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The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama

harpgirl 17 Sep 00 - 01:13 PM
harpgirl 17 Sep 00 - 10:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Sep 00 - 07:59 AM
harpgirl 18 Sep 00 - 05:47 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 18 Sep 00 - 07:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Sep 00 - 08:14 PM
raredance 18 Sep 00 - 09:26 PM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 00 - 12:24 AM
raredance 19 Sep 00 - 08:57 PM
Bud Savoie 20 Sep 00 - 09:11 PM
GUEST,Philippa 21 Sep 00 - 04:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Sep 00 - 04:52 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 06 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 23 Sep 06 - 05:10 PM
wysiwyg 23 Sep 06 - 05:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 06 - 07:54 PM
Azizi 20 Sep 09 - 06:47 PM
Art Thieme 20 Sep 09 - 09:31 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: PLAY PARTY OR ROCK SONG: 'Shout along..^^
From: harpgirl
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 01:13 PM

This song comes from the Ruby Pickens Tart collection of religious songs of Sumter County Alabama.The title indicates the natural passage of the spititual into play-party, dance, and game traditions of children. "Chile uv God" is the answer to the plight of the motherless child. The harp metaphor recurs throughout the spirituals and Protestant hymnody. Captain Strong may have been a real person. The epithet "gypsy Jew" designates any person of rapid, babbling speech, but the reference may be to charismatic "talking in tongues". "don't be shame"demonstrates a common grammatical peculiarity, the absence of the past tenses sound ed or t. One of the copies of this text is dated "November 28, 1938," pp. 43.(the collection)

Play Party or Rock Song



Shout along children don't be shame
Shout along children don't be shame
You jes got er tongue like gypsy Jew
You jest get er tongue like gypsy Jew.

You touch one string and the whole heavens ring
You touch one string and the whole heavens ring
You jes got er tongue like gypsy Jew.
You jes got er tongue like gypsy Jew

Captain Strong don't be shame
Captain Strong Don't be Shame
You jes got er tongue like gypsy Jew
You jes got er tongue like gypsy Jew

You don't b'lieve I'm er chile uv God
You don't b'lieve I'm er chile uv God
You jes got er tongue like gypsy Jew
You jes got er tongue like gypsy Jew.

For Aine

...the emotion of this song, even as a children's play party song captures and expresses my feelings over the recent debate about song...harp ^^


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: harpgirl
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 10:11 PM

...just my pathetic little attempt to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse...


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 07:59 AM

Now that's much more of a song than the nasty little one about "don't rent to gypsies" that started that debate off.

Could you point us in the direction of this collection, harpgirl? Would any of it be on a website?


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: harpgirl
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 05:47 PM

...As soon as I get home I will McGrath. I keep looking at this collection when things get sticky around here, for an offering. Next thing you know I will disappear in The Rapture. Hmmmmm... nah...probably not. Sorry Praise!


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 07:49 PM

The problem, many times, occurs with dialect of different areas.

First an anecdote to give an example. Many moons ago while vacationing in Mississippi my youngest, who was about 3 or 4 at the time, was not allowed to go on a trail ride with us but could ride a pony in the coral by the name of "ONHEAD" Now think of that sound--onhead. Later while driving we heard about an "onworker's strike" in the area. I had thought---silly name for a horse. Well, it was IRON HEAD. The strike was an IRON WORKERS strike.

So, Jew's Harp. Theory has it that it could be a dialectic misunderstanding for JAWS HARP. Mike Seeger, I believe, makes mention of this also.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 08:14 PM

Well the harp in there sounds like it's one with strings; I've always understood that Jaws Harp is false back etymology for what has normally been called the Jews Harp. Here is a site about a festival and a guild devoted to the instrument. Maybe people thought there was something disparaging about the name.


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: raredance
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 09:26 PM

And edited selection of the Ruby Pickens Tartt collection has been printed in a book. The reference is below. the book does not appear to contain the song that Harpgirl posted. I think that portions of the collection are also online, at Alan Lomax Southern States Recording Trip site which is Library of Congress. (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/lohtml/lohome.html).

