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Lyr Req: The Gum Tree Canoe (Steele/Winnemore)

DigiTrad:
GUMTREE CANOE
THE GUM TREE CANOE


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Gum Tree Canoe
Gum Tree Canoe (tune collected by Warren Fahey from Jim Cargill in 1973 )
Gum Tree Canoe (the tune sung by Freddie Bolton ... and the accepted tune in folk circles )
Tombigbee River (Gum Tree Canoe)


26 Apr 97 - 10:07 PM
belter 27 Apr 97 - 12:12 AM
Bill (ssssbill@aol.com) 27 Apr 97 - 02:02 AM
Bob Schwarer 27 Apr 97 - 08:40 AM
Frank Maher fmaher@nfld.com 29 Apr 97 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,jessica 20 Feb 04 - 08:43 PM
masato sakurai 20 Feb 04 - 09:19 PM
masato sakurai 20 Feb 04 - 09:29 PM
open mike 20 Feb 04 - 10:42 PM
GUEST 20 Feb 04 - 11:05 PM
cobber 21 Feb 04 - 01:36 AM
Bob Bolton 21 Feb 04 - 02:03 AM
Joe Offer 21 Feb 04 - 05:11 AM
kendall 21 Feb 04 - 07:16 AM
Bohdran Killer 21 Feb 04 - 08:16 AM
alinact 21 Feb 04 - 08:37 AM
Bob Bolton 21 Feb 04 - 08:50 AM
open mike 21 Feb 04 - 11:48 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Feb 04 - 06:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Feb 04 - 07:27 PM
Bob Bolton 22 Feb 04 - 07:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Feb 04 - 08:00 PM
Bob Bolton 22 Feb 04 - 09:23 PM
sed 07 Mar 04 - 08:39 AM
Willie-O 07 Mar 04 - 12:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 04 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Debbie Porter 07 Mar 04 - 03:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 04 - 04:01 PM
Stewie 07 Mar 04 - 05:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 04 - 07:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 04 - 08:20 PM
Warsaw Ed 17 Mar 04 - 08:11 PM
Dug 07 Mar 05 - 11:19 AM
Dug 07 Mar 05 - 05:48 PM
Bob Bolton 07 Mar 05 - 07:55 PM
Bob Bolton 08 Mar 05 - 04:23 AM
Bob Bolton 08 Mar 05 - 07:40 AM
Dug 08 Mar 05 - 06:27 PM
Bob Bolton 08 Mar 05 - 06:39 PM
denise:^) 08 Mar 05 - 06:44 PM
Dug 09 Mar 05 - 05:08 AM
Bob Bolton 09 Mar 05 - 07:57 AM
Joe Offer 14 Mar 05 - 04:40 AM
GUEST 18 Nov 08 - 11:30 PM
Ross Campbell 19 Nov 08 - 05:12 AM
GUEST 19 Nov 08 - 10:46 AM
Rowan 19 Nov 08 - 04:49 PM
TwistedBough 01 Feb 13 - 01:58 AM
Bob Bolton 03 Feb 13 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Feb 13 - 10:02 AM
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Subject: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From:
Date: 26 Apr 97 - 10:07 PM

About ten years back I heard a recording by a fellow whose name now slips my mind ... an American, though, and I say that b/c the "gum tree" sounds Australian to me, and I think there's an Australian version of the song in the Digital Tradition.

I'm looking for the American version, though.

Chorus:

Roll away, roll o'er the water so blue,

Like a feather we'll float in our gum-tree canoe

(this repeats again).

A broad range to the tune; I think it was over two octaves.

Anyone?


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: belter
Date: 27 Apr 97 - 12:12 AM

john hartford sings it I think.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GUM-TREE CANOE (Steele, Winnemore)
From: Bill (ssssbill@aol.com)
Date: 27 Apr 97 - 02:02 AM

THE GUM-TREE CANOE
(Words by S. S. Steele; Music by A. F. Winnemore 1847)

CHORUS
Singing row away, row, o'er the waters so blue,
Like a feather we sail in our gum-tree canoe.

