Archive for the 'Love' Category



She Never Will Marry


h1 Monday, March 1st, 2010

“She Never Will Marry” is an adaptation of some very old ballads. I first heard it sung by a red headed woman at Chicago’s Gate of Horn. Here’s a song that provides a glimpse into its origins:

THE LOVER’S LAMENT FOR HER SAILOR

As I was walking along the seashore,
Where the breeze it blew cool, and the billows did round,
Where the wind and the waves and the waters run
I heard a shrill voice make a sorrowful sound.

Chorus:
Crying, O my love’s gone, whom I do adore,
He’s gone and I will never see him more.

I tarried awhile still listening near,
And heard her complain for the loss of her dear;
Which grieved me sadly to hear her complain
Crying, he is gone and I will never see him again.

She appeared like some goddess, and dressed like a queen,
She’s the fairest of creatures that ever was seen.
I told her I’d marry her myself, if she pleas’d,
But the answer she made me, was my love is in the seas.

I never will marry nor be any man’s bride,
I choose to live single, all the days of my life,
For the loss of my sailor I deeply deplore,
As he’s lost in the seas I shall ne’er see him more.

I will go down to my dearest that lies in the deep
And with kind embraces I will him intreat,
I will kiss his cold lips like the coral so red,
I will close up his eyes that have been so long dead.

The shells of the oysters shall be my lover’s bed,
And the shrimps of the sea shall swim over his head,
Then she plunged her fair body right into the deep,
And closed her fair eyes in the water to sleep.

Lyrics:
[G] They say that [D] love’s a [G] gentle thing
But it’s [C] only [D] brought her [G] pain
For the [C] only [D] man she [G] ever [Em] loved
Has [Am] gone on the [D] midnight [G] train

She never will [D] marry
She’ll be no man’s [C] wife
She expect to live [G] single
All the [D] days of her [G] life

Well the train pulled out
The whistle blew
With a long and a lonesome moan
He’s gone he’s gone
Like the morning dew
And left her all alone

She never will marry
She’ll be no man’s wife
She expect to live single
All the days of her life

Well there’s many a change in the winter wind
And a change in the clouds and Byrds
There’s many a change in a young man’s heart
But never a change in hers

She never will marry
She’ll be no man’s wife
She expect to live single
All the days of her life

Frozen Logger


h1 Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Frank Hamilton played banjo on this at the Old Town School of Folk Music in 1957. It’s a funny song written by James Stevens, the man who made Paul Bunyan famous. Loggers are a tough bunch according to this song and it’s probably true given the harsh conditions they work under! Camilla and I have been traveling in the Northwest for the last two weeks and I decided to record this as a reminder of the end of a wonderful two month tour.

Lyrics:
The Frozen Logger
(James Stevens)

[G] As I sat [D7] down one [G] evening within a [D7] small [G] cafe,
A forty year old waitress to [C] me these words did [D7] say:

“I see that you are a logger, and not just a common bum,
‘Cause nobody but a logger stirs his coffee with is thumb.

My lover was a logger, there’s none like him today;
If you’d pour whiskey on it he could eat a bale of hay

He never shaved his whiskers from off of his horny hide;
He’d just drive them in with a hammer and bite them off inside.

My lover came to see me upon one freezing day;
He held me in his fond embrace which broke three vertebrae.

He kissed me when we parted, so hard that he broke my jaw;
I could not speak to tell him he’d forgot his mackinaw.

I saw my lover leaving, sauntering through the snow,
Going gaily homeward at forty-eight below.

The weather it tried to freeze him, it tried its level best;
At a hundred degrees below zero, he buttoned up his vest.

It froze clean through to China, it froze to the stars above;
At a thousand degrees below zero, it froze my logger love.

They tried in vain to thaw him, and would you believe me, sir
They made him into axeblades, to chop the Douglas fir.

And so I lost my lover, and to this cafe I come,
And here I wait till someone stirs his coffee with his thumb.”

A Roving


h1 Monday, June 1st, 2009

Also known as “The Amsterdam Maid” is a capstan song. It might have been sung at a slower tempo as pushing the bars around a capstan to pull up the anchor could be a slow arduous task, especially if the night before on shore was a rollicking one.

The chantey man, leading the song, usually sat on the capstan head, singing out the main lines of the song, while the two or three sailors on each of the capstan bars sang the chorus.

The song’s origin in the 1600s suggests that it was probably not an original chantey but a shore song, since it was performed on the London stage in the “Rape of Lucrece.”

Lyrics:

[G] In Amsterdam there lived a maid
[C] Mark well what I do [G] say.
In [C] Amsterdam there [G] lived a maid,
And [Am] she was mistress of her [D] trade.
[G] I’ll go no more a roving with thee [D] fair [D] maid.
CHORUS:-

[C] A roving, [G] a roving, since [Am] roving’s been my [D] ruin
[G] I’ll go no more a roving with thee [D] fair [G] maid.

Her lips were red, her eyes were brown,
Mark well what I do say.
Her lips were red, her eyes were brown,
And her hair was black and it hung right down,
I’ll go no more a-roving with thee, fair maid.

