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Origins: history of Down by the Riverside

DigiTrad:
DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE


Related thread:
Tune Add: Down by the Riverside (4)


Lighter 21 May 21 - 05:04 PM
Lighter 20 May 21 - 09:17 PM
Lighter 20 May 21 - 09:05 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 20 - 05:56 PM
Lighter 22 Oct 15 - 07:18 PM
leeneia 22 Oct 15 - 05:03 PM
Lighter 21 Oct 15 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,mjc 24 Jan 12 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,John Garst 29 Mar 11 - 03:51 PM
GUEST 24 Dec 10 - 06:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Mar 10 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Mar 10 - 11:54 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Mar 10 - 10:37 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Mar 10 - 10:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Mar 10 - 02:50 PM
Richie 13 Mar 10 - 09:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Oct 09 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,bkninj 16 Aug 09 - 12:06 AM
GUEST,ELMER MCINTOSH 26 Apr 08 - 05:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Oct 07 - 09:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Oct 07 - 09:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Oct 07 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,Wendy 25 Oct 07 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Jan 24 Oct 07 - 01:32 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 07 - 07:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 07 - 12:00 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Mar 07 - 11:09 PM
Joe_F 28 Mar 07 - 08:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Mar 07 - 02:42 PM
Dave'sWife 28 Mar 07 - 10:27 AM
Dave'sWife 28 Mar 07 - 10:23 AM
GUEST 10 Mar 07 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,gotariver 31 Jan 07 - 12:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 07 - 12:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Masato at work 30 Jan 07 - 11:58 PM
Azizi 30 Jan 07 - 09:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jan 07 - 09:30 PM
Dave'sWife 19 May 05 - 03:11 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 May 05 - 11:51 PM
wysiwyg 18 May 05 - 11:13 PM
Azizi 18 May 05 - 10:29 PM
Azizi 18 May 05 - 10:07 PM
GUEST 18 May 05 - 09:30 PM
Azizi 05 Nov 04 - 12:52 PM
Lighter 04 Nov 04 - 10:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Nov 04 - 01:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Nov 04 - 12:59 PM
GUEST 03 Nov 04 - 12:48 PM
mg 03 Nov 04 - 02:07 AM
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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Lighter
Date: 21 May 21 - 05:04 PM

Looks like I posted pretty much the same lyrics, from a different boo, back in 2015!


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Lighter
Date: 20 May 21 - 09:17 PM

And here's the earliest text (to the familiar tune), from "National Jubilee Melody Song Book" (Nashville, n.d. [1918]), p. 12:

Going to lay down my burden,
Down by the riverside,
Down by the riverside,
Down by the riverside.
Going to lay down my burden,
Down by the riverside,
To study war no more.

CHO.:
I ain't goin't study war no more,
Ain't goin't study war no more,
Ain't goin't study war no more,
Ain't goin't study war no more.


[Similarly:]

Going to lay down my sword and shield...

Going to try on my long white robe...

Going to try on my starry crown...

Going to meet my dear old mother...

Going to meet my dear old father...

Going to meet my loving Jesus...


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Lighter
Date: 20 May 21 - 09:05 PM

Macon [Ga.] Daily Telegraph (Nov. 18, 1917), p. 7:

"Jubilee by chorus: 'Going to Shout All Over God's Heaven.'
"'Ain't Go [sic] Study War No More.'"


Kansas City Sun (Kansas City, Mo.) (March 16, 1918), p. 9:

"Songs that were originated back in the days of slavery...that have been sung so often, such songs as 'I ain't going to study war no more,' 'I've done what you told me to do,' 'Free at last,' 'Inching along,' 'All my sins are taken away,' 'I couldn't hear nobody pray,' 'It's me, it's me, O Lord,' 'My good Lord's done been here,' 'Swing low, sweet chariot,' and...others too numerous to mention."

The Miami Herald (Feb. 9, 1919), p. 4:

"Folk songs... Ain't Going to Study War No More."


The Independent (Elizabeth City, N.C.) (Nov. 7, 1919), p. 4:

"If you love music, go some morning to the State Normal School for Colored People at Elizabeth City and hear the three hundred or more students of that body sing. You will come away a better man or woman for that experience.

