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Lyr Add: I Just Don't Want to Be Rich (Sam Hinton)

DigiTrad:
HALLELUJAH I'M A BUM
HALLELUJAH, I'M A BUM 2
HOBO'S LULLABY


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Last Ride / Hobo's Last Ride (12)
(origins) Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum (26)
(origins) Origins: It's A Big Bum I Am/Best Hobo Man (9)
Origins: Hobo's Lullaby (Goebel Reeves) (10)
(origins) Origin: Hobo Bill's Last Ride (13)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Hobo's Last Letter (13)
(origins) Origins: The hobo built the right-of-way (3)


Abby Sale 05 Mar 00 - 12:58 PM
Barbara 05 Mar 00 - 01:35 PM
Sandy Paton 05 Mar 00 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,thomas the rhymer 05 Mar 00 - 02:14 PM
Abby Sale 05 Mar 00 - 03:08 PM
Sandy Paton 05 Mar 00 - 03:29 PM
Art Thieme 05 Mar 00 - 08:48 PM
Jacob B 06 Mar 00 - 11:41 AM
GUEST 06 Mar 00 - 01:03 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 06 Mar 00 - 02:31 PM
Barbara 08 Mar 00 - 01:59 PM
Abby Sale 11 Mar 00 - 02:19 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 12 - 03:49 AM
GUEST,Chuck Sears 19 Nov 12 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Autoharper 19 Nov 12 - 06:42 PM
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Subject: & Req: You wonder why I'm a hobo
From: Abby Sale
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 12:58 PM

Would there be any info on the following song?
I don't even have it's title.

U Utah Phillips gives Fred Holstein singing the following song at
Track 6 at http://hobo.org/audio3/uphillips/rapopup.html
It's not really attributed - it may be attributed to Haywire Mac but it's not at all clear.

YOU WONDER WHY I'M A HOBO

You wonder why I'm a hobo
And why I sleep in the ditch
It iddn't because I'm lazy, no
I just don't wanta get get rich.
     I've had good eats from dishes
     It's just a matter of choice
     But when I eat from an old tin can
     There ain't no dishes to wash.

Deedle dee dum, dee deedle dee dum, dee dee
Deedle dee dum, dee dee

Well, I could be a conductor
And never have a wreck
But any kind of a railroad man
To me is a pain in the neck.
     Well I could ride in a Pullman
     But there it is again
     The plush they put in the Pullman's seats
     It tickles my sensative skin.

Deedle dee dum, dee deedle dee dum, dee dee
Deedle dee dum, dee dee

Well, I could be a banker
If ever I wanted to be
But the very thought of an iron cage
Is too suggestive for me.
     Well, I could be an accountant
     And always ballance my books
     But readin' figures, it weakens my eyes
     And glasses spoils my looks.

Deedle dee dum, dee deedle dee dum, dee dee
Deedle dee dum, dee dee

Well, I could be a tenor
And easily strike high C
But I heard one on the radio
And that was enough for me.
     Whenever I think of Lincoln
     I never can forgive
     A guy that'd murder a man like him
     And let these tenors live.

Deedle dee dum, dee deedle dee dum, dee dee
Deedle dee dum, dee dee

Oh, I could be a soldier
And hold my rifle steady
But why in the hell should I volunteer
They'll draft me when they're ready.
     You wonder why I'm a hobo
     And why I sleep in the ditch
     It iddn't because I'm lazy, no
     I just don't wanta get get rich.

Deedle dee dum, dee deedle dee dum, dee dee
Deedle dee dum, dee dee


    Note from Joe Offer (16 Oct 2011): Most other sources identify the songwriter as Haywire Mac, but Sandy Paton said he thought the songwriter was Carson Robison. The song is often called "You Ask Me Why I'm a Hobo."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: & Req: You wonder why I'm a hobo
From: Barbara
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 01:35 PM

Bruce (U.Utah) has sung it for years, Abby. I always thought he wrote it. Is there an email addy at the hobo site?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: ADD: You Wonder Why I'm a Hobo
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 01:57 PM

I learned it from Sam Hinton, donkey's years ago. I'm sure Utah didn't write it, but he's well-qualified to sing it! I heard "It ain't because I'm lazy" (rather than iddn't). The fifth line, as I heard it, was "I could eat from dishes, it's only a matter of choice." My tenors could easily "sing" high C, rather than strike it. And the lilting refrain I heard was "deedle-dee dum dee deedle-dee di-de-doe, deedle-dee dum dee day." Trivia, to be sure. I used to sing this for my old father, who always wondered why I failed to follow him into civil engineering.

