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Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm / Penny's Farm

DigiTrad:
ALL IN AND DOWN AND OUT BLUES
BEAVER ISLAND BOYS
COURTING THE WIDOW'S DAUGHTER
HARD TIMES (CHEATING)
HARD TIMES IN DIXIE
HARD TIMES OF OLD ENGLAND
HARD, HARD TIMES
RIGS OF THE TIME
TEACHERS' HARD, HARD TIMES
THE DURANT JAIL
THE POORE MAN PAYES FOR ALL


Related threads:
Chord Req: Hard Times of Old England (16)
Chord Req: down on penny's farm (1)
Lyr Req: Hard Times of Old England Retold (Bragg) (16)
Lyr Req: Hard Times (C F Sussdorff) (21)
Lyr Req: Maggie's Farm (Bob Dylan) (19)
(origins) Origins: It's Hard, Hard Times (8)
Help: Maggie's Farm - Origin? (21)


Nancy King 07 Dec 01 - 07:24 PM
Joe Offer 07 Dec 01 - 07:32 PM
Amos 07 Dec 01 - 07:33 PM
Amos 07 Dec 01 - 07:36 PM
Joe Offer 07 Dec 01 - 07:51 PM
Joe Offer 07 Dec 01 - 07:55 PM
Stewie 07 Dec 01 - 07:59 PM
Nancy King 07 Dec 01 - 08:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Dec 01 - 08:24 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Dec 01 - 09:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Dec 01 - 10:32 PM
Sorcha 07 Dec 01 - 10:35 PM
Amos 07 Dec 01 - 11:33 PM
Stewie 07 Dec 01 - 11:40 PM
Nancy King 08 Dec 01 - 12:39 AM
GUEST,sandy paton 08 Dec 01 - 02:03 AM
Nancy King 08 Dec 01 - 03:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 May 05 - 02:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Oct 06 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,Richie 24 Oct 06 - 12:09 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Oct 06 - 01:02 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Nov 06 - 05:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Aug 07 - 09:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Aug 07 - 10:14 PM
Dave Ruch 19 Sep 07 - 03:31 PM
Charley Noble 19 Sep 07 - 08:53 PM
Dave Ruch 19 Sep 07 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,Ruston Hornsby 20 Sep 07 - 07:30 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Jan 09 - 05:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Jan 09 - 10:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Jan 09 - 10:56 PM
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Subject: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Nancy King
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 07:24 PM

Can anyone supply the words to this song about tenant farmers? I'm not sure if it's "Penney's" or "Penny's" but either way I couldn't find it in the DT. I have the first verse dredged up from memory, and the rest of it is probaby in my house somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it lately. The first verse goes:

Come you ladies and you gentlemen and listen to my song,
I'll sing it to you right but you might think it's wrong;
It may make you mad but I mean no harm--
It's all about the renters on Penney's Farm.
Hard times in the country, down on Penney's Farm.

Can anyone supply the rest? Thanks!

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penny's Farm
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 07:32 PM

The lyrics are in this thread (click), but there isn't much background information. Interesting song.
-Joe Offer-
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Down on Penny's Farm

DESCRIPTION: "Hard times in the country, Down on Penny's farm." The renters are subjected to dreadful conditions: Bad land, houses with "no windows but the cracks in the wall," low income, high expenses -- and a threat of going on the chain gang for debt
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1929 (recording, Bently Boys)
KEYWORDS: hardtimes work farming poverty landlord nonballad
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Lomax-Singing, pp. 287-288, "Hard Times in the Country" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 147, "Down on Penney's Farm" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, p. 362, "Down on Penny's Farm" (1 text)
Asch/Dunson/Raim, p. 66 "Down on Penny's Farm" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenway-AFP, pp. 216-217, "Down on Roberts' Farm" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 119, "Robert's Farm" (1 text)

Roud #6687
RECORDINGS:
Bently Boys, "Down on Penny's Farm" (Columbia 15565-D, 1930; rec. 1929; on AAFM1, HardTimes1)
Pete Seeger, "Penny's Farm" (on PeteSeeger02, PeteSeegerCD01)

ALTERNATE TITLES:
On Tanner's Farm
NOTES: Bascom Lamar Lunsford has the "Roberts' Farm" version from a Claude Reeves of North Carolina, who claimed to have written it around 1935. It would seem, however, that this was only a local adaption. - RBW
Bob Dylan wrote a parody/pastiche of this song entitled "New York Town". -PJS
And, of course, Gid Tanner produced a version about his own farm! - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
File: LoF147

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Amos
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 07:33 PM

Second verse starts:

Now Old Mister Penny comes ridin' into town, With his (something something something) and his wagon breaking down,,,

and that's all I remember!! Sorry!

