Sunday, November 3, 2013

Vera Hall - Black Woman (Wild Ox Moan) sound file & lyrics

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a sound file and lyrics of the Blues song "Black Woman" as sung by Vera Hall.

Note: I included the word "Ahum" to this title to distinguish it from other songs entitled "Black Woman".

Information about Vera Hall is also included in this post.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"Adell Hall Ward, better known as Vera Hall (April 6, 1902 – January 29, 1964)[1] was an American folk singer, born in Livingston, Alabama, United States.[2] She is best known for her song "Trouble So Hard" (1937). She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 2005.[3]

... John Avery Lomax, ethnomusicologist, met Hall in the 1930s and recorded her for the Library of Congress.[2] Lomax wrote that she had the loveliest voice [he] had ever recorded.[citation needed] The BBC played Hall's recording of "Another Man Done Gone" in 1943 as a sample of American folk music. The Library of Congress played the song the same year in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1945, Hall recorded with Byron Arnold. In 1984, the recordings were released as a collection of folk songs entitled "Cornbread Crumbled in Gravy"…
Lomax's son, Alan, also championed Vera Hall – bringing her to New York for a performance at Columbia University in 1948 and assembling Rainbow Sign, a book based on Hall's life and stories.
Today, her work still garners attention. Prized by scholars and folksong enthusiasts, Halls recordings include examples of early blues and folk songs that are found nowhere else.[4]
...Moby's 2000 single "Natural Blues" is essentially an extended remix of the song "Trouble So Hard" (1937).[2]
Moby’s song “Running” (Original Mix) contains a repeated clip of Vera Hall singing “Woman” [with that word extended.]

SHOWCASE EXAMPLE: Black Woman (Wild Ox Moan)

Vera Hall - Topic, Published on Sep 23, 2014

Provided to YouTube by The Orchard Enterprises

Black Woman (Wild Ox Moan) · Vera Ward Hall

I'll Meet You On That Other Shore: Alan Lomax’s "Southern Journey," 1959–1960

℗ 2010 Odyssey Productions, Inc. For The Estate Of Alan Lomax

Released on: 2010-12-28

Producer: Alan Lomax

Auto-generated by YouTube.
This sound file replaces a 2012 one that was previously showcased in this post and is no longer available. The summary for that sound file said "original version long before moby extracted the vocals and used it for he's song "running".

(as sung by Vera Hall)

I’m gonna get an old Black woman
And sit all day.
Well, I got something to tell you pretty mama
Don’t you holler, please.
Well, I’m gone up the country
Don’t you want to go
Well, I’m gone out to Texas
To hear that water moan
If he don’t want to suit me Black woman
I’m gonna try my best down home
So don’t your kitchen feel lonesome
When your biscuit roller gone
*Transcription by Azizi Powell.

I tried to make a transcription of this song because I couldn't find the lyrics online. However, I wasn't sure about many of the lyrics. Words written in italics mean that I'm not sure about that transcription. Additions and corrections are welcome.

The lyrics to this song are from a man's perceptive [what a man would sing to a woman].

"Ahum" is an interjection that is used similarly to "Hum","Oh", or "Well".

"So don’t your kitchen feel lonesome/When your biscuit roller gone" = don't you [your "body"] feel lonely when your lover is gone.

Thanks to Vera Hall for her musical legacy. Thanks also to the publisher of this sound file on YouTube, and thanks to those who I quoted in this post.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. Unbelievably wrong lyrics! Go to the Smithsonian archive and correct, please.

    1. Elly Wininger, I appreciate your comment partly because it alerted me to the fact that the sound file that I had showcased for this song is no longer available.

      I went to a Smithsonian website and saw Vera Hall - "Black Woman" listed but no lyrics were given.

      If you know the correct lyrics to this song, please share them.