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Origins: Tom Dooley

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TOM DOOLEY


Related threads:
Folklore: New book on Tom Dooley+ (5)
History: Tom Dooley didn't kill Laura Foster?!? (96)
Tom Dula: The Full Story (10)
(origins) Lyr/Chords/Tune Req: Tom Dooley (Kingston Trio) (23)
Tom Dooley (from Kingston Trio) (7)
song Tom Dooley (21)
info request: grayson was a gink (1)
Lyr/Chords Req: tom dooley by doc watson (5)


Keith Rawlings 23 Mar 97 - 11:28 PM
Barry Finn 24 Mar 97 - 12:01 AM
Bill 24 Mar 97 - 02:42 AM
Les Blank blank@wt.net 24 Mar 97 - 09:33 AM
Les Blank (again) 24 Mar 97 - 09:53 AM
Keith Rawlings 24 Mar 97 - 10:04 PM
bo 25 Mar 97 - 01:27 PM
Barry Finn 25 Mar 97 - 02:24 PM
kimbro@lcs.net 26 Mar 97 - 01:23 AM
Gene Graham 26 Mar 97 - 04:09 AM
Barry Finn 08 Jun 97 - 09:21 PM
ron k 08 Jun 97 - 11:07 PM
dick greenhaus 08 Jun 97 - 11:28 PM
Cathy Brady 17 Jun 97 - 12:36 AM
J.Michael 23 Jun 97 - 03:58 PM
Barry Finn 13 May 99 - 06:20 PM
ddw 13 May 99 - 09:24 PM
Rick Fielding 14 May 99 - 01:23 AM
katlaughing 14 May 99 - 01:42 AM
dulcimer 23 May 99 - 08:51 AM
Sandy Paton 17 Jun 99 - 04:54 PM
Easy Rider 18 Jun 99 - 10:21 AM
Jeri 18 Jun 99 - 10:16 PM
GUEST,Alex Roan 14 Jul 00 - 04:41 PM
Irish sergeant 14 Jul 00 - 04:53 PM
raredance 15 Jul 00 - 12:52 AM
GUEST,alex roan 04 Sep 00 - 06:38 PM
Ely 05 Sep 00 - 12:40 AM
Sourdough 05 Sep 00 - 12:50 AM
flattop 05 Sep 00 - 08:15 AM
Irish sergeant 05 Sep 00 - 09:25 AM
Jeri 05 Sep 00 - 09:57 AM
Nerd 03 Nov 02 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Greymalkin 25 Feb 04 - 05:20 AM
Suffet 25 Feb 04 - 06:54 AM
masato sakurai 25 Feb 04 - 07:05 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 25 Feb 04 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Henryp 25 Feb 04 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Henryp 25 Feb 04 - 11:52 AM
12-stringer 25 Feb 04 - 12:30 PM
Fortunato 25 Feb 04 - 03:46 PM
Janice in NJ 25 Feb 04 - 05:06 PM
Stewie 25 Feb 04 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 25 Feb 04 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,ClarkW 05 Apr 09 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,Guest 14 Sep 09 - 01:02 PM
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Subject: TOM DOOLEY
From: Keith Rawlings
Date: 23 Mar 97 - 11:28 PM

"Tom Dooley" by the Kingston Trio: Does anyone know the origin of this song? Also, what "event" inspired the lyrics, assuming it WAS based on actual events? In the song, the story is rather vague. Who was "Grayson"? Thanks!


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Mar 97 - 12:01 AM

After a trial of nearly 2 yrs. Tom Dula being covicted the second time for the murder of Laura Foster was hung on May 1 at 2:17 pm, 1868, Wilkes County,N.C. Tom courted Laura for a time & then Ann Melton & claimed to have contracted a disease from Laura & passed it on to Ann, he swore he'd get her 7 he & Ann plotted & took Laura's life. Tom wouldn't give evidence against Ann & it was said her neck was to pretty for any jury to stretch. Grayson doesn't play a part in the versions collected by Warner or Lomax. The trad. version is a little different in verse & chours but the melody stays close.


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Bill
Date: 24 Mar 97 - 02:42 AM

Howdy Keith,

I'm not sure where my information comes from (possibly the dialogue on a Kingston Trio recording), but I've always understood that Grayson is Sheriff Grayson who brought Tom Dula in.

