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Mail Order Brides - songs and info about

irishajo 20 May 03 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Sorcha 20 May 03 - 02:42 PM
MMario 20 May 03 - 02:48 PM
Amos 20 May 03 - 03:02 PM
GUEST 20 May 03 - 03:03 PM
Hollowfox 20 May 03 - 03:22 PM
MMario 20 May 03 - 03:26 PM
katlaughing 20 May 03 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Sorcha 20 May 03 - 03:40 PM
KateG 20 May 03 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,Sorcha 20 May 03 - 06:36 PM
Grab 21 May 03 - 07:51 AM
Charley Noble 21 May 03 - 08:14 AM
Sandra in Sydney 21 May 03 - 08:16 AM
Sandra in Sydney 21 May 03 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,irishajo 21 May 03 - 10:40 AM
MC Fat 21 May 03 - 11:23 AM
Charley Noble 21 May 03 - 05:01 PM
George Papavgeris 21 May 03 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Q 21 May 03 - 05:45 PM
katlaughing 21 May 03 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Q 21 May 03 - 07:52 PM
Kaleea 22 May 03 - 03:38 AM
cetmst 22 May 03 - 07:26 AM
katlaughing 22 May 03 - 11:15 AM
irishajo 22 May 03 - 01:42 PM
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Subject: Mail Order Brides
From: irishajo
Date: 20 May 03 - 02:24 PM

This may be something of a longshot, but I'm looking for songs (or folklore) about mail order brides. Particularly 19th century/Westward expansion related, although I'll take anything. I haven't had much luck elsewhere. Unless I'm missing something, there really hasn't been any major historical research done on the topic.

Any help would be appreciated!


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides
From: GUEST,Sorcha
Date: 20 May 03 - 02:42 PM

I know there was at least one in Wyoming that was pretty famous, I believe the man's name was James Stewart........there is a book about them, I'll go look.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides
From: MMario
Date: 20 May 03 - 02:48 PM

Try searching on "Mercer Girls" - the mail order brides of Seattle. (as in 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' and 'Here come the brides')


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides
From: Amos
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:02 PM

"down on the Easy Chair", Bob Dylan, although meaningless, always struck me as being about a mail-order bride.

A


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:03 PM

theres a song on tom russell's man from god knows where....where the woman emigrating is a mail order bride...


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides
From: Hollowfox
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:22 PM

I heard one back in the 1970's called Catalog Woman, but I have no idea where you could find it. The chorus goes:

Catalog Woman, that's what they call me,
Out in Missouri and Oklahomee.*
But there's lots worse things that a girl could be
Than a Catalog Woman.

*(not a misprint, it was sung as a long "e")


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides
From: MMario
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:26 PM

Catalog Woman is on :
Bawdy Cockney songs.
    Tradition/Everest TR 2065.
sung by Elsa Lanchester


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:27 PM

Sorcha, she wasn't exactly a mail-order bride. She contracted to be his housekeeper while he helped her prove up her own land next to him. They did eventually get married. It was Letters of a woman homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart. Most excellent book of her very entertaining letters to her landlady back in Denver. PBS did a movie of it.

kat


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: GUEST,Sorcha
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:40 PM

THE BRIDE WORE SPURS
Harper
June 1995
ISBN#0-06-108337-2

Bestselling book of 1995 for Booklovers Catalog

Bestselling Historical Author 1995-1996 for THE BRIDE WORE SPURS: BOOKRAK award at 1996 RT

.
Historical Romance set in 1878 Centennial, Wyoming. Think of Nicole Kidman in "Far & Away" and Daniel Day Lewis in "The Last of the Mohicans" and you've got the physical heroine and hero from this novel. Bestselling author, Pamela Morsi says, "(this story) is a heartwarming blend of sincerity, sauciness, and superstition." The plot revolves around Kathleen Lacey O'Carroll, a cloistered Irish woman who knew she faced an uncertain future when she arrived in Wyoming as a mail-order bride--especially when she learned that the man she was to marry hadn't actually ordered her! Laughter and tears abound as Lacey tries to convince half-Araphoe, Hawke, that he does indeed need a wife--her.
Sizzle rating: Spicy!
Read an excerpt from The Bride Wore Spurs.
From here
but it's not the one I'm looking for. What I am thinking of is a true story.

