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Origins: Pay Me My Money Down

DigiTrad:
PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN
PAY ME THE MONEY DOWN


GUEST 04 Jul 06 - 01:55 PM
Peace 04 Jul 06 - 02:15 PM
Clinton Hammond 04 Jul 06 - 02:18 PM
Desert Dancer 04 Jul 06 - 02:35 PM
Peace 04 Jul 06 - 02:38 PM
Peace 04 Jul 06 - 02:41 PM
Desert Dancer 04 Jul 06 - 02:45 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 06 - 02:46 PM
Barry Finn 04 Jul 06 - 02:48 PM
Desert Dancer 04 Jul 06 - 03:14 PM
Severn 04 Jul 06 - 04:54 PM
pdq 04 Jul 06 - 05:25 PM
Clinton Hammond 04 Jul 06 - 05:28 PM
Peace 04 Jul 06 - 05:34 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 06 - 05:39 PM
Blowzabella 04 Jul 06 - 05:39 PM
pdq 04 Jul 06 - 05:48 PM
8_Pints 04 Jul 06 - 08:38 PM
jeffp 04 Jul 06 - 09:53 PM
pdq 04 Jul 06 - 10:30 PM
Genie 05 Jul 06 - 01:34 AM
nager 05 Jul 06 - 01:49 AM
Snuffy 05 Jul 06 - 08:56 AM
Scoville 05 Jul 06 - 12:24 PM
MMario 05 Jul 06 - 12:38 PM
Scoville 05 Jul 06 - 01:09 PM
Barry Finn 05 Jul 06 - 04:56 PM
Greg B 05 Jul 06 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,Guest Betsy 15 Oct 14 - 06:41 AM
dick greenhaus 15 Oct 14 - 02:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Oct 14 - 03:23 PM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 15 - 01:30 AM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 15 - 02:01 AM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 15 - 02:31 AM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 15 - 03:02 AM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 15 - 03:14 AM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 15 - 03:25 AM
Gibb Sahib 24 Apr 15 - 04:54 AM
Lighter 24 Apr 15 - 07:13 AM
Lighter 24 Apr 15 - 07:52 AM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 15 - 06:38 PM
Marc Bernier 24 Apr 15 - 08:35 PM
Gibb Sahib 25 Apr 15 - 05:19 AM
Lighter 25 Apr 15 - 07:52 AM
tritoneman 25 Apr 15 - 06:13 PM
Mrrzy 25 Apr 15 - 07:18 PM
Joe Offer 25 Apr 15 - 08:06 PM
LadyJean 25 Apr 15 - 09:57 PM
Gibb Sahib 26 Apr 15 - 12:25 AM
GUEST 23 Aug 15 - 08:49 AM
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Subject: pay me my money down...who else?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 01:55 PM

i was wondering who else did this song besides springsteen on seeger sessions......and is it on cd.....


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 02:15 PM

Pay Me My Money Down
Composer: Lydia Parrish

Recordings

The Weavers At Carnegie Hall, The Weavers, 1956
Alligator Man, Jimmy C Newman, 1984
With The Greatest Respect, Alex Campbell, 1987
Wasn't That A Time, The Weavers, 1993
Blow, Ye Winds In The Morning, The Revel Players, 1994
Capitol Years, The Kingston Trio, 1995
Gather Round: Songs for Kids and Other Folks, Various Artists (Dan Zanes), 2004


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 02:18 PM

Well, I'd imagine that Pete Seeger might have done it.....

A quick google search reveals that Jerry Garcia covered it....

Have a look yourself, you might be surprised what you find


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 02:35 PM

Eek! Peace! Folklorist Lydia Parrish edited the book Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands (Creative Age Press, 1942) in which a version of the song was published. She didn't compose the song. Alan Lomax collected what's probably the popular version of the song "from the singing of Negro roustabouts" in Savannah, Georgia, 1944, and undoubtedly shared it with Seeger and others. He published the song in Folk Songs of North America (Doubleday, 1960), and says "see Parrish...."

Guest, you can type "pay me my money" into the "Search" box at the top of the screen to see what else has been written about it here at the Mudcat.

I imagine it shows up on some recording of sea songs (though not likely you'll find any in your average record store).

