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Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'

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A PICTURE FROM LIFE'S OTHER SIDE
AS I GO RAMBLING ROUND
BELLE STARR
BOUND FOR GLORY
CLEAN-O
DEPORTEES
DO RE MI
DUST PNEUMONIA
EL DO RE MI
GAMBLER
HARD TRAVELIN'
HARD, AIN'T IT HARD
HIGHWAY 66 BLUES
I AIN'T GOT NO HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE
I'M GONNA MAIL MYSELF TO YOU
JACKHAMMER JOHN
JESUS CHRIST
JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM
LIFEBELT WASHED UP ON THE SHORE
LUDLOW MASSACRE
MEAN TALKING BLUES
MRS. ROOSEVELT
NINE HUNDRED MILES
OKLAHOMA HILLS
PASTURES OF PLENTY
POOR LAZARUS
PRETTY BOY FLOYD
RAMBLING ROUND
RANGER'S COMMAND
RED WINE
ROLL ON COLUMBIA
ROLL ON THE DAY
SHIP IN THE SKY
SO LONG IT'S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YUH
TALKING BLUES
TALKING DUST BOWL BLUES
THE 1913 MASSACRE
THE BLINDING OF ISAAC WOODARD
THE GRAND COULEE DAM
THE LADIES' AUXILIARY
THE PHILADELPHIA LAWYER
THE SINKING OF THE REUBEN JAMES
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
THOSE BROWN EYES
TOM JOAD
UNION MAID
WHY OH WHY


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GUEST,Autoharper 14 Aug 12 - 08:19 PM
Joe Offer 14 Aug 12 - 11:04 PM
GUEST 15 Aug 12 - 01:00 PM
open mike 15 Aug 12 - 02:09 PM
Tootler 15 Aug 12 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,999 15 Aug 12 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,666 15 Aug 12 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,999 15 Aug 12 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,999 15 Aug 12 - 04:07 PM
Joe Offer 15 Aug 12 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,999 15 Aug 12 - 04:19 PM
Haruo 16 Aug 12 - 12:32 PM
Joe Offer 16 Aug 12 - 01:26 PM
KT 16 Aug 12 - 03:05 PM
Little Robyn 16 Aug 12 - 05:43 PM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 12 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,999 17 Aug 12 - 07:11 PM
Haruo 20 Aug 12 - 12:34 PM
Haruo 20 Aug 12 - 12:37 PM
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Subject: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: GUEST,Autoharper
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 08:19 PM

What traditional melody served as the source for Woody Guthrie's tune for "I'm Gonna Mail Myself to You?"

-A. Miller
Folksinging.org


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 11:04 PM

Yes, it does sound like something else (I was thinking of a hymn), but my addled brain can't figure it out. Are you testing us, Adam, or don't you know the answer, either?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 01:00 PM

If I knew the answer I wouldn't take up your time. I haven't been able to identify Guthrie's source melody for this one. I agree: it was likely a hymn. Frank Hamilton is better at this melody-identificaton game than anyone I know; he is gifted with a unique audio-graphic memory for tunes. I predict he will ultimately provide the answer. -Adam


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: open mike
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 02:09 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Zx9UQdfyk&feature=related you can here it here..


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 02:22 PM

blickified

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Zx9UQdfyk&feature=related


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 02:29 PM

According to Woody's site, he did. Might be worth it to get in touch with the folks there and ask the question.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: GUEST,666
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 03:34 PM

If I remember correctly from back in my childhood forty-something years ago, the artist now known as Guest, 999 used to do a very nice version of "mail Myself to You."

BTW, I'm Guest,666 which either means I'm Satan or only 2/3 as good as 999.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 04:00 PM

Or, you're 999 in Australia.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 04:07 PM

Thank you for the kind remark, btw.


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Subject: ADD: Mail Myself to You (Woody Guthrie)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 04:11 PM

Hi, 999 -
Up above, you said,
According to Woody's site, he did. Might be worth it to get in touch with the folks there and ask the question.

I'm missing understanding - do you mean that Woody wrote the tune? Seems like much of the time, even if he copyrighted the entire song, it turns out he got the tune from another source.

