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Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford

DigiTrad:
JESSE JAMES
JESSE JAMES (3)
JESSE JAMES (I WONDER WHERE MY POOR OLD JESSE'S GONE)
JESUS CHRIST
JESUS CHRIST (2)
TRUE BALLAD OF JESSE JAMES


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Jesse James I (72)
Lyr Add: Jesse James II (4)
Lyr Add: Jesse James IV (3)
Lyr Add: Jesse James III (6)
Related tune: Jesse James (1)


katlaughing 01 Aug 04 - 03:00 PM
Mark Clark 02 Aug 04 - 12:18 AM
katlaughing 02 Aug 04 - 10:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Aug 04 - 10:57 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Aug 04 - 12:57 PM
Nerd 02 Aug 04 - 01:12 PM
Mark Clark 02 Aug 04 - 01:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Aug 04 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Gail 18 Oct 04 - 09:58 PM
Stewie 19 Oct 04 - 02:09 AM
GUEST,Sandy Patonj 20 Oct 04 - 02:30 AM
GUEST,999 16 Sep 12 - 01:23 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Aug 04 - 03:00 PM

Just found this in a "Colorado ODDities" website and thought it'd be interesting to see if anyone knows it:

One of the few original cowboy songs with Colorado roots revolves around the story of what happened to Robert Ford when he fled after murdering Jesse James in 1882. Here's the first verse of A Song about Robert Ford :

Gather round friends and a story I'll tell
Of a man named Bob Ford; it's one you know well
He shot Jesse James in cold-blooded greed
Come out to stay in the boom town of Creede.


Here's a little more of interest from the same website:

Bat Masterson once owned a saloon in Creede Colorado, high in the San Juan Mountains in Mineral County. And Bob Ford, the man who shot Jesse James, was killed in Creede. It happened when Ed O'Kelly, the marshal of nearby Bachelor, came into town, said he was a friend of the James brothers, then shot Ford -- owner of a bar and brothel -- in the face.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: Mark Clark
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 12:18 AM

“COLORADO ODDities”

Thanks, Kat. Have you found the whole song yet. It would be great to get it posted here.

As it happens, I'm in the process of reading T.J. Stiles’ excellent and carefully researched book Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War. He puts the James brothers and their family in the socio-political context normally omitted or glossed over by poets and others who would turn Jesse James into a hero.

James’ family were slave owners and secessionists in an area of Missouri known as “Little Dixie.” Jesse's Civil War service consisted of being a bushwhacker in Bloody Bill Anderson's gang of guerrillas. They were all bloody terrorists preying on any of their neighbors who supported the Union even though they may also have supported slavery. Their victims weren't shot in battle. Rather the bushwhackers would lure them out of their homes and shoot them as they ran. Their boddies would be mutilated and their scalps taken as trophies to hang from the bridles of these savage bastards.

Growing up on the Jesse James ballad, it's easy to think of Robert Ford as a coward and traitor—and he probably was—but Stiles makes it pretty clear that he did the world a pretty big favor by shooting Jesse James. James’ supporters—and there were many—were all die-hard secessionists bent on driving abolitionists and Union sympathizers out of Missouri or butchering them where they stood.

Stiles carefully documents his case that James “outlaw” career was actually just a continuation of his bushwhacking days and was entirely pollitically motivated. He wasn't actually a bandit, per se, but remained a terrorist in the cause of slavery and the Confederate States.

Robert Ford, on the other hand, demonstrated his committment to social improvement by operating a bar and a brothel. <g>

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 10:40 AM

Thanks, Mark, no I haven't found the rest of the lyrics, yet. I'm wondering if my dad ever heard it, growing up in CO, from his granddad or dad. I'll have to ask him.

I had just heard, somewhere, about Stiles' book. It sounded interesting then and certainly does now with your excellent review. I'll have to check it out.

Thanks, again,

kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 10:57 AM

I'll sing of the outlaw Robert Ford
Whose friends did call him Bob
he used to run a knocking shop
which was a pleasant sort of job

He shot Jesse James who really was a stinker
Good old Robert Ford, what a pro-gressive thinker

(something like this....?)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 12:57 PM

A song mentioned in Mudcat some time ago, but never posted is "Robert Ford and Jesse James," by David Olney. Anyone have it?

Trivia- Robert and Charles Ford were members of Jesse's gang. Charles was with Robert when Robert shot Jessee. Robert and Charles were sentenced to death, but almost immediately pardoned by Yankee-lover Governor Crittenden and given the reward of $5000.
(Jessee and Robert are 'folk heroes'- don't let history get in the way)

Some of Robert Ford's story in Colorado is here: Fords

A good read is the novel "The Assassination of Jessee James by the Coward Robert Ford," by Ron Hansen. Available in paperback (and hardback used). Not history, but extending the legends.

For something really stupid, see the doggerel by Elton John, "I feel Like a Bullet (in the Gun of Robert Ford".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 01:12 PM

In some versions of Little Musgrave recorded in North Carolina, instead of "the little foot page," the snitch who turns Musgrave in is "little Robert Ford." Cas Wallin sang it this way, as did his nephew Dillard Chandler. Cas paused after singing "Little Robert Ford" and chuckled, saying "he got around, didn't he?" showing that he was perfectly aware that Ford had simply become a shorthand for "villain," the Judas of American folksong.

