Harmonica In It

 

Jim Adams‘ challenge this week is to “find a song with a harmonica in it.” I considered writing about the Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon (which I hope someone does), but being a word-person rather than a musician, I went with a song that while without a harmonica accompaniment has the instrument (slang “Harpoon”) mentioned in the lyrics.

Me and Bobby McGee was written by  Kris Kristofferson.  It was posthumously released by Janis Joplin in 1971, and became the second No. 1 single in American chart history to be released after the artist’s death.

The song has been song or covered by Roger Williams, Waylon Jennings, The Grateful Dead, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, Gordon Lightfoot, Dolly Parton, Olivia Newton-John, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson.

Lyrics:

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin’ for a train
And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
It rode us all the way to New Orleans
I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna
I was playin’ soft while Bobby sang the blues, yeah
Windshield wipers slappin’ time, I was holdin’ Bobby’s hand in mine
We sang every song that driver knew
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, don’t mean nothin’ hon’ if it ain’t free, no no
And, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
You know, feelin’ good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee
From the Kentucky coal mine to the California sun
There Bobby shared the secrets of my soul
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done
Yeah, Bobby baby kept me from the cold
One day up near Salinas, Lord, I let him slip away
He’s lookin’ for that home, and I hope he finds it
But, I’d trade all of my tomorrows, for a single yesterday
To be holdin’ Bobby’s body next to mine
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, that’s all that Bobby left me, yeah
But, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
Hey, feelin’ good was good enough for me, mm-hmm
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee
La da da
La da da da
La da da da da da da da
La da da da da da da da
Bobby McGee, yeah
La da da da da da da
La da da da da da da
La da da da da da da
Bobby McGee, yeah
La da La la da da la da da la da da
La da da da da da da da da
Hey, my Bobby
Oh, my Bobby McGee, yeah
La la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Hey, my Bobby
Oh, my Bobby McGee, yeah
Well, I call him my lover, call him my man
I said, I call him my lover did the best I can, c’mon
Hey now, Bobby now
Hey now, Bobby McGee, yeah
Woo
La da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la la
Hey, hey, hey Bobby McGee, yeah
La da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee, yeah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Fred L. Foster / Kris Kristofferson
Me and Bobby McGee lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
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Acquiring True Riches

 

Jim Adam’s Song Lyric Sunday challenge is to Write about a piece of music which is on the theme of “Getting Something.”  He indicated that we should find lyrics that include Acquire/Collect/Gather/Secure, and while my chosen song doesn’t use any of those words directly – their meaning is found throughout it.  Sam sets out to acquire gold, he collects a golden bonanza, but finds that he would rather secure the hand of his love down south, and have a home together.

The song, North to Alaska was a 1960  by Johnny Horton.   It was used as the introduction music of the film, North to Alaska and an instrumental of the song is also played at the saloon in the film as well.

The song was written by Tillman Franks and Johnny Horton, and became Number One on the Billboard Country Singles chart, and reached Number Four on the Billboard “Hot 100″ chart.

Lyrics:

Big Sam left Seattle in the year of ninety-two

With George Pratt his partner and brother Billy too

They crossed the Yukon river and they found the bonanza gold

Below that old white mountain

Just a little south-east of Nome

Sam crossed the Majestic mountains to the valleys far below

He talked to his team of huskies

As he mushed on through the snow

With the northen lights a-runnin’ wild

In the land of the midnight sun

Yes Sam McCord was a mighty man

In the year of nineteen-one

Where the river is windin’ big nuggets they’re findin’

North to Alaska go north the rush is on

North to Alaska go north the rush is on

George turns to Sam with his gold in his hand

Said Sam you’re lookin’ at a lonely lonely man

I’d trade all the gold that’s buried in this land

For one small band of gold to place on sweet little Jenny’s hand

‘Cause a man needs a woman to love him all the time

Remember Sam a true love is so hard to find

I’d build for my Jenny a honeymoon home

Below that old white mountain

Just a little south-east of Nome

Where the river is windin’ big nuggets they’re findin’

North to Alaska go north the rush is on

North to Alaska go north the rush is on

 

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Mike Phillips

North to Alaska lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

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Second Verse Same As The First

 

Jim Adams’ lyrical challenge this week is to write about a song that encompasses  “Different” or “Same.”  Herman’s Hermits’ release of a 1910 music hall piece  “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am” manages to hit the theme head on.  The widow next door has married eight successive men named Henry, but not only that in the song, the second verse is the same as the first as well.

