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Origin: Rye Whiskey

DigiTrad:
I'M A RAMBLER, I'M A GAMBLER c
JACK O'DIAMONDS
RYE WHISKEY
RYE WHISKEY (2)


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Corn Whiskey/Moonshine (15)
Lyr Req: Jack o' Diamonds (Lonnie Donegan) (26)
Lyr Req: Rye Whiskey variant(?) (4)
Lyr Req: Way Up on Clinch Mountain (14)
Railroad Corral /Rye Whiskey Same Melody (5)
Chords Req: Rye Whiskey (6)
Lyr Add: Jack o' Diamonds-variation from Lomax's (3)
Tune Req: Jack o' Diamonds (Lonnie Donegan) (4)
Lyr Req: Jack o' Diamonds (Lonnie Donegan) (4)
Req: moonlight won't kill me I'll live 'til I die (17)
Lyr Req: Jack o' Diamonds (Sylvester Weaver) (4)


Richie 14 Jan 07 - 10:12 PM
Richie 14 Jan 07 - 10:14 PM
Richie 15 Jan 07 - 09:19 AM
JeremyC 15 Jan 07 - 09:28 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 15 Jan 07 - 09:29 AM
Richie 15 Jan 07 - 09:44 AM
Charley Noble 15 Jan 07 - 11:24 AM
Q 15 Jan 07 - 02:20 PM
Richie 15 Jan 07 - 09:13 PM
Richie 15 Jan 07 - 10:11 PM
Goose Gander 15 Jan 07 - 10:55 PM
Richie 15 Jan 07 - 11:01 PM
Q 15 Jan 07 - 11:18 PM
Richie 15 Jan 07 - 11:31 PM
Richie 15 Jan 07 - 11:41 PM
Charley Noble 16 Jan 07 - 09:06 AM
Goose Gander 16 Jan 07 - 11:28 AM
Q 16 Jan 07 - 01:20 PM
Goose Gander 16 Jan 07 - 01:51 PM
Goose Gander 16 Jan 07 - 04:25 PM
Goose Gander 17 Jan 07 - 10:27 AM
open mike 31 May 08 - 12:54 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 31 May 08 - 01:52 PM
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Joe_F 31 May 08 - 07:47 PM
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Subject: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 10:12 PM

I seems like the Rye Whiskey/Jack O' Diamonds are old songs. Yet the Traditional Ballad Index EARLIEST DATE is 1910.

Is this short version by Perrow from 1905 the earliest version?

43. HOW ARE YOU OFF FOR GREENBACK?

D. From Missouri; cowboys; MS. of Frederick Braun; 1905.)

Oh, it's beefsteak when I'm hungry,
And it's whiskey when I'm dry;
If a tree don't fall on me,
I'll live till I die.


Are some the the related versions older? Talley's version below seem to pre-date the Civil War:

I'll Eat When I'm Hungry

I'll eat when I'se hongry,
An' I'll drink when I'se dry;
An' if de whitefolks don't kill me,
I'll live till I die.

In my liddle log cabin,
Ever since I'se been born;
Dere hain't been no nothin'
'Cept dat hard salt parch corn.

But I knows whar's a henhouse,
An' de tucky he charce;
An' if ole Mosser don't kill me,
I cain't never starve.


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Richie
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 10:14 PM

Traditional Ballad Index:

