Shortenin' Bread

DESCRIPTION: The mother will make shortening bread. Its benefits, and the extent to which children like it, may be described. (The singer steals the skillet and the bread, and winds up in jail and faced with a fine.) Often in dialect, with assorted floating verses
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1915 (JAFL 28)
KEYWORDS: food prison robbery
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE,So)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Randolph 255, "Shortenin' Bread" (2 texts, 1 tune)
BrownIII 461, "Short'nin' Bread" (2 texts plus 7 fragments and 1 excerpt; some of the fragments, especially "I," may be associated with some other song)
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 149-153, "Short'nin Bread," "Short'nin' Bread," (no title), "Put on the Skillet" (4 texts plus some odds and ends, 3 tunes; it's possible that some of the fragments are something else)
Lomax-FSNA 267, "Shortenin' Bread" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 234-236, "Shortenin' Bread" (1 text, 1 tune)
Courlander-NFM, p. 160, "(Shortnin' Bread)" (1 text)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 497-498+, "Short'nin' Bread"

Roud #4209
RECORDINGS:
Cherokee Ramblers, "Shortenin' Bread" (Decca 5162, 1935)
Emma Jane Davis, "Shortenin' Bread" (AFS 6644 A1, 1942)
Dykes Magic City Trio, "Shortening Bread" (Brunswick 125, 1927)
Ora Dell Graham, "Shortenin' Bread" (AFS, 1940; on LCTreas)
Earl Johnson & his Dixie Entertainers, "Shortenin' Bread" (OKeh 45112, 1927)
Bobby Leecan's Need-More Band, "Shortnin' Bread" (Victor 20853, 1927)
Reaves White County Ramblers, "Shortening Bread" (Vocalion 5218, 1928; on TimesAint05)
Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers, "Shortening Bread" (Columbia 15123-D, 1927; rec. 1926)
Conrad Thibaud, "Shortnin' Bread" (Victor 24404, 1933)
Sonny Terry [pseud., Saunders Terrell], "Shortnin' Bread" (on Terry 01)
Tweedy Brothers, "Shortenin' Bread" (Supertone 9174, 1928)
Henry Whitter, "Hop Light Ladies and Shortenin' Bread" (OKeh 40064, 1924)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Run, Nigger, Run" (tune)
NOTES: Fuld reports that this tune appeared in 1915 (E. C. Perrow in the April-June 1915 JAF) under the title "Shortened Bread." Words and music first appear together in Scarborough, 1925, but are probably older. - RBW
File: R255

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