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Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley

DigiTrad:
LONESOME VALLEY


Related threads:
Lyr Add: I Got To Stand There By Myself (4)
Lyr Req: Reverend Mr. Black (3)


Bluesman and kde 01 Mar 01 - 12:41 AM
catspaw49 01 Mar 01 - 12:49 AM
Bluesman and kde 01 Mar 01 - 08:00 AM
LR Mole 01 Mar 01 - 09:03 AM
Inukshuk 01 Mar 01 - 09:22 AM
Bluesman and kde 01 Mar 01 - 09:56 AM
Brian Hoskin 01 Mar 01 - 01:26 PM
Metchosin 01 Mar 01 - 01:49 PM
Metchosin 01 Mar 01 - 01:52 PM
Stewie 01 Mar 01 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Raymond Wong 01 Mar 01 - 05:47 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 01 Mar 01 - 09:19 PM
Amos 01 Mar 01 - 09:29 PM
bflat 01 Mar 01 - 10:18 PM
mkebenn 02 Mar 01 - 07:42 AM
Burke 02 Mar 01 - 05:07 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 17 - 04:54 AM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 17 - 05:03 AM
Joe Offer 03 Jun 20 - 10:58 PM
Joe Offer 03 Jun 20 - 11:01 PM
Jack Campin 04 Jun 20 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 04 Jun 20 - 05:50 AM
cnd 04 Jun 20 - 10:44 AM
cnd 04 Jun 20 - 10:49 AM
cnd 04 Jun 20 - 10:58 AM
cnd 04 Jun 20 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,John Bari 09 Oct 21 - 11:30 PM
GUEST,Charlie Ipcar 10 Oct 21 - 01:03 PM
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Subject: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: Bluesman and kde
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 12:41 AM

'Nuther song I'd like the words to. Not sure of the title or who did it, but the first verse is something like: You gotta walk that lonesome highway, you gotta walk it by yourself, nobody else can walk it for you, you gotta walk it by yourself" Unquote!!!!! Mucho thanks again.....Jim (Got to get some sleep, check back with you folks tomorrow)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 12:49 AM

TRY THIS Its in the DT......Use the search box for some key words such as "got to walk" and you'll get results from the forum and the Database, the Digital Tradition.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: Bluesman and kde
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 08:00 AM

Thanks again, Spaw. I had thought at first that it was lonesome valley instead of lonesome highway. Shows how much I know!!!!!! LOL.................Jim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: LR Mole
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 09:03 AM

I only knew it from "The Reverend Mr. Black", a kind of story-song the Kingston Trio came out with after Dave Guard left :"He rode easy in the saddle,kind of tall and lean, and first you thought nothin but a streak of mean could make a man look so downright strong, but one look in his eyes and you knowed you was wrong..." A natural for Johnny Cash, if he hasn't covered it already. Or made a TV movie out of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: Inukshuk
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 09:22 AM

I'm sure have a record somewhere of Johnny Cash singing "Youve Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley." Fine rendition, slightly different words than in the DT


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: Bluesman and kde
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 09:56 AM

I was amazed at the short length of the song. Well, if I can't find any more words to it, I'll write my own. (Hey, aren't we blues pickers a nasty lot, pilfering songs from each other????? LOL) I've put together a really nice acoustic arrangement to the song. Really love the old acoustic stuff............Jim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 01:26 PM

Eric Bibb does a pretty good version of this, can't remember which album it's on though.

Brian


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE REVEREND MR. BLACK ^^
From: Metchosin
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 01:49 PM

THE REVEREND MR. BLACK

(Spoken) He rode easy in the saddle. He was tall and lean,
and at first you'd a-thought nothing but a streak of mean
could make a man look so down right strong,
but one look in his eyes and you knowed you was wrong.
He was a mountain of a man, and I want you to know.
He could preach hot hell or freezin' snow.
He carried a Bible in a canvas sack
and folks just called him The Reverend Mr. Black.
He was poor as a beggar, but he rode like a king.
Sometimes in the evening, I'd hear him sing:

Chorus
: I gotta walk that lonesome valley.
I got to walk it by myself.
Oh nobody else can walk it for me.
I got to walk it by myself.

(Spoken) If ever I could have thought this man in black
was soft and had any yellow up his back,
I gave that notion up the day a lumberjack came in and it wasn't to pray.
Yeah, he kicked open the meeting house door
and he cussed everybody up and down the floor!
Then, when things got quiet in the place,
he walked up and cussed in the preacher's face!
He hit that Reverend like a kick of a mule
and to my way of thinkin' it took a real fool
to turn the other face to that lumber jack,
but that's what he did, The Reverend Mr. Black.
He stood like a rock, a man among men
and he let that lumberjack hit him again,
and then with a voice as quiet as could be,
he cut him down like a big oak tree when he said:

Chorus

(Spoken) It's been many years since we had to part
and I guess I learned his ways by heart.
I can still hear his sermon's ring,
down in the valley where he used to sing.
I followed him, yes, sir, and I don't regret it
and I hope I will always be a credit
to his memory 'cause I want you to understand.
The Reverend Mr. Black was my old man!

