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Traditional Melodies Book in C
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May Carols in C
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One-Octave Melodies Book in C
Five-Note Melodies Book in D
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One-Octave Melodies Book in C

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Continued from product description on Music Books' Page Two...

Historical Background: The history of the songs in this collection come from England, Ireland, Scotland, France, and the Americas. Many of these pieces are folk songs and include numerous verses to tell the story. Some of the songs have several different versions because they were taught by rote. The lyrics to these songs are included here. These melodies, inside a C octave, are easy to play on a variety of instruments, such as a recorder, fife, flute, harmonica, ocarina and, of course, piano.

Amazing Grace, written in 1789 by John Newton, is a traditional American folk hymn. The song appeared in 1835 in William Walker's "Southern Harmony," a popular shape-note hymnal. Here are the lyrics:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow;
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Barbara Allen is a 17th-century Scottish and English folk song that originated in Scotland. It came to America with the Pilgrims. There were many variations in the lyrics which had spread along the east coast of America, and the song was very popular in the Southern mountains, where they wrote their own verses.

In Scarlet Town where I was born
There was a fair maid dwellin'
Made ev'ry youth cry out "Well a day"
Her name was Barb'ra Allen.

All in the merry month of May
When buds of green were swellin'
Young Jemmy Grove on his deathbed lay
For love of Barb'ra Allen.

He sent his man unto her then
The house where she did dwell in
"You must come now to my master dear
If you are Barb'ra Allen.

"For death is printed on his face
And o'er his heart is stealin'
Then haste away for to comfort him
Oh lovely Barb'ra Allen."

Though death be printed on his face
And o'er his heart be stealin'
Yet not a bit better shall he be
For I am Barb'ra Allen."

But slowly, slowly she came up
And slowly she came nigh him
And all she said as he lay in bed,
"Young man, I think you're dying."

He turned his face unto her straight
With deadly sorrow sighin'
"Oh pretty maid, come and pity me
I'm on deathbed lyin'."

"If on your deathbed you do lie
What needs the tale your tellin'?
For I cannot keep you from your death
Farewell," said Barb'ra Allen.

Billy Boy is a folk song with the tune originating centuries ago in the British Isles. The lyrics appear to be based on the Old English ballad "Lord Randall." The song began to appear in New England after the American Revolution, along with the many immigrants from the British Isles. Some of the Irish, Scots, and English moved to the Appalachian Mountains and remained until the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. When they moved again, they took this song, and its popularity spread along the Ohio River and westward.

Oh where have you been Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Oh where have you been charming Billy?
I have been to seek a wife, she's the joy of all my life.
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Did she ask you to come in Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Did she ask you to come in charming Billy?
Yes she asked me to come in, with a dimple in her chin.
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Did she set for you a chair Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Did she set for you a chair charming Billy?
Yes she set for me a chair, she has ringlets in her hair.
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Can she bake a cherry pie Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Can she bake a cherry pie charming Billy?
She can bake a cherry pie, quick's a cat can wink an eye.
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Can she make a feather bed Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Can she make a feather bed charming Billy?
She can make a feather bed, put the pillows at the head.
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Just how old can she be Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Just how old can she be charming Billy?
Three times six or four times sev'n, two times twenty and elev'n.
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Buffalo Gals is a traditional American minstrel show tune from the 1800s. Anonymously written, this song was adapted from a tune by Cool White (John Hodges), who wrote Lubly Fan, Will You Cum Out Tonight in 1844.

The Christy Minstrels used this song in their shows but gave it different names such as Charleston Gals, Pittsburgh Gals, or Texas Gals (depending on where they were performing). In 1848, the Ethiopian Serenaders kept using the words Buffalo Gals and this became the new song title. Immensely popular by 1950, this song was being sung east and west of the Mississippi River. Buffalo Gals is considered to be one of the forerunners to Jazz music. In 1944 (100 years after Cool White wrote the tune), the music was turned into the hit song Dance with a Dolly. The lyrics for Buffalo Gals are:

As I was walking down the street,
Down the street, down the street,
A pretty girl I chanced to meet,
By the light of the silvery moon.

Chorus:

Oh, Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight,
Come out tonight, come out tonight
Oh, Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight,
And dance by the light of the moon?

I asked her if she'd stop and talk,
Stop and talk, stop and talk;
He feet took up the whole sidewalk;
She was fair to view.

