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Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)

DigiTrad:
BANANA BOAT SONG
BELAMENA
CHOUCOUNE
COME BACK, LIZA
EDEN WAS JUST LIKE THIS
JAMAICA FAREWELL
TURN AROUND
YELLOW BIRD


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Lopaka 10 Dec 98 - 02:10 PM
Peter T. 10 Dec 98 - 03:58 PM
Joe Offer 10 Dec 98 - 04:03 PM
Barry Finn 10 Dec 98 - 04:47 PM
Jon W. 10 Dec 98 - 05:20 PM
Joe Offer 11 Dec 98 - 02:16 AM
Peter T. 11 Dec 98 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Apr 11 - 07:29 PM
Joe Offer 12 Apr 11 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM
Charley Noble 12 Apr 11 - 09:46 PM
EBarnacle 12 Apr 11 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Apr 11 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Apr 11 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Apr 11 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 11 - 01:28 AM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 11 - 07:24 AM
Charley Noble 13 Apr 11 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 11 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 11 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 11 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 11 - 10:33 AM
Charley Noble 13 Apr 11 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Grishka 13 Apr 11 - 12:22 PM
Charley Noble 13 Apr 11 - 12:54 PM
EBarnacle 13 Apr 11 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 11 - 10:26 PM
Amos 13 Apr 11 - 11:01 PM
artbrooks 13 Apr 11 - 11:13 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Apr 11 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Apr 11 - 12:33 AM
Charley Noble 14 Apr 11 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Apr 11 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Apr 11 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Apr 11 - 08:22 PM
Charley Noble 14 Apr 11 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Apr 11 - 09:37 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Apr 11 - 09:44 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Apr 11 - 09:58 PM
Joe Offer 14 Apr 11 - 10:10 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Apr 11 - 10:34 PM
Charley Noble 15 Apr 11 - 08:05 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 15 Apr 11 - 06:58 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Apr 11 - 01:05 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Apr 11 - 09:19 AM
Charley Noble 18 Apr 11 - 03:02 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Apr 11 - 05:43 PM
Charley Noble 18 Apr 11 - 09:03 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Apr 11 - 09:26 PM
GUEST,Grishka 19 Apr 11 - 01:00 PM
Charley Noble 19 Apr 11 - 01:14 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Apr 11 - 05:46 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 Apr 11 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Grishka 20 Apr 11 - 07:37 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 Apr 11 - 07:44 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 Apr 11 - 10:38 PM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 11 - 03:28 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 Apr 11 - 04:21 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 11 - 02:12 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 11 - 02:26 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 11 - 02:27 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 11 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,Grishka 20 May 11 - 05:19 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 11 - 06:17 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 11 - 06:19 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 11 - 06:22 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 11 - 06:26 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 11 - 06:25 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 22 May 11 - 11:57 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 26 May 11 - 05:06 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 Jun 11 - 02:40 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Jan 12 - 03:30 PM
Gda Music 01 Jan 12 - 04:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Jan 12 - 05:50 PM
EBarnacle 02 Jan 12 - 11:17 AM
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Subject: Need Lyrics :
From: Lopaka
Date: 10 Dec 98 - 02:10 PM

Can anybody help me out there? This song was sung by Harry Belofonte.


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Subject: RE: Need Lyrics :
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Dec 98 - 03:58 PM

Dear Lopaka, you can find Matilda at:

"www.geocities.com/Nashville/8855/matilda.gif"

It is a picture file (that is, it is a "gif" file), and if you can't handle it, let me know and I will transcribe it for you.

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MATILDA, MATILDA! (Norman Span)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Dec 98 - 04:03 PM

MATILDA, MATILDA!
By Norman Span, AKA King Radio
©copyright 1953 by MCA Music & General Publishing co., Inc.


Chorus:
Matilda, Matilda, Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela.
Everybody!
Matilda, Matilda, Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela.

Five hundred dollars, friends I lost
What made me sell me cat and horse,
Hey - a - Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela.

Well, de money was just inside me bed,
Stuck up in de pillow beneath me head.
Don't you know Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela.

Well, me friends, nevah to love again,
All me money gone in vain,
Hey -a - Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela.


