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Lyr Req/Add: Death of Harry Simms / Sims

DigiTrad:
CROSSBONE SKULLY
I DON"T WANT YOUR MILLIONS, MISTER
THE DEATH OF HARRY SIMMS


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Fred McCormick 18 Jan 08 - 02:02 PM
The Villan 18 Jan 08 - 02:22 PM
Fred McCormick 18 Jan 08 - 02:34 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jan 08 - 03:36 PM
Susan of DT 18 Jan 08 - 03:39 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jan 08 - 03:51 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jan 08 - 04:02 PM
open mike 18 Jan 08 - 04:07 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jan 08 - 04:37 PM
Susan of DT 18 Jan 08 - 05:14 PM
Fred McCormick 19 Jan 08 - 04:19 AM
Joe Offer 19 Jan 08 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Rick Richmond 10 Sep 16 - 01:43 PM
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Subject: Death of Harry Sims
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 02:02 PM

I wonder if anyone out there would have the words of the Jim Garland (?) composition, The Death of Harry Sims?

Many thanks if you can supply same.


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Subject: RE: Death of Harry Sims
From: The Villan
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 02:22 PM

You can buy it for $0.99 on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00129RV1O/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk13


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Subject: RE: Death of Harry Sims
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 02:34 PM

Thanks folks. Managed to run it to earth.


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Subject: ADD: Death of Harry Simms (Jim Garland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 03:36 PM

I'm surprised I didn't find this posted here, or any place on the Internet. Pete Seeger has recorded it, and there are a couple of compilations that have a recording of Jim Garland singing it.

The Death of Harry Simms
(by Jim Garland, as sung by Aunt Molly Jackson)

Come and listen to my story,
Come and listen to my song;
I will tell you of a hero
That is now dead and gone.
I will tell you of a young boy,
Whose age was nineteen;
He was the bravest union man
That I have ever seen.

Harry Simms was a pal of mine,
We labored side by side,
Expecting to be shot on sight,
Or taken for a ride,
By the dirty coal operator gun thugs
Who roam from town to town,
A-shooting down the union men
Where'er they may be found.

Harry Simms and I were parted
At five o'clock that day.
"Be careful, my dear comrade,"
To Harry I did say.
"I must do my duty,"
Was his reply to me.
"If I get killed by gun thugs,
Don't grieve after me."

Harry Simms was a-walkin' up the track
This bright sunshiny day;
He was a youth of courage,
His step was light and gay.
We did not know the gun thugs
Were hiding on the way,
To kill our dear young comrade
This bright sunshiny day.

Harry Simms was killed on Brush Creek
In nineteen thirty-two;
He organized the miners
Into the N.M.U.
He gave his life in struggle,
That was all that he could do,
He died for the Union,
Also for me and you.


from Reprints from the People's Songs Bulletin, 1946-1949, pp. 84-85
Oak Publications, 1961


tune available on request


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Subject: RE: Death of Harry Sims
From: Susan of DT
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 03:39 PM

Fred asked this question on the ballad list and received this answer there:

DEATH OF HARRY SIMMS
(Jim Garland)

Comrades listen to my story,
Comrades listen to my song.
I will tell you of a hero
that now is dead and gone.
I will tell you of a young boy,
Whose age was just nineteen
He was the strongest union man
That I have ever seen.

Harry Simms was walking up the track
This bright sunshiny day,
He was a youth of courage,
His step was light and gay.
We did not know the gun thugs
Were hiding on the way,
To kill our dear young Comrade
This bright sunshiny day.

Harry Simms was a pal of mine,
We labored side by side,
If expecting to be shot on sight,
Or taken for a ride
By the dirty capitalist gun thugs
That roam from town to town
To shoot and kill our Comrades,
Wherever they may be found.

Harry Simms and I were parted
At five o'clock that day,
Be careful, My dear Comrade,
To Harry I did say,
I must do my duty
Was his reply to me,
If I get killed by gun thugs,
Don't grieve after me.


