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Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary

DigiTrad:
ACKABAKA
GREEN GREEN ROCKY ROAD


Related threads:
Len Chandler's own version of Rocky Road (4)
Lyr Req: Green Green Rocky Road (44)
Lyr Req: Please help 'Hucka Chucka soda cracka'?' (24)
Tune Req: Hooka Tooka (Chubby Checker) (1)


The Villan 07 Feb 08 - 05:10 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Feb 08 - 06:57 AM
The Villan 07 Feb 08 - 07:33 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 07 Feb 08 - 10:48 AM
PoppaGator 07 Feb 08 - 11:21 AM
GUEST 07 Feb 08 - 11:25 AM
The Villan 07 Feb 08 - 12:06 PM
PoppaGator 07 Feb 08 - 02:01 PM
Azizi 07 Feb 08 - 02:07 PM
Azizi 07 Feb 08 - 02:17 PM
Azizi 07 Feb 08 - 02:22 PM
Azizi 07 Feb 08 - 02:34 PM
Azizi 07 Feb 08 - 02:40 PM
Big Al Whittle 07 Feb 08 - 02:44 PM
Azizi 07 Feb 08 - 03:59 PM
Azizi 07 Feb 08 - 04:01 PM
The Villan 07 Feb 08 - 04:23 PM
Big Al Whittle 07 Feb 08 - 06:12 PM
Greg B 07 Feb 08 - 06:32 PM
The Villan 08 Feb 08 - 03:00 AM
Azizi 08 Feb 08 - 09:13 AM
Azizi 08 Feb 08 - 09:38 AM
Azizi 08 Feb 08 - 09:50 AM
Azizi 08 Feb 08 - 10:09 AM
PoppaGator 08 Feb 08 - 11:15 AM
Kent Davis 08 Feb 08 - 10:16 PM
GUEST,Realpistil 25 Dec 15 - 04:48 PM
Mark Ross 25 Dec 15 - 06:12 PM
Mrrzy 26 Dec 15 - 04:35 PM
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Subject: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: The Villan
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 05:10 AM

I heard somebody singing Rocky Road yesterday and the person referred to PP&M (I have the song so don't need the lyrics), but this person didn't know what the lyrics meant or referred to. Does anybody know the background to the lyrics and what they stood for?

For example was this a child walking round a town, and asking the traffic lights questions "Red Green ol' Rocky Road, tell me what you see". Is this the imagination of a child? or something entirely different.

Red light green light 'round the town,
I found a penny on the ground
Met a friend I never know'd,
walkin' down ol' Rocky Road.

Red Green ol' Rocky Road, tell me what you see.
Tell me inside out, tell me upside down,
All around the block, all around the town.
Red Green ol' Rocky Road, tell me what you see.

Jimmy, come out and play.
Well Red Light, Green Light and I'll be "it" today.
Red Green ol' Rocky Road, tell me what you see.

Hey Jimmy Huggins your name's been called
Come and stand beside the wall.
Pick a girl that you know well
You can kiss and you can tell.
Red Green ol' Rocky Road, tell me what you see.

Jenny, come out and play.
Well Red Light, Green Light and I'll be "it" today.
Red Green ol' Rocky Road, tell me what you see.

Little Miss Jenny, don't you hide
Papa's gonna take you for a pony ride.
One potato, two potato, three potato, four
Cross the line and close the door.

Red Green ol' Rocky Road, tell me what you see
Tell me inside out, tell me upside down,
All around the block, all around the town.
Red Green ol' Rocky Road, tell me what you see.

Red light green light 'round the town,
I found a penny on the ground
Met a friend I never know'd,
walkin' down ol' Rocky Road.

    Note: Lyrics appear to be exactly those found at the Peter, Paul & Mary Website. Title shown there is ROCKY ROAD, by Yarrow/Stookey/Grossman -Pepamar Music- ASCAP
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 06:57 AM

Sounds a bit like Dave Van Ronks green Green Rocky Road, minus the necessity to pay royalties.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: The Villan
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 07:33 AM

so any ideas about the background to it Al?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 10:48 AM

The following is predicated on a very unreliable memory: In a Folk Box collection put out by Windham-Hill many years ago there was a recording of some kids in the Georgia sea islands singing a quite similar song. It was a game song or party song. I'm sure that the song preceeds PP&M's and Dave VanRonk's versions. Sounds like a fun game!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: PoppaGator
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 11:21 AM

There are a couple of versions in the DT ("Green Green Rocky Road" and "Green Rocky Road.") One includes this note:

The following version was copyrighted in 1961 by Len Chandler and Robert Kaufman and appears in the Sing Out! reprints. The notes say the song was collected from the children of Lilly Chapel School in York, Alabama and is found in "Negro Songs From Alabama" by Harold Courlander.

