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Bootlegging era songbooks

27 Aug 97 - 05:05 PM (#11324)
Subject: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: BCK

I am trying to locate songbooks with songs and music from the Bootlegging era. These do not need to be books that are still in print; just thing I might be able to borrow from the library. Thanks in advance for any suggestions! BCK

27 Aug 97 - 07:41 PM (#11329)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: Tim Jaques

A song that comes to mind, and I don't know if it is in any songbook, is "The I'm Alone", done by the Irish Rovers prior to their commercial country phase. The "I'm Alone" was a Canadian rumrunning ship sunk by the US Coast Guard in international waters, stirring up a diplomatic dispute.

I believe there were rumrunning songs in French from this part of Canada -- short jaunt across the Detroit River to the USA -- but I assume you want your songs in English.

27 Aug 97 - 10:00 PM (#11334)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: Catfeet

There's a sea chanty that's called either Sail on Bill McCoy, or just Bill McCoy that's about rum running, but I don't know the whole thing, only the chorus. Maybe someone else on the Mudcat does;

Sail on Bill McCoy, Sail on Erasthusa/ Running the rum from Nassau town/ To the mouth of New York Bay/

Good hunting, Catfeet

28 Aug 97 - 11:34 AM (#11364)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: Earl

I don't know any songbooks, but check this thread for another prohibition song: Mr. Crump Don't Like It

28 Aug 97 - 03:51 PM (#11400)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: LaMarca

Try looking for "My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions" and "More Pious Friends and Drunken Companions" by Frank Shay, with really neat woodcuts by John Held; they're great collections of convivial songs and parlor pieces from around that era (I think). Dover did a facsimile reprint in paperback a number of years ago, and it still crops up in used bookstores fairly regularly.

29 Aug 97 - 09:17 PM (#11526)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: Cliff McGann

One of the most famous Prince Edward Island Schooners was called the Nellie J. Banks. The Nellie J. cruised the coast from Boston to PEI. A book was published on its feats and travels and PEI songwriter Lennie Gallant wrote a song aptly titled the Nellie J. banks which is well known in the maritimes and has been recorded frequently in the maritimes.

29 Aug 97 - 09:21 PM (#11528)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: Cliff MCgann

I should have mentioned the Nellie J. was a rumrunner and hence the song is a good description of bootlegging era in PEI

30 Aug 97 - 01:16 AM (#11547)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: Joe Offer

I think Stan Rogers recorded a song about Canadian rumrunners. does anybody have an idea what that song might be? The Stan Rogers Website has the lyrics for all his songs, but I can't remember which song it was.
-Joe Offer-

12 Jun 04 - 02:57 AM (#1205629)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: GUEST,

A group called 1066 from the west coast recorded a song called the Rumrunners. It's about running run down the Georgia Straight to Friday Harbor Wa.

CD available from

12 Jun 04 - 06:50 AM (#1205705)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: JohnInKansas

I would assume that by "bootlegging era" you're referring to the period of the US Constitutional prohibition?

It must be noted that "bootlegging" was still an active "profession" in Kansas in the late 1950s and perhaps a little later, due to local/state prohibitions, and remains at least an "informal pastime" now due to differences in taxation by state and local jurisdictions.

As is the case with "Folk Traditions" in general, bootlegging (sort of) still lives.


13 Jun 04 - 12:14 AM (#1206035)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

Perhaps you are seeking information from the American Folk Period of Prohibition Enforcement in Florida, 1885-1935?


Perhaps, you are seeking American published songs published between the 16th of January 1920 with the Volstead Act and ended on the 5th of December 1933 with the twenty-first amendment to the Constitution of the United States?

Maybe, you desire songs spawned within the Mormon state of Utah?

Then again, you may be seeking songs from ex-pats in Saudi Arabia and how they work around the Draconian laws.

Perhaps, you desire the works of Shel Silverstiem and his "Old Betsy is on Hemp!"



For my Rumsfield answer sheet to be mailed on Monday : 1. why are you seeking information? 2. Is the information for personal use or resale? 3. If others are involved in your project please list their names and addresses and phone numbers 4. If you grow please list your GPS coordinates...if you don't please list those of your supplier.

13 Jun 04 - 12:09 PM (#1206248)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: karen k

Many years ago, the 60's or early 70's, there was a Folkways record of prohibition songs. Don't remember the name. Think the Smithsonian has all the Folkways collection now.

13 Jun 04 - 04:34 PM (#1206361)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: pdq

The New Lost City Ramblers did a record in 1962 called

"American Moonshine & Prohibition". This has never made

the update to CD, but the Smithsonian will make you a copy

on cassette (only). It must be special ordered. Almost every

one of their out-of -print records can be secured in this way.

13 Jun 04 - 08:24 PM (#1206526)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: GUEST,Fred Maslan

"Valparaiso in A Rowboat" Not an actual prohibition era song but about bootlegging. written by Zeke Hoskin in 1992

14 Jun 04 - 04:14 PM (#1207160)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: karen k

pdq, that is the one I was thinking of. Thanks.

15 Jun 04 - 12:52 PM (#1207846)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: EBarnacle

Bill McCoy can be gotten from Jan Christensen, the author, contact me if you are still interested and I will pass him your e-dress.

ps, the chorus goes:

Sail on, Bill McCoy,
Sail on, Arethusa,
Runnin' the rum from Nassau town
To the mouth of New York Bay.

It's the real McCoy.

If you are New York bound, the next chantey sing in New York will be on June 26 at Seamen's Church Institute, Water Street, Manhatten.

15 Jun 04 - 02:08 PM (#1207908)
Subject: RE: Bootlegging era songbooks
From: TS

Great pick guys with Nelly J. Banks. Evans and Dohorty also do a great version.

Another great song from the Running days is "Prohabition Way". Only heard one version of it, The Punters, a Newfoundland Celtic-Rock band. Great song!......Slainte!