The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #92300   Message #1762393
Posted By: Joe Offer
17-Jun-06 - 04:36 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Colorado Trail
Subject: RE: Origins: Colorado Trail
Hi, Barry - The Digital Tradition has the one verse and chorus that Sandburg provides, plus what appear to be a couple of verses from Lee Hays. Can't tell where the DT tune comes from - it's not exactly what Sandburg has, but it's reasonably close. The entry from the Traditional Ballad Index might be a good place to start from:

Colorado Trail, The

DESCRIPTION: "Eyes like the morning star, Cheeks like a rose, Laura was a pretty girl, God almighty knows. Weep, all ye little rains, Wail, winds, wail, All along, along, along The Colorado trail."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (Sandburg)
KEYWORDS: love beauty nonballad
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Sandburg, p. 462, "The Colorado Trail" (1 text, 1 tune)
Tinsley, pp. 46-49, "The Colorado Trail" (1 text, 1 tune, including non-traditional lyrics)
Scott-BoA, p. 262, "The Colorado Trail" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 211, "Colorado Trail" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 45, "The Colorado Trail" (1 text)

Roud #6695
Poplin Family, "Eyes Like Cherries" (on Poplin01, mixing verses of "The Colorado Trail," "Liza Up in a Simmon Tree," and others)
Pete Seeger, "Colorado Trail" (on PeteSeeger30)

NOTES: Lee Hays added several verses to this beautiful little tune, and many singers have recorded them, or added others of their own. The only traditional lyrics, however, are those given above, taken from a horse wrangler who was hospitalized in Duluth, Minnesota and printed by Sandburg. And even those were slightly dubious until confirmed by the Poplin recording. - RBW
The Poplin recording has a chorus which is almost identical to the verse of "Colorado Trail," and to a verse from Bradley Kincaid's recording of "Liza Up in a Simmon Tree." The rest of the song, however, is completely different; I put it here because I couldn't find a better place. - PJS
Last updated in version 3.1
File: San462

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Alan Lomax, The Folk Songs of North America (1960), uses the Sandburg lyrics, so nothing new there. Silber uses those same two Sandburg verses in Folksinger's Wordbook, but calls the pretty girl "Annie." The song isn't in either of my two Weavers songbooks, so I can't help with the Lee Hays angle. I don't have the Scott book.