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Lyr Req: Oh, Louisiana (from Pete Seeger)

GUEST,Emily 18 Jul 07 - 03:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 07 - 04:02 PM
Peace 18 Jul 07 - 04:19 PM
GUEST 18 Jul 07 - 07:10 PM
Peace 18 Jul 07 - 07:11 PM
Peace 18 Jul 07 - 07:23 PM
Peace 18 Jul 07 - 07:29 PM
GUEST 18 Jul 07 - 07:47 PM
Peace 18 Jul 07 - 07:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 07 - 07:49 PM
GUEST 18 Jul 07 - 07:57 PM
Peace 18 Jul 07 - 09:04 PM
Celtaddict 19 Jul 07 - 01:00 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Jul 07 - 08:02 AM
Peace 20 Jul 07 - 05:14 AM
Jim Dixon 21 Jul 07 - 09:33 AM
Snuffy 21 Jul 07 - 12:17 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Jul 07 - 03:07 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Jul 07 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,Emily 22 Jul 07 - 11:13 PM
GUEST,Emily 22 Jul 07 - 11:26 PM
Joe Offer 07 Feb 08 - 01:57 AM
Severn 07 Feb 08 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,Annette 14 Aug 13 - 01:05 PM
Gibb Sahib 17 Aug 13 - 06:42 AM
GUEST 28 Jan 14 - 06:25 PM
Gibb Sahib 28 Jan 14 - 07:13 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: GUEST,Emily
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 03:31 PM

Hi, I've been looking for this song on Pete Seeger's "We Shall Overcome" live album and there's a song called "Oh, Louisiana" that I can't seem to find any info on. In the liner notes it says the song is by Abrahams, but all info dead-ends there. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!

-Emily

crimesofparis07@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 04:02 PM

A Chuck Berry song. Lyrics on the internet. Also the chorus to a Randy Newman song."Louisiana 1927" by Randy Newman, sung by Aaron Neville.
It has the chorus:
Oh Louisiana, Louisiana,
They're trying to wash us away
Oh Louisiana, Louisiana,
They're trying to wash us away,
Oh Lord they're trying to wash us away
They're trying to wash us away
They're trying to wash us away.
(This chorus may be borrowed from an older song(

First verse of the Berry song:

Oh, Louisiana, I stayed away from you too long
Oh, Louisiana, how can a true love go so wrong?
She put me in shame and in sorrow and I come home tomorrow
Oh, Louisiana.

There is an old Civil War parody to Maryland called Oh, Louisiana; I think there is an arrangement by Roger Abrahams but dunno fer sure.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 04:19 PM

Sound sample here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:10 PM

Thanks, but that's not actually the song I was referring to. What I remember from the version I heard is
    Mountain so high and a valley so low, Oh, Louisiana,
    Louisiana my Darling, my Jane and Suzanna,
    I'm bound over the mountain
or something like that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:11 PM

OK then. It's not from Seeger's WSO album at Carnegie Hall.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:23 PM

The lines you quoted are remminishent/remeniscient/remonesent remind me of Shenandoah.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LOUISIANA 1927 (Randy Newman)
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:29 PM

Bit of thread drift here, but I though you should see this Q:

Published on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 by the Boston Globe
Louisiana 1927
by Randy Newman

The lyrics, by singer/songwriter Randy Newman, tell the story of the Louisiana flood of 1927, which killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands across six states. The disaster is credited with sparking one of the great voting movements of the 20th century -- the shift in Southern black allegiance from the Republican to the Democratic Party -- and with spurring the New Deal politics of big government. Will history repeat?

What has happened down here is the winds have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and it rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day. The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood. Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The president say, ''Little fat man isn't it a shame
What the river has done to this poor crackers land."

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away


From www.commondreams.org/views05/0907-26.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:47 PM

No, you gave me the correct song sample, but it's not the chuck berry song, and it's not from the Randy Newman library (but that is a good song).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:48 PM

OH.

