Sea Lion Woman by

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Written by
First recorded on
May 13, 1939
"Herbert Halpert made a series of field recordings in Byhalia, MS, including several with the family of Walter and Mary Shipp. Walter, a sharecropper and minister, and Mary, a choir director, had 14 children, several of whom participated in the archival project, but the couple's two daughters, Christine and Katherine, then 19 and 20 years old, were the real standouts, delivering several rope-skipping rhymes and rhythms that still have an intimate and haunting power all these years later, particularly the eerie and mysterious fragment called 'Sea Lion Woman'. The lyrics of this song for keeping time are simple enough, mostly about drinking coffee and drinking tea, but there's an ominous, edgy, and unsaid eeriness about it that moves beyond words and meaning." AMG
Song available on Rounder 1997 CD: 'A Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings'.
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