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The Saddest Song of All--Part II

Related threads:
What is the saddest song? (121)
Saddest Songs, Take Two (23)
The Saddest Song of All (238)
The Saddest Song Ever written (258)
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BS: The saddest read of all (32) (closed)


Genie 22 Jan 02 - 03:36 AM
alanabit 22 Jan 02 - 04:01 AM
Navillus 22 Jan 02 - 04:37 AM
Steveie1 22 Jan 02 - 08:14 AM
Murph10566 22 Jan 02 - 09:48 AM
jup 22 Jan 02 - 03:53 PM
Murph10566 22 Jan 02 - 04:33 PM
GUEST 22 Jan 02 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 22 Jan 02 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 23 Jan 02 - 06:21 AM
Zipster 23 Jan 02 - 09:30 AM
Sooz 23 Jan 02 - 02:07 PM
Genie 23 Jan 02 - 03:19 PM
Little Hawk 23 Jan 02 - 03:50 PM
Genie 23 Jan 02 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Steve N. 23 Jan 02 - 05:00 PM
GUEST 23 Jan 02 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Argenine 23 Jan 02 - 09:19 PM
Robo 24 Jan 02 - 01:29 AM
Steveie1 24 Jan 02 - 08:13 AM
Little Hawk 24 Jan 02 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Oulmole 24 Jan 02 - 06:27 PM
Genie 05 Mar 02 - 02:23 AM
Amergin 05 Mar 02 - 02:37 AM
Genie 05 Mar 02 - 07:16 PM
Genie 05 Mar 02 - 09:42 PM
GUEST 16 Mar 02 - 12:40 PM
JHW 26 Apr 08 - 05:52 PM
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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Genie
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 03:36 AM

I don't think the link to Saddest Song I has been posted. Here it is

Genie


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: alanabit
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 04:01 AM

Dylan's "If You See Her Say Hello" and Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going to Rain Today".


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Navillus
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 04:37 AM

Fields of Athenry and Born on the Fourth of July do it for me.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GRAVE (Don McLean)
From: Steveie1
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 08:14 AM

THE GRAVE
(Don McLean)

From memory:-

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colours
And the brown earth bleached white at the edge of his gravestone
He's gone
But eternity knows him and it knows what we've done

And the rain fell like pearls on the leaves of the flowers
Leaving brown muddy clay where the earth had been dry
And deep in the trench he waited for hours
As he held to his rifle and prayed not to die

But the silence of night was shattered by fire
As guns and grenades blasted sharp in the air
One after another his comrades were slaughtered
In a morgue of marines alone standing there

He crouched ever lower, ever lower with fear
They can't let me die; they can't let me die here
I'll cover myself with the mud and the earth
I'll cover myself, I know I'm not brave
The earth, the earth, the earth is my grave

{Moody guitar bit}

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colours
And the brown earth bleached white at the edge of his gravestone
He's gone

That song just does it for me every time I sing it - Great! Ah!

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 6-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Murph10566
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 09:48 AM

How about Eric Bogle's "One Small Star", or The Irish Descendants' "Will They Lie There Evermore"...or Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia ? Also, I reviewed the 'Saddest Song I' thread, and found a question from Wyo Woman about the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial... Have you ever heard John McDermott's cover of "The Wall"(EMI / Remembrance); Michael McCann has also released a version on his CD "Soldiers' Songs"... worth a listen or two... Regards, M.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: jup
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 03:53 PM

"Long Long Before Your Time" Does it for me every time. Jup.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Murph10566
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 04:33 PM

Two more that are worthy of note, I think: "Over the Rainbow" by the late Eva Cassidy (whose voice was so sweet and pure that she is surely singing with a Heavenly Chorus... and, a different approach to Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again, Naturally" by Vonda Sheppard (Allie McBeal)... What d'ye think ? M.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 05:31 PM

Life is the saddest song of all.

Actually, two thoughts. I have yet to get thru "Run, Kate Shelley, Run" dry-eyed on the guitar, and I've been trying for months. I did it one mando once and made it, because I had to concentrate on the other side of the brain. That's not even a sad song, now that I think of it, just melodramatic. But my "different instrument" thing is a parallel to the "different melody" suggestion made by good old Skipjack. I'll try that melody thing.

