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Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan

Charley Noble 27 Apr 03 - 05:35 PM
Charley Noble 21 Aug 03 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Q 22 Aug 03 - 02:17 PM
Charley Noble 22 Aug 03 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Q 22 Aug 03 - 04:56 PM
Charley Noble 22 Aug 03 - 07:23 PM
Charley Noble 23 Aug 03 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Q 23 Aug 03 - 02:52 PM
Charley Noble 23 Aug 03 - 02:58 PM
Charley Noble 04 Sep 06 - 03:39 PM
Bob Coltman 05 Sep 06 - 07:20 AM
Bob Coltman 05 Sep 06 - 07:48 AM
Charley Noble 05 Sep 06 - 11:13 AM
Charley Noble 05 Sep 06 - 10:09 PM
Charley Noble 06 Sep 06 - 10:35 AM
Azizi 06 Sep 06 - 09:50 PM
Azizi 06 Sep 06 - 10:00 PM
Azizi 06 Sep 06 - 10:07 PM
Charley Noble 06 Sep 06 - 10:21 PM
Goose Gander 03 Oct 06 - 11:42 PM
Goose Gander 04 Oct 06 - 08:01 PM
Charley Noble 13 Jul 08 - 02:51 PM
Charley Noble 03 Apr 09 - 08:27 PM
Charley Noble 03 Apr 09 - 08:42 PM
Charley Noble 17 Aug 11 - 10:54 PM
Charley Noble 20 Sep 12 - 08:35 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: FIGHT WID OLE SATAN
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Apr 03 - 05:35 PM

Here's another Gospel song from my mother's nursemaid Ella Madison. I can't seem to find a trace of this one anywhere else but would appreciate any comments.

FIGHT WID OLE SATAN

(From singing of Ella Madison in early 1920's as collected by Winifred (Wendy) Holt)

I had a fight wid ole Satan de odder night,
As I lay half awake;
Ole Satan, he come to my bedside
An' me he began to shake;
He shook me long an' he shook me strong,
He shook me plumb outa bed;
He done grab me by de collar and he looks me in the face,
An' whaddaya reckon he said?

Whad he say, Aunt Jane?
Whad he say?

"All de gole in de mountain,
All de silber in de mine,
Shall all belong to you, Aunt Jane,
If you will only be mine."
He led me to de winder an' the sight was dark
An' de moon was shinin' bright;
De hills an' the mountains all aroun'
Lay terror to my sight;
He said, "All des t'ings will be yours while you live
If you will be my general when you die."
But I look ole Satan right plumb in de eye
An' whaddaya t'ink I said?

Whaddaya say, Aunt Jane?
Whaddaya say?

"Getcha gone, ole Satan! Don't you ever come 'round here again;
You might fool a white man wid dat tale
But you can't fool yo' ole Aunt Jane;
Live humble, humble youself,
I got glory an' honour, praise Jesus!"

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Aug 03 - 08:14 PM

Well, Cheryl Black, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre, University of Missouri at Columbia, recently discovered a 1930 newspaper article by Edward G. Perry about Ella Robinson Madison and forwarded it to my cousin Jonathon Zorach who then passed it on to my mother, Dahlov (Zorach) Ipcar, and myself. Now we know a lot more about her extensive 19th century theatrical and musical career. What's relevant to this thread is that this song was what Ella, at the age of 72, sang in her audition for a new play by Dubose and Dorothy Heyward called "Porgy" in 1927. Not only was she hired on the spot but this song was incorporated into the play at the Guild Theatre; for the play this song may have been renamed "All the Gold in the Mountain."

After a successful year on Broadway, "Porgy" toured Europe for 3 months in 1929. For Ella, it was her 10th tour of Europe and she took great joy in returning to the theater, and being a "Mother" to every member of the cast. In the spring of 1930, "Porgy" was ending its long run, to be later adapted as the well-known musical "Porgy & Bess" by George Gerswin.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 02:17 PM

Charley, this one left me with my mouth open. Messing with Satan shows up in several songs but I haven't found anything that I would say is related closely enough to consider. Maybe Masato can find one.

Any more Ella Madison gems?

I have added this one to the spirituals permathread- not a spiritual by strict definition, but I think it is one wysiwyg would like to sing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 04:08 PM

Q-

Glad you checked this old song out. I've never found a trace of it in my searches but I too eagerly await the results of our master searcher Masato.

