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Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass

GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Apr 05 - 05:57 PM
Azizi 24 Apr 05 - 07:24 PM
Desert Dancer 24 Apr 05 - 08:49 PM
Azizi 24 Apr 05 - 09:03 PM
Desert Dancer 24 Apr 05 - 09:32 PM
Herga Kitty 25 Apr 05 - 08:15 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 25 Apr 05 - 08:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Apr 05 - 09:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Apr 05 - 09:45 PM
harpgirl 25 Apr 05 - 11:34 PM
Azizi 26 Apr 05 - 01:04 AM
Sandy Paton 26 Apr 05 - 01:36 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Apr 05 - 03:54 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 05 - 04:06 PM
Azizi 26 Apr 05 - 04:33 PM
Azizi 26 Apr 05 - 04:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Apr 05 - 09:31 PM
Mary in Kentucky 26 Apr 05 - 10:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Apr 05 - 10:55 PM
Azizi 27 Apr 05 - 12:26 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Apr 05 - 01:06 AM
Jim Dixon 16 Dec 09 - 07:10 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: WALKING ON THE GREEN GRASS
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 05:57 PM

"Walking on the Green Grass" appears in W.W. Newell, Games and Songs of American Children, New York, 1883 (Dover reprint, New York, 1963), p. 228.

Emrich, Duncan American Folk Poetry - An Anthology,"Play-Party, Courting, and Kissing Games and Songs," Little, Brown and Company, 1974 p 32.

WALKING ON THE GREEN GRASS

Walking on the green grass,
Walking side by side,
Walking with a pretty girl,
She shall be my bride.

And now we form a round ring,
The girls are by our sides,
Dancing with the pretty girls
Wo shall be our brides.

And now the king upon the green
Shall choose a girl to be his queen,
Shall lead her out his bride to be,
And kiss her, one, two, three.
Now take her by the hand, this queen,
And swing her 'round and 'round the green.

And now we'll go around the ring,
And every one we'll swing.

Oh, swing the king and swing the queen,
Oh, swing the king and swing the queen,
Oh, swing 'em 'ound and 'round the green,
Oh, swing 'em 'round the green.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: Lyr Add: GREEN GRASS (singing game)
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 07:24 PM

Iona & Peter Opie have 4 1/2 pages of information about this song in their book The Singing Game {Oxford University Press, 1985, pp.116-120.]

The song is given as #17 under the title "Green Grass". Among the information provided is that "Green Grass was in vogue from the 1820s to the 1920s, during which time it seems to have been known in three or four forms according to where it was played."

-snip-

Here is one version of this song that the Opies provide:

"A dis, a dis, a green grass,
A dis, a dis, a dis;
Come all ye pretty fair maids,
And dance along with us.

For we are going a-roving.
A-roving in this land;
We'll take this pretty fair maid,
We'll take her by the hand.

Ye shall get a duke, my dear.
And ye shall get a drake;
And ye shall get a young prince,
A young prince for your sake.

And if this young prince change to die,
Ye shall get another;
The bells will ring, and the birds will sing,
And we'll all clap hands together.

-snip-

The Opies credit that version to Scotland in 1842, and write that these lyrics "were general in the northern part of Britain from,it is believed, about 1825 to the end or the century, the game being a simple one with a number of girls standing in a row 'from which two retire,and approach hand in hand' singing the first couple of verses, then selecting a girl from the group, taking her by the hand, and singing the next two verse."

-snip-

A number of other versions of this song are given including this one from Philadelphia, aboout 1860

"Tred, tred the green grass,
Dust, dust, dust;
Come all ye pretty fair maids
And walk along with us.

If you be a fair maid,
As I suppose you be,
I'll take you by the lily-white hand
And lead you across the sea."

-snip-

Also see this excerpt {p. 119 The Singing Game}:

"Newell thought 'a dis, a dis' might come from the Scots word adist meaning 'on this side' as opposed to ayont, 'on the far side'... Again "a dis, a dis' maybe thought to invoke the name of Dis, from whom, according to the Gauls, the Druids were descended; and to the non-sequitarians the fact that his name should be remembered in the Scottish lowlands where the people have been declared to be of Gallic exraction is considered significant. Again, it cannot be certain that green here is a colour, and not the old Scottish verb grene or green 'to long for' {cf. gren, 'to yearn'}, and that grass or griss does not come from greis or gries, meaning 'gravel' which is not so out-of-the way as might appear when the widespread funeral witch-dance is remembered "Green gravel, green gravel, the grass is so green".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 08:49 PM

At first glance, I thought that Gargoyle had something completely different, but maybe they do look related. Azizi, what your Opie sets reminded me of was the song, A Sailor/Soldier Boy for Me, discussed here. Intriguing.

Looking at Newell, now, I see that his #161 Tread the Green Grass, is the Sailor/Soldier Boy set (by tune, as well). #162 Walking on the Green Grass has a somewhat different tune. I'll abc it after this post. Newell does relate the two through the form of their dance.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Azizi
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 09:03 PM

Desert Dancer, it sure looks like "Green Grass" and "Sailor/Soldier Boy" are kissin cousins..

