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Lyr Req: Down in the Valley

DigiTrad:
DOWN IN THE VALLEY


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Irish lullaby to down in the Valley (20)
Lyr Req/Add: Connemara Cradle Song (Delia Murphy) (18)


eheintz 15 Jan 00 - 11:54 AM
eheintz 15 Jan 00 - 12:01 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 15 Jan 00 - 12:25 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 15 Jan 00 - 12:32 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 15 Jan 00 - 12:36 PM
emily rain 15 Jan 00 - 12:41 PM
Dale Rose 15 Jan 00 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,SueB 14 Sep 04 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,Boab 15 Sep 04 - 12:21 AM
Teresa 15 Sep 04 - 02:03 AM
Snuffy 15 Sep 04 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,SueB 15 Sep 04 - 10:23 AM
Q 15 Sep 04 - 11:18 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 15 Sep 04 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 15 Sep 04 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 15 Sep 04 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,SueB 15 Sep 04 - 10:44 PM
Q 15 Sep 04 - 10:51 PM
rich-joy 17 Sep 04 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 17 Sep 04 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,SueB 17 Sep 04 - 11:59 AM
Q 17 Sep 04 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,SueB 17 Sep 04 - 02:30 PM
Q 17 Sep 04 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,MMario 17 Sep 04 - 02:59 PM
Q 17 Sep 04 - 03:50 PM
Lighter 17 Sep 04 - 04:20 PM
Lighter 17 Sep 04 - 04:23 PM
Q 17 Sep 04 - 04:44 PM
Q 28 Sep 04 - 09:32 PM
Flash Company 29 Sep 04 - 09:57 AM
Flash Company 29 Sep 04 - 10:06 AM
Burke 29 Sep 04 - 06:47 PM
Lighter 29 Sep 04 - 07:44 PM
Q 29 Sep 04 - 08:13 PM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 04 - 08:14 PM
Azizi 25 May 07 - 11:23 AM
Azizi 25 May 07 - 11:25 AM
Dave'sWife 25 May 07 - 12:16 PM
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Subject: Down in the Valley
From: eheintz
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 11:54 AM

hi ..... we have searched everywhere for all the lyrics to Down in the Valley. Can anyone help?

Thank you!


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Subject: Down in the Valley msg. edited
From: eheintz
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 12:01 PM

I just noticed there are different "down in the valleys" .... the one I'm looking for is .......

down in the valley .... valley so low. Hang your head over .... hear the wind blow.

That's all I know!

Thanks again!


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley msg. edited
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 12:25 PM

Not sure, but I think it could be "The Birmingham Jail" song. Sorry I cannot remember the words. Anyone else? Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN IN THE VALLEY
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 12:32 PM

Sorry I just have difficulty learning to edit with these things and they don't like me... Dave
PowerSearch for DOWN IN THE VALLEY at: Help

DOWN IN THE VALLEY

Down in the valley, the valley so low,
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow.
Hear the wind blow, dear, hear the wind blow.
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow.

Writing this letter, containing three lines.
Answer my question: will you be mine?
Will you be mine, dear? Will you be mine?
Answer my question: will you be mine?

Write me a letter. Send it by mail.
Send it in care of the Birmingham jail.
Birmingham jail, dear, Birmingham jail;
Send it in care of the Birmingham jail.

Roses love sunshine. Violets love dew.
Angels in heaven know I love you.
Know I love you, dear, know I love you;
Angels in heaven know I love you.

@love @jail
filename[ DOWNVALY
Tune file : DOWNVALY

CLICK TO PLAY
S OF


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down in the Valley
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 12:36 PM

It's on the edited site my friend...


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley msg. edited
From: emily rain
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 12:41 PM

if you don't love me
then love whom you please
throw your arms round her
give your heart ease

isn't this a stephen foster song?


