Mudcat Café message #3281623 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142290   Message #3281623
Posted By: GUEST,Bob Coltman
29-Dec-11 - 03:33 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add/Req: Wheel, oh, Matilda
Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: Wheel, oh, Matilda
Yes, I have tried to hear lyrics of three different Jamaican dance groups on YouTube; sound is too bad to make out more than a few lyrics, but those lyrics I can understand seem not to differ from those given above.

Art, that's a great suggestion. I never heard Bob Gibson's Carnegie Hall LP, but I did hear other records by him at an early stage—also met him at an LA nightclub (the Ash Grove I think) in 1959 and heard him sing there. Perhaps he did sing Wheel Oh Matilda. Still I don't associate the song with his sound at all, and I was pretty familiar with Gibson's work at that time.

My memory of the "Wheel O Matilda" I heard definitely was not solo, and had no banjo. It had that Belafonte pop-calypso sound, male singer backed by a rhythm group and backup singers. I particularly remember the singer doing a long high sequence of "Matil-da, Matil-da, Matil-da, Matil-da" over the backup singers' " wheel-O Matilda, etc." which was kind of annoying, but instantly memorable.

I'm now wondering if there's a chance it could have been Belafonte after all. I never heard him live or on radio, so it would have had to be on record. Could that song list of his be incomplete? Or could this song appear under a totally different title?

That's as far as I've been able to get with my thoughts on this. Just one of those partial memories from too many years ago that bug you and won't resolve, I guess.