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Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum

Related threads:
Salvation Army comic song (51)
(origins) Origins: Spelling Gospel, [Oak, Ash and Thorn] (18)
Lyr Add: It's G-L-O-R-Y to know I'm S-A-V-E-D (27)
Lyr Req: salvation army girls (4)
(origins) Origins: S-A-V-E-D (58)


02 Jan 99 - 05:49 PM
02 Jan 99 - 05:58 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jan 99 - 07:06 PM
Allan S. 02 Jan 99 - 07:29 PM
Joe Offer 16 Sep 03 - 03:44 AM
Joe Offer 16 Sep 03 - 04:13 AM
Sandra in Sydney 16 Sep 03 - 08:42 AM
Joe Offer 16 Sep 03 - 12:31 PM
Joe Offer 16 Sep 03 - 12:41 PM
Charlie Baum 29 Feb 04 - 02:10 PM
Don Firth 29 Feb 04 - 02:41 PM
Haruo 27 Jan 09 - 05:30 PM
Jack Campin 27 Jan 09 - 06:36 PM
GUEST 09 Feb 09 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 09 Feb 09 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Dingus MacDangle 04 Jun 09 - 10:40 PM
GUEST 01 Aug 09 - 04:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Aug 09 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 04 Aug 09 - 02:46 AM
GUEST 04 Aug 09 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 04 Aug 09 - 03:06 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 04 Aug 09 - 03:28 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 04 Aug 09 - 03:43 AM
Lighter 04 Aug 09 - 10:48 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Aug 09 - 03:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Aug 09 - 03:52 PM
GUEST 04 Aug 09 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 04 Aug 09 - 07:36 PM
Joe Offer 05 Aug 09 - 03:01 AM
Lighter 05 Aug 09 - 08:35 AM
Haruo 16 Aug 09 - 11:55 PM
Haruo 18 Aug 09 - 12:00 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 18 Aug 09 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Jonie 13 Jul 10 - 02:07 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jul 10 - 02:29 PM
GUEST 08 Jan 11 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Peter Scott 08 Nov 11 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,kathy kiernan 01 Jan 12 - 01:05 PM
GUEST 19 Oct 12 - 06:00 PM
GUEST 19 Oct 12 - 06:08 PM
Jack Campin 19 Oct 12 - 07:15 PM
Jack Campin 19 Oct 12 - 07:20 PM
Haruo 22 Oct 12 - 03:25 PM
Joe_F 22 Oct 12 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,Peregrine 07 Jun 14 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Peregrine 07 Jun 14 - 04:41 PM
Lighter 07 Jun 14 - 05:51 PM
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Subject: Salvation Army / Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From:
Date: 02 Jan 99 - 05:49 PM

I am looking for information about a song I used to sing at camp in the 1950s. Part of the words went:
    Salvation Army, Salvation Army
    Put a nickel on the drum, save another drunken bum
    Salvation Army, Salvation Army
    Put a nickel on the ground and you'll be saved
I suspect music-hall or just plain parody origins, but I can't find anything.

A version with the chorus:
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah
    Throw a nickel on the grass, save a fighter pilot's ass

See this message (click) for additional lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Salvation Army / Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From:
Date: 02 Jan 99 - 05:58 PM

I somehow got bounced from the Mudcat Cafe!

I meant to add that several songs with this chorus have been extremely popular with fighter pilots since World War II. The song also is often found with an introduction:
    It was midnight in Thailand
    All the air crews were in bed
    When up stepped Colonel Sheaver
    And this is what he said
    "Pilots, gentle pilots, fighter pilots all
    Switchblades, gentle Switchblades,"
    And all the pilots shouted, "Balls!"
    When up stepped a young PWSO
    With a voice as harsh as brass
    "You can take those goddamn Aardvark jets
    And shove them up your ass."
I suspect this is also a parody. Has anyone any suggestions?

Thank you very much!

Lydia Fish (www.mediacenter.org/folksongs)


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Subject: RE: Salvation Army / Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jan 99 - 07:06 PM

Hi, Lydia - Mudcat is a little slow just now. Come back a bit later and do a forum search (click here) for nickel or Salvation Army and see what's been said on this before. I think the chorus that was quoted here said "Put a nickel in the drum." If you search for "on," you may not find it.
I did get the "filter" function to do a limited search, and found this (click here)-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Salvation Army / Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Allan S.
Date: 02 Jan 99 - 07:29 PM

I do remember this as the chorus used after each limerick was sung. all of them being quite off colour{feelthy] THe only one I remember was as follows Old mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her a dog a bone But when she got there the cupboard was bare but the dog had a bone of his own

In mixed company this was done with smiles, inplying that the dog had an erection


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Subject: RE: Salvation Army / Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 03:44 AM

We never did get an answer about the origins of this song. I see in the "Songfinder" column of the Winter 2003 Sing Out!, that Joe Hickerson is also looking for the origins of this song. There are lyrics posted in a couple of messages in this thread, but no origins information.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD: Salvation Army / Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 04:13 AM

