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


Generic verses

PHJim 09 Feb 16 - 04:44 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Feb 16 - 05:35 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Feb 16 - 05:37 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Feb 16 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,wysiwyg minus cookie 10 Feb 16 - 10:05 AM
PHJim 10 Feb 16 - 12:15 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Generic verses
From: PHJim
Date: 09 Feb 16 - 04:44 PM

At a jam the other night, I noticed folks singing songs I'd never heard before with verses that I've heard many times in other songs and even in other genres:

"Got a pocket full of nickels and a hand full of dimes,
Got a house full of children; ain't none of 'em mine."

"If you don't like my peaches, Baby don'tcha shake my tree.
Get outa my orchard and let my peaches be."

"I've got a woman, she's so tall,
She sleeps in the kitchen with her feet in the hall."

Any more of these generic verses? And where have you heard them?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Generic verses
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Feb 16 - 05:35 PM

In academic circles they're usually called 'commonplaces' and on the folk scene they have come to be known as 'floating verses'.
They have been around a long time, not necessarily the ones you quote, but as a phenomenon, probably before print, certainly the 17th century.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Generic verses
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Feb 16 - 05:37 PM

Try putting both of those into the search facility and if that doesn't turn up what you want try Googling them. Here's a starter 'If I had the wings..........'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Generic verses
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Feb 16 - 06:01 PM

Some of these floaters are very striking poetry. As I have often remarked, here & elsewhere, the

Came to riverside ... Belly & swam ... Other side ... Heels & ran

commonplace/floater is one of the best summations anywhere of an urgent journey in great haste.

≈M≈


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Generic verses
From: GUEST,wysiwyg minus cookie
Date: 10 Feb 16 - 10:05 AM

AKA zipper verses.

I see from the examples that many have been appropriated from cultures not one's own. ;-(


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Generic verses
From: PHJim
Date: 10 Feb 16 - 12:15 PM

I took Steve Gardham's advice and did some Googling with his guide words. Here's some interesting info:

The 'peaches' verse has a long history in popular music. It appears as the chorus of an unpublished song composed by Irving Berlin in May 1914: "If you don't want my peaches / You'd better stop shaking my tree".
The song "Mamma's Got the Blues", written by Clarence Williams and S. Martin and recorded by Bessie Smith in 1923, has the line: "If you don't like my peaches then let my orchard be".
In her version of "St. Louis Blues", Ella Fitzgerald sang, "If you don't like my peaches, why do you shake my tree? / Stay out of my orchard, and let my peach tree be".
In 1929 Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded "Peach Orchard Mama" ("... you swore nobody'd pick your fruit but me / I found three kid men shaking down your peaches free")...

A bit more Googling found the words to the Irving Berlin song, not a blues:

Mary Snow had a beau
Who was bashful and shy
She simply couldn't make the boy propose
No matter how she'd try
Mary grew tired of waiting
So she called her beau one side
While he stood there biting his fingernails
Mary cried:

[Refrain:]
If you don't want my peaches
You'd better stop shaking my tree

Let me say that you're mighty slow
You're as cold as an Eskimo

There's a thousand others waiting
Waiting to propose to me

So, if you don't want my peaches
You'd better stop shaking my tree"

GUEST,wysiwyg minus cookie, I guess this might have been appropriated by blues singers from Irving Berlin, but he may well have gotten the line from some other blues singer.
I'm sure that's where The Beatles got it for their garbled version of Carl Perkins' Matchbox.

Another verse that's been used in a lot of songs is:

I'm sittin' here wonderin' "Will a matchbox hold my clothes?"
Yes I'm sittin' here wnderin',"Will a matchbox hold my clothes?"
I ain't got so many, but I've got a long way to go.

I first heard this from Lonnie Johnson and assumed it meant that he had so few clothes that they'd fit in a matchbox. For some reason, Carl Perkins thought it meant a shortage of matches and he sang:

I'm sittin' here wonderin',"Will a matchbox hold my clothes?"
I ain't got so many matches, but I got a long way to go.

The Beatles mis heard the song and sang:

I said I'm sitting here watching
Matchbox hole in my clothes
I said I'm sitting here wondering
Matchbox hole in my clothes
I ain't got no matches but I sure
Got a long way to go


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: 15 August 9:59 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.