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Lyr Req: Boat's Up the River

GUEST,GDL in Lynchburg 25 Mar 02 - 08:22 PM
MarkS 25 Mar 02 - 09:19 PM
Sorcha 26 Mar 02 - 12:24 PM
masato sakurai 26 Mar 02 - 01:35 PM
raredance 26 Mar 02 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,NICK 27 Mar 02 - 12:11 PM
masato sakurai 07 May 02 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,NICK 07 May 02 - 04:45 AM
greg stephens 07 May 02 - 05:31 AM
Charley Noble 07 May 02 - 01:23 PM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 04 - 09:58 PM
Q 03 Oct 04 - 11:25 PM
Q 04 Oct 04 - 12:23 AM
GUEST,Henry 04 Oct 04 - 08:25 AM
harpgirl 17 Oct 04 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Larry 16 Feb 05 - 01:10 PM
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Subject: Boats up the river lyrics
From: GUEST,GDL in Lynchburg
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 08:22 PM

I would like some help in deciphering lyrics from a song: Boat's Up the River by Mike Seeger with Olabelle and David Reed from Mike's Third Annual Farewell Reunion CD. In the verse that starts "there's just one thing troubles my mind, it's my old-------she won't keep time" can anyone who has heard the song tell me what is being sung in between "old" and "time"? Thanks in advance for any assistance.


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Subject: RE: Boats up the river lyrics
From: MarkS
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 09:19 PM

Got me fooled, but the visitors to this forum will be able to help if anybody can
Mark


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Subject: RE: Boats up the river lyrics
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 12:24 PM

No luck. Anybody else?


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOAT'S UP THE RIVER (Roscoe Holcomb)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 01:35 PM

BOAT'S UP THE RIVER
(Roscoe Holcomb)

The boat's up the river and it won't come down,
Then I believe to my soul, Lord, that I'm waterbound.

If the river was whiskey and I was a duck,
Lord, I'd dive to the bottom and I'd never come up.

Going down to the river, take my rocking chair,
If that blues overtakes me, rock away from here.

The boat's up the river and it won't come down,
Then I believe to my soul, Lord, that I'm waterbound.

I'll go down to the river, and I'll set right down,
If those blues don't leave me, jump in the river and drown.

Repeat first verse.

(From: Fly Bredenberg and Stephen Cicchetti, Old-Time Country Guitar, Oak, 1976, p. 35; with Tab)

Here's a list of recordings from Folk Music Index.

Boat's Up the River

Rt - Freight Train
1. Holcomb, Roscoe. High Lonesome Sound, Folkways FA 2368, LP (1965), cut#B.01
2. Holcomb, Roscoe. High Lonesome Sound, Smithsonian SF 40104, CD (1998), cut#11
3. Holcomb, Roscoe. Old-Time Country Guitar, Oak, Sof (1976), p34
4. Jackson, John. Blues and Country Dance Tunes from Virginia, Arhoolie F-1025, LP (1966), cut#B.05
5. Powell, Dirk;, John Herrman, Tom Sauber. One Eyed Dog, Yodel-Ay-Hee 008, Cas (1993), cut# 9
6. Reed, Ola Belle. Old Time Banjo in America, Kicking Mule KM 204, LP (1978), cut# 15
7. Reed, Ola Belle. Third Annual Farewell Reunion, Rounder 0313, CD (1994), cut# 6
8. Reed, Ola Belle; and Family. Ola Belle Reed & Family, Rounder 0077, LP (1977), cut# 10
9. Sparkill Creek Seranaders. Young Fogies, Vol. II, Rounder 0369, CD (1995), cut#17

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Boats up the river lyrics
From: raredance
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 08:03 PM

i'm in agreement with MarkS and Sorcha

rich r


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Subject: RE: Boats up the river lyrics
From: GUEST,NICK
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 12:11 PM

Vaguely recall - although it's a long time since I listened to the great Ola Belle - it might be "... that old water ferry and she..."

Regrettably Rounder have no plans to reissue her work. On a similar theme a recent Bluegrass song book credited her 'High On A Mountain' to someone else.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOAT'S UP THE RIVER (Ola Belle Reed)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 07 May 02 - 04:24 AM

Boat's Up The River
~Ola Belle Reed

Boat's up the river won't come down
tell by the way she's comin', Alabamy bound.
Alabamy bound, boys, Alabamy bound
Tell by the way she's comin', Alabamy bound.

Well there' just one thing that bothers my mind
it's my old Waterbury, she can't keep time
She won't keep time boys, can't keep time
it's my old Waterbury, she can't keep time

(From: HERE)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Boats up the river lyrics
From: GUEST,NICK
Date: 07 May 02 - 04:45 AM

Ah ha! Starts to make sense - see: http://www.oldwatch.com/waterbury.html


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Subject: RE: Boats up the river lyrics
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 May 02 - 05:31 AM

There's something pretty weirdly unnatural about this Masato guy.


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Subject: RE: Boats up the river lyrics
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 May 02 - 01:23 PM

Great catch, Masato!


