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Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins

DigiTrad:
FEW DAYS


GUEST,Momda 28 Oct 05 - 08:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Oct 05 - 01:30 AM
Joe Offer 29 Oct 05 - 02:13 AM
GUEST,Jon 29 Oct 05 - 02:21 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 29 Oct 05 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Momda 29 Oct 05 - 07:56 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Oct 05 - 04:18 PM
Dave Swan 29 Oct 05 - 04:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Oct 05 - 05:28 PM
Charley Noble 30 Oct 05 - 04:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Oct 05 - 04:51 PM
Joe Offer 03 Nov 05 - 02:08 PM
Charley Noble 16 Nov 05 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,KRMacDonald5@aol.com 18 Nov 05 - 07:29 PM
Joybell 19 Nov 05 - 04:54 PM
Little Robyn 20 Nov 05 - 06:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Nov 05 - 04:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jan 08 - 08:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jan 08 - 08:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jan 08 - 10:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jan 08 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,Gerry 24 Jan 08 - 10:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jan 08 - 10:35 PM
Charley Noble 25 Jan 08 - 08:14 AM
cptsnapper 25 Jan 08 - 08:29 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jan 08 - 01:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jan 08 - 04:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jan 08 - 02:58 PM
twag 28 Jan 08 - 02:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jan 08 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Lorraine 14 Jan 13 - 06:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jan 13 - 07:23 PM
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Subject: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: GUEST,Momda
Date: 28 Oct 05 - 08:50 PM

I'm wondering if anybody knows the origins and specific meaning of this song. It's a beauty – I'd like to understand more about it. Thanks!


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Subject: Lyr. Add: FEW DAY'S (sic) (Hewitt)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 01:30 AM

Between 1854 and 1856, a dozen or so sets of words were set to this tune.
I presume that you are referring to the words by John Hill Hewitt and found in Levy Sheet Music and (with errors) in pdmusic.org, with the title "Few Day's." Note the apostrophe, which sets this version about 'diggins' apart from the political campaign and freed slave versions. The others are titled "Few Days" without the apostrophe.

Few Day's(sic)
John Hill Hewitt, sung by Harry Lehr

This world is coming to an end,
Few day's, few day's!
I'll leave it for I have no friend;
I'm gwine home,
I'm gwine to run clear out o' sight
Few day's, few day's!
And leave these naughty diggins quite;
I'm gwine home!

Chorus
For I've a home out yonder,
Few day's, few day's!
I've a home out yonder,
In old Tennessee,
And I can't stay here in these diggins,
I'm gwine home.

They tell about Maine Liquor law,
Few day's, few day's;
It makes the folks get drunk the more,
I'm gwine home.
Nebraska's gwine to be a state,
Few day's, few day's;
Cuba, too, will come in late,
I'm gwine home.

Chorus

Every thing is done by steam,
Few day's, few day's;
Leather taffy - chalk Ice Cream,
I'm gwine home.
Boys wear beards and Women too,
Few day's, few day's;
Though all things change, there's nothing new;
I'm gwine home.

Chorus

The Shanghai fowls so tall they grow,
Few day's, few day's;
The people cannot hear them crow,
I'm gwine home.
When guano's put on gudgeon's tails,
Few day's, few day's;
They grew to be as big as whales
I'm gwine home.

Chorus

There's sin and folly every where,
Few day's, few day's;
Enough to make old satan stare,
I'm gwine home.
I'll sing my parting song once more,
Few day's, few day's;
And then I'll pass o'er Jordan's shore,
I'm gwine home.

Chorus

Pub. by Henry McCaffrey, Baltimore, 1854. Kunkel's Nightingale Opera Troupe.
Political parties, political platforms, progress, alcohol, inventions, African American caricature.
Few Day's


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Digg
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 02:13 AM

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Few Days

DESCRIPTION: "Well, I pitched my tent on this campground, Few days, few days, And I give old Satan another round, And I am going home. I can't stay in these diggings, few days, few days, I can't stay in these diggings And I am going home."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1922 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad mining
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
BrownIII 644, "Tree in Paradise" (3 short texts; the "A" version combines "Few Days" with a "Tree in Paradise" text; "B" is too short to classify easily; "C" seems to be mostly "All My Trials"; there may also be influence from "Is Your Lamps Gone Out" or the like)
Lomax-ABFS, p. 566, "Few Days" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, (FEWDAYS -- the mining parody)