OK, are you looking for that song that is in the saound sample?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:49 PM

Louisiana 1927 was posted by Joe Offer in nineteen-hundred and ought one in thread 356- one of our oldest.
A couple of good hurricane songs in that thread-
Hurricane
It has a howler in the text- dunno who dunit- placker mine for Plaquemines- surely not Joe!
    Joe HAS been known to post a howler every now and then....
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:57 PM

I'm not looking for a sound sample, I'm looking for the lyrics to it. I have the song somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 09:04 PM

I am aware you need the lyrics. It wasn't exactly clear what lyrics you needed. I posted the sound sample to see if that was the song you WERE looking for. Best of luck finding the words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Celtaddict
Date: 19 Jul 07 - 01:00 AM

Welcome, guest, and good luck; I have been amazed more than once at what someone out there knows.
By the way, it is a nice thing to pick a name and sign in as 'Guest: Louisiana' or something, or to join us (free, no obligations, but some benefits like PersonalMessage). This makes it easier for people to converse and connect with people with similar interests, and to see if possible if we can get a song you are seeking to you!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Jul 07 - 08:02 AM

From the sound sample on Amazon (it is the Carnegie Hall Concert, Peace) it sounds a bit like a shanty (or possibly a similar land-based song about leaving). The words on the sample are:

.... - Oh, Louisiana,
Louisiana my darling, my Jean and Suzannah
I'm bound all o'er the mountains

The girls that we're leaving we'll never forget - Oh, Louisiana
Louisiana my darling, my Jean and Suzannah
I'm bound all o'er the mountains

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Peace
Date: 20 Jul 07 - 05:14 AM

Mike--the confusion for me started here:

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Peace - PM
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 04:19 PM

Sound sample here.




Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:10 PM

Thanks, but that's not actually the song I was referring to. What I remember from the version I heard is "Mountain so high and a valley so low, Oh, Louisiana, Louisiana my Darling, my Jane and Suzanna, I'm bound over the mountain" or something like that.



Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Peace - PM
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:11 PM

OK then. It's not from Seeger's WSO album at Carnegie Hall.




Guests remark must have been addressed to the post above the first of these three.


However, after the following post

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:57 PM

I'm not looking for a sound sample, I'm looking for the lyrics to it. I have the song somewhere.



Even if I had the words in front of me I wouldn't post them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Jul 07 - 09:33 AM

Google Book Search finds this:

"Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore: Three Essays on Shantying in the West Indies" by Roger David Abrahams, "Published for the American Folklore Society by the University of Texas Press," 1974.

Page 58 contains this:
    ...
    Louisiana, my darling, my Jane and Susanna,
    We're bound right over the mountain.

    Oh, the mountain so high and the valley so low,
    Oh, Louisiana....
Since the book is still under copyright, only a "snippet view" is available online.

Try WorldCat to find the book in a library near you.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LUCY ANNA (chantey)
From: Snuffy
Date: 21 Jul 07 - 12:17 PM

Seems to be a sea shanty.

Lucy Anna
(collected by J M Carpenter from Mr J S Scott, London, 1929)

Oh the [currents?] are [killing?] on a fast rolling tide
Oh, Lucy Anna
And the cargo starts [spilling?] on a dark stormy night
And I'm going right over the mountain
So fare you well, Juliana, my dear
Oh, Lucy Anna
So fare you well, Juliana, my dear
I'm bound right over the mountain

Oh the mountain so high and the valley so low
Oh-oh-oh, Lucy Anna
And the mountain so high and the valley so low
I'm bound right over the mountain
So fare you well, Juliana, my dear
And oh, Lucy Anna
So fare you well, Juliana, my dear
I'm going right over the mountain
Belay

The recording is of abysmal quality and I have had to guess at some words


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Jul 07 - 03:07 PM

Hugill has a version of Poor Lucy Anna (1 verse and tune listed:

Oh the mounten's so high an' de ribbers's so wide
Poor Lucy Anna
De mounten's so high and de ribber's so wide
Ise just gwine ober de mountens

), but in his notes he says: "In the Sharp Collection there is a related shanty called Louisiana". Sadly I don't have the Sharp vesion to compare with Seeger's.

The Ballad Index entry for Poor Lucy Anna gives the earliest date as Bullen: Songs of Sea Labour, 1927.