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Subject: ADD: Big Boat (PP&M)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:58 PM

I suppose Peter, Paul and Mary got their song from this one. Here's theri version. It's on their (Moving) album. I got the lyrics from peterpaulandmary.com
Are there other versions that are as far from the Seeger-Reed-Holcomb versions?
-Joe Offer-

BIG BOAT
Stookey/Lane/Okun/Mezzetti- Pepamar Music Inc. ASCAP

I went up the levee to pack some sacks
And I thought I'd bring me some money back.
Big boat up the river and she can't come down.
My woman on the levee wearing a frown.

Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river and she can't come down

Somebody tell that woman
Somebody tell that woman
Somebody tell that woman
There's a big boat up the river and she can't come down

Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river blowing loud and fast
If she don't get to deep water she'll never land
And my woman on the levee shaking her hand,
She thinks she's gonna quit me for another man

Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river and she can't come down

Somebody tell that woman
Somebody tell that woman
Somebody tell that woman
There's a big boat up the river and she can't come down

Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river blowing loud and fast
And my woman on the levee feeling mighty sad
She thinks I got the money that I once had had
But when I get her home it's gonna be too bad.

Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river and she can't come down
Big boat up the river and she can't come down

Somebody tell that woman
Somebody tell that woman
Somebody tell that woman
There's a big boat up the river and she can't come down


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIG BOAT UP THE RIVER
From: Q
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 11:25 PM

The one I remember is by Harry Belafonte.

Lyr. Add: BIG BOAT UP THE RIVER
Words-Music, Dixon

Big boat up the river hauling seven ton
Coming up from Natchez on the Memphis run
Paddle wheel a slipping and the keel done cracked
Mean old Mississippi trying to hold me back.

Won't somebody tell my woman (3x)

Big boat up the river and it won't come down (3x)

Captain told the stokers well pack her tight
Got to get to Memphis by tomorrow night
Coming up the Delta well the fathom set
Captain, Lord, Captain tell me where I at.

Big boat a comin' in the pitch black night
That Mississippi fog that hits the pilot's light
Gauging, Mr Gauger what's that rumbling sound
Sandbank dead ahead and we done run on ground.

My woman says she loves me and I know it's true
But I've done done something that you just dont do
Stayed from home too long and now I see
Some Natchez man is tryin' to take my gal from me.

He's messing around with my woman
Messing around with my woman
He's messing around with my woman

When I go off this I'm gonna stay on land
Gonna take my little woman well a by the hand
Build me a cabin on a high old hill
Get me a rocking-chair and sit right still
But on some quiet night when the wind done rift
The sounds from the river begin to drift
Some lonely rambler with a tearful eye
Will touch my heart with his mournful cry.

Big Boat Up the River


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALABAMA BOUND
From: Q
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 12:23 AM

Antecedents to this song have been posted before, especially in the thread on Steamboat Coonjine Songs, 54404: Coonjine Songs

Two verses from Newman I. White, "American Negro Folk Songs," collected in 1915, sung on Tennessee River boats, repeated from that thread (only fragments collected):

The boat's up the river and she won't come down,
I believe to my soul she must be water bound.

The boat's up the river and she won't come down,
One long-lonesome-blow and she won't come down.

Possibly related is this River song:

Lyr. Add: ALABAMA BOUND (steamboat song)

Oh, de boat's up de ribber,
An' de tide's gone down;
Believe to mah soul dat
She's Alabama boun'.

"Where was you, sweet Mama,
When de boat went down?"
"On de deck, baby, yellin',
'Alabama boun'!'"

Got a train in Cairo
Forty coaches long
All I want dat train to do
Is fetch mah gal along.

Doctuh Cook's in town,
Doctuh Cook's in town
He foun' de No'th Pole so doggone cold
He's Alabama boun'.

Sung by Tom Gregory of Georgia. From Satis N. Coleman and Adolph Bregman, 1942, "Songs of American Folks," pp. 62-63. Reproduced in Botkin, B. A., 1955 (1978 Bonanza), "A Treasury of Mississippi Folklore," p. 598 with music.
Many variants.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOAT'S UP THE RIVER (Ola Belle Reed)
From: GUEST,Henry
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 08:25 AM

Here's another interpretation;

Boat's Up The River ~ Ola Belle Reed

Boat's up the river won't come down
tell by the way she's comin', Alabamy bound.
Alabamy bound, boys, Alabamy bound
Tell by the way she's comin', Alabamy bound.

Well there' just one thing that bothers my mind
it's my old Waterbury, she can't keep time
She won't keep time boys, can't keep time
it's my old Waterbury, she can't keep time

http://www.dubba.com/hookah/lyrics/boatsuptheriver.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Boat's Up the River
From: harpgirl
Date: 17 Oct 04 - 01:43 PM

I'm nuts about this song but I can't figure out how Roscoe Holcomb has his guitar tuned since I am not a slick guitar player. Anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Boat's Up the River
From: GUEST,Larry
Date: 16 Feb 05 - 01:10 PM

I believe that Holcomb has his guitar tuned in what I call a "Open G Banjo tuning"

From the 6th string on down, here it is as follows.

String 6: G
String 5: G
String 4: D
String 3: G
String 2: B
String 1: D

On most of the songs that Holcomb did on guitar, this is the most common tuning.

If this helps, let me know.

Larry


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