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Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?

DigiTrad:
BILL GATES
OLD JOE CLARK
ROUND HITLER'S GRAVE


Related threads:
tune variations for Old Joe Clark (5)
Lyr Req: Old Joe Clark (14)
Lyr Add: Old Joe Clark (Jimmy Driftwood, 1960) (16)
Lyr Req: Old Joe Clark (Fiddlin' John Carson) (4)
Crazy as a fat june bug? / Old Joe Clark (4)


The Shambles 14 Sep 00 - 01:38 PM
Dale Rose 14 Sep 00 - 01:42 PM
Mary in Kentucky 14 Sep 00 - 02:27 PM
MAG (inactive) 14 Sep 00 - 06:30 PM
The Shambles 14 Sep 00 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,Bud Savoie 14 Sep 00 - 08:33 PM
The Shambles 15 Sep 00 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Bud Savoie 15 Sep 00 - 08:09 PM
The Shambles 16 Sep 00 - 01:52 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Sep 00 - 03:22 AM
GUEST 16 Sep 00 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Dale Rose 16 Sep 00 - 07:24 AM
Bud Savoie 16 Sep 00 - 11:03 AM
The Shambles 17 Sep 00 - 03:59 AM
Dewey 17 Sep 00 - 06:02 AM
Dewey 17 Sep 00 - 06:13 AM
rabbitrunning 17 Sep 00 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Arnie 17 Sep 00 - 10:42 AM
The Shambles 17 Sep 00 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Sep 00 - 02:48 PM
Jon Freeman 17 Sep 00 - 03:13 PM
Dale Rose 17 Sep 00 - 03:32 PM
Art Thieme 19 Sep 00 - 11:49 PM
CamiSu 20 Sep 00 - 08:48 AM
rabbitrunning 20 Sep 00 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,mag 20 Sep 00 - 10:53 PM
CamiSu 21 Sep 00 - 07:22 AM
Geoff the Duck 06 Sep 01 - 08:45 PM
Ebbie 06 Sep 01 - 11:30 PM
GUEST,Mudweasel 07 Sep 01 - 07:42 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 01 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,Paul Castle 16 Jan 04 - 08:16 AM
Sandina 16 Jan 04 - 05:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jan 04 - 06:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jan 04 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Paul Castle 17 Jan 04 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Josh 21 Aug 08 - 02:48 PM
Jack Campin 22 Aug 08 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Aug 08 - 09:53 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Aug 08 - 12:50 PM
Jack Campin 23 Aug 08 - 06:14 PM
Dave Hanson 24 Aug 08 - 02:31 AM
GUEST,Jim 24 Sep 08 - 09:36 PM
Lonesome EJ 25 Sep 08 - 01:32 AM
GUEST,Jim 25 Sep 08 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Jim 09 Oct 08 - 12:18 AM
Lonesome EJ 09 Oct 08 - 01:13 AM
Snuffy 09 Oct 08 - 08:43 AM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Oct 08 - 11:40 AM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Oct 08 - 11:45 AM
Gene Burton 09 Oct 08 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Jim 10 Oct 08 - 10:36 PM
topical tom 11 Oct 08 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,Jim 17 Oct 08 - 01:12 AM
Mr Red 17 Oct 08 - 03:36 AM
Azizi 17 Oct 08 - 07:22 PM
Azizi 17 Oct 08 - 07:43 PM
NormanD 18 Oct 08 - 06:37 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Oct 08 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler 18 Oct 08 - 12:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Oct 08 - 04:01 PM
GUEST 09 Aug 18 - 11:16 AM
Lighter 09 Aug 18 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Marcia Palmater 09 Aug 18 - 10:34 PM
Joe_F 10 Aug 18 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 12 Aug 18 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 12 Aug 18 - 03:32 AM
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Subject: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 01:38 PM

Is Old Joe Clark the complete and typical example of a folk song/tune?

I have heard it played and sung many times. I don't think I have ever heard it played exactly the same twice. As for the words, there appears to be so many different ones, that it is a surprise if you hear ones you know. You don't really expect to hear a familiar version.

Why is it so popular and is it the song/tune with the most versions?


