From Over There to Over Here 1 - USA & England

by Dunja Knebl

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about

The project title FROM OVER THERE TO OVER HERE has several different meanings; it is about my journey from "over there" to "over here" - the time and place where I am now.

FROM OVER THERE TO OVER HERE 1 was inspired by folk songs in English that I learned in my childhood listening to Burl Ives.

Books were and still are the most important element for me when making music.

It all began in my early teens. We had just come back from the States. Father brought some folk song records including my favorite Burl Ives one, and books. Among them were „The Fireside Book of Favorite American Songs“ and „The Fireside Book of Folk Songs“ with music notations and lyrics. Soon I could accompany myself on the guitar and sing some of the songs. Then I was intrigued by some songs that I could not hear because they were not on the records we had. There was a song entitled „Over There“ with a very touching illustration. The lyrics were strange, beginning with „Oh, potatoes they grow small over THERE…“ describing a place „over there“ where everything was small (candles, potatoes) and everyone was hungry except geese. The note under the song's title read „The origin of this song is a mystery. It was published in 1844.“

It was very interesting and puzzling later when I recorded my album Da sam barem guska / Over There in 2002 (including the mysterious song from my childhood days) that I could not find any information about „my“ song. My nephew who lives in the U.S.A. and was working at the time in Phoenix tried to find information about this strange song in the biggest American library there. Incredible – there was no information about the song or about anyone recording it except the note that it was published in 1844, and that its origin continued to be a mystery.

A couple of years ago my sister (Biljana Knebl) visited her son in America and brought me a wonderful gift : „The Burl Ives Song Book“ published in 1953 – the same year I came to the States with my family. It is a very beautiful book with 115 folk songs Ives himself had collected. Some of them are very well known, some I have never heard before. I did not recognize „my“ song at first. The title was totally different and the music was only familiar. And then I realized : the mysterious song that had been part of my musical path since my childhood was no longer a mystery.

„The Praties They Grow Small“ was a song initially sung in Ireland and begins with the verse: „Oh, the praties (potatoes) they grow small over HERE…“. Ives's note to the song explains it all: „Crop failure was the cause of the tremendous influx of Irishmen who came in such large numbers in the early nineteenth century. A popular song of 1844 told about the small potato crop and landlord trouble in Ireland“. Like many folk songs it was modified to suit the current time and place.

And so, my path from „over there“ to „over here“ has been a great journey for me and I am ever so grateful for having all the things (books, for example), and meeting people that have encouraged me and supported me along the way.

Recording folk songs collected and sung by Burl Ives is one way of thanking others. People and folk songs should not be forgotten. Although he recorded hundreds of traditional folk songs in the English language, collected folk songs and wrote books on the subject, many know him only for his Christmas songs, children songs and several pop songs he reached the charts with.

Recenzija albuma:
Album review:

www.potlista.com/recenzije/dunja-knebl-from-over-there-to-over-here-13

credits

released November 4, 2014

All songs were recorded and produced by Hrvoje Nikšić (July, 2014) at Kramasonik studio, Zagreb.

Art work: Biljana Knebl

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about

Dunja Knebl Zagreb, Croatia

I have recorded 14 albums of less known or forgotten traditional Croatian folk songs released by different labels as compact discs, 3 of which are on BC. Here you can also find my recordings of folk songs from some other countries I have lived in (free download), and also some live concerts from the past (free download)
Most of the songs are with lyrics.
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Track Name: The Praities They Grow Small
Oh, the praties they grow small over here, over here,
Oh, the praities they grow small, and we dig them in the fall,
And we eat them coats and all, over here, over here.
Oh, I wish that we were geese, night and morn, night and morn,
Oh, I wish that we were geese, for they fly and take their ease,
And they live and die in peace eatin' corn, eatin' corn.
Oh, we're trampled in the dust, over here, over here,
Oh, we're trampled in the dust, but the Lord in whom we trust
Will give us crumb for crust, over here, over here.
Track Name: Henry Martin
There were three brothers in merry Scotland,
In merry Scotland there were three,
And they did cast lots which one of them should go, etc.,
And turn robber all on the salt sea.

Well, the lot it fell first upon Henry Martin,
The youngest of all the three,
That he should turn robber all on the salt sea, etc.,
For to maintain his two brothers and he.

Well, they'd not been gone but a long Winter's night,
And a part of a short Winter's day,
When they espied a stout lofty ship, etc.,
Come a-riding down on him straight-way.

