Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Beatin' on the old jawbone...?

doc47 18 Dec 12 - 01:49 AM
GUEST,999 18 Dec 12 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Dec 12 - 06:18 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Dec 12 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Dec 12 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,rekrap 16 Mar 14 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,IanA 16 Mar 14 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,crazy little woman 17 Mar 14 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 18 Mar 14 - 04:53 AM
MartinRyan 18 Mar 14 - 05:47 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Beatin' on the old jawbone...?
From: doc47
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 01:49 AM

A song on Larry Hanks and Deborah Robbins-Hanks' lovely CD, "No Hiding Place" is called "Angelina Baker". The chorus contains the lines

"She left me here to weep a tear
And beat on the old jawbone."

Does anyone have an idea what this refers to?

The song is pretty obviously of African-American origin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Beatin' on the old jawbone...?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 04:05 AM

Maybe so, but authorship is credited to Stephen Foster.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Beatin' on the old jawbone...?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 06:18 AM

For what it's worth to my understanding the jawbone of a long dead ass was used as a percussion instrument. Dragging a stick across the loosended teeth in the jaw bone gave a scraping rhythmic effect. Sort of early washboard effect, precursor of the notched wooden percussion used in latin music.

African American origin? The jawbone as instrument very probably so but the song is more likely to have been inspired by the blacked up minstrel troupes

Hoot


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Beatin' on the old jawbone...?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 07:46 AM

Lyrics to Stephen Foster's ANGELINA BAKER were posted here by Joe Offer in 1998, and there is some commentary on the jawbone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Beatin' on the old jawbone...?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 01:01 PM

Here's a video that lets you hear how a jawbone sounds and teaches some techniques. (What did we do before YouTube?)

Sorry. Relative's computer won't let me make a link.


awbone


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Beatin' on the old jawbone...?
From: GUEST,rekrap
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 10:45 AM

I've always thought this was another way of saying he had nothing left to do but sit around and complain about it. Beating on the old jaw bone could be some kind of slang for talking possibly. I dunno 1850 man, different time different lingo.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Beatin' on the old jawbone...?
From: GUEST,IanA
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 04:28 PM

The jaw of a horse, stripped of flesh and dried. The teeth become loose in their sockets and, when you strike it, it produces a rattle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISGGDsB-fCw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Beatin' on the old jawbone...?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 17 Mar 14 - 03:38 PM

Here's a jawbone virtuoso:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=jawbone+musical+instrument+video&mid=1BC11E55F49469A037541BC11E55F49469A03754&view=detail&FO#view=detail&mid=F61C3248281F88D65D2DF61C3248281F88D65D2D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Beatin' on the old jawbone...?
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 04:53 AM

I recorded a fragment of the song from Dan Tate of Fancy Gap, Virginia. His words do, indeed, suggest that the phrase could refer to talking, or, in this case, his wife's nagging.

Here are Dan's words, plus the notes that I included on the fisrt volume of "Far in the Mountains" on the Musical Traditions label:

Walk Jawbone

Oh my wife died in Tennessee,
She sent her jawbone back to me.
Walk jawbone and walk on by,
Walk jawbone, can't find me.

Saw an old man come riding by.
I said, 'Old man, your horse will die.'
'If he dies his hide I'll tan,
And if he lives I'll ride again.'

Walk jawbone and walk on by,
Walk jawbone, can't find me.

Spoken: I reckon that's all the words I have to it.


Jawbone is, of course, the minstrel song Walk Jawbone. When the song was sung on stage it would often be 'accompanied' by the jawbone of a horse, ox, or mule. The teeth would be left in and when a key, or other piece of metal, was pulled across the teeth, the bone made 'a queer sound', to quote the Ozark folklorist Vance Randolph. Similar instruments are known in Africa, and it may be that the idea of playing the jawbone comes originally from African slaves. A Kentucky banjo player, Willie Chapman, was recorded playing a tune called Jaw Bone (Smithsonian Folkways SFCD 40077), but this appears to be different from Dan's tune. Pope's Arkansas Mountaineers, however, recorded a similar tune in 1928 (reissued on County CD-3506), as did the Carter Brothers and Son, a Mississippi stringband, this time under the title Old Joe Bone (reissued on Document DOCD-8009). A 1997 recording by fiddle player Cecil Goforth, on volume one of Rounder's Traditional Fiddle Music of the Ozarks (CD 0435), suggests that it is still popular with Ozark musicians, and, on several tracks of this CD, you can actually hear a jawbone being played behind the fiddle).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Beatin' on the old jawbone...?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Mar 14 - 05:47 AM

A propos of very little....

Many years ago, I was involved in surveying the breeding locations of the corncrake along the River Shannon, in Ireland. At the beginning of the season, we would get two beef rib bones, cut a sawtooth effect along one of them with a hacksaw and, using the second bone as a rasp, produce a very convincing imitation of this bird:

Click here

You could tune and/or direct the sound a little by shaping your cupped hand.

Yes - even then, we could have used a tape recorder - but this was more fun!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 July 10:56 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.