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Help: Meaning of Six White Horses

DigiTrad:
COMING 'ROUND THE MOUNTAIN
EVERY YEAR
SONG WE SANG AT THE SINGSONG IN SING SING
YE CANNA SHOVE YER GRANNIE


Related threads:
Req: Comin' Round the Mountain doin' 90 MPH (44)
(origins) Origins: She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain (42)
Lyr Req: ye cannae get yer granny off the drugs (15)
Lyr Req:Oh ye cannae shove yer grannie aff the bus (49)
Chords Req: she'll be coming around the mountain (11)
Origins: coming round the mountain? (6) (closed)
Coming Round Which Mountain? (50)
Req: She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain-Belize? (3)
Lyr Req: Dinnae throw yir grannie off a bus ... (7)
Lyr Req: She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain (7) (closed)


GUEST,Bev and Jerry 28 Jun 02 - 02:20 PM
MMario 28 Jun 02 - 02:21 PM
Les from Hull 28 Jun 02 - 02:30 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Jun 02 - 05:19 PM
khandu 28 Jun 02 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,dulcimer 28 Jun 02 - 06:51 PM
Stewie 28 Jun 02 - 09:38 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 28 Jun 02 - 09:54 PM
GUEST 28 Jun 02 - 09:54 PM
Little Hawk 28 Jun 02 - 10:08 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Jun 02 - 11:03 PM
Bev and Jerry 28 Jun 02 - 11:48 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Jun 02 - 12:14 AM
Lanfranc 29 Jun 02 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,JTT 29 Jun 02 - 08:56 AM
Bev and Jerry 29 Jun 02 - 07:43 PM
dulcimer 30 Jun 02 - 07:08 AM
GUEST 30 Jun 02 - 11:04 AM
Liz the Squeak 30 Jun 02 - 01:51 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 30 Jun 02 - 02:59 PM
Liz the Squeak 30 Jun 02 - 03:06 PM
Bev and Jerry 01 Jul 02 - 01:53 AM
dulcimer 01 Jul 02 - 07:43 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 01 Jul 02 - 08:50 PM
harpgirl 01 Jul 02 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,Chris Cooke 16 Nov 02 - 11:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 02 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Q 16 Nov 02 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Richie 16 Nov 02 - 06:34 PM
Little Hawk 16 Nov 02 - 06:51 PM
catspaw49 16 Nov 02 - 07:23 PM
Little Hawk 16 Nov 02 - 07:44 PM
pavane 17 Nov 02 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,mad axe murderer 17 Nov 02 - 01:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 02 - 01:59 PM
catspaw49 17 Nov 02 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Nov 02 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Q 17 Nov 02 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,Chris Cooke 17 Nov 02 - 03:56 PM
GUEST,Richie 18 Nov 02 - 12:28 PM
Richie 18 Nov 02 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Cliff Dyer, Guest 22 Apr 03 - 10:37 PM
GUEST,Q 22 Apr 03 - 11:37 PM
Wilfried Schaum 23 Apr 03 - 02:35 AM
GUEST 13 Jan 04 - 05:48 PM
Ebbie 13 Jan 04 - 07:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jan 04 - 08:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jan 04 - 10:20 PM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Jan 04 - 04:04 AM
Vixen 14 Jan 04 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,Susan in the Mountains 15 Oct 07 - 11:43 AM
Rumncoke 15 Oct 07 - 06:31 PM
Uncle_DaveO 15 Oct 07 - 07:10 PM
Joe_F 15 Oct 07 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Tori 19 Feb 08 - 10:59 PM
GUEST,JohnnyBeezer 20 Feb 08 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Andrew Calhoun 23 Jun 08 - 04:55 PM
Goose Gander 23 Jun 08 - 05:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Jun 08 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Jun 08 - 06:08 PM
Goose Gander 23 Jun 08 - 06:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Jun 08 - 09:22 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 24 Jun 08 - 07:58 PM
Celtaddict 24 Jun 08 - 11:37 PM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Jun 08 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,NYMusicLover 26 Jun 08 - 12:31 PM
GUEST 03 Nov 08 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Five white horses 19 Nov 08 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Nov 08 - 09:19 AM
Amos 20 Nov 08 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Nov 08 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,rob 09 Dec 08 - 09:02 PM
Nick E 10 Dec 08 - 06:44 PM
Mysha 11 Dec 08 - 05:57 PM
Nick E 11 Dec 08 - 08:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Dec 08 - 08:46 PM
Mysha 12 Dec 08 - 03:48 AM
GUEST 18 Jul 09 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,C 10 Nov 10 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 10 Nov 10 - 08:17 PM
meself 11 Nov 10 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,me! 20 Jan 11 - 11:39 PM
doc.tom 21 Jan 11 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Jordan Delange 28 Jan 11 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,ed knights 05 May 11 - 10:20 PM
mg 05 May 11 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,don barker 14 Jul 11 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,don barker-Conover NC 14 Jul 11 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Seth G. 29 Oct 11 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,Seth G. 29 Oct 11 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Oct 11 - 11:46 PM
GUEST,blogward 31 Oct 11 - 05:53 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 15 - 04:34 PM
mayomick 14 Oct 15 - 11:44 AM
Joe Offer 09 Jun 17 - 02:44 AM
Lighter 09 Jun 17 - 01:39 PM
Joe Offer 09 Jun 17 - 03:06 PM
Lighter 09 Jun 17 - 05:23 PM
leeneia 10 Jun 17 - 11:32 AM
Richard Bridge 10 Jun 17 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 10 Jun 17 - 05:37 PM
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Subject: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Bev and Jerry
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 02:20 PM

In the song "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" there's a verse which goes: "She'll be drivin' six white horses when she comes". Last night we got into a discussion of the meaning of this verse and no one could come up with it.

