Shady Grove

In honor of the late great Tom Petty I invite you not to forget Mudcrutch, and post this Helytimes classic from April 2015

 

In my foolish youth I thought Tom Petty was kind of a joke, until Bob Dylan in Chronicles woke me up hard.

Bob also has words of respect for Jerry Garcia:

What an eerie tune.  Wikipedia is unusually quiet on this one.

Many verses exist, most of them describing the speaker’s love for a woman called Shady Grove. There are also various choruses, which refer to the speaker traveling somewhere (to Harlan, to a place called Shady Grove, or simply “away”)

Harlan

Harlan

The folks at mudcat.org take on the problem:

Subject: Origins: ‘Shady Grove’ a mondegreen ?
From: GUEST,Jake
Date: 15 Aug 10 – 11:23 PMMulling (for the thousandth time) over the incongruity of ‘Shady Grove’ which is nothing about trees protecting the singer from the sun, but seems to be a woman’s name, it occurred to me in a flash of insight, that of course it must have started as a song about a Woman or girl named “Sadie” with the surname “Grove”, ie, “Sadie Grove”, and was corrupted by the usual vagaries of oral transmission, etc, etc.   Searching this forum and the web generally provides no support for this conjecture, however.


Subject: RE: Origins: ‘Shady Grove’ a mondegreen ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Aug 10 – 11:32 PMI have always shared this confusion: Shady Grove seems to be the woman’s name, but also the name of the place or location in which she lives, sometimes incongruously both at the same time. The fact that it’s one of those myriad songs [Going Down Town; Bowling Green …] which share pretty much the same set of ‘floaters’ doesn’t help.~Michael~


Subject: RE: Origins: ‘Shady Grove’ a mondegreen ?
From: Hamish
Date: 16 Aug 10 – 03:18 AM”Wish I was in Shady Grove” takes on a new meaning.”When I was in Shady Grove I heard them pretty birds sing” (and the earth moved, no doubt).


Subject: RE: Origins: ‘Shady Grove’ a mondegreen ?
From: GUEST,Lynn W
Date: 16 Aug 10 – 04:11 AMThere is a comment on Wikipedia that the melody is similar to Matty Groves. Any connection, I wonder?


Subject: RE: Origins: ‘Shady Grove’ a mondegreen ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Aug 10 – 05:19 AMWikipedia has got it backwards. The folk-revival version of “Matty Groves” took its tune from “Shady Grove”.

That’s as far down this hole as I can go at the moment.

I’d be shocked if any Helytimes readers hadn’t wikipedia’d The Child Ballads.

If demographizing the known Helytimes readership, I’d say “it’s people, mostly people I know, who have Wikipedia’d The Child Ballads.”

Still, why not a refresher on some best ofs?

FJM

Although shy and diffident on account of his working-class origins, he was soon recognized as “the best writer, best speaker, best mathematician, the most accomplished person in knowledge of general literature” and he became extremely popular with his classmates.

Child became the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory when he we was 26.  Says an admirer, writing in the 1970s:

Child well understood how indispensable good writing and good speaking are to civilization, or as many would now prefer to say, to society. For him, writing and speaking were not only the practical means by which men share useful information, but also the means whereby they formulate and share values, including the higher order of values that give meaning to life and purpose to human activities of all sorts. Concerned as he thus so greatly was with rhetoric, oratory, and the motives of those mental disciplines, Child was inevitably drawn into pondering the essential differences between speech and writing, and to searching for the origins of thoughtful expression in English.

(Yes!  That’s the good reason for being into this I’ve been looking for.)

Sometimes I picture Child backpacking around from pub to pub learning these things.  Mostly, though, he got them from manuscripts.

Don’t you worry, he could cut loose sometimes:

he also gave a sedulous but conservative hearing to popular versions still surviving.

Child engaged

 in extensive international correspondence on the subject with colleagues abroad, primarily with the Danish literary historian and ethnographer Svend Grundtvig, whose monumental twelve-volume compilation of Danish ballads, Danmarks gamle Folkeviser, vols. 1–12 (Copenhagen, 1853), was the model for Child’s resulting canonical five-volume edition of some 305 English and Scottish ballads and their numerous variants.

Svend

Svend.

Child is buried in the Sedgwick Pie.

Sedgwick pie

Is Kyra Sedgwick eligible for the Sedgwick Pie?  Seems like she might be.  Also seems a bit rude to ask a wonderful and very alive actress and mother if she’s given any thought to her grave.

