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Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night

DigiTrad:
WOODY KNOWS NOTHING


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: I'm Just a Country Boy (102)
Lyr Req: Gold in the Morning Sun (10)
Lyr Req: silver in the stars and gold in the... (7)


Rex 29 Feb 00 - 11:43 AM
Duffy Keith 29 Feb 00 - 11:46 AM
Amos 29 Feb 00 - 11:51 AM
Barbara 29 Feb 00 - 12:40 PM
Amos 29 Feb 00 - 12:58 PM
Rick Fielding 29 Feb 00 - 04:32 PM
Amos 29 Feb 00 - 04:35 PM
Bud Savoie 29 Feb 00 - 08:18 PM
Stewie 29 Feb 00 - 09:14 PM
GUEST,Nancy King 29 Feb 00 - 10:40 PM
Charlie Baum 01 Mar 00 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 01 Mar 00 - 10:18 AM
Rick Fielding 01 Mar 00 - 10:41 AM
Rex 01 Mar 00 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,Pete Peterson 01 Mar 00 - 03:19 PM
Stewie 01 Mar 00 - 07:17 PM
Joan 01 Mar 00 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,ddrane@austin.rr.com 09 Jan 02 - 05:07 PM
Joe_F 09 Jan 02 - 07:00 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 09 Jan 02 - 07:48 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 09 Jan 02 - 09:47 PM
GUEST,Jim Chevallier 21 Jan 07 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 24 Jan 07 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 25 Jan 07 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 25 Jan 07 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 25 Jan 07 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Nancy Sherburne 07 Jul 07 - 01:51 AM
Joe Offer 25 Jun 09 - 11:53 PM
Joe Offer 26 Jun 09 - 01:43 AM
Joe Offer 26 Jun 09 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,stuart 26 Jun 09 - 07:35 AM
John Minear 26 Jun 09 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Jul 09 - 09:12 AM
Artful Codger 03 Jul 09 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,Trying to learn this on guitar - help please 04 Aug 10 - 04:02 PM
Amos 04 Aug 10 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Jim Chevallier 26 Dec 16 - 11:52 AM
GUEST 21 Oct 18 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Polly 23 Oct 18 - 07:30 AM
Nancy King 23 Oct 18 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Polly 26 Oct 18 - 08:26 AM
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Subject: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Rex
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 11:43 AM

All I'm really need is the title for the song that starts: "Woody knows nothin but pecking on the bough,". I figured the title amounted to the first three words but it's not in the database and I can't find it in any of my songbooks. Can anyone out there point me in the right direction? Thanky,

Rex


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Duffy Keith
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 11:46 AM

I heard the song "woody knows nothing" on an old eric darling record, but I dont know the title of the old vinyl lp, maybe you can find it, and i think it exists at the University of Colorado Music library...Duffy Keith


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Subject: Lyr Add: WOODY KNOWS NOTHING^^
From: Amos
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 11:51 AM

It's not in the DT...could be called Woody Knows Nothing as well as anything. Or "I'm Just a Country Boy", maybe...Words from old memory, sometimes flawed:

Woody knows nothin but pecking on the bow
Pecking nad the sky so blue
I never knew til I met you
What love, oh, love, could do, do
What love sweet love could do.

Jay bird pulls a two-horse plow
Sparrow, why don't you
'Cuz my legs aren't half so thin
Might get broken through
Might get broken through

I'm just a country boy
Money have I none
But I've got silver in the sky
And gold in the setting sun,
Gold in the setting sun


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Barbara
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 12:40 PM

Red bird sittin' on a Sycamore limb
Singin' out his soul;
Big bad snake crawled up that tree
Swallowed that poor boy whole, whole,
Swallowed that poor boy whole.
(from the Eric Darling record)

Also heard -- somewhere --
Wild geese fly a way up high
Soarin' in the blue
Sailing on the sea wind south
So why not me and you, you
Why not me and you?

And I remember the jay verse this way:
Blue jay pull a four horse plow,
Sparrow why can't you?
Cause my legs is little and long
They might get broke in two, two,
Might get broke in two.

And my memory of the second line of the first verse is "Ah, but the skies are blue". Of course, I could go look it up... maybe later today. Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Amos
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 12:58 PM

What, and ruin a perfectly faulty memory?


