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Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music

GUEST,Azizi 02 Jul 05 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,Azizi 02 Jul 05 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Azizi 02 Jul 05 - 08:49 AM
paddymac 02 Jul 05 - 09:29 AM
Le Scaramouche 02 Jul 05 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Azizi 02 Jul 05 - 10:08 AM
Le Scaramouche 02 Jul 05 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,Azizi 02 Jul 05 - 10:41 AM
Le Scaramouche 02 Jul 05 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Azizi 02 Jul 05 - 11:41 AM
Le Scaramouche 02 Jul 05 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Azizi 02 Jul 05 - 11:52 AM
Le Scaramouche 02 Jul 05 - 12:04 PM
GUEST 02 Jul 05 - 12:10 PM
Genie 02 Jul 05 - 01:31 PM
Le Scaramouche 02 Jul 05 - 02:07 PM
Azizi 03 Jul 05 - 10:57 AM
Azizi 03 Jul 05 - 11:16 AM
Le Scaramouche 03 Jul 05 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,Azizi 03 Jul 05 - 11:45 AM
Le Scaramouche 03 Jul 05 - 01:13 PM
paddymac 05 Jul 05 - 02:51 AM
GUEST,Azizi 05 Jul 05 - 10:08 AM
Le Scaramouche 05 Jul 05 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Andy 05 Jul 05 - 10:50 AM
Le Scaramouche 05 Jul 05 - 11:12 AM
Le Scaramouche 05 Jul 05 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Azizi 05 Jul 05 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 05 Jul 05 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Azizi 05 Jul 05 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 05 Jul 05 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Azizi 05 Jul 05 - 02:07 PM
Le Scaramouche 05 Jul 05 - 02:17 PM
Bill D 05 Jul 05 - 09:13 PM
Kaleea 06 Jul 05 - 02:05 AM
Le Scaramouche 06 Jul 05 - 02:32 AM
Azizi 06 Jul 05 - 07:25 AM
GUEST 06 Jul 05 - 07:32 AM
Azizi 06 Jul 05 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,George Fenton 06 Jul 05 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 06 Jul 05 - 10:49 AM
Bunnahabhain 06 Jul 05 - 11:07 AM
Azizi 06 Jul 05 - 11:39 AM
Grab 06 Jul 05 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Le Scaramouche 06 Jul 05 - 06:19 PM
Azizi 12 May 07 - 11:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 May 07 - 02:20 AM
Muttley 13 May 07 - 06:12 AM
Azizi 13 May 07 - 06:18 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 May 07 - 03:16 PM
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Subject: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 07:32 AM

Jon's current thread about his folk music website being 'down' started me thinking about the use of slang and other colloquialisms in music and dance.

Even 'regular' English words like 'down' can mean different things to different people at different times depending on the population and the circumstances. And when you add to the mix slang and other colloquial expressions from African American Vernacular English, other English sub-sects, Caribbean Patois, Rastafarian culture, and other international cultures, it's a good bet that there's a whole lot of 'say what?s' goin on.

Do you wanna share the meanings of music {and dance} slang terms?
Post them on this thread.

Do you have any questions that you always wanted to ask about the meaning of slang terms used in music or dance?
Post your questions here and somebody's bound to provide an answer.

Are you down with that?

I hope so.

Peace Out!


Azizi


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 08:22 AM

"Let's start at the very beginning-a very good place to start"..

Well, at least this was the beginning for my train of thought about this subject:

Here's some ways that the word "down" is used in Hip-Hop, R&B, and other contemporary music forms:


From this online Rap Dictionary

break it down {verb}
1.        To dance; "Oh break it down" -- MC Hammer (Can't Touch This)
2.        To analyze a concept into simpler, easier to understand
       terms.
3.        To have sexual intercourse.


down low {noun- on the down low}
1. Covert, secret, "hush hush", derived from low profile".
2. Men that sleep with other men but lead a straight or non-gay social life. Originally only applied to black men.

down with {adverb}
To be down with: to be sympathetic to something, or to be friends with someone.

-snip-


Then there's the term "OPP", an African American slang term with multiple meanings. The term was popularzed by Naughty by Nature's 1991 hit song of that title that included the hook "Are you down with OPP? Yeah you know me". * The music for this song is from The Jackson Five's 1970 hit song "ABC".

*It took me some time to figure this out-so here's a hint: thre's two people talking.

Here's the O.P.P.
lyrics


And here's the definitions of O.P.P. from that same online Rap Dictionary:

noun
O.P.P.

First used in a popular song by the same name by Naughty by Nature

Stands for "Other People's Problems."

But has since been "borrowed" to mean:

Other people's pussy. **
Other people's penis.
Other people's property.
also used in a song by Xkwizit (aka MicronXD)

Naughty By Nature's song, OPP, explains it as: Other People's Pussy or Other People's Penis, not problems

-snip-

** This doesn't mean "little cat" LOL!

BTW, "O.P.P." has morphed into the term "O.P.B." {meaning "Other People's Blogs"}. Put OPB in a search engine, and you'll have quite a few hits.

