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Lyr Req: The Prodigal Son

Edmund Flynn (inactive) 17 Dec 99 - 07:12 PM
Rick Fielding 17 Dec 99 - 10:15 PM
Edmund Flynn (inactive) 18 Dec 99 - 12:07 AM
Sandy Paton 18 Dec 99 - 01:18 AM
Margo 18 Dec 99 - 02:03 AM
Edmund Flynn (inactive) 18 Dec 99 - 12:01 PM
Graham Pirt 18 Dec 99 - 06:22 PM
Helen 18 Dec 99 - 06:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Dec 99 - 07:08 PM
RiJo 18 Dec 99 - 07:22 PM
Metchosin 19 Dec 99 - 04:04 AM
Metchosin 19 Dec 99 - 04:07 AM
Metchosin 19 Dec 99 - 05:16 AM
gillymor 19 Dec 99 - 08:06 AM
Metchosin 19 Dec 99 - 01:24 PM
Graham Pirt 19 Dec 99 - 01:39 PM
Edmund Flynn (inactive) 19 Dec 99 - 06:13 PM
Edmund Flynn (inactive) 19 Dec 99 - 06:24 PM
Jeri 19 Dec 99 - 06:28 PM
Edmund Flynn (inactive) 19 Dec 99 - 07:10 PM
Metchosin 19 Dec 99 - 08:35 PM
Pete Peterson 19 Dec 99 - 08:44 PM
Roger in Baltimore 19 Dec 99 - 09:00 PM
Metchosin 19 Dec 99 - 11:53 PM
gillymor 20 Dec 99 - 12:06 AM
gillymor 20 Dec 99 - 12:20 AM
GUEST,Gene 22 Apr 00 - 06:18 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Dec 01 - 11:42 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Dec 01 - 11:46 PM
Knitpick 19 Dec 01 - 12:00 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 19 Dec 01 - 12:29 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 19 Dec 01 - 12:44 AM
JohnInKansas 19 Dec 01 - 12:55 AM
wysiwyg 14 Feb 02 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Pat Bowne 15 Mar 10 - 08:32 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Sep 11 - 05:11 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Sep 11 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,Anneliese Kennedy 22 Apr 12 - 04:10 PM
Joe_F 22 Apr 12 - 10:56 PM
cnd 27 Jun 16 - 03:56 PM
GUEST,Lindley Roff 20 Jul 17 - 04:05 AM
Jim Dixon 21 Jul 17 - 05:31 PM
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Subject: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Edmund Flynn (inactive)
Date: 17 Dec 99 - 07:12 PM

OK. We?re back for the 2nd time by popular request (two Mudcatters) seeking a few lines for a song that my Dad taught me circa 1940 as we drove the seemingly endless roads of Florida on a wonderful fishing trip.

I announced that I seemed to be the last living human to know the song.

I will put a "?" in front of the three lines that are in doubt.
...
There was an old men and he had two sons.
... He had... He had...
He lived on a ranch as the story runs
... He did... He did...
? Way out in old Jerusalem
? Location doesn't matter a damn
? If you don't like it... bam bam bam
Sing tra la la la... la la
...
And one of the sons was a goodly man
He was... He was...
He lived on a sanctimonious plan
... He did ... he did
He had a most acrimonious face
He hoped of living and dying in grace
He dreamed of a seat in the Heavenly Place
Sing tra la la la ... la la
...
And, the other son was a son-of-a-gun
... He was ... he was...
Sat up all night to cop the mon...
... He did... He did...
Went out one night to have a good time
Woke out in the morning with nary a dime
Stranded alone in a foreign clime
Sing tra la la la ... la la
...
Oh ... the telegraph man in his office sat
... Out west... Out west...
When in rushed a men without hat or coat
... Or vest ... or vest
Send message home in very quick time
The prodigal son would like to dine
Kill fatted calf; have everything prime
Sing tra la la la ... la la
Sing tra la la la... la la
...
Well, have at it guys and gals... it just seems too good a song to pass away when I do.

HTML line breaks added in place of double spacing. --JoeClone, 3-Feb-02.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Dec 99 - 10:15 PM

Jeez that's a tough one. You don't think he wrote it himself do you?