Allinkausay, Bill


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Les Blank blank@wt.net
Date: 24 Mar 97 - 09:33 AM

On his debut Vanguard album (vintage 1960's), Doc Watson sings the most authenic version of the song that I've heard. The liner notes also tell much of the story. Sheriff Grayson was, indeed, a major part of the story, which is very much as Barry Finn tells it. I had heard the song sung many years before by my Granny (who was from West Va.) and when the Trio came out with their version I thought it was just a different song entirely. Either version is a pleasure to listen to, however.


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Les Blank (again)
Date: 24 Mar 97 - 09:53 AM

I just realized I didn't finish the story about Grayson, (old Altz, again). Grayson was rumored to be very jealous of Tom and his relationship with Laura Foster. After the killing of Laura, Grayson immediately arrested Tom and had a large role in the speedy trial and execution of Tom. Grayson was the one who whipped the horses from under Tom. Ann Melton was brought to trial two years later and acquitted. Doc's great grandmother attended Ann Melton at her deathbed, but never revealed any of the conversations that occurred. Still a big mystery in those parts !!


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Keith Rawlings
Date: 24 Mar 97 - 10:04 PM

Thanks, guys! That's pretty interesting stuff.


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: bo
Date: 25 Mar 97 - 01:27 PM

Really very good material, I dont know where I might get it otherwise, my compliments.

One question though. Is the reference to Tom Dula a typo or was that really his name? Do both your sources agree? And what is your source Barry?


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Barry Finn
Date: 25 Mar 97 - 02:24 PM

Itr's Tom Dula, part of this comes from "The Statesville" reporting on Tom's hanging, but my source for that would be Alan Lomax who credits Frank Brown as being the collector, not so much of the song or tune but of the Folklore, Lomax & Frank Warner are both listed as sources from Folk Song:USA along with Henry in his Folk Songs From The Southern Highlands. Folk Songs From North Carolina -2 volumes of a 5 part series (North Carolina Folkloe) were devoted to the songs & lore collected by Brown.


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: kimbro@lcs.net
Date: 26 Mar 97 - 01:23 AM

I'm pretty sure Frank Profitt has the copywrite for the song. Not that he wrote it, he remembered it from hearing it as a youngster.

-Shawn


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Gene Graham
Date: 26 Mar 97 - 04:09 AM

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: http://www.bmi.com lists 23 different compositions by the title: TOM DOOLEY and 2 under TOM DULA.

And http://www.ascap.com lists 1 composition by the title: TOM DOOLEY, but none under TOM DULA.

So sharpen your pencil and join in.


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Jun 97 - 09:21 PM

I'm bringing this back up for a recent request Hope it helps. Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: TOM DOOLEY (from Kingston Trio)
From: ron k
Date: 08 Jun 97 - 11:07 PM

Here are the lyrics I remember the Kingston Trio usin'.

TOM DOOLEY

CHORUS: Hang down your head Tom Dooley, hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head Tom Dooley, poor boy you're bound to die

I met her on the mountain and there I took her life
I met her on the mountain & stabbed her with my knife (CHO)

Hand me down my banjo, I'll pick it on my knee
This time tomorrow, it'll be no good to me (CHO)

This time tomorrow, reckon where I'd be
If it hadn'-a been for Grayson, I'd be in Tennessee (CHO)

This time tomorrow, reckon where I'd be
In some lonesome valley, hangin' on a white oak tree

These are also the lyrics printed in "Rise Up Singing".


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Jun 97 - 11:28 PM

FWIW, Frank (and Anne) Warner collected the song from Frank Proffitt, whose recording of it is available on a Folk-Legacy recording (a fine record, by the way). Warner sang the song, changing it and making it more "regular" and more easily listenable too by un-hip audiences (possibly inadvertantly). The Kingston Trio picked up Warner's version, and made a huge hit of it. Proffitt never had a copywrite.


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Cathy Brady
Date: 17 Jun 97 - 12:36 AM

My dad was a friend of Frank Warner's - I was told that he was the "man that found 'Tom Dooley'". Not too long ago I saw some stuff Doc Watson wrote about Tom Dooley. I've always noticed a resemblance of Watson and Warner's singing voices. Did they know each other?


