Archive for the 'Love' Category



Pretty Saro


h1 Saturday, March 1st, 2003

Saro.jpg

This song was collected in the Asheville area of North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia around 1930 by Dorothy Scarborough. She included it in her book 'A Song Catcher in Southern Mountains, American Folk Songs of British Ancestry.' This is an excerpt from her text:

'Mrs. Stikeleather also sang it (Pretty Saro) into my dictaphone and contributed it to this collection. She told me that while the date 'eighteen forty-nine' is used in some of the versions of the song, 'seventeen forty-nine' is more probably correct, as that year witnessed considerable immigration to North Carolina from Ireland, and Scotland, and this old English song was no doubt adapted to its new setting at that time.' Scarborough later says that the use of the phrase 'free-holder' indicates the song is of British origin.

Lyrics:
[A] When I first come to this [E] country in [A] seventeen-forty-nine,

I saw many fair [E] lovers, but never saw [E] mine.

I looked all [A] around me, and found I was [E] alone.

Me a poor [D] stranger, and a long way from [E] home.

Down in some lonesome valley, down in some lonesome place,

Where the wild birds do whistle their notes to increase,

I think of pretty Saro whose waist is so neat

And I know of no better pastime than to be with my sweet.

My love she won't have me, so I understand

She wants a free-holder, who owns house and land.

I cannot maintain her with silver and gold,

Nor buy all the fine things that a big house can hold.

I wish I was a poet and could write a fine hand.

I would send my love a letter that she could understand.

And I'd send it by a messenger where the waters do flow.

And think of pretty Saro wherever I go.

When I first come to this country in seventeen-forty-nine,

I saw many fair lovers, but never saw mine.

I looked all around me, and found I was alone.

Me a poor stranger, and a long way from home.

Wildwood Flower


h1 Tuesday, October 1st, 2002

Wildwood.jpg

This is a nineteenth-century North American parlor song that has gone into the public domain. There are many variants, some quite amusing when compared to this version. For instance the line:

I will dance I will sing and my life shall be gay

I will charm every heart in the crowd I survey has been changed to:

Oh, I'll dance, I will sing and my laugh shall be gay

I will charm ev'ry heart, in his crown I will sway

Clearly a misunderstood line, passed along by the oral tradition. This is a fine example of the folk process.

This song was written by Maud and J.P. Weber, and popularized by the Carter Family. Another great Guitar picking song. This is the first song I've recorded with my new Martin HD28V that Dick Boak at Martin Guitars helped me pick out at the factory.

Lyrics:
[D] I will twine with my mingles of [A] raven [D] black hair

With the roses so red and the [A] lilies [D] so fair

The myrtle so bright in its [G] emerald [D] hue

And the pale amaryllis and [A] violets so [D] blue

Oh he promised to love me and promised to love

And cherish me over all others above

I woke from my dream and my idol was clay

And my portion of loving had all passed away

I will dance I will sing and my life shall be gay

I will charm every heart in the crowd I survey

Though my heart now is breaking he shall never know

How his name makes me tremble my pale cheeks to glow

Oh he taught me to love him and called me his flower

A blossom to cheer him through life’s weary hour

But now he is gone and left me alone

With the wild flowers to weep and the wild birds to moan

Yes I’ll dance and I’ll sing and my life shall be gay

I will banish this weeping, drive troubles away

I’ll live yet to see him regret that dark hour

When he won and neglected his frail wildwood flower

Delia's Gone


h1 Thursday, August 1st, 2002

This was originally an American Honky-tonk song but has returned to the United States by way of the Bahama Islands.
Lyrics:
[D] Tony shot his [G] Delia
[D]'Ton a Saturday [D7] night
[G] The fist time he shot her [Em] Lord
[A] She bowed her head and [D] died

[A] Delia's gone, one more round, [D] Delia's gone
[A] Delia's gone, one more round, [D] Delia's gone

Called for the doctor
The doctor came too late
Called for the Minister
Take Delia to her fate

Well they took my Delia
Dressed her all in Brown
Took her to the graveyard
And then they laid her down

Delia oh Delia
Where you been so long
Everybody's talking about
My Delia's dead and gone

Tarrytown


h1 Saturday, June 1st, 2002

Tarrytown.jpeg

In the summer of 1959, Marsha, Dick and I formed a trio. We called ourselves 'The Old Town Singers.' The name came from the Old Town School of Folk Music, where we had met. We rehearsed for weeks, but to my recollection, never did a paying gig. When the Limeliters hired me to accompany them on their RCA live LP in 1960, I left Chicago, and lived on the road for the next few years. It's interesting to think what might have happened if I'd stayed in Chicago and continued to perform with 'The Old Town Singers.' We formed about two years before Peter Paul and Mary. This is a practice recording made on a reel to reel Pentron tape recorder at 7 1/2 IPS. The tape was broken in two places and spliced, causing the slight jumps in audio quality.
Lyrics:
In [E] Tarry- [B7] town there did [E] dwell

