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Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown

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GUEST,Jim 17 Dec 04 - 08:37 PM
masato sakurai 17 Dec 04 - 09:30 PM
GUEST,Jim 18 Dec 04 - 06:10 PM
masato sakurai 18 Dec 04 - 08:15 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Dec 04 - 09:23 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Dec 04 - 09:30 PM
Peace 20 Dec 04 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Jim 22 Dec 04 - 08:44 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 May 11 - 05:17 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 23 May 11 - 12:20 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 23 May 11 - 02:26 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 May 11 - 02:26 AM
GUEST,Grishka 24 May 11 - 04:33 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 May 11 - 05:07 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 May 11 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,Grishka 24 May 11 - 06:48 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 May 11 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,Grishka 24 May 11 - 09:49 AM
Azizi 24 May 11 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,Azizi 24 May 11 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,Grishka 24 May 11 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Grishka 24 May 11 - 03:29 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 May 11 - 05:06 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 May 11 - 05:11 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 May 11 - 09:16 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 May 11 - 09:53 PM
Azizi 25 May 11 - 02:31 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 25 May 11 - 02:33 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 25 May 11 - 02:36 AM
GUEST,Grishka 25 May 11 - 06:05 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 25 May 11 - 06:38 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 25 May 11 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,Grishka 25 May 11 - 07:13 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 25 May 11 - 07:38 AM
GUEST,Azizi 25 May 11 - 12:36 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 25 May 11 - 05:39 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 25 May 11 - 11:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jun 11 - 09:35 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 Jun 11 - 10:26 PM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Jun 11 - 01:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jun 11 - 03:32 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Jun 11 - 07:05 PM
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GUEST,Grishka 13 Jun 11 - 05:20 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Jun 11 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Jun 11 - 10:35 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Jul 11 - 08:01 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jul 11 - 07:10 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 04 Jul 11 - 07:31 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Jul 11 - 09:35 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 Jul 11 - 04:18 AM
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GUEST,Grishka 17 Jul 11 - 08:56 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 Jul 11 - 09:20 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Jul 11 - 08:22 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 11 - 01:04 PM
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MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Jul 11 - 05:37 PM
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GUEST 19 Jul 11 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Bugsy 19 Jul 11 - 04:43 AM
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Subject: lyrics to:cudelia brown
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 08:37 PM

I need the words to CUDELIA Brown (not Cordelia Brown, which are slightly different.)I can't find a lyric site that is open re: Cudelia Brown.
Thanks
Jim


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Subject: RE: lyrics to:cudelia brown
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 09:30 PM

There's a sound clip from Edric Connor's "Songs From Jamaica" HERE. According to Brunnings' Folk Song Index, it is in Tom Murray's Folk Songs of Jamaica.


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Subject: RE: lyrics to:cudelia brown
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 06:10 PM

Thanks Masato, but that was the link I found previously. No lyrics unfortunately, as the sampler only gives the first verse. Shall try the second option if it's on-line.
Jim


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Subject: RE: lyrics to:cudelia brown
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 08:15 PM

"Cudelia Brown" is also in Folksongs from the Caribbean, Pg.28 (Faber Music, I.S.B.N. 0 571 51374 3). Info from here.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CORDELIA BROWN (Lord Burgess, H Belafonte
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 09:23 PM

Since CORDELIA BROWN hasn't been posted in this Forum before, this is probably a good place to post it.

Lyrics and notes copied from http://web.telia.com/~u87125666/lyrics/cordeliabrown.htm

CORDELIA BROWN
Lord Burgess and Harry Belafonte

Oh, Cordelia Brown, although you never tell,
Oh, Cordelia Brown, still I know your secret well.
Yes, you fell in love with Ned,
And when he left, your head turned red.
And right well you know
That what I say is so.

CHORUS: Oh, Cordelia Brown, what make your head so red?
Oh, Cordelia Brown, what make your head so red?
You say you come out in the sunshine with nothing on your head.
Oh, Cordelia Brown, what make your head so red?

Oh, Cordelia Brown, yes, I've been far and wide.
Now I'm telling you, every girl wants to be a bride,
So I know what happen to you,
And please strike me down if it isn't true.
He said he never would wed,
And that when your head turned red. CHORUS

Oh, Cordelia Brown, saw you waiting' at the train.
Yes, he's gone away, might never return again.
Now, Miss Brown, may I confess,
I've yearned this long for your caress.
Since your head so red,
I think I'll marry Mabel instead. CHORUS

[Recorded by Harry Belafonte (1957) on "Island in the Sun," Bear Family 5-CD set #16262, 2002. Also recorded by Gary U.S. Bonds, on "Dance 'Til Quarter to Three/Twist up Calypso," Ace CD #692, 1998.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: CORDELIA BROWN (trad. Antigua)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 09:30 PM

Here's another version copied from
http://www.foundationwebsite.org/CountryMusicLyricsVol2.pdf, page 44.