On Tombigbee River so bright I was born,
In a hut made of husks of the tall yellow corn,
And there I first met with my Julia so true,
And I rowed her about in our gum-tree canoe.

All the day in the field the soft cotton I hoe,
I think of my Julia and sing as I go,
Oh, I catch her a bird with a wing of true blue,
And at night sail her round in our gum-tree canoe.

With my hands on the banjo and toe on the oar,
I sing to the sound of the river's soft roar,
While the stars they look down at my Julia so true
And dance in her eye in our gum-tree canoe.

One night the stream bore us so far away
That we couldn't come back so we thought we'd just stay,
Oh, we spied a tall ship with a flag of true blue,
And it took us in tow with our gum-tree canoe.


My source says that The Gum-Tree Canoe was an old-time minstrel standby, and that it’s also called Tombigbee River.

Enjoy!

Allinkausay,
Bill


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 27 Apr 97 - 08:40 AM

Try the John Hartford page. He has a cd out with that on it.

Bob S.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GUM TREE CANOE (from Frank Crumit)
From: Frank Maher fmaher@nfld.com
Date: 29 Apr 97 - 11:38 PM

I have the GUM TREE CANOE SONG version, sung by Frank Crumit in 1929.

On the Tombagee River so bright I was born,
In a hut made of husks of the tall yellow corn,
And there I first met with my Julia so true,
And I rowed her about in my gum-tree canoe.

CHORUS: Sing roll away roll, o'er the water so blue,
Like a feather we'll float in my gum-tree canoe.

All the day in the field of soft cotton I hoe,
And I think of my Julia and sing as I go.
Oh, I catch her a bird with a wing of true blue,
And at night sail her round in my gum-tree canoe.

With my hand on the banjo and toe on the oar,
I sing to the sound of the river's soft roar,
While the stars they look down at my Julia so true,
And they dance in her eyes in my gum-tree canoe.

One night the stream bore us so far, far away,
That we couldn't come back, so we thought we'd just stay.
Then we spied a tall ship with a flag of true blue,
And they took us in tow in my gum tree canoe. CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: GUEST,jessica
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 08:43 PM

what is the australian version of gum tree canoe please i need to know for an assignment so please can i have it


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 09:19 PM

From American Memory:

The gum tree canoe, by S. S. Steele.
Boston: G. P. Reed, 1847.

The Gum tree canoe, by S. S. Steele and arr. by A. F. Winnemore.
Cleveland: Brainard, S. & Sons, 1885

Gum tree canoe. Thomas G. Doyle, Bookseller, Stationer and Song Publisher, No. 297 N. Gay Street, Baltimore. [n. d.] [song sheet]


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 09:29 PM

At Public Domain Music- Minstrel Songs, Old and New, it is entered as "Tom-Big-Bee River, or The Gum Tree Canoe" (1847), with lyrics & midi.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: open mike
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 10:42 PM

jessica if someone says it is in the D.T. that means that you can find in any time you want by going to the "search" feature here--the box at the top of the page that says "lyrics and knowledge search" Digital Tradition is the name of the data base here. you can either put a word in the box and find the song in the D.T. and also any mention of the song in the forum here "threads"; or go to the alphabetical list and
scroll thru all the song titles . the one you want is the Gumtree not Gum Tree. happy hunting!


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Feb 04 - 11:05 PM

She needs help for the AUSTRALIAN version. Is there such a thing?


