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Disaster songs

Rev 19 Feb 01 - 04:47 PM
mousethief 19 Feb 01 - 04:54 PM
Kara 19 Feb 01 - 05:14 PM
Hawker 19 Feb 01 - 05:15 PM
catspaw49 19 Feb 01 - 05:21 PM
SINSULL 19 Feb 01 - 07:27 PM
Amos 19 Feb 01 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,petr 19 Feb 01 - 07:36 PM
dulcimer 19 Feb 01 - 07:51 PM
Amos 19 Feb 01 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,Pete Peterson 20 Feb 01 - 10:25 AM
Mrrzy 20 Feb 01 - 10:29 AM
Pseudolus 20 Feb 01 - 12:14 PM
Kim C 20 Feb 01 - 12:21 PM
LR Mole 20 Feb 01 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Lillian lild@people pc 20 Feb 01 - 12:31 PM
Melani 20 Feb 01 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Merlin 20 Feb 01 - 01:04 PM
Bert 20 Feb 01 - 01:19 PM
Sooz 20 Feb 01 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,ucsbstudent 20 Feb 01 - 07:36 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Feb 01 - 07:55 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Feb 01 - 07:55 PM
Susanne (skw) 21 Feb 01 - 08:55 PM
RocketMan 21 Feb 01 - 09:07 PM
mkebenn 22 Feb 01 - 11:44 AM
LR Mole 22 Feb 01 - 12:21 PM
RocketMan 22 Feb 01 - 07:16 PM
ddw 22 Feb 01 - 10:52 PM
GUEST,bekintex@swbell.net 26 Feb 01 - 01:04 PM
Tigger the Tiger 27 Oct 11 - 05:58 PM
Jack Campin 27 Oct 11 - 06:04 PM
Tigger the Tiger 27 Oct 11 - 06:12 PM
Tigger the Tiger 27 Oct 11 - 06:20 PM
Allen in Oz 27 Oct 11 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Barry 01 Nov 11 - 06:51 PM
GUEST 15 Jun 15 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,LynnH 15 Jun 15 - 01:46 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Jun 15 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 15 Jun 15 - 08:12 PM
OlgaJ 16 Jun 15 - 03:08 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Jun 15 - 07:26 PM
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Subject: Disaster songs
From: Rev
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 04:47 PM

Some of my favorite folk songs are songs about disasters. They all have such a wonderful combination of pathos and melancholy along with a strong historical component. They really seem to give me a look into the feelings and concerns of the communities that were affected by the disaster. Digitrad has lots of disaster songs in the database, but what's your favorite? Has anyone out there ever written a song to commemorate their own local disaster (natural or human-made)? How do you feel about singing songs about carnage and death?


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 04:54 PM

First "disaster" song I learned was in 4th grade, "The Titanic." One of our teachers brought in her boyfriend who was a folkie. He played his guitar and sang songs, and we learned them and sang along. His name was Mr. Spiropolous. Then his number came up and he was off to vietnam. I sometimes wonder where he could be. I cried my eyes out when I heard he wasn't going to be visiting us any more.

Thus the song has special meaning for me above and beyond the carnage and such.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Kara
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 05:14 PM

So many to chose from. I think I like the Blantyre Explotion, best. I do have a bit of trouble singing it thought ever since I started to read the 2000AD comic, a bit dated now I suppose, anyway in this comic there was a charecter called Slaine, a big beefy celtic type bloke, like most of you folkies out there. Well the problem arose with the Blantyre Explosion one night when I got to the line " that calm summer evening my Johnny was slain my friend churped up, I'd swap a whole life time with Johnny Murph, for one night with Slaine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Hawker
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 05:15 PM

I grew up and spent most of my life in Cheshire, England, across the road from me was a family who we played with as children, though their daughters were a little older than me. 2 of them met and married Cornish men and moved down to Cornwall. One of their husbands died in the Penlee lifeboat disaster aboard 'The Solomon Browne' Lifeboat which was attempting to rescue the Union Star off the Cornish coast in 1981. In 1998 I met and also married a Cornish man and moved down to Cornwall. We were close as kids and all did the same - one of us was not as lucky as the others, and I therefore love The Solomon Browne by Paul Sirman (even though the tune is nicked!) - it's a personal thing.

