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Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)

07 Aug 10 - 02:35 AM (#2959926)
Subject: Lyr Req: Parker/Woolbright: Give That Nigger Ham
From: GUEST,Kegan

The song's by Charlie Parker and [George] Mack (or Mark) Woolbright, who also sang "Will The Weaver." It was probably recorded about 1928, the same year they recorded "The Man Who Wrote 'Home Sweet Home' Never Was A Married Man," which was later covered by Charlie Poole's boys, whom the duo sang with.

Parker and Woolbright also sang "Ticklish Reuben" (Oh, my name is Ticklish Reuben, and I come from old Vermont...) and "Rabbit Chase," later covered by The New Lost City Ramblers (Papa's gonna catch a rabbit, ma, papa's gonna catch a rabbit, ma...).


As for "Give That Nigger Ham," it's a banjo-driven tune, which includes jokes and bantering between two black men, and a refrain of:

Give that nigger ham,
Give that nigger ham!
Good when fried, good and sweet;
Give that nigger ham meat!

Any help with the lyrics is appreciated greatly.

Kegan

[Biographic info taken from this post from an apparent relative of Mr. Woolbright's.]


16 Aug 10 - 11:22 AM (#2966384)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Parker/Woolbright: Give That Nigger Ham
From: Jim Dixon

All I found was one source (Juneberry78s.com) that is selling MP3 recordings on CDR by Parker & Woolbright (amongst others), and GIVE THAT NIGGER HAM is among them: here.


16 Aug 10 - 12:12 PM (#2966414)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Parker/Woolbright: Give That Nigger Ham
From: Lonesome EJ

I suspect that the thread title would be a lot less toxic if it had been edited to "Lyr Req: Parker/Woolbright: Give That N****r Ham". No, I'm not suggesting changing the title or lyrics, I think you can discuss the true title inside the thread. But obviously the word is inflammatory, and there are several african-americans that frequent the site.
Enough said.


16 Aug 10 - 04:42 PM (#2966631)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Parker/Woolbright: Give That Nigger Ham
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Columbia 15154D, recorded April 6, 1927.


16 Aug 10 - 07:08 PM (#2966725)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Parker/Woolbright: Give That Nigger Ham
From: GUEST,mg

I know it is not my site but if it were I would make that word appear in quotes or with an asterik referring to a permanent comment. mg


16 Aug 10 - 11:58 PM (#2966870)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Parker/Woolbright: Give That Nigger Ham
From: Joe Offer

I acknowledge that there are a variety of opinions on the issue. Still, we've chosen to stick with the true title of songs, rather than trying to euphemize them.
Some people seem to think that if we allow something, we espouse it. I think we espouse only the right of people to say what they say.
We could argue this forever, and probably will. I think there's no right answer - it's a matter of opinion.
-Joe-


17 Aug 10 - 06:26 PM (#2967457)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Parker/Woolbright: Give That Nigger Ham
From: Betsy

Well said Joe.


18 Aug 10 - 06:16 PM (#2968165)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Parker/Woolbright: Give That Nigger Ham
From: RobbieWilson

No, "Coloured man ", or some other phrase would be euphemisisng. On the other hand N**ger would be saying Nigger in a way that you and I can read quite unambiguously but which a machine might not. You say we could argue this forever but never do; you always divert it into a discussion of sanitising songs or threads, of moral/religious attitudes what kindof language is acceptable and what not.

None of the posters above have suggested euphemising lyrics/ title, neither did they raise espousal of this language, either yours or theirs.

Still, as long as you and our Guest are happy, what does it matter if you exclude regular members from even opening the home page.


18 Aug 10 - 06:24 PM (#2968180)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Parker/Woolbright: Give That Nigger Ham
From: Joe Offer

I see you had no problem opening the page, Robbie....


Therefore, given the lack of evidence of anyone having an unsolvable problem with access, I have to conclude that the occasional use of an "objectionable" word on the Forum Menu, is not a significant problem. On the other hand, searching for N**ger does present a problem - if you don't specify the proper number of asterisks in the proper place. And although you may not consider N**ger to be objectionable euphemizing, I do. So, I guess we're at an impasse. All I can suggest is that you can feel free to use the term N**ger in your posts if you wish, and perhaps you should allow others to feel free to make their own choices.

And let me make it clear that I also consider n****r and f**k and c**t to be objectionable words, and I do not use them in everyday speech - with or without asterisks. I don't use terms like WTF, either. However, if the source used the word and I wish to convey the meaning of the source, then I feel obliged to cite the source's words exactly. That's my opinion, and it's clear that you disagree. If you prefer to use the term "n****r" in your posts, I promise I won't alter the term. And I feel obliged to give the same consideration to those who prefer to spell it out and use the term "nigger" - unless it's clear that they are doing so for racist purposes. In this thread, it appears to me that the original poster used the term for accuracy, and not for racist purposes. No, I can't always be certain of that assessment - but where it's not clear, we try to err on the side of free speech.

-Joe Offer-

P.S. Oh, Robbie, let me call to your attention the fact that when you posted your message, the thread was within ten minutes of dropping off the Forum Menu. Your message gave it another 24 hours of life, and my response added eight minutes to that.


