While Shepherds Watched


h1 December 1st, 2019

“While Shepherds Watched” was composed in 1703 by Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady. The melody was taken from “Siroe,” an opera by George Frederick Handel.
This was the first paraphrased psalm allowed to be sung in the Anglican Church.
An amusing children’s parody was “While Shepherds wash their socks by night!”
Lyrics:
1. [E] While shepherds watched their [A] flocks by night,
[C#m] All seated on the [B7]ground,
[A] The angel of the [C#m] Lord came down,
[A] And [B7] glory shone [E] around.
“Fear not,” he said, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled minds;
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.

2. “To you, in David’s town, this day,
Is born of David’s line
A Savior, who is Christ the Lord;
And this shall be the sign:
The heavenly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swaddling-clothes
And in a manger laid.”

3. Thus spake the seraph,–and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels, praising God, Jesus
That was their joyful song
“All glory be to God on high,
And to the earth be peace;
Good will henceforth from Heaven to men
Begin and never cease.”

I Know You Rider


h1 November 1st, 2019

A great old traditional blues originally called “Blue Woman” recorded in a prison, sung by an 18 year old woman who was serving life for murder.

I played this on my Martin D-45.

The Byrds recorded this song in 1966 but it didn’t appear until it was released as a bonus track on the 1996 reissue of our third album “Fifth Dimension.”

Lyrics:
I KNOW YOU RIDER

[E] I know you rider, gonna [D] miss me [A] when I’m [E] gone,
I know you rider, gonna miss me when I’m gone,
[E] Gonna miss your [D] loving daddy from [A] a-rolling in your [E] arms.

I know my baby bound to love me some, (2x)
‘Cause she throws her arms around me
Like a circle ’round the sun.

I’m goin’ down the river, sit in my rocking chair, (2x)
And if the blues don’t find me,
I’m Gonna rock away from there.

Lovin’ you baby, like rollin’ off a log, (2x)
But if I can’t be your lover,
I sure ain’t gonna be your dog.

Yeah the sun gonna shine my back door some day, (2x)
And the wind gonna rise up, baby,
And blow my blues away.

Will The Circle Be Unbroken


h1 October 1st, 2019

This is a hymn written in 1907 by Ada R. Habershon with music by Charles H. Gabriel. There is a later version written by the Carter family used as a funeral hymn.

I remember singing that version at the wedding ceremony of Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson in Malibu – 1973

Lyrics:
[G] There are loved ones in the glory
[C] Whose dear forms you often [G] miss
When you close your earthly [Em]story
[G] Will you join them in [D] their [G] bliss?

CHORUS: [G] Will the circle be unbroken
[C] By and by, [G] by and by
Is a better home [Em] a-waiting
[G] Om the sky Lord [D] in the [G] sky?

In the Joyous days of childhood
Oft they told of wondrous love
Pointed to the dying Saviour
Now they dwell with Him above
CHORUS:
You can picture happy gatherings
Round the fireside long ago
And you think of tearful partings
When they left you here below
CHORUS:
One by one their seats were emptied
One by one they went away
Now the family is parted
Will it be complete one day?
CHORUS:

Freight Train


h1 September 1st, 2019

Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten composed “Freight Train” as a teenager (sometime between 1906 and 1912), inspired by the sound of the trains rolling in on the tracks near her home in North Carolina.

The song has been recorded by Joan Baez, Peter Paul and Mary and countless others.

Lyrics:
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Please don’t tell what train I’m on
They won’t know what route I’m going

When I’m dead and in my grave
No more good times here I crave
Place the stones at my head and feet
And tell them all I’ve gone to sleep

When I die, oh bury me deep
Down at the end of old Chestnut Street
So I can hear old Number Nine
As she comes rolling by

When I die, oh bury me deep
Down at the end of old Chestnut Street
Place the stones at my head and feet
And tell them all I’ve gone to sleep

Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Freight train, freight train, run so fast
Please don’t tell what train I’m on
They won’t know what route I’m going

Buffalo Boy


h1 August 1st, 2019

This is an Appalachian courting song I learned at the Old Town School of Folk Music in 1957
Lyrics:
[E] When are we going to get married
[B7] Get married, [E] get married
When are we going to get married
[B7] My dear old Buffalo [E] Boy

Guess we’ll marry in the Fall
In the Fall, in the Fall
Guess we’ll marry in the Fall
That is if the weather is good

What you going to bring to the wedding
To the wedding, to the wedding
What you going to bring to the wedding
My dear old Buffalo Boy

Guess I’ll bring my ox cart
My ox cart, my ox cart
Guess I’ll bring my ox cart
That is if the weather is good

Why don’t you bring your buggy
Your buggy, your buggy
Why don’t you bring your buggy
My dear old Buffalo Boy

Ox won’t fit in the buggy
In the buggy, in the buggy
Ox won’t fit in the buggy
Not even if the weather is good

Who you going to bring to the wedding
To the wedding, to the wedding
Who you going to bring to the wedding
My dear old Buffalo Boy

Guess I’ll bring my children
My children, my children
Guess I’ll bring my children
That is if the weather is good

Didn’t know you had no children
No children, no children
Didn’t know you had no children
My dear old Buffalo Boy

Yes I got two children
Two children, two children
Yes I got two children
Because the weather was good

There ain’t gonna be no wedding
No wedding, no wedding
There ain’t gonna be no wedding
My dear old Buffalo Boy

Not even if the weather is good?

Not even if the weather is good!

