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Lyr Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood

In Mudcat MIDIs:
Haunted Falls (Haunted Wood) (from Burt, American Mudrder Ballads)
Haunted Wood (from Fife & Fife, Cowboy & Western Songs)


Goose Gander 02 Feb 05 - 01:00 AM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 05 - 03:01 AM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 05 - 03:22 AM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 05 - 03:31 AM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 05 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 02 Feb 05 - 04:49 AM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 05 - 05:01 AM
Goose Gander 02 Feb 05 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Patrick D of Seattle 21 Feb 05 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Dianne Mothershed from Cornelius, Oregon 10 May 05 - 04:18 AM
Gene 10 May 05 - 11:43 PM
Goose Gander 24 Jun 05 - 06:24 PM
radriano 24 Jun 05 - 07:35 PM
Goose Gander 24 Jun 05 - 10:05 PM
Goose Gander 20 Dec 05 - 10:27 PM
Goose Gander 09 May 06 - 11:44 PM
GUEST,Steve Butler 03 Jul 06 - 01:42 AM
ardik 03 Sep 06 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,.Roberta Knutson 07 Apr 07 - 10:01 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Apr 07 - 10:19 PM
Goose Gander 09 Apr 07 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Doug H. pensacola FL 13 May 07 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,Debbie in Utah 19 Jun 07 - 07:41 PM
GUEST 17 Mar 10 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,cindy 30 Nov 10 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,marilyn Somers 30 Jan 11 - 07:46 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 11 - 05:57 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Apr 11 - 03:27 PM
Goose Gander 28 Apr 11 - 02:20 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Apr 11 - 03:58 PM
Goose Gander 28 Apr 11 - 06:47 PM
Goose Gander 29 Apr 11 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Gerald Milnes 19 Jan 16 - 03:41 PM
GUEST 06 Feb 16 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,lola bearden 23 Oct 16 - 12:09 PM
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Subject: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Goose Gander
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 01:00 AM

Does anyone know anything about a ballad / song called "Haunted Falls" or "Haunted Wood"? The Traditional Ballad Index lists the first recording as 1946, though there is a Dust Bowl version from 1940. It sounds familiar, but I can't find any other versions of it. I'm pretty sure it's an Ozark ballad from Missouri / Arkansas.


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Subject: RE: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 03:01 AM

For the record, here's the listing in the Traditional Ballad Index:

Haunted Wood

DESCRIPTION: A white man builds a home near "Haunted Falls." One day when he is away, Indians cast his wife to die on the rocks and burn his home with his children inside. "Now the old man wanders lonely... And the people... Call this place Haunted Wood."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1946 (collected from Buck Lee; printed in JAF 1954)
KEYWORDS: death murder Indians(Am.) revenge family
FOUND IN: US(Ro)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Fife-Cowboy/West 41, "Haunted Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burt, pp. 144-146, "(Haunted Wood)" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #5503
RECORDINGS:
Eva Ashley Moore, "The Haunted Woods" (on Ashley02)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Petit Rocher" (plot)
Notes: I know of no evidence that this particular event ever took place. It's just one of those atrocity stories white men pinned on Indians. Burt suggests that it's connected with the 1862 Sioux Uprising (now officially designated the Dakota Conflict by Minnesota government agencies) -- but it *really* doesn't sound like a Minnesota story to me, and I live in Minnesota. - RBW
File: FCW041

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


What's the Dust Bowl version?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD: Haunted Wood
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 03:22 AM

Gee, what a grisly song.


Haunted Wood

Once in olden times a river
Flowed between two mountain walls,
And the place from which it started
Formed a frame for Haunted Falls.

Rugged rocks well they had risen
Far upon either side;
And its powerful base been washed there
By many an incoming tide.

On the bosom of this river
Launched many a light canoe,
While the winds were softly sighing
And the summer skies were blue.

On the banks there lived a white man,
Wife, and children, he had two.
While the winds were softly sighing,
And the summer skies were blue.