Found it! Click me baby!
Her name was Elinor Stewart Pruitt.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: KateG
Date: 20 May 03 - 06:32 PM

Perhaps some of our 'catters could supply a song, since the practice continutes. I got some spam the other day offering to introduced me to pneumatic young Russian Girls looking for nice American husbands. Since I have a nice American husband of my own, I deleted the offer.

And two summers ago I helped a friend move her kennel from New York to Kentucky: 20 Shelties, 2 Borzois, 2 Sheep, 3 Goats, 5 Cats, 20 Guinea Fowl, 2 Cockatiels and a morose phesant(there's a song in there somewhere). The furniture van was driven by a 400 lb man mountain and his 90 lb Philipine mail-order bride, whom he kept teasing because she'd gained weight. It was a disturbing situation from many perspectives.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: GUEST,Sorcha
Date: 20 May 03 - 06:36 PM

LOL, Kate! Very funny!


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: Grab
Date: 21 May 03 - 07:51 AM

A recent one on this theme is "Prairie wedding" by Mark Knopfler, off the "Sailing to Philadelphia" CD.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 May 03 - 08:14 AM

In this day in age "mail order" brides should be obsolete. One should receive them by e-mail as an "attachment."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 21 May 03 - 08:16 AM

Faith Petric sings "Mail Order Bride' by Van Rozay on Faith's Favorites.

I can type it up if no-one has the words (it ain't in DT or forum & there is only one reference to Rozay)

sandra


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Subject: DTADD: Mail Order Bride (Van Rozay)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 21 May 03 - 08:39 AM

Mail Order Bride
(Van Rozay)

She rode that lonely Greyhound bus for two days and a night,
To come and be his lover and his friend.
They were really still just strangers, and she wondered was it right,
But she sat there on the Greyhound 'til the end.

One week last year in Kansas was all they had to share,
Now she's packed her world in bags and come to stay;
With faded family pictures all wrapped with loving care,
She'd been saving since her mama passed away.

See her old great-grandmama's picture, hangin' on the wall
Husband standin' stiffly by her side;
And there's that shy and hopeful look that made him really fall
For the great granddaughter of the mail order bride.

Her mother's brother dropped her at the bus stop in their town,
She's come twice as far as she had ever been.
There's no big house with shady trees, no white lace wedding gown
Just a strugglin' fool that hopes that she loves him.

Well, he baked a cake and he burned it and scraped the chars away,
Wrote on "Welcome" with the frosting from the store;
And she smiled her shy approval at the house he'd cleaned all day
And she hung her family pictures by the door.

There's that poor old prairie couple, sittin' in their frame
Staring with that stubborn country pride;
Somehow they raised a family and she hopes to do the same.
She's the great granddaughter of the mail order bride-
She's the great granddaughter of the mail order bride.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: GUEST,irishajo
Date: 21 May 03 - 10:40 AM

Thanks for the help. I appreciate it. I've been interested in this topic for as long as I can remember, and have read plenty of fictional stories about mail order brides. Historical research seem to be few and far between, however. I look forward to taking a closer look at these songs/stories.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: MC Fat
Date: 21 May 03 - 11:23 AM

Mail Order Annie by Harry Chapin is a good un.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 May 03 - 05:01 PM

Nice one, Sandra!

Isn't there a song which has the line "I'm gonna mail myself to you!" in it? Might be a Woody Gutherie one.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 21 May 03 - 05:30 PM

Does "Return to sender" gain new meaning in this context?


