Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeetta

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origin: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane

DigiTrad:
HAND ME DOWN MY WALKIN' CANE


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Hand Me Down My Walking Shoes/or my cane (23)
Lyr Req: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane (10)
Lyr Req: Hand Me Down My Walkin' Cane (17)


GUEST,jmrnky 15 Aug 01 - 03:05 PM
JenEllen 15 Aug 01 - 03:18 PM
Amos 15 Aug 01 - 04:01 PM
Chicken Charlie 15 Aug 01 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Reiver 2 15 Aug 01 - 08:26 PM
Troll 15 Aug 01 - 09:29 PM
rangeroger 16 Aug 01 - 04:33 AM
Mooh 16 Aug 01 - 08:47 AM
Whistle Stop 16 Aug 01 - 10:40 AM
Louie Roy 16 Aug 01 - 01:34 PM
JenEllen 16 Aug 01 - 02:24 PM
Whistle Stop 16 Aug 01 - 02:42 PM
Louie Roy 16 Aug 01 - 03:52 PM
Barbara Shaw 16 Aug 01 - 04:19 PM
Mooh 16 Aug 01 - 06:28 PM
Amos 16 Aug 01 - 06:33 PM
Stewie 16 Aug 01 - 07:18 PM
Stewie 16 Aug 01 - 07:23 PM
Troll 16 Aug 01 - 07:30 PM
Fortunato 17 Aug 01 - 09:59 AM
Louie Roy 17 Aug 01 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,jmrnky 17 Aug 01 - 12:12 PM
masato sakurai 17 Aug 01 - 12:39 PM
Stewie 17 Aug 01 - 07:42 PM
Stewie 17 Aug 01 - 08:38 PM
Mysha 15 Aug 14 - 07:39 PM
Q 16 Aug 14 - 12:47 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: GUEST,jmrnky
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:05 PM

Do any of you know the origin of "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" I have one source that says it was written by James A. Bland of "Golden Slippers" fame. However, that was the only one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: JenEllen
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 03:18 PM

Which version? This one?

Hand me down my walking cane
Hand me down my walking cane
Hand me down my walking cane
Lord, I'm leaving on the midnight train
All my sins are taken away

Do you have any other information?
~J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Amos
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 04:01 PM

I like the one that goies:

Hand me down my walking cane, Hand me down my hat Hurry up and don't be late Ain't got time for that!

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 06:24 PM

Try also under the title "Yonder's Wall," or "Look over Yonder's Wall." Don't know as I ever heard it attributed to anybody, but the version I picked up had this verse form:

Look over yonder's wall; hand me down my walkin' cane.
Look over yonder's wall; hand me down my walkin' cane.
Well, I got myself a woman; yonder comes her man.

CC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: GUEST,Reiver 2
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 08:26 PM

I've found the song in 4 or 5 different songbooks that I have in my library (all are the version mentioned by JenEllen -- I've never heard of any other version.) Most of these have no information whatsoever about the song. Only one has the notation, "trans. by Hugo Frey". I'm not sure, but I think that means "transcribed". Not coincidently, I think, that comes from the book AMERICAN COWBOY SONGS, Edited by (who else?)Hugo Frey. The book bears the notation Copyright 1936, Robbins Music Corporation, 799 Seventh Ave. N.Y., N.Y. (copyright assigned in 1932). I'm afraid this information doesn't help you much!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Troll
Date: 15 Aug 01 - 09:29 PM

I learned this one from my Dad in the '40's (Jen-Ellen's version) and have performed it for years. I have no idea where it came from. My whole family is from the rural South.

troll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: rangeroger
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 04:33 AM

Lou Rawls does an excellent version of this song.

rr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Mooh
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 08:47 AM

JenEllen's version appears on "Whiskey Before Breakfast" by Norman Blake, my favourite version. The only book version I have is the same with a little variation in words.

Love that Blake!

Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 10:40 AM

Yeah, that's the version I know too, Mooh. Great album by one of my favorites. Don't have it in front of me (I'm at work), so I can't check it for writer's credit, but I'll take a look tonight.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Louie Roy
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 01:34 PM

I have no idea when this was written or by whom but I learned it off of an Edison record in 1930 and I firmly believe it was written in the 1800s by a church revival group.(guessing of course)Here are the words I learned in 1930
Hand me down my walking cane
Hand me down my walking cane
Hand me down my walking cane
Going to leave here on the mid night train
For all my sins have been taken away

I got in a fight and lost my hat
I got in a fight and lost my hat
I got in a fight and lost my hat
And oh my God I couldn't stand that
For all my sins were taken away

I got drunk got throwed in jail
I got drunk got throwed in jail
I got drunk got throwed in jail
Had no one to go my bail
But all my sins were taken away

I went to church to confess my sins
I went to church to confess my sins
I went to church to confess my sins
And Jesus said come right on in
And all your sins will be taken away

It thanked the Lord and went outside
I thanked the Lord and went outside
I thanked the Lord and went outside
Sat right down and cried and cried
For all my sins were taken away

So hand me down my walking cane
Hand me down my walking cane
Hand me down my walking cane
Going to leave here on the mid night train
For all of my sins were taken away

I will not be back again
I will not be back again
I will not be back again
I've met Jesus he is my friend
And all my sins have been taken away

Louie Roy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: JenEllen
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 02:24 PM

Version I'd learned: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane Hand me down my walking cane
Hand me down my walking cane
Hand me down my walking cane
Lord, I'm leaving on the midnight train
All my sins are taken away

Well, hand me down my rocking shoes
Hand me down my rocking shoes
Baby, hand me down my rocking shoes
We'll rock to the rhythm and blues
All my sins are taken away

Well, hand me down my white sports coat
Hand me down my white sports coat
Well, hand me down my white sports coat
We'll start rocking and, boy, we'll go
All my sins are taken away

Well, hand me down my walking bone
Hand me down my walking bone
Well, hand me down my walking bone
We'll start rocking, we'll be a rolling stone
All my sins are taken away

Incidentally (and very non-folk), JerryLeeLewis did a 'killer' version of this song. Worth looking up.
~J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 02:42 PM

Lots of variants to this song, obviously. The biggest difference in the Norman Blake version is that he sings the last line of each verse "My sins, they have overtaken me". Puts a different spin on it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Louie Roy
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 03:52 PM

OOPH,The fourth verse should be
The beans were tough and the meat was fat
The beans were tough and the meat was fat
The beans were tough and the meat was fat
And oh my God I couldn't eat that
For all my sins were taken away

Writing from memory my brain isn't as good as it used to be Louie Roy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 04:19 PM

Couple more verses that we use, with a different last line:

Hand me down that bottle of corn
Hand me down that bottle of corn
Hand me down that bottle of corn
Gonna get drunk as sure as you're born
My sinful days have overtaken me.

And if I die in Tennessee
And if I die in Tennessee
And if I die in Tennessee
Ship me home by C.O.D.
My sinful days have overtaken me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Mooh
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 06:28 PM

Songs For Pickin' and Singin' ("a complete set of simple chords for each song" Selected and arranged by James F. Leissy) 1962 Fawcett Publications, page 110. Paperback.

Got the book from one older sister who got it from our mother, both of whom went through a sort of folk period. I'm keeping it. My kids can have it when I'm gone.

Too bad the folk scare didn't last longer.

Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Amos
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 06:33 PM

I just realized the version I thought of is actyually the opening lines of "The Rubber Band Man", a short-lived rock hit from around 1963!!!

"You never heard a sound like the Rubber Band man!! "You oughta be around when the Rubber Band Man Starts to jam!!"...

Sorry!

