It’s April Fools’ Day, but Understandably, Not Many People are in a Joking Mood. Here is a Genealogy Alternative.

All Fools’ Day is an annual custom on April 1 consisting of practical jokes and hoaxes. While the jokes and hoaxes may be in various forms, it is common for online publications to publish a misleading article that first appears to be factual, then at the end of that article, the author reveals the joke is on the reader.

I was going to write an April Fools’ article this year, but my heart really wasn’t in it. Sitting in my self-imposed CoronaVirus isolation, filled with anxiety and depression, I simply could not dream up any suitable joke or hoax. However, since I had lots of time available, I whiled away the hours by surfing the web, often looking for humorous articles in an attempt to improve my mental outlook. Then I found “it!”

In this case, “it” is a song that is really a joke, reveals a hoax near the end of the song, and even features a young man who finds a surprise in his family tree. OK, it isn’t an April Fool’s joke but it has all the required elements to be published in a genealogy-related newsletter.

<strong>“Shame and Scandal in the Family”</strong> is a reggae song I first heard some years ago while I was in the Caribbean. I suspect all genealogists can sympathize with this young man’s problem!

The story follows a young Trinidadian man in search of a wife.

“Shame and Scandal in the Family” was written by calypso singer Sir Lancelot. It was later recorded by folksingers Odetta and Burl Ives and later still by Trini Lopez and by Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Melody. In 1964, The Kingston Trio included a live performance of the song. Other versions have been recorded in several different languages by still other artists. The lyrics vary slightly in the numerous versions.

<a href=”https://youtu.be/PAkkLQr2Kjc”><img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-35752″ src=”https://eogn.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/shame-and-scandal-in-the-family.jpg&#8221; alt=”” width=”550″ height=”545″ /></a>

You can listen to Shawn Elliot’s version in the following video. Watch the lyrics closely:

<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family
Woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>In Trinidad there was a family
With much confusion as you will see
It was a mama and a papa and a boy who was grown
He wanted to marry, have a wife of his own
Found a young girl that suited him nice
Went to his papa to ask his advice
His papa said: “Son, I have to say no,
This girl is your sister, but your mama don’t know”</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family
Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>A week went by and the summer came ’round
Soon the best cook in the island he found
He went to his papa to name the day
His papa shook his head and to him did say
“You Can’t marry this girl, I have to say no
This girl is your sister, but your mama don’t know”</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family
Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>He went to his mama and covered his head
And told his mama what his papa had said
His mama she laughed, she say, “Go man, go
Your daddy ain’t your daddy, but your daddy don’t know.”</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family
Oh, woe is me
Shame and scandal in the family</p>

5 Comments

Thanks again for all you do!
I needed that.

Like

Have loved this one since college (’76-’80). The version I heard included:
“Time went by and he wished he was dead
He had 23 girls and still wasn’t married.
Each time he’d ask Papa, Papa’d always say no . . . .”
You know the rest. The sheer volume made it even funnier!
It was nice to see someone else remembered Trini Lopez. I thought I was the only one!

Like

Very welcome in these times!

Like

You made me laugh out loud!

Like

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