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Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...

GUEST,Mekon 13 May 06 - 01:59 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 May 06 - 02:08 AM
Peace 13 May 06 - 02:11 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 May 06 - 02:19 AM
GUEST,Mekon 13 May 06 - 02:20 AM
Peace 13 May 06 - 02:31 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 May 06 - 02:42 AM
Joe Offer 14 May 06 - 12:45 AM
GUEST,Mekon 14 May 06 - 03:15 PM
dick greenhaus 14 May 06 - 05:41 PM
Azizi 14 May 06 - 06:06 PM
The Fooles Troupe 14 May 06 - 06:21 PM
The Fooles Troupe 14 May 06 - 06:24 PM
Azizi 14 May 06 - 06:30 PM
Bob Bolton 14 May 06 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,mg 14 May 06 - 11:36 PM
SussexCarole 15 May 06 - 10:59 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 May 06 - 12:30 AM
Bob Bolton 16 May 06 - 01:03 AM
Bob Bolton 16 May 06 - 06:13 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 May 06 - 06:26 AM
Azizi 16 May 06 - 06:38 AM
Jim Dixon 18 May 06 - 07:49 AM
Bob Bolton 18 May 06 - 09:49 AM
Azizi 18 May 06 - 10:53 AM
The Fooles Troupe 18 May 06 - 11:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 May 06 - 01:48 AM
The Fooles Troupe 19 May 06 - 07:32 AM
Goose Gander 19 May 06 - 02:21 PM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 19 May 06 - 03:05 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 May 06 - 05:47 PM
Jim Dixon 19 May 06 - 06:44 PM
Azizi 19 May 06 - 08:01 PM
Azizi 19 May 06 - 08:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 May 06 - 10:34 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: GUEST,Mekon
Date: 13 May 06 - 01:59 AM

Does any know what song 'Oh when I die, don't bury me at all (or my bones), Soak them all in alcohol.

When I've googled it it comes up with Old Brown Jug but the rest of the lyrics didn't seem right..it was something that one of my family sang when I was little and would love to find the song.....

Any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 May 06 - 02:08 AM

Oh when I die, don't bury me at all,
Just pickle my bones - in alcohol!
Put a bottle o' beer, at my head and my feet,
And then I know (all in harmony now!) MY BONES WILL KEEP!

(group harmony response - with last note held)
My bones will keep!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Peace
Date: 13 May 06 - 02:11 AM

Are you thinking of "You Can't Get to Heaven"?

Try
this and see.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 May 06 - 02:19 AM

What I posted came as an entity from one of the Australian "Allens Books" from about 1930/40s vintage, don't ask me where it is now... My parents played from it in their families then - I have both the Red & the Blue Books (not that kind of blue - just the cover colours!) packed away in Family Treasures storage somewhere...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: GUEST,Mekon
Date: 13 May 06 - 02:20 AM

I've never heard you Can't get to Heaven sung with those words as well!

Foolestroupe do you know the name of the song or is that what's just sung?


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Subject: Lyr Add: TUMBLIN' GAP (from Brad Leftwich)
From: Peace
Date: 13 May 06 - 02:31 AM

"Tumblin Gap" uses a stanza much like that given by Foolestroupe.

Tumblin Gap From Brad Leftwich Round Peak Clawhammer Banjo Book. Key E or D. According to Brad Leftwich on newsgroup, round peak banjo players liked E for this but this makes fiddle player play in BEBE, rather than the safer ADAD!



I'm going back to Tumblin Gap
To see my granny and my grandpap

I'll save my money and I'll buy me a farm
And raise sweet taters as long as your arm
Long as your arm, long as your arm
I'll raise sweet taters as long as your arm

Old Aunt Kate, Old Aunt Sal
Old maid's sure got a pretty little gal
Pretty little gal, pretty little gal
Old maid's sure got a pretty little gal

Old Aunt Kate if you don't care
Leave my demijohn sitting right there
And if it ain't there when I get back
I'll raise hell (or "sand") in Tumblin Gap

I'll lay down and take a little nap
Wake up sober in the Tumblin Gap
Tumblin Gap, Tumblin Gap
Wake up sober in the Tumblin Gap

Now when I die, don't bury me at all
Just pickle my bones in alcohol
Lay my hands on top of my chest
And tell them pretty gal's I've gone to rest


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 May 06 - 02:42 AM

Mekon,

That's all she wrote!

It was used as a 'filler' at the bottom of a page where a song ran over from the previous page. I can recall no attribution, other than the musical arranger. It was deemed 'Trad' I think....

There were several such snippets in the books to act as 'fillers'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 May 06 - 12:45 AM

Hi, Mekon - the line you cite is a common one. Can you give us any more of the song?
I was thinking it could be A Rake and a Rambling Boy.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: GUEST,Mekon
Date: 14 May 06 - 03:15 PM

Hi, thank you all!! I don't know anyother lines but i'm going to look into those songs! I know what to do now in future when I don't know a song!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 May 06 - 05:41 PM

Wasn't that "Cumberland" Gap?


