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Origin: He's Gone Away

Related threads:
Lyr Req: I truly understand... (8)
Chords Req: Who's Gonna Shoe Your ... (Guthrie) (5)
Lyr Add: The False True-Lover (5)


Connie 09 Jul 99 - 08:35 AM
Allan C. 09 Jul 99 - 08:41 AM
danielspiritsong 10 Jul 99 - 12:09 AM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 99 - 03:55 AM
danielspiritsong 11 Jul 99 - 03:02 AM
Conn 12 Jul 99 - 02:52 PM
Connie 12 Jul 99 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Sarah 19 Apr 12 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,999 19 Apr 12 - 08:57 PM
Don Firth 19 Apr 12 - 09:54 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Apr 12 - 11:52 PM
Don Firth 20 Apr 12 - 12:14 AM
Joe Offer 20 Apr 12 - 12:32 AM
GUEST,steve vitoff 21 Apr 13 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,DaveA 21 Apr 13 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,Myrna H. 19 Jul 13 - 03:38 PM
Joe Offer 20 Jul 13 - 01:30 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 20 Jul 13 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,Jack 24 May 16 - 03:04 PM
Lighter 24 May 16 - 04:43 PM
Lighter 24 May 16 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Cori S. 01 Apr 19 - 06:13 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 01 Apr 19 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,Cori S. 02 Apr 19 - 12:35 AM
GUEST,Cori S. 05 Apr 19 - 11:08 PM
GUEST,Cori S. 06 Apr 19 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Lisa Causey 29 Nov 21 - 06:39 PM
Lighter 29 Nov 21 - 07:00 PM
GUEST 10 Jun 23 - 09:40 AM
Charmion 10 Jun 23 - 09:50 AM
Lighter 10 Jun 23 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,Félix 10 Jun 23 - 11:40 AM
Lighter 10 Jun 23 - 01:15 PM
cnd 12 Jun 23 - 09:00 AM
Lighter 12 Jun 23 - 09:34 AM
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Subject: History of 'He's Gone Away'
From: Connie
Date: 09 Jul 99 - 08:35 AM

Can anyone suggest how I might find out about the origin/ history of the old North Carolina folk song, "He's Gone Away"?

I'm trying the internet first before I go to my local library. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: History of 'He's Gone Away'
From: Allan C.
Date: 09 Jul 99 - 08:41 AM

I just want to be sure I understand which song you mean. Is "...for to stay a little while" part of it? If not, can you write a couple of lines of it? We might know it by a different title.


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Subject: RE: History of 'He's Gone Away'
From: danielspiritsong
Date: 10 Jul 99 - 12:09 AM

The song is about siblings, and I've heard it introduced both as a song of a brother leaving for war and as a run away negro slave who has to leave a younger sibling. behind. Good luck finding that history. The first time I heard it waas in 1962 on an album my sister bought for me. I sang it myself for a long time, but I haven't heard many other people do it. Maybe this will give you somewhere to look.


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Subject: RE: History of 'He's Gone Away'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 99 - 03:55 AM

Connie, click here and take a look at the song of that title that's in our database. Is that the one? There can be many songs with the same title, so it's good to be sure.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: History of 'He's Gone Away'
From: danielspiritsong
Date: 11 Jul 99 - 03:02 AM

OH NO CONNIE!!

I was wrong! And ask my friends and family. I'm never wrong...however;

In reference to your "he's gone away" song.

I was over at a friends house and mentioned the song to him, and he pulled out an album that looked somewhat older than Burl Ives and began to play it, complete with scratches and distortion. Hmmmmm...I said That singer sounds familiar, and he said that it ought to, because I loaned him the album over 20 years ago. The song was entitled "Over Yonder".(still don't believe it). Anyway there was some discussion as to why the album had never been returned to it's proper owner, and a susequent discussion as to why said owner hadn't missed it for twenty-some-odd years. Well, to make a short story long, It is the same song to which Joe Offer refers. The song I gave you the history for is definitely not the same song. So...I am apologising and hoping you will accept it, especially since I don't have a clue about its origin, which, along with the fact that you're back to square one, is the bad news. The good news is, I got my album back...;-)

Dan


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Subject: RE: History of 'He's Gone Away'
From: Conn
Date: 12 Jul 99 - 02:52 PM


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Subject: RE: History of 'He's Gone Away'
From: Connie
Date: 12 Jul 99 - 02:59 PM

Thanks, everyone, for replying to my msg!! Joe, that IS the song from the lyrics you displayed for me. Dan, we also now know it has a second title of "Over Yonder". (And I'm glad you got that album back!)

