Saturday, February 28, 2009

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Rise Up Singing chapter: Play, p.172

D - A D / / / /

Friday, February 27, 2009

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Traditional American Slave Song (Later arranged by Lee Hays and The Weavers)
Rise Up Singing chapter: Freedom, p.59
Chorus: Em A Em - / / G D Em Bm / Em Bm Em -
Verses: Em - - - / / " / " /

Follow the drinking gourd (2x)
For the old man is a-waiting for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinking gourd

When the sun comes up and the first quail calls
Follow the drinking gourd
For the old man is a-waiting for to carry you to freedom
Follow the drinking gourd

The river bank will make a mighty good road
The dead trees will show you the way
Left foot, peg foot, traveling on
Follow the drinking gourd

The river ends between two hills
Follow the drinking gourd
There's another river on the other side
Follow the drinking gourd

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hold On (Keep your eyes on the prize)

By Alice Wine
Rise Up Singing chapter: Freedom, p.60
Dm - / DmC Dm / - DmC DmC Dm / C - Dm - / 3rd

This one was requested by Sircoughsalot on YouTube. I needed to do it anyway eventually, of course, since I'm hoping to get through all 1200 songs in the Rise Up Singing Songbook before I'm done. The original to this adaptation was the spiritual "Keep Your Hand On The Plough".

My chords: Dm - / DmC Dm / - C DmC Dm / F - A - / 3rd

Paul and Silas were bound in jail
Had no money for to go their bail
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Hold on, hold on!
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Paul and Silas began to shout
The jail doors opened and they walked out...

The only thing that we did wrong
Was staying in the wilderness too long...

Ain't but one chain we can stand
That's the chain of a hand in a hand...

Freedom's name is mighty sweet
Black and white are gonna meet...

We've fought jail and violence too
And God's love has seen us through...

Got my hand on the freedom plough
Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

King of the Road

By Roger Miller
Rise Up Singing chapter: Rich and Poor, p.184

A D E A / - D E - / A D E A // - D E A
"Trailer for sale or rent - rooms to let: fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets" - I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but two hours of pushing broom buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means, King of the Road

Third boxcar, midnight train - destination, Bangor, Maine
Old worn-out shirt and shoes, I don't pay no union dues
I smoke old stogies I have found; short, but not too big around
I'm a man of means by no means, King of the road.

A D / E A / A D / E -
I know every engineer on every train
All of the children and all of their names
And every handout in every town
And every lock that ain't locked when no one's around

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Freight Train

By Elizabeth Cotten
Rise Up Singing chapter: Traveling / Travelling, p.233
C G / - C / E F / CG C

Freight train, freight train, run so fast (2x)
Please don't tell what train I'm on
So they won't know what route I'm gone

When I'm dead and in my grave
No more good times here I crave
Lay the stones at my head and feet
And tell them all that I've gone to sleep

When I die, Lord, bury me deep
Way down on old Chestnut Street
So I can hear old "Number Nine"
As she comes rolling by

Big Rock Candy Mountains

By Harry McClintock
Rise Up Singing chapter: Rich and Poor, p.180

DA DA / DA D / / / GD GD / G A / 1st 2
One evening as the sun went down and the jungle fire was burning
Down the track came a hobo hiking and he said boys I'm not turning
I'm headin for a land that's far away beside the crystal fountains
So come with me we'll go and see the Big Rock Candy Mountains

From here on:
D - / G D / / Em A
/ " / " / GD GD / / A D
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains there's a land that's fair and bright
Where the handouts grow on bushes and you sleep out every night
Where the boxcars are all empty and the sun shines every day
On the birds and the bees and the cigarette trees
Where the lemonade springs where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains all the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft boiled eggs
The farmer's trees are full of fruit and the barns are full of hay
Oh, I'm bound to go where there ain't no snow
Where the rain don't fall and the wind don't blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains you never change your socks
And the little streams of alcohol come a-trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to tip their hats and the railroad bulls are blind
There's a lake of stew and of whiskey too
You can paddle all around 'em in a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains the jails are made of tin
And you can walk right out again as soon as you are in
There ain't no short handled shovels, no axes saws or picks
I'm a goin to stay where you sleep all day
Where they hung the jerk that invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

I'll see you all this coming fall in the Big Rock Candy Mountains

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pastures of Plenty

(Song begins at 3:47 (I know, I talk a lot))
By Woody Guthrie

Em / D / / Em

I play: D Bm / / D - / D Bm or something like that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Danny Boy

(Song review starts at 1:12)
Words by Fred E. Weatherly. Melody, traditional Irish: Londonderry Air
Rise Up Singing chapter: Love, p.122
C - F - / C - Dm G / C - F - / C G C -
C F C - / Am FC G - / C F C Am / C DmG C -

