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Songs about the homeless

Susan-Marie 20 Jan 98 - 02:44 PM
Sir 20 Jan 98 - 04:47 PM
20 Jan 98 - 05:25 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 20 Jan 98 - 06:03 PM
Jerry Friedman 20 Jan 98 - 06:14 PM
Barry 20 Jan 98 - 06:56 PM
Gene 20 Jan 98 - 07:43 PM
Gene 20 Jan 98 - 08:15 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Jan 98 - 10:58 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Jan 98 - 11:28 PM
Jack mostly folk 21 Jan 98 - 01:55 AM
Martin Ryan 21 Jan 98 - 05:12 AM
hanrahan 21 Jan 98 - 07:38 AM
Susan-Marie 21 Jan 98 - 09:13 AM
Bert 21 Jan 98 - 09:17 AM
Sir 21 Jan 98 - 09:46 AM
Susan from California 21 Jan 98 - 11:31 AM
Moira Cameron 21 Jan 98 - 01:18 PM
Moira Cameron 21 Jan 98 - 01:22 PM
rechal 21 Jan 98 - 01:23 PM
hanrahan 21 Jan 98 - 03:06 PM
Jack mostly folk 21 Jan 98 - 03:34 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 21 Jan 98 - 05:43 PM
judy 21 Jan 98 - 07:41 PM
BK 21 Jan 98 - 07:53 PM
dwditty 21 Jan 98 - 09:10 PM
Barry 21 Jan 98 - 09:33 PM
leprechaun 21 Jan 98 - 11:52 PM
Bill D 22 Jan 98 - 01:31 AM
Barry 22 Jan 98 - 02:31 AM
Joe Offer 22 Jan 98 - 03:00 AM
Bill 22 Jan 98 - 04:15 AM
Bill 22 Jan 98 - 04:24 AM
Wolfgang Hell 22 Jan 98 - 06:12 AM
hanrahan 22 Jan 98 - 07:24 AM
Susan-Marie 22 Jan 98 - 08:31 AM
Sir 22 Jan 98 - 06:35 PM
Bruce O. 22 Jan 98 - 10:57 PM
Richard 22 Jan 98 - 11:56 PM
Wolfgang 23 Jan 98 - 04:02 AM
Wolfgang 23 Jan 98 - 04:07 AM
Brian Hoskin 23 Jan 98 - 08:13 AM
John Nolan 23 Jan 98 - 05:29 PM
rich r 24 Jan 98 - 12:55 AM
Sir 24 Jan 98 - 08:10 AM
BK 24 Jan 98 - 01:44 PM
Ron K 26 Jan 98 - 08:46 PM
BK 26 Jan 98 - 09:45 PM
Cyd 27 Jan 98 - 05:06 PM
Alice 28 Jan 98 - 01:34 AM
Joe Offer 28 Jan 98 - 03:23 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 28 Jan 98 - 07:40 PM
28 Jan 98 - 10:09 PM
Sir 29 Jan 98 - 04:15 PM
Alice 29 Jan 98 - 06:25 PM
Alice 29 Jan 98 - 06:45 PM
30 Jan 98 - 08:31 AM
John in Brisbane 01 Feb 98 - 07:03 PM
Wolfgang 02 Feb 98 - 09:43 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 03 Feb 98 - 07:03 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 03 Feb 98 - 07:04 PM
Art Thieme 03 Feb 98 - 11:51 PM
Dave L 03 Feb 98 - 11:52 PM
Wolfgang 04 Feb 98 - 07:02 AM
Hilary 06 Feb 98 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Arjay 10 Sep 01 - 05:15 AM
Acorn4 14 Apr 10 - 04:29 AM
open mike 14 Apr 10 - 07:27 AM
oldhippie 14 Apr 10 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,David E. 14 Apr 10 - 04:31 PM
Charley Noble 14 Apr 10 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Neil D 15 Apr 10 - 10:19 AM
dick greenhaus 15 Apr 10 - 04:06 PM
Amergin 15 Apr 10 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Wayne, near Baltimore 15 Apr 10 - 05:16 PM
Ebbie 15 Apr 10 - 09:57 PM
open mike 16 Apr 10 - 01:40 AM
GUEST,Speranzo 23 Jan 12 - 09:46 AM
Mark Ross 23 Jan 12 - 03:24 PM
Arkie 23 Jan 12 - 04:15 PM
maeve 23 Jan 12 - 05:08 PM
Hoblander 23 Jan 12 - 05:33 PM
Charley Noble 24 Jan 12 - 09:25 AM
Elmore 24 Jan 12 - 10:12 AM
Charley Noble 25 Jan 12 - 08:26 AM
open mike 25 Jan 12 - 11:53 AM
Newport Boy 26 Jan 12 - 04:21 AM
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Subject: Songs about the homeless
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 02:44 PM

I could have sworn that we had a thread about this a few months ago, but when I did a forum search on "homeless" all I came up with was Women's Song Circle and Sacchrine Overload.

Anyway, I'm looking for folk songs about the homeless. I already have "Terror Time" and "Streets of London". Any other suggestions? I know Celtic Thunder does one called "Four Strong Walls" but I haven't figured out which CD it's on yet. Anyone know it?


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Sir
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 04:47 PM

I imagine you could find many on the romantic side of being a homeless drifter - "Gentle On My Mind", "Rainy Night In Georgia", "Go to Sleep My Weary Hobo", "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" were my first thoughts. For something more melancholy I remember a Porter Wagoner song called "Skid Row Joe".


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From:
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 05:25 PM

See Little Beggar Man on another new thread also.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 06:03 PM

There is that Gordon Lightfoot song, the name of which escapes me now. Old man came home from the forest, or something like that. As he is dying he remembers being a happy child. I think of it whenever I see a homeless old beggar asleep on a grate. It's on one of his early LP's, maybe his first one. He wrote some great songs in those days.

I think some of those hard-times-in-Old-England songs might be of assistance too, but someone with better specific knowledge would have to help you. I know I have heard some which mention homeless farm labourers and such. I think there are broadside ballads which deal with the plight of the homeless poor, but perhaps you are looking for something more current. I've read historical accounts of times being so hard that travelling farm labourers had no work, and were being found dead of starvation. Someone must have written a ballad about it at some point.

