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Prison - Chain Gang songs

 
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 12:07 pm
Another Man Done Gone


Another man done gone
Another man done gone
Another man done gone
An´unaccounted for
Another man done gone
I didn't know his name
I didn't know his name
I didn't know his name
I didn't know his name
I didn't know his name
He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on
He had a long chain on
De capt´n don´t know where
De capt´n don´t know where
De capt´n don´t know where
Another man done gone
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 12:10 pm
Diamond Joe

Ain't gonna work in the country
And neither on Forester's farm
I'm gonna stay 'till my Marybell come
She gone call me Tom
I'm gonna ask you a question
Captain tell me no lie
Will I stay this rotten old jail
Till the day I die

Diamond Joe come-a getta me, Diamond Joe

I'm tired eating this cornbread
And can't even wash when it rain
If I could get me some meat and soap
If I could lose my chain

Diamond Joe come-a getta me, Diamond Joe

Last night I heard the bloodhounds
Two of the men done escape
One was framed for murder
And the other one framed for rape

Diamond Joe will they catch 'em, Diamond Joe

Now I bust rock in the summer,
In the spring winter and fall
If I have me some powder
Great God I'll blast me a hole in the wall
Diamond Joe, come-a getta me Diamond Joe
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 12:21 pm
PARCHMAN FARM

I'm sitting over here on Parchman Farm
I'm sitting over here on Parchman Farm
I'm sitting over here on Parchman Farm
Ain't never done no man no harm


Well I'm throwing that cotton in an eleven foot sack
Well I'm throwing that cotton in an eleven foot sack
Well I'm throwing that cotton in an eleven foot sack
Twelve guage shotgun at my back

Well I'm sitting over here on Number Nine
Well I'm sitting over here on Number Nine
Well I'm sitting over here on Number Nine
And all I did is drink my wine

Well I'm gonna be here for the rest of my life
Well I'm gonna be here for the rest of my life
Well I'm gonna be here for the rest of my life
And all I did was shoot my wife
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 12:45 pm
El Preso Número 9
(tradicional)

Al preso número 9
Ya lo van a confesar
Está rezando en la celda
Con el cura del penal

Porque antes del amanecer
La vida le han de quitar
Porque mató a su mujer
Y a un amigo desleal

Dice asi al confesor
Los maté sí señor
Y si vuelvo a nacer
Yo los vuelvo a matar

Padre no me arrepiento
Ni me da miedo la eternidad
Yo sé que allá en el cielo
El ser supremo me ha de buscar
Voy a seguir sus pasos
Voy a buscarlos al mas allá, Ah!

El preso número 9
Era un hombre muy cabal
Iba la noche del duelo
Muy contento a su jacal

Pero al mirar a su amor
En brazos de su rival
Sintió en su pecho el rencor
Y no se pudo aguantar

Al sonar el clarin
Se formó el pelotón
Y rumbo al paredón
Se oyó al preso decir

Padre no me arrepiento
Ni me da miedo la eternidad
Yo sé que allá en el cielo
El ser supremo me ha de buscar
Voy a seguir sus pasos
Voy a buscarlos al mas allá, Ah

--------
The Prisoner Number 9
(traditional)

The prisoner number 9
is being confessed
He's praying in his cell
with the prison's priest

Because before dawn
they are to take his life
because he killed his wife
and a disloyal friend

He says to the confessor:
I killed them, yes, sir
And if I'm born again
I will kill them one more time

Father, I don't repent
and I'm not afraid of eternity
I know that over there in heaven
The supreme being is going to look for me
I'm going to follow their steps
I'm going to look for them in the afterlife, Hah!

Prisoner number 9
was a very upright man
On the night of the duel
he was happily going to his hut

But, watching his love
in the hands of his rival
filled his chest with rancor
and he could not resist

At the sound of the trumpet
The firing squad was formed
And in his way to the wall
it was heard that the prisoner said:

Father, I don't repent
and I'm not afraid of eternity
I know that over there in heaven
The supreme being is going to look for me
I'm going to follow their steps
I'm going to look for them in the afterlife, Hah!
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 12:48 pm
Old Hannah

Oh, we call the sun ol' Hannah
Blazing on my head
Yes, we call the sun ol' Hannah
And her hair is flamin' red.
Why don't you go down, ol' Hannah
Don't you rise no more
If you come up in the mornin'
Bring judgment sure

