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Origin: The Girl I Left Behind

jkilloran 11 Sep 10 - 09:08 AM
Sugwash 11 Sep 10 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 11 Sep 10 - 10:48 AM
open mike 11 Sep 10 - 11:17 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 11 Sep 10 - 11:40 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Sep 10 - 11:58 AM
Steve Gardham 11 Sep 10 - 02:06 PM
Desert Dancer 11 Sep 10 - 05:23 PM
jkilloran 11 Sep 10 - 05:46 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Sep 10 - 05:57 PM
Jack Campin 11 Sep 10 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Betsy 11 Sep 10 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 12 Sep 10 - 05:50 AM
Splott Man 12 Sep 10 - 08:21 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Sep 10 - 02:25 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Sep 10 - 07:11 PM
SINSULL 12 Sep 10 - 08:55 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Sep 10 - 05:36 AM
MissouriMud 13 Sep 10 - 10:11 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Sep 10 - 12:30 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Sep 10 - 12:37 AM
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Subject: The Girl I left Behind
From: jkilloran
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 09:08 AM

Hello Everyone,

Can anyone tell me any thing about this song? My cousin found these words on a hand written note written by her great grandfather. I can not find anything about this song on the internet. I would like to find the melody as well.

Thank you!

Jaime


The Girl I Left Behind Me

There was a wealthy gentleman who lived here in this part
He had one handsome daughter and I had won her heart
Oh she was noble minded tall beautiful and fair
Columbia's fairest daughter could not with her compare

I told her my intention was quite soon to cross the main
I asked if she'd be faithful till I'd return again
Big drops of tears were in her eyes her bosom heaved a sigh
Dear youth cried she fear not for me my love will never die

Her heart was generous she believed me and her eyes were once more calm
With her loving arms around my neck her bosom it was warm
Then go cried she my prayer will be for health and a prosperous mind
And may heaven grant you safe return to the girl you leave behind

So according to agreement I went on board the ship
And its to the town of Glasgow I made a pleasant trip
There I found gold was plenty and the girls to me ever kind
My love began to cool a bit for the girl I left behind

To Dumfries shire I next set sail that hospitable land
Where handsome Janie Ferguson she took me by the hand
Saying I've got gold in plenty and in love with you I find
My love began to cool for the friends I left behind

Oh she says if you will marry me and think no more to roam
That gold that I possess is yours if you will constant prove
Its maiden's dear and other friends and those you leave behind
Its never if you marry me again will bear in mind

To this I soon consented I own it to my shame
But what man can be happy when he knows himself to blame
True I've got gold in plenty and my wife to me is kind
But O my pillow is haunted by the friends I left behind

My father in his winding-sheets my mother does appear
And that fair young girl sits by their side wiping away her tears
With broken hearts they all have died and now too late I find
None but God has seen how cruel I've been to the Girl I left behind


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: Sugwash
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 10:23 AM

Andy Irvine recorded a version on his album Way Out Yonder. His words differ, but the sentiment is the same.

Here's a bloke on YouTube singing the Irvine version clicky


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 10:48 AM

This looks like it could be a British version of a song that turns up in the States under various titles eg; The Girl Ileft Behind Me or Maggie Walker Blues.

"There was a wealthy farmer who lived in the town nearby
He had a handsome daughter on whom I cast an eye"

etc etc

There are various verses including
"I left old North Carolina to Marion I did go
Went over to Johnson City etc

It ends with
"The girl I left in North Carolina had married another man"

There are probably versions here on the DT.

Doubtlessly someone here will give you more information.

