mudcat.org: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song

DigiTrad:
WHOA BACK BUCK
WHOA BACK BUCK (2)


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Whoa Back Buck (Leadbelly) (41)


Sourdough 28 Jul 01 - 04:42 PM
Jeri 28 Jul 01 - 06:10 PM
Amos 28 Jul 01 - 06:15 PM
Sourdough 28 Jul 01 - 06:44 PM
Art Thieme 28 Jul 01 - 08:33 PM
Deckman 28 Jul 01 - 08:36 PM
Art Thieme 28 Jul 01 - 08:43 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 28 Jul 01 - 08:55 PM
Stewie 28 Jul 01 - 08:59 PM
Stewie 28 Jul 01 - 09:19 PM
raredance 29 Jul 01 - 01:00 PM
Amos 29 Jul 01 - 01:40 PM
Art Thieme 29 Jul 01 - 06:47 PM
Snuffy 29 Jul 01 - 07:38 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Jul 01 - 08:34 PM
toadfrog 30 Jul 01 - 01:53 AM
toadfrog 30 Jul 01 - 01:56 AM
Anglo 30 Jul 01 - 03:09 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 30 Jul 01 - 01:25 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 30 Jul 01 - 03:24 PM
Art Thieme 30 Jul 01 - 03:43 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 30 Jul 01 - 07:50 PM
Dave Swan 31 Jul 01 - 05:08 PM
raredance 30 Jan 03 - 07:54 PM
mg 31 Jan 03 - 01:23 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Sourdough
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 04:42 PM

One of the news anchors on WBZ in Boston used to be a folksinger. He was part of a group called The Mandrells, three African Americans who sang tight harmonies without accompaniment.

One of their songs, kind of their signature song, was something I have never heard anyone else sing. It is an ox driving song but does NOT begin with "I pop my whip and I bring the blood", it is totally unrelated except by subject matter.

Some of the terms are unfamiliar to me me so I have made sense of them phonetically. Here are the fragments I can remember. It is a powerful song.

"Whoa, back Buck 'n Gee by the Lamb
Who made the backband? Whoa goddam.
(Chorus)
"Whoa, goddam, 'n whoa goddam
Who made the backband? Whoa goddam.

____ won't ___ and _______ won't pull.
Papa's gonna cut that other little bull.

"Eighteen, nineteen, twenty years ago,
I took my Sal to the party-o"

Sourdough


click for related thread


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Jeri
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 06:10 PM

Doesn't Max sing this one? Is it from Leadbelly?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 06:15 PM

Dunno if Leadbelly did or not but I sang it way back when -- thirty years ago or so. With words missing!! A neat trick. I believe backband is a msinterpretation of "black man". The blanks are names of oxen -- perhaps Buck and Sal. Glad to be reminded of it -- I haven't thought of this in many years, except for the one part that has made its way onto the post-60's vernacular, the expression "Whoa Goddamn!!".

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Sourdough
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 06:44 PM

Leadbelly sounds right.

Looks like we're getting closer.

Sourdough


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: Whoa Back Buck^^
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 08:33 PM

It's called "Whoa Back Buck" strangely.

chorus)
Whoh back Buck---gee by the lamb,
Who made the back band---whoa doddamn.

1819--20 years ago,
Took my gal to the country store,
Took my gal to the country store,
Buy m' pretty little gal little calico.

Me and my gal walkin' down the road,
Her knees knock together playin' "Sugar In The Gourd",
Sugar in the gourd and the gourd in the ground,
If you want a little sugar got to roll the gourd around.

My old man's a good old man,Combed his hair with a wagon wheel,
Died with a tooth ache in his heel.

Papa loved mama---mama loved men,(three times)
Mama's in the graveyard and papa's in the pen.

(These are the verses I used to sing.)^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 08:36 PM

Guy Carawan, on his first Folkways album (I think) recorded the best version I've ever heard. CHEERS, Bob (deckman) Nelson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: Whoa Back Buck ^^
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 08:43 PM

I always thought it was sung to his mule.

The verse should've been:

My old man's good old man
Washed his face in a frying pan,
Combed his hair with a wagon wheel,
And died with a toothache in his heel.

another few verse I thought of:

I gee to the mule but the mule wouldn't gee, (3 times)
So I hit him side the head with the single tree.

I haw to the mule wouldn't haw, (3 times)
So I broke his back with my mother-in-law.

Art Thieme

^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 08:55 PM

I remember "My old man is a good old man" verse, but there are elements here that seem to belong to another song, the one in Sourdough's posting. Would like to see more.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 08:59 PM

There was a previous thread on this song:

Here

I have an unissued recording on a 1989 Blues Time LP (Victor 05197) that Leadbelly made with the Golden Gate Quartet in June 1940. The lyrics are pretty close to what Dr John posted in previous thread with some extra verses. There's an oldtimey connection here, but I can't remember what it is. The latter stanzas in Art's version above look like floaters from the white tradition. I recall that there was a discussion of the song on the oltimey newsgroup about a year ago, but I don't know how to access their archives.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Jul 01 - 09:19 PM

There's a set of lyrics here that Leadbelly must have moderated for the kiddies:

Click

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: WHOA, HAW, BUCK AND JERRY BOY^^^
From: raredance
Date: 29 Jul 01 - 01:00 PM

Another recorded version of the song is on "The Brothers Four: In Person" (Columbia CL 1828)

Here's another song that may in some way be connected. It is much older. It was preserved by an early director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, who said the song was sung when he crossed the plains in the late 1850's. A raucous recorded version of this is on the LP album by the Three D's called "Mormon Folk Ballads", produced and distrubited by the Department of Audio Visual Communication, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. (I wouldn't be looking for this to appear on CD any time soon). The tune is a variant of "Turkey In the Straw". The lyrics are found in "Mormon Songs From the Rocky Mountains" edited by Thomas E. Cheney ( 1968, American Folklore Society, lib cong. #68-63018).

