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Origins: State of Illinois/Elanoy

DigiTrad:
COME TO ME IN CANADA
ELANOY
ELECTION - THE PEOPLE'S RIGHT
THE PLAINS OF ILLINOIS
THE PLAINS OF ILLINOIS


GUEST,12fretharmonic 29 Sep 05 - 08:45 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 05 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 30 Sep 05 - 12:48 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 30 Sep 05 - 05:40 PM
bbc 30 Sep 05 - 09:10 PM
12fretharmonic 14 Oct 05 - 01:57 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 14 Oct 05 - 10:30 AM
12fretharmonic 18 Oct 05 - 01:00 AM
Joe Offer 22 Mar 18 - 10:55 PM
GUEST,Catalonia 01 Dec 18 - 11:37 AM
leeneia 01 Dec 18 - 04:10 PM
Joe Offer 02 Dec 18 - 09:30 AM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 19 - 02:22 PM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 19 - 02:22 PM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 19 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Jon Bartlett 06 Apr 19 - 01:18 PM
Lighter 07 Apr 19 - 11:55 AM
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Subject: Chord Req: Art Thieme's 'State of Illinois'
From: GUEST,12fretharmonic
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 08:45 PM

I was wondering if anybody out there (up to and including Art himself), happened to have the tablature book which accompanied the now ancient Kicking Mule vinyl album "Downright Bold-Faced Lies" by Art. "State of Illinois" is the song I'm especially after.

Yours in hope,          Leon


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Subject: Origins: Art Thieme's State of Illinois / Elanoy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 09:13 PM

For the sake of completeness, I thought I'd post the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Plains of Illinois, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer urges "all you good old farmers that on your plow depend" to "come travel west and settle on the plains of Illinois." It is alleged that Adam would compare Illinois to the Garden of Eden. The state and its residents are glowingly described
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (Sandburg); Edwin Wolf 2nd, _American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads, and Political Broadsides 1850-1870_, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1963, p. 152, lists a broadside that is presumably from the mid-nineteenth century
KEYWORDS: Bible talltale emigration farming
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
FSCatskills 89, "The Plains of Illinois" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg, pp. 162-163, "El-A-Noy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 41, "El-A-Noy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AFS2, pp. 441-442, "The Plains of Illinois" (1 text plus a broadside print); pp. 454-455, "El-A-Noy" (1 text)
Botkin-MRFolklr, p. 561, "El-a-noy" (1 text, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #2247, p. 152, "State of Illinois" (1 reference)
Silber-FSWB, p. 42, "Elanoy" (1 text)
DT, PLAINILL*

Roud #4605
RECORDINGS:
Art Thieme, "State of Illinois" (on Thieme01) (on Thieme05)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
State of Illinois
File: FSC089

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2019 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Art Thieme's 'State of Illinois'
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 12:48 AM

Hey, folks, I just saw this thread. Sorry for the delay. I've not been able to get in here at Mudcat for a day or two.

Joe,
No, those aren't even the right words (as I used to sing it) to "State Of Illinois". I must've been tired when I posted it. But I sang it a bit differently every time I did it. Later in my folk lifetime I was cutting it shorter because I'd look out at the audience and see folks drifting away 'cause they were getting tired of it, so I'd put a tale or two in between the verses to give it a new feel--then I'd do another relavant song from the area, then tell another tale or some jokelore, and maybe I'd get a sign from management that my time was long over. I'd end the set quickly by singing the chorus again. Sadly ;-) there'd be a good chance a verse or two would just be left off on a given night!! ----- But nobody ever complained...

It has been eight years since I sang this good song! (That's really hard for me to believe!!) I'm exhausted right now, but tomorrow I'll be sure to come back and post the words as I used to do 'em in my shows (most of the time) even if I have to dig out the old LP to do that. And I'll be sure to find the chords too!!

I got the song from Win Stracke, a founder of Chicago's Old Town School Of Folk Music along with Mudcatter Frank Hamilton and Dawn Greening.

It's nice to be asked about this song. Over the years, this great musical ad for my native home state was one of my favorite tunes.

That old Tablature Book for this, my first LP, is long gone. It was a Kicking Mule album (KM-150 ART THIEME--OUTRIGHT BOLDFACED LIES--Live At The Old Town School Of Folk Music. I don't think I even have a copy of it. John Roos and Marsha Bordwell transcribed that book from the master tapes back in the early 1970s.)