Looks like it's an old song, truly traditional, one version of which someone copyrighted.

It was nothing new when Van Rock recorded it. I wonder if his recording credited Chandler and Kaufman, or if he listed it as "traditional."

I know who Len Chandler was (is?), but do not recall hearing of Robert Kaufman.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 11:25 AM

I have a couple of books at home, one on early American children's rhymes and games, and one on the songs of the Sea Islands. I'll have a check later and see if this song (or something like it) appears in either.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: The Villan
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 12:06 PM

What I can't undderstand, is what does Red, Green ol Rocky Road mean - what is Rocky Road and what are the colours?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: PoppaGator
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:01 PM

I never quite understood, either, Villan. Let's hope someone can elucidate, or at least make a plausible guess.

There's Rocky Road ice cream, but it's not green ~ it's brown and white (chocolate and marshmallow).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:07 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if Peter Paul & Mary knew about the African American children's song "Green Green Rocky Road" as sung by Odetta.

Here's the words to that song as collected by Professor Thomas W. Talley of Fisk University:

GREEN OAK TREE! ROCK'O!

Green oak tree! Rock'o! Green oak tree! Rock'o!
Call dat one you loves, who it may be,
To come an' set gy de side o' me
"Will you hug 'm oce an' kiss im' twice"
"W'y! I wouldn't kiss 'im once fer to save 'is life!"
Green oak tree! Rock'o! Green oak tree! Rock'o!

Source: Thomas W. Talley, "Negro Folk Rhymes, Wise and Otherwise" {Kennikat Press Inc./ Port Washington, N.Y. edition; 1968, p. 81; originially published by Macmillan Press, 1922}

-snip-

This song is listed in the Play Rhymes Section of that book. Unfortunately, there is no accompanying tune. However, as I read this rhyme, I'm singing the tune to "Green Green Rocky Road" that I heard on one of Odetta's earlier records.

In the notes to his now classic book, Dr. Talley indicates that the rhymes he included in "Negro Folk Rhymes" are a samplying of those rhymes he remembered from his childhood and those rhymes that he collected from his [African American] Fisk Univesity students. Talley also writes that many of these songs were quite old when he collected them in the early, mid 1900s.

Given the words of the song, and my reading of how African American children's rhymes were played, my sense is that "Green Oak Tree! Rocky'O" was "originally" performed as a circle game with first one and then two children in the middle. Probably a girl selecting a boy and then when that song was sung again, the girl rejoins the group forming the circle, and the remaining boy then picks another girl, and so on}. My sense is that this game was probably self-initiated by children and played by children who were up to about age 12 years.

Using the words as given above {based on my reading of how African American children's rhymes were played in the early 20th century},
I believe that the group sang the first three lines, probably while holding hands and moving counter clockwise or while standing still and clapping their own hands and stomping their feet to the rhythm of the song. The person in the center probably did not join the group in singing these words. She or he may have clapped & stomped her/his feet to the beat, or just stood still while the group sang their part.

I believe that the first person in the circle sung the first quoted line, and the second person in the group sung the second quoted line.

For what it's worth, I don't believe that either this game song or "Red Light Green Light Rocky Road" as recorded by Peter Paul and Mary is presently known to African American children in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. I didn't know these songs when I was growing up in the 1950s in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

It's been my experience that few children in the late 20th and early 21st century have sang and played any non-competitive circle games except "Ring Around The Roses" and "Hokey Pokey". Nowadays these two games are rarely played by any girls or boys older than age 5 years. Also, these two games are usually initiated by a teacher, child care worker, mother at a birthday party, or some other adult, and not by the children themselves.

"Stella Ela Ola", "Slap Billy Ola", and other games with similar sounding names are examples of competitive semi-circle or circle children's games with no one in the center of the circle. By "competitive" I mean a chanting game in which the object is to be the last person in the group who remains in the game {the "winner"}.

