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Acceptable adjectives in folk songs

alanabit 24 Feb 05 - 03:21 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Feb 05 - 03:51 PM
Bobert 24 Feb 05 - 03:53 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Feb 05 - 04:06 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Feb 05 - 04:07 PM
John MacKenzie 24 Feb 05 - 04:17 PM
Maryrrf 24 Feb 05 - 04:19 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Feb 05 - 04:26 PM
John MacKenzie 24 Feb 05 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,MMario 24 Feb 05 - 04:37 PM
Willa 24 Feb 05 - 04:46 PM
alanabit 24 Feb 05 - 05:27 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Feb 05 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,HipflaskAndy 24 Feb 05 - 05:48 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 05 - 07:05 PM
Snuffy 24 Feb 05 - 07:15 PM
Chris Green 24 Feb 05 - 07:39 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Feb 05 - 07:43 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Feb 05 - 07:52 PM
curmudgeon 24 Feb 05 - 07:57 PM
khandu 24 Feb 05 - 08:27 PM
Amos 24 Feb 05 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,anonanonanon 25 Feb 05 - 01:24 AM
Steve Parkes 25 Feb 05 - 04:06 AM
Noreen 25 Feb 05 - 05:29 AM
harpmaker 25 Feb 05 - 09:16 AM
Steve Parkes 25 Feb 05 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,neovo 25 Feb 05 - 11:08 AM
greg stephens 25 Feb 05 - 11:35 AM
alanabit 25 Feb 05 - 12:08 PM
alanabit 25 Feb 05 - 07:57 PM
rich-joy 25 Feb 05 - 11:36 PM
alanabit 26 Feb 05 - 03:09 AM
Liz the Squeak 26 Feb 05 - 04:05 AM
darkriver 26 Feb 05 - 04:34 AM
HuwG 26 Feb 05 - 07:30 AM
Flash Company 26 Feb 05 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 26 Feb 05 - 11:03 AM
greg stephens 26 Feb 05 - 01:03 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 26 Feb 05 - 04:27 PM
goodbar 26 Feb 05 - 04:35 PM
Uncle_DaveO 26 Feb 05 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,anonanonanon 26 Feb 05 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 27 Feb 05 - 09:17 AM
Azizi 27 Feb 05 - 06:17 PM
Azizi 27 Feb 05 - 06:22 PM
RangerSteve 27 Feb 05 - 07:11 PM
Uncle_DaveO 27 Feb 05 - 09:23 PM
alanabit 28 Feb 05 - 02:36 AM
GUEST 28 Feb 05 - 07:48 AM
JennyO 28 Feb 05 - 08:00 AM
JennyO 28 Feb 05 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,anonanonanon 28 Feb 05 - 09:03 AM
Muttley 28 Feb 05 - 09:14 AM
JennyO 28 Feb 05 - 09:36 AM
Snuffy 28 Feb 05 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 28 Feb 05 - 09:58 AM
JennyO 28 Feb 05 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,Uncle DaveO 28 Feb 05 - 11:25 AM
alanabit 28 Feb 05 - 02:44 PM
JennyO 28 Feb 05 - 09:10 PM
rich-joy 01 Mar 05 - 02:03 AM
greg stephens 02 Mar 05 - 08:07 AM
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Subject: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: alanabit
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 03:21 PM

A couple of years back, Spaw gave use a hilarious DIY, build your own country song kit.
I was wondering what adjectives are acceptable in a folk song with at least some roots a couple of hundred years old. Adjectival phrases count too, of course.
hands (female) lily-white
steed          milk white
maid          bonny/tender fair
hares & hair (female) - bonny black
What other acceptable adjectives are there?


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 03:51 PM

Deeds, of course, may be fair or foul, secret, stealthy, and of course brave, maybe dastardly (although the rhythm of "dastardly" might make it hard to use.)

Swords: bright, keen, swift, deadly, trusty

That's it for a start. More later.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Bobert
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 03:53 PM

Well, being a bluesman there are quite a few adjectives which get alot of attention:

Mean 'ol ____________...

Low down ____________...

Big _________________...

My black ____________...

Short fat ___________...

