1. Epitaph of Seikilos (tombstone, 1st century AD, Asia Minor)

  2. Musique de la Grèce Antique Harmonia Mundi HM1015 B:1

    I am an image in stone
    Seikilos put me here, where I am
    forever, the symbol of eternal remembrance

    As long as you live, shine
    afflict yourself with nothing beyond measure
    Your life is of brief duration;
    time claims its tribute

  3. Gravskrift / Epitaph (Sverrir Guðjónsson, Iceland)

  4. Epitaph: Medieval Iceland Opus111:29

    Hér undir jarðar hvílir moldu
    Sæmundur Klemenssonar likami
    Sá var fæddur seytjánhundruð
    og sextíu auknum þremur
    gefinn til ekta guðelskandi
    Ingebjörgu Sæmundur ástkærri dóttur

    Hann var numinn til himnaskara
    hvar hann tilbiður sinn lausnara
    þar enginn grátur mæðir meir
    Krists undir merkjum kröftugt barðist
    kórónu hreppti þvi hann varðist
    Sæmundur Klemensson ei deyr

    Here rest his bones in the earth
    the body of Sæmundur Klemensson
    He was born in seventeen hundred
    Adding sixty three more years
    Married to the Godfearing Ingebjorg
    the loving daughter of her father Sæmundur

    He was summoned to the heavens above
    where he worships his Redeemer
    and weeps no more
    He fought hard under Christ's banner
    rewarded with a crown for his staunch defense
    Sæmundur Klemensson never dies

    (When someone of importance died it was an old custom to write an epitaph which was printed or calligraphed, and hung up on the living room wall. This epitaph for Sæmundur Klemensson is the only known example of an epitaph with a melody to it)

  5. Miralogia from Epirus

  6. Greece in Music and Song Argo DA29 B:5

    Where are you going, my silver one
    Where are you going, my fresh sprig of basil
    To lose your bloom?
    You are not meant to descend into the black earth
    You will repent my boy, a thousand times an hour
    for the decision you made to die
    There where you have gone
    they call it the land of no return
    Where two together do not sit
    and three do not talk
    and no marriages are made
    and no festivities held
    and there are no fields where you can play with your horse

    ("Three widows in black, crouching at dusk by kerosene lamplight, intoned this dirge in praise of a young man. Laments like this are heard only in Epirus, Mani, and parts of Crete. Village superstition decrees that if keening occurs and there is no death, ill-luck will befall the inhabitants. The recording was made secretly with the help of the mayor [who was not superstitious; on his advice we left the village immediately afterwards.]")

  7. Gazeli Neva Sabah (The Hour of Death) --Rita Abadzi

  8. Greek-Oriental Rebetica Arhoolie 7005:13

    Let each one stop and think
    of how the hour of death draws near
    Into the deep black earth he'll sink
    his name will disappear

    (see Gail Holst-Warhaft's  Amanes : the Legacy of the Oriental Mother for more on the genre)

  9. Oh Death (Doc Boggs)

  10. The Legendary Dock Boggs Verve Folkways FV9025 B:1

    What is this that I can't see
    With icy hands taking hold on me?
    I am death and none can excel
    I'll open the door to heaven or hell.

    Oh death, Oh death
    Can't you spare me over til another year.
    Oh death, Oh death
    Please spare me over til another year.

    Oh death, someone would pray,
    Could you call another day?
    My children pray, the preachers preach
    Time of mercy is out of your reach.

    I'll fix your feet so you can't walk
    I'll lock your jaw so you can't talk
    I'll close your eyes so you can't see
    This very year come and go with me.

    Death I come to take the soul
    Leave the body and leave it cold
    To drop the flesh off of the frame
    The earth and worms both have a claim.

    Mother, come to my bed
    Place cold towel upon my head
    My head is warm, my feet is cold
    Death is a moving upon my soul.

    Oh death how you're treating me
    Close my eyes so I can't see
    You hurt my body, you make me cold
    You ruin my life out of my soul.