A


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Subject: ADD: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Amos
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 07:36 PM

Here ya go: DOWN ON PENNEY'S FARM

Come you ladies and you gentlemen and listen to my song
I'll sing it to you right but you might think it's wrong
Make may you mad, but I mean no harm
It's just about the renters on Penny's farm
 It's hard times in the country, out on Penny's farm

Now you move out on Penny's farm
Plant a little crop of 'bacco* and a little crop of corn
He'll come around to plan and plot
Till he gets himself a mortgage on everything you got
  It's hard times in the country, out on Penny's farm

You got to the fields and you work all day
Till way after dark but you get no pay
Promise you meat or a little lard
It's hard to be a renter on Penny's farm
  It's hard times in the country, out on Penny's farm

Now here's George Penny come into town
With a wagon-load of peaches, not one of them sound
He's got to have his money or somebody's check
You pay him for a bushel and you don't get a pack
  It's hard times in the country, out on Penny's farm

Then George Penny renters they come into town
With their hands in their pockets and their heads hanging down
Go in the store and the merchant will say:
Your mortgage is due and I'm looking for my pay
  It's hard times in the country, out on Penny's farm

Goes down in his pocket with a trembling hand:
Can't pay you all but I'll pay you what I can
Then to the telephone the merchant makes a call:
They'll put you on the chain gang* if you don't pay it all!
  It's hard times in the country, out on Penny's farm

I have the faint impression it was done by the Almanac Singers, but I can't swear to it.

A.


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Subject: ADD: Down on the Funny Farm
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 07:51 PM

Hey, Amos, where's you find those lyrics? I'm gessing they're from Susanne (skw)'s site.
I found a kids' parody here.
-Joe Offer-


Down On the Funny Farm
(DeMille/Morabito)

Down on the funny farm, the critters don't know, what to do, or where to go
They don't behave, but they mean no harm
I'm gonna tell you about the critters on the funny farm

Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm
Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm

Down on the funny farm, the cows don't, "Moo"
They sing like a rooster, " Cock-a-doodle-do"
Early in the morning they're perched on the barn
They think it's their job just to wake up the farm

Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm
Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm

Down on the funny farm, the rooster don't crow
He's not on the fence, he's down below
He's trying to give milk when the farmer comes past
He spends his whole day just chewing up the grass

Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm
Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm

Now the horse is out back, he's burying a bone
The mailman's glad he's leaving him alone
Throw the horse a stick, he'll chase it real far
He spends his whole day just chasin' down the cars

Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm
Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm

Now the doggie don't bark like he used to do
He whinnies all day, and half the night, too
He likes to pull a plow and wear a saddle on his back
He spends his whole day just racing 'round the track

Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm
Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm

(guitar solo)

Down on the funny farm, the farmer is tense
He can't pitch hay or mend up a fence
His animal friends are getting him down
He's gonna sell the whole farm and move into town

Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm
Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm
Hard times in the country, down on the funny farm


Taken from Good Rockin' Daddies, "Born To Boogie"
All songs ©1996 bigkid music, (DeMille/Morabito), all rights reserved
e-mail: bigkid@gwi.net


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Subject: Lyr Add: HARD TIMES IN NEW YORK TOWN (Bob Dylan)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 07:55 PM

Then, of course, there's this one (click).
-Joe Offer-


Hard Times In New York Town
(Bob Dylan)

Come you ladies and you gentlemen, a-listen to my song.
Sing it to you right, but you might think it's wrong.
Just a little glimpse of a story I'll tell
"Bout an East Coast city that you all know well.
It's hard times in the city,
Livin' down in New York town.

Old New York City is a friendly old town,
From Washington Heights to Harlem on down.
There's a-mighty many people all millin' all around,
They'll kick you when you're up and knock you when you're down.
It's hard times in the city,
Livin' down in New York town.