Rye Whiskey

DESCRIPTION: A song of intense alcoholism: "Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry; If I don't get rye whiskey I surely will die." "If the ocean was whisky and I was a duck, I'd dive to the bottom...." Many verses about how drink has affected the singer's life
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1910 (Lomax)
KEYWORDS: drink rambling floatingverses
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE,So)
REFERENCES (20 citations):
Belden, pp. 374-377, "The Guerrilla Boy" (4 texts, 1 tune; the first of two texts filed as "C" is this song)
BrownIII 50, "Jack of Diamonds" (4 texts, all short; some may be "Jack of Diamonds (II)")
Hudson 79, pp. 207-208, "Jack of Diamonds" (1 short text); 117, pp. 258-259, "O Lillie, O Lillie," mostly a "Jack of Diamonds" text but with verses which mix it with "The Rebel Soldier"; also 116, p. 258, "I'll Eat When I'm Hungry" (1 fragment, a single stanza based on this song but probably belonging with "The Rebel Soldier": "I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll drink when I'm dry, If the Yankees don't kill me, I'll live till I die")
Randolph 405, "Rye Whiskey, Rye Whiskey" (6 texts, 1 tune); also 494, "Tie-Hackin's Too Tiresome" (1 fragment, 1 tune, an extract from a longer version)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 344-345, "Rye Whiskey, Rye Whiskey" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 405A); pp. 375-376, 'Tie Hackin's Too Tiresome" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 494)
Fuson, p. 157-159, "His Wants," "My Welcome," "I'll Live Till I Die (second, ninth, and tenth of 12 single-stanza "jigs") (3 fragments, all sometimes found with this song though all are floating verses)
Sandburg, p. 307, "Way Up On Clinch Mountain" (2 text, 1 tune, but only the "A" text belongs here; "B" is perhaps "Sweet Lulur")
Lomax-FSUSA 64, "Rye Whiskey" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 170-173, "Rye Whiskey" (1 text+minor fragments, 1 tune)
Botkin-AmFolklr, pp. 855-857, "Rye Whisky" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chase, pp. 142-143, "Clinch Mountain" (1 text, 1 tune)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 69, "Rye Whiskey" (1 text, 1 tune)
Rorrer, p. 92, "If the River Was Whiskey" (1 text, built around W. C. Handey's "Hesitating Blues" but with most of the verses from this song)
Darling-NAS, pp. 286-287, "Jack o' Diamonds" (1 text, heavily mixed with "Logan County Jail"); pp. 287-288, "Rye Whiskey" (1 text)
MWheeler, pp. 112-113, "Beefsteak When I'm Hongry" (1 text, 1 tune, a mixed fragment I file here on the basis of the first verse; the others are from elsewhere)
Thomas-Makin', p. 121, (no title) (1 text, all floating verses, some of which are, or can be, part of "Rye Whiskey" and all of which are drink-related)
Silber-FSWB, p. 233, "Rye Whiskey" (1 text)
Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 5, "Rye Whiskey" (1 text, 1 tune)
Saffel-CowboyP, pp. 211-213, "Jack o' Diamonds" (1 text; this particular Lomax offering contains elements of "Jack o Diamonds/Rye Whisky," "The Wagoner's Lad," The Rebel Soldier," and others)
DT, RYEWHISK* MOONSHI4* (RYEWHISx)

Roud #941
RECORDINGS:
Jules Allen, "Jack O' Diamonds" (Victor 21470, 1928; Montgomery Ward M-4464, 1934)
Fiddlin' John Carson, "The Drunkard's Hiccups" (OKeh 45032, 1926; rec. 1925)
Wilf Carter, "Rye Whiskey" (Bluebird [Canada] 58-0058, 1948)
Yodeling Slim Clark, "Rye Whiskey" (Continental 8012, n.d.)
Homer & Jethro, "Rye Whiskey" (King 571, 1947)
Harry Jackson, "Jack o' Diamonds" (on HJackson1)
J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers "Drunkard's Hiccoughs" (Bluebird B-8400, 1940)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Drunkard's Hiccups" (on NLCR08)
Elmo Newcomer, "Rye Whiskey" (Cromart 100, n.d. but prob. mid-1930s)
Bill Nicholson w. Zane Shrader, "Jack of Diamonds" (AFS; on LC14)
Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, "If the River Was Whiskey" (with verses from this song though also related to "Hesitation Blues" or Handy's "Hesitating Blues"; Columbia 15545-D, 1930; on CPoole02)
Tex Ritter, "Rye Whiskey, Rye Whiskey" (Vocalion 5493, c. 1931; Vocalion 04911, 1939) (Edison Bell Winner [U.K.] W-21, 1933); "Rye Whiskey" (Capitol 40084, 1948)
Reaves White County Ramblers, "Drunkard's Hiccups" (Vocalion 5247, 1928)
Hobart Smith, "Drunken Hiccups" (on LomaxCD1706)
Pete Seeger, "Whiskey, Rye Whiskey" (on PeteSeeger07, PeteSeeger07b)
Jilson Setters [pseud. for James W. "Blind Bill" Day], "Way Up On Clinch Mountain" (Victor 21635, 1928; on RoughWays1)
Woltz's Southern Broadcasters, "Jack O' Diamonds" (Herwin 75561, c. 1927)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Wagoner's Lad" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Greenback Dollar"
cf. "Sailing Out on the Ocean" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Jack of Diamonds (I)" (lyrics)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Jack O'Diamonds
Drunken Hiccups
Notes: This song merges almost continuously with "The Wagoner's Lad" (which itself has offshoots such as "I'm a Rambler, I'm a Gambler"); see that song also for the full list of variants.
The "Jack of Diamonds" subfamily of this song is well known, and perhaps would be considered by some a separate song, but contains so much mixture with this song that I don't see any way to separate them. - RBW
File: R405

