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Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree

Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 07:03 AM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 07:05 AM
Will Fly 23 Sep 09 - 07:07 AM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 07:07 AM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 07:11 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Sep 09 - 07:15 AM
Will Fly 23 Sep 09 - 07:31 AM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 07:44 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Sep 09 - 08:20 AM
Will Fly 23 Sep 09 - 09:23 AM
Ross Campbell 23 Sep 09 - 10:31 AM
Barry Finn 23 Sep 09 - 11:47 AM
sing4peace 23 Sep 09 - 12:10 PM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,CandyMan 23 Sep 09 - 06:31 PM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 06:53 PM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Sep 09 - 07:13 PM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 07:26 PM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 07:33 PM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 07:38 PM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 07:43 PM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 08:03 PM
Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 08:56 PM
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Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 09:33 PM
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Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 10:37 PM
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Azizi 23 Sep 09 - 10:46 PM
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GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Sep 09 - 06:41 AM
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Subject: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:03 AM

I've found the lines "don't like my apples/don't shake my tree" in a gurl's handclap rhyme.

Through google search I've found that same line as the name of someone's MySpace page.

I've also found the line "don't like my peaches/don't shake my tree" in a song for adults.

I'd appreciate help in tracking down where these lines or similar lines come from, including early sources for them.

I'll post the children's rhyme example and the song example in my next posts to this thread.

Thanks in advance for your participation on this thread.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:05 AM

I'll BE

I'll be. be
Walking down the street,
Ten times a week.
Un-gawa. Un-gawa {baby}
This is my power.
What is the story?
What is the strike?
I said it, I meant it.
I really represent it.
Take a cool cool Black to knock me down.
Take a cool cool Black to knock me out.
I'm sweet, I'm kind.
I'm soul sister number nine.
Don't like my apples,
Don't shake my tree.
I'm a Castle Square Black
Don't mess with me.

Source: John Langstaff, Carol Langstaff Shimmy Shimmy Coke-Ca-Pop!, A Collection of City Children's Street Games & Rhymes {Garden City, New York, Double Day & Co; p. 57; 1973)


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:07 AM

The first time I heard "If you don't like my peaches, don't you shake my tree" was from Doc Watson singing "Sitting On Top Of The World" on one of his early Vanguard albums of the 60s. He, of course, took it from an earlier original - but I haven't got the album sleeve handy...


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:07 AM

Sitting on Top of the World from Mule to Ride. Sugar Hill 1999. SHCD 3892. Key A
It was in the spring, she went away
My darling left me, she's gone astray
Now she's gone, but I don't worry
Because I'm sitting on top of the world
Mississippi river , so deep and wide
My darling living, on the other side
Now she's gone…..
Don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree
Get out of my orchard, let the peaches be...

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/old-time-music/old-time-songs/old-time-songs-S.htm


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:11 AM

Hey. Will!

How's that for synchronicity?!

We even posted at the exact same time.

Well, you know what they say- "Great minds think alike."

:o)


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:15 AM

I'll swear I heard Ringo Starr singing words to this effect on one of the Beatles' earlier albums in a song called "Honey Don't."


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:31 AM

Azizi - well done - great minds do indeed think alike!

I think the peaches/tree couplet is one of those common song building blocks that people used over time to create songs. A lot of blues songs have very similar phrases, lines, couplets, metaphors, etc. that crop up over and over again and seem to get used in a kind of pick'n mix way to create the whole song. You know the sort of thing:

"Woke up this morning, blues all around my bed"

"It's gotta be jelly, 'cos jam don't shake that way"


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:44 AM

Thanks, Steve. I'll check to see if I can find the lyrics to that song.

Will, I remember those lines as "must be jelly/cause jam don't shake like that".

**

I think that "don't like my apple (or peaches)/don't shake my tree" line comes from African American blues, or 19th century African American dance songs.

Does anyone know any examples from those sources?

