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Lyr Req: What Shall We Do with the Baby-O

DigiTrad:
WHAT'LL WE DO WITH THE BABY-O?


Related thread:
(origins) lyr/Origins: Big Sciota (37)


Jacob B 18 Jan 07 - 02:19 PM
oldhippie 18 Jan 07 - 03:43 PM
Stewie 18 Jan 07 - 05:40 PM
Peace 18 Jan 07 - 06:45 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 18 Jan 07 - 07:24 PM
Richie 18 Jan 07 - 07:54 PM
Richie 18 Jan 07 - 08:36 PM
Richie 18 Jan 07 - 09:08 PM
Richie 18 Jan 07 - 09:24 PM
Richie 18 Jan 07 - 09:45 PM
Charley Noble 19 Jan 07 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Colleen Rae 11 Jun 10 - 02:59 PM
GUEST 06 Mar 11 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Sandy A. 03 Jun 12 - 11:39 PM
meself 04 Jun 12 - 09:30 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: What Shall We Do With The Baby O
From: Jacob B
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 02:19 PM

The other week I was planning to lead What Shall We Do With The Baby O as a singalong at the break during a family dance. I checked Mudcat, trying to find some additional verses to sing, and was amazed to find no entry for it in the Digital Tradition. There were plenty of references to it in various threads, all of them assuming that it was a song that everybody knew, but no lyrics.

So here are the verses I know.

(Chorus)
What shall we do with the baby-o
What shall we do with the baby-o
What shall we do with the baby-o
He won't go to sleepy-o

Dance him North and dance him South
Put a little moonshine in his mouth

Dress him up in calico
Send him off to his daddy-o

Every time the baby cries
Poke a finger in the baby's eye
That's what we'll do with the baby-o
That's what we'll do with the baby-o!


What other verses do you know?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What Shall We Do With The Baby O
From: oldhippie
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 03:43 PM

The first recording I heard of this tune was actually a parody - same title, sung by Oscar Brand on his Sports Car Songs for Big Wheels LP. Unfortunately, I don't have his lyrics handy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What Shall We Do With The Baby O
From: Stewie
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 05:40 PM

There is a version in the DT as sung by Jean Ritchie: CLICK.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What Shall We Do With The Baby O
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 06:45 PM

What'll I Do With the/this Baby-O [Sh 228/Me II-A30]

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:R30ZeAv1vtoJ:www.ibiblio.org/folkindex/w07.htm+What+Shall+We+Do+With+The+Baby+O&hl=en&gl=ca&


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What Shall We Do With The Baby O
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 07:24 PM

Jacob- The "Baby-O" tune, as it's often called, is a traditional tune with some trad and many borrowed verses. In our Kentucky mountain community, the fiddle often played the tune for running sets (now usually known as 'square dancing'). Whole families went to these weekend parties at each other's houses- from grandmas down to babies-in-arms. Babies as they fell asleep would be put on a big bed in a back room, and the womenfolk took time-about watching them. To amuse them the minder would bounce the bedsprings up and down with her hands, in time to the fiddle tune in the next room, and sing the verses she knew to the old tune. Many new verses got made up that way. My mother made up the one about, "give Old Blue your chickenbone" (at dinner, sometimes the baby would be playing underneath the table, and his Mom would hand him a drumstick bone to chew on to keep him-or her- quiet). I made up the verse "Dance him north, dance him south, Pour a little moonshine in his mouth," one time while I was taking my turn being a minder at a dance. Other verses I sing,in our family version, are mine, and I also added the line to the chorus, "He/she won't go to sleepy-O." This explains the copyright notice- it's only for the Ritchie Family version, the one I do on my recordings.

Another of my own verses is the one,
Pull her toes, tickle her chin (3 times)
Roll her up in the county-pin!