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Edmund Flynn (inactive)
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 12:07 AM

he was an exceptional person of many talents, but I never got the impression that he wrote it ... he was very frustrated that he couldn't remember the lines on which I put question marks ... we had to sort of invent them.

and, as I come to think of it, the tune was more sophisticated than he would have been likely to create.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 01:18 AM

I think we need to put Joe Offer onto this one. It sure beats me, too, Rick.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Margo
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 02:03 AM

Any way you could put the tune in a format we could listen to or read?


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Edmund Flynn (inactive)
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 12:01 PM

My computer guru (aka son-in-law) is away on Xmas vacation.

I don't know if he knows how to convey the tune (a happy galloping one btw) or not. He just put Real Player basic 7 and Quick Time Audio on my computer (I'm in heaven !) I think they are only for receiving.

I am very new to this list ... who is Joe Offer ?

But I accept the offer :>) Bring him on !


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Graham Pirt
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 06:22 PM

The song is (I think)a version of Kafoozalum - but where do I find the words? Haven't heard it for years. I'm sure it used to be sung by the Elliott Family from Birtley, Co Durham (UK)


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Helen
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 06:34 PM

I just checked the DT (and wished I hadn't *BG*) because Kafoozalum is in there - a bawdy ballad about a whore etc etc. Okay, so it's sort of funny - at least the woman wins the fight *EBG!* (even bigger grin)

But, it doesn't appear to be the same song. It does refer to Jerusalem, though.

Helen


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 07:08 PM

The rugby song Kafoozelum has to be a parody of something. Perhaps this is the song it's a parody of. Though I would suspect that Edmunds song is a jokey version of some more serious version of the story.

Reads very much like it might be a song from a Minstrel Show.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: RiJo
Date: 18 Dec 99 - 07:22 PM

I don't know if this is the same song, but my dad uses to sing a song he picked up in Plymouth, England during WWII. I don't remember anything but the first 4 lines. There was an old man who had two sons And these two sons were brothers. Josephus was the name of one, Bohunkus was the other.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 04:04 AM

May be a little serendipity here, I was just at Folk Music Index to Recorded Resources at John Hopkins University in my search for lyrics for the the Prune Song and came upon a song called The Prodical Son recorded by Doc Boggs on Verve/Folkways FV9025 (197?) cut#10 and also a song recorded by Uncle Dave Macon Vol 2 Vetco 105 LP (197?) called The Prodigal Son's Return. I have no idea what the lyrics are but it may be a start in the right direction. The site is at http://milton.mse.jhu.edu:8001/research/folkindex/index.htm.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 04:07 AM

Edmund it should read Prodigal (typo)


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 05:16 AM

There's also a blues song sung by Josh White and Little Richard called The Prodigal Son so the above recording could be of this song.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: gillymor
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 08:06 AM

Metchosin, I've been looking for the lyrics to Prodigal Son by Rev. Robert Wilkins for a long time (it may be titled That's No Way to Get Along). I did a thread here a while ago with no luck and will start another. I'd be very interested in the Josh White and Little Richard lyrics if you could direct me where to go. Thanks. No help here Edmund, although the fishing's been pretty good of late down here in FL.

Frankie


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 01:24 PM

Frankee the're at http://www.netaxs.com/~rzepelaa/undercover/lyrics/begbanq.html#22 and at www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/Delta/2541/bljwhite.htm#Prodigal sorry I can't do the clickety blue thing.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Graham Pirt
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 01:39 PM

RiJo

I was incorrect about Kafoozalum and the one you mentioned was what I was thinking about. Bits of it are going around in my head but it just won't resolve - I'll keep trying


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Edmund Flynn (inactive)
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 06:13 PM

Thanks Ri Jo, I know that song (for me circa 1944 in Wash DC.) It is to the tune of Auld Lang Saing (sp?) The first line is just "man" not "old" man

The sencod verse: Now these two sons are dead and gone// Long may their spirits rest// Josephus of the cholora died// Bohunkus by request.

I never heard any other verses.

Definitely not the tune of my song


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Edmund Flynn (inactive)
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 06:24 PM

Good thought, Graham .. I just followed Helen's lead and looked it up in D T and now remember it from a thousand years ago it seems ....

But ... definitely not the same song.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 06:28 PM

The song about the two brothers Josepheus and Vanqueous, (not the one the original poster was looking for, I think) is on Roy Bailey's CD "Live at the Lion."


