a Someone should care, maybe not you....: It lives in my Memory..... .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

25 September 2005

It lives in my Memory.....

There was an old Apple Tree in the orchard,
It lives in my mem-o-ry
If my Pappy had of knowed it, he never would have growed it
‘cause he died in the old apple tree.

Does anyone out side of my immediate family know this song? I recall my parents teaching it to us when I was quite young. It was one of those things we did while traveling across the country in the back of a car. (In my memory it actually goes “There’s an old apple…” “There was…” makes a bit more logical sense considering how things work out.)

Say good-bye, say good bye, say good-bye to the old apple tree. If my pappy had of knowed it, he never would have growed it cause he died in the old apple tree.

There are probably verses that I don’t know or don’t remember but it starts off with the narrator telling how his or her father takes the wife or daughter of a local big wig out to a dance/party. He keeps her out way too late.

One night Pappy took Sister Jordan, out to the jamboree,
When he brought her back at sunup,
Brother Jordan* got his gun up,
and chased Pappy up in the tree

Repeat chorus

Now I think it was my mother who once told me that when she was a child they originally said “Bishop Jordan” instead of “Brother Jordan”, and in a Mormon community that has some significant connotations. At any rate, the local stalwart has run the father up the tree and then summons the lynch mob……

When the neighbors came out after Pappy
Up in the tree was he.
So they took a rope and strung ‘im
By the neck and then they hung ‘im
From a branch of the old apple tree


The final verse is short and concise

Put the apples in a basket
Cut the tree down for a casket
And now Pappy’s gone with his tree.


I wonder about the origins and history of the song periodically. What happened to Pappy's wife? What happened to the children after the neighbors killed him? did the narrator ever feel the urge to hunt "Brother Jordan" down and take revenge? I know I could probably take the first line and Google it and get all sorts of info but I really don’t want to do that yet. It would take away from the feeling of ownership I guess.

Not quite a cheerful little song although it has a quite bouncy little tune. If I was really, really cruel, I would sing it and make an audio file that plays when you read the post and force you to listen. But they discourage torture in the civilian world as much as they did in my old job.


Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

I have never heard it. It's strange some of the things you learn in childhood. We used to sing Ring Around the Rosies. I had no idea until later that it was all about everyone dying from the plague.

12:32 PM  
Blogger PandoraLairg said...

Full song/poem here, will find more out later.

It's a bit like the song Strange fruit, by Nina Simone, It took my a while to realise that the strange fruit were hanging slaves.

There's an old apple tree in the orchard,
Lives in my memory,
It reminds me of my Pappy,
He was handsome, young, and happy
when he planted that old apple tree.

Apple tree, apple tree,
I remember that old apple tree.
If my Pappy had-a-knowed it,
He be sorry that he growed it,
'Cause he died in that old apple tree.

Oh, one day Pappy took the Widow Norton
Out on a jamboree,
And when he brought her home at sun up
Brother Norton raised his gun up
And chased Pappy up in the tree.

When the neighbors came after my Pappy,
Up in the tree was he,
Oh, they took a rope and strung him
By the neck and then they hung him
To the limb of that old apple tree.

Apple tree, apple tree,
Oh they hung him in the old apple tree.
If my Pappy had-a-knowed it,
He be sorry that he growed it,
'Cause he died in that old apple tree.

Oh my poor Pappy lies in the orchard
Out of his misery.
They put the apples in the basket,
Cut the tree down for a casket,
And my poor Pappy's gone with the tree.

Say goodbye, say goodbye,
Say goodbye to the old apple tree.
If my Pappy had-a-knowed it,
He be sorry that he growed it,
'Cause he died in that old apple tree.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a link to the tune.


3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's "old_apple_tree.mid" at the end, if the URL gets clipped for you like it did for me.

3:47 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Now that is interesting. As soon as I read pandoralairg's lyrics I rememebered the first verse. I knew that one, I had just forgotten it. It is interesting how the chorus differs. I'll have to listen to the tune that annon links to to see if it is the same tune I learned.

8:56 PM  
Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

I'll ask my brother. Sounds like his sorta thing. Sounds sorta bluegrass/old-timey.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read » » »

5:55 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

My family has sung that song my whole life, and we've always been missing the last verse. Grandma always says, "It's something about cutting the tree down for a casket." Now we know. What a gruesome and wonderful song.

12:27 AM  
Blogger exMI said...

Glad I could help Heidi. Feel free to come back again.

10:21 AM  
Blogger holly said...

hey! i was just getting on line with the same question...does anyone outside of my family know this song? looks like they do!

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Tamara Hampton said...

My dad sand that song often and he was born in the US in 1913. I knew all the verses and am surprised someone else knows it. Thank You.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Tamara Hampton said...

That word should be "sang" not "sand." It wasn't racist to us. It was more about cheating and how angry it made the others.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Tamara Hampton said...

You know, I must correct my last statement. I was so young when I first heard that. It wasn't about cheating at all. It was about the virtue of a woman.

7:53 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Of all the posts I have made in this blog this is the one that gets the most visits. Interesting.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Aesha Lorenz said...

My sister sent me this link, yes it's the exact song as we remember it. He may have told me it was origionally an Ozzie & Harriet song? Maybe worth checking out....

11:32 AM  

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