Mick

Poor Lucy Anna

DESCRIPTION: hanty, Negro origin. "Oh the mounten's so high, an' de ribber's so wide, Poor Lucy Anna! De mounten's so high and de ribber's so wide, Ise just gwine ober de mountains." Sung in a slow 3/4 tempo.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (Bullen, _Songs of Sea Labor_)
KEYWORDS: shanty worksong
FOUND IN: West Indies
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Hugill, pp. 378-379, "Poor Lucy Anna" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbEd, p. 287]
Roud #9127
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Susiana" (similar wording in some verses)
Notes: Bullen stated that this was so mournful a song that "one suspects it of being the lament of some just sold slaves sent from one state to another without reference to any human ties they may have possessed. This chantey was very seldom used except where negroes formed a considerable portion of the crew." - SL
File: Hugi378

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

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


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Jul 07 - 04:24 AM

Guest Emily - to summarize an answer to your original question, eventually! Oh Louisiana is probably a sea-shanty (or related sea work song) from the Carribean, collected by Roger Abrahams. It's possibly the version Abrahams published in Abrahams's Deep Water, Shallow Shore as noted by Jim above (that book is still available for sale from eg. Chanteycabin - Abrahams for UK£12 - there are some hardback used available on Amazon.com too).

The song seems to be a version of a shanty also known as Poor Lucy Anna, version given by Snuffy above, and another snippet published in Stan Hugill's Shanties From The Seven Seas (given by me above) and related by Hugill to a similar song 'Way, Me
Susiana!
(with pattern like:

  We'll heave him up an away we'll go
  'Way, me Susiana!
  That is where the cocks do crow
  We're all bound over the mounten!
)

It's possible someone will come back with Abraham's version, so it's worth checking back here from time to time. I've emailed you a link to this thread to make it easy to check back in future.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: GUEST,Emily
Date: 22 Jul 07 - 11:13 PM

Thank you very much!

I'm really sorry if I made anyone frustrated, I just got confused by some of the posters, I appologize. Thanks for those who were a little more patient with me

-Emily


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: GUEST,Emily
Date: 22 Jul 07 - 11:26 PM

Peace,

I'm sorry if I came off as rude, that was not my intention. I was just confused by your question, I sometimes skip words when I read print and I thought that you were asking me if I was looking for a song sample so I was trying to clear things up and I guess it came out sounding snotty.

My first reply, the "thanks, but that's not the song I was looking for" message wasn't to you, it was to the first reply. I guess this started the confusion.

I sincerely appologize for any confusion I caused, I was just looking for some information on a song, I didn't mean to start any trouble.

-Emily


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Subject: ADD: Oh, Louisiana
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 01:57 AM

But we never did get a transcription of the Pete Seeger recording, which certainly seems to be a sea chantey. I couldn't find the Pete Seeger version in a book, so here's what I hear:

Oh Louisiana
(as sung by Pete Seeger)

A mountain so high and a valley so low,
Oh, Louisiana,
Louisiana my darling, my Jane and Susanna,
I'm bound over the mountain.

Oh, the anchor she's weighed, and the sails they are set,
Oh, Louisiana,
Louisiana my darling, my Jane and Susanna,
I'm bound over the mountain.

The girls that we're leaving we'll never forget,
Oh, Louisiana,
Louisiana my darling, my Jane and Susanna,
I'm bound over the mountain.

Oh, soon we'll be rolling her over the bay,
Oh, Louisiana,
Louisiana my darling, my Jane and Susanna,
I'm bound over the mountain.

Goodbye to Sally and goodbye to Sue,
Oh, Louisiana,
Louisiana my darling, my Jane and Susanna,
I'm bound over the mountain.

You that are listening, goodbye to you,
Oh, Louisiana,
Louisiana my darling, my Jane and Susanna,
I'm bound over the mountain.


Seeger says he can't quite figure why a sailor song says "I'm bound over the mountain." He keeps being tempted to sing, "I'm bound over the ocean."


The recording is very clear, so it may be likely I didn't make any mistakes in transcription.
-Joe-
transcribed by ear from the Pete Seeger We Shall Overcome concert album.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Oh, Louisiana' info?
From: Severn
Date: 07 Feb 08 - 06:30 AM

Some of the confusion here might be an age difference thing as to how we first encountered the song.