It's a mighty long ways from the Golden Gate
To Rockefeller Plaza n' the Empire State.
Mister Rockefeller sets up as high as a bird,
Old Mister Empire never says a word.
It's hard times from the country,
Livin' down in New York town.

Well, it's up in the mornin' tryin' to fins a job of work.
Stand in one place till your feet begin to hurt.
If you go a lot o' money you can make yourself merry,
If you only got a nickel, it's the Staten Island Ferry.
And it's hard times in the city,
Livin' down in New York town.

Mister Hudson come a-sailin' down the stream
And old Mister Minuet paid for his dream.
Bought your city on a one-way track,
'F I had my way I'd sell it right back.
And it's hard times in the city,
Livin' down in New York town.

I'll take all the smog in Cal-i-for-ne-ay,
'N' every bit of dust in the Oklahoma plains,
'N' the dirt in the caves of the Rocky Mountain mines.
It's all much cleaner than the New York kind.
And it's hard times in the city,
Livin' down in New York town.

So all you newsy people, spread the news around,
You c'n listen to m' story, listen to m' song.
You c'n step on my name, you c'n try 'n' get me beat,
When I leave New York, I'll be standin' on my feet.
And it's hard times in the city,
Livin' down in New York town.

Copyright © 1962; renewed 1990 MCA

One source says it was "Influenced by 'Hard Times In The Country Working On Ketty's Farm' (Traditional)."
This page gets interesting - apparently, "Penney's Farm" was the inspiration for Dylan's "Maggie's Farm." The text for Penney's Farm can be found in two Lomax books, Our Singing Country and Folk Songs of North American.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 07:59 PM

The Bently Boys recorded it in 1929. It is #25 in Harry's Smith's anthology. Smith noted that it was a regional recasting of an earlier song 'Hard Times'. Gid Tanner and Riley Puckett recorded it as 'On Tanner's Farm' and Bob Dylan as 'Maggie's Farm'. It relates to sharecropping.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Nancy King
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 08:15 PM

Thanks, guys, that's great! Amos, that's exactly what I was looking for. And fast, too! I seem to remember a Pete Seeger recording of it from the dim dark past, so it might have been Almanac Singers, or maybe even the Weavers. Anyhow, thanks!

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 08:24 PM

Thank you, Stewie: I've been doing this song all of my life, and I learned it off the Anthology of American Folk Music. The words are close to what is posted here, but I like some of the phrases better on the Bentley Brothers recording. Jim Kwesking used to do this in the days before his jug band... the only other person I ever heard do it. It is the song my oldest sister requests most of all.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 09:15 PM

If memory serves, John Greenway prints a "Roberts' Farm" version in his American Folksongs of Protest. Pete Seeger recorded "Penny's Farm" somewhere, I'm sure. I think it was from Pete's singing that I learned it, years ago. The Bently Boys recording, nicely remastered and devoid of all the old 78 rpm noises, is on one of the great Yazoo CD compilations - Volume 1 of the Hard Times Come Again No More, I think, although I don't have those CDs with me right now to check on it. Caroline, bless her everlovin' heart, has stolen them from my shelf here at the computer and added them to her personal shelf downstairs. I ask you now, isn't that grounds...?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 10:32 PM

Coffee grounds..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 10:35 PM

Is this the same tune as "Down on Barky's Farm"? (grin)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Amos
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 11:33 PM

Dang, Sorch, I'd forgotten all about Barky's Farm!!! But the tune isn't the same, no. This one goes daddadadadaDAHdadadadadaDAH... oh,. never MIND!!

A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 11:40 PM

I recall that Happie and Artie Traum did a beaut recording of it as title track of their 'Hard Times in the Country' album on Rounder in the early 70s. That album also had one of my favourite recordings of the Pindar Family and Joseph Spence's 'I Bid You Goodnight'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Nancy King
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 12:39 AM

Well, I will have to say I am truly impressed. I've encountered a lot of remarkable stuff of one kind and another on the Mudcat, but this is what it's all about. I asked this question because our Open Sing topic tonight dealt with work, and this song (which I haven't sung for probably 30 or 35 years) popped into my head shortly before the event. I could remember the first verse but not the rest, and couldn't find it quickly among the stacks of music-related papers in my house, so posted to Mudcat. Within twelve minutes (!) I had what I needed, and within half an hour there was a cute parody and a really interesting Dylan spinoff, a link to a previous thread, and a lead on an early recording. The song was a big hit at the Open Sing, of course (hahahaha), and by the time I got home the 'Cat had a whole bunch more information about recordings. Fantastic!

