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ADD: Color Song - Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?

GUEST,Glade 19 Sep 01 - 03:37 PM
Sorcha 19 Sep 01 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,Glade 19 Sep 01 - 03:56 PM
Joe Offer 04 Dec 01 - 05:03 AM
Joe Offer 04 Dec 01 - 06:06 PM
Lin in Kansas 04 Dec 01 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Glade 24 Jun 02 - 05:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jun 02 - 04:04 PM
ard mhacha 25 Jun 02 - 04:09 PM
Mrrzy 25 Jun 02 - 04:16 PM
Lonesome EJ 25 Jun 02 - 04:24 PM
Lonesome EJ 25 Jun 02 - 04:33 PM
SharonA 26 Jun 02 - 08:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 02 - 12:00 PM
MMario 26 Jun 02 - 12:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 02 - 01:33 PM
SharonA 26 Jun 02 - 01:57 PM
GUEST 05 Dec 12 - 11:04 PM
Joe Offer 01 Jun 17 - 04:44 PM
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Subject: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: GUEST,Glade
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 03:37 PM

A woman sings this and it's sort of a children's song, I think. The lyrics go "Why Do They Call You Yellow (Black, White) Man? You're Not Yellow (Black, White) At All." Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 03:47 PM

No luck at all. Do you have any more?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: GUEST,Glade
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 03:56 PM

Thanks for trying, Sorcha. The song goes on to list the feelings the different colours elicit in the singer. Some of the lyrics end with "Black is the colour of..... and dark despair" and "White is the colour of .... and deepest shame."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 05:03 AM

I'm thinking this was on one of the "Up With People" recordings. This is gonna bug me. Somebody, please find it.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 06:06 PM

What??? No answer yet?
Harumpf! I'm fwustwated.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE COLOR SONG (Patricia Shih)
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 08:39 PM

Joe, it's in Rise Up Singing, p. 238. Here ya go!

Lin

THE COLOR SONG
By Patricia Shih
Copyright 1984 Patricia Shih.
(Also in SingOut! 31-1)

Why do they call you yellow man?
You're not yellow at all.
Yellow is the color of the morning sun
And dandelions and chicken soup
And legal pads and fearful minds.
Yes yellow is the color of all these things
But people are not the same.
You remind me of the Golden Rule
Whenever I say your name-o.

Bum bumbum bum bum (4x)

C - FC G / FC C - -  - - CG G
C - - G / C - F FG / CG (4x)


Why do they call you red man?
You're not red at all.
Red is the color of the climbing rose
And traffic lights and tomatoes
And chickenpox and bloody nose
And angry words.
Yes red is the color of all these things
But people are not the same.
I can see the rosy future
Whenever I say your name-o.

Bum bumbum bum bum (4x)

Why do they call you black man?
You're not black at all.
Black is the color of light not there
and Daddy's shoes and Mommy's hair,
And bowling balls and question marks
And blind despair.
Yes black is the color of all these things
But people are not the same.
I have had the deepest thoughts
Whenever I say your name-o.

Bum bumbum bum bum (4x)

Why do they call you white man?
You're not white at all.
White is the color of petticoats
And Elmer's glue and billy goats,
And falling snow and burning shame.
Yes white is the color of all these things
But people are not the same.
I have seen the clearest light
Whenever I say your name-o.

Bum bumbum bum bum (4x)

So what do you call your fellow man
If color doesn't matter at all?
Anything! so long as it's in the name
Of love and forgiveness
And hopefulness and lasting peace
And dignity and brotherhood.
For many are the colors of all these things,
But people are not the same.
We're each others' brothers and sisters
And we all have one name-o.

