Rocking My Sugar Lump

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ROCKING MY SUGAR LUMP. AKA – “Who's Been Rocking My Sugar Lump?” Old-Time, Breakdown. A 'sugar-lump' is a euphemism for a sweetheart. Lowe Stokes’ variation of the old standard “Boil the Cabbage Down (1),” recorded in 1930 with his band The Swamp Rooters (or Pot Lickers), which included Bert Layne on fiddle and Arthur Tanner on banjo, among others from the North Georgia-based Skillet Lickers circle of musicians. It is a derivative of on an older children's play-party song that dates at least to the second half of the 19th century in America. A 1952 recording in the John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection at Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas, of the singing of W.P. Detherow (Batesville, Arkansas) reveals that a play-party song called “Ladies Rocking” is also based on the “Bile Them Cabbage” tune. The words to this version go:

All around this ring, my sweet sugar lump,
All around this ring we go.
All around this ring, my sweet sugar lump,
All around this ring we go.

Ladies rocking, my sugar lump,
Oh, ladies rocking, my sugar lump.
Ladies rocking, my sugar lump,
Oh, turn back, sinners, turn.

Rock a little faster, my sugar lump,
Oh, rock a little faster, my sugar lump,
Rock a little faster, my sugar lump,
Oh, turn back, sinners, turn.

The end line is sometimes given as “Turn back, Cinnamon” which is a miss-hearing or mondegreen of ‘turn back, sinners’ or perhaps 'turn back, sinner man'. The ‘Cinnamon’ play-party words and directions for the figure can be found in Publications of the Folk-Lore Society of Texas, No. 1 (1916, pp. 22-23), and similar collections. [1].

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : -

Recorded sources: - Brunswick 549 (78 RPM), Lowe Stokes & His Pot Lickers (1930). Document DOCD8045, Lowe Stokes in Chronological Order, vol. 1: 1927-1930 (1999 reissue).

See also listing at:
Hear Lowe Stokes recording on youtube.com [2][3]



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