Diglake Fields is a lovely song about a mining diaster in Yorkshire (it sounded really strange that! lovely song about a mining disaster!) I suppose what I mean by that is it has a lovely melody which makes the bittersweet story the more bearable.......

Its odd isn't it how we all can identify with sad things - must be a psychologist out there who could explain this! Sing sad songs, be happy! Lucy


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 05:21 PM

Disaster Songs in folk music are always interesting. Many were very accurately written and told the tale quite well. However the "Folk Process" and the oral/aural tradition kicks in after some years.........well, things get changed a bit. Not always a good way to learn history, but they are more fun to research than others for some of us. You can at least interpret knowledge of the actual events and then apply that to what may have been actually written in the first place. We have a thread tied to several past threads on "Wreck of the Old 97" which illustrates the point quite well.

Many people learned different words here and there that actually make little sense and finding the right word or phrase and why keeps things interesting. I make a lot of jokes about finding the exact word for the 3rd line, 45th verse of "Diddle My Fiddle," but the reality is, the research is often more educational than actually finding the word.

Of course some disaster songs are badly written from the gitgo with little knowledge of the "facts" they portray.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: SINSULL
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 07:27 PM

"When The Evening Star Went Down". The ship sank and all aboard drowned including the captain and his five year old daughter. Henry Work wrote it after reading of the disaster in a newspaper article. A simple theme - the sea claimed everyone whether rich or poor, good or bad, young or old. "Honors of earth, what were they worth, when the Evening Star went down?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Amos
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 07:31 PM

I always got chills out of the "Springhill Mining Disaster". It wowed the chicks in '66. Well, all right, '58. And I never noticed how shallow I was being to use that chilling song to make time. Jeeez. Wodda maroon.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 07:36 PM

I remember hearing a song on a bluegrass compilation about the flood in the town of Galveston in (1900?) I believe close to 5000 people died. There are two songs in the database but Im not sure if either one is the one I heard. What about the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Im sure there must be one about the Halifax explosion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: dulcimer
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 07:51 PM

Probably a song that would be overlooked is Rye Cove by the Carter Family--about a tornado or cyclone that destroyed a school and killed the children. Very popular when it first came out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Amos
Date: 19 Feb 01 - 08:24 PM

The public just loves that genre -- visions of dead squashed chillun jus' gits em whar they live! Kinda like newspapers. Always good for a little bad news when you're feeling outta sorts. Sort of a pick-me-up.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 10:25 AM

I agree about Rye Cove but we do it with a twist (sorry Mr. Carter) the introduction goes "this is a song about a tornado that went through a school and wrecked it" . . . pause for timing and then say clearly "Bart Simpson's dream". . .
I suspect of all the songs which AP copyrighted this is one that he actually wrote. . . almost nobody who listens notices that none of the verses rhyme! I


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 10:29 AM

Mighty Day as sung by Bob Gibson on Offbeat Folk Songs is likely to be my alltime fave.

The Titanic is my favorite disaster children's song.

The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald is my favorite disaster ballad.

Daddy don't go to the mine today is my favorite disaster tear-jerker.

Any and all train wreck songs, don't know if I like the Old 97 best or the one where the engineer is about to be married. What's that one's title, anyway?


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Pseudolus
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 12:14 PM

I think the Barney Theme song is the biggest disaster ever...but, uhhhh, that's probably not what you were looking for....!!

I guess I would go with "The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" also. Now if a song about war counts I would say "The Town That I Loved So Well".

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 12:21 PM

I like The Nightingale, wherein the ghost of the dead lover who was cruelly pressed into service comes to visit his sweetheart after the awful shipwreck.