Chorus

^^ Sort of a Big Bad John with a Bible in his hand.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: Metchosin
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 01:52 PM

oops, forgot to give credits....The Reverend Mr. Black - Billy Edd Wheeler / Jed Peters - Leiber Music, Stoller Music, Bexhill Music


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: Stewie
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 05:36 PM

I have 3 Billy Edd Wheeler albums and 'Rev Mr Black' is on each one of them - it's a bit like McTell and 'Streets of London'. It is way beyond time some of his stuff was reissued on CD, particularly since complete works of artists with only a fraction of his talent are available.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: GUEST,Raymond Wong
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 05:47 PM

Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger did a nice version of 'Lonesom Valley' in their 'Togther in Concert', one of my favorites. Their lyrics is a little bit different from the one in DT.

Raymond


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 09:19 PM

Pete Seeger, sings a verse that says;
Now, Daniel he was a Bible Hero
Was a Prophet, tried and true
Ina den of hungry lions,
He showed what Faith can do for you


Rich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: Amos
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 09:29 PM

This is white gospel of the old school, a good deal older than the Kingston Trio. In the 30's it was the template for "You Gotta Go Down, and Jine the Union". I don't know how far back it goes but it sure as hell predates johnny Cash, with all due respect.

A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: bflat
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 10:18 PM

So, after you walk that lonesome highway, you may still be lonesome. Ain't that a kick in the head? Or was it your head that was played with? In any event you are by yourself. And, nobody did it for you but yourself.... Poop!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: mkebenn
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 07:42 AM

THREE BEW ALBLUMS? Mike


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You Go to Walk That Lonesome Highway
From: Burke
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 05:07 PM

The original gospel version was "Jesus walked this lonesome valley." You can find the words at Cyberhymnal

The 3rd verse given in DT is the same as one of the verses in "There is a Balm in Gilead."


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Subject: ADD: You Gotta Go Down and Join the Union(Guthrie)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 17 - 04:54 AM

You Gotta Go Down And Join The Union

Adaptation by Woody Guthrie

You gotta go down and join the union
You gotta join it for youself
Aint nobody here can join it for you
You gotta go down and join the union for yourself

Brother's going down to join the union
He's gotta join it for himself
Aint nobody here can join it for him
He's gotta go down and join the union for himself

Sister's going down to join the union
She's gotta join it for herself
Aint nobody here can join it for her
She's gotta go down and join the union for herself

I'm going down to join the union
I'm going to join it for myself
Aint nobody here can join it for me
I'm going down to join the union for myself

We're going down to join the union
We're going to join it for ourselves
Aint nobody here can join it for us
We're going down to join the union for ourselves

Though the roads be rough and rocky
And the hills be steep and high
We will sing as we go marching
And we'll join the One Big Union by and by

You gotta go down and join the union
You gotta join it for youself
Aint nobody here can join it for you
You gotta go down and join the union for yourself

Notes

Woody adapted this song from the well known gospel song:

Lonesome Valley

You got to walk that lonesome valley
You got to walk it by yourself;
There's no one here can walk it for you
You got to walk it for yourself.

Some say John, he was a Baptist
But I say he was a Jew
It's written there, for all to see it
That he had the gospel too.

Though you cannot preach like Peter
And you cannot pray like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus
You can tell He died for all.

Jesus walked that lonesome valley etc.


Source: http://unionsong.com/u026.html

Woody Guthrie Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN8kGzHH00I


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Subject: ADD: Gonna Join That One Big Union (Woody Guthrie)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 17 - 05:03 AM

Can't say I think much of the lyrics I posted above. Here are the lyrics of the Woody Guthrie version, from the Guthrie family's Website, http://woodyguthrie.org/Lyrics/Gonna_Join_That_One_Big_Union.htm

GONNA JOIN THAT ONE BIG UNION
(Words and Music by Woody Guthrie)

I’m gonna join that one big union
I’m gonna join it by myself
Don’t want nobody to join it for me
I’m gonna join the one big union by myself

If the road gets rough and rocky
And the hills get steep and high
We will sing as we go marching
And we will win the one big union by and by

You gotta join that one big union
You gonna join it by yourself
Everybody here will join it with you
You’ve gonna join it by yourself

Brothers’ gotta join that one big union
Brothers’ gotta join by his self
Everybody here will join it with him
Brothers’ gotta join that one big union

Sisters’ gotta join that one big union
Sisters’ gotta join by his self
Everybody here will join it with her
Sisters’ gotta join that one big union

If the road gets rough and rocky
And the hills get steep and high
We will sing as we go marching
And we will win the one big union by and by.

