Hello Ma Baby
DESCRIPTION: The singer says hello to his "sugar," his "old-time gal," and asks "why don't you write me?" She says hello to her "sugar," her "old-time boy," but she wouldn't marry him, "even for a fardin'"
AUTHOR: Joseph E Howard and Ida Emerson (according to LOCSoundRecording, berl 1305)
EARLIEST DATE: 1899 (Spencer on LOCSoundRecording, berl 1305); 1906 (Jekyll-JamaicanSongAndStory)
LONG DESCRIPTION: The singer has never met his "honey," the "ragtime gal" he talks to "across the telephone" but every morning he has Central "fix me up along the line." He tells her to "send me a kiss by wire" and "tell me I'm your own"; else "you'll lose me" and be left alone. She tells him her name and address but he is still afraid, "if the wires get crossed," that he'll lose her to some "other guy"
KEYWORDS: courting love marriage request rejection dialog
FOUND IN: West Indies(Jamaica)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Jekyll-JamaicanSongAndStory 161, "Hullo me honey!" (1 text, 1 tune)
LOCSoundRecording, berl 1305, Len Spencer, "Hello, Ma Baby" (1899, E. Berliner's Gramophone)
NOTES [127 words]: The DESCRIPTION and KEYWORDS follow Jekyll-JamaicanSongAndStory, while the LONG DESCRIPTION follows Spencer.
The LOC sound recording is difficult, but you can make it out if you already know the words; what I found very helpful were the lyrics at the AllMusic site, http://www.allmusic.com/song/hello-ma-baby-mt0010995555/lyrics, accessed March 14, 2015.
Jekyll appears not to know the published song. The Jamaican version is a reasonable adaptation in a place where the singers do not use telephones. - BS
There is a song I've heard, the origin of which I do not know, about Captain Jinks hearing about the phone and going broke trying to call his girl. That has a line "give me a kiss by wireless." I think it must be newer, but the similarity is interesting. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.7
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2021 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.