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Dale Rose
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 01:42 PM

I have info in a Bradley Kincaid songbook from c.1930. I will look it up, probably this weekend.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 02:27 PM

...just my opinion...but

Old Joe Clark is extremely easy to play (with a noter) on the dulcimer. I suspect it is the quintessential beginners song. Thus, with all of us beginners playing it and feeling like we are really keeping up with the real players/performers, it probably gets bastardized a lot.

That's just my opinion, I could be wrong!

Mary


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 06:30 PM

Ironic, since it was actually written (I don't know about composed) in 1843. (Having just done this for Oregon Trail, I have it at my fingertips.)

It's a "zipper song" format, so you can zip in as many verses as you want. There are several about dancing

(Old Joe Clark and I fell out
Know the reason why
He stepped on and broke my toe
So I kicked him in the thigh


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 08:13 PM

Old Joe Clark 1839-1886


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Bud Savoie
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 08:33 PM

The basic melody is not difficult, but interesting because of the jump down to G (when playing in A). When you have the basic melody down, the possibilities for variation are endless.

Pete Seeger once wrote that if he were to be allowed to sing one song before dying, that would be it.

Bud


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 02:24 PM

It would be interesting to hear how you play it? What key and what words?


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Bud Savoie
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 08:09 PM

Don't know if you're talking to me, Sham, but I play it in A. AT a jam, that's what people will probably use, since it works well on the fiddle there. On the banjo, I use G tuning capoed two and drop-thumb frail. When you go down to the G chord on the banjo, try leaving the first string open. I have no idea what this chord is called, but it's a sort of combination G and E7.

As far as verses, they have no end. I could give you a few samples if you are interested.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 01:52 AM

Thank you Bud yes.

The more the merrier.

A is the key I use mostly and would seem to to be the standard, if there is such a thing.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 03:22 AM

Shambles, I haven't a clue what the "standard" is but I think that A is a great key for this one for those of us who use GDAE tunings as you can take advantage of the open A and E strings while playing much of the melody on the other one of this pair. D could also be used that way.

Jon


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD JOE CLARK (from Bradley Kincaid)
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:23 AM

OLD JOE CLARK
from Bradley Kincaid's Favorite Old-Time Songs and Mountain Ballads, Book 3, 1930

Now I've got no money
Got no place to stay
I've got no place to lay my head
And the chickens a crowin' for day

.

Chorus:
Fare you well, old Joe Clark,
Fare you well I say
Fare you well, old Joe Clark,
I'm goin' away to stay.

I wish I had a nickel
I wish I had a dime
I wish I had a pretty little girl
To kiss her and call her mine.

I don't like that old Joe Clark
I'll tell you the reason why.
Ha goes about the country
A stealin' good men's wives.

I went down to old Joe Clark's
I did not mean no harm
He grabbed his old forty four
And shot me thru the arm.

Old Joe Clark's a mean old dog
I'll tell you the reason why
He tore down my old rail fence
So his cattle could eat my rye.

I went down to old Joe Clark's
I found old Joe in bed
I stuck my finger in old Joe's eye
And killed old Joe stone dead.

I wouldn't marry that old maid
I'll tell you the reason why
Her neck's so long and-stringy
I'm afraid she'll never die.

I went down to Dinah's house
She was standin' in the door
With her shoes and stocking in her hand
And her feet all over the floor.

Yonder sits a turtle dove
Sitting on yonder pine
You may weep for your true love
And I shall weep for mine.

Old Joe Clark's a mighty man
What will it take to please him
A good old bottle of apple jack
And Betty Brown to squeeze him.

Photograph caption from the book: Bradley on the Swaying Bridge near the Home of "Old Joe Clark"

Quote from the book: "Old Joe Clark," who is immortalized in one of the ballads in this collection, was a notorious character in Clay county, Kentucky. As with many mountain ballads, the song tells something of his character. they will tell you in Manchester that he was a hard, rough-and-ready bully, who was shot to death by his own son, in a fight over some hogs. the boy was exonerated by the jury--and commended by the community where he still lives. When the fiddlers strike up "Old Joe Clark," every foot in Manchester beats time.