Roud #15561
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Zaccheus Climbed the Sycamore Tree" (lyrics)
Notes: This originated as a hymn, and later was adapted by miners to describe their lives. Since, however, the miners' version took over the hymn in its entirety, simply tacking new verses on the end, we really can't separate the pieces.
Spaeth lists a song by Albert Holland, "Few Days" or "I'm Going Home," from 1854. It certainly sounds like the same song, but I can't prove it. - RBW
File: LxA566

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2007 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Digg
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 02:21 AM

There is another version in the dt (here)

    Well I pitched my tent on this campground
    Few days, few days
    And I give old Satan another round
    And I am going home

    etc.

I've got that or a similar version on a Steve Turner record. His liner notes say:

"Few Days" seems to have evolved from a one verse sacred song written by John G McCurry and published in his collection of American shape note spirituals "The Social Harp" (1865) also known as "Then Hurrah for Homee".. The song concerns the 1849 Californial Gold Rush and I learned it from Sara [Grey].


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 06:18 AM

Momda's a friend of mine- she does refer to the version Jon cited right above my post. It's a great song first heard by both of us on the Golden Ring recording by Folk Legacy.

Any more info?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: GUEST,Momda
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 07:56 AM

Yes, Jon, It is the version thatyou site that I'm interested in. The link you give to "another version" actually has all the words in the version I want to know about. And the Gold Rush context does seem to fit with those words (although mining could fit, too - is there some overlap there? How did people in the Gold Rush try to find gold - did they mine for it? I don't know of any gold mines in the States, but who knows?). I'd still welcome any more information, but that's really helpful.

This is my first time doing this site or any online chat. It's so cool to have a relatively obscure music question and be able to find people to talk to about it! Thanks for sending me here, Animaterra!


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Subject: RE:FEW DAYS (I'm Going Home) Holland
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 04:18 PM

Here is another 1854 version that probably led to the hymn in "The Social Harp," by McCurry. It is a parody in the form of a spiritual, made famous by the Christy's Minstrels. All of the variants seem to originate with the 1854 efforts to outdo each other by the various minstrel troupes crossing the land from coast to coast.

FEW DAYS or I'm Going Home
Adapted by Albert Holland, 1854

Solo:
I pitch'd my tent on this camp ground.
Chorus:
Few days. Few Days.
Solo:
To give the Devil another round.
Chorus:
I'm going home.
Solo:
The Devil's a liar and conjuror too.
Chorus:
Few days.
I'm going home.
Few days. Few days.
Solo:
He conjured me and he'll conjure you
Chorus:
I'm going home
Solo:
We have a few days,
I'm going home right up yonder.
Chorus:
Few days. Few days.
Solo:
We have a right up yonder.
Chorus:
Few days. Few days.
Solo:
We have a right up yonder.
Chorus:
I'm going home.

Chorus:
Oh can't stay in the wilderness.
Few days. Few days.
Can't stay in the wilderness
For I'm going home.

There was a fish and his name was whale.
Few days, few days.
He swallow'd Jonah head and tail.
I'm going home.
He tosted(?) Jonah round and round.
Few days, few days.
And then he flung him on the ground.
I'm going home.

We have a right, etc.

Old Zack he climb'd a sycmore tree.
Few days, few days.
He did it for his Lord to see.
I.m going home.
The tree it broke and Zack did fall.
Few days, few days.
He didn't see his lord at all.
I'm going home.

We have a right, etc.

Few Days or I'm Going Home

I think I have located a miners' version and will try to post it today.
There are several which have to do with the politics of ca. 1854, but they are difficult to understand if one doesn't know the political history of the time (and I don't).

That the miners in California knew the song is shown by the use of the tune for "Then Hurrah For Home!", written and published in "Put's Golden Songster" by John A. Stone, 1857 and 1858, San Francisco.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Dave Swan
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 04:41 PM

My singing partner Tom thinks this was sung in the California foothills when gold fever was in full force.

We've recorded a version of Few Days.

Both placer and hard rock gold mining have been carried out in California.

