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Origins: One Hundred Miles

DigiTrad:
FIVE HUNDRED MILES
NINE HUNDRED MILES
REUBEN TRAIN
REUBEN'S TRAIN


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Reuben's Train - who was Reuben? (24)
Lyr Add: Nine Hundred Miles (New Christy Minstrels (2)
Req: Five hundred miles away from home (Bare) (15)
900 Miles/500 miles (50)
(origins) Origin: Nine Hundred Miles (19)
Lyr/Chords Req: Reuben's Train (40)
Origins: 900 Miles - origin and history? (3) (closed)


Richie 12 Feb 03 - 09:33 AM
Richie 12 Feb 03 - 09:41 AM
Richie 12 Feb 03 - 09:53 AM
Richie 12 Feb 03 - 09:55 AM
Richie 12 Feb 03 - 09:59 AM
GUEST 12 Feb 03 - 10:05 AM
masato sakurai 12 Feb 03 - 10:55 AM
Steve Parkes 12 Feb 03 - 11:10 AM
Homeless 12 Feb 03 - 11:50 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Feb 03 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,Q 12 Feb 03 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,jaze 12 Feb 03 - 06:45 PM
Richie 12 Feb 03 - 10:32 PM
Richie 12 Feb 03 - 10:48 PM
Steve Parkes 13 Feb 03 - 03:51 AM
Lane 01 Feb 05 - 02:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Feb 05 - 03:08 PM
Lane 01 Feb 05 - 04:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Feb 05 - 06:07 PM
Lane 01 Feb 05 - 11:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Feb 05 - 11:51 PM
GUEST 02 Feb 05 - 12:57 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Feb 05 - 05:49 PM
Lane 03 Feb 05 - 11:52 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Feb 05 - 12:38 PM
Lane 04 Feb 05 - 12:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Feb 05 - 02:20 PM
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Subject: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: Richie
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 09:33 AM

I know "One Hundred Miles" or "A Hundred Miles" by Flatt and Scruggs is a member of the "Train 45," "Ruben's Train" Family. The "Hear the whistle blow a hundred miles" is a common theme.

Are the songs 500 miles, 900 miles and 100 miles versions of the same song? How do they relate to the "Train 45" "Ruben's Train" Family?

Any versions not in the DT? Does anyone have the Flatt and Scruggs lyrics?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: Richie
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 09:41 AM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index info:

Reuben's Train

DESCRIPTION: Lyric piece about Reuben's train and travels. Versions vary widely; most contain a verse something like this: "Reuben had a train and he put it on the track, Hear the whistle blow a hundred miles."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (recording, Grayson & Whitter, as "Train 45")
KEYWORDS: train nonballad
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
BrownIII 236, "Reuben's Train" (2 texts, with "A" being closer to "Nine Hundred Miles" than "B")
Warner 133, "Reuben's Train" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 302, "Reuben" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #3423
RECORDINGS:
Emry Arthur, "Reuben Oh Reuben" (Paramount 3295, c. 1931; on BefBlues2)
Dock Boggs, "Ruben's Train" (on Boggs3, BoggsCD1)
Carolina Ramblers String Band, "Ruben's Train" (Banner 33085/Romeo 5345, 1934; Melotone M-13947, c. 1935)
Bill Cornett ,"Old Reuben" (on MMOKCD)
Elizabeth Cotten, "Ruben" (on Cotten02)
Grayson & Whitter, "Train Forty-Five" (Victor 21189, 1928, rec. 1927); "Train No. 45" (Champion 15447, 1928)
J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers [or Wade Mainer], "Riding on Train Forty-Five" (Bluebird B-7298, 1937; Victor 27493, 1941)
Wade Mainer & the Sons of the Mountaineers, "Old Reuben" (Bluebird B-8990, 1941)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Riding on That Train 45" (on NLCR06, NLCRCD2)
Poplin Family, "Reuben" (on Poplin01)
Wade Ward, "Old Reuben" [instrumental] (on Holcomb-Ward1)
Doc Watson, "Old Ruben" (on Ashley02, WatsonAshley01)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Nine Hundred Miles"
cf. "Rain and Snow"
SAME TUNE:
Jack O'Diamond Blues (recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Old Reuben
Notes: I know two tunes for this piece. One resembles "Nine Hundred Miles" and "Rain and Snow"; these three songs seems to have cross-fertilized (so much so, in fact, that I literally cannot tell which one was the more direct ancestor of the Grayson & Whitter recording; I placed it there almost arbitrarily).
The other is that used by Frank Proffitt, who said of it, "This is one of the oldest simple banjo tunes.... It was generally the first tune learned, by playing two strings. There are about fifty different verses to this" (quoted by Warner).
G. B. Grayson is said to have turned "Reuben's Train" into "Train 45" -- but they are still so close that I think they can be considered one song. - RBW
File: Wa133