Chorus:

I asked her if she'd be my wife,
Be my wife, be my wife;
Then I'd be happy all my life,
If she'd marry me.

A Different Version of Buffalo Gals:

As I was lumb'ring down the street,
Down the street, down the street.
A handsome gal I chanced to meet
Oh, she was fair to view.

Chorus (repeat between verses):

Buffalo gals won' cha come out tonight
Come out tonight, come out tonight?
Buffalo gals won' cha come out tonight
And dance by the light of the moon?

I asked her if she'd have a talk
Have a talk, have a talk.
Her feet took up the whole sidewalk
As she stood next to me.

Chorus:

I asked her "Would you want to dance
Want to dance, want to dance."
I thought that I would have a chance
To shake a foot with her.

Chorus:

Oh I danced with the gal with a hole in her stockin'
And her hip kept a-rockin' and her toe kept a-knockin'
I danced with the gal with a hole in her stockin'
And we danced by the light of the moon.

Chorus:

I wanna make that gal my wife
Gal my wife, gal my wife.
Then I'd be happy all my life
If I had her with me.

Froggie Went a Courting is a ballad of "a most strange Wedding of the Frog and the Mouse" and was licensed to Edward White, a song collector at Stationers' Hall in London in the late 1500s. What a tale it tells with its many stanzas. In different versions these words might be different: A-huh, or A-hum, or A-ha. This song actually has its roots in political satire. Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603) would name her suitors various nicknames like ape, fish, frog, or robin. This song is for the Duc d'Alençon (Duke of Anjou), the "frog," as her romance was very unpopular with her subjects. Froggie is also spelled "Froggy," or the words might be "A Frog," in other versions:

Froggie went acourting and he did ride, A-hum, a-hum.
Froggie went a courting and he did ride,
A sword and pistol by his side, A-hum, a-hum.

He rode up to Miss Mousie's door,
Where he had often been before.

He said: "Miss Mouse, are you within?"
"Just lift the latch and do come in."

He took Miss Mousie on his knee,
And said: "Miss Mouse, will you marry me?"

"Without my Uncle Rat's consent,
I would not marry the President."

Now, Uncle Rat, when he came home,
Said: "Who's been here since I've been gone?"

"A very fine gentleman has been here,
He wishes me to be his dear."

Then Uncle Rat laughed and shook his sides,
To think his niece would be a bride.

Then Uncle Rat, he went to town,
To buy his niece a wedding gown.

Where will the wedding breakfast be?
Was down yonder in a hollow tree.

What will be wedding breakfast be?
Two green beans and a black-eyed pea.

The first to come was the bumble bee.
He danced a jig with Miss Mousie.

The next to come was Mister Drake,
He ate up all of the wedding cake.

They all went sailing on the lake,
And they all were swallowed by a big black snake.

So, that's the end of one, two, three.
The rat, the frog, and Miss Mousie.

There's bread and cheese upon the shelf.
If you want anymore just sing it yourself.

The Riddle Song is an old English ballad. The words are based on the ancient ballad Captain Wedderburn's (Walker's) Courtship, which is made up of four riddles. This song arrived in the United States sometime in the mid-18th century and was known by most of the followers of Daniel Boone. It became a favorite song of the pioneers heading west in covered wagons. As these people migrated, they shared their songs and The Riddle Song became a popular song for children as well as adults. Here are the lyrics to I Gave My Love a Cherry (The Riddle Song):

I gave my love a cherry that has no stone.
I gave my love a chicken that has no bone.
I gave my love a ring that has no end.
I gave my love a baby with no cryin'.

How can there be a cherry that has no stone?
How can there be a chicken that has no bone?
How can there be a ring that has no end?
How can there be a baby with no cryin?

A cherry when it's bloomin' it has no stone.
A chicken in the eggshell it has no bone.
A ring when it is rollin' it has no end.
A baby when it's sleepin' has no cryin'.

I've Been Working on the Railroad is an American folk song that started out as a minstrel song and has been popular for decades, although its origin is unknown.

I've been workin' on the railroad,
All the livelong day;
I've been workin' on the railroad,
Just to pass the time away.

Don't you hear the whistle blowin'?
Rise up so early in the morn.
Don't you hear the captain shoutin',
"Dinah, blow your horn."

Dinah, won't you blow, Dinah, won't you blow,
Dinah, won't you blow your horn?
Dinah, won't you blow, Dinah, won't you blow,
Dinah, won't you blow your horn?

Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah,
Someone's in the kitchen I know.
Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah,
Strummin' on the old banjo.

Fee fi diddle-ee-i-o,
Fee fi diddle-ee-i-o,
Fee fi diddle-ee-i-o,
Strummin' on the old banjo.

Now you may think that there ain't no more.
Oh, you may think that there ain't no more.
Now, you may think that there ain't no more.
Well, there ain't!

Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier is a American Revolutionary War ballad. Also known as Buttermilk Hill, it is based on the Irish tune Shule Aroon. This was also a popular American Civil War song and a powerful protest song during the Vietnam War. Johnny is a name that is used for soldiers in several war songs (for example, When Johnny Comes Marching Home and The Cruel War is Raging). Peter, Paul & Mary performed a version of Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier titled Gone the Rainbow, which included the refrain "Shule, shule, shule-a-roo" (see words below). Words and music to Gone the Rainbow by Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, Milton Okun, and Mary Travers. Here are the lyrics to Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier:

Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill
Who would blame me cry my fill
And every tear could turn a mill
Johnny has gone for a soldier.

I'll sell my clock, I'll sell my reel,
Likewise I'll sell my spinning wheel,
To buy my love a sword of steel,
Johnny has gone for a soldier.

Me, Oh my, I love him so,
Broke my heart to see him go
And only time can heal my woe
Johnny has gone for a soldier.

The words to The Cruel War are:

The cruel war is raging,
Johnny has to fight.
I want to be with him
From morning 'til night.

I want to be with him,
It grieves my heart so.
"Won't you let me go with you?"
"No, my love, no."

Gone the Rainbow:

Refrain:

Shule, shule, shule-a-roo.
Shule-a-rak-shak, shule-a-ba-ba-coo.
When I saw my Sally babby Beal
Come bibble in the boo shy Lorey.

Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill;
Who would blame me, cry my fill;
Ev'ry tear would turn a mill,
Johnny's gone for a soldier.

I sold my flax, I sold my wheel
To buy my love a sword of steel.
So it in battle he might wield,
Johnny's gone for a soldier;

Oh, my baby, oh, my love,
Gone the rainbow, gone the dove;
Your father was my only love,
Johnny's gone for soldier.

Joy to the World! was arranged from George F. Handel's Messiah by Lowel Mason (1792-1872). Isaac Watts (1674-1748), known as the "father of English hymnody," wrote the text, which is a paraphrase of the Bible's ninety-eighth psalm. It is certainly a favorite during the Christmas season and begins with an easily played descending scale.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns,
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders, wonders of his love.

Lazy Mary:

"Lazy Mary, will you get up,
Will you get up, will you get up?
Lazy Mary, will you get up,
Will you get up to-day?"

"What will you give me for my breakfast,
If I get up, if I get up,
What will you give me for my breakfast,
If I get up today?"

A slice of bread and a cup of tea...
No, mother, I won't get up...

(Missing verse calling Mary to supper)

A nice young man with rosy cheeks...
Yes, mother, I will get up...
What Will You Give Me If I Get Up?
"What will you give me if I get up,
If I get up, if I get up?
What will you give me if I get up,
If I get up today?"

"A slice of bread and a cup of tea,
A cup, a cup, a cup of tea,
A slice of bread and a cup of tea,
If you get up today."

"No, mother, I won't get up,
I won't, I won't, I won't get up,
No, mother, I won't get up,
I won't get up today."

"What will you give me if I get up,
If I get up, if I get up?
What will you give me if I get up,
If I get up today?"

"A nice young man with rosy cheeks,
With rosy cheeks, with rosy cheeks,
A nice young man with rosy cheeks,
If you'll get up today."

"Yes, mother, I will get up,
I will get up, I will get up,
Yes, mother, I will get up,
I will get up today."

Oh, Dear, What Can the Matter Be? is a British folk song from the 18th century that describes a young girl waiting for her lover and wondering what can cause him to be so late. In the lyrics below, the archaic word "fairing" means "a gift," especially one bought at a fair.

Oh, dear, what can the matter be?
Dear, dear, what can the matter be?
Oh, dear, what can the matter be?
Johnny's so long at the fair.

He promised to buy me a fairing to please me,
And then for a kiss, oh, he vowed he would tease me.
He promised to buy me a bunch of blue ribbons
To tie up my bonny brown hair.