I've seen these hand slapping while chanting games played in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania {African American girls and boys, both up to age 12 years}. These games were initiated by an adult [my school teacher daughter] in an after-school setting. However, all the girls and boys knew this game and both were enthusiatic about playing it]. I've also seen text examples of this game with photographs on the Internet being played by non-Black elementary school age girls and boys.

Here's a Mudcat thread on this rhyme:
thread.cfm?threadid=77066#1370542
RE: Kids chant Stella Ola Ola / Stella Ella Ola

Also, visit this page of my website for more examples and performance information of Stella Ella Olaaboand examples of Stella Ola Ola"

http://www.cocojams.com/handclap_rhymes_example_0104.htm


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:17 PM

In my opinion, the "red light green light" in the song recorded by Peter Paul and Mary refer to the color of street traffic lights.

I think this song may have been the source of the children's game "Red Light Green Light". I played this game in my childhood {Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1950s}. African American girls and boys {ages 5-12 years} who I've worked with in after-school groups, and summer camps in Pittsburgh area {1997-2005} also knew and played "Red Light Green Light". To clarify, I was prepared to teach this game to them, but they already knew it :o)

"Red Light Green Light" is not a singing or chanting game. This game is directed by a "leader" and is played by a group of children {girls and boys usually 5-12 years of age} who hope to be the first person to reach a pre-designated home base that is in front of them. The children move as fast as they can toward that home base when the leader says "green light". They slow down when the leader says "yellow light" and they stop when the leader says "red light".
Sometimes those who stop dramatically "freeze", but the object is to move as fast as you can in order to get to that designated home base.

Besides being fun to play, this game teaches children to listen carefully and follow directions. Hopefully, it also teaches children to be good winners and good losers.

I'm curious if anyone else here knows this game. If so, please indicate when {decade} and where {city, state, country if outside of the USA} you played it.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:22 PM

Sorry, I've just noted two typing errors to the words to this song that I copied from Talley's book. I'd really appreciate it if a moderator would change the words to this:

GREEN OAK TREE! ROCK'O!

Green oak tree! Rock'o! Green oak tree! Rock'o!
Call dat one you loves, who it may be,
To come an' set by de side o' me
"Will you hug 'm once an' kiss im' twice"
"W'y! I wouldn't kiss 'im once fer to save 'is life!"
Green oak tree! Rock'o! Green oak tree! Rock'o!

-snip-

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:34 PM

Bessie Jones, who co-authored with Bess Hawes Lomax the book of Georgia Sea Isle children's songs, "Step It Down", referred to African American children's songs as "plays". In this context, "plays" refers to dramatic productions in which children "acted out" the words to songs.

In re-reading the words to the song as given by Talley, particularly the lines "Call dat one you loves, who it may be/To come an' set by de side o' me", I think that the children in the center of the circle actually sat on the ground {or in two chairs?}. Also, I can imagine these children dramatically reciting the words, and even play acting an attempt to steal a kiss from the girl who they selected. Remember this was way back when girls and boys were used to playing co-ed singing games and they used those games to signal to the community who they liked. Those days are looong gone.

I should note that I remember reading about a children's game that Leadbelly sung in which for part of the song two children actually sat in a chair in the middle of the circle while children forming the circle sang the song. But I'm having a mental blank as to which Leadbelly song that was.

Anybody know which song I'm thinking of?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:40 PM

Correction:

"I should note that I remember reading about a children's game that Leadbelly sung in which for part of the song two children actually sat in two chairs in the middle of the circle while children forming the circle sang the song. But I'm having a mental blank as to which Leadbelly song that was."

I think that having a girl and boy sitting in one chair would have been a bit two risque for that day and time.

:o)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 02:44 PM

Maybe ha! ha! thisaway!

d'you think?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 03:59 PM

Okay, weelittledrummer, you made me do it. You made me get up from my computer chair at home where I'm hiding out with a fluey kinda thing. And you made me look for the Leadbelly CD with the children's game I was referring to.

Well, I actually found that CD. It's "Leadbelly Sings For Children" was issued by Smithsonian Folkways.

