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Origins: Just Plain Folks (Maurice Stonehill)

GUEST,John 27 Jul 05 - 10:56 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Jul 05 - 01:07 PM
kendall 27 Jul 05 - 01:17 PM
masato sakurai 27 Jul 05 - 01:37 PM
masato sakurai 27 Jul 05 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Mrr 27 Jul 05 - 01:54 PM
masato sakurai 27 Jul 05 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,John 28 Jul 05 - 10:20 AM
masato sakurai 28 Jul 05 - 11:52 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Jul 05 - 01:42 PM
GUEST 01 Apr 11 - 06:36 AM
GUEST 11 Jul 11 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Sanjay Sircar 11 Jan 13 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,9909 11 Jan 13 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Sanjay Sircar 12 Jan 13 - 06:04 AM
kendall 12 Jan 13 - 07:38 AM
GUEST,999 12 Jan 13 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,999 12 Jan 13 - 03:16 PM
Sanjay Sircar 12 Jan 13 - 09:09 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Jan 13 - 04:36 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Jan 13 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,999 13 Jan 13 - 05:39 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Jan 13 - 05:57 PM
Sanjay Sircar 13 Jan 13 - 07:52 PM
GUEST 05 Jul 13 - 12:07 PM
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Subject: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST,John
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 10:56 AM

I am looking for the origin and all of the words to a song
that my grandmother sang often. I do not know if the title
is correct, but the words just plain folk are mentioned often.
These lyrics are all that my mother can remember, any help would be greatly appreciated.
   It don't seem so long since you were just a simple country
   lad, you did the work a country lad should do. In those days we
   never looked with shame towards mother and old dad, in fact
   my boy they both were proud of you. We're just plain folk,
   plain folk, like the old folks used to be if our presence
   seems to grieve you, we will go away and leave you, for your
   sadly out of just plain folks.
    If anyone
   wishes to emal me I am johnw@insightbb.com Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 01:07 PM

This is what I remember:

To a mansion in the city came a couple old and gray
To meet their son who left them long ago
He had prospered and grown wealthy since in youth he ran away
And now his life was one of pomp and show
But slowly did her greet them for his friends were by his side
Who had often heard him boast of home so grand
........ as he gently took his dear wife by the hand

I have a tape of the song somewhere that I made from an old 78. Seems like The Arkansas Woodchopper was the artist.

I'll see if I can find it. I used to do this song, many years ago.
I can't believe anyone else has heard it..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 01:17 PM

We are just plain folks your mother and me
Just plain folks like our own folks used to be
Since our presence seems to grieve you
We will go away and leave you
For we're sadly out of place here \
For we're just plain folks.

I learned this from my great Aunt. It is often sung by Smokey Green, a country singer. He says the wealthy H.H. Hunt claims to have written it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 01:37 PM

Some info from here:
Jones recorded Maurice Stonehill's "Just Plain Folks" for several companies. One of her most popular numbers, its lyrics are about an aged couple who visit a son for the first time in years, and the couple are disappointed that the wealthy son resents the visit. Edison issued it on two-minute Standard 9085 in September 1905, Columbia soon following. On wax Amberol 286, a longer version was issued in September 1909. Early Blue Amberols had record slips, and none had less text than the one included with Blue Amberol 1771, which gives chorus lines and nothing else: "We are just plain folks, your mother and me/Just plain folks like our own folks used to be,/As our presence seems to grieve you,/We will go away and leave you,/For we're sadly out of place here/'Cause we're just plain folks."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 01:51 PM

Ada Jones's "Just Plain Folks" (Maurice Stonehill) (Jun-1913) can be heard HERE (4-Minute Cylinders). Scroll down to "1771."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 01:54 PM

Slight thread creep, but my favorite Just Plain Folks song is in the trad...

MY HOME TOWN
(Tom Lehrer)

I really have a yen to go back once again,
Back to the place where no one wears a frown,
To see once more those super-special
Just plain folks in my home town.

No fellow could ignore the little girl next door,
She sure looked sweet in her first evening gown.
Now there's a charge for what she used to give
For free in my home town.