WHOA, HAW, BUCK AND JERRY BOY

With a merry little jig and a gay little song,
Whoa, Haw, Buck, and Jerry Boy,
We trudge our way the whole day long,
Whoa, Haw, Buck, and Jerry Boy,
What though we are covered all over with dust
It's better than staying back home to rust,
We'll reach Salt Lake some day or bust,
Whoa, Haw, Buck, and Jerry Boy,

There's a pretty little girl in the outfit ahead,
Whoa, Haw, Buck, and Jerry Boy,
I wish she was by my side instead,
Whoa, Haw, Buck, and Jerry Boy,
Look at her now with a pout on her lips
As daintily with her finger tips
She picks for the fire some buffalo chips
Whoa, Haw, Buck, and Jerry Boy,

Oh tonight we'll dance by the light of the moon,
Whoa, Haw, Buck, and Jerry Boy,
To the fiddler's best and only tune
Whoa, Haw, Buck, and Jerry Boy,
Holding her hand and stealing a kiss
But never a step of the dance we miss,
Never did know a love like this,
Whoa, Haw, Buck, and Jerry Boy.

rich r

^^^ ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 01 - 01:40 PM

Beautiful, rich!!

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Jul 01 - 06:47 PM

"gee" and "haw" = right and left = starboard and port =...

The "My old man" verse was from the song "Old Dan Tucker".

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Jul 01 - 07:38 PM

WHOA, HAW, BUCK AND JERRY BOY is in the DT from a 1995 recording by Cory Webster and several other musicians at the University of Utah.

Also in the DT are ALL-E-OXEN FREE, THE OXEN PLOUGHING, AND THE OXEN SONG.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jul 01 - 08:34 PM

Art Thieme has some of Sourdough's lyrics, but there are more out there in an unexpurgated version.I hope someone will come up with it. Whoa, goddamn!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: toadfrog
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 01:53 AM

I can't lay my hands on my copy right now, but I believe there are lyrics in the Lomax book. His first verse went:

Old buck done baulk and old Tom won't pull,
Papa gonna cut that other li'l bull.
Whoa, back and gee by the Lamb!
Who made the backband, whoa goddamn.

Leadbelly is the guy who sang it. A backband is a piece of harness.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: toadfrog
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 01:56 AM

That clickie above for related thread takes you straight back to this one. I call that downright incestuous.
I call that an honest mistake, made by me... In my old age, I realize that I've made a lot of 'em. ;-)
I fixed it. Note that the other thread has the Lomax lyrics.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Anglo
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 03:09 AM

Whoa Back Buck is a song Michael Cooney has sung a lot over the years. I first heard it on a recording by Lonnie Donegan (and I guess that dates me).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 01:25 PM

Leadbelly's cleaned-up version is on the Smithsonian site, along with others that he sang. Lonnie Donnegan prob. had an expurgated version on his recording (is it still in print?). Still hope someone can come up with a better version.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 03:24 PM

The Traditional Ballad Index (www.csufresno.edu/folklore/balladsearch.html) gives references and suggests that Leadbelly revised it from an older tune, and that Lomax further revised it. As Art Thieme said, it is a mule-driving song originally.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 03:43 PM

A big early influence on me, Bob Gibson, did this in the the 1950s. He put it on one of his Riverside LPs. It's now on CD as a part of the compilation from those days called JOY JOY! The Young And Wonderful Bob Gibson taken from those halcion days in Chicago. (Riverside RIVCD-9909-2) I originally got my version of this song from Bob but it just evolved as the years passed.

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 07:50 PM

Thanks, Art. I will look for the Gibson cd at Camsco.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: Dave Swan
Date: 31 Jul 01 - 05:08 PM

Great stuff here.

We sang the Star Spangeled Banner last Sunday at the Stanislaus County Draft Horse and Ox pull in scenic Turlock, California. I wish I'd had this song then. What a great day, a county fair, a little singing (52 seconds in our arrangement)and a chance to hang out with several teams of oxen. I really enjoy their company.

Some of this is familiar from an mule driving song which p.j. sings. I think the reference to a back band must be inheirited from the mule skinners, as there isn't a back band associated with the yoke and bows used on oxen.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: raredance
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 07:54 PM

A version of "Whoa Back Buck" was also recorded in 1963 by the Rooftop Singers, the tio Eric Darling formed after he left the Weavers.

rich r


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Other' Ox Driving Song
From: mg
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 01:23 AM

veeering off the subject here...the lost boys of Africa (I just forgot what country) were from a culture that made up songs about their cows. And they have continued to make up songs about cows. I hope someone collects them. When they were finally accepted into the U.S. they hoped to go to Chicago because they saw all these people wearing Chicago Bulls t shirts and thought here is a place that appreciates cows (this is not bullshit..honest). Anyway, it is a very sad story with a somewhat good ending I hope. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 August 12:02 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.