Sunday, February 14, 2016

*****Damn It- Free Leonard Peltier Now-He Must Not Die In Jail!

*****Damn It- Free Leonard Peltier Now-He Must Not Die In Jail!

Leonard Peltier in 1972

Leonard Peltier

Workers Vanguard No. 1082
29 January 2016
40 Years Behind Bars
Free Leonard Peltier Now!
(Class-Struggle Defense Notes)
Leonard Peltier is one of the most prominent political prisoners in America. Peltier’s imprisonment for his activism in the American Indian Movement (AIM) symbolizes this country’s racist repression of indigenous people, the survivors of centuries of genocide. February 6 marks 40 years since Peltier was arrested on frame-up charges of killing two FBI agents. This began his long ordeal of incarceration. Peltier’s innocence has always demanded his freedom, but a new health crisis makes it more urgent than ever that he be released now to get quality medical attention for a life-threatening abdominal aortic aneurysm.
In the early 1970s, the government turned its sights on AIM, which was combating the grinding poverty of Native Americans and the continued theft of their lands. The Feds and the energy companies were intent on grabbing the rich uranium deposits under land of the Oglala Lakota people in western South Dakota. The Pine Ridge Reservation became a war zone as the hated Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the FBI trained and armed thugs to terrorize and brutalize AIM activists. Between 1973 and 1976, these killers carried out more than 300 attacks, murdering at least 69 people.
When 250 FBI and BIA agents, SWAT cops and vigilantes launched an assault against Pine Ridge in June 1975 and the FBI came up two agents short, Peltier and three others were charged with their deaths. Peltier sought refuge in Canada, but was caught and held in solitary confinement for ten months. Charges were dropped against one of the others, while AIM supporters Dino Butler and Bob Robideau were acquitted. Jurors at the trial in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, stated that they did not believe the government witnesses and that it seemed “pretty much a clear-cut case of self-defense.”
The government went into overdrive to make sure Peltier would be convicted. Perjured affidavits secured his extradition to the U.S. The trial was moved to Fargo, North Dakota, a town where racism against Native Americans was prevalent, and held before an all-white jury. To preclude another acquittal on grounds of self-defense, the judge excluded evidence of government terror against Pine Ridge activists. Defense witnesses were barred from testifying, and the prosecution concealed ballistics tests showing that Peltier’s gun could not have been used in the shooting. In 1977, Peltier was found guilty and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.
The intent of the racist capitalist rulers to see this innocent man die in prison has been clear from the start. Peltier’s legal rights have consistently been trampled: calls for a new trial; requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act; applications for parole; demands for medical treatment—all denied time and again. In a 1985 appeal hearing, the lead government attorney admitted: “We can’t prove who shot those agents.” A 2003 ruling from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals stated: “Much of the government’s behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned.” But the appeals were denied anyway. There is no justice in the bourgeoisie’s courts for fighters against racist and capitalist injustice like Leonard Peltier.
The Feds’ vendetta against Peltier and other AIM leaders was part of the FBI’s notorious Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of surveillance, disruption, frame-up and murder. Launched in the 1950s, COINTELPRO initially targeted the Communist Party and the then-Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party. It was later deployed against other left organizations, antiwar activists and especially against radical black activists in the 1960s. The Black Panther Party bore the brunt of the Feds’ attacks: members were framed up and imprisoned by the hundreds while 38 were killed in cold blood.
AIM was formed in 1968 to fight police harassment in Minneapolis and quickly caught the FBI’s eye. AIM forged ties with Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton who, along with Mark Clark, was gunned down in his apartment by the Chicago cops on 4 December 1969. That same year, AIM started its 19-month occupation of Alcatraz Island to demand the return of stolen Native land.
Like Peltier, many former Panthers still languish in prison, among them Mumia Abu-Jamal and Albert Woodfox. The Partisan Defense Committee publicizes their cases and provides support to them and eleven others through our Class-War Prisoner stipend program. Funds for this program are raised during the PDC’s annual Holiday Appeal. While supporting all possible legal proceedings on behalf of the class-war prisoners, we place no faith whatever in the courts, which are part of the apparatus used by the capitalist class to maintain its rule. We look to the social power of the multiracial labor movement to lead the poor and oppressed in struggle against the capitalist exploiters and their system of private property.
The vindictiveness of the Feds toward this unbowed fighter for Native Americans, who is also a gifted writer and artist, knows no bounds. In his four decades behind bars, Peltier has been subjected to supermax hell, punitive prison moves, long stretches in solitary and brutal beatings. Denied transfer to North Dakota to be near his people, he is incarcerated nearly 2,000 miles away in Florida. Peltier has diabetes and high blood pressure, has suffered a stroke and a heart attack, and he is partially blind in one eye. Twenty years ago he underwent surgery in prison to fix a defect in his jaw that had prevented him from eating solid food. The operation was so botched that he almost died and needed six blood transfusions. To avert public awareness of Peltier and the injustice inflicted on him, an association of former FBI agents forced the removal of four of his paintings from a Native art installation in Washington State last November.
In a November 26 statement to his supporters, Peltier spoke of the pain and neglect he was suffering even before his latest diagnosis:
“I wish I could lie to you and tell you I’m doing O.K., but that would not be fair to you.... I cannot walk but very slowly and while hanging on to someone for support. But after a few steps I’m O.K. So I move right along with the crowd. But those first few steps are awfully painful. I asked for a cushion, but was told they don’t have any here—and to make one myself from a blanket. Well, news flash. I did this and every time I did they took it away. Yep, for some reason this is illegal. Then I have to deal with the other medical problems. So, yeah, this is my Sundance.”
The PDC has written to President Obama to demand Peltier’s urgent release. Peltier’s defense committee urges supporters to mention Leonard’s current health crisis when calling the White House to voice support for clemency now, and to also demand that he receive the best possible care by contacting: Federal Bureau of Prisons, 320 First St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20534, (202) 307-3198, We urge our readers to do likewise.

