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ADD: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm (Various)

DigiTrad:
GALVESTON FLOOD
MIGHTY DAY
WASN'T THAT A MIGHTY STORM


Related threads:
Mighty Day (the Galveston one) (14)
ADD: Wasn't That a Mighty Day When the Needle... (21)
happy? - Sept 8 (A Mighty Storm) (2)
Lyr Add: Wasn't That a Mighty Day (spiritual) (9)
(origins) Origin: Galveston Flood (10)
Galveston Flood origins? (8)


longhair 18 Apr 99 - 08:52 PM
Joe Offer 19 Apr 99 - 01:42 AM
longhair 19 Apr 99 - 02:47 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 05 - 02:03 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 05 - 03:12 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 05 - 07:26 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 05 - 07:36 AM
Barry Finn 08 Sep 05 - 03:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Sep 05 - 06:04 PM
Joe Offer 08 Sep 05 - 09:49 PM
GUEST 14 Sep 18 - 10:19 AM
leeneia 14 Sep 18 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Cornfield 14 Sep 18 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,henryp 14 Sep 18 - 05:51 PM
Pamela R 15 Sep 18 - 12:16 AM
Deckman 15 Sep 18 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Cornfield 17 Sep 18 - 02:50 PM
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Subject: lyrics to 'wasn't that a mighty storm'
From: longhair
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 08:52 PM

need lyrics to "wasn't that a mighty storm" as done on Nancy Griffith's other voice's too! it's almost like "Galveston Flood" & "Mighty Day". any help would be appreciated. longhair


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Subject: Lyr Add: WASN'T THAT A MIGHTY STORM
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 01:42 AM

WASN'T THAT A MIGHTY STORM
traditional (as arranged by Tom Rush & Eric Von Schmidt)

CHORUS
Wasn't that a mighty storm
Wasn't that a mighty storm in the morning, well
Wasn't that a mighty storm
That blew all the people all away.

You know, the year of 1900, children,
Many years ago
Death came howling on the ocean
Death calls, you got to go
Now Galveston had a seawall
To keep the water down,
And a high tide from the ocean
Spread the water all over the town.
CHORUS

You know the trumpets give them warning
You'd better leave this place
Now, no one thought of leaving
'til death stared them in the face
And the trains they all were loaded
The people were all leaving town
The trestle gave way to the water
And the trains they went on down.
CHORUS

Rain it was a-falling
thunder began to roll
Lightning flashed like hellfire
The wind began to blow
Death, the cruel master
When the wind began to blow
Rode in on a team of horses
I cried, "Death, won't you let me go"
CHORUS

Hey, now trees fell on the island
And the houses give away
Some they strained and drowned
Some died in most every way
And the sea began to rolling
And the ships they could not stand
And I heard a captain crying
"God save a drowning man."
CHORUS

Death, your hands are clammy
You got them on my knee
You come and took my mother
Won't you come back after me
And the flood it took my neighbor
Took my brother, too
I thought I heard my father calling
And I watched my mother go.
CHORUS

You know, the year of 1900, children,
Many years ago
Death came howling on the ocean
Death calls, you got to go
CHORUS (twice)
This is a great song, longhair. Thanks for reminding me about it. Links to the other two songs are below.
-Joe Offer-
MIGHTY DAY


Tom Rush Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTHNliOp_04

Nanci Griffith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8JV728HQqs


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Subject: RE: lyrics to 'wasn't that a mighty storm'
From: longhair
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 02:47 PM

Joe, thanks alot. sometimes i can't quite pull out some of the lyrics in songs. i guess too much loud music, loud cars, loud motorcycles, and working const. in loud paper mills. thanks again!!...........longhair


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Subject: BS: Galveston Hurricane of 1900
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 02:03 AM