**

I'm going to be away from a computer for a short time. I'll check in later.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 08:20 AM

Aargh! I got the wrong Beatles song. It was "Matchbox" written by Carl Perkins.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 09:23 AM

"Matchbox" is another of those 'portmanteau' songs that is made up of phrases going way back in time. Phrases such as:

"Let me be your little dog, 'til your big dog comes"

"I'm sitting here wondering, will a matchbox hold my clothes"

"I ain't got no matches, but I sure got a long way to go"

All used as source material for older songs - which is taking nothing away from Carl P. He was just doing what other songwriters before him did.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 10:31 AM

Azizi
The line "If you don't like my peaches, stop shaking my tree" occurs in a version of "Hesitation Blues" by the Holy Modal Rounders (highly recommended if you haven't come across them). They were not known for sticking strictly to traditional texts, so they quite likely added the line in from somewhere else. That song also allegedly contains the first use of the word "psychedelic" (possibly "psycho-delic") in a song-lyric - "I got my psychedelic feet into my psychedelic shoes, I believe, Lord above, I got the psychedelic blues.

I've just checked the Charlie Poole version of Hesitation Blues - it also contains the peaches line. Can post if its not in the DT.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 11:47 AM

I've those lines sung to 'old timey' & 'bluegrass' songs but can't think off the top of my head where

Barry


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: sing4peace
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 12:10 PM

Oh yeah! This thread made me go dig up one of my favorite albums:
Woman in the Sun by Leonda

I met Leonda around 1968 when she played at the Mouthpiece Coffeehouse in Providence, RI. I am sure that I am one of thousands who fell in love with her the instant she took the stage. It wasn't just because she was a stunningly beautiful woman with her long black hair and a smile that could warm even the coldest of rooms - but because she made eye contact with everybody in her audience and made you feel that she was singing just for you. She impressed me deeply with her amazing voice, strong guitar playing and full ownership of the stage.

Ahhhhhhh...... this is the first place I heard the expression "if you don't like my peaces, don't shake my tree."

I have a feeling that expression has been morphed through the ages, eh? Where ever has there been a place without trees (of some sort) and jilted lovers?

Thanks Azizi for sending me on this journey today.
Now back to Leonda.
Mmmmmmmm, Yeah!
Joyce

-------

MAKE IT ALRIGHT (arranged and adapted by Leonda)

Was late in the evening
one summer day
my baby left me
went so far away
now he's gone
mmm mmm
i don't worry
no, no, no
gonna make it alright.

Well if you didn't want my peaches
why'd you shake my tree
get out of the orchard
let my little peach tree be
now he's gone
and I don't worry
I gonna make it alright

Gonna make it alright
gonna make it alright
don't need no........
little.....gonna be alright
and now he's gone
mmm mmm mmm
but I don't worry
cuz, no, no
gonna make it alright.

Well he called me up
bout half past four
said he's coming on home to me
couldn't stay away no more
and now he's ....
mmmm mmmmm
I don't worry
no, no
I'll make it alright.

Well if you don't want my peaches
don't you shake, shake a tree
get out of the orchard
let me little peach tree be
and now he's gone
oh, oh
I don't worry
no, no
gonna make it alright.
hey, yeah
gonna make it alright!

-----

on Epic Records
produced by Elliot Mazer


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 05:51 PM

Thanks to all who have posted on this thread thus far.

**

It seems that "if you don't line my apples..." is a variant form of "if you don't like my peaches..." as there's lots more information online about this verse using the word "peaches".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitting_on_Top_of_the_World gives this information about this floating verse:

"The 'peaches' verse has a long history in popular music. It appears as the chorus of an unpublished song composed by Irving Berlin in May 1914: "If you don't want my peaches / You'd better stop shaking my tree". The song "Mamma's Got the Blues", written by Clarence Williams and S. Martin and recorded by Bessie Smith in 1923, has the line: "If you don't like my peaches then let my orchard be". In her version of "St. Louis Blues", Ella Fitzgerald sang, "If you don't like my peaches, why do you shake my tree? / Stay out of my orchard, and let my peach tree be". In 1929 Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded "Peach Orchard Mama" ("... you swore nobody'd pick your fruit but me / I found three kid men shaking down your peaches free")...This verse and its ubiquitous usage is an example of the tradition of 'floating lyrics' (also called 'maverick stanzas') in folk-music tradition. 'Floating lyrics' have been described as "lines that have circulated so long in folk communities that tradition-steeped singers call them instantly to mind and rearrange them constantly, and often unconsciously, to suit their personal and community aesthetics".