****

Peace out!

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 08:49 AM

Further explanation of OPP:

If the definition is #1 or #2 as listed above, the question is
"Do you "mess around" with a person who 'belongs to' someone else?

{Another way to ask this question is: Do you 'creep around with' other men's women? "Creep" here means to sneak around and have sex with a woman who supposedly is in a committed relationship with another man. * Other terms for being in a committed relationship are "being hooked up with" and "going with".

If the definition is # 3, the question is "Are you 'hip to' [aware of] the latest gossip about someone?

****

* Off topic, but I believe that when Monica Lewinsky said that former President Clinton was 'her creep', she was using this Hip-Hop definition for 'creep'. But folks who weren't "down with the lingo" thought she was saying that Bill Clinton was a 'creep' meaning, he wasn't a very nice guy.

It just goes to show ya that you have to be down with the real nitty gritty in order to really be in the know.


Peace out!

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: paddymac
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 09:29 AM

Linguistic usages and their evolution really are amazing. This, at least to me, an interesting thread of great potential. Hope it keeps running awhile.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 09:54 AM

Howabout ordinary words whose meaning has changed nowadays. Gay, for instance.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 10:08 AM

Whassup, paddymac and Le Scaramouche!

Paddywac, everytime I see your name, I think of that "This old man, he play one..with a nick nack paddy wack give a dog a bone" song
{either that or 'paddy wagon'} LOL!

Le Scaramouche, everytime I see your name, I've considered asking you what it means. So count this as a query.

Yep, the meaning of 'gay' changing from 'happy' to 'homosexual' sure does change the meaning of songs. And in our politically correct world, this means that some people might hesitate to sing some old songs in public settings just because they contain the word 'gay'.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any examples of songs with like this, but I'm sure other folks can.

****

See ya later, alligator!


Azizi


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 10:19 AM

Do you know what the Commedia del Arte is? Scaramouche/Scapin is a stock character. It's also the title of one of my favourite novels, by Rafael Sabatini.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 10:41 AM

Le Scaramouche, I know this is Off Topic, but to answer you question: no, I don't know what the Commedia del Arte of arts is {except that it probably translates in English to "Comedy of Arts" and is probably not a description for contemporary US television sitcoms}.

Would you please share something about the Commedia del Arte and the stock character Scaramouche/Scapin?

Thanks.

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 11:40 AM

Commedia dell'Arte (not sure of exact spelling) was a theatrical form that flourished in Italy and France from the 1500s to the 1700s. It was truly theatre for the masses, stock situations, easily-identifiable characters (wearing masks) and lots of improvisation. Harlequin is one of the characters, as are probably Punch and Judy.
You had a pair of lovers, and old couple, madcap servants, a maidservant, soldier, lawyer and others. The lovers, played maskless, were really secondary.
Best way to put it, perhaps, is they were the sitcoms of their day.
Scaramouche/Scapino is the unscrupulous and clever servant, who is constantly plotting.
Moliere introduced him into French theatre. It really is a delight.
Scaramouche the novel is about a young lawyer in 1789 France whose best friend is killed in an unfair duel. He whips up a crowd in Nantes, so is forced to flee, taking up with a travelling troupe of actors.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 11:41 AM

For a change of pace, here's some definitions of terms from dancehall Reggae:

Dancehall: Most modern reggae (since 1980), emphasizing stronger beats and more toasting (i.e., rapping) than older roots styles. Dancehall is to roots reggae as hip-hop is to soul and funk.

Dub: A sub-genre of reggae that features instrumental remixes of songs, often layered with sound effects. Started as a method for saving money by creating entirely new-sounding tracks out of old music.

Rastafarianism: A Jamaican religion based on a combination of biblical texts and the writings and teachings of Marcus Garvey, an early 20th-century Jamaican philosopher.

Sound system: Originally a traveling party that would set up speakers in the back of a truck and provide dances for the locals. Due to competition, each sound system developed particular styles and personalities. This competition often comes to a head in a Clash, which pits two rival sound systems against each other; the audience determines
-snip-
These definitions are the entire content of 'A Brief Glossary of Reggae' at http://www.thirstyearfestival.com/features/reggae_glossary.html

****

Visit Jamaican Patois Rasta Dictionary for many more terms used in Reggae music.

One of the Jamaican terms that I like the best, "Feelin irie", comes from the Rastafarian religion. I have seen "Feelin irie {EYE-ree"} defined elsewhere as "feeling good". The online glossary that I'm using as a source in this post seems to suggest that the origin of the word "irie" is from the Egyptian goddess of Life "Isis".

Quoting that passage:

IRIE: A Greeting. excellent, cool, highest, adj. powerful and pleasing.ISES/IZES/ISIS: Praises to the almighty given by Rasta, when calling on the name of Jah for strength and assistance for achieving progress in life.

-snip-

"Jah" is a referent for God {or for Emperor Haile Selassie}.