The Ballad Index doesn't cite any recordings (which doesn't mean there aren't any, just that it doesn't show up on any of the recordings that have been indexed there).

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 02:38 PM

SORRY

Was a cut and paste from a website. I will wear sackcloth and ashes for a few days.


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 02:41 PM

www.folkinfo.org/forum/topic.php?topicid=1001

Many posts there including some from Masato and DMcG.


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 02:45 PM

This page has the lyric's from Springsteen's album and some pretty good notes from the album (way down at the bottom of the page). I didn't know Lydia Parrish was Maxfield Parrish's (the artist) wife!

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 02:46 PM

Pay Me (My Money Down)

Silverman, Jerry (ed.) / Folksingers Guitar Guide, Oak, Sof (1961), p64
Sing Out! Reprints, Sing Out, Sof (196?), 1, p13
Folk Singers. Run Come Hear, Elektra EKL-157, LP (1958), cut#A.08
Georgia Sea Island Singers. Georgia Sea Island Songs, New World NW 278, LP (1977/?), cut#B.07
Georgia Sea Island Singers. Southern Journey. Vol. 13: Earliest Times, Rounder 1713, CD (1998/field), cut# 8
Negro Roustabouts. Lomax, Alan / Folksongs of North America, Doubleday Dolphin, Sof (1960/1975), p530/#279
Weavers. Weavers' Song Book / Arranged by Robert De Cormier, Harper & Row, Sof (1960), p 25
Weavers. Weavers at Carnegie Hall, Vanguard VRS 9010, LP (196?/?), cut#A.03


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 02:48 PM

DD is right, Lydia Parrish was not the composer but she did collect it as did Allen Lomax. The stand out recording IMHO is from Lomax's Southern Journey collection, volume #13 "Earliest Times- Georgia Sea Islands Songs for Everyday Living" with Joe Armstrong leading the group. Kim & Reggie Harris also do a great job on this though I don't know if they have recorded it.

Barry


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 03:14 PM

Peace, one day's probably enough. ;-) Could get messy.

Hank Cramer of Seattle area does a good rendition and I see it's on his "The Shantyman" (see Discography here).

Here's the Rounder Records info on the Southern Journey cd. Guest, please consider checking this one out to go to the real source!! A nice review of the album from the Old Time Herald is here.


~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Severn
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 04:54 PM

The post-Bessie Jones, probably still current version of the Georgia Sea Island Singers w/ Frankie & Doug Quimby recorded it on "I'm On My Way", a privately issued cassette sold at gigs with no label name or number but the following contact information.

Frankie Quimby
2428 Cleburne Street
Brunswick, Georgia 31520
912-265-9545

I have no idea whether this one ever got to CD, so it might prove an interesting and fruitful Google search to see if this and any other material the Quimbys currently have are still in print and in what form.

They did a great live version of it on one of the old "Folkmasters At Wolftrap" syndicated radio programs hosted by Nick Spitzer, for those who were privaleged enough to hear it. The Gandy Dancers were also featured on that show talking and singing about the work of lining track and the like, and there was a lot of background given to largely ignored Black traditions from the past. Some of the material from the Folkmasters programs have trickled out onto the Smithsonian Folkways label, so maybe the Sea Island Singers segment might show up some day on CD.


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: pdq
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 05:25 PM

"A quick google search reveals that Jerry Garcia covered it...."

Can anyone confirm this Jerry Garcia sighting? Maybe the name of the CD?


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Subject: ADD Version: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 05:28 PM

Wazza matter pdq? Not too good at Google?

411 here

,-)


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 05:34 PM

A site I was at said he'd played it in 1962 with an nuknown (or unnamed) bluegrass group.


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 05:39 PM

Must have been the site Clinton linked to. However, it has some wrong info as Desert Dancer mentioned.


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 05:39 PM

I've heard many shanty groups sing it, but can't recall it being on any CDs I've got in my (somewhat) extensive collection of maritime music....interesting


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: pdq
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 05:48 PM

Thanx guyz. I tried Google and got nuttin'. As a serious Jerry Garcia fan, I pay attention to everything he did but especially the folk and Old Timey roots material. The 'unknown bluegrass group in 1962" is a bit obscure.

