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GUEST,Songbob Tying a Knot in the Devil's Tail / Sierry Petes (31) RE: Tying a Knot in the Devil's Tail / Sierry Petes 27 Dec 11

I learned the song from Tom Paxton's recording of it, where the names are "Sandy Sam" and "Rusty Jiggs," but most of the rest the same. When we formed "Sidekicks" to do "frontier and western" songs ("frontier" because we include Aussie material), I thought about the song and decided it needed a chorus (since the original tune -- and I never thought about it, bit it is a bit "Polly-Wolly-Doodle-ish" -- is boring once you stretch it over the multitude of verses involved).

Here's what I came up with:

[IV] Devil be damned, said [I] Sandy Sam,
[IV] Devil be damned, i [i] say!
[IV] Devil be damned, said [I] Sandy Sam,
Them [V] boys got drunk that [I] Day.

The chord changes are indicated in [brackets]
I = tonic
IV = sub-dominant
V = dominant

It almost sings itself. I have heard someone from somewhere west of here (which is most of the US) sing it complete with my chorus, but I don't know how they got it. We never issued it on a recording, I think. Bruch Phillips, who used to do the poem as a poem, because he didn't much like the song as written, said of my addition, "It makes the song!" Which is high praise for something I came up with on a long drive with Pete Kraemer, back in the early '90s.

I also sing "Border Affair" with its original words, despite their Political Incorrectitude.


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