One quiet day the father
To a little town for the mail had gone,
Left his wife and little babies
Just a few quiet hours alone.

Hark! she heard the tramp of horses
And then she turned in fright
Just in time to draw the door bolt
As some Indians rode in sight.

Then she seized and kissed her babies,
Bid them neither speak or cry;
Cast them in a secret closet,
Then she nerved herself to die.

With an angry push, the chieftain
Tore the bolt from off the door,
There he saw this weeping woman
Lying there upon the floor.

"Come, let's drown this weeping woman,"
And he raised his heavy stick.
"Come, let's drown this weeping woman,
Lose no time, I say, be quick."

Then they seized this weeping woman,
Roughly raised her from the floor,
Took her by her dark brown tresses,
Roughly dragged her to the shore.

Then they sang and danced around her,
Heeding not her piteous cries,
Cast her on the rocks below them,
And in agony she died.

"Come, let's burn this little dwelling,"
And then they circled 'round,
Then they burned the little babies,
And the dwelling to the ground.

Now this old man wanders lonely
Round the place where the dwelling stood,
And the people of this village
Call this place the Haunted Wood.


Notes:
    "Haunted Wood" is the grim account of revengeful murder wrought by Indians upon the wife and children of a frontier settler. It moves with romantic impetuousness from a description of the cavernous valley to the departure of the frontiersman, the arrival of the Indians, their savage crime, and the frontiersman's return to the carnage which had been his home. It stands comparison, we think, with the greatest ballads of English and Scottish tradition. (Melody: FMC I 581, sung by Buck Lee. Text: PNFQ 510.)


source: Cowboy and Western Songs: A Comprehensive Anthology, Austin & Alta Fife, 1969

Click to play


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Subject: ADD Version: Haunted Falls
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 03:31 AM

Haunted Falls

In olden times a river ran between two mountain walls,
Nigh the spot where it had started from a place called Haunted Falls.
On its bank there lived a white man with his wife and children three,
And for many a year the forest echoed back their songs of glee.

To a little town the father one day for mail had gone,
Left his wife and little children for a quiet hour alone.
Hark! the sound of tramping horses, and the woman turned in fright,
Just in time to drive the door bolt as two Indians drew in sight.

Then she stooped and kissed her babies, bade them neither speak nor cry,
Put them in a secret closet; then she nerved herself to die.
At one angry push the Captain broke the bolt from off the door;
Grabbed her by her long brown tresses, dragged her roughly to the shore.

There they sang and danced about her, heeding not the words she cried;
Cast her on the rocks beneath them, and in agony she died.
It was revenge that they were after, and revenge that they had found,
For they burned those sleeping babies and the dwelling to the ground.

Now the old man wanders lonely, nigh the place where the dwelling stood,
And the people of that village call this place the Haunted Wood.


Source: American Murder Ballads, Olive Woolley Burt, 1958

from the singing of Don Wakefield of Huntington, Utah. Wakefeild learned the song from a New Mexico cowboy in 1902. Wakefield used a motification of the tune to "Battle Hymn of the republic."
The tune below sure doesn't sound like "Battle Hymn" to me.
-Joe Offer-

Click to play


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Subject: ADD Version: Haunted Falls
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:15 AM

Hmmm. I imagine Michael may have come across his 'Dust Bowl' version on a fascinating site called MISERABLE MUSIC (1916 - 1941) which took the song from the Voices from the Dust Bowl collection at the Library of Congress. The recording at these sites was sung by Mrs. Mary Sullivan in 1940 at the Shafter FSA Camp (just north of Bakersfield, California).

Here are the lyrics from that recording:

THE HAUNTED FALLS

On and on an old time river
Just between two mountain walls
On a place from which it started
A place they called the Haunted Falls.

On the banks there lived a white man
Wife and children he had three
From the bottom of the river
Echoed back their shouts of glee.

To a little town up farther
One bright day for the mail had gone
Left his wife and little children
Just for one short hour alone.