By the way, I bought this Springsteen effort along with the Emmylou Harris/ Mark Knofler CD the day they came out (last month). Both are OK at best. Recording quality (=fidelity) on both is unworthy of any name artist.


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: 8_Pints
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 08:38 PM

The Shellbacks in the UK have it in their repertoire, but I don't think it has been recorded on CD by them as yet.

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: jeffp
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 09:53 PM

The Pyrates Royale (http://www.pyrates.com/) recorded it on "Lyve Behind Bars." They are the "house band" at the White Hart Tavern at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

Jeff


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: pdq
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 10:30 PM

Does anyone else see a similarity between this tune and "Pistol Packin' Mama"?

The latter was a hit by country guitar wiz Al Dexter in 1942, way before the 1956 date of the Weavers "Pay Me Money Down".


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Genie
Date: 05 Jul 06 - 01:34 AM

I see (hear) a great deal of similarity between Pay Me My Money Down and Hey Li-lee Li-lee.   Very similar structure and tunes.

Not that that's unusual in songs of this genre. :D


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: nager
Date: 05 Jul 06 - 01:49 AM

Umpteen skiffle groups played it and the Vipers of the UK recorded it on an Ep in the 50s along with other songs.


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Snuffy
Date: 05 Jul 06 - 08:56 AM

It's also been recorded by UK shanty group Kimber's Men on their album See You When The Sun Goes Down. I'll have a look at what their sleeve notes say about the song.


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Scoville
Date: 05 Jul 06 - 12:24 PM

This is OT, but what is the tune to "Pay Me" (what was it originally? Or is that the original?). I know I know it as something else but the nearest I can find is "Tennessee Flat-Top Box" and I know that's not the original set of words.


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: MMario
Date: 05 Jul 06 - 12:38 PM

I find it very reminiscent of "A tisket-a tasket" - the nursery rhyme; but that could just be me.


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Scoville
Date: 05 Jul 06 - 01:09 PM

Hee hee--it does remind you of that, doesn't it? Big improvement, though.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN (from Lydia Parrish)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Jul 06 - 04:56 PM

Lydia Parrish published her collection in 1942 after many years of research & collecting. Here is the version she collected. Close to what's in the DT. Note that the chorus repetes. Parrish does not note where the pulls would come in but I would suspect it's a double haul or double pull shanty, each pull coming in on the word PAY, which would probably make it something similar to a quick double haul tops'l or t'gallant shanty, only used for loading logs.


    PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN

cho: Pay me, Oh pay me,
                Pay me my money down,
Oh Pay me or go to jail !
                Pay me my money down
Pay me, Oh pay me,
                Pay me my money down,
Oh Pay me or go to jail !
                Pay me my money down.


Think I heard my captain say,
                Pay me my money down,
T'morrow is my sailing day."
                Pay me my money down.

Wish't I was Mr. Coffin's son
                Pay me my money down
Sit in the house and drink good rum.
                Pay me my money down

You oweme, pay
                Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail
                Pay me my money down

Wish't I was Mr. Foster's son,
                Pay me my money down
I'd set on the bank an' see the work done.
                Pay me my money down

Lida Parrish says about the last verse
"Mr Foster was the "Big Boss" at the Hilton-Dodge Mill on the west side of St. Simon's & the stevedores tell me they always sang this verse when they saw him coming."

The Hilto-Doge Mill was started in 1868 & supplied much of the lumber used in the building of the Brooklin Bridge in 1878. The Mill industry's hayday on St Simon's span the years from 1874 (when the H-D Mill was finally in full production) until the industry's demise around 1910.
This song seems that, providing my sources are at all close, that the similar sounding songs may have originated elsewhere of from this one. The English deep water shanty "Pay Me The Money Down" Hugill believes to be somewhat related to this log loading shanty. Hugill states that "Miss L.A. Smith, who gives the words & music of one verse in her 'Music Of The Waters' (1888) writes that it was used at the pumps but my West Indian friend (probably Harding) said that it was used on shipboard as a halyard song". Hugill also syas that Miss Smith says that tune (Pay Me The Money Down) is a variant of "Paddle Your Own Canoe" But the 2 shanties don't share to much tune wise only in the words to the chorus.