Here's how I do it; almost the same. The difference was taught me by Carey Loomis of The Solo Committee:
C - F - / C - Dm G / C - F - / C G C CF(this is the lead-up F for the next line)
Am F C CF / Am FC G - / C F C Am / C DmG C -

O Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and down the mountainside
The summer's gone and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide
But come you back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be there in sunshine or in shadow
O Danny Boy, o Danny Boy, I love you so ... (there's another verse)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Catch the Wind

By Donovan Leitch
Rise Up Singing chapter: Love, p.122
C F C F / C FG C G / 1st / C FG CF C

Bridge (di di, didi di di...): F Em Am D G

In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty, I long to be
In the warm hold of your loving mind
To feel you all around you and to take your hand along the sand
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

When sundown pales the sky I want to bide awhile, behind your smile
And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find
For me to love you now would be the sweetest thing, 'twould make me sing
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

Bridge: Di di, didi di di, didi di di, didi di di, di didiiii

When rain has hung the leaves with tears I want you near, to quell my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind
Standing near your soul is where I want to be, I long to be
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cockles and Mussels

Traditional Irish
Rise Up Singing chapter: City, p.17
D - G - / D - E A //: D - G Em / D Bm A D ://

In Dublin's fair city, where girls are so pretty
'Twas there that I first met sweet Molly Malone
She wheeled her wheelbarrow
through streets broad and narrow
Crying "Cockles and mussels alive, alive-o"
Alive alive-o, alive alive-o
Crying "Cockles and mussels alive, alive-o"

She was a fishmonger but sure 'twas no wonder
For so were her father and mother before
And they each wheeled their barrow...

She died of a faver* and no one could save her [faver = fever]
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone
Her ghost wheels her barrow...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cripple Creek

A new one from Steve! Check it out:

Rise Up Singing p. 144
Key of D: Verses D - G D / - - A7 D :/ Chorus D - - - / - - A7 D ://
Key of G for both verse and chorus: G - C G / G - D G ://

Dirty Old Town

By Ewan McColl
Rise Up Singing chapter: City

I really like the lyrics to this song. You know why? Strong imagery, concisely put. That, and beautiful words I don't know the meanings of, like "croft". Those make the strong images a little more exotic, even though I very much doubt that a gasworks croft is much to look at on any given day in real life.

I met my love by the gasworks croft
Dreamed a dream by the old canal...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Goodnight Irene

By Huddie Ledbetter and A. Lomax (new verses by Raffi and Debi Pike)
Rise Up Singing chapter: Lullabies, p.132
D A7 - D / DD7 G A7 D

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene (2x) I'll see you in my dreams

Sometimes I live in the country, sometimes I live in the town
Sometimes I have a great notion to jump in the river and drown

Quit rambling and quit gambling, quit staying out late at night
Stay home with your wife and family, sit down by the fireside bright

I asked your mother for you, she told me you was too young
I wished to God I'd never seen your face, I's sorry you ever was born

I love Irene, God knows I do, I'll love her til the seas run dry
And if Irene turns her back on me, I'll take morphine and die

You cause me to weep, you cause me to mourn, you cause me to leave my home
But the very last words I heard her say were "Please sing me one more song"

New verses by Raffi and Debi Pike:
Foxes sleep in the forest, lions sleep in their dens
Goats sleep on the mountainside and pigs sleep in their pens

Whales sleep in the ocean, zebras sleep on land
Hippos sleep by the riverside and camels sleep on sand

Coyote sleeps in a canyon, a birdie sleeps in a tree
And when it's time for me to rest, my bed's the place for me

Saturday, February 14, 2009

All My Trials

Traditional black spiritual
Rise Up Singing chapter: Lullabies, p.130
D* C - / DF#m F#m G Em // D Bm Em - A - D -
(* 1.5 beats)

Bridge: D - / F#m - G -

Hush little baby don't you cry
You know your mama was born to die

Chorus: All my trials, Lord, soon be over

The river of Jordan is muddy and cold
It chills the body but not the soul
(Alt: The river of Jordan is chilly and cold)

I've got a little book with pages three
And every page spells liberty

If living were a thing that money could buy
You know the rich would live and the poor would die

There grows a tree in paradise
And the pilgrims call it the tree of life

Bridge: Too late my brothers!
Too late, but never mind

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Streets of Laredo (The Cowboy's Lament)

Collected, adapted and arranged by John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax
Rise Up Singing chapter: Farm and Prairie, p.58
R.U.S. chords: D A D A / / / Bm Em A D
My way: D G D A7 / / / /

