in the pines song meaning

My daddy was a railroad man, killed a mile and a half from here. It came to me in a dream. “The longest train I ever saw went down that Georgie line. Cobain called the song “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” but it’s also called “In the Pines,” sometimes “Black Girl,” or “My Girl.” It’s a folk song and as such, its origins are foggy. This was the first documentation of "The Longest Train" variant of the song, which includes a verseabout "The longest train I ever saw". TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. Variations on a Theme, The fold song usually know as "In the Pines" dates back at least to the 1870's. It was probably born from African Americans living along or east of the Appalachian Mountains around the turn of the 20th century. You’ve run out of free articles. ", In other versions, the focus is clearly, as the novelist Ms. McCrumb notes, on a confrontation: "There's a woman doing something not socially acceptable, and she's been caught at it." In 1925, a version of the song was recorded onto phonograph cylinder by a folk collector. “A place where a person has left to be by themselves to face what they are and what they have done.”. But there is really no need for anyone to ever sing it again. "My father gave me the record when I was a kid," Mr. Lanegan says. The official music video for In The Pines premiered on YouTube at the beginning of March 2016.Listen to Loretta Lynn's song above. “I think that’s very much in character of the kinds of songs that Bill Monroe sang and became a part of the bluegrass repertoire.”. That's what [she and I] try to do in life." Sheet music is available for Piano, Voice, Guitar and 24 others with 9 scorings and 2 notations in 8 genres. In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines And you shiver when the cold wind blows. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. I used to be an addict myself so this speaks volumes to me. In fact, the song was a folk song, usually known as "In the Pines," which dates back at least to the 1870's. Mr. Cobain's identification with female rockers, from Hole to the Raincoats, encompasses the trespassing woman of the tale. Loretta Lynn's In The Pines lyrics were written by traditional songwriters.. Country Songs 2016 Top Country Songs The other pivotal musician for this song is the great early 20th-century folk and blues musician Lead Belly. Please try again. Another element is the train—a mysteriously long train. Her name was Caroline. “In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines and I shiver when the cold wind blows.”. And you can actually see a pattern emerge over time, with each subsequent decade, each generation picking a tradition for themselves. We don’t know why, but whatever is happening with this girl, it’s dark. Jason Isbell explains the meaning behind some of his best songs including Alabama Pines, Dress Blues and Tour Of Duty. All contents © 2020 The Slate Group LLC. In their traditional interpretation, the Kossoy Sisters begin: "Little girl, little girl, where'd you stay last night? Murder ballads are haunting and mournful, of course, but there’s this added level of creepiness when a story of a gruesome death is being told in harmony, sweetly, or almost crooning, like Johnny Cash did. In The Pines lyrics and chords These country classic song lyrics are the property of the respective artist, authors and labels, they are intended solely for educational purposes and private study only. “He sort of blues-ified it.”. A song of unknown origins that goes by many names but has influenced generations of musicians. “The way he delivered that song, it really felt like he was almost foreseeing his own demise,” says Eric Weisbard, a music critic and professor of American studies at the University of Alabama. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. Alan Lomax, the folk music archivist and promoter, reported to Ms. McCulloh that Leadbelly learned parts of the song from someone who had taken it from the 1917 Sharp version and other parts from the 1925 cylinder recording. Instead, Lead Belly focuses on the confrontation and the murder. “And the sense of being in the pines as being alienated from love and alienated from life that way.”. “Alan Lomax toted Lead Belly around to society people in New York,” DiSavino says. In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines And we shiver when the cold wind blows. This includes speaking with musicians Bill Callahan and Fantastic Negrito, who both covered the song. “You can see in videos he’s singing to these ladies in pink chiffon gowns and he’s got this face like these people  really want me to sing this here?”, In 1944, in New York, Lead Belly records the first of at least a half-dozen versions of “In the Pines,” which he most often calls “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” or “Black Girl,” or “Black Gal.”, “He found this song and reinterpreted it and made it his own,” she says. This is very in character to sing a song about violence and murder.”, “The Lead Belly version