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Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Ham and Eggs (19)
Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel (Mance Lipscomb) (9)
Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel Makes a Solid Road (10)


BDenz 20 May 08 - 11:12 PM
katlaughing 20 May 08 - 11:31 PM
BDenz 21 May 08 - 12:00 AM
Joe Offer 21 May 08 - 03:31 AM
Barry Finn 21 May 08 - 03:39 AM
Joe Offer 21 May 08 - 03:57 AM
Joe Offer 21 May 08 - 04:12 AM
Joe Offer 21 May 08 - 04:15 AM
Joe Offer 21 May 08 - 04:21 AM
Peace 21 May 08 - 11:58 AM
fat B****rd 21 May 08 - 02:03 PM
Peace 21 May 08 - 02:19 PM
Joe Offer 21 May 08 - 03:23 PM
fat B****rd 21 May 08 - 03:28 PM
Peace 22 May 08 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Q as guest 22 May 08 - 02:14 PM
BDenz 28 May 08 - 11:19 PM
GUEST,Negro Prison Blues and Songs 03 Jul 09 - 08:45 PM
Barry Finn 03 Jul 09 - 11:49 PM
Stewie 04 Jul 09 - 09:39 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Jul 09 - 10:45 AM
GUEST 28 Aug 09 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,j mage 02 Nov 10 - 07:34 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 12 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Mark Johnson 16 Feb 14 - 09:28 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: BDenz
Date: 20 May 08 - 11:12 PM

This is not a request for the Bob Dylan version of this. This one goes back a lot further and it a work song.

Starts off:

If I'd a known my captain was blind, darling;
If I'd a known my captain was blind, darling
If I'd a known my captain was blind,
well I wouldn't've gone to work till half past nine, darling.

I asked my captain for the time of day, darling ...

Chorus:
It takes rocks and gravel, well
To make a mighty fine road, lordy mama
It take rocks and gravel to make a solid road.

Halifax Three seem to be the only group to have recorded it (according to the Folk Music Index of Recordings), which I find bizarre. It's a cool song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 May 08 - 11:31 PM

According to this old posting, Leon Bibbs also recorded it: Click Here.

There's also mention of it on a Dave Van Ronk CD HERE

Sinsull says it is also on an Ian and Sylvia CD.

If you are lucky enough to find a copy, it is also in the Newport Folk Festival Songbook.

Here's a posting about by CHicken Charlie:

My suggestion would most likely be vetoed, but there's an old prison song called "Rocks and Gravel"--I think.

"I'm breakin' rock and gravel (x3)

I'm breakin' rock, breakin' gravel, and I'm-a moanin' low."

Very slow, with a heavy bass thump at the end of the line, like the sound on "Lazarus," in "Oh, Brother." There were all the great work song couplets in it, like, "Aks [sic] my cap'n for time o'day; he got so mad, throwed his watch away," and "If I'd known the cap'n were blin', Wouldn't a gone ta work till quarter to nine." On a particular (peculiar) level, it would be amusing, but I doubt The Average Person would think so. DT doesn't have a "Rocks & Gravel." Maybe try a search with "Rosie" because there were a couple of verses built on that--"Rosie, be my gal; everyday be payday, well, why doncha come along Rosie." Good old tune, though. :)

Chicken Charlie


I found those by putting "rocks and gravel" in the search box at the top. I am not familiar with the song, but I think the above refer to the version you are interested in and not the Dylan one.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: BDenz
Date: 21 May 08 - 12:00 AM

Thanks, Kat. It does sound like Van Ronk. And no, the songbook is not on my shelves and not in my normal used book resources. But I'll keep hunting. If anyone has the lyrics handy ....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 08 - 03:31 AM

I don't know if I can understand enough of this one to do a decent transcription. Anybody have it in print?
I think Wizzy may have that Newport songbook...
-Joe-


Hey, the song made Time Magazine in 1959 - (click).


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Subject: ADD Version: Early in the Morning (Rocks & Gravel)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 May 08 - 03:39 AM

If it this one.
It's a double axe cutting prison work song called
"Early In the Morning", I believe it's sometimes also called "Ro-Berta".
Can be found on Rounder's 'Lomax Collection' Vol. #1, "Prison Songs-Murderous Home"

Early in the Morning

Well it's early in the morn, in the morn, Baby when I rise, Lordy, mama
Well it's early in the morn a-baby, honey when I rise, sugar
Well-a it's early in the morin the morn, baby, baby when I rise, lordy mama
well it's early in the morn baby, baby when I rise now sugar
When I rise in the mornin, baby, well it's about 5