As I walked out on the streets of Laredo
As I walked out on Laredo one day
I spied a poor cowboy all wrapped in white linen
All wrapped in white linen as cold as the clay

"I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy"
These words he did say as I boldly stepped by
"Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story
For I'm shot in the breast and I know I must die

My friends and relations, they live in the Nation
They know not where their boy has gone
He first came to Texas and hired to a ranchman
Oh, I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Ain't Marching Anymore

By Phil Ochs
Rise Up Singing chapter: Peace, p.160
Verses: D - A - / / D Em C Bm / G - A - ://
Chorus: G - D - / G D Em - / 1st / G - A -

Here are the chords I do in the video. A little different, but all right, I think:
Verses: 1 4 5 - / / 1 2m 4 6m / 4 - 5 - ://
Chorus: 4 - 1 - / 4 6m 2maj - / 4 - 156m / 4 - 5 -

or in G:
Verses: G C D - / / G Am C Em / C - D - ://
Chorus: C - G - / C Em A - / C - GDEm / C - D -

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Barbara Allen

(Song begins at 1:40)
A.K.A. Bonny Barbara Allen
Child Ballad #84
What's a Child ballad? Find out here: link
Read them here: link
Rise Up Singing chapter: Ballads & Old Songs, p.8
R.U.S. chords: G C / Am G / F C / G C
My way (same chords, altered rhythm): G - C - / Am G - / F - C - / G C -

In Scarlet Town, where I was born
There was a fair maid dwelling
Made many a youth cry well a-day
Her name was Barbara Allen
(At least one singer pronounces this "Barbry Allen")

etc, etc. See the links above. There are lot of different versions of the lyrics.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

By J. Robbie Robertson of The Band
Rise Up Singing chapter: America, p.3
Verses: Em G C Am / / Em C G C / Em C G - A A7
Chorus: G C G C / / G Em A C G -

I do it a little differently; like this:
Verses: Em G C Am / / Em C G Am / Em C G - Am A
Chorus: G C G C / / G Em Am C - G

Lyrics coming soon. In the meantime, a search engine will be happy to find them for you.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Green Grow the Rushes

Note from Matthew: Hi everyone! I'd like to introduce Steve: a new collaborator on the Rise Up Singing project. We don't know each other, of course, we just happen to have some intersecting interests, obviously. So, this blog has been pretty much just me up until now, but from now on, if anyone else posts a song for the project on YouTube, I'll post it here too, if they don't mind. That way this can be a one-stop resource for people who want all the tunes and chords to Rise Up Singing songs and don't want to bother typing "Rise Up Singing" into a YouTube search.
Here's Steve. Enjoy!

Green Grow the Rushes from the Rise Up Singing Songbook
G - GD G I'll sing you ___ oh, green grow the rushes, oh!
G - What is your ___ oh?
Verse 1: G C D G
Verse 2: G C A D
Verse 3: G D Em D
Verse 4: G -
Verses 5 - 12: G - / D G

Red River Valley

An American pioneer folksong derived from a popular song: "In the Bright Mohawk Valley", by James Kerrigan (1896)
Rise Up Singing chapter: Farm and Prairie, p.56

New collaborator on the Rise Up Singing Project!:

E B7 E - / - - B7 - / E E7 A - / E B7 E -
From this valley they say you are going
We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile
For they say you are taking the sunshine
Which has brightened our pathway a while

Come and sit by my side if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
But remember the Red River Valley
And the one who has loved you so true

Won't you think of the valley you're leaving
Oh, how lonely, how sad it will be?
Oh think of the fond heart that you're breaking
And the grief you are causing to me

As you go to your home by the ocean
May you never forget those sweet hours
That we spent in the Red River Valley
And the love we exchanged 'mid the flowers

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley (Oats and Beans and Barley)

A.K.A. Oats and Beans and Barley (Grow).
Rise Up Singing chapter: Farm & Prairie, p.55
D - / G A / D - / A D

Oats and beans and barley grow (2x)
Do you or I or anyone know
How oats and beans and barley grow?

First the farmer sows the seed
Then he stands and takes his ease
He stamps his foot and claps his hands
And turns around to view his land

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Camptown Races

By Stephen Foster
Rise Up Singing chapter: America, p.2

Here's today's song. Have a good dooda-day.

C - G - / C - G C // C - F C / - - G C
Oh, the Camptown ladies sing this song, dooda, dooda
The Camptown racetrack's five miles long, oh dooda day
(alternatively, "Oh dee dooda day")

Going to run all night, going to run all day
I bet my money on the bob-tailed nag, somebody bet on the bay

I went down south with my hat caved in, dooda, dooda
I come back north with a pocket full of tin, oh dooda day

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gospel Changes

(Song begins at 2:00)
By Jack Williams
Rise Up Singing chapter: Gospel, p.93

I'm not sure that this totally counts as gospel in the general sense...