“Hello! Hello!” cried Henry Martin,
“What makes you sail so nigh?”
“Oh, I'm a rich vessel bound for fair London Town, etc.,
Would you pull to let me pass by?

“Oh no! Oh no!” cried Henry Martin,
“This thing it never can be,
For I have turned robber all on the salt sea, etc.,
For to maintain my two brothers and me.”

Bad news, bad news, to old England came,
Bad news to old London Town,
There's been a rich vessel and she's cast away, etc.,
And all of her merry men drowned.
Track Name: Old Paint
I ride an old Paint, I lead old Dan,
I'm goin' to Montan for to throw the hoolihan,
They feed in the coulees, they water in the draw,
Their tails are all matted, their backs are all raw

Ride around little dogie ride around 'em slow,
For the fiery and the snuffy are a-rearin' to go.

Old Bill Jones had two daughters and a song,
One went to Denver the other went wrong,
His wife she died in a pool-room fight,
But still he keeps on singing from morning till night

When I die take my saddle from the wall,
Lead out my pony lead him out of his stall,
Tie my bones to the saddle turn his face toward the west,
And we'll ride the prairie that we loved the best.
Track Name: Pretty Polly
I courted pretty Polly the livelong night
I courted pretty Polly the livelong night
Then left her next morning before it was light.

Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, come go along with me.
Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, come go along with me.
Before we get married some pleasure to see.

She jumped on behind him and away they did go.
She jumped on behind him and away they did go.
Over the hills and the valleys below.

They went a little further and what did they spy?
They went a little further and what did they spy?
A newly dug grave with a spade laying by.

Oh Willie, oh Willie, I'm afraid of your way.
Oh Willie, oh Willie, I'm afraid of your way.
I'm afraid you will lead my poor body astray.

Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, you’ve guessed about right.
Pretty Polly, Pretty Polly, you’ve guessed about right.
For I dug on your grave the best part of last night.

He stabbed her in the heart, and the blood it did flow.
He stabbed her in the heart, and the blood it did flow.
And into the grave Pretty Polly did go.

Throwed on a little dirt and he started for home.
Throwed on a little dirt and he started for home.
Leaving no one behind but the wild birds to moan.

A debt to the devil Willie must pay.
A debt to the devil Willie must pay.
for killing Pretty Polly and running away.
Track Name: Wayfaring Stranger
I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger,
A-traveling through this world of woe,
Yet there's no sickness, toil or danger,
In that bright world to which I go.

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

My father lived and died a farmer,
A-reaping less than he did sow,
Yet I just follow in his footsteps,
A-knowing less than he did know.
Track Name: Buckeye Jim
Way up yonder above the sky
A bluebird lived in a jay-bird's eye.

Buckeye Jim you can't go
Go weave and spin, you can't go, Buckeye Jim.

Way up yonder above the moon
A blue-jay nests in a silver spoon...

Way down yonder in a hollow log
A red bird danced with the green bullfrog...

There'll be and end to grief and pain
A warm bright sky beyond the rain...
Track Name: Baby, Did You Hear
Baby, did you hear?
Your sweetie's gonna leave you, yes, yes,
On the next payday.
Baby, did you hear?
Your sweetie's gonna ride the Cherokee
Down the St. John's River,
And nary a cent will I be the giver.
Baby, did you hear?
All of your furniture's gonna leave you, yes, yes,
On the next payday.
Track Name: High Barbaree
There were two lofty ships from old England came,
Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we;
One was the Prince of Luther, and the other, Prince of Wales,
Cruising down the coast of High Barbaree.

“A-loft there, a-loft!” our jolly boatswain cried,
Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we;
“Look a-head, look a-stern, look a-weather, look a-lee,
Looking down the coast of High Barbaree”.

“There’s naught upon the stern, there is naught upon the lee.”
Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we;
“But there’s a lofty ship to windward, a sailing fast and free
Sailing down along the coast of High Barbaree.”

Oh, hail her, o hail her our gallant captain cried,
Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we,
Are you a man of war or a privateer said he,
Cruising down the coast of High Barbaree.

I’m not a man-o-war, nor a privateer,” said he,
Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we:
“But I am a salt-sea pirate, a-lookin’ for my fee
Looking down the coast of High Barbaree.”

‘Twas broadside and broadside a long time we lay,
Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we:
Until the Prince of Luther shot the pirate’s masts away,
Cruising down the coast of High Barbaree.

