Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafebrownie

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)

Charley Noble 05 May 09 - 03:06 PM
Charley Noble 05 May 09 - 09:11 PM
Charley Noble 05 May 09 - 09:34 PM
frogprince 05 May 09 - 10:20 PM
Charley Noble 06 May 09 - 09:05 AM
Charley Noble 06 May 09 - 09:39 AM
Charley Noble 06 May 09 - 11:16 AM
Charley Noble 07 May 09 - 09:24 AM
Charley Noble 13 May 09 - 01:27 PM
frogprince 13 May 09 - 04:14 PM
Cool Beans 13 May 09 - 05:07 PM
frogprince 13 May 09 - 07:48 PM
Charley Noble 13 May 09 - 10:52 PM
Charley Noble 14 May 09 - 07:58 AM
Charley Noble 15 May 09 - 08:04 AM
Charley Noble 16 May 09 - 01:36 PM
Charley Noble 18 May 09 - 09:12 AM
Barbara 18 May 09 - 12:02 PM
Barbara 18 May 09 - 12:08 PM
John Hardly 18 May 09 - 12:31 PM
John Hardly 18 May 09 - 12:34 PM
Cool Beans 18 May 09 - 03:06 PM
Charley Noble 18 May 09 - 04:06 PM
John Hardly 18 May 09 - 05:32 PM
Charley Noble 19 May 09 - 08:28 AM
John Hardly 19 May 09 - 02:01 PM
frogprince 19 May 09 - 02:08 PM
Charley Noble 20 May 09 - 12:38 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: LYR.ADD: There Are No Words
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 May 09 - 03:06 PM

    This is a PermaThread (edited thread), used for information about the music of the State of Michigan. It will be edited by Charley Noble. Feel free to post messages to this thread, but be aware that information in this thread may be deleted or edited to make it serve as a permanent guide.

I've just returned from a revisit of Michigan where I was resident from 1968 to 1982, primarily in the greater Lansing area. The journal of that adventure is on another thread (Music in Michigan-Charley Noble). Here I'd like to post a few songs, old and new, that help explain how I grew to love and respect this rich music community.

One song, "There Are No Words," was composed by Kitty Donohoe the evening of 9/11/01 and recorded within a week by her and friends. Here's what she had to say:

Like many other songwriters around the country, I found myself writing a song about the
horrible events that shook the nation on September 11th. I had no particular agenda in
writing the song, I just kept thinking "I'm a songwriter, I should write something"...then
my next thought was always "there are no words or song that could possibly address
this horrible thing", and those words eventually became the song itself.

Joel Mabus and Pat Power (of the Ten Pound Fiddle Coffeehouse in East Lansing,
Michigan) organized a benefit concert for the Friday of that week, September 14th, and I
performed the song then, singing the words from the paper I had written it on. The
audience response was overwhelming and I was urged to record it so, on Thursday,
September 20th, about 25 great friends and musicians assembled at Glenn Brown's
studio in East Lansing and we put down the entire thing, finishing at about 2:00AM.

Something truly magical happened that night; there was an energy that wouldn't have
been there if we had taken a week to plan the session out. Everybody involved donated
their voices, time, and expertise and it was a community experience in the best sense of
that word.



Lyrics recorded in 2008 on Northern Borders, www.kittydonohoe.com


THERE ARE NO WORDS
(K. Donohoe, 2008)

there are no words there is no song
is there a balm that can heal these wounds
that will last a lifetime long
and when the stars have burned to dust
hand in hand we still will stand because we must


in one single hour in one single day
we were changed forever something taken away
and there is no fire that can melt this heavy stone
that can bring back the voices or the spirits of our own

all the brothers sisters and lovers all the friends that are gone
all the chairs that will be empty in the lives that will go on
can we ever forgive though we never will forget
can we believe in the milk of human goodness yet

we were forged in freedom we were born in liberty
we came here to stop the twisted arrows cast by tyranny
and we won't bow down we are strong of heart
we are a chain together that won't be pulled apart.

