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Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up (West Indies chantey)

Dahlin 25 Jun 01 - 02:21 PM
Barry Finn 25 Jun 01 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,alicat 25 Jun 01 - 11:32 PM
Charley Noble 26 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM
Dahlin 26 Jun 01 - 10:23 AM
Barry Finn 26 Jun 01 - 06:18 PM
CET 19 Oct 05 - 09:20 PM
Charley Noble 20 Oct 05 - 06:05 PM
CET 20 Oct 05 - 06:15 PM
Jeri 20 Oct 05 - 06:47 PM
Charley Noble 20 Oct 05 - 08:05 PM
Ken Schatz 21 Oct 05 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,Ras Lion 14 Oct 11 - 02:04 AM
Jim Dixon 24 Oct 11 - 08:24 PM
MartinRyan 10 Apr 13 - 09:44 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Apr 13 - 12:48 PM
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Subject: Words to Blackbird Get Up
From: Dahlin
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:21 PM

I have been listening to the Johnson Girls CD trying to get the words to this song.Maybe my ears are starting to fail me. I tried a search on Digitrad. No luck. Can anyone help?

Dick D


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACKBIRD GET UP (from R Abrahams)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 05:47 PM

I'm pretty sure the gals do it the same as R Abrahams collected it.

BLACKBIRD GET UP

White bird get up, Ay-ah, & she break she tail, Ay-ah
Blackbird get up, Ay-ah, & she do the same, Ay-ah

Chorus: Oh me Donna, Ay-ah, Emmalina girl, Ay-ah
Oh me Donna, Ay-ah, girl come go with me, Ay-ah

When the rain come down, Ay-ah, when the rain come down, Ay-ah
When the rain come down, Ay-ah, water like a stick, Ay-ah

This is what I can recall from memory, my kids loved this as a song to put them to bed with but that was a long time ago. Good Luck, Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK BIRD GET UP (from Johnson Girls)
From: GUEST,alicat
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:32 PM

Here are the words as I sing them.....at least how I think I sing them on the CD:

Oh the black bird get up
ay-ah
She break she tail
ay-ah
and the white bird get up
ay-ah
she do the same
ay-ah
sing oh me Donna
ay-ah
Ummm Emalina
ay-ah
oh me Donna
ay-ah
Girl come go with me

Well the white bird stand up
she shake she tail
and the black bird get up
she do the same

well the captain cry out
wet messy wet
and the front man cry out
wet messy wet

wet messy wet
water feel the stick
wet messy wet
when the rain come down

etc

Thanks for listening.
Hope this helps

Alison Kelley
The J-Girls

--- Line breaks <br> added ---
---Jeff (PA)---


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Subject: RE: Words to Blackbird Get Up
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM

Clickity-clickity! (sound of feverish copying & pasting)
But what's it all mean?;-)
Thanks, Alicat


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Subject: RE: Words to Blackbird Get Up
From: Dahlin
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 10:23 AM

Thanks Barry and Alison. Mudcat works again! Ay-Ah.


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Subject: RE: Words to Blackbird Get Up
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 06:18 PM

Hi Ali, nice to see you're out there & good to have seen you again, take care. Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up
From: CET
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 09:20 PM

Mudcat rules OK. I recently bought the Johnson Girls CD and couldn't quite get the lyrics. No luck with the DT or Google, but a Forum search did the trick.

I echo Charlie's question though. Blackbird and whitebird aren't too hard to figure out, but messy wet is harder, and I'm not sure at all about "water feel the stick."

Are there any other versions?

Edmund


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 06:05 PM

CET-

You've probably guessed that the "front man" is the fellow in the bow of the boat.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up
From: CET
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 06:15 PM

Well, I did manage to figure that one out, even though my most significant sea voyage so far was on the ferry from Boulogne to Dublin.

Edmund


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 06:47 PM

Blackbird & whitebird: the former's the whale and the latter's the whaleboat? Stick feeling, I don't know because I don't know what they'd have on a longboat with a stick. Rudder maybe? Just guessing.

