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Riverboat Songs?

harpgirl 08 Apr 99 - 12:16 AM
Art Thieme 08 Apr 99 - 12:59 AM
Sandy Paton 08 Apr 99 - 01:07 AM
Art Thieme 08 Apr 99 - 01:23 AM
Sandy Paton 08 Apr 99 - 02:43 AM
Brian Hoskin 08 Apr 99 - 03:10 AM
dwditty 08 Apr 99 - 05:12 AM
Liam's Brother 08 Apr 99 - 06:08 AM
catspaw49 08 Apr 99 - 06:20 AM
Art Thieme 08 Apr 99 - 10:08 AM
Sandy Paton 08 Apr 99 - 01:47 PM
Sandy Paton 08 Apr 99 - 03:00 PM
Art Thieme 08 Apr 99 - 08:57 PM
Arkie 08 Apr 99 - 09:54 PM
John in Brisbane 08 Apr 99 - 11:59 PM
dtfb@bigfoot.com 09 Apr 99 - 12:55 AM
Art Thieme 09 Apr 99 - 01:22 AM
Sandy Paton 09 Apr 99 - 02:09 AM
Wolfgang 09 Apr 99 - 08:27 AM
Arkie 09 Apr 99 - 11:45 AM
Arkie 09 Apr 99 - 11:50 AM
Sandy Paton 09 Apr 99 - 01:01 PM
Art Thieme 10 Apr 99 - 02:06 AM
catspaw49 10 Apr 99 - 02:25 AM
LEJ 10 Apr 99 - 02:31 AM
harpgirl 10 Apr 99 - 09:38 AM
Art Thieme 10 Apr 99 - 10:18 AM
Art Thieme 10 Apr 99 - 10:31 AM
harpgirl 10 Apr 99 - 10:57 AM
tucker 10 Apr 99 - 12:14 PM
harpgirl 10 Apr 99 - 01:08 PM
tucker 11 Apr 99 - 01:09 AM
catspaw49 11 Apr 99 - 01:40 AM
Banjer 11 Apr 99 - 01:44 AM
Banjer 11 Apr 99 - 01:46 AM
Tucker 11 Apr 99 - 02:02 AM
catspaw49 11 Apr 99 - 02:05 AM
catspaw49 11 Apr 99 - 02:08 AM
Banjer 11 Apr 99 - 02:10 AM
catspaw49 11 Apr 99 - 03:07 AM
Tucker 11 Apr 99 - 11:13 AM
Susan A-R 11 Apr 99 - 11:50 AM
harpgirl 11 Apr 99 - 12:19 PM
catspaw49 11 Apr 99 - 01:34 PM
Tucker 11 Apr 99 - 02:25 PM
Tucker 11 Apr 99 - 02:26 PM
harpgirl 11 Apr 99 - 02:29 PM
Banjer 11 Apr 99 - 04:11 PM
harpgirl 11 Apr 99 - 05:49 PM
Banjer 11 Apr 99 - 05:56 PM
Paul G. 11 Apr 99 - 08:27 PM
harpgirl 11 Apr 99 - 08:48 PM
Art Thieme 12 Apr 99 - 02:04 AM
Art Thieme 12 Apr 99 - 02:09 AM
Mumbles 12 Apr 99 - 03:09 AM
catspaw49 12 Apr 99 - 03:14 AM
Paul G. 12 Apr 99 - 09:21 PM
campfire 22 Apr 99 - 02:44 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Jan 01 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 22 Jan 01 - 08:29 PM
walkinman 23 Jan 01 - 05:34 AM
Art Thieme 24 Jan 01 - 08:18 PM
wysiwyg 24 Jan 01 - 09:33 PM
wysiwyg 24 Jan 01 - 09:41 PM
Sandy Paton 24 Jan 01 - 11:55 PM
Art Thieme 15 Feb 01 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,hg 18 Mar 13 - 05:06 PM
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GUEST,hg 18 Mar 13 - 10:37 PM
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Subject: Riverboat Songs?
From: harpgirl
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 12:16 AM

How about fixin me up with a list of riverboat songs y'all? my favorites are Delta Queen Waltz, Glendy Burke, What Does the Deep Sea Say...I'll take lyrics and midis...and history and jokes of course, Art! harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 12:59 AM

Harp, first let me congratulate you in front of everyone for winning the autoharp competition at the big Florida folk bash---which one was that again? Way to go, kid!

I think I've posted all the riverboat stuff I've got in other threads. Sorry!!

