31
   

Songs That Tell Stories

 
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Nov, 2002 06:10 pm
Dutchman's Gold

In the Arizona desert
Stands a giant of earth and stone
Mighty Superstition Mountain
With its mystery and its gold

A miner, out prospecting
Founf his fortune and his fame
Found the gold of Superstition
Just plain Dutchman was his name

Chorus: Oh the Dutchman was a gambler
And a party was his fun
But he kept his precious secret
Never trusting anyone
And in death he still is laughing
For the grave his secret holds
And the mighty Superstition
Keeps the Dutchman's yellow gold

Mighty Superstition Mountain
Standing high and all alone
Once you told your precious secret
And you gave your soft pure gold

'Pache Indians know the story
And in legend there is told
Many tales of the beginning
When you gave your yellow gold

Now I'd like to dream and wonder
If someday you'll give again
The bounty of your treasure
To some lonely struggling man

And if you in all your splendor
May choose me to bethe one
To find your precious treasure
Shining yellow in the sun

Chorus


It doesn't seem so great to read, but Walter Brennan made it pleasure to listen to.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Nov, 2002 06:22 pm
Old Rivers

How long has it been since I first seen Old Rivers?
Why I can't remember when he weren't around
Well that old man did a heap of work
Spent his whole life walking plowed ground

He had a one room shack not far from us
And we was about as poor as him
He had one old mule he called 'Midnight'
And I'd tag along after them

He'd plow them rows straight and deep
And I'd tag along behind
Busting up clods with my own bare feet
Old Rivers was a friend of mine

That sun would get high and that mule would work
Til Old Rivers'd 'Whoa'
Then he'd wipe his brow and lean back in the reins
And talk about a place he was gonna go

Chorus
Say one of these days I'm gonna climb that mountain
Walk up there among them clouds
Where the cotton's high and the corn's a growing
And there ain't no fields to plow

I got a letter from back home the other day
Ther're all fine and the crops is high
And down at the end my Mamma said
'You know Old Rivers died'
I'm just sitting here on this new plowed earth
Trying to find me a little shade
And with the sun beating down 'cross the field I see
That mule, Old Rivers......and me
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Nov, 2002 06:30 pm
There was Johnny McEldoo, an' McGee an' me
An' a couple, two or three went on a spree one day
We had a bob or two which we knew we could blew
An' the beer and whiskey flew an' we all felt gay
We visited McCann's, McLeman's, Humpty Dan's
We then went into Swan's our stomachs for to pack
We ordered out a feed which indeed we did need
An' we finished it with speed, but we still felt slack
Johnny McEldoo turned a blue as the dew
When a plate of Irish stew he soon put out of sight
He shouted out "Encore!" with a roar for some more
That he'd never felt before such a keen appetite
We ordered eggs and ham, bread and jam, what a cram
But him we couldn't ram though we tried our level best
For everything we brought, cold or hot, mattered not
It went down him like a shot, but he still stood the test
We ordered tripe and lard, by the yard, we got scared
We thought it would go hard, when the waiter brought the charge
We told him to give o'er, but he swore, he could lower
Twice as much again as more before he'd had his fill
When the waiter brought the charge, McEldoo felt so large
He began to scowl and barge, and his blood went on fire
He began to curse and swear, tear his hair, in despair,
An' to finish the affair called the shopman a liar
Shopman he drew out, an' no doubt, he did clout,
McEldoo he kicked about like an ol' football
Tattered all his clothes, broke his nose, i suppose
Nearly killed him with a few blows in no time at all
Peelers did arrive, man alive, four or five
At us they made a drive, for us all to march away
Paid for all the meat ("mate") that we ate, stood a treat ("trate")
An' went home to ruminate on the spree that day . . .

Traditional Dublin recitation song
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Nov, 2002 09:43 pm
Holy mack'l. My stomach's about to bust just from readin' about it.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Nov, 2002 09:53 pm
Old Shep

When I was a lad
And Old Shep was a pup
Over hills and meadows we'd stray
Just a boy and his dog
We were both full of fun
We grew up together that way

I remember the time at the old swimming hole
When I would have drowned beyond doubt
But Old Shep was right there
To the rescue he came
He jumped in and then pulled me out

As the years fast did roll
Old Shep he grew old
His eyes were fast growing dim
And one day the doctor looked at me and said
I can do no more for him Jim

With hands that were trembling
I picked up my gun
And aimed it at Shep's faithful head
I just couldn't do it
I wanted to run
I wished they would shoot me instead

He came to my side
And looked up at me
And laid his old head on my knee
I had struck the best friend that a man ever had
I cried so I scarcely could see

Old Shep he has gone
Where the good doggies go
And no more with Old Shep will I roam
But if dogs have a heaven
There's one thing I know
Old Shep has a wonderful home

As sung by Eddie Arnold and also E
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 06:09 am
Here's an odd one from Jerry Lee Lewis - don't recall the author Razz Razz Razz Razz Razz Razz Razz Razz Razz Razz Drunk

