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Origins/Lyr Add: Turnip Greens

harpgirl 26 Dec 99 - 09:25 PM
harpgirl 04 Apr 00 - 11:39 PM
GUEST,ghost 06 Jul 00 - 07:45 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 12 Oct 01 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,AG Wright 04 Aug 12 - 10:11 PM
Henry Krinkle 04 Aug 12 - 11:43 PM
Joe Offer 05 Aug 12 - 01:21 AM
Joe Offer 05 Aug 12 - 01:27 AM
Joe Offer 05 Aug 12 - 01:58 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 05 Aug 12 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,The Warped Vinyl Junkie 18 Sep 13 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 15 May 16 - 03:53 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 15 May 16 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 15 May 16 - 04:17 AM
Jim Dixon 22 May 16 - 08:31 PM
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Subject: ADD: Turnip Greens ^^
From: harpgirl
Date: 26 Dec 99 - 09:25 PM

...I have been looking for songs from Mississippi and here is another one from the AP Hudson collection:

TURNIP GREENS

Had a dream the other night
Dreamed that I could fly
Flapped my wings like a buzzard
And flew up to the sky

St. Peter stood at the Golden Gate
"From what place did you fly?"
I told him from Mississippi
I flew up to the sky

He showed me through a telescope
I don't know what that means
I saw ten thousand people
Livin on turnip greens

They all looked so sassy
Been livin above their means
And he kicked them down to the hot place
For stealin turnip greens

Turnip greens, turnip greens
Good old turnip greens
Cornbread and buttermilk
and good old turnip greens


harpgirl ^^


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Subject: ADD Version: Turnip Greens ^^
From: harpgirl
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 11:39 PM

...oh and here is an Arkansas variant performed by Neil Morris (Jimmy Driftwood's daddy) and recorded on October 6, 1959 in Timbo Arkansas on "Southern Journey: Ozark Frontier"


TURNIP GREENS

Well I had a dream the other night
I dreamed that I could fly
Plopped my wings like an eagle
And I flew up to the sky

At the gate I met Mass Gabriel
And he looked at me so keen
He asked me what I'd have to eat
And I told him "turnip greens"

Mass Gabriel also asked me
From what country did I fly
And I told him from the Ozarks
That I flew up to the sky

He wondered why the men down there
Were rough and yet so clean
And I said "Why Mr. Gabriel
It's them good old turnip greens!

Turnip greens, turnip greens
Good old turnip greens
cornbread and buttermilk
And good old turnip greens

Mass Gabriel brought some angel food
On a great big silvery bowl
He said if you will eat this
It will rest your weary soul

Well it didn't taste like taters'
And it didn't taste like beans
And it didn't have the flavor of
Them good old turnip greens

Mass Gabriel said "Young man
I see that you're not satisfied
You'd rather be down yonder
On some Ozark mountainside

So I'll tell you the story
Of the country of your birth
The Lord's a getting ready
For his kingdom on the earth

Tomorrow we'll be moving
To that great land of the free
That band you hear a-playing
Is the Ozark jubilee. ^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Turnip Greens
From: GUEST,ghost
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 07:45 PM

reup


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Subject: ADD: Carrot Greens
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 07:05 PM

A variant from southern Utah praises carrot greens.

CARROT GREENS

The other night I had a dream,
I dreamt that I could fly,
I flapped my wings like a buzzard
And I flew into the sky.
And there I met St. Peter,
I met him at the gate.
He asked me in to dine with him
And this is what we ate.

CHORUS
Oh--carrot greens,
Good old carrot greens,
Corn bread and buttermilk
And good old carrot greens.

The other night I had a dream,
I dreamt that I had died;
I flapped my wings like an eagle,
And flew into the skies.
And there I saw Moroni,
A-sitting on a spire;
He asked me up and said we'd sup
On this most humble fare.
CHORUS

From Mormon Songs from the Rocky Mountains. Moroni is the angel who delivered the message to Joseph Smith. It is said even cows and horses avoided carrot tops.


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Subject: ADD Version: Turnip Greens
From: GUEST,AG Wright
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 10:11 PM

This is what I learned from a member of the Rakensack folk society.

Turnip Greens

D
I had a dream the other night, I dreamed that I could fly.
A7                                                                            D
Flapped my arms like a buzzard and I flew up to the sky.
D                                           G
At the gate I met St. Peter, to me he looked so neat
    A7                                       D
He asked me in to dinner, and this is what we eat.
Chorus
D                                           A7
Turnip Greens, turnip greens, good old turnip greens
A7                                           D
Corn bread and buttermilk, and good old turnip greens.

TURNIP GREENS

I had a dream the other night, I dreamed that I could fly.
Flapped my arms like a buzzard and I flew up to the sky.
At the gate I met St. Peter, to me he looked so neat
He asked me in to dinner, and this is what we eat.

CHORUS: Turnip Greens, turnip greens, good old turnip greens
Cornbread and buttermilk, and good old turnip greens.

