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Origins: It's been a long time darling

Mick O'Farrell 14 Dec 09 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,OLD TIMER 15 Dec 09 - 05:06 AM
GUEST 06 Jan 10 - 01:01 PM
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Subject: Origins: It's been a long time darling
From: Mick O'Farrell
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 02:33 PM

A friend of mine, Rita, is trying to find the origin of a song that she remembers from many years ago, she believes the title is 'It's been a long time, darling' and the lyrics, as best she can remember them are as follows:-


It's been a long time darlin' since I've seen you
Been a long time gone from my heart
When you left my tears were falling
You eternal stranger to my heart


And the nights are lonlier without you
And the days they seem so far apart
Been a long time darlin' since I've seen you
Been a long time gone from my heart


If I knew then what I know now dear
I'd never let you treat me anyway
You told me you would never leave me
You cheated and now you're gone away.



If ever we meet again darlin'
Although our love will never be the same
There's still an empty spot within my heart (soul?) dear
Please don't leave me again.


Rita lived for many years in Dublin and would have attended many sessions, so she may have heard it 'live' rather than from a record.
But she thinks it's probably an American folk song and the use of the word 'Darlin'' would support this.
I've already tried Googling some of the lyrics with no luck. Does anyone have any idea of it's origin and whether anybody ever recorded it?

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Subject: RE: Origins: It's been a long time darling
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 05:06 AM

Yep ,sure thing Mick.I am familiar with that song and only very recently I had decided to learn it & introduce it at one of our picking sessions in Tullamore. So, subject to some minor editing , thanks for the words.George Kaye used to do this song live & he recorded it,mid seventies ??? with a three piece band after his Smokey Mountain days,The album is called "The Three Guys" & I will try to root it out to-night and give you the details.I think there was a guy called Maddigan playing 5 string , they didnt do much touring , the odd folk club & pub & as far as I am aware made only one album.Its got a lovely haunting melody to match the tearful story.I have a feeling it was written by George Kaye but it smacks very strongly of Carter Family affairs of the heart and chord progressions likewise, will check & let you know
Louis o Dwyer

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Subject: RE: Origins: It's been a long time darling
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 01:01 PM

Hello there Guest, Old Timer,

Thank you very much for the above information on this song.

I am the Rita in question who has been searching everywhere for the origin of the song. I used to put a lot of songs into a notebook over the years and the author/singer but in this case I had written in the words but had no author/singer and had not looked at this songbook for many years until quite recently. I had all the notes of the song in and remembered the air so I must have heard it somewhere, perhaps at a live session or from some old friends' records going back to the 1980's when I started getting involved in music.

I have Googled information on the said George Kaye and Smokey Mountain Ramblers days etc. etc. and found that there was another George Kaye, an American musician/songwriter from Boston I think.

Anyways I think the George Kaye you mention is the Irish one.

Ido not have any records of Smokey Mountain Ramblers so for the life of me I wish I could remember why I put it in my songbook without the singer's name. My old friends thought that perhaps the Lee Valley had recorded it at some stage. I tried to Google that but did not find out all the songs they recorded.

I certainly thought it was of Carter Family origins and as I am a big fan of the Carter I rooted through my Carter Family records and cd's to no avail.

So now you have given me the best information on this and thank you once again.

Hope your sessions in Tullamore are going well.



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