Monday, May 31, 2010

Wedding Banquet

A.K.A. I Cannot Come to the Banquet
(Song Begins at 1:07)
(Moral at 4:07)
By Sister Miriam Thérèse Winter of the Medical Mission Sisters
Rise Up Singing chapter: Faith, p.48
The mother-son team I learned this from:

Verses: G D / A D ://
Chorus: D G D / A D / G D / A D

A certain man held a feast on his fine estate in town
He laid a festive table and wore a wedding gown
He sent invitations to his neighbors far and wide
But when the meal was ready, each of them replied

...I cannot come I cannot come to the banquet, don't trouble me now
I have married a wife, I have bought me a cow
I have fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum
Pray, hold me excused, I cannot come

The master rose up in anger, called his servants by name
Said "Go into the town, fetch the blind and the lame
Fetch the peasant and the pauper, for this I have willed
My banquet must be crowded and my table must be filled"

When all the poor had assembled there was still room to spare
So the master demanded, "Go search everywhere
To the highways and byways and force them to come in
My table must be filled before the banquet can begin"

Now God has written a lesson fro the rest of our kind:
If we're slow in responding He may leave us behind
He's preparing a banquet for that great and glorious day
When the Lord and master calls us, be certain not to say:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wondrous Love

Song begins at 1:48
A religious opinion* at 5:39
An early American hymn occasionally attributed to the Reverend Alex Means.
Rise Up Singing chapter: Faith, p.48

DmC DmC Dm C / Am FC Dm - / F G Am Dm / DmC DmC Dm C / Am FC Dm -

I like to add in a G in the second line, giving this:
DmC DmC Dm C / Am FC Dm DmG / F G Am Dm / DmC DmC Dm C / Am FC Dm -

What wondrous love is this, oh my soul, oh my soul

What wondrous love is this, o my soul?
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down
When I was sinking down, sinking down
When I was sinking down beneath God's righteous frown
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul

To God and to the lamb I will sing, I will sing

To God and to the lamb I will sing
To God and to the lamb who is the great I Am
While millions join the theme, I will sing

And when from death I'm free I'll sing on, I'll sing on

And when from death I'm free I'll sing on
And when from death I'm free, I'll sing and joyful be
Throughout eternity I'll sing on

*meaning an opinion about religion, not an opinion that has a religion

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Sharing Song - Raffi (Bonus)

By Raffi!

G D G - / - - D - / - - - - / - - G -
It's mine, but you can have some
With you I'd like to share it
'Cause if I share it with you
You'll have some too

Friday, May 28, 2010

Les Petites Marionnettes

Traditional French

Ainsi font, font, font, les petites marionnettes
Ainsi font, font, font, trois petits tours et puis s'en vont
(trois p'tits tours et puis s'en vont)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tzena Tzena

Rise Up Singing chpater: Creativity, p.27
Melody by Issachav / Issachar Miron, words by Yehiel Haggi a.k.a. Jehiel Hagges a.k.a. Yechiel Chagiz, third part (where I sing a million tzenas) by Julius Grossman / Groissman

C F G C / / / / C F G - / C F G GC

This particular transliteration comes from

Tzena, tzena, tzena ha-b’not u-r’eina
Chayalim ba-moshava
Al na, Al na, Al na, al na titchabeyna
Mi ben chayil, ish tzava

and the Hebrew:
צאנה צאנה צאנה צאנה הבנות וראינה
חיילים במושבה
אל נא אל נא אל נא תתחבאנה
מבן חייל איש צבא

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Rise Up Singing Bonus
Chords: D and G

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Leaning On the Everlasting Arms


Words by Elisha A. Hoffman, melody by Anthony J. Showalter
Rise Up Singing chapter: Gospel, p.94
Chords: G - C - / G - - D / G - C - / G - GD G

Leaning, leaning / Safe and secure from all alarms
Leaning, leaning / Leaning on the everlasting arms

What a fellowship, what a joy divine
Leaning on the everlasting arms
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine
Leaning on the everlasting arms

