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Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons (Shel Silverstein)

DigiTrad:
A BOY NAMED SUE
BEANS TASTE FINE
BOTTOMLESS WELL
DIET SONG
FOLK SINGER'S BLUES
HEY NELLY NELLY
IN THE HILLS OF SHILOH
IT DOES NOT PAY TO BE HIP
LITTLE GREEN BUTTONS
LIVING LEGEND
LONNIGAN'S WIDOW
OUR HOUSE (ALWAYS WELCOME ...)
PLASTIC
QUEEN OF THE SILVER DOLLAR
SINGIN' IN THE KITCHEN
TESTING THE BOMB
THE UGLIEST MAN IN TOWN
THE WAVES ROLL OUT
THE WINNER
THREE LEGGED MAN
UNICORNS (GREEN ALLIGATORS)
VANILLA
VEGEMATIC
WINNER
YOUR TIME'S COMIN'


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Lyr Add: On the Cover of the Music City News (2)
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foggers 20 Aug 06 - 10:29 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Aug 06 - 11:51 AM
foggers 20 Aug 06 - 02:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Aug 06 - 02:46 PM
Tradsinger 20 Aug 06 - 05:08 PM
Peace 20 Aug 06 - 07:24 PM
Peace 20 Aug 06 - 07:27 PM
Peace 20 Aug 06 - 07:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Aug 06 - 08:14 PM
Peace 20 Aug 06 - 08:18 PM
Peace 20 Aug 06 - 08:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Aug 06 - 08:26 PM
Peace 20 Aug 06 - 08:26 PM
Peace 20 Aug 06 - 08:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Aug 06 - 08:42 PM
Stewie 20 Aug 06 - 09:44 PM
Peace 20 Aug 06 - 11:53 PM
foggers 21 Aug 06 - 10:39 AM
Genie 21 Aug 06 - 11:00 AM
foggers 21 Aug 06 - 11:52 AM
foggers 21 Aug 06 - 11:55 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Aug 06 - 01:29 PM
Peace 22 Aug 06 - 12:22 AM
foggers 22 Aug 06 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Shelly 13 Apr 09 - 03:43 AM
AnneMC 13 Apr 09 - 04:13 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Apr 09 - 05:07 PM
Jason Xion Wang 15 Apr 09 - 04:02 AM
GUEST 08 Jan 14 - 03:49 PM
Jason Xion Wang 15 Feb 16 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Feb 16 - 11:28 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: foggers
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 10:29 AM

I learned this Shel Silverstein song from a guitar book here in UK in 1970s when I was teaching myself to play and sing. I know the tune and accompanying chords and I am really keen to put together the full set of lyrics correctly.

What I remember is:

Verse;         Oh hear the drums thunder they sound such a wonder
Go march off to war boys and have at your fun.
With your bangles and your spangles and your bright golden buttons,
Bright golden buttons that shine in the sun.

Chorus:       Oh the cannons are screaming, or is it my dreaming?
Young men will stumble and fall in the dust.
For the cheers turn to crying as life turns to dying
And bright golden buttons have all turned to rust.


I am pretty sure that there was another verse or more, but I no longer have the book and I have scoured the 'net (using lyrics, author, civil war music sites etc) and all the music databases I know, without any success. I have found the above portion in a Civil War medley on a CD of the Limeliters, but this just confirms the word I could already recall. Please can you help me by either confirming that this is all there was to the song or helping me locate the remaining lyrics.

Many thanks Mudcatters (man, I LOVE this site!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 11:51 AM

Line 3- delete 'your'
I thought those were all of the lyrics.
The lyrics are not on the internet because of copyright restrictions (1963) on Silverstein's song.
You might try music stores for the sheet music of "Our Men in San Francisco" tunes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: foggers
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 02:05 PM

Cheers Q. I picked up from old Mudcat threads that there had been some wrangling over Shel's lyrics on the 'net some years ago. I just can't shift the idea in my head that there was more to the song than I can recall. Dammit I wish I had kept the book it was in all those years ago!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 02:46 PM