A Good version by Clint Howard, Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley is on a good double CD on Fokways SF 40029/30. Te notes refer to other variants. The whole album is a treasure trove of good material.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: open mike
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 11:17 AM

This is a fiddle tune, often included in the top 10 fiddle tunes.
Often connected with the Civil War, usually spelled THE GAL I LEFT BEHIND ME. Use the search box to find in the the forum and the database.. here are a few of the references you will find there:

http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=6342

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=80151#1458515

included in this cowboy song thread--
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=21644#231297

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=44885#986364

you can find a midi file of the tune here:
http://www.mudcat.org/midi/midibrowse.cfm?start_letter=G


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 11:40 AM

Not about the song as such, but a story connected tangentially:

middle of the nineteenth century, Donegal, farmer was promised dowry of £50 along with the intended wife. Marriage took place; dowry wasn't paid (echoes of "Quiet Man" movie). Farmer said nothing. About ten years, and six children later, the wife died (perhaps in childbirth). Farmer carted the remains to the churchyard nearest to her family home, and - according to the story - "threw her in owre the graveyard wall, and then went home whistling 'The Girl I left behind Me'".


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 11:58 AM

The OP song reminds me of "All Frolicking I'll Give Over", which was sung back in the late 60s by Dave & Toni Arthur; but this had a plot variant similar to the one cited above by Hootenanny, in which it is the girl left behind who is initially unfaithful, & the narrator then finds solace with another girl ~~ "But I never forgot my parting vows to the girl I left behind".

The chorus was "All frolicking I'll give over, Bad company I'll resign. I'll travel around from town to town For the girl I left behind". The tune, as I recall, was quite closely related to that of Harry Cox's "The Barley Straw".

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 02:06 PM

This is Laws P1A. Roud 262
There are copies in various American collections and in the Grieg Duncan Collection from NE Scotland, Australia etc. You don't say where you are Jaime. If you let us know I can suggest where you might easily find a tune. One of the most common sources is Lomax, Folk Songs of North America p318. Texts tend to vary a lot and there are lots of versions on broadsides of the 19thc.

Thank you for posting this version.


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 05:23 PM

Girl I Left Behind (I), The [Laws P1A/B] in the Ballad Index - gives written and recorded sources. This is closer than "The Girl I Left Behind Me" linked by Open Mike, above, although the Ballad Index writer suggests there are connections.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: jkilloran
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 05:46 PM

Thank you all for your insights and suggestions. Incidentally, I'm out side of Boston, Massachusetts. My cousin's great grandfather, and his brother, my great grandfather were from Belledune, New Brunswick, Canada. Our great great grandfather emigrated to New Brunswick from Sligo, Ireland. I believe it was Tubbycurry, Sligo.

Jaime


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 05:57 PM

There is of course a delightful old parody called "The Photo of the girl I left behind me" - which is even funnier if you know this song well. I thought it was on here, but can't seem to locate it.

I think Billy Merson had something to do with it.


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 06:28 PM

The well known English fiddle tune "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (a.k.a. "Brighton Camp") doesn't fit the words jkilloran gave. The song must have had some entirely different tune (the metre suggests something in 6/8, along the lines of "The Lakes of Pontchartrain").


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 07:53 PM

Hi Jack ,
I've always rightly or wrongly thought "The Lakes of Pontchartrain" and the "Blarney Roses" were akin - different timing but very similar,and not really coonnnect to this thread.


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 05:50 AM

The English fiddle tune Brighton Camp / The girl I left Behind me has no connection with the tune of the song mentioned above.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: Splott Man
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 08:21 AM

Levon Helm recorded a version that he'd learnt from his parents. It's on his 2007 album Dirt farmer.


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 02:25 PM

The Andy Irvine version sung by the man on YouTube, one 'Klickstarter', linked on 2nd post of this thread, is closely related to, but shorter than, and lacking chorus of, the Arthurs' version I recall & ref to in my post above of 11 Sep 1158 am; & has a similar, tho faster, tune, related, as I remarked before, to my ear, to The Barley Straw. I have sought the Arthurs' LP with it on (but failed to put a hand on it) to see if a sleevenote might cast some light; but will keep looking & return if I find it. Anyone out there got it? It was Dave & Toni's first Topic album, about 1969 if I recall correctly.