Here's a link to Kitty Donohoe's website: click here

Kitty and two of her friends performed this song in Washington, DC, at the rededication of the rebuilt Pentagon.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR.ADD: Touch a Name on the Wall
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 May 09 - 09:11 PM

Another fine songwriter, singer and master instrumentalist based in Michigan is Joel Mabus: Click here for website!

The first song of his I'd like to post has to do with the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.:

TOUCH A NAME ON THE WALL, © 1988 Joel Mabus
[first recorded on The Naked Truth album and re-released as a newly recorded track on Retold, 2008]

Well, I guess you could call it our summer of freedom,
The year that we both turned eighteen
We hitch-hiked to Denver, fresh out of high school
Man, we were sights to be seen.
And that was the year that you dated my cousin,
'Til, they took us away in the fall.
Now I dearly wish you were standing here with me
As I touch your name on the wall.

Chorus:

Touch a name on the wall,
Touch a name on the wall.
God help us all
Touch a name on the wall.


Every time I come here I wear my fatigues,
To honor the men that I knew.
I touch every name that came from my outfit,
And I read them out loud when I do.
Now some people say that they all died for nothing,
Well, I don't completely agree
'Cause this brother here didn't die for no country
He died for me. [CHO]

Now, usually walls are made for division,
To separate me from you.
But God bless the wall that brings us together,
And reminds us of what we've been through.
And God damn the liars and the tin-plated heroes
Who trade on the blood of such men.
God give us the strength to stand up
And tell them "Never again!" [CHO]

Joel is not only addressing the veterans in this song directly but he's also reaching out to the rest of us who were actively opposing this brutal war. No easy task!

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 May 09 - 09:34 PM

Here's another favorite of mine from Joel Mabus which deals with the awkward moments by which one gains life experience:

FIRST TIMES
©1992 Joel Mabus
originally on the album Short Stories

My first car... was little and yellow and rusty as a bucket, it was
My first car... my first feel of a real live automobile.
Fill 'er up with oil and check the gas,
Step on the pedal - let everybody pass.
It didn't go fast or far; it was my first car.

My first drink... was down in the basement with my buddies, it was
My first drink...my first time with a sweet red bottle of wine.
Taste so funny, just made me grin,
Laugh so hard till the room began to spin -
And it wound up in the sink - it was my first drink.

First times ain't the best times - Sometimes they're the worst.
But if times are gonna get better - There's always got to be a first.

My first kiss... was out on the back porch with my neighbor, it was
My first kiss... my first taste of a teen-age, feminine lip.
She closed her eyes, I closed mine,
Our hearts beat fast as our young arms entwined -
Then her braces chipped my tooth - it was my first smooch.

My first gig... a nineteen-seventies college-town restaurant -
My first gig... sing all night for a meal and a ten dollar bill.
The crowd was loud - they couldn't care less -
Just made a lot of noise and stupid-ass requests -
Alice Cooper was big - at my first gig.

And if this here is the first time you've ever heard me sing,
Well, stick around - it might get better - First times don't mean a thing.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: frogprince
Date: 05 May 09 - 10:20 PM

Charlie, I haven't heard Joel do "The First Time", but Ive been lucky enough to hear the others from the good folks in person. I find both those songs absolutely stunning. Matt Watroba had "There Are No Words" on the air on WDET within a couple of days after Kitty put it together. We get to see both Kitty and Joel every now and then; we're set to see Kitty this Saturday night in Flint.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR.ADD: When I Was the Queen
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 May 09 - 09:05 AM

Frogprince-

I'm sorry I didn't run across you in my recent revisit to Michigan. I met several other new friends there who seemed like "old friends." I'm sure we would have gotten on well too.

Another song that Kitty does which regales her youthful first excursion to the Atlantic Ocean on the shores of Nova Scotia, way back in 1969, is titled "When I Was the Queen." It forms a set with another of my favorite songs by Kitty titled "When the West Wind Blows":

When I Was the Queen
(Kitty Donohoe, © 2008, as recorded on Northern Borders)


It was a summer like we'll never see again;
We were restless, we were golden,
And I think we knew it then;
We felt like gypsies on the highway,
Angels on the run,
We crossed the border
With the early sun.
We were looking for adventure,
We were looking for the sea;
I was going for a blue-eyed boy
Waiting there for me;
The world seemed big and friendly,
And we were young and green -
Oh, life was good when I was the Queen.