This is a bit longer than other versions I've seen. I found it here (click). I didn't find the song in any printed sources.
-Joe Offer-

Lying in the Gutter

I was lying in the gutter, all guzzled up with beer,
Pretzels in my whiskers, I knew the end was near,
But a bowl of beans and Jesus' tears they saved me from the hearse
Glory, Glory hallelujah sing the second verse,

Chorus:

Hallelu, Hallelu, put a nickel on the drum,
Save another drunken bum.
Hallelu, Hallelu, put a nickel on the drum,
And you'll be saved

Once when I was young, I was the village belle,
But the way I carried on, I was headed straight for Hell.
I rode my tandem bicycle with my ankles in full view,
But now that I have seen the light, I'm a maiden wrought anew.

Chorus

I was purveyor of fine liquors by appointment of King George,
I posed for Calvert – glass in hand – distinction made me large.
But I took a sip while posing – my descent was swift and hard,
Now I am a common laborer in the vineyards of the Lord.

Oh it's G L O R Y to be S A V E D,
G L O R Y to be F R double E,
F R double E from bonds of S I N,
Glory, Glory Hallelujah Jesus Christ Ah men.

Chorus

And here's one posted in another thread by Downeast Bob:

Thread #24205   Message #274602
Posted By: Downeast Bob
09-Aug-00 - 06:14 PM
Thread Name: Wanted: Songs for alcoholics!
Subject: Lyr Add: Layin' in the Gutter(?)^^

Dunno if I can make the lines break properly, but here goes:

Layin' in the gutter, pretzels in my beard;
Shirt all stained with whisky;
I thought the end was near;
'Til the Salvation Army comes;
And Saves me from the hearse;
Let's all bust a gut now and sing another verse:

Chorus:

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Throw a nickel on the drum, save another drunken bum.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Throw a nickel on the drum, and you'll be saved.

Way up in heaven where there is no snow;
And all year round, the watermelons grow;
Where the rich man, the poor man, the gentile and the Jew;
All sit together in the same damn pew.
Oh there'll be no distinctions there.
There'll be no distinctions there.
The Lord is good the Lord is just;
The Lord is head of the railroad trust.
There'll be no distinctions there.

Chorus


This is pure speculation, but my guess it that this is a parody of one or several gospel songs, one with a chorus that starts "Hallelujah, hallelujah." We're familiar with S-A-V-E-D, but I think "Salvation Army" is a different song that took verses from "S-A-V-E-D" in some versions.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Salvation Army / Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 08:42 AM

Judy Henske does a great version of this on her first album - which was re-issued by Elektra on a double CD (2001)

Salvation Army Song (M.Mallory/Adapt & arr with new lyrics by J.Henske)


sandra


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Subject: RE: Salvation Army / Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 12:31 PM

Hey, look at this:

    Out of the Blue
    by John Starr

       Mom loved to sing, and she could easily be goaded into breezing through any one of a number of bawdy old airmen's ballads she'd come to know in her Air Force nursing days.  In familiar company, it would take only a nudge to send her into a complete rendition of, say, "O'Leary's Bar."  Other times she'd get halfway through a more colorful ditty before sputtering to an embarrassed halt, saying, "Well, I don't think I should finish that one in mixed company -- but your father would have.  And he'd have the whole room singing along."

       Dad was a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who, much to the consternation of his parents, had dropped out of Harvard after 18 months to answer the call of the Korean war.

       Somehow, he finagled his way into officer candidate school and pilot training where he earned his bars and wings.  During his first combat assignment flying F-86s in post-war Korea, he developed a passion for bawdy airmen's songs.   

        At the officers' club he'd sing enthusiastically, often dragging gaggles of fellow airmen into joyous, drunken choruses.  And every time he heard a new one he'd write it down.

       "The Wild Blue Yonder, Oscar Brand with the Roger Wilco Four" debuted in the spring of 1959.  It received one of its hottest receptions from my grandmother, who, in a fit of disgust, purportedly scratched one of the more suggestive songs clean off the face of the album.

       Not having been born until some years later, I can't attest to the record's popularity among airmen of the day.   Certainly I grew up listening to it.  But I've always assumed that it turned only in my household, where my father would put it on for some old Air Force buddy and my mother would sometimes object, "Honey, please, not that one.  At least wait until the kids go to sleep." 

       But we kids never really knew what the songs were about.  In fact, with lyrics such as "I wanted wings 'til I got the goddamned things, now I don't want them anymore" and "Throw a nickel on the grass, save a fighter pilot's ass," we often found them confusing.

       What was obvious to us was merely the unique air of merriment that seemed to prevail.  Had the songs been sanitized, patriotic overtures layered in sentiment, we would have seen right through them. These were barracks songs for men who knew their next day could be their last.