Mean ol' fireman and cruel engineer
Took my baby away & left me standin' here...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 04:06 PM

Danged

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 04:07 PM

Steed: Swift, loyal,

(but you mount your beauteous lady on a gentle palfrey)

Hawk: Swift, loyal, sharp-eyed, deadly, fierce

Hounds: Swift, loyal, fierce?,

Ass, donkey: patient, perhaps weary

Priest, monk: wise, holy, maybe dedicated, aged, hoary-headed, learned,

Grave: lonely, lonesome, shallow, watery,

Sea, ocean: Wild, windswept, salty, lonesome, lowland, cruel, icy, wine-dark, deep-blue, crystal, foamy,

Ship, boat: Trusty, brave, heavy-laden, great, tiny, storm-racked, swift,

That's what I think of right now.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 04:17 PM

Well you can't use the 'F' word in England now.



















































FOX



Giok


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Maryrrf
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 04:19 PM

grave - wide and deep or long and narrow!


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 04:26 PM

Pistol, rifle: deadly, trusty, unerring

Church, chapel: holy or sacred, of course. Tiny, isolated, lone, lonesome,

Cowboy: dirty, lonely, lonesome, loyal, weary, jolly, hard-riding, tired, hard-working (but would you want to engage in a cliche like that?)

Pony, cayuse, bronco: wild, untamed, mean, broken-down, skinny, spavined, swaybacked, unridden, unridable,

Murder: secret, foul, bold(?), revengeful, premeditated, aforethought,

There we go. Someone else add some.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 04:29 PM

lily white ...........


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 04:37 PM

grave - dank, cold, dark

night - dark, stormy, cold, bitter

sail(s) - white, weather-beaten, tattered, torn


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Willa
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 04:46 PM

penknife - small
letters - false
maid -distressed
mother - cruel
ruffians - bold
sailor - brisk, bold, single, poor
clay - cold
ship - gallant


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: alanabit
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 05:27 PM

trails - lonesome
seas   - stormy, salty, deep blue
servants - trusty
mornings - fair, misty, moisty, foggy
young men - handsome, brave, false
lovers   - true, false
hair - raven


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 05:38 PM

to add to options for some of Willa's list:

penknife - little,    keen and sharp
letters -    braid, loving, hand-writ
maid, maiden - fair and also "pretty, fair" false, dear, lovesick,         
    swooning, sweet
mother - dear, old, sick, broken-hearted
sailor - brave
ship - doomed, storm-driven, wrecked, sunken


And some others:
cannon: loud, deadly, thundrous
lies: false-hearted, cold, wicked, ill-thought
truth: blessed, sweet
promises: loving, false, false-hearted, empty,
Wind, winds: relentless, cold, cutting, sharp, Arctic, wintry, Boreal,
Captain, skipper: cruel, brave, "skeely", skillful, brave,

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST,HipflaskAndy
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 05:48 PM

What? Have I missed it?
No one mentioned 'jolly' yet?
Can't have folk without yer jolly this and jolly that.
No one should miss out on their 'jollies'
HFA - hic!


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 07:05 PM

It's all lazy writing!Tabloid stuff. The folk process should refine it, but who dare touch these songs now?


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 07:15 PM

Flowers - pratty


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Chris Green
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 07:39 PM

The infinitives in folk songs are always different, too. It's never "to" but always "for to". The other golden rule is that everything has to take place in May!


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 07:43 PM

Have we had "lovely" (eg "lovely Nancy") yet?

And "Cruel Par-I-ents"


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 07:52 PM

In dealing with maid, maiden, I neglected to list "nut-brown".

Either "glass" or "jar" or "ale" (or beer) calls for "foaming".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: curmudgeon
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 07:57 PM

Bonny -- anything

Penknives are always "wee."


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: khandu
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 08:27 PM

buxom, bold, cunning, sly, bawdy; all applied to "Wench", a great word worthy of more use in today's world!
handsome, worthy, haughty, bold, foolhardy; referring to the wench's "Swain".

k


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Amos
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 08:36 PM

And hardy, handsome, handy, brave, are the swains who go to sea and become boatswains.

A


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST,anonanonanon
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 01:24 AM

....everything has to take place in May!

Of course. Too foxing cold in Britain to do anything before May, and once June comes along every one's on foxing holiday!

(Whoops! Sorry about the F word, I forgot!)


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 04:06 AM

Whenever I sang 'Peggy Gordon' Julie B always used to ask why there are only ever pretty small birds: what about big ugly birds?

I'm going to regret asking, aren't I?

While we're about it, why do they always change their voices? What does that mean? Starlings: OK, they imitate everything from other birds to cats and car alarms. But does a robin ever wake up in the morning and say to itself "I think I'll sing in the style of Pavarotti -- or Spike Milligan or Julie Felix or Bob Dylan -- today"?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Noreen
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 05:29 AM

Lovely thoughts, Steve :0)


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: harpmaker
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 09:16 AM

Penis - tiny.


