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Yellow Gal

DigiTrad:
DOODLE LET ME GO (Yeller Gals)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Yeller Gals - Doodle or Do Not? (77)
Lyr Req: Yellow Girls / Yeller Gals (chantey) (7)
Lyr Req: Yeller Girls? (thread closed) (4) (closed)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Doodle Let Me Go (Yeller Gals)
Doodle Let Me Go (Yeller Gals) (Fits the lyrics in the Digital Tradition)


Doctor John 17 Oct 99 - 03:55 PM
bbelle 17 Oct 99 - 04:43 PM
DonMeixner 17 Oct 99 - 05:37 PM
Reiver 2 17 Oct 99 - 07:58 PM
Roger in Baltimore 17 Oct 99 - 09:03 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 17 Oct 99 - 10:51 PM
Margo 18 Oct 99 - 02:42 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 18 Oct 99 - 08:26 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Oct 99 - 11:16 AM
paddymac 18 Oct 99 - 04:55 PM
Doctor John 18 Oct 99 - 05:22 PM
Reiver 2 18 Oct 99 - 05:56 PM
Roger in Baltimore 18 Oct 99 - 06:51 PM
raredance 18 Oct 99 - 08:55 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 18 Oct 99 - 10:20 PM
Barry Finn 19 Oct 99 - 12:08 AM
sophocleese 19 Oct 99 - 12:15 AM
Margo 19 Oct 99 - 01:08 PM
MAG (inactive) 19 Oct 99 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Dee 25 Jan 08 - 01:11 PM
Art Thieme 25 Jan 08 - 05:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Jan 08 - 07:00 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 25 Jan 08 - 07:23 PM
Joe_F 25 Jan 08 - 08:40 PM
Azizi 25 Jan 08 - 08:52 PM
Azizi 25 Jan 08 - 08:56 PM
Azizi 25 Jan 08 - 09:10 PM
Azizi 25 Jan 08 - 09:18 PM
Azizi 25 Jan 08 - 09:28 PM
Charley Noble 25 Jan 08 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,nuts for lyrics 12 Jan 09 - 07:12 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Jan 09 - 12:17 PM
GUEST 28 Sep 09 - 03:51 PM
Amos 28 Sep 09 - 04:43 PM
Sorcha 28 Sep 09 - 07:01 PM
mayomick 28 Sep 09 - 09:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Sep 09 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 28 Sep 09 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Larry Woods 29 Feb 12 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Jar 14 Mar 18 - 08:29 PM
Jeri 14 Mar 18 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,catyronwode 15 Mar 18 - 02:16 AM
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Subject: Yellow Gal
From: Doctor John
Date: 17 Oct 99 - 03:55 PM

Lead Belly often refers to Yellow Gals in his songs, often in a disparaging way. It sounds to me like a girl of mixed race but in "On A Monday", "He ain't gonna ring them yellow women's door bells", which sounds like the term may refer to a prostitute. Can anyone enlighten please? Dr John


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: bbelle
Date: 17 Oct 99 - 04:43 PM

"Yellow Gal" or "Yellow Women" would be a woman of mixed white and black parentage. "High Yellow" would be another term meaning the same of both women and men ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: DonMeixner
Date: 17 Oct 99 - 05:37 PM

Dr.

I have heard from Paul Harvey, and what better authority , in his The Rest of The Story radio show that The "Yellow Rose of Texas" was a mulatto woman who kept Santa Anna delayed long enough for Sam Houston to catch up to his army at San Jacinte.

Yellow Gals are women of mixed heritage.

Don


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Reiver 2
Date: 17 Oct 99 - 07:58 PM

As has been noted, "yellow gal" is a reference to a woman of mixed black/white descent. Rather light skin, but I'm not sure if the term was synonymous with "quadroon" (1/4 black ancestry) or if it was also applied to a mulatto with fairly light skin.