Yup, Amos, that's the tune I remember! For this song I wish I could play banjo, because I have in my head a kind of plinka-plinka-plink banjo accompaniment which probably is from the Seeger recording.

Cheers and Thanks! Nancy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: GUEST,sandy paton
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 02:03 AM

Hey, Nancy! Wish we'd been there to hear you sing it!

Amos has given the text that I sing, but I have two additional verses. I may have pinched them from Greenway; I can't remember. Anyway:

Old George Penny with his flatterin' mouth,
He moves you to the country in a little log house.
You got no windows but the cracks in the wall.

He works you all the summer, then robs you in the fall.

Yonder comes George Penny in a big Overland.
You've a little tough luck, but he don't give a damn.
He'll run you in the mud like a train on a track.
He'll haul you to the mountains, but he don't bring you back.

Put 'em in wherever they make sense to you. At least that's what I do.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Nancy King
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 03:51 PM

Thanks, Sandy! Clearly this song is due for a revival!

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 May 05 - 02:22 PM

Music, chords and lyrics to "Down on Penny's Farm" in "Edith Fowke and Joe Glazer, eds., 1960. "Songs of Work and Freedom," pp. 100-101, with notes. Dolphin Books ed. 1961, Labor Education Division, Roosevelt University.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 10:20 PM

Listened to the Bentley Boys (not Bently) sing "Hard Times in the Country-Down on Penny's Farm" on a remastered cd today, and I will transcribe it in the next day or two. Amos has it down pretty well, perhaps from Fowke and Glazer; dunno if I will have additions. The Lomaxes have what they claim is the text in their "Folk Songs of North America," but they left out some and changed a couple of lines to suit themselves.
Fowke and Glazer compare the song's form to "Hard Times in the Mill," which may go back to around 1900.
Edith Fowke and Joe Glazer, 1960, "Songs of Work and Freedom," pp. 68-69 (Dolphin edition 1961).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 12:09 AM

I'll post below what I have on the Bentley version in my database. I was trying to find "Hard Times" by C.F. Sussdorff 1843. I can't find it anywhere! I also have several other versions.

I think it is related to Down on Penney's Farm. Other names for "Hard Times" "There's a Hard Time Coming" "There's a Hard Time A-Coming" and "It's These Hard Times."

Down on Pennys Farm- Bently Boys

NOTES: Likely source: Anthology of American Folk Music" (compiled by Harry Smith), by The Bently Boys (track No. 25). Bascom Lamar Lunsford version, transcribed in Tom Glazer, Songs of Peace, Freedom & Protest, New York, 1972, pp. 90-92.

TOM GLAZER: Also known as "Robert's Farm." Bascom Lamar Lunsford, the Southern folklorist, says he learned it from a Claude Reeves of North Carolina, who claims he wrote it on personal experience around 1935.
(ibid., p. 90)Claude Reeves' claim is contradicted by the recording date of the Bently Boys' version (original issue: Columbia 15565D), 1929. Harry Smith also remarks in his liner notes: This recording is a regionalized recasting of an earlier song, "Hard Times."

Come you ladies and you gentlemen
And listen to my song,
I'll sing it to you right, but you might think it's wrong,
May make you mad, but I mean no harm,
It's all about the renters on Penny's farm.

CHORUS: It's hard times in the country,
Down on Penny's farm.

Now you move out on Penny's farm,
Plant a little crop of 'bacco and a little crop of corn,
He'll come around to plan and plot,
Till he gets himself a mortgage
On everything you got.

You go to the fields
And you work all day,
Till way after dark, but you get no pay,
Promise you meat or a little lard,
It's hard to be a renter on Penny's farm.

Now here's George Penny come into town,
With his wagon-load of peaches, not one of them sound,
He's got to have his money or somebody's check,
You pay him for a bushel,
And you don't get a peck.

Then George Penny's renters, they come into town,
With their hands in their pockets, and their heads hanging down,
Go in the store and the merchant will say:
"Your mortgage is due And I'm looking for my pay."

Goes down in his pocket with a trembling hand --
"Can't pay you all but I'll pay you what I can."
Then to the telephone the merchant makes a call,
"They'll put you on the chain gang
If you don't pay it all."

