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Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl (33)
Skin color in songs & singers' names (108)


GUEST,Gerry 17 Jan 18 - 02:05 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 17 Jan 18 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,Emmie 16 Jan 18 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Emmie 16 Jan 18 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 16 Jan 18 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,Emmie 13 Jan 18 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 13 Jan 18 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,Emmie 13 Jan 18 - 02:53 AM
GUEST,Emmie 13 Jan 18 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 12 Jan 18 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,Emmie 11 Jan 18 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Emmie 11 Jan 18 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 10 Jan 18 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,Emmie 10 Jan 18 - 06:17 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 May 14 - 01:17 PM
Dave Rado 22 May 14 - 07:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 May 14 - 06:38 PM
Dave Rado 22 May 14 - 03:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Jun 11 - 01:19 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 06 Jun 11 - 12:58 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jun 11 - 05:42 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 05 Jun 11 - 05:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jun 11 - 01:59 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Jun 11 - 11:35 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Jun 11 - 10:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jun 11 - 10:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jun 11 - 10:43 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Jun 11 - 07:26 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Jun 11 - 06:02 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Jun 11 - 05:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jun 11 - 01:07 PM
JedMarum 04 Jun 11 - 10:17 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 03 Jun 11 - 10:09 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 03 Jun 11 - 10:07 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 03 Jun 11 - 09:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jun 11 - 09:52 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 03 Jun 11 - 08:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jun 11 - 07:55 PM
GUEST 02 May 11 - 07:45 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 01 May 11 - 06:19 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 01 May 11 - 07:38 AM
Gibb Sahib 13 Apr 11 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 11 - 06:55 AM
Joe Offer 12 Apr 11 - 11:44 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Apr 11 - 10:30 PM
Gibb Sahib 12 Apr 11 - 10:27 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Apr 11 - 10:16 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Apr 11 - 10:10 PM
EBarnacle 12 Apr 11 - 10:03 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 17 Jan 18 - 02:05 AM

For what it's worth, Emmie, Johnny cakes are well-known in Australian folklore.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 17 Jan 18 - 12:17 AM

Well... I am a conchy...

The culture, history and experience of a Bahamian "carnival" and Janet Jackson do escape me.

Sorting Lofthouse, Bahamian or American, may change the history books but the past, not so much.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Emmie
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 11:36 PM

I think you are taking this tourist board narrative too far.

Tourist board would be a organization that look for promoters to bring people to the Bahamas. This doesn't mean the songs themselves haven't already existed and it doesn't mean American visitors didn't come to the islands hear the songs and take it back to their actively competitive culture in the USA which is full of copyrighting and publishing music a tradition which would not have been widespread if at all active in The Bahamas at the time.

The songs are Bahamian no one can argue that at all.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Emmie
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 10:49 PM

It is about historical context. For one take the song Mama bake the Johnny Cake christmas coming. Bahamians are one of the few people if not the only I know to bake Johnny Cake. How is that not in relation to Bahamian culture and have significance?

Charles lofthouse may have copyrighted the song in 1931 but the song was already in existence from 1921, at least the lyrics.

You have to understand what I am saying to you. These songs are based on Bahamian experiences, you can't say it has no significance because people visited The Bahamas or grew up hearing the songs and make them into records. The songs are still Bahamian in culture, history and experience, and that is what I think you are missing.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Jan 18 - 10:17 PM

I'm tempted to open a "Bahamiology" thread on subject drift guilt alone here but...

It's all relative. The same 800-pound gorilla that (almost) put up a Junkanoo-Carnival headlined by Janet Jackson had great-grandparents too.

On some islands, in season, the mainlanders outnumber the residents. Trying to distill one culture from the other is a fool's errand imo.

Take the most recorded version of Peas & Rice for example:

Words by Wolfe Gilbert, American by way of Zsarist Russia.
Music by Charles Lofthouse, born and raised in Nassau, the son of an American Methodist missionary.
Arranged by: John Johnson, American by way of the Bahamas and Haiti.