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 04:32 PM

Wow! I learned if off an Erik Darling record when I was a teenager.....and three weeks ago got to play it WITH Erik at the Folk Alliance in Cleveland. (He couldn't remember the words either!) Put me in "Hog Heaven", I'll tell ya!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Amos
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 04:35 PM

Damn! Wish I could have heard that...


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 08:18 PM

I've heard the tune called "Turtle Dove" and "I'm Just a Country Boy." Some of the verses are floaters and appear in such songs ad "Green, Green Rocky Road."


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 09:14 PM

The name of the Darling album was 'True Religion and Other Blues, Ballads and Folksongs' Vanguard VRS - 9099. I only have a cassette which I taped from a friend's battered LP years ago. I took down the song titles. The track was listed as 'Woody Knows Nothing'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: GUEST,Nancy King
Date: 29 Feb 00 - 10:40 PM

Stewie's right about the record--I'm proud to say I still have my vinyl copy. I've been singing "Woody" ever since I bought it in '62 or '63. For a long time I sang the second line as "Now that the skies are blue," because I couldn't make sense of what sounded to me like "Bow but the skies of blue." Finally about 20 years ago, Dwayne Thorpe straightened me out: the line is "Bough, but the skies of blue," the comma replacing words from the previous line, as in, "Woody knows nothin' but peckin' on a bough/ Bough (knows nothin') but the skies of blue." Light bulbs finally went off in my head. Erik sang all of the verses mentioned so far except Barbara's one about the geese (I like it--I wonder if my preprogrammed brain will let me add it...) Not a word on the album about the source of the song; this was Vanguard, not Folk-Legacy. Amos, your version sounds maybe a little more authentic--Erik had to get it somewhere. Thanks, All, for reminding me about that record--it's really a great one and I haven't listened to it for ages. Think I'll go dub it onto a tape so I can listen and sing along in the car (not as good as playing it WITH ERIK, but the best I can do). --Nancy


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 01 Mar 00 - 09:04 AM

The version I first heard (from Carmen Gilman of Fredonia, NY) starts: "Woody knows nothin' but peckin on a log / Ah but the skies are blue."

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 01 Mar 00 - 10:18 AM

This is a variant of Little Turtle Dove.

Oh don't you see yon little turtle dove
Flyin' from vine to vine,
Mournin' for his own true love
As I will do for mine, for mine
As I will do for mine.

I suspect that "Woody Know's Nothin'" is Erik's adaptation of the song. I can ask him. Or you can yourself. ErikThink@aol.com

Frank


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Mar 00 - 10:41 AM

Frank, I think you're right. Erik was a bit surprised when I told him of a recording of it credited to "trad". It's definitely his arrangement.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Rex
Date: 01 Mar 00 - 10:57 AM

Wow! I shouldn't be surprised but I am. I really got things stirred up. In the course of a day you have told me the title, many verses, who arranged and recorded it and what it is probably derived from. Thank you. All of you.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 01 Mar 00 - 03:19 PM

I also have that old Erik Darling record-- my knowledge of the song was overwritten by Allan Block who sings, to the same tune "hard to love, can't be loved, hard to love I know". . . glad somebody else remembered the verses!


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Subject: Lyr Add: WOODY KNOWS NOTHING^^
From: Stewie
Date: 01 Mar 00 - 07:17 PM

The Red Clay Ramblers recorded the blue jay/black snake verse, with the addition of something similar to Barbara's 'geese' verse, under the title of 'Blue Jay' on their 'Twisted Laurel' album. They segued it with a bouncy instrumental of 'The Girl I Left Behind Me' - nice!

Blue jay pulled a four horse plough
Sparrow why can't you?
Cause my legs is little and long
And they might get broke in two
Red bird sittin' on a sycamore limb
Singin' out his soul
Big black snake crawled up that tree
And swallowed that poor boy whole
Wild geese flyin' through the air
Through the sky of blue
They're now a-floatin' where the south wind blows
So why not me and you?

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WOODY KNOWS NOTHING^^
From: Joan
Date: 01 Mar 00 - 09:25 PM

So where do these verses come from? Are they familiar to anyone else? Seems I knew these before the woody verse:
    I went down the mountainside, give my horn a blow;
    Everywhere them pretty girls said yonder goes my beau.