"Rasta" is a referent for a male or female follower of the Rastafarian religion or some of its cultural practices.
Rastafarian is pronounced "rahs-tah-FAH-ree-ahn"

"Rastafari" is another referent that I have seen for a follower of the Rastafarian religion or a person who adopts some of its customs {such as wearing their hair in the dreadloc ["natty dread"] style. "Rastafari" is pronounced "rahs-tah-FAHR-eye". The ending of this word lends itself to multiple meanings {"I" and "eye"}.

"Ras" is Amharic for the royalty term 'lord' {but it is usually defined now as 'prince'}. "Tafari" [tah -FAHR-ee] was a personal name for Haile Selassie before he became emperor of Ethiopia.


Positive vibrations!

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 11:44 AM

Just a small note, Ras comes from the word for head.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 11:52 AM

Thanks, Le Scaramouche.

I appreciate that information. Now I can stop wondering what your name means everytime I see it.

Incidently, the children's rhyme "Punchinella" probably originates with the Punch & Judy shows.

Maybe because of the Pittsburgh based Heinz company and its popularization of the slogan "Heinz 57", the version of Punchinella that I have collected the most in Pittsburgh area is:

"Look who's here. Punchinella 57.
Look who's here. Punchinella in the shoe"

-snip-

When I was growing up in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1950s, I remember singing the rhyme to this show me your motion circle game as:

"Look who's here. Punchinella Punchinella.
Look who's here. Punchinella in the shoe"

-snip-

The standard words are usually given like this:

"Look who's here. Punchinella funny fellow.
Look who's here. Punchinella funny you."

-snip-

So these are examples of the folk process at work.

And I say "Hip Hip Hooray!" for that.


Azizi


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 12:04 PM

Ahh, becuase Punch's direct ancestor is PULCINELLA.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 12:10 PM

Pun·chi·nel·lo (pnch-nl)
n. pl. Pun·chi·nel·los or Pun·chi·nel·loes
1. The short fat buffoon or clown in an Italian puppet show.
2. One who resembles a short fat clown.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Variant of Polichinello, from Italian dialectal Pollecinella, diminutive of pollecena, turkey pullet (from the resemblance between its beak and Punchinello's nose), ultimately from Latin pullus, young chicken; see pullet.]

from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Punchinello


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Genie
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 01:31 PM

Well, it's not really peculiar to music, but the word "bra" in the Beatles' song "Ob-La-Di,Ob-La-Da" was considered offensive by a lot of Americans (and maybe Brits) because they thought it meant "brassiere."   (It's hard to fathom, given the lyrics of today's pop and rap/hip-hop songs, why anyone would get bent out of shape about that, but that was back in the mid-'60s.) Turns out the word was borrowed from West Indies slang and is just another way of saying "bro" -- which is also a not-music-specific slang term ("brother").

Genie


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 02:07 PM

Then there is the 'curly pow' mentioned in Dainty Davy, which people incorrectly assume is slang for male genitalia.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 10:57 AM

Well, alright now! On with the show!

Here's another slang word that shows up in alot of songs: "groove"

The Online Etymology Dictionary gives these origins & meanings for 'groove'

c.1400, from O.N. grod "pit," or M.Du. groeve "furrow, ditch," from P.Gmc. *grobo (cf. O.N. grof "brook, river bed," O.H.G. gruoba "ditch," Goth. groba "pit, cave," O.E. græf "ditch"), related to grave (n.). Sense of "long, narrow channel or furrow" is 1659. Meaning "spiral cut in a phonograph record" is from 1902. Fig. sense of "routine" is from 1842, often depreciatory at first, "a rut." Adj. groovy is 1853 in lit. sense of "of a groove;" 1937 in slang sense of "excellent," from jazz slang phrase in the groove (1932) "performing well (without grandstanding)." As teen slang for "wonderful," it dates from 1944; popularized 1960s, out of currency by 1980.

-snip-

Clarence Major's 1994 dictionary on African American slang, "Juba to Jive" basically agrees with the above definition. To quote Majors:

groove [noun, verb} {1940s-1959s} in jazz, one's style or manner of playing; any type of excellent music; generally speaking any good feeling or thought.

groovy-{adj} {1930s-1950s} excellent, enjoyable, smart, stylish, alert, [use was] Rare among black speakers after the fifties but popular among white users of slang during the 1960s and after.

-snip-

So "groove" led to "goovy" and then to "Groove me" {put me in the groove, meaning "Make me feel good".