Sam Hinton could sure help us out on the writer of this. I think Abby could invite him to investigate this thread. You want to ask him, Abby, or shall I do it? Sounds a bit like a Carson Robison product, doesn't it? Will someone remind me to sing this one at NEFFA?

Sandy

Thread #43566   Message #639857

Posted By: Sandy Paton

01-Feb-02 - 02:39 AM

Thread Name: ADD: Haywire Mac Songs

Subject: Lyr Add: YOU WONDER WHY I'M A HOBO

YOU WONDER WHY I'M A HOBO

You wonder why I'm a hobo, and why I sleep in a ditch.
It ain't because I'm lazy, nope, I just don't want to be rich.
I could eat from dishes; it's only a matter of choice.
But when I eat from an old tin can, there ain't no dishes to wash.

Diddiley-dum dee-diddley di-de-do,
Diddley-dum dee-day.

Well, I could be a banker, if ever I wanted to be,
But the very thought of an iron cage is too suggestive to me.
And I could be an accountant, and always balance my books,
But readin' figures ruins the eyes and glasses spoil my looks.

I could be a conductor and never have a wreck,
But any kind of a railroad man to me is a pain in the neck.
And I could ride in a Pullman, but there it is again!
The plush they put on those Pullman seats
Tickles my sensitive skin.

I could be a doctor; my duty I'd never shirk.
But if I doctored a railroad bull, he'd never go back to work!
And I could be a broker, without the slightest excuse,
But look at 1929, and tell me what's the use?

I could be a soldier, and hold my rifle steady,
But why should I go volunteer? They'll draft me when they're ready.
You wonder why I'm a hobo, and why I sleep in a ditch;
It ain't because I'm lazy, nope, I just don't want to be rich.

Haywire Mac might have recorded it, but I'm pretty sure it's a Carson Robison song.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: & Req: You wonder why I'm a hobo
From: GUEST,thomas the rhymer
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 02:14 PM

I concur with the Sam Hinton version that I learned... and Merritt wrote another verse for the song which he sang at folklfe Seattle in 98.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: & Req: You wonder why I'm a hobo
From: Abby Sale
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 03:08 PM

On further hints from Sandy, I checked my own furschluggener record collection fo Hinton songs.

Arrgh!

There it is on The Song of Men on Folkways. Called "I Just Don't Want to be Rich" Sam says he learned it from his uncle when Sam was a lad. That'd be in about 1850. (Sam doesn't read here so I can probably get away with that.)

And sings is pretty darn well, too

His uncle Bubba in Ada, Oklahoma had (probably) learned it from a phonograph record. At the time of the Folkways record, 1961, Sam had nothing further on it and hadn't heard ayone else sing it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: & Req: You wonder why I'm a hobo
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 03:29 PM

But I was wrong about the tenors. Sam does have them "strike" high C. I just checked my copy of the album, too. Sam's just recently danced into his eighties, folks, but he tells us he learned the song in 1928 or 1929. That's puts Utah out of contention for songwriting honors, since he had yet to be born in '29. He's younger than I am.

Grandpa Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: & Req: You wonder why I'm a hobo
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 08:48 PM

I've got this song on a cassette made from 78s. Can't recall who did it or if I ever knew who did it. I'll go through some files and see what comes to the fore.

Good to see you here Abby.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: & Req: You wonder why I'm a hobo
From: Jacob B
Date: 06 Mar 00 - 11:41 AM

For what it's worth, here's an additional half-verse that occurred to me years ago:

Now I could be a congressman
And pass all kinds of laws
But talking all day with nothing to say
Gives me a pain in the jaws.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: & Req: You wonder why I'm a hobo
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 00 - 01:03 PM

Great new verse! I'm going to add it to my text right away! Too bad I'm not gigging until after Super Tuesday.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: & Req: You wonder why I'm a hobo
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 06 Mar 00 - 02:31 PM

now I could be a tenor and easily HIT high "C"............ but I heard one on the radio once, and that was enough for me


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: & Req: You wonder why I'm a hobo
From: Barbara
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 01:59 PM

Here is Merritt Herring's verse:

A Special Prosecutor
Is something I'd never be
For no self-respecting railroad bum
Would associate with me
I'd rather live in hobo camp
Sleeping under bridges
Than be digging up dirt in Washington
With them fine haired sons of bitches.

Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: Lyr Add: I JUST DON'T WANT TO BE RICH (Hinton)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 11 Mar 00 - 02:19 PM

Just to keep us from getting too complacent (he likes to do that)  on Sam Hinton - The Library Of Congress Session, March 25, 1947, Sam sings:
 
 
I Just Don't Want to be Rich

You wonder why I'm a hobo
And why I sleep in the ditch
It ain't because I'm lazy, no
I just don't wanna be rich.
    Now I could eat from dishes
    It's just a matter of choice
    But when I eat from an old tin can
    There ain't no dishes to wash.
Now, I could be a banker
If ever I wanted to be
But the very thought of an iron cage
Is too suggestive for me.
    Now, I could be a broker
    Without the slightest excuse
    But look at nineteen twenty-nine
    And tell me what's the use?
 
