it is differently arranged".

Your assumption is correct. I will eventually purchase the newer edition. However, in the meantime, when I share examples or commentary from Talley's "Negro Folk Rhymes", I'll have to cite the page numbers and sections from the 1968 edition.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Jul 07 - 01:15 AM

Here's another version of "A Man of Words" that I found in an old Mudcat thread. I've taken the liberty of reposting it rather than just linking to it; though I will include the link:

Subject: RE: Help: Political Satire in nursery rhymes
From: Metchosin - PM
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 02:22 AM

Murray, she also sang another version of Coulters Candy other than the ones in the DT, but my Mom can't remember if they just added the other part on and used the same tune.

Owa Dowa, Owa Dowa Dee (Coulter's Candy)

Chorus:
Owa Dowa, Owa Dowa Dee
Sittin' on her mammy's knee
Greetin' fur a bonnie bobbie,
Tae buy a sugar candy.

I know a man, a man indeed
Sowed his garden full of seeds
And when those seeds began to grow
Like a garden full of snow
And when that snow began to melt
Like a ship without a belt
And when that ship began to sail
Like a bird without a tail
And when that bird began to fly
Like a diamond In the sky
And when that sky began to roar
Like a lion at my door
And when that door began to crack
Like a stick across my back
Crack goes one
Crack goes two
Crack goes my hand over you.

I came to a river,
I couldn't get across
I paid ten shillings for an old blind horse,
I jumped on his back,
His bones gave a crack,
I played on the fiddle 'till the boat came back,
The boat came back,
We all jumped in,
The boat capsized and we all fell in,
Crack goes one,
Crack goes two,
Crack goes my hand over you.

thread.cfm?threadid=16116#151132

-snip-

The song "I went to the river, but I couldn't get across" is found in Thomas Talley's "Negro Folk Rhymes". I guess it's not peculiar that it's combined with this song as Talley {and others, I'm guessing} have it combined with a number of secular {and probably also religious} songs.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Jul 07 - 01:23 AM

Btw, I still think the "A Man Of Words" poem/song is a source of the children's rhyme "There's A Place In Mars" {also known as "In The Land Of Oz" and other similar titles}.

Needless to say, I can't prove it. But there are enough similarities between the two poems that I'm stickin with my theory-though it may be on shaky ground.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: GUEST,Young Buchan
Date: 19 Jul 07 - 06:40 AM

There is a book called I walked by Night by The King of the Norfolk Poachers. For obvious reasons he wished to remain anonymous - though I think that he was actually called Frederick Rolfe (NOT the author of Hadrian VII - he called himself Baron Corvo!). It was published between the wars, and that song definitely appears in it in approximately this form. (i.e. that was where I learnt it from and this is how I sing it - the folk process may have had a go at the odd line!

There was a man of double deed
Who sowed a garden full of seed;
And when the seed began to grow
Twas like a garden full of snow;
And when the snow began to melt
Twas like a shoe without a welt;
And when the shoe began to fail
Twas like a bird without a tail;
And when th ebird began to fly
Twas like an eagle in the sky;
And when the sky began to lower
Twas like a beggar at my door;
And when the door began to crack
Twas like a stick across my back;
And when my back began to smart
Twas like an arrow through my heart;
And when my heart began to bleed
Twas like a man of double deed -
Twas like a man of double deed
Who sowed a garden full of seed.

Thereby making the whole song circular.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: GUEST,O.M.W
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 12:48 PM

Hi, discovered this conversation when googling a song we learned for a primary school show. I live in london, and the song seemed bizarre and unheard of. Our version sounded most like the version mentioned to be in 'The Singing Game.'


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: Nerd
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 12:09 AM

An answer to Q's question of four years ago. The text that occurs on the famous last page of Harley MS 6580, in 17th-century hand, is:

A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds; a man of deeds and not of words is like a prive full of turds

This indicates to me that this text is not, as Halliwell thought, the "genuine" form of the song, but perhaps the original form of the related, and earlier, proverb. Its sententious character is, to my ear, entirely different from the crazy logic and imagery of the later song.


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Subject: RE: add/origins: A Man Of Words And Not Of Deeds
From: GUEST,Slam
Date: 21 Oct 13 - 06:55 PM

I've seen the expression 'double deed' used in 19th century newspapers to describe a double murder (e.g. in The Times, July 24 1840, p.6: 4 Dec 1892,p.9)

In the 19th c. some warships had a feature called a belt – some kind of armour plating perhaps. 'The belt is 20in. thick at the centre, tapering longitudinally to 18 in., and vertically to 16in. below the water.' (The Times, 'Her Majesty's Ship Trafalgar' 20 Sep 1887, p.13)


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