Chorus: Well-a, it's-a Lordy, Ro-Lordy-Berta
Well it's, Lord (you keep a talkin) babe
Well it's, Lord, Ro-Lordy-Berta
Well,it's o Lord, gal, well-a

It takes rocks and gravel, well-a
To make a mighty fine road, lordy mama
It take rocks and gravel, honey, make a mighty fine road, well-a
It take rocks and gravel, sugar, make a mighty fine road, lordy mama
It take a good looking woman, baby, make a mighty fine whore
Well-a mighty fine whore, honey, well-a mighty fine now sugar
It take a good looking woman, baby, make a mighty fine whore

The peckerwood's a pecking on the, on the schoolhouse door sugar
Well the peckerwood a-pecking on the, on the schoolhouse door
Well-a well the peckerwood a-pecking on the schoolhouse door, sugar,
Well he pecks so hard lordy baby, til his pecker got sore
Well-a till his pecker got sore, sugar,
Well he peck so hard lordy, baby til his pecker got sore.

Well-a who-so-ever told it, that he told a dirty lie, baby
Well who-so-ever told it, told a, told a dirty lie
Well who-so-ever told it, told a, told a dirty lie now sugar
Well the egale on a dollar, quarter, he gonna rise and fly
He gonna rise & fly now baby, he gonna rise & fly now sugar
Well the egale on a dollar, quarter, he gonna rise and fly

Well I ain't been to Georga, baby but-a I've been told, well-a
Well I ain't been to Georga, honey but-a I've been told, well-a
Well I ain't been to Georga, sugar but-a I've been told, baby
Women in a-Georga baby got a sweet jelly roll.

This is sometimes sung without the chorus.

I could be off a bit, I'm ding this from memory.

Lomax got this in the 1947-48 on the Parchman prison farm, Mississippi.

Good singing
Barry


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Subject: ADD: Rocks and Gravel
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 08 - 03:57 AM

Well, this is what I can make of two Ian & Sylvia recordings. BDenz posted everything sung by the Halifax Three except "He got so mad, he threw his watch away"

Rocks and Gravel

SYLVIA
Well, if I'd a known the captain was blind, darling, darling;
If I'd a known the captain was blind, darling, darling;
If I'd a known the captain was blind,
I wouldn't've gone to work till half past nine, darling, darling.

I asked the captain for the time of day, darling ...
He got so mad, he threw his watch away

IAN:
Well, it's early in the morning, when I rise, Lordy,
Well, it's early in the morning, when I rise
Well, it's early in the morning, when I rise, Lordy,
Well, it's early in the morning, when I rise

I said, hey, Rosie, will you be my gal?
I said, hey, Rosie, will you be my gal?
Every day will be payday, dollar bill in your hand,
Well, hey, Rosie, will you be my gal?

(both singing at the same time - can't understand)
(seeing what Barry typed, maybe Ian & Sylvia didn't WANT us to understand....)




Chorus:
It takes rocks and gravel, well
To make a mighty fine road, lordy mama
It take rocks and gravel to make a solid road.


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Subject: ADD Version: Rocks and Gravel
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 08 - 04:12 AM

I found this version in Reprints from Sing Out! (the blue one), page 225 - taken from Volume 10 (1967).

Rocks and Gravel

Rocks and gravel, makes a solid road;
Rocks and gravel, makes a solid road;
Takes a do right woman - satisfy my soul.

Well I'm going out West just to see my pony run (2 times)
If I win any money I'm gonna send my gal some.

Here's a dollar Momma, made it in the rain
It's a hard old dollar - made it just the same.

That's your tone Daddy, every time you come...
I ain't got no money but I'll soon have some.

A man in the army wants a furlough home
He said, "About face rookie, you ain't been here long".

A man in the army eatin' out of a trough
Just waiting for Uncle Sam soon to pay him off.

I got a girl in the country and she won't come to town
Got one in Louisiana and she's water-bound.

I can't see how can you treat your Daddy mean.
When you lays all night and your Daddy's on benzedrine.


Notes: Here is another song from the singing of Mance Lipscomb, as recorded in his album Trouble In Mind (Reprise R-2012). An "adapted" version of this one has been recorded by Leon Bibb (Vanguard VRS9O41).


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Subject: ADD Version: Rocks and Gravel
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 08 - 04:15 AM

one more - from Folksinger's Word Book (Silber), page 77

Rocks And Gravel

Rocks and gravel makes a solid road,
Rocks and gravel makes a solid road,
Takes a do right woman satisfy my soul.

Well I'm going out West just to see my pony run, (twice)
If I win any money I'm gonna send my gal some.