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Bibiography
Go to the Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright $TrueYear by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RYE WHISKEY (from Tex Ritter)
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 09:19 AM

I think Tex Ritter, whose son John Ritter carried on the family name as a popular actor in TV sitcoms like Three's Company and Hooperman, was the first to record the song under the title Rye Whiskey in 1932.

Perrow also has a better version under the title "The Drunkard's Song" which was also collected in 1905.

Here are Tex Ritter's lyrics from and on-line site:

RYE WHISKEY- Tex Ritter
Recorded in 1932- NYC

Jack o' Diamonds, Jack o' Diamonds and I know you of old
You've robbed my poor pockets of silver and gold.
It's a whiskey, you villain, you've been my downfall
You've kicked me, you've cuffed me, but I love you for all

CHORUS: It's a whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If I don't get rye whiskey, well, I think I will die

I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll drink when I'm dry
If the hard times don't kill me, I'll lay down and die
I'll tune up my fiddle and I 'll rosin my bow
I'll make myself welcome, wherever I go

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die

Beefsteak when I'm hungry red liquor when I'm dry
Greenbacks when I'm hard up and religion when I die
They say I drink whiskey, my money's my own
All them that don't like me, can leave me alone

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die

Sometimes I drink whiskey, sometimes I drink rum
Sometimes I drink brandy, at other times none
But if I get boozey, my whiskey's my own
And them that don't like me, can leave me alone

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck
I'd dive to the bottom to get one sweet suck
But the ocean ain't whiskey and I ain't a duck
So we'll round up the cattle and then we'll get drunk

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If the whiskey don't kill me, I'll live till I die

My foot's in my stirrup, my bridle's in my hand
I'm leaving sweet Lillie, the fairest in the land
Her parents don't like me, they say I'm too poor
They say I'm unworthy to enter her door

It's a whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If I don't get rye whiskey, well, I think I will die

Sweet milk when I'm hungry, rye whiskey when I'm dry
If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die
I'll buy my own whiskey, I'll make my own stew
If I get drunk, madam, it's nothing to you

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die

I'll drink my own whiskey, I'll drink my own wine
Some ten thousand bottles I've killed in my time
I've no wife to quarrel, no babies to bawl
The best way of living is no wife at all

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die

Way up on Clinch Mountain I wander alone
I'm as drunk as the devil, oh, let me alone
You may boast of your knowledge an' brag of your sense
'Twill all be forgotten a hundred years hence

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, you're no friend to me
You killed my poor daddy, God damn you, try me


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Subject: Lyr Add: RYE WHISKEY (from Ramblin' Jack Elliott)
From: JeremyC
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 09:28 AM

It seems like a few verses I've heard in the song are floating verses--the "beefsteak when I'm hungry" line, for instance.