 


© Copyright Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)
Woody Guthrie recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN8kGzHH00I


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Subject: RE: Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jun 20 - 10:58 PM

Lonesome Valley (I)

DESCRIPTION: "You've got to walk that lonesome valley, you've got to walk it by yourself; There's no one here can go there with you [or: walk it for you]; You've got to go there by yourself." Various floating verses about the difficult path to heaven
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (recording, Jenkins Family)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad floatingverses
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Randolph 622, "Some Folks Say John Was a Baptist" (1 fragmentary text, 1 tune -- a floating verse which, based on the tune, probably belongs here)
Warner 162, "Lonesome Valley" (1 text, 1 tune, sung and notated in three parts)
Sandburg, p. 486, "You Got To Cross It Foh Yohself" (1 text, 1 tune)
Parrish, p. 196, "I Got to Lay In Yonder Graveyard" (1 text)
Lomax-FSUSA 100, "Lonesome Valley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hutson/Pinckney/Rutledge, pp. 286-287, "Uh Look Down duh Road" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 762, "Lonesome Valley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 354, "Lonesome Valley" (1 text)
DT, LONEVALY

Roud #7098
RECORDINGS:
Roy Acuff & his Crazy Tenneseans, "Lonesome Valley" (OKeh 04730/Vocalion 04730/Conqueror 9256, 1939; Conqueror 9781, 1941; rec. 1937)
Carolina Ramblers String Band, "That Lonesome Valley" (Perfect 12818/Banner 32474/Oriole 8148/Romeo 5148/Melotone 12428, 1932)
Carter Family, "Lonesome Valley" (Victor 23541, 1931; Bluebird B-6117/Montgomery Ward M-4735, 1935) (OKeh 03112, 1935; Vocalion 03112, 1935; ARC 7-07-62/Conqueror 8815, 1937; on CGospel1)
"Slim" Duckett and "Pig" Norwood, "You Gotta Stand Judgment For Yourself" (OKeh ???, 1930)
Bill Elliott, "Lonesome Valley" (Victor 23658, 1932; Montgomery Ward M-4337 [as Jim Baird], c. 1933)
Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, "Don't This Road Look Rough and Rocky" (Columbia 21334, 1954)
Elzie Floyd & Leo Boswell, "Lonesome Valley" (Columbia 15167-D, 1927; Velvet Tone 2491-V/Clarion 5439-C, 1932)
Jenkins Family, "That Lonesome Valley" (OKeh 40377, 1925)
Heavenly Gospel Singers, "Walk This Lonesome Valley" (Bluebird B-6984, 1937)
J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers, "Walk That Lonesome Valley" (Bluebird B-6596/Montgomery Ward M-7007, 1936)
Curt Mann, "Lonesome Valley" (on USWarnerColl01)
[Lester] McFarland & [Robert] Gardner, "The Lonesome Valley" (Vocalion 5127, 1927)
Blind Willie McTell, "I Got to Cross the River of Jordan" (LoC, 1940, two versions; one version is on Babylon)
Blind Willie McTell, "I Got to Cross the River of Jordan" (LoC, 1940, two versions, on USWMcTell01; one version is on Babylon)
David Miller, "That Lonesome Valley" (Gennett 6175, 1927)
Mitchell's Christian Singers, "You Got to Stand Judgement" (Vocalion 04964, 1938)
Monroe Brothers, "You've Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley" (Bluebird B-6477, 1936)
Pete Seeger, "You've Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley" (on BroonzySeeger1); "Lonesome Valley" (on PeteSeeger47)
Ella Mae Wilson and Lillie B. Williams, "Trial in Judgment" (on USFlorida01)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Hard Trials" (floating verses)
cf. "I'm Going To Cross That Ocean By Myself" (lyrics)
SAME TUNE:
RECORDING: Dixie Reelers, "Lonesome Valley - Part 2" (Bluebird B-6713/Montgomery Ward M-7099, 1936)
NOTES [87 words]: The "Judgment" recordings all have the same form and tune as the "Lonesome Valley" versions. The difference is that "You've got to walk that lonesome valley... by yourself" becomes "You've got to stand your trial in judgment ... for yourself." The USFlorida01 version continues with "my father," "my son," "everybody," and so on, similar to the the Carter Family recording. Mitchell's Christian Singers use the "stand judgment" verse as a chorus the same way that Carolina String Band use the "Lonesome Valley" verse. - BS
Last updated in version 5.1
File: Wa162

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 2020 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jun 20 - 11:01 PM

Here's Woody's version:

Lonesome Valley
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
You gotta walk it by yourself,
Nobody here can walk it for you,
You gotta walk it by yourself.

