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Lyr Add: Somebody Got Drowned (Palm Beach 1928)

GUEST,Phil d'Conch 31 Jan 18 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 31 Jan 18 - 03:22 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 31 Jan 18 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 31 Jan 18 - 03:35 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 05 Feb 18 - 10:25 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 18 - 12:00 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 06 Feb 18 - 03:33 AM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 18 - 03:44 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Somebody Got Drowned
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 03:14 AM

Somebody Got Drowned

On the sixteenth day of September,
in the year of 1928,
God started to riding early
and He rode to very late.

In the storm, oh in the storm,
Lord somebody got drowned.
Got drowned Lord, in the storm!

He rode out on the ocean,
chained the lightning to his wheel.
Stepped on the land at West Palm Beach,
and the wicked hearts did yield.

Over in Pahokee,
families rushed out the door.
And somebody's poor mother
has never been seen no more.

Some mothers looked at their children,
and as they looked they began to cry.
Cried, oh my Lord, have mercy,
if you don't we all must die!

Schoolhouses, halls and theaters,
in the storm, they was all blown down.
In the city of West Palm Beach,
only two churches left in town.

I'll tell you, you wicked people,
what you had better all do.
Go down and get the Holy Ghost,
and live a good life, too.

Out around Lake Okeechobee,
all scattered on the ground.
The last account of the dead folks,
there was twenty-two hundred found.

South Bay, Belle Glade and Pahokee,
they tell me they all went down.
And in the little town of Chosen,
they say everybody got drowned.

Some folks are still missing,
and ain't been found, they say.
But this we know,
they will come forth
on the Resurrection Day.

When Gabriel sounds the trumpet
and the dead begin to rise.
I'll meet those saints from Chosen,
up in the heavenly skies.

In the storm, oh in the storm,
Lord somebody got drowned.
Got drowned Lord, in the storm!

Palm Beach Post, 24 October, 1928.

Note: These are the oldest lyrics I've found so far. Still looking for a link that isn't behind a paywall. The sources seem to agree this is where it started. None the four known recordings use all of the above. More to follow.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Somebody Got Drowned
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 03:22 AM

God Rode on a Mighty Storm

Sixteenth day of September,
1928,
God started to riding early
and He rode until very late.

[chorus]
Oh in that storm, oh in that storm!
Lord somebody got drowned in that storm.
Oh in that storm, oh in that storm!
Oh in that storm, oh in that storm!
Lord somebody got drowned in that storm.

He rode out on the ocean,
chained the lightning to his wheel.
Stepped on the land of West Palm Beach,
and the wicked hearted yield.
[cho.]

Over in Peehokee,
families rushed of that door.
Somebody's poor mother
have never been seen anymore.
[cho. audio drops in-out]

...looked at the children,
as they they began to cry.
..., have mercy,
for we are gonna die!

[cho. garbled]

I'll tell you, you wicked people,
what you had better all do.
Go down and get the Holy...
[audio ends mid-verse.]*

Library of Congress Catalog

327 A
God rode on a mighty storm. Sung by Lily Mae Atkinson and mixed group.
Frederica, Ga., Alan Lomax, Zora Neale Hurston amd Mary Elizabeth Barnicle.
June, 1935.
Ballad about 1928 Miami hurricane**


* 327 B is Bill Tatnall, I am Looking for the Bully of that Town. I don't know if there is any more of Atkinson &co.

** The Miami hurricane struck in 1926. This song first appeared right after the 1928 Okeechobbe Hurricane

Lily Mae on youtube: God rode on a mighty storm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Somebody Got Drowned
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 03:27 AM

The West Palm Beach Storm

On the sixteenth day of September, 1928.
God start to ridin' early.
He rode till very late.

(chorus)
In the storm. Oh in the storm.
Lord somebody got drownded in a storm.

He rode out on the ocean.
Chained the lightning to his wheels.
Stepped on the land of West Palm Beach
and the wicked hearts did yield.

(cho.)

Out in Pokeechokee,
families rushed out out at the door [sic]
and somebody's poor mother,
haven't been seen anymore.

(cho.)

Some mothers look at their children
and they began to cry.
Cried Lord have mercy for
we all must die.

(cho.)

I'll tell you wicked people,
what you had better do.
Go down and get the Holy Ghost
and you'll live the life too.

(cho.)

Out around Okeechobee,
all scattered on the ground.
The last account of the dead they had,
was twenty-two hundred found.

(cho.)

South Bay, Belle Glade and Peehokee,
tell me they all laid down.
And out at Chosen,
everybody got drowned.

(cho.)

Some people are yet missing,
and haven't been found, they say.
But this we know,
they will come forth
in the Resurrection Day.

(cho.)

