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Origins: Sam Hall

DigiTrad:
AIKENDRUM
CAPTAIN KIDD
CAPTAIN ROBERT KIDD
NOBBY HALL
SAM HALL
SAMUEL SMALL (SAM HALL)
TALLOW CANDLES or SONG OF A DOOMED MAN
VAN GOGH
WONDROUS LOVE


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Sam Hall (65)
Lyr/Tune Req: Ballad of Sam Hall (28)
(origins) Origins: Damn your eyes (41)
Lyr Req: Tom the Cat (9)
(origins) Origins/Info: Tallow Candles (34)
Lyr Req: Sam Hall / Chimney Sweep (Oh my name...) (12)
Lyr Req: Sam Hall (Dubliners, etc.) (27)
Lyr Req: Jack Hall (6)


GUEST,SueMc 10 Sep 02 - 07:45 PM
GUEST 10 Sep 02 - 07:55 PM
GUEST 10 Sep 02 - 08:03 PM
masato sakurai 10 Sep 02 - 08:29 PM
masato sakurai 10 Sep 02 - 08:32 PM
Bert 10 Sep 02 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,Bill Galbraith 10 Sep 02 - 10:49 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Sep 02 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,guest 10 Sep 02 - 11:31 PM
GUEST,Dale 11 Sep 02 - 12:14 AM
GUEST,Dale 11 Sep 02 - 12:17 AM
Susan of DT 11 Sep 02 - 06:13 AM
Fiolar 11 Sep 02 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 11 Sep 02 - 10:30 AM
Kim C 11 Sep 02 - 02:19 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Sep 02 - 04:36 PM
Snuffy 11 Sep 02 - 07:33 PM
Bert 12 Sep 02 - 03:22 AM
CET 12 Sep 02 - 05:04 AM
Steve Parkes 12 Sep 02 - 05:26 AM
Snuffy 12 Sep 02 - 06:56 PM
RichM 12 Sep 02 - 07:57 PM
Steve Parkes 13 Sep 02 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,Bill Kenney 13 Sep 02 - 09:05 AM
GUEST 24 Oct 03 - 02:57 AM
GUEST,guest 24 Oct 03 - 08:27 AM
Kevin Sheils 24 Oct 03 - 08:39 AM
Rapparee 24 Oct 03 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Meagan 18 Oct 10 - 12:32 AM
CET 18 Oct 10 - 08:38 PM
CET 18 Oct 10 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 19 Oct 10 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,DWR 19 Oct 10 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,DWR 19 Oct 10 - 10:55 AM
BillE 19 Oct 10 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,DWR 19 Oct 10 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,DWR 19 Oct 10 - 11:36 AM
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Subject: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,SueMc
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 07:45 PM

I was wondering if anyone out there knows the history of the folksong "Sam Hall" - where it originated from, what's the story behind the song, etc.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 07:55 PM

In 1701, a man named Jack Hall was executed in England for burglary

The name got changed to Sam in later versions, and chimney sweeping eventually found it's way into to the song too.

That's it, really


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 08:03 PM

There's some stuff about an English comic minstrel, C.W. Ross, in the 1850's too.

But it's not particularly interesting.

Stick "John Hall" or "Sam Hall" along with words such as 'folk' or 'ballad' into google and you'll find more


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 08:29 PM

SAM HALL (lyrics) in the DT.

See also CAPTAIN KIDD.

Discussions and other versions in the forum:

lyrics and music to Ballad of Sam Hall?

Sam Hall

Sam Hall

Add Lyrics SAM HALL

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 08:32 PM

And SAMUEL SMALL (SAM HALL) is in the DT.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Bert
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 10:21 PM

and don't forget Nobby Hall


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Subject: Lyr Add: TEDBURN HILL (version of Sam Hall)
From: GUEST,Bill Galbraith
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 10:49 PM

My group "Nobody's Reel" recorded a version of this named "Tedburn Hill" some years ago. In response to an inquiry from a listener, I put together the info below. It may be more than you want to know, and some of the lyrics referenced don't appear in the version of the song known as "Sam Hall," but hopefully some of it will be of use.

Tedburn Hill
^^

I have candles lily white, hanging high, hanging high
I have candles lily white, hanging high
I have candles lily white, and I stole them all by night
But my life shall pay for all, when I die, when I die
But my life shall pay for all, when I die

They say that in the jail I shall lie, I shall lie
They say that in the jail I shall lie
They say that in the jail I shall drink no more brown ale
But be damned if ever I fail till I die, till I die
But be damned if ever I fail till I die

I have twenty pounds and ten stowed away, stowed away
I have twenty pounds and ten stowed away
I have twenty pounds and ten
That I'll never touch again
But you'll buy me my last round in the end, in the end
But you'll buy me my last round in the end.

