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Origin: Church in the Wildwood/Little Brown Church

DigiTrad:
FOREST LAWN
THE CHURCH IN THE WILDWOOD


Related threads:
Harmony Singing - Church in the Wildwood (26)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Church in the Wildwood (3)
Lyr Req: The Little Brown Church in the Vale (9)


Richie 14 Feb 03 - 11:12 PM
Haruo 14 Feb 03 - 11:29 PM
katlaughing 14 Feb 03 - 11:30 PM
Haruo 14 Feb 03 - 11:32 PM
katlaughing 14 Feb 03 - 11:34 PM
masato sakurai 14 Feb 03 - 11:34 PM
Richie 14 Feb 03 - 11:43 PM
Neighmond 14 Feb 03 - 11:50 PM
Richie 14 Feb 03 - 11:59 PM
Neighmond 15 Feb 03 - 12:03 AM
Richie 15 Feb 03 - 12:13 AM
Richie 15 Feb 03 - 12:25 AM
Neighmond 15 Feb 03 - 12:58 AM
nutty 15 Feb 03 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,Cheri 12 Apr 04 - 01:57 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Apr 04 - 02:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Apr 04 - 03:07 PM
Joe Offer 12 Apr 04 - 03:52 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Jun 09 - 01:08 AM
GUEST,Donna 02 Nov 09 - 11:51 PM
GUEST,smile 14 Sep 10 - 05:48 PM
GUEST, Sminky 15 Sep 10 - 05:06 AM
Matthew Edwards 15 Sep 10 - 06:34 AM
GUEST 02 May 12 - 11:19 PM
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Subject: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Richie
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:12 PM

I'm trying to get info the origin of the Church in the Wildwood. Here's what I have so far:

Church in the Wildwood, The
Old-Time Bluegrass Gospel Song by James Rowe- words, William P. Pitts- music, DATE: Pitts 1857 (Rowe- 1911); CATEGORY: Gospel Song; RECORDING INFO: Carter Family; OTHER NAMES: Little Brown Church in the Vale; NOTES: The Little Brown Church in the Vale has become a famous tourist attraction in Iowa, and the song describing its beauty is still sung.

Church in the Wildwood
LYRICS BY PITTS

There's a church in the valley by the wildwood,
No lovelier spot in the dale;
No place is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

Oh, come to the church in the vale,
To the trees where the wild flowers bloom;
Where the parting hymn will be chanted,
We will weep by the side of the tomb.

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning,
To list to the clear ringing bell;
Its tones so sweetly are calling,
Oh come to the church in the vale.

From the church in the valley by the wildwood,
When day fades away into night,
I would fain from this spot of my childhood
Wing my way to the mansions of light.

Church in the Wildwood
Text James Rowe; Music William S. Pitts 1911

There's a church in the valley by the wildwood
'Tis the loveliest place in the dale;
Not a spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

Oh, come, come, come...
Come to the church by the wildwood,
Oh, come to the church in the dale;
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

Oh, how sweet, on a bright Sunday morning,
Just to list to the clear-ringing bell;
For its voice is so tenderly calling:
Oh, come to the church in the dell.

Oh, come, come, come...
Come to the church by the wildwood,
Oh, come to the church in the dale;
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

Brothers, now for the Savior let us rally,
Let us serve Him who never will fail;
"Gainst the foes of the truth let us sally
From the little brown church in the dale.

Oh, come, come, come...
Come to the church by the wildwood,
Oh, come to the church in the dale;
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

Far too long we have wandered after pleasures
And ignored the sweet plea of the Lord;
Let us strive for heavenly treasures-
Let us work for the blessed reward.

Oh, come, come, come...
Come to the church by the wildwood,
Oh, come to the church in the dale;
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

Let us offer ourselves anew to Jesus,
And the message of life gladly tell;
Let us cling to the Savior who frees us,
Let us love this bright spot in the dell.

Oh, come, come, come...
Come to the church by the wildwood,
Oh, come to the church in the dale;
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

Here are my questions:

The second version has a text by Rowe that was done by the Carter Family? Are the dates correct? is Pitts version the commonly known version?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Haruo
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:29 PM

Link to the DigiTrad's version, which it calls "Traditional - William S. Pitt", whatever "traditional" means in that context.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:30 PM

It is listed in the Song Origins database, with links to the relevant threads, here. Hope that helps.

kat


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Haruo
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:32 PM

Link to the CyberHymnal's version, with a description of its genesis apparently written by Pitt. (And a MIDI file.)

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:34 PM

See Masato's postings in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: masato sakurai
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:34 PM

See this thread:

Harmony Singing - Church in the Wildwood

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Richie
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:43 PM

Thanks for the links,

I just listened to the Carter's versionon Honking Duck which is basically the same as version two that I posted. Did Rowe redo Pitts original version?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Neighmond
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:50 PM

I live Near Nashua, where the Little Brown Church is Located. The local story is that a minister saw the valley and thought it was the ideal place for his church to be, so he went back to get his family and on the way composed the song. The church is a Congregational Church.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Richie
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:59 PM

I was mainly interested in Rowe's new lyrics, when they were composed, how the Carter's got them, etc.

Are Rowe's lyrics the typical Southern gospel lyrics or are Pitt's?