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN MY WIFE DIES (from Thomas W. Talley)
From: Azizi
Date: 14 May 06 - 06:06 PM

See the second verse of this song for another version of the "when I die" line and see the fourth verse of the same rhyme for a "pickle my bones with alcohol" line:

WHEN MY WIFE DIES
W'en my wife dies, gwineter git me anudder one;
A big fat yaller one, jes lak de yudder one.
I'll hate mighty bad, w'en she's been gone
Hasn't no better 'oman never nowhars been bo'n.

W'en I comes to die, you mus'n bury me deep.
But pit Sogrum mollasses close to my feet.
Put a pone a' co'n bread way down in my han'
Gwineter sop on de way to de Promus Lan'.

W'en I goes to die, Nobody mus'n cry,
Msu'n dress up in black, fer I mought come back.
But w'en I'se beed dead. an' almos' forgotten;:
You mought think about me an' keep on a-trottin'.

Really, we'en I'se been dead, you needin' bury me at tall.
You mought pickle my bones down in alkihall;
Den fold my han's "so", right across my breas':
An' go an' tell de folks I'se done gone to "res".

Source: Thomas W. Talley: "Negro Folk Rhymes" {Kennikat Press Edition, 1968, p. 26; originally published by The Macmillan Company, 1922}

The song makes reference to some 18th century [and earlier] African American burial customs that have their origins in Africa. I'm particularly referring to the 2nd verse, and also the fourth verse's reference to folding the deceased person's hands "just so". I'm wondering if the "pickling the bones in alcohol" was a way of preparing the body prior to burial.

Of course, the first verse's lyrics "A big fat yaller one, jes lak de yudder one" is a referent to some African American skin color preferences for "yallar" [light skinned Black] women.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 May 06 - 06:21 PM

Nelson was packed in brandy to bring his body back for a State Funeral. Normally sailors were buried at sea, for obvious reasons.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 May 06 - 06:24 PM

... a good one being that the sailors obviously preferred to drink the brandy...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Azizi
Date: 14 May 06 - 06:30 PM

The "when I die" lines and other old religious and secular songs live on in military cadences {Jodies} and children's rhymes.

I vaguely remember snatches of a children's rhyme that goes:
When I die just bury this deep
Way down yonder on Mulberry street
????

-snip-

I might be mistaken about this as a children's rhyme. I'd be interested in knowing whether anyone else remembers it as such.

However, the "when I die..bury me deep" lines are found in some military cadences such as this example"

C-130

C-130 rolling down the strip
Airborne daddy on a one way trip
Mission uncertain, destination unknown
We don't know if we're ever coming home
Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door
Jump right out and count to four
If my main don't open wide
I got another one by my side
If that one should fail me too
Look out ground I'm coming through
Slip to the right and slip to the left
Slip on down, do a PLF
Hit the drop zone with my feet apart
Legs in my stomach and feet in my heart
If I die on the old drop zone
Box me up and ship me home
Pin my wings upon my chest
Bury me in the leaning rest
If I die in the Spanish Moors
Bury me deep with a case of Coors
If I die in Korean mud
Bury me deep with a case of Bud
If I die in a firefight
Bury me deep with a case of Lite
If I die in a German blitz
Bury me deep with a case of Schlitz
If I die, don't bring me back
Just bury me with a case of Jack

-snip-

"US Army running cadence, named after the C-130 Hercules.
The cadence is simply called C-130, and has to do with jumping out of a perfectly good airplane."

Online source:
http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node=C-130


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 May 06 - 09:27 PM

G'day Mekon and Foolestroupe,

Similar words to the stanza Foolestroupe quoted were submitted to a Bush Music Club magazine ... more likely to Mulga Wire than the earlier Singabout ... and, thus, probably during the 1980s ... by collector Alan Scott.

I'll see if I can dig them out, before heading off to tonight's Music Session at the BMC's "Tritton Hall", and drop them into this thread.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 May 06 - 11:36 PM

It is also in cotton mill girls..I think..now I forget the words..if I die don't bury me at all...and put me up on the spinning room wall???not a verse I sing to it... mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: SussexCarole
Date: 15 May 06 - 10:59 AM

Cannery Shed (Stella) - Mary Garvey

...."Don't bury my bones but put me instead
In a can in the Cannery Shed"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 May 06 - 12:30 AM

Bob Bolton,

I suspect that the "Allens" Books which were VERY popular at the time they came out may partly be responsible for the fact that many Aussies seem to know, or have heard the fragment I quoted. What interests ME is where _they_ "pinched" it from - the book came out in "International" copyright format - the company had offices in Australia, Great Britain and USA to deal with "copyright issues" at that time - something quite common with much printed sheet music available in the English speaking world at that time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 16 May 06 - 01:03 AM

G'day Robin (Foolestroupe),

The (Allens ... ?) Community Songbooks - red & blue - were certainly popular. I'm sure there were a lot of items directly lifted from overseas sources "affiliated" with the Australian publisher.