The Hole He Said He'd Dig For Me

With his bankbook in your hand
And your arms around me
Today you saw just how dead one man can be
His so-called friends gathered around
As they laid him in the ground
In the hole he said he would dig
He'd dig for me

Yes he thought he was a king
That he owned this whole world
But if only he could come back and see
His castle now would be
A marble stone just two by three
On the hole he said he would dig for me

His money it could never buy
That certain gleem in your eye
The way you look when you stand so close to me
As I walked off with his bride
Somehow I hoped he was satisfied
In the hole he said he'd dig
He would dig for me
0 Replies
 
Raggedyaggie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 07:50 am
Wow. There are really some great songs posted here.
I love Plane Ride at Los Gatos. (I have Dolly Parton and Joan Baez doing that one.) And Harry Chapin - Greyhound, Dance Band on the Titanic, Dogtown, Mail Order Annie, Mr. Tanner, to name a few. - A great storyteller. I saw him in concert performing alone because his band couldn't make it. Just Harry and his guitar and he was fabulous. I bought a book of his poetry which he autographed for me and he even gave me a kiss. Razz OK, I'm a braggart Embarrassed

Gordon Lightfoot - The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald
and
Kris Kristoffersen - Casey's Last Ride and Darby's Castle
and
There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
It's been the ruin of many a poor girl/lad
and me, O Lord, I'm one.
and
Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Tomorrow you're goin' to die.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 08:54 am
I've always loved The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald as well, so i went out and found it for us:

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?
The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealin'.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the Gales of November came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin'.
Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya.
At Seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it's been good t'know ya
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searches all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.
They might have split up or they might have capsized;
May have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral.
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee'.
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early!
[/color][/b][/i]
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 09:58 am
I always loved this one. Very profound!


The Gambler
(Don Schlitz)

On a warm summer's evenin' on a train bound for nowhere,
I met up with the gambler; we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin' out the window at the darkness
'Til boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.

He said, "Son, I've made a life out of readin' people's faces,
And knowin' what their cards were by the way they held their eyes.
And if you don't mind my sayin', I can see you're out of aces.
For a taste of your whiskey I'll give you some advice."

So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light.
And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
Said, "If you're gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

Ev'ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
'Cause ev'ry hand's a winner and ev'ry hand's a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep."

And when he'd finished speakin', he turned back towards the window,
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

0 Replies
 
quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 12:55 pm
THE EDMUND FITZGERALD!!

lovely..now I can sleep..thanks S
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 05:39 pm
Lucy's Door

When twilight rivals the closing day
My thoughts go wandering far away
When I gaze at the sky above
My thoughts return to the one I love

Take me Take me
Cause I'm feeling lonely
Take me back to Lucy's door
But don't let her mother know

Her mother tell her get steady man
A man of letters from wealthy clan
And when I call at Lucy's door
Her mother tell me don't come no more

Take me Take me ....

But I love the toil and I love the sweat
A dishonest dollar I haven't yet
For what more is there in life
Than loving husband and loving wife

Take me Take me.....

When twilight rivals the closing day....
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 05:49 pm
Judy Drownded

Judy drownded, Judy drownded
Why-o Judy drownded

Judy's mamma send her to market
(Everybody bawl out Judy drownded)
Told her not to linger so she don't forget
(Everybody bawl out Judy drownded)

Judy drownded, Judy drownded
Why-o Judy drownded

Judy took a short-cut cross de watershed
(Everybody bawl out Judy drownded)
When she looked around the stream had caught her
(Everybody bawl out Judy drownded)

Lucky her hand did grasp a branch on land-o
(Everybody bawl out Judy drownded)
Memory fails here
(Everybody bawl out Judy drownded)

So I went up to Judy's mother's house
(Everybody bawl out Judy drownded)
But Judy no drown Judy lies at home safe in bed
(Everybody bawl out Judy drownded)

Judy drownded, Judy drownded
Judy drownded, Judy drownded
0 Replies
 
Raggedyaggie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 05:49 pm
Setanta: Thanks for posting the lyrics to Wreck of Edmond Fitzgerald. Smile
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 09:57 pm
Remember the Alamo

A hundred and eighty were challenged by Travis to die
By a line that he drawed with his sword as the battle drew nigh
A man that crossed over was meant for glory and he that was left let him fly
And over the line crossed a hundred and seventy-nine

Hey up Santy Anna they're killing your soldiers below
So the rest Texas will know
And remember the Alamo

Jim Bowie lay dying, his blood and his powder were dry
Had his knife at the ready to take him a few in reply
Young Davy Crockett was laughing and singing, the blood and the sweat in his eye
A man for Texas and freedom was more than willing to die

A courier was sent as the battle drew nigh came back to find just skin and bones where he laeft a crowd
Fear not little darlin of dyin if the world is sovereign and free
For we'll fight to the last for as long as liberty be

Hey up Santy Anna we're killing your soldiers below
So the reast of Texas will know
And remember the Alamo
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2002 02:44 pm
Desmond has a barrow in the marketplace
Molly is a singer in a band
Desmond says to Molly: "Girl, i like your face."
And Molly sings this as she takes him by the hand:

Obla-di, obla-da, life goes on a bra
La-la how the life goes on
Obla-di, obla-da, life goes on a bra
La-la how the life goes on

Desmond takes a trolley to the jewellry store
Buys a 20-carat gold ring (bing-bing)
Takes it back to Molly waiting at the door,
And as he gives it to her he begins to sing

Obla-di, obla-da, life goes on a bra
La-la how the life goes on
Obla-di, obla-da, life goes on a bra
La-la how the life goes on

In a couple of years they have built a home sweet home
With a couple of kids running in the yard
Of Desmond and Molly Jones

Ah-ha-ha-ha

Happy ever after in the market place
Molly lets the children lend a hand
Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face
And in the evening he still sings it with the band

Obla-di, obla-da, life goes on a bra
La-la how the life goes on
Obla-di, obla-da, life goes on a bra
La-la how the life goes on
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Nov, 2002 09:58 am
Black Girl ( also recorded as MY Girl by the same artist - Ledbelly)

Black girl Black girl
Don't lie to me
Tell me where did you sleep last night
In the pines In the pines
Where the sun never shines
I been shiverin' the whole night through
My husband was a railroad man
Killed a mile and a half from here
His head was caught in a drivin' wheel
And his body ain't never been found
Black girl Black girl
Where will you go
I'm goin' where the cold winds blow
In the pines In the pines
Where the sun never shines
I been shiverin' the whole night through
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Nov, 2002 10:32 am
== Performed by Johnny Cash ==
== Written by Shel Silverstein ==
My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me "Sue."

Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,
It seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head,
I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named "Sue."

Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My fist got hard and my wits got keen,
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made a vow to the moon and stars
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
And kill that man who gave me that awful name.

Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
I thought I'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
There at a table, dealing stud,
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me "Sue."

Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
From a worn-out picture that my mother'd had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old,
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said: "My name is 'Sue!' How do you do!
Now you're gonna die!!"

Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down, but to my surprise,
He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.

I tell ya, I've fought tougher men
But I really can't remember when,
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile.

And he said: "Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's the name that helped to make you strong."

He said: "Now you just fought one hell of a fight
And I know you hate me, and you got the right
To kill me now, and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But ya ought to thank me, before I die,
For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye
Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you "Sue.'"

I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
And I called him my paw, and he called me his son,
And I came away with a different point of view.
And I think about him, now and then,
Every time I try and every time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him...
Bill or George! Anything but Sue! I still hate that name!
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Nov, 2002 10:39 am
Springhill Mining Disaster

In the town of Springhill, you don't sleep easy
Often the Earth will tremble and roll
When the Earth is restless miners die
Bone and blood is the price of coal
Bone and blood is the price of coal

In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia
Late in the year of '58
Day still comes and the sun still shines
But it's dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine
Dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine

Down at the coal-face, miners working
Rattle of the belt and the cutter's blade
Rumble of rock, and the walls close 'round
The living and the dead men two miles down
Living and the dead men two miles down

Twelve men lay two miles from the pit-shaft
Twelve men lay in the dark and sang
Long hot days in the miners tomb
It was three feet high and a hundred long
Three feet high and a hundred long

Three days passed and the lamps gave out
And Kaehler Brushen, he up and said
"There's no more water, nor light, nor bread
So we'll live on songs and hope instead
Live on songs and hope instead."

Listen for the shouts of the bare-faced miners
Listen through the rubble for a rescue team
Six hundred feet of coal and slag
Hope imprisoned in a three foot seam
Hope imprisoned in a three foot seam

Eight days passed and some were rescued
Leaving the dead to lie alone
Through all their lives they dug a grave
Two miles of earth for a marking stone
Two miles of earth for a marking stone
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Nov, 2002 10:45 am
The I Ain't Never Heard You Play No Blues
(sung v. slowly)

My baby came to me this morning and said I'm kinda confused
She said "If me and B.B. king was both drownin',
Which one would you choose?"
And I said "Oh Baby, Oh Baby, Oh Baby,
I ain't never heard you play no blues"


Found on
Somebody Elses Trouble
The Original Steve Goodman
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Nov, 2002 06:57 pm
Maybellene by Chuck Berry

Maybellene why can't you be true
Oh Maybellene why can't you be true
You done started doin those things you used to do

As I was motivatin over the hill
I saw Maybellene in a coup de ville
Cadillac a rollin on the open road
Nothin will outrun my V8 Ford
The Cadillac doin about ninety five
We's bumper to bumper rollin side by side

The Cadillac pulled up to hundred and four
The Ford got hot and wouldn't do no more
It then got cloudy and it started to rain
I tooted my horn for the passin lane
The rainwater blowin all under my hood
I knew that was doin my motor good

The motor cooled down the heat went down
And that's when I heard that highway sound
The Cadillac sittin like a ton of lead
A hundred and ten a half a mile ahead
The Cadillac like it's sittin still
And I caught Maybellene at the top of the hill

Maybellene why can't you be true
Oh Maybellene why can't you be true
You done started doin the things you used to do
0 Replies
 
 

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