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I've Been All Around This World
Composer: Traditional

I've Been All Around This World was performed by the Grateful Dead in acoustic sets in 1969, 1970 and, most frequently, 1980. It was also performed by Jerry Garcia in acoustic performances during the 1980's with John Kahn and with the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band.

The song occurs on other recordings with variations of the I've Been All Around This World title and as Hang Me, Oh Hang Me, Up On The Blue Ridge Mountains and Cape Girardeau. There are other songs which share the tune or lyrics, for example, Working On The New Railroad.

The earliest commercial recording appears to be on a 1946 single by Grandpa Jones. The Library of Congress have a field recording from 1937 but no earlier versions have yet been identified. The origins of I've Been All Around This World are not easy to trace. It possibly derives from a number of different songs.

The `Hang Me, Oh Hang Me' verse is thought to derive from the traditional song "My Father Was A Gambler", a US ballad, which is thought to be about a murderer who was hanged in 1870. The chorus of this song given in Vance Randolph's Ozark Folksongs from a 1929 field recording is given below.

One possible source for other parts of the song is Dixon and Johnson or The Three Butchers which seems to have been a later introduction into the States from UK - collected in 1890s in UK but only later in the US. Randolph's Ozark Folksongs contains a field recording from 1941 of Dixon and Johnson. The tune given is fairly similar to that we know for I've Been All Around This World.



Grateful Dead recordings

info History Of The Grateful Dead, Vol. 1
         (Bear's Choice), 1973
info Reckoning, 1981
info The Golden Road (1965-1973), 2001
info Beyond Description, 2004


Jerry Garcia

info Almost Acoustic, JGAB, 1988
info Been All Around This World,
        Garcia/Grisman, 2004
info Pure Jerry: Lunt-Fontanne, NYC, 10/31/87,
        JGAB / JGB, 2004


Ratdog

info Lebanon, NH, October 28, 2007
info Orlando FL, November 16, 2007
info Syracuse, NY, WI, March 29, 2008




Sample Lyrics

The chorus of My Father Was A Gambler from Vance Randolph's Ozark Folksongs from a 1929 field recording:

Hang me, oh hang me, an' I'll be dead an' gone
Hang me, oh hang me, an' I'll be dead an' gone
I wouldn't mind the hangin', but to lay in my grave so long
To lay in my grave so long

The first two verses of a field recording from 1941 of Dixon and Johnson from Vance Randolph's Ozark Folksongs:

Dixon and Johnson went riding out one day
Dixon and Johnson went riding out one day
They rode up on a mountain ten thousand miles away
Oh Lord, I've been all around this world

They rode up on a woman, as cold as cold or more
They rode up on a woman, as cold as cold or more
He wrapped her in his coat and set up behind him
Oh Lord, I've been all around this world

The first verse of Working on the New Railroad as recorded by Sara Grey

Well, I'm working on the new railroad
With mud up to my knees
I'm working on the new railroad
With mud up to my knees
I'm digging for big John Henry
And he's so hard to please
And I've been all around this world

 
Other recordings

I've Been All Around This World (or similar)

