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Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?

Pinetop Slim 20 Sep 04 - 01:51 PM
Lighter 20 Sep 04 - 01:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Sep 04 - 02:59 PM
Pinetop Slim 21 Sep 04 - 01:58 PM
Lighter 21 Sep 04 - 09:07 PM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Sep 04 - 09:18 PM
Lighter 21 Sep 04 - 09:27 PM
Joe Offer 21 Sep 04 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,Charley Noble 21 Sep 04 - 09:57 PM
RangerSteve 22 Sep 04 - 04:32 AM
Pinetop Slim 22 Sep 04 - 09:58 AM
Chris in Wheaton 22 Sep 04 - 10:13 AM
dick greenhaus 22 Sep 04 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 22 Sep 04 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Les B. 22 Sep 04 - 11:57 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Sep 04 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Sep 04 - 12:54 PM
GUEST 22 Sep 04 - 01:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Sep 04 - 03:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Sep 04 - 03:31 PM
fat B****rd 23 Sep 04 - 05:32 AM
RWilhelm 23 Sep 04 - 09:43 AM
GUEST 23 Sep 04 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 18 Jul 17 - 07:43 AM
Jack Campin 18 Jul 17 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,The Coasters 18 Jul 17 - 10:06 PM
leeneia 19 Jul 17 - 09:45 AM
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Subject: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 01:51 PM

I first learned this tune as the melody for the playground ditty "oh, they don't wear pants on the other side of France. But they do where grass to cover up their ..." Latter encountered it as the C part to "Bonaparte's Retreat" (added by Doc Watson, according to one report) and was told somewhere along the line that it was the tune Sally Rand fan-danced to at the Chicago World's Fair. Does anyone know if the tune goes back any further.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 01:56 PM

"Little Egypt" was a featured attraction at Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1892, America's first "World's Fair"-like event. She danced the hoochy-coochy to that tune. She wasn't an Egyptian, though. Somebody will undoubtedly write in with her real name and further info. Somewhere or other the tune is referred to as "Continental Soldiers." Dunno why.

Doc Watson didn't add it to "Bonaparte's Retreat." It was a popular fiddler in the mid-50's, IIRC. Hey, you guys! Help out the old brain cells here!


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 02:59 PM

Farida Mazar Spryopoulos.

Little Egypt also is the name of the area around Cairo, Illinois, on the rivers (pronounced 'Karo').


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 01:58 PM

Thanks. "Continental Soldiers" might provide a lead.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 09:07 PM

In 1950 country great Kay Starr recorded the modern version of "Bonaparte's Retreat" for Capitol in 1950. Lyrics & arrangement were crt. 1949 by Pee Wee King & Redd Stewart. The record features the "Little Egypt's Dance" passage. CD should still be available.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 09:18 PM

I take it this has no musical relation to the Ray Stevens pop song 'Little Egypt'?


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 09:27 PM

Not unless that goes "dee dee DEE dee DEE, dee dee DEE dee dee dee deeee..." %)


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Subject: ADDPOP: Bonaparte's Retreat
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 09:53 PM

Kay Starr, Lighter? Now you've piqued my interest. I found lyrics here (click). It's on the Kay Starr Capitol Collectors' Series CD.
-Joe Offer-

Bonaparte's Retreat
(Kay Starr)
[Words and music by Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart]

Met the man I love
In a town way down in Dixie
'Neath the stars above
He was the sweetest man you ever did see
When he held me in his arms
And told me of my many charms
He kissed me while the fiddles played
The Bonaparte's Retreat

All the world was bright
When he held me on that night
And I heard him say
"Please don't ever go away" ['Little Egypt' tune]

When he held me in his arms
And told me of my many charms
He kissed me while the fiddles played
The Bonaparte's Retreat

---- Musical Interlude ----

When he held me in his arms
And told me of my many charms
He kissed me while the fiddles played
The Bonaparte's Retreat

All the world was bright
When he held me on that night
And I heard him say
"Please don't you go away"

He's gone and I'll admit I knew
That I had met my Waterloo
I knew that he would say ado
With Bonaparte's Retreat