Soes anyone know the story behind "The Yellow Rose of Texas"? I've heard the story, complete with the lady's name, but can't recall the details. As I remember she, at one point, was the mistress of Santa Ana, the Mexican general/dictator/president.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 17 Oct 99 - 09:03 PM

In my current work, my clientele is predominantly African-American. Skin color remains a convenient way to describe people and there are multiple terms to describe various shades of skin tone. The term "yellow" or "high yellow" continue to be used and commonly describe skin that is quite light, but which has a definite yellow hue. There is no longer references to "quadroon", "octaroon", or other labels that indicate percentages of European-American heritage versus African-American heritage. First, few people know their heritage that well, but more importantly people now realize that those percentages do not predict a specific skin color. Many modern African-American families have siblings with multiple hues who come from the same parents. One need only look at pictures of the descendants of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Many of the family members did not even know they had any African-American heritage until other relatives told them.

Skin color remains a basis of discrimination and prejudice in the United States, even, at times, within the African-American community.

And now, Doctor John, you probably know more than you really wanted to know.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 17 Oct 99 - 10:51 PM

Don: Gene Autrey's old version of "The Yellow Rose of Texas" does thave the line: "She's the sweetest rose of color, that I have ever seen" which leads me to believe she was "high yellow".

Murray


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Margo
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 02:42 AM

Does this have any relation to "Yeller Gals", the sea shantey? The locale in the song in Callao, which is south America, but I suppose if the origin of the term is English, it could be the same reference.......Margo-rita


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 08:26 AM

Does anyone know what "Blond" means among African-Americans? I think it is in Son House's "Black Mamma". "A blond girl will (I forget what). A brown girl will make a rabbit move to town. A black girl will make a mule kick his stable down."

Murray


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 11:16 AM

The version I've got of "Yellow rose of Texas" has No other darkie loves her instead of the "white" Nobody else could miss her (if my memory serves!). I'll try and look up the notes in the book (The Parlour Song Book) when I get back at the weekend.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: paddymac
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 04:55 PM

I've recently encountered another application of the term "yellow". Professor John Mack Faragher's book "Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer" reports instances of "yellow" or "yeller" being used as a descriptor for indigenous folks of southeastern North America by the colonials. The popular mythology of pre-columbian americans all being "red" is grossly inaccurate. The people of north America were, and are, descended from a variety of source groups. Some population groups were of a darker, redder skin tone than others. A good way to reach an intuitive feel for the wide range of skin tones among indigenious peoples is to look at the paintings by Catlin and others. There is a body of slowly developing evidence indicating long-continued gene drift into southeastern US populations from western and northern Europe long, long before Columbus arrived here. Lost mariners, plus the widespread indian convention of adoption/transmutation led to populations with substantial diversity of phenotypic expressions. Sorry guys & gals - didn't mean to get in so deep.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Doctor John
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 05:22 PM

But what I want to know is - why ain't Leadbelly gonna ring them yellow women's doorbells? The other stuff is fascinating, I've heard the genetic drift theory before - supposedly beginning when the land was one mass as opposed to the continents. Dr John


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Reiver 2
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 05:56 PM

I always assumed the reference in the chanty was to women of mixed black and white race, though I don't really know. The song has a reference to an "immigrant Irish girl", "two Irish sailor boys" as well as "Irish immigrants" bound around the Horn, none of which (on the surface, at least) would indicate anything to do with "yellow gals" as we've been discussing. Still, I don't know any other way to interpret the name of the song.

Paddymac, do you know any sources for your "developing evidence" of gradual gene drift from Europe to North America? It's certainly possible (and you're dead right about the variance of color among "Native Americans"), but I've not seen any discussion of this -- scholarly or unscholarly -- in recent years.

Or is it that the myth of Prince Madoc and the "Welsh Indians" may still be alive and well! It was, among other things, the fact that Indians were occasionally found who had nearly white skin, blue eyes and blonde or even red hair, that gave rise to that fanciful tale that has had at least nine lives. Too bad the lunatic fringe of "white supremacists" can't realize that there is no such thing as "racial purity". Archaeologists are now indicating that we all may have Neanderthal blood flowing in our veins!