Ramblin' Jack's version, as best as I can remember:

Jack o' diamonds, jack o' diamonds, I know you of old
You've robbed my poor pockets of silver and gold
And whiskey, rye whiskey, you've been my downfall
You've kicked me and you've cussed me but I love you for all

It's beefsteak when I'm hungry, rye whiskey when I'm dry
A greenback when I'm hard up, go to hell when I die
I'll go to yonder holler and build me a still
I'll give you a gallon for a five dollar bill 'cause it's

Whiskey, rye whiskey, whiskey I cry
If I don't get rye whiskey I surely will die

(I think there's some yodeling/screeching here, plus some hiccups)

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck
I'd dive to the bottom and never come up.
(sing this sadly:) But the ocean ain't whiskey, and I ain't a duck
I'll just play jack o' diamonds and trust in my luck 'cause it's

Whiskey, rye whiskey, whiskey I cry
If I don't get rye whiskey I surely will die

Her parents don't like me, they say I'm too poor
'Twere them who said not to knock at her door
If her parents don't like me, my money's my own
Them that don't like me can leave me alone 'cause it's

Whiskey, rye whiskey, whiskey I cry
If I don't get rye whiskey I surely will die

(and he closes it with more yodeling and this weird reverse-forced-air shriek that's amazingly hard to do)


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 09:29 AM

Hell, I'd rather drink it than sing it any day! Akchewally, with a voice like mine, it's better to do anything with it but sing.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DRUNKARD'S SONG (from E C Perrow)
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 09:44 AM

Here's Perrow's other 1905 version. I think he got a bit carried away with the dialect (uv=of).

THE DRUNKARD'S SONG
SONGS AND RHYMES FROM THE SOUTH BY E. C. PERROW.
VI. SONGS CONNECTED WITH DRINKING AND GAMBLING.*
I. THE DRUNKARD'S SONG.

A. (From East Tennessee; mountain whites; from memory; 1905.)

Way up on Clinch Mountain,
I wander alone;
I'm es drunk es the devil;
Oh, let me alone!

Tink-a-link-tink, tink-a-link-tink,
Tink-a-link-tink-a-link!

Tink-a-link-tink, tink-a-link-tink,
Tink-a-link-tink-a-link!

I'll play cards and drink whiskey
Wherever I'm gone;
En if people don' like me,
They ken let me alone.

I'll eat when I'm hungry
En drink when I'm dry;
En ef whiskey don't kill me,
I'll live till I die.**

O Lulu, O Lulu, O Lulu, my dear!
O Lulu, my dear!
I'd give this whole world
Ef my Lulu wuz hyeur.

Way up on Clinch Mountain
Where the wild geese fly high,
I'll think uv little Allie
En lay down en die.

Jack u' diamonds, Jack u' diamonds,
I know you uv ole;
You rob my pore pockets
Uv silver en gol'.

You may boast uv yore knowledge
En brag uv yore sense;
But 'twill all be furgotten
One hundred years hence.

B. (From Mississippi; country whites; MS. of Dr. Herrington; 1909.)

Oh brandy and whiskey I wish you no harm,
But I wish I had a jug full as long as my arm.


*Continued from vol. xxvi of this Journal (1913), p. 173.
**Compare Berea Quarterly, October, 1910, p. 26.


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 11:24 AM

This song has got to be older than 1905. The earlier person I heard sing it was Tony Kraeber in the 1940's on his OLD CHISHOLM TRAIL recording. He did it complete with concluding hic-ups.

There used to be a family website for Kraeber but it seems to have disappeared. He also recorded with Jean Ritchie, and was black-listed in the 1950's red-scare.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Q
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 02:20 PM

Some lines similar to "The CUCKOO" (The cuckoo is a fine bird, she sings as she flies,...).
A verse-
Meeting is a pleasure, parting is a grief,
And inconstant lover is worse than a thief,
A thief can but rob you and take all you have
An inconstant lover will bring you to the grave.