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: Richie
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 09:53 AM

Sorry if this is too much recording info:

A Hundred Miles - Ashmore/Cooper/Fine/Gealer/James
Womenfolk. We Give a Hoot! Live Hootenanny at the Ice House in Pasadena, RCA (Victor) LSP-2821, LP (1963), cut#A.02

Nine Hundred Miles
Rt - Ruben/Ruben's Train ; Ridin' Home Rm - Wanderer
1. Baez, Joan. Very Early Joan, Vanguard VSD 79446/7, LP (1982), cut#D.01b (900 Miles)
2. Carson, Fiddlin' John. Old Hen Cackled and the Rooster's Gonna Crow, Rounder 1003, LP (1987), cut# 13 (I'm Nine Hundred Miles from My Home)
3. Cheatwood, Billy. Anthology of the Banjo, Tradition TR 2077, LP (196?), cut# 9 (Hundreds of Miles)
4. Dane, Barbara. Anthology of American Folk Songs, Tradition TR 2072, LP (196?), cut#A.03
5. Fahey, John. John Fahey Guitar, Vol. 4, Takoma C-1008, LP (196?), cut# 5 (900 Miles)
6. Guthrie, Woody. Woody Guthrie, Folkways FA 2483CS, Cas (1962), cut# 4
7. Hinton, Sam. Singing Across the Land, Decca DL 8108, LP (196?), B.01a
8. Houston, Cisco. Cisco Special, Vanguard VSD-2042, LP (196?), cut#A.03
9. Keller, Shirley; and Charlie Wright. Paul Cadwell, Shirley Keller, Charlie Wright, Twilight PSC 165, LP (1983), cut#B.03 (900 Miles)
10. New Christy Minstrels. New Christy Minstrels, Columbia CS 8672, LP (1962), cut#B.07
11. Poston, Mutt; and the Farm Hands. Hoe Down! Vol. 6. Country Blues Instrumentals, Rural Rhythm RR 156, LP (197?), cut# 5 (900 Miles)
12. Rosmini, Dick. Folksong '65, Elektra S-8, LP (1965), cut# 5 (900 Miles)
13. Schnaufer, David. Delcimore, Collecting Dust CD 0699001, CD (1999), cut#11b (Blackberry Winter)
14. Seeger, Pete. Third Annual Farewell Reunion, Rounder 0313, CD (1994), cut#17 (900 Miles)
15. Stamper, I.D.. Red Wing, June Appal JA 0010, LP (1977), cut# 13 (900 Miles)
16. Stevens, George. Blue Dog Cellar Project No. 1, Kimberly RINC 1245, LP (196?), cut#B.06 (900 Miles)
17. Stone, Pete. Chicago Mob Scene. A Folk Song Jam Session, Riverside RLP 12-641, LP (196?), cut# 6 (900 Miles)
18. Weavers. Weavers at Carnegie Hall, Vanguard VRS 9010, LP (195?), cut#B.03b (900 Miles)
19. Weissberg, Eric. Folk Banjo Styles, Elektra EKL-217, LP (195?), cut# 4