I rode up Tedburn Hill, in a cart, in a cart
I rode up Tedburn Hill in a cart
I rode up Tedburn Hill, there I stopped to make my will
Saying the best of friends must part, so must I so must I
Saying the best of friends must part, so must

I climbed up the ladder that's no joke, that's no joke
I climbed up the ladder that's no joke
I climbed up the ladder there the hangman spread the rope
But the devil of a word a word I spoke, coming down, coming down
But the devil of a word a word I spoke, coming down

Tedburn Hill has been recorded a fair number of times, sometimes under the name "Jack Hall", "Sam Hall", "Samuel Small", "Tallow Candles" and "Song of a Doomed Man". There are plenty of variations on the words and melody. The customs mentioned in the song are explained below. "Tedburn" is a corruption of Tyburn or Tiborne Hill, the site of hanging. Here's some info on the name and the customs that grew up around the hangings there: Tiborne Tiborne is the spelling of Tyburn used from 1500-1700. The place of public execution for Middlesex until 1783, situated at the junction of the present Oxford Street, Bayswater Road, and Edgware Road. Hence in allusive use. 1603 H. Crosse Vertues Commw. (1878) 138: "Many idle persons...fall into offence of lawe, and are many times eaten vp by Tiborne." (OED). Tyburn

The name Tyburn came from the brook (or "bourne") which flowed through the area and into the Thames. On its way, the brook passed Hay Hill (hay was pronounced "aye"), and the combination of the two words became Tyburn. The area was first used as a place of execution in 1196, when it became the location for dispatching political prisoners. From 1571 until 1759, a permanent gallows existed at Tyburn, called Tyburn Tree, Tyburn Gallows, or The Deadly Never Green. Prisoners were marched, or carried by cart or on hurdles to Tyburn from the Tower, where the gentry were kept, or from Newgate, where the more common variety of criminals were housed. In earlier days, hanging was just a preliminary part of the execution. The victim would be cut down while still alive and subjected to dismemberment or disemboweling. In the earliest executions, the condemned would have to stand with his head in a noose while a fire was lit under his feet. As time went on, hanging itself was considered sufficient, with the hangman pulling on the feet of his victim to assure a speedy conclusion to the event.

The gallows was made in the shape of a large tripod, with the noose (called the "Tyburn tippet") suspended from the base of the triangle. William Hogarth depicted an execution scene at Tyburn in his series Industry and Idleness, Plate XI, "The Idle Prentice Executed at Tyburn." The motion picture Braveheart gave a graphic portrayal of the steps used in torture and execution at the death of William Wallace at Tyburn in 1305, although the structure of Tyburn is not accurately represented.

Traditions grew around the gallows. Upper class members on the way to Tyburn were offered a glass of sherry along the route at the George and Blue Boar, while criminals proceeding from Newgate received a bowl of ale at St. Giles in the Fields. The sexton of St. Giles would toll the bells of the church for all prisoners. A holiday atmosphere often prevailed around the gallows, complete with seating for spectators, vendors hawking their wares, and notable citizens crowding to watch the execution, or perhaps even riding in the cart with a prisoner known to them. James Boswell was often in attendance and enjoyed a good execution.

The most famous executioner was Jack Ketch, who served from 1663-1686. He was so strongly identified with the position that, after his time, all hangmen were called "Jack Ketch" as a generic term.

Among the famous figures who died at Tyburn was poet Robert Southwell in 1595. Others became famous for oddities occurring at Tyburn. In 1447, for instance, five men were prepared for death, stripped, and marked for dismemberment, when a last minute reprieve arrived. The law stated that the hangman became owner of the clothing of any prisoner, and he refused to relinquish his rights, causing the five freed prisoners to walk back to London quite naked. William Duell, hanged at Tyburn in 1740, was being prepared for use in an anatomy class by a servant, when the servant detected signs of life and called for a surgeon. Duell sat up and spoke to the surgeon, who bled him and sent him back to Newgate.

The permanent gallows was dismantled in 1759 to make way for turnpike gates, and a portable gallows came into use. The last hanging on the site was November 7, 1783, when a forger took his leave at Tyburn. Today, a plaque marks the approximate location of the gallows. The exact position is not known, but Tyburn existed near the present site of the Marble Arch, where Bayswater Road, Oxford Street and Park Lane intersect at the corner of Hyde Park.

Help this helps!


