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Origins: If You Don't Love Your Neighbor

Joe Offer 16 Jun 16 - 06:30 PM
cnd 17 Jun 16 - 12:45 AM
Joe Offer 17 Jun 16 - 01:00 AM
Joe Offer 17 Jun 16 - 01:46 AM
cnd 17 Jun 16 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Red Rooster Party 23 Jun 16 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 24 Jun 16 - 04:52 AM
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Subject: Origins: If You Don't Love Your Neighbor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 06:30 PM

This song seems to be a bluegrass special favorite, but I don't know where it comes from. Anybody know who wrote it, and when?

Here are the lyrics that are in the Rise Up Singing Songbook. Please post other versions if you've got 'em.

IF YOU DON'T LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
(Carl Story ???)

There are many people who will say they are Christians
And who live like Christians on the seventh day
But from Monday morning til the coming Sunday
They will fight their neighbor all along the way

CHORUS
O you don't love God if you don't love your neighbor
If you gossip about him, if you don't have mercy
If he gets into trouble and you don't try to help him
If you don't love your neighbor, then you don't love God

In the Holy Bible in the Book of Matthew
Read the 18th chapter from the 21st verse
Jesus plainly tells us that you must have mercy
There's a special warning in the 35th verse

There's a God in heaven and you've but to love him
If you want salvation and a Home on High
If you say that you love him when you hate your neighbor
Then you don't have religion, you just told a lie


Here's a recording by Rhonda Vincent:

As far as I can tell, the songwriter is Carl Story, but I haven't found verification of that. Here's his recording:
One more recording that I really like, by the "Church Sisters":


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Subject: RE: Origins: If You Don't Love Your Neighbor
From: cnd
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 12:45 AM

Classic Country Lyrics (here) lists the author as Carl Story, but there is a copyright entry for that name that credits Tommy Coley and Shorty Sullivan (here). I'd tend to trust the copyright office, but there is the possibility that they're different songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: If You Don't Love Your Neighbor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 01:00 AM

The Harry Fox Agency's Website, songfile.com, has Carl Story listed as writer of YOU DON'T LOVE GOD (IF YOU DON'T LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR), the song also recorded by Rhonda Vincent.
On the other hand, BMI has a song titled IF YOU DON'T LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, written by Tommy Coley and Shorty Sullivan. I'm stickin' with Story, but I wish I had better proof.

-Joe-


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Subject: ADD Version: You Don't Love God... (Carl Story)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 01:46 AM

YOU DON'T LOVE GOD IF YOU DON'T LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
(Carl Story, as recorded by Carl Story)

CHORUS
Oh you don't love God
If you don't love your neighbor
If you gossip about him, if you never have mercy
If he gets into trouble, and you don't try to help him
Then you don't love your neighbor
And you don't love God

There are many people who will say they're Christians,
And they live like Christians on the Sabbath day;
But come Monday morning, till the coming Sunday,
They will fight their neighbor all along the way.

In the holy Bible, in the book of Matthew,
Read the 18th chapter On the 21st verse.
Jesus plainly tells us that we must have mercy,
There's a special warning in the 35th verse.

There's a God Almighty, and you've got to love him,
If you want salvation AND a home on high;
If you say you love him while you hate your neighbor,
Then you don't have religion, you just told a lie.

Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHw5nWWVqig

This is only slightly different from the Rhonda Vincent recording.


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Subject: RE: Origins: If You Don't Love Your Neighbor
From: cnd
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 10:41 AM

Here's another recording of the song, also by Carl Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZokLQNfIo-4

Regarding the composer, things are starting to get a little tangled up. The box set "Carl Story: Bluegrass, Gospel, And Mountain Music: 1942-1959" put out by Bear Family Records (here) credits Coley and Sullivan, and Bear Family Records tends to be pretty accurate as far as I've seen. Another German compilation album of Carl Story songs put out by Cattle Records (here) also credits Coley and Sullivan.

On the other hand, the back sleeve of the original album (here) does not credit anyone. I've only been able to find one picture of the actual record (here), and it looks like it credits someone, but it's too small to read. I feel like it could be Carl Story, since he tended to write most of his recordings as far as I know, but I haven't found any actual evidence saying so.


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Subject: RE: Origins: If You Don't Love Your Neighbor
From: GUEST,Red Rooster Party
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 11:18 PM

BMI credits Coley and Sullivan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: If You Don't Love Your Neighbor
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 04:52 AM

Joe:

Don't know if it will help any but "Shorty" Sullivan's real name was "Philip." He was the younger brother of Johnny "Lonzo" & Rollin "Oscar" Sullivan of the old Opry duo (after the Lloyd George era.) They were all from Metcalf County, KY.

Shorty was killed by a drunk driver back in 1959 (along with Rollin's wife Evy Ruth) not long after this song came out.

I think he was best known as the WBAM musical director, but maybe the Green Valley Boys' WVOK songbook is probably worth a look into.


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