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: GUEST,CandyMan
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 06:31 PM

A little easier to read than AZ above.

Elmore James - from his "Rollin' and Tumblin'" -
Yes love me baby, or please let me be
If you don't like my peaches please don't shake my tree
- recorded in 1959.

Lonnie Johnson - from his "St. Louis Blues" -
If you don't like my peaches, baby, don't you shake my tree.
You just stay outa my bus'ness, let my peaches be.
- recorded in 1960

Steve Miller Band
The Joker
VERSE THREE and TWO

You're the cutest thing I ever did see
: I really love your peaches,wanna shake your tree
: lovey dovey,lovey dovey,lovey dovey all the time

WIKI
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitting_on_Top_of_the_World

The 'peaches' verse has a long history in popular music.

It appears as the chorus of an unpublished song composed by Irving Berlin in May 1914: "If you don't want my peaches / You'd better stop shaking my tree".

The song "Mamma's Got the Blues", written by Clarence Williams and S. Martin and recorded by Bessie Smith in 1923, has the line: "If you don't like my peaches then let my orchard be".

In her version of "St. Louis Blues", Ella Fitzgerald sang, "If you don't like my peaches, why do you shake my tree? / Stay out of my orchard, and let my peach tree be".

In 1929 Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded "Peach Orchard Mama" ("... you swore nobody'd pick your fruit but me / I found three kid men shaking down your peaches free").

In later years lines using similar imagery were used in "Matchbox" by Carl Perkins ,

"The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band

I Want To Be Your Man by the indie band The Evolutionary Tree Incident.

Ahmet Ertegun was able to convince Miller to pay him US$50,000, claiming authorship of the line in his song "Lovey Dovey".

This verse and its ubiquitous usage is an example of the tradition of 'floating lyrics' (also called 'maverick stanzas') in folk-music tradition. 'Floating lyrics' have been described as "lines that have circulated so long in folk communities that tradition-steeped singers call them instantly to mind and rearrange them constantly, and often unconsciously, to suit their personal and community aesthetics".

The Irving Berlin attribution appears to be a bogus Urban Legend - until a valid source is found.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 06:53 PM

I found this information on http://www.funtrivia.com/askft/Question16533.html


"Who originally recorded the song 'If you don't want my peaches then stop shaking my tree' (or something like that)?
Question #16533. Asked by Jam Tomorrow.


'If you don't want my peaches, you'd better stop shaking my tree' was written by Irving Berlin but the song was either unpublished or unsung during his lifetime. After his death, it was published by the Irving Berlin Music Company as part of the 'Lower East Side Songbook'.

A two-CD album entitled 'Unsung Irving Berlin' was issued a few years ago. On this, 'Peaches' is sung by Mary Ellin Lerner, Berlin's granddaughter."

-snip-


The song "If You Don't Want My Peaches (You'd Better Stop Shaking My Tree)" is listed in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_850_Irving_Berlin_songs

However since this Irving Berlin song was "either unpublished or unsung during his lifetime" (May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989), one has to wonder how so many Blues singers came to know this verse so well.

The fact that "If you don't like my peaches/don't shake my tree/Stay out of my orchard, and let my peach tree be" was used in several blues song in the 1920s, strongly suggests that this verse originated among African American Blues singers, and that Berlin picked it up from them and used it in a song.

