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Shorter from Hell to hilary??

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THE SANTA FE TRAIL


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Santa Fe Trail (43)
Lyr Req: Wranglin' for Old Santa Fe (8)


Jon W. 15 May 00 - 03:04 PM
Stewie 15 May 00 - 07:09 PM
JedMarum 15 May 00 - 07:27 PM
Jon W. 16 May 00 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Mrr 16 May 00 - 02:11 PM
Abby Sale 16 May 00 - 09:59 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 14 - 05:21 PM
Leadfingers 30 Apr 14 - 06:16 PM
Howard Jones 01 May 14 - 03:44 AM
GUEST, topsie 01 May 14 - 05:26 AM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 14 - 10:51 PM
Rex 05 May 14 - 02:35 PM
Stewie 05 May 14 - 10:59 PM
DonMeixner 05 May 14 - 11:47 PM
Stewie 06 May 14 - 05:36 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 May 14 - 07:58 AM
MGM·Lion 07 May 14 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,The Admiral 07 May 14 - 11:07 AM
MGM·Lion 07 May 14 - 11:22 AM
Jack Blandiver 07 May 14 - 11:37 AM
Amos 07 May 14 - 11:51 AM
MGM·Lion 07 May 14 - 12:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 May 14 - 12:05 PM
MGM·Lion 07 May 14 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Jim D 16 Nov 16 - 07:08 AM
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Subject: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Jon W.
Date: 15 May 00 - 03:04 PM

I'm currently learning the song "Alongside the Santa Fe Trail." One of the lines goes "For it's shorter from Hell to hilary, than it is on the Santa Fe ride." Who, what, or where is hilary? BTW the accent is sung on the 2nd syllable.


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Stewie
Date: 15 May 00 - 07:09 PM

I am unable to answer your query, but there was a thread on the song in which Abby Sale posted the lyrics:

Click Here

Unfortunately, it does not answer your query either. I have seen it written as 'Helarie', but that seems to make less sense than 'hilary'. I think that perhaps Rogers was suggesting 'from hell to hilarity' but wanted a rhyme for 'prairie' and so put 'hilary'. Just a thought.

--Stewie.



Thread #17944   Message #175089
Posted By: Abby Sale
08-Feb-00 - 01:33 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Santa Fe Trail
Subject: Lyr Add: SANTA FE TRAIL (James Grafton Rogers)^^

Loverly song. Slim Critchlow.

THE SANTA FE TRAIL
by James Grafton Rogers, 1911

Say, pard have ye sighted a schooner
A-hittin' the Santa Fe Trail?
They made it here Monday or sooner
With a water keg roped on the rail,
With Daddy and Ma on the mule-seat
And somewhere around on the way
A tow-headed gal on a pony
A-janglin' for old Santa Fe
Oh -- Ah – Oh --
A-janglin' for old Santa Fe.

I seen her ride down the arroyos
Way back in the Arkansas sand,
With a smile like an acre of sunflowers,
An' her little brown quirt in her hand
She straddled the pinto so airy
And rode like she carried the mail,
And her eyes near set fire to the prairie
'Long side of the Santa Fe Trail
Oh -- Ah – Oh --
Alongside of the Santa Fe Trail.

Oh, I know a gal down on the border
That I'd ride to El Paso to sight;
I'm acquaint with the high-steppin' order,
And I've sometimes kissed some gals goodnight;
But Lord, they're all ruffles and beadin'
Or afternoon tea by the pail,
Compared to the kind of stampedin'
That I get on the Santa Fe Trail
Oh -- Ah -- Oh --
That I get on the Santa Fe Trail.

I don't know her narne, and the prairie
When it comes to a gal's pretty wide,
Or shorter from hell to hilary
Than it is on this Santa Fe ride,
But I guess I'll make Cedars by sundown
And campin' may be in a swale,
I'll come on a gall and a pinto
Alongside of the Santa Fe Trail
Oh -- Ah -- Oh --
Alongside of the Santa Fe Trail.

11/16/1821: William Becknell party reaches Santa Fe, N.M. - 1st use of Santa Fe Trail
^^^


added to DT October 2000

Click to play

(tune from Katie Lee's Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle -Joe Offer-)


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 May 00 - 07:27 PM

clinton, of course

;-)


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Jon W.
Date: 16 May 00 - 01:20 PM

Sorry, Ms Rodham-Clinton wasn't born in 1911. And I was trying to resist the temptation to think of the relative distance between the First Lady of the US and Hell, and the length of the Santa Fe trail. I at first had thought of Sir Edmund Hillary - when he was on top of Mt. Everest he would have been a long distance from the underworld, right? But that wasn't until the 1950's was it? So again the date is wrong for the allusion. Let's keep trying, folks.


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 16 May 00 - 02:11 PM

No hyphen in Ms Rodham Clinton. Oops, almost typoed Rodman Clinton... now, is that a sports reference, or a sports reference?


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Abby Sale
Date: 16 May 00 - 09:59 PM

As I've heard it, "Hilary" is not (or doesn't even need to be) a real place - just alliteration with Hell. It's a long way from Hell to Hilary. But when you're riding the Santa Fe Trail, that seems even longer. Especially on a cattle drive.


