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Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum

DigiTrad:
HALLELUJAH I'M A BUM
HALLELUJAH, I'M A BUM 2
HOBO'S LULLABY


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Last Ride / Hobo's Last Ride (12)
(origins) Origins: It's A Big Bum I Am/Best Hobo Man (9)
Origins: Hobo's Lullaby (Goebel Reeves) (10)
Lyr Add: I Just Don't Want to Be Rich (Sam Hinton) (15)
(origins) Origin: Hobo Bill's Last Ride (13)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Hobo's Last Letter (13)
(origins) Origins: The hobo built the right-of-way (3)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Hallelujah, I'm a Bum (Revive Us Again)


John in Brisbane 17 Nov 98 - 09:12 PM
Sir 18 Nov 98 - 08:53 AM
sixtieschick 28 Dec 04 - 07:31 PM
Amos 28 Dec 04 - 07:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Dec 04 - 07:53 PM
masato sakurai 28 Dec 04 - 10:28 PM
dick greenhaus 28 Dec 04 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 28 Dec 04 - 11:46 PM
Mark Ross 29 Dec 04 - 10:29 AM
Stewie 29 Dec 04 - 10:51 PM
LadyJean 30 Dec 04 - 01:12 AM
NH Dave 30 Dec 04 - 01:28 AM
dick greenhaus 31 Dec 04 - 12:05 AM
GUEST,Clint Keller 31 Dec 04 - 12:25 AM
sixtieschick 31 Dec 04 - 12:45 AM
Shanty Filker 31 Dec 04 - 01:23 AM
Jim McLean 31 Dec 04 - 08:44 AM
GUEST 10 Jan 05 - 11:37 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jan 05 - 12:35 PM
Mark Ross 10 Jan 05 - 02:51 PM
MoorleyMan 10 Jan 05 - 05:17 PM
NH Dave 11 Jan 05 - 01:34 AM
GUEST,Christiana Drapkin 22 Apr 10 - 03:49 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 11 - 12:21 PM
Mark Ross 10 Jan 11 - 12:59 PM
Joe Offer 10 Aug 17 - 03:07 AM
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Subject: Tune Add: HALLELUJAH I'M A BUM
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 09:12 PM

Bums were mentioned in a recent thread re The Great American Bum. This one lacks a tune in the DT.

Regards John


Click to play

To play or display ABC tunes, try concertina.net
ABC format:

X:1
T:
M:2/4
Q:1/4=137
K:C
E4A4|A4A4|A8|B4^c4|^c4^c4|^c8|A2^c2e4|e4e4|
^f4e4|^c4^c4|B4B4|B8|e3e^f4|e4^c3B|A8|e3e^f4|
e4^c3^c|B8|e3e^f4|e4^c3/2^c^c3/2|A4A4|^c3^cd4|
^c4B4|A15/2||


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Subject: RE: MUS ADD: Hallelujah I'm A Bum
From: Sir
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 08:53 AM

You can find the tune for the above song in a revivalist hymnal under "Revive Us Again".


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Subject: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: sixtieschick
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 07:31 PM

Here's some interesting research on this song. I was always told it had been found scrawled on the wall of a jail cell.

----------------------------------------------------------

www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/parton/2/bum.html

HALLELUJAH, I'M A BUM (HARRY McCLINTOCK) (1897/1908)
Tune: "Revive Us Again" (trad.)

This old song heard at the water tanks of railroads in Kansas in 1897 and from harvest hands who worked in the wheat fields of Pawnee County, was picked up later by the I. W. W.'s, who made verses of their own for it, and gave it a wide fame.
Carl Sandburg, The American Songbag, New York, NY, 1990 (originally published in 1927), p. 184.



For years "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" was considered a folk song authored by no one in particular -- at least no one whose identity was known. However, Harry McClintock, an old Wobbly songleader who recorded the song in 1926, has made a good case for his authorship.

While hoboing on the open road in 1897 or 1898, bumming his meals or singing for his supper, McClintock says he put new words to "Revive Us Again," and called it "Hallelulia on the Bum."

"There were only two or three verses at first but new ones practically wrote themselves. The junglestiffs liked the song and so did the saloon audiences, most of whom had hit the road at one time or another, and the rolicking, devil-may-care lilt of the thing appealed to them."
During the Spanish American War, McClintock says, he sang the song in an army training camp in Tennessee, and the soldiers took it up, adding new verses. After the war they helped to spread the song around the country. By the late 1920s, more than a dozen publishers had turned out sheet music of the song. McClintock then charged them with infringement of copyright, and managed to establish his authorship legally.
Edith Fowke and Joe Glazer, eds., Songs of Work and Protest, New York, NY, 1973, p. 127.



