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Lyr Req: One Meat Ball / One Meatball (Josh White)

DigiTrad:
ONE MEATBALL
ONE MEATBALL (2)
THE LONE FISH BALL


Related threads:
'One Fish Ball' - Il Pescaballo: Opera in One Act (12)
Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Burl Ives) (43) (closed)
(origins) Origins: One Meatball - blues song (42)
Lyr Req: One Meatball / Lone Fish-Ball (21)
Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (answered)^^^ (2) (closed)


Bo Vandenberg 07 May 97 - 03:07 PM
07 May 97 - 09:11 PM
08 May 97 - 12:56 AM
Bob Henrickson 09 May 97 - 12:41 PM
Ralph Butts 09 May 97 - 01:44 PM
12 May 97 - 12:21 AM
DWDitty 08 Aug 98 - 06:26 AM
Steve Benbows protege 07 Oct 02 - 02:08 PM
Mark Ross 07 Oct 02 - 09:39 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 08 Oct 02 - 01:43 PM
Tiger 08 Oct 02 - 03:39 PM
GUEST 04 Feb 08 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 04 Feb 08 - 11:56 AM
melodeonboy 04 Feb 08 - 12:07 PM
Joe_F 04 Feb 08 - 09:26 PM
Melissa 04 Feb 08 - 11:14 PM
Mark Ross 05 Feb 08 - 09:31 AM
NormanD 05 Feb 08 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Joe Phillips (A bit late in the discussion) 24 Dec 08 - 08:53 AM
dwditty 24 Dec 08 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,Guest Sue 21 Jun 13 - 10:30 AM
autoharper 21 Jun 13 - 12:24 PM
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Subject: Lyr: Josh White's One Meat Ball
From: Bo Vandenberg
Date: 07 May 97 - 03:07 PM

This song is a particular fav. of my father who sings a verse and a half over and over again. Please help me at least get him all the words.

The song is not super obscure, there's even a referrence to it in the DT. but its not there. All help much appreciated.

It includes the lyrics:

The little man sat ill at ease,

He said some bread sir, if you please

The waiter Hollarred down the hall...

You get no bread with one Meatball.

I


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Subject: RE: Lyr: Josh White's One Meat Ball
From:
Date: 07 May 97 - 09:11 PM

Jump in your time machine and go back to Feb 18 for a starter


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Subject: RE: Lyr: Josh White's One Meat Ball
From:
Date: 08 May 97 - 12:56 AM

None of the Feb. Posts have the whole Josh White Version. I'm pretty sure White has a verse, chorus, verse structure.

bo


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Subject: RE: Lyr: Josh White's One Meat Ball
From: Bob Henrickson
Date: 09 May 97 - 12:41 PM

The version I remember from a record by the Andrews Sisters (I think) had a chorus like this:

One meatball, One meatball. You get no bread with one meatball.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ONE MEATBALL (Josh White)
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 09 May 97 - 01:44 PM

Bo......Here's the song exactly as done by Josh White. Repeated from my post to the earlier thread, but with format more carefully shown. The recording is from Longines Symphonette "Legendary Folk Songs". All the songs in the 5-record set are by vanguard artists....Tiger

One Meatball—recorded by Josh White

A little man walked up and down,
He found an eating place in town,
He read the menu through and through,
To see what fifteen cents could do.

    One meatball, one meatball,
    He could afford but one meatball.

He told the waiter near at hand,
The simple dinner he had planned.
The guests were startled, one and all,
To hear that waiter loudly call, "What,

    "One meatball, one meatball?
    Hey, this here gent wants one meatball."

The little man felt ill at ease,
Said, "Some bread, sir, if you please."
The waiter hollered down the hall,
"You gets no bread with one meatball.

    "One meatball, one meatball,
    Well, you gets no bread with one meatball."

The little man felt very bad,
One meatball was all he had,
And in his dreams he hears that call,
"You gets no bread with one meatball.

    "One meatball, one meatball,
    Well, you gets no bread with one meatball."