"County-pin" is the Kentucky pronounciation of, "Counterpane," which means a bedspread.    End of lesson,    Jean Ritchie


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: WHATCHA GONNA DO WITH THE BABY?
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 07:54 PM

Does anyone have Garyson and Whittier (or Whitter) lyrics?
Here's some info with lyrics from Andrew Kuntz:

WHATCHA GONNA DO WITH THE BABY? Old-Time, Breakdown/song. USA; Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina. G Major. Standard. AB. The tune was even set as a New England style country dance by New York state fiddler Claudio Buchwald (1975). Source for notated version: Grayson and Whitter (Kentucky) [Kuntz].
***
The baby laughs, the baby cries,
Stuck my finger in the baby's eyes.
*** Refrain
Whatcha gonna do with the baby?
Whatcha gonna do with the baby?
***
Wrap it up in calico,
Send it back to Georg-i-o.
***
Wrap it up in a tablecloth,
Toss it up in a stable loft.
***
I love that pretty little thing,
Baby is a dandy;
I love that pretty little baby,
God bless its mammy.
***
Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986 (country dance version). Kuntz (Ragged but Right), 1987; pg. 345-246. County 513, "The Recordings of Grayson and Whitter." County 778, Tommy Jarrell- "Pickin' on Tommy's Porch" (1984. Learned from the playing of his father, fiddler Ben Jarrell, and uncle, Charlie Barnett Lowe). Rounder CD0383, Mike Seegar and Paul Brown - "Down in North Carolina." Voyager 328, "Kenny Hall and the Long Haul String Band."
T:Whatcha Gonna Do with the Baby?
L:1/8
M:2/4
B:Kuntz - Ragged but Right
K:G
[DA] [DB][DA]|[DB][Dd] [Dd][DA][DB][DA]|[DB] [D2d2] [D^A]|
[DB][Dd] [D>d>][DB]|A G2 [D^A]|[DB] d d>d|e d2 (g|g)/g/e/d/ B>G|
[DA] G2 [D^A]||
[D/B/][D/d/][D/B/][D/A/] GA|[G/A/][G/B/][G/B/][G/A/] [GB][DA]|
[D/B/][D/d/][D/B/][D/A/] GA|[G/A/][G/B/][G/B/][G/A/] [G2B2]|
[Dd][D/B/][D/A/] G>A|[DB] G2||
YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS. Old-T


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHAT'RE YOU GONNA DO WITH THE BABY-O?
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 08:36 PM

Hi Jean,

Thanks for your post!

Here's Tommy Jarrell's version entitled, "What're You Gonna Do With the Baby-O" It's interesting that Tommy never sings "baby-o" yet it's in the title of the song.

WHAT'RE YOU GONNA DO WITH THE BABY-O?
The Legacy Of Tommy Jarrell, Volume 4: Pickin' On Tommy's Porch
County Records / Rebel Release Date: August 31, 1999

(Fiddle)

Baby this and baby that,
The baby killed my old tom cat.
What're you gonna do with the baby?
What're you gonna do with the baby?

(Fiddle)

Wrap him up with a tablecloth
And put him up in the stable loft.
What're you gonna do with the baby?
What're you gonna do with the baby?

(Fiddle)

Wrap him up in calico
Smack his bottom and let him go.
What're you gonna do with the baby?
What're you gonna do with the baby?

(Fiddle)


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHAT'LL I DO WITH THE BABY-O
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 09:08 PM

The Jones Family lyrics are similar to the Kristin Hersh lyrics:

What'll I Do With the Baby-O
Tradtional lyrics arranged Jones Family on From Earth to Heaven.


What'll I do with the baby-o? What'll I do with the baby-o?
What'll I do with the baby-o? She won't go to sleepy-o.
Wrap her up in calico, Wrap her up in calico,
Wrap her up in calico, throw her out the window.
What'll I do with the baby-o? What'll I do with the baby?

What'll I do with the baby-o? She won't go to sleepy-o.
Wrap her up in a tablecloth, toss her up in the stable-loft.