Riding on a flatbed truck
Through Ontario,
Past fields of green tobacco,
Row after row,
Singing songs and talking
In the belly of the moon,
In those sweet and final days of June;
Then on we went to Montreal -
We stayed a day or two,
Got stranded on a cold wet night
In Riviere-du-Loup,
Rescued by a Frenchman
And his aunties all in black,
They gave us beds and shelter
And asked for nothing back.
Next morning there was bread and coffee
To get us through the day;
We said good-byes and thank-yous
And went along our way;
We must have been the strangest thing
They had ever seen -
Oh, life was good when I was the Queen.

So sure of the power of my hand,
So sure of the mercies of the land,
So sure of a love at my command.

At last we heard the ocean,
Smelled the salt and saw the pine;
We rolled into Halifax
On an evening rare and fine;
The bars were full of sailors,
The boys from Newfoundland,
With their words
We could barely understand.
Making barroom confessionals
With their whiskey and their beer,
Of the girls they'd left behind them,
Of the catch they'd lost that year;
We were friends by midnight
As we stumbled out the door,
With promises to meet again
When next they came ashore.
Our time there was a blessing,
Hail Mary full of Grace,
We left our hearts behind us
In that wild and lonely place,
And I'd hardly trade a day away
For all that's come between -
Oh, life was good when I was the Queen -
Life was so good when I was the Queen.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR.Add: IF WISHES WERE HORSES
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 May 09 - 09:39 AM

Here's another thoughtful song by Mabus, one to ponder as we reconsider our life choices:

IF WISHES WERE HORSES, ©1992 Joel Mabus, originally on the album Short Stories and re-recorded on Omnibus, 2008

He's a cowboy, he's a poet - he's got a heart but he don't show it.
His face was made for poker, you can never read his mind.
He's got a job down at the factory - killing time and building Chevies,
And when that whistle blows he's the first one off the line.

And if wishes were horses, that old boy would ride;
If daydreams were wildfire, he'd burn the mountainside;
If the ocean was desire, he'd sail out on the tide;
If wishes were horses, how that boy would ride.

She's an artist, she's an actor - and if luck was not a factor
She'd be out in Hollywood, you could read her name in lights;
But she's waitin' down at Denny's - wiping tables, saving pennies,
Acting like she's satisfied - it's the performance of her life.

And if wishes were horses, that old girl would ride;
If daydreams were wildfire, she'd burn the mountainside;
If the ocean was desire, she'd sail out on the tide;
If wishes were horses, how that girl would ride.

He's a rocker, he's a bopper - went to school to be a lawyer;
Now he's sitting in a traffic jam in his leather covered car.
And the radio plays on old song - he shakes his head and sings along,
He wonders where his old friends went, and where those good times are.

And if wishes were horses, that old boy would ride;
If daydreams were wildfire, he'd burn the mountainside;
If the ocean was desire, he'd sail out on the tide;
If wishes were horses, how that boy would ride.
If wishes were horses, how we all would ride.

This song would fit well with "Angel from Montgomery."

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR.ADD: I'd Rather Make a Revolution
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 May 09 - 11:16 AM

Another songwriter and old friend in Michigan is Paul Emery, currently residing in Eastern Grand Rapids. We used to do a lot of singing together and this is one of Paul's songs that has stuck with me through the years:

Lyrics by Paul Emery of Lansing, Michigan, circa 1980
Second verse & minor word changes by Charlie Ipcar in 1995
Tune: after Alice's Restaurant


I'D RATHER MAKE A REVOLUTION


(C)Well, I went down to see my shrink;
She said, "(F)Boy, have you got (C) any money?"
I said, "I've got Black & Blue Cross Insurance
And, (D) sure, I can chip in the other five (G7)dollars."
She said, "(C)Son, I know what's wrong with you;
You don't (F)appreciate the privileged position you was (C)born to –
White, male, (A)middle class, American,
You (D) ain't got no (G)reason to (C) holler."


