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Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs

rip cobalt 28 Oct 04 - 12:20 PM
rip cobalt 28 Oct 04 - 12:33 PM
Wolfgang 30 Oct 04 - 04:51 PM
Tansy 30 Oct 04 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Martin 31 Oct 04 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Guest: David Ingerson 01 Nov 04 - 04:01 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 04 - 10:52 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Nov 04 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,Russ 04 Nov 04 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Russ 04 Nov 04 - 03:05 PM
Gorgeous Gary 04 Nov 04 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,Paul Burke 05 Nov 04 - 07:40 AM
Wolfgang 05 Nov 04 - 11:49 AM
pdq 09 Sep 11 - 04:53 PM
Desert Dancer 09 Sep 11 - 06:44 PM
Desert Dancer 09 Sep 11 - 06:47 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Sep 11 - 04:06 PM
Matthew Edwards 13 Sep 11 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Deborah 12 Jan 18 - 02:05 PM
GUEST,Ken Brock 13 Jan 18 - 12:26 AM
GUEST,Observer 13 Jan 18 - 07:04 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: rip cobalt
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 12:20 PM

Hey all, I live near Bagnell Dam in the Missouri Ozarks, Mid-US.
It has undergone some major repairs this summer which makes it prime time to add some dam collapse songs to my repetoire. But the only one I've run across is "pikevill flood" by blue highway.
Here at the digitrad, a search for "Dam" came up empty but oddly enough, one for "flood" got a few returns among them "Dam on Baldwin Creek". It also showed a thread for the Jamestown Flood...a tragedy of epic proportion caused by a small private lake escaping impoundment. The Lake of the Ozarks has over 1300 miles of shoreline, contained by two dams. The big one, Bagnell, could easily fall victim if the nearby New Madrid fault has another earthquake.
It could wipe out many small riverboat towns, maybe even wash over St. Louis. Hard for me to guess.
The rest of the flood ballad tradition here seems built around storm surge...Gavleston's 1900 sumpin hurricane is a popular storm.
Well. Back to playing with my instrument. Hope to hear soon about your favorite "man puts it up its going to come down" dam collapse tunes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: rip cobalt
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 12:33 PM

Ahh, the force that causes so much evolution in folk music. Word substituion. The dam collapse songs I referred to in my intial post was Johnstown, Pa. not Jamestown.
Documentaries and several books cover that disaster well.
It just strikes me as odd that there are so many storm disaster songs, famous cyclones and the like, here in Missouri folk tradition and so few about dams collapsing anywhere. Its not that rare of an event, especially in coal mining regions with steep grades.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 04:51 PM

It is interesting how some disasters start songwriters' phantasies and others don't. There are also not very many earthquake songs and I know no avalanche song. It seems songwriters rather write about songs with a slow and cruel death with a long fight like drowning or being buried in a mine. Quick suffocating is not what turns them on. The victims must have the time for a last verse.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: Tansy
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 06:42 PM

Well, besides "Night of The Johnstown Flood" which is listed here iIthink as "The Jamestown Flood" and "Dan Peyton's Ride" which is about some guy who actually did ride ahead to warn residents of this selfsame Flood...most people like the Bruce springsteen song "Highway Patrolman" which is the story of two brothers...one who is a stand-up guy and the other a Ne'er-do-well and the chorus contains a melancholy line about the singer, the good brother remembering his brother Frankie and it reads:

Chorus:

Me and Frankie laughing & drinkin'
Nothin' feels better n' blood on blood
takin' turns dancing with Maria
as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"

I catch him was he's strayin'
as any brother would
Man turns his back on his family
well, he just ain't no good.


It's not specifically about a flood, but the chorus keeps going back to the times when the two brothers were dancing together in happier times, taking turns dancing with the narrator's wife, Maria, and it's a song a lot of folks know because Johnny Cash covered it.

it's a gentle song, a slightly sad song and a song about nostalgia. Since it accesses a milieu whewre veryone knows the "Johnstown FLood" song... it could be an appropriate choice to include. It's a classic american contemporary folk tune and crowds tend to like it. It 'sounds" and "feels" old to them, even though it's only about 25 years old.

Give it a listen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: GUEST,Martin
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 02:37 PM

Among all disasters, dam collapses are, fortunately, relatively scarce. Let me sum up those I know about (in Europe, where I live): Cwmrwyn, Wales, 1889, 25 dead. Bila Desna, Austria-Hungary, 1916 (then), 110 dead. Saas Fee, Switzerland, 1960, 14 dead (in fact, a landslide on an unfinished dam building site). And the most famous, Vaiont, Italy, 1967, one thousand-and-something dead. There an extreme amount of water raised by a landslide splashed over the dam, that in fact remained standing. Maybe it would be useful to search for the folklore around those places... I know, a bit tedious.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: GUEST,Guest: David Ingerson
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 04:01 AM

I don't know about the song "Dan Payton's Ride" but I do know that the story about his ride was soundly discredited within several weeks of the flood. The newspapers of the day, reveling in the sensational nature of the flood story (and the increased circulation it brought them), did very little fact-checking and spread this heart-warming and inspiring story to many eager readers.

However, parts of the story did not make sense to the locals (like how can you gallop in 1 to 3 feet of water?) and it was investigated, found wanting (even to his name: no Daniel Payton was known in the entire valley. Although a family of Paytons perished in the flood, Dan was not one of them), and deemed a part of the flood mythology.

David


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 10:52 PM

St. Francis Dam Disaster

Ê

L
THE ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER


Measured by loss of life, the collapse of the St. Francis dam, 50 miles north of Los Angeles, is the greatest American civil engineering failure of the 20th Century.Ê In California it ranks second to the natural catastrophe of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.Ê Despite this, the St. Francis story is a surprisingly little known and widely misunderstood landmark of American history.