The 1965 Hermits’ version was one of  the fastest-selling songs in history and became the group’s second Number One on the Billboard chart.

Lyrics:

I’m Henry the eighth I am Henry the eighth I am, I am I got married to the widow next door She’s been married seven times before And every one was an Henry (Henry) She wouldn’t have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam) I’m her eighth old man, I’m Henry Henry the eighth I am Second verse same as the first I’m Henry the eighth I am Henry the eighth I am, I am I got married to the widow next door She’s been married seven times before And every one was an Henry (Henry) She wouldn’t have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam) I’m her eighth old man, I’m Henry Henry the eighth I am I’m Henry the eighth I am Henry the eighth I am, I am I got married to the widow next door She’s been married seven times before And every one was an Henry (Henry) She wouldn’t have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam) I’m her eighth old man, I’m Henry Henry the eighth I am H-E-N-are-why Henry (Henry) Henry (Henry) Henry the eighth I am, I am Henry the eighth I am yeah

Songwriters: FRED MURRAY, R P WESTON

 

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Filled With Chicken Pie

 

 

Well it’s time for Jim Adam’s Song Lyric Sunday again, and I know I offer up some pretty obscure historical pieces and folk songs from time to time.  So why should today be any different?

Old Joe Clark is an American folk song.  The lyrics are said to refer to Joseph Clark, a Kentucky mountaineer who was born in 1839 and murdered in 1885 (Wiki).  Wikipedia notes that there are about 90 stanzas in various versions of the song.  The song amassed its large number of verses as it was used as a type of a party song where each member would add a verse to build on what the previous singer had said before.

There have been noted releases of the song by Woody Guthrie and the Kingston Trio, as well as the attached Rosinators’ version.

Old Joe Clark’s a fine old man
Tell you the reason why
He keeps good likker ’round his house
Good old Rock and Rye

Fare ye well, Old Joe Clark
Fare ye well, I say
Fare ye well, Old Joe Clark
I’m a going away

Old Joe Clark, the preacher’s son
Preached all over the pain
The only text he ever knew
Was High, low, Jack and the game

Old Joe Clark had a mule
His name was Morgan Brown
And every tooth in that mule’s head
Was sixteen inches around

Old Joe Clark had a yellow cat
She would neither sing or pray
She stuck her head in the buttermilk jar
And washed her sins away

Old Joe Clark had a house
Fifteen stories high
And every story in that house
Was filled with chicken pie

I went down to Old Joe’s house
He invited me to supper
I stumped my toe on the table leg
And stuck my nose in the butter

Now I wouldn’t marry a widder
Tell you the reason why
She’d have so many children
They’d make those biscuits fly

Sixteen horses in my team
The leaders they are blind
And every time the sun goes down
There’s a pretty girl on my mind

Eighteen miles of mountain road
And fifteen miles of sand
If ever travel this road again
I’ll be a married man

 

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Old Black Water

 

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday challenge is to write about a song which has the words Air/Earth/Fire/Water in the lyrics.  The Doobie Brother’s Black Water is from the 1974 album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits and went to Number 1 in 1975.

It is one of the enduring songs in my teen-aged memories.

Lyrics:

Well, I built me a raft and she’s ready for floatin’

Ol’ Mississippi, she’s callin’ my name

Catfish are jumpin’, that paddle wheel thumpin’

Black water keeps rollin’ on past just the same

Old black water, keep on rollin’

Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?

Old black water, keep on rollin’

Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?

Old black water, keep on rollin’

Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?

Yeah, keep on shinin’ your light

Gonna make everything

Pretty mama, gonna make everything all right

And I ain’t got no worries

‘Cause I ain’t in no hurry at all

Well, if it rains, I don’t care

Don’t make no difference to me

Just take that streetcar that’s goin’ uptown

Yeah, I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland and dance a honky-tonk

And I’ll be buyin’ ev’rybody drinks all ‘roun’

Old black water, keep on rollin’

Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?