    I went up the mountain side, took a swig of corn;
    Possom wrapped his tail 'round a blackberry bush, two mountain lions were born.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SATURDAY NIGHT (from Burl Ives)
From: GUEST,ddrane@austin.rr.com
Date: 09 Jan 02 - 05:07 PM

Burl Ives sang a song that he called "Saturday Night" that surely must be derived from "Woody Knows Nothing." It's on his "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" CD:

SATURDAY NIGHT

Saturday night and Sunday too
True love on my mind
But Monday morning's gettin' soon
The white man's got me gwine

Blue jay pulled a four-horse plow
Sparrow, why can't you?
'Cause my legs is little an' long
And they might get broke in two

Red bird's sittin' on a sycamore limb
Singin' out his soul
A big black snake crawled up that tree
And swallowed that poor boy whole

Wild geese flyin' through the air
Through the sky of blue
They're now a-floating where the south wind blows
So why not me and you?


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Joe_F
Date: 09 Jan 02 - 07:00 PM

Can't you see yon turtle dove
Flies from pine to pine,
Mourning for his own true love
As I, my dear, for mine, O mine,
As I, my dear, for mine.

Raccoon has a bushy tail,
Possum's tail is bare,
Rabbit ain't got no tail at all,
Just a little bitty bunch of hair, back there,
Little bitty bunch of hair.

The latter is clearly stolen from "Bile That Cabbage Down".

On _American Folk Singers and Balladeers_, BOMC 10-5717.


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 09 Jan 02 - 07:48 PM

ddrane- I was going to say that I remembered hearing Burl Ives sing that, in MY youth. I never asked him where he learnt it- but that was a song that folks just sang and added verses to, borrowed from somewhere else, as other songs (like "Cindy") did. One such verse from my family was:
    Toadfrog sittin on a lily-pad,
    Lookin up at the sky;
    Lily-pad broke and the frog fell in,
    Got water in his eye!

Now,this is the place where the singer hollers,
"ANYBODY GOT A VERSE?"


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Subject: RE: Title Req. Woody Knows Nothin
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 09 Jan 02 - 09:47 PM

Wow!, that song brings back a lot of memories. It's nice to see that several people besides me still have the album.

Jerry


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Subject: Lyr Add: WOODY KNOWS NOTHING (from Cathy Black)
From: GUEST,Jim Chevallier
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 04:16 AM

Back in the Seventies, Cathy Black, who then sang with her then husband Catesby Jones, sang this song as a lullaby she'd heard in Texas (she did it in Cambridge once on-air for WCAS' "Live At Passim's"). The lyrics I recall are:

WOODY KNOWS NOTHING (from Cathy Black)

Woody knows nothin' but peckin' on a bough,
Bough 'bout the sky so blue;
Never knew 'til I met you
What true love could do, Lord, do
What true love could do.

Bluejay drives a four-horse cart,
Sparrow why can't you?
My little leg's too small and thin,
It might get broke in two, Lord, two,
It might get broke in two.

Yonder flies a turtle dove,
Wingin' from pine to pine;
I guess he mourns his own true love,
Just as I mourn for mine, Lord, mine,
Just as I mourn for mine.

I am a poor and a wanderin' soul,
Money have I none,
But I got the silver in the stars
And gold in the mornin' sun, Lord, sun,
Gold in the mornin' sun.

[Repeat first]

A thrillingly poignant song when Catesby and Cathy did it, many a year ago.

The turtle dove line is of course a staple of a few folk songs; I suspect the gold and silver line appears elsewhere too. The others seem pretty particular to this song, though.

Jim Chevallier
(chiming in a bit late here)

Chez Jim: Jim Chevallier's Web Site
JC's email


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Subject: Lyr Add: SATURDAY NIGHT (from Alan Lomax)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 07:24 PM

The remark above about "Saturday Night" deriving from "Woody Knows Nothing" is unfortunately backwards. "Saturday Night" is a great deal older; I'm pretty sure the "Woody knows nothing" line dates back only to about 1960.

Not sure who originated the "Woody Knows Nothing" version -- nor does it have anything to do with Woody Guthrie, despite the association of threads above -- "Woody" is a woodpecker, of course. It first appeared, I believe, no earlier than the early 1960s, and may have been associated with Bob Gibson(?? not sure about this part.) A clever addition to a much older song.

The "Woody" verse is a rewrite of one Susan Reed used to sing. I'm a bit vague on the wording, but here it is as I remember it:

Blackbird flyin' through the air,
Through the sky of blue,
Never did I know till the other day
What love, oh love, could do, do,
What love, oh love, could do.

