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Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?

DigiTrad:
BLACK JACK DAVEY
BLACK JACK DAVY
BLACK JACK DAVY (IN ATLANTIC CITY)
BLACKJACK DAVEY (2)
BLACKJACK DAVID
CLAYTON BOONE
GYPSIE LADDIE
GYPSY DAVEY
GYPSY LADDIES
GYPSY ROVER
HARRISON BRADY
SEVEN GYPSIES ON YON HILL
THE GYPSY LADDIE
THE GYPSY LADDIE (4)
THE HIPPIES AND THE BEATNIKS
THE LADY AND THE GYPSY
THE WRAGGLE-TAGGLE GYPSIES
WHEN CARNAL FIRST CAME TO ARKANSAS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Gypsies (Cathal McConnell, Child #200) (5)
(origins) Origins: The Raggle-Taggle Gypsy (127)
(origins) Origins: Help with Gypsy Davy (90)
Wraggle Taggle Gypsies in translation (3)
Lyr Req: Seven Yellow Gypsies (Dolores Keane) (8)
Chord Req:This version of Black Jack Davey (Heron) (13)
(origins) Origins: Clayton Boone (Child #200) (10)
Lyr Req: Gipsy Countess (8)
Lyr Add: The wraggle taggle Gipsies, O! (16)
Lyr Req: Gypsy Davy (Doc and Richard Watson) (4)
Black Jack Davey Dylan (27)
Lyr Req: Hippies and the Beatniks (Miles Wootton) (28)
Origins of raggle-taggle (9)
Lyr Req: The Gypsy Laddie (Tannahill Weavers) (10)
Chord Req: gypsy davy (3)
Lyr Req: Gypsy Laddie (Jean Redpath #200) (8)
Lyr Req: Black Jack Davy (Sheila Kay Adams #200) (6)
Lyr Req: Raggle taggle gypsy (26)
Tune Req: jeannie robertson's gypsy laddies (3)
Lyr Req: Raggle Taggle Gypsie 'O (12)
Tune Req: Raggle Taggle Gypsy Oh ! (7)
looking for Johnny Faw songs (Johnny Faa) (8)
Help: History of Blackjack David-y-ey (30)
Lyr Req: Wraggle Taggle Gypsy (10)
(origins) Origin: Raggle-Taggle Gypsy (6)


GUEST,emily b 16 Jul 00 - 06:37 PM
Sorcha 16 Jul 00 - 06:40 PM
Murray MacLeod 17 Jul 00 - 06:21 AM
InOBU 17 Jul 00 - 06:27 AM
Bagpuss 17 Jul 00 - 06:28 AM
GUEST 28 Mar 04 - 09:49 AM
Uncle_DaveO 28 Mar 04 - 10:16 AM
GUEST 28 Mar 04 - 10:28 AM
Allan C. 28 Mar 04 - 10:54 AM
Allan C. 28 Mar 04 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Stephen 28 Mar 04 - 11:41 AM
michaelr 28 Mar 04 - 01:12 PM
Allan C. 28 Mar 04 - 01:21 PM
Peace 28 Mar 04 - 01:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Mar 04 - 02:30 PM
Ned Ludd 28 Mar 04 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 28 Mar 04 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 28 Mar 04 - 08:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Mar 04 - 09:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Mar 04 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 28 Mar 04 - 11:55 PM
s&r 29 Mar 04 - 04:40 AM
pavane 29 Mar 04 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,john 26 Mar 09 - 08:44 PM
SINSULL 27 Mar 09 - 08:50 AM
SINSULL 27 Mar 09 - 08:52 AM
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Subject: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: GUEST,emily b
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 06:37 PM

I'm putting some information together about the Black Jack Davy/Gypsy Laddie variations and I don't know what the origin of the term Black Jack Davy is. Does anyone out there know?

I've looked through the threads (I think I saw them all) on "Black Jack" but there is no reference to the name/phrase itself.

I'll appreciate any info. Thanks.

Emily


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Sorcha
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 06:40 PM

Well, the Black Jacks are those of Spades and Clubs. Doubt if this has any relevance, tho. Sorry. I know there has to be some info out there............


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 06:21 AM

A blackjack is also an English term for a cudgel, club, blunt instrument for inflicting physical damage. I doubt if this has any relevance either, however.

It is a great song, isn't it, especially as sung by the Incredible String Band.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 06:27 AM

More likely Black refer's to Jack's hair color, it is the same as refering to the Rom (Gypsy) who the lady runs off with as Yellow (refering to asian (Indian) skin tone as in an eairlier varient 9 yellow gypsies. As the woman runs of with a Rom in most versions they are refering to Jack's hair color, in the same way as refering to someone with red hair as red so and so.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 06:28 AM

A blackjack is also a liquorice sweet, but thats totally irrelevant.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 09:49 AM

I always assumed 'Black Jack' referred to the card game - denoting our hero as a gambler. I always kind of figured the 'Black Jack' variant was an Americanised version of the Gypsy/ies versions... there not being any gypsies in America, but plenty of gamblers (cf. Roving Gambler, or Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie)


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 10:16 AM

GUEST (or one of them) said, in part:

there not being any gypsies in America,

Where did you get that idea?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 10:28 AM

Er, something June Tabor said the other week... I never really stopped to think about it, truth be told.
Fair point though :O) Anyhow, I stand by my 'Black Jack' theory!