I remember Dan, the druggist on the corner, he
Was never mean or ornery, he was swell.
He killed his mother-in-law and ground her up real well,
And sprinkled just a bit over each banana split.

The guy that taught us math, who never took a bath,
Acquired a certain measure of renown,
And after school he sold the most amazing
Pictures in my home town.

That fellow was no fool who taught our Sunday School,
And neither was our kindly Parson Brown ---
(We're recording tonight, so I'll have to leave this line out ---)
in my home town.

I remember Sam, he was the village idiot,
And though it seems a pity, it was so.
He loved to burn down houses just to watch the glow,
And nothing could be done, because he was the mayor's son.

The guy that took a knife and monogrammed his wife,
Then dropped her in the pond and watched her drown.
Oh, yes indeed, the people there are just
Plain folks in my home town.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 08:12 PM

email sent.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST,John
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 10:20 AM

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU, to everyone that responded to my request.
   My 88 year old mother will be quite pleased to know the origins
   and the correct lyrics to this song. She said that her mother
   used to sing it often, but she never knew why. My Mothers memory
   of the lyrics, goes back a long way and it's nice to know that
   she remembered it pretty well. Thank You all!
                                                   John Snawder
                                                   Louisville,KY.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 11:52 AM

John, you're welcome.

Jerry, you're right. The Arkansas Woodchopper recorded it too.

There's an entry at The Traditional Ballad Index (EARLIEST DATE: 1931 (recording, Arkansas Woodchopper), though).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 01:42 PM

And the other side of the record, from what I remember was What Is A Home Without A Baby?

The most obvious answer...

quiet..

Thanks, masato


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 06:36 AM

OMG I can't believe you guys know this song that my grandmother sang to me as a child. These are the lyrics as I remember them:

TO A MANSION IN THE CITY CAME A COUPLE OLD AND GREY,
TO MEET A SON WHO LEFT THEM YEARS AGO,
HE HAD PROSPERED,GROWN WEALTHY,
SINCE HIS YOUTH HE RAN AWAY,
AND NOW HIS LIFE WAS ONE OF POMP AND SHOW.

BUT SLOWLY DID HE GREET THEM,
FOR RICH FRIENDS WERE BY HIS SIDE,


WHO HEARD HIM BOAST OF HOME SO RICH AND GRANDE,
***********************AS HE TOOK HIS DEAR WIFE BY THE HAND,

IT DON'T SEEM LONG AGO YOU WERE A SIMPLE COUNTRY LAD,
IN THOSE DAYS YOU NEVER LOOKED WITH SHAME ON MOTHER AND OLD DAD,IN FACT MY SON WE BOTH WERE PROUD OF YOU.

WERE JUST PLAIN FOLKS YOUR MOTHER AND ME,
PLAIN FOLKS SON,LIKE YOU JUST USED TO BE.



This is what I remember,but I wish I could fill in the ******gap...
Regards Cheryl...xx


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 01:24 PM

Great! I'm looking for not only the lyrics but the music to this song about "just plain folks". Does anyone know how to download the actual music?
Thanks,
Judy Block
judithsblock@gmail.com


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST,Sanjay Sircar
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 06:38 AM

My father used to sing this song from a 78 rpm record that was certainly not from 1909, and probably after 1931. It was one of the few batches of things not thrown away by my grandmother out of sheer spite so that we would not get them, and I hve carried the record from Asia to Austraila with me. If anybody is interested I will dig it up. Please let me know. My email is SSircar1 at yahoo dot com dot au

As my father sang it, long after his childhood (so he may have scrambled the words), they were:

TO A MANSION IN THE CITY CAME A COUPLE OLD AND GREY,
TO MEET the SON WHO'd LEFT THEM YEARS AGO,
HE HAD PROSPERED,and GROWN WEALTHY,
SINCE the day HE RAN AWAY,
AND NOW HIS LIFE WAS ONE OF POMP AND SHOW.

