Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bonus: The Great Leap Forwards

By Billy Bragg. I like most of his songs a lot, but this one may just be a favourite.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bonus: Used to Bad News (Boston)

(Song begins at 0:37)
A Rise Up Singing project Bonus

Monday, September 27, 2010

Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore

By John Prine
Rise Up Singing chapter: America, p.6

D - G - / A - - D / - - - G / A - - D
While digesting Reader's Digest in the back of a dirty book store...

G - D - / A - D - / G - D - / A - - D
But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore
They're already overcrowded from your dirty little war
And Jesus don't like killing, no matter what the reason for
And your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore

Sunday, September 26, 2010

There is a Tavern in the Town

Rise Up Singing chapter: Good Times

Verses: C - - - / - - G G7 / C C7 F - / G7 - C -
Chorus: G7 - C - / G7 - CF C / + verse chords once through

There is a tavern in the town, in the town
And there my true love sits him down, sits him down
And drinks his wine 'mid laughter free
And never, never thinks of me

Fare thee well for I must leave thee, do not let this parting grieve thee
For remember that the best of friends must part, must part...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Home Again (Carole King)

By Carole King
Rise Up Singing chapter: Traveling

C Cmaj7 - FC / FAm DmF C CG ://
Am - C - / F C Dm DmG / C Cmaj7 - FC / FAm DmF C CG

Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever going to make it home again
It's so far and out of sight
I really need someone to talk to and nobody else
Knows how to comfort me tonight
Snow is cold, rain is wet
Chills my soul right to the marrow
I won't be happy till I see you alone again
Till I'm home again and feeling right

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pack Up Your Troubles

Words by George Asaf and music by Felix Powell
Rise Up Singing chapter: Golden Oldies, p.81

G - / C G / G - / A D / G D / CG D / G GC / GD G

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
And smile, smile, smile
While you've a lucifer to light your fag
Smile, boys, that's the style!
What's the use of worrying?
It never was worthwhile — so
Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
And smile, smile, smile

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Forty Hour Week

Music and lyrics: Dave Loggins, Don Schlitz and Lisa Silver
In short, Loggins is famous for his song "Please Come to Boston", Don Schlitz for writing "The Gambler", and Silver (whose first name R.U.S. has as "Lea" for some reason) for writing this and "One Promise Too Late" for Reba McEntire.

Rise Up Singing chapter: Work, p.255
Chords & lyrics:

G - D G / C G D - / G - D G / C D G -
There are people in this country who work hard everyday
Not for fame or fortune do they strive
But the fruits of their labour are worth more than their pay
And it's time a few of them were recognized

CG G C G / C G - D G - ://
Hello Detroit auto worker, let me thank you for your time
You work a 40-hour week for a livin' just to send it on down the line
Hello Pittsburgh steel mill worker, let me thank you for your time
You work a 40-hour week for a livin' just to send it on down the line

D - C G / / Em - Bm C / D - - -
This is for the one who swings the hammer, driving home the nail
Or the one behind the counter, ringing up the sale
Or the one who fights the fires, the one who brings the mail
For everyone who works behind the scenes

G - D G / C G D - / G - D G / C D G -
You can see them every morning in the factories and the fields
In the city streets and the quiet country towns
Working together like the spokes inside a wheel
They keep this country turning around

CG G C G / C G - D G - ://
Hello Kansas wheatfield farmer, let me thank you for your time
You work a 40-hour week for a living just to send it on down the line
Hello West Virginia coal miner, let me thank you for your time
You work a 40-hour week for a living just to send it on down the line

D - C G / / Em - Bm C / D - - -
This is for the one who drives the big rig up and down the road
Or the one out in the warehouse bringing in the load
Or the waitress, the mechanic, the policeman on patrol
For everyone who works behind the scenes

D - - - / G - Am D G -
With a spirit you can't replace with no machine
Hello America, let me thank you for your time!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Down By the Riverside in Laos

A.K.A. Study War No More
I recorded this behind the market that's behind the bus station, which is across from the day market (dalat xao) in downtown Vientiane.

