Old Aunt Dinah
DESCRIPTION: "Old Aunt Dinah, ho pee, ho pee... Gwine away to leave yer..." "Old Aunt Dinah -- sick in bed... Send for the doctor... You ain't sick... All you need... is a hickory stick." Alternately, Dinah may have four daughters and wants one to marry the singer
EARLIEST DATE: 1921 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: separation doctor disease
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Jackson-WakeUpDeadMan, pp. 126-128, "Old Aunt Dinah" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 487, "Old Aunt Dinah" (1 fragment)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 487, "Old Aunt Dinah" (2 tunes plus text excerpts)
Scarborough-OnTheTrailOfNegroFolkSongs, pp. 187-188, "Ole Aunt Dinah" (1 fragment, plus a second which inserts Aunt Dinah into an "Old Dan Tucker" stanza)
Parrish-SlaveSongsOfTheGeorgiaSeaIslands, p. 117, ("Ole Aunt Dinah") (1 text)
NOTES [109 words]: There is no particular reason to associate the Brown and Scarborough fragments, since they describe different events and have different nonsense refrains. But both are about Aunt Dinah, both are fragments, both have nonsense refrains, and both seem unique.
The fullest text is Jackson's, which is a song of Dinah and her children; she offers the singer money to marry one of them, but he prefers a different daughter. It ends with standard work song stanzas.
It would appear that Old Aunt Dinah is little more than a framework character. If we had more versions, we might split the songs, but with the versions as they are, there seems little point. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
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