CORDELIA BROWN
Folksong from Antigua

Oh, Cordelia Brown, what makes your head so red?
Oh, Cordelia Brown, what makes your head so red?
You're sitting in the sunshine with nothing on your head.
Oh, Cordelia Brown, that's why your head's so red!

On a moonshine night, on a moonshine night,
I met Mister Ivan, and mister Ivan told me.
He said that Nita had an encounter
After sunset and there was no moon.
Ee hee ha ha, ee hee hee hee ha ha, Cordelia Brown!


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Subject: RE: lyrics to:cudelia brown
From: Peace
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 11:38 PM

www.caribbeanfolk.com/Songs/songindex.htm

There is a place at the bottom of the page on that site fro you to send a message to the site owner. He has the intent to post the words there soon, but you may be able to get him to send' em faster if you write to him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 08:44 PM

Thanks Jim Dixon, the "moonshine" verse was the one I was after. I have a version of it sung by British folksinger Paul Marks recorded with the Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band in the early 60's and that was the verse I couldn't understand. He called the song Cudelia Brwon. Thanks for the info too that it is from Antigua.
Regards
Jim (nom de plume)


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Subject: Lyr Add: CUDELIA BROWN (trad Jamaica)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 May 11 - 05:17 AM

I recently got a songbook of Jamaican folk songs called "Mango Time: Folk Songs of Jamaica" . This song is in it. Here are the lyrics from the book:


CUDELIA BROWN

1. O Cudelia Brown,
Wha mek yu head so red? (Yu head so red!)
O Cudelia Brown,
Wha mek yu head so red? (Yu head so red!)
Yu si' dung eena di sunshine wit' nut'n 'pon yu head,
O Cudelia Brown,
Wha mek yu head so red? (Yu head so red!)

2. On a moonshine night, on a moonshine night,
I met Missa Ivan, an' Missa Ivan tol' me,
Sey dat 'im gi Neita di drop, Jamaica flop, and di moonshine drop,
Ee-hee-aw, haw; Ee-hee-aw, haw; Ee-hee-aw, haw.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 23 May 11 - 12:20 AM

Refreshing the thread. Can anyone tell me what the second verse has to do with the first? As far that I can tell, it is about a girl with mysteriously red hair but what does the verse about "im give Neita di drop" have to do with Cudelia?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 23 May 11 - 02:26 AM

FWIW, Cudelia= Cordelia in Jamaican dialect? Am I right?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 May 11 - 02:26 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 May 11 - 04:33 AM

Morwen, she is red in her face as if from a sunburn, but actually blushed. In Lord Burgess' version, she pretends to be sunburned to hide her frustration about her lost lover. The "moonshine" version, obviously older, is a bit enigmatic, but it seems to amount to the same: things happened in the dark night that made C'delia blush the next day.

We can imagine her to be of bright complexion, her first name (invented by William Shakespeare) indicates a family proud of their European culture. Before you ask: unfortunately I do not know any more about the story, in neither version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 May 11 - 05:07 AM

Really? I thought it was her hair. Not to discredit your hypothesis, Grishka, but what is there in the song to suggest that it was her face? She is obviously mixed-race, but a mixed-race girl can also have red hair.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 May 11 - 05:10 AM

And, Grishka, Shakespeare took the name "Cordelia" and the plot of "King Lear" from an Ancient British legend.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 May 11 - 06:48 AM

Morwen, when a girl sits in the sun without wearing a broad-brimmed hat, her hair will rarely get red, but the skin of her face is very likely to, particularly if it had been pale before.

The same, though by quite a different physiological process, applies when
He said he never would wed,
And that [was] when your head turned red.
If parents choose the name Cordelia, they always refer to Shakespeare, directly or indirectly, since no earlier or independent references of this particular spelling are known.

We should ask someone who knows the Caribbean whether that name is considered "white" there - I suspect so, but I'm not sure.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 May 11 - 07:02 AM

Well, "White' in the Caribbean is mostly defined in a different way than 'white" in the USA or here in Australia. It depends more on your skin colour and appearance than your actual racial heritage. You can be considered White and still have Black ancestry. I have a friend whose great-grandfather was Melanesian Black, but who considers herself and is considered White because she looks White. So Cordelia could be considered White, but she probably still had some African ancestry- a middle-class Jamaican girl.
And Grishka, why would her head be red if it was meant to be her face? Surely then it would be 'Wha mek yu face so red" instead of "head".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 May 11 - 09:49 AM

Geese, Morwen, believe what you want. English is not the same everywhere.