I like When This Old Hat Was New, sung by Chris Foster on All Things In Common, which Nigel was kind enough to send to me, but as poor as the old man is I think he still has the dignity of shelter left to him, although in short supply of food, warmth, and human kindness.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 06:14 PM

The most cheerful possibility is "The Big Rock Candy Mountain".

Tinkers and gypsies were homeless, although maybe not in the sense you're thinking about.

There's also Stephen Foster--"Old Folks at Home" definitely fits, and maybe "My Old Kentucky Home". Performing them in the context of modern homelessness would change the whole effect (although, to try to avoid the debate we had, they're obviously not authentic expressions of the feelings of actual uprooted slaves or free blacks).


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Subject: Lyr Add: Sissy Lee
From: Barry
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 06:56 PM

A few that might fit "Drentwater's Farewell", "A-Begging I Will Go" & "Highlander's Lament". One that i've never been able to figure out all the words to & had forgotten about is "Sissy Lee", I'll post what I've got & maybe someone can fill in the blanks.


[Oh Sissy Lee was in Eastern square sitting
knittiong a cartagin never to were
At 79 with her memory fading
Joys of this life she's forgotten & nobody cares]

[Oh Sissy Lee by the baker shop window
Was just an ol widow no money to spend
They bade he move on but they gave no (reductions?)
The food in the window was fed to the pigs at days end]

[Oh Sissy Lee gazed & looked at the statue
Of the unknown soldiers who died long ago
When food it was cheap & life was still cheaper
The (time ?) he fought for his country & fell to the foe]

[Oh Sissy Lee passed the baker shop window
She saw the fresh cream cakes being thrown in the bin
Oh & under........oh the sadness..........me
I've worked all my life now I feel that it's time to give in]

[Oh Sissy Lee...................stood on th cupboard
She read the newspaper while sipping her tea
The headlines..........no free meals for children
While on the next page the dumped 10 million tons in the sea]

[Oh Sissy Lee bleary eyed feeling weary
Accended the stairs for some much needed sleep
She never awoke she was found 3 days later
A few at the grave stood (the kind they....?)]

The tune was haunting, it was sung at a Passim's (coffeehouse in Harvard Sq.,Cambridge) open singers party (maybe 20 yrs ago) under the guidence of Peter Johnson, the woman who sang it was a fiddler in a group called the Poodles. Sure would be nice to hear the full version again.
Barry

HTML line breaks added. -JoeClone, 24-Jul-01.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MACARTHUR'S HAND^^
From: Gene
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 07:43 PM

One of my favorite songs that deals with both the affects of war and the aftermath is by Cal Smith, of COUNTRY BUMPKIN fame...

MACARTHUR'S HAND
Recorded by Cal Smith
Writer: Don Wayne

With high cheek bones and dark, sad eyes and shaggy coarse black hair
The old man squared his shoulders and returned the judge's stare
Then the judge pronounced him guilty to the charge of vagrancy
He said, "I've heard, Your Honor, now Your Honor, you hear me."

CHORUS
For I once shook the great MacArthur's hand
He pinned his medal on me 'cause I was his kind of man
I stood my ground in that red hot hell, when brave men turned and ran
Yes, I once shook the great MacArthur's hand.

I've got no job or money, just a few old ragged clothes
But I'm not a thief or beggar and it's no crime to be broke
I hadn't harmed a single soul when they arrested me
I was fit to fight your war, am I not fit to walk your streets.

CHORUS

I came through that hell unharmed, that's what the records show
But MacArthur knew the scars and hurt the war left on men's souls
And I'm not at all concerned about what your kind think of me
I earned a great man's handshake and that's all the pride I need.

CHORUS


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Subject: Lyr Add: NO VACANCY^^
From: Gene
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 08:15 PM

And another favorite of mine is this one by Merle Travis and co-written by the great Cliffie Stone, who died recently.

NO VACANCY
Recorded by Merle Travis
Writers: Cliffie Stone & Merle Travis

Not so long ago when the bullets screamed
Many a happy dream I dreamed
Of a little nest where I could rest when the world was free
But now that the mighty war is won
Troubles and trials have just begun
Facing that terrible enemy sign
'NO VACANCY!'

CHORUS

NO VACANCY! NO VACANCY!
All along the line, the same sign's a-waitin' for me
NO VACANCY! NO VACANCY!
And my heart beats slower when I read on the door
NO VACANCY!

All along the road of life I roam
Looking for a place to call my own
Not a fancy mansion nor a bungalow for me
But ev'rywhere I look I seem to find
Hangin' on the door, that same old sign
And my heart beats slower, when I read on the door
NO VACANCY!


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 10:58 PM

To be literal, there's The Boll Weevil. Or, for a more accurate reflection of today's reality, try Buddy Can Spare a Dime.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 11:28 PM

Just thought of a couple of others--When a Fellow is Out of a Job, and Wandering


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Subject: Lyr Add: I REMEMBER LOVING YOU^^^
From: Jack mostly folk
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 01:55 AM

I can never sing or hear "I Remember Loving You" without giving thoughts and compassion to those homeless who don't want to be homeless. Most everyone gives "U" Utah Phillips credit for penning it. Ah but reading liner notes on Philo 1030 Fred Holstein"s album. Utah Phillips writes: ("I Remember Loving You " was mistakenly attributed to me on the album jacket. I learned it from Diane Campbell of Victoria, British Columbia, and wrote the chorus and last verse myself. The real author is still, unfortunately, unknown to me.- Utah Phillips)

I(1)look at my brown suitcase, and think of all the places I've(5)been.
The railroad yards and the prison guards and all the dumpy little towns along the(1)way
And the whispering of the people as they watch every move that I go (5)through.
I remember most all these things, but mostly I remember Loving (1)you.

ref..
I remember loving(4) you...
back when the world was (1)new
I think you love me (5)to...
I remember loving (1)you.(twice)

Oh the buckskins smell so the people tell as we huddle in a boxcar from the rain
The flashing lights that cut through the night and railroad bulls who hauled us off the train
Oh the winter's cold when the northern blows I'm huddled to a boxcar til I've turned blue
I remember most all these things but mostly I remember loving you. ref..

Oh the winter snow and the frozen sleet comes soaking through the cardboard in my shoes
In a promise land where a man might find cigarettes and booze
Oh the alleyways full ragged strays- the doorway wino's I tell my troubles to.
I remember most all these things, but mostly I remember loving you. ref..


The chorus or ref is a great sing along.

