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10,000 Miles Away (On the Banks of a Lonely River)

DigiTrad:
A CAPITAL SHIP
TEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY


Related threads:
(origins) Lyr Req: A Capital Ship (Charles Edward Carryl) (23)
Help: Capital Ship's 'boxing glove'?!?! (75)
Lyr Add: Ten Thousand Miles Away (18)


Barry Finn 16 Dec 00 - 01:25 AM
Jeri 16 Dec 00 - 09:43 AM
Bat Goddess 16 Dec 00 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,jeff warner 16 Dec 00 - 10:51 AM
Barry Finn 16 Dec 00 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,vielleuse 12 Sep 06 - 07:07 AM
Bob Bolton 12 Sep 06 - 11:40 PM
Barry Finn 13 Sep 06 - 12:21 AM
Bob Bolton 13 Sep 06 - 08:58 AM
Barry Finn 13 Sep 06 - 01:31 PM
Bob Bolton 13 Sep 06 - 11:52 PM
Bob Bolton 14 Sep 06 - 06:23 AM
Bat Goddess 14 Sep 06 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 14 Sep 06 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Jeff Davis 14 Sep 06 - 01:00 PM
Joe Offer 14 Sep 06 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,thurg 14 Sep 06 - 05:13 PM
Barry Finn 14 Sep 06 - 06:02 PM
Charlie Baum 14 Sep 06 - 06:16 PM
vielleuse 14 Sep 06 - 06:31 PM
Barry Finn 14 Sep 06 - 07:30 PM
Charlie Baum 14 Sep 06 - 09:50 PM
Barry Finn 15 Sep 06 - 12:35 AM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 01:34 AM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 02:22 AM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 06 - 02:27 AM
Charlie Baum 15 Sep 06 - 04:27 AM
GUEST 29 Jan 12 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,Janie 28 Jul 12 - 01:10 PM
12-stringer 28 Jul 12 - 11:31 PM
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Subject: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Barry Finn
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 01:25 AM

Lyr. please. I'm not sure of the name of this song "10,000 Miles Away/Blame Me Not For Leaving"? I've heard Jeff Warner sing this a couple of times & for no reason at all the chorus jumped into my head yesterday & damn it if I can't get rid of it & even worst I can't find it. he chorus goes sometihing like this:

Blame me not for leaving
Blame me not I say
I'm bound to see my mother
10,000 miles away.

I think I also remember something about being on the Banks of, I want to say Claudy but I think I gotta be wrong there. Thanks for any help. Barry


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 09:43 AM

I've sent a message to Jeff telling him about this thread. Barry, if he doesn't make an appearance before the chorus eats a hole in your brain, you can e-mail Jeff.

I like the song a lot too, and I can't find it in the DT.


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 10:07 AM

Yup, Barry, e-mail Jeff. It's a version of Claudy Banks and I can't remember where he got it from. (I just keep asking him to sing it.) Just checked Traditional American Folk Songs (Anne & Frank Warner Collection), but the index is not set up for variants not of the same name, so I'm not sure if it's in there or not.

Bat Goddess


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Subject: Lyr Add: CLAUDY BANKS (trad, Nova Scotia)
From: GUEST,jeff warner
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 10:51 AM

Hello Barry, et al,
Here's the text and info on "Claudy Banks"

Claudy Banks
Collected by Jeff Davis from Fred Redden of Middle
Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia, ca 1990.

In youth I craved adventure, to Australia I did stray
Leaving friends and my dear mother for adventure far away
She begged me not to leave her or to return some day
To the bonny banks of Claudy, ten thousand miles away

Chorus:
Oh blame me not for weeping, oh blame me not I say
For I long to see my mother, ten thousand miles away

Last night as I lay sleeping, I had a dreadful dream
I thought I saw my mother who was waiting there for me
She said that she must leave me, she could no longer stay
By the bonny banks of Claudy, ten thousand miles away

Today I got a letter, it came from sister dear
Telling me of my dear mother and wishing I were there
She said that they have laid her in a grave so cold and gray
By the bonny banks of Claudy, ten thousand miles away


Jeff Warner
Portsmouth, NH
December, 2000

Line breaks added. --JoeClone


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Barry Finn
Date: 16 Dec 00 - 01:37 PM

Ah, Jeff, thanks for saving what little I have left for a brain, if I was to wait till I saw you next (probably next Friday) I'd be by then much more of a babbling egit than I already am. Thanks, you always pick the gems. Barry


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: GUEST,vielleuse
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 07:07 AM

Does anyone have a tune for this?