I had another source contact me to say that the song is about a couple separated due to the Civil War (in that he was a soldier). I'm currently leaning toward the side that it may not be a "slave-based" song because of the soldier component. However, the lyrics of "mammy" and "pappy" certainly make one wonder if the piece was not of "white" origin. (Coming from Appalachia myself and being white, I certainly recall the "hillbillies" using the exact same dialect. I can say this because some were my relatives!!)

I guess we'll never know the true origin.


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 12:54 PM

I sang this song in my H.S. Choir. I'm still looking for the exact origin, but my understanding is that it came about during WWI, and was about lovers separated by the Great War.


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 08:57 PM

http://compvid101.blogspot.ca/2012/03/look-away-over-yandro-hes-gone-away.html


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 09:54 PM

The "He's Gone Away" verses are what are sometimes balled "floaters." They detached themselves from a much longer ballad, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (Child #76) and have become a separate song.

This has happened to a lot of the ballads. Verses get detached and they sometimes spawn a new song.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 11:52 PM

Or, contrarywise, existing floaters often get attached to the much longer ballad.


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Apr 12 - 12:14 AM

True indeed!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Apr 12 - 12:32 AM

I've always had a huge crush on Julie Andrews. This YouTube Video has Julie singing "He's Gone Away" in tandem with "Hey, Ho, Nobody Home" in 1971, when she was at her most gorgeous stage.

I'll forgive her for the song....
I like this Jo Stafford recording much better.

Apparently, the song is a favorite with choral groups - here's another.


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,steve vitoff
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 05:58 PM

i have enjoyed this song since i first heard it as a young kid on a wonderful harry belafonte folk album called 'love is a gentle thing' from about 1959, arranged by robert de cormier.

here is my vocal/keyboard version of 'he's gone away'! i would love 4u to check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrOx92TQAAg

i also have another song from that album on my yt channel: 'time's are gettin' hard'


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,DaveA
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 07:56 PM

And, showing my age, the Four Preps had a fabulous version of this on their "Four Preps On Campus" album in 1961 (though it was listed as "He's Goin Away"). It was reissued as a part of a double album by Collectors Choice Music (those fine folks) in 2000.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Myrna H.
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 03:38 PM

See Carl Sandburg's Great American Song Book, circa 1920s. Origin: English/Scottish. Yondro was a mountain and a desrick is a shack.


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 01:30 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index sure has a lot on this song. It's one of those with so many versions and titles that it's hard to tell what's what. I guess that makes it a true folk song.

    Fare You Well, My Own True Love (The Storms Are on the Ocean, The False True Lover, The True Lover's Farewell, Red Rosy Bush, Turtle Dove)

