Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Songs About Prisons?

GUEST,Davey 09 Apr 09 - 11:31 AM
Terry McDonald 09 Apr 09 - 11:45 AM
Terry McDonald 09 Apr 09 - 12:03 PM
Nigel Parsons 09 Apr 09 - 12:03 PM
Dave Sutherland 09 Apr 09 - 12:06 PM
Jack Blandiver 09 Apr 09 - 12:09 PM
Jack Blandiver 09 Apr 09 - 12:13 PM
SINSULL 09 Apr 09 - 12:16 PM
Weasel 09 Apr 09 - 12:21 PM
Jack Campin 09 Apr 09 - 01:30 PM
BobKnight 09 Apr 09 - 02:12 PM
topical tom 09 Apr 09 - 02:48 PM
BobKnight 09 Apr 09 - 03:35 PM
Marion 09 Apr 09 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 09 Apr 09 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Blueknight 09 Apr 09 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Apr 09 - 06:54 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Apr 09 - 07:16 PM
PHJim 09 Apr 09 - 07:20 PM
Barry Finn 09 Apr 09 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Huw 10 Apr 09 - 01:38 AM
Ebbie 10 Apr 09 - 02:08 AM
BB 10 Apr 09 - 07:42 AM
curmudgeon 10 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM
JeffB 10 Apr 09 - 09:05 AM
Barry Finn 10 Apr 09 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 10 Apr 09 - 09:50 AM
Jim McLean 10 Apr 09 - 09:56 AM
Amos 10 Apr 09 - 11:45 AM
VirginiaTam 10 Apr 09 - 12:00 PM
Snuffy 10 Apr 09 - 12:05 PM
topical tom 10 Apr 09 - 05:20 PM
kendall 10 Apr 09 - 08:22 PM
Barry Finn 10 Apr 09 - 10:57 PM
GUEST 11 Apr 09 - 03:29 AM
Shalini 11 Apr 09 - 03:58 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 11 Apr 09 - 04:45 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 11 Apr 09 - 04:52 AM
BB 12 Apr 09 - 05:50 PM
Bernard 12 Apr 09 - 06:59 PM
Bernard 12 Apr 09 - 07:03 PM
Leadfingers 13 Apr 09 - 03:12 PM
robinia 13 Apr 09 - 06:35 PM
Thompson 13 Apr 09 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC 14 Apr 09 - 05:52 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Songs About Prisons?
From: GUEST,Davey
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 11:31 AM

Does anyone know any songs in the folk tradition about prisons?
Davey


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 11:45 AM

The Gaol Song, collected by the Hammond Brothers in Dorset. It's in the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 12:03 PM

There's also, 'Limbo', about a debtor's prison. It's been recorded by Brass Monkey among others.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 12:03 PM

"It takes a worried man"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 12:06 PM

"The Auld Triangle"
"Durham Goal"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 12:09 PM

Jim Eldon's I Wish there Was No Prisons is traditional. Have a look & listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H-td43zcQg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 12:13 PM

Here's a link to Tommy Armstrong's Durham Gaol:

http://www.mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=197192


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: SINSULL
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 12:16 PM

Take A Message To Mary
Boston Burglar
The Prisoner's Song


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Weasel
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 12:21 PM

Ace of Base - Strange Ways.

Sorry.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 01:30 PM

There was a Folkways LP (now Smithsonian CD) of prison songs, "From the Cold Jaws of Prison". I presume CAMSCO can get it.

There's a good prison song in the Penguin Book of English Folksongs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: BobKnight
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 02:12 PM

Allentown Jail (Trad)
That's The Sound Of The Men Working On The Chain Gang (Sung By Lee Dorsey if I remember correctly.