You can also write to Leonard Peltier, #89637-132, USP Coleman I, P.O. Box 1033, Coleman, FL 33521.

I am passing this along which was passed to me so check it out. (November 2015) 

Anonymous7:57 PM
The correct contact information for Peltier's defense committee (and ACCURATE information regarding Leonard Peltier, his case, and the campaign for freedom) is ILPDC, PO Box 24, Hillsboro, OR 97123. Web:

Click to a Leonard Peltier Defense Committee site. 

Leonard Peltier is an internationally renowned class-war prisoner. Peltier’s incarceration for his activism in the American Indian Movement has come to symbolize this country’s racist repression of its native peoples, the survivors of centuries of genocidal oppression. Peltier was framed up for the 1975 deaths of two FBI agents marauding in what had become a war zone on the South Dakota Pine Ridge Reservation. Although the lead government attorney has admitted, “We can’t prove who shot those agents,” and the courts have acknowledged blatant prosecutorial misconduct, the 69-year-old Peltier is not scheduled to be reconsidered for parole for another eleven years! Peltier suffers from multiple serious medical conditions and is incarcerated far from his people and family.


This entry is passed on from the Partisan Defense Committee. I need add little except to say that this man, a natural leader of the American Indian Movement (AIM), should never have spent a day in jail. Free him now.

"We, along with millions of others, do not believe that Leonard Peltier should have been incarcerated at all. We demand his unconditional release from prison."

Leonard Peltier was arrested in Canada on February 6, 1976, along with Frank Blackhorse, a.k.a. Frank Deluca. The United States presented the Canadian court with affidavits signed by Myrtle Poor Bear who said she was Mr. Peltier’s girlfriend and allegedly saw him shoot the agents. In fact, Ms. Poor Bear had never met Mr. Peltier and was not present during the shoot-out. Soon after, Ms. Poor Bear recanted her statements and said the FBI threatened her and coerced her into signing the affidavits.

  • Mr. Peltier was extradited to the United States where he was tried in 1977. The trial was held in North Dakota before United States District Judge Paul Benson, a conservative jurist appointed to the federal bench by Richard M. Nixon. Key witnesses like Myrtle Poor Bear were not allowed to testify and unlike the Robideau/Butler trial in Iowa, evidence regarding violence on Pine Ridge was severely restricted.
  • An FBI agent who had previously testified that the agents followed a pick-up truck onto the scene, a vehicle that could not be tied to Mr. Peltier, changed his account, stating that the agents had followed a red and white van onto the scene, a vehicle which Mr. Peltier drove occasionally.
  • Three teenaged Native witnesses testified against Mr. Peltier, they all later admitted that the FBI forced them to testify. Still, not one witness identified Mr. Peltier as the shooter.
  • The U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case claimed that the government had provided the defense with all FBI documents concerning the case. To the contrary, more than 140,000 pages had been withheld in their entirety.
  • An FBI ballistics expert testified that a casing found near the agents’ bodies matched the gun tied to Mr. Peltier. However, a ballistic test proving that the casing did not come from the gun tied to Mr. Peltier was intentionally concealed.
  • The jury, unaware of the aforementioned facts, found Mr. Peltier guilty. Judge Benson, in turn, sentenced Mr. Peltier to two consecutive life terms.
  • Following the discovery of new evidence obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Mr. Peltier sought a new trial. The Eighth Circuit ruled, “There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been available to him in order to better exploit and reinforce the inconsistencies casting strong doubts upon the government's case." Yet, the court denied Mr. Peltier a new trial.
  • During oral argument, the government attorney conceded that the government does not know who shot the agents, stating that Mr. Peltier is equally guilty whether he shot the agents at point-blank range, or participated in the shoot-out from a distance. Mr. Peltier’s co-defendants participated in the shoot-out from a distance, but were acquitted.
  • Judge Heaney, who authored the decision denying a new trial, has since voiced firm support for Mr. Peltier’s release, stating that the FBI used improper tactics to convict Mr. Peltier, the FBI was equally responsible for the shoot-out, and that Mr. Peltier's release would promote healing with Native Americans.
  • Mr. Peltier has served over 29 years in prison and is long overdue for parole. He has received several human rights awards for his good deeds from behind bars which include annual gift drives for the children of Pine Ridge, fund raisers for battered women’s shelters, and donations of his paintings to Native American recovery programs.
  • Mr. Peltier suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, and a heart condition. Time for justice is short.
  • Currently, Mr. Peltier’s attorneys have filed a new round of Freedom of Information Act requests with FBI Headquarters and all FBI field offices in an attempt to secure the release of all files relating to Mr. Peltier and the RESMURS investigation. To date, the FBI has engaged in a number of dilatory tactics in order to avoid the processing of these requests.



Thirty years ago, on 6 February 1976, American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Leonard Peltier was seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in western Canada. Peltier had fled there after a massive U.S. government attack the previous June—by FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) agents, SWAT cops and white vigilantes—on South Dakota's Pine Ridge reservation during which two FBI agents were killed. After Canadian authorities held Peltier for ten months in solitary confinement in Oakalla Prison, he was extradited to the U.S. on the basis of fabricated FBI testimony. In 1977, Peltier, a member of the Anishinabe and Lakota Nations, was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences on frame-up murder charges stemming from the shooting of the two FBI agents.

