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Origins: Goin' to the West

DigiTrad:
I'M GOING TO THE WEST


Related thread:
Chord Req: Going to the West (16)


Doug Montalbano 29 Jul 97 - 10:04 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jul 97 - 12:38 AM
LaMarca 30 Jul 97 - 09:58 AM
Doug 20 Sep 97 - 12:47 AM
Barbara 05 Feb 99 - 08:08 PM
Barry Finn 05 Feb 99 - 09:44 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 99 - 03:07 AM
Art Thieme 06 Feb 99 - 11:37 AM
Bob Biderman 06 Feb 99 - 03:12 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 99 - 03:32 PM
Bruce O. 06 Feb 99 - 05:51 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 99 - 06:08 PM
Bruce O. 06 Feb 99 - 06:19 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 99 - 07:34 PM
katlaughing 07 Feb 99 - 12:48 AM
Art Thieme 07 Feb 99 - 12:49 PM
katlaughing 08 Feb 99 - 10:25 AM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 99 - 09:47 PM
Bruce O. 11 Feb 99 - 10:39 PM
Barbara 11 Feb 99 - 11:07 PM
alison 12 Feb 99 - 12:53 AM
Bruce O. 13 Feb 99 - 04:29 PM
Art Thieme 13 Feb 99 - 06:33 PM
Barbara 14 Feb 99 - 02:06 AM
Bruce O. 14 Feb 99 - 02:23 AM
alison 14 Feb 99 - 05:44 AM
Barbara 14 Feb 99 - 06:37 AM
Bruce O. 14 Feb 99 - 02:09 PM
Barbara 15 Feb 99 - 01:47 AM
Renata 13 Jul 99 - 10:55 PM
Joe Offer 14 Jul 99 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,betsy K 01 Oct 00 - 10:35 AM
winniemih 01 Oct 00 - 11:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Oct 00 - 01:03 PM
Barbara 01 Oct 00 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,xenophyla@aol.com 01 Oct 00 - 06:11 PM
open mike 07 Mar 09 - 12:36 PM
open mike 07 Mar 09 - 12:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 09 - 03:51 PM
Ron Davies 07 Mar 09 - 05:07 PM
GUEST 19 Aug 15 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,Jerome Clark 19 Aug 15 - 08:19 PM
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Subject: Lyrics for "Goin' to the West"?
From: Doug Montalbano
Date: 29 Jul 97 - 10:04 PM

Sourdough Slim and the Saddle Pals' latest CD, _Goin' to the West_, lists the title song as 'traditional'. Anyone know where I might find the lyrics?

Thanks.


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Subject: ADD: Going to the West
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jul 97 - 12:38 AM

Doug - Do you meant to tell me Sourdough Slim has finally gone to CD's? It's about time. That man puts real joy into his traditional cowboy music. His performances are always wonderful.
Bill Staines has a nice recording of the song, from his album with the same title. I copied the lyrics from the Bukk Staines Going to the West CD booklet. I swear I've heard somebody else do a nice rendition of the song - maybe it was Sourdough Slim.
-Joe Offer

GOING TO THE WEST
(traditional)

In this fair land, I cannot stay,
Here labor is in vain.
I'll leave the mountains of my birth
To seek the fertile plains,
I'm going to the West
[chorus]
You say you will not go with me,
You turn your eyes away [from me].
You say you will not follow me,
No matter what I say,
I'm going to the West.

It's many years since we first met,
And you became my bride,
Now I must journey far away,
Without you by my side,
I'm going to the West.

[chorus]
I'll leave you here in the land you love,
Mid scenes so bright and fair,
Where fragrant blossoms are a'bloomin'
And music fills the air,
I'm going to the West.
[chorus]


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Subject: RE:
From: LaMarca
Date: 30 Jul 97 - 09:58 AM

Goin' to the West has been recorded by bunches of folks; my favorite version is done by Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin. The song is traditional; it was collected in Alabama, I think (at least it was published in a collection of Alabama folk songs), and I think Peggy Seeger was the first of the folkie revival to unearth it and record it.