And may I say that I'm impressed that you and other 'Catters are still here from 2002 and even earlier years...

In 2002 my computer skills were next to nothing, and I couldn't have imagined hanging out in an online discussion forum..

It just goes to show you that the future can rarely be imagined from the present.

Best wishes!


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Subject: Tune Add: WALKING ON THE GREEN GRASS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Apr 05 - 09:32 PM

Here's the tune:

X:1
T:Walking on the Green Grass
C:Trad.
N:From W.W. Newell, Games & Songs of American Children p. 227, #162
Q:1/4=120
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:F
F |Ac f e2 d3 |EG Bd c4 |fc AF BB d2 |cc BG F3 z :|F |FG AB cc c3/2A/ |BG cc FF C3/2C/ |FG AB cc c3/2A/ |B3 G c2 c2 |F8 |A4 F4 |A2 A2 A3 A |c2 A2 G2 F2 |G2 G2 G3 F |A2 G2 F2 F3/2F/ |A2 AA A2 A2 |c2 A2 G2 F2 |
G3 F A2 G2 |F8 |A4 F4 |A2 A2 A3 A |c2 A2 G2 F2 |G2 G2 G3 G |A2 G2 F2 F2 |A2 A2 A3 A |c2 A2 G2 F2 |G3 F A3 G |F8 |]

Azizi, yeah, I've been squandering years of my life here!

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 08:15 PM

Jerry Epstein has recorded a version of "We go walking on the green grass, thus, thus thus".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 08:30 PM

Yes- and that one goes:

We'll go walking on the green grass
Thus, thus, thus;
Come all ye pretty fair maids
And walk along with us.
So pretty and so fair as
You take yourselves to be,
I'll choose you for a partner,
Come walk along with me.

I wouldn't marry a farmer-
He's always selling grain;
I'd rather marry a soldier boy
Who marches in the rain.
A soldier boy, a soldier boy,
A soldier boy for me;
If ever I get married,
A soldier's wife I'll be!

Many more verses, and the tune is lovely!    Jean


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:18 PM

Kytrad, a very interesting marriage of "Walking on the Green Grass" and another old song, collected by Sharp and others called "A Soldier Boy for Me" (and other titles).
"Green Grass" was mentioned by Alice ("from southern U. S."), with a few lines, back in 1998 in thread 4300, Children's Street Songs: Street Songs

I will post "The Railroader (for me)," from Randolph, previously mentioned by Desert Dancer, in thread 53515, which is headed "Soldier Boy for Me."
Soldier Boy for Me


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:45 PM

Well, I am a little behind here, sorry! I see that "Green Grass" and "A Soldier Boy for Me" are often united in the South. The Opies in a footnote (p. 120) to "Green Grass" in "The Singing Game" say the first verse of "Green Grass" is used as an introduction to "Soldier Boy for Me," collected by Sharp in his FSSA.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 11:34 PM

great thread. wish i could read that midi abc stuff. could someone hum the tune?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 01:04 AM

In her 1998 post linked above, Alice recalls children singing "Walking on the Green Grass, Green Grass", The children then added the lines "We're going to get married".

IMO, that song is a combination of "Walkin etc" and a variant form of "Dukes A Riding".

For comparison, see this song that I collected in 1997 from an African American woman's memories of her childhood in the 1950s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:

Directions: The girls are in one group and the boys are in another.
In the 1st part of this song, the girls sing and skip four steps for each phrase toward the boys and the boys sing while walking four steps for each phrase toward the girls. In the 2nd part, after the girls shout "Are you coming?" and the boys shout "No!, the girls try to catch the boy whose name was selected and the boys run away, protecting that boy from being caught by the girls.

[First Part]
Girls:        We're riding here to get married
        Married, Married
        Riding here to get married.
        Ah Rhythm A Diddee
       A Diddee High Oh

Boys:        Who you gonna marry?
        Marry, Marry
        Who you gonna marry?
        Ah Rhythm A Diddee
       A Diddee High Oh

Girls:        We're gonna marry Johnny *
        Johnny, Johnny
        We're gonna marry Johnny
        Johnny, Johnny
        Ah Rhythm A Diddee
       A Diddee High Oh

Boys:        How ya gonna get him?
        Get Him, Get Him
        How ya gonna get him
        Ah Rhythm A Diddee
       A Diddee High Oh

Girls:        We'll break the doors and windows
        Windows, Windows
        We'll break the doors and windows
        Ah Rhythm A Diddee
       A Diddee High Oh

Boys:        You'll get all dirty and greasy
        Greasy, Greasy
        You'll get all dirty and greasy
        Ah Rhythm A Diddee
       A Diddee High Oh

Girls:        We're not as greasy and you are
        You are, You are
        We're not as greasy as you are
        You'll get all dirty and greasy
        Ah Rhythm A Diddee
       A Diddee High Oh

Second Part:
Girls:        Are you coming? {Spoken loudly}

Boys        NO!(Yelled)

{Girls chase the boys, particularly trying to catch the selected boy, but actually trying to catch any boy.