Only kidding!

Mike Fink had a bet with a fellow that he could jump the Mississippi. He stood on the bluff, came tearing down the slope and got a good head o' steam up before he L-----E-----A-----P-----E-----D !!!!!!!!! Half way across, he realized he couldn't make it, so he turned around and went back.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 01:07 AM

Harpgirl: What you really need is a copy of May Wheeler's Steamboatin' Days, a wonderful collection of Ohio river boatman songs published around 1940. If you can't find one in your library, or get one on interlibrary loan, let me know. I have an extra copy I could lend you for awhile. I've been singing "Rowdy Soul," "Hoo, Hoo, Didn't I Do," "Come, Love, Come," and others from this book (often with extended texts drawn from other songs in the book) for years. It's a great source!

Also, check out Bob Dyer's "Big Jim Johnson," "Huckleberry Finn," "River of the Big Canoes," and others. Bob's songbook is out-of-print right now, but he has a CD available. He's from Boonville, Missouri, right on the big river and is a fine historian/songmaker. His good friends Cathy Barton and Dave Para have also recorded several of his songs, plus "Bayou Sara" and a few other riverboat songs. Then, and importantly, there's old "Condom Art's" cassette of river songs that he sang while hosting and hoodwinking the tourists on the lovely old Julia Belle Swain (now doing cruises out of LaCrosse, Wisconsin). You can surely get a copy of Art's cassette direct from him, now that he's unpacked his stuff and settled into his new digs.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 01:23 AM

"Delta Queen Waltz" by Mr. John Hartford is simply a beautiful song. And those multiple fiddles are about the most lush and delicious sound I've ever heard on a recording. John is a damn genius, and that's all there is to it.

Some of his phrases and imagery are simply brilliant. My favorite phrase in this particular song has to be: "LIKE A PRESENT HEREAFTER"!! What a marvelous way to say that something is just heavenly---and it's right "here and now"---not pie in the sky. We do (me thinks) make our own heaven and hell. See __The Book of Thomas__ which some maneuvered to keep out of the Bible. Sorry for the digression. On the river, if ya go with the flow you'll find the grandest adventures.

Art


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 02:43 AM

Hartford's "Old Time Riverman" is another fine song, also recorded by the Mudcat's own Rick Fielding, who includes another fine riverboat song, "Lifeline" by Glen Reid, on his CD. In fact, that's the title song of the recording!

I realize that "roustabout songs" are not exactly what you're after, Harpgirl, but many of them also mention the names of various famous old steamboats.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 03:10 AM

I agree with Sandy, get hold of a copy of Mary Wheeler's 'Steamboatin' Days' - here's the full reference:

Wheeler, M. (1944) Steamboatin' Days: Folk Songs of the River Packet Era. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

Brian


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: dwditty
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 05:12 AM

JJ Cale has a song called "Riverboat Song" on his Travelocity CD.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 06:08 AM

Hi Art!

Liam's Sister-in-Law holds the distinction of having attended every Mystic Sea Song Festival; I think that will be 20 consecutive this year. She and her friends sing "water" songs as The Johnson Girls. I would like to get her a copy of your river songs tape. How do I do that?

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 06:20 AM

Hi Harpgirl,

With Art and Sandy "on the case" I don't know how you could get any better advice...I'm making notes here too.

Ijust chimed in to echo Art's congratulations on your win. Sometimes I miss things (uh,huh...)but some should not be missed...like saying Great Job when someone has done one. I give you my highest award...5 'ATTACATS!!!

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 10:08 AM

I hate to be a killjoy, but I've always felt that Mary Wheeler first picked up and then dropped the ball in her too small book, "Steamboatin' Days". Most of the songs are fragments at best. The info on the informants is very scant and in the case of a woman she only calls "Nancy" the only photo show the BACK of an Afro-American woman. I think it's a strange book. But Dillon Bustin and others have taken the fragments therein and made some wonderful and very singable songs out of them. Check out Dillon Buston's LP---don't know if it's on CD yet. But it could be I'm confusing Dillon's record with the fine tapes Sandy and Caroline made of him sittin' around in the glorious setting of Pinewoods Camp in Mass. several years ago. Many of those songs seem to be as much Dillon as they were Wheeler; maybe more.

Abby, I do look forward to hearing your autoharp SOON. This must be autoharpus interruptus--or whatever...I know how Bill felt.

