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Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River

DigiTrad:
BANKS OF THE OHIO
ON THE BANKS OF THE OLD PEDEE


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Banks of the Ohio (44)
Help: Banks of the Ohio/Edisto? (5)
Lyr Req: Banks of the Ohio (modern version) (8)
Lyr Add: Murder-free Banks of the Ohio (8)


angel 20 Mar 00 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Gwest@mauimail.com 20 Mar 00 - 08:00 AM
Mary in Kentucky 20 Mar 00 - 09:00 AM
Susan of DT 20 Mar 00 - 09:22 AM
Metchosin 20 Mar 00 - 11:38 AM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Mar 00 - 12:27 PM
Sandy Paton 20 Mar 00 - 01:56 PM
Mary in Kentucky 20 Mar 00 - 02:16 PM
Mary in Kentucky 20 Mar 00 - 02:37 PM
tar_heel 20 Mar 00 - 03:51 PM
Lonesome EJ 20 Mar 00 - 05:57 PM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Mar 00 - 09:14 PM
tar_heel 20 Mar 00 - 09:36 PM
Musicman 21 Mar 00 - 01:54 AM
DougR 21 Mar 00 - 02:12 AM
DougR 21 Mar 00 - 02:13 AM
folk1234 21 Mar 00 - 11:24 AM
folk1234 21 Mar 00 - 11:31 AM
Charlie Baum 21 Mar 00 - 11:38 AM
Charlie Baum 21 Mar 00 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Dan Keding 21 Mar 00 - 01:42 PM
Charlie Baum 21 Mar 00 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Barry Finn 21 Mar 00 - 03:38 PM
Art Thieme 21 Mar 00 - 05:06 PM
catspaw49 21 Mar 00 - 05:22 PM
raredance 21 Mar 00 - 11:54 PM
DougR 21 Mar 00 - 11:58 PM
Pelrad 22 Mar 00 - 11:01 PM
Mary in Kentucky 17 Jan 03 - 09:41 PM
Brían 17 Jan 03 - 10:45 PM
Brían 17 Jan 03 - 10:56 PM
masato sakurai 18 Jan 03 - 12:02 AM
GUEST,Q 18 Jan 03 - 12:19 AM
michaelr 18 Jan 03 - 12:22 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 18 Jan 03 - 06:10 PM
Brían 18 Jan 03 - 11:29 PM
Charlie Baum 20 May 04 - 11:23 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 21 May 04 - 04:16 AM
GUEST 06 Nov 06 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Out West 07 Nov 06 - 11:47 AM
GUEST 29 Oct 11 - 12:55 PM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Oct 11 - 08:24 AM
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Subject: Songs about the Ohio River
From: angel
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 07:48 AM

I am working on a scrapbook with pictures of river boats (tug boats) and barges, in the locks of the dams on the Ohio River. I am interested in any songs that might relate to this subject and their lyrics.

Thanks, Angel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: GUEST,Gwest@mauimail.com
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 08:00 AM

Angel, i just stumbled onto this site and saw your message about ohio river boats etc. if you are interested, my great grandfather was a river boat pilot, he was the original owner and pilot of The Donald B. one of the last few functional sternwheel paddleboats working the ohio river( ripley-maysville area, if you are interested in more information, email me and ill put you in touch with my family! also, if you have any of this stuff on the web, would you send me the url, im away from home and get home sick occasionally Thanks Grif


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 09:00 AM

Hi Angel,

The first song that comes to mind is FLORA THE LILY OF THE WEST. It mentions Louisville and was sung by Joan Baez at the First BBC Folk Music Awards recently.

If you put "Louisville" into the Digitrad search, you'll get ten songs that mention Louisville. Flora is one of them and can be found here.

For info about this award program:
Mudcatters win BBC Folk Final
The First BBC Folk Music Awards

Also, Art Thieme has a real cute joke on his CD about going through the locks at the Falls of the Ohio in Louisville.

