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Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl

Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Brown Skin Girl- folksong from Grenada (73)
Skin color in songs & singers' names (108)


BDenz 24 Jul 02 - 03:29 PM
greg stephens 24 Jul 02 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Frogmore 24 Jul 02 - 09:50 PM
Sorcha 24 Jul 02 - 10:42 PM
Jim Dixon 26 Jul 02 - 09:06 AM
BDenz 04 Aug 02 - 05:50 PM
JedMarum 21 Nov 03 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Gerry 20 Apr 08 - 08:24 PM
quokka 20 Apr 08 - 09:14 PM
Newport Boy 21 Apr 08 - 05:08 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 May 11 - 09:40 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 02 Jun 11 - 05:30 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jun 11 - 12:17 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 02 Jun 11 - 06:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jun 11 - 01:33 PM
Linterbug 03 Jun 11 - 03:41 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 03 Jun 11 - 04:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jun 11 - 01:57 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 07 Jun 11 - 08:13 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jun 11 - 02:09 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 07 Jun 11 - 05:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jun 11 - 06:35 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 07 Jun 11 - 06:54 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 07 Jun 11 - 09:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jun 11 - 10:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jun 11 - 10:58 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 07 Jun 11 - 11:00 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 08 Jun 11 - 12:46 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 08 Jun 11 - 04:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Jun 11 - 12:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Aug 11 - 02:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Aug 11 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Lord Invader 08 Aug 15 - 12:49 AM
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Subject: Brown skinned girl
From: BDenz
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 03:29 PM

The song is from the Caribbean and I only remember the refrain. I've searched lyrics, but that often doesn't mean much. Anyone know the full lyrics?

Refrain:
Brown skinned girl, stay home and mind the baby.
Brown skinned girl, stay home and mind the baby.
I'm going away on a sailing ship
And if I don't come back, stay home and mind the baby.

Thanks in advance.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown skinned girl
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 04:32 PM

Can't do blue clickies, sorry. If you try searching anywhere under "Harry Belafonte song lyrics" or "brown skin girl" you'll get there. Don't think it's in the Mudcat DT. A yahoo search found it straight away.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown skinned girl
From: GUEST,Frogmore
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 09:50 PM

I think you'll find a great version on a Taj Mahal "childrens' album." Silly term. Good songs are just good songs. I might be thinking of a different song than you are, but this one is very cool.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown skinned girl
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 10:42 PM

Brown Skin Girl from the Belafonte site.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BROWN SKIN GIRL (from Harry Belafonte)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 09:06 AM

Copied from http://w1.871.telia.com/~u87125666/lyrics/brownskingal.htm

BROWN SKIN GIRL
Words and Music by: Norman Span
Recorded by Harry Belafonte
Recording date: Nov 9, 1955

Ev'rything to keep me from sleepin'
A lot of sailor boys they were leavin'
And everybody there were jumpin'
To hear the sailor boys in our chorus singin'

Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
I'm goin' away, in a sailing boat
And if I don't come back
Stay home and mind baby

Now de Americans made an invasion
We thought it was a help to the island
Until they left from here on vacation
They left de native boy home to mind their children

Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
I'm goin' away, in a sailing boat
And if I don't come back
Stay home and mind baby

Now I tell you de story 'bout Millie
Well she made a nice blue-eyed baby
And dey say she fancy the mother
But the blue-eyed baby ain't know she father

Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
I'm goin' away, in a sailing boat
And if I don't come back
Stay home and mind baby

Now de Americans all have their pleasure
While the music played to their leisure
Everybody there they were jumpin'
To hear the sailor boys in our chorus singin'

Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
Brown skin girl stay home and mind baby
I'm goin' away, in a sailing boat
And if I don't come back
Stay home and mind baby


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown skinned girl
From: BDenz
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 05:50 PM

Thanks all. Appreciate the efforts.

Thanks for the hint on Taj's children's album. I actually have that and had forgotten it was there.

This is now in my music archives.

Barb


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown skinned girl
From: JedMarum
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 08:36 AM

this is a lovely song. I was a small child when I first heard it, and my mother thought it was inappropriate for me to be singing it ... which I did, so the album quietly disappeared!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown skinned girl
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 20 Apr 08 - 08:24 PM

I recently acquired the Belafonte vinyl that has this track, an album I remember well from my childhood. The lyrics of this song didn't mean much to me then, but now I'm very surprised to see them in something recorded in 1955. It strikes me that that was a bit early for a singer seeking commercial success to be criticizing American military activity & also to be singing about racial issues. 1964, sure, but 1955? Anyone here remember whether this song created any kind of a stir back then?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown skinned girl
From: quokka
Date: 20 Apr 08 - 09:14 PM

Is there any truth to the rumour that Van Morrison's song Brown Eyed Girl started out as Brown Skinned Girl?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown skinned girl
From: Newport Boy
Date: 21 Apr 08 - 05:08 AM

Gerry

Belafonte was radical when he started, and thankfully remains so. I think he was inspired by Paul Robeson, and certainly his political protests started in the mid-50s, as did mine.

