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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Abby Sale Lyr Add: Bald Headed Woman (8) Lyr Add: BALD HEADED WOMAN (from Harry Belafonte) 03 Nov 06


This chain gang song sticks in my head but I can't find the source. I thought it was one of the Library of Congress, archive records - one of the early red ones but I can't find the track now. Or at the Library site or at Rounder or Mudcat or Google.

Couple of people (esp. Lightnin' Hopkins & Shel something) wrote unrelated songs or things by the title. (One of) the first to record it was Harry Belefonte (1960?) whose words are below. They agree with my recollection exactly. Perhaps from this, the Seeedish rockers, Abba (great name) recorded a garbled, pointless version and The Who took theirs and pointlessed and garbled it further. Then lots of others covered the rock nonsense.

I'm trying to find where it came from - which recording, from which prison & by whom recorded. And if Belafonte's words are as true to the original as I think.

Lastly, I'd like to know how it was used - dim memory has is as a hoeing song. This lighter tool would mean a faster work rhythm than, say, chopping and the work stroke might be the end of every other line. (?) Say, on each "mean." (???)

Yes?

There's a brief clip of Belafonte at Bald and, no surprise, it gives a pretty good Truth to the original (as I remember it) but the chop sounds seem very fast - 3 per line, I guess.

         Bald Headed Woman

I don't want no bald headed woman,
She too mean, Lord, Lordy well she too mean
I don't want no bald headed woman,
She too mean, Lord, Lordy well she too mean

I don't want no sugar in my coffee,
Make me mean Lord, Lordy well it make me mean
I don't want no sugar in my coffee,
Make me mean Lord, Lordy well it make me mean

I got a bulldog he weigh five hundred
In my back yard Lord, Lordy in my back yard
When he bark he call like thunder,
In my back yard well, Lordy in my back yard

I don't want no cold iron shackles
'Round my legs, Lord, Lordy well a round my legs.
I don't want no cold iron shackles
'Round my legs, Lord, Lordy well a round my legs.

If you see my long haired woman,
Better bow your head, Lord, Lordy well a bow your head
If you see my long haired woman,
Better bow your head, Lord, Lordy well a bow your head


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