A handsome [A] youth I knew so [B7] well

He courted [E] me my life [A] away,

And [B7] now with me he will no longer [E] stay

Wide and [B7] deep my grave will [E] be

With the [B7] wild goose grasses growing over [E] me

Wide and [B7] deep my grave will [E] be

With the [B7] wild goose grasses growing over [E] me

Oh once I wore my apron low

He’s follow me through ice and snow

Now that I wear my apron high

You walk right down the street and pass me by

Wide and deep my grave will be

With the wild goose grasses growing over me

Wide and deep my grave will be

With the wild goose grasses growing over me

There is an inn in Tarrytown

Where my love goes and sits him down

He takes another on his knee

For she has golden lashes more than me

Wide and deep my grave will be

With the wild goose grasses growing over me

Wide and deep my grave will be

With the wild goose grasses growing over me

Spanish is the Loving Tongue


h1 Thursday, February 14th, 2002

Lyrics:
[E] Spanish is the [A] loving [E] tongue

Soft as music, [F#m] light as [B7]spray

'Twas a [E]girl I [A] learned it [E] from

Living down [B7] Sonora [E] way

[A] I don't [G#m] look much [A] like a [E] lover

Still I hear those [F#m] love words [B7] over

[E] Mostly when I'm [A] all [E] alone!

Mi amor, Mi [B7] cora – [E]z�n

On the nights that I would ride
She would listen for my spurs,
Throw that big door open wide,
Raise those laughing eyes of hers.

Oh, how the hours would go a-flyin!
All too soon I'd hear her sighin'
In her sweet and quiet tone
'Mi amor, mi corazon.'

But I had to fly one time
All 'cause of a stupid gamblin' fight,
And so we said a swift goodbye
On that dark, unlucky night.

How oftentimes to me she's clingin'
And in my ears the hoofsbeats ringin',
As I galloped north alone
'Adios, mi corazon.'

Haven't seen her since that night,
I can't cross the line, you know.
She was Mex and I was white;
Like as not it's better so.

Still I've always kind of missed her
Since that last wild night I kissed her;
I broke her heart, lost my own
'Adios, mi corazon.'

Water is Wide, The


h1 Friday, June 1st, 2001

Water.jpg

I remember going to see Pete Seeger in concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago many times in my teen years. His 12-string guitar was always tuned down so that the bass notes were big and round, filling the hall as would a string quartet. His voice was clear, full of emotion and youthful exuberance. That was the first time I heard The Water Is Wide. Now I'm on concert tour in England. I decided to recorded this song live at the Jazz Café in London.
Lyrics:
D

The water is wide

G D

I cannot cross over

Bm

And neither have

A7

I wings to fly

D F#m

Build me a boat

G

That will carry two

A7

And both shall roam

D

My Love and I

A ship there is

And she sails the sea

Sailing as deep

As deep can be

But not so deep

As the love I'm in

And I know not

How I sink or swim

I leaned my back

Against some young oak

Thinking she was

A trusty tree

But first she bent

And then she broke

And thus did my

False love to me

The water is wide

I cannot cross over

And neither have

I wings to fly

Build me aboat

That will carry two

And both shall roam

My Love and I

The Riddle Song


h1 Thursday, February 1st, 2001

I wonder if this song from the 17th Century inspired the following poem by Walt Whitman?

A Riddle Song
By Walt Whitman
1819-1892

That which eludes this verse and any verse,
Unheard by sharpest ear, unform'd in clearest eye or cunningest mind,
Nor lore nor fame, nor happiness nor wealth,
And yet the pulse of every heart and life throughout the world incessantly,
Which you and I and all pursuing ever ever miss,
Open but still a secret, the real of the real, an illusion,
Costless, vouchsafed to each, yet never man the owner,
Which poets vainly seek to put in rhyme, historians in prose,
Which sculptor never chisel'd yet, nor painter painted,
Which vocalist never sung, nor orator nor actor ever utter'd,
Invoking here and now I challenge for my song.

Indifferently, 'mid public, private haunts, in solitude,
Behind the mountain and the wood,
Companion of the city's busiest streets, through the assemblage,
It and its radiations constantly glide.

In looks of fair unconscious babes,
Or strangely in the coffin'd dead,
Or show of breaking dawn or stars by night,
As some dissolving delicate film of dreams,
Hiding yet lingering.

Two little breaths of words comprising it,
Two words, yet all from first to last comprised in it.

How ardently for it!
How many ships have sail'd and sunk for it!

How many travelers started from their homes and neer return'd!
How much of genius boldly staked and lost for it!
What countless stores of beauty, love, ventur'd for it!
How all superbest deeds since Time began are traceable to it–and
shall be to the end!
How all heroic martyrdoms to it!
How, justified by it, the horrors, evils, battles of the earth!
How the bright fascinating lambent flames of it, in every age and
land, have drawn men's eyes,
Rich as a sunset on the Norway coast, the sky, the islands, and the cliffs,
Or midnight's silent glowing northern lights unreachable.