Richie


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN ON PENNY'S FARM (from Bentley Boys)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Oct 06 - 01:02 AM

Lyr. Add: DOWN ON PENNY'S FARM
Bentley Boys, 1929

1.
Come you ladies and gentlemen and listen to my song,
I'll sing it to you right but you might think it's wrong,
May make you mad, but I mean no harm,
It's just about the renters on Penny's farm.
Chorus:
It's hard times in the country,
Out on Penny's farm
2.
You move out on Penny's farm,
Plant a little crop of 'bacco and a little crop of corn,
[He'll] Come around to see you, gonna 'split and plot
Till he gets a mortgage on everything you got.
3.
Haven't George Penny got a flattering mouth?
Move you to the country to a little log house
Got no air but the cracks in the wall,
Work you all summer and rob you in the Fall.
4.
Go in the fields and you work all day,
Way after dark but you get no pay,
Promise you meat or a little lard,
It's hard to be a renter on Penny's farm.
5.
Here's George Penny come into town,
With his wagon-load of peaches, not one of them sound,
He's got to have his money or somebody's check,
You pay him for a bushel and you don't get a peck.
6.
George Penny's renters, they come into town,
With their hands in their pockets and their heads a-hangin' down.
Go in the store and the merchant will say,
"Your mortgage* is due and I'm lookin' for my pay."
7.
Down in his pocket with a tremblin' hand,
"Can't pay it all but I'll pay you what I can."
Then to the telephone the merchant makes a call,
"They'll put you on the chain gang if you don't pay it all."

*'charge' or 'bill' would make more sense. Made me wonder if there is an earlier version with a verse about a mortgage on the 'little log house.'
Nowhere in the song is "Down..." sung. It is always 'Out..." The title was probably applied by the Columbia recording crew.

The chain gang threat is real. County work gangs in the rural South were always short of laborers to cut brush and keep up the roads, and a word to the judge from the county sheriff would improve the labor situation quickly. Nowadays people have the idea that only Blacks worked on chain gangs, but poor whites also helped to keep the county presentable.

From the Yazoo re-master of the Bentley Boys recording, Columbia 15565, 1929 (B side: "Henhouse Blues."). This is a well-recorded cd, but the notes are poor. Of course, little or nothing seems to be known about the Bentley Boys.

Lomax and Lomax (FSNA), and other printed texts of the Bentley Boys' song, contain errors. My wife (raised in rural Georgia) and I made the transcription above from the recording, and we think it is 99.4% right...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 05:12 PM

DOWN ON ROBERTS' FARM
(Bascom Lunsford)
This song follows the form and has the same verses as the Bentley Boys, 1929, "Down on Penny's Farm"; a word differs here and there.
It is printed in John Greenway, 1953, "American Songs of Protest," pp. 216-217, with this note:
"As sung by Bascom Lunsford, who learned it from Claude Reeves of Little River, Transylvania County, NC, who wrote the song from personal experience, ca. 1935" (some five-six years after the Bentley Boys song).

There is one additional verse:

Mr. Paul Roberts with a big Overland!
He's a little tough luck, you don't give a damn.
He'll run you in the mud like a train on the track;
He'll haul you to the mountains but he won't bring you back.
It's hard times in the country, down on Roberts' farm.

Sandy Paton posted this verse (above) with the note that he may have got it from Greenway, in 2001.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 09:35 PM

"Down't the peach blow farm" ??
There is a Peach Blow Farm near Charlestown, NH.

This line appears in the old minstrel song, "Balm of Gilead," 1861, Arr. H. T. Bryant.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 10:14 PM

Thread 104184: "Balm of Gilead," Civil War (1861) minstrel song, with chorus that is found in old college songs.
Balm of Gilead


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SOLDIER'S COMPLAINT (J.E. Richardson)
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 03:31 PM

From the Civil War diary of one Ephraim Shay. Notice the tune was already know/popular in the 1860's!

Ephraim Shay Diary 1861-1862

The Soldier's Complaint
By J.E. Richardson Co F Infantry
Tune
Hard Times

Come listen kind friends awhile to my song.
And I will unfold a tale of my wrongs.
Of labor's severe and likewise the?
Endured by the soldiers on old Muldrough Hill.

