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Monday, October 14, 2013

Reeltime Travelers - "Shout Lula" (example, lyrics, and comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

COMMENT FROM MISS LULA
(C)2013 Azizi Powell

I don't mean to brag but there’s LOTs of Lula songs. Some of them call me Lula, some call me Lulu and some call me Lucy. Lulu’s just a nickname for Lula and “Lucy’s” just a ladylike way of saying both those names.

Some say I got the name “Lula” because I was born in Lula, Mississippi.* That sounds about right to me. And it could be that folks changed my name to “Lulu” because of that girl in those comic papers.** Or maybe those songs callin me Lulu instead of Lula gave them the idea to name that girl in the comics “Lulu”. I don’t remember which one came first.

You know those “Miss Lucy Had A Baby” songs? Well first of all that rhyme came from those songs about me - Lula Gal. As for “Miss”, well that’s just a title that shows respect for me as a young lady.

Here’s another thing, I hear tell that some folks are talkin bad about me saying that “Miss Lucy Had A Baby” song is talkin ‘bout me havin a baby and not being married.*** Who said I wasn’t married when I had my baby? That’s nothing but lies!

And I know you know at least one “Miss Susie Had A Steamboat" song. I can’t help it if some folks decided to change my name to "Susie” or “Molly” and some other girl’s name. When it comes right down to it, those songs are all about me – “Lula Gal”.

I’m PROUD of most of my Lula songs, even those “Bang Bang Lulu” ones ‘cause they’re about me too, even if they are kinda dirty. All I’m gonna say is that folks oughta be careful what they are and who they’re around when they sing those songs. If you ask me, my favorite Lula songs are those old time, clean... well mostly clean ones that are still fun to sing , though you don’t hear much of them nowadays. If I had to choose my favorite Lula song it would be "Shout Lula".

*Click http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=53820 "Lyr Req: Hook and Line (and related songs)" for a discussion about "Shout Lula" and other old time Lula songs.
In 2002 Richie, an active participant in that discussion wrote:
"Since "Shout Lula" seems to related to blues and work "hollers" perhaps the "Lula" originally refers to Lula, Mississippi or the Lula women from that town."
-snip-
Richie then provided a transcription of the song "Dry Well Blues" by Charlie Patton. That song will be featured in an upcoming pancocojams post.

Note: Another comment from that discussion thread is found below. WARNING: Some comments & some lyrics that are found in that very informative discussion include the fully spelled out "n word".

**Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Lulu for information about the comic strip "Little Lulu" which began in 1935.

***Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Lucy_had_a_baby for a Wikepedia page about the playground rhyme "Miss Lucy Had A Baby". I very much disagree with the opinions that are presented as fact on that page, including the view that the woman who had a baby in that rhyme had to a single mother because the title "Miss" prefaces her name. My position is that the title "Miss" was used out of respect to & for young women. I'll add more comments about "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" and about that Wikipedia page in an upcoming pancocojams post about that rhyme.

****
SHOWCASE VIDEO

Reeltime Travelers "Shout Lula"



winecountryfilms1, Published on May 11, 2013

The Reeltime travelers perform "Shout Lula" at The Hogcaller's Reunion on September 26th., 2004 at Fetzer's barn in Covelo, CA.
Roy Andrade on banjo, Heidi Lambert-Andrade on fiddle, Martha Scanlan on guitar, Thomas Sneed on mandolin and Travis Stuart on bass

****
LYRICS: SHOUT LULA
(as sung by the Reeltime Travelers)

Call [lead singer] Shout to sing
Response: Shout Shout
[sing this pattern 4x]

Call: I got a bottle of corn
Response: Shout Shout
[sing this pattern 4x]

I got a pain in my wrist
Shout Shout
[sing this pattern two times]

I got a pain in my head
Shout shout
[sing this pattern two times]

I got a pain in my back
Shout Shout
[sing this pattern two times]

I got slipper shoes
Shout Shout
[sing this pattern two times]

I’m gonna shake it baby
Shout Shout
[sing this pattern two times]

Aunt Jane’s corn bread
Sweet sweet sweet
Take some leave some
Sweet sweet sweet
Take some leave some
Sweet sweet sweet
[Lead singer sings these entire words, Responders sing “Take some leave some/sweet sweet sweet”

Instrumental -.054-204

Lead singer: Oh little Lula
Oh child
Oh little Lula
Oh child
Oh little Lula
Oh child

Shout little Lula
Shout little babe
Said I’m gonna buy you a little red dress

Instrumental

Lead: Oh little Lula
Oh child
Oh little Lula
Oh child

Lead: Shout little Lula
Shout Shout
Tell me what you shoutin ‘bout

Instrumental

Lead: Oh little Lula
Oh child
Oh little Lula
Oh child

Lead: Shout little Lula
Shout your best
I’m gonna buy you a red dress

Instrumental

Lead: Oh little Lula
Oh child
Oh little Lula
Oh child

Lead: Shout little Lula
Shout and sing
I’m gonna buy you a diamond ring.

Instrumental
-snip-
This transcription is by Azizi Powell from the video. The words in italics mean that I'm not sure about that transcription. Additions
and corrections are welcome.

