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Lyr Req: Chicken Is Nice (Dave Van Ronk)

18 Apr 02 - 11:19 AM (#692864)
Subject: Van Ronk: Chicken is nice
From: lamarca

I'm trying to learn Van Ronk's song, "Chicken is nice", which I think he said was from Liberia. Does anyone have any background info about the song? Where did he learn it? Are the lyrics published anywhere? Thanks!


18 Apr 02 - 02:26 PM (#693020)
Subject: Lyr Add: CHICKEN IS NICE (Van Ronk - adapted)
From: Chicken Charlie

Lamarca--

I can semi-help. I used to sing that one, but as often happens in folk music, I localized it (to southern Oregon) so the town names are different. But localize it to your own locale anyway, as there's no sense singing about Montana if you are in West-By-God-Virginia.

I don't want no wife from Coos Bay;
I don't want no wife from Coos Bay.
The only dish ... she can cook is fried fish;
I don't want no wife from Coos Bay.

...from Gold Hill;
If I move around, she'll put me in the ground ....

...from Eugene;
If I'm out late at night, she'll challenge me to a fight.

...from Salem;
Meanest mothers-in-law that you ever saw.

...from Medford;
When my money gets low, to another she'll go.

Chicken is nice; chicken is nice.
Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice.

And I suppose there were many more but it's been a long time.

CC


18 Apr 02 - 03:28 PM (#693058)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Van Ronk: Chicken is nice
From: Jerry Rasmussen

I thought this was a West African song... Have to see if Miriam Makeba recorded it. I'm probably dead wrong, but I heard Dave sing it enough that I should know...

Jerry


04 Jun 02 - 06:43 PM (#723105)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Van Ronk: Chicken is nice
From: lamarca

Well, I'm still hoping someone out there has background info on this song, like where the town names are from, where Van Ronk might have learned it, etc.


04 Jun 02 - 08:04 PM (#723174)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Van Ronk: Chicken is nice
From: Mark Ross

They are names of towns in Liberia. I'm not sure where Dave picked up the song. I learned it off of his FOLKSINGER album on Prestige. I didn't know that anybody else sang it.

Mark Ross


28 Apr 03 - 11:18 PM (#942457)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Van Ronk: Chicken is nice
From: Padre

Lamarca
The towns are all in Liberia:

Don't want no wife from Sino (sp?)
The only dish she can cook is fried fish

Don't want no wife from Monrovia
If I go out at night, she'll challenge me to a fight

Don't want no wife from Robert's Falls
If I move around, shell put me in the ground

Hope this helps

Tom McHenry+


23 Nov 04 - 02:37 AM (#1336236)
Subject: Lyr Add: CHICKEN IS NICE (from Dave Van Ronk)
From: Joe Offer

Chicken Is Nice

I don't want no wife from Robert's Falls;
Don't want no wife from Robert's Falls.
The only dish ... she can cook is fried fish;
Don't want no wife from Robert's Falls.

Chicken is nice; chicken is nice.
Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice.


...from Cape Palmas;
If I move around, she'll put me in the ground ....

...from Sino (?);
If I go late at night, she'll challenge me to a fight.

...from Monrovia;
When my money gets low, to another she'll go.

transcribed from the CD, Inside Dave Van Ronk


18 Jun 05 - 04:16 PM (#1503801)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Van Ronk: Chicken Is Nice
From: GUEST,Elijah Wald

"Chicken Is Nice" was recorded in the late 1940s by its composer, the blind Liberian pianist Howard B. Hayes, and released on a 78 album called (as I remember) Cafe and Cabaret Music from Liberia, or something of that sort, which is where Dave learned it. This was reissued last year, along with a lot of similar material, on "Songs of the African Coast: Café Music of Liberia and Ghana," and there is more info at http://www.geocities.com/africancafemusic/yarngo.html
It is a wonderful album, with quite a few songs that should be more widely known.


16 Mar 10 - 06:18 AM (#2865091)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Van Ronk: Chicken Is Nice
From: GUEST,Ceyahnai Kuteh

My brother-Dr.William Allen is a professor of African Studies at the University of Kennesaw in Kennesaw, Georgia. His area of concentration is foods and the role it has played in the relocation project of free slaves to Liberia, West African, from the 1800's to present. While hiking Kennesaw Mountain last saturday, we began to discuss a seminar he recently chaired on the topic of "Collard Greens & Pig Feet. We are both from Liberia and I reminded him that a Liberian folk singer by the name of Mahilia Jackson-Parker was well known for a collection of songs back in the 1960s when we just kids. She even had recordings made, and one of the most popular song was "Chicken Is Nice With Palm Butter and Rice", a dish which happens to be one of the few common threads between the Native Africans and the Americo-Liberians or Free Slaves. We are attempting to locate a copy of her recording for education purposes. Have you ever heard of her? MSKUTEH@BELLSOUTH.NET


17 Mar 10 - 07:03 PM (#2866411)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Van Ronk: Chicken Is Nice
From: Jim Dixon

Allmusic.com lists an album called "Tribal, Folk & Cafe Music of West Africa," (Pearl 2-CD set #130, 2001). It says it is a reissue of an early 1950s 3-LP set, and consists of field recordings collected by Arthur S. Alberts in 1949. One of the songs is CHICKEN IS NICE (WITH PALM BUTTER AND RICE). Howard B. Hayes is credited as the songwriter. He is probably also the performer; he is introduced as "Professor Hayes."


