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levin4now
Apr-12-2004, 10:20pm
I'm listening to NGR's version of "he was a friend of mine" from a live recording of them circa 1972. #I think it's great. #i can't make out all the words.

I am not familiar with this song at all. #Apparently Dylan, the Byrds, and others have performed version as I discovered whilst googling. #They seem sort of similar, but one (Dylans') seemed to be about JFK.

ANYWAY, whatever version this is. #Maybe it's an original tune. #Does anyone know the lyrics? #(Key, and chords, and fully tabbed mando break will be gladly accepted as well!)

It starts off like this:

He was...he was a friend of mine.
He was a friend of mine.
He died without a penny
He didn't have a dime
He was a friend of mine.

He died....he died on the http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif? (hit em and run)[?]
He died on the http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif??(hit em and run)[?]
His xxxxxxx days were over, xxx he didn't xxxxxxxx.
He died on the "hit em an run".

Obviously I need some help.

Alan

cbogle
Apr-13-2004, 12:25am
Although it's been 30+ years since I've sung it, I'll give it a try. This is how I remember that verse:

He died.......on the Gila Bend run
He died.......on the Gila Bend run
His wanderin' days were over, his loneliness was done
When he died......on the Gila Bend run

Although generally thought to be a very old folk song, the more modern version(s) can be attributed to Hoyt Axton.

Hope this is of some help

Scotti Adams
Apr-13-2004, 6:49am
the Country Gentlemen were probably the first to cut this with John Duffy on mandolin....probably back in the early 60's...

levin4now
Apr-13-2004, 10:10am
cbogle, thanks - I'd never have figured that out!

(I know a Clyde Bogle out here in NC, but I see you are in CA.)

Thanks also Scotti.

cbogle
Apr-13-2004, 11:31am
Alan--

Glad to help, and Clyde Bogle is no relation. In fact "Charles Bogle" is just a nickname I've had for years; my real name is Steve.

ericwall
Apr-13-2004, 12:29pm
Sorry folks but I seem to remember this tune from an old Dave Van Ronk album I have from the 60's. I thought I was an old blues tune. I don't have the lyrics at hand but they are a bit different. Like many tunes, this one apparently has been truned around alot.
Best,
Eric http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

KimRoulias
Feb-24-2009, 9:51pm
Yes, thanks! I'm just learning that song, listening to the Rebel Recordings, and I was having a heck of a time with the "Gila Bend Run" part!!

~Kim from Texas

barney 59
Feb-24-2009, 10:34pm
Dave Van Ronk is the first place I heard it. It is an old blues standard.

He was a friend of mine
He was a friend of mine
Never had no money paid for his wine
He was a friend of mine

He never done no wrong
He never done no wrong
He was just a poorboy
Along way from home
He was a friend of mine

He died along the road
he died along the road
he was just a poor boy but he carried a heavy load
he was a friend of mine

I hung my head and cried
I hung my head and cried
When I hear his name ya know I just can't keep from crying
He was a friend of mine

That's how I remember it. I used to do this song and thinking about it the was no reason to stop it's really a great song. There might be another verse I can probably find it someplace.

woodwizard
Feb-24-2009, 10:54pm
Sorry folks but I seem to remember this tune from an old Dave Van Ronk album I have from the 60's. I thought I was an old blues tune. I don't have the lyrics at hand but they are a bit different. Like many tunes, this one apparently has been truned around alot.
Best,
Eric http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

I've got a really old Dave Van Ronk album with it too. I use too play the heck out of that thing.

MikeEdgerton
Feb-24-2009, 11:16pm
The Byrd's version wasn't the original lyrics. They were modernized.

He was a friend of mine
He was a friend of mine
His killing has no purpose, no reason or rhyme
He was a friend of mine

He was in Dallas town
He was in Dallas town
From a sixth floor window a gunner shot him down
He died in Dallas town

He never knew my name
He never knew my name
Though I never met him, I knew him just the same
Oh he was a friend of mine

The leader of a nation for such a precious time
Oh he was a friend of mine

mandozilla
Feb-25-2009, 3:46am
One of the bands I was in years ago did this number. Where we got it I don't remember...Country Gents?... and as best as I can recall, it went something like this; :grin:

He was a friend of mine, he was a friend of mine
He died without a penny, he didn't have a dime
He was a friend of mine

He died on the Gila Bend Run, died on the Gila Bend Run
His lonely race is over, his lonely days are done
He died on the Gila Bend Run

He died 'neath the midnight sun, died 'neath the midnight sun
His wandering days are over, his rambling days are done
He died 'neath the midnight sun

I stole away and cried, I stole away and cried
The tears fell like rain drops, the night my old friend died
I stole away and cried

There's enough lyrics to this number on this thread you could make this one last 15 minutes I bet. :))

:mandosmiley:

bassthumper
Feb-25-2009, 5:00am
i have both the van ronk and the bobdylan versions of this song...as well as possibly a half dozen others if i ventured to dig deep enough into my mountain of compact discs in the corner....to the best of my knowledge no two artists used the same lyrics....but that's what folk music is about....i may even write a few of my own lyrics over mornin' coffee....i don't recall hearing this song done on mando...but look forward to havin' some of ya'll do so and post some links a little further down this thread...possibly someone will do so as tribute to butch...a true freind to all of us mando addicted cafe members

mandozilla
Feb-25-2009, 7:01am
It's all tremolo man, all tremolo...well almost all. :grin:

:mandosmiley:

Tom Mullen
Mar-01-2009, 9:56pm
I know this song from and old "Dian and the Greenbriar Boys" album in the early 60's. I was in a band (Coal Country) with Mandozilla's brother (Tom Evans) and we did this song on a regular basis.

mandozilla
Mar-02-2009, 2:45pm
That's where we got it!...Coal Country...good band BTW. :grin:

How you doin' Tom? :)

:mandosmiley:

ira
Mar-04-2009, 8:13am
a neo folk group in the 80s- the washington squares (who also did their own tunes as well as other blues/folk covers-including a great "samson and delilah") also covered this tune.

ira
Mar-04-2009, 8:19am
to give a listen to this trio do it- kind of an amped up version:
http://amiestreet.com/music/the-washington-squares/

northfolk
Mar-04-2009, 8:27am
Alan--

Glad to help, and Clyde Bogle is no relation. In fact "Charles Bogle" is just a nickname I've had for years; my real name is Steve.

That is interesting. Charles Bogle was the pen name W. C. Fields used as the writer/director of many of his films? ~o):mandosmiley:

Bogle
Mar-06-2009, 10:57pm
Indeed it was a W.C. Fields pseudonym, northfolk. I've always been a fan of the Fields wit.....so much that my friends started calling me by that name. I occasionally used it as a stage name through the years as well, mainly to confuse folks.

Another favorite is "Snead Hearn"....however, Ed Neff beat me to it!