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Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll (Craig Johnson)

DigiTrad:
HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SWINGING?
KEEWANAW LIGHT
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NORTH COUNTRY TRAGEDY


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lisa null 21 Jun 10 - 09:10 PM
Janie 21 Jun 10 - 09:35 PM
GUEST 22 Jun 10 - 12:26 AM
Janie 22 Jun 10 - 12:46 AM
Joe Offer 22 Jun 10 - 02:23 AM
lisa null 22 Jun 10 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,GUEST, Dave in Michigan 22 Jun 10 - 03:52 PM
Art Thieme 22 Jun 10 - 05:03 PM
lisa null 22 Jun 10 - 05:40 PM
Art Thieme 22 Jun 10 - 06:11 PM
ClaireBear 22 Jun 10 - 08:19 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 22 Jun 10 - 09:11 PM
Genie 08 Oct 10 - 01:28 PM
ClaireBear 08 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll
From: lisa null
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 09:10 PM

I used to sing a wonderful song by Craig Johnson called "Roll Big Sandy Roll." I sang it all the time but have not done so since I have been working solo. I would love to have the lyrics again ASAP. Does any kind soul know them? They are not on his record(s) to the best of my knowledge.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll
From: Janie
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 09:35 PM

Don't know the song at all, Lisa, but wondering if you can tell a little about the song or if you have snippets of the lyrics.

I'm guessing it is not about the Big Sandy river that marks much of the border of southwest West Virginia and eastern Kentucky (that river floods regularly, but doesn't "roll"), but just in case....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 12:26 AM

Whatcha gonna do when your ____ ____ _
Walk by the fiver with my head _____
Walk by the river with my head----
Talk about the ____

Won't you roll, Big Sandy roll
Its the river and the willow

I imagine it is the Big Sandy, but he has probably taken poetic license.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll
From: Janie
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 12:46 AM

'zat you, Russ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 02:23 AM

I'm guessing that Masked Guest was Lisa Null, or maybe Charlie Baum...

There was a Craig Johnson CD that came out a while back - I looked, and it didn't have "Big Sandy." It anybody knows it will be Art Thieme or Martha Burns.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll (Craig Johnson)
From: lisa null
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 09:06 AM

Lisa Null is the guest and I really am desperate for this song-- it is pounding around in my head waiting for completion!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll (Craig Johnson)
From: GUEST,GUEST, Dave in Michigan
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 03:52 PM

chorus:

   You roll, Big Sandy, roll,
   The river and the willow;
   The times and the towns you've known,
   The coal trains and the backroads.

sorry, it's years since I heard Craig sing it, maybe more later,
no time now.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROLL, BIG SANDY, ROLL (Craig Johnson)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 05:03 PM

That was one of the first songs Craig sang into my cheapo cassette machine back in 1981; a sweltering hot summer day in that big house in Washington D.C. where the music was constant.

Here it is...


ROLL, BIG SANDY, ROLL
(Craig Johnson)

CHORUS: Roll, Big Sandy, roll,
The river and the willow,
The times and the towns you've known,
The coal trains and the back roads.

1. What ya gonna do when your love runs out?
Gonna sit by the river with my head bowed down.
I'm gonna sit by the river with my face so long
And think about the times since you been gone. CHORUS

2. What ya goin' to do when the river runs dry?
Gonna walk up the track—where the weeds grow high.
The --- is in the ----, and the ---- is in the slack,
And know by then that you ain't coming' back. CHORUS

3. What you gonna do when the yard's tore down?
Gonna walk up the alley to the old mill town,
Counting all the windows where nobody lives,
And counting all the words that never was said. CHORUS

4. What you gonna do when the mill runs slow?
The people are shifting with nowhere to go,
I'll sit with the old men—the whisky and the rye,
Think about the good times—all gone by. CHORUS

5. Whatcha gonna do when the boys go home,
Your pockets mare empty and you're sittin' alone
I'm back on the bottom where I've been before,
Waitin' for the rain and the river to roll.


Lisa----That's the best I can get it...
Art


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll (Craig Johnson)
From: lisa null
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 05:40 PM

Dave: Thanks so much for trying and

Art: Thanks a million for delivering.

I think Almost all of it is restored to my memory now except for the one mystery line:

The --- is in the ----, and the ---- is in the slack,

I remember it a little bit differently-- something about kicking up gravel and grass in the crack, but that probably is not very accurate. Maybe I'll sing it like that until someone can correct me. I feel its now close enough that I think I can dare try singing it again.

Anyone else have any refinements here? What a great song it is. Once it referred to a part of Appalachia, but now it could represent so many rural and small towns in our country, alas.

I cannot believe how helpful mudcatters have been!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll (Craig Johnson)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 06:11 PM

Liusa,
I just found another recording of the song. It is a concert Craig did way back -- May 10, 1979 -- at the Ark in Ann Arbor -- when it was on Hill Street!

The rotton cross ties and the cinders in/and? the slack...

In the other verse the line ought to read:

Sing about the old times--all gone by. Glad to help.

Art --again


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll (Craig Johnson)
From: ClaireBear
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 08:19 PM

Art, in case you wondered, that "...in the sack" line is from Dillon Bustin's "Shawneetown," I'm thinkin':

"Whiskey's in the jug, boys, the wheat is in the sack" (at least, that's how we sing it)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll (Craig Johnson)
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 09:11 PM

At 6'2" and 245 lbs I'm sometimes called Big Sandy but at age 63 I don't roll like I used to! :-}


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Subject: Video: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll (Craig Johnson)
From: Genie
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 01:28 PM

Hey, age happens, Sandy (if you're lucky). *grin*

Lisa, I got a pretty good video of you singing this song at the Sunday night Getaway concert this year.    If you give me the OK, I'll post it on my YouTube channel. There's a bit of static in parts (apparently the connections on my built-in mic need cleaning) but you sound great.

If you post the lyrics here, as you sing them, I'll post them with the video too.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Roll, Big Sandy, Roll (Craig Johnson)
From: ClaireBear
Date: 08 Oct 10 - 01:33 PM

It was such a thrill to hear you sing this at the Getaway, Lisa! I could listen for hours.


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