Fred Holstein's singinging is by far my favorite version. He also sings "Streets of London" on that album. The album is called "Chicago and Other Ports" Well worth searching out, I think it's only on vinyl and cass. Good luck and enjoy, I love it when someone hits on a great mudcat subject.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 05:12 AM

Coincidentally, I was just promised a tape copy of an album by a man called Liam Weldon who died a few years ago. AMong several excellent songs he wrote was "The Blue Tar Road" about the life of tinkers/itinerants/travellers (the PC terms change).

Regards


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: hanrahan
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 07:38 AM

You gotta hear Sarah Elizabeth Campbell's Geraldine & Ruthie May....hanrahan


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 09:13 AM

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and lyrics. I'm very surprised at some of the songs that came up - one of the things I love about this forum is the wide range of viewpoints.

Barry, I hope someone in the forum helps us find the rest of Sissy Lee.

Hanrahan, if you have any suggestions on how I might hear Sarah Elizabeth Campbell's Geraldine & Ruthie May, I'm all ears. I'm not familiar with Sarah Elizabeth Campbell, but if you suggest a recording I'll pursue it.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Bert
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 09:17 AM

There's "While London Sleeps" Which I posted to the thread "Tune Up: Fantasy Folk Circle cont'd." last July.

Also, Jimmie Rodgers sang "Hobo Bill".


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Sir
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 09:46 AM

How 'bout one from the musical "Annie"? I'm not sure of the title but it was something like "Thanks alot Herbert Hoover". (Not to get political but it lays a lot of blame at the feet of one man.)


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Susan from California
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 11:31 AM

And what about the one that starts off "I ain't got no home " by Woody Guthrie? I'm not sure of the exact title, can't find the CD (in the car perhaps?) Anyway it starts like this, and it's probably in the database...I don't know how to check there while I'm doing this, sorry!

I ain't got no home,I'm just a ramblin 'round Work when I can get it I roam from town to town


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 01:18 PM

Any of the traditional Beggarman songs would be appropriate. I remember hearing one--the first verse is all that I remember:

Of all the trades in England, the beggin' is the best, For when a beggar's tired, he can sit him down to rest.

CH: Oh a beggin' I will go, oh a beggin' I will go.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 01:22 PM

I just thought of another good one: "In the month of January". A young girl gets pregnant, is abandonned by her lover and her and her baby are made homeless and destitute by her parents.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SIDEWALKS OF THE CITY^^
From: rechal
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 01:23 PM

Lucinda Williams wrote a beautiful song called "Sidewalks of the City" (I think).

As you walk along the sidewalks of the city

You see a man with hunger in his face

And all around you, crumbling buildings and graffiti

As you bend down to tie your shoelace.

Sirens scream, but you don't listen

You have to reach home before night

And now the sun beats down, it makes the sidewalks glisten

And somehow you just don't feel right

Hold me, baby, give me some faith

Let me know you're there, let me touch your face

Give me love, give me grace

Tell me good things, tell me that my world is safe

(I forget the next verse)

A woman stops you with a question

So you drop some money in her hand

She sleeps in doorways and bus stations

And you'll never understand.

Hold me, baby etcetera


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Subject: Lyr Add: GERALDINE AND RUTHIE MAE^^
From: hanrahan
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 03:06 PM

GERALDINE AND RUTHIE MAE
Sarah Elizabeth Campbell
on "A Little Tenderness," Deja Disc Records, San Marcos, TX.

1. Geraldine and Ruthie Mae
They'll be cruising Main today
Through the walkways and alleys in the dawning's cold bluster.
They might find a bite to eat
And a place to rest their feet.
Lord, it seems to take all the strength that they can muster.

CHORUS: I don't want to be like them
When my voice is frail and thin,
Hiding in the shadows at night,
Counting hours 'til it's light.

2. This winter's been a hard one:
Lots of rain and no sun.
Old legs hurt and it's hard to keep them moving.
It's the fourth winter that they've thought
Each other is all they've got,
With their old carts pushed by hands as frail as birds' wings. CHORUS

3. Geraldine and Ruthie Mae,
Going crazier every day,
In a city going full speed around them,
With their bundles and their bags,
Their trinkets and their rags,
In a world going full speed around them. CHORUS

4. Geraldine and Ruthie Mae,
They'll be cruising Main today,
In a word that's going full speed around them.

I believe Sarah hails from Austin where she hosts an open mike consisting of only songs of sorrow and woe. Buy her CD. It's lovely.
hanrahan


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Jack mostly folk
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 03:34 PM

Since "homeless" is an ageless issue I thought of yet another great song about the homeless by John Stewart. Check out "Justiceville" If that one don't get ya right where the blood's pumped, you better see a doctor. It's a new contempory song. John has websites but Clack's Cellar can link you to all of Stewart's sites. John Stewart is Angel Bravo. Check him out.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 05:43 PM

There is also Honky Red, by Murray MacLachlan. He had a hit in Canada in the 1970's.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: judy
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 07:41 PM

How about "Ramblin' Boy","Tramps and Hawkers", "The Rich Man and the Poor Man","The Starving Child (WPA Lullaby)" and "Too Old to Work" in Tom Glazer's Songs of Peace, Freedom and Protest

Plenty of begger's songs: "The Jolly Beggar" Sailor and soldier songs could be thrown in because they often went to sea or war because they had no money. And of course all songs about itinerant workers (harvesters, tinkers and such,

judy


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: BK
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 07:53 PM

The Gordon Lightfoot song is called, as someone surmised, "Home From The Forrest." It's quite a good one, esp for winter, even though the subject has a -presumably cheap- room. If you'd like the words, leave me a message on my personal page (I think that can be done) and I'll dig them up later, or, they might be in the Data base??