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 06:51 PM

Doctor John,

Because of the prejudice against darker skin color, even among some African-Americans, yellow skinned women were seen as more "desireable". It was only a short leap to the supposition that they were also more "sexual" and, hence, a greater temptation. Thus, Lead Belly, who is "allmost gone" already, "ain't gonna ring them yellow women's doorbells", that is, get into more trouble through sexual expression.

An additional argument may include that yellow skinned women were perhaps more likely to be successful prostitutes. White men would see them as exotic, yet tehy would not "count" as "crossing the color line taboo" because of their clearly mixed heritage. In this scenario, Lead Belly is just avoiding getting mixed up with prostitutes, an illegal, and therefore looked down upon, behavior.

Hope this helps clarify the song for you.

Murray,

Blond, brown, and black are just degrees of coloration and in Son House's time would indicate the same ideas that I have stated in the note above to Doctor John. The lighter the color, the presumed greater percentage of "white" genes and hence the greater desireability.

Lead Belly, in Good Morning Blues, uses a different descriptor to again make a color differentiation.

Take a brown skin woman,
Make a moon-eyed (drunk) man go blind,
But a chestnut (lighter tan, after the color of the wood) woman,
Will make you change your mind.

Further evidence of color prejudice can be seen in my recent LYR ADD: Black Woman thread.

I don't want no jet black woman,
She's too mean, Lawd, Lawd, she's too mean.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: raredance
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 08:55 PM

Dr. John, I think you are confusing the concept of genetic drift with the concept of continental drift. The world of one land mass (Pangea) predates humans as a species by millions and millions of years.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 10:20 PM

Dr. John: To add to what Roger said. I think the lighter skinned women had a reputation for being more pampered, and so you had to spend a lot more money on them. That is how I interpret Leadbelly's "I'm almost done"--as meaning he is broke and maybe even in trouble for trying to steal the money to support his "yelah gal".

Murray


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Oct 99 - 12:08 AM

Here's somemore fodder. From the Bahamas comes:
"O why those yella gals love me so
Yea, Suzianna
Cause Pappie don't talk everything I know
Round the Bay of Mexico"
From the Manhaden Fisheries come :
I got a long haired yella gal
See you when the sun goes down"
and then from a version of "Good Morning Ladies All" you have the lines in it's chorus:
"Ah-ha, me yella gals, good morning ladies all"
Now in "Doodle Let Me Go" or "Yellow Gals" there's the lines:
Doodle let me go me gals
Doodle let me go
Harrah me yella gals doodle let me go
It's easy to imagine that doodle might have come from DouDou. In a version or "Good Morning Ladies All" (also know as Roller Bowler) "as I roved out one morning I met a DouDou fair". In St. Peter's there's the line "darling DouDou I'm taking you with me". Bear with me now. DouDuo is a West Indian term for sweetheart, so seeing that these songs would pre-date Leadbelly & the prison worksong Yella Gal maybe yella gal is just someone's West Indian sweetheart. Would those in the islands be considered light or fair skined. Barry


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: sophocleese
Date: 19 Oct 99 - 12:15 AM

Barbara Hambly, a writer of science fiction and fantasy has also written a couple of mysteries set in New Orleans near the middle of last century, A Free Man of Colour and The Fever Season. Her introduction discusses the values assigned to various shades at that time. I can't reproduce it all here but if you come across either book they are good reads and the intros are interesting.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Margo
Date: 19 Oct 99 - 01:08 PM

Barry, could DouDou be from French douce? Douce in French is translated literally as "sweet".

Margo


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 19 Oct 99 - 02:25 PM

Alice Walker and other writers have gone into the light-skinned woman thing at some depth.

Yes, beautiful almost-white women could make a lot of money in prostitution because they were seen by white men as sexually available.

Those of us of a certain age remember that a lot of the Black Power movement work at getting rid of implanted white values - Black people ashamed of their blackness. Dick Gregory spoke most eloquently about Black men being programmed by the dominant culture to see white women as more beautiful, more sexual, more desirable than Black women. and boy, did Black women notice.