What have I to dread, what have I to fear?
Leaning on the everlasting arms
I have blessed peace, with my Lord so near
Leaning on the everlasting arms

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Happiest Girl in the U.S.A. (Bonus)

Big love to Sam Love, the happiest girl in the USA.:
Erica, on the other hand, is the partyingest girl in the U.S.A.:

This song by Donna Fargo (Fargo, that was it!)
Chords and lyrics here:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hobo Jungle (Bonus)

(Song begins at 2:03)
Oh man, so awesome.
Here are chords, lyrics, everything:

From the album Northern Lights, Southern Cross (it's a peach, buy it.)
Also, while you're buying things with all your money, you could buy Rise Up Singing from Annie Patterson and Peter Blood at their website:
Remember, money is for spending. If you run out, there's always the hobo jungle.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wabash Cannonball

Traditional US hobo song
Rise Up Singing chapter: Traveling, p.236

Hobo Jungle!:

E - - A / B7 - - E ://
or in G
G - - C / D7 - - G ://

When I said: "Not may of those are eastern states, let alone eastern cities" I really meant, "Not many of those are eastern cities, let alone eastern states." I've noticed a couple of people mix that up lately, and now I'm one of them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Heart Like a Wheel

By Anna McGarrigle
Rise Up Singing chapter: Hard Times and Blues, p.101
There's an F#m in here, so if you're at the stage of guitar playing where bar chords are frustrating, you could play it in G*. In G you'd still have a Bm, though, so it depends which you find easier.

D - A - / F#m - Bm - / Em - A Em / B Em A D
Some say the heart is just like a wheel
When you bend it, you can't mend it
And my love for you is like a sinking ship
And my heart** is on that ship out in mid-ocean

They say that death is a tragedy
It comes once, then it's over
But my only wish is for that deep, dark abyss
'Cause what's the sense of living with no true lover?***

D - Em A / Bm Em A D
It's only love, and it's only love
That can wreck a human being and turn it inside out

When harm is done no love can be won
I know this happens frequently
What I can't understand — oh please God, hold my hand
Is why this should have happened to me?

* Verses: G - D - / Bm - Em - / Am - D Am / Em Am D G
Bridge: G - Am D / Em Am D G
**R.U.S. makes the interesting decision to capitalize "heart" here.
***That is one depressing thought. I don't agree.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

White Boots Marching in a Yellow Land (R.U.S. Bonus)

By Phil Ochs
Lyrics and chords when I wake up; it's nighttime in Thailand.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Git Along Little Dogies

A.K.A. The Dogies' Lament
Jackie Guthrie's channel (Arlo's Wife):
Arlo sings this to muppet dogies:

Verses: C F G7 C / / / /
Chorus version 1: C7 - F - / C7 - F C / C F G7 C / /
Chorus version 2: C7 - - - / C7 - - - / C F G7 C / /
Chorus version 3: G7 - F C / / C F G7 C / /

Chorus versions 1 and 2 are for the same melody. Version 3 is for a different melody (one I think is the most commonly recorded, actually).
Roy Rogers, for example, uses chorus version 3 (more or less). I can't really tell what Arlo Guthrie uses, but it sounds a lot like version 2 to me. Version 1 is the R.U.S. chords, which are said to fit with Arlo's version, as well as Pete Seeger's, Burl Ives', Bill Oliver's, Peter La Faye's and the one in Sing Out!

As I was a-walking one morning for pleasure
I spied a cowpuncher a-riding along
His hat was throwed back and his spurs was a-jingling
As he approached me a-singing this song

Whoopee ti yi yo, get along, little dogies
It's your misfortune and none of my own
Whoopie ti yi yo get along little dogies
You know that Wyoming will be your new home

Early in the spring we round up the dogies...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Foolish Frog

The Foolish Frog by Pete Seeger and Milolav Jágr:
Hloupá žába, The Foolish Frog in Czech:
Peggy Seeger does The Foolish Frog:

