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Stewie Origins: He Had a Long Chain On (Jimmie Driftwood) (30) RE: Chords Req: Long Chain On 17 Oct 01


The note by Driftwood in the booklet accompanying the Bear Family boxed set of his recordings 'Americana' BCD 15465 is as follows:

    HE HAD A LONG CHAIN ON
    At the beginning of the Civil War the men in Arkansas where I live, Searcy and later Stone Counties, said they would not fight against the U.S. Government, neither would they fight against their friends in the South. They were rounded up and captured by the southern army and marched away to Little Rock in chains. I was told there were 100 of them and the odd man just wore a ball and chain whereas the other 99 were chained in three's. The man with the ball and chain got into the thick willows in a creek near my home and got away according to legend. He never was captured nor would he ever let the welded chain be cut off his body. Wherever I have sung this song, there have been differences of opinion as to its meaning. Alan Lomax thinks this is one of the greatest songs he has ever heard and he said, "Let each individual interpret it for himself." JD
--Stewie.


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