Art


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 01:47 PM

You're right, Art. Mary Wheeler was an amateur, collecting fragments from the perhaps failing memories of old roustabouts, but she was there, and she did what she knew how to do. Dillon Bustin certainly added to some of the texts Wheeler collected, as I also did, fleshing out the songs. I generally took verses from other songs in the book, adding them to those that I wanted to sing. Harpgirl could surely do the same, making use of the book as we have done. Despite its shortcomings, it's still an important primary source.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 03:00 PM

OOPS! Forgot to ask: Art, do you know of a recording (LP, cassette, or CD) Dillon has made of his river and riverboat songs? I'd love to get my hands on a copy of that!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 08:57 PM

Sandy, Nope, I've not seen that cassette, ever. I'd be in line to buy a copy too--fer sure.

So I've got to come out and admit that I've done the same thing with those isolated verses from Mary Wheeler's collected songs. Check out my version of "What Does The Deep Sea Say". Most of the verses I sang in that one were from Ms. Wheeler. She WAS there, as you say. And her instincts were certainly in the right place. And on the new CD I included "Is Your Lamps Gone Out" which is in _Steamboatin' Days_ too. Did that tune come from Dillon B.? I don't know where I found it. The performance on my CD at the U. of Chicago Folk Fest was one of 2 times I ever sang the song. Tuning into "open G" was more than I wanted to deal with usually. But the U. of Chi always felt like home to me.

It's like Jack Thorp's 1908 thin book of cowboy songs--several of which were written by Jack. As a working cowboy himself, he had all the credentials to do it right. And his little book set the stage for John Lomax's __COWBOY SONGS__ 2 years later in 1910--the one with the introduction by Teddy Roosevelt. Both sure were wonderful in their own way.

Jack Thorp's __SONGS OF THE COWBOYS__is still available with a foreward by Guy Logsden. It's a BISON BOOK, a wonderful series of books of Western history & first-hand accounts. Comes from the University of Nebraska Press at Lincoln.

(Thorp's __Pardner Of The Wind__, is where I first found __THE GREAT TURTLE DRIVE__ which I altered a bit by mentioning a land terrapin named "STUDS TURTLE".--It's a wonderful story...)

Art


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Arkie
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 09:54 PM

Two of my favorite boat songs are Wreak of the Prairie Bell which I think was from a poem about Jim Bludso and Lily of Arkansas. Both have been recorded by Cathy Barton and Dave Para who were mentioned by Sandy earlier. Not that Bob Dyer needs any further recommendation, but he is an excellent writer of historical pieces. He has also written some first class songs with a Civil War theme


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 08 Apr 99 - 11:59 PM

Harpgirl, congrats on your fine achievement. Makes us lesser mortals aspire to even greater things.

Australia has a proud but brief history with riverboats, the trade largely fading once the railways arrived (as I recall). Quite a number of cities and towns along the Murray River in Victoria and South Australia owe their roots to the flourishing river trade in the 19'th century. There's certainly a ton of folf-lore, but only a smallish number of songs that I can recall. It's been a long time since I've read up on this stuff, but I'm sure that many weel read Aussies will contribute to this thread - assuming that you are interested.

Regards
John


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: dtfb@bigfoot.com
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 12:55 AM

How about "Proud Mary" by Credence Clearwater Revival


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 01:22 AM

Well, I was wrong. Tonight I went back to __Steamboatin' Days__ and the person Mary Wheeler got "Is Your Lamps Gone Out" from is only called SUSAN in the book---not Nancy as I stated erroneously both here and in my CD's notes. Sorry.

A few of the verses for "What Does The Deep Sea Say" I got from Lee Obie Quiggins, a blind street singer from Lookout Mountain, TN that I tape recorded in Evansville, Indiana about 1962 or so--3 blocks from the Ohio River lazily flowing by at the foot of Main Street. Lee's tune is the one I sang on the LP __A.T.--Songs Of The Heartland__(Kicking Mule 148---long out o' print.)

Art


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 02:09 AM

I think we have to give Mary Wheeler credit for doing what she did. Can you imagine what her family and her neighbors must have thought when this middle-class white woman spent all of her time associating with elderly black roustabouts and their women folk, taking down the songs they could remember? Surely must have shocked 'em all! If a bit of the paternalistic (maternalistic?) attitude is detected, I think we have to consider the time in which she was doing her collecting. As I say, she was there.

I've rambled along the Ohio and the Missouri, spent some time going up the Big Sandy, and along the Mississippi, too (one of those trips with you, Art, on the Julia Belle Swain!), but I've never collected any old songs from the folks I've talked with along the way. Worse luck. Got some nice photographs, though!