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Edmund Flynn (inactive)
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 07:10 PM

Thanks for the Johns Hopkins tip, Metchosen, but when I go there is is like casting swine before pearls

I'm sure there are lots of goodies there ... I'll keep working at it.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 08:35 PM

Edmund you don't have to go to John Hopkins the other two sites I listed above are blues lyrics sites. Maybe someone can do a blue clickety thing for you.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 08:44 PM

a) I can't help with this one-- yes, it's a retelling of all the Prodigal Son stories but with somewhat of a twist! b) the Josephus and Bohinkus that I know is from I believe the old Dick and Beth Best's Song Fest (with the yellow cover) and, as already said, to the tune of Auld Lang Syne c) no resemblance between this and Dock Boggs' Prodigal Son (I believe I'll go back home) or Uncle Dave's or the Carter Family's; all of which are fairly serious songs.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PRODIGAL SON (Rev. Wilkins; Josh White)^^
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 09:00 PM

Prodigal Son by Rev. Wilkins

Well a poor boy took his father's bread,
And started down the road
Started down the road
Took all he had and started down the road
Went out of his world, where God only knows
And that'll be the way to get along

Well poor boy spent all he had,
Famine swept the land
Famine swept the land
Spent all he had and famine swept the land
Said "I believe I'll go and hire me to some man"
And that'll be the way to get along

Well, man said "I'll give you a job
For to feed my swine
For to feed my swine
I'll give you a job for to feed my swine"
Boy stood there and hung his head and cried
`Cause that is no way to get along

Said "I believe I'll ride,
Believe I'll go back home
Believe I'll go back home
Believe I'll ride, believe I'll go back home
Or down the road as far as I can go"
And that'll be the way to get along

Well, father said see my son
Coming home to me
Coming home to me
Father ran and fell down on his knees
Said "sing and praise, lord have mercy on me"
They said

Oh poor boy stood there,
Hung his head and cried
Hung his head and cried
Poor boy stood there, hung his head and cried
Said "father will you look on me as a child?"
Yeah

Well father said "eldest son,
Kill the fatted calf,
Call the family round
Kill that calf and call the family round
My son was lost but now he is found
But that's the way for us to get along"
Hey^^

My aural memory says Hot Tuna did this on their first LP, too.

PRODIGAL SON (Joshua White)

I broke my mother's heart, Lord when I runned away
I broke my mother's heart, Lord when I runned away
She said he's a hard-headed child, I know you is gone astray

My mother said son oh son, way you carryin' on is a low down dirty sin
My mother said son, way you carryin' on is a low down sin
You done run away and left me, but you comin' back home again

Had to pawn my shoes and clothes, sleep out in the park every night
Pawned my shoes and clothes, sleep in the park each and every night
I done laid around and caught T.B., I'm drawed up just like a piece of trite

I'm coming home mother, please don't cry when you see me
I'm coming home mother, when you see me don't you cry
I was a hard-headed boy, now your son's coming home to die

Ooh mother, oh mother, remember I'm your son
Cryin' mother, oh mother, remember that I'm your child
Mama please forgive me, all the things that I have done^^

Enjoy the music.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Dec 99 - 11:53 PM

Well there obiously not what Edmund is looking for but it should help Frankee


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: gillymor
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 12:06 AM

Thanks a lot Roger,I've been playing Poor Boy Long Way From Home as an instrumental for a good long time now and it's very similar to PS. I never could make out all the lyrics in the Stones version so this is a tremendous help. On the "Rev. Wilkin's Prodigal Son" thread Gargoyle has posted the Rev's version (which come to think of it is not too similar) in case you missed it.

Regards, Frankie


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: gillymor
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 12:20 AM

Sorry for the detour Edmund but at least it's keeping your query refreshed.

Frankie


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 06:18 PM

Got some GOOD NEWS and some BAD NEWS...

Found an old record awhile back of the song you are looking for, but could not recall/find the thread at the time...

Now that the thread has surfaced again, am unable to find the record...

BUT I DO HAVE A VERSION OF IT...

With the words BOHUNKUS/Hinkus and jocephus... whatever... in the story line...


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Subject: Lyr Add: PRODIGAL SON (Rev. Robert Wilkins)^^
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 11:42 PM

PRODIGAL SON
Rev. Robert Wilkins

Introduction:
The prodigal son left home for a strange land.
He became hungry and weary and he come to himself
And believed: I'll go back home.

