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Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo

DigiTrad:
CAN'T YE HILO?
HILO, BOYS, HILO
HILO, JOHNNY BROWN
JOHNNY COME DOWN TO HILO
TOMMYS GONE TO HILO
TOM'S GONE TO HILO 2


Related threads:
(origins) Origin: Johnny Come Down to Hilo (87)
Lyr Req: Johnny Gone Down To Hilo - Revisited (13)
Chord Req: Johnny Come Down to Hilo chords (12)
Req: Tommy's Gone Away-Short Sharp Shanties (22)
Lyr Req: Pretty Little Girl With a Blue Dress On (21)
Lyr Add: Shake Her, Johnny, Shake Her (1)
Lyr Add: Johnny Come Down to Hilo (7)
Johnny Come Down To Hilo - question (28)
Lyr Req: john's gone to hilo (7)


Metchosin 28 Nov 99 - 04:47 PM
RoyH (Burl) 29 Nov 99 - 08:01 AM
Mark Cohen 29 Nov 99 - 10:49 PM
Liam's Brother 30 Nov 99 - 12:46 AM
Barry Finn 30 Nov 99 - 12:54 AM
RiGGy 30 Nov 99 - 05:32 PM
bob schwarer 30 Nov 99 - 07:30 PM
kendall 01 Dec 99 - 04:44 PM
Mark Cohen 02 Dec 99 - 12:34 AM
Mark Cohen 02 Dec 99 - 12:38 AM
Metchosin 03 Dec 99 - 12:27 AM
Metchosin 03 Dec 99 - 10:26 PM
GUEST,Charley Noble 08 Apr 05 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Old salt 08 Apr 05 - 10:32 AM
radriano 08 Apr 05 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 08 Apr 05 - 11:44 AM
radriano 08 Apr 05 - 11:51 AM
Snuffy 08 Apr 05 - 06:23 PM
radriano 08 Apr 05 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Lighter w/o cookie 08 Apr 05 - 07:10 PM
Charley Noble 08 Apr 05 - 09:01 PM
GUEST,Lighter 09 Apr 05 - 09:28 PM
Metchosin 10 Apr 05 - 02:38 PM
Little Robyn 10 Apr 05 - 03:52 PM
Little Robyn 10 Apr 05 - 03:56 PM
Joe Offer 05 Nov 10 - 08:39 PM
Lighter 05 Nov 10 - 08:45 PM
Lighter 05 Nov 10 - 08:57 PM
Charley Noble 05 Nov 10 - 08:59 PM
Lighter 05 Nov 10 - 09:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jul 11 - 05:13 PM
Charley Noble 24 Jul 11 - 08:36 PM
Charley Noble 24 Jul 11 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Erich 08 Aug 11 - 03:17 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: TOM'S GONE TO HILO (from Lime Bay Mutiny)
From: Metchosin
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 04:47 PM

Tom's Gone to Hilo 2
(tops'l halyard)

Significantly different from the other version on the DT , the late Stan Hugill said that sung by a good shantyman, this song and its words were too slow to please the officers! The sailors liked it though, especially on a heavy lift. The shanty is sung with alternating chorus after every line

Oh Tommy's gone on a whaling ship
Chorus: Away to Hilo
Oh Tommy's gone on a damned long trip
Chorus: Tom's gone to Hilo

He's never kissed his girl goodbye
He's left her and he's told her why

She's robbed him blind and left him broke
He's had enough he gave her the poke

His half it went it went like chaff
She's hung around for the other half

She's drank and boozed his pay away
With her weather eye on the next pay day

He's shipped around away Cape Horn
His clothes and boots was in the pawn

Ah Tommy's gone on a whaling ship
Away to Hilo
Ah Tommy's gone on a damned long trip
Tom's gone to Hilo
^^

As recorded by Lime Bay Mutiny, 1990.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 08:01 AM

you'll find a version of this on the roy harris, 'live at the Lion' cd, subject of a recent thread. In his notes roy echoes that Stan Hugill remark about it being slow, adding that his has got slower and slower over the years. It still sounds good.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 10:49 PM

I was so excited when I moved to Hilo, Hawaii, thinking I was going to be at the source of some real shanties. I'd go down to the Bayfront and imagine all those old whaling ships putting in, like they did in Lahaina. But then I heard that the Hilo in the songs is actually in South America. Does anybody know for sure? I'd hate to let Maui have all the glory.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 30 Nov 99 - 12:46 AM

On of my dearest pleasures was to hear this song sung - for the first time - by Ewan MacColl in the '60s. The recording I have, as I recall, has A. L. Lloyd and Louis Killen (among others) on the chorus.