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 11:40 PM

G'day old one ...

If you sign in to the Mudcat (it doesn't cost ... attract any corporate spam ... and the 'catters [mostly] don't bite ...), you can use the PM (Personal Mail) feature to contact Barry Finn directly. He is an active 'Catter - posted several times today - and seems to have been in direct contact with Jeff Warner, so he's the best starting point to find the tune (dots .. music / recording / whatever).

I would like to see more detailes on this song which is set in Australia (like me...) but turns up about as close as possible to the opposite side of the world ... in Nova Scotia!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 12:21 AM

Hi vielleuse
Sorry, I don't know how to read or write music nor can I do the musical notations that I see others doing here but if you PM me with your tel phone number or if you don't care about publishing it on the internet here I'll call you & sing what your answering machine will let me sing into it. My son has a mike set up into my PC so if there's a way I can do it that way let me know. I tried to get into Mudchat once but couldn't get thru. I don't know of it being recorded anywhere & really doubt that it is yet seeing as it's only been recently collected. I don't know where you're located & don't know if you're going to the Getaway but if you are I sing it for you or if you happen to know anyone that's going I'd gladly sing it into a tape recorder for you. It's really a great song song & not a boast but it's one I do a bang up job on & love to sing.

Hi Bob
I sang this at a Getaway & Lisa Null came up with a different version. Basically the same only different verses. She said that she had them from Almedia Riddle's songbook or from Almedia & it was in her songbook I don't remember exactly anymore but I keep looking for them when I remember. Otherwise I don't have anything more on this song than what's already here. I love to find out more too. Like what Claudy Banks they're singing about(I assume Ireland but who knows). And why was this collected in Nova Scotia & where did Almedia get her version from & why such a lovely song wasn't collected elsewhere (maybe it was but it seems that no one here has heard of it or maybe they have & haven't seen this thread)?

Good day & good luck

Barry


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 08:58 AM

G'day Barry,

We have a totally different song The Banks of Claudy collected in Australia from two fine old singers: Sally Sloane of Lithgow, New South Wales and Simon McDonald of Creswick, Victoria. I understand it to be English ... a parted lovers (sailor and his beloved) ... concealed - revealed identity tale. It has the same four-square ballad structure and could be sung to the same tune.

The one I remember Sally singing is a fine tune ... with no really obvious connections with Ireland - despite the fact that many of Sally's tunes came down from her Irish Grandmother Sarah Alexander, of County Kerry. Collector John Meredith noted Colm O Lochlainn had a similar song from ireland - but a different tune (not reproduced in Folk Songs of Australian and the men and women who sang them, John Meredith & Hugh Anderson, Ure Smith, Sydney, 1967).

I will be interested to see if someone does transcribe the tune.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Barry Finn
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 01:31 PM

Hi Bob
Thanks for the follow up. Could you send along Sally's version, I'd love to get a sailor's redition of this. Maybe you could PM me your tel #, I'll call you with my tune & we can see if it's a match, just let me know when's a good time to call if you'd like to do it this way. Very late at nite is fine for me, you can see by my posts that I'm up at all hours I haven't made quite that good of an ajustment into the high tech age so I still rely on some of the older methods. Anyway, seeing as I think it would be a very long time before I made it to Australia (a life's dream for me) it would be good to speak with you.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 11:52 PM

G'day Barry,

I just searched my past postings (... 1648 of them!) to see if I had already posted this song (it takes a while for posted songs to be "harvested")- but no luck. I think I'll take this as an excuse to publish Sally's version to the Mudcat ... maybe I'll live to see it reach the Digital tradition!

A posting here will give the words (neatly laid out - if I remember all my HTML commands, admittedly not as bad as it used to be, when evrything had to be correctly coded!). I'll post an "ABC" version of the 'dots'. Even if you can't read music, there are some sites where you can drop in a copy of the ABC code and the site will play it back for you.