The poor boy got all he had and started down the road (3 times)
"Cause that's no way for him to get along.

Said: I'm goin' out in this world and God never did know it, (3)
And that'll be the way for me to get along.

The poor boy got away from home and spent all that he had, (3)
And that's no way for him to get along.

The poor boy spent all he had, famine come in the land, (3)
That'll be no way to get along.

Said: Believe I'm going hire myself to some man (3)
And that'll be the way for me to get along.

And the man told him: "I'll give you a job, my boy, to feed my swine, (3)
Is that a way for you to get along?"

And the poor boy stood there, he hung his head and cried, (3)
'Cause that'll be no way to get along.

Said: Believe I'll ride, believe I'll go, believe I'll go back home, (3)

His father stood there, said: "Believe that's my son, comin' home to me," (3)
And that's the way for us to get along.

His father did run, he fell down on his knee, (3)
That'll be the way to get along.

Well, he sang and prayed: Lord, have mercy on me! (3)
That'll be the way to get along.

And the poor boy stood there and called all fam'ly round (3)
'Cause that'll be the way to get along.

He told his eldest son: Go kill my fattest calf, (3)
And that'll be the way for us to get along. ^^

www.alex-blue-pages.com
(What if the boy had stayed and fed the swine? He might have got the farm and been a big wheel in the livestock industry)
The Josh White song is from another source?.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 11:46 PM

For spiritual versions of Prodigal Son:
Here


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Knitpick
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 12:00 AM

(Actually, it's Songbob, using Knitpick's Mac, since it's the one attached to the cable modem).

Someone opined, concerning the Prodigal Son, "(What if the boy had stayed and fed the swine? He might have got the farm and been a big wheel in the livestock industry)?"

Funny you should mention that idea. Rudyard Kipling wondered the same thing, and wrote a wonderful poem called "Prodigal Son, Western Version," which has the son getting stale at home and going off to the job with the pigs again, with this idea in mind:

So I was a mark for plunder at once,
Lost all my cash (do you wonder?) at once,
But I didn't give up and knock under at once,
So I worked in the yards for a spell.
Where I spent my nights and days with hogs,
Shared their milk and maize with hogs,
Till I finally learned what pays with hogs,
And I have this knowledge to sell.

I've set the poem to a tune, since I didn't know of any other tune, and once in a while try to remember it (it's longish).


As for Bohunkus, I have no clue.


Songbob Clayton


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 12:29 AM

Thanks, Songbob. Great minds run in the same trough.


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 12:44 AM

The early blues version of Prodigal Son, "That's No Way To Get Along, Rev. Wilkins, 1929, was posted by Gargoyle.
Here
Older spiritual versions of Prodigal Son are posted in thread 42193:
Here


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOHUNKUS
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 12:55 AM

Not quite the original request, but it's been mentioned here.

BOHUNKUS
Songs That Never Grow Old
Syndicate Publishing Co, N.Y., 1913

There was a farmer had two sons,
And these two sons were brothers;
Bohunkus was the name of one,
Josephus was the other's

Now these two boys are dead and gone -
Long may their ashes rest!
Bohunkus of the cholera died,
Josephus by request.

Now these two boys their story told,
And they did tell it well;
Bohunkus, he to heaven went;
Josephus he to ...


Melody given vaguely reminds me of "Comin' thro the Rye"

John


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:50 AM

spitituals above indexed

~S~


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Subject: RE: The Song Nobody Knows
From: GUEST,Pat Bowne
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 08:32 PM

My father also sang this song. I know the tune and lyrics, but not the source. If the person who asked about it is still interested in this old thread ...


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE PRODIGAL SON (Bill Nye)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 05:11 PM

This seems to be a fuller version of the song the original poster (Edmund Flynn) remembered.

This song appears with musical notation for one voice and piano accompaniment, in The Best College Songs compiled by Emil Schwab (Boston: C. B. Brown & Co., 1897), page 46:


THE PRODIGAL SON
A comical ballad.
Words by Bill Nye. Music arranged by Josephine Gro.

