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December 2023
Vol. 23, No. 3

Recordially, Lou Curtiss

It’s Time to Start singing Their Songs

by Lou CurtissJanuary 2015

Most of us who sing folk and old time Songs in San Diego and have been around this city for awhile grew up with the music of the late Sam Hinton and Johnny Walker. We saw them in concerts at our schools, in the various Folk Festivals and places they played around our city. All those wonderful songs that we only heard when they sang them. None of us sang them because they were Sam and Johnny’s songs and you didn’t do that to living icons. Now that they are no longer with us it’s time to dig into those song books and start singing their songs. So for my annual list of songs to sing I’m going to give you 50 each that those two gentlemen sang, which I’m sure they’d want passed along.

The Songs of Sam Hinton: 1. The Rivers of Texas 2.  Tell Old Bill  3. I Just Don’t Wanna Be Rich 4.  Brian O’Lynn  5. Hang Me, Oh Hang Me  6. Sowing on the Mountain 7.  Talking Atomic Blues  8. Lost John  9. The Soldier and the Lady  10. Damn Yankee Lad  11. I Want to Die Easy  12. Old Bangum and the Boar  13. Billy Barlow  14.The Bent County Bachelor  15. Who Ever Shall Have Some Good Peanuts  16. The Ballad of Sam Bass  17. Grieve, Oh Grieve, My True Love Grieve  18. Hell In Texas  19. Mule Drivers Song (Whoa Back Buck)  20. Old King Cole  21. Grandmother Brown  22. Hang on the Bell Nellie 23. Johnathan Smith  24. Goodbye My Lover Goodbye  25. The Capture of Major Andre  26. The Crow Song  27. The Land Knows You’re There  28. Harry Herman  29. The Old Man in the Woods  30. Three Jolly Rogues  31. When I Was a Little Boy  32. When You Go a-Courtin’  33. Little Old Woman All Skin and Bones  34. Michael Finnigan  35. There Was an Old Sow  36. Gay Jimmy the Miller  37. Jim the Roper  38. The Barnyard Song  39. Lowlands  40. Doney Gal  41. Springfield Mountain  42. My Jewel, My Joy  43. The Miller’s Will  44. Looky Looky Yonder  45. The Valiant Soldier  46. See the Steamer Go Round the Bend  47. A Horse Named Bill  48. The Ladies of the Court of King Caractimus  49. Mary Had a William Goat  50. The Banks of the Sacramento (and about a thousand more that Sam Sang and collected over the years)

The Songs of Johnny Walker: 1. A-Beggin’ I Will Go  2. A Dalesman’s Litany  3. Cushie Butterfield 4.  The Dewey Dens of Yarrow  5. The Manchester Rambler  6. Fathom the Bowl  7. Four Pence a Day  8. Don’t Chuck Your Muck in My Dust Bin  9. The Vicar of Bray  10. Gloria Victoria  11. Sweeney Todd the Barber  12. Go to the Sea Once More  13. Hanging Johnny  14. The Manchester Rambler  15. John Barleycorn 16. Lassie Wi’ a Yellow Coatie  17. Lord Lovel 18.Mary’s the Fairest of All  19. Never No More  20. Poverty Knock  21. She’s Proud and She’s Beautiful  22. The Blaiden Races  23. The Drummer and the Cookie  24. The Methody Parson  25. The Nightingale  26. The Shoals of Herring  27. Willie Went to Westerdale
28. The Squid Jiggin’ Ground  29. Pleasant and Delightful  30. The Jubilee Sovereign  31. A Brisk Young Tailor  32. Summer Is a Comin’ In  33. The Lyke Wake Dirge
34. The White Hare  35. Row Bullies Row  36. Robin Hood and the Bishop of Herford 37. The Flower of Northumberland  38. With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm  39. The D Day Dodgers  40. Maggie May  41. Ah, But Your Love Was Easily Won  42. Albert and the Lion  43. Angus McFargus McTavish Dundee 44. Away Rio 45. Four Pounds a Day 45. Merrily Cheerily 46. Paddy Doyle  47. Bound for the Rio Grande  48. Derry Down  49. Roll Bullies Roll  50. Give to the Belly Boys Beer Enough (there are many more that Johnny collected and sang, this is only a start).

A lot of the songs Johnny and Sam sang, coming from tradition, may appear with different tunes and lyrics than the ones they sang, but I can’t think of a better place to start than their versions. Lets all try to sing their songs.

LOU and VIRGINIA CURTISS Tuesday Night Sings to end.
We have been doing these get togethers for quite a few years now and many of you came regularly and I thank you for that. I like to sit around and gab about music, sing songs old and new. However, I think there are just too many conflicts and places to go and we are a ways to drive on a work night so we are going to try to get out to some of these other get togethers and maybe have an all day sing and potluck on a weekend sometime at our place. I’ll let you all know. You can check my Facebook page (that’s Louis F Curtiss) for regular updates on old music and what I’m doing about it.

Check my radio show “Jazz Roots” on KSDS 88.3FM or on Sunday nights from 8pm to 10pm or if you have a question about old music and songs you can e mail me at “” or c/o San Diego Troubadour (I’m sure they’ll get it to me). Happy New Year to you all.

Lou Curtiss

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