* Use the name of the boy selected to "marry".

-snip-

IMO, this rhyme probably comes from the rhyme "Here Comes A Young Man Courtin" that is included in Thomas W. Talley's "Negro Folk Rhymes" {Port Washington, N.Y, Kennikat Press, 1968, pp. 85-86.; originally published 1922.} And I believe that that rhyme is based on the British game song "Here Comes Three Dukes A'Ridin."

In Talley's version, after the lines "Here Comes A Young Man Courtin", the "brown skin ladies" say "Won't you have one of us, sir?" and the men reply "You is too black and rusty, rusty rusty". The ladies then respond "We hain't no blacker than you sir" etc. Talley's version then demonstrates the color prejudice of those times by havin the "yaller girls all gay" ask the men "Pray, won't you have one of us, sir?" The men respond "You is too ragged an' dirty" etc." The "yaller girls" then say "You shore is got the big head, bighead, bighead bighead, you sure has got the bighead and you needn't come this way." The yaller girls" continue by telling the men "We's good enough for you, sir". The men respond to this by askin for "the fairest one that I can see to come and walk this way". The ending refrain for these verses is "Tidlum Tidelum Day"

I should however note that in their "Singing Game" book the Opies describe an advancing/retreating performance style for at least one version of "Walkin etc." That performance style is similar to that described in the first part of the "We're Riding Here To Get Married". I believe that it was also the performance style of "Three Dukes A Riding" and I'm wondering if "Soldier Boy" is/was performed in the same manner.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 01:36 AM

I remember a recorded version of this song -- I believe it was a Stinson recording of the Mechau Family, who were from Colorado, I think -- that used the first verse of the text that began this thread (thanks, Gargoyle) and continued with a couple of others. One, I recall, went:

    She shall have a young man,
    She shall have a lover.
    And if that young man chance to die,
    She shall have another.

Which is pretty matter of fact, eh? Another was something like:

    We shall go a-roving,
    Roving o'er the land.
    (Something, something) pretty girl,
    Take her by the hand.

Anyone have this text in memory or songbook? I'd like to get it back into my head.
    Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 03:54 PM

Green Grass versions-
Talley, "Negro Folk Rhymes," has another fragment.

No. 287 Taking a Walk

We's a-walkin' in de green grass *dust, dust, dust.
We's a-walkin' in the green grass dust.
If you's jes as sweet as I thinks you to be,
I'll take you by yo' liddle hand to walk wid you.

* See post by Azizi, 24 Apr 05, above. Botkin and Newell say 'dust' is a corruption of the Scots (Old English) adist, meaning 'this way, come hither.'
In a reference I haven't seen, Clarke reported the song from Virginia Negroes in JAFL, 3:288.

Lyr. Add: Walking on the Green Grass

Walkin' on the green grass,
Dusty, dusty, dust.*
Come all ye handsome ladies
An' present to me your hand (paw).
Oh, you're not so very handsome,
But take you if you please.
I'll take you by your lily-white hand,
An' walk the **chalk with me.

Chorus:
**Walk the chalk, the butter an' cheese,
Oh, walk the chalk, the candy.
Walk the chalk, the butter an' cheese,
An' swing those girls so handy.

The road is wide an' you can't step it.
I love you an' you can't he'p it.

The rose's red an' violet's blue.
Sugar's sweet an' so are you.

Oh, the sea is deep and full of salt.
If we don't marry, it'll be your fault.

The road is long an' full of gravel.
By your side I'm bound to travel.

The road is long an' full of crooks.
I hope some day you'll be my cook.

*Dusty-from adist: this way, come hither.
**Walk the chalk- to go or move, especially away, quickly; to depart quickly. J. E. Lighter, "Historical Dictionary of American Slang, vol. 1, p. 376 (this meaning in print by 1840).

With music. Sung by Leondis Brown, Cleveland County, Oklahoma ("It doesn't make any difference which one of these comes first. Whenever I get to singin' 'em at a party, I can think of 'em better."). Also collected in Texas.
B. A. Botkin, 1937, 1963, "The American Play-Party Song," no. 118A, pp. 344-345.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 04:06 PM

Harpgirl, if you can read dots, it's pretty easy to get there from abc, or there's free software out there to do the conversion.) (I use Melody Assistant.) Check out this, among other possible threads on the topic.

Occasionally, we get lucky and Joe or someone notices the abc post and links the MIDI... I haven't figured that part out, yet.

~ Becky N.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 04:33 PM

"Walk the chalk" might be a reference to "walking the chalk line" which I read in a book on Black dance {title?] referred to the practice of enslaved African American dancing or walking in a straight line with a 'glass' of water on their head..The one who didn't spill any or who spilled the least was the 'winner'.