BS: Galveston Hurricane of 1900

Saturday, Sept. 8, 1900
"Saturday began in the city of 38,000 inhabitants much the same as any other weekday. People prepared for another stint in the routine of six-day workweeks then common, not even an encroaching tide disturbed them greatly. Galvestonians had become used to occasional "overflows," when high water swept beachfronts. Houses and stores were elevated as a safeguard.
The tide kept crashing further inland, and the wind steadily increased. The Weather Bureau official drove a horse-drawn cart around low areas warning people to leave. Comparatively few people had evacuated the city, however, before bridges from Galveston Island to the mainland fell, and many people along the beach waited until too late to seek shelter in large buildings in a safer area downtown, away from the Gulf. Houses near the beach began falling first. The storm lifted debris from one row of buildings and hurled it against the next row until eventually two-thirds of the city, then the fourth largest in Texas, had been destroyed. People striving to make their way through wind and water to refuge were struck by hurtling bricks and lumber and sometimes decapitated by flying slate from roofs. --- Wind gusts of 100 mph had been recorded before the anemometer blew away---. About 6:30 P. M. a storm wave, sweeping ashore in advance of the hurricane's vortex, caused a sudden rise of four feet in water depth, and shortly afterward the entire city was under water to a maximum depth of fifteen feet. This storm wave caused much of the damage. --- Around 10:00 P. M. the tide began to fall slowly, and little damage occurred after that.

"September 9 dawned on desolation. Most of the city lay in shambles. Between 6,000 and 8,000 people in the city of Galveston had died, and estimated casualties for the entire island ranged from 10,000 to 12,000. --- A high water mark of 15.7 feet and high winds had destroyed a third of the city, including 2,636 houses and --- 1500 acres of shoreline. The sixteen ships anchored in the harbor at the time of the storm also suffereed extensive damage. More violent and costlier hurricanes have struck coastal areas of the United States since 1900, but because of the death toll the Galveston storm that year was in the 1980s still called the worst recorded natural disaster ever to strike the North American continent."

"Out of the chaos, citizens developed the commission form of city government now used by many other municipalities. "
"Construction began on a six-mile-long seawall standing seventeen feet above mean low tide, and that protective barrier has been extended--- Inside the city, sand pumped from the Gulf floor raised the grade as much as seventeen feet. This work required advance raising of 2,146 buildings and many streetcar tracks, fireplugs and water pipes. --- The great storm --- left a long track. From Texas it traveled into Oklahoma and Kansas, turned northeastward --- passed north of Halifax and disappeared into the North Atlantic."

Handbook of Texas.
http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/GG/ydg2_print.html


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Subject: Lyr Add: WASN'T THAT A MIGHTY STORM
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 03:12 AM

LYR. ADD: WASN'T THAT A MIGHTY STORM?

Galveston with a seawall
To keep the water down,
But the high tide from the ocean
Washed water over the town.

Wasn't that a mighty storm!
Oh, wasn't that a mighty storm with water!
Wasn't that a mighty storm
That blew the people away!

Their trumpets gave them warning,
"You'd better leave this place."
They never thought of leaving
Till death looked them in the face.

The trains were loaded
With people leaving town.
The tracks give way from the ocean.
The trains they went on down.

Death like a cruel master,
As the wind began to blow,
Rode out on a train of horses.
Said "Death, let me go."

Now Death, in 1900--
That was fifteen years ago--
You throwed a stone at my mother.
With you she had to go.

Now, Death, your hand is icy,
You've got them on my knees.
You done carried away my mother,
Now come back after me.

The trees fell on the island,
The houses give away.
Some people strived and drownded,
Some died 'most every way.

The lightning played [?]
The thunder began to roar,
The wind it began blowing,
The rain began to fall.

The sea it began rolling,
The ships could not land.
I heard the captain crying,
"Please save a drownding man."

Wasn't that a mighty storm!
Oh, wasn't that a mighty storm with water!
Wasn't that a mighty storm
That blew the people away!

"Wasn't That a Mighty Storm?" was recorded by John A. Lomax from the singing of Sin-Killer Griffin and congregation at Darrington State Farm, Sandy Point, Texas, 1934. Library of Congress record LP10.
Duncan Emrich, 1974, "American Folk Poetry, An Anthology," pp. 471-472. Little, Brown & Co.
The part about the trains is incorrect. See above for the true story: Galveston Hurricane

Compare: "Wasn't That a Mighty Day," gospel, thread 39236: Wasn't That a Mighty Day

Compare "Mighty Day," in the DT. Not attributed- from Chad Mitchell Trio? Not same as "Mighty Day" in Fred and Irwin Silber, "Folksinger's Wordbook," Oak Pub., p. 53, copyright Melody Trails, Inc. 1960.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TEXAS CYCLONE (Ned Yale)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 07:26 AM

LYR. ADD: THE TEXAS CYCLONE
By Ned Yale. Air: I'm Thinking of Those Who Are Thinking of Me.