****
COMMENTS ABOUT "SHOUT LULU"
Here's a comment posted by Richie; Date: 20 Nov 02 - 09:55 PM
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=53820
"From Ceolas: A Fiddler's Companion
SHOUT LULU. AKA - "Shout Lula," "Shout Lou," "Shout Old Lulu." AKA and see "Hook and Line." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; east Tenn., southwestern Va., north Georgia, north Carolina, Ohio. G Major. GDAD. AABB. Art Rosenbaum (1989) says "this song is much more current in the tradition than its absence from printed collections would suggest." A banjo piece and dance tune, it was the repertoires of Dock Boggs and John Dykes (of the Dykes Magic City Trio) under the title "Hook and Line." Rufus Crisp, Woody Wachtel, Roscoe Holcomb, Pete Steele, Ralph Stanley, and Fiddlin' Cowan Powers 1877-1952? (Russell County, southwest Va.) played it as well as Uncle John Patterson (Carroll County, Ga.), a sometimes Skillet Lickers hanger-on who learned to pick the tune on the banjo "on his mother's {champion banjoist Bessie Patterson} lap when he was three years old" (Rosenbaum)"

****
Here's a comment about the Grayson/Whittier recording of "Shout Lula" from https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.country.old-time/ATTT1UtigL8 "rec.music.country.old-time › Ralph Stanley and Old-Time Music"

posted by Oldtime1 (Joe Wilson) 5/29/97
"Little Lula/Lulu/Lulie

"Paul asked if there are two Lulu songs. Yes. The "Bang Away Lulu" lyric he quoted is not at all like "Shout Lulu.

When I interviewed G. B. Grayson's oldest daughter, Lilly Grayson Sturdivant, in 1972 near Rising Sun, MD (with Ken Irwin and Marian Leighton), she told about his compositions. She said he did not write "Shout Lulu" and that she thought it was "an old song." If it was old when Grayson recorded it in the late 1920s, it may be from minstrelsy. It certainly has the feel and rhythm of a minstrel song:
"Takes a nickle, takes a dime, To see Little Luly, cut a shine." Has anyone checked minstrel texts?"
-snip-
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/10/grayson-and-whitter-shout-lula-example.html for another example of "Shout Lula".

****
EDITORIAL COMMENT
Like other Old Time tunes & songs, "Shout Lula" was known in Black American & non-Black American communities. This song almost certainly originated among African Americans, given the call & response pattern of some examples of "Shout Lula", its two line rhyming pattern, the inclusion of certain Black vernacular terms, and the floating verses that are also found in other African American originating old time songs.

It's very difficult to determine which came first-White minstrel versions of many "minstrel" songs or Black plantation lyrics & tunes for those songs. Also, once a song was sung by Black faced minstrels [both White and Black minstrel performers, that song experienced the folk process of [additional] cross pollination from Black and from White populations.

****
WHAT "SHOUT" MAY MEAN IN THE SONG "SHOUT LULA"
Here's an explanation about the word "shout" from
Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: Hook and Line
From:kytrad*
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 05:15 PM

This may be relevant...Bessie Jones and I used to share stages together, from early sixties into seventies, and we used to do play-party games- she'd sing hers and I'd sing one from our family that matched it. She had many "shout" songs, and always explained that the word, "shout" in a game or song meant, "dance." Younger members of her family and community would sometimes be with her, and as she sang they'd sing with her, clap hands and dance or "shout."
-snip-
*"kytrad" is the screen name for White American folk music singer, songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player Jean Ritchie (ngwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player. Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Ritchie for more information about Jean Ritchie.

Bessie Jones (February 8, 1902 - July 17, 1984) was an African American singer who is best known for forming & performing as soloist for the Georgia Sea Isle Singers, a group whose repertoire consists of Black old time secular & religious songs. Along with Bess Lomax Hawes, Bessie Jones co-authored a collection of Georgia Sea Isle children's recreational songs & rhymes entitled Step It Down. Click http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bessie-jones-mn0000051492/biography for more information about Bessie Jones.

****
INFORMATION ABOUT OLD TIME MUSIC
From http://www.folkways.si.edu/classic-old-time-music-from-folkways/american-folk/album/smithsonian: "Old-time music features playing styles that pre-date bluegrass, emerging from the string band tradition stretching back to the early years of United States history. Both African-American and Anglo-American ingredients are at its core, the banjo having African origins, the fiddle European."

**
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old-time_music
"With its origins in traditional music of Europe and Africa, old-time music represents perhaps the oldest form of North American traditional music other than Native American music, and thus the term "old-time" is an appropriate one. As a label, however, it dates back only to 1923."

****
RELATED LINKS
Other pancocojams posts showcase additional Old Time music examples of "Lula/Lulu" songs as well as examples of "Miss Lucy Had A Baby", "Bang Bang Lulu", and "Miss Susie Had A Steamboat" whose sources can be partly traced to "Lula Gal" songs.

****
My thanks to the Reeltime Travelers for their musical legacy. Thanks also to the unknown composers of "Shout Lula" as well as the past and present performers of this song.

Thanks also to those who are quoted in this post.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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