If I remember correctly, "walking the chalk line" was a precusor to the doing the cakewalk.

See this reference to "walk chalk" in the second verse of "Gooseberry Wine'from Talley's "Negro Folk Rhymes":

"Oh walk chalk, Ginger Blue!
Git over double trouble.
You needn' min' de wedder
So d win' don't blow you double."
Talley, "Negro Folk Rhymes", p. 1}

-snip-

"Getting over double trouble" is a floating phrase that can be found in a number of folk rhymes. I interprete this verse as an exhortation from one Black person to another {or to Black people in general} to be extra careful. Regardless of the weather {what ever comes their way}..they must walk a chalk line {walk as carefully as they would walk doing the chalk line dance}.

IMO, "Ginger Blue" is probably a referent for a gingered colored Black person. This referent is similar to or the same as what some Black people still call a "Red bone" i.e. a Black person with reddish hues to his or her skin color.

And, off topic to this thread's title- IMO, the word "Pink" in Talley's "My pretty little Pink" is also a skin color referent
[in this case, a 'high yellow" African American.]

See the rhyme "My Pretty Little Pink":
"My pretty little Pink,
I once did think,
Dat we-uns shh',would marry;
But I's done give up,
Hain't got no hope,
I hain't got no time to tarry.
I'll drink coffe dat flows,
From oaks dats grows.
'Long se rive dar flows with brandy.

{Talley, "Negro Folk Rhymes", p. 127}


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Azizi
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 04:36 PM

correction:
"Long de river dat flows with brandy".

[Those mistakes could be proof of how little I know about Black dialect writing. But actually they are just typos.] LOL!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 09:31 PM

Interesting post, Azizi, because it shows that there are differences in what the same word means to white and to black, and that these differences have not been considered in the references at my disposal.
"Double trouble"- my grandmother (Irish) used to tell me that if I didn't stop mis-behaving, I would be in double trouble. Frequently heard because it rhymes.

"My Pretty Little Pink" appears in Newell, 1883 (see thread 34525 for lyrics). Pretty Little Pink
Azizi, never heard 'pink' applied to high yellow. To whites, 'pink' means red-headed, or reddish-blonde (or reddish-blond) white people. The term was more common in the 19th c, but it persists; in WW2 a sergeant in our group, with reddish hair and red-faced, was called Pink, and Pinky was the nickname we had for red-haired kids in the town where I went to school (no black children).

Not this song, but a 'hit' for the Foy Sisters in the 1870's was "My Little Pink," by S. N. Mitchell (words) and W. H. Delehanty (music), 1873 (American Memory).

Pink also was an English slang term for a pretty woman (17th-18th c.) and a slang term for someone dressed in the height of fashion (18th-19th c) and these usages persisted quite a while. "In the pink" now applies mostly to being in good health rather than in the latest fashions.

Ginger-haired is used among whites for reddish-brown; another frequent use is "she/he is full of ginger," meaning spirited, peppy (often was applied to a spirited, showy horse).
"Ginger Blue," however, seems to have a long history in Negro song, according to Vance Randolph and N. I. White. The latter said "Ginger Blue" apparently was a dangerous character whose history belongs to pre-minstrel obscurity." White, in "American Negro Folk Songs, p. 380-381, quotes a verse from "Tom Walker," in "Negro Singers' Own Book," c. 1846, p. 12:

He first was on de walk,
A nigga singing walk chalk,
Ginger Blue in de street,
He made nigger's gizzard beat.
Walk Tom Walker, etc.

Also quoted from p. 348, "Ginger Blue" verse 1, last two lines:
Walk, chalk, Ginger Blue,
get over double trouble,
And Old Varginny neber tire.

Randolph refers to a lengthy "Ginger Blue" song in "Richard Marsh's Selection, or Singing for the Million" (NY, 1854, part 2, p. 157); White quotes the entire song. If anyone is interested, I will post it.

To whites in the south and west, Ginger Blue is a near-mythical Osage chief. "Ginger Blue" also is a traditional fiddle tune.
See notes on "Ginger Blue" in "The Bluegrass Messengers." Ginger Blue

"Walk the chalk (line)" does have other usages. To make someone walk the chalk means to force him to obey. Frequent in the 19th c. and still used today. Now, most of us use "toe the line." In Lighter, I found a quote of its use by a former slave referring to a severe master: "If dat N--- didn't walk de chalk, he would put him on de block and sell him."

Although Lighter tried to make his "Dictionary of American Slang" comprehensive, it could never be complete. The use of 'pink' for 'high yellow,' and ginger blue, may not yet be recorded in any reference.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 10:27 PM

harpgirl, you can copy and paste the ABC to the concertina.net tune-o-tron converter here and hear the tune. When I tried it, the dots didn't convert - says a mistake in the ABC. It just may be a different ABC standard.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 10:55 PM

Hear an "unknown woman" describe the "Walking on the Green Grass" game as played by children:
Musics of Alabama
Other interesting songs.
CDs may be purchased here: Musics of Alabama
Several shape note recordings, including Black shape note singing.
Note: Short supply on all cds- vol. 2 sold out.

