Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LITTLE JOHNNY BROWN


Listen to LITTLE JOHNNY BROWN by Bessie Jones.

If you know how to clap and what you're clapping for you can come right right out with the song. . . . You're supposed to have your music come out even with you singing. . . .

Here's how it would go if you were doing it at home:

FORM: Ring of players standing and clapping; one player in the center.

"Mrs. Jones's concern with timing showed here with her insistence, during play, that the "comfort" (comforter) be spread down on the fourth line of the verse, so that there would be no awkward time gap to be filled in by the center player. . . ."

Little Johnny Brown, Spread your comfort down (Center player walks around the ring)

Little Johnny Brown, Spread your comfort down (Center player spreads handkerchief out)

Fold one corner, Johnny Brown (Center player folds one corner per line)
Fold another corner, Johnny Brown
Fold another corner, Johnny Brown
Fold another corner, Johnny Brown
Take it to your lover, Johnny Brown (Center player dances over to partner)
Take it to your lover, Johnny Brown
Show her your motion, Johnny Brown (Center player "makes his motion")
Show her your motion, Johnny Brown
Lope like a buzzard, Johnny Brown (Center player does the buzzard lope)
Lope like a buzzard, Johnny Brown
Give it to your lover, Johnny Brown (Center player hands handkerchief over)
Give it to your lover, Johnny Brown
Give it to your lover, Johnny Brown (New player takes over)

Here's how awesome it looks on youtube:



(I would remiss if I didn't mention that earlier this summer Stu recorded and shot Sam Amidon (with Valgeir & Nico) doing a cover of this tune for Stu's East Village Radio show. Great taste, even if the effect ends up being a little different... )

Photo: Martin's guest appearance (2).

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1 comment:

john said...

Ha, we sing this track at Mimi's music class! Although with lines like "wiggle around" or "touch your nose" instead of "give it to your lover". It's got a great backbone - you can treat it anyway you choose and it works.