While Peltier had sought refuge in Canada, two others charged in the agents' killings were acquitted in a federal court in Iowa. Jurors stated that they did not believe the government witnesses and that it seemed "pretty much a clear-cut case of self-defense" against the FBI invasion. In Peltier's trial the prosecution concealed ballistics tests showing that his gun could not have been used in the shooting, while the trial judge ruled out any chance of another acquittal on self-defense grounds by barring any evidence of government terror against the Pine Ridge activists. At a 1985 appeal hearing, a government attorney admitted, "We can't prove who shot those agents."

AIM had been in the Feds' gun sights because of its efforts to fight the enforced poverty of Native Americans and the continued theft of their lands by the government and energy companies, which were intent on grabbing rich uranium deposits under Sioux land in South Dakota. The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee stated in 2004: "Virtually every known AIM leader in the United States was incarcerated in either state or federal prisons since (or even before) the organization's formal emergence in 1968, some repeatedly." Between 1973 and 1976, thugs of the Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOON), armed and trained by the hated BIA and FBI, carried out more than 300 attacks in and around Pine Ridge, killing at least 69 people.
As we wrote during the fight against Peltier's threatened deportation, "The U.S. case against Peltier is political persecution, part of a broader attempt by the FBI to smash AIM through piling up criminal charges against its leaders, just as was done against the Black Panthers" (PTFNo. 112, 4 June 1976). AIM and Peltier were targeted by the FBI's deadly Counter-intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of disruption, frame-up and murder of the left, black militants and others. Under COINTELPRO, 38 Black Panthers were killed by the FBI and local cops. Panther leader Geronimo ji Jaga (Pratt) spent 27 years in prison for a crime the FBI knew he could not have committed before finally winning release in 1997. Mumia Abu-Jamal—also an innocent man— remains on Pennsylvania's death row today.

In November 2003, a federal appeals court ruled, "Much of the government's behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not disputed." But the court still refused to open the prison doors for Peltier. Last year, U.S. District Court judge William Skretny turned down Peltier's request for documents suppressed by the government, even while acknowledging that he could have been acquitted had the government not improperly withheld them. Peltier attorney Michael Kuzma stated that the evidence withheld by the government amounts to a staggering 142,579 pages!

On February 24, Skretny again ruled that the FBI can keep part of its records secret in the name of "national security." Peltier noted in a message to the March 18 protests against the Iraq occupation, "Our government uses the words 'national security' and fighting the war on transnational terrorism as a smoke screen to cover up further crimes and misconduct by the FBI." Also this February, defense attorney Barry Bachrach argued in St. Louis federal court that the federal government had no jurisdiction in Peltier's case, since the shootings occurred on a reservation.

Millions of people have signed petitions for Peltier over the years, including by 1986 some 17 million people in the former Soviet Union. His frame-up, like that of Geronimo ji Jaga and Mumia Abu-Jamal, demonstrates that there is no justice in the capitalist courts of America. While supporting all possible legal proceedings on behalf of the class-war prisoners, we place no faith whatever in the "justice" of the courts and rely solely on the power of mass protest centered on the integrated labor movement.

After Peltier's third appeal for a new trial was denied in 1993, thousands of prominent liberals, celebrities and others—ranging from Willie Nelson to Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mother Teresa—called for a presidential pardon. In a recent column titled "Free Leonard Peltier!" (5 February), Mumia Abu-Jamal wrote: "Many Peltier supporters put their trust in a politician named Bill Clinton, who told them that when he got elected he 'wouldn't forget' about the popular Native American leader. Their trust (like that of so many others) was betrayed once Clinton gained his office, and the FBI protested. In the waning days of his presidency, he issued pardons to folks like Marc Rich, and other wealthy campaign contributors. Leonard Peltier was left in his chains!"

Peltier is one of 16 class-war prisoners to whom the Partisan Defense Committee sends monthly stipends. For more information on his case, or to contribute to Peltier's legal defense, write to: Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, 2626 North Mesa #132, El Paso, TX 79902. Free Leonard Peltier and all class-war prisoners!

