We All Need a Fruit

Here is a recording of song author Steve Eaton leading this song as a part of the Sylvester Manor Worksongers workshop at the 2013 NOFA-NY Winter Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY

 

We all need a fruit, to house the seed
We all need a fruit, to house the seed
We all need a fruit, to house the seed
And we’ll all bake bread in the morning

I love the birds and they love the trees

A field full of flowers and billions of bees

I got something you got to believe

Plenty of food for everyone to eat

We all need a fruit, to house the seed

…invent other verses as needed…

 

Hal an Tow

And here is what it sounds like when you get 70 young farmers together singing it, led by Nate Kraus-Mallet and Mia Bertelli:

 

CHORUS

Hal-an-Tow, jolly rumble-o,
We were up long before the day-o,
To welcome in the summer,
To welcome in the May-o –
For summer is a-coming,
And the winter’s gone away-o! 

Since man was first created
His works have been debated
And we have celebrated
The coming of the spring

Take no scorn to wear the horns,
It was the crest when you were born;
Your father’s father wore it,
And your father wore it too.

CHORUS

Robin Hood and Little John
Have both gone to the fair-o,
And we shall to the merry green wood,
To hunt the buck and hare-o!

CHORUS

What happened to the Spaniards
That made so great a boast, oh?
They shall eat the feathered goose,
And we shall eat the roast, oh!

CHORUS

And as for that good knight, St. George
St. George he was a knight o
Of all the knights of Christendom
St. George is the right o

CHORUS

God bless Aunt Mary Moses
With all her power and might-o;
Send us peace in England,
Send us peace by day and night-o!

CHORUS

More info:
Quite a long Mudcat Discussion
An MP3 of how the Watersons sang it.

Bold Riley

 

Click here for a sensational version led by Mia Bertelli at the NOFA-NY Worksong Workshop 2013 

 

BOLD RILEY

Verse
Oh the rain it rains all day long, Bold Riley-o, Bold Riley, And the northern wind, it blows so strong, Bold Riley-o has gone away.

CHORUS
Goodbye my sweetheart,goodbye my dear-o Bold Riley-o, Bold Riley, Goodbye my darlin',goodbye my dear-o, Bold Riley-o has gone away.

Well come on, Mary, don't look glum, Bold Riley-o, Bold Riley, Come White-stocking Day you'll be drinkin' rum Bold Riley-o has gone away.

CHORUS

We're outward bound for the Bengal Bay, Bold Riley-o, Bold Riley, Get bending, me lads,it's a hell-of-a-way, Bold Riley-o has gone away

CHORUS

More Info:

A different set of Lyrics, courtesy of Mudcat
A Mudcat Discussion
Amazon MP3

I learned this song from Mia Bertelli and Mia Friedman at Maine Fiddle Camp

Cornbread, Peas, Black Molasses

Cornbread and Peas, Black Molassesattributed to Sonny Terry

click here for a great recording of Max Godfrey leading the song as a part of the Sylvester Manor Worksongers workshop at the 2013 NOFA-NY Winter Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY 




I don't want no cornbread, peas and black molasses (3)
It's supper time, Lord, Lord, Lord, it's supper time

I got a letter, a letter  from my mother this morning (3)
She said: come home, Lord ,Lord, son, come  home!

I ain't got no, got no letter this morning (3)
I can't come home, Lord, Lord, I can't go home

If I can make June, July and August
Then I'll come home, mother, you know your son will come home

I don't want no cornbread, peas, black molasses (3)
It's supper time, Lord, Lord, Lord, it's supper time


 

More info

Mudcat has a solid thread on this song here with an extra verse or two.

Here is a Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee recording on Amazon.

The Farthest Field

by David Dodson

There is a land high on a hill where I am going There is a voice that calls to me The air is sweet, the grasses wave The wind is blowing away up in the farthest field

REFRAIN: Oh walk with me and we will see the mystery revealed When one day we went our way up to the farthest field The sun will rise, the sun will set Across the mountains and we will live with beauty there The fragrant flowers the days and hours Will not be counted and peaceful songs will fill the air

REFRAIN

I know one day I'll leave my home Here in this valley and climb up to that field so fair And when I'm called and counted in That final tally I know that I will see you there

REFRAIN

Oh my dear friends I truly love To hear your voices lifted up in radiant song Though through the years we all have made our separate choices We've ended here where we belong.