Pay Me The Money Down

Your money young man is no object to me
                Pay me the money down
Oh money down, oh money down
                Pay me the money down.

Barry


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Subject: RE: pay me my money down...who else?
From: Greg B
Date: 05 Jul 06 - 05:19 PM

Let's not forget the Baroullie Whalers. They actually did
work to it. Blew us away at Mystic some years back.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: GUEST,Guest Betsy
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 06:41 AM

Sorry to be a bit twee - but the tune seems to be the same a song I heard as a kid in the 50's Cindy Oh Cindy - Cindy don't let me down .....
Higly likely (I suppose) that Lydia Parrish version is theoriginal - but it was just a thought


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 02:38 PM

Guest Betsy-

Cindy was a conscious rewrite of Pay Me,


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Oct 14 - 03:23 PM

One small correction to the words posted by Barry Finn, 05 July 06;

Wish't I was Mr. Coffin's son
Pay me.......
Stay in the house an' drink good rum.
Stay, not Sit...

Lydia Parrish, 1942 (1992) Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands, pp. 208-209, with musical score.

Lydia Parrish saw a cabin moved on rollers, to the tune of "Pay Me My Money Down."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 01:30 AM

There certainly isn't much on this song in the Traditional Ballad Index:

    Pay Me My Money Down

    DESCRIPTION: "Pay me, O pay me, Pay me my money down... Pay me or go to jail. Pay me, mister stevedore.... You pay me, you owe me...." Almost anything may be included, but all on the theme that the boss has hired the worker and should pay him for his labor
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1944
    KEYWORDS: work money nonballad
    FOUND IN: US(SE)
    REFERENCES (4 citations):
    Lomax-FSNA 279, "Pay Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Hugill, pp. 501-503, "Pay Me My Money Down" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbEd, pp. 370-371]
    Silber-FSWB, p. 83, "Pay Me My Money Down" (1 text)
    DT, PAYMONEY* PAYMONY2

    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf."Tie-Tamping Chant" (floating lyrics)
    cf. "Darlin' (I)" (floating lyrics)
    File: LoF279

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Song List

    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


The second Digital Tradition version is the one I've heard most often. These are almost exactly the words used by the Weavers. Sing Out! Reprints (1959) says “words & music by Lydia Parrish (wife of artist Maxfield Parrish). TRO Copyright 1942 (renewed) Hollis Music Co., NY). From Lydia Parrish, Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands (1942; University of Georgia Press, 1992, pp. 208-210; with music). But as you can see in Barry Finn's post above, the version that came through Lydia Parrish is a bit different.
This version is also the one posted on various Grateful Dead Websites. Jerry Garcia sang these lyrics in 1962, playing banjo with an unnamed bluegrass band.

PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN (from Digital Tradition)

cho: Pay me, Oh pay me,
Pay me my money down,
Pay me or go to jail !
Pay me my money down.

I thought I heard the captain say,
Pay me my money down,
"Tomorrow is our sailing day."
Pay me my money aown.

The very next day we cleared the bar,
He knocked me down with the end of a spar,

I wish I was Mr. Howard's son,
Sit in the house and drink good rum.

I wish I was Mr. Steven's son,
Sit on the bank and watch the work done.

@sailor
filename[ PAYMONY2
RG

So, we've established that the second Digital Tradition version is that one published in Sing Out! Magazine in 1959. This exact version is also in Folksinger's Wordbook (Silber & Silber, 1973)

The first Digital Tradition version puzzles me. I haven't found a source for it. Here are the lyrics we have:

PAY ME THE MONEY DOWN (from Digital Tradition)

Pay me, O pay me the money down
Pay me the money down;
Pay me, O pay me the money down
Pay me the money down;

I went for a cruise, boys, around the town
And there met a young gal called Sally Brown

I put me arm around her waist,
She says, "Young man, you're in great haste."

That fancy girl, she says to me
"I don't give my love for free."

"Oh the price of my love is half a crown
Pay me, O pay me the money down."

That girl she says to me one day,
"You've had your fun so don't delay."

"Oh money, young man, is the object of me
And you won't get my love for free."

She said, "Me son, you'll rue the day
The girls have worn your pride away."