One thing to remember, by the way, is that the US as it exists today is an almalgamation of the old Union and Confederacy. Jesse may have been a villain to the Union but he was a hero to the Confederacy. During the aftermath of the war, that was bound to make him a "folk hero" to many of the downtrodden former rebels. This is one reason why he comes down to us as a folk hero; it was one of the widespread perspectives that existed close to his lifetime.

Meanwhile, no one likes a traitor, so Robert Ford may have done the world a favor, but he did it in a way that was bound to make him a "folk villain." When singers needed a name for the snitch in Musgrave, Robert Ford seemed a natural choice.

BTW, Cas's version of Musgrave is available on a great set of field recordings by Mike Yates, called Far in the Mountains. It's available from Musical Traditions, http://www.mustrad.org.uk
Dillard Chandler's is on an old Folkways LP, available as a custom CD from Smithsonian Folkways.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: Mark Clark
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 01:26 PM

Q, Your reference link contradicts your assertion that the Ford brothers were given the reward money. I can't personally resolve the issue but I can probably go look it up.

I like a good legend as well as (or better than) the next guy but I've always resented the way history is whitewashed to the point that we no longer remember who we are and where we came from. I think it's important to remember both the legend and the history. The reasons for differences in the two can be as informative as the stories themselves.

We like to “remember the Alamo” in story and song and the “heroes” who died there. We tend to forget that they were actually a gang of pro-slavery zealots who wanted to cut established territory out of the Sovereign state of Mexico because Mexico had outlawed slavery.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 02:22 PM

Digression-
"Pro-Slavery zealots"- Mark has made this accusation before, without historical back-up. They were a mixed bag, including fortune-seekers (Crockett, etc.), supporters of the western expansion of the US, Mexicans (Tejanos) and other dis-illusioned citizens who were upset by the revocation of the Mexican Constitution by President Santa Anna and widespread corruption. See "The Texas Handbook": Texas
Of course, 25 years after the Alamo, didn't all Texans became "pro-slavery zealots" when they joined the Confederacy? And Mexico, with its system of peonage, had their own slavery system.

Getting back to the thread, Gov. Crittenden claimed to have paid the Fords out of his own pocket (filled by the railroads). I haven't gone into the records to get the truth.
In any case, Robert Ford turned up in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where he set up a saloon. It was a failure, and he lost most if not all of his cash. He moved to Walsenburg, where he again set up a saloon, but it was apparently just a tent. Sometime after he was killed in Creede, Colorado, his family had his remains exhumed and moved to the family plot in Richmond, Missouri.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: GUEST,Gail
Date: 18 Oct 04 - 09:58 PM

My great grandfathers name was Ford. He married Alice Thresher Miller, my great grandmother, her second marriage, she had several girls. My great grandfathers brother was Robert Ford, who killed Jesse James. I am searching for my greatgrandfathers full name as no one in my family knows. Any help from anyone out there? Thanks a million~ Gail in Oklahoma


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROBERT FORD AND JESSE JAMES (David Olney)
From: Stewie
Date: 19 Oct 04 - 02:09 AM

Q, you wanted this:

ROBERT FORD AND JESSE JAMES
(David Olney)

'Hey, Bob, do you remember when we robbed the Glendale train?
And I shot that engineer and left him lying in the rain
You were shaking like a leaf, I thought you'd break and run
But my hands were never steadier than when they held a gun
The horses hooves a-pounding, bullets flying in the air
The bleeding and the dying, hell, I didn't care
The chances that I took back then, I must have been insane
Hey, Bob, do you remember when we robbed the Glendale train?'

'Hey, Bob, do you recall that little whore down in Kansas City?
Crazy as a bedbug but, man, she sure was pretty
You got mad as hell and you raged with jealously
After buying all her drinks that night, she went upstairs with me
You should have seen her, Bob, the way she'd fuss and fight
A scratching little hell-cat, man, I sure had fun that night
Now I'm sorry that I cut her, it truly was a pity
Hey, Bob, what was her name that little whore in Kansas City?'

'Hey, Bob, do you recall when we really lived the life?
Now look at me, I've settled down, got three kids and a wife
God has surely blessed me with his mercies from on high
How come you never married, Bob? You never told me why
It ain't healthy for a man to always be alone
You need a woman's gentle touch, a family and a home
A man can't be a man without a woman by his side
How come you never married, Bob? You never told me why'.

'Hey, Bob, look at this picture. Does that look straight to you?
It needs to come up on the right just a touch or two'.
But Bob he never answered for his anger and his shame
With steady hand he drew his gun and shot down Jesse James
He knew it was too little and he knew it was too late
And it gave but little comfort, but at least the picture's straight

Copyright David Olney Bug Music/David Olney Songs BMI
Source: as printed in lyrics booklet accompanying David Olney 'Real Lies' Philo CD 1204.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: GUEST,Sandy Patonj
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 02:30 AM

Kat'leen:
    Frank G. Robertson's "Soapy Smith, King of the Frontier Con Men" contains a good bit about the killing of Robert Ford up in Creede. Soapy slipped up there for a while to avoid a crackdown on his nefarious activities in Denver, and was there when Ford was shot. Pretty interesting book that I've only recently had a chance to read.
    Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Title= A song about Robert Ford
From: GUEST,999
Date: 16 Sep 12 - 01:23 PM

Robert Newton Ford


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