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Lyr Req: Shawneetown

DigiTrad:
ROLLING TO CAIRO TOWN (ROUSTABOUT SONG)
WAY DOWN IN SHAWNEETOWN


Related threads:
(origins) Origin: Way Down in Shawneetown (Dillon Bustin) (52)
Lyr Req: Shawnee Town? / Shawneetown (5)
Way down in Shawneetown (12)


GUEST,Carl 20 Oct 00 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Myself 20 Oct 00 - 05:33 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 00 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,a wandering minstrel (at home) 20 Oct 00 - 12:32 PM
Kim C 20 Oct 00 - 01:34 PM
GeorgeH 20 Oct 00 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Mary in Kentucky 20 Oct 00 - 02:01 PM
BigDaddy 20 Oct 00 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Carl: original poster 21 Oct 00 - 03:54 AM
Art Thieme 21 Oct 00 - 12:11 PM
Mary in Kentucky 21 Oct 00 - 12:31 PM
Dale Rose 21 Oct 00 - 12:45 PM
Dale Rose 21 Oct 00 - 04:07 PM
Barbara 21 Oct 00 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,John Of The Hill 21 Oct 00 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,John Of The Hill 21 Oct 00 - 06:12 PM
Barbara 22 Oct 00 - 05:39 PM
Keith A of Hertford 23 Oct 00 - 08:39 AM
harpgirl 31 Mar 03 - 02:22 PM
John Minear 19 Dec 05 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,Guest - Chalkie 20 Dec 05 - 07:30 AM
John Minear 20 Dec 05 - 08:11 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Dec 05 - 08:59 PM
stallion 20 Dec 05 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,Guest - Chalkie 21 Dec 05 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Guest - Chalkie 21 Dec 05 - 07:32 AM
John Minear 21 Dec 05 - 07:44 AM
John Minear 21 Dec 05 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Guest - Chalkie 22 Dec 05 - 07:25 AM
John Minear 22 Dec 05 - 11:00 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 22 Dec 05 - 11:37 AM
John Minear 23 Dec 05 - 06:38 PM
MoorleyMan 23 Dec 05 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Ulli Smith 11 Feb 12 - 02:49 AM
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Subject: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: GUEST,Carl
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 05:18 AM

I have not be able to locate the lyrics to the folk tune Shawneetown. It's recorded by Martin Simpson and his student Sam Pacetti. It's a wonderful story about working the Ohio River on a river boat. Thanks for any help locating a source on the web where I can download the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: GUEST,Myself
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 05:33 AM

Found it here after I figured out it was spelled Shawneetown not "Shawnee Town". Gracias to whomever manages this site.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 12:32 PM

SEARCH HINT:

Use a WILDCARD [*] when CORRECT SPELLING is in doubt

[SHAW*] or [SHAWN*] or [SHAWNEE*] finds it


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHAWNEETOWN
From: GUEST,a wandering minstrel (at home)
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 12:32 PM

I Think the one you mean is... (not necessarily in the order below)

The sun rolls up as we roll down
way down the Ohio to Shawnee town

(CH)hard on the beach oar, she moves too slow
Way down to Shawnee town on the Ohio

There's whisky in the jar boys there's sugar in the sack
We'll pole her down to Shawnee town and bullywhack her back

The waters mighty deep boys the weathers cold and dank
sometimes the fogs so thick that you cannot see the bank

Ive got a wife in Louisville and another In New Orleans
But when I get to Shawnee town I'll see my indian queen

There may be more but I can't remember it offhand. You can hear it on Simpsons "Sad or High Kicking" album


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHAWNEETOWN
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 01:34 PM

Here's the version Mister and I do:

Shawneetown

Some poles up but we floats down
Way down the Ohio to Shawneetown
And it's hard on the beach shore
She moves too slow
Way down to Shawneetown on the Ohio

Whiskey's in the keg, boys
The Grain is in the sack
We'll float her down to Shawneetown
And Bushwack her back

And it's hard on the beach shore
She moves too slow
Way down to Shawneetown on the Ohio

That water's mighty warm boys
The air is cold and dank
The cursed fog has got so thick
I can barely see the bank

And it's hard on the beach shore
She moves too slow
Way down to Shawneetown on the Ohio

