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Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?

18 May 05 - 08:14 PM (#1487678)
Subject: My Get Up and Go
From: GUEST,D. E. Shiveley

"My Get Up and Go has Got Up and Went" was written and published by Homer A. Shiveley in the 1930s and was published in the local newspaper in West Union, Ohio.

Mr. Shiveley published many poems from the 1930s to 1943 and was a local celebrity.

Copyright is now held by D. E. Shiveley.


18 May 05 - 09:13 PM (#1487702)
Subject: RE: My Get Up and Go
From: open mike

the DT might need correction on this..
here is what attribution is in the data base:
words trad, melody Pete Seeger
from the singing of Jens Wennberg of Ithaca NY


18 May 05 - 09:36 PM (#1487712)
Subject: RE: My Get Up and Go
From: GUEST

Pete Seeger admits he did not write the lyrics.


12 Dec 09 - 05:54 PM (#2787122)
Subject: RE: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: Joe Offer

Here's what Pete says in Where Have All the Flowers Gone? a Singalong Memoir (revised edition, 2009)
    It was around 1961. Singing in Wisconsin with my younger brother and sister, Mike and Peggy, I found the next verses on the back of the menu of a roadside diner. I had never seen them before except for the first two lines, which I had once seen scrawled on the door of a public toilet.
    When I put a tune to it and added a couple lines, I wrote to the hash house. I had stolen their menu. They told me they got the words from a newspaper column in a Milwaukee paper. I wrote to the columnist; he couldn't remember who had sent it to him.
    I have since found that the poem has been widely reprinted in different versions. Nobody knows for sure who originally wrote it. If could be from anywhere in the late 19th or early 20th century. I heard from people who remembered it from before World War I. It's sometimes titled "I'm Doing Quite Well For the Shape I'm In."
    All I contributed besides the melody were a couple of lines and the idea of repeating the first four lines as a chorus. You'll find that you can do this with many poems that were written originally to be read but need more repetition if they are going to be successfully sung.
We get a lot of posts like the one from D.E. Shiveley above. Are they believable? Here's something else, from www.debrashiveleywelch.net (apparently the same person):
    Debra: I am 53 years of age and have been working since age eleven. I grew up very poor and am a veteran of child abuse. I left my home at age 17, three hours after graduation, and entered the work force full-time to take care of myself and to take control of my environment. At age 28 I finally took my first college course and after four years of night school graduated with a degree in Business Management. Okay, so I'm also very practical. My grandfather was a poet and wrote "My Get Up and Go” and many other works, under the pen name of Proxy, that were published in local newspapers in Southern Ohio. My father also wrote poetry as did my mother. I began to write at age nine and have never gotten over the addiction! When I'm on a roll, I can make you laugh until your sides split, I'm a sucker for anyone who is crying and there are times when watching a flock of geese take off from the lake, or seeing the sun play in the fountain sprays, I simply cannot breathe. I am now married 19 years; I love to cook; I cry when I hear bagpipes or hear a singer hit a "glory note” and I think God made old movies, tomatoes and snap dragons just for me!
I know there are things that I believed were written or spoken by one of my ancestors, but it turned out they came from a completely different source. Maybe Debra Shiveley is correct - but that's something for her to settle with Pete Seeger.
-Joe-


12 Dec 09 - 06:16 PM (#2787142)
Subject: DT Correction: GET UP AND GO (Pete Seeger)
From: Joe Offer

Here are the lyrics from Where Have All the Flowers Gone? a Singalong Memoir (revised edition, 2009)

GET UP AND GO
(lyrics anonymous, tune by Pete Seeger)

CHORUS: How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get up and go has got up and went
But in spite of it all, I'm able to grin
And think of the places my get up has been.

Old age is golden, so I've heard said,
But sometimes I wonder as I crawl into bed,
My ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
My eyes on the table until I wake up.

As sleep dims my vision, I say to myself
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?
But though nations are warring and business is vexed,
I'll stick around to see what happens next
CHORUS

When I was young, my slippers were red,
I could kick up my heels right over my head;
When I was older my slippers were blue,
But still I could dance the whole night through.

Now I am older, my slippers are black,
I huff to the store and I puff my way back.
But never you laugh; I don't mind at all.
I'd rather be huffing than not puff at all.
CHORUS

I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Open the paper and read the obits.
If I'm not there, I know I'm not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed
CHORUS


Source: Where Have All the Flowers Gone? a Singalong Memoir (revised edition, 2009), by Pete Seeger.