Chorus:

He promised to buy me a pair of sleeve buttons,
A pair of new garters would cost him but tuppence,
A pair of red stockings to go with the ribbons
That tie up my bonny brown hair.

Chorus:

He promised he'd bring me a basket of posies,
A garland of lilies, a garland of roses,
A little straw hat to set off the blue ribbons
That tie up my bonny brown hair.

On Top of Old Smoky is considered a romantic American folk song. Old Smoky refers to the Smoky Mountains in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a few miles from Asheville, North Carolina. "Smoky" is the mist that rises from the hills and hovers in the valley. The English, Scottish, and Irish who settled in this region brought their music and songs. One of their favorites, On Top of Old Smoky, has traces of the New England song The Wagoner's Lad. It may also be traced to an earlier British folk song, My Little Mohee. These "mountain people" also called it a "lonesome tune." It spread across America when mountain folk migrated west. Burle Ives and The Weavers recorded this song in 1950, making it a very popular song. It also appeared in the 1951 Gene Autry movie "Valley of the Fire."

On Top of Old Smoky,
All covered with snow,
I lost my true love
By courtin' too slow.

Now, courtin's a pleasure,
A-partin' is grief;
A false-hearted lover
Is worse than a thief.

A thief he will rob you
And take all you have;
But a false-hearted lover
Sends you to your grave.

They'll hug you and kiss you
And tell more lies
Than the leaves on a willow
Or the stars in the skies.

My sad heart is aching
I'm weary today
My lover has left me
I'm a-feelin' this way.

It's rainin', it's pourin'
The moon gives no light
My horse he won't travel
This dark lonesome night.

I'm goin' away, dear
I'll write you my mind.
My mind is to marry
And to leave you behind

Come all you young people
And listen to me
Don't place your affection
On a green willow tree.

The leaves they will wither
The roots they will die
You will be forsaken
And never know why.

On Top of Old Smoky
All covered with snow
I lost my true lover
A-courtin' too slow.

Here is a different version of On top of Old Smoky:

On Top of Old Smoky,
All covered with snow,
I lost my true lover
By courtin' too slow.

Now, courting's a pleasure,
Parting is grief;
But a false-hearted lover
Is worse than a thief.

A thief he will rob you
And take all you have;
But a false-hearted lover
Will lead you to the grave.

The grave will decay you
And turn you to dust,
Their ain't one in a million
A poor girl (boy) can trust.

They'll hug you and kiss you
And tell more lies
Than the crossties on railroads
Or the stars in the skies.

They'll tell you they love you.
To give your heart ease;
But the minute your back's turned
They'll court who they please.

I'll go back to old Smoky,
Old Smoky so high,
Where the wild birds and turtledoves
Can hear my sad cry.

Bury me on old Smoky
Old Smoky so high
Where the wild birds in heaven
Can hear my sad cry.

On top of old Smoky
All covered with snow,
I love my true lover
By courtin' too slow.

Over the River and Through the Woods is a traditional American Thanksgiving song by Lydia Maria Child, who was an ardent American abolitionist in the 19th century. The second stanza was not part of the original song. It was added 60 years later and became a favorite Thanksgiving song. In one version, it is grandfather's house and in another version it is grandmother's house. It probably just depended on who was singing the song.

Over the river and through the woods
To grandfather's house we go.
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Thro' the white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the woods,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings your nose and bites your toes,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the woods,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting hound
For this is Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river and through the wood,
Now grandmother's face I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Here is a different version of Over the River and Through the Wood:

Over the river and through the wood
To grandmother's house we go.
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Thro' the white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the wood,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings your toes and bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,
To have a full day of play
Oh, hear the bells ringing "ting-a-ling ling,"
For it's Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast my dapple gray.
Spring o'er the ground just like a hound.
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
It seems that we go so dreadfully slow,
It is so hard to wait.
Over the river and through the wood,
Now grandma's cap I spy.
Hurrah for fun, the pudding's done,
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Some versions of the song Shenandoah speak about a Native America chief and his beautiful daughter who elopes with a white trader. "Shenandoah" was the name used by the Iroquois Indians for the mountains on both sides of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. This song eventually became a sea chantey.