And the busy little mother
Had no time for thought or fear
When she heard the horse feet trampling
Quickly turned her head in fear.

Then she knelt and kissed her childring
Bid them neither speak nor cry
Hid them in a secret closet
Then prepared herself to die.

On the Indians rushed the captain
Broke the lock from off the door
Then they saw this weeping woman
Lying there upon the floor.

Then he called to his companions
Who had seized a great big stick
Come let's kill this weeping woman
Lose no time, I say be quick.

Then they killed this weeping woman
Roughly drugged her to the door
Picked her up by her long yellow dressing
Roughly drugged her to the door.

There they danced and sing around her
Never even shed a tear
Picked her up by her long yellow clothing
Then they slung her in to drown.

Then they turned and burned the cottage
Little children to the ground
And the people of the village
Call this place the haunted mound.

Now the old man wanders lonely
In the place where the house did stand
Thinking of his wife and children
He is left a lonely man.


What was an FSA Camp?? It must have been one of those New Deal Programs, I guess.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:49 AM

Joe

Have a look HERE

Regards


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 05:01 AM

Thanks, Martin - Farm Security Administration makes sense. Roosevelt's New Deal had so many new programs with so many acronyms. I wonder if anybody could keep them straight.

I'm very familiar with Shafter - I think I've driven every road in the area. That area, Kern County, may have had the largest concentration of Dust Bowl refugees. Kern County is certainly no Garden of Eden - it's the armpit of California.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Goose Gander
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:16 PM

So it looks like we can call it a native American ballad (no pun intended) composed some time late 19th / early 20th century. I was surprised to see the reference as early as 1902, and I wonder if there's a late 19th century printed version lying around somewhere.

By the way, Kern County isn't all that bad. I use to spend summers in the hills and mountains around Lake Isabella in the late 1970s. We would go fishing and go hiking around. I have no idea what the place is like now, but I remember exploring old mines and stumbling across abandoned miner's / squatters shacks. But don't go swimming in the Kern River.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,Patrick D of Seattle
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 06:09 PM

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, County and spent many a time at the deadly Kern River, I also heard that the late Waylon Jennings wrote a song about almost drowning there. It was either Waylon or Merle Haggard. (click)

Anyway, I was a Security Guard in Shafter right off of 7th Standard Highway in June 2002. It was a construction site for the future TARGET DISTRIBUTION CENTER and it was about 50% completed. Let me tell you this, that area is quite haunted most likely due to the high number of auto crashes there. In Nov 2001 a car full of teenagers hit a powerpole about 100 yds from the location of the construction site killing all but the driver.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,Dianne Mothershed from Cornelius, Oregon
Date: 10 May 05 - 04:18 AM

Haunted Falls is one of several songs that has been passed down for several generations in my family. I can remember like it was yesterday, being a small child on family camping trips. We kids would all be tucked into our sleeping bags in various tents, while the adults sat around the campfire. If I close my eyes, I can still hear the sound of the campfire crackling, and my grandmothers voice singing Haunted Falls. My grandmothers' version of Haunted Falls is as follows:

************
HAUNTED FALLS

In olden times there was a river,
that ran between two mountain walls.
And the place from where it started,
formed a place called Haunted Falls.

On the banks there lived a white man,
with his wife and children,three.
And the sweet summer valley,
Echoed back their shouts of glee.

To a little town the father,
for one day, the male had gone.
Left his wife and little children
for a quiet hour alone.

Hark! The sound of trampling horses,
As the woman turned in fright.
Just in time to draw the doorbolt,
as some injuns rode in sight.

Then she took those little children,
begged them neither speak nor cry.
Placed them in a secret closet,
and prepared herself to die.

With an angry push the captain
burst the doorbolt off the door.
And he saw that weeping woman,
lying there upon the floor.

Then he motioned to his warriors,
as he seized a heavy stick.
Come and help me drown this woman,
"Don't be long" - "I say be quick".