Several of the people posting here have old songbooks. I checked mine but no luck, someone else may show up with it. I still have a Limelighters record, but not the right one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Tradsinger
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 05:08 PM

My friend Colin Andrews in Devon knows the song Contact him through his website

http://www.bonnygreen.co.uk/index.htm

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:24 PM

It is, I understand, a Civil War song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:27 PM

"Oh hear the drums thunder,they sound such a wonder.
Go march off to war, boys, and have at your fun,
With your bangles and spangles and bright golden buttons,
Bright golden buttons that shine in the sun.
Oh the cannons are screamin', or is it my dreamin'?
Young men will stumble and fall in the dust,
And the cheers turn to cryin' when life turns to dyin'
And bright golden buttons have all turned to rust.
--
These are the lyrics from a Civil War (ours) song trilogy written many years ago. I wish I knew who wrote them so I could give him or her credit for beautifully stating an essential truth. The only reason Sherman said "War is hell" is that he was never very close to the action, otherwise he would have said something much more emphatic."

from a Google of

Interactive Poetry Pages


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 07:31 PM

"5. Civil War Medley: Bright Golden Buttons/The First Battalion/Yes I See/Two Brothers

from an album by The Limeliters.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:14 PM

The "many years ago" traces back to Shel Silverstein. All the way back to 1963.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:18 PM

Oh! Then I understood wrong. Thanks, Q.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:23 PM

A medley of stuff ABOUT the CW.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:26 PM

One that fooled me was "Hills of Shiloh," some years back. By guess who?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:26 PM

LOL


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:35 PM

That would have got me, too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 08:42 PM

I once considered starting a thread, Best Living 19th c. Composer, and proposing Jay Unger for "Ashokan Farewell." There are several others who capture the feel, or what we think of as the feel, of the music of the 19th. c.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 09:44 PM

I have it on an old LP by Randy Burns: 'Of Love and War' Base Records ESP 1039 (1966). It is the opening piece in a 6.5 minute Civil War medley. His version is exactly that given by Peace above except for 'Young men will stumble and fall TO the dust' and 'And bright golden buttons will all turn to rust'. The attribution on the sleeve and on the record is 'traditional', but that could be wrong.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Peace
Date: 20 Aug 06 - 11:53 PM

Sheet music to "Hills of Shiloh".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: foggers
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 10:39 AM

Thanks tradsinger for the link to your friend's page -I will see if he can help with my hunch that there are more lyrics than those recalled by me (and others) above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Genie
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 11:00 AM

Stewie, the attribution of a song on a CD or in a book as "traditional" very well could be wrong, as you say. One example I've seen several times is the song "Silent Night" listed as "traditional."

O, I agree there are several contemporary composers who can capture the feel of an older period. One example here is our own Jed Marum's song Letter From Lilac Acres in the Mudcat CD Orchid: Liner Notes PermaThread
.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BRIGHT GOLDEN BUTTONS (Shel Silverstein)
From: foggers
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 11:52 AM

Whoopee!

I have the elusive second verse!!

In my searches prior to posting on here I found a Shel Silverstein website and posted an enquiry to them. Today I have had a reply which provides the second verse:

BRIGHT GOLDEN BUTTONS

Oh, hear the drums thunder. They sound such a wonder.
Go march off to war, boys, and have at your fun.
With your bangles and spangles and bright golden buttons.
Bright golden buttons that shine in the sun.

[CHORUS] Oh, the cannons are screamin' or is it my dreamin'?
Young men will stumble and fall in the dust
But the cheers turn to cryin' and life turns to dyin'
And bright golden buttons will all turn to rust.

Oh, the trumpets are blowin' but you'll not be goin',
You'll stay here so safe and so warm in your bed,
For the last time you heard them you marched off behind them,
Now your bright golden buttons have all turn to red.

[CHORUS] Oh, the cannons are screamin' or is it my dreamin'?
Young men will stumble and fall in the dust
But the cheers turn to cryin' and life turns to dyin'
And bright golden buttons will all turn to rust.