The Barton/Para songs (Jim Bludso and the Prairie Belle, etc.) are still available from Folk-Legacy. Thanks for mentioning them! By doggies, those Missouri kids do make good music, don't they?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 08:27 AM

I don't know how restricted an American's understanding of "riverboat" is, but if this term includes vessels outside of the US, "The Calabar" (see DT) qualifies as well.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Arkie
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 11:45 AM

What was I thinking. The Prarie Bell did not wreck, it burned.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Arkie
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 11:50 AM

Those Missouri kids can sing and play. Thanks to Folk-Legacy for making them available.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 09 Apr 99 - 01:01 PM

Yeah, but ol' Jim held her up against the bank until everybody got ashore! Pretty good poem for a politician. The Bayou Sara also burned (great song). Now I invite someone to write a song about the Sultana disaster. Incredible story. Wish I could write songs!

Sandy Sandy


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SULTANA (Art Thieme)^^
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 02:06 AM

Lord, leave it to Sandy to get me goin' at this hour o' the mornin'. I just had to dig out this song that I've kept but hadn't thought about since I wrote it when I was barely 20 years old---a month earlier and I'd've been 19.

THE SULTANA
by Art Thieme
tune:"The Rackets We Had On The Blue Mountain Lake"
date of composition: August 28, 1961
hitorical data: April of 1865. The steamboat SULTANA left New Orleans with 250 on board. At Vicksburg she took on 2000 Union troops recently released from Confederate prisons. There were then 2,250 people on a boat built for 376 at most. (also 60 horses and mules) Seven miles above Memphis the patched boiler "exploded". 1900 perished!

Here's the song. Please keep in mind that when w 20 year old writes a song, it means he's 20 years old. When a 60 year old writes a song, it means he's a SONGWRITER!!!

Art Thieme

Come all you young fellows where'ere you be,
Come sit down awhile and listen to me,
It's of a great riverboat, Sultana her name,
She's sunk to the bottom and death brought her fame.

It was April 24th of a865,
On the Father Of Waters sidewheelers did glide,
From New Orleans to St. Louis town,
Right on her schedule--she glided on down.

Yes, the month it was April, the day 24,
Brave Union soldiers at Vicksburg did board,
All sick and pale but happy at last,
To be out of their prisons and goin' home fast.

They jammed into corners and slept side by side,
As they talked about home and the warm fireside,
All bound of Cairo in old Illinois,
2000 soldiers--some women and boys.

Now, the old Mississippi had risen so high,
That o'er the big valley flood waters did rise,
Trees and houses adrift in the stream,
Could be seen only faintly in the dull moon beams.

She landed at Memphis on April 26th,
Gave care to the wounded and care to the sick,
Some stronger soldiers unloaded her hold,
Carried out canned goods--and bodies so cold.

Then all hell broke loose as on they did sail,
The boilers gave way and their bindings did fail,
As great an explosion as ever was seen,
Coursed through the night mid yells and mid screams.

Now, some said the boiler just failed to hold,
Some said that the rebels torpedoed the coal,
No true explanation could ever be found,
And the moans of the 1900 still sound.

This story is true, I swear to you all,
None can deny it--no one at all,
The Mighty Mississippi was destined to be,
The scene of the greatest disaster at sea.

__________ ________ ________ _____

{More people were killed in the Sultana explosion than died on the Titanic.}


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 02:25 AM

Jesus Art...Very well done and historically accurate. You're really pissing me off here...go back in your mountain and contemplate body parts: whopper, whopper, whopper, condom, whopper, whopper, condom, whopper, whopper, whopper, whopper, whopper, condom, whopper, whopper, condom, whopper............

Seriously, nicely done...No, it's Art, what do I want to say, not nicely done...oh, got it...WELL STROKED!!!

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: LEJ
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 02:31 AM

I like the song,Art. I recently read about the Sultana disaster in Civil War Times . Tragic to think of these men who had survived hell in the Southern prison camps meeting death so close to home. Was there any credence given to the theory you mention in your song, that the riverboat may have been sabotaged?

Was "Waitin on the Robert E Lee" a piece of riverboat folk music, or of more recent vintage? How about " Eight More Miles to Louisville."