Then they took that weeping woman,
roughly dragged her 'cross the floor.
Grabbed her by her long brown dresses
And they dragged her to the shore.

There they sang and danced around her,
Heeding not her piteous crys.
Cast her on the rocks below them,
there in agony she died.

Twas revenge that they had wanted,
Twas revenge that they had found.
And they burned those little children,
and the dwelling to the ground.

Now the old man wanders slowly
at the place where the dwelling stood
And the people of the valley
call that place the Haunted Wood.

**************
Submitted by:
Dianne Mothershed
email: trblmakr63@hotmail.com


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HAUNTED WOODS (from Mac Wiseman)
From: Gene
Date: 10 May 05 - 11:43 PM

Mac Wiseman's version

THE HAUNTED WOODS - Mac Wiseman

In olden times there was a river
Run between two mountain walls
And the place from where it started
Was a place called Haunted Falls

On the waters of this river
Sailed many a light canoe
And the stream, it danced about them
When the summer skies were blue

On its banks there lived a white man
With his wife and children, three
And their shouts of pain and sorrow
Echoed with their shouts of glee

To a little town the father
For the mail one day had gone
Left his wife and loving babies
For one quiet hour alone

Hark! The sound of trampin' horses
Then mother turned in fright
Just in time to draw the door bolt
When four Indians rode in sight

Then she quickly kissed the children
Bade them neither speak nor cry
Placed them in a secret closet
Then prepared herself to die

With one cruel push the captain
Flung the bolt from off the door
Grabbed her by her long brown tresses
Dragged her to the river shore

There they sang and danced about her
Paid no heed to her piteous cry
Threw her on the rocks beneath them
There in agony, she died

Was revenge that they had wanted
Was revenge they had found
When they burned those weeping babies
With the dwelling, to the ground

Now an old man sadly wanders
'Round the place where the dwelling stood
And the people of that village
Call that place the Haunted Woods


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Goose Gander
Date: 24 Jun 05 - 06:24 PM

Here's a claim to authorship....

"Helm gets chance he might not get to take"

Kootenai Valley News

December 07, 2004

by Mike Weland

Doug Helm, 75, Bonners Ferry, penned a song when he was 14 or 15 years old, and all these years later, it's attracted the attention of the National Traditional Country Music Association.

But whether he'll be able to take advantage of the offer he received is up in the air.

Helm wrote the a cappela song, "Haunted Falls," after reading the book, "Dark and Bloody Ground," about a homestead family in Kentucky that met tragedy. While the husband was in town to get the mail, a long and lengthy trip in those days, Indians killed his wife and children and burned their cabin to the ground.

Helm said it didn't take him long to come up with the basic lyrics, but it took over a year of adapting them before the song finally clicked into place.

"It happened just like that," Helm said, snapping his fingers. "After all that time working on it, it just clicked one day."

In the years since, he's sang the song for family and friends, and it became a favorite around many a campfire.

"I never sang it to someone who didn't like it," Helm said.

Until last spring, he'd never even thought to do anything else with the song, but on a whim, he sent it to Bob Everhart, publisher of the National Traditional Country Music Association's magazine, "Tradition."

Last week, Doug received a heavy packet in the mail, a copy of the latest issue, in which Everhart gives the song a great review, and in which he gives Helm an open invitation to come to the 30th annual National Old Time Country and Bluegrass contest and festival August 29 in Missouri Valley, Iowa.

In a letter included in the packet, Everhart said he certainly enjoyed the song, and he said he'd pick up the festival tab if Helm could come perform. After looking at who all would be in attendance, Helm said he was flattered by the offer.

Guest performers include Cal Smith, Gordon Lightfoot and country great Porter Wagoner.

But Helm, who is retired, isn't sure he'll be able to go.

His wife, Sandy, suffers severe rheumatoid arthritis, and a grant for the medication she needs, given by the Encourage Foundation, is set to expire in a few months. With no health insurance, he said, it'll be all he can do to pay the $1,250 monthly medication bill for the Embreol his wife needs to get through each day.

