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Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant

Related threads:
Barlow Knife (2) (closed)
Lyr Req: Barlow Knife (10)
Lyr Req: Barlow Knife (6) (closed)
Lyr Req: Barlow Knife (2) (closed)


Ebbie 07 Aug 00 - 01:11 AM
bill\sables 07 Aug 00 - 05:11 AM
Ebbie 07 Aug 00 - 11:33 AM
Joe Offer 07 Aug 00 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Stew 07 Aug 00 - 01:49 PM
Ebbie 07 Aug 00 - 03:04 PM
Margo 07 Aug 00 - 04:18 PM
bill\sables 07 Aug 00 - 07:07 PM
Bud Savoie 07 Aug 00 - 07:54 PM
Mbo 07 Aug 00 - 08:01 PM
bill\sables 08 Aug 00 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 08 Aug 00 - 06:20 AM
Bud Savoie 08 Aug 00 - 07:22 AM
JedMarum 08 Aug 00 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Stew 08 Aug 00 - 09:40 AM
ol'troll 08 Aug 00 - 02:14 PM
Jed at Work 08 Aug 00 - 05:41 PM
Bud Savoie 08 Aug 00 - 09:21 PM
Jed at Work 09 Aug 00 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Stewmac 16 Dec 02 - 11:41 PM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 02 - 12:25 AM
Richie 17 Dec 02 - 12:29 AM
BanjoRay 17 Dec 02 - 07:31 AM
mack/misophist 17 Dec 02 - 04:17 PM
bill\sables 17 Dec 02 - 05:56 PM
chip a 18 Dec 02 - 12:18 PM
The Shambles 07 Aug 04 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,badbullet 27 Aug 12 - 03:47 PM
Ebbie 27 Aug 12 - 04:01 PM
Bob Bolton 27 Aug 12 - 09:57 PM
johncharles 28 Aug 12 - 04:51 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Aug 12 - 05:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Aug 12 - 12:38 PM
GUEST 21 Sep 18 - 09:57 AM
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Subject: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 01:11 AM

Does any 'Catter know this song? It is an old-fashioned-sounding fiddle tune to which I've heard a sung chant - or maybe that was just his singing style? Something like, Oh, the Barlow knife...and then dah, dah, dah; dah, dah, dah; dah dah dah dah dah dah dah; dah, dah, dah, etc. Got that? I would love to know the lyrics.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: bill\sables
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 05:11 AM

Ebbie is it
" I been working all my life
and all I've gotten was a barlo knife
Barlo knike and a Barlo blade ,
the best darn knife that ever was made
If this is the one you are looking for I have the words somewhere. Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 11:33 AM

Yes, Bill! That's the one. When you have time, would you post them? Thanks much.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 01:31 PM

We had a thread on this song here (click) but didn't come up with a definitive set of lyrics.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: GUEST,Stew
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 01:49 PM

All the versions I have heard have only one verse (the rest being instrumental),which goes like this:

I've been working all of my life
And all I wanted was a Barlow knife
buckhorn handle and a barlow blade
Best darn knife ever made.

hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 03:04 PM

Curioser and curioser... I know that the singer I heard in the past kicked in several times in the course of the tune but maybe he sang the same words each time? Bill, do you have more lyrics? Thankee...Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Margo
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 04:18 PM

I have heard it that way too, with only the above words. Dwight Diller plays Barlow Knife and that's all he sings, too. He sings it only once, so the piece is almost all instrumental. Margo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: bill\sables
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:07 PM

Still not found them but I will keep on looking


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:54 PM

Allen Block used to perform with a group called Ebeneezer, and he sang several verses, each one the same as the previous except for the singer's job: "I've been a lumbering...", "I've been sitting here...", "I've been [name it] al my life, and all I've got is a Barlow knife (twice)". To the B part: "Barlow handle and a Barlow blade; best old knife that ever was made (twice). The C part has no words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Mbo
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 08:01 PM

I know the line from another song:

I've worked in the cotton mill all my life
And I ain't had nothing but a Barlow knife
It's hard times, cotton mill girls
It's hard times everywhere.

One of my favorite songs, especially love the Poozies' version.

