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DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter

DigiTrad:
JAY GOULD'S DAUGHTER
MILWAUKEE BLUES
THE ROCK ISLAND LINE (is a mighty fine line)


Related thread:
Lyr Req: 'Go ride the blind?' (18)


Joe Offer 04 Feb 10 - 11:32 PM
Joe Offer 04 Feb 10 - 11:53 PM
Amos 05 Feb 10 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Feb 10 - 10:37 AM
RWilhelm 05 Feb 10 - 12:12 PM
Goose Gander 05 Feb 10 - 12:33 PM
Melissa 05 Feb 10 - 04:29 PM
Goose Gander 05 Feb 10 - 05:25 PM
RWilhelm 05 Feb 10 - 05:31 PM
Dave MacKenzie 05 Feb 10 - 05:36 PM
Goose Gander 06 Feb 10 - 01:35 PM
Goose Gander 06 Feb 10 - 02:18 PM
Goose Gander 06 Feb 10 - 10:39 PM
Mark Ross 07 Feb 10 - 12:37 PM
Paul Burke 07 Feb 10 - 02:03 PM
Artful Codger 07 Feb 10 - 07:21 PM
Mark Ross 07 Feb 10 - 07:24 PM
Goose Gander 08 Feb 10 - 03:15 PM
Goose Gander 08 Feb 10 - 11:28 PM
Dave MacKenzie 09 Feb 10 - 04:12 AM
Joe_F 09 Feb 10 - 05:07 PM
Dave MacKenzie 09 Feb 10 - 05:46 PM
Joe Offer 19 Apr 10 - 12:41 AM
Artful Codger 20 Apr 10 - 01:06 AM
GUEST,Erich 20 Apr 10 - 03:08 AM
Stringsinger 20 Apr 10 - 12:52 PM
Joe Offer 20 Apr 10 - 03:25 PM
Artful Codger 20 Apr 10 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,JimP 26 Apr 11 - 01:10 AM
Greg F. 26 Apr 11 - 05:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Apr 11 - 06:30 PM
Charley Noble 26 Apr 11 - 08:37 PM
GUEST 12 Jul 12 - 01:02 PM
Joe Offer 12 Jul 12 - 01:52 PM
Stringsinger 12 Jul 12 - 04:34 PM
Artful Codger 12 Jul 12 - 07:38 PM
Stringsinger 13 Jul 12 - 02:54 PM
Amos 13 Jul 12 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Jul 12 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,mando-player-91 13 Jul 12 - 05:42 PM
Greg F. 13 Jul 12 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Grishka 13 Jul 12 - 05:45 PM
Greg F. 13 Jul 12 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Grishka 13 Jul 12 - 07:07 PM
Goose Gander 14 Jul 12 - 03:07 AM
Greg F. 14 Jul 12 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Jul 12 - 04:56 PM
Greg F. 14 Jul 12 - 05:31 PM
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Subject: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 11:32 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads


I heard a recording of "Jay Gould's Daughter" by Pete Seeger this evening, and I thought I might work it up and add it to my repertoire. There hasn't been any discussion of the song, so I thought it might be worthy of a DTStudy thread.
Here are the lyrics we have in the Digital Tradition. Any corrections, and can anybody provide other versions? Many recordings have essentially the same lyrics, but begin with the "Monday Morning" verse and insert the "fix the blinds" verse toward the end.

JAY GOULD'S DAUGHTER

Jay Gould's daughter said before she died
Papa, fix the blinds so the bums can't ride.
If ride they must, they got to ride the rod.
Let 'em put their trust in the hands of God.
In the hands of God.
In the hands of God.
Let them put their trust in the hands of God.

Jay Gould's daughter said, before she died,
There's two more trains I'd like to ride.
Jay Gould said, "Daughter, what can they be ?"
The Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe.
The Santa Fe, etc.

Jay Gould's daughter said, before she died,
There's two more drinks I'd like to try.
Jay Gould said, "Daughter what can they be?
They's a glass o' water and a cup o' tea.
A cup o' tea, etc.

On a Monday morning it begin to rain.
'Round the curve come a passenger train.
On the blinds was Hobo John.
He's a good old hobo, but he's dead and gone.
Dead and gone, etc.