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Subject: Thanks for the lyrics & info!
From: Doug
Date: 20 Sep 97 - 12:47 AM

Joe and LaMarca, thanks for so promptly answering my request. I plan to look for the recordings by Stecher and Brislin. I'm just starting out in this musical area and appreciate all the help. I love "ethnic" (folk in languages other than English) music, but until this site came along, didn't think I could ever catch up to the lyrics.

By the way, Joe, Sourdough has been issuing CD's since he started recording, I believe.

Doug


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Subject: RE:
From: Barbara
Date: 05 Feb 99 - 08:08 PM

Joe, any chance you have a tune around for this? If you can even ship me a MIDI or a RealAudio file, I can probably transcribe it. I got the tune from someone this weekend, but I'm not sure about the time, the way she sings it.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE:
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Feb 99 - 09:44 PM

The Kassoy Sisters used to do this back some time ago & may also have recorded it. Barry


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Subject: RE: Going to the West
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 99 - 03:07 AM

On the notes for her "Folkways Years" CD, Peggy Seeger says,
Janie Barnard Couch, the Alabama singer from whom this song was collected in the late 1940's, said of it: "I believe this song was composed about 1880, when there was a large migration of people from the county (Marshall County) going to the new lands of Texas. this is about a young man whose wife would not accompany him on the journey."
I couldn't find this song on any of the songbooks indexed at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, but it is listed as "Traditional" on CD's by both Peggy Seeger and Bill Staines. I sent both recordings to you, Barbara - hope you can come up with a tune for us. Can anybody come up with more of a history of the song?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: about going to the west...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Feb 99 - 11:37 AM

In the early 1960's this strong TUG to head west was most assuradly alive and kicking in this old folkie. Was it the history of Westering rampant in the USA for 2 centuries? Was it Woody Guthrie's influence? Was it John Steinbeck? Was it Jack Kerouac? Was it the Santa Fe and Oregon trails? Was it the Mormon trek? Was it gold discovered that pulled so many so very far?

For me, in 1962 it wa ALL OF THE ABOVE!!! What an adventure it was---and has been.

Now, in a time when we hop a plane so much easier than a freight, a time when THE HOBO TIMES (a fine publication of wanderlust---(put 'em in a search engine)just, in Jan. 99, had to cease publication because modern skinhead children hoboes have been MURDERING the remnants of the real hobo mystique out on the shiny irons. Even East Texas Red would be terrified! No, there is not much left of the WESTERING spirit or even desire. At least, that's how it looks to me. WHAT ARE THE THOUGHTS OF OTHERS???

Seems to me there's no way one can feel the romance of the open road---the love of/for the land (completely different from blind patriotism for the flag & country) by flying thousands of feet in the air and detatching ones self from the historical landscape---from the people. That's how my love for traditional music---the story songs from history---was first nurtured and did blossom. No way can the modern crop of singer/songwriters singing about urban high-rise existance ever be expected to know what the man in "GOING TO THE WEST was feeling when that tactor-beam locked onto him! (I grew up in an urban high-rise in Chicago so I know, like Laphraoig sctch, it's an acquired taste.)

Get out there on the road and find the land and the places where the songs came from. None of it can even be glimpsed flying over it. But retracing the pioneer steps is one way to enhance ones credibility when the desire is truly there to sing the old songs. It takes more time, yes it does. But a marriage takes more time than havin' one-night-stands or even a succession of relationships. But allow me to tell you, ('cause I will anyhow) that the tough time is where the adventure of it comes in. That's where the glory of it comes into the picture. The coal is turned into diamonds.

Do not be afraid to sweep the scum of the present off the top of the pond so you can look more easily down through the depths of history! You've got to get to the roots to benefit from the nutrients therein.

I was lucky enough to have the WESTERING thing still be alive in me. I was lucky enough to have my wife of 3 months go with me to settle on the coast of Oregon and to help me start THE FOLK-ART SHOP back in '67. We went broke there and moved on. And we're still on that road less travelled. "And that HAS made all the difference!"

