Songs That Tell Stories

Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 01:52 pm
always liked this folk ballad I first heard by Clarence Ashley...though the killer shows a minimum of remorse. Laughing ..

Little Sadie

Went out last night to take a little round,
I met my Little Sadie and I blowed her down.
I run right home and I went to bed,
A forty-four smokeless under my head.

I begin to think what a deed I done,
I grabbed my hat and away'd I'd run.
I made a good run, just a little to slow,
They overtook me in Jericho.

Standing on the corner a-ringing a bell
And up stepped the sheriff from Thomasville,
Says, "Young man, is your name Brown?
Remember the night you blowed Sadie down."

"Oh, yes, Sir, my name is Lee,
I murdered little Sadie in the first degree,
First degree and second degree,
Got any papers, will you read 'em to me?"

Took me downtown and dressed me in black,
They put me on a train and they sent me back,
Had no one for to go my bail,
Crammed me back in the county jail.

Judge and the jury took their stand,
Judge had his papers in his right hand.
Forty-one days, forty-one nights,
Forty-one years to wear the ball and the stripes.
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Reply Sun 24 Aug, 2008 10:52 pm
From Little Things Big Things Grow
Paul Kelly
A live version with Paul, Kev Carmody and Jon Butler

Gather round people let me tell you're a story
An eight year long story of power and pride
British Lord Vestey and Vincent Lingiarri
Were opposite men on opposite sides

Vestey was fat with money and muscle
Beef was his business, broad was his door
Vincent was lean and spoke very little
He had no bank balance, hard dirt was his floor

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

Gurindji were working for nothing but rations
Where once they had gathered the wealth of the land
Daily the pressure got tighter and tighter
Gurindju decided they must make a stand

They picked up their swags and started off walking
At Wattie Creek they sat themselves down
Now it don't sound like much but it sure got tongues talking
Back at the homestead and then in the town

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

Vestey man said I'll double your wages
Seven quid a week you'll have in your hand
Vincent said uhuh we're not talking about wages
We're sitting right here till we get our land
Vestey man roared and Vestey man thundered
You don't stand the chance of a cinder in snow
Vince said if we fall others are rising

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

Then Vincent Lingiarri boarded an aeroplane
Landed in Sydney, big city of lights
And daily he went round softly speaking his story
To all kinds of men from all walks of life

And Vincent sat down with big politicians
This affair they told him is a matter of state
Let us sort it out, your people are hungry
Vincent said no thanks, we know how to wait

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

Then Vincent Lingiarri returned in an aeroplane
Back to his country once more to sit down
And he told his people let the stars keep on turning
We have friends in the south, in the cities and towns

Eight years went by, eight long years of waiting
Till one day a tall stranger appeared in the land
And he came with lawyers and he came with great ceremony
And through Vincent's fingers poured a handful of sand

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow

That was the story of Vincent Lingairri
But this is the story of something much more
How power and privilege can not move a people
Who know where they stand and stand in the law

From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
From little things big things grow
Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2008 07:15 pm
That's an interesting song - new to me.
Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2008 07:30 pm
Paul Kelly is sort of our Bob Dylan. Sort of. Or maybe Leonard Cohen? It's the true story of a land rights struggle in Central Australia. The big man who drops sand through Vincent's hand is former Prime Minster Gough Whitlam. This is when Ayers Rock reverted to its original name of Uluru.

