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Origins: history of Down by the Riverside

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DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE


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Tune Add: Down by the Riverside (4)


GUEST,leeneia 24 Mar 03 - 09:45 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 24 Mar 03 - 10:04 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 24 Mar 03 - 10:40 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 24 Mar 03 - 10:55 PM
Joe Offer 25 Mar 03 - 03:13 AM
mg 25 Mar 03 - 03:22 AM
masato sakurai 25 Mar 03 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Mar 03 - 10:11 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Nov 04 - 06:21 PM
Azizi 01 Nov 04 - 07:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Nov 04 - 08:43 PM
Joe_F 01 Nov 04 - 09:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Nov 04 - 01:49 AM
GUEST,Gerry 03 Nov 04 - 01:18 AM
mg 03 Nov 04 - 02:07 AM
GUEST 03 Nov 04 - 12:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Nov 04 - 12:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Nov 04 - 01:53 PM
Lighter 04 Nov 04 - 10:08 PM
Azizi 05 Nov 04 - 12:52 PM
GUEST 18 May 05 - 09:30 PM
Azizi 18 May 05 - 10:07 PM
Azizi 18 May 05 - 10:29 PM
wysiwyg 18 May 05 - 11:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 May 05 - 11:51 PM
Dave'sWife 19 May 05 - 03:11 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jan 07 - 09:30 PM
Azizi 30 Jan 07 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,Masato at work 30 Jan 07 - 11:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 07 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,gotariver 31 Jan 07 - 12:58 PM
GUEST 10 Mar 07 - 12:30 PM
Dave'sWife 28 Mar 07 - 10:23 AM
Dave'sWife 28 Mar 07 - 10:27 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Mar 07 - 02:42 PM
Joe_F 28 Mar 07 - 08:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Mar 07 - 11:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 07 - 12:00 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 07 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Jan 24 Oct 07 - 01:32 AM
GUEST,Wendy 25 Oct 07 - 06:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Oct 07 - 09:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Oct 07 - 09:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Oct 07 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,ELMER MCINTOSH 26 Apr 08 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,bkninj 16 Aug 09 - 12:06 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Oct 09 - 05:36 PM
Richie 13 Mar 10 - 09:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Mar 10 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Mar 10 - 10:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Mar 10 - 10:37 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Mar 10 - 11:54 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Mar 10 - 03:33 PM
GUEST 24 Dec 10 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,John Garst 29 Mar 11 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,mjc 24 Jan 12 - 01:19 PM
Lighter 21 Oct 15 - 06:26 PM
leeneia 22 Oct 15 - 05:03 PM
Lighter 22 Oct 15 - 07:18 PM
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Subject: Folklore: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 09:45 PM

I've done some checking, but no results so far.

So, who knows anything about the origin of the American song "Down by the Riverside"? This is the one that paraphrases Isaiah, saying

I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield
down by the riverside...
and study war no more.

Our church choir is doing a bombastic version arranged by an academic named John Rutter. Oy.

Can you believe he has the song start with "I'm goin'to lay down my heavy load..." We made short work of that "to", you may be sure.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: history of Down by the Riverside
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:04 PM

Hint given in

Down By Blackwaterside


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Subject: RE: Folklore: history of Down by the Riverside
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:40 PM

Down By The Riverside
Down By the Riverside


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Subject: RE: Folklore: history of Down by the Riverside
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:55 PM

I THINK I remember a lot of alternates to "Study War No More" as well, but I haven't found them yet!


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:13 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index has a little bit of information. The earliest copy they found was in Sandburg's American Songbag (1927).
-Joe Offer-

Down By the Riverside (Study War No More)

DESCRIPTION: "I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield Down by the riverside... And study war no more." The singer describes coming to heaven, and living in peace with Jesus.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1920 (recording, Fisk University Jubilee Quartet)
KEYWORDS: war religious nonballad
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
BrownIII 624, "Old Satan's Mad" (5 text, of which the short "A" text is probably "Free at Last"; "B" is a variation on "Down By the Riverside (Study War No More)"; "C" has the "Old Satan's Mad" stanza but a "climbing Zion's walls" chorus; D" is an unidentifiable fragment perhaps related to "I Belong to that Band; and "E" is also a fragment, perhaps of "Free At Last")
Sandburg, pp. 480-481, "Ain' Go'n to Study War No Mo'" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownIII 566, "Down by de Ribberside" (1 text)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 50, "Study War No More" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 281, "Study War No More" (1 text)
DT, WARNOMOR

Roud #11886
RECORDINGS:
Dixie Jubilee Singers, "I Ain't Gonna Study War No More" (Banner 7237/Domino 4206/Challenge 937 [as Jewel Male Quartet], 1928)
Elkins Payne Jubilee Singers, "Down By the Riverside" (Paramount 12071, 1923)
Fisk University Jubilee Quartet, "I Ain't Goin' to Study War No More" (Columbia A3596, 1922; rec. 1920)
Jimmie Lunceford & his Orch. "I Ain't Gonna Study War No More" (Columbia 26938, n.d.; Columbia 35567, 1940)
[Lester] McFarland & [Robert] Gardner, "Down By the Riverside" (Brunswick 108/Vocalion 5127, 1927; rec. 1926?)
Golden Echo Quartet, "Study War No More" (Deluxe 1005, 1945)
Memphis Minnie [Lizzie Douglas], "Down by the Riverside" (Conqueror 9936, 1941)
Missouri Pacific Diamond Jubilee Quartette, "Study War No More" (OKeh 8472, 1927)
Morehouse Quartet, "Down by the Riverside" (OKeh 4887, 1923)
C. Mae Frierson Moore, "Going to Study War No More" (Paramount 12323, 1925)
Norfolk Jubilee Quartet, "Down by the Riverside" (Paramount 12445, 1927)
Oak Ridge Quartet, "Ain't Gwine to Study War No More" (Capitol 40057, 1947)
Pete Seeger, "Study War No More" (on PeteSeeger14) (on PeteSeeger15) (on PeteSeeger44) (on PeteSeeger48)
Pete Seeger & Sonny Terry, "Study War No More" (on SeegerTerry)
Sister Rosetta Tharpe, "Down By the Riverside" (Decca 48106, n.d. but probably 1950s)