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 11:01 PM

Probably the most detailed examination of the history of this song and its relatives can be found in Bertrand Bronson's paper Samuel Hall's Family Tree (California Folklore Quarterly, vol.III, no.1, 1942; reprinted with some additional notes in The Ballad As Song, University of California Press, 1969). You may be able get a look at it through your local library.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 11:31 PM

A simpler tune, commonly used in the western USA, can be heard on Max Hunter. Sam Hall
A local Texas version has the name Sam Bass, for an outlaw killed in Texas in 1878. "Damn yore hides!"


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 12:14 AM

Well, there is a fine version at the Max Hunter site similar to the one posted by Leslie N on 11 Jun 99. http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=12150#94178

Sam Hall as sung by Roy Wrinkle, Mountain View, Arkansas on August 26, 1969. (incorrectly labeled as Roy Winkler)

Emphasis supplied as a connection to the Mountain View as Center of the Universe thread. Mr. Wrinkle still lives in Mountain View, and two of his grand daughters are carrying on the music tradition for which MV is so justly known.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 12:17 AM

Oops, while I was dilly dallying around with this window open, guest above slipped in and mentioned Roy's version. Twice is better than not at all.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Susan of DT
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 06:13 AM

Tallow Candles is also in the DT


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Fiolar
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 10:16 AM

As an aside - listen to the Oscar Brand version - you'll never want to listen to any of the others again.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 10:30 AM

then there's the Carl Sandburg version, 'God Damn you're eyes!'


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Kim C
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 02:19 PM

Tex Ritter did a version of this too - his said "blast your eyes."

John Roberts and Tony Barrand do a nice one on A Present from the Gentlemen.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 04:36 PM

The bowl of ale at a pub along the way reminds me of this verse:

Oh, they tell me that in gaol
That's no jouk, that's no jouk
Oh, they tell me that in gaol
That's no jouk.
Oh, they tell me that in gaol
I shall drink no nut-brown ale
But be damned if ever I fail
Comin' down!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 07:33 PM

The version of Nobby Hall I knew went:

Oh, his name was Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall
Yes, his name was Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall
His name was Nobby Hall and he only had one ball
Damn your eyes, blast your soul, bloody hell.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Bert
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 03:22 AM

Great Snuffy, someone else knows Nobby Hall. Do you remember how the rest of your version went?


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: CET
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 05:04 AM

This is my favourite song, and I'm always glad to find new lyrics.

I use a couple of verses that are similar to Bill Galbraith's "Tedburn Hill":
They tell me that in jail I'll go dry, I'll go dry
They tell me that in jail I'll go dry
They tell me that in jail I shall drink no more small ale,
But be hanged if e'er I fail
Till I die, till I die
But be hanged if e'er I fail,
Till I die

I have candles lily white, hanging high, hanging high
I have candles lily white, hanging high
I have candles lily white and I stole them all by night
They shall fill my room with light
Till I die, till I die
They shall fill my room with light
Till I die

Thanks for Nobby Hall and the Roy Wrinkle version. They're definitely going into my songbook.

CET


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 05:26 AM

I've heard C W Ross's version done on radio and tv in years gone by (BBC), once by Spike Milligan (and a very powwerful performance he gave). I can't remember all the verses, but there are two that don't appear in prevous discussions, at least not in their "original" form. And I'm sure "muckers" (not "muggers"!) is a euphemism for what Mayhew (I think) called "an oath so terrible".

Oh, the preacher he did come,
And he talked till Kingdom Come;
he can kiss my bloody bum, blast his eyes!

I sees Molly in the crowd,
And I hollers right out loud:
Molly, ain't you bleedin'proud? Blast your eyes!

Must add it to my repertoire ...

Steve


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 06:56 PM

Bert, it must be nearly 40 years since I last heard it when I was in the Cadets at school - that accounts for me missing out a line. It should be:

Oh, his name was Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall
Yes, his name was Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall
His name was Nobby Hall and he only had one ball
But that's better than fuck all,
Damn your eyes, blast your soul, bloody hell.

The next verse was definitely "They say he killed his wife", but then it gets hazy. Can't say any other verses in the version you linked to sound familiar, but they were in a similar vein. Each verse had three rhymes and the "Damn you eyes" bit.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: RichM
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 07:57 PM

Thank you all for all of the interesting info on "Sam Hall" and all of it's variation. Interesting to see how the folk process works and songs change as they cross the ocean.

Sue Mc


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 03:19 AM

"They say he stabbed his wife/But it wasn't with a knife ..."

There's also "In Mobile"< which has the same structure and tune, but the repeating tag on each line is "in Mobile" (Pres. Mobile Alabama?) E.g.:
There's no paper in the bogs in Mobile,
There's no paper in the bogs in Mobile,
There's no paper in the bogs
So they wait until it clogs
And they saw it into logs in Mobile.

Hqaven't heard it in the folk clubs a lot ...