Anybody out there know?

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: MMario
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 02:21 PM

The only other thing I can think of with six white horses would be a hearse.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Les from Hull
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 02:30 PM

You usually have black horses for a hearse, don't you?

Driving six white horses would seen to mean that she had become very rich. Only the fanciest carriages had six horses and a matched team of six white horses had to be the fanciest of them all.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 05:19 PM

"Six white horses in a line
Six white horses in a line
Six white horses in a a line
Going to carry me to my burying ground"

Blind Lemon sang about being carried to his grave in a hearse pulled by six white horses, and I don't think he was wealthy.

"Six white horses and a rubber-tired hack
Gonna carry me to the graveyard and they won't bring me back"

Without thinking a whole lot about it, it seems like six white horses is a fairly commonly used image. And as an image, it sure is more visual than six black horses, or six variegated color horses.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: khandu
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 06:01 PM

And there is the country song by Tommy Cash;

"Goodbye John, six white horses gonna carry you home

Goodbye John, they took you away before you sang your song"

This is another song about the deaths of the Kennedy's and King.

khandu


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,dulcimer
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 06:51 PM

I certainly don't have anymore factual basis, but if 6 white horse are a symbol of prestige and importance, it would refer to Ma Jones's status or the status that is to be accorded her.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 09:38 PM

Jerry, I believe Blind Lemon had only two white horses ['See that my grave is kept clean']. The Two Poor Boys [Joe Evans and Arthur McClain], who got it from Jefferson, recorded a version in 1931 under the title 'Two White Horses in a Line'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 09:54 PM

You might want to see if your answer might be inone of these old threads:

The DT:
Coming 'Round the Mountain
Threads:
She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain
Comin' 'Round the Mountain


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 09:54 PM

White is not an uncommon color of mourning in traditional Indo-European folk societies. It was the color historically associated with mourning from Ireland (the banshee is associated with wearing white, always) to Eastern Europe, though not usually associated consistently with Christian Europe. It is also the traditional color of mourning in China and India. In the Catholic church, both black and white vestments have been used for funerary rituals--white being the color used for children's funerals.

Weddings were also considered to be a time of mourning for the bride and the bride's family, as this little vignette about Russian folk weddings tells:

".

Among the most fascinating are the items used in the ritual of "parting with virginal beauty". Here we see the bride's headpiece, a ribbon, a miniature pine-tree decorated with ribbons, and an artificial braid. These articles all symbolized childhood; hence, this ritual signified the fact that, on marrying a man, a girl has to part with her childhood and all that is associated with it. The ritual "parting with virginal beauty" was performed solemnly in front of the bride's parents, brothers, sisters, and friends.

Of all the wedding exhibits, the costumes attract the most attention. An exceptionally beautiful garment was worn for the showing of the bride, when the groom and his parents would come to view her. In complete contrast is the costume worn by the bride at the shower party, which involved a show of ritual mourning. The material for this costume was composed of traditionally mournful colors, such as blue and white, and the costume was completed by a long white towel or scarf that veiled the bride's face. The Russian peasantry believed that it was necessary for the bride to dress as though in mourning, as this symbolized the death of her present life, with which she must part in order to prepare for her rebirth into a new life after the consummation of the marriage. Also exhibited here are costumes worn for the wedding ceremony itself, as well as those worn for the wedding party. For the "morning after the wedding night" ritual, both bride and groom wore particularly bright and festive garments, with a predominance of red symbolizing the new life, youth, and beauty of the marriage."

You can view the beautiful dress and read all about it here:

http://www.ethnomuseum.ru/---English---/love.html

Does that mean that "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain" is about mourning? I dunno. Considering the song is, as I understand it, based upon the African American spiritual/work song "When the Chariot Comes" I have no clue what significance the color white has. The cultural meaning of ritual colors is extemely complex, and I'm not at all familiar with the color associations on the continent of Africa, though I'm sure the associations are varied, as they are elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 10:08 PM

I think Les has the most likely interpretation, given the rather upbeat nature of the song...

Just to further confuse the issue, here's a quote from Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie":

Now six white horses that you did promise
Were finally delivered down to the penitentiary
But to live outside the law you must be honest
I know you always say that you agree
But now where are you tonight, Sweet Marie?

Someone'll probably say it's about heroin. I doubt it. I think it's just one of those symbols Dylan instinctively dredged up out of his incredible backlog of trad material. The 4rth and 5th lines are the really interesting part of the verse anyway.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 11:03 PM

You're right, Stewie: Shoulda thought about that one a little longer before posting. It's been awhile since I've listened to Blind Lemon. I must say, I liked Dave Van Ronk's interpretation of See That My Grave Is Kept Clean better than Lemon's. I guess Lemon couldn't afford to have the extra four horses...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 11:48 PM

George:

Thelast link you suggested did provide some insight but apparently, the meaning of this song is shrouded in mystery. Thanks.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 12:14 AM

Les is absolutely correct. The poor relations are waiting for her to show up with her matched team and conveyance, which will be loaded with chicken and dumplings and everything else that their covetous hearts desire.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Lanfranc
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 05:22 AM

Then there are the six white horses that Anna Feyer offers to the judge along with gold and silver to ransom her brother Laszlo.