    Oh death, consider my age
    Please don't take me at this stage
    My wealth is all at your command
    If you will move your icy hand.

    Old, the young, the rich or poor
    Are all alike with me, you know.
    No wealth, no land, no silver, no gold,
    Nothing satisfy me but your soul.

      You think them blues ain't here on this banjo neck, the same as they're on that guitar? They're just as much on this banjo neck as they are on that guitar or piano, or anywhere else if you know where to go and get it, and if you learn it and know how to play it. (from Christopher Milne's Biography )

    (for more on Dock Boggs see  His Folkways Years 1963-1968 and  Only Remembered For What He Has Done and  Memories & Appreciations)

  11. Oh Death (Bessie Jones)

  12. Bessie Jones: So Glad I'm Here Rounder 2015 B:4

    Chorus: Oh Death, now oh Death in the morning
    Oh Death, Death spare me over for another year

    He cried Oh Death (hear him singing)
    O Death in the morning
    O Death (please now) spare me over another year

    Yeah, Death walked up to the sinner door
    Said Oh now sinner you got to go
    The sinner looked around an began to cry
    Said Oh no Death I'm not ready to die

    Oh Death walked up to the sinner's gate
    Said I believe you have waited now a little too late
    Your fever now is one hundred and two
    You have narrow chance that you'll ever pull through

    He said I got feets and I can't walk
    I got a tongue mother and I can't talk
    I got eyes and I can't see
    Nothin' but Death has got the shackles on me

    Said now gonna fix your feet where you can't walk
    Fix your tongue so you cannot talk
    Close your eyes an' you cannot see
    You got to come now an' go with me

    Well Death, consider my age
    And do not take me in this stage
    All my wealth is at your command
    If you just remove your cold icy hand

    Oh what is this I see?
    Cold icy hands all over me
    Say I am Death no one can excell
    I open the doors of Death and Hell

  13. Death come a-creepin' in my room (Fred McDowell)

  14. Roots of the Blues New World 252 B:3

    It was soon one mornin' Death come a-creepin in my (room)
    Soon one (morning), Death come a-creepin' in my room, Godalmighty knows
    (Soon one morning) Death come a-creepin' in my (room)
    Oh my Lord, oh my Lord, what shall I do to be (saved)

    Well hush children (hush) heard my (Lord call my name)
    Hush (children hush), heard my Lord call Godalmighty knows
    (Hush children, hush), heard my Lord call (my name)
    Oh my Lord, oh my Lord (what) shall I do to be (saved)?

    I'm gonna stand right here, I'm gonna wait till Je(sus come)
    I'm gonna stand right (here), gonna wait until Jesus come, Godalmighty
    (I'm gonna stand right here), gonna wait till Jesus (come)
    Oh my (Lord), oh my Lord (what) shall I do to be (saved)?

    Well soon one morning, Death come a creepin' in my (room)
    Soon one morning Death come a-creepin' in my room, Godalmighty
    (Soon one morning Death come a-creepin' in my room
    Oh my Lord, O my Lord, what shall I do to be saved?)

  15. Twa Corbies (Bert Jansch)

  16. Bert Jansch: Moonshine Reprise MS2129 B:4

    As I was walking all alang
    I spied twa corbies makin' a mane
    And the tain untae the tither did say oh
    Whaur sall we gang and and dine the day oh
    Whaur sall we gang and and dine the day

    It's in ahint yon auld fell dyke
    Aye what there lies but a new slain knight
    And naebody kens he lies there oh
    But his hawk and his hound and his lady fair oh
    Hawk and his hound and his lady fair

    His hound is tae the hunting gane
    His hawk tae fetch the wild fowl hame
    His lady's ta'en anither mate
    We mon mak oor dinner swate oh
    We mon mak oor dinner swate

    Now if you'll sit on his white horse bane
    And I'll peck oot his bonny blue een
    And we'll hae a lock o his gaulden hair
    We'll theek oor nest when it grows bare oh
    We'll theek oor nest when it grows bare