    DESCRIPTION: The true lover bids farewell, promising to be true. He asks, "Who will shoe your pretty little foot?" Various floating verses follow, in which the traveller may or may not return and the young woman may or may not grieve at her fate
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1867 (Musick-Larkin)
    KEYWORDS: love separation lyric floatingverses
    FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber)) US(Ap,MW,SE,So)
    REFERENCES (32 citations):
    Bronson 76, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (23 versions, of which at least #17, and possibly others, e.g. #12, #13, and #19, perhaps even #8 and #23, should be placed here)
    Warner 97, "Red Rosy Bush" (1 text, 1 tune)
    FSCatskills 44, "Fare You Well, My Own True Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Musick-Larkin 31, "O Fare Thee Well" (1 text)
    Belden, pp. 480-482, "The False True-Lover" (2 texts)
    Davis-Ballads 21, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (of the various texts in the appendices, at least some, e.g. "D," "H," and "I," belong here, as does the fourth tune, "Cold Winter's Night"); 40, "James Harris (The Daemon Lover)" (the 2 texts in the appendix seem to belong here with some "House Carpenter" verses mixed in) {#21AppA=Bronson's #8}
    Davis-More 26, pp. 199-206, "Lady Alice" (3 texts plus a fragment, 4 tunes -- but the fourth, fragmentary, text and tune could as well be this)
    Friedman, p. 78, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (3 texts, 1 tune, with the "C" text apparently being this ballad)
    SharpAp 114, "The True Lover's Farewell" (9 texts, 9 tunes)
    Sharp/Karpeles-80E 37, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune -- a composite version)
    Sharp-100E 55, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Reeves-Sharp 105, "The Turtle Dove" (4 texts)
    Randolph 18, "Oh Who Will Shoe My Foot?" (8 texts, 5 tunes, with the "A," "D," and "E" texts probably belonging here) {A=Bronson's #12, D=#19}
    BrownII 22, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (2 texts, which are clearly true versions of "The Lass of Roch Royal", but both have the "Storms are on the ocean" verse -- in the "B" texts, it's the chorus. Either the two songs combined to produce the North Carolina versions, or that song is the source for the Carter versions)
    BrownIII 109, "Fare You Well, My Own True Love" (1 text, probably combined with another song); 258, "The False True-Lover" (5 texts); also perhaps 249, "The Turtle-Dove" (1 text, a complex mix of floating verses, some of which may belong here; compare the Lunsford recording of the same name); 264, "Storms Are on the Ocean" (2 texts, with the "Storms" chorus though both have the "Sometimes I live in the country, sometimes I live in town" verse and the "A" text also has a "Blow Gently, the Winds on the Ocean" type verse)
    Chappell-FSRA 72, "Who Will Shoe Your Feet?" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Hudson 53, p. 53, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text plus mention of 3 more; the printed text, amazingly, lacks the "pretty little foot")
    Cambiaire, pp. 72-73, "Cold Winter Night" (1 text)
    MHenry-Appalachians, pp. 175-176, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text)
    Brewster 13, "The Lass of Roch Royal" (1 text plus 8 fragments; the "A" text is this; "B"-"I" are "Pretty Little Foot" versions)
    Gardner/Chickering 9, "A Lover's Farewell" (1 fragment, with the first verse ["Oh see that pure and lonesome dove"] probably this and the second being "go dig my grave, go dig it deep....")
    Sandburg, pp. 3-7, "He's Gone Away" (1 text, 1 tune); 98-99, "Who Will Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot" (3 texts, 1 tune; of the three texts here, "B" is definitely this piece, "C" is a short fragment of Child 76; the "A" is a one-stanza "pretty little foot" text)
    Lomax-FSNA 108, "Winter's Night"; 109, "Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
    Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 44, "The Storms Are on the Ocean" (1 text, 1 tune)
    ADDITIONAL: W. Christie, editor, Traditional Ballad Airs (Edinburgh, 1876 (downloadable pdf by University of Edinburgh, 2007)), Vol II, pp. 164-165, "You'll Never Mind Me More, Dear Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
    HED Hammond, untitled, Journal of the Folk Song Society, Vol. III, No. 11 (1907 (Digitized by Internet Archive)), #13, "The Turtle Dove" (4 texts, 3 tunes)
    Cecil J Sharp and Charles I Marson, _Folk Songs from Somerset_ (Second Series), (London,Simpkin & Co Ltd,1911), #39 pp. 26-27, The True Lover's Farewell"
    JHCox 137, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text)
    GreigDuncan8 1542, "O Fare Thee Well, My Dearest Dear" (1 text)
    Darling-NAS, p. 268, "Red Rosy Bush" (1 text); p. 270, "The True Lover's Farewell" (1 text)
    Silber-FSWB, p. 142, "The Storms Are On The Ocean" (1 text) p. 151, "He's Gone Away" (1 text); p. 153, "Turtle Dove" (1 text)
    DT, REDRSOY* REJCTLVR* STRMOCAN* (TUTRLDOV) (TURTDOV2) FRWLMRNN TENTHMIL* (TURTDOV2*) (HESGONE* ?)

    Roud #49
    RECORDINGS:
    The Carter Family, "The Storms Are On the Ocean" (Victor 20937, 1927); (Okeh 03160, 1936)
    A. P. Carter Family, "Storms are on the Ocean" (Acme 993, c. 1949)
    Delmore Brothers, "The Storms Are On the Ocean" (Bluebird B-8613, 1941)
    Aunt Molly Jackson, "Ten Thousand Miles" (AFS, 1939; on LC02)
    Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "Little Turtle Dove" (Brunswick 229, 1928; on BLLunsford01; a composite of all sorts of floating verses, a few of which may be from this song)
    Lewis McDaniel & Gid Smith, "It's Hard to Leave You, Sweet Love" (Victor 40287, c. 1929)
    Neil Morris, "The Lass of Loch Royale" (on LomaxCD1701)
    New Lost City Ramblers, "It's Hard to Leave You, Sweet Love" (on NLCR16)
    Jean Ritchie & Doc Watson, "Storms Are On the Ocean" (on RitchieWatson1, RitchiteWatsonCD1)
    [Leonard] Rutherford & [John] Foster, "Storms May Rule the Ocean" (Gennett, rec. 1929; on KMM)
    Ruby Vass "10,000 Miles" (on Persis1)

