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Help: Old Blues lyrics question

GUEST 06 Apr 02 - 05:43 PM
Rolfyboy6 07 Apr 02 - 04:31 PM
masato sakurai 07 Apr 02 - 08:35 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Nov 07 - 10:38 PM
Sorcha 08 Nov 07 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,Scott 10 May 12 - 11:54 AM
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Subject: Old Blues song lyrics question
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 05:43 PM

Hi! I was wondering if anyone knows what blues song these lyrics are from:
    Don't come early in the morning
    Neither in the heat of the day
    But come in the sweet cool of the evening
    and wash my sins away
It must have been written before 1947, but other than that I have no clue. Thanks for any help!


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Subject: RE: Help: Old Blues lyrics question
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 04:31 PM

I don't recognize this at all. Further, it is written in 'literary' English (not common in the blues) and the meter/rhyme sceme isn't one that is usual in the blues. And it's a quatrain. Before 1947 it is unlikely that this would have been part of the blues as it arose out of the south. Possible exceptions would be in gospel (notice the sin washing), or in pop parts of big band swing (then popular).


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Subject: RE: Help: Old Blues lyrics question
From: masato sakurai
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 08:35 PM

This song (not a blues song) is quoted in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (1952, chapter 18):

"Don't come early in the morning
Neither in the heat of the day
But come in the sweet cool of the
Evening and wash my sins away..."

(From: HERE)

Also in UNCLES JOSH'S PUNKIN CENTRE STORIES by CAL STEWART (1903):

Samantha Hoskins concluded she would have to sing her favorite hymn; it went something like this:

"Oh you need not cum in the mornin',
And neither in the heat of the day;
But cum along in the evenin', Lord,
And wash my sins away.

Chorus-- Standin' on the walls of Zion,
Lookin' at my ship cum a sailln' ov{er};
Standin' on the walls of Zion,
To see my ship cum in."

(From: HERE & HERE)

"Standin' on the Walls of Zion" is in Carl Sandburg's The American Songbag (1927, p. 484, with music; Sandburg says this is from "white man's spiritual"):

Then it's a hooraw, and a hooraw,
Thru the merry green fields, hooraw!
Standin' on the walls of Zion, Zion,
See my ship come sailin', sailin',
Standin' on the walls of Zion,
See my ship come sailin' home.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: Old Blues lyrics question
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Nov 07 - 10:38 PM

The song is also quoted in Langston Hughes' "Master of Miracles: A Gospel Song-Play Based on the Bible and the Negro Spirituals," 1962. The relevant quote is on page 408 of "The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, Volume 6: Gospel plays, operas, and later dramatic works," University of Missouri Press, 2004.

Hughes puts these lines in all caps. I'm guessing that's to indicate that these lines are sung, not spoken, but I have put them in lower case to make them easier to read:

WOMAN: Eve, where is Adam?
DEACON: Eve, where is Adam?
ELDER: Adam's in the garden picking up leaves.
WOMEN: Adam's in the garden picking up leaves.
ELDER: He didn't come soon in the morning,
  Neither in the heat of the day.
  He's come in the cool of the evening
  To wash my sins away.
SINGERS: Eve, where is Adam?
  Eve, where is Adam?
  Adam's in the garden picking up leaves…


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Subject: RE: Help: Old Blues lyrics question
From: Sorcha
Date: 08 Nov 07 - 10:53 PM

Sounds more like gospel than real blues to me. The original quote uses (pardon me here) White language, the rest more like Black (African American, whatever) gospel.


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Subject: RE: Help: Old Blues lyrics question
From: GUEST,Scott
Date: 10 May 12 - 11:54 AM

Not positive about the origins, but I've been looking for this as well. There's a fantastic rendition of this on Dizzy Diamonds/The Best Of The Verve Years (Disc 2). Name of the song is "Where's Adam?". If you google "adam in the garden pinning leaves" you will find lots of references, but I believe they all list the song as author unknown, and that it's a "traditional" gospel song.

The most thorough description that I have been able to find is here: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/adam-in-the-garden-pinning-leaves.aspx

Which includes the following: NOTES: "Adam in the Garden Pinning Leaves" is a traditional gospel song collected in 1934. The mention of Adam making clothing of fig leaves occurs in the Bible in Gen. 3:7; God comes after Adam in 3:8-9. The siege of Jericho is described in Joshua 6, with a foreshadowing in Joshua 2.

Again, I came to this through Dizzy Gillespie, and unless you just hate jazz, you should really check out his rendition. Fantastic.


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