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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Adam In The Garden (Picking Up Leaves) Examples & Lyrics

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post features examples of the African American ring shout "Adam In The Garden" (Picking Up Leaves). Comments about and several versions of the lyrics to this religious song are also provided in this post.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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COMMENTS ABOUT & LYRICS FOR THE SONG "ADAM IN THE GARDEN"
"Adam In The Garden" is an African American ring shout from the Georgia Sea Isles. "Adam In The Garden" recounts the story of Adam in the Garden Of Eden as found in the Old Testament Book Of Genesis. God creates Adam & Eve & places them in the Garden of Eden. He warns them not to eat from the Tree Of Knowledge of Good & Evil. A serpent tempts them. They disobeyed God, bit an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. Adam & Eve then realized that they were naked, and began to pick leaves to make some type of covering for themselves.

The second line for "Adam In The Garden" is usually given as "picking up leaves". However, other versions of "Adame In The Garden" give the second line as "pinning leaves" or "pinning up leaves." Those lines may be the earliest forms of that song.

Like other religious and non-religious folk songs, there are multiple versions of the lyrics for "Adam In The Garden". Here's one text example of that song:

chorus: Oh Eve, where's Adam? (3x)
Adam in the garden pinning leaves.
Well, I know my God is a man of war,
Adam in the garden pinning leaves.
He fought the battle at the Jericho wall,
Adam in the garden pinning leaves.
Well, the first time God called, Adam refused to answer,
Adam in the garden pinning leaves,
Well, the first time God called, Adam refused to answer,
Adam in the garden pinning leaves,
The next time God called, God hollered louder,
Adam in the garden pinning leaves,
The next time God called, God hollered louder,
Adam in the garden pinning leaves.

Source: http://www.metrolyrics.com/adam-in-the-garden-pinning-leaves-lyrics-unknown-artist.html.
-snip-
Click http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/article/240968 for a literary essay that includes comments about and another version of the lyrics for "Adam In The Garden".

Other lyrics for this song are found below selected videos.

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FEATURED EXAMPLES
Example #1: Adam in the Garden



John Melville Bishop, Uploaded on May 28, 2009

Bessie Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers from the DVD--The Films of Bess Lomax Hawes -- available from www.media-generation.com this was shot in the mid 1960s by Bess Hawes and Edmund Carpenter.
-snip-
Here’s a comment written in response to the question “What are they saying?”

“The refrain that is being sung here is "picking up leaves". In the opening verse, god asks-"Oh Eve, where is Adam?" and she responds, "Adam in the garden picking up leaves." “
- John Melville Bishop, 2012

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Example #2: Gullah Ringshout July 2011 Anacostia Museum



SterlingFlowMedia, Uploaded on Jul 25, 2011

Nearly 400 Participants break record for the largest Ring Shout ever recorded.
-snip-
This video clip begins with the song “Here Come The Line”. The lyrics to that song will be featured in an upcoming blog post on Ring Shouts.

The song “Adam in the Garden” begins at .35

The refrain for this song is "pickin up leaves". Here's the lead singer's lines:

Adam in the gaden*...
Eve and Adam...
They were pickin...
Pick and pickin...
Oh, Adam...
Adam shamed...
Worked in the gaden*...

[continue this pattern repeating whichever lines you want to]

*gaden=garden

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Example #3: Adam in the Garden, a Slave Song



Published on May 22, 2012 by TTGBlimp

"Adam in the Garden, a slave song by The McIntosh Country Shouters; Performers of slave era 'shout' songs"
-snip-
ADAM IN THE GARDEN
[unknown composer]

Soloist: Oh-o Eve, where is Adam?
Soloist: Oh-o Eve
Soloist and Group: Adam in the garden pinnin up leaves.
Soloist: God called Adam
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Eve and Adam
Group: Pinning up leaves
Soloist: My God call him
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Adam won't answer
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Oh, Adam
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Oh, Adam
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Adam ashamed
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Adam won't answer
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Oh, Adam
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Oh, Adam
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Why don't you answer
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Who told you, Adam
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: that you was naked
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: My God call you
Group: Pinnin up leaves
Soloist: Why don't you answer
Group: Pinnin up leaves
-snip-
Transcription by Azizi Powell from the video. Additions and corrections are welcome.

Notice that these videos includes a demonstration of the "ring shout" religious dance.

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RELATED LINKS
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/05/african-american-ring-shouts-origins.html

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http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/06/biblical-references-in-african-american.html. This post includes a video performance of the ring shout "Adam In The Garden" that was performed by the McIntosh County Shouters.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
Thanks to the unknown composers of this song. Thanks also to those who are featured in these videos, to the producers of these videos, and to the video's publishers on YouTube.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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