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: J.Michael
Date: 23 Jun 97 - 03:58 PM

In a conversation with Bascom L. Lunsford in Buncomb County N.C., 1964, I was told that Tom Dula was a civil was vet who received some land for his trouble. Tom caught a V.D. from Laura Foster and at the same time got her pregnant. All the time he had fallen in "love" with Ann Melton. The story says that he and Ann dug a hole to bury Laura, lured her to a mountain and Tom killed her with his knife. Tom Dula was also a fiddle player and the song lwas written as a confession published in the Statesville Gazette shortly before Tom was hanged. The song was naturally written in the fiddle style. Doc Watson probably plays the most accurate version, I guess.


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 May 99 - 06:20 PM

A re-refresher


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: ddw
Date: 13 May 99 - 09:24 PM

This tune comes from my neck of the woods and I'm not sure where I heard it -- possibly from either Doc Watson or Frank Proffitt, since my brother-in-law used to take me along when he'd go to both men's houses for informal picking sessions back in the '50s -- but I have a recollection that Sheriff Grayson later married Ann Melton. I don't know how that could be confirmed, but if it's true it makes yet another interesting twist to a pretty bizzare story of the eternal triangle.

cheers, ddw


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 May 99 - 01:23 AM

Where the hell is Sandy when you need him? He's got the true poop on Mr. Dula.


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 May 99 - 01:42 AM

This is from Rog: he says maybe Doc et al got it from Mac Wiseman?


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: dulcimer
Date: 23 May 99 - 08:51 AM

In recently playing with a couple of Celtic music enthusiasts, they suggested that the tune had a Celtic origin, that is based on an Irish tune. Well, of course many US Appalachian tunes can be traced to some similar Irish or Scottish tune. I have only heard the KT version, perhaps a thousand times and I recall the Watson version only once and can't recall specifics to compare. SOOO, any truth to the Irish connection of the tune? If so, what would that tune be?


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Subject: RE: song Tom Dooley
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 17 Jun 99 - 04:54 PM

Frank Proffitt never claimed to have written the song. He may be heard singing the version he learned from his family and regional tradition on his first Folk-Legacy recording, now available as a "custom cassette" with booklet from us. I recorded Frank's singing of the song in a small cabin on the hillside behind his home in "Pickbritches Valley" near Reese, North Carolina, (no longer a post office). Frank used the cabin for a workshop in which he made fretless banjos, etc. The version popularized by the Kingston Trio was basically the song as it had been inadvertently modified by Frank Warner, who had recorded Frank singing it back in 1938. I made my recording in 1961.

If someone from the New Christie Minstrels claims to have written the song, he/she must be about 150 years old, a bit long in the tooth for a member of a pop group, I'd say. The song came into being shortly after the hanging of Tom Dula for the murder of Laura Foster, just after the Civil War. It is known to almost every old-timer in Frank Proffitt's home area, although few of them know more than a verse or so. Grayson and Whitter recorded another, quite similar version of the song even earlier than the fateful Warner field trip to Beech Mountain, NC, during which he first met Frank Proffitt (Nathan Hicks' son-in-law).

The copyright hassle is too complex to go into here, but it involved Alan Lomax, who had included the song in one of his books, Frank Warner, who gave the song to Lomax for publication, and a member of the Kingston Trio (now deceased) who claimed "words and music by..." and was cheerfully collecting the royalties. You can read all about that sordid stuff elsewhere.

If you can get hold of a copy, listen to the Bob Carey Trio version recorded for Stinson records long before the Kingston Trio ever did the song. They did the Warner adaptation, too. The thing to remember is that Frank Proffitt received only a small fraction of the royalties that eventually were shared by Warner, Lomax, et al, and that because Frank Warner, an honorable man, divided his share of them with Proffitt. The bulk of the "composer" royalties, paid out when the song was such a huge hit, were given to the Kingston Trio member. That's show biz, folks.

Sandy


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Subject: Lyr Add: TOM DOOLEY (from Grayson & Whitter)
From: Easy Rider
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 10:21 AM

I found this, on the "Jug Band Rag," a Web magazine for jug band enthusiasts
Jug Band Rag
-------------------------------------
TOM DOOLEY
Gilliam Banmon Grayson
Grayson & Whitter
Recorded September 30, 1929, Memphis

Suggested tablature:
C // C G7 C

Hang your head, Tom Dooley. Hang your head and cry.
You killed poor Laura Foster. You know you're bound to die.

