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songs about the great depression

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  • Carl A Zimring
    For a project I m doing, I need a good song or two about belt-tightening during the 1930s, and I m drawing a blank. Can anyone help me out? Carl Z.
    Message 1 of 18 , Aug 31, 2004
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      For a project I'm doing, I need a good song or two about belt-tightening during the 1930s, and I'm drawing a blank. Can anyone help me out?

      Carl Z.
    • Nina Melechen
      ... belt-tightening during the 1930s, and I m drawing a blank. Can anyone help me out? Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? and, of course, No Depression in
      Message 2 of 18 , Aug 31, 2004
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        --- In fearnwhiskey@yahoogroups.com, "Carl A Zimring"
        <cz28@a...> wrote:
        > For a project I'm doing, I need a good song or two about
        belt-tightening during the 1930s, and I'm drawing a blank. Can
        anyone help me out?

        "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"

        and, of course, "No Depression in Heaven"<g>

        Nina M.
      • Steve Gardner
        Alfred Reed How Can A Man Stand Such Poor Times and Live 1929 There once was a time when everything was cheap, But now prices nearly puts a man to sleep. When
        Message 3 of 18 , Aug 31, 2004
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          Alfred Reed
          How Can A Man Stand Such Poor Times and Live
          1929

          There once was a time when everything was cheap,
          But now prices nearly puts a man to sleep.
          When we pay our grocery bill,
          We just feel like making our will --
          I remember when dry goods were cheap as dirt,
          We could take two bits and buy a dandy shirt.
          Now we pay three bucks or more,
          Maybe get a shirt that another man wore --
          Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?
          Well, I used to trade with a man by the name of Gray,
          Flour was fifty cents for a twenty-four pound bag.
          Now it's a dollar and a half beside,
          Just like a-skinning off a flea for the hide --
          Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

          Oh, the schools we have today ain't worth a cent,
          But they see to it that every child is sent.
          If we don't send everyday,
          We have a heavy fine to pay --
          Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

          Prohibition's good if 'tis conducted right,
          There's no sense in shooting a man 'til he shows flight.
          Officers kill without a cause,
          They complain about funny laws --
          Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

          Most all preachers preach for gold and not for souls,
          That's what keeps a poor man always in a hole.
          We can hardly get our breath,
          Taxed and schooled and preached to death --
          Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

          Oh, it's time for every man to be awake,
          We pay fifty cents a pound when we ask for steak.
          When we get our package home,
          A little wad of paper with gristle and a bone --
          Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

          Well, the doctor comes around with a face all bright,
          And he says in a little while you'll be all right.
          All he gives is a humbug pill,
          A dose of dope and a great big bill --
          Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Steve Gardner
          Hey Carl, While searching for those Blind Alfred Reed lyrics I found this page: http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/parton/2/depress.html#top Brother Can You
          Message 4 of 18 , Aug 31, 2004
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            Hey Carl,

            While searching for those Blind Alfred Reed lyrics I found this page:

            http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/parton/2/depress.html#top

            Brother Can You Spare a Dime from 1932 (sung by Bing) is probably one of the most famous Depression era songs.

            steve, who hasn't thought about this music in a while...



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Carl A Zimring
            ... Thanks Nina and Steve! It s been a while since I ve thought about 30s music, and I couldn t get past more escapist and optimistic songs (perhaps a comment
            Message 5 of 18 , Aug 31, 2004
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              > Hey Carl,
              >
              > While searching for those Blind Alfred Reed lyrics I found this page:
              >
              > http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/parton/2/depress.html#top
              >
              > Brother Can You Spare a Dime from 1932 (sung by Bing) is probably one of
              > the most famous Depression era songs.
              >
              > steve, who hasn't thought about this music in a while...

              Thanks Nina and Steve! It's been a while since I've thought about 30s music, and I couldn't get past more escapist and optimistic songs (perhaps a comment on my psyche as the semester begins).

