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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Kokomo Blues" As Source Of Beatles Lyric & Fraternity, Sorority Chants

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents lyrics for & a sound file of the Blues standard "Kokomo Blues", and a sound file of the Beatles' song "Come Together". This post also presents examples of the Black Greek lettered fraternity & sorority chant "One And One And One Make Three".

It's my position that "Kokomo Blues" and/or the Blues standard "Sweet Home Chicago") are the source/s of the counting line "One and One and one make three" that is found in the 1969 Beatles song "Come Together" and in certain chants from Black Greek lettered organizations.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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EXAMPLES OF COUNTING LINES IN THE "ORIGINAL KOKOMO BLUES" & "SWEET HOME CHICAGO"
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_Home_Chicago
"In 1932, Jabo Williams recorded "Ko Ko Mo Blues," with the same refrain ["Hey baby do you want to go/Back to that eleven light city Kokomo"] and included the counting line "One and two is three, four and five and six" ...

In 1933, James Arnold laid claim to the song, styling himself Kokomo Arnold and his version as "Old Original Kokomo Blues".

Now one and one is two mama, two and two is four
You mess around here pretty mama, you know we got to go

Cryin O, baby don’t you want to go
Back to the eleven light city, to sweet old Kokomo"...

[Robert Johnson's 1936 version is]
Ooh, baby don't you want to go
Ooh, baby don't you want to go
Back to the land of California, To my sweet home Chicago"

Now one and one is two mama, two and two is four
I'm heavy loaded baby, I'm booked I've got to go"

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LYRICS: THE OLD ORIGINAL KOKOMO BLUES
(Kokomo Arnold)

Now one and one is two mama : two and two is four
Mess around here pretty mama : you know we got to go

Crying oh : baby don't you want to go
Back to the *living light* city : to sweet old Kokomo

Now four and one is five mama : five and one is six
You mess around here pretty mama : you going to get me tricked

Now six and one is seven mama : seven and one is eight
You mess around here pretty mama : you going to make me late

Says I told you mama : when you first fell across my bed
You been drinking your bad whiskey : and talking all out your head

I don't drink because I'm dry mama : don't drink because I'm blue
The reason I drink pretty mama : I can't get along with you

Now eight and one is nine mama : nine and one is ten
You mess around here pretty mama : I'm going to take you in

Now ten and one is eleven mama : eleven and one is twelve
You mess around here pretty mama : you going to catch you a lot of hell
-posted on http://www.blueslyrics.com.ar/Kokomo-Arnold/OldOriginalKokomo.html

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FEATURED SOUND FILE
'Old Original Kokomo Blues' KOKOMO ARNOLD (1934) Georgia Blues Guitar Legend



RagtimeDorianHenry, Uploaded on Mar 31, 2009
"Old Original Kokomo Blues " (1934)

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SOUND FILE OF THE "COME TOGETHER" BY THE BEATLES

The Beatles - Come Together (Custom Music Video)



Scott Smith, Uploaded on Apr 10, 2008

A Tribute to The Beatles.
-snip-
The counting line in The Beatles song "Come Together"
-snip-
From http://www.lyrics007.com/The%20Beatles%20Lyrics/Come%20Together%20Lyrics.html
"He say one and one and one is three
Got to be good looking
Cause he's so hard to see"

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TWO EXAMPLES OF BLACK GREEK LETTERED ORGANIZATIONS CHANTS THAT INCLUDE COUNTING LINES

Example #1: ONE AND ONE AND ONE MAKE THREE
One and one and one makes three.
You better watch your man
cause your man is watchin me.

So if you came her with your man
you better hold him tight.
Cause you damn sure better believe
He’ll be leaving here with a Q Pearl tonight.
-a member of Q Pearl, 1990s {Pennsylvania]

*The Q Pearls are a little sister group to Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. "Little sister" groups are university based non-official organizations that are affiliated with a specific Black Greek lettered fraternity.

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Example #2: ONE AND ONE AND ONE MAKE THREE
I was chattin' with my LB (Tail) a few minutes ago and he reminded me of this one...

1 and 1 and 1 is 3
You better watch your girl
Bekause she's watching me,
2 plus 2 and 1 is 5
We are those Pretty Nupes of the K A Psi
And if at night You hear a noise
It's just your freaky girl with them Kappa boys!
-Kappachino3Klub (Texas), http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=99226&page=5
-snip-
This is a Kappa Psi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. chant. "LB" = line brother. The "Tail" is the last person in your pledge "line" (group). If I'm not mistaken, the "Tail" is usually the tallest person in your line.

"Nupes" is another referent for members of Kappa Psi Alpha Fraternity.

Notice the spelling custom of members of Kappa Psi Alpha Fraternity to subsitute a "k" for "c"s.

This chant's continuation of the counting lines to "2 plus 2 and 1 is 5" is very much like the "Kokomo Blues" lyrics. It's very likely that the composer/s of this chant could have been familiar with the "Sweet Home Chicago" Blues song (if not the earlier "Kokomo Blues" song and line in the Beatles "Come Together" song.

I'd love to find any documentation of any Black Greek lettered fraternity, sorority, or little sister group chant that contains the "one and one and one make three" counting lines, and/or the continuation counting lines BEFORE 1969. These examples after 1969 may be sourced to either the Beatles song or the Blues song or both.

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RELATED LINKS
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/01/sweet-home-chicago-various-performers.html for a pancocojams post on "Sweet Home Chicago".
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Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_Together for information about the words to the Beatles song "Come Together"
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Click this page of my Cocojams cultural website for another example of and comments about the fraternity, sorority, and little sister chant "One And One And One Make Three": http://cocojams.com/content/fraternity-and-sorority-chants.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
My thanks to Kokomo Arnold for composing "Kokomo Blues". Thanks also to the Beatles, and two unnamed persons who picked up that lyric and added it to fraternity, sorority, and little sister chants.

Thanks also to the transcriber of the lyrics for the original Kokomo Blues song, thanks to the authors of the Wikipedia pages which are cited in this post, and thanks to the uploader of this sound file.

Thanks also to you for visiting this pancocojams page.

Viewer comments are welcome.

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