Love that cultural chowder, yum.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Emmie
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 07:40 AM

The Bahamas had no where the population size of New England. There were about 5,000 people living there before the arrival of the loyalists. The Bahamas population nearly tripled after their arrival in the 1780's.

As the fleet is concerned if you are talking about a great many of ships that was Bahamian, I can assure you there were many ships of varying size that traveled to North America and throughout the Caribbean that were owned by Bahamians. Many Bahamians were wreckers but they also owned many merchant and fishing vessels as well. Again I wouldn't compare The Bahamas to New England or an entire continent like Europe but I assure for its size they were a very active maritime society.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 04:52 AM

Emmie: Yes, there's all sorts of maritime small industry in the Bahamas. But not a maritime fleet like New England or Europe. There was a reason for all those wreckers. Tall ships did well to stay off the Bahamas Bank. British foreign office types had to layover in New York. The Bahamas never had a direct connection to England until air travel.

I grew up in the islands living aboard. Grand Bahama, Andros and Abaco mostly. Built my first boats there and qualified at UNESCO-Freeport (scuba) before they had a proper clubhouse.

I will say it's the only place I ever saw a genuine working fire bulgine in the wild. Never had cause to use it so no shantying, thank goodness.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Emmie
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 02:53 AM

There was also a local ship building culture dating back to the early 1700's. The ship building culture still exist in The Bahamas especially on the family islands, they mostly use the boats for the regattas. The Bahamas has even recently won the 2017 5.5 metre sailing championships, taking Gold and Silver. The Bahamas also has a gold medal in the star class at the olympics and another in the same class at the world championships.

Read this paragraph also from "Even the blacks" on page 301 if your comment is a racial one. https://archive.org/stream/travelsinconfede00schuoft#page/300/mode/2up/search/weekly+


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Emmie
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 02:32 AM

Phil d'conch are you kidding? The Bahamas has a huge maritime history. Bahamians were among the most prominent wreckers since the 17th century. Captain Ben Baker King of the Florida Wreckers. Bahamians participated in Privateering and Pirating throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. They were also widely considered the second best divers in the entire Americas after The Bermudians. https://archive.org/stream/travelsinconfede00schuoft#page/284/mode/2up/search/divers 18th century text.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 02:02 PM

Emmie:

On shanties: Outside of the sponger era and a few mail packets, the Bahamas has never really had much of a local maritime so, one imagines they sang what the mainlanders sang at the time.

fyi: You might enjoy this recently started thread on Caribbean shantymen and womens:
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=162686

On John B & Prouty: I've replied in the main "John B" thread just to keeps things sorted here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Emmie
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 04:00 PM

I would also point out that sea chanteys have a long history in The Bahamas, likely originating since 1648 when it was re-inhabited by The Eleutheran Adventurers. The earliest mention I have found of these sailing anthems was mentioned by a Miss Hart an American woman who was living in Nassau Bahamas in 1823-1824.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Emmie
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 03:38 PM

This is new information for me but why would he compose a song about John B and dedicate it to the people of Nassau? A more simpler version must have already existed, and he may have turned it into a full song later. The version that was sung in The Bahamas must of been https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEfki4mZpcI&t=18s recorded in 1935 in Andros which was just a simple anthem.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 10 Jan 18 - 08:07 PM

Emmie: Check out this Mudcat "John B" thread. State of the art. Spared no expense.
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=32772

Note:
The book's author was Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947) however it was a reprint of his Coral Islands and Mangrove Trees piece for Harper's (New York.)

The song is Hoist the John B. Sails, a two step for piano, composed by Bostonian bandleader-violinist Ed W. Prouty in 1903 and dedicated to the citizens of Nassau, N.P., Bahamas.

