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Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)

DigiTrad:
GOODBYE, OLD PAINT
I RIDE AN OLD PAINT


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: I Ride An Old Paint (99)
I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy? (35)
Old Paint: What's a hoolian? (60)
Hoolian??????? (44)
old paint and goodbye old paint lyrics (3)
Lyr Req: Goodbye Old Paint (6)
Song Title please ?-I Ride an Old Paint (21)
(origins) Help: houlihan? - Old Paint (77)
Lyr Req: Riding Old Paint and Leading Old Ball (22)


Dicho (Frank Staplin) 31 Aug 02 - 02:18 PM
masato sakurai 31 Aug 02 - 02:43 PM
Giac 31 Aug 02 - 03:20 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 31 Aug 02 - 03:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 04 - 03:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 04 - 04:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Nov 04 - 04:48 PM
GUEST 10 Nov 04 - 07:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jan 06 - 08:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jan 06 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Jan 06 - 10:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jan 06 - 11:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Jan 06 - 11:20 PM
Charlie Baum 25 Jan 06 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Jan 06 - 10:24 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jan 06 - 02:57 PM
Richie 15 Jan 07 - 11:24 PM
Charlie Baum 26 Apr 20 - 01:45 AM
GUEST,Starship 26 Apr 20 - 02:02 PM
Lighter 06 Jun 20 - 09:16 AM
Lighter 06 Jun 20 - 09:50 AM
Lighter 06 Jun 20 - 10:09 AM
cnd 06 Jun 20 - 10:49 AM
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Subject: ADD: REBEL SOLDIER (cf. Old Paint)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 02:18 PM

THE REBEL SOLDIER

Oh, Molly, oh Molly,
It's for your sake alone
That I leave my poor parents,
My house and my home.

That I leave my old parents,
You've caused me to roam,
I'm a Rebel soldier
And Dixie's my home.

My foot's in my stirrup,
My bridle's in my hand,
I'm going to leave Molly,
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.

They say I drink whisky,
My money's my own,
And them that don't like me
Can leave me alone.

I'll eat when I'm hungry,
I'll drink when I'm dry,
If a limb don't fall on me
I'll live till I die.

I'll build me a castle
On yonder mountain high
Where my true love can see me
When she comes riding by.

Where my true love can see me
And help me to mourn,
I'm a rebel soldier
And Dixie's my home.

I'll get in my saddle,
My quirt in my hand,
I'll think of you, Molly
When in some distant land.

I'll think of you, Molly,
You caused me to roam,
I'm a rebel soldier
And Dixie's my home.

"This song, brought to Texas by my Oklahoma cousins, ...became a favorite of my grandmother..." "The song is not well known in Texas. I have not found versions of it elsewhere." He does not mention its similarity to "Old Paint." William A. Owens, 1950, Texas Folk Songs, pp. 277-279, with music.
@Civil War @Confederate @immigration @cowboy @lost love

Questions raised include the age of this song, its age relative to "(Goodbye,) Old Paint," the provenance, and possible related songs. Certainly many Southerners, including immigrants among them, went west after the War.
"Old Paint" first appeared in Lomax, J. A., Cowboy Songs, 1910, pp. 329-330, with the note "used in many parts of the west as a dance song. Sung to waltz music the song takes the place of "Home, Sweet Home" at the conclusion of a cowboy ball" (This common use suggests that the song is much older than its collection date). "The "fiddle" is silenced and the entire company sing as they dance." Later he said the song was given to him in Cheyenne in 1910 (ABFS 1938). Margaret Larkin (1931) commented that the dance would go on as long as anyone remembered a new verse.

Did "Old Paint" evolve from this song, which resembles several English-Irish songs of love interrupted because of the parent's opposition?