What'll I do with the baby-o? She won't go to sleepy-o.
Dance her north, dance her south, pour a little moonshine in her mouth.

What'll I do with the baby-o? She won't go to sleepy-o.
Every time the baby cries, poke my finger in the baby's eyes.
That's what I'll do with the baby-o. That's what I'll do with the baby!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What Shall We Do With The Baby O
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 09:24 PM

There are 6 versions you can listen to (including one by Jean Ritchie) at the Digital Library of Appalachia (number 8-13):

http://www.aca-dla.org/cdm4/results.php?CISOOP1=any&CISOFIELD1=CISOSEARCHALL&CISOROOT=/Berea&CISOBOX1=Do


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHAT'LL WE DO WITH THE BABY-O
From: Richie
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 09:45 PM

This is may be the earliest collected version of "What'll We Do With the Baby?" from Cecil Sharp. The "What'll We Do With the Baby?" songs are part of the song family that includes "Prettiest Gal in the County-O" and "Sugar in my Coffee-O." All three songs originate indirectly from "Dandy Jim From Caroline" and similar parodies from the 1800's.


What'll We Do With the Baby?
Sharp's EFSSA No 228
Mrs. Alice Wilson Pineville, Ky. 1917

What'll we do with the baby?
What'll we do with the baby?
What'll we do with the baby-o?
We'll wrap it up in calico,
Wrap it up in calico,
And send it to it's pappy-o.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What Shall We Do With The Baby O
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Jan 07 - 10:56 AM

Jean-

I always wondered what a ""County-pin" was.

I guess it didn't have anything to do with the county jail...

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What Shall We Do with the Baby-O
From: GUEST,Colleen Rae
Date: 11 Jun 10 - 02:59 PM

I first learned Baby-O from a singer called Hedy West, who played it on her dulcimer. She sang...
What's cha' gonna do with the baby-o, etc.
Many of the verses above she sang also.
I am singing it today as she taught me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What Shall We Do with the Baby-O
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 07:20 PM

40 years ago, I worked with Don West, Hedy's father. Hedy cam to visit him some in West Virginia and we played some together then. Here mother painted a picture of Franklin George, Old Man John Fitgerald Hilt and me one year and about three years ago that picture was hanging in the West Virginia archives art center in Charleston. A tourist lady saw me standing next to the picture and asked me if she could take my picture in front of that one. What a treat.

I like Hedy's playing style and many of her tunes. One was this tune. My father sang this tune to me throughout my childhood and here is what he used to sing:

Whatcha goin a do with the baby o (Repeat three times)

Wrap him up in calico

Dance him north and dance him south (sX)
Pour a little moonshine in his mouth

Cradle and churn up and down (3X)
Rock him off to sleepy town.

I had a cradle as did all of my family for 300 years in this country. A leather strap (strop like razor strop in sound) was attached to the handle of the churn and then to the edge of the cradle. As the churning process commended, the cradle would rock gently and the women could get their work done and the baby slept.

Anyway, though you would like to hear a story about Hedy and her family and learn a new verse from Boone County, WV at the same time.

Fred Coon
jobdoc@cox.net


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What Shall We Do with the Baby-O
From: GUEST,Sandy A.
Date: 03 Jun 12 - 11:39 PM

Some that won't offend modern parents or kindergarten teachers, so that you can sing them with little kids:

Dance him east and dance him west (3x)
Then you both will want to rest

Hand her to her mommy-o (3x)
That'll make her calm-y-o

Drive him round and round the block (3x)
If you can't make the cradle rock

Let her have her blankie-o (3x)
Then she won't be cranky- o

And instead of pouring "a little moonshine" in his mouth,substitute "warm milk."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: What Shall We Do with the Baby-O
From: meself
Date: 04 Jun 12 - 09:30 AM

I guess poking his eyes would be out, then? Well, that always struck me as an ineffective method to stop a baby from crying anyway.


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