Whatcha gonna do with the Baby? (1)

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X:1 T:Whatcha gonna do with the Baby? [1] M:2/4 L:1/8 B:Kuntz – Ragged but Right Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G [DA] [DB][DA]|[DB][Dd] [D/d/][D/A/][D/B/][D/A/]|[DB] [D2d2] [D^A]|[DB][Dd] [Dd]>[DB]| A G2 [D^A]|[DB]d d>d|e d2 (g|g)/g/e/d/ B>G|[DA] G2 [D^A]|| [D/B/][D/d/][D/B/][D/A/] GA|[G/A/][G/B/][G/B/][G/A/] [GB][DA]|[D/B/][D/d/][D/B/][D/A/] GA|[G/A/][G/B/][G/B/][G/A/] [G2B2]|[Dd][D/B/][D/A/] G>A|[DB] G2||



WHATCHA GONNA DO WITH THE BABY? AKA – “Baby-O,” "Hell Up Hickory Holler," “What Shall We Do with the Baby-O?” “What’ll We Do with the Baby?” "She wouldn't give Me Sugar in My Coffee-O." Old Time, Breakdown/song. USA; Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina. G Major. Standard or GDad (Estill Bingham) tunings (fiddle). AB. Jeff Titon (2001) identifies the tune was a play-party song that was well-known in the upland South. He found the tune of several of the lists of fiddlers’ repertoires compiled in 1915 by students from Berea, Kentucky. English collector Cecil Sharp noted a version in Kentucky in 1917, and Jean Ritchie had a well-known version among ‘folk revivalists’ in the 1960’s. The fiddle/guitar duo of G.B. Grayson and Henry Whitter cut a version in Memphis, Tennessee, in October, 1929, for Victor Records. The tune was even set as a New England style country dance by New York state fiddler Claudio Buchwald (1975

The baby laughs, the baby cries,
Stuck my finger in the baby's eyes.

Refrain:
Whatcha gonna do with the baby?
Whatcha gonna do with the baby?

Wrap it up in calico,
Send it back to Georg i o.

Wrap it up in a tablecloth,
Toss it up in a stable loft.

I love that pretty little thing,
Baby is a dandy;
I love that pretty little baby,
God bless its mammy.

"What are you going to do with the baby" was widely known in the upland South, and is similar to several other song/tunes such as "(She) Wouldn't give me Sugar in My Coffee-O," "Prettiest Little Girl in the Country-O," and "Cornstalk Fiddle and Shoestring Bow."


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Grayson and Whitter (Kentucky) [Kuntz]; Estill Bingham (Pineville, Bell County, Ky., c. 1986) [Titon]; Mark Gaponoff [Silberberg].

Printed sources : - Barnes (English Country Dance Tunes), 1986 (country dance version). Kuntz (Ragged but Right), 1987; pp. 345 246. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 168 (appears as “What’cha Goin’ To Do with the Baby?”). Titon (Old Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes), 2001; No. 166, p. 192.

Recorded sources : - Chubby Dragon CD1008, Brad Leftwich, Bruce Molsky et al – “Mountairy.usa” (2001). County 513, "The Recordings of Grayson and Whitter." County 778, Tommy Jarrell "Pickin' on Tommy's Porch" (1984. Learned from the playing of his father, fiddler Ben Jarrell, and uncle, Charlie Barnett Lowe). Document DOCD-8055, Grayson & Whitter (reissue). Musical Traditions MTCD 321-2, Dent Wimmer (et al) – “Far in the Mountains, Vols. 1 & 2” (2002. Appears as “Baby-O”). Rounder CD0383, Mike Seegar and Paul Brown - “Down in North Carolina.” Victor Records VI V-40268 (78 RPM), Grayson & Whitter (1929). Voyager 328, "Kenny Hall and the Long Haul String Band."

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear Grayson & Whitter's 1929 recording on youtube.com [2] and at the Internet Archive [3][4]



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