There's lots of writings on this.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: GUEST,Dee
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 01:11 PM

I came across this thread because I was looking for more lyrics to "Yellow Gal" as recorded by Leadbelly, Cisco Houston and Woody Guthrie. What I have is:

I went home with a yellow gal, (repeat)
Didn't say a thing to the yellow gal. (repeat)
Oh, the yellow, oh the yellow, oh the yellow gal (repeated 3 more times)
Papa got stuck on a yellow gal, (repeat)
He got 30 years for the yellow gal. (repeat)
Chorus
She was pretty and fine, Oh my yellow gal (repeat)
She wasn't none of mine, Oh my yellow gal (repeat)
Chorus
The preacher got stuck on the yellow gal, (repeat)
And he got 10 years for the yellow gal. (repeat)
Chorus
She was long and tall, Oh the yellow gal (repeat)
She was my downfall, Oh the yellow gal (repeat)
Chorus

The previous entries all show good research. I would like to add a fact that these song lyrics point to, and that is that white men liked to have exclusive access to the "yellow gals" and black men could get in a lot of trouble for getting caught visiting them. Somewhere in her writings Zora Neale Hurston published a hierarchy of the color gradations recognized by the African-American community, from dark black through seal brown and red to high yellow.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 05:12 PM

Well, folks, my urologist has different ideas about the term!!! There might be practical health/hygiene reasons for not ringing their doorbells.
(Remember, don't eat yellow snow!)

Art ;-)


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 07:00 PM

Roy Harris used to do a shanty with yellow Girls in it.

traffic wardens possibly.....


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 07:23 PM

In the bad old days of official segregation in Texas, particularly in the southeastern gulf coast region around Beaumont, Galveston, etc., I came to visit my grandparents and cousins on my Dad's side. I was there in the mid-1940's and visited from California annually for many years, until the early 1960's. I saw the service stations with three rest rooms - Men, Women and Colored. I saw Jim Crow seating, "Pear Orchard" (the colored town across the tracks in Beaumont) and the separate drinking fountains; all the trappings and symbols of intolerance, exclusion and irrational hatred. And, I heard a song which was a particular favorite of Texans, "The Yellow Rose of Texas." As a teenager, I was actually slapped by my uncle when I pointed out the irony in the song - based on the legendary Sam Houston's mixed-race "gal." But then, old Sam was apparently a bit more tolerant than his died-in-the-wool segregationist Texan descendents.

It is a much different place now, all to the good. I know some of the old bias still manifests itself, but not like I remember. I still chuckle at the memory of mortifying my late uncle, though, when I hear that song.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Joe_F
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 08:40 PM

The commune I belonged to in the '70s owned a flatbed truck that it named, Chinese fashion, the West Shines Yellow Higher Industrial & Agricultural Truck. It was called for short Higher Yellow, or, in polite company, Higher Industrial.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Azizi
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 08:52 PM

In case folks don't know it-I'm African American :o)

I mention that because when it comes to sharing information about the topic of this thread, I think that my race is relevant.
That said, other folks who aren't African American can also share and in my opinion, have shared accurate and interesting information about this subject.

I just wanna add to the mix {to use a word with no pun intended]
and share some thoughts about the terms "yellow" and "high yellow" as those terms pertain to African Americans:

**

In the phrase "high yellow", "high" means "very" and "yellow" means "light skinned".

**

Fwiw, I agree with most of what Roger in Baltimore has wrote in his posts to this thread. However, I have seen and heard the term "high yellow" used much more in contemporary literature/mass media and in every day life than the term "yellow". But maybe that's due to the nature of my reading material and the circles of people with whom I interact.

I don't agree with Roger's statement that "yellow" or "high yellow" ...commonly describe skin that is quite light, but which has a definite yellow hue". Inspite of the use of the color term "yellow", I don't think that a person of Black/non-Black descent who is described as being "yellow" or "high yellow" has to have a yellow hue to their skin.

I agree with the statement that there are a large number of skin colors that could be considered to be "yellow" and/or "high yellow". Some "high yellow" people are very pale and others have a reddish tinge to their skin. Btw, Black people who have a reddish hue to their skin are sometimes called "redbones". This is not a new referent. Comedian "Red Foxx" and activist Malcolm X {Detroit Red} are examples of Black men who were redbones.