And WLD, while your guess "Ha Ha Thisaway" is included in that CD, it turns out that it's not the one I was thinking of. The song is "Sally Walker". I feel like saying to myself "Duh!"

Though it's off-topic to this thread, here's the CD's notes for that song:

Sally Walker
[arr: Leadbetter] from Smithsonian Folkways 40044
{included in Play Parties Song and Dance]

"Now this is another little children's play song. They gonna play, and they gonna put one inside the ring, and they all gonna be going around and they gonna sing. And this one in the ring is sitting down in a chair. They gonna give this one in the chair a hankie. And when they holler, "Rise, Sally, rise, wipe your weeping wyes", she's gonna rise out of that chair. And when they say, "Fly to the east, and fly to the west, fly to the one you love the best", she gonna fly and catch one that's going round the ring and catch him by the hand. Gonna put him in the ring, and he's gonna sit down in that chair where Sally got out of. Now here's what they gonna sing ehile they all go round the ring."

Little Sally Walker sitting in a saucer,
Weeping and a-moaning like a little turtle dove.

Rise, Sally, rise, wipe your weeping eyes,
Turn to the east, turn to the west
Turn to the one you love the best.

"Now, it's gonna be Jimmy Walker, now that's a little boy. Don't care who get in that ring. It's gotta be Walker."

Little Jimmy Walker etc.

Little Charlie Walker etc.

Little Jenny Walker etc.

Little Wally Walker etc.

-snip-

It seems the children's real first names {actually the nicknames of their first names} were used with Walker being the constant last name.

Also, "ring" means "circle". "Circle games" were called "ring games".

Notice the use of "props" such as the chair and the hankie {handkerchief}.

**

I played a version of "Little Sally Walker" in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1950s. The words to that song are:
Little Sally Ann
sittin in the sand
ah-weepin and ah-cryin
for a nice young man.
Rise Sally rise
wipe your weepin eyes. *
Turn to the east
and turn to the one
that you love the best.

*or "dirty eyes"

The "sittin in the sand" works for Atlantic City because of the sand near the ocean. I recall this game as being exclusively played by girls {about 5-12 years old}. No chair or handkerchief was used. The girl in the center of the circle was always called "Sally". "Sally" hunched down near the ground, with her eyes closed as if she were crying {though she made no sound}. The other girls forming the circle chanted the words in sing-song voices while they held hands and walked counter clockwise around the circle. On the words "Rise Sally rise", the girl in the center of the circle would stand up, and pretend to wipe her eyes. She would then close her eyes, and cover them with her right hand, and extend her left arm, and point her finger as she turned in the middle of the circle. The person who she was pointing to at the end of the song became the new "Sally" and the game started all over again with no interruption.

Girls who participated in my game song groups in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area knew this song as "Little Sally Walker/sittin in a saucer". That was the first time I'd heard what is probably the most common version of this song.

I happened to talk to a youngish woman {35 year old} from Georgia who told me that she remembers playing this song when she was growing up and the girl in the middle didn't close her eyes but picked some one she liked to be the next person in the middle. I believe that the closing your eyes and turning around form of selecting the new middle person is a new strategy. I believe that strategy says a number of things about the culture of children and their lack of trust in other members of their peer group...But I'm not going to go into that in this thread since I've already gone off subject by talking about "Little Sally" in a thread on "Rocky Road".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 04:01 PM

One more off-topic comment from me:

Some here may be interested in this re-post from a short Mudcat thread:

thread.cfm?threadid=36137#497351

Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Leadbelly-This way thataway
From: Brian Hoskin - PM
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 07:28 AM

The following passage is from Wolfe and Lornell's book The Life and Legend of Leadbelly, it doesn't really answer your question, but it gives a little more information:
School itself even offered different types of music to a young boy fascinated with sounds and rhymes. During recess most of the boys played ball while the girls would organize "play-parties" or "ring" games. Sometimes the boys would join these activities that combined actions and songs into an infectious game, which could be expanded to fit a specific length of time. Such games fascinated young Huddie and gave him one of his first opportunities to actually sing about some part of his life. The "play" that he best remembered was one that later became one of his favorite musical pieces, "Ha, Ha Thisaway."

Leadbelly would have been at school at around 1900.

It would be interesting to know more details about the book that you found the song in.