St. Peter boldly asked me, from what state I did fly,
I flew up from old Arkansas, I flew up to the sky,
He talked me through a through a telephone, said "I don't know what it means,
But half the people in that state all live on turnip greens. CHORUS

St. Peter said, "That Arkansas man had a heart as black as jet,
And he could scarcely stay here in this blessed promised land,
Said he didn't care for honey, for sugar or for cream,
His heart and soul just seemed to crave a mess of turnip greens. CHORUS

St. Peter said, "That Arkansas man had a heart as black as jet,
For once he was an angel and he should have been one yet.
But his ways they were so wicked, he lived far beyond his means,
They sent him down for stealing...a mess of turnip greens." CHORUS

St. Peter said, "Those Arkansas girls are awful hard to beat,
They always look so pretty and they always look so neat,
The reason for their beauty, is plainly to be seen,
The precious little darlin's were all raised on turnip greens." CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Turnip Greens
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 11:43 PM

I like it. I like it alot.
(:-( D)=


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Subject: Origins: Turnip Greens
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 01:21 AM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

    Turnip Greens

    DESCRIPTION: Singer dreams he meets Gabriel. Asked what he'll eat; he says, "Turnip greens." Asked why Ozark people are rough, yet clean; "Turnip greens." Gabriel says God's kingdom on earth is coming. Chorus: "...Cornbread and buttermilk/And good old turnip greens!"
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (recording, H. K. Hutchison)
    KEYWORDS: food humorous
    FOUND IN: US(So)
    REFERENCES (4 citations):
    [Randolph 287, "Turnip Greens" -- deleted in the second printing]
    Randolph/Cohen, pp. 243-245, "Turnip Greens" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 287)
    Hudson 75, pp. 202-203, "Turnip Greens" (1 text)
    Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 9, "Turnip Greens" (1 text, 1 tune)

    Roud #4491
    RECORDINGS:
    Shorty Goodwin, "Turnip Greens" (Columbia 15411-D, 1929)
    H. K. Hutchison, "Good Old Turnip Greens" (Gennett 6464/Champion 15525, 1928)
    W. A. Lindsay & Alvin Connor, "Good Old Turnip Greens" (Okeh 45346, 1929; rec. 1928)
    Neil Morris, "Turnip Greens" (on LomaxCD1707)
    Pie Plant Pete [pseud. for Claude Moye], "Turnip Greens" (Champion 45063, 1935)

    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Greens" (theme)
    NOTES: The description of this song is based on the Neil Morris recording. The Pankake text is much shorter, and is about Atmore residents rather than residents of the Ozarks. Similarly, Hudson's text is about the residents of Mississippi.
    I have not heard all the 78 recordings listed above, so they too may be local or parodized versions. - RBW
    File: RcTG

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibliography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2012 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Turnip Greens
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 01:27 AM

I have the 1980 paperback edition of Randolph, and it doesn't have #287. Can anybody post Randolph #287 from an earlier source?
-Joe-


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Subject: ADD Version: Good Old Turnip Greens
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 01:58 AM

Here's a version similar to the one posted above by AG Wright:

GOOD OLD TURNIP GREENS
(as recorded by Bo Chatman)

When I was a little boy,
I always wanted to fly,
I flapped my wings like a seagull
And I flew up to the sky.
When I got up in Heaven,
I seen something I never have seen -
There was a lot of burly coons
Just a-scratchin' on the turnip greens.

     CHORUS
     He's a fool about his turnip greens
     Oh yes, indeed he are,
     Corn bread and buttermilk
     And the good old turnip greens.

Mister Spencer went to Chicago,
And I went to New Orleans,
I got mad and walked all the way back home,
Just to get my greasy turnip greens,
Oh the white man wears his broadcloth,
And the Indian he wears jeans,
But here comes the darkey with his over-alls on,
Just a-scratchin' on the turnip greens.

     CHORUS
     He's a fool about his turnip greens
     Oh yes, indeed he are,
     Corn bread and it's greasy
     And the good old turnip greens.

White man goes to the college
And the Negro to the fields,
The white man will learn to read and write,
And the Negro will learn to steal.
Oh the white folks in their parlors,
Just eatin' their cake and cream,
But the darkey's back in the kitchen,
Just a-scratchin on his turnip greens.

     CHORUS
     He's a fool about his turnip greens
     Oh yes, indeed he are,
     Corn bread and pepper sauce
     And the good old turnip greens.