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: harpgirl
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 09:38 AM

Hi Guys
Please forgive me for posting a request and then disappearing...had a chance to play with Doug Gauss last night and jumped on it...he is a wellspring of florida folk songs and has kept Will McLean's songs lambent around the state.
Thanks Sandy for your suggestions. I'll hunt those books down...
Of course I have almost every one of John Hartford's albums and even some pictures of John on the Julia Bell Belle Swain thanks to Art...wouldn't sing all those songs for money though *GRIN*
Art was sweet enough to send me his riverboat tape which I have nearly worn out already.
Lee Ruth introduced me to Bob Dyer's work but I only have the River of the Big Canoe on an old album of folks from the columbia area. It would be nice to have some more...
Loved the Sultana, Art! Thanks to the Arkie (who are you?) for the Priarie Bell. Payne's Prairie near Gainesville used to be a lake with a ferry on it
LEJ We played eight more miles to Louisville last night!
And thanks (tom)catspaw49 for your purrls of wisdom... The DoneyGals did real well at the Florida Old Time Music Championship and we are hoping to persuade Doug Gauss to come out of semi-retirement and become an honorary "Gal for a set at the Florida Folk Festival...or as my old boyfriend calls us..The DonkeyGals!!!Thanks John...I'd love to see some Aussie paddlelboat songs...and to Wolfgang...any boat song would thrill me...
keep those riverboat songs flowing my dear Mudcat friends! harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 10:18 AM

Should've mentioned that my "Sultana" and "Blue Mountain Lake" and "Red Iron Ore (on my CD) as well as others, I'm sure, share the same great tune.

LEJ, I don't think that anyone ever proved anything either way. But I do know that the sinking of the Titanic was actually because the ship collided with a huge, white ALIEN that was proven, in a book I read once (a book that sold millions of copies to believers around the world) to've been part of a CONSPIRACY of similar beings from an entire planet of huge WHITE SUPREMICISTS. We all must stay armed and constantly be on guard.(****LARGE GRIN FOLKS****) Catspaw, Have you read _The Lord Of The Rings? There's an amazing sadly dark character named Gollum in those books by J.R.R.R.R. Tolkien who lurks in a subterranian lake mumbling his name over and over in his throat and devouring Mudcats and other bottom feeding scum !(another *grin*)Thanks for your comments, but it's an early try at songwritin' from a guy who rarely wrote anything. I was more concerned with the treasure hunt of ferreting out the old, traditional song gems lurking in the depths o' history. I only was able to find them after sweeping the scum of the present off the top o' the pond. That afforded a clearer view into the abyss.

Art


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 10:31 AM

Abby,

You make me wanna be in Florida (and that's a first)and 20 years younger.

Art


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: harpgirl
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 10:57 AM

Art... *blush,blush* *blink,blink*...I'd take you to the santa fe river and we could soak in the cold springs...I think Devil's Eye would be a good choice...in fact I think I'll go there today..... ...harpalong


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: tucker
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 12:14 PM

Mr. John Hartford did a song for NPR while here in Porsmouth Ohio. He researched it from a local artist in this area who wrote here in I believe in the 1930's. It's called "Portsmouth Aires (Airs?)". John did it well, as he does all his stuff. I hope he comes back again sometime. Tucker P.S. I don't know if Mr. Hartford ever recorded it yet.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: harpgirl
Date: 10 Apr 99 - 01:08 PM

hey Tucker... I haven't heard that one...wonder if anyone has it? I also got some interesting songs by searching under Mississippi, Art...harp


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: tucker
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 01:09 AM

yeah harp, John was so cool. He started into Loreena and all the audience sat waiting for that morsel, then John broke into "Portsmouth 'Airs". He is an artist. No one was disappointed and he pulled it off so wonderfully. If you can find it listen to it. I have never, bar none, seen a person play an instrument with so much grace, even though me and my Gibson once seemed melded, I felt like a novice.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 01:40 AM

Hey tucker, I'm just up the pike from you in Bremen outside of Lancaster. Did you see JH when he was doing the coal special here or was that another time. I love his performances!!!!

And Art....Yeah I read LotR's and TheHobbitt.....in the sixties it was like required reading. Funny thing though, my appreciation/understanding of the series is far greater now than it was 30 years ago. Perhaps, as the old saying goes, "We grow too soon old and too late smart."

Harpgirl---I too have hated Florida until the past few days and now I'm looking forward to our next trip, God knows when that'll be. You and Banjer have given me a reason to go back...wish I'd been around last year as we did the mandatory family Disney thing...fortunately, my kids liked old Gatorland better. But I am excited for you as it seems things are going your way. Finest Kind!!!