SAME TUNE:
Three Little Maids, "Ain't Gonna Study War No Mo'" (Bluebird B-5860, 1935; rec. 1933)
File: San480

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Bibiography
Go to the Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: mg
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:22 AM

I always sang "grieve my Lord no more." And I remember it started it out "I met my little bright-eyed gal"... Do those changes come later? What is wrong with the laying down the heavy load verse? I know lay down my sword and shield but is the heavy load verse one he added?

mg


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: masato sakurai
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 08:38 AM

This song, sometimes titled "(Ain't Gonna) Study War No More", was often sung during the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements of the 1960s.

The 1st stanza of the American Songbag version (1927; note the melody is different from the familiar version) is:
I'm go'n' lay down my sword and shield, I'm go'n' lay down my sword and shield,
Down by de ribber-side, down by de ribber-side, I'm go'in' lay down my sword and shield.
    I ain' go'n' to study war no mo', I ain' go'n' to study war no mo',
    I ain' go'n' to study war no mo', I ain' go'n' to study war no mo'.
Sandburg comments (p. 480): "Among sirituals used by negroes as work songs this is to be mentined. 'They sing it by the hour,' students at the University of Alabama told me, referring to 'Ain' Go'n' to Study War No Mo'.' As they go on, hour by hour, they bring in lines from many other spirituals. The tempo is vital, never actually monotonous, never ecstatic, yet steady in its onflow, sure of its pulses. It is a work song-spiritual. War is pronounced 'wah' or 'waw' as if to rhhyme with 'saw.' Horse is 'hawss.' And so on with negro economy of vocables in speech and song.

Another version was collected by Howard W. Odum and Guy B. Johnson, which is printed in The Negro and His Songs (1925; reprinted Negro Universities Press, 1968, p. 101; without tune). They writes: this "combines the old camp meeting song 'Down by the River Side,' and a new element of peace, the origin of which is not known."
I AIN'T GOIN' TO STUDY WAR NO MORE

Well, there's goin' to be a big camp meetin',
Well, there's goin' to be a big camp meetin',
Well, there's goin' to be a big camp meetin',
    Down by the river side.

Well, I ain't goin' to study war no mo',
Well, I ain't goin' to study war no mo',
Well, I ain't goin' to study war no mo'.

Well, such a shoutin' an' prayin',
    Down by the river side.

Well, I goin' to meet my sister,
    Down by the river side.

Well, the brothers got to shoutin',
    Down by the river side.
The "camp meeting song" they refers to seems to be the song in Religious Folk Songs of the Negro, new edition (1920; with a different tune; not contained in the first edition of Hampton and Its Students, 1874):
DOWN BY THE RIVER

1.
When Christ the Lord was here below,
    Down by the river,
About the work He came to do,
    Down by the river side.

REFRAIN:
We will end this warfare,
    Down by the river;
We will end this warfare,
    Down by the river side.
There're at least 14 black gospel recordings before World War II (according to Blues and Gospel Records 1890-1943, 4th ed., OUP, 1997). One of the earliest is Elkins-Payne Jubilee Singers' "Down by the Riverside" (1923) [on Elkins-Payne Jubilee Singers 1923-1929, Document DOCD-5356], which is a variant of the "camp meeting song." Norfolk Jubilee Quartet's "Down by the Riverside" (1927) [on Norfolk Jazz and Jubilee Quartets, vol. 3 (1925-1927), Document DOCD-5383] is a version we are now familar with.

Meade et al.'s Country Music Sources (p. 582) lists 6 recordings of "Ain't Gonna Study War No More," the earliest of which is "Ain't Gwine To Study War No More" by Vaughan Quartet (rec. 1924).

A version with the "I'm going to lay down my heavy load" line was sung by Rosetta Tharpe with Lucky Millinder Orchestra in 1943, which is on Sister Rosetta Tharpe, vol. 2 (1942-1944) (Document DOCD-5335).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 10:11 AM

Mary re:"What is wrong with the laying down the heavy load verse?"

it has "goin'to" in it. The correct and proper form is "gonna."

Somewhere in the misty past I saw a note that says that this song was sung by Union soldiers going home. Does anybody know anything about that?


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 06:21 PM

Been working on these songs, so just noted (almost two years gone by:

Leeneia, apropos your remark about the folk song fan, composer and arranger Jan Rutter, there is no sole 'correct and proper form, gonna.' Goin' to, goingt', goin' t', gwine, etc. are just as valid.
The Hampton Singers sang it variably in both this and other songs:

"I'm going to lay down my sword and shield,
Down by the river side, etc., " but in the collection, they title this song: "I Ain't Goingt' Study War No More."
Any book of spirituals will show the variations.
Regional differences in dialect existed, but pronunciations of words of this type varied, even in the mouth of one individual.