Love to you all,

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Going to the West
From: Bob Biderman
Date: 06 Feb 99 - 03:12 PM

Another great version of the song is on Finest Kind's CD, Lost In A Song on Fallen Angle (not a typo). This Ottawa trio is comprised of Ian Robb, Shelley Posen and Ann Downey and if you haven't heard them yet you are in for a real treat.

Bob Biderman


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Subject: RE: Going to the West
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 99 - 03:32 PM

Bob, you're certainly right about the Finest Kind (click here) album. It's one of my favorites. The album notes say the song can be found in Byron Arnold's Folksongs of Alabama. Is there anyone who has that book who can transcribe the tune, correct the lyrics, and tell us what the notes say?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD Version: I'm Going to the West
From: Bruce O.
Date: 06 Feb 99 - 05:51 PM

[Sorry, the tempo of the ABC got goofed up above. Lets try again ]
(incorrect tune deleted - Joe O)

I'M GOING TO THE WEST

You say you will not go with me
And turn your eyes away.
You say that we can ne'er agree
No matter though I say
I'm going to the West.

I'll leave you here in the land you love
Mid scenes so bright and fair,
Where fragrant flowers are blossoming
And music fills the air.
I'm going to the West.

In this land I'll stay no more
Here labour is in vain
I'll leave the mountains of my birth
And seek the fertile plain.
I'm going to the West.

Three years have passed since first we met
And you became my bride
Now I must journey far away
Without you at my side.
I'm going to the West.

X:1
T:I'm Going to the West
S:Arnold's 'Folksongs of Alabama', p. 28, 1950
Q:90
L:1/4
M:3/4
K:G
B,/|D/D/ D3/2 B,/|D/E/G3/2G/|\
M:2/4
L:1/4
A3/2A/|G3/2A/|B3/2D/|\
M:3/4
L:1/4
B/B/ A3/2 B/|G/E/E3/2E/|G3/2A/ G/E/|\
M:2/4
L:1/4
D3/2D/|B/A3/2|B3/2 A/|(G/G/ G/)|]


To play or display ABC tunes, try concertina.net


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Subject: RE: Going to the West
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 99 - 06:08 PM

Say, Bruce, Thanks for posting that. Does the songbook have any interesting comments about the background of the song?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 06 Feb 99 - 06:19 PM

Collected from Janie Barnard Couch. Some account of her is on p. 23.
Between title and music (with the first verse) is the comment:

"I believe that this song was composed about 1880, when there was a large migration of people from the county to the new lads of Texas. This is about a young man whose wife would not accompany him on the journey."


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Subject: RE: Going to the West
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 99 - 07:34 PM

Thanks, Bruce - looks like you and Peggy Seeger used the same songbook. See my quote above from her CD booklet.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE:
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Feb 99 - 12:48 AM

Hey, Art! That was a fantastic soliloquy! Thank you for writing it. As one who was born in the Rockies, then moved to New England, I felt as though I was a "reverse pioneer". No one in my family had ever left the West, esp. for the "dreaded East", where, we naively believed, it was all concrete and people!

I love my ten years in New ENgland, but the Rockies and the prairie of Wyoming called me home, big time, after my one visit home in all those ten years. I've now been back in the West for five and a half years. It's in my blood and in my heart; but so are other places, so somedays I feel quite torn between several places which I love.

