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Lyr Req: One Day Old (Langston Hughes / Fisher)

Lanfranc 05 Nov 08 - 07:39 PM
Effsee 05 Nov 08 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,Peace 06 Nov 08 - 12:01 AM
GUEST,Peace--LYRIC ADD 06 Nov 08 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,Lanfranc at the Orifice 07 Nov 08 - 11:15 AM
Terry McDonald 07 Nov 08 - 12:16 PM
Jim McLean 07 Nov 08 - 03:47 PM
Susanne (skw) 07 Nov 08 - 07:03 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: 'Some Day You Might Be the President'
From: Lanfranc
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 07:39 PM

Back in the 1960s Paul McNeil recorded a song on an album he made for Decca in the UK. I seem to recall that it was attributed to Woody Guthrie, and I think it began:

"Hush, my baby, don't be forlorn
For you were lynched before you were born
Your skin is black, we'll have it understood
You're one day old but you're no damn' good"

and it contained a verse that went:

"Some day you might be the President
And have the White House for your residence
Until that day we'll have it understood
You're one day old, but you're no damn' good"

I've never come across it anywhere else, and it has been running through my mind all day, for obvious reasons! It's hardly PC, but it demonstrates how far the USA has come in the last forty years. There must have been those who sang it back then without the irony that (I hope!) was implied.

There is nothing in DT, Google doesn't find anything relevant.

Can anyone elaborate on my imperfect memory of this?

Alan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'One Day Old'
From: Effsee
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 09:29 PM

Oh my!...That's just set my memory banks racing! First thing that comes to mind is a name. David Campbell? Blues singer from the 60's? Aw Jeeze....


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Subject: Lyr Add: ONE DAY OLD (Langston Hughes / Fisher)
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 12:01 AM

from

mysongbook.de/msb/songs/o/onedayol.html

One Day Old

(Langston Hughes / Fisher)

Hush little babe, don't be forlorn
Though you were lynched before you were born
Your skin is black so it's understood
Though you're one day old you're no damn good

No hush my babe, you're right to squawk
Your skin will creep before you can walk
You live just as long as some people think you should
When you're one day old and no damn good

Some day you may be President
You'll have a White house for your residence
So dry your tears, don't you frown
The rope and the whip can't keep you down

This nightmare, babe, can't last the night
We'll end it soon, the black and the white
We'll mark its grave with a cross of wood
Saying, One day old and no damn good

(as sung by Hamish Imlach)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'One Day Old'
From: GUEST,Peace--LYRIC ADD
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 10:42 PM

in the above post. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'One Day Old'
From: GUEST,Lanfranc at the Orifice
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:15 AM

I wonder if the "Fisher" credited as part author is Archie Fisher?

Alan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'One Day Old'
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:16 PM

I'd almost forgotten this song, but there used to be a Scots singer who was a regular at the Bournemouth and Poole Folk Song Club in the mid sixties and he half taught me this one. He also used to sing MacColl's 'Big Hewer.' I think his name was Gordon McCulloch but I could be wronng. Given that Hamish Imlach sang it, and there's a suggestion that Archie Fisher was involved in its writing, there does seem to be a Scottish dimension to its origins.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'One Day Old'
From: Jim McLean
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 03:47 PM

Josh MaCrae recorded this in 1966 on Transatlantic TRA 150. The sleeve notes say 'This was just a lyric in a book by John Greenway until Archie Fisher put the melody to it. The whole thing is now self explanatory'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'One Day Old'
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 07:03 PM

Thanks, Jim and all! I never guessed Archie Fisher was involved, even though Hamish sang it. Info will be added to "My Songbook" in due course.


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