But you might write to Fantasy Records to see if they can provide you with that tab book. Fantasy Records bought all the things the Kicking Mule label issued. Very few, about 5 or 6, are CDs!

But I'm happy to tell you that the song will be on a CD called ART THIEME--ON THE RIVER that Sandy Paton and Folk Legacy Records (www.folklegacy.com) will be issuing one o' these years. Check with Sandy and Caroline Paton for info on that.

Art


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Subject: Lyr Add: STATE OF ILLINOIS (from Carl Sandburg)
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 05:40 PM

State Of Illinois

Way down upon the Wabash such a land was never known,
If Adam had crossed over it this soil he'd surely owned,
He'd say it was the garden that he'd lived in as a boy,
And straightway he'd call it Eden in the state of Illinois.

chorus)
So move your family westward,
Bring all your girls and boys,
And rise to wealth and honor
In the state of Illinois.

She's bounded by the Wabash, the Mississippi (the Ohio)and the lakes,
There's milk sick in her rollin' hills, and in her swamps there's snakes,
But these are slight diversions that take not from the joys,
Of living in that garden spot called the state of Illinois.

So move your family westward,
Bring all your girls and boys,
And cross (on) the Shawnee Ferry
To the state O Illinois.

It was here the Queen of Sheba came with Solomon of old,
With a wagon load of spices, pomegranates, and fine gold,
And when she saw this lovely land her heart was filled with joy,
Straightway she said, "I'd like to be a queen in Illinois."

And way up in the northland, up on the border line,
A great commercial city---Chicago you will find,
Her men are all like Abelard, her women like Heloise,
All honest virtuous people because they live in Illinois!

So move your family westward,
Find happiness and joy,
And cross there at Shawneetown
To the state of Illinois.

Yes, move your family westward,
Bring all your girls and boys,
And rise to wealth and honor,
In the state of Illinois!

-----Carl Sandburg prints in The American Songbag--1926:

Move your family westward,
Good health you will enjoy, And rise to wealth and honor
In the state of Illinois.

-----originally the third verse went:

With an ass load of spices, pomegranates and fine gold...

But I did shows for kids for over 30 years, and no way could I get away with singing that.

-----another variation of line 3 in verse 4 went:

Her men are known for intelligence---her women are known for noise!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Art Thieme's 'State of Illinois'
From: bbc
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 09:10 PM

Nice song, Art. Takes me back to my midwestern ruuts. Thanks for sharing w/ us, as usual.

love,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Art Thieme's 'State of Illinois'
From: 12fretharmonic
Date: 14 Oct 05 - 01:57 AM

If it's not too much trouble Art, what are the chords you use for
"State of Illinois"?
Best wishes,          Leon


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Subject: Chords Add: STATE OF ILLINOIS (Art Thieme)
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 14 Oct 05 - 10:30 AM

I'm really sorry for not posting those. I used the progression of
C---Am-------F----G7----C. Here's a try:


---C--------------------------------F---------------C
Way down upon the Wabash, such a land was never known,
-----F-----------------------------G7---------------C
If Adam had crossed over it this soil he'd surely owned,
-------F--------------------------G7--------------C
He'd say it was the garden he'd lived in when a boy,
--------C-----------------------------------F--------C
And straightway pronounce it Eden -- in the state of Illinois.

Chorus:
-----C-------------------F
So move your family westward,
-------C----------------Am
Good health you will enjoy,
------C
And cross the Shawnee Ferry,
--------F-------------C
To the state of Illinois.


(That's my favorite of the chorus choices.)

THAT SAID, I always used the chord progression stated above (C-Am-F-G7) with it's implied bass runs as needed to enhance the tune a bit within those chords. I also used a similar fingerpicked and strummed backup progression on Don Lange's great song called "Here's To You Rounders---on that same album.

I hope this works for you. If you have any questions, just put 'em below...

Art


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Art Thieme's 'State of Illinois'
From: 12fretharmonic
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 01:00 AM

Thanks so much, Art!

Regards,      Leon Shackleford


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Subject: RE: Origins: State of Illinois/Elanoy (Art Thieme)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 10:55 PM

Pete Seeger did a nice recording of "Elanoy":


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Subject: RE: Origins: State of Illinois/Elanoy (Art Thieme)
From: GUEST,Catalonia
Date: 01 Dec 18 - 11:37 AM

Sublime thread.
Thank you all.

Pere L.


