The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #52484   Message #804130
Posted By: Coyote Breath
16-Oct-02 - 01:05 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Man of Constant Sorrow
Subject: RE: Origins: Man of Constant Sorrow
ParaHandy; I am not certain of this but I remember reading (I think in the NLCR Song book) that the tune is a Myxolidian structure, in F. Also that it was recorded at the old Wisconsin Chair Company factory in Port Washington, Wisconsin. I also read "somewhere" that it was one of the many hundreds of recordings which were "found" at the factory about the time the building was sold and contents auctioned off. There was an allusion to the line "for six long years I've been in trouble" as really being "for six long years I've been in prison". But I believe that might have been speculation. I can't recall whether I read all this or it is remembered from a conversation at Paul Prestopino's house in Madison, Wisconsin, while we were listening to some tapes Mike Seeger had sent to Paul (or Marshal Brickman). The songs were recorded from old 78's and other sources that Mike Seeger had gathered. I know that the original recording of "Man of Constant Sorrow" was one of the songs. If it is possible you might try to contact Mike Seeger as to the tunes origin. It IS an odd structure.

I'm sorry to be so vague about origins and sources but that was about 40 years ago or more.