MY THOUGHTS: A few weeks ago, I made a brief study of OJC, including the story linked by The Shambles. The Clay County part is the same, but not much else other than Old Joe Clark's general character, or lack of it. At least Bradley's story has the benefit of being written a good many years earlier. I don't think I would place any bets on either one, but it is a fact that Bradley went back to Kentucky frequently on song gathering/research trips and tried to get the stories as well as the songs. I would imagine that the lyrics as he gives them was at the very least a version sung by people in the Manchester, Clay County, KY area.

A side track: (I am good/bad for that) I remember years ago how aggravated I was that Marty Robbins was chosen over Bradley Kincaid for inclusion in the Country Music Hall of Fame. I remember thinking that here Bradley is an old man who certainly deserves to be included, and though they are electing a good choice, still one so much younger while Bradley may not have another chance. Of course, Marty was dead before another year rolled around, and Bradley never did make it.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Dale Rose
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:24 AM

Oh, something happened to my cookie. Oh, well, there ARE worse things in life than posting as GUEST!


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD JOE CLARK
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 11:03 AM

The verses are endless. A few more:

I went down to Old Joe Clark's, I did not go to stay.
I got stuck on a little old girl, Stayed there half a day.

I went down to Old Joe Clark's, I hadn't been there before.
He slept on the feather bed, I slept on the floor.

Old Joe Clark's a mean old man, Mean as he can be.
He threw my dog out in the rain, Then he threw out me.

Old Joe Clark's a dang old dog, Old Joe Clark will steal.
Old Joe Clark's a dang old dog, but he can't go through my field.

Old Joe Clark went courtin', And what do you reckon she said?
She said she wouldn't marry him 'Til all the rest were dead.

Old Joe Clark's a mean old man, Tell you the reason why.
He spits tobacco on the floor and never shuts his fly.

The higher up the cherry tree, the sweeter grows the cherry.
The more you hug and kiss a gal, The more she wants to marry.

* * * * * * *
In the unlikely event that you ever run out of verses, you can sing all of the verses to "Barbara Allen" and "Mary Hamilton" to the tune, while ignoring the looks.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 23-Jun-02.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 03:59 AM

What's the strangest version? I have heard a very serious unaccompanied English style treatment.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Dewey
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 06:02 AM

I HAD a Bradley Kincaid 78 of this song, one additional verse was: I went down to old joe's house, old joe wasn't at home I ate all the meat that old joe had and left old joe the bones.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Dewey
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 06:13 AM

Offensive lyrics I believe are best shared among only like minded individuals who enjoy them, There is a decent group of people (who I feel are the majority) who don't like them. So why post them and upset others un-necessarily, sure you guys can continue to do it anyway but just because you can do itdoesn't mean you should. I am offend and hereby requesting that you do not. Be a part of the solution, not the problem!


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 10:31 AM

Hang on there! When discussing the history of a song, offensive lyrics are just "facts" not insults. Tracking variations is one of the joys of scholarship, and obliterating what is offensive at the moment makes it impossible for us to consider how attitudes have changed in the long run. I'm a lot more offended by bowdlerized lyrics to traditional songs, but I just put that sort of thing down to the folk process and figure the best changes will survive.

Personally, I don't think I know "Old Joe Clark", but an awful lot of the verses look familiar to me, so now I am off to listen to the midi and find out whether the tune is familiar, too.

And if I know any rude lyrics I fully intend to post them! -- Along with WHEN and WHERE and WHO I learned them from.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 10:42 AM

Old Joe is really fun to play on the fiddle in cross tuning in key of a AEAE. I've recorded a version on banjo in the key of G (can't sing in A for the life of me)and interestingly enough, it is fairly easy to play one of the parts way up the neck in a higher octave in standard g tuning - very cool. Joe Clark by the way is looking to be the next Prime Minister of Canada.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 02:26 PM

You can hear a little bit of a version of the tune here. Rendezvous Old Joe Clark


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 02:48 PM

I'm with Dewey on the question of promulgating offensive lyrics, but for a different reason. Too often we find that a gifted person has composed a good, creative tune (such as Old Joe Clark or Shady Grove) and then some unknown, mediocre person has slapped crude, no-talent lyrics onto the tune, ruining its beauty. It's ruined because it's so hard to get a rhyme out of your head once it enters.