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIRMINGHAM JAIL (from Darby & Tarlton)
From: Dale Rose
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 05:23 PM

Here are the notes (by Ed Kahn) and lyrics for Birmingham Jail from Darby & Tarlton, Complete Recordings, Bear Family 15764, 1995 ~~ three-CD set. While I don't think they settle the matter of authorship, they do make for interesting reading. They also give insight as to how the recording artists were treated by the companies, and how really "rich" they became as a result of their recordings.

I also think this is one of the best of the old time reissues, with every surviving recording by Tom Darby and Jimmie Tarlton, both together and separately. Highly recommended.


This is a traditional lyric that has been collected throughout the South from Missouri, Kentucky, and Arkansas before Tom and Jimmie ever committed it to wax. But the popularity of their recording was so great that in subsequent years their version turned up with increasing frequency. The problem of traditional material finding its way onto wax and the ensuing copyright problems are illustrated clearly in the details of this song's history.

Tom insists that he wrote the song, although folksong scholarship traces this song back long before Darby & Tarlton. Tom remembers: "I sung Birmingham Jail in World War I and there's some buddies that's living yet that know that I did." Despite exaggerated claims, their recording of this song sold about 200,000 copies, which brought them a total of $37.50, which they split. Shortly before the beginning of the Second World War, Tom visited Lennie Davis, a young attorney in Columbus and claimed that he owned Birmingham Jail, and that his copyright had been violated. Tom had copyrighted the song in his name on June 11, 1930. Columbia replied to Davis' inquiry that this song was a folksong in the public domain and produced a copy of the original contract with Darby & Tarlton in which they promised to sing only folk songs and furthermore agreed that if they did use any original material the rights would go to Columbia.

Davis advised Tom that he should try to break the original contract, contending that, in his opinion, this was a yellow dog contract and that such contracts were illegal. Before Davis was able to proceed, he entered the army. He turned the file over to Tom with the advice to find another attorney. Tom turned the matter over to a collection agency that he read about in an ad in the back of a magazine. Tom says he eventually made some kind of settlement with Columbia, but the details are not known.

What is interesting is that both Tom and Jimmie claim the song. In 1937, Jimmie appeared at a reunion of ex-inmates of the Birmingham Jail and sang 'his' song. The event was covered in the old 'Birmingham Post.' What is interesting is that Jimmie contended that in 1925 he was serving an 85-day sentence for moonshining and that at that time his girlfriend, Bessie, was sick and he wanted to be by her side. The story is that he sang his sad song about Bessie and the prison guards told the warden, who went to the City Fathers who pardoned him. The story goes on to say that Bessie died shortly after Jimmie was released from Birmingham Jail.

What we know is that this is, indeed, a traditional song and that it is possible that either or both men put their personal stamp on it.

BIRMINGHAM JAIL
As sung by Darby & Tarlton, November 10, 1927
Authorship claimed by both, but mostly traditional

Down in the levee, levee so low
Late in the evenin' hear the train blow
Here the train blow love, hear the train blow
Late in the evenin' hear the train blow

Roses love sunshine, violets love dew
Angels in heaven know I love you
Write me a letter, send it by mail
Send it in care of Birmingham Jail
Birmingham Jail love, Birmingham Jail
Send it in care of Birmingham Jail

Bessie my darling, Bessie my dear
Bessie I love you, foolish I do
Down in the meadow, down on my knees
Prayin' to heaven to give my heart ease
Bird in a cage love, bird is so low
Kiss me once more love, then I must go


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley msg. edited
From: GUEST,SueB
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 02:06 PM

My kids and I were talking about this song the other day, and one asked "What's he in jail for, Mom?"

I learned the song this way:

Down in the valley, valley so low,
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow.

Roses love sunshine, violets love dew,
angels in heaven, know I love you.

If you don't love me, love whom you please,
put your arms 'round me, give my heart ease.

Send me a letter, send it by mail
Send it in care of, Birmingham Jail

Build me a tower, ninety feet high
So I can see her, when she rides by.


I kind of always thought this was a jealous lover song, and that maybe he's in jail because he sexually assaulted her (because of the "If you don't love me" verse) or because he killed her boyfriend, but before I explained my theory to my kids, I thought I'd check the forum.