He said he doesn't know yet whether the grant will be extended for another year.

"I'd sure like to go," Doug said. "Who knows, somebody might pick the song up and record it. You don't get many chances like this, but if I can't go, then I guess I can't.

I can't seem to make a ''blue clicky'" with this computer, here's the site...   http://kvpress.com/news/articles04/041031helm.htm


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: radriano
Date: 24 Jun 05 - 07:35 PM

"grim account of revengeful murder wrought by Indians"

This song just seems to perpetuate the myth of Indians as bloodthirsty savages. There is usually some motive for revenge and no explanation is given in the song. I was especially bothered by the word "injuns" and I can't see this song standing up to the great ballads.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Goose Gander
Date: 24 Jun 05 - 10:05 PM

Hmmm... I am interested in this ballad for several reasons. I think it captures a certain mournful quality that is often lost when traditional songs become 'popularized'. It also seems to be an American ballad that has been transmitted almost entirely by word of mouth within families (the 'domestic tradition'). Yes, it does portray Indians as "bloodthirsty savages". Does it perpetuate that myth, or is it simply an example of deep theme in American culture: The Indian as the Other(?). I could name a number of 'great ballads' that are not politically correct by the standards of the twenty-first century. Should we expect traditional music to reflect modern points of view? Should a song or ballad be ignored if it does not?


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Goose Gander
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 10:27 PM

"The Haunted Woods"

Rugged rocks well they had risen
Far upon on every side
A mighty basin had been washed there
By a many a coming tide

On the banks there lived a White man
Wife and children he had three
While the winds were softly sighing
And a-moaning through the trees

On the bosom of this river
Launched a-many a light canoe
While the winds were softly sighing
And the summer skies were blue

While this busy little father
To the town for mail had gone
Left his wife and little children
For a few short hours alone

There this busy little mother
Had no time for thought of fear
While the woods were softly sighing
And the summer skies were clear

Hark! She hears the tramp of horses
It was then she turned in fright
Just in time to draw the door bolt
As the Indians rode in sight

The she seized and kissed her babies
Bid them neither speak nor cry
Locked them in a secret closet
And she knelt herself to die

Then in anger broke the chieftain
Tore the bolt from off the door
There they found the weeping woman
Lying there upon the floor

Then they danced and sang around her
Heeding not her piteous cries
Grabbed her by her dark brown tresses
Her screams of gloom reached to the skies

Then she begged and cried for mercy
As she knelt upon the floor
While they danced and sang around her
Then they dragged her through the door

'Mid frenzied glee, their war cries swelling
It was then they gathered 'round
Then they burnt the little dwelling
With the babies to the ground

Now the old man wanders lonely
'Round the place where the dwelling stood
And the people of the village
Call the place the Haunted Wood.

Notes:
"FMC I: 581, recorded by Buck Lee, Clearfield, Utah, 25 August 1946; transcribed by Cora Burt Lauridsen. Additional versions in FMC II: 195, 266, 350 and recent Fife uncatalogued recordings from Moab, Utah. . . . 'The Haunted Wood,' equally realistic and dramatic, is popular in the west despite its absence from the folksong anthologies."

Source:
"The Pseudo-Indian Folksongs of the Anglo-American and French-Canadian," The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 67, No. 265 (July-September, 1954), p. 249-250.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Goose Gander
Date: 09 May 06 - 11:44 PM

A site called The Heritage of Daniel Haston includes a version which, according to the brief notes, was collected in 1923.


The Haunted Falls
Once in olden times a river
   Ran between two mountain walls,
And the place from first it started
   formed a place called "Haunted Falls."

On its banks there lived a white man
   With his wife and children three.
And for many years the forest
   Echoed back its shouts of glee.

One bright day their own dear father
   To the little town had gone,
Left his wife and little children
   For a quiet hour alone.