    BROADSIDES:
    Bodleian, Firth c.18(101), "The True Lover's Farewel[sic]", unknown, no date; also Harding B 25(1952), "The True-Lovers, Farewell"
    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Who Will Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot" (floating lyrics) and references there
    cf. "The Lass of Roch Royal" [Child 76] (floating lyrics)
    cf. "Mary Anne"
    cf. "Sugar Baby (Red Rocking Chair; Red Apple Juice)" (floating lyrics)
    cf. "I Truly Understand You Love Another Man"
    cf. "Way Down the Old Plank Road"
    NOTES: This song is officially a catch-all. The problem is, what to do with all the lost love pieces *with* some hint of a plot plus the floating element "Who will shoe your pretty little foot." After some hesitation, we decided on a four-part primary division (with some exceptions):
    * "The Lass of Roch Royal" for the ballad of that title
    * "Who Will Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot" for fragments too short to classify at all
    * "Mary Anne" for the versions specifically about that girl
    * This, for everything else.
    There probably are recensional variants within this song family; it's just too big and too complex. But the particular items are such a mess that we finally gave up trying to sort them. - RBW
    GreigDuncan8: "Song, written by Lieutenant Hinches, as a farewell to his sweetheart." "Assembled" may be more accurate than "written" since GreigDuncan8 is the familiar assemblage of floating verses.
    For the Reeves-Sharp "Suppose my friends will never be pleased and look with an angry eye ....": cf., "Fare You Well, My Own True Love": GreigDuncan8 1542 "Your friends and mine, my only love, Look with an angry eye".
    Regarding sources for Burns's "A Red, Red Rose," Hammond writes, "The editor [of Popular Songs and Melodies of Scotland], Farquhar Graham, there mentions a garland, supposed to have been printed about 1770, called 'The Horn Fair Garland, containing six excellent new songs,' one amongst them being a version of 'The Turtledove, or True love's farewell.' This is believed to have been in the possession of Burns, as his name, in a boyish hand, is scrawled on the margin of the last page" (p. 89). - BS
    Last updated in version 3.0
    File: Wa097

    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 2013 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


The lyrics in the Digital Tradition are from Sandburg:
    HE'S GONE AWAY (from DT)

    I'm goin' away for to stay a little while,
    But I'm comin' back if I go ten thousand miles.
    Oh, who will tie your shoes ?
    And who will glove your hands?
    And who will kiss your ruby lips when I am gone?

    Oh, it's pappy'll tie my shoes,
    And mammy'll glove my hands,
    And you will kiss mg ruby lips when you come back!

    Oh, he's gone, he's gone away,
    For to stay a little while;
    But he's comin' back if he goes ten thousand miles.

    Look away, look away, look away over Yandro,
    On Yandro's high hill, where them white doves are flyin'
    From bough to bough and a-matin' with their mates,
    So why not me with mine?

    For he's gone, oh he's gone away
    For to stay a little while,
    But he's comin' back if he goes ten thousand miles.

    I'll go build me a desrick on Yandro's high hill,
    Where the wild beasts won't bother me nor hear my sad cry
    For he's gone, he's gone away for to stay a little while,
    But he's comin' back if he goes ten thousand miles.

    From American Songbag, Sandburg
    Note: A wild collection of floaters, including fragments of
    Child #76 and Turtle Dove. A desrick, according to Sandburg, is a
    shack or shanty. RG
    @parting @bird
    filename[ HESGONE
    TUNE FILE: HESGONE
    CLICK TO PLAY
    RG


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 11:35 PM

I've always been curious about this song, whose lovely, far-ranging melody adapts so well to popularized versions, even quite arty ones, but is relatively harder to credit as a folk tune.

Sandburg places this song first in his Songbag. His headnote to a meticulous four-page arrangement says in part:

"This is an arrangement from a song heard by Charles Rockwood of Geneva, Illinois, during a two-year residence in a mountain valley of North Carolina. .... The mountain called Yandro was the high one of this valley. .... The song is of British origin, marked with mountaineer and southern negro influences. ...."