"Without a musical teacher, without a musical director, with only a young girl to lead the singing, these Negro boys and girls me music that would thrill an audience of music critics in any country on earth....

"One melody those Negroes sing should be the song of all humanity. They call it 'Down by the Riverside.' And it starts off like this:-

         "I'll lay down my sword,
         I'll lay down my shield,
         Down by the riverside,
         Down by the riverside.
         And study war no more."


It seems likely (well, plausible) that the song existed during or just after the Civil War - but these are the earliest passing mentions of it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 20 - 05:56 PM

Here's an interesting interpretation of this song by Ben and Micah Hester. It doesn't sound like a summer camp song, and that gives renewed meaning to the song.But is it an authentic interpretation?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 07:18 PM

Always a pleasure.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: leeneia
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 05:03 PM

Thank you for the information, Lighter.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 06:26 PM

Here are the lyrics of what seems to be the earliest publication of the song in almost exactly its current form.

From Homer Rodeheaver's "Plantation Melodies" (Chicago: Rodeheaver Co., 1918), p.6:

Down By the River-Side

Goin' t' lay down my burden
Down by the river-side,
Down by the river-side,
Down by the river-side.
Goin' t' lay down my burden
Down by the river-side,
Goin' t' study war no more.

CHO.:   
Ain't goin' t' study war no more,
Ain't goin' t' study war no more,
Ain't goin' t' study war no more,
Ain't goin' to study war no more.

[Similarly:]

Goin' t' lay down my sword and shield....

Goin' t' try on my long white robe....

Goin' t' try on my starry crown....

Goin' t' meet my dear old mother....

Goin' t' meet my dear old father....

Goin' t' meet dem Hebrew children....

Goin' t' meet my loving Jesus....

More of a spiritual than an "anti-war" song, it may go back at least to the Spanish-American War (1898), though the report of a slightly variant text in that year (see up-thread) suggests that the Civil War is equally likely - or more likely in terms of the vastly greater number of African Americans directly involved.

The most famous line and the refrain, of course, are based on Isaiah 2:4:

"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." {KJV}.

In his intro Rodeheaver suggests that all 47 of his songs are old, or at least older than the First World War:

"My mother was one of the good angels of the mountains of East Tennessee. Because they loved her, the darkies would come and sing for her. I have never forgotten the beautiful quaint melodies. When you know the colored people and know something of their struggles, you will realize how these songs were born amidst the trials and tribulations of this race and how they typify their thought and life.

"Because so many have been interested, we present here some of the most popular."

Rodeheaver also prints "Down the River," which goes to a different tune.

BTW, virtually all of the songs are spirituals. None looks like a "blues" of any kind.

(Thanks go to Holger Terp for first pointing out the existence of Rodeheaver's little-known collection.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,mjc
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 01:19 PM

I can testify that the "bright-eyed" line was around at least as early as the 1950s. My dad used to sing it, but as "bright-eyed gal." My guess would be that he learned it in the 1930s or maybe earlier. I never heard more than the first line, since my mom would hush him at that point...


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,John Garst
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 03:51 PM

This item is found on pp 252-53 of Marshall W. Taylor, *A Collection of Revival Hymns and Plantation Melodies* (1882), which is online at Google Books. Unfortunately, this is one of the few items in the book without a tune (or, at least, an attempt at one).

153. Christian Warfare.

By E. W. S. Hammond.

1 When Christ, the Lord, was here below,
Down by the river;
About the work he came to do,
Down by the river side.

Chorus.
We will end this war,
Down by the river;
We will end this war,
Down by the river side.

2 Pilate says, "I wash my hands,
I find no fault in this good man."

Chorus—We will end this war, etc.

3 They led him away to Pilate's bar,
But they could not condemn him there.

Chorus—We will end this war, etc.

4 O, Mary wept and Martha cried,
When Christ, the Lord, was crucified.

Chorus—We will end this war, etc.

5 Fishing Peter led the way,
Was nothing caught till the break of day.

Chorus—We will end this war, etc.

6 Yes, when we camp in the middle of the air,
I hope to meet my brethren there.

Chorus—We will end this war, etc.


