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Lyr Add: Bad Luck John (Joe Crookston)

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Lyr Req: Caitlin at the Window (Joe Crookston) (7)


Joe Offer 29 Jan 17 - 01:04 AM
Joe Offer 29 Jan 17 - 01:20 AM
Joe Offer 29 Jan 17 - 10:37 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jan 17 - 01:08 PM
Jim Dixon 01 Apr 17 - 06:33 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Bad Luck John (Joe Crookston)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jan 17 - 01:04 AM

GOOD LUCK JOHN
(Joe Crookston)

John had a horse and the horse ran away - bad luck, bad luck
John had a horse and the horse ran away - bad, bad luck

CHORUS 1
Bad bad luck! the neighbors did say,
bad luck, John, has come your way
Bad luck has come your way
He said maybe, it's hard to say; he said maybe, it's hard to say

The horse came back with a wild mare - good luck, good luck
The horse came back with a pretty white mare - good, good luck

CHORUS 2
Good good luck! the neighbors did say,
Good luck, John, has come your way
Good luck has come your way
He said maybe, it's hard to say; he said maybe, it's hard to say

The mare kicked John and broke his leg - bad luck, bad luck
The pretty white mare broke John's leg - bad, bad luck
Bad, bad luck…

With a broken leg he missed the draft - good luck, good luck
The army came and walked on past - good, good luck
Good, good luck...

Well his leg grew worse and it would not heal - bad luck, bad luck
And the pain was all that John could feel - bad, bad luck
Bad, bad luck...

Well the nurse she came to take care of - good luck, good luck
And the two of them, they fell in love - good, good luck
Good, good luck...


©2011 Joe Crookston

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2urvFdZLoA

The song appeared in Volume 54, #4, of Sing Out! Magazine, and we included it in the Rise Again Songbook.

Notes from Sing Out!:
    With "Good Luck John," Ohio native Joe Crookston creates a parable about a man whose every bit of troubles are overshadowed by the good fortune that follows. As Joe suggests in the liner notes, John's "luck" is the balance of one seemingly negative event rolling into a positive one and back again. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The principles of Taoism and the yin and yang are centered around the belief that nature moves in such cycles, oblivious to the desires and plans of mankind. A man at peace is one who had learned to accept this. "Good Luck John" is on Joe's third album, Darkling & the BlueBird Jubilee (Milagrito: PO Box 234, Ithaca NY 14851) http://www.joecrookston.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bad Luck John (Joe Crookston)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jan 17 - 01:20 AM

The first time I heard this song was when I was working on the Rise Again Songbook. I was at a storytelling festival today, and I heard the same story, set in China. A series of events took place over a number of years. Some people said each event was a blessing, but a wise man said that the event might or might not be a blessing.

Have any of you heard other versions of this plot, either in song or story?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bad Luck John (Joe Crookston)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jan 17 - 10:37 PM

Robert Rodriquez says he heard a song recorded by Nic Jones that tells this story, but he doesn't remember much about the song. Anybody know it?

Somebody pointed me to a sermon that makes use of the Crookston song:

And a Taoist story with the same plot:


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bad Luck John (Joe Crookston)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jan 17 - 01:08 PM

Found what I was looking for - the same plot is told in the song titled The Taoist Tale, by Tucker Zimmerman. It was on the Nic Jones Unearthed album. Here's the Tucker Zimmerman recording:


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bad Luck John (Joe Crookston)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Apr 17 - 06:33 PM

You might ask: Does this tale teach an important life lesson?

Maybe. It's hard to say.


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