Saturday, February 14, 2009

Only In the Big Easy: Saturday Soundtrack

You start tapping your foot and all of a sudden you realize you have that syncopated shave and a hair cut six bits thing going on. Now you have to make a decision and you have to make it fast. Are you going to head off in the direction of Bo Diddly, or are you going to take the Hand Jive path? I can't speak for you, but most of the time I go a different direction. I head south. To the Big Easy, just like Ringo Star, Cindy Lauper, The Dixie Cups, the Grateful Dead, and Sebastian the singing lobster (on ice skates, no less). Obviously, we are talking great music - music of such soul-moving poetry and profound universality that it could only have been composed (in 1954) in New Orleans, and by a man with a name like "Sugar Boy". As in James "Sugar Boy" Crawford. Yes, I mean Iko Iko.

The problem with picking this song for the Saturday Soundtrack feature is that there are so many versions of it that have been hits. Some I can't put on here because the videos are less than salubrious. Others are such low quality bootleg concert footage that you wouldn't listen to the whole song (I didn't). But aside from those, there are still many many versions. You should be happy I didn't choose the lip-synced performance by some kid under contract to Disney. But you should be happier still I chose this version by student at the Musicians Institute.

Everyone who sings this songs changes them, but here are the most common Lyrics
my grandma and your grandma were
sittin' by the fire
my grandma told your grandma
"i'm gonna set your flag on fire."

talkin' 'bout, hey now ! hey now !
i ko, i ko, un-day
jockamo feeno ai nane
jockamo fee nane

look at my king all dressed in red
i ko i ko un-day
i betcha five dollars he'll kill you dead
jockamo fee nane

my flag boy and your flag boy were
sittin' by the fire.
my flag boy told your flag boy
"i'm gonna set your flag on fire."

see that guy all dressed in green
i-ko, i-ko, unday.
he's not a man;
he's a lovin' machine
jocka mo fee nane

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