I'll also send of a MIDI file to Mudcat's MMario ... so that might find its way into the Mudcat MIDI files, so youm may be able to click on that and get an idea of the tune. I will PM you with my contact details, including my home email ... and I can send back a copy of the MIDI file ... and you only need to save that - then 'click' onit and your computer (if it has all the modern apps loaded) will play it back for you.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: BANKS OF CLAUDY (trad Australia)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 06:23 AM

G'day again Barry,

Here are Sally Sloane's words for "The Banks of Claudy" - as well as the ABC format tune. A search on "ABC Format" (or "~ Notation") should find one of the free sites that can turn this back into music ... and play it for you. (I'll also PM contact details to you so you can contact me for a MIDI file, if you wish).

I'll send a MIDI to MMario.

The Banks of Claudy
Source: Sally Sloane, Lithgow, NSW, Australia

It was on a summer's morning all in the month of May
Down by the banks of Claudy I carelessly did stray.
I overheard a female in sorrow to complain,
All for her absent lover that ploughed the raging main.

I stepped up unto her and gave her a big surprise;
I hoped she did not know me, I be in such disguise.
I say's, "My fairest creature, my joy and heart's delight,
How far do you mean to wander this dark and dreary night.

It's to the banks of Claudy, if you'll be pleased to show,
Take pity on a fair maid, who knows not where to go.
I'm searching for a young man, and Johnnie is his name,
And on the banks of Claudy I'm told he does remain.

"These are the banks of Claudy, fair maid, whereon you stand,
But do not trust your Johnnie, for he's a false young man.
But do not trust your Johnnie, for he'll not meet you here,
But tarry with me in green woods, no danger need you fear.

"If Johnnie was here this night he would keep me from all harm
He's in the field of battle, all in his uniform,
He's in the field of battle and his foes he does defy,
Like the loyal King of honour all on the walls of Troy."

"It's six long weeks or better since Johnnie left this shore,
A-crossing the main ocean where thundering billows roar,
A-crossing the main ocean for honour and for fame,
But I'm told the ship was wrecked nigh to the coast of Spain."

And when she heard this dreadful news she flew in deep despair,
A-wringing of her hands and a-tearing of her hair,
Saying, "If my Johnnie's drowned, no man alive I'll take;
Through lonesome shades and valleys I'll wander, all for his sake."

When he saw her loyalty, no longer could he stand,
He flew into her arms, saying, "Betsy, I'm the man!"
Saying, "Betsy, I'm the young man, the cause of all your pain,
Now since we've met on Claudy banks, we'll never part again."

Meredith, J & Anderson, H, Folk Songs of Australia and the men and women who sang them, Ure Smith, Sydney, 1967, pp 166/7.

ABC format rendition of the collected tune:

ABC format:

X:1
T:
M:4/4
Q:1/4=100
K:C
D8|G3AB2D2|^F4G2B,2|C3CD2^F2|G6c2|B3AB2c2|
d3Bc2d2|G3GAG^F2|D6c2|B3AB2c2|d3Bc2d2|G3GAG^F2|
D6D2|G3AB2D2|^F4G2B,2|C3CD2^F2|G13/4||



Click to play


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 07:34 AM

Jeff's version is on his latest CD -- I believe the words are also at his website -- www.jeffwarner.com.

Haunting melody, haunting song -- Jeff performs it very, very well.

Jeff's in England until the end of the week.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 07:59 AM

I've had the pleasure of accompanying Jeff Davis on this song several times during his UK tour over the last couple of weeks - the combination of mandocello, anglo concertina and Jeff's voice is extremely sweet! I'll see if I can get Jeff to post a comment here about how the song came into Fred Redden's repertoire.

The Sally Sloane "Claudy Banks" is - as Bob points out - a different song, and very close to what the Copper Family have in their repertoire.

The Fred Redden song isn't on my copy of Jeff Warner's CD, Bat Goddess (I didn't know he sang it), and neither is it on Jeff Davis's recent release "Some Fabulous Yonder". I will certainly be urging JD to record it next time he's in a studio.


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: GUEST,Jeff Davis
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 01:00 PM

Hello All,

In 1988, I had the chance to meet Fred Redden and the Lunenburg (Nova Sctoia)Folk Harbour Festival, and then, the next summer, went to visit with my good friend, Dick Swain. Over the course of the next three years we saw Fred several times and in November of '91 travelled up to see him again. We arrived to find that Fred had been hit and killed on the road right in front of his house just hours before we arrived. Dick and I stayed on for the week and were invited by the family to sing at Fred's memorial service. Neither of us sang "Claudy Banks" that day.