You are right about the tough times turning the coal into diamonds. Some of my best writing, esp. poems, has come from times of adversity, challenge, anguish, sorrow, anticipation, etc. I've a few great stories about being a reverse pioneer, including, (this will make you groan)how I moved to New England: on a plane with 3 children, 6, 9 and 13, 6 cats, 1 dog, and 2 birds - ALL ON THE PLANE! I had to gather them all and get them to the right airline in Denver, after flying out of Casper, Wyoming. We'd been told we had to layover in Cincinnati or Cleveland (can't remember which) because it was too hot for the pets to fly non-stop. When I went to check on them in Ohio, they weren't there! Later, after being up since 4am mst, arriving in Connecticut at 9pm est, we found them safe and sound, locked up in the agent's office. They'd gone non-stop. Then we had to fit everybody into our Subaru station wagon, the "Big E" (a huge New England state fair-type event) was going on, my husband could only find one motel room with one single bed, and was so excited to show me the old mansions etc. in beautiful Massachussets, that we drove the blvd. before getting to the motel! We all survived a subsequent 2 months in a larger motel room, while waiting for the house we rented. There's a book in this somewhere, I've just not fleshed it out yet.

Anyway, I guess the moral is, even though we flew, there were adventures and we did grow and learn from the tough times it engendered.

I then went on to put over 200,000 miles on a new car from 1987-1992 exploring those byways you talk about, with my kids. More stories....

Thanks, again.

Katlaughing


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Subject: RE: GOING TO THE WEST
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Feb 99 - 12:49 PM

Kat,

Thanks.

When Carol and I left Chicago with an untrained German Shepherd puppy and a cat named Running Bear plus books and LPs, we looked all over the way/road West to find a place where we wanted to settle. Just moved until we stopped---in Depoe Bay, Oregon. A couple of years later, when we went back to Chicago, we travelled for three years and camped out in our VW bus all over the USA & Canada. We, in fact, retired FIRST, and now I'm truly glad we did as we no longer have the strength to climb mountains (and neither is very old). What do we have to show for it? Just wonderful memories---and 1800 slides. Even then I knew that the Westering I was enamoured with was disappearing quick. Going East regularly, singing on tour, by bus and car, showed me that the teeming East IS (at least along the ocean) paved and developed with private property all the way from Florida to North of Boston. Sure is hard to keep to natural stretches along there. There's no wilderness at all, but if you aim your camera carefully you can isolate beautiful vistas in the East. When you turn around & look the other way, it's urban sprawl everywhere. Yeah, the more things change, the more they get different. By the time I'm ready to leave this best of all possible worlds, I'll be resigned (if not happy) to hand the brave new world to the brave new generation. And yes, flying can produce hard times that lead to insigts too. I'll never forget almost crashing once. The serenity I crave now can't be found in airports and horror stories of luggage lost. (see below)

A friend of mine went to the airport for a flight and asked that one of his bags go to Chicago and one go to San Francisco and one go to Boston. The ticket agent told him they couldn't do that. He responded, "Why not? You did it yesterrday!!" ;-)

Like the Big Bopper---"I know what I like." ;-)

Was that a border collie flying with you and the kids?? I sure do hope there were no cats in the luggage compartment with your dog! (They are wonderful dogs! But quite territorial.)

Our German Shepherd mated with a domesticated coyote during it's first heat out in Oregon. The shepherd turned vicious to the point that she tried to kill her daughter and we had to give her away for a guard dog. But that half coyote--half shepherd mix named Rebecca was the best dog we ever had!!!

I'd truly love to see the East coast at the time of the Pilgrim's landing--when they say a squirrel could climb a tree on the coast and jump from tree to tree without needing to descend until it got to the Mississippi River.

THAT was really GOING TO THE WEST!!

Sorry, Kat, for mixing the threads.

I gather that you're a writer. If so, I'd love to read your work! Please, let me know (privately or here) titles etc. so I can order some.

All the best,

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE:
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Feb 99 - 10:25 AM

Thanks for asking, Art. Sorry it's taken me a day or two to answer. To date, I've been mostly writing op/ed pieces for the Liberal Opinion Week, which is sold nationwide by subscription, and for a few other papers. I've also done a lot of articles for various magazines, etc., and poetry.