"Anna Feyer, Anna Feyer
I don't want your six white horses
I don't want your gold and silver
All I want is your sweet favours"

Why six? That song goes on to use thirteen:

"Cursed be the judge so cruel
Thirteen years may he lie bleeding
Thirteen doctors shall not cure him
Thirteen shelves of drugs not heal him"

Scope for a thread on the numerology of folksong?

Alan


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 08:56 AM

I hope she's not in her hearse, considering that their reaction is

"With an aye yi yippee yippee yayyy"!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 07:43 PM

The words are: "She'll be drivin' six white horses when she comes"

Now if we're talking about a hearse, she could hardly be driving it unless you believe in reincarnation. If the six white horses indicated wealth, she wouldn't be driving them either. Her driver would be doing that.

We're just as confused as ever.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: dulcimer
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 07:08 AM

Bev and Jerry and Others--There may of other origins of the song and the tune and there may be many parodies, but the song refers to Mother Jones, who help organize the coal miners in the eastern US. The railroads, who either owned or carried or were in league with the coal companies, refused to let her ride the trains. So white horses, chicken dinners, etc are signs of her importance and the respect people had for her. I don't she why the mystery or the confusion. OR have a missed the point of this thread.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 11:04 AM

I agree the song lyrics that we are familiar with (and were taught as children in school) reflect the sentiments of having Mother Jones coming to visit--but I'm not certain the song is about her. If I am not mistaken, these lyrics predate Mother Jones' organizing days. But I could be wrong about that.

My understanding is the song is one version of the African American spiritual "When the Chariot Comes" (as I stated above. There are other references--like killing the red rooster in the lyrics which obviously have some sort of cultural meaning as well, and likely the six white horses should be looked at in that broader context to that stanza to understand the song's cultural meaning to the community that wrote the lyrics. White horses and red roosters, the number six--all those things would have cultural significance to the folk community the song came from.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 01:51 PM

The Queen had 6 white horses on her gold coach during the Jubilee celebrations earlier this month.... does this signify anything? And who is this 'she' who'll be coming round the mountain anyway? And what is the significance of silk pyjamas?

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 02:59 PM

In the Traditional Ballad Index, the tune (according to Fuld) was in print in 1899 in "Old Plantation Hymns" but the text was "When the Chariot Comes." Fuld assumed that the lyrics of "She'll be Comin' ..." were more recent. The first printing was in Carl Sandburg, The American Songbag, 1927, pp. 372-373. Sandburg says the old spiritual was "made into "She'll be Comin'...." by mountaineers, and the song spread to railroad work gangs in the midwest in the 1890's."

Here is a piece of the sppiritual for comparison. Note that it is the chariot that is called "she" :

O who will drive the chariot when she comes? (twice)
O who will drive the chariot, O who will drive the chariot,
O who will drive the chariot when she comes?

King Jesus, He'll be driver when she comes, etc.

She'll be loaded with bright angels, etc.

She will neither rock nor totter, etc.

She will run so level and steady, etc.

She will take us to the portals, etc.

Sandburg calls the spiritual "old-time." "When the Chariot Comes" with allusions to the ship as "she," is a remake of "Old Ship of Zion," a spiritual collected in the 1870's.
For comparison, here is a verse from "Old Ship of Zion." (T. F. Seward, Negro Spirituals or the Songs of the Jubilee Singers, p. 29)

She is loaded down with angels, Hallelujah,
She is loaded down with angels, Hallelu,
And King Jesus is the captain,
And he'll carry us all home. Oh glory hallelu.

The "she" of the ship has turned into a chariot into a woman in the song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 03:06 PM

That is so logical, why didn't I think of it? Doh!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 01:53 AM

Dicho:

We like the idea that the song is based on "When the Chariot Comes". We have seen that elsewhere on the Mudcat.

Also, we like the idea that it refers to Mother Jones which we have also seen elsewhere on the Mudcat.

So are we to believe that the six white horses are not to be taken literally but more figuratively to indicate what a great person she was? Most of the other verses can be interpreted literally like "We'll all have chicken and dumplings when she comes" or "We'll all go down to meet her when she comes".

This sounds reasonable but what about the verse which says "We'll wear our red pajamas when she comes"?

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: dulcimer
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 07:43 PM

I would think that this song is one of those that verses might easily be added to the local situation. Or the red pajamas verse may have been added much later around some campfire and may have just have been an attempt to be cute OR may be.........?


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 08:50 PM

I imagine that if we looked at some of the scout and other songbooks, we will find a lot more than red pyjamas in the song versions- and six pink elephants as I heard sung years ago. There should be a number of parodies.

I don't see any relationships to Mother Jones (1830-1930) in the older versions, although her lifespan covers the period in question. I would expect the verse to be more specific. If the song was being used as a reference to her, I would expect that Carl Sandburg or Lomax would have mentioned it. If someone wants to make up verses about her and her work for miners and others, however, why not? A good tune with simple meter always lends itself to changes and additions.