“Oh, quarter, oh quarter,” those pirates did cry,
Blow high, blow low, and so sailed we;
But the quarter that we gave them – we sunk them in the sea,
Down along the coast of High Barbaree.
Track Name: Long Black Veil
Ten years ago on a cold dark night,
A person was killed in the town hall light,
The people who saw, they all agreed
that the slayer who ran looked a lot like me.

Chorus:
She walks these hills in a long black veil,
Visits my grave when the night winds wail,
Nobody knows, nobody sees,
Nobody knows but me.

The judge asked: "Son, what is your alibi?
If you were somewhere else, you won't have to die"
I spoke not a word though it meant my life,
For I'd been in the arms of my best friend's wife.

The scaffold is high, eternity near,
She speaks not a word, she sheds not a tear,
But sometimes at night when the night winds moan,
She visits my grave and cries over my bones.
Track Name: Robin, He Married
Robin he married a wife from the West
Moppity, moppity mo no
She turned out to be none of the best
With a high jig jiggety top and petticoat
Robin, a thrush cries mo no no.

When she got up, she got up in a haste
Went to the cupboard before she was laced.

When she churned she churned in a boot
Instead of a cradle she put in her foot,

She made her cheese upon the shelf
When it turned it turned of itself.

The cheese fell down upon the floor
Got up on its feet and ran out of the door

It ran till it came to Wakefield Cross
She followed after upon a white horse.

This song was made for gentlemen
If you want any more you can sing it again.
Track Name: Lavender Cowboy
He was only a lavender cowboy,
The hairs on his chest they were two,
He wanted to follow the heroes,
And do as the he-men do.

Red, green, and many colored hair-tonics
He rubbed on his chest day and night,
When he looked in the mirror next morning,
No new hairs grew in sight.

He battled for Red Nelly's honor
He cleaned out a holdup's nest
He died with two six-guns a-smoking
But only two hairs on his chest.
Track Name: Blue-Tail Fly
When I was young I used to wait
On my master and hand him his plate,
And pass the bottle when he got dry,
And brush away the blue-tail fly

Jimmy crack corn and I don't care,
Jimmy crack corn and I don't care,
Jimmy crack corn and I don't care,
My master's gone away.

And when he'd ride in the afternoon,
I'd follow with a hickory broom,
The pony being rather shy
When bitten by the blue-tail fly.

One day he ride around the farm,
The flies so numerous they did swarm,
One chanced to bite him on the thigh,
The devil take the blue-tail fly.

The pony jumped, he tossed, he pitched,
He threw my master in the ditch,
He died and the jury wondered "why",
The verdict was the blue-tail fly.
Track Name: Old Blue
I had an old dog and his name was Blue
And I betcha you five dollars he's a good one too
Saying „Come on Blue“, mm-mm.
Blue chased a possum up a simon tree
Blue looked at the possum, possum looked at me
Saying „Go on, Blue, you can have some too“.
Baked that possum, good and brown
Laid them sweet potatoes round and round,
Saying „Come on Blue, you can have some too“.
Old Blue died and he died so hard
That he jarred the ground in my backyard,
Saying „Go on Blue, I'm a coming too“
I dug his grave with a silver spade
And I let him down with a golden chain,
Saying „Go on Blue, I'm a coming' too“.
When I get to Heaven, first thing I'll do,
Grab my horn and I'll blow for Old Blue
Saying „Come on Blue, finally got here too“.
Track Name: Green Broom
There was an old man and he lived in the west
And his trade was the cutting of broom, green broom
He had but one son and his name it was John,
And he lied a-bed till 'twas noon, and…

The old man arose and unto his son goes
And swore he'd set fire to his room, his room
If he did not rise and unbutton his eyes
And away to the wood for green broom, green broom… And…

Then John did arise and did sharpen his knives
And he went to the wood cutting broom, green broom,
To market and fair crying loud everywhere
„Fair maids do you want to buy broom, green broom, Oh…

A lady way up in her chamber so high
And she heard Johnny crying „Green broom, green broom“
She went to her maid and unto her said
„Go fetch me the lad that cries broom, green broom,…

Then John he arose and upstairs he did go
And he entered the fair lady's room, her room
She said „Dear Johnny, can you fancy me
Would you marry a lady in bloom, in bloom, could…

Then John gave consent and unto the church went
And he married his lady in bloom, in bloom,
She said „I'll confess that there's none in the West
So good as the lad that cries broom, green broom, is so…