I got a girl in Louisville
Another in New Orleans
Goin down to Shawneetown
To see my Indian queen

And it's hard on the beach shore
She moves too slow
Way down to Shawneetown on the Ohio

Some poles up but we floats down
Way down the Ohio to Shawneetown
And it's hard on the beach shore
She moves too slow
Way down to Shawneetown on the Ohio

Shawneetown is a real live place, just beyond where the Ohio River meets the Wabash. :)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: GeorgeH
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 01:50 PM

There was a thread about this a while ago . . discussion about Beach Shore / Beach Oar, as I recall, and of some of the geographical locations. I imagine I'd have recommended the Martin Simpson recording of it back then - I usually do! Certainly Martin sings it as "I've got a wife in Shawnee/And another in New Orleans".

G.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: GUEST,Mary in Kentucky
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 02:01 PM

Kim - I grew up on the Kentucky side of the river not far from Shawneetown. Since it was in Illinois, young "adults" could go there to elope without the three day waiting period. (Also Tennessee, *G*)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: BigDaddy
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 03:16 PM

I was just in Shawneetown last summer. That's "Old Shawneetown." "New Shawneetown" sits a few miles inland, out of the path of the floods. Southern Illinois is where many of my roots are. Any other Southern Illinoisans out there?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: GUEST,Carl: original poster
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 03:54 AM

Thank you all for your kind replies. My grandpa was from Shawneetown IL and I made a trip with him and grandma when I was old enough to appreciate it. He'd always said "I'd love to go down to the old home with you, you wouldn't believe it." We saw the log/clapboard home my great great grandpa built after the civil war. It was one of the bright moments of my life. We saw "Old" and "New" Shawneetown.

Now, I heard Shawneetown for the first time when I went to Napster to check out Martin Simpson. Sam Paretti, his student, also has a wonderful version. I just can't stop listening to it and it gives me such strength. It's real and true and, based on the variants above, you know it's been sung by men who were making the trip.

I do think it's "beach oar" as there were two on the old style barges one toward the beach/bank and one toward the middle and the one toward the beach drags in the shallows.

Thanks again to all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 12:11 PM

Shawneetown was the oldest town in Illinois. Illinois was settled from the South via the Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Road through Kentucky and the Ohio River. After the huge floods of 1937 and many earlier ones the town moved to higher ground. But OLD Shawneetown is still there---the first bank in Illinois was located there and the larger huge one (built later) with the big columns on which can still be seen watermarks fom the '37 floods on the Ohio.

The tale goes that when a town up on the shores of Lake Michigan tried to get a loan from the bank at Shawneetown to further it's development, the loan was refused on the grounds that "You're too far away from Shawneetown to ever amount to anything."-------Of course, that Northern town was Chicago.

The Shawnee Ferry ran at Shawneetown for 150 years before a bridge was built there. The ferry was a major emigration point for folks coming to Southern Illinois. You can still see the road into the river where one would board the ferry. It's not far from the bridge which was built in 1957. When folks came to Illinois from Kentucky it was said that it raised the I.Q. of both places.

Somehow, I do beleive this song may have been written by either Dillon Buston or Malcolm Dalglish---but I can't swear to it. That would make it a modern song from about 1976 or so.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 12:31 PM

I heard that, Art! Is that why they changed the bridge from a toll bridge to no toll? *G*

Mary in KENTUCKY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: Dale Rose
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 12:45 PM

As far as the song goes, I am sure that I heard it first in the St. Louis area, done by a local group whose name escapes me at the moment. I am sure Art would likely know them. I'll think of it eventually, but probably not before I finish this post ~~ Peter something, Mississippi Mudcats, maybe? A recording by the Indian Creek Delta Boys (I still have a tape) is my main source for the tune, and a good one it is. As to the possible date of 1976 that Art gives, I just don't know ~~ seems I heard it in St. Louis at least that early, but I cannot date it exactly.

Years ago, my family had a number of photographs taken at the time of the Shawneetown flood. What with the mobility of families (and pictures) that occurs over time, I am not sure where they are anymore. I also have a stack of Outdoor Illinois/Illinois magazines which might have some Shawneetown info ~~ I'll look.

