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Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan)

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy (12)
Help: Song about 13 firefighters dying (3)
Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan) (5) (closed)
Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor? (10)


M Coakley 16 Jan 99 - 12:32 AM
Musicman 16 Jan 99 - 02:01 AM
M Coakley 16 Jan 99 - 01:55 PM
skw@worldmusic.de 22 Jan 99 - 08:07 AM
Sam Hudson 23 Jan 99 - 05:57 AM
rich r 23 Jan 99 - 10:23 AM
skw@worldmusic.de 23 Jan 99 - 10:48 AM
Paul G. 23 Jan 99 - 06:51 PM
Anne 23 Jan 99 - 07:52 PM
Barbara 24 Jan 99 - 01:49 AM
skw@worldmusic.de 28 Jan 99 - 04:17 AM
18 Nov 99 - 10:05 AM
Joe Offer 11 Mar 01 - 05:37 AM
Clinton Hammond 11 Mar 01 - 10:13 AM
Cluin 05 Feb 04 - 11:00 AM
mike the knife 05 Feb 04 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Henryp 05 Feb 04 - 02:55 PM
Cluin 05 Feb 04 - 03:31 PM
Cluin 05 Feb 04 - 03:43 PM
open mike 05 Feb 04 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,henryp 05 Feb 04 - 07:03 PM
open mike 14 Dec 10 - 07:58 PM
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Subject: James Keelaghan's Cold Missouri Water
From: M Coakley
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 12:32 AM

We've been trying to track down lyrics to Keelaghan's song, but this recording doesn't seem to show up on any lyrics listing sites...also recorded by Richard Shindell.

It's about wild fire fighters!

Thanks for your help.

M Coakley


Related thread:
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.CFM?threadID=15394


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: Musicman
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 02:01 AM

go to Cowpie here http://www.roughstock.com/cowpie/songs/ and do a search for Missouri. You'll find it there.

Paul


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: M Coakley
Date: 16 Jan 99 - 01:55 PM

Thanks, Paul...it's great to discover these resources...the people (like you), and the databases and sites! I got it! M


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: skw@worldmusic.de
Date: 22 Jan 99 - 08:07 AM

It's an impressive song. In the notes, Keelaghan says he got the story from a book about that particular incident. Does anyone have any more background? - Susanne


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: Sam Hudson
Date: 23 Jan 99 - 05:57 AM

The server seems to be down at the moment, but this looks as if it might be interesting:

http://www.fs.fed.us/intro/mangulch/demo.html

Regards

Sam


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: rich r
Date: 23 Jan 99 - 10:23 AM

The song is based on an incident called the Mann Gulch fire in the Helena (MT) National Forest that occurred on August 5, 1949. 16 firefighters who had parachuted in on the fire (smokejumpers) were trapped when the fire jumped the gulch and roared up the canyon at the men. 12 died directly, a 13th died the following day and only three survived. Two of the survivors reached safety by scrambling through a rock crevice to reach the ridge. The other survivor, the crew leader R. Wagner Dodge, survived by starting a fire in the tall grass of the slope they were scrambling up, jumping into the midle of the burned out are, covering his face with a wet cloth and droppin to the ground. He attempted to get others to join him in the "fire circle" but was ignored. The Mann Gulch fire has been extensivley studied and analyzed by the fire fighting community. Dodge's "escape" technique is now taught as an emergency procedure with the addtion of a heat reflective fire shelter blanket that wildfire fighters cary as standard equipment. Keelaghan based his song on the reading of the book "Young Men and Fire" by Norman Maclean (1992, Univ Chicago Press). Maclean is best know for his book "A River Runs Through It" which was a popular movie a few years ago. In addition to the book, a wealth of information can be found at the Wildfire Magazine web site (www.wildfiremagazine.com). Scroll down the left to their search function, type in "mann gulch" and you will get links to a number of articles including an excerpt of Maclean's book. In 1994, 14 firefighters were killed in Colorado's South Canyon fire (aka Storm King Mountain) under circumstances that were eeriely similar to Mann Gulch. Am important aspect of both was the breakdown of group organization and cohesion in time of sever stress (panic). Searching "south canyon" at the same web site brings up numerous articles related to that tragedy as well.

rich r


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: skw@worldmusic.de
Date: 23 Jan 99 - 10:48 AM

You are absolutely fantastic! Thanks, Sam and Rich! Susanne


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: Paul G.
Date: 23 Jan 99 - 06:51 PM

I had never heard this tune until I stumbled across "Cry Cry Cry", the recently released collaboration among Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell. What an incredible song! I get a lump in my throat at every listening. The lyrics happen to be included in the CD insert, which, along with the other great tunes is another reason to go out and buy it. Highly recommended.

