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Folk songs about floods?

GUEST,BlackAcornUK 15 Feb 20 - 07:55 PM
Joe G 15 Feb 20 - 08:12 PM
Joe G 15 Feb 20 - 08:13 PM
Joe G 15 Feb 20 - 08:15 PM
Joe Offer 15 Feb 20 - 08:42 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 16 Feb 20 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,HiLo 16 Feb 20 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,Jerry 16 Feb 20 - 04:04 AM
Johnny J 16 Feb 20 - 04:22 AM
John MacKenzie 16 Feb 20 - 04:52 AM
GUEST 16 Feb 20 - 05:00 AM
Jack Campin 16 Feb 20 - 05:14 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Feb 20 - 05:30 AM
BobL 17 Feb 20 - 02:56 AM
GUEST 17 Feb 20 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Starship 17 Feb 20 - 03:01 PM
Dave Sutherland 17 Feb 20 - 03:31 PM
Tattie Bogle 17 Feb 20 - 08:05 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Feb 20 - 09:14 PM
Joe Offer 17 Feb 20 - 10:43 PM
Iains 18 Feb 20 - 05:09 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Feb 20 - 05:33 AM
Daniel Kelly 18 Feb 20 - 06:18 AM
Jack Campin 18 Feb 20 - 06:31 AM
Tattie Bogle 18 Feb 20 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 18 Feb 20 - 11:07 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Feb 20 - 10:24 PM
PHJim 19 Feb 20 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,RA 19 Feb 20 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,RA 19 Feb 20 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,RA 19 Feb 20 - 01:15 PM
GUEST 20 Feb 20 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,HiLo 20 Feb 20 - 09:53 AM
John C. Bunnell 20 Feb 20 - 08:27 PM
clueless don 21 Feb 20 - 06:16 AM
GUEST 21 Feb 20 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,henryp 21 Feb 20 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,Jerry 22 Feb 20 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,henryp 22 Feb 20 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,henryp 22 Feb 20 - 09:43 AM
The Sandman 22 Feb 20 - 04:53 PM
rich-joy 29 Feb 20 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,henryp 01 Mar 20 - 05:05 AM
David C. Carter 01 Mar 20 - 05:38 AM
Howard Jones 01 Mar 20 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Jerry 01 Mar 20 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Starship 01 Mar 20 - 08:59 AM
David C. Carter 01 Mar 20 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Jerry 01 Mar 20 - 12:37 PM
Janie 01 Mar 20 - 03:08 PM
The Sandman 02 Mar 20 - 04:45 AM
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Subject: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 15 Feb 20 - 07:55 PM

Sitting here in Hebden Bridge, anxiously waiting to see whether the town will flood for the second time in a week - but it set me to wondering:

What folk songs from the British Isles address floods and flooding?


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Joe G
Date: 15 Feb 20 - 08:12 PM

Although not specifically about flooding, Jon Boden's brilliant album - Songs From The Floodplain - describes a post apocalyptic world which could result from climate change. I consider this to be the greatest album of those that I have heard this century


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Joe G
Date: 15 Feb 20 - 08:13 PM

There is also Runrig's 'Year of the Flood'


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Joe G
Date: 15 Feb 20 - 08:15 PM

Thinking of you all in Hebden (my favourite Yorkshire town) and the Calder Valley. We'll get it later in York. Flood defences here improved since 2015 thank goodness!


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Feb 20 - 08:42 PM

The Galveston Flood was about a hurricane, but the City of Galveston was certainly flooded. The Johnstown flood in Pennsylvania is probably the most sung-about flood in the US.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 16 Feb 20 - 03:19 AM

Water Bound?

Robin


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 16 Feb 20 - 03:23 AM

“Five Feet High and Risin”. Johnny Cash..great song!