I've put those on hold for the moment and am concentrating on several short stories, as well as a book about our adventures living on Poison Spider Road, out on the Oregon Trail, here in Wyoming, where the wagon ruts are so deep they could swallow my little Subaru wagon in one gulp! We had quite the menagerie out there, with a horse who stuck his head in our bedroom window to let us know it was time for breakfast to a goose that would stick his head through a hole the horse kicked in the front door and honk at us as we walked by. Of course the hole got fixed. The kids have thanked us so many times for all the wonderful times they remember having there. They have no recollection of the many times they stayed in town with Grandma, while mom and dad trudged in, on foot, through 4 and 5 foot snow drifts to take care of all the criters and keep the place from freezing up. we hauled our own water and the last yr. we were there, when they finally put in a water line, they cut our natural gas line, so our heat that winter was a wood stove. Brrr...

Anyhow, for now, I have articles which I would be happy to email to any one interested. Mostly they are about politics (LIBERAL!) and also several about the environment, the state of our nation, as in tv being a supposed panacea for all things, some on grieving, Nazi gold and the Vatican, the wolves in Yellowstone, American Indian rights, etc...

The short stories are being revised right now, then submitted, so can't send them out yet. And, there are a couple of novels which have been started.

By the way, Art, you are an inspiration. My writing partner, here, is a woman who has MS. She has good days and bad, mostly if she lets herself get too worn out. I tell her of your postings and we both take heart in your coping stratgies and triumphs. Thank you so very much.

Katlaughing (Katey LaFrance)


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Subject: RE: Going to the West
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 99 - 09:47 PM

Those of us on the Left Coast (Barbara and I) are still having trouble figuring out a way to make this tune work. Could it be 6/8 time? The tune Bruce posted sounds OK on ABCMUS, but it gets pretty complicated to look at. anybody got a simpler rendition? Maybe in a songbook from Bill Staines or the new book from Peggy Seeger, maybe?
Oh, Alison, you sweet and wonderful tune expert, you - I e-mailed you a recording - can you figure out a tune for us?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Feb 99 - 10:39 PM

Joe,
It's mixed time, 3/4 and 2/4. It displayed OK on my ABC2WIN, after a lot of work. Those mixed time tunes take some extra doing to get them to display correctly in ABC2WIN, and the ASCII looks pretty awkward. After one changes from 3/4 to 2/4 or 2/4 to 3/4 one has to put another L:1/4 back in or the timing comes out all wrong. I seems that a new timing erases the old L: specification.

The tune is leading note and 2 measures of 3/4 time, then 3 measures of 2/4, then 3 measures of 3/4, and ending with 4 measures of 2/4.


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Subject: RE:
From: Barbara
Date: 11 Feb 99 - 11:07 PM

Ah-hah! that's why I was having such trouble. Thank you, Bruce!
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE:
From: alison
Date: 12 Feb 99 - 12:53 AM

hi Joe,

Would love to give it a go... but the file you sent me didn't make any sense... just came through as gibberish....

send me another format and I'll give it a go.....

Slainte

alison

PS Only discovered your grovelling after Barbara pointed it out to me.


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Subject: RE: Going to the West
From: Bruce O.
Date: 13 Feb 99 - 04:29 PM

Well, if I don't foul up the address in HTML here, you can see the tune from Arnold's 'Folk Songs of Alabama'. It's not directly from the book, since I don't have a scanner. It's from a CAD file using my home made music font (definitely not professional quality), then converted to a .DXF file, and from that to a .JPG

Click


    I tried to update this link, but I couldn't locate the file at Bruce's Website, which is now located at Mudcat and at California State University, Fresno. I think it was an extra file and not part of Bruce's Website.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Going To The West
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Feb 99 - 06:33 PM

Kataughing

Thanks.

Just noticed your last post. It is one hell of an adventure,this life, aint it? It's truly worth writing about when the nitty hits the gritty, Lawrence Durrel wrote in ALEXANDRIA QUARTET: "There are 3 things to do with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her or turn her into literature."

Yep, the same can be said of LIFE!