I am so glad that my hunch about a 2nd verse has been confirmed - I guess we all like to think we are right??!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: foggers
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 11:55 AM

Forgot to say - the extremely helpful website was this one

here

It has lots of other Shel Silverstein material on it too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Aug 06 - 01:29 PM

Fills the song out nicely. Sometimes recording time on an album is too short for all the lyrics, and a song or two will be cut short. Thanks for digging it out, Foggers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: Peace
Date: 22 Aug 06 - 12:22 AM

Good one, foggers. Way to go. And thanks from me, too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons
From: foggers
Date: 22 Aug 06 - 04:50 AM

Aww, gosh folks, blushing here....

I want to do this song as part of a set I am putting together (planning to get back on stage after a LONG absence!) , and cos I am a girlie I am glad that the 2nd verse makes sense from a female singer...

Cheers all


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons (Shel Silverstein)
From: GUEST,Shelly
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 03:43 AM

I also found a webpage which have the entire two verse, for there are somewhat a little differences between the two versions.

Oh, hear the drums thunder
They sound such a wonder
Go march off to war, boys
And have at your fun

With your bangles and spangles
And bright golden buttons
The bright golden buttons
That shine in the sun

Oh, the cannons are screaming
Or is it my dreaming
Young men will stumble
And fall in the dust

And the cheers turn to crying
When life turns to dying
And bright golden buttons
Have all turned to rust

Oh, the trumpets are blowing
But you'll not be going
You'll stay here so safe
And warm in your bed

For the last time you heard them
You marched off behind them
Now your bright golden buttons
Have all turn to red

Oh, the cannons are screaming
Or is it my dreaming
Young men will stumble
And fall in the dust

And the cheers turn to crying
When life turns to dying
And bright golden buttons
Have all turned to rust


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons (Shel Silverste
From: AnneMC
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 04:13 PM

Are there any recordings available of this song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons (Shel Silverstein)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:07 PM

Two original Limeliters LPs—"Our Men in San Francisco" (1962) and "London Concert" (1963)—have been reissued as one CD: Collectors' Choice Music CD 119, 2000. It contains the "Civil War Medley" described above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons (Shel Silverstein)
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 04:02 AM

John Denver's "Civil War Suite (9 minutes long song, never released)" also included a part of this song. He sang that song in some of his '69 concerts.


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Subject: Chords Req: Bright Golden Buttons (Silverstein)
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 03:49 PM

Could anybody please post the chords to this song? Thanks a lot.


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Subject: Chords ADD: Bright Golden Buttons (S Silverstein)
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 15 Feb 16 - 10:52 AM

Bright Golden Buttons
(Shel Silverstein)

    E             A6             G#m          A6
Oh, hear the drums thunder - they sound such a wonder.
   G#m          A             F#m          B7
Go march off to war, boys, and have at your fun.
          E          A6          G#m          A6
With your bangles and spangles and bright golden buttons:
G#m          A            B7          E
Bright golden buttons that shine in the sun.


       E          A             E       A
Oh, the cannons are screamin', or is it my dreamin'?
E             C#m         F#m         B7
Young men will stumble and fall in the dust.
         E             A6          G#m          A6
Then the cheers turn to cryin' when life turns to dyin',
    G#m          A            B7          E
And bright golden buttons will all turn to rust.


These chords are based on the John Denver rendition from 1969. One important thing is that JD does the A6 chord as an open chord (007670).

In the Limeliters' rendition, I think all the A6 chords are replaced by F# minor chords. And the "E - A" is instead "G#m - C#m".

Jason


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bright Golden Buttons (Shel Silverstein)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Feb 16 - 11:28 AM

To us moderns, buttons are not a big deal, but apparently in the days of yore, they were something special.

I remember hearing a Dutch vocal group (Quint) singing a song about a boy-crazy village girl who is all agog about the soldiers who have come to town. The last, awestruck line spoke of "eighteen shining buttons!"

I have read that one of the 'Pennsylvania Dutch'sects (the Amish, maybe) does not use buttons because their gold buttons were one of the distinguishing features of soldiers.


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