Good-bye little boy
Good-bye little joy
Good-bye little boy
So long little joy


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: GUEST,Charley Noble
Date: 21 Sep 04 - 09:57 PM

The Little Egypt who danced at Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1892 also danced in San Francisco's Barbary Coast at the Midway Plaisance. Her dancing is mis-remembered in the sea shanty "Fire Down Below" as Hula-Hula but what the hay!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: RangerSteve
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 04:32 AM

Q's posting has Little Egypt's real name. She was Lebanese and only a second rate dancer, but no one else in the US was dancing like her, so she was a hit. She referred to her dance as the "Koochy Koochy Dance", and her manager, a New Yorker, composed the tune that this thread is about. He changed the name for some reason to "The Hoochy Koochy Dance", and that's the tune's official name.

The above is from a series of books called Uncle John's Bathroom Readers, which are available in Borders and Barnes & Noble. They are an indispensable source of information. In this case, the book was (I think) Uncle John's Famous Lives. My bathroom is upstairs, and I'm too lazy to go up and check the actual title.

The Thomas Edison National Historic SIte in West Orange NJ has a film of Little Egypt doing her dance.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 09:58 AM

Gets more fascinating as it goes along. Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Chris in Wheaton
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 10:13 AM

A little off point, but Larson's book on the Fair, The Devil in the White City is really a good read, with lots of great stories, including Little Eqypt, my favorite is of Mr. Ferris -
Also, there is a book in Welsh by Hywel Teifi Edwards about the Welsh World Eisteddfod at the Fair.   I believe the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, led by a Welshman, came in second in the choir competition.
Take a walk on the Plaisance sometime - starting at the Taft sculpture and head toward the Lake - and try to picture what the Fair was like.
Chris in Chicago


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 10:34 AM

The tune for "hoochy coochy" was, as I dimly recall, a classical piece titled (in French) "Dance of the Winds". Peewee King added it to the traditional fidle tune "Bonaparte's Retreat". If you want to hear a magnificent rendition of it (by Bill Stepp) I heartily recommend the CD "A Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings" (Rounder 1500)--probably the best introduction to American folk music ever published. $15.98 from Rounder; $12.98 from CAMSCO.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 11:11 AM

Do like Dick says.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 11:57 AM

Fascinating info - I hadn't realized until a few years ago that Pee Wee King added the "hootchy kootchy" part - I'd always thought it was part of the traditional tune.

When Bill Sables and Allan C. took their Mudcat jaunt around the states a few years ago we all met up at Alice's in Montana. I well remember starting to play Bonaparte's Retreat on the mandolin and when I got to that part Bill stopped and stared and said "there's no Arabic part to that tune!?!" So I went and did some web research and found out, sure enough, it was an added part. Ah, the folk process.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 12:27 PM

"When I Do the Hoochy-Coochy in the Sky," a minstrel piece by Gussie L. Davis, 1896, was one of the songs that developed soon after the appearance of Farida in Little Egypt.
As posted in this website with midi, Sol Bloom, entertainment director of the Fair, and later a congressman, claimed in his autobiography that he composed the song in 1893 at a press briefing for the "Streets of Cairo" exhibits. He may have actually borrowed a minstrel tune fragment.
The midi is good: Streets of Cairo

Sheet music for the best known takeoff, "The Streets of Cairo, or the Poor Little Country Maid," by James Thornton, 1895, is in the Levy Collection: Streets of Cairo

"Hootchy Cootchy" may be older. A cowhand, James Cape, born ca. 1831, formerly a slave, said that the term was applied to a horse that would jump into the air in an attempt to throw the rider. There are other stories, lacking proof of date of origin, but intriguing.