You took her on the hillside, as God Almighty knows.
You took her on the hillside, and there you hid her clothes.

You took her by the roadside, where you begged to be excused.
You took her by the roadside, where there you hid her shoes.

You took her on the hillside, to make her your wife.
You took her on the hillside, where there you took her life.

Take down my old violin. Play it all you please.
This time tomorrow, it'll be no use to me.

I dug a grave four foot long. I dug it three foot deep.
Poured cold clay o'er her, and tromped it with my feet.

This world one more morning, then where you reckon I'll be?
Hadn't 'a been for Grayson, I'd 'a been in Tennessee.

[Here is the Kingston Trio's version]

Met her on the mountain, there I took her life.
Met her on the mountain, stabbed her with my knife.

This time tomorrow, reckon where I'll be?
Hadn't have been for Grayson, I'd been in Tennessee.

This time tomorrow, reckon where I'll be?
Down in some lonesome valley, hanging from a white oak tree
--------------------------------------------
EZR


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Subject: RE: song Tom Dooley
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Jun 99 - 10:16 PM

Sandy, thanks for your informative post.

I asked Jeff Warner about the song. He said it had been passed down and collected from two families, Watson and...I can't remember, but it had to be Proffit, didn't it? He also said there was a chance the song was a confessional, composed by Tom Dula himself.

In any event, no one now living wrote this song.


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: GUEST,Alex Roan
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 04:41 PM

Do you think Tom Dooley was really guilty?


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 04:53 PM

It is amazing the things I learn from you guys. I have the Kingston Trio version on record but i normally sing the bluegrass version at Civil War emcampments. I was led to believe the song predated the Civil War. Is it possible the music is from the antibellum period and the lyrics were added after Laura Foster's murder and Tom's fair trial followed by a first-class hanging? None of the versions of lyrics I've seen mention the unfortunate disease Dolley (Or Dula) was afflicted with. Is it possible he was trying to b.s. the jury into an aquittal? Kindest reguards, Neil


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Subject: Lyr Add: TOM DULA'S LAMENT (trad. NC)^^
From: raredance
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 12:52 AM

This version of the Tom Dula saga is one of three in the Frank C Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore. It was collected from Mrs. Maude Minish Sutton of Lenoir, NC. Mrs. Sutton described it as "Dula's own song". She said that "Dula was again convicted and sentenced to die on May 1, 1868. His friends brought his banjo to him ins Statesville and he composed and sang the ballad about his banjo and the murder. It is in the same spirit as that in which MacPherson, Burns's hero,...sang 'beneath the gallows tree.'". It should be added that the long account of the execution published in the New York Herald the next day does not provide any supporting evidence that these events occured or that Dula was the author of this song.

TOM DULA'S LAMENT

I pick my banjo now,
I pick it on my knee.
This time tomorrow night
It'll be no more use to me.

The banjo's been my friend
In days both dark and ill.
A-layin' here in jail
It's helped me time to kill.

Poor Laura loved its tunes
When sitting 'neat a tree;
I'd play and sing to her
My head upon her knee.

Poor Laura loved me well,
She was both fond and true;
How deep her love for me
I never really knew.

Her black curl on my heart,
I'll meet my fatal doom,
As swift as she met hers
That dreadful evening's gloom

I've lived my life of sin,
I've had a bit of fun.
Come, Ann, kiss me goodby,
My race is nearly run.

A version obtained from Miss Edith Walker of Boone, NC in 1947, contained this verse:

One more night and one more day,
And where do you reckon I'll be?
Down in the valley, the valley so low,
Hanging on a white-oak tree.

rich r ^^


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: GUEST,alex roan
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 06:38 PM

i still think he was innocent!


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Ely
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 12:40 AM

Well, the lyrics don't predate the Civil War, at least. He was a Confederate veteran and, according to the various sources that I've seen, a general ne'er-do-well. I've never seen anything to contradict that he was hanged in 1867 or 1868. Possibly the song is based on an earlier one, although I don't know of any that resemble it that closely (someone else might, though).