The only thing better than being in the company of Stan Hugill was being in the company of Stan Hugill and Mrs. Stan Hugill. "Oh, Stanley! Please, not again!" she would say. They were quite a pair.

All the best,
Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Barry Finn
Date: 30 Nov 99 - 12:54 AM

Hi Mark, hate to break it to you but Hilo, Kona & the Big Island didn't get their Lion's share of the whaling glory cause Lahaina was the favorite hang out for all the folk musicians. Head cross the HaHa (Alenuihaha) channel to where the whalers used to hang out (same spot as the musicians, the bar at the Pioneer Inn by the Banyan Tree). It's been quite awhile but there used to be a good bunch of musicians in the area, some of them out on the Roadstead & some played the local spots but for the most part they hovered around the restoration of the Carthiginian. Hope the music comes by more often. Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: RiGGy
Date: 30 Nov 99 - 05:32 PM

I remember Ewan singing it:

Hilo town is in PERU

Away to Hilo

It's just the place for me & you

Tom's gone to Hilo

RiGGy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: bob schwarer
Date: 30 Nov 99 - 07:30 PM

I thought the place referred to in Peru was Ilo.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: kendall
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 04:44 PM

the version I heard went...Johnnies gone to Hilo..to see them Spanish girls I know...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 12:34 AM

Yes, there is a town called Ilo on the south coast of Peru, just above the border with Chile. I just looked it up on a National Geographic map. Presumably that's the town that was sung about in the shanties, and not my town. Dang. But thanks, Barry, for the suggestion. Maybe one day I will head over to Maui and try to catch some music. Or maybe somebody there knows some folkies on this island, since round trip interisland tickets are now pushing $100, and there aren't many whalers to stow away on these days.

Aloha,
Mark Cohen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 12:38 AM

Oh, by the way, Metchosin, I'd love to get a copy of that Lime Bay Mutiny recording, if it's the group from Victoria with Pat Thompson (a long-lost friend).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Metchosin
Date: 03 Dec 99 - 12:27 AM

Yes they are Mark, and yes your long lost friend, Pat, sings lead on two or three of the cuts. My brother was also a member of the group. They had a tape out, Lime Bay Mutiny Live at the Blue Peter and available through the Nautical Mind Bookstore here. That was quite awhile ago but I'm sure there still might be some tapes floating about. How would you like me to send it to you?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Metchosin
Date: 03 Dec 99 - 10:26 PM

Mark, I spoke to my brother this evening and the tapes are all out of print and gone but I will dub you one if you send me your email address.Pat was pretty sick about a year or so ago, with cancer, but she has had a full recovery from what I understand..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: GUEST,Charley Noble
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 10:11 AM

Refresh!

Any update on Lime Bay Mutiny? Do any surviving participants continue to sing nautical songs in the Victoria, BC, area?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: GUEST,Old salt
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 10:32 AM

bob shwarer is correct, the place in question is Ilo, pronounced Eelo, shantymen always sang Hilo, pronounced highlow.

Old Salt


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Subject: Lyr Add: TOMMY'S GONE TO HILO
From: radriano
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 11:34 AM

Here's a version of the song from the Great Lakes in America. The tune to this one is a bit different too. I'll work it up in ABC notation and post.

TOMMY'S GONE TO HILO
Ivan H. Walton and Joe Grimm, 2002, Windjammers: Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors

Oh, Tommy's gone, what shall I do?
Chorus: Away to Hilo!
Oh, Tommy's gone and I'll go too
Chorus: My Tommy's gone to Hilo!

Oh, Tommy's gone to New York town
The Bowery girls to dance around

Oh, Tommy's gone to Baltimore
To live upon that happy shore

Oh, Tommy's gone to Mobile Bay
The cotton bales to load all day

Oh, Tommy's gone to New Orleans
Where rum is free and the maidens queens

Oh, Tommy's gone to London town
Where skysail ships go up and down

Oh, Tommy's gone to Liverpool
Oh, Tommy's gone to Liverpool

Oh, Tommy's gone to Buffalo
To live at ease and make some dough

Oh, Tommy's gone to the Rio Grande
Where the seas wash over golden sand

Oh, Tommy's gone around the Horn
An' Tommy'll wish he'd not been born

Oh, Tommy's gone to Singapore
Oh, Tommy's gone for evermore

I think I heard the captain say
Just one more pull and then belay

The Old Man's asleep, or he would say
"She's high enough, belay, belay!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 11:44 AM

It doesn't matter which "Hilo" you're thinking about when singing (except for the Peru verse). Both were pronounced the same, and any opinions the sailors had would have been passed on by rumor only.