Which reminds me, there is a wonderful museum at the Falls (New Albany, Indiana, just across the river from Louisville) which has tons of pictures and history.

Let me know if you need more stuff.

Mary in Kentucky (not far from Louisville)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 09:22 AM

Search for [dillon bustin]. He did some collecting of these songs, but then did not make it clear as to which he found vs added to vs wrote.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Metchosin
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 11:38 AM

The song "Down in the Canebrake" or (Come My Love, Come) as recorded by Frank Crumit, could probably be made PC with a few word changes without altering it significantly. Great tune and I love the chorus:
Come my love come
My boat lies low
She lies high and dry on the O-hi-o
Come my love come
Won't you come along with me
And I'll take you down to Tennessee.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 12:27 PM

Not to do with riverboats as such, but "The Banks of the Ohio" is a great old-time song. Should be in the DT, if you don't know it.

As to that last message, "my boat lies low", of course that relates to the parts of the season when the falls of the Ohio were impassable in low water, and all traffic had to stop, often for months.

This brings me to a tale of Indiana history, which might be of interest.

New Albany, Indiana prospered in the old days, and was the metropolis of this part of the river, just because of the income from the stranded boatmen--bars, roominghouses, suppliers of various sorts, and from transporting cargo around the falls. New Albany looked forward to low water, as you can imagine.

Merchants from upriver, however, were hurt by this phenomenon, and a delegation from Cincinnati and other upstream cities visited the city fathers of prosperous and bustling New Albany, asking to have a canal built to get around the falls. The aforesaid city fathers in effect said, "Not on your tintype!" Although they may have been more tactful than that. There was no way they were going to finance a canal which would do them out of that low-water income!

The upriver merchants then went across and spoke to a tiny burg across the river, called Louisville. Louisville was interested.

And there, ladies and gentlemen, stands Louisville, and there stands New Albany, of which many people have never heard in their lives. The moral should not have to be underlined here.

True History.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 01:56 PM

Get a copy of Mary Wheeler's Steamboatin' Days at your library, or via inter-library loan. Many of the songs are (as Art Thieme pointed out in a previous thread) fragmentary, but it contains a number of singable songs from Ohio River roustabouts.

Even harder to find is Carl Carmer's Songs of the Rivers of America, but worth all the hunting.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 02:16 PM

Dave--In western Louisville they have an area named "Portland", where the boat people had to "port" their cargo during low water. Also, folks out in cyberspace may not know that Kentucky claims its northern boundary as the northern shore of the Ohio River (accoring to some date in the 1800's) instead of the middle of the river as in most other cases. (hehe) The river has changed course over the last 100 years or so, which means that KY owns the land for the racetrack in Evansville.

Back to Angel's request. The Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper has had several articles with lots of pictures and history of the falls, locks, bridges, tugs, etc.

Mary in Kentucky


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 02:37 PM

Angel-if you're interested in riverboats here is a link which also has addresses where you can write for more info.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: tar_heel
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 03:51 PM

there is an old song called "on the banks of the ohio". but it is about a guy named willie,who takes his girl for a walk by the river...stabs her with a knife ...and then dumps her body in the ohio river.not exactly a river boat song,but i will give the words to you ,if you want.........written in the early 1900's on the same theme as ,"down in the willow garden".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 05:57 PM

So, Dave, I gather from your tale that a canal was built on the Louisville side of the Ohio? I am from there, but don't recall a canal bypassing the Falls.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 09:14 PM

They did, and it MADE Louisville. Later dams and locks were built, but by then Louisville had a commanding lead on poor little old New Albany. If the canal is still there at all, it's irrelevant.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: Lyr Add: ON THE BANKS OF THE OHIO
From: tar_heel
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 09:36 PM

1. I asked my love...to take a walk,
Just a little...way away.
While we walked...along, we'll talk
All about...our wedding day.