Vance Randolph collected these lines in MO:
She'll be comin' round the mountain, charmin' Betsy,
She'll be comin' round the mountain, Cora Lee, etc.
This in a song called "Charming Betsy," but it shows how song ideas move around. I have wondered if "She'll be comin'...." and "Charming Betsy" are related.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: harpgirl
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 10:29 PM

"Six white horses came today..." Candy Geer's poem about John Kennedy as if by John-John, makes me think it is an Irish funeral tradtion...

http://www.istop.com/~viola/sixwhitehorses.html


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Chris Cooke
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 11:57 AM

What I find shocking is that no one has perceived the sexual interpretation of this song, as to me it seems quite clear. I am not talking about an adapted version sung by rugby players but the unaltered song. When she comes, it will not be gently, she'll be coming round the montain. When she comes, it will be so powerful she will be riding six white horses, white being a refence to the fact it will be the first time she has an orgasm as she is a virgin. Perhaps the song was originally about how virgin womens' first sexual experiences are very powerful, and as it is very catchy and easy to improvise to, everyone can make up their own verses, meaning the verses that have been memorised, have only had this done because they seemed good by whoever they were passed on to. Over the years different people with different views have added different verses, and it cannot be assumed the version we hear now was put together as a complete song. I feel that the rythym and some of the ideas are taken from "When the Chariot Comes" but it doesn't have to have the same meaning, as its too similar and thus would seem a waste of making a new song of it, unless its tone was humourous. I am not so confident about this, but the pink pyjamas may be a reference to the fact that it will be very pleasurable for the man as well, pink as an erotic colour??? Perhaps it means as soon as a woman consumates sexual intercourse, she become powerfully and obviously sexual in her behaviour, it is a revolutionary change in a woman's life.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 12:38 PM

Maybe you'd be as well to have a cold shower, Chris lad. I somehow thing you've got hold of the wrong end of the stick on this one.

Incidentally, white is now the normal liturgical colour for funerals and requiem masses in the Catholic church.

Isn't it normal to refer to white horses as being "greys"?


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 01:49 PM

Cris Cooke is trying to unseat Catspaw as our resident teller of tall tales.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 06:34 PM

Sigmund Freud lives! Chris, I'm not going to tell you about these dreams I'm having,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 06:51 PM

Gimme a break, Chris! You remind me of this friend I had years ago who ascribed everything in life to sex. He had a sexual explanation for every letter in the friggin' alphabet! He couldn't talk about anything without dragging sex into it.

And by the way...if you think that females are incapable of having orgasms prior to losing their virginity...think again, lad! LOL!

- LH


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:23 PM

I dunno' if Chris is trying to "unseat" me, but I sure as hell want some of whatever it is he's smokin'!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 07:44 PM

I think the best way of unseating you would be either with that James Bond car or with a sleeping Siamese cat that you didn't happen to notice as you plunked yerself heavily down in the easychair, Spaw. :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: pavane
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 01:28 PM

About white horses - yes, the colour of a horse is its SKIN colour, not its hair. White horses are always referred to in equine circles as Greys, EXCEPT for the white horses of the Camargue, in France.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,mad axe murderer
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 01:47 PM

white horses normally are waves beaking before they hit the shore


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 01:59 PM

There's the fella who reported his dog missing. And they asked him "What colour is the dog?" "I don't know that" he says, "He was all covered in hair."


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 02:01 PM

So what we have is a semi-naked surfer chick in a pink teddy riding the breaking waves to go in and get laid on the beach huh? Somehow I don't think that's what the writer(s) had in mind...........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 02:13 PM

In redneck country, a white hoss is white and a gray hoss is gray. Its skin don't make no never mind. Tanning the skin after it's daid takes care of a lot of the problem.

Color depends on the genotypic and phenotypic variations.
Gray (grey) is just a whitening of black, bay or chestnut horses.
A couple of sites: Horse color
A more technical one: Geno and phenotypes


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 02:21 PM

Revisions! Have Patience? Don' mind if ah do.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Chris Cooke
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 03:56 PM

I think my interpretation was a viable possibility at least, as for the fact that women can have orgasms before their first sexual experience, I'm just saying that this one hasn't. Is there anyone out there who thinks this isn't even a possibility. I don't think I'm obsessed with sex, I genuinly beleive it is a very important part of life.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 12:28 PM

We could always change the title to: "She'll be Cuming Around the Mountain"

And we all know what "mountains" refer to!

Sorry Chris I don't agree,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Richie
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 11:36 PM

Here's what I believe is the meaning of the "Six White Horses:"

The white horse/horses are symbolic of traveling from life to death in the African-American culture. We sing an old spiritual with "two white horses in a line, waiting to carry me to d'other side."

Since the term, "two white horses" or "six white horse" is a common line in blues/spirituals it was appropriated in the "She'll be Coming Around the Mountain" song.

In the context of the song I don't think "six white horses" means anything but was a line combined in typical folk metamorphosis from the African-American expression. It gives her a kind of supernatural power (over death?) to "ride six white horses."

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Cliff Dyer, Guest
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 10:37 PM

A few years back, I was in Russia with some friends of mine (1996). We were hanging out with some russians, and they were all singing songs, and She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain was one of the only ones we could think of that all of us Americans knew, so we sang it for them, and it was immediately obvious to all the Russians what the song was about, even though it wasn't to us. For reference, here are the verses we used (if memory serves)

She'll be coming round the mountain.
She'll be driving six white horses.
We'll all go out to meet her.
We'll be wearing (red/silk/wool/fur) pajamas. (I can't remember which variation we used here)
We'll all have chicken and dumplings.
We'll (not she'll) have to sleep with grandma.

All of this, to a Russian mind, points to "she" as being winter. Cold winds come down off the mountains. Six white horses refer here to snow (I admit, this is quite different from the six white horses in blues). Silk, wool, or fur pajamas would all be very warm, and you would bring them out for winter time. Red I'm not sure about, but it could be a corruption, since another verse has red in that position (we'll kill the old red rooster). Chicken and dumplings is a common cold-weather meal, and in a house with no electricity, it would make sense for the children to sleep with the grandmother for warmth.