--Matt


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: bill\sables
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 04:53 AM

I found the version I had which ,is like Bud says, just changing jobs, Lumbering, Wrangling,etc


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 06:20 AM

I should have commented when this came up on the "Send me the 'lectric chair" thread. I had always assumed the knife was "Bowie", never having heard of a Barlow. On the Mudcat you can find an expert on everything and learn at least one new thing each day (to try to keep up with the ones you are forgetting), which is why I keep coming back, despite the occasional (dare I say it!) Mudslinging.
Thanks for continuing my musical education ( I certainly need it!)
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 07:22 AM

Roger, I guess you never read Tom Sawyer. First time I heard of the Barlow was when Tom was given one as a reward for learning the Sermon on the Mount. He was given a "sure 'nough Barlow," and, if I remember correctly, "there was ineffable grandeur in that."

That stuck with me over the years, and when I was visiting my sister up in Freeport, Maine, I visited the L.L. Bean store and actually found a Barlow knife for sale. I bought it, of course; and I don't know whether it's the best old knife that ever was made, but it's a wicked good one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: JedMarum
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 08:27 AM

Hey Bud - I opened a show for Allen Block some years ago at a little coffee house in Massachusetts. When one of Allen's banjo tuners started slipping he asked the audience if someone had a screwdriver or a knife blade. I handed him my pocket knife and he was floored becasue it was a Barlow knife. He went on about the song, and was so impressed to have finally seen a real life Barlow knife - I gave it to him. Years later I was at a Folk Festival in New Hampshire and as I walked up to the seating area I heard the fellow onstage introducing this song, and he told the tale of someone givng him the knife; it was Allen again. I haven't seen him since.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: GUEST,Stew
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 09:40 AM

Did some searching around on the net once in regards to the Barlow Knife. It seems that George Washington commisioned a local knifemaker in Valley Forge? by the name of Barlow to come up with a serviceable knife for his troops. Thus the Barlow Knife was born. Its a knife which has two blades which flip out at the same end. Usually the handle was finished in some kind of bone or staghorn. Not being an expert on American folk history I can only accept what I found to be a reasonable tale. Stew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: ol'troll
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 02:14 PM

Meebo. Cotton Mill Girls was written by Hedy West in the early 60's I recall hearing her do it at Rosalie Sorrels' house in Salt Lake City in 1962 or 63.

troll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Jed at Work
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 05:41 PM

I di a bit of searching thsi AM, found lots on the knife, but little on the song ... only that sos and so had recorded it ... a couple of out of date midi-files ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 09:21 PM

Jed--I saw Allen Block a few years ago at the Seamen's Insstitute in Newport, RI. He's terrific, if not a snappy dresser. I requested Barlow Knife, but he never got to it. You would never know it by the way he holds the bow and fiddle, but he started out as a classical violinist.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Jed at Work
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 12:10 PM

He was a treat when I played with him, many years ago. He was travelling with a pleasant and attractive young woman who sang with him that night. I don't recall her name, and I don't know if they were regularly performing together.

I'd love to see him again. I suppose I'd have to look up in that part of the world, though. Maybe I'll find his calendar on Musi-cal.


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Subject: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife
From: GUEST,Stewmac
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 11:41 PM

Has anyone come across lyrics for Barlow Knife? The only lines I've ever heard are:

"I've been working all my life,
And all I wanted was a Barlow Knife,
Elkhorn Handle and a Barlow blade
Best darn that was ever made."

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Stewmac


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 12:25 AM

Hi, Stewmac - I moved you over here, since this was the closest we ever got to an answer. Were you the "Stew" who posted the single verse above? That's all we've come up with, although Chet W said in another thread that he sings the "B" part this way:
"Barlow handle and a Barlow blade, Best damn knife that ever was made" (2x)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Richie
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 12:29 AM

Here's a different version from my web-site:
Click here

More info can be found under "Cabin Creek" from the Henry Reed Collection on-line.

The other version on my site is similar to the words you posted. The words, 'barlow Knife" show up in several other different songs.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: BanjoRay
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 07:31 AM

All that stuff about some guy called Barlow making one for George Washington is of course a load of old Hooie. The Barlow Knife is a good old knife made in Sheffield, England and exported in large quantities to the colonies. The facts are all here, a good website.
Cheers
Ray (who plays it frequently on his banjo in the Old Time session in Sheffield)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: mack/misophist
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 04:17 PM

Just to round things out, I had a Barlow knife once (and I bet a lot of you did, too). It was a damn good knife. I wouldn't traqde my Schrade to get it back, But for what it was, it was good.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: bill\sables
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 05:56 PM

When Allan C and I toured the USA a couple of years ago we searched for two things with musical connections, one was a plastic Jesus for the car dashboard which we never found and the other was a Barlow Knife. which also we didn't find. However a few months after I returned to the UK Allan sent me a package and wraped in tissue paper was a Barlow Knife. It doesn't look much but it is a good reliable knife and treasured because of the US trip connection. Allan Block has been to Old Songs in New York State the last two times I have been there, It was from a recording by Allan that I first heard the song.
Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: chip a
Date: 18 Dec 02 - 12:18 PM