Here's a dollar Momma, made it in the rain, (twice)
It's a hard old dollar—made it just the same.

That's your tone Daddy, every time you come, (twice)
I ain't got no money but I'll soon have some.

A man in the army wants a furlough home, (twice)
He said, "About face rookie, you ain't been here long."

A man in the army' eatin' out of a trough, (twice)
Just waiting for Uncle Sam soon to pay him off.

I got a girl in the country and she won't come to town, (twice)
Got one in Louisiana and she's waterbound.

I can't see how can you treat your Daddy mean, (twice)
When you lays all night and your Daddy's on benzedrine.

Words & Music by Alan Lomax & W. B. Richardson
Revised by Leon Bibb
TRO—© Copyright 1958 & 1966 LUDLOW MUSIC,
INC., New York, N.Y. Used by permission.


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Subject: ADD Version: Rocks and Gravel
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 08 - 04:21 AM

As one might expect, this version is quite different.
-Joe-


Rocks And Gravel
(Bob Dylan version)

Takes rocks and gravel, baby
Make a solid road, make a solid road
Takes rocks and gravel, baby
Make a solid road
Takes a good woman, mama
To satisfy my weary soul.

Have you ever gone down on
That Mobile and K.C. line?
Did you ever go down on
That Mobile and K.C. line?
Well I just wanna ask you
If you seen that gal of mine.

Don't the clouds look lonesome
Shinin' across the sea?
Don't the clouds look lonesome
Shinin' across the sea?
Don't my gal look fine
When she's comin' after me?

Takes rocks and gravel, baby
To make a solid road, make a solid road
Takes rocks and gravel, baby
To make a solid road
Takes a good woman mama
To satisfy my weary soul.

from the October 1962 Bob Dylan recording,
LIVE AT THE GASLIGHT 1962


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: Peace
Date: 21 May 08 - 11:58 AM

"Shinin' across the sea?
Don't my gal look fine
When she's comin' after me?"

These lyrics were used/slightly paraphrased in a Dylan song--can't recall the title:

I ride the mail train baby (mama?)
Can't buy a thrill


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: fat B****rd
Date: 21 May 08 - 02:03 PM

It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: Peace
Date: 21 May 08 - 02:19 PM

Thank you, fB.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 08 - 03:23 PM

Anybody have any luck with the parts I missed from the Ian & Sylvia version?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: fat B****rd
Date: 21 May 08 - 03:28 PM

I can't find my CD just now, but, I first heard a version of this by The Graham Bond Organisation's Sound of 65 LP. Later I bought a sleeveless copy of Alan Lomax Prison Blues of the South CD. Track 13 (I believe) is Early In The Morning sung as a wood chopping holler.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN THE PINES (Alan Riggs)
From: Peace
Date: 22 May 08 - 01:58 PM

"I asked the captain for the time of day, darling ...
He got so mad, he threw his watch away"

That is used in the song, "In The Pines" (where the sun never shines)

IN THE PINES
(Alan Riggs)

« © '56 Atlantic Music, BMI »

The longest train I ever saw went down that Georgia line
The engine passed at six o'clock and the cab passed by at nine

In the pines in the pines where the sun never shines
And we shiwered when the cold winds blow
Uh huh huh uh huh huh

[ mandolin ]
I asked the captain for the time of day
He said he throwed his watch away
Along steel rail and the short cross tie
I'm on my way back home

In the pines in the pines....

[ mandolin ]
Little girl little girl what have I done
That makes you treat me so
You've caused me to weep you've caused ne to mourn
You've caused me to leave my home

In the pines in the pines....
**********

from http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:U7FpXLyw6iAJ:www.lpdiscography.cz/m/Martin/martin_sunnyside.htm+%22I+asked+the+captain+for+the+time+of+day%22,+darling&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=ca


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: GUEST,Q as guest
Date: 22 May 08 - 02:14 PM

The 'throw-away' verse is a late addition to the old "Black Girl- In the Pines" song. Several threads and DT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: BDenz
Date: 28 May 08 - 11:19 PM

Wow. The pieces of this song really got around. Per somewhere on the Web (I can go hunt if anyone's interested), Bob Dylan claimed authorship of Rocks and Gravel because he changed it so and made it "current" and political rather than the "original" prison song.

Joe, I suspect the Ian and Sylvia version is the same (or nearly so) to the Halifax Three one. Canadian groups regularly "borrowing" identical arrangements from one another, I'm told. Am going to a music potluck Friday with a bunch of 60s folkies. I may get more answers there.

