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Origins: Times Are Getting Hard Boys

DigiTrad:
TIMES ARE GETTING HARD, BOYS


Carol 28 Jun 08 - 05:56 AM
Carol 29 Jun 08 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 29 Jun 08 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Captain Colin 29 Jun 08 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,Jim 29 Jun 08 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Captain Colin. 29 Jun 08 - 10:56 AM
Gulliver 29 Jun 08 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 29 Jun 08 - 08:38 PM
Amos 29 Jun 08 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 29 Jun 08 - 10:18 PM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jun 08 - 03:33 AM
Leadbelly 30 Jun 08 - 07:46 AM
Carol 30 Jun 08 - 02:23 PM
Joe Offer 11 May 16 - 02:03 AM
Joe Offer 11 May 16 - 02:12 AM
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Subject: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: Carol
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 05:56 AM

We can find the lyrics to Lonnie Donegan's Times are getting hard boys but would really like the guitar chords. Can anyone help please?


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Subject: RE: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: Carol
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 05:29 AM

Refresh just in case


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Subject: RE: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 08:27 AM

Hi Carol,

Give me scrap of Lyric please.

Don


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Subject: RE: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 09:49 AM

It's just G/Am/D7/G repeated Carol- one bar (four beats)of each.


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Subject: RE: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 10:44 AM

Is this a folk song? I've never heard Lonnie Donegan's version, but I recall Ramblin' Jack, Pete Seeger, and maybe Woodie Guthrie do it on record and many others do it live. I'm pretty sure Lonnie Donegan didn't write it (I know I heard this tune before I heard Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor On The Bed Post Overnight). Do we know who did write it or is it P.D.?


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Subject: RE: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: GUEST,Captain Colin.
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 10:56 AM

It's credited to Lee Hayes Jim but whether he wrote it or adapted an earlier song I know not.


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Subject: RE: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: Gulliver
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 08:20 PM

Is this a folk song? I've never heard Lonnie Donegan's version, but I recall Ramblin' Jack, Pete Seeger, and maybe Woodie Guthrie do it on record and many others do it live.

Define "folk song".


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Subject: RE: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 08:38 PM

[Is this a folk song? I've never heard Lonnie Donegan's version, but I recall Ramblin' Jack, Pete Seeger, and maybe Woodie Guthrie do it on record and many others do it live.

Define "folk song".]

To paraphrase the political blogs -- "Don't feed the trolls!"


Bob


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Subject: RE: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 09:16 PM

TImes are gettin; hard, boys
Money's gettin' scarce.....


(Scrap of lyrics).



A


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: TIMES ARE GETTING HARD BOYS
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 10:18 PM

Thanks Amos

Thats what I suspected. I have always done it with these chords. Played on the Hammered Dulcimer, in a similar manner to Bill Spence's version.





TIMES ARE GETTING HARD, BOYS
(Trad.; arranged and expanded by Lee Hays)

Ti(C)mes are getting ha(Dm)rd, boys,

Mon(G)ey's getting sca(C)rce

If things don't get no bet(Dm)ter, boys,

Gon(G)na leave this pla(C)ce

Take my true love by the hand
Lead her thru the town.
Saying good-bye to everyone
Good-bye to everyone.

Take my bible from the bed
Shotgun from the wall
Take old Sal and hitch her up
The wagon for to haul.

Pile the chairs and beds up high
Let nothing drag the ground.
Sal can pull and we can push
We're bound to leave this town.

Made a crop a year ago
It withered to the ground
Tried to get some credit
But the banker turned me down

But I'm goin' to Californ-i-ay
Where everything is green
Goin' to have the best ole farm
That you have ever seen.


