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Origin: Workin' on the Building/Working on a....

Rex 30 Aug 01 - 12:17 PM
IanC 30 Aug 01 - 12:28 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Aug 01 - 12:52 PM
Sorcha 30 Aug 01 - 12:57 PM
MMario 30 Aug 01 - 12:59 PM
wysiwyg 30 Aug 01 - 01:17 PM
wysiwyg 30 Aug 01 - 01:20 PM
masato sakurai 30 Aug 01 - 01:34 PM
wysiwyg 30 Aug 01 - 01:45 PM
Charley Noble 30 Aug 01 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Rex at work 03 Sep 01 - 01:24 PM
wysiwyg 03 Sep 01 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 04 Sep 01 - 01:57 AM
Joe Offer 04 Sep 01 - 03:28 AM
Rex 04 Sep 01 - 01:37 PM
wysiwyg 04 Sep 01 - 01:58 PM
Rex 05 Sep 01 - 09:18 AM
wysiwyg 05 Sep 01 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Bob 15 Nov 02 - 04:49 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Nov 02 - 04:53 PM
Steve Latimer 16 Nov 02 - 10:08 AM
masato sakurai 16 Nov 02 - 11:27 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 16 Nov 02 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Richie 16 Nov 02 - 07:19 PM
masato sakurai 16 Nov 02 - 07:53 PM
Merritt 16 Nov 02 - 08:09 PM
Genie 16 Jan 03 - 04:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Nov 08 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,VOlgadon 13 Nov 08 - 04:11 AM
TinDor 03 Feb 09 - 01:17 PM
open mike 03 Feb 09 - 02:55 PM
clueless don 04 Feb 09 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Shea 22 Feb 11 - 06:23 PM
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Subject: Working on a Building history
From: Rex
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 12:17 PM

I'm working on a building, for my Lord, for my Lord. The prefixes don't fit this. I have the lyrics. What I'm looking for is when this might have been written and who has recorded it. I should know where to find these things but I can't recall where to look. Any insight would be sure appreciated.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: IanC
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 12:28 PM

Well, a Google search (or Webferret, which I use) will get you references to versions by Grateful Dead, Marley's Ghost and The Carter Family. You might want to try looking through the sheet music sites (I don't know if it would be old enough for Levy or The Library of Congress site) for any reference. Of course, you should start by doing a Digitrad and Forum Search!!!

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 12:52 PM

The best version I've heard was by The Cowboy Junkies!


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 12:57 PM

Nothing turns up about history, though. Just Trad.


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: MMario
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 12:59 PM

the "help" prefix certainly wouldn't have been wrong.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'M WORKIN' ON THE BUILDIN'^^
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 01:17 PM

But Mmario, wouldn't that just bring out the Sawzalls? (And is that a fiddle band?)

I have it in the book of spirituals I have been studying, so.... either it always was one, or it was borrowed and made one. The title I have is "I'm Workin' on the Buildin'."

It's ripe for additional or floating verses, but this is what I have on it.

~Susan

=========================================

I'M WORKIN' ON THE BUILDIN'

LEADER (use as CHO):
I'm workin' on the buildin' for my Lord, for my Lord, for my Lord,
I'm workin' on the buildin' for my Lord...
Working' on the buildin' too.

VERSES:
If I was a sinner, I tell you what I would do,
I'd throw away my sinful ways
An' work on the buildin' too.

If I was a dancer, I tell you what I would do,
I'd throw away my dancin' shoes
An' work on the buildin' too.

If I was a gambler, I tell you what I would do,
I'd throw away my gamblin' dice
An' work on the buildin' too.

SOURCE:
American Negro Songs, John W. Work, Dover Publications.

SH ^^


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 01:20 PM

Maybe if Joe harvests this he'll put in the double line break I missed between verses, too.

~S~


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Subject: Lyr Add: WORKIN' ON THE BUILDING
From: masato sakurai
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 01:34 PM

Charles K. Wolfe says in notes to The Carter Family: Longing for Old Virginia (Rounder CD):

Another "Holiness song" [in addition to "Hello Central, Give Me heaven"] was "I'm Working on a Building," still current in gospel repertoires today.

And there's a song "WORKIN' ON THE BUILDING" recorded in Odum & Johnson, The Negro and His Songs (1925, p. 72). This seems to be related:

If I wus a sinner man, I tell you what I'd do,
I'd lay down all my sinful ways an' work on the building too.