"The Legend of the Rebel Soldier," in the DT, seems to be separate.
Threads on "Old Paint" are 14070, 15514, 7295 and 5036: Help: hoolihan
Old Paint
I Ride
Re: Hoolian (sic)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: REBEL SOLDIER (cf. Old Paint)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 02:43 PM

For starters, The Traditional Ballad Index: Rebel Soldier, The:

Rebel Soldier, The

DESCRIPTION: Floating verses about this lonely soldier's life. "It's grapeshot and musket, And the cannons lumber loud. There's many a mangled body with blankets for a shroud." Characteristic line: "I am a rebel soldier and far from my home."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1918 (Cox)
KEYWORDS: Civilwar separation home
FOUND IN: US(Ap,So)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Randolph 246, "The Rebel Soldier" (1 text)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 50, "The Rebel Soldier" (1 text, 1 tune -- an abridged composite version)
JHCox 76, "The Rebel Soldier" (2 texts, but only the first belongs here; the second is The Sweet Sunny South (I) [Laws A23])
Hudson 117, pp. 258-259, "O Lillie, O Lillie," mostly "Rye Whiskey" but with some verses belonging here; also 116, p. 258, "I'll Eat When I'm Hungry" (1 fragment, a single stanza based on "Rye Whiskey" but probably belonging here: "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")
Brewster 91, "One Morning in May" (1 text, in which it is a "poor stranger" rather than a "rebel soldier" and with many floating lyrics)
SharpAp 157, "The Rebel Soldier, or The Poor Stranger" (7 texts, 7 tunes, but A and probably F are "The Poor Stranger (Two Strangers in the Mountains Alone)")
Sandburg, pp. 136-138, "One Morning in May" (2 text, 1 tune, but only the "B" text, "The Troubled Soldier," belongs here; "A" is "One Morning in May (To Hear the Nightingale Sing)" [Laws P14])
Silber-CivWar, pp. 72-73, "The Rebel Soldier" (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)

Roud #259
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Poor Stranger (Two Strangers in the Mountains Alone)" (meter, floating lyrics)
cf. "The Wagoner's Lad" (floating lyrics)
cf. "Jack of Diamonds" (floating lyrics)
cf. "In Eighteen-Forty-Nine" (floating lyrics)
cf. "The Blind Fiddler"
Notes: Randolph's version is specific to the Missouri campaigns of General Sterling Price, but more generic versions of the song are abundant.
The first line, interestingly, seems to float; Sharp, Brewster, and Cox each have version from "One Morning In May" or the like (One morning, one morning, one morning in May, I heard a poor soldier lamenting and say"; another text (to the tune of "Rye Whisky") starts with lyrics from "Banks of the Nile" or something similar ("Oh Polly, oh Polly, it's for your sake alone"). - RBW
File: R246

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2007 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

~Masato


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Subject: Lyr Add: REBEL SOLDIER (from Tennessee Ernie Ford)
From: Giac
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 03:20 PM

Tennessee Ernie Ford had a version of this on his Civil War album -- one side had yankee songs and the other had Southern songs. This one was on the latter and was called The Rebel Soldier, I think. The tune was a minor thing and he sang it very mournfully. It's been 30+ years since I heard it, but recall these verses:

Polly, oh, Polly, it's for your sake alone.
I left my old father, my country and my home.
I left my old mother, to weep and to moan
I am a Rebel soldier, and far from my home.

I'll build me a castle on the mountain, on some green mountain high
Where I can see Polly, as she goes riding by
Where I can see Polly, and cause her to moan.
I am a Rebel soldier, and far from my home.

I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll drink when I'm dry
If the yankees don't kill me, I'll live until I die
If the yankees don't kill me, and cause me to moan
I am a Rebel soldier, and far from my home.


There may have been more verses. I seem to remember he sang it unaccompanied. Interesting thread. I would never have associated it with Ride Ol' Paint.

Mary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: REBEL SOLDIER (cf. Old Paint)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Aug 02 - 03:56 PM

The first Cox and the Randolph versions are pertinent, with some of the same material. Foreign antecedents aside, Civil War-based versions of "Rebel Soldier" seem to be the basis for "Old Paint."
Masato's posting of the Traditional Ballad Index entries leave little doubt, I think.