Old black water, keep on rollin’

Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?

Old black water, keep on rollin’

Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me?

Keep on shinin’ your light

Gonna make everything, everything

Gonna make everything all right

And I ain’t got no worries

‘Cause I ain’t in no hurry at all

I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland

Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand

(By the hand) hand (take me by the hand) pretty mama

Gonna dance with your daddy all night long

I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland

Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand

By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)

Gonna dance with your daddy night long (honky-tonk with you all long)

I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland

Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand

By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)

Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)

I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland

Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand

By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)

Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)

I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland

Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand

By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)

Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)

I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland

Pretty mama, come and take me by the hand

By the hand, take me by the hand, pretty mama (I wanna honky-tonk, honky-tonk)

Gonna dance with you all night long (honky-tonk with you all long)

 

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Patrick Simmons

Black Water lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Warner Chappell Music Inc

 

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Such Great Names As These

With yesterday being American Independence Day, it seemed topical to use a Revolutionary War reference to respond to Jim Adams song lyric challenge to use Best/Better/Good/Great as our lyrical prompts.  The first clip below (tune only) is actually depicting the Seven Years War, but it gives a general period feel.

Most everyone in the English speaking world has probably at some time or another heard the tune The British Grenadier.  It is a marching tune with its origins in the 17th Century, and was (is) the “theme tune” of the Grenadiers or grenade throwers of the British Army.  While this is no longer an “elite” skill, the traditional Grenadier units are proud of their heritage.

The lyrics of the song probably date back to the War of Spanish Succession (1702–1713) [known as Queen Anne’s War in America]. The song makes reference to the special equipment and uniforms of these troops that distinguished them as grenadiers.

Tune Only:

 

 

Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules

Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these.

But of all the world’s brave heroes, there’s none that can compare.

With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadiers.

Those heroes of antiquity ne’er saw a cannon ball,

Or knew the force of powder to slay their foes withal.

But our brave boys do know it, and banish all their fears,

With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.

Whene’er we are commanded to storm the palisades,

Our leaders march with fusees, and we with hand grenades.

We throw them from the glacis, about the enemies’ ears.

With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, the British Grenadiers.

And when the siege is over, we to the town repair.

The townsmen cry, “Hurrah, boys, here comes a Grenadier!

Here come the Grenadiers, my boys, who know no doubts or fears!

Then sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, the British Grenadiers.

Then let us fill a bumper, and drink a health of those

Who carry caps and pouches, and wear the loupèd clothes.

May they and their commanders live happy all their years.

With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.”

 

With Lyrics:

 

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Cool Night

 

Jim Adams has challenged us this week to write about song lyrics that can be “Measured with a Thermometer” containing words such as Cool/Freeze/Heat/Melt .

“Cool Night” by Paul Davis appeared as title title track on his 1981 album.  As a single it reached eleventh place on the US popular chart.  The following year, however, it reached Number 2 on the adult contemporary chart.

 

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Lyrics:

I sometimes wonder why
All the flowers have to die
I dream about you
And now, Summer’s come and gone
And the nights they seem so long
Come on over tonight
Come on over
It’s gonna be a cool night
Just let me hold you by the firelight
If it don’t feel right you can go
Oh, when the cool night brings back memories
Of a good life when this love was not so old
Oh, I won’t talk about the past
How love’s supposed to last forever
And you, don’t have to take a stand
Lay out any plans
Come on over tonight
Come on over
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Paul Davis / Paul Lavon Davis
Cool Night lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Big Wheels Turning

 

Jim Adam’s lyrical challenge this week is to write about a song which includes the names, Maria/Marie/Mary.  Creedance Clearwater Revival’s Proud Mary has Mary keeping on burning.  The song written by John Fogerty and was released in 1969 reaching Number 2 on the US charts.  The Proud Mary of the title is a riverboat which takes the singer away from the daily grind of the city, and on to freedom from the workaday world.

Tina Turner did a cover in 1971 which made it to Number 4.