CHORUS: Only say...that you'll be mine,
And in our home...we'll happy be.
Down beside...where the waters flow,
On the banks...of the Ohio.

2. I drew my knife...across her breast,
As into...my arm she pressed.
She cried, "Oh, Willie...don't you murder me,
I'm not prepared...for eternity."

3. I took her by...her lily-white hand.
I led her down...and I made her stand.
There I pushed...her in to drown,
And I watched her as...she floated down.

4. Returning home...'tween twelve and one,
Thinking of...the deed I done.
I murdered the only...girl I loved,
Because she would...not marry me.

5. Next day as I...was returning home,
I met the sheriff...standing in the door.
He said, "Young man...come now and go,
Down on the banks...of the Ohio."

Hope you can use this. It's not a riverboat song, but a classic song from the turn of the century about the troubles of a young man named Willie!
Song title: ON THE BANKS OF THE OHIO.

HTML line breaks & capitalization added. --JoeClone, 13-Feb-03.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Musicman
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 01:54 AM

Here's one from 1910 era, called BEAUTIFUL OHIO, found in The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music: Click here


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: DougR
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 02:12 AM

If it's the one I'm thinking about, the song "Beautiful Ohio" was a popular old song in the 1940's. "Drifting with the current down a moonlit stream, while above the heavens in their glory gleam, and the stars on high, twinkle in the sky ... Dreaming of a paradise of love divine, dreaming of a pair of eyes that looked in mine, Beautiful Ohio in dreams again I see, visions of what used to be.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: DougR
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 02:13 AM

Oops! I meant to say if it is the song Musicman is talking about.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: folk1234
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 11:24 AM

One of my favorite Ohio River songs is "New Harmony", I think by Dillon Bustin, and beautifully done by our own Sandy and Caroline in their album entitled New Harmony. Sandy was too modest to mention it in his earlier posting. I understand that Cathy Barton and Dave Para are putting the finishing touches on an album about River Songs to be released in a few months. We all sang New Harmony last month when Cathy & Dave were here, but I don't know if it will be included in their new album.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: folk1234
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 11:31 AM

Correction. New Harmony was written by Craig Johnson.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 11:38 AM

Search for anything by Pearl Nye, a man who worked on the canal that connected the Ohio River with the Great Lakes at Cleveland (the canal ran through Roscoe Village & Coshocton, Ohio). Mr. Nye was a great singer, songwriter, and song collector, and some of his material deals with canal life. Admittedly, his canal served as a tributary of the Ohio River itself, but his profession was spot on to what you're searching for.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 11:46 AM

For a start on Pearl Nye, type his name in the Digitrad search box above for your first seven items. Then follow the bibliographic cues therein for more.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: GUEST,Dan Keding
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 01:42 PM

Angel, I went looking thru some of my old albums and found a record by Bob Gibson entitled "Folksongs of Ohio." I'm not sure if its still in print but my copy has red vinyl. It was on Stinson Records. There are a coule songs you may find interesting including "Working on a Push Boat" and "Ohio River." Dan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 01:56 PM

PUSH BOAT is in the Digital Tradition.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 03:38 PM

the "Ohio Canal" (so it's a canal song & not a river o was in an old thread.

It's tramp, tramp, tramp, tramp
Tighten in the lines,
And watch the playful horse flies
As up the mules they climb,
Whoa back, cuss the mules
Forget it I never shall,
I'm every inch a sailor on the E-ri-e Canal.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 05:06 PM

"Whoa back and duck your nut..." is how I've heard it done.

Art


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 05:22 PM

Tiny correction Charlie......The canal came to Roscoe and not to Coshocton which is across the river (actually the junction of the Tuscarawas and Muskingum rivers) and caused the town to boom. Coshocton was virtually unknown. The reason I mention this is that the demise of Roscoe and the growth of Coshocton is a perfect example of how things grew and died as transportation changed. The railroad elected to run through Coshocton and as the RR grew and the canals died, a similar thing of couse happened to the towns which they serviced.