Famously (? I guess, I never read the biography) not included:

Edie Sedgwick

 


Trouble at the Allah-Las concert !

In Rotterdam, a concert cancelled after Spanish police warn Dutch police about a possible bomb plot.

a terror plot foiled?

I wonder what the terrorists don’t like about this band.

The name?

Colin Drury of The Guardian, Aug. 2016, reports:

They chose to use Allah – Arabic for god – because they wanted something “holy sounding”. But they say they never realised some might interpret it as trivialising or mocking their religious beliefs. “We get emails from Muslims, here in the US and around the world, saying they’re offended, but that absolutely wasn’t our intention,” says Michaud. “We email back and explain why we chose the name and mainly they understand.”

In Turkey, a show got pulled because the promoter didn’t feel comfortable. “But what’s the alternative?” asks Siadatian. “We’ve had the name so long I don’t think we can change it. That wouldn’t work. We don’t dwell. You know, no regrets.”

What the band do regret is the growing gentrification of hometown LA.

I guess if I stand for anything it’s for a band’s right to call themselves whatever, without anybody getting blowed up over it.

Free speech protections do not equal endorsements. But in the civilized world you can call your band whatever you want.

Don’t know much about the band. I like this song Catamaran. Very cool song.

Cube Houses of Rotterdam by wiki user Hanselpedia

Hey thanks for the birthday wishes Helytimes readers!  We aim to share with you quality, interesting, well-sourced content about California, the USA, and the world, and we appreciate you.  


The ignoble and unhappy regime

 

Evocative phrase from Bob Marley and the Wailers’ “War” (34:05 above) keeps popping into my mind.

The lyrics are a near-exact repetition of a speech in the UN by the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie. However, the two simple guitar chords and the semi-improvised, spirited melody put to Selassie’s words is unmistakably Marley’s.


Wicked Game

A friend tells a story about a guy who had a cassette that was just this song over and over, they once listened to it all night while playing cards.

If you drove from LA to Portland just listening to this song on repeat would you go insane?  Become a genius?


Bob Marley in Boston

Because people were talking about Baby Driver, I started singing it in my head to the tune of Bob Marley’s Slave Driver.

What a song.  So then I went looking for Slave Driver on Spotify. I found a recording of Bob Marley and The Wailers, Live At The Music Hall, Boston, 1978.  “Easy Skanking In Boston ’78” is the title, which I don’t love saying.  “Bob Marley and The Wailers Live At The Music Hall – Boston – 1978” seems like it gives you what you need?

The Music Hall is now the Wang Theatre. Photo from Wikipedia by Tim Pierce.

Somehow shocking that Boston would be the scene of a legendary Marley concert.  Who was in the crowd?!

Steve Morse wrote about this recording for The Boston Globe when the album was released in 2015:

My one meeting with Bob Marley was memorable. I was sent by the Globe to interview him at the Essex Hotel in New York before his show at Boston’s Music Hall in 1978. I walked in to Marley’s room, which looked out over Central Park, at 11 a.m. It was a chaotic scene. Four or five members of his entourage were kicking a soccer ball that banged off the picture windows. Two king-size joints were being passed around. Bob sat on a couch, reading aloud from the Book of Revelation.

Realizing I was in over my head, I waited a while before daring to ask Marley about his music. He agreed to talk, shut the Bible, quelled the soccer noise, and stated his worldview: “Everything is going to be united now. Everything is going to be cool. Forget the past and unite.”

Marley’s response to a country politically divided and stricken with gun violence was notably cooler and more Christian than the NRA’s response.

Two months later he’d be in Boston.

(Minute 34-38 or so a good sample)

June 8, 1978 was a Thursday, a hot night,  89 degrees.  The Red Sox had an off day, but that weekend they’d start a ten game win streak on the road in the West Coast.

The Sox would win 99 games that year, but lose a one game playoff to the Yankees at home in Fenway Park.

Ned Martin would call the game for WITS radio.

Years later he’d die of a heart attack in a shuttle bus at the Raleigh airport on his way home from Ted Williams’ memorial.


Wanted to listen to the original record of Sgt. Pepper’s

 

I knew my man Jeff was the guy to talk to.  Pictured: Jeff’s stereo.


Genius

Is that so Genius?

Far as I can tell this appeared on my Spotify without my inquiring “hey what’s this song about?”