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Origins: Raleigh and Spencer

DigiTrad:
RALEIGH AND SPENCER


Related threads:
Sir Walter Raleigh Songs (14)
Chord Req: 'Raleigh and Spencer' (3)
Sir Walter Raleighs poem to his son (17)


steve goodbar 24 May 99 - 12:06 AM
Songbob 24 May 99 - 01:06 PM
Rasta 25 May 99 - 03:38 AM
Chris Seymour 21 May 00 - 08:37 PM
Jim Krause 23 May 00 - 01:26 PM
Chris Seymour 24 May 00 - 10:29 PM
GUEST 01 Feb 04 - 11:24 AM
Shanghaiceltic 02 Feb 04 - 12:50 AM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 04 - 01:33 AM
GUEST 02 Feb 04 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,Burnt_247@yahoo,com 08 May 04 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,just learning 08 Jul 04 - 05:45 PM
John in Brisbane 08 Oct 04 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 08 Oct 04 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,JTT 09 Oct 04 - 03:37 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 29 Oct 04 - 02:48 PM
Lighter 29 Oct 04 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,me 29 Nov 10 - 12:51 AM
GUEST,Jim Barnes 23 Nov 11 - 03:51 PM
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Subject: raleigh and spencer
From: steve goodbar
Date: 24 May 99 - 12:06 AM

does anybody have the original lyrics to "raleigh and spencer?"


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Subject: RE: raleigh and spencer
From: Songbob
Date: 24 May 99 - 01:06 PM

I have it as "Riley and Spencer" on a Fields Ward LP, but can't remember all the verses. I remember these:

Riley and Spencer are burning down,
Lord there ain't no likker in this town,
Lord, there ain't no likker in this town.

and (not the next one in the song, but the most memorable, to me:

You can trample the flowers on my grave,
But they'll rise and bloom again,
Lord, they'll rise and bloom again.

That's all that comes to mind enough to quote.

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: raleigh and spencer
From: Rasta
Date: 25 May 99 - 03:38 AM

Now thats Ironic, i just heard that song this morning on the radio fm 90.7 out of N.y. or N.J. maybe it was Laurie Lewis n friends. im not sure. Nicely done, a great tune Ill have to learn. are their more words available and are they on the data base, I know Ill look, by the way yesterday the 24 was B,Dylans birthday. so Happy birthdday Bob---------=====----Rastaaaaaaa


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Subject: ADD: Raleigh and Spencer ^^
From: Chris Seymour
Date: 21 May 00 - 08:37 PM

Reviving this thread because I am looking for more info. on this song, too. Below are the lyrics as sung by Laurie Lewis and Grant Street -- gorgeous duet with Tom Rozum. They credit the Hurricane Ridge Runners as their source but say nothing more about the song. (I've heard the name Hurricane Ridge Runners, but who are/were they? Anyone have a line on recordings?)

Meanwhile, I heard Bob Carlin sing and play a version at Old Songs last year that he adapted from Tommy Jarrell. Got the Jarrell recording (his fiddle album on County), and it's a significantly different tune with somewhat different words than Laurie Lewis et al. sing. I am drawn to Laurie Lewis' tune, but I don't know if it's because I heard her version first and/or because I love the harmonies on her recording or if I just like it better. Anyway, I'd love any info. on any and all recordings/versions of the song. Not to mention any info. on what's going on/what it's about.

Will post what the liner notes to Jarrell's album say, on request and will post his lyrics when I get time.

RALEIGH AND SPENCER

Raleigh and Spencer are burning down
Lord, there ain't no liquor in town
No, there ain't no liquor in town
What you gonna do to wet those lips
When this whole darn world's gone dry?
When this whole darn world's gone dry?

