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Origins: Old Number Three

CrownkingAZ 27 Apr 11 - 11:41 AM
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Subject: Origins: Old Number Three
From: CrownkingAZ
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 11:41 AM

I have the lyric sheet for an old ballad named "Old Number Three". The melody that I am using is from my memory from the 1970's. It was sung by an Irish-American family named the Coyles in New York. It is a lovely song that should be more widely known.

I am interested to know anything about the origin of the song. In addition, I would like to nail down the melody for the chorus. I am not sure that I have it right.

Here are the lyrics:
How often Oh how often do I think of days gone by
When we as neighbors lived at number three.
How often oh how often do the tears bedim my eyes
For they were bright and happy days to me.

We'd gather in evenings when our days work was done.
On Cannon's old front porch so merrily.
Singing in the moonlight, the old folks joined the fun
When we as neighbors lived at number three.

But those days are gone.
They will come no more.
With a tear in my eye
Oh how often I sigh
For those days of yore.

We lived side by side.
Not a care had we.
Those good days are past.
They were too good to last
In old number three.

In your travels you may mingle with men of wealth and fame,
Whose pockets they are lined with precious gold.
Will I'd not exchange the pleasures of my childhood days
That I enjoyed with those dear friends of old.

The neighbors were so pleasant they'd borrow and they'd lend.
Their hearts were always happy, light, and free.
For a stranger they had welcome, you could always find a friend
When we lived side by side at number three.


Now those days are gone forever. They will come no more I fear.
The homestead now are withered and decayed.
Destroyed by (cave and culin? - or "time and tempests") are the pleasure grounds so dear
Where in my youth with comrades I have played.

Today I passed the old place and sat upon the hill.
Sweet memories of the past came back to me.
My heart filled with emotion. I sat and cried my fill
When I saw how time had changed old number three.

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