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Allan C.
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 10:54 AM

According to this source, the game of "Twenty-One" didn't appear in American gambling halls until 1919. The origin of the name, Blackjack, is explained as follows:

So how did "Twenty-One" become "Blackjack"? Apparently when the game was first introduced in American it wasn't very popular so the gambling houses tried various bonus payouts to get the players to the tables. On such bonus was a 10-to-1 payout if the player's hand consisted of the Ace of Spades and a black Jack (either the Jack of Clubs of the Jack of Spades). This hand was called a "blackjack" for obvious reasons and the name stuck even though the bonus payout was soon abolished.

In view of this and the age of the song, it seems unlikely that the name used was in reference to the card game.


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Allan C.
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 11:16 AM

I forgot to add that I have always equated the name with molasses. Dark molasses has been called, "blackjack" for hundreds of years. (Blackjack is also commonly used as a verb to describe the carmelization of sugar.) I thought it might refer to the color of his skin rather than to his hair. But I'm just guessing.


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: GUEST,Stephen
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 11:41 AM

Very interesting Allan - thanks! How old, though, is the 'Blackjack' variant? I only know the Dylan and Steeleye versions... Do we know when it was first collected?


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: michaelr
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 01:12 PM

I thought the term associated with molasses was "blackstrap"?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Allan C.
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 01:21 PM

Also true, Michael. That's a term I grew up hearing. However, "blackjack" is in common use as well.


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Peace
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 01:26 PM

First, I do not know the answer. Some things for the pot:

BLACK (meaning dark in character) Jack Davy
BLACK JACK (the cudgel) Davy (person who shanghai-ed others)


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 02:30 PM

Black jack, in Francis Grose' 18th c. dictionary of cant, etc., was a name thieves gave to the recorder, or receiver, of stolen goods.

More likely, however, is that the reference is to a gypsy's usual hair color.
A version in Sam Henry's Songs of the People calls them 'brown-eyed gipsys.'

Looking at Branson, "The Singing Tradition...," the original versions of this Child Ballad with 'Black Jack' Davy all seem to be American. I haven't checked this out thoroughly.


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 04:57 PM

Blackjack was also a name for Jacks of Ale, usually made of black leather. Maybe he was a drunkard?


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 05:14 PM

I knew a Black Jack McCandless, called that because of his hair color, I always supposed. Very black hair, light skin. He was a contractor for earth moving projects: road building & the like.

I suppose it could have been for his personality. He once knifed a man who woke him up suddenly, but the knifee didn't prefer charges; he said he should have known better. I heard that B.Jack's wife always woke him up from a distance with a broom. Don't know if it's true or not.

There's Gypsies around here all right; Jimmy Marks, who claims to be the leader of the local Gypsies, has put a curse on the city of Spokane.

clint


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 08:07 PM

Theres a Longborough(?)morris tune called Black Jack - and there is, I think a Black Jo and an Old Black Jo.

Don't know how old they are.

In 'Nancy Dawson' the girls of the town are described as 'the black the fair the red the brown' which presumably refers to their hair colouring.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 09:21 PM

Can anyone find reference to 'Black Jack' in any of the ballads collected in the British Isles? Or was he an American folk invention?

The ballad is not known until well over 100 years after the death of the gypsy called Faa. Earlier existence is questionable.

When were gypsies allowed back into Scotland??


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 10:13 PM

So far as I can tell, he doesn't start appearing as "Black Jack" until late 19th century America; but that's from a look at titles, not full texts. Just a nickname, as like as not, and probably with nothing more to it than that.


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 11:55 PM

"Black Jack Davy" alliterates & has a different rhythm than "Gypsy Davy"... Maybe that's enough reason for the name.

clint


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: s&r
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 04:40 AM

Alliteration surely refers to the initial sound of closely occurring words? What Clint points out is assonance I think. The point is valid however

Stu


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: pavane
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 06:48 AM

I think the Morris Black Jack / Old Black Joe are probably derived from the original tune name Black Joke. And I understand that the (bawdy) meaning has nothing to do with the visible hair!


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: GUEST,john
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 08:44 PM

How did the term "Blackjack" become the name for the weapons namesake?


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: SINSULL
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 08:50 AM

Andrew Jackson postage stamp is called a Black Jack by philatilists.
A sock filled with rocks, lead, etc is also called a blackjack.


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Subject: RE: Black Jack Davy - origin of phrase?
From: SINSULL
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 08:52 AM

Joann Sousa sings a variation of Sam Hall called Black Jack:

My name it is Black Jack
And I do steal, I do steal
My name it is Black Jack
And I do steal
My name it is Black Jack
I'm American and black
And I'm a pirate, that's a fact
And I do steal.

Neat song.


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