*****From Veterans For Peace In Massachusetts-Stop The Damn Endless Wars-Revelations

*****From Veterans For Peace In Massachusetts-Stop The Damn Endless Wars-Revelations

What VFP Stands For - 


Revelations-From The Sam Eaton-Ralph Morris Series

From The Pen Of Bart Webber

Ralph Morris had always considered himself a straight-up guy. Straight up when he dealt with customers in his high-precision electrical shop in Troy, New York inherited from his father after he retired before he himself recently retired and turned it over to his youngest son, James, who would bring the operation into the 21st century with the high tech equipment precision electrical work needs nowadays. Straight up when he confronted the trials and tribulations of parenthood and told the kids that due to his political obligations (of which more in a minute) he would be away and perhaps seem somewhat pre-occupied at times he would answer any questions they had about anything as best he could (and the kids in turn when characterizing their father to me, told me that he was hard-working, distant but had been straight up with them although those sentiments said in a wistful, wondering, wishing more manner like there was something missing in the whole exchange and Ralph agreed when I mentioned that feeling to him that I was probably right but that he did the best he could). Straight up after sowing his wild oats along with Sam Eaton, Pete Markin, Frankie Riley and a bunch of other guys from the working class corners who dived into that 1960s counter-cultural moment and hit the roads, for a short time after the stress of eighteen months in the bush in Vietnam. Meaning sleeping with any young woman who would have him in those care-free days when we were all experimenting with new ways to deal with that fretting sexual issue and getting only slightly less confused that when we got all that god-awful and usually wrong information in the streets where most of us, for good or evil learned to separate our Ps and Qs. After which he promised his high school sweetheart, Lara Peters, who had waited for him to settle down to be her forever man. And straight up with what concerns us here his attitude toward his military service in the Army during the height of the Vietnam War where he did his time, did not cause waves while in the service but raised, and is still raising seven kinds of holy hell, once he became totally disillusioned with the war, with the military brass and with the American government (no “our government” his way of saying it not mine) who did nothing but make thoughtless animals out of him and his buddies.             

Giving this “straight up” character business is important here because Ralph several years ago along with Sam Eaton, a non-Vietnam veteran having been exempted from military duty due to being the sole support of his mother and four younger sisters after his ne’er-do-well father died of a massive heart attack in 1965, joined a peace organization, Veterans For Peace (VFP), in order to work with others doing the same kind of work (Ralph as a  full member, Sam an associate member in the way membership works in that organization although both have full right to participate and discuss the aims and projects going forward) once they decided to push hard against the endless wars of the American government (both Ralph and Sam’s way of putting the matter). Without going into great detail Sam and Ralph had met down in Washington, D.C. on May Day 1971 when they with their respective groups (Sam with a radical collective from Cambridge and Ralph with Vietnam Veterans Against the War) attempted to as the slogan went-“shut down the government if it did not shut down the war.” Unfortunately they failed but the several days they spent together in detention in RFK Stadium then being used as the main detention area cemented a life-time friendship, and a life-time commitment to work for peace. (Sam’s impetus the loss of his best corner boy high school friend, Jeff Mullins, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1968 who begged him to tell everybody what was really going on with war if he did not make it back to tell them himself.)        

That brings us to the Ralph straight up part. He and Sam had worked closely with or been member of for several years in the 1970s VVAW and other organizations to promote peace. But as the decade ended and the energy of the 1960s faded and ebbed they like many others went on with their lives, build up their businesses, had their families to consider and generally prospered. Oh sure, when warm bodies were needed for this or that good old cause they were there but until the fall of 2002 their actions were helter-skelter and of an ad hoc nature. Patch work they called it. Of course the hell-broth of the senseless, futile and about six other negative descriptions of that 2003 Iraq war disaster, disaster not so much for the American government (Sam and Ralph’s now familiar term) as for the Iraqi people and others under the cross-fires of the American military juggernaut (my term). So they, having fewer family and work responsibilities were getting the old time anti-war “religion” fires stoked in their brains once again to give one more big push against the machine before they passed on. They started working with VFP in various marches, vigils, civil disobedience actions and whatever other projects the organization was about (more recently the case of getting a presidential pardon and freedom for the heroic Wiki-leaks whistle –blower soldier Chelsea Manning sentenced to a thirty-five year sentence at Fort Leavenworth for telling the truth about American atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan). Did that for a couple of years before they joined. And here is really where that straight up business comes into play. See they both had been around peace organizations enough to know that membership means certain obligation beyond paying dues and reading whatever materials an organization puts out-they did not want to be, had never been mere “paper members” So after that couple of years of working with VFP in about 2008 they joined up, joined up and have been active members ever since.        

Now that would be neither here nor there but Ralph had recently been thinking about stepping up his commitment even further by running for the Executive Committee of his local Mohawk Valley  chapter, the Kenny Johnson Chapter. (Sam as an associate member of his local chapter, the James Jencks Brigade is precluded as a non-veterans from holding such offices the only distinction between the two types of membership.) He ran and won a seat on the committee. But straight up again since he was committed to helping lead the organization locally and perhaps take another step up at some point he decided this year to go to the National Convention in San Diego (the geographic location of that site a definitive draw) and learn more about the overall workings of the organization and those most dedicated to its success.

So Ralph went and immersed himself in the details of what is going on with the organization. More importantly he got to hear the details of how guys (and it is mostly guys reflecting the origins of the organization in 1985 a time when women were not encouraged to go into the service), mostly guys from his Vietnam War generation as the older World War II and Korea vets pass on and the Iraq and Afghan war vets are still finding their “voice” came to join the organization. What amazed him was how many of the stories centered on various objections that his fellow members had developed while in whatever branch of the military they were in. See Ralph had kept his “nose clean” despite his growing disenchantment with the war while serving his eighteen months in country. He had been by no means a gung-ho soldier although he had imbibed all the social and political attitudes of his working class background that he had been exposed to concerning doing service, fighting evil commies and crushing anything that got in the way of the American government. He certainly was not a model soldier either but he went along, got along by getting along. These other guys didn’t.

One story stood out not because it was all that unusual in the organization but because Ralph had never run up against anything like it during his time of service from 1967-1970. Not in basic training AIT, not in Vietnam although he had heard stuff about disaffected soldiers toward the end of his enlistment. This guy, Frank Jefferson, he had met at one of the workshops on military resisters had told Ralph when he asked that he had served a year in an Army stockade for refusing to wear the uniform, refusing to do Army work of any kind. At least voluntarily. The rough details of Frank’s story went like this. He had been drafted in late 1968 and was inducted into the Army in early 1969 having had no particular reason not to go in since while he was vaguely anti-war like most college students he was not a conscientious objector (and still doesn’t since he believes wars of national liberation and the like are just and supportable, especially those who are facing down the barrel of American imperialism, was not interested in going to jail like some guys, some draft resisters, from his generation who refused to be inducted an did not even think about the option of Canada or some such exile. Moreover the ethos of his town, his family, his whole social circle was not one that would have welcomed resistance, would not have been understood as a sincere if different way of looking at the world. Add to that two guys had been killed in Vietnam from his neighborhood and the social pressure to conform was too great to buck even if he had had stronger convictions then. 