Some people say that John was a Baptist,
Some folks say he was a Jew,
But your holy scripture tells you
That he was a preacher too.

Daniel was a Bible hero,
Was a prophet brave and true,
In a den of hungry lions
Proved what faith can do for you.

There's a road that leads to glory
Through a valley far away,
Nobody else can walk it for you,
They can only point the way.

Mamma and daddy loves you dearly,
Sister does and brother, too,
They may beg you to go with them,
But they cannot go for you.

I'm gonna walk that lonesome valley,
I'm gonna walk it by myself,
Don't want to nobody to walk it for me,
I'm gonna walk it by myself.

 


© 1963 (renewed) and 1977 (renewed) by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)

https://www.woodyguthrie.org/Lyrics/Lonesome_Valley.htm

Here's one more verse attributed to Woody Guthrie, although it's not on the Guthrie family Website:
    Samson when he was out walking,
    Killed a lion with his hands,
    But it took a pretty woman
    To show that Samson was a lamb.
Source: https://www.gwyneddmeeting.org/PdfHoldingFolder/GWYNSONG.pdf


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Subject: RE: Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 05:19 AM

It's quoted near the end of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and for me it became an obsessive inner soundtrack to the denouement of the book. I read it when it first came out in the mid-70s - it was very familiar then, I wonder which version Pirsig knew and expected his readers to know?


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Subject: RE: Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 05:50 AM

I suppose this one is the one I'd go with : Mississippi John Hurt - You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley


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Subject: RE: Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
From: cnd
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 10:44 AM

I'm surprised that before this we didn't have more on this song. I've personally got (at least) 10 different recordings of the song in my collection.

In a recording by Bill Mann (Walking With the Lord, Word WST 8325, 1961, "Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley"), he sings:
I must go and stand my trials
I've got to stand it by myself
Oh, nobody else can stand it for me
I've got to stand it by myself

In that recording they also change the chorus to be "Jesus my Lord will face it for you," which significantly changes the intentions of the song, in my opinion


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Subject: RE: Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
From: cnd
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 10:49 AM

Don Gibson ("That Lonesome Valley", My God Is Real, RCA Camden CAS-2317, 1967), he has the verse
Well, if you cannot sing like angels
If you cannot preach like Paul
You can tell this world about Jesus
You can tell me He died for all


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Subject: RE: Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
From: cnd
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 10:58 AM

From Frankie Robinson ("Lonesome Valley", The Era of Jim Reeves, Custom Records CS 1011, 1966) has the words
Mother said when she was dying
Just before her breath was gone
Put your trust in the Holy Jesus
Or you will be left alone...

When you get through that lonesome valley
And you knock upon His door
It'll open wide and you'll be welcome
And you'll walk alone no more


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Subject: RE: Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
From: cnd
Date: 04 Jun 20 - 11:03 AM

From J. T. Adams and The Men of Texas ("Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley", We've Come This Far By Faith, Word WST 8350, 1957), they sing:
You must go and meet your Maker
You must meet Him by yourself
Oh, nobody else can meet Him for you
You must meet Him by yourself


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Subject: RE: Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
From: GUEST,John Bari
Date: 09 Oct 21 - 11:30 PM

I've been reading that the first published version of the song was “I Must Walk My Lonesome Valley,” appearing in *Folk Song of the American Negro* by John Wesley Work, 1907. First recording was sung by The Jenkins Family on Okeh Records, 1925.

Apparently, Pete Seeger and the Guthries got their more well known version from - (or from a similar source as) - Mississippi John Hurt. But Hurt did not do one of the early recordings of the song. Rather he appeared on an episode of Pete Seeger's short-lived but influential television series in 1965 and laid it down then.

The many versions of the song all seem to be fairly similar, but with minor changes of pronouns, etc., and slightly different degrees of emphasis or de-emphasis of Christian imagery.

Reproduction of the 1907 book is here - https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b11858da2772cf01402ee6e/t/5babcec4eef1a1d9fb910bd3/1537986255103/Fisk-FolkSongoftheAmericanNegro-1915.pdf

Enlightening discussion is here - http://jopiepopie.blogspot.com/2014/01/that-lonesome-valley-1925-cant-you-hear.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: You Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley
From: GUEST,Charlie Ipcar
Date: 10 Oct 21 - 01:03 PM

John,

Thanks for the update.


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