Charlie Snyder was a good engineer
Told his fireman not to fear
Pour on your water, boys, and shovel on your coal
Stick your head out the window, see the drivers roll
See the drivers roll, etc.

@railroad @drink
From Folksinger's Wordbook, Compiled by Fred and Irwin Silber,
filename[ JGOULD1
TN
apr97

This is an exact transcription of the lyrics in Silber & Silber's Folksinger's Wordbook (Oak Publications, 1973), page 102.
I figured this song was written by a songwriter in the early 20th century, but maybe I was wrong. Looks like the song could be a lot more fragmented in its background than I thought.
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on the song:

    Joseph Mica (Mikel) (The Wreck of the Six-Wheel Driver) (Been on the Choly So Long) [Laws I16]

    DESCRIPTION: Engineer Joseph Mikel is determined to remain on schedule. As a result, he runs too fast to avoid a collision with another train. The result was disastrous: "Some were crippled and some were lame, But the six-wheel driver had to bear the blame"
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (Scarborough)
    KEYWORDS: train wreck disaster crash
    HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
    1836-1892 - Life of Jay Gould. He made his fortune in railroads, largely by stock manipulation, and was worth an estimated $100,000,000 when he died
    FOUND IN: US(So)
    REFERENCES (12 citations):
    Laws I16, "Joseph Mica (Mikel) (The Wreck of the Six-Wheel Driver) (Been on the Choly So Long) [Laws I16]"
    Cohen-LSRail, pp. 385-389, "Milwaukee Blues" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Friedman, p. 317, "Joseph Mica" (1 text)
    Sandburg, pp. 364-365, "Jay Gould's Daughter and On the Charlie So Long" (2 texts, 1 tune); 368-369, "Mama, Have You Heard the News" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Lomax-ABFS, pp. 36-42, "Casey Jones," "The Wreck of the Six Wheel Driver," "Ol' John Brown," "Charley Snyder" (5 texts, 1 tune)
    Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 238, (no title) (1 fragment, beginning "Jay Gooze said befo' he died); p. 247, (no title) (a fragment beginning "Great big tie an' little bitty man, Lay it on if it breaks him down"; the form appears to be a member of this family); p. 250, (no title) (1 short text, about "Joseph Mica")
    Asch/Dunson/Raim, p. 64, "Kassie Jones" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Arnett, pp. 114-115, "Jay Gould's Daughter" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Botkin-RailFolklr, p. 456, "Been on the Cholly So Long" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Darling-NAS, pp. 209-213, "Casey Jones"; "Casey Jones"; "Kassie Jones" (3 text, with the first two belonging here and the third being the full "Kassie Jones" text of Furry Lewis)
    Silber-FSWB, p. 103 "Jay Gould's Daughter" (1 text)
    DT 791, JOEMICA JGOULD1

    Roud #3247
    RECORDINGS:
    Furry Lewis, "Kassie Jones, Parts 1 & 2" (Victor 21664A&B, 1928; on AAFM1; Part 1 is on BefBlues3)
    Roy Harvey & the North Carolina Ramblers, "Milwaukee Blues" (Supertone 2626, early 1930s)
    New Lost City Ramblers, "Milwaukee Blues" (on NLCREP1)
    Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, "Milwaukee Blues" (Columbia 15688-D, 1931, rec. 1930; on CPoole03, GoingDown)
    Pete Seeger, "Jay Gould's Daughter" (on PeteSeeger16)