       Growing up during my father's second career as a banker, I held the album in special regard.  Even before I was a teenager I listened to it, often trying to picture my father as a rowdy jet jockey belting out such colorful laments, sometimes wondering which track my grandmother had obliterated, other times pouring over the write-up Brand gave Dad on the album's back cover.

       In time, however, my interest waned.  I discovered rock 'n roll, high school, and girls.  Shortly thereafter cancer claimed my father, and with his passing I again became interested in the album.  But by then it was gone, somehow lost, probably sold at a garage sale.

       Operating on a tip that my grandmother had long since come around and was actually quite proud of Dad's involvement in the record's genesis, I dropped her a line.

       She couldn't find her copy either but thought she could find Oscar Brand; maybe he would have one.  Sure enough, on my next visit, she presented me with a copy of The Wild Blue Yonder, signed by Brand. She was quick to warn me of its scarcity, quoting Brand as saying, "Here it is.  Now you have one and I have one."

       I cherished the record. Yet it wasn't until years later that I found stuffed inside the jacket a misplaced lyrics booklet that belonged to a second Air Force album Brand had recorded, entitled Out of the Blue: More Air Force Songs by Oscar Brand.      Debuting about a year after its predecessor, this album, which I had somehow overlooked all these years, contained not only some of the raunchiest of the ballads from Dad's collection but also a song Dad himself had authored.

       Judging by the lyrics, I could see it was an unremarkable song.  It wasn't even risqué. But it was inspired by an in-flight refueling incident that had nearly cost him his airplane and his life.  I had to find the second album.

       Mom couldn't find her copy, nor could grandmother.  I even called Brand.  He had one worn copy and couldn't advise me on where to find another.

       So I started haunting used record stores in Hollywood, where young clerks -- many of them struggling musicians, pierced, dyed, and tattooed like mutant butterflies -- would look at me as if I had just rolled off a park bench when I explained the nature of the album I sought ("a military album?"). They suggested I try thrift stores and garage sales.  I did, but to no avail.

       One day, while driving through a part of town new to me, I spied a used record store.  I dropped in and was floored by the spectacle of thousands of records strewn everywhere, with thousands more stacked to the ceiling on mammoth wooden shelves.

       "Is there some order to all this?" I asked a man crouched on the floor, flipping through a pile of classical albums.  "Yes indeed," he said. "What are you looking for?"

    "Could you point me toward your folk music, um, area?"

       "What artist"" he asked.  I pondered the odds for a moment. "I'm looking for some albums by a fellow named Oscar Brand."

       He raised his hand and snapped his fingers like a maitre d'. "Mike," he called, "show this young man Oscar Brand."

       An elderly man shuffled from around a corner and led me through a labyrinth of dusty catacombs, packed wall to wall with ancient vinyl.  Almost without looking, he came to a stop, reached into a ream of shelved albums, and came out with a stack of records three inches thick.  I'll be damned if each and every one weren't first-issue Oscar Brand albums.

       There were several volumes of the Bawdy Back Room Ballads series, a few of the Army, Navy, and Marine compilations, one copy of The Wild Blue Yonder, and one copy of Out of the Blue, the latter two in excellent condition, complete with lyrics booklets.

       Not wanting to orphan one album, I decided to buy both. "I'll be wanting these two," I said. "How much?"

       "That'll be $35 apiece," the old man said. It suddenly occurred to me that I should have put on a poker face long before I got to this point.  I completed the transaction and headed toward the door. "Hey," he called out, a smug look on his face. "You should have haggled. They're collector's items, but I might have come down to $20 apiece."

       "Yes, but the loss is yours," I said. "I would have gladly paid $100 for each."

    ***

    "The Wild Blue Yonder" is again available -- from Oscar Brand on CD and cassette.   Click here for ordering information.

Source: http://www.fabulousrocketeers.com This article first appeared in Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine, November 1997. Author maintains copyright.
Also take a look at Songs of the Air Force in the Vietnam War.


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Subject: DTADD: THROW A NICKEL ON THE GRASS
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 12:41 PM

Ah, there's more. I found this version here (click)
-Joe Offer-


THROW A NICKEL ON THE GRASS
Author unknown, Air Force traditional

CHORUS: Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Throw a nickel on the grass. Save a fighter pilot's ass.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Throw a nickel on the grass and you'll be safe!

Well, I'm cruising down the Yalu, doing six-and-twenty per.
I cried to my flight leader, "Oh, won't you save me, Sir!
Got two big flak holes in my wings. My engine's outta gas!
Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Got six MiGs on my ass!" CHORUS

Well, I shot my traffic pattern. To me it looked all right.
The airspeed read one-ninety. I really racked it tight.
The airframe gave a shudder. The engine gave a wheeze.
Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Spin instructions please! CHORUS

The crosswind blew me sideways. the left wing hit the ground.
I firewalled the throttle and I tried to go around.
I yanked that Sabre in the air, a dozen feet or more.
The engine quit. I almost shit. The gear came through the floor. CHORUS


Another version here (click).