I've been all around this whole wide world
I've been down to Memphis, Tennessee
I've been down to Memphis, Tennessee
I've played cards with the king and the queen
Shot them dice with old Jesse James
Shot them dice with old Jesse James

I can eat more chicken than any one gal can fry
I can tell more lowdown lies
I can tell more lowdown lies
I can tell more lies than the stars in the skies
I'll never get to heaven when I die
No, I'll never get to heaven when I die

I've pawned my shoes for a bottle of booze
I drink it , I lay down and die
I drink it , I lay down and die
You can stomp down the flowers that grow round my grave
But they'll rise and bloom again
Yes, they'll rise and bloom again

Raleigh and Spencer are burning down
Lord, there ain't no liquor in town
No, there ain't no liquor in town

As sung by Laurie Lewis & Grant Street, "Singing' My Troubles Away," 1990 Flying Fish

CS ^^


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Subject: RE: raleigh and spencer
From: Jim Krause
Date: 23 May 00 - 01:26 PM

Here's the way the Euphoria Stringband did it on their CD Way Out West in Kansas

CHO. Oh Raleigh and Spencer done gone dry
There ain't no more whiskey in town
There ain't no more whiskey in town
1. I can eat more fat meat
Than you can cook in a week
And I'll tell more doggone lies
Yes, I'll tell them doggone lies
CHO.
2. I can eat more chicken than a pretty girl can fry
And I'll tell them doggone lies
I'll tell them doggone lies
CHO.
3. Well what you gonna do when your money is all gone
I'll hang my head down and cry
Yes, I'll hang my head down and cry
4. I'll pawn my shoes for a bottle of booze
I'll drink it, I'll lay down and die
I'll drink it, I'll lay down and die.
CHO.
5. You can stomp down the flowers that bloom on my grave
They'll rise and bloom once again
They'll rise and bloom once again
CHO.

This version is a combination of versions recorded by Tommy Jarrell, Brad Leftwich, and a version I heard live at the Augusta Heritage Foundation, Davis & Elkins College, Elkins WV. performed by Steffen Senders, Carol Elizabeth Jones, Raef Steffeninni, and a bass player whose name I have forgotten.


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Subject: RE: raleigh and spencer
From: Chris Seymour
Date: 24 May 00 - 10:29 PM

Thanks, Soddy --

Is that Euphoria Stringband CD available? Who are/were the Euphoria Stringband? Do you know how close the tune they play is to the one Tommy Jarrell played?

What I'm puzzling about is the relationship between Laurie Lewis' tune and Tommy Jarrell's. They're clearly related, but I'm wondering where Laurie got hers -- whether she got it from someone else or adapted it/rearranged it from Jarrell's. Any idears, anyone?
    Multiple threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 04 - 11:24 AM

What is the meaning of the words Raleigh and Spencer are burning down, in the song of the same name, could it have been a railroad, or the names of towns in North Caroline, Thanks for any info, love the song ,but would like to know what I am talking about.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 12:50 AM

http://www.hickorywind.org/000139.html

I found this, not much more insight but different words


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Subject: ADD Versions: Raleigh and Spencer
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 01:33 AM

I couldn't find any background information, but here are the lyrics as sung by Tim O'Brien:


Raleigh and Spencer
From Songs From the Mountain
(Traditional)

CHORUS:
Raleigh and Spencer was burning down
There ain't no liquor in this town
There ain't no liquor in this town

I'll pawn you my shoes for a little bottle of booze
I'll drink it down and lay right down and die
I'm gonna drink it and I'll lay right down and die

I'll eat more chicken that a pretty gal can fry
I'll tell you more doggone lies
I'll tell you more doggone lies

CHORUS

I'll eat more fat meat that you can cook in a week
I'll never get to heaven when I die
Ain't never gonna get to heaven when I die

I'll pawn you my watch, I'll pawn you my chain
I'll pawn you my gold wedding ring
I'll pawn you my gold wedding ring

You can tramp down the flowers all around my grave side
They'll rise and bloom again
They're gonna rise and bloom again

CHORUS


There's another version here:

Riley and Spencer

Raleigh and Spencer are burning down
No there ain't no liquor in town
No there ain't no liquor in town

Whatcha gonna do to wet them lips
When the whole darn town runs dry
When the whole darn town runs dry

I been all around this whole wide world
I been down to Memphis Tennessee
Yes I been down to Memphis Tennessee

I played cards with the kings and queens
I shot dice with old Jesse James
I shot dice with old Jesse James

I can eat more chicken than any one gal can fry
I can tell more low-down lies
I can tell more low-down lies

I can tell more lies than there're stars in the sky
And I ain't going to heaven when I die
No I ain't going to heaven when I die

I'd trade my shoes for one bottle of booze
I'd drink it I'd lay down and die
Yes I'd drink it I'd lay down and die

You can stomp down all the flowers that'll grow round my grave
But they'll rise and bloom again
Yes they'll rise and bloom again


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 04 - 09:40 PM

Thanks for the info and the effort in looking, I have searched the internet for any thing remotely connected and have not found anything. The towns of Raleigh and Spencer are about a 125 miles apart and during the "War" would image that they were burnt, Since the CD, Songs from the Mountain is dealing with music from the novel, Cold Mountain, I would guess that is the connection. thanks again


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: GUEST,Burnt_247@yahoo,com
Date: 08 May 04 - 03:19 AM

If you all like this song.. Yonder Mountain string band does it and they rip it up.. Check out the cd Mountain Tracks Vol.2..
www.yondermountain.com.. just a fan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: GUEST,just learning
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 05:45 PM

I am learning guitar.......every time I hear this song I stomp my feet. My question is this, does anyone know the chord progression to this song. I think it would be a lot of fun to play at local jams sessions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 10:39 AM

I have the tune if required.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 04:07 PM

Mike Seeger recorded this on his mountain music LP for Folkways in the early '60s. Sounds to me like it was written during Prohibition
--at least the lines about no more liquor in town and the whole world going dry.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 09 Oct 04 - 03:37 AM

Heh, and I assumed it was the well-known 16th-century psychopaths who burned down half of Ireland!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 02:48 PM

The song I believe first came to us via Tommy Jarrell of Toast, North Carolina just outside of Mount Airy. There were several black families in Mount Airy one of which was named Rawley and another named Spencer. There were three (Maybe more?)musicians by the name of Rawley, two of whom are buried in the graveyard close to Tommy Jarrell's old home place in Toast.

I am indebted to a wonderful new book "Strings of Life" by Kevin Donleavy for this information. Masses of information, photographs and interviews with musicians and their families and descendants from the North Carolina/Virginia border counties. There is even a photgraph of one Jim Rawley and in the book the song is referred to as "Rawley and Spencer".

I know this doesn't answer the question of what the song refers to but it should save us the trouble of scouring the maps.

If you are interested in the music and musicians of this area I thoroughly reccommend the book, published by Pocahontas Press in Blacksburg, Virginia.

This is not a commercial plug just wanted to let you know of a mine of information. I'm about a quarter way through at the moment and find it totally fascinating.

Perhaps Tommy's son Wayne,or Tommy's nephew Kester could throw some light on the subject of the song. Any Mudcatters down there ?????


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 03:00 PM

Why couldn't "Raleigh & Spencer" be a local liquor store or, as they used to be called, "grocery"? That's why there ain't no liquor in this town.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: GUEST,me
Date: 29 Nov 10 - 12:51 AM

Its D-----C G D C G D-----C G D C G


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Subject: RE: Origins: Raleigh and Spencer
From: GUEST,Jim Barnes
Date: 23 Nov 11 - 03:51 PM

I came across a recording of Galax, Va. singer Betsy Rutherford performing at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1976. She said that her father's cousin Fields Ward wrote the song, and that it is about two towns in West Virginia -- Riley (now Ripley) and Spencer, which are about 25 miles apart.


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