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Origins: George Washington Was a Nice Young Man


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GUEST,Delmar Lemming (David Shea) 24 Nov 15 - 12:14 PM
Joe Offer 13 Aug 16 - 04:47 AM
cnd 13 Aug 16 - 10:28 AM
cnd 13 Aug 16 - 10:30 AM
cnd 13 Aug 16 - 01:35 PM
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Subject: George Washington was a Nice Young Man
From: GUEST,Delmar Lemming (David Shea)
Date: 24 Nov 15 - 12:14 PM

Does anyone know where this song comes from?

George Washington was a nice young man

George Washington was a nice young man, a lie he'd never tell
But when he chopped the cherry tree his father gave him

Hallelujah (3x)
Got glory in my soul

My mother takes in washing, she does it very well
But when they fail to pay her, you bet she gives them

I took my girl a walking, down by the ferny dell
When her parents found out, they really gave me

The engineer blows the whistles, the fireman rings the bell
The conductor's shouting "All aboard!" and away we go to ...
(-- very old traditional US folk song)

You can find my recording of the song on Youtube with my guitar& Ian Tothill on fiddle.

Recorded at Hen Shea Studios, La Atalaya de SB, Spain.

But I cannot recall where I got it! Sorry for being so vague!

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Subject: Origins: George Washington Was a Nice Young Man
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Aug 16 - 04:47 AM

Refresh. Request above moved from a Carter Family thread, where it didn't belong.
Is this a parody of a legitimate gospel song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: George Washington Was a Nice Young Man
From: cnd
Date: 13 Aug 16 - 10:28 AM

From what I have found, there was a version recorded in 1928 in Briston, Ten, on Monday, Feb 6th, by POPE'S ARKANSAS MOUNTAINEERS with the exact same lyrics as above.

Lyrics to the POPE version:

Interview with members or POPE:

Quotes from the article above:
Memphis, TN Monday, February 6, 1928

John H. Chism - fiddle
J.W. (Joe) McKinney - banjo and vocal
John Sparrow - guitar and high vocal
Wallace Chism - guitar low vocal
Lee F. "Tip" McKinney - vocal

41852-2 Cotton-Eyed Joe Vi 21469
41853-2 Get Along Home, Miss Cindy Vi 21577
41854-1 George Washington Vi 21469

INTERVIEWER: Where did you learn those tunes, like GEORGE WASHINGTON?
McKINNEY: Well, some of 'em, we made 'em up.
I: Which ones did you make up?
M: We made up GEORGE WASHINGTON and JAWBONE, and, well, not all of them. CINDY was an old time tune; it was played way back during the Civil War, and COTTON-EYED JOE was too. Them was old tunes. That HOGEYE is an old song 130 years or older.
I: And you made up GEORGE WASHINGTON?
M: Yes, I'll sing you a little verse of it.

"George Washington's a nice young man
A lie he wouldn't tell,
And when he hacked the cherry tree
His father gave him ....

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah,
Got glory, in my soul.

George's mother takes in washing
She does it very well,
And when they fail to pay her
You bet she gives 'em ...


Oh, the engineerman whistled
And the fireman rung the bell,
And the 'ductor hollered "All aboard,"
And away we go to ...


I take my girl a-walking
down on the flowery dell,
And when the old folks find it out
you bet they give us...


I know four verses of this song
And I can sing them well,
And before I'd sing them verses again
I'd see you all in ...


M: You know, when that feller recorded that record, he said, "That one'll go over, I know!"
I: Do you know which record sold the best?
M: No, I don't.
I: Well, who made up the words and the music?
M: Oh well, there was two or three of us that would put the verses in sometime you know, to make it rhyme up better than maybe the other one would. This fella Sparrow was a good singer. He'd taught singing school and he was a pretty good singer and a schoolteacher, too.

There's other interesting info in that paper too. Hope that helps sort it out.

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Subject: RE: Origins: George Washington Was a Nice Young Man
From: cnd
Date: 13 Aug 16 - 10:30 AM

It also sounds like this poem could be sung to the same tune

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Subject: RE: Origins: George Washington Was a Nice Young Man
From: cnd
Date: 13 Aug 16 - 01:35 PM

Hear the original:

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