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Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2008 08:58 pm
msolga turned me on to Paul Kelly...he's wonderful
Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2008 09:04 pm
I always loved the economy of words in this old Charlie Louvin song
Cash On The Barrelhead

Got in a little trouble at the county seat

Lord they put me in the jailhouse for loafing on the street

When the judge heard the verdict I was a guilty man

He said forty five dollars or thirty days in the can

That'll be cash on the barrelhead son you can make your choice you're twenty one

No money down no credit plan no time to chase you cause I'm a busy man

[ guitar ]

Found a telephone number on a laundry slip

I had a good hearted jailer with a six gun hip

He let me call long distance she said number please

And no sooner than I told her she shouted out at me

That'll be cash on the barrelhead son not parting cash but the entire sum

No money down no credit plan cause a little bird tells me you're a travelling man

[ guitar ]

Thirty days in the jailhouse four days on the road

I was feeling mighty hungry my feet a heavy load

Saw a greyhound coming stuck up my thumb

Just as I was being seated the driver caught my arm

That'll be cash on the barrelhead son this old grey dog is paid to run

When the engine stops and the wheels won't roll

Give me cash on the barrelhead I'll take you down the road
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Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 06:30 pm
Have you found this one in his back catalogue Panz?

Every ******* City - Paul Kelly

We argued on the channel train to Paris
The vin rouge helped us make it sweet again
But by the time that we got down to Lyon
Everything I said was wrong and you cursed me in the rain
We split up for a while in Barcelona
We met up six days later in Madrid
I was hoping that the break would make things go a little better for us
And for a little while it almost did
Now I'm in a bar in Copenhagen
And i'm trying hard to forget your name
And I'm staring at the label on a bottle of cerveza
And every ******* city feels the same

You said to call you when I got to London
A French girl told me that you'd left a note
I said to her "I like your accent" and she thought I sounded funny
So we ended up drinking in Soho
Foolishly I followed you to Dublin
Like a ghost I walked the streets of Temple Bar
And all the bright young things were throwing up their Guinness in the gutters
And once I thought I saw you from afar
Now I'm in a nightclub in Helsinki
And they're playing La Vida Loca once again
And I can't believe I'm dancing to this crap but I'm a chance here
And every ******* city sounds the same

At a cafe in the port of Amsterdam
An E-mail from you said you'd gone to Rome
For a minute I thought maybe but my funds were running low
And anyway it sounded like you weren't alone
So I headed north until I got to Hamburg
A chilly city suits a troubled soul
And on the Reeperbahn I paid a woman far too much
To kick me out before I'd even reached my goal
Now I'm in a restaurant in Stockholm
And the waiter here wants me to know his name
And I can order sandwiches in seven different languages
But every ******* city looks the same
Arriverderci, au revoir, aufwiedersen, hasta la vista baby
Yeah, every ******* city's just the same
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Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 03:38 pm
Thursday - Morphine

We used to meet every Thursday Thursday
Thursday in the afternoon
For a couple of beers and a game of pool
We used to go to a motel a motel
A motel across the street
And the name of the motel was the Wagon Wheel
One day she said come on come on she said
Why don't you come back to my house
She said my husband's out of town
You know he's gone till the end of the month
Well I was just so nervous so nervous
You know I couldn't really quite relax
Cause I was never really quite sure when her
Husband was coming back
Sure one of the neighbors yeah one of the neighbors
One of the neighbors that saw my car
And they told her yeah they told her
I think they know who you are
Well her husband he's a violent man a very violent and jealous man
Now I have to leave this town I got to leave while I still can
We should have kept it every Thursday Thursday
Thursday in the afternoon
For a couple of beers and a game of pool
We should have kept it every Thursday Thursday
Thursday in the afternoon
For a couple of beers and a game of pool
She was pretty cool too
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 05:17 pm
Good one, hingehead.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2008 07:15 pm
Cheesecake Truck
King Missile