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 10:38 AM

Can you quote that in context, harpmaker?


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST,neovo
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 11:08 AM

Boy - fine, young and bonny, young but growing


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 11:35 AM

OK, that's a grand selection of acceptable adjectives. here are some that have never been used in folksong, and never will be:
relevant
far-reaching
innovative
radical
thought-provoking
unusual
flocculent
turgid
ineffectual
pertinent
magnanimous
mauve
penetrating
auriferous
smug
serendipitous


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: alanabit
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 12:08 PM

What does "flocculent" mean Greg? At first I thought it might mean, "I am not going to fast until Easter", but then I spotted the "l". Auriferous? Who uses these words anywhere?


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: alanabit
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 07:57 PM

I have always wondered about that phrase "pretty fair maid". If she was a "maid" how did the (handsome young)swain know that she was "pretty fair"? Surely some of them must have just been "averagely good"? Or maybe if she really was a maid, nobody really knew at all. I am puzzled. It's time for me to go to bed.


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: rich-joy
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 11:36 PM

Very droll !!

Perhaps someone can link this thread with the one about "folksongs" composed of cliches (at least, I THINK I've read one here!!??!!)

It's time anyway, for an update of Stan Kelly and Eric Winters' 1964 number : "Comeallye and Gobackagain", where they took lines from the publication "Irish Street Ballads" to make one "new" ballad!! - and which makes sense only to Folkies :-)

Oh, and can we have a link to Spaw's DIY country thread, here too??

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: alanabit
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 03:09 AM

I don't know if Spaw actually started that thread, but his build your own country song DIY kit was a hoot.


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 04:05 AM

Too foxing cold in Britain to do anything before May, and once June comes along every one's on foxing holiday

Strictly speaking that's not true. The holiday was the month of May, hence the Tudor song 'Now is the month of Maying'. Everything happens in May because that's when people had more daylight time to go walking out... Lambing and calving is finished, ploughing and planting is done, now is the time for some 'R&R'. If you get pregnant in May, you're still capable of helping with the harvest in August without too much danger, you've got the whole summer/autumn to eat well and give it a good start. By the time you can't move around so well, it's November/December and you can rest at home doing winter things. In January and February there were the spinning and weaving jobs you could do whilst sitting until the baby was born.

Babies are always 'bonny, beauteous, or sweet babes'... none of these adjectives apply in real life.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: darkriver
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 04:34 AM

love - always 'true'
just about anything - lonesome


to add to Greg S's list of never-will-sees:

copacetic
anthropomorphic
honkin'


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: HuwG
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 07:30 AM

Captain (military) - "dashing", "fierce", "bold"
Captain (naval or merchant marine) - "storm-beaten", "weathered", "wise"

Steed - "trusty"
Steel - "trusty"

Was there a dyslexic or myopic Mr. Trad. Anon. who mixed these two up ? Although it has to be said that "trusty" as an adjective of quality applied to stabbing weapons beats "martensitic", "austenitic", "quenched / annealed" and especially "nitrided / face-hardened"

Squire - "dashing", "bold" (or occasionally "wicked" - thank you for that reminder, Angelina)

Blacksmith - "sturdy", "stout" or "true" (thank you again, Angelina)


****

By the way, for those still mystified by Greg's codex:

"flocculant" - promoting froth or bubbles
"auriferous" - gold-bearing (in Geology). I last used this term in my BSc (Hons) thesis.


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Flash Company
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 07:31 AM

Maids surely can be 'Young and foolish' or 'Wealthy old'
Sea Capti-ins (so pronounced) are always bold,


FC

PS Hey that rhymes! Start for a song? FC


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 11:03 AM

greg stephens: A song by Tom Paxton contains the line "She made a most unusual offer to me". I have not checked that or any of your other words in DigiTrad.

For data, let's start with Child 1: north (country), bonny (broom), noble (worth), stout (courage), brave (courage, knight), eldest (sister), silver (pin), second (sister), youngest (daughter), young (knight), fair (maid, maiden), three (questions), this very (day), longer (love), deeper (hell), louder (thunder), sharper (hunger), greener (poison), worse (devil), glad (knight), lovely (bride), constant (you). Those will surely do to go on.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Don't call him a fool; ask yourself _whose_ fool. :||


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: greg stephens
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 01:03 PM

Joe_F: Tom Paxton may well have used the word "unusual" but I was talking about your proper trad, author anon real folk songs. Modern singer-songwriters can all sorts of highfalutin' vocabulary if they want, but I was only referring to good ol' downhome folks.