Maybe the "Peru" verse was made up deliberatelly to cinch the question !


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Subject: Tune Add: TOMMY'S GONE TO HILO
From: radriano
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 11:51 AM

Here's the ABC notation to the melody of "Tommy's Gone to Hilo" as given in the Windjammer's book. I find it an interesting variant.

X: 96
T:Tommy's Gone to Hilo
M:3/4
L:1/8
R:song
K:G
G GA | B3d cA | B4-B d | B4 zA | c B3 z G |
BB B3G | AG F3F | B2A B2G |A G2 ||


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 06:23 PM

Hilo could be pronounced either "Highlow" or "Heelo" and sometimes both pronunciations were used in the same song.

J M Carpenter collected a version in 1929 from a J S Scott of London. The first verse is:
Tommy's gone to Liverpool
Highlow, Heelo
Tommy's gone to Liverpool
Tom's gone to Heelo

There are three more verses I can't properly decipher, followed by " Belay"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: radriano
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 06:27 PM

Yep, if you can't decipher it, it is indeed the Carpenter Collection.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: GUEST,Lighter w/o cookie
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 07:10 PM

I'll give it a try.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 09:01 PM

Well, in refreshing this old thread I managed to connect with the original poster, Metchosin, and I think we'll have great fun sorting this out with the other shanty singers in greater Victoria, BC, next August when we're visiting. Maybe we'll even find some mouldy shipping office records that document what C. Fox Smith was really doing there in the early 1900's. Stay tuned.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Apr 05 - 09:28 PM

Carpenter recorded at least three versions of "Tommy's [or 'Johnny's'] Gone to Hilo" during his trip to Great Britain in 1928-29. The tunes of all three are comparable but the lyrics differ somewhat.

Rees Baldwin of Barry was one of Carpenter's most vigorous sailor singers. (Carpenter also spells the name "Reece Baldwin" and "Reese Baldwyn.) His version, complete, was

Johnny's gone and I'll go too !
    O, O, O, Hylo !
Oh, Johnny's gone and I'll go too !
    Johnny's gone to Hylo !

Baldwin was in his 70s when he sang for Carpenter, but his exceptional energy shines through despite the poor quality of the recording.

Alexander Henderson of Dundee sang it this way :

Oh, Tommy's gone and I'll go too,
      Hee-way ! Hy-oh !
Oh, Tommy's gone and I'll go too,
      Tom's gone to Hylo !

James S. Scott of London was one of Carpenter's most prolific contributors. He went to sea in the 1860s. About 80 when he was recorded, his diction is unfortunately very hard to make out, as though he may have been recovering from an illness. Still, we're lucky that we can listen at all to a voice from so long ago (Scott may have been born as early as 1848 or '49). His performances convey a kind of light-heartedness in spite of everything.

Only the first of Scott's stanzas (the one posted earlier by Snuffy) is at all clear. Carpenter titled the song "Tom's Gone to Ilo" :

Tommy's gone to Liverpool,
      Hi-yo, Hee-lo,
Tommy's gone to Liverpool,
      Tom's gone to Heelo.

[Similarly :] He's gone to see[k ?] the Yankee shores.

The Yankee boys, they're [cunning rogues ?]
They're [handy ?] boys, they've [caught us all ?]

[The boys and girls, they wear fine clothes ?]

BELAY THERE !

These performances and many more are available on the two Carpenter CDs available from Folktrax. Though the sound quality of the original recordings is mostly awful, hard core shanty singers can only profit from listening closely. All the melodies come through and many of the old-time mannerisms.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Metchosin
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 02:38 PM

Charley, I neglected to mention in my PMs, that Victoria does have an excellent Maritime Museum

Also I did a search of the online BC Archives but only came up with a list of 3 books by C. Fox Smith in their collection but I suspect that they are probably available elsewhere too and that you are probably aware of them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Little Robyn
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 03:52 PM

Nobody seems to have mentioned the Nelson version. We've been singing it since the late 60s. Where did we get it? I can't remember - possibly from a Cyril Tawney recording?

Tommy's gone and I'll go too,
Way down Hilo,
Yes, Tommy's gone and I'll go too,
Tom's gone to Hilo.

Tommy was a friend of mine,

Tommy came from Liverpool,

Tommy's gone to Mobile Bay,

Tommy fought at Trafalgar, (pronounced Traff-al-GAR)

And the Victory led the way,
Way down...
The brave old Victory, she won the day,
Tom's...