E - A - / B7 - E B7 / E - A - / B7 - E -

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Coming of the Road

Song begins at 2:05
Why I think this song is sad: 6:25
By Billy Ed Wheeler
Rise Up Singing chapter: Mountain Voices, p.144
Chords I play:
A E F#m - / D E A - / - E F#m B / D - E - :// A B E - / D E A - / A E G F#m* / D - E - A - - -

*R.U.S. has that F#m as an F#(major), and an alternative for the whole line is / A E D B /

Chords written in R.U.S. (capo up two frets to get the chords I play)
G D Em - / C D G - / - D Em A / C - D - :// G A D - / C D G - / G D F E* / C - D - G - - -

*Alternate penultimate line is / G D C A /

Oh, now that our mountain is growing
With people hungry for wealth
How come it's you that's a-going
And I'm left alone by myself?
We used to hunt the cool caverns
Deep in our forest of green
Then came the road and the tavern
And you found a new love, it seems

Once I had you and the wildwood
Now it's just dusty roads
And I can't help from blaming your going*
On the coming, the coming of the roads

Look how they've cut all to pieces
Our ancient poplar and coal (oak??)
And the hillsides are stained with the greases
That burned up the heavens with smoke
You used to curse the bold crewmen
Who stripped our land of its ore
Now you've chaned and you've gone over to them
And you've learned to love what you hated before

Once I thanked God for my treasure

Now like rust it corrodes
And I can't help from blaming your going
On the coming, the coming of the roads

*A little grammar point because I'm a stickler: "I can't help blaming your going" is correct. "I can't keep from blaming your going" is correct. "I can't help from blaming" is non-standard (that's a politically correct way of saying "wrong"). HOWEVER: writers get a lot of leeway the rest of us don't, and Billy Ed Wheeler is an accomplished author who really knows his stuff, so I'm not saying he made a mistake, I'm just saying he chose to use a non-standard construction that happened to jump out at me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Coal Tattoo (Billy Ed Wheeler cover)

By Billy Ed Wheeler
Rise Up Singing chapter: Mountain Voices, p.143
Rise Up Singing was edited by Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, and you can buy it from them directly at

Billy Ed Wheeler is from West Virginia, has written some powerful songs, and judging by an interview with him I watched, is really affable and down to earth.

Em - C Em / C D Em - ://
G - D G / G D C D / G - C G / - D Em -

Traveling down that coal town road
Listen to my rubber tires whine
Goodbye to buckey* and white sycamore
I'm leaving you behind
I've been a coal man all my life
Laying down track in the hole
I got a back like an ironwood bent by the wind
Blood veins blue as the coal

Somebody said that's a strange tattoo
You have on the side of your head
I said that's the blueprint left by the coal
Just a little more and I'd be dead
But I love the rumble and I love the dark
I love the cool of the slate
But it's on down this new road looking for a job
This traveling and looking I hate

I've stood for the union, walked in the line
Fought against the company
Stood for the U.M.W of A
Now who's going to stand for me?
I got no house and I got no pay
I've just got a worried soul
And this blue tattoo on the side of my head
Left by the number nine coal

Some day when I die and go
To heaven, the land of my dreams
I won't have to worry on losing my job
To bad times and big machines
I ain't gonna pay my money away
And lose my hospital plans
I'm gonna pick coal while the blue heavens roll
And sing with the angel bands

*A lot of people write (and sing) "buckeye", but R.U.S. has "buckey".

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

You can find the awesome but now awol gooberubber and his version here:
Rise Up Singing chapter: Farm and Prairie, p.53
As I say in the video. Gooberubber's version is awesome, adequate, excellent, and I'm just doing my own because I like the song so much, that's all.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Earth Angel—Practice (Bonus)

This was a request from Gabby herself, so we did it even though it turned out that we both need a little more practice, I think. We may do a reprise sometime soon (although Gabby flies back to Yangon in the morning, so maybe not...)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Country Life

(Song begins at 0:28)
I know
this song from Dan Zanes
Rise Up Singing chapter: Farm and Prairie, p.49
A traditional English (British Isles) song