Three days, maybe less after Frank was deposited at Fort Jackson in South Carolina in January, 1969 for basic training he knew he had made a great mistake, had had stronger anti-war feelings, maybe better anti-military feelings than he suspected and was heading for a fall. This was a period when draftees, those fewer and fewer men who were allowing themselves to be drafted, were being channeled toward the infantry, the “grunts,” the cannon-fodder (words he learned later but not known as he came in) and that was his fate. He was trained as an 11 Bravo, killer soldier. Eventually he got orders to report to Fort Lewis in Washington for transport to Vietnam. On a short leave before he was requested to report Frank went back to Cambridge where he grew up and checked in with the Quakers which somebody had told him to do if he was going to challenge his fate in any way. The counsellor there advised him to put in a CO application at Fort Devens nearby. He did so, was turned down because as a Catholic objector he did not qualify under the doctrine of that church. (And he still held to his “just war” position mentioned above). He tried to appeal that decision through military then civilian channels with help from a lawyer provided by the Quakers (really their American Friends Service Committee) although that was dicey at best. Then, despite some counsel against such actions Frank had an epiphany, a day of reckoning, a day when he decided that enough was enough and showed up at parade field for the Monday morning report in civilian clothes carrying a “Bring The Troops Home” sign. Pandemonium ensued, he was man-handled by two beefy lifer-sergeants and was thrown in the stockade. Eventually he was tried and sentenced to six month under a special court-martial for disobeying orders which he served. He got out after during that stretch and continued to refuse to wear the uniform or do work. So back to the stockade and re-trial getting another six months, again for disobeying lawful orders. Fortunately that civilian lawyer had brought the CO denial case to the Federal Court in Boston on a writ of habeas corpus and the judge ruled that the Army had acted wrongly in denying the application. A few weeks later he was released. Frank said otherwise he still might forty plus years later be doing yet another six month sentence. So that was his story and there were probably others like that during that turbulent time when the Army was near mutiny.

Ralph said to himself after hearing the Jefferson story, yeah, these are the brethren I can work with, guys like Jefferson really won’t fold under pressure. Yeah, that’s right.           

***Poet’s Corner- Langston Hughes- Jazzonia -

***Poet’s Corner- Langston Hughes-  Jazzonia 



From The Pen Of Frank Jackman


February is Black History Month




Oh, silver tree!
Oh, shining rivers of the soul!

In a Harlem cabaret
Six long-headed jazzers play.
A dancing girl whose eyes are bold
Lifts high a dress of silken gold.

Oh, singing tree!
Oh, shining rivers of the soul!

Were Eve's eyes
In the first garden
Just a bit too bold?
Was Cleopatra gorgeous
In a gown of gold?

Oh, shining tree!
Oh, silver rivers of the soul!

In a whirling cabaret
Six long-headed jazzers play.

Langston Hughes



This was the limit. That exact thought and no other crossed Louise Crawford’s mind as she fumed, fumed for the third time over the past several weeks waiting, waiting for his lordship, his budding poet lordship, to show up sometime in the next decade. Waiting so that he could take her to the Red Hat where “the Earl” and the boys were playing some heavy-noted down and dirty black-assed jazz that week and for “beat” aficionados, or like her, looking to be seen at the latest happening thing around the city she just had to be present at the creation. Yeah, she was like that, had a talent, no, maybe better a wanting habit which constantly needed to be replenished.

Other times he had begged indulgence because he was in the throes of writing some inspired poem, calling her his muse which stopped her in her tracks, or some small press publisher was all agog to print a few hundred copies of a small collection of his work. Still no, no Crawford, no Crawford whose forbears practically came over on the Mayflower was ever on this great earth to be kept waiting, for anything under any circumstances, and she would make that abundantly clear to him, again, when he arrived, if he did arrive. (For those not in the know, yes, that Crawford of the Wall Street financiers Crawford who have been making money hand over fist since about the time of the Mayflower so waiting had been bred out of the clan she, Louise the youngest daughter, twenty-two, if anybody was asking.) 

Of course, Louise recognized the double-standard, although only recognized it and would not be enslaved to it any more than any other twenty-two year old woman would be, that she was more than willing to play her own fashionably late card when it suited her, especially among her old boarding school friends who made something of a science of the custom. She, moreover, did not care, did not care one whit, that he, Jesse to give him a name, was somebody’s protégé , some friend of Mabel Dodge’s granddaughter or something like that, and the greatest poet, the greatest black poet since, what was his name, oh yes, Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance back in the Jazz Age or something (not real jazz, not be-bop jazz, not from what she had heard on old records but more stuff to please the booze-swilling patrons, not like today with Earl, and walking daddies like Earl, and their cool, ultra-cool be-bop, be-bop sound).