Oh, Shenandoah, I long to see you,
Away, you rolling river.
Oh, Shenandoah, I long to see you,
Away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah's my native valley,
Away, you rolling river.
Oh, Shenandoah's my native valley,
Away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah, it's far I wonder,
Away, you rolling river.
Oh, Shenandoah, it's far I wonder,
Away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah has rushing water,
Away, you rolling river.
Oh, Shenandoah has rushing water,
Away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you,
Away, you rolling river.
Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you,
Away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter,
Away, you rolling river.
Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter,
Away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, I'll never leave you,
Away, you rolling river.
Oh Shenandoah, I'll never leave you,
Away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh, Shenandoah, I'll never grieve you,
Away, you rolling river.
Oh, Shenandoah, I'll never grieve you,
Away, we're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Sweet Betsy from Pike is a song that was published anonymously in 1853, but the lyrics are attributed to John A Stone. It is an amusing account of a two young forty-niners traveling from Pike County, Missouri, to the gold fields of California. After all their trials and tribulations traveling to California, they marry, divorce, and the young woman marries again.

Oh, do you remember sweet Betsy from Pike,
Who crossed the wide prairie with her lover Ike?
With two yoke of oxen, a big yellow dog,
A tall Shanghai rooster, and one spotted hog.

Chorus:

Singin' too-ra-la, too-ra-la, too-ra-la-lay.

One evening quite early they camped on the Platte,
'Twas near by the road on a green shady flat,
Where Betsy, sore-footed lay down to repose,
With wonder Ike gazed on the Pike County Rose.

The wagon broke down with a terrible crash,
And out on the prairie rolled all kinds of trash;
A few little baby clothes done up with care,
'Twas rather suspicious, but all on the square.

The Shanghai ran off and their cattle all died,
That morning the last piece of bacon was fried;
Poor Ike was discouraged and Betsy got mad,
The dog drooped his tail and looked wondrously sad.

They soon reached the desert, where Betsy gave out,
And down in the sand she lay rolling about;
While Ike, half distracted, looked on with surprise,
Saying, "Betsy, get up, you'll get sand in your eyes.

Sweet Betsy got up in a great deal of pain,
Declared she'd go back to Pike County again;
But Ike gave a sigh, and they fondly embraced,
And they traveled along with his arm 'round her waist.

They swam the wide rivers and crossed the tall peaks,
And camped on the prairie for weeks upon weeks,
Starvation and cholera and hard work and slaughter
They reached California spite of hell and high water.

Long Ike and sweet Betsy attended a dance,
Where Ike wore a pair of his Pike County pants;
Sweet Betsy was covered with ribbons and rings,
Said Ike, 'You're an angel, but where are your wings?"

A miner said, "Betsy, will you dance with me?"
"I will that, old hoss, if you don't make too free,
But don't dance me hard, do you want to know why?
Doggone you, I'm chock-full of strong alkali."

The Pike County couple got married of course,
But Ike became jealous, obtained a divorce;
Sweet Betsy, well satisfied, said with a shout,
"Good-bye, you big lummox, I'm glad you've backed out."

Camptown Races was written by Stephen Foster when he was 24 years old and was first published as Gwine to Run all Night. Ed Christy's Minstrels made this song popular but Stephen Foster never made much money on it since only 5,000 copies were sold in seven years. His take on royalties was only a little over $100, so he sold the rights to this song. The 1952 movie "I Dream of Jeanie" featured this song, as did the musical films "Swanee River" and "Colorado." The tune was later adapted for the shanty Sacramento. It has since become Stephen Foster's best-known song.

The camptown ladies sing this song,
Doo-dah! Doo-Dah!
The Camptown racetrack five miles long
Oh the Doo-dah-day!
I come down there with my hat caved in,
Doo-dah! Doo-Dah!
Can't go home with a pocket full of tin,
Oh the Doo-dah-day!

Chorus:

Goin' to run all night,
Goin' to run all day.
I'll bet my money on the bobtail nag,
Somebody bet on the bay.

The long-tail filly and the big black horse,
Doo-dah! Doo-Dah!
They fly the track and they both cut across,
Oh the Doo-dah-day!
The blind horse stickin' in a big mud hole,
Doo-dah! Doo-Dah!
Can't touch bottom with a ten-foot pole,
Oh the Doo-dah-day!

Old muley cow comes onto the track,
Doo-dah! Doo-Dah!
The bobtail flinged (fling) her over his back,
Oh the Doo-dah-day!
Then fly along like a railroad car,
Doo-dah! Doo-Dah!
Running a race with a shooting star
Oh the Doo-dah-day!