@aging
filename[ GETUPGO
TUNE FILE: GETUPGO
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF


13 Dec 09 - 02:41 PM (#2787526)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: GUEST,999

How Do I Know

(Anon / Pete Seeger / ad. Iain C. MacKintosh / Hamish Imlach)

How do I know my youth is all spent
My get-up-and-go has got up and went
In spite of it all I'm able to grin
When I think of the places my get-up has been

When I was young my days were so full
Football and fun every day after school
Then I was older, the nights had no end -
Wine, women, music and friends
Now I'm old, I've had my fling
I huff and I puff, I can't do a thing
Never you laugh, I don't mind at all -
I'd rather be huffing than not puff at all

Old age is golden so I've heard it said
Sometimes I wonder as I crawl into bed
With my teeth in a cup, my hair in a drawer
I hope my glass eye doesn't roll on the floor
As sleep dims my vision I say to myself
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf
Perhaps I should climb up and sleep there instead
For there's more of me there than there is on the bed

I wake up each morning, lift up my head
I pick up the paper, when it's all read
If we're not mentioned we know we're not dead
So we eat a good breakfast and we go back to bed

(as sung by Iain MacKintosh & Hamish Imlach)

from

http://www.mysongbook.de/msb/songs/h/howdoikn.html


13 Dec 09 - 03:07 PM (#2787540)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: EBarnacle

The melody is interesting, too. Once I asked Pete about the similarity between this melody and the melody for "Officer Krumpke" from West Side Story and his comment was that "Lennie and I were at Harvard about the same time so they are probably both descended from "Fair Harvard."


13 Dec 09 - 08:10 PM (#2787710)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: Joe_F

I agree with Messrs MacKintosh & Imlach on the progression from "older" to "old", but otherwise I think Mr Seeger has the better of it.

As to the tune, it does resemble that of (the chorus of) "Officer Krupke" at the beginning, but the latter goes off on quite a different tack. The mention of "Fair Harvard" (whose tune is stolen from "Believe me, if all those endearing young charms") is pleasantly satirical on the hazards of trying to trace tunes.


12 Jan 11 - 01:51 AM (#3072693)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: BrooklynJay

The Weavers revised the lyrics somewhat when they played their final Carnegie Hall concerts in December, 1980.

From the 1981 album The Weavers - Together Again:

CHORUS:
How do I know my youth is all spent
My get up and go has got up and went
But in spite of it all, I'm able to grin
And think of the places my get up has been

Old age is golden, so I've heard it said
But sometimes I wonder as I fall into bed
With my teeth in a cup, and my wig in a drawer
And I hope my glass eye doesn't roll on the floor
As sleep dims my vision, I say to myself
Is there anything more I should put on the shelf?
First Carter, now Reagan, I surely am vexed
But I'll still stick around to see what happens next

CHORUS

When I was young, my slippers were red
I could kick up my heels right over my head
Then I grew older, my slippers were blue
But still I could dance the whole night through
Now I am old, my slippers are black
I huff to the store and I puff my way back
But never you laugh, I don't mind at all
I'd rather be huffing than not puff at all!

CHORUS

I get up each morning and dust off my wits
Open the paper and read the obits
And if I'm not there, I know I'm not dead
So I eat a good breakfast and roll back to bed

CHORUS

Pete Seeger sang solo on the first chorus. Fred Hellerman sang the first verse, Ronnie Gilbert the second, and Lee Hays (who was now in a wheelchair) sang the third.

One of my favorite songs, which I find I appreciate more and more the older I get.


26 Mar 11 - 03:40 PM (#3122171)
Subject: My Get Up and Go
From: GUEST

I believe this poem was written by my aunt during a newspaper contest.It was about the yr, he said that was published,1955,when Jean sent several of her poems including this one,to a New York publisher who put an add in a magazine;Send us your poems,if we publish them we'll send you $500.00.Well,she never got the money and she didn't get her poems back. I saw one of her poems in a[ soup for the soul] booklet.


26 Mar 11 - 05:51 PM (#3122267)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: Joe_F

I have a vague memory of Pete Seeger's saying somewhere that he had read the refrain on various men's-room walls, and had supplied the verses to go with it.

I also have a vague memory of hearing the song on the radio in the 1940s, but that is probably wrong.


27 Mar 11 - 12:20 AM (#3122403)
Subject: Lyr Add: GET UP AND GO (Pete Seeger)
From: GUEST,999-- from the www.

    My Get-Up-And-Go Has Got Up and Went

      Anonymous… (see note below)

    Old age is golden, or so I’ve heard said,
    But sometimes I wonder, as I crawl into bed,
    With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
    My eyes on the table until I wake up.
    As sleep dims my vision, I say to myself:
    Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?
    But, though nations are warring, and Congress is vexed,
    We’ll still stick around to see what happens next!

      How do I know my youth is all spent?
      My get-up-and-go has got up and went!
      But, in spite of it all, I’m able to grin
      And think of the places my getup has been!

    When I was young, my slippers were red;
    I could kick up my heels right over my head.
    When I was older my slippers were blue,
    But still I could dance the whole night through.
    Now I am older, my slippers are black.
    I huff to the store and puff my way back.
    But never you laugh; I don’t mind at all:
    I’d rather be huffing than not puff at all!

      How do I know my youth is all spent?
      My get-up-and-go has got up and went!
      But, in spite of it all, I’m able to grin
      And think of the places my getup has been!

    I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
    Open the paper, and read the Obits.
    If I’m not there, I know I’m not dead,
    So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed!

