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Today is the day they give babies away

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maldensup@mbln.lib.ma.us 13 Aug 97 - 09:40 AM
LaMarca 14 Aug 97 - 11:41 AM
Bert Hansell 14 Aug 97 - 11:51 AM
Alice 14 Aug 97 - 12:07 PM
dick greenhaus 14 Aug 97 - 12:15 PM
Alice 14 Aug 97 - 12:30 PM
Justin 14 Aug 97 - 02:42 PM
maldensup@mbln.lib.ma.us 14 Aug 97 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 15 May 16 - 03:33 AM
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Subject: Today is the day they give babies away
From: maldensup@mbln.lib.ma.us
Date: 13 Aug 97 - 09:40 AM

Hello,

I am writing from the Malden, Mass., Public Library with a library user's query, which is,

What is the title and composer of the folk song (?) from the 30s which began:

"Today is the day they give babies away for half a pound of tea / If you know any ladies that want babies, send them up to me."

Any information you have would be appreciated.

Melissa Mitchell Information Librarian Malden (Mass.) Public Library


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Subject: RE: Today is the day they give babies away
From: LaMarca
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 11:41 AM

Melissa, I don't know the exact title for the song, but the folksinger Rosalie Sorrels has sung it for years as part of her "Hostile Baby Rocking Songs" medley. She has a wonderful set of nasty songs that mothers have developed to sing as soothers when they would much rather just throw the colicky child out the window. I don't know if she's recorded the medley, but you can try checking some of her recordings...


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Subject: RE: Today is the day they give babies away
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 11:51 AM

La Marca, talking of "hostile... songs" you don't happen to have any about teenagers do you?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Today is the day they give babies away
From: Alice
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 12:07 PM

I had forgotten about this song until I saw that first line posted. My mother knew this one, but my parents have been gone for many years. She probably learned it from listening to the radio, and the 1930's is probably the correct era. She taught me one called "Rythm in My Nursery Rhymes", and they may be from the same time period. I recently found her old high school composition book with page after page of lyrics in it, including "Rythm in My Nursery Rhymes". La Marca's suggestion sounds like the most direct search route. Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: Today is the day they give babies away
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 12:15 PM

Just to belabor the obvious, it IS in the database,


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Subject: RE: Today is the day they give babies away
From: Alice
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 12:30 PM

Dick... the most direct search!! The database!! As my son would say, well, Duh. We keep forgetting about looking there first.


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Subject: RE: Today is the day they give babies away
From: Justin
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 02:42 PM

Rosalie Sorrels recorded it a few years ago. I'll check my copy tonight, if I remember, and get back to you tomorrow with the album name etc. Do you need the lyrics too? My e-mail address is jkodn@prolifics.com


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Subject: RE: Today is the day they give babies away
From: maldensup@mbln.lib.ma.us
Date: 14 Aug 97 - 05:14 PM

Hi again folks, thanks for all the replies,

Dick, I swear I searched "give babies" the other day on the database and didn't find it. But I do now.

I am going to have a happy patron!

Thanks.

Melissa Mitchell


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Subject: RE: Today is the day they give babies away
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 15 May 16 - 03:33 AM

Version of this song in E. C. Perrow's notes, probably from about 1909. (See "E. C. Perrow original manuscripts online" thread.) Not included in Perrow's 1910s multipart article.

"This is the day to give babies away
For a half a pound of tea.
If you see any ladies
That want any babies
Just send them right to me."


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