BUT coldly DID HE GREET THEM,
FOR his FRIENDS WERE BY HIS SIDE,
Who's often heard him talk of home so grand
But the old man sadly looked at him and said in modest pride,
AS HE gently TOOK HIS DEAR WIFE BY THE HAND:

IT DON'T SEEM LONG AGO YOU WERE A SIMPLE COUNTRY LAD,
IN THOSE DAYS YOU NEVER LOOKED WITH SHAME ON MOTHER AND OLD DAD,IN FACT MY SON WE BOTH WERE PROUD OF YOU.

WE aRE JUST PLAIN FOLKS, YOUR MOTHER AND ME,
Just PLAIN FOLKS SON,LIKE the old folks USED TO BE
If our presence seems to grieve you
We will go away and leave you
For we're [??sadly off you see, for???] we are just plain folks.

I have the sheet music somewhere unfindable, too.

My father used to follow me around the house singing this on purpose, just to make me cry... When I sang it in Ootacamund, c. 1976, my hearers, like me previously said, "Well, what happened then? We want to know". I dare say that the "longer version" mentioned above fils in the putative lacunae...

NB. FWIW, in 1965 I read a novel in which the protagonist talks of singing the song along with his record, with great feeling. I cannot remember the novel because I was not of an age to take down references, but in that paragraph or thereabouts there wss a reference to "Bunny Berrigan" or "when my children broke an irreplceable bunny Berrigan record" (here I might have mentally mixed up two texts). I have not enough dexterity to seaerch in google books for the phrase which would lead to the novel, but exist it did...

Sanjay Sircar


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST,9909
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 10:11 AM

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1338&dat=19370610&id=7N1YAAAAIBAJ&sjid=KPUDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3110,2387551


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST,Sanjay Sircar
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 06:04 AM

Even this newspaper snippet has oddities in it ("is", " a youth") which suggest hasty transcription.

I listened to that Ada Jones 1913 rendition, which ends just where all these seem to do, and note that the tune of the chorus had folk-mutated out of recorded material (or been just plain gotten wrong) by my father, as he used to sing it. Still recognisably the same tune, but with variations.

Sorry for mispelling "Berigan". I assure you that novel did exist, and one day someone will find it...

Sanjay Sircar


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: kendall
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 07:38 AM

My Great Aunt sang it:

To a mansion in the city came a couple old and grey
To meet their son who left them long ago,
He had prospered and grown wealthy since in youth he went away
And now his life was one of pomp and show.

But, coldly did he greet them for his friends were by his side,
Who often heard him boast of home so grand,
But the old man sadly smiled on him and said with modest pride
As he gently took his dear wife by the hand;

chorus



We are just plain folks your Mother and me
Just plain folks like our own folks used to be,
Since our presence seems to grieve you, we will go away and leave you,
For we're sadly out of place here for we're just plain folks.

Not so long ago when you were but a simple country lad,
You did the work that country lads must do,
In those days you never looked with shame on Mother and old dad,
In fact my boy, we both were proud of you;
But, something must have changed you all your wealth has brought vain pride,
But riches sometimes takes with wings they say,
But you'll always find a hearty welcome by your parents side,
We will greet you in that same old loving way,

We are just plain folks your Mother and me
Just plain folks like our own folks used to be,
Since our presence seems to grieve you,
We will go away and leave you, for we're sadly out of place here,
For we're just plain folks.

If anyone wants a recording of this, I can probably manage it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 09:33 AM

Sanjay, could the following be what you're looking for?

http://www.bunnyberiganmrtrumpet.com/


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 03:16 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: Sanjay Sircar
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 09:09 PM

Lovely piece on Berigan, but no, alas, Guest.999. The reference to "Berigan" in the full-length printed novel is only relevant in that it co-exists with the hero singing along with his record of "Just Plain Folks" with great emotion.

So far, nobody seems to have anything more than the first two stanzas, but the narrative as it stands still sounds incomplete to me. We deserve to know whether the son repented there and then in front of his rich friends OR whether he lost all his money and with it his friends, and his parents nursed him to health and wealth again. In either case the chorus would hve t be carefully modified to fit (cf "I don't want to play in your yeard" third stanza leading to chorus very cleverly)... Does anyone agree?