By the way, I'm new to this list, having just found it. Great resource with obviously well informed members.

Best,

Paul G.


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: Anne
Date: 23 Jan 99 - 07:52 PM

David Massengill also does a song based on this same book and incident, but I don't remember if it's Keelaghan's song or another one written by Massengill. It gave me chills when David performed it at The Sounding Board last year. Anne


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: Barbara
Date: 24 Jan 99 - 01:49 AM

I happened into a closeout at Artichoke music in Portland today. They were getting rid of the rest of their CDs and tapes CD's 2/$5 and tapes $.50.
In the pile was James Keelaghan/A Recent Future with this song on it. It's now in my pile.
Of the song, he says "This song is inspired by Norman McLean's book Ypung Men and Fire about the Mann Gulch Fire, August, 1949. While reading, I kept coming back to the image of Dodge, who survived the inferno, dying of Hodgkin's disease. Fate, which had saved him at 33, took him at 38."
If you still need words for this or the rest, let me know. They're in the liner notes.
Blessings,
Barbara, happily listening to her new $25 pile of CDs.


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: skw@worldmusic.de
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 04:17 AM

Congratulations, Barbara!

Keelaghan certainly has the knack of writing songs. Admittedly, I do find some of his stuff gets too close to pop for my taste, the tunes too sweet, the words too repetitive ... and then he comes out with something like Kiri's Piano, or Abraham, or Glory Bound, all of which bring a lump to my throat, the last one in particular.

I remember a night at the Tonder Festival in Denmark when he did Follow Me Up To Carlow with incredible energy. The song's never been the same for me since! - Susanne


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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From:
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 10:05 AM

Refresh in connection with related thread.

There seems a slight variation on how many died at the scene vs in the hospital. A minor point and perhaps one of the two was alive when rescuers got there but never made to the hospital, so one source listed him as dead at the scene and another considered him an initial survivor.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: COLD MISSOURI WATERS (J Keelaghan)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 05:37 AM

COLD MISSOURI WATERS
(James Keelaghan)

D                              Bm
My name is Dodge but then you know that
    G                                 D                      A

It's written on the chart there at the foot end of the of the bed
    D                            Bm
They think I'm blind that I can't read it
    G                            D               A
I've read it every word and every word it says is death
   Bm                      G               D
So confession Is that the reason that you came
       Bm                   G                A

Get it off my chest before I check out of the game
          Bm                      G                   D
Since you mention it well there's thirteen things I'll name
Em       Em/F#       G             A            Bm
Thirteen crosses high above the cold Missouri waters
D               Bm
August 49 North Montana
    G                         D             A
The hottest day on record the forest tinder dry
          D                Bm
Lightning strikes in the mountains
      G
I was crew chief at the jump base
D                     A
I prepared the boys to fly
         Bm         G            D
Pick the drop zone C47 comes in low
         Bm            G                  A
Feel the tap upon your leg that tells you go
         Bm          G         D
See the circle of the fire down below
Em      Em/F# G                A             Bm
Fifteen of us dropped above the cold Missouri waters
          D             Bm
Gauged the fire I'd seen bigger
    G                              D             A
So I ordered them to side hill we'd fight it from below
    D                      Bm
We'd have our backs to the river
             G                      D             A
We'd have it licked by morning even if we took it slow
       Bm                      G          D
But the fire crowned jumped the valley just ahead
          Bm                G               A
There was no way down headed for the ridge instead
    Bm                           G                D
Too big to fight it we'd have to fight that slope instead
Em    Em/F#    G                A             Bm
Flames one step behind above the cold Missouri waters
       D                   Bm
Sky had turned red smoke was boiling
    G
Two hundred yards to saftey
          D               A
Death was fifty yards behind
       D               Bm
I don't know why I just thought it
G                                  D             A
I struck a match to waist high grass running out of time
         Bm             G                   D      
Tried to tell them step into this fire I've set
         Bm                  G                  A
We can't make it this is the only chance you'll get
         Bm
But they cursed me
            G            D
Ran for the rocks above instead
Em    Em/F#         G                A             Bm
I lay face down and prayed above the cold Missouri waters
    D                   Bm
Then when I rose like the phoenix
       G
In that world reduced to ashes
          D               A
There was none but two survived
D                            Bm
I stayed that night and one day after
       G
Carried bodies to the river
          D            A
Wondering how I stayed alive
          Bm             G                   D
Thirteen stations of the cross to mark their fall
    Bm             G                   A                        
I've had my say I'll confess to nothing more
    Bm                            G            D
I'll join them now those that they left me long before
Em       Em/F#   G             A             Bm
Thirteen crosses high above the cold Missouri waters



