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Prison Songs

DigiTrad:
DIE MOORSOLDATEN
PEAT BOG SOLDIERS
PEAT BOG SOLDIERS (3)


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Peat Bog Soldiers (93)
(origins) Origins: Peat Bog Soldiers pre-WWII? (10) (closed)
moorsoldaten (8) (closed)
Peat Bog Soldiers (5) (closed)
Lyr Req: The Peat Bog Soldiers (5) (closed)


roxiesmama (inactive) 11 May 99 - 04:50 PM
Felipa 11 May 99 - 05:26 PM
JOField 11 May 99 - 07:25 PM
Jeri 12 May 99 - 12:32 AM
SeanM 12 May 99 - 12:40 AM
ddw 12 May 99 - 01:09 AM
ddw 12 May 99 - 01:17 AM
Roger the zimmer 12 May 99 - 06:06 AM
reggie miles 12 May 99 - 10:22 PM
Barry Finn 12 May 99 - 10:38 PM
Shack 13 May 99 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,Bird 07 Aug 06 - 04:29 PM
Artful Codger 07 Aug 06 - 05:35 PM
Dave Hanson 08 Aug 06 - 02:40 AM
The Walrus 08 Aug 06 - 07:09 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Aug 06 - 07:27 AM
Paul Burke 08 Aug 06 - 07:42 AM
John Routledge 08 Aug 06 - 07:58 AM
Dave Hanson 08 Aug 06 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 08 Aug 06 - 08:54 AM
SINSULL 08 Aug 06 - 12:27 PM
SINSULL 08 Aug 06 - 12:28 PM
Barry Finn 08 Aug 06 - 02:23 PM
Scoville 08 Aug 06 - 03:21 PM
GUEST 09 Aug 06 - 03:20 AM
GUEST,mg 23 Dec 11 - 05:52 PM
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Subject: Prison Songs
From: roxiesmama (inactive)
Date: 11 May 99 - 04:50 PM

LOOKING FOR PRISON MARCHING SONGS. CAN ANYONE HELP? THANKS, CAROLYN


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Subject: Lyr Add: PEAT BOG SOLDIERS
From: Felipa
Date: 11 May 99 - 05:26 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by "marching songs", but I wonder if songs you'll find by typing @chaingang in the search box (above right) will suit?
"Die Moorsoldaten" (the peat bog soldiers) could be what you're looking for. I don't see it in the database, so I'll search my memory (the English translation):

Far and wide as the eye can wander,
Peat and bog are everywhere
Not a voice sings out to cheer us
Oaks are standing gaunt and bare

[refrain]Wir sind die moorsoldaten
Siehen mit dem spaten
Ins moor[We are the peatbog soldiers
marching with our spades
to the bog

Up and down the guards are pacing
No one, no one can get through
Flight would mean a sure death facing
Guns and barbed wire
haunt[?]our view

But for us there is no complaining
Winter will in time be past
One day we shall cry, rejoicing:
!"Homeland dear, you're mine at last!"
No more will the peat bog soldiers
March with their spades
to the bog


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: JOField
Date: 11 May 99 - 07:25 PM

Doch für uns gibt es kein klagen,

Ewig kann's nicht winter sein.

Einmal werden wir froh sagen,

"Heimat du bist wieder mein."

Dann zieh'n die moorsoldaten

Nicht mehr mit den spaten

Ins moor.


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Jeri
Date: 12 May 99 - 12:32 AM

I think maybe Roxiesmama meant chain gang type songs?

Search results for chaingang songs

I get to try to help and see if I can do a blue clicky thingy at the same time. Of course, maybe you meant Army marching songs?

If the link doesn't work, I searched for the keyword "chaingang."


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: SeanM
Date: 12 May 99 - 12:40 AM

Cheeseball as it is, MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (Yes, CCR covered it, but Leadbelly did it first!) is a great song about prison life...

M


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: ddw
Date: 12 May 99 - 01:09 AM

There's an old tune called "The Prisoner's Song" that could be sung to a marching cadence. I didn't check to see if it's in the DT, but it starts:

If I had the wings of an angel
Over these prison walls I would fly
And I'd fly to the arms of my poor darlin'
And there I'd be willing to die.