It began at approximately 11:57 PM on March 12, 1928 when a two hundred feet-high wall of concrete suddenly shuddered, cracked and broke apart.Ê 12 1/2 billion gallons water burst through gaping cracks and crumbling concrete.Ê Within minutes, a towering surge of mud, trees and debris rumbled down a narrow canyon.Ê Directly below the dam was a power plant surrounded by a community of workers and their families.Ê Only three would survive.Ê Ahead in the night lay a construction camp and isolated Southern California farms, ranches and entire towns.Ê Most of their inhabitants were sound asleep.Ê Many would die.

When the flood waters reached the Pacific Ocean, five and half hours and 53 miles later, more than 450 people were dead -- including manyÊ Mexican-Americans who lived directly in the flood path.Ê As much as $25 million worth of livestock and property were washed away.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 08:53 PM

I found some stories of dam collapses that might interest you:
Piute County, Utah, 1914
Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles, 1963 - (Click to view video)
China, 1975
Teton dam, Idaho, 1976
Syria, 2002
Lamar County, Mississippi, 2004

These were mentioned, but I haven't found a story about them yet:
Santa Paula, California, 1928
Fréjus, France, 1959
Man, West Virginia, 1972


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 02:55 PM

Buffalo Creek WV. 1972. 125 dead
http://www.wvgazette.com/static/series/buffalocreek/


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 03:05 PM

Also found this song about Buffalo Creek. No tune though.

http://www.g12g.com/buffalo.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 10:14 PM

Wolfgang: Interestingly enough, two earthquake songs have been on my mind recently. Alaska Mike's "Little Jim", about a guy who sleeps through the Alaska quake of '64 is one (which I just heard at the FSGW Getaway a few weeks back). The other is a song called "Richter Scale" which is a light-hearted look at everyone's favorite quake-measuring system (and which Alaska Mike's song brought to the fore). I don't have the credit in front of me, but I believe its from a Cal Tech professor back in the 60's; I picked it up from someone in the filk community.

But as a structural engineer, songs of either vein are of interest.

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 07:40 AM

One more for your collection:
The Dale Dyke dam near Sheffield (UK) broke on the 11th March 1864 causing the Sheffield Flood. Many casualties. No song known though- probably rather after the heyday of ballads in Britain.

About the Dale Dyke Dam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 11:49 AM

Thanks, Gary.
I sometimes think people like slow disasters where the persons involved die a slow death and know before the disaster hits that it may come.

A shipwreck is fine for 5 verses with the storm slowly coming, the fighting with the waves, first man over board, mast breaks,...

An earthquake: half a minute, house collapses, everybody in it dead before realising what hit him, a one verse song only. A dramatic rescue, however, father digging with his bare hands to find his wife dead, two days later, but his baby son alife at her breast, that might be a story for six verses.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: pdq
Date: 09 Sep 11 - 04:53 PM

More here on the St. Francis Dam disaster near Los Angeles, 1928...

                                                                            history, people, a phoptograph...and a song


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Sep 11 - 06:44 PM

pdq, that sent me Googling, and I came on this blog post: A Rare 78 RPM Record about the St. Francis Dam Disaster, which includes a link to an mp3 of "The Breaking of the St. Francis Dam", a disaster ballad in the old style, sung by Edd Rice (Vocalion 5216), recorded April 5, 1982, according to this listing at Google Books. The disaster was on March 12, so that's quick work.

The blog is from John Nichols who apparently has a fine collection of St. Francis Dam disaster memorabilia, as well as a collection of 78s. In a comment below the post, he says, "I have lyrics to another song sung in Spanish about the disaster. It's a corrido. I heard one story about a man who was so broken up about the loss of him family members that he had to write what he needed to tell them in a song and sing it to them. He couldn't just speak the words about his loss. "

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Sep 11 - 06:47 PM

Oops, 1928, not 1982!

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Sep 11 - 04:06 PM

Wikipedia has categories called Dam disasters and Dam disasters in the United States, if you want to see a list of them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 06:32 AM

I can't think of any songs, but there is a great story by James Thurber, The Day the Dam Broke, about the day in Columbus, Ohio in March 1913, during the great spring floods of that year, when two thousand fled east from the cold rushing waters of the Scioto.

You can enjoy listening to Keith Olbermann reading the story on YouTube, with the help of Thurber's distinctive and idiosyncratic illustrations:- The Day the Dam Broke; Part One and Part Two.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: GUEST,Deborah
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 02:05 PM

Hi all,
I'm looking for the lyrics to a song I used to sing at camp (in the 60s) about the creation of Bagnell Dam on the Osage River in Missouri. It begins:

"Once there was a town and Zebra was its name
Even though it disappeared its had its share of fame"

The song goes on to chronicle the deliberate flooding of the town to create a hydroelectric dam, and the recreational Lake of the Ozarks.

I could really use some help getting this wormhole out of my ear... hoping having the full lyrics might help.

Thanks.
debkasdan@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 12:26 AM

The Johnstown Flood is mentioned in "You Mustn't Be Discouraged", by Styne, Comden and Green from the 1964 musical Fade Out - Fade In, performed by Carol Burnett and Tiger Haynes honoring Shirley Temple and Bojangles Robinson (I think). Also, Leonard Cohen has a song titled "Avalanche" on Songs of Love and Hate that I think is more figurative than literal. Richard Rodgers' grandson Adam Guettel wrote a musical titled Floyd Collins about that cave collapse.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Dam collapse tragedy songs
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 07:04 AM

Not a song but I do know of rather a catchy tune on the subject by Eric Coates.


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