So then I got this idea about driving a cheesecake truck,
Because I figured at the end of the day I could take some of the leftover
cheesecakes home,
And I love cheesecake.
So I went to the cheesecake company,
And they asked me if I could drive a truck,
And I said yes and they said you're hired.
So the next day I got in the truck with all the cheesecakes,
And I drove about a block and I just had to have a cheesecake.
So I pulled over and I opened the trunk and I got a cheesecake,
And I also took one for later,
And I took one for my friend Farmboy,
And I took one to bring home,
And by that time I had eaten one of the cheesecakes.
So I took another one.
Then I figured I might as well stop at my house to drop off all the
So I take five cakes to eat on the way,
And I drive another block and a half to my house.
Now it's lunchtime so I eat ten cheesecakes and a cheesecake for desert.
I should point out by the way that all of these cheesecakes were very
Anyway, I decided that the only thing to do would be to eat all the rest of the
cheesecakes and hide the truck somewhere and leave town.
And I miss everybody a lot,
But I'm not really sorry,
Because they were very delicious cheesecakes.
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Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 08:12 am
A new song out of Nashville that we're doing tells the story through photography...

Artist: Johnson Jamey
Song: In Color
Album: That Lonesome Song

I said, Grandpa what’s this picture here
It’s all black and white and ain’t real clear
Is that you there, he said, yeah I was eleven
Times were tough back in thirty-five
That’s me and Uncle Joe just tryin’ to survive
A cotton farm in the Great Depression

And if it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
You should have seen it in color

This one here was taken overseas
In the middle of hell in nineteen forty-three
In the winter time you can almost see my breath
That was my tail gunner ole’ Johnny McGee
He was a high school teacher from New Orleans
And he had my back right through the day we left

A picture’s worth a thousand words
But you can’t see what those shades of gray keep covered
You should have seen it in color

This one is my favorite one
It’s me and grandma in the summer sun
All dressed up the day we said our vows
You can’t tell it here but it was hot that June
That rose was red and her eyes were blue
And just look at that smile I was so proud

That’s the story of my life
Right there in black and white

And if it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
You should have seen it in color
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Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 09:13 am
Still reading this thread, though I haven't contributed in forever.

I really like it.
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 02:23 pm
yeah it's the essence of what keeps me hangin around
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 11:27 am
Remember this one, panz?

Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 11:54 am
oh goodness...it sure brings back memories...of the Beach Boys, for their California sound was based on Four Freshmen harmpny arrangements...a clip of an amazing acapella version...Brian Wi;son is my hero....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vy4eVYJQrs
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Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 12:04 pm
i just had to add a postscript for the lyrics are truly lovely.

Bobby Troup wrote them...he was a great pianist and actor...wrote "Get Your Kicks On Rte 66" and was featured on M A S H as DR Early

Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring

There's a story told of a very gentle boy
And the girl who wore his ring
Through the wintry snow
The world they knew was warm
For their hearts were full of spring

As the days grew old
And the nights passed into time
And the weeks and years took wing (was, "wind")
Gentle boy, tender girl
Their love remained still young
For their hearts were full of spring

Then one day they died
And their graves were side by side
On a hill where robins sing
And they say violets
Grow there the whole year round
For their hearts were full of spring

0 Replies
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:53 pm

Loudon Wainright lll - Pretty Good Day
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 05:40 pm
loudon's a great storyteller
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 08:11 pm
so true, and what a family, wife part of a canadian musical dynasty and two very talented children
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Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 12:24 pm
I come back to these powerful lyrics time and again.
The way the Fourth is woven into a child's recollection of spousal abuse

Independence Day

Well she seemed all right by dawn's early light
Though she looked a little worried and weak
She tried to pretend he wasn't drinkin' again
But daddy left the proof on her cheek
and I was only eight years old that summer
And I always seemed to be in the way
So I took myself down to the fair in town
On Independence Day

Well word gets around in a small, small town
They said he was a dangerous man
Mama was proud and she stood her ground
she knew she was on the losin' end
Some folks whispered some folks talked
but everybody looked the other way
when time ran out there was no one about
On Independence Day

Let Freedom ring,let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is a
Day of reckoning
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay, it's
Independence Day

Well she lit up the sky that fourth of July
By the time that the firemen come
They just put out the flames,
and took down some names
And sent me to the county home
Now I ain’t sayin' it's right or it's wrong
but maybe it's the only way
Talk about your revolution
It's Independence Day

0 Replies

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