See these lyrics to the 1970 hit song, "Groove Me":

Artist: King Floyd Lyrics
Song: Groove Me Lyrics

Uhh! Awww, sookie sookie now!
Hey! Oww, uhh! Come on, baby!
Hey there, Sugar Darlin',
Let me tell you something
Girl, I've been trying to say, now.
You look so sweet,
And you're so doggone fine.
I just can't get you out of my mind.
You've become a sweet taste in my mouth, now.
And I want you to be my spouse,
So that we can live happily, nah-nah,
In a great big ol' roomy house.
And I know you're gonna groove me, baby.
Ahh, yeah, now.
You make me feel good inside.
Come on, and groove me, baby.
I need you to groove me.
Ahhh, yeah, now, now, darling.
Uhh! Come on, come on!
Hey! Uhh!
Hey there, Sugar Darlin',
Come on, give me something
Girl, I've been needing for days.
Yes, I'm good, good loving,
With plenty, plenty hugging.
Ooh, you cute little thang, you.
Girl, between you and me, nah-nah,
We don't need no company.
No other man, no other girl
Can enter into our world,
Not as long as you groove me, baby.
Ahh, come on.
Make me feel good inside.
Come on and groove me, baby.
Move me, baby.
Ahh, sock it to me, mama.
Uhh! Ahh, I like it like that, baby.
Uhh! Groove me, baby! Hey! Uhh!
Groove me, darling!
Come on, come on.
I need you to sock it to me, mama.
Come on and groove me, baby.
Hey! Uhh! Good, God!
It makes me feel so good inside, mama.
Now, come on, come on, and uhh,
Groove me, baby, groove me, baby.
Ahh, sock it to me,
Sock it to me,
Rock it to me.
Come on, come on!
Come on!
And uhh,
Groove me, mama, I want you to
Groove me!

Source: http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/swingers/grooveme.htm

Click HERE
for a biography of New Orleans singer King Floyd.

****

Click HERE for an online article that includes the word 'groove'.

A small excerpt follows:

it's a Seacoast groove thing

By Alan Chase      July 28, 2004
Analog Method will celebrate the release of their new CD, Night Rider, at Muddy River on Friday, July 30. They might as well be celebrating the whole groove scene, which, in an era of modest audience turnout, draws local crowds time and again for their specialized mix of funk, blues, jazz and soul...

-snip-

Though few people are saying "Groovy!" anymore, the word 'groove' is still being used to describe a good 'place' to be musically.

As the use of google or other search engine will easily demonstrate, there are umpteen songs that talk about people having "A Groove Thing" or "gettin their groove on".

So much respect to the old school word "groove".

Live long and prosper!


Azizi


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 11:16 AM

I figure everybody knows what 'Sock it to me' means, right?

In case you don't, let's just say that it means 'Give it to me."
And 'it' isn't a pair of socks or a punch in the jaw. "It" means sex of course.

And what about that phrase "Awww, sookie sookie now!"

Well, first off, I usually have seen it written "Ah! Sukey Sukey now"

"Sukey" is a nickname for the Hebrew female name "Susan' {Shoshannah}. Also, IMO, "Sukey" may have been used by enslaved African Americans from Akan speaking areas of Ghana {such as the Ashanti} as a modification of or nickname for the Akan day name "Akosua" {female born on Sunday}.

At any rate, if the nickname 'Sukey' originally had anything at all to do with the exclamation "Ah Sukey, Sukey!", I don't think it retained that connection for very long.

It's my guess that "Sukey" has much more to do with the word "suck".
The exclamation is still used [among African Americans anyway] to praise a person's {usually a woman's} sensuous physical appearance, or their sexy dancing, or their hot actions-yaknowwhenImean...

It's a groove thing.



Azizi


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 11:27 AM

What do people think of the supposed wordplay in the 'Keach ni the Creel'? Don't quite see the vomiting connection, unless it's because the parents get violently shaken in the basket.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 11:45 AM

Le Scaramouche, I've noticed your tendency for verbal short-hand, while you've probably noticed that I can go on and on and on...

Would you please provide some explanation of what you are talking about it your last post to this thread?

What is the 'Keach ni the Creel'? And what supposed wordplay in are you referring in that song? {I suppose it is a song}.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 03 Jul 05 - 01:13 PM

"Keach in the Creel". Ni was a typo.
Lyrics are in the DT, so I won't copy them here.
It's a song about a guy who meets a girl but the problem is getting to her room. His friends raise him in a basket (the creel). So far so good, but her nagging mother thinks she hears a man, wakes her husband and they accidently fall into the creel and are pulled up and down till full of bruises and broken bones.
Ewan MacColl had written:
The first printed version of this ballad did not appear until early in the nineteenth century although the theme has been part of European literature since the middle ages. Professor Child concludes his notes on the ballad with a peculiarly prim comment: "No one looks for decorum in pieces of this description but a passage in this ballad, which need not be particularized, is brutal and shameless almost beyond description." These are harsh words for a scholar whose stock-in-trade was stories dealing with mayhem in all its forms and it is difficult to imagine what prompted them. It is, of course, possible that Child was shocked by the use of the word "keach" on which considerable play is made in the song. Used as a noun the word denotes bustle or fluster, when used as a verb, however, it can mean "lift" or "hoist" or alternatively it can mean to void excrement.

This is why I ask, though got muddled when I said 'vomit'.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: paddymac
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 02:51 AM

Because this thread has heightened my sensitivies for such things, I've been listening more closely. Example: yesterday I was listening to the Pogues, with himself singing "Rainey Night in Soho." There is a line in that song that I just really heard for the first time, and I don't understand it. The line is "Woke up in the morning - ginger girl by the bed." My question is what is meant by "ginger girl?" Because "ginger girl" is BY the bed, as opposed to IN the bed, I presume it is not a companionable female. But what? - maybe an empty booze bottle? That would might be understandable, sadly, if Shane wrote the lyrics. Can anybody elucidate and educate?


