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Lyr Req: Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death

Joe Offer 10 Aug 17 - 09:14 PM
Joe Offer 10 Aug 17 - 09:30 PM
Joe Offer 10 Aug 17 - 09:52 PM
leeneia 11 Aug 17 - 05:54 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Aug 17 - 09:14 PM

The Global Warming experts say that last year was the warmest year on record, and that the two previous years were also record-breaking. This year is likely to break another record.
But there was another year, 1816, called the Year Without a Summer. Two massive volcanic eruptions blocked the light of the sun, and served to chill the entire earth.
I'm looking for lyrics to a song about that year. I think the song is called "Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death." Anybody have the lyrics?
-Joe-


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Subject: ADD: The Old Squire (George B. Bartlett)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Aug 17 - 09:30 PM

Hmmmm. Getting somewhere. Here's an excerpt from the full text of "The history of the town of Dummerston : the first town settled by Anglo Saxon descendants in the state" (of Vermont, I think).


THE OLD SQUIRE.

In the time of the sorrowful famine year
When crops were scanty and bread was dear.
The good Squire's fertile and sheltered farm-
In the valley nestled secure from harm :
For the Walpole hills, in their rngged might
Softened the chill winds deathly blight,
So the sweet Connecticut's peaceful sti-eam
Reflected the harvest's golden gleam:
And the buyers gathered with eager greed
To speculate on the poor man's need;
But the good Squire said "It is all in vain ,-
No one with money can buy my grain ;
But he who is hungry may come and take
An ample store for the giver's sake.
The good old man to his rest has gone.
But his fame still shines in the golden corn.
For every year in its ripening grain,
Tlie grand old stoiy was told again.
Of him whose treasure was laid away
In the banks that seven -fold interest pay;
For to feed the hungry and clothe the poor
Is a speculation that's always sure.


Pete and Karen Sutherland used at least part of this text for their song, "1800 and Froze to Death": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fou7yRkfepo
(recording probably won't work in UK)

This song was also recorded by Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen, and by a group called Nightingale.

Nightingale Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuvNF6mB8tw
(won't work in UK)

Now to get to work on a transcription.

-Joe-



Here's a very nice and neat presentation of the original text, attributed to George B. Bartlett:
https://vermonthistory.org/images/stories/articles/greenmountaineer/afriendtovermonters.pdf

THE OLD SQUIRE
(George B. Bartlett)

In the time of the sorrowful famine year
When crops were scanty and bread was dear,

The good Squire's fertile and sheltered farm
In the valley nestled secure from harm:

For the Walpole hills, in their rugged might
Softened the chill winds deathly blight,

So the sweet Connecticut's peaceful stream
Reflected the harvest's golden gleam:

And the buyers gathered with eager greed
To speculate on the poor man's need:

But the good Squire said "It is all in vain;
No one with money can buy my grain;

But he who is hungry may come and take
An ample store for the giver's sake.

The good old man to his rest has gone,
But his fame still shines in the golden corn,

For every year in its ripening grain,
The grand old story was told again


A Friend to Vermonters in the Famine Year

If you read the story on the year 1816, you know that times were hard and crops failed all over Vermont. But hard times brought out the best in some people. A wealthy farmer, Squire Thomas Bellows, lived fifteen miles up the Connecticut River in Walpole, New Hampshire. He managed to raise a good crop of corn and had all that he needed for his own use. He sold lhe rest at the same low price as in years of plenty. Since many people did not have money, he let them pay in labor. Many Vermonters are said to have been helped by him. In fact, he turned no one in need away. But when a speculator wanted to buy all the corn to resell at a high price, the squire refused, saying "If you want a bushel for your family, you can have it at my price, but no man can buy of me to speculate in this year of scarcity." Some years later, the story was made into this poem.


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Subject: ADD:Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death-Sutherland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Aug 17 - 09:52 PM

1800 AND FROZE TO DEATH
(Traditional/Pete Sutherland)

In the time of the sorrowful famine year
When the crops were scanty and bread was dear,
The good scuire's fertile and sheltered farm
In his valley nestled secure from harm
When the summer winds blew with an icy breath
In 1800 and Froze to Death.

And the buyers gathered with eager greed
To speculate on the poor man's need.
But the good squire said, "It is all in vain.
No one with money can buy my grain.
But they who are hungry may come and take
Their ample store for the giver's sake."

That good old man to his rest is gone
But his fame still lingers in the golden corn.
For every year in its ripening grain
That grand old story is told again,
How the summer winds blew with an icy breath
In 1800 and Froze to Death.

Notes: Pete found this poem, labeled a traditional broadside ballad, in a Vermont history book in the Indiana University library. Although the poem was called 1800 And Froze To Death, those words never appeared within. Pete remedied that, added another line or two and borrowed a Sacred Harp melody he had been working on and the folk process — or perhaps, as he says, the folk salvage — had another success story. It can be heard on Pete and Karen Sutherland's Pass The Word Downriver (Epact #101; P.O. Box 123, Monkton, VT 05469).



Source: Sing Out! Magazine, Vol 40, No. 2 (1995), page 76

So, what's the Sacred Harp tune that the melody is derived from?

I still can't find a YouTube link that should work in the UK, but here's a Spotify link to the Pete Sutherland recording.

and Nightingale on Spotify


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Aug 17 - 05:54 PM

Hi, Joe. I've seen references to the phrase "eighteen hundred and froze to death", but the people who said it weren't referring to a song or poem. They were referring to the year without a summer.

I listened to the Spotify recording, but I don't recognize the tune.

Thanks for your interesting posts.


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