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Lyr Req: Twenty-One Years

JPC 24 Jul 00 - 09:17 AM
mg 24 Jul 00 - 11:11 AM
kendall 24 Jul 00 - 03:15 PM
kendall 24 Jul 00 - 04:36 PM
Jimmy C 24 Jul 00 - 04:55 PM
JPC 24 Jul 00 - 05:15 PM
Noreen 24 Jul 00 - 05:19 PM
JPC 24 Jul 00 - 05:28 PM
kendall 24 Jul 00 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Paddy(1) 24 Jul 00 - 06:21 PM
Snuffy 24 Jul 00 - 06:56 PM
mg 25 Jul 00 - 12:38 AM
Amergin 25 Jul 00 - 03:06 AM
Jim Dixon 24 Oct 02 - 11:11 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Oct 02 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,Richie 25 Oct 02 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,Ju-Jum Did It Dad! 07 Oct 11 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,Shirley Moss 23 Oct 13 - 04:08 PM
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Subject: Twenty One Years
From: JPC
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 09:17 AM

Hi all:
I'm looking for the lyrics for a song that may or may not be called "Twenty-One Years". It's about someone being sent to Dartmoor prison and his parting from his lover. I'm spent some time searching and all I could come up with was:

=============================================
The judge said, "Stand up, lad, and dry up your tears.
You're sentenced to Dartmoor for twenty-one years.

I hear the train coming. It'll be here at nine
To take me to Dartmoor to serve up my time.

It's raining. It's hailing. The moon gives no light,
So, will you tell me, babe, why I never died?

The days are so lonely, I wish I were dead,
A cell dark and gloomy and a stone for my head.
=============================================

I know there's more to it than that, e.g. when he is killing time:

I've counted the raindrops. I've counted the stars.
I've counted a million of these prison bars.

Can anyone help?

Thanks.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 24-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: mg
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 11:11 AM

a lifetime so lonely my hair's turning grey..

all I can think of for now.

mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: kendall
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 03:15 PM

I have this one, the American version, somewhere. I'll try to find it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: 21 YEARS
From: kendall
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 04:36 PM

21 YEARS

The judge said, "Stand up, boy, and dry up your tears.
You're sentenced to Nashville for 21 years."
So, dry up your tears, babe, and say you'll be mine,
For 21 years, babe, is a mighty long time.

Six months have gone by, babe. I wish I was dead.
This dirty old jailhouse, the floor for a bed.
It's raining. It's hailing. The stars give no light.
Darling, please tell me why you never write.

I've counted the days, babe. I've counted the nights.
I've counted the footsteps. I've counted the lights.
I've counted the minutes. I've counted the stars.
I've counted a million of these prison bars.

I've counted on you, babe, to get me a break.
I guess you've forgotten I'm here for your sake.
You know who is guilty. You know it so well,
But I'll rot in this prison before I will tell.

Come, all you young fellows with heart brave and true.
Don't believe any woman. You're doomed if you do.
Don't trust any woman, no matter what kind,
For 21 years, boys, is a mighty long time.

My father used to sing this when he was in his cups. I have no idea of the origin or the author.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ANSWER TO TWENTY-ONE YEARS
From: Jimmy C
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 04:55 PM

Here's a response from the family's point of view. Taken from the Max Hunter Collection. See the Hunter collection for "99 Years" also.

ANSWER TO TWENTY-ONE YEARS

She wrote him this letter that's covered with tears,
And it is her answer to Twenty-One Years:
Six months have gone by, love, the good doctor said.
For six weary months, love, I been sick in bed.

They tell me you're bitter because I don't write,
But a brain that is fevered is as dark as the night.
So, you understand why, dear, I didn't write you,
But the Lord up in heaven knows what I've gone through.

The judge said, "Stand up, lad, and dry up your tears."
He sent you to Nashville for twenty-one years.
While we stood embracing, they pulled us apart,
But they'll never tear you from out of my heart.

They shackled your arms, love. They shackled your feet,
But they'll never shackle a love which is sweet.
The angels all know well you'll always be mine.
Though I'll still be waiting, though it's a long time.

I went to the governor, got down on my knees,
Said, "O Mr. Governor, won't you hear me, please?"
I begged for your pardon through my blinding tears,
But the answer he gave me was twenty-one years.

Although you're in prison behind those iron bars,
When I get my strength back, I'll come where you are.
I'll stand by those high walls and cry through my tears,
But I'll wait for your love, dear, for twenty-one years.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 24-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: JPC
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 05:15 PM

Thanks all for the information. I now recall also the line that Mary posted, but can't add anymore. So there must me more/alternative verses to this. BTW, the words posted tell a very different story to what I was thinking.

I hope we can dig up some more words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 05:19 PM

Hi JPC
I remember the song, it did well in the Irish charts in the late 60s/ early 70s for Brendan Shine or someone similar. I could probably remember some more words if no-one else can find a link with more info.

Noreen


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Subject: Lyr Add: TWENTY-ONE YEARS
From: JPC
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 05:28 PM

OK, based on the information you all provided, I managed to improve my searching on the web and came up with the following alternatives:

TWENTY-ONE YEARS

The judge said, "Stand up, lad, and dry up your tears.
You're sentenced to prison for 21 years."
So dry up your tears, love, and kiss me goodbye.
The best friends must part, love. So must you and I.

I hear the train coming. She'll be here on time
To take me to Dartmoor to serve out my time.
I looked down the railway and plainly I see
You're standing there waving your goodbye to me.

Six months have gone by, love. I wish I were dead.
This dark dreary dungeon with stones for my bed.
It's raining. It's hailing. The moon gives no light.
Why don't you tell me why you never write?