The resemblance of the tune to a French waltz is questionable.
I should have added that 'hoochy coochy' may have originated independently more than once. Someone pointed out that it is a logical variant of kitchy kitchy, from the old tune chorus k-k-kimeo. All unprovable guesswork, of course.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 12:54 PM

Q, that MIDI really is wonderful. I'd never heard the "chorus" part before (probably few of us have). The contrast in feeling between the two makes this memorable pop composition. Too bad it's been relegated to comic limbo.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 01:08 PM

And you can hear what may be the only recording of an actual BELLY-DANCING ARRANGEMENT right here:


www.gildedserpent.com/articles3/streets-of-cairo.htm


The tune is still great - but different!


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 03:24 PM

"Echos du Temps passé" piano arrangement by Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin, is discussed by Roger Pinon, in Aguiaine, SEFCO, 1977. It is based on the old song "A la p&$234;che des (aux) moules," known and discussed by Weckerlin in his book "Echos du temps passé," 1857 (reprint in the 1890s), which covers folk music of the XII-XVII centuries. The song is still sung by children.

In listening to the following midis, remember that only the first five notes are claimed to have entered the hoochy-coochy song. I think any resemblance is coincidental, although Weckerlin's piano arrangements were popular in the parlor music days.

Listen to the midi (a fast arrangement) and see lyrics of "A la pêche des moules" at this website: A la peche

The lyrics, followed by an alternate version with completely different music, here: A la peche

Midi of Jacques Martin (TV personality) version: La peche

I will post lyrics separately since "A la p...." is mainly a children's song now.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 04 - 03:31 PM

Should put on my glasses. Jacques Martin midi: La peche


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 05:32 AM

Ray Stevens ?? Check out The Coasters.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: RWilhelm
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 09:43 AM

According to the book _Looking for Little Egypt_ by belly-dancing historian Donna Carlton, Sol Bloom claimed he improvised the melody at a press conference introducing the Algerian dancers he had brought to America for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The girls danced while he played with one finger. He never got a copyright. Several version were published, the most popular was the 1905 hit "Streets of Cairo."

As for Little Egypt herself, the great American legend that she shocked fairgoers at the Chicago Exposition appears to be false. Although belly dancers were there, and they were shocking for the time, there is no hard evidence that a dancer with the name "Little Egypt" ever performed at the Columbian Exposition. In the following years, a number of dancers (mostly American born) took the stage name "Little Egypt"; so many that it came close to becoming a generic term for hootchie cootchie dancers.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 04 - 01:33 PM

What a wonderful field of music ecdysiastical accompaniment is. Thanks again -- Pinetop Slim


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 18 Jul 17 - 07:43 AM

Conchy legend:

"Belly dance" from the French "danse du ventre."

In the Caribbean we have a baitfish called "Ballyhoo" (Hemiramphus brasiliensis) and we call advertising for the tourists "ballyhoo."

Supposedly we got that from the west coast of Florida. In Sarasota, "bally(hoo)" is circus talk for the freebie teaser show outside the tent, ie: bait.

I was told they got it from an Algerian translator at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. He was calling the "Harem Dancers" to the outside platform stage to shake their tail feathers a little for the draw.

According to circus legend he yelled "Dehalla Hoon!" but nobody really knows what was actually said. The Yank announcers (talkers or barkers) heard "Ballyhoo!" and went with it.

The dozen or three shocked patrons that rushed out in a huff and complained to the local newspapers never saw the real main show... just the "Bally Dancers."

Everything sounds better in French don't it?

Right up to their recent last gasp, circus showgirls were known as "bally broads;" the teaser was the "bally" and the barker's "...she walks, she talks, she slithers on her..." monotone speech pattern was the "grind."


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jul 17 - 09:12 AM

The other great folklore connection with the Chicago fair of 1893 is the serial killer H.H. Holmes, aka Herman Mudgett.

Can anybody make a closer connection?


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: GUEST,The Coasters
Date: 18 Jul 17 - 10:06 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuEcvlnD-PE

The first one *I* evert heard.


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Subject: RE: Tune Origin: 'Little Egypt'?
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Jul 17 - 09:45 AM

There is a French children's song called 'Jean Petite qui Danse' which has the phrase repeatedly. For example, here on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4FAz16x8Us

It occurs for the first time at about 20 seconds. I think it's a song for learning the parts of the body.


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