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With. Welcome to bluegrass and bounty program of all time American music. If you believe the words of songs by magic fairies in the old days frequently have tried to and. The paradigm for many an old song about amorous relationships was boy meets girl boy girl boy murdered girl. American songs have no corner on this market. Many child ballads of the British Isles are identically patterned. Good example of the sad state of affairs as a century and a half old song called only wives.
The facts are simple. Naomi wise was a young girl living in deep river of North Carolina who was courted and murdered by one Jonathan Lewis and the 18 0 8 Doc Watson tells the story in fine style. Just as the tension is reaching a climax he interrupts the lyrics with a guitar solo which both heightens the tension and allows him to display his virtual city. Oh listen my store already. Listed murder. Her to meet Amy. Adams a spray of meat brought to her
mind. Soul food like she married ham. Adams's spray on her mother and. Me homie I know where we will go we'll go and get on with. Your wordy waters. Don't look don't look this way you get to. Meet your. New Are you intend to marry me Harley me.
Little lonely little lonely I'll tell you my. My my mind is to draw on you land me me. POWER OF MERCY ON MY. Hands. Me my my I'll go home I was a burger and ever be your way. First heard or heard swearing that she would. Walk away. As this
group of little. Use. Was on Thursday morning when the search bar on the. Bomb was planted and saw murder and saw. They threw. Their net around her and drew her to. Berkeley where her phone. Then sank far John lured.
Her out before him saw that Seaver. Canberra show. The caring for him to do no work go home. A rare exception to the typical course of events is the story of Frankie and Johnny. I'm sure most of our listeners are familiar with one version or another of the song who as usual chorus is he was her man but he done her wrong. Well perhaps the difference in the origin of Frankie and Johnny and only was explained the different outcomes of the songs. Ohmy was belongs to a family of songs descended from child ballads and prevalent in the southern Appalachians whereas Frankie and Johnny have strong overtones of urban negro blues. Eric darling
performs the song for us with a uniquely expressive guitar accompaniment. He opens with a full bodied 12 string guitar sound replete with Blue Notes slides and slurred strings. The first verse then tells of Frankie's buying Johnny a new suit for $500 as the pair go walking down the street. The guitar just drops along with them. When Frankie comments already don't my Johnny man look cute. The guitar just about bursts with pride. Later as Frankie asks the bartender if he seen Johnny the guitar adds an ominous trill on the top strings. And then when the bartender says he's just seen Johnny with Al Gore why alias Nellie Bly or Alice fry the guitar player is a sad little descending run. The guitar stomps down the street when Frankie goes gunning for Johnny and as Johnny dies the lyrics seize as the guitar plays immortal and Requiem for Johnny. The most surprising part of the song is the end. If you listen closely I think you'll be surprised at the sentence that the judge gives to Frankie. Well now
everybody knows. Let's. Go. To Johnny where my money is venue. Frank you know we're gonna hear. One day Frank went to the bar room and he went down and be with your bartender actor Johnny. I want to call you trouble but I can tell a
lot. I just saw Johnny with the gal and I was out on my break. We're still going to be them a look at. Frankie she bought her top Well the second shot he fired her good Yani sweet don't even. Do the whole whatever.
Frank Gallagher. To meet me to take your free woman now go get yourself another man during the story. Sure is going to show the radio good to look out for you when there remains yet one more common twist on the tragic ending which is of course a double death. A good example of this ending is a song which the New Lost City Ramblers saying called little glass of wine once again as was the case in Frankie and Johnny. The motivation for murder is jealousy. The hero in little glass of wine named Willie wants to marry the dancehall girl immediately she says
let's both consider and wait one more year. When he goes to the bar where she's dancing and offers her a poison a glass of wine just as she's raising the glass to her lips you guessed it. There's a mandolin break. Then when the mandolin is finished we hear that both of the lovers are dying poisoned by that little glass of wine. Then the middle of her. Let's do it. They're bringing kids like me are you going to not want to eat it while I've been all willing to sit with low to ya. Me Mary Mary and that's hosting Lotus. After he went to
the beach with the good elves. The poll was. Just this. He's hanging
on every day game hard to get all three goals and plans of the ball they're all. Linked to this and it's in the middle. And on the tearful note we conclude another program of bluegrass and mountains. Next week we'll hear some happier songs about the funnier aspects of the relations between the sexes and. Bluegrass and mountains a program of old time American music is produced at the University of Michigan.
Sanford Vidal speaking this is the national educational radio network.
Bluegrass and mountains
Old time songs of tragic romance
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on old time songs that tell stories of tragic romance.
Series Description
Recordings of and talk about a wide variety of old time American music.
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Host: Fidell, S. A. (Sanford A.)
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 66-36-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:36
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Chicago: “Bluegrass and mountains; Old time songs of tragic romance,” 1966-10-03, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “Bluegrass and mountains; Old time songs of tragic romance.” 1966-10-03. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: Bluegrass and mountains; Old time songs of tragic romance. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from