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Lyr Add: Soo St. Mary's Jail / Albany Jail

DigiTrad:
THE SOO STE. MARY'S JAIL


GUEST,Anne C 06 May 07 - 06:17 AM
katlaughing 06 May 07 - 11:04 AM
katlaughing 06 May 07 - 11:08 AM
Peace 06 May 07 - 05:56 PM
katlaughing 06 May 07 - 06:31 PM
Bat Goddess 06 May 07 - 07:03 PM
Joe Offer 06 May 07 - 11:01 PM
Peace 06 May 07 - 11:06 PM
Peace 06 May 07 - 11:17 PM
Peace 06 May 07 - 11:26 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 07 - 01:02 AM
GUEST,AMC 11 May 07 - 08:02 AM
GUEST 31 Oct 14 - 11:32 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SOO ST. MARY'S JAIL ^^^
From: GUEST,Anne C
Date: 06 May 07 - 06:17 AM

I came across the lyrics to SOO ST. MARY'S JAIL and find them very interesting. Does anyone know of a recording of this ballad? I would like to hear the tune.
Thanks,
Anne

The Soo St. Mary's Jail

Come all you brave and gallant boys and listen to my rhyme:
'Tis of that great and gallant band that's travelled in its time,
'Tis of some brave and gallant boys that's seen this world of pain,
It's little they thought they'd find themselves in the Soo St. Mary's Jail.

'Twas on the twenty-fourth of May we got so awful tight.
We strayed away to Canada and there got in a fight.
The policeman and the citizens with clubs they did us flail,
And they marched us off in single file to the Soo St. Mary's Jail.

They took us to the magistrate and searched us through and through,
It's little they found on any of us except a dollar or two.
They placed us under heavy bond and we could give no bail
So we had to wait for court next day in the Soo St. Mary's Jail.

Now every night when we've laid down we lie without a light
The lice around us they do crawl; the bedbugs they do bite.
Our ticks they are not very large, and our blankets they are frail,
But you couldn't expect a feather bed in the Soo St. Mary's Jail.

Now every Monday morning they give you an Irish stew,
And the remainder of the week it's buns and barley too.
It's only on Sunday they give you spuds that you pare with your fingernail
For a prisoner has no knife or fork in the Soo St. Mary's Jail.

Our keeper was a villain; I'll not tell you his name.
He treated us uncivilly, our turnkey did the same.
It's now my song is ended for the want of a gin cocktail,
So I'll bid you boys and girls adieu from the Soo St. Mary's Jail
    Apparently, these lyrics are copied form the Digital Tradition, which has lyrics from Folk Songs of Canada, Fowkes & Johnston. There is a MIDI tune in the DT.
    -Joe offer-


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Subject: RE: THE SOO STE. MARY'S JAIL - recordings?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 May 07 - 11:04 AM

There is a midi of it on THIS PAGE.


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Subject: RE: THE SOO STE. MARY'S JAIL - recordings?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 May 07 - 11:08 AM

Also, I found a cross-reference to "Albany Jail, The : Jehila Edwards" at The Folk Song Index.


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Subject: RE: The Soo Ste. Mary's Jail - recordings?
From: Peace
Date: 06 May 07 - 05:56 PM

ROUD #2324


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Subject: RE: The Soo Ste. Mary's Jail - recordings?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 May 07 - 06:31 PM

There's dots for it on this DT mirror site.


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Subject: RE: The Soo Ste. Mary's Jail - recordings?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 06 May 07 - 07:03 PM

And it's spelled wrong -- Sault Ste Marie.

Linn


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Subject: RE: The Soo Ste. Mary's Jail - recordings?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 07 - 11:01 PM

Now, Linn, did you ever hear of the "Sault Line" Railroad?

Roud lists two entries for this song - one in Folk Songs of Canada, Fowke & Johnston; and the other in Traditional Singers & Songs from Ontario, by Edith Fowke. The source for both is singer Dave McMahon. Following links posted above and other information, I see no indication of this song coming from any source other than Dave McMahon.

Any further information on the "Albany Jail" connection?

Where does this song come from???