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 21 May 03 - 05:45 PM

There is a funny English film, but sad and compassionate at the same time, about some English mis-fits who go to the Philippines to see the women that they have contacted through a bride-finding service. I believe it is called "Filipino Baby."
It may not sound like it, but the film is excellent and I recommend this film to everyone, if they can find it on VHS or in the TV movies. It was made some years ago.

In the west, we always heard about mail-order brides. I expected that it would be easy to find stories or possibly songs on the American Memory- Library of Congress site, but there seems to be nothing worthwhile.
A little checking made me realize that single men out west didn't really find their brides that way. Usually they were found through correspondence with relatives at home. Then there were the women who came west as biscuit-shooters, laundry proprietors, etc. Finally there were those who came as dance-hall girls and prostitutes. Oh yes, school teachers. And most importantly, the daughters of the merchants and entrepreneurs who came west with their families.

The womanless west was largely fiction and didn't last very long.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 May 03 - 06:41 PM

Then there were the Harvey Girls. I didn't know about them until we happened on a movie from 1946 with Judy garland in it, the other night. Didn't watch it all, but saw that the producers thanked the Harvey Company for aid in making the movie about young women of good moral character recruited to work as waittresses in a series of restaurants at railroad stops across the West SouthWest.

The movie itself was remarkable, though cheesy, in that it was fun to see Angela Lansbury acting the dance-hall diva as opposed to the pure maidens of Harvey Company. She was quite the looker and hid her English accent really well!


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 21 May 03 - 07:52 PM

The Fred Harvey Company served good food. Not only travelers, but the locals used their dining rooms. High schools had graduation dinners there. They were a part of the local community wherever they operated.
For a treat, my grandfather used to take me to lunch on the Fred Harvey serviced dining cars on the Santa Fe trains. We caught a train about 10:30 in the morning, ate lunch, and disembarked at a station up the line, where we caught a train going in the opposite direction. The Fred Harvey girls were mostly gone by 1935, at least in the area I knew, so I know little about them.

Fred Harvey shops contributed to the Indian silversmiths and crafts people. They saw that quality was maintained, refused to sell imitations, and prices were fair. Noteworthy was a line of jewelry, light-weight handmade silver bracelets, etc., often with a turquoise stone(s) and stamped designs, which sold for one dollar to a few dollars depending on craftsmanship, and stone quality. "Fred Harvey jewelry" is eagerly sought by collectors. They also sold some high quality Navajo rugs and other crafts, which bring big prices today.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: Kaleea
Date: 22 May 03 - 03:38 AM

I loved Angela Lansbury as a Harvey girl! Geez, for the right amount of money (& a contract approved by my legal team) I might agree to be a mail order bride, too! Boys, just email copies of your portfolios to my team of attorneys. (goldiggers&ambulancechasers@legaleagles.com) I'll have my people call your people!


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: cetmst
Date: 22 May 03 - 07:26 AM

You might also look into orphan trains for populating the west with cheap labor, instant families and probably future brides. Also the Utah Phillips song.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 May 03 - 11:15 AM

Did she go on to become one in that movie? All I saw Lansbury as, at the beginning, the dance hall mavin. I guess I should have watched it longer. I did see Judy Garland get on as a Harvey Girl.:-)

Q, thanks for the info. I love getting on trains for short times like that. When my daughter babysat two little boys in CT we took them from New London to Mystic and they loved it. A short ride, but so much fun through their eyes.

There is also a novel called Orphan Train which was quite good. Came out years ago.


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Subject: RE: Mail Order Brides - songs and info about
From: irishajo
Date: 22 May 03 - 01:42 PM

I absolutely loved the 'Harvey Girls' movie when I was a teenager. The first time I saw it, I thought it was the most perfect movie ever made. Gotta love Marjorie Main as the old matron. I still love to watch the opening scene, with the great rendition of 'Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe.'

I don't think Angela was ever a Harvey Girl in the movie. In fact I thought she loathed them. She and Judy Garland were in competition for some man (can't remember the actor's name).

That movie and 'Westward the Women' were definitely in my top five back then. I had a westward expansion obsession (still kinda do I guess).


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