(So often the lyrics belong to a class I call The Unfussy Lassy.)

We have the right to control what's in our lives and what we promulgate. We also ought to respect and protect the efforts of others (such as beautiful tunes).

I say, let such verses die a well-deserved death.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 03:13 PM

Arnie, I just tried the EAEA tuning on my tenor banjo - I can see that it would be fun on a fiddle tuned that way (if only I played the fiddle).

Jon


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Dale Rose
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 03:32 PM

I am sorry, but I am having trouble figuring out which verses to Old Joe Clark THAT HAVE BEEN POSTED are particularly offensive. I am not saying that people have never written or sung verses that might be offensive to some, but I sure don't see them here ~~ could someone point them out to me, so that I might examine the motives behind them more closely? References to cruelty to animals, old maids, sloppy habits, what? If I am wrong, I would like to know. I don't normally enter controversial threads, and I am pained to see ones that I DO like to respond to turned into points of contention for no reason.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 11:49 PM

Dale, you beat me to it ! "DANG IT !" (Jeez, I never said "dang" in my whole life before.)

There is absolutely nothing in this thread that offends me in ANY way whatsover. What the "heck" are you referring to ?

My favorite verse to this song has always been,

I won't go to old Joe's house,
Tell you the reason why,
He blows his nose in old corn bread,
And calls it pumpkin pie.

Now, this verse is just mildly funny to me. I sang it for kids for over 20 years (several generations of kids)in their schools and NOBODY ever said a word to me about it. Not even the nuns or fascist parents or anything. The kids loved singing it. In 20 part harmony. Where are you coming from?? As Dale said, which verses do you think are "bad" ones?

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: CamiSu
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 08:48 AM

And which verses are the good and lovely ones ruined by the rude? A college friend and I enjoy singing this one together still, (I won't say how many years later)

I clumb up the apple tree She clumb up the plum I never met a pretty girl but what I loved her some

And I agree, it IS easy, and catchy. Every one feels included when we sing it.

Cami Su


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:24 AM

Hey, I like parodies too! Lyrics change and get added to and it's just part of the folk process. We only sing the ones we really like anyway.

I think I've heard this once or twice, but that's all. Some of the words got transferred to "Cindy" and "Old Dan Tucker". Got a day off today, so I'm going to go look for a CD. Any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,mag
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 10:53 PM

Oops, I was thinking of "Old Dan Tucker," above. Sorry


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: CamiSu
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 07:22 AM

Just realised I hadn't seen this one that made the most sense after I learned to play Pitch.

Joe Clark was a preacher's son, Preached all o'er the plain, The only text that he did know, Was High, Low, Jack, and Game.

And the bloomin' song has been going through my head for a day now!


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 08:45 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 11:30 PM

Some of the Joe Clark verses given here seem related to the Carter Family's 'Chawin', Chewin' Gum', i.e.
I wouldn't marry a doctor
Tell you the reason why
He drives around the country
And makes the people die.

I wouldn't marry a lawyer
Tell you the reason why,etc, etc.

I haven't heard them sung in Joe Clark. Not to say they wouldn't fit.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Mudweasel
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 07:42 PM

I love references to the "folk process". As the joke goes in my band, we all know what a food processor does to food.

RRRRRRRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We're in the habit of folk-processing irish and scottish ballads and folk-songs. It almost always involves electricity and an increase in tempo. Fun!

--Mudweasel

(I keep forgetting that some people do Star of the County Down in waltz time instead of a hyper 6/8)


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 08:40 PM

Dude, Have you heard Sam Bushes version? it folks!


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Paul Castle
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 08:16 AM

Bud Savoie wrote (about Old Joe Clark) on 14 Sep 00

>Pete Seeger once wrote that if he were to be allowed to sing one song before dying, that would be it.

I recently came across this quote whilst researching a web page - see

Old Joe Clark (click on 'Biography / Song Research)

and wondered if Bud (or anyone else) could confirm the reference -
ie publication and date - for this quote.

Also, if anyone has additional background information/comments,
please post.

Very best

Paul
The Rosinators
http://www.rosinators.com

email


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Sandina
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 05:07 PM

Anyone notice the melodic resemblance to "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll?"