My research at this site tells me so far that the tune and some of the lyrics are probably borrowed from The Connemara Cradle song which is attributed to Delia Murphy. The lyrics attributed to Tom Darby tell a different story than the one I imagined, but includes a verse I never heard before, and leaves out two of the ones I know.

Can anyone help me sort this out? Are there any other verses out there? Is Birmingham Jail a different song altogether from Down in the Valley?


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley msg. edited
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 12:21 AM

So many slightly different versions, so closley alike.

"Down in the valley,
The valley so low,
Bend your head over,
Hear the wind blow;
Hear the wind blow, Love,
Hear the wind blow,
Bend your head over,
Hear the wind blow.

"If You don't love me
Love whom you please,
Throw your arms round me,
Give my heart ease.
Give my heart ease, Love,
Give my heart ease,
Throw your arms roun d me,
Give my heart ease.

" Write me a letter,
Send it by mail,
Back it in care of
Birmingham jail/
Birmingham jail, Love,
Birmingham jail,
Back it in care of Birmingham jail.

" Go build me a castle,
Forty feet high,
So I can see you
As you go by.
As you go by, Love---etc..."

I remember a rendition in a place called Wark, Northumberland, where a beginning verse talked of a young man--"you're going to jail, boy,
For twenty one years"---in the Black Bull pub as a matter of fact, a haunt in more recent years, of Kathy Tickell [sp?] the talented Northumbrian piper.


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley msg. edited
From: Teresa
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 02:03 AM

Ah, such is the nature of folk music ... that's what I love about it. So many different versions of songs. :)

T


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: Snuffy
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 09:59 AM

TWENTY-ONE YEARS is a different song with a similar theme and melody


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: GUEST,SueB
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 10:23 AM

Thanks for the link to Twenty-One Years. I read it through, and started laughing again - another song (or variation) where the man's in jail, presumably because of a woman, but why? What happened?

Which is pretty reticent, for a folk song, when you consider others, like Long Black Veil, where the guy dies because the girl can't give him an alibi, or Banks of Ohio, where he stabs her with a knife, or any number of others where the grisly details are spelled out and not just hinted at.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN IN THE VALLEY (from H. M. Belden)
From: Q
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 11:18 AM

The song was first collected in 1909 as "Down in the Valley."

Lyr. Add: DOWN IN THE VALLEY
Belden, 1910

Down in the valley, valley so low,
Late in the evening, here the train blow.
The train, love, hear the train blow;
Late in the evening, hear the train blow.

So build me a mansion, build it so high
So I can see my true love go by,
See her go by, love, see her go by,
So I can see my true love go by.

Go write me a letter, send it by mail,
Bake* it and stamp it to the Birmingham jail.
Birmingham jail, love, Birmingham jail,
Bake* it and stamp it to the Birmingham jail.

Roses are red, love, violets are blue.
God and his angels know I love you,
Know I love you, know I love you,
God and his angels know I love you.

* "So written, clearly, in the MS; but probably date is meant." Or was the singer referring to the old joke about baking a file into a cake? Collected by Miss Hamilton in 1910 from Frank Jones, West Plains Missouri. Page 488, H. M. Belden, Editor, "Ballads and Songs," Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society, Univ. Missouri Studies, vol 15, No. 1, Univ. Missouri Press.


Belden says it was also collected in Kentucky, Arkansas (without mansion), and Georgia (wind blows, not train, and no mention of jail or letter.


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 04:49 PM

SueB, if you put Long Black Veil in the Lyric Search, you will find a couple of threads on the topic. It's not a folk song, but a country song written to "feel" like one.

Good job too!


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 05:24 PM

American bomber crews in England during WWII sang as follows:

            Down in Ruhr Valley, valley so low,
            Some chairborne bastard, says we must go.

            Flak loves big bombers, fighters do too.
            P-51 boys, whe-ere are you?

            Write me a letter, send it to me,
            Send it in care of, Stalag Luft III.