**

Since at least the Black pride movement which began [again] in the late 1960s, "yellow", "high yellow", and "red bone" are usually not publicly used in everyday conversation unless Black people {or a non-Black person who has a high degree of acceptance among those particular Black people} are engaging in informal, friendly teasing.

**

Some high yellow people can "pass for White" and some can't {because of their skin color, hair texture and/or their other physical features} Of course, there are different skin complexions of White people, too. And "passing for White" {meaning a person being considered a member of the "White" race because of his/her physical appearance}implies {or at least used to imply} that the person is mistaken to be White. Actually, almost all Black people who are high yellow have more "European" ancestry than "African" ancestry. Therefore, if the laws and social definitions of the United States [where I'll limit my conversation for now] weren't so racist, those people who were "passing", would be able to claim without any difficulties that they were indeed White or that they were both Black and White [or Black and non-Black]. However,because of the one drop of Black blood rule, and the exclusivity of the definition of who is or isn't White in the United States, it's extremely difficult for a person who has a known [Black] African ancestor, no matter how many generations ago, to claim that ancestor and still be accepted as a White person.

**

People who are referred to as "yellow" and "high yellow" may be racially mixed with Black/White or Black and some other non-Black race/ethnicity such as Native American, or Latino/a or Filipino or Japanese etc etc etc. Also, a yellow or high yellow person may have two biological parents who are Black. It should also be noted that-in the case of a high yellow person having two biological Black parents-both of these parents [and/or neither of these parents] need have been "yellow" or "high yellow" themselves. [And neither of these parents need have been first generation racially mixed themselves]. The Cosby Show [which featured a Black family with children who had different skin colors] helped acquaint many non-Black people with the fact that it is possible to have a wide range of skin colors within two parent Black families. Of course, there may be more skin color variations within Latino families than African Americans. I'm not sure if non-Black Latinos* use the terms high yellow, yellow, and red bone. I'd love to know more about the terms that Latino people do use to refer to skin color-besides "moreno" which I think means "brown" [skinned].

*I suppose there are some North and South American Latinos who have non African ancestry. But I think there's not many Latinos who don't have any African ancestry. Of course, if you go baaaack far enough, everybody has African ancestry.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Azizi
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 08:56 PM

Correction:

Fwiw, I agree with most of what Roger in Baltimore has written...

[Any other grammatical errors or typos will have to fend for themselves].


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Azizi
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 09:10 PM

Also, may I say that I find the connections that Margo [Oct 99 - 01:08 PM] made between the Caribbean vernacular word "Dou Dou" [sweetheart] and the French word "douce" [sweet] to be interesting and probably right on the money.

And it seems likely to me that the word "Doodle" in the song "Doodle Let Me Go (Yeller Gals)" is a folk etymology form of Dou Dou which is a folk etymology form of "douce".

I find this fascinating! And that those posts were written in 1999 and I and others are reading them in 2008 demonstrates the power and value of this wonderful resource called Mudcat.

Thanks, Max for starting and continuing to maintain this forum!


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Azizi
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 09:18 PM

Clarification:

When I wrote that "I suppose there are some North and South American Latinos who have non African ancestry", I meant to write "I suppose there are/or some North and South American Latinos who don't have any African ancestry. But I think there's not many Latinos who don't have any African ancestry. Of course, if you go baaaack far enough, everybody has African ancestry.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Azizi
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 09:28 PM

I still made a mistake with that correction. Ugh!

I meant to write that "I suppose there are some North and/or South American Latinos who don't have any African ancestry"...

Sorry for going off topic. I just want folks to know that I do recognize the errors of my ways.

:o)


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 09:48 PM

Azizi-

Thanks for making an effort to clarify what hundreds of years haven't.

And it's still coming around, in campaign mode.