Source: Songsters and Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records, by Paul Oliver, page 103
Also Yonder Come the Blues: The Evolution of a Genre, By Paul Oliver, Tony Russell, Robert M. W. Dixon, John Godrich, Howard Rye, page 106
I found the exact same lyrics on Spotify on a Document Records album titled Bo Carter Vol 1. (1928-1931). Another source says Bo Carter the same as Armenter Chatman, so I'm supposing Bo Carter and Bo Chatman are the same person.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Turnip Greens
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 07:04 AM

Just to confirm that Bo Carter and Armenter Chatman are one and the same, brother to Sam Chatman, Lonnie Chatman and Harry Chatman all members of a large musical family from Bolton/Edwards Mississippi. The family that spawned the excellent Mississippi Sheiks an excellent black string band. The guys that wrote and recorded "Sitting on Top of the World" among others.
Bo Carter recorded solo and his repertoire included a number of double entendre numbers.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Turnip Greens
From: GUEST,The Warped Vinyl Junkie
Date: 18 Sep 13 - 03:07 PM

There are a few problems with the Carter/Chatman (more likely spelled Chatmon) lyric transcription (I assume it to be Paul Oliver's), some I am able to rectify and some I am not. I always welcome additions and corrections to my contributions, as I trust mine will be welcomed by others.

Line 3: The final word is not "seagull." (Neither is it "eagle" or "buzzard," as earlier rescensions of the lyric have it; Carter has used another term here.) I am no expert in IPA, so the best I can express the sound is as something resembling "feel-ahv." I'm not sure what the word is supposed to be, but with Carter's diction, it's a sure bet it's not "seagull."

Line 8 (also 20 and 32): Rather than "on the," it is quite obvious, each of the three times Carter sings the line, that the actual words are, "over they" [sic; patois usage for "their" or "his"].

Line 13: The furnished word "to" is not sung. This is a common dialect omission still in late 20th-early 21st century usage (cf. Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Who'll Stop the Rain" or Van Morrison, "I'm Gonna Dress in Black" lyrics).

Lines 18-19: The words "wear" and "come" are used here, rather than the more grammatically accurate "wears" and "comes." In addition, the pronunciation of "overalls" in line 19 seems to be the ethnolect "overhalls."

Line 26: Carter sings "fiel'" rather than "fields," resulting in a perfect rhyme with the word "steal" in line 28.

Line 28: Rather than the precise pronunciation of "negro" in line 26, it is practically impossible to hear Carter say anything but "nigga" in this line. While this is certainly not meant as any more of a racial slur than other references to a "darky" or "darkies" elsewhere in the lyric, it is interesting that the single use of this term, although largely still socially prevalent at the time of this recording (1928) as a mode of reference to persons of color, is coupled in this line with a reference to theft as a way of life.

Lines 29 and 31: A careful listening will show that Carter took special care in casting these two lines as parallel. "Parlor" is singular, as is "kitchen," while "darkies" is plural, as is "white folks." Carter was often careful with his choice of words, making his brand of Hokum a cut above many others, and bringing out an extra dimension to his humor in the aforementioned use of "over they" in line 32.


For contact: [please use the author of the text, with spaces removed]@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Turnip Greens
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 15 May 16 - 03:53 AM

E.C. Perrow's song 13B in his multipart 1910s article reads like this: "White folks go to college;
Nigger go to field;
White folks learn to read and write,
And de niggers learn to steal.

O Lord, it's hard to be a nigger! {twice)
'Cause a nigger don't have no show!"

The original manuscript (see the "E.C. Perrow original manuscripts online" thread) has the following notes for this song from L.A. Harrison: "There are several verses to this I will see if I can find any more. The song is sung by negroes working in the field. This is usually sung in cotton-chopping time." And "Chorus" is written next to the "Oh Lord.../'Cause a..." section.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Turnip Greens
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 15 May 16 - 04:16 AM

More notes from L.A. Harrison. Next to Perrow's 41G, "Liza Jane," Harrison wrote, "The negroes sing this at the old fashioned dances they have." Next to Perrow's 2B, "When I Die" (with its lyrics about "Natural born... don't have to work... tail of my shirt"), Harrison wrote, "I heard one singing this as he was carried to the calaboose."


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Turnip Greens
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 15 May 16 - 04:17 AM

L.A. Harrison was Luther A. Harrison.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TURNIP GREENS (Wonder State Harmonists)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 May 16 - 08:31 PM

TURNIP GREENS
As recorded by Wonder State Harmonists
Found on the compilation album "Arkansas at 78 rpm: Corn Dodgers & Hoss Hail Pullers" (2014)

1. Well, I had a dream the other night; dreamt that I could fly.
Flopped my wings like a turkey and I flew up to the sky.
There I saw old Saint Peter, a-standin' right by that gate.
He asks me in to supper and I told him that I eat:

CHORUS: Turnip greens (turnip greens), them good old turnip greens, (Pass the buttermilk!)
Cornbread and buttermilk, them good old turnip greens.

2. Saint Peter then did ask me from what parts did I fly.
Told him from Arkansas I flew up to the sky.
He told me from Arkansas he only had one man.
He could hardly live there in that good old happy land.
Said he didn't care for peaches, honey, milk, nor cream,
But his heart and soul seemed to crave for them good old turnip greens. CHORUS

3. Well, I went out walkin' one afternoon, 'cause I had no mule to ride.
Police angel(?) done grabbed me for gettin' on the white folks' side.
He took me in the collar, said I was a beet(?).
I'd have to shake my money or work on the golden street. CHORUS


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