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Origins/Lyr: Green Corn

Related threads:
(origins) Origins: What a Jimmy-john is? (from Green Corn) (46)
Chord Req: Green Corn, Come Along Charlie (1)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Green Corn (from The Leadbelly Songbook, Oak Publications)


Joe Offer 20 Oct 10 - 07:37 PM
Joe Offer 20 Oct 10 - 07:41 PM
Joe Offer 20 Oct 10 - 08:15 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Green Corn
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 07:37 PM

My friend Louise is asking about a song she learned as a girl in Texas. We have some other "Green Corn" songs posted, but not this one. Anybody know the full lyrics?
-Joe-

Green corn in the summer sun,
Green corn in the fall.
If I can't have the girl I want,
I don't want one at all.

CHORUS
Knockalong, knockalong, knockalong on the demijohn.
Knockalong, knockalong, knockalong on the demijohn.
Knockalong, knockalong, knockalong on the demijohn.
Green corn grows so tall.


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry for "Green Corn":

Black-Eyed Susie (Green Corn)

DESCRIPTION: Floating verses about courting and marriage: "All I want in this creation / Pretty little wife and a big plantation.... Two little boys to call me pappy, One named sup and the other named gravy. Hey, black-eyed Susie" (or "Green corn," or other chorus)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1924 (recording, Gid Tanner & Riley Puckett)
KEYWORDS: courting marriage children nonballad playparty
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Randolph 568, "Black-Eyed Susan" (1 short text plus a fragment, 1 tune); also perhaps 415, "Possum Sop and Polecat Jelly" (1 text, 1 tune -- a playparty that shares some lyrics and is too short to classify on its own)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 410-411, "Black-Eyed Susan" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 568A)
BrownIII 311, "Black-Eyes Susie" (2 fragments, presumably of this piece)
Cambiaire, p. 86, "Pretty Little Black-Eyed Susan" (1 text)
MHenry-Appalachians, p. 184, "Pretty Little Black-Eyed Susan" (1 text)
Lomax-FSUSA 29, "Black-eyed Susie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 286-288, "Black-eyed Susie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 38, "Green Corn"; p. 39, "Black-Eyed Susie" (2 texts)
DT, BLKEYESZ

Roud #4954 and 3426
RECORDINGS:
Roscoe Holcomb, "Blackeyed Susie" (on MMOK, MMOKCD)
Al Hopkins & his Buckle Busters, "Black Eyed Susie" (Brunswick 175/Vocalion 5179 [as the Hill Billies], 1927)
J. P Nestor, "Black-Eyed Susie" (Victor 21070, 1927; on TimesAint05)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Blackeyed Susie" (on NLCR07)
Land Norris, "Kitty Puss" (OKeh 40212, 1924)
Fiddlin' Doc Roberts, "Black-Eyed Susie" (Gennett 6257, 1927)
Pete Seeger, "Black-Eyed Suzie" (on LonesomeValley);"Green Corn" (on BroonzySeeger2)
Jilson Setters [pseud. for James W. "Blind Bill" Day], "Black Eyed Susie" (Victor V-40127, 1929)
Gid Tanner & Riley Puckett, "Black-Eyed Susie" (Columbia 119-D, 1924)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "Black-Eyed Susie" (Columbia 15283-D, 1928)
Henry Whitter [Whitter's Virginia Breakdowners], "Black-Eyed Susie" (OKeh 40320, 1925)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Shady Grove" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Hot Corn, Cold Corn (I'll Meet You in the Evening)" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Davy" (meter)
Notes: It is possible that this song and "Hot Corn, Cold Corn (I'll Meet You in the Evening)" spring from the same sources, since they share lyrics and themes. However, they have evolved far enough apart that I feel I have to split them.
Roud seems to split the group even more, with "Black Eyed Susie" being his #3426 and "Green Corn" his #4954. The versions I've seen, though, are so mixed up that I decided to lump them because almost any split would be somewhat arbitrary. Nor are the titles any help; Cambiaire's "Pretty Little Black-Eyed Susie." for instance, never mentions Susie; the girl in the song is Sally. - RBW
File: R568

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Bibiography
Go to the Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



Some sources tie "Green Corn" with Black-Eyed Susie. Don't know if I agree.


