Mudcat Café message #3282577 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142290   Message #3282577
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
31-Dec-11 - 03:03 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add/Req: Wheel, oh, Matilda
Subject: RE: Lyr Add/Req: Wheel, oh, Matilda
Have not found a Belafonte version.

I think it worthwhile to post part of the story, "Devil's Honey-Dram," cited by Morwen:

"An' Annancy went an see his son was beating [husking] corn an' he ask the woman what the boy is doing here. An' the woman tell him that this is the boy was tiefing all Devil honey-dram, an' now him catch him, an' him wouldn' let him go until the master come.
An' Annancy ask the woman if he don't have any more corn to beat.
The foolish woman say:- "Yes, Brother Annancy, but not all the corn you going to beat you won't get your son till the master come."
An' Annancy begin to fret for him know when Devil come he won't have no more son again, for Devil will kill him an' eat him.
An' the woman name is Matilda.
An' Annancy took the corn an' begin to beat and he start to sing:-

[with musical score]
Wheel oh ! Wheel oh Matilda.
Turn the water wheel oh Matilda !
Matilda mah-my los' him gold ring,
Turn the water wheel oh Matilda.

"An' the woman began to dance an' wheel. An' she dance an' dance till she get tired an' fall asleep.
An' Annancy (the clever fellow) took his son out an' light Devil house with fire.
An' when Devil in the bush look an' see his house is burning he t'row down his gun and 'tart a run to his yard.
Until he come the house burn flat to ground.
An' Devil couldn' find Matilda his faithful mother, an' Devil take to heart an' dead.
And Annancy take Devil honey-dram for himself....."

honey-dram- honey, water, chewstick, ginger and rum. When mixed the dram is put in the sun to ripen. Chewstick (Gouania domingensis is bitter and takes the place of hops.

Walter Jekyll, 1907 and reprints, Jamaican Song and Story.