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Lyr Req: Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking....

DigiTrad:
REUBEN AND RACHEL
THE SWEDE FROM NORTH DAKOTA
THE WINNIPEG WHORE
WINNIPEG WHORE (2)


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Bawdy 'Reuben, Reuben' (9)


GUEST,Steelerod@AOL.com 18 Sep 03 - 06:02 PM
masato sakurai 18 Sep 03 - 08:18 PM
open mike 18 Sep 03 - 10:20 PM
Joe Offer 18 Sep 03 - 10:25 PM
Joe Offer 18 Sep 03 - 10:45 PM
masato sakurai 18 Sep 03 - 11:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Sep 03 - 11:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Sep 03 - 11:12 PM
Joe Offer 18 Sep 03 - 11:26 PM
masato sakurai 18 Sep 03 - 11:28 PM
Joe Offer 18 Sep 03 - 11:54 PM
GUEST,Jenny 24 Mar 09 - 09:17 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Ruben, Ruben, I've Been Thinking......
From: GUEST,Steelerod@AOL.com
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 06:02 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ruben, Ruben, I've Been Thinking......
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 08:18 PM

This seems to be the one.

REUBEN AND RACHEL in the DT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ruben, Ruben, I've Been Thinking....
From: open mike
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 10:20 PM

what a queer world this would be....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ruben, Ruben, I've Been Thinking......
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 10:25 PM

The Traditional Ballad Index says words were by Harry Birch and music by William Gooch. 1871 is the date given for the earliest copy found in the publications covered by the index. I would have sworn this was a traditional children's song, but I guess I'm wrong. In the Book of World-Famous Music, Fuld confirms the song was written by Birch & Gooch, and published in 1871. Here's the Ballad Index entry:

Reuben and Rachel

DESCRIPTION: Rachel speculates to Reuben about "What a good world this would be If the men were all transported Far beyond the northern sea." Reuben, shocked, tries to fathom the idea; at last he offers marriage. Rachel accepts
AUTHOR: Words: Harry Birch / Music: William Gooch
EARLIEST DATE: 1871 (sheet music published by White, Smith & Perry of Boston)
KEYWORDS: dialog transportation courting love humorous marriage
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (5 citations):
RJackson-19CPop, pp. 180-183, "Reuben and Rachel" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuld-WFM, p. 460, "Reuben and Rachel"
Silber-FSWB, p. 345, "Reuben, Reuben" (1 text)
Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 86, "Reuben, Reuben" (1 text)
DT, REUBRACH*

ST RJ19180 (Full)
Roud #15451
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Winnipeg Whore" (tune)
cf. "The Swede from North Dakota" (tune)
File: RJ19180

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2013 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: ADD Version: Reuben and Rachel
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 10:45 PM

The words in the Digital Tradition are different from what I know. Here is a transcription of the song from Lester Levy's book, Flashes of Merriment. Levy imagines Reuben and Rachel are a Quaker couple. These lyrics match the sheet music in the Levy Sheet Music Collection.

REUBEN AND RACHEL
(Words: Harry Birch / Music: William Gooch, 1878)

1. (Rachel):
Reuben, I have long been thinking,
What a good world this might be,
If the men were all transported
Far beyond the Northern Sea.
(Reuben):
Rachel, I have been long been thinking,
What a fine world this might be,
If we had some more young ladies
On this side the Northern Sea.

Refrain:
(Re.): Too ral loo ral loo, (Ra.): Too ral loo rall,
(Re.): Too ral loo ral loo, (Ra.): Too ral lee,
(Both simultaneous!):
(Ra.): If the men were all transported
Far beyond the Northern Sea.
(Re.): If we had some more young ladies
On this Side the Northern Sea.