In the past year I've posted about half a dozen songs that Ella used to sing to my mother (do a thread search for "Ella Madison"):

The West Indies Blues
O, de Lord Tol' Nory
Trials and Tribulations
Gospel Train
Pharoah's Army
One Little Fambilee
Jonah an' de Whale

Here's some more details about Ella's early life in the theatre and the music halls:

She was born Ella Robinson in 1854 in Saratoga Springs, New York, the youngest of 10 children. At the age of 15 she moved to New York City and marched in the last 14th Amendment Day parade. Her first acting role was as "Topsy" in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," a production which began at New York City's Grand Opera House and then toured Europe in 1878, beginning in England and then going to Germany and Switzerland.

When she returned to New York City, she formed a partnership with a Charles Asbury. This new act was called "The Virginia Duo" and opened at the Museum Theatre. Later "The Virginia Duo" toured Europe performing in Holland as well as England, Germany and Switzerland.

She then formed an association with Herman Lindy's "Female Quartet" and toured again in England and Continental Europe. She traveled abroad and performed for years, finally returning to New York City in 1891. According to Edward Perry, "Ella Robinson sang before many crowned heads and other aristocrats. She received numerous decorations, jewels and money."

I'm also had no success in running down any of these clues, in terms of further background.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 04:56 PM

Thanks for posting the list. I know I copied a couple, but I hadn't connected her name with all of them. I will check them against what I have, but my collection is miniscule compared to Masato's.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 07:23 PM

More Notes:

Dubose and Dorothy Heyward, the co-authors of "Porge," were originally from the Charlston, NC, area and were part of what has been described by literary hostorians as "The Charlston Renaissance."

The young director of "Porge," who auditioned Ella Madison, was Rouben Mamoulian who also directed early productions of "Porgy and Bess" and then went on to a very successful Hollywood film career as a director.

As close as I can determine Ella Madison died at a retirement home for the elderly in about 1935.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 08:43 AM

Just got a PM from Masato who says:

"I've checked several indexes of songs, spirituals, gospel, and folktales, but unfortunately no information on this song has been
found so far, at least under this (including "All the Gold in the Mountain") or similar titles. I'll continue keeping watch."

Well, now the search is getting serious, and even more interesting. It could be that this song came from the "minstrel shows" rather than the Black Gospel tradition. Wish we knew more about the range of songs Ella sang in the musical groups she was active with in the late 19th century.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 02:52 PM

I had looked at most of your Ella Madison threads. "One Little Fambilie" is the other one that I can't connect to anything that I have.
Where did you post Madison's "Gospel Train"? Couldn't find it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 02:58 PM

I probably missed posting "Gospel Train." Guess I'm lossing it. I'll post it now.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Sep 06 - 03:39 PM

Refresh for new comments?

Warning: to sort this thread into chronological order hit the "Printer Friendly" button.

Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: UNCLE BILLY (Ben C. Moomaw)
From: Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 07:20 AM

I was given a version of this called "Uncle Billy" from Ben C. Moomaw in 1955.
Moomaw, later president of the Virginia Folklore Society, had (I believe) collected it in that state, but he didn't say where. He did say it was of minstrel origin.

I have a faint recollection that a version of it may be in Brown's North Carolina Folklore, but I may be wrong on that. At any rate I'm positive I saw it in published form, though maybe not at this length.

It is a wonderful song. (Always did want to find a place to sing it publicly, but somehow...) Tune's sprightly and fun, too.

UNCLE BILLY

I had a fight with ol' Satan last night
As I lay half awake,
Satan come up to my bedside,
And me he begun to shake.

Well he shake me long and he shake me strong,
And he shake me clean outa bed,
He grab me by the collar and he look me in the face,
And what do you think he said?

REFRAIN TUNE DIFFERS
There's gold in the mountain,
There's silver in the mine,
It'll all belong to you, Uncle Billy,
If you only will be mine.

Says he, These things will all be yours,
If you'll be my gentle when you're dead,
I grabbed him by the collar and I looked him in the face,
And what do you think I said?

REFRAIN TUNE
Get you gone ol' Satan,
You come here me for to kill,
You can fool all the white folks with that trash,
But you can't fool yo' ol' Uncle Bill!

I was gettin' mighty chilly and I feared to take a cold,
So I jumped back into bed,
When through the night I thought I saw
My dear good Lord his head.

Ol' Satan vanished right through the floor
And a light around the room was shed,
I th'owed the covers up over my face,
And my good Lord he said,

REFRAIN TUNE
Well done, my faithful servant,
You may sit on the Lord's right hand,
And play on the golden harp all day,
Although you but a colored man.