Cheers, BK


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Subject: Lyr Add: MORNING GLORY^^
From: dwditty
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 09:10 PM

Tim Buckley's Morning Glory qualifies, I think, from both sides of the coin:

G Cmaj7 I lit my purest candle close to my G Cmaj7 Window, hoping it would catch the eye G Cmaj7 Of any vagabond who passed it by Am C G And I waited in my fleeting house

Before he came I felt him drawing near As he neared I felt the ancient fear That he had come to wound my door, and jeer And I waited in my fleeting house

D C Em Cmaj7 "Tell me stories," I called to the Hobo; D C Em Cmaj7 "Stories of cold," I smiled at the Hobo; D C Em Cmaj7 "Stories of old," I knelt to the Hobo; Am C G And he stood before me in my fleeting house

"No," said the Hobo, "No more tales of time; Don't ask me now to wash away the grime; I can't come in 'cause it's too high a climb," And he walked away from my fleeting house

"Then you be damned!" I screamed to the Hobo; "Leave me alone," I wept to the Hobo; "Turn into stone," I knelt to the Hobo; And he walked away from my fleeting house

Outro: D / / / C / Em / Cmaj7

Also, if you run across an album called "Sin & Soul" by Oscar Brown, Jr.(circa 1960) - pick it up. It is now out on CD. While this stuff is actually classified as jazz, I find it closer to "urban" folk. One song - Somebody Buy Me A Drink - fits this thread nicely.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Barry
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 09:33 PM

dwditty, never new who that was by, or even called (thought it was Cried To The Hobo). Now that I see it, I can still hear the tune, was it done by the Blues Project, I can only remember 1 voice doing it though? Barry


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: leprechaun
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 11:52 PM

Besides "I Ain't Got No Home" another Woodie Guthrie song is "Hard Travelin'" and how about "Old Lone Wolf" and "Blowing Down That Old Dusty Road" and "Ramblin' Round Your City" and "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You" and "Do Re Mi" (If you ain't got the do-re-mi)

A good homeless song from the musical Paint Your Wagon - "I was Born Under a Wandering Star."


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 01:31 AM

I am late to the thread, but surprised no on has mentioned 'Larimer Square' by Utah Phillips, about 'Urban renewal' in Denver...and possibly his 'Yuba City'about the murder of 21 hobo/migrant workers a few years ago.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Barry
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 02:31 AM

Adding more to the list. Highland Clearance - Land Of MacLeod, gypsy life-Thirty Foot Trailer, homeless & missing- Another Man Done Gone, by choice-My Ramblin Boy, friend of the homeless- He Was A Friend Of Mine, orphan & homeless-Motherless Chrildren & Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, between a rock & a tree stump- In The Pines, between a rock & a hard place-Take This Hammer, between a rock & a rail-Waitin For A Train, Down Where The Drunkards Roll, you probaly want to shoot me by now, goodnight- show me the way to go home. Barry


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 03:00 AM

I had to interview a homeless, alcoholic young man at the Union Gospel Mission yesterday. I guess it was the first time I've ever exchanged more than a few words with a homeless person. He was clean and sober when I talked to him, and I liked him a lot. I wondered what will happen when he leaves the mission and goes back into the hard, cold world. Thinking about that almost made me cry.
We need to think when we sing these good songs. These are real people we're singing about.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Bill
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 04:15 AM

Howdy All,

Stephen Foster was mentioned early in the thread. One of his best (in my opinion) that certainly fits in this tread is Hard Times Come Again No More.

Allinkausay,


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Bill
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 04:24 AM

Howdy again,

Just remembered another one involving Stephen Foster. It's Larry Kaplan's "Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts" which can be found in DT. It deals with the events following Stephen's death at Bellevue, and it considers many others who may have had similar situations.

Allinkausay,


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 06:12 AM

Songs about travelling people surely do apply, perhaps some songs about feeing, and songs about the Scottish Highland clearances (Robin Williamson's "Return no more" is a beautiful though recently written example for the last mentioned).
Traveller's songs, i.e. songs collected from travellers' singing, many of them of course about being homeless, can be found in:
E.MacColl, P. Seeger, Traveller's songs from England and Scotland, Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1977
P. Kennedy, Ed., Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, Chapter: Songs of the travelling people.

Martin Ryan has mentioned "Blue tar road". I'll post it in a separate thread.
Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: hanrahan
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 07:24 AM

"Wandering"

hanrahan


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 08:31 AM

WOW! I am overwhelmed - all I needed was three songs about the homeless for a service at our UU church, and there must have been about a hundred mentioned by now. I'm glad I have a couple of months to track them all down and pick the ones that fit best - thanks again, everyone.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Sir
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 06:35 PM

Hey, no one's mentioned "King of the Road". (Woody's "I Ain't Got No Home" is taken from a gospel song "This World Is Not My Home")


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Bruce O.
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 10:57 PM

Song Moira quoted a verse from is in the modern form in a Scots songbook of 1779. Her verse appeared in a play of 1584.

For those and intermediate versions of the song see item ZN2498 in the broadside index at:

www.pbm.com/~lindahl/ballads/17thc_index.html


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Richard
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 11:56 PM

No one seems to have mentioned larry Gatlin's version of Midnight Choir. I worked on Skid Row for a few years and his verse hits home.

Also try Fred J. Eaglesmith's song( can't remember the title. Short, acappela

Last night while walking city streets I came upon me for a dollar for something to eat But I gave him all that I had He mumbled his thanks Then he turned to go And I grabbed him by the arm I said, " mister what's your name?" he just shook his head, no, And he said, "It doesn't matter anymore."

Richard


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Jan 98 - 04:02 AM

I'm surprised nobody mentioned yet The Moving on Song from Ewan MacColl. It is a perfect fit to this thread. You can find it in the database, but if want to listen to it, go this place.
Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Jan 98 - 04:07 AM

...but don't trust the lyrics on that site; the lyrics over here are better...


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 23 Jan 98 - 08:13 AM

What about the song 'Missing You', recorded by Christy Moore, about the experience of an Irishman homeless and out of work in London. Also, along the same lines, is the song 'The Old Main Drag' by Shane MacGowan, recorded by the Pogues on the album Rum, Sodomy and the Lash.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WANDERER'S WARNING^^
From: John Nolan
Date: 23 Jan 98 - 05:29 PM

I once had an old 78rpm called a Hillbilly Mixture, probably from the late '30s on which was a tearjerker call The Wanderer's Warning:
I'm riding along on a freight train
Bound for God only knows where
I left my home just this morning
And my heart is heavy with care
I quarreled with my dear old father
Because of the things I had done
He called me a drunkard and a gambler
Not fit to be called his son

I know my old mother is weeping
Day after day while I'm gone
[Remember he'd only been gone hours]
Hoping and watching and praying
For a son who will never come home
So boys, heed a wanderer's warning
Don't break your poor mother's heart
Always stay near to the fireside
And let nothing tear you apart.
The tune, a bleak, dreary, minor-keyed dirge, has unfortunately haunted me for 40 years.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: rich r
Date: 24 Jan 98 - 12:55 AM

I just looked at this extensive thread and 3 songs popped into my mind without thinking. If I go and think about it the list will probably get longer.