SAVE A FIGHTER PILOT'S ASS

CHORUS: Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Throw a nickel on the grass. Save a fighter pilot's ass.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Throw a nickel on the grass & you'll be saved.

I was cruising down the Yalu, doin' 6 & 20 per
When a call came from the Major: "Oh, won't you save me, sir!
Got three flak holes in my wingtips & my tanks ain't got no gas.
Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! I got 6 MiGs on my ass." (Chorus)

I shot my traffic pattern, & to me it looked all right.
The air speed read 130. I really racked it tight.
Then the airframe gave a shudder. The engine gave a wheeze.
"Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Spin instructions please." (Chorus)

It was Split-S on my bomb run, & I got too Goddamned low,
But I pressed that bloody button, & I let those babies go.
Sucked the stick back fast as blazes when I hit a high-speed stall.
Now I won't see my mother when the work's all done next fall. (Chorus)

Then they sent me down to PyongYang. The brief said "No ack-ack."
By the time that I arrived there, my wings was mostly flak.
Then my engine coughed & sputtered. It was too cut up to fly.
"Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! I'm too young to die." (Chorus)

I bailed out from the Saber, & the landing came out fine.
With my E & E equipment, I made for our front line.
Then I opened up my ration to see what was in it.
The Goddamned Quartermaster, why he filled the tin with grit. (Chorus)


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Subject: RE: Salvation Army / Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 02:10 PM

Finding the winter issue of SING OUT as I was clearing up a pile on my desk, I came upon Joe Hickerson's Songfinder request for the song with "Put/place a nickel in/on the drum", which is in answer to a request by Lydia Fish, who began this thread.

I will add the recollection that at Yale in the early 1970s, I remember hearing a celebratory song, usually passed down in the small singing groups (Whiffenpoofs, etc.), suitable for initiations, birthdays, and other occasions where an individual would be honored:

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

It's _____ [substitute name of person to be honored]
It's _____
It's _____ that makes the world go round
It's _____
It's _____
It's _____ that makes the world go round
It's _____ _____ _____ _____
It's _____ that makes the world go round
It's _____ that makes the world go round

Sing Hallelu, Hallelujah
Hallelu, Hallelujah
Put a nickel on the drum
Save another drunken bum
Sing Hallelu, Hallelujah
Hallelu, Hallelujah
Put a nickel on the drum and you'll be saved

You'll be S-A-V-E-D
From the bonds of S-I-N
Glory hallelujah, and hip hooray again
You'll be F-R- double-E
From the bonds of S-I-N
Glory hallelujah, and hip hooray again

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

I don't know how long this tradition had been going on, but traditions in Yale singing groups are often long lasting. I wonder if this song is in some copy of "Songs From Yale" or equivalent collegiate songbooks.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Salvation Army / Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 02:41 PM

Of this lady, Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records said,
". . . forget about breaking genteel crystal wine goblets, Judy could shatter tempered windshields in the parking lot."
and the lady is still at it. Judy Henske. Click HERE, then scroll down to Salvation Army Song.

Warning:    before clicking on the song, fasten your seat belt!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Haruo
Date: 27 Jan 09 - 05:30 PM

See the second post in my Obit: Mory's - RIP? thread. I once corresponded a bit with Ms Henske about this song; she said she learned it from her high school music teacher, and knew nothing more about its origins. I'm interested in knowing how far back it goes at Yale.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Jan 09 - 06:36 PM

Is there a trick to playing Henske's stuff? Using VLC on MacOS, those files come out as tiny bursts of sound separated by silences. I've never hear another sound file fail in the same way.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 06:58 AM

The "Salvation Army Song" was in the early 1960s available on an LP album by Carolyn Hester. I recall having that album but not its name. Maybe one can find it. I have been unable to locate it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 11:30 AM

Several different denizens of old home town coffee house did versions of "The Salvation Army Song" and "Throw A Nickel On The Drum" back in the late 1950's. They were both hoary oldies then, so I was told. The other cautionary tale song was "The Pig And The Inebriate."

"It was early last November,
   As near as I remember,
   I was walkin' down the street in tipsy pride.
   No one was I disturbin',
   As I lay down by the curbin',
   When a pig came up and lay down by my side.

   As I lay there in the gutter,
   Thinkin' thoughts I dare not utter,
   A lady passin' by was heard to say:
   "You can tell a man who boozes
   By the company he chooses,"
   And....the pig got up...and slowly walked away."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Dingus MacDangle
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 10:40 PM

When I was at Yale, we sang a version that I remember as follows (there may have been other verses), which was associated with a drinking ritual at Mory's:

I was lying in the gutter I was covered with beer,
Pretzels in my moustache, I thought the end was near,
Then along came [NAME], and saved me from sin!
Glory, glory, hallelujah, hip, hooray, Amen!

Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah,
Put a nickel on the drum!
Save another drunken bum!
Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah,
Put a nickel on the drum and you'll be saved!

I am h-a-p-p-y to be f-r-e-e
F-r-e-e, for I'm s-a-v-e-d!
S-a-v-e-d, from the bonds of s-i-n!
Glory, glory, hallelujah, hip, hooray, Amen!

Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah,
Put a nickel on the drum!
Save another drunken bum!
Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah,
Put a nickel on the drum and you'll be saved!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 04:23 PM

My Dad used to sing the Salvation Army song and a number of others when we'd be out camping when I was a kid. "The Pig Song" was one of my favorites. His lyrics were slightly different from the ones above:
^^^
It was one day last November, how well I do remember,
I was walking down the street in drunken pride
When my knees began to stutter
So I lay down in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

By my side! By my side!
Oh that pig came up and lay down by my side.
My knees began to stutter, so I lay down in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

As I lay there in the gutter, my heart was all a-flutter
And a lady passing by was heard to say
"You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses"
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

Walked away! He walked away!
And that pig got up and slowly walked away.
"You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses"
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 07:54 PM

"The Pig Got Up and Slowly Walked Away" was written by Benjamin Hapgood Burt and F. W. Bowers for Frank Crumit, 1933. Crumit's recordings credit Burt.
ASCAP lists Jerry Vogel Music Co. as administrators.

A song "The Famous Pig Song" is credited by ASCAP to Henri F. Klickman (Administrator unknown). (And Van Ness? Date ?1935

Lyrics to both are posted in thread 21933: Famous Pig Song
For some strange reason, this study thread was closed.

The song is not a Salvation Army Song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 02:46 AM

Thanks to a late-niter and with co-credit to the talents of my crackerjack researcher wife, I believe I can trace back "Throw (Put, Place, etc.) A Nickel On The Drum" to its origins as a gospel song.

I'll take it in stages. The first clue came from a songbook privately published in 1928—the earliest version I've so far found in print. It has only a number, no title. You'll notice the lone verse is different—a pointer to gospel origin.

[Throw a Nickel On the Drum
(Salvation Army Song)]

From A Collection of Sea Songs and Ditties of from the Stores of Dave E. Jones, 1928,
http://www.folklore.ms/html/books_and_MSS/1920s/1928ca_a_collection_of_sea_songs_and_ditties__dave_e_jones_(HC)/index.htm

Monday I am happy, Tuesday full of joy,
Wednesday there's a peace within the Devil can't destroy,
Thursday and Friday I'm walking in the light,
Saturday is a heavenly day and so is Sunday night.

Cho:        
[line apparently missing: Hallelujah, hallelujah?]
Throw a nickel on the drum, throw a nickel on the drum,
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
Throw a nickel on the drum and you'll all be saved.

From this came the discoveries that follow (next message).   Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 02:59 AM

Searching on the verse phrases turned up gospel precursors almost at once. It is traced by Gus Meade in Country Music Sources to "Glory to the Lamb," publication in Hildebrand, E.T., W.T. Giffe et al, New Onward & Upward, Logansport, Indiana, Home Music Co., 19??, presumed to be circa 1900.

Oldtime ministers and congregations were fond of this bouncy gospel number. Example from a sermon by evangelist W.A. Criswell:

GLORY TO THE LAMB

Untitled, from the W.A. Criswell Sermon Library, http://www.wacriswell.org/Search/videotrans.cfm/sermon/1373.cfm

"Boy, did we have song services then, when I led the singing. And I would teach those kids the songs and I just loved them. And one of those songs that I used to teach these children in Vacation Bible School sang to me last week. Do you remember it?

On Monday, I am happy, on Tuesday, full of joy
On Wednesday, I have peace within nothing can destroy.
On Thursday, and on Friday, I am walking in the light
And Saturday is a heavenly day, and Sunday is always bright.

Oh, glory, glory, glory, oh, glory to the Lamb
Hallelujah I am saved, I'm so glad I am.
Oh, glory, glory, glory, oh, glory to the Lamb
Hallelujah, I am saved and bound for the promised land."

===

It's assigned a minor key in the following reminiscence:

Untitled, from "Songs for the Moment," from a blog called God is nice and he likes me, Sunday, February 10, 2008, http://godisnice.blogspot.com/2008/02/songs-for-moment.html

"….My dad found a horror that went something like "Monday I am happy, Tuesday full of joy, Wednesday there are springs within the devil can't destroy, Thursday.... etc etc". You know the type. This song is very minor key, almost desperate in tone, and I love it."

===

The gospel song "Glory to the Lamb" was first recorded on 78 rpm by the Kentucky Ramblers for Paramount in Grafton, Wisconsin in September 1930, and was covered by the Carter Family in an American Record Corporation recording done in New York, May 5, 1935 and subsequently issued on labels such as Conqueror. The Carter cut was a durable favorite, re-pressed on Columbia in 1948.

GLORY TO THE LAMB

"Glory to the Lamb," by the original Carter Family, recorded in 1935 and issued on Conqueror and other ARC labels, later repressed on Columbia in 1948.