    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Casey Jones (I)" [Laws G1] (plot)
    cf. "Ben Dewberry's Final Run" (lyrics)
    cf. "Little John Henry"
    cf. "On the Road Again" (floating verses)
    cf. "Crow Wing Drive" (lyrics)
    Notes: Laws says of this piece, "I have included 'Joseph Mica' not so much to establish its identity as a distinct ballad [as opposed to being a relative of 'Casey Jones'] as to emphasize the extreme instability and confusion which are characteristic of Negro balladry."
    To put this in simpler terms, Laws has broken "Casey Jones" up into two ballads. The full forms are filed with G1; the fragments file here. How one establishes the dividing line is not clear; the "hero" of "Joseph Mica" may well be Casey Jones.
    To make matters worse, Laws has garbled the entry and the information about Lomax and Sandburg. I did the best I could, but one should check "Casey Jones (I)" for additional versions.
    To top it all off, Laws distinguishes "Jay Gould's Daughter" as a separate song (dI25), but ALSO files it here; given the things Laws files under "Joseph Mica" and their fragmentary state, I consider his distinction hopeless, or at least incomprehensible, and file those texts here. - RBW
    I don't think it's hopeless at all to separate out "Jay Gould's Daughter/Milwaukee Blues" from "Joseph Mica". If it has a wreck in it, it's Mica; if it doesn't, it's Gould. - PJS
    It should be noted that Furry Lewis' "Kassie Jones" is a fragmentary stream-of-consciousness incorporating a single verse from "Casey Jones" and many floating verses, including a couple from "On the Road Again." (Which is why I filed it here - RBW.) - PJS
    Note: I *still* think we should split off, "Jay Gould's Daughter" from the other songs. - PJS
    The correct answer, ultimately, is to have some system for filing floating fragments -- somehow there needs to be a way to track everything with the "Pretty Little Foot" verses, and the "Jay Gould" fragment, and so forth. A suggestion for the next generation Ballad Index, I suppose. - RBW
    File: LI16

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibiography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 11:53 PM

And here's Joseph Mica, which seems to be closely related:
    JOSEPH MICA

    Joseph Mica was good engineer,
    Tole his fireman not to fear.
    All he want is water'n coal,
    Poke his head out, see drivers roll.

    Early one mornin look like rain,
    'Round de curve come passenger train.
    On powers lie ole Jim Jones,
    Good ole engineer, but daid an' gone.

    Left Atlanta hour behin',
    Tole his fireman to make up the time.
    All he want is boiler hot,
    Run in there 'bout four o'clock.

    "No engineer of this name is known.
    All three stanzas of this ballad are found in the song Casey Jones.
    The mention of Jim Jones in stanza 2 is arresting for a lost ballad
    about a certain Jimmie Jones seems to have been the core of Saunders'
    "Casey Jones." Casey left Memphis an hour and a half behind time on
    his fatal run; he told his fireman he would make up the time if the
    boiler was kept hot; he was on at Canton at four o'clock. The
    correspondences with stanza 3 may be coincidental."[AF]

    DT #791
    Laws I16
    @train
    From A. Friedman, Penguin Book of Folk Ballads of the English Speaking World.
    filename[ JOEMICA
    SOF
    oct96


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 09:55 AM

I remind you, Joe, that I sang you that song on the way to the Getaway in 2008.


A


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 10:37 AM

As for 'Jay Gould's Daughter,' it's part of a long, long tradition I call 'stick in a woman and make it her fault.'

It starts with Eve, moves on to Pandora, includes Snow White's stepmother, Nurse Ratched and I-don't-know-how-many women in the movies.

What is the use of this song? It wasn't a woman who decided to make it harder for hobos to ride in railcars. It was railroad management and law enforcement - two male strongholds if ever there were.

The song is just another man with a crippled ego expressing his hate for women and making himself look righteous at the same time. It's called hypocrisy, Joe.
==========
A long time ago (20 years?) in Milwaukee, a rail worker heard noises coming from a rail car which has been nailed shut and left on a siding. Two boys (about 13) had got in it in Arkansas and had been there for several days.

They were alive because the car was returning beer bottles to a brewery, and there was enough beer left in various bottles to keep the boys in fluids. The railroad said it was a miracle they were found in time.

My second point is that it's not a good idea to romanticize (or even publicize) the idea of hitching rides in rail cars. It's very unsafe.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: RWilhelm
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 12:12 PM

I always thought the joke was that Jay Gould did whatever his daughter said. Everyone in America knew what a bastard Jay Gould was, no one really believed it was his daughter's fault.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Goose Gander
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 12:33 PM

^^
WRECK OF THE SIX WHEELER
Transcribed from recording by
Newton Gaines, Texas, 10-12-29
(BVE-56368-2) on Native American Ballads (RCA LPV-548)

Monday morning it begin to rain
Around the curb came a passenger train
On the Charlie was old Jimmy Jones
He's a good old porter but he's dead and gone
Dead and gone, he's dead and gone
He's been on the Charlie so long.