I put my arm around her waist ,
Mark well what I do say.
I put my arm around her waist,
Cried she,”Young man you’re in great haste.”
I’ll go no more a-roving with thee, fair maid.

I took that maid upon my knee,
Mark well what I do say.
I took that maid upon my knee,
Cried she, “Young man, you’re much too free”;
I’ll go no more a-roving with thee fair maid.

I kissed that maid and stole away,
Mark well what I do say.
I kissed that maid and stole away,
She wept- “Young man, why won’t you stay “;
I’ll go no more a-roving with thee, fair maid.

500 Miles


h1 Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Hedy West (April 6, 1938 – July 3, 2005) was an American folksinger and songwriter. Her song “500 miles,” has been covered by Bobby Bare (a Billboard Top 10 hit in 1963), The Highwaymen, The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, Peter & Gordon, The Brothers Four and many others. A great number of Hedy’s songs, including the raw materials for “500 Miles” came from her paternal grandmother Lily West who passed on the songs she had learned as a child.

This has a sweet melody and a sad story of poverty and desolation.

Lyrics:

[A] If you miss this train I’m on [F#m] then you’ll know [Bm] that I have [D] gone
You can [Bm] hear the whistle [E] blow a hundred miles
[A] A hundred miles [F#m] A hundred miles [Bm] A hundred miles [D] A hundred miles
You can [Bm] hear the whistle [E] blow a hundred [A] miles

Lord I’m one Lord I’m two Lord I’m three Lord I’m four
Lord I’m five hundred miles from my home
Five hundred miles five hundred miles five hundred miles five hundred miles
Lord I’m five hundred miles from my home

Not a shirt on my back not a penny to my name
Lord I can’t go on home this a-way
This a-way this a-way this a-way this a-way
Lord I can’t go on home this a-way

[A] If you miss this train I’m on [F#m] then you’ll know [Bm] that I have [D] gone
You can [Bm] hear the whistle [E] blow a hundred miles
[A] A hundred miles [F#m] A hundred miles [Bm] A hundred miles [D] A hundred miles
You can [Bm] hear the whistle [E] blow a hundred [A] miles

I Know Where I’m Going


h1 Sunday, June 1st, 2008


Song page from the Old Town School of Folk Music circa 1957

The picture above tells the whole story. I learned this song at the Old Town School of Folk Music in the late 50s. If you right click (ctrl click for Apple) and save the image you’ll have a full scan of the page from the book I got at the Old Town School complete with notes and chords. I’m doing it in the key of F# instead of C. It’s a pretty love song for June.
Lyrics:

I know where I’m going
I know who’s going with me
I know who I love
But Dear Lord knows who I’ll marry

I have stockings of silk
Shoes of bright green leather
Combs to buckle my hair
And a ring on every finger

Feather beds are soft
And painted rooms are bonny
But I would leave them all
For my handsome winsome Johnny

Some say he’s bad
And I say he’s bonny
Fairest of them all
Is my handsome winsome Johnny

I know where I’m going
I know who’s going with me
I know who I love
But Dear Lord knows who I’ll marry

Old Joe Clark


h1 Friday, February 1st, 2008

This is another song that I learned at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. The song originated in Irish Creek, on the Blue Ridge Parkway near South River Virginia in the early 1800s. Joe Clark had a daughter who jilted her lover. The young man is said to have written the song out of spite and jealousy.
Lyrics:
Old Joe Clark

[G] Old Joe Clark’s a fine old man
Tell you the reason why
He keeps good likker ’round his house
Good old [F] Rock and [G] Rye

[G] Fare ye well, Old Joe Clark
Fare ye well, I [F] say
[G] Fare ye well, Old Joe Clark
I’m a [F] going [G] away

Old Joe Clark, the preacher’s son
Preached all over the pain
The only text he ever knew
Was High, low, Jack and the game

Old Joe Clark had a mule
His name was Morgan Brown
And every tooth in that mule’s head
Was sixteen inches around

Old Joe Clark had ayellow cat
She would neither sing or pray
She stuck her head in the butermilk jar
And washed her sins away

Old Joe Clark had a house
Fifteen stories high
And every story in that house
Was filled with chicken pie

I went down to Old Joe’s house
He invited me to supper
I stumped my toe on the table leg
And stuck my nose in the butter

Now I wouldn’t marry a widder
Tell you the reason why
She’d have so many children
They’d make those biscuits fly

Sixteen horses in my team
The leaders they are blind
And every time the sun goes down
There’s a pretty girl on my mind

Eighteen miles of mountain road
And fifteen miles of sand
If ever travel this road again
I’ll be a married man

Fair and Tender Ladies


h1 Saturday, September 1st, 2007

This version of “Fair and Tender Ladies” was recorded at New York’s Bottom Line in 1977. Gene Clark and I were on an acoustic tour of the United States. Gene was playing his beautiful Martin D-45 and I was finger picking my Rickenbacker 370 12-string – dripping with compression. Our songs spanned the music of The Byrds, our solo careers and included some traditional material – including this arrangement, which could easily have been on a 1965 Byrds record.
Lyrics:

Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies

Come all ye [D] fair and tender [G] ladies
Take warning [D] how you court your [Em} men
They're like a [C] star on a summer [Am] morning
They first [C] appear and then they’re [D] gone again

My daddy was a handsome gambler,
He had a chain five miles long,
And on every link a heart does dangle,
Of another maid he’s loved and wronged.