Authorship: Traditional Black American spiritual
Rise Up Singing chapter: Peace, p.163
E - - - / B7 - E - ://: A - / E - / B7 - E - ://

I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside
Down by the riverside, down by the riverside
I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside
And study war no more

I ain't gonna study war no more (6x) (I sing it only 3x)

I'm gonna talk with the Prince of Peace down by the riverside...

I'm gonna shake hands around the world down by the riverside...

Friday, September 17, 2010

I've Just Seen a Face (Bonus)

Representing family camp. I miss Maine.
This is one of my favourite songs, and has been since high school, when I was a lot more apt to feel this way. But what's really amazing about it are the rhythm and internal rhymes in the verses. They please my ears so much, and even more singing them than hearing them sung.
So yes, clearly the way to my heart is through internal rhymes.

Words and music by the Beatles (John Lennon? Paul McCartney? I can't remember.)
Not in Rise Up Singing (Oh well. Write it in a margin if you think it's singalongable enough.)
G - - - / Em - - - / C - D G - / D - C - / G D G -
I've just seen a face, I can't forget the time or place where we just
Met; she's just the girl for me and I want all the world to see we've
Met — Lai lai lai la la lai
Falling, yes I am falling, and she keeps
Calling me back again

Had it been another day I might have looked the other way and
I'd have never been aware but as it is I'll dream of her
Tonight — Lai lai lai la la lai
Falling, yes I am falling, and she keeps
Calling me back again

I have never known the likes of this, I've been alone and I have
Missed things and kept out of sight for other girls were never quite like
This — Lai lai lai la la lai
Falling, yes I am falling, and she keeps
Calling me back again

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Willing Conscript

By Tom Paxton
I'm doing this song on this particular day because it was suggested that I do a song from the chapter on Peace for the International Day of Peace (World Peace Day).
Rise Up Singing chapter: Peace, p.165
Here's threelegsoman's version:

C CF CG C / / F C FC G / C CF CG C

Oh Sergeant, I'm a draftee and I've just arrived in camp
And I've come to wear the uniform and join the martial tramp
And I want to do my duty, but one thing I do implore
You must give me lessons, Sgt, for I've never killed before

To do my job obediently is my only desire
To learn my weapon thoroughly and how to aim and fire
To learn to kill the enemy and then to slaughter more
I'll need instruction, Sgt, for I've never killed before

Oh, there are rumors in the camp about our enemy
They say that when you see him he looks just like you and me
But you deny it, Sergeant, and you are a man of war
So you must give me lessons for I've never killed before

Now there are several lessons that I haven't mastered yet
I haven't got the hang of how to use the bayonet
If he doesn't die at once, am I to stick him with it more?
Oh, I hope you will be patient, for I've never killed before

The hand grenade is something that I just don't understand
You've got to throw it quickly or you're apt to lose a hand
Does it blow a man to pieces with its wicked, muffled roar?
Oh, I've got so much to learn because I've never killed before

Oh, I want to thank you, Sergeant, for the help you've been to me
For you've taught me how to slaughter and to hate the enemy
And I know that I'll be ready when they march me off to war
And I know that it won't matter that I've never killed before

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I've Got to Know

By Woody Guthrie, tune cribbed from "Farther Along" (traditional)
Rise Up Singing chapter: Peace

I show 4/4 at the beginning of the video. I can't quite get R.U.S.' chords to work in 3/4, so I'll tweak the pattern a bit for you here:
D - G D - - / - - E A - - / D - G D - - / - - A D - -

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chimes of Freedom (Bonus)

On the bank of the Mekong River. I met a Hmong woman tonight.She was cool. I'm going to go to her place of work tomorrow and see if she'll teach me some Hmong.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Only Living Boy in New York (R.U.S. Bonus)

Recorded in Suvarnabhumi airport, Bangkok. That's a really badly Romanized word. Suwanapum is more like it. Or Soowanapoom, if you prefer the double o for the "who" o-sound.
Now I'm in Vientiane and they have different but perhaps even worse romanization, I don't know who decided to put all these x's in the words (perhaps the French?) but s's would have done just fine. It's an 's' sound, guys. What's an x supposed to sound like anyway?