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Subject: RE: Need Lyrics :
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Dec 98 - 04:47 PM

From Allan Sherman's "My Son The Folk Singer"

She found her first romance, when I broke the zipper in my pants
Matilda, she take the money & run with barber

My mother must have given this to my sister when I was around 9 or so in the late 50's or early 60's. My first encounter with something folk ('sigh'). Barry


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Subject: RE: Need Lyrics :
From: Jon W.
Date: 10 Dec 98 - 05:20 PM

It was the last song on the Belafonte's live album from Carnegie Hall. He got groups from the audience to sing the chorus. The funniest one was when he shouted out "Women over forty" and no one sang. He said "We know you're out there" and made 'em do it over. Memories from my childhood. I actually this year found the album in a thrift store and bought it for a dollar.


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Subject: Tune Add: MATILDA, MATILDA! (Norman Span)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Dec 98 - 02:16 AM

MIDI file: MATILDA.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: MATILDA, MATILDA!
Text: By Norman Span
Copyright: Copyright © 1953 by MCA Music
TimeSig: 2/2 24 8
Start
0192 1 60 110 0256 0 60 000 0032 1 64 110 0256 0 64 000 0032 1 67 110 0912 0 67 000 0048 1 65 110 0256 0 65 000 0032 1 69 110 0256 0 69 000 0032 1 72 110 0912 0 72 000 0048 1 67 110 0256 0 67 000 0032 1 71 110 0256 0 71 000 0032 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 72 110 0160 0 72 000 0032 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 67 110 0190 0 67 000 0002 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000 0224 1 60 110 0256 0 60 000 0032 1 64 110 0256 0 64 000 0032 1 67 110 0912 0 67 000 0048 1 65 110 0256 0 65 000 0032 1 69 110 0256 0 69 000 0032 1 72 110 0912 0 72 000 0048 1 67 110 0256 0 67 000 0032 1 71 110 0256 0 71 000 0032 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 72 110 0160 0 72 000 0032 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 67 110 0190 0 67 000 0002 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000 0224 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 67 110 0190 0 67 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000 0224 1 72 110 0160 0 72 000 0032 1 72 110 0160 0 72 000 0032 1 72 110 0160 0 72 000 0032 1 72 110 0160 0 72 000 0032 1 72 110 0094 0 72 000 0002 1 72 110 0190 0 72 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 67 110 0256 0 67 000 0032 1 71 110 0256 0 71 000 0032 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 72 110 0160 0 72 000 0032 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 67 110 0190 0 67 000 0002 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000 0224 1 60 110 0256 0 60 000 0032 1 64 110 0256 0 64 000 0032 1 67 110 0912 0 67 000 0048 1 65 110 0256 0 65 000 0032 1 69 110 0256 0 69 000 0032 1 72 110 0912 0 72 000 0048 1 67 110 0256 0 67 000 0032 1 71 110 0256 0 71 000 0032 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 72 110 0160 0 72 000 0032 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 67 110 0190 0 67 000 0002 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 62 110 0160 0 62 000 0032 1 60 110 0160 0 60 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Matilda, Matilda!
M:2/2
Q:1/4=120
K:C
C5E3|G8|-G2F3A3|c8|-c2G3B3|d2Bc2AG2|GF2E2EED|
-DC4C3|E3G5|-G5F3|A3c5|-c5G3|B3d2Bc2|AG2GF2E2|
EED2C4|G2G2G2GG|G2EC4c|-cc2c2c2c|c2AF2G3|
B3d2Bc2|AG2GF2E2|EED2C4|C3E3G2|-G8|F8|-F3A3c2|
-c8|G8|-G3B3d2|Bc2AG2GF|-FE2EED2C|-C/2||


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Subject: RE: Need Lyrics :
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Dec 98 - 10:52 AM

I think in Allan Sherman's song she (My Zelda) runs with the tailor (rhymes with Venezuela).

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: Origins: Matilda, Matilda: Why did she take it?
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 07:29 PM

In the song "Matilda", about the woman who took a man's money and left for Venezuela, what was her motive for taking the money, which was either $5000 or $500, and selling the cart and horse? Was it five hundred dollars or five thousand dollars? There could've been a revenge element, or something else. Would like to read your thoughts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 07:49 PM

Hi, Morwen -
Most times, it's best to build on existing threads. You can find old threads by putting a keyword in the filter on the main page, and setting the "age" back.

I moved you over to this thread, where people already have lyrics and other information to build on.

-Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM

Thanks, Joe! So what was Matilda's motive?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 09:46 PM

Greed, wrath, lust, gluttony, pride, sloth, or envy?