The "We Shall Overcome" concert was issued on CD as a two disc set. Some of us older folks remember it all coming out in two distinct pieces on Columbia LPs. 'We Shall Overcome" was released as one LP, telling people where it came from and when it was recorded. Some of the rest of the concert, including, "Oh Louisiana" was released as "I Can See A New Day", an excellent Seeger concert recording that told nothing of how and where it was recorded and gave no indication of the occaision of its recording. It was only on hearing the CD reissue of WSO in its entirity that I learned that it was all the same concert and that there was more good stuff still that never made either LP.

Columbia gave out less info than Folkways did. They recorded better, though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh, Louisiana (from Pete Seeger)
From: GUEST,Annette
Date: 14 Aug 13 - 01:05 PM

Very old thread but I was looking for the lyrics :)

Pete Seeger says on the recording it is a song from Roger Abrahams.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh, Louisiana (from Pete Seeger)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 Aug 13 - 06:42 AM

The song is mostly attested as a chanty.

Documentation:

1. "Poor Lucy Anna". Bullen (English sailor, 1870s, sailed to Caribbean) had it in _Songs of Sea Labour_ (1914). (Hugill reprinted it in SfSS.)
2. "Oh, Louisiana". Abrahams documented this in Nevis, 1960s. _Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore_ (1974).

Sample of these two. #1 and #2. (Sample makes no pretense of authenticity — For purpose of example)

3. "Judiano" Abrahams also heard this in Nevis. Tune is a departure, but IMO it is a related song.

4. "Mountains So High." Beck got it in the Caribbean somewhere...vague presentation. In _Folklore and the Sea_ (1973)

Another attempt to render the above, #4 and #3, into audio from print.

5. "Roseanna". Recorded by Alan Lomax in Carriacou in 1962. It seems to closely correspond to the form in Beck (#4 above). ("Roseanna" seems to be makeshift label. Singers are singing "Lucy Anna" or "Oceana", etc)
Field recording of #5

6. "Lucy Anna". Sung by J.S. Scott of London in 1929. Carpenter Collection recording. Posted by Snuffy, upthread.

7. "Susiana." Eliezer Zinck of Nova Scotia sang this for Doerflinger (1951), in the 1930s I suppose.

8. "'Way, me Susianna!". Harding of Barbados gave this to Hugill, presumably c1920s. Hugill likely presents a composite version. _Shanties from the Seven Seas_.
Sample of #8 and #7

9. "Roseanna". The Bright Light Quartet, 1960, recorded by Lomax in Virginia. Sung in menhaden chanty style. (Incidentally, if Pete Seeger sang both this and #2, it's a little odd he didn't (?) make the connection.)
Field recording of #9


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh, Louisiana (from Pete Seeger)
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 06:25 PM

I just bumped into your old query about Oh Louisiana. The story is simple. I Roger Abrahams, living on Nevis in 1961-62, collected this song and many other shanties. I wrote about it in a little book on West Indian sailors and their songs, with material from Nevis and St. Kitts, Saint Vincent, Tobago....The little book that University of Texas brought out was called "Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore."

In 19 61 or 2, Pete visited us in Austin, Texas. I told him about the collecting I had been carrying out, and he asked if there were songs that the Weavers could use in their reunion concert at Carnegie Hall. I said sure, and sent him a tape of maybe twenty songs. The Weavers could never get together to rehearse, but Pete took a couple of the songs and performed them solo in the Carnegie Hall concert. In fact, he didn't quite get the tune right, but oh well. I tried to get him to sing Women Belly Full of Hair from the same shanty encounter. Too raw, I guess.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh, Louisiana (from Pete Seeger)
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Jan 14 - 07:13 PM

Thank you for chiming in, Roger. May I ask: Did you ever end up archiving the recordings from that fieldwork in a public fashion somewhere?

I study chanties, and in the course of it - a sort of learning exercise - I have at one time learned and recorded myself singing all of the examples in "Deep the Water." It would have been easier if I'd heard recordings! :-)

I also wonder if all the transcriptions in the book are from your own recordings or if a few are from ones made by Alan Lomax in '62? Thanks.

Gibb


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