"White": I was conjecturing about a family proud of their European cultural heritage, giving snobbish names to their children. In this case the song may have a connotation of mockery or schadenfreude, racial and cultural.

Living Down Under, you probably know that the word "Pommie" is usually explained as a mixture of "Tommy" and "pomegranate" - the latter mocking at the visitors' red skin by sunburn.

An expert for Jamaican is required. Since Lord Burgess and Harry Belafonte are US Americans of Caribbean background, their rendering may reflect USA mentality as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: Azizi
Date: 24 May 11 - 11:28 AM

Grishka, I'm not an expert on Jamaican culture, although I've done some study of that culture and some study of other cultures of the African Diaspora including my own African American culture. As such, I VERY much disagree with your opinion of the meaning of the Jamaican folk song/mento song Cordelia Brown (Cudelia Brown).

I respectfully suggest that your hypothesis that Cordelia is a pale, light skinned Jamaican who is proud of her European ancestry, and that the "red" in the lyrics refers to her blushing or her face being sunburn, as well as your focus on the Shakespearean origin of the female name "Cordelia" are all examples of interpreting Caribbean songs using a Eurocentric [meaning a White person's] filter and not taking into consideration the culture of the song's times.

[I don't mean that Jamaicans who have European ancestry shouldn't be proud of that ancestry as well as being proud of their African ancestry, Indigenous ancestry, and/or Asian ancestry. I also don't mean that there aren't any pale Jamaicans who could get red through sunburn or who you could see red in their face when they blush. What I DO mean is that this song isn't about any of that.]

As MorwenEdhelwen1 indicated in her 24 May 11 - 05:07 AM post to this thread, in the central question that is posed in the song "Cordelia Brown" is why does Cordelia have [naturally] red hair.

It's my strongly held opinion that the words to the song Cordelia Brown are meant as a taunt (dig, diss, rip, unkind tease) on Cordelia for having red hair. However, in a deeper sense, the song may have been also meant as a commentary on mixed race Jamaicans and how they got that way.

In that song, those persons who are teasing Cordelia really know how she got her red hair, but they say that the reason her hair is red is because she sat out in the sun without anything on her head. I imagine those persons saying those words in a sneering tone as in "Yeah, right. So is that the excuse you're going to give us, and do you really expect us to believe that?"

I believe that the first three lines of the second verse of this version of Cordelia Brown provides a first person account of what really happened.

On a moonshine night, on a moonshine night,
I met Missa Ivan, an' Missa Ivan tol' me,
Sey dat 'im gi Neita di drop, Jamaica flop, and di moonshine drop,

-snip-

A concise translation of those lines is that on a night when the moon shined bright, Mr. Ivan [a White man] met Neita [Nita, a brown skinned Jamaican female] and those two had a sexual encounter which may or may not have been consensual.

I interpret the last line of that second verse "Ee-hee-aw, haw; Ee-hee-aw, haw; Ee-hee-aw, haw" to be those taunters laughing in Cordelia's face.

[See the lyrics in an earlier post that include the name "Nita" for "Neita"].

I base my reasons for believing that Missa Ivan refers to a White man on the traditions of the United States-and I believe also those of the Caribbean that reserved "titles" such as "Mr." and "Miss" for White folks. I believe the phrase "give Neita the drop" and "Jamaica flop" obliquely refer to the sex act. The phrase "the moonshine drop" may also refer to that or may refer to the light going out of Neita's [Nita's] life after that interracial sexual encounter. However, I admit that I have no strong proof for my interpretations of those phrases. Of course, it's possible that there was no moon that night this encounter took place, as found in a version of the lyrics given in an earlier post to this thread.

It should be noted that in his much more popular version of this song, Harry Belafonte gives this implausible explanation for why Cordelia's hair is red:

"Yes you fell in love with Ned
And when he left, your head turned red".


http://www.nomorelyrics.net/harry_belafonte-lyrics/176355-cordelia_brown-lyrics.html Those lyrics are also found in this thread.

-snip-

I present the following excerpt to support my hypothesis:

From http://dianebrowneblog.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 17, 2011

in Cordelia Finds Fame and Fortune, a picture story book, I introduce the folk song. 'Cordelia Brown'. This is how it goes:

O Cordelia Brown whe mek you head so red?
O Cordelia Brown whe mek you head so red?
For you siddung ina de sunshine
Wid nuttin' pon you head
O Cordelia Brown dat's why you head so red.

