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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dry Bones (Lyrics & Video)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a video and a sound file of the song "Dry Bones" (also know as "Dem Bones" and "Dem Dry Bones".) Lyrics to two versions of the song are also featured in this post.

My thanks to the composer of "Dry Bones" James Weldon Johnson and thanks also to Fats Waller for his adaptation of this song. My thanks also to the vocalists, and musicians who are featured on this video and this sound file. And thanks to the videographers and the uploaders of these videos as well as the authors of the comments quoted in this post.

All rights remain with their owners.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE SONG "DRY BONES".
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dem_Bones:

Dem Bones, Dry Bones or Dem Dry Bones is a well-known traditional spiritual song. The melody was written by African-American author and songwriter James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938). Two versions of this traditional song are used widely, the second an abridgment of the first. The lyrics are based on Ezekiel 37:1-14, where the prophet visits the Valley of Dry Bones and prophesies that they will become alive by God's command."

-snip=
Here's a portion of those Biblical verses:
"The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones.

And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry.

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.
Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord."
-Ezekiel, 37:1-4.

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FEATURED VIDEOS & LYRICS
Example #1- Delta Rhythm Boys - Dry Bones



Uploaded by weirdovideos on Nov 1, 2006

The Delta Rhythm Boys perform one of their most famous songs Dry Bones.

-snip-
Lyrics: Dry Bones
(James Weldon Johnson)

Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
"Oh, hear the word of the Lord."

The foot bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the head bone,
Oh, hear the word of the Lord!

Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun'
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun'
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun'
Oh, hear the word of the Lord.

The head bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the foot bone,
Oh, hear the word of the Lord!

Lyrics from http://www.ceder.net/recorddb/lyrics_viewsingle.php4?LyricsId=374

The editor of that website posted this comment:
"Most likely written between late 1870s and early 1920s. It has become a traditional spiritual song."

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Example #2: Fats Waller - "Dem Dry Bones" 1940



Uploaded by osyris1027 on Oct 27, 2010

-snip-
Lyrics: Dem Dry Bones
(Fat Waller)

[instrumental]

The toe bone connected to the heel bone.
The heel bone connected to the foot bone.
The foot bone connected to the ankle bone.
It's easy to connect those dry bones.

[instrumental]

The foot bone connected to the leg bone.
The leg bone connected to the knee bone.
The knee bone connected to the thigh bone.
Aha! It's easy to connect those dry bones. Yeah.

[instrumental]

Oh, the finger bone connected to the hand bone.
The hand bone connected to the wrist bone.
The wrist bone connected to the arm bone.
[spoken] It's easy to connect those dry bones. Yeah!

[instrumental]
[Spoken "Get off them bones, boy. Set 'em down!".

Oh, the arm bone connected to the shoulder bone.
The shoulder bone connected to the collar bone.
The collar bone connected to the neck bone.
[spoken] Fine neck bones with rice
Ahh, it's easy to connect those dry bones. Yeah.

[instrumental]

Oh, the neck bone connected to the chin bone.
The chin bone connected to the nose bone.
The nose bone connected to the head bone.
Yeah! It's easy to connect those dry bones.

[Transcription from video by Azizi Powell, 8/9/2012 ; Corrections and/or additions are welcome.]
-snip-
[The word "connected" is pronounced like "conneka"]

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RELATED LINK
Click http://inkhornterm.blogspot.com/2007/04/one-offs-dry-bones-rev.html for interesting reading about multiple recordings of "Dry Bone", including the two featured in this pancocojams blog post.
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