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Wanna Be a Dog

(Song begins at 1:20)
I'm going to Lao PDR
Barry Louis Polisar (adapted by Peter Alsop)
A - - - / D - - - / E - - - / - - A -

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Marines Have Landed on the Shores of Santo Domingo

By Phil Ochs
Not in the Rise Up Singing songbook (it's a bonus)
Em - - - D Dsus D - / C D C D Em - - - ://

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Junk Food Junkie

By Larry Groce
Rise Up Singing chapter: Funny Songs, p.73
C - F C / - A D G / C - F C / C A DG C
Am - Dm Am / - - E - / Am - Dm Am / C A DG C

Chorus: F C G C / - Am E Am

Well you know I love that organic cooking, I always ask for more
And they call me Mr. Natural on down to the health food store
I only eat good sea salt, white sugar don't touch my lips
And my friends is always begging me to take them on macrobiotic trips
But at night I take out my strongbox that I keep under lock and key
And I take it off to my closet where nobody else can see
I open that lid so slowly, take a look up north and south
Then I pull out a Hostess Twinkie and I pop it in my mouth!

Oh, in the daytime I'm Mr. Natural, just as healthy as I can be
But at night I'm a junk food junkie, good Lord have pity on me
Well at lunchtime you can always find me at the whole earth vitamin bar
Just sucking on my plain white yoghurt from a hand-thrown pottery jar
And sipping little hand-pressed cider with a carrot stick for dessert
And wiping my face—in a natural way—on the sleeve of my peasant shirt
But when that clock strikes midnight and I'm all by myself
I work that combination on my secret hide-away shelf
I pull out some Fritos corn chips, Dr. Pepper and an old moon pie
And I sit back in glorious expectation of a genuine junk food high

My friends down at the commune they think I'm pretty neat
I don't know nothing 'bout arts and crafts* but I give them all something to eat
I'm a friend to old Euell Gibbons and I only eat homegrown spice
I've got a John Keats autographed Grecian urn filled up with my brown rice
Oh, but lately I've been spotted** with a Big Mac on my breath
Stumbling into a Colonel Sanders with a face as white as death
I'm afraid some day they'll find me just stretched out on my bed
With a handful of Pringle's potato chips and a Ding Dong by my head!

*or as my brother used to call it at camp: arts and farts

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hello In There

(Song begins at 1:09)
By John Prine
Rise Up Singing chapter: Time and Changes, p.224

Verses: C Dm G - / / Em - F - / C - G - ://
Chorus: Bb - C - / / Em - F - / C - G - C -

We had an apartment in the city
Me and Loretta liked living there
It'd been years since the kids had grown
A life of their own, left us alone
John and Linda live in Omaha
And Joe is somewhere on the road
We lost Davy in the Korean war
And I still don't know what for; don't matter anymore

You know that old trees just grow stronger (until they rot)
And old rivers grow wilder every day (even the Saco?)
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello"

Me and Loretta we don't talk much more
She sits and stares through the back door screen
And all the news just repeats itself
Like some forgotten dream that we've both seen
Someday I'll go and call up Rudy
We worked together at the factory
But what could I say when he asks what's new?
"Nothing, what's with you?" "Nothing much to do"

So if you're walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow, ancient eyes
Please don't just pass 'em by and stare
As if you didn't care; say "Hello in there, hello"

(chords for this last line as in the last line of the chorus: C - G - C -)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rock Island Line

Pig iron?
Song begins at 2:51 (I talk a lot. But at least there's a story to be told this time.)

Friday, September 3, 2010

All God's Critters

By Bill Staines

E - / B7 E / A AE / EB7 E - (the verses end just EB7 E)
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
Some sing out lound on the telephone wire
And some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they got now

Thursday, September 2, 2010

All Used Up

By Utah Phillips

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

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's a Long Way to Tipperary

By Jack Judge and Harry Williams
This is just the chorus

G - C G / - - A7 D7 / G - C B7 / G CG GD G
It's a long way to Tipperary, it's a long way to go
It's a long way to Tipperary, to the sweetest gal I know
Goodbye Picadilly, farewell Leicester square
It's a long, long way to Tipperary, but my heart's right there!