"Coal Tattoo" by Billy Edd Wheeler

"Homeless" by Paul Simon & Ladysmith Black Mambazo

"Homeless Broither" by Don McLean


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Sir
Date: 24 Jan 98 - 08:10 AM

How 'bout "So Long, It's Been Good to Know Ya" - Woody Guthrie


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: BK
Date: 24 Jan 98 - 01:44 PM

Re somedoy - was it Joe? - interviewing a homeless person; I work in a prison... meet people I'd otherwise never know exist... Quite an experience at times.

I'm not sure anybody mentioned "Here's To You Rounders" by Don Lange; a version is in the Data Base. At our UU church the people really responded well to Stan Roger's somewhat unknown "Sailor's Rest." It's about retired sailors in a "rest home;" not really homeless cuz they have a roof and each other, but still..... presumably these retirees don't have involved family any more. It's rather sad, and a damn good song. I like Tom Lewis's version, base mine very losely on that arrangement.

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Ron K
Date: 26 Jan 98 - 08:46 PM

Here's a few more came into my head.

First Christmas by Stan Rogers

Hobo Lullaby


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: BK
Date: 26 Jan 98 - 09:45 PM

Just remembered Paxton's (Can't help but wonder) "Where I'm Bound," and Guthrie's "Plane Wreck At Los Gatos."

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Cyd
Date: 27 Jan 98 - 05:06 PM

There's a very moving and thought-provoking song called The Hobo that Kate Wolf did. It was written by someone else, but you can find the words and music at the memorial website: http://www.katewolf.com/index.html


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Alice
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 01:34 AM

"May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister?". I haven't checked the database to see if it is there. I can post lyrics if it's not. Also, "Bring Me Back My Wandering Boy", "When Work's All Done This Fall", "The Baggage Coach Ahead", "Babes in the Woods", "The Black Sheep", "The Dreary Black Hills", "The Old Chisholm Trail", "Buffalo Skinners", "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prarie", "The Trail to Mexico", and,
"Whoopie Tie Yie Yo"...
last verse
I ain't got no father, I ain't got no mother,
My friends they all left me when first I did roam,
I ain't got no sisters, I ain't got no brothers,
I'm a poor lonesome cowboy, and a long way from home.

alice, in montana


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 03:23 AM

Alice, May I Sleep In Your Barn, Mister isn't in the database yet, but it has been discussed and posted in a couple of threads. Good song.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 07:40 PM

I thought Buffalo Skinners was about cowboys. Isn't that the one about going out on the range of the buffalo?


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From:
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 10:09 PM

You're right Tim. Cowboys were hardly homeless in today's sense. Their home was the ranch, if not there, then their horse and bedroll was considered their home. Wanderer's, laboring for slave wages, yes. But hardly homeless. And if that's the case then most of Alice's songs don't fit, but who really cares. There're good songs.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Sir
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 04:15 PM

Okay, I know it's not folk but there's Charlie Pride's song that starts out: "Is Anybody Going to San Anton'"


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Alice
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 06:25 PM

2nd verse of The Dreary Black Hills
The round house in Cheyenne is filled every night
With loafers and bummers of most every plight
On their backs is no clothes, in their pockets no bills
Each day they keep starting for the Dreary Black Hills.

7th verse of Buffalo Skinners
Oh, it's now we've crossed Pease River and homeward we are bound.
No more in that hell-fired country shall ever we be found.
Go home to our wives and sweethearts, tell others not to go,
For God's forsaken the buffalo range and the damned old buffalo.

That one may be technically about those who are home-sick, not home-less, but I don't think homeless always means unemployed. alice, in mt


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Alice
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 06:45 PM

ooops, don't know how that posted twice. Over the holidays I memorized the two verses I have in an old book of "Home Sweet Home" to sing along with "Auld Lang Syne".. They are both such classics that we think we know them almost too well, but I realized that I had never really paid attention to all of "Home Sweet Home" before.
2nd verse
An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain
Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again.
The birds, singing gaily, that come at my call.
Give me them with the peace of mind, dearer than all.

Then there's that instrument joke... What do you call a bodhran player (banjo player, etc. etc.) without a girlfriend??.......homeless. alice, mt


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From:
Date: 30 Jan 98 - 08:31 AM

I hope I'm not repeating any thing since I haven't read the whole string. I tried .
searching the DT with bum and got 54 hits, and 25 searching on hobo, there may
be a few other things you could search on like homeless, or beggar.

My head is spinning with all the songs that could apply. Two that come to mind.
are This Old Mandolin, which I posted a while back, and a song that tells the
christmas legend in a modern setting that was song by Pete Seager I think, can't .
find it. I refer to it as Savior Too The Poor. I don't know what it should be called.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 01 Feb 98 - 07:03 PM

'Homeless Man' is a very relevant song to this thread. Written circa 1960's by Harry Robinson, it tells the story of homelessness during the Great Depression. I used to sing it 20 odd years ago but have largely forgotten it. Perhaps some other Australians know of it.

Some snippets:

For we've travelled hard these last ten weary years, And my lonely ... have slowly turned to tears, If you think that I'm complaining I can tell you that I'm not, For I know that this is just the drifter's lot.

Many years my home has been the roadside camps, I have starved and sweated on the river banks, And I've fought with fist and feet rough-neck drifters that I meet ....

Regards John

PS I know that it was published in the Australian version of 'Tradition'.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Feb 98 - 09:43 AM

Eric Bogle has sung it too.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 03 Feb 98 - 07:03 PM

Did anyone mention that Jimmie Rodgers song about the hobo?I think it goes like this:

All around the water tank
Waiting for the train
A thousand miles away from home
Sitting in the rain
I walked up to a brakeman
To give him a line of talk
He said if you've got money
I'll see that you don't walk
I haven't got a penny
Not a nickle can I show
Get off, get off, you railroad bum
And he slammed that boxcar door


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 03 Feb 98 - 07:04 PM

Of course, there is always the old classic "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out."