I know a lot of folks think this one's old and tired but I really do like The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

If war counts as a disaster, Shiloh Hill is a good one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: LR Mole
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 12:31 PM

I was in Halifax this summer and still don't know if there's an appropriate song for the catastrophe. Loundon Wainwright III does a nice Burning of Baltimore on the McGarrigle Family album.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: GUEST,Lillian lild@people pc
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 12:31 PM

Has any one out there heard "When the mines grew still"? It is a really sad song but it is even more so when you learn the story behind the song. It was performed by Merle Travis but I was told it was written by a man who lost his father in the disaster and then went on himself to die in a coal min disaster. I feirst heard the song while visiting the museum of the appalatia in Norris Tenn.There were two men sitting on the steps of one of the buildings there and in trying to discover the origin or another song they told me about that one. I bought the tape of their songs and listen to it every now and then and it still has the same effect on me it did the first time I heard it.The men I spoke to are Carl Bean and Ray Rutherford. I understand they play there on a regular basis or at least did that was about five years ago. We have always wanted to attend Homecomming there in October but so far have been unable to. I look forward to the time we can


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Melani
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 12:42 PM

For local stuff, "Hold Back the Waters," which to my amazement I just found in the Digitrad. I heard it once, in Orlando, Florida, about 25 years ago, I believe sung by the guy who wrote it. It's about a nasty hurricane in 1928, which did in large parts of the state of Florida. For other lake disasters, the ever-popular "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: GUEST,Merlin
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 01:04 PM

Does "The Foggy Dew" count? Beautiful song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Bert
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 01:19 PM

One of my favourites is "That's not My Colorado" by our own katlaughing. Sometimes I can barely get through it without choking up.

And don't forget "Three Score and Ten"


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Sooz
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 01:46 PM

Any song can be a disaster if my other half forgets the chords while we're performing! "I don't like mondays" usually goes down well but not in clubs which meet on Monday evening!


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: GUEST,ucsbstudent
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 07:36 PM

I'm pretty sure that I have seen (somewhere) a ballad about the Halifax explosion. I forgot where I saw it. Possibly it was in an anthology of ballads from the maritimes. When I get home I'll look it up and post it.

I agree that Edmund Fitzgerald is overplayed, but I once heard a great song about the Apollo 13 disaster sung to the tune of Edmund Fitzgerald.

But I think my all time favorite is a Titanic song called "God Moves on the water" which I heard on an Alan Lomax recording of songs from the Georgia Sea Islands. It was sung by Bessie Jones and is just a real catchy number.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 07:55 PM

How about Ellan Vannin - that's true. Post ship from the Isle of Man that sank off the coast of England within sight of land.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 07:55 PM

How about Ellan Vannin - that's true. Post ship from the Isle of Man that sank off the coast of England within sight of land.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 08:55 PM

It sometimes seems to me most folk songs (unless, or even when, they are about love) are disaster songs! And a lot of them have their basis in fact. Actually, that was what started me off on looking for the songs' backgrounds - I just wanted to know. I can only agree with Catspaw - the research often turns up a lot more info than I've bargained for, and it's highly educational.

Ellan Vannin is a good example. I probably learned more about place-names and customs of the Isle of Man through that song than I'd ever have learned otherwise.

Other favourites of mine are 'The Lifeboat Mona' and 'The Donibristle Moss Moran Disaster'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: RocketMan
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 09:07 PM

Is the Burning of Baltimore the same song as the Baltimore Fire? Just curious, Bawlmer, is my home town. Yes, that does make me a Baltimoron.

RMan


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: mkebenn
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 11:44 AM

I love to play"Wreck of the 'Fitz", but my wife is SO sick of it. I wrote a song in the late sixties about the flooding of the Cornplanter reservation in west Pennsylvania by the Army corps of engineers, certainly a disaster if you were a Seneca('tho I'm not). Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: LR Mole
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 12:21 PM

Probably, RocketMan. "Fire, fire, I heard the cry..."Discount used CD, no accompanying leaflet. And do you really pronounce the state name Murlin?


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: RocketMan
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 07:16 PM

LR, Yeah, I guess it comes out that way. I lived there for 43 years. I've been here in AL for the last 6.

It sounds like the same song, somewhat obscure even in MD.

RMan


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: ddw
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 10:52 PM

Nobody's mentioned The Johnstown Flood, about the disaster in Pennsylvania.

GUEST.;petr — The Galveston Flood happened Sept. 8-9, 1900 and I've read "official" death counts that ranged from 7,000 to 12,000, but several accounts said the actual toll was more likely 16,000 to 18,000 people.

