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Origins: Little Red Wing / Union Maid

DigiTrad:
RED WING
RED WING (2)
RED WING (3)
SILVER BELL
UNION MAID
UNION MAID (NEVER GET ME IN A UNION)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Leprosy/Jealousy and Red Wing (11)
'Union Maid' from Seeger DVD (7)
Lyr Req: Redwing - East Anglian Song and Tune (44)
Lyr Req: Indian Maid? / Silver Bell + Red Wing (28)
Lyr Req: Redwing / Red Wing (38)
Lyr Req: Silver Bell (Madden/Wenrich) (16)
Lyr Req: Silver Bells (31)
Lyr Req: Union Maid alternate verse, not gendered (2)
Lyr Req: There Once Was a Union Boss (Red Wing) (15)
Chord Req: union maid in all keys (8)
Lyr Req: My Little Towhee / Mohee / Mohea (10)
Tune Req: Red Wing (28)
Help: Seeking Photos of Ina Wood (Union Maid) (7)
Lyr Req: Red Dove (3) (closed)
Lyr/Tune Req: Red Wing (3) (closed)


McGrath of Harlow 26 Nov 99 - 08:07 PM
Tiger 26 Nov 99 - 08:14 PM
Tom on Comfort 26 Nov 99 - 09:13 PM
26 Nov 99 - 11:30 PM
Metchosin 26 Nov 99 - 11:33 PM
Night Owl 26 Nov 99 - 11:38 PM
Metchosin 27 Nov 99 - 12:02 AM
Night Owl 27 Nov 99 - 12:04 AM
catspaw49 27 Nov 99 - 12:25 AM
Metchosin 27 Nov 99 - 12:40 AM
Night Owl 27 Nov 99 - 12:41 AM
Gary T 27 Nov 99 - 01:07 AM
Musicman 27 Nov 99 - 02:40 AM
Joe Offer 27 Nov 99 - 07:32 AM
Alice 27 Nov 99 - 02:40 PM
Bill D 27 Nov 99 - 06:50 PM
Alice 27 Nov 99 - 07:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 99 - 09:02 PM
Dale Rose 28 Nov 99 - 03:54 PM
raredance 29 Nov 99 - 12:02 AM
Len Wallace 29 Nov 99 - 02:27 AM
Jacob Bloom 29 Nov 99 - 12:45 PM
Joe Offer 31 Jan 01 - 05:41 PM
Snuffy 31 Jan 01 - 06:54 PM
Stewie 31 Jan 01 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,JWB 01 Feb 01 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,CraigS 01 Feb 01 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Rusher 24 Sep 02 - 08:43 PM
masato sakurai 24 Sep 02 - 11:22 PM
masato sakurai 24 Sep 02 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,Cynthia 29 Mar 04 - 05:02 PM
masato sakurai 29 Mar 04 - 07:33 PM
EBarnacle 26 Apr 08 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,Aly 29 Sep 08 - 04:31 PM
LeTenebreux 17 Oct 10 - 08:18 PM
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Subject: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 08:07 PM

"Littke Redwing" is the song with then tune Woody Guthrie used for "Union Maid", which is of course in DT, adn it's also used for "Charlie Chaplin", whichn is also in DT. But "Little Redwing" isn't, and I'd be interested in finding the words.

I know the chorus goes "Oh you can't scare me, I'm little Redwing", but that's all.

It's one of the ways you can identify whether someone is a folkie or bluegrass/country orientated - pkay the tune and ask what it's called. Folkies, if they know it, say "It's Union Maid", bluegrass/country people, if they know it will call it "Little Redwing". But they never seem to know the words.

(The same goes, to a lesswer extent, for "This Land is Your Land" and "My Dixie Darling" where the tune comes from.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Tiger
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 08:14 PM

I have an old 78 of this which I'll transcribe if someone else doesn't post it soon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Tom on Comfort
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 09:13 PM

Isn't it something like "Oh the moon shines tonight on Pretty Redwing...?" I've a friend who's from there (Red Wing, Minnesota), but she's up there visiting her father this holiday weekend. I think she knows the words, so if Tiger's 78 doesn't come in (do you still have machines & needles that can play those?), I can maybe get the words from her.

I think I remember it in an old John Wayne movie, too (well I guess there aren't any new ones are there?). And a campaign song version of it, too--from Chicago (Art Thieme are you there?) "Oh you can't fool me I'm for Pucinski..." (before he got indicted, if I remember correctly).

