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twag Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins (32) RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Digg 28 Jan 08

The version of 'Few Days' that OAT (Oak Ash & Thorn, Dave Swan op cit.) perform is taken from a recording made in the early '70s by The Arkansas Sheiks, a SF Bay area string band of fond memory. The words and structure are almost identical to the entry given here in the Digitrad and cited to The Golden Ring. That's the limit of our provenance, but the sense of several lines as received would indicate that this version at least was mining specific. E.G.

These bankin' thieves I will not trust, Few Days (bis)
But with me take my little dust, ...


For years I've labored in cold ground...etc.

As we occasionally do, OAT has added a couple of verses to extend the the song for performance purposes--being basically too lazy and arrogant and generally in our cups to bother with actually -researching- the tune and mining true nuggets from original sources.

No, wait...where did all these variants come from in the first place?


Firmly rooted in the heart of the folk process, OAT (in this case Doug Olsen) have penned and performed additional verses to flesh out the limited number of verses we initially encountered, just so we could go on singing a few more verses without repeating ourselves, and to give our audience a chance to grab the choral ring on a few more passes.

Here FWIW are the additional verses from our delivery:

For two long years I've worked this claim, Few Days etc.
But I've played my last hand in this game, and I am going home.

A few more rolling years at most, Few Days...
And then I'll land on Glory's Coast, ...

and this, I believe, from the Sheiks' recording but not represented in the Digitrad:

A few more days of wind and rain, Few Days...
A few more days of suffin' pain, ....


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