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 10:08 AM

paddymac,

You asked about the line from the Pogues' song "Rainey Night in Soho" that says "Woke up in the morning - ginger girl by the bed."

While I'm not familiar with "the Pogues" or the song, I believe tht the term "ginger girl" is a referent to a skin complexion referent for people of African descent who have a reddish tinge to their dark skin color. This complexion may be the result of mixture with Native Americans or other 'non-Black' peoples.

Another referent for a ginger complexione Black person is
"Ginger Blue". A 'blue'is another referent for any Black person. However, 'blue' can also can mean a very dark skinned Black person who is so 'black' his skinned is said to have a bluish tinge.

See the use of "Ginger Blue" in the second verse {or chorus?} of this old African American folk song:

GOOSEBERRY WINE

Now, 'umble Uncle Steben
I wonders what youse gwine?
Don't never tu'n yo back , Suh,
On dat good ole gooseberry wine!

Oh walk chalk, Ginger Blue! *
Git over double trouble.
You needn' min' de wedder
So's de win' don't blow you double.

Now!
Uncle Mack! Uncle Mack!
Did you ever see de lak?
Dat good ole sweet gooseberry wine
Call Uncle Steben back.

Source: Thomas W. Talley, "Negro Folk Rhymes"
         Kennikat Press Edition, 1968; p. 41:
         originally published in 1922

-snip-

I found that same chorus in a 'minstrel' folk song online at this URL: www.newworldrecords.org/linernotes/80245.pdf

"My name is Ginger Blue
and I'll tell you what I'll do
I'm a darky from the state of Alabama....

Chorus:
Walk, talk Ginger, and hire double trouble,
always uded to sing,
my name is Ginger Blue
and I'll tell you what I'll do
I'm a darky from the state of Alabama....

-snip-

Another term that means the same thing is "redbone". And depends on who says it and when these terms aren't necessarily derogative.
Think of all the African American Blues artists, comedians, actors, and other celebrities who had 'Red' affixed to their name or the home town. Even Malcolm X at one time was called 'Detroit Red' because of his reddish complexion...

Other colors that have been used by people of African descent are
'yellow', 'Pink' and "Pinky". All of these refer to very light skinned Black people {usually females}. Tally's "Negro Folk Rhymes" includes a rhyme called "My Pretty Little Pink".

* I believe that I shared my thoughts about the meaning of the 'get over double trouble' line in the African American Secular Folk Song thread. Briefly, IMO this dance song has an imbedded warning to folks hearing this song {ie. Black folks} to walk through life just as carefully as you would walk a chalk line. The 'chalk line' was the term that was originally used for dancing the 'cakewalk'. Performers had to move with great care in this dance because in its early stages it was performed by individuals who had a glass of water on their head. The object was not to drop the glass {jug?} or spill any of the water.

The "double trouble' line [which is preserved in some children's rhymes] means to be prepared for 'trouble doubled'=alot of trouble.

Given the oppressive conditions of life then {and now}, reminding folks to be alert to and prepared for trouble was {and still is} very good advice.



Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 10:25 AM

Actualy, if it's Shane we're talking about, alcohol is far, far more likely then a refference to African Americans.
Shane McGowan is one of the foremost Irish musicians of 20th century (definitely with the worst teeth), he formed a band combining punk music (like the Clash) with Irish songs in the style of the Dubliners, or Clancy Brothers, but also open to many world influences. Sadly, Shane is a serious alcoholic, having been exposed to the stuff since childhood.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Andy
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 10:50 AM

I don't know whether this is totally relevant to the thread, but with reference to the earlier posting about the word 'gay', my own understanding (rightly or wrongly)is that it was adopted by the much maligned homosexual community in the 60's, not as an alternative use of the dictionary meaning, but to represent the phrase 'Good As You'. Any confirmation of this?

Regards
Andy


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 11:12 AM

Probably as much truth in it as in Port Out Starboard Home (POSH) and Rhythm And Poetry (RAP).


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 11:35 AM

I checked the Pogues homepage and it's given as 'gingerlady by my bed'. I'd put my money on it meaning a bottle of whiskey, as he is singing about loneliness and lost love.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning
The gingerlady by my bed
Covered in a cloak of silence
I hear you in my head
I'm not singing for the future
I'm not dreaming of the past
I'm not talking of the fist time
I never think about the last

The final verse is ironic, considering the question:

Now the song is nearly over
We may never find out what it means
Still there's a light I hold before me
You're the measure of my dreams
The measure of my dreams


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 12:53 PM

The reference to 'gingerlady' in that song could be as you have suggested , Le Scaramouche. As I said, I have no familiarity with that singer or that song.