The "Wreck Of" backstory was created in 1927 by the Shaw-McCutcheon families as part of the John B. - Canopus - Watchtower trilogy and made popular by Carl Sandburg's reprint in American Songbag. See here:
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=159532


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,Emmie
Date: 10 Jan 18 - 06:17 AM

I saw many people are confused about the song John B. It was first written about in 1916 by an Englishman who had heard the song sailing on a schooner from Nassau to the Exumas in the Bahamas. He put the lyrics to the song in his book titled pieces of eight, and that book is where the lyrics come from. In the song you hear round Nassau Town, Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas. The song is a Bahamian folk song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 May 14 - 01:17 PM

Hard to tell direction. Possibly a part of plantation-owners and slaves language, and as such could be widespread in the Caribbean.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Dave Rado
Date: 22 May 14 - 07:23 PM

Ah I wondered if it might mean something like that, thanks. I wonder whether it spread, in that meaning, from the US to Trinidad, or the other way round?

Dave


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 May 14 - 06:38 PM

An old expression in the southern U. S., meaning she is much like her mother.
May apply to either sex; "he fancies his father."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Dave Rado
Date: 22 May 14 - 03:50 PM

Hi - I'm puzzled by the use of the word "fancy" in the third verse: "They say she fancy de mother". ("she" presumably referring to the daughter). In the UK to "fancy" someone means to desire them, but it couldn't mean that the daughter desires her mother. I'd the word "fancy" used to mean something else in Trinidad?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 01:19 PM

The 'origins' threads can locate (not always) original sheet music or a book with information- mostly using what can be found on the net, or find folk variants that have been handed down- nearly all UK-Irish or North American- little else. Several people here are very knowledgeable on UK-Irish-North American songs.

A few of us have a book or two that are hard to find or have become expensive, but interests are narrow- In my collection of songbooks, I have a couple of rare songbooks with calypso songs, and a lawyer son gave me Nizer's book on his court cases (Rum & Coca-Cola), but I have no personal contact with Caribbean culture. I have a few recordings, but my ear is poor for dialect.

Personaly, I have searched for the origin of some American songs- "My Pretty Quadroon" cost me $40 in donation and fees from a library with perhaps the only copy not lost in the Chicago fire, and another poem, from an archive with old pioneer newspapers, cost me a donation. I cannot afford to do that often.

A few people posting here have intimate access to large UK or U.S. libraries, but most of us would have to pay to access them.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 12:58 AM

Q, I could just enjoy the song, BUT- and this isn't meant to be sarcastic, so don't take it that way- why do origins threads exist if people don't wonder about the origins of songs? And once a suggestion that there might be something more to a song like this turns up, I'm curious enough to find out more.

Another thing. I'm starting to realise how really hard it must be to research something for years and years, yet it must be fun, too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 05:42 PM

There are some, I think. A time-consumer, since I can't afford the index (not published by JAFL).

Why not just enjoy the song and not worry about provenance? That is my response.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 05:10 PM

So how are we meant to track this song down? I don't have the time to do it, either. Q, you could check the "Journal of American Folklore" and see if by some slim chance they have articles on Caribbean folk songs?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 01:59 PM

Use of poems, etc. in papers is scattered. Some Scottish and English journals, as well as some in the U.S. and Canada also used them as filler, or accepted a few papers (very few) on specific material but the practice was never regularized, except in some of the literary journals.
Folk material was uncommonly used, since it was considered illiterate or of poor quality- and very few song-catchers were out there before the 20th C.

The practice depended upon editors and ownership policy, so some papers and journals never used them.

That is why a search is tedious and time-consuming, and possibly costly. Now that some journals and papers have been digitized, the searches are more easily done. Many, however, require a subscription.