Steve


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,Bill Kenney
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 09:05 AM

Sreve - the preacher and Molly verses are sung by Carl Sandburg with slight variation, in his American Song Bag as well, I believe


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 02:57 AM

Moving on up.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 08:27 AM

re nobby hall :in the version I remember the position of nobby's other ball is firmly located in the last line of each stanza as being "hanging on the wall" .Thus Stanza 1: His name was Nobby Hall and he only had one ball/and the other one was hanging on the wall Stanza 2: o they say he stabbed his wife stabbed his wife stabbed his wife /they say he stabbed his wife but it wasn't with a knife/and the other one was hanging on the wall etcetc.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Kevin Sheils
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 08:39 AM

Just skimmed through this recently revived thread. Nothing to add to any of the Sam or Nobby Hall info but don't forget the tune and repetitive pattern is also found in the unrelated "Admiral Benbow".


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 09:05 AM

Before the use of the drop, prisoners climbed a ladder and the noose was put around their neck. The executioner then climbed back down and turned the ladder upon which the prisoner stood (or had his assistants do it), launching the condemned into eternity. It was called "turning off," as in "Jack was turned off Tuesday last."

By the 18th C., the condemned were "noosed" in the back of a cart and the cart driven out from under them. In about 1783 the "new" or "British" drop came into use, where a trapdoor fell from under the condemned's feet; shortly afterwards the "long drop" brought quick death (when corrected applied) by severing the spinal cord.

Gruesome, ain't it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,Meagan
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 12:32 AM

Roy Wrinkle, the man who sings the Max Hunter version of Sam Hall was my grandfather. He would be so happy to know that he is on the internet.

And having finished reading many of the subsequent posts, I would like to add that I am one of the granddaughters who still play music, but I do not live in the area anymore. My sister, father, and I performed Sam Hall at the folk center many times under the name "the white river belles"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: CET
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 08:38 PM

Thanks for reviving this thread Meagan. On going rereading my thread from 2002 I see that I said I would put Roy Wrinkle's version into my songbook, but I didn't, damn it.

Now, when I click on the link to Mr. Wrinkle's recording I get the homepage of the Southwest State Minnesota University. What's going on here? I must have found the version when this thread was started eight years ago.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: CET
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 08:43 PM

However, a little Googling did lead to the Max Hunter collection. I still don't know what's up with the link to SSMU.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NOBBY HALL (version of SAM HALL)
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 07:20 AM

NOBBY HALL (as recorded by Simon Ritchie in Suffolk)
To save typing I'll edit the repeated lines, but you'll get the idea!

Well they called him Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall
Well they called him Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall
Well they called him Nobby Hall.
And he only had one arm
They called him Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall.

Well they said he killed a bloke, killed a bloke, etc...!
He did it for a laugh

So, they jailed poor Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall.
But his cell was rather dark.

And the Jailors name was Jock, name was Jock
And his keys hanged from his belt!

Well the Judge said you must pay. You must pay.
We'll hang you later on tomorrow.

Well the Preacher came at last, came at last.
He had his prayer book up his sleeve.

Well, they hung poor Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall,
By his one remaining arm!

And they buried him in a pit, In a pit.
They buried him in a pit, and they covered it with soil.
And thats the end of good old Nobby Hall!

From Simons CD "Squeezebox Schizophrenia"


Wonderful record.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 10:27 AM

Southwest Missouri State University has undergone a name change and is now Missouri State University. It looks like the Minnesota school has appropriated their abandoned address.

So once again, the address for the Max Hunter archives has changed. They can now be found at http://maxhunter.missouristate.edu/

Hey, Meagan, good to hear from you. I hope you and Leann are both doing well.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 10:55 AM

Oh, and the specific address for Roy Wrinkle's version of Sam Hall is at http://maxhunter.missouristate.edu/songinformation.aspx?ID=836
(his last name has been corrected)

Roy Wrinkle (12 Mar 1928 - 03 May 2007) passed away in the intervening years since first being mentioned in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: BillE
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 11:01 AM

Reading Bill Gilbraith's post above, Sept 02, reminded me that we always sang the Tallow Candles / Tedburn Hill version at the Jolly Porter in Exeter in the 1960's. Ken Penney used to say it was indeed based on the hill at Tedburn St Mary a few miles west of Exeter - or so we liked to think!

Bill


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 11:31 AM

*** Since the thread title mentions Bittersweet as well, here is the current address for that. http://thelibrary.springfield.missouri.org/lochist/periodicals/bittersweet/index.html

As for the rest, I'll look them up when I get time and pass the corrected list on to Joe. (Always looking to send more work to Offer)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 11:36 AM

Whoops, that last message doesn't go here. I had two windows open and posted to the wrong one. Interesting stuff, though.


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