Art


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Subject: RE:
From: Barbara
Date: 14 Feb 99 - 02:06 AM

Bruce, your link works fine, and there's the tune. It looks to me, however like a number of the measures of 2/4 are missing an eighth count. (4,6,10,12) Is the dot missing on the quarter, or is this some convention I don't understand?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 14 Feb 99 - 02:23 AM

Barbara, you're right. My old font didn't fill in the ovals, the tiebars, or the dots when I converted to DXF format, and I didn't get all of the dots changed to the the ones in the new font I made Saturday. (Paint type fills disappear in DXF, and I had to make a new font. In the CAD display there's no difference in appearance.) I'll fix it about noon Sunday, EST.


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Subject: RE:
From: alison
Date: 14 Feb 99 - 05:44 AM

where's the tune?

looks like the cut and paste isn't working for you either Barbara....

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE:
From: Barbara
Date: 14 Feb 99 - 06:37 AM

Alison, the sheet music for the tune is in the clickable link in Bruce's post five posts back; that's what he's offered to revise.


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Subject: RE:
From: Bruce O.
Date: 14 Feb 99 - 02:09 PM

Click above now gives correct tune. My CAD and DXF files were OK, but conversion of DXF to JEPG lost some dots. I made all the dots bigger, so they now don't get skipped in the conversion. (11 dots. And I corrected one note) With luck it won't take me 2 1/2 days to do the next tune correctly.


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Subject: RE:
From: Barbara
Date: 15 Feb 99 - 01:47 AM

Thanks for reworking that, Bruce. It sounds like quite a bit of work, too. Maybe you (and I)both need Noteworthy, like Joe keeps telling me?
Now all I gotta do is learn it and figure out how to make the accompaniment fit the time.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: song search: 'Going to the West'
From: Renata
Date: 13 Jul 99 - 10:55 PM

I'm looking for a song called "Going to the West" or "I'm Going to the West". Jodie Stecker & Kate Brislin(?) sang this one at the Kate Wolf Festival last month and I neglected to get the CD it was on. Now the dang thing is hauning me and I can't find it anywhere. Can anybody help???

Love, Renata


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Subject: RE: song search: 'Going to the West'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jul 99 - 05:22 AM

Going to the West (click) was the "Song of the Week" for last week on my Web page, but I haven't gotten around to replacing it. If you have RealPlayer G2, my site has two recordings of the song you can listen to. I like the Bill Staines version best, myself.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: song search: 'Going to the West'
From: GUEST,betsy K
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 10:35 AM

Does anyone know the background of this traditional tune??Or some older recordings?


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Subject: RE: song search: 'Going to the West'
From: winniemih
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 11:36 AM

Laurie Lewis and Tom Rosin do "Going to the West" on the C.D. Laurie Lewis and Her Bluegrass Pals. They arranged the song in the form of a conversation between a man and woman, singing alternating lines. It works very well this way. I first heard the song done by Bill Staines who , I agree does a great version also. By the way, the liner notes on the L.L. c.d. state that they learned it at a workshop years ago, and that the origin was the Byron Arnold book of Alabama folk songs.


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Subject: RE: song search: 'Going to the West'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 01:03 PM

Maybe this is a litttle thread drifty - but does anyone know why "going west" - meaning getting killed, as in airforce slang - has that significance?

And could it possibly have the same meaning here? (The answer to that, I suspect, is that that's not how it's meant - but that is how you could sing it...)


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Subject: RE: song search: 'Going to the West'
From: Barbara
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 02:17 PM

If you click on the link to a previous thread in the above post you will find quite a bit of history. It was published in the male version (leaving his wife and going west) in 1953 in something like Folksongs of Alabama; Bruce Olson has a considerable history of it, follow the links!
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: song search: 'Going to the West'
From: GUEST,xenophyla@aol.com
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 06:11 PM

Renata ~ Peggy Seeger has "Goin' to the West" recorded on a fairly recent CD, which I just loaned to my father unfortunately, so I can't give you the particulars. You can find a complet discography of Peggy Seeger at http://www.pegseeger.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Going to the West
From: open mike
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 12:36 PM

in which we learn that Joe Offer HAD a web page..
MSN is no longer hosting it, (or msn groups)

I wonder, Joe, do you have a web page now?