Go through the links here. Gospel song examples that may be downloaded.
Fiddle lovers listen to the Stripling Bros. "Wolves A Howling."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 12:26 AM

Q's very informative post prompted me to do more thinking and searching for the origins, meanings, and usages of terms that I referred to in my admittedly mostly off topic post to this thread.
So this post is going to be largely off-topic too.

Click here Pinky for a 1949 movie about a very light skinned Black girl who passed for White. In this movie the African American woman who 'passes for White' is named "Pinky".

This movie is sometimes confused with the 1959 film Imitation of Life
Within 10 years, the theme of the Misfortunate Mulatto {well actually Quadroon} is still used as a tear jearker but in that Imitation of Life* is given the more convention name of Sarah Jane.

*Get it? The light skinned Black woman who is passing is only imitating life, not really living it...

Skin color nicknames for African Americans may be considered derogatory or may be acceptd as a descriptor with no negative or postitive valuation. For instance, I would suspect that those very light skinned Black males or females who were {are} called Casper, Ghost, or Whitey {Whiteboy}, usually don't like it. Of course, just as 'Tiny' could be used as a nickname for a tall person, it is conceivable that "Casper" has been used as a nickname for some Black person who is very dark skinned.

An article in a current Hip-Hop magazine showcases a very light skinned new rapper by the name of Whiteman. The article mentions that "Whiteman" was this rapper's street name and was given to him as his Hip-Hop tag name by his friend.

I find the information about 'Ginger Blue' that Q provided to be of great interest. I may be wrong about the meaning of "Ginger Blue" as that was only a guess on my part. The entire "Walk chalk" verse that I cited may have been purposedly 'buried' as an aside as a second verse of a song that obstentable would not be thought to have anything to do with encouraging people seen as dangerous themselves [i.e. Black people in general, and Black men in particular], to be extra careful, and to perservere inspite of whatever might befall them..

When I guessed about the referent "Ginger Blue" I was particularly thinking of references to Black people being "so black they are blue' or being considered to be "blue black". I know that I have read about a Black male being called 'Blue' but can't find the reference now..Given the strong stigma against dark skin that Black Americans and other Black people have adopted from Whites, I would imagine that a Black person would usually consider it to be an insult to be called "Blue". However, the nickname "Plum" {given to a very dark skinned Black male or Black female because of their dark skinned color} is usually not considered as a put down.

Another nickname that connotes dark skin is "Smokey", but as in the case of the R&B singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson, that nickname can mean just the opposite.

With regard to the phrase "Red Bone", three famous African Americans who were given that nickname were comedian/actor Red Foxx, religious leader/activist Malcolm X {Detriot Red}, and contemporary Hip-Hop artist, Redman.

Perhaps ironically {and perhaps purposely}, "redbone" is the name of a breed of coonhounds [dogs that were trained to hunt racoons}.
"Coons" was a common informal term for Black people [used by some Blacks and some Whites in the past}. It should be noted that this term would be considered Highly Offensive if used today.
See this quote from this website Redbone breed of dogs

"Years ago most coon hunters who owned a red dog of unknown ancestry, but proven ability in tracking and treeing raccoons, called his dog a "Redbone". Then a few serious breeders who were devoted both to the breed and the sport began a campaign of selective breeding to produce a hound with the necessary characteristics to make a superior coonhound and which would breed true to type in color and conformation."

Also see this quote about the history of the African American dance,The Cakewalk":

"The Chalk Line Walk as it was originally known in 1850 in the Southern plantations and became very popular from 1895-1905 with a resurgence around 1915. It originated in Florida by the African-American slaves who got the basic idea from the Seminole Indians (couples walking solemnly). Many of the special movements of the cake-walk, the bending back of the body, and the dropping of the hands at the wrists, amongst others, were a distinct feature in certain tribes of the African Kaffir dances.

The Breakdown and Walk Around were a Minstrel parody, mixed, which later was to be named the Cakewalk was one of the main sources of the Chalk Line Walk. These "Walkers" as they were called, would walk a straight line and balance buckets of water on their heads. Over time the dance evolved into a exaggerated parody of the white, upper class ballroom dancers who would imitate the mannerisms of the "Big House" (or masters house) with such dignified walking, bowing low, waving canes, doffing hats, in a high kicking grand promenade."

-snip-

For more on this dance see http://www.streetswing.com/histmain/z3cake1.htm

(Sorry, but for some reason, I can't hyperlink to that very informative site}.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Walking on the Green Grass
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 01:06 AM

The link works, but the website loads very slowly. Some of the links within the website are inactive, e. g. "Good Enough!" and "Walking for dat Cake."
Cake walk


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Subject: Lyr Add: GREEN GRASS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 07:10 PM

From A Dictionary of British Folk-Lore, Part 1: The traditional games of England, Scotland, and Ireland by George Laurence Gomme and Alice Bertha Gomme (London: David Nutt, 1894), pages 153-169:


I.