I probably should mention that Leadbelly's version of "Yellar Gal" was one of my father's favorite songs, and that my mother painted a picture of her dancing on the back of a guitar; I wonder if that guitar still exists?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: GUEST,nuts for lyrics
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 07:12 PM

FWIW, there's a Mississippi John Hurt song which has the following lines (as a counterpoint, and why Leadbelly maybe stayed away from 'yeller gals' doors)

"Some crave high up, I like black and brown.
Some crave high up, I like black and brown,
Black won't quit you, brown won't (lay you down?)"

possibly a feeling that those who could 'pass' wouldn't be loyal to those who couldn't.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jan 09 - 12:17 PM

"We ask you to help us work for that day
when black will not be asked to get back,
when brown can stick around,
when yellow will be mellow,
when the red man can get ahead, man
and when white will embrace what is right."

-- from Rev. Joseph E. Lowery's benediction at President Obama's inauguration, Jan 20, 2009


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 03:51 PM

Wouldn't "Yellow" usually refer to Asians ( chinese, Japanese, etc)


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Amos
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 04:43 PM

Returning to Doctor John's original question, the line I have always heard in that song is "Almost done, yeah, and I ain't gonna pay them yellow women no bill".

The song is the lament of a man feeling worn out by life and almost done, and reflecting on the fact that he is not going to spend money on ladies of the night in his current condition. This interpretation seems to me to have merit no matter which way you hear the line.

"Done, done, I'm almos' done, yeah,
Lor', Lor', I'm almost done yeah.
Oh, oh, I'm almos' done, yeah.
An' I ain't gonna pay them yaller women no bill."


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Sorcha
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 07:01 PM

From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 03:51 PM --No.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: mayomick
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 09:55 PM

I suppose you're all correct about the American use of the word yellow as meaning mixed race , but West Indians I knew in London always used the term to mean an albino negro. There were certain myths and superstitions ,some derogatory others magical , associated with these so-called yellow people ,(who were believed to have been conceived while their mothers were having their periods.) Another word for such an albino if I remember rightly was a Dundas .

There used to be an albino reggae singer called Yellow Man who was very popular in the seventies.Did the word yellow ever get used in this way in America ?


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 10:09 PM

Mayomick- not that I have ever read or heard.
Yellow applied to mixed race; 'high yellow' was lighter than average.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 10:19 PM

Ignorance is bliss.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: GUEST,Larry Woods
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 05:22 PM

My paternal grandfather who died in 1944 and who was born in 1865 used to sing a song that had the lyric:

You'll drive this darkie crazy
'Cause I don't know what I'll do
If I can't find that pretty yellow gal
Tat I saw dressed in blue woo woo.

Does anyone have the rest of the lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: GUEST,Jar
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 08:29 PM

Does anyone have any thoughts on the meaning of this work song from black firemen (though, possibly a chantey also?)in light of the meaning of a yellow gal:

Heave away, heave away!
I'd rather court a yellow gal than work for Henry Clay.
Heave away, heave away!
yellow gal, I want to go,
I'd rather court a yellow gal than work for Henry Clay.
Heave away!

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 08:43 PM

"Yellow" used to refer to mixed race. Black/white. Light complexion.


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Subject: RE: Yellow Gal
From: GUEST,catyronwode
Date: 15 Mar 18 - 02:16 AM

In the 2009 post from GUEST,nuts for lyrics, it is said that there is a "Mississippi John Hurt song which has the following lines"

And i wuld like to correct the original transcription:

GUEST,nuts for lyrics gave it as

Some crave high up, I like black and brown.
Some crave high up, I like black and brown,
Black won't quit you, brown won't (lay you down?)

But i have known "Big Leg Blues" since ever, and i clearly hear it as

Some crave high yellow, I like black and brown.
Some crave high yellow, I like black and brown,
Black won't quit you, brown won't lay you down

Furthermore, to this thread should be added Bo Weavil Jackson's 1926 Paramount record "Some Scream High Yellow" -- two years before the Mississippi John Hurt recording.

Some screaming high yellow, I scream black or brown
For high yellow may mistreat you, but black won't turn you down


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Mudcat time: 22 April 8:41 AM EDT

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