I didn't get around to lifting the Alan Scott collected version last night ... too much organising to get my Monday Night Session mob together to play for a dance in 3 weeks! (And I'm trying to get my hear around all the music for the Bush Music Club Heritage Ball in less than a fortnight!). I will dig out Alan's item tonight (XX/ \XX) ... and I find the Community Songbooks - to see what they have to say about sources.

One copy, now in my collection, is from my Dad (who drew on it extensively when he helped put together the first Australian Scout Song Book) ... and the other belonged to Patricia's Grandfather - for singaround songs after Choir practice at St John's C of E, New Town, Tasmania.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 16 May 06 - 06:13 AM

G'day again,

The words and tune to the Australian version appear to be from Alan Scott's own recollections ... and were included in a letter to the Singabout section of Mulga Wire #32, August 1982. On page 8, lan writes:

"I can't remember when or from whom I learnt these words. My tune is slightly different to the one reported by Ralph Pride*: the pattern of the music is interesting in that the held notes last longer than the beats in between. The only other tune I can think of where that happens is 'When the Saints go marching In'."

* I can't spot where Ralph Pride's tune is ... indeed, I can't see it in the index ... so it may not have been published in Singabout.

Oh, When I Die

Oh, when I die, don't bury me at all,
Just pickle my bones in alcohol -
Put a hand grenade, at my head and feet,
And then I know, my bones will keep.

(Tune in Alan of Oz's "No Longer Supported by Mudcat" MIDItext format. Well, if you don't have MIDItext ... you can read the ABC format- or extract it run it through an ABC to music notation program.)


MIDI file: whenidie.mid


Timebase: 240


TimeSig: 4/4 24 8

Tempo: 128 (468750 microsec/crotchet)

Start

0240 1 62 080 0192 0 62 064 0048 1 64 080 0192 0 64 064 0048 1 59 080 0192 0 59 064 0048 1 62 080 1152 0 62 064 0048 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 69 080 0096 0 69 064 0024 1 69 080 0096 0 69 064 0024 1 67 080 0096 0 67 064 0024 1 67 080 0096 0 67 064 0024 1 64 080 1152 0 64 064 0048 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 66 080 0096 0 66 064 0024 1 66 080 0096 0 66 064 0024 1 65 080 0192 0 65 064 0048 1 66 080 1152 0 66 064 0048 1 62 080 0192 0 62 064 0048 1 64 080 0192 0 64 064 0048 1 59 080 0192 0 59 064 0048 1 62 080 1152 0 62 064 0048 1 62 080 0096 0 62 064 0024 1 62 080 0096 0 62 064 0024 1 64 080 0192 0 64 064 0048 1 59 080 0192 0 59 064 0048 1 62 080 1152 0 62 064 0048 1 67 080 0096 0 67 064 0024 1 67 080 0096 0 67 064 0024 1 69 080 0225 0 69 064 0015 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 64 080 1152 0 64 064 0048 1 67 080 0192 0 67 064 0048 1 66 080 0192 0 66 064 0048 1 65 080 0192 0 65 064 0048 1 66 080 1152 0 66 064 0048 1 62 080 0192 0 62 064 0048 1 64 080 0192 0 64 064 0048 1 66 080 0192 0 66 064 0048 1 67 080 0768 0 67 064

End


This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here


ABC format:


X:1

T:

M:4/4

Q:1/4=128

K:C

D4E2B,2|D8|-D2G2AAGG|E8|-E2G2^F^FF2|^F8|-^F2D2E2B,2|

D8|-D2DDE2B,2|D8|-D2GGA2G2|E8|-E2G2^F2F2|

^F8|-^F2D2E2^F2|G13/2||



Bob Bolton Note:

Alan would still have been in junior high school at the end of WW II ... so the military flavour suggested by the " ... hand grenade at my head and feet ... " line may suggest he learned it from one of his older brothers - perhaps Bill Scott (another folklorist / collector ... inter alia).

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 May 06 - 06:26 AM

The books I mentioned were being used by my father to play at music gatherings at my (then to be) mum's house - he was in the military - as the books were popular in Oz during WWII, I would not be surprised that parodies of the song existed referring to military things ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Azizi
Date: 16 May 06 - 06:38 AM

Has anyone found a source for the "When I die bury me etc" songs earlier than Tally's 1922 "Negro Folk Rhymes"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 May 06 - 07:49 AM

Elizabeth Cotten's song FREIGHT TRAIN contains the words

When I die, please bury me deep
Down at the end of Chestnut Street
So I can hear old Number Nine
As she goes rolling by.

Now, how can we establish a date for that song? She was born in 1895, and this biography says she wrote FREIGHT TRAIN at about the age of 12, but I don't know how reliable that is.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 18 May 06 - 09:49 AM

G'day again,

Hmmm ... no wonder I had trouble finding Alan Scott's reference to "...the one [tune] reported by Ralph Pride ...". It was 18 issues (3 years!) earlier. This is the entry in Ron Edwards' Australian Folk Song - An index of Australian Folk Song 1788 - 2000.

The "When I Die" verses have mysteriously lodged at the end of a version of Two Black Crows!

