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Friday, November 25, 2016

The Black Gospel Source of The "U Name It Challenge" (Thanksgiving Church Remix)

Edited by Azizi Powell

(revised November 27, 2016)

This pancocojams post provides information and comments about the Gospel source of the Thanksgiving holiday "U Name It" viral dance challenge videos/meme. This post also showcases videos of the Shirley Caesar Gospel song "Hold My Mule" that is used for this dance challenge and other videos about the "U Name It" challenge/meme.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, religious, entertainment purposes

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Pastor Shirley Caesar, DJ Suede, and all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these YouTube videos.

Special thanks to Jennifer T. for letting me know about this dance challenge.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE "U NAME IT CHALLENGE" (#UNAMEITCHALLENGE)/ THE STORY OF "SHOUTING JOHN" ("HOLD MY MULE")
The snippet that is used for #UNAMEITCHALLENGE videos is lifted from a 1988, 1989, or 1990s rendition of Pastor Shirley Caesar's introductory story of "Shouting John" (also known as "Hold My Mule"). Pastor Caesar tells the story of "Shouting John" as a prelude to her and her choir's rendition of the Gospel song "I'm Gonna Praise The Lord While I Have A Chance" (also known as "I'm Going To Praise The Lord While I Have A Chance.)" As a result of the popularity of that Shirley Caesar remix, her versions of that song are widely (and erroneously) known as "Hold My Mule" or "Shouting John".

A transcription of a rendition of Shirley Caesar & choir singing "I'm Going To Praise The Lord While I Have A Chance" are included in this 2014 pancocojams post: http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/11/shirley-caesar-shouting-john-hold-my.html for another rendition of Shirley Caesar's - "Shouting John "(Hold My Mule) with videos, lyrics, and comments.

This internet page http://www.thelyricarchive.com/song/1005551-133923/While-I-Have-a-Chance provides lyrics for another version of this song and credits African American Gospel composer, vocalist, and choir director James Bignon as its composer. However, the book that James Bignon authored* that contains a list of his compositions doesn't include "Praise The Lord While I Have A Chance".

If you have any information about who composed this song and when it was composed, please add that information to the comment section below.

*Google Books (Table of Content) for Timeless Gospel Music Collection : Songs written and arranged by James Bignon

**
I also don't know if Shirley Caesar is the author of the "Shouting John"/"Hold My Mule" story, but there's no doubt that that story was popularized by that Gospel singer since she first recorded it as a prelude to her rendition of "Praise The Lord" etc." in 1988. And there's also no doubt that Shirley Caesar's "Shouting John" story has become much more widely known as a result of Dj Suede's November 2016 production of the "U Name It Challenge".

Shirley Caesar first recorded "Shouting John" ("Hold My Mule") in 1988. http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/hot-topics/shirley-caesars-big-social-media-payout/. Here's an excerpt from that article:
"In the original song, Caesar tells the story of an 86-year-old man named Shouting John, who joined a church that didn’t believe in dancing and speaking in tongues. John was kicked put [sic] out of the church for shouting too loudly during the sermon.

He countered his ouster with a testimony that God had blessed him as a farmer.”Look!” he shouted. “I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lambs, rams, hogs, dogs, chickens, turkeys, rabbits … you name it!” (See the 5:45 mark in the YouTube video [given in this pancocojams post as Example #1]. That line became the foundation for Suede’s “You Name It! ” remix."
-snip-
"Dancing" here refers to people doing "the Holy dance" (also known as "getting happy", "cutting a step" etc.) during a church service because they feel the Holy Spirit and want to praise God that way.

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Explanation of the song title "Hold My Mule":
When the church deacons (church officials) went to John's farm to tell him that he was being ousted as a member of that church because he believed in "shouting", John said "Hold my mule" to one of the deacons so that he could praise God by dancing and shouting right then and there.

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"You name it" is a shortened way of saying "I've got whatever you might name (list) in one or more given categories."

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Here's more information about that "Shouting John" clip:
From http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/7587981/gospel-legend-shirley-caesar-soars-thanks-to-remix-memes-of-hold
"Gospel icon Shirley Caesar's remix* of "Hold My Mule," featuring Albertina Walker and Milton Brunson, kicks onto Billboard's Hot Gospel Songs chart (dated Dec. 3) at No. 2, propelled by its No. 1 debut on Gospel Streaming Songs, as it surges by 7,510 percent to 821,000 U.S. streams in the week ending Nov. 17, [2016] according to Nielsen Music. The 79-year-old vocalist and pastor originally recorded the track in 1988. (Caesar first reached a Billboard chart in 1975.)