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Subject: RE: Lyr: Josh White's One Meat Ball
From:
Date: 12 May 97 - 12:21 AM

thank you, thank you, thank you.

bo


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Subject: RE: Lyr: Josh White's One Meat Ball
From: DWDitty
Date: 08 Aug 98 - 06:26 AM

Ry Cooder does a great rendition of this song on his first solo album. Lyrics match the Josh White original.

Click here for related thread


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Subject: RE: Lyr: Josh White's One Meat Ball
From: Steve Benbows protege
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 02:08 PM

Hi guys,
       Does anyone have the chords for this tune. I would be grateful for any help.
    Much obliged.


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Subject: Chords Add: ONE MEAT BALL (Josh White)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 09:39 PM

Am E7    Am      Dm    E7
// ////   ////    //    ////

Chorus;
Am C F E7(3X)   
/ / / /

That should do it.

Mark Ross


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Subject: Chords Add: ONE MEAT BALL (Josh White)
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 01:43 PM

Here's the way I've been doing it:

(Am)A little man walked (E7)up and down
(Dm)He found an eating (E7)place in town
(Am)He read the menu (E7)through and through
(Dm)To see what fifteen (E7)cents could do

(Am)One meat(C)ball(F)(E7)
(Am)One meat(C)ball(F)(E7)
(Dm)He could afford but(E7)one meat(Am)ball (E7)

The same as what Mark said except for the last line of the chorus.

Bruce


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Subject: Chords Add: ONE MEAT BALL (Josh White)
From: Tiger
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 03:39 PM

There are different versions, tempos, etc. for this song. The C7 (I guess that's what you'd call it) is played in same formation as B7 (first position), but one fret up. You could also play it in A7 formation on the fifth fret.

One Meatball (Josh White/Dave Van Ronk combined version)

INTRO (2x)
Em D C7 B7

A [Em]little man walked [B7]up and down,
To find an eating [Em]place in town,
He read the [Em7]menu [A]through and through,
To [B7]see what fifteen cents could do.

    [Em]One meat-[D]ball, [C7] [B7]
    [Em]one meat-[D]ball, [C7] [B7]
    [Em]He could afford but [B7]one meat-[Em]ball. [D] [C7] [B7]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Josh White)
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 10:39 AM

We sang it differently at the camp I went to. Ours was longer and far more repeative, but was great for sing-alongs because of the changes in volume. It was great for the kids to whisper one verse and then shout the next. And the extra sylabol put into the second line of each quatrain was always a loud, sharp sound, even in the quiet verses.

A little man walked up and down
To see what he could find in t-HA-own
A little man walked up and down
To see what he could find in town

He walked into a swell affair
And sat himself upon a ch-HA-air
He walked into a swell affair
And sat himslef upon a chair

He seached the pockets of his pants
But all he found was two half p-HA-ence
He seached the pockets of his pants
But all he found was two half pence

He scanned the menu through a through
To see what two half pence would d-WHO-oo
He scanned the menu through a through
To see what two half pence would do

The only thing t'would do at all
Would be to order one meatb-HA-all
The only thing t'would do at all
Would be to order one meatball

(Softly)
The little man then gave a call
And softly murmurred "One meatb-HA-all"
The little man then gave a call
And softly murmurred "One meatball"

(Loudly)
The waiter bellowed down the hall
"This gentleman here wants one meatb-HA-all"
The waiter bellowed down the hall
"This gentleman here wants one meatball"

(Softly)
The little man then gave a wheeze
And softly whispered "Bread, sir, IF you please"
The little man then gave a wheeze
And softly whispered "Bread, sir, please"

(Loudly)
The waiter bellowed down the hall
"You get no bread with one meatb-HA-all"
The waiter bellowed down the hall
"You get no bread with one meatball"

(Softly)
The little man then went outside
And shot himself until he d-HA-ied
The little man then went outside
And shot himself until he died.