Five Hundred Miles
Related Songs- "Seventy Four;" "Count the Days I'm Gone"
1. Axton, Hoyt. Greenback Dollar, Vee-Jay VJS-1126, LP (1964), cut#A.04
2. Childers, George. Folk Visions & Voices. Traditional Music & Song in North Georgia, University of Georgia, Bk (1983), p173
3. Peter, Paul & Mary. Peter, Paul and Mary, Warner Bros 1449, LP (1962), cut# 2 (500 Miles)
4. West, Hedy. Hedy West, Vanguard VRS 9124, LP (1963), cut# 7 (500 Miles)

Seventy Four
Rt - Five Hundred Miles ; Ruben/Ruben's Train
1. Staggers, J. C. "Jake". Folk Visions & Voices. Traditional Music & Song in North Georgia, University of Georgia, Bk (1983), p 79

Ruben/Ruben's Train
Related - Long Steel Rail ; Train 45 ; Ruby (Are You Mad at Your Man?) ; Vestapol ; Seventy Four ; Nine Hundred Miles ; Longest Train I Ever Saw ; Train Is Off the Track

1. Arthur, Emry. Paramount Old Time Tunes, JEMF 103, LP (197?), cut#B.02 (Reuben Oh Reuben)
2. Blue Mountain Boys. 37th Old-Annual Old-Time Fiddlers Convention, Folkways FA 2434, LP (1962), cut# 13
3. Boone, Woodrow; and Roger Howell. Music in the Air, BearWallow 210, Cas (1993), cut#A.09 (Lost John)
4. Brickman, Weissberg & Company. New Dimensions in Banjo and Bluegrass, Elektra EKS-7238, LP (197?), cut# 10 (Reuben's Train)
5. Burke, John. Fancy Pickin' and Plain Singing, Kicking Mule KM 202, LP (1977), cut#B.07a (Old Reuben)
6. Cockerham, Jarrell and Jenkins. Down to the Cider Mill, County 713, LP (1968), cut# 8
7. Cooney, Michael. Still Cooney After All These Years, Front Hall FRH 016, LP (1979), cut#B.03 (Old Reuben)
8. Cornett, Bill (Banjo Bill). Mountain Music of Kentucky, Smithsonian/Folkways SF 40077, CD (1996), cut#1.05 (Old Reuben)
9. Cotten, Elizabeth. Shake Sugaree, Volume 2, Folkways FTS 31001, LP, cut# 12
10. Dillards. Backporch Bluegrass, Elektra EKS-7232, LP (197?), cut# 14 (Reuben's Train)
11. Flatt & Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys. Foggy Mountain Banjo, Columbia LE 10043, LP (196?), cut# 5 (Reuben)
12. Flatt & Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys. Flatt And Scruggs. Country and Western Classics, Time-Life Records TLCW-04, LP (1982), cut#F.04 (Lonesome Ruben)
13. Flatt & Scruggs with Doc Watson. Strictly Instrumental, Columbia CS 9443, LP, cut# 8 (Lonesome Ruben)
14. Gellert, Dan; and Brad Leftwich. Moment in Time, Marimac 9038, Cas (1993), cut#A.06
15. Graves, John. I Kind of Believe It's A Gift, Meriweather Meri 1001-2, LP (198?), cut# 11 (Dargai)
16. Graves, Josh. Josh Graves, Vetco LP 3025, LP (1976), cut#B.01
17. Helton, Ernest and Osey. Library of Congress Banjo Collection, Rounder 0237, LP (1988), cut# 19 (Reuban)
18. Holy Modal Rounders. Holy Modal Rounders, Prestige PR 7720, LP (1964), cut# 8
19. Holy Modal Rounders. Holy Modal Rounders, Fantasy 24711, LP (1972), cut#4.01
20. Ill-Mo Boys. Fine As Frog's Hair, Marimac 9054, Cas (1992), cut# 9
21. Jarrell, Tommy; and Kyle Creed. June Apple, Mountain 302, LP (1972), cut# 6
22. Jarrell, Tommy. Come and Go With Me, County 748, LP (1974), cut# 12 (Reuben)
23. Jones, Vester. Traditional Music From Grayson and Carroll Counties, Folkways FS 3811, LP (1962), cut# 8 (Old Ruben)