The song was known in Civil War times, by both whites and blacks, but mostly different verses and somewhat different tunes; The verse "I ain't goin' to study war no mo'" perhaps originated with the Contrabands. No trace of it earlier. The camp meeting song, Down by the river, also comes from this period but some suspect that it is earlier. It is difficult to sort this out. More than one song involved here.
Whites and blacks also sang varieties (see post by Masato, above):
We will end this warfare,
Down by the river,
Down by the river side.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 07:12 PM

Q,

It's interesting that Mary Garvey in the post above remembered the song ending with "aint gonna grieve no more" instead of "aint gonna study war no more" .

There's some interesting posts about the "aint gonna grieve no more" in the "gang gang goolie" thread. Sorry, I don't know how to hyperlink.

Mary also asked about the "met my little bright eyed gal" line.
I would imagine that this line came later, don't you think?

Also, I apologize if this is thread drift-but IS there any connection to "Down by the riverside "and the "Oh, you'll never get to heaven" children's song?

I'm also reminded of the African American call & response song "Oh, the preacher went down to the cellar to pray/but he got drunk and stayed all day." That song has the same tune as "Oh you'll never get to heaven". And it also ends with the "Aint gonna grieve my Lord no more" line, although the way I've heard people sing it is "Aint gonna meet my Lord no more"...

Any thoughts about any of this?

Thanks,
Azizi


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 08:43 PM

Azizi, if one looks at a lot of songs from anywhere, a number of the simpler rhyme forms will start to duplicate. People are just not that inventive. They also add on; build their new idea on an old one. Soon, one becomes confused because he can't find separations.

Re Mary Garvey's comment, I posted in the Ging gang Gooly thread an old religious song fragment in which the last line of each verse is "I ain't gonna grieve my Lord no more (repeated). I am sure that there must be others. The line is found is several fragments that suggest fuller songs.

There is a "blue-eyed (as well as a bright-eyed) gal down by the riverside;" how old these "I met ..." verses are, who knows? One would have to look in some of the old party-dance data. I wouldn't doubt that the simple tune went into party songs quite early.

The general tune for these songs is probably older than any of the words; it (or a measure or two) may be from the British Isles and Ireland. Certainly some parts are similar- (down by the greenwood side?).

I ain't a goin' to grieve--- was long ago adopted by English football fans so now there are crosses with Ging gang goolie and who knows what else. The melody is memorable, and the verse (or doggerel) structure is simple enough for easy memory. They are repeating what American children, black and white, did here long ago with these simple melodies and verse structures.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Joe_F
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 09:05 PM

I suspect that the "bright-eyed girl" line belongs to a pop song that I used to hear on the radio, maybe in the late 1940s. It had the same tune, pretty much, but was a sappy love song, and the rhythm was changed, so that all the syncopations were collected in a bunch. The song soon disappeared, but the changed rhythm infected the way people sang the original song. Pissed me off.

About 1960, at Harvard Hillel House, I heard the song sung in Hebrew. Turn about is fair play. "Lo yilmedu od milhama" fits the tune pretty well, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 01:49 AM

GWINE-A STUDY WAR NO MO'!
Arr. William Arms Fisher

1.
Gwine-a lay down mah burden
Down by de ribber-side,
Down by de ribber-side,
Down by de ribber-side,
Gwine-a lay down mah burden,
Down by de ribber-side,
To study war no mo'!

deciso:
I'm gwine-a study war no mo'!
Gwine-a study war no mo'!
Ain't gwine-a study way no mo'!

I'm gwine-a put on mah long white robe,
Gwine-a put on mah starry crown,
Gwine-a study war no mo'!

Gwine-a lay down my burden,
Down by de ribber-side,
Down by de ribber-side,
Down by de ribber-side,
Gwine-a lay down my burden,
Down by de ribber-side,
To study war no mo'!

2.
Gwine-a lay down mah sword an' shield,
Down by de ribber-side,
Down by de ribber-side,
Down by de ribber-side,
Gwine-a lay down mah sword an' shield,
Down by de ribber-side,
To study war no mo'!

deciso
I'm gwine-a study was no mo'!
Gwine-a study war no mo'!
Ain't gwine-a study war no mo'!

I'm gwine-a lay down mah sword an' shield,
Gwine-a put on mah starry crown,
Gwine-a study war no mo'!

Gwine-a lay down mah sword an' shield,
Down by de ribber-side
Down by de ribber-side,
Down by de ribber-side,
Gwine-a lay down mah sword an' shield,
Down by de ribber-side,
To study war no mo'!

William Arms Fisher, 1926, "Seventy Negro Spirituals," edited for low voice. Oliver Ditson Company, NY, sheet music format, pp. 60-62. Fisher studied with Antonin Dvorak for two years (1893-1895) at the National Conservatory of Music. Several blacks participated in the Conservatory Orchestra at the request of Dvorak, including Harry Burleigh, noted for his singing of spirituals and his arrangement of "Deep River." Fisher was editor and publishing manager of Oliver Ditson from 1896-1928.
Fisher's arrangement of the second movement from Dvorak's New World Symphony, a pseudo-spiritual with the lyrics "Goin' Home," became extremely popular and continues to be a favorite. Among other works, he published several anthologies of black spiritual music. Extracted from biographies in "Seventy Negro Spirituals and in Alliance Pub. website: Fisher


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 01:18 AM

No one has mentioned the Allan Sherman parody, Don't Buy the Liverwurst. Maybe there's a good reason for that, but a friend of mine and I have an unbroken 40-year tradition of wishing each other a Happy Liverwurst Day every year on the 23rd of May.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: mg
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 02:07 AM

I was on google last night and came across something written in 1902..something about wed my little bright eyed doll....my guess is there probably was a spiritual, and grieve my Lord no more makes sense to me, more than study war no more as original words, not that I know one way or the other..as in not sinning any more....and then perhaps someone took the basic song and made it about the bright eyed gall, and then over the years the songs got all mixed together..hence my jumbled version of it.   mg


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 12:48 PM

Yes, Mary, I think I remember words from childhood about "grieve my lord no more." However, the "study" words make sense too, once you know they are a quotation of archaic Biblical language.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 12:59 PM

A gospel version by William Stickles, 1948.