My father's family was from McCormick, Pope County, Illinois, and I have fond memories of childhood summers spent in Southern Illinois. (I spent my early years in Northern Illinois, but lived most of my adult life in Southwestern Illinois until retirement.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: Dale Rose
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 04:07 PM

It was Peter Lippincott, naturally it came to me when I was doing something else ~~ still not sure if that was the band he was in, seems like it might have been one of the other fine Missouri String Bands of the time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: Barbara
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 05:32 PM

I have a Dalglish, Larsen & Sunderland tape called Root Crops and Ground Cover from 1984 with Shawneetown on it. It attributes the song to Dillon Bustin, copyright 1983, Moonbow Music(BMI).
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: GUEST,John Of The Hill
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 05:32 PM

From Vol. 41 No.3 SingOut! (Nov/Dec/96/Jan97) "Indiana writer, musician, and dance caller Dillon Bustin (now based in Massachusetts) combined a song fragment he heard from a year-round fisherman on the White River with background found in travel logs and novels of the keelboat era and his own melody to make this song. Shawneetown, in Southern Illinois, was the first Anglo settlement on the Ohio River and, before 1830 was a major trade center for settlers and Indians. Nearby salt mines provided the town's major commodity. Music Editor Grey Larsen recorded "Shawneetown" with Malcolm Dalglish on The First of Autumn (June Appal #026; 306 Madison St. Whitesburg KY 41858). He tells us that keelboats were the most efficient commercial boats in those days, but had to be pulled upriver against the current on the return trip- grueling work for the strong, often rowdy crew. Floating downriver, a long oar (the beach oar) was used to guide the craft as well as to maneuver it off mudslicks and snags."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: GUEST,John Of The Hill
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 06:12 PM

Cave-In-Rock of river pirate fame is only a few miles downriver from Shawneetown. Since Rte. 13 runs through Shawneetown it is almost in central Illinois for some of us! picture good humored emoticon here John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: Barbara
Date: 22 Oct 00 - 05:39 PM

I would guess that Dillon Bustin wrote it some years before he went to the trouble to copyright it, and that someone's request to include it on an album prompted him to do the paperwork. Seems like I heard Dalglish & Larsen sing it several years before it showed up on their recordings.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 08:39 AM

A related song in the DT is Rolling To Cairo Town.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown Lyric Request
From: harpgirl
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 02:22 PM

Kim, what is the tune you use to your version? Would you mind sharing it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: John Minear
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 04:24 PM

Martin Simpson's version of "Shawneetown" has a verse in it that is not in all of the other versions that I have heard. Sam Pacetti, who learned the song from Simpson also has this extra verse. It comes, in their versions, after the verse about "a wife in Louisville". However, I cannot make out what either Simpson or Pacetti are singing and I need some help. I have Googled to try to find lyrics for either of them without success, and the lyrics are not printed in the CD liner notes. Nor are they anywhere on Mudcat as far as I can tell. I'm specifically talking about the lyrics to either Martin Simpson's version or Sam Pacetti's version. Here is all I can make out:

.......
....loud and long,
........
and twice as strong.

I can't get the first or third lines. If anybody can help I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks. T.O.M./John Minear


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: GUEST,Guest - Chalkie
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 07:30 AM

I know of a further verse, which I have not seen mentioned here. It comes after the second verse which is slightly different from the one given above

2nd Verse
Whisky's in the jug boys, corn's in the sack
Float on down to Shawnee Town and bring the rock salt back

and the third verse is

Well now the currents got het boys, take in some slack
Float on down to Shawnee Town and Bushwhack back


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: John Minear
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 08:11 AM

Thanks, Chalkie. These are two good verses, but there is yet another one out there in the Simpson/Pacetti version that I need help with if anyone can hear it better than I can. Something about "loud and long" and "twice as strong".   I appreciate it. T.O.M. - John Minear


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 08:59 PM

Chalkie, your source for that verse?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: stallion
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 09:46 PM

we sing it! Ron leads and i haven't a clue what the words are, i sing some other stuff that fits, I will have to listen next time ron trundles it out!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: GUEST,Guest - Chalkie
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 07:30 AM

If my memory serves me right Q, I got it off an old tape of mine which I won't have played now for some years due to the advent of CD players.