D


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Subject: Lyr. Add: FEW DAYS (Temperance Banner)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 05:28 PM

The tune and versions were certainly known to the miners in California.
I will post "Then Hurrah for Home," Put's Golden Songster, 1858,in a separate thread. It uses the melody.
"Few Days" was issued as solo piano music in 1855 (American Memory) and also for the guitar. Both American Memory and Levy Sheet Music have copies of the political versions, and the song was printed in folios of minstrel songs in the 1850s.

Here is a temperance (and post-Civil War) version, written and published by John A. Stone in SanFrancisco, 1867.

FEW DAYS (Temperance Banner)
John A. Stone

Our country now is great and free
Few days, few days,
And thus shall it forever be.
We know the way,
Though rummie foes may gather here,
Few days, few days,
We will protect what we hold dear.
We know the way!

Chorus:
We'll battle innovation,
Few days, few days,
And fight against usurpation
By a cunning foe.
For our guide's the Temp'rance banner,
Few days, few days,
Our guide's the temp'rance banner,
We know the way.

The world shall see that we are true,
Few days, few days,
And that we know a thing or two,
We know the way!
As temperance men go hand in hand,
Few days, few days,
Our countless throng shall fill the land
We know the Way!
Chorus: We'll battle inovation, [c?].
Then shout aloud. o'er hill and plain,
Few days, few days,
We will Temperance rights maintain,
We know the way!
We'll always guard it with our might,
Few days, few days,
And keep it steadfast in the right,
We know the way!
Chorus: We'll battle inovation, [c?]

From John A. Stone, "The California Temperance Song Book," p. 46, San Francisco, 1867. This was a copy from the song book, at American Memory, and seems to be incomplete.

In the decade 1860-1870, the population of San Francisco jumped from 56,000 to 160,000, the 10th largest city in the U. S. at the time, and a mercantile center.
John Stone was keeping up with the times; temperance songs rather than songsters about miners and Hangtown Gals.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Oct 05 - 04:34 PM

I find the minstrel versions fascinating. They're new to me. The gold digging version is one I'm heard before and is also a fine song.

Keep digging!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr. Add: FEW DAYS (Long and Lind)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Oct 05 - 04:51 PM

Did Jenny Lind ("The Swedish Nightingale") write the music for "Few Days"?
Jenny Lind first was brought to America by P. T. Barnum. She was a great success in opera and concert across the land, but also sang Ethiopian or minstrel songs.
"...she composed and sang on her concerts some Ethiopian songs- composing one- "Few Days" that became very popular. The lyrics are by the famous Lucy Long, the first line being "Come darkies all, we'll sing a song, few days, few days."
The song was used by the Know Nothing Union, with the words, ""Our country now is great and free, few days, few days," and include subjects as patriotism, pride and political platforms. It became a United American song with lyrics: "a subtle foe has plotted along, few days, few days" and contained lyrics on campaigns, battles, political elections, ballots and patriotism."
From The Minstrel Show

FEW DAYS
Lucy Long and Jenny Lind, 1854

Come darkies all, we'll sing a song,
Few days, few days.
The words were made by Lucy Long.
I'm going home.
The music was set by Jenny Lind,-
Few days, few days.
It's sung by darkies to raise the wind.
I'm going home.

I've a right good home out yonder,
Few days, few days.
Right good home out yonder,
I'm going home.
Can't stay in dis ere city
Few days, few days.
Can't stay in dis ere city,
I'm going home.

The world is growing now so wise,
Few days, few days.
That wings we'll shortly have like flies.
I'm going home.
Now wooden legs and cut(?) glass eyes,
Few days, few days.
Fail to excite the least surprise,
I'm going home.

Chorus

Now everything is new and strange,
Few days, few days
On every hand is written change,
I'm going home.
There's politics is not the same,
Few days, few days.
Each party now has lost its name,
I'm going home.
Chorus
The New Reform have gained the day,
Few days, few days.
And swarm from Dan to Bersheba!
I'm going home.
But here we can no farther go,
Few days, few days.
For about them here we nothing know,
I'm going home.
Chorus
The Telegraph and Iron Horse,
Few Days, few days,
Are looked upon as things of course,
I'm going home.
There are no boys they are all men
Few days, few days.
And girls are ladies when they're ten.
I'm going home.
Chorus
And here's a secret I've been told,
Few days, few days.
That women never do grow old,
I'm going home.
And this the reason it may be,
Few days, few days.
That only infant waists we see
I'm going home.
Chorus