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 16 Feb 20 - 04:04 AM

High Water Everywhere, Charlie Patton
The Flood, John Lee Hooker
Times They Are a Changing, When the Ship Comes In, Crash on the Levee, amongst others, Bob Dylan


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Johnny J
Date: 16 Feb 20 - 04:22 AM

Not a song but a great album....The Noah's Ark Trap.... Nic Jones

Here's a lovely track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGUs8MSv6UM


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Feb 20 - 04:52 AM

Louisiana 1927 Randy Newman
High Water Everywhere Charlie Patton.
Backwater Blues Bessie Smith


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 20 - 05:00 AM

Yes I can only think of lots of American ones like everyone else.

Oh wait, I've thought of one:
https://stevewharton.bandcamp.com/track/still-the-rockface-cries


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Feb 20 - 05:14 AM

Something I posted years ago...

A warning from the 1680s


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Feb 20 - 05:30 AM

After The Deluge
Trouble Over Bridgwater

I'll get me coat...


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: BobL
Date: 17 Feb 20 - 02:56 AM

One More River (well, it's about Noah's ark)


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 20 - 01:17 PM

Can't really think of any to do with floods as such, but drowning for sure... 'The Lakes of Shilin/Coolfin', or 'Clyde's Water', or 'Marrowbones'...


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 17 Feb 20 - 03:01 PM

When the Levee Breaks


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 17 Feb 20 - 03:31 PM

Tommy Armstrong's "The Sheel Raw Flood"


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 17 Feb 20 - 08:05 PM

So there are a few on record. But I would find it really hard to sit and listen to, or think of composing, a song about the current situation in England and Wales and Southern Scotland, either now, or in the future. What joy is there in singing about other people's personal tragedies?


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Feb 20 - 09:14 PM

Well you could always exhort the river to behave itself, as in Sweet Thames Flow Softly (sorry for mentioning that one, Jack, but I love it!)


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Feb 20 - 10:43 PM

Can't think of a better song than "Sweet Thames Flow Softly." I was amazed and a little scared at the power of the Thames as it flows with the tide through London. I've never seen a river with such power.
The power of floods is something that may have more impact in the Americas, because rivers are so much longer. In the US, flooding rivers can bring death on a bright, shiny day.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Iains
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 05:09 AM

Bridge over troubled water?


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 05:33 AM

Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 16 Feb 20 - 05:30 AM

After The Deluge
Trouble Over Bridgwater

I'll get me coat...


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Daniel Kelly
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 06:18 AM

Not English, but John Warner wrote a whole Song Cycle about the 1852 flood in Gundagai.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 06:31 AM

This Highland pipe march commemorates an occasion when two rivers in north-east Scotland rose high enough to meet up. (There's an Irish song of the same name, unrelated).

The Meeting of the Waters


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 10:46 AM

There's the Scott Skinner tune, "The Spey in (a) Spate".

And the opposite of "The Meeting of the Waters", I think there is more than one song mentioning The Great Divide, where one stream splits into two in The Rockies, with one half supposedly heading for the Atlantic, and the other towards the Pacific.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 11:07 AM

One of the songs in our repertoire is "Hartlake Bridge". This tells of the drowning of agricultural workers being washed away when their horse-drawn cart was swept from the bridge at Hadlow in Kent, England by a flooding river Medway. The tombstones of those lost can still be seen in the local churchyard.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 10:24 PM

These are not necessarily British, and "folk" is always debatable, but there are several threads about flood songs:

Origin: Galveston Flood
Lyr Add: The Sheel Raa Flood
Lyr Req: Night of the Johnstown Flood
Lyr Req: The Mississippi Flood
Lyr Req: Flood Blues (Sippie Wallace) + others
The Ohio River Flood of 1937-any songs?
Songs of Mississippi floods
Origins: By the Waters (Floods, Rivers) of Babylon
Lyr Req: Texas Flood (Larry Davis)

And I happened to find these additional songs that are in threads about other things:

THE PREACHER AND THE FLOOD (Joel Mabus)
FIVE FEET HIGH AND RISING (Johnny Cash)
HIGH WATER (FOR CHARLIE PATTON) (Bob Dylan)


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Subject: Lyr Add: MR. NOAH (Dave Van Ronk)
From: PHJim
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 11:45 AM

The Dave Van Ronk Folksinger LP had this one:

MR. NOAH

Oh, Mister Noah; oh, Mister Noah,
May I take a ride in the ark of the Lord?
'Cause it's gettin' mighty dark, gonna rain mighty hard.
Doodly do, doodly do, doodly doodly doodly doodly doodly do!