I don't have the time or money to subscribe (except to Journal of American Folklore, which started in the 1880s and has articles on folk material from all over). The articles, of course, are mostly on UK and American and Canadian material, as would be expected.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 11:35 PM

Q, re newspapers/magazines printing songs and poems- do you know if this a common practice in Britain as well as the US? I would think if it was a common practice in Britain, it would be a common practice in Grenada and other British colonies in the 18th and 19th century. This song caould only date from around that period or later, as it is in English. Grenada became a British colony in the 18th century- it was ceded to the Uk by the French in the Treaty of Paris in 1763. It became a crown colony in 1877, according to Wikipedia.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 10:54 PM

So, I'll be waiting to see if Q (or someone else) can subscribe to a Grenadian newspaper or listen to Grenadian radio to discover more leads. I am working on a school assignment due tomorrow, so I don't have much time to conduct my own research.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 10:52 PM

Check my last post on the other thread. Any ideas as to a better version?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 10:43 PM

"our chorus" correctly posted in the other thread.

Actually I did look for Grenada radio stations. Reggae for 2 hours daily at www.citysoundfm.com. Vintage on Wednesday.
The newspapers require subscription.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 07:26 PM

"Alcora" should be "our chorus" in the Norman Span version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 06:02 PM

Actually, I think Grenada would be a better bet than the Grenadines. Apparently there are a large amount of radio stations in Grenada. One or more of them could broadcast folk music.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 05:37 PM

Q, did you find anything on Dominica radio sites?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 01:07 PM

Jim Dixon posted the Span-Belafonte lyrics back in Two thousand and ought two, thread 49484, linked at the top of this thread.

Norman Span was better known as King Radio, discussed above. He did a good version of Mathilda, also picked up by Belafonte. "His Man Smart but ..." is perhaps his best.
-----------------------

Warning- possible virus on Dominica radio sites, noted by my cable provider.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 10:17 AM

These are the lyrics Belafonte sings - and this credits Norman Span as composer.

BROWN SKIN GIRL
(Norman Span)

Edmundo Ros & His Orchestra


Everything to keep me from sleeping
A lot of sailor boys they were leaving
And everybody there was jumping
To hear the sailor boys in Alcora singing

Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
I'm going away in a sailing boat
And if I don't come back
Stay home and mind baby

Now the Americans made an invasion
We thought it was a help to the island
Until they left from here on vacation
They left the native boy here to mind their children

Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby ....

Now I tell you the story bout Millie
She made a nice blue eyed baby
And they say she fancy the mother
But the blue eyed baby ain't know she father

Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby ....

Now the Americans all have their pleasure
While the music play to their leisure
Everybody there they were jumping
To hear the sailor boys in Alcora singing

Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
I'm going away in a sailing boat
And if I don't get back
Stay home and mind baby


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 10:09 PM

EDIT: Sorry, that should be "Grenadine".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 10:07 PM

So the question becomes how to actually track down this Grenadian song? There is a book on the Big Drum Festival on Carriacou and Alan Lomax collected a series of Grenadian songs from people in 1942. However, most of the tracks on the Lomax album are in French Creole. Does anyone have an idea? I'm not aware of any Grenadian folk songbooks.

No specific discussion of Grenadian/Grenadiane songs in the book "Carnival Culture in Action."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 09:59 PM

Incidentally, an academic who studies a particular subject is likely to know a lot about it. Even a person who isn't an academic but who has spent a while in a particular region, heard the songs, and has noticed that some songs share similar themes can know something about at least one song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 09:52 PM

Do any of the essays discuss Grenadine folk songs?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 08:44 PM

Q, she edited the book. The essays are written by "leading experts on carnival from around the world." Since the book is on Trinidadian carnival, I'm assuming that the experts have also extensively studied Trinidadian and Tobagan Carnival.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 07:55 PM

Mille Cozart Riggio, 2004, Carnival Culture in Action, The Trinidad Experience, attributes "Brown Skin Girl" to the Grenadines, "Sly Mongoose" to Jamaica, "Stone Cold Dead" to Barbados and L'Année passée to Martinique.
She teaches at Trinity College, Connecticut, and is quite kbnoledgeable on Caribbean culture. I haven't seen the book, the page on which her statement is made is on the net by Google. I don't know if she gives any details.