Joseph Mica was a good engineer
He told his fireman not to fear
All he wanted, keep it good and hot
"We'll make Canton 'bout 4 o'clock,
'Bout 4 o'clock, 'bout 4 o'clock,
Been on the Charlie so long."

When we was about a mile of the place
Number One stared us right in the face
Conductor looked at his watch and he mumbled and said,
"We may make it, but we'll all be dead,
All be dead, we'll all be dead
I've been on the Charlie so long."

When the two locomotives was about to bump
Fireman was preparing for to make his jump
Engineer blowed the whistle and the fireman balled
"Oh, Mr. Conductor, won't you save us all,
Save us all, Oh, save us all,
I've been on the Charlie so long."

Oh, you oughta been there for to see the sights
Running and a-screaming both black and white
Some was crippled and some was lame
But the six wheel driver had to bear the blame
Had to bear the blame, had to bear the blame
He's been on the Charlie so long.

Ain't it a pity, Oh, ain't it a shame
That the six wheel driver had to bear the blame
He'd been on the Charlie so long.

Gonna lay my head, gonna lay my head
Down on some railroad line
Let the Sante Fe, let the Sante Fe come and satisfy my mind
Let the Sante Fe, let the Sante Fe come and satisfy my mind
Gonna lay my head down on some railroad track
When the train come along, I sure gonna jerk it back.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Melissa
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 04:29 PM

I'm not familiar with "Jay Gould's Daughter" so, hoping to hear it, I went to youtube last night. I wanted to see how it compared to 'Rock Island Line'

All I could find was a video of Elijah Wald with mention of JGD as being in the Casey Jones/Milwaukee Blues group.
(listening to his 'Casey Jones' reminded me of Travis-'Lost John' and distracted me from delving further into trying to find a recording of JGD)

Does the one being discussed here sound similar to 'Casey Jones'?
Is there a version online to hear?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Goose Gander
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 05:25 PM

Definately related to Casey Jones, part of the same cluster (can't think of a better word) of blues ballads. Norm Cohen has extensive notes on this in an article somewhere (don't have it in front of me) as well as in Long Steel Rail. But I think we'll need to narrow our focus if it's specifically the Jay Gould's Daughter variant we want to nail down.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: RWilhelm
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 05:31 PM

Here's Pete Seeger's version: Jay Gould's Daughter


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 05:36 PM

Here's the Charlie Poole version:

MILWAUKEE BLUES

One Tuesday morning and it looked like rain
Round the curve come a passenger train,
On the blind sat old Bill Jones,
He's a good old hobo and he's tryin' to get home,
Tryin' to get home,
He's tryin' to get home,
He's a good old hobo and he's tryin' to get home,

Way down in Georgia on a tramp
Roads get muddy and the leaves get damp,
I gotta get a freight train to leave this town
'Cos they don't 'low no hobos a-hangin' around,
Hangin' around,
Yes, a-hangin' around,
'Cos they don't 'low no hobos a-hangin' around.

I left Atlanta one morning fore day,
The brakeman said you have to pay,
Got no money but I'll pawn my shoes,
I wanna go with you, got the Milwaukee blues,
I got the Milwaukee blues,
Got the Milwaukee blues,
I wanna go with you, got the Milwaukee blues.

Old Bill Jones said before he died,
Fixed the road so hobos could ride,
When they ride they will ride the rods,
Put all their trust in the hands of God,
In the hands of God,
In the hands of God,
They'll put all their trust in the hands of God,

Old Bill Jones said before he died,
There's two more roads he'd like to ride,
Fireman says what can it be?
Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe,
Santa Fe,
Yes, Santa Fe,
Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe.

As sung by Charlie Poole on County LP 516 "The Legend of Charlie Poole".


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Goose Gander
Date: 06 Feb 10 - 01:35 PM

JAY GOULD'S DAUGHTER

On a Monday morning it began to rain,
Around the bend came a passenger train.
On the bumpers was Hobo John,
He's a good old hobo, but he's dead and gone.
He's dead and gone.
He's dead and gone.
He's a good old hobo, but he's dead and gone.