(Seems a couple of these complaints were still heard not so many years ago)
W. C. Peters & Sons, Ethiopian Songs (20 in folder), Cincinnati, Ohio, 1854. On the first sheet of music- Words by Lucy Long Music by Jenny Lind. Sung by Christy's Minstrels.

http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/levy-cgi/display.cgi?id=022.044.000;pages=4;range=0-3


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Digg
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 02:08 PM

Animaterra posted this in another thread (Shanghai Rooster). There's a connection here, too.
-Joe Offer-

Thread #14328   Message #283604
Posted By: Animaterra
09-Oct-99 - 08:23 PM
Thread Name: Lyr/Chords Req: Shanghaied Rooster
Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Shanghaied Rooster
Shanghai chicken grows so tall
Few days, few days,
Almost reached the top of the wall,
And I'm going home.
I've got a home over yonder,
Few days, few days,
I've got a home over yonder,
I'm going home.

That's a play party game I do with my kndergartners; don't know if it's even close to what you're looking for!
Allison


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Subject: ADD Version: Few Day's (Hewitt)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 09:24 AM

Here's another version from the Levy website composed by John Hill Hewitt:

Few Day's (1854)
Sung by Harry Lehr
of Kunkel's Nightengale Opera Troupe.
Words and Music by John Hill Hewitt, 1801-1890

[Source: 022/045@Levy]

1.
This world is coming to an end,
Few day's, few day's!
I'll [crack?] my [shins?], my Jacket [wind?]
I'm g'wine home.
I'm gwine to run clear out o' sight,
Few day's - few day's!
And leave these naughty diggins quite;
I'm gw'ine home!

CHORUS
For I've got a home out yonder,
Few day's - few day's!
I've a home out yonder, in old Tennessee,
And I can't stay in these diggins,
Few day's - few day's!
Can't stay in these diggins,
I'm gw'ine home.

2.
They tell about Maine Liquor Law,
Few day's - few day's;
It makes the folks get drunk the hours;
I'm gwine home.
Nebraska's gwine to be a State;
Few day's, few day's;
Cuba, too, will come in late,
I'm gwine home.

(CHORUS)

3.
Every thing is [done?] by storm,
Few day's - few day's;
Leather taffy -- chalk Ice Cream,
I'm gwine home.
Deys wear beards and Women too,
Few day's - few day's;
Though all things change, there's nothing new;
I'm gwine home.

(CHORUS)

4.
The Shanghei fowls so tall they grow,
Few day's - few day's;
That people cannot bear them crow,
I'm gwine home.
When guano's put on gudgeon's tails,
Few day's - few day's;
They grew to be as big as whales
I'm gwine home.

(CHORUS)

5.
There's sin and folly every where,
Few day's - few day's;
Enough to make old [pain stare?],
I'm gwine home.
I'll sing my parting song once more,
Few day's - few day's'
And then I'll pass o'er Jordan's shore,
I'm gwine home.

(CHORUS)

This is apparently the same version as is initially posted by Q on this thread but with more confusion represented in decoding the words. The sheet music looks quite clear but obviously some major "typo's" were made somewhere in the process.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: GUEST,KRMacDonald5@aol.com
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 07:29 PM

John Hill Hewitt was my ggg-grandfather. Do you know of any recordings of this song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Joybell
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 04:54 PM

It should have been a natural here in Aus. I've never heard it though. Any other Aussie singers heard it from here? Bob? Anyone? Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Little Robyn
Date: 20 Nov 05 - 06:20 AM

It's not in NZ either Joy.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Nov 05 - 04:57 PM

Charley, two copies of the 1854 sheet music at Levy; one has 'old people stare' (people looks like a correction, darker in print), the other 'old satan stare.'


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Subject: ADD Version: Few Days
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 08:12 PM

Origin of "Few Days."
I have continued to collect versions of "Few Days." I can find nothing before 1854, when a flurry of Know-Nothing versions appeared, along with the Christy's Minstrel song credited to Lucy Long and Jenny Lind, posted above. Most of these are in American Memory.

The entry in the Traditional Ballad Index contains the 'key words,' mining, and religious. Neither seems to be correct. At least as early as 1826, "diggings" was used to mean a farm, or home. That most of us think of mines results from the great Gold Rush to California, in 1849. Other than that word, nothing suggests mining in any of the songs from 1854.