08 Mar 11 - 06:29 PM (#3109989)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Van Ronk: Chicken Is Nice
From: GUEST,Dennis Wright

So what are the chords to Chicken Is Nice?


08 Mar 11 - 11:14 PM (#3110106)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Van Ronk: Chicken Is Nice
From: Mark Ross

G
Chicken is nice, chicken is nice,

                   C                         G          D      G
Chicken is nice with palm butter & rice.


Mark Ross


09 Mar 11 - 12:10 PM (#3110415)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Van Ronk: Chicken Is Nice
From: GUEST

Thanks Mark!

Dennis Wright


14 Mar 11 - 10:50 AM (#3113508)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chicken Is Nice (Dave Van Ronk)
From: Jim Dixon

You can hear Dave Van Ronk sing CHICKEN IS NICE at YouTube.


14 Mar 11 - 11:25 AM (#3113529)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chicken Is Nice (Dave Van Ronk)
From: Jim Dixon

That would be Sinoe, Liberia, also known as Greenville, the capital of Sinoe County.

Cape Palmas, Liberia

Monrovia, Liberia

Funny, I can't find any place called Roberts Falls (or Robert's Falls, etc.) although he pronounces it fairly clearly.


07 Nov 11 - 10:04 AM (#3251997)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chicken Is Nice (Dave Van Ronk)
From: GUEST,madssimo

I don't want no wife from Robert's Falls
Don't want no wife from Robert's Falls
The o-only dish she can cook is fried fish
Don't want no wife from Robert's Falls

Chicken is nice, chicken is nice
Chicken is nice
With palm butter and rice

I don't want no wife from Quepamas
Don't want no wife from Quepamas
If I move around, she'll put me in the ground
I don't want no wife from Quepamas

Chicken is nice...

I don't want no wife from Cyno
Don't want no wife from Cyno
If I go out at night, she'll challenge me to a fight
I don't want no wife from Cyno

Chicken is nice...

I don't want no wife from Monrovia
Don't want no wife from Monrovia
When my money gets low, to another she'll go
I don't want no wife from Monrovia

Chicken is nice, chicken is nice
Chicken is nice
With palm butter and rice


07 Nov 11 - 12:38 PM (#3252132)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chicken Is Nice (Dave Van Ronk)
From: GUEST,Kathleen

These are the lyrics as performed by Dave

I don't want no wife from Robert's Falls
Don't want no wife from Robert's Falls
The only dish she can cook is fried fish
Don't want no wife from Robert's Falls

Chicken is nice,
Chicken is nice.
Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice

I don't want no wife from Cape Palmas
Don't want no wife from Cape Palmas
If I move around, she'll put me in the ground
I don't want no wife from Cape Palmas

Chicken in nice
Chicken is nice
Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice

I don't want no wife from Sinoe
Don't want no wife from Sinoe
If I go out at night, She'll challenge me to a fight
Don't want no wife from Sinoe

Chicken is nice
Chcken is nice
Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice

I don't know wife from Monrovia
Don't want no wife from Monrovia
When my money gets low, to another she'll go
Don't want no wife from Monrovia

Chicken is nice
Chicken is nice
Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice


06 Dec 11 - 11:28 AM (#3269306)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chicken Is Nice (Dave Van Ronk)
From: GUEST,mr powly

does anyone know the chords for this?


17 Dec 14 - 10:08 AM (#3686497)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chicken Is Nice (Dave Van Ronk)
From: GUEST,ATC

I think this is more or less it. Sort of-ish.


A   B    E

E
Don't want no wife from Roberts falls
E
Don't want no wife from Roberts falls
E            A                         E
The only dish she can cook is fried fish
E          G#       B               E
I don't want no wife from Roberts Fall

E
Chicken is nice Chicken is nice
E       A         E          B       E
Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice


A B E

E
I don't want no wife from Quepamas
E
Don't want no wife from Quepamas
E             A                            E                                    
If I move around, she'll put me in the ground
E    G#            B          E
I don't want no wife from Quepamas

E
Chicken is nice Chicken is nice
E       A       E         B          E
Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice

A B E

E
I don't want no wife from Cyno
E
Don't want no wife from Cyno
E             A                               E            
If I go out at night, she'll challenge me to a fight
E    G#          B         E
I don't want no wife from Cyno

E
Chicken is nice Chicken is nice
E       A       E         B          E
Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice

A B E

E
I don't want no wife from Monrovia
E
Don't want no wife from Monrovia
E                  A                      E                                       
When my money gets low, to another she'll go
E    G#          B         E
I don't want no wife from Monrovia

E
Chicken is nice Chicken is nice
E       A       E         B          E
Chicken is nice with palm butter and rice

(Credits to GUEST,Kathleen for the Lyrics)


17 Dec 14 - 01:40 PM (#3686567)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chicken Is Nice (Dave Van Ronk)
From: GUEST,#

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/arthuralberts

There's 30 seconds of it there.

The CD's entitled 'Songs of the African Coast: Cafe Music of Liberia'