Hammond is credited with three songs in this book (Nos. 152, 153, 155). He also gives a testimonial (p 260):

********
From Rev. E. W. S. Hammond, P. E. Indiana District, Lexington Conference.

Louisville, Ky., August 16, 1882. I am sorry I can not speak intelligently with regard to your proposed "Plantation Melodies," but my knowledge of your ability in such matters justifies me in expressing the opinion that you will supply a very urgent want in this kind of literature. I should be glad to record my testimony more fully as to the merits of your little songster, but I fear it will be in press before even this reaches you.
********

E. W. S. Hammond, DD, Editor of the *Southwestern Christian Advocate*, New Orleans, La., is pictured after p 204 of *Africa and the American Negro* (1896, pub.; 1893, congress held).

He was the "foremost Negro minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church" (*The Black Prism*, 1970; Google Books).

I have not located, using Google/Google Books, any other source of hymns he may have written, or, at least, claimed.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 06:55 PM

Well, on the OBC of "Million Dollar Quartet" Jerry Lee Lewis (played by Levi Kreis) sings "I'm gonna drive up in my cadillac.../study Fords no more."


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 03:33 PM

Not really.

Soon from the whitewashed churches roll away
Among the live oak trees,
Rivers of melancholy harmonies,
Full of the sorrows of the centuries
The white man hears, but cannot feel.
H. A.

Pages from Book of Sea Islands, Du Bose Heyward and Hervey Allen.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 11:54 AM

Oh stuff it. You know what I'm talking about.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 10:37 PM

Ain't We'll Wait Till Jesus Comes good enough for singin' in church?
Will those people who sang it in church all go down below to stoke the fires?

Learn something every day!


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 10:27 PM

"'white spiritual' (hymn a better term)"

No, I think you're wrong there, Q. People sometimes used 'spiritual' to mean a religious song which is sung at home but is too playful or primitive for church. If white people sang it, it became a white spiritual.

A hymn, on the other hand, is good enough for worship in church.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 02:50 PM

Also similar, and probably related-

We'll Work Till Jesus Comes
Words by E. K. Mills, tune by Wm. Williams
19th C.
See Cyberhymnal, which has a rather poor midi and the lyrics.
http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/w/e/l/wellwork.htm

The 'white spiritual' (hymn a better term) We'll Wait Till Jesus Comes is discussed, with musical score, in the book Folk Music in the United States by Nettl and Myers.

They state that this hymn is the source for the black spiritual Down by the Riverside but I think that they are independent of each other.
Online, Google Books.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Richie
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 09:59 PM

We'll Wait Till Jesus Comes- 1868

My heavenly home is bright and fair,
We'll be gathered home.
Nor death nor dying visit there,
We'll be gathered home.

CHORUS: We'll wait, until Jesus comes
We'll wait, until Jesus comes
we'll wait, until Jesus comes
And we'll be gathered home

This chorus is the same basic melody and according to several sources including Sandburg is the early version of "Down by the Riverside."

There are more verses,

Richie


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Down By the River
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 05:36 PM

Another older version, 1898:

Down By the River

Refrain:
Yes, we'll gain this world,
Down by the river,
We'll gain this world,
Down by the riverside.

1
And if those mourners would believe,
Down by the river,
The gift of life they would receive,
Down by the riverside.

2
When I was a mourner just like you,
Down by the river,
I mourned and mourned till I got through
Down by the riverside.

"Old Plantation Hymns," New England Magazine, Dec. 1898, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 443-456.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,bkninj
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 12:06 AM

The "bright eyed doll" version is actually a version from 1960 by two dutch brothers who went by the name "The Blue Diamonds". I'm not sure if they made up the new lyrics or if they used the lyrics of a 1902 version. Here is a video of my band First Take singing these lyrics in our own arrangement:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up8nGBSSYLc&feature=related

Sorry for pimping my band...