See them flying on a ten-mile heat,
Doo-dah! Doo-Dah!
Round the racetrack, then repeat,
Oh the Doo-dah-day!
I win my money on the bobtail nag,
Doo-dah! Doo-Dah!
I keep my money in an old tow-bag.
Oh the Doo-dah-day!

The First Nowell is a 17th-century English Christmas Carol. Harmonized by John Stainer (1840-1901), it was first published in 1833. Nowell (or Noël) means "Christmas carol." French Noëls are ballads or story carols. But this song is not French! Nowell is believed by some scholars to be derived from the Latin word for "birthday natalis." By the way, one of the best sources for carols is the Oxford Book of Carols from which these words are taken.

The First Nowell, the angel did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep:

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East, beyond them far;
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night:

Refrain between each verse:

And by the light of that same star,
Three wise men came from country far;
To seek for a king was their intent,
And to follow the star wheresoever it went:

This star drew nigh to the north-west;
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right o'er the place where Jesus lay.

Then did they know assuredly
Within that house the King did lie:
One entered in then for to see,
And found the babe in poverty:

Then entered in those wisemen three,
Fell reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence,
Both gold and myrrh and frankincense:

Between an ox-stall and an ass
This child truly there born he was;
For want of clothing they did him lay
All in the manger, among the hay:

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with his blood mankind has bought:

If we in our time shall do well,
We shall be free from death and hell;
For God hath prepared for us all
A resting place in general.

Tom Dooley is an outlaw ballad based on a real crime that happened in the mountain country of northwest North Carolina in 1866. Many major newspapers covered the story about the ex-Confederate soldier and "ballads sprung up like weeds." On May 1, 1868, Thomas C. Dula was hanged for the murder of Laura Foster. Some changed the name from Dula to Dooley for the sake of the song. The melody seems to have been an old Negro folk song (referred to as a "banjo tune"), based on the pentatonic scale (the black notes of the piano). This song was recorded by folksingers, such as The Kingston Trio, who sold over a million records making it one of the most popular songs of that year. Others that have recorded this song are Lee Castle and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra in 1960, and The Four Freshmen and Tammy Grimes in 1962.

I met her on the hilltop.
There I took her life
I met her on the hilltop,
And stabbed her with my knife.

Chorus:

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry.
Hang down you head, Tom Dooley,
Poor boy, you're bound to die.

Tonight I'll pick my banjo,
I'll pick in on my knee.
Tomorrow I'll be hangin'
From a white oak tree.

This time tomorrow,
Reckon where I'll be.
This time tomorrow,
I'll be in eternity.

Had my trial in Wilkesboro.
What do you think they done?
Bound me over to Statesville,
And that's where I'll be hung.

Daddy, oh my Daddy,
What shall I do?
I've lost all my money,
And killed poor Laury, too.

Mother, Oh dear Mother,
Don't you weep and cry.
I've killed poor Laury Foster
You know I'm bound to die.

Now, what my Mother told me
Is about to come to pass:
That drinkin' and the women
Would be my ruin at last.

This time tomorrow,
Reckon where I'll be?
In some lonesome valley,
Hangin' on a white oak tree

Here is a differnt version of Tom Dooley:

I met her on the mountain
That's where I took her life
Met her upon the mountain
I stabbed her dead with my knife

Chorus:

Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Poor boy, you're goin' to die.

This time tomorrow morning
Reckon where I will be
If it was not for Grayson
I'd now be in Tennessee

This time tomorrow morning
This soldier boy will be
Down in a lonesome valley
Hangin' from some white oak tree.

They're gonna try Ann Melton
Can't see no reason why
There's only one who's guilty
And now I'm goin' to die.

When Irish Eyes are Smiling is a lovely song first published in 1912. This song was featured in the 1913 musical "The Isle of Dreams." The words are by Chaucey Olcott and George Graff, Jr. The music was written by Ernest R. Ball.

When Irish Eyes are smiling,
Sure it's like a morn in spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter,
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish eyes are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay,
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure they'll steal your heart away.

Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by Lord, by and by
There's a better home a-waiting
In the sky, Lord, in the sky.

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One-Octave Melodies Book in C
One-Octave Melodies Book in C
Item Number 95104

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