Yama Yama Blues (1919)
Last updated: 16.10.17
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Composer: S. Williams/Williams  (1898-1965) Suppliers: dbe15.gif
Editor: Geoff Grainger Trio T/T/B/V(OT)
Publisher: Ditty Box Enterprises Publication: DBE 643C
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Length: approx. 2 ¾ mins. as an instrumental. Optional vocals (tenor)
Yama Yama Blues, an early composition by Spencer and Clarence Williams, is something of a conundrum in that there is nothing blue about the lyrics proclaiming eternal love by one "Mama Mama" for her "Yama Yama Papa Papa Yama". The melody too is a happy even joyous affair which fairly flows and bubbles along and lends itself wonderfully to transcription for recorder. The cover of the original sheet music is also at odds with spirit of the song. It is dominated by a huge mysterious, masked, vaguely threatening face staring down at an apprehensive diminutive female Pierrot - a symbol of disappointed love, apparently being about to flee. Perhaps it is intended to be an allusion to the general inevitability of the eventual foundering of true love!
Yama Yama Blues was published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., New York & Chicago, USA.
A tempo of 120 crotchets/min. is suggested.
There is also a quintet version of this item.