When Gabriel sounds the trumpet
and the dead begin to rise.
I'll meet the saints from Chosen,
up in the heavenly skies.

(cho.)

Library of Congress Catalog: The West Palm Beach Storm
977 A
Sung by Viola Jenkins.
Gainesville, Fla., Alton C. Morris,
June, 1937.

Florida Memory Audio: The West Palm Beach Storm
(starts at 23:30)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Somebody Got Drowned
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 03:35 AM

In That Storm

(Garbled) ..in that storm.
Well somebody got drownded in that storm.
Wasn't in that storm? Lord in that storm.
Well it's somebody got drownded in that storm.

Well my God works in the mysterious ways,
his wonders to perform.
He planted his footsteps out on the sea
and he rode out in that storm.

In that storm. Lord in that storm.
Well it's somebody got drownded in that storm.
(garbled).. got drownded in that storm.

Well Moses went to Egypt to lead the Israelites,
Pharoah he got angry and he went out on that ride.

(chorus)
In that storm. Lord in that storm.
Yeah Lord somebody got drownded in that storm.
Wasn't it in that storm? Wasn't it in that storm?
Well it's somebody got drownded in that storm.

Well Noah he was preachin,'
Those sinners now they sinned.
(garbled)
(cho.)

In nineteen hundred and fourteen,
that World War begun.
They fought a awful battle,
but no nations won.

(cho.)

Even Michael and his angels,
they fought a awful war
but in that mighty battle,
old Satan did depart.

(cho.)

On the sixteenth day of September,
in nineteen twentyeight,
(garbled)
My Lord moved on the water,
and he moved till very late.

(cho.)

(garbled)
'Cause in this mighty Depression,
they're robbing the Christian's homes.

(cho.)


Library of Congress Catalog: In That Storm

715 A&B
Sung by George Washington and group of Negro convicts.
Camp no. 28, Gainesville, Fla.
John A. Lomax, May, 1936.

Florida Memory Audio: In That Storm
(715 B starts at 25:30)

Note: I'm not aware of any official transcriptions. All of the above were done by me. Needs a lot more work.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Somebody Got Drowned
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 05 Feb 18 - 10:25 PM

Here's the full text of a recent online article (link is way too long) -

POST TIME: 1928 storm spawned song whose writer remains unknown
By Eliot Kleinberg - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Posted: 12:00 a.m. Thursday, September 12, 2013

Readers: This week marks the 85th anniversary of arguably the most profound single event in the history of Palm Beach County: the great Okeechobee hurricane of Sept. 16, 1928.

The Post is noting the storm, and its legacy, in several current stories. For our purposes, we turn to one of the great mysteries to emerge from the event: the source of the tune, "Somebody Got Drowned." Here's more from a 2007 column:

No author has ever been found and, while lyrics first appeared in the press weeks after the storm, the first time this reporter heard the tune was in 2003. It was from a 1974 documentary, "From These Roots," by filmmaker William B. Greaves.

Some new information about the song has come from, of all places, Italian music scholar Luigi Monge, who published an 2007 article in Cambridge University's publication, Popular Music. His research at the U.S. Library of Congress found no fewer than four different field recordings of the song, with different titles.

"God Rode on a Mighty Storm" was sung in 1935 by singer Lily Mae Atkinson at St. Simon's Island, Ga., and recorded by a team that included Zora Neale Hurston.

Two recordings of "In That Storm" were made in 1936 by folklorist John A. Lomax in Gainesville. They're credited to "George Washington and Group of Negro Convicts."

The fourth, made in 1937, is titled "West Palm Beach Storm" and performed by Viola Jenkins, who said she learned it from oral tradition.

"Oral tradition" probably is as close as we'll ever get to the source of a tune that grew from a catastrophe and emerged from a downtrodden part of society.



Note: Same newspaper as 1928. Includes a reprint of the full lyrics (see OP).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Somebody Got Drowned
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 12:00 AM

Makes me think of the "Galveston Flood" songs of 1900.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Somebody Got Drowned (Palm Beach 1928)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 03:33 AM

I'm still tracking down the bits and pieces.

Two months, almost to the day, before the big September 1928 storm this song came out about the 1926 Miami hurricane. The Palm Beach Post bunch never picked up on the similarities for some reason:

Florida Storm

"September eighteenth, nineteen hundred and twenty-six,
The people cried mercy in the storm,
Their cries were too late their crying was in vain,
Crying, Lord have mercy in the storm...."

(J.Jackson, July 13,1928, The Colored Sacred Harp, p.87-89)

Joe: Your call on moving all of the above to the main "hurricane" thread:
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=72422


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Somebody Got Drowned (Palm Beach 1928)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 18 - 03:44 AM

When it's substantial like this, Phil, I think the thread is best on its own. Maybe I'll crosslink it to others later.
Joe


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