Charlie Snyder was a good engineer.
He told his fireman not to fear,
"All you needed was water and coal.
Put your head out the window, watch the drivers roll ... (etc.)"

Jay Gould's daughter said before she died,
"There is one more road that I'd like to ride."
"Tell me, Daughter, what could that be?"
"It's the Sountern California on the Sante Fe ..."

As sung by Buell Kazee, on 'Buell Kazee' CD (JUNE APPAL RECORDING 009)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Goose Gander
Date: 06 Feb 10 - 02:18 PM

The Roud Index treats this as a distinct song, with only five variants. Hmmm . . . not sure about that.


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Subject: ADD Version: Jay Gould's Daughter (Sandburg)
From: Goose Gander
Date: 06 Feb 10 - 10:39 PM

JAY GOULD'S DAUGHTER

On a Monday mornin' it began to rain;
Aroun' the bend come a passenger train;
On the bumpers was a hobo John;
He's a good old hobo, but he's dead and gone.
Dead and gone, dead and gone,
He's a good old hobo, but he's dead and gone.

Charley Snyder was a good engineer,
He told his fireman not to fear,
All he needed was water and coal;
Put your head out the window, see the drivers roll,
See the drivers roll, see the drivers roll,
Put your head out the window, see the drivers roll.

Jay Gould's daughter said before she died:
'There's one more road I'd like to ride.'
'Tell me, daughter, what can it be?'
'It's in southern California on the Santa Fe,
It's in southern California on the Sante Fe.'

Jay Gould's daughter said before she died:
'Father, fix the blind so the bums can't ride;
If ride they must, let them ride the rod,
Let 'em put their trust in the hands of God,
In the hands of God, in the hands of God,
Let 'em put their trust in the hands of God.'

Source:
Carl Sandburg, American Songbag (1927). Also included under the same heading is 'On the Charlie So Long', lyrics are basically the same as on Newton Gaines' recording.
Notes:
"Both texts are from the collection of John Lomax, while the tune is from the singing of Mrs. Lomax"


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Mark Ross
Date: 07 Feb 10 - 12:37 PM

My favorite verse, learned from Pat Sky.

The fireman said before I die,
There's 5 more things that I'd like to ride,
Bicycle, tricycle, automobile,
A bow-legged woman and an automobile.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Paul Burke
Date: 07 Feb 10 - 02:03 PM

Is this the progenitor, or a descendant, of "The Engineer's Song", as in bawdy?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Artful Codger
Date: 07 Feb 10 - 07:21 PM

Are you sure it's "automobile" twice?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Mark Ross
Date: 07 Feb 10 - 07:24 PM

Sorry, I meant to type Ferris Wheel.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Goose Gander
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 03:15 PM

Two fragments from the first decade of the twentieth century . . .

Ol' Jay Goul' said, before he died
He'd fix a way fer hobos to ride
Said, "Ride on the bumpers, en' ride on the rods
En' trust in your life in the han's uv God!"

From east Tennessee mountain whites, recitation of F. LeTellier (1907).

Jay Gould said (before he died)
"Fix my train so the bums can't ride."

From Mississippi (?), MS. of L. A. Harrison (1909).

E. C. Perrow, 'Songs and Rhymes from the South', JAF Vol. 26, No. 100 (Apr. - Jun., 1913).


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Goose Gander
Date: 08 Feb 10 - 11:28 PM

And I think those last two fragments should safely lay to rest the silly idea that this song has anything to do with " . . . another man with a crippled ego expressing his hate for women and making himself look righteous at the same time."

Jeez!


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 04:12 AM

If you mean "The Engineer" which Gershorn Leghorn claimed erroneously hadn't been collected in Britain, it's just the first line that's similar.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Joe_F
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 05:07 PM

Dave M.: Do you mean Gershon Legman? No Eyetie he! %^)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 05:46 PM

That's the one.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 12:41 AM

So, have we ever figured out if Jay Gould actually had a daughter, and how this song applies to her?