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: cobber
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 01:36 AM

You can find the sheet music for the Australian version at this address (sorry, I haven't mastered the clickys yet)
http://www.crixa.com/muse/songnet/047.html


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Subject: Lyr Add: GUMTREE CANOE
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 02:03 AM

G'day Jessica,

I'm afraid "Belter" was wrong saying the Australian version was in the DT ... but "cobber's" link (above) to Mark Gregory's song site does indeed have the words:

Gumtree Canoe

I'll sing you a ditty a sweet little song
It will just take a moment it won't keep you long
I will sing of the days when our love was so new
And we sailed down the Murray River, boys, in a gum tree canoe

Chorus: We rowed we rowed o'er the water so blue
Like a feather we would float along in a gum tree canoe

My hand on my banjo my toe in my oar
I work all the day and I sing as I go
At night time I turn to my Julia so true
And we sail down Murray River, boys, in a gum tree canoe

I once left the river and went on the land
To set myself up as a cocky so grand
But the life didn't suit me it made my heart sore
So I went to the Murray River, boys, and my Julia so true


Notes

Printed in Gumsuckers' Gazette April 1963 The song was sent to Frank Nicholls of the Billabong Band in Melbourne in 1957. Frank Nicholls wrote "It was sent to us by Mrs J. Wilson, who we met at one of our functions. The song was remembered by members of her family who learned it from Freddie Bolton". The Folk Lore Society of Victoria collected another version from Max Dyer of Benambra. Warren Fahey recorded Jim Cargill singing a version which is on Larrikin record Bush Traditions.

*********************************

As you can see, the song is a fairly close parody of the American original ... the "Gum-tree canoe" (Mississippi Red Gum ... ?) would have been irresistible to an Aussie - with many hundreds of species of "Gum Trees" (the smooth barked eucalypts) all round!

I won't bother with thr tune (presumably based on the American original as well), since it is on Mark's excellent site.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 05:11 AM

We have the Australian version in the Digital Tradition as "Gumtree Canoe," and the American version as "Gum Tree Canoe." I posted crosslinks at the top of this thread.

The Australian version in the DT is exactly the same as what Bob posted. It's marked as submitted by "MG." I'm sure that must be Mark Gregory. I wonder if he submitted it himself, or if it was copied from his Website.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: kendall
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 07:16 AM

I had an outstanding 6th grade teacher who taught us songs like this


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Bohdran Killer
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 08:16 AM

A few years ago there was a great TV programme about banjos in America called ' Echos Of America ' and John Hartford sang this song whilst playing the banjo and dancing at the same time. Very special man.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: alinact
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 08:37 AM

OK, so I used to listen to "Australia All Over", but Macca (Ian McNamara) does a pretty reasonable version of this ... and if my feeble memory remembers it correctly, there is a lot of John Hartford influence in his (Macca's) version.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 08:50 AM

G'day Joe Offer,

"We have the Australian version in the Digital Tradition as "Gumtree Canoe," and the American version as "Gum Tree Canoe." I posted crosslinks at the top of this thread."

Humble apologies - I had a quick look at the DT ... but not closely enough to notice the separate version (with Gumboots between)! I plead frustration ... as I only got Mudcat to appear on my third attempt!

(That does as it Mark had submitted the version in the DT ... or someone had taken it directly from Mark's most useful site.)

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: open mike
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 11:48 AM

like I said: gumtree asopposed to gum tree.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GUM TREE CANOE (S. S. Steele)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 06:44 PM

The first 2 versions posted above correspond closely to the sheet music, but the dialect has been deleted, and Jula has been changed to Julia. (I wonder if Jula is an authentic old African name?) The version in DigiTrad is missing the last verse.

Transcribed from the sheet music images at The Library of Congress American Memory Collection.

[TITLE PAGE]
PLANTATION MELODIES,
The words by S. S. STEELE, Esq. as sung by
A. F. WINNEMORE and his Band of VIRGINIA SERENADERS
Arranged for the Piano-Forte by
A. F. WINNEMORE.
[1847]

No. 1.
THE GUM TREE CANOE

1. On Tombigbee river so bright I was born,
In a hut made ob husks ob de tall yaller corn,
An dar I fust meet wid my Jula so true,
An I row'd her about in my Gum Tree Canoe.

CHORUS:
Singing row away row, O'er de waters so blue,
Like a feather we'll float, In my Gum Tree Canoe.