Why the sudden surge in the song's popularity? In the tradition of recent social media memes (like the Mannequin Challenge) comes the #UNameIt Challenge, which started when DJ Suede The Remix God created an update of "Mule," with special focus on the line, "beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes" among other food shout-outs, obviously timely just ahead of Thanksgiving."...
-snip-
*I added italics to highlight this sentence. Notice that the sentence indicates that this was the date that Shirley Caesar first recorded "Shouting John" ("Hold My Mule"). The article quoted above and other articles that I've found indicate that Shirley Caesar recorded a remix of "Hold My Mule" in 1988.

I believe that article's use of the word "remix" refers to Shirley Caesar's testimony and story of "Shouting John" ("Hold My Mule") that she used as a prelude to the Gospel song "Praise God While I Have A Chance".

That remix may be the same as or very similar to the one that is given as Video Example #1 below, i.e. the Shouting John story that leads up to the Gospel song "Praise The Lord While I Have A Chance."
-snip-
Click http://forwardtimes.com/whats-the-word/ for an informative article about Gospel singer Shirley Caesar. That article was written in March 2016, before the viral "U Name It" Dance challenge. Here's an excerpt from that article:
"Gospel music is known for its dominant vocals which command your attention while telling stories through Christian lyrics and experiences. Shirley Caesar embodies this definition over-and-over again with songs like “ I Remember Mama”, “He’s Working It Out For You”, “Jesus, I Love Calling Your Name” and “Hold My Mule”. As I mentioned earlier “Hold My Mule” is on my Top 10 list but as a young child the imagery she provided of “Old Shouting John” was questionable for me because I didn’t understand why John’s actions were frowned upon at his church. “I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people”, Psalms 35:18 states. I was always taught that praising God was a good thing and praise comes in many forms. Now as an adult the message is clear and the manner in which Pastor Caesar introduced the world to John will never be duplicated."
-snip-
It's important to emphasize that Shirley Caesar's introductory remarks/sermon and her renditions of "Shouting John" ("Hold My Mule") song have nothing whatsoever to do with the Thanksgiving holiday or with food.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/11/examples-of-gospel-song-im-going-to.html for Shirley Caesar & choir's rendition of "I'm Gonna Praise The Lord While I Have A Chance" and three other versions of that Gospel song.

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COMMENTS ABOUT THE "U NAME IT (DANCE) CHALLENGE/MEME"
From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRqd4TFctbQ
(Video given as Example #3 below)
"This past week [November 17, 2016] , Thanksgiving-inspired memes featuring a snippet from legendary gospel singer Shirley Caesar's "Hold My Mule" have been hitting the internet by storm.

The meme has been branded as the #UNameItChallenge and builds off of Caesar's chant, "beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes," in response to the question, "Grandma, what are you cooking for Thanksgiving?"
-snip-
DJ Suede remixed the brief portion of Shirley Caesar's "Hold My Mule" adding a trap beat.

Like other dance challenges (such as "Hit The Quan" and "Juju On The Beat"), #UNameIt Challenge videos consist of multiple clips of people doing the same or similar currently popular dance moves to very brief portion of a song.

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From https://bcnn1wp.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/shirley-caesar-rebukes-people-dancing-in-a-sexually-suggestive-way-to-her-song-used-in-u-name-it-challenge/
Pastor Shirley Caesar loves the fact that a song she recorded decades ago is getting remixed into a viral cultural sensation, but she’s vehemently opposed it being used in sexually suggestive twerking videos that are being posted online.

Caesar, the 78-year-old pastor and gospel singer first recorded a song called “Hold My Mule” for the 1988 album, Live in Chicago. Close to three decades later, one portion of the song where Caesar sings ‘I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes,” has inspired people of all ages, various forms of undress and sexual poses to dance to her song, including an elderly grandmother who twerks while holding onto her walker.

While Caesar is grateful that even a small part of her music is reaching a new audience, she’s dismayed by the manner in which the song is being used.

“I’m really excited about everything that’s going on,” Caesar told TMZ before explaining the concerns she has with the “U Name It” challenge. “When you look and see all the gyrations and especially the women. I can even put up with the dancing, but all of the shaking and the twerking and all of that. I just want everybody to know that I’m a gospel singer, I’m a born-again believer, I’m a pastor, and I don’t ever want anything to bring a [negative] reflection on what I stand for.”...

The 11-time Grammy Award gospel singer who was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June went on to explain the shock that she experienced as she watched some of the dance videos inspired by her song.