Here's the introduction to the Wikipedia entry:
    Jason "Jay" Gould (May 27, 1836 – December 2, 1892) was an American financier who became a leading American railroad developer and speculator. Although he has long been vilified as an archetypal robber baron, whose successes made him the ninth richest American in history, some modern historians working from primary sources have discounted various myths about him.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 01:06 AM

He had two daughters, Helen and Anna, and four sons.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: GUEST,Erich
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 03:08 AM

This on is by Utah Phillips from All Used Up (Philo1050). A shortened version of Pete Seegers.

JAY GOULD'S DAUGHTER

Hey Jay Gould said just before he died
There's two more trains I'd like to buy
Tell me daddy what can they be
Chicago North West and then the Santa Fe
It's the Santa Fe, the Santa Fe
Chicago North West and then the Santa Fe

Hey Jay Gould's daughter said before she died
There's two more drinks I'd like to try
Tell me daughter what can they be
It's a glass of water and a cup of tea
A cup of tea ...

Early morning in a drizzling rain
And around the curve came a passenger train
On the blinds was hobo John
He's a good old hobo but he's dead and gone
He's dead ...

Hey Charly Snider was a brave engineer
He told his fireman have no fear
Pour on the water shovel in the coal
Stick your head out the window watch the drivers roll
And the drivers roll ...

And Jay Gould's daughter said before she died
Daddy fix the blinds, so the bums can't ride
If ride they must they can ride the rod
And they put their trust in the hands of God
The hands of God ...


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 12:52 PM

The late Sam Hinton actually knew Jay Gould's Daughter. She got a bum rap.
She was a philanthropist and a nice person according to Sam (whose word I would take to the bank about folklore). Jeenia is right. The woman always catches hell.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 03:25 PM

The Weavers recorded two versions of Rock Island Line. One of those versions used verses from "Jay Gould's Daughter," but naming people other than the daughter. Is it traditional to use those verses in "Rock Island Line"?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 04:03 PM

There are some comments on this in the thread 'Go ride the blind?'.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: GUEST,JimP
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 01:10 AM

I was researching this song and found the following, From "The Hobo's Hornbook" (1930) by George Milburn (whoever he may have been):

. . . few tramps make any distinction between the rods and
the gunnels any more. The gunnels are heavy iron truss
rods that run lengthwise beneath a freight or passenger
car, and, on freights, are comparatively easy to ride*
The rods, or, more correctly, the rod, is found only on
four-wheel passenger trucks, and riding it is an achieve-
ment denied all But those who have thoroughly mas-
tered tramping. Between the cross-section and the axle
of the oblong four-wheel truck is a slender rod, little
more than a yard long, parallel to the partition and the
axle. On this the tramp once fitted the groove of his
ticket, a board as broad as a man's hand and about six
inches long. Crowded in this small space on the forward
truck (on the rear truck he must "punch the wind35)
the passenger stiff rides, a feat requiring skill and cour-
age. Few tramps nowadays know how to locate the rods,
much less dare ride them.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:05 PM

Although [Jay Gould] has long been vilified as an archetypal robber baron, whose successes made him the ninth richest American in history, some modern historians working from primary sources have discounted various myths about him.

The Myths, perhaps, but not the FACT that he was a miserable piece of crap.

*****

16 Feb 1906:

Jay Gould had just then reversed the commercial morals of the United States. He had put a blight upon them from which they have never recovered, and from which they will not recover for as much as a century to come. Jay Gould was the mightiest disaster which has ever befallen this country. The people had desired money before his day, but he taught them to fall down and worship it. They had respected men of means before his day, but along with this respect was joined the respect due to the character and industry which had accumulated it. But Jay Gould taught the entire nation to make a god of the money and the man, no matter how the money might have been acquired. In my youth there was nothing resembling a worship of money or of its possessor, in our region. And in our region no well-to-do man was ever charged with having acquired his money by shady methods.

The gospel left behind by Jay Gould is doing giant work in our days. Its message is "Get money. Get it quickly. Get it in abundance. Get it in prodigious abundance. Get it dishonestly if you can, honestly if you must."

