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One of the nation's outstanding poker is produced by Riverside RDR in New York City. Today's program is about a topic close to us all earning a living. One trustworthy thing about music is that because it's spontaneous expression of people's feelings about things it does always accurately reflect the kind of lives that singers lead their habits of worship of crime and punishment their way of dealing with children they're going on about the serious business of courtship and marriage and of course the geography of their locality and their patterns of work. For instance one expects that in Wales I'd be a good many mining songs and there are but let's get back to where it all began. The land and the worker on the land the farmer I suggest that a good place to hear the farmer singing is in a pub in rural England and use a cheerful cosy house and we'll share the town of West Lavington. The sturdy man just ready to burst into song is Fred Perry or there's an accordion warming up and the other villagers want to join in. They're
more than likely begin with the one they always do. The term of hoeing song because all the farmers around race Terminus are turnips you'd say. The turn appears singled out for special attention because it needs special attention needs more hoeing than most vegetables because there's a pesky black fly in the song that people call it the fly in their local dialect. But now they're beginning. So listen or join in if you like. Oh yeah that's right. Yeah I am I am. But I
work. Well in place hoe turnips in Kentucky corn for that's our important crop just time part and it was not many years ago you can hear for yourself in this whole mountain song of ours. We used to use it at home to tease the boys when we wanted to accuse them of being no camp. It's the young man that wouldn't.
I'm young ladies and listened in the song today about a young man about this young man. And the man bowed to me but it is gone. When I come you know this car and this young man to go on and to be when the wind in the grass is up to this young man. Lord you are near neighbors than to go in and order cancer Head New York. Yes my dear yes my dear I've laid out a strategy. Don't leave the missiles not raise money not help the young man that won't raise Carnes let his man get it was a
single man saying go out in the main. Well in other parts of our country there were in those times more important things than hoeing corn. Hard for me to believe because that have old corn so many hot days and we respect that corn field too partly because of my dad and partly because it was so important to respect work and to be a good worker. Mostly though it was because in that hillside new ground lay our bread for the winter and tender sweet roasting years for the summer and good sound years for the mule in winter time and the bins for the cat and the calf and scratch that scorched ground corn for the chickens. My father taught all his 13 grown children early that whatever a man's work is that's about the most important thing in the world next to religion that is out on the Great Plains while the Kentucky mountaineer was raising his corn and his beings and taters garden
truck. There was another business going up that of hunting and driving off the great menacing buffalo herds. The meat was gamey but it was good and the hides could be so titrated sometimes a man would go into the buffalo hunting business. Hire hands to go hunting for him and pay them wages. He sometimes worked out and sometimes it didn't but well here's a tale about it sung by Pete Seeger on a record entitled industrial songs it's a Folkways record number 3 2 5 1 and the canned of the lament I guess. Call the buffalo Skinners. It was in the town of Jacksboro hole in the spring of 73. A man by the name of Craig go. To Maine said howdy. How do you like to go and spend on summer clothes. It's me being out of it. It's a.
Going out on the buffalo range depending upon the. Transportation. Do. I think sir I will go to the range of the buffalo. Well that's now we've crossed the river boys our troubles have begun. First of all I cut Christ how I cut my thumb. Oh all our lives have no show. The Indians watched a lot of the buffalo. The season being near over where you go he did
say. That Karl had been extravagant that. We coaxed him and we are. Still at cause no. Real leftist down the old bones to bleach on the range of the buffalo. That's now we crossed the river homeward we are. No more not all fire country. Back to. Art Harris. That was the sad tale of the buffalo Skinner. There are two universal truths about a
person's work a man's way of earning his living. One it's very important almost sacred and it's almost always hard. Now the song doesn't have to be sad or tragic but I've noticed it even when it's a light hearted ditty. It's about a man's work wise dedication to his job is evident in his song that is one can tell that he realizes the importance of his work even if as he makes fun of it in song he may dislike his work be very bitter about it. But he rarely belittles it if he happens to like his way of earning a living. You hear him expressing himself in song just the opposite way as this Irish fisherman does as he sings of his beloved Bill Weld in Ireland they seem to be less tense about their jobs anyway. Now here's a song a man song sung by a girl list time. But that's allowed especially if the girl is smart and she's playing her beautiful arias sharpen. Well it is a love song after all the role model boat. But all my little boat tradition number 1 0 2 4 was Mariel
singing a man's love song to his boat. That's a real Irish voice. So delicate and true. I'm convinced that the actual geographical location has a lot to do with how voice is handled and how song is sung. Now for instance you know many thousands hundreds of thousands well really untold numbers of Irish people have left around and come to America and many many of them went out west to become cowboys and ranchers. And they brought their Irish songs the BART of Armada is the same tune as the Streets of Laredo and green girl the Latics is in Ireland green girl the laurel. But what a difference in delivery and voice timbre between the two countries. The wild west the wide open spaces in the Big Sky where you had to talk pretty loud to make any noise at all especially if you were trying to round up a herd of stubborn cattle delicacy and restraint had to be abandoned I guess. Here comes Harry Jackson to prove my point he's riding a bucking horse and has some choice words to say to him. Then he lights into a round up holler
Italia oh so get out of the way here it comes. But boy. Booker cowboy walks my boy. She's a bear cat in a while back and I almost never heard it. You have to getting. Your news.
