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Lyr Req: King of Names

24 Apr 00 - 10:40 AM (#216964)
Subject: 'King of Names'
From: Gern

Anyone remember a song that began "There's a man going round taking names..."? I seem to recall it from "The Peter, Paul and Mary Album" (my copy long since scratched up til hell wouldn't have it) played as a sort of minor key Hot Tuna ragtime, and have since heard it played as a major key bluegrass song. Lyrics suggest Nixon-era angst, but it may go back further. Would appreciate the correct lyrics to this song and any information available on what may have inspired it.


25 Apr 00 - 10:26 AM (#217607)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: Allan C.

The PP&M lyric site, which you'll find here, has the song but if you look under "K" you won't find it. They listed it under "T" as in, "The". I can't help with the background, though.


27 Apr 00 - 02:20 PM (#219027)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: raredance

A version of the song is found in Carl Sandburg's "American Songbag" (1927) with the title "Man Goin' Roun'". It is also in Vance Randolph's "Ozark Folksongs" with the title "The Angel of Death". Randolph collected it in 1921 from Mr Enos Calkins in Little Rock, Arkansas. Calkins said he learned it in Missouri from a man named Wilks in the late 1890's. So it definitely predates the Nixon era.

rich r


04 Oct 01 - 10:43 PM (#565376)
Subject: There's a man going round taking names
From: GUEST,gloriafs@yahoo.com

I'm looking for the words to this song that talks about "a man goin round taking names and putting them in chains." It refers to the African names being changed for English European names. Has anyone heard of this song? Thanks, Gloriafs


04 Oct 01 - 11:19 PM (#565397)
Subject: RE : There's a man goin' roun' takin' names
From: wysiwyg

See also:
MAN GOIN' ROUND, JERRY SILVERMAN'S FOLK SONG ENCYCLOPEDIA, V.2

There's a man goin' roun' takin' names, Fisher, Seventy negro spirituals, p. 28 (Dere's a man goin' roun' takin' names)

There's a man goin' roun' takin' names, Kennedy, More mellows, p. 100 (There's a man goin' round takin' names)
~S~


04 Oct 01 - 11:30 PM (#565405)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: wysiwyg

Dick Greenhaus said this in RE: The Essential Folk Recordings, 23-Dec-99:

COMMERCIAL INTERRUPTION!

Camsco can get just about any in-print recording you wish, whether or not we have it in stock. Try it..we're keeping our prices competitive. And let me know that you're with Mudcat--a piece of the action will go to Mudcat whether or not it's listed in the Mudcat Shop.

A recording that I recommend highly is a new release of a Carl Sandburg album originally recorded in 1951. It was one of the first recordings I ever heard that wasn't "slicked up", a la Burl Ives and the Almanacs.

Track list:
Boll Weevil Song
Careless Love
In De Vinter Time
Moanish Lady
Foggy, Foggy Dew
I wish I Was a Little Bird
I'm Sad and I'm Lonely
Cigarettes Will Spoil Your Life
The Horse Named Bill
Jay Gould's Daughter
He's Gone Away
Casey Jones
I Ride an Old Paint
Man Goin' Roun'
Gallows Song (Sam Hall)
We'll Roll Back the Prices
The Good Boy


04 Oct 01 - 11:44 PM (#565408)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: wysiwyg

Also See:

American Ballads and Folk Songs, MacMillan, Bk (1934), p.591 (Man Goin' Roun') Bille, Don. From Here on Up, Bille, Cas (1996), cut#A.05 Carolina Tar Heels. Carolina Tar Heels, Old Homestead OHCS 113, LP (1978), cut# 4

Sandburg, Carl. New Songs from the American Songbag, Lyrichord LL 4, LP (195?), cut#B.07 (Man Goin' Roun') Taylor, Rebecca. American Songbag, Harcourt Brace Jovan..., Sof (1955), p447 (Man Goin' Roun')

Unknown Singers. Folk Music in America, Vol.15, Religious Music, Solo & Perform.., Library of Congress LBC-15, LP (1978), cut#B.02


04 Oct 01 - 11:49 PM (#565410)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: wysiwyg

Crap! I have Jerry Silverman Vol. ONE!

Help!

~S~


04 Oct 01 - 11:51 PM (#565413)
Subject: Lyr Add: THERE'S A MAN GOING ROUND TAKING NAMES
From: raredance

Ok here's the Sandburg lyrics:

There's a man goin' roun' takin' names,
There's a man goin' roun' takin' names,
An' he took my mother' name
An' he leave my heart in pain,
There's a man goin roun' takin' names.

Additional verses: father, sister, brother etc.