    There's mony a'ne fur him mak's maurn
    But na'ne sall ken whaur he is gane
    O'or his white banes when they are bare oh
    The wind sall blaw forever mair oh
    The wind sall blaw forever mair

  17. Ghost song / Moðer min í kví kví (Sverrir Guðjonsson)

  18. Epitaph: Medieval Iceland Opus111:27

    (A girl had an unwanted child. She wrapped it in her shawl and laid it out to die. Later she wanted to go for a dance but had no dress. In the song we hear the voice of the child offering its dear mother her shawl to wear)

    Moder min í kví kví
    kviddu ekki, i því, því
    Eg skal lja þer duluna mína
    duluna mína að dansa í

    My mother at the fold, fold
    don't you worry now, now
    For I will lend you my shawl to war
    my old shawl to dance in

  19. Miles Weatherhill

  20. Nic Jones: The Noah's Ark Trap Shanachie 79003 B:1

    Vicarage murder: In 1867, Miles Weatherhill fell in love with Sarah Bell who was working for the vicar of Christ Church, Todmorden. The vicar refused permission for Miles to call on Sarah. Sarah returned to her family in York, and Miles followed her to persuade her to return to Todmorden. She refused, and in a rage, Miles returned to Todmorden, broke into the vicarage and killed the vicar, the vicar's baby daughter, and a servant. He was tried and [was the last person to be publicly] hanged at Manchester jail in 1868 (http://www.halifax-today.co.uk/specialfeatures/triviatrail/v.html)

    Miles Weatherhill was a brisk young weaver
    And at Todmorden he did dwell
    He fell in love with a handsome maiden
    The parson's servant Sarah Bell

    It was at Todmorden where these true lovers
    At the parson's house their love did tell
    And none in the world'll be more constant
    Than Miles Weatherhill and Sarah Bell

    But they were parted broken hearted
    Separated were those lovers far
    Those constant lovers adored each other
    And love will penetrate through iron bars
    They would have married tales were carried
    Caused displeasure as you shall hear
    Miles was refused to meet his lover
    And she left Todmorden Lancashire

    She left her true love broken hearted
    And to her mother at York did go
    And o'er the distance they were parted
    Caused sorrow and grief and pain and woe
    All through his sadness Miles in madness
    He made a deep and a solemn vow
    Separated from his own true lover
    He'd be revenged on Parson Plow

    Four loaded pistols, a fit of frenzy
    Miles to the vicarage went forthwith
    And with a weapon wounded the master
    And he shot the maiden named Jane Smith
    To the lady's chamber, rage and anger
    Bent on destruction intent to kill
    He took a poker and he beat her
    'Til crimson blood on the floor did spill

    If Miles and Sarah had not been parted
    Those in the grave would be living now
    And Miles would not have died on the gallows
    For slaying the servant and Parson Plow
    At the early age of three and twenty
    In the shades below where the worms do dwell
    Come all you people and consider
    Miles Weatherhill and Sarah Bell

  21. Omie Wise (GB Grayson [1927])

  22. Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music Smithsonian Folkways FP251:1:13

    Ralph Rinzler's liner notes for Doc Watson's version: "This ballad has been referred to as North Carolina's principal contribution to American folk song on the basis of its wide currency...[based on] the actual murder of Naomi Wise by Jonathan Lewis, Deep River NC, 1808..."

