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Lyr Req: Old Coat Song

DigiTrad:
CONESTOGA ON THE JORDAN ROAD
FRANK PIERCE'S SOLILOQUY.
JORDAN IS A HARD ROAD TO TRAVEL
OLD PIKE
PARKWAY IS A HARD ROAD TO TRAVEL
RICHMOND IS A HARD ROAD TO TRAVEL


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Jordan Am a Hard Road to Travel (25)
Lyr Req: Jordan Am a Hard Road to Travel (9)
Lyr Add: Jordan Is a Hard Road to Travel (20)
Tune Req: Jordan Is a Hard Road (banjo tab) (2)
Take off your old coat and roll... (6)


GUEST,mcclinto@shaysnet.com 21 Apr 00 - 03:01 PM
GUEST 21 Apr 00 - 03:25 PM
The Beanster 21 Apr 00 - 03:51 PM
Allan C. 21 Apr 00 - 03:52 PM
The Beanster 21 Apr 00 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,mcclinto@shaysnet.com 21 Apr 00 - 08:12 PM
Susan of DT 21 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM
Stewie 21 Apr 00 - 08:41 PM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Apr 00 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,B. Sokolow 27 Jun 15 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,Guest 28 Jun 15 - 06:19 AM
Sunnyjohn 07 Feb 19 - 10:44 AM
Jim Dixon 08 Feb 19 - 12:50 PM
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Subject: Old Coat Song
From: GUEST,mcclinto@shaysnet.com
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 03:01 PM

Greetings!

I'm trying to find lyrics for two songs, each called Old Coat, one written by Henry Steele and Patrick Walters, one written by Paul Stookey, Mary Travers and E. Mezzetti. Does anyone know of sources for lyrics for either song? I've tried the various web sources I know and can't find them.

Thanks for any leads you can give me!
Mary

See this thread (click) for I Had an Old Coat / Little Overcoat


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD COAT (from Peter, Paul & Mary)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 03:25 PM

This is what Peter, Paul, and Mary recorded [not sure which album, probably early 1960's]. I don't know if it's what you're looking for, but it's about an old coat.--Ely
=======================================================

Take off your old coat and roll up your sleeves,
Life is a hard road to travel, I believe.

I looked the East; I looked to the West,
A youth asking faith to be rewarded,
But Fortune is a blind god, flying through the clouds,
And forgetting me on this side of Jordan.

Take off...

Silver spoons to some mouths, golden spoons to others,
Dare a man to change the give order.
Though they smile and tell us all good men are brothers,
Never was it true this side of Jordan.

Take off...

Like some ragged owlet with it wings expanded,
Nailed to a garden gate or border [? see below],
Thus will I by some men all my life be branded.
Never heard it done this side of Jordan.

Take off...

[?]= I'm not sure what he's saying here. It sounds like "borden" but that doesn't make sense, obviously.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 11-Sep-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: The Beanster
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 03:51 PM

GUEST,mcclinto--

This Peter, Paul & Mary site has gajillions of lyrics...well, quite a few. Old Coat is there. When you get the the page, scroll down 'til you see it and then click on "Moving"--the album name. Click here

And GUEST, you were right--the word is "boardin'" although that still doesn't make sense!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 03:52 PM

Look here for PP&M's lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: The Beanster
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 03:54 PM

hahahahaa Allan--great minds think alike!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: GUEST,mcclinto@shaysnet.com
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 08:12 PM

Thanks for the leads to the Peter, Paul and Mary song. I'm still looking for clues to the one by Steele and Walters. Mary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: Susan of DT
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 08:19 PM

Actually, it's a century or so older than Peter, Paul OR Mary--It was copyrighted by Daniel Decatur Emmett, better known for a little ditty called Dixie.