Curiously unsatisfying. Who sang this song to Rockwood and when? Was it professionally changed before it was served up in print? It has a very individual and somewhat uptown sound, though it is one of the loveliest songs in the folk repertoire.

I wonder whether hidden behind this origin story is an ambitious composer. Sandburg also writes, "Mr. Sowerby [the arranger] was lighted with a rich enthusiasm about this song and has met its shaded tones with an accompaniment that travels in fine companionship with the singer."

Do I sense a little irony in the poet's tone at this sophisticated treatment? Might the arranger also have tinkered with the melody some?

All we know is that Sandburg in his own performances followed this melody, and so have the dozens of folk and pop artists who have recorded it since, notably in early days Burl Ives and (if I remember aright) John Jacob Niles as well as Jo Stafford, mentioned above, who in her brief popularization of folk songs c. 1951(?) showed a flair and taste few other pop folkies have matched.   

Surely it's time to detach this song from the others to which it's said above to be related. It's a very distinct patchwork showpiece, only tangentially related to the songs it cops words from.

I I love to hear "He's Gone Away," but I admit the song leaves me at sixes and sevens as to its origin, claims to traditional status, etc.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 24 May 16 - 03:04 PM

I don't know why it's taken me this long to research this, but here I am. My mother sang the chorus of this song to us as a lullaby, and I sing it to my three daughters, but no one knows where it came from. My mother says her grandmother sang it to her, and I'm particularly interested in the aforementioned connection to North Carolina connection, as her father was from Anson county (Greensboro), where he enlisted and served in the Confederacy. For me, it's very evocative of our family's history for generations, and I plan to keep singing it...


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Lighter
Date: 24 May 16 - 04:43 PM

The authoritative Dictionary of American Regional English, published by Harvard U., does not contain the word "desrick."

Nor have I found any indication of an actual mountain in NC (or anywhere else) called "Yandro."

Strange, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Lighter
Date: 24 May 16 - 07:08 PM

"Yander" is/was a common Southern Appalachian pronunciation of "yonder."   It may be that somebody thought it would be nice to turn this into a place name, apparently imaginary.


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Cori S.
Date: 01 Apr 19 - 06:13 AM

Just thought you all might like to know that a choral group, the Voices of Liberty, sings "He's Gone Away" at the American Adventure Pavilion at Disney's Epcot Center, introducing it as being "from the American Civil War." I just wondered *how* they knew that!

Yandro seems like Fennario--a name which could apply to a number of places but not a specific place name. It also sounds suspiciously as if "He's Gone Away" might be in the same category as "I Wonder as I Wander," of folk songs which are not really all folk but used traditional elements and became more popular than genuine folk songs!

You might be interested to know that author Manly Wade Wellman had a bit of fun with this song in his 1952 short story "The Desrick on Yandro," in which a folk singer learns the song describes a real place named for a family named Yandro, a location of odd and outlandish occurrences. The story appeared in the books "Who Fears the Devil" and "Alfred Hitchcock's Monster Museum."

The most beautiful recording I have discovered is by Judy Mayhan, but there are many others. It has been covered by just about everybody (including Lily Munster).

[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlRMV4qzHNk[/url]


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Apr 19 - 06:38 AM

This song also featured in the live production of Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, which I remember seeing as a high school student when the national touring company came to our city. We'd studied the poems in drama class, and later performed our own version of the play, complete with music (and very good those kids were, too). I seem to recall that this song opens the first scene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4A87DSt9j4

Here's the clickified version of Cori's link - I love Judy Mayhan, and actually have that album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlRMV4qzHNk


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Cori S.
Date: 02 Apr 19 - 12:35 AM

Thanks. I noticed certain verses turned up in a lot of folk songs but didn't know they were called floaters. This one has a lot of floaters, including "Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo0MCQd7274

This kind of makes sense now that I learn the verses come from an old Scottish folk song. The Appalachian tune and words don't quite fit the lyric, as what rural mountain girl would be either so pampered, or have clothes so elaborate that she would need help putting them on? Like many folk songs, when analyzed it doesn't make sense, yet weaves an enduring spell.