__________________________________

Though I've heard this in many different settings I learned this song from Mia Bertelli for the 2013 NOFA-NY Winter Farmer's Conference.

Wind and Rain

Oh, there were two sisters come a-walking down the stream
Oh, the wind and rain
And one of them pushed the other one in
Crying, oh, the wind and rain

Johnny gave the younger one a gay gold ring
Didn’t give the elder one anything

She pushed her sister in the river to drown
And watched her as she floated down

She floated ’til she came to the miller’s pond
Crying, Father, oh father, there swims a swan

Well, the miller laid her out on the banks to dry
And the fiddling fool come a-passing by

Way down the road come a fiddler fair
Way down the road come a fiddler fair

And he’s made fiddle strings of her long yellow hair
And he’s made fiddle strings of her long yellow hair

And he’s made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones
And he’s made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones

And he’s made a little fiddle body of her breast bone
Whose sound would melt a heart of stone

But the only tune that the fiddle could play
Was, Oh, the wind and rain
The only tune that the fiddle could play
Was, Oh, the cruel wind and the rain

Circle of the Sun

CIRCLE OF THE SUN
By Sally Rogers  www.sallyrogers.com
If you want to purchase a clip of Sally singing it you can find it here.

 

Baby was born in the circle of the sun,
circle of the sun on the birthing day

Baby was born in the circle of the sun, 
circle of the sun on the birthing day

Clouds to the north, clouds to the south
Winds and the rain to the east and west

Baby’s first steps in the circle of the sun... on the walking day
Baby’s first words in the circle of the sun... on the talking day
Baby’s first food in the circle of the sun... on the eating day
Gonna get married in the circle of the sun.... on the wedding day
Sing my song in the circle of the sun.... on the singing day
Live my life in the circle of the sun.... all the live long day
Bury my bones in the circle of the sun... on the dying day

_______________________________________

This song was taught to us by John Gawler, my wife Edith’s dad.  He learned it from Pam Weeks at Maine Fiddle Camp.  Not sure where she got it, but it seems to be written by Sally Rogers of Connecticut, who is a pretty legendary folk singer, songwriter and educator.   Recently Sally has been working on a project where she travels to schools and teaches childeren to collect oral histories about their community and landscapes, then they write songs using the oral histories.  Great stuff!

Rosie in the Posie

ROSIE IN THE POSIE
By Bennett Konesni

Rosie in the posie roll, Rosie in the posie roll
Rosie in the posie, Rosie in the posie roll

First you’re gonna plough it deep, first you’re gonna plough it deep
First you’re gonna plough it, first you’re gonna plough it deep

Then you’re donna disc it up, then you’re donna disc it up
Then you’re donna disc it, then you’re donna disc it up

…seed it down…
…roll it out…
…watch it grow…
…turn it in…
…Rosie in the posie, roll…

I wrote this song while prepping a field for a buckwheat covercrop in the summer of 2012 on Shelter Island, NY.  I was on an old Ford 850N tractor that I call Rosie and she hums along with a nice low drone.  I got to humming along with her and eventually this song emerged out of the roar of the engine.  This song lends itself to inventing verses, anything really, can be nonsense or describe any process, like grilling ribs or baking biscuits.

Hollow Leg

By David Lewis, Belmont View Music, Belmont, Maine hollowleg

I’m eatin to fill my hollow leg, hollow leg, hollow leg
I’m eatin to fill my hollow leg, and then I’m goin home

I’m gonna dig just one hole, one more hole, one more hole
I’m gonna dig just one hole, one more hole, one more hole

Gonna work until the sun comes up, sun comes up, sun comes up
Gonna work until the sun comes up, and then I’m goin home

Gonna drink until the beer’s all gone, beer’s all gone, beer’s all gone
Gonna drink until the beer’s all gone, and then I’m goin home
(but I ain’t drivin)

Then I’ll sing just one more song, one more song, one more song
Then I’ll sing just one more song, and then I’m goin home

————————————————————————————————–

The above audio recording was made on 1/26/2013 by Erik Jacobs from Plough & Stars Project Farm Blog and Photography, at the 2013 NOFA-NY Young Farmer’s Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. Song leader is Steve “Shepsi” Eaton, teaching a song during the Sylvester Manor Worksongers’ workshop “Worksongs on Small Farms.” Steve used this song in the fields in 2012 at Sylvester Manor Educational Farm.