There are other verses, but that's all I can remember off the top of my head.

I'll check the DT and see if it's there.

cheers, ddw


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: ddw
Date: 12 May 99 - 01:17 AM

Roxiesmama,

Yup, The Prisoner's Song is in there. Just search of PRISON in the DT and it's No. 26 on the list. That will also give you a whole bunch of other tunes that might suit the purposes you described in another thread a few days ago.

cheers,

ddw


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 12 May 99 - 06:06 AM

From the pop world: "Jailhouse Rock"; "Working on the chain gang". From skiffle: "Worried Man Blues". Leadbelly has been mentioned already. Ray Charles' "Unchain my heart" doesn't quite make it! "Send me to the 'lectric chair" ought to. "Bring a little water Sylvie" might apply to a chain gang or a field worker. Or do you want march songs of the "One Two Three Hup" variety that US forces favour?


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: reggie miles
Date: 12 May 99 - 10:22 PM

Hand Me Down My Wakin' Cane, is a good ol' traditional song about being locked in the slammer. Parchman's Farm, by Booker White, Baby Please Don't Go, by Big Joe Williams and Framed, by the Robins. They later had to change the name of their band to The Coasters, I'm guessin' because they were being sought after by some early version of America's Most Wanted. Reggie


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 May 99 - 10:38 PM

Hi Roxiesmama, still don't really know what you're looking for but this might fit the bill on both counts of marching & prison songs. "Jody".

"Ain't no use in writting home
Ya, ya, ya, ya
Jody got your girl & gone
Ya, ya, ya, ya

Ain't no use in feeling blue
Ya, ya, ya, ya
Jody got your sister too
Ya, ya, ya, ya

Six long years I've been in the pen
Ya, ya, ya, ya
Don't wanna come back here again
Ya, ya, ya, ya

Barry


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Shack
Date: 13 May 99 - 07:30 PM

Hey, Foxy Mama, my good buddy Walt, he had a whole bunch of prison songs from an album by John Lee Hooker. They are outstanding! (...they took me to the new jailhouse this Mawhnin', and there I'll be so far from home, with these cold prison wall all around me, and the pillow at my head made of stone.)


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: GUEST,Bird
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 04:29 PM

The song was included in a 1970's collection by Pete Seegar called "Songs of the Spanish Civil War". According to the record liner it was sung by prisoners at Buchenwald (hence "the moor") and the final verse was an anthem of defiance, with the words NICHT MEHR ("no more")shouted out.


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Artful Codger
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 05:35 PM

Are you looking for songs sung traditionally BY prisoners, songs ABOUT prison experiences, both, or either?

My favorite song ABOUT prison is "Norwich Gaol", from Peter Bellamy's folk opera "The Transports". And as the theme of the opera is the transportation of convicts to Australia, other songs from it might fit your purposes.

The movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" features:
"Po Lazarus" - sung by a prison gang as a work song; many work songs might be considered prison songs, too.
"Big Rock Candy Mountain" - a song about a prisoner dreaming of an idyllic place.
"I'll Fly Away" - one of Brumley's songs of inspiration, inspired by a prison song he heard a field laborer singing.
"In the Jailhouse Now" - need I comment?

"Ratcliffe Highway" involves imprisonment for desertion, two daring but failed escapes, and impending execution. Is that to your liking?


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 02:40 AM

Ewan MacColls ' Lags Song '

Traditional Englis ' Gaol Song '

eric


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: The Walrus
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 07:09 AM

Eric,

"Gaol Song" - is that the tredmill song?

How about "Old Tiangle"?

Not quite gaol songs, but about punishment :
Rogues' March
Derwentwater's Farewell (Okay, so his confinement was going to be short...)

W


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 07:27 AM

Durham Gaol by Jez Lowe
Jail of Cluan Meala
Birmingham Jail.
Cells (Kipling)


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Paul Burke
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 07:42 AM

The Treadmill Song.

Durham Gaol- wasn't that written by Tommy Armstrong?


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: John Routledge
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 07:58 AM

Yes Paul. Jez Lowe wrote one as well - similar humour but completely different words.