Given Reed's family association with theater and arts professionals in New York, this verse may have been made up by somebody in that crowd. Or, given that she was taken on song collecting trips by her parents, it may be traditional.

Burl Ives was, I think, the first to record the song (but did not use the Blackbird verse). He seems to have learned "Saturday Night" from the singing of John A. Lomax, who put it together from verses of field hollers in Texas -- that's the likely deduction to be made from Alan Lomax's headnotes to the song as it appears in The Folk Songs of North America, p. 499-50. Or from Alan Lomax himself, who used it in concerts and recorded it on Kapp in the late 50s with seven verses, as follows.

SATURDAY NIGHT (from the singing of John Lomax)

Saturday night and Sunday too,
Pretty gals on my mind,
Monday mornin' break of day,
Old massa's got me gwine,
Old massa's got me gwine.

Jaybird pull a two hoss plough,
Sparrow, why won't you?
'Cause my legs is little and long,
I'm scared they'll pull in two, (2)

Monday morning, break of day,
White folks got me gwine,
Saturday night when the sun goes down,
That yaller gal am mine, (2)

Lightnin' is a yaller gal,
She lives up in the clouds,
Thunder is a black man,
An' he can holler loud, (2)

When he kisses Miss Lightnin'
She falls all in a wonder,
He jumps up and grabs the clouds,
And that's what makes it thunder.

Love it am a killin' thing,
Beauty am a blossom,
But if you want your finger bit,
Just poke it at a possum, (2)

I am gwine to die some day,
When it comes my time,
And the very last word I expect to say,
Is -- I wish that gal was mine.

I've always wondered whether the "Miss Lightnin'" pair of verses is traditional or made up by John Lomax -- it's almost too elegant for real folk. But it sure is picturesque.

Bob


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Subject: ADD: Pretty Little Turtle Dove (from Susan Reed)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:37 AM

In my message above, one mistake: just found a copy of Susan Reed's c. 1950 "Pretty Little Turtle Dove." The "Never did I know till the other day what love oh love could do" verse is really as you'll see below. Don't know where I got the blackbird line from; hers is much better:

Here is Susan Reed's full version:

PRETTY LITTLE TURTLE DOVE

Approximately as sung by Susan Reed on her 1950 Columbia LP Songs of the Auvergne (also possibly earlier, on 78 rpm record, not certain). I'm working from a paper copy, do not have the record to compare.

Pretty little turtle dove,
Sitting on a vine,
Mourning for his own true love,
As I shall mourn for mine, for mine,
And why not me for mine.

Up on the mountain the other day
The pretty little flowers blew,
Never did I know till the other day
What love, oh love, could do, could do,
What love, oh love, could do.

Now she's gone and left me,
Cryin' in the rain,
Mournin' for my own true love,
Who's never gonna come again, again,
Never gonna come again.

If I had a scoldin' wife,
I'd trounce her sure's you're born,
I'd take her down to New Orleans
And trade her off for corn, for corn,
Trade her off for corn.

I am a poor country boy,
Money I've got none,
But there's silver in the stars
And gold in the morning sun, sun,
Gold in the morning sun.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE TURTLE DOVE (from B L Lundsford)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:53 AM

The earliest source for this song may be Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Susan Reed may have gotten it from him; in the 1930s or 40s her parents, who circulated widely in search of folk songs, doubtless took her to his annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival at the Asheville City Auditorium, the best known folk festival of its day.

In Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Lamar Stringfield, "30 and 1 Folk Songs From the Southern Mountains," by New York, Carl Fischer, 1929, he has:

LITTLE TURTLE DOVE

Poor little turtle dove,
Sitting in the pine,
Mournin' for his own true love,
And why not me for mine, mine,
Why not me for mine.

Not a-gonna marry in the fall of the year,
I'm gonna marry in the spring,
I'm gonna marry a pretty little girl,
Who weas a silver ring, a ring,
Who wears a silver ring.

Not a-gonna marry in the spring of the year,
I'm gonna marry in the fall,
I'm gonna marry a pretty little girl
Who wears a dollar shawl, shawl,
Who wears a dollar shawl.

I went up on the mountain
To give my horn a blow,
Way down in the valley
I heard that rooster crow ...

My daddy had an old gray mare,
He rode her off to town,
Sold her for a new ten cents
An' got a nickel down ...

I went up on the mountain
To get a turn of corn,
Raccoon curled his tail around,
Possum broke his horn ...