Cho:        Oh glory oh glory oh glory to the lamb,
        Hallelujah I am saved and I'm so glad I am,
        Oh glory oh glory oh glory to the lamb,
        Hallelujah I am saved and I'm so glad I am.

On Monday I am happy on Tuesday full of joy,
Wednesday I've got the faith the devil cant destroy,
On Thursday and Friday walking in the light,
Saturday I've got the victory and Sunday's always bright,

I fell in love with Jesus and he fell in love with me,
That's the very reason I've got the victory,
I'm happy when it's raining I'm happy when it shines,
I'm happy now with Jesus I'm happy all the time,

===

Bob   (more to come in the next message)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 03:06 AM

How "Glory to the Lamb" found its way into the folk repertoire as "Throw a Nickel on the Drum" is a twisted trail. Consider this reminiscence from some Ann Arbor, Michigan residents about Salvation Army bands, including Mary Culver, who was hearing Salvation Army bands apparently in the 1950s and remembers students apparently mocking the band with "Throw a Nickel on the Drum" while the Army made its collections. This is the only example I've found of the two together: the song, and the people it mocked.

http://www.aadl.org/aaobserver/18334

When the Salvation Army Marched Downtown
Published In Ann Arbor Observer, July 1996
Author: Grace Shackman

Its headquarters on Fifth Ave. attracted hoboes and passersby alike.
        Saturday night was once the busiest time of the week for Ann Arbor merchants, because that was when farmers would drive to town to do their weekly errands. As families milled about, shopping and catching up with the news, the Salvation Army brass band would march from the army's headquarters at Fifth and Washington up to Main Street, playing hymns and summoning the crowds to open-air services.
        "It was part of Saturday in Ann Arbor," says John Hathaway, who grew up here in the 1930's. He remembers that when he attended Perry Elementary School as a child, Salvation Army kids were always eager to enroll in the music program so they could prepare for playing in the band.
        Mary Culver recalls that when she was in college, the band would stop outside bars frequented by students. After a few hymns, a band member would come through the bar with an upside-down tambourine, collecting money as the students sang, "Put a nickel in the drum, save another drunken bum." Culver remembers it as a good-natured scene, but doubts that the Salvation Army got much money, since the students of that era had little to spare.
        Virginia Trevithick, a retired Salvation Army employee and a former band member, recalls, "It was a nice little band, about fifteen members, all good musicians. On Saturday when the stores stayed open late we held street meetings in front of Kresge's at Main and Washington [now Mongolian Barbeque]. There would be a big crowd." ….

We'll wrap it up in the following message. Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 03:28 AM

Disentanglement to above: I'm the one who traced "Throw a Nickel on the Drum." Gus Meade traced "Glory to the Lamb" to its apparent origin.

===

How "Throw a Nickel on the Drum and you'll be saved" (which apparently was cried out by Salvation Army lads and lassies as they worked the streets) became "Throw a nickel on the drum, save another drunken bum" ... ensues.

Again the key is found in the 1928 version in A Collection of Sea Songs and Ditties of from the Stores of Dave E. Jones at http://www.folklore.ms/html/books_and_MSS/1920s/1928ca_a_collection_of_sea_songs_and_ditties__dave_e_jones_(HC)/index.htm (see the first of this series of four posts).

That version still retained the "Monday I am happy, Tuesday full of joy" gospel verse. But it appeared in a collection of raffish songs, some of them bawdy, plainly meant for use by drinkers, college students, and other lost souls.

I have been unable to trace any other transition version, and I don't know the author of the parody lyrics, but by the late 1940s, as Dick Greenhaus remembers in a message in another thread on this topic, goodtime singers of all stripes were singing the parody in essentially its modern version.

The first of these to reach print (that I have yet found) appeared in Marion Kingston, A Folk Song Chapbook, Beloit Poetry Journal Vol 6, No. 2, Chapbook No. 4, Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, 1955. It has a first and third verses I've never seen elsewhere. Thus it may be pretty close to the original parody.

GUTTER SONG

Collected from the Colorado Mountain Club Juniors.

As I was walking down the street, as drunk as I could be,
I thought I spied a lamp-post a-coming straight at me,
I ducked to the side of it and bumped into a tree,
So let that be a lesson, boys, and never be like me.

Cho:
Halleluja, halleluja,
Put your nickel on the drum, save your soul, you drunken bum,
Halleluja, halleluja,
Put your nickel on the drum and be saved.

As I lay in the gutter all guzzled up with beer,
With pretzels in my hair I knew the end was near,
When along came a holy man and saved me from the hearse,
So everybody strain a gut and sing another verse. Cho:

Old Mrs. Johnson took in washing, all that she could scrub,
She busted many a button over the wash tub,
She wore her fingers down to stubs, and sometimes shed a tear,
To buy her drunken husband another glass of beer. Cho:

From here to the version I first heard from the epochal hiker/skier/singer Bill "Brigger" Briggs c. 1956, which included the "I was lying in the gutter," "village belle" and "G-L-O-R-Y" verses (pretty much like today's) is not a long step.