The I.W.W. was using songs to inspire militancy and solidarity in its ranks and to help enlist new members prior to the time Joe Hill joined the organization, probably in 1910. The date of the first I.W.W. parody is not certain, but the technique of using songs in organizational activities was perfected in Spokane, Washington, around 1908 by J. H. Walsh, a national organizer for the I.W.W., who moved to Spokane from Alaska, late in 1907....

In late 1908, as economic conditions began to improve and jobs were more readily available, the "employment agencies" became active. In retaliation, the I.W.W. in Spokane warned incoming workers of the treachery of the sharks.... I.W.W. soapboxers... found themselves competing against the Salvation Army band with sufficient frequency to rouse the suspicion that the employment agencies had persuaded the band to time its performances to interfere with Wobbly meetings.

It was Walsh who hit upon the idea of using I.W.W. parodies, some based on Salvation Army tunes, to compete for the attention of crowds, and he organized a red-uniformed I.W.W. band to accompany the Wobbly singers. Cards bearing improvised lyrics to familiar tunes were printed and sold to the audience. These Wobbly innovations began a noisy contest for followers between the I.W.W. and the Salvation Army.

Gibbs M. Smith, Labor Martyr Joe Hill, New York, NY, 1969, pp. 16-17.



First published on a four-tune song card in 1908.



Why don't you work like other folks do?
How the hell can I work when there's no work to do?
[ALTERNATE LAST LINES: How the hell can I work when the sky is so blue?
OR: How can I get a job when you're holding down two?]
CHORUS:
Hallelujah, I'm a bum,
Hallelujah, bum again,
Hallelujah, give us a handout
To revive us again.
Oh, why don't you save all the money you earn?
If I didn't eat, I'd have money to burn.

Whenever I get all the money I earn,
The boss will be broke, and to work he must turn.

Oh, I like my boss, he's a good friend of mine,
That's why I am starving out on the breadline.

When springtime it comes, oh, won't we have fun;
We'll throw off our jobs, and go on the bum.

ADDITIONAL AND ALTERNATE VERSES:

I can't buy a job 'cause I ain't got the dough,
So I ride in a boxcar 'cause I'm a hobo.

I went to a bar and I asked for a drink,
They gave me a glass and they showed me the sink.

ADDITIONAL VERSES FROM CARL SANDBURG, THE AMERICAN SONGBAG, New York, NY, 1990 (originally published in 1927), p. 185.

I went to a house,
And I knocked on the door;
A lady came out, says,
"You been here before."

I went to a house,
And I asked for a piece of bread;
A lady came out, says,
"The baker is dead."


Click to play


Click for "Revive Us Again'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: Amos
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 07:51 PM

Thanks, 60's Chick!! One of my favorites from my grandfather's repertory.

A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 07:53 PM

Hallelujah, I'm a Bum- Two versions in the DT

Haywire Mac thread: 43566: Haywire Mac
Hallelujah, I'm a Bum chords: 27921: Hallelujah chords
Great American Bum: Thread 7324: Great American Bum (Attributed to Haywire Mac)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 10:28 PM

Lyrics & midi for REVIVE US AGAIN is at The Cyber Hymnal. The music (for what song?) was composed before the words. John Jenkins Husband died in 1825.

    Words: William P. Mackay, 1863.
    Music: John J. Husband, 1815

The tune is also set to REJOICE AND BE GLAD!

    Words: Horatius Bonar, circa 1875.
    Music: John J. Husband, 1815

"Rejoice and Be Glad" is in New Christian Hymn and Tune Book (1882), p. 197.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 11:09 PM

If anyone wants to hear Haywire Mac sing this (and 21 others) on CD, CAMSCO now carries "The Great American Bum" (BACM 082)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 11:46 PM

Dick, If that's the same bunch of songs as the LP I used to have, it is a wonderful bunch of songs. I put Mac's "Jerry Go & Oil That Car" on my last CD.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: Mark Ross
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 10:29 AM

Dick, what are the other tracks on that CD?

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: Stewie
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 10:51 PM

Mark, I posted you a link to the tracks of that album in a previous thread in November - you must have missed it. CLICK HERE.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: LadyJean
Date: 30 Dec 04 - 01:12 AM

There was a movie made in the 1930s called "Hallejuah I'm a Bum".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: NH Dave
Date: 30 Dec 04 - 01:28 AM

And then the folk process took this tune and its lyrics and used them in song from the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Civil Rights protests of the 60's, whose chorus ran:

Hallelujah we're a ridin'
Hallelujah ain't it fine
Hallelujah we're a ridin'
In the front seat this time!

