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Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves (Rosalie Sorrells)

DigiTrad:
BABY-ROCKING MEDLEY (Rosalie Sorrels)
I'M GONNA TELL
LONESOME ROVING WOLVES


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rich-joy 05 May 04 - 04:11 AM
masato sakurai 05 May 04 - 05:23 AM
rich-joy 05 May 04 - 08:15 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 May 04 - 09:59 AM
masato sakurai 05 May 04 - 10:02 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 May 04 - 12:31 PM
rich-joy 27 May 04 - 01:25 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 May 04 - 01:14 PM
rich-joy 27 May 04 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,harpgirl 11 Jul 07 - 04:37 PM
Joe Offer 04 Dec 18 - 08:07 PM
Stewie 05 Dec 18 - 04:30 AM
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Subject: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves-rosalie sorrells
From: rich-joy
Date: 05 May 04 - 04:11 AM

Hi,
can anyone tell me something of the origins of Rosalie Sorrells' "Lonesome Roving Wolves"?

Did she write it from scratch? - and if so, what caused her to?
(I saw a post that said she "collected" it - so what is the history please?)

Thanks,

Cheers!
R-J


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves-rosalie sorrells
From: masato sakurai
Date: 05 May 04 - 05:23 AM

Copied from Thomas E. Cheney, ed., Mormon Songs From the Rocky Mountains (University of Texas Press, 1968, p. 46; words only), which says the song was recorded in Daniel Tyler's A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War (Salt Lake City, 1881, pp. 216-217):
          THE LONESOME ROVING WOLVES

The composer of this ballad, Levi Hancock, creates an encompassing, lonely mood as he tells of the death of a teamster, his last moans accompanied by the roar of high winds in the mountains and the howls of ravenous wolves.

Contributed by Jenny Hancock, Provo, Utah, November, 1959.
Other sources: 23 Tyler 216-217 (1881); 68 Fife MC, 601, 739 (Noah Stone, Fillmore, 1945 and 1946); 71 Sorrels and Fife.


The battalion encamped, by the side of the grove,
Where the pure waters flowed from the mountains above,
Our brave hunters came in from the chase of wild bulls,
All around rose the din of the howling wolves.

When the guards were all placed on the out-posts around,
The low hills and broad waters were alive with the sound,
Though the cold wind blew down the huge mountain shelves,
All was rife with a cry of the ravenous wolves.

Thus we watched the last breath of the teamster who lay,
In the cold grasp of death as his life wore away,
In deep anguish he moaned as if mocking his pain;
When the dying man groaned, the wolves howled a refrain.

For it seemed the wolves knew there was death in the camp
As the tones louder grew, the more hurried their tramp,
While the dead lay within with our grief to the full,
O how horrid a din, was the howl of the wolves.

Then we dug a deep grave, and we buried him there
All alone by the road not a stone to tell where,
But we piled brush and wood and burned over his grave
As a cheat to delude both the savage and wolf.

'Twas a sad, doleful night; we by sunrise next day
When the fifes and the drums had performed reveille,
When the teams were brought nigh, our baggage to pull,
One and all bade goodbye to the grave and the wolves.


Roud #10819


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves-rosalie sorrells
From: rich-joy
Date: 05 May 04 - 08:15 AM

Wow! THANKS Masato!!
(much appreciated)

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves-rosalie sorrells
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 May 04 - 09:59 AM

The Rosalie Sorrels version of "Roving Lonesome Wolves" is in the DT, a shortened version of the Levi Hancock poem about the death of the teamster.

"The Bullfight on the San Pedro" also by Levi Hancock, is in the DT in a much shortened version of the original poem. Music from Jenny Hancock is given with the poem on p. 43 of Cheney, T. E., ed., Mormon Songs From the Rocky Mountains.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves-rosalie sorrells
From: masato sakurai
Date: 05 May 04 - 10:02 AM

You're welcome, R-J.

