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Lyr Req: Little Rosewood Casket

GUEST,Mel 07 Mar 02 - 05:31 PM
Charley Noble 07 Mar 02 - 05:41 PM
katlaughing 07 Mar 02 - 05:44 PM
Sorcha 07 Mar 02 - 05:46 PM
Charley Noble 07 Mar 02 - 05:53 PM
Bill in Alabama 07 Mar 02 - 06:15 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 02 - 06:30 PM
Sorcha 07 Mar 02 - 06:38 PM
Murray MacLeod 07 Mar 02 - 06:49 PM
Sorcha 07 Mar 02 - 06:58 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 02 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Dale 07 Mar 02 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,Dale 07 Mar 02 - 09:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Mar 02 - 09:20 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 02 - 10:13 PM
Sorcha 07 Mar 02 - 10:25 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 07 Mar 02 - 10:26 PM
masato sakurai 07 Mar 02 - 11:12 PM
masato sakurai 07 Mar 02 - 11:55 PM
WyoWoman 07 Mar 02 - 11:55 PM
masato sakurai 08 Mar 02 - 02:24 AM
Charley Noble 08 Mar 02 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Dale 08 Mar 02 - 10:37 PM
GUEST,Florence 26 Jan 04 - 02:49 AM
jaze 26 Jan 04 - 09:25 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Feb 07 - 11:48 PM
Charley Noble 07 Feb 07 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Scoville at scanner 07 Feb 07 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Cruz 07 Feb 07 - 05:57 PM
Scoville 08 Feb 07 - 09:47 AM
GUEST 05 Jun 13 - 08:40 PM
kendall 06 Jun 13 - 06:28 AM
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Subject: Rosewood Casket
From: GUEST,Mel
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 05:31 PM

Does anyone have the words to an old folk song? Words go - It might not be titled "Rosewood Casket". My mom remebers her grandmother sang it.

In a little rosewood casket..raise the window higher, mother, air can never harm me now. Maybe it will cool my feverish brow...give my shoes to little brother, I can never wear them now."

Many, many thanks if anyone recalls this song.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 05:41 PM

You have the title nailed. This is an old time standard, going back to the 1920's if not before, with dozens of alternative verses. It's undoubtedly in the Digital Tradition archives in one form or other. I'm too busy right now to type out my family's favorite version but maybe I'll work it up later.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 05:44 PM

Hi, Mel,

Welcome to the Mudcat. You will find the words to this song in the DigiTrad, which is a database of over 8,000 songs, many of which have tunes available, too.

You can just type in the word "rosewood" without the quotation marks, in the DT search box and hit enter, or click here to reach the words.

Thanks for coming by,

kat


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 05:46 PM

I'm not sure that is what is wanted. That one is about love letters from a man to a woman. The requested song is about the death of a child.....isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 05:53 PM

Sorcha, in the song I'm familiar with the wronged young lady is on her death bed, passes her time while she is expiring singing maudlin verses. The last verse that we used to sing runs:

See him coming up the pathway,
Brother, meet him at the door;
Tell him that I'll forgive him
If he'll court that girl no more.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 06:15 PM

The portion of the verse quoted sounds a lot like "Put My Little Shoes Away." It's one of the kindertotenleider popular in my part of the mountains among the older folks.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE ROSEWOOD CASKET
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 06:30 PM

This is an old tune, found as early as 1870 (CUFreso Traditional Ballad Index)

Lyr. Add: LITTLE ROSEWOOD CASKET

In a little (G7) Rosewood (C) casket
In the hall up-(G7) on a (C) stand
There's a package of (F) old love (C) letters
Written (G7) by a true love's (C) hand.

Won't you go and get them, sister
Read them o'er to me tonight
I have tried so hard to read them
But the tears, they blind my sight.

Place his letters and his picture
Both together by my heart
With a little ring he gave me
From my finger ne'er shall part.

When I'm dead and in my casket
And deep in my grave I live
I want to be there close beside him
When they lay me down to die.

Hank Thompson and His Brazos Valley Boys (North of the Rio Grande), Capitol Records J-LZC-12. From Cowpie, Casket
A little different from the version in the DT.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 06:38 PM

Bill, I'll bet that is it. Put My Little Shoes Away is in the DT.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 06:49 PM

Well, you learn something every day. This is the first time I have heard of the term "casket" being used in America without the connotation of "coffin".