"Stalag Luft III" was a German prison camp for captured Allied fliers.
Think "The Great Escape."


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 09:29 PM

In 1965 I was a singer at the old Walsall Folk Club and a regular member of the audience was a young reporter called Sarah James. One night she arrived and asked me if I knew 'Down in the Valley'. She told me that she had just come into town by bus and that some kids on the bus had been singing a song to that tune. She had jotted it in shorthand into her reporter's notebook. She transcribed it at the bar and gave me the text. Later that evening I sang it straight from her written page. We believed that we held the world record for collecting a folksong in the field and performing it on stage.

The song in question was about a British Borstal Institute ( a young offenders lockup) and ran as follows:

Step from the dock, lad, dry up your tears,
You're bound down to Borstal for a term of three years.

Kiss me goodbye love, say you'll be mine,
Three years in Borstal's a bloody long time.

Counting the moonbeams, counting the stars,
Ten thousand I've counted through these window bars.

If I was the PO and the PO was me,
I'd lock him away and I'd swallow the key.

I went to the Po at the end of my time,
I asked what was due, he said 'Just one and nine'.

Step from the dock, lad, dry up your tears,
You're bound down to Borstal for a term of three years.

I later discovered that the song was written for a competition in a north of England Borstal Institute aboutb 1960. I believe that it was published in Spin magazine in a version slightly different from the one that Sarah collected.


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: GUEST,SueB
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 10:44 PM

Barrie, that's so cool. I told my kids everything I've learned so far, about the Connemara Cradle Song, and Tom Darby, and they're totally fascinated - it sparked a great discussion about musical borrowing - and I'm sure they'll be really interested in the Borstal version - and especially how you came to know about it, and performed it the same night.

I can just picture a bunch of guys in uniform having a few beers and singing the WWII version.

Thanks for the Belden, too. Anyone got anything earlier?


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: Q
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 10:51 PM

Belden's is the oldest published so far.


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: rich-joy
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 06:24 AM

Faith Petric did an interesting investigation into the "Down in the Valley / Birminham Jail / Connemara Cradle Song" similarities, in a recent edition of "Sing Out!" magazine. Also detailed where the tune originated.

(now I wonder where I put my copy ...)

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 08:22 AM

Conclusions were that the tune is the first half of a waltz published about 1855. "Cradle Song" was composed around 1950.


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: GUEST,SueB
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 11:59 AM

Thanks for tip about Long Black Veil - I didn't know that!
And I'll look for that Sing Out magazine article, too, thanks.

So far the chronology looks like this?

1855 - waltz
1910 - Belden (mansion)
1927 - Darby (moonshine and Bessie)
1930 - Twenty-One Years
WWII - Stalag Luft III bomber crew version
1950 - Connemara Cradle Song
1960 - Borstal version

I was wondering, Lighter at work, where you might have picked up the WWII bomber crew verses?

Thanks everyone - my kids are now demanding an explanation for the song Polly-Wolly-Doodle (Mom, if Sal is a nickname for Susanna, who the heck is Polly? And who's the fairy fey he's saying goodbye too?)


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: Q
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 01:52 PM

Relationship of the tune to "Down in the Valley Where the Violets Grow," 1882, by Tommy Tucker, has also been suggested.

With regard to the "1855 waltz tune- Many such suggestions are made about the tunes of songs, but few of them pan out. Does Faith Petric show the sheet music or indicate its title and where it may be found?

Listen to Jeff Horton sing "Give My Heart Ease" (MP3) on American Memory, from the Lomax 1939 trip. His rendition and tempo suggest a hymn tune although this is the Birmingham Jail version.


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: GUEST,SueB
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 02:30 PM

Down in the Valley Where the Violets Grow doesn't seem to be in the Digitrad - does anyone have this?


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: Q
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 02:32 PM

1855 seems to have been a good year for waltz sheet music. American Memory has dozens upon dozens of titles. I am not about to sort through them to find a possible match for the tune to "Down in the Valley."