Good prison song called Johnny Ramensky in DT - Not often sung.


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 08:18 AM

' Treadmill Song ' yeah, in the'Penguin Book Of English Folksongs ' it's called ' Gaol Song '

eric


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 08:54 AM

I've come into what is obviously a carry over from another thread, so I hope I'm not repeating anything which has been said already. However, as is well known, the American south has been extensively trawled for prison worksongs. Anyone interested in prison songs should definitely investigate the following:

Deep River of Song. Big Brazos: Texas Prison Recordings, 1933 and 1934. Rounder. 11661-1826-2
Prison Songs: Historical Recordings from Parchman Farm 1947-48: Vol 1: Murderous Home. Rounder 1714
Prison Songs: Historical Recordings from Parchman Farm 1947-48: Vol 2: Dontcha Hear Por Mother Calling? Rounder 1715
Prison Worksongs Recorded at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, L.A. Arhoolie 448
Angola Prisoners' Blues Arhoolie 419
Angola Prison Spirituals Folk Lyric 9036
Wake Up Dead Man: Black Convict Worksongs from Texas Prisons Rounder 2013

The first three are from collections made by John and/or Alan Lomax and contain some electrifying stuff.

The Angola CDs were collected by Harry Oster in the late 1950s. Check the Arhoolie/Folklyric catalogue for recordings of individual singers made by Oster in the Angola pen.

Also worth investigating are the Rounder CD reissues of the field recordings originally published by the Library of Congress. I can't recall any which were exclusively devoted to prison songs, but there's a mountain of wonderful material on them.

Finally, there's also an album of toasts (monologues, mostly obscene) called Get Your Ass in the Water and Swim Like Me: Narrative Poetry from Black Oral Tradition. Rounder 2014. Like Wake Up Dead Man, it was collected in Texas penitentiaries by Bruce Jackson.

Whilst on the subject, BBC2 televison is showing a documentary on Sunday 13th at 22-00 hrs. It's called Prisoners of Katrina and tells the story of what happened when Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans city prison. It's primarily concerned with the events of last August but does, I gather, go into the southern penal system in some depth.


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 12:27 PM

"I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow" Hank Williams


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 12:28 PM

"Take A Message To Mary" The Everly Bros.
SINS, running for cover.


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 02:23 PM

Hi roxiesmama, roxiesmama,

Bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye
I'm goin' away & I'll stay away
Bye-bye, my roxiesmama
An' I won't be back tomorrow

Oh, roxie dear we do love you
Bye-bye, my roxiesmama
We'd wished you'd stay for one last day
Won't you come back here tomorrow

We tried to help, we truly did
Bye-bye, my roxiesmama
We've been wondering why you went an' hid
Won't you come back here tomorrow

Don't ya what see just what we wrote
Bye-bye, my roxiesmama
Don't go away on the next cargo boat
Won't you come back here tomorrow

Barry


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: Scoville
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 03:21 PM

"Long-Chain Charlie"
"Shackles & Chains"
"Green, Green, Grass of Home"
"You Are My Sunshine"

Steve Earle's "Over Yonder" and "Ellis Unit One", if you want something modern

"Harrison Town" & "Little Sadie" aren't actually prison songs but a good part of them deals with trial and sentencing.

right now I'm listening to "Deux-Pas des Condamnes" ("Convicts' Two-Step"; recording is Bring it on Down by the Red Stick Ramblers, who are a load of fun. Cajun/swing/old-fashioned jazz).

I've also got "La Valse Criminelle" in my office computer; I think it's the Lost Bayou Ramblers' version.

The Texas River of Song CD is a really cool recording. We got it for my dad for Christmas a couple of years ago--it's not soothing stuff but very interesting


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 03:20 AM

Don't send my boy to prison,
It's the first crime wot 'es done.
Six monfs, replied 'is worship
Ooooooooooooo, god 'elp my errin' son.

Jim Carroll
Oh - and there's The Night Before Larry was Stretched.


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Subject: RE: Prison Songs
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 05:52 PM

Sweetest gift
21 years
Boston Burglar
No more cane on the Brazos
Kevin Barry


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