Phil


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Brown Skin Gal (Jamaica)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 May 11 - 09:40 PM

Lyr. Add: Brown Skin Gal

Brown skin gal stay home and mind yo' baby.
Brown skin gal stay home and mind yo' baby.
Papa's gone to sea in a sailing boat.
And if he don't come back, throw 'way de damn baby.

Brown skin gal stay home and nurse yo' baby.
Brown skin gal stay home and nurse yo' baby.
Papa's gone to sea, in a fishing boat.
And if he don't come back, throw 'way de damn pickani.

Brown skin gal stay home an .............papa.
Brown skin gal stay home an .............papa.
Papa's gone to sea, in a fishing boat.
And if he don't come back, throw 'way de damn pickani.

Song on p. 1 of a booklet of 15 songs, "Jamaican Calypso Songs," no date, no author, 1950s. Reproduced at:
http://www.mentomusic.com/images/jcs1.jpg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 05:30 AM

Q, is it possible that the lyrics posted above are a version of a possible Grenadian source for this song? So far I checked the mento music site and all that is given as credit for this song is "traditional". I am still looking for information to substantiate that claim.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 12:17 PM

The source island is hard to determine for many of the songs. The songs could easily island-hop. Some like Lionel Belasco, just called his songs 'West Indian', perhaps the safest attribution.

Secondly, never put your faith in a statement in a single report unless it is backed up by verifiable evidence. Singers of 'folk' material do their 'own thing' and make up what they think is a good story, and also move locations to fit a rhyme (many examples with U. S. folk songs).

Third, very few trained 'song catchers' worked in the Caribbean, the exception being one or two collecting the ananci tales or tracing the variations on old English ballads and rhymes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 06:25 PM

Q, first thread I started on this site was one about this song's origin. In one post, I list all of the evidence I found for this song's origins in Grenada. I would love how that version goes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 01:33 PM

I would hesitate to attribute any Caribbean 'folk' song to any particular site unless it mentions an event which can be verified (trial, fire, etc.).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: Linterbug
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 03:41 PM

We used to sing a version of this in The Bahamas. I'll check back on my mum's old records and see how it's listed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 04:53 PM

Linterbug, that'll certainly help.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: See Muh Lil Brown Gal
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 01:57 PM

Lyr. Add: See Muh Lil Brown Gal
Barbados

See muh lil' brown gal, call she fuh me,
Call she fuh me, call she fuh me,
'Cause uh want to go home.

Chorus:
Oh, you may walk, an' you may talk,
An' you can tell by my style an' my fashion,
By my high standin' collar an' my ties to multiply,
I'm a dandy, I'm a dandy, I'm a dude.

http://silvertorch.com/barbsongs.html

Looks like two songs spliced together, without r or r.

Help, anyone?
On a cd by Neil Walker. Not to be confused with the Hawai'ian song.


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Subject: Origins: Brownskin Gal (Lord Invader) - Rockin' t
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 08:13 AM

Brown Skin Girl
(Lord Invader-covered by the Mighty Terror)

1. What's wrong with you, Miss Ivy, girl?
Why are you trying to trap me with that baby?
What's wrong with you, Miss Ivy, girl?
Why are you trying to trap me with that baby?
We only got friendly in September,
And the baby was born in November.

Girl you can't fool me like that,
Tell me how a monkey can make a cat!
(So we singin' bout)

Cho: Brown skin girl, stay home and mind baby,
Brown skin girl, stay home and mind baby.
I'm going away on a sailing boat,
And if I don't come back
Stay home and mind baby

2. Now this is something that a blind can see,
That the baby ain't belong to me,
You know that I am a fellow with a funny face,
And the baby don't belong to the Negro race.
If she go to America,
She compelled to find the right father.
So girl, don't worry with me,
You can't tie me up with that blue-eyed baby.
(chorus)

3. Yes, Ivy, girl, you made an error,
To be in love with that Yankee feller.
You thought he really come here to live,
It is better you had met a native.
You said they come here for ninety-nine years,
And they leave you with that baby shedding tears,
And now you want me to pay the tax,
Go cut down the tree where you grind your axe.
(Chorus)

This version of "Brown Skin Girl" was written by Lord Invader. It is similar in theme to "Rockin' the Cradle", a song found in the British Isles and Australia. Only here, Invader will not "rock the cradle of the child not my own." Can anyone find a West Indian version of "Rockin the Cradle?"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brownskin Gal (Lord Invader) - Rockin' t
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 02:09 PM

This thread should be combined with the thread with the Norman Span -Belafonte song, which has the same theme of a baby born to an American, and the anon. song I posted in the same thread; variation on the same song.
Thread 49824: Brown Skin Girl