This gospel does seem to be almost universal. Its great apostles, to-day, are the McCurdys, McCalls, Hydes, Alexanders, and the rest of that robber gang who have lately been driven out of their violated positions of trust in the colossal insurance companies of New York.

p. 364.. AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN, Univ of Calif.Press 2010


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 06:30 PM

Jay Gould had two daughters (and four sons). The eldest daughter, Helen Miller Gould, was noted for her gifts to American Army hospitals and many contributions to New York University.

The younger daughter was famed for her collection of orchid plants, cared for by nine gardeners. She auctioned them off in 1945, and gave the proceeds to the Red Cross.

Lyndhurst, the Gould estate, is maintained by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 08:37 PM

Well, I've always wanted to know something about Jay Gould's daughter and this thread addresses that need. Thanks Stringsinger and Q.

For some reason, it's a song we all had to sing in the 1960's, assuming we were out of our diapers! I think I learned it from a recording by Cisco Huston.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 01:02 PM

Jeenia's right. We probably shouldn't sing songs about hitching on the rails. Too dangerous. We probably shouldn't sing about murder, gambling, breaking the law or any other kind of trouble making. Come to think of it we should probably just shut this whole site down. Too dangerous.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 01:52 PM

I'm hoping that was an attempt at irony on leeneia's part. I suppose the verse she addresses (way up above, 5 Feb 2010) is this one:

    Jay Gould's daughter said before she died
    Papa, fix the blinds so the bums can't ride.
    If ride they must, they got to ride the rod.
    Let 'em put their trust in the hands of God.
    In the hands of God.
    In the hands of God.
    Let them put their trust in the hands of God.


I would suppose the inhumanity comes from being the wealthy offspring of railroad magnate Jay Gould. Gould's two daughters seemed to be very much in the society news, so they were well-known examples of American "royalty." I can't see it as targeting women in general - it targets insensitive rich people who just happen to be women.

And of course, the song glorifies hitching rides on the railroad - it's a hobo song. And whatever the song's perspective, it's an interesting song with historical roots. Although it may be politically incorrect, it's not outrageously so. Seems to me, it would be a shame to suppress this song. The line, "let them put their trust in the hands of God," is powerfully ironic social commentary.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 04:34 PM

Sam Hinton said that she got a bum rap. She was actually a philanthropist.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Artful Codger
Date: 12 Jul 12 - 07:38 PM

Once again, I refer you to the thread "Go ride the blind?" for more on this point.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 02:54 PM

She may not have said this. That's folklore for you.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Amos
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 03:11 PM

Hell, myths and not the actual misses is what we're about in the folk-music trade. I think her mythological design fills the need for an archetype, if you will, and if none of the several actual lasses born to Old Man Gould actually match the design, more power to them.


A


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 05:15 PM

There comes a time when we should learn to recognize a cliche, a stereotype, a scapegoat. One of the oldest cliches is to take a plot with all male characters, stick in one woman and make everything her fault. A common variant on this is to have two females, one young and desirable, one not.

There comes a time when we should wonder what's the effect of this constant portrayal of females as sneaky, duplicitous or malicious. What happens when it goes on for years and years?   

Hobos received brutal treatment, but it was at the hands of the railroads and local law enforcement, not at the hands of Jay Gould's daughter.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: GUEST,mando-player-91
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 05:42 PM

The Tarriers and Johnny Cash also sang it the same way as The Weavers did on that Decca recording. I think it's the only time they sang it with those verses


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 05:45 PM

Yeah, but plenty of folks received more than brutal treatment at the hands of Jay Gould. Good bunch of 'em died.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 05:45 PM

The intention of the verse is certainly not to excuse Jay Gould. The message seems to be that JG is so evil that he barred the "blinds" simply to satisfy his spoiled daughter's malicious whim. Therefore - and now comes the rhetoric trick - all listeners of the song should plead for the "blinds" to be reopened. They may be less inclined to do so if they thought that there were financial reasons. (Real hobos, of course, could not afford a ticket anyway, but other passengers may be tempted by the availability of a safe free ride, even if not exactly comfortable.)

History narration is full of powerful persons doing wicked deeds just to please their sons, daughters, lovers or friends. This is never regarded as a valid excuse.