Ditto for the airman's drinking song parody "Throw a Nickel in the Grass, Save a Fighter Pilot's Ass," which, though a WWI origin is claimed for it, seems not to exist in any copies much earlier than Korea, or WWII at the earliest.

We still don't know the name of the wacko who perpetrated this gem, but the above is a fairly consecutive summary of its precursor in gospel and its development as a parody in the early days.

That's my nickel on your drum. Hope it helps. Enjoy! I know I will. — Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 03:43 AM

P.S. Just to point out the probably obvious:

The parodist, in using the song, dumped the "Glory to the Lamb" chorus and its tune, substituting a very different tune and the "Put a Nickel on the Drum" lyrics first printed in 1928 by Dave E. Jones. I don't know if the "Put a Nickel" chorus and its tune were original with Jones or his informants.

It could have happened one of two ways:

1. The parodist adapted the chorus tune from an existing "Put a nickel on the drum" refrain (and/or tune), perhaps used in more serious vein by the Salvation Army. Or

2. The "Put a nickel" chorus was never a serious refrain, but originated with the parodist.

Take your pick. Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 10:48 AM

"Put a nickel on the drum, save another drunken bum!" couldn't have been sung seriously by anybody. IMO.

I doubt the Salvation Army ever officially referred to the unfortunate as "drunken bums."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 03:18 PM

Bob Coltman and wife have done a good job of identifying the correct "Glory of the Lamb" gospel song; that title is much used and there are about a dozen in current use.

The version by the Kentucky Ramblers (1930s) is the earliest dated recording I can find (their work deserves to be better known). Their "Glory to the Lamb" is on cd, Paramount Old Time Recordings, disc 3, track 24.

As both Lighter and I have posted, the Salvation Army would never have sung the parody and it should never be listed as a SA song.

I have some old gospel books and will check them later, but I don't think the song is old.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 03:52 PM

Perhaps it should be noted that the Nickel and Pig songs are not among the 994 songs in the Salvation Army Song Book that I have.
(Nor is "Glory to the Lamb.")


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 06:18 PM

CH: Away, away with rum, by gum,
With rum, by gu-um, with rum, by gum!
Away, away with rum, by gum;
The song of the Salvation Army.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 07:36 PM

Hello Lighter and Q,

I never meant to imply that the Salvation Army would have sung anything detrimental to their mission—or humorous in any way—let alone a parody on their efforts. All you need do is work your way through the mammoth, grimly serious SA songbook (it's online) to realize that.

I see I phrased it badly. I should have said—not that they would have used a line like "Save another drunken bum." Of course they wouldn't. But that I thought there was a possibility some line of one of their hymns might have been the sound-alike that suggested the parody.

I think that possibility is vanishing, though, now that I've slogged painfully through the SA songbook in search of a line that might have suggested the parody and found nothing remotely similar.

You may have been misled, too, by the article I quoted, which portrays the Army playing and the students singing the parody song back at them. It implies the Army gamely made the best of it for the sake of placating the irreverent students in hopes of contributions ... no more than that. The Salvation Army has taken a lot of ribbing over the years and forged on regardless.

As to the parody's age, I was surprised to see the germ of it in print as early as 1928! I thought it must have originated later, and my guess is that it did not reach final form until the 1940s.

Again, I would be most interested to learn the source of the "Throw a Nickel on the Drum" chorus, whether parody or original. The search continues.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 03:01 AM

Hi, Bob -
I've wondered about the origins of the "Throw a Nickel on the Drum" chorus for years. It's so obviously a parody. I keep thinking I'm hearing the original in the back of my memory, but it won't come out. Keep at it, Bob. I'm really enjoying this.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 08:35 AM

Joe, you may be thinking of the song "Sing Hallelujah," recorded (and presumably written) about 1961 by Oscar Brand that begins,

"They came marching down our alley like a troop of Queen's Marines,
A-playing 'Hallelujah' in their drums and tambourines...."

The song has the occupants of a house of ill repute emptying chamber utensils on the heads of the salvationists. I assume Brand was the author partly because it appeared a couple of years after his recording of the Air Force song.

The album was called "Sing-Along Bawdy Songs."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Haruo
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 11:55 PM

A guy named Brad in Hawaii just sent me an email about this song. I'll post it here unless he objects (presently awaiting his permission)...

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Haruo
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 12:00 AM

Okay, no objection, so here goes: Brad wrote,
Aloha Leland,

I just read a post you created about a song you and your brother used to sing as teenagers. You refer to the song as the Salvation Army song and you posted it several years ago on the Internet.

I stumbled across your post as I was trying to find the lyrics to a camp song we used to sing as kids in Hawaii. I first heard our version of "Salvation Army" in the mid 70's, while camping with some older friends. The song was quite different from your version and much more risque. I though you might be interested in hearing our version.

