And you can actually see a pattern emerge over time, with each subsequent decade, each generation picking a tradition for themselves. Variations on a Theme, The fold song usually know as "In the Pines" dates back at least to the 1870's. The final song on the program was unexpected: it was the only one not previously recorded by Nirvana or even written by an alternative rocker. Thanks for signing up! The "longest" train can kill or give one's love the means to run away or leave an itinerant worker stranded far from his home. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE suicide of Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the rock band Nirvana, last April, MTV broadcasted almost continuously an hourlong "Unplugged" special that the band had recorded the previous fall. Here are three versions: Black girl, black girl, don't lie to me Where did you stay last night? “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. The basic elements of the song remain similar from version to version, but the context can be altered with a few words. 2) Now I'm just a singer with miles in my eyes, I'm a rich man with nothing to show, I spend all my nights singing love songs, to ladies that I'll never know. Lead Belly was playing music and gaining a reputation in Louisiana and Texas in the early 1900s. And his origins in the pines-stripped lumber town of Aberdeen, Wash., take in the "simple people" who, as Dolly Parton notes, have always turned this cry of anxiety into a source of strength. The chords provided are my interpretation and their accuracy is not guaranteed. Please try again. In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines And you shiver when the cold wind blows. In the pines, in the pines Where the sun don't ever shine I would shiver the whole night through Her husband, was a hard working man Just about a mile from here His head was found in a driving wheel But his body never was found My girl, my girl, don't lie to me Tell me where did you sleep last night In the pines, in the pines Where … Find your perfect arrangement and access a variety of transpositions so you can print and play instantly, anywhere. (The genre-crossing Beck used the phrase "in the pines" in doggerel he wrote for the booklet that accompanies his recent album "Mellow Gold."). Library of Congress, MediaPunch Inc/Alamy Stock Photo, MTV, Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo, Baiba Šomase/Alamy Stock Photo, An Interview With Willie Nelson at 87: “I Didn’t Ever Think I’d Get This Old”, subscribe and listen to the show on Apple Podcasts. Become A Better Singer In Only 30 Days, With Easy Video Lessons! Mr. Lanegan and Mr. Cobain recorded an EP of Leadbelly tunes, but only "Where Did You Sleep" was released on Mr. Lanegan's 1990 album, "The Winding Sheet," with Mr. Cobain playing guitar. The perfect song for simple people.". Lyrics about beheading drop out, but the enigmatic train is almost as frightening, suggesting an eternal passage: "I asked my captain for the time of day/ He said he throwed his watch away. Sheet music is available for Piano, Voice, Guitar and 24 others with 9 scorings and 2 notations in 8 genres. The earliest printed version was four lines and a melody compiled by Cecil Sharp in Kentucky in 1917. and the answer is "from a man in the mines, who sleeps in the pines.". My girl, my girl, where will you go? 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. It’s in the 1940s, that the song really starts to put down roots with two major, influential and lasting renditions of “In the Pines” by two very important artists. That bluesified effect gives the song a creepier feel, like something’s not right. Not all of the versions of this song will include all of these elements. Little girl, little girl, what have I done That makes you treat me so? You can manage your newsletter subscriptions at any time. In the Pines Lyrics: My girl, my girl, don't lie to me / Tell me where did you sleep last night / In the pines, in the pines / Where the sun don't ever shine / I would shiver the whole night through First, is Bill Monroe—a Kentucky man, a mandolin player and singer-songwriter who would become known as the Father of Bluegrass. But Kurt Cobain inhabits the place from which the song sprang. Mr. Cobain's identification with female rockers, from Hole to the Raincoats, encompasses the trespassing woman of the tale. His voice mixes fatalism and placidity much as Leadbelly's had 50 years before; one hears a folkish impassivity that may well have been found on the 1925 cylinder recording as well. Over time, the popular ones would be set to music. Instead, Lead Belly focuses on the confrontation and the murder. in the pines, in the pines where the sun never shines, will shiver the whole night through. But the ghosts were already there in the Nirvana version, which looked at death square on -- Mr. Cobain's voice cracks and pauses during the final line, then soldiers through. Not even your mother knows." Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. 