Lyr. Add: DOWN BY THE RIVER SIDE (Stickles)

Oh, hallelujah to the lamb
Down by the river
The Lord is on the Givinghand
Down by the riverside.

Oh, we'll wait 'till Jesus comes
Down by the river

Oh, we are all pilgrims here below
Down by the river
Oh, soon to glory we will go
Down by the riverside.

Oh, we'll wait 'till Jesus comes
Down by the river
Oh, we'll wait 'till Jesus comes
Down by the riverside.

Down by the river
(www.negrospirituals.com- "Official Site of Negro Spirituals, antique Gospel Music")


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 01:53 PM

Well, why not add it? I remember, many years age, a friend from New Jersey. To every woman he met, he would say "Hi, Doll." Couldn't find sheet music so this is from the website and memory.

Lyr. Add: DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE (4)

I met my little bright-eyed doll
(Down) Down by the riverside
(Down, down), Down by the riverside
(Way-ay down) Down by the riverside
I met my little bright-eyed doll
(Down) Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside.

I worked my courage up
And asked her for a little kiss
(Way down) Down by the riverside
(Down, down) Down by the riverside
I asked her for a little kiss
(Way down) Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside.

She said, "Have patience, little man
I'm sure you'll understand
I hardly know your name."
I said, "If I can have my way,
Maybe some sweet day
My name and yours will be the same"
(?)Down by the riverside.

*She smiled at me and I could see
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
That she would soon be mine
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside

I wed my little bright-eyed doll
(Way down) Down by the riverside
(Way down) Down by the riverside
(Way-ay down) Down by the riverside
I wed my little bright-eyed doll
(Down) Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside.

Left off the repeats at the website. *I have added from memory what I think is a missing verse at the website.
Music John J. Nolan; (?)Lyrics John B. Toorish (Sheet music cover says music and lyrics both by Nolan). Dated 1902.

Anyone remember (or have sheet music)?
Riverside


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 10:08 PM

Marine Corps fighter pilots in 1943-44 sang something called, "I'm Gonna Lay Down My F4U." All I have is the title. Does anybody know if there was more than (the obvious) one verse, or if it was sung later about airplanes other than the F4U Corsair?


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 12:52 PM

Just wanted to add:
1st point
Q's post on 04 Nov 04 - 01:53 PM is very much how I remember church choirs in my home town singing "Down By The Riverside" . The bass voices sang the first "Down" and other voices then sang "Down by the Riverside".

The bass voices would also sing the "Down Down" part or the "Way Down" phrase. I can't remember anyone singing it like "Way-ay down" but that might have occurred. And it wasn't only the men who sang the first phrases. Because of my deep voice, I would also sing the bass part!

2nd point:
Lighter's post about Marine Corps fighter pilots in 1943-44 singing something called, "I'm Gonna Lay Down My F4UI" reinforces my observation that a number of call & response military cadences {Jodies} were based on spirituals.

I hope someone posts the words to the song or chant that goes with the title that Lighter remembers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 05 - 09:30 PM

Our choir has sung this song on occasion and several members who are concerned about the continuing wars in which our nation is involved, suggested that it might not be appropriate to sing this Sunday. I suggested that we find out the history of the song, however, it seems that we only know it was first published in 1920? We knew it was a negro spiritual but I had no idea that there were so many different versions. I thought perhaps that the war to which the writer referred was the war that all Christians fight with the "forces of evil" in the world, also within themselves, and that the writer was finally going to go to his final rest,"down by the riverside". Any suggestions as to the real meaning behind the words, "I ain't going to study war no more"
Nina Nan


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Azizi
Date: 18 May 05 - 10:07 PM

Nina Nan,

I respectfully would like to request that if and when you use that now retired racial referent for African Americans, you capitolize the 'n'. There is toooo much negative history and connotations associated with 'negro' {spelled with a small 'n'}.

While some are starting to refer to these religious songs as "African American spirituals", as an African American myself I personally have no problem with the use of the phrase "Negro Spirituals" as long as the 'N' is capitolized.

That said, my racial group is no longer referred to as 'Negro'.

The formal term is African American {spelled with capitol beginning letters}.

It is also 'politically correct' to use the more informal term "Black people". I prefer to capitolize the 'b' in 'Black' when referring to the racial group. And, to be consistent, I also capitolize the 'w' in 'White'. However, either practice is acceptable.

****
And with regard to your question:

In African American vernacular, 'to study' something means to pay attention to it; seriously think about it; be concerned about it, be interested in it.

So IMO, "I ain't gonna study war no more" means "I'm not gonna be interested in waging war.

This means much more than being a conscientous objector and refusing to fight once a war has started. It means that the person will direct his or her energies to studyin peace {working for/promoting peace} instead of instigating {inciting} and engaging in warfare.



Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Azizi
Date: 18 May 05 - 10:29 PM

Also, Nina:

Rivers have long been important symbols in African and African American cultures. Water was considered to be the home of the gods {forces emanating from the High God} Water was spiritually as well as physically cleansing and of course, without water people and other living beings and plants would die. Also the line separating the ground from bodies of water {lakes, rivers, oceans} were said to symbolize the line that divides earth from heaven.

Consider the omnipresent nature of the River Jordan in African American spirituals. The 'deeper' meaning of the river {and in particular, the River Jordan}. Just as enslaved people often had to cross rivers to get from slavery to freedom, it was said that at death people crossed over from life on earth to life in heaven
{or hell}.

