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Origins: Probably a Negro lullaby: Hush Hush Hush

GUEST,Jan Trattner 20 Jul 04 - 01:56 AM
Geoff the Duck 20 Jul 04 - 06:09 AM
nutty 20 Jul 04 - 06:25 AM
Nerd 20 Jul 04 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,JTT 20 Jul 04 - 02:56 PM
Joe Offer 20 Jul 04 - 06:28 PM
nutty 20 Jul 04 - 06:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jul 04 - 07:55 PM
Nerd 20 Jul 04 - 10:44 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Jul 04 - 11:07 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 08 Feb 13 - 05:30 PM
Joe Offer 09 Feb 13 - 03:45 AM
mg 09 Feb 13 - 03:15 PM
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Subject: Origins: Probably a negro lullabye
From: GUEST,Jan Trattner
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 01:56 AM

I remember my grandmother singing a song that was probably a negro lullabye - in a minor key. What lyrics I remember were " and they'll beat you and they'll bite you, till your white as any white folk am" (relating to stealing watermelon)and a refrain of hush, hush, hush or sleep, sleep, sleep. I realize that it would not be considered a politcally correct/sensitive song these days, but it was such a beautiful tune and it brings back such good memories of my grandmother that I would like to know the full lyrics and tune and history is anyone out there recognizes it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a negro lullabye
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 06:09 AM

Can't find any references on the web using my usual search strategy.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a negro lullabye
From: nutty
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 06:25 AM

The sheet music for the song is here in the Levy Collection.

I guess you'd better hush,hush,hush


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a negro lullabye
From: Nerd
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 11:24 AM

Unfortunately called a "coon slumber song" on the cover and "Darkey slumber song" on the inside...they were different times, I guess...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a negro lullabye
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 02:56 PM

I think "coon" music was generally composed and performed by white men in English music-hall and American burlesque/vaudeville; I've even heard of black men "blacking up" to perform, because it was not acceptable for black people to be on the stage.

As I understand it, "coon" music portrayed a life of happy darkies living a life of innocent sweetness despite their hard work - must have been attractive to the audiences of music hall and vaudeville, who themselves lived in such conditions of bestial misery.


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Subject: ADD: I Guess You'd Better Hush! Hush! Hush!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 06:28 PM

I read somewhere that black performers did occasionally perform in blackface - that their natural skin color wasn't considered sufficient. Black minstrel shows were extraordinarily popular, so performers had to compromise to survive.


Gee, what an awful song. Here are the lyrics, transcribed from Levy.
-Joe Offer-

I Guess You'd Better Hush! Hush! Hush!
(Darkey slumber Song)
(Julia Marion Manley - 1901)

When the hoot owls am a-cryin'
And the bats they am a-flyin'
There's a great big goblin travels round,
Watchin'out for colored children
Who's been stealin' watermillen
And from mammy after dark is found
If you're good he'll never get yer,
But if you's bad I'll bet yer
That sometime when you is settin' black
Mister Goblin'll grab yer,
In his great big bag he'll nab yer,
And you never never can come back.

CHORUS
I guess you better hush! hush! hush! my honey!
'Cause I know he's hiding way out yonder in the brush.
If he sees you doing wrong,
He'll take you right along.
So I guess you better hush! hush! hush!


Far away he'll surely take yer,
And to punish you he'll make yer,
Just as white as any white folks am.
Every day you'll get a lickin'
And you'll never taste no chicken.
Like your mammy always gives her lamb.
If you ran away he'd catch yer,
Then he'd beat and bite and scratch yer,
Till you'd wish that you were dead, that's true.
So you best be good, my baby
If you don't I'll call him maybe.
'Cause I knows he's watchin' out for you.
CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a negro lullabye: Hush Hush Hush
From: nutty
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 06:52 PM

I agree, Joe , I would have thought that the poor kids would be having nightmares after listening to those words.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a negro lullabye: Hush Hush Hush
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 07:55 PM

Gee, when you were bad or wouldn't go to bed, weren't you ever threatened with the boogie man or the banshee or La Llorona or the 101 other creatures invented by parents to compel obedience? You have missed an important part of childhood- or at least it was up through the 1930s.

Nowadays even a velociraptor rates only a yawn.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a negro lullabye: Hush Hush
From: Nerd
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 10:44 PM

I like the fact that "children" is spelled correctly but rhymes with "watermillen," which shows that it was simply undertood that it should be pronounced "chillun."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a negro lullabye: Hush Hush Hush
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 11:07 PM

Many children's songs always struck me as brutal:

Trot, trot to Boston to buy a loaf of bread
Trot, trot home again, the little pony's dead

Love dem dead pony's

I wrote a children's song for my son Gideon and changed the line:

Ride me on your knee, Dad, higher and higher
Trot, trot to Boston, the pony is tired
Riding on your knee is what I like best
When the pony gets old, he needs his rest

Me being the old pony... and the song titled Ride The Old Pony

And then, there's the nice children's prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I die before I wake...

Wait a minute... kids are supposed to be comforted at the thought that they might die in their sleep?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a Negro lullaby: Hush Hush Hush
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 08 Feb 13 - 05:30 PM

I think it's a way of exposing kids to the darker side of life and teaching them to cope with it without forcing it on them by outright telling them about it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a Negro lullaby: Hush Hush Hush
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 03:45 AM

Hi, Morwen-

I've heard lullabies are vicious to give the singer a way to vent anger without harming the child - assuming, of course, that the baby doesn't understand what mommy is singing....this thread (click) should give anyone cause to call Child Protective Services.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Probably a Negro lullaby: Hush Hush Hush
From: mg
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 03:15 PM

we have a very nice lulla by cd screened to keep out scary stuff..no cover..not really selling because it is to be copied and given to children in distrewss...but for $5 donation plus shipping you can have one..and copy it if you work with needy children..like i said, just a cd in a sleeve, no cover. money will be used to pay expenses and run off more.
..
you could just send a check for six dollars us and 7 cn and i don't know about elsewhere to oh pm me it is really beautiful...not officially out until folklife


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