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Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?

DigiTrad:
GO AND DIG MY GRAVE


GUEST,J 10 May 05 - 01:50 PM
Joe Offer 10 May 05 - 02:19 PM
Joe Offer 10 May 05 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,J 10 May 05 - 03:09 PM
Mike Regenstreif 10 May 05 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,J 10 May 05 - 03:41 PM
Joe Offer 10 May 05 - 04:06 PM
RiGGy 10 May 05 - 04:09 PM
Joe Offer 10 May 05 - 04:25 PM
EagleWing 11 May 05 - 01:44 PM
Anglo 11 May 05 - 02:11 PM
Sandy Paton 12 May 05 - 12:01 AM
GUEST,Janie 06 Nov 19 - 03:17 PM
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Subject: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: GUEST,J
Date: 10 May 05 - 01:50 PM

Hello, Mudcatters--

I'm wondering if anybody can point me toward some good recordings/reference for the song Dig My Grave.

I've heard Chaim Tennenbaum sing it (and he's recorded on The McGarrigle Hour), and I know there's a recording involving Gordon Bok floating around, but I'd like to hear some others, if they exist. I learned the song from my dad, and his version is the same one Tennenbaum sings. Bok's seems to be different. (And his is the one posted on Mudcat.) I'm wondering if anyone can trace "my" version back farther than Tennenbaum, in terms of recordings, or provide other variations besides Bok's.

________________

Go and dig my grave
Both long and narrow
Make my coffin neat and strong
(repeat section)

And it's two, two, to my head
It's two, two, to my feet
It's two, two, to carry me lord
Whenever I die
(repeat section)

My little soul's gonna shine like a star
My little soul's gonna shine like a star
My little soul's gonna shine like a star
Lord, I'm bound for Calvary
(repeat section)

_______________________

Thanks in advance,
J


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 May 05 - 02:19 PM

There's not much on this song at the Traditional Ballad index, but it does list three recordings:

Go And Dig My Grave

DESCRIPTION: "Go and dig my grave both long and narrow, Make my coffin neat and strong... Two, two to my head, two, two to my feet, Two to carry me, Lord,when I die." "My soul's gonna shine lie a star... I'm bound for heaven when I die."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1935 (recording, men from Andros Island)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad
FOUND IN: Bahamas
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Silber-FSWB, p. 350, "Dig My Grave" (1 text)
DT, GO&DIG

Roud #15633
RECORDINGS:
Unidentified men from Andros Island, "Dig My Grave" (AAFS 502 B1, 1935; on LomaxCD1822-2)
David Pryor, Henry Lundy et al, "Dig My Grave" (AFS, 1935; on LC05)
Pete Seeger, "Dig My Grave" (on PeteSeeger04)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Little Beggar Boy" (floating verses)
File: FSWB350B

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2005 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 May 05 - 02:52 PM

The AFS and AAFS entries are from the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress. The Lomax CD is Deep River of Song: Bahamas 1935. J's transcription above is very similar to the Bahamas recording, except that they're bound for the heavenly something-or-other.

The Pete Seeger recording is a Folkways LP called The Pete Seeger Sampler. There's a song called "Go and Dig My Grave" on the CD titled Jean Ritchie and Doc Watson at Folk City, but it's an entiredly different song (Jean Ritchie and Doc Watson? - now there's a concert I'd like to attend.)
The only songbook entry shown here is from Silber & Silber, Folksinger's Word Book.

I guess only recording listed above that is readily available on CD is the Deep River of Song recording.
Which Bok, Muir, Trickett recording is it on?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: GUEST,J
Date: 10 May 05 - 03:09 PM

Thanks muchly, folks.

I'll look for that Lomax recording, and ask around about the Pete Seeger.

Joe Offer: not sure which B, M, & T album. I don't have it; someone told me about it after they heard me singing Dig My Grave. I guess it could even be a performance thing--the person just said they'd heard Gordon Bok do the song. Then, when I looked for the lyrics here, the attribution mentioned BTM, which, when searched, proved to be a reference to the band.


J


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 10 May 05 - 03:19 PM

In addition to Chaim's recording with the McGarrigles, I have the following versions of Dig My Grave in my collection:

The Lomax field recording, sung by an unnamed group of men is on "Deep River of Song: Bahamas 1935 (Rounder)." This is the source for the versions by Chaim and the McGarrigles (which they've performed since the Mountain City Four days of the 1960s) and the Weavers.