@sailor
filename[ PAYMONEY
TUNE FILE: PAYMONEY
CLICK TO PLAY
RG

Can anybody identify the source?


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Subject: ADD Saipan (Linda Allen)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 02:01 AM

State of Washington songwriter Linda Allen has a song based on "Pay Me My Money Down." It's on her album Where I Stand

SAIPAN
(Linda Allen)

CHORUS
You pay me, you owe me, Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail, Pay me my money down

From China and the Philippines
Pay me my money down
We came here with hopes and dreams
Pay me my money down

You took us to your factories, Pay me my money down
Tried to bring us to our knees, Pay me my money down CHORUS

The barracks are not fit for pigs, Pay me my money down
But you should see the boss's digs, Pay me my money down

We miss our kids, for them we stay, Pay me my money down
We work to send home all our pay, Pay me my money down CHORUS

You work us sixteen hour days, Pay me my money down
But eight hour's work is all you pay, Pay me my money down

The quota keeps on rising higher, Pay me my money down
We speed up, or we get fired, Pay me my money down CHORUS

The night shift's locked behind these walls, Pay me my money down
A fire would surely kill us all, Pay me my money down

Before inspections, OSHA calls, Pay me my money down
Tells the bosses, sweep the halls, Pay me my money down CHORUS

You say you'll move the factory, Pay me my money down
Where workers work for less than me, Pay me my money down

On US land we sweat and slave, Pay me my money down
So Penneys, Gap and Sears can save, Pay me my money down CHORUS

For three months we have cut and sewed, Pay me my money down
You must pay us what you owe, Pay me my money down

Home of the brave, Land of the Free, Pay me my money down
But not for workers such as me, Pay me my money down CHORUS


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Subject: ADD Version: Pay Me My Money Down (Revels)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 02:31 AM

This is another song I'm working on the the Rise Again Songbook. We started with the lyrics of the second DT version, but we're looking for something a bit more interesting.

Here's my transcription from The Revels Blow Ye Winds in the Morning album.

PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN

Pay me, pay me
Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail
Pay me my money down

You pay me, you owe me
Pay me my money down
Pay me, Mr. Stevedore
Pay me my money down

If I had-a known the boss was blind...
I wouldn't'a went to work until a half past nine...

I thought I heard the Captain say...
That tomorrow will be your salary day...

If I was Mr. Alfred Jones' son...
I'd stay in the house and drink good rum...

I heard them talkin' in the deck below...
If you don't pay me, this ship won't go...





Another verse I found at http://www.chivalry.com/cantaria/lyrics/pay-me.html

I need my pay to go to shore;
Pay me my money down
I'll drink my whiskey and get a whore.
Pay me my money down


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Subject: ADD Version: Pay Me the Money Down (Hugill)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 03:02 AM

Stan Hugill has this version in Shanties from the Seven Seas (1994 edition, page 370). Most of this is in the first Digital Tradition version, but Hugill has many more verses and a different chorus:


PAY ME THE MONEY DOWN

Your money young man is no object to me
Pay me the money down;
Oh, money down, oh, money down
Pay me the money down

I went for a cruise, boys, around the town...
I there met a gal called Sally Brown...

I put me arm around her waist,
Sez she, "Young man, yer in great haste."

"My price for love is half a crown,
An' money down, 'tis real money down."

Oh, the Yankee dollar some gits for their pay,
Will buy us rum, boys, for many a day.

A dollar a day is a white man's pay,
Stowin' cotton all the day.

Oh, if I had silver dollars galore,
I'd pack me bags and stay on shore.

I wisht I had ten thousand pound,
I'd sail this ol' world, around an' around.

I wisht I wuz Ol' Stormy's son,
I'd build a ship o' a thousan' ton.

We'd stay at the ports where we wuz in,
Drinkin' beer an' whisky an' gin.

When the ship it ties up an' the voyage is through,
I wants me pay, sir, every sou.

Hugill's source is "Harry Lauder."




Hugill also provides some verses from Harding:

The bumboatman he said to me,
'Bottles o' rum I don't give free.'

My fancy gal she said to me,
'I don't give me favours free.'

The Madam said to me one day,
'You've had yer fun so don't delay.'

The tailorman he said to me,
'Ye'll pay me 'fore ye leave for sea.'