"Religious" seems to stem from the minstrel-like song by Holland, 1854, (posted above) in which the devil is discussed as a liar and conjuror; it possibly could have come from a camp meeting, but sounds more like parody to me. Minstrel shows often had songs of this type.

In 1857, a part of the Hollan lyrics, or a close version, was printed in the "Social Harp." George Pullen Jackson reprinted it in "White Spirituals of the Southern Uplands," and John A. and Alan Lomax included it in "American Ballads and Folk Songs," with musical score:

FEW DAYS (Pullen)

I pitch my tent on this camp ground,
   few days, few days.
And give old Satan another round,
And I am going home.
I can't stay in these diggin's,
   few days, few days.
I can't stay in these diggin's,
I am going home.

This song may be incomplete; I don't have the Pullen book. Lomax and Lomax, 1934, ABFS, p. 566 (1958 printing).

Any pre-1854 references would be appreciated.


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Subject: ADD: Few Days (Our Country Now Is Great and Free)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 08:53 PM

FEW DAYS. OUR COUNTRY NOW IS GREAT AND FREE
Words by K.N., Arranged by S. G. A.

"The Know-Nothing Union Song"

1
Our country is great and free,
Few days, few days.
And thus shall it forever be,
We know the way.
We'll teach the hosts that gather here,
Few days, few days,
That we'll protect what we hold dear,
We know the way.

Chorus:
We'll battle innovation,
Few days, few days,
And fight 'gainst usurpation
By a cunning foe.
For our guide is Freedom's banner,
Few days, few days
Our guide is Freedom's banner,
We know the way.

2
The world shall see that we are true,
Few days, few days,
And that we know a thing or two,
We know the way.
As "Know Nothings" we're hand in hand,
Few days, few days,
Our countless throng shall fill the land,
We know the way.

Chorus:

3
From East and West, from South and North,
Few days, few days,
We'll call our many legions forth,
we know the way.
The freedom that our fathers won,
Few days, few days,
Shall be defended by each son,
We know the way.

4.
Then shout, then shout o'er hill and plain,
Few days, few days,
Our Union shall its rights maintain,
We know the way.
We'll guard, we'll guard the ballot box,
Few days, few days,
From foreign wiles and treason shocks,
We know the way.

Chorus:

Levy Sheet Music.

It was from this version that John A. Stone developed his Temperance song, posted above.

The 1850s were a turbulent time in the United States. Large numbers of immigrants were entering the country; the Know Nothings vowed to stop the flow. The fear was directed mostly at Roman Catholics, mostly Irish, who, it was believed, were controlled by the Pope in Rome. There was widespread belief that there was a conspiracy to settle the country with Catholics and their bishops would bring rule from Rome. (The Italian surge was a later event). Fillmore and Donelson campaigned under their Union banner. The Know Nothings won elections across the country and carried Massachusetts. Some violence took place against the immigrants and they had a difficult time outside of their ghettos. The Whig Party, the opposite to the Democrats, collapsed; anti-slavery, nativism and temperance movements as well as the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the cause. This left the road open to the know Nothings and their American Party.
The Wikipedia gives a summary of the times.


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Subject: ADD Version: Few Days No. 2
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 10:16 PM

The Know Nothings version of "Few Days," posted above (K. N., arr. S. G. A) appeared in the "Golden Wreath", 1857 edition, pp. 214-215, no attribution, Oliver Ditson & Co., Boston.
It also appeared in a song sheet sold by Berry & Gordon, NY (copy at American Memory).
______________________________________

The following was posted earlier by Charley Noble, but with some 'confusions.' Here it is re-posted from an unattributed song sheet, with some comments.

FEW DAYS NO. 2
(Song sheet, no date, no author)

1
The world is coming to an end, few days- few days
I'll crack my shins, my jackt rend- I'm *gwine home!
I'm gwine to run clear out of sight, few days- few days;
And leave these naughty **diggins quite; I'm gwine home!

Chorus:
For I've got a home out yonder, few days- few days!
I've got a home out yonder, in old Tennessee.
And I can't stay in these diggins, few days- few days!
Can't stay in these duggins, I'm gwine home.