Dave


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 12:05 AM

Back in the late 20s, Al Jolson sang this. When he performed in England, I'm told, he had to change it to Hallelujah I'm a Tramp.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 12:25 AM

This is a song I learned literally at my mother's knee, in the early '30s... I didn't know it was a song of work & protest until I grew up.

Thanks for all the information.

clint


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: sixtieschick
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 12:45 AM

Cool, huh? I learned it from my father, who would sing it off-key and with great gusto. I'm convinced he loved it so much because he worked so hard. It's inspiring to read that others learned the song from parents or grandparents, and are equally fond of it for that reason.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: Shanty Filker
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 01:23 AM

This was one of the very rare songs that my dad will sing at the drop of a hat. Like Sixtieschick's dad, he was a real nose-to-the-grindstone type, so I always wondered that he had such an appreciation of this song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: Jim McLean
Date: 31 Dec 04 - 08:44 AM

The following notes to the song Hallelujah... printed in a song book by Eric Winter: '.... the tune is a revivalist hymn basedon a dance tune used by Sir Henry Bishop in the overture to an English opera 'The Miller and his Men' (1813)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 11:37 AM

"The Miller and His Men", a melodrama in 2 acts, written by Isaac Pocock and performed at Covent Garden in October 1813. Not sure if it was actually an opera, though it was performed at the opera house.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 12:35 PM

The play was popular, and there are many versions (some 40 according to one website).

Sir Henry Rowley Bishop composed the incidental music, but who has the score and can verify Winter's remark?.
The music disappeared from performances and the play has been performed recently with music by Bush and other composers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: Mark Ross
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 02:51 PM

Just got the Haywire Mac CD from CAMSCO and it's wonderful. Thanks to everyone.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 05:17 PM

I just found Haywire Mac's version also on a compilation called The Road To Nashville (a cheap but very good 3-CD set on the Indigo label), if anyone's interested ....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: NH Dave
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 01:34 AM

For those interested in more of the IWW/Woblies songs, they have a main office on Philadelphia, PA, and an web site at IWW.ORG, where you can join for $ 6/$12/$36 depending on your monthly income. They produce their Little Red Songbook for a small fee, and you can find many of their old time songs therein.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: GUEST,Christiana Drapkin
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 03:49 PM

Great thread on the "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" song. I'm singing it on Friday, April 30 at the Copiague Public Library in Long Island, New York State. Together with the original church hymn, and with the song by the same title (but opposite political outlook) by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, written in 1932. The following year, the movie "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" came out with Al Jolson in the title role.

I'll be singing lots of other Depression era songs, including Irving Berlin's "Let's Have another cup of coffee".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 12:21 PM

Oh, Spring-time has come.
i'm just out of jail.
with-out any money.
with-out any bail.

this is what it say's on my lantern slide from around 1906


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: Mark Ross
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 12:59 PM

If I was a banker with fold in the vault.
I'd steal all the money and say it's your fault.

The trickle down theory's a horse the rich ride,
Guess which end of that nag is our supply side.

Why don't you work like other folks do,
How can I find a job if you're holding down two.



Mark Ross


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Subject: ADD Version: Hallelujah I'm a Bum
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Aug 17 - 03:07 AM

I came across the 1928 Harry McClintock recording this evening.

HALLELUJAH! I'M A BUM

Rejoice and be glad, for the springtime has come,
We can throw down our shovels and go on the bum.

CHORUS
Hallelujah, I'm a bum; Hallelujah, a bum again;
Hallelujah, give us a handout to revive us again.

The springtime has come, and I'm just out of jail,
Without any money, without any bail.

I went to a house, and I rapped on the door,
And the lady says, "Bum, bum, you've been here before!"

I like Jim Hill, he's a good friend of mine,
That is why I am hiking down Jim Hill's mainline.

I went to a house, and I asked for some bread,
And the lady says, "Bum, bum, the baker is dead!"

Why don't you work like other men do?
Now, how can I work when there's no work to do?

Why don't you save all the money you earn?
If I didn't eat, I'd have money to burn.

I don't like work, and work don't like me,
And that is the reason I am so hungry.


Harry McClintock recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uKbIkYGsIg


James Hill was chief executive of the Great Northern Railway


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