Brian


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: The Villan
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 04:23 PM

Azizi, your post 7th Feb 2008 2:17pm makes a lot of sense and does sound very plausible.
I am really happy with that info.
Thanks so much and also big thanks to all the other posters.

Les goes off in a happy mood. :-)

A game that springs to mind in the UK which I witnessed about 7 years ago called Whats the time Mr Fox ?

This game has somebody at the front called Mr fox.

All the other children follow behind Mr Fox as he walks along the playground. They chant "Whats the time Mr Fox"

Mr Fox can respond by giving the time or shout "Its dinner time "

If Mr Fox says "ITs Dinner time", the children immediately turn away from Mr Fox and run like hell. Its Mr Fox's job to catch one of them for the purpose of eating them.

Once Mr Fox has caught that child, they become Mr Fox.

And so the game goes on.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 06:12 PM

Bless you Azizi, darling! You really shouldn't have bothered when you had flu. I hope you're feeling better soon. What you say makes stories of Leadbelly as a childrens entertainer more believable. I never really thought of it as plausible. I struggle to make out the words of his songs - I often wondered how eastern white kids (friends of the Lomax family presumably) got on with it.

I'm not sure the PPM version will have much to do with children's song business, however.

Looked at in the context of the time, this was a point where not so long before Dylan had taken an obscure folksong and turned it into Don't Think Twice. Paxton was writing the The High Sherif of Hazard to the tune of The Limerick Rake. I think people thought it was marvellous what Dylan had done - he had included ordinary people in the folksong experience.
People were trying to include and popularise almost as hard as nowadays so many of our UK singers are trying to sound more ethnic and alien to the common tongue.

In England we first heard Dave Van Ronk's very influential voice and this song about 1964. Some of the trax on the album were with a jazz band but this song and an instrumental called St Louis Tickle became very popular in English folk clubs.

I remember DVR's version went

When I go by Baltimore
Ain't no carpet of floor
Come along and follow me
We go down to Galillee
Green Green Rocky Road
Promenade in green
Tell me who ya love
Tell me who ya love

Very cryptic. We had no idea what it meant. We were blown away by the E major tuning on the guitar - certainly never thought it was kids tune. People wondered was is it religious? Some people said it was a town in the deep south of America called Galillee.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Greg B
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 06:32 PM

Why not ask Stook?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: The Villan
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 03:00 AM

Red Light Green Light is indeed a children's game and it is highly likely that Rocky Road refers to Rocky Road Ice Cream and that makes a lot of sense to me.

Here are the rules and it does seem a lot similar to Whats the time Mr Wolf

Red Light Green Light

In this game, one person plays the "stop light" and the rest try to touch him/her.

At the start, all the children form a line about 15 feet away from the stop light.

The stop light faces away from the line of kids and says "green light". At this point the kids are allowed to move towards the stoplight.

At any point, the stop light may say "red light!" and turn around. If any of the kids are caught moving after this has occurred, they are out.

Play resumes when the stop light turns back around and says "green light".

The stop light wins if all the kids are out before anyone is able to touch him/her.

Otherwise, the first player to touch the stop light wins the game and earns the right to be "stop light" for the next game.

OR

[This is one basically the same except that IT is always facing the players]

We had another way of playing "red light/ green light".

Find a large field, or yard, about the size of a tennis court to a football field.

All the kids line up on one side. the person who is "it" stays in the middle of the field. When "it" says green light, all the kids run as fast as they can. When "it" says red light, everyone stops. whoever doesn't stop is out. "it" keeps saying red light or green light until all the kids are out or has gone from one end of the field back to where they started from.

Remember, don't run too fast or when "it" says red light, you won't be able to stop.

The rule we used is you have two seconds to come to a complete stop or hit the ground.

Another hint is to always wear pants. you can kneel or flop down on red light to stop yourself. Just be careful.

The last person to make it back to the starting line is "it".

This has been taken from PP&M's Forum website.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 09:13 AM

Hi, WLD, I'm feeling better today. thanks for your well wishes.

**

I'd like to call folks attention to the fact that the lyrics to "Green Green Rocky Road" that are found in previous Mudcat threads have the words "promenade in green". These performance instructions differ to the ones given in Leadbelly's version "Call dat one you loves, who it may be/To come an' set by de side o' me". "Set" means "sit". And "promenade" means to "leisurely walk", or even better, "to strut".

