Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My Old Kentucky Home

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Mark Todd - Captain America


John Jacob Niles
I HAVE NOT STUDIED THE PHILOSOPHY...
I
I have not studied the philosophy of human love
Nor set a slide-rule on the yearnings of my heart,
But I have loved you well and very long
And taught my heart the way you'd have it go.

II
Release your hold on the wrong end of nothing
And grasp the quality of understanding the being.
The reality of being with very simple beings means
That though everything is nothing, nothing
Is indeed everything else.

III
Being a singer of song, what do I need
that I haven't got, needing so little?
Being a singer, I tune my very voice-notes,
Tune my voice-notes with the patient stars.

IV
If I only had the power to resist
The urge to write the legends of my life,
I might well have lived some unharmonized days
And died with my childish sins intact.


OH BELOVED ONE, IF I DIE WITH MUSIC IN MY MOUTH
Oh beloved one, if I die with music in my mouth
Choked as 'twer by the very sounds of heaven,
If I die with music in my mouth,
Remember that I have lived with it anon,
Have tuned my many strings to augment my voice
And offered song to raise your sagging spirit,
And subtly wedded word with intangible sound
To brush away frustration's bitter hand.
If I died with music in my mouth
Remember that I have lived with it anon.




BLACK IS THE COLOR OF MY TRUE LOVE'S HAIR

"'Black is The Color of My True Love's Hair' as sung here was composed between 1916 and 1921. I had come home from eastern Kentucky, singing this song to an entirely different tune--a tune not unlike the public-domain material employed even today. My father liked the lyrics, but thought the tune was downright terrible. So I wrote myself a new tune, ending it in a nice modal manner. My composition has since been "discovered" by many an aspiring folk-singer".

Black is the color of my true love's hair
Her lips are like some rosy fair
The purest eyes and the neatest hands
I love the ground whereon she stands

I go to the Clyde for to mourn and weep
But satisfied I never can sleep
I'll write to you in a few short lines
I'll suffer death ten thousand times

I know my love and well she knows
I love the grass whereon she goes
If she on earth no more I see
My life will quickly fade away

A winter's past and the leaves are green
The time has past that we have seen
But still I hope the time will come
When you and I will be as one

Black is the color of my true love's hair
Her lips are like some rosy fair
The purest eyes and the neatest hands
I love the ground whereon she stands


"I WONDER AS I WANDER"
(season's greeatings)

"I Wonder As I Wander' grew out of three lines of music sung for me by a girl who called herself Annie Morgan. The place was Murphy, North Carolina, and the time was July, 1933. The Morgan family, revivalists all, were about to be ejected by the police, after having camped in the town square for some little time, cooking, washing, hanging their wash from the Confederate monument and generally conducting themselves in such a way as to be classed a public nuisance. Preacher Morgan and his wife pled poverty; they had to hold one more meeting in order to buy enough gas to get out of town. It was then that Annie Morgan came out--a tousled, unwashed blond, and very lovely. She sang the first three lines of the verse of 'I Wonder As I Wander'. At twenty-five cents a performance, I tried to get her to sing all the song. After eight tries, all of which are carefully recorded in my notes, I had only three lines of verse, a garbled fragment of melodic material--and a magnificent idea. With the writing of additional verses and the development of the original melodic material, 'I Wonder As I Wander' came into being. I sang it for five years in my concerts before it caught on. Since then, it has been sung by soloists and choral groups wherever the English language is spoken and sung."

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

When Mary birthed Jesus, 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.
If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on a wing
Or all of God's angels in heav'n for to sing
He surely could have it, 'cause He was the King.

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

2 Comments:

Blogger geva--f85454 said...

My Old Kentucky Home

Hey K, you got an interesting blog here! I'm definitely bookmarking you right now!

I have a Fantasy Knives site. It pretty much covers
fantasy knife related stuff.

Come and check out fantasy knife if you get time :-)

3:56 PM  
Blogger geva--f85454 said...

My Old Kentucky Home

Hey K, you got an interesting blog here! I'm definitely bookmarking you right now!

I have a Fantasy Knives site. It pretty much covers
Chris Reeve Mnandi related stuff.

Come and check out Chris Reeve Mnandi if you get time :-)

3:10 AM  

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