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Cori S.
Date: 05 Apr 19 - 11:08 PM

It was bothering me that I didn't know how to fit the part about the desrick on Yandro with the part of the song I knew and this proved most useful.

https://www.8notes.com/scores/4869.asp


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Cori S.
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 09:22 AM

It seems most recordings leave out the part about the desrick on Yandro. Does anyone know which if any include it? Here is the Burl Ives recording which includes only the generally-known part of the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKbMIIdEZR0


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Lisa Causey
Date: 29 Nov 21 - 06:39 PM

I remember singing this song in the Bakersfield All City Honor Chorus back in the early 1960's. The version we sang went like this:
all:
   He's gone away for to stay a little while,
   But he's commin' back if he goes ten thousand miles.
   Look away, look away, look away over Yandro.
altos:
   Who will tie your shoes and who will glove your hand
   And who will kiss your ruby lips when I am gone?
soprano soloist:
   Pappy will tie my shoes, and mammy will glove my hand
   And you will kiss my ruby lips when I you come back!
all:
   He's gone away for to stay a little while
   But he's commin' back if he goes ten thousand miles!
   Look away, look away, look away over Yandro.

I was an alto, still am. I remember the young soprano who sang the solo, her name was Maria Chavez, and I do not remember which Junior High School she was from, but I remember how beautiful her voice was.My mom and dad praised our choir while we walked back to our car after the concert and I remember saying how beautiful Maria's voice was, and hoping she overheard us because she richly deserved that positive feedback.


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Nov 21 - 07:00 PM

"Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land."


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 23 - 09:40 AM

Hi, do you know if we have any proof or clue that tells us that this song dates from at least before the civil war ? Thanks


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Jun 23 - 09:50 AM

I learned this song from a Jo Stafford recording of American folk songs made in the early 1950s, when long-playing albums were the very newest thing and stereo had yet to be invented.


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Jun 23 - 11:02 AM

It depends on what you mean by "this song." It saw print just as it's sung today (and in an arty arrangement) in Carl Sandburg's "American Songbag" (1927).

See Bob Coltman's post above, 20 July 13.

The individual elements are mostly floaters, found in songs for more than two hundred years.

This particular *combination* of lyrics and tune, however, seems to be unique. The references to "Yandro" and "desrick" are entirely idiosyncratic. They appear only in this song, in Sandburg's version. See my post of 24 May 16. Google Maps finds no "Yandro" mountain (or any other location) in the United States.

So *if* the song - essentially as Sandburg give it - did exist before or during the Civil War, it must have been known to almost nobody.

If you're looking for period authenticity, then, you might be better off picking on of the many versions listed by the Ballad Index (Joe Offer, above, 20 Jul 13).


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: GUEST,Félix
Date: 10 Jun 23 - 11:40 AM

For instance, when do you think the title "He's gone away" first appeared ? Even if the lyrics are not the same that the song of 1927.


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Jun 23 - 01:15 PM

You'll have noticed that the comprehensive Ballad Index finds no versions with that title other than Sandburg's.

And even he gives the first words as "*I'm* goin' away...."

So my bet is that the title originated with "The American Songbag" in 1928 - unless Sandburg was already using it in his folk song performances.


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: cnd
Date: 12 Jun 23 - 09:00 AM

I wrote some about this song from Manley Wade Wellman's story Desrick on Yandro in the linked thread; most people agree that Sandburg mis-heard "yonder" as "yandro" ("There's a house up yandro/yonder mountain") and people were too polite to correct him.

Felix, if all you're after is any song at all with the title "He's Gone Away" -- it could be centuries old. It's a pretty generic song title. I'd wager at the very least there's an old Christian song about Jesus' death with that title, albeit probably in Ancient Greek or Aramaic or something. Without hours of library searching the earlist title I've found is by Thomas Waller With Thomas Morris And His Hot Babies, "He's Gone Away," B side of "Please Take Me Out Of Jail" (Victor 21202, 1928)


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Subject: RE: Origin: He's Gone Away
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Jun 23 - 09:34 AM

Sandburg got the song from "Charles Rockwood, of Geneva, Illinois." Rockwood learned it "during a two-year residence in a mountain valley of North Carolina....The mountain called Yandro was the high one of this valley."

"Yander" is a recognized variant of "yonder," but it's hard for me to imagine Rockwood mishearing either one as "Yandro" in those circumstances.


The music, by the way, was arranged by Leo Sowerby who, as Sandburg notes, once turned "The Irish Washerwoman" into a cello concerto.


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