2
They tell about Maine Liquor Law, few days- few days;
It makes the folks get drunk the more; I'm gwine home.
Nebraska's gwine to be a state, few days- few days;
Cuba too will come in late; I'm gwine home.

Chorus-

3
Everything is done by steam, few days- few days;
Leather taffy, chalk ice-cream- I'm gwine home.
Boys wear beards, and women too, few days- few days;
Though all things change there's nothing new; I'm gwine home.

Chorus-

4
The Shanghai fowls, how tall they grow, few days- few days;
That people cannot hear them crow; I'm gwine home.
When guano's put on gudgeons' tails, few days- few days;
They grow to be as big as whales; I'm gwine home.

Chorus-

5
There's sin and folly everywhere, few days- few days;
Enough to make old Satan stare; I'm gwine home.
I'll sing my parting song once more, few days- few days;
And then I'll pass o'er Jordan's shore; I'm gwine home.

Chorus-

Late 1850s, when the Kansas-Nebraska Act helped to rend the country asunder. The Civil war was fast approaching; and non-English-speaking immigrants were getting bashed verbally, if not literally.

*gwine- Dialect, common on the Isle of Wight and in Sussex, and was known elsewhere in England. See "Tom Cladpole's Jurney," by R. Lower, 1871, an expert in Sussex dialect. Often assumed to be Negro slave dialect, but probably learned from sailors and country Englishmen who supervised their labors. Cladpole verses recited or sung at Horsham, and at the Causeway. "Cladpole's Jurney to Lunnon" is some 150 verses; apparently some 20,000 copies were sold in Sussex.

**Diggings as slang for home, farm or place where one slept or lived, is known from 1826 in print, and in this song has nothing to do with mining.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 10:17 PM

Few Days No. 2, song sheet, was printed by Andrews, New York. Copies at American Memory and at the Bodleian Library.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Digg
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 10:32 PM

Joybell, I don't know whether it has been found in Australia, but it has been recorded by Sydney band The Fagans, with James taking the lead.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 10:35 PM

Other Know Nothing versions of "Few days." These two variants don't add much of interest.

FEW DAYS FEW DAYS or We Know the Way.
Words by D. L., music F. Ferry
J. E. Boswell, 1854, Baltimore.

FEW DAYS or The United American's (sic)
Written by George Morris
Faulds, Stone and Morse, 1854, Louisville, KY.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 08:14 AM

Nice work, Q.

Any thoughts about whether there was a historical "Lucy Long"? There certainly was a "Jenny Lind" but I believe that "Lucy" was a stock female character patched into many a minstrel song.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Digg
From: cptsnapper
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 08:29 AM

Steve Turner recorded it on his album " Jigging One Now "> He got it from Sara Grey. The sleeve notes also attribute it to John G. McCurry.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 01:27 PM

"Lucy Long" as a song appeared in 1842, authorship claimed by Billy Whitlock of the Virginia minstrels.
Later, Daniel Emmett wrote Lucy Long sketches and songs, one of them mentioning attendance at a camp meeting. I have a suspicion that Emmett, with Jenny Lind, wrote the 1854 version, using 'Lucy Long' as a pseudonym. A suspicion, no proof.

John G. McCurry edited the Social Harp. The Sacred Harp website (http://fasola.org/maps/social.html) gives 1855 as date of first publication. Social Harp
A review of the University of Georgia reprint in the "Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council" also gives the date as 1855. In other words, the minstrel song, the Know Nothing songs, and the Social Harp version (posted above from Lomax (Pullen) all came out about the same time.
I believe the minstrel song was first, but no firm evidence. The version in the Social Harp is similar to the that of the sheet music by Holland, 1854. I can't find any evidence of earlier publication. (Rounder issued a cd of Social Harp songs, including "Few Days.")

The Albert Holland song, published in 1854 by Miller & Beacham in Baltimore, has a cover which says "as sung with great applause by Christy's Minstrels, music arranged by Albert Holland," so it is another of the Christy Minstrel versions. As I posted in Oct 29 05, it seems to be the one which was revised for the Social Harp.


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Subject: Add: Few Days (Southern, patriotic)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 04:42 PM

The Know Nothing song, "Few Days, Our Country Now Is Great and Free,"
posted 24 Jan 08, was revised as a Southern patriotic song during the Civil War. Author of lyrics unknown.