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Sourdough
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 12:50 AM

rich r

Are you quoting something or are you saying that you saw "the long account of the execution published in the New York Herald the next day"?.

If you have access to the account, it would be fascinating to see it. I thnk we could find webspace somewhere to post it, especially if it was a scan of the newspaper. Actually, I could put it on my web page. I would love to see the real story as it was covered at the time. It must have been considered important, not only to make it to the New York papers but to get there just a day later.

Hopefully - Sourdough


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: flattop
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 08:15 AM

Why do you think he was innocent, Alex?


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 09:25 AM

I was asking about the music. I don't doubt the dating of the lyrics although any clarification would be most appreciated. I too am interested. Why is he innocent Alex? Kindest reguards, Neil


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Subject: RE: TOM DOOLEY
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 09:57 AM

There was recent discussion here about the song.
The Real Audio clip of the NPR segment on Tom Dooley is here.
Page with first recording of Tom Dooley and links to stories.
You can listen to The Smothers Brothers sing it (and talk a lot at first) at this page - which loads automatically, and can scare the whatsit out of you if you aren't expecting it. Warning for the humor impaired: Do not click on this last link - it's not a serious rendition of the song! ("Poor boy, you're hung...")


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Subject: RE: song Tom Dooley
From: Nerd
Date: 03 Nov 02 - 12:28 PM

Re: Grayson and Whittier

Blind fiddler and singer Gilliam Banmon Grayson was indeed a descendant of the Grayson mentioned in the song--a great-nephew, I believe. He recorded the song in 1929 with his usual partner, Henry Whittier. It's a real nice version of the ballad, available on CD in various compilations, especially a best-of on County Records called "The Recordings of Grayson & Whittier." Very much worth hearing.

The Grayson mentioned in the song was not a Sheriff at all. He was a landholder who had been a Liuetenant Colonel in the 4th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry, then resigned to become a Major in the 13th Tennessee Cavalry, both Union units, during the Civil War. It was in the summer after the Civil War that a man calling himslef Tom Hall showed up at Major Grayson's farm in need of work. He wanted to earn enough fir a new pair of shoes so he could he resume his journey. When he got the shoes, he left. Soon after, a party of deputies arrived from Wilkes County, North Carolina arrived, and told Grayson that Hall was actually a fugitive called Tom Dula. Grayson took the deputies with him and went and found Dula.

Whether Dula really killed Laura Foster is one of those unanswerable questions, but he didn't deny it. Some say he was protecting Ann Melton. What is clear is that legally, Dula was not extradited legally, merely kidnapped by Grayson and the deputies and then carried illegally across state lines. The line in the song, "If it hadn't a been for Grayson, I'd a been in tennessee" is completely accurate; he already had been in Tennessee for a couple of weeks when they overtook him and brought him back to N.C.

Interestingly, Frank Proffitt's grandfather served under Major Grayson in the Cavalry. Small world down there.

Sandy, isn't the Proffitt album available on CD on Folk-Legacy anymore?


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: GUEST,Greymalkin
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 05:20 AM

There was a wonderful parody of "Tom Dooley" back in the 60's on the B side of a single by a group whose name I disremember.   I think they were called The Galliards, but maybe I am disremembering.   I was researching the net and found a couple of fragments, but not the whole song.
Before it is forgotten forever....... I quote from memory, maybe I am fogetting a verse.

Spoken intro,   Most of you folks have heard the story of Tom Dooley, and how he killed his wife. Here's what happened after the hanging.

Just after the hanging,
Dooley knew something was wrong,
There on his toes he balanced,
They had the rope too long.

There on that frosty morning,
They cut Tom Dooley down,
Wrapped him in dark brown muslin,
Laid him on the ground.

"Stay 'way you folks who's gazing,
Here lies a sinful man."
After the crowd had gone away,
Dooley got up and ran.

Ch.
Raise up your head Tom Dooley
There'll be no requiem,   (Keep runnin')
Raise up your head Tom Dooley,
You got the laugh on them.

This time tomorrow,
Wonder where he'll be,
By the way he's running,
Halfway into Tennesee!