Bob

4a. Mulga Wire No. 14 page 57, August 1979, title TWO BLACK CROWS (see below).
Collected by Mary Williams from Brooke Herdon, Dungowan (near Tamworth) NSW c.1979. The informant used to pull up his trouser legs to sing, and the item is also a little curious, starting off with a
verse usually associated with THE SUNDAY SCHOOL SONG, then going into the CROWS song, a version in which a farmer shoots the crows, and finally ending with WHEN I DIE.

TWO BLACK CROWS

When Moses was a little child,
He floated down the river Nile.
And pharaoh's daughter espied him there,
A-playing with his teddy bear.

And two black crows sat on a tree,
They were as black as black could be.
Said one black crow to the other black crow,
"A donkey's tail is tough you know".

So they flew away to yonder lane,
And there they spied a donkey slain.
They settled down on his bare backbone,
And picked his eyes out one by one.

Then up came the Cocky and with his gun,
He shot those crows except for one.
He flew away to a tall gum tree,
And said "Oh Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, you can't shoot me.

The Cocky said you ne'er can tell,
And blew the crow right in to hell.
The crow he said on his dying vow,
You've got me now you Cocky cow.

So goodbye booze for ever more,
My boozing days are gone for sure.
And when I die don't bury me at all,
Just pickle my bones in alcohol.
Put a bottle of booze at my head and feet,
To show a boozer, boozer, boozer, lies beneath.

(These notes came with the song above)
This contribution was collected at Dungowan near Tamworth (Country music capital) by Mary Williams who hails from that district. It was sung at the Dungowan pub by Brooke Herdon, who refused to give Mary a copy of the words, on the grounds that the song had to be sung properly.

Not to be daunted, Mary learned the words by rote during the course of many evenings at the pub, although she doesn't seemed to have copied Brooke's habit of rolling up his trouser legs to sing. Mary comments that the last time she was at the pub Brooke declined to sing, the comment "it's a bit draughty for him to sing it" was heard.

Ralph Pride
Version 4. The above comes from Mulga Wire 1979 page S7.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Azizi
Date: 18 May 06 - 10:53 AM

Thanks for linking to that information about Elizabeth Cotten.

Fisk University of Professor Thomas W. Talley wrote in his introduction to "Negro Folk Rhymes" that many of the songs included in that book were quite old. Some were from his Southern [African American]childhood, some were from the recollections of his Fisk University students, and others were from other African Americans he and they knew.

Given the fact that [African American] Elizabeth Cotton included that "when I die, please bury me deep" line in a song she wrote in about 1907, it's likely that this line had been floating around for some time among African Americans and probably other Americans.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 May 06 - 11:21 PM

"it's a bit draughty for him to sing it"

ROFL - I'd really loved to have met that guy - love his sense of humour. I also LOVE his sense of theatre, as he realised THE PEFORMANCE was a sunstantial part of 'the theatre'. And his mates obviously understood too!

Probably he was trying to jealously guard his material from that 'thieving collector devil' too.... :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 May 06 - 01:48 AM

This was one verse of a song we sang in school, the last line of each verse being- 'and all my sins are taken away.' We sang it as part of "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane," obviously a crossover from "You Can't Get to heaven."

This seems to trace back to-
"As I Went Down in the Valley to Pray"

As I went down in the valley to pray,
As I went down in the valley to pray,
My soul got happy and I stayed all day,
All my sins are taken away.

Brown, North Carolina Folklore, no. 551.

The Traditional Ballad Index notes the sharing of words with "Hand Me Down..." Brown no. 363.

Azizi, much the same tune is used for "Three Links of Chain." I can only guess that versions may be quite old. In African-American folk songs, 1895 is the earliest I can find in my references.

Sis Mary wore three links of chain
Sis Mary wore three links of chain
Sis Mary wore three links of chain,
Glory, glory to his name,
All my sins been taken away.

O! you oughter been there when I come through,*
O! You oughter been there when I come through,
O! You oughter been there when I come through,
I believe to my soul you'd er shouted too,
All my sins been taken away, taken away.
* "Coming through" represents the spiritual ferment preceding shouting, and comes from the early Methodist and Baptist preachers. White, p. 60 (see below).

From another version-

Going to hev'en on the morning train (2x)
All don't hear me'll hear me sing,
All my sins done taken away, taken away.

Newman I. White, American Negro Folk Songs, verses collected 1915-1916. White mentions a spiritual printed in Century Magazine, August, 1899.
From the Bahamas, Edwards reported the song from 1895- 1st verse:

Sister Mary wore three links of chain (3x)
All my sins been taken away, taken away
(also quoted in White)

The 'hands must be crossed just so' applies in some white burials, and the way the hands were crossed separates royal mummies from others in ancient Egyptian burial. This seems to have significance in many cultures.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 May 06 - 07:32 AM

If you don't cross the hands neatly over the chest, they sorta dangle messily down the side of the body, and are less 'stable' when moving the body around.

Grisly - but true!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 19 May 06 - 02:21 PM

WHEN I DIE

(A. From East Tennessee; mountain whites; recitation of F. Le Tellier; 1907.)

When I die, don' bury me a tall
But soak my body in alcohol.