In Berlin's Wikipedia page [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irving_Berlin] a commentator notes that "throughout his [Berlin's] life he had a habit of returning to his old haunts in Union Square, Chinatown, and the Bowery, a habit easily indulged in a city where no matter how far up-or down-the ladder of success you had climbed, you could reach your antipodes by walking a few blocks."[26]"

-snip-

It's therefore possible that Irving Berlin could have heard this "peaches" verse, from persons who frequented those "old haunts".

Did Ella Fitzgerald spontaneously ad lib her version of W. C. Handy's 1914 song Saint Louis Blues in which she sang the verse "If you don't like my peaches, why do you shake my tree? / Stay out of my orchard, and let my peach tree be" because that verse was known in Black communities? Or did Ella Fitsgerald learn that verse from Irving Berlin?

I think the former is more likely than the latter.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:05 PM

Hmm. That song is usually given as "St. Louis Blues" :o)

I've no doubt that Irving Berlin wrote a song which included the "if you don't like my peaches" verse, but I do doubt that he coined that verse.

I therefore agree with GUEST,CandyMan that "The Irving Berlin attribution appears to be a bogus Urban Legend - until a valid source is found."

-snip-

I should mention that I didn't start this thread to rebut this attribution, in fact I knew nothing about any association what so ever that Irving Berlin had with this verse.

I'm interested in tracking down early sources for floating lines in English language children's playground rhymes/cheers. I've been wondering about that "if you don't like my apples, don't shake my tree" line for awhile. It sounded familiar, and I thought it was from some Blues song, but I couldn't remember which one.

**

BTW, the first line in that children's rhyme that I gave in my second post to this thread was supposed to read:

I'll BE

I'll be. I'll be.
Walking down the street,
Ten times a week.
Un-gawa. Un-gawa {baby}
This is my power.
What is the story?
What is the strike?
I said it, I meant it.
I really represent it.
Take a cool cool Black to knock me down.
Take a cool cool Black to knock me out.
I'm sweet, I'm kind.
I'm soul sister number nine.
Don't like my apples,
Don't shake my tree.
I'm a Castle Square Black
Don't mess with me.

Source: John Langstaff, Carol Langstaff Shimmy Shimmy Coke-Ca-Pop!, A Collection of City Children's Street Games & Rhymes {Garden City, New York, Double Day & Co; p. 57; 1973)


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:13 PM

It Looks like Berlin is taking the timeline lead - there is authentication.

http://www.funtrivia.com/askft/Question16533.html

A two-CD album entitled Unsung Irving Berlin was issued a few years ago. On this, 'Peaches' is sung by Mary Ellin Lerner, Berlin's granddaughter.
Readily Available through all sources. (CAMSCO - Amazon)(

DISK TWO Song # 6

If you don't want my peaches, you'd better stop shaking my tree' was written by Irving Berlin but the song was either unpublished or unsung during his lifetime. After his death, it was published by the Irving Berlin Music Company as part of the 'Lower East Side Songbook'.

Lower East Side Songbook
ISBN-10: 0793552826
ISBN-13: 9780793552825
Mar 1996
72 pages

Publisher: Hal Leonard Corp

SONG LIST http://www.stagepass.com/midi/browse_item_detail.hperl?cat=1701&invnum=313028

15 Vaudeville-style songs from the early period of Berlin's brilliant career, arranged for piano and voice.

Sincerely
Gargoyle

Sorry AZ - at this moment it appears that the jovial Jew is in ahead...by a ......


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:26 PM

Hello, gargoyle. As I noted in my 23 Sep 09 - 07:05 PM post, Berlin's 1914 song which included the peaches verse was not published until after shortly after his death in 1988.

Yet there are two Blues songs that included that verse in 1923. How did that happen?