It's the only explanation I've heard that makes the song cohesive in all its verses. Also, we didn't sing the rooster line. I think we just forgot it. But on a farm, it would make sense to slaughter the animals in the winter, to have food when there are no crops to harvest.

I'm sure no one will see this, since the thread is almost a year old now. But I thought I'd contribute.

Cheers,
Cliff


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 11:37 PM

Just shows to go you, a song can have as many meanings as listeners. One would think the song would have a similar meaning to Canadians (more snow country) but it doesn't. Like Americans, we would calculate the value of six white horses and would make sure that she pays us for those chickens and dumplings and bed space and fodder for those damn hosses.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 02:35 AM

That the number 6 is a symbol of prestige is the right observation made by dulcimer. A small story:
When my state of Hessen was reigned by a Grand Duke a parade was held on a jubilee, and the numbers of horses were:
- notables and lower officers: 2
- the Grand Duke's family and higher officers: 4
- The Grand Duke: 6
The oldest student corporation of our university sent their officials in a chariot with 8 (eight!) horses. The corporation was punished by a suspension for 3 terms.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 05:48 PM

This song was written about the transcontinental railroad. When it was built, it was a big deal. According to historical train websites, she'll be driving six white horses is talking about the train (called she) and driving six white horses are the engines to the train. 6000 horsepower? 600 horsepower? Not sure, but makes sense.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 07:51 PM

Perhaps in "equine circles, the colour of a horse is its SKIN colour", but as was noted above, not as commonly used in the USA. How would one be able to identify the color from a distance? Unless you riffle the hair, you don't know what color the skin is. A 'white' horse, however, *could* be called a 'grey', simply because *most* white horses start out grey or even darker; many horses pale as they mature.

If I'm not mistaken, a horse, just like a dog, has different colors and shades in different parts of the body, depending on the color. For instance, white legs on a horse denote white skin beneath, as well as -often - a white hoof.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 08:14 PM

'struth! The guy who remade the song got drunk on White Horse scotch, changed the chariot to a hoss and his brain sextupled the image.

??sextupled ??sextuplicated


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 10:20 PM

In British circles in days gone by (I don't know when carriages started being driven, so I'll be vague about this) the size of the carriage sometimes dictated how many horses pulled it. Very large carriages, and things like mail coaches, needed six horses. In other circumstances, it was just for speed or ostentatious display. I did some searching (it's hard to search for "horse-drawn carriages" and "six horses" and have a meaningful result), but here is some of what I found:

Information about types of carriages.

A photo of a carriage pulled by six horses.



Some interesting archeological information from China about how many horses pulled the emperor's carriage.

    The six horse carriage, unearthed from one of the pits, confirms an ancient regulation stipulating that only emperors wereallowed to ride in carriages pulled by six horses, according to the experts.



Stuff about caissons and about field artillery (cannons) pulled by six horses.

(No link available) a page cached by Google that discusses these carriages:

    clarence:-from the Duke of Clarence. A coach with curved glass front, fully paneled body with elliptic springs at the front and both elliptic and C-springs at the rear.

    coach:-from French coche - Hungarian kocsi; A four-wheel closed vehicle of considerable size drawn by four or six horses. It is applied to a vehicle with fixed head, doors and windows.

    Mail coach:-The official mail coaches, which plied a certain route carrying mail and passengers with stops at specific coaching Inns on the way. They are very large coaches with a seat for the driver in front and additional seats for passengers on top and at the rear. Usually pulled by a team of six horses, which are changed at the regular post stops so they can run all the way.


The Russian interpretation is interesting. Reminds me of some commentary on a tape I have from an NPR program that was recorded at the Ten Pound Fiddle. Michael Cooney was on, and one song he sang (I can't remember the name) was about a young man who, after arguing with his fiance, swore he'd marry the next woman he saw. She had her servants delay him, dressed in rags and dirt, and met him on the road in front of the house. They suffer along for a while, he tells his family of his pledge, and after the wedding he is happily surprised by "the most beautiful maiden he'd courted for years." The discussion had to do with the fact that this was considered a fragment of a much longer and ancient piece called "The Marriage of Sir Gawain" that has all but been lost.

Interesting discussion.



SRS


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 04:04 AM

A horse outputs less than 1 Horsepower.

So to pull any reasonable amount of weight, you need more horses. If you have ever looked up close at the hitchings of horse teams, 6 was the practible largest number for a single rig - remembering that wood was the primary construction material - and that 4 wheels was the normal runing gear.

So either this vehicular conveyance had lots of goodies in it, or the lady was seriously weight disadvantaged. :-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Vixen
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 08:54 AM

Just a thought, perhaps expressed in some other thread...

I always thought the song was a train song, and the "6 white horses" is a conflation of the images of 1)the 3 pairs of big wheels on a steam locomotive; and 2)the clouds of white steam billowing from the stack.

I don't have a clue about the pajamas, though I've always heard/sung it as "silk pajamas" which would go with the wealth idea.

And someone in my family (I suspect my dad though maybe my mother's father) added "We'll be eatin' buckwheat flapjacks when she comes" which can be a bit of a tongue-twister if the banjo-player has kicked off the tune a mite faster than you're used to...

just my $0.02, your mileage may vary...