Chorus:

(C)But I said, "I'd rather make a revolution
        Than (F) fifty dollars an (C) hour;
I'd rather make a good woman smile
        Than to (D)have her address me as 'Your (G7)Honor;'
I'd (C) rather sing a song with my friends
        Than to (F) sell a lot of life in-(C) surance;
Instead of becoming (A) Master of the World
        I (D) guess I'll just be- (G) come a (C) nuisance."



"Get your pad, nurse," the doctor said,
"I think this boy's insane.
Evil spirits have infused
The soft spots in his brain;
He's obviously insecure;
I bet he sucks his thumb;
He's a no good, rotten, un-pa-tri-ot-ic;
Bearded, Commie, bum."


Chorus:

But I said, "I'd rather make a revolution
        Than fifty dollars an hour;
I'd rather make a good woman smile
        Than to have her address me as 'Your Honor';
I'd rather sing a song with my friends
        Than to raise a lot of campaign dollars
Instead of becoming Master of the World
        I guess I'll just pick and holler ."



Well, gather 'round, friends, and listen to me
And I'll give you a tip on the level;
The trouble I've always had with success
Is – I get bored in the middle;
I start out fine; got my eye on the line;
Got my nose right down to the grindstone;
But it ain't long 'fore I'm singin' this song
And the chorus goes something like this:


Chorus:

I'd rather make a revolution
        Than fifty dollars an hour;
I'd rather make a good woman smile
        Than to have her address me as 'Your Honor';
I'd rather sing a song with my friends
        Than to sell a lot of vinyl siding;
Instead of becoming Master of the World
        I guess I'll just keep on idling.



Well, I joined that great march for Peace & Justice
But I sure hated to give up the goodies;
I took a bold step forward –
And a wistful look back;
But where I come from you knew which side you was on,
And the side I was on turned out to be wrong;
And the side that was wrong turned out to be right;
I'd rather not switch, let's fight!


Chorus:

I'd rather make a revolution
        Than fifty dollars an hour;
I'd rather make a good woman smile
        Than to have her address me as 'Your Honor';
I'd rather sing a song with my friends
        Than to sell a lot of Dot-Com syndications;
Instead of becoming Master of the World
        I guess I'll just try meditation.


Some day I'll get Paul to record this song!

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 May 09 - 09:24 AM

I should post "When the West Wind Blows" here even though it is posted somewhere else on the forum. As mentioned above it forms a set with "When I Was the Queen":

Words & music by Kitty Donahue, © 1977
Recorded on Farmer in Florida
Slightly modified by Eli Dale of Roll & Go
Key: F(D/3)

WHEN THE WEST WIND BLOWS

Chorus:

A7--------D-------------------------Bm
When the west wind blows, he'll always leave her,
Em-----------------G
Always leave her, has to leave her;
----------D---------------------------Bm
When the west wind blows, he'll always leave her
---------Em-----------------G--------A-----D
Till the storms of autumn call him back again.


D----------------------A7
Sailors are men who marry the sea,
---------Bm-----------------G
A good ship is the best of company,
---D------------------------------A-----------A7---D
A life of streets and houses is no life for me at all;
-------A-----D---------------------------------A7
When we've raised our glasses and we've sung our song,
----------Bm-----------------------G
And the night is empty with the hours so long,
---------D----------------------------A-----------A7---------D
Doubts fade with morning and a wind that's strong and full.

In a harbor town one September night,
When a summer's heat had finally taken flight,
He watched her working in a café light alone;
Though the years and beauty had passed her by
She kindled fires he swore would die
And he thought of comforts he could deny no more.

Bridge:
---------C-----------------------Bm
But the sailor that longs for hearth and home
---C7-------------------G
Is bound to spend his life alone,
------------Em-------------------G------------------------A
Unless he finds a woman who knows the call of the sea. (CHO)

He said, "I'll stay till winter turns with the sun,
Till the boats move out to where the salmon run,
There are coves and shorelines I haven't begun to see;
With your woman's heart you'll never understand
The kind of longing that takes a man
Into a world of strangers to try his hand on his own."
She said, "A woman dreams no differently,
About the curlews crying and the changing sea,
A life of work and waiting is no life for me at all;
But we can sail for islands that are green and new,
Where a calypso rhythm takes ahold of you,
There's too much parting and the years too few to spare.

