The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #112352   Message #3789701
Posted By: Joe Offer
11-May-16 - 02:03 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Times Are Getting Hard Boys
Subject: RE: Origins: Times Are Getting Hard Boys
I thought this song more-or-less came from Lee Hays, but the Traditional Ballad Index says there are earlier versions:

Times Gettin' Hard

DESCRIPTION: "Times gettin' hard, boys, Money's gettin' scarce. If times don't get much better, boys, I'm bound to leave this place." "Take my true love by the hand, lead her through the town...." The singer prepares to depart for (California?) where times are better
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (Sandburg; recording by Jaybird Coleman)
KEYWORDS: hardtimes poverty exile
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Sandburg, p. 242, "Times Gettin Hard, Boys" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 117, "Times Are Getting Hard" (1 text)

Roud #15620
Jaybird Coleman, "Times Gettin' Hard -- Work's Been Gettin' Scarce" (Gennett, unissued; rec. 1927)
Pete Seeger, "Time's A-getting Hard" (on PeteSeeger06, PeteSeegerCD01) (on PeteSeeger26)
Wiggins Bros., "Times Am Gittin' Hard" (Brunswick 260, 1928)

File: San242

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

Here are the Digital Tradition lyrics, arranged by Hays:

(Trad.; arranged and expanded by Lee Hays)

Times are getting hard, boys,
Money's getting scarce
If things don't get no better, boys,
Gonna leave this place

Take my true love by the hand
Lead her thru the town.
Saying good-bye to everyone
Good-bye to everyone.

Take my bible from the bed
Shotgun from the wall
Take old Sal and hitch her up
The wagon for to haul.

Pile the chairs and beds up high
Let nothing drag the ground.
Sal can pull and we can push
We're bound to leave this town.

Made a crop a year ago
It withered to the ground
Tried to get some credit
But the banker turned me down

But I'm goin' to Californ-i-ay
Where everything is green
Goin' to have the best ole farm
That you have ever seen.

Copyright TRO, renewed 1977 Folkways Music Publishers Inc.
@travel @love
filename[ TIMESARE