LOL.... A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 07:18 PM

Several old-time artists recorded it in the 1920s, including Kelly Harrell, Ernest 'Pop' Stoneman and Carson Robison. I have not heard the Pop Stoneman one, but it could be the one Louie Roy recalls because Stoneman recorded the song for Edison in 1930. Ivan Tribe notes that Stoneman's was a rendering of 'the old James Bland minstrel song'. I got the following verses from a newsgroup and added a couple - they include all the verses Harrell used plus others, and duplicate a few posted above:

Different choruses to the song:

Hand me down my walking cane,
Hand me down my walking cane,
Hand me down my walking cane,
4th line: I'm going to leave on that morning train
or
I'm going to leave on that midnight train,

5th line:
My sins they have overtaken me
Or
All my sins are taken away, taken away
Or
My sins have all been taken away

I got high, got thrown in jail, (3x)
Had nobody for to go my bail,
Oh the beans was tough and the meat was fat
Oh good God I couldn't eat that

O hand me down my jug of corn Gonna get drunk just as sure as you're born.

If I had listened to what mama said
I'd be sleeping on a feather bed

Come on mama and go my bail
Get me out of this Nashville jail

If I die in Tennessee
Ship me back by C.O.D.

Oh hell is deep and hell is wide
Ain't got no bottom, ain't got no side

Yonder comes a man across the field
Kickin' up dust like an automobile

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 07:23 PM

Correction to above posting - Stoneman recorded the song in 1927, not 1930 and Harrell had recorded it a year earlier, in 1926. My apologies for the couple of missing breaks above - I thought I had them all. Perhaps a kind clone could fix them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Troll
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 07:30 PM

The Stoneman version is probably the one my Dad knew and taught me.The time period and area of the country are right.

troll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Fortunato
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 09:59 AM

Thanks, Stewie, for the background info. I don't introduce songs with derivation anymore, but I enjoy knowing. It creates for me a kind of inner resonance with the song. As always you provide excellent information.

regards, Chance


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Louie Roy
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 10:32 AM

Stewie,Maybe with the avenues of info that you have you can answer this question.When was the last Cylinder Edison Record made and when was the last thick flat Edison Record made?We had a lot of the flat Edison Records in 1930 but I don't think we bought any in 1930.I think in 1930 we started buying the 78s.Anyway it took a special needle to play the Edison it was actually gold tipped.Thanks for all the correct info you have been able to share it really helps for the ones that document their collections.Louie Roy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: GUEST,jmrnky
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 12:12 PM

Thanks to all who sent answers. It would seem that there might be some basis for the attribution to James Bland. I, too, like knowing as much as possible about a song. It seems to add something to the performance of it.

jmrnky


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 12:39 PM

The Great Song Thesaurus (Oxford UP) has an entry "(Oh) Hand Me Down My Walking Cane," and it says:

1865 w.m. traditional black American spiritual

Was it? What was the evidence? Erskine Peters' Lyrics of the Afro-American Spiritual (Greenwood) contains a seemingly related one:

Hand me down my silver trumpet, Gabriel,
Hand it down;
Hand me down my silver trumpet, Gabriel,
Hand me down
Hand me down my silver trumpet,
Hand me down my silver trumpet,
All my sins been washed away. (Traditional)

Well, this version looks like a spiritual. But the collection (without melody) doesn't give the date or place it collected. According to Index to Negro Spirituals (Cleveland Public Library), "Hand Me Down" (this short title) is located in Utica Jubilee Singers Spirituals (1930), which I have not seen. There is no mention of "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" in Blues and Gospel Records 1890-1943 (Oxford UP); the titles of 10 recordings are "Hand Me Down the Silver Trumpet," "Hand Me Down the Trumpet Gabriel," "Hand Me Down the Silver Trumpet Gabriel," "Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet, Gabriel," "Hand Me the Silver Trumpet," and "Hand Me Down" (and "Hand Me Down My Old Suitcase").

