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DTStudy: Friends & Neighbors (Virginia's Alders)

Joe Offer 21 Oct 18 - 08:59 PM
rich-joy 21 Oct 18 - 11:41 PM
Joe Offer 22 Oct 18 - 01:19 AM
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Subject: DTStudy: Friends & Neighbors (Virginia's
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Oct 18 - 08:59 PM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Friends and Neighbors (Virginia's Alders)

DESCRIPTION: The singer reports, "Friends and neighbors, I am now going to leave you..." He says that, despite what people think, it is not for any wrongdoing. He simply wants to go home to "the handsome young girl I left behind" among Virginia's alders
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1982 (Cazden, Haufrecht, Studer)
KEYWORDS: love separation rambling farewell
FOUND IN: US(MA)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
FSCatskills 35, "Friends and Neighbors" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST FSC035 (Partial)
Roud #4603
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Virginia's Alders
NOTES [53 words]: This song is sung to the shape note hymn "Nettleton" (one of several settings for "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"). Cazden et al report that it has only been collected twice: From their informant George Edwards, and from a recording of another Catskills singer, Frank Edwards, who may have been related to George. - RBW
File: FSC035

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS (Virginia's Alders)
(DT Lyrics)
Friends and neighbors, I am now going to leave you;
I have no doubt that you think it is strange.
But God be pleased, I never have robbed;
Neither have I done any wrong.

Oh, some may think it's for some bad action,
Some may think it's for something wrong.
While others may say, a different notion
Happened to run across my mind.

Once I courted a pretty fair maid,
And well I knew that she did love me.
But nature's cries, so all undaunted,
Caused me to cross the raging seas.

I courted her both late and early;
I courted her by night and day.
But all I earned, so fast I spent it --
Free and easy I'll jog away.

I'm going down to the Susquehana;
There I'll stop, but I will not stay.
Down at Kill's Ferry I will cross over;
To Virginia's Alders I'll mend my way.

When I arrive at Virginia's Alders,
There I'll stop and I'll stay a while,
Until I hear from my friends and neighbors
And the handsome girl I left behind.
(DT Lyrics - corrected)
Friends and neighbors, I am now going to leave you;
I have no doubt that you think it is strange.
But God be pleased, I never have robbed;
Neither have I done any wrong.

Oh, some may think it's for some bad action,
And some may think it's for something wrong.
While others may think, a different notion
Happened to run across my mind.

Once I courted a pretty fair maid,
And well I knew that she did love me.
But nature's cries, so long undaunted,
Call me across the raging sea.

I courted her both late and early;
I courted her by night and day.
But all I earned, so fast I spent it --
Free and easy I'll jog away.

I'll go down into the Susquehanna;
And there I'll stop, but I will not stay.
Down in Kill's Ferry I will cross over;
To Virginia's Alders I'll bend my way.

When I arrive in Virginia's Alders,
It's there I'll stop and I'll stay a while,
Until I hear from my friends and neighbors
And the handsome young girl I left behind.


Recorded by Lisa Null with Bill Shute on "American Primitive" and
Sara Grey & Ellie Ellis on "Making the Air Resound." Printed in
Cazden, Haufrecht, and Studer's "Folk Songs of the Catskills," and
in Cazden's "Abelard Song Book," from which both of the recorded
versions derive. The song was collected from George Edwards; the
tune is the shape note melody "Nettleton." RW
@home @rambling
filename[ FRNDNBOR
TUNE FILE: FRNDNBOR
CLICK TO PLAY
RW


This seems to be a transcription of the recording by by Bill Shute and Lisa Null on American Primitive. I see some problems with the lyrics above. I'm sure "I'll mend my way" is not right - sounds like "bend my way" to me. Also, I think "so all undaunted" is "so long undaunted." I transcribed the Null-Shute version and posted it above, to the right of the Digital Tradition lyrics. My corrections are in italics.

Also recorded by Sally Rogers on We'll Pass Them On.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Friends & Neighbors (Virginia's Alders)
From: rich-joy
Date: 21 Oct 18 - 11:41 PM

Oh, I have loved this song, ever since the illustrious Stewie introduced me to the wonders of Lisa Null, via "American Primitive", yonks ago!!
I regret that I didn't get to sing it with my sister Alex, as planned, before my vocal cord damage.
   
..... sigh .....

R-J, Down Under


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Subject: ADD Version:Friends & Neighbors(Virginia's Alders)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 18 - 01:19 AM

FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS (Virginia's Alders)

Friends and neighbors, I'm going for to leave you,
I have no doubt that you think it is strange.
But God be pleas-ed, I never have rob-bed,
Neither have I done any wrong.

Some will say it’s for some bad action,
Some will say it’s for something wrong,
Whilst others may say a different notion
Happened to run into my mind.

Once I courted a pretty fair maiden,
Well I knew that she did love me,
But Nature’s cries, so all undaunted
Call me across the raging sea.

I courted her both late and early,
I courted her by night and day,
But as I earned it, a deal I did spend it,
Free and lonely I’ll jog away.

I’ll go down into the Susquehanna,
There I’ll stop, but I’ll make no stay.
Down in Kill’s Ferry I will pass over,
To Virginia’s alders I’ll bend my way.

When I arrive in Virginia’s alders,
There I’ll stop, and I’ll stay awhile,
Until I hear from my friends and neighbors
And the handsome young girl I left behind.

NOTES: FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS. According to George Edwards, this unusual song was composed by his mother to a hymn-tune called Praise The Mountain, of which he sang a few lines. We have located these lines with the proper title Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing and the correct tune Nettleton, first published in 1813. The tune has had other hymn titles and texts, and has been adapted also for the broadside ballad William Hall. The fitness of the melody to the mood and sense of FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS shows an excellent sense of values. Only vague resemblances of theme connect this text with two rare songs from the South, Farewell To Carter County (Thomas) and Parting Friends (Lomax). We have been unable to locate the place names in the text, except for the Susquehanna River, which rises in the Catskills.

Jackson 1 174°; Jackson 2 95°, 127°; Lomax 1 564;
Methodist #23°; Sharp 6 11/239°, 241°. 242°;
Thomas 1 84°; Thomas 3 170; Wyman 1 100°.


Source: The Abelard Folk Song Book, edited by Norman Cazden, pp 38-39 (Abelard-Schuman, New York & London, 1958)
Also #35 in Folk Songs of the Catskills, by Cazden, Haufrecht, Studer (1982)

Sally Rogers recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMlynntAMLg (may not play outside US)

Recording by Bill Shute & Lisa Null: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4K7uTX6DNw

An interesting interpretation by Happy Traum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YiB_vkqL-Y


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