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,ELMER MCINTOSH
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 05:30 PM

MANY THANKS. FROM THIS SITE I WAS ABLE TO GET THE FINAL PIECE OF THE LYRIC PUZZEL OF THIS OLD AND FAVORITE SING-A-LONG SONG.
WE HAVE A QUARTET "THE FOUR CORNERS" AND PLAY AT THE LOCAL PENSIONERS/SENIORS HALL AS WELL AS NURSING HOMES AND THE LIKE.
WHILE WE HAVE A GOOD NUMBER OLD OLD SONGS, THIS ONE WAS MISSING PART OF A LINE. I AM REFERRING TO THE VERSION WRITTEN IN 1902 AND WE HAD ALL THE LYRICS EXCEPT FOR"I SAID IF I COULD HAVE MY WAY" AND THE REST OF THE LINE OF COURSE IS "MAYBE SOME SWEET DAY". SO THANKS TO THE PERSON FROM NEW JERSEY I BELEIVE

ELMER


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:38 PM

Sorry!
Human Races


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:32 PM

An article by Prof. Emeritus Lewontin of Harvard University (2006) spells out the complexities of 'race'.
Confusion anout Human Races


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 09:24 PM

The major human groups often are called races; the use of subspecies names is not supportable.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,Wendy
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 06:18 PM

In response to Azizi's declaration of the apopropriateness of the term Negro: The racial (human)subspecies are Negro, Caucasian, and Mongolian. The correct scientific term has been bastardized and given a negative social implication, but it is still the proper scientific term.

I believer Negro spirituals are some of the richest musical sacrifices ever made. My church choir is presenting this piece on Sunday as part of a spiritual study in our worship.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,Jan
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 01:32 AM

This is a fabulous resource. I've gotten some valuable information for my school choir. We're singing "Down By the Riverside" at our Remembrance Day Ceremony, and I wanted to be able to tell them a bit about the origins of the "ain't gonna study war no more" part and how it related to slavery. thanks to all who contributed!


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Subject: Lyr. Add: Going to Pull My War-Clothes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 07:37 PM

Lyr. Add: Going to Pull My War-Clothes

1.
Going to pull my war-clothes,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside.
Going to pull my war-clothes,
down by the riverside,
Study war no more.
Mm--------------
Refrain
Yes, I'm going to study war no more,
Study war no more,
Mm-----------
Study war no more.
2.
Going to meet my brethren,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside.
Going to meet my brethren,
down by the riverside,
Study war no more.
Mm----------
Refrain
3.
Going to meet my sister,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside,
down by the riverside.
Going to meet my sister,
down by the riverside,
Study war no more.
Mm---------
Refrain

No. 12, pp. 24-25 with score.
In 1913, Carl Diton visited Frogmore (Island), near Beaufort, South Carolina. In the Foreward, he says "while there, Mr. J. E. Blanton (brother of Mr. Robert Moton, the present principal of Tuskegee Institute, AL), was kind enough to sing to me a number of plantation melodies peculiar to the people of that locality, and I carefully recorded them." "The inhabitants speak a peculiar patois, and their melodies, as a rule, sound somewhat different from those of other parts of the South." ... "Those who are at all acquainted with the history of that part of America will recall that its inhabitants are descended from a group of imported slaves who differed from the rest of their slave-kinsmen in that their contact with white civilization was far less."
Carl Diton, Coll., 1930, "Thirty-Six South Carolina Spirituals,"
G. Schirmer Inc., New York (Schirmer's American Folk-Song Series).


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 12:00 AM

Found sheet music to "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" by John J. Nolan, 1902, at American Memory. Published by G. W. Setchell, Boston.
It has no relationship to the "bright-eyed doll" song. No mention of 'Toorish.'

Here is the chorus, which is sung to waltz tempo:

Down by the riverside,
You said you'd be my bride.
And though years have flown,
Yet I am here alone
Waiting my love for you,
Say that you're not untrue,
You'll come what e'er betide,
Down by the riverside.

I won't bother to post the verses to the song, which may be found at American Memory.

http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/b/b03/b0338/
Down By

Joe F, as you say, the "bright-eyed doll" may be much later.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 11:09 PM

The site I linked for the "I met my little bright-eyed doll" version had been been pre-empted by a domain seller.
The lyrisc, with the Nolan-Toorish duo listed as composers, is found on a Polish site: http://www.winyle.rembertow.net/utwor.php?utwor=3565.

