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Lyr Req: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)

DigiTrad:
BALLAD OF THE YARMOUTH CASTLE
BEST YEARS OF HER LIFE
BIG STEEL RAIL
DID SHE MENTION MY NAME
IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND
I'M NOT SAYING
IN THE EARLY MORNING RAIN
LOST CHILDREN
THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR LOVING ME
THE EDMUND FITZGERALD


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Genie 18 Nov 02 - 04:14 AM
nutty 18 Nov 02 - 04:19 AM
Genie 18 Nov 02 - 04:35 AM
nutty 18 Nov 02 - 06:56 AM
X 18 Nov 02 - 01:09 PM
Genie 18 Nov 02 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,The Banjoest 18 Nov 02 - 02:58 PM
Genie 18 Nov 02 - 08:11 PM
X 18 Nov 02 - 08:26 PM
Genie 18 Nov 02 - 11:32 PM
X 19 Nov 02 - 03:45 AM
vlmagee 22 Nov 02 - 03:54 PM
Genie 22 Nov 02 - 04:22 PM
John Hardly 22 Nov 02 - 09:03 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: Genie
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 04:14 AM

Couldn't find this Gordon Lightfoot song in the DT or forum, although it was alluded to.

I know the first and last verse and chorus (Anne Murray's version), but the last part of the middle verse ("In the sweet [?], sunny South, Where they say, 'Well, shut my mouth...") escapes me.

Anyone have either the whole song or just the second verse handy?

Thanks,

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: nutty
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 04:19 AM

The lyrics are here

Cotton Jenny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: Genie
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 04:35 AM

Thanks, nutty. My, you're faxt!

Q: Are you sure the line "In the hot, sickly South..." is correct? "Sickly" seems a strange adjective in this context.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: nutty
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 06:56 AM

I hadn't bothered reding the line but I agree it does seem strange

"In the hot stickysouth" would fit better


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: X
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 01:09 PM

it's "Sticky"


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Subject: Lyr Add: COTTON JENNY (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: Genie
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 02:02 PM

"Sticky" does make a lot more sense, but even Lightfoot's own website has it as "sickly." IMO, it just shows to go ya that having a lyric printed on a liner note or sheet music or at the author's website does not necessarily mean it's the definitive lyric. (Ian Tyson's website has several lyric errors for his songs, too, at least not the words he sings on his recordings.)

Anyway, I'm gonna sing "sticky."

Here are the words per Lightfoot's website with the following changes (corrections):
--"Sticky" instead of "sickly" and "where" instead of "when" in the first line of the last verse (because "sickly" and "when" don't make sense.
--"And a valley below" in the first verse (as Anne Murray sings it), instead of "in the valley below."  (How can the house be on a hill and in the valley at the same time?)
 

Cotton Jenny
Written by Gordon Lightfoot.
(© Early Morning Music/SOCAN/ASCAP.)  From "Summer Side Of Life", © 1971, Reprise Records

There's a house on a hill,
By a worn-down weathered old mill,
And a valley below where the river winds.
There's no such thing as bad times.
And a soft southern flame,
Oh, Cotton Jenny's her name,
And she wakes me up when the sun goes down,
And the wheel of love goes 'round.

                                Wheels of love go 'round, love go 'round,
                                Love go 'round, a joyful sound.
                                I ain't got a penny for Cotton Jenny to spend, but then,
                                The wheels go 'round.

When the new day begins, I go down to the cotton gin,
And I make my time worthwhile for them;
Then I climb back up again.
And she waits by the door;
Oh, Cotton Jenny, I'm sore.
And she rubs my feet while the sun goes down,
And the wheel of love goes 'round.

                                Wheels of love go 'round, love go 'round,
                                Love go 'round, a joyful sound.
                                I ain't got a penny for Cotton Jenny to spend, but then,
                                The wheels go 'round.

In the hot, sticky  South, where they say: "Well, shut my mouth,"
I can never be free from the cotton grind,
But I know I got what's mine
With a soft southern flame,
Oh, Cotton Jenny's her name.
She wakes me up when the sun goes down,
And the wheel of love goes 'round.

                                Wheels of love go 'round, love go 'round,
                                Love go 'round, a joyful sound.
                                I ain't got a penny for Cotton Jenny to spend, but then,
                                The wheels go 'round.

                                The wheels go 'round.
                                Round and round.

 

Anne Murray's version omits the last verse, probably because she sings it as 3rd person narrative, and the last verse doesn't work that way.
Murray also sings "The wheels of love go 'round" as the last line of each verse and as the last line of the chorus.

There's a clip of Gordie singing this song at his website, and he definitely sings "The wheel of love goes 'round" as the last line of the verse.  The clip cuts off before he finishes the chorus, though, so I don't know if he finishes the chorus as "The wheels go 'round" or "The wheels of love go 'round."


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: COTTON JENNY (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: GUEST,The Banjoest
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 02:58 PM

Genie:

Funny how things work out. I went and looked in my old fake book and found it. Than I gave the record a listen to and guess what? Lightfoot sings it the way it's transcribed.