A dis, a dis, a green grass,
A dis, a dis, a dis;
Come all you pretty fair maids
And dance along with us.

For we are going roving,
A roving in this land;
We'll take this pretty fair maid,
We'll take her by the hand.

Ye shall get a duke, my dear,
And ye shall get a drake;
And ye shall get a young prince,
A young prince for your sake.

And if this young prince chance to die,
Ye shall get another;
The bells will ring, and the birds will sing,
And we'll clap hands together.

—Chamber's Popular Rhymes, pp. 137-58.


II.

A-diss, a-diss, a-green grass,
A-diss, a-diss, a-dass;
Come, my pretty fair maid,
And walk along with us.

For you shall have a dik-ma-day,
You shall have a dragon;
You shall have a nice young man
With princes for his thēgan (or sēgan).

—Lanarkshire (W. G. Black).


III.

A dish, a dish, a green grass,
A dish, a dish, a dish,
Come all you pretty maidens
And dance along wi' us.

For we are lads a roving,
A roving through the land,
We'll take this pretty fair maid
By her lily white hand.

Ye sall get a duke, my dear,
An ye sail get a drake,
An ye sall get a bonny prince
For your ain dear sake.

And if they all should die,
Ye sall get anither;
The bells will ring, the birds will sing,
And we'll clap our hands together.

—Biggar (W. Ballantyne).


IV.

Dissy, dissy, green grass,
Dissy, dissy, duss,
Come all ye pretty fair maids
And dance along with us.

You shall have a duck, my dear,
And you shall have a drake,
And you shall have a nice young man
To love you for your sake.

If this young man should chance to die
And leave the girl a widow,
The birds shall sing, the bells shall ring,
Clap all your hands together.

—Yorkshire (Henderson's Folk-lore, Northern Counties, p. 27).


V.

Dossy, dossy green grass,
Dossy, dossy, doss,
Come all ye pretty fair maids
And dance upon the grass.

I will give you pots and pans,
I will give you brass,
I will give you anything
For a pretty lass.

I will give you gold and silver,
I will give you pearl,
I will give you anything
For a pretty girl.

Take one, take one, the fairest you can see.

You shall have a duck, my dear,
You shall have a drake,
You shall have a young man
Apprentice for your sake.

If this young man shall wealthy grow
And give his wife a feather,
The bells shall ring and birds shall sing
And we'll all clap hands together.

—Roxton, St. Neots (Miss Lumley).


VI.

Walking up the green grass,
A dust, a dust, a dust!
We want a pretty maiden
To walk along with us.

We'll take this pretty maiden,
We'll take her by the hand,
She shall go to Derby,
And Derby is the land!

She shall have a duck, my dear,
She shall have a drake,
She shall have a nice young man
A-fighting for her sake!

Suppose this young man was to die,
And leave the poor girl a widow;
The bells would ring and we should sing,
And all clap hands together!

—Berrington (Shropshire Folk-lore, p. 511).


VII.

Tripping up the green grass,
Dusty, dusty, day,
Come all ye pretty fair maids,
Come and with me play.

You shall have a duck, my dear,
And you shall have a swan,
And you shall have a nice young man
A waiting for to come.

Suppose he were to die
And leave his wife a widow,
Come all ye pretty fair maids,
Come clap your hands together!

Will you come?
No!

Naughty man, he won't come out,
He won't come out, he won't come out,
Naughty man, he won't come out,
To help us in our dancing.

Will you come?
Yes!

Now we've got our bonny lad,
Our bonny lad, our bonny lad,
Now we've got our bonny lad,
To help us in our dancing.

—Middlesex (Miss Collyer).


VIII.

Stepping on the green grass
Thus, and thus, and thus;
Please may we have a pretty lass
To come and play with us?
We will give you pots and pans,
We will give you brass,

No!

We will give you anything
For a bonny lass.

No!

We will give you gold and silver,
We will give you pearl,
We will give you anything
For a pretty girl.

Yes!

You shall have a goose for dinner,
You shall have a darling,
You shall have a nice young man
To take you up the garden.

But suppose this young man was to die
And leave this girl a widow?
The bells would ring, the cats would sing,
So we'll all clap together.

—Frodingham and Nottinghamshire (Miss M. Peacock).


IX.

Stepping up the green grass,
Thus, and thus, and thus;
Will you let one of your fair maids
Come and play with us?
We will give you pots and pans,
We will give you brass,
We will give you anything
For a pretty lass.

No!

We won't take your pots and pans,
We won't take your brass,
We won't take your anything
For a pretty lass.

Stepping up the green grass,
Thus, and thus, and thus;
Will you let one of your fair maids
Come and play with us?
We will give you gold and silver,
We will give you pearl,
We will give you anything
For a pretty girl.

