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Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom

Seasta 25 Aug 01 - 11:33 AM
Joe Offer 25 Aug 01 - 05:13 PM
Jim Dixon 26 Jan 02 - 09:22 PM
sed 07 Mar 07 - 02:04 PM
BTMP 07 Mar 07 - 05:10 PM
sed 08 Mar 07 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,Guest:: Thumb pick 08 Mar 07 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,bama bill 25 Jul 08 - 02:39 PM
sed 21 Aug 08 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,Jammer 30 Dec 08 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,tpmetp 14 Jan 09 - 09:40 AM
Jim Dixon 15 Jan 09 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,tpmetp 24 Jan 09 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Jay Hirschi 26 Feb 12 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Ned Netterville 09 Mar 12 - 04:38 PM
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Subject: Big Jim Folsom
From: Seasta
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 11:33 AM

I'm not sure of the title and I can only remember what I think are the first and last verses. Can anyone help?

Big Jim Folsom?
1st?
She was poor but she was honest
Victim of a rich man's whim
When she met that country gentleman Big Jim Folsom
And she had a child by him.

last?
Now the moral of this story (story, story)
Is don't ever take a ride
With that ____ country gentleman Big Jim Folsom
And you'll be a virgin bride.

I think the tune is probably that of the traditional "She was poor, but she was honest" and I think the chorus may be the same:

It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor what gets the blame;
It's the rich what gets the pleasure;
Ain't it all a bleedin' shame?

Thanks. Seasta


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 05:13 PM

Hmmm. Don't know the song, but I found an interesting article about Big Jim Folsom here (click).
-Joe-


Some who were there recall Big Jim Folsom's 1946 campaign for governor
By Larry R. Brown
Special to THE DAILY

THE STRAWBERRY PICKERS: "Big Jim" Folsom's 1946 campaign for Governor of Alabama -- the Music, the Politics and the People Involved, by Roy Baham, Jamelle Folsom and E. Jimmy Key. Nashville: Southern Arts, 217 pages, hardcover.
The year 1946 was an exciting time in Alabama. World War II had ended the year before and the campaign to elect a new governor began in March of that year. The field in the Democratic primary was crowded, and among the hopefuls was a salesman from Cullman County. Jim Folsom had no money and was outside the Alabama political mainstream. What he did have was an excellent grassroots organization and political savvy.

Early in the campaign Folsom came up with two gimmicks that worked well for him. The first was hiring a country band to help draw crowds to his speeches. They were the Strawberry Pickers and were made up of Alabama musicians, most from Cullman County.

Folsom needed a way to raise money for everyday expenses and he traveled the state and gave five to 10 speeches a day. His answer was the "suds bucket." He would provide the mop to clean out Montgomery, he said, and the people would provide the suds. The "suds bucket" was passed around every speech.

Folsom was a politician of populist sentiment. If elected, he promised to pave farm-to-market roads so farmers could easily get their crops to market in the towns and cities. He also promised to repeal the poll tax that kept poor people from voting.

Folsom began his campaign far behind in the field of candidates, but as the weeks went by, the crowds got larger and his popularity increased. This development was closely watched by the gambling interests of Phenix City and they determined to stop the Folsom campaign surge.

The gambling interests failed and Folsom led the field by 15,000 votes after the primary. There would be a runoff. The other man in the runoff was Handy Ellis, the establishment candidate. Danger lay ahead for Folsom as an attempt was made on his life. It too, failed. Folsom would not be denied and he won the election by a 2 to 1 margin. During this time, Alabama Republicans were dead in the water and Folsom became governor of Alabama. It should be mentioned that the 38-year-old Folsom, a widower with two young daughters, found the time to fall in love during the campaign and he would later marry Jamelle Moore. He met her on one of his campaign stops. She was 17.

This book is written in a folksy, down-home style, much like "Big Jim" himself, by people who were there when Folsom ran his successful campaign for governor.

Jamelle Folsom is his widow and Jimmy Key was one of three brothers who were members of the Strawberry Pickers.

I consider this a must-read book for anyone interested in the history of Alabama. You won't find it at most bookstores, but it can be ordered from the publisher at PO Box 121656, Nashville TN 37212.


THE DECATUR DAILY
201 1st Ave. SE
P.O. Box 2213
Decatur, Ala. 35609


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jan 02 - 09:22 PM

I found this at the Gamble Rogers Memorial Foundation web site.

    But there ain't nobody so colorful in the annals of southern political history as Kissin' Christian Gentleman Big Jim Folsom of the sovereign state of Alabama. Now when Jim Folsom declared his intention to capture the democratic nomination for governor, all of his political detractors went out trying to dig up some sort of scurrilous misinformation - with which they could besmirch his pristine public image. They had only to go so far as the sylvan burg of Coleman, Alabama, where they found irrefutable evidence of some non-domestic peccadilloes - that had been orchestrated by the good gentleman during one of his carnal rampages in the vicinity. They wrote their findings up in the form of a polemical ballad and chose for the tune a traditional heir [sic – I think they meant "air" –JD] from an English Sea Chantey. A melody that was so catchy that their little track became an instant hit - raged over the face of Alabama and was sung at every street corner and college campus. Jim Folsom being nobody's fool appropriated this song as his official campaign song and swept to victory with his supporters chanting the very words of this song.