So it is possible to consider that the singer in 'Down By The Riverside' is talking about laying down his earthly burdens {responsibilities} and going to a place that symbolizes spiritual rest and peace so that he * can prepare mentally {spiritually, and emotionally for a heavenly life where he wouldn't have to struggle or go to battle to survive {let alone live}.

Like many songs, the lyrics to this spiritual may mean different things to different people at different times. I'm not sure you have to have agree on one meaning for everyone all the time.

* 'he' here presupposes the meaning of 'he' or 'she'

Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 May 05 - 11:13 PM

All of the above titles have been entered for indexing in the AFRICAN-AMERICAN SPIRITUALS PERMATHREAD.

If songs with new TITLES are added to this thread, please take a moment to post that title and this thread's ID number (or full URL) in the AFRICAN-AMERICAN SPIRITUALS PERMATHREAD, so it can be included next time the index is updated.

Thanks!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 May 05 - 11:51 PM

Lyr. Add: DOWN BY THE RIVER (Baptism)

Refrain:
Yes, we'll gain this world,
Down by the river,
We'll gain this world,
Down by the riverside.

1. And if those mourners would believe,
Down by the river,
The gift of life they would receive,
Down by the riverside.

2. When I was a mourner just like you,
(Down by the river,)
I mourned and mourned till I got through
(Down by the riverside.)

"A cheerful song, with a strong major melody ... The Baptists use it at immersion; but it is not confined to such occasions."
With music, Barton, Wm. E., "Old Plantation Hymns," p. 453; New England Magazine, vol. 25. no. 4, pp. 443-456, Dec. 1898.
On line http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/browse.journals/newe.1898.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 19 May 05 - 03:11 AM

Azizi, I have been enjoying your posts to various threads on this board. I hope to see more of them in the future.

As for Nina Nan's concern that it might be innapropriate to sing "Down By The Riverside' while the Nation of the congregants is engaged in armed conflict, I don't really see why. The lyrics to this song are a paraphrase of a Biblical verse! Since both the Hebrew Books of the Bible and the Greek Books of the Bible (The 'old' and 'new' testaments) contain many such verses I fail to see why this one reference is in any way more or less appropriate. I'm not picking on Nina Nan for being concerned, I'm just trying to give her some points to argue in it's favor. Allow me to elaborate.

Azizi makes a good point when he suggests that a proper interpretation of this lyric could be that the person singing is speaking of a personal transformation away from violence and destruction and towards peace. This could be a powerful message in a city where Gang violence rages or where domestic violence is common. The lyrics don't really seem to be suggesting that the singer is contemplating anything more than what he/she can do to bring him/herself closer to God and God's plan to eventually abolish all suffering. It's a song about a change of heart - a life-altering change of heart.

It is true that various groups promoting Peace have over the years sung this song to express their views musically. However, I am not aware of this song being currently associated with any 'anti-war' movement active in the United States and I don't think very many people would find it offensive. Still, if you have a concern, it's best to discuss it amongst the elders/leaders of your congregation. This is a fine traditional song that usually recieves an enthusiastic response from congregations. There are many additional verses that can be used to give the song a wider meaning and it might be good to include them.

I wish Nina Nan all the best in getting this wonderful song included into her repertoire. It's greatly loved by people of all ages and has enough verses that it can be tailored to meet any need.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Ain't Gwine Grieve My God No More
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 09:30 PM

Lyr. Add: AIN'T GWINE GRIEVE MY GOD NO MORE

1.
Hypocrite, hypocrite, God despise,
His tongue so sharp he will tell lies;
Hypocrite, hypocrite, God despise,
His tongue so sharp he will tell lies.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
2.
Oh, wait, let me tell you what the hypocrite do,
He won't serve God, and he won't let you;
Wait, let me tell you what the hypocrite do,
He won't serve God, and he won't let you.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
3.
Stop, let me tell you what the hypocrite do,
He won't go to heaven, and he won't let you;
Stop, let me tell you what the hypocrite do,
He won't go to heaven and he won't let you.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
4.
Oh, if I had died the day when I was young,
I would not had this troubled race to run;
Oh, if I had died the day when I was young,
I would not had this troubled race to run.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
5.
If you want to get to heaven, let me tell you how,
Treat your neighbor like you ought to right here now;
If you want to get to heaven, let me tell you how,
Treat your neighbor like you ought to right here now.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
6.
I don't want to stumble, I don't want to fall,
I want to get to heaven when the roll is called;
I don't want to stumble, I don't want to fall,
I want to get to heaven when the roll is called.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
7.
The old Satan is mad, and I am glad,
And he missed that soul he thought he had;
The old Satan is mad, and I am glad,
And he missed that soul he thought he had.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
8.
The old Satan have him in a tight compress,
When the bugle blow he change his dress;
The old Satan have him in a tight compress,
When the bugle blow he change his dress.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
9.
The old Satan wear an iron shoe,
If you don't mind, he gwine step on you;*
The old Satan wear an iron shoe,
If you don't mind, he gwine step on you.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
10.
The Old Satan is a liar and a conger too, (conjuror)
If you don't mind he gwine conger you;
The Old Satan is a liar and a conger too,
If you don't mind he gwine conger you.*
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
11.
When I was walking down in dead men's lane,
Wrapt and tired in my sin and shame,
When I was walking down in dead men's lane,
Wrapt and tired in my sin and shame.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
12.
The very hour I thought I was lost,
My dungeon shook and my chains fell off;*
The very hour I thought I was lost,
My dungeon shook and my chains fell off.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.

variants
*Old Satan wear an iron shoe,
If you don't mind gwine er slip it on you.
*Old Satan thought he had me fas',
I broke my chains an' am free at las'.
*Ole Satan's a liar an' cunjurer, too,
If you don't mind he'll cut you in two.
(A few others also cited).