She had had her full string of Greenwich Village hipsters, or want-to-be- hipsters, “beats” was the term of art ever since Jack Kerouac blew the lid off the straight world with his big book, On The Road, a few years back so every half-baked suburbanite joker was “beat,” beaten a better way to say it. Had had her fill of every variety that passed through Bleecker Street and she had had a veritable United Nations of lovers from the time she had turned sixteen and learned the karma sutra arts (and liked them) from poet prince Jesse back to Bob, the Jewish folksinger who wrote songs in honor of her pale blue eyes, his long legs and her natural blonde hair, and before him, Jim the jug band guy who made her laugh but had to go when he got into some serious drug stuff and got all devil cultish about it, and let’s see, Julio the painter who painted her in the nude, well, semi-nude and then took off with some senorita from Sonora , Michelangelo the sculptor who proclaimed his metal pieces the new wave( so no, not that old time one), Betty, the writer (just a crush and trying something new when some guy, a trumpet player so it figured, introduced her to sister and to some low-life sex stuff), Lothario the high-wire artist and juggler, and, well you know, a lot of very interesting people.

Of course Jesse was her first negro, oops, black lover. Jesus, she remembered one night when she called him that, negro, “the greatest Negro poet since Langston Hughes,” when she introduced him to friends at a party and later he yelled holy hell at her saying that he was a black man, a black son of Mother Africa and that his people were creating stuff, human progress stuff, when her people were figuring out how to use a spoon, and trying to figure out why anyone would use such a thing if they could figure out how to use it. He said if he was in Mexico or Spain and was called word that it would be okay, okay maybe, but in America he was black, a sable warrior, black. And had been black since Pharaoh times. Later that night he wrote his well-received In Pharaoh Times to blow off the madness steam he still felt toward her. ( A poem which when she read it later, really read it expressed all his pent up stuff about being black, about coming from slavery and what that remnant still left had done to the psyche, the black male psyche not being able to protect his own, and about Mister Whitey, read Pharaoh, read Crawfords, read Wall Street, read waiting blondes cultivating their first black lover always getting what they wanted when they wanted it and some stuff she could not understand, some references to specific black cultural events.) And being her first black lover she had given him some room knowing that he was an artist, and he really was good in bed but this standing up thing was just not done, not done to a Crawford and so she determined that she would give him his walking papers this very night.

Just then she remembered, remembered the last time, that second time he, Jesse, had kept her waiting and the next day, as an act of contrition, he had written his lovely poem Louise Love In Quiet Time for her that some Village poetry journal was all aflutter to publish (and that she had re-read constantly). So maybe tonight she would not give him his walking papers…

As The 150th Anniversary Of The American Civil War-Bruce Catton’s Terrible Swift Sword- A Book Review

As The 150th Anniversary Of The American Civil War-Bruce Catton’s Terrible Swift Sword- A Book Review

Book Review

By Frank Jackman

Terrible Swift Sword, by Bruce Catton, Washington Square press, New York, 1963

Old time friends from the 1960s anti-Vietnam War struggles Ralph Morris and Sam Eaton had a common interest in the American Civil War since they were kids in the early 1960s and in their respective home towns got caught up in the centennial events celebrated back then. Sam who grew up in cranberry bog country down in Carver in Southeastern Massachusetts used to collect the stamps and first day covers of the series that the United State Post Office put out commemorating various battles, important events and personalities from that bloody conflict (first day covers were issued and cancelled on the day that the stamp was issued and from the place where it had been issued which represented in those less video-filled days a hobby which many kids got into as an inexpensive way to keep in time with the world around them-hell most of that time a stamp was only three or four cents). Ralph, not usually much of a reader, made an exception for Civil War history and literature since coming from Troy in upstate New York he had had many distant relatives who had some connection with that war and were commemorated on the huge Civil War Memorial in the downtown area.      

Of course Ralph and Sam did not know each other in the early 1960s but had met in 1971 down in Washington, D.C. on May Day when Ralph, a Vietnam veteran who had turned against the war with a vengeance along with his Albany area contingent of Vietnam Veterans Against The War (VVAW) and Ralph, not a veteran but an anti-war convert after his best friend from high school had been killed in the Central Highlands of Vietnam and had urged him if he did not get back alive to tell anybody who would listen to stop the war, with a Cambridge radical collective had tried to stop the war by stopping the government, or some such idea. All the thousands who came out that day and a few days following got for their efforts were police sticks, tear gas, and a trip to the bastinado. The bastinado for the two of them was a football stadium, the home of the Washington Redskins, ironically Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, being used as a temporary holding pen for most of those arrested. Ralph had sought Sam out when he noticed as he walked along the football field that he was wearing a VVAW button and had asked if Sam was a veteran. Sam told him the story of his friend and over the next several days before they were released (and the next forty some years) they would talk incessantly about everything under the sun including their mutual interest in the American Civil War. Both had agreed that the war to preserve the Union (Ralph’s position then) and to abolition slavery (Sam’s) would have found them as soldiers in some Union army, probably some brigade of the Army of the Potomac the way troops from the North were distributed then from the levies their respective governors sent down.       

Although their personal perspectives are not germane to this book review even one hundred plus years later when discussion of the Civil War comes up Northern aficionados will gravitate toward one or the other reason, or in some cases both, for why they would have supported the Northern side in the bloody dispute. Ralph and Sam’s respective takes on their reasons for support are almost chemically pure examples of what drove our forebears toward support for the war.

