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Chords: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)

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SIXTEEN TONS


Related threads:
Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis) (18)
Lyr Req: Sixteen Tons - parodies (45)
Number nine coal? (48)
(origins) Origins: Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis?) (56)
Lyr Req: Forty-Two Kids (parody of Sixteen Tons) (13)
Lyr Req: Sixteen Stone (30)
Lyr Req: Sixteen Tons (22)
Lyr Req: Sixteen Stone (10) (closed)


GUEST,Harry F. 14 Jun 00 - 03:09 PM
Pene Azul 14 Jun 00 - 03:21 PM
Gary T 14 Jun 00 - 03:36 PM
Marion 15 Jun 00 - 09:36 AM
Marion 15 Jun 00 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Harry F 15 Jun 00 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,PAH 23 Aug 01 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,PAH 23 Aug 01 - 03:54 PM
Lin in Kansas 23 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM
Tiger 23 Aug 01 - 06:02 PM
Gary T 23 Aug 01 - 06:03 PM
Abuwood 24 Aug 01 - 04:30 AM
pavane 24 Aug 01 - 04:32 AM
SharonA 24 Aug 01 - 10:07 AM
Genie 24 Aug 01 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,genie 03 Sep 01 - 11:40 PM
JudeL 04 Sep 01 - 06:35 AM
mkebenn 19 Jun 05 - 12:46 PM
Peace 19 Jun 05 - 02:44 PM
mkebenn 19 Jun 05 - 02:48 PM
Peace 19 Jun 05 - 02:58 PM
mkebenn 19 Jun 05 - 03:39 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 19 Jun 05 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,easy money 08 Aug 10 - 06:11 PM
Genie 09 Aug 10 - 04:47 PM
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Subject: Sixteen tons a.k.a Company Store
From: GUEST,Harry F.
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 03:09 PM

I have the lyrics to this song but try as I might I just can't figure out the chords. Can anybody help???? I'd really appreciate it!!

Harry


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen tons a.k.a Company St
From: Pene Azul
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 03:21 PM

You can get them here (click).

PA


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Subject: Chords Add: SIXTEEN TONS
From: Gary T
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 03:36 PM

I have heard this done with a lot more chord changes, but I felt that it sounded too busy and detracted from the song's quiet strength. I believe I saw something "official" (sheet music, etc.) that showed it like this. This is how I do it and I think the chords work great.

       Em                  Em                     
Some people say a man is made outa mud
Em Em
A poor man's made outa muscle 'n blood...
Em Am
Muscle an' blood an' skin an' bone
B7 Em
A mind that's weak and a back that's strong
Em Em
cho: You load sixteen tons an' whaddya get?
Em Em
Another day older an' deeper in debt
Em Am
Saint Peter doncha call me 'cause I can't go
B7 Em
I owe my soul to the company sto'


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Subject: Chords Add: SIXTEEN TONS
From: Marion
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 09:36 AM

These are the chords I use (from Rise Up Singing):

verse:
Em Em C B7
Em Em C B7
Em Em Am Am
Em Em Em B7 (the B7 is only on the word strong)

chorus:
Em Em C B7
Em Em C B7
Em Em Am Am
Em Em C B7

I find that they work well and are all easy (I don't play F or Dm unless I really have to), but it's quite low and I need to capo it up.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen tons a.k.a Company St
From: Marion
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 09:39 AM

Whoops... that last line is wrong. The last line of the chorus is either Em C B7 Em or Em Em B7 Em; I can't remember which I play. It definitely doesn't end on B7 though.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen tons a.k.a Company St
From: GUEST,Harry F
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 01:25 PM

And again the mudcatters come through!! Thanks for all of the responses!!!

Harry


    Threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: GUEST,PAH
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 03:46 PM

Actually I don't need the lyrics, I have those (they're in the DT) but the chord changes have me stumped. I don't have a recording of the song to get them from, if I did, I wouldn't have to ask. I just have a melody line in my head. Anyway, can someone help me out on this one?

Thanks PAH


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: GUEST,PAH
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 03:54 PM

My apologies, I searched previous threads and came up with a couple possibilities. I'll check them when I'm next to my guitar and not at work. I seem to remember a running baseline which I'll try with these chords and get back to y'all. Sorry for the extra thread, may not have been necessary.

PAH


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM

PAH:

You can download a midi of Sixteen Tons from here.

Just in case you'd like to have something to strum along with...

Lin


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: SIXTEEN TONS
From: Tiger
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 06:02 PM

Here are the chords the way I do it.

Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford Written by Merle Travis Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA, Aug 8, 1946, Released as Capitol 48001, 1947

  INTRO    

Em D C7 B7
Em D C7 B7

Em D C7 B7
Some people say a man is made outta mud.

Em D C7 B7
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood,

Em Am
Muscle and blood and skin and bones,

Em B7
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong.

CHORUS (each stanza)

Em D C7 B7
You load sixteen tons, what do you get?

Em D C7 B7
Another day older and deeper in debt.

Em Am
St. Peter, don't you call me, 'cause I can't go,

Em B7 Em
I owe my soul to the company store.

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine.
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine.
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal,
And the straw boss said, "Well, a-bless my soul."