LEJ---I'm surprised Art didn't know this, but the Titanic not only didn't have enough lifeboats, but it was supposed to carry the world's largest condom, to be used in just such an emergency. It wasn't ready and they sailed without it and they succumbed to AIDS---Alien Icebergs Destoying Shipping.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Banjer
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 01:44 AM

LEJ, Reading Civil War Times? Are you part of the CW reenactment community as well?


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Banjer
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 01:46 AM

Art, Nice job on The Sultana! As C'paw pointed out, well written AND historically accurate. Well done!


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Tucker
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 02:02 AM

Hey Catspaw, I got family in Lancaster. Nice to talk to ya. Hey, new here. Do you have a friendly feud with LEj and AlistarUK.? I'm an old folkie and love this site, just wandered onto it. After trying to write a tune to 5 pound possum and damn near puking up my whiskey laughing so hard I gave my "best shot" and went on to editorials on Mudcat ala unsolicited. Nuns would kill me. Run on sentence. Death by ruler. AHHHHHHH. Anyway, I can be serious, especially about music, but that is fun too, isn't it? Hope to chat later. Tucker


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 02:05 AM

I don't do renactments, but I have noticed we are all three Civil War nuts. And the list goes on.......Got youe e-mail by the way, Thanks!

catspaw

PS---God help us we have similar tastes and would naturally kinda' talk. You, me, and Leej are in trouble here....maybe katl and Night Owl can issue us some secret passwords and other cool Captain Midnight/Secret Squadron stuff.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 02:08 AM

Hmmm......Banj, looks like we may have to include Tucker too!!!

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Banjer
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 02:10 AM

Where can I get my Mudcat Decoder Ring and how many nasty tasting boxes of cereal do I hafta eat to get enough boxtops?


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 03:07 AM

I dunno'........katl and Night Owl are currently leaning toward the Captain Midnight/Orphan Annie route in which case it will be Ovaltine. If I hear, I'll let you know and you do the same General.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Tucker
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 11:13 AM

Hey, I'll keep the ring but you can have my ovaltine. Over and out space rangers


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 11:50 AM

I can remember a singer in our area doing a really amazing song about Evangeline (believe that was the name,) a woman who is waiting for her gambler lover to come back, and she watches as a storm/fire sinks the riverboat he's on. I'll do some thinking and see what I can dredge up.

Art, Nice one. I'll have to go and dig up the tune to "Rackets."? Oh, and re enactors, I've been known to put on me petticoats and hoops and sing lovely sappy renditions of "Somebody's Darling" and "When This Cruel War is Over." Vermonters have excessive pride about the Civil War, you see, and our Hemlocks were somethin' else. Say, how DO you guys sit down with those sabers on??


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: harpgirl
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 12:19 PM

Susan,
I like to sing Evangeline. Around here Philip Terry also known as VGO is the expert on Civil War songs. He plays a dozen instruments as well and has an enyclopedic knowledge of banjo history and Civil War songs. Anyone coming to Florida should connect with him for a fascinating conversation. I'm sure he will be at the Florida Folk Fesival during Memorial day weekend... as usual the tomcats took this thread cattywumpus!I think Catspaw is nuttier than Art if that is possible
NS (New Subject) anyone going to Orlando for the disney experience should go up to Wekiva Springs and swim in the spring for a taste of natural Florida...It's still a beautiful place if you stay off the beaten path...harpgirl aka abby


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 01:34 PM

Sorry Harpgirl, maybe I am. But I wish I'd known more about the real Florida before our last trip. EVERYTHING that my family enjoyed was either off the beaten path or an older "classic" attraction like Gatorland.

To stay a bit on track, I didin't run across Evandeline til about 10 years ago, but it's one of those that grabs you right away, like Hard Times, and I immediately included it. Why or what makes songs like that get you immediately? I suppose just personal taste, but there are a few that almost everyone feels the same way about.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Tucker
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 02:25 PM

So true catspaw. I heard Evangeline years ago and though I don't remember how it went I remember I liked it right away.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Tucker
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 02:26 PM

So true catspaw. I heard Evangeline years ago and though I don't remember how it went I remember I liked it right away.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: harpgirl
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 02:29 PM

cat...said while scratching you under your chin...here kitty,kitty...nice kitty....