I've watched and I've waited and longed for the day.
The night times so lonely, my hair's turning grey.
My thoughts are of you, love. I'm out of my mind.
For 21 years, love, is a mighty long time.

====================================

(My love of trad. songs overrides my Irish Republicanism, so I've got to post the following, but it pains me.)

The judge said, "Stand up, boy, and dry up your tears.
You're sentenced to Long Kesh for seven long years.
I know you are loyal to the Queen and the Crown,
But the laws of this country make me send you down."

2. Now this was his story in the courtroom one day
When a young loyal Protestant was taken away,
But the lad stood up proudly, and these words he said:
"I'll be true to Ulster until I am dead.

3. "For these tears you see, judge, are not tears of fear.
They're just tears of sadness for those I hold dear.
I know they'll stand by me, for there will be time.
For I'll be with my comrades. We stand side by side.

4. "So listen, you Rebels, to these words I give:
You'll never take Ulster as long as you live,
For we will destroy you. We're loyal and true,
And the flag over Ulster will be red white and blue."

====================================

Thanks to all!

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 24-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: kendall
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 05:47 PM

I first heard this when I was a boy of about 10 (mid 40's) long before the great folk scare.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: GUEST,Paddy(1)
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 06:21 PM

The artist in Ireland who had success with '21 years' was Des Kelly (I think !)

Paddy(1)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 Jul 00 - 06:56 PM

There's a (original?) version in the DT database - type TWENTY-ONE YEARS in the Digitrad Lyrics Search box.

I also have one Irish and two English versions where it's Dartmoor, not Nashville. I'll check to see if they're much different from what's been posted.

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: mg
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 12:38 AM

Denis Ryan of Ryan's fancy did a great version of it.

mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: Amergin
Date: 25 Jul 00 - 03:06 AM

I just looked in one of my books, an Irish version, not all that much different...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:11 PM

Woody Guthrie recorded a version of "21 Years". It's included in "Muleskinner Blues: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 2" Smithsonian/Folkways CD 40101, 1997. A brief sound sample at CDNOW seems to match the version posted by Kendall above, and the version in the DT: TWENTY-ONE YEARS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TWENTY-ONE YEARS (Bob Miller)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:50 PM

According to http://www.bobdylanroots.com/21.html, these are the original words of "Twenty-One Years" as written by Bob Miller (who, incidentally, also wrote There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere). I notice this version is missing the verse that contains the line "It's raining. It's hailing. The stars give (or 'moon gives') no light." -- which also appears in some versions of "On Top of Old Smoky."

TWENTY-ONE YEARS
(Bob Miller, 1930)

The judge said, "Stand up, boy, and dry up your tears.
You're sentenced to prison for twenty-one years."
So kiss me goodbye, love, and say you'll be mine,
For twenty-one years, love, is a mighty long time.

O hear that train blow, love. She'll be here on time
To take me to prison, to serve out my time.
So look down that railroad far as you can see
And keep right on waving your farewell to me.

The steam from the whistle, the smoke from the stack,
I know you'll be true love, until I get back.
So hold up your head, babe, and dry up your eyes.
Best friends must part, so won't you and I.

Go beg the governor, babe, on your sweet soul.
If you can't get a pardon, try and get a parole.
If I had the governor where the governor's got me,
Before sunrise tomorrow, the governor'd be free.

I've counted the days, love. I've counted the nights.
I've counted the minutes. I've counted the lights.
I've counted the footsteps. I've counted the stars.
I've counted a million of these prison bars.

I've counted on you, babe, to give me a break.
I guess you forgot, love, I'm here for your sake.
You know who's guilty. You know it so well,
But I'll rot in prison before I will tell.

Come, all you young fellows with hearts brave and true,
Don't believe any woman you'd meet if you do.
Don't trust any woman, no matter what kind,
For twenty-one years, boys, is a mighty long time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty One Years
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 06:37 AM

I've noticed that some of the lyrics are also found in "Worried Man Blues." The version of "Worried Man Blues" I sing has "twenty-one chains," "twenty-one years," "twenty-one coaches long" etc.

Is there a connection here?

What is the origin of the song?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty-One Years
From: GUEST,Ju-Jum Did It Dad!
Date: 07 Oct 11 - 07:13 PM

This song is called "The Prisoner" my Dad has it on an LP by Paddy Noonan and his Grand Band. The song is sung by Mike "Jesse" Owens

The Prisoner

The judge said, "Stand up lad and dry up your tears
You're sentenced to Dartmoor for twenty-one years."
So dry up your tears love and kiss me good-bye
The best friends must part love, so must you and I

I hear the train coming, 'twill be here at nine
To take me to Dartmoor to serve out my time
I look down the railway and plainly I see
You're standing there waving your good-bye to me

Six months have gone by love, I wish I were dead
This dark, dreary dungeon and stones for my head
'Tis raining, 'tis hailing, the moon gives no light
Now you will tell me, love, why you never write

I've counted the days love, I've counted the nights
I've counted the footsteps, I've counted the lights
I've counted the raindrops, I've counted the stars
I've counted a million of these prison bars

So come all ye young fellows with hearts loyal and true
Don't trust any woman, you're a fool if you do
Don't trust any woman no matter what kind
For twenty-one years, lads, is a very long time


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twenty-One Years
From: GUEST,Shirley Moss
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 04:08 PM

The whistle is blowing, 'twill be here at nine
to take me to Nashville for a mighty long time.
I've counted the footsteps and I've counted the stars,
and I've counted a million of these prison bars.

I've counted on you babe to give me a break,
I guess you forget that I'm here for you sake.
You know who is guilty and you know it full well,
but I'll rot in this jailhouse before I will tell.

My Father also used to sing this to me as a little girl. Also, when he was drinking.

Wish I knew all the words... Anyone??


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