The Weavers do two different renditions on the boxed set "Goodnight Irene 1949-1953 (Bear Family)."

The first rendition from "Goodnight Irene" is also included on the multi-artist boxed set "Songs for Political Action (Bear Family)."

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: GUEST,J
Date: 10 May 05 - 03:41 PM

Thanks!

I suspected that the one I know was the Lomax-recorded version, since the words to the other (Bok) variant were slightly off. I think my-dad-the-folky learned it from early McGarrigle (et. al.) shows, since we were singing it before The McGarrigle Hour came out.

I'll check out The Weavers' version if I can. Viva la variation.

Band and I have been doing this song, a little faster than usual, a capella, two-part girl/girl harmony, and people inevitably ask about it. I usually point them toward the Chaim Tennenbaum track as a nice recorded version (since we have no record yet!), but I thought it would be nice to have an older source, if people were curious about the background.


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Subject: ADD Version: Dig My Grave
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 May 05 - 04:06 PM

I gather that the version in the Digital Tradition is from the singing of Bok, Muir, and Trickett. Here's the Weavers version, from Songs for Political Action. I really like it. It sounds much more traditional than many Weavers arrangements.

Dig My Grave

Go and dig my grave, both long and narrow;
Make my coffin neat and strong,
Dig my grave, both long and narrow;
Make my coffin neat and strong.

Two (two) to my head, Two (two) to my feet
Two (two) to carry me, Lord, when I die.
Two (two) to my head, Two (two) to my feet
Two (two) to carry me, Lord, when I die.

Now, my soul's going to shine like a star,
My soul's going to shine like a star (like a star).
Soul's going to shine like a star, Lord
I'm bound to heaven when I die.

My soul's going to shine like a star,
My soul's going to shine like a star (like a star).
Soul's going to shine like a star, Lord
I'm bound to heaven when I die.

Dig my grave, both long and narrow;
Make my coffin neat and strong,
Dig my grave, both long and narrow;
Make my coffin neat and strong.

Two (two) to my head, Two (two) to my feet
Two (two) to carry me, Lord, when I die.
Two (two) to my head, Two (two) to my feet
Two (two) to carry me, Lord, when I die.

Now, my soul's going to shine like a star,
And twinke like a twinklin' little star.
My soul's going to shine like a star, Lord
I'm bound to heaven when I die.


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: RiGGy
Date: 10 May 05 - 04:09 PM

This song appears [ along with ME ] on the Philo recording of
Jean Redpath & Lisa Newstadt with the Angel Band ANYWHERE IS HOME.
My buddy Shari Ajemian Craig led that particular song.

HEY - who has Chaim's email address ?
I asked here years ago, 'cause I wanted more lyrics & the story behind his great song ANNIE.

Riggy


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 May 05 - 04:25 PM

The Bok, Muir, Trickett recording is on a Folk-Legacy cassette titled A Water Over Stone, which I don't believe is available on CD. Rounder/Philo hasn't released the Jean Redpath & Lisa Newstadt with the Angel Band recordings on CD, either.
And I can't bring myself to spend money on cassettes, even if Riggy's singing on them. Heck, I can hear Riggy singing live and in person.
Darn.

I mean "darn" about the cassettes - it's a privilege to know Riggy and to hear him sing.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: EagleWing
Date: 11 May 05 - 01:44 PM

In the UK Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor recorded it with the Galliards on "A Rovin'" (Decca ACL 1100 [1962])

I can't imagine it has made it to CD (other than in my private collection :~) )

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: Anglo
Date: 11 May 05 - 02:11 PM

I learned if from the singing of Joe Hickerson. I thought it was on one of his (or the New Golden Ring's) Folk-Legacy recordings, but it's not on any of the ones I have. Sandy?


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 12 May 05 - 12:01 AM

"Water Over Stone" IS now available as a CD, Joe. We just haven't had a chance to send it to you yet. CD-80 on the web site.
    Sandy


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Subject: RE: Go and Dig My Grave: Recordings/Artists?
From: GUEST,Janie
Date: 06 Nov 19 - 03:17 PM

Here is a recording of it by Jean Ritchie and Doc Watson.


Go Dig My Grave


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