When I die, bury me deep
En put a quart u' licker at my head en feet.

When I die, don' bury me a tall
But take me down to Bowery Hall
Take off my coat en open my vest
En tell all the girls I'm gone to rest.

(B. From Mississippi; negros; MS. of Mr. Harrison; 1909)

When I die don't bury me at all
Preserve my bones in alcohol
Fold my arms across my breast
Natural born . . . gone to rest.

Natural born . . . don't have to work
Carry a recommedation on the tail of my shirt.

(C. From Mississippi; negros; MS. of W.G. Pitts; 1909)

When I die, bury me deep
Tell all the gamblers that I've gone to sleep
Put a pair of bones in my right hand
And I'll throw seven in the promised land.

As printed by E.C. Perrow in 'Songs and Rhymes from the South,' The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 28, No. 108 (April 1915), p. 130.

Perrow remarks that the 'when I die' motif is "illustrative of the popular tendency to make a 'last will and testament.'" (IBID., p.130)

The instruction in A reminds me of the whiskey and porter placed at the feet and head of the dead guy in 'Finnegan's Wake'.

ROUD #27


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 19 May 06 - 02:36 PM

Sorry, that should have been ROUD #727

This seems to be the closest in the Ballad Index....

Pickle My Bones in Alcohol
DESCRIPTION: A dying request, with the verse, "When I die don't bury me at all... Just pickle my bones in alcohol" (or, sometimes, corn pone). The rest of the song varies widely, usually with other requests for the burial; it may also have blues floating verses
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1952 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: drink burial floatingverses
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
BrownIII 38, "Pickle My Bones in Alcohol" (1 relatively full text, 3 fragments plus mention of 2 more)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Hard Times in the Mill (I)" (floating lyrics)
File: Br3038
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2006 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 May 06 - 03:05 PM

Many suitable verses are listed as 'upstart crows" by N. I. White. Perrow (posted by Michael Morris) is the other good source.

One that seems to go back to slavery days, from the "I went down to the valley" group-
I went to the ribber but I didn't go to stay,
But I got so drunk I couldn't get away,
My marster axed me whar I'd been,
And the way he hit me was a sin.

Gang laborers songs:

When I die, bury me deep,
Place a jug of 'lasses at my feet,
Give me a few biscuits in my hand,
And I'll sop my way to the promised land.
Alabama, 1915-1916

If I die in de state of Arkunsaw,
Ship my bones back to my mudder-in-law,
but
If I die in de state of Kentuckee,
Just trow me in de ribber, let de fish make a meal of me.
Alabama, 1915-1916, and heard in New Orleans, tune "Jogo Blues."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 May 06 - 05:47 PM

Looks like The BALLAD INDEX needs to be updated with the Allans reference...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 May 06 - 06:44 PM

Several songs at Levy Sheet Music Collection contain the phrase "bury me" or "bury me not."

Interestingly, they do not contain the phrase, "When I die" (which is surely implied!)?at least not in the lines that are quoted.

I have a couple of highly speculative ideas about this: (1) We might be dealing with 2 separate traditions here, one with, and one without, the phrase "when I die." Is the "when I die" version particularly associated with African-Americans? (2) "When I die" seems to be absent in songs about situations where death is imminent. When it is used, it seems to suggest that death is more remote. In the Victorian era, white Americans, in particular, seem to be obsessed with death, and were fond of tear-jerker songs about dying people. Black people don't seem to figure in these songs at all. At the same time, those same white Americans were fond of comical "coon songs"?but I can't think of a "coon song" that treats death in a serious or imminent way.

Maybe the "when I die" songs are authentically African-American (even if published by whites) and the "when I die" phrase is meant to put death at arm's length, so to speak, so it can be treated jocularly.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm over-generalizing here?.

THE SAILOR BOY'S GRAVE
J. Martin, Esqr. (of Clifton).
1841.
First Line: "Oh bury me not in the dark cold grave With the rank weeds growing o'er me"

THE OCEAN BURIAL
George N. Allen.
1850.
First Line: "O! bury me not in the deep, deep sea, the words came low and mournfully"

BURY ME IN THE VALLEY
Poetry by Mrs. Cordelia H. Turner. Music by S. Laurence.
1861.
First Line of Chorus: "Bury me in the valley, beside the rippling stream"

BURY ME IN THE MORNING, MOTHER
Stephen C. Foster.
1862.
First Line of Chorus: "Bury me in the morning, And mourn not at my loss"

THE DYING SOLDIER. DO NOT BUREY [SIC] ME HERE!
"Air: Dearest May." [words] By E. Walter Lowe
No date.
First Line: "Oh! bury me not 'neath foreign skies"
First Line of Chorus: "Oh! do not bury me here"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Azizi
Date: 19 May 06 - 08:01 PM

"when I die" phrase is meant to put death at arm's length, so to speak, so it can be treated jocularly".