Fred was famous in the area as a piper, and the folk song collector, Helen Creighton, recorded quite a few songs from Fred, and he was one of the singers included in a film made about Ms. Creighton in the 1950's. Fred's daughter, Finvola, was recorded, too, and later travelled with Ms. Creighton to sing songs from the collection. Finvola later had a brief career on the folk scene but doesn't sing now. By the time I met Fred he was not playing the pipes because of his arthritis and his singing was somewhat taken for granted in the area. It was, to use Paul Brady's phrase, "nothing but the same old story:" a local singer, the bearer of a great body of songs, virtually ignored at home. It was a couple of Americans, Katy and Ed Belzer, who lived just down the road from Fred's town of Middle Musquidoboit, and not folkies, at all, who decided one day that Fred's songs might be worth saving. They started by writing down all his words and got him into a local studio where dozens, but by no means all, of his songs were recorded. It was, I think, the Halifax-based singer, collector and curator of the Helen Creighton collection, Clary Croft, who suggested Fred to the Lunenburg festival.

In the summer of 1991, Dick Swain was the program director at Pinewoods Folk Music Week, and invited Fred to the gathering and then got him an engagement at the Lake Champlain Folk Festival. These were to be his only appearances away from his native Nova Scotia.

Dick and I heard Fred sing "Claudy Banks" while sitting at the Belzers big kitchen table in '89 or '90. In the recording I have, Fred sings the verse tune with the chorus, that is, the same tune for both parts. Fred's wife, Sadie, remembered him singing it with the two parts that I sing. Apparently he sang it both ways. Fred seems to have learned many of his songs from his father, who had lived for a time in California digging for gold. All that can be said is that Fred might have learned "Claudy Banks" from his father. Fred knew quite a few songs from the Irish vaudeville stage

A recording of Fred's singing was released about ten years ago by the Helen Creighton Society and can be found through it). All of Fred's songs were in a major key and he didn't sing any of the old ballads that I expected. He said that he hadn't learned (or didn't perform) such songs because "everybody knew them." (Daughter Finvola's repertoire included quite a bit of older-sounding material than many of Fred's songs.) I have sometimes speculated--to myself until now--that Fred may have reset some of his songs in major to suite his audience, but I have absolutely no evidence of this.

I was an honor to have gotten to know the Reddens as well as I did. Fred was an amazing man who, like Bob Copper, was almost entirely self-educated and very well-read. When the local Senator died, he willed his entire library to a local young farm boy, Fred Redden. At Pinewoods Camp in '91, the disintegration of Yugoslavia was just beginning, and, in a place full of university graduates, masters degrees, Ph.D's, writers, historians, etc., only one person there, Fred Redden, really knew anything about that area. Fred had worked on road crews all over Nova Scotia with Serbs, Bosnians, and Croats and though they didn't like each other, they liked Fred and invited Fred and Sadie to picnics and gatherings of all sorts. Those contacts lead Fred to read up on the area and the more-or-less inexplicable conflicts between his friends. He sat at Pinewoods, sang old songs, and eductated us about what was then the world's hottest hot spot.

Over the years of working in the woods, as Fred did, he had developed techniques of selective cutting that are now widely recommended to foresters. Unfortunately the techniques weren't learned from Fred decades ago as they might have been had they been attending to anything but profit, but the industry is starting to come to use methods that Fred adopted years ago.

The Reddens are pretty widely scattered now. Only son Angus has stayed on the farm. Finvola doesn't sing but another daughter, Maureen still does. Another daughter lives on Prince Edward Island. The oldest son, Colin, was responsible for the underground digging fo the expansion of Boston's subway in the 1980's and is now living in Nevada, working for a mining company.

Cheers,

Jeff Davis


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 03:44 PM

Gee, this is interesting stuff. I posted the Sally Sloan MIDI that Bob Bolton sent to MMario. Jeff, if you'd like to send a MIDI, I'd be glad to post it.
-Joe Offer-
joe@mudcat.org

Click to play - Sally Sloane, Banks of Claudy


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 05:13 PM

Jeff - Thank you immensely for sharing your experiences and impressions re: the Reddens. As you are no doubt aware, they are featured prominently in the Helen Creighton film bio., A Sigh and a Wish; you've added to and enriched what is there, concerning Fred in particular. What an appealing character ...