2. All de day in de field de soft cotton I hoe.
I tink of my Jula, an sing as I go,
Oh I catch her a bird, wid a wing ob true blue,
An at night sail her round in my Gum Tree Canoe.
CHORUS

3. Wid my hands on de banjo and toe on de oar,
I sing to de sound ob de rivers soft roar;
While de stars dey look down at my Jula so true,
An' dance in her eye in my Gum Tree Canoe.
CHORUS

4. One night de stream bore us so far away,
Dat we could'nt cum back, so we thought we'd jis stay;
Oh we spied a tall ship wid a flag ob true blue,
An it took us in tow wid my Gum Tree Canoe.
CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 07:27 PM

The 'gum tree' in America is sweetgum (red gum), Genus Liquidambar, species styraciflua. Liquidambar used to be an important timber tree. It grows from southern Connecticut south to Florida, and west to Illinois and East Texas.
The American species was first described in 1651 by the great Mexican botanist and herbalist, Francisco Hernandez.

The American tree is not related to the gums of Australia, Eucalyptus (several species).


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 07:50 PM

G'day Q,

Oh ... bloody liquidambars ... pestiferous ferals round here! Homesick northern hemispherites who want trees that change colour - then drop all their pretty leaves in a heap - planted them all round our cities ... much to the profit of plumbers, operators of drain-clearing apparatus and fence repairers.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 08:00 PM

Bob, perhaps just as destructive to native vegetation as the bloody eucalyptus in California.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 09:23 PM

G'day Q,

That's why I used the term "feral".

Almost any foreign organisn ... especially if introduced by some homesick settler seeking to make a new environment "more like home" - or even worse: imported by some 'get-rich-quick schemer, as with eucalypts into California - will bring a host of unforeseen problems ... and grow in quite different ways from those in its balanced native habitat.

Australia has suffered particularly badly from such ill-considered releases as it was largely settled in the decades of Victorian imperialistic arrogance - and because the native flora and fauna were so totally different ... adapted with a fine (but not understood) degree of precision to a very different land.

A "weed" is any plant in the wrong place!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: sed
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 08:39 AM

Does anyone know if the gum tree species which grow along the Tombigbee River in Alabama and Mississippi actually make decent canoes?


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 12:15 PM

No, they don't at all. You have to make the canoe yourself.

I'm currently carving a dugout canoe from an eastern white cedar log, which is going OK. I don't know anything about the properties of the sweetgum tree, which doesn't grow this far north. Many dugouts were made out of basswood, poplar and white pine, though, because they grew to a good size and are easy to carve.

Must have been some reason they used the gum tree for canoe-making though. I personally wouldn't try it with a log with such poor resistance to rot and insects as any of the poplar family. Specially in a southern climate.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 01:54 PM

As I pointed out, the southern sweet gum (red gum) is Liquidambar styraciflua, which is not a member of the poplar family. It grows to 100-150 feet and has been used for lumber.
Family Hamamelidaceae.

Locally sweet gum was popular for canoes; look at the other choices in the region- pine (not the good white of the north), poplar, and the heavier woods like oak and hardwoods- the latter good for cabinetry but harder to work as well as heavy). Linden is present on the east coast, but I don't think it would like the soils in the Tombigbee River area. Nowadays, however, the genus Plastica has taken over even here in the land of the birchbark canoe.

There are many poplars, genus Populus, Family Salicaceae. Poplar woods are mostly soft, formerly much used in North America in making boxes and toys.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: GUEST,Debbie Porter
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 03:53 PM

The tune is called Tombigbee River. I have the lyrics if you like. It has been recorded by Cathy Barton and Dave Para as well as several others. Great song.

Deb


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 04:01 PM

The original by Steele and Winnimore was posted near the start of this thread. Do you have a variant? Please post; it is always good to see how a song is interpreted by various singers. The Barton-Para verses would be welcome.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 05:26 PM

Curiously, Meade's reference for this song differs. He gives 'George Reed w&m, 1847/S.S. Steele wds'. His earliest songbook citation is to 'Dime Song Book No. 3 [1859]'. ['Country Music Sources' p 462].