REFRAIN TUNE
Oh, Play on the golden harp, sinners,
Put on the golden shoes,
Turn your feet to the shinin' street
An' put on the golden shoes!

Wake up sinners, don't you hear me shout,
Put on the golden shoes,
Shuffle your feet and face about,
And put on the golden shoes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 07:48 AM

P.S. It may be that "If you'll be my gentle when you're dead" really is "general" as given in Ella Madison's version. That makes sense.

I understood Mr. Moomaw to sing it as "gentle," as in "gentleman."   That's an occasional folk use I've seen elsewhere.

Which one is right? I'm sure Satan would prefer a higher-ranking emissary on earth than a mere gentleman. But until we see a minstrel original (I've seen no evidence of one yet), I suppose that will remain uncertain.

I'm tickled by the Madison change from Uncle Billy to Aunt Jane. Shades of Uncle Bud and Aunt Jane (those lickerish two who feature in so many Southern floating verses).

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 11:13 AM

Bob-

My mother who can still sing this song at the age of 89 is convinced that Ella sang "If you will be my general when you die." It does make sense and Ella was hard-wired to her sources for these songs which she had performed professionally as a minstrel singer and as an actress in "Porgy."

I'm pleased to see the Uncle Billy version of this song, which I'll pass on to my mother.

I might mention, Bob, that my mother, Dahlov Ipcar, was a long time friend to your old friends Bill and Gene Bonyun. We shared music parties with them begining in the 1940's.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 10:09 PM

Well, my mother was delighted to see the Uncle Bill version of this old song today at lunch. But then she went over Ella's version and thought there were some lines left out and some other corrections. Here's the way she thinks it goes today:

Fight Wid Ole Satan

(From singing of Ella Robinson Madison in early 1920's as remembered by Dahlov Ipcar, 9/5/06)

I had a fight wid ole Satan de odder night,
As I lay half awake;
Ole Satan, he come to my bedside
An' me he begin to shake;
He shook me long an' he shook me strong,
He shook me plumb outa the bed;
He grab me by de collar and he look me in the eye,
An' whaddaya reckon he said?

"Whad he say, Aunt Jane?
Whad he say?"

"All de gold in de mountain,
All de silver in de mine,
Shall all belong to you, Aunt Jane,
If you will only be mine."
He led me to de winder an' the night was dark
De moon was shinin' bright;
De hills an' the mountains all aroun'
Lay terror to my sight;
He said, "All des t'ings will be yourn while you live
If you will be my general when you're dead."
But I look ole Satan right plumb in de eye
An' whaddaya reckon I said?

"Whaddaya say, Aunt Jane?
Whaddaya say?"

"Getcha gone, ole Satan!
Don't you ever come 'round here again;
You might fool a white man wid dat tale
But you can't fool yo' ole Aunt Jane.

Ole Satan he went out an' he slammed de do'
An' I creeps back in the bed
An' a great white light rose up from de flo'
An' I seen my Savior's head:
"Well done, good an' faithful servant
You shall sit upon my right han'
An' play on the golden harp all de live long day
Even tho youse a po' black mam'
Live humble, humble youself,
I got glory an' honour, praise Jesus!"

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 10:35 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 09:50 PM

Charley, I don't know the song that is presented in this thread.

However, you and other Mudcat members & guests may be interested in this song about the devil from Thomas W. Talley's 1922 book "Negro Folk Rhymes" {Kennikat Press Edition, 1968; p. 104}:

HOW TO KEEP OR KILL THE DEVIL
If you wants to see de Devil smile.
Simpully do lak his own chile.

If you wants to see de devil git spunk,
Swallow whisky, an' git drunk.

If you wants to see de Devil live.
Cuss an' swar an' never give.

If you wants to see de Devil run,
Jest tu'n a loose de Gospel gun.

If you wants to see de Devil fall,
Hit him wid de Gospel ball.

If you wants to see de Devil beg,
Nail him wid a Gospel peg.

If you wants to see de Devil sick,
Beat him wid a Gospel stick.

If you wants to see de Devil die.
Feed him up on Gospel pie.

But de Devil wa'rs dat iron shoe.
An' if you don't watch, he'll slip it on you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 10:00 PM

Here's another rhyme about the devil from Thomas W. Talley's 1922 book "Negro Folk Rhymes" {Kennikat Press Edition, 1968; p.165}
{Warning: advocates of non-violence toward all living creatures won't approve of this rhyme}

THE ORIGIN OF THE SNAKE
Up de hill an' down de level!
Up de hill an' down de level!
Granny's puppy treed de Devil.