No date of composition is given.
Joe F, I haven't found the sheet music and so I am uncertain of the validity of the 1902 date for the 'doll" version.
I have found Nolan-Toorish listed as composers on a Japanese website as well, but no data.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Joe_F
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 08:42 PM

I am astonished to see in Q's posting above that nonreligious version goes back to 1902. It was on the radio a lot in, oh, 1950 or so, and I thought it was a recent piece of ickiness. It also corrupted the rhythm, with the result that nobody sings even the original song any more the way I learned it when I was little: It used to be (in solfa; scale is DRMFSLTdrmfslt)
drm.S...L.d.d.....m.m..rmrd.......
rather than
drm.S.L.d.d.d.m...##m.m..rm.r.d...
where the #'s are rests, and I have called the ri's r like the re's.

I was amused, in 1960 or so, to hear Jews sing it in Hebrew, with some of the words straight out of the book of Isaiah. Lo yilmedu od milhamah.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 02:42 PM

Guest Gotariver, the N. O. jazz band version, often played in a kind of upbeat marching tempo, differing somewhat from the spiritual and protest versions, is related to the song posted far above, 2 Nov 04, "Gwine-a Study War No More," and the verse
Gwine-a lay down my burden
Down by de ribber side, .....
No idea how old this verse is, but it has been around a long time. The Hampton Institute students sang the verse in "I Ain't Goingt' Study War No More." See Dett, 1927, "Religious Folk-Songs of the Negro as Sung at the Hampton Institute," pp. 74-75 (with music). Not in the 1874 Fenner volume, but added in a later edition.

Thanks for mentioning the Sam Morgan recording.
One may hear it and other fine pieces on Red Hot Jazz: http://www.redhotjazz.com/SamMorgen.html; the second one on the Discography.
Sam Morgan

(Note that Morgan is mis-spelled by Google in the link. Google may correct this at some time)


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:27 AM

Guest - these were posted earlier but if you follow the link, you'll see the chords:


Chords

BTW, the Sweet Honey In the Rock version has a verse that says:

I'm gonna lay down my bombs and guns...


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 10:23 AM

Still on my iTunes sepnding spree, I bought a the version of this song by Sweet Honey In The Rock a few days ago and it's just wonderful. if you haven't heard them do it, you need to. It was recorder uin the late 1980s i believe. I love it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 12:30 PM

what are the chords for this song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,gotariver
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 12:58 PM

There is another version of "Down by the Riverside": Most New Orleans Jazz style bands play a verse with a different melody and the lyrics

"Down by the Riverside I gonna lay my Burden down (3 x)
Ain´t gonna study War no more". First recorded by Sam Morgan´s Jazz Band in 1927. Origin of the verse??

Ingemar Wågerman
Gota River Jazzmen
Gothenburg, Sweden
http://listen.to/gotariver


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 12:45 PM

There are many spirituals with the 'hypocrite' verses, but so far I haven't found one with 'hypocrite' in the title.
Although "Ain't Gwine Grieve My God No More" is more related to 'hypocrite' songs than to "Down by the Riverside," other than starting a new thread, this seemed to be the best location for it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM

Thanks, Masato.
Other fine transcriptions of work songs at that website.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST,Masato at work
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 11:58 PM

A version was sung in the film Afro-American Work Songs in a Texas Prison (1966):

[PRISONERS HOE TOGETHER IN OPEN FIELD] (Prisoners sing while hoeing)

SINGING PRISONERS: Well, I'm gonna try on my long white robe
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Well, I'm gonna try on my long white robe
Down by the River Side
I'm gonna study war no more
Well I ain't gonna study war no more
And I ain't gonna study war no more
Well I ain't gonna study war no more
Gonna meet with Mr. Pete
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna meet with Mr. Pete
Down by the River Side
Gonna study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more
I'm gonna try on my long white robe
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna try on my long white robe
Down by the River Side
Don't study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
Gonna try on my golden wings
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna try on my golden wings
Down by the River Side
Gonna study war no more
Well, I ain't gonna study war no more
Well I ainft gonna study war no more
Well I ainft gonna study war no more
Gonna try on my golden shoes
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna try on my golden shoes
Down by the River Side
Gonna study war no more
Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the River Side
Gonna study war no more
Well I ainft gonna study war no more
Well I ainft gonna study war no more
I ainft gonna study war no more
Well I ainft gonna study no more
Well I ainft gonna study war no more
I ainft gonna study war no more
Gonna meet with the one above
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Down by the River Side
Gonna meet with the one above
Down by the River Side
I ain't gonna study war no more