The mystery doth wax intriguing.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Soo Ste. Mary's Jail - recordings?
From: Peace
Date: 06 May 07 - 11:06 PM

Sault Ste. Marie Jail, The (The Albany Jail)

DESCRIPTION: The singer laments his time in prison. After getting drunk, he had to be forcibly taken into custody, and the bail was more than he could raise. Now he suffers prison food and confinement (as well as a preacher who keeps on "until my ears got sore")
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1960
KEYWORDS: prison hardtimes drink
FOUND IN: US(MA) Canada(Ont)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
FSCatskills 168, "The Albany Jail" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, SOODTMRY*

Roud #2324
Notes: This song is item dE51 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW
File: FSC168

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2006 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: The Soo Ste. Mary's Jail - recordings?
From: Peace
Date: 06 May 07 - 11:17 PM

Now THAT is magic. Please understand that I did not do that. THAT was done by Joe I think, or a clone. Man, it looks like something Q, Malcolm, Jim or Masato woulda done.
    Tee-hee. -Joe O-


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Subject: RE: The Soo Ste. Mary's Jail - recordings?
From: Peace
Date: 06 May 07 - 11:26 PM

As an aside, the Albany jail has quite a history.


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Subject: ADD: Albany Jail
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 07 - 01:02 AM

You can see that "Albany Jail" is very closely related.
-Joe-
From Folk Songs of the Catskills (Cazden, Haufrecht, Studer)


168. The Albany Jail
In his article, "Catskill Lockup Songs" (NYFQ 16), Norman Cazden confidently ascribed this song text of George Edwards to the singer's father, Jehila "Pat" Edwards. The tune, which is a variant of #178, "I Walk the Road Again," was also then deemed unique to the Catskill tradition. Neither claim has proven valid. Observations about the provenance of the tune are given with #178, and they have served as subject of a paper by Cazden, read to the sessions of the Society for Ethnomusicology in 1972.
The text of The Albany Jail is unquestionably a shorter form of The Soo St. Many's Jail, collected in Ontario. That has a tune of the same strain, such as has proven to be common in the lumbercamp tradition. In her notes to that version, Edith Fowke generously suggests that the Ontario form derived from the Catskill "original," but there is indeed nothing to support such a conjecture. Quite as likely, the migration went the other way 'round, traveling the route of the itinerant lumbermen.
It is even more probable that both forms derive from an older model, perhaps still to be found in Irish sources, as with the tune. Regarding that possibility of an ancestral form, it is perhaps striking that neither of the place names, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario or Albany, New York, fit properly to the rhythm of the tune.
The Albany Jail is almost certainly not about anything that could have happened to George Edwards himself, though he refrained most carefully and elaborately from saying so. Yet he was not to be outdone by any other singer, even where the theme of a lockup song came uncomfortably close to suggesting personal experience, in this instance of his father.
Harold Thompson notes another song text called The Albany Jail. It is a fragment lacking in narrative content, and it is more likely related to #169, The Delhi Jail.

The Albany Jail
As sung by George Edwards

i. Come all you good old people, listen to my rhyme
Of a gay and a galliant crowd traveled in their time;
It's of a gay and a galliant crowd that suffered a world of pain,
And little did they think to find themselves in Albany Jail.

2. 'Twas on the fourteenth of July I got so awful tight
A-taking shoats to Binghamton, I got into a fight;
The civvies and the brakesmen, with clubs they did me besail;
They marched me right straight over to the Albany Jail.

3. They took us to the squire's and they searched me through and through;
Little did they find upon me except a stump or two;
They put me under five hundred dollars; of course I could get no bail,
They marched me right straight back again to Albany Jail.

4. They put me in the cell, it was on the second floor;
When I wanted anything, I'd rap upon the door;
When the bread'd come around, I'd shove out my little pail
To get my bootleg coffee in Albany Jail.

s. Every Sunday's morning they'd open the outside door:
listened to the preacher until my ears got sore;
I listened to the girl that played onto her pianner:
I took another distance from Albany Jail.


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Subject: RE: The Soo Ste. Mary's Jail - recordings?/Albany Jail
From: GUEST,AMC
Date: 11 May 07 - 08:02 AM

Has anybody recorded this song in recent years?

Anne


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Soo St. Mary's Jail / Albany Jail
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Oct 14 - 11:32 AM

I recorded it an album of songs from the Battle Ground Folk Festival in Indiana, also on a cassette called Traditional Songs of Michigan. Edith Fowke collected it, I think from John Doherty who came from Peterborough, Ontario. It's in her book Traditional Singers and Songs from Ontario. If you sing it to the tune of Save Your Money When You're Young/The Good Old State of Maine/I Walk the Road Again etc, you won't be far off.


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