A band member mentioned wanting to learn
Goin' to the West, and sure enough i
found it on mudcat.

and here: http://www.josephinecameron.com/music-group-12.html
and here: http://www.playingbyear.com/songs/im-going-to-the-west


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Subject: RE: Goin' to the West
From: open mike
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 12:44 PM

more info on Goin' to the West


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Subject: Lyr. Add: I'm Gwine from the Cotton Fields
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 03:51 PM

Similar idea to that in "Going to the West."
The singer is leaving for a place with better pay, and leaving 'Dinah' behind.

Lyr. Add: I'M GWINE FROM THE COTTON FIELDS
Byron Arnold, coll. in Alabama

1
I'm gwine from the cotton fields,
I'm gwine from the cane;
I'm going to leave the old log hut
That stands down in the lane.
2
The boats are on the river;
They're gwine to take me off.
I'm gwine to join the exodus
That's making for the north.
3
They tell me out in Kansas,
So many miles away,
The colored folks are flocking
'Cause they're getting better pay.
4
I don't know how they found it out,
But still I'm bound to try,
For when the sun goes down tonight
I'm gwine to say good-bye.
5
There's Dinah, she don't want to go;
She says she's growing old.
She's 'fraid that she will freeze to death
'Cause the country am so cold.
6
Talk about your work and play;
You don't believe it's true,
But she don't want to do the things
That I am bound to do.
7
I sold my little log cabin,
My little patch of ground,
The kind old master gave me
When the Yankee troops came down.
8
Now my hair is turning gray;
The tears are in my eyes,
For when the sun goes down tonight
I'm gwine to say good-bye.

Arnold suggests that this is a professional composition. Coll. from Mrs. Corie Lambert, Mobile, Alabama, 1945; "Miss Alice Walthall, my schoolteacher in Pineapple, Alabama, taught me this song."
The colloquialism 'making for ...', was heard frequently from older people when I was a child but it seems to have disappeared.
'I'm making for town', etc., instead of I'm going to town, is one I am guilty of using on occasion.
The English dialectical 'gwine' (see OED) used by rural blacks and whites in the 19th c. may have disappeared long before. I would guess that the song is post-1880, and pre-1910 but that is a wild guess. I could not find sheet music.

Robert W. Halli Jr., editor, 2004, "An Alabama Songbook, Ballads, Folksongs, and Spirituals, Collected by Byron Arnold." Univ. Alabama Press. Pages 107-108, with brief score.

Halli says "I have included all rare and local items in Arnold's Collection..." The volume adds much to Arnold's publication of 1950. The Arnold Collection is at the University of Alabama.


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Subject: RE: Goin' to the West
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 05:07 PM

Almost about 10 years late but---- Renate asked for the Jody Stecher-Kate Breslin CD with this song. CD is Our Town. There are lots of other wonderful songs on it--including the title Iris DeMent song--Kate and Jody do a haunting version. Also:   Home; Too Late, Too Late; Twilight Is Stealing, and Won't You Come and Sing for Me--among others.   A marvelous CD.

Their close harmony is a model for duos.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Goin' to the West
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 05:57 AM

Troublesome Creek String Band does a really nicely done version of "Going To The West"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Goin' to the West
From: GUEST,Jerome Clark
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 08:19 PM

There was a migration from Alabama to Texas after the latter was opened up to settlement by Americans. This event took place in the 1830s (not the 1880s as somebody states above), and it is believed that "Going to the West" was first sung in Alabama during that period. In short, the song appears to be about 180 years old.

On her Western-themed CD The Border of Heaven (2000) Connie Dover sings a gorgeous version, consisting of the original verses supplemented with her own, which expand the song to take it out of the particular circumstance of the original and to render it an anthem of the 19th-Century American experience of exploration and settlement.


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