I'm workin' on the building fer my Lord,
Fer my Lord, fer my Lord,
I'm workin' on the building fer my Lord,
I'm workin' on the building, too.

If I wus a gamblin' man, I tell you what to do,
I'd lay down all my gamblin', an' work on the building, too.

If I was a 'ho'-munger, I tell you what to do,
I'd lay down all my munglin' and work on the building, too.

Masato


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 01:45 PM

Munglin'! I love it!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 03:46 PM

This may be the base for an organizing song of the same title that folklorist John Greenway recorded in the early 1960's on one of his albums which I've never found more than the title for. Bob Bolton was helping me search for this by sifting his Australian archives. Anyone have a clue to the Greenway version?

Landlady's Daughter, not to be confused with Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: GUEST,Rex at work
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 01:24 PM

I'm back to work. Thanks for all the replies. First of all, let me say I never put in an inquiry without first consulting the Digital Tradition. (don't look for songs without it!) Then I search the forum. Secondly, the "help" prefix would have been appropriate. Hopefully I'll remember that next time. I didn't think it old enough to be on the Levy or L.O.C. sites but after the suggestion checked them anyway. Nope, t'ain't there. Either of the sites. Thanks for the words from John W. Work's book to WYSIWYG. Another reason for me to get a copy of it. That alone makes it earlier than I thought. Also thanks to Masato for the similar words and and a source with a date. Ya know? I think I have that book. Time to go hunting in another direction. Thanks to you all for the help. If I dig up anything more I'll post it.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 02:09 PM

Might want to check here too:

negrospirituals.com.

Your item isn't there, but a lot of good info is.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 01:57 AM

John Fogerty recorded this on his "Blue Ridge Rangers" album in 1973. It's been reissued on CD. He must still like the song as he performed it live on his "Premonition" tour three years ago. I believe the Hotmud Family used to do it as well, but would have to check to be sure.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WORKING ON A BUILDING
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 03:28 AM

You'll find a long list of recordings of the song on this page (click). My favorite is the one by Marley's Ghost.

Here are the lyrics from the Marley's Ghost Album How Can I Keep on Singing You can download an MP3 here (click). This is one wonderful CD. Great a cappella harmonies.

-Joe Offer-


WORKING ON A BUILDING

(Chorus)
I'm working on a building, I'm working on a building,
I'm working on a building for my Lord, for my Lord!
It's a Holy Ghost building, it's the Holy Ghost building,
It's a Holy Ghost building, for my Lord, for my Lord!

(Chorus)

If I was a preaching man, I tell you what I'd do:
I'd preach the truth throughout the land
and work on a building, too.

If I was a carpenter I tell you what I'd do:
I'd work all day and work all night
just to work on the building, too.

(Chorus)

If I was a ramblin' man, I tell you what I'd do:
I'd stop my rambling, stop my gambling,
and work on a building, too.

If I was gambling man, I tell you what I'd do:
I'd throw away the Queen of Spades
and work on a building, too.

(Chorus)

If I was a sinner man, I tell you what I'd do:
I'd stop my sinning, start my praying,
and work on a building, too.

(Chorus)


(as recorded by Marley's Ghost)


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: Rex
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 01:37 PM

Thanks to WYSIWYG for pointing out the spirituals site. And to BigDaddy, Fogerty? Who'd na thought? Yep, I believe I've heard the Hotmud Family do that one too. Finally, to Mr. Offer, what an astonishing list. I looked at the home page and tried to find the overall list of songs. Do they run a list like that for everything the Dead recorded? If so, do tell me how to find it. What a resource. I agree, it would be hard to top Marley's Ghost on this one. Thanks to all,

Rex


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 01:58 PM

Rex, there are more (and I think even better) links here:

LINKS ON SPIRITUALS.

I have started posting more of these, too, Rex. Keep an eye out! *G*

I also have an index I am working on, that shows what titles are in what songbooks. Wish I had all the songbooks, but I have enough to keep busy for a bit anyway. *G*

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: Rex
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 09:18 AM

Thanks for putting all that together. If you make your songbook index available online, I should like to know about it. Good work!

Rex


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 09:34 AM

*G*


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 04:49 PM

"Workin On a Buildin" was the album title of Wattle records, recorded by John Greenway in Australia, 1956. It is also the title of cut 5,side 1 on this album.