Yes!

Come, my dearest [Mary],
Come and play with us,
You shall have a young man
Born for your sake.
And the bells shall ring
And the cats shall sing,
And we'll all clap hands together.

—Addy's Sheffield Glossary.


X.

Up and down the green grass,
This, and that, and thus;
Come all you fair maids
And walk along with us.

Some will give you silver,
Some will give you gold,
Some will give you anything
For a pretty lass.

Don't you think [boy's name]
Is a handsome young man?
Don't you think Miss [child who has been choosing]
Is as handsome as he?

Then off with the glove
And on with the ring;
You shall be married
When you can agree.

Take hold of my little finger,
Maycanameecan,
Pray tell me the name
Of your young man.

—Hurstmonceux, Sussex (Miss Chase).


XI.

Here we come up the green grass,
Green grass, green grass,
Here we come up the green grass,
Dusty, dusty, day.

Fair maid, pretty maid,
Give your hand to me,
I'll show you a blackbird,
A blackbird on the tree.

We'll all go roving,
Roving side by side,
I'll take my fairest ––,
I'll take her for my bride.

Will you come?
No!

Naughty miss, she won't come out,
Won't come out, won't come out,
Naughty miss, she won't come out,
To help us with our dancing.

Will you come?
Yes!

Now we've got our bonny lass,
Bonny lass, bonny lass,
Now we've got our bonny lass,
To help us with our dancing.

—London (A. B. Gomme).


XII.

Here we go up the green grass,
The green grass, the green grass;
Here we go up the green grass,
So early in the morning.

Fair maid, pretty maid,
Give your hand to me,
And you shall see a blackbird,
A blackbird on the tree;
All sorts of colours
Lying by his side,
Take me, dearest [––],
For to be my bride—

Will you come?
No!

Naughty old maid, she won't come out,
She won't come out,
To help us with our dancing—

Will you come?
Yes!

Now we.ve got the bonny lass,
Now we've got the bonny lass,
To help us with our dancing.

—Liphook, Hants (Miss Fowler).


XIII.

Trip trap over the grass,
If you please, will you let one of your [eldest] daughters come,
Come and dance with me?
I will give you pots and pans,
I will give you brass,
I will give you anything
For a pretty lass—

No!

I will give you gold and silver,
I will give you pearl,
I will give you anything
For a pretty girl.

Take one, take one, the fairest you may see.

The fairest one that I can see
Is pretty [Nancy], come to me;

You shall have a duck, my dear,
And you shall have a drake,
And you shall have a young man,
Apprentice for your sake.

If this young man should happen to die,
And leave this poor woman a widow,
The bells shall all ring and the birds shall all sing,
And we'll clap hands together.

—Halliwell's Popular Nursery Rhymes, cccxxxii.


XIV.

Will you take gold and silver, or will you take brass,
Will you take anything for a pretty lass?

No! we'll not take gold and silver, no! we'll not take brass;
We'll not take anything for a pretty lass.

Will you take the keys of school, or will you take brass?
Will you take anything for a pretty lass?

Yes! we'll take the keys of school; yes! we will take brass;
We will take anything for a pretty lass.

Come, my dear [Mary Anne], and give me your right hand,

And you shall have a duck, my dear,
You shall have a drake;
You shall have a nice young man
To fiddle for your sake.

The birds will sing, the bells will ring,
And we'll all clap hands together.

—Congleton Workhouse School (Miss A. E. Tremlow).


(c) The popular version of this game is played by the greater number of the children forming a line on one side with joined hands, and one child (sometimes two or more) facing them, advancing and retiring while singing the verses. When he asks the question, "Will you come?" one girl on the opposite side answers "No!" and afterwards "Yes!" When this is said, she goes to the opposite side, and the two dance round together while singing the next verse. The game begins again by the two singing the verses, and thus getting a third child to join them, when the game proceeds for a fourth, and so on.

The Congleton and London versions are played by two lines of children of about equal numbers. In the Lincolnshire version the above description answers, except that when the last line is sung every one claps hands. In the Sussex version the child at the end of the line is taken over by the child who sings the verses, and they lock their little fingers together while singing the remainder.

Addy (Sheffield Glossary) says:—"Two children advance and retire on one side. When the opposite side says 'Yes!' the two take the first child in the row and dance round with her, singing the remaining verse. This is called 'the wedding.'"

The Lanarkshire version is quite a different one, and contains rather remarkable features. Mr. Black says that the game was played entirely by girls, never by boys, and generally in the months of May or June, about forty years ago. The children sang with rather mincing and refined voices, evidently making an effort in this direction. They walked, with their hands clasped behind their backs, up and down the road. Each child was crowned with rushes, and also had sashes or girdles of rushes.

Mr. Ballantyne says in his boyhood it was played by a row of boys on one side and another of girls opposite. The boys selected a girl when singing the third verse.