V


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Susan in the Mountains
Date: 15 Oct 07 - 11:43 AM

Our weather has just turned cold, so I love the Russian's interpretation best!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Rumncoke
Date: 15 Oct 07 - 06:31 PM

Silk pyjamas - I always imagined shades of the raj and the ladies swaning around on long lazy afternoons in their Singapore pyjamas, extravagantly cut on the bias in embroidered silk, the height of luxury.

Not really the thing for driving in though.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Oct 07 - 07:10 PM

Dicho opined:

The poor relations are waiting for her to show up with her matched team and conveyance, which will be loaded with chicken and dumplings and everything else that their covetous hearts desire.

Afraid not, Dicho. She's important, and gloriously welcome, and they're going to put on the chicken--uhh, dog for her. "We'll kill the old red rooster when she comes. We'll all have chicken and dumplings when she comes."   Nothing in the song that I've ever heard suggested that she was bringing the makings of the festive meal. It's gen-you-wine southern mountain hospitality!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Joe_F
Date: 15 Oct 07 - 08:15 PM

According to usually reliable White Horse souses,....


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Tori
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 10:59 PM

I BELIEVE that the number 6 and the white horses refer to the end of the world by Christian viewpoint, 6 being the number of the beast and the whit horses of the apocolypse. It is just my take. Peace


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,JohnnyBeezer
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 04:59 AM

GuestQ, those are superb sites


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Andrew Calhoun
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:55 PM

The sacrifice of a chicken, rooster or goat is a central aspect of Vodou religions. The song is about a visit from the Goddess: unadorned.

And I got to thinking about Goddess songs: Poor Rosy, Mary Don't You Weep, Fleur-de-Lis, Mother, I Climbed. Louis came in today and mentioned 'She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain."
    A central part of Vodou ritual is the sacrifice of a goat, chicken or rooster. These lyrics are from Carl Sandburg's American Songbag:

right under our noses - the Goddess

She'll be Coming Round the Mountain
She'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes
(when she comes)
She'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes
(when she comes)
She'll be coming 'round the mountain
Coming 'round the mountain
Coming 'round the mountain when she comes
(when she comes)

Chorus
Singing aye aye yipee yippee aye
Aye aye yippee yippe aye
Singing aye aye yippee
Aye aye yippie
Aye aye yippie yippie aye


Oh we'll all come out to meet her when she comes, etc.

We will kill the old red rooster when she comes, etc.

We'll be havin' chicken and dumplings when she comes, etc.

We'll all be shoutin' "Halleluja" when she comes, etc.
(Chorus)


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Goose Gander
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 05:08 PM

She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain as crypto-voodoo? Well, I hadn't thought of that one. I thought it had some sexual subtext, "she'll be coming around the mountain when she comes . . . ." Oh, never mind.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 05:15 PM

Now I always thought she was coming back, bringing the dough she made in that city brothel-
No dough, she don't get none o' that chicken!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 06:08 PM

OK, simpler question: when did the "yippie yay" chorus get added? The song didn't have it when I was a kid in the old-time cave days.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Goose Gander
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 06:24 PM

Clearly, the "yippie yay" chorus was added by 1960s-era radicals who sought to coopt folk music for their own purposes.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 09:22 PM

Who was the singer that added the 'pyjamas' verse?
Was it in the Henry Whitter recording? The Vernon Dalhart recording? the Gid Tanner?


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 07:58 PM

When I was very young I always thought it was about trains - well, even at that early age I thought it was an American song, and American songs are always about trains, aren't they?


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Celtaddict
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 11:37 PM

Likely nothing to do with the song, but with the thread subject: in rural Ireland, supposedly, it was said that if you saw six white horses (not all together, but in the course of a journey or day), you were going to be married to a farmer; possibly it was to the next farmer you saw.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 10:41 PM

You all need to stop being metaphorical and symbolic and realize that this song is the essence of guydom. The six white horses represent six white horses.

To show you what I mean - Last night I was reading a book about Charlie Moon, South Ute Tribal Investigator. Charlie had lost another girlfriend and had been moping for weeks. Finally, his best friend Scott shows up with just what he needs - a new shiny red F350 pickup with a remote-controlled winch and satellite radio. At great length, 'They discussed its truckly virtues.' And the healing process began.

The six white horses are the pioneer equivalent of the shiny red pick-up. They are fast, expensive and glamorous! They probably have red and gold harnesses and they are coming our way! Wa-hoo!

It helps if you picture the singer living on a hardscrabble farm in a dreary landscape where nothing exciting ever happens.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,NYMusicLover
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 12:31 PM

what I haven't seen here, is any referrence to the classic country song Six White Horses...Waylon Jennings. In the song he's the blind father of a young soldier in, I think, the Civil War.

"Come here and look through the window, Marie. Open up the shutters and tell me what you see. Was that his knock I heard at the door? Or was it six white horses coming up the road?"

I'd have to say that in that particular song, it either refers to a military party to notify him of his son's death, or actually bringing him the body.

So, I agree that, in some cases, the significance of six white horses has to do with death, but I don't think in She'll be comin round the mountain, that's the case.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 11:17 AM

White horses usually represent angels riding to Earth to bring the spirit/soul to Heaven in an elegant procession. It symbolizes purity and renewal.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Five white horses
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 10:11 PM

Does anyone know of a song with a title of, or reference, to five white horses? A man who attended Carter Stanley's funeral in 1966 recalls groups of people in the crowd (who were waiting for Bill Monroe to arrive) standing up and singing Five White Horses. I believe the man meant Six White Horses, yet still don't see it as a song to be sung before a funeral.