    I'll tell you all a story about Omie Wise
    How she was deluded by John Lewis's lies

    He told her to meet him at Adams's spring
    He'd bring her some money and some other fine things

    He brought her no money nor no other fine things
    But get up behind me, Omie, to Squire Ellet's we'll go

    She got up behind him, so caref'ly we'll go
    They rode 'til they came where deep waters did flow

    John Lewis he concluded to tell her his mind
    John Lewis he concluded to leave her behind

    She threw her arms around him John spare me my life
    And I'll go distracted and never be your wife

    He threw her arms from 'round him and into the water she plunged
    John Lewis he turned 'round and went back to Adams's hall

    He went inquiring for Omie but Omie she is not here
    She's gone to some neighbor's house and won't be gone very long

    John Lewis was took a pris'ner and locked up in the jail
    Was locked up in the jail around, was there to remain a while

    John Lewis he stayed there for six months or maybe more
    Until he broke jail, into the army he did go

    from Lomax Folk Songs of North America (1960):
    Jonathan Lewis was born in the late 18th century near Centre meeting house on Polecat Creek in Guilford County, North Carolina, and belonged to a proud and pugnacious tribe. He courted lovely Naomi Wise, an orphan who worked as a servant and field hand for Mr. Adams. Lewis compromised Naomi, then engaged to marry her; but when his ambitious mother found a better match for him, he resolved to do away with poor Naomi. She agreed to elope with him, and at the appointed hour took her water-pail to the trysting place at Adams's Spring. This spring is said to be still flowing, but no one will drink the water and the ground around is hallowed. Old settlers once could point to the stump upon which Naomi stood to mount behind John Lewis that fatal evening.

    The story runs that Naomi began to complain when she realized they were riding in the wrong direction, and then John Lewis told her his real intentions. He tied her dress above her head, rode into the middle of Deep River, and held Naomi under the water with his foot. When he heard someone coming, he spurred his horse for home. His mother asked him (just as in the English The Ballad of the Bloody Miller from which this ballad derives) why he was so wet and pale.

    Next day, in order to throw off suspicion, he went courting a girl named Martha Huzza, and the officers found him on the front porch with Martha on his lap. Confronted with Naomi's corpse, Lewis calmly stroked the dead girl's hair and denied the crime. The following day, a vast company attended Naomi's funeral, and the mood of Guilford County was to lynch John Lewis. Eleven soldiers were sworn in by the local judge to guard the jail, but, although they protected Lewis from the mob, they did not prevent his escape. With the aid of friends, he broke out of the 'shackley jail' and disappeared in the West.

    These were the happenings of the year 1808. Time rolled on and Lewis would have been forgotten if it had not been for the ballad of Omie Wise, which was sung in every home. News came that Lewis was living on the Ohio River, and a party of Guilford men rode off to capture him and brought him bac for trial; but, as most of the witnesses to the crime were dead or gone west, he was acquitted. The folk of the North Carolina hills say that he confessed the crime on his death-bed. Meanwhile, the ballad spread to the West, and it is known to folk singers in every state between North Carolina and Texas.

  23. Polly's Love (Norma Waterson)

  24. Waterson Carthy: Common Tongue Topic TSCD488:12

    Fair maids are a-shining over valley and town.
    There once was a young girl her name it was Miss Brown.
    A young man came a-courting, her dear for to be,
    And he was by trade a ship's carpenter was he.

    Well, the king he needed sailors for to go off to sea.
    This made the young maiden to cry and to say,
    'William, O William, do not leave me here,
    Remember the vows you have made to your dear'.

    But it was early the next morning before it was day
    He's gone to his Polly, these words he did say,
    'Polly, O Polly, you must come along with me,
    Before we get married, my friends for to see'.

    Then he's led her through the groves and through the valley so deep.
    This caused poor Polly to cry and to weep,
    'William, O William, you've led me astray
    On purpose to take my own sweet life away'.

    'No pardon will I give you and there's no time to stand'.
    And there in a moment drew a knife with his hand
    He stabbed her poor body till red blood did flow
    And into a grave her poor body did throw.

    Then he's covered her body so safe and secure.
    He thought none would find her, of that he was sure.
    Then he went on board ship to sail the world around
    Before that his murder would ever be found.

    It was early one morning before it was day
    The captain came to him, these words he did say,
    'There's a murderer on board and it's lately been done.
    Our ship she's in mourning and cannot sail on'.