There is a moral to it all
You get no bread with one meatb-HA-all
There is a moral to it all
You get no bread with one meatball


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Josh White)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 11:56 AM

I have one re-mastered CD with Josh White's earlier recorded work. I first learned about him in the late 1950's and had an LP of his which included some duo work with Sam Gary. "One Meat Ball" was on the earlier album, as were "Dip Your Fingers In The Water, Come and Cool My Tongue, For I'm Tormented in the Flame" and "Jerry,Jerry" among some other gems. I was struck by his guitar work, which some might call too polished, liking their blues more raw and earthy. Not me.

He was said to have been the most incredible, electric performer of his time when on stage; one foot on a stool and a cigarette over one ear - just Josh and the crowd; full of raw, sexy energy. Moralists came down hard on him and he was later accused of Communist leanings, as were many other performers of the time, almost ending his career. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt loved him and had him perform for them. I don't know if he gets the credit, especially today, that he deserves, based on his body of work.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Josh White)
From: melodeonboy
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 12:07 PM

I played with a band in the 80s that did this song. There was one person in the audience who always sang "and no spaghetti" in the gap after "one meatball" in the chorus. The bloke concerned had been in the honours list for his contribution to entertainment, so I assumed that he knew a bit about such things. Did he just invent that phrase himself, or had he heard it on a version of that song? Either way, it works!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Josh White)
From: Joe_F
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 09:26 PM

Note that this is a version of the considerably older "Lone Fish Ball", which is in the DigiTrad, and which has the honor (IIRC) of having been translated into Italian by no less a person than Francis James Child.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Josh White)
From: Melissa
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 11:14 PM

melodeonboy, I've heard it with the "and no spaghetti" before..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Josh White)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 09:31 AM

There's a video of Josh doing the is at Cafe Society(I think) in NY in the '40's. i sing this song with my pre-school classes, you should hear those little ankle biters scream out ONE MEATBALL!!!!!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Josh White)
From: NormanD
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 12:38 PM

Here's the You Tube link of Josh White singing it in the film "The Crimson Canary" (no, I don't know it either). He distinctly sings, in the last verse. "....and no spaghetti".

Capo 3rd fret.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Josh White)
From: GUEST,Joe Phillips (A bit late in the discussion)
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 08:53 AM

In the version I recall, either during ww.11 or just after it went "One meatball without the gravy, one meat ball etc." and it was said to have been written during the depression


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball (Josh White)
From: dwditty
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 09:29 AM

The song is actually taken from an 1855 poem call "The Lone Fish Ball" and the song by the same name (with essentially the same story/lyrics as One Meat Ball.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball / One Meatball (Josh White)
From: GUEST,Guest Sue
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 10:30 AM

My 6th grade teacher would sit in front of the room playing this song on his Ukelele. His chorus was slightly different than those I've found. He would sing:
One meatball, and no spaghetti
One meatball, and no gravy
You get no bread with one meatball.

Curious as to whether any one has seen this version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Meat Ball / One Meatball (Josh White)
From: autoharper
Date: 21 Jun 13 - 12:24 PM

Having left his wallet at home before dining in a Boston restaurant, with only pennies in his pocket, George Martin Lane (1823-1897), Professor of Latin at Harvard University, tried to purchase half an order of macaroni from a disbelieving waiter. This incident inspired him to write "The Lay of One Fishball" (1850) – a side order of fishballs being among the least expensive items on the menu at that time. A decade later, Francis James Child (1825-1896), Professor of English at Harvard (and the man who collected the "Child Ballads" and numbered them, sequentially), parodied Lane's song in an Italian-language burlesque opera entitled Il Pesceballo. An English translation of the mock opera was performed for the entertainment of Union soldiers during the Civil War. In 1944, Hy Zaret (1907-2007) and Lou Singer (1912-1966) updated the now-obscure fishball and made a new song called "One Meatball." I recorded it on my "When the River Ran Backward" CD.
-Adam Miller
Folksinging.org


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