Lyrics

Left a good job in the city

Workin’ for the man ev’ry night and day

And I never lost one minute of sleepin’

Worryin’ ’bout the way things might have been

Big wheel keep on turnin’

Proud Mary keep on burnin’

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis

Pumped a lot of pane down in New Orleans

But I never saw the good side of the city

‘Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen

Big wheel keep on turnin’

Proud Mary keep on burnin’

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

If you come down to the river

Bet you gonna find some people who live

You don’t have to worry ’cause you have no money

People on the river are happy to give

Big wheel keep on turnin’

Proud Mary keep on burnin’

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: John Cameron Fogerty

Proud Mary lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company

 

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Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier

 

Jim Adams’ challenge this week is to write about a song that has Jack or John in its lyrics.  Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier is a folk song which dates back to at least the Seventeenth Century, and was popular in the American War of Independence, the Napoleonic conflicts, and the American Civil War.

The exact origins of the song are unknown, but it may draw from the Irish tune Siúil A Rún.

There have been many covers of the Johnny version, and they have been performed by both male and female artists.  John Tams’ version featured in the Sharpe series of Napoleonic dramas.

Other versions have taken a more America Civil War theme in their arrangement and presentation.

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Lyrics:

Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill
Who can blame me, cryin’ my fill
And ev’ry tear would turn a mill
Johnny has gone for a soldier
Me, oh my, I loved him so
Broke my heart to see him go
And only time will heal my woe
Johnny has gone for a soldier
I’ll sell my rod, I’ll sell my reel
Likewise I’ll sell my spinning wheel
And buy my love a sword of steel
Johnny has gone for a soldier
I’ll dye my dress, I’ll dye it red
And through the streets I’ll beg for bread
For the lad that I love from me has fled
Johnny has gone for a soldier
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Alice Parker / Robert Shaw
Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier lyrics © Wb Music Corp.

Beautiful Dreamer

 

“That’s one right moving song, Mr Foster,” the composer’s housekeeper said.

“I don’t rightly know,” Foster retorted, “I don’t need any folks saying I only write dark tunes.  I’d rather have folks singing O Susanna or Camp Town Races, especially with this dang war going on.”

Beautiful Dreamer dark, Mr. Foster?”

“Why just look at the lyrics,” he challenged. “‘Sounds of the rude world
Heard in the day, Led by the moonlight, Have all passed away . . . . Gone are the cares of
Life’s busy throng, Beautiful dreamer, Awake unto me, Beautiful dreamer, Awake unto me.’, Don’tcha see, she is goin’ to be waking to the Lord, she’s finished here below.”

“I didn’t realise,” the housekeeper muttered, “well maybe you should keep to brighter songs like Jeanie.”

 

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Tuesday Writing Prompt:  Use “beautiful dreamer” in a piece of poetry or prose

Lyrics
Beautiful dreamer,
Wake unto me
Starlight and dewdrops
Are awaiting thee
Sounds of the rude world
Heard in the day
Led by the moonlight
Have all passed away
Beautiful dreamer,
Queen of my song
List’ while I woo thee
With soft melody
Gone are the cares of
Life’s busy throng
Beautiful dreamer
Awake unto me
Beautiful dreamer,
Awake unto me
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Paul J. Frederick / Stephen Collins Foster
Beautiful Dreamer lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Jeanie with the light brown hair (a song about permanent separation)
Stephen Foster
I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair
Borne, like a vapor, on the summer air
I see her tripping where the bright streams play
Happy as the daisies that dance on her way
Many were the wild notes her merry voice would pour
Many were the blithe birds that warbled them o’er
Oh! I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft, summer air
I long for Jeannie with the day dawn smile
Radiant in gladness, warm with winning guile
I hear her melodies, like joys gone by
Sighing round my heart o’er the fond hopes that die
Sighing like the night wind and sobbing like the rain
Wailing for the lost one that comes not again
Oh! I long for Jeannie, and my heart bows low
Never more to find her where the bright waters flow
I sigh for Jeannie, but her light form strayed
Far from the fond hearts round her native glade
Her smiles have vanished and her sweet songs flown
Flitting like the dreams that have cheered us and gone
Now the nodding wild flow’rs may wither on the shore
While her gentle fingers will cull them no more
Oh! I sigh for Jeannie with the light brown hair
Floating like a vapor, on the soft summer air
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Stephen Foster / Carmen Dragon
Jeanie with the light brown hair lyrics