Just seven deadly suggestions.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: EBarnacle
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 09:53 PM

$500 would have been substantial money in the islands when the song was written.

A variant I have heard is:
She take me money and run with the sailah [Sailor]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 09:56 PM

Maybe so as to why she took the money, but why would she sell the cart and horse though? Another question about the lyrics; in the Great Depression (when King Radio's version appeared) would five hundred dollars have been enough to buy a "house and land"in Trinidad? Doesn't five thousand make more sense? I believed when I first heard it that she was a gold-digger but wouldn't a gold-digger just take the money and not care about the cart and horse?
P.S. Does anyone think the singer is probably drowning his sorrows whiel he tells the story?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:18 PM

Reply to EBarnacle's post: Where did you hear that line?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 10:25 PM

The "cart and horse" line is what puzzles me. A cart and horse was equivalent to a car in the rural West Indies at the time. So from this we can guess the narrator is probably living in the countryside and uses the cart and horse as transport. If she sold the cart and horse there must be something else going on- would anyone really sell one of their most valuable possessions with no real reason?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 01:28 AM

P.P.S. to third post: Just something I thought of because the song's subject matter is almost bluesy (I think a blues cover would be awesome) and in many blues song, apparently, there are references to drunkenness)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:24 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:32 AM

He sold the horse and cart so that he could entice Matilda to stay with him while supporting her in the style she was accustomed to, but she only did so long enough to steal his money and run to Venezuela. He wasn't thinking of his economic future when he sold cart and horse. Case closed. So sad!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:35 AM

Ha ha Charley! Didn't she sell the horse and cart though, not him? From memory: "Five hundred (thousand) dollars friends I lost, de woman even sold me cart and horse."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:39 AM

Besides, selling the horse and cart to keep her wouldn't work- a horse and cart was apparently a status symbol in 1920s rural Trinidad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 10:31 AM

Refresh? Anyone else have an opinion?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 10:33 AM

bump


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 11:32 AM

Not according to the version of the lyrics that Joe Offer posted above:

Five hundred dollars, friends I lost
What made me sell me cat(sic) and horse,
Hey - a - Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela.

I'm assuming "cat" is a typo for "cart" but I could be wrong.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 12:22 PM

According to Joe Offer above (10 Dec 98 - 04:03 PM), Matilda's theft made the singer sell his "cat" (cart?) and horse. That means, he sold these after the woman had left and he had no cash left to buy food etc. When that money was spent and the foundation of his economic existence was gone as well, he had to write "calypso" lyrics. Sad, sad. Those wicked women force us to write sad songs which may even top the charts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 12:54 PM

Griska-

I concede to your superior reasoning.

"Those wicked women force us to write sad songs which may even top the charts."

Not all our sad songs top the charts but them women can be oh so wicked!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: EBarnacle
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 05:39 PM

It heard it so long ago that I have no recall of where or when.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 10:26 PM

Going by *my* memory of the lyrics and the way I sing it, if that is possible- it could be that Matilda sold the cart and horse out of revenge. Or alternatively there is no motivation. If that is true and we can accept the narrator's word for it, then either he did something or she is one of the worst girlfriends ever! No wonder he says "So my friends, never to love again".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: Amos
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 11:01 PM

It was his life savings and she snuck off with it, so he had to sell his cart (not cat) and horse to have food and pay rent.


I know, I was there!! :D


A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 11:13 PM

Morwin, posts here stay for 24 hours, even if there is no response. It is not necessary to refresh eery few hours.

BTW, it is 'caat' (or 'caht') rather than 'cat'...an attempt at dialect, doncha know.


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Subject: ADD Version: Matilda (King Radio)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 11:14 PM

Here is my transcription of "Matilda/Mathilda" as sung by its composer, King Radio (Norman Span) in 1938, which includes two verses not sung by Harry Belafonte and could reveal more of the . I found this version on YouTube. Some of the words are hard to make out:

MATILDA
(King Radio, AKA Norman Span) Transcription

Oh, Lord, Matilda,
Believe me, friends, it's Matilda,
What a dizzy call!
Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela
(Everybody!)