Sandburg's commentary in part is:
"At first glance this may seem a whimsical reference to the census taker going from door to door and taking the names of all people without regard to sex, color, race, or previous condition of servitude. Then we come to the line, "an' he leave my heart in pain," and we know it is a more august and austere Enumerator than any employed in the transient and temporal governments of man. Each verse deals with a relative, mother, father, sister, brother, or other dear one, checked off from the list of the living. A true instance of the poetry "to be overheard rather than heard," it keeps for those of long acquaintance with it, an overtone of a reverie on the riddles of death and the frail permits by which any one generation walks before the mirrors of life."

rich r


04 Oct 01 - 11:53 PM (#565414)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: wysiwyg

Great Rich! I'll e-mail the new requestor (from the other thread).

I think Mousethief has the Silverman book, and maybe it has more information-- I've sent him a message.

~S~


05 Oct 01 - 12:00 AM (#565418)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: raredance

Susan, you have no faith. I have the Silverman books. Words from Sandburg. The two Silverman volumes are called "encyclopedia" but they contain no backgoround information on the songs. I spose you want me to go look up Randolph now.

rich r


05 Oct 01 - 12:03 AM (#565420)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: wysiwyg

OK, so I mislaid the biblio you sent me. *G* These damn songs are all mixed up in my pore lil head now!

Yes, go look it up! I want them ALLLLLLLLL. (To He** with decorum!)

You so funny, nice man. Go look up.

~Susan


05 Oct 01 - 12:04 AM (#565422)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: raredance

Only difference in the Randolph version is fourth line:

"And he filled my heart with pain"

Lomax is same as Sandburg et al.

rich r


05 Oct 01 - 12:07 AM (#565424)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: raredance

Wouldn't have mattered, Silverman wasn't on the biblio I sent you, says he

rich r


05 Oct 01 - 12:28 AM (#565436)
Subject: RE: Slave song: There's a man going round ta
From: Amos

Leadbelly recorded it on Vanguard, if memory serves.

"They's a man goin roun' taking names
They's a man going 'roun' takin' names
Well he took my father's name,
An' he left my heart in vain,
They's a man goin' round, takin' names....

(Repeat for mother's, sister's, brother's name....).


05 Oct 01 - 12:49 AM (#565447)
Subject: RE: Slave song: There's a man going round ta
From: ddw

Josh White did a version of this song as well.

Amos, isn't line 4 "An' he left my heart in pain"?


05 Oct 01 - 12:55 AM (#565448)
Subject: RE: Slave song: There's a man going round ta
From: ddw

BTW, I don't think I've ever heard anything that could be interpreted as somebody taking away African names and substituting Euro/Anglo names. Not saying it's not out there, but it must be a version of this song — which I know as a spiritual — that I've never heard.

david


05 Oct 01 - 10:16 AM (#565639)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: masato sakurai

The Randolph version, posted by rich r above, is also in Duncan Emrich, American Folk Poetry (p. 379). The Stanley Brothers sing it as "The Angel of Death" in Hymns and Sacred Songs (King). Paul Robeson's recording "Dere's a Man Goin' Roun'" is in The Power and the Glory (Columbia/Legacy). Unknown artist's version "There's a Man Going 'Round Taking Names" is in Gospel Classics (Document). Marion Williams' version is "There's a Man" in Great Gospel Women (Shanachie).

~Masato


05 Oct 01 - 11:26 AM (#565676)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: wysiwyg

From a related thread, HERE

Subject: RE: Slave song: There's a man going round ta

From: Amos
Date: 05-Oct-01 - 12:28 AM

Leadbelly recorded it on Vanguard, if memory serves.

"They's a man goin roun' taking names
They's a man going 'roun' takin' names
Well he took my father's name,
An' he left my heart in vain,
They's a man goin' round, takin' names....

(Repeat for mother's, sister's, brother's name....).

=============================

Subject: RE: Slave song: There's a man going round ta

From: ddw
Date: 05-Oct-01 - 12:49 AM

Josh White did a version of this song as well.

Amos, isn't line 4 "An' he left my heart in pain"?

=============================

Subject: RE: Slave song: There's a man going round ta

From: ddw
Date: 05-Oct-01 - 12:55 AM

BTW, I don't think I've ever heard anything that could be interpreted as somebody taking away African names and substituting Euro/Anglo names. Not saying it's not out there, but it must be a version of this song — which I know as a spiritual — that I've never heard.

david


05 Oct 01 - 11:31 AM (#565681)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: wysiwyg

This is the post in the other thread that ddw is referring to:

Subject: Slave song: There's a man going round ta

From: GUEST,gloriafs@yahoo.com
Date: 04-Oct-01 - 10:43 PM

I'm looking for the words to this song that talks about "a man goin round taking names and putting them in chains." It refers to the African names being changed for English European names. Has anyone heard of this song? Thanks, Gloriafs

I have sent the requestor a message directing her to THIS thread, not the other one, since this one alreaday had a lot more information in it and more has continued to come in, in this thread.

