One-Cent Herring, Two-Cent Grits
DESCRIPTION: "... one-cent herring ... two cent grits ... child like that, Can't do like this, Oh ray back Sam, Oh go on gal."
EARLIEST DATE: 1966 (Carawan/Carawan)
KEYWORDS: poverty hardtimes food dancing nonballad
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Carawan/Carawan, p. 21, "One-Cent Herring, Two-Cent Grits" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
NOTES [109 words]: The current description is based on the Carawan/Carawan fragment.
Carawan/Carawan, quoting Mrs Janie Hunter: "Used to have dances called Charleston, Pick Cherry, Alligator -- get down on floor and do 'gator tap-tap, tap on your heel and toe -- 'One-Cent Herring, Two-Cent Grits." While the title and first line parallel "Seven-Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat" the rest of the verse seems to be dance step calling, and the tune is something else entirely. If the idea of the first two lines follows that of "Seven-Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat" the original question was: if I only get one-cent for my herring, how can I afford two-cents for grits. - BS
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