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 04:53 PM

Excuse me, but I feel very strongly about this. I think that one of the half a dozen greatest recordings of a gospel song ever done is Working On A Building by the Swan Silvertones. If you want to verify this totally objective statement, PM me with your mailing address and I'll send you a whole CD full of almost as great stuff..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 10:08 AM

I've only heard it by Bill Monroe.


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 11:27 AM

B.B. King sang this too.


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 12:45 PM

My second favorite version is probably Mark Spoelstra's, and then Wade Mainer and His Mountaineers..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:19 PM

One of the earliest printed versions comes from the Old Songs Hymnal, in the late 1920's:

"Old Songs Hymnal-Words and Melodies from the State of Georgia" by Dorothy Bolton.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: masato sakurai
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:53 PM

Two recordings in the Max Hunter collection:

Working on the Building (As sung by Mrs. Claudie Richardson, Mountain View, Arkansas on August 31, 1971)

I'm Workin' on the Building (As sung by Ollie Gilbert, Mountain View, Arkansas on October 28, 1969)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: Merritt
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 08:09 PM

My favorite tune by (somewhat obscure) Col. Bruce Hampton (ret.) & the Aquarium Rescue Unit is a live version of this song. I would classify their approach as Gospel/Jazz/Funk/Rock and, although Toto and I aren't have left Mudcat as we know it, really easy to listen to. Col. Hampton handles the vocals, and lead guitarist phenom, Jimmy Herring, is featured throughout.

- Merritt


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Subject: Lyr Add: WORKING ON A BUILDING (Old & In The Way)
From: Genie
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 04:06 PM

I've heard this sung at bluegrass jams in Seattle, and at a thrift store I recently bought (or stole for $4) a CD called "Breakdown" by Old & In The Way (Jerry Garcia,Vassar Clements, David Grisman, John Kahn, and Peter Rowan), which is all bluegrass and has this song on it.

Can't compare this recording with the others you've mentioned, but the one on this CD is purty durned good!


Their liner notes say:
"Bill Monroe recorded this gospel song, with origins in African American spiritual traditions, for Decca in 1954 on the same day he cut "On and On." He credited it to The Carter Family, who first recorded it in 1934. Old & In The Way's version is similar to Monroe's but the words to the third verse, "If I was a dealer...," are unique to them.

Here are the lyrics they sing:

WORKING ON A BUILDING (as recorded by Old And In The Way)

If I was a preacher, I tell you what I would do:
I'd quit my preachin' And I'd work on a building, too.

Chorus:
I'm working on a building, I'm working on a building,
I'm working on a building for my Lord, for my Lord!
It's a Holy Ghost building, it's a Holy Ghost building,
It's a Holy Ghost building, for my Lord, for my Lord!

(Chorus)

If I was a drunkard, I tell you what I'd do:
I'd quit my drinkin', And I'd work on a building, too.

(Chorus)
If I was a dealer I tell you what I would do:
I'd quit my dealin' An' I'd work on the building, too.

(Chorus)


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 08:44 PM

Workin' On the Building- p. 97, John W. Work, American Negro Songs and Spirituals.
Workin' on the Building, p. 72, Odum and Johnson, 1925, "The Negro and His Songs.


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Subject: RE: Working on a Building
From: GUEST,VOlgadon
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 04:11 AM

Ho-munger = whore-mongerer?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Workin' on the Building
From: TinDor
Date: 03 Feb 09 - 01:17 PM

Working on a Building - Swan Silvertones

Patty Loveless - Del McCoury - Working On A Building (Live)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Workin' on the Building
From: open mike
Date: 03 Feb 09 - 02:55 PM

yes i second the Marley's Ghost version.

Mighty fine!

they have moved since 2001---perhaps you have too?!

http://www.cyberbites.com/MG/

http://www.marleysghosts.blogspot.com/

also bemused at the term munglin'
that's a new one even though it is an old one..
oldest profession, and all...


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Subject: RE: Origin: Workin' on the Building
From: clueless don
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 08:39 AM

This song was also recorded by the bluegrass group The Seldom Scene, featuring John Duffy (RIP) on tenor.

Don


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Subject: RE: Workin' on the Building
From: GUEST,Shea
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 06:23 PM

Hey can anybody tell me where I can get the sheet music for this song by marley's ghost?? I'd greatly appreciate it!


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