Throughout the horror-stricken land the dreadful news was flashed
Around the Gulf of Mexico all Texas towns were smashed;
Fair Galveston was flooded and its buildings toppling down,
Amid the scenes of wreckage whole families were drowned.
The cyclones dread visit with its dreadful wind and rain
Brought sadness, desolation, and all its weary pain;
There are saddened hearts in Texas for which we softly pray,
Assuring them of sympathy while tenderly we say:

Chorus
Now we'll help each poor soul the dark scene to forget,
Relieving their misery wherever it's met;
For the poor and the homeless by the cyclone's dread might
We'll send clothing and food down in Texas tonight.

Many hearts are sad and gloomy now since the awful news was made
But relief trains soon were speeding fast to give each city aid;
The wind and storm raged fiercely, but all danger's over now,
Our hearts are filled with anguish and low our heads we bow,
God's will be done! is whispered upon the silent air,
We ask for them forgiveness as we breathe a gentle prayer;
Then God speed the news to Texas and along the Rio Grande,
Bid them cheer up, we're coming and soon we'll be at hand.

In Delaney's Song Book
N. Y. 1900 (Oct.)
Publ. Park Row
Copyright 1900, by William W. Delaney.

Found with a group of letters and manuscripts written at the time, and collected at this web site:
http://www.gthcenter.org/exhibits/storms/1900/Manuscripts/Texas_Cyclone/1.jpeg
Texas Cyclone


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 07:36 AM

Galveston and Texas History Center at the Rosenberg Library.
1900 Storm Manuscript Exhibit. List and links to items in collection.
Manuscripts

Also links to storms of 1909, 1915, 1919, and items about the Causeway, Seawall and Grade Raising.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A GREAT STORM PASS OVER (trad. Bahamas)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 03:39 PM

Another, not only great song but a great hurricane song that was collected by the younger Lomax, Allen in 1935. The song comes from Andros Island in the Bahamas & it's about the 1929 hurricane that drove through Hurricane Alley.


See Lomax collection. Rounder Records.

Deep River of Song; Bahamas 1935
Chantey's & Anthems from Andros & Cat Islands

A Great Storm Pass Over

REFRAIN: It's a great storm pass over(3x)
The time is drawin' nigh

'Bout nineteen hundred and twenty nine
As the sun did cross the line
It is a great storm pass over Andros Island
And the time is drawin' nigh (refrain)

Three days and three long nights
That the sun refuse to see
Aid I fix my heart on Jesus Christ
And he turn the light on me (refrain 2x)

Many a soul, female and male
They suffer in that gale
No tongue can ever tell that tale
But Jesus found a way. [Tell 'em 'bout] (refrain 2x)

O that storm, that wonderful storm
It took some life away
And then it wounded some and cripple some way some
And it leave some there to pray {tell 'em 'bout it}

O you sinner, you better pray
Get saved in time of storm
But the Judgment Day is drawin' nigh
As long as God is nigh 'em 'bout (refrain 2x)


Barry


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 06:04 PM

There is a "Hurricane" song in Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, American Memory, but I can't understand the words. It is about a Florida hurricane of 1926, sung by James Brown and others and is related to "God Moves on the Water."


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 09:49 PM

Hmmm. There's a Titanic song called God Moved on the Water. I suppose it could be related. I can't make out the words on the "Hurricane" recording, either.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 10:19 AM

I'm listening to the original version of the song, by Sin-Killer Griffin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XHOi-hG3Y0 . He is not singing "In the morning" during the chorus. Can anyone make out what the lyric is?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 11:39 AM

Thanks for the link. It sounds like "with water." Or maybe " O water"

I can't understand all of it, but Griffin's version sounds more realistic than the version above. By that I mean that it sounds like it was written by someone who was there and observed things.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm
From: GUEST,Cornfield
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 05:17 PM

