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Hilo, Johnny, Hilo

From Rees Baldwin, Barry Dock, Wales

Sources: The James Madison Carpenter Collection AFC 1972/001 Cylinder 037 03:33; Disc sides 073 00:30, 391 03:09; MS p. 00119

I’m fascinated by the two solo melodies of Baldwin’s song. The first five verses follow Baldwin, then I added traditional floating verses to fill out the performance.

  1. Oh Hilo, Johnny, Hilo, I wonder what’s the matter now.
    ChorusJohnny come down to Hilo, pull down below.
  2. Oh Hilo, Johnny, Hilo, I wonder what’s the matter now.
  3. I used to work down Mobile Bay but I got in debt and ran away.
  4. Away down South where I was born among the fields of yeller corn
  5. Oh Hilo, Johnny, Hilo, I wonder what’s the matter now.
  6. Oh Mobile Bay’s no place for me, I’ll pack my bags and go to sea.
  7. Was you ever in Mobile Bay, screwin’ cotton by the day?
  8. Oh Hilo, Johnny, Hilo, I wonder what’s the matter now.
  9. Growl you may but go you must, if you growl too much your head’ll bust.
  10. Hilo, Johnny, Hilo, I wonder what’s the matter now.
Lyrics from the recording:
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