Must be lots more though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: topical tom
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 02:48 PM

Folsom Prison Blues- Johnny Cash
Shackles and Chains-Hank Snow, Mac Wiseman
In the Jailhouse Now-Hank Williams Sr.
Ninety-Nine Years-Flatt and Scruggs
Blue Wing-Tom Russell


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: BobKnight
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 03:35 PM

I thought of some others - but not traditional. Johnny Cash also had San Quentin - how could you overlook that, when you mentioned Folsom Prison Tom?
Jailhouse Rock
Coffeyville - mentioned in Doolin Dalton.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Marion
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 03:54 PM

The Midnight Special - about a mythical train that would pick up the prisoners to take them away from jail. Recorded by Leadbelly, among others.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 04:38 PM

"Parchman Farm" by Mose Allison - a slice of wry:

Well I'm sittin' over here on Parchman Farm
Well I'm sittin' over here on Parchman Farm
Well I'm sittin' over here on Parchman Farm
And I ain't never done no man no harm

Well I'm puttin' that cotton in an eleven foot sack
Well I'm puttin' that cotton in an eleven foot sack
Well I'm puttin' that cotton in an eleven foot sack
With a twelve guage shotgun at my back

I'm sittin' over here on Number Nine
I'm sittin' over here on Number Nine
Well I'm sittin' over here on Number Nine
And all I did was drink my wine

Well I'm gonna be here for the rest of my life
I'm gonna be on this farm for my natural life
Well I'm a gonna be here for the rest of my life
And all I did was shoot my wife

Also covered by John Mayall, among many others


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: GUEST,Blueknight
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 06:17 PM

Ewan Mcall's "Go Down You Murderers"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 06:54 PM

21 Years
Birmingham jail
Prison ship in Fields of Athenry
Kevin Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 07:16 PM

Try www.yorkshirefolksong.net and click on the song 'Hedon Road Gaol'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: PHJim
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 07:20 PM

Free From The Chain Gang Now - trad
The Trains Never Stop In Kingston Prison - Roy Payne

The last verse of many old murder ballads would qualify.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 09 Apr 09 - 07:45 PM

These Old Walls (Barry Finn)

These old wall have held me, I've been here since 83
Day by day is the way I do my time
Oh the weeks turn to yrs, a ship could float on all my tears
I'm haunted by a good kid that I once knew

Chorus:
I can't go back & make a change
Every day I cry & age
I wish to God the hands of time would end my pain

Every day when I awake, I can't believe I'm in this place
I see myself & look & say what have you done
I thought I was cool, I didn;t know I played the fool
But there you go I'd never ilstened to anyone

Chorus:

I swear I hear these old walls weep when I lay me down to sleep
I know at times I must be out of my mind
I may not make it out alive, I may be here untill I die
There's not a one who'll dig my grave long, wide & deep

Chorus:

So now there you go my friend, so good of you to come again
It's not often in my day when it's not dim
I really thank you for your time & be glad your times not mine
And thank the stars that they can shine down on you.

Chorus:

Sorry, I don't know how to put up the music

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: GUEST,Huw
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 01:38 AM

Chris Hastings and I have written a song called "The Gates Of Cardiff Jail" which is about Dic Penderyn, welsh working class hero. It was performed as part of the recent Song of the Earth show in South Wales.
Huw Pudner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 02:08 AM

Barry, if I ever get to the Getaway again, I want to hear that song!

Buddy Tabor of Juneau wrote a couple of songs after he performed at Folsom Prison. One is 'Wait for Me' and another is 'Why the Caged Bird Still Can Sing" and it has a line that I love: "Some of you will walk out of here, some of you will fly"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: BB
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 07:42 AM

I don't know whether the '21 Years' mentioned by Guest mg above is the one on the Veteran CD 'When the May Is All in Bloom', but on there it's called 'Twenty-One Years on Dartmoor' sung by Louie Fuller. A most unusual song and very striking - at least, I found it so.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: curmudgeon
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM

The Lag's Song by Ewan MacColl


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: JeffB
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 09:05 AM

Treadmill Song in Marrowbones


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 09:05 AM

Come to the Getaway this yr Ebbie & I promise to sing it
It would be nice to see you again

Tom, that song's older than MacColl, though he's my source too

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 09:50 AM

"The Prisoner`s Lament" sung by "Elsie`s Band".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 09:56 AM

The Big Mansion Hoose ca'd Barlinnie Hotel. (Glasgow)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 11:45 AM

One of my favorites is Charlottesville.

