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Origins: Keep on the Sunny Side

DigiTrad:
KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE


Related threads:
Tune Req: Keep On The Sunny Side (14)
Music for ALWAYS ON THE SUNNYSIDE (9)


D. Gibbons 21 Jul 98 - 01:34 PM
dulcimer 21 Jul 98 - 03:27 PM
CarterNut 22 Jul 98 - 11:03 AM
Kathleen 22 Jul 98 - 02:56 PM
Stewart 17 Oct 01 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Nikki Strandskov 11 Jun 02 - 09:30 AM
masato sakurai 11 Jun 02 - 11:21 AM
Joe Offer 11 Jun 02 - 12:44 PM
wysiwyg 11 Jun 02 - 01:03 PM
mousethief 11 Jun 02 - 01:14 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 11 Jun 02 - 01:17 PM
53 11 Jun 02 - 02:15 PM
Joe Offer 11 Jun 02 - 05:02 PM
michaelr 11 Jun 02 - 10:21 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Oct 12 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 05 Oct 12 - 07:19 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Nov 13 - 09:17 PM
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Subject: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: D. Gibbons
Date: 21 Jul 98 - 01:34 PM

I am trying to find the original copyright date and writer(s) of the song KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE.

I remember reading somewhere that the song was written around 1900. Also, it seems like the author was unconnected to the Carter Family, who made the song famous.

Does anyone know the history of this song?


Keep on the Sunny Side (in the Digital Tradition)

Always on the Sunnyside thread


Messages from multiple threads combined.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: dulcimer
Date: 21 Jul 98 - 03:27 PM

Copyrighted and published in 1899. Written by Ada Blenkhorn and Howard Entwisle. She got the idea from an invalid cousin who always wanted her to push his wheelchair to the sunny side of the street. The Carters were the first to record it, in 1928. They learned it from a seven-shaped note music. Source: C. Wolfe in notes to Anchored in Love (Rounder Records).


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Subject: RE: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: CarterNut
Date: 22 Jul 98 - 11:03 AM

There was a story that the Carters frequently told about that song and when it was written. When AP was a young man he went North to work in the automobile plants so that he could provide for the family. Keep in mind that this is long before his marriage to Sara. While there he was treated terribly, life was terrible. He went back to his bunk, and wrote a song expressing how he felt and what he must do in life regarding his actions and thoughts. The result was Keep On the Sunnyside. Needless to say, AP stayed one more month then went back to Virginia to sell fruit trees. While selling trees he met Sara. That is just some folklore for you.


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Subject: ADD: Stay On The Sunny Side (Camp Version)
From: Kathleen
Date: 22 Jul 98 - 02:56 PM

Keep On The Sunny Side (Camp Version)

(Refrain)
Stay on the Sunny Side, always on the Sunny Side,
Stay on the Sunny Side of life! (yee-ha!)
You'll feel no pain as we drive you insane
If you stay on the Sunny Side of life. . .

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Easther
Easther who?
Easther bunny! YEAH!

Repeat Refrain

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Nother
Nother who?
'Nother Easther bunny! YEAH!

Repeat Refrain

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Stella
Stella who?
Stella nother Easther Bunny! YEAH!

Repeat Refrain

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Cargo
Cargo who?
Cargo beep-beep run over Easther Bunny (SOB!)

Repeat Refrain

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Boo
Boo who?
Don't cry- Easther Bunny come back next! YEAH!

Repeat Refrain

~I know this is not what you were looking for, but the title reminded me of this song that I teach to my Brownie Girl Scouts at summer camp.

Later,


Kathleen


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Sunnyside
From: Stewart
Date: 17 Oct 01 - 06:52 PM

Oh, you will feel no pain
As we drive you insane,
If you keep on the sunnyside of life.

Oops, I guess that's not it. Sorry,

S. in Seattle


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Subject: Keep on the sunny side as a hymn
From: GUEST,Nikki Strandskov
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 09:30 AM

While doing some genealogy work for a friend I read an account of a family reunion of members of the Church of the Brethren held in 1910 where, among the hymns sung by the family was "Keep on the Sunny Side." Now, these folks didn't sound like bluegrass people, and I thought I might find the tempo they sang it to in the Cyberhymnal (www.cyberhymnal.org) but it wasn't there. An Internet search got me a lot of stuff about Oh Brother, and the information that A.P. Carter, who's usually credited with the song, recorded it first probably in 1927 or 1928. Yet, these rather unworldly folks in rural Nebraska seemed to know it, so I'm guessing it appeared in some kind of gospel hymnal. Any hymnal collectors out there who can tell me who *really* wrote it and where I could find an original version?


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Subject: RE: Keep on the sunny side as a hymn
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 11:21 AM

I don't know the original, but it is said to have been "Copyrighted and published in 1899. Written by Ada Blenkhorn and Howard Entwisle" (See the thread above). Billy Murray and Byron Harlan recorded the song in 1906 (Click here).