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 07:20 PM

There is sheet music at American Memory, published in Boston in 1847 by G. P. Reed:
"The Gum Tree Canoe," by S. S. Steele, arranger A. F. Winnemore, sung by A. F. Winnemore, and his band of Virginia Serenaders.
Three broadsides, undated, by De Masran, Thomas G. Doyle, and Andrews (NY).

A later printing of sheet music is labeled "The Gum Tree Canoe," by A. F. Winnemore, published by Brainard & Sons, 1885.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 04 - 08:20 PM

The Gum Tree Canoe," sung by Frank Crumit as posted above by Frank Maher, is identical to the version in Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 4, p. 302 (new ed.), # 787.
There are two versions in the Max Hunter Collection.

The song was printed in "Heart Songs, 1909, p. 250, as "Tom-Big-Bee River," by S. S. Steele, four verses and chorus ("Singing row away, row..."). The song is printed in minstrel dialect.

The version posted by Bill at the start of the thread has had the dialect of the early versions removed, so its blackface origin is not as apparent.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Warsaw Ed
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:11 PM

Someone mentioned that John Hartford recorded the Tombigbee version. It is available for Real Audio download [complete] at The Record Lady's All-Time Country Favorites. Ed


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Dug
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 11:19 AM

Why does Warren Fahey in his songbook claim to have collected this song? It's obvious from this thread that he didn't.

Bob Bolton will be able to help here, I feel sure. You out there oh wise one?


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Dug
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 05:48 PM

Bob?


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 07:55 PM

G'day Dug,

07 Mar 05 - 11:19 AM to 07 Mar 05 - 05:48 PM ... Bob?

Hey! That's only 6hr 29 minutes (during most of which I was sleeping - it runs 3:19 AM to 9:48 AM Sydney time) ... I do have a life, mate!

I'll look it up when I get home ... which songbook are you citing - Warren's large white one from the '80s ... the name of which escapes me? Anyway, when I queried a number of items that I knew were collected earlier (often by the Bush Music Club collectors who had supplied Warren with contact lists for his collecting trip in the late '70s / early '80s - from the same people) ... Warren defended his notes on the grounds that he was publishing the specific versions that he had collected ... Hmmm!

There is, nowadays, considered to be value in re-collecting from known informants - since it may turn up different versions or additional verses. However, when the version collected is substantially the same as collected by someone a decade, or two, before ... well, I would be a bit more informative about the earlier collection!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GUM-TREE CANOE (Australian version)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 04:23 AM

G'day again Dug (and Joe Offer ... since this changes a few things I accepted above!),

I should not rely on what I laughingly call my memory! Warren's actual book: Eureka The Songs That Made Australia, Omnibus Press, Sydney, 1984 is actually quite polychromatic!

As well, the version Warren collected ... the one universally (and incorrectly) attributed above ... and in the DigiTrad ... as that collected by the Billabong band (ultimately from Freddie Bolton, St Arnaud, Victoria) is actually collected from Jim Cargill, Randwick, New South Wales - in 1973.

This has the words (from Eureka The Songs That Made Australia):

THE GUM-TREE CANOE

On a thorn bonny river, in a hut I was born,
Built of thorns and wild yellow corn,
Its there, I first met with Julia, so true,
And we went for a row in the gum-tree canoe.

CHORUS: We will row, yes, we'll row over the waters so blue
Like a feather I'm afloat in my gum-tree canoe.

With my thumb on the banjo, my toe on the oar,
I'll sing to my Julia, I'll sing as I row
And the stars shone down on Julia, so true,
On the night we rowed out in my Gum-tree canoe.

'Twas for three solid days we sailed out in the bay,
We could not get back, we were forced to stay.
Then we spied a large ship, flying the flag of true blue,
And she took us in tow, in my gum-tree canoe.