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Banjer
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 04:11 PM

This was a very strange occurence!! As I was catching up on this thread I was talking on the phone to my friend and banjo mentor when his name popped up on the screen!! My banjo teacher is none other than VGO! Harpgirl, it is quite possible from VGO's description of you that we may have met before! What a small world this is becoming.....If anyone has any of the tapes or CD's of the 97th Regimental String Band you have VGO's smiling countenance in your hand. He left the band a few years ago in pursuit of other things, but they still use the old pictures onthe covers. (He will be the thinner of the trio, with either a banjo or mandolin in hand)


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: harpgirl
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 05:49 PM

Banjer,
Synchronicity! You have a great mentor there. He has my respect. How would I know if we have met? harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Banjer
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 05:56 PM

I don't know, but VGO said to me, "You should remember her". I think he has me being somewhere confused with someone else, if that makes sense..I just 'membered, BillD just put up a picture of me on the Mudcat Family Album site! I would suppose if you ever saw me, that pic would jog the memory.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Paul G.
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 08:27 PM

Hey, Harpgirl.

How about a Florida Riverboat tune...If you have it, you'll find "The Mandarin Line" on my first CD, "Good Enough For Me"...about the boat line on the St. Johns back in the last century...if you don't have it, drop me a private note and I'll be happy to send you a tape...

pginjax


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: harpgirl
Date: 11 Apr 99 - 08:48 PM

Hey Paul,
Ooohh...those sound like neat songs...I'll just have to buy your CD...harpgirl


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Subject: Lyr Add: ST. JOHN'S RIVER (Burl Ives)^^
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 02:04 AM

How about the old Burl Ives recording of "St. John's River"----definitely a Florida riverboat song.

Baby,
Don't ya leave me,
Your sweetie's gonna leave you,
Yes you,
On the St. Johns River,
And nary a cent will I be the giver.

Baby,
Don't you hear me,
Your sweetie's gonna ride the "Cherokee" down the St. John's River,
And nary a cent will I be the giver.

Baby,
Don't you hear me,
Yor furniture's gonna leave you,
Yes, you.
On the St. John's River,
And nary a cent will I be the giver!

That's all I remember. It's a haunting song with much left unsaid. All we're told is someone's leaving someone. They are taking the furniture. They're not leaving any money. And they're taking the STR. (steamboat) THE CHEROKEE on the St. John's River. I do hope the paddlewheel don't hit a manatee.

Art


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 02:09 AM

This song "ST. JOHN'S RIVER" was on Burl Ives __CORONATION CONCERT__ in London for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. He taped it with his own 2-track tape machine with a mike set up near a speaker---just for his own use. The tape came out so fine that Decca issued it on a LP.

Art


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Mumbles
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 03:09 AM

Thanks for the Cherokee Queen, Art.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 03:14 AM

Wow...You really do appreciate it don't you Mumbles?

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Paul G.
Date: 12 Apr 99 - 09:21 PM

Art...

Thanks for the tip on the Burl Ives St. Johns River song. That big river is an important part of my existance, and the source for much of my writing. I'll try to track down a copy of that recording for my personal archives.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: campfire
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 02:44 AM

refreshed for ddw in windsor


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 01:34 PM

Refresh. The above-posted song "St. John's River" sounds interesting but is apparently incomplete. Can anyone supply what is missing?


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 08:29 PM

Jim,

The word I got wrong ("seetie") in my posting of "St. Johns River" was supposed to be "SWEETIE".

I, like you, suspect that it's only a fragment of a larger song---but that's all that Burl Ives sang.

Art

I fixed your Sweetie, Art. She feels much better.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: walkinman
Date: 23 Jan 01 - 05:34 AM

A great video, filled with riverboat songs, is "Banjoes, Fiddles and Riverboats", by John Hartford(of Course).

John's "living Diary" of the life along the river is really magic and it includes eight original tunes.

wm


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 08:18 PM

A fellow in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Tom Kenavan, just put together two short films (videos) on the Steamboat Julia Belle Swain-----maybe an hour of lovely footage of the old boat. In one of these the music is from Rick Fielding's LIFELINE CD on Folk Legacy. The other one utilizes my music from the ON THE RIVER cassette. The Julia Belle Swain is the boat I sang on all through the 1990s.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 09:33 PM

Jim Post's "I Wanna Be a Hammer-Down Riverboat Man" from his show, Galena Rose. Lyrics of the tape turns up.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 09:41 PM

Looking for Jim Post online, I found he has done another whole show on the river theme which is described here:

http://www.wcinet.com/th/News/073197/Features/69639.htm

~S~


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 11:55 PM

Cathy Barton and Dave Para have just released a CD titled Living on the River, a collection of river songs and tunes. They're backed up by the talented Grace family. It's available from Folk-Legacy (of course!) and will be listed on our web site soon.