no info Single (Our Worlds Are Not The Same / I've Been All Around This World), Grandpa Jones, 1946, King 524
info Mike Seeger, Mike Seeger, 1964
info The String Band Project, Various Artists (Stu Jamieson's Boys), 1965
info 24 Great Country Songs That Will Live Forever, Grandpa Jones, 1966
info Albion Doo-Wah, Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys, 1970
info Allan Block & Ralph Lee Smith, Allan Block & Ralph Lee Smith, 1971
info Dance All Night, Highwoods String Band, 1975
info Singer of Old Songs, Michael Cooney, 1975
info Eagle and the Sparrow, Jon Sundall, 1976
info Pacific Rim Dulcimer Project, Various Artists (Neal Hellman), 1977
info Red Knuckles & Hot Rize: Live, Hot Rize w/ Red Knuckles & Trailblazers, 1982
info Steel Strings, Eric Schoenberg, 1982
info Wild Over Me, Dale Miller, 1982
info Rounder Folk, Various Artists (Joe Val), 1986
info Rounder Old-Time Music, Various Artists (Joe Val), 1988
info Feed Your Babies Onions: Fat City Favorites, Highwoods Stringband, 1994
info American Sampler, Ed Sweeney, 1994
info Diamond Joe, Joe Val, 1995
info 25 Year Collection, Dick Kimmel, 1996
info Behind the Barn Vol. 2, The Krüger Brothers, 1997
info Root 5: Bass and Banjo, Marshall Wilborn, 1999
info Singer of Old Songs (comp), Michael Cooney, 19??
info Behind The Times, Bill Bovee and Gail Heil, 19??
info Boom Chang, Steve James, 2000
info Guitaro, David Michael Ross, 2000
info The Bill Hilly Band, The Bill Hilly Band, 2000
info Distant Land to Roam, Keith Little, 2001
info Pilgrim, Matthew Fox, 2002
info 3/13/98 Cedar Cultural Centre, The Big Wu, 2002
info Coal Tattoo, Southern Rail, 2002
no info The American War : 1861-1865, Drew Reid, 2002
info Going to the West, Ed Littlefield, Jr., 2003
info Kentucky Mountain Music, Various Artists (Justis Begley), 2003
no info Stuff That Works, Junior Barber and Gary Ferguson, 2003
no info Southern Exposure: Showcase Compilation VI, Various Artists (The Bill Hilly Band), 2003
info Cluck Cluck, The Secondhand Band, 2004
info All Smiles Tonight: An Anthology of Heritage Music from Hampshire County, Various Artists, 2004
info Ragged But Right, Lightnin' Wells, 2005
info Songs For Shelter: Seattle Musicians Helping Homeless Families, Various Artists, 2005
no info Mountain Calling, Terry Joe "Banjo", 2005
no info Twenty Below Zero, The Clayhill Brothers, 2006
no info Old Bell Cow, The New Southern Cowtippers, 2006
info Live at the Delta of Venus, Mad Cow String Band, 2006
info Rust Belt Blues, Oliver Buck, 2007
info Live at the San Gregorio General Store, Gary Gates Band, 2008


Hang Me, Oh Hang Me

info Songs of the West, Dave Fredrickson, 1961
info Sam Hinton Sings the Song of Men, Sam Hinton, 1961
info Dave Van Ronk, Folksinger, Dave Van Ronk, 1967
info Van Ronk, Dave Van Ronk, 1972
info Hesitation Blues, Dave Van Ronk, 1988
info Inside Dave Van Ronk (comp), Dave Van Ronk, 1989
info Inside, Bill Morrissey, 1992
info Tough And Wild, Peter Feldmann & the Very Lonesome Boys, 2003
info Lee Hammons: Complete Banjo Recordings, Lee Hammons, 200?


Up On The Blue Ridge Mountains (or similar)

no info Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle With Chet Atkins, 1949
info Ozark Songs and Ballads, Max Hunter, 1963
info Buckeyes in the Briar Patch, Hotmud Family, 1975
info Satisfied Mind, Clay County, 1992
info The Best of Michael Johnathon's WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour Vol. 1, Various Artists (GE Smith), 2001
info Live in Waterbury Center, Kent Gustavson with Micah Schonberg, 2006
info Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle With Chet Atkins: 1949, Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle With Chet Atkins, 2007


Cape Girardeau

info Songs of the Heartland, Art Thieme, 198?


Working On A New Railroad (or similar)

info Black Melodies on a Clear Afternoon, Stefan Grossman, 1972
info Bottleneck Serenade, Stefan Grossman, 1975
info Drive Dull Care Away, Vol. 2, Joe Hickerson, 1976
info Continuing Tradition, Vol 1: Ballads: A Folk Legacy Sampler, Various Artists (Sara Grey), 1981
info Nine 'Til Midnight, Robin & Linda Williams, 1985
info Close as We Can Get / Nine 'Til Midnight, Robin & Linda Williams, 1992
info Railroad Fever: Songs of America's Railroads, Wayne Erbsen, 1998
info Notorious, Eden MacAdam-Somer and Larry Unger, 2006

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