I have, however, just gone thru a deal which will forever enshrine Tom Paxton's "Hold On to Me, Babe" as THE saddest song EVER. All of 35 years ago, I knew a person who was truly neat, creative, sensitive, etc., but very, very moody, sort of drifting thru relationships without any of them 'taking.' Just found out that she was abused as a child. She's working it out now, but it's rather too late for any of us who knew her in college to help spare her years of grief.

"There was something locked inside you, like a secret, burning pain,
In a prison where you would not let me go.
Still I thought we'd find the answer, till I woke and found you gone;
Now what it was, I guess I'll never know."

The world is total crap, sometimes. CC


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 05:33 PM

Re previous post--

I forgot that for some reason I now post as "Guest." Had I remembered I would have signed that Chicken Charlie.

CC


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BALLAD OF MONGREL GREY
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 06:21 AM

Dave Bryant's post mentioned "HOME LADS, HOME," a song I've heard a few times when I've travelled back to the UK.

The version I have heard starts with, "Overseas in Flanders..."

And further on in the song,
"For Dick fell at Givenchy and Prince beside the gun
On that red road to glory a mile or two from Munn."

Is sung
"For Dick fell at Givenchy and Prince beside the guns
On that blood red road to glory a mile or two from Mons."

Or
"For Dick fell at Givenchy and Prince beside the guns
Blown to pieces in the traces a mile or two from Mons."

In Part I of this thread there were numerous posts about "OLD SHEP." One on a similar theme about a horse is "THE BALLAD OF MONGREL GREY," an adaptation of a poem by A. B. Patterson.

THE BALLAD OF MONGREL GREY

I'll tell you a story an old stockman told
By the camp-fire when stars were bright
And the moon it rose up like a great globe of gold
And flooded the plain with it's light
As we watched the cattle 'til dawning of day
We spun yarns to while hours away
And as we were listening the tale he did tell
Was the story of old Mongrel Grey

Just a no-account Brumby bred out on the Never
On the station hard used as a hack
Spurred, walloped and beaten shown no kindness ever
Ridden all day with sores on his back
He'd then be left all night with nothing to eat
To be saddled and cursed all next day
Such treatment as this was common occurrence
It was normal to old Mongrel Grey

We well may have sold him but someone had said
On the flood plains he'd run as a colt
Where he'd learned to swim like a damn water bird
With an instinct for finding the shoals
Be it midnight or midday it meant nothing to him
Over flooded ground he'd find his way
And tho' channel and billabong twisted about
Nothing puzzled old Mongrel Grey

Down in a cabin on our lower run
Located close by Conroy's creek
I was there camping with my youngest boy
Just a nipper he barely could speak
We were scouting out grazing, we hunted and fished
The youngster and I spent our days
Alone in the Bush with our string of horses
And among 'em was old Mongrel Grey

One night quite sudden a flash flood came down
From the hills lashed with summer rain
Roaring, rank smelling and eddying brown
It spread o'er the flat and the plain
The thunder and lightning brought on driving rain
As torrents of water came down
To move seemed hopeless but we had to try
To make it for high ground or drown

Out to the stock pen I ran and I found
All our horses there shaking with fright
All bunched together stamping the ground
Silhouetted in electric blue light
As best as was able I led them all out
In the dark as the water raced by
They reared and they snorted and all turned away
None would face it but old Mongrel Grey

With my stock whip I tied the child to his back
We set off in the flood and the rain
If he struck deep water, swift flowing and black
He would swim with me clutching his mane
He turned and he twisted across flooded ground
Choosing places to wade or to swim
How he found the crossings by sight or by smell
Only God and that old horse could tell

Now he dodged the timber wherever he could
But the timber brought us grieve at last
I was struck and half stunned by a big baulk of wood
That snagged me as it drifted passed
Loosing my grip of the old horse's mane
I was instantly swept clean away
Fighting for breath in that hell of a night
I was parted from old Mongrel Grey

I climbed into a tree and there had to sit
While the flood waters round me did run
To the Lord of creation I earnestly prayed
To save the life of my son
When the station hands found me I dreaded the news
As homeward I raced down the track
But that dawn Mongrel Grey had pitched up at the homestead
With the child safe and sound on his back