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 02:59 PM

Down in the Valley where the violets Grow at American Memories


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN IN THE VALLEY WHERE THE VIOLETS GROW
From: Q
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 03:50 PM

Lyr. Add: DOWN IN THE VALLEY WHERE THE VIOLETS GROW
Written by Tommy Tucker, Arr. Jos. Schwenseck

Down in the valley where the violets grew
There's where I'd meet my love,
She's such a beauty with heart so true
Eyes like the stars above.
Strolling mid clover and jessamine,
Arm in arm we'd go,
There I would kiss this pretty queen,
And she would not say "No."

Chorus:
Oh my! how happy we would be
I sweetly kissed her and she kissed me,
Down in the valley where the violets grew,
Down in the valley where no one knew,
There I would meet my love so true,
Down in the valley where the violets grew.

Down in the valley one Summer's eve
She promised to be mine,
I told her that I never would deceive
Then our arms did entwine.
Soon I will make her my loving wife,
And to her now I go,
For she is waiting in the valley sweet,
Where the pretty violets grow.

New York, Wm. J. A. Lieder, 1882. Link to sheet music given by MMario, above.

("Down Where the Lilies Grow," completely unrelated, kept popping into my fingers and I had to retype violets when the line came up. It was one my grandmother liked to play.)


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 04:20 PM

Petric cited the folklorist the late Guthrie T. Meade as having identified the waltz as "The Happy Home, No.1," by "Julien," published in 1850. American Memory includes "The Happy Home Waltz," by J. C. Beckel, published in 1850 by Andrews, Philadelphia. Whether or not this is the composition Meade had in mind, the first five measures do bear a resemblance to the tune of "Down in the Valley."

The article appeared in Fall 2003 issue of "Sing Out!"


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 04:23 PM

"Down in Ruhr Valley" came from a printed source, can't remember where.


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Subject: RE: Down in the Valley
From: Q
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 04:44 PM

"Down in Ruhr Valley" is on line: Sing These Songs
Same words as posted.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN IN THE VALLEY (from Vance Randolph)
From: Q
Date: 28 Sep 04 - 09:32 PM

Lyr. Add: DOWN IN THE VALLEY
(Arkansas; Randolph)

Down in the Valley, the valley so low,
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow,
Hear the wind blow, dear, hear the wind blow,
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow.

Violets love sunshine, an' roses love dew,
Angels in Heaven all know I love you.
Know I love you, dear, know I love you,
Angels in Heaven know I love you.

If you don't love me, then love who you please,
Throw your arms round me an' give my heart ease,
Give my heart ease, dear, give my heart ease,
Throw your arms round me an' give my heart ease.

Throw your arms round me before it's too late,
Throw your arms round me an' feel my heart break,
Feel my heart brreak, dear, feel my heart break,
Throw your arms round me an' feel my heart break.

Write me a letter, go write it today,
Stamp it tomorrow and send it away,
Send it away, dear, send it away,
Stamp it tomorrow an' send it away.

Build me a castle a hundred foot high,
So I can see him as he goes by,
As he goes by, dear, as he goes by
So I can see him as he goes by.

Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 4, # 772. With music, contrib. 1929, obtained in 1925 from Johnny Berry, Arkansas.

Several versions lack the Birmingham jail verse, including the above, one collected in Ohio (Sandburg, 1927) and a Kentucky version in Lomax, American Ballads and Folk Songs, 1934. The one in Lomax has a verse that seems unique.

Bird in a cage, love, bird in a cage,
Dying for freedom, Ever a slave.
Ever a slave, dear, ever a slave,
Dying for freedom, ever a slave.