Ralph born in upstate New York very close to many of the key battles of the American Revolution at Saratoga Springs and its environs was driven by the idea of the need to save the union intact in order for it as Lincoln so eloquently stated to remain the “last, best hope for democracy” on the planet. He was in those days, in his youth totally out of sympathy with the idea of emancipating the slaves as the main reason for fighting. Those early 1960s found Ralph standing side by side with his father in the fight against attempts by blacks from CORE to move into their section of Troy, the Tappan Street section, to live side by side with what Ralph, Senior called “nigras” just like Governor George Wallace down in Alabama was calling them. Ralph, later after having his “ass” saved more than once by a couple of “brothers” and after getting “religion” on the war issue and who was fighting the damn thing like him and those brothers had a sea-change in attitude and wound up doing plenty of defense work for the besieged Black Panthers (along with Sam and other VVAWers) when they were under frontal attack by every police agency in the country. But in the early 1960s he was strictly a “save the union” man.    

Sam on the other had come from a strain of Puritan stock on his mother’s side who had back in the 1850s when they first settled in Carver and its environs been rabid abolitionists, had been at Temple Church in Boston when all the great abolitionist orators would speak against the “abomination of slavery” and that background would be sprinkled generally and gently in the household although his father was nothing but a swamp Yankee cranberry bogger who didn’t give a rat’s ass (an expression used by Sam and his growing up corner boys when they, well, didn’t give a rat’s ass about something). Moreover when Sidney Stein and Ethel Rogers started putting together collections of books to be sent to the poor black kids down in Mississippi after being called on to do so by the NAACP in Boston he volunteered to help although it cost him a lot of grief from his corner boys and others who had about the same attitudes as Ralph and his father. As already mentioned as part of Sam’s radicalization after the death of his friend he also dived right in on the Black Panther defense work, especially the New Haven case where he (and Ralph) stayed for several weeks while the trial was going on.

Like I said Ralph and Sam, although both working class kids came at their interests from different perspectives. Moreover, when they began discussing their mutual interests back in the bastinado in 1971 there was also a difference in emphasis of interest, which has lasted until this day. Ralph was, is always much more interested in the various battles, the strategies, and the military personalities of both side and Sam was, is, more interested in the political conditions which Lincoln and the other Union leaders encountered which determined their strategy for preserving the union (clearly early in the war the sole aim of Lincoln and the great majority in the North) and ultimately by the logic of the fight the struggle for total emancipation of and citizen for the slaves.          

So it was no accident that once the 150th anniversary of the war began being commemorated in 2011 that Sam and Ralph would take note, take to reconvening their arguments about military versus political strategy as they liked to call it. They were aware since Sam many years before had begun subscribing to the New York Review Of Books that there would be another onslaught of books covering every aspect of the war, from battles and personalities to sanitary conditions and firearms and everything in between. Sam had made Ralph laugh one time when he had read a review of a book, a whole book for Christ sake, about the role of “shoddy,” inferior clothing, shoes and supplies produce by unscrupulous manufacturers on the outcome of the war. This time out there would be the same, maybe more. Of course Sam and Ralph both had small collections of Civil War books gathered over time so they one night at Jack’s Grille in Cambridge, a town where Sam had been living with his wife Lana once the kids were out of the house they decided to “down-size” to a condo from their leafy suburban house in Avon, they decided to dust off some of the old books first and begin their old “wars” once again. Of course one of the great summaries of the military and political events driving the action on both sides in the Civil War was Bruce Catton’s prize-winning trilogy. The first volume concerning the events that led up to the war and the beginning of the bloodshed at that point somewhat amateurish and make-shift The Coming Fury has been reviewed (and disputed by them) elsewhere. The review here of Terrible Swift Sword, the middle years of the war where the fighting turned large-scale, turned furious, turned more merciless and began to clarify the issue of the initial objectives of the war for the preservation of the union (or preservation of the Confederacy) and the remorseless fight for the abolition of slavery is what Ralph and Sam continued their disputes about.            

On the union side once the rout of first Bull Run put the fear of God into the North, made certain forward looking elements on the Union side and not just the abolitionists, civilian and military, realize that a remorseless struggle lie ahead (and the same in the Confederacy particularly Jefferson Davis and once he took charge of the Army of Northern Virginia Robert E. Lee) the military build-up went full steam ahead. Military strategies to strangle the Confederacy, the Anaconda strategy and on the Southern side to decisively defeat the Union Armies and gain recognition as a separate state particularly by France and England mingled in with political objectives. Of course in a book of four hundred dense pages there were too many battles won and lost on both sides for Sam and Ralph to argue about separately not unless they planned to live at Jack’s Grille and drink the place dry. So they decided to concentrate one night on two of the great events of the middle years of the war on the Union side- to satisfy Ralph the role of General McClellan in unnecessarily lengthening the war and to satisfy Sam Lincoln’s decision, kicking and screaming at times, to call for emancipation of the slaves (in reality in stages depending on Union victories since it would take that to get freedom for the slaves in areas where there was no Union armed mandate for such action).           

Ralph although he had always been a partisan of General McClellan for his ability to put together a ragtag semi-army and make it a disciplined force which everybody in authority in the North knew had to be done if the advantage that the North in the mass production of war materials was to lead to victory. But his attitude shifted somewhat once he himself had become more interested in the fight for abolition as the motivating force necessary to spur the armies on once the he realized that the South had an overall military leadership advantage. His initial respect for McClellan had centered on his limited goals for the army, to shore up the Union positions, alleviate the threat to Washington and keep pressure on the Confederate armies getting them bottled up defending Richmond (in any case a mistake in choice for the capital so close to Washington and roaming Union armies).