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Subject: Add: video link: Down by the Riverside
From: Azizi
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 09:56 PM

Sister Rosetta Tharpe- "Down by the Riverside"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOmRm0-acJw&mode=related&search=Sister%20Rosetta%20Tharpe%20gospel%20blues%20guitar

Added to YouTube April 04,2006; From zebbers


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Subject: Lyr Add: AIN'T GWINE GRIEVE MY GOD NO MORE
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 09:30 PM

Lyr Add: AIN'T GWINE GRIEVE MY GOD NO MORE

1.
Hypocrite, hypocrite, God despise,
His tongue so sharp he will tell lies;
Hypocrite, hypocrite, God despise,
His tongue so sharp he will tell lies.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
2.
Oh, wait, let me tell you what the hypocrite do,
He won't serve God, and he won't let you;
Wait, let me tell you what the hypocrite do,
He won't serve God, and he won't let you.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
3.
Stop, let me tell you what the hypocrite do,
He won't go to heaven, and he won't let you;
Stop, let me tell you what the hypocrite do,
He won't go to heaven and he won't let you.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
4.
Oh, if I had died the day when I was young,
I would not had this troubled race to run;
Oh, if I had died the day when I was young,
I would not had this troubled race to run.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
5.
If you want to get to heaven, let me tell you how,
Treat your neighbor like you ought to right here now;
If you want to get to heaven, let me tell you how,
Treat your neighbor like you ought to right here now.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
6.
I don't want to stumble, I don't want to fall,
I want to get to heaven when the roll is called;
I don't want to stumble, I don't want to fall,
I want to get to heaven when the roll is called.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
7.
The old Satan is mad, and I am glad,
And he missed that soul he thought he had;
The old Satan is mad, and I am glad,
And he missed that soul he thought he had.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
8.
The old Satan have him in a tight compress,
When the bugle blow he change his dress;
The old Satan have him in a tight compress,
When the bugle blow he change his dress.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
9.
The old Satan wear an iron shoe,
If you don't mind, he gwine step on you;*
The old Satan wear an iron shoe,
If you don't mind, he gwine step on you.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
10.
The Old Satan is a liar and a conger too, (conjuror)
If you don't mind he gwine conger you;
The Old Satan is a liar and a conger too,
If you don't mind he gwine conger you.*
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
11.
When I was walking down in dead men's lane,
Wrapt and tired in my sin and shame,
When I was walking down in dead men's lane,
Wrapt and tired in my sin and shame.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.
12.
The very hour I thought I was lost,
My dungeon shook and my chains fell off;*
The very hour I thought I was lost,
My dungeon shook and my chains fell off.
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more,
Ain't gwine grieve my God no more.

variants
*Old Satan wear an iron shoe,
If you don't mind gwine er slip it on you.
*Old Satan thought he had me fas',
I broke my chains an' am free at las'.
*Ole Satan's a liar an' cunjurer, too,
If you don't mind he'll cut you in two.
(A few others also cited).

Coll. by Mrs. Emma M. Backus, Grovetown, GA; submitted by Howard W. Odum, Jour. American Folk-Lore, 1913, vol. 26, no. 102, pp. 374-376.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 19 May 05 - 03:11 AM

Azizi, I have been enjoying your posts to various threads on this board. I hope to see more of them in the future.

As for Nina Nan's concern that it might be innapropriate to sing "Down By The Riverside' while the Nation of the congregants is engaged in armed conflict, I don't really see why. The lyrics to this song are a paraphrase of a Biblical verse! Since both the Hebrew Books of the Bible and the Greek Books of the Bible (The 'old' and 'new' testaments) contain many such verses I fail to see why this one reference is in any way more or less appropriate. I'm not picking on Nina Nan for being concerned, I'm just trying to give her some points to argue in it's favor. Allow me to elaborate.

Azizi makes a good point when he suggests that a proper interpretation of this lyric could be that the person singing is speaking of a personal transformation away from violence and destruction and towards peace. This could be a powerful message in a city where Gang violence rages or where domestic violence is common. The lyrics don't really seem to be suggesting that the singer is contemplating anything more than what he/she can do to bring him/herself closer to God and God's plan to eventually abolish all suffering. It's a song about a change of heart - a life-altering change of heart.