(I hope the words are correct. I am taking them from the book, and I trust that at the time I did thorough research, because that's what I usually do).

The story is about a little girl who is teased because she has red hair, in a village where everyone else has chocolate coloured skin like her, but they do not have red hair. She survives the teasing, and in fact, her red hair becomes something of importance in her 'fame and fortune'. It stands out"...

-snip-

Also, the idea that a mento song might address issues of racial mixture is supported by this excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mento

"The lyrics of mento songs often deal with aspects of everyday life in a light-hearted and humorous way. Many comment on poverty, poor housing and other social issues. Thinly-veiled sexual references and innuendo are also common themes..."

-snip-

The only comment that I will make about statements found in this thread about who is or is not White is to say that I don't believe that those statements are accurate for Jamaica or the USA then (when the song Cordelia Brown was first recorded) or now


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 24 May 11 - 12:11 PM

I'm sorry for that mistake in font.

Also, I inferred but didn't directly say "Neita" (Nita) was gave birth to Cordelia as a result of that sexual encounter with Mr Ivan. [Notice that the name Neita isn't prefaced by a title.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 May 11 - 02:15 PM

Azizi, I am always charmed by your contributions, in which you show your devotion to the education of mankind. Certainly other Mudcatters feel the same.

Your witness Diane Browne is a tan-skinned and black-haired Jamaican alright. Her story for children can be regarded as an expression of Jamaican culture, but she does not claim to retell the song.

The important question is whether Burgess/Belafonte changed the meaning completely. If we assume so, the original song may well be about red-haired Cordelia being taunted at
a) because she is an illegitimate child,
b) because she descends from a father considered alien to the culture of the singers (and a "class enemy", in eurocentric terms),
c) because red hair is generally assumed to be a mark of evil powers.
"I met Missa Ivan..." would then be pronounced by Cordelia's mother, or perhaps one of the taunters imitating her.

This theory can by no means apply to the Burgess/Belafonte version, where Cordelia has a lover. For a moment I considered the idea that their Cordelia dyes her hair black, and when one day her secret is discovered, all her lovers, including the narrator, turn their backs on her. But that doesn't fit either.

I'll think of other audacious guesses, or, preferably, wait for someone to convince me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 May 11 - 03:29 PM

Re eurocentrism: in rural Russia (where some of my ancestors are from), and probably in other parts of Europe as well, many people strongly believe red hair to be the mark of the Fiend. We are not all as enlightened as afro-centered prejudice tends to see us ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 May 11 - 05:06 PM

Oh, Azizi, great to see your post there? :).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 May 11 - 05:11 PM

Sorry, that should be a full stop. I wonder whether anyone can find the earliest date of collection for this song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 May 11 - 09:16 PM

Azizi, do you share my opinion that "Cudelia" may be a dialectal pronunciation of "Cordelia"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 May 11 - 09:53 PM

And yes I would agree with Grishka that Lord Burgess and Harry Belafonte changed the song completely.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: Azizi
Date: 25 May 11 - 02:31 AM

[Moderators, thanks for correcting my font error.]

Yes, I believe that Cudelia is a variant form of the name Cordelia.

Here's some other information I'd like to share:

Every culture doesn't view red hair as being symbolical of evil (the devil). Nor does every culture view people with red hair as being more hot tempered (quick to anger) than other people. I don't think this is the view that was/is held in Jamaica, and it's not a view that was/is held among African Americans about Black people with reddish tinged hair (or reddish tinged skin)*.

In the song "Cudelia Brown"/"Cordelia Brown", the fictitous character Cordelia is being teased because she is different (her hair is a different color) than others, and not necessarily because she was (probably) born outside of marriage. Every culture (and every person within a particular culture) doesn't have a negative opinion or the same degree of negative opinions about children being born outside of marriage.

-snip-

* One famous Black person with reddish tinged hair and reddish tinged skin was Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz)

[Malcolm X's father] Earl Little, who was dark-skinned, was born in Reynolds, Georgia.[20] ...[Malcolm X's mother] Louise Norton Little was born in Grenada. Because her father was Scottish, she was so light-skinned that she could have passed for white. Malcolm inherited his light complexion from his mother and maternal grandfather.[22] Initially he felt his light skin was a status symbol, but he later said he "hated every drop of that white rapist's blood that is in me."[23] Malcolm X later remembered feeling that his father favored him because he was the lightest-skinned child in the family; however, he thought his mother treated him harshly for the same reason.[24] One of Malcolm's nicknames, "Red", derived from the tinge of his hair. According to one biographer, at birth he had "ash-blonde hair ... tinged with cinnamon", and at age four, "reddish-blonde hair".[25] His hair darkened as he aged, yet he also resembled his paternal grandmother, whose hair "turned reddish in the summer sun."[15] The issue of skin and hair color took on very significant implications later in Malcolm's life.[2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_X