There's also a tie to the Poor Howard family of songs, and you'll find another version of " Green Corn" in this thread (click). Leadbelly's "Green Corn (Come along Charlie)" also seems to be the same song.

-Joe-


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Subject: ADD Version: Green Corn
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 07:41 PM

Here's one version from the Max Hunter Collection, same tune that Louise has.

GREEN CORN

VERSE 1
Green corn, green corn
Growin' in th garden
Green corn, green corn
Growin' in th garden
Green corn, green corn
Growin' in th garden
Down in Dooley Bend

VERSE 2
Ole man Tatum
Buried the geese alive
Ole man Tatum
Buried the geese alive
Ole man Tatum
Buried the geese alive
Down in Dooley Bend

VERSE 3
Ole man Tatum
Sewed up th hogs eyes
Ole man Tatum
Sewed up th hogs eyes
Ole man Tatum
Sewed up th hogs eyes
Down in Dooley Bend

This is a song that Mr. Carl Withers who used the pen name of James West, learned while he lived in Wheatland, Missouri. He was doing some research for a book he was writing titled; Plainville U.S.A. This is supposed to be a true story and ole man Tatum's wife to have later chopped the leg off of a neighbors cow. Mr. Tatum was supposed to have been a circuit ridin' preacher. Carl was in Fayetteville, Arkansas visiting Vance Randolph when he sang for me.


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Subject: ADD: Green Corn (Leadbelly)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 08:15 PM

Here's a post from a "Poor Howard" that also fits here:
    Thread #4280   Message #1812313
    Posted By: GUEST,Martin
    17-Aug-06 - 12:07 PM
    Thread Name: Req/ADD: Poor Howard/Green Corn (from Leadbelly)
    Subject: ADD: Green Corn (from Leadbelly)
    The version I've got sounds like this...

    ^^

    GREEN CORN

    green corn come along charlie
    green corn come along charlie
    green corn go and tell Polly
    green corn go and tell Polly

    green corn
    green corn
    green corn
    green corn

    all I want in this creation
    's a little bitty wife and big carnation

    Two little boys to call me pappa
    One named [Thomas?] another named Davey

    One named [Thomas?] another named Davey
    One's gonna put up, other's gonna save me

    green corn come along charlie
    green corn come along charlie
    green corn go and tell Polly
    green corn go and tell Polly

    green corn
    green corn
    green corn
    green corn

    Wake Jake day's a breaking, Peas's in the pot and [?]cakes a baking

    green corn
    green corn

    Stand around, stand around the demi-john [sounds like 'Jimmy John']
    Stand around, stand around the demi-john
    Stand around, stand around the demi-john
    Stand around, stand around the demi-john

    [Talks a bit about demi-johns]

    Stand around, stand around the demi-john
    Stand around, stand around the demi-john
    Stand around, stand around the demi-john
    Stand around, stand around the demi-john

    green corn
    green corn
    green corn

    M




Here's the version from the Oak Publications Leadbelly Songbook:

GREEN CORN
(as sung by Leadbelly)

Green Corn, come along Charlie,
Green Corn, come along Charlie,
Green Corn, come along Charlie,
Green Corn, come along Charlie,
    All I want in this creation,
    Little bit o' wife and a big plantation.

    All I need to make me happy
    Two little kids to call me pappy (make me happy).

    One named Sop, and the other named Gravy,
    One gonna sop it up, the other save it.

    Wake, snake, day's a-breaking,
    Peas in the pot and hoe cake's a-baking.

Click to play


Other Leadbelly recordings are quite different (and include the mention of 'demijohn') - and they are very difficult to transcribe. I found interesting recordings of this song by the Dillards, and by Richard Dyer-Bennett.
The songbook has "two little kids to make me happy," but every recorded version I've heard has something like "two little kids to call me pappy." Leadbelly recorded this song a number of times and in a number of versions, so maybe there is a recording that has "make me happy," but I prefer to think that the songbook is just wrong.
-Joe-


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