**

Some here may be interested in this page:

http://ask.metafilter.com/22973/Sex-Songs-Sisguised-as-Food


The request posed on this page was:

MusicFilter: I am looking for songs of any genre that use food as a metaphor for sex. The two songs that I could come up with are Mississippi John Hurt's Candyman and Van Halen's Ice Cream Man. Thanks so much.
posted by captainscared to media & arts (59 comments total)


See this response (which is unrelated to who coined the "peaches" verse:


"'Let My Peaches Be' by Papa Charlie's Boys / "Rollin' and Tumblin'" by Elmore James, covered by Eric Clapton / "Matchbox" by The Beatles et al. (all of those w. some variant of "if you dont' want none o' my peaches baby, please don't shake my tree")


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Subject: Lyr Add: IF YOU DON'T WANT MY PEACHES (I Berlin)
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:33 PM

Here's the lyrics to the Irving Berlin "peaches" song:

[1st verse:]
Mary Snow had a beau
Who was bashful and shy
She simply couldn't make the boy propose
No matter how she'd try
Mary grew tired of waiting
So she called her beau one side
While he stood there biting his fingernails
Mary cried:

[Refrain:]
If you don't want my peaches
You'd better stop shaking my tree

Let me say that you're mighty slow
You're as cold as an Eskimo

There's a thousand others waiting
Waiting to propose to me

So, if you don't want my peaches
You'd better stop shaking my tree

[2nd verse:]
Mary's Pa and her Ma
Soon came into the room
They took a look at Mary's beau and cried
"You ought to be a groom
Of course, it's none of our bus'ness
But she'd make a lovely bride"
He just answered "I'll think it over" but
Mary cried:


http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/irving_berlin/if_you_dont_want_my_peaches_youd_better_stop_shaking_my_tree.html


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:38 PM

Here's the lyrics to the 1923 song "Mamma's Got the Blues", written by Clarence Williams and S. Martin and recorded by Bessie Smith:

MAMMA'S GOT THE BLUES

Some people say that the weary blues ain't bad
Some people say the weary blues ain't bad
But it's the worst old feeling that I've ever had
Woke up this morning, with the
jinx
around my bed
I woke up this morning with the jinx around my bed
I didn't have no daddy to hold my aching head
Brown skin's deceitful, but a yellow man is worse
Brown skin's deceitful, but a yellow man is worse
I'm gonna get myself a black man and play safety first
I got a man in Atlanta, two in Alabama, three in Chattanooga
Four in Cincinnati, five in Mississippi, six in Memphis, Tennessee
If you don't like my peaches, please let my orchard be

http://www.lyricstime.com/bessie-smith-mama-s-got-the-blues-lyrics.html


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:43 PM

The lyrics that I found online for Ella Fitzgerald's version of W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues" (see below) don't contain "the peaches verse". But those lyrics do contain mention of "pie". I guess Ella Fitzgerald's ad lib inclusion of that "peaches" verse isn't considered to be her standard version of that song:


I hate to see that evening sun go down
I hate to see that evening sun go down
'Cause, my baby, he's gone left this town
Fellin' tomorrow like I feel today
If I'm feelin' tomorrow like I feel today
I'll pack my truck and make my give-a-way

St. Louis woman with her diamond ring
Pulls that man around by her
If it wasn't for her and her
That man I love would have gone nowhere, nowhere
I got the St. Louis Blues
Blues as I can be
That man's got a heart like a rock cast in the sea
Or else he wouldn't have gone so far from me

I love my baby like a school boy loves his pie
Like a Kentucky colonel loves his mint'n rye
I love my man till the day I die

http://www.hotlyrics.net/lyrics/E/Ella_Fitzgerald/St__Louis_Blues___Ella_Fitzgerald.html


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 08:03 PM

Here's an example of a children's cheerleader cheer that includes the floating verse "if you don't like my apples/don't shake my tree":

Princess writes:
I have sum more:

I'm a Cougar from Cougar town and only a Cougar can knock me down If you don't like my apples, don't shake my tree'cause I'm a Cougar Don't mess with me!
-Black Princess, http://beta.beaconstreetgirls.com/clubs/19/post_threads/cheerleading-team?post_thread_id=67414


-snip-

The exact same cheer is posted on http://cheerleading-cheers.blogspot.com/


**

"If you don't like my apples/don't shake my tree" verse is found in American girls' handclap rhymes/jump rope rhymesa and cheerleader cheers. I'm not sure how common this verse is.