24. Letterly, Bob. National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest & Folk Music Festival. 1966, Century, LP (1966), cut# 18
25. Mainer, Wade; and the Sons of the Mountaineers. Wade Mainer, County 404, LP (1973), cut#A.01 (Old Ruben)
26. May, William. Folksongs and Ballads, Vol 4, Augusta Heritage AHR 010, Cas (1992), cut#A.01 (Rueben's Train)
27.        Miller, Kenny. American Banjo, Folkways FA 2314, LP (1966), cut# 25
28. Parmley, Don; and Billy Strange. Don Parmley and Billy Strange, GNP Crescendo GNP-98, LP (196?), cut# 6
29. Pegram, George. George Pegram, Rounder 0001, LP (1970), cut# 8 (Reuben)
30. Poplin Family. Poplin Family of Sumter, South Carolina, Folkways FA 2306, LP (1963), cut#B.10 (Old Reuben)
31. Powell, Dirk. If I Go Ten Thousand Miles, Rounder 0384, CD (1996), cut# 6
32. Proffitt, Frank. Frank Proffitt of Reese, North Carolina, Folk Legacy FSA-001, Cas (1962), cut#A.07 (Reuben's Train)
33. Reed, Ola Belle. 1st Annual Brandywine Mountain Music Convention, Heritage (Galax) 006, LP (1975), cut# 3
34. Rice, Tony. Guitar, King Bluegrass KB-529, LP (197?), cut# 8 (Lonesome Ruben)
35. Rosenbaum, Art (Arthur). Five String Banjo, Kicking Mule KM 108, LP (1974), cut# 6
36. Rose, Buddy. Down Home Pickin', Dominion NR 3319, LP (197?), cut#B.03
37. Sidesaddle. Daylight Train, Turquoise TR 5080, Cas (1991), cut# 14
38. Ward, Wade. Roscoe Holcomb and Wade Ward, Folkways FA 2363, LP (1962), cut#B.13 (Old Reuben)
39. Ward, Wade. Uncle Wade. A Memorial to Wade Ward, Old Time Virginia Banjo ..., Folkways FA 2380, LP (1973), cut# 12 (Old Ruben)
40. Watson, Doc; and Gaither Carlton. Old-Time Music at Clarence Ashley's. Part 1, Folkways FA 2355, LP (1961), cut# 2 (Old Ruben)
41. Watson, Doc. Watson Family Tradition, Rounder 0129, LP (1977), cut#A.05 (Reuben's Train)
42. Watson, Doc; and Family. Treasures Untold, Vanguard CV 77001, Cas (1991), cut# 6 (Reuben's Train)
43. Watson, Doc; Clint Howard and Fred Price. Old Timey Concert, Vanguard 107/8, Cas (1987), cut#B.05
44. Winston, Winnie; and Gundy, Walter. Old-Time Banjo Project, Elektra EKL-7276, LP, cut# 12 (Reuben's Train)


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: Richie
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 09:55 AM

Traditional Ballad Entry:

Nine Hundred Miles

DESCRIPTION: "I'm a walking down the track, I've got tears in my eyes, Trying to read a letter from my home. If that train runs me right I'll be home tomorrow night." The singer will pawn anything or do whatever is needed to get home (to his sweetheart)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1909 (JAFL)
KEYWORDS: train love separation home
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
BrownIII 285, "The Midnight Dew" (1 text, with an unusual introductory verse but most of the rest goes here)
Lomax-FSUSA 73, "900 Miles" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-RailFolklr, p. 464, "900 Miles" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 53, "Nine Hundred Miles" (1 text)
DT, MILES900