Barb


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Subject: Early In The Mornin' Alan Lomax
From: GUEST,Negro Prison Blues and Songs
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 08:45 PM

Well it's early in the morning (in the morning)
Baby, when I rise, lordy mamma
Well it's early in the, in the morning
And then when I rise well I

(0:14)

Well it's early in the morning, in the morning
And baby when I rise lordy baby
You have the do you have well ah
On my right side well I
On my right side lordy baby
On my right side lordy sugar
Well I have a minuet oh well ah
On my right side well I

(0:43)

When the lord, lord he murder
When the lord, lord he sugar
When the lord, lord he roll ah
When the good lord get well ah

(0:57)

Well I heard she never told, well she told a
He told a dirty lie baby
Well I heard she never told a and he told a
E told a dirty lie well ah

(1:11)
Well I heard you never told and he told a
He told a dirty lie baby
And when the evil for the dollar won
He gonna rise and fight well ah
He rise and fight sugar
He gonna rise and fight baby
He get a evil on the dollar
He gonna rise and fight well ah

When the lord, lord he rolled it
When the lord, lord gal baby
When the lord, lord he sugar
When the good lord get well ah

(1:52)

When the rock in the ground for the make ah
Make a sign and a road sugar (well)
You take the rocks off the ground and you make a
You make a sign and a road well ah
You take the rock in the ground and you make a
You make a sign and a road well ah (sugar)
You take a good looking one and you make a
You make a good looking one well ah
You make a good looking one lordy baby
You make a good looking one lordy sugar
You take a good looking one baby
And make a good looking one wella

When the lord, lord he rolled it
When the lord, lord he sugar
When the lord, lord he rolled it
When the good lord get well ah

(2:47)

But the peasant wouldn't pay get hona
When I was at school I was taught sugar (well)
Well the beggar wouldn't pay pen only
When I was in school I was taught well ah
Well the beggar wouldn't pay pen only
When I was at school I was taught sugar (well)
Well they beg so hard lord baby till he
Until the beggar got sold well a
Until the beggar got sold oh baby
Until the beggar got sold lordy sugar
Well the beg so hard till he (mamma)
Until the beggar got sold well ah

(3:29)

When the lord, lord he rolled it
When the lord, lord he sugar (10 men die)
When the lord, lord he wrong
When the good lord get well ah

(3:43)
Well I have been to Georgia, buba
Well I've been told sugar
Well I have been to Georgia, Georgia
But I've been told well ah
Well I have been to Georgia, Georgia
But I've been told lordy mamma
Well it's Georgia women baby
You got a sweet jelly roll wella
You got a sweet jelly roll mamma
You got a sweet jelly roll sugar
Well Georgia well child
You gotta sweet jelly roll well ah

(4:23)

When the lord, lord he murder
When the lord, give I got a new babe
When the lord, when he rose
When the good lord get well ah


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: Barry Finn
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 11:49 PM

I believe the above guest will find some of the transcripion may be a bit off, check against the post "Date: 21 May 08 - 03:39 AM" unless it has undergone a purifiying folk process

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: Stewie
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 09:39 AM

I reckon the Ian and Sylvia recording of this song stands as one of the gems of the so-called folk revival.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 10:45 AM

Funny thing is, I associate this song with three people, all of whom I heard sing it in person: Dave Van Ronk, Leon Bibb and Lou Gossett. Lou Gossett, the movie and stage actor who was in the broadway production of Raisin in the Sun, and the movie Officer and a Gentleman? Yep. Back in the early 60's when everyone was trying to be a folk singer, including Bobby Darin, Lou Gossett did a guest spot at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village, and one of the songs he sang was Rock and Gravel. Uh-huh. Oh wella. He's a better actor than a folk singer, although he was a decent singer.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 10:18 AM

Ian and Sylvia included "Rocks and Gravel" on their first album. It was sung by Sylvia Fricker Tyson solo with a fairly minimal accompaniment.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: GUEST,j mage
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 07:34 PM

I have always been mesmerized by this song


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 07:45 PM

Looks like Sylvia's part in Ian & Sylvia's version is probably derived from this song:
http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=1477

In the lyrics, you'll find her verses that are sung underneath Ian's choruses. ("Fight the captain and I'll land in jail..." and "If I'd done what my mama said...")


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rocks and Gravel
From: GUEST,Mark Johnson
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 09:28 PM

There is a great version of this song by Frankie Laine that he did on the Steve Allen Show back in 1959.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onGdWAqz3Ts

I stumbled across this site trying to find out the song title. Web searches mainly bring up the Dylan song which needless to say is quite different.


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