1. There was an old men and he had two sons,
He had, he had.
He lived on a ranch, so the story runs,
He did, he did.
'Twas built on the good old Queen Anne plan
Right next to the New Jerusalem.
The vicinity it does not matter a bit.*
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.

2. The elder son was a goodly man,
He was, he was,
And built on the Moody and Sankey plan,
He was, he was.
With calm and sanctimonious face,
He talked about love and undying grace,
And hoped for a seat in the heavenly place.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.

3. The younger one was a son-of-a-gun,
He was, he was.
He shuffled the cards and he played for mon,
He did, he did.
He wore a red tie and a high-standing collar,
Would go with the boys and get full and then holler.
O, he was a regular Jim-Dandy loller.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.

4. The old fellow's purse was long and fat,
It was, it was.
The prodigal he was quite onto that,
He was, he was.
And he of the sanctimonious smile,
Just kept his weather eye on the pile,
And hoped he would get there after a while.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.

5. To divide on the square, he did his best,
He did, he did.
The prod took his share and went out west,
He did, he did,
Fell in with some cowboys and had a great time,
Woke up in the morning with nary a dime,
Stranded way out in a foreign clime.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.

6. A telegraph man in his office sat,
Out west, out west,
When in rushed a tramp without a hat,
Or coat, or vest.
"Come, send this message right over the track.
The prod is a wreck and is coming back.
Have plenty of veal for one on the rack."
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.

7. The answer he got was both short and direct,
It was, it was.
It read: "Yours received. Go to blazes. Collect."
It did, it did.
The prod he was used to this knockdown of fate,
So pawned his suspenders and put on a skate,
And started for home on a limited freight.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.

8. To a lawyer's office he went next day,
He did, he did,
And sued the old folks for pay while away,
He did, he did,
Got out an injunction and put them out.
O he was a "la-la," you hear me shout.
That's the sort of a prod I am singing about.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.

9. That's all the yarn yours-truly knows,
It is, it is.
I've gone as far as the parable goes,
I have, I have.
I've never heard what became of Pa.
The religious brother is tending bar
And the prod I believe is driving a car.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.

[* Sic, as printed. I'm guessing it would be sung as "damn", since Edmund Flynn remembers it as having a "damn", or maybe it was one of those songs that teases you with the expectation of something risqué, and then substitutes a tamer word for humorous effect.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Prodigal Son
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 05:42 PM

I just realized, this is the second thread Edmund Flynn started about the same song. The first one is here: ADD: there was an old man and he had two sons.

And earlier this year I posted a somewhat different version of THE PRODIGAL SON, taken from a different college songbook, in that thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Prodigal Son
From: GUEST,Anneliese Kennedy
Date: 22 Apr 12 - 04:10 PM

This song was taught to my father by his mother in Tennessee, and he used to sing it to my six siblings and I when we were kids, especially on long trips (Dad was in the Army). I always forget the same two lines, which I will enclose in parentheses - I think I remember the first one, and will put asterisks on the second. My brother knows them, and I have asked him to help me. Must have a mental block for those two, as they are the same ones I forget every time. Don't know where it came from, but this was the traditional version in our family - I think my grandmother learned it from her father, or his mother. We still sing it when we all get together - last time was my niece's wedding in Oct 2011. BTW, Dad knew about Moody and Sankey, but he said his mother always sang it as "Moody and Sanctity" - I guess she felt it went better with "sanctimonious".


The Prodigal Son

There was an old man and he had two sons,
He did, he did.
He lived on the farm so the story goes,
He did, he did.
He lived by the Moody and the Sanctity Plan*
Right next to the New Jerusa-lam
And the situation don't matter a damn,
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-day.

Now the older son was goodly man,
He was, he was.
He lived by the Moody and the Sanctity Plan,
He did, he did.
He wore his sanctimonious face,
And he spoke of love and undying grace,
And he hoped for a home in that heavenly place,
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-day.

Now the younger son was a son-of-a-gun,
He was, he was.
He'd shuffle them cards and he'd play for money,
He would, he would.
He wore red socks and a high-standing collar,
Get out with the boys, get full, and holler,
Oh, he's a reg'lar jim-dandy-dollar,
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-day.

To divide on the square, he did his best,
He did, he did.
So the younger son took his share and went out West,
He did, he did.
Fell in with boys and had a good time,
Woke up the next mornin' without a dime,
Stranded in some foreign clime,
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-day.