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 04:27 PM

Well, there are things like "neck like a swan", and "lily white breast/bosom/arm(s)".


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: goodbar
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 04:35 PM

as an adolescent i enjoy swear words and subtle references to sex.


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 04:44 PM

Alanabit, you said:

I have always wondered about that phrase "pretty fair maid".

There are two meanings of "fair" here, that are distinct but historically related.

"Fair" may mean blonde, light-complexioned.
or
"Fair" may mean "pretty" or "beautiful".

At one time in England, (Saxon times, and even Norman times) the upper classes were indeed light of hair color, and the socially influenced standard of beauty leaned heavily on color of hair and skin. Thus "the brown girl" was not fair of color, and was not considered so beauteous, because of the social-standing meaning. The brown girl would be not only of the old, lower-class, pre-Saxon stock, but she had to work out in the sun and got tanned, which was a no-no for a lady then. The two concepts got somewhat separated over the years.

In the case of "pretty, fair", it doesn't mean (as we might mean by those words today) "sort of okay", but both pretty and a blonde.
That's why I put the comma in there when I entered it earlier in the thread: She's both pretty AND fair.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST,anonanonanon
Date: 26 Feb 05 - 09:53 PM

Never been used and never will be, Greg?

I'm sure I've heard the word *turgid* in a long Scottish ballad, (or perhaps that was just the description of it).

And from the semi-serious to the abjectly silly, how about these lines:

....As She Mauve-d Through the Fair...

...As he filled the sailor's mug...

not forgetting that great folk song Nellie the rElevant....

Enough!


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 09:17 AM

But it's not irrelevant -- it's a hippopotamus.

--

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: When you have a cold, the universe is half full of galaxies & half full of snot. :||


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 06:17 PM

Inspired by this thread, I would like to extend this discussion to include examples from my primary area of interest African American children's rhymes {which surely are forms of folk songs!}

Here are the adjectives found in the contemporary [1980s to date] foot stomping chants that I've been collecting from Pittsburgh, PA area. To date, I have also collected examples of these foot stomping chants in Philadelphia; New York City; Athens, Georgia. I have also seen what I believe are examples of these chants in a 1983 book of Afrian American children's rhymes from Houston, Texas {Barbara Michels, Bettye White "Apple On A Stick"}. It's my belief that these foot stomping cheers are probably found throughout urban areas in the United States, and possibly elsewhere.

An analysis of the foot stomping cheers that I collected and read suggests that African American and Puerto Rican elemetary and preschool girls [and others?]use these words to describe themselves:

fine [meaning physically attractive]; {examples I know I'm
      fine/justlike my sign"; also "fine/wine"; "fine/time"
sexy
bad [meaning good]
fly [meaning hip; street smart-up to date with the latest fashions,
    physically attractive
tough
rough and tough
cool
cool and the gang
super cool
super star
foxy
mighty
sweet
super
super super [for example "I'm a super Super Virgo""]*
hot stuff

****
The text of these synchronized, syncopated street cheers reflect the importance to the girls of being seen as sexy, physically attractive, and tough [meaning: able to defend yourself verbally and probably otherwise..]

Here's two examples of these chants that I collected from my daughter's memories of mid 1980s Pittsburgh,PA

FLY GIRL
Group                Fly girl one
                Fly girl two.
                Pump it up, Renee
                Just like you do {or "Show me what you do"}
Soloist #1        {"Oh" or "Well"} my name is Renee.
Group                What?
Soloist #1        and I'm a fly girl
Group                What?        
Soloist #1        It takes a lot of men
                to rock my world.
                'Cause I can fly like a butterfly,
                sting like a bee.
                And that's why they call me
                SEXY.

****
HULA HULA
Group                Hula Hula
                Who thinks they bad?
Soloist #1         I do.
Group                Hula Hula
                Who thinks they bad?
Soloist #1         I do.
Group                 Ool! You think you bad.
Soloist #1        Correction, Baby, I know I'm bad.
Group                Ool! You think you smart.
Soloist #1        Smart enough to break your heart.
Group                Ooll, you think you tuff?
Soloist#1        Tuff enough to strut my stuff.
                Cause when I twist
               like this
                the boys cannot resist.
                and when I turn
                I burn
               and break down like a worm

In both examples, the cheer is repeated by the next soloist [either exactly the same words or that fit the same pattern]. This continues with the next soloist until every member of this informal group has had one turn as the soloist. IMO, this 'group/consecutive soloists' variant form of call & response is the signature structure of these percussive, dramatized foot stomping chants..