I laid all around the old jailhouse
I didn't know what I could do.
Had no money to keep out of prison,
My friends had deserted mer, too.

So quiet, now, little darlin'
I hate to hear you cry.
The best of friendsmust part some day
So why not you and I?


It grows so cold in Charlottesville
The birds can hardly sing.
And the leaves keep falling offthe trees,
And won't be back until Spring.

So quiet, now, little darlin'
I hate to hear you cry.
The best of friendsmust part some day
So why not you and I?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 12:00 PM

Another Man Done Gone?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZE6HfWbg1E


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 12:05 PM

Curly Williams, (he's moved to a bigger house now)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: topical tom
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 05:20 PM

Doing Time: http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=1619

Click by Flatt and Scruggs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 08:22 PM

Old Abner's Shoes (The war to resist northern aggression)

Convict and the rose. Prettiest 2 chord song ever.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 10:57 PM

Tom, my thoughts were of "Virginia Lags" (which I had from Ewan's singing & which would be more towards slavery than prison) rather than MacColl's "Lags"

Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 03:29 AM

Sleep come free me by James Taylor.

More of an animal and less like a man,
What they leave you ain't worth keeping,
Brother let me tell you I have a clock with no hands,
And the only way out is through sleeping.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Shalini
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 03:58 AM

Big Rock Candy Mountain in O Brother, Where Art Thou?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 04:45 AM

Not traditional, but I can't let it go unmentioned, especially as there are other songwriters' works cited here.

Give a listen to Anne Lister (Tabster) 's utterly brilliant song Locked In which looks at the situation from the viewpoint of the prisoner's loved ones, who also suffer. It's on her latest album A Twist in The Story and you can hear it if you click on the link for "Locked In" (second title down).

http://www.annelister.com/twiststory.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 04:52 AM

PS: Full track in the playlist on MySpace:

http://www.myspace.com/annelister


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: BB
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 05:50 PM

'Janitors and Jailers' by Martin Long - but actually about animals in a zoo! Recorded by Keith Kenrick on 'Home Ground'.

Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Bernard
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 06:59 PM

'To Althea from Prison' - poem by Richard Lovelace, tune added by Dave Swarbrick.

Lovelace was a supporter of Charles I and wrote the poem in 1642 whilst imprisoned for seven weeks in Gate House prison, Westminster, London for his support of the king...

Swarb wrote the tune, recorded on Fairport's 'Liege and Lief' album, though he missed out the verse about King Charles!

The classic lines 'Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage' begin the last verse.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Bernard
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 07:03 PM

Ooops! That should have read 'Nine', not 'Liege and Lief'!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 03:12 PM

'The Ballad of Winston Green Gaol' - Which may well be a Canal song as it refers to 'Th B C N ' - The Birmingham Canal Navigation .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: robinia
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 06:35 PM

Let's not forget "Hang on the Bell" -- not exactly "about prisons" but it's a wonderful, sentimental prison song (and a favorite, along with "Molly Malone," of my generally unmusical father)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 08:12 PM

Priosún Cluain Meala here sung in English by the lost Jinny-Joe, Luke Kelly.

Fields of Athenry

In the Jailhouse Now

Sam Hall and
Johnny Cash's cheery version

Grace



The Old Triangle (at about 6.15, sung by Brendan Behan)

etc, etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs About Prisons?
From: GUEST,Black Hawk on works PC
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:52 AM

The Wall - Sung by Johnny Cash
Walls of a prison - Sung by Johnny Cash
I heard that lonesome whistle blow - Hank Williams
Cold Hard facts of life - Porter Wagoner
Only Loved three women - J.Rodgers
Grey Stone Chapel - Glyn Shirley (spl.?)
Cocaine Blues - Various
Death Row - Slim Dusty
Electric Chair(?) Marty Robbins
Austin Prison - Sung by Johnny Cash
Looking Through Prison Bars (title?) - Slim Dusty
Eleven More Months & Ten More Days - Tex Morton(?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 February 10:13 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.