Tommy's gone and I'll go too,

Sung really slow, in the early hours of the morning, at a folk festival. Lovely!
I even have a video of my husband, Mitch, singing it beside the Victory!
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Little Robyn
Date: 10 Apr 05 - 03:56 PM

Oops, I forgot the second to last verse:

Tommy's gone forever more,

Robyn


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Subject: ADD: My Johnny's Gone to Hilo
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 08:39 PM

This is a much softer song than the sea chantey we're used to. I found it at The Rufus Wainwright Archive. It appears on The McGarrigle Hour CD and DVD.

MY JOHNNY'S GONE TO HILO

My Johnny's gone, what shall I do?
My Johnny's gone to Hilo
And if he says, so I'll go to
My Johnny's gone to Hilo

Hilo-a, Hilo, my Johnny's gone, and I'll go too
My Johnny's gone to Hilo

My Johnny's sailed away to sea
My Johnny's gone to Hilo
A mermaid's lover, he'll surely be
My Johnny's gone to Hilo

Hilo-a, Hilo, my Johnny's gone, and I'll go too
My Johnny's gone to Hilo

My Johnny's sailed from off of these shores
My Johnny's gone to Hilo
I'll never see my Johnny no more
My Johnny's gone to Hilo

Hilo-a, Hilo, my Johnny's gone, and I'll go too
My Johnny's gone to Hilo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 08:45 PM

Paul Clayton recorded a similar pattern with somewhat different words on Whaling and Sailing Songs from the Days of Moby Dick (1956).
I don't believe he named a traditional source. That always makes me suspect there was none.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 08:57 PM

From Holman Day's "Blow the Man Down" (1916):

"O Johnny's gone to Baltimore
To dance upon that sanded floor.
O Johnny's gone for evermore;
I'll never see my John no more!

"O Johnny's gone! What shall I do?         
A-way you. H-e-e l-o-o-o!
0 Johnny's gone! What shall I do?
Johnny's gone to Hilo.

"—Old Hauling Song."

Also, from John M. Hunt, Marion, Va., 1933:

If I should die and be buried at sea,
A mermaid's sweetheart I would be.
Johnny's gone to Hilo!
Heelo! Hilo!
My Johnny's gone, what shall I do?
Johnny's gone to Hilo!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 08:59 PM

Perhaps it should be mentioned in this thread that one melody for the "softer" version of this shanty is used for "Jenny's Gone to Ohio" It's unclear to me whether Jenny went to Ohio before Johnny went to Hilo. But the melody is similar.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 09:27 PM

Hi, Charley. Does anyone know how old the tune for "Jenny" is?

My recollection is that it was collected without one, but I hope I'm wrong.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 05:13 PM

TOMMY'S GONE TO HILO
Hoisting sail

To Hilo town, we'll see her through,
For Tommy's gone with a ruling crew.

Oh, Tommy's gone from down below,
And up aloft this yard must go.

Oh, Tommy's gone, we'll ne'er say nay
Until the Mate sings out, "Belay !"

I think I heard the old man say,
We'll get our grog three times a day.

Oh, one more pull and that will do,
So let her roll and wet us through.

She'll ship it green again today;
The mate is sore and hell's to pay.

Oh, Tommy's gone, what shall I do?
The mate is sore and so are you.

Oh, Tommy's gone and left us, too,
We like the mate- Like hell we do !

Frederick Pease Harlow, 1928, The Making of a Sailor, pp. 258-259,, with musical score, 17, Marine Research Society, Salem, MA.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 08:36 PM

Lighter-

I believe that I first heard "Jenny's Gone to Ohio" on the Original Golden Ring put out by Folk Legacy. I'll have to dig it out or check the Folk Legacy website for notes.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 08:39 PM

Nope, the correct title is "Ginny's Gone to Ohio" and it was recorded on New Golden Ring - Five Days Singing, Volume 1, by Folk Legacy. I don't see any further notes on the website.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tom's Gone to Hilo
From: GUEST,Erich
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 03:17 AM

This is what Alex Campbell sings on "The Shanty Men" (Greenwich Village GVR 201, 1977/78

Oh Tommy's gone what shall I do - Way down Hilo
Oh Tommy's gone and I'll go too - Tom's gone to Hilo

Aye Tommy's gone to Liverpool -
To Liverpool that packet school -

Mhm Yankee shellbacks you'll see there -
With red-top boots and short cut hair -

Oh he signed on for three pound ten -
Aye he signed on for three pound ten -

Oh Tommy's gone to Hilo town -
Where all them gals they do come down -

Oh Hilo town is in Peru -
It's just a place for me and you -

Aye Tommy's gone to Baltimore -
To dance upon the sandy shore -

Aye Tommy fought at Trafalgar -
Oh Tommy fought at Trafalgar -


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