An' there's hogs in the pen,,
Corn to feed 'em on,
All I want is a pretty little girl,
To feed them when I'm gone ...

The five-verse version published by Loyal Jones in "Minstrel of the Appalachians: The Story of Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Boone NC, Appalachian Consortium Press, 1984, is shorter, containing five of the above verses, with a few differences in phrasing.

Bob


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Subject: Lyr Add: PRETTY LITTLE TURTLE DOVE (f Susan Reed)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:59 AM

But if Susan Reed first heard the song from Bascom Lamar Lunsford, the mystery remains: where did she get her lyrics? Three of her five verses were at the time (1950), as far as I know, unique. Anyone know of an earlier source for these?

Up on the mountain the other day
The pretty little flowers blew,
Never did I know till the other day
What love, oh love, could do, could do,
What love, oh love, could do.

Now she's gone and left me,
Cryin' in the rain,
Mournin' for my own true love,
Who's never gonna come again, again,
Never gonna come again.

I am a poor country boy,
Money I've got none,
But there's silver in the stars
And gold in the morning sun, sun,
Gold in the morning sun.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PRETTY LITTLE TURTLE DOVE (f Susan Reed)
From: GUEST,Nancy Sherburne
Date: 07 Jul 07 - 01:51 AM

My parents had an old album by Susan Reed with Pretty Little Turtle Dove, The Riddle Song, and Gentle Johnny My Gingalo among others. My sister and I have no idea what happened to the album and have not been able to find a copy of it, perhaps because, as someone above said, it was a 78rpm rather than a 33-1/3. Anyhow, my memory differs as to the lyrics. She was a female, and would not be apt to sing the song as if she were a male, so the words I have been singing over the years are:

PRETTY LITTLE TURTLE DOVE (from Susan Reed)

Pretty little turtle dove,
Sitting in the pines,
Mourning for his own true love,
As I will be for mine, for mine,
As I will be for mine.

Up on the mountain the other day
The pretty little flowers grew,
Never, never know till the other day
What love, oh love, could do, could do,
What love, oh love, could do.

Now he's gone and left me,
Cryin' in the rain,
Mournin' for my own true love,
Who's never gonna come again, again,
Who's never gonna come again.

If I had a lazy man,
I'd scold him sure's you're born.
I'd pick him off to New Orleans
And trade him off for corn, for corn,
And trade him off for corn.

I am a poor country girl,
Money I've got none,
But there's silver in the stars
And gold in the morning sun, sun,
Gold in the morning sun.


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Subject: ADD: Blue Jay / Migrating Bird (Lal Waterson??)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 11:53 PM

I came across this lovely song this evening on a Grace Notes album titled Anchored to the Time, and found the lyrics on Reinhard Zierke's Website. Can anybody tell me more about this song? I understand it was written by Lal Waterson, but that's all I know.

MIGRATING BIRD
(Lal Waterson)

Farewell my migrating bird
God bless and keep you
As you leave these English shores

May your flight be feather light
And may your journey
Keep you safe from foreign wars

Fly on feathered wings
Warm clouds, soft winds
May you find your rest
In a safe nest

Keep your head in the sky
And you will hear
The battle pass you by


And now my BIG question is this: Grace Notes sang "Migrating Birds" in a medley with a song called "Blue Jay," which is identified as traditional. Can anybody post the lyrics to "Blue Jay" and tell us the song's origins?

Here's what I hear on the Grace Notes recording on their Anchored to the Time CD. Any corrections?

BLUE JAY
(traditional)

Blue jay pulls the four-horse plough,
Sparrow, why can't you?
"'Cause my legs is skinny and thin,
And they might get broken, too."

Redbird sittin' on a sycamore limb,
Singin' out his soul;
Big black snake climbed up that tree,
And he swallowed that poor boy whole.

Wild geese flyin' through the air,
Through the sky of blue;
They're now floatin' where the south wind blows,
So why not me and you?