The term "redbone" (sometimes shortened to "red*) has been informally used as a referent for Black people with reddish tinged skin. This term may or may not be a pejorative. The referent "Redbones" also specifically refers to populations of people in the United States that historically were considered to be non-White.
http://www.murrah.com/gen/redbones.htm

-snip-

Also, here's a link to what I found to be a very interesting and informative page on mento music:

http://www.mentomusic.com/edricConner.htm

Here's a link to a sound file of the earlier version of Cudelia Brown as performed by the beloved Jamaican poet/folklorist Louise Bennett
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcUNWfxCfko

And finally, here's a sound file of Harry Belafonte singing "Cordelia Brown"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LbItHx5cIY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 May 11 - 02:33 AM

Thanks for that, Azizi.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 May 11 - 02:36 AM

Now, can anyone turn up this song in a collected form earlier than 1958? (The earliest reference on this thread is Tom Murray's "Folk Songs of Jamaica", in 1958.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 25 May 11 - 06:05 AM

Good question, Morwen, because the "folksong" might actually be an adaptation of the Belafonte record.

I googled "what makes your head so red", which produces 38.800 hits - wow! Most of them refer to two sources from US-American folklore, also to be found at Mudcat. The first exists in many variants about various species of birds, e.g.
Woodpecker, woodpecker,
What makes your head so red?
Been peckin' at the wood most all of my life
It's a wonder I ain't dead, I ain't dead, I ain't dead.
and the other is
Tenbrooks said to Molly what makes your head so red?
Runnin' in the hot sun puts fever in my head
Fever in my head O Lord fever in my head
The first one compares the colour of the bird's feathers to a human face red with exhaustion (i.e. filled with blood, as when blushing), the second one compares the colour of a horse's fur either with a sunburn or with genuine fever, both visible in the face of a human.

In my opinion, this proves to me that my first guess is well supported by US language, apart from being the only one that makes sense to me for the Burgess/Belafonte song. Diane Browne's interpretation is about hair. The meaning of the Jamaican version is yet to be deciphered, it may follow either of these interpretations, or a third one, or it may even be gibberish due to lack of understanding US language.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 May 11 - 06:38 AM

Hang on... I might check the date on that Harry Belafonte recording. Your hypothesis will only be plausible if the Belafonte version was recorded after 1958.
EDIT: I checked. According tothis site, it was recorded in 1957. Louise Bennett's album "Jamaican Folk Songs" was released in 1954, and Edric Connor, the Trinidadian actor and singer, also recorded it on his LP "Edric Connor Sings Songs From Jamaica", also the source of the earliest recording of "The Banana Boat Song". This looks like pretty conclusive evidence to me that the song is likely to be a Jamaican folk song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 May 11 - 06:46 AM

Another thing to support the idea that this song refers to hair is the fact that "redhead", which I believe is what the line "what makes your head so red?" refers to in this context, refers to hair instead of the condition of a person's face. The same line, according to the sources you cited, obviously can mean something very different in an American context- blushing, or fever, or sunburn due to being pale-skinned.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 25 May 11 - 07:13 AM

Exactly, Morwen. If His Lordship and Belafonte adopted the Jamaican song, their (creative mis-)understanding may have been based on those US songs. In many European languages, whose exiles formed the USA, blushing is described as someone's "head turning red".

The Jamaican song might even be based on the reverse misunderstanding of the US cliché - this would by no means be a unique case.

The "moonshine" stanza still needs a satisfactory explanation. I am not really convinced it's Cordelia's mother speaking. Maybe some verses are missing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 May 11 - 07:38 AM

Maybe it's both the mother (Neita/Nita) and the person or persons asking the question. "Oh, Cudelia? Why's your head red? Oh, I know! You've been in the sun a lot." That's the person asking the question. The mother says "I met Mr Ivan on a moonshine night". The person teasing her says, or implies, "I met Mr Ivan too, and guess what, he told my parents who told my aunt who mentioned to me he had a relationship with Neita (the mother)". I'm imagining both her and the person singing the song as pretty young- school kids, for some reason. It sounds like that to me, anyway. It would certainly answer the question of why Neita refers to herself in the third person. "Missa Ivan tol' me, sey that he give Neita di drop."
Maybe Gibb Sahib will stop by and comment. After all, he has knowledge of Jamaican songs. He can probably turn up an earlier reference for this one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 25 May 11 - 12:36 PM

I'd like to thank Morwen and Grishka for inspiring me to add a page on Caribbean folk songs lyrics and videos to my Cocojams.com website.