They’ll tell to you some loving story
And they’ll make you think they believe it’s true
But love grows old and waxes cold
And fades away like morning dew.”

Sugar Baby


h1 Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

The New Lost City Ramblers were the first to introduce me to this song in the early 60s in New York City. Mike Seeger of the Ramblers had made friends with Dock Boggs who was famous for recording “Sugar Baby” for Brunswick Records in 1926. The song was eventually included on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music.

Mike gave Boggs the opportunity to come to New York and record again after a long hiatus from the music business. Dock’s style of banjo playing is interesting because he didn’t use the claw hammer approach common to most banjo stylists of Appalachia. Dock used a three finger up-picking technique that was quite unique.

This song also appears on “Harry Smith Connection” sung by Jeff Tweedy, Jay Bennett and me – a compilation CD recorded live at the Wolf Trap Farm in October, 1997

The Harry Smith Connection

Lyrics:
Sugar Baby

Oh I’ve got no sugar baby now
All I can do is to seek peace with you
And I can’t get along this a-way
Can’t get along this a-way

All I can do, I’ve said all I can say
I’ll send it to your mama next payday
Send you to your mama next payday.

I got no use for the red rockin’ chair,
I’ve got no honey baby now
Got no sugar baby now

Who’ll rock the cradle, who’ll sing the song
Who’ll rock the cradle when I’m gone
Who’ll rock the cradle when I’m gone?
I’ll rock the cradle, I’ll sing the song
I’ll rock the cradle when you gone.

It’s all I can do
It’s all I can say,
I will send you to your mama next payday

Laid her in the shade, give her every dime I made
What more could a poor boy do
What more could a poor boy do?

Oh I’ve got no honey baby now
Got no sugar baby now

Said all I can say, I’ve done all I can do
And I can’t make a living with you
Can’t make a living with you

The Coo Coo


h1 Sunday, July 1st, 2007

“The Coo Coo” is a “folk-lyric” style song, where verses are interchangeable with verses from other folk songs such as “The Wagoner’s Lad,” and “East Virginia,” which are otherwise unrelated. The first verse can also be heard in “Way Down The Old Plank Road” sung by Dave Macon. “The Coo Coo” was originally recorded by Clarence “Tom” Ashley in Johnson City TN November 23, 1929.
This song style possibly developed between 1850 – 1875 in Kentucky.

A British version can be found in Cecil Sharp’s collection: “Folk Songs From Somerset.”

Lyrics:
No chords are given because it’s all in A modal tuning.

The Coo Coo

Gonna build me – log cabin on a mountain so high
So I can – see Julie as she goes on by

Aw the Coo Coo is a pretty bird she warbles as she flies
She never hollers coo coo till the fourth day July

I’ve played cards in England I’ve played cards in Spain
I’ll bet you ten dollars that I’ll beat you next game

Jack of diamonds jack of diamonds I’ve known you from old
Now you’ve robbed my poor pockets of silver and gold

I wish I had a good horse and corn to feed him on
I wish I had Julie to feed him when I’m gone

I’ve played cards in England I’ve played cards in Spain
I’ll bet you ten dollars I’ll beat you this game

Aw the Coo Coo is a pretty bird she warbles as she flies
She never hollers coo coo till the fourth day July

The Butcher’s Boy


h1 Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

The Butcher’s Boy
Buell Kazee recorded this on January 16, 1928 in New York City. The original recording was included on Harry Smith’s “Anthology of American Folk Music” Originally released in 1952 on a six LP set and again in 1997 on a six CD set. The “Harry Smith Anthology” was the cornerstone of the folk revival of the 50s and 60s. I didn’t own a copy but learned many of these songs second hand at places like the Gaslight in Greenwich Village. “The Butcher’s Boy” is another of the sad ending songs popular in Appalachian love ballads. I love the G modal banjo tuning on this.
Lyrics:
BUTCHER’S BOY

She went upstairs to make her bed
And not one word to her mother said

Her mother she went upstairs too
Saying, “Daughter, oh daughter, what troubles you?”

“Oh mother, oh mother, I cannot tell
That butcher’s boy I love so well

He courted me my life away
And now at home he will not stay”

“There is a place in London town
Where that butcher’s boy goes and sits down

He takes that strange girl on his knee
And tells to her what he won’t tell me”

Her father he came up from work
Saying, “Where is my daughter, she seems so hurt”

He went upstairs to give her hope
And found her hanging from a rope

He took his knife and cut her down
And in her bosom these words were found

“Go dig my grave both wide and deep
Place a marble slab at my head and feet

And over my coffin, place a snow white dove
To warn the world that I died of love