    And up stepped one sailor, 'Indeed, sir, not I',
    And up stepped one other, 'Indeed, sir, not I',
    And up stepped young William to storm, curse, and swear,
    'Indeed, sir, not I, sir, I vow and declare'.

    And as he was a-turning from the captain with speed
    He's met pretty Polly it's made his heart bleed.
    She's ripped him, she's stripped him, she's tore him in three,
    Crying, 'That's for the murder of my baby and me'.

  25. Polly Vaughan (Anne Briggs)

  26. Anne Briggs: A Collection Topic TSCD504:7

    Come all you young fellows that handle a gun
    Beware how you shoot when the night's coming on
    For young Jimmy met his true love, he mistook her for a swan
    And he shot her and killed her by the setting of the sun

    As Polly was walking all in a shower of rain
    She sheltered in a green bush, her beauty to save
    With her apron throwed over her he mistook her for a swan
    And he shot her and killed her by the setting of the sun

    Then home ran young Jimmy with his dog and his gun
    Crying Uncle dear Uncle have you heard what I done?
    I met my own true love, I mistook her for a swan
    And I shot her and killed her by the setting of the sun

    Then out rushed his uncle with his locks hanging grey
    Crying Jimmy oh dear Jimmy don't you run away
    Don't leave your own country 'til the trial do come on
    For they never will hang you for the shooting of a swan

    All the girls of this country, they're all glad we know
    To see young Polly Vaughan brought down so low
    You could take them cruel girls and set them in a row
    And her beauty would outshine 'em like a fountain of snow

    Well the trial wore on, and Polly's ghost did appear
    Crying Uncle dear Uncle let Jimmy go clear
    For my apron was thrown 'round me, he mistook me for a swan
    And he never would have shot his own Polly Vaughan

      ...another old story and seems to be based upon an old Celtic folk tale, An Cailin (The Fair Girl). The story simply is that of a jealous girl who thinks that her lover is going to meet someone else when he goes out shooting. She disguises herself as a swan to follow him. The theme, of course, finds it way into the ballet, Swan Lake. (http://www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/steeleye.span/records/voices.html), and see lyrics to a Peter, Paul & Mary version
  27. Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (Bob Dylan)

  28. Bob Dylan: The Times They Are A-changin' Columbia CS8905 B:4

    William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
    With a cane that he twirled 'round his diamond ring finger
    At a Baltimore hotel society gath'rin'.
    And the cops was called in and his weapon took from him
    As they rode him in custody down to the station
    And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder.
    But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
    Take the rag away from your face.
    Now ain't the time for your tears.

    William Zanzinger, who had twenty-four years
    Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
    With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
    And high office relations in the politics of Maryland,
    Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
    And swear words and sneering, and his tongue it was a-snarlin',
    In a matter of minutes on bail was out walking.
    But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize fears,
    Take the rag away from your face.
    Now ain't the time for your tears.

    Hattie Carroll was a maid in the kitchen.
    She was fifty-one years old and give birth to ten children
    Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
    And never sat once at the head of the table
    And didn't even talk to the people at the table
    Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
    And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level,
    Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
    That sailed through the air and came down through the room,
    Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle.
    And she never done nothin' to William Zanzinger.
    And you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
    Take the rag away from your face.
    Now ain't the time for your tears.

    In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
    To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the level
    And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and persuaded
    And that even the nobles get properly handled
    Once that the cops have chased after and caught 'em
    And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom,
    Stared at the person who killed for no reason
    Who just happened to be feelin' that way without warnin'.
    And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished,
    And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance,
    William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence.
    Ah, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears,
    Bury the rag deep in your face
    For now's the time for your tears.

    (for more details and background to the story and the writing of the song, see  Christopher Ricks and the  True Story of William Zanzinger)

  29. Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday -text by Abel Meeropol)

  30. The Billie Holdiay Songbook Verve 823 246-1 B:3

    Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
    Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
    Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

    Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
    The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
    Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
    Then the sudden smell of burning flesh!

    Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
    For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
    For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop,
    Here is a strange and bitter crop.

    (see a  summary of the origins of the text, and a  review of the recent Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, and a Cry for Civil Rights which gives further details)

  31. Jack the Lad (Frankie Armstrong)

  32. Frankie Armstrong: Songs and Ballads Topic 12TS273 B:1

    Where's Jack the Lad, ?soft and ...??
    His old lady just found him dead
    Cold as the pavement and smelling sour
    So much methadone, so much methadone, so much methadone inside his head

    There's loads of methadone in his cough med'cine, see
    The empty bottle lies on the floor
    It wasn't for a cough 'cause he was fightin'-fit
    He'd never had no drugs, never had no drugs, he'd never had no drugs at all before

    Now Jack the Lad was a bit of a tearaway
    He'd done the ?Borstal? for thievin' money
    But he died safe at home next door to his Old Dear
    She loved him all along, loved him all along, she loved him all along, now ain't that funny

    Jack and his mates went Up West one Saturday
    With bent prescriptions they bought the stuff
    If you can drink it all, the lot, the bottleful
    You'll blow your mind alright, blow your mind alright, you'll blow your mind alright, that's sure enough

    So Jack the Lad he bought the med'cine, see, like John Lennon, like, they knew the scene
    Just for some laughs, like, and he could do with some
    What a load of laughs and that, load of laughs and that, what a load of laughs and that his life had been

    He took the mixture home and lay down on the bed
    He shook the bottle and swigged it all
    He twitched and shivered and went out like a light
    His mind went deaf and blind, mind went deaf and blind, his mind went deaf and blind behind the wall

    He lay unconscious, dead to the world, like,
    Up come his dinner and all his tea
    Lay in his gullet and slowly choked him
    He never moved a muscle, never moved a muscle, he never moved a muscle to spew it free

    It wasn't methadone killed Jack the Lad you know
    Just the obstruction that made him choke
    It's not a hard drug like proper heroin
    It was just accident, was just accident, it was just accident he died, poor bloke

  33. Me and the Devil (Robert Johnson)

  34. Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues Singers Columbia WCK-1654:15

    Early this mornin'
    when you knocked upon my door
    Early this mornin', ooh
    when you knocked upon my door
    And I said, "Hello, Satan,"
    I believe it's time to go."

    Me and the Devil
    was walkin' side by side
    Me and the Devil, ooh
    was walkin' side by side
    And I'm goin' to beat my woman
    until I get satisfied

    She say she don't see why
    that I will dog her 'round
    spoken: Now, babe, you know you ain't doin' me
    right, don'cha
    She say she don't see why, ooh
    that I would dog her 'round
    It must-a be that old evil spirit
    so deep down in the ground

    You may bury my body
    down by the highway side
    [spoken:] Baby, I don't care where you bury my
    body when I'm dead and gone
    You may bury my body, ooh
    down by the highway side
    So my old evil spirit
    can catch a Greyhound bus and ride

    (see  Robert Johnson and the Crossroads Curse and Adam Compagna's  The Devil in Robert Johnson for a wider perspective)

  35. Gloomy Sunday (Billie Holiday -original Hungarian text by Javor Laszlo)

  36. Billie Holiday: The Original Recordings Columbia 32060 B:3

    Sunday is gloomy
    My hours are slumberless
    Dearest the shadows
    I live with are numberless
    Little white flowers
    Will never awaken you
    Not where the black coach
    Of sorrow has taken you
    Angels have no thought
    Of ever returning you
    Would they be angry
    If I thought of joining you?
    Gloomy Sunday

    Gloomy is Sunday
    With shadows I spend it all
    My heart and I
    Have decided to end it all
    Soon there'll be candles
    And prayers that are said I know
    Let them not weep
    Let them know that I'm glad to go
    Death is no dream
    For in death I'm caressing you
    With the last breath of my soul
    I'll be blessing you
    Gloomy Sunday