Surely, this version of "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane" (so the title goes) has the silver trumpet" line, so these two song families are related; at least they were intermingled somewhere. But, up to now, I cannot confirm the thesaurus.

cho: Oh, hand me down (Hand me down)
Hand me down (hand me down)
Hand me down my silver trumpet Gabriel
Hand it down, Throw it down,
Any old way, just get it down
Hand me down my silver trumpet Lord

If you get there before I do
Hand me down my silver trumpet, Gabriel
Tell all my friends I'm comin' too
Hand me down my silver trumpet, Lord.

Oh, Satan's mad an' I am glad
Hand me down my silver trumpet, Gabriel
he lost a soul he thought he had
Hand me down my silver trumpet, Lord.

The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music has HAND ME DOWN DEM GOLDEN SHOES (Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: By Jacob J. Sawyer. Publication: Boston: W.A. Evans, 1883). The Library of Congress has two items of this song (this and this ). My guess (without any evidence)is, this was mistaken for James Bland's "Dem Golden Slippers."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Hand Me DownMy Walking Cane
From: Stewie
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 07:42 PM

Louie Roy, you will find the answer to your questions on Tim Gracyk's homepage. Scroll down to the 'Old Records' section and you will find 2 essays that cover what you want to know: 'Phonograph Cylinders - A Beginner's Guide' and 'Edison Diamond Discs - Those Thick Records'. Gracyk's site is full of great info:

Tim Gracyk's Homepage

Masato, thanks for the information. I too saw that UK site with 'walking cane' title to a text that doesn't mention it - odd. I had a trawl around the net for Bland's text on which Stoneman's version was based (Ivan M. Tribe - 'The Stonemans' Uni of Illinois Press) but was unable to find it. There are several of Bland's lyrics available on the net, but not that one.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: HAND ME DOWN MY WALKIN' CANE
From: Stewie
Date: 17 Aug 01 - 08:38 PM

I have found the following on this page:

Click

Given the ambiguous note, however, it is difficult to know whether these are Bland's original verses or not.

HAND ME DOWN MY WALKIN' CANE

This is another of James Bland's great contributions to the age of minstrelsy. It has known many verses. In fact, we have added a few for good measure.

1. Oh, hand me down my walkin' cane,
Oh, hand me down my walkin' cane,
Oh, hand me down my walkin' cane,
I'm gonna catch the midnight train
'Cause all my sins are taken away.

2. Oh, hand me down my old buzz saw,
Oh, hand me down my old buzz saw, oh,
Hand me down my old buzz saw,
I'll need it down in Saginaw,
'Cause all my sins are taken away.

3. Oh, hand me down my old banjo,
Oh, hand me down my old banjo,
Oh, hand me down my old banjo,
I'm gonna play for the U.S.O.,
'Cause all my sins are taken away.

4. Oh, if I die in Tennessee,
Oh, if I die in Tennessee,
Oh, if I die in Tennessee,
Just send my bones back C.O.D.,
'Cause my sins are taken away.

On the subject of verses added 'for good measure', the 'Folksinger's Wordbook' gives these extra ones not noted above:

But if I should die in New York State
Just ship my body back by freight

The devil chased me round a stump
I thought he'd catch me at every jump

Now some folks say it ain't no fun
When a song like this goes on and on

Yes, on and on, and on and on
On and on and on and on
--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
From: Mysha
Date: 15 Aug 14 - 07:39 PM

Hi,

Black past has it James A. Bland, 1880.


Sources given for the page are:
- David Ewen, Great Men of American Popular Song (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1972);
- Rayford Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: W.W. Norton, 1982);
- Eileen Southern, The Music of Black Americans: A History (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997).
It might be a bit of work to trace that year in them, though.

Bye
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin: Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
From: Q
Date: 16 Aug 14 - 12:47 PM

Was Bland first, or was its origin in spirituals like "All My Sins Done Taken Away"?
See St. Helena Island Spirituals Permathread, 130500

Bland was a member of the first all black minstrel group in the 1870s, the Georgia Minstrels. He heard spirituals from ex-slaves working on the Howard campus.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 24 October 4:29 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.