      How do I know my youth is all spent?
      My get-up-and-go has got up and went!
      But, in spite of it all, I’m able to grin
      And think of the places my getup has been!


Note from Joe: Although Pete Seeger sang these lyrics in concert, he did not write them. Many variations can be found on the Web, most of which say “anonymous,” but it is sometimes attributed to Ebby Rose, Art Davis, G.A. Davis, Marian Johnson, Len Ingebrigtsen, Mary Ellen Garrett Ince, and Phyllys R. Burchill. Can anybody tell me for sure who wrote the original, and prove it?

Note added later: Mike Halloran emailed me the following: “According to Pete Seeger’s autobiography, he learned that the writer was a newspaper man. He contacted the author to offer him credit and royalties for the song. The man refused both wishing to remain anonymous. Pete Seeger claims to be the only one who knows the true identity of the author.” I guess that settles it. It’s anonymous!

Note added even later: I just received another email: “I know for a fact that this was published in a St Louis newspaper, most likely the Globe-Democrat which is now defunct, between 1940 and 1960 (probably between 1950-1955), and those dates fit in with your story of being from 'a newspaper writer'. My aunt, who would have been married about 1940, had clipped it from a newspaper and posted it on her bulletin board when I was a kid & old enough to read it, (around 1957-1960) and it did not look old or yellowed.”


http://holyjoe.org/poetry/anon7.htm


27 Mar 11 - 06:45 PM (#3122949)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: Herga Kitty

I have very happy memories of Johnny Collins singing this... he missed the Herga folk club's 40th birthday party because he was on tour in the States, but pre-recorded MGUaG so we'd have a contribution from him on the night, while he was in Minneapolis!

Kitty


08 Mar 16 - 10:25 AM (#3777384)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: GUEST,D. E. Shiveley

The poem was written in the mid to late 1930s. One of my aunts has the original newspaper printing, or rather her descendants do. I have several other poems of his in the same style and meter. I have the original type-written poem in my possession and it is very, very old and fragile as it was, as I mentioned, written in the 1930s.

Go to West Union, Ohio and ask any of the old timers there. They'll probably remember Proxy and his poems. I talked to several when I was very young and they acted like I was the granddaughter of a celebrity.

Also, my maternal grandmother had the selfsame newspaper clipping hanging in her kitchen for years and was thrilled when her daughter married Proxy's son.

So, that's the information I have gathered and remember.

Didn't Pete Seeger say he was a newspaper man? Grandpa was considered so as he earned most of his money at one time selling his poems to the newspaper in West Union, Ohio.


08 Mar 16 - 10:32 AM (#3777386)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: GUEST,D. E. Shiveley

I just thought of something else that you all may find interesting. The poem has been altered more than just adding a chorus. In the original, there is no mention of blue slippers and there are some other added lines.


08 Mar 16 - 04:24 PM (#3777454)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: Little Robyn

I first heard it recited, with actions, as an item in a local concert back in 1959. I don't know how it got to New Zealand - before Pete found it, but I'm guessing it was a widely known recitation piece, in the days when people who weren't singers, would contribute an item.
Robyn


09 Mar 16 - 02:07 AM (#3777546)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: GUEST,D. E. Shiveley

Possibly, but it was a published poem and my grandfather was paid $1.00 for it. He wrote many others as well and was a local celebrity.

I don't give a fig about settling anything with Pete Seeger, who is deceased as we all know. I just care about my grandfather getting credit for his creation. I'm a poet and author as well, and it is not pleasant at all when someone tries to claim your work.

I've seen the original newspaper column with his poems. I've held them in my hands. I have the original "Get Up And Go" poem in my possession. My grandfather wrote it under the pen name of Proxy. That's all I care about.


02 Apr 19 - 07:58 PM (#3985601)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: GUEST

This is an old thread... I just ran across it.

I learned this song from my father in the 1930s. I have no idea where he learned it... but he quoted lines from it until his death in 1985.

I recall his singing bits of it when I was in Kindergarten, 1935, or the first grade.


03 Apr 19 - 10:23 AM (#3985659)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: Mrrzy

Cool info. I have heard it by various artists, but when I think of it, it is Pete Seeger's voice in my head.

I seem to be thinking of it more lately...


03 Apr 19 - 03:30 PM (#3985718)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: Joe Offer

I still have not found any claims of authorship to be completely convincing. Family stories tend to be misleading. The earliest known printed example of the lyrics was anonymous. My apologies to the Shiveley family if the author was actually their grandfather, but I'm not inclined to believe the claim without verifiable written documentation.


23 Jun 20 - 04:46 PM (#4061046)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: open mike

"My Get Up and Go has Got Up and Went" "My Get Up and Go has Got Up and Went" From the Weaver's Reunion


24 Jun 20 - 12:04 PM (#4061188)
Subject: RE: Origins: My Get Up and Go - not by Seeger?
From: GUEST

Jimmy Driftwood wrote another version;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbqQmfyivBk


"My Get Up and Go (Just Got Up and Went)" - words and music by Jimmy Driftwood, Combine Music Co., 16 May 1968

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