I would doubt any relationship to "Rockin' the Cradle," the well-known UK song about a wife who fathered another man's baby.
See Bodleian Collection, Dublin song sheet ca. 1850 or later.
Ballads Catalogue, 2806 B.9(282), J. F. Nugent and Co. (Also known in Canada, and a possible variant recorded by Uncle Dave Macon in the U.S.).
    Threads combined. Morwen, we try to encourage people to post multiple versions of a song together in one thread, to make comparison easier.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brownskin Gal (Lord Invader) - Rockin' t
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 05:58 PM

Q, since, (I believe), there is a West Indian variant of St. James Infirmary, couldn't there possibly be a West Indian version of "Rockin' The Cradle" as well? That's what I'm wondering- whether there is an Anglophone Caribbean variant on the same theme- the wife who traps her husband with a child that isn't his. It is very likely, as some Caribbean countries were originally British colonies. This version of the song (Brown Skin Girl) seems like an angry response to the prospect of being trapped with a lover's baby (which isn't the composer/singer's). "Tell me how a monkey can make a cat!" I was not implying that there is a relationship; it is interesting that as a version of "Brown Skin Girl", this song (and the Span-Belafonte one) explore similar themes to "Rockin' The Cradle" the man helping the raise the child that isn't his.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brownskin Gal (Lord Invader) - Rockin' t
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 06:35 PM

Many songs explore similar themes. "Rocking the Cradle" possibly followed Irish (and British Isles emigrants?) to corners of the British Empire, but it has not been reported from the Caribbean, nor from the U.S.
The song sheet may or may not have been common; related variants are likely uncommon since it is lacking in rather extensive U.S. collections of UK and Irish song.

"The Unfortunate Rake (St. James Hospital, Bad Girl etc.) seems to me to be unrelated to Caribbean songs; more likely the jazz version of St. James Infirmary was picked up there.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brownskin Gal (Lord Invader) - Rockin' t
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 06:54 PM

Q, however I believe that in the "St. James Infirmary"" thread, a poster mentioned a Jamaican version being collected.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brownskin Gal (Lord Invader) - Rockin' t
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 09:24 PM

QUOTE: From Stewie's post on "St. James Infirmary Blues", posting of an article written by Rob Walker: "Name That Tune" "THE BALLAD TRAVELED THE WORLD. There is a black West Indian version from the 19th century."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brownskin Gal (Lord Invader) - Rockin' t
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 10:58 PM

By "the ballad traveled the world, Walker means the whole gamut based on "The Unfortunate Rake." I see nothing to relate it to the song considered in this thread, or even to "Rocking the Cradle."

Quoting Walker on "St. James Infirmary":
A story by Al Rose in his Storyville, New Orleans: "According to a common legend, the church (St. James Methodist) offered first-aid services and modest hospital facilities and thus became the inspiration for the widely performed St. James Infirmary Blues. Unfortunatey this colorful and imaginative legend is not true; indeed the song has no connection with New Orleans."
Walker does kill that legend, but unfortunately his story based on the Unfortunate Rake is speculation.

If you want a good intertwining of Unfortunate Rake with St James Infirmary, etc., get the Smithsonian cd on the Unfortunate Rake and read the insert. Some of it must be taken cun grana salis as well.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brownskin Gal (Lord Invader) - Rockin' t
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 10:58 PM

Walker's paper is on the net.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brownskin Gal (Lord Invader) - Rockin' t
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 11:00 PM

That's true, but he says there's a West Indian version from the 19th century.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brownskin Gal (Lord Invader) - Rockin' t
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 12:46 AM

Of "The Unfortunate Rake". And Q, you yourself said that there was a possible American variant recorded by Uncle Dave Macon. If that song is a variant (and it certainly sounds like it is, even reading the lyrics), then there is an American version reported. So isn't it possible there is also a West Indian song with the same theme?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 04:20 AM

One strong difference is that this version is written in a first-person perspective (whether the narrator is the singer or an invented persona) and is a condemnation of the girl (Miss Ivy) for attempting to trap him. As I asked, does anyone know of a Caribbean song on the same lines as "Rocking The Cradle/Rocking the baby to sleep'? I'm pretty sure that one exists.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 12:32 PM

Morwen, my personal view is that some of these songs are independent of each other. - I guess that makes me a splitter and not a lumper!
In any case, a lot of space in this forum could be taken up by speculation; I would rather just post the songs - unless I find a firm foundation for the guesses.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Aug 11 - 02:43 PM

The version I posted May 28, by unnamed, is sung by Hubert Porter, singing with the Tower Islanders. Found at mentomusic.com, lyrics on back of LP sleeve (illustrated).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Aug 11 - 06:08 PM

Sung by Lord Invader on Folkways FP-914; "Calypso."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brown Skin Girl / Brown Skinned Girl
From: GUEST,Lord Invader
Date: 08 Aug 15 - 12:49 AM

thanks for 9 years of diligence


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