              Carl Z.
            • Chris Hill
              How about 10000 Maniacs Dust Bowl off _Blind Man s Zoo_? Seems like a few from Pinetop Seven would fit the bill, but none of the song titles are leaping out
              Message 6 of 18 , Aug 31, 2004
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                How about 10000 Maniacs' "Dust Bowl" off _Blind Man's Zoo_?

                Seems like a few from Pinetop Seven would fit the bill, but
                none of the song titles are leaping out at me. "Drying
                Out"? "40 Watt Bulb"?

                AMC in Portland, Thursday night!

                Chris
              • czimring
                ... I had primary sources in mind, but those are evocative. ... Lucky bastard. Carl Z.
                Message 7 of 18 , Aug 31, 2004
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                  --- In fearnwhiskey@yahoogroups.com, Chris Hill <chillout@g...> wrote:
                  > How about 10000 Maniacs' "Dust Bowl" off _Blind Man's Zoo_?
                  >
                  > Seems like a few from Pinetop Seven would fit the bill, but
                  > none of the song titles are leaping out at me. "Drying
                  > Out"? "40 Watt Bulb"?

                  I had primary sources in mind, but those are evocative.

                  > AMC in Portland, Thursday night!

                  Lucky bastard.

                  Carl Z.
                • Chris Hill
                  ... So lucky that it s possible to catch the Portland club show then come up and see them in an outdoor setting at the Bumbershoot festival. Mwah. Mwah-HA.
                  Message 8 of 18 , Aug 31, 2004
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                    > > AMC in Portland, Thursday night!
                    >
                    > Lucky bastard.

                    So lucky that it's possible to catch the Portland club show
                    then come up and see them in an outdoor setting at the
                    Bumbershoot festival.

                    Mwah. Mwah-HA. MWAH-HAH-HAH.

                    Tour dates are up on their website, though. They're coming
                    East soon.

                    Chris
                    np: Lovers, _The Gutter and the Garden_
                  • Carl A Zimring
                    ... An embarassment of riches. Let me know if they re as good as they were last spring. ... Hmmm, this pair is promising. 11/10 Wed, Pittsburgh PA Rex Theatre
                    Message 9 of 18 , Aug 31, 2004
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                      >

                      >>> AMC in Portland, Thursday night!
                      >>
                      >> Lucky bastard.
                      >
                      > So lucky that it's possible to catch the Portland club show then come up
                      > and see them in an outdoor setting at the Bumbershoot festival.
                      >
                      > Mwah. Mwah-HA. MWAH-HAH-HAH.

                      An embarassment of riches. Let me know if they're as good as they were last spring.

                      > Tour dates are up on their website, though. They're coming East soon.

                      Hmmm, this pair is promising.

                      11/10 Wed, Pittsburgh PA
                      Rex Theatre w/ Will Johnson of Centro-matic

                      11/11 Thu, Columbus OH
                      Little Brothers w/ Will Johnson of Centro-matic

                      Carl "I hope Columbus is a late show so I can drive down" Z.
                    • Dave Purcell
                      ... The Del-Lords did a great version of this, you can find it on the best-of released a few years ago. dp
                      Message 10 of 18 , Sep 1, 2004
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                        Steve Gardner wrote:

                        > How Can A Man Stand Such Poor Times and Live

                        The Del-Lords did a great version of this, you can find it on the
                        best-of released a few years ago.

                        dp
                      • Nina Melechen
                        ... I know that this song was recorded during the Depression. But I ve always thought it must be older, especially since it seems to be written about a period
                        Message 11 of 18 , Sep 1, 2004
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                          --- In fearnwhiskey@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Purcell"
                          <dap@p...> wrote:
                          > > How Can A Man Stand Such Poor Times and Live
                          >
                          > The Del-Lords did a great version of this, you can find it on the
                          > best-of released a few years ago.