Murray


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 06:58 PM

Quite common in New Orleans, I believe.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 07:36 PM

We have a number of caskets in the house, two of them rosewood. My wife likes these little boxes, often shaped and made of fine woods and sometimes with ormolu, inlay, mother of pearl and other decoration. Some were for jewelry, some for miscellaneous, others for letters and some for tea (tea caddies) and converted; especially common before 1900. A small chest, for jewels, etc., is the primary definition in Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. It is also the primary definition in the Oxford.
I had to look it up to check current meaning because, being older, I sometimes use words that used to be common but are not known to my grandchildren.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PACKAGE OF OLD LETTERS (E. N. Catlin)
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 08:43 PM

I thought we had discussed this before, but I guess we didn't. The reason it is a bit difficult to find the original source for the song is because the original title is NOT Little Rosewood Casket. The proper title is Package Of Old Letters. Authorship is sometimes credited to E. N. Catlin, but I have also seen it listed as "arranged by".

PACKAGE OF OLD LETTERS
E. N. Catlin, 1870

1. In a little rosewood casket that is resting on the stand,
There's a package of old letters written by a cherished hand.
Will you go and bring them, sister, and read them all tonight?
I have often tried but could not, for the tears would blind my sight.

CHORUS: In a little rosewood casket that is resting on the stand,
There's a package of old letters written by a cherished hand.

2. Come up closer to me, sister; let me lean upon thy breast,
For the tide of life is ebbing, and I fain would be at rest.
Bring the letters he has written, he whose voice I've often heard.
Read them over, love, distinctly, for I've cherished ev'ry word. CHORUS

3. Tell him, sister, when you see him, that I never ceased to love,
That I dying prayed to meet him in the better world above.
Tell him that I was supported ne'er a word of censure spoke,
But his silence and his absence this poor heart hath well nigh broke. CHORUS

4. Tell him that I watched his coming when the noontide sun was high,
And when at eve the angels set their star-lights in the sky.
But when I saw he came not, tell him that I did not chide,
But I spoke in love about him and I blessed him when I died. CHORUS

5. And when in death's white garments you have wrapped my form around,
And have laid me down to slumber in the quiet churchyard ground,
Place the letters and the picture close beside my pulseless heart.
We for years have been together, and in death we will not part. CHORUS

6. I am ready now, my sister; you may read the letters o'er.
I will listen to the words of him whom I shall see no more.
And ere you shall have finished, should I calmly fall asleep,
Fall asleep in death and wake not, dearest sister, do not weep. CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 09:03 PM

I probably should have done a search before posting the lyrics that I have, but I didn't. I found another reference: by Louis P. Goullard and Charles A. White. I have no information to prove that one way or the other.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 09:20 PM

You can see sheet music at the  Lester Levy Sheet Music Collection:

English Songs. Duetts, Trios Etc. No. 4. Package of Old Letters  Boston: White & Goullaud, 86 Tremont St., 1870. Arr.E.N. Catlin.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 10:13 PM

American Memory has a copy dated 1870 with "words by George Cooper" and "music by C. E. Pratt."


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 10:25 PM

I still think Mel was asking for lyrics to a different song--probably Put Away My Shoes......oh, Mel, where are you?


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 10:26 PM

The one I just cited is a different song with a similar title, "'Twas a Package of Old Letters." No rosewood casket is mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: masato sakurai
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 11:12 PM

These (from Levy) seem to be the original "Put My Little Shoes Away" (the second one is given cover image only):

Title: Put My Little Shoes Away.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Poetry by Saml. N. Mitchell. Music by Charles E. Pratt.
Publication: Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., 451 Washington St., 1873.

Title: Put My Little Shoes Away.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Poetry by Saml. N. Mitchell. Music by Charles E. Pratt.
Publication: Boston: C.H. Ditson & Co., 711 Broadway, 1873.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: masato sakurai
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 11:55 PM

Various versions for "Put My Little Shoes Away" can be obtained via Google search. CDs are listed HERE (gracenote).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: WyoWoman
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 11:55 PM

I've heard this song several times and it never occurred to me to ask why letters would be in a casket and she'd be perky enough to be singing about it. I thought casket and coffins were synonyms. I can go to sleep now: I've learnd my something for today!

ww


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: masato sakurai
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 02:24 AM

As for "Little Rosewood Casket," L.P. Goullaud & C.A. White are often cited as composer & lyricist, as in W.K. McNeil, ed., Southern Folk Ballads, vol. 1 (August House, 1987, p. 125); Vance Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, ed. by Norm Cohen (Univ. of Illinois Press, 1982, p. 507); The Traditional Ballad Index; and the Folk Music Index (see below). The authorship of "Package of Old Letters" [not "of Old Love Letters"], however, is not mentioned in the edition Malcolm Douglas linked to above, nor in the edition at Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-1885. White & Goullaud are publishers in both editions (Catlin is arranger).