The judge he said, 'Look 'ere you mug,
Ye'll pay yer fine or ye'll go to jug!'


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Subject: ADD Version: Pay Me My Money Down (Lomax)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 03:14 AM

Alan Lomax collected the song "from the singing of Negro roustabouts" in Savannah in 1944. Here's what he has for #279 on page 530 of The Folk Songs of North America:

PAY ME

1. Pay me or go to jail
Pay me my money down
Pay me or go to jail
Pay me my money down

CHORUS
Pay me, o pay me
Pay me my money down
Pay me, o pay me
Pay me my money down

2. Pay me, Mr. Stevedore
Pay me my money down
Pay me, Mr. Stevedore
Pay me my money down

3. This is not the end of the song;
the remaining stanzas will
be left to the reader's devising.



And there you have it.


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Subject: ADD Version: Pay Me My Money Down (Jos. Armstrong)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 03:25 AM

Alan Lomax recorded the song as sung by Joe Armstrong and a group of others. Here's my transcription:

PAY ME

O pay me,
Pay me my money down
Pay me, or go to jail
Pay me my money down

Think I heard my captain say,
Pay me my money down;
Tomorrow is my sailing day,
Pay me my money down.

O pay me, you pay me,
Pay me my money down
Pay me, or go to jail
Pay me my money down


Wisht I was Mr. Alfred Jones' son,
Pay me my money down;
I'd stay in the house and I'd drink good rum,
Pay me my money down.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 04:54 AM

From the program notes of a performance I directed, April 2014:

"Pay Me My Money Down"...was part of the repertoire of stevedores of the Georgia Sea Islands. The men used it for loading heavy lumber onto schooners. ...the work was done—with a grunt—after the completion of the refrains. In an 1858 issue of The Atlantic Monthly the song was described for pumping out ship, and seamen from St. Lucia and Barbados recalled some form of the chanty in the early 20th century. But it was the stevedore style that reached the recently passed Folk Revival pioneer, Pete Seeger. Seeger's group The Weavers in 1957, thereafter The Kingston Trio and other "folkies," and more recently Bruce Springsteen, have all recorded the song. However, these modern versions have inadvertently projected a syncopation onto the song—a 20th century pop sensibility—that does not fit the timing of this as a work-song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 07:13 AM

Hi, Gibb.

You've probably heard post-revival versions that include hand-clapping, grunts, or both. Frenetic zydeco (I think) arrangements too.

As for the lyrics, I've also heard, "Pay me or go to hell."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 07:52 AM

And the basic tune is related to "Polly-Wolly-Doodle," though the latter did not appear till 1880.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 06:38 PM

Anybody have lyrics earlier than the 1940s, when Lomax and Parrish collected the song in Georgia?

I wonder about the "Pay me, Mr. Stevedore" line - I thought stevedores were on the bottom rung of the ladder, and wouldn't be in a position to pay anybody. Or is it merchants and whores demanding payment from stevedores who haven't been paid themselves?

And the Revels line about "tomorrow will be your salary day" - since when do dockworkers get salaries?

But maybe I've had this wrong. I thought this was a song about dockworkers demanding their pay. Maybe it's a song about dockworkers having to pay their creditors.


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 24 Apr 15 - 08:35 PM

Hello folks. It's been a long time since I'v visited the 'cat, but just to add my 2 cents. Pete Seeger once asked me if I thought that this song might be a Caribbean version of Blow the Man Down. Something to think about...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Apr 15 - 05:19 AM

Joe,

http://mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=2889489
http://mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=2889489

    THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY for July 1858 contains an article on "Songs of the Sea."

    Here are some passages about work-songs.

    The classic sheet shanty.

    Then there are pumping-songs. "The dismal sound of the pumps is heard," says Mr. Webster's Plymouth-Rock Oration ; but being a part of the daily morning duty of a well-disciplined merchant vessel,—just a few minutes' spell to keep the vessel free and cargo unharmed by bilge-water,—it is not a dismal sound at all, but rather a lively one. It was a favorite amusement with us passengers on board the --- to go forward about
    pumping-time to the break of the deck and listen. Any quick tune to which you might work a fire-engine will serve for the music, and the words were varied with every fancy.
    "Pay me the money down," was one favorite chorus, and the verse ran thus:—

    Solo. " Your money, young man, is no object to me.
    Chorus. Pay me the money down!
    Sola. Half a crown's no great amount.
    Chorus. Pay me the money down!
    Solo and Chorus. (Bis.) Money down, money down, pay me the money down! "

    Not much sense in all this, but it served to man and move the brakes merrily.