Much similarity among the versions, suggesting a common source, but none found.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down in the Valley
From: Flash Company
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 09:57 AM

Leaddbelly's last sessions had the following, which is good enough for me :-

Down in the valley, valley so low,
Hold your head out the winder,
Hear the wind blow,
Hear the wind blow, love, hear the wind blow,
Hold your head ot the winder,
Hear the wind blow

High sherrif will 'rest you, bind you over in jail,
Can't get no-body to go youre bail
To go your bil love, to go your bail


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down in the Valley
From: Flash Company
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 10:06 AM

Thats the second time that's happened to me!!!
as I was sayin

Cant get no-body to go your bail

Send for your lawyer, comes down to your cell
He swears he can clear you in spite of all hell
In spite of....etc

Takes biggest your money, comes back for the rest
Then tells you to plead guilty, 'cos you know that it's best

Write me a letter send it by mail,
'dress it all over The Birmingham Jail

Down in the valley, valley so low
Hold your head out the winder hear the wind blow!

No refrain after last verse

FC


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HUMP SONG
From: Burke
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 06:47 PM

Here's another WWII version by pilots who flew 'the hump' over the Himalayas between India & China. They were in Kurmitola, India.

1. He was alerted, For a C-109;
He had a feeling, That it was the last time.

Chorus:
He busted his ass, boys, For a gallon of gas.
Halfway to China, He busted his ass.

2. They gave him his clearance At twenty-one, five.
He never expected To get there alive.

3. With fear and trembling, He got the green light,
And took off for China In the black of the night.

4. He left George Item With a load full of gas,
Climbed on his heading, Roger Able he passed.

5. Cruising along Things going smooth,
His radio compass Got out of the groove.

6. He called over Lashio For a good Q.D.M.
They said, "Steer 360 If you want to get in."

7. He steered 360 For an hour or two
In hopes of reaching Dear old Chengtu.

8. Between the Salween And old Roger Queen
He lost control of his flying machine.

9. Down in the valley, The valley so low,
A tanker is burning, See the flames glow.

(Variation of Chorus)
See the flames glow, boys, See the flames glow.
Down in the valley, See the flames glow.

10. This is the story Of a hump pilot's life:
For a gallon of gas, boys. He gave up his life.

11. There is a moral, As you all can see.
Our flying is useless, So listen to me:

12. Don't bust your ass, boys, Tezgaon's next door
The Limies will help them; So to hell with the war.

"The Hump Song" (in Notes & Queries) reported by A. S. Limouze.
The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 63, No. 250. (Oct. - Dec., 1950), pp. 463-465. Access is Restricted

Limouze refers to a version by the Andrews Sisters the "played incessantly over the Officer's Club public address system." He also reported that the song was always rendered humorously, half cynically, never mournfully.

Some of the footnotes, number refers to the verse.
1. C-109, 4 engine transport with reputation for "unanticipated explosion." All they carried was gasoline so they were called tankers.

2. twent-one, five. Altitude of 21,500 ft., higher than usual.

4. George Item -- G.I., call letters for Kurmitola radio
   Roger Able -- R.A., first radio check after leaving Kurmitola

6. Lashio -- radio check-point in Burma.
   Q.D.M -- Ground radar station, RAF term.
   360 -- Due north

7. Chengtu -- Northernmost base in China for transport planes.

8. Salween -- River flown over
   Roger Queen -- R.Q. call letters for Kunming, China

12. Tezgaon -- Airbase adjacent to Kurmitola


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down in the Valley
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 07:44 PM

Good contribution,Burke!


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN IN THE VALLEY
From: Q
Date: 29 Sep 04 - 08:13 PM

Thanks for the Leadbelly lyrics. A version at ingeb has the verse:

Write me a letter
And send it to me,
Care of the jail-house
At Raleigh, N. C.

Who sang the Raleigh versions? This one is called the "Old Plantation" version:

Lyr. Add: DOWN IN THE VALLEY

Down in the valley, in the valley so low,
Hang your head over and hear the wind blow.
Little Willie's my darlin', Little Willie's my dear,
If you think I don't love her, got a feeling I fear.

She wrote me one letter, she sent it by mail;
She sent it in care of the Birmingham jail.
Gonna build me a steeple on the mountain so high,
So I can see Willie as she passes by.