First, we would all sing the chorus...(fast and up beat)

"Salvation Army, Salvation Army"
"Put a nickle in the drum....save a dollar drunken bum"
"Salvation Army, Salvation Army"
"Put a nickle in the drum and you'll be saved:"

Then, someone in the group would say something and we would all boo. Then he would complete his statement and we would all cheer. This was followed by the chorus. It went something like this...(the statement would always start with "At my party...")

"At my party.....all the women will wear suits of armor...."   
(Crowd) "BOO!!"
"but we'll all bring can openers!"
(Crowd) "YEA!!"

"Salvation Army, Salvation Army"
"Put a nickle in the drum....save a dollar drunken bum"
"Salvation Army, Salvation Army"
"Put a nickle in the drum and you'll be saved:"

(next person) "At my party.....there will only be one bed"
(Crowd) "BOO!!"
"wall to wall!"
(Crowd) "YEA!"

"Salvation Army, Salvation Army"
"Put a nickle in the drum....save a dollar drunken bum"
"Salvation Army, Salvation Army"
"Put a nickle in the drum and you'll be saved:"

here are some more favorites....

At my party, there won't be any girls.....but, there will be lots of WOMEN!
At my party, all the girls will wear grass skirts.....but, we'll all bring weed wackers!
At my party, all the girls will have to be home by 8 o'clock.....tomorrow morning!

With everyone coming up with "my party" ideas, the song just kept going on and on. It was loads of fun.

I hope you enjoyed my version of "Salvation Army." It was nice to see someone posted a version of the song, even if it wasn't the version I remember from my childhood.

Aloha,

Brad


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 09:23 AM

Aloha Brad and Leland,

The 1970s version above, and others like it with verses adapted to local circumstances, have taken over as a standard among camp songs in the nearly 40 years since. Dozens of camp songs sites on the web have it in numerous variations.

It is a late outgrowth of the earlier "Throw a Nickel on the Drum" song we've been trying to trace back to its roots. This one sounds like the work of a camp counselor who was looking for material s/he could use to engage and involve campers (camp counselors have been responsible for a number of gems of this sort). I haven't been able to trace it to a specific source, but it is unlikely to have originated much earlier than the mid to late 1960s.

However, it seems to be remembered by thousands of campers and nowadays has become much more popular and widespread than the earlier parody.

Aloha, Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Jonie
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 02:07 PM

Just thinking about an old song we sang at Girl Scout camp around 1970, and came across this thread. Camp White's Landing, Catalina Island, California.

Salvation Army!
Salvation Army!
Put a quarter on the floor,
Save a Catalina boar.

Salvation Army!
Salvation Army!
Put a quarter on the floor,
And you'll be Saved.

Even funnier now that I'll bet "boar" was originally another word!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 02:29 PM

Whoa! That must have been wonderful to go to Scout camp on Catalina!
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 09:00 AM

A good version of this song is on YouTube. It has a cante-fable verse:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x244GUQNCcY


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Peter Scott
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 05:39 PM

Here's the last verse as I recall it from the 1950s in Berkeley:

I'm H-A-P-P-Y to be S-A-V-E-D
It's G-R-A-N-D to be F-R- double E
It's a V-I-C-T-O-R-Y from the bonds of S-I-N
Glory, glory, Hallelujah, Jesus Christ, Amen.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,kathy kiernan
Date: 01 Jan 12 - 01:05 PM

the version my father taught me had another chorus: out a pnny in the tin, save another girl from sin . . . .


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 06:00 PM

Glorious - Glorious
One keg of beer for the four of us

Throw a nickel on the drum
Save another drunken bum
Throw a nickel on the drum and you'll be save.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 06:08 PM

T'was an evening in October
When I was far from sober
I was walking down the street with manly pride
When my knees began to flutter
So I lay down in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side

We were singing 'tis fair weather
When good friends get together
And a lady passing by was heard to say
You can telll a man who boozes
By the company he chooses
And the pig got up and slowly walked away

Glorious, glorious
One keg of beer for the four of us
Throw a nickel on the drum
Save another drunken bum
Throw a nickel on the drum and you'll be saved


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 07:15 PM

Another parody: Stanley Holloway's "Penny on the Drum", later used as a participatory closing time song by the Butlins holiday camps in the UK from WW2 onwards.

A Butlins Celebration


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 07:20 PM

Penny on the Drum first 2 pages

Penny on the Drum 3rd page


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Haruo
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 03:25 PM

What is a "tanner" in this context?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Joe_F
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 06:12 PM

Haruo: A sixpence (pre-decimalization slang).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Peregrine
Date: 07 Jun 14 - 04:37 PM

University of Wisconsin coeds sang this drop a nickel on the grass, save a bomber pilots ass, song in the very early 1940's.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: GUEST,Peregrine
Date: 07 Jun 14 - 04:41 PM

Second verse was drop a nickel on the drum, just to save a drunken bum. We sang this in early 1940's, long before the Korean War.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Salvation Army/Throw a Nickel on the Drum
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Jun 14 - 05:51 PM

Is that all there was?


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