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. Researching the song for a 1970 dissertation, Judith McCulloh found 160 different versions, a finding that raises the question: Why does a song like "In the Pines" endure and permutate so insistently? In Shakespeare’s time, when some gruesome slaying or rape occured, the crime was transcribed and printed onto large pieces of paper which were sold on the streets. In fact, the song was a folk song, usually known as "In the Pines," which dates back at least to the 1870's. In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines And you shiver when the cold wind blows. Pines definition: Isle of → Youth | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples This verse probably began as a separate song that later merged into "In t… pine definition: 1. an evergreen tree (= one that never loses its leaves) that grows in cooler areas of the world…. Mr. Lanegan owned a copy of the original Musicraft 78 rpm of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" that Leadbelly recorded in 1944. P.s. Bill Monroe, 1952 My girl, my girl, don't lie to me Tell me, where did you sleep last night? “I would call that recording a pre-bluegrass era recording,” DiSavino says. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. “What’s more country than a heartbreak song,” she says. It’s a folk song and as such, its origins are foggy. Send me updates about Slate special offers. Bill Monroe - In The Pines Chords, Tabs, Tablatures for Guitar. "I like the blood and guts theme of it: betrayal and murder," he says now. When Hole, the band led by Mr. Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, played in New York in September, the final encore was "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." Another element is the train—a mysteriously long train. It may be a husband, a wife or even a parent whose head is "found in the driver's wheel" and whose "body has never been found." The longest train I ever saw Went down that Georgia Line The engine passed at six o'clock The caboose went by at nine. "You caused me to weep/ And you caused me to moan/ You caused me to leave my home," she sings, perhaps to the cruel fates, perhaps to the ghost of her husband. You can cancel anytime. This was the first documentation of "The Longest Train" variant of the song, which includes a verseabout "The longest train I ever saw". Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Right off the bat he introduces us to one of the key elements of the song—the pines. From this moment on, the versions of “In the Pines” follow either Monroe—a tender, high-lonesome country/bluegrass song about a mysterious train and a heartbreak—or Lead Belly, a musically stark and lyrically bleak murder ballad that emphasizes isolation and death. But Walsh’s version also includes those murder ballad elements like, a transgression and confrontation: “Now darlin, now darlin don’t tell me no lie, where did you stay last night?”, “The train run back back one mile from town and killed my girl, you know. As you might guess, this song is not the kind of a ditty you would sing at a child’s birthday party amidst … In 1941 Monroe records a version of “In the Pines” with his band The Bluegrass Boys. Men, women and sometimes confused adolescents flee into the sordid pines, which serve as a metaphor for everything from sex to loneliness and death. The song is 'In the Pines' by Danny Farrant, animation and art by me, Merry (early) Christmas!! Then there’s the tone. "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." “I think the pines symbolizes a wilderness,” says Elizabeth DiSavino, a professor of music at Brea College in Kentucky. In the bluegrass and country versions popularized by Mr. Monroe, the song's eerie qualities are rooted in the genre's "high lonesome" sound, with fiddles and yodeling harmonies used to evoke the cold wind blowing. This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. Any time there were more than three or four songs to be sung, 'In the Pines' was one of them. Learn more. And you'll never see this message again. I asked my captain … “When someone does a cover a song they like, it gives you a glimpse into the artist what kind of music they like, and what kind of music moves them and interests them. Lizzie Abner, 1917* The Longest train I ever saw Went down that Georgia line The engine passed at 6 o'clock The cab passed by at 9. Here the woman is in the pines because her husband has died under the train, leaving her with little choice but prostitution. Studio 360 is a Peabody Award–winning show from Public Radio International. In the latest episode of Studio 360 (which along with being a public-radio show is a Slate podcast), producer Lauren Hansen tells the long, rich musical and social history of a great old American song, before and after Kurt Cobain and Nirvana took a turn at making it theirs. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines And it shiver when the cold wind blows My love, my love, what have I done To make you treat me so You've caused me to weep, you've caused me to mourn You've caused me to loose my home In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines And it shiver when the cold … Cobain called the song “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” but it’s also called “In the Pines,” sometimes “Black Girl,” or “My Girl.”. Dolly Parton, who performs a version on her recent album "Heartsongs" says: "The song has been handed down through many generations of my family. Long before Nirvana's rise, he and Mark Lanegan, leader of the Seattle rock group Screaming Trees, formed a friendship around a mutual love of Leadbelly. In his versions, Lead Belly leans into the darkness of the song. 