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Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh

Janie 22 Nov 13 - 07:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Nov 13 - 09:26 PM
Janie 22 Nov 13 - 09:40 PM
Janie 22 Nov 13 - 09:45 PM
Joe Offer 23 Nov 13 - 02:27 AM
Janie 23 Nov 13 - 07:32 AM
GUEST 23 Nov 13 - 05:16 PM
Charlie Baum 23 Nov 13 - 06:56 PM
Charlie Baum 23 Nov 13 - 07:22 PM
Joe Offer 23 Nov 13 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,Dani 23 Nov 13 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Dani 23 Nov 13 - 08:38 PM
Stewie 24 Nov 13 - 03:45 AM
Janie 24 Nov 13 - 07:46 AM
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Subject: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Janie
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 07:34 PM

Stumbled across a song the Trisha's call "Moses" that is likely an adaptation of a trad. spiritual or gospel song. When I enter search terms on Youtube or on google, get an overwhelming number of "hits" because of the terms "Moses" and "Pharaoh"but nothing specific when I try to use specific lines from the song to help narrow it down.

Hoping, even expecting, the knowledgeable people here can help. Following are links to the Trisha's youtube recording, and a short Amazon sample from the Blind Boys of Alabama from an album available on Amazon.


Moses by the Trisha's


Blind Boys, Moses Don't let King Pharaoh


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 09:26 PM

Lots of Moses spirituals.
"Go Down, Moses," among the first collected in the 19th C.

The Trisha's song is terrible, whatever it is.


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Janie
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 09:40 PM

Found the following regarding this song, but no more. Not familiar with the website and so don't know how well informed the information given is, but it makes sense, fwiw. The recording is the Georgia Sea Island Singers.

I like the Trishas' recording, Q. "Roots" vs Folk. I appreciate both.


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Janie
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 09:45 PM

But what I really appreciate is your knowledge and research skills. You are one of the very top assets Mudcat has to offer.


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 02:27 AM

Janie, isn't this a modernization of the "Pharaoh" song that Charlie Baum sings? I e-mailed him and asked him to stop by and take a look.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Janie
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 07:32 AM

You may be right Joe. It has been a while since I heard Charlie sing it. Hope he does check in and comment.


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 05:16 PM

Moses

Moses, Moses, don't you let King Pharaoh overtake you,
In some lonesome graveyard.

Hm, hm, I hear the chariot comin' (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Moses, Moses, I hear the horses runnin' (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Hm, hm, I hear Jordan rollin' (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Mother, mother, don't you let your daughter condemn you (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Hm, hm, I hear the angels moaning (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Jordan, Jordan, let the children over (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 06:56 PM

This isn't a version of the "Pharaoh" I sing.
(http://www.mudcat.org/detail_pf.cfm?messages__Message_ID=14016 )
Rather it's based on a spiritual from the Georgia Sea Islands.
(See http://ctl.du.edu/spirituals/freedom/source.cfm .)
As far as I know, it was first introduced to the world on a recording put out by New World records called "Georgia Sea Islands Songs" back in the mid-70s as part of a project to collect American music for the American Bicentennial. (Remember the bicentennial?!) The liner notes are available on-line: http://www.newworldrecords.org/liner_notes/80278.pdf.

To quote the relevant part of the liner notes (by Alan Lomax):

Moses

John Davis, leader; Peter Davis, Bessie Jones, Henry Morrison, and Willis Proctor. Group B.

I asked John Davis if he knew "Go Down, Moses," and he replied, scornfully, "Why, everybody know that. Here's one everybody don't know." He looked down. The silence gathered. Then he began to sing in a hoarse whisper, as if he was talking in a graveyard hideout of run-away slaves. His text is full of the cryptic language of the freedom movement: Harriet Tubman and other "conductors" on the Underground Railway were called Moses; the chariot was a symbol of escape into heaven and at times of the Underground Railway; horses running, the heavenly river rolling, and the angels moaning presaged rebellion or war. None of this was made specific by John and Peter and the other singers, but they seemed to voice it. In no other song they sang was there so much passionate assenting-groans and aha's from Peter's bass, cooing approval from the tenor, moaning in the background when the angels were moaning. For me this is the spiritual at its noblest, black singing style at its finest; and I am certain that everything was completely improvised in a performance that arose immediately in response to my query.

Moses, Moses, don't you let King Pharaoh overtake you, (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Hm, hm, I hear the chariot comin', (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Moses, Moses, I hear the horses runnin', (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Hm, hm, I hear Jordan rollin', (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Mother, mother, don't you let your daughter condemn you, (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Hm, hm, I hear the angels moaning, (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.

Jordan, Jordan, let the children over, (3 times)
In some lonesome graveyard.



--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 07:22 PM

The source for "my" Pharaoh: a recording by Mrs. Sidney Carter.

The original recording of "Moses" by a group of Georgia Sea Islands singers.

(Both clickable links).

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 07:56 PM

For comparison, here's the song Charlie Baum sings:
    Thread #2864   Message #14016
    Posted By: Charlie Baum
    05-Oct-97 - 11:45 PM
    Thread Name: ? Songs on, or about slavery?
    Subject: Lyr Add: Pharaoh^^

    I've recently learned "Pharaoh" from the singing of Mrs. Sidney Carter of Senatobia, Mississippi, recorded by Alan Lomax and available on Volume 1 of his Southern Journeys series now being reissued by Rounder records (CD 1701). (Although this cut was never on the original vinyl.) While many black spirituals are slavery songs in religious guise, using the language of the Israelites leaving Egypt as an emblem for the desire to overcome enslavement, this one seems particularly so. (The tune is complex and really ought to be heard from the CD--Mrs. Carter's rendition of it will leave you speechless!)

    The verses (repetitions eliminated):



    PHARAOH

    Pharaoh, Pharaoh,
    Pharaoh's army sure got drownded,
    Pharaoh.

    Go down, go down,
    Go down, Israel, and lead your children,
    Go down.

    Mary, Mary,
    Mary sure was Jesus's mother,
    Mary.

    Farewell, Farewell,
    Farewell, children, I'm sure gonna leave you,
    Farewell.

    Pharaoh, Pharaoh,
    Pharaoh's army sure got drownded,
    Pharaoh.



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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 08:36 PM

Thanks for the link.

Her singing of this is gorgeous. But I LOVED the way you sing it, Charlie. It is yours.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 08:38 PM

PS, I think it's so interesting that she's singing "May-Rye"

Dani


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 03:45 AM

Odetta did a beaut recording of this.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Help:Moses, Don't let Pharaoh
From: Janie
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 07:46 AM

Thanks Charlie!


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