Haply God's riddle it, so vague and yet so certain,
The soul for it, and all the visible universe for it,
And heaven at last for it.

Lyrics:
The Riddle Song

[G] I gave my love a [C] cherry that has no [G] stone,
I [D] gave my love a [G] chicken that has no [D] bone,
I gave my love a [G] ring that has no [D] end,
I [C] gave my love a [Am] baby with [C] no [G] crying.

How can there be a cherry that has no stone?
How can there be a chicken that has no bone?
How can there be a ring that has no end?
How can there be a baby with no crying?

A cherry, when it's blooming, it has no stone,
A chicken when it's pipping, it has no bone,
A ring when it's rolling, it has no end,
A baby when it's sleeping, has no crying.

Traditional

Coffee Grows On White Oak Trees


h1 Sunday, October 1st, 2000

Coffee.gif

This is a Southwestern play-party song. Play party songs were designed to protect young people from the evil business of square dancing. Any number of couples would join hands and form a ring. The ladies would march around a single man and sing the first part of the song at a slow tempo. The man would chose a partner from the ring and the dancers would skip around them singing 'Two in the middle and I can't dance Josie.' This would continue until all couples were In the center. They would swing left and Right.
Lyrics:
[D] Coffee grows on white [Bm] Oak trees
[D] The river flows with [Em] brandy –O[A]
[D] Go choose someone to [Bm] roam with you
[Em] Sweet as lasses [A] candy –O
[D] Two in the middle and I [Bm] can't dance Josie
[D] Two in the middle and I [C] can't get [A] around
[D] Two in the middle and I [Bm] can't dance Josie
[G] Hello [A] Susan [D] Brown

Four in the middle and I can’t dance Josie
Four in the middle and I can’t get around
Four in the middle and I can’t dance Josie
Hello Susan Brown
[D] Railroad, [F#m] steamboat, [Bm] river and [G] canal
I lost my [Em] true love on that [A] ragin’ canal [D]
[D] O she’s gone, gone, gone,
O she’s gone, gone, gone, [A]
O she’s gone on that ragin’ [D] canal (X2)

Fiddler’s drunk and I can’t dance Josie
Fiddler’s drunk and I can’t get around
Fiddler’s drunk and I can’t dance Josie
Hello Susan Brown

Cow in the well and can't jump Josie
Cow in the well and can't get around
Cow in the well and can't jump Josie
Hello Susan Brown

Railroad, steamboat, river and canal
I lost my true love on that ragin' canal
O she's gone, gone, gone,
O she's gone, gone, gone,
O she's gone on that ragin’ canal
(X2)

Cruel War, The


h1 Tuesday, August 1st, 2000

Lyrics:
[G] The cruel war is [Em] raging,
[Am] Johnny has to [G] fight I [C] long to be [Am]
with him, from [C] morning till [G] night

I want to be [Em] with him, it [Am]
grieves my heart [G] so Won't you
[C] let me come [Am] with you?
[C] No, my love [G] no

Tomorrow is Sunday, Monday is the day
That your captain will call you and you must obey
Your captain will call you, it grieves my heart so
Won�t you let me come with you?
No, my love no
I'll tie back my hair, men's
clothing I'll put on

I'll pass for your comrade as we march along
I'll pass for your comrade, no one will ever know
Won't you let me come with you?
No, my love no

Oh Johnny,
oh Johnny, I feel you are unkind
I love you far better than all of mankind
I love you far better than words
can e�er express
Won't you let me come with you?
Yes, my love yes

They marched into battle, she never left his side
'Til a bullet shell struck her and love was denied
A bullet shell struck her, tears came to Johnny's eyes
As he knelt down beside her, she silently died

Willie Moore


h1 Thursday, June 1st, 2000

0265.gif

Drone in G, and play melody.
Lyrics:
Willie Moore was a King, his age twenty-one
Courted a maiden fair;
Her eyes were like two diamonds bright
Raven black was her hair, hmmm hmmm hmmm…
He courted her both day and night,
To marry him she did agree,
But when they went to get her parents' consent,
They said, 'This could never be,' hmmm, hmmm, hmmm…
'I love Willie Moore,' sweet Annie replied,
'Better than I love my life,
And l would rather die than weep here and cry,
Never to be his wife,' hmmm, hmmm, hmmm…
That very same night sweet Anne disappeared,
They searched the country 'round
In a little stream down by the cabin door,
The body of sweet Annie was found' hmmm, hmmm, hmm
Sweet Annie's parents they live all alone,
One mourns, the other cries,
In a little grave down by the cabin door
The body of sweet Annie now lies.
Willie Moore scarce spoke that anyone knew,
Soon from his friends did part;
And the last heard of him was he's on Montreal
Where he died of a broken heart.