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Origins: Give Me Oil in my Lamp

Related threads:
Info re: 'Give me oil in my lamp' (Esperanto) (12)
Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning (Spiritual) (67)
Lyr Req: Oil in My Lamp (another one) (2)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Give Me Oil in My Lamp [A. Sevison] (from Our Chalet Song Book, Girl Scouts/Girl Guides)


dani 20 Sep 97 - 10:13 PM
Joe Offer 21 Sep 97 - 03:35 AM
dani 22 Sep 97 - 11:58 AM
dani 22 Sep 97 - 12:00 PM
Joe Offer 24 Sep 97 - 12:47 PM
dani 25 Sep 97 - 09:55 AM
Jon W. 25 Sep 97 - 11:23 AM
Joe Offer 25 Sep 97 - 04:56 PM
dani 26 Sep 97 - 11:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Nov 04 - 09:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Nov 04 - 09:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Nov 04 - 12:55 PM
PoppaGator 19 Nov 04 - 01:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Nov 04 - 01:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Nov 04 - 05:21 PM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 04 - 04:10 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Nov 04 - 03:37 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Nov 04 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,Deb 28 May 06 - 06:49 PM
Ebbie 28 May 06 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Janie 30 May 06 - 11:43 AM
GUEST 21 Mar 07 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,Francia 27 Jul 07 - 11:13 AM
GUEST 27 Jul 07 - 02:47 PM
KT 28 Jul 07 - 12:42 AM
KT 28 Jul 07 - 12:48 AM
Janie 28 Jul 07 - 03:00 AM
KT 28 Jul 07 - 12:10 PM
Janie 10 Oct 07 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Oct 07 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,Janie 10 Oct 07 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,midlandbard 10 Oct 07 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Oct 07 - 08:57 PM
GUEST,Dani 10 Oct 07 - 09:06 PM
KT 10 Oct 07 - 11:49 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 11 Oct 07 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,James 15 Jun 10 - 10:19 PM
Al 20 Jun 10 - 04:19 PM
Genie 10 Nov 10 - 10:06 PM
Genie 10 Nov 10 - 10:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Feb 11 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Dani 05 Oct 14 - 09:03 AM
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Subject: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?
From: dani
Date: 20 Sep 97 - 10:13 PM

I had the pleasure this evening of listening to Joe Thompson, an old-time fiddle player, play and sing some wonderful music. Two lovely old hymns he sang I'd like to learn. Anyone heard of one that goes something like, "There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is trimmed and burning..."? As beautiful as the tune was, it escaped me the minute I stopped singing it on the way home. If anyone knows a good recording to learn some of these old gospel hymns/spirituals, I'd love to know where to start.

Thanks, Dani
See this thread (click) for discussion of "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning."


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Subject: ADD: Give me Oil in my Lamp
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Sep 97 - 03:35 AM

There's a song in the "Rise Up Singing" songbook that goes like this:

Give Me Oil in My Lamp


Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning;
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning;
Keep me burning til the break of day.
[chorus]Sing Hosanna! (3 times) to the King of Kings(repeat)

Give me truth as my guide, keep me seeking...
Give me joy in my soul, keep me shining...
Give me love in my life, keep me sharing...
Give me umption in my gumption, help me function...
(and for applepickers, for some reason)Give me strength in my arms, keep me picking....keep me picking til the end of day.

They say this song is in the Quaker songbook. I wonder where I could get a copy of that....
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?
From: dani
Date: 22 Sep 97 - 11:58 AM

Thank you, Joe, but that's not the one. It was more like: (guessing) I've got oil in my vessel and my lamp trimmed and waiting gonna be ready for my bridegroom when he comes...

Something like that.


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Subject: RE: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?
From: dani
Date: 22 Sep 97 - 12:00 PM

Oops, forgot. I would think a Quaker hymnal would be fairly easy to obtain if you have a Friends Meeting nearby - I'm sure if they have such a thing they'd be happy to order you one.


