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Songs That Tell Stories

 
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 30 Jan, 2011 06:30 pm
The Lady of Shalot is a beautiful song, letty.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Jan, 2011 06:31 pm

Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 11:06 am
@edgarblythe,
Wow! That When in Rome part one and two were awesome, edgar.Phil Ochs does a great job, too.

Another that both you and I love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z9wBQb0wNs
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 01:34 pm
Langston Hughes had a fine mind. I really do like him.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Feb, 2011 02:02 pm


0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Feb, 2011 01:38 pm
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Feb, 2011 11:19 am
First, I have to apologize. I have to apologize for not having remembered this song sooner. It is among the great contemporary American folk songs and it would make a great movie.* I also have to apologize for this version, which is awful.

Mary McCaslin, who wrote the song, performs it as a wistful and haunting ballad. It is descended from the GypsyDavy-BlackJackDavy-WraggleTaggleGypsy theme. It is a song women immediately understand: the lure of the dashing outlaw.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KNdvcCtbnA

* I imagine the gambler as a lean and dandified man in his late 20s who has recently seen a downturn while the woman is older, perhaps, by a decade. She inherited enough money to live independently. She has come close to crossing the line of legality/illegality but never stepped over. She sees him as both her liberation and another problem to solve.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Feb, 2011 11:29 am
@plainoldme,
Here are the lyrics:

YOUNG WESLEY

There once was a gambler and Wesley was his name
He'd drive many times for a chance to play his game
And the light lines surround his eyes, they say
Like the eyes see he come on his way

They tell of a lady who came through to rest awhile
Weary of the rounders as she walks many miles
On that hot dusty day as she watched him at his play
She thought she heard something far inside her say
Oh young Wesley, take me away...way...

She could tell he was an outlaw as she fell in with BEFORE
She saw herself beside him and on the run once more
But it pained him to remember the life of darkness he once led
And so he told her of a man left lying dead
So she him of the ghosts far from lying cold and still
Off in the prairie nights with their lonely haunting chill
How she still could see the faces of the robbers who are gone
Passed before her 'til the first sun rays of dawn
Oh young Wesley, take me away...way...

He prepared to move when he saw the change come 'round
Like the grateful smile and laughter of one who has been found
But the lady wondered still what kind of games that Wesley played
And as they saddled up to leave some heard her say
You live life as a gambler all along the San Joaquin
In your eyes remain the story of a time she was best seen
But your smile across the campfire makes the dream alive again
'Cause the spirit leaves to ride across the plains
Oh...
Oh...
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Feb, 2011 11:30 am
@plainoldme,
I think some of the lyrics are incorrect, so I italicized them. The word BEFORE replaces two words I know to have been incorrect in my source.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Feb, 2011 06:08 pm
@plainoldme,
I can tell it is a good song. Wish you could find a better copy of it.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Feb, 2011 07:53 pm
@edgarblythe,
I do too! I was surprised that no one posted it on youtube.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Feb, 2011 07:58 pm

Miller's Cave
neko nomad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 12:16 pm
@edgarblythe,
If I'm not mistaken, Ed, but wasn't the setting of Bobbie Gentry's Ode To Billie Joe,
Choctaw Ridge, not very far from Elvis' hometown, Tupelo, Miss.?

Do you have this one in your collection?

0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 12:47 pm

We had no idea we even wanted to go there. Driving through Mississippi, on our way to Tupelo, to visit the Elvis birthplace, I saw a sign that said, "Choctaw Ridge." Before I knew it, I was singing "Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge." My husband joined in. Could this be the same Choctaw Ridge from the Bobbie Gentry song "Ode to Billy Joe"?

Howard Hite at Tupelo Hardware Store helped us find the answer. We had gone there because that was where Elvis Presley's mother bought him his first guitar. We got to chatting (as they say in Mississippi) and told him we were looking for Choctaw Ridge and the infamous bridge. Turns out Howard used to live three houses down from Bobbie Gentry's family in Greenwood.

We started humming the song and debating just why it was that Billy Joe jumped off the bridge. After general directions, we set out to find it. We discovered there are several Choctaw Ridges and at least three Tallahatchie Bridges. A little Googling on my laptop revealed that Gentry, who wrote and recorded the song in 1967, may have used a composite of ridges and bridges in the area to tell her story. Depending on whom you asked for directions, you could get to one or the other, with a little interpretation, and a lot of miles in between.

One thing remained consistent. Everyone we asked, over 50, knew the song
http://robocaster.com/sgvtribune/podcast-episode-home/living-ci_15967360/visiting-the-choctaw-ridge.aspx
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 12:49 pm
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 01:05 pm
Missed the link.
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 05:00 pm
@edgarblythe,
another missing link. Razz I found out that Ode to Billy Jo has many interpretations.

A whale of a different tale. An allegory, edgar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKtAYcpNJkU&feature=related


edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 05:21 pm
@Letty,
They ripped that off from Jaws, letty.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 07:42 pm
@edgarblythe,
great post
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2011 07:57 pm
@panzade,
Yup.
 

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