This led me to hope that Gamble Rogers had recorded the song, but apparently he didn't.

Also, there was a documentary film called Big Jim Folsom: The Two Faces of Populism, but I haven't been able to find out whether the film contains the song.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIG JIM FOLSOM
From: sed
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 02:04 PM

She was poor but she was honest,
no victim of a rich man's whim
till she met that southern gentleman, Big Jim Folsom
and she had a child by him.

Chorus:
   It's the rich what gets the glory;
   it's the poor what gets the blame;
   it's the same the whole world over, over, over;
   it's a dirty gosh darn shame.

Now he sits in Governor's Mansion
makin' laws for all mankind
while she walks the streets of Cullman, Alabama
selling grapes from her grapevine. (to chorus)

The moral of this story
is don't ever take a ride
with Alabama's Christian gentleman Big Jim Folsom
and you'll be a virgin bride. (to chorus)



I may have misremembered some of it but that's basically the way I sing it.

I liked Big Jim. He and his wife treated me well when I visited them at their home in Cullman. He telephone my grandmother (who was in Memphis, TN) while I was visiting. Jim and my grandmother (both of Elba, Alabama) were about the same age and he wanted to speak with his childhood friend, "Miss Liz," he called her. I think that was in the mid to late 1980's. She died in 1990 and he around the same time.

Is the song true? How would I know? My mother and great aunt loved to sing it when they were "feeling good."

Steve Sedberry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: BTMP
Date: 07 Mar 07 - 05:10 PM

As a native of Cullman, Alabama I recall stories when I was in high school that a woman from Hanceville, just south of Cullman but within Cullman County, reportedly had a child by Big Jim. What made this situation more embarrassing was that the woman named the child Jack Folsom, the same name as Big Jim's legitimate son. Legitimate Jack passed away not long ago, and Jim Folsom, Jr. is presently the Lieut. Governor of Alabama. -btmp


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIG JIM FOLSOM
From: sed
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 11:12 AM

Last night I remembered that the first two lines of the last verse are slightly different. It should be:

BIG JIM FOLSOM

She was poor but she was honest,
no victim of a rich man's whim
till she met that southern gentleman, Big Jim Folsom
and she had a child by him.

Chorus:
It's the rich what gets the glory;
it's the poor what gets the blame;
it's the same the whole world over, over, over;
it's a dirty gosh darn shame.

Now he sits in Governor's Mansion
makin' laws for all mankind
while she walks the streets of Cullman, Alabama
selling grapes from her grapevine. (to chorus)

So, young ladies, take a warning
and don't ever take a ride
with Alabama's Christian gentleman Big Jim Folsom
and you'll be a virgin bride. (to chorus)



PS There must be other verses as well and I sure hope someone will post them. I think I remember that Hanceville, AL connection also.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIG JIM COLSON (Tompall Glaser)
From: GUEST,Guest:: Thumb pick
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 11:43 AM

Fascinating.
I know of a song written by Tompall Glaser (possibly with Harlan Howard, not sure) called Big Jim Colson and recorded by Bobby Bare as Big Ben Colson.

The lyrics (is it OK to quote 'em?)as I recall

BIG JIM COLSON
(Tompall Glaser)

She was young and she was pretty,
A victim of a rich man's whim
When she feel in love with a wealthy gentleman, Big Jim Colson
and she had a child by him.

Big Jim promised her a wedding
That would give the child a name
But she waited at the altar 'til the sun set
But her Big Jim never came

Chorus:
Now the old folks whisper
Around her in shame
And the kids all taunt her
And call her names
But she's not a bad girl, didn't do no wrong
She just loved the wrong man much too strong.

Now he sits in the legislature
And the wealthy ladies all love his charms
While she waits in a lonely shack in Alabama
With his baby in her arms.

All you little young girls, better take a warning
From these sad words that I speak
And if you fall in love with a man who doesn't want you
Best you kiss him only one one cheek.

chorus

I've been singing this for years without realising there was an earlier song on which it was so obviously modelled. Now I have a problem - still with the words I know or learn the 'old' ones.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: GUEST,bama bill
Date: 25 Jul 08 - 02:39 PM

Big J's campaign song was "Ya'll Come"
I can only rmember the refain would like to get the rest of the words. The refrain is:

Y'all come, Ya'll come.
Y'all come to see us when you kin (can)
Y'all come, Y'all come.
Y'all come to see us now and then.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: sed
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 04:36 PM

There's also an old Scottish or maybe British music hall song that has similar lyrics, probably far pre-dating the Alabama story. Seems like "same" is therein spelled and pronounce "syme."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: GUEST,Jammer
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 09:03 PM

This is the version sung by the lawyers at my firm many years ago, accompanied by much liquor and cheer:

She was poor, but she was honest,
Victim of a rich man's whim,
When she met the honorable Governor, Big Jim Folsom
And she bore a child by him.