KumBaYa


h1 July 1st, 2019

KumBaYa is a spiritual that originated in Angola. It means Come By Hear Lord.
Lyrics:
[G] Kum Ba Ya my Lord [C] Kum Ba [G]Ya
[G] Kum Ba Ya my Lord [Am] Kum Ba [D]Ya
[G] Kum Ba Ya my Lord [C] Kum Ba [G]Ya
[C] Oh [G] Lord [D] Kum Ba [G] Ya

Someone’s singing Lord Kum Ba Ya X3
Oh Lord Kum Ba Ya

Someone’s dancing Lord Kum Ba Ya X3
Oh Lord Kum Ba Ya

Someone’s praying Lord Kum Ba Ya X3
Oh Lord Kum Ba Ya

OleAnna


h1 June 1st, 2019

Oleanna was a utopian experiment envisioned by violin virtuoso Ole Bull in the nineteenth century. He was very wealthy and purchased over 11,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania to form a perfect society. It didn’t work out so he returned to performing concerts.
Lyrics:
[D] Oh, to be in Oleanna!
[G] That’s where I’d like to [D] be,
[A] Than be bound in [D] Norway,
[A] And drag the chains of [D] slavery.

[Chorus:]
[D] Ole, Oleanna, [G] Ole, Ole [D] anna,
[A] Ole, Ole, [D] Ole, Ole, [A] Ole, Ole [D] anna.

In Oleanna land is free,
The wheat and corn just plant themselves,
Then grow a good four feet a day,
While on your bed you rest yourself.

Beer as sweet as Muchener
Springs from the ground and flows away,
The cows all like to milk themsleves
And hens lay eggs ten times a day.

Little roasted piggies
Just rush about the city streets,
Inquiring so politely if
A slice of ham you’d like to eat.

Aye, if you’d begin to live,
To Oleanna you must go,
The poorest wretch in Norway
Becomes a king in a year or so.

Talcahuano Gals


h1 May 1st, 2019

This is an alternative version of the English sea chantey “Spanish Ladies.” It refers to a ship off the coast of Chile. Camilla and i will be sailing on the Queen Mary 2 this month where I will be giving two lectures and a Q & A. Happy May!
Lyrics:
[G] Oh I’ve been a sea-cook, and [C]I’ve been a clipperman
[D] I can sing, I can dance, I can walk the jib-boom
[G]I can carve a good scrimshaw and [C]cut a fine figure
[G]Whenever I get in the ship’s [D]fo’c’sle [G]room

CHORUS:
And we’ll rant and we’ll roar like true-born young sailors
We’ll rant and we’ll roar on deck or below
Until we see bottom inside the two sinkers
And straight up the channel to Huasco we’ll go
CHORUS
I was in Talcahuano last year on a clipper
I bought some gold brooches for the gals in the Bay
I bought me a pipe and they called it a meerscum
And it melted like butter on a hot shiny day
CHORUS
I went to a dance one night in old Tumbes
There was plenty of gals there as fine as you’d wish
There was one pretty maiden a-chewing tobacco
Just like a young kitten a-chewing fresh fish
CHORUS
Here’s a health to the gals of old Talcahuano
A health to the maidens of far-off Maui
And let you be merry, don’t be melancholy
I can’t marry youse all, or in pokey I’d be
CHORUS X2

Miles High Maggie


h1 April 1st, 2019

This is based on a bluegrass standard “Little Maggie” recorded by Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Lester Flatt, Ricky Scaggs and almost every banjo player in the world.

I have fond memories of standing around the fountain in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village on Sunday afternoons in the 60s playing guitar along with Roger Sprung and Eric Weissberg.

Everybody did this song about the same way. I decided to add a little “Eight Miles High” Rickenbacker to it for spice and in so doing a new genre: “JazzGrass” Ha!

Lyrics:

[A] Oh yonder stands little [G] Maggie
[A] With a dram glass [E7] in her [A] hands
She’s drinking away her [G] troubles
[A] She’s a courting some [E7] other [A] man

Oh how can I ever stand it
Just to see them two blue eyes
A shining in the moonlight
Like two diamonds in the sky

Last time a saw little Maggie
She was down on the banks of the sea
With a forty-four around her Waste
And a banjo on her knee

Lay down your last gold dollar
Lay down your gold watch and chain
Little Maggie’s gonna dance for daddy
Listen to that old banjo ring

Pretty flowers were made for blooming
Pretty stars were made to shine
Pretty women were made for loving
Little Maggie was made for mine

Marching To Pretoria


h1 March 1st, 2019

This song was popular on both sides of the Boer War. It was originally in the Afrikaans language which is a sub language of Dutch. Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. The Boers were settlers who had moved north to pursue farming and lived in harmony with the English of South Africa until diamonds and gold were discovered in the Boer region. Then there were two wars to commandeer the riches of the north. Eventually the English prevailed.

Just thought this would be a good song for March. 🙂

Lyrics:
[D] I’ll drink with you, you drink with me and
So we will drink together
[A] So we will drink together
[D]So we will drink together
I’ll drink with you, you drink with me and so we will drink together
[A] As we march [D] along.

Chorus:
[G] We are marching to [D] Pretoria, [A] Pretoria, [D] Pretoria
We are [G] marching to [D] Pretoria, [A] Pretoria, [D] Hooorah!

I’ll walk with you you walk with me, , and
So we will walk together
so we will walk together
so we will walk together
I’ll walk with you you walk with me and so we will walk together
As we march along.

Chorus

I’ll sing with you, you sing with me and
So we will sing together
So we will sing together
So we will sing together
I’ll sing with you, you sing with me and So we will sing together
As we march along.

Chorus X 2