As the Ballad Index notes, Cox B is not the same song; this is the case with several songs cited. Sandburg's "Troubled Soldier" belongs here. The lines from "One Morning in May (The Bad Girl's Lament)" seem to be borrowed; that song, although with similar cadence, has more in common with "Streets of Laredo" (see One Morning..." in the DT)and these, I think, belong to a separate bundle. Rye Whiskey-Jack O'Diamonds seem to be entirely put-together songs; it would be difficult to find the origin of lines such as "I drink when...." This and the preceding verse in the Rebel Soldier version I posted from Texas are certainly "filler." With the floating verses, it is hard to separate basic songs from those that are assembled from parts.

The tunes for these songs follow a much-used meter; they are old European melodies.


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Subject: Lyr Add: REBEL SOLDIER (from Vance Randolph)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 03:04 PM

THE REBEL SOLDIER (2)

I'll go to Price's army,
At home I can't stay,
For the home quarrels and Federals
Have driven me away.
For home quarrels and Federals
Have caused me to roam,
I'm a poor rebel soldier
And far away from home.

I'll eat when I'm hungry,
And I'll drink when I'm dry,
And if a tree don't fall on me,
I'll live till I die.
If Miss Mollie forsakes me,
And causes me to mourn,
I'm a poor rebel soldier
And far away from home.

I'll build my true love a castle
Upon some mountain high,
Where the wild beast and crickets
Can hear her lonesome cry,
Where the wild beasts and crickets
Can hear her lonesome mourn,
I'm a poor rebel soldier,
And far away from home.

Words from Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 2, no. 246. "Given to Mrs Clara Robinson, Arkansas, by a Mr Salter of Higden, Ark., who was in the Rebel army, fighting in a battle at Cane Hill,..."

Many Confederate soldiers, following the War, went west, some becoming cowboys. I believe that this song goes back to the end of the Civil War, and is one of the older songs in the cowboy repertoire. Of course, it has antecedents like "The Poor Stranger," and is not completely original, but it deserves recognition for its expression of feelings of the displaced southern veterans who left their homeland for the West.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A ROVING SOLDIER and GUERRILLA BOY
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 04:21 PM

A fragment in Belden is about a Union soldier.

A ROVING SOLDIER

I am a roving soldier,
I rove from town to town,
And when I see a table
So willingly I sit down.

I eat when I'm hungry,
I drink when I get dry,
And if the Rebels don't kill me
I'll live until I die.

'Oh, daughter! oh, daughter!
What makes you treat me so?
To leave your native country
With a roving soldier boy?'

'Oh, mother, oh, mother!
You know I love you well,
But the love that I have for that Union man
No mortal tongue can tell.

'His pockets lined with greenbacks,
His musket in his hand,
------
The men at his command.

'And when they hear him coming
They'll wring their hands with joy,
And one will say to the other,
"'There comes the soldier boy.'"

Collected 1912- "learned it about ten years before from an old man..."
H. M. Belden, Ballads and Songs, collected by the Missouri Folklore Society, 1940(1973), "The Guerrilla Boy," B, with music.



THE GUERRILLA BOY

I am a roving guerrilla,
I rove from town to town,
And whenever I spy a pretty little girl
So willingly I get down
So willingly I get down.

I rode on my journey
Till I came to Bloomfield* town,
And there I spied a pretty little girl
And willingly I got down (2x).

I had not been in Bloomfield
More days than two or three
Till I fell in love with a pretty little girl
And she fell in love with me (2x).

She asked me in her parlor,
She cooled me with her fan;
She whispered in her mother's ear,
'I love the guerrilla man.'

'Oh, daughter, dearest daughter,
How can you serve me so,
To leave your kind old mother
And with the guerrilla go?'

'Oh, mother, dearest mother,
I know I love you well;
But the love I have for the guerrilla man
No human tongue can tell.

'I'll bundle up my clothing
With my true love by my side,
And I'll rove this wide world over
And be a guerrilla's bride.

'And when I see him coming
I'll clap my hands for joy
And say to my old mother,
"'There come's my guerrilla boy!"

'With his pockets lined with silver,
A **navy in each hand,
A long and full success
To the roving guerrilla man!'