Coll. by Mrs. Emma M. Backus, Grovetown, GA; submitted by Howard W. Odum, Jour. American Folk-Lore, 1913, vol. 26, no. 102, pp. 374-376.


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Subject: Add: video link: Down by the Riverside
From: Azizi
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 09:56 PM

Sister Rosetta Tharpe- "Down by the Riverside"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOmRm0-acJw&mode=related&search=Sister%20Rosetta%20Tharpe%20gospel%20blues%20guitar

Added to YouTube April 04,2006; From zebbers


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,Masato at work
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 11:58 PM

A version was sung in the film Afro-American Work Songs in a Texas Prison (1966):

[PRISONERS HOE TOGETHER IN OPEN FIELD] (Prisoners sing while hoeing)

SINGING PRISONERS: Well, I'm gonna try on my long white robe
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Well, I'm gonna try on my long white robe
Down by the River Side
I'm gonna study war no more
Well I ain't gonna study war no more
And I ain't gonna study war no more
Well I ain't gonna study war no more
Gonna meet with Mr. Pete
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna meet with Mr. Pete
Down by the River Side
Gonna study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more
I'm gonna try on my long white robe
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna try on my long white robe
Down by the River Side
Don't study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
Gonna try on my golden wings
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna try on my golden wings
Down by the River Side
Gonna study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
Well I ain쳌ft gonna study war no more
Well I ain쳌ft gonna study war no more
Gonna try on my golden shoes
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna try on my golden shoes
Down by the River Side
Gonna study war no more
Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the River Side
Gonna study war no more
Well I ain쳌ft gonna study war no more
Well I ain쳌ft gonna study war no more
I ain쳌ft gonna study war no more
Well I ain쳌ft gonna study no more
Well I ain쳌ft gonna study war no more
I ain쳌ft gonna study war no more
Gonna meet with the one above
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna meet with the one above
Down by the River Side
I ain't gonna study war no more


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM

Thanks, Masato.
Other fine transcriptions of work songs at that website.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 12:45 PM

There are many spirituals with the 'hypocrite' verses, but so far I haven't found one with 'hypocrite' in the title.
Although "Ain't Gwine Grieve My God No More" is more related to 'hypocrite' songs than to "Down by the Riverside," other than starting a new thread, this seemed to be the best location for it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,gotariver
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 12:58 PM

There is another version of "Down by the Riverside": Most New Orleans Jazz style bands play a verse with a different melody and the lyrics

"Down by the Riverside I gonna lay my Burden down (3 x)
Ain´t gonna study War no more". First recorded by Sam Morgan´s Jazz Band in 1927. Origin of the verse??

Ingemar Wågerman
Gota River Jazzmen
Gothenburg, Sweden
http://listen.to/gotariver


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 12:30 PM

what are the chords for this song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:23 AM

Still on my iTunes sepnding spree, I bought a the version of this song by Sweet Honey In The Rock a few days ago and it's just wonderful. if you haven't heard them do it, you need to. It was recorder uin the late 1980s i believe. I love it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:27 AM

Guest - these were posted earlier but if you follow the link, you'll see the chords:


Chords

BTW, the Sweet Honey In the Rock version has a verse that says:

I'm gonna lay down my bombs and guns...


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 02:42 PM

Guest Gotariver, the N. O. jazz band version, often played in a kind of upbeat marching tempo, differing somewhat from the spiritual and protest versions, is related to the song posted far above, 2 Nov 04, "Gwine-a Study War No More," and the verse
Gwine-a lay down my burden
Down by de ribber side, .....
No idea how old this verse is, but it has been around a long time. The Hampton Institute students sang the verse in "I Ain't Goingt' Study War No More." See Dett, 1927, "Religious Folk-Songs of the Negro as Sung at the Hampton Institute," pp. 74-75 (with music). Not in the 1874 Fenner volume, but added in a later edition.

Thanks for mentioning the Sam Morgan recording.
One may hear it and other fine pieces on Red Hot Jazz: http://www.redhotjazz.com/SamMorgen.html; the second one on the Discography.
Sam Morgan

(Note that Morgan is mis-spelled by Google in the link. Google may correct this at some time)


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Joe_F
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 08:42 PM

I am astonished to see in Q's posting above that nonreligious version goes back to 1902. It was on the radio a lot in, oh, 1950 or so, and I thought it was a recent piece of ickiness. It also corrupted the rhythm, with the result that nobody sings even the original song any more the way I learned it when I was little: It used to be (in solfa; scale is DRMFSLTdrmfslt)
drm.S...L.d.d.....m.m..rmrd.......
rather than
drm.S.L.d.d.d.m...##m.m..rm.r.d...
where the #'s are rests, and I have called the ri's r like the re's.

I was amused, in 1960 or so, to hear Jews sing it in Hebrew, with some of the words straight out of the book of Isaiah. Lo yilmedu od milhamah.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 11:09 PM

The site I linked for the "I met my little bright-eyed doll" version had been been pre-empted by a domain seller.
The lyrisc, with the Nolan-Toorish duo listed as composers, is found on a Polish site: http://www.winyle.rembertow.net/utwor.php?utwor=3565.