I once left the river, and went on the land
To set myself up as a cocky, so grand,
But the life didn't suit me, it made my heart sore,
So, back to the bonny river, boys, and Julia once more.

and the tune - there is ABC at the end!):


Click to play

ABC format:

X:1
T:
M:3/4
Q:1/4=128
K:C
D5G|B4GA|G^F3DD|E2G3A|G6|G4Bd|d4d2|e2dB3|
A4G2|G2B2d2|d4d2|e2d2B2|A4d3/2c/2|B4AB|GE3D2|
E2G3A|G4GA|d4GB|d4dd|e2d2B2|A4GA|Bd3BA|GE3D2|
E2G3A|G13/4||


Now!: The Freddie Bolton words are really:

A Gum Tree Canoe

I'll sing you a ditty, a sweet little song,
It will just take a moment, it won't keep you long,
I will sing of the days when our love was so new,
And we sailed down the Murray River, boys, in a gum tree canoe.

CHORUS: We rowed, we rowed, o'er the water so blue,
Like a feather we would float along, in a gum tree canoe,

My hand on my banjo, my toe on my oar,
I work all the day and I sing as I go,
And at night-time I turn to my Julia so true,
And we sail down the Murray River, boys, in a gum tree canoe.


Given to Frank Nickels 1957 by Mrs. J. Wilson, formerly of St. Arnaud, Vic.

and the tune (completely different) is:


Click to play

ABC format:

X:1
T:
M:3/4
Q:1/4=128
K:C
B6|D2D3E|D2D3E|D2G2A2|B4BB|A2A2A2|A2G2A2|
B2G2E2|E4GE|D2D3E|D2D3E|D2G2A2|B4GB|d2dedB|
AGE4|-E4^FE|D2B3A|G4B2|d4B2|d4BB|B2A2G2|A4GB|
d2dedB|AGE4|E4^FE|D2B3A|G19/4||


OK:

Apologies to Warren (that really is a different (Australian) version - although clearly drawing on the American original)

Sorry Joe: All the attributions in DT are wrong! (Well ... sort of).

I hope this all makes sense .. wil get back if needed!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 07:40 AM

Argh ... I'm back again ... !

I had to break for our Backblocks Musicians session - but I got back to check the other point that nagged me: I suspected - and have confirmed - that the various source were using the Jim Cargill (4 stanza) words ... but posting the Freddie Bolton tune. Jim's is completely different ... if you can decipher MIDItext - or ABC format - you'll see that from the two tunes I have posted.

(BTW: I should have mentioned that I transposed the Jim Cargill tune one tone ... from the collected F up to G ... to match with, and allow direct comparison to, the Freddie Bolton tune.)

Joe: Can you correctly ascribe the words in the DT to 'collected from Jim Cargill by Warren Fahey, 1973' and give it the correct tune and, perhaps, add in the Freddie Bolton-sourced words - against the MIDI of his tune that you already have?

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Dug
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 06:27 PM

Thanks Bob. I too have the Eureka book. In it Fahey does not acknowledge any previous collections or version of the song. He just says "collected by Warren Fahey..."

I am put in mind of Denis Kevans' parody which was aimed squarely at Fahey:

I collect from all collectors with collections on the shelf
Collect from all collectors and collect em all meself,
with archie ive and kath alogue I really am au fahey
and I warrant I'll be richer when the grant's announced today...

Or am I being too harsh?


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 06:39 PM

G'day Dug,

... In this case - Yes! If you wade through all the text / MIDItext / notes in my posting of 08 Mar 05 - 04:23 AM, you will see that it is clear that the only Australian-collected version of this song, before Warren's 4-stanza version, collected in 1973, was the 2 stanzas of the Freddie Bolton text, which permeated its way through the Billabong Band - to be first published in Singabout in 1957.

What Warren collected was a totally different version - like all Jim Cargill's songs, rather closer to the (American) original - but including a clearly Australian last verse. As far as I can see, it is this text that has been the popular one since its publication in Eureka ... but it is almost exclusively sung to Freddie Bolton's tune! I haven't heard Warren sing it - so I don't know if he would use the Cargill tune ... but there is clearly no plagiarism on his part.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: denise:^)
Date: 08 Mar 05 - 06:44 PM

Just an 'FYI--'
"Gum Tree Canoe" is included in "The Laura Ingalls Wilder Songbook," because she mentions it & includes part of the lyrics in her books.

