Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Funky Nassau (Lyrics, Examples, Comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents a sound file & a video of the Beginning Of The End's 1971 hit song "Funky Nassau". This post also includes includes lyrics to the song “Funky Nassau" as well as information & comments about this song.

In addition, this post includes a slightly edited version of an early 1970s New York City playground rhyme which includes the words "funky nassau". I've also added my comments about that rhyme.

The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"The Bahamas, officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a country consisting of more than 3,000 islands, cays and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, north of Cuba and Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeast of the US state of Florida. Its capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence."


Nassau's gone funky
Nassau's gone soul
We've got a doggone beat now
We're gonna call our very own

Naussau rock
And Nassau roll
Nassau's got a
Whole lot of soul

Feel all right

Mini skirts, maxi skirts
And Afro hairdo
People doing their own thing
They don't care about you and me

Nassau's gone funky
Nassau's got soul now, oh, yeah
And we've got a doggone beat now
We're gonna take care of business too

Listen to the drummer
Playing his beat
Listen to the bass man
Go get the same groovy beat

Listen to the guitar
Giving that soul some tune
Feeling good

Bring it on home to you
Ain't it funky now
Oh, yeah, funky
Funky Nassau

Listen, listen good
New York, you know
Has got a whole lot of soul
Good God

London town is too
Doggone cold, yeah

Nassau's got sunshine
And this you all know, yeah
But we've gone funky
And we got some soul too
All right

Funky Nassau, funky Nassau
Funky Nassau, funky Nassau
Funky Nassau, funky Nassau

Funky Nassau, listen

Lyrics from:

"The Beginning of the End was a funk group from Nassau, Bahamas. The group formed in 1969 and consisted of three brothers, a fourth member on bass, and a fifth on guitar. They released an album entitled Funky Nassau in 1971 on Alston Records (a subsidiary of Atlantic Records), and the track "Funky Nassau - Part I" became a hit single in the U.S., peaking at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #7 on the Billboard Black Singles chart. The same track reached #31 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1974.
For a slightly different summary, read the information that was posted by Raphael Munnings with his posting of Santana's rendition of "Funky Nassau":

Example #1: Funky Nassau- beginning of the end

hehewuti212, Uploaded on Dec 1, 2007

Example #2: Carlos Santana Funky Nassau "Live in LA" October 2, 2008 YouTube

Raphael Munnings, Uploaded on Oct 31, 2011

The earliest example that I've found to date of a playground rhyme version of the military cadence "The Duckworth Chant" is this one that includes the words "funky nassau".

"i remember a song girls would sing more than the the polo grounds projects 155th 8th ave.. a group of girls singing it loud walking from school everyday from ps 156 i think it went
youre left
youre left
your left right left
my ass is shakin
my belts too tight
my balls are shakin from left to right*
umm funky nassau
umm funky nassau
your momma
your poppa
youre greasy nanny**
youre awful nanny
you toot and toot ?
dont prostitute
dont try to switch
you dirty b&&ch***
no hesitation
no revelation ****
just go to hell
and ring my bell was 1970 I remember…"
-Giest,frank from ny,
Jody's children - kids' rhymes from military chant, December 18, 2007
WARNING: That discussion thread includes profanity & sexually explicit language

*These are lines from the military cadence entitled "The Duckworth Chant" ("Your Left")

**These are lines from various children's playground rhymes. The lines usually are "Your momma, Your daddy, Your greasy grimey granny"[not "nanny"]. The lines that usually follow those are: "she's 69, she thinks she's fine/she goes out with Frankenstein."

***This curse word was fully spelled out in this example.

****These are lines from the playground rhyme "Concentration"
The blogger who posted this example wrote that he remembered it from 1970, but he also pointed out that the lines "funky nassau" comes from the "R&B" record "Funky Nassau". Since that record wasn't released until 1971, this example is likely from that year or shortly thereafter. By the way, "Nassau County" is a portion of metropolitan New York City, which might have been why the girls included it in their rhyme.

Like many other playground rhymes, this example (which I've titled "Your Left/Funky Nassau" to distinguish it from other "Your Left" rhymes/chants) is made up of lines from a number of other compositions.

The hit disco song "Ring My Bell" wasn't recorded until 1979, but since this blogger remembers this playground rhyme from girls chanting it while walking to public school, it's likely that he wouldn't have placed his memory of it in the year 1970.

Although this example doesn't include the word "bang bang choo choo train", I consider it the earliest example I have found to date of that VERY popular children's playground rhyme. I do so because that rhyme includes usually adapted versions of those beginning lines, which are lifted from the Duckworth chant. The adapted words usually are "my back is achin/ my bra's too tight/my butt (or "my booty's") shakin from the left to the right".

Click this page of my cultural website for numerous examples of "Bang Bang Choo Choo Train".
Click for example of the children's rhyme "concentration 64". Also click for a pancocojams post on theories about the meaning of the name for that game.

Click this page for examples of & information about the military cadence "The Duckworth Chant"

The song "Funky Nassau" was performed by "the Blues Brothers"
in the 1998 movie Blues Brothers 2000. Here's a link to a video of that movie clip:

Thanks to the composer of this song, & this song's performers.
Thanks to the authors of the information quoted in this post, and to the blogger who posted the children's rhyme version of "Your Left/Funky Nassau".

Finally, thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor's comments are welcome.

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