Tom


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Subject: Lyr Add: REDWING
From:
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 11:30 PM

Redwing

There once was an Indian maid
A shy little prairie maid
Who sang all day
A love song gay
While on the plains
She'd while away the day
She loved a warrior bold
This shy little maid of old
Till brave and gay
He rode one day
To battle far away

Chorus
Now the moon shines tonight on pretty Redwing
The breeze is sighing
The night birds crying
While far beneath the moon her brave lies sleeping
While Redwings weeping
Her heart away

There is at least one more verse which I can't remember and I had trouble with what I wrote above as well. Why is it that the very naughty versions remain clear in your mind and you forget the original one you learned first?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Metchosin
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 11:33 PM

The above is from Metchosin. I forgot to type it in.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Night Owl
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 11:38 PM

Love this place.......only remember bits of the words...but am confident within a few hours, between us we'll have ALL the lyrics. >> <> <> <> <> <> ????????????


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Metchosin
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 12:02 AM

I don't know NightOwl, maybe just the naughty bits.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Night Owl
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 12:04 AM

Geeze....guess I forgot how to do breaks right....words I remember....."Oh, the moon shines bright on pretty Red Wing; the breeze (?) is falling; the night bird's calling; Was a poor.da, da, da, da etc?????? ; her heart away. ????????????......She loved her warrior bold.....????????


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 12:25 AM

Uh, Hey guys.....I think the problem is in what you entered in the DT. Go to REDWING in the DT and you'll get one clean and two dirty versions-I hate that word.."dirty"..anyway, check it out, its there!!!

Love to you Owl...Glad to see you around again. And if you need any help you can't get locally on instrument repair, let me know ... Happy to help!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Metchosin
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 12:40 AM

Well NightOwl, maybe only the naughty bits. Seems to me I've typed this before but it doesn't want to come up to the top. Is there something screwing up with the threads?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Night Owl
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 12:41 AM

UMMMMMMMM..........ERRRRRRRRRR........oh.......there's a DT here??????????? Thanks for the welcome back Catspaw (and your messages!) I guess when we're in "crisis" we're forgiven our sins......no-one yelled.....or is this the newer, quieter Mudcats???? Will be needing advice soon on instrument repair (I hope). Thanks!!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Gary T
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 01:07 AM

I'd have to second Spaw here. I've always heard it called "Redwing", never "Little Redwing". (First post saying this, 2 minutes ago, seems to have disappeared--which probably means it will show up now.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Musicman
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 02:40 AM

you'll find the correct words to both verses here and the other version about Charlie Chaplin here

enjoy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 07:32 AM

Well, if I'm really cool about this, maybe I can make one clickable link that will show all three versions that come up when you search for [red wing] in square brackets - click here. The problem is that it's listed as "Red Wing" I often wish that the database would include a line of keywords at the end a each song, keywords that would include common variations in spelling and the like.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: RED WING (non-bawdy version)
From: Alice
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 02:40 PM

I think there are more bawdy versions of this song than 'polite' ones. My grandpa played it on the fiddle, and I remember hearing the tune all my life. I learned one 'dirty' version when I was in college... too naughty for me to type.

I noticed all the versions in the DT are bawdy, but here is another set of lyrics you can sing for the family from the Albert E. Brumley book 'Songs of the Pioneers'.

Red Wing

1. There once was an Indian maid,
A shy little Indian mad,
Who sang alay,
A love song gay,
As over the plain she'd while the time away,
She loved a warrior bold,
This shy little maid of old,
But blythe and gay,
He rode one day,
To battle far away.

chorus
Now the moon shines tonight on pretty Red Wing,
The breezes sighing, the night birds crying;
While far beneath the stars her love is sleeping,
Poor Red Wing weeping, her heart away.

2. She watched through the day and night,
She kept the campfire bright,
While under the sky,
Each night she would lie,
And dream about his coming by and by,
But when the braves returned
[the next part Brumley repeats brave too many times,
so I have changed it]
The heart of Red Wing yearned,
The braves did say,
Her love that day,
Had fallen in the fray.

chorus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 06:50 PM

I was about 30 years old before I knew there WAS a clean version!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Alice
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 07:13 PM

ooops, that should be Indian maid instead of 'mad'... but then again......


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 09:02 PM

Well, that's veery informative. And it turns out the presentable version Alice gives is on the DT after all, together with two aren't-I-naughty versions (one of which, "Red Wing 2", is really pretty unpleasant. I wouldn't mind that one being given to Harry Fox and Co), plus Union Maid (original version, and a parody) and Charlie Chaplin. P>

Incidentally,I found that if you go in through the alphabetical list it refuses to load the straight version, and insists of giving a parody. But the searchy thing gets it ok, if you put in Red Wing. But Redwing gets you Charlie Chaplin...