Many libraries have copies of this now-out-of-print book.
(The LIW Songbook that is now in print is a paperback picture book, intended for small children, rather than the hardcover, more "sheet-music-like" book I'm referring to.)

It was published by Harper & edited by Eugenia Garson--
they have copies at Alibris.com.

Denise :^)


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Dug
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 05:08 AM

Thanks Bob! Sorry I couldn't catch up with you on our recent jaunt home. Thought I may have seen you at Gulgong. The Paterson/Lawson workshop went well - thanks for your interest.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics: Gum Tree Canoe?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 09 Mar 05 - 07:57 AM

G'day Dug,

I just ended up with too many other committments ... and the heat is really getting to me these days - Gulgong has been too hot to face for years, but I did make the previous two. I would have loved to have been at the Paterson - Lawson stoush - good reports all round.

BTW: There were quite a few of the Bolton tribe there - younger brother Brian and his wife Lyn and son Llewellyn ... and, I think, older brother Eric, all of whom now live in Dubbo to the west of Gulgong.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gum Tree Canoe
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 04:40 AM

Bob Bolton sent me MIDI files for the lyrics he posted above, and I put links to the tunes with the lyrics. Here's what he said about the tunes:
    I don't know if you glanced at the resurrected (ancient ... thread # 1397 - 26 April 1997!) MudCat thread on The Gum Tree Canoe ... but a query from DUG (Doug Jenner, of Buckley's Chance in London) - about collecting and attribution of the two distinct Australian versions, which I fielded, led me to post corrections.

    The words quoted in all cases as those collected, in 1957, ultimately sourced to Freddie Bolton of St Arnaud, Victoria, Australia ... turn out to really be those collected by Warren Fahey from Jim Cargill of Randwick, New South Wales, Australia in 1973 - but associated with Freddie Bolton's, not Jim Cargill's, tune!

    I've posted both sets of words ... and both tunes - in Alan Foster's unsupported MIDItext format (hey! It does include an ABC rendition that somebody must be able to read … and convert to a MIDI!). I have attached the MIDIs for these two different tunes and CC:ed to MMario. The MIDI GumTreeB is the tune sung by Freddie Bolton ... and the accepted tune in folk circles - and the DT (collecting/publishing path: Freddie Bolton - Mrs Wilson - Frank Nichols - Billabong Band - Bush Music Club/Singabout ... !) and the GumTreeC MIDI is the tune collected by Warren Fahey from Jim Cargill in 1973.

    It would be nice if the DigiTrad could be corrected: perhaps one entry each for the two quite different sets of words - each linked to their own tune.

    Please get back to me (PM - or at this address) if anything else needs explaining or translating.

    Regards,

    Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gum Tree Canoe
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 11:30 PM

I live in Columbia, SC.
I don't know about the song but I can tell you that the sweet gum trees are a bug problem around here. The useless fruit (gum balls we call them) drop everwhere. They multiply like crazy. The roots will badly damage any pavement, garages, or sidewaks. You can cut them down and they pop up all around the stump and are very hard to rid yourself of just one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gum Tree Canoe
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 05:12 AM

Brad Leftwich sings a lovely version of "Gum Tree Canoe" on the "Been There Still" CD (Copper Creek CCCD-0164) by Tom, Brad & Alice.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gum Tree Canoe
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 10:46 AM

The Great John Hartford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gum Tree Canoe
From: Rowan
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 04:49 PM

The American tree is not related to the gums of Australia, Eucalyptus (several species).

It was the "several species" that got me.

When I started as a practising botanist (early 60s in SE Oz) there were at least 450 species (according to the "lumpers" among taxonomists) or as many as 650 species (according to the "splitters", ditto), and that's not counting hybrids or the proliferation of PhD candidates wanting to leave their mark. More recently, the whole genus has been split so that what nonspecialists call "eucalypts" (as the common and garden generic term) is misleading; many are no longer in the genus Eucalyptus.