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 06:16 PM

Old Joe Clark goes back a long ways (pub. 1842, "Nursery Rhymes," Halliwell) and probably older.
'Joe Clark' cannot be referred or traced to anyone, no connections can be made.
I prefer this one:
Old Joe Clark is a preacher,
He preached all over the plain,
The highest text he ever took
Was high, low, jack and the game!

(Randolph, Ozark Folk-Songs, vol. 3, p. 124. Many verses, everyone has contributed over the years).

See the threads, esp. 25394 and 48624.

Old Joe Clark 25394
Old Joe Clark 48624


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jan 04 - 06:19 PM

Oops! 25394 is this thread.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Paul Castle
Date: 17 Jan 04 - 12:13 PM

Q wrote:

>'Joe Clark' cannot be referred or traced to anyone, no connections can be made.

Does Lisa Clark's extensive research into the Clark family history - or
the Kentucky Historical Society State Marker - or Bradley Kincaid's
quite similar Clay County connections - or Pete Seeger's assertion
(in 'How to Play the 5-string banjo') that he was "an actual person"
not make you think that - just maybe - they can?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Josh
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 02:48 PM

I have been playing a version of this song that I believe I based almost entirely on Woody Guthrie's version on the 2-disc Smithsonian/Alan Lomax recordings. I'm almost positive I got these lyrics in particular from his interpretation of it. Now that I google the song, I don't find some these two particular verses, but I like the old fashioned message in it. Woody seems to have a pretty original rendering which isn't based on any of the historical facts I find about Joe Clark, but based on the theme of those recordings, one would infer it was the Okie version of the song. He only seems to be playing an excerpt at Lomax's request.

Old Joe Clark had a dog as blind as he could be
Chase a possum up a hollow log, you'd swear that dog could see

Old Joe Clark killed a girl and threw her in the branch
Old Joe Clark's gonna get hanged, ain't no other chance.

In between, he also does the often repeated verse about the cat in the buttermilk jar, and he says in kind of a break "Fare thee well, Old Joe Clark, Goodbye Betty Brown" which I love because it seems dark and ominous when you consider that last lyric. The thing I like about this version really is that it seems to make a statement about how violence towards women should be punished.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 03:04 PM

The tune is remarkably similar to the Elizabethan "How should I your true love know?" as sung by Ophelia in "Hamlet".

Any sightings of the melody in the intervening 300 years?


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 09:53 AM

That song can be heard using this URL:

http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiTRULOVNO;ttTRULOVNO.html

(left click on MIDI)

I don't think there is enough resemblance to Old Joe Clark to claim any link between the tunes.
http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=2742


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 12:50 PM

What tune, if any, did Shakespeare have in mind?


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 06:14 PM

Probably not the one in Mudcat, as it doesn't resemble any version I've heard.

Starts more simply, | ABcB AAE2 | ABcB A4 |. Paralleling the words:


Fare you    well,      old Joe Clark,
How should I    your true love know

Fare you well I    say
From a- no- ther one


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 02:31 AM

I went down to Old Joes house,
Old Joe wasn't home,
Ate all Old Joes meat and bread,
And gave the dog a bone.

eric


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 09:36 PM

New chorus and verses to Old Joe Clark for election time


Time to go now, Old George Bush,
Time to go, I say
You've left our country in a mess
Now, please, just go away



verse:
   George scared us into endless war,
   And spent up all our money,
   John McCain will do the same,
   Don't you doubt that, sonny
   
verse:

   Never elect a Republican,
   I'll tell you the reason why,
   He'll lock you up, hide the key
   Just for getting high


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 01:32 AM

Old Joe Clark was a CEO
wore a thousand dollar suit
He left me poor and jumped out the door
with his golden parachute


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 04:15 PM

Dick Cheney's a vicious man
He shoots his friends for fun
I hope to meet him in the street
When I'm packin' my squirt gun


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 12:18 AM

Another verse for Old Joe Clark


Sara Pallin is a babe,
On that we all agree,
Her politics are a diff'rent thing,
She ain't fit for the Presidency.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 01:13 AM

Guest, Jim writes some pretty good lines
That we all understand!
But "she ain't fit for the presidency"
is a line that just don't scan


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 08:43 AM

Elide a load of syllables
Then you'll plainly see
Just how cosy it can fit:
Sh'ain't fit for the pres'dency


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 11:40 AM

Somebody said:

Pete Seeger once wrote that if he were to be allowed to sing one song before dying, that would be it.