he’s very much to my mind emphasizing the love gone wrong,” says music critic and professor Eric Weisbard. In Mr. Jordan's jazz version, recorded for Atlantic in 1965, the singer Sandra Douglass makes the meaning even more explicit, drawing on a later Leadbelly version known as "Black Girl." Those who have recorded the song include the folk legends Leadbelly, Joan Baez and Pete Seeger, the country pioneers Bill Monroe and Chet Atkins, the rockers Sir Douglas Quintet and Duane Eddy, the pop vocalist Connie Francis and the jazz saxophonist Clifford Jordan. Unger-Hamilton explained to NPR: "The lyrics mainly suggest the idea that missing someone - pining - can be a physical pain much like hunger." How did Kurt Cobain discover "In the Pines"? ringtone . In Leadbelly's version, the title is "Where Did You Sleep Last Night", to which the answer is "in the pines". Men, women and sometimes confused adolescents flee into the sordid pines, which serve as a metaphor for everything from sex to loneliness and death. In his versions, Lead Belly leans into the darkness of the song. pine definition: 1. an evergreen tree (= one that never loses its leaves) that grows in cooler areas of the world…. It's easy to play, easy to sing, great harmonies and very emotional. Tabbed by: Puzzlr Email: iampuzzlr@gmail.com Tuning: eBGDAE No Capo A great song with easy chords! Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. You've caused me … I asked my captain for the time of day He said he throwed his watch away A long steel rail and a short crosstie I'm on my way back home. Its appearance in the repertory of a Seattle grunge singer is only the latest chapter in its complex history. I don't ever remember not hearing it and not singing it. “And however romantic and absurd that sounds, nonetheless I think that was a real experience that many people had watching that.”, “It felt special because it felt like it was a song that spoke to him,” says Beth McCarthy-Miller, the director of Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged special. For all its complicated history, the meaning of "In the Pines" may be even more blurry, a vast continuum of different varieties of misery and suffering. (An album of Nirvana's MTV concert, "Unplugged in New York," was recently released on the DGC label.) The sense of ghosts was palpable: a widow singing a widow's tune, biting as heavily into each "don't lie to me" as her husband had. MMM: I think I was 23 years old. In the Pines is a good song to let us talk about how to “season” a song with different emotional spices. The next year, commercial hillbilly recordings of "In the Pines" and "The Longest Train" began appearing. As she demonstrated in a telephone conversation, she can also sing a very different "Mitchell County, N.C." version that includes a reference to the local Clenchfield railroad line. The answer may be that its essence is not a specific story or even a musical style but the kind of intensely dark emotion that, as is the case with much in American music, survives longer in popular memory than does treacly sentiment. As soon as I heard these lyrics I assumed it was about heroin. As for our murder ballad, “In the Pines” has its own collection of lyrical calling cards, which first start come together in 1926, when a banjoist named Dock Walsh makes the first commercial recording of the song. I once lived the life of a rambler, I lived off the fruit of the land But now I'm living on burgers and ol' skunky … Like numerous other folk songs, "In the Pines" was passed on from one generation and locale to the next by word of mouth. So, when the girl says she slept "in the pines" it's a metaphorical representation of the dark, isolated, and terrible life she has while living with her husband, and after the husband's death/murder, she must live a dark, isolated, and … In his song, Lead Belly addresses either “my girl” or “black girl,” probably depending on the white or black audiences he was singing to at the time. In the pines, in the pines Where the sun never shines And we shiver when the cold wind blows. Dolly Parton, who performs a version on her recent album "Heartsongs" says: "The song has been handed down through many generations of my family. "This unique, moody, blues-style song from the Southern mountain country is like a bottomless treasure box of folk-song elements," wrote James Leisy in his 1966 book "The Folk Song Abecedary." The pines are the pins and needles you feel from withdrawal as well as the shivers and the sun never shines relates to how depressed you are during the comedown. Hear a full audio version, but the pines—that cold dark wilderness—will become the most common refrain ties! Record when I was 23 years old she and I in the pines song meaning when the cold blows. My Father gave me the record when I was 23 years old does away with the train entirely by! '' was recently released on the confrontation and the answer is `` from a man, her husband is. Pines as being alienated from love and alienated from life that way. ” treat so. 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