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Lyr Add: My Blackbird Is Gone (Jimmie Driftwood)

DigiTrad:
BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS
BRENDAN'S FAIRE ISLE
LONG CHAIN ON
RAZORBACK STEAK
SAINT BRENDAN'S VOYAGE


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Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Sep 03 - 11:09 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Sep 03 - 01:09 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 03 - 09:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Sep 03 - 11:08 PM
Stewie 22 Sep 03 - 11:41 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: MY BLACKBIRD IS GONE
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Sep 03 - 11:09 AM

Lyr. Add: My Blackbird Is Gone

She had the soul of an angel;
She had a heart that was true.
Her lips were sweet as the hummingbird's mouth,
All filled with the sweet honeydew.

She taught me how to be humble;
She taught me how to pray.
I thought I would die when she said goodbye,
And they carried my blackbird away.

Chorus:
My blackbird is gone,
My blackbird is gone,
My blackbird is gone away.
They came with a chain,
They called her sweet name,
And they carried my blackbird away.

List to the roar of the cannons;
Look at the battle array.
It's all because of the tears that I shed
When they carried my blackbird away.

Angels a-singing in heaven
Hushed their sweet songs when they heard
The cries of my heart
When they tore me apart
From the arms of my pretty blackbird.

My blackbird is gone,
My blackbird is gone,
My blackbird is gone away.
They came with a chain,
They called her sweet name,
And they carried my blackbird away.

My blackbird is gone,
My blackbird is gone,
I'll never forget the sad day
They came with a chain,
They called her sweet name,
And they carried my blackbird away.

Sung by Jimmy Driftwood, 1960, audio on the Wolf Collection website.
Mr. Driftwood: "My Blackbird is Gone," a Civil War Song that the listener will have to interpret for himself. It might be a white boy or a white girl singing about a black mammy that he might have had. It could be a black boy singing about his sweetheart that's gone. Well, as Alan Lomax says, you have to interpret this song for yourself."

My Blackbird

Haven't found this song in the major collections. Would like to know more about it. It seems like a slavery song, but, stretching for another explanation, has something been lost- coming with a chain and calling her sweet name may be a round-about way of saying she died (golden chain songs?).

Comment on Jimmy Driftwood in thread 5659: Driftwood Story


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MY BLACKBIRD IS GONE
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 01:09 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MY BLACKBIRD IS GONE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 09:41 PM

The most puzzling line is the one: "It's all because of the tears that I shed." What? Does the guy feel responsible for starting the Civil War because he cried? I'd say something has been misremembered here. There must have been an older version of the song that made more sense than this one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MY BLACKBIRD IS GONE
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 11:08 PM

Yes, I would guess parts of two or more verses are missing. The battle, and the tears, would be from two different verses.
I haven't found this song anywhere else except in this Driftwood version in the Wolf Collection.

Any ideas, anyone?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: MY BLACKBIRD IS GONE
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 11:41 PM

This is all very curious. Driftwood recorded the song for RCA in Nashville at 11/12 August 1960 sessions [master L2-WB-0256]. It is on disc 3 of the Bear Family Jimmy Driftwood 'Americana' boxed set [BCD 15465]. It was released on an RCA LP. Richard Weize's discography in the booklet in the Bear Family set has the song listed as a Jimmy Driftwood original composition.

Jimmy's note in the booklet:


'My Blackbird Is Gone': I got to thinking about what happened to a young man who was black and just married and they came and got his bride and took her away. I got to thinking about that and I envisioned this fine-looking young black man who was so sad it made you sad to look at him. That sort of thing happened and I don't care if I do live in the South, that's not right. JD.


--Stewie.


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