Derived from the traditional folk song " The Unfortunate Rake ", the song has become a folk music standardand as such has been performed, recorded and adapted numerous times, with many variations.
The title refers to the city of Laredo, Texas. The old-time cowboy Frank H. Maynard — of Colorado SpringsColoradoclaimed authorship of the revised Cowboy's Lament, and his story was widely reported in by the journalism professor Elmo Scott Watsonthen on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As I walked out in the streets of Laredo As I walked out in Laredo one day, I spied a poor cowboy, all wrapped in white linen All wrapped in white linen and cold as the clay.
First down to Rosie's, and then to the card-house, Got shot through the body, and now here I lay. Put bunches of roses all over my coffin, Roses to deaden the clods as they fall. For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.
To cool my parched lips", the cowboy then said. Before I returned, his spirit had departed, And gone to the round up — the cowboy was dead.
We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly, And bitterly wept as we bore him along. For we loved our comrade, so brave, young and handsome, We all loved our comrade, although he'd done wrong.
The song is widely considered to be a traditional ballad. The lyrics appear to be primarily descended from an Irish folk song of the late 18th century called " The Unfortunate Rake ",  which also evolved with a time ature change and completely different melody into the New Orleans standard " St. James Infirmary Blues ". The Irish ballad shares a melody with the British sea-song " Spanish Ladies ". The Bodleian LibraryOxfordhas copies of a 19th-century broide entitled "The Unfortunate Lad", which is a version of the British ballad.
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James Infirmary Blues". Vince Gill recorded a version of three verses of the Irish ballad The Bard of Armagh which takes the same tune followed by three verses of this song on the album Long Journey Homea compilation of songs about Irish emigration and the links between Irish and American folk and country music also featuring Van Morrison, the Chieftains, Mary Black, Elvis Costello and others, in The song plays a prominent role in the book and film Bang the Drum Slowlyin which a version of the song is sung by actor Tom Ligon in his role as Piney Woods.
The words from the title replace the words "beat the drum slowly" from the lyrics below. The lyrics are also indirectly the source of the title of Peter S. The rhythms of the poem resemble the lyrics of the song, and the book Holes in the Sky states that his wife Hedli Anderson sang the poem.
The good gringo "el gringo bueno" sings the song incessantly, even in his sleep. The band from Circo de La Maravilla plays the song at Lupe's funeral. The Kingston Trio performed this comedy version as "Laredo?
As I walked down in the streets of Laredo. As I walked down in Laredo one day, I spied a young cowboy dressed in white linen, Dressed in white linen and cold as the clay.
Peter S. Beagle 's travelogue "I See By My Outfit" takes its name from this version of the song; in the book, he and his friend Phil refer to it as their "theme song. Allan Sherman also performed a parody of the song; his version was titled "Streets of Miami", and was about vacationing Manhattan lawyers.
Doc Watson 's version, St. James Hospital, combines some of the "cowboy" lyrics with a tune resembling St. James Infirmary and lyrics drawn from that song, and contains the unmistakable "bang the drum slowly" verse. The song deliberately echoes "Streets of Laredo", beginning: . As I was out walking the streets of Northwestern, I spied a young freshman, dejected and blue.
And so when I asked him, "Why are you dejected?
The words of the labor song "The Ballad of Bloody Thursday" — inspired by a deadly clash between strikers and police during the San Francisco longshoremen's strike — also follow the "Streets of Laredo" pattern and tune. Fife in Songs of the Cowboys say. There are hundreds of texts, with variants so numerous that scholars will never assemble and analyze them all.
Johnny Cash's recording substitutes "dram-house" for the traditional "Rosie's," i. This bowdlerization renders nonsensical the next phrase, " One of the Fifes' sources "exaggerating somewhat, says that there were originally seventy stanzas, sixty-nine of which had to be whistled.
Streets of laredo (song)
Beat your drums lightly, play your fifes merrily Sing your dearth march as you bear me along Take me to the grave yard, lay the sod o'er me I'm a young cow-boy and know I've done wrong. My curse let it rest, rest on the fair one Who drove me from friends that I loved and from home Who told me she loved me, just to deceive me My curse rest upon her, wherever she roam. Beat your drums lightly, play your fifes merrily Sing your death march as you bear me along Take me to the grave yard, lay the sod o'er me I'm a young cow-boy and know I've done wrong.
Oh she was fair, Oh she was lovely The belle of the Village the fairest of all But her heart was as cold as the snow on the mountains She gave me up for the glitter of gold. Send for my Father. O send for my Mother Send for the surgeon to look at my wounds But I fear it is useless I feel I am dying I'm a young cow-boy cut down in my bloom. Farewell my friends, farewell my relations My earthly career has cost me sore The cow-boy ceased talking, they knew he was dying His trials on earth, forever were o'er.
Billy Bragg has cited  this ballad as the musical inspiration for his version of Woody Guthrie 's "The Unwelcome Guest".
The composer Samuel Barber adapted a variation on the "Streets of Laredo" tune as the principal theme in the "Allegretto" movement of Excursions, op. Walker, with additional words by Jess Edwins and Terry Kennedy. It was a minor hit in some countries by Houston Wells and The Marksmen and has been recorded by many other artists.
The chorus begins "There's gold in the mountains, gold in the valleys The song "Blackwatertown" by The Handsome Family is another updated version of this song, framing the narrator's downfall as the resultant of an affair with a young woman employed in the publishing industry. The song is a Fallout universe adaptation of "The Streets of Laredo".
Cash also recorded two other versions with different lyrics on his first Christmas albumand then again as "The Walls of a Prison" on his From Sea to Shining Sea album in The tune and lyrics of "Streets of Laredo" were used in the film Bang the Drum Slowlya sports drama based on Mark Harris 's novel of the same name. The movie was directed by John D. This is a candidate to be copied to Wikisource.
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Note that if this source text is not in English, it will have to be copied using the transwiki process. American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 13 August Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ball. It included two verses although not the title stanza from "Streets of Laredo," however the song as discussed here is essentially the Lomax version. Ball Catalogue: Harding B 15 a [and Firth b.
The best spots for laredo hookups in (our favorites)
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