I've always had a soft spot for The Banks of Claudy, as I (mis?)remember the title, despite its Victorian over-the-top melodrama. It's one of the ones I had in mind when I commented, on another thread, on field recordings of songs with accompaniment (piano). It can be found on one of the Folkways releases of Helen Creighton material.


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 06:02 PM

Hi everyone.
Thanks Bob for posting the midi of Sally Sloan's singing. It's not near the same as Jeff's. I just PM'd you prior to reading this. I should ring you with what I have as Jeff's version of this.

And Thank you Brian for putting Jeff onto this thread. I'm sure it was quite a pleasure accompanying Jeff on this song. I'd classify it in the family of "Dead Mother" songs except it doesn't sing as a "torch" or "tearjerker" song, it has far to much Bold & Brassy Class to be lumped in with the rest of that family's style.

Hi Jeff & thanks for all the additional info. I got the song from Jeff Warner who mentioned it was from your collecting of it but I didn't get much more about it. I love to hear your rendition of it, maybe when we cross paths next I can ask you for it, if it's not a bother? It sounds like you & Dick were becoming friendly with Fred sorry to hear that he passed on. Hope the tour's going well & you're having a great time. Looking forward to your new CD.

Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: ON THE BANKS OF THE LONELY RIVER
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 06:16 PM

Lisa Null's version is from Almeda Riddle in the Ozarks (in the biography of her put out by Roger Abrahams--Abrahams, Roger D.(ed.) / A Singer and Her Songs. Almeda Riddle's Book of Ballads, Louisiana State U. Press, Bk (1970), p 41 [1964-67], and recorded by Granny Riddle on More Ballads and Hymns from the Ozarks, Rounder 0083, LP (1978), trk# 8

A similar version, sung by W.P. Detherow, can be found online in the John Quincy Wolf Collection at
http://www.lyon.edu/wolfcollection/songs/detherowon1236.html

On the banks of the lonely river,
Ten thousand miles away,
I have an aged mother
Whose hair is turning gray.
Then blame me not for weeping--
Oh, blame me not, I say--
For I must see my mother,
Ten thousand miles away.

Chorus: Then I wish I was a little bird
Could fly so far away.
I'd fly to that lonely river,
Ten thousand miles away.

Last night as I lie sleeping,
A vision I did see.
I dreamed that I saw my mother
A-praying there for me.
As years rolls on before me,
I sometimes kneel and pray
For the banks of the lonely river,
Ten thousand miles away.

(Chorus)

Today I got a letter;
It came from my sister dear.
It told me of my mother;
I wish that she was here.
They say that she lies sleeping
In the cold and silent grave
On the banks of the lonely river,
Ten thousand miles away.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. IV, #697, "Ten Thousand Miles Away."


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: vielleuse
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 06:31 PM

Well it was seeing Jeff Davis and Brian Peters perform it at Croydon folk club on Monday night that brought me running to Mudcat to look it up and bump this thread six years after it was started.

Watch out, I'm going to gush... That was a terrific evening with some great songs, and this was one of the ones that really stood out. Jeff is just a fantastic singer (I expect everyone else here knows this, but I didn't).

(I was the one who did the melodeon floorspot with the incredibly long bellows action).

[scary fan moment over]

So anyway - I found this on the internet. Would this be the same tune I heard on Monday? The words are fairly different.


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 07:30 PM

Hi vielleuse
Yes that's fairly close & is basicly the same. Not ever hearing Jeff Davis singing it & having it from Jeff Warner instead I suspect that JW's singing of it has got to be very close to JD's singing of it seeing as they used to be a duo.

Hi Charlie, thanks for posting Lisa's singing of it from Almedia Riddle. She does an incredlble of it but you already knew that. I didn't realize how close it was to Redden version, I've only heard her do it twice & for some reason thought that her version was a bit farther apart.

Thanks Bob B for your posted version above. A different song altogether but a real nice one. It could be sung to the other tune but I don't think the other way around & yours would be a quite long to use a chorus but then it would probably seriously detract from the original. Your tune seems to be similar to one used for a version of Renadine & the a sea ballad that uses something close to it too, but I can't put my finger nor ear to it at the moment.

Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: TEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY (Almeda Riddle)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 09:50 PM

Almeda Riddle's version of it
(from Abrahams, Roger D.(ed.) / A Singer and Her Songs. Almeda Riddle's Book of Ballads, Louisiana State U. Press, Bk (1970), p 41):

Ten Thousand Miles Away

On the banks of a lonely river, ten thousand miles away,
I had a dear old mother whose hair had turned to gray.
Oh, blame me not for weeping, oh, blame me not I pray,
For I want to see my mother, ten thousand miles away.

I wish I were a little bird, I'd fly so far away,
To the banks of the lonely river, ten thousand miles away.
Last night, I lay a-sleeping, I dreamed a pleasant dream.
I thought I saw my mother, close by the lonely stream.
Oh, blame me not for weeping, and blame me not I pray,
For I want to see my mother, ten thousand miles away.

Today I got a letter, it's from my sister dear.
She spoke of my dear old mother, and I wish that she were near.
They tell that she's now sleeping in a lonely new-made grave,
My poor old aged mother whose hair had turned to gray.

As years roll on before me, I'll sometimes kneel and pray.
For the banks of the lonely river, ten thousand miles away.
So blame me not for weeping, and blame me not I pray,
I miss my aged mother, ten thousand miles away.

In the interview on the preceding page, Almeda Riddle says:

"Oh, yes my mother sang ballads. ... We'll here's a little one my mother sang to me as a child. I remember it very well. I can remember yet what I'd think when she'd sing this. I'd think maybe there was a girl that had married and gone away from her mother and she was a-crying to go back. I always had a fierce imagination--'fraid I still do have--and she was trying to go back to see her mother and probably it wasn't pleasing her husband. So at night, when she'd sing this, I could picture it that way. ... I was glad to say that I nevetr had to miss my mother much, because I wasn't separated from her much. We lived quite near to my mother. And my husband only lived nine years and then I went back to the old farm there to finish bringing up the children and lived in a house right close. When my father died in 1933, we moved in together and stayed together nearly as long as she lived. I was fifty-nine years old before I lost my mother, and with the exception of nine years of that time, I had lived either in the house or adjoining house with my mother."

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Barry Finn
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 12:35 AM

That's more of what I remember Lisa singing
Thanks again Charlie & would you thank Lisa too.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 01:34 AM

Apparently, most versions of this song do not mention the Bankso of Claudy. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry for this song:

Ten Thousand Miles Away (On the Banks of Lonely River)

DESCRIPTION: The singer recalls his aged mother "on the banks of a lonely river, Ten thousand miles away." He wishes he (were a little bird so he could be) with her. He receives a letter from his sister saying his mother has died
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1882 (broadside, LOCSheet sm1882 16161)
KEYWORDS: death mother loneliness separation
FOUND IN: US(SE,So) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Randolph 697, "Ten Thousand Miles Away" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune)
BrownII 170, "The Homesick Boy" (2 texts)

Roud #3514
RECORDINGS:
Fred Redden, "The Banks of Claudy" (on NovaScotia1)
BROADSIDES:
LOCSheet, sm1882 16161, "Ten Thousand Miles Away on the Banks of a Lonely River," Balmer & Weber (Saint Louis), 1882 (tune)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "To the West A While to Stay" (plot)
Notes: Several of Randolph's informants credited this to a Missouri musician named Hubbard. Given the general feebleness of the song, it is quite likely that it comes from such an obscure source. The presence of the North Carolina texts, however, argues that it is not local to the Ozarks. - RBW
Broadside LOCSheet sm1882 16161: "composed by I.M. Williams" whatever that means. Is it a coincidence that the publisher is so close to the Ozarks?
[NovaScotia1] begins "In youth I craved adventure To Australia I did stray, I left my home and mother For a fortune far away, She bade me not to leave her Or to return some day To the banks of far off Claudy Ten thousand miles away." This verse is missing from LOCSheet sm1882 16161, which begins with the letter verse, followed by the dream verse.- BS
File: R697

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I posted the MIDI for the Almeda Riddle version that Charlie posted. It is pretty close to the tune Lisa uses, Charlie?