But the sailor that longs for hearth and home
Is bound to spend his life alone,
If he finds a woman who knows the call of the sea.

Final Chorus:

When the west wind blows, she'll always leave him,
Always leave him, has to leave him;
When the west wind blows, she'll always leave him
Till the storms of autumn call her back again.


This was one of the songs I requested be sung at my wedding some ten years ago.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR.ADD: Jam at Chubby's Van, The
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 May 09 - 01:27 PM

Here's another old favorite from the fertile mind of Joel Mabus, who was kind enough to track down the lyrics for me:

Words by Joel Mabus, © 1983
As recorded on Fairies and Fools, Rounder Records
Sung to the traditional tune "Jam At Gerry's Rocks"

The Jam at Chubby's Van


Come all you country fiddlers and listen unto me,
As I relate to you the tale as it was told to me,
About a brave young fiddler so stalwart and first-rate,
And of the jam at Chubby's van where he met his dreadful fate.

This fiddler's name was Johnny B., a lad well liked by all;
Some say he came from Canada, some say from Saginaw;
He fiddled for the contra dancers, likewise for the squares;
He had a feel for jigs and reels, both schottishes and slow airs.

'Twas the festival at Union grove in the year of seventy-three,
A man by the name of Chubby stepped up to Johnny B.;
"How do you, young fiddler, how would you like to go
And join the jam behind my van – come rosin up your bow!"

"Oh yes I'd like to go with you and fiddle for a while;
I've never played with Southerners, though I hear they've quite a style."
Chubby, he just gave a wink, and then he led the way
To join the jam behind his van where they all began to play.

There was guitar, banjo, a mandolin, two fiddles and a bass.
The first tune up was "Soldier's Joy" played at a frantic pace;
Johnny B could scarce keep up, then came the dreadful news
When Chubby told the boys, "Let's play that old 'Lee Highway Blues.'"

Now although this is a well-known tune it was new to Johnny B.
And all that Chubby told him was "It's in the key of D;"
The first part it seemed straight enough but the second part was not;
There seemed to be no melody – just licks both fast and hot.

"I am confused," said Johnny B. "I do not understand.
What brand of madness is this that you're playing with your band?"
"Why this here's bluegrass," Chubby said, "And I'll show you how to go
To play the music as 'twas meant by our forebear Bill Monroe."

"Forget about the melody, just play what's in your head
And if you cannot think that fast just play loud notes instead,
And if you want to learn that bluegrass lick, son, I'll show you the knack –
It's first you slide your finger up – and then you slide 'er back!"

This came as revelation to the likes of Johnny B.;
"I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see!
Forget about the 'Petronella,' likewise the 'Black Nag'
Let's play another chorus of that old 'Black Mountain Rag.'"

This is the last that anyone has heard of Johnny B.;
Some say he changed his name to "Slim" and moved to Tennessee;
Others say he's lost his mind – that I don't pretend to know
But somewhere he's playing bluegrass like his forebear Bill Monroe.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: frogprince
Date: 13 May 09 - 04:14 PM

Haven't heard that last one, either. Am I safe in assuming the tune is "Buffalo Skinners"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Cool Beans
Date: 13 May 09 - 05:07 PM

"Buffalo Skinners" will work, but I gather the tune Charlie cites is "The Jam at Jerry's Rocks," an old lumberjack song with a recurring line about "our foreman, young Monroe," which makes the Bill Monroe refrain extra special.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: frogprince
Date: 13 May 09 - 07:48 PM

Oops; read all the rest, somehow missed the tune identification.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 May 09 - 10:52 PM

Joel says that the album this song (The Jam at Chubby's Van) was recorded on is all tied up in the legal morass of Flying Fish records/Rounder. I've encouraged him to re-record it since it's such a hoot.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 May 09 - 07:58 AM

Oh, and I'd welcome other suggestions to this thread; and feel free to post lyrics yourselves.