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 14 - 05:21 PM

I'm wondering if it was originally "from hell to Killarney." Anyway, that's how I sing it.


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Apr 14 - 06:16 PM

The alliteration seems likely to me - Nearly as good as "From Hull and Halifax and Hell , Good Lord deliver me"


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 May 14 - 03:44 AM

Hilary Term is the name of one of the sessions of the English courts and also of one of the university terms at Oxford and Dublin. It derives from the feast of St Hilary which falls during it. This gives rise to an archaic expression "to keep Hilary Term" meaning to be cheerful or merry.

I have always interpreted it as meaning happiness (by comparison with 'hilarity') as an opposite to Hell.


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 01 May 14 - 05:26 AM

"Hilary", as in "Hilary Term", has the stress on the first syllable, not the second. Could it be "hilarity" with the virtually non-existent glottal stop that I keep hearing (or rather, not hearing) these days? Though "hilari'y" doesn't quite rhyme with "prairie".


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 14 - 10:51 PM

The only other one that comes up in an Internet search is to note that the Catholic church has a Hilary of Poitiers who was exiled for a while in Phrygia (modern day Turkey). That was a long way from his home in France. Wikipedia says his name comes from the word for "hilarity" - giving it the second syllable emphasis. Was the life of a saint commonly known? This seems too big of a reach. Edmund Hillary wasn't born until 1919, and climbed Everest in 1953 so fit at all.

It is interesting that in the various versions posted here that the "Hell to Hilary" part stays consistent (the alliteration angle keeping it intact, possibly) but the name of the place they're making for a couple of lines below changes: "Plumbers" and "Tooners" and "Cedars" are all mentioned.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Rex
Date: 05 May 14 - 02:35 PM

James Rogers hand written song, The Santa Fe Trail is in the files of the Colorado State Archives. He wrote "hilary".

Rex


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Stewie
Date: 05 May 14 - 10:59 PM

In respect of inventing words for alliteration etc, I was just listening to Jackson C. Frank singing 'Mystery' wherein he creates 'Hellion' to rhyme with 'rebellion'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: DonMeixner
Date: 05 May 14 - 11:47 PM

Hi Stewie,

Hellion is a real word. Frank didn't create it.

Don


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Stewie
Date: 06 May 14 - 05:36 AM

I stand corrected. Thanks, Don.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 May 14 - 07:58 AM

And it's "A long way from Clare to here" :)


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 May 14 - 07:08 AM

I sing "Raton by sundown": first city in New Mexico over the northern border with Colorado; County Seat of Colfax County. Signed, acc to Wikipedia, as part of the traditional Santa Fe Trail; although the entry elsewhere states "Raton Pass had been used by Spanish explorers and Indians for centuries to cut through the rugged Rocky Mountains, but the trail was too rough for wagons on the Santa Fe Trail"; so would presumably afford a convenient short cut for the horse-mounted singer to intercept the longer way round the family's "schooner" had to take to reach Santa Fe. Though the tow-headed girl on her pinto, riding separately from the schooner, might have gone by that route also?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: GUEST,The Admiral
Date: 07 May 14 - 11:07 AM

Peter Bellamy recorded it as 'Hilairy' if that's any help?


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 May 14 - 11:22 AM

Ay Ay, Admiral. Pete was repeating the version he had learnt from Lisa Null. I think that is the pronunciation that the spelling & the rhythm demand.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 07 May 14 - 11:37 AM

And I'll come in that girl on her pinto...


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Amos
Date: 07 May 14 - 11:51 AM

BEware prepositional laxity, young Jack!


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 May 14 - 12:00 PM

I think that 'laxity' was the naughty little boy's intention, Amos.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 May 14 - 12:05 PM

James Grafton Rogers was a prominent attorney. He authored "American Bar Leaders, Biographies of the Presidents of the American Bar," and other works on legal history. As well, he was an international financier (pres. and Dir. of Foreign Bondholders Assn.), diplomat Allied Electoral Mission to Greece), and expert in military intelligence (Chairman of the Planning Group of the OSS; Office of Stratigraphic Services, the predecessor of the CIA).

He also was a professor, historian and wartime facilitator (helped found the 10th Mountain Division which drove up the Apennines in WW2).

And a poet.

No one has found out what he meant by "hilary." It is the was he wrote it in MS. and original sheet music (haven't seen) according to several articles.


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 May 14 - 12:18 PM

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Hillery is an unincorporated community in Danville Township, Vermilion County, Illinois."

Don't suppose that helps much?

Thought not!

~M~


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Subject: RE: Shorter from Hell to hilary??
From: GUEST,Jim D
Date: 16 Nov 16 - 07:08 AM

Pure speculation - I have a suspicion that this was once "it's shorter to hell for Alighieri", as in Dante Alighieri and his journey to hell. To my mind the lyric suddenly makes sense with this substitution, as in "this journey is so long and wearing that even Dante's journey through hell must have been shorter and easier.

It's a bit 'literary' for a cowboy song, but I can imagine it as the kind of fragment of history/culture to filter in like this, in roughly the same way as the St. James Infirmary in London has become iconic in American jazz though 'the folk process'.


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