Barlow has come to mean a certain knife design these days. Lots of makers make them. Good and bad ones.
Here's my Barlow story. My kids mom and I had delivered two of our kids at home. I cut the cords with new Case knives and saved the knives for each kid to have when they grew up. The next time we got pregnant, the Dr wanted her to have the baby in the hospital because of a slight problem with mom's heart. He said I could do the delivering and also that he wanted to supply the knife. Then he told us this story:
He grew up poor as dirt not far from here in the Georgia mountains and when he was a boy he'd always wanted a Barlow knife but never got one. He put himself through college and made a Dr. On graduation a friend of his gave him a custom made, stag handled Barlow as a gift. He had treasured it and kept it unused in the original box since graduation. This was the knife he gave us. Last Christmas I gave the knifes to the kids. Rebekah, now eighteen with a baby of her own has the Barlow. The Dr is still practising not too far from here.
Chip A.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:24 AM

Four Men and a Dog have just recorded a fine version of Barlows Knife (Trad Arr) on their CD called Maybe Tonight (Hook002 2002).

It was the first time I heard the tune and I was just going to create a thread to ask for some more info and I found this one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: GUEST,badbullet
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 03:47 PM

the barlow knife was created in sheffield england around 1670.iv just ordered a beautiful stag,two blades with work back on the spines of the blades.the maker is taylor eye witness knives.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 04:01 PM

Fun to have this thread pop up again!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Aug 12 - 09:57 PM

G'day sundry 'Catters,

It's interesting to see this knife / song connection bob back up to the surface!

The close equivalent to the US regard for their "Barlow Knife" ... wherever the original started life ... reminds me that the Australian equivalent would be the ubiquitous "Bunny Knife" ... a 2-bladed (larger 'clip' blade, smaller plain blade - kept as the designated "Sharp" blade).

Back when I found myself in Tasmania, early 1966 ... and took a jack-hammer offsider job on a Hydro dam, I bought a neat little "Bunny" knife (a Taylor's Eye Witness brand) ... and that knife stayed in its pouch - when it wasn't doing every sort of cutting, trimming, maintenance job - on my belt pretty well until 1991.

That was when the Photography Department I ran at the Sydney County Council (main eletricity distributor for most Of Sydney) Testing Laboratories was closed by a State Government ukase that all specialist jobs should be let out to right-wing friends of them - not experts who had years of training and experience in their specialist (and potentially dangerous fields.

I moved into Training Publications area and was now based in the Sydney CBD. I found too many people couldn't understand the value, utility and simple safety of a small pocket/pouch folding knife. That's when I switched over to the Leatherman Tool ... only one 'model' way back then ... and that's taken the belt space ever since ... I guess it doesn't look enough like the "weapon" lifetime city dwellers imagine any personal knife to be!

BTW: I haven't researched this ... but I remember someone claiming that the most frequent knife of (domestic) assault / homocide / murder is actually the "stay-sharp" kitchen knife sitting in its self-sharpening stand on most home kitchen food preparing surfaces!

Hmmm ... all this is irrelevant to this site ... until someone crafts a "Leatherman" song ...

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: johncharles
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 04:51 AM

here is Bo weevils version
barlow knife
john


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 05:20 AM

Belated response to a 12-yr-old post {ol'troll 08 aug 00}! Hedy West didn't 'write' Cotton Mill Girls, tho she may well have reworked a traditional song. Of his version on his old vinyl album Sue Cow [Argo 1969] (which, like Hedy West's, begins with the Barlow Knife verse but differs a fair bit thereafter ~ the version I sing on my youtube channel is an amalgam of their two versions), Tom Paley wrote, "I first heard this on a recording by a singer called Lester Smallwood. I have heard many other versions since, but all of them are inconsistent in the sense that some verses are from a woman's point of view and some from a man's. It's that sort of song."

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Aug 12 - 12:38 PM

http://www.barlow-knives.com/history.htm

The site has a good summary of the history.
The type was first made in England, but was soon copied, they were made in the U.S. quite early. The two-blade folding knife was useful for many purposes. The Barlows were cutlers in Sheffield.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Barlow Knife Chant
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 18 - 09:57 AM

In response to my own post claiming no words to the third part of the tune, I have since found the following: "You can take my dog, you can take my wife, But you can't take my Barlow knife."


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