I was born one mornin', it was drizzling rain,
Fightin' and trouble are my middle name.
I was raised in the canebreak by an ol' mama lion,
Cain't no high-toned woman make me walk the line.

If you see me comin', better step aside.
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died.
One fist of iron, the other of steel,
If the right one don't a-get you then the left one will.


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Subject: Chords Add: SIXTEEN TONS
From: Gary T
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 06:03 PM

I've heard it done with a chord change just about every word. Way to busy for my taste.

Here's how I do it:

       Em                  Em                
Some people say a man is made outa mud
Em Em
A poor man's made outa muscle 'n blood...
Em Am
Muscle an' blood an' skin an' bone
B7 Em
A mind that's weak and a back that's strong
I've seen the sheet music, and as I recall it stays on Em until the word "back". My ear hears chord changes before that, but I think I tried it the "official" way once and thought it would be okay.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: Abuwood
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 04:30 AM

Have you seen the Parody for age Ladies - 16 stone?


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: pavane
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 04:32 AM

If you have a MIDI, you can use my program MIDI Chords to find the chords (As previously mentioned!). This one isn't free, because I wrote it for a MIDI file supplier, but it is a very reasonable price and can be downloaded from Hands-on MIDI . (I am currently preparing a better version, but that's not yet ready.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: SharonA
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 10:07 AM

Also, there are several parodies of the song in Áine's Mudcat Songbook (see the Quick Link in the pop-up box at top of this page).


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: Genie
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 08:11 PM

The Tennessee Ernie version can be done well with the chords posted by Gary, above. The Weavers' version is less 'minor' and sounds more like a common blues progression (different chords).


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: GUEST,genie
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 11:40 PM

Gary, I tried singing the Tennessee Ernie tune to the more elaborate chord progression, (Em, Em, C [or Am], B7, etc.).

It can be done -- i.e., the chords do fit --, but that chord progression tends to make you want to change the tune to the one the Weavers sing.

Especially when doing it in a jam session, it seems to work better to apply "Ockham's Razor," as it were, and just use Em the chords you posted. In this case, "Keep [the chords] simple, sweetie, " seems to apply.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: JudeL
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 06:35 AM

Liz the Squeek posted the words to the parody "16 stone" and did a clicky to them in May this year
Jude


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: mkebenn
Date: 19 Jun 05 - 12:46 PM

I know this is an old thread, but I did a search before I asked my question. I know Ford's version of course, and I have the Weaver's, but how did Merle write it? thanks, Mike


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: Peace
Date: 19 Jun 05 - 02:44 PM

4.    Sixteen Tons For Tenor And Two Bass Vocals

   
Our Price £1.20   



The late forties and early fifties saw Merle Travis come to fame with one of his most popular tunes, 'Sixteen Tons.' This arrangement is for one tenor and two bass vocals.


THE ABOVE IS FROM A GOOGLE OF

sixteen tons, sheet music

So, in answer to your question, I'd say yes, he did write it.

BM


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: mkebenn
Date: 19 Jun 05 - 02:48 PM

Sorry,Brucie, you missunderstood. Did he write it as Ford sings it or as Pete does with the Weavers. They sound like two different songs. Mike


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: Peace
Date: 19 Jun 05 - 02:58 PM

My apologies to you, mkebenn. I did misunderstand. Excuse me. I will go dig. Could be a day or two.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: mkebenn
Date: 19 Jun 05 - 03:39 PM

No apology needed. I could buy the damn thing too, I do have him doing "Dark as a Dungeon", and that's great. Thanks again, Mike


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Subject: Chords Add: SIXTEEN TONS
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 19 Jun 05 - 04:13 PM

I do it in D minor. You can use the C and B flat in place of the D minor seventh and sixth: the bass walkdown remains the same


Dm    Dm7    Dm6    A7       (OR    Dm    C    Bb    A7)
Dm    Dm7    Dm6    A7
Dm    Dm7    Dm6    G
Dm    -      Am    Dm


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Subject: RE: Chords: Sixteen Tons (Company Store)
From: GUEST,easy money
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 06:11 PM

And (IMHO) the winner is Jeremiah. He hears it the same way that I do. I'm listening to the Tennessee Ernie version, don't know about the Weavers. You definitely don't hold on a 1 chord for the first two lines of the verse. As I say MHO.


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Subject: RE: Chords: Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis)
From: Genie
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 04:47 PM

I prefer the simpler chord version, but I change from Em to Am (and back more often). To me, it's the use of that 7th chord at the end of each of the first two lines that tends to make people sing the tune like The Weavers do instead of the way Tennessee Ernie and Merle Travis sang it.

IIRC, The Weavers (at least someone in the group) go up 1 step on the last note (word) of each of the first two lines of the verse, and that's the way nearly everyone sings it when I hear it done in song circles with the chords Jeremiah or Tiger posted. (The 7th tends to "call for" that.)   But Merle Travis and Tennessee Ernie either stay on the same note or go down about 3 steps on that last note of those two lines, and I think that tune fits the feeling of the lyrics better.   That's why I don't use a 7th except as the first chord in the last line of each verse and the chorus.


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