It was a popular African American children’s game song throughout the South, and there’s a nice version recorded by Harold Courlander in Alabama that was issued by Folkways in the early 1950s. Dave Van Ronk - Green, Green Rocky Road from the album Two Sides Of. “The children form a circle with the leader in the center. When I go by Baltimore Need no carpet on my floor You come along... follow me We'll go down to galilee Green green rocky road You promenade in green … ), Tequila Sheila (Shel Silverstein/Bobby Bare), That’ll Never Happen No More (Blind Blake/Dave Van Ronk), That’s No Way to Get Along (Robert Wilkins/Rolling Stones), The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (Eric Bogle), The Boy Was Kissing the Girl (Gary Davis), The Cowboy Fireman; or, The Trusty Lariat, The Cuckoo (Jack Elliott/Clarence Ashley/cuckoldry), The Gambler (a country hit and a Dave Van Ronk story), The Pearls (Jelly Roll Morton/Dave Van Ronk), Traveling Man (Pink Anderson/blues comedians), Truck Driving Man (Paris Metro/Vince McCann), UAW-CIO/Sally Don’t You Grieve (The Union Boys), Urge for Going (Joni Mitchell/Dave Van Ronk), Vigilante Man (with a train-hopping story), Wake Up, Little Susie (Everlys and Bryants), Walk Right In (Rooftop Singers/Jose Feliciano), Wandering (Van Ronk/Carl Sandburg/censorship), Wild About My Good Cocaine (Dick Justice), Winin’ Boy / Winding Ball (Jelly Roll Morton), Wolfman of Del Rio (Terry Allen/Wolfman Jack), World’s Last Truck Drivin’ Man (Shel Silverstein), Worried Man Blues (Woody Guthrie/Carter Family), Wreck of the Old 97 (Vernon Dalhart/Bosses Songbook), You’ve Been a Good Old Wagon (Bessie Smith/Van Ronk), nice version recorded by Harold Courlander in Alabama. One of the early songs Dave Van Ronk taught me, this was largely composed by Len Chandler, one of the most musically sophisticated writers on the Village folk scene. An adaptation is a musical work which uses most of the music or lyrics of another musical work. Roughly half the people knew Dave’s version the way he did it, but the others knew it from Peter, Paul and Mary’s variant or from someplace else and didn’t catch the dropped beats, and it took us forever to get it straight… and then, when we had it straight, David Bromberg showed up for the second show and tried to make us all do it in regular 4/4 instead of Dave’s way, because that was how he knew it…. As the chorus is sung the leader is deciding which person to choose. Chandler had been a classical oboe player in Akron, Ohio, and Dave recalled Variety referring to him as “musician turned folksinger.” As Chandler recalls it, Dave was the first person to bring him down to Washington Square and introduce him around, and he shortly became the house musician at the Gaslight Cafe, when it was still the Gaslight Poetry Cafe — there is an incredibly rare LP released on the very short-lived Gaslight label called The Beat Generation, which has him along with the two house poet/comedian/MCs, John Brent and Hugh Romney (who later became the irrepressible hippie clown Wavy Gravy). Well, it's a green rocky road, promenade in green Tell me who you love Tell me who you love (love) If you gotta carpet on your floor, you'll never get to Baltimore Well, it's a green rocky road, promenade in green Tell me who you love Tell me who you love Tell me who you love Who-o you love See the bird up in the sky, He don't run, he just fly And it's a green rocky road, promenade in green Green As he picks one, the group sings the first line of the verse, naming the child selected. Both Dave and Chandler remember hearing the traditional version of “Green, Green Rocky Road” from the poet Bob Kaufman, who had learned it as a child in New Orleans. The leader brings his choice to the center and kisses her…”, Hence, “Tell me who you love, tell me who you love.”, Receive news of new song posts; no other emails (I promise), A Man’s a Man (Bertolt Brecht/Dave Van Ronk), Ain’t She Sweet/ Five Foot Two (Guy Van Duser), Battle of Maxton Field (Malvina Reynolds), Best of All Possible Worlds (Kris Kristofferson), Big Rock Candy Mountain (Mac McClintock/ censorship), Blues In the Bottle (The Holy Modal Rounders), Bout a Spoonful (Davis/Lipscomb/Van Ronk), Brand New Tennessee Waltz (Jesse Winchester), Cannonball Blues (Woody, Carters, Leslie Riddle), Captain Don’t ‘Low that Here (Larry Johnson), Casey Jones (Furry Lewis/banjo to guitar), Chicken Is Nice (Dave Van Ronk/Howard Hayes), Comin’ In on a Wing and a Prayer (Joseph Spence), Crow Jane (Carl Martin, country blues LPs), Danville Girl (Cisco Houston/hopping freights), Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Dylan/Paul Clayton), Fishing (Blues) (Chris Smith/Sweetie May), Georgia Rag (with advice from Dave Van Ronk), Get Thee Behind Me, Satan (Almanac Singers), Gimme A Ride To Heaven, Boy (Terry Allen), Going Down the Road Feeling Bad (Samantha Bumgarner/proto-blues), Got the Blues, Can’t Be Satisfied (John Hurt), Green Rocky Road (Len Chandler, Bob Kaufman, etc. To finish off, here are Courlander’s notes on the children’s game: “The children form a circle with the leader in the center. The group sings ‘Green, green’ and the leader answers, ‘Rocky road,’ skipping around the ring. Green, Green Rocky Road This song is by Dave Van Ronk and appears on the live album St. James Infirmary (1982). I was so used to hearing Dave do this song that I never noticed how odd the timing is on the chorus, until I was given the job of playing guitar for an all-star chorus of his friends and peers as part of a memorial concert at the Bottom Line. No mention was made of the obovious meaning of the Crow verse. As he picks one, the group sings the first line of the verse, naming the child selected. In Dave’s recollection, Kaufman sang it for him and Chandler backstage at the Commons, the coffeehouse where Dave was doing most of his playing in the late 1950s, but Chandler recalls learning it from Kaufman over dinner in Chandler’s apartment. ), Hallelujah, I’m a Bum (Mac McClintock, hobos), He Was a Friend of Mine (Dave Van Ronk &co), He’s In the Jailhouse Now (Pink Anderson), Hesitation Blues (deep history of a dirty blues), I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound (Tom Paxton), I Know What It Means to be Lonesome (Bill Williams), I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am (Merle Haggard), I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago (Doc Watson), I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate, If You Leave Me Pretty Mama (Germany/Austria), Iko Iko (David & Roselyn/ African guitar), Is Anybody Going to San Antone (Doug Sahm), Johnson City Blues (Clarence Greene, Ida Cox), Jones, Oh Jones (Bahamian Blind Blake/Paul Geremia), Kansas City Blues (I’m Going to Move to Kansas City), King Jelly’s Good Morning Irene Song (Bill Morrissey), Let Me Hold You In My Arms Tonight (Jesse Fuller), Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me (John Hurt/William Myer), Let’s Get Drunk Again (Bo Carter/busking), Lone Star Beer And Bob Wills Music (Red Steagall), Lonesome 7-7203 (resisting and singing country), Lovesick Blues (Hank Williams/Emmett Miller), Maple Leaf Rag (Scott Joplin/Dave Van Ronk), Martian Love Song (Lee Hays/Earl Robinson), Michigan Water (ironies of the Great Migration), Mole In the Ground (Bascom Lamar Lunsford), My Creole Belle (John Hurt/meanings of Creole), My Mind Is Trying to Leave (Percy Mayfield), Mysteries of a Hobo’s Life (T-Bone Slim/the IWW), Name of the Game Is Stud (Tom Paxton, The Gaslight), Ninety-Nine Year Blues (Lee K. Riethmiller), Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out, On a Monday (Lead Belly and racist stereotypes), Pat Works on the Railway (Irish minstrelsy), Peanut Butter Conspiracy (Jimmy Buffett/shoplifting), Poor Howard/Spanish Fandango (fretless banjos and parlor guitar), Porter’s Love Song to a Chambermaid (Andy Razaf), Pretty Boy Floyd (Woody Guthrie/Pete Seeger), Ragged and Dirty (William Brown/Sleepy John Estes), Ragged, But Right (Greenbriar Boys, etc. Noah sent out birds as look outs in the old testament.
The group sings ‘Green, green’ and the leader answers, ‘Rocky road,’ skipping around the ring. "Green Rocky Road" is a song "written" (copyrighted) by Greenwich Village regulars Len Chandler and Robert Kaufman in 1961, but apparently has its origins in a black children’s folk song from Alabama. In any case, Chandler came up with a new melody and wrote the verses, Dave learned it from him, and it became one of the most enduring and requested songs in Dave’s repertoire, as well as one of his fundamental guitar arrangements in dropped D tuning.
Green Green Rocky Road written by [Traditional] English Green Rocky Road written by Len Chandler, Robert Kaufman English 1963 ), Random Canyon (Peter Stampfel/Dave Van Ronk), Readin’, Ritin’, and Route 23 (Dwight Yoakam), Riot in Cell Block Number Nine (The Coasters), Roll On, Columbia (Woody Guthrie/Pete Seeger), Roll On, John (Greenbriar Boys/Palmer Crisp), Sadie Green, the Vamp of New Orleans (5 Harmaniacs), Salty Dog (John Hurt/Papa Charlie Jackson), Seaboard Train (Larry Johnson/my Seville blues trio), See See Rider (Mississippi John Hurt and others), Send Me to the ’Lectric Chair (Bessie Smith), Shake Sugaree (Elizabeth Cotten/Peter Keane), Some of These Days (Antwerp/busking/Van Ronk), Spike Driver’s Blues (John Hurt/Dave Van Ronk), Stagolee (Woody Guthrie/John Hurt/folk legend), Stealin’, Stealin’ (Sam Charters’ reissues), Swinging Doors (Merle Haggard/a honky-tonk gig), Swinging on a Star (Van Ronk/Bing Crosby), Talking Wolverine 14 (Utah Phillips/Rosalie Sorrels), Tell Old Bill (Bob Gibson, Ben Harney, et al. In 1950 Harold Courlander, assisted by Ruby Pickens Tartt, recorded a group of children from Lilly's Chapel School in York, Alabama, singing this ring game song. Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Green Rocky Road From: GUEST,mike Date: 14 May 09 - 02:07 AM I'v been reading these Green Rocky Road threads till my eyeballs are falling out. As the chorus is sung the leader is deciding which person to choose.
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