Roud #4959
RECORDINGS:
Fiddlin' John Carson "I'm 900 Miles from my Home" (OKeh 40196, 1924)
Riley Puckett, "Nine Hundred Miles from Home" (Columbia 15563-D, 1930)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Rain and Snow" (opening lines of tune)
cf. "Reuben's Train"
Notes: Some versions of "Reuben's Train," such as the Grayson/Whitter "Train 45" recording, are so mixed with this song that it's literally impossible to tell whether they are versions of this song or that; those interested should consult the references to both songs. - RBW
File: LxU073

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: Richie
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 09:59 AM

From A Fiddler's Companion:

REUBAN('S TRAIN). AKA - "Old Reuban." Old-Time, Song and Breakdown. USA, North Carolina. D Major/Mixolydian. One part. A banjo tune and song which Frank Proffitt pronounced as "one of the oldest simple banjo tunes...it was the first tune generally learned...There are about fifty different verses to this, as everybody added them all along" [Warner]. It was the first tune that Mt. Airy, North Carolina, fiddler and banjo player Tommy Jarrell learned, from a hired-hand named Cockerham on his father's farm. In 1982 he told interviewer Peter Anick that Cockerham played the tune, handed Jarrell the banjo and invited him to play it. Jarrell at first demurred saying he couldn't play the instrument, upon which the hand replied, "Well, it ain't but one string to note and I'll show you that." Jarrell, familiar with the song from the singing of other family members, worked it out in a few minutes. Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee, fiddler Gilliam Banmon Grayson's (1887-1930, originally from Ashe County, North Carolina) 1927 tune "Train 45" derived from "Reuban's Train." The old-timey song "Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy" is also a related tune.
***
Old Reuban's comin' down the track,
He has got the throttle back,
The rails are a-carryin' me from home. (Frank Proffitt)
***
Source for notated version: North Carolina banjoist Frank Proffitt [Warner]. Warner (Traditional American Folk Songs), 1984; pgs. 309-310. Global Village C-302, Chicken Chokers - "New York City's 1st Annual String Band Contest - November 1984." Rounder 0129, Gaither Carlton - "The Watson Family Tradition." Rounder 02327, Osey and Ernest Helton (1941) - "The Library of Congress Banjo Collection."

RUBEN. See "Reuban." Old-Time. Marimac 9038, Dan Gellert & Brad Leftwich - "A Moment in Time."

TRAIN FORTY-FIVE. AKA and see "Reuban's Train." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; Tennessee, Ky. The tune is influential Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee, fiddler G.B. Grayson's reworked version of an old banjo tune called "Reuban's Train." Grayson, born in 1887 in Ashe County, North Carolina, suffered from blindness from an early age and tragically died in 1930 in the height of his musical prime in a road accident near Damascus, Virginia. Joe Wilson learned the following lyrics from (Uncle) Willet Tyree, who was a contemporary of Grayson who played with him:
**
You oughta been uptown
And seen the train come down
You could hear the whistle blow
For a hundred miles
It's oh me, and it's oh my
What's gonna become of me?
Lord, Lord,what's gonna become of me?
**
Hey, I'm walking these ties
I got tears in my eyes
Trying to read a letter
From my home, from my home
Trying to read a letter from my home
(spoken) And you know, I got this BAD news...
**
"Willet would drag out that word, BAAAAAAAAD in harmony with the fiddle, making it sound like he had nine yards of bow, then he'd whip back into the rhythm." It was one of the two tunes Monticello, Ky. fiddler Dick Burnett remembered getting the most applause for when he performed. Influential versions were also recorded by Bill Monroe and banjo player J.D. Crowe. Gennett 6320 (78 RPM), 1927, G.B. Grayson. Victor 21189 (78 RPM), G.B. Grayson & Whitter {Tenn.}. Old Hat Enterprises, "Music from the Lost Provinces" (1997).