Sandy


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Subject: Lyr Add: ANNIE CHRISTMAS (Art Thieme)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 11:43 PM

ANNIE CHRISTMAS -------- After Roark Bradford and Lyle Saxon in The New Orleans Times-Picayune. Also see as a possible source CARL CARMER's 1939 THE HURRICANE'S CHILDREN. Both of the above were reprinted in B.A. Botkin's Treasury Of Folklore books. Jackie Torrence's retelling of Annie Christmas seems to be taken from Carl Carmer's piece.

The ANNIE CHRISTMAS I told was from all of the above---plus puns etc. and off the top o' my head changes---some of which stayed in---but some didnt.(see below)

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The black folks say Annie was black and the white folks say she was white. Happened so long ago nobody knows for sure. What they did agree on was that she was just one hell of a woman. Annie Christmas stood 7 and a half feet tall in her stocking feet. She weighed 750 pounds and made her living as a keelboat pilot on the Mississippi River---poling those boats up against the current---stickin' the pole in the mud of the bottom and pushin' with all her strength. Muscles werejust a-ripplin' on her arms. Folks lined the shore for miles just to watch Annie work. It was such a prodigious effort. Mostly she wore buckskin and she had a red turkey feather in her hair. She was some sight to see when she was working.

There wasn't a man that Annie couldn't beat in a fight -- fair or otherwise. They came from all over to fight her. Even Mike Fink showed up to fight her one time. You know 'bout Mike Fink on the Ohio? He tried to jump the Ohio River once. Got half way across & saw he wasn't gonna make it-----so he turned around and went back.

Now, Annie saw these new steamboats every so often and she thought they were pretty fine lookin'. To her they seemed like floating wedding cakes comin' down the river in the misty light of mornin'. She saw the fancy ladies and the gamblers too. They looked fine to Annie too and she set her mind to takin' a ride on a steamboat. She went and got SYXTY YARDS of red satin and made herself a fine little shorty frock. She put the turkey feather in her hair---and she put on her famous necklace-----the one made out of ears and noses and eyes she had bit and gouged off o' guys in those fights she had. When Annie Christmas died, folks said that necklace was 28 feet long !)

Well, Annie got on board The River Queen and she met and fell in love with Charlie---a gambler. For both of 'em it was love at first sight. Just a few days after meeting Charlie and Annie Christmas asked the captain to marry them. Exactly one year to the day after gettin' hitched, Annie Christmas gave birth to twelve sons. And all were born at the same time. Within 6 months all of her sons stood 7 and a half feet tall and weighed 750 pounds each---just like their mother. And you think people lined up to watch when Annie was workin' ? Hell, when that family was working they were lined up 5 and 6 deep along the shore.

Charlie, himself, never did any work 'cept play roulette. One day he felt lucky --- and he bet on red. Red won ! Charlie yelled, "Just let it ride"---and he planted his hand down on the table to support all his weight. Twenty-five times in a row Charlie won ! The captain came over and told Charlie that he had to cut him off. Seems Charlie had won every dollar that boat had on it...

...Annie walked over to Charlie, took his arm to lead him away--------and Charlie keeled over----dead as a doornail. Apparently he had been dead for quite a while. That steamboat had been losing to a dead man !

Well, you know Annie felt pretty sad then ---. She pined away and died herself not too long after that. And her 12 sons built her a coal black coffin. And it was a very special coffin. It had a pilothouse up top and boilers and a red turning sternwheel behind. And on the darkest night of the year----they cut the rope and Annie Christmas's coffin glided out into the foggy night.

And folks say that if you're down on those lowland backwaters of the Mississippi River -- if ya listen close -- you can hear the slapping of the coffin's bucketboards as it glides on by.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 05:06 PM

Hi all, This is a great old thread and I am using it to see if anyone remembers a female photographer from the thirties who was blind and lived aboard a houseboat on the Mississippi River??? Her photographs were remarkable, many of giant catfish caught from her houseboat????.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: deepdoc1
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 07:35 PM

Not sure about the blind part, but there was Deaf Maggie Lee Sayre. Powerful good photos of river folk.


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Subject: RE: Riverboat Songs?
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 10:37 PM

deepdoc1

I do believe Maggie Sayre is the one...can't find the iconic photographs in my mind's eye yet. Many thanks. Who are you?


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