Here's another long-time favorite by former Michigan resident Craig Johnson:

Words and music by Craig Johnson © 1980

Keweenaw Light


C---------------------G7-----------------C------------F
I have traveled this country from the Keweenaw headlands,
-------------C----------------------------D7------------G7
Where the wild gulls do cry from the rocks to the sea;
-----------C------------G7------------C----G7-F
From the cold inland ocean to the Mani-tou Islands,
----C-----------------------F------C-------G-C---G-C
Far away from my home-land, strange pla-ces to see.

Chorus:

C-------F---------------------------------C-------------F-C
And the stars will shine bright on the south shore to-night,
---------------------------------D7-------G7
The Keweenaw Light swings over the bay,
--------C---------------------G7—C—G7-C------G----F
And if dreams could come true, I'd still be there with you,
--------C-------------------F—C-----G----C-G-C
On the banks of cold wat-er at the close of the day.


I've drifted through boom towns a century dying,
Past the ruins of smelters and rusted head frames;
From Ahmeek and Mohawk, Centenial and Laurium,
And other sad places which passed without name. (CHO)

I've counted the crossties, dry bones of the railroad,
That stretch from the sunrise to the closing of day;
And counted the miles between me and my true love,
The lies and the highway that took me away. (CHO)

Now the leaves have turned gold and summer's nigh over,
Wild geese sweep low over Lake Manganese;
In that far away country you walk by slow rivers,
Alongside cold waters 'neath whispering trees. (CHO)

Notes:

Craig said "Keweenaw Light" is the "Copper Harbor Lighthouse," which he generally camped near when he came to that area of Michigan's Upper Peninsular.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR.ADD: Tenure Tango, The
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 May 09 - 08:04 AM

Here's one of the first protest songs I ever collaborated on while resident in Michigan:

TENURE TANGO, THE
(Words by Clark Akatiff & Charlie Ipcar, © 1969; tune: ragtime style as in "What are We Fighting For?)

G
It's a cloistered place, an ivory tower;
C
Professors gettin' richer by the hour,
D--------------D7--G
Doing the ten-ure tango:


Chorus:

G
It's one step forward, two steps back,
C
Moving down that tenure track,
D--------------D7--G
Doing the ten-ure tango!



That tenure train is all the rage,
If you fit the tenure gauge,
Doing the tenure tango: (CHO)

Don't look forward, don't look back;
You might jump that tenure track,
Doing the tenure tango: (CHO)

Don't look left, don't look right;
Do your research every night,
Doing the tenure tango: (CHO)

Textbook here, textbook there;
Here-a-text-, there-a-text, everywhere a text, text,
Doing the tenure tango: (CHO)

We've got students from wall to wall;
Anymore come, have to stack 'em in the hall,
Doing the tenure tango: (CHO)

Leave your students in the lurch,
You can call it "Pure Research,"
Doing the tenure tango: (CHO)


Notes:

This song was put together for a demonstration protesting the firing of a popular sociology professor, Bert Garskoff, at Michigan State University back in the late 1960's. The overall message does not appear to be dated.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 May 09 - 01:36 PM

Here's one of Kitty Donohoe's best known songs, covered by Sally Rogers and others:

FARMER IN FLORIDA
(Kitty Donohue ©
Recorded on Farmer in Florida)

Me and my good wife spent most of our lives
Together workin' God's earth so others could eat.
It's the way that I chose it and Harriet knows it
That she don't regret it, her life has been complete.
But now our kids have grown, left the coutry for another home
In the city where there's livin' they say to get things done.
So Harriet she dried her tears, says we've been here for thirty years,
Now it's our turn to get out and have us some fun.

Refrain:

But there ain't nothin' for a farmer in Florida
When his heart is still planting wheat fields back home, O Lord.