Now the old man's purse was long and fat,
It was, it was.
And the Prodigal, y'all know, was onto that,
He was, he was.
So he, bein' used to a knock-down fate,
Took off his suspenders and put on his skates,
And headed home like a Limited freight,
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-day.

(Now the older son was out on the farm,
He was, he was.
****************
***,***)
And the old man said, "Bring in the fatted calf,
And kill him now, and begin to laugh,
For the son of night has come to light,
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-day.

Now this is my story, all well told,
It is, it is.
I've gone as far as the parable goes,
I have, I have.
I don't know what became of Pa,
But the older son is drivin' a car,
While the younger son is tendin' bar,
Sing tra-la-la-la-la-day.

Shave and a haircut, two bits.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Prodigal Son
From: Joe_F
Date: 22 Apr 12 - 10:56 PM

Leslie Fish also set Kipling's poem to music, and recorded a rollicking version of it. (Unfortunately, she didn't look up how to pronounce "catechize", and she spoiled the comic line "Till I want to go out and swear" by changing it to "stand up and swear".)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Prodigal Son
From: cnd
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 03:56 PM

Does anyone have the lyrics of Uncle Dave Macon's THE PRODIGAL SON'S RETURN as mentioned above? I found a recording online claiming to be "Honest Confession Is Good For The Soul," but seems more like this song based on the lyrics. Does anyone have a recording/lyrics of either of them?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Prodigal Son
From: GUEST,Lindley Roff
Date: 20 Jul 17 - 04:05 AM

Not sure if this thread is still active; however, if so and following up on my post of 22 Feb 2011 in a related thread [there was an old man and he had two sons], I have a further little story about "The Prodigal Son" song.

The words I learned from my father and grandfather were a combination of the original poster's (Edmund Flynn) and those of Jim Dixon and Annalise Kennedy. Dad thought HIS dad may have written it. I thought that might be so until I came across this thread. I actually played (on guitar) and sang the song for a church fundraiser about 20 years ago so I know at least a version of the music (by ear) to it as well.

Here is the "further little story": As I was doing family history recently, I came across a newspaper article in the Ballarat Star (Australia ? Saturday, February 28, 1891), the city where my third great uncle, Joseph Roff was living from about 1851 to 1894. While there, he developed links to Ballarat's very earliest theatres as a costumer and occasionally, as a writer. The article is a sketch of his travels in about 1890 entitled "Jottings from England and America" http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/204145374?searchTerm=%22Joseph%20Roff%22%20&searchLimits=

Joseph notes: "I visited several theatres in America. One play had been running at one of the New York theatres for five years [sic since 1885]. I went to see it at an afternoon performance. It was purely American, and portrayed American farm life in the interior, and the peculiarities of American talk and character. It was called the "Homestead," (sic "The Homestead"] and had a large amount of comedy as well as pathos in the narrative. It described the old upright farmer's son who had run away from the homestead, and was dissipating his means, body and mind, in the low places of New York; the old man searching for his lost son, and eventually finding him. It recalled the scene in the New Testament of the prodigal son. This old story is true in every country in the world, and it appeals to the hearts of men and women everywhere.

From this information, it might be concluded that the song might have been written with "The Homestead" play/comedy in mind, sometime between:
-        1885 [when the play The Homestead" began running in New York according to Joseph Roff]
-        1891 [Jim's first reference (From Popular College Songs compiled by Lockwood Honoré (Cincinnati: The John Church Co., 1891), page 113 - Words, Louis Lambert. Air: When Johnny Comes Marching Home- which has different words and music] and
-        1897 [Jim's second reference (The Best College Songs compiled by Emil Schwab (Boston: C. B. Brown & Co., 1897), page 46 - Words by Bill Nye. Music arranged by Josephine Gro ? which has similar words but no reference to the music)

Not sure I am any further to definitively resolving this version of the song's roots; however, from the posters, the song was known in many places (Florida, Tennessee, Victoria and Alberni, British Columbia) and may have been one of those songs where words and music were adjusted to fit the audience (minstrel show, vaudeville, pub, church talent show, etc).

Lindley Roff, Kamloops, BC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Prodigal Son
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Jul 17 - 05:31 PM

You can see the complete sheet music for THE PRODIGAL SON, as published in 1891, at the website of Baylor University.


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