Oh, no, you can't, sir; oh, no, you can't, sir.
No, you may not ride in the ark of the Lord
Though it's gettin' mighty dark an' gonna rain mighty hard.
Doodly do, doodly do . . .

Well, go to the devil, sir; well, go to the devil, sir.
You may go to the devil in your darned old scow
'Cause you know darn well it won't rain anyhow.
Doodly do, doodly do . . .

Well, listen, young feller; well, listen, young feller,
That's the bluff of your life 'cause you know darn well
It's sprinklin' now, gonna rain like hell.
Doodly do, doodly do . . .


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 01:00 PM

The Flood at Double Dykes

In the recording above, made in Perthshire in 1993, "Hamish Henderson explains that Willie MacPhee lost his caravan in a flood. Sheila Douglas sings a new song of her own composition, to the tune of 'In the Month of January', about the flood. The Travellers at the Double Dykes site lost their homes and possessions, but were refused compensation by the local council until they took legal action."


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 01:14 PM

And a Scottish Gaelic song:

http://www.tobarandualchais.com/en/fullrecord/64846


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,RA
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 01:15 PM

Searching the Roud Index:

The Clonmel Flood (Roud 9776)

And a couple of broadsides:

The Great Flood in Manchester and Surrounding Districts Which Occurred on Saturday July 13th 1872 (Roud V6513)

Holmfirth Deluge, Occasioned By the Bursting of the Bilberry Dam, February 5th, 1852 (Roud V32340)


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 07:31 AM

Bill Scott's "Hey, Rain"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ztV_SvOA20


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 09:53 AM

"God Gave Noah The Rainbow Sign", The Carter Family.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: John C. Bunnell
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 08:27 PM

Strictly neither Irish nor historical, of course, but the original Great Flood is a key plot point in "The Unicorn" as made famous by the Irish Rovers from the Shel Silverstein poem.

One worthwhile song not yet mentioned, also US-based: Blake Hodgetts' The Great Nebraska Sea", inspired by a science fiction story originally published in 1963.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: clueless don
Date: 21 Feb 20 - 06:16 AM

Not British Isles (I did read the original request - I'm simply ignoring it), but there is Phil Rosenthal's song Muddy Water ("Mary ... grab the baby ... river's risin' ...".)

Don


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 20 - 08:30 AM

Someone needs to tip BlackAcornUK off to the whole discussion which unfolded elsewhere on Mudcat about the problematic nature of the term 'British Isles', ho ho!


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Feb 20 - 08:49 AM

The animals went in two by two. Hurrah, hurrah.

And songs about Noah were popular in the American south; Who built the ark? Brother Noah, Noah.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 22 Feb 20 - 04:52 AM

Has anyone mentioned Deep River Blues (Doc Watson), Waterbound (trad) or Waist Deep in the Big Muddy (Pete Seeger)? The latter of course is going off topic a bit, as is Wade in the Water, etc.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 22 Feb 20 - 07:36 AM

The lightning flashed, the thunder crashed, the rain poured down all night
A noise outside her window woke Kate Shelley with a fright
The swollen stream in Honey Creek had washed the bridge away
And soon the Midnight Special would be heading on its way

So Kate picked up a lantern and she stepped into the night
The wind it whistled round her head and then blew out her light
The storm it shook the trestle bridge as Kate crawled slowly o’er
But Kate kept on until she reached the station agent’s door        

There Kate stood wild and windswept as she tried to catch her breath
Stop the train, she cried, And spare the passengers from death!
The agent took her message and then down the wire it flew
To Scranton where the train was safely halted by the crew