And there is "THE WHISKEY"

Whiskey, you are my own darling,
I love you both early and late
And indeed above all other objects
For you I'd pledge my estate
And indeed above all other objects
of Champaign, wine or grog
When I'd have you in my belly
I thaink I'd jump right out of a bog
Whiskey you are my own darling
I love you both night and day.
Etc.
Bodleian Collection, 2806 c.8(226), nd, no printer noted.

May not be pertinent, but the scan in in the first and the old, old thought in the second...

The later Victorian period mentality may be the reason for the hard-to-fill gap to the 20th c.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RYE WHISKEY (from Tony Kraber)
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 09:13 PM

Charlie, I happen to have Kraber's lyrics:

RYE WHISKEY Tony Kraber
Hootenanny at Carnegie Hall
Recorded at three "hoots" in 1958 and 1959

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey,
I've known you of old,
You've robbed my poor pockets
Of silver and gold.

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey,
You're no friend to me;
You've killed my poor pappy,
Goddamn you, try me.

It's whiskey, rye whiskey,
Whiskey, I cry.
If you don't give me rye whiskey,
I surely will die.

It's beefsteak when I'm hungry,
Rye whiskey when I'm dry.
Greenbacks when I'm hard up,
Oh heaven when I die.

I got to go yonder,
And build me a still.
And I'll give you a gallon,
For a five dollar bill.

It's whiskey, rye whiskey,
Whiskey, I cry.
If a tree don't fall on me,
I'll live 'til I die.

If the ocean was whiskey,
And I was a duck,
I'd dive to the bottom
And never come up.

But the ocean ain't whisky
And I ain't a duck,
So I'll play the Jack of Diamonds
And trust to my luck.

It's whiskey, rye whiskey,
Whiskey, I cry.
If you don't give me rye whiskey,
I surely will die.

Her parents don't like me,
They say I'm too poor;
They say I'm unworthy
To darken her door.

Her parents don't like me,
My money's my own.
And them that don't like me,
Can leave me alone.

O Mollie, O Mollie
I told you before.
Don't make me no pallet,
I'll lay on the floor.

It's whiskey, rye whiskey,
Whiskey, I cry.
If you don't give me rye whiskey,
I surely will die.


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 10:11 PM

I thought the melody of "Rye Whiskey" was of Scottish origin. Anyone have any thing on this?

Apparently the song can be traced back to the Civil War through versions entitled, "The Rebel Soldier." Sharp collected one version which I have somewhere.

An Arkansas version mention the Confederate officer Price:

I'll go the Price's army,
At home I can't stay.
For the home quarrels and Federals,
Have driven me away.

From Texas:

Go build me a cottage,
On yonder mountain high.
Where old General Price,
Will help me to cry.

From Missouri "A Roving Soldier"

I eat when I get hungry,
I drink when I get dry,
If the rebels don't kill me,
I'll live 'till I die.


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Goose Gander
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 10:55 PM

Samuel Bayard discussed this tune . . . .

"Either as a dance or a song, this tune has had many titles . . . the air has had the names of Johnny Armstrong, Todlen Hame, Bacach, Robi Donadh Gorrach, Wagoner's Lad, Clinch Mountain, The Cuckoo, Rye Whiskey, Jack of Diamonds and a number of others."

Samuel Bayard, Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife (University Park & London: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1982), p.567

If I had to guess, I'd say the melody is probably lowland Scots or Northumbrian in origin.


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 11:01 PM

The Rebel Soldier is discussed in some detail in this thread. Q as usual made some nice posts. The lyrics are very similar to Rye Whiskey/Jack O' Diamonds lyrics. Obviously the Rye Whiskey/Jack O' Diamonds originated with the Rebel Soldier.

thread.cfm?threadid=50984


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Q
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 11:18 PM

"The Rebel Prisoner," the earliest form of "The Rebel Soldier" dated in print (1874, "Allan's Lone Star Ballads"), was posted in thread 50984: Rebel Prisoner

It follows the typical form of "One morning, one morning in May," and besides the common stanza "O Mollie! O Mollie!," contains the verse:
"With a bottle of good Brandy and a glass of wine,
You can drink with your own true love, while I weep for mine,
You can drink with your own true love , while I weep and moan;
I am a rebel prisoner and Dixie is my home."