In the Roxton version, one child at the end of the line of children acts as "mother." One child advances as "suitor," and says the three first verses. The "mother" replies with the next line. The "suitor" chooses a girl and says the next verse, and then all the children sing the last verse. This is the same action as in Halliwell's version.

(d) The analysis of the game-rhymes is on pp. 164-67. This analysis presents us with a very good example of the changes caused by the game-rhymes being handed down by tradition among people who have forgotten the original meaning of the game. The first line in the Scotch version contains the word "dis," which is not known to the ordinary vocabulary. Another word, of similar import, is "dik-ma-day" in the Lanarkshire version. Two other words occur, namely, "thegan" in the Lanarkshire, and "maycanameecan" in the Sussex versions, which are also not to be found in ordinary vocabularies. The two last words appear only once, and cannot, therefore, be used for the purpose of tracing out an original form of the game-rhyme, because on the system of analysis adopted they may be arbitrary introductions and totally unconnected with the original rhymes. This, however, is not the case with the two first-mentioned words, and I am inclined to consider them as forming part of the earliest version. The word "dis" is carried through no less than ten out of the fourteen variants, the gradation in the forms being as follows:—

dis
dass
dish
diss[y]—duss
dossy
this—thus
—dust
—dust[y]

What the meaning of this word is it may be impossible to ascertain, though probably Mr. Newell may be correct in his suggestion that it represents the old English word "adist," the opposite of "ayont," meaning "this way," "come hither" (Games of American Children, p. 51). But the point really is, that the version which contains the oldest word-forms would probably be the purest in other respects. The analysis of the whole game confirms this view, as the Scottish and Yorkshire versions are nearly parallel, while the discrepancies begin to creep in with the Shropshire version, reaching their last stage in the versions recorded by Halliwell and from Congleton. Following this line of argument, "dik-ma-day" becomes first "duke, my dear," and then "duck, my dear." Turning next to the import of the rhymes, apart from special words used, it is curious to note that "dis" is only converted into "dusty," and hence into "dusty day," in two versions out of the fourteen. The Lincolnshire version agrees with Halliwell's version in making some curious offers for a pretty lass, but these rhymes are probably an innovation. In the same way the incidents numbered 39-40*, occurring in the Sussex version, and 43-46* occurring in the London and Hants versions, are borrowings from other games, and not original portions of this. The Congleton version is evidently incomplete.

(e) Henderson, in describing the curious rites accompanying the saining or blessing of a corpse in the Scottish Lowlands, states that empty dishes are arranged on the hearth as near as possible to the fire, and after certain ceremonies in connection therewith have been performed, the company join hands and dance round the dishes, singing this burden:—

A dis, a dis, a dis,
A green griss;
A dis, a dis, a dis.

Folk-lore of Northern Counties, p. 54.

This rhyme is, it will be seen, the same as the first two lines of the game, the word "griss" in the burial-rhyme becoming "grass" in the game-rhyme, "grisse" being the old form for "grass" or herb (Halliwell, Provincial Glossary, quotes a MS. authority for this). This identification of the game-rhyme would suggest that the game originally was a child's dramatic imitation of an old burial ceremony, and it remains to be seen whether the signification of the words would carry out this idea.

In the first place, the idea of death is a prominent incident in the game, appearing in seven out of the fourteen versions. In all these cases the death is followed by the clapping of hands and bell-ringing, and in five cases by the singing of birds. Clapping of hands occurs in two other cases, and bell-ringing in one other case, not accompanied by the death incident. Now it is singular that the burial-rite which has just been quoted is called Dish-a-loof; and a reference to the game of "Dish-a-loof" [under that title], will show that it derives its name from the clapping of hands. In the ceremony, as described by Henderson, although songs and games are part of the burial-ceremony, there is no specific mention of hand-clapping; but it is conceivable that the action at one time formed part of the ceremony, and hence the name "Dish-a-loof." This would not account for the promise of a duck, drake, &c., as in incidents Nos. 12* and 20*; nor for the promise of a young prince or young man; but these incidents might very well be variants of some earlier forms which are not now discoverable, especially as love-games were played at funerals, and as the tendency, in the less complete forms of the game as they have come down to us, is in the direction of transposing the game into a complete love-game. The use of rushes in the Lanarkshire game might indicate the funeral garland (Aubrey's Remaines, pp. 109, 139). For clapping of hands to indicate bell-tolling or bell-ringing at times of death see Napier's Folklore, p. 66. Henderson (p. 63) says the "passing bell" was supposed in former times to serve two purposes: it called on all good Christians within hearing to pray for the departing spirit, and it scared away the evil spirits who were watching to seize it, or at least to scare and terrify it.

On the whole evidence from the rhymes, therefore, I should be disposed to class this game as originally belonging to burial, and not love, rites.

[* These are references to lines in a table, on pages 164-167, too large and complicated to reproduce here, showing, in parallel columns, a detailed comparison between all the versions of the song.]


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