17 Dec 10 - 09:47 PM (#3056083)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: GUEST

I thank everyone for their input; I only check in infrequently, or I would've responded sooner.

Although I don't have to explain myself to anyone who may find the title objectionable, I'm simply going to say that political correctness has nothing to do with using the 'proper' uncensored slur as hate speech. I figured the fewer asterisks the better for hopefully getting better results.

Thanks especially to Joe for thinking along the same lines as myself; in my opinion, the Internet's an 'anonymous' place, and sometimes tempers flare because we're buffered by that anonymity. We feel guarded by it. But the Net is also a global community, where the free and uncensored exchange of ideas, good and bad, has served to make it just what it is today.

Those who don't learn from their mistakes often do repeat them. But remembering that aspect of musical culture, we can learn from its point of view in our history, as well as celebrate its very being, because good music never dies.

To critique one thread title so harshly, given the number of 'un-PC' folksongs of a similar vein is foolish, I'm sorry. We can really delve into history and explore our past by preserving these creations, and most true fans of folk or old-timey music realize that link and appreciate it. I'm sure the color of their respective skins are every conceivable shade; honest and earthy American music for honest, everyday Americans.


17 Dec 10 - 10:34 PM (#3056093)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: michaelr

I'm with you, Joe. You couldn't handle it better.


18 Dec 10 - 01:37 PM (#3056541)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: Stringsinger

I agree with you Joe that racism should be allowed to expose itself through songs even if
It reveals a great deal about the character of the person who would tolerate this musical hatred as well as make me question the validity of some attitudes in the Old Time Music community.

The use of this word continues to be offensive regardless of how much the gloss-over of the term "folkie" is put on it.


18 Dec 10 - 01:38 PM (#3056545)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: Stringsinger


18 Dec 10 - 01:53 PM (#3056558)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)

And I can't wait for the remake of 'The Dambusters'.


17 Dec 12 - 11:30 PM (#3453600)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: GUEST,erielhonan

Look I get the upsetness over the word. I don't like it in particular. But it would be absurd to think that old timey Southern white folk music wasn't rife with racist performers. Personally I think the song lyrics (maybe just in a contemporary context) are absolutely absurd - in both an offensive and a somewhat amusing way (c'mon, why ham?!). Objectively, observationally, it's a valuable artifact. There's no shame, no polish, no apology at all for it, and it stands out to me as a polished coprolite (look it up) revealing something of the diet of the culture it came out of.


18 Dec 12 - 03:57 AM (#3453651)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: GUEST,999

'polished coprolite (look it up)'

No need. However, that about describes the song.


18 Dec 12 - 12:06 PM (#3453817)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: GUEST,Stim

The objection to the N-word, and the C-word, and the D-word, and the P-word and the J-word, and the G-word in songs ,etc, isn't because the intent was necessarily hateful. It usually wasn't. It is because they were demeaning racial stereotypes, and as such, supported segregation, isolation, and the devaluing of a particular group of people.

The big problem we have is that racial and ethnic stereotypes have been a big part of our music for a long time. Without blackface minstrel shows, there would have been no ragtime, no jazz, no blues, no old time, no bluegrass, no nothing. Even the "funk" culture, which came after we had supposedly been "made aware" by the civil rights movement, is full of updated stereotypes. As to rap and hip-hop, faggedaboutit.

So how do we deal with this? I don't think that replacing a few letters with asterisks really does much of anything.


18 Dec 12 - 12:56 PM (#3453836)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Thread opened after a two-year lapse.
Why?

Nothing new added about the song, only personal opinions echoing previous posts of personal opinions about the song.


18 Dec 12 - 01:18 PM (#3453852)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: Max

Well let me add my personal opinion then.

We will not be using asterisks or any other form of kid gloves in any part of the process or publishing of this historical archive as long as I have anything to do with it. In addition to my strong feelings of allowing you to freely express yourselves in any manner in which you choose, I have an equal conviction that it is academically and socially unethical to tinker with history, especially folklore and tradition. The author, culture and society which this song was born of saw no need to use asterisks or any other form of alteration, so this record will reflect exactly that.

You are, of course, free to discuss this all you want. THAT is the healthy outcome from the song itself as well as our adamant stance of its unaltered publication, and all the evidence I need to know that we are doing the right thing.


18 Dec 12 - 02:50 PM (#3453900)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: olddude

These type of thread are positive. It reminds me of how far we have come in our culture and how far we still need to go to accept others. These songs were an unpleasant part of history .. it should remind us all that societies can evolve and change for the good. That old hatred and or stereotypes based on color, or sex or religion can be overcome. Yes there is still a ways to go, but we came a long way didn't we


18 Dec 12 - 02:53 PM (#3453903)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: GUEST,999

Ditto that, Dan.


28 Mar 17 - 09:52 AM (#3847131)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: GUEST,steve

I just ran across this record in my Mother's old Victrola.i would like to know the lyrics.


28 Mar 17 - 10:53 AM (#3847147)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Give That Nigger Ham (Parker/Woolbright)
From: Joe Offer

Yeah, we never did get the lyrics. Can you transcribe the Victrola recording, Steve? I admit that I can't understand enough to do a transcription. The chorus isn't too hard - it's posted in the first message of this thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwpNGopN1lE