The song — sometimes called Mighty Day and sometimes The Galveston Flood — is pretty accurate except for the fact the chorus says "Wasn't that a mighty day in the morning." The hurricane actually made landfall about about 6:00 p.m. on Sept. 8 and the storm surge pushed the water over the seawall they had built all around the city, effectively turning it into a large bowl. Terrible disaster, great song.

david


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Subject: RE: BS: Disaster songs
From: GUEST,bekintex@swbell.net
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 01:04 PM

I've loved many disaster songs all my life: notably 'Edmond Fitzgerald' and 'Cold Missouri Waters' of late.

Got to tell you, there is a different story when you've lived through that particular disaster being mentioned in the song.

I lived in Oklahoma City in April 1995 and lost a co-worker, plus friends lost family, etc. in the Murrah Building Bombing.

Couple of years ago, I heard a filk CD by Cat Faber with a song titled Wednesday, April 19, 1995. I listened with a good deal of trepidation. Heard the song once---got rid of the CD. Just can't listen again.


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Subject: Mining Song
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 27 Oct 11 - 05:58 PM

Do you know the name of the song about the dream of the miner's child?Was it done by Pete Seeger?


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Oct 11 - 06:04 PM

The only "miner's child" song I can think of is Matt McGinn's "Coorie doon", and it's not a disaster song.


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 27 Oct 11 - 06:12 PM

Thanks for the effort,but this is definitely called something like "The Dream of the Miner's Child".Oh, Daddy,don't go to the mine today,'cause dreams have so often come true" etc Starts like "A miner was leaving his home for his work,when he heard his little child cry?


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 27 Oct 11 - 06:20 PM

Hooray I found this. A version By Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs.


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: Allen in Oz
Date: 27 Oct 11 - 06:27 PM

" Santa Never Made it into Darwin"

"Big John"


( That dates me )

AD


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: GUEST,Barry
Date: 01 Nov 11 - 06:51 PM

A miner was leaving his home for his work,
When he heard his little child scream
He went to his bedside, his little white face
"Oh, Daddy, I've had such a dream.
I dreamt that I saw the pit all on fire,
And men struggled hard for their lives.
The scene then changed, and the top of the mine
Was surrounded by sweethearts and wives.

Don't go down the mine, Dad,
Dreams very often come true.
Daddy, you know it would break my heart
If anything happened to you.
Just go and tell my dream to your mates,
And as true as the stars above,
Something is going to happen today
Dear Daddy, don't go down the mine!"

Whilst waiting his turn with his mates to descend,
He could not banish his fear.
He returned home again to his wife and his child,
These words seem to ring in his ear.
And ere they day ended the pit was on fire,
And a score of brave men lost their lives.
He thanked God above for the dream his child had,
As once more the little one cried

"Dont go down the mine, Dad etc, etc.


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jun 15 - 11:26 AM

Hello,

I am looking for a copy of the music sheet of the song "Don't go down the mine, dad".

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 15 Jun 15 - 01:46 PM

The Ballad of the Yarmouth Castle

The Gresford Disaster

The Trimdon Grange Explosion


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Jun 15 - 05:47 PM

Hi Guest,
I have a copy of 'Don't go down in the Mine Dad' 1910,
words Robert Donnelly, Music Will Geddes, profits to Whitehaven Colliery Disaster. It will take me a few days to find it.

You can either join Mudcat and PM me with your email address and I'll scan it, or you can email me. My email address is at www.yorkshirefolksong.net on the home page.


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 15 Jun 15 - 08:12 PM

I recall Mike Soar - great bloke and sadly lamented used to do a disaster song the full lyrics of were.

"I'll sing you a song of Margaret Thatcher and all the good she did"

As I say above - great bloke.


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: OlgaJ
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 03:08 PM

I once wrote a song about a mining disaster in the 1840s, or so I thought, about an 11 year old who got killed in a 'run down' with a cage load of miners. I got told locally that it isn't considered a disaster until at least 10 are killed at the same time. Casualties who died later didn't count. I imagine it was a pretty big disaster for those left behind in the days where there was no compensation, no widows benefits etc. and the families lost their homes as their houses belonged to the mine owners. Long time before MT.


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Subject: RE: Disaster songs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 15 - 07:26 PM

Try Billy Connolly's Country and Western Super Song (a google will get you it).


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