Chorus
Matilda- Look, oh Lord,
Matilda- dizzy call,
Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela


It really hurt me, friends, but what's to do?
Now listen what the woman do to you.
(Mow dat water), Matilda, she take me money and gone (run) Venezuela

Chorus

So never me friends to love again,
Now listen all me money gone in vain.
(Oh look, oh Lord), it's Matilda that take me money and gone Venezuela

Five thousand dollars friends I lost,
The woman even sell me cart and horse!
(Oh Lord), Matilda she take me money and gone Venezuela

Chorus

The money was to buy a house an' lan',
Now listen as she draft a serious plan,
(Fire! Water!) Matilda she take me money and gone Venezuela


Well the money was right inside me bed,
Stuck up in the mattress right below me head,
Oh lord, this is Matilda that take me money and gone Venezuela


I feel a jumbie shove me head,
He said "Boy, no money inside your bed,
(Look, oh Lord), Matilda she take your money and gone Venezuela."
Chorus


Where I put my hand was all in vain,
Right on the spot, I got a serious stain,
(Mow that water?), Matilda she take me money and gone Venezuela


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 12:33 AM

A "jumbie" or "duppy" is a Trinidadian/Guyanese word for a ghost or demon. Is the implication that something supernatural is going on?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:01 AM

"The woman even sell me cart and horse!"

So, I was right. Someone should apologize to me. ;~)

But I kinda liked the idea of Matilda selling the cat (who was black), most likely to the local witch doctor for one of those voodoo special events. There's big money in that.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 04:59 PM

Charley Noble, if my eyes and my computer's copy-and-paste serve me, you wrote on 13 Apr 11 - 07:32 AM:
He sold the horse and cart so that he could entice Matilda to stay with him
That's not what Norman Span tells us. He claims that Matilda sold the stuff, probably the afternoon before the night she stole the money. The narrator carried his savings with him at daytime and hid it in his mattress only at night. The woman (who may have slept with him but did not sleep with him) found out about that and shoved away his head to steal the money; the sleepy narrator thought it was a jumbie.

Belafonte, however, did not believe the story about Matilda selling the cart and horse - after all, this would be a risky thing to do, even if she used the cart to go to the next airport and sold it there. Witnesses tend to contradict each other, and the victim is not always to be trusted.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 06:55 PM

Grishka, you just hit the nail on the head! I kind of like the idea of there actually being a jumbie there- after all the next line is, "He said, "Boy, no money inside your bed", so how can it be Matilda? I love the idea of her being an obeah woman who used spells to make the narrator fall in love with her.
Now I've been planning a story based on this song, examining her motivations, and I want to know: Does anyone know if this song could possibly have been inspired by a true event? I know that the first-person perspective doesn't mean anything, but a Trinidadian writer, in the Trinidad Guardian, implies that it might have been. So for the experts: a) did something like this happen around 1938, when the song was written? b) was it based on something in King Radio (or someone else)'s actual life,
and c) where would I find any records of it?


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Subject: Origins: Matilda- similar songs?
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:22 PM

I don't know if I am allowed to create a new thread for this, but can anyone give me examples of trad. songs with similar themes to "Matilda" or "Matilda, Matilda" by King Radio, which is sung from the perspective of a man robbed and left high and dry by his lover, who leaves for Venezuela? Caribbean/West Indian folk songs would be preferable.

    Hi - in general, we allow one current discussion on any given topic. Having two or more discussions going of the same song, at the same time, has proven to be confusing and to lead to duplication. So, please keep it to this one thread for now.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:28 PM

Morwen-

I think you've done a good job of utilizing the Mudcat community to harvest more thoughts about this song. Why don't you become a member?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:37 PM

Probably I would, but 1) I have no clue which fields are optional and which ones are absolutely required; I think you have to write down your first and last name, but do you have to give your e-mail address? and 2) Since I am in Year 12 I will probably only be posting when i am not studying.
    Hi, Morwen - we require a first and last name, and a current e-mail address. We keep registration information confidential.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matilda, Matilda (from Harry Belafonte)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:44 PM

Hey I've registered now! So, asking the question about whether or not this is a true story, does anyone have any ideas as to how i could find out the basis of the song? Searching records to find out if something similar happened in 1938?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Matilda, Matilda (King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:58 PM

And what happened to the "Brown Skin Girl" thread? I can't see it on the homepage.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 10:10 PM

Relax, Morwen. Follow the instructions I gave above for the Filter - put brown in the filter box at the top of the list of threads, and set the age back a few days. Either that, or click here.