I'll get it out - the bishop said to the actress - when I get home tonight and see the sleeve has anything to say about it. If so, I'll post a message about this time tomorrow.

I think it's on a Hearts Of Oak tape.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: GUEST,Guest - Chalkie
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 07:32 AM

By the way, just noticed a word missing from the thrid verse I gave above. It should read "Bushwhack her back"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: John Minear
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 07:44 AM

Well, friends, I have an answer to my question above about the verse from Martin Simpson and Sam Pacetti's version. From Martin himself, the verse is:

"Them hoop-pole boys work loud and long, they're wide as a barrel and twice as strong. That's it. Martin."

T.O.M./John Minear


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHAWNEETOWN (from Sam Pacetti)
From: John Minear
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 01:50 PM

And, from Sam Pacetti, the following version:

The verse you want is, I believe:

Now whoop pole, boys,
You work loud and long,
Wide as a barrel and then twice as strong.

(Whoop pole being the cadence call as they would paddle, I assume.)

Now some rode up
But we float down,
Way down the Ohio
To Shawneetown.

CHORUS: And it's hard on the beach oar
She moves too slow
Way down to Shawneetown on the Ohio.

The whiskey's in the jug, boys.
The wheat is in the sack.
We'll float her down to Shawneetown
And then bring the rock salt back. CHORUS

I got a wife in Louisville,
One in New Orleans.
When I get down to Shawneetown
I'm gonna see my Indian queen. CHORUS

The water's mighty warm, boys.
The air is cold and dank,
And the cursed fog it gets so thick
That you cannot see the bank. CHORUS

Now the current's got her
We gonna take in the slack,
Float her down to Shawneetown
And then bushwhack her back. CHORUS

Hope this helps

Sincerely,

T.O.M/John Minear


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: GUEST,Guest - Chalkie
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 07:25 AM

I was wrong. Shawnee Town is on a Rum & Shrub Shantymen tape that I have.

The sleeve says that the song was wrote by Dillon Bustin, as indicated earlier in this thread, from a few fragments that he had found, though no date is given as to when. The singer himself though, from Rum & Shrub, heard it first from Jim Magean and Johnny Collins.

AVery Merry Christmas to you all

Chalkie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: John Minear
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 11:00 AM

Following up on the Simpson/Pacetti version of "Shawneetown" and the particular verse that I was interested in above, once I got the words down, I began to wonder about the meaning. If you compare Martin Simpson's version to Sam Pacetti's, you will notice that they are not exactly the same with regard to the first line. Martin has: "Them hoop-pole boys work loud and long", and Sam has: "Now whoop pole boys..." It reminds me of that recent book EATS, SHOOTS, AND LEAVES.
Are we talking about gunmen or pandas! Sam suggested that this first line might have to do with setting a cadence for poling. So are we talking about "whoops" or "hoops"? I was wondering if there might be such a thing as a "hoop-pole" and I Googled it. Sure enough, it was a rather common term in the 19th century. I found references to all kinds of place names from creeks to coves to woods to hills to ferries to townships, from North Carolina to Kansas, and from Maryland and Massachusetts to Indiana. Here is one particular reference that sort of defines what a "hoop pole" is: Click here

   To quote a footnote there: "[5] In an earlier day, barrel hoops were made of small hickory trees, split and shaved. The hoop-pole was a very familiar article of commerce, and of household defense."

And, another, very interesting site: Click here with a rather long quote about Mt. Verson, Indiana:

"Hoop-pole Township

The river traffic increased more and more as flatboats piled high with produce and grain plied the waters of Ohio on the way to the New Orleans market. A stopover at the local wharf brought welcome rest and a chance of refreshment for the crew at one of the two taversn. Thus came about the tale of HOOP-POLE TOWNSHIP.