Kate Shelley was the heroine who saved the midnight train
Her reward from the railroad was a gold watch and a chain
Her story hit the headlines and Kate Shelley she found fame
And trains still cross a bridge today that bears Kate Shelley’s name

A true story. Kate Shelley was born in Ireland.
Words go to the tune of The Blarney Roses.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 22 Feb 20 - 09:43 AM

The dam of Bilberry reservoir above Holmfirth gave way just after one o’clock in the morning on 5 February, 1852. The song, “Holmfirth Flood,” was written by A.B.N. Wildman and Joe Perkin. The original music has been lost, but the song started;
It rushed down the hill when people lay still, Rolling and roaring like thunder;
It came in its might like a demon at night, And left the survivors in wonder.

On the night of 11 March 1864 the newly-built Dale Dyke Dam in Bradfield Dale near Low Bradfield on the River Loxley, collapsed while it was being filled for the first time, killing at least 270 people. The Great Sheffield Flood was the greatest loss of life in the Victorian era in Britain. 'The Sheffield Flood' sung by Bellwether was written by Andrew Crothers and Dave Duke in 1987. Bradfield Festival of Music and Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend are held at High Bradfield annually.

Rock musician Frank Black makes several references to the St. Francis Dam disaster (Los Angeles, 1928) in his songs "St. Francis Dam Disaster" and "Olé Mulholland."

In the 1930s the valley of Mardale in Cumbria was flooded to create Haweswater to supply water to Manchester. Alan Bell wrote 'A Song for Mardale'.

In 1936 Woody Guthrie wrote;
And on up the river is Grand Coulee Dam, The mightiest thing ever built by a man,
To run these great factories and water the land, It's roll on, Columbia, roll on.
Music based on 'Goodnight, Irene'.

Capel Celyn in Gwynedd, Wales, was flooded in 1965 to create a reservoir to supply water to Liverpool. This act inspired a Manic Street Preachers' song "Ready For Drowning" and Enya's song "Dan y Dwr" ("Under the water"). It is referenced in the Los Campesinos! song "For Flotsam" on their album No Blues. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event, English composer Michael Stimpson released an album entitled Dylan & The Drowning of Capel Celyn, which featured a work for solo pedal harp. Electronic musician Bibio released a song called "Capel Celyn" on his 2017 album Phantom Brickworks.

On 23 December 1969, Lynn Jones was riding his horse Sally at the Lluest Wen reservoir above Maerdy when the mare plunged into a hole around five feet deep. The freak incident alerted authorities to problems at the reservoir, prompting the water board to carry out an immediate inspection which raised concerns that it could collapse. This was just three years after the Aberfan disaster. Hayws Glyn James was a schoolteacher in the secondary modern school in Ferndale at the time, and the tale of Sally inspired her to write a ballad.

And then there is The Dam Busters March by Eric Coates.

See also Mudcat thread; Dam collapse tragedy songs


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Feb 20 - 04:53 PM

back water blues
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs3QbochT8w


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: rich-joy
Date: 29 Feb 20 - 08:40 PM

Sorry, not British Isles, but I was reminded of the 19th century Aussie poem by Henry Lawson, named "The Ballad of the Drover" which concerned Harry Dale, who with his dog and horses, attempted to make it home across a fast-rising river.
It was a class favourite in my younger schooling years and many were the surreptitious tears resulting from the tale of Harry's death, along with faithful dog, Rover, and horse.
Of course, drownings in flooded rivers are still happening, all over ...... :(

Here is Martyn Wyndham-Read's sung version :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DA1ysiidUk

Here is Aussie actor, Jack Thompson, reading Lawson's poem :
https://finepoets.bandcamp.com/track/ballad-of-the-drover

Here is the poem by Lawson, published in Sydney, Australia, in October 1889 :
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/117027640

I wonder, Daniel Kelly, if you'd consider setting it to a new tune??!
Cheers,
R-J


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 05:05 AM

Nic Jones was once a lifeguard at the Chelmsford Swimming Pool.