Discographic information Folk Music Index:

The Little Rosewood/Rosebud Casket - Goullaud, Louis P./White, Charles A.
1. Southern Folk Ballads, Vol. 1. American Originals: A Heritage..., August House, Sof (1987), p.123
2. Cooper, Wilma Lee. Songs to Remember, Cooper, Fol (19??), p 2
3. Garland, Betty. American Folk Ballads, Folkways FA 2307, LP (1964), cut#A.07
4. Henderson, Wayne. 38th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention, 1973, Gazette 38, LP (1973), cut# 17 (Rose Wood Casket)
5. Hobbs, Smiley. American Banjo, Folkways FA 2314, LP (1966), cut# 16 (Rosewood Casket)
6. Kincaid, Bradley. Bradley Kincaid. Volume 2, Old Homestead OHCS 155, LP (1984), cut#B.06
7. Lehman, Glenn. Reminiscing with Glenn Lehman. Country Songs of a Bygone Era, Vetco 98301, LP (196?), cut# 1
8. Lilly Brothers. Country Songs, Rounder SS002, LP (198?), cut# 10 (Rosewood Casket)
9. Mainer, Wade. From the Maple on the Hill, Old Homestead OHTRS 4000, LP (1976), cut#C.01 (Down in the Willow Garden)
10. Miller, Mickey. Life Treasury of American Folk Music, Time L 1001, LP (1961), cut#A.07 (Rosewood Casket)
11. Mountain Ramblers. Sounds of the South, Atlantic 7-82496-2, CD( (1993), cut#1.21 (Rosewood Casket)
12. Patterson, Ray and Ina. Old Time Ballad and Hymns, County 708, LP (1966), cut# 4
13. Price, Bill & Betty. Bill and Betty Price, Rural Rhythm RRBP-239, LP (197?), cut#A.08
14. Reed, Ola Belle. Ola Belle Reed, Rounder 0021, LP (1973), cut# 13 (Rosewood Casket)
15. Reno, Don;, Red Smiley and the Tennessee Cut Ups. Letter Edged in Black, Wango 111, LP (1971), cut#A.02 (Rosewood Casket)
16. Ritchie, Jean. Precious Memories, Folkways FA 2427, LP (1962), cut#A.01
17. Schwarz, Tracy. Look Out, Here It Comes, Folkways FA 2419, LP (1975), cut# 10
18. Simmons Family. Stone County Dulcimer, Dancing Doll DLP 112, LP (197?), cut#2.04 (Rosewood Casket)
19. Smith, Betty. Songs Traditionally Sung in North Carolina, Folk Legacy FSA-053, LP (1975), cut# 13
20. Storm, Arnold Keith. Take the News to Mother, Folk Legacy FSA-018, LP (1964), cut# 6
21. Thomas, Linda. Dulcimer Player News, Dulcimer Player News DPN, Ser (1973-), 23/3, p25 (Rosewood Casket)
22. Trivette, Marina. Carolina Sampler, Global Village C 312, Cas (1992), cut# 17 (Rosewood Casket)
23. West, Harry and Jeanie. Smokey Mountain Ballads, Counterpoint/Esoteric CPT-545, LP (197?), cut# 4
24. West, Harry and Jeanie. Harry and Jeanie West, Archive of Folk Music FS-208, LP, cut# 4

"Little Rosewood Casket" (As sung by Mrs. Kenneth Wright, Hurley, Missouri and Lee Pompey, Springfield, Missouri on May 22, 1960) with other variants is in The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection. The Vernon Dalhart version (with music) is HERE. The TRIO version ("Rosewood Casket" lyrics) is HERE and HERE. Chickie Williams' & Marty Robbins' recordings of "Little Rosewood Casket" are in The Record Lady's Real Country Archives. Marty's lyrics are HERE.

It would be interesting to quote what Maud Karpeles said in 1950: "It ["Little Rosewood Casket"] is not a folk song; it is not good music. When I was in the mountains forty years ago, it was being sung, but I did not bother to record it." (from D.K. Wilgus, Anglo-American Folksong Scholarship Since 1898, p. 171).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 03:57 PM

Well, I'm impressed with all this good digging.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 10:37 PM

Masato, I am not sure why I wasn't thinking at the time, but I was talking to W. K. McNeil just today, and Package of Old Letters never entered my mind. I do remember now though that Dr. Bill was the one who put me onto the proper title a few years ago. If I see him on Tuesday, I will TRY to get a little more insight from him.

That is an impressive list of recordings. I think I have only heard about seven or eight of them, but my favorite version is that of Tara Sky on a self produced cassette.

I currently have a Maud Karpeles book which was loaned to me. I don't think she mentions the song in this particular book, but I will check it out.