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Subject: RE: Origins: State of Illinois/Elanoy (Art Thieme)
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Dec 18 - 04:10 PM

You gotta fix that so people don't start thinking it's all right to pronounce the s on the end of Illinois.

Do that, and you might as well wear white cowboy boots.


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Subject: RE: Origins: State of Illinois/Elanoy (Art Thieme)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Dec 18 - 09:30 AM

Ah, Leeneia, to do such, would be to dishonor the name and legend of Art Thieme.


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Subject: DT Correction: Plains of Illinois PLAINILL
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 19 - 02:22 PM

We have three versions of this song in the Digital Tradition, although the "Plains of Illinois" versions both come from Cazden. I'm going to compare the DT versions with the sources and see how correct (or incorrect) the DT lyrics are. In this song, the only mistake I see is trienel in the second line. It should be friend.
THE PLAINS OF ILLINOIS

Come, all you good old farmers that on your plow depend,
Come listen to a story, come listen unto a trienel friend:
Leave your fields of childhood, you enterprising boys,
Come travel west and settle on the plains of Illinois.

Illinois it is as fine countree as ever has been seen;
If old Adam had traveled over that, perhaps he would say the same
"All in the garden of Eden, when I was but a boy,
There was nothing I could compare with the plains of Illinois."

Perhaps you have a few acres that near your friends adjoin;
Your family is growing large, for them you must provide:
Come, leave your fields of childhood, you enterprising boys,
Travel west and settle on the plains of Illinois.

From Folk Songs of the Catskills, Cazden Haufrecht and Studer
Collected from George Edwards
@American @pioneer @travel
filename[ PLAINILL
TUNE FILE: PLAINILL
CLICK TO PLAY
RG

Popup Midi Player


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Subject: DT Correction: Plains of Illinois ELANOYS2
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 19 - 02:22 PM

I think I'd delete this version from the Digital Tradition, since it's so similar to the version from Fold Songs of the Catskills.

THE PLAINS OF ILLINOIS

1. Come all you good old farmers that on your plow depend,
Come listen to a story, come listen unto a friend;
Oh, leave your fields of childhood, you enterprising boys;
Come travel west and settle on the plains of Illinois.

2 Illinois, it is as fine countree as ever has been seen,
If old Adam had traveled over that, perhaps he would say the same,
"All in the garden of Eden, when I was but a boy,
There was nothing I could compare with the plains of Illinois."

3 Perhaps you have a few acres that near your friends' adjoin,
Your family is growing large, for them you must provide,
Come, leave your fields of childhood, you enterprising boys,
Come travel west and settle on the plains of Illinois.

Source: The Abelard Folk Song Book, Norman Cazden, 1958.

In Carl Sandburg's "American Songbag," you'll find ELANOY, a much less complimen
tary version of this song.

@American @farm @settler
filename[ ELANOYS2
JRO

The DT lyrics for this version are exactly the same as what's on pp 62-63 of Norman Cazden's Abelard Folk Book (1958). It is almost exactly the same as the DT version from Cazden's Folk Songs of the Catskills, so we probably should not include this second version in the Digital Tradition.

Here are the notes from the Abelard Folk Song Book
    PLAINS OF ILLINOIS, THE. Logically this should be a well-known song. It has somehow been overlooked, and ought to be taken up by “boosters” and by various state organizations. Yet there is only one other version of the song known in tradition, and this is Elanoy, in Sandburg’s American Songbag. Even here the text is fragmentary, and the resemblance closest in the image relating to Adam’s preference of Illinois over Eden. The tune given by Sandburg is not related to George Edwards’ version, and it employs a refrain that would not fit the pattern here. Sandburg’s version has been reprinted by Carmer. On a closely related theme and with similar formation of lines is a song called The Banks of the Ohio, printed in 1842. George Edwards’ tune for THE PLAINS OF ILLINOIS is of a strain found also in versions of The Rambling Cowboy (Lomax) and The Girl I Left Behind (Gardner). How the song worked its way east from its presumed illinois origin we cannot tell.
    Canner 2 189; Gardner 2 98°; Lomax 2 192°; Sandburg 162.