Hark! the trampling sounds of horses
   And the woman turned in fright,
Just in time to draw the door bolt
   As three Indians rode in sight.

Then she turned and kissed her children;
   Bade them not to speak or cry,
Cast them in a secret closet
   And inveiled herself to die.

With an angry push the chieftain
   Broke the bolt from off the door.
There he saw the weeping woman,
   Lying there upon the floor.

Then he shouted to his comrades
   As he seized a heavy stick.
Come, we'll drown the weeping woman.
   Lose no time I say be quick.

Then he caught her by her dresses
   And he dragged her to the floor;
Caught her by her long brown tresses
   And he dragged her to the shore.

There they danced and sang around her;
   Heeding not her pitious cries.
Dashed her on the rocks below them
   And in agony she died.

'Twas revenge that they had wanted.
   'Twas revenge that they had found.
So they burned the sleeping babies
   And the dwelling to the ground.

Now the old man wanders lonely
   Around the place the dwelling stood
And the people of the villages
   Call the place the "Haunted Woods."

Haunted Falls


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,Steve Butler
Date: 03 Jul 06 - 01:42 AM

My grandmother sang a song to me when I was small about the Haunted Falls. She grew up near Bowling Green, Kentucky. I had made some searches before for the song and had no success.
I was delighted to find this information and will print off copies to share with my sons.
Her version varied a bit in that where the song listed "Twas revenge the Indians wanted." Her version included "Revenge, revenge" is what they found. As we can see on this website the versions varied a bit as well as the title.
Just wanted to share my thanks for this information.

Steve Butler
Raymore, MO


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: ardik
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 10:03 PM

I own a vinyl record, obviously the one Joe mentioned in the second post with the Eva Ashley Moore unaccompanied vocal version on it, recorded 1961.
Included with the record there is a comprehensive booklet telling a bit about the Ashley Family and a bit about every song.

Regarding "Haunted Woods" it says:
"Eva sang this song from a hand-written ballad book which contains, a number of songs sung by her great-grandfather, Enoch Ashley [grandfather of Tom C(larence) Ashley], and her grandmother, Rosie-Belle Ashley. The book, is a school composition pad ... containing thirty-four songs in all and the selection of titles includes 'You're Irish and You're Beautiful', 'The Tear Stainded Letter', 'Coming In On a Wing and a Prayer', 'Cowards Over Pearl Harbor', 'I'll Reap My Harvest in Heaven', 'The RoundCounty Crew', 'Gypsy Warning' and 'Don't Get Around Much Anymore', to mention a representative few.
I know of no sources for this ballad other than the Ashley Family, and will be grateful for any that may be forwarded to me."

Mentioning Enoch Ashlay suggest the song(s) originating from the late 19th century. However the Pearl Harbor song doesn't fit in this theory.
The booklet was edited by Ralph & Richard Rinzler; the album is Folkway Records FA 2355.

Best regards from Germany,
Frank


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,.Roberta Knutson
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 10:01 PM

I can`t begin to tell you hove thrilled I am to find the song, "Haunted Falls". My father, Arnel Holyoak sang this song and I always wondered where it came from. He sang the Daniel Haston version and we were not sure of some of the words, so It is exciting to find this site since daddy died and no one around here, except the family, knew of the song. Thank you so much for all the infromation. Does anyone have the written music to the song?

Daddy also sang the song "Fallen Leaves" to us and I would like to know if fanyone knows that one? It goes, (and I ma not sure if all the words are right )
Far beyond that rolling prairie
Where the noble forest lies
Dwells the fairest Indian Maiden,
Ever seen by mortal eyes. I have the rest if someone wants it.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 10:19 PM

See the earlier discussion Falling Leaf / Fallen Leaves for more details and links to further information.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Goose Gander
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 03:05 PM

Roberta Knudson, there is a tune provided in Austin and Alta Fife's Cowboy & Western Songs (1969) pp.118-119. I can send you a scan of the text plus music if you're interested.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,Doug H. pensacola FL
Date: 13 May 07 - 11:45 PM