Maybe that's because he'd never get done singing it, and so couldn't die!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 11:45 AM

Old Joe Clark, he built a house
Fifteen stories high
And ev'ry story in that house
Was filled with chicken pie.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Gene Burton
Date: 09 Oct 08 - 02:11 PM

A very accomplished version


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 10:36 PM

Snuffy, thank you. Thank God for the kindness of strangers, and the elasticity of the English language.

John McCain, he bought a house,
His wife bought seven more,
Wouldn't if be lovely,
If he gave one to the poor


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: topical tom
Date: 11 Oct 08 - 08:58 AM

Here are a few other verses:

                He set that old clucking hen
                Couple of weeks ago.
                He set her on three buzzard eggs
                And she hatched out one old crow.

                Old Joe had a muley cow;
                She was muley when she was born.
                It took a jaybird forty years
                To fly from horn to horn.

                Old Joe had an old gray mule,
                Lord but she could travel;
                Every step that she did take
                Was up to her knees in gravel.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 17 Oct 08 - 01:12 AM

In keeping with the rural nature of many of the verses for Old Joe Clark, how about this one:

John McCain, he bought a pig,
Cause he loved to hear her squeal,
He paraded her around the town
In lipstick and high heels.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Mr Red
Date: 17 Oct 08 - 03:36 AM

As a very keen ceilidh dancer I can tell you it is not only popular with ceilidh bands but they all do it well - if it is simple then they have found ways of embellishing it. And it is very danceable. Add to that the Appalacian display teams that use it.

Having said that, I don't recall hearing it as a song.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Oct 08 - 07:22 PM

There may be no way of ever confirming this, but I wonder if a verse of "Old Joe Clark" was the source for a contemporary British playground rhyme?

Here's the verse from "Old Joe Clark":

Old Joe Clark, the preacher's son,
Preached all over the plain,
The only text he ever knew
Was "high low jack and the game".

-snip-

Here's a post from another Mudcat thread about a version of the British children's handclap rhyme:

Subject: RE: Gigalo & other children's rhymes &cheers
From: Jeanie - PM
Date: 15 Apr 07 - 05:44 PM

Very interesting how these rhymes etc. are spread across continents.

Version of the above, called "Jackalo", as a handclapping song, played by middle-class white British girls in private school, Essex, just outside Greater London, end 20th/beginning 21st century:

My name is [each partner holds hands together, palm to palm, as if "praying", then each pair of hands brushes the other]

Hands now parted. Partners face each other.
[Whilst the rest of the song is sung, left hand is held straight out, as if waiting to shake hands. Right hands meet, high and low, to match the rhythm of the song]:

Hi, low, Jackalo, Jackalo, Jackalo,
Hi, low, Jackalo, Jackalo and HIGH !

- jeanie
thread.cfm?threadid=100807&messages=28

**

My theory is that the American children's handclap rhyme or children's foot stomping cheer "Gigalo" {"Jigalo"} might have come from that British {and other countries'?} children's handclap rhyme.

A verse from that "Gigalo" {"Jigalo"} rhyme/cheer is

My hands up high
My feet down low
And this is the way
I gig a lo

{see the link above for the complete rhyme/cheer}

**

So, according to my theory, both of these children's playground rhymes would have their source in a line which refers to a card game.

I know very little about cards. Can anyone tell me which game or games of cards "high low jack" or "high low jack and the game" refer to? .

I'd love to have feedback on this theory that a line from "Old Joe Clark" might have been a source of these children's rhymes.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Oct 08 - 07:43 PM

Btw, GUEST,Jim, kudos on your updated verses for this song as found in your 24 Sep 08 - 09:36 PM and your 17 Oct 08 - 01:12 AM post!

I'm guessing that the "pig" in your last post comes from the state of Alaska {and I'm praying that she goes back there soon}.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: NormanD
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 06:37 AM

I saw a reference above to "Sex & Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll" and how they are melodically similar.