~Masato


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Subject: DTStudy: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 12:44 PM

I don't think there's a need for a complete DTStudy thread on a composed song like this, but I think it's worthwhile to compare the version in the DT with other sources. Should the DT entry be revised? Is there a Carter Family version that's significantly different?
-Joe Offer-


KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE
(A.P. Carter and Gary Garett)

There's a dark & a troubled side of life
There's a bright, there's a sunny side, too
Tho' we meet with the darkness and strife
The sunny side we also may view


cho: Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
    Keep on the sunny side of life
    It will help us ev'ry day, it will brighten all the way
    If we'll keep on the sunny side of life


The storm and its fury broke today,
Crushing hopes that we cherish so dear;
Clouds and storms will, in time, pass away
The sun again will shine bright and clear.
Let us greet with the song of hope each day
Tho' the moment be cloudy or fair
Let us trust in our Saviour away
Who keepeth everyone in His care

Copyright Peer International Corp.
@religion @gospel
filename[ SUNSIDE
RG









PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST acquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.
Here's a quote from Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy (Dorothy Horstman, 1975)
KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE


"Early in [Ada Blenkhorn's] life, she was given the task of caring for an invalid nephew who always wanted his wheel chair to be pushed 'down the sunny side of the street.' His constant repetition of this phrase inspired her to write the gospel "Keep On The Sunny Side Of Life." [1899]" -Phil Kerr (In Evangelism, 1944)

"We learned this song from A.P.'s uncle, Laish Carter, who was a music teacher. We recorded it in 1928 in Camden, New Jersey. After we recorded it and started singing it on radio, we used it as our theme song. A. P. has a gold record of this song on his tombstone."
-Mother Maybelle Carter, of the original Carter family

KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE
(Ada Blenkhorn and J. Howard Entwisle)

There's a dark and a troubled side of life
There's a bright and a sunny side, too
Though we meet with the darkness and strife
The sunny side we also may view.

CHORUS
Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us ev'ry day, it will brighten all the way
If we keep on the sunny side of life.

Though the storm in its fury break today
Crushing hopes that we cherish so dear
Storm and cloud will in time pass away
The sun again will shine bright and clear.

Let us greet with a song of hope each day
Though the moments be cloudy or fair
Let us trust in our Savior, a way
To keep'th every one in his care.


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Subject: RE: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 01:03 PM

I've been cruising hymnals and gospel music sites for the last two years and I always look at this item when I come across it. I have never seen or heard any additional verses or significant variants, other than as noted above. Not to say they aren't out there-- but I would not know where else to look, because it feels like I have been everywghere and back again! ("You have come to the end of the Internet. Please turn around, and go back.")

*G*

But if I ever DO find anything new I will sure post it here.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 01:14 PM

Being one of the Mudcat's resident pedants, may I say anything recorded before 1950 is NOT bluegrass?

Alex


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Subject: RE: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 01:17 PM

If the DT has the original, which you have just posted, and one good derivative, perhaps plus citation of important others, that should be enough. Many people take this song as trad gospel, so its story in brief should be in the DT.

Perhaps DTStudy should be reserved for the more complicated stories. Some older composed songs have a complicated series of derivations and need full treatment, but this one seems clear enough.


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Subject: RE: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: 53
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 02:15 PM

I love the White's version of this song and of course the movie that it was in. Bob


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Subject: DTStudy: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 05:02 PM

Yeah, Dicho - I figure that on composed songs, there's no need for a complete DTStudy thread - that's why I limited it to a message within this particular thread. Nonetheless, I want to eventually do a study on each and every song in the Digital Tradition, to allow for corrections, comments, tune submission, corrections to category listings, and the like.
I think we have to separate stanzas in at least one place in the DT transcription of the song. I also think we need to add the summer camp version of the song (which I learned long before I heard the Carter Family recording). Any other corrections, etc.?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: michaelr
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 10:21 PM

Yes, 53, I remember! It was that Monty Python movie, wasn't it?

"Always look at the bright side of life..." ;-)

Michael


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Subject: RE: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 01:22 AM

I think that line should be: "Let us trust in our Saviour away alway."

"Alway" is an old-fashioned word meaning (as far as I can tell) "always."

The word "alway" is found a few times in the King James Bible?but it also has "always." Go figure.


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Subject: RE: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 07:19 AM

I've always had a soft spot for this song and when I was growing up in the UK in the 50s/60s, I'm sure this song was played lots. Certainly, good old Lonnie Donegan performed it, and I'm sure visiting American Bill Clifton sang it in UK folk clubs in the early 60s.


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Subject: RE: Keep On The Sunny Side
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Nov 13 - 09:17 PM

The word is alway in sheet music. Not "a way."
Verse 3 lines 3-4:

Let us trust in our Savior alway
Who keepeth ev'ry one in his care.

In the sheet music, "though" is always "tho'"

Wikipedia shows a copy of the sheet music from a 1902 Pentacostal hymn book.


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