I guess I found the answer to my question - "Blue Jay" is a version of "Woody Knows Nothing," so I'll move this over to the "Woody thread.
-Joe-


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Subject: Origin: Saturday Night/Woody Knows Nothing
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 01:43 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index has this song listed as "Saturday Night":

Saturday Night

DESCRIPTION: "Saturday night and Sunday too, Pretty gals on my mind. Monday mornin' break of day, Old Massa's got me goin'." The slave works through the week while looking forward to spending the weekend with the girls. Also has sundry floating verses
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1919 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: courting work slave animal floatingverses
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
BrownIII 459, "Saturday Night and Sunday Too" (1 fragment)
Lomax-FSNA 261, "Saturday Night" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 228, (no title) (1 short text, which also includes the "Little bees suck de blossoms" verse)

Roud #6704 (click)
File: LoF261

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Bibiography
Go to the Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2007 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: ADD fragment: Saturday Night and Sunday Too
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 04:08 AM

Well, here's the fragment from Brown, not that it's worth much:

#459
SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY TOO

Saturday night and Sunday too,
Pretty little girl is on my mind;
Monday morning at break of day,
The old folks have me gwine.

from Eugene C. Crawford, Trinity College student, December 5, 1919. White published it as a work song heard on Durham (NC) streets.


Page 533, Volume III, The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore (edited by Newman Ivey White)
Tune available in Volume V, #459, page 304


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: GUEST,stuart
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 07:35 AM

group: red clay ramblers -- album: twisted laurel;

bluejay pulled a four horse plow
sparrow why can't you?
'cuase my legs is little and long
and they might might getbroke in two

red bird sittin' on a sycamore limb
singin' out his soul
big black snake craled up that tree
and he swallowed that poor boy whole

wild geese flyin' through the air
through the sky so blue
they're now a floatin' where the south wind blows
so why not me and you

i always took the sequence of verses to refer
1) the difficulties of physical life on earth
2) the surrender to death
3) the reward in heaven


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: John Minear
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 09:00 AM

Guy Carawan puts some of these verses in his "Green, Green Rocky Road" version on the LP of the same title. It's always been my favorite version of that song.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 09:12 AM

Since the two are different versions of the same song, this thread is strongly allied to the "I'm Just a Country Boy" thread:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=16301&messages=63

It would be good if they could be crosslinked at the top. Bob
    Done. - Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: Artful Codger
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 05:04 PM

Bob's link above clickified: "I'm Just a Country Boy" thread. Actually, we now have at least six different titles for this song and at least two additional threads ("Gold in the morning sun" and "Silver in the stars").

Bob asked way back where Susan Reed's other verses came from. In a radio appearance where she sang this song (captured in this YouTube clip), she says that she "found the song in the mountains of North Carolina". She made no mention of altering the song. It's the second song in that clip.

The Red Clay Rambler version is essentially the Burl Ives version with three-part harmony, omitting his first verse ("Saturday morning and Sunday, too"). Susan Reed's tune shares the first two lines, but there the resemblance ends.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: GUEST,Trying to learn this on guitar - help please
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 04:02 PM

Hi all, my dad used to play this when I was younger and am now trying to work it out on the guitar, can remember the words, the rhythm but not much else. Does anyone know where it's possible to get a copy of Saturday night and Sunday morning too version from? Or download / youtube etc?

Many thanks


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: Amos
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 04:53 PM

Guest, trying:

"Woody knopws nothing" is fairly simple. It wanders from tonic to relative minor, to subdominant, and eventually to dominant.

Like this, for example:


C..........................Am.....
Woody knows nothin' but plucking on the bow
C........................F......
Pluckin' and the skies so blue.
C......................Am....
I never knew 'til I met you
F............G........C...Am
What loving love could do
F.......G.............C
What loving love could do.

This is from memory so you will have to fiddle with it until it sounds right for you, but it is a good start.


A


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: GUEST,Jim Chevallier
Date: 26 Dec 16 - 11:52 AM

And of course these days one can simply listen to Darling's version on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqiYqyXmwUA

Way more static than Catesby and Cathy's, that's for sure. Some songs gain by a little recycling.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 18 - 03:08 PM

This song is in my memory from growing up listening to a 1956 (?) recording on lp by Susan Reed (look her up on wikipedia). She apparently knew Burl Ives, but who learned from who I do not know.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: GUEST,Polly
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 07:30 AM

I bought Erik Darling's autobiography "I'd give my life" it comes with a CD which has 2 versions of Woody Knows Nothing on it.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: Nancy King
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 04:10 PM

What fun to go through this thread again! I still love the song.

Polly, thanks for the heads-up about the Erik Darling autobiography. I think I'll put it on my Xmas list...


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Subject: RE: Origin: Woody Knows Nothing / Saturday Night
From: GUEST,Polly
Date: 26 Oct 18 - 08:26 AM

You won't be disappointed Nancy :)
I love Woody Knows nothing also.


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