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: Suffet
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 06:54 AM

ANN MELTON
Tune: Tom Dula [Tom Dooley] (traditional)
Lyrics: Stephen L. Suffet ©2004

Start on chorus. Repeat ad lib:
Hang your head, Ann Melton,
Hang it in disgrace,
You killed poor Laurie Foster,
But Tom died in your place.

They say you loved Tom Dula,
You loved him fast and free,
They say you loved Tom Dula,
'Til he dosed you with V.D.

You didn't blame Tom Dula,
For his rowdy life,
Instead you blamed poor Laurie,
And stabbed her with your knife.

But then you got a thinkin',
How Dula shared the blame,
Then you got a-thinkin',
'Bout how you'd lay the frame.

You went to Dula's cabin,
God Almighty knows,
You went to Dula's cabin,
And hid poor Laurie's clothes.

You went to Dula's cabin,
You said to be his wife,
You went to Dula's cabin,
And there you hid the knife.

Then you called the sheriff,
The sheriff came that day,
He put poor Tom in irons,
And carried him away.

Tom Dula stood his trial,
He didn't say a word,
Tom went to the gallows,
But Annie's life was spared.

Annie she's a-laughin',
While Tom lies in his grave,
But the Devil is a-waitin',
Ann Melton's soul to have.

Legal disclaimer: The above story is fictional and it is based upon legend, rumor, speculation, and unsubstantiated allegations. No connection to the actual historical events or persons is implied, nor should any be inferred.

But enjoy it anyway!

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: masato sakurai
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 07:05 AM

Seemingly, this site is most comprehensive, with audio recordings by G.B. Grayson and Henry Whittier (1930), D.W. Patterson (1966), Tom Cat Ramblers, and Norman Cordon:

    UNC-TVPGM - Folkways - The Legend of Tom Dula.

Several versions have been collected in John Foster West's The Ballad of Tom Dula: The Documented Story Behind the Murder of Laura Foster and the Trial and Execution of Tom Dula (rpt. Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers, 2002).


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 07:26 AM

You can hear Frank Proffit sing Tom Dooley on the wonderful Warner Collection vol. 1 cd "Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still"

Allison


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 10:26 AM

It isn't often that a song has a single source, but this one does. It was collected by Anne and Frank Warner in June 1938 on the first day that they met Frank Proffitt.

Hang your head, Tom Dooley, Oh hang your head and cry.
Killed little Laurie Foster, Poor boy, you're bound to die.
Chorus
Hang down your head Tom Dooley, Hang your head and cry.
Hang your head Tom Dooley, Poor boy, you're bound to die.

I met her on the mountain, And there I took her life.
I met her on the mountain, And stabbed her with my knife.
Chorus
Hand me down my banjo, I'll pick it on my knee.
This time tomorrow It'll be no use to me.
Chorus
This time tomorrow, Reckon where I'll be.
If it hadn't been for Grayson, I'd have been in Tennessee.
Chorus
This time tomorrow, Reckon where I'll be.
Down in some lonesome valley, Hanging on a white oak tree
Chorus

Anne and Frank's son Jeff Warner helped publish the Warner Collection. There's a rare opportunity to see him in England in spring.

Wednesday, 19 May Clarence Folk Club, The Clarence Hotel & Pub, Preston New Road, Blackpool, Lancashire, 01722 683027
Friday, 21 May, 8:30 PM, Bacca Pipes Folk Club, Held at the Ukrainian Club, Henry St off Cavendish St, Keighley, Yorkshire
01535 605310
Saturday, 22 May, 8:00 PM, Nags Head & Plough, Nottingham Road, Stapleford, 0115 9399730
Sunday, 23 May, Village Hall, Calver, near Chatsworth, North Derbyshire, 0114 2815324, Contact Bob Hazelwood
Tuesday, 25 May, Ryburn Folk Club, The Royal Hotel, Oldham Road
Rishworth, near Ripponden, Yorkshire, 01422 822569, Contact Pete Coe
Thursday, 27 May, 8:00 PM, Darlington Folk Club, Darlington Arts Centre, Vane Terrace, Darlington, near Durham, 01325 261179
Friday & Saturday, 28 & 29 May, Chester Folk Festival, Kelsall, near Chester, Ticket information: 01352 762931 or contact: Festival Office
Sunday & Monday, 30 & 31 May, Chippenham Folk Festival
Chippenham, Wiltshire, Ticket information: +44 (0) 1249 657190 or contact: Festival Office
Wednesday, 2 June, Faversham Folk Club, Held at The Chimney Boy Public House, Faversham, Kent, £4 members, £5 non-members, 07980 203992
Thursday, 3 June, Old Rose & Crown Folk Club, Hoe St, Walthamstow, London, E17, 8 PM, £5 members, 020 8527 8419
Friday, 4 June, The Bodmin Folk Club, Held at The Garland Ox, 65 Higher Bore Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, 01208 75261
Sunday, 6 June, 8:00 PM, Folk on the Moor, Moorland Hotel, Moor Road, Wotter, near Plymouth, 01752 839228