In the meantime, you might want to take a look at this page (click) on Mento Music....basically the same sort of music we've been talking about in these several threads.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 10:34 PM

Yes! I found it, thanks Joe! I already checked the mento page and didn't find anything, except for a very interesting piece of information about the tune: "the well-used melody from "Dip and Fall Back", "What a Hard Time", and "Sweetie Charlie"(the third one is apparently a Jamaican folk song) with new lyrics". if this is true then King Radio borrowed the other piece's melody. Does anyone have a sound sample of "Sweetie Charlie" or the other songs to compare their melodies with "Matilda"?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 08:05 AM

Morwen-

Welcome aboard!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 06:58 PM

Thanks, Charley! Now back to my original question- does anyone know how I could find out what the basis of this song was, such as if it was based on truth?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 01:05 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 09:19 AM

Diverting from my original question of how to find out the story of this song, the other thing which always puzzled me about it was how the narrator knew where she had gone in the first place. People who are secretly leaving their boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands or wives (and something about this song makes me think it was secret- I think it's the "numbed" nature of the delivery in the 1938 rendition, as if the narrator still can't quite believe it has happened) do not usually leave any indication of where they are going. Therefore, how does the narrator know for sure that she went to Venezuela? She could have gone to Tobago or Barbados, another island. I believe it was a guess at where she could've gone. Does anyone else agree with me?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 03:02 PM

Morwen-

You're just being logical.

No doubt she told her best girl friend.

I don't think he was able to access the passenger lists via Google as folks do know in such research.

I wonder what her last name was. If you knew that, you might just find her!

But having started this thread, don't be surprised if her granddaughter adds a post to this thread, or someone claiming to be.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 05:43 PM

Ha, ha, ha, Charley! Are you being serious? Has anyone ever claimed to be related to someone who inspired a song on Mudcat? Do you believe that this is a true story too?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 09:03 PM

Check out the "Pity the Downtrodden Landlord" thread in terms of who actually surfaced.

A similar thing happened with our discussion of the "Yangtse River Shanty" but I'm only being half serious.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 09:26 PM

So which half of your post isn't serious? Do you actually believe Matilda was: a) a real person, b) might have descendants, c) if she did, had a relationship with King Radio?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 01:00 PM

Is it a true story? You can bet (perhaps up to poetic license in the details)! Police records are full of such incidents and probably have been since they have been invented. The role of the thief is equally shared by men and women. I once witnessed a young woman denouncing her (former) boyfriend to the police - the policewoman did her routine job.

Venezuela? Probably did not extradite thieves. (Remember Ronald Biggs, who ran to Brazil.) In this case she wrote him a postcard telling him that the 5000$ were only a fair compensation for her years of suffering under his temper.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 01:14 PM

I certainly don't know but maybe something useful will be harvested in this thread, or not.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 05:46 PM

Let's only hope so!


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 11:57 PM

Grishka, what happened to the woman in the incident you witnessed? You state that "the policewoman did her routine job". Was she (the woman accusing her boyfriend) arrested?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 20 Apr 11 - 07:37 AM

Morwen, this story is set in Rome. A woman from southern Italy appeared at the Carabinieri police station and told them her boyfriend hat gone, taking their common holiday savings with him. The lady officer told her to file the case in the couple's home village. The victim, as broken-hearted as broke, sensed a lack of compassion and went to the Polizia di Stato. After an hour she returned and sobbed: "They told me the same". Well, I don't really think the man had gone to Switzerland with his loot (a holiday in Rome can be expensive, but living in Ticino all the more so).


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Apr 11 - 07:44 AM

Whoa! So is this what you think happened in the case of Matilda? Except that the money disappeared from King Radio (or whoever the theft happened to)'s bed and the cart and horse were stolen and sold too. So this could have been a true story. What do you think will turn up in this thread? Confirmation that a Trinidadian woman with the first name Matilda (no surname mentioned- was probably a common name) was romantically involved with dockworker (what was his actual job?) Norman Span in 1938?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 Apr 11 - 10:38 PM

What I meant by "was probably a common name" was that Matilda was probably a common first name in Trinidad at the time the song was written and set.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 03:28 AM

New York Girls tells much the same story. Let that be a lesson to you.

I could tell you what SINSULL did to me, but it's just the same old story. Don't trust them New York girls, or them Trinidad girls. They're all the same....