As I'm sure you're aware, Roscoe Village has been rebuilt and does a thriving business in the tourist trade. There's a very fine dulcimer fest there every year sponsored partly by an EXCELLENT music store, Wildwood Music.

BTW...I hate "Beautiful Ohio" (the state song). How many other state songs are played at roller rinks?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: raredance
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 11:54 PM

A great old song about the Ohio river is Dan Emmett's "Boatman Dance". It is in the DT. Another good song that is not tied down with geographical place name references so it could be used most any where is "Rock About My Saro Jane". It's also in the DT and has been recorded by Uncle Dave Macon, the Kingston Trio, and the Red Clay Ramblers to name a few. There is also a song in Jerry Silverman's book "Songs of the Sea, Rivers, Lakes & Canals" that is called "The Lovely Ohio". I think I may have put the words to this in a thread last year or so, but I haven't dug it out yet.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: DougR
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 11:58 PM

Don't know Spaw, I don't go to roller rinks :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Pelrad
Date: 22 Mar 00 - 11:01 PM

Well, I know the chorus (and chorus' tune) to one, but that's it...didn't see it in the database. I can dig up more if you're interested.

La Belle Riviere, the Great Shining Water,
Pasquimapugamu, [sp?] La Fleur de Saint Luis.
No matter the name, the meaning's the same
She's the beautiful river, the Ohio.

This might be the same song that a few others have referred to already, but just in case I thought I would submit it.

As for the Dillon Bustin songs, I know that he wrote "Shantyboating" and "Shawnee Town." Couldn't swear to any others.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 09:41 PM

I just heard The Boatman's Dance which richr referred to above. Aaron Copland wrote an arrangement of it, and according to Karl Haas actually conducted a performance of his arrangement. I couldn't get into the DT just now...the minstrel song is there...so found an MP3 here. It takes forevever to download, but you can stop the download and listen to the first part. This is certainly a beautiful Ohio River song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Brían
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 10:45 PM

There is a song in the DT called BANKS OF THE PLEASANT OHIO. There seem to be several versions of it. I wonder if anyone knows any recordings of it? It has been mentioned in the novel Paradise Alley as having been a favorite of firemen in NY>

Brían


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Brían
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 10:56 PM

Here it is: BANKS OF THE PLEASANT OHIO

Brían


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 12:02 AM

THE OHIO SONG COLLECTION (titles only). Some are about the Ohio River.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 12:19 AM

"Down the River, Down the Ohio," Christy's Plantation Melodies, Christy's Minstrels, 1854. Melody not bad. See Levy Colection- enter Ohio in Search.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: michaelr
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 12:22 AM

Brian -- it so happens that my good friend Chris Carney just released a very fine version of this song ("The Lovely Ohio" in his version) by his band
Dockside, on their new CD "Three Sheets to the Wind". (I'm planning to post a review.)

You can hear a bit of it by clicking here. It's a very nice album, featuring several of Chris Carney's wonderful original songs, such as "Grandfather's Song" and "The Fair That Summer".

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 06:10 PM

Here's a playparty song:

The river is up, the channel is deep,
The wind is steady and strong;
O won't we have a jolly time
As we go rolling along?

Down the river and down the river
And down the river we go-o-o,
Down the river and down the river
And down the O-hi-O.

Down the river, rickety, tickety-
Down the river, rickety, tickety-
Down the river, rickety, tickety-
Down the O-hi-O!

From,"Handy Play Party Book," World Around Songs, R.5, Burnsville,NC
28714


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Brían
Date: 18 Jan 03 - 11:29 PM

Thanks, Michaelr

Brían


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Subject: Lyr Add: ALL ON THE OHIO RIVER
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 20 May 04 - 11:23 PM

This is an Ohio River song I learned from the singing of Helena Triplett (from her CD Green Are the Woods: Traditional Ballads & Songs From West Virginia). She learned it from a recording of Kate Toney of Kitchen in Logan County, WV, recorded August 1940, in the Chappell Collection at the University of West Virginia at Morgantown.

