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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: "I've Got a Mule to Ride" Lyrics

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tombriarhopper - Posted - 10/06/2008:  08:46:23

Does anybody have the words to this song the way Ralph Stanley sings it as he plays clawhammer? My hearing is not the best in the world and it is hard to figure it out. Thanks


Edited by - Banjoman on 10/06/2008 08:50:13

Jammer - Posted - 10/06/2008:  16:58:54

Is this the same song that THE BLUES BROTHERS SANG in the bar when they were pretending to be The Good Oh Boys?? Err... maybe it was when they were at the big show. Anyway, I heard the Blues Brothers sing a song with those lyrics in it.


tombriarhopper - Posted - 10/07/2008:  08:54:07

Nope. Different song.


mike gregory - Posted - 10/07/2008:  10:15:13

And I suppose THIS song is no help, either:

I think I'm gonna be sad,
It's gonna be strange, yeah!

The cowgirl driving me mad
Is home on the range!

I've got a mule to ride!
I've got a mule to rye-high-hide!
I've got a mule to ride!

But she don't CARE!


=):{ )
Mike Gregory, Banjo Maker Infraordinaire
When I say my instruments are as good as anything Gibson or Martin ever made,
I mean MEL Gibson and DEAN Martin!

My banjos can be seen on my own website

tombriarhopper - Posted - 10/07/2008:  11:37:09

Nope, but you appear to be close.


DString - Posted - 10/07/2008:  12:46:30

I can get you started... I have a recording of Austin City Limits at home somewhere that contains this song. It was a guitar player, though, not Ralph, who sang the lead.

I've got a mule to ride (x2)
I ain't got no saddle but I'm rarin' to ride

Verse 1:
Down the road somewhere (x2)
got a yellow-haired woman waitin' for me there (the singer pronounced this as "yaller-haired")

Verse 2:
I don't believe I'll go (x2)
Just to keep down trouble, don't believe I'll go

It's the third verse that I could not understand completely. Right now I can't even remember how it starts. If no one else can fill in the last verse, I'll try to find my tape and give it another listen.


tombriarhopper - Posted - 10/07/2008:  12:54:25

It's the third verse that is the killer for my old ears...something about a duck. Jack Cooke quacks during that verse. Thanks for the other verses; it cleared up a lot!


Richard Dress - Posted - 10/07/2008:  12:55:55

Break: banjo clawhammer - lead solo on verses


I've got a mule to ride
I've got a mule to ride
Ain't got a saddle
But I've got him tied

Down the road somewhere
Down the road somewhere
Got a yaller-haired woman
Waiting for me there

Break: fiddle

Don't believe I'll go
Don't believe I'll go
Just to keep them troubles
Don't believe I'll go

Break: banjo

The duck said to the drake
The duck said to the drake
If you get my body
You'll have to swim this lake


NOTE: This composition is just a new version of “Alabama Bound” – a traditional song with black roots popular in jazz, blues, old-timey, folk, and bluegrass. Texas field recordings document it as early as 1934--1939 (Pete Harris). The Delmore Brothers recorded a version for Victor’s Bluebird label in 1938 under the title “I’m Alabama Bound”. Leadbelly recorded the song for Victor in 1940. Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys released this version for their 1982 Rebel Records album The Memory of Your Smile (Rebel Records reissued it for the 1995 Ralph Stanley album 50th Anniversary and for the 2004 Ralph Stanley album Great High Mountain). Ralph Stanley released the song again as part of a medley for his 1997 Freeland Records album Songs My Mother Taught Me. Among others (under various titles), the Greenbriar Boys released the song for their 1964 Elektra Records album Dian & the Greenbriar Boys, Peter La Farge released it for Columbia Records in 1962 (crediting J. & A. Lomax), the GoldeBriars released it for their 1964 Epic Records album The GoldeBriars, Mance Lipscomb (recorded in 1961) released it for Reprise Records in 1970, Don Reno & Bill Harrell released it for their 1974 King Bluegrass Records album Tally Ho, Odetta released it for Everest Records in 1973, Bill Harrell released it for his 1985 Rebel Records album Do You Remember, the Rocky Mountain Boys released it for their (date unknown) Mountain and Grass label album Mule, Tara Nevins (with Ralph Stanley) released it for her 1999 Sugar Hill Records album Mule To Ride, Uncle Dave Macon released it for his 2004 Bear Family box set Keep My Skillet: The Complete Recordings, and Orchard Grass released it for their 2005 Orchard Grass album The Best of Original Orchard Grass Old Time Band.

mike gregory - Posted - 10/07/2008:  13:05:41

Reminds me of a couple verses in "Crawdad"
as done by a local bunch of rowdy lads.
What the duck say to the drake (x3)
"Cost five bucks to swim MY lake!"

What the drake say to the duck? (x3)
"Gal, you're ugly but you sure do swim good!"

The audience knew that "swim good" doesn't rhyme with "duck", but they'd hoot and clap regardless.

Jammer - Posted - 10/07/2008:  20:54:09

Wow, I never realized that riding mules was such a popular sport!


tombriarhopper - Posted - 10/08/2008:  06:02:28

Thanks so much!


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