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Origins: The Little Ragamuffin (Hank Keene)

GUEST,Turtleluna 18 Aug 09 - 12:40 AM
GUEST 29 Aug 09 - 11:09 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 29 Aug 09 - 01:10 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 30 Aug 09 - 07:48 AM
GUEST 30 Aug 09 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,Beki 03 Apr 13 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,Beki 03 Apr 13 - 10:11 PM
GUEST 22 Nov 14 - 03:35 AM
GUEST 08 Mar 17 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,Rachel 17 Apr 18 - 10:45 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 18 Apr 18 - 02:59 PM
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Subject: Origins: The Little Ragamuffin
From: GUEST,Turtleluna
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 12:40 AM

I've searched the database every which way I can think of and have not found any references to this song so I hope someone might know what I'm talking about!

There is a song sung in my family called the Ragamuffin or the The Little Ragamuffin, which was sung by my father, his cousin, and their great uncle. We don't know the origins - its a real tear jerker (drives me NUTS that hearing it still makes my eyes leak for the hundredth time) - and it certainly sounds like it is at least based on MANY other songs I've heard (that I can't think of). My cousin asked if I could find out where it came from. She thought it was something our (my late great) Uncle Vernon Miller wrote but I thought surely it had to be in Mudcat. But, if it is, I can't find it!

The song starts out like this (I can only remember parts)

"On the streets of a big city
a city you know well
a little raggamuffin
his papers trying to sell"

...
Then, on his way to the poorhouse, where he could find a bed

"the speeding auto hit him
and knocked him to the ground"

The ragamuffin apologizes, asks the driver not to let him die.
The driver picks him up and takes him to the hospital

On the way to the hospital, the man shares...

"I used to have a son once
was just the age of you (or something like that)
My wife took him and left me
because she was untrue.

I'm all alone and lonely
the little boy replied
I've never met my father
last year my mother died.

I have a little locket
I keep her picture there
If you would only look inside
You'll see her face so fair.

The rich man took the locket
and in it he did see
a picture of a woman
his wife she used to be

He took the boy within his arms
and said with said voice so mild
My son, I've finally found you
You are my long lost child."

I look forward to your input!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Little Ragamuffin
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 11:09 AM

Refresh.

So far, no one amongst my Pickin' and Singing' Gatherin' community or Mudcat has heard of this song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Little Ragamuffin
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 01:10 PM

This collection index at UNC: Southern Folklife Collection Song Folios shows a song called The Little Ragamuffin in FL-294 Hank Keene's Number Four Book of Original Mountain, Cowboy, Hill-Billy and Folk Songs. Hank Keene Incorporated. South Coventry, Conn, 1935.

No way of telling if it's the same song, but if anyone is within striking distance, they may be able to check. Or you could try contacting the librarian there (here's the
How To View page which suggest they may be able to provide copies for you).


Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Little Ragamuffin
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 07:48 AM

The Hank Keene book is available for $35 here: Old Time Country and Western Music Souvenirs.

More interestingly, perhaps, this owner of this site Voices West - Cowboy Poetry and Song lists the book in his collection. It might be worthwhile contacting him to see if it is the same song (and perhaps let you have a copy if it is). There's an email contact on that homepage.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Little Ragamuffin
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 11:53 PM

Thank you so much for this information, Mick! That is some super sleuthing because I hunted all over the web before I posted here and for some reason, didn't spot that.

I've sent off some emails and if I get an answer, I will post it here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Little Ragamuffin
From: GUEST,Beki
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 10:00 PM

I totatally know this song. My mother always sang it to us. She was born in Indiana in 1930 and spent most of her life in Oregon. I might be able to fill in a few blanks for you as I have six siblings who also remember the song well.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LITTLE RAGAMUFFIN (Hank Keene)
From: GUEST,Beki
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 10:11 PM

"On the streets of a big city
a city you know well
stood a little ragamuffin
his papers trying to sell"

His clothes they were all ragged
his feet were on the ground
no one would buy his papers
as he walked around the town.

He started for the poorhouse
where he could find a bed
while crossing on his way there
a car up to him sped

The speeding auto hit him
And knocked him to the ground
The man who drove the auto
Looked down at him and frowned

"Did you not see me coming?"
The boy gave this reply
"I'm very sorry Mister
But please don't let me die

The rich man took him in his car
And to the doctor bed
While speeding on his way there
These words the rich man said

"I used to have a son once
was just the age of two
My wife took him and left me
because she was untrue.

I'm all alone and lonely
the little boy replied
I've never met my father
last year my mother died.

I have a little locket
I keep her picture there
If you would look inside it
You'll see her face so fair.

The rich man took the locket
and in it he did see
a picture of a woman
his wife she used to be

He took the boy within his arms
and said with voice so mild
My son, I've finally found you
You are my long lost child."


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Little Ragamuffin (Hank Keene)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 14 - 03:35 AM

I have an uncle Vernon.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Little Ragamuffin (Hank Keene)
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Mar 17 - 11:20 PM

I am 58 years old and grew up hearing my mother sing it as it was one of her child hood songs. hers how i remember it:

THE LITTLE RAGAMUFFIN   Writer – Unknown

On the streets of a great big city, a city we all know well,                                                                                           stood a little ragamuffin his papers trying to sell.                                                                                                                  
His cloths were all so ragged, his feet were on the ground,                                                                                          no one would by his papers as he walked around the town.                                                                                 
He headed for the poor house, to get himself a bed,                                                                                                                                 but as he started cross the street, a car up to him sped.                                                                                             
The speeding auto hit him and knocked him to the ground,                                                                                                the driver of the auto, looked down at him and frowned.
Did you not see me coming? The little boy replied,                                                                                              he said I'm sorry mister, but please don't let me die.   
The rich man took him in his car and to the doctor sped,                                                                                                             while driving on the way, these words the rich man said.   
I used to have a son once, that's just as old as you,                                                                                                                            my wife took him and left me because she was untrue.                                                                                                                                 
I have no one, I'm all alone, the little boy replied,                                                                                                                     I never knew my father, last year my mother died.                                                                                                
I have a little locket, I keep her picture there,                                                                                                                                          if you would only look inside, you'll see her face fair.                                                                                                                                                   
The rich man took the locket and in it he did see,                                                                                                                                     a picture of a woman his wife she used to be.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
He took the boy into his arms and said with voice so mild                                                                                                         My son, I've finally found you, you are my long lost child.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Little Ragamuffin (Hank Keene)
From: GUEST,Rachel
Date: 17 Apr 18 - 10:45 PM

I grew up with my Mom signing this song to us too. We have learned a few of the words a bit different than is posted above. But it’s definitely the same song. I’ve always wondered where she came up with the song. Glad to know it’s orjgins of 1935. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Little Ragamuffin (Hank Keene)
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 18 Apr 18 - 02:59 PM

If anyone wants to give it a listen there are two versions of the song on youtube at the moment: cariboubill - The Little Ragamuffin and Corey & Trina - The Little Ragamuffin

Mick


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