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 11:52 AM

Now I find that Gillam Bannon Grayson and Henry Whitter made the first ever recording of "Tom Dooley" in 1929! Shortly after the civil war, Grayson's uncle had been involved in the capture of suspected murderer Tom Dula. However, I can't confirm that this is the same song.

The book of the Warner Collection gives some more background. Frank Proffitt's grandmother knew both Tom Dula and Laura Foster, and the song that came down in Frank's family is the one that went around the world. Frank Warner used the song in every lecture and programme from 1939 to 1959, telling the story of Tom and of Frank Proffitt. Frank Warner taught it to Alan Lomax who included it (minus the third verse) in Folk Song U.S.A. in 1947. Frank Warner recorded it in 1952, giving credit to Frank Profitt in the jacket notes. In 1958 The Kingston Trio took the Folk Song U.S.A. version and recorded it for Capitol Records, both on an album and as a single that sold more than three million copies.


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: 12-stringer
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 12:30 PM

Dear Henryp,

Yes, of course Grayson and Whitter's is the same song. Doc Watson recorded a very similar version in the 60s; I don't recall if he attributed it to the G&W recording or if it was simply another expression of the same folk variant. Melodically and lyrically there are some differences, but only enough to show that all of these versions are derived from the same original.


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: Fortunato
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 03:46 PM

Doc attributes most of his lyrics to his grandmother, who was present at Ann Melton's death and apparently knew the principles.

Reference his description to David Holt in his legacy album released last year.


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 05:06 PM

Is Steve Suffet the only person who suggests that Ann Melton alone killed Laurie Foster? I always heard that Tom and Ann did it together, and that Tom refused to finger his accomplice. Ann killing Laurie and then framing Tom certainly adds a new twist to the tale. Good song though, even if far fetched!


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 05:24 PM

The Grayson and Whitter recording is available on CD: 'The Recordings of Grayson and Whitter' County CO-CD-3517 and also on 'Grayson and Whitter: Complete Recorded Works Vol 2' Document DOCD-8055. The recording was made on 30 Sept 1929 in NYC and issued as Vi V40235 in May 1930.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Tom Dooley, diff lyrics
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 08:06 PM

The name is Du-lay not Dooley


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tom Dooley (from Kingston Trio)
From: GUEST,ClarkW
Date: 05 Apr 09 - 11:20 PM

I was intrigued by the parody version posted as to the lyrics to Tom Dooley.
I remember this parody VERY well.
Here are my notes as to the lyrics although I don't know who did the parody:

Tom Dooley (Parody)

As he fell through the gallows
Something he knew was wrong
There on his toes he balanced
They had the rope too long.

(chorus)
Raise up your head Tom Dooley
Raise up your head and Grin
Raise up your head Tom Dooley
There'll be no requiem.

There on that frosty morning
They cut Tom Dooley down.
wrapped him in dark brown muslin
Laid him on the ground.

(chorus)

"Go home you folks", said Grayson
Here lies a sinful man.
When everybody departed
Dooley got up and ran.

(chorus)

This time tomorrow
Wonder where he'll be---
By the way he's running
He'll be in Tenneseee!

Raise up your head Tom Dooley
Raise up your head and Grin
Raise up your head Tom Dooley
You got the laugh on them!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tom Dooley (from Kingston Trio)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 01:02 PM

The parody "Tom Gets the Last Laugh" was sung by The Balladeers on their album Live-O! (Del-Fi DFLP 1204) and was also released on a single.


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