    So PAY ME THE MONEY DOWN is used for pumping (brake style), along with (implied) ACROSS THE WESTERN OCEAN and STORMALONG. Is the last one HIGHLAND LADDIE? Or is it perhaps something related to Hugill's "Hilonday"?
Excerpt from Gibb's other post added here. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Apr 15 - 07:52 AM

Being knocked down with the end of a spar and the end-positioned "down" are hardly enough to make this a "version" or even a close relative of even one form of "Blow the Man Down."

We don't even know how often the "spar" verse appeared in real-life performances of this song.

Much of what we wish we knew about the details of individual chanteys is unknowable. Sufficient information just doesn't exist.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: tritoneman
Date: 25 Apr 15 - 06:13 PM

The first version I ever heard of this song was by Rory and Alex McEwen on their 'Folk Song Jubilee' album recorded in about 1958.
Graham


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Apr 15 - 07:18 PM

This song always reminds me of Hand Me Down My Walking Cane.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Apr 15 - 08:06 PM

Thanks for that early citation, Gibb. I saw the reference to "Your money, young man, is no object to me," in Hugill (above), but didn't pay much attention to it because it didn't fit with everything else. Turns out, it came from a very early form of the song.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: LadyJean
Date: 25 Apr 15 - 09:57 PM

Bruce Springsteen updated the verse to:

I wish that I was Mr. Gates
Had all my money stuffed in crates.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Apr 15 - 12:25 AM

Joe,

L.A. Smith plagiarized the Atlantic Monthly article in her 1880s work, _The Music of the Waters_, which just about everybody who wrote about chanties over the next few decades read—and most read as some kind of gospel. Well, until R.R. Terry dismissed the work of his Tyneside compatriot, and his own work became a kind of gospel for performers/writers approaching the subject from the "outside." Hugill, of course, drew heavily on L.A. Smith, so the info has kind of been "laundered" in a way!

I don't remember, off hand, if Hugill researched the 1858 Atlantic Monthly article… I don't think so. And I don't remember exactly, but I suspect that L.A. Smith changed the lyrics somewhat while still plagiarizing the Atlantic Monthly. So what you may find is 1) 1858 Atlantic text 2) L.A. Smith's modification of that text 3) Hugill's presentation of what he claims to have heard from Caribbean shipmates, but could well have memory gaps filled in by what he read in Smith. For the purpose of historical study, I think one must be wary of treating these 3 published texts as "different versions", of treating them as evidence of the song's [wide] spread, or of trying to synthesize a composite meaning from them.

The 1950s audio recording by Lomax of the inheritors to the original Georgia Sea Island Singers, in conjunction with the print representation of what Parrish heard on St. Simon's a couple decades earlier (in her book), provides (in my opinion) the best way currently available to get at what the song was like before becoming folklorized.

The 1858 description is interesting because it assigns the the singing to the brake-operated bilge pump. As far as I know, that type of pump had started to lose favor/ground to the rotating wheel style "Downton" pump in the 1840s. As such, it is possible to suspect "Pay Me" was of classic (1840s or earlier) vintage, and akin to the body of songs that I believe was shared between "pumping" in other contexts (e.g. the pumping of a fire engine). That is, if the rhythm were not entirely different. (Note the huge difference in tune used by Hugill, which is NOT the Georgia > folklorized tune.) And if they were the same tune, we would have to assume that the stevedores' way of working to a tune was different than the sailors' way of working to the pumps—at least it was in the early 20th century, when the Georgia Sea Island men used the "exertion at the end of the chorus" method.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pay Me My Money Down
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 15 - 08:49 AM

Hi my name is joe and i have not known this song but i remember this tune as a song that sam cooke did in 1958 called 'win your love for me' but i think was a b side but i don't know that. i know this tune as 'cindy o cindy' more than i know 'pay me' and 'win your love for me'.


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