That page can be reached by clicking http://www.cocojams.com/content/caribbean-folk-songs

Best wishes,

Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 May 11 - 05:39 PM

You're welcome, Azizi.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 May 11 - 11:01 PM

Am still waiting for any earlier reference to this song in a collection from before 1958. So far my research has not turned up anything.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jun 11 - 09:35 PM

Cordelia was the name of a British queen.- In Geoffrey of Monmouth, so pre-Shakespeare.

Cudelia Brown was printed in Tom Morris, 1952, Folk Songs of Jamaica, Oxford University Press.

Edric Connor sang it on his 1952 release, "Songs from Jamaica."
Louise Bennett sang it on a 1954 Smithsonian collection.

The song does not appear in Walter Jekyll, 1904, Jamaican Song and Story.

The part about "nutten 'pon yuh head" suggests to me that the woman was light-skinned and got burned; what is called in the Southern states a "redbone." See Wikipedia, also the Urban Dictionary.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Jun 11 - 10:26 PM

Q, I quoted the origin of the name "Cordelia" in a post further up this thread. Interestingly, the liner notes to the Louise Bennett album state that this song is a "dance tune" and also that the redness mentioned refers to her (Cudelia's) hair. Azizi believes that the second stanza refers to an interracial relationship, which certainly seems likely.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 01:06 PM

Morwen, Q wanted to give a precise source for your assertion of 24 May 11 - 05:10 AM. My own information is supported by Wiktionary:
Cordelia
...
Shakespeare's spelling of a historical British name appearing as Cordeilla, etc., possibly derived from the Latin saint's name Cordula.
But the exact etymology is totally irrelevant for my conjecture that the name might indicate a family of (hereditrary or acquired) European highbrow culture, and that this may be an additional mockery by the imaginary Afro-Jamaican narrator. The name could be a fictional "speaking name", the "Brown" being ironic. Q, what do you think?

More important, Q: Do you know the lyrics as printed and sung in the early versions? What further sense do you make of them?

The Burgess/Belafonte version seems fairly clear, but, as we saw, does not seem too faithful to the original. Also, I wonder if the verse
Now, Miss Brown, may I confess,
I've yearned this long for your caress.
Since your head so red,
I think I'll marry Mabel instead
has the meaning: From your excessive blushing I conclude that you're pregnant from him.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CUDELIA BROWN (from Edric Connor)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 03:32 PM

Grishka, the earliest I have seen is this one published in 1952, and also sung by Edric Connor in that year.
Nothing new, but for the record:

Lyr. Add: CUDELIA BROWN

Oh Cudelia Brown,
Wa meck yuh head so red?
(Yuh head so red)
Oh Cudelia Brown,
Wa meck yuh head so red?
(Yuh head so red)
Yuh sidung eena sunshine-
Wid nutten pon yuh head,
Oh Cudelia Brown,-
Das why yuh head so red!
(Yuh head so red)

On a moonshine night
I meet Missa Ivan,-
An' Missa Ivan tol' me,
Sey dat him gi' Netta de drop,
Jamaica flop an' de moonshine drop.
Ee-hee ha ha!
Ee-hee ha ha!
Ee-hee ha ha!

With musical score and guitar chords. Pp. 92-94.

Tom Murray, 1952, Folk Songs of Jamaica, Oxford University Press, London.
Reprinted in Jim Morse, 1958, Folk Songs of the Caribbean, Bantam Books, New York.

Morse gives no explanation, other than it is a humorous ditty; I have not seen the Murray book.

I can't relate the second verse to the first, it almost seems like it is from a second song. I will check Walter Jekyll for any similar verses, but 'Cudelia' does not appear in his 1904 book.

Yes, the 'Brown' could be ironic; I still have a feeling that Cudelia was light-skined, mixed, as I speculated before.
These shades were important in Jamaica (as elsewhere) and the newspaper, The Gleaner, printed in Jamaica, recently had an article warning Jamaican women from using face bleaches that were dangerous (Also several medical articles on the net saying that use of these bleaches was a serious problem in Jamaica).

Dunno. The song is unclear, and I am only speculating without foundation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 07:05 PM

"Brown" is a pretty common surname.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 07:09 PM

Still, it could be ironic.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 05:20 AM

See Charactonym.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 05:26 AM

Grishka, I did check. What part of Cordelia's name describes her personality or attributes?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 10:35 AM

Maybe both, indirectly, as we saw, Morwen.

The term charactonym does not cover the whole scope of devices that, for example, modern novelists use for "speaking names". The link was just to give you some idea.