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Subject: DT Corr: El-A-Noy (from Sandburg)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 19 - 02:22 PM

The third version in the Digital Tradition is not identified by source, but the lyrics are almost the same as what's on pp. 162-163 of Sandburg's American Songbag(1927). Compare:
ELANOY (DT)

Way down upon the Wabash, such land was never known;
If Adam had passed over it, the soil he'd surely own.
He'd think it was the garden he'd played in as a boy,
And straight pronounce it Eden in the State of Elanoy.

cho:
Then move your fam'ly westward,
Good health you will enjoy,
And rise to wealth and honor in
The state of Elanoy.

'Twas here the queen of Sheba came, with Solomon of old.
With bullock's load of spices, pomegranates and fine gold;
And when she saw this lovely land her heart was filled with joy
Straightway she said "I'd like to be a queen in Elanoy."

She's bounded by the Wabash, the Ohio and the Lakes.
She's crawfish in the swampy lands, the milk-sick and the shakes.
But these are slight diversions and take not from the joy
Of living in this garden land, the state of Elanoy.

Away up in the northward, right on the borderline
A great commercial city, Chicago, you will find.
Her men are all like Abelard, her women like Heloise
All honest virtuous people, for they live in Elanoy.

last cho:

Then move your family westward,
Bring all your girls and boys
And cross at Shawnee Ferry to
The State of Elanoy.

@American @travel
filename[ ELANOYST
TUNE FILE: BUFFSKN2
CLICK TO PLAY
RG
EL-A-NOY (Sandburg, pp 162-163)

'Way down upon the Wabash, sich land was never known;
If Adam had passed over it, the soil he'd surely own;
He'd think it was the garden he'd played in when a boy,
And straight pronounce it Eden in the State of El-a-noy.

CHORUS:
Then move your family westward,
Good health you will enjoy,
And rise to wealth and honor
In the State of El-a-noy.

'Twas here the queen of Sheba came, with Solomon of old.
With an Ass load of spices, pomegranates and fine gold;
And when she saw this lovely land, her heart was filled with joy,
Straightway she said: "I'd like to be a Queen in El-a-noy."

She's bounded by the Wabash, the Ohio and the Lakes,
She's crawfish in the swampy lands, the milk-sick and the shakes.
But these are slight diversions and take not from the joy
Of living in this garden land, the State of El-a-noy.

Away up in the northward, right on the border line,
A great commercial city, Chicago, you will find.
Her men are all like Abelard, her women like Heloise,
All honest virtuous people, for they live in El-a-noy.

LAST CHORUS:

Then move your family westward,
Bring all your girls and boys
And cross at Shawnee Ferry to
The State of El-a-noy.

@American @travel
filename[ ELANOYST
TUNE FILE: BUFFSKN2
CLICK TO PLAY
RG


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Subject: RE: Origins: State of Illinois/Elanoy
From: GUEST,Jon Bartlett
Date: 06 Apr 19 - 01:18 PM

A lovely version by Larry Hanks on his latest CD.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Origins: State of Illinois/Elanoy
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Apr 19 - 11:55 AM

James William Howard (1832-1893) was a Civil War veteran and a prominent (and somewhat bohemian) journalist for the Chicago Tribune and other Midwestern papers. He signed his stories "Phocion," after the Greek statesman.

According to an article in The Kootenai [Idaho] Herald (July 18, 1896) this was Howard's favorite song. "The authorship...will never be known. The tune...was a perversion of 'John Anderson, My Jo.'" `

Howard "was full of the folklore of the early west. He could tell a story well and sing and old-time song with great effect. He accompanied his voice with the fiddle, which he played with the bow in his left hand, and he could render those classics 'Rye Straw' and 'Arkansaw Traveler,' as only a fiddler can and a violinist cannot."

Some of us will remember that accompanying one's singing
with the fiddle is said to have been very rare in America. The anonymous writer of the article calls the fiddle accompaniment "droning." Here are the only words of the song the writer could remember:

"'Way down upon the Wabash such land was never known —
If Adam had come over here he'd claimed it for his own.
He'd sworn it was the Eden he'd played in when a boy,
And straightway named it Paradise — the State of Illinois.

"Chorus--
Then bring your family westward,
Good health you will enjoy
And you'll cross the Shawnee ferry
In the State of Illinois.

"'Twas here the Queen of Sheba came to Solomon of old,
With an ass load of pomegranates, sweet incense and fine gold;
And, when she viewed the country o'er, her heart was filled with joy,
She said she'd like to be a queen and reign in Illinois.

"Chorus--
Then bring your family westward,
Bring all your girls and boys,
And you will find wealth and pleasure
In the State of Illinois."


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