The story is that Ian Dury took the tune from "Old Joe Clark" after haring Charlie Haden's bass solo on Ornette Coleman's "Ramblin" - he breaks into OJC.

Now that's what I call living tradition - a folk song becomes a jazz solo becomes a rock anthem and a verbal quotation.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 08:56 AM

Verses in Randolph-Legman, heard in MO, c. 1895:

I went up on the mountain top
To give my horn a toot,
Thought I heard Lucindy say
Come on with your jackass root!

Old Joe Clark growed lots of corn,
An' he et so much of it,
Corn bread, ash cake, hominy too,
Tumblebugs had to shuck his shit.

Vol. 1, p. 428.
Many more in that vein.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 12:55 PM

Well, I've just come across this thread and looked at the original question and thought NO.

I've been going to folk clubs and festivals since 1972 (loads of them in England and Wales) and I've never heard any of the word sets mentioned above. In fact I've never heard any words set to the tune and I've only heard the tune in the last 10 years.

Perhaps it is an example of a tune/song that is well known to a subset of folkies but it is certainly not universal.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 04:01 PM

Unless one is a square dancer or fiddler, or interested in old American folk or popular music, guest bbcw is probably correct.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 11:16 AM

I picked up a copy of Mother Goose Rhymes, and there were the same words used in Old Joe Clark, Little Liza Jane, Whoa, Mule, Whoa, etc.. Which came first? The chicken or the egg?


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 06:19 PM

The earliest reference I've seen to the tune/song is from the "Asheville [N.C.] Daily Citizen" of July 8, 1892:

“At night, the banjos were brought out, and to the strains of ‘Old Joe Clarke’ and ‘Pretty Little Liza Jane’ and ‘I’m gwine down to town,’ the puncheons resounded to the tread of the ‘dancers dancing in tune.’”


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Marcia Palmater
Date: 09 Aug 18 - 10:34 PM

This thread wouldn't be complete without a mention of the musical coop house that existed for many years in Cambridge, Mass. Old Joe Clark was a 3-story Victorian; you had to be a musician to live there. Traveling musicians would crash there and many musicians, including Pete Seeger, owned shares in the house. Many times when the phone rang it would be answered by someone grabbing the nearest instrument and playing a few bars of the tune.


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: Joe_F
Date: 10 Aug 18 - 06:04 PM

Marcia: I used to go the lively monthly sings organized by Don Duncan. Sandy Sheehan of Sandy's Music lived there. It was done in by real estate in 2000 (I think).f


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Aug 18 - 03:23 AM

Guest: “Which came first? Chicken or the egg?

Rooster.


Eliza Jane; Lucy Long; Old Joe and Pomp (Pompey) were all stock minstrel characters pretty much from the start (c.1840.)

“Many are the verses and variations to Liza Jane, but "Old Joe Clark" is the banner song for length. "There are one hundred and forty-four verses to 'Old Joe Clark,' though I don't know all of them," modestly affirmed a popular "caller" in Nolan County.”

46. OLD JOE CLARK.
Old Joe Clark is dead and gone,
I hope he's doin well(1)
He made me wear the ball and chain
Till it made my ankles swell.

Chorus—

Round and round, old Joe Clark,
Round and round, I say;
Round and round, old Joe Clark,
I ain't got long to stay.

Eighteen pounds of meat a week,
Bacon (candy) here to sell,
How can a young man stay at home,
When the gals all look so well.

Old Joe Clark had a big white house,
Sixteen stories high,
And every room in that old house
Was filled with chicken pie.

Old Joe Clark is mad at me,
I'll tell you the reason why,
I went down to old Joe's house
And ate all his chicken pie.

Old Joe Clark had a possum dog
So blind he couldn't see;
He treed a chigger on a log,
And thought it was a flea.

(1) In more boisterous gatherings a more profane wish is expressed in this
line.

[Thompson, Stith, ed., Some Texas Party-Play Songs, Publications of the Folk-Lore Society of Texas, No.1, (Austin, 1916, p.32)]


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Subject: RE: Old Joe Clark. THE folk song/tune?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 12 Aug 18 - 03:32 AM

Lyr Add: Miss Lucy Long (minstrel)

Lyr Req: Rock the Cradle Joe


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