It therefore seems to me that there are at least two ways that "Green, Green Rocky Road" was performed:

1. children formed a circle, with one child in the center of the circle sat in a chair, and eventually selected another child to join her or him

2. girls {children?} formed two horizontal rows, one child promenaded {strutted/danced} down the center aisle made by those rows

**
Bess Hawes Lomax has a video of Black girls between the ages of about 8-10 years old from Los Angeles, 1980s performing movement rhymes. Some of these rhymes were performed by the girls forming equal length horizontal lines facing each other and the, taking turns, a girl at the head of one and then the other line, would "promenade" down the aisle made between those lines. In that video, most of the girls danced down the aisle instead of strutted.

If I recall correctly, the song that the girls sang in that video wasn't "Green Green Rocky Road" but was a line game song called "This Way Valerie".

**

Here's an online version of "This Way Valerie" that I found at http://www.scoutsongs.com/lyrics/thiswayvalerie.html

"This Way Valerie
Tune: Shortenin' Bread

This game works best with a fairly large group. You will need to have the girls get a buddy and then form 2 lines with the buddies facing each other. As soon as you have them in 2 straight lines they can start singing the song:

This way Valerie, That way Valerie,
This way Valerie all the way home.
Girls join hands with their buddy and sing this part while moving arms in a sawing motion - back and forth

Strut Miss Lucy, strut Miss Lucy,
Strut Miss Lucy all the way home.
Head girl in one line passes between the 2 lines making up any movement she wishes and falls in at the foot of the opposite line.

Here comes another one just like the other one.
Here comes another one all the way home.
Buddy of the previous girl copies the movements just done by her buddy as she passes between the 2 lines and then joins the foot of the opposite line.

Both lines move up a wee bit and repeat the song over and over and over again until everyone has had a turn. The girls will eventually start getting quite creative in their actions if you play this many times."

-snip-

Btw, Alan Lomax's book "Caribbean Voyage: Brown Girl in the Ring"
a book and CD on Caribbean children's game songs includes the song "This Way Valerie". I also have another book on Caribbean children's game songs [title/author?] that is presently hiding from me. That book also includes this song and has a wonderfully drawn picture of girls dressed up strutting down the center aisle between two other rows of girls clapping.

By the way 2 or 3 {but whose counting?}, it's possible that the name "Valerie" was the name of the first girl who promenaded down the aisle. Given how frequently a new girl promenades down that aisle, it seems unlikely, though it's certainly possible that the name of the girl would have changed within a rendition of the song and with each new rendition of the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 09:38 AM

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that one or two people at the same time dancing down an aisle formed by two other rows of people facing each other was popularized by the 1970s, 1980s R&B dance show "Soul Train". That dance format became the signature of the show, and was so popular that even to this day people still speak of dancing down the aisle made up of two rows of people as doing a "Soul Train line".

Here's a comment I found online about that TV show:

"Soul Train started as a local Chicago teen dance show in the late 1960's. The local show was still running for a few years even after Don Cornelius mounted the national syndicated version in California. I remember that everyone would stop what they were doing when this show came on. The show totally rocked in the 1970's and 1980's. We all learned the latest dances from watching the Soul Train line, near the end of the telecast"...
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0161194/

**

Also, here's a YouTube video of a Soul Train line from that tv show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ox0IzWR4LX8

Eve - Tambourine (Soul Train Line)
"Old 1970's Soul Train Line dancing to Tambourine"

**
[This is an early rap song, "Eve" is the vocalist]

**

With regard to the show's name "Soul Train", the motif of the show was a drawing of an old fashioned "choo choo train" with smoke billowing out of it. In my opinion, not only did that train motif hark back to the downhome gospel train, but also reinforced the fact that the dancers were "hot" {another way of saying they were hot {good dancers} was that they were "smokin'"}. Of course, the word "soul" is still a familiar colloquial refer for Black {African Americans}.

We got soul!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 09:50 AM

Villan, I think that the reference to "rocky road" in the song very much predates Rocky Road ice cream.

My guess is that the words "green, green, rocky road" are probably just a description of the terrain-the grass is green, and the road is rocky. Of course, I may be wrong about that.