Wikipedia: The song was first recorded in 1934 by a preacher named "Sin-Killer" Griffin for the Library of Congress, in a session conducted by folk song collector John A. Lomax at Darrington State Farm (now the Darrington Unit), a prison near Sandy Point, Texas. The prison inmates served as Griffin's congregation, and Griffin claimed authorship of the song.[1] Since this is the first known appearance of the song, it is not clear whether the song dates to the very famous 1900 Galveston hurricane, which (as of 2014) remains the deadliest natural disaster in United States history, responsible for an estimated 6,000 to 12,000 fatalities. Although as popularized in the 1960s, the song itself references the year 1900 and the lyrics state "Now Galveston had no seawall"—which was built after the flood—some listeners have heard this line as "Now Galveston had a seawall"[2] which in 1900 it did not, the main reason for the extensive death toll. This may be a clue that the song lyrics were written or at least standardized after the 1915 Galveston hurricane by which time a seawall had been built.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 05:51 PM

Revolvy; Galveston September 1900; storm surge inundated the entire island with 8 to 12 feet of water.

BBC News September 2018; Parts of North Carolina have seen storm surges as high as 10ft. The state's transportation secretary, James Trogdon, said it may see flooding that normally only occurs once every 1,000 years.

Loss of life today has been reduced by meteorological warnings and mass evacuation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm
From: Pamela R
Date: 15 Sep 18 - 12:16 AM

I hear "storm with water" in the Lomax field recording of Sin Killer Griffin. This is one of my personal favorite American folk songs which I've performed and recorded often, for example:
(studio recording with archival images)
(live performance at folk festival)

The lyrics that I sing are:

It was the year of 1900,
Many long years ago
Death came howlin’ on the ocean.
When Death calls you got to go.

Now Galveston had no sea wall,
To keep the water down
And a high tide from the ocean
Spread water all over the town

Wasn’t that a mighty storm?
Wasn’t that a mighty storm in the water?
Wasn’t that a mighty storm?
It blew all the people away.

Now the trumpets gave them warning:
You better leave this place
But no one thought of leaving there
Until Death stared them in the face

And then the trains they all were loaded
With people all leaving town
When the trestle gave way to the water,
And all those people drowned.

Wasn’t that a mighty storm?
Wasn’t that a mighty storm in the water?
Wasn’t that a mighty storm?
It blew all the people away.

And then the rain began a-falling,
And the wind began to blow
Lightning flashed like hell fire,
And the thunder began to roll

Death that cruel master,
When the wind began to blow
Rode in on a team of horses and I cried
“Death won’t you let me go!”

Now, wasn’t that a mighty storm?
Wasn’t that a mighty storm in the water?
Wasn’t that a mighty storm?
It blew all the people away.

The trees fell on the island,
The houses they gave way
Some they strained and drownded,
Some died most every way.

And then the sea began to boiling,
The ships they could not stand
I thought I heard a captain crying
“God save a drowning man!”

Wasn’t that a mighty storm?
Wasn’t that a mighty storm in the water?
Wasn’t that a mighty storm?
It blew all the people away.

You know the storm it took my neighbor,
It took my brother too
I thought I heard my father calling me,
I watched my mother go

Death your hands are clammy,
You’ve got them on my knee
You came and took my mother,
Why don’t you come back after me?

Oh, wasn’t that a mighty storm?
Wasn’t that a mighty storm in the water?
Wasn’t that a mighty storm?
It blew all the people away.

It was the year of 1900,
Many long years ago
Death came howlin’ on the ocean.
When Death calls you got to go.


I'll note that I had originally learned, and used to sing, "Galveston had a seawall to keep the water down, but a high tide..." until a Galveston native came up to me after a performance to tell me that their grandfather had been a survivor of that storm, and that in 1900 there was NO seawall; the seawall was built after that, which somewhat mitigated the damage of the similarly severe storm that hit Galveston in 1915. That information checked out; so on that basis, I changed my lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm
From: Deckman
Date: 15 Sep 18 - 05:46 AM

I've always enjoyed Bob Gibson's version from the sixties. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wasn't That a Mighty Storm
From: GUEST,Cornfield
Date: 17 Sep 18 - 02:50 PM

Thanks Pamela.


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