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Subject: Lyr Add: KEEP YOUR LAMP TRIMMED AND BURNING
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Sep 97 - 12:47 PM

Dani, I was sure this was the song you wanted, so I typed it out. Now that I look at your post again, I think maybe it's not the right one, either. this one is in the Jerry Silverman Folk Song Encyclopedia, still available from Hal Leonard:
    KEEP YOUR LAMP TRIMMED AND BURNING
    traditional

    Keep your lamp trimmed and a-burning,
    Keep your lamp trimmed and burning
    Keep your lamp trimmed and burning
    For this old world it is almost gone.
    Brother, don't you get a-worried
    Brother, don't get worried
    Brother, don't get a-worried
    For this old world it is almost gone.

    Sister, Don't stop prayin'…

    Preacher, Don't stop preachin'…

See this thread (click) for discussion of "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning."


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Subject: RE: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?
From: dani
Date: 25 Sep 97 - 09:55 AM

Nope, that's not it, but I like it alot too! Any idea where I can find a tune for it? I am handicapped by not being able to read much music. If I don't have a live body, I need a recording to learn something when I like it. Thanks, Joe!


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Subject: RE: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?
From: Jon W.
Date: 25 Sep 97 - 11:23 AM

Jerry Silverman wrote a lot of folk music instructional books, most of which came with recordings of the songs (at least one verse). I'll bet the one Joe referred to did also. Right, Joe?


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Subject: RE: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Sep 97 - 04:56 PM

Don't know about the Jerry Silverman tapes, Jon, but they would certainly be a good resource for those of us who don't read music all that well. Our song circle did cough up $175 for the "Rise Up Singing" teaching tapes, and they are very helpful.
Dani, if you can run MIDI files on your computer, e-mail me and I'll type up a MIDI of the song. Maybe we can talk Max into setting up a receptacle for us to submit MIDI files.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?
From: dani
Date: 26 Sep 97 - 11:20 AM

Joe, thank you so much! I'll have to talk to my resident computer expert - he knows how to do more than type on this thing. $175! Gasp! Must be good stuff, though.


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Subject: Version Add: GIVE ME OIL IN MY LAMP
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 09:31 PM

This seems to be a better version of the gospel song "Give Me Oil...." than the one in Rise Up Singing (SingOut), which seems to be the one in a couple of Boy Scout songbooks. Gumption-umption-function? that's funny.

GIVE ME OIL IN MY LAMP

Give me (C)oil in my lamp, keep (F)me burning.
(C)Give me oil in my (G7)lamp, I pray.
Give me (C)oil in my lamp, keep (F)me burning.
Keep me burning (G7)'til the (C)break of day.

Chorus:
(C)Sing, "Hosanna!" (F) Sing "Hosanna!"(G7)
Sing, "Hosanna!" to(C) the (G7)King(C) of Kings.
(C)Sing "Hosanna!"(F) Sing, "Hosanna!"(G7)
Sing, "Hosanna!" to(C) the King.

Make me a fisher of men, keep me seeking.
Make me a fisher of men, I pray!
Make me a fisher of men, keep me seeking.
Keep me seeking 'til the break of day.

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing.
Give me joy in my heart, I pray.
Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing.
Keep me singing 'til the break of day.

Give me love in my heart, keep me serving.
Give me love in my heart, I pray.
Give me love in my heart, keep me serving.
Keep me serving 'til the break of day.

Give me peace in my soul, keep me praising.
Give me peace in my soul, I pray.
Give me peace in my soul, keep me praising.
Keep me praising 'til the break of day.

Place your faith in my heart, keep me trusting.
Place your faith in my heart, I pray.
Place your faith in my heart, keep me trusting.
Keep me trusting 'til the break of day.

Hide your Word in my heart, keep me learning.
Hide your Word in my heart, I pray.
Hide your Word in my heart, keep me learning.
Keep me learning 'til the break of day.

Give Me Oil

Sing, "Hosanna"! to(C)


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Subject: RE: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?/give me oil in my lamp
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 09:35 PM

Sheesh!
Give Me Oil


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Subject: Lyr. Add: GIVE ME OIL IN MY LAMP
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 12:55 PM

Sexual performance? A call for heavenly Viagra? I showed this to my wife and the next-door neighbors and they immediately said it had a double meaning. It is from a kids-teen website.