This version from A SHORT SKETCH of the HANCOCK AND ADAMS FAMILIES seems to be the original:
On the 16, they came to a spring in a narrow canyon which they named Cook's Spring" which name it still bears. On the 17 they reached the copper mine road leading from the mine to Yamos. Along this they marched 18 miles over a gradually ascending prairie to Ojo De Vaca or Cow Spring, with courage undaunted they marched on, poorly clad and food diminished, crossed to the Continental Divide and on the 28 they reached the back bone of North America. Here they found plenty of deer, bear, and antelope and small game in the Sugar Loaf mountains. Grass was tall and at places tracts for the wagons were made by marching files of men ahead to tramp down the grass in ruts wherein the wheels might run. In places from the top of the Divide the wagons were lowered with ropes by hand to the bottom of the canyons while the animals were driven below. While crossing this mountainous region the Battalion had gone without water for 48 hours and each day their food grew less. On Dec. 2 they reached the ruins of the rancho San Bernadino and here the first wild cattle were found. They traveled to a stream called Ash Creek and there one of their number Elisha Smith, dies and was buried. The night was made hideous with the howls of large wolves. Descriptive of this event Levi W. Hancock wrote:

When our army had camped beside the green grove
Where the pure water ran from the mountain above
When our hunters, returned from chasing the bulls
We listened to the howls of the loathsome roving wolves.

When the guards were all stationed to their points around
On the top of the hills where the wild bull is found;
The wind blowed higher and approached us so cold
As we listened to the howls of the loathsome roving wolves.

Then the groans of the dying was heard in the camp
And the cold chilling frost was seen on the tents
Then the thoughts of our hearts can never be told
As we listened to the howls of the loathsome wolves.

Then we dug a deep grave and buried him there
All alone by the grove, not a mark to tell where,
We piled brush and wood and burnt over his grave,
As a cheat for the red man and loathsome howling wolves.

We arose in the morning as soon as 'twas day.
The fifes and drummers had played reveille,
Soon the mules were brought up, our baggage to pull
We then bid good-by to the loathsome howling wolves.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves-rosalie sorrells
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 May 04 - 12:31 PM

Another of Levi Hancock's poems, "The Desert Route," is given in thread 2964, along with some other Mormon songs.
It seems that Levi Hancock either revised some of his poems, or Jenny Hancock made some changes when she set them to music.

Incidentally "Dan Tucker," cited in the DT as the music for "The Bullfight on the San Pedro," is not the music given by Jenny Hancock for the poem (thread 2964).

Thread 2964: Mormon Songs


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves-rosalie sorrells
From: rich-joy
Date: 27 May 04 - 01:25 AM

Hmmm ... the version I've always sung with various a cappella harmony groups is different to the Rosalie Sorrels one in the DT ... (now, all of a sudden, "Sara Grey and Ellie Ellis" spring to mind - I wonder if I got it, back in the 80s, from a recording of theirs) ...

We sing it like this :

Oh the Mormons were camped, down by the green grove
Where the pure waters flow, from the mountains above
Our hunters just returned, from hunting the boar
And we listened to the howling of those
Lonesome Roving Wolves.         

Our guards they were stationed, at their posts all around
Down by the green grove, where the wild boar was found
Oh the wind it blew high, and approached us so cold
And we listened to the howling of those L.R.W.      

The sound of the dying, it was heard on the plain
Down by the green grove, there forever to remain
Oh the thoughts in our hearts, could never be told
As we listened to the howling of those L.R.W.         

The grave of the stranger, it was left on the plain
Down by the green grove, there forever to remain
To remember his grave, we left ashes and coal
To keep him from the savages and those L.R.W.

Well early next morning, just before the break of day
The fife and the drum, they did play the Reveillee
Our mules were brought in, our baggage to pull
And now we'll bid adieu, to those L.R.W.


What made me query this was the poem references to "wild bull" NOT "wild boar" (Q. were, or are, there wild boars in the U.S.A.??)


Also, US history not being my forte, could someone give me a brief synopsis (!!) of "the Mexican War" and the relevance of the "Mormon Battalion" involved, as stated in Masato's references???


Thanks a million!