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 10:05 AM

Songs are related, for sure. Anybody know who Ruben/Reuben was? I heard a story once that he was an African American who went to work on the railroad after the Civil War, then got run off his job as Jim Crow took hold, but don't have anything authoritative.


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: masato sakurai
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 10:55 AM

Previous threads:

900 Miles/500 miles

Lyr/Chords Req: Rueben's Train


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 11:10 AM

I think this may sound like a silly question, but it's not intended to be: but, although the US (+ Canada) is a big place, is it possible to be 900 miles from your home?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: Homeless
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 11:50 AM

Yes, it is. I used to drive from Chicago, on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, to Charleston, South Carolina, about 2/3 the way down the east coast, for a trip of roughly 920 miles. If you look at those two cities on a map, you'll see that you can go quite a bit farther north and south of those places. And that doesn't even count east coast to west coast of the US - over 2000 miles, depending on the route.


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 06:31 PM

Steve, depending on the province or territory in Canada, you can be 900 miles from home AND still be in the same province or territory.

Both Canada and the continental USA are around 4000 miles from Atlantic to PAcific oceans. And near that going north and south.


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 06:39 PM

Travel perhaps related to the hoboes and Okies, with whom versions of this song originated, about 1200 miles for an Arkie-Okie to get to Los Angeles in the Depression and Dust Bowl days, and 700-900 miles for a poor southern black or white to get to possible factory jobs in Dee-troit.


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: GUEST,jaze
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 06:45 PM

Ritchie, I have the lp Very Early Joan and it doesn't have 900 Miles on it. I wish it did,cause I heard the song once on the radio and really liked it,but don't know who did it. One of her early lps re-issued on cd with previously unreleased songs has the song Longest Train I Ever Saw.


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: Richie
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 10:32 PM

Does anyone know where the Flatt and Scruggs lyrics originate? My bluegrass group does a similar version- it starts with "You could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles."

I will post our version if I can remember all the lyrics.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: Richie
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 10:48 PM

A HUNDRED MILES
Bluegrass Messengers from the CD "Diggin' Up Roots"

You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles

(Banjo break)

Oh you oughta been uptown, and hear that train come down
You could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles
A hundred miles, a hundred miles,
A hundred miles, a hundred miles
You could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

(instrumental break)

Well I'm walkin' these ties, with tears in my eyes
I'm tryin' to read a letter from my home.
From my home, from my home,
From my home, from my home,
I'm tryin' to read a letter from my home.

(instrumental break)

If that train runs right, I'll be home Saturday night
'Cause I'm five hundred miles away from home.
Away from home, away from home
Away from home, away from home
I'm five hundred miles away from home.

(instrumental break)

If you miss the train I'm on, you could tell that I have gone
You could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles
A hundred miles, a hundred miles
A hundred miles, a hundred miles
You could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles

(instrumental break)

(Tag)

You could hear the whistle blow a hundred miles


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Subject: RE: Origin: One Hundred Miles
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 03:51 AM

Thanks for the geography lessons! I'd better dust off my atlas ...

Steve


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Lane
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 02:30 PM

I had a question in another thread that for some reason got closed and referenced to here - so this will probabably get buried due to the thread title, but I'll try

I was just trying to get some history and origin info on "900 Miles", some of which I find here but I'm trying to verify if its a trad song or not - I'm told that Woody wrote it, but dont' believe so and the info here seems to substantiate that - which is correct?

And what I really need to know is if its copyrighted or in public domain - any help appreciated

Lane


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 03:08 PM

According to the Traditional Ballad Index, the song was first mentioned in 1909 in JAFL, which would make it public domain, but of course many later recordings are copyright, including the 1924 release by Fiddlin' John Carson. Woody Guthrie had his own take on the lyrics, which would still be copyright; he did not compose the original.