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: GUEST,Florence
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 02:49 AM

I remember a song entitled "REDwood Casket" and the chorus mentions entwining vines, or roses, carved on the little trinket box. It was about a lost love, but the words are not the ones for the "Rosewood Casket" that you've cited. Neither is the tune the same. I think there must be another song.... Florence


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Subject: RE: Rosewood Casket
From: jaze
Date: 26 Jan 04 - 09:25 PM

Little Rosewood Casket is also on TRIO- by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DYING GIRL'S MESSAGE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Feb 07 - 11:48 PM

The lines that GUEST,Mel quoted in the original request seem to come from 3 different songs. Here is one of them. It doesn't mention a rosewood casket or little shoes.

Copied from the Wolf Folklore Collection at Lyon College, Batesville, AR:

DYING GIRL'S MESSAGE
Sung by: Almeda Riddle
Recorded in Heber Springs, AR 9/7/61

Click here to listen to the original recording

Raise the window higher, Mother;
Air can never harm me now.
Let the breeze blow in upon me;
It will cool my fevered brow.

Soon death's struggle will be over,
Soon be still this aching heart,
But I have a dying message
I would speak before we part.

Lay my head upon your bosom.
Fold me closer, Mother, dear,
While I breathe a name long silent
In my fond and loving ear.

Mother, there is one--you know him--
Oh, I cannot speak his name.
You remember how he sought me,
How with loving words he came.

How he won my young affection,
Vowing in most tender tone,
That he would forever guard me,
Were my heart . . . his alone.

You remember how I trusted,
How my thoughts were all of him.
Draw the curtain higher, Mother,
For the lights are growing dim.

Need now I tell you how I left him;
Coldly he put me aside,
How he wooed and won another,
And now claims her for his bride.

Life has been a weary burden
Since those hours of deepest woe.
Wipe those cold drops from my forehead;
They are death drops, well I know.

Gladly I obey the summons
To a bright and better land,
Where no hearts are won and broken,
But all forms a happy band.

Do not chide him, Mother, darling,
Though you'll see my form no more.
Think of me as only waiting
For you on the other shore.

Do not chide him, Mother, darling,
Though you'll miss me from your sight.
I forgive him, and I wish him
Joy with her, his lovely bride.

Take this ring from off my finger,
Where he placed it long ago.
Give it to him with my blessings
That in dying, I bestow.

Tell him that it is a token
Of forgiveness and of peace.
Hark, I hear his voice; it passeth.
Will those echoes never cease?

Hark, I hear footsteps coming.
No, it's but the rustling leaves.
Strange, how my disordered fancy
Caught his footsteps on the breeze.

I am cold now; close my window.
Oh, hold me closer; kiss me too.
Joy, what means that burst of music?
'Tis my savior's voice, I know.

See Him waiting to receive me!
Oh, what great a bliss to die.
Mother, meet your child in heaven.
One more kiss and now, goodbye.

Also found in Randolph, Vol. IV, #707; Belden, p. 217.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rosewood Casket
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 12:28 PM

This song is soooooo sad!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rosewood Casket
From: GUEST,Scoville at scanner
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 02:09 PM

Technically, a "coffin" only applies to this shape of burial container (or the rounded cast-iron ones), which are not much in use any more. What most people are buried in today is a "casket" (more specifically a "jewel-box casket", since it's decorated and padded on the inside like a jewel box). However, a "casket" more generally is just a box. It doesn't have to be the thing you're buried in; in the song, it's apparently a keepsake or jewelry box and not, actually, the coffin.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rosewood Casket
From: GUEST,Cruz
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 05:57 PM

Wall shucks, after all them yars some young whippersnapper of a girl, no less, has ruined the song for me:

"It doesn't have to be the thing you're buried in; in the song, it's apparently a keepsake or jewelry box and not, actually, the coffin."

Thank you Scoville kid!!

Muttterin' to hisself: and I thot she was awaitin' for her sister to put her in the casket (coffin) sittin' on a marble stand when she kicked the bucket..

I like my varsion better so a coffin hit will be and the letters can juss be from a durn letter box or snuff can.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rosewood Casket
From: Scoville
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 09:47 AM

Well, she IS waiting to be put in the casket, it's just not the one on the marble stand. Damn that Victorian terminology.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Rosewood Casket
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 08:40 PM

There's some similar song about a coffin for a child, but I can't find it. It was sung in the mountains of East Tennessee.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Rosewood Casket
From: kendall
Date: 06 Jun 13 - 06:28 AM

What did one casket say to the other casket?



Is that you, coffin?


This is the sort of song I was exposed to when I was growing up. Explains a lot.

One of my Brothers in law came from Fort Kent and his English was better than my French, yet, he would sing these old tear jerkers and often mis pronounce words that just made the song a comedy.


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