"Honey In The Rock": The Ruby Pickens Tarrt Collection of Religious Folk songs from Sumter County, Alabama" edited by Olivia and Jack Solomon. 1991 Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia (ISBN 0-86554-336-4)

rich r


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 12:24 AM

On Harpgirl's recommendation, I bought a copy of Honey in the Rock. It's a terrific collection, except that it doesn't have the tunes for the songs. It does indeed contain the song Harpgirl posted, under the title "Play Party or Rock Song."
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: raredance
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 08:57 PM

Harpgirl tried her darndest to be informative, giving both the song title and the page number from the book in her first post. I wasn't smart enough to use that information, instead tried and failed to find 'gypsy jew' in the index.

rich r


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:11 PM

I think the words refer to a jew's harp also. Some people think that the name came from the instrument's having been introduced to the population by itinerant peddlers, a number of whom were Jewish.

I have no idea why anyone would think the name offensive.


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:17 PM

I think the term "Jew's harp" could be offensive because it implies that the stingy Jew would only invest in a harp of minute proportions. However, it seems more likely to me that the name is a corruption of "Jaws' harp"


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:52 PM

You mean like when they call a hammer an Irishman's Spanner? I looked up Jews' Harp, in a dictionary and it said an earlier name for it was a Jews' Trump. Which goes against the Jaws theory, since any ordinary trump(et) would be played with the jaws.

I'd suspect it's more likely to be because at some time the intrument was actually particularly favoured by Jewish musicians, or maybe manufactured in a Jewsish workshop or something like that.


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 04:42 PM

reframe


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 05:10 PM

What is "reframe" supposed to mean?

What does anonymous GUEST want?


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 05:13 PM

It means refresh, probably. Several related threads came back on the thread list today at about the same time.

Sometimes people do that to make them more visible when they are pertinent to another thread, but haven't learned yet how to make links to the old threads.

Music threads are seldom harmed by anonymity the way the BS threads often are.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 06 - 07:54 PM

"reframe" might have been a plea for the posts to be reassembled in the correct order. I quite like it when these old threads come up with the posts jumbled so that you have responses coming in before the posts they are responding to, but I suppose it's confusing if you aren't expecting it.

It occurs to me that the expression "Gypsy Jew" might have its basis in a referance to the Babylonian Exile - "how can I sing the Lord's song in a strange land" (Psalm 137)


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 06:47 PM

I happened upon this thread while searching Mudcat's archive for something else.

I appreciate harpgirl's sharing that song and information about that book. I'd never heard of either one before reading this thread.

I also never had heard of the phrase "gypsy Jews". But, for what it's worth, I believe that McGrath of Harlow is probably correct that in the context of the playparty (and spiritual?) song "Shout along children"given above, the referent "Gypsy Jews: means "Jews who [because of persecution] are known to have wandered from country to country like Gypsies are known to do.

In the context of that song, people are told not to be shamed (ashamed) of speaking in tongues, a manner of rapid speaking which the person in the song is saying reminds her/him of the way that "wandering" Jewish people speak. This reference may be to people speaking Hebrew or Yiddish.

However, I wonder if the person/s who composed this song heard the referent "Gypsy Jews" from other people (Anglo-Americans) who may have had a more negative attitude toward Jewish people, or Gypsies (Romas) or both populations.

**

I googled the phrase "gypsy jews" to see if it could be found elsewhere. I found this article
http://www.romea.cz/english/index.php?id=servis/z_en_2005_0189

German high court says "gypsy Jew" offensive to Jews and gypsies
Karlsruhe, 31. 7. 2005, 19:09 (DPA)

Here's an excerpt of that article:

"Germany's high court Friday ruled that it is libelous to call a public figure a "gypsy Jew" in print, saying the term is offensive to both Jews and gypsies and conjures the spectre of Nazi atrocities against both. In handing down its decision, the Federal Constitutional Court upheld a lower court verdict against a right-wing extremist who had printed up leaflets calling one of Germany's best known Jewish officials a "zigeunerjude" (gypsy Jew)."...


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Subject: RE: The 'gypsy jew' in Rel.Songs of Alabama
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 09:31 PM

"Offensive to both gypsies and Jews."

Reminds me of the line that says When the Okies moved to California in Dust-bowl days, it raised the I.Q. of both places!

Art ;-)


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