And now this war is over,
I'll lay my **navy down.
To be a roving guerrilla
I wear the starry crown.***

*Bloomfield is in southeast Missouri. **Navy- the navy revolver, favored as a sidearm in the Civil War era. ***starry crown- meaning?
The song derives from "The Roving Journeyman," which appears in English broadsides. Belden says "probably of Irish origin." Also see "The Gambling Man."
H. M. Belden, "Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society," 1940, 1973, p. 374, The Guerrilla Boy A.
A Civil War song.

Floating verses based on the music hall chorus, "Whiskey in the Jar," sometimes appear.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: REBEL SOLDIER (cf. Old Paint)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 04:48 PM

First publication of "The Rebel Soldier" seems to have been in "Allan's Lone Star Ballads," published in Galveston Texas, 1874, p. 80, "The Rebel Prisoner." This 200 page book by Francis D. Allan was published by J. D. Sawyer, and was reprinted in 1970 by Burt Franklin. The author's intention was to collect Southern Civil War Songs, especially those from Texas.

See "The Bright Sunny South" in Cox, "The Rebel Soldier, no. 76B, for a Kentucky variant. "The Rebel Soldier," No. 76A, is from West Virginia.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 07:01 PM

This song (or the versions of it posted above) seems to have fragments of so many songs, including "Roving Gambler", "Way Down the Old Plank Road", "Moonshiner", "Wagoners Lad", etc.

I suppose by combining bits of old folk songs to try to make sense (or not as the case may be) one can costantly invent "new" songs, which at least saves the bother of writing actual new ones.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jan 06 - 08:09 PM

Error regarding the date of "Old Paint" as printed by John A Lomax. The song did not appear until the 1916 edition of "Cowboy Songs." It is not in the 1910 edition.
"The Rebel Soldier," in a version called "The Rebel Prisoner," appeared in 1874, in "Allan's Lone Star Ballads," pp. 80-81.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE REBEL PRISONER
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jan 06 - 08:42 PM

THE REBEL PRISONER

One morning, one morning, one morning in May,
I heard a poor soldier lamenting. and say,
I heard a poor soldier lamenting, and say,
"I am a Rebel prisoner, and Dixie is my home."

"O Mollie! O Mollie! it was for your sake alone
That I left my own country, my father to moan,
That I left my poor mother, far away to roam-
I am a Rebel prisoner, and Dixie is my home!

"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.

"Altho' my body,s absent my heart is always true,
There is no one in this wide world I love so well as you,
There is no one in this wide world I love so well as you,
I am a Rebel prisoner, and what shall I do?

Go build me a cottage on yon mountain high,
Where old General PRICE will help me to cry,
Where Southern boys will greet me, and help me to mourn-
I am a rebel prisoner, and Dixie is my home!

"Farewell to old Texas! I could no longer stay,
For hard times and the Federals drove me away,
Hard times and Abe Lincoln have caus'd me to roam-
I am a Rebel prisoner, and Dixie is my home!"

Francis D. Allan, 1874, "Allan's Lone Star Ballads, A Collection of Southern Patriotic Songs Made During Confederate Times," Burt Franklin New York. Reprint 1970.

General Sterling Price served in the Mexican War (Colonel and Brig. General) and was Governor of Chihuahua. He became governor of Missouri. He collected 5000 soldiers for the Confederacy. In 1864 he defeated Union General Steele at Red River. In 1865 after the defeat of the Confederacy, he escaped to Mexico. He died in Missouri in 1867.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Jan 06 - 10:32 PM

Harry McClintock learned a four or five stanza version of this from his Uncle Jim, a Confederate veteran, in 1895. The text is mixed up with memories of "I'm a Good Old Rebel." Mac's story and singing are well worth the $0.99 download fee.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: THE REBEL SOLDIER (Cox)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jan 06 - 11:15 PM

THE REBEL SOLDIER

One morning, one morning in May,
I heard a poor soldier lamenting and say:
"I am a Rebel soldier and far from my home;
Adieu to old Kentucky, no longer can I stay.

Chorus:
The Union men and Yankees have forced me away,
-----------------
The Union men and Yankees have forced me to roam;
I am a rebel soldier and far from my home.

