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Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away

DigiTrad:
GINNY'S GONE TO OHIO


Joe Offer 27 Dec 08 - 03:11 PM
Joe Offer 27 Dec 08 - 03:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Dec 08 - 07:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Dec 08 - 08:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Dec 08 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,David Fletcher 06 Nov 10 - 11:37 AM
Charley Noble 06 Nov 10 - 02:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Nov 10 - 03:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Nov 10 - 03:45 PM
Janie 06 Nov 10 - 06:08 PM
Gibb Sahib 07 Nov 10 - 05:42 AM
John Minear 07 Nov 10 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Hilary 07 Nov 10 - 01:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 10 - 02:24 PM
Charley Noble 24 Jul 11 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Jul 11 - 10:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jul 11 - 02:14 PM
Hoblander 25 Jul 11 - 06:37 PM
GUEST 18 Sep 13 - 07:48 PM
GUEST 01 Dec 16 - 04:09 PM
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Subject: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 03:11 PM

Anybody know something about the origins or printed sources of this song? There's no mention of the song in Roud, and just a line in the Traditional Ballad Index. It's a great one for group singing.

Here are the lyrics from the Golden Ring Five Days Singing CD, with a few more verses than what's included in the Digital Tradition:

GINNY'S GONE TO OHIO

Ginny's gone to Ohio
Ginny's Gone away
Ginny's gone to Ohio
Ginny's gone away.
    cho: Ginny's gone away;
    Ginny's gone to Ohio
    Ginny's gone away.

Ginny's a pretty gal, don't you know...

Ginny's dressed in strings and rags...

Ginny's gone where the tall corn grows, etc.

Ginny's gone down the lonesome road…

Ginny's gone, an' I'm goin' too…

Ginny's gone to Ohio…



Recorded by Golden Ring; also Sara Grey


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 03:23 PM

Other verses?

Ginny's dressed in homespun clothes...


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Jenny's Gone Away (Peggy Seeger)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 07:58 PM

JENNY'S GONE AWAY
Peggy Seeger version, 1960

Jenny's wearing strings and rags.
Jenny's gone away,
Jenny's wearing strings and rags,
Jenny's gone away

Chorus:
Jenny's gone away,
Jenny's gone to Ohio
Jenny's gone away.

2
Jenny left her baby when she went away,
Jenny's gone away,
Wanted to keep him, couldn't find a way,
Jenny's gone away.
3
Jenny was young when her hair turned gray,
Jenny's gone away,
Jenny was a pretty girl in her day
Jenny's gone away.
4
Jenny didn't want to go away,
Jenny's gone away,
Company took her house away,
Jenny's gone away.
5
Jenny's man died in the Farmington Mine,
Jenny's gone away,
Company insurance didn't give her a dime,
Jenny's gone away.

Peggy Seeger gives two possibilities as to origin. She heard it in England. Three of the above verses are hers.

Folk song collector Philip Kennedy in 1959 heard Carlie Tart sing a 3-verse song about Ginnie. He described it in "An Unusual Work-Song Found in North Carolina, "Ginnie Gone to Ohio," in North Carolina Folklore, vol. 15, no. 1, May, 1967, pp. 30-34.
Kennedy cited the 'strings and rags' and 'pretty girl' verses.
Messed up?
Peggy Seeger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 08:00 PM

Link for above:
Peggy Seeger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 08:07 PM

Messed up?
Peggy Seeger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: GUEST,David Fletcher
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 11:37 AM

I've been doing some research on this song. I believe it was originally a sea shanty brought over from England on the slave ships of the 1700's and ended up as a slave rowing song sung in the islands off the coast of Georgia, in particular St. Simon's island. First documented in 1839. The original lyrics were " Jenny shake her toe at me, Jenny's gone away, Jenny her to at me, Jenny's gone away, Jenny's gone away, Hurrah!Miss Susy, oh! Jenny gone away." But there is more to this. Jenny shake her toe at me is connected to what is known as "todalo" a euphanism for sexual promiscuity, and notice how Miss Susy,oh and Ohio, and todalo all match nicely. This song , I believe, moved into the Appachians as a work song and of course the lyrics changed. Peggy Seeger refers to the song coming from NC where it was learned from black singers. There you have it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Awa
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 02:10 PM

David-

It's great to see this old song traced back to the Georgia Sea Barrier Islands as a rowing shanty. A lot of great songs have been collected there.