CHORUS: It's hard times on Muldrough Hill
It's hard times I say

We rise in the morning at five of the clock
And make our hard bed of the butts of cornstalks
Then down in the valley we all trudge amain
To wash off the filth that in camp we have gained

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

Then when we have washed we climb up the Hill
And every man carries his legs at his will
But once at the summit our strength is all gone
And go fast or slow we are fain to sit down

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

We rest half an hour then our labor begins
And the first we commence at is working our chins
Or in terms more explicit that you'll understand
We partake of a breakfast the cream of the land

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

And now give redoubled attention awhile
And I'll dish up the breakfast in excellent style
So strengthen your courage and stomach also
For the sumptuous repast you're about to review

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

The first on the hill in age and in strength
Is a side of fat bacon full three feet in length
With a crust on the surface to keep in the oil
A plump inch in thickness of Kentucky soil

Then as to its age we are all in the dark
But suppose it was smoked in the flues of the Ark
And I think 'tis the case but don't recollect
Each man as he eats doffs his hat in respect

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

The next thing in order are crackers so hard
Cut out with a chisel in shape like a card
Punched full of small holes to make them more brittle
To crumb in the coffee that's stewed in the kettle

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

The kettle so rusty and dirty to match
Not fit to make slop for the very old scratch
But that which a digger or dog wouldn't eat
Is thought by the soldier a deuce of a treat

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

But kind friends, have patience; don't think I have done
The' I've dealt out the nations I've only begun
For when we've ate breakfast we trudge off to work
To stand upon guard or to dig in the dirt

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

On guard we must go every third day or less
Where all sorts of men are mixed up in a mess
And when off of our posts we endeavor to sleep
And get ourselves curled all up in a heap

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

Just as we get into a comfortable snooze
Along comes the Sergeant and raises the deuce
And every poor fellow from yonder to here
He pulls them and shakes them and yells in their ear

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

Hey man says the Sergeant what is your relief
First Second or Third? Ah! man are you deaf?
And when the man grumbles about his hard fare
The officers tell him this hard it is fair

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

Full twenty-four hours we've expelled from the camps
To sit around the fire or lie down in the damp
And when we're released from our labor severe
We don't feel like stirring again in a year

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

Yet when we get home in our tents at length
And lay ourselves down to recruit our lost strength
As we shut up our eyes and get ready to snow
Along comes the Corporal and peeps in the door

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

"Say boys I want four men to go for some water
Come! get up and go with me-hurrah don't loiter"
And then from our couches still rubbing our eyes
We have to fall out and fall in at our size

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

And when we get back and begin to feel good
Again comes the Corporal with "Hurrah for wood"
And we find the relief which has been our desire
Is like jumping from frying pan into the fire

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

Although we?re worn out by hard work and no sleep
We're obliged when on guard awake to keep
For if the Grand Rounds comes round to our post
And catches us napping our honor is lost

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

For when he has gone his way on the rounds
As soon as he gets to the guards camping grounds
He sends out a Sergeant and two ugly mugs
And clap the poor Sentinel straight into the jug

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

There are two or three items I would not forget
And ere closing story I'll mention them yet
A likeness from life I'll endeavor to draw
Of evils arising from under the law

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

The first is the Suttler who keeps in his shop
A choice lot of dainties to mix with our slop
Cakes, candies and pies, nuts, sugars, and trees
Eggs, butter, and spices, with crackers and cheese

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

In short on his shelves as you run you may read
He keep for the boys everything they don't need
But for ought that is nee off all through humbly you pray
He replies we don't keep it because it don't pay

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

Then to crown the whole matter our officers scold
Because we take tickets instead of the gold
The gold Uncle Sam keeps locked in his chest
And we can?t get a quarter by trying our best

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

And then there's another sublime institution
For testing the strength of a man?s constitution
I allude to the hospital over the way
Where sickness and death are supreme in their sway

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

If I were a servant instead of a soldier
I'd sift the whole matter before a day older
For there's one thing I've learned among nature's laws
?Tis that every effect has a definite cause

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

And were I permitted an inference to draw
According to nature?s immutable law
I'd over full in view of the hospital walls
That the slops and Sutter have peopled its walls

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

Were it not my kind friends that would tire your patience
I'd open its walls for you all to admire
But fearing already I've kept you too long
I'll not try you farther by lengthening my song