GIVE ME OIL IN MY LAMP

Give me oil in my lamp,
Keep me burnin', burnin', burnin'.
Give me oil in my lamp I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp,
Keep me burnin', burnin', burnin'.
Keep me burnin' 'til the break of day.

Give me gas in my Ford,
Keep me truckin' for the Lord.
Give me gas in my Ford, I pray.
Give me gas in my Ford,
Keep me truckin' for the Lord.
Keep me truckin' 'til the break of day.

Give me fuel in my engine,
Keep me flyin' like a Christian.
Give me fuel in my engine, I pray.
Give me fuel in my engine,
Keep me flyin' like a Christian.
Keep me flyin' 'til the break of day.

Give me umption in my gumption,
Let me function, function, function.
Give me umption in my gumption, I pray.
Give me umption in my gumption,
Let me function, function, function.
Let me function 'til the break of day.

Sounds like a call for all night performance. (Go forth and multiply?)
Give me oil


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Subject: RE: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?/give me oil in my lamp
From: PoppaGator
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 01:35 PM

Hmmm -- what kinda kids-teen website? I wouldn't be surprised if this came from a very innocent Christian-rock source.

Double-meanings are often in the eye of the beholder, and Dr. Freud tells us how and why sexual connotations can often be conveyed unconsiously by those most reluctant to do so deliberately.

That last verse, though -- pretty blatant!

(Backwards thread creep, about one of those other oil-lamp hymns mentioned above: Let me HIGHLY recommend Fred McDowells' recording of "Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning.")


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Subject: RE: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?/give me oil in my lamp
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 01:57 PM

Poppagator, Joe wanted this song kept separate from "Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning."
See thread 46680, to which I made a recent addition: Keep Lamps Trimmed


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Subject: RE: LYRIC:oil in my vessel?/give me oil in my lamp
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 05:21 PM

The gumption verse, slightly different form, occurs in a couple of Scout songbooks.


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Subject: ADD: Sing Hosanna/Give Me Oil in My Lamp
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 04:10 AM

I didn't find any U.S. Boy Scout involvement with this song, but it's in the Our Chalet Song Book from the Girl Scouts/Girl Guides.

Sing Hosanna! (Give Me Oil in My Lamp)
Words by A. Sevison; music by The Csehys

Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray;
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning
Keep me burn-ing 'til the break of day

CHORUS
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Sing hosanna to the King of Kings!
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Sing hosanna to the King.

2. give me joy in my heart, keep my praising...
3. Give me peace in my heart, keep me resting...
4. Give me love in my heart, keep me serving...

In the way I learned, burning, praising, resting, serving, and what not are repeated three times

©1951, 1957, Singspiration

Click to play


Hmmm. Who are "The Csehys"?

In The Country Western Gospel Hymnal, vol 5, Singspiration attributes it simply to "A. Sevison." Singspiration titles the song "Give Me Oil in My Lamp."

The second verse in the Singspiration version is:
    Make me fisher of men, keep me seeking,
    Make me fisher of men, I pray,
    Make me fisher of men, keep me seeking,
    Seeking souls 'til Jesus comes again.
    (Chorus)
The first verse is the same as the Girl Scout version.


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Subject: RE: Give Me Oil In My Lamp
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 03:37 PM

There are differences (by date) in the Chalet songbooks. Not in the Fifth edition, 1971.
It is in the Canadian Scouts website (joy, peace and love verses): Give Me Oil
This Scouts Canada website 'Song Library' also has Barges.

The Cambridge (UK) Scout and Guide Club has it as "Sing Hosanna!"
Guides Own
Joy, peace, love.


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Subject: RE: Give Me Oil In My Lamp
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 07:11 PM

We had another alternative verse, which only really worked in the days before Duracell....

Give me batteries in my torch, keep me shining,
Give me batteries in my torch, I pray
Give me batteries in my torch, keep me shining,
Keep me shining till the break of day....