                          I know that this song was recorded during the Depression. But
                          I've always thought it must be older, especially since it seems to
                          be written about a period when the economic problem was
                          inflation. (Prices fell during the Great Depression.) Does
                          anyone know anything about older antecedents?

                          Nina M., feeling pedantic today
                        • Carl A Zimring
                          ... Sadly my knowledge of 1870s popular song is nil. But I imagine that would be a fine decade to investigate. ... Understandably, says the fellow
                          Message 12 of 18 , Sep 1, 2004
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                            > --- In fearnwhiskey@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Purcell" <dap@p...> wrote:
                            >>> How Can A Man Stand Such Poor Times and Live
                            >>
                            >> The Del-Lords did a great version of this, you can find it on the
                            >> best-of released a few years ago.
                            >
                            > I know that this song was recorded during the Depression. But I've always
                            > thought it must be older, especially since it seems to be written about a
                            > period when the economic problem was inflation. (Prices fell during the
                            > Great Depression.) Does anyone know anything about older antecedents?

                            Sadly my knowledge of 1870s popular song is nil. But I imagine that would be a fine decade to investigate.

                            > Nina M., feeling pedantic today

                            Understandably, says the fellow proofreading his syllabi.

                            Carl Z.
                          • Steve Berry
                            Pardon me if you menitioned it and I overlooked it, but how about Do Re Mi by Woody Guthrie? http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/3448/doremi.html I would love
                            Message 13 of 18 , Sep 1, 2004
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                              Pardon me if you menitioned it and I overlooked it, but how about "Do Re Mi" by Woody Guthrie?

                              http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/3448/doremi.html

                              I would love to see your complete list when it is compiled. To me, the Great Depression is the most interesting period of U.S. history.

                              -- SteveB

                              fearnwhiskey@yahoogroups.com wrote:
                              Message: 5
                              Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 14:29:57 -0400 (EDT)
                              From: "Carl A Zimring" <cz28@...>
                              Subject: Re: songs about the great depression

                              > Hey Carl,
                              >
                              > While searching for those Blind Alfred Reed lyrics I found this page:
                              >
                              > http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/parton/2/depress.html#top
                              >
                              > Brother Can You Spare a Dime from 1932 (sung by Bing) is probably one of
                              > the most famous Depression era songs.
                              >
                              > steve, who hasn't thought about this music in a while...

                              Thanks Nina and Steve! It's been a while since I've thought about 30s music, and I couldn't get past more escapist and optimistic songs (perhaps a comment on my psyche as the semester begins).

                              Carl Z.

                              Steve Berry
                              scberry@...
                              http://www.stevencberry.com
                              http://www.bainbridgehouse.com
                              "Life is short, but wide."


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Carl A Zimring
                              ... Good one; I had thought of Guthrie but for some reason couldn t get past the sunnier Pastures of Plenty (a great song about the potential abundance of
                              Message 14 of 18 , Sep 1, 2004
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                                > Pardon me if you menitioned it and I overlooked it, but how about "Do Re
                                > Mi" by Woody Guthrie?
                                >
                                > http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/3448/doremi.html

                                Good one; I had thought of Guthrie but for some reason couldn't get past the sunnier "Pastures of Plenty" (a great song about the potential abundance of the nation). At least in my mental music library, I'm struck by how many optimistic and hopeful songs came out of the 30s.

                                > I would love to see your complete list when it is compiled. To me, the
                                > Great Depression is the most interesting period of U.S. history.

                                Every suggestion is on-list so far! I only need a song or two for a lecture, but feel free to add more. Does, say, Bessie Smith have anything suitable?

                                Carl Z.
                              • jason baldinger
                                howdieeeee Yazoo records put out a 2 vol compilation called Hard Times Come Again No More, which overall has 46 different tracks recorded during the Great
                                Message 15 of 18 , Sep 1, 2004
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                                  howdieeeee

                                  Yazoo records put out a 2 vol compilation called Hard Times Come Again No More, which overall has 46 different tracks recorded during the Great Depression by both Hillbilly and Blues singers. Both discs are chalked full of appropriate material, plus there an achingly, beautiful version of Stephen Foster's "Hard Times..." done in 4 part harmony, with Piano.