Song author David Lewis is a hard-working musician and boat electrician in coastal Maine. A homesteader in the 70s and 80s David doesn’t farm so much these days, but he does lease out his back field to local organic farmers Mike and Christa Bahner of Bahner Farm. Dave plays lots of Bluegrass and Jazz and from time to time writes songs. One day with wild eyes he turned to me and said “Bennett, I’ve written a worksong!” We worked it into the repertoire of our band “Free Seedlings” and it worked its way into the fields at Sylvester Manor through Steve, who took a strong liking to it. It’s a great song to add verses to and see how long you can keep it going.

This song is beloved by beginning worksongers for several reasons:

1) Not too many words
2) Simple melody
3) but the format isn’t too square
4) The sentiment “I’m going home” is timeless and universal
5) The song can handle a pause at the end of each verse as you think of a new one. Very forgiving.

It’s a great song to use for practicing improvisation because it doesn’t even require a rhyme scheme. You can literally just say whatever comes to mind, “I’m gonna XXXXXX” as long as you keep it in the rhythm of the original melody.  And the chorus is nice and long, which gives you a chance to think up the next line. An extra challenge is to make consecutive verses rhyme, but it’s not necessary- that’s just a little spit and polish to make the crew smile.

If you listen to the video of this song above you’ll hear me and Edith Gawler inventing lines ad nauseum, using simply what’s going on around us, what we’re up to (clearing sticks and debris and then mulching a garden site where we’ll eventually plant potatoes.)  We simply make up lines like “I’m gonna toss this log over there”, “I’m gonna mulch it deep and mulch it thick” and even “I’m gonna huck and chuck and buck and luck” which is just rhyming that has something to do with what we were doing but was mostly just fun to say.

 

Go Down Old Hannah

 

Why don't you go down old Hannah, well, well, well,
Don't you rise no more, don't you rise no more
Why don't you go down old Hannah, Hannah,
Don't you rise no more.

If you rise in the morning, well, well, well,
Bring judgement sure, x2
If you rise in the morning, morning,
Bring judgement sure.

Well, I looked at old Hannah, well, well, well,
She was turning red, x2

Then I looked at my partner, partner 
He was almost dead

You should-a been on this old Brazos 
Back in nineteen and fo' x2

You could find a dead man 
Layin' across your row

Why don't you wake up old dead man,
Help me carry my row,... (repeat)

You should-a been on this old river,
Nineteen and ten,...

You could find them workin' the women 
And killin' the men

My mother called me
And I answered, Ma'am

She said ain't you tired of rolling 
Rolling for that old sun-down man?

Then my father he called me
And I answered Sir

He said if you're tired of rolling 
What do you stay here for

Then my sister she called me
And I answered hey

She said ain't you tired of rolling
Why don't you run away

Then my brother he called me 
And I answered huh

He said if you're tired of rolling
You know you got too long

I got a letter from the Governor 
What do you think he said

He said he'd give me a pardon 
If I didn't drop dead.

 

 

Hannah was the name workers on Texas prison farms gave the sun.  This song was widely popular on prison farms throughout the south- according to Bruce Jackson in his excellent book “Wake Up Dead Man” there are at least ten different recording of different versions of the songs in various archives.  Through recordings by Alan and John Lomax this song made its way into folk music performance by Leadbelly, Lightning Hopkins and Pete Seeger.