Well I look at ol' Hannah
She was turnin' red
Well I look at my partner
He was almost dead
Said if you get lucky,
Or make it on your own
Please go down by Julie's
Tell her I won't be long

Kept sayin' I was a good man
But they drove me down
Yes, I was a good man,
But they drove me down
Well, it look like ev'rything
Ev'rything I do
Yes, it looks like ev'rything
I do is wrong
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 12:50 pm
Bald Headed Woman

Words and Music by : Trad. Chain Gang Song
Adapted and Arranged by: Harry Belafonte

I don't want no bald headed woman,
She too mean, Lord, Lordy well she too mean
I don't want no bald headed woman,
She too mean, Lord, Lordy well she too mean

I don't want no sugar in my coffee,
Make me mean Lord, Lordy well it make me mean
I don't want no sugar in my coffee,
Make me mean Lord, Lordy well it make me mean

I got a bulldog he weigh five hundred
In my back yard Lord, Lordy in my back yard
When he bark he call like thunder,
In my back yard well, Lordy in my back yard

I don't want no cold iron shackles
'Round my legs, Lord, Lordy well a round my legs.
I don't want no cold iron shackles
'Round my legs, Lord, Lordy well a round my legs.

If you see my long haired woman,
Better bow your head, Lord, Lordy well a bow your head
If you see my long haired woman,
Better bow your head, Lord, Lordy well a bow your head
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 12:55 pm
My parents had Leadbelly's version of this song. I thought the accompanying explanation was interesting.


Linin' Track

Linin' Track
(Traditional)

Ho, boys, is you right?
I done got right
All I hate about linin' track
These ol' bars 'bout to bust my back

Chorus:
Ho, boys, cancha line 'em track
Ho, boys, cancha line 'em track
Ho, boys, cancha line 'em track

Let's see Eloise go linin' track
Down in the holler below the field
Angels are workin' on my chariot wheel
Chorus

Mary and the baby were settin' in the shade
Thinkin' of the money that I ain't made
Chorus

Well, I bin on the river, nineteen and ten
But I didn't have no women like the drivin' men
Chorus

Moses stood on the Red Sea shore
He was battin' at the waves with a two-by-four
Chorus

Well if I could I surely would
Stand on the rock where Moses stood
Chorus

Mary, Marthy, Luke and John
Well all them 'ciples now they're dead and gone
Chorus

Well you keep talkin' 'bout the break ahead
Ain't said nothin' 'bout my hog an' bread
Chorus

Ho, boys, is you right?
I done got right
All I hate about linin' track
These ol' bars 'bout to bust my back
Chorus

Source: Transcribed from Koerner, Ray and Glover 'Blues, Rags and Hollers'
Red House RHR CD 76. Their source was a Leadbelly recording on Stinson
which 'was passed around quite a while before settling' into above.
A version appears in John A. Lomax & Alan Lomax 'American Folk Ballads'
Macmillan 23rd Printing 1972 at page 14 under the title 'Tie-shuffing Chant'. Th
e gang leader sings first line of each verse. The Lomaxes provided the following
illuminating description of lining track:
'Tie shuffling' is the lining or straightening out of the railroad track. To
understand the work-rhythm that forms the chant it will be necessary to
describe Henry Trevelyan's section gang as it worked to the tune. Henry,
the foreman, stooped over and squinted off down the shining rail; then
stood up and bawled out directions to his gang in the impossibly technical
language of the railroad. They, with heavy bars
off down the track, jammed their lining bars down under the rail on the
inner side, and braced against them. One of their number, a handsome
yellow man, when he was sure they were ready to heave, threw back his
head and sang. On the first and next to last beat of every verse, each man
threw his weight against his bar; the refrain was repeated until Henry, who
had kept his eye on the rail meanwhile, shouted his directions about the
next 'johnnyhead'. At that signal, the song was broken off , the gang
stopped heaving, and the whole scene was repeated a few yards on down
the track.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 12:59 pm
Grizzely Bear

Oh that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
Oh that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I said that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
Oh that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear

I'm gonna tell you a story 'bout that grizzely bear
I'm gonna tell you a story 'bout that grizzely bear
Oh you better watch out for that grizzely bear
'Cause he's a mean old grizzely, grizzely bear
Oh that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I said that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear

He come a walkin' and a talkin' that grizzely bear
He come a huffin' and a puffin' that grizzely bear
He come a wobblin' and a swabblin' that grizzely bear
He's a mean old grizzely, grizzely bear
Oh that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I said that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear

He had long black hair that grizzely bear
He had big blue eyes that grizzely bear
Oh well a tell me who was that grizzely bear
I say the capt'n was the grizzely, grizzely bear
Oh that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I shot me a grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
Oh well that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I said the capt'n ain't nothin' but a grizzely bear

Oh well my momma was a scared o' that grizzely bear
Oh yes my momma was a scared o' that grizzely bear
Oh well my poppa went a-huntin' for that grizzely bear
Yes my poppa went a-huntin' for that grizzely bear
Oh that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I said that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
Oh well that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I say that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear

Oh well I ain't a-scared o' that grizzely bear
I tell you I ain't a-scared o' that grizzely bear
Ah now listen while I tell you 'bout that grizzely bear
I said listen while I tell you 'bout that grizzely bear
Oh that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I said I'm gonna kill that grizzely bear
Oh well that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I say I'm gonna kill that grizzely bear

Oh that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I say that griz griz grizzely grizzely bear
Oh that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear
I say that grizzely, grizzely grizzely bear

I'm gonna kill-a that grizzely bear
Oh well a I'm gonna cut that grizzely bear
Oh well-a I'm gonna stomp that grizzely bear
I'm gonna put him in a box that grizzely bear
Yes that grizzely grizzely grizzely bear
He's a mean old grizzely grizzely bear
I'm gonna bite that grizzely grizzely bear
I said a I'm a-gonna kill that grizzely bear
Oh that grizzely grizzely grizzely bear
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:00 pm
Panzade
I have some ledbelly records, but I never heard that song before. Thanks.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:03 pm
Here Rattler Here

I gotta hammer, hammer, hammer
Here rattler here
Oh yes goin' hammer on that mountain
Here rattler here
Until that mountain is a mole hill
Here rattler here

Oh yes been servin' here since thirty-nine
Here rattler here
Oh God my woman couldn't pay my fine
Here rattler here

Oh well ole rattler is a hound dog
Here rattler here
I say ole rattler is a hound dog
Here rattler here

Oh well I tol my captain my hands was cold
Here rattler here
He said oh damn your hands, let the wheelin' roll
Here rattler here

Oh well ole rattler is a hound dog
Here rattler here
I say ole rattler is a hound dog
Here rattler here

Oh well, ole rattler is the captain's friend
Here rattler here
Oh Lord-y nine got away and he brought back ten
Here rattler here

Oh well ole rattler is a hound dog
Here rattler here
I say ole rattler is a hound dog
Here rattler here

Oh well John Henry had a woman,
Her name was Polly Ann
Oh when John Henry took sick
Well Polly drove steel like a man

Oh yes my captain down in Georgia
Took a shot at me
And by the time he took that second shot
I passed through Tennessee

Oh well both Rufus Akes and Rastas Payne
Got married down in Gaines
And now they say that all them Georgia woods
Is filled with Akes and Payne's

Oh well ole rattler is a hound dog
Here rattler here
I say ole rattler is a hound dog
Here rattler here

Well if today the same as yesterday
Here rattler here
Oh God tomorrow be my judgment day
Here rattler here

Oh well ole rattler is a hound dog
Here rattler here
I say ole rattler is a hound dog
Here rattler here
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:04 pm
La Copla del Prisionero
Horacio Guaraní (Argentina)

Estamos prisioneros, carcelero,
yo de estos torpes barrotes,
tú, del miedo,

Adónde vas que no vienes
conmigo a empujar la puerta,
no hay campanario que suene,
como el río allá afuera,

Como el que se prende fuego
andan los presos del miedo,
de nada vale que corran
si el incendio va con ellos.

No sé,no recuerdo bien
qué quería el carcelero,
creo que una copla mía
para aguantarse el silencio.

No hay quien le compre la suerte
al dueño de los candados,
murió con un ojo abierto
y nadie pudo cerrarlo,

Le regalé una paloma
al hijo del carcelero,
cuentan que la dejó ir
tan sólo por verle el vuelo,
qué hermoso va a ser el mundo
del hijo del carcelero.