Ever ready, Ever ready, Ever ready for the king of Kings,
Ever ready, Ever ready, Ever ready for the king!

LTS


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Subject: More Verses
From: GUEST,Deb
Date: 28 May 06 - 06:49 PM

At camp we always sang

Give me wax for my board keep me surffing for the lord
aswell as the orginal versus, umption and Ford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 May 06 - 07:43 PM

Dani, this is an old thread so this is most likely a great redundancy- is the song you are asking about the song that Janie sings?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST,Janie
Date: 30 May 06 - 11:43 AM

Sure is, Ebbie--I learned it from Dani and Joe Thompson!

Janie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 03:30 AM

Hark the bridegroom cometh
Cometh to claim his bride
Hark the bridegroom cometh
Cometh to claim his bride
Rejoice with me
Rejoice and sing
Hark the bridegroom cometh
Cometh to claim his bride
Give me oil in my lamp
Keep me burning learning yearning
Give me oil in my lamp I pray
Give me oil in my lamp
Keep me burning,learning yearning,
Keep me yearning till the break of day
Sing Hosanna Sing Hosanna Sing Hosanna
To the King of Kings
Sing Hosanna Sing Hosanna Sing Hosanna
To Jesus the King
These are words I added to an old hymn.
Den Mother BC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST,Francia
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 11:13 AM

Give me sand in my shoes, keep me humble humble humble
Give me sand in my shoes, I pray (I pray)
Give me sand in my shoes, keep me humble humble humble
Keep me humble till the break of day


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 02:47 PM

Joe Thompson recorded this on his Family Traditions CD, which I don't think was out at the time of the original post here...

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: KT
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 12:42 AM

I had the pleasure of hearing Joe Thomson sing this song three weeks ago! What a privilege and a treat!

But I loved it too, the first time I heard it ....and it was Janie who taught me. (Thanks, Janie!)

I've since discovered this version, which is wonderful as well.

Enjoy !

KT


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: KT
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 12:48 AM

oops.....try this instead


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: Janie
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 03:00 AM

Thanks for the link KT (and how are doin', lady!) It is the first time I have heard or found anything about the song other than from Joe Thompson. I also found this version, with some different lyrics (or rather, some additonal lyrics) after I listened to the link you provided. I"ve been searching for some more info on this song ever since I learned it from Dani and Joe Thompson. I'm hoping one of these to performers will respond to my inquiries about where they got the song and what they may know about it.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: KT
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 12:10 PM

Hi Janie - I'm doin' just fine, thanks!

I'm amazed that you learned the song from Joe. When you sang it for me, you did so with such soul and gusto, I thought you were raised on it. No kidding!! You definitely made it your own!! I still love your version, and to tell you the truth, I think of you every time I sing it. Thanks for that little gift.

I have a request out for more history. If I hear anything, I'll be sure to pass it on to you.

You mentioned that you and Dani learned it from Joe ten years ago. It was a thrill to meet him three weeks ago and see that he's still sharing his music. It's a joy to witness the interaction between him and Justin, Dom and Rhiannon. (Carolina Chocolate Drops) (which, btw, is a group you should go and see if you haven't already). Fabulous!

KT


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: Janie
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 12:36 AM

Posts, references, and links to this song from Joe Thompson are floating around in about 3 different threads (all linked and referenced above.) After reading through them all numerous times, going back to links, especially the Folk Music Index link of the recording that Joe made on Rounder Records in 1999, viewing KT's links to YouTube, I think it is pretty evident that the melody and chorus to "Oil in My Vessel" originates within Joes Thompson's family, with zipper verses and derivatives from other, earlier hymns. I'm no skilled researcher or music scholar, but the absolute absence of any other references or information about this particular song strongly suggests this is the case.

I suspect the young, white fiddlers who posted performances on YouTube learned it from Joe's recording(s). Serious young students of fiddle are prone to seeking out source recordings, and good on them! Assuming that is the case, it would have been good if they had attributed their source, but I'm glad to see it beginning to circulate.

Joe, BTW, recently was deservedly honored with the National Heritage Award. Dani posted details about that in another thread.