That said, I think that children just sing these words and don't try to make too much sense about what they mean. It's just us old folks who do that, perhaps reading into the words something that isn't there or reading in to the words more than what is there.

**

However, there are other "green, green" children's game songs or adult folk songs that may be related to "Green Green Rocky Road".

For instance, I found this game song in my notes:

Green Green, the crab apple tree
Where the grass grows deep

Miss Emma, Miss Emma
Your true love is dead
He wrote you a letter
To turn back your head

Directions:
Children hold hands and walk around a circle to the song's moderate beat.

On the words "turn back your head", the child whose name was called, must quickly drop hands, and turn his/her back to the center of the circle. The song then continues, until the names of all the players have been called. There is no mention of who calls the names.

Miss Mary, Miss Mary
You la-de-de-de (forgotten lyrics)
Round the green apple tree
Where the de-de-de-de." (More forgotten lyrics).

-snip-

I think that I wrote a summary of these directions to this song from a longer description that I read {or saw in a video?} somewhere. But unfortunately, I can't remember where the heck I got this game "Green Green The Crap Apple Tree" from {bad English but you know what I mean].

Is anyone familiar with it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 10:09 AM

Also, I meant to write that the way that I remember playing
"Red Light, Green Light" and the way I've seen it played in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania {1980s to date} is by having some designated person {The Leader} stand near a previously selected home base and count out arbitrarily selected numbers, adding "red light" or "yellow light" or "green light" at the end of those numbers. For instance:

1, 2, 3,4,5, 6, 7, 8 Green Light!

[kids move fast towards that home base as soon as the leader starts counting, but no running is allowed]

The leader starts counting again

1,2,3,4 {and here she or he could say "Red Light!" and everyone has to suddenly stop moving. They usually freeze in a dramatic position.

The leader starts counting again and kids start moving again.

1,2,3,4,5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 If the leader says "Yellow light! then they move in slow motion.

This continues until someone reaches home base. That person becomes the new leader and the game can begin again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: PoppaGator
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 11:15 AM

When I introduced the notion of rocky road ice cream earlier, I was being entirely facetious. By no means did I mean to infer that the ice-cream flavor could possibly have had anything to do with the song.

If anyone is indeed in a position to "ask Stook," please do!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Kent Davis
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 10:16 PM

Azizi wrote, concerning the game "Red Light, Green Light", "I'm curious if anyone else here knows this game. If so, please indicate when {decade} and where {city, state, country if outside of the USA} you played it."

I played it circa 1966-1972 in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
My wife played it circa 1975 in Bluefield, Virginia.
My children play it now near Marietta, Ohio.

Kent


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: GUEST,Realpistil
Date: 25 Dec 15 - 04:48 PM

@azizi

Your reference made me think of a children's game from the British Isles. I know it from Fulk recordings, but it is also referenced in the Opie's seminal "Lore and language of Schoolchildren." It is called "Green Gravel," and is a children's funeral game. It made sense that those existed when mortality rates were high, apparently, and the games lived on and evolved long after their morbid origins were forgotten. The song references the rituals associated with a recently deceased person. Turning mirrors around, contacting loved ones, the washing and dressing of the body and the burial.

It might be too much of a stretch to connect this and the other song together. Maybe not? I suppose it would become more apparent if we knew how the respective games were played and if they were similar.

I too had wondered if perhaps this song was a variation on that game. here's one version (it doesn't have the mirror verse). It's been proposed that "gravel" is a corruption of "grave."

Green gravel, green gravel
Your grass is so green;
You're the fairest young damsel
I ever have seen.

I washed her, I dressed her
I clothed her in silk,
And I wrote down her name
With a glass pen and ink.

O Kathleen, O Kathleen,
Your true love is dead,
I sent you a letter
To turn back your head.

Full Song Lyrics: http://www.lyrster.com/lyrics/green-gravel-lyrics-traditional-songs.html#ixzz3vN5MjVmb


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Mark Ross
Date: 25 Dec 15 - 06:12 PM

Here's Van Ronk talking about the song and then performing it. Bob Kaufman was a Village poet and friend of Dave's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngFUyhuF31U

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road Peter Paul & Mary
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Dec 15 - 04:35 PM

I remember it being from the game, rather than the other way around, does anybody have the liner notes from the album, either Moving or In The Wind?


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