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Origins: Oh Dem Golden Slippers

DigiTrad:
GOLDEN SLIPPERS


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Tune Req: Oh Dem Golden Slippers (5)


amock@excel.net 20 Aug 97 - 10:56 AM
Jon W. 20 Aug 97 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Gerald Bergen 19 Jun 00 - 10:37 PM
Les B 19 Jun 00 - 10:58 PM
Gypsy 20 Jun 00 - 12:10 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 20 Jun 00 - 01:21 AM
Jon W. 20 Jun 00 - 12:36 PM
MMario 20 Jun 00 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,BarryT 20 Jun 00 - 03:17 PM
katlaughing 20 Jun 00 - 03:52 PM
Mark Cohen 20 Jun 00 - 11:29 PM
bob jr 21 Jun 00 - 02:26 AM
Racer 21 Jun 00 - 03:25 AM
Gypsy 14 Oct 00 - 10:34 PM
DougR 14 Oct 00 - 11:17 PM
wysiwyg 15 Oct 00 - 12:01 AM
Gypsy 15 Oct 00 - 07:32 PM
John Hindsill 15 Oct 00 - 08:34 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 16 Oct 00 - 05:43 PM
Ferrara 16 Oct 00 - 11:20 PM
Gypsy 17 Oct 00 - 04:46 PM
Ferrara 18 Oct 00 - 12:40 AM
Gypsy 20 Oct 00 - 12:42 AM
Mark Cohen 20 Oct 00 - 05:50 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 14 Dec 01 - 03:00 PM
masato sakurai 14 Dec 01 - 07:05 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 14 Dec 01 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Frogmore 14 Dec 01 - 08:40 PM
Stewie 14 Dec 01 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,tugger@netreach.net 24 Jun 04 - 11:39 AM
masato sakurai 24 Jun 04 - 12:31 PM
Mark Cohen 25 Jun 04 - 03:25 AM
masato sakurai 25 Jun 04 - 04:30 AM
semi-submersible 25 Jun 04 - 06:09 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jun 04 - 07:28 AM
Mark Cohen 25 Jun 04 - 12:48 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 08 - 04:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jan 08 - 08:03 PM
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Subject: oh dem golden slippers
From: amock@excel.net
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 10:56 AM

i'm interested in finding out any history about the song: oh dem golden slippers

how old is the song? from where did it derive?


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Jon W.
Date: 20 Aug 97 - 04:38 PM

Some information I found in a book called "Front Porch Old-time Songs, Jokes, & Stories" by Wayne Erbsen indicates that this song was written by the "talented and college educated James A. Bland" who was a member of a black minstrel (as opposed to the usual white minstrels in black face) troop named the Original Georgia Minstrels, in 1879. He also composed "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny." The book includes the music and three verses of the song.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: GUEST,Gerald Bergen
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 10:37 PM

As an aside, it is a favorite of the decidedly Philadelphia New Years tradition, The Mummer's Parade.

It might be worth a shot to look up Philly on a search database, and get info on the song...perhaps even lyrics.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Les B
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 10:58 PM

Last summer at a fiddler's picnic I played and sang a couple of verses of Golden Slippers in a jam with several pickers I didn't know. Afterwards, one of the fiddlers said to me "I've been playing that tune for 50 years and sure didn't know there were words to it !" It always amazes me the different routes that tunes and words take.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Gypsy
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 12:10 AM

Sure prefer the tune to the verse. Not one of the happier songs to sing


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 01:21 AM

There are 3 copies of 1879 in the Levy sheet music collection (Mudcat's Links) but GIFs aren't given. There are several of Bland's other songs there, too.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Jon W.
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 12:36 PM

Gypsy, what's so sad about going to Heaven? The only sad thing about this song is that I can't sing it up to tempo.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: MMario
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 12:52 PM

Gifs of the music available at Music for the Nation

Url=http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mussm&fileName=sm1879/01900/01966/mussm01966.db&recNum=0&itemLink=D?mussm:1:./temp/~ammem_EJhH::&linkText=0


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: GUEST,BarryT
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 03:17 PM

Lyrics with midi over here.

This was a fun midi to work on... to try to simulate the fast strumming on the banjo. The nice thing was that my arm didn't tire after three verses!


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 03:52 PM

Nice job, too, Barry!


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 11:29 PM

Thanks, Barry, I felt like I was back on Broad Street, eating a soft pretzel with mustard in the freezing cold and watching the string bands parading by.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: bob jr
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 02:26 AM

i saw a movie where the characters kept singing this song over and over but damn i cant remeber what it was....


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Racer
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 03:25 AM

"Little Lord Fauntleroy"(I think my spelling is way off on this one). It was a made for TV miniseries that starred a very young Ricky Schroeder (pre-SilverSpoons).

I remember seeing it the first time when I was little; I'd like to say it was sometime around christmas. Anyway, the story was very touching. I probably watched it about a hundred times when I was little.

I believe that song was used to symbolize that even a peasant American boy could have something to offer in a royal English court. That was the basic gist of the movie. That is probably why the somg was used so much.

