Origins of the "go to sleep little baby" lullaby?

Discussion in 'The Root' started by Donovan Gumby, May 17, 2016.

  1. Oceanicpuppy

    Oceanicpuppy Superstar

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    if you seen o brother where art thou the film you might remember the song sung by the sirens
    Where did this song originate? it sounds like an old blues or slave song. But the internet keeps saying it a white bluegrass song. However the lyrics don't seem to reflect that.
    go to sleep you little baby
    go to sleep you little baby

    your momma's gone away and your
    daddys gonna stay
    didn't leave nobody but the baby

    go to sleep you little baby
    go to sleep you little baby

    everybody's gone in the cotton and
    the corn didn't leave nobody but the baby

    You're a sweet little baby
    You're a sweet little baby

    Honey and a rock and the sugar don't stop
    Gonna bring a bottle to the baby

    Don't you weep pretty baby
    Don't you weep pretty baby

    She's long gone with her red shoes on
    Gonna need another loving baby

    don't you weep pretty baby
    don't you weep pretty baby

    you and me and the devil makes
    three don't need no other loving baby

    go to sleep you little baby
    go to sleep you little baby

    come lay your bones on the alabaster stone
    and be my ever loving baby




    Source: <a href="GO TO SLEEP YOU LITTLE BABY Lyrics - SOGGY BOTTOM BOYS">click here</a>
     
  2. Oceanicpuppy

    Oceanicpuppy Superstar

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    To me it sounds like a slave killing there baby by the master, you hear stories of slave women killing their babies so they wouldnt be a slave. :manny: However the red shoes verse kinda flips that.
     
  3. Bawon Samedi

    Bawon Samedi Good bye Coli Staff Member Hall of Fame Supporter

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    I liked that movie, but wouldn't be surprised if it was from a Blues song by slaves.

    This part:
    'You're a sweet little baby
    You're a sweet little baby'

    Sounds like a slave women about to kill the master's baby. But maybe @IllmaticDelta can help us out more.
     
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  4. JahFocus CS

    JahFocus CS Get It How You Get It

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    :mjcry: That is a frightening and tragic situation :wow:

    We've been through so much :wow: JAH bless the ancestors :wow:
     
  5. IllmaticDelta

    IllmaticDelta Superstar

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    It's not a bluegrass song, it's an Afram folk lullabye

    Here are two older versions





     
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  6. Bawon Samedi

    Bawon Samedi Good bye Coli Staff Member Hall of Fame Supporter

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    :ohhh:
     
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  7. Oceanicpuppy

    Oceanicpuppy Superstar

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    Thanks man rep plus
     
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  8. MostReal

    MostReal Bandage Hand Steph

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    I should of known it was a black folks song. It has that grit and hurt in the lyrics
     
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  9. IllmaticDelta

    IllmaticDelta Superstar

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    On the OST to that movie there were a number of folk songs of Afram origin that went uncredited to their real origins. I might make a thread on/about/featuring popular Afram folk songs:ehh:
     
  10. IllmaticDelta

    IllmaticDelta Superstar

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    what section would the thread (if I make it) go in?
     
  11. I Lord Justice

    I Lord Justice All Star

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    Hmmm....

    I might be wrong, but I think it may mean that the mother died or ran off, the father has run off and is going to stay gone. The red shoes makes me think that the woman has run off to be a prostitute, perhaps the baby was an illegimate birth at a time when any extra mouths were impossible to care for. So the mother ran off, the father may have been unknown or uncaring. Everyone else was in the field working, or had gone away in search of work to work distant fields.

    The verse:

    "Honey in the rock and the sugar don't stop
    Gonna bring a bottle to the baby"


    May mean that the singer was mixing a bottle and adding honey and sugar (and lots of it) to hide the taste of poison. The remaining verses then become obvious:

    "Go to sleep little baby
    Got to sleep little baby

    You and me and the devil make three
    Don't need no other lovin' babe

    come lay bones on the alabaster stones
    and be my everlovin' baby
    "

    The singer is basically saying, "drink this, go to sleep, your mamma ain't coming back, now there's only me and the devil to care for you", as if the singer knows that what she is doing is immoral but necessary. And the last verse, "and be my everlovin' baby" refers to live hereafter. As if the singer is professing everlasting love to this poor child she had put in the ground because there was no one to care for it.

    Dark shyt.
     
  12. RhapSaDiddy

    RhapSaDiddy ♊Sigma Wolf of the WoofPack♊ Supporter

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    Damn.....
     
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  13. Larry Lobster

    Larry Lobster /-_-\

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    Spooky.
     
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  14. Old Man Taharqa

    Old Man Taharqa Superstar

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    :ohhh::ohhh::ohhh::ohhh::ohhh::ohhh:
     
  15. Keepya onya toes

    Keepya onya toes Pro Supporter

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    The song is creepy to hear...
     
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