So, the meaning of your message didn't register for me. Can you explain what you were saying?

The tune sounds like the chorus of a hymn. It's sitting there in the back of my head, and the words won't come out.

This is frustrating. If somebody asked me this question, I'd refer them to 999 or to Adam Miller, and they're the ones asking the question here. Oh, and I suppose Adam and 999 would tell people to ask Joe Offer. Maybe we should contact woodyguthrie.org, but I have a feeling they would tell us to contact the Mudcat Cafe for information like that....

All my life's a circle, sunrise and sundown....

-Joe-

Here are the lyrics from woodyguthrie.org:

MAIL MYSELF TO YOU
(Woody Guthrie)

I'm a-gonna wrap myself in paper,
I'm gonna daub myself with glue,
Stick some stamps on top of my head;
I'm gonna mail myself to you.

I'm a gonna tie me up in a red string,
I'm gonna tie blue ribbons too,
I'm a-gonna climb up in my mail box;
I'm gonna mail myself to you.

When you see me in your mail box,
Cut the string and let me out;
Wash the glue off my fingers,
Stick some bubble gum in my mouth.

Take me out of my wrapping paper,
Wash the stamps off my head;
Pour me full of ice cream sodies,
Put me in my nice warm bed.

 


© Copyright 1962 (renewed) and 1963 (renewed) by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 04:19 PM

LOL

It says above the lyrics on that site that both words and music are his. It looked to me too like one of those things, Joe: old melody, new copyright; however, who knows?

BTW, yer gettin' real close to a Joni Mitchell song there.

My question for the site would be, "Did WG write the melody for 'MMtY'?

In fact, I'll go ask and see what comes up. Back when and if.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: Haruo
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 12:32 PM

Joe Offer suggested (because of my wealth of hymnological wit and wisdom ;-) ) that I take a look at this. I know the tune from post-Woody recordings, grew up on it as done by PP&M I think, but can't think offhand what hymn tune it might be. And I'm totally slammed for time this week and next, so I would suggest one of you go to hymnary.org and use their tune identifier software (listed as "Melody Search") to put in the melody line and search for similarly contoured hymn tunes.

Haruo
aka Liland aka Leland


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 01:26 PM

Well, that link was very interesting, Liland. I'm hoping this link will work so you all can see what I came up with. The two tunes I know on the list are "Marching to Zion" and "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring." I can see elements of both in "Mail Myself to You" - "Jesu" seems especially close.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: KT
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 03:05 PM

When I first learned Mail Myself to You, I thought it sounded familiar, but like Adam and Joe, couldn't place it. I finally just chalked it up to it's being such an easy-to-sing catchy tune and let it go. Now you've got me wondering again, and it's been floating through my head for the last three days. And the person I would have sought out for the answer is the one who posed the question!! Hi Adam! Will be watching this space for updates!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: Little Robyn
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 05:43 PM

I keep hearing the theme tune from the Muppet Show - yes, I know that's more recent but I'm thinking Music Hall rather than a hymn tune.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 07:01 PM

Well, the hymn that I was thinking of finally came to me. It's an F.E.L. Publications "Folk Mass" song from 1966, so it's newer than the Woody song.

I'll post just the chorus and the first of ten verses. It's the chorus that has a melody similar to "Mail Myself to You."

We Long for You O Lord
(Rev. Cyril A. Reilly)

We long for you O lord
We long for you O lord
Come make us one with you in love,
We long for you, O lord

CHORUS
Risen Savior, king of glory, come to us in mystery.
Let us share your death and rising till you come in majesty.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 07:11 PM

I ain't heard zip so far, Joe. FYI.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 12:34 PM

I wasn't around for the folk mass movement (being Baptist and all), but I can see how that chorus could easily be sung to "Mail Myself to You"; so much so that in a just world FEL would maybe owe Woody's heirs and assigns royalties?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Tune for Woody's 'Mail Myself to You'
From: Haruo
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 12:37 PM

I'm still very busy this week, but glad to know you were able to use the Melody Search thingie, Joe, and yes, the link to the results page worked too. I haven't made much use of that feature (being mostly a text type guy), but it's nice to know it's there!


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