Now he's kept for the wife on the homestead to ride
Nothing too good for him now of course
She'll ensure that no whip will touch his hide
For the debt that we owe the old horse
That he'll want for nothing's a promise I've made
Binds my kin till old Mongrel's last day
And not old man Tyson for all of his money
Could purchase old Mongrel Grey

Now you've all heard the story that old stockman told
By that cattle drive campfire that night
Where the moon it rose up like a great globe of gold
And flooded the plain with it's light
The words of the story I heard long ago
Remain in my head to this day
And tho' I oft quote it, it was Patterson wrote it
The story of old Mongrel Grey.

Eric Bogle's SING THE SPIRIT HOME takes a bit of effort to get through.

Cheers,

Bill

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 6-Oct-02.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Zipster
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 09:30 AM

Not sure which thread to add to now.

Currently listening to Matt McGinns THe Rolling Hills of the Borders and given that a good friend recently buried his mother back in her native Scottish borders that has me welling-up.

I agree with so many of the above, but I haven't seen Sonny's Dream anywhere. A beautiful song and a sad tale of missed opportunities.

Personally I have a great fondness for "Yellow Roses". Its an Arthur Alexander composition the recording I have is Ry Cooder (Chicken Skin Music I think).

Search as I have I can't find chords anywhere on the web. If anyone can help I'd be very grateful.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Sooz
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 02:07 PM

Has anyone scored the individual songwriters that have come up in this thread? Eric Bogle must be very near the top of the list and no-one has yet mentioned My Youngest Son or Nobody's Moggy (depending on your viewpoint). How about Alistair Hulett's He Fades Away and Ralph McTell's Jesus Wept.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Genie
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 03:19 PM

Here's a link to the Ethel Waters song referred to above.  It's  "Supper Time" written by Irving Berlin for a 1933 musical, "As Thousands Sing."    The musical makes it clear that the father has been lynched.  The song lyrics themselves don't tell you why he isn't coming home.

Willie O.,
I don't remember just how old Judy Garland was when she died, but I'm sure it was considerably more than 15 years after The Wizard Of Oz was released (1939). When she did here most haunting rendition, I think, of "Over The Rainbow," sitting by the footlights of the stage, in her hobo costume and make-up, she must have been at least 35 to 40. Also, I could swear I saw her do duets with adult daughter Liza.  Or did you mean that she died 15 years after you first heard her sing "Over The Rainbow?"
 

Genie


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 03:50 PM

Bob Dylan's "Most Of The Time", "Ballad of Hollis Brown", and the one about the mining town that's slowly dying, whatever it's called...Al Stewart later borrowed from it in a pretty obvious way to write his song "Ballad of Mary Foster", which is also very sad.

Not that they are your typical tearjerkers...they're not melodramatic or contrived enough for that, but they sure are sad.

- LH


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Genie
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 04:41 PM

Little Hawk,
I think the Dylan song you're referring to is "Red Iron Ore." Joan Baez sings it on her "Any Day Now" album.

Genie


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: GUEST,Steve N.
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 05:00 PM

Hands-down, it's "Come All Ye Tenderhearted", which can be found on an album by the most wonderful Peter Rowan. This old-timey song is not sad, it's what us Bluegrassers refer to as "Pitiful"!


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 07:03 PM

Isn't Red Iron Ore actually North Country Blues?


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: GUEST,Argenine
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 09:19 PM

Guest, I'm not sure about "North Country Blues." It's not the same as "The Girl From The North Country," though.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Robo
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 01:29 AM

A well-sung "Fields of Athenry" will do it for me, too, and so will "The Town I Loved So Well." Tim O'Brien also has a terrific song in "First Days of Fall."

Rob-o


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Steveie1
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 08:13 AM

I've been pondering my set list since reading this thread and in my top 30 must sung songs 21 must rank as sad zero are actually happy the other 9 are light hearted but essentially sad. Sally Wheatley, Kew Gardens, Lock Keeper etc. Need to work on some happy stuff but struggle with the sincerity of it. Maybe a link for the future is "The Happiest Song of All Time"


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 05:18 PM

Yes, the Dylan song is called North Country Blues. Growing up in Hibbing, a dying former mining town, he had plenty of inspiration for writing it.