Annan Water;
And he has tried to swim that stream And he swam on both strong and steady,
But the river was broad and strength did fail And he never saw his bonny lady.

In 1969 Nic altered, simplified and added to the text given in an appendix to Rare Willie Drowned in Yarrow or The Water o Gamrie, found in the Child Ballads Vol. IV, and added the chorus.
The first half of the tune is an adaptation of The Brisk Young Lively Lad (Roud 2930), found in The Folk Song Journals, and the second half was composed by Nic.

The Drowned Lovers/Clyde Water
And he's leaned him over his saddle-bow To catch his hat by force,
But the rushing in the Clyde Water Took Willie from his horse.

Lakes of Shilin
Down came his mother like one in despair, She's a-wringing of her hands and a-tearing of her hair,
Saying, “Oh my Billy Henry why did you go in To the dark and chilly waters in the Lakes of Shilin?”


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 05:38 AM

On Youtube there's a video of Sister Rosetta Tharpe performing "Didn't it rain,children..."

She appears to be on some railway station platform.

Does anybody know more about it?



David


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 07:28 AM

Three Ha'pence a Foot


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 08:26 AM

Rosetta Tharpe appeared in a BBC blues and skiffle show that was famously broadcast from a station platform, somewhere in Manchester, in the 1960s. That must be what the Youtube clips have been purloined from.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 08:59 AM

David, it was from a show she did in 1964.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-27256401


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 11:03 AM

Thanks for the info Jerry and Starship.

I read somewhere that the guitar she played was made of solid metal!

Must have weighed a ton.

She had a great influence on Chuck Berry,so I heard.



Cheers

David


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 12:37 PM

I think it was a landmark programme for its time, not just for live roots music being broadcast at all, but for also for outdoor broadcasting in general.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: Janie
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 03:08 PM

Immodestly, here is the only song I ever wrote, about Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of not just New Orleans, but of much of the Gulf Coast.

Pasting this from another thread from long ago and far away.

Well, I wrote my own version of "Little Sally Walker" some time back and I am finally getting enough nerve to post it. I used the traditional first verse and the last verse is probably from Jim Kweskin's version (see first several posts to this thread.)

I burned a crude CD and sent it to Bobert. He tells me I've written a 'field holler' in terms of melody and cadence.

LITTLE SALLY WALKER DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS
                                     By Janie Endres 2005

Little Sally Walker, sittin' in a saucer
Weepin' and a moanin' like a turtle dove
Gotta rise, Sally, rise wipe your weepin' eyes
Turn to the east, turn to the west
Turn to the one that you love best
I ain't never, no never been satisfied. Satisfied.

Way down south in southern Louisiana
Mississippi gulf coast and Alabam'
Better run, Sisters, run 'til the storm is done.
Hurricane Katrina roared from the Gulf
Big Muddy rose up. It was a terrible loss
I ain't never, no never seen such a sight. Such a sight.

Over in Biloxi the saints and the sinners
Clingin' to each other hand in hand.
Better pray, Brothers, pray, 'til the break of day.
Gamblin' boats and churches, fishermen and merchants
The storm it spared not a single man.
I ain't never, no never had such a fright. Such a fright.

Little Sally Walker sittin' in saucer
Water to the attics down in New Orleans
Better row, Sally row, or you won't ever know.
Row to the east, row to the west
Searchin' for the ones that you love best
I ain't never, no never been satisfied. Satisfied.

Mother, Father, Sister dear Brother
Sweet Jesus won't you take me by the hand.
Get me out. Get me out, or I'll die no doubt.
Take me to the east, take me to west
Just take me to a place where I can rest.
I ain't never, no never seen life this hard. Life this hard.

Little Sally Walker sittin' in a saucer
Tryin' to get the old man to come back home
Better ride, Sally ride with your head up high.
Shake it to the east, shake it to the west
Shake it to the one that you love best.
I ain't never, no never been satisfied. Satisfied.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs about floods?
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Mar 20 - 04:45 AM

the oily rigs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8HCdQnQhLg


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