In my opinion, what young girls find appealing about this verse is its sassy, in-your-face attitude. I might be naive, but I think that few of the girls chanting this verse have any inkling that these words have (had) a sexual connotation.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 08:56 PM

And, by the way, I think that Irving Berlin's use of the "if you don't want my peaches/You'd better stop shaking my tree" lines have very little if any sexual connotations.

In fact, I think Berlin's peaches song is a pale version of a nitty gritty Blues verse.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Uly
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 09:01 PM

I might be naive, but I think that few of the girls chanting this verse have any inkling that these words have (had) a sexual connotation.

Without the context of all these other verses, I'd assume the line means something like "If you don't like what I have to say, stop saying stupid things" or similar, so I wouldn't be surprised that kids who have only a vague idea of sex and who probably would find it icky if they did know (you PUT it WHERE?) have no concept.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 09:33 PM

Uly, there are lots of contemporary children's rhymes that allude to or explicitly mention sex. For example, check out this Mudcat thread:
thread.cfm?threadid=123101&messages=48
We Wear Our Hair In Curls

**

I should have been clearer that I don't think that the girls who chant[ed] the "I'll Be" handclap or jump rope rhyme and {probably still chant the "Cougers" cheerleader cheers (substituting the name of their athletic team) have any sense that those particular examples have any sexual connotations. Instead, I think that what they like about that rhyme and that cheer is their sassy, confrontative spirit.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Janie
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 10:04 PM

Maria Muldaur uses the line "don't like my peaches, papa, don't you shake my tree. You don't like my peaches , papa, lord, lord, let my peaches be." line in her recording of "If You Haven't Hay, Get on Down the Road," (on Waitress in a Donut Shop.) by Nehemiah Curtis "Skip" James, but I don't find that line in any of the lyrics for this song posted on the web.

It makes sense to me that either phrase could likely have been a common colloquialism that had multiple uses, some sexual and some not.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Janie
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 10:06 PM

insert "Any" between Haven't and Hay."


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 10:37 PM

Janie, I agree that "if you don't like my peaches (apples) don't shake my tree (or "let my orchard be") could mean "if you don't respect me or if you don't intend to treat me right, leave me be (or somthing like that).

But I think the original (earlest known)* meaning was sexual/

See this excerpt from

"I'm a bit of a blues buff and references to peaches were widespread - the later songs mentioned were re-recordings or recordings of older songs - blues was an oral tradition in which people 'borrowed' snatches of each other's songs and 'peach' was a well-worn complimentary metaphor for either a woman's bosom or bottom, more often the latter.

I wouldn't be surprised if using peach goes back to the Song of Songs in the Old Testament - certainly the lover compared the object of his desire with many natural features and fruit appears quite often."

-snip-

* By "earliest known" I mean the 1923 Blues lyricists'/singers' use of those verses. While Irving Berin's 1914 song is the earliest documented song that contained these lines, that song wasn't known until after 1988. FWIW, I don't think Berlin's version had any sexual connotations, or if it did, it was only barely sexual(no pun intended).


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 10:40 PM

Sorry, here's that link:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/56/messages/397.html

Here's the beginning of that post:

Re: Shake ya money-maker
Posted by Lewis on November 20, 2007

In Reply to: Re: Shake my tree posted by Baceseras on November 04, 2007

: : : : Does anyone know exactly what "shake my tree" means?

: : : If you don't want my peaches, don't shake my tree. That's the expression that I've heard. My understand of that phrase is -- if you don't want my opinion (or whatever) don't bother me.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: sing4peace
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 10:40 PM

"Sometimes Anna, a banana is just a banana..."

;-)
JK


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 10:46 PM

To clarify, I quoted Lewis (who wrote on the UK blog on November 20, 2007) in both my 23 Sep 09 - 10:37 PM post and my 23 Sep 09 - 10:40 PM post.