    Dreaming, I was only dreaming
    I wake and I find you asleep
    In the deep of my heart. dear
    Darling I hope
    That my dream never haunted you
    My heart is telling you
    How much I wanted you
    Gloomy Sunday

  37. Lay down body (McIntosh County Shouters)

  38. McIntosh County Shouters: Slave Shout Songs from the Coast of Georgia Folkways FE4344 A:8

    Lay down body
    Lay down a little while
    Lay down body
    Lay down a little while
    I know you're tired / Lay down body
    You is tired / your soul need restin'
    Don't you worry / my God call you
    When he call / Tombstone movin'
    Grave is a-bustin' / Soul is a-risin'
    Oh! body / This ol' body
    I know you tired / And your soul need restin'
    You been toilin' / for a long time
    And yo' soul need restin' / You don't worry
    My God call you / And when He call
    He will wake you / Tombstone movin'
    Grave is a-bustin' / Soul is a-risin'
    Oh body / Lay down body
    Lay down body/ I know you tired
    Soul need restin'
    Oh body / This ol' body
    Lay down body / Lay down body
    Soul and body / Need some restin'
    Oh body
    You don't worry / My God'll call you
    and He call / He will wake you
    Tombstone movin' / Grave is a-bustin'
    Soul be risin' / Oh body
    This old body / Need some restin'
    Need some restin'
    You been toilin' / For a long time
    I know you tired / I know you tired
    Oh body / This old body
    Soul need restin'
    This old body / Oh body
    This old body
    My God call you / Grave is a-bustin'
    Tombstone movin'
    Oh body / Oh body
    Lay down body / Lay down body
    Oh body / Soul and body
    I know you tired / You been toilin'
    For a long time / I know you tired
    Lay down body / Lay down body
    Oh body
    My God'll wake you / And tombstone movin'
    Grave is a-bustin' / Soul is a-risin'
    Oh body
    Soul and body / I know you tired
    Soul needs restin' / Oh body

    (more about  ring shout : "...the oldest surviving African American performance in this country... the "shout" is the movement, not the singing...")

  39. Ain't no grave can hold my body down (Rev. Bozie Sturdivant [1942])

  40. Black Religious Singers (1927-1942) HK Records 4008 B:9

    Ain't no grave can hold my body down.
    Ain't no grave can hold my body down, my body down.
    When the first trumpet sound,
    I'll be gettin' up, walkin' round.
    Ain't no grave can hold my body down.
    Ain't no grave can hold my body down.
    Ain't no grave can hold my body down, my body down.
    Now when that first trumpet sound,
    I'll be gettin' up, walkin' round.
    Ain't no grave can hold my body down.
    When I heard of a beautiful city,
    And the street was lined with gold.
    Then I had not been to Heaven.
    Oh, Lord, but I've been told.
    Then I found this throne of grace.
    I'm gonna 'point my soul a place.
    Ain't no grave can hold my body down.
    Ain't no grave can hold my body down.
    Ain't no grave can hold my body down.
    When that first trumpet sound,
    I'll be gettin' up, walkin' round.
    Ain't no grave can hold my body down.

  41. Death Calypso (Bob Brozman)

  42. Bob Brozman: Devil's Slide Rounder 11557:12

    Depart from life to eternity, the thought makes us all most melancholy
    Depart from life to eternity, the thought makes us all most melancholy
    Though we may be suffering excruciatingly, still among the living we would rather be
    Well no sir let me say with no grief or regret
    You cannot escape the arrows of Death

    It matters not how cruel to us the world may be
    How we may be ostracized from society
    Groveling in the gutter in abject poverty
    Fighting but failing miserably
    Still we desperately cling with vise-like tenacity
    To prolong our life interminably
    Well no sir let me say with no grief or regret
    We cannot escape the arrows of Death