Cheers!
R-J in Oz


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves-rosalie sorrells
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 May 04 - 01:14 PM

No wild boars at the time of the Mexican War. Don't know ho they got into your song. Only the little javelina (peccary) of the southwest border area (Mex.jabalina, or little boar, from Sp. jabali, or wild boar).
Are there wild boars now? Yes. They were brought to game ranches in the USA and Canada, and the meat appears on the menus of fancy restaurants (even in fancy groceries here now). But, like the active animals that they are, some have escaped and are becoming a problem. They are free also on the Big Island of Hawai'i where they were brought as a game animal.

Mexican War. Started as an argument over the border, but President Polk and the expansionists turned it into an opportunity to gain the southwest- New Mexico, Arizona, California, and, as they were part of these Mexican lands, parts of Colorado, Kansas, etc. etc.
Without going into the history books, this is the story of the Mormon Battalion from the summary in Cheney. "Polk and the national leaders, knowing that the Mormons were on the way to California or Oregon (names by which the western part of the United States was known) decided to make use of them to win the country. Five hundred men were called from the Mormon camps at Mount Pigsah and Council Bluffs [Iowa]. The Mormons responded...." "The march of the Mormon Battalion from Iowa to the Mexican border and thence to the sea was said to have been unparalleled in recent history in the misery it produced, though, considering the hardships of the handcart pioneers, ...an exaggeration." Levi Hancock, a folk artist, was called by Brigham Young to be spiritual advisor to the group. Hancock said "Without a guide who had traveled them, we have ventured into table lands, where water was not found for several marched..." "And General Kearney, when he heard details of the march, said..."*Bonaparte crossed the Alps, but these men have crossed a continent."
The march also had later consequences because it showed that a route to California without high mountain passes existed close to the (now) Mexican border; eventually the Southern Pacific railroad was built there.
Hancock verse:
    Ere the Battalion started out
    Upon that most important route,
    'Twas thus predicted by the tongue
    Of Apostle Brigham Young,
    "If to your God and country true,
    You'll have no fighting there to do."
    Was General Kearney satisfied?
    Yes, more- for he with martial pride
    Said, "O'er the Alps Napoleon went,
    But these men crossed a continent."

Brigham Young was correct, no battles were fought, only with the "wild bulls."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves-rosalie sorrells
From: rich-joy
Date: 27 May 04 - 06:17 PM

Thanks Q - much appreciated!!

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves-rosalie sorrells
From: GUEST,harpgirl
Date: 11 Jul 07 - 04:37 PM

can anyone point me to the tune of this song? Does Rosalie have any mp3's of it out there? (not the DB version)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves (Rosalie Sorrells)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Dec 18 - 08:07 PM

Here's the Rosalie Sorrels recording: I didn't find any other recordings, and there's no listing in the Traditional Ballad Index.
LONESOME ROVING WOLVES (Digital Tradition lyrics)

The Mormons were camped down by the green grove
Where the clear waters flow from the mountains above
The wind it approached, all chilly and cold
And we listened to the howling of those lonesome roving wolves

The groans of the dying were heard in our camp
And the cold chilly frost, it was seen on our tent
And the fear in our hearts can never be told
As we listened to the howling of those lonesome roving wolves

The grave of the stranger we left on the plain
Down by the green grove, there forever to remain
To remember his grave we left ashes and coals
To hide him from the savages and the lonesome roving wolves

But early next morning, just at the break of day
The drums and the fifes did play our reveille
Our mules were brought in, our baggage for to pull
And now we'll bid adieu to those lonesome roving wolves


@American @animal
From the singing of Rosalie Sorrels
filename[ ROVWOLVE
JN
oct96

This seems to be a good transcription of the Sorrells recording. I might quibble with a word or two, but nothing really to bother with.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lonesome Roving Wolves (Rosalie Sorrells)
From: Stewie
Date: 05 Dec 18 - 04:30 AM

R-J's recollection was correct. It was recorded by Sara Grey and Ellie Ellis on their 1981 LP 'A Breath of Fresh Air'.

--Stewie.


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