In that first post I quoted Lewis giving a sexual meaning to that saying. In that second post I quoted Lewis giving a non-sexual meaning for that saying.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Janie
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 10:47 PM

I agree, Azizi.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Janie
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 10:51 PM

Though we will probably never know.

Wonderful double entendre, regardless.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 06:41 AM

AZ - read those brillant Berlin lyrics in the morning light.

If you find more "sex" in an obscure "orchard" tag line than a vaudville song mentioning beau, room, groom, bride, and "cold as an Eskimo" I need to take you on a randy trip... down some more blatant trails... to John Mahlbergh's domain.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 07:58 AM

gargoyle, the promiscuous woman singing in the Mamma's Got the Blues" song is much too "busy" for my taste (and in this days of aids I would hope that there would be less bragging about multiple bed partners.

But regardless of that, I definitely see that Blues song as being much more lusty than that oh so proper Berlin song. After all, the desired end goal in the Berlin song was marriage with a mate who had the approval of the woman's mother & father. The beau in that song was "mighty slow [and]..as cold as an Eskimo" because he hadn't popped the question yet (meaning "proposed to her). That song doesn't even have the woman and man holding hands, let alone kissing or doing the do.

In contrast, the goal in "Mamma's Got The Blues" was to wake up in bed with a Black man who would hold her aching head. The "safety first" phrase in that song refers to that woman's opinion (arrived at from her previous amorous experiences) that a dark skinned African American would treat her better than a brown skinned or light skinned African American. I'm not making any comment as to whether that's true or not based on my experiences, which I assure you are not as varied as the woman in that song. :o)

At any rate, in a contest to determine whether that Berlin song or that Blues song is the most sexualized, in my opinion, there is NO contest. The Blues song wins hands down.

;o)


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 01:31 PM

This is one of those phrases that someone probably coined in the distant past that had all of the elements to fit into numerous traditional songs : It was easy to remember. It had an element of double entendre humor. It fits a 4/4 blues or bluegrass beat to a t. My guess is that when a performer was looking to fill a lyrical gap, or had forgotten the real words, this line got patched in. As well as examples sited above, the phrase appears in Sitting on Top of the World which did service in blues and bluegrass music. The segment goes
"You don't like my peaches, don't you shake my tree
Get out of my orchard, let my peaches be"
Other phrases reappear with similar frequency in the tradition. "I'd rather be in some dark hollow where the sun don't ever shine" appears not only in the song Dark Hollow, but in AP Carter's East Virginia Blues. East Virginia also borrows the phrase "I don't want your watch and chain" from "Little Maggie". Lonesome Road Blues' "I'm goin where the climate suits my clothes" was heard in pop songs by Canned Heat and Nilson.
These phrases were viral components that spread through traditional music because they were just too good to be used only once.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 02:05 PM

I thought I heard or read a similar couplet to do with peaches but with climbing a tree in a Work song. But I cannot remember where.

Thought I was imagining it, then googled Negro + Work + Song + Peaches and found this

blues fell this morning meaning in the blues

So perhaps the "If you don't like..." is the feminine response in later years to the above?


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 11:36 AM

The assertion that Irving Berlin's song IF YOU DON'T WANT MY PEACHES (YOU'D BETTER STOP SHAKING MY TREE) was not published during his lifetime appears to be mistaken.

Our venerable Levy collection has the sheet music, bearing a copyright date of 1914. Click here for the PDF file.

According to WorldCat.org, several other libraries also have copies: New York Public Library, University of Colorado at Boulder, Baylor University, and The Morgan Library & Museum. The NYPL also has online images, but the others don't.

All indications are that the song really was published in 1914.


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Subject: RE: Don't Like My Apples Don't Shake My Tree
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 11:39 AM

Steve Miller's line in the Joker is in the affirmative

'Really like your peaches gonna shake your tree.'


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