A similar melody is also used for a later shanty known as "Tommy's Gone to Hilo/Tom's Gone to Hilo." No lines are shared but the melody is certainly similar.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 03:24 PM

From a corn-shucking, 1836:

^^ Jenny Gone Away

Oh, Jenny, gone to New-town
Chorus
Oh, Jenny gone away!
She went because she wouldn't stay
Chorus
Oh, Jenny gone away!

She run'd away an' I know why
Cho.
For she went a'ter Jone's Bob
Cho.

Mr. Norton, good ole man,
Cho.
Treats his niggers mighty well
Cho.

Young Tim Barnet no great thing
Cho.
Never say come take a dram
Cho.

Master gi'es us plenty meat
Cho.
Might apt to fo'get de drink
Cho.

The Sounds of Slavery, Shane White and Graham White, Beacon Press.

One of those call and answer songs, useful in several kinds of work.

Unfortunately, Google's 'Review' doesn't give the References pages.

Guest David, can you give references for your post?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 03:45 PM

Fragment-

Jenny shake her toe at me,
Jenny gone away;
Jenny shake her toe at me,
Jenny gone away.

Hurrah! Miss Susy, oh!
Jenny gone away;
Hurrah! Miss Susy, oh!
Jenny gone away.

American Quarterly, 1967, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press
Chadwick Hansen, Jenny's Toe: Negro Shaking Dances in America

Article not seen- first page, jstor.org
(Fanny Kemble book, c. 1838, is the source of the song in this article).

Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839, Frances Anne Kemble. Also a portion of the book in Google.
Used as a rowing song on the Altamaha River, tune a little like "Coming Through the Rye" according to Kemble, p. 128 of her journal.
.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: Janie
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 06:08 PM

No knowledge to contribute, just thinking threads like this are why I love Mudcat. Thanks ya'll!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Awa
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 05:42 AM

There you have it.

LOL!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: John Minear
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 08:25 AM

Here is an interesting link from another thread on this song:

    thread.cfm?threadid=126347#2896563

There is also some additional discussion of this song both before and after this particular note.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 01:45 PM

There's a song in American Folk Tales and Songs by Richard Chase called "Johnny's Gone to Hilo." Perhaps this is another version of the same, although that's highly unlikely since the words are completely different. But the similarities of the titles are interesting. Chase collected it from John Hunt in Marion, Virginia.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 10 - 02:24 PM

There are many songs about leaving or going away.

A simple call and response of one line each, and its necessarily simple tune, is often comparable with others. They might or might not be related. Many floating verses as well.

Charley Noble, John Minear and Gibb Sahib have all discussed possibilities in threads on mudcat, including "Johnny's gone ...."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 08:42 PM

Refresh for more confusion.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 10:14 PM

John Hunt was a retired seaman, and his "Johnny's Gone to Hilo" is a shanty.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 02:14 PM

Lyr. Add: Johnny Come Down With a Hilo

The poor old man he sick in bed.
He want somebody to 'noint his head.
Oh, Johnny come down with a hilo.
A poor old man.

With musical score, 4/4.
"Thus, long after the big sailing ships have put into Ilo, Chile, one can hear West Indians- men, women, or children- singing "Johnny Come Down to Hilo" while hauling a heavy cauldron from one yard to another; as a rowing song in the fishing operation; or, as on St. Vincent, to accompany the game of "pong finger" in which large stones or coconut husks are passed, rhythmically, around the ring of seated people, each person trying to "pong" (pound) the hand of the next."

Rodger D. Abrahams, 1974, Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore, American Folklore Society, University of Texas Press.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: Hoblander
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 06:37 PM

Sara Grey in her sleeve notes to "Promises to keep" says quote " I learned Ginny from Joe Hickson a good friend and folklorist at the Library of Congress. He in turn learned it in the early 60s from Phil Kennedy who collected it from the Tan Family of Benson North Carolina. It was a family song and part of a group - singing tradition going back at least a century. Phil Kennedy commented that it is probably related to the shanty " Tom's gone to Hilo" and also owes something to the black dance song tradition" unquote.
This is the sort of information sharing and tugging that we have sometimes at our folk club when someone pitches up with a new song, or a variation to a song
I learnt it from Sara grey and think it's a great song.
Kevin


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 13 - 07:48 PM

Tony Saletan teacher of the music series from "Lets All Sing"sings this song,Tony show a map of USA and points out other songs as well like "Going To Boston"Tony is great we spoke in the past through e-mails,at 84 Tony Saletan looks great


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ginny's Gone to Ohio/Ginny's Gone Away
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Dec 16 - 04:09 PM

Tony saletan sang that song on let,s all sing in 1973


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