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Lyr Req: Four Little Girls in Boston (Driftwood)

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Joe Offer 21 May 16 - 02:23 PM
Joe Offer 21 May 16 - 04:36 PM
Jim Dixon 22 May 16 - 03:23 PM
GUEST 08 Dec 17 - 05:08 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 17 - 06:40 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 17 - 06:48 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Four Little Girls in Boston (Driftwood)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 16 - 02:23 PM

In another thread, somebody requested lyrics for Jimmie Driftwood's "Four Little Girls in Boston." I was wondering if we could do a collaborative transcription in this thread. Here's a YouTube recording:
I have the song on a Bear Family box set titled Jimmie Driftwood: Americana. Bear Family recordings often come with lyrics, but not this one.

-Joe-


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Subject: ADD Draft: Four Little Girls in Boston (Driftwood)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 16 - 04:36 PM

Here's my transcription from the Americana CD. There are some real rough spots here, so please help. Post your suggestions below and I'll edit them into this message.
-Joe-

FOUR LITTLE GIRLS IN BOSTON
(Jimmie Driftwood)

Four little girls in the town of Boston,
Molly and Polly and Tillie and Flo;
One had a harp and one had a horn,
And one had a fiddle and the other had a bow.

CHORUS
Take me back to the town of Boston,
Turn me loose and let me go;
Four little girls in the town of Boston,
Molly and Polly and Tillie and Flo.

When old Lord Howe got stuck in Boston,
A guest the white folks often know (???)
He lost his head and he lost his heart
To Molly and Polly and Tillie and Flo.
CHORUS

When Paul Revere rode out of Boston,
The old folks say this tale is so,
The ones who prayed to the break of dawn
Were Molly and Polly and Tillie and Flo.

Listen to the harp and listen to the horn,
Listen again to the fiddle and the bow;
Four little girls in the town of Boston,
Molly and Polly and Tillie and Flo.

When Lord Cornwallis sailed away,
The general ordered me to go;
Take the news to Boston, [take 'em????]
Molly and Polly and Tillie and Flo.
CHORUS

The war is done and the mourning dove
Is a-nesting where the breezes blow;
I'm so glad 'cause I'm in love with
Molly and Polly and Tillie and Flo.
CHORUS

Listen to the harp and listen to the horn,
Listen again to the fiddle and the bow;
Four little girls in the town of Boston,
Molly and Polly and Tillie and Flo.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Four Little Girls in Boston (Driftwood)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 May 16 - 03:23 PM

Verse 2 line 2 might be: "I guess the white folks often know"--but I'm not sure.

That other line sounds like "Take the news to Boston; bait 'em"--but that makes no sense to me, so of course I'm not sure of that either.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Four Little Girls in Boston (Driftwood)
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 05:08 PM

I hear the line in the second verse as "I guess the wise folks ought to know" which sounds much more likely for a commercial recording (Jimmy Rodgers B side) and having known Driftwood. That's commercial folksinger Jimmy Rodgers not the Singing Brakeman.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Four Little Girls in Boston (Driftwood)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 06:40 PM

I now revise my earlier guess: It's

"Take the news to Boston Bay,
To Molly and Polly and Tillie and Flo."

And if you're going to sing this song, by all means, sing "wise folks" rather than "white folks." Regardless of what Jimmie Driftwood meant to sing, "white folks" seems out of place here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Four Little Girls in Boston (Driftwood)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 06:48 PM

You can also hear the Jimmie [F.] Rodgers recording on YouTube.


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