I'll eat when I'm hungry and drink when I get dry;
If those Yankees don't kill me, I'll fight till I die.
Miss Marley, Miss Marley, you've caused me to roam,
I'll follow John H. Morgan, and in his arms I'll roam.

I'll build myself a castle, all on the mountains high,
Where my true love will see me, as she is passing by,
Where the turtle dove may harkle, and help me to mourn;
I am a Rebel soldier, and far from my home.

There's a bottle of good old whiskey, a glass of good old wine;
You can drink to your true love, and I will drink to mine:
I am a Rebel soldier, and the rebels they can shine.

The Rebel Soldier, A, Mr. A. C. Payne, McDowell, W. Va., 1918.
Pp. 279-280, 76A, J. H. Cox, 1925, "Folk-Songs of the South. Harvard Univ. Press (recently reprinted, and Dover).

Morgan, member of a prosperous Kentucky family, fought in the Mexican War as a private. Before the start of the Civil War, he raised a company known as the "Lexington Rifles." After the war started, his group was enlarged, and he advanced to Brig. General, becoming known for his raids on Union supply lines and his victory at the Battle of Huntsville. After capture, he escaped from prison and returned to the South. He was killed during a Union raid on Greeneville, Tenn., in 1864.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Jan 06 - 11:20 PM

Thanks, Lighter. The interrelationships of these songs, and the floaters in them, is fascinating.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FEDERAL SOLDIER
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 25 Jan 06 - 09:54 AM

THE FEDERAL SOLDIER

It was early one morning, one morning in May
I spied a young soldier, lamenting and saying:
O Molly, Miss Molly, it's for you I roam
I've left my dear old family, my country, and my home

I bid adieu to old Kentucky, I can no longer stay
Hard times and the rebels, they are driving me away
Hard times and the rebels, they are causing me to roam
I am a Federal soldier, and far from my home.

So here's a glass of good old whiskey, and a bottle of port wine
So you can drink to your true love, while I mourn for mine
I've gone with General Burnside, in his army I roam
I am a Federal soldier, and far from my home.

I will be me a cabin on yonders mountains high
So I can see the wild geese as they go flying by
Perhaps some turtle dove will see me, and come to me and mourn
I am a Federal soldier, and far from my home.

-a version from West Virginia. I learned this from Ruth Pershing, when I was attending the Augusta Heritage Vocal Week in Elkins, WV in 1984. Ruth said she got it from Maggie Hammons Parker (of the Hammons family from Pocahontas County, WV). Later, I heard Dwight Diller's recording of Maggie Hammons, and while her words are more or less the same as above, her tune was completely different from the one I had learned.

General Burnside was a Union general who had an unusual tonsorial style--sideburns are named after him.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Jan 06 - 10:24 AM

With so many versions, this has to have been one of the most popular soldier songs of the war.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jan 06 - 02:57 PM

Good to see a Federal version from West Virginia, one of the areas where divided loyalties caused much pain.

Could someone please post the version collected by Sharp-Karpeles?


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Subject: ADD Version: Rebel Soldier
From: Richie
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 11:24 PM

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 above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 01:45 AM

My version, it turns out, isn't from Maggie Hammons Parker, but is probably from Currence Hammons of Huttonsville, WV. Thanks to Michael Kline, who found it on a field recording for me.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 02:02 PM

https://www.letssingit.com/historical-folk-lyrics-jack-o-diamonds-z11db24

That looks interesting. Just parking it here until I figure it out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 09:16 AM

Diary of William Lock Henthorn, 125th Illinois Volunteer Infantry:

http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~henthorn/stories/diary.html


“Dec 30th 1863

The Soldiers Lament
1) one morning one morning in may
I herd a poor fellow lamenting & say
I herd a poor fellow lamenting & mourn
I am a poor union soldier & far away from home.

