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Origins: Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms

DigiTrad:
ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS


v8dj@bellsouth.net 20 Jun 97 - 09:46 PM
21 Jun 97 - 01:48 AM
ron k 24 Jun 97 - 09:33 PM
Joe Offer 25 Aug 16 - 11:24 PM
Joe Offer 25 Aug 16 - 11:45 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Jul 18 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Dave Arthur 06 Jul 18 - 11:53 AM
Bat Goddess 06 Jul 18 - 02:00 PM
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Subject: Rollin' in my sweet baby's arms
From: v8dj@bellsouth.net
Date: 20 Jun 97 - 09:46 PM

looking for the origins.. where did we first hear "Rollin' in my seet baby's arms"? We have found the Flying Burrito Brothers and Flatt and Scrugs. Who else did this? Why is it so hard to find?


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Subject: RE: Rollin' in my sweet baby's arms
From:
Date: 21 Jun 97 - 01:48 AM

I have a book entitled "Blue Grass Songbook" by Peter Wernick (Oak Publ.) which gives the title as "Roll in my Sweet Baby's Arms" but usually I hear it as Rollin in...

The author is the ubiquitous "Traditional" and the comment below the song says:

"A blue grass standard introduced by the Monroe Brothers, this song is now performed bye everyone from parking lot pickers to Buck Owens to Leon Russell."

Discography
Flatt and Scruggs, Pickwick 6093
Lester Flatt, Bluegrass Festival/RCA
The Stanley Brothers, The Legendary Stanley Brothers,Vol1/Rebel
The Monroe Brothers, Feast Here Tonight/RCA

Frank Phillips


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Subject: RE: Rollin' in my sweet baby's arms
From: ron k
Date: 24 Jun 97 - 09:33 PM

I have a notation in a book that says it was recorded in 1927 by Buster Carted and Preston Young.

Some other recordings were:

Stanley Brothers "On the Radio"

Doc & Merle Watson "Deep Gap"

Jack Elliot "Ramblin"

Dillard & Clark, New Lost City Ramblers, and the list goes on.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 16 - 11:24 PM

Gee, I thought there'd be more in the Traditional Ballad Index on this one.

Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms

DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "Roll in my sweet baby's arms (2x)/Lay around the shack till the mail train comes back/Roll in my sweet baby's arms." Floating verses, e.g. "Ain't gonna work on the railroad/Ain't gonna work on the farm"; "Where was you last Friday night...."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1931 (recording, Buster Carter & Preston Young)
KEYWORDS: humorous nonballad floatingverses separation
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 178, "I'll Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 159, "Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms" (1 text)
DT, ROLLBABY*

RECORDINGS:
Buster Carter & Preston Young, "I'll Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms" (Columbia 15690-D, 1931)
Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, "Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms" (Mercury 6372, c. 1951)
Monroe Brothers, "Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms" (Bluebird B-6773, 1937)
New Lost City Ramblers, "I'll Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms" (on NLCR03)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Late Last Night When Willie Came Home" (words)
cf. "My God, How the Money Rolls In" (words)
NOTES: Paul Stamler lists this as a humorous song. I thought I should add that the versions I've heard have been done "straight," often with a blues feel. - RBW
File: CSW178

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 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



Here are the lyrics from the Digital Tradition:

ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS (DT Version)

Ain't gonna work on the railroad
Ain't gonna work on the farm,
Gonna lay 'round the track till the mail train comes back
Then I'll roll in my sweet baby's arms.

cho: Roll in my swwet baby's arms,
Roll in my sweet baby's arms,
Lay round this shack till the mail train gets back
Roll in my sweet baby's arms.

Now where were you last Friday night
While I was layin' in the jail?
Were you walkin' the streets with another man?
You wouldn't even go my bail.

I know your parents don't like me
They turn me away from your door,
If I had my life to live over
Oh well, I'd never go back anymore.

From Mel Bay's Autoharp Song Book
@country
filename[ ROLLBABY
TUNE FILE: ROLLBABY
CLICK TO PLAY
RG


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Subject: ADD Version: I'll Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 16 - 11:45 PM

I'LL ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS

Ain't going to work on the railroad,
Ain't going to work on the farm,
Lay around the shack 'til the mail train comes back,
Then I'll roll in my sweet baby's arms.

CHORUS
Roll in my sweet baby's arms,
Roll in my sweet baby's arms,
Lay around the shack 'til the mail train comes back,
Then I'll roll in my sweet baby's arms.

Can't see what's the matter with my own true love,
She done quit writing to me;
She must think I don't love her like I used to,
Ain't that a foolish idea?

Sometimes there's change in the ocean,
Sometimes there's change in the sea,
Sometimes there's change in my own true love,
But there's never no change in me.

Mama's a ginger cake baker,
Sister can weave and can spin,
Dad's got an interest in that old cotton mill,
Just watch that old money roll in.

They tell me that your parents do not like me,
They have drove me away from your door,
If I had all my time to do over,
I would never go there any more.

Now where was you last Friday night,
While I was locked up in jail?
Walking the streets with another man,
Wouldn't even go my bail.

Repeat second verse.


Source: Old-Time String Band Songbook (John Cohen & Mike Seeger & Hally Wood), Oak Publications, 1964, 1976, page 178
[Originally titled New Lost City Ramblers Songbook

Recording from New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 3: Recording by Flatt & Scruggs: Recording by Rose Maddox:


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'LL ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Jul 18 - 11:58 AM

I'LL ROLL IN MY SWEET BABY'S ARMS
As recorded by Buster Carter & Preston Young, 1931.

Ain't gonna work on the railroad.
Ain't gonna work on the farm.
Lay around my shack till that mail train comes back,
Then I'll roll in my sweet baby's arms.

Roll in my sweet baby's arms,
Roll in my sweet baby's arms,
Lay round my shack till that mail train comes back,
Then I'll roll in my sweet baby's arms.

Can't see what's the matter with my own true love.
She done quit writing to me.
She must think I don't love her like I used to.
Ain't that a foolish idee?

Sometime there's change in the ocean.
Sometime there's changes in the sea.
Sometime there's changes in my own true love,
But there's never no change in me.

Mama's a ginger-cake baker.
Sister can weave and can spin.
Dad has bought a int'rest in that ol' cotton mill.
Just watch that ol' money roll in.

They tell me her parents do not like me.
They have drove me away from the door.
If I had all my time to go over,
I would never go back anymore.

Where were you last Friday night
When I was lyin' in jail?
Walking the streets with another man,
Wouldn't even go my bail.


Note: verse 2 is not treated as a chorus; it is sung only once, to the same tune as the other verses.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms
From: GUEST,Dave Arthur
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 11:53 AM

A verse I sing with 'Rattle On the Stovepipe' goes:

Daddy loved my mammy
Mammy loved other men
Now mammy's full of buckshot
And Daddy's in the pen.

Sadly, I can't remember where I got it!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 06 Jul 18 - 02:00 PM

Dave, I heard I variant on that verse as a stand alone in the 1950s, sung by Burl Ives who said it was the world's shortest folk song --

Pappa loved Mama
And Mama loved men.
Mama's in the graveyard
And Pappa's in the pen.

Linn


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Mudcat time: 15 August 2:51 PM EDT

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