Loaded our pick-up truck, changed our address and packed up
Told our old friends good bye and we drove away.
Now we live in a tin can, I feel like another man
Goin' to movies on the weekend and playing cribbage all day.
But Harriet she's in her prime, doing something all the time
With the ladies on our street she sees every day.
Sometimes when I'm walking alone, see those big birds flying home
For the summer, I could just jump up and sail away. (REF)

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 May 09 - 09:12 AM

Another member of the Michigan music community when I was resident was Sally Rogers, perhaps, best known for her song about her grandmother Agnes:

LOVELY AGNES
(Sally Rogers)

Chorus:

Oh, Agnes, won't you go with me? We'll be married in style
And we'll cross Lake Michigan, so blue and so wide,
We'll cross over Lake Michigan, 'til we come to the shore,
And our orchards will blossom for our babies as they're born.


Oh yes, love, I will go with you, leave Wisconsin behind,
Though my parents think little of my life on a farm,
For to leave the gay city life, and be buried on a farm,
But I'll watch the orchards bloom in spring,
Spend the winter's warm in your arms. (CHO)

Three children she gave to him: Curtis, Addie and Dee
And their fourth child little Gussie came, ten years after these.
And she raised them with loving hand and with firmness of mind
And she raised them through troubled times, Agnes strong
willed and kind. (CHO)

Now the years have gone and passed, like the fruit on the trees,
And your children have children with babes on their knees
And they all join in the summertime, by the Crystal Lake shore,
To greet lovely Agnes, now twelve years and four-score. (CHO)


Notes:

Written for Sally's grandmother Agnes' 92nd birthday; "little Gussie" was Sally's father.
© Sally Rogers 1982
Recorded by Sally on Unclaimed Pint

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Barbara
Date: 18 May 09 - 12:02 PM

Not a song, but do you still have in your possession "The Ten Rules for the Dissolusionment of the True Liberal"?
I can only remember "Last guys don't finish nice."
Blessings,
Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Barbara
Date: 18 May 09 - 12:08 PM

Oh, and while you're at it, how about a link to "Shafted in Shaftsburg"?
Blessings,
Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 May 09 - 12:31 PM

Though nobody was interested at the time, I transcribed this and posted it here a few years ago. Another terrific Michigan musician and songwriter is Kitty Donohoe's fiddler/mandolin/guitar/back-up vocals -- David Mosher. Both solo and with his trio "The Raisin Picker", David has produced some great music in that same folk/songwriter/swing tradition as Joel Mabus.

THE FIDDLER'S REPLY
Joel Mabus

It's a question that I've heard before
And all that I can say to that is -- no sir!
No sir!

I have played a tune in the dark on the porch of a prairie farm –
Summer rain coming down so straight
You could set your chair right there on the edge of the porch
And keep bone dry.
Such straight regular rain, they say, is good for the crop.
Good for tunes too, I say,
Deep in the night, listening to the corn.

And I remember a tune one winter afternoon up north, fiddling after chores.
The sun staring in through a wet kitchen window –
All ice outside, all steam inside.
My chair tips back; the wood stove snaps loudly,
Popping irregular time to the steppy tunes,
Flannel and coffee, biscuits and boots.

I've played tunes on a fine spring evening at the town hall dance
Where everybody shows,
Joking with the caller, shaking off winter,
Stretching limbs, swapping partners for neighbors.
Good healthy tempos break the first real sweat.
Long lines forward and back and -- Look! Outside!
The sun's still up on a fine green evening !

And then there is a tune I know that plays just like a cold November morning.
Sober. Inside, looking out.
A gray air that wants chords unresolved –
Turning into the mist like so many leaves, riven and broken,
Returning from sky to earth after fall --The undeniable fall -- calls them home.

I have played tunes -- not songs.
Not voiceable, obvious word-infested songs -- but tunes,
Each tune a puzzle, each one a box with its own proud secret.
Each its own smile sweetly shown -- each tune is a lesson pondered.
Pattern -- at once familiar yet unique --Like snow crystals -- like footprints –
Like the way the world is
right
now.

That's what a tune is, and, no sir.
No sir.
They don't all sound the same to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 May 09 - 12:34 PM

I also took the time to transcribe Joel's hilarious intro to "Duct Tape Blues"....


Taking a little excursion to the land of the blues...



...I feel better already.