When he had first met Sam he had argued (rather surreally since they had been in the bastinado for four days by that time and had gotten a little stir crazy) that McClellan represented just the right sense of what was to be done, essentially telegraphing by his sedentary position in front of Washington for great lengths of time, the South to “go in peace.” After re-reading the Catton material about McClellan’s fears of being swamped by non-existent overwhelming Confederate numbers and then allowing a cabal of his own design to form among his staff which threw about thoughts of some kind of military dictatorship for him (with the assumed proviso that he would indeed let the South go in peace) he got most agitated. What made Sam laugh at their recent Jack’s Grille meeting was how irate Ralph had become about McClellan’s “slows” in getting his ass out before the enemy. Here’s the kicker, Ralph blurted out “why didn’t that damn Lincoln boot his ass out after the failed Peninsula campaign.” Sam smirked.        

Ralph got his chance to smirk a bit when Sam started talking about all the new scholarship, or rather commentary since the facts have not changed much in the last hundred and fifty years, about Lincoln’s racial attitudes which colored his attitude toward emancipation as a military necessity rather than a political objective. Of course Lincoln was a man of his time, of his not inconsequential southern roots and of his societal racial attitudes. Many “political correct” commentators these days have cut their teeth on the idea that Lincoln should have had today’s more advanced sensibilities about race and supported the idea of total emancipation earlier on. Sam had been surprised on re-reading the parts about Lincoln’s conversion to partial emancipation as a military necessity since he had remembered differently back in the 1960s and though that Lincoln had been whole-heartedly for emancipation on its own merits. Ralph got to laugh when he said hell “Massa Lincoln” was no better on the race issue than Ralph, Senior was in the early 1960s, and him too.

But some people can change else history would be nothing but a jigsaw puzzle list of names and dates. There is plenty of this in Catton’s books but good solid analysis of the major issues as well. Particularly how the events unfolded militarily and politically so that that merciless struggle against slavery was placed on the historical agenda. Everybody should read the later stuff (maybe not that book on “shoddy” though) but for a great still relevant overview of the big issues Catton still speaks to the amateur and aficionado alike of the Civil War.          

Johnny Cash - We'll Meet Again

The Ink Spots - We'll Meet Again

*****In The Time Of The Second Mountain Music Revival- "Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies"-Maybelle Carter-Style

*****In The Time Of The Second Mountain Music Revival- "Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies"-Maybelle Carter-Style

From The Pen Of Josh Breslin 


Listen above to a YouTube film clip of a classic Song-Catcher-type song from deep in the mountains, Come All You Fair And Tender Ladies. A song-catcher is an old devise, a mythological devise for taking the sound of nature, the wind coming down the mountains, the rustle of the tree, the crack a twig bent in the river, the river follow itself and making an elixir for the ears, simple stuff if you are brave enough to try your luck.  According to my sources Cecil Sharpe, a British musicologist looking for roots in the manner of Francis Child with his ballads in the 1850s, Charles Seeger, and maybe his son Peter too, in the 1920s and 1930s, and the Lomaxes, father and son, in the 1930s and 1940s)"discovered" the song in 1916 in the deep back hills and hollows of rural Kentucky. (I refuse to buy into that “hollas” business that folk-singers back in the early 1960s, guys and gals some of who went to Harvard and other elite schools and who would be hard-pressed to pin-point say legendary Harlan County down in Appalachia, down in the raw coal mining country of Eastern Kentucky far away from Derby dreams, mint juleps and ladies' broad-brimmed hats, of story and song insisted on pronouncing and writing the word hollows to show their one-ness with the roots, the root music of the desperately poor and uneducated. So hollows.)     

Of course my first connection to the song had nothing to do with the mountains, or mountain origins, certainly with not the wistful or sorrowful end of the love spectrum about false true lovers taking in the poor lass who now seeks revenge if only through the lament implied in the lyrics, although  even then I had been through that experience, more than once I am sorry to say. Or so I though at the time. I had heard the song the first time long ago in my ill-spent 1960s youth listening on my transistor radio up in my room in Olde Saco where I grew up to a late Sunday night folk radio show on WBZ from down in Boston that I could pick up at that hour hosted by Dick Summer (who is now featured on the Tom Rush documentary No Regrets about Tom’s life in the early 1960s Boston folk scene while at Harvard hustling around like mad trying to get a record produced to ride the folk minute wave just forming and who, by the way, was not a guy who said or wrote "hollas," okay ). That night I heard the gravelly-voiced late folksinger Dave Van Ronk singing his version of the old song like some latter-day Jehovah or Old Testament prophet something that I have mentioned elsewhere he probably secretly would have been proud to acknowledge. (Secretly since then he was some kind of high octane Marxist/Trotskyist/Socialist firebrand in his off-stage hours and hence a practicing atheist.) His version of the song quite a bit different from the Maybelle Carter effort here. I'll say.

All this as prelude to a question that had haunted me for a long time, the question of why I, a child of rock and roll, you know Bill Haley, La Verne Baker, Wanda Jackson, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and the like had been drawn to, and am still drawn to the music of the mountains, the music of the hills and hollows, mostly, of Appalachia. You know it took a long time for me to figure out why I was drawn, seemingly out of nowhere, to the mountain music most famously brought to public, Northern public, attention by the likes of the Carter Family, Jimmy Rodgers, The Seegers and the Lomaxes back a couple of generations ago.

The Carter Family hard out of Clinch Mountain down in Virginia someplace famously arrived on the mountain stage via a record contract in Bristol, Tennessee in the days when fledgling radio and record companies were