As recently as last summer, Joe was hosting jams once a month at his home in Mebane, (and may still be doing so.) The "Carolina Chocolate Drops" owe their discovery of the Black tradition of Old-Time string music to Joe, and in ways both large and small, he mentors and shares traditional stringband music with many local musicians and stringbands. He is beyond a doubt a treasure to the local music community, and I am very happy that his important influence has been nationally recognized and honored.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 10:19 AM

Here's a link to a youtube thing that has the very words originally mentioned:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUtKXSBM7Yw

If my link doesn't work, google the exact phrase 'oil in my vessel' and click on the Youtube link in the resultant results.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST,Janie
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 11:29 AM

There is an active link to the one leenia posted in my July 28 3:00 am post above, and KT's link, in the post immediately before that, links to another group performing the song. As I said, I suspect they both learned it from Joe, or from his recording, and that the origin of this particular song is with Joe's family.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST,midlandbard
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 04:55 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 08:57 PM

It would be a good thing if people posting links would say a bit about the site being linked to. Sometimes a later person wants to help but doesn't have the time to check every link with a name like "This one."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 09:06 PM

This is as good a place as any to let folks know that Joe Thompson won a 2007 National Heritage from the National Endowment for the Arts:

http://www.nea.gov/honors/heritage/fellows/NHFIntro.php?year=2007

I asked him once where this song could be found, and he said it was in the songbook/hymnal at his church. I also remember him saying he learned it from his mother's singing. I haven't seen Joe in some time. Perhaps someone with more time to play music around here could ask Joe what church that might be ; )

KT, were they up there, or were you down here?!

Dani


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: KT
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 11:49 PM

Hey, Dani!
The Carolina Chocolate Drops were the guest artists of the 2007 Alaska Folk Festival. Joe didn't perform with them then, but he did join them (Justin, Dom and Rhiannon) this summer at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA. That's where I met him and heard him sing that song. What a treat, and a treasured memory!

KT


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 06:32 AM

Give me wax for my board
Keep me surfing for the Lord.

Give me salt for my Cheetos God is neato, neato, neato.

Several dozen other all forgotten.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST,James
Date: 15 Jun 10 - 10:19 PM

Trying to find the origin of the verse "Give me umption in my gumption let me function, function function".

Apparently, my mother told me that her mother in the late 1940s was cleaning her sink with a cleaning product in Australia called 'Gumption' while singing 'give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning..." and happened upon making up the verse "give me umption..." there and then. Now my grandma was the local sunday school teacher, and pianist and taught the new words to her class. Who then later sang those words at a combined sunday school service, with all the other local sunday schools, all of whom then adopted it and within a short time those words were wide spread in Australia.

It would be interesting to get to the bottom of the orign of these words. Was it really my Grandma??? Someone, somewhere must have invented them. Does anyone know of any use of these words prior to ~ 1946?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: Al
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 04:19 PM

I guess I should say that I am going by memory on this verse. Next time I listen to it, I'll write it down verbatim and post it here. I'll bet Joe sang it however he felt it at the time, though. Maybe we all should do the same.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: Genie
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 10:06 PM

Janie does an awesome rendition of that "I've got oil in my vessel and my lamp trimmed and burning" song.   

(Thanks for sharing it with me in the car en route from the Getaway to NC, Janie.   It's a great song!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: Genie
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 10:33 PM

really swingin' gospel sound to this one: Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem: I've Got Oil In My Vessel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 01:49 PM

There's oil in my vessel and at $90/bbl, I'll do pretty well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: There's oil in my vessel and my lamp is..
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 09:03 AM

Genie, your link is terrific. How fun to see/hear all these interpretations!

I do love Janie's : )

The way Rani Arbo does the introduction is almost exactly the way I sing it, and pretty damn close to Joe's, the first way I ever heard it from him. I love what they do with it from there.

This morning I'm reading the long-ass thread about 'what's folk', and it occurs to me that here it is, right here. The process, the love, the pull, the reasoning, the get-out-and-sing-it-ing.

Dani


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