Sunday, October 20, 2013

More Comments & Examples Of The Old Time Music Song "Shout Lulu"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post is a continuation of pancocojams' series on the Old Time Music song "Shout Lulu". It contains additional comments about & text examples of "Shout Lula". This post also includes a video of the group Freight Hoppers performance of "Shout Little Lula". The addendum to this post showcases a video of a version of the related song "Hook And Line" performed by Joe Thompson & Odell Thompson.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and educational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

These examples are posted in chronological order with the oldest dated comments given first.

Two comments from!topic/

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?"

posted by George Conklin (Durham, NC) 5/25/97
..."I also asked Gary [Reid] about Shout Lula, which he always
introduces as the first song his mother ever taught him,
right there on Smith Ridge, and play sit clawhammer style.
Ok, but his mother apparently did NOT teach him the words,
which he got from Reid's 78. Those words include"

It Takes a Nickel
It takes a Dime
To see little Lully's
Body Shine
Ok, so who is Lula? What was the origin of the song? No of
us knows. Gary thought only Dick Spottswood might know, but
do any of you? Was she a prostitute? What words did
Grayson and Whitter NOT record due to the restrictions of
the time?
Click for a example of "Shout Lula" performed by Grayson and Whitter.

Three comments from "Lyr Req: Hook and Line (and related songs)"

WARNING: Some comments & some lyrics that are found in that very informative discussion include the fully spelled out "n word". However, none of the comments re-posted below have that content.

posted by Richie; Date: 20 Nov 02 - 09:55 PM
"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)"
In another comment to that thread Richie 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."

From: Stewie; Date: 21 Nov 02 - 01:51 AM
"Here is how I hear Uncle Dave's 'Just From Tennessee' - subject, as usual, to confirmation by other ears. I'm not certain of the 'eats greens' stanza, but the remainder should be pretty accurate.


Spoken: Hello folks, just as soon as I get the epiglottis and diaphonics of my throat cleared up a little, I'm gonna sing you a song. Now I'm gonna give you (a little of) the variations of 'Cotton-eyed Joe'.


Spoken: Hot dog! Ready and rarin' to go!

Listen, good people, to what I say
Just from Tennessee in my weavin'(?) way
Born(ed) in Warren County, raised in Tennessee
If you don't like my looks, don't look at me
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

Been to Muscle Shoals and I been to Beaver Dam
I've seen no place like Alabam
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

I got a girl, says she's so tall
She sits in the parlour with her feet in the hall
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

I got a girl, says she eats some greens
She shakes her wicked foot and she shakes it mean
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

Coffee in the pot, there's sugar in the bowl
Papa won't eat without jelly roll
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

Just one thing, and I don't understand
Why a bow-legged woman likes a pigeon-toed man
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

Just one thing that makes me unhappy
I haven't got a daughter for to call me pappy
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away
Shout Lula, shout I say
Shout Lula, I'm gwine away

Source: transcription of Uncle Dave Macon 'Just From Tennessee' recorded on 13 April 1925 in NYC and issued as Vo 5075 in February 1927. Reissued on Uncle Dave Macon 'Early Recordings 1924-1925' Old Homestead OHCD 4184.

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hook and Line (and related songs)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 05:23 PM


Hook and line to catch a shad,
First think I caught was my old dad.

Pole broke and I got mad,
Right to the bottom went my old dad!

Shout a nickel, shout a dime,
Shout little Lulu any old time.

Shout little Lulu, shout your best,
Your old grandmother's in a hornet's nest!
(Spoken:) Yes sir!

Shout, shout, shout, shout!
What in hell are you shoutin' about?

Source: Old-Time Mountain Banjo (p. 11), by Art Rosenbaum

It's very difficult to determine which came first-White minstrel versions of many "minstrel" songs or Black plantation lyrics & tunes for those songs. 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.

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.

Here's an explanation about the word "shout"
Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: Hook and Line
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."
*"kytrad" is the screen name for White American folk music singer, songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player Jean Ritchie (ngwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player. Click 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 for more information about Bessie Jones.

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Freight Hoppers "Shout Little Lula" PIP 2010

Joanna Joseph, Uploaded on Oct 10, 2010

Says Frank Lee, "It's a good one to dance to; just let your conscience be your guide." Look at David Bass go!

The Freight Hoppers were headliners at Pickin' In the Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival, held Sep 17-19, 2010, at the Pine Mt. Amphitheater in Flagstaff, AZ, organized by Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music (FFOTM).

The Freight Hoppers
This video is given without a transcription.


PineCone CD Release Preview: Hook and Line

NCArts, Uploaded on Oct 6, 2009

This a recording from the upcoming PineCone CD Release, "Going Down to Raleigh: Stringband Music in the North Carolina Piedmont 1976-1998," which features 48 old-time regional stringband dance tunes and songs highlighting some of the best traditional music of Piedmont region.

Hook and Line
Joe Thompson - fiddle and vocal, Odell Thompson - banjo and vocal. Recorded 1988 by Wayne Martin and Wes Lachot.

Joe Thompson (b. 1918) and Odell Thompson (1911-1994) were first cousins who grew up on farms near the Alamance-Orange County line north of Mebane. Family stories say that their grandfather, Robert, born into slavery on a Person County plantation, played the fiddle. His sons John Arch, Walter and Jacob played fiddle and banjo. Neighbors, both African American and white, called upon Walter and John Arch Thompson, to provide music for square dances.

As a boy, Odell chose a fiddle as a premium prize for selling forty packs of chewing gum. After playing the fiddle for several years, he gravitated to guitar after his older brother purchased one. Joe had also taken up fiddling at a young age and he and his brothers performed at Saturday-night dances with his father and uncle. He recalls taking his position in the doorway between rooms filled with dancing couples. "We were playing [four- and eight-hand square dance] sets—I was only seven years old. We had straight chairs and my feet couldn't touch the floor. And we were running them folks, man, a half an hour."
This song includes the familiar verses to "The Crawdad Song".

Thanks to the unknown composers of "Shout Lula" and thanks to all the artists featured in this post for their musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post.

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