Thursday, February 21, 2008

In My Head

This song has been in my head the past few days. I don't mind, though.

I knew they were one hit wonders, but a trip though Wikipedia's entry on this band gave up some info I didn't know. This song was originally attributed to Leadbelly, but it turns out to be an adaptation of an old folk song, perhaps as old as an eighteenth century marching cadence about a flintlock rifle. The NAACP and the Congress of Racial Equality didn't care for the lyrics, labeling them as racist. I guess it was ok when Leadbelly sang them. I can remember the stink raised.

At any rate, them boys sure could play that there guitar!


CGHill said...

The hard part, of course, is getting your mind around the fact that this here guitarist got his biggest hit out of a lame psychebubblegum number called "Green Tambourine."

"Listen while I play," indeed.

Jeffro said...

Oh crap, yeah, the Lemon Pipers! I didn't make the connection when I read the Wiki.

Gads, I feel all icky now....

jed said...

Is that as icky as you feel when you think about Kenny Roger and the 1st Edition?

Now I can wrap my head around Leadbelly doing this tune. But not Harry Belafonte.

BTW, Meatloaf did it pretty well too, but Spider Bait tops 'em all.

CGHill said...

On the upside, Mr Rogers and the Edition put out a prime piece of psychedelia, even if it was written by Nashville mainstay Mickey Newbury: "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)."

Yeah, yeah, oh yeah.

Tim said...

I love that song! It is a cult classic down here in Alabama. We love it when people talk about us!

ptg said...

I remember an amateur folk singer and Iowa State University student named Al Burns who used to do a killer rendition of Black Betty at the weekly "hootenanny" in the basement of the YMCA building at Ames, Iowa. The crowd, mostly beatniks and proto-hippies loved it.

Just a couple blocks away was the house where Leadbelly lived in the basement for a while.

My girlfriend at the time thought the words "Black Betty, Bam-de-Lam" were actually "Black Betty, Bondurant" and asked me if the song was about the Iowa town of the same name.