~S~


08 Oct 01 - 09:56 AM (#567387)
Subject: Man Goin Roun
From: GUEST,Gloriafs

Thanks for semding me your lyrics on "Man Goin Roun." This song talks about the fact that African slaves were given English names by their owners and not permitted to be addressed by their African names. In Africa, one's name identifies one's village, tribe and clan. The clan one is born into determines many things in one's life. For example: whom you may marry (clan A marries clan C, Clan B marries Clan D) with whom you may hunt So when an African lost his name, in effect, he was losing his identity. Gloria


14 Jan 02 - 12:02 PM (#627665)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE KING OF NAMES (Peter Yarrow)
From: Jim Dixon

For the record, here's PP&M's version, found at their web site. I think it's substantially different from any traditional version, so Peter Yarrow was probably justified in putting his name on it.

THE KING OF NAMES
(Peter Yarrow, Pepamar Music Corp, ASCAP)

There's a man goin' 'round takin' names,
Well there's a man goin' 'round takin' names.
He took my father's name,
And he left my heart in pain,
There's a man goin' 'round takin' names.

An' he took that liar's name, takin' names,
He took that liar's name, takin' names.
He took that liar's name,
His tongue got twisted and it died in shame,
There's a man goin' 'round takin' names.

When the child saw the man takin' names,
What a funny, what a funny game, takin' names!
He took his brother's name,
And he took his father's name,
When the child saw the man takin' names.

And there's a King on the throne takin' names,
There's a King on the throne takin' names;
And there's a priest in flames,
And the court's gone insane,
And the King's sittin' there takin' names.

I had a dream, I had a dream,
I had a dream last night that worried me,
It worried me.
Trees were bending, People were trembling,
I had a dream that worried me, that worried me, worried me.

There's a man goin' 'round takin' names,
There's a man goin' 'round takin' names.
He took my father's name,
And he left me there in pain,
There's a man goin' 'round takin' names.

[Recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary on "Album," 1966.]


14 Jan 02 - 12:39 PM (#627709)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: masato sakurai

A short version ("There's a Man Goin' 'Round Takin' Names") is in The Leadbelly Songbook, edited by Moses Asch and Alan Lomax (Oak, 1962, p. 28).
~Masato


08 Aug 03 - 05:33 PM (#999128)
Subject: Lyr Add: DERE'S A MAN GOIN' ROUN' TAKIN' NAMES
From: GUEST,Q

Lyr. Add: DERE'S A MAN GOIN' ROUN' TAKIN' NAMES
(Negro spiritual)

Dere's a man goin' roun' takin' names,
Dere's a man goin' roun' takin' names,
He's a-taken mah mother's name,
An' has left mah heart in pain,
Dere's a man goin' roun' takin' names.

Oh, Death is de man takin' names,
He's a-taken mah father's name,
An' has left mah heart in pain,
Dere's a man goin' roun' takin' names.

William Arms Fisher, 1926, "Seventy Negro Spirituals," pp. 28-29 with sheet music. The tune is quite different from that given by Randolph for "The Angel of Death," a very similar version, which does not have
Death named , but may go on to substitute brother, sister, or any other relatives who have died (Ozark Folksongs, vol. 4, p. 38). Members of the congregation who have died may also be mentioned.

The idea that this spiritual had anything to do with the changing of names is nonsense.
Age unknown. It does not appear in any of the 19th century collections.


08 Aug 03 - 05:56 PM (#999140)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: greg stephens


04 Mar 05 - 03:00 PM (#1426780)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: Tannywheeler

I heard that this song (a variant of)was used in the mid 20th cent. to refer to red-baiting, gummint spies trying to write up reports on who was participating in any attempts to promote social and economic justice and civil rights. Don't remember source.       Tw


21 Mar 05 - 01:32 PM (#1439804)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'King of Names'
From: wysiwyg

IMO, the "Man goin' round taking names," if this was used as a code song, would have been a bounty hunter looking for fugitive slaves under the oppressive Fugitive Slave Act. This law made it leagal to seize any person of color from any state, with no right to present a defense, if s/he was said (merely suspected) of being a runaway slave. One can assume there was a master list of wanted slaves, with a name and description and perhaps an indication of other family members' names. So a man doing this WOULD equate with "death." The escapee could be executed upon "return" to the master, as a warning to other slaves, or worked to death-- even if s/he had not ever been a slave at all!