Bum bumbum bum bum (4x)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: GUEST,Glade
Date: 24 Jun 02 - 05:32 PM

Hey, Lin in Kansas,

Thanks so much for the lyrics! Glade


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 04:04 PM

I imagine if she'd written it now someone would have objected to it being "man" all the way through, on the specious grounds that that must always be taken as referring to gender rather than to species.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 04:09 PM

"Did you treat your Mary-Ann to some Dulse and Yellow-man, at the oul Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-o," Cannibalism in North Antrim?.Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 04:16 PM

I like this one, and you can get around the Man part. Why do they call you yellow, man? And use Man as an interjection. Why do they call you yellow? Man!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 04:24 PM

Why do they call you African-American Man
When you're from North Caroline?
Seems to me that "black man"
Saved us both a lot of time
So if I show some small restraint
And if you don't get up tight
I'll just call you "black" and you can call me "white"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 04:33 PM

But....why is it that "black man" and "white man" sound acceptable to me, but "yellow man" and "red man" don't?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: SharonA
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 08:41 AM

I guess that "black man" and "white man" are still used commonly enough to "sound acceptable", but for my part I don't find any of the four acceptable! I think that "African-American" is a step in the right direction (even though it's a mouthful), though of course one needs a way to refer to people of native African descent who aren't in America and/or who don't have ancestors who were slaves in the Americas!

I find it very strange that, when I'm required to fill out forms (census forms and the like) that include a question about one's race, the form-writers are very careful to be politically correct when referring to "African-American" and "Asian-American" and "Latino" and so forth, but they still use the word "white". Don't we get to be "Caucasian-Americans" or something? I feel PC-deprived!!! *BG*

But back to the song that this thread is about: I'm curious about the reference to the color white as "the color of... burning shame". I can't find that color-meaning on any web-page on the subject; is the songwriter making a reference to the white robes of the KKK, or what???


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 12:00 PM

Well, I suppose when you turn white as a sheet (assuming you have the sort of skin that is grey/pink to start with) it might be from shame, though more typically I'dthink it'd be fear, and shame you'd be likely to bluish red.

It's always struck me as odd about "red" in this context - the only people who actually are red much of the time are Northern Europeans. I can't believe anybody could ever have actually described a Irishman withna scarlet pelt after working out in the sun as a "paleface".

The Caucasus is a mountainous region between Europe and Asdia the other side of the Black Sea. Armenians and Georgians and so forth. I don't know the last time I met a Caucasian, must be forty years or so.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: MMario
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 12:05 PM

yeah - it's innacurate, and practically archaic, but "white" in the US is classed as "caucasian"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 01:33 PM

Who lays down daft "classifications" like that? No consistency. If it's Afro-Americans surely it ought to be Euro-Americans; or if it's Caucasian, then Ethiopian or something.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: SharonA
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 01:57 PM

"Euro-American"... I like it!

Soooooo what would that make the PC version of "white trash"? Euro-American Refuse?

As far as the skin color of Native Americans (who aren't really native, just much earlier immigrants than the rest) is concerned, I had a long-term relationship with a guy who was one-quarter Cherokee, and when he worked out in the sun he did indeed turn a lovely shade of copper-red for the summer!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Why Do They Call you Yellow Man?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 11:04 PM

Native Americans are "red" and Asians are "yellow"


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Subject: Origins: Color Song (Patricia Shih)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jun 17 - 04:44 PM

I checked the entry for this song on page 82 of Volume 31, #1 of Sing Out! Magazine.

I think the post from Lin above is more complete. It's exactly the same as the Sing Out! lyrics except that the magazine is missing one line. I'm assuming that's a mistake on the part of the magazine. Here's the end of the "white" verse, with the line in question in bold.
    Yes white is the color of all these things
    But people are not the same.
    I have seen the clearest light
    Whenever I say your name-o.



The magazine has the melody for this song. If somebody needs it, contact me at joe@mudcat.org and I'll type up a MIDI for you or send you a scan.

Notes from Sing Out!: Patricia Shih is a singer and songwriter who lives in Huntington, NY. Patricia says the wrote "The Color Song" to express her outrage at race questions on job applications, insurance forms, etc. It makes a great song to explain to young kids that "people are all the same," and was also included in Broadside Magazine's special children's songs issue (#158).

Sing Out! now hosts the archive of Broadside Magazine through #146: https://singout.org/broadside/
More recent issues are "coming soon," but I checked Broadside #158 on a file stored on my computer, and it has the same lyrics as posted above, including the line that Sing Out! is missing.


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