2.(Rachel):
Reuben, I'm a poor lone woman,
No one seems to care for me,
I wish the men were all transported
Far beyond the Northern Sea.
(Reuben):
I'm a man without a victim,
Soon I think there's one will be,
If the men are not transported
Far beyond the Northern Sea.
Refrain

3.(Rachel):
Reuben, what's the use of fooling,
Why not come up like a man?
If you'd like to have a "lover"
I´m for life your "Sally Ann."
(Reuben):
Oh my goodness! oh my gracious!
What a queer world this would be,
If the men were all transported
Far beyond the Northern Sea!
Refrain:

4. (Rachel):
Reuben, now do stop your teazing,
If you've any love for me;
I was only just a fooling,
As I thought of course you'd see.
(Reuben):
Rachel, I will not transport you,
But will take you for a wife,
We will live on "milk and honey,"
Better or worse, we're in for life.
Refrain:


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ruben, Ruben, I've Been Thinking......
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 11:04 PM

The 1878 edition is at Levy:

Title: Reuben and Rachel. Comic Duett.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words by Harry Birch. Music by William Gooch.
William Gooch Publication: Boston: White, Smith & Co., 1878.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ruben, Ruben, I've Been Thinking......
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 11:07 PM

Thanks, Masato, you got it right.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ruben, Ruben, I've Been Thinking......
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 11:12 PM

"How 'Ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm (after they've seen Paree)" starts out "'Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking' said his wifey dear." Possible cause of confusion. Also in Levy, 1919.


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Subject: Lyr Add: REUBEN, REUBEN
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 11:26 PM

Here's the version from Silber & Silber's Folksinger's Wordbook:

REUBEN, REUBEN

Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking
What a fine world this would be,
If the men were all transported
Far beyond the northern sea.

Oh, my goodness, gracious Rachel,
What a queer world this would be,
If the men were all transported
Far beyond the northern sea.

Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking,
What a gay life girls would lead,
If they had no men about them,
None to tease them, none to heed.

Reuben, Reuben, stop your teasing,
If you've any love for me,
I was only just a-fooling,
As I thought, of course, you'd see.

Rachel, if you'll not transport us,
I will take you for my wife,
And I'll split with you my money
Every pay-day of my life.

I haven't found a source for the version in the Digital Tradition, with the bumblebee/honeybee imagery. It's the most common version that comes up on google - but all the postings may well have been copied from the Digital Tradition.
Maybe this is another one for me to ask my kid sister about - it's one of those songs I didn't sing, because my sister did. Now I find it's wonderful to sing with her, and I wish I had done it more often.
-Joe Offer-

Chords:

D
Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking

What a fine world this would be,
Bm    D         G       D
If the men were all transported
Bm E7 D      E7   A7   D
Far beyond the northern sea.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ruben, Ruben, I've Been Thinking......
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 11:28 PM

Midi & transcription for the 1871 edition are at Public Domain Music: Music from 1866-1899 (scrol down to "1871").


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Subject: ADD Version Reuben and Rachel
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Sep 03 - 11:54 PM

Here's another version, this one from The Prairie Home Companion Folk Song Book:

REUBEN, REUBEN

Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking
What a grand world this would be
If the boys were all transported
Far across the northern sea.

Oh, my goodness gracious, Rachel
What a queer world that would be
Girls would have no boys to talk to
If we were across the sea.

Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking
Life is sometimes awfully queer
No one knows where we are going
No one knows why we are here.

Rachel, Rachel, I've been thinking
Those are true words what you've said
We sleep all night when we're living
Sleep all day when we are dead.


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Subject: ADD Version: Reuben, Reuben
From: GUEST,Jenny
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 09:17 PM

here is another version that I have found.

REUBEN, REUBEN

Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking
What a queer world this would be
If the men were all transported
Far beyond the Northern Sea!
Rachel, Rachel, I've been thinking
What a queer world this would be
If the girls were all transported
Far beyond the Northern Sea!

cho: Too-ral-loo-ral-loo, Too-ral-loo-ral,
Too-ral-loo-ral-loo, Too-ral-lee
Far beyond the Northern Sea! (repeats last line of verse)

Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking
Life would be so easy then;
What a lovely world this would be
If there were no tiresome men!
Rachel, Rachel, I've been thinking
Life would be so easy then;
What a lovely world this would be
If you'd leave it to the men!

Reuben, Reuben, I've been thinking
If we went beyond the seas,
All the men would follow after
Like a swarm of bumble-bees!
Rachel, Rachel, I've been thinking
If we went beyond the seas,
All the girls would follow after
Like a swarm of honey-bees!


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