“There’s those where they have women showing their rumps, their butts, I think they call it twerking. I want them to know that I see it as a sign of disrespect because I’m a pastor, I’m a gospel singer, and I love the Lord,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’m shocked they would do that.”

She added, however, that one positive aspect of the viral sensation is that her music is being heard by new generations. “They don’t really know who I am unless their moms or their grandparents tell them. I’m glad,” she said. “I mean, little 3-year-olds are singing, ‘I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes."...
-snip-
These excerpts are given as they are found in that article, including the word "negative" that was written in brackets.

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LYRICS: #UNAMEITCHALLENGE (THANKSGIVING CHURCH REMIX) LYRICS
(from the sermon/introduction to a rendition of the Gospel song "Hold My Mule" -also known as "Shouting John" by Shirley Caesar)

[Produced by DJ Suede]


[Shirley Caesar]:
Look!

I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Lamb, rams, hog maw
Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Chicken, turkeys, rabbit (You name it)

Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Lamb, rams, hogs, dogs
Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Chicken, turkeys, chicken, turkeys

Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Lamb, rams, hog maw
Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Chicken, turkeys, rabbit
You name it!

Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Beans, greens
Beans, greens
Beans, beans, beans, beans

Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Chicken, turkeys, chicken, turkeys
Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Chicken, turkeys, chicken, turkeys

You name it
You name it
You name it
You name it

I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Lamb, rams, hog maw
Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Chicken, turkeys, rabbit (You name it)

Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Lamb, rams, hog maw
Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Chicken, turkeys, chicken, turkeys

Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Lamb, rams, hog maw
Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Chicken, turkeys, rabbit
You name it!

Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Beans, greens
Beans, greens
Beans, beans, beans, beans

Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Chicken, turkeys, chicken, turkeys
Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes
Chicken, turkeys, chicken, turkeys

You name it
You name it
You name it
You name it

Source: http://genius.com/Dj-suede-unameitchallenge-thanksgiving-church-remix-lyrics

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FEATURED VIDEOS
Example #1: Hold My Mule



Pannellctp Traditional Gospel Music, Uploaded on Dec 5, 2010

Shirley Caesar "Hold My Mule" After 40 Years
-snip-
Here are selected comments from another example of this same video: Pastor Shirley Ceasar Hold My Mule You Name It ORIGINAL Video UnameItChallenge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvE1YcJ58Ks


All of these comments are from November 15, 2016 to date November 25, 2016). I've added numbers to these comments for referencing purposes only.

1. Lenext Owens
"What genius put that hard trap beat on this legendary woman's voice and looped into a viral sensation # Hold my mule"

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2. Reply
82,094,361 views
"His name is Dj Suede, and i just uploader 2 videos of him introducing himself and all that, and the full studio tutorial session on how he made the beat here is the link and visit my page for other videos of him...thanks"...
-snip-
One of those videos is given as Example #2 below.

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3. Mr. Pepper
"This isn't talking about an actual meal."

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Reply
4. Elijah Quinn
"she said hogs, dogs not hot dogs. Btw after that"chicken, turkey, rabbit" YOU NAME IT"

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Reply
5. Victor Hodges
This is a bit of a joke now, but listen to the message and you might find something in it. IMO, she's telling you to keep your faith in Christ, even when it all seems lost, and your harvest (read life) will be bountiful. Do not despair, as He walks with you. You only need to take your first step towards Him. Seek and you shall find.

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6. ALLANA JACKSON1 week ago
The remixes are cute. I am not religious, but so many miss the message by not viewing the full version. This is not the full version. It skips the deacons of the church visiting the man who dances too much in church...the man who apparently has nothing: yet has everything he needs.

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7. ALLANA JACKSON
"This gospel sermon is about the animals on John's farm...not a meal, and definitely not hot dogs. If you listen, Lamb rhymes with ram. Hog...dog...uh...they rhyme. Pull the full version because this is NOT it."

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Reply
8. Dirtymane1
"+ALLANA JACKSON
The reason most people are confused is probably because they were introduced to this from the "Grandma what are you cooking for Thanksgiving" video

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Reply
9. Nicole Nunya
"+Dirtymane1 yea that's true the song is lit, BUT some ppl are taking it too far and saying crazy things without any knowledge of the origin of the "song"

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10. Callme
"you just have to pay homage for the original u name it!!!! I got peace, joy, faith, hope, love u name it!!!!!!"

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11. gale Teel
"Amen Pastor Shirley"

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Reply
12. Nicole Nunya
+dredvax the song isn't about food lol. it's about a farmer saying what all he has on his farm thanks to the Lord

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13. caplin Grey
"thou shalt not kill. obey the commandments you hypocrite."