This is my transcription of Helena's performance. There are some words in the third line (in italics) that I'm uncertain about, or perhaps I should say I'm certainly unclear about. (Can anybody correct them?)

--Charlie Baum


ALL ON THE OHIO RIVER

All on the Ohio River as we were sailing down
We said to one another: we're past all danger gone
But we being young sosayed and then put on the shore for to see
the shore take us there for to know what the Indians do

They took us to their camps to their children and their squaws
It's there they all come running out giving warrior's great applause
They all got drunk by night and it was a horrible sight
Their squaws crying and their fire was killing for general light

The ropes were prepared and the stakes were driven down
It's there we lie all on our backs all on the cold ground
It's there we lie all night and expecting for to die
The rain all pouring down on their face and knives

At eight o'clock this morning our comrades were knocked down
The captain sought out who should die causing me to leave the ground
'Tis through the woods I rove and as lonesome as a dove
As one who had lost her mate and never could find her love

For six days then I traveled with nothing for to eat
Except it was six turkey eggs; I sighed for bread and meat
It's deer and bear were plenty but me afraid to shoot
Scared the Indians they hear me, and me they'd overtake

It's now I have escaped and my life is safe at home
I'll go no more to the Indian shore but here I'll live and die


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 21 May 04 - 04:16 AM

Re the song "New Harmony" mentioned above, nice song and a great version is that recorded by the late Jim Ringer. Available on Rounder/Philo.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: boatman's dance
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Nov 06 - 08:44 PM


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Subject: Lyr Add: NEW HARMONY (Craig Johnson)
From: GUEST,Out West
Date: 07 Nov 06 - 11:47 AM

Craig Johnson's NEW HARMONY


Evening hillsides in the summertime
The jars we filled with fireflies
I remember you and I
Say it's been a long, long time

Rain across the bottomland
Broken stones from an old mill dam
West wind blowin' in the dawnin' day
It's enough to blow the blues my way

I've been sittin' by the Ohio
Watchin' the towboats rollin' up slow
Thinkin' on places we used to go
You've been on my mind

Rusted rails in old river towns
A whistle blowin' New orleans bound
Cornfields waitin' for the plow
All those things I can't tell you now

I've been sittin' by the Ohio
Watchin' the towboats rollin' up slow
Thinkin' on places we used to go
You've been on my mind

Indiana backroads
That winter sky so bleak and cold
New moons arms are cradlin' the old
And there's come-home songs on the radio

I've been sittin' by the Ohio
Watchin' the towboats rollin' up slow
Thinkin' on places we used to go
You've been on my mind


I hope I recalled it correctly after all this time.

I learned this probably from the Jim Ringer version which was on the radio in the Bay Area back in the late 70s. I remember hearing at the time that Craig Johnson wrote it as a song for his Dad. I was a young guy, and still angry at my Dad, and - how can I put this, I've never really expressed it - sang this song as a way of admitting to myself a familial tenderness and longing.

I grew up in Ohio, and the imagery evokes so much. We had family in West Virginia as well, and in those days the trip was taken on two-lane roads beside the river.

A decade or so later, when things had gotten better between us, I sang it with my brother at Dad's retirement party, and he listened to a tape that was made of that song for years.

Thanks for bumping the memory.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Oct 11 - 12:55 PM

How about "Shawnee Town" with its refrain ending line of .... "way down the Ohio in (to?) Shawnee Town". Malcolm Daglish and Grey Larson did the definitive version way back around 1980 or so.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs about the Ohio River
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 08:24 AM

I do not think this Dillon Bustin song has been mentioned.
Also known as Cairo Town and Rolling and Flowing.
@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5059


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