Still, it may be helpful for folks to know about the 'Ginger', 'Ginger Blue', and other skin color references in African American and minstrel folk songs....


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 01:18 PM

Alas for My Old Kentucky Home! I don't suppose I would dare sing "'Tis summer, the darkies are gay" in this day & age. But I still think it.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Hopes, fears, plans, fantasies -- what's the difference? :||


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 01:56 PM

Joe, thinking it is okay.

But if you say that out loud in certain settings, you'd better be a fast runner.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 02:00 PM

Maybe Child was offended by the idea that the daughter explained fornication by claiming she was praying over the bible.

If "keach" usually meant "hoist," I don't see Child being offended by it, no matter what additional meaning it may have carried. Even clean puns were generally considered during the nineteenth century as "the lowest form of humor," so I'd be surprised if Child would go out of his way to look for one, only to condemn it.

I could be wrong, of course.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Azizi
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 02:07 PM

Joe, I said 'thinking it is okay' because I don't have-nor would I want to have-any control of your thoughts.

But were you serious?

I'm usually slow on the uptake with regard to the punch line in jokes.

****

BTW, I live less than 10 minutes away from Stephen Foster's home {in Pittsburgh, PA}. And though he has a statue right outside the main library in our university district, his songs are not taught in public schools nor are they sung in public in this his home town...

Not that I want them to be....


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 02:17 PM

Good point about puns, Lighter. Maybe it's the way they treat her parents. ALTHOUGH, if her lover's brother were to come in slaughter them, his brother and take the girl, who then proceeds to stab him, it might be alright.

BTW, even, unlikely as it is, that Shane ment something other than whiskey, a gingerl girl also means a redhead.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jul 05 - 09:13 PM

well, one obvious change is in the usage of the word 'funk' or 'funky'


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Kaleea
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 02:05 AM

As a vocalist, I have sung many old songs with the term "gay" which does not have the same meaning today. These days, only sing most of these songs in nursing homes & where the audiences are mostly elderly. The new meaning for the term means that I can no longer sing some quite lovely songs amongst most people. As for the state song of Kentucky, and a few other songs which in today's terminology are offensive to myself & others, I only will sing them for the old folks when they ask for them. Sometimes the folks who ask for a specific song may surprise you. Last week, an elderly gentleman who happens to be nowadays considered "Black: (he prefers "colored" but that's a comletely different thread!) asked me to sing "The Darktown Strutters Ball." I obliged as it made him & the others happy.
I can tell you that the older folks have told me "gay" means:
cheerful,
colorful,
delightful,
happy,
fun,
having an aspect which most folks enjoy,
very good,
and more of such. One friend of mine used the term referring to a dress she had back in the 1940's which she really liked.
   I can tell you also, that a gal I knew in college was given the name "Enola Gay" at birth. Gay used to be a common name for a girl. The Enola Gay was the B-29 from which General Tibbets dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. He evidently named the plane after his Mother, my friend said.
   There are many terms which have changed in meaning, however it is interesting to me that the "Jive talk" of the Musicians in the early Jazz/Swing era is sometimes still heard among Musicians of today.
There is certainly a wide variety of terminology in genres of Music. Because of my love for acoustic Music, I also "hang out" (not a wardrobe malfunction) with Bluegrass & Oldtime Musicians--not meaning the Musicians are necessarily old--(let's through in a bit of "Dixieland" and Civil War Music, too).   A "breakdown" is not a mechanical or mental malfunction, but a fast-as-it-can-be-played reel-like instrumental tune often featuring Banjo or Fiddle.
   And speaking of a "Fiddle,"   Q: what's the difference between a fiddle & a violin? A: A Violin is about culture, while a Fiddle is about agriculture. or, a different answer A: attitude
    Ciao!


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 02:32 AM

Reminds me of a Fry & Laurie skit where fry (in a dress of course) says my parents named me gay, but now the word's not acceptable anymore, so I changed it to Rampantly Homosexual.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 07:25 AM

Bill D.-Thanks for that very interesting article.

Kaleea-Thank you also for your insightful comments.

LS, Some might laugh at that skit, but I for one find it very offensive.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 07:32 AM

Named after the plane that dropped the A-bomb? What were her parents thinking???????????


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 08:25 AM

Guest,

I agree with you that the plane which dropped the Atom bomb should not be considered with historical pride, even if, supposedly it ended the War. Obviously some people would disagree with us.

"Positive associations attached to a name {including the fact that a well liked celebrity or TV/movie star character has it} is only one reason in the USA {and other Western cultures} to confer personal names and nicknames.

The major reasons why names are given in the USA for quite some time now are the way a name sounds, the copycat factor {a name is given because others give it}; and the fact that a name has a tradition of use in a family {i.e. that name "runs in their family}, and it .

What's the name's meaning got to do with it? Very little in the USA.

But, since I love the study the origin & meanings of names, I tried to find the meaning of the female name "Enola". I own umpteen baby name books, but only found this name listed in one, with the origin given as Native American but no meaning known.

