Cotton Fields Back Home

DESCRIPTION: "When I was a little bitty baby My mama would rock me in the cradle In them cotton fields back home." "Oh when them cotton bolls get rotten, you can't pick very much cotton." Tales of cotton-picking
AUTHOR: Huddie Leadbetter (Lead Belly)
EARLIEST DATE: 1940 (recorded by Lead Belly)
KEYWORDS: worker nonballad
FOUND IN: US(SE) Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, Portia Naomi Crawford, "A Study of Negro Folk Songs from Greensboro, North Carolina and Surrounding Towns," Vol. XVI, No. 2 (Oct 1968), pp. 88-89, "Cotton Fiel's Back Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Moses Asch and Alan Lomax, Editors, _The Leadbelly Songbook_, Oak, 1962, p. 39, "Cotton Fields" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #11662
Pink Anderson and son (Little Pink), "Old Cotton Fields of Home" (on USChartersHeroes)
NOTES [96 words]: There isn't much evidence that this song became traditional, but Cox-FolkMusicInANewfoundlandOutport, p. 185, says that Harry Mercer of Newfoundland knew it and sang it, and there is the NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal version, so I have very tentatively indexed it.
The NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal version is interesting. It was collected in 1963, so after the Lead Belly recording, and the wording appears identical. Would a black couple in North Carolina have been able to memorize the Lead Belly recording, or is it possible that the opening part of the song predates him? - RBW
Last updated in version 6.1
File: DTcottnf

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