Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?

John M. 13 May 05 - 06:16 PM
Peace 13 May 05 - 10:06 PM
GUEST 14 May 05 - 12:37 AM
John M. 14 May 05 - 12:41 AM
Peace 14 May 05 - 12:42 AM
Peace 14 May 05 - 12:45 AM
John M. 14 May 05 - 01:06 AM
Peace 14 May 05 - 01:09 AM
Peace 14 May 05 - 01:13 AM
GUEST,Old Bill 03 Nov 06 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 03 Nov 06 - 09:29 AM
Dave'sWife 04 Nov 06 - 05:28 AM
Dave'sWife 08 Nov 06 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Berkeley rugby 04 Apr 16 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,Another Berkeley Guest 16 Sep 17 - 04:35 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: John M.
Date: 13 May 05 - 06:16 PM

Hello everyone,

If you are easily offended, please STOP READING.   This thread is for mature audiences only.  Please don't post "dreadful song" or "worst song written" as you are not helping. 

Below is a traditional song titled:  "Jonestown"  (recording)


                 1.  Do you sing this song? 
                 2.  If yes, when and where did you learn it?
                 3.  Would you be willing to sing it for folklore purposes over the phone?


Any help is appreciated.

Sincerely,

John Mehlberg
john@mehlberg.com
~
Afternoons:  314.647.3883
Evenings:     314.381.0492
~
My website: www.immortalia.com
~

JONESTOWN    (recording)
Tune - "Downtown"

When you are broke and your religion's a joke,
You can always go to - Jonestown
When life's incomplete, there's only one man to meet.
So won't you come and see - Jim Jones?

Watch him as he stirs a vat of Koolaid that's so lethal.
Listen to the anguished cries of all his dying people.
No one survived.
The Rev's a most gracious host,
So let's lift up our glass to the ultimate toast.

We're at Jonestown - drink up with Reverend Jim.
Jonestown - the chances are mighty slim.
Jonestown - the people are dropping like flies.
-- in Jonestown, Jonestown, Jonestown.

There was Congressman Ryan on his mission of spyin'
But he would not drink with - Jim Jones.
For such a disgrace they had to blow off his face.
Now tell me who's to blame - Jim Jones.

But it forced the Rev. to put his final plan in action,
He drank the brew and when it's through he saw with satisfaction,
-- everyone died.
Their deaths were both painful and slow,
But when to live is to die, it's a great way to go.

We're at Jonestown - drinking up Reverend Jim.
Jonestown - the chances are mighty slim.
Jonestown - people are dropping like flies.
-- in Jonestown, Jonestown, Jonestown, Jonestown.


Notes: This text is transcribed from the singing of Sudsuckin' Bigfoot, Gypsies in the Palace HHH on 15 April 2004.   The earliest date I have for this song is the early 1980s at a rugby party as remembered by Dennis "Mu-Sick" Gill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: Peace
Date: 13 May 05 - 10:06 PM

A song from the 1980s about an event from 1978 is traditional? I will be dipped in shit. That would make some stuff I wrote in the 1960s positively ancient--right in there with Greensleeves. I am impressed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 05 - 12:37 AM

Brucie, Are you saying the song "The Titanic" is NOT a folksong?  The earliest date collected for the song was eight years after the sinking (see here).  Are you saying 'The Titanic' was not a folksong when someone learned it in 1920?  How about 1929?  1931?  When did "The Titanic" become traditional? 

How many years have to pass before you will accept a song to be traditional?  

I am defining traditional in the sense that the people have originally sung the song have "passed away".   In rugby circles, a complete generation of rugby players will have "passed away" after 5-10 years. Hence we have anywhere from two to five generations of rugby players have sung this song was "written". 

Brucie, how many people sing your songs, learned them anonymously by an oral process, anonymously and how many generations have sung your songs?  

 


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: John M.
Date: 14 May 05 - 12:41 AM

Sorry that was me without a cookie.

Yours,

John Mehlberg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: Peace
Date: 14 May 05 - 12:42 AM

"Brucie, Are you saying the song "The Titanic" is NOT a folksong?"

Nope.

"How many years have to pass before you will accept a song to be traditional?"

I guess at least two generations of rugby players then.

Sheesh. Sorry to shit in your cornflakes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: Peace
Date: 14 May 05 - 12:45 AM

I seem then to misunderstand what traditional means in the bawdy song industry. I will have to rethink my view.

"Lulu" is traditional then? I don't know that it was sung by rugby players, but it was by us as kids. That makes it traditional then, because at least three generations of kids have come since then. Huh. Interesting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: John M.
Date: 14 May 05 - 01:06 AM

brucie, Yes, *many* generations of children have "passed away" since this song was "written". The earliest date *I* have for it is 1927 from the Gordon "Inferno" collection at the Library of Congress and the book Immortalia.

Jonestown is not a bawdy song and is very much in the Child ballad tradition -- everyone dies a horrible death.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: Peace
Date: 14 May 05 - 01:09 AM

Then what would be cool, John, is your working definition of 'traditional' so that I have no misunderstanding as to your use of the term in future. OK?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: Peace
Date: 14 May 05 - 01:13 AM

PS, I know what Merriam-Webster says. But in reference to the songs/poems you study, what constitutes traditional?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Old Bill
Date: 03 Nov 06 - 08:42 AM

This song was sung regularly by my old rugby club in Hong Kong from around 1983 - 1988 - no idea how it ended up there, probably got picked up on a now infamous rugby tour to California in the early 80s.

Sandy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 03 Nov 06 - 09:29 AM

The MP3 link didn't work but I got the darnedest page instead - a sponsored link to a supplier of surgical bone saws? John, did you do that on purpose?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyon
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 04 Nov 06 - 05:28 AM

John - I live in the USA and heard a version of this song sung while working in an Archeological site in the Mohawk River valley (Western NY), summer of 1983. We had a bunch of older grad students with ties to Science Fiction Fandom and it was one of them that sung it. Words were similar ut not quite the same. Before the verse about the congressman, there was a verse about socialism and disgruntled former members (I guess apostates but that's not what the lyric called them).

The one grad student, a geeky male, who sang it also was found of singing My Dead Dog Rover and other Dr. Demento material. The reaction wasn't outrage just a few chuckles from the guys and rolls of the eyes from the women. It was pretty much the kind of thing we expected from a guy who was never gonna get laid. It prolly didn't go over well because most of the students were in the Anthropology dept and didn't find mass suicde of new religious movements terribly amusing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyon
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 06:18 PM

The email address john@mehlberg.com doesn't appear to be valid. i tried to email John at this addy and got this message:

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of
its recipients. The following addresses failed:



SMTP error from remote server after RCPT command:
host mx00.1and1.com[217.160.230.14]:
550 : invalid address

Does he have another email?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Berkeley rugby
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 08:19 PM

Jonestown written by Tom Selph with help from Bo Meyersieck when we were playing for CAL Berkeley rugby in early 1979.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballad of 'Jonestown' . Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Another Berkeley Guest
Date: 16 Sep 17 - 04:35 AM

I was looking up the lyrics and found this site. Don't know the rugby players mentioned, but I learned this song at Berkeley in '79 or '80, and I hung out with the rugby team. Origin?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 February 12:04 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.