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Lyr Req: River of Smoke (from Burl Ives)

DigiTrad:
LOLLIPOP TREE
THE LITTLE WHITE DUCK


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Scott McCullar 11 Mar 98 - 04:22 PM
Bill D 11 Mar 98 - 07:39 PM
Scott McCullar 09 Dec 98 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,ddrane 21 Nov 03 - 05:49 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Nov 03 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,pdq 22 Nov 03 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Feb 05 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 03 Feb 05 - 05:34 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Feb 05 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 09 Feb 05 - 04:29 PM
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Subject: Burl Ives song
From: Scott McCullar
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 04:22 PM

I've been web searching record dealers extensively in search of a copy of a song for my father. (I've been finding quite a bit of The Limeliters for myself too). I have what I hope is a simple request. My father remembers hearing a song by Burl Ives on the radio during 1950 when he was in the Air Force called "River of Smoke" with the lyric something like "There's a river of smoke, running through my home town." Now I'm no amateur at record collecting, or hunting through used record stores, or searching on-line dealers or data bases, but I've been unable to find any listing of it by this title. I haven't found a complete record bibliography of Burl's recordings yet either though. Might someone familiar with Burl's canon of recordings verify: -what the song's true title is (if they recognize the lyric?) -what album it might appear on (so I know which album to record search from dealers?)

I can't get the E-mail button to work on the Burl Ives' web page, or I'd ask them. I know better than to ask anyone to burn a lot of their time for me, but putting me on the right track would be appreciated. (Hey, 'track'. I think that's a joke.) Thanks! Scott McCullar Houston TX smcculla@stic.lib.tx.us


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Subject: RE: Burl Ives song
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 07:39 PM

I have a Burl Ives book from 1966 with the contents of 20 Ives albums listed, and nothing by that title...there are 3 or 4 records that were mostly 'pop' that I don't recognize many of the songs...such as "The Little Green Valley" and "Forty Hour Week" and "Thumbin' Johnny Brown"...maybe someone will recognize the words...


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Subject: Burl Ives song "River of Smoke"
From: Scott McCullar
Date: 09 Dec 98 - 11:57 AM

My thanks to those 3 who tried to aid me in finding the Burl Ives song "River of Smoke" last Nov 13th, especially to Dale Rose who put me on the path to The Record Finder web site. The auction for that 78rpm record had indeed passed, but they still had it in stock and cut me an audiotape to purchase for my father's Christmas gift this year. Thanks for the solution to several year's worth of searching, and have a "Holly Jolly Christmas this year" yourselves!


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Subject: RE: Burl Ives song "River of Smoke"?
From: GUEST,ddrane
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 05:49 PM

"River of Smoke" is available on the Burl Ives CD
"Return of the Wayfaring Stranger" available at
Amazon, etc.

It was written by Bob Hilliard & Carl Sigman


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Subject: RE: Burl Ives song "River of Smoke"?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 01:32 PM

Here's an excerpt, transcribed from a sound sample found at Barnes & Noble.

...sayin' hurry, hurry to the mill.
But the whistle and smoke keep tellin' me things are grand,
'Cause I'll buy her that ring, maybe next spring,
I'll build her that house on our very own strip of land,
The way that I've always planned.
High as a kite, merry as a meadowlark,
Ev'rything's bright even though the skies are dark.
There's a river of smoke rollin' over my hometown,
But I'm workin' all day...


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Subject: RE: Burl Ives song "River of Smoke"?
From: GUEST,pdq
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 04:27 PM

Interesting perspective concerning jobs and what is required to provide them. Suppose it is the same factory that Si Kahn wrote about in his song "Aragon Mill"?


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Subject: RE: Burl Ives song 'River of Smoke'?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 05:32 PM

I'm going to provide as much as my brain cells can recollect of RIVER OF SMOKE and I'VE GOT A FEVER IN MY BONES. The two songs, both composed I believe by Terry Gilkyson, were coupled on a Burl Ives Columbia 78 around 1950. I once had the record, but... (the usual long story). I even wrote to Eliza Gilkyson trying to get the lyrics to both, but got no reply. So here's what I recall:

RIVER OF SMOKE
(by Terry Gilkyson I believe, maybe with co-composers)

There's a river of smoke, rollin' over my home town,
Got to get to work, never let the sun shine down,
Black factory smoke, comin' over the hill
From the burnin' furnace of the mill,
But that river of smoke keeps tellin' me things are fine,
'Cause I'm workin' all day, makin' my pay,
Putt'n it away for to marry that gal of mine,
Pretty little gal of mine.

There's a river of smoke, rollin' over my home town,
Black fact'ry smoke, never let the sun shine down,
(line missing here about the factory whistle, not sure about the next either)
(....sayin' hurry, hurry to the mill?).
But the river of smoke keeps tellin' me things are grand,
'Cause I'll buy that ring, and maybe next spring,
I'll build that house on our very own plot of land,
The way that I've always planned.

(bridge)
High as a kite, merry as a meadowlark,
Ev'rything's bright even though the skies are dark.   

Repeat verse 1

I believe there were only the two verses and bridge, so that's all but a line or two of it. Unique pro-pollution argument, but in those days who gave it a thought? Certainly not the GI Bill returnees whose hopes this expresses.

I'm going to start a separate thread for "I've Got a Fever In My Bones".

Bob


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Subject: RE: Burl Ives song 'River of Smoke'?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 05:34 PM

Sorry...just noted the Hilliard & Sigman attribution. So it's not a Terry Gilkyson composition after all. Bob


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Subject: RE: Burl Ives song 'River of Smoke'?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 11:26 PM

Here's another excerpt, transcribed from a different sound sample:

...pretty little gal of mine.

(Backup Singers:)
(There's a river of smoke! There's a whistle of steam!)

There's a whistle of steam screaming over my hometown.
Gotta get to work. Haven't got (?) the time to clown.
Big factory calls, comin' over the hill
Sayin', hurry, hurry to the mill.
But the whistle and smoke...


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Subject: RE: Burl Ives song 'River of Smoke'?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 04:29 PM

Jim, nice bit of research. You've got the missing piece. My personal gratitude, and all us "River of Smoke" junkies owe you.

Thanks for your help! Bob


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