I haven't always lived in Michigan. I was born in the land of the blues. Illinois. (you probably wondered where that was) down in southern Illinois. I was born not 10 miles from downtown East St Louis. Now I'm not going to say the blues were born in East St Louis...but that is where their mother got pregnant.

So, you see, I do have a right to sing the blues. But with every right comes a responsibility, y'know?. A responsibility to tell the truth.

Great blues man, by the name of "Lightin' Hopkins", told me once, he said, "never sing a blues that isn't from personal experience -- something you lived through".

I took that to heart. But it cut down on my repertoire considerably.

But this is something I know all about. It's a song about, well, part of my life. It's a song about the very fabric of America...

You say the world is going to pieces,
Things just fell apart,
You want to put things back together,
But you don't know where to start.
Well, I got your solution,
The stuff you need to use.
It's a thing called Duct Tape,
There ain't nothin' it can't do...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Cool Beans
Date: 18 May 09 - 03:06 PM

Here's one of mine. It fits several blues tunes. There really was a used car lot in Detroit called Repo Depot.


REPO DEPOT
© 2003, Marty Kohn



Well, you've been lying to me, baby,
I can read it in your face.
Gonna get myself a set of wheels
And I'm gonna blow this place.
Yeah I'm going to Repo Depot
Repo Depot's where I'm bound
Where another man's misfortune
Might be your ticket out of town.

Down at Repo Depot
They've got every car that's made
From a 97 Jeep-o
To a Cadillac Escalade.
Yeah, down at Repo Depot
That place of great renown
Where another man's misfortune
Might be your ticket out of town.

Chevrolet Camaro,
Dodge Arrow, Geo Prizm,
They've even got a Yugo,
That product of Communism.
You go down to Repo Depot,
Find the cheapest cars around
Where another man's misfortune
Might be your ticket out of town.


They're warranted for 30 days,
They're guaranteed to start.
I'm gonna leave you, woman,
Gonna repossess my heart
Down at Repo Depot,
Repo Depot's where I'm bound
Where another man's misfortune
Might be your ticket out of town.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 May 09 - 04:06 PM

Some real progress here!

I love "Repo Depot" and "The Duct Tape Blues" is one of my old top ten favorites.

And although when one is a beginner all fiddle tunes sound alarmingly similar, they ain't!

Some fiddle tunes are even in keys other than D.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 May 09 - 05:32 PM

Raisin Pickers


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 May 09 - 08:28 AM

How about the Ann Arbor duo Gemini? They've composed some very fine songs in years past and still perform together at periodic reunions.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: John Hardly
Date: 19 May 09 - 02:01 PM

Mustard's Retreat is another Ann Arbor duo that gets around.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Michigan Musically Revisited (2009)
From: frogprince
Date: 19 May 09 - 02:08 PM

Mustard's Retreat, indeed; we get to see them every so often these days. And perhaps not as close to "mainstream folk", but highly talented and lots of fun, The Chenille Sisters.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Harbor of the Heart, The
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 May 09 - 12:38 PM

Here's a link to the Gemini website: Click here for website!

And here's a current example of one of there songs:

The Harbor of Your Heart   © 2001 Laszlo Slomovits ASCAP

(Imagine a rockin' blues-spiritual melody of the kind that is the trademark of the wonderful women's acapella singing group, "Sweet Honey in the Rock.")

If your boat is battered in a storm
If your boat is battered, and your sails are tattered,

Oh, then let down your anchor
in the harbor of your heart
Oh, that's where you'll be safe at home.

But how do I find this harbor?

Follow the light from the beacon of your heart
Follow the light, in that dark and fearsome night,

Oh, and let down your anchor
in the harbor of your heart
Oh, that's where you'll be safe at home.

But how do I know I'll be safe there?

Tie your boat to a dock that will not shake
Tie your boat to a dock that will not shake or break,

Oh, and let down your anchor
in the harbor of your heart
Oh, that's where you'll be safe at home.

If your boat is battered in a storm
If your boat is battered, and your sails are tattered,
and your oars are scattered, and your faith is shattered,
if your whole life feels like none of it mattered,

Oh, then let down your anchor
in the harbor of your heart
Oh, that's where you'll be safe at home.

Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 July 8:46 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.