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GUEST,DWR Lyr Req: The Christmas Guest (Grandpa Jones) (9) RE: Lyr Req: The Christmas Guest (Grandpa Jones) 24 Dec 10


Well, Jim, I'm certainly glad I went Christmas shopping last night! Before I left, I saw your first post reviving this old thread, and I thought to myself, we certainly need Grandpa's version on here! Before I left, I had done some preliminary work at transcribing his version from an Ozark Folk Center concert from December of 1980. It was fresh in my mind, as we had just used it on our radio show, KFFB at the Ozark Folk Center, last Saturday morning.

So anyway, when I got back home about 2:30 AM, there you had it all laid out for me and I could just go to bed knowing I didn't have to finish it up myself! I was even going to put in bold the parts where his version differed from Helen Steiner Rice's which Joe had supplied in 1998.

I really like the version Grandpa did at the OFC a whole lot better than the commercial versions. Naturally, it's got that "live" feel and the accompaniment is just understated guitar by his son Mark and Joe Carroll, rather than the orchestral sound of the version linked by Jim.   As far as the actual differences in the transcriptions of the live performance and the commercial version, there isn't enough variance to make it worth doing. Thanks again, Jim, for all the good work you do around here. I certainly notice and appreciate it.

Here's what Grandpa had to say as introduction to that particular performance of the poem.

"Ramona not too long ago found a -- oh, a few years ago, found a little poem in a little book and we thought it was one of the nicest Christmas poems we've heard. We wrote the last part of it -- finished it up. I'd like to read it to you if you don't mind. It's called The Christmas Guest."

That accounts for those last four lines which, in my opinion, really "finished it up" nicely, to quote Grandpa on the matter.   

And here is an introduction to another of Grandpa's performances at the Center. I quote it to emphasize that he states that he did not know the source. This was thirty years ago when we didn't have the internet and google to call up the information in a few seconds.

"I don't know who wrote this poem, but we put it on a record and it got a lot of plays, it does every Christmas. A lot of folks wrote in for it and I'd like to do it for you."

In yet another show from the era, (introduced by Mudcatter, Arkie!) Grandpa mentions that it was recorded on the Monument label. Right at the moment, I don't have the years he was at Monument, but I know he started there in 1962, so I'm making a rough guess of 1970 or so. I think it should be pretty clear that all of the recorded versions almost certainly stem from Grandpa's.

Dale


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