Sanjay Sircar


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Subject: Lyr Add: JUST PLAIN FOLKS (from Tex Morton)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 04:36 PM

JUST PLAIN FOLKS
as sung by Tex Morton on 3 various-artist compilations: "Old Country Songs from Down on the Farm, Vol. 1" (2 disks); also "100 Cowboy Classics" (2 disks) and "Just Plain Folks: Country Songs of the Old Folks at Home" (1 disk).

1. To a mansion in the city came a couple old and gray
To meet their son who left them long ago.
He had prospered and grown wealthy since in youth he ran away,
And now his life was one of pomp and show;
But coldly did he greet them, for rich friends were by his side
Who'd often heard him boast of home so grand;
But the old man sadly looked at him and said in modest pride,
As he gently took his dear wife by the hand:

CHORUS: "We are just plain folks, your mother and me,
Just plain folks, like our own folks used to be.
As our presence seems to grieve you,
We'll go away and leave you,
For we're sadly out of place here 'cause we're just plain folks."

[YODEL]

2. " 'Tain't so long ago since you were just a simple country lad,
And did the work that country lads should do.
In those days you never looked with shame on mother and old dad.
In fact, my boy, we both were proud of you.
But something must have changed you, for your wealth has brought vain pride.
Still riches sometimes take swift wings, they say.
But you'll always find a hearty welcome at your parents' side.
They'll greet you in the same old loving way."

CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 04:51 PM

The Online 78-rpm Discography Project lists recordings of JUST PLAIN FOLKS by:

Arthur George
Kentucky Mountain Boys
Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra
Three Tobacco Tags
Ada Jones
Arthur Collins
Doc Walsh
Arkansas Woodchopper
Tiny Hill & His Orchestra
Charles Baker
Lester McFarland & Robert Gardner
Bradley Kincaid


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 05:39 PM

Dang. I hate to say this Sanjay, but if Dixon can't find it, it's possible it just ain't. However, I'll keep digging--might get lucky.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 05:57 PM

You can see the sheet music at the Indiana University web site: PDF

JUST PLAIN FOLKS
Words and music by Maurice Stonehill
New York: Howley, Haviland & Dresser, ©1901.

Lyrics are nearly identical to those that Tex Morton sings, with these very minor exceptions:

Chorus line 4: We will go away and leave you,

Verse 2 line 1: " 'Tain't so long ago since you were but a simple country lad

There are no more verses in the sheet music.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks?
From: Sanjay Sircar
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 07:52 PM

@ Jim Dixon: Thank you, Jim Dixon, for all that information, the list of singers and the sheetmusic. I did not know of the Online 78-rpm Discography Project, nor of the Indiana University website, and am grateul to know of both.

Since the title of the song gave its name to a compilation, it must have stood out as more than ordinarily memorable and good of its kind.   

The "style" of the song does not *seem* to go with a yodel, and it is nice to know that it was yoked with one. I wonder how successful the combination was.

The three copies of the sheet music (Melbourne: Allens] in the National Library of Australia catalogue are lited as c.[=about, I mean, not (c)] 1901. The Later {"Melbourne: Allen's] reprint of the sheet-music in a collection that I had and have now mislaid also had just the two stanzas, so the song must have been written and sung as an open-ended narrative from the start. I think I shall write a third stanza myself saying what happened...

@kendall: do you mean a recording sung by you, sir (which would be a delight), or one of the many that Mr Dixon has listed (which would also be delights)?

@ Guest.999: No, no: don't go looking for Bunny Berigan doing "Just Plain Folks". It doesn't exist. I am interested in *references* to the popular music that I loved in novels and biographies. I read a novel in 1965 which I can't remember the name of now. And *that* novel had its hero singing "Just Plain Folks" as a teenager ,with great emotion,and even mentioned the singers on the particular recording he was singing along to, AND that novel also mentions Berigan. Wth such scanty information I cannot find that novel...   Somebody other than me will remember it one day, andnote down the reference here.

Sanjay Sircar


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Subject: RE: Origins: Just Plain Folks (Maurice Stonehill)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 13 - 12:07 PM

Eight years too late

http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/search.php?queryType=@attr 1=1016&query=just+plain+folks&num=1&start=3&sortBy=&sortOrder=ia

They seem to have a few versions!


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