No date of composition is given.
Joe F, I haven't found the sheet music and so I am uncertain of the validity of the 1902 date for the 'doll" version.
I have found Nolan-Toorish listed as composers on a Japanese website as well, but no data.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 12:00 AM

Found sheet music to "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" by John J. Nolan, 1902, at American Memory. Published by G. W. Setchell, Boston.
It has no relationship to the "bright-eyed doll" song. No mention of 'Toorish.'

Here is the chorus, which is sung to waltz tempo:

Down by the riverside,
You said you'd be my bride.
And though years have flown,
Yet I am here alone
Waiting my love for you,
Say that you're not untrue,
You'll come what e'er betide,
Down by the riverside.

I won't bother to post the verses to the song, which may be found at American Memory.

http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/b/b03/b0338/
Down By

Joe F, as you say, the "bright-eyed doll" may be much later.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Going to Pull My War-Clothes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 07:37 PM

Lyr. Add: Going to Pull My War-Clothes

1.
Going to pull my war-clothes,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside.
Going to pull my war-clothes,
down by the riverside,
Study war no more.
Mm--------------
Refrain
Yes, I'm going to study war no more,
Study war no more,
Mm-----------
Study war no more.
2.
Going to meet my brethren,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside.
Going to meet my brethren,
down by the riverside,
Study war no more.
Mm----------
Refrain
3.
Going to meet my sister,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside.
Going to meet my sister,
down by the riverside,
Study war no more.
Mm---------
Refrain

No. 12, pp. 24-25 with score.
In 1913, Carl Diton visited Frogmore (Island), near Beaufort, South Carolina. In the Foreward, he says "while there, Mr. J. E. Blanton (brother of Mr. Robert Moton, the present principal of Tuskegee Institute, AL), was kind enough to sing to me a number of plantation melodies peculiar to the people of that locality, and I carefully recorded them." "The inhabitants speak a peculiar patois, and their melodies, as a rule, sound somewhat different from those of other parts of the South." ... "Those who are at all acquainted with the history of that part of America will recall that its inhabitants are descended from a group of imported slaves who differed from the rest of their slave-kinsmen in that their contact with white civilization was far less."
Carl Diton, Coll., 1930, "Thirty-Six South Carolina Spirituals,"
G. Schirmer Inc., New York (Schirmer's American Folk-Song Series).


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,Jan
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 01:32 AM

This is a fabulous resource. I've gotten some valuable information for my school choir. We're singing "Down By the Riverside" at our Remembrance Day Ceremony, and I wanted to be able to tell them a bit about the origins of the "ain't gonna study war no more" part and how it related to slavery. thanks to all who contributed!


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,Wendy
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 06:18 PM

In response to Azizi's declaration of the apopropriateness of the term Negro: The racial (human)subspecies are Negro, Caucasian, and Mongolian. The correct scientific term has been bastardized and given a negative social implication, but it is still the proper scientific term.

I believer Negro spirituals are some of the richest musical sacrifices ever made. My church choir is presenting this piece on Sunday as part of a spiritual study in our worship.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:24 PM

The major human groups often are called races; the use of subspecies names is not supportable.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:32 PM

An article by Prof. Emeritus Lewontin of Harvard University (2006) spells out the complexities of 'race'.
Confusion anout Human Races


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:38 PM

Sorry!
Human Races


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,ELMER MCINTOSH
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 05:30 PM

MANY THANKS. FROM THIS SITE I WAS ABLE TO GET THE FINAL PIECE OF THE LYRIC PUZZEL OF THIS OLD AND FAVORITE SING-A-LONG SONG.
WE HAVE A QUARTET "THE FOUR CORNERS" AND PLAY AT THE LOCAL PENSIONERS/SENIORS HALL AS WELL AS NURSING HOMES AND THE LIKE.
WHILE WE HAVE A GOOD NUMBER OLD OLD SONGS, THIS ONE WAS MISSING PART OF A LINE. I AM REFERRING TO THE VERSION WRITTEN IN 1902 AND WE HAD ALL THE LYRICS EXCEPT FOR"I SAID IF I COULD HAVE MY WAY" AND THE REST OF THE LINE OF COURSE IS "MAYBE SOME SWEET DAY". SO THANKS TO THE PERSON FROM NEW JERSEY I BELEIVE

ELMER


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,bkninj
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 12:06 AM

The "bright eyed doll" version is actually a version from 1960 by two dutch brothers who went by the name "The Blue Diamonds". I'm not sure if they made up the new lyrics or if they used the lyrics of a 1902 version. Here is a video of my band First Take singing these lyrics in our own arrangement:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up8nGBSSYLc&feature=related

Sorry for pimping my band...


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Down By the River
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 05:36 PM

Another older version, 1898:

Down By the River

Refrain:
Yes, we'll gain this world,
Down by the river,
We'll gain this world,
Down by the riverside.

1
And if those mourners would believe,
Down by the river,
The gift of life they would receive,
Down by the riverside.

2
When I was a mourner just like you,
Down by the river,
I mourned and mourned till I got through
Down by the riverside.

"Old Plantation Hymns," New England Magazine, Dec. 1898, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 443-456.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Richie
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 09:59 PM

We'll Wait Till Jesus Comes- 1868

My heavenly home is bright and fair,
We'll be gathered home.
Nor death nor dying visit there,
We'll be gathered home.

CHORUS: We'll wait, until Jesus comes
We'll wait, until Jesus comes
we'll wait, until Jesus comes
And we'll be gathered home

This chorus is the same basic melody and according to several sources including Sandburg is the early version of "Down by the Riverside."

There are more verses,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 02:50 PM

Also similar, and probably related-

We'll Work Till Jesus Comes
Words by E. K. Mills, tune by Wm. Williams
19th C.
See Cyberhymnal, which has a rather poor midi and the lyrics.
http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/w/e/l/wellwork.htm

The 'white spiritual' (hymn a better term) We'll Wait Till Jesus Comes is discussed, with musical score, in the book Folk Music in the United States by Nettl and Myers.

