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Lyr Req: 'Old John Smith, he's dead and gone...'

isb 22 Feb 99 - 05:45 PM
cat1 19 Mar 99 - 04:43 PM
Pete M 21 Mar 99 - 05:38 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Jan 12 - 11:01 AM
Nigel Parsons 13 Jan 12 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,999 13 Jan 12 - 12:09 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 13 Jan 12 - 01:10 PM
peregrina 13 Jan 12 - 01:11 PM
peregrina 13 Jan 12 - 01:35 PM
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Subject: old john smith, he's dead & gone...
From: isb
Date: 22 Feb 99 - 05:45 PM

anybody know the words? old, john smith, he's dead & gone... went to the ribber & couldn't get cross, paid $5 for an old grey horse...

Old Mississippi folk song around 1910,20's.30's. My grandfather used to sing it, but I have forgotten the words.


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Subject: lyrics for: old John smith
From: cat1
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 04:43 PM

This is an old Mississippi folk song from 1910 or so. any one know all the words?


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Subject: RE: lyrics for: old John smith
From: Pete M
Date: 21 Mar 99 - 05:38 PM

Ahh John Smith! Best ale in Yorkshire!

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Old John Smith, he's dead and gone...'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 11:01 AM

TURKEY IN THE STRAW in the DT has these lines:

Came to a river and I couldn't get across,
Paid five dollars for a blind old hoss....

That's part of a "floater" verse that occurs in many songs. Search for "couldn't get across" and you will find lots of them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Old John Smith, he's dead and gone...'
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 11:12 AM

Closest I can recall (from the 'dim and distant):
"Old Abraham brown is dead and gone
You'll never see him more.
He used to wear an old brown coat
that buttoned down before."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Old John Smith, he's dead and gone...'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 12:09 PM

From

http://majicat.com/alun/daydo.htm

ABRAM BROWN CONTINUED

OLD ABRAM BROWN IS DEAD AND GONE YOU WON'T SEE HIM NO MORE
HE USED TO WEAR A LONG BROWN COAT THAT BUTTONED UP BEFORE

ABRAM BROWN KEEPS HIS BRITCHES ON NIGHT AND DAY
TAKES THEM DOWN ONLY WHEN THE STITCHES ARE GONE ALL THE WAY
BACK FROM THE LAND AND ABRAM'S HOME AGAIN HUNGRY AS HELL
GOOD JOB HE'S GOT A WIFE WHO CAN COOK
SHE BAKES A PIE OUT OF PIGEON AND ROOK
BUT WHAT GOES IN DOESN'T COME FROM A BOOK I'VE HEARD TELL.

ABRAM BROWN HE RIDES A TRICYCLE ONCE IN A WHILE
WHY BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW
HE SAYS WITH A SMILE
OPENING TIME HE'S ON THE BOOZE DOWN THE ROAD
IT'S NOT THAT HE GETS DRUNK UNDERSTAND
HE JUST LIKES THE FEEL OF A GLASS IN HIS HAND
SO WON'T SOMEBODY HELP HIM TO STAND AND SHARE THE LOAD.

OH ABRAM, SHOW US A LEG AND TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAD 'CAUSE EVER SINCE THEY LAID HIM DOWN THE DAISIES BEEN GROWING LIKE MAD.

ABRAM BROWN HE SINGS LIKE A NIGHTINGALE AT HARVEST HOME
HOW'S HE GONNA FEED ALL THOSE KIDS WHEN THEY'RE FULLY GROWN~
ABRAM'S CAP FALLS OVER HIS EYES AS HE SCRATCHES HIS HEAD,
DOWN AT THE STONE WHERE HE SHARPENS HIS KNIFE
HE LIKES TO TALK AND THINK OF HIS LIFE
THERE'S THINGS HE WON'T EVER TELL TO HIS WIFE, SO HE TELLS ME INSTEAD

OH, ABRAM BROWN I WISH THAT YOU NEVER HAD TO DIE
I DON'T LIKE TO LOSE THE TASTE OF THE SWEET BYE AND BYE
DON'T YOU SEE THE COMBINE A'COMING IT SAYS YOU'RE TOO SLOW
SO LIGHT YOUR WAY WITH A CANDLE TO BED,
PULL YOUR NIGHT.CAP OVER YOUR HEAD.
YOU'VE SAID EVERYTHING THAT THERE IS TO BE SAID NOW IT'S TIME TO GO.

##################################################

Another site mentions it is sometimes 'Old Grimes', and says it is from a mummers 'play'. think that was on Mama Lisa's site.

"WON'T SEE HIM NO MORE": the double negative in that type of construction is used in English, but because it causes confusion, I expect the 'cleaned up" lyrics have over-ridden dialect in both England and the US. (Shakespeare on occasion used the triple negative.)

###################################################

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/Old-Abram-Brown/4163750

That attributes the melody to Benjamin Britten in 1936.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Old John Smith, he's dead and gone...'
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 01:10 PM

Old Grimes/Bohunkus/Abram Brown has been discussed before. See:


Origins: Two sons were brothers
Lyr Req/Add: Old Grimes


It's not clear that that's the song the OP (back in '99!) wanted. As Jim said just above, buying the old grey horse appears in a few things, but none, as far as I can see, with John Smith or related to Abram Brown.


Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Old John Smith, he's dead and gone...'
From: peregrina
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 01:11 PM

Old Grimy on the Yorkshire Garland site--words, music, sound file of Fred Banks singing it and extensive notes on the song and its family by Steve Gardham:
Here


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Old John Smith, he's dead and gone...'
From: peregrina
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 01:35 PM

Old Johnny Walker on the Yorkshire Garland site:

here


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