I would be most pleased to get a copy of the music for haunted falls if you would be so inclined to send it.I have only heard the song once but it made quite the impression as it was the last song my wifes grandmother sang,since then her illness has prevented much in the way of communication to teach it to me(alzhiemers,heart condition).Any assistance in this matter would mean bounds to us it would be a treat to play and sing it for her and lift her spirits.
sincerely,
Doug H.
born_n_water@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,Debbie in Utah
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 07:41 PM

Wow, I am amazed to find so many posts about this song. I learned it from Lettie Denkers in Logan Utah, while taking a Folklore class from Fife at Utah State University in about 1974. Lettie told the class that it was a true story that happened near Kanab Utah. I lived there in the early 1980's and published it in the newspaper hoping to learn more about it, but got no response. Now I know why, especially if it dates back to 1902 or earlier!

Most surprising was to see the post from my friend Roberta Knutson right here where I live! I wonder if the undocumented Fife recording could have been her father singing...


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 11:26 AM

I KNOW THIS SONG, MY DAD AND HIS DAD HAVE BEEN SINGING IT TO ME SINCE i WAS A BABY AND I AM 48 NOW. MY GRANDFATHER SANG THIS SONG TO MY FATHER SINCE HE WAS A BABY. i EVEN HAVE A REEL TO REEL WITH MY GRANDFATHER SINGING IT. I KNOW THE SONG BY THE NAME OF HAUNTED HOOD.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,cindy
Date: 30 Nov 10 - 06:35 PM

I love this song my father sang it to me many a night he learned it from his father not sure where grandpa learned it but it has been passed down threw the family for many years my children and there children all the kids of the family know the song it is great to find the words written down as we only have my father singing it on a VHS tape and his health is getting bad and we would hate to lose this song he was born in St John Ks and that is where he learned it from his father


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,marilyn Somers
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 07:46 PM

My mother sang this song to me in the 1950's every time we would take a trip. A very haunting song that touched me as a young child. I sing it to my grandchildren and they are touched by it as well. I was plesantly surprised that others knew of it and I was pleased to learn some background information concerning it.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:57 PM

I grew up on the Uintah Ouray Ute Reservation in eastern Utah, and my father, Earl Gardner, (born 1905) used to sing this song to us. My father was a mixed blood Ute (1/8 Ute) and couldn't remember where he'd heard this song. I always assumed it was a "local" song.
What a pleasant surprise to find the lyrics in their various forms.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 03:27 PM

What an amazing thread! Not many folk songs have as complete a picture as this of their origin and evolution.

Guy Logsdon gives a 12 stanza version with tune from Arizona in his 'The Whorhouse Bells were Ringing'. It seems to have circulated much among cowboys and that might be why it is so widespread. He states 'The belief was that the story of Indians murdering a mother and her children came from Minnesota, where in 1862, Little Crow, a Sioux chieftain, murdered a German family in revenge for Indians' mistreatment.' He then goes on to state it could have originated anywhere. There are lots of haunted woods. He quotes J. Frank Dobie 'sensed a definite literary flavour' in it.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Goose Gander
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 02:20 PM

Here's a thread discussion of this song from a religous site. Not sure about an origin - Helm's claim is way too late. Mac Wiseman's version was released in 1966 (if I'm not mistaken), and the song had been in oral circulation for a few decades before that. There must be a first printed copy of this out there somewhere, but we just haven't found it yet. It seems to have been localized both in Kentucky and in the Southwest, and it certainly spread by oral transmission. Amazing that a number of people still remember such a seemingly obscure song from family singing.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 03:58 PM

Nothing amazing about it. It covers a very emotive subject in a very direct way and judging by the above comments it doesn't seem to be that obscure. Admittedly it doesn't turn up in many collections.

