Old Jeremiah

Album: Folk Music Of The United States Album III (1934)


  • What would you say about a song that begins:

    Oh my Lord
    Oh my Lordy
    Well, well, well
    I've gotta rock
    You gotta rock

    It sounds like a rather puerile attempt by a fledgling rock band, however, "Old Jeremiah" is actually a song popular with African Americans way back in the 1930s. The great folklorists, father and son John and Alan Lomax, recorded a version at Jennings, Louisiana in June 1934.

    This is perhaps the oldest reference to "rock" in a purely musical sense, and shows the debt later generations of rock musicians - overwhelmingly white - owe to their spiritual forefathers in the Deep South. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

When Rock Belonged To MichelobSong Writing

Michelob commercials generated hits for Eric Clapton, Genesis and Steve Winwood in the '80s, even as some of these rockers were fighting alcoholism.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.

Brian Kehew: The Man Behind The RemastersSong Writing

Brian has unearthed outtakes by Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello and hundreds of other artists for reissues. Here's how he does it.

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

Kevin GodleySongwriter Interviews

Kevin Godley talks about directing classic videos for The Police, U2 and Duran Duran, and discusses song and videos he made with 10cc and Godley & Creme.