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Art Thieme
Date: 03 Feb 98 - 11:51 PM

I didn't notice "Only A Tramp" listed here. It's a grand old country song by Hazel & Grady Cole as I recall. Many have recorded it. Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Dave L
Date: 03 Feb 98 - 11:52 PM

Two other songs I did not see mentioned--Brother Can you Spare A Dime--and more recently, Gospel according to Luke by Skip Ewing.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Feb 98 - 07:02 AM

John in Brisbane has mentioned and posted a few lines of "Homeless Man". See an extra thred for the complete lyrics.
Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Hilary
Date: 06 Feb 98 - 01:51 PM

Hi, hope I'm not too late to add my 10c worth. 3 songs come to mind immediately. "Mr. Wendell" by Arrested Development, "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson, & "Streets of Philladelphia" by what's his name... that all American guy from New Jersey.:) Check them out.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: GUEST,Arjay
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 05:15 AM

I thought I'd refresh this thread to see if anyone has more to add -- perhaps songs written since the thread was first posted.

Some that seemed to me to be relevant to the category (in addition to The Midnight Choir and Hard Times Come Again No More and Nobody Knows You ...) are

Trudy -David Maloney

There But For Fortune - Phil Ochs

Railroad Lady

Will There Be any Boxcars In Heaven - Jimmie Rodgers

Wabash Cannonball

Waltzing Matilda

Pretty Papers -- Willie Nelson

Here Comes That Rainbow Again -- Kris Kristofferson


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Acorn4
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 04:29 AM

"Someday I'll be Saturday Night" by Bon Jovi hasn't been mentioned yet.

Someday I'll Be Saturday Night

(D)Hey, man I'm alive I'm (G)takin' each day a night at a time
(D)Yes I,m down but somehow I'll get(A7sus) by(A7)
(G)Hey hey hey hey man, I'm going to(A) live my life
Like I(D) ain't got nothing but this (Bm)roll of the dice
I'm(A) feelin' like a Monday but (G)someday I'll be Saturday(D) night

(D)Hey, my name is Jim, where did I go wrong
My(F#m) life's a bargain basement, all the good shit's gone
I (G)just can't hold a job, where do I belong
I'm(D) sleeping in my car, my (A)dreams move(D) on

My(D)name is Billy Jean, my love was bought and sold
I'm(F#m) only sixteen, I feel a hundred years old
My (G)foster daddy went, took my innocence away
The(A) street life aint much better, but at least I get paid

And(Bm) Tuesday just might (G)go my way
It(D) can't get worse than yesterday
(F#m)Thursdays, Fridays ain't been kind
But (Gbar)somehow I'll sur(E)vive

(D)Hey man I'm alive I'm(G) takin' each day a night at a time
(D)Yeah I'm down, but I know I'll get(Asus) by(A)
Hey hey hey(G) hey, man gotta(A) live my life
Like I(D) ain't got nothin' but this(Bm) roll of the dice
I'm(A) feelin' like a Monday, but (G)someday I'll be Saturday(D) night

Now (D)I can't say my name, and tell you where I am
I want to(F#m) roll myself away, don't know if I can
I(Gbar) wish that I could be in some other time and place
With(Abar) someone elses soul, someone elses face

Oh, (Bm)Tuesday just might(G) go my way
It (D)can't get worse than(Dsus)yesterday(D)
(F#m)Thursdays, Fridays ain't been kind
But (Gbar)somehow I'll sur(E)vive

(D)Hey, man I'm alive I'm(G) takin' each day a night at a time
(D)Yeah I'm down, but I know I'll get(Asus) by(A)
(A)Hey hey hey (G)hey, man gotta(A) live my life
I'm gonna(D) pick up all the pieces and what's (Bm)left of my pride
I'm(A) feelin' like a Monday, but(G) someday I'll be Saturday(D) night

Saturday night Here we go

(D)Some day I'll be Saturday(G) night
I'll be (D)back on my feet, I'll be doin' al(G)right
It (D)may not be tomorrow baby, that's OK
I (G)ain't goin' down, gonna (A)find a way, hey hey hey

(D)Hey, man I'm alive I'm(G) takin' each day a night at a time
(D)Yeah I'm down, but I know I'll get(Asus) by(A)
(A)Hey hey hey (G)hey, man gotta(A) live my life
I'm gonna(D) pick up all the pieces and what's (Bm)left of my pride
I'm(A) feelin' like a Monday, but(G) someday I'll be Saturday(D) night


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: open mike
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 07:27 AM

unfortunately the topic is quite a "popular" one-- prolific one.

There is an annual radio program called the Homelessness Marathon.
It is a 14 hour program that airs each year...in Feb. i think...and here are some of the songs I play during it..
Homeless by Lou and Peter Berryman it is on page 4 here
http://www.louandpeter.com/allsdlyr.pdf

Sarah Elizabeth Campbell's song Geraldine and Ruthie Mae can also be
heard on the wonderful Women's Bluegrass Group album Blue Rose

here is a whole long list of songs about homelessness
http://nwfolk.com/songlists/homeless.html

http://www.amazon.com/HOMELESS-AMERICA-Twenty-One-Conscience-Century/dp/B000BGQSZE

here is a touching song on you tube--and many others show up in the
selections...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5Gu1r6A3VE

there is also a christmas song album of songs being sung by homeless
people i can't find it right now...but I'll look for my copy and post]


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: oldhippie
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 03:12 PM

TEARDROPS OF BLOOD
Richard Aberdeen
from the Homeless In America CD mentioned abovve   


      Leroy lives in a cardboard box

      Down by the mission bell

      Where saints refuse to go

      And the sinners wish him well

      Forced to carry his own cross

      While we drive nails in his coffin

      You might say it is routine

      It happens far to often


      A decorated soldier

      Veteran of the war

      Who would've thought that he would be

      Among the sick and poor?

      The preacher-man wags his head

      While the rich man turns away

      His mother looks on weeping

      Teardrops of blood are falling


      Jesus sang a Samaritan song

      Down by the mission bell

      Where saints refused to go

      And the sinners wished him well

      Forced to carry his own cross

      While we drove nails in his coffin

      You might say it was routine

      It happened far to often


      A decorated soldier

      Veteran of the war

      Who would've thought that he would be

      Among the sick and poor?

      The preacher-man wagged his head

      While the rich man turned away

      His mother looked on weeping

      Teardrops of blood were falling


      Leroy lives in a cardboard box

      Down by the mission bell

      Where saints refuse to go

      And the sinners wish him well

      Seems no one down here gives a damn

      Though the stone's been rolled away

      Our father looks on weeping

      Teardrops of blood are falling


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 04:31 PM

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned "Marie" by Townes Van Zandt.

