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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"Hold 'em Joe" (examples & lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases four sound files of the Caribbean song "Hold' em Joe" ("My Donkey Wants Water"). As a bonus, a sound file of a Jazz rendition of this song by Sonny Rollins is also included in this post.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composer of this song, and thanks to all the featured artists for their musical legacies. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos, and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

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LYRICS: HOLE'EM JOE (MY DONKEY WANTS WATER)
(composer: Sam Manning)

Hold 'em Joe, hold'em Joe, hold'em Joe
But don't let him go
Hold 'em Joe, hold'em Joe, hold'em Joe
But don't let him go

Me donkey want water, hold'em Joe,
Spring 'round the corner, hold'em Joe
Me donkey want water, hold'em Joe
Everybody want water, hold'em Joe
Fuma la catchimba, hold'em Joe

We on a journey he don't walk straight
And that is because he's so underweight
Donkey of mine he don't like weight
Put him on a cart he never walk straight

Me donkey want water, hold'em Joe,
Spring 'round the corner, hold'em Joe
Me donkey want water, hold'em Joe
Everybody want water, hold'em Joe
Fuma la catchimba, hold'em Joe

My ole donkey went courtin' one day
With a donkey named Melda across the way
She was twice his age, he put up a fight
Now he's cryin' every night
Oh lemme go, darling Melda,
You breaking my back bone
Lemme go, darling Melda,
You breaking my back

Some people say that my donkey is bad
an' that is because he's from Trinidad
Donkey of mine he won't work at all
All he want to do is break out him stall

Source: http://www.akh.se/lyrics/hold_em_joe.htm

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FEATURED EXAMPLES
These videos are presented in chronological order based on their posting dates with the oldest videos given first.

Multiple versions of a song are presented not to rank which one is best, but to showcase some of the different interpretations artists have given of this song.

Example #1: My Donkey Want Water (Hold 'Em Joe) [10 inch] - Mac Beth, the Great


TheRealDJGIBS•, Uploaded on Jun 29, 2011

Digital archive of Musicraft 78RPM single 434;
My Donkey Want Water (Hold 'Em Joe) by Mac Beth, the Great with Gerald Clark and his Original Calypsos
℗1945 Guild/Musicraft Records
-snip-
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Here are two comments from this sound file's comment thread: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSOkTAK2HEI

TheRealDJGIBS, 2013
For those who think Belafonte wrote this song... haha. It was first recorded in 1925 by Sam Manning (Columbia 2409-X) and while the original Columbia 78 credits Manning as the composer, it was a well known "Jamaican Digging Song".

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Glenroy Joseph, 2013
in reply to TheRealDJGIBS
"Sam Manning was one of the earliest of the Trinidad calypsonians to gain international recognition in the early 20th century. The song may have been derived from a Jamaican digging song, but it is clearly period calypso, although there is a similarity to a Jamaican folk music called mento"
-snip-
Here's a comment that provides information about Macbeth The Great from the discussion thread of another sound file of this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYXjvC-lO4A

branMar2002, 2013
"Macbeth The Great is Patrick MacDonald, a calypsonian from Trinidad who became an important part of Harlem's important west indian community. Patrick's son was Ralph MacDonald, who became one of the most in-demand studio percussionists of all time. Ralph was also an important composer and producer with hits such as "Feel like Making Love" (Roberta Flack), "Mr. Magic" and "Just The Two Of Us" (Grover Washington Jr.). May they all rest in peace."

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Example #2: Hold em Joe



FredCDobbs00, Uploaded on May 21, 2011

This is from The Brute Force Steel Band of Antigua B.W.I. album. This album came out in 1953 as far as I know. I recently learned the identity of the lead singer from his son. His name is Anthony Herbert Hobbs.

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Example #3: Harry Belafonte - Hold 'Em Joe (1954 AND 1957)



PilotOfTheAirwaves1, Published on Mar 5, 2013

This recording charted TWICE. First a #30 Pop hit in 1954, then a #84 Pop chart entry in 1957. By the SAME guy who recorded "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" in 1956 (that was later featured in the movie "Beetlejuice").

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Example #4: Ziggy Marley - "Hold Em Joe" | Family Time



Ziggy Marley, Published on May 7, 2013

Hold 'Em Joe", a track off the Ziggy Marley album, FAMILY TIME.

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BONUS EXAMPLE
Sonny Rollins - Hold 'Em Joe



khimerak, Uploaded on Jan 26, 2011

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RELATED LINK
Visit this page of my cultural website for more Caribbean "folk"* songs:

http://www.cocojams.com/content/caribbean-folk-songs

*Technically, "Hold 'em Joe" isn't a folk song as the composer of this song is known.

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