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. Tabbed by: Puzzlr Email: iampuzzlr@gmail.com Tuning: eBGDAE No Capo A great song with easy chords! Learn more. “He sort of blues-ified it.”. I don't ever remember not hearing it and not singing it. 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." The engine it stopped at a six-miles post, the cabin it never left town.”. There is the chorus "in the pines," a stanza about "the longest train I ever saw" and another verse in which someone is decapitated by a Train. It’s also what’s called, a murder ballad—which is a European tradition that stretches as far back as the Renaissance. Even within alternative music, "In the Pines" has something of a history. Little girl, little girl, what have I done That makes you treat me so The story begins at 26:00, with an introduction from host Kurt Andersen. I asked my captain for the time of day He said he throwed his watch away A long steel rail and a short cross tie I’m on my way back home. The next year, commercial hillbilly recordings of "In the Pines" and "The Longest Train" began appearing. his head was found in the drivers wheel. Her husband was a hard-working man Just about a mile from here His head was found in the driver's wheel But his body never was found. But the truth is Michael Martin Murphey's 1975 hit "Carolina in the Pines" is about a woman. “You know by that point Monroe was playing concerts and selling records and he was kind of a big deal in early country music.”. The song probably has its origins in the Southern Appalachians, where it is still passed on as part of an oral tradition. You've caused me … If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. It was filmed just five months before and it was haunting to see Cobain resurrected, singing from a dimly lit stage surrounded by candles and lilies. Mr. Lanegan sang his version as a spectator might have, with a bit of a leer. 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. “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. You’ve run out of free articles. 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. ALTHOUGH LEADBELLY IS credited with authorship of "Where Did You Sleep" on "The Winding Sheet" and Nirvana's "Unplugged in New York," his own discovery of the song was almost as secondhand as that of the Seattle musicians. MP3 pine meaning: 1. an evergreen tree (= one that never loses its leaves) that grows in cooler areas of the world…. In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines And we shiver when the cold wind blows. Realization grew on me, as quickly as it takes your hand. In the pines, in the pines Where the sun never shines And we shiver when the cold wind blows. Jason Isbell explains the meaning behind some of his best songs including Alabama Pines, Dress Blues and Tour Of Duty. But the pines—that cold dark wilderness—will become the most common refrain that ties all the various versions together. “Lead Belly lead a violent life,” she says. "Carolina in the Pines" addresses Martin's wife whose actual name was Caroline: "I tried to write a love song about my wife without trying to relegate her to a secondary position as a supporter of me. “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. "The longest train" section probably began as a separate song, which merged with "In the Pines"; references in some renditions to "Joe Brown's coal mine" and "the Georgia line" may date its origins to Joseph Emerson Brown, a former Georgia governor, who operated coal mines in the 1870's. Nirvana's "Where Did You Sleep" is so definitive that the stray ends of the history of "In the Pines" come together. I'm going where the cold wind blows In the pines, in the pines, where the sun don't ever shine I would shiver the whole night through. his body was never found. When they settled along the Appalachians, the European murder ballad became a bedrock of the American folk tradition. In 1925, a version of the song was recorded onto phonograph cylinder by a folk collector. 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 … + Bill Monroe song lyrics . 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. “The longest train I ever saw went down that Georgie line. Her master finds her (supposedly dehydrated and weak) and tells her to give up running because she will not make it more than a mile and a half before dying. But what’s striking about Cobain’s performance is his emotional tenderness. A traditional American folk song which dates back to at least the 1870s, and which is generally believed to be Southern Appalachian in origin (although some think that it has an older Irish history). (An album of Nirvana's MTV concert, "Unplugged in New York," was recently released on the DGC label.) In Leadbelly's version, the title is "Where Did You Sleep Last Night", to which the answer is "in the pines". The other pivotal musician for this song is the great early 20th-century folk and blues musician Lead Belly. I ] try to do in life. of music at Brea in. Include all of in the pines song meaning elements caused me to moan you caused me to weep, you caused me to my... Lie to me ; where did you sleep last night? was. ” spectator have! 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