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Subject: Lyr Add: TEN THOUSAND MILES AWAY (Vance Randolph)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 02:22 AM

Ten Thousand Miles Away
(Randolph #697A)

On the banks of a lonely river, ten thousand miles away,
I had an aged mother whose hair was turnin' gray.

Oh, blame me not for weepin', oh, blame me not I pray,
For I want to see my mother, ten thousand miles away.

I wish I was a little bird, I'd fly so far away,
To the banks of the lonely river, ten thousand miles away.

Last night as I lay sleepin' I dreampt a pleasant dream,
I thought I saw my mother, close by a lonely stream.

Today I got a letter, 'twas from my sister dear,
She spoke of my dear mother, an' I wish that she were near.

They tell they have laid her in the cold an' silent grave,
On the banks of the lonely river, ten thousand miles away.

But as years roll on before me, I sometimes kneel an' pray.
For the banks of the lonely river, ten thousand miles away.

singer: Mrs. Cory Almy Wilson, Zinc, Arkansas, April 4, 1932

Several persons told Randolph that the authorship was claimed by an itinerant singing teacher named Hubbard, who sold a book of his own songs in the Joplin (Missouri) mining district in about 1895.

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Subject: ADD Version Ten Thousand Miles Away
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 02:27 AM

Ten Thousand Miles Away
(Randolph #697A)

Last night as I lay sleeping,
I had a happy dream,
That I saw my mother kneeling
And praying to God for me.

They tell me she is sleeping
In a lonely new-made grave
My poor old aged mother
Whose hair is turning gray.

Sung by Mrs. J.F. Trail, Farmington, Arkansas, Oct 5, 1941


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Subject: RE: Bound To See My Mother 10000 Miles Away
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 04:27 AM

That's pretty much the tune Lisa uses. It's transcribed in Almeda's book.
--Charlie


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Subject: RE: 10,000 Miles Away (On the Banks of a Lonely River)
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 11:54 AM

here am i, a way over here, 10000 miles away from home, away from you my dear.
Here am i, so homesick and blue, i need so many many things, but most of all i need you
anamelessone@hotmail.com
I heard part of this song on a tv series 10,000 day war, writen by a fellow in Vietnam. If anyone knows where I could find the rest of the lyrics, I'd sure appreciate it.
As an ex-serviceman and a singer/songwriter of 40 yrs, I'd like to learn it and pass it on to my kids and grand kids.
Thanks so much folks, any help would be wonderful.
Darrell Roberts, Ontario, Canada


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Subject: RE: 10,000 Miles Away (On the Banks of a Lonely River)
From: GUEST,Janie
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 01:10 PM

I have a piece of paper written by my Grandmother February 8,1903 with this song on it - just the words. My Mom told me my Grandmother loved this song. Have no idea where or how my grandmother first heard it. My grandmother lived all of her life on farms in Washington County, MD.

1st Verse
On the banks of a lonely river,
Ten thousand miles away,
I had an aged mother
Whose hair was turning gray;
Then blame me not for weeping,
Oh blame me not I pray,
For I must see my mother,
Ten thousand miles away.

Chorus

Then I wish I were a little bird, little bird,
I'd fly so far so far away,
To the banks of that lonely river,
Ten thousand miles away.

2nd Verse

Last night as I lay sleeping,
A vision I did see,
I dreamt I saw my mother
A praying there for me;
They tell me they have laid her
In the cold and silent grave,
On the banks of that lonely river,
Ten thousand miles away

Chorus

3rd Verse

Today I got a letter,
'Twas from my sister dear,
She spoke of dear old mother,
I wish that she was here;
But as years roll on before me,
I sometimes kneel and pray
For the banks of that lonely river,
Ten thousand miles away.

Chorus


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Subject: RE: 10,000 Miles Away (On the Banks of a Lonely River)
From: 12-stringer
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 11:31 PM

There's a 1930 commercial recording of this on Columbia 15572-D, "On the Banks of a Lonely River," by Tom Darby and Jimmie Tarlton. Darby does solo vocal. His text is very similar to the other versions, though it's missing the mother's death, which leaves the song a little incomplete. He sings the verses "On the banks of a lonely river" and "Today I received a letter," and uses the "Little Bird" chorus as a third verse (half a verse, actually). In Atlanta the song was apparently getting closer to home, since Tom's Lonely River was only 1000 miles away, not 10,000.


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