We have a sea disaster love song in Yorkshire called 'Stow Brow' that came from a specific fishing village, printed on broadsides but not profusely, probably late 18thc, which has spread to all English-speaking parts of the world mostly with place names still intact. This might have something to do with the fact that mariners from the village were renowned as some of the best in the world.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Goose Gander
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 06:47 PM

When I said it was obscure, I meant precisely that it isn't found in many collections, nor has it been frequently recorded commercially, not to mention the fact that the printed original remains elusive. A wee bit obscure, by my reckoning.


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Subject: RE: Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: Goose Gander
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 02:54 PM

The Haunted Falls . . . from the site linked above.

On and on an old time river
Just between two mountain walls
On a place from which it started
A place they called the Haunted Falls.

On the banks there lived a white man
Wife and children he had three
From the bottom of the river
Echoed back their shouts of glee.

To a little town up farther
One bright day for the mail had gone
Left his wife and little children
Just for one short hour alone.

And the busy little mother
Had no time for thought or fear
When she heard the horse feet trampling
Quickly turned her head in fear.

Then she knelt and kissed her childring
Bid them neither speak nor cry
Hid them in a secret closet
Then prepared herself to die.

On the Indians rushed the captain
Broke the lock from off the door
Then they saw this weeping woman
Lying there upon the floor.

Then he called to his companions
Who had seized a great big stick
Come let's kill this weeping woman
Lose no time, I say be quick.

Then they killed this weeping woman
Roughly drugged her to the door
Picked her up by her long yellow dressing
Roughly drugged her to the door.

There they danced and sing around her
Never even shed a tear
Picked her up by her long yellow clothing
Then they slung her in to drown.

Then they turned and burned the cottage
Little children to the ground
And the people of the village
Call this place the haunted mound.

Now the old man wanders lonely
In the place where the house did stand
Thinking of his wife and children
He is left a lonely man.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,Gerald Milnes
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 03:41 PM

I collected this in 1988 from Everett White, born about 1912 in Braxton County, West Virginia. Very similar to verses collected above. It was released on a 4 volume set of cassette tapes "Folksongs and Ballads" I produced for the Augusta Heritage Center. ---Gerry Milnes
milnesg@dewv.edu


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 16 - 09:07 AM

This is almost the same rendition of The Haunted Falls/Wood that my dearest Mother sang to my brothers and myself as young children. We were brought to tears by the mournful strains. Although weeping, we ask her to sing it just one more time. We could never get enough of its sad story.

As a writer and historian, I am convinced this ballad's roots are circa 1800's for two reasons. First and foremost, the writer or poet had first hand knowledge of the perils and hazards early pioneers faced while migrating westward. Secondly, I believe beyond doubt; that the ballad was written as a poem and as it was passed down orally through generations, it assumed the lilting cadence of a song.

Another posit: First rule of writing is to Write about Something you Know or well acquainted with or at least have studied in order to attain a certain amount of realism and authenticity.

While doing research in a library in Cleburne, Texas; I accidentally ran across this ballad in a small antique book of western ballads. Unfortunately, I am unable to recall the exact title, nor am I able to relocate it on Cleburne's library shelves.

In addition, as to atrocities, a serious history student is aware they were committed on both sides, i.e., the Jamestowne/James City, Va. massacre of 1620's and King Philip's War in Mass. in 1675-1678. Both because of land & treaties being broken. Respectfully, Willie Gail Riddles-Rotzoll aka Willeigh Gaiyle, Author


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Haunted Falls / Haunted Wood
From: GUEST,lola bearden
Date: 23 Oct 16 - 12:09 PM

My mother sang a version on this song, she passed in the 80's. She was from the Ozarks in Missouri, lived through the depression, had 16 kids, I was the 14th. Her song started out different,
In olden times there was a river, that flowed between two mountain walls, and on the bank of the river lived a white man and an Indian squaw.
I can't remember the rest, but the man leaves and the Indians come and kill the squaw, and capture the baby.
Wondering if anyone has heard this version?
Thanks, Lola Bearden


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