Maybe so. But I still think that these lines have their origin in burial customs. I'm sure that I've read print and/or online accounts of [African people and perhaps-though I'm not sure] also enslaved Black people having bowels and cups and even some food buried with them. Here's an account of the documented practice of Black folks placing objects on top of the grave site [which may or may not be for the same reasons as burying objects with the deceased].

http://www.sciway.net/hist/chicora/gravematters-1.html

****
Also, there are other floating verses from 19th Black dance songs that reflect the fact that violent, sudden death was a constant possibility for Black people during those times. One line that I've seen in a number of these song is "if I live to see next fall"

Here's one example:

SUSAN JANE
I know somebody's got my Lover;
Susan Jane! Susan Jane!
Oh, cain't you tell mel here me find'er?
Susan Jane! Susan Jane!

If I lives to see nex' Fall;
Susan Jane! Susan Jane!
I hain't gwineter sow no wheat at all.
Susan Jane! Susan Jane!

"Way down yon'er in de middle o' de branch;
Susan Jane! Susan Jane!
De ole cow pat an' de buzzards dance.
Susan Jane! Susan Jane!

Source: Thomas W. Talley "Negro Folk Rhymes" {Kennikat Press Edition, 1968; p. 77; originally published in 1922}


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Azizi
Date: 19 May 06 - 08:41 PM

I appreciate the fact, Jim, that you said that you were speculating about the possibility that the "when I die" phrase and [here I'm expanding what you wrote] other songs by Black people of that time about death, were "meant to put death at arm's length, so to speak, so it can be treated jocularly".

But if that was so, I don't think that is all there was to it.

Could it [also] be that lyrics that reflected a resignation about the possibility of death "nex' fall" or lyrics that spoke about death lightly were a way of saying that not even death was going to conquer their spirits?

See this song that I think is pertinent to this discussion-though it doesn't include the "Oh when I die" line.

I'LL EAT WHEN I'M HUNGRY

I'll eat when I'se hongry,
An' I'll drink when I'se dry;
An' if de whitefolks don't kill me,
I'll live till I die.

In my liddle log cabin,
Ever since I's been born;
Dere hain't been no nothin'
"Cept dat hard salt parch corn.

But I knows whar's a hen house,
An' de tucky he charve;
And ' if ole Mosser don't kill me,
I cain't never starve.

-Source: Talley, "Negro Folk Songs" {p. 114}

Though some might view this singer as being resigned to his {or her} fate whatever it would be, it seems to me that he or she was also singing strength.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 May 06 - 10:34 PM

As stated by Talley, "I'll Eat When I'm Hungry" belongs with the large group "Rye Whiskey," Gambling Man," "Jack o' Diamonds," and also shares verses with "Rebel Soldier" and "Molly, Oh Molly." Many of the verses are floaters. Some date to the Civil War period, and the general form of the song goes back to England. There are threads on these songs here at Mudcat.

Here are some of the verses to versions of "Rye Whiskey," from Randolph, Ozark Folk Songs, vol. 3, no. 405 A-F:

I'll eat when I'm hungry,
An' drink when I'm dry.
If drinkin' don't kill me,
I'll live till I die.

I used to drink bourbon,
But now I drink rye,
If the Injuns don't kill me,
I'll live till I die.

Same group, title "Way Out on Clinch Mountain:

Way out on Clinch Mountain,
And alone, all alone,
As drunk as old Satan
And I've nowhere to go.

Oh Molly, Oh Molly,
I've told you before,
Just make me a shake-down,
I'll sleep on the floor.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 19 May 06 - 11:14 PM

ROCKIN' BONES

I wanna leave a happy memory when I go
I wanna leave something to let the whole world know
That the rock and roll daddy has done passed on
But the bones keep rockin' long after I'm gone

Rock On! (4x)
Still a lotta rythym in these rockin' bones

When I die bury me six feet deep
With a rock and roll record at my feet
A phonograph needle in my hand
I wanna rock my way right out of this land

Rock On . . . .

When I die don't bury me at all
Nail my bones upon the wall
Beneath these bones let these words be seen
"The running gears of a boppin' machine"

Rock On . . . .

Sung by rockabilly great Ronnie Dawson on 'Rocking Bones' LP (No Hit Records); song originally released on a Rockin' Records 45 with b-side 'Congratulations to Me' (Rockin' #1), 1959.

It's a 12-bar blue beat on the choruses and it hangs on a low E-seventh for the verses.

Great performer, too bad he's gone.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 19 May 06 - 11:41 PM

Hear Ronnie Dawson sing "Rockin' Bones" and other songs courtesy of The Hound on WFMU (scroll down).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 19 May 06 - 11:42 PM

No idea where I got it but,

"When I die, don't bury my bones,
Just send them off to Davy Jones."


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Subject: Lry. and origin: When I Die
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 25 Nov 06 - 08:44 AM

Hi,

Here are some lyrics for 'When I die' collected by Perrow in the early 1900's. I see a strong connection with Libby Cotton's "Freight Train."

In your opinion is 'Freight Train' a version of this song? Anyone have more info about this song and different titles etc.