In Reprints from Sing Out, Vol, 11, 1968.
@union
filename[ HARRYSIM
TP
Jan08


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Death of Harry Simms
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 03:51 PM

THE STORY BEHIND THIS AMERICAN BALLAD
By Mary Elizabeth Barnacle
Professor of Folklore at NYU and the Univ. of Tennessee


The strike in the soft coal camps in Bell County, Kentucky first started in 1931, mostly conducted by the rank and file of the UMWA--the officials giving no leadership; on the contrary, they helped to break the strike by betraying the miners. But the strike continued, taking on a new lease of life in January, 1932, under the guidance of the National Miners' Union.

Harry Simms, a young organizer from Springfield, Massachusetts, nineteen years old, as tender-hearted as he was strong-minded, was at this time organizing in the South. Sometime In the winter of 1931 he came to Pineville and worked energetically and tirelessly among the young people of the NMU. He took an active part in the leadership of the strike. He made powerful speech after powerful speech. "Spell-binder", the miners called him, A good part of the time he stayed with Jim Garland, one of the main spark plugs
of the strike and with Tilmon Cadle, another native leader, and with other miners and their families. Not only did he put new heart into these hard-pressed men who had
    "No food, no clothes for our children,
    I'm sure this hain't no lie,
    If we don't get more for our labor
    We'll starve to death and die"
as Aunt Molly Jackson, (Jim Garland's sister) sang in her "Kentucky Miner's Wife's Hungry Ragged Blues", but he was out in front, filling every day with the maximum of perilous activity.

Word, in the course of the strike, came to the miners in Pineville that their friends outside of Kentucky were sending in five truck loads of food and clothing. These people wanted to test the democracy of Kentucky and to show that they could, as friends of the miners, come into this feudal area and distribute relief. They had called for a demonstration of the miners on the day of the arrival of
the trucks and Harry Simms had been chosen to lead the miners out of Brush Creek to Pineville to get their share of the relief.
    (Ragged and hungry, no slippers on our feet,
    We're bumming around from place to place,
    to get a little bite to eat,"
as Aunt Molly's song wailed their wretchedness.)

Jim Garland, who loved Harry Simms as a brother, warned the latter against going up Brush Creek because gun-thugs were always running that road. Simms replied, "It's my job to lead the men to Pineville, and gun-thugs or no gun-thugs, I'll go. If they pop me off, don't waste time grieving after me, but keep right on going. We'll win." In the company of Green Lawson he set out. As they were walking up the road going to Brush Creek, the jitney bus that runs along the railroad came along with two gun-thugs aboard. As soon as they spotted the two miners they jumped off the bus, their six-shooters smoking. Harry Simms fell. He was taken to the hospital at Barbourville. Four days later he died. On the very same day that he lay dead in Barbourville, the two gun-thugs were acquitted under
the protection of 900 state troopers and 175 special police.

Despite all their troops and guns and state of martial law, the police at Barbourville were so terrified of a demonntration of the miners at this flagrant murder that they would not turn the body over to a separate person; only to a committee of three. They allowed no funeral to be held. "They was to be no talkin', no walkin', no marchin' behind that corpse there. The Committee was to put him on a train and get him out of there." The Committee-—Tilmon Cadle, Gertrude Hessler, Jeff Franz-—put the body of the radiant youth on the train to New York. He lay in state at a Coliseum in Manhattan. Jim Garland told the great crowds of mourners how Harry Simms had labored so unselfishly and so courageously in the bloody coalfields of Bell County, Kentucky. And then Jim wrote this song to
his friend.


from Reprints from the People's Songs Bulletin, 1946-1949, pp. 84-85
Oak Publications, 1961


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Death of Harry Simms / Sims
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 04:02 PM

It's interesting to see how different the two versions are.
Here's what Aunt Molly Jackson says about the song (note the different title and different author attribution for the lyrics Susan posted):