Mark Twain was a wonderful writer, but his judgment and knowledge about history is not to be trusted. Too often his pen was guided by emotions. However wicked JG may have been, he has not brought the Original Sin into the innocent world, not even to America. And the dying daughter, as we have seen, is mere propaganda (though literally, "before she died" could have been long before she died).


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 06:06 PM

Then, there's another long, long tradition I call "Lets All Romanticize / Whitewash / Excuse / Condone The Robber Barrons And Their Families Because They Gave A nickel To Charity" - a great American tradition.

John D, Rockefeller, Jr. was another of these poor, misunderstood "philanthropists" with the blood of thousands of his fathers victims on his hands, as well as the blood of his own victims at Ludlow & elsewhere.

Lets all shed a tear for the poor, misunderstood Robber Barons.

PS: Grishka: please enlighten us - with facts - as to exactly where Sam Clemens was wrong in his analysis of Mr. Gould and "not to be trusted".


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Jul 12 - 07:07 PM

Greg, I certainly do not want to whitewash anybody; my intuitive tendency is rather to blacksmear.

In SLC's text, I object against his romanticising the era before JG, and blaming the change of mentality entirely on a single person. This is not how history can possibly work, not even in times of violent changes such as the October Revolution, and not even with extremely powerful and unscrupulous persons such as Stalin.

People who only want to know who were the good resp. bad guys or gals are not likely to learn from history.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Goose Gander
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 03:07 AM

Everyone thinks they're the good guys, show me the historical actor who said, "yeah, i'm the bad guy!"


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 02:06 PM

Grishka: Twain never blamed the "change of mentality" as you choose to call it on a single person, be it Gould or anyone else.

Rather than relying on exerpts, suggest you pick up a copy of H.E. Smith, ed.: Autobiographty of Mark Twain, Vol. I Univ of Calif Press, 2010.

I would also hardly call The Gilded Age (1873) a romanticised treatment of the era before Gould.

You need to read more of Mr. Clemens' work.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 04:56 PM

Indeed, Greg, I was only referring to the excerpt and to other writings I faintly remember in which SLC judged about former times (especially European history) in a way that would not be acceptable for a historian. My own knowledge about American history is very sparse, so I am only somewhat critical about styles of arguing. And of course I cannot claim to know Mr. Clemens' work in any completeness; I am glad to learn that he had a broader view.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Jul 12 - 05:31 PM

No prob Grishka - Twain was a pretty complex & convoluted sort of a curmudgeon- & "The Innocents Abroad" & other writing weren't all that complimentary to Europe & European history.

You might enjoy Ron Powers' biography of Twain: Mark Twain, A Life , Free Press, NY & London 2005.

You might also find this intriguing:   http://www.marktwainproject.org

Best,

Greg


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: Mark Ross
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 09:15 PM

Actually the verse about the 2 RR's should read,

"Jay Gould's Daughter said before she died,
There's two more trains that I'd like to ride,
Tell me daughter, what can they be?,
The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe."

The joke contained herein is that that was ONE Rail Road!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Jay Gould's Daughter
From: GUEST,comment made by a Guest Leeneia in 2010 et a
Date: 24 Oct 17 - 09:14 PM

Thank you for this thoughtful discussion. I only heard the Pete Seeger version of it and wanted to fill out the story. Still, I wonder why Seeger, at least, said Sante "Fee" like that. Do you think that and the 'two trains like to ride' were taken from early interviews?

I came back to this site because of a 2010 post. These words have haunted me and made me think many times, wondering if that person is correct" This is what was said:

...."As for 'Jay Gould's Daughter,' it's part of a long, long tradition I call 'stick in a woman and make it her fault.'... It starts with Eve, moves on to Pandora, includes Snow White's stepmother, Nurse Ratched and I-don't-know-how-many women in the movies".

"What is the use of this song? It wasn't a woman who decided to make it harder for hobos to ride in railcars. It was railroad management and law enforcement - two male strongholds if ever there were".

"The song is just another man with a crippled ego expressing his hate for women and making himself look righteous at the same time. It's called hypocrisy,." .

That is so powerful andtrue. Male songwriters do that, don't they? Although, for me Jay Gould's Daughter when sung sounds like the thumpty thump of a railroad train. That is probably one reason for its hobo popularity.


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