    You can be a king as Nebuchadnezzar, you can be as old as Methusela
    Just as Abraham our forefather, wise old Solomon who walk with Queen of Sheba
    However stoical may be your philosophy
    Still we're living on the brink of eternity
    Well no sir let me say in case you forget
    We cannot escape the arrows of Death

  43. Oor Hamlet (aka The Three-Minute Hamlet)

  44. Carthy Contemporaries Free Reed 63:23

    Words by : Adam McNaughton
    Tune of : The Mason's Apron

    There was a king nodding in his garden all alone,
    When his brother in his ear poured a little bit of henbane,
    Stole his brother's crown and his money and his widow,
    But the dead king walked and got his son and said, "Hey listen kiddo,
    I've been killed and it's your duty to take revenge on Claudius,
    You kill him quick and clean and tell the nation what a fraud he is."
    The kid says, "Right I'll do it, but I'll have to play it crafty,
    So that no one will suspect me I'll kid on that I'm a dafty."

    So for all except Horatio, and he counts him as a friend,
    Hamlet, that's the kid, he kids on he's 'round the bend,
    And because he isn't ready for obligatory killing,
    He tries to make the king think he's tuppence off a shilling.
    Takes a rise out of Polonius, treats poor Ophelia vile,
    Tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that Denmark's a bleedin' jail,
    Then a troupe of traveling actors like Seven Eighty-four,
    Arrive to do a special one-night gig in Elsinore.

    Hamlet, Hamlet, acting balmy,
    Hamlet, Hamlet, loves his mommy,
    Hamlet, Hamlet, hesitating,
    Wonders if the ghost's a fake,
    And that is why he's waiting.

    So Hamlet wrote a scene for the players to enact,
    So Horatio and him could watch to see if Claudius cracked,
    The play was called "The Mousetrap" (not the one that's running now),
    And sure enough the king walks out before the final bow.
    So Hamlet's got the proof that Claudius gave his dad the dose,
    The only problem being now that Claudius knows he knows,
    So while Hamlet tells his mother her new husband's not a fit one,
    Uncle Claude takes out a contract with the English king as hit man.

    So when Hamlet killed Polonius, the concealed corpus delecti,
    Was the king's excuse to send him for an English hempen necktie,
    With Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to make quite sure he got there,
    But Hamlet jumped the boat and put the finger straight on that pair.
    When Laertes heard his dad had been stabbed through the arras,
    He came running back to Elsinore tout-suite hot-foot from Paris.
    When Ophelia with her dad killed by the man she was to marry,
    After saying it with flowers, she committed hari-kari.

    Hamlet, Hamlet, no messin'
    Hamlet, Hamlet, learned his lesson
    Hamlet, Hamlet, Yorick's crust
    Convinced him that men good or bad,
    At last must come to dust.

    Then Laertes lost his place and was demanding retribution,
    The king said keep your head and I'll provide you a solution.
    So the king arranged a swordfight for the interested parties,
    With a blunted sword for Hamlet and a sharp sword for Laertes.
    To make double sure (the old belt-and-braces line),
    He fixed up a poisoned sword-tip and a poisoned cup of wine.
    Well, the poisoned sword got Hamlet, but Laertes went and muffed it,
    'Cause he stabbed himself and he confessed before he snuffed it.

    Then Hamlet's mommy drank the wine and as her face turned blue,
    Hamlet said, "I believe the king's a baddie through and through."
    "Incestuous, murderous, damned Dane," he said, to be precise,
    Then made up for hesitating once, by killing Claudius twice.
    He stabbed him with the knife and forced the wine between his lips
    He sas, "The rest is silence," that was Hamlet, had his chips.
    They fired a volley over him that shook the topmost rafter,
    And Fortinbras, knee deep in Danes, lived happily ever after.

    Hamlet, Hamlet, all that gory
    Hamlet, Hamlet, end of story
    Hamlet, Hamlet, I'm on my way
    And if you think that was boring,
    You should read the bloody play.

    (see more about this one at  asylum.apocalypse.org and about the  background to Amleth/Hamlet )