Indeed, Brighton Camp [aka The Girl I Left Behind Me], is not the same song/tune as All Frolicking I'll Give Over [aka The Girl I Left Behind]: it is of course the similarity of these 'aka's which creates the confusion.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 07:11 PM

Okay Jaime,
You need to look out for a book by Helen Creighton called 'Songs of Southern New Brunswick'. Page 106 has a version with tune. There is an Irish version with tune in Gale Huntington's 'Sam Henry's Songs of the People' p401. If you want a New England version there is one in Frank Warner's 'Traditional American Folk Songs' p340 with tune. Or New York State, there's a version with tune in Cazden etc 'Folk Songs of the Catskills' p159. The Canadian, Lorena Clark had a couple of different versions in her repertoire which are both in her book, and finally there are 2 Newfoundland versions in Ken Peacock's 'Songs of the Newfoundland Outports' Vol 2, pp449, 451.


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: SINSULL
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 08:55 PM

I see John Wayne in a coonskin cap and lots of happy soldiers singing The Girl I Left Behind. ANyone know the movie?
SINS


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 05:36 AM

But the John Wayne one {film would have been The Alamo, perhaps?, in which JW played Davy Crockett, coonskin cap & all} will have been the Brighton Camp song, aka The Girl I Left Behind ME, not the one which is the proper topic of this thread, aka The Girl I Left Behind ~ without the final 'ME'].

~Michael~


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Subject: Lyr Add: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF ILLINOIS
From: MissouriMud
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 10:11 AM

Here is a midwestern USA version collected by Gary Harrison from Ollie Barnard (of Cave-in-Rock IL). It is included in Gary's Dear Old Illinois book and recorded by his latest group the New Mules on their Pride of America cd.   There are other similar versions floating around the midwest and other parts of the US with slightly different words - I expect the song traveled a lot and every region has its own words that they try to make fit the geography. It is in 3/4 time which seems to fit the meter of the above song. The Brighton Camp song is a totally different). I have no idea if the tune Gary collected is the same melody as the other recordings referenced in prior notes.



Across the Plains of Illinois

There was a wealthy farmer in the countryside thereby
He had one only daughter, to win her I did try.

I asked if it made any difference if I should cross the plain
She said she'd never prove untrue until I returned again.

I left all in a hurry, for Missouri I was bound
I stepped off at Cairo to view the city around.

The work there it was plentiful, and the girls to me were kind
But the only object of my heart was the girl I'd left behind.

I got up early one morning, went out on public square
The mail boat it was arriving, and the newsboy he was there.

He handed to me a letter which give me to understand
The girl I'd left behind me had married another man.

I walked around and around and around. I didn't know what to do
I went over to Sikeston, and I found it all to be true.

Come all you handsome young gentlemen and listen to my song
I'm sure that if it does you no good it'll surely do you no harm.

Now if you're courting some pretty young miss, just marry her while you can
For if you travel across the plains, she'll marry another man.


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 12:30 AM

Indeed, Missouri, v close to Anglo/Irish version I have more than once refd above as sung by the Arthurs in 60s under title All Frolicking I'll Give Over, to tune not a million miles from the Barley-Straw family, ~ which however ends with his marrying another girl after infidelity of one he left behind. Would particularly draw attention to similarity of its stanza 4, set in Glasgow, to one above ~~

One evening as I left my work I crossed St George's Square;
The mailcoach it was just come in, the postboy met me there.
He handed me a letter that made me understand
That the Girl I Left Behind Me had been wed to some other man.
CHO: All frolicking I'll give over, bad company I'll resign.
I'll travel around from town to town for The Girl I Left Behind.

(May be relevant to mention here, as a cross-ref re tune, that I have recently added The Barley Straw to my YouTube channel.)


~Michael~


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Subject: RE: The Girl I left Behind
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 12:37 AM

r


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