*These chants frequently mention astrological sun signs. Another example of this is:

"My sign is Sag
and that's alright
cause all Sagittarius are
out of sight.


Azizi


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 06:22 PM

Correction-it has been my experience that the ages of girls who perform these chants are usually elementary to pre-teen, and sometimes slightly older [6-14 years].

Sorry about that typo..Few pre-schoolers could execute these synchronized percussive movements that combine bass sounding foot stomps with individual handclaps and body pats [and a little bit of hip switching and other movements from popular social dances]


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: RangerSteve
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 07:11 PM

Rivers tend to be blue, but I've never seen a blue river in real life.

then there's good old friends and good old dogs.


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 27 Feb 05 - 09:23 PM

Ranger Steve, that reminds me of the old Spike Jones rendition of The Blue Danube--which says that "The Danube isn't blue--it's green!"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: alanabit
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 02:36 AM

I lived by the River Lhyner in Cornwall as a kid. I have seen it turn just about every colour you could imagine, because so many things can effect the light which falls on it and the lighting which surrounds it. It has different depths at different seasons. Different waste, sediment etc are carried down according to the season or weather. The weather/season also affects the tree and plant life on the banks of the river, which in turn affects the hue which is reflected. I have seen that river look blue, brown, red, yellow, clear, grey, silver on a sunny day (from the top of the Cadsonbury)- just about any colour (and a few more) that you could imagine a river to be.
Mind you, I don't think any of this affects the fact that there are only a few acceptable adjectives which can be applied to rivers in folk songs. "Soft", "fast", "slow" and "deep" are all allowed, I know. No others spring to mind at the moment though!


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 07:48 AM

Wet?


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: JennyO
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 08:00 AM

Now here's a song which should fulfil requirements on this thread and the one about acceptable months. Okay, so "free" is not really an adjective - I suppose it's an adverb - but when I read the previous post, I thought of this song.

Only The Rivers Run Free

When apples still grow in November
When blossoms still bloom on each tree
When leaves are still green in December
It's then that our land will be free
I've wandered the hills and valleys
And still through my sorrow I see
A land that has never known freedom
And only her rivers run free

I drink to the death of her manhood
Those men who'd rather have died
Than to live in the cold chains of bondage
To bring back their rights were denied
But where are you now that we need you?
What burns where the flame used to be?
Are you gone like the snow of last winter?
And still only our rivers run free

How sweet is life, but we're dying
How mellow the wine, but we're dry
How fragrant the rose, but it's dying
How gentle the wind but it sighs
What good is in youth when it's aging?
What joys are in eyes that can't see?
When there's sorrow in sunshine and flowers
And still only our rivers run free.


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: JennyO
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 08:30 AM

BTW, when I said the previous post, I meant Alanabit's post, although rivers can certainly be wet - but where does it say that in a folk song, GUEST?

Oh - I just thought of another one - The water is wide


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST,anonanonanon
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 09:03 AM

For rivers, I would have thought "dry" in Australian folksong, though I can't think of any just now.

Several NZ references to the "dry" Cardrona River (sp?).

"Sweet" Thames Flow Softly. And can I recall a reference to the "Sweet" Liffy Water? (Don't think I would care to *taste* either of them!)

"Wet"? No, unless there's a song about the previous guest contributor.... (Am I allowed to say that?)


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Muttley
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 09:14 AM

Just a little add-on here - though I am by any means a songwriter: written a couple of parodies, but that's all (the one MOST appreciated by my schoolchildren audiences being "Blame it on the Tellies: or Why I hate the Tellytubbies" which is sung to the tune of the traditional Australian folk ballad "Blame it on the Kellys" - a little graphic in what SHOULD happen to those evil little beings but nothing risque!).

HOWEVER (sorry - i can't italicise) I reckon the BEST song which wholeheartedly pushes the "sensuality" or "eros" envelope without crossing the line is "Drink Down the Moon" as sung by Steeleye Span (first recorded on the Now We Are Six album if I am not mistaken) this goes about as close to singing openly about pre-marital "nookie" as anything I have heard. The most explicit being the brilliantly wrought lines in the final part of the song .......
"There is a thorn bush in our cael yard
There is a thorn bush in our cael yard
At the back o' thorn bush there lays a lad and lass
And they're busy, busy farin' at the cuckoo's nest"

Brilliant, suggestive, sensuous and above all - - - - CLEAN !!