2) adios to old Illinois I can no longer stay
hard times & The Rebels draw me away
hard times & the Rebels has caused me to mourn
I am a union Soldier & far away from home

3) Oh abrham oh abrham tis for your Sake I live
that I left my dear people my country to defend
that I left my dear people to weap & to mourn
I am a union Soldier & far away from home

4) Ile build me a castle on yonder mountain high
that my tru love may See me as She passes by
that my tru love may See me & help one to mourn
I am a union Soldier & far away from home

5) Oh milly oh milly tis for your Sake a loan
that I left my dear mother to weap & to mourn
that I left you & mother & Sister all alone
I am a union Soldier & far away from home

6) A cup of cold water a glass or two of wine
you may drink to your Tru love & ile drink to mine
you may drink to your tru love & help one to mourn
I am a union Soldier & far away from home

7) Ile eat when ime hungry & drink when Ime dry
if the Rebs dont kill me ile live till I die
& if milly forsakes me She will cause one to mourn
I am a union Soldier & far away from home

Writen by Wm J Long Co. C 22nd Ohio
Vol Inft.”


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 09:50 AM

More of the "folk process" hard at work. The original song must have been quite well known.

On Dec. 22, 1865, Francis Marion Harper was executed at Watseka, Ill., for the robbery and murder of D. F. Nelson. … The Chicago Tribune’s lengthy account of Harper’s final days and his execution included the following. (I’ve adjusted one inconsequential typo.)


                               THE EXECUTION AT WATSEKA
                            -                ----------
                         HANGING OF HARPER THE MURDERER

. . .

While he was imprisoned in Kankakee, he composed the following dolorous effusion, and frequently sang it to an eccentric air of his own appliance, which varied each time of his singing of it:--

                                       HARPER’S LAMENT

One morning, one morning, in November last
That I was arrested and to jail I was sent
That I was arrested and to jail I was sent
   I am a poor stranger and far from my home.
I was troubled in heart and I was troubled in mind
And if trouble dont kill me I never shall ll die.
And if trouble dont kill me I never shall ll die.
I am a poor stranger, &c.
Dear Mollie dear Mollie it was for your sake alone
That I left my old father my mother and home
That I left my kine father and mother to mourn
I am a poor stranger and hang they say I must
Here’s a bottle of whiskey and here’s a glass of wine
You may drink for your true love while I do drink for mine
You may drink for your true love while I do mourn for mine
Adieu to Illinois I cant no longer stay
My true love has left me and gone far away
My true love has left me and gone some other way
I am a poor stranger and hang they say I must
So dig me a grave on yonder mountain high
That the wild geese may see me as they go passing by
And the turtle dove may hear me and help me to mourn
I am a poor stranger and far from my home

“This song he sang for the last time on Wednesday night, in presence of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman, and a lady visitor, but he repeated it, for publication in the Tribune, at a late hour of the night before his execution. It is really surprising that so hardened and malicious a fiend should have left in his black heart capability for so strong a love.”


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 10:09 AM

Brandon (Miss.) News (June 18, 1903), p. 2:

One morning, one morning, one morning in May
   I heard a poor soldier lamenting and say,
I heard a poor soldier lamenting and mourn;
   I am a rebel soldier and far from my home.

“Yes, poor boy, in the bleak and open fields of Pennsylvania, Virginia, or Kentucky, perhaps without shirt…or shoes,…not having heard from home in two years, not knowing that you will ever meet on earth….”


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint)
From: cnd
Date: 06 Jun 20 - 10:49 AM

Starship, those lyrics are almost exactly the lyrics of the Blue Sky Boys, which is a combination of 2/3 songs using the same air. They named their Jack O' Diamonds but sang several verses from Rebel Soldier and possibly a third Western version.

From the album Presenting The Blue Sky Boys, Capitol ST-2483, 1966, they describe how they got the song as follows:

"This is indeed one of the most interesting songs in the Bolick's repertoire, for it embodies many of the most important lyric elements found in American folksong. Although many of these have been collected in many areas of the United States, the song does not seem to have been previously recovered in just this form. The 'Jack O' Diamonds' tune is well known and widely reported. Bill remembers the tune from childhood, as well as the strange way in which he acquired this text. Some thirty-five or more years ago, the Bolicks' father subscribed to Youth's Companion and ordered a series of poetry books that the magazine offered. Bill ran across the text in one of those books under the 'anonymous' section and immediately substituted this fuller text for the others that he knew."


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Mudcat time: 3 August 2:02 PM EDT

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