:: Title :: Commentary by Bessie Jones on Wade in the Green Valley (Heavy, Heavy) and Gator
:: Genre :: interview, spoken
:: Performers & Instruments ::
Jones, Bessie
:: Setting :: Alan Lomax's apartment, 3rd Street
:: Location :: Greenwich Village, New York City (New York), New York (United States)
:: Language :: English
:: Culture :: Southern U.S., African American, Sea Islands, Georgia
:: Session :: Bessie Jones II 10/61
:: Date :: 10/3/1961
:: Reference Information :: T984.0, Track 20 (00:02:02)
:: Original Format :: Reel to Reel
:: Session Notes ::
1 - The eighth of 21 recording sessions with Bessie Jones. [Source: Editor]
:: Recording Notes ::
0 - Transcription notes read: " This is not a song. It came from 'Bobbin' Needle.' When you are playing 'Bobbin Needle' and you get a pawn, you can pick someone to 'Wade the Green Valley.' How many times you get caught with the needle, that is how many pawns you have to get, the judge chants the 'Heavy, heavy, hangs over your head,' and if you don't guess what it is he holds over your head, the judge says, 'What shall we do with this boy (or girl)?' Then the group will say, 'She must go out in the group and get her a boy, etc..' Then you must get that person and for instance, guess what he or she likes to eat, or what he likes best. And for each thing he likes, he makes a step up-- a large step for something he likes very much-- and for each thing he doesn't like, he makes a step back, until they get close to one another. They can shake hands, kiss, or do anything that desire to do together? You can play the 'Green Valley' part without the 'Bobbin' Needle' at all, just have a line of children playing 'Wade the Green Valley.' But you can call them to do anything they want to--sing a song or jump like a frog, or anything. That way it is played without pawns." [Source: Transcription Notes]
0 - Jones explains that Wade in the Green Valley (Heavy, Heavy) is part of Bob-a-Needle. She iintroduces Gator. According to Step It Down, 'This play is actually a 'pawn' -- a task set a player who wants to win back a forfeited article. The judge may tell him to call out a lady of his choice and 'wade the green valley with her.' The gentleman then stands on one side of the room with his lady facing him on the other side. He asks her, 'Do you like _____?'' Her likes or dislikes determine the next steps she takes in the dance. [Source: Editor]
0 - Bessie on 'Wade In The Green Valley (Heavy, Heavy)' and introducing 'Gator.'
:: Collection :: Bessie Jones 1961-1962

 

 

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