Thanks,

Richie

WHEN I DIE Perrow

A.
(From East Tennessee; mountain whites; from recitation of F. Le Tellier; 1907.)

When I die,1 don' bury me a tall,
But soak my body in alcohol.
When I die, bury me deep,
En put a quart u' licker at my head en feet.
When I die, don' bury me a tall,
But take me down to Bowery Hall;
Take off my coat en open my vest,
En tell all the girls I'm gone to rest.

B.
(From Mississippi; negroes; MS. of Mr. Harrison; 1909.)

When I die don't bury me at all;
Preserve my bones in alcohol;
Fold my arms across my breast,
Natural born . . . gone to rest.
Natural born . . . don't have to work;
Carry a recommendation on the tail of my shirt.

c.
(From Mississippi; negroes; MS. of W. G. Pitts; 1909.)
When I die, bury me deep;
Tell all the gamblers that I've gone to sleep.
Put a pair of bones in my right hand,
And I'll throw seven in the promised land.


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Subject: RE: Lry. and origin: When I Die
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 25 Nov 06 - 09:02 AM

Richie,

IMO, not really. These verses became floaters in the 1920s if not earlier. They turn up in everything from college songs to Jimmie Rodgers recordings.

When Libba made her song, she used a piece of this and varied it, memorably and concisely. No doubt she'd heard it from family or friends when younger.

But "Freight Train's" identity is really the refrain most of all: "run so fast," "please don't tell them what train I'm on," etc. That isn't a version of any other song, as far as I know?it's unique.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lry. and origin: When I Die
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 25 Nov 06 - 04:38 PM

Thanks for the replies and info.

IMHO I think Cotton used this and similar song lyrics for the verses but wrote the Chorus: Freight Train, freight train, run so fast- etc.

It seemed like the verses of Freight Train when I looked at it. I wonder if the chords and melody are similar because the form is the same.

I'll look into it more later.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: GUEST,Samantha West
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM

I'm from north Lancashire in England and my granddad and mum were pub singers - not professionally, but as in if they were having a pint people would always ask them to get up and sing. Below is the song my granddad taught me when I was a little girl, I haven't been able to find it on Google or learn more about its origins, can anyone help? Strangely, I found a polka in the US that uses some of these lyrics but not all of them, and basically a similar tune. Does anyone know more about the history and origin? You could also email me at cheeky_monkey_mom@hotmail.com

No beer today
No beer today
Ye can't get beer on a Sunday
It's 5 pence a pint
And you haven't got the price
So call again on Monday


Good bye beer, for ever more
My drinking days, are ever yore
And when I die, don't bury my bones
Just pickle them all, in alcohol.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: ' O when I die don't bury my bones'?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 05 Oct 10 - 11:15 AM

As posted by Joe Offer on another thread back in 2000 (and mentioned by guest mg in May 06 above:


COTTON MILL GIRLS


I worked in the cotton mill all of my life,
And I ain't got nothing but a Barlow knife,
It's hard times, cotton mill girls,
It's hard times everywhere.

CHORUS
It's hard times cotton mill girls,
It's hard times cotton mill girls,
It's hard times cotton mill girls,
It's hard times everywhere.

In nineteen fifteen we heard it said,
"Move to the country and get ahead."
It's hard times cotton mill girls,
It's hard times everywhere.
CHORUS

Us kids worked twelve hours a day
For fourteen cents of measly pay.
It's hard times cotton mill girls,
It's hard times everywhere.
CHORUS

When I die, don't bury me at all,
Just hang me up on the spinning room wall,
Pickle my bones in alcohol,
It's hard times everywhere.
CHORUS

(source: Jerry Silverman's Folk Song Encyclopedia)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: Gulliver
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 11:02 PM

A couple of years ago I learned a song from a man from Tipperary, who learned it from his father who learned it around the 1930s. It started

Good bye booze, for ever more
My drinking days, are nearly o'er
etc.,

there were some verses similar to the American song that starts off like that, and the final verse started:

And when I die, don't bury me at all
Just soak my bones in alcohol
etc.

The air was similar to the American song (called Goodbye Booze, I think, recorded by Hamish Imlach, among others) but slower.

Don


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: Amos
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 11:12 PM

The earliest reference I know of is the song "Rake and a Rambling Boy", done by Joan Baez in one of her first few albums.

The verse:

"Oh, when I die,
Don't bury me at all.
Just place my bones
in alcohol.
And at my feet,
Place a turtle dove
Let the whole world know,
I died of love."

Obviously, this couplet is a floater.


A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 11:45 PM

Frank C. Brown, North Carolina Folklore, has a version of "Pickle My Bones in Alcohol," collected in North Carolina in 1920.
West Point Cadets sang it at their 112th Anniversary Dinner.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 11:57 PM

The couplet is in WW1 poetry, 1919:
www.sassoonfellowship.org/tregolwyn/id256.html.

Seems to me that this appeared in a minstrel song soon after Wilnner's "Little Brown Jug."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: GUEST,bardez
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 12:39 PM

It's a Mansfield Town Football Club song

Oh when I die
Don't bury me alone
But soak my bones
In alcohol.
And on my chest
Lay a barrel of the Best
And tyell my friends
I've gone to rest.

