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Song Parodies -> "Brown Sugar (Jefferson/Hemmings Version)"

Original Song Title:

"Brown Sugar"

 (MP3)
Original Performer:

Rolling Stones

Parody Song Title:

"Brown Sugar (Jefferson/Hemmings Version)"

Parody Written by:

Steve Kalafut

The Lyrics

Like the original, but more specific.
Sally worked in Tommy's cotton fields
At Montecello up near Charlottesville
Widowed slaver still was doing all right
Found himself a woman, just around midnight

Brown sugar, half-sister of his wife
Brown sugar, undid a young girl's life

Now we have learned TJ's blood's the same
As the blood that's in some of her descendant's veins
Chromosome that's shaped like a Y
Tells us what he did just around midnight

Brown sugar, half-sister of his wife
Brown sugar, undid a young girl's life

[sax solo]

Brown sugar, half-sister of his wife
Brown sugar, undid a young girl's life

We know her papa owned some slaves, you see
Only her children did TJ free*
As a school boy, it was hist'ry I liked
That's why I studied up until midnight

Brown sugar, half-sister of his wife
Brown sugar, undid a young girl's life
I said yeah, yeah, yeah, whew
How come they...did things like that back then?
I said yeah, yeah, yeah, whew
Did they do that back then?
*The only slaves set free in Jefferson's will were the five Hemmings children. The male line descendants of her son Eston carry the Jefferson Y-chromosome. Sally herself was the daughter of TJ's father-in-law and one of his slaves.

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Voting Results

 
Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 5.0
Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 7

Voting Breakdown

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User Comments

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alvin rhodes - July 01, 2005 - Report this comment
clever and humorous...nice job...5s
Rick C - July 01, 2005 - Report this comment
Well done! 5s
Paul Robinson - July 01, 2005 - Report this comment
Always good to get a little History education with your morning parodies...nice job, Steve...5's ~ ~ ~
Adagio - July 01, 2005 - Report this comment
It's always nice when you can combine history and a good song. Good parody. 5's
John Jenkins - July 01, 2005 - Report this comment
Steve, your conclusions are entirely possible, but who knows for sure? There were 25 men within 20 miles of Monticello who were all Jeffersons and had the same Y chromosome. And 23 of them were younger than Jefferson, who was 65 years old when Eston was conceived. Several historians have concluded that Randolph Jefferson, Thomas' brother, was more likely to have fathered Eston Hemings.

In any case, very good parody.
Michael Pacholek - July 02, 2005 - Report this comment
The parody was excellent. Of course, when I was doing the Presidential Parody Project, I went out of my way NOT to mention this particular controversy in my Jefferson piece (http://www.amiright.com/parody/80s/starship7.shtml). John J gives some mitigating circumstances, which have been much-debated. Then there's Fawn Brodie, considered by some to be the Albert Goldman of Presidents (she also psychoanalyzed Nixon), who suggests that Tom and Sally were a genuine love affair, which also was suggested at the time. Indeed, James Callender, who first broke the story in the Richmond Recorder in 1802, had been a Jefferson ally who slimed John Adams. When he didn't get the post of Postmaster of Richmond, he turned coat. He was the David Brock of his day, except he went the opposite, from left to right. A notorious drunk, he ended up dead in a creek in 1804. Had there been today's vast right-wing conspiracy, Jefferson would've been impeached. But there wasn't, and he was re-elected in a landslide.
Steve K. - July 02, 2005 - Report this comment
Thanks, everyone. Paul & Adagio: TOS is itself a bit of history. I've sometimes wondered if the (alleged) Jefferson-Hemmings affair was the inspiration for Jagger and Richards. JJ: You are correct in pointing out that there is still quite a bit of uncertainty as to who Eston's father really was. For one thing, the descendants of his brother Madison lack the Jefferson Y-chromosome. Although TJ's age makes less likely his fathering Eston, let me point out that John Tyler had children (by his wife, not by any slaves) when he was in his 70's. Mike: Strangely enough, what made the TJ-SH affair (if indeed there was one) controversial is that it allegedly was more like a love affair than the way that slave owners sometimes took advantage of their female slaves, practically using them as sex-toys. Of course, it would still not have been a relationship of equals. There wasn't any right-wing conspiracy back then, but the politics of personal destruction was already in practice.

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