The professional boatmen were a colorful, harddrinking, rough and tumble lot. Strong of muscle and courageous, they loved to fight and would do so just for fun. About 1832 ten or twelve flatboats were tied up at the local whart while the boatmen did a bit of merry-making at John Carson's aloon on Water Street. They were joined by men from an adjacent cooper shop; soon a general fight ensued in which the local coopers were badly beaten. When some of the rougher element of the town heard of the defeat, they armed themselves with hoop-poles (wooden staffs made of saplings cut in Lynn Township woods and used in the making of barrels) from the nearby cooper shop and converged upon the rivermen. The fight was renewed with such intensity that the boatmen were glad to flee back to their boats, their bodies bruised and their faces bleeding. All the way down the river their unsightly appearance was noticed and news of the hoop-pole fight spread quickly. From then on Mount Vernon was considered a rough river town and often referred to as "Hoop-pole Township."

I would suggest that this incident may be the historical basis for the verse in "Shawneetown", "The hoop pole boys talk loud and long (about what they did to the riverboatmen), wide as a barrel (the coopers trade)and twice as strong!"

Does anybody know about "hoop poles", or Mt. Vernon? This all may deserve a separate thread, but it seemed to me to fit into the general discussion of life on the Ohio that "Shawneetown" describes. I would like to know where this verse comes from and why it doesn't show up in anybody else's version. Does it go back to Dillon Bustin, or did it come into the song some other way? T.O.M/John Minear


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 11:37 AM

Cathy Barton and David Para do a very good version of this song. They can be contacted on line or through Folk-Legacy Records.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: John Minear
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 06:38 PM

A footnote to the question about "hoop-pole boys" and their big fight with the riverboatmen in 1832, and the verse in "Shawneetown" that may document this fracas. This fight took place in 1832, in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, which is on the Ohio river just about 20 or 25 miles north of old Shawneetown, Illinois. It looks like Mt. Vernon, in Posey County, Indiana, was the last stop on the Ohio River before Shawneetown, "floating down river". It looks like there is certainly a connection between "hoop pole boys" and Shawneetown. So the question remains, where did this verse come from? T.O.M./John Minear


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 06:47 PM

Well well...
I've been singing Shawneetown for a while now, but I've never been quite convinced by all of the verses. And now, having discovered this thread and read the various posts on it over the past few days, not only have I learnt a lot, but I'm also fascinated, intrigued, and even more keen than before to get a / the definitive version of the whole song together to perform (in my case, re-learn)!

So, gleaned from all the above thread discussion, I've set down the various important differences/discrepancies (below);
what's the consensus?.......

1.        The chorus: I'm convinced now that it's "beach oar" (not beach shore"), but should it be "to slow" or "too slow"? Either might be correct, but which makes "most" sense?
2.        First verse: Is it:-
        (a) "Some rows up… and we float down"
        or (b) "The sun rose up… but we float down"
        or (c) "The sun rolls up… as/but we roll down"
        or (d) "Some poles up… and we float down" ?
        Myself, I'd be inclined to favour (b)…
3.        Second verse: Wheat or corn? Don't matter – corn's probably easier to sing!
        But is the next line: "Go on down…" or "We'll float her down…"?
4.        Third verse (re the current):
        Should it go here, or after the "water" verse?
        And is it: "Now the current's got her (boys)" or "now the current's gone around"?
with the next line: "we'll take in" or "so take in"?
and the next: "Run it down" or "We'll float her down"?
5.        Fourth verse: Is it: "a wife in Louisville and another in New Orleans", or "a gal in Louisville and a wife in New Orleans"?
6.        The "long-untranscribed" verse: I'm convinced that "hoop-pole" boys is the right interpretation! But TOM has a point - is this verse attributable to Dillon Bustin, or did it come from elsewhere?
7.        The "fog" verse: Should we have: "The weather's mighty warm, boys, the water is thick and dank"
or "The water's mighty warm, boys, but the air it's cold and dank" ?

Looking forward to reading more on this!
MM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shawneetown
From: GUEST,Ulli Smith
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 02:49 AM

Thanks to all for the thread.
I have heard, and sung, this song for about as long as I can remember. I sing to my little ones to get them to sleep.

As for verse 7. I sing:
The waters mighty warm boys. The air is cold and dank.
   n' All that fog it gets so thick, I cannot see the bank.

Which by no means it is true to the original.

Thanks Again to All !

I have often misplaced a verse here or there.
In this thread I have found the answers I have long sought.
Ulli Smith (Ullismith@gmail.com)


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