It is true that various groups promoting Peace have over the years sung this song to express their views musically. However, I am not aware of this song being currently associated with any 'anti-war' movement active in the United States and I don't think very many people would find it offensive. Still, if you have a concern, it's best to discuss it amongst the elders/leaders of your congregation. This is a fine traditional song that usually recieves an enthusiastic response from congregations. There are many additional verses that can be used to give the song a wider meaning and it might be good to include them.

I wish Nina Nan all the best in getting this wonderful song included into her repertoire. It's greatly loved by people of all ages and has enough verses that it can be tailored to meet any need.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 May 05 - 11:51 PM

Lyr. Add: DOWN BY THE RIVER (Baptism)

Refrain:
Yes, we'll gain this world,
Down by the river,
We'll gain this world,
Down by the riverside.

1. And if those mourners would believe,
Down by the river,
The gift of life they would receive,
Down by the riverside.

2. When I was a mourner just like you,
(Down by the river,)
I mourned and mourned till I got through
(Down by the riverside.)

"A cheerful song, with a strong major melody ... The Baptists use it at immersion; but it is not confined to such occasions."
With music, Barton, Wm. E., "Old Plantation Hymns," p. 453; New England Magazine, vol. 25. no. 4, pp. 443-456, Dec. 1898.
On line http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/browse.journals/newe.1898.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 May 05 - 11:13 PM

All of the above titles have been entered for indexing in the AFRICAN-AMERICAN SPIRITUALS PERMATHREAD.

If songs with new TITLES are added to this thread, please take a moment to post that title and this thread's ID number (or full URL) in the AFRICAN-AMERICAN SPIRITUALS PERMATHREAD, so it can be included next time the index is updated.

Thanks!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Azizi
Date: 18 May 05 - 10:29 PM

Also, Nina:

Rivers have long been important symbols in African and African American cultures. Water was considered to be the home of the gods {forces emanating from the High God} Water was spiritually as well as physically cleansing and of course, without water people and other living beings and plants would die. Also the line separating the ground from bodies of water {lakes, rivers, oceans} were said to symbolize the line that divides earth from heaven.

Consider the omnipresent nature of the River Jordan in African American spirituals. The 'deeper' meaning of the river {and in particular, the River Jordan}. Just as enslaved people often had to cross rivers to get from slavery to freedom, it was said that at death people crossed over from life on earth to life in heaven
{or hell}.

So it is possible to consider that the singer in 'Down By The Riverside' is talking about laying down his earthly burdens {responsibilities} and going to a place that symbolizes spiritual rest and peace so that he * can prepare mentally {spiritually, and emotionally for a heavenly life where he wouldn't have to struggle or go to battle to survive {let alone live}.

Like many songs, the lyrics to this spiritual may mean different things to different people at different times. I'm not sure you have to have agree on one meaning for everyone all the time.

* 'he' here presupposes the meaning of 'he' or 'she'

Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Azizi
Date: 18 May 05 - 10:07 PM

Nina Nan,

I respectfully would like to request that if and when you use that now retired racial referent for African Americans, you capitolize the 'n'. There is toooo much negative history and connotations associated with 'negro' {spelled with a small 'n'}.

While some are starting to refer to these religious songs as "African American spirituals", as an African American myself I personally have no problem with the use of the phrase "Negro Spirituals" as long as the 'N' is capitolized.

That said, my racial group is no longer referred to as 'Negro'.

The formal term is African American {spelled with capitol beginning letters}.

It is also 'politically correct' to use the more informal term "Black people". I prefer to capitolize the 'b' in 'Black' when referring to the racial group. And, to be consistent, I also capitolize the 'w' in 'White'. However, either practice is acceptable.

****
And with regard to your question:

In African American vernacular, 'to study' something means to pay attention to it; seriously think about it; be concerned about it, be interested in it.

So IMO, "I ain't gonna study war no more" means "I'm not gonna be interested in waging war.

This means much more than being a conscientous objector and refusing to fight once a war has started. It means that the person will direct his or her energies to studyin peace {working for/promoting peace} instead of instigating {inciting} and engaging in warfare.



