Angeline the Baker
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ANGELINE THE BAKER. Old-time, Song/Reel. This old time song and tune was derived from a sentimental song by Stephen Foster, called "Angelina Baker," whose lyrics tell about a slave who is parted from her lover when sold. Foster's original song can be heard played by the Critton Hollow Stringband on their album "Sweet Home" (Yodel-Ay-Hee 002). An early version of the tune was recorded by Uncle Eck Dunford for Victor (V-40060) in 1928 (backed with "Old Shoes and Leggings"). A similar tune, or an alternate title, is the Patrick County, Va., "Coon Dog (2)," recorded, for example, by Spangler and Pearson. The main 'revival' version typically played today by old-time style musicians derives from a few sources. The County Records release of fiddler J.W. 'Babe' Spangler (1882-1970), of Patrick County, Virginia, was one influential source. Independently, and predating the release of the County "Old Virginia Fiddlers" recording, revival fiddlers (such as Joel Shimberg) learned a similar version from West Virginia fiddler Franklin George. See also the related "Little Betty Brown," "Cousin Sally Brown (1)" and the "Sugar Hill" family of tunes. The following lyrics can be heard in various recorded versions of the piece:
Angeline the Baker, her age is twenty-three (or 'forty-three'),
Feed her candy by the peck but she won't marry me.
Tell how I took Angeline down to the county fair,
Her father chased me halfway home and told me to stay there.
Angeline the Baker, Angeline I say,
You caused me to weep, caused me to mourn, caused me to wear that ['beat on the'] old jawbone.
Angeline the Baker, She lived on the village green;
And the way that I love her, beats all to be seen.
Angeline in handsome, and Angeline is tall,
She broke her little ankle bone from dancing in the hall.
She won't do the baking because she is too stout,
She makes cookies by the peck, throws the coffee out.
Angeline the Baker, her age is forty-three,
Little children round her feet and a banjo on her knee
John J. Sharp knows these lyrics to a melody more like the Foster original:
Angeline the baker lived near the village green,
Way I always loved her, beats all you ever seen.
Father was a baker, they called him Uncle Sam,
I never can forget her, no matter where I am.
Angeline the baker, age of 43,
Gave her candy by the peck, but she won't marry me.
Angeline the baker, left me here alone,
Left me here to weep a tear, and play on the old jawbone.
Said she couldn't do hard work, because she was not stout,
Baked her biscuits every day, before they called me out.
Sixteen horses on my team, the old grey went before,
Almost broke Angelines heart to hear the wagons roar.
Angeline the baker, Angeline I know,
Wished I married Angeline twenty years ago.
Bought Angeline a brand new dress, neither black nor brown,
It was the color of a stormy cloud, before the rain pours down.
Sixteen horses in my team, the leader he was blind,
Came close to dying, they sold my Angeline.
Sources for notated versions: J.W. Spangler (Virginia) [Reiner & Anick]; Wretched Refuse String Band (N.Y.C.) [Brody]; Stuart Duncan [Phillips].
Printed sources: Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 22 (2 versions). Johnson (The Kitchen Musician's Occasional: Old-Timey Fiddle Tunes), vol. 2, 1988 (revised 2003); p. 2. Krassen (Appalachian Fiddle), 1973; pp. 26-27. Kuntz (Ragged but Right), 1987; pp. 341-342. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 15. Reiner & Anick (Old-Time Fiddling Across America), 1989; p. 88. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 3.
Recorded sources: Bay 727, "Kenny Hall and the Sweet Mills String Band." Beet 7003, "Wretched Refuse." County 201, J.W. Spangler (Va.) - "The Old Virginia Fiddlers." Old Homestead OHCS-199, "Ernest V. Stoneman Vol. III: The Sinking of the Titanic" (reissues, originally recorded 1928, with Eck Dunford). Rounder 0400, "Pickin' Around the Cookstove." Spudchucker Productions, Bert Edwards (N.C.) - "Bert's Bombaree" (appears as "Rocky Road"). Rounder C-11565, Stuart Duncan - "Rounder Fiddle" (1990). Tennvale 002, Roaring Fork Ramblers- "Galax 73."