A - D E / / / / / A E A -
Oh, I like to rise when the sun she rises
Early in the morning
I like to hear them small birds singing
Merrily upon their laylum (or lay-land/leyland)*
And hurrah for the life of a country boy
And to ramble in the new-mown hay
A - D E / / / A E A -
In the Spring we sow, in the harvest mow
And that’s how the seasons around they go
But of all the times if choose I may
It’s to ramble in the new mown hay
A - D E / / / A E A -
In the Winter when the sky is gray
We edge and ditch our lives away
In the Summer when the sun shines gay
We go ramble in the new mown hay

Here's a link to a Mudcat Café thread on the obscure word 'laylum' and the less obscure 'leyland':
Mudcat Café can be a great resource for information on folk songs, although if you ask me, there are a few too many prescriptive know-it-alls lurking around there. You'll see what I mean.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Heard my Mother Call my Name in Prayer (Bonus)

(Song begins at 1:28)
Lyrics from
I know this fom The Abrams Brothers

Verses : D - G D / - - A7 - / D - G D / - A7 D - Chorus: G - D - / E - A7 - / D - G D / - A7 D -

While kneeling by her bedside in a cottage on the hill
My mother prayed her blessings on me there
She was talking there to Jesus while everything was still
And I heard my mother call my name in prayer

Yes I heard my mother call my name in prayer
She was pouring out her heart to Jesus there
Then I gave my heart to him and he saved my soul from sin
For he heard my mother call my name in prayer

She was anxious for her boy to be just what he ought to be
And she asked the Lord to take him in His care
Just the words I can't remember but I know she prayed for me
For I heard my mother call my name in prayer

So I gave my heart to Jesus and I'm living now for him
And someday I'll go and meet him in the air
For he heard my mother praying and he saved my soul from sin
Yes he heard my mother call my name in prayer

Friday, May 7, 2010

Angel Band

(Song begins at 1:58)
Rise Up Singing chapter: Gospel, p.92
Written by J. Hascall and William Bradbury, sometime in the mid 19th century
G C GD G / / D G D G / C G GD G / /
Although a lot of people, including Porter Wagoner, play the first line like this:

Also, a lot of folks like to sing "My latest sun is sinking fast" but Rise Up Singing goes with a good old "The":

The latest sun is sinking fast, my race is nearly run

My strongest trials now are past, my triumph is begun
Oh, come, angel band, come and around me stand
Oh bear me away on your snowy wings to my immortal home (2x)

I know I'm near the holy ranks of friends and kindred dear
I've brushed the dew on Jordan's banks, the crossing must be near...

I've almost gained my heavenly home, my spirit loudly sings
The holy ones, behold they come, I hear the noise of wings...

Oh, bear my longing heart to him who bled and died for me
Whose blood now cleanses from all sin and gives me victory...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wishing the Days Away (Bonus)

A cover of this Billy Bragg song from the album Victim of Geography (although I first heard it on Reaching to the Converted).
Chords and lyrics (in an extremely easy-to-read layout) at

On Monday I wished that it was Tuesday night
So I could wish for a weekend to come
On Tuesday I wished that the night would pass
So I could call you on the phone
Now a man can spend a lot of time
Wondering what was on Jack Ruby's mind
And time is all I have without you here

On Wednesday when you hung up

It was as much as I could do
To stop from wishing Thursday
Would pass so quickly too
They're out there making history
In the Lenin Shipyards today
And here I am in the Hammersmith Hotel
Wishing the days away

There's always room for one more soul
Down in the Human Zoo
I don't want you to come here though
I want to come home to you
Somebody's knocking at the door
It's later than I think
And it's time to put on these stinking clothes
And get out there and stink

On Friday I wished that there was something more
To be seen in the letters you send
On Saturday I wished it was Sunday
Oh will this torment ever end
Sometimes I take a notion
To put a torch
to the tools of my trade
Here I am in the Hammersmith Hotel
Wishing the days away

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I've Got Sixpence

A camp song, for me. "Owatonna boys" includes me, but that's the way the girls sang it down at Newfound, so that's the way I learned it.