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

I'll say naught of the nursing or medical skill
Which the boys must receive with or without will
How long since the mansion's been graced by a boom
Nor of twenty poor fellows crammed into a room

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

And now my dear friends let me say in conclusion
That soldiering is a most fatal illusion
And if you'd be happy contented and rich
Just take my advice and keep out of the ditch

CHORUS: It's hard times &c

Written at Paducah Dec 16th/61 While I now write a number of boys are just outside my tent enjoying a cotillion. The music is excellent. About an hour ago all the camps within hearing were hurrahing with all their might just for fun. Sounded funny. Pleasant evening


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm / Penny's Farm
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 08:53 PM

I really wasn't aware of the precursors to this song. We revived this song in the late 1970's as part of a set of songs relating to tenant farmers, recorded by Folkways as WE WON'T MOVE! Karrie Potter of Lansing, Michigan did a fine rendition.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm / Penny's Farm
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 19 Sep 07 - 10:34 PM

As did your neighbor Jeff Warner, Charlie, with former singing partner Jeff Davis.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm / Penny's Farm
From: GUEST,Ruston Hornsby
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 07:30 AM

- and in the more mainstream, Natalie Merchant did a version of it on a CD she released about three years back.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm / Penny's Farm
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 05:04 PM

This may have originated as a minstrel song. It was sung in colleges way back in the 1860s.

Also see thread on Pichelo Farm: Pichelo Farm

PEACH BLOW FARM

I have a lovely Dinah,
There's none that can outshine her,
You may kiss her if you find her,
Way down at the Peach Blow Farm.

Chorus.
We won't go there any more, (3x)
Way down at the Peach Blow Farm.
There's a balm in Gilead, (3x)
Way down at the Peach Blow Farm.

-Rig-jag-jig-jag-jig (2x)
-Rig-jag-jig-jag-jig-jag-jig-jag
-Rig-jag-jig-jag-jig.*

2
Her father's name was Moses
Her cheeks were red as roses,
And her shoes were out at the toeses,
Way down at the Peach Blow Farm.

3
When I asked her if she loved me,
She said she felt above me,
And then she up and shoved me,
Way down to the Peach Blow Farm.

P. 244, Songs of Rochester University.
H. R. Waite, Coll. and editor, 1868, Carmina Collegensia: A Composite Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges, with Piano-forte Accompaniment. Oliver Ditson & Co., NY.

* This supplementary chorus is from a song of that name, and was used as an interjected chorus in several college songs. An index to the songs in "Carmina Collegensia" has been posted in the 19th c. song book thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down on Penney's Farm / Penny's Farm
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 10:38 PM

DOWN ON THE PICHELO FARM

Fragment remembered by Mr. Clyde Sharp, Pack, MO, 1928, as part of a play-party song popular ... in 1910.

I got a gal named Dinah,
The people cain't outshine her,
An' I'll take a kiss if I find her
Down on the Pichelo farm.

Her father's name was Moses
Her shoes was out the toeses
...............
Down on the Pichelo farm.
An' a rig jag jig jag jig jag (3x)
Down on the Pichelo farm.

Vance Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 3, no. 572.
Randolph also mentions lines in "Over There" published by Bradley Kincaid in "My Favorite Mountain Ballads, 1938, p. 32 (dropped in later printings), and Botkin, American Play-Party Song, 1937, pp. 298-299, and the college song "Bingo" (verses end 'Way down on the Bingo farm').


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Bingo
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 10:56 PM

Lyr. Add: BINGO
A marching or street song

Chorus:
Here's to good old Yale, drink it down, drink it down,
Here's to good old Yale, drink it down, drink it down,

Here's to good old Yale,
She's so hearty and so hale,
drink it down, drink it down,
drink it down, down down, down.
Balm of Gilead, Gilead,
Balm of Gilead, Gilead,
Balm of Gilead, way down on the Bingo farm.

We won't go home any more,
We won't go home any more,
We won't go home any more,
Way down on the Bingo farm.

Bingo, Bingo, Bingo, Bingo, Bingo, Bingo,
Way down on the Bingo farm.

B, I, N, G, O.

P. 50, with musical score.
H. R. Waite, Coll. and Editor, 1868, "Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges, with Piano-forte Accompaniment."


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