Wednesday, June 14

Springsteen and Seeger

(More research to come, but I think I'll go ahead and post this much...)

I picked out Bruce Springsteen's We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions . I sure do like it. I liked it before Scott S recommended it to me, but props to him, a fellow former Oklahoman, too.

What's the difference between a fiddle and a violin?

A violin is sometimes informally called a fiddle, regardless of the kind of music being played with it. The words "violin" and "fiddle" come from the same Latin root, but "violin" came through the Romance languages and "fiddle" through Germanic languages.


1. "Old Dan Tucker" – 2:31

I like this song, but didn't know it was from minstrel shows. That complicates it...

2. "Jesse James" – 3:47

This song praises Jesse, but I can't see where he was such a great guy.

3. "Mrs. McGrath" – 4:19
4. "O Mary Don't You Weep" – 6:05
5."John Henry" – 5:07

Is there any truth to the John Henry myth?

6. "Erie Canal" – 4:03 Erie Canal (in itself)

Cool diagram of the altitude changes
Good-sized map

Two villages competed to be the terminus of the canal, Black Rock, on the Niagara River, and Buffalo, New York , at the eastern tip of Lake Erie. Buffalo expended great energy to widen and deepen Buffalo Creek to make it navigable, and to create a harbor at its mouth. Buffalo won over Black Rock, and quickly grew into a great city, eventually swallowing its former competitor.

Wil really likes this song and said 'Dad, I changed it to 'You'll always know your neighbor, And you'll always know your Sal.'' :-)

7. "Jacob's Ladder" – 4:28
8. "My Oklahoma Home" – 6:03

I can't resist Oklahoma dust bowl stories like 'The Grapes of Wrath',  Resplendent, and this one.

9. "Eyes on the Prize" – 5:16
10. " Shenandoah " – 4:52
11. "Pay Me My Money Down" – 4:32
12. "We Shall Overcome" – 4:53
13. "Froggie Went A Courtin'" – 4:33
14. "Buffalo Gals" (bonus track only available on DualDisc format)
15. "How Can I Keep From Singing" (bonus track only available on DualDisc format)

I sure like the (what I think of as) hootenanny sound and strong backbeat of songs like 'Old Dan Tucker', 'John Henry' and 'Buffalo Gals'.

My research took me over to Woody Guthrie, who has this to say:

This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do.

Unfortunately, ol' Woody has been ordered to cease and desist by the RIAA ;-)

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