Messy wet is pretty literal, I'd think. Why they're crying out isn't so clear. If I've got it all wrong, please feel free to explain.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 08:05 PM

Geeze, Jeri, I always figured that the Blackbird and the Whitebird were dancers having one wild wonderful time.

The "stick" could be the rudder, or the mast or for all I know the bloody oars.

Where's Alicat when we need her?

Or maybe we need to expand our net so that we have someone posting from the West Indies.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up
From: Ken Schatz
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 12:46 AM

For context and some description of the song as it relates to the task of whaling, see Roger D. Abrahams' amazing book, Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore: Three Essays on Shantying in the West Indies. It's back in print, published by Mystic Seaport. Not all is explained, but it is fascinating. Apparently the 'wet' verses, including 'water feel a stick' were sung when the men were actually being rained on, and were sometimes used specifically to pull the boat out of the water during the rain. The boats were sprit-rigged sloops with a center- or dagger-board. The 'stick' could be part of the boat. It could also, I suppose, signify a harpoon, the harpoon gun, or the killing iron, 'a wooden-handled piece of steel, about two feet long.' Mm. I think it's the mast or tiller.

Hi Barry! Hi Ali-baby! Hi Charley!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up
From: GUEST,Ras Lion
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 02:04 AM

I would suggest that" water feela stick" express's what heavy rain and sea spray feel like on your skin while speeding across the water attached to whale....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up (West Indies chantey)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 08:24 PM

The chantey was apparently published in

Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore: Three Essays on Shantying in the West Indies by Roger D. Abrahams (Austin: American Folklore Society, [1974]).

WorldCat.org might tell you where you can find the book in a library near you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up (West Indies chantey)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 09:44 AM

I believe Jim McGeehan and the late Johnny Collins used to sing this one? Anyone know their version?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Blackbird Get Up (West Indies chantey)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 12:48 PM

It seems that the songs haven't been posted from "Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore."
I will post them as they appear in the book with the text.

"You see, when you strike the fish, anyhow, the captain say "Solid fas'." ....... Soon as somebody see the fish, 'e say "Spout-o!" And den we blackfish boys, we start to pull, and I say "Draw-way, boys, draw way." Then the boys start to chant dey, pulling hard. We does have special songs for that"
.
Emalina girl,
Ay-ah
Come go home with me,
Ay-ah.
Relief coming,
Ay-ah
Turn a-rolling,
Ay-ah.
"When we reach fifty or sixty yards, we stop becau' we does need silence. We stop singing, when he hears some noise he would sound and go to bottom.

White bird get up,
Ay-ah
And she break she tail,
Ay-ah.
Black bird get up,
Ay-ah
And she do the same,
Ay-ah.
Oh, me Donna
Ay-ah
Emmalina girl,
Ay-ah.
Oh, me Donna,
Ay-ah
Girl come go with me,
Ay-ah
White bird get up
Ay-ah.

Lyr. Add: Blackbird Get Up
With musical score.

White bird get up,
Ay-ah
And she break she tail,
Ay-ah,
Blackbird get up,
Ay-ah
And She do the same,
Ay-ah,
Oh, me Donna
Ay-ah
Emmalina girl,
Ay-ah,
Oh, me Donna
Ayah
Girl come go with me,
Ay-ah.

And she shake she tail
Ay-ah
Black bird get up,
Ay-ah
And she do the same,
Ay-ah.

Oh, me Donna,
Ay-ah
Emmalina girl,
Ay-ah.
Oh, me Donna,
Ay-ah,
Girl come go with me,
Ay-ah.

"When we meet with fish, now (the boys dem does sing it in a kin' a 'rageous way now), "We catch 'im at las' and we tear his black ass."
.................

Song "Bully, Long Time Ago."

Pp. 75-78.


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Mudcat time: 22 June 11:39 AM EDT

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