ADD: FEW DAYS

1
Our country now is great and free, few days, few days;
And thus shall it ever be, we know the way;
Northern foes may gather here, few days, few days;
We will protect what we hold dear, we know the way.

Chorus-
We'll battle innovation, few days, few days;
And fight 'gainst usurpation by a cunning foe,
For our guide is freedom's banner, few days, few days;
Our guide is freedom's banner, few days.

2
The world shall see that we are true, few days, few days;
And that we know a thing or two, we know the way;
Southern boys we're hand in hand, few days, few days;
Our countless throng shall fill the land, we know the way.

3
From mountain and from valley, forth, few days, few days;
We'll go to meet the open North, we know the way;
The freedom that our fathers won, few days, few days;
Shall be defended by each son, we know the way.

4
Then shout, then shout o'er hill and plain, few days, few days;
We will our country's rights maintain, we know the way;
We'll always guard it with our might, few days, few days;
And keep it steadfast in the right, we know the way.

pp. 52-53, Francis D. Allan, ed., 1874, "Allan's Lone Star Ballads," A Collection of Southern Patriotic Songs Made During Confederate Times, Burt Franklin, New York.

A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 02:58 PM

No 'miner's version has been found. 'Diggings' in some versions refers to where the person lived (hung his hat), not to mine diggings. The word has confused some people, who related it to mining only.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Digg
From: twag
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 02:45 PM

The version of 'Few Days' that OAT (Oak Ash & Thorn, Dave Swan op cit.) perform is taken from a recording made in the early '70s by The Arkansas Sheiks, a SF Bay area string band of fond memory. The words and structure are almost identical to the entry given here in the Digitrad and cited to The Golden Ring. That's the limit of our provenance, but the sense of several lines as received would indicate that this version at least was mining specific. E.G.

These bankin' thieves I will not trust, Few Days (bis)
But with me take my little dust, ...

and

For years I've labored in cold ground...etc.


As we occasionally do, OAT has added a couple of verses to extend the the song for performance purposes--being basically too lazy and arrogant and generally in our cups to bother with actually -researching- the tune and mining true nuggets from original sources.

No, wait...where did all these variants come from in the first place?

...

Firmly rooted in the heart of the folk process, OAT (in this case Doug Olsen) have penned and performed additional verses to flesh out the limited number of verses we initially encountered, just so we could go on singing a few more verses without repeating ourselves, and to give our audience a chance to grab the choral ring on a few more passes.

Here FWIW are the additional verses from our delivery:

For two long years I've worked this claim, Few Days etc.
But I've played my last hand in this game, and I am going home.

A few more rolling years at most, Few Days...
And then I'll land on Glory's Coast, ...

and this, I believe, from the Sheiks' recording but not represented in the Digitrad:

A few more days of wind and rain, Few Days...
A few more days of suffin' pain, ....

=tew=


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 04:07 PM

The words about thieving bankers and "dust" come from the song by John A. Stone (Old Put), called "Then Hurrah For Home," which used the tune of "Few Days." It was published some 5 years after the flurry of "Few Days" variants in 1854.

See thread 105127 where all of the songs from "Put's Golden Songster," including "Then Hurrah for Home," are transcribed.
Puts Golden Songster

None of the first versions of "Few Days" mention anything about mines or miners. Stone's "Then Hurrah For Home" was the first to mention miners.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: GUEST,Lorraine
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 06:31 PM

The miners' version is on Riverside Records' "Gold Rush Songs" by Pat Foster and Dick Weissman, recorded 1958.


Well, I pitched my tent on this camp ground, few days, few days -
Gave old Satan another round, and I am going home -

Chorus: I can't stay in these digging, few days, few days,
No, I can't stay in these diggings, and I am going home.

Although I like the diggings here,
I won't stay here another year.

These banking thieves I will not trust,
But with me take my little dust.

Three years I've labored in the ground,
And now at last I'm homeward bound.


I know there are more verses but I can't remember them just now.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Few Days - I Can't Stay in These Diggins
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 07:23 PM

The Foster and Weisman version mostly is a combination of two songs: See posts of 24 Jan 08, Pullen, and 28 Jan 08, John Stone's (Old Put) song, "Then Hurrah for Home," from Put's Golden Songster, 1859.


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