There are a steam-dozen of the 'May' verses in the UK, and the lament seems to be based on these. Randolph speculated a resemblance in form to "The Forsaken Damosel." (17th c. or so).


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Subject: Lyr Add: REBEL SOLDIER / POOR STRANGER (from Sharp
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 11:31 PM

I'm including this here also. I sight-sang the melody. The melody is not the same as Rye Whiskey. It's in 2/2 time. It is a different song with similar lyrics. It does introduce whiskey in the lyrics, which is the element (liquid) we are looking for!

THE REBEL SOLDIER or THE POOR STRANGER
Collected by Cecil Sharp EFSSA
Version A. Sung by Mrs. Eloza Pace Kentucky 1917

One morning, one morning, one morning in May,
I heard a fair damsel lamenting and say,
I heard a fair damsel lamenting, and mourn,
"I am a poor strange girl, and far from my home."

"O William! O William! It's for your sake alone
That I left my old father, my mother and my home,
I left my poor mother, to weep and to mourn,
For I am a poor strange girl, and far from my home.

Adieu to old Kentucky, no longer can I stay,
Since hard times and misfortunes have forced me away.
Hard times and misfortunes they occasion me to mourn,
Saying, "I am a poor strange girl, and far from my home."

Oh don't you remember on last Saturday night,
The promise you made me whilst by my side you sat?
You told me you loved me, your heart lay on my breast,
And if we never married, you could never rest.

Go build me a cottage on yon mountain high,
Where the wild geese can see me as they do pass me by,
Where the turtle dove and hear me, and help me to mourn,
Saying, "I am a poor strange girl, and far from my home."

There's a bottle of good old whiskey and a glass of good wine,
You can drink with your own true love, while I mourn for mine,
You can drink with your own true love, while I mourn for mine,
Saying, "I am a poor strange girl, and far from my home."


Notes: Almost identical to Francis D. Allan, 1874- The Rebel Prisoner posted by Q in the other thread.


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 11:41 PM

The melody goes back a ways.

From Kuntz:

ROBIE DONUA GORACH {or "Robi Donadh Gorrach," "Robaidh dona gorach"} (Daft Robin). AKA and see "Daft Robin," "Johnnie Armstrong," "Tod(d)lin' Hame," "The Wagoner's Lad," "Bacach," "The Drunken Hiccups [1]," "Rye Whiskey [1]," "Jack of Diamonds [3]," "Clinch Mountain," "The Cuckoo [5]."

Scottish, Slow Air (4/4 time). A Major. Standard. AABBCCDDEEFF. "An Old Highland Song" (as noted in Gow's collection) set by Nathaniel Gow (1763‑1831), though published under his father Niel's name. Johnson (1984) says the title translates literaly as "Silly Naughty Robbie." Source for notated version: Niel Gow's Strathspey Reels, vol. i, pg. 36 [Johnson]. Johnson (Scottish Fiddle Music in the 18th Century), 1984; No. 24, pgs. 61‑62.

DAFT ROBIN (Robie Donua Gorach). Scottish, Air. A Major. Standard. AABB (O'Farrell): AABBCCDDEEFF (Gow). Gow notes it is an "old Highland song." Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 538. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. III), c. 1808; pg. 14.


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 09:06 AM

Richie-

Thanks for correcting my mispelling of Tony Krager's name above and for posting his version of "Rye Whiskey." Here's a short obit of Kraber from 1986:

"Tony Kraber Dead at Age 81; An Actor, Singer and Director

Published: September 12, 1986
Tony Kraber, a retired actor, director and singer, died of emphysema Tuesday at his home in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. He was 81 years old.

Mr. Kraber had been seen on and Off Broadway since 1927. He was a founding member of the Group Theater, producing such triumphs of the 1930's as the Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Men in White,' Saroyan's 'My Heart's in the Highlands' and Odets's 'Waiting for Lefty.'