The Internet was more helpful. Several websites on names give 'magnolia' as the meaning of "Enola" and give its origin as Native American {unfortunately, with no specific Native American ethnic group}.

Add that to the positive traditional meaning of "Gay" and you have a first name which means "a female who is cheerful, delightful and pretty as a magnolia flower.

****

To digress even further from this thread's topic:

Most books give the meaning of the name "Ola" as the feminine form of the Norwegian male name "Olaf" {the name of a famous Norwegian king} that means "relic, or reminder of his ancestors".

However, there are a number of African American female first names that contain the name "Ola". Probably the most common of these little used double names {two names used as a first name} was "Ola Mae".

While the name "Ola" among African Americans was given because of family tradition, familiarity, sound, and not meaning, it's my contention that that name's traditional meaning among African Americans is the Yoruba {Nigeria, West Africa} male or female name prefix "Ola" . In the USA this is pronounced OH-lah, and means means 'honor' and 'wealth'.

Perhaps the most common 'Ola' name that Catters may be familiar with is Nigeria drummer and band leader Olatunji whose records and tapes "Drums Of Passion" and "More Drums of Passion" introduced a large number of people {including me} to the wonders of African music.

Olatunji's name is made up of two name clips: Ola=honor and tunji
{TOON-jee}= reawakens {or "is born again" or
"comes [to the family] again}.

So the name Olatunji -oh-lah-TOON-jee means "honor reawakens".

****

How's that for going off into a tangent!

LOL!



Azizi


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,George Fenton
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 10:12 AM

It's easy to get too touchy, I've not seen it but Fry is a very proud homosexual in the UK. Very clever with words so safe to say it is just that, nothing more.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 10:49 AM

Azizi asks:

> Joe, I said 'thinking it is okay' because I don't have-nor would I want to have-any control of your thoughts.

> But were you serious?

Of course, my allusion to what has happened to "gay" was facetious. But as to "darky", I am sorry to see that it has become officially offensive -- and, more generally, to see the list of officially offensive words grow rather than shrink. At the time I learned "My Old Kentucky Home" (1940s), it was not taboo in my family (leftish antiracist -- we took care to say "Catch a *tiger* by the toe"), tho, of course, "Negro" was the ordinary word (the New York Times had recently been persuaded to capitalize it). Now "Negro" is on the banned list, too. It appears in the newspapers that "black" is still allowed, provided you pay obeisance to "African-American" first. This kind of thing is pretty silly IMO, but it has been going on for a long time, and is probably an unavoidable response to the anxieties that accompany liberation. It will not end until the blacks themselves tire of it, which is not likely to happen in my lifetime. Those gays who have made "queer" & "faggot" their own, IMO, have the right idea.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: There is no such thing as a brown light. :||


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 11:07 AM

"gingerlady by my bed"

How about Ginger wine, or Ginger wine and whiskey?


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Azizi
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 11:39 AM

I believe that this is the meaning that Le Scaramouche believes also..

And I'm willing to withdraw my suggestion that the line "gingerlady by my bed" has anything to do with the "Ginger Blue" reference that is found in some African American secular slave songs and minstrel song.

As I said before, I don't know the singer and song that that "gingerlady" line comes from.

Which just goes to show you the importance of context, and of hedging your bets when sharing nformation like this.

Not that I was betting that I knew the meaning of that colleguial expression. Besides, I don't gamble.

LOL!


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Grab
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 01:21 PM

"Ginger" used by anyone British (particularly white British) to describe a person will always be a reference to hair colour. Ginger Baker wasn't called that because he was black, right? (I could go on about a lass in the local girl's school who was popularly known as Ginge Minge, but I won't... ;-) Shane is definitely more likely to have been sharing his bed with malt whiskey than a woman, though (and the last line "measure of my dreams").

Re "gay", there's a well-known English radio and TV presenter (female) called Gay Search. Poor woman.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: GUEST,Le Scaramouche
Date: 06 Jul 05 - 06:19 PM

Sorry the Fry joke offended, because when I heard it it wasn't in the least bit so, just a play on words.

Most of the Pogue songs are, in one way or another, on demon drink.

John Peel (the huntsman, not the radio DJ) is a good example of when lines get changed through ignorance. Non-Cumbrians just couldn't understand why it was 'coat so grey' and it was changed to 'coat so gay'.
Hodden grey was the colour of the native fabrics and John Peel did not put on too many airs and graces, but went hunting in his everyday clothes.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Azizi
Date: 12 May 07 - 11:31 PM

I notice that there's two current Mudcat threads that have the phrase "Old School" in their title.

I figured that was reason enough to refresh this thread on slang.

In the context of music, "Old School" refers to music that is old. "Old" may mean just last year. But "old school" music [and old school dances] could be those that are a few years old or even older than that.

"Old school" is a non-derogatory descriptor. The songs that make it to the radio old school playlist are almost always songs that were hits when they were new.

I remember when radio disc jockeys introduced "old school" jams {with "jams" meaning songs]e songs as "golden oldies".