She said that she loved me, to give my heart ease,
As soon as my back turned, she loved who she pleased.
I rapped on her window, I knocked on her door,
She gave me short answer, "Don't knock there no more."

Sitting in prison with my back to the wall;
The old corn whiskey was the cause of it all.
Judge said, "Stand up George, and dry up your tears,
You're sentenced to Raleigh for twenty-two years."

Down in the valley, in the valley so low,
Hang your head over and hear the wind blow.
If I had just listened to what my mother said,
I'd be there today, boys, in her feather bed.

Down in the Valley


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down in the Valley
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 08:14 PM

Q sent me a scan of some sheet music for "Julien's Waltz" because he thought it might be an early source for the tune for "Down in the Valley." It turned out not to have anything at all to do with "Down in the Valley," but it's a very nice tune and I hate for just Q and me to hear it. It's from the sheet music for Happy Home, referred to above.
So, here 'tis.
Enjoy!
-Joe Offer-

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down in the Valley
From: Azizi
Date: 25 May 07 - 11:23 AM

Q, I suppose there may be no way of knowing, but it occurs to me that the children's rhyme "Down By The River Where The Green Grass Grows"* may have come from the "Down In The Valley Where The Violets Grow" {the lyrics posted in your 17 Sep 04 - 03:50 PM comment}.

*Also given as "Down In The Meadow Where The Green Grass Grows" and Down In The Valley Where The Green Grass Grows"

The words to that rhyme are given in Roger D. Abraham's "Jump Rope Rhymes, A Dictionary" {published for the American Folklore Society by the University of Texas Press 1969} as

Down by the river {in the meadow, valley}
Where the green grass groes.
There sat {any girl's name}
As pretty as a rose.
She sang, she sang,
She sang herself to sleep,
And up came {any boy's name}
And kissed her on the cheek.

-snip-

Abraham notes that this was originally a singing game. He cites a long list of publication of this rhyme, the earliest one being Babcock, W.H, in 1888 from the District of Columbia.

I remember a slightly different version {Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1950s}:

Down in the meadow
Where the green grass groes.
There sat {any girl's name}
As pretty as a rose.
She sang, she sang,
She sang herself so sweet,
Along came {any boy's name}
And kissed her on the cheek.
How many kisses did she get?
Ah 1, ah 2, ah 3 etc {jumper keeps counting till she misses. The number of jumps she made is the number of kisses she will receive {did receive}.

**
http://www.funjoint.com/outdoors.htm gives this similar version:


Down in the Valley Where the Green Grass Grows - - (... plug in name of jumper and favorite boy or girl "crush" of the jumper for the two names).

Down in the valley where the green grass grows
There sat Sally as pretty as a rose,
Along came Jimmy who kissed her on the cheek
How many kisses did she get this week?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. (jumper keeps jumping and counting until missing)

**

And I'm sure there are a number of other versions of this jump rope rhyme.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down in the Valley
From: Azizi
Date: 25 May 07 - 11:25 AM

Correction: "groes"="grows"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Down in the Valley
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 25 May 07 - 12:16 PM

gosh this confirms my Mum was trying to prepare me for a life in prison as a child! She used to sing this to me along with The Prisoner's Song (If I had the Wings of an Angel) and I just loved it. I can't think of the other prison songs she sang me off the top of my head but they were many. Perhaps it was because my father was a cop?

Somehow I managed to stay on the good side of the Law all my life. Not even a speeding ticket! However, I do maintain a serious sympathy for folks in jail and write to people who wind up there when their frinds or family let me know they are stuck in stir. I've devoloped something of a reputation as a soft touch for guys getting out of our local county jail and recently released inmates often find their way to the Food Bank I volunteer at knowing I'm good for a set of clean t-shirts, socks and a shave kit. it really annoys my husband when I steal socks he hasn't worn in ages and give them to these guys! I try to buy extra bags of clean socks each mointh but when I forget, I still pilfer his sock supply!

Oh well. I blame my Dad the Cop who used to bring home recently released fellows for dinner. Drove my Mum nuts despite her affinity for prisoner songs


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