COTTON JENNY   Time: 4/4 (sync)   


          1          *          4                      1
There's a house on a hill, by a worn down weathered old mill

                57                  *             *                   1
In the vally be-low where the river winds, there's no such thing as bad times

      *             *         4                  1
And a soft, southern flame, oh Cotton Jenny's her name

             57                   *             *                1
She wakes me up when the sun goes down, and the wheels of love go round



CHORUS:

                  4      *            1         *
Wheels of love go round, .... love go rou-ou-ou-ound

       2      *            5         *
Love go round, ... a joyful sou-ou-ou-ound

       1               4               5          *
I ain't got a penny for Cotton Jenny to spend, but then

             1      4    1
The wheels go rou-ou-ou-ou-ound


         1          *          4                  1
When the new day be-gins, I go down to the cotton gin
             5                  *            *               1
And I make my time worthwhile to them, Then I climb back up a-gain
       *            *       4                1
And she waits by the door, oh Cotton Jenny I'm sore
            5                      *             *                1
She rubs my feet while the sun goes down, and the wheels of love go round


       1          *                4                1
In the hot, sickly south, when they say "well shut my mouth"
               5                   *            *                1
I can never be free from the cotton grind, but I know I got what's mine
*             *         4                  1
A soft, southern flame, oh Cotton Jenny's her name
             5                   *             *                1
She wakes me up when the sun goes down, and the wheels of love go round


ENDING: 1 - 4, 1 - 4, 1


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: COTTON JENNY (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: Genie
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 08:11 PM

Interesting, Hugh.  He sings "sickly" and "when" in the first line of the third verse, eh?  Go figure.

Still, the lyrics you posted differ from the ones posted on his website, specifically in the last line of the verse and the last line of the chorus.

BTW, I retract what I said about the "in the valley..." line (although I think Anne Murray sings "and a valley...".  The house is on a hill with a mill on the river in the valley below.

Given that the internet has a couple of lyric variations and Anne Murray and Lightfoot himself each sing still different variations, it's likely several slightly different variations will continue to be sung.

And, yeah, the chord pattern is a really simple kind of bluegrassy thing.  (Your chords migrated a bit in transit thru cyberspace, though.)

Here's Anne Murray's version:

Cotton Jenny    (Gordon Lightfoot. © 1971)

                C      F      C             F                                   C
There's a house on a hill, By a worn-down weathered old mill
                       G
In the valley below where the river winds.
                                             C
There's no such thing as bad times.
           C    F             C              F                           C
And a soft southern flame, Oh, Cotton Jenny's her name,
                              G
And she wakes him up when the sun goes down,
              C
And the wheels of love go 'round.

Chorus:
                 C7          F                    C
 Wheels of love go 'round, love go 'round,
                D7                  G
 Love go 'round, a joyful sound.
               C                     F                         G             G7
 He ain't got a penny for Cotton Jenny to spend, but then,
                              C                   F      C       G
 Wheels of love go 'round.

                 C    F        C                 F                          C
When the new day begins, he goes down to the cotton gin,
                             G
And he makes his time worthwhile for them;
                                       C
Then he climbs back up again.
               C     F         C             F                         C
And she waits by the door; Oh, Cotton Jenny, he's sore.
                           G
And she rubs his feet when the sun goes down,
                                           C
And the wheels of love go 'round.

Chorus
------

And if you want to do the third verse in 3rd person:

           C      F         C                       F                              C
In the hot, sticky, South, where they say: "Well, shut my mouth!"
                          G
He can never be free from the cotton grind,
                                       C
But he says "I got what's mine
            C    F              C              F                           C
With a soft southern flame, Oh, Cotton Jenny's her name.
                      G
She wakes me up when the sun goes down,
                                           C
And the wheels of love go 'round."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: X
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 08:26 PM

Well, what can I say. We tried. LOL play any darn way you like! ;o)


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: Genie
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 11:32 PM

Actually, Hugh, it was only a couple of chords that seemed to migrate in your post, and they didn't migrate far.

Anyway, by now, folks have lots of choices in this thread.

LOL!

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: X
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 03:45 AM

Really Genie. lol I'll see you in the park and you can sing it to me.

Hugh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: vlmagee
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 03:54 PM

A bit of clarification. The web site at gordonlightfoot.com is NOT an official web site. He doesn't have one (and doesn't want one). The site is mine, but I maintain it as if it were his.

On the lyrics, I have gone round and round regarding what to post. There is the version in the published songbooks. Perhaps that is actually what was copyrighted? Assuming nobody made a transcription error. Then there is what he sang ... in the first recording, and sometimes a second and a third. And, finally, there are typos and other little mistakes. When I see one (or someone points one out), I fix it.

In general, I have used either what is in the published lyrics or what he sings - and I can't always say how I make that decision. In some cases, I have a strong preference for one or the other, so I use it. In other cases, it's just the result of having the songbook lyrics and so not carefully listening to the recording. In the cases where the lyrics were not published (a few early songs, and all but one of the "previously unreleased" on Songbook), the lyrics are based on what "many" fans think they are. We've had some lively discussions about some of them! Finally, the lyrics for the songs on his last two albums are printed in the CD insert, but there are obvious mistakes, so again it was a combination of what he sings and what is printed.

FYI, Lightfoot himself no long sings that verse when he does Cotton Jenny in concert today.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: Genie
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 04:22 PM

Thanks, vlmagee.

I'd be fine with leaving off the last verse, as Anne Murray does, but I think the song's too short without it!

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cotton Jenny (Gordon Lightfoot)
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 09:03 PM

"sickly" actually makes more sense (IMO).

The mortality rate was always higher in the South historically. The bitter cold of New England and the upper Midwest gave many diseases a run for their money, and a pre-vaccine populace a fighting chance. Aside from the legendary parasites of the South (hookworm, etc), settlements were severely threatened by malaria and other insect born diseases, and yes....

....in literature and history it was the "sickly" south.


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