John Gorka Home videos
58th homemade video
(May 1, 2022)

Alberta, Let Your Hair Hang Low

On May 1th, 2022 John wrote:
Alberta is a traditional song I learned from the recordings of Doc Watson. According to Roger McGuinn the song was sung by stevedores working on
the Ohio RIver in the early 1800s. I hope you like it!


 

 

 

The other 'one song concerts':

- Click here for Red River Valley (April 5, 2020)
- Click here for Better times Will Come (April 12, 2020)
- Click here for Polly Wally (April 19, 2020)
- Click here for Soap Opera (April 26, 2020)
- Click here for Maya May I, (May 1, 2020)
- Click here for My Creole Belle (May 10, 2020)
- Click here for Careless Love (May 17, 2020)
- Click here for You Can Run (May 24, 2020)
- Muting the Sea (May 31,2020)
- Click here for Ignorance and Privilege (June 7, 2020)
- Click here for The Mercy of the Wheels. (June 14, 2020)
- If I Could Forget To Breathe (June 21, 2020)
- Let them in (June 28, 2020)
- Unblind The Referee (July 5, 2020)
- The Dutchman (July 12, 2020)
- Morningside (July 19, 2020)
- Cowboy Song (July 26, 2020)
- That's How Legends Are Made (August 2, 2020)
- If Not Now (August 9, 2020)
- Arroyo Seco (August 16, 2020)

- Shenandoah (August 23, 2020)
- Outside (August 30, 2020)
- Outnumbered (September 6, 2020)
- Brown shirts (September 13, 2020)

- Jack Crows (September 20, 2020)
- Where No Monument Stands (September 27, 2020)
- Blue Chalk (October 4, 2020)
- Zuly (October 11, 2020)
- The Sentinel (October 18, 2020)
- Where The Bottles Break (October 25 2020)
- If I Could (November 1, 2020)
- Particle & Wave (November 8, 2020)
- True in Time (November 15, 2020)
- Edgar The Party Man ( November 22, 2020)
- The Water is Wide (November 29, 2020)
- The Streets of Laredo (December 6, 2020)

- Spanish is the Loving Tongue (December 13, 2020)
- Christmas Bells (December 20, 2020)
- Riverside (December 27, 2020) Recorded earlier
- Auld Lang Syne (January 3, 2021)
- Oh Abraham (January 10, 2021)
- I Know (January 17, 2021)
- Erie Canal (January 24, 2021)
- Branching Out (January31,2021)
- We Thank You For Your Service (february 7, 2021)
- Like My Watch (February 14, 2021)
- Silence (February 21, 2021)
- I Think of You (February 28, 2021 )
-Love's Been Good to Me (March 7, 2021)
- Potter's Field (March 14, 2021)
- When the Ice Goes Out (March 21, 2021)
- Flying Red Horse (March 28, 2021)
- #53: Hold on (May 30, 2021)
- #54: Semper Fi (May 31, 2021)
- #55: Night into Day (August 15, 2021)
-#56: Sweet Love (Sept.19, 2021)
- #57: Girl From the North Country (April 10, 2022)

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Alberta, Let Your Hair Hang Low  

 



 


Lead Belly song



Lead Belly recorded four different version of "Alberta". One of these was recorded in New York on January 23, 1935 (for ARC Records, which did not issue it), and a similar version was recorded in New York on June 15, 1940 (included on Leadbelly: Complete Recorded Works, vol. 1, 1 April 1939 to 15 June 1940).
Another version, recorded in Wilton, Connecticut, on January 20, 1935, included the lyrics "Take me, Alberta, take me down in your rocking chair" and is included on Gwine Dig a Hole to Put the Devil In (Rounder Records, Library of Congress Recordings, vol. 2).
Lead Belly's fourth recorded version survives on recording disc BC-122 of the Mary Elizabeth Barnicle–Tillman Cadle Collection at East Tennessee State University, recorded near the date of June 15, 1948, with which several related discs are labeled.

Lead Belly and his wife Martha Promise Ledbetter in February 1935.

Wheeler 1944 song

Mary Wheeler, in her Steamboatin' Days: Folk Songs of the River Packet Era (Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1944), records a song she collected from Gabriel "Uncle Gabe" Hester, with the lyrics:


Alberta, let yo' hair hang low,
Alberta, let yo' hair hang low,
I'll give you mo' gold than yo' apron will hold,
Ef you'll jes' let yo' hair hang low.

Alberta, what's on yo' mind?
Alberta, what's on yo' mind?
You keep me worried, you keep me bothered, all the time.
Alberta, what's on yo' mind?

Alberta, don't you treat me unkind,
Alberta, don't you treat me unkind,
'Cause I'm worried, 'cause I'm bothered, all the time.
Alberta, don't you treat me unkind
.

..............................................................................Mary Wheeler >


Click here to listen at 'Alberta, let yo' hair hang low' by Conrad Thibault, Lehman Engel; Mary Wheeler;W. J. Reddick;

Decca 1946 (23557 A / 23557 B)

Mary Wheeler also reports Hester's reminiscences of the steamboat work songs he had sung as a roustabout in his younger days. However, Wheeler's account does not explicitly give any evidence for Roger McGuinn's statement that, "This is a song sung by the stevedores who worked on the Ohio River." The song became popular in the American folk music revival.

 

Doc Watson - Alberta, Let Your Hair Hang Low
Album: "Southbound" (1966)
Click here to listen
to Roger McGuinnn
Bob Dylan - Alberta, Let Your Hair Hang Low
Album: "Self Portrait" (1970) First of the two versions.

 

 

 

 



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