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Friday, May 19, 2017

Harry Belafonte - "Shake That Little Foot, Sally" (video & lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a three part pancocojams series on examples of African American songs entitled "Shake That Little Foot Sally" or "Shake That Little Foot, Dinah O".

This post showcases a sound file of Harry Belafonte's 1964 Folk/Pop performance of the song "Shake That Little Foot, Sally". My transcription of the lyrics of this version of that song are included in this post along with explanations about some of those lyrics.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/05/information-about-several-early-lyric.html for Part I of this series. Part I provides general information about those songs and showcases several early text (lyrics only) examples of "Shake That Little Foot Sally" or "Shake That Little Foot, Dinah O" and a closely related song "Great Big Taters in the Sandy Land" (and other titles).

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/05/round-robin-kick-that-little-foot-sally.html for Part III of this series. Part III showcases Round Robin's 1964 R&B song "Kick That Little Foot, Sally". The Addendum to Part III provides information about the Rhythm & Blues dance "the Slauson" which is mentioned in that song's lyrics.

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This post is part of an ongoing series on African American and Caribbean songs & rhymes about "Little Sally Ann and Little Sally Waters/Walker". Click that tag below for other posts in that series.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composer/s of this version of that song and thanks to Harry Belafonte and all others who performed this version of "Shake That Little Foot, Sally" and all those who were involved in the production of this performance. Thanks also to the publisher of this sound file on YouTube.

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SHOWCASE EXAMPLE: Shake That Little Foot (Live)



Harry Belafonte - Topic Published on Mar 10, 2016

Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment

Shake That Little Foot (Live) · Harry Belafonte / Harry Belafonte

Belafonte at the Greek Theatre

℗ Originally released 1964. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Released on: 2016-03-11

Conductor, Composer, Lyricist: Howard Roberts
Producer: Bob Bollard
-snip-
Click for information about Harry Belafonte.

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LYRICS - SHAKE THAT LITTLE FOOT, SALLY
(as performed by Harry Belafonte and singers - elafonte at the Greek Theatre, 1964)*

Note: Information about the singing other than the parts is given in italics. Background singers' portion is sometimes given in brackets.

Soloist (Harry Belafonte): Ahhh- ahhh riff

Chorus:
Oh, Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann
Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann

Background singers sing chorus without soloist:
Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann
Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann

Background singers continue to sing the chorus

Soloist: Whoo!

Soloist and background singers:
Oh, Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann
Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann
Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann
Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann

Soloist: See that muskrat

Background singers- [Un hun]
Pluckin his banjo
[Un hun]
Draggin’ his slick tail
[Un hun]
Through the muddy water
[Un hun]
Pluckin his banjo,
Draggin his slick tail
See that muskrat Sally Ann.

Chorus [soloist & background singers]
Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann
Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann
Shake that little foot Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann
Shake that little foot, Sally, Sally
Shake that little foot, Sally Ann

Soloist- Oh well, shake
One background singer croons “oooh” throughout this portion
Soloist & other background singers - Sally, Sally
Soloist- Oh well, shake
Soloist and other background singers -Sally Ann!
Soloist -Come on and shake
Soloist and other background singers -Sally Sally
Soloist- Come on and shake
Soloist and other background singers- Sally Ann!

Soloist- Oh well, sit back a bit
Background singers- Un hun
Soloist – smoke those ham hocks
[Un hun]
Well, collard your greens.
[Un hun]
Put on the cutlery
[Un hun]
Bride to the weddin
[Un hun]
Well, smoke those ham hocks
Collard your greens
Put on the cutlery
Bride to the weddin
With Sally Ann.

Chorus sung by soloist and background singers

Repeat section that begins with soloist – Oh well, shake


Soloist – Ah!
Background singers sing “Un hun” throughout a percussion interlude and soloist says “Whoo!” and some other words I can’t decipher.

Background singers stop singing but percussion instruments are still being played

Soloist rapping: Ah, I’mma ask my mama for fifty cents
I wanna to get my gal from off the fence.
Mama said to try the gal next door.
I wouldn’t have to spend my money no more.

Soloist speaking as an aside to the audience: Did you hear that?
I wonder what mama meant by that?


percussion instruments still playing
Soloist and background singers- Ah ha. Ah -ha
Soloist- Ah ha
Background singers- Ah ha
Soloist – Whooo!
Background singers- Whooo!
Soloist- Whoo Whoo!
Background singers- Whoo Whoo!
Soloist rappin - Well, I’m gonna make a big circle inna the ground
I’m gonna watch my gal turn around and around.
Shake it to the left and shake it to the right.
She shake all day and shake all- Soloist laughs
Un hun
Background singers- Un hun
Soloist- Un hun said higher than before
Background singers- Un hun mimics the way the soloist said “un hun”
Soloist shouts- Talk to me!
Background singers- sing Shake Sally
Soloist -La La
Background singers -Sally
Soloist – La La
Background singers- Come on, Sally
Soloist – La La
Background singers- Shake, Sally
Soloist La La
Background singers- Go head, Sally!
Soloist – riffs on the sound “Ah ah” with background singers joining in at the end
Soloist- Well, row across the ocean
Soloist and background singers- La La La
Soloist -Well, show me your motion
Soloist and background singers -La la la
Soloist – Claw foot, get back
Soloist and background singers- La La La
Soloist – Eat more fat back
Soloist and background singers – La La La
Soloist and background singers -Hold that motion
Give me your hand
Fly to the wedding with Sally Ann.
Chorus- soloist and background singers with hand claps, tempo increases as the chorus is sung three times
Soloist = Whoo!
-snip-
Transcription from this recording by Azizi Powell; Additions and corrections are welcome.

Harry Belafonte's version of "Shake That Little Foot, Sally" includes lyrics that are true to some traditional versions of this song. I'm specifically referring to the lyrics that are given as Example #1 and Example #4 in Part I of this pancocojams series - i.e. those lyrics about the muskrat plucking his banjo and dragging his tail, and the lyrics about taking Sally Ann to a wedding. In addition, those two above mentioned traditional versions of "Shake That Little Foot, Sally" include references to food. However, in Belafonte's version, the lyrics refer to (so-called) African American soul food: "smoked ham hocks", "collard greens" and "fat back" (another reference to ham).

Belafonte's version of "Shake That Little Foot, Sally" also includes adapted lines from the African American and/or Caribbean children's singing games/rhymes "Miss Mary Mack", "Little Sally Anne" (also known as "Little Sally Waters"/"Walker"), and "Brown Girl In The Ring"-
For instance, from "Miss Mary Mack": "Ah, I’mma ask my mama for fifty cents" and adapted lyrics that retains the mention of a fence.

From "Little Sally Anne" - references to forming a big circle; references to "shake it" (although, instead of the traditional "shake it to the east and shake it to the west...", this version says "shake it to the left and the right, all day and all...The expected rhyming word "night" isn't spoken, and the soloist confers a sexual suggestion to that unspoken word in his fake innocence aside to the audience.

From "Brown Girl In The Ring" - the traditional lyrics "Show me your motion" is retained, but the "skip across the ocean" is given as "Well, row across the ocean". Also the "Brown Girl In The Ring" refrain "tra la la la" is given as "La La La".

My guess is that the lyrics "Claw foot, get back" in Belafonte's "Shake That Little Foot, Sally" are two movement commands: "claw foot" referring to a way of holding an extended foot and "get back" meaning "to jump back". "Hold that motion" is a clearer movement command that is the same as "Freeze!"

Belafonte's version of "Shake That Little Foot, Sally" also includes other musical riffs, exclamations, and aside comments to the performance's audience.

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This concludes Part I of this three part series.

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