Enough thread drift. But, at the risk of confusing searchers of the DT, which includes both "Gum tree" and "Gumtree" it is rare in Oz to see the two words conflated into only one when referring to anything arboreal; even the hyphenated version legitimately and properly quoted by Bob would probably, now, be regarded as archaic usage.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gum Tree Canoe
From: TwistedBough
Date: 01 Feb 13 - 01:58 AM

I recently learned this song, The Gum Tree Canoe (the American, pre-civil war SS Steele 1847 song, sans minstrel dialect, aka "Tombigbee River") from Tom, Brad & Alice's album, "Been There Still", and enjoyed singing it despite a nagging curiosity about the last verse, which seems to leave the characters in mid-adventure with their fate unresolved:

       One day the old river took us so far away
            That we couldn't get back, so we just thought we'd stay.
            Then we spied a tall ship with a flag of true blue,
            And she took us in tow in the gumtree canoe.

[Entire lyrics can be found in previous postings on this thread.]

I think it's safe to assume that the characters in the song are slaves. I wondered about that blue flag, and what became of the two lovers who were taken in tow. Where did they end up? It seemed to cry out for at least one more verse to wrap up the story.

In the course of researching the Tombigbee River I found a note on Joel Bresler's website, www.followthedrinkinggourd.org, which points out that not all escaping slaves headed north to the "underground railroad". Some tried to blend in with the free slave populations of the large cities, or headed to the Caribbean. In any event, the Tombigbee River flows south to the Alabama River, forming the Mobile River, which flows into the Gulf at Mobile. I posed my question to Mr. Bresler about the characters of this song being taken in tow by a tall ship with a blue flag. He helpfully forwarded my question to some of his academic contacts, one of whom suggested that this last verse may describe an attempted escape that ended in recapture, since the ship's flag could have been the "Bonnie Blue Flag" of the short-lived (1810) Republic of West Florida. If so, this otherwise sweet and carefree old minstrel song ends on a cruel note.

This possibility has dulled my enjoyment of the song, but I cling to the hope of an alternative explanation. Perhaps the "flag of true blue" was the jack of a U.S. ship, although the jack was flown at the bow while anchored or docked. Perhaps .......? More relevant is the question of how this song would have been presented by the blackface minstrels, and how minstrel show audiences understood it, with its abrupt and puzzling ending.

Any ideas or leads would be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gum Tree Canoe
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 06:14 PM

G'day "Twisted Bough",

Your observation and possible interpretation of that enigmatic last verse of your original song and its native variants illustrate just how much history can underlie the oral transmission of songs!

The ponderings on the different meaning(s) and interpretation(s) of the folk on different sides of the racial divides has a resonance with something I was told about the popularity of "Black-Face Minstel" songs and music in the Australian 'Gold Rush' era of mid - late 19th century.

I have heard it suggested that the style of music that grew up among real-born "Black-face" musicians, when it became widely popular, in its Americam 'home', was restricted ... in "professional performance" to whites - with "black" make-up and assumed costume.

The music that spread out here, in our Australian 'Gold Rush' era, was, apparently, perfomed here by truly African-descended musicians and singers, as well as American performers 'blacked-up'

I have heard that many of the African-descended perfomers did so well, over here, that they stayed here and, often, prospered. One researcher suggested that those who did well included several who went on to be buy hotels .. and become wealthy publicans!

I really need to track back and try to pick up the threads of that particular intriguing possibilty from the glorious free-for-all of the Gold-Rush era, the demise of the convict system and the gaining of democracy ... if not quite to the degree we need still to pursue!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Gum Tree Canoe
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Feb 13 - 10:02 AM

Twisted Bough, I think you are worrying too much. They wouldn't have called the flag 'true blue' if it was bad luck the encounter it. And if the ship's officers had captured escapees, they wouldn't have left them in the canoe, they would have put them in irons.

No, it's just a playful ending to an innocent song.


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