I will check back with the list, but also appreciate responses direct to davidwilliamjohnson@yahoo.com. Thanks.

David


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 09:19 AM

I stand by my post of June 8, where I maintain that the white horses represent white horses.

Since then, I've remembered reading about Sarah Bernhardt, the French actress. When she was broke, she had a standard method of making more money - an American tour. I'm sure the news that Sarah Bernhardt was on her way to an American town caused a lot of excitement.

Another woman who no doubt caused a lot of excitement was the singer Jenny Lind. Students of the frontier could probably name other performers who toured America.

I think the song is based on famous women making tours like that and coming to - our town, our farm, or our ranch - bringing excitement and glamour with her.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Amos
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 11:02 AM

Fer cry-i, you guys. May I remind you that this song dates from the days of the Westward expansion and the Gold Rush. Hauling any kind of load required multiple horses in an array of pairs--left and right. Unless you use oxen or burros or mules. To arrive driving six horses was an event justifying some enthusiasm, since (a) it meant you had arrived at all which was always problematic and (b) it mean you could afford six horses. That they were a matched set is probably indicative that the whole thing was an exuberant day-dream. In fact she would probably arrive driving one swaybacked, windbroken nag on its last legs, or else being rattled to death in a stage coach or a buckboard, bruised, sunburnt and grumpy as hell and covered with dust.

A


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 05:11 PM

'In fact she would probably arrive driving one swaybacked, windbroken nag on its last legs, or else being rattled to death in a stage coach or a buckboard, bruised, sunburnt and grumpy as hell and covered with dust.'

But then she woulnd't have a kids' song about her. Instead she'd be in film noir.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,rob
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 09:02 PM

Van Morrison sings of a carriage and six white horses in "Cyprus Avenue." Does anyone have information on the meaning of this symbol in Irish mythology?


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Nick E
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:44 PM

I think sometimes people try a little too hard in here. Would you ask the meaning of She will be driving A Green Chrysler Town & Country when she comes? Well, I guess some would!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Mysha
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:57 PM

Hi,

What is, or are, "A Green Chrysler Town & Country"?

                                                                  Mysha


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Nick E
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:13 PM

Google it


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:46 PM

English may substitute a green estate wagon of their preferred make.

(I remember, as a child, begging a ride in a 1930s Rolls-Royce shooting brake that a local rancher had special-ordered. That would be more equivalent to a fancy matched team of six white horses)


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Mysha
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 03:48 AM

Hi,

And there I was expecting an answer along the line of: "I made that one up; it's a play of words on x, y and z". It's a car, and to my European eyes it's not very pretty.

In the mean time I'm nigh wrecking my brains trying to recall the introductory verse that came with this when I first learned it. (Judging from the location I associate with it, it must have been somewhen in the sixties.) It had "She" being an aunt or grandmother, but I can't recall which.

                                                                  Mysha


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 09:10 PM

a poem written after the death of president John F Kennedy by a 15 year old Candy Geer in Detroit began six white horses referring to the six white horses that pulled his coffin in his funeral procession


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,C
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 08:09 AM

Soldiers caskets were returned to families in the Civil War in a carriage drawn by 6 white horses. The image can be stretched to an individual's death or the horses of the apocalypse.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 08:17 PM

Driving Six White Horses is a methaphor for the front teeth. AKA ... she will be "HUNGRY." Hence, the killing of the old red rooster and dumplings - yummm yummm.

A parralell is found in the Nursery Riddle "Six White Horses on a red hill...first they chomp, then they stomp, then they stand still."

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I could swear I posted the same answer nearly a decade ago.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: meself
Date: 11 Nov 10 - 01:29 PM

I prefer to think that "she" is driving the horses of the Apocalypse. (Maybe she's hungry too).


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,me!
Date: 20 Jan 11 - 11:39 PM

well I saw two and a half men and it say that its about an orgasm


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: doc.tom
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 05:22 AM

Interesting to see the reference to the Apocolypse - first verse of the version of Jordan that got to this side of the Atlantic goes:

I looked to the East, I looked to the West,
I saw John Bull coming according,
With six white horses, flyinging through the clouds,
To look at the other side of Jordan
Take off your old coat, etc...

TomB


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Jordan Delange
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 01:43 PM

I have an old journal from my great grandpa who was a mine worker. In it he talks about "Mother Jones" comming to organize a strike and all the workers singing She'll be comming round the mountian for a few days before she arrived. He mentions how glad he is singing it because it makes his bosses so mad. For whatever reason the miners took that song and linked it to her. I've hear the railroader also sang it about her. Sounds to me like they took an old nergo spiritual and changed it just a bit to fit what they wanted.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,ed knights
Date: 05 May 11 - 10:20 PM

I agree that the song is based on an African American Spiritual. The tune is almost identical to the tune for a spiritual that's been passed down in my family since at least the 1850's. It's based on the parable in Matthew 25. Each verse has only one line, repeated five times as in "She'll Be Comin' 'round the Mountain When She Comes."
Verse 1) Who'll be the leader when the Bridegroom comes?
2) Six white horses when the Bridegroom comes.
3) Five of them were foolish when the Bridegroom comes.
4) Keep your lamps all trimmed and aburnin' when the Bridegroom comes.
5) Who'll be the leader when the Bridegroom Comes.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: mg
Date: 05 May 11 - 11:35 PM

I think it is also found in lily of the valley as sung by Cornish people but originally seems to be African American spiritual. I think the words go what is that chariot you ride..with four?? six? white horses by your side..but I could be wrong.