Radio King's 1946 song, with reference to North American sailors and made a hit by Belafonte, is the one with which most of us are familiar.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 11 - 07:45 AM

Go to the Musical Traditions site. Click on 'Articles'. At article 040, you will find a link to 'Kaiso Newsletters'. Follow the link and you will find an email address for Ray Funk. He is a world expert on calypso and it may be worth your while contacting him. Just a thought.

Musical Traditions

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 01 May 11 - 06:19 PM

I did search for "mind your baby folk song" but what came up was more stuff on this.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 01 May 11 - 07:38 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenad
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 08:15 PM

Hello Morwen,

No, I am sorry I don't have any specific ideas right now. However, I find the topic interesting and had come back to this thread several times. I am interested in Caribbean music, but I mainly know about Jamaican stuff.

[Along those lines, I do know of a Jamaican mento song called "Brownskin girl," but it is different.]

Threads here often take a while to "develop." Oftentimes someone (years later!) will be thinking of the same question, and then discover this thread while searching. Then they will post something that will open up a new avenue. I (and I'm sure a few others) are watching this with interest, and waiting to jump in if they have an idea. I am sorry I don't have any spectacular idea right now, but now that I have a sense of what you're looking for, I (and others) are better "poised" :) to jump in if an idea pops up.

FWIW (and I'm sure you know this already) it often helps to familiarize yourself with other songs/music in the genre, and then ideas start to emerge -- i.e. rather than just focusing on one song. At least, it gives you something to do while waiting for answers!

Random thoughts... in African-American/Caribbean music, the epithet of "brown-skin girl" seems pretty common. It is complimentary; "brown" is, dubiously, considered more appealing than "black," and often implies a mulatto.
Since this phrase is common -- and possibly too general to give good results -- you may want to focus your searches on something more particular, like "mind your baby." I imagine that variations of this might conceivably say "Yellow Girl" or "downtown girl" or "Kingston girl" or etc etc.

girl/gal/gyal
baby/baybee/pickney


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM

So does anyone have any concrete information about the Grenadian folk version of this song? I'm holding out for information.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 06:55 AM

Just in case I'm not getting any replies. Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 11:44 PM

I haven't found much on Caribbean folk music. Alan Lomax did a fair amount there, and he produced a remarkable Town Hall concert in New York in 1946. Performers included The Duke of Iron, Macbeth the Great, Lord Invader, and Gerald Clark and his Invaders. I have a feeling that these performers, whose names are on many well-known Caribbean songs, drew their works from traditional sources.

The only early collection of Caribbean songs I know of, is The Island Song Book (1927), by John T. McCutcheon (1870-1949). I've been trying to get a reasonably-priced copy of that book for years, with no luck.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:30 PM

So might you be able to help?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenad
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:27 PM

Thanks, Morwen, that helps a lot! The picture has become much more clear of what you're after and how we might help.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:16 PM

Sloop John B was found/collected as early in 1927, which is impossible if it was composed in the 1950s. I read threads on this site before I began posting here and the wikipedia article on "The Wreck of the John B". You can copyright something without having created it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:10 PM

Calypso history books including Calypso Calaloo: Early Carnival Music in Trinidad, and Caliban and the Yankees which i found on Google Books, state that "the original (of this song) was from Grenada", "taking off on a Grenadian folk song" one memoir states that Radio was "adapting an old theme", and one blog by a Grenadian woman describes her daughter singing the chorus, which she refers to as an "old-time folk song" . Another site also refers to "the folk version" of this song. There is no doubt in my mind that he wrote the 1946 version, and I have seen some sites which seem to be reliable on this being a common song in other repertoires. Which doesn't prove that he didn't write it. There is also another book on Google Books which lists a number of songs adapted by calypsonians which have roots in other islands. One is "Sly Mongoose (from Jamaica)" and another is "Brown Skin Girl (from the Grenadines)". He could have written it, but then he could have simply adapted an older song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada
From: EBarnacle
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:03 PM

I believe Sloop John B was composed in the 1950's and is copyrighted.


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