Now he sits in the legislature
Making laws for all mankind,
while she walks the streets of Cullman, Alabama
selling chunks of her behind.

Now its the rich that get the glory,
Its the poor that get the blame,
It's the same the whole world over,
It's a crying, Goddam shame!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: GUEST,tpmetp
Date: 14 Jan 09 - 09:40 AM

There are two other songs regarding Big Jim. These two were done durying his '62 campaign. I have both of these on 45 rpm record.
The Ballad of Big Jim Folsom(to the tune of 'Big John')
Big Jim Folsom's Gonna Be That Man Again

in the '46 campaign, there is a 78 rpm record recorded. (though it may have been during the '54 campaign)
I saw a photo of it in a website that the writer (Bob Ingram?) donated to the Alabama Archives(please correct me if i'm wrong on these facts).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Jan 09 - 11:22 AM

The Online 78-rpm Discography Project lists a song called BIG JIM BLUES, recorded by Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy, a jazz band, on 11/15/39, released as Decca 2915b. It was written by Mary Lou Williams and Harry Lawson, who were members of the band. The A side was I DON'T STAND A GHOST OF A CHANCE.

I doubt that this has any connection to Big Jim Folsom, but it's the only 78-rpm record I could find with a title containing "Big Jim" or "Folsom" (other than FOLSOM PRISON BLUES).

Maybe the record you refer to was privately made, and not released by one of the major record labels, and consequently didn't find its way into the discography.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: GUEST,tpmetp
Date: 24 Jan 09 - 07:43 AM

I found the items regarding music and songs about Big Jim Folsom
The items were donated by Ralph Hammond and are located in the William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library at the University of Alabama.
There was an online photo of some of the items which included a 78 rpm record called 'Big Jim' on Republic record label.

the article:
Hammond Donates Folsom
Memorabilia
Among the William Stanley Hoole Special Col-
lections Library's recent donations is an addition
to the Ralph Hammond Papers. Ralph Ham-
mond earned a degree in political science from
The University of Alabama where he also stud-
ied literature and poetry. He later attended
Oxford University. Hammond served in the
United States Army as a war correspondent in
Europe during World War II. After the war,Ham-
mond was Alabama Governor James "Big Jim"
Folsom's press secretary, 1946-1950, and Fol-
som's executive secretary, 1955-1959.
Continuing his political career, Hammond
served as mayor of Arab, Alabama from 1963 to
1969.
His most recent donation to Hoole Library
includes materials he created and gathered dur-
ing his service to Governor Folsom. Folsom's
campaigns were known for their lively, down-
home atmosphere complete with country
bands,and Hammond's donation includes sheet
music and recordings of the song "Big Jim Fol-
som." The collection contains a variety of
campaign items such as postcards, pamphlets,
and photographs. Along with campaign materi-
al,the donation includes correspondence,short
story manuscripts, published works, speeches
delivered by Folsom, newspaper clippings,
magazine articles, photographs, and state
memorabilia.
Throughout his adult life Hammond has pur-
sued his interest in writing, producing over
5,000 poems and publishing numerous works,
including My GI Aching Back, Antebellum
Mansions of Alabama, and Crossing Many
Rivers. In 1992 he received double honors
when Livingston University,nowThe University
of West Alabama,awarded him an honorary doc-
tor of letters degree and Governor Guy Hunt
appointed him poet laureate of the state of
Alabama,a position he held until 1995.
Through the years Hammond has donated
numerous items to University Libraries. In 1995
he donated to Hoole Library manuscripts of his
poems, research materials, and photographs
used in his 1951 work Antebellum Mansions of
Alabama, working files of a book he edited,
Alabama Poets: A Contemporary Anthology,
6
Library Horizons
Items from the Ralph Hammond Collection

Library Horizons
7
and portrait studies of Governor James Folsom.
Donnelly Lancaster, archival access
coordinator,William Stanley Hoole Special
Collections Library


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: GUEST,Jay Hirschi
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 11:03 PM

She was sweet and she was pretty
Victim of a rich man's whim
Took a ride with that country gentleman, Big Jim Folsom
And she had a child by him

It's the rich who get the glory
It's the poor who get the blame
It's the same the whole world over
It's a gosh darned crying shame

Now he sits in legislature
Making laws for all mankind
While she walks the streets of Cullman, Alabama
Selling chunks of her behind

Chorus

Now the moral of this sad story
Is to never take a ride
With that no good country Gentleman Big Jim Folsom
And you'll be a virgin bride

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Big Jim Folsom
From: GUEST,Ned Netterville
Date: 09 Mar 12 - 04:38 PM

She was poor but she was purty, purty, purty
Victim of a rich man's whim
When she met that country gentleman Big Jim Folsom and she had a child by him.

Now he sits in the legislature, slature, slature
Makin laws for all mankind,
While she roams the streets of Cullman, Alabama selling shares of her behind.

Its the rich that gets the glory, glory, glory
It's the poor what gets the blame,
It's the same the whole world over, over, over
It's a gol darn dirty shame

So the moral of the story is to never take a ride
With that no-good country gentleman Big Jim Folsom
And you'll be a virgin bride, a virgin bride.


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