Today I happened to turn on a FM "urban radio station" [meaning a hip-hop/R&B station] and heard the disc jockey say that he was going to "back it up" and then he played a [so-called] "old" "hit".
Is "backing it up" the new way to signal that the dj is going to play an oldie song? I don't know. And I'm not going to listen in to that particular station long enough to find out.

My city also has an AM urban radio station. Since I was doing a lot of driving today, I decided to give that station a try. But I didn't last long there either. The old school R&B songs that station played were from the 80's, 90's and today. It seemed that most of the songs were from the 1990s & 2000s. I'd much prefer hits from the 1960s or even some of the 1950s. But I can't seem to find those kind of golden oldies on the radio.

I guess what I really want is an radio station to play an eclectic mix of mostly "my kind" of old school R&B, interspersed with a sprinkling of pop music, and a lot more blues, and jazz, and gospel, and old timey spirituals, and lining track or prison work songs. Plus, I want to hear some calypso, and roots reggae, and soca, and highlife, and more-so much more-world music than that.

I guess I have graduate to an Ipod.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 May 07 - 02:20 AM

Just read this, some two years late.
Ginger girl has two meanings (outside of the urban east) that I know from childhood; a redhead or ginger-headed (hair sort of a reddish-brown, face often freckled). Ginger girls are what we called the girls who built up school spirit in pep rallies, etc. This meaning may no longer be common.
I have never heard the word used with reference to a Black person, but here in western Canada and adjacent Montana, we never hear African-American speech or urban slang.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Muttley
Date: 13 May 07 - 06:12 AM

Actually, if Azizi and Scaramouche don't mind - I'll go back over a section of this thread:

Punch is the British derivative of Pulcinello - not Pulcinella. the final letter is the give-away 'O' denotes a male character while 'A' denotes female and Pulcinello was always a male figure.

Take a trip through the mask sites for Venice where the traditions of both Scaramouche and Pulcinello probably originated. If they didn't, they certainly achieved their 'apotheosis'.

You will find all really top quality mask-makers will always have a range of both Pulcinello as well as Pulcinella masks (the latter to 'accompany' the more legitimate 'male' pulcinello) and the Scaramouche mask. We have a Scaramouche mask here at home which we bought while we were in Venice in September '05.

Muttley

PS Pulcinello DOES have a female 'offsider' or nemesis' which is female in character - but it's not Pulcinella. It's the one from which the 'Judy' half of Punch and Judy evolved just as Ounch came from Pulcinello.

The rhyme we used as children runs: "Pulcinello funny fellow"


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Azizi
Date: 13 May 07 - 06:18 AM

"Ginger girl has two meanings (outside of the urban east) that I know from childhood; a redhead or ginger-headed (hair sort of a reddish-brown, face often freckled). Ginger girls are what we called the girls who built up school spirit in pep rallies, etc."

Thanks, Q for that information. I'm wondering if these two meanings might be connected in that folks may have believed that a redheaded girl had more energy {temper?} than girls who have other colored hair [naturally and not dyed hair color, that is]and that's why girls who built up school spirit at pep rallies {cheer leaders?] were called "ginger girls".


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 May 07 - 03:16 PM

Dunno if ginger comes from the spice, or the supposed feisty nature of red-heads, esp. Irish. I think both have contributed. The earliest quotes (1820's-1830's) refer to horses.

The beast was ginger to the backbone- 1838 (There is earlier mention of treating a horse with ginger to stimulate him).
A ginger is a showy, fast horse- 1859.
Referring to people, 1840's. Talk Yankee to him and get his ginger up. (Get his dander up, 1830's).
Whether they were gingered up by the articles in the 'Times' or not I can't say- Disraeli, 1849.
I'll take the ginger out of him in short order- 1891.
He said that the umpires would not let him get out on the coaching lines and 'pump ginger' into his players- 1907.
I'll scatter a little ginger around all right- 1919.
A redhead...imbued with the quality that used to be called 'ginger'- 1945.
These quotes all from J. E. Lighter, "Historical Dictionary of American Slang," vol. 1.


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Subject: RE: Slang & Other Colloquialisms in Music
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 May 07 - 08:59 PM

I pricked up my ears (my eyes?) when I saw a reference to "Enola". That was my mother-in-law's first name. She was Scotch-Irish, born in about 1896 in Southern Indiana. My wife has no idea where or how the name got into her family.

Googling, I found a few things. Most often it was referred to as being of Native American derivation, meaning "solitary".   Sometimes it was said to mean "magnolia". And once, as "Native American, meaning magnolia", which sounds like trying to ride both horses.

One site says "Enola" began in the US no earlier than 1900. That's going to be based on written records, of course, and there would probably be unrecorded instances earlier. It would appear that my M-O-L was in the first wave to Enolas, which appears to have pretty much died out after about thirty years (before the "Enola Gay" brought it back, of course).

I thought of the lighthearted piano tune, "Nola", because that was the pet name the family called her.

Googling "Nola", I find it usually to be called of Irish or Gaelic origin, a short form of Fionnula, "white shoulder".

Dave Oesterreich


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