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Reply
14. Adunola the Oracle
"caplin Grey What are you talking about??

She wasn't talking about killing the animals! If you would have heard the entire video or song call "Hold My Mule", she is telling a story of a farmer that was thankful to have all of those animals on his farm and is giving praise to God.

She is saying that the farmer is saying "Look at all these things God has blessed me with!"

It had nothing to do with eating Thanksgiving dinner originally. 🙄"

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15. #PrettyonMe
"Like this if you are here because when the You Name it challenge came out you were a little confused as to why this woman was singing about lambs and rams and needed some context lol"

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Reply
16. Killer Bee
"#PrettyonMe Exactly!! lol I'm like, is she in church rapping about food?! and the way the audience engaged her by looking, just intrigued me more lol"

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17. Brittany Negron
she need some money for this song . it's going viral everywhere. THANKSGIVING ANTHEM FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS

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Example #2: Do You Know Who Created UnameItChallenge? Meet The Genius Dj Suede Remixgodsuede



82,094,361 views, Published on Nov 18, 2016

Meet Remix God Suede The GENIUS Behind The Thanksgiving Anthem Making A Beat Sampling Pastor Shirley Ceaser's Hold My Mule Song To Create A Viral Thanksgiving Anthem Known As "U Name It Challenge"!

..."Dj Suede" "Remix God Suede" "Remixgodsuede" “The Thanksgiving Beat Producer” This is how the U Name It Challenge All Started

It is November 2016 and its almost Thanksgiving, we already know what song is gonna be played and what the World is dancing to right now but a lot of people seem to completely forget the Little GENIUS Producer behind the Thanksgiving Anthem, but we decided to find him and he shows Us how he made the beat, not the whole thing but a little insight! and in the end of the video Mama Shirley Ceaser Did The You Name It Challenge Herself..we can call that a Remix. May God Bless Her Soul for the Message."...
-snip-
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread:

82,094,361 views, November 17, 2016
"God Bless Pastor Shirley Ceaser for the powerful message, I am personally loving it. As a Producer myself, I was thinking "What about DJ Suede? " Hell yeah, the media somehow forgot about the Genius behind this whole #UnameItChallenge Thanksgiving Anthem thing. its a big thing and this dude need to get his fair share and exposure he deserves, without him there ain't gonna be no "Lit" Thanksgiving in 2016 !!

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Example #3: Pastor Shirley Caesar Responds To U Name It Challenge Interview Video (Hold My Mule)



82,094,361 views Published on Nov 17, 2016

Pastor Shirley Ceaser Responds to U Name It Challenge.

....[In the] Interview She said It's also bringing her such joy.

...This past week, Thanksgiving-inspired memes featuring a snippet from legendary gospel singer Shirley Caesar's "Hold My Mule" have been hitting the internet by storm.

The meme has been branded as the #UNameItChallenge and builds off of Caesar's chant, "beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes," in response to the question, "Grandma, what are you cooking for Thanksgiving?"
Needless to say, the memes have been bringing us all sorts of much-needed joy, with Caesar herself recently sharing that she too has been "amazed" by the trending social media sensation involving her and her song.
During an interview on the Willie Moore Jr. Show, Caesar shares her reaction to the viral success of the light-hearted and creative meme and recalls how she found out about it in the first place.

“I was out in the middle of the ocean and one of the members of the church showed it to me,” Caesar responded, when asked if she got wind of the social media craze yet. “I’ve been doing it for years.”
"I was so shocked to see them dancing and boogeying," Caesar added. "The Lord is so good to me."
-snip-
Pastor Shirley Caesar's comment "I’ve been doing it for years.” probably refers to her singing her song "Shouting John" ("Hold My Mule").

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Example #4: Chris Brown NAILS the U Name It Challenge! #unameitchallenge



17,289,122 views, Published on Nov 14, 2016

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Example #5: Beyoncé U Name It Challenge



ctroughton01, Published on Nov 18, 2016

Beyoncé U Name it Challenge

Beyoncé Always On Beat
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The fact that this compilation video of scenes from R&B Beyonce's videos and the other video snippets shown in the Chris Brown challenge compilation given above fit the "U Name It" beat so well demonstrates how common (prevalent) that particular beat is (in African American culture).

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2 comments:

  1. Hi I'm the creator of the Beyoncé U Name It Challenge video and I would like to thank you for posting it on your blog! Glad you liked it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Anonymous.

      I'm so very impressed about how you synchronized those clips from Beyonce videos with the U Name It Challenge.

      Thanks again for your work/art!

      Delete