"Old" folksongs are sometimes underestimated in their usage of indirect language, which we rather expect from literature. Well, in other cases they are overestimated, as amply exemplified at Mudcat.

Bottom line: our Jamaica expert is still wanted.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 08:01 AM

I just remembered something that I read some time ago, that might be of interest to anyone wanting to continue this discussion. Basically, I read that sometimes when a person spends a lot of time in sunlight, their hair can be bleached by the sun. So "Yuh siddung eena de sunshine wid nuttin 'pon yuh head" could be a sarcastic reference to this fact, (going with Azizi's comments, which are plausible in considering the theme of this song).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 07:10 PM

Seems to be true of dark hair of light-skinned people (often heard in New Mexico-Arizona, the partly desert area I originally hailed from), but I haven't seen it suggested for Black people.
Of course there are some whose genes for black skin and black hair are defective (albinos being persecuted in Kenya). A few also have a tendency towards reddish hair.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 07:31 PM

Just to note something implausible (reading Azizi's comments, and sharing her opinion that the song is a social commentary). That second verse can't be entirely a first-person account from the perspective of Neita/Nita. It changes to third person in the second line. "Sey that 'im gi Neita de drop, Jamaica flop, and de moonshine drop." So an unknown third party was told by Mr Ivan that he (Mr. Ivan) had a sexual relationship with Neita.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 09:35 PM

Refresh.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CUDELIA BROWN (from Louise Bennett)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:18 AM

Interestingly, the liner notes to the Louise Bennett album give a different explanation for the song and print slightly different lyrics. "A red-headed Negro girl is told why her hair is red and is warned about losing her boy-fried, who does not like the colour of her hair."
Here are those lyrics.
Lyr Add: CUDELIA BROWN (from Louise Bennett 1954, "Jamaican Folk Songs")

1. Oh Cudelia Brown,
Wha meck yuh head so red?
Oh Cudelia Brown,
Wha meck yuh head so red?

Yuh siddung eena de sunshine,
Wid nutten' pon yuh head,
Oh Cudelia Brown,
Dat's why yuh head so red!

On a moonshine night, on a moonshine night,
I meet Missa Ivan, an' Missa Ivan tol' me,
Sey dat him gi Neita de drop,
Jamaica flop, an' de moonshine drop,
And the reason why, because
Her head so red & (etc.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:21 AM

*friend


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 08:56 AM

One thing is certain: Sitting in the sun does not change the colour of any (young) person's hair. Wearing a hat against the sun is a comparatively recent invention, necessary to protect one's (light-coloured) skin. This is true in Antigua and elsewhere.

However, many people change the colour of their hair by chemicals, for reasons of beauty. If the eye of the beholder has a different view, they might blame the sun, as a lame excuse.

But the Antiguan lyrics say "yuh", not "I", and "Dat's why yuh head so red!", not "Dat's why yuh head so red???".

I'm still puzzled, and so seem the natives.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 09:20 AM

Well, Grishka, it seems like Louise Bennett sang a different version. In that version (the one I posted above) Neita/Nita/Netta seems to be the other girl involved with Missa Ivan, who he "dropped" (dumped?) not Cudelia's mother, because"her head so red". It doesn't seem to make any more sense than the other one, which seems more plausible.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 08:22 AM

Refresh. Something else just occurred to me about why the song is so puzzling in its meaning- I think Louise Bennett collected all the songs on her album. Although she is mostly known as a poet, another well-known thing about her is that she was a folklorist. From Google Books I discovered that she wrote a book published in 1950 called "Anancy Stories and Dialect Verse". That book contains Jamaican folk songs and this song might be in there. It's possible that since she helped in the repertoire for the Edric Connor LP of Jamaican folk songs, she was responsible for this song being on the track list. Lord Burgess adapts the song from the version he hears on the LP and Harry Belafonte (who might have remembered the song from his period living in Jamaica as a child) decides he likes it and wants to record it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 01:04 PM

"Cudelia Brown" seems an unlikely subject to be found in the Ananci stories.
Two major works:
Martha Warren Beckwith, 1924, Jamaica Ananci Stories, contains 149 Ananci stories, with copious notes.
This work is on line-
Ananci Stories
Even better version:
Martha Warren Beckwith, 1924, Jamaica Ananci Stories with music recorded in the field by Helen Roberts, American Folk-Lore Society, Memoirs, Vol. XVII, 1924.
Online-
http://www.aren.org/prison/documents/african/14/14.pdf
Several online copies:

[Much interest in these stories, since they parallel the Brer Rabbit stories told in America.]