Every time I think I've worked things out, I find some other wrinkle. It's a bit like a multi-layer dungeon. (My son knows about them , I don't)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Dale Rose
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 03:54 PM

And here's the link to the other Red Wing thread. Now we can toggle back and forth to our hearts' content, Rich.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: raredance
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 12:02 AM

Aw Dale, you're such a saint ;-) I just hate HTML. Thanks

rich r


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Subject: Lyr Add: UNION MAID^^
From: Len Wallace
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 02:27 AM

UNION MAID

There once was a union maid
who never was afraid
of the goons and ginks and company finks
and deputy sheriff who'd make the raid.
she'd go to the union hall
when the meeting it was called
and when the company boys came around
she'd always stand her ground.

Ch:
Oh you can't scare me I'm sticking to the union
I'm sticking to the union, I'm sticking to the union
No you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union
I'm sticking to the union till the day I die.

This union maid was wise to the tricks of the company spies.
She'd never get fooled by company stools
She's always organise the guys
She'd always get her way when she'd strike for higher pay.
she'd show her card to the National Guard and this is what she'd say . . . Chorus

A number of years ago, I spoke with Pete Seeger about the third verse. He claimed that it was written by the Almanac Singers just before they went into the studio to record the song on record. And this is what they came up with:

Oh, you maids who want to be free
Just take a little tip from me.
Just marry yourselves a union man
and join the Ladies Auxiliary.
Working life ain't hard
when you've got a union card.
A union man has a happy life
when he's got a union wife.

Now, there has been debate as to whether or not Woody Guthrie actually did write that verse. However, Charlie King has dug up a third verse that WAS written by Woody. Unfortunately, I don't have it at my fingertips right now.

There were a number of versions for a third verse floating around since the sixties. This is the one I sing which takes a little from each:

Oh, maids if you want to be free
Just take a little tip from me.
Just get yourselves a union card
and organise your liberty.
You've got to take a stand.
We'll all work hand in hand.
Just move your bones like Mother Jones
and join the union grand.^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Jacob Bloom
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 12:45 PM

To the same tune, there is a song from MIT that I like to call "The Self-Educated Tech Coed" - since I can say that title in public. A very different theme from the other versions, but still a song that requires the singer to be very selective about his audience. I like to think that it was actually written by a coed, since I have trouble imagining a man writing "Just say no. Kick the bastard in the balls."


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Subject: Lyr Add: UNION MAID (Woody Guthrie) ^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 05:41 PM

UNION MAID
(Woody Guthrie)

There once was a Union Maid,
She never was afraid
Of guards and ginks and Company finks
Or deputy sheriffs
That made the raid...
She went to the Union Hall
When a meetin' it was called,
And when the Legion boys come `round
She always stood her ground.

Chorus:
Oh, you cain't scare me, I'm sticking by th' Union,
Sticking by the Union, sticking by the Union,
Oh, you can't scare me I'm sticking by the Union,
Sticking by the Union till the day I die.
(Repeat after each verse)

She went to the Picket Line
One morning just at nine,
And the guard and ginks and Company finks,
Come a skipping through
The morning dew.
They had their clubs and guns
They had their knives and bombs,
They stood as still as if they's dead,
When she jumped up and said:

When the Union boys they seen
This pretty little Union queen
Stand up and sing in the deputies' face,
They laughed and yelled
All over the place
And you know what they done?
These two-gun Company thugs,
Then they heard this Union Song,
They tucked their tails and run.

©1947, Stormking Music

Source: Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People (1967 - Alan Loamx, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger) Woody's notes say that Pete Seeger wrote the song with him.^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Snuffy
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 06:54 PM

I remember bits of a rugby club version from the 60's. Chorus started:

Oh the moon shines tonight on Nellie Cartwright.
She couldn't fart right
Her arse was airtight...

Anybody remember the rest?

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: Stewie
Date: 31 Jan 01 - 08:08 PM

The Fiddler's Companion has an interesting entry on the song - you will need to scroll down a little:

Click here

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: GUEST,JWB
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 01:18 PM

No mention of the tune in this thread. My ear tells me that the first two bars of the verse were used by the composer of the Wizard of Oz soundtrack as incidental music. Anyone else hear that?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: GUEST,CraigS
Date: 01 Feb 01 - 05:50 PM

My memory (which is not always accurate) says that the tune was recorded in the 30s by the Ray Noble Orchestra, and suggests that Mr Noble was the composer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: GUEST,Rusher
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 08:43 PM

The moon shines bright
On Nelly Cartwright
She couldn't fart right
She tried some asswipe
It didn't work right
It sealed her airtight

She took a tire valve
Shoved it up herself
Her pressure was too high
Now Nelly's in the sky
Now she's in orbit
Just like Tom Corbett
She's goin' round and round
And everything is brown

The moon is thick and hazy
It's Picadilly hazy
But know one can see it
Because of all the sh--.