In 1952, Elia Kazan, the Broadway and Hollywood director, accused Mr. Kraber of being a Communist at a hearing before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Mr. Kazan said they had been in the same Communist unit. Mr. Kraber refused to respond to the charge.

Earlier Mr. Kraber had held executive positions in radio and television and was well known as a folk singer, having recorded several albums of American ballads and folk songs.

Mr. Kraber went on to make films, including the prize-winning documentary ''Boundary Lines.' In 1977, he appeared as the old man in the New York production 'Nobody Heard the Lions Roar.'

He is survived by his wife, the former Wilhelmina Barton; a son, Karl, of Austin, Tex., and two granddaughters."

I sure hope wherever Tony is now that that they appreciate his singing and fine sense of humor.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:28 AM

From Voices From the Dust Bowl

Rye Whiskey performed by Bill Robinson, Jesse Robinson, and Sherman Loop.


From the Max Hunter Collection

Rye Whiskey as sung by Donnie Koonce, Springfield, Missouri on March 13, 1975

Jack O'Diamonds as sung by Ollie Gilbert, Mountain View, Arkansas on March 12, 1970


From the Wolf Folklore Collection

Rye Whiskey sung by: Lowell Harness / Recorded in Pangburn, AR 7/29/63

Rye Whiskey sung by: Lowell Harness / Recorded in Mountain Home, AR 6/15/63


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Q
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 01:20 PM

Thanks for the links. Olie Gilbert's words depart from the usual.


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 01:51 PM

Yeah, it would be interesting to know where Ollie Gilbert's verses come from, but in the meantime here's something from Canada . . .

"I'll eat when I'm hungry and drink when I'm dry
If the river don't drown me, I'll live till I die
If the river don't drown me while over it I roam
For I am a river driver and far away from home."

Source:
Edith Fowke, "American Cowboy and Western Pioneer Songs in Canada,"
Western Folklore, Vol. 21, No. 4 (October 1962), p. 251


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 04:25 PM

From Lomax Southern States Recording Trip . . .


Drunkard's Lament by Lake N. Porter 4/29/1939

Rye Whiskey by Frank Goodwyn 4/30/1939

I'll Eat When I'm Hungry by Ray Wood 4/13/1939

Rye Whiskey by Elmo Newcomer 5/3/1939


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Subject: RE: origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Goose Gander
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 10:27 AM

ALL FOR YOU, MY DARLING

There's silver in the mountain,
Gold in the mine!
All for you, my darling,
The day that you'll be mine!

Bread when you're hungry
Whiskey when you're dry,
Money in your pocket,
And heaven when you die!

Source: Casey Jones and other Ballads of the Mining West, collected by Duncan Emrich, illustrated by Bob Cormack (1942).


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Subject: RE: Origin: Rye Whiskey
From: open mike
Date: 31 May 08 - 12:54 AM

Don Edwards, Cowboy singer has a song reminiscent of this with a chorus:

Hard Times in the Country,
Hard Times I cry,
If these times don't kill me,
I'll live 'til I die


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Subject: RE: Origin: Rye Whiskey
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 31 May 08 - 01:52 PM

Michael Morris:

The quatrain you asked about is one version of the refrain of an otherwise unrelated song, "The River Driver's Lament," with a very different tune and story.

Just goes to show how popular that "eat when I'm hungry, drink when I'm dry" couplet became.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 May 08 - 03:31 PM

I often did it with a Jew's Harp. I don't know where I got the version I sang, but usually sang it with these words:

I'm an old rebel soldier,
That's just what I am,
For your great land of freedom
I don't give a damn.

I fought in the army
With Robert E. Lee,
Ain't no goddamn Yankee
Can reconstruct me.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Origin: Rye Whiskey
From: Joe_F
Date: 31 May 08 - 07:47 PM

It follows that, if I do not live till I die, a tree will not have fallen on me.


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