Lovely, huh? New depths of slave procurement-- just send a bounty hunter to grab them up for a "head" fee. Later, this became the practice of what we now call "racial profiling," where innocent people of color were grabbed up and given quick conviction for offenses they often had not committed, and sent to prisons' chain gangs-- to wind up as cheap labor in the south after slavery was abolished.)

In the religious sense, a "Man Taking Names" might have been a metaphor for Jesus and/or the angel of death, looking to see who was "saved" and who was not.

But I think it was code-- to let the folk in the black quarter know to hunker down. You could sing it as a religious song anywhere, and spread the word to look out for trouble.

~Susan


13 May 07 - 10:45 PM (#2051076)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Names
From: GUEST,David Porta

.

I just watched "Incident on the Edge of Madness," an episode of "Rawhide," from the Season One dvd collection, in which a Negro house servant of a somewhat mad former Confederate officer is called upon by his marster to sing the song. This show was made in 1959. The servant character sings...

There's a man goin' 'round takin' names

...and I recognized the song, and thought, "Gee whiz. Pinko writers inserting a popular folk song about the FBI investigating subversive Commie activity, and taking names of potential Commie subversives or informants."

But the lyrics continued...

Death is the man taking names

...and I realized it was a Negro Spiritual.

I googled, and this is the first page that looked promising. Apparently not.

From http://www.cpsr.cs.uchicago.edu/robeson/links/recordings.html

Paul Robeson [X24]
    CD only
    Availability: Rediscover Music Catalog (Catalog # PRO9382D)

          Contents:
                Down in Lovers' Lane;   Swing Along;   Bear De Burden;   All God's Chillun Got Wings;   Witness;   Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho;   De 'Old Ark's A-Movering;   Ezekiel Saw de Wheel;   Scandalize my Name;   Sinner Please Doan' Let this Harves Pass;   Work All de Summer;   Didn't my Lord Deliver Daniel?;   Dere's A man Goin' Roun' Takin' Names;   Shenandoah;   Little Pal;   Lonesome Road;   Roll Away, Clouds;   Ho! Ho!;   Climbing Up;   Song of Freedom;   Sleepy River;   Trees;   No! John No!;   Song of the Volga Boatmen;   There is a Green Hill;   Nearer, My God, to Thee;   Fat Little Fellow;   Mama's Little Baby-Love   

There it is, among the other spirituals, and Robeson was a Commie. How fortuitous...

Dere's A man Goin' Roun' Takin' Names

Now if I could only find the lyrics. Or a recording that is actually available.

Yes, Death is the man taking names. Your number is up. It is time for you to called to leave this vale of tears. Death has been looking for you. He found your name, and will check you off. Next!

.


30 Jul 11 - 07:44 AM (#3198406)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Names
From: GUEST

Johnny cash sang it. There s a man going round taking names. Find it on google


02 Aug 11 - 06:45 PM (#3200496)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE MAN COMES AROUND (Johnny Cash)
From: Jim Dixon

I assume our last guest is referring to THE MAN COMES AROUND, which was written and sung by Johnny Cash on his album "American IV: The Man Comes Around" (2002). It's undoubtedly inspired in part by the song we have been discussing here, but it's a new and different song. You can hear it at YouTube.


THE MAN COMES AROUND
Words and music by Johnny Cash
As recorded by Johnny Cash on "American IV: The Man Comes Around" (2002)

SPOKEN: And I heard as it were the noise of thunder
One of the four beasts saying "come and see" and I saw
And behold, a white horse.

SUNG: There's a man goin' 'round taking names
And he decides who to free and who to blame.
Everybody won't be treated all the same.
There'll be a golden ladder reaching down
When the Man comes around.

The hairs on your arm will stand up
At the terror in each sip and in each sup.
Will you partake of that last offered cup,
Or disappear into the potter's ground,
When the Man comes around?

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers,
One hundred million angels singing,
Multitudes are marchin' to the big kettledrum,
Voices callin', voices cryin',
Some are born and some are dyin'.
It's Alpha and Omega's kingdom come.

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
The virgins are all trimming their wicks.
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Till Armageddon no salaam, no shalom.
Then the father hen will call his chickens home.
The wise men will bow down before the throne,
And at His feet, they'll cast their golden crowns
When the Man comes around.

Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still.
Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still.
Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still.
Listen to the words long written down
When the Man comes around.

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers,
One hundred million angels singing.
Multitudes are marchin' to the big kettledrum.
Voices callin', voices cryin'.
Some are born and some are dyin'.
It's Alpha and Omega's kingdom come.

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
The virgins are all trimming their wicks.
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

In measured hundredweight and penny-pound
When the Man comes around.

SPOKEN: And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts,
And I looked and behold, a pale horse,
And his name that sat on him was Death,
And Hell followed with him.