Other titles include "Midnight Dew (The Train Runs a Wreck)," 1914 (music on p. 205 of Brown, vol. 5, North Carolina Folklore, which puts the tune (not Hoo chorus) in public domain.
I haven't checked through the 'Related Threads', above, but more info could be there.


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Lane
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 04:49 PM

Thanks, Q - I appreciate that info. Maybe you can explain: What determined public domain? Is it simply based on time or? And how would I know, for examle in this case, if Woody's lyrics are copyrighted?

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:07 PM

See notes on copyright in threads here- but much mis-information as well. If the date is 1923 or before, it has passed into public domain provided the © was not renewed.
See the US Copyright regulations, on line: US Copyright

Congressional Committee actions have complicated the rules for later work; I don't wish to comment on them.


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Lane
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 11:18 PM

Great... thanks again. So, is there a way that I can get a definitive determination whether this song is in public domain or not? I need to be sure...

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 11:51 PM

This one, unless you cover someone's arrangement, is pd.


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 12:57 AM

Thanks, Q.... I am confident with your info - but here's the thing: I want to do this song online with some folks on a music collaboration web site (great way to share music with others) but they are insistant, for this project, that I have documented proof that the song is pd ..... can you point me to a source that will demonstrate that it is?

Thanks for your help!
Lane


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 05:49 PM

What do they mean by documented proof? A legal opinion?

The Traditional Ballad Index has the date 1909 at the top of their write-up, copied by Richie, above, or go to the website: Search and enter "Nine Hundred" in the blank.
Also look in the Lomax reference, FSUSA listed on in the write-up.

Perrow has a fragment, "Fo' Hundud Miles From Home," in part 2 of his "Songs and Rhymes from the South," Songs connected with the railroad, No. 12, collected 1909 in South Carolina, and published in 1915.

See my reference to "Mountain Dew" in Brown, above, coll. 1914 North Carolina. I think Joe Offer can provide the full text.

All of these are before 1923, and NO author is cited.


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Lane
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 11:52 AM

Naw... I'm not after a legal opinion - just enough to verify that there are no copyright issues and that this is in public domain. I think that its becoming pretty clear that, while some specific arrangements, like Woody's, were CR - the original goes back far enough to be public domain. One of the main things I was trying to establish was that it was not Woody's composition, as I was being told


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 12:38 PM

Lane, I just looked in the book, "Woody Guthrie Folk Songs." At the heading of 900 Miles, pp. 30-31, it says "Additional lyrics by Woody Guthrie. Based on a traditional song."
This is a clear statement that the song is traditional.

Ludlow Music, 1963, "Woody Guthrie Folk Songs," 264 pp., NY, Intro. by Pete Seeger.

Guthrie's new lyrics are the 'pawn' verses, part of them in the DT. I will post the complete Guthrie lyrics in thread 42164 a little later today.
There are more and better lyrics in the trad. versions, so it is easy to stay away from Guthrie's copyrighted (1958) material. Or add some of your own.
Nine Hundred


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Lane
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 12:56 PM

Q - this is great - thank you! Just what I needed.

BTW - I have the same question about "Hobo's Lullaby" - I think that one is Woody's composition, but would like to confirm, if its mentioned in your book?

Thanks so much for your help!


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Subject: RE: Origins: One Hundred Miles
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 02:20 PM

NOT by Guthrie. "Hobo's Lullaby" was written by Goebel Reeves and copyrighted 1961/1962 by Fall River Music Inc. Sung by damn near everybody including Woody Guthrie. It is in the DT here, where it is credited correctly to Reeves.

For basic data on a lot of these songs, get a copy of "Rise Up Singing," Ed. Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, 1992, a "Sing Out!" publication; ca. 1200 songs with chords and sources.


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