Es cierto, muchos callaron
cuando yo fui detenido,
vaya con la diferencia:
yo preso, ellos sometidos

Estamos prisioneros, carcelero,
yo de estos torpes barrotes,
tú, del miedo,

---------

The Prisoner's song
Horacio Guaraní (Argentina)

We are prisoners, warden.
I am by these clumsy irons;
You are by fear.

Where do you go that you don't come
with me to push the door open?
There is no bell that sounds
like the river outside

Like the one who sets himself on fire
go through life the prisoners of fear
it's worthless that they run
if they have the fire inside

I don't know, I don't remeber well
what did the warden want
I think he wanted a song of mine
to bear the silence

There is no one who'll buy the luck
to the owner of the locks,
he died with one open eye
and no one could close it.

I gave a dove
to the warden's son,
they say he let her go
just to see the flight,
How beautiful is the warden's son
world going to be!

It's true, many shut up
when I was arrested,
what a big difference:
I'm in jail, they are subdued

We are prisoners, warden.
I am by these clumsy irons;
You are by fear.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:06 pm
Look Over Yonder

Look over yonder hot sun turning over
Look over yonder hot sun turning over
And it won't go down Lord it won't go down

Did you ever hear the cuckoo bird a calling
Did you ever hear the cuckoo bird a calling
Sure sign of rain Lord, sure sign of rain

I've been a hammer since last December
I've been a hammer since last December
And I'm almost dead Lord, I'm almost dead

I've been a wondering if anybody wonders
I've been a wondering if anybody wonders
Talk to me, talk to me
About poor me Lord, ´bout poor me

Look over yonder hot sun turning over
Look over yonder hot sun turning over
And it won't go down Lord it won't go down
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:08 pm
fbaezer
Those are new to me also.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:09 pm
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:13 pm
I wonder fb, was this written about "Los Desaparecidos"?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:14 pm
Rocks and Gravel

Well it's early in the morning
Baby when I rise a well a

I got aches and pains lordy mama
Makes a man want to die a well a

Well it's hard it's hard lordy rollin´
Come on boys a well a

It takes rocks and gravel to make a
To make a solid road a well a

Well it ain't ever done lordy mamma
There's a captain that's got a gun a well a

Well a whossoever told it he told a,
He told a dirty lie a well a

He said I heard that my woman done leave me
Well o well a well

I ain't been to Georgie, Georgie
But I been told a well a

They say that Georgie gals Lordy baby
A got a sweet jelly roll a well a
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:16 pm
Swing Dat Hammer

Swing dat hammer, swing dat hammer
Swing it higher ´bove your head
Making little ones out of big ones
Hammer kill you almost dead

If I ever leave this chain gang
I'm coming home once more
Mama, mama do not scorn me
Do not turn me from your door

Swing it high boys, swing it low boys
Swing dat hammer till you dead
Swing it high boys, swing it low boys
Swing dat hammer till you dead

Yes, yes but I'm back in dear ol´ Georgie
And I got to serve this time
Swing it high boys, swing it low boys
Swing dat hammer till you dead
Swing it high boys, swing it low boys
Swing dat hammer till you dead

Mama, mama, mama, mama
Ain't you ´shamed of your dear son
Ain't you sorry that you born me
When you see what I've done done
Swing it high boys, swing it low boys
Look a here ma what I've done done

Swing it high boys, swing it low boys
Swing dat hammer till you dead
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:18 pm
Tol' My Cap'n

Tol' my captain my hands was cold
Set down your hands boy, let the wheeling roll

I asked my captain to give me time
Damned old captain wouldn't pay me no mind

I raised my hand to wipe the sweat off my head
Captain got mad, Lord shot my buddy dead

He kept on walkin' up and down
Buddy laying there dead, Lord
On the burning ground

If I'd a had my weight and line
I'd a whipped that captain
Till he went stone blind

If you don't believe my buddy is dead
Just look at that hole in my buddy's head

The buzzard's circlin' round the sky
Oh that captain sure is bound to die
Sure is bound to die.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:20 pm
Panzade,
The song is from 1970, 4 years before the military coup and the "dirty war" in Argentina.
So it's not strictly about the "desaparecidos", but it certainly captures the political climate of the era in most or all Latin America.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2004 01:26 pm
edgar, there's a Joan Baez version of El Preso Número 9.

It's track 13 of the album called, simply: "Joan Baez"

(edited 'cause I found the album)
0 Replies
 
 

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