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: JennyO
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 09:36 AM

GUEST anonanonanon, here's a song about an Australian river - it is rich in descriptive words, but dry is not one of them. I can't think at the moment of a reference to a dry river, although we certainly do have rivers and creeks that dry up.

MURRUMBIDGEE WATER
© John Warner

Born in the highland snows,
Wild in her youth's descending,
Swiftly she fills and grows
Out on her floodplains, winding and bending,
Feeding the towering gums,
Bush in creek and gully,
Sharing her bounties wide,
Spreading soil in plain and valley.

Murrumbidgee fair, Murrumbidgee fertile,
Nurturing at your breasts we who walk here for a little while.
High on a ridge we stand, gazing in love and awe
Over the lands you made with your gentle hands: how rich the gifts you pour.

Over her years of floods,
Current twisting wild and strong,
Children she made in the land,
Creek and anabranch, pond and billabong.
Bright on the wide floodplain
Glints the rippling water,
Proudly side by side,
Flow the mother and the daughter.

Murrumbidgee fair, Murrumbidgee fertile,
Nurturing at your breasts we who walk here for a little while.
High on a ridge we stand, gazing in love and awe
Over the lands you made with your gentle hands: how rich the gifts you pour.

We have known the drought, we have seen her anger,
Hurling trees in her rage, we've borne thirst and we've borne hunger.
Yet for us who seek, beauty waits in hiding,
In some shaded pools wait the fruits of her providing.

Silver mist like hair,
As the day is dawning,
Marks the river's way
As we hunt on a winter's morning,
Duck and cod from the stream,
Fruit and fungus, plant and seed,
Kangaroo on the plain,
See, she gives us all we need.

Murrumbidgee fair, Murrumbidgee fertile,
Nurturing at your breasts we who walk here for a little while.
High on a ridge we stand, gazing in love and awe
Over the lands you made with your gentle hands: how rich the gifts you pour.


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 09:48 AM

Lots of moons are silvery, but not many are "silent". (Well, they all are actually, but not in song!)


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 09:58 AM

JennyO: In fact, I think "free" in that context does parse as a (predicate) adjective; cf. "stand tall" & "still waters run deep". The contrast between an adverb & a predicate adjective is neatly displayed in Stevenson's line "Glad did I live and gladly die".

"Wide", absolutely. Not only "The water is wide", but "'Cross the wide Missouri", and according to the Volga boatmen, their river is "shiroka da gluboka", wide & deep.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: The world is too full of people whose world is too full of people. :||


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: JennyO
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 10:08 AM

Thanks, GUEST,Joe F, for that clarification. Yes, it felt like an adjective, but I wasn't sure. I suppose the adverb would have been "freely". Quite a different meaning, really.

Snuffy mentioned the moon, and another of John Warner's songs immediately came to mind. In the chorus of "Andersons Coast" it is a lonely moon:

But Annie, dear, don't wait for me,
I fear I shall not return to thee,
There's nought to do but endure my fate,
And watch the moon, the lonely moon
Light the breakers on wild Bass Strait.


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: GUEST,Uncle DaveO
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 11:25 AM

Let's see how many "river" adjectives I can come up with in one place many of which have probably been give already):

River: Fast, swift, raging, rushing, rushy, slow, deep, shallow, wide, narrow, full, high, low, rocky, sandy, treacherous, dangerous, risky, wild, quiet, sleepy, lazy, dry, cold, clear, sparkling, muddy, murky, old, busy (with river traffic), angry perhaps, foamy or foaming, wandering, crooked.   Of course there are the subjective reaction words, like beautiful or lovely, pleasant.

I've run "dry". Any others?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: alanabit
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 02:44 PM

I know when I'm beat!


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: JennyO
Date: 28 Feb 05 - 09:10 PM

Then there's moody river and steely water (James and Nancy)


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: rich-joy
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 02:03 AM

MUTTLEY - we want the TELLYTUBBIES song, please!!! (New thread)

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Acceptable adjectives in folk songs
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 08:07 AM

Azizi'`snalysis of the actual adjectives used in specific songs are very interesting.
Here are four traditional songs reduced just to their adjectives. The feelings location etc of the songs are given very faithfully by their adjectival context.

1: wild, great, bright, best, prodigal
2:north, pretty, lish, right, tight, green, good, fine, golden, raging
3: pleasant, delightful, green. melodious, true, far, dearest, flowing
4: true, green, young, fair, cold, earthy, fairest


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