Going Back to Weldon
DESCRIPTION: "Going back to Weldon, Get a job in the Weldon yard." "Captain's got a Luger, Mate's got a forty-five." "If you fire me You got to fire all my buddies too" "I don't want no woman Got hair like a horse's mane" "The house is on fire And all goes burning..."
EARLIEST DATE: 1990 (USMenhaden01)
KEYWORDS: work floatingverses nonballad shanty worksong
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
GarrityBlake-FishFactory, pp. 61-62, ("Captain's got a luger"); p. 88, ("Captain if you fire me"); p. 101, ("The house is on fire") (3 fragments)
ADDITIONAL: Harold Anderson, "Spotlight on Culture: Menhaden Chanteys - An African American Maritime Legacy" in Maryland Marine Notes, Vol 14, No 1 (Jan-Feb 2000) available at http://www.mdsg.umd.edu/maryland-marine-notes-archive accessed November 12, 2016, p. 5, ("The Captain's got a new girl") (1 text)
Menhaden Fishermen, "Going Back to Weldon" (on USMenhaden01)
NOTES [222 words]: "Going Back to Weldon" is a menhaden chantey. See the notes to "Help Me to Raise Them" for information about menhaden chanteys. It follows the general format and tune that seems especially suited for many menhaden chanteys. The verse structure is illustrated and discussed in the notes to "Goin' Home."
The "Captain's got a Luger" verse has floated from prison work songs and has become tamer because the relationship between menhaden captain and workers is voluntary. The notes to "They Don't Allow Me To Beat Them" illustrate a couple of prison versions: "Cap'n got a 44 an' he try to play bad, Take it dis mornin' ef he make me mad" and "Captain got a lugger [sic] Tryin' to play bad, I'm goin' to take it in the mornin' If he makes me mad." The menhaden versions are "Captain's got a Luger, And the mate's got a forty five" and "Captain's got a new girl, And the mate's got his eyes on her."
Compare the menhaden verse "I don't want no woman Got hair like a horse's mane" with "She's got eyes like diamonds, her teeth shine just the same, She got sweet ruby lips and hair like a horse's mane" (Jimmie Rodgers, "Blue Yodel No. 3 (Evening Sun Yodel)" (Victor 21-0177, 1928)).
Another Weldon verse is "We will catch a load And get back to Weldon on the road." Weldon may be the site of the railroad yard at Weldon, North Carolina. - BS
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