-Racer


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Gypsy
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 10:34 PM

Hi there, Dug and looked and well....HELP! Apparently my interpretation of Golden Slippers is not what others see in it. Anyone out there have the story? Any clues as to whether the narrative is masculine or feminine? Would appreciate any help on this one.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: DougR
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 11:17 PM

A memorable scene in John Ford's movie, "Ft Apache" was the dance scene. Henry Fonda, the bitter, autocratic commander of Ft. Apache, in accordance with military custom asks the wife of the senior enlisted man, the Sgt. Major played by Ward Bond, to dance at the annual officer's and enlisted men's ball. The song they danced to: "Dem Golden Slippers" played by the regimental band.

DougR


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Oct 00 - 12:01 AM

Wait! wait! I wrote some more verses once! Maybe I can find them!

Hardiman won't let me do it for a church service! Why??

~Susan


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Gypsy
Date: 15 Oct 00 - 07:32 PM

Any bright ideas? Still looking for the story behind the song. thanks, all.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: John Hindsill
Date: 15 Oct 00 - 08:34 PM

Song was a featured musical number in Civil War fluff flick, "Golden Girl", sung by Mitzi Gaynor.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 16 Oct 00 - 05:43 PM

Mark,

You neglected to mention that the only way to watch the Mummers Day parade is drunk--no one in Philly knows the words, or even knows that there are words, when the music plays, everyone just does the Mummers Strut--

As to the meaning of the song, wha, chillun, don' yoo'all know? It be's 'bout dat great gittin' up mornin", sho nuff!!


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Ferrara
Date: 16 Oct 00 - 11:20 PM

Gypsy, can't figure out why you feel the verses are sad, maybe it's the "Before we close the minstrel show" feeling in the second verse, where it says, "The old banjo hangs on the wall, cause it ain't been tuned since way last fall"? But the singer makes it very clear that he or she expects to have an even better time where they're going, i.e. to heaven.

When you say you're looking for "the story behind the song," do you mean, what is the song saying, or why was it written?

I have always assumed that the golden slippers, the long-tailed coat, the long white robe, etc, were a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that most African Americans in the 1880's could not possibly afford such things in this life, -- but hoped that they would have them, or anyway something equally fine and satisfying, in the next. And in the second verse, it says, "What a great camp meeting we will have that day," which to me is saying that there will be singing and praying in heaven that will be better and more joyful than anything on earth.

Um, have I just stated the obvious, or is this a little of what you're looking for?


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Gypsy
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 04:46 PM

Better! And how about the robe that fits too soon? Is the narrator pregnant? And if you read the whole thing, the narration seems to shift from masculine to feminine. Was the topic of lively discussion the other night. Thought i could get new ideas here. Thanks for the thoughts, all, specially to Ferrara


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Ferrara
Date: 18 Oct 00 - 12:40 AM

To me, the long white robe that fits too soon is another tongue-in-cheek reference -- this time, to the tendency of people to put on weight as they grow older.

The narration is done by an older person, clearly. That's why the banjo is now just hanging on the wall -- ran out of energy, hands arthritic, whatever. And "the old grey horse that I used to ride" is another bit of nostalgia for the days when the narrator and the horse were both younger and livelier.

The robe doesn't imply a female singer. Everybody in heaven got a harp and a robe in those days. And men as well as women wore white kid gloves on formal occasions. Again, few African Americans could afford them, so the reference in the song is to symbolic kid gloves, ie they are a symbol of something fine to be worn to a special place.

Even the "sweet sixteen" doesn't really imply a female, although it struck me that way at first too. It implies innocence, a lack of worldliness that was the right way to approach the coming trip to heaven. "Except ye become as a little child," etc...

And I don't think women wore ulster coats, which I have always taken to be a heavy form of overcoat.

Okay, I don't want to beat it to death, but I have been singing this a lot lately and I had to think about the words because there are just a couple of places it has to be brought up to date. This may outrage some people, but I changed "we'll telegraph the news to Uncle 'Bacca Juice" to "we'll telegraph the news to Uncle Willie Bruce," because the original was just too much of a negative stereotype for my taste. And sometimes I sing "overcoats" instead of "Ulster coats," but aside from taking out the dialect I think those are the only changes.

The dialect was actually more singable, by the way. Bland had a genius for matching lyrics and tune.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Gypsy
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 12:42 AM

Ferrara, you are a hero among catz! thank you for the insight. Incidentally, i LIKE your substitute of Uncle Willie Bruce...fits very nicely, without being too obviously PC. Will borrow that one from you.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 05:50 AM

Gordon Lightfoot tried to update -- or at least redo -- the idea in "Long White Robe", but I much prefer the original...it's certainly not one of his better songs.

And M.Ted, you're right about being drunk while watching the Mummers' Parade, but it wasn't exactly de rigueur for an 8 year old. (Though, sadly, it's much more likely for an 8 year old in 2000 than it was in 1962) And I hear they don't even march down Broad Street any more. O tempora! O mores! Or, as the Japanese Girl Scout said, "O, tempura! O, s'mores!" (Oh, dear...)