Walter Jekyll, 1907, Jamaican Song and Story, 51 Annancy stories, some notes.
Several copies online:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/35410/35410-h/35410-h.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 01:07 PM

'Several online copies'- error, applies only to the Jekyll book. The two for Beckwith are the only ones with her complete stories


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 05:37 PM

Q, Louise Bennett's book also contains dialect verse, including a section of Jamaican folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:32 AM

*Note: I think my transcription of "Cudelia Brown" as sung by Louise Bennett is slightly inaccurate. "Ee-he-ha-ha, ee-he-ha-ha, ee-he-ah-ha, ee-he-ah-ha" appears after "Jamaica flop an' de moonshine drop" as in the other traditional versions, then the first verse is repeated with "And the reason, why, because her head so red" tacked on at the end.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MISSISSIPPI LADY (Jim Croce)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:41 AM

Then there's this one by Jim Croce.

Mississippi Lady

With just a sleeping bag and an old guitar
I left the band in New Orleans
I did some time with the bottle, some with the river queens
I never thought I would meet a girl
Who could turn my head around
Till I met that Mississippi Lady in sleepy Gulfport town, she was a

Chorus:
Mississippi Lady
My lovin' Gulfport gal
She taught me how to love
And she really loved me well
She took me up to heaven
Then she brought me down
That Mississippi Lady, Sweet Cordelia Brown

Hot July in Gulfport
And I was working in the bars
And she was working on the street
With the rest of the evening stars
She said, I never met a guy
Who could turn my head around
And that's really sayin' something
For Sweet Cordelia Brown, She was a

Chorus

Now I'm back in New York City
Playin' in a band
But my mind's on Mississippi
Is it hard to understand
I never thought I would meet a girl
Who could bring me that far down
Like the girl I met in Gulfport
Sweet Cordelia Brown, she was a

Chorus




cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Bugsy
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:43 AM

Oooops.......... having re read the original posting, I can see this is NOT the one you were looking for.........

Sorry

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:38 AM

Bugsy, the original poster hasn't posted on this thread since 2004, when I was 11. His request was answered soon after he posted. This thread has moved on to being a discussion of the history of the song he asked about (covered by Harry Belafonte), originally a Jamaican folk dance tune called "Cudelia Brown".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:01 PM

Nevertheless it would be interesting to know the relation between those songs. Mere coincidence?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:30 PM

Doubt that "Cudelia Brown," with its 4/4 melody, was a dance tune.

Bugsy, thanks for posting the Jim Croce "Mississippi Lady." A nice song. Everyone knows his "Bad Boy ...." but I don't think I ever heard Mississippi Lady. Cordelia as a name is not uncommon, my wife has a cousin with the name. Dunno if coincidence or not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 09:23 PM

Not sure who wrote the liner notes to the Louise Bennett album or where they got the information, (possibly Louise Bennett herself, from older people who were her informants?) but those notes call it a dance tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 11:28 PM

Interestingly, Louise Bennett implies that Neita and Mr Ivan are known to Cordelia (and possibly that Mr Ivan knows - or was a former boyfriend of Cordelia's) and that rather than being her parents, they are her same-age acquaintances.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Oct 11 - 07:57 AM

Anyone want to continue discussing "Cudelia Brown"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Oct 11 - 03:49 PM

Anyone want to continue discussing "Cudelia Brown"?
You do, Morwen.

As soon as you find out new facts, e.g. by contacting knowledgable Jamaican natives, we will be pleased to discuss them. Simple refreshing rarely does the trick.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 01:07 AM

Just want to tell everyone that yes, a few knowledgeable posters on Jamaicans.com have told me that the second verse may be a rework of another song referring to an incident in West Indian cricket in the 1930s. Neita is not a woman, but a man! Now the question becomes "How did the verse from the other song get into this one?". BTW, the name is not always "Cudelia Brown" and the verse does not always refer to red hair; one poster quoted several versions referring to "why yuh head so hard?"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Nov 11 - 02:58 PM

Might be crossing with the pop song of the 1940s, "Caldonia, Caldonia, what makes your big head so hard?"

BB King, Louis Jordan, others recorded it, but Jordan produced the hit record.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 12:15 AM

Probably...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Dec 11 - 10:03 PM

The other question is whether the first verse is the only verse of CB if you leave out the second, which is a different song. Did CB have another verse/other verses? Or is it like "In the Pines", a song cluster of two one-verse songs instead of a song on its own?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Dec 11 - 10:07 PM

Another idea is that the song got to Antigua through news travelling fast; a sporting scandal involving members of prominent families would be big news in the 1930s. (It still would be now but in a different way)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cudelia Brown / Cordelia Brown
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 03 Dec 11 - 06:16 PM

Refresh


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