Azizi Powell


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 05 - 09:30 PM

Our choir has sung this song on occasion and several members who are concerned about the continuing wars in which our nation is involved, suggested that it might not be appropriate to sing this Sunday. I suggested that we find out the history of the song, however, it seems that we only know it was first published in 1920? We knew it was a negro spiritual but I had no idea that there were so many different versions. I thought perhaps that the war to which the writer referred was the war that all Christians fight with the "forces of evil" in the world, also within themselves, and that the writer was finally going to go to his final rest,"down by the riverside". Any suggestions as to the real meaning behind the words, "I ain't going to study war no more"
Nina Nan


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 12:52 PM

Just wanted to add:
1st point
Q's post on 04 Nov 04 - 01:53 PM is very much how I remember church choirs in my home town singing "Down By The Riverside" . The bass voices sang the first "Down" and other voices then sang "Down by the Riverside".

The bass voices would also sing the "Down Down" part or the "Way Down" phrase. I can't remember anyone singing it like "Way-ay down" but that might have occurred. And it wasn't only the men who sang the first phrases. Because of my deep voice, I would also sing the bass part!

2nd point:
Lighter's post about Marine Corps fighter pilots in 1943-44 singing something called, "I'm Gonna Lay Down My F4UI" reinforces my observation that a number of call & response military cadences {Jodies} were based on spirituals.

I hope someone posts the words to the song or chant that goes with the title that Lighter remembers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 10:08 PM

Marine Corps fighter pilots in 1943-44 sang something called, "I'm Gonna Lay Down My F4U." All I have is the title. Does anybody know if there was more than (the obvious) one verse, or if it was sung later about airplanes other than the F4U Corsair?


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 01:53 PM

Well, why not add it? I remember, many years age, a friend from New Jersey. To every woman he met, he would say "Hi, Doll." Couldn't find sheet music so this is from the website and memory.

Lyr. Add: DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE (4)

I met my little bright-eyed doll
(Down) Down by the riverside
(Down, down), Down by the riverside
(Way-ay down) Down by the riverside
I met my little bright-eyed doll
(Down) Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside.

I worked my courage up
And asked her for a little kiss
(Way down) Down by the riverside
(Down, down) Down by the riverside
I asked her for a little kiss
(Way down) Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside.

She said, "Have patience, little man
I'm sure you'll understand
I hardly know your name."
I said, "If I can have my way,
Maybe some sweet day
My name and yours will be the same"
(?)Down by the riverside.

*She smiled at me and I could see
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
That she would soon be mine
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside

I wed my little bright-eyed doll
(Way down) Down by the riverside
(Way down) Down by the riverside
(Way-ay down) Down by the riverside
I wed my little bright-eyed doll
(Down) Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside.

Left off the repeats at the website. *I have added from memory what I think is a missing verse at the website.
Music John J. Nolan; (?)Lyrics John B. Toorish (Sheet music cover says music and lyrics both by Nolan). Dated 1902.

Anyone remember (or have sheet music)?
Riverside


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 12:59 PM

A gospel version by William Stickles, 1948.

Lyr. Add: DOWN BY THE RIVER SIDE (Stickles)

Oh, hallelujah to the lamb
Down by the river
The Lord is on the Givinghand
Down by the riverside.

Oh, we'll wait 'till Jesus comes
Down by the river

Oh, we are all pilgrims here below
Down by the river
Oh, soon to glory we will go
Down by the riverside.

Oh, we'll wait 'till Jesus comes
Down by the river
Oh, we'll wait 'till Jesus comes
Down by the riverside.

Down by the river
(www.negrospirituals.com- "Official Site of Negro Spirituals, antique Gospel Music")


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 12:48 PM

Yes, Mary, I think I remember words from childhood about "grieve my lord no more." However, the "study" words make sense too, once you know they are a quotation of archaic Biblical language.


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Subject: RE: Origins: history of Down by the Riverside
From: mg
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 02:07 AM

I was on google last night and came across something written in 1902..something about wed my little bright eyed doll....my guess is there probably was a spiritual, and grieve my Lord no more makes sense to me, more than study war no more as original words, not that I know one way or the other..as in not sinning any more....and then perhaps someone took the basic song and made it about the bright eyed gall, and then over the years the songs got all mixed together..hence my jumbled version of it.   mg


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