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 04:21 AM

And don't steal a man's money. He might turn out to be a songwriter and write a humiliating song about you, which turns out to be so popular that it's Carnival Road March three years in a row!(:*
(1938, 1939, 1940).


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 11 - 02:12 AM

Does anyone think we'll get any new information on Matilda on this thread?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 11 - 02:26 AM

One thing I have noticed. It is likely that this song was written in 1938 because it is impossible for it to have been Carnival Road March in 1938 if it was written in 1939. If it was written in 1940 it is unlikely to have been Carnival Road March the previous two years. Grishka, I get what you're saying, but is there a way to get confirmation of these facts as related in the song: a) that a woman named Matilda stole her lover's money and material possessions, selling the cart and horse, causing a local/nationwide scandal in 1938?
b) she absconded with the stolen property?

BTW, the Duke of Iron also did a cover of this.Link here- Duke of Iron-Matilda:. In one of the verses, he varies the lyrics and implies that Matilda cheated on him with Lord Invader.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 11 - 02:27 AM

Used the wrong word. It should be "states".


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 11 - 03:12 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 20 May 11 - 05:19 AM

Morwen, if I knew anything about this case and wanted to communicate it, I would have done so before. I can only add the general observation, not too novel, that songs inspired by real events sometimes tell you the truth about the author's feelings, but never about the facts. Calypso is particularly often about tall tales and fantasies, with built-in tongue-in-cheek. Sorry to disillusion you.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 11 - 06:17 AM

I know. Sorry if I gave the impression that I believed anyone on this forum knew something about the truth or not about this song. I think I will add this transcription of the Duke of Iron's recording. He adds a humorous touch to the song.

MATILDA
(As sung by the Duke of Iron)

Oh lord, it is Matilda,
Believe me friends, it's Matilda,
What a dizzy call!
Matilda, she take my money and run Venezuela.

Everybody!
(Chorus: Matilda, what a dizzy call!
Matilda, Lord I got to fall,
Matilda, she take my money and run Venezuela)

Five thousand dollars, friends, I lost,
The woman even sell me cart and horse,
Oh Lord, Matilda, she take my money and run Venezuela.

Everybody!
(Chorus)

Well the money was to buy me house and land,
Then she draft a serious plan,
Oh Lord, Matilda, she take my money and run Venezuela.
(Chorus)
Well the money was just inside me bed,
Stuck up in the mattress right below me head,
Don't you know that Matilda done find me money and run Venezuela?
(Instrumental break)

Well I feel a jumbie shove me head,
He said, "Boy, no money inside your bed:
Don't you know that Matilda done take your money and run Venezuela?"
Everybody!
(Chorus)

When I put my hand was all in vain, 
On the spot I got a serious stain,
Oh Lord I mean, Matilda she take me money and run with Invader.
Everybody!
(Chorus)
So never me friends to love again,
Because all me money gone in vain,
Oh Lord, Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela.
Everybody!
(Chorus : Play it out boys. Instrumental break.)


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 11 - 06:19 AM

The other thing I realised: every singer who does this one is male. Is there anything significant about this?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 11 - 06:22 AM

Because I, for one, wouldn't have any qualms about singing it.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 11 - 06:26 AM

Any female posters who have sung this or another song that is clearly from a male perspective?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 11 - 06:25 PM

Yet another version of "Matilda"


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 22 May 11 - 11:57 PM

Refresh. Anyone want to speculate on why all the singers who perform this song are male?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 26 May 11 - 05:06 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 02:40 AM

Refresh. Anyone still interested in this thread? Another interesting thing is that some Jamaican folk songs share this song's melody.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jan 12 - 03:30 PM

Morwen, any information on that recording of Matilda " by Radio King?
I can't find a listing of date 1938; only the 1950s one given by Joe.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: Gda Music
Date: 01 Jan 12 - 04:16 PM

*Matilda* - Radio, (Trinidad 1/2/39)   
Decca UK Series: M30740 - Matrix 91637-A
US Issue No 17410

as listed West Indian Gramophone Records in Britain: 1927-1950
John Cowley
Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL   (February 1985)

Quite near that date you referred to.

GJ


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jan 12 - 05:50 PM

Thanks, Gda Music. Much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Matilda [Mathilda](King Radio/Norman Span)
From: EBarnacle
Date: 02 Jan 12 - 11:17 AM

I like Lord Relator's line:
"Matilda, she had a different plan."


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