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Open up the window, Noah

06 Feb 06 - 01:57 PM (#1662963)
Subject: Open up the window, Noah
From: GUEST,Sheila

I'm seeking any information about this song/gospel/spritual. Many thanks.
Sheila


06 Feb 06 - 05:11 PM (#1663108)
Subject: RE: Open up the window, Noah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Thread 57161 has several versions and some comments. The spiritual seems to have originated in the Georgia Sea Islands and adjacent coastal areas.
Better known as "Norah Hist the Windah."
Link to thread 57161: O, de Lord told Nory

See Lydia Parrish, "Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands," University of Georgia Press, 1992 (Reprint of 1942 original with additional notes). Sheet music and lyrics to "Norah,...." pp. 134-136.

Not included in The Cleveland Index.


06 Feb 06 - 05:25 PM (#1663126)
Subject: RE: Open up the window, Noah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

An abbreviated version is included in the school songbook, "Making Music Your Own," Book 4, pp. 124-125, with music, adapted from John W. Work, 1940, "American Negro Songs and Spirituals," p. 96, with music. The tune for the version used by Work differs from the tune reproduced by Parrish for the Georgia Sea Islands song.
I have not checked for further versions and tunes.


06 Feb 06 - 06:24 PM (#1663184)
Subject: ADD: Open Up the Window, Noah
From: Joe Offer

Open Up the Window Noah
(Phil Rosenthal)

A little bird flew to the window and mourned (?)
Open up the window, let the dove fly in
Get ready O Noah, for this coming storm
Open up the window, let the dove fly in

    CHORUS
    Open up the window, Noah
    Open up the window, Noah
    Open up the window, Noah
    Open up the window, let the dove fly in


For forty long days, it will be stormy and dark
Open up the window, let the dove fly in
So, Noah, get ready, build you an ark
Open up the window, let the dove fly in
CHORUS

Now the water's risin' there's no time to lose
Open up the window, let the dove fly in
Go gather the creatures all in by twos
Open up the window, let the dove fly in
CHORUS

A little bird flew to the window and mourned (?)
Open up the window, let the dove fly in
Get ready O Noah, for this coming storm
Open up the window, let the dove fly in
CHORUS



transcribed by ear from the Seldom Scene recording on the Sugar Hill compilation CD, Every Time I Hear the Spirit

The CD does not list a songwriter, but the Harry Fox Agency attributes the song to Phil Rosenthal of Seldom Scene. As Q says, it's certainly related to "Norah, Hist the Windah."


06 Feb 06 - 06:44 PM (#1663203)
Subject: RE: Open up the window, Noah
From: GUEST,Sheila

Joe: "transcribed by ear"?!!!!!   I'm really impressed.   Thanks all. Interesting how "Noah" arrives from "Norah" and "Nory."

Sheila


06 Feb 06 - 06:52 PM (#1663213)
Subject: RE: Open up the window, Noah
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Sheila - "Norah" is a historically common understanding of "Noah," believe it or not. Probably the best-known example is from Dink's Song, collected by the Lomaxes - "If I had wings like Norah's dove."

-Joe Offer-


06 Feb 06 - 07:12 PM (#1663234)
Subject: RE: Open up the window, Noah
From: SharonA

Then there's the discrepancy within the King James Version of the Bible, between "Noah" in the Old Testament and "Noe" (apparently pronounced "No-ee") in the New Testament.


06 Feb 06 - 07:49 PM (#1663277)
Subject: RE: Open up the window, Noah
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Also remember that spirituals were transmitted by voice rather than the printed word, and regional dialects affected the pronunciations. There are bound to be variations.

A song about "Norah" (Noah), a different spiritual, about Noah building the ark, was used as a work song.

Solo:
Norah was a hundred twenty years buildin' de ark of God,
And ev'ry time his hammer ring, Norah cried "Amen."
etc.
Chorus (Lead and response):
Well, who build de ark?
Norah build it.
etc.

I will post this song if it hasn't already appeared in a thread.


09 Feb 06 - 06:55 AM (#1665094)
Subject: RE: Open up the window, Noah
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman

My favorite old Georgia Sea Islands song "Norah Hice duh Winduh" seems to be the original of Open Up the Window Noah.

What a great song! I heard it sung by the Society For the Preservation of Spirituals of Charleston, SC on a private issue LP c. 1950.

A different version of the song is in Lydia Parrish's book Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands, but I give it as the SFPS sang it, which I think is a better version. I give the dialect spelling as they gave it in their notes:

NORAH HICE DUH WINDUH

Turkle dub come flop dis way,
Hice duh winduh, let the dub come in,
Rain keep rainin' all around,
Hice the winduh, let the dub come in,

CHO
An' it's Norah, hice the winduh,
Norah, hice the winduh,
Norah, hice the winduh,
Hice the winduh, let the dub come in.

Some come cripple an' some come lame....
Some come walkin' in Jedus' name...

Paul an' Silas dey in jail,
One of em pray an de odder one watch

Shadrack, Meshack, Abednigo,
Cas' in three an' come out fo'

Stah in de eas', stah in de wes'
Wish dat stah been in my breast'

(repeat verse1)

***
Glossary is mostly obvious, but I give equivalents anyway to avoid misunderstanding:

turkle dub = turtle dove
winduh = window
hice = heist, raise
Jedus = Jesus
odder = other
cas' = cast
stah = star