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Subject: RE: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 03:33 AM

Not the verses Donnegan sang.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TIMES ARE GETTING HARD BOYS (f/Donegan)
From: Leadbelly
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 07:46 AM

Here comes Lonnies version:

"(Whistling)

Times are getting hard, boys
Money's getting scarce
If things don't get much better boys
Gonna leave this place

Took my baby by the hand
Wandered through the town
The way she looked in jewellery stores
Well, it made me feel low down

Times are getting hard, boys
Money's getting scarce
If times don't get much better boys
Well, I'm gonna leave this place

I promised I would buy you
Well, a big lovely old diamond ring
But the way things is turnin' out right now
Well, I, I can't afford a thing

'Cause times is getting hard, boys
Money's getting scarce
If times don't get much better boys
Gonna leave this place
(Whistling)

I'd give you the Moon, Dear
And the twinkling stars above
But all that I can offer you
Is my undying love

Times are getting hard, boys
Money's getting scarce
If things don't get much better boys
Gonna leave this place

(Whistling)


(Transcribed by Mel Priddle - January 2006)"

Manfred


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Subject: RE: Chords forTimes are Getting Hard Boys?
From: Carol
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 02:23 PM

Thanks very much everyone I'll pass this on to my friend Dennis - he's the guitarist but not on the web!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Times Are Getting Hard Boys
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 May 16 - 02:03 AM

I thought this song more-or-less came from Lee Hays, but the Traditional Ballad Index says there are earlier versions:

Times Gettin' Hard

DESCRIPTION: "Times gettin' hard, boys, Money's gettin' scarce. If times don't get much better, boys, I'm bound to leave this place." "Take my true love by the hand, lead her through the town...." The singer prepares to depart for (California?) where times are better
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (Sandburg; recording by Jaybird Coleman)
KEYWORDS: hardtimes poverty exile
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Sandburg, p. 242, "Times Gettin Hard, Boys" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 117, "Times Are Getting Hard" (1 text)

Roud #15620
RECORDINGS:
Jaybird Coleman, "Times Gettin' Hard -- Work's Been Gettin' Scarce" (Gennett, unissued; rec. 1927)
Pete Seeger, "Time's A-getting Hard" (on PeteSeeger06, PeteSeegerCD01) (on PeteSeeger26)
Wiggins Bros., "Times Am Gittin' Hard" (Brunswick 260, 1928)

File: San242

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



Here are the Digital Tradition lyrics, arranged by Hays:

TIMES ARE GETTING HARD, BOYS
(Trad.; arranged and expanded by Lee Hays)

Times are getting hard, boys,
Money's getting scarce
If things don't get no better, boys,
Gonna leave this place

Take my true love by the hand
Lead her thru the town.
Saying good-bye to everyone
Good-bye to everyone.

Take my bible from the bed
Shotgun from the wall
Take old Sal and hitch her up
The wagon for to haul.

Pile the chairs and beds up high
Let nothing drag the ground.
Sal can pull and we can push
We're bound to leave this town.

Made a crop a year ago
It withered to the ground
Tried to get some credit
But the banker turned me down

But I'm goin' to Californ-i-ay
Where everything is green
Goin' to have the best ole farm
That you have ever seen.

Copyright TRO, renewed 1977 Folkways Music Publishers Inc.
@travel @love
filename[ TIMESARE
DC


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Subject: ADD Version: Times Gettin' Hard, Boys
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 May 16 - 02:12 AM

There's a version on Page 242 of Carl Sandburg's American Songbag (1927), but there's not much to it:

TIMES GETTIN' HARD, BOYS

Times gettin' hard, boys, money gettin' scarce;
If times don't be no better hyar, boun' to leave dis place.
Take my true love by de han' lead her roun' de town;
When she see dat yellow boy she almos' faint away.


Sandburg's notes: When Rebecca Taylor sang her spirituals for us in Columbia, South Carolina, she was asked if she knew other songs, not spirituals. "When you were a girl wasn't there something that boys and girls would sing at each other for fun, for mischief?" Her eyes lighted, and she gave a soprano chuckle, and she sang this verse out of the years when she was young. The "yellow boy" amid the black girls made an impression: it started a song.


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