Oh when I die
(Oh when I die)
Don't bury me alone
(Don't bury me alone)
But soak my bones
(But soak my bones)
In alcohol.
(In alcohol.)
And on my chest
(And on my chest)
Lay a barrel of the Best
(Lay a barrel of the Best)
And tell my friends
(And tell my friends)
I've gone to rest.
(I've gone to rest....)

'Best' being a reference to the brewery (Best Bitter) that once existed in Mansfield


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 01:51 PM

Cotton mill girls is the song I know with that verse.


Another couple of verses from the song:


Those old hands oughta be killed
For giving up the farm and goin' to the mill.
It's hard times cotton mill girls, hard times everywhere

They raised the pay up one cent more
and they went up a dime at the company store
It's hard times cotton mill girls, hard times everywhere.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 02:39 PM

I read a book recently about the people who worked in the cotton mills..they used to line up at the window on their breaks and take turns getting a breath of real air. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: Joe_F
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 08:03 PM

Likewise, in "Chevaliers de la Table Ronde",

Si je meurs, je veux qu'on m'enterre
Dans la cave o`u il y a du bon vin.

...

Les deux pieds contre la muraille
Et la t^ete sous le robinet.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 10:59 PM

The Lightning Bar    Arlo Guthrie

CHORUS:
I don't need no diamond ring
I don't need no Cadillac car
Just want to drink my Ripple wine
Down in the Lightnin' Bar
Down in the Lightnin' Bar

Some people value fortune and fame
I don't care about 'em none
Just want to drink my Ripple wine
I want to have my good time fun
Have my good time fun

CHORUS

When I die don't cry for me
Don't bury me at all
Place my livin', laughin', lovin' bones
In a jar of alcohol
Hundred proof alcohol

CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: GUEST,Ed Caines
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 09:00 AM

We (Tickler's Jam) used to sing this in the 70s and recently revived it in another group. We pair it with The Last Long Mile. Both British 1st World War songs but clearly there was an older connection. Our version was very like the Mansfield FC and its nice to know it lives on. I think we found it is the Daily Express (or some other newspaper's) "community song book" probably published in the 20s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: oldhippie
Date: 06 Apr 13 - 11:04 AM

In the DT, "Send Me To Glory In A Glad Bag"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: Uke
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 04:03 AM

The versions below comes from "Tararua Song Book", a New Zealand tramping club songbook, compiled ca.1943. Interestingly, it's quite close to the Australian version above given by Bob Bolton:

When Moses was a little child
He floated down the river Nile,
And Pharaoh's daughter found home there,
And he was playing with a bottle of beer.

'Come, choose you now, 'twixt beer and me,'
Said Pharoah's daughter haughtily,
And Moses answered with a sigh,
'I guess I got to bid the booze goodbye.'

'So goodbye booze, don't want you no more,
My drinking days are nearly o'er.
We've had good times you can't deny,
So goodbye booze, I'm going to die.'

'And when I die, don't bury me at all
Just pickle my bones in alcohol.
Put a bottle of beer at my head and feet,
And then I know my bones will keep.'


The 1971 edition of "Tararua Song Book" has another last verse:

'And when I die, don't bury me at all
Just pickle my bones in alcohol.
Put a bottle of beer at my feet and head,
And if I don't move, you'll know I'm dead.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 12:18 PM

Joe suggested Rake and Rambling Boy.....and the Joan Baez version went through my head when I read the title of the thread.

Oh when I die don't bury me at all
place my bones in alcohol
and at my feet place a snow white dove
to let the world know I died for love.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: PHJim
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 01:20 PM

I recall from somewhere these words:

Well, when I die don't bury me at all
Just pickle my bones in alcohol
Put a marble slab at my head and feet
And tell them all I've gone to sleep

Sam Doores & Alynda Lee Segarra call their version "Rich And A Ramblin' Boy" and they sing:

Now when I die don't bury me at all
Just place me away in alcohol
My 44, lie at my feet
Tell everyone I'm just asleep.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: GUEST,Sjp319
Date: 29 Sep 14 - 04:05 PM

Oh, when I die, don't you bury me at all
Just pickle my bones in alcohol.
Oh when I die, if I go down below
I'll meet the girl that I used to know
Oh when I die, if I go up above
I'll meet the girl that I used to love.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: GUEST,bobm
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 08:53 AM

Strangely I was taught this song at the age of 10 in the mid 1960's when I used to belong to a sort of cub scout group called the Woodcraft Folk! It was a call and response song with our leader singing a line which the group then repeated back.

The ending is slightly different to those above

And when I die
Don't bury me at all
Just pickle my bones in alcohol

Put a bottle of booze
At my feet and my head
And if I don't move
You'll know I'm dead


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When I die, don't bury me at all...
From: GUEST,shunter
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 03:35 AM

When I die, don't bury me at all
Just rest my bones in alcohol

Upon my chest, lay a bottle of the best
Tell all my friends ive gone to rest

Cos were all teetotal singing as we go
To the promised land where the wine and whisky flows

You can tell us by the colour of of our noise
We belong to the tartan army !


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