Traditional Australian (Late 19th century military)
Rise Up Singing chapter: Good Times, p.87
D - - A / D G DA D / D - G - / A - DA D

I've got sixpence, jolly, jolly sixpence
I've got sixpence to last me all my life
I've got tuppence to spend and tuppence to lend
And tuppence to take home to my wife, poor wife

A - D - / E7 - A7 - / D - G - / A - D -
A - D - / A - D - GA / D - G - / A - D -
No cares have I to grieve me
No pretty little maids to deceive me
I'm as happy as a lark, believe me
As we go rolling, rolling home
Rolling home, rolling home
By the light of the silvery moon
Happy is the day when we line up for our pay
When we go rolling rolling home

Monday, May 3, 2010

To Sing for You (Donovan cover)

By Donovan Leitch
Rise Up Singing chapter: Creativity, p.23

G C G - / G C G - / C D C G / C G CG G
When you're feeling kind of lonesome in your mind
With a heartache following you so close behind
Call out to me as I ramble by, I'll sing a song for you
That's what I'm here to do: to sing for you

When the night has left you cold and feeling sad
I will show you that it cannot be so bad
Forget the one who went and made you cry, I'll sing a song for you
That's what I'm here to do: to sing for you

When you feel you just can't make it anymore
With your head bowed down, you're staring at the floor
Search out to me with your weary eyes, I'll sing a song for you
That's what I'm here to do: to sing for you

Now everyone they have their work, you know
And to find out mine you ain't got far to go
Call out to me with your weary eyes, I'll sing a song for you
That's what I'm here to do: to sing for you

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wayfaring Stranger

A.K.A. I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger
Rise Up Singing chapter: Hard Times and Blues, p.51
A lot of people call this an old folk song which it is but Rise Up Singing defines it as a "white spiritual", and that's what it sounds like to me. Not that those two categories are mutually exclusive of course. They aren't. At any rate, it's old.
Here are some of my YouTube musician friends doing it their way!:
JRondeau (banjo instrumental):

1st part chords:
Am E Am - / Dm - Em - / Am E Am F / Dm Em Am -
2nd part chords ("I'm going there..:):
F G C - / F G Am E / Am E AmG F / Dm Em* Am -

I am a poor wayfaring stranger
A-travelling through this world of woe
But there's no sickness, no toil, nor danger
In that bright world to which I go

I'm going there to see my father
I'm going there no more to roam
I'm just a-going over Jordan
I'm just a-going over home

I know dark clouds will gather 'round me
I know my way is rough and steep
But beauteous fields lie just beyond me
Where souls redeemed their vigil keep

I'm going there to meet my mother
She said she'd meet me when I come
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm only going over home

I want to wear a crown of glory
When I get home to that bright land
I want to shout Salvation's story
In concert with that blood-washed band

I'm going there to meet my Saviour
To sing His praises for evermore
I'm just going over Jordan
I'm just going over home

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Getting to Know You (The King and I)

By Rodgers and Hammerstein
Words by Oscar Hammerstein II, melody by Richard Rodgers
Rise Up Singing chapter: Friendship, p.65

Intro chords:
G D Em - / Bm - Em G7 /
C Cmaj7* G E7 / Em A7 Am C / D7 -

1st verse chords:
G - Am D7 / - - G - / - - C - / A7 - Am D7

2nd verse chords:
G - Am D7 / - - G - / C D7 G C / G AmD Em A7 / Am D G -

D x
A x

It's a very ancient saying, but a true and honest thought
That if you become a teacher, by your pupils you'll be taught
As a teacher I've been learning (You'll forgive me if I boast)
And I've now become an expert on the subject I like most
[Spoken]: Getting to know you.

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you
Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me
Getting to know you, putting it my way, but nicely,
You are precisely my cup of tea

Getting to know you, getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you, getting to know what to say
Haven't you noticed? Suddenly I'm bright and breezy, because of
All the beautiful and new things I'm learning about you
Day by day