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Lyr Add: Georgia Skin (Memphis Minnie)

katlaughing 30 Apr 10 - 10:15 PM
Jim Dixon 03 May 10 - 05:06 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: GEORGIA SKIN (Memphis Minnie)
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 10:15 PM

I don't want to add the lyrics without permission, so here is a LINK for Georgia Skin as done by Memphis Minnie. According to their documentation, "Georgia Skin" refers to a gambling game. You may listen to her singing it at this Popup Link at lala.com. Enjoy!

I see the same lyrics all over, so here we go:

recording of 19 from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1930-1931) (Document DOCD-5029) & Four Women Blues: Victor/Bluebird Recordings (RCA 66719), copyright notice

The reason I like the game, the game they call Georgia Skin(1)
The reason I like the game, the game they call Georgia Skin
Because when you fall, you can really take out again

When you lose your money, please don't lose your mind
When you lose your money, please don't lose your mind
Because each and every gambler gets in hard luck sometime

I had a man, he gambles all the time
I had a man, he gambles all the time
He throw the dice so in vain until he like to lose his mind

Hmmm, give me Georgia Skin
Hmmm, give me Georgia Skin
Because the women's can play, well, so as the men

(spoken: Georgia Skin is the best game that I know
Georgia Skin is the game that I bet all of my money)

__________ Note: this song was derived in part from Walter Beasley's song Georgia Skin. Gambling was and still is illegal in many states and most of its forms. That didn't keep people from playing a "friendly" game of cards or roll the dices despite the risk of finding themselves in jail or on a road gang for a week, month or year.

Note (1): Georgia skin, a swindling game or trick.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GEORGIA SKIN (from Zora Neale Hurston)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 10 - 05:06 PM

Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took a job with the Federal Writers' Project in Florida. Here, in 1937, she describes a gambling game called Georgia Skin and sings a song that accompanies it, learned at a turpentine camp in Florida.

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/afcflwpa.3137b1

My name is Zora Neale Hurston, and I'm gonna sing a gamblin' song that I collected at ... That's turpentine. Turpentine's still there. And the men are playin' a game called Georgia Skin. That's the most favorite gamblin' game among the workers of the South. And they lose money on the drop of a card, the fall of a card. And there's a rhythm to the fall of the card, and after they get set, with the two principals, and the other people are called pikers, and anybody that wants a special card, he pick it out, and they call that "pickin' one in the rough(?)."

[She is interrupted by a question that is nearly unintelligible.]

Well, you see, they pick a deck o' cards, an' they shuffle it real good, and watch the man to be sure he don't steal nothin', that is, that he don't set a club. There's four cards of every kind in the deck, and when a card like the card that you have selected fall, you lose. Sometime, if you don't watch the dealer, he'll shuffle three cards just like his own down to the bottom of the deck so everybody falls before he does, and then he wins all the money.

[Another question.]

He puts it on the table. They don't 'low him to hold it 'cause they 'fraid he'll steal. So they—he puts it on the table and he turns up a card.

[Another question]

Card by card. And if it's a card just like yours, when it falls, you lose. And so they holler when he gets all set, when the principals have got their cards, and all the pikers have got theirs, and then the man'll say he want them to put their bets down. And he'll say, "Put your money on the wood and make the bet go good." And then again, "Put it in sight and save a fight." And so they all get their bets down. And then they start and they'll holler, "Let the deal go down, boys, let the deal go down." An' some of 'em'll start singin'....

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/afcflwpa.3137b2

[SINGS] Let the deal go down, boys, hah!
Let the deal go down.

[There are some record skips here that probably caused some lines to be lost.]

[SPEAKS] Another card falls off the deck.

[SINGS] When your card get lucky, oh, partner, hah!
Y'ought to be in a rolling game. Hah!
Let the deal go down, boys, hah!
Let the deal go down.

[SPEAKS] –A card done fell. ... There you go. You hen-pecked, Shorty. Put up some more money.

[SINGS] I'm goin' back to 'Bama, oh, partner, hah!
Won't be worried with you. Hah!
Let the deal go down, boys, hah!
Let the deal go down.

[SPEAKS] –There, you done fell, Charlie.
–See, I can't catch nothing. I can't even catch nobody lookin' at me.
–Here, take another card. Take this queen, this queen.
–Oh, no, I don't play them gals till way late at night. Gi' me another card. I don't want no queen.
–Put up some more money. Put up some more money. You hen-pecked, Shorty.

[SINGS] Let the deal go down, boys,
Let the deal go down.
I ain't got no money, Lord, partner,
I ain't had no change. Hah!
Let the deal go down, boys, hah!
Let the deal go down.

[SPEAKS] –That ain't no ... I'll show you 'bout gettin' a card an' tellin' a lie about it. Put up some more money.

[SINGS] Let the deal go down, boys,
Let the deal go down.
I ain't had no trouble, Lord, partner, hah!
Till I stop by here. Hah!
Let the deal go down, boys, hah!
Let the deal go down.


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