They state that this hymn is the source for the black spiritual Down by the Riverside but I think that they are independent of each other.
Online, Google Books.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 10:27 PM

"'white spiritual' (hymn a better term)"

No, I think you're wrong there, Q. People sometimes used 'spiritual' to mean a religious song which is sung at home but is too playful or primitive for church. If white people sang it, it became a white spiritual.

A hymn, on the other hand, is good enough for worship in church.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 10:37 PM

Ain't We'll Wait Till Jesus Comes good enough for singin' in church?
Will those people who sang it in church all go down below to stoke the fires?

Learn something every day!


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 11:54 AM

Oh stuff it. You know what I'm talking about.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 03:33 PM

Not really.

Soon from the whitewashed churches roll away
Among the live oak trees,
Rivers of melancholy harmonies,
Full of the sorrows of the centuries
The white man hears, but cannot feel.
H. A.

Pages from Book of Sea Islands, Du Bose Heyward and Hervey Allen.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 06:55 PM

Well, on the OBC of "Million Dollar Quartet" Jerry Lee Lewis (played by Levi Kreis) sings "I'm gonna drive up in my cadillac.../study Fords no more."


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 03:51 PM

This item is found on pp 252-53 of Marshall W. Taylor, *A Collection of Revival Hymns and Plantation Melodies* (1882), which is online at Google Books. Unfortunately, this is one of the few items in the book without a tune (or, at least, an attempt at one).

153. Christian Warfare.

By E. W. S. Hammond.

1 When Christ, the Lord, was here below,
Down by the river;
About the work he came to do,
Down by the river side.

Chorus.
We will end this war,
Down by the river;
We will end this war,
Down by the river side.

2 Pilate says, "I wash my hands,
I find no fault in this good man."

Chorus—We will end this war, etc.

3 They led him away to Pilate's bar,
But they could not condemn him there.

Chorus—We will end this war, etc.

4 O, Mary wept and Martha cried,
When Christ, the Lord, was crucified.

Chorus—We will end this war, etc.

5 Fishing Peter led the way,
Was nothing caught till the break of day.

Chorus—We will end this war, etc.

6 Yes, when we camp in the middle of the air,
I hope to meet my brethren there.

Chorus—We will end this war, etc.


Hammond is credited with three songs in this book (Nos. 152, 153, 155). He also gives a testimonial (p 260):

********
From Rev. E. W. S. Hammond, P. E. Indiana District, Lexington Conference.

Louisville, Ky., August 16, 1882. I am sorry I can not speak intelligently with regard to your proposed "Plantation Melodies," but my knowledge of your ability in such matters justifies me in expressing the opinion that you will supply a very urgent want in this kind of literature. I should be glad to record my testimony more fully as to the merits of your little songster, but I fear it will be in press before even this reaches you.
********

E. W. S. Hammond, DD, Editor of the *Southwestern Christian Advocate*, New Orleans, La., is pictured after p 204 of *Africa and the American Negro* (1896, pub.; 1893, congress held).

He was the "foremost Negro minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church" (*The Black Prism*, 1970; Google Books).

I have not located, using Google/Google Books, any other source of hymns he may have written, or, at least, claimed.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,mjc
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 01:19 PM

I can testify that the "bright-eyed" line was around at least as early as the 1950s. My dad used to sing it, but as "bright-eyed gal." My guess would be that he learned it in the 1930s or maybe earlier. I never heard more than the first line, since my mom would hush him at that point...


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 06:26 PM

Here are the lyrics of what seems to be the earliest publication of the song in almost exactly its current form.

From Homer Rodeheaver's "Plantation Melodies" (Chicago: Rodeheaver Co., 1918), p.6:

Down By the River-Side

Goin' t' lay down my burden
Down by the river-side,
Down by the river-side,
Down by the river-side.
Goin' t' lay down my burden
Down by the river-side,
Goin' t' study war no more.

CHO.:   
Ain't goin' t' study war no more,
Ain't goin' t' study war no more,
Ain't goin' t' study war no more,
Ain't goin' to study war no more.

[Similarly:]

Goin' t' lay down my sword and shield....

Goin' t' try on my long white robe....

Goin' t' try on my starry crown....

Goin' t' meet my dear old mother....

Goin' t' meet my dear old father....

Goin' t' meet dem Hebrew children....

Goin' t' meet my loving Jesus....

More of a spiritual than an "anti-war" song, it may go back at least to the Spanish-American War (1898), though the report of a slightly variant text in that year (see up-thread) suggests that the Civil War is equally likely - or more likely in terms of the vastly greater number of African Americans directly involved.

The most famous line and the refrain, of course, are based on Isaiah 2:4:

"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." {KJV}.

In his intro Rodeheaver suggests that all 47 of his songs are old, or at least older than the First World War:

"My mother was one of the good angels of the mountains of East Tennessee. Because they loved her, the darkies would come and sing for her. I have never forgotten the beautiful quaint melodies. When you know the colored people and know something of their struggles, you will realize how these songs were born amidst the trials and tribulations of this race and how they typify their thought and life.

"Because so many have been interested, we present here some of the most popular."

Rodeheaver also prints "Down the River," which goes to a different tune.

BTW, virtually all of the songs are spirituals. None looks like a "blues" of any kind.

(Thanks go to Holger Terp for first pointing out the existence of Rodeheaver's little-known collection.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: leeneia
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 05:03 PM

Thank you for the information, Lighter.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 07:18 PM

Always a pleasure.


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