Go To Sleep Little Baby

A go to sleep you little baby
go to sleep you little baby
your momma gone away and your daddys gone to stay
didn't leave nobody but the baby

go to sleep you little baby
go to sleep you little baby
everybody's gone in the cotton and the corn
didn't leave nobody but the baby

you're a sweet little baby
you're a sweet little baby
honey on a rock and the sugar don't stop
gonna bring the bottle to the baby

don't you weep pretty baby
don't you weep pretty baby
shes long gone with her red shoes on
gonna need another loving baby

don't you weep pretty baby
don't you weep pretty baby
you and me and the devil makes three
don't need no other loving baby

go to sleep you little baby
go to sleep you little baby
come lay your bones
on the alabaster stones and be my ever loving baby

CC Rider

You C C Rider, see what you done done
C C Rider, you see what you done done
You C C Rider, you see what you done done
You done made me love you and now your man don't come

My home is on the water, I don't like no land at all
Home's on the water and I don't like no land at all
My home's on the water and I don't like no land at all
I'd rather be dead than to stay here and be your dog

So you C C Rider, see what you done done
C C Rider, you see what you done done
You C C Rider, you see what you done done
You made me love you and now your man don't come

I'm goin' away baby, sure don't wanna go
Goin' away baby, but I sure don't wanna go
I'm goin' away baby, but I sure don't wanna go
When I leave this time you never see me no more

So you C C Rider, see what you done done
C C Rider, you see what you done done
You C C Rider, you see what you done done
You have made me love you and now your man don't come

My home is on the water and I don't like no land at all
Home's on the water and I don't like no land at all
My home's on the water and I don't like no land at all
So goodbye baby I'm tired of bein' your dog

So you C C Rider, see what you done done 
C C Rider, you see what you done done 
You C C Rider, you see what you done done 
You have made me love you and now your man don't come

So I'm goin' away now baby, and I won't be back till fall
I'm goin' away now baby, and I won't be back till fall,
I'm goin' away now baby, and I won't be back till fall, 
Just might find me a good girl, might not be comin' back at all

Well now see, C C Rider, see now the moon is shining bright
Well now see, C C Rider, see now the moon is shining bright
Well now see, C C Rider, see now the moon is shining bright 
Just might find me that good girl, and everything would be alright

Thousands or More

The time passes over more cheerful and gay,
Since we’ve learnt a new act to drive sorrows away.
Sorrows away, sorrows away, sorrows away,
Since we’ve learnt a new act to drive sorrows away.

Bright Phoebe awakes so high up in the sky
With her red, rosy cheeks and her sparkaling eye,
Sparkaling eye, sparkaling eye, sparkaling eye,
With her red, rosy cheeks and her sparkaling eye.

If you ask for my credit you’ll find I have none,
With my bottle and friend you will find me at home.
Find me at home, find me at home, find me at home,
With my bottle and friend you will find me at home.

Although I’m not rich and although I’m not poor
I’m as happy as those that’s got thousands or more,
Thousands or more, thousands or more, thousands or more,
I’m as happy as those that’s got thousands or more.

The Copper Family:

This is a slightly newer recording. The thing to do though, is to find the oldest recordings. They were reissued recently on a release called "Come Write Ye Down."


Diamond Joe

Max Godfrey Leads Diamond Joe at the NOFA-NY Winter Conference 2012: 

 

Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe

Went up on that mountain
Give my horn a blow
Thought I heard Miss Maybelle say
Yonder come my beau

Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe

Ain't gonna work in the country
And neither on Parchment Farm
I'm gonna stay till my Maybelle come
And she gonna call-a me Tom

Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me Diamond Joe

Ain't gonna tell you no story
And neither word or lie
One of them my Maybelle say
Didn't she keep on by

Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me
Diamond Joe

Diamond Joe, where you ?
Diamond Joe, where you ?
Diamond Joe, where you ?
Diamond Joe

Diamond Joe, come a-getta me 
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me 
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me 
Diamond Joe

Ain't gonna work in the country
And neither on Parchment Farm
I'm gonna stay till my Maybelle come
And she gonna call-a me Tom

Diamond Joe, come a-getta me 
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me 
Diamond Joe, come a-getta me 
Diamond Joe


Source: recording by John A. Lomax of Charlie Butler in Parchman, Mississippi, 8 March 1937. Reissued in Various Artists 'A Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings' Rounder CD 1500 [Compiled and annotated by Stephen Wade].

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