                                  County records put out a similar set called "Hard Times in the Country". That set includes Uncle Dave Macon's "Wreck Of the Tennesee Gravy Train" which is one of a number of topical songs Macon produced during that time. You might also want to check out his song about one timePresidental Candidate Al Smith on Revenant's Harry Smith Anthology Vol 4.

                                  Last, but not least Bluebird put out a comp called When the Sun Goes Down: Poor Man's Heaven. Which is 24 more depression-era tracks including "Brother Can You Spare A Dime" along with tracks by J.M Gates ("F.D.R is Everyone's Friend"), Woody Guthrie' (Dusty Old Dust) and probably one of the most blue, blues song I may have ever heard, "35 Depression" by Daddy Stovpipe and Mississippi Sarah.

                                  Those four discs alone might net you a semester worth of material, if I can add more I shall.


                                  Preparing for tommorow's 4 hour John Henry Marathon
                                  Jason

                                  Carl A Zimring <cz28@...> wrote:
                                  For a project I'm doing, I need a good song or two about belt-tightening during the 1930s, and I'm drawing a blank. Can anyone help me out?

                                  Carl Z.


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                                • Stevo
                                  ... one of the most famous Depression era songs. ... Brother Can You Spare A Dime is also on that Dave Alvin/Sun Ra lp. Can t remember lp title offhamnd. Stevo
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Sep 2, 2004
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                                    --- In fearnwhiskey@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Gardner" <steve@t...>
                                    wrote:
                                    > Hey Carl,
                                    >
                                    > While searching for those Blind Alfred Reed lyrics I found this
                                    page:
                                    >
                                    > http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/parton/2/depress.html#top
                                    >
                                    > Brother Can You Spare a Dime from 1932 (sung by Bing) is probably
                                    one of the most famous Depression era songs.
                                    >
                                    > steve, who hasn't thought about this music in a while...
                                    >
                                    Brother Can You Spare A Dime is also on that Dave Alvin/Sun Ra lp.
                                    Can't remember lp title offhamnd.
                                    Stevo
                                    Np Tim Buckley Boboquivari from Timbuckley.org Mp3
                                  • Barry Mazor
                                    I only recently discvovered one of my favorite cuts about being down and out in that era, from a seemingly unliely source--the best kind. this is Share
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Sep 2, 2004
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                                      I only recently discvovered one of my favorite cuts about being down and out in
                                      that era, from a seemingly unliely source--the best kind. this is "Share Croppin'
                                      Blues" as sung by Southern pop star Kay starr in about 1950, looking back; it's
                                      on the CD "The Definitive Kay Starr" and is quite something.

                                      I would also look to other places people won't thunk of so fast--like "The
                                      Forgotten man" number form Golddiggers of 1933; it's on CD somwhere, and
                                      pwoerful--though moreso whewn you see the Busby Berkeley approach gone
                                      poliical. (Goebbels was so moved by this he tried to get Berkeley to move to
                                      Germany!)

                                      There's really a LOt in the blues area, unsurprisingly. See: "I Heard the Voice of
                                      a Pork Chop" by Jim Jackson (about an empty stomach) , and "The Northern
                                      Starvers Are Coming home" (laughing at folks who went north from Mississippi
                                      and did worse )by Charlie McCoy....

                                      And, uh, you could probably locate a Wody Guthrie song or two that woud work
                                      <g>

                                      Barry
                                    • Barry Mazor
                                      Another specific one: Depression s Gone From Me Blues--Blind Blake
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Sep 3, 2004
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                                        Another specific one:

                                        Depression's Gone From Me Blues--Blind Blake
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