Home
Tour Dates
Latest News
Recordings
Song Index
Lyrics
MP3 Page
Sheet Music
Photos
Biography
Booking
Press Kit Online
Workshops
FAQ
Links
Folk Alliance
Join Email List
Joel Speaks
Contact
or send    
email
to Joel

Lyrics by Joel Mabus

Golden Willow Tree

(Fossil 1504)

All songs © 2004 Joel Mabus
all rights reserved -- do not post this material to another website!

Scroll down or click on title to read the lyrics.

To learn more about this CD, click here
To order this or any album, click here

 

Papa Caught A Catfish
Sally Goodin In The Alley With Sugar In The Gourd  
Spoon River And You  
Ruben
The Golden Willow Tree 
The Bird's Alphabet
Noe's Dove
Ride Away Easy 
Study War No More

 

Papa Caught A Catfish
words and music ©2004 Joel Mabus

Papa caught a catfish, nailed him to a tree
Crucified him baby, he died for you and me

Everybody comes around at suppertime
Feed me daddy, feed me one more time

[additional verses]

Snake ate the bullfrog, pig ate the snake
Now Papa's eatin' pork chops with gravy on the plate

My dog caught a rabbit chewing on my peas
Now my dog's been scratchin' - b'lieve he caught that rabbit's fleas

I had a dream last night that my bed was upside down
It was just my little bedbugs having one more round

[back to the top of this page]

 

Sally Goodin in the Alley with Sugar in the Gourd
traditional, arranged & adapted by Joel Mabus

Met her on the road, walkin' on the board
Said she had a little bit of sugar in 'er gourd
Sugar in the gourd, honey in the spout --
Sugar in the gourd and she can't get it out,
Sugar in the gourd

Here comes Sally
Stepping Down the Alley
Here comes Sal with her big boots on

Get out the skillet, get out the lead
Sally's gonna make a little shortnin bread

Look down the road, see my Sally comin'
Thought to my soul I'd kill myself a runnin'

Had a piece of pie, had a piece of puddin'
Give it all away to see my Sally Goodin

Love my pie, love my puddin'
Love that gal they call Sally Goodin'

Sugar in the pie, sugar in the pudding
Sugar in the gal they call Sally Goodin

Met her on the road, walkin' on the board
Said she had a little bit of sugar in 'er gourd
Sugar in the gourd, honey in the spout --
Sugar in the gourd and she can't get it out,
Sugar in the gourd

Sugar in the gourd, honey in the spout --
The way to get the sugar out is roll the gourd about,
Sugar in the gourd

[back to the top of this page]

 

Spoon River And You
words and music ©2004 Joel Mabus

It was just Illinois
And a green country boy
On a steamy July afternoon

At the old swimming hole
Where the cool waters roll
Just me and Spoon River and you

Where the crooked old Spoon
Cuts the prairie in two
Like a slice of a sweet country pie

Every bend in the stream
Melts away like a dream --
Just you and Spoon River and I

Two castaways
In the hot summer haze
Alone in a home-made canoe

Just a girl and a guy
Just a kiss and a sigh
Just me and Spoon River and you

Oh the wishes we made
As we lay in the shade
Of a whispering sycamore tree

And secrets we told
And the memories they hold
For you and Spoon River and me

Let me dream of the past
And the sweet prairie grass
To lie in the cool evening dew
With you

O what would I trade
For one day in that shade
Just me and Spoon River and you

I'd give all I own
For my old prairie home…
Just me and Spoon River and you

[back to the top of this page]

 

Ruben
traditional melody arranged & new words by Joel Mabus
 ©2004 Joel Mabus

Old Ruben built a train
And he put it on the track
You can hear his whistle blowing all the time
He's a railroad man
And he'll kill you if he can
And drink of your blood like wine
Oh me -- Oh my
He'll drink of your blood like wine

Now Ruben's got a plan
For every woman every man
Ruben tells us when we go to war
Ruben needs no cause
He just writes a few new laws
And Ruben's even richer than before
Oh me -- Oh my
Now Ruben's even richer than before

Ruben runs a mill
Where he makes a little pill
Takes away my pain and misery
But Ruben makes me pay
More and more every day
Soon there'll be nothin' left of me
Oh me -- Oh my
Soon there'll be nothin' left of me

Ruben built a wire
And he filled it with his fire
Runs every station up and down the line
He's got a newspaper chain
To magnify his name
Now it's Ruben Ruben Ruben all the time
Oh me -- Oh my
It's Ruben Ruben Ruben all the time

Ruben wanted more
So he built a discount store
Run every other merchant out of town
Now Ruben owns it all
But he's headin' for a fall
It's time somebody took old Ruben down
Oh me -- Oh my
Time somebody took old Ruben down

Ruben built a train
And he put it on the track
You can hear his whistle blowing all the time
He's a railroad man
He'll kill you if he can
And drink of your blood like wine
Oh me -- Oh my
He'll drink of your blood like wine

[back to the top of this page]

 

The Golden Willow Tree
traditional, arranged & adapted by Joel Mabus

Well there was a little ship sailin' on the sea
Oh the low the lonesome low
There was a little ship a-sailin' on the sea
And the name of the ship was The Golden Willow Tree
Sailing on the lonesome lonesome low
Sailing on the lonesome sea

They hadn't been to sea two weeks or three
When along come the pirate, Turkish Sugaree

The captain turned to his able crew
Saying, oh brave boys what will I ever do?

