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Lyr Add: Black Woman

Related thread:
Lyr Req: Bald Headed Woman (Lightnin' Hopkins) (5)


Roger in Baltimore 17 Oct 99 - 09:25 PM
harpgirl 22 Feb 03 - 11:37 PM
masato sakurai 23 Feb 03 - 12:27 AM
harpgirl 23 Feb 03 - 12:38 AM
Bill D 23 Feb 03 - 02:50 PM
Roger in Baltimore 24 Feb 03 - 02:53 PM
harpgirl 24 Feb 03 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Q 25 Feb 03 - 05:13 PM
Bill D 25 Feb 03 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Cindy 15 Feb 11 - 02:25 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK WOMAN (from Alan Lomax)
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 17 Oct 99 - 09:25 PM

BLACK WOMAN

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

I don't want no sugar in my coffee,
It makes me, Lawd, Lawd, it makes me mean.
I don't want no sugar in my coffee,
It makes me, Lawd, Lawd, it makes me mean.

I got a bulldog he weighs five hundred,
In my backyard, Lawd, Lawd, in my backyard.
I got a bulldog he weighs five hundred,
In my backyard, Lawd, Lawd, in my backyard.

When he barks, he roar like thunder.
Up in the clouds, Lawd, up in the clouds.
When he barks, he roar like thunder.
Up in the clouds, Lawd, up in the clouds.

When you meet my long-haired woman,
Just bow your head, Lawd, just bow your head.
When you meet my long-haired woman,
Just bow your head, Lawd, just bow your head.

I don't want no bald-headed woman,
O she's too mean, Lawd, Lawd, she's too mean.
I don't want no bald-headed woman,
O she's too mean, Lawd, Lawd, she's too mean.

From Alan Lomax's Prison Songs, Historical Recordings from Parchman Farm, 1947-48, Volume One: Murderous Home.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Black Woman
From: harpgirl
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 11:37 PM

...Roger or someone else...have you got chords to this song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Black Woman
From: masato sakurai
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 12:27 AM

Sound clip is HERE (Prison Songs, V. 1: Murderous Home).
~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Black Woman
From: harpgirl
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 12:38 AM

...that is an incredibly emotionally powerful song! I shiver imagining that chaain gang and their work...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Black Woman
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 02:50 PM

I 'absorbed' that song about 1963-4 from a blues player named Gene Vermillion (looked like a short, squat, redheaded Irishman, but if you closed you eyes, you'd swear he was black)....I don't really do blues, but now and then I'll drag that up as an example of something. Roger in Baltimore identified it for me several years ago as being "Jet Black Woman" instead of "Bald Headed Woman", as weak attempt to make it "PC".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Black Woman
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 02:53 PM

Bill,

And the NeXt Tradition changed it to "heavy hipped woman" for the same PC reason. Of course, in both cases what about those bald-headed or heavy hipped women? Don't they have some PC rights, too?

I think Ken explained to me that he didn't want to have to keep explaining himself to people who might be offended by "jet black woman". The issue of shades of color runs strong in the African-American community to this day (well, at least here in Baltimore, I don't know about the whole country).

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Black Woman
From: harpgirl
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 03:15 PM

surely you don't do it with the autoharp, Bill?????


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Black Woman
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 05:13 PM

The I don't, I wouldn't, (or the reverse, I would, etc.) verses were used with good-lookin' woman, yaller gal, blondy woman, kinky-haided woman, jet-black, etc. There are many forms in addition to the one brought up by Roger.

Sometimes they were combined (from N. L. White):

I don't like a black gal, I tell you the reason why;
Her hair is so long and kinky, she'll break every comb I buy.
I don't like a yallow gal, I tell you the reason why;
Her neck is so long and stringy, I am afraid she'll never die.

Many forms and meters. Some came from the blackface minstrels and most were invented by the blacks themselves. One of the ancestors is "The Gal From the South," from the minstrels.

From Talley, Negro Folk Rhymes:
I wouldn't marry a black gal,
I'll tell you the reason why;
When she goes to comb dat head
De naps'll begin to fly

I wouldn't marry a black gal,
I'll tell you why I won't:
When she oughter wash her face-
We;;. I'll jes say she don't.

I wouldn' marry a black gal,
An' dis is why I say:
When you has her face around,
It never gets good day.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Black Woman
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 05:58 PM

autoharp? HG, naawwwwww...I learned it with just a hand clapping rhythm...(it don't go too well on the kazoo, neither...*grin*)

and yep, Roger...I have encountered the 'color' social thing on more than one occasion...Once, in Wichita, a civil rights rally was going on, and in the crowd one fellow was heard to say as he looked at Chester I. Lewis and Jo Gardenhire (both searchable on the WWW as long time leaders)...."seems like there's a whole lot of high-yeller n*****rs up there talkin' 'bout black power".

One needs to be very aware of one's surroundings when singing some songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Black Woman
From: GUEST,Cindy
Date: 15 Feb 11 - 02:25 PM

What is the singer talking about? what do the lyrics mean?


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