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: Lyr Add: OH, DEM GOLDEN SLIPPERS! (James A. Bland)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 03:00 PM

OH, DEM GOLDEN SLIPPERS!
(Original words by James A. Bland, 1879)

Oh, my golden slippers am laid away
Kase I don't 'spect to wear 'em till my weddin' day,
And my long-tailed coat, dat I love so well,
I will wear up in de chariot in de morn;
And my long white robe dat I bought last June,
I'm gwine to git changed kase it fits too soon,
And de ole grey hoss dat I used to drive,
I will hitch him to de chariot in de morn.
Cho.
Oh, dem golden slippers! Oh, dem golden slippers!
Golden slippers dat I'm gwine to wear beca'se dey look so neat;
Oh, dem golden slippers! Oh, dem golden slippers!
Golden slippers I'm gwine to wear to walk de golden street.

Oh, my ole banjo hangs on de wall
Kase it ain't been tuned since way last fall,
But de darks all say we will hab a good time,
When we ride up in de chariot in de morn;
Dar's ole Brudder Ben and Sister Luce,
Dey will telegraph de news to Uncle Bacco Juice,
What a great camp meetin der will be dat day,
When we ride up in de chariot in de morn.

So, it's goodbye, children, I will have to go
Whar de rain don't fall er de wind don't blow,
And yer ulster coats, why yer will not need,
When yer ride up in de chariot in de morn;
But yer golden slippers must be nice and clean,
And yer age must be just sweet sixteen,
And yer white kid gloves yer will have to wear,
When yer ride up in de chariot in de morn.

Although not folk, this song by the Afric-American composer James A. Bland, has been used in many ways by folk singers. It is not in the DT. The original sheet music is in the Brown University Collection and is on the American Memory Library of Congress site.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: masato sakurai
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 07:05 PM

It's in the DT, under the simpler title of GOLDEN SLIPPERS.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 08:14 PM

Darn! I found this thread in the forum, but the DT showed no entries. I should have used the single word, slippers.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: GUEST,Frogmore
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 08:40 PM

Can anyone tell me where I heard a song with the chorus "Gonna rise when the rooster crows, gonna rise when the rooster crows. I'm goin' down south where the sun shines hot - down where the sugar cane grows." It has a verse about putting on golden shoes "with the white socks too." I have some white socks and would like to find this song. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 10:00 PM

Frogmore, it was recorded by Binkley Brothers and Uncle Dave Macon. You will find a transcription of both versions in this thread:

Uncle Dave lyrics

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: GUEST,tugger@netreach.net
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 11:39 AM

I'm in CA but lived in Phila all my life and would like to play "slippers" and do the strut for friends. where can I find the chords or tabs?
Thanks


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: masato sakurai
Date: 24 Jun 04 - 12:31 PM

According to James J. Fuld's The Book of World-Famous Music, 5th ed. (2000, p. 399), this (at Levy) is the first edition:

Title: Oh dem Golden Slippers. Song & Chorus.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words and Music by James Bland, of Sprague's Georgia Minstrels. Arr. by F. Louis.
F. Louis Publication: Boston: John F. Perry & Co., Music Publishers, 13 West Street, 1879.

The same edition is also at Historic American Sheet Music and at African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 03:25 AM

Where'd you go to high school, Tugger?

Aloha,
Mark
(Central '70)


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: masato sakurai
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 04:30 AM

"Golden Slippers" was a theme song for Phila's Mummers Parade. I watched it on a cold day a decade ago, standing on Broad Street. A book on the parade is titled Oh! Dem Golden Slippers: The Colorful Story of the Philadelphia Mummers, by Charles E. Welch (Thomas Nelson, 1970).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: semi-submersible
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 06:09 AM

I knew Mummers roamed Newfoundland at New Year, but the Philadelphia Mummer's Parade is news to me.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 07:28 AM

The Annual Mummers New Year's Parade in Philadelphia attracts 15,000 performers. The website is: Mummers
There is a Mummers Museum that operates year-round.


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Subject: RE: oh dem golden slippers
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 12:48 PM

Tugger, here's a simple set of chords, from the Fiddler's Fakebook. You can probably add fancy passing chords and doodads, but this should do for a start. I'll mark each measure with a slash. Hope you can figure this out.


D   /D   /D   /A   /A   /A   /A   /D   / (repeat)

D   /D   /G   /Em /A   /A   /D   /D   / (repeat)

The second time through on the B part, in the next to last measure, play D-A instead of just D.

Hope that helps. Have a cheesesteak and a Tastykake on me!

Aloha,
Mark

thread under a spam attack. It will be closed for a bit. Mudelf


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oh Dem Golden Slippers
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 08 - 04:38 PM

As a girl from Philly who grew up watching the Mummers and still refuses to be out of town on Jan. 1st, I don't know why the Mummers play this song and all wear spray painted gold shoes. Can anyone tell me what this song has to do with the Mummers?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oh Dem Golden Slippers
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jan 08 - 08:03 PM

Just a damn good struttin' tune. I don't think any of the shooters-mummers really bothered about the lyrics to Bland's tune.
Also a popular marching tune in New Orleans.


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