The Murder of Harry Simms
By Jim Garland and Aunt Molly Jackson

"Harry Simms was a young Jewish organizer who was murdered on Brush Creek, Knot County. He was walking along the railroad track with another fellow - they were going down to meet some writers who came to Bell County to study the conditions of the miners - when the gun thugs shot him. They took him and the other fellow back to town. They put the other fellow in jail. They left Harry sitting on a rock in front of the town hospital with a bullet in his stomach. He sat there on that rock an hour or more with his hands on his stomach bleeding to death. He was sitting there because the hospital wouldn't take him in till somebody guaranteed to pay his bill. After a while a man said he would pay the bill so they took Harry in. But it was too late. This song was composed right after that in 1932 by me and my brother Jim Garland."
-- Aunt Molly Jackson. ©copyright 1947 by Stormking Music, Inc.

from The Collected Reprints from SING OUT! The Folk Song Magazine, Volumes 7-12, 1964-1973, pp. 254-255


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Subject: RE: Death of Harry Sims
From: open mike
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 04:07 PM

The Death of Harry Simms by Aunt Molly Jackson and Jim Garland is sung by Pete Seeger, and is available on this recorded collection:
Meeting's A Pleasure http://www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/kent_set.htm


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Subject: ADD: The Murder of Harry Simms (Jim Garland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 04:37 PM

Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People has what appears to be the same song that Susan posted from Sing Out!, but with two extra verses:

The Murder of Harry Simms
(words and music by Jim Garland)

Comrades, listen to my story,
Comrades, listen to my song.
I'll tell you of a hero
That now - - is dead and gone.
I'll tell you of a young boy,
Who's age was just nineteen
He was the strongest Union Man
That I have ever seen.

Harry Simms was a pal of mine,
We labored side by side,
Expecting to be shot on sight,
Or taken for a ride.
By the dirty capitalist gun thugs
That roam from town to town,
To shoot and kill our Comrades,
Wherever they may be found.

Harry Simms and I were parted
At five o'clock that day,
Be careful, My dear Comrade,
To Harry I did say.
I must do my duty,
Was his reply to me.
If I get killed by gun thugs,
Don't grieve after me.

Harry Simms was walking up the track
This bright sunshiny day,
He was a youth of courage,
His step was light and gay.
We did not know the gun thugs
Were hiding on the way,
To kill our dear young Comrade
This bright sunshiny day.

Harry Simms was killed on Brush Creek
In nineteen thirty-two,
He organized the Y. C. L.,
Also the N. M. U.
He gave his life in struggle,
That was all that he could do.
He died to save the Union,
Also for me and you.

Comrades we must vow today,
This one thing we must do.
Must organize all the miners
In the dear old N. M. U.
And get a million volunteers,
Into the Y. C. L.
And sink this Rotten System
In the deepest pits of Hell.


©1947, by People's Songs, Inc., assigned to Stormking Music, Inc.

Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People, Oak Publications, 1967
compiled by Alan Lomax
Notes on the songs by Woody Guthrie
Music transcribed and edited by Pete Seeger


["who's" is how it's printed in the book]


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Death of Harry Simms / Sims
From: Susan of DT
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 05:14 PM

And it is already in the DT under Simms and I only looked under Sims. grumble grumble, I should know better than that.


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Death of Harry Simms / Sims
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 04:19 AM

Thanks for the info folks, and especially to Joe for the Mary Barnicle essay. I needed the lyrics in a hurry and, like Susan forgot that it's Simms, not Sims.


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Death of Harry Simms / Sims
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 01:34 PM

Susan - you'll note that there are some typographical errors to clean up in the DT transcription.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Death of Harry Simms / Sims
From: GUEST,Rick Richmond
Date: 10 Sep 16 - 01:43 PM

Aunt Molly Jackson disavowed the last couple of verses, possibly because of the use of "hell" rather than mention of the Young Communist League. I'm curious about the melody. Roscoe Holcomb used the same tune for his song, "Across the Rocky Mountain". Does anyone know its origin?


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