Mark 13. OK now. That's a smashing record called The cowboy Folkways FH 5 7 2 3. Just thought you'd like to know. In our old home in Kentucky upstairs is a room called the wavin room. There my mother keeps her loom and I used to be put to sleep and wake in the by the sound of the treadles in the thread gauge in the carriage. You sort of fumble fumble fumble fumble. A pleasant safe sound. Things are happening kind of sound. Well a secure home
is sound. Mom used to help her grandmother weave all the cloth for the family's clothes when she was growing up homespun for trousers and Jerkins shirts for the men in the boys and skirts for the women. Linsey woolsey for the lot of garments. Nowadays she only weaves rugs for us and the neighbors but she loves you even so we keep the loom. In Scotland on the islands of the Outer Hebrides Harrison Lewis the old time we've instilled in her the flax is planted and cultivated harvested so. And then Walt were beaten until a stick like fibers are worked out and the pulp is smooth. On my field trip I heard for the first time the old walking songs used to set the rhythm for beating the tweet must have been like the work ins at home in Kentucky where neighbors gather at each other's houses to help with harvest corn shell ins and beans string ins and so on. Well around the table were the flex is be and work stand the women men help to sometimes one woman will sing the lead and the rest will answer and all will sing the refrain.
Yonder is the walk in shed now and you can begin to hear the walking song as Kitty McCloud leads. I am here is an echo of the old bardic poetry. The text is a canned of eulogy of one of the princely houses of the house. The words mean. Son of the Earl of the white. I saw your ship on the ocean. The rudder was a girl. The masts were of silver and the sails were of Spanish still beat beat. Beat beat beat beat.
Times have changed since the sound of this music meant that a large and thriving trade was being carried on the machine age descended like a monster all over the world in our country the Wild West was not so wild anymore. I suppose that even where they're still raising cattle they're using Jeeps now instead of horses for the most part. The little fishing boats in Ireland have been left to rot by the thousands as big commercial fisheries and canning factories have taken over and made the price of fish so low that it doesn't pay to fish for the local markets anymore. The buffalo long gone from the plains. And as for the Tweed makers the spinners and the Weavers people whose trades of had been all important suddenly while they became almost of no importance. Quaint old fashioned curios to be gazed at the tourist stripped of the dignity and the sense of well-being that had been theirs for long generations. Well what could they do. Well they could protest they could lament. They could get mad and holler stop with us here in this Irish Weaver's cottage and
hear their bitter song Wave. Now they make us stop. 0 0
0. 0. 0. Ewan MacColl Vanguard 9 0 9 0 be the forum Weaver singing the lament of the hand weavers. Well that was one reaction to the machines of course. Eventually folks had to be practical and look for work in other
fields. Many in desperation took to tramping the roads looking for any kind of work and a tinker girl named Wyatt walking along the roads of Scotland. The one tried that many hundreds could take to keep them from starving the trade of begging. Not everybody had to big. Thank goodness. Even the a cursed machines had to
have people to run them. Some lucky folks found work for the whole family and made more money than they'd ever made before. Little as it was Jim copper a farmer in Rottingdean Sussex England sings such a lucky family in a song about the threshing machine. It's theirs old father Howard the she was to put Old Mother Howard she does make up and Mary she sits and feeds all day while Johnny he carries the strong way singing rumbled on dairy flareup Marion maker old table old table is the feed table of the machine. All right well rebel machinery of death ratio we wouldn't have got through a ship and when did operate first then go don't bargain so we're seeing it wrong. They don't bury with Marian Wright. Only about every law that they will rag didn't want all of the things she get rough
or dump a player a rarity on breaker row table. There's all part of the right word don't book one over the right words you may vary she said. Very well Johnny carries no straw she can rub the beret player at Marianne make her own table. That's a big game and we generally start her back to a lab that would be your right. You know when you go to Iraq I don't care a prayer at Barry Terry. Jim copper on Columbia disc 2 0 6 the world library of folk and primitive music collected and edited by Alan Lomax. Jim brings our subject of earning a living back to the land where it all began. There are many trades and jobs we didn't even mention who could in just half an hour. I'd like to sing for a closing song the
oldest farm song I know to an ancient English tune played on my ancient dulcimer. I learned this song years ago in Brest town North Carolina. The Campbell folks coo It's called Come on boys. And I think the second verse about the 211 brothers is a reference to Cain and Abel. Anyway our whole philosophy and one which would be a good one for the whole world for any kind of work is expressed in the two lines for if we don't labor how shall there be bread. We will sing and be merry with all. I hope you'll join us again next week when we take another trip through the folklore and music of American and British
Isles. Many of the portions of this program were compiled from recordings made by Ms Ritchie and her husband while she was on a Fulbright scholarship in the British Isles. Next week's program will present many of the songs collected by Gene Ritchie while she was in Ireland. This program was produced by a steward's builder and directed by Isidore hable. As I rode out with Jean Ritchie is a recorded production of Riverside radio WRVA are in New York City under a grant from the National Association of educational broadcast. This is the ABC radio network.
As I roved out
Episode Number
Earnin' a Livin'
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
Hosted by folksinger Jean Ritchie, As I Roved Out explores folk music of America and the British Isles and the people who make it.
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Host: Ritchie, Jean
Producer: Gouds, Moyra
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-4-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:30
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Chicago: “As I roved out; 7; Earnin' a Livin',” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 1, 2024,
MLA: “As I roved out; 7; Earnin' a Livin'.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 1, 2024. <>.
APA: As I roved out; 7; Earnin' a Livin'. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from