Did Rowe first add the bass part "Come, Come..."?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Neighmond
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 12:03 AM

The Library of Congress has a recording from circa 1917, in their Edison Collection, that has the counterpoint (Come, come, come) that pre-dates The Carter Family by about ten years. I have a Cylinder Record that is from circa 1900 and If I ever get my cylinder player overhauled (mainspring, cleaning, governer pivot) I will play it and we'll see what it says.

Hope that helps
Chaz


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Richie
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 12:13 AM

Thanks Chaz,

Does that mean the 1911 date seems correct? Or is it earlier? Did Rowe write the Carter's version? If you were singing this song which lyrics would you use?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Richie
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 12:25 AM

After looking at the posts and links by Masato, it is clear that the "Come, Come" part (tenor and bass that leads into the Chorus) is part of Pitt's original arrangement. It was adapted by Rowe and the Carter family also use it in their version.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Neighmond
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 12:58 AM

I would sing the former of the versions, though they are both pretty.
THe old version has more pinache.
Chaz


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: nutty
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 03:29 AM

There is sheet music dated 1865 here on the Levy site




The Little Brown Church





Title: The Little Brown Church. Song and Chorus.
    Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words and Music by Wm. S. Pitts.
    Publication: Boston: Oliver Ditson Company, 1865.
    Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
    Instrumentation: piano and voice (solo and satb chorus)
    First Line: There's a church in the valley by the wildwood, no lovelier place in the dale
    First Line of Chorus: Come to the Church by the wildwood,


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: GUEST,Cheri
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 01:57 PM

I am looking for copyright permission to use a few lines for this in an article I am writing. Does anyone know if this is in public domain, and if not, how do I find who to seek permission from?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 02:27 PM

Hey, Neighmond: I've been to the church, too... out collecting fossils in Iowa and drove over to see the church..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 03:07 PM

In music instruction in grade school (1930s), we sang the 1865 Pitts' version. I never have forgotten the commotion it caused.   
We would put a sort of marching rhythm to the Come, come, come ... and wouldn't stop when we were supposed to. It drove the music teacher (not a local) wild. Someone always pronounced 'church' 'shchursch' and the teacher finally gave up. Not long afterwards she had a nervous breakdown. Not the type to instruct western kids, especialy in New Mexico.
There were many Spanish-speaking Catholic kids in our school (Santa Fe), and I remember that some of them wouldn't sing it at all.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 03:52 PM

Hi, Cheri - there's a message above that links to the 1865 version of the song at the Levy Sheet Music Site (click). As long as you stick to the 1865 version of the song, you have no need to seek copyright permission. In the U.S., almost everything published in 1923 and earlier is in the public domain - and I think U.S. law is the one that is most generous to copyright holders (and most restrictive on the rest of us).
With a song published in 1865, there's no question at all - it's in the public domain.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LITTLE BROWN CHURCH (Wm S Pitts)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 01:08 AM

From The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music:


THE LITTLE BROWN CHURCH
Words & music by Wm. S. Pitts.
Boston: Oliver Ditson Company, 1865.

1. There's a church in the valley by the wildwood,
No lovelier place in the dale.
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale.

CHORUS: Come to the church by the wildwood.
Oh, come to the church in the dale.
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale.

2. How sweet on a bright Sabbath morning,
To list to the clear ringing bell.
Its tones so sweetly are calling.
Oh, come to the church in the vale.

3. There close by the church in the valley
Lies one that I lovéd so well.
She sleeps, sweetly sleeps 'neath the willow.
Disturb not her rest in the vale.

4. There, there by the side of that loved one,
'Neath the tree where the wild flowers bloom,
Where the farewell hymn shall be chanted,
I shall rest by her side in the tomb.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood/Little Brown Church
From: GUEST,Donna
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 11:51 PM

You can go to LBC's website www.littlebrownchurch.org. Yes, there are weddings, renewal of vows, annual marriage reunion, and regular church services. Stop and visit the Little Brown Church on Highway 346 near Nashua, Iowa.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood/Little Brown Church
From: GUEST,smile
Date: 14 Sep 10 - 05:48 PM

please can you help me note of the church in the wildwood?
(click for sheet music - Levy Collection) -Joe Offer, Moderator-


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood/Little Brown Church
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 05:06 AM

Sergeant Bob Johnson (John Sweet) sang a fragment of Church in the Wildwood in the 1944 film A Canterbury Tale (Powell and Pressburger).


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood/Little Brown Church
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 15 Sep 10 - 06:34 AM

As a little footnote to this thread may I mention an excellent CD of hymns sung by the Lealholm Choir Church in the Wildwood; copies are available from Lealholm Music Productions. There is some great choral singing here, with some lovely and interesting hymns.

The Musical Director of the choir is Joe Skilbeck, and the CD features one of his own compositions 'Jesus gave up His Life'. Some may recall Joe's role in the Men of Staithes choir, for whom he wrote the song 'Heading for the Harbour Lights'. Danny Stradling wrote a good article for Musical Traditions about the Staithes Men's Choir, which mentions Joe in passing.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Origin: Church in the Wildwood/Little Brown Church
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 12 - 11:19 PM

Here is our take on "Church in the Wildwood." Sheet music and tab is included.


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