Al Stewart took the melody, changed it slightly at the end of each verse, took some of the lyrical phrases, and wrote the Ballad of Mary Foster.

Dylan probably had borrowed much of the song from previous folk tradition too, so that's okay with me. Al Steward was obviously a big Dylan fan in his early period, covering "She Acts Like We Never Have Met" on one of the early albums, when he rarely recorded anything but originals. He then went on to write songs quite unlike anything anyone else has come up with...good for him!

- LH


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: GUEST,Oulmole
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 06:27 PM

The Parting Song (Journey's End), by J.B. Goodenough.

Carroll Ban, by John Keegan Casey -- on the strength of the last verse, sung by the bereaved lover of a young man hanged in the failed Irish rebellion of 1798:

The meadow path is lonely, and the hearth is cold and dim, And the silent churchyard blossom blooms softly over him, And my heart is ever yearning for the calm that's coming on, When its weary pulse lies sleeping, beside my Carroll Ban.


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Genie
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 02:23 AM

"Grace" is a real tearjerker which, I understand, is based on a true story. (It's in the DT.) The Irish soldier (rebel?) is to be executed in the morning and marries his love that night, though they can touch only through the prison bars.
Here is the chorus: "Oh Grace just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger.
They'll take me out at dawn and I will die.
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won't be time to share our love for we must say goodbye.

Genie


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Amergin
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 02:37 AM

Genie, the song Grace is about Joseph Mary Plunkett who was due to be executed for his part in the Easter Rising.....he was suffering from TB (I think)...hence the sick bed....he and Grace were married while he was imprisoned and awaiting his sentence to be carried out....after the wedding they were pulled apart....and on his last night...they were allowed a few minutes together....


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Genie
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 07:16 PM

Thanks, Amergin. What you say ties in pretty well with what I had been told before. There is a guy who sings this song at Seattle Song Circle who has told us the story, and I'll check with him to see if he has any further details I've forgotten. I didn't remember the TB part, though. I had the impression that they actually married the night before the execution and were not allowed to spend any time alone together--that this was his way of expressing the strength of his devotion, that he wanted her to be his wife even if they were not able to comsummate the marriage or have any time really alone together. But my memory of it is foggy, and you seem to know the history.
Genie


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: Genie
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 09:42 PM

In THIS THREAD, Micca (?) writes:
...Plunkett was sentenced to die by firing squad for his role in the Rising. He fought even though he was a very sickly person ... . He was engaged to marry his Grace [Gifford] and she was brought to him in the chapel of Kilmainem. They were surrounded by British soldiers and were not allowed to touch one another, nor even kiss. They were married by the Priest and the next morning he was taken out and shot.

Genie


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 12:40 PM

Genie, Glen sang this at our Seattle song circle. There's a nice recording of it on Seamus Kennedy's CD "A Smile and a Tear" http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/seamuskennedy10

This is from the CD liner notes: "This poem, written by Joseph Plunkett in 1911, was handed to Grace Gifford Plunkett, his new bride on the morning of May 4th 1916, just before he walked out to face the firing-squad." "Joseph Plunkett was 19 yrs old when he left his sick bed (he suffered from TB) to fight alongside Padraig Pearse and the other freedom fighters in the Easter Rebellion in Dublin, 1916. The Uprising was quelled and many of the rebels were executed by the English. At 1:30 a.m. on the 4th of May, Joseph Plunkett was led handcuffed into the chapel of Kilmainham Jail, where Father Eugene McCarthy united him in matrimony with his fiancee Grace Gifford. They were separated immediately after the ceremony. Just before dawn, Grace was brought back to his cell and they were allowed ten minutes together, and then as she left Joseph gave her the words of a poem he had written in 1911 - I See His Blood Upon the Rose. At dawn, his life was ended by an English firing-squad in Stonebreakers's yard." By the way, it's a great CD - I recommend it highly.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: The Saddest Song of All--Part II
From: JHW
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 05:52 PM

The Border Widow's Lament. Ae Fond Kiss and Ballad in Plain D from other posts are also worthy contenders. Does anyone have the technology to set up a ballot?


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