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Sea Lion Woman

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"Sea Lion Woman" (also "Sea-Line Woman", "See [the] Lyin' Woman", "She Lyin' Woman", "See-Line Woman", or "C-Line Woman") is a traditional American folk song originally used as a children's playground song.

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, Katharine and Christeen, singing a sparse version of "Sea Lion Woman" that defined the basic rhymes and rhythm of the song.

Notable covers include a version by Nina Simone (1964) under the name See-Line WomanOllabelle's version featured in the 2006 album Riverside Battle Songs under the name See Line Woman and Feist's cover featured in the 2007 album The ReminderThe Easybeats also recorded it, the song closing their 1967 album Friday On My Mind. A version remixed by Greg Hale Jones and Russell Ziecker entitled She Began To Lie, contains extracts from the original traditional song performed by the Shipp sisters and was used on the soundtrack of the 1999 feature film The General's Daughter.


Sea Lion Woman (Sea Lion)
She drank coffee (Sea Lion)
She drank tea (Sea Lion)
And he gamble lie (Sea Lion)
Way down yonder (Sea Lion)
I'm going maul (Sea Lion)
And the rooster crow (Sea Lion)
And he got no lie (Sea Lion)
Sea lion woman (Sea Lion)
She drank coffee (Sea Lion)
She drank tea (Sea Lion)
And she gamble lie (Sea Lion)
Sea lion woman (Sea Lion)
She drank coffee (Sea Lion)
She drank tea (Sea Lion)
And a gamble lie (Sea Lion)

Nina Simone versionEdit

Nina Simone popularized the song as "See-Line Woman" on her 1964 album Broadway-Blues-Ballads. The song was remixed by Masters at Work for the 2002 compilation Verve//Remixed, by J.Viewz in 2008 and by Ogris Debris in 2012.

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