Puppy howl, an' Devil shake.
Puppy howl, an' Devil shake.
Devil leave, an' dere's yo' snake,

Mash his head; de sun shine bright!
Mash his head; de sun shine bright!
Tail don't die ontel it's night.

Night come on, an' sperits groan!
Night come on, an' sperits groan!
Devil come an' gits his own.


****

Don't you think this rhyme is just begging to be sung? [with perhaps with some PC changes, though that will interfere with the folk supersition that the rhyme preserves.

But still, I think a good tunesmith could have fun making this rhyme sing.

[This is a big hint to Charley Noble and others here on Mudcat]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 10:07 PM

Also, I can't resist it. Yes, I'm yielding to temptation by posting this verse:

Some folks say de Debbil's dead
and buried in a shoe.
But I seed de Debbil de' other day
And he looks jus' as good as you.


[excerpted from "Bile Dem Cabbage Down" found in Dorothy Scarborough's 1925 book "On The Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs";
Folklore Associates edition, 1963,p.125]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 10:21 PM

Azizi-

Thanks!

Something to mull over as the shadows close in.

Charley Noble


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Subject: ADD: Billy's Dream
From: Goose Gander
Date: 03 Oct 06 - 11:42 PM

BILLY'S DREAM

I had a fight with Satan last night,
As I lay me half awake.
Ole Satan came to my bedside,
And he began to shake.
Oh, he shook me long, and he shook me strong,
And he grabbed me clear out of bed;
He grabbed me by the collar,
And he looked me in the face,
And what do you think he said?

"There's gold in the mountains,
And there's silver in the mine,
And it all belongs to you, Uncle Billy
If you will only be mine."
(missing lines)
And I grabbed him by the collar,
And I looked him in the face,
And what do you think I said?

"Get you gone, oh Satan;
You came to me to kill.
You might fool white folks with your trash,
But you can't fool poor black Bill."

Oh, I was feelin' quite chilly,
And I thought I might catch cold;
So I crept into my bed,
And through the night I saw the good Lord his head.
Ole Satan had vanished through the floor,
(missing lines)
And the Lord to me he said:

"Well done, my faithful servant;
You can sit at my right hand,
Play on the golden harp all day,
Although you are a poor colored man."

Collected by Charles Neely, Tales and Songs of Southern Illinois (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989 reprint / 1938), p. 215-216.

Notes: "According to Paskman and Spaeth, Gentlemen, Be Seated! pp. 74-86, this song was the star number of Billy Arnold's repertoire."

"Communicated by Mr. Dave H. Adamson, Jr., Belleville, who got it from his mother, Mrs. D. H. Adamson, Sr., Bellville."
    Note: The Neely book has no tune for this song.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Goose Gander
Date: 04 Oct 06 - 08:01 PM

Uncle Billy's Dream sung by Len Spencer

Courtesy of Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project

So the song seems to be a product of the stage rather than a gospel song. But Spencer's lyrics are incomplete, and maybe there's an older version he got them from ( though it might have simply been a broadside or songsheet )


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 02:51 PM

Oh, one of the wild card things that happened when I was doing a Goggle search on the original Porgy folk opera is that I found my way to the New York Public Library photo archives, and they had some lovely medium resolution images of the play in action, and one of Ella right out in front, stage left center: click here for website!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 08:27 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 08:42 PM

And evidently I totally missed out on Michael Morris' post with Len Spencer's version of "Fight Wid Ole Satan." Ella's version is longer and has some more intriguing detail but it's an open question whether she added on to what Spencer sang or not.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Aug 11 - 10:54 PM

Just a brief update in that I've been contacted recently by a researcher who is do a biography of the director of "Porgy" and is interested in the role of Ella Madison in this early version of "Porgy & Bess." He found this thread via a Google search. I'm hoping he finds the original sheet music.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Fight Wid Ole Satan
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Sep 12 - 08:35 AM

I'm now making an effort via Facebook to see if I can contact any of Ella's family. Here's a public link to the Facebook page: Click here for view!

Ella had no surviving children herself but she had nine brothers and sisters. So there is a good chance that her family is out there somewhere. Ella's maiden name is Robinson and she grew up in Saratoga Springs, New York.

I would appreciate any leads from those skilled in genealogical research.

Charley Noble


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