Captain, oh captain, what will you pay
To the man who can sink the Turkish Sugaray

Why I'd give my daughter and a sack of my gold
To the brave boy who could prove so bold

Then the little cabin boy jumped in the sea
And he swum 'til he come to the Turkish Sugaree

And he had a little auger fitted for the use
He drilled nine holes and he let in the juice

Some with their hats and some with their caps
Tried to keep the water from a-comin' through the gaps

But every man aboard the Turkish Sugaree
Met his doom in the bottom of the sea

Then the little cabin boy swum back to the fold
Said, haul me up aboard boys; I'm dyin of the cold

But the Captain said - you'll not come aboard
You won't have my daughter and you won't have my gold

Oh captain, captain how can it be
You'd pay your man with such treachery

Oh my gold is my pride -- my daughter is my joy
And I won't give 'em up to a black cabin boy

Now there's a little cabin boy drownin' in the sea
And he's drilling little holes in the Golden Willow Tree
He'll sink 'em in the lonesome lonesome low
Sink 'em in the lonesome sea

[back to the top of this page]

 

The Bird's Alphabet
words and music ©2004 Joel Mabus

A is for Albatross sailing the seas
B is for Bluebird so bright in the trees
C is for Cardinal we see the year 'round
D is for Duckling all covered with down

[chorus]
It's merry, so merry so merry they fly
Birds of a feather up high in the sky
Sing hi derry hey derry ho derry dee
The birds of the alphabet from A to Z

E is for Egret with the plumage so bold
F is for Finches both purple and gold
G is for Geese that from Canada come
H is for Hummingbird as big as my thumb

I is for Ibis with the long pointed bill
J is for Jaybird so nervous and shrill
K is for Killdeer -- she puts on a show
L is for Loon who dives down below

M is for Mockingbird wagging his tail
N is of course for the shy Nightingale
O is for Owl so noble and wise
P is for Pigeon - just one of the guys

Q is for Quail with the cap on his head
R for his cousin the Rhode Island Red
S is for Spoonbill with roseate wings
T is for Titmouse and other small things

U for the Upland Sandpiper so gay
V is for Vultures who eat what they may
W - Woodpecker, such a headache he gets, And
X for none other than Xantus' Murrelets

Y -Yellow Warbler with its "sweet sweet sweet" talk
Z for the end Zone-tailed Hawk
And so does our alphabet come to an end
But here comes the chorus, lets sing it again

[back to the top of this page]

 

Noe's Dove
words and music ©2004 Joel Mabus

Though storms of life around me rage
I read my compass true
I fix my gaze on a higher stage
Where the sun shines bright and new

Consider the lilies of the field
Neither reap nor do they sow
They stand revealed, unwrapped, unsealed
For all the world to know

The sparrow sings his song of joy
And flies with wondrous ease
Oh would that I my gifts employ
As do the least of these

Oh give me the wings of Noe's dove
Send me on my quest
I'll fly above to the land of love
And take my promised rest

[back to the top of this page]

 

Ride Away Easy
words and music ©2004 Joel Mabus

At the end of the day
See the sky growing pale
Hear wild geese calling
Up the Chippewa trail
There's a chill coming on
Feel the norther wind blow
It's time to be leaving
And I'm ready to go

Watch me Ride away easy
Ride away slow
The trail may be lonely
But me and my pony
Are ready to go
Ride away slow
No need for grieving
It's time to be leaving
And I'm ready to go

Have you seen that old man
Rides an old painted mule
He used to preach out of Springfield
In the Full Gospel School
Then his wife up and died
Just before she was due
He quit talking 'bout Jesus
And started wandering too

Watch him Ride away easy
Ride away slow
The trail may be lonely
But he and his pony
Are ready to go
Ride away easy
Ride away slow
No need for grieving
It's time to be leaving
And he's ready to go

When my time comes to die
Pull my saddle from the wall
Hitch up my pony
Lead him out of his stall
Tie my bones to his back
Turn our faces to the west
And we'll ride the prairie
That we love the best

Watch me Ride away easy
Ride away slow
The trail may be lonely
But me and my pony
Are ready to go
Ride away easy
Ride away slow
No need for grieving
It's time to be leaving
I'm ready to go

At the end of the day…

[back to the top of this page]

 

Study War No More
traditional, arranged & adapted by Joel Mabus

I'm gonna lay down my sword and my shield
I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the Riverside - by the Riverside
I'm gonna lay down my sword and my shield
I ain't gonna study war no more

I ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more

I'm gonna put on my long white robe
I'm gonna put on my long white robe
Down by the Riverside - by the Riverside
I'm gonna put on my long white robe
I ain't gonna study war no more

I ain't gonna study - yeah
Ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more

Walk in Jerusalem just like John
Walk in Jerusalem just like John
Down by the Riverside - by the Riverside
Walk in Jerusalem just like John
I ain't gonna study war no more

I ain't gonna - yes I
Ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more

Now, my God did just what he said
He healed the sick and He raised the dead
He took me out of the miry clay
Set my feet on the rock to stay
Yeah, He sent down a dove and the rainbow sign
He Turned my water into wine
He said, lovin' your friends ain't enough to do
You got to love your enemy too

I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield
I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the Riverside - by the Riverside
I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield
I ain't gonna study war no more

I ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more

I ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more

Yeah, walk in Jerusalem just like John, uh-huh…

 

[back to the top of this page]

 

© 2004 Joel Mabus