Much parodied during and after the Civil War. We have several versions in DigiTrad. (dick greenhaus, who forgot to reset a cookie)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 08:41 PM

Seems like the chorus was lifted from 'Jordan Am a Hard Road to Travel', a favourite of Uncle Dave Macon:

Pull off your overcoat, roll out your sleeves
Jordan am a hard road to travel
Pull off your overcoat, roll out your sleeves
Jordan am a hard road road to travel, I believe

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 11:39 AM

The word someone thought sounded like "bordon" is "hoarding". It's a signboard, I believe.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: GUEST,B. Sokolow
Date: 27 Jun 15 - 04:36 PM

I think the lyric is "... board and thus will I be some men...."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 06:19 AM

Why do people have problems with fairly straightforward words?

The boarding mentioned is merely a common expression for a flat piece of wood of indeterminate size.

Eg He used an old piece of boarding to cover the hole in the door and stop the draught.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TAKE OFF YOUR OLD COAT (Eliza Gilkyson)
From: Sunnyjohn
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 10:44 AM

There is a beautiful version of this song recorded by Eliza Gilkyson on her 2005 album, Retrospecto. The notes to the album state that these songs are old and previously unreleased song, so Take of Your Old Coat may come from some way back. It appears to have been written by a team of three, as shown below, but clearly owes much to Peter, Paul and Mary's 'Old Coat', unless, of course, it predates it. As you can see from the associated posts, the roots of the song go way back!

“Take Off Your Old Coat”
By Terry Gilkyson/Richard Dehn/Sam Eskin
© Blackhawk Music/BMI

I've searched in the east
I've searched in the west
For the riches that others
Were hoardin'
Fortune is a blind god
Smilin' in the breeze
And forgetting me
On this side of Jordan

(Chorus)
Take off your old coat and roll up your sleeve
Life is a hard road to travel
I believe

Thunder in the dark Clouds
Lightnin' in the trees
No shelter above my head afforded
Battered by the hail stones
Beaten by the breeze
That's my way of life
This side of Jordan

(Chorus)

See that ragged owl
His tattered wings expanded
He's nailed to the doorway
As a warnin'
So am I by good folk
As outlaw branded
Yet I've hurt no one
This side of Jordan

Up above an angel
Patchin' up our blunders
Trials and troubles
He's recording
Will I find a change there
Better times I wonder
When I reach the
Other side of Jordan

(Chorus)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:50 PM

I notice in that last song sung by Eliza Gilkyson, she sings:

“I've searched in the east; I've searched in the west”

If she would switch “west” with “east” there would be an approximate rhyme with “breeze,” so I’m guessing that’s what the songwriters intended.

I’ve done a lot of transcribing songs from recordings or from sheet music, and when I do, I like to arrange the line breaks to emphasize the rhyme, and this usually also emphasizes the regularity or symmetry of the metrical structure. In other words, put each rhyming word at the end of a line, and make sure each line ends with a rhyming word, if the song allows you to do that. If you do that, the lines of this song would end with the rhyming words:

1. ... east ... hoardin’ ... breeze ... Jordan
CHORUS: ... sleeve ... believe
2. ... trees ... afforded ... breeze ... Jordan
3. ... expanded ... warnin’ ... branded ... Jordan
4. ... blunders ... recording ... wonder ... Jordan

...which makes a nice regularity: each verse has 4 lines, with a rhyme scheme ABAB, and the chorus has 2 lines, CC. I find that folk songs—and recently composed songs that do a good job of imitating the style of folk songs—usually have lines and rhyming words in multiples of 2, 4, or 8—except blues, where 3 or 6 lines are more common.

I figure if the songwriter has taken the trouble to make sure the song has a regular structure, then I should take the trouble to emphasize what the songwriter has accomplished. Also, I believe that when the singer is aware of the regularity of a song’s structure, it is easier to remember the words.

Sorry if I have hijacked this thread to turn it into a lecture—but I have been thinking lately of writing down some of the rules I follow—tricks of the trade, so to speak—in case anyone else wants to apply them, and this song provided a fine example.


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