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Subject: RE: James Keelaghan's
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 10:13 AM

Interesting chords Joe... I myself find it much easier to play it how James does... capoed 4th fret and out of the G position... maybe it's 3rd fret... I forget right now... wonderful song though... I get a lot of miles out of it...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan)
From: Cluin
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 11:00 AM

Myself, I do this one in C, no capo, moi.

Same chord changes as above (just transposed down a tone to C), except that I end each verse on the tonic chord C rather than the VI minor chord (Am) shown above.

So, in the key shown above, it would be:


Em       Em/F#   G             A             D
Thirteen crosses high above the cold Missouri waters


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan)
From: mike the knife
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 11:14 AM

When I first got the Cry Cry Cry CD, I popped it on after dinner while knocking out the dishes & cleaning up the kitchen. When that song came on, I was leaning on the sink w/ tears in my eyes- caught me totally by surprise. I was a volunteer firefighter briefly & some of the best & finest people I have ever known are 'First Responders'. Takes a special breed to do that type of job.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan)
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 02:55 PM

Isn't there irony here too? There was doubt about how Dodge alone had survived and I understood that he was accused of deserting his crew and leaving them to die. Now his unorthodox procedure is part of fire fighters' training.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan)
From: Cluin
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 03:31 PM

I'd suggest you read the book "Young Men and Fire" by Norman Maclean. The book the song was based on. It's a great read. Try your local library.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan)
From: Cluin
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 03:43 PM

By the way, there were 4 left alive after the fire went past. Dodge, who survived because of his backfire gamble, Sallee and Rumsey who made it to the ridge and through a rock cleft just in time, and Sylvia who was badly burned, found by Dodge. Sylvia died on the way to the hospital.

Dodge died 5 years later from Hodgkins Disease. Rumsey died in a plane crash in 1980 or so. Sallee is still alive and living in Spokane.

That's what I remember from the book.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan
From: open mike
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 06:56 PM

I am a volunteer firefighter, EMT, first responder, and have been for
nearly 15 years. Norman Maclean's son John, has written a book about the Storm King Mt. disaster in Colorado where 14 fire fighters died.
Many of them were from the Prineville Hotshots in Oregon. John also has been leading fire fighter safety classes based on what he has learned from researching that book. There is a T.V. documentary
called Fire On The Mountain based on his book and historical fires
which have caused damage and death throughout the years.
This song always tugs at my heart strings,
as does the one that Tom Paxton wrote honoring the fire fighters who perished while attempting to rescue victims from the Trade Towers,
the Bravest.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 07:03 PM

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service
Intermountain Research Station General Technical Report INT-GTR-299

"The Mann Gulch fire, which overran 16 firefighters in 1949, is analyzed to show its probable movement with respect to the crew. The firefighters were smokejumpers who had parachuted near the fire on August 5, 1949. While they were moving to a safer location, the fire blocked their route. Three survived, the foreman who ignited an escape fire into which he tried to move his crew, and two firefighters who found a route to safety. Considerable controversy has centered around the probable behavior of the fire and the actions of the crew members and their foreman."

Dodge survived on his own, that is, away from the other survivors. The accusation against Dodge was that the escape fire which he lit, and which could have saved his whole crew, instead overran them. In other words, he saved himself at the cost of his crew. Dodge was clearly correct to think that his action could save them all, and it appears that he was not to blame for their deaths. Keelaghan's song makes no judgement;
"I've had my say, I'll confess to nothing more
I'll join them now, because they left me long before"
It lets you make up your own mind; that's what a great song allows you to do.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan)
From: open mike
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 07:58 PM

Norman McLean's wrote other books beside Young Men and Fire
One was A River Runs Through It....also made into a movie..


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