A doodle dee doo, dee doo, de doodle dee dee,
Deedle dee dee, dee dee
A deedle dee dee, dee dee, dee deedle dee dee,
A-deedle dee dee, dee dee
 
Now I could ride the Pullman
But there it is again
The plush they put on the Pullman's seats
Tickles my sensative skin.
    Now, I could be a conductor
    And never have a wreck
    But any kind of a railroad man
    To me is a pain in the neck.
Now, I could be a doctor
My duty I never would shirk
But if I doctored a trigger cop
He never would go back to work
    You wonder why I'm a hobo
    And why I sleep in the ditch
    It ain't because I'm lazy, no
    I just don't wanna be rich.
 
A deedle dee dee, dee dee, dee deedle dee dee,
A-deedle dee dee, dee dee
A deedle dee dee, dee dee, dee deedle dee dee,
A-deedle dee dee, dee dee

(Some dees & deedles may vary)

Recorded by Sam Hinton on Sam Hinton - The Library Of Congress Session, March 25, 1947; on Bear Family Records CD (1999).  Learned  from a phonograph record at his uncle Bubba's in Oklahoma about 1930. The singer may have been Haywire Mac McClintock.
 

(Pardon me for playing around with the html.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Just Don't Want to Be Rich (Sam Hinton)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 12 - 03:49 AM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Just Don't Want to Be Rich (Sam Hinton)
From: GUEST,Chuck Sears
Date: 19 Nov 12 - 05:19 AM

This song was on a 78 rpm record that we bought, along with the windup Victrola, in 1928, so I can guarantee it was written and recorded before that. I don't know the name of the singer or the Brand of the record, but I think "Hobo Billy" was on the other side. As a child I probably played it hundreds of times between 1928 and 1937 and had it pretty well memorized. It did not include several verses included in the several later versions offered above. Some of the verses that were added later include:

"--I could be a broker", this one is not in the original song, for obvious reasons, since it was recorded before 1929. And "I could be a soldier", which I suspect somebody wrote around WWII (There was no draft in 1928). There was no "accountant" verse in the original version. It did include two verses not in the above later adaptations. These are:

Now I could be a fireman
But they don't use 'em in Heaven
And anyhow I never could sing
The Wreck of the Old Ninety-Seven

This verse was probably omitted in the later versions because by then most or all trains were diesel instead of coal-burning, and did not have firemen shoveling coal into the fire. Listeners would be confused, trying to connect their image of a fireman (firefighter on a fire engine) with the song about a train wreck.

The other original verse omitted in these later adaptations is:

Oh I could be a millionaire
And eat 'til I got fat
But then I'd lose my girlish form
And Oh, I wouldn't like that

The "doctor" verse was originally:

Oh I could be a doctor
My duties I never would shirk
But if I'd stop to treat a cop
He'd never go back to work

Both these verses may have been omitted or revised in later versions because they could be offensive to certain listeners, or politically incorrect.

The "tenor" verse starts

Oh I could be a tenor
And maybe sing high "C"

Other minor variations that have been made in these later versions include the first line and title. Instead of "You wonder why I'm a hobo", the title and first line of the original version was "You ask me why I'm a hobo" and also in the first verse the original version was "Now I could eat out o' dishes, it's just a matter o' choice ---"


Regarding the note from Joe Offer, yes, you're right. The name of the original song was "You Ask Me Why I'm a Hobo" and that is also the first line of the first verse, repeated in the last verse.

Sandy seems to remember the old recording about right. Probably the same record we had, and the one Sam says he learned it from..

Obviously various performers have added their own verses since 1928, and there's nothing wrong with their doing that, a natural desire to individualize their version of it. It is a very easy song to make up new verses for. Almost any one of us could easily make up new verses ad infinitum. But those later additions were not in the original song. This song was definitely representative of a specific time period, and that is lost with the addition of the later verses. It would sure be a good thing if the Library of Congress could get the original recording, instead of the much later one. Unfortunately, after 75 years and a jillion moves, all our old 78 rpm records are long gone.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Just Don't Want to Be Rich (Sam Hinton)
From: GUEST,Autoharper
Date: 19 Nov 12 - 06:42 PM

"Naw, I Just Don't Want to Be Rich" was composed by Labette County, Kansas songwriter Carson Robison (1890-1957). It's on my "Orphan Train and Other Reminiscences" CD.

-Adam Miller
Folksinging.org


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