Sorry about spelling and such but it is a best as I can remember.

HTML line breaks added and spelling improved. --JoeClone, 26-Sep-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: masato sakurai
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 11:22 PM

SHEET MUSIC from the Levy Collection; also SHEET MUSIC from DUKE:

Title: Red Wing. An Indian Intermezzo.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words by Thurland Chattaway. Music by Kerry Mills.
Kerry Mills Publication: New York: F.A. Mills, 32 West 29th St., 1907.
Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
Instrumentation: piano and voice (solo and satb chorus)
First Line: There once lived an Indian maid, a shy little prairie maid
First Line of Chorus: Now the moon shines tonight on pretty Red Wing.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: masato sakurai
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 11:33 PM

Red Wing [Realaudio] by Buell Kazee & Sookie Hobbs (Brunswick 210; recording date: January 1, 1928) from Honkingduck.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: GUEST,Cynthia
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 05:02 PM

Thank you SO MUCH for the info and the lyrics. This is one I learned from the ice cream truck as a kid, and never knew all the words. I have no idea how I learned the ones I knew, either, except for the first line of the chorus.

So, I went and brought it up in a class today and felt like an idiot-- nobody had ever heard of it. But then, they're all 20-30-35 years younger than I am. Except for the body parts failing, being old and knowing stuff is pretty cool.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: masato sakurai
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:33 PM

New link to "Red Wing" : Buell Kazee & Sookie Hobbs.


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Subject: Lyr Add: UNION MAID (Woody Guthrie)
From: EBarnacle
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 09:12 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UNION MAID
(Woody Guthrie)

There once was a union maid
Who never was afraid
Of goons and ginks and company finks
And deputy sheriffs who made the raids
She went to the union hall
When a meeting it was called,
And when the Legion boys came 'round
She always stood her ground.

cho: Oh, you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union,
I'm sticking to the union,I'm sticking to the union
Oh, you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union,
I'm sticking to the union till theday I die.

This union maid was wise
To the tricks of company spies,
She couldn't be fooled by a company stool
She'd always organize the guys
She always got her way
When she struck for better pay.
She'd show her card to the national guard
And this is what she'd say.

You gals who want to be free
Just take a little tip from me:
Get you a man who's a union man
And join the Ladies' Auxiliary*
Married life ain't hard
When you got a union card,
And a union man has a happy life
When he's got a union wife.

*in the late eighty's wave of revisionism, this became "And fight
together for liberty". Woody never said that. RG
Note: Oddly, this is a parody (political) of a parody (bawdy) of
a pop song of the mid-1800s.RG

Note to RG: Woody didn't make up the vile verse about the Ladies
Auxiliary - I understand Lee Hays did. JB

Note to JB: I never heard that: Woody never seemed to feel that
Ladies' Auxiliaries were demeaning to women (though they might be
faintly amusing). Remember, this was a product of an era in which
the working woman was somewhat of a freak, and union activism was
almost entirely a male function. RG

Copyright Ludlow Music, Inc.
@union @work @political
filename[ UNIONMD
TUNE FILE: REDWNG
CLICK TO PLAY
RG

I was listening to a friend perform this song last month and REALLY listened to the final verse. I decided that, as I am part of a union whose leadership is roughly 50% female, I could do better. Here 'tis.


You gals who want to be free
Just take a little tip from me:
Get you a love who's a unionist
And join in your union's activity .
Life together ain't hard
When you got a union card,
And a unionist has a happy life
When they've got a union splice.

The third line could be improved by an internal rhyme but I believe that this is a bit closer to current reality.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Redwing / Union Maid
From: GUEST,Aly
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 04:31 PM

Here is possibly the remaining verse:

"She watched for him day and night.
She kept all the camp fires bright.
While under the sky, each night she would lie
and dream of his coming bye and bye.
After all the braves returned
the heart of Redwing yearned
for far away her warrior gay
fell bravely in the fray."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Red Wing / Union Maid
From: LeTenebreux
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 08:18 PM

They play this tune a lot at contra dances, and it generates a lot of energy. Often paired with tunes like "Hommage a Edmond Parizeau" and "Vive El West Side".


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