Of course, streets of Laredo..get six jolly gamblers, lovely maidens etc. mg


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,don barker
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 04:38 PM

TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT... THIS ORIG LINES OF THE SOUNG COMES FROM AN OLD RAILROAD SONG. WHEN THE CNW AND Western Carolina railroad has a rail line from Salisbury to Paint Rock and Henry ..in the Mountains. that was the end of the trackage at the time, SO the owers of the railroad had a stagecoach, driven by Jack Pence, who handled the ribbons (the Reins) of SIX WHITE HORSES, and drove the stage across the Mountains, to Ashville., during the night, without ever an accident or loss of life. thus, 'she'll be coming round the mountain.
so there you have it... it was written and put into song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,don barker-Conover NC
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 04:43 PM

I hope this clears up the real meaning and originalalty of the song.
It has been a 'mountain folk' song for years. COMING ROUNG THE MOUNTAIN... DRIVING SIX WHITE HORSES. dRIVEN BY THE DRIVER OF A STAGECOACH.. jack pence. tHE STAGECOACH CAN BE SEEN AT THE MUSEUM OF NORTH CAOLINA HISTORY IN WINSTON SALEM, N. C. IT IS BEAUTIFUL....,
EVEN WITHOUT THE WSIX WHITE HORSES.

QUESTIONS: CONTACT ME

dbarker33@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Seth G.
Date: 29 Oct 11 - 11:48 PM

After reading this thread I've formulated an amalgamated interpretation of the 'six white horses' symbol. (1)Take the notion of prestige with white horses because of their rarity. (2) Consider 'she' to be in reference to the chariot that is riding the horses (I know the syntax feels awkward in relation to modern English, but it seems appropriate to older generations). (3) Consider chariots to be the vehicle of choice for heavenly ascension--salvation.

I see it as an idealized, physical representation of the salvation that awaits. At least, that's the context I would most likely choose to use it in.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Seth G.
Date: 29 Oct 11 - 11:53 PM

Sorry, replace 'syntax' with 'wording' in what I just wrote.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 11:46 PM

Don Barker, thanks for the info about the coach to Asheville.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,blogward
Date: 31 Oct 11 - 05:53 AM

The 'meaning' of six white horses is of the pomp and ceremony. It's that she'll be prosperous, pushing the boat out, showing off, it'll be a red letter day. Whether it's a funereal symbol or not, can you imagine the amount of work and expense that would go into preparing, rigging and driving six white horses? Six white horses is as ostentatious as you can get without being over the top. Blind Lemon's image of two white horses pulling a hearse, presumably because no-one will pay for six, or the cheap undertaker has nothing better, is perfect. I bet they were broken down old nags.
As far as the sexual connotation goes, I suppose it's reasonable to imagine 'riding six white horses' being used to describe an orgasm, but only through the association with a joyous, hang-the-consequences occasion.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 15 - 04:34 PM

Would six white horses mean he lives. Kennedys car was put back in service for many years. Why? He survived. The Kennedy wealth was from his father, a boot legger. Seems to me his father would have to be Al Capone to have that kind of wealth! Capone's vaults were emptied and one of the adjoining walls was the scene of the saints Valentine massacre I believe. John knew of the threat and was to teach his wife a lesson. Frank Geer shot from the front seat followed by Oswald followed by the secret service agent running up from behind. Jacky covered John in an attempt to save him. She went spread eagle on the trunk. John was on the yacht to see her again, he forgave her. No way does that car go back in service! President Kennedy was shot by the English and replaced by Johnson as was Lincoln replaced by y Johnson who happened to be his second VP. The conallys are English. Both Kennedy and Lincoln were Irish fighting for the African American as was president Reagan! Look at the similarities between Lincoln and Kennedys assassination attempts. Conspiracy !


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: mayomick
Date: 14 Oct 15 - 11:44 AM

By the title and the rhythm of the song, I'd say the "she" must originally have referred to a train - as Guest said a few years back.It would have been sung as a welcome to Mother Jones later.   The 600 horsepower bit is a bit of a stretch though- nobody would have "got" that sort of information overload in the song . A hearse coming round a mountain being pulled by six white horses doesn't make any sort of sense.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 17 - 02:44 AM

I gotta put my bit in. I've often heard the phrase "coach and six," meaning a pretty classy rig. There's also "coach and twelve," but that's getting ridiculous.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jun 17 - 01:39 PM

Why would anyone think that "six white horses" doesn't mean six white horses?


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 17 - 03:06 PM

Agreed, Lighter. Still, coming in with 6 white horses is quite an entrance. One or two is pretty ordinary, and four is like a farmer with a honey wagon, but I'd be impressed by six white horses.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jun 17 - 05:23 PM

It's supposed to be impressive, since the chariot carries the returning Messiah.

The song most likely comes from an African American spiritual called "When the Chariot Comes."

Here's a text and tune:

http://tinyurl.com/yc6spt6l

Scroll down to p.718.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Jun 17 - 11:32 AM

That's interesting, Lighter. You are probably right. Doesn't help explain who she is that is coming around the mountain, though.

I still think it's an actress, singer or other woman with wealth and fame who is on tour and is coming to our humble town. (Yee-HAW!)

Two women who did that were Jenny Lind and Sarah Bernhardt. No doubt there were others.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jun 17 - 03:18 PM

100


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning of Six White Horses
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 10 Jun 17 - 05:37 PM

Even more mysterious to me is ' she'll be wearing pink pyjamas ...',


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