The prodigal son he'd been away a while
He was working his way back home now over many a ragged mile
When he finally crossed the river and his father saw him near
There was a joyful sound for all the world to hear
C G Am - / F G C - / F - C Am / C G C -

I listened to what the Good Book said and it made good sense to me
Talkin' 'bout reaping what you're sowing, people trying to be free
Now we've got new names and faces this time around
Gospel changes, Lord, still going down
C Em F Am / C Em F G / Am F E F / C G C -

Jesus, he did not doubt his gifts
Though he knew that he had not long to live
He took care of the business of teaching us how to fly
Then he bowed his head and laid down to die

Jerusalem, I see you standing high
But if you lose your salvation, there'll be no tears left to cry
Now some men worship a golden calf while others are bought and sold
And if we live like that, brother we pay the toll

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

(Song begins at 1:43)
By Pete Seeger (with additional verse by Joe Hickerson)
Rise Up Singing chapter: Peace, p.165

In which I talk about summer camp, songleading, "Pebo" Martin, Johnny Cash, and dirgelike songs that could use a little tempo pickup to keep everyone from falling asleep.

C Am F G / / / F C F G C -

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

With God On Our Side

(Song begins at 1:43)
By Bob Dylan
Rise Up Singing chapter: Peace, p.165
(In G) C Bm - D G - - D / G - - C G - -D
G - - C G - - - / C Bm - D G - - -

If you skipped ahead and missed the dedication, I did this one with Gemma in mind.

Lyrics from
Oh my name it is nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side.

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.

In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Buffalo Gals

(Chord review starts right away. Song, shortly after)
Traditional US cowboy song, according to R.U.S.
Rise Up Singing chapter: Farm and Prairie, p.49
D - A D / // G D A D (this is the verse/chorus pattern all the way through. Even if I change it in the video, it's because I'm wrong. Go with the pattern.)

As I was walking -down the street(3x)
A pretty young girl I chanced to meet, under the silvery moon

Buffalo gals won't you -come out tonight(3x)
Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight and dance by the light of the moon

I asked her if she'd -stop and talk(3x)
Her feet covered up the whole sidewalk, she was fair to view

I asked her if she'd -be my wife(3x)
Then I'd be happy all my life, if she would marry me

Oh I danced with the dolly with the hole in her stocking
Her feet kept a-rocking, her knees kept a-knocking
Oh I danced with a dolly with a hole in her stocking
And we danced by the light of the moon

(This last verse wins my vote for its abundance of silly rhymes and nonsense.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lavender's Blue

Traditional English (first printed in 1680 as "Diddle Diddle")
Rise Up Singing chapter: Dreams and Fantasies, p.29
C - F C / F C Dm G / C - F C / F C G C

Sorry it's upside down. It fit better on the rock that way, and later I realized that I couldn't change it in iMovie. I had assumed that the technology market had progressed enough for that kind of thing to be free in bundled software. I mean, you can do more complicated things in iMovie for free. Mirror images and stuff. Oh well.

John Brown's Body

(Song starts right away, for once)
Traditional American (US)
Rise Up Singing chapter: Freedom, p.61
G - - - / C - G - / - - B7 Em / C D G -

There's a lot of background noise in this one, but it's also a much better taste of Bangkok than any of my other videos. So if you care about where I live, here you go. You're welcome. I hope you can still make out the lyrics.

John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave. Here's a version more extensive than that in Rise Up Singing, although I stay true to the Rise Up Singing lyrics in the video:

Old John Browns body lies moldering in the grave,
While weep the sons of bondage whom he ventured all to save;
But tho he lost his life while struggling for the slave,
His soul is marching on.

John Brown was a hero, undaunted, true and brave,
And Kansas knows his valor when he fought her rights to save;
Now, tho the grass grows green above his grave,
His soul is marching on.

He captured Harpers Ferry, with his nineteen men so few,
And frightened "Old Virginny" till she trembled thru and thru;
They hung him for a traitor, they themselves the traitor crew,
But his soul is marching on.

John Brown was John the Baptist of the Christ we are to see,
Christ who of the bondmen shall the Liberator be,
And soon thruout the Sunny South the slaves shall all be free,
For his soul is marching on.

The conflict that he heralded he looks from heaven to view,
On the army of the Union with its flag red, white and blue.
And heaven shall ring with anthems oer the deed they mean to do,
For his soul is marching on.

Ye soldiers of Freedom, then strike, while strike ye may,
The death blow of oppression in a better time and way,
For the dawn of old John Brown has brightened into day,
And his soul is marching on