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The Nina Simone Database
Barra
See-Line Woman
George Bass
The exact origins of the song are unknown but it is believed to have originated in the southern United States. It was first recorded by folklore researcher Herbert Halpert on May 13, 1939. Halpert was compiling a series of field recordings for the Library of Congress in Byhalia, MS, when he ran across Walter Shipp, a minister, and his wife Mary, a choir director of a local church. Halpert recorded Shipp's daughters, Katherine and Christine, singing a sparse version of "Sea Lion Woman" that defined the basic rhymes and rhythm of the song. Two weeks later the song was covered by musicologist and folklorist John Lomax. This proved to be the first of many covers, though most are based on the version introduced to the pop catalog by Nina Simone in 1964.
-Wikipedia

Recording sessions
1964 March 21: New York Carnegie Hall
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah alright now alright

See Line Woman she drink coffee
 
 
1968 June 16: Montreux (CH) 2nd Jazz Festival
 
 
1971 January 8: Amsterdam (NL) Concertgebouw
 
1980 July 18: Montreal (CA) Place Des Arts Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
Do you know "See Line Woman" you do
Yes it is isn't it
Oh je l'aime beaucoup le Français
 
 
1983 July 30: Pompei (Napoli, IT) Jazz Festival
 
1984 November 17: London (UK) Ronnie Scott's
Right there right there
See line woman see line
She drink coffee see line
She drink tea see line
Then she go home
See line woman
Dressed in red
Wear a rag on her head

I thought you knew the song
You were clapping in rhythm
I thought you knew the song
Let's do it do it

See line woman
Dressed in red
Wear a rag on her head

What I really want you to do yeah
Yes I want the song

See line woman
Dressed in white
Sleep all day
Ball all night hey

See line woman
Dressed in red
Wear a rag

Keep it steady Paul

See line woman
Dressed in green
Wear silk stockings
Golden seams

It's nice isn't it? Yeah

What is it what you want
They don't pay enough money for that
I don't do that I don't have to
But you have to sing

See line woman
Dressed in khaki
Dressed in red
Dressed in brown
Dressed in white

Dressed in black
Sleep all day
On her back
See line

(Lyrics transcription by Roger Nupie)
 
 
1985: USA Theatre tour
We're going to do "Four Women" coming up soon.
Let's do "See Line Woman". Remember it?

 
 
1988 May 6: Hamburg (DE) Fabrik
 
1988 May 6: Hamburg (DE) Fabrik
 
1988 September 20: Barcelona (ES) Mercat del Born
 
1988 September 20: Barcelona (ES) Mercat del Born
 
1989 October 23: Hamburg (DE) 14th Jazz Festival in der Fabrik
 
1990 April 10: Paris (FR) Olympia
 
1990 July 13: Montreux (CH) 24th Jazz Festival
1990 [4:14] CD 7 Madame Nina Simone TS RRC 019 (NL)
 
 
1992 May 13-16: Pointe-à-Pitre (GLP) Musiques créoles
 
1992 June 4: Reykjavik (IS) Háskólabíó Arts Festival
 
1992 July 2: Montreal (CA) International Jazz Festival
 
2000 April 13-14: São Paulo (BR) Via Funchal
 
Unknown recording session
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