David E.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 04:34 PM

I've certainly missed this thread altogether. They're some great songs posted. I believe I'm posted on a similar thread Charlie King's classic titled "Self-Storage," his alternative low-cost housing song.

Here's another classic from our old friends in the UK:

Words by Hackney & Islington Music Workshop, © 1978
Tune: parody of Fiddler's Green by John Connelly © World March Music Ltd.

New "Fiddler's Green"

Now Fiddler's Green is a place I've heard tell
Where old squatters go if they don't go to hell;
It's where all homeless people find homes, I believe;
There's no locks on the doors because nobody thieves.

Chorus:

Wrap me up with my blanket and crowbar;
No more 'round the squats I'll be seen;
You can tell my old squat mates that I've had my lot, mates,
And I'll see you someday in Fiddler's Green.


There's houses stand empty in Fiddler's Green;
The walls are all dry and the floors are all clean;
You just go to the Council and ask them the way,
And a bailiff comes 'round to make sure you're O.K. (CHO)

All the neighbors rush in with a big pot of tea,
While the meter is fixed by a friendly P.C.;
There's no leaky roofs and there's no leaky bogs,
And there's no nasty callers with Alsatian dogs. (CHO)

Now working for money, of course, it's been banned;
You just take what you need and you do what you can,
And even the babies are learning to see
There's no need to be greedy when everything's free. (CHO)

Now it seems to be homeless these days is a crime;
So I'll pack all my bags and I'll travel through time,
And if all you good people can see what I mean
You may ask what's so strange about Fiddler's Green. (CHO)

Warm regards,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 10:19 AM

Slam poet and alternative hip-hop artist, Saul Williams, uses a song about one form of injustice to address another. In the end isn't all injustice interrelated? A powerful and moving video: Sunday Bloody Sunday


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 04:06 PM

Nobody seems to have mentioned Ian Robb's Homeless Wassail--a particularly good one.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Amergin
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 04:10 PM

On Rick Fielding's album Lifeline he has a cover of Grit Laskin's great song Margins of My Neighbourhood.....


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: GUEST,Wayne, near Baltimore
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 05:16 PM

"Fast Freight" by Terry Gilkyson, recorded by Dave Guard and The Calypsonians and by The Kingston Trio on their first album.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 09:57 PM

Homeless
                      Buddy Tabor, Juneau, Alaska

Fred was a gentle man, he'd never harm a soul
He still could make me laugh in my world that had grown cold
I often think of him, he was my only friend
I never dreamed this was the way that it would finally end

We met at the mission shelter, wondered if things would ever change
At night we slept under the interstate bridge to shelter from the rain
It was three feet tall and you had to kneel on down to crawl back in
But you wouldn't wake up with a knife in your back from someone else's sins

In the day we'd walk the streets begging for spare change
We worked the ATM machine on the corner of Fifth and Main
These kids in fast cars would drive by and call us names
I'd just turn around, flip 'em off and Fred would do the same

    For all have sinned and fallen down, short of God's great glory
    I heard the mission preacher scream it, Amen and Holy, Holy
    The heart is full of wickedness and drowns in its deceit
    And you got to watch each step you take when you're out here on on   the street

Late one night we were heading back to the bridge to get some sleep
We were almost there when this car full of kids came racing down the street
They jumped out of their car with their baseball bats and pellet guns
I dropped my sleeping bag and yelled at Fred, we'd better run

I scrambled up the incline, knelt on down and crawled back in
But Fred had tripped and fallen down. This would be his very end
I heard his screams among their laughter as they broke both of his legs
What seemed like a time of eternity Fred lay on the ground dead

The cops threw Fred in the ambulance like he was just a piece of meat
I heard one laugh and tell another, that's one less bum on the street
The preacher at the mission was unfazed by the news
At the evening service he never mentioned Fred.
My God, what can you do

The city paid and buried Fred deep in a pauper's grave
Those kids were never caught. They slipped the noose, and got away
But me, I bought this gun and now I know what I must do
'Cause it don't matter any more when your life is almost through

    For all have sinned and fallen down, short of God's great glory
    I heard the mission priest scream it, Amen and holy, holy
    The heart is full of wickedness and drowns in its deceit
    And you got to watch each step you take when you're out here on   the street


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: open mike
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 01:40 AM

Stephanie Davis sings a song about Ikey (on her Crocus in the Snow c.d.) he is a homeless vet who scrounges stuff at the dump. He hocks his war medals and the pawn shop displays them in the window as trophies...the Medal of Honor belonged to Sgt. Ike McKay


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Subject: Lyr ADD: Ramblin' after Rain
From: GUEST,Speranzo
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 09:46 AM

RAMBLIN' AFTER RAIN
(Pat DeSimio)

Brightly in the early mornin'
When the golden day is dawnin'
And the birds are callin' -
Tweet-a-cheep, coo, kaw! -
I waken from my muddy bed
To crocuses around my head, oh,
And I leave my toeprints
Right among them a'.

And who am I? Doora-lai-dum, da-dum
Who are you? Doora-lai-dum day.
Thentanai ah thentanadum
Tooralai a' ramblin' after rain.

With me pack upon me back
I wander by the rabbit tracks;
The creatures have a canny knack
To find their way.
The leaves around are wet, and glistening;
As I pass, they each'll kiss me -
Half a thousand sweethearts
Will be mine this day.

An' who am I? Doora-lai-dum, da-dum
Who are you? Doora-lai-dum day.
Thentanai ah thentanadum
Tooralai a' ramblin' after rain.

Now, I've a hearth and I've a home -
It looks much like the world, though,
And all the world in it roams
And roams at will.
Guests'll come, and guests'll go
And some build houses out o' stone
And close out plenty more o' life
Beside the chill.

An' who am I? Doora-lai-dum, da-dum
Who are you? Doora-lai-dum day.
Thentanai ah thentanadum
Tooralai a' ramblin' after rain.

Fare thee well, my friend and brother -
Bless you, and your pleasant chains.
Me, I chose a wilder lover
And I go a'ramblin' after rain.

An' who am I? Doora-lai-dum, da-dum
Who are you? Doora-lai-dum day.
Thentanai ah thentanadum
Tooralai a' ramblin' after rain.

Here's a less socially-conscious (but markedly cheerier) piece in the tradition of "Beggarman".

PD


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 03:24 PM

ROOM FOR THE POOR by Utah Phillips.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Arkie
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 04:15 PM

Shawn Camp sings (sort of)Guy Clark's song, "Homeless" on This One's for Him; Tribute to Guy Clark CD. I think that Camp also was co-producer on the compilation 33 song CD.


Homeless
Lyrics by Guy Clark

Cardboard sign old and bent says 'friend for life 25 cents
When did this start making sense? Man it's really getting cold
Sometimes I forget things and I get confused
I could still be working, but they refuse
Now I'm living with the bums and the whores and the abused, man I hate getting old

Homeless, get away from here
dont give them no money they'll just spend it on beer
Homeless, will work for food, you'll do anything that you gotta do,
when you're homeless.

Betty sings a song that no one hears, as the wind begins to freeze her tears
She says 'God it's been so many years', she's way past complainin
She sings a heartelt melody, one that begs for harmony
No it's not what she thought it would be, but hey it could be rainin

Homeless, get away from here
dont give them no money they'll just spend it on beer
Homeless, will work for food, you'll do anything that you gotta do,
when you're homeless.

You know life ain't easy it takes work, it takes healing cause you're gonna
get hurt
You can lose your faith you can lose your shirt, lose your way sometimes
Ah you never really have control, sometimes you just gotta let it go
When the final line unfolds, it don't always rhyme


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: maeve
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 05:08 PM

Dave Goulder's "Faraway Tom"


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Hoblander
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 05:33 PM

"Rich Man Poor Man" 1964
"Out There" 1964
"Doorways" 1966
above in Forgotten Songs Remembered
"Among The Dazzling Lights" 1964
Unpublished
Graeme Miles, he too has sometimes slept under the lee of a wall.
Kevin


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 09:25 AM

One of my favorite Cicely Fox Smith poems is focused on a "traveller" she encountered while fishing one evening on the Outer Wharf in Victoria, British Columbia, around 1912. In contrast to many of the songs posted above this poem celebrates "homelessness." I adapted her poem for singing and here are the lyrics and notes (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up chords):

Adapted for singing by Charles Ipcar, © 2008
Tune: Charles Ipcar, © 2008

The Traveller

Chorus:

G------C---------------------G------------------C---------------------G
Well, I ain't got folks an' I ain't got money, ain't got nothing at all,
--------C----------------------G-------------------D----------D7---G
Just a queer old thirst that keeps me movin', movin' on till I fall.


G-----------------------------D-----------------------C--------------------G
Now I've loops o' string in-stead o' buttons, I've mostly holes for a shirt;
----C------------------------G-------------------D---------------------D7
My boots are bust an' my hat's a goner, I'm gritty with dust an' dirt;
---------G--------------------D-------------------C---------------------G
But I'm sittin' here on this wharf a-watchin' the China ships go forth,
---------C-----------------G----------------------D----------------D7------G
An' the little black tugs come a-glidin' with timber booms from the North;
C----------------------G---------------C---------------------G
Sittin' and seein' the broad Pacific break at my feet in foam –
C---------------------------G-----------------D-----------------D7--G
Me that was born with a taste for travel, miles an' miles from home. (CHO)

Now they sent me away when I was a nipper to the Board School in the slums,
An' some of them kids was good at spellin', some at figurin' sums;
But whether I went or whether I didn't, they learned me nothing at all,
For I'd be watchin' the flies a-walkin' all over the maps on the wall;
Strollin' over the lakes an' mountains, over the plains an' seas, –
As if they was born with a taste for travel – just the same as me! (CHO)

If I'd been born a rich man's son with lots o' money to burn,
It wouldn't ha' gone for marble mansions an' oriental urns;
I'd be sailin' in rakish yachts or rolling in plush Pullman cars, –
I've seen 'em yachts a-lyin' at anchor, night-time under the stars;
I'd ha' paid my fare where I've beat my way (but I wouldn't ha' liked it more!),
Me that was born with a taste for travel – the same if you're rich or poor. (CHO)

Now I've beat the ties an' rode the bumpers from sea to shinin' sea,
An' I've work'd like a Turk down in the stokehold, dined off duff an' tea;
An' many's the time I've been short o' shelter, an' many's the time o' grub,
But I got away from the rows o' houses, the streets, an' the corner pub;
So here by the side of a sea that's shinin' under a sky like flame –
Me that was born with a taste for travel, need no other claim. (CHO)

Notes:

From Sailor Town: Sea Songs and Ballads, edited by Cicely Fox Smith, published by George H. Doran Co., New York, US, © 1919, pp. 120-122. First appeared in Songs in Sail published by Elkin Mathews, © 1914.

The poet describes this "traveller" in more detail in Sailor-Town Days, © 1923, p. 170:

"The Pacific coast is a great place for rolling stones of every sort and description. I remember meeting what I should say was the very perfection of the type. He was sitting on the edge of the Outer Wharf — it was in Victoria (BC) — on a sort of coaming that runs along the edge, very comfortable to sit on, though given to exuding tar in very hot weather. His coat — I don't think there was a shirt underneath — was fastened together with string, being innocent of buttons. His knee showed through his trousers. His boots were ruins. But he spoke with the unmistakable accents of cultivation."

This poem was first adapted for singing by Charles Ipcar in 2008, as recorded on Sailortown Days, © 2009.

And here is a link to a MP3 sample of how it's sung: click here for MP3 sample!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Elmore
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 10:12 AM

The Family Car by Lou and Peter Berryman. God, I wish I could type. I'd give you the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 08:26 AM

Elmore-

"The Family Car" is certainly another tongue in cheek classic from the Barrymans.

A lot of the songs mentioned above, composed for amusement or shock, reflect a grim reality where people are actually living in their family cars, or in rental storage units, or huddled in blankets over heating grates in major cities.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: open mike
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 11:53 AM

The Berrymans have a song called Homeless..

there is a radio show http://news.homelessnessmarathon.org/
that airs each winter that focusses on the homeless

I have a recording of christmas songs done by homeless people
(not sure of the title or record company)

here are some links:

this one from Nashville looks most interesting...
http://www.amazon.com/HOMELESS-AMERICA-Twenty-One-Conscience-Century/dp/B000BGQSZE

http://www.songfacts.com/category-songs_about_homelessness_or_desperation.php

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070831170952AAh73m0


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Subject: RE: Songs about the homeless
From: Newport Boy
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 04:21 AM

There was another thread on this topic 2 years ago, and I posted a song from the 1966 BBC drama by Ken Loach "Cathy Come Home". It's still the most powerful song about homelessness that I know.
Click here


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