Mudcat Café message #2067436 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #102165   Message #2067436
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
03-Jun-07 - 02:49 PM
Thread Name: Origin: John Cherokee
Subject: RE: John Cherokee
Notes and lyrics from Hugill don't seem to be in Mudcat.
ALABAMA (John Cherokee)

Here is what Hugill (Seven Seas) wrote:
This is a typical work-song dating back to the days of Negro slavery either in the West Indies or the Southern States. Harding said it was in fairly common use among coloured crowds in the old West Indian Traders. He said it was a hauling song, and it certainly has a good rhythm in the refrains for the two short drags, but Captain Robinson, who gives a slightly different version (in "The Bellman," Minneapolis, 1917), states that it was used at the capstan. It probably was introduced to seamen by way of the cotton hoosiers of Mobile." .....
"Captain Robinson's version has a repeat of the third solo and refrain, with "Way-aye-yah" instead of my 'With a hauly high an' a hauley low!' His tale is much the same but Alabama in his song apparently dies on shore:
   So they bury him by the old gate post,
   And the day he died, you can see his ghost."

Lyr. Add: ALABAMA (John Cherokee)

Oh this is the tale of John Cherokee,
Alabama- John Cher'kee!
The Injun man from Miramashee,
Alabama- John Cher'kee!
With a hauley high an' a hauley low!
Alabama- John Cher'kee!

They made him a slave down in Alabam,
   Alabama- John Cher'kee!
He run away every time he can,
   Alabama- John Cher'kee!
With a hauley high an' a hauley low!
   Alabama- John Cher'kee!

They shipped him aboard of a whaling ship,
Agen an' agen he gave 'em the slip,
With a hauley high an' a hauley low!

But they cotched him agen an' they chained him tight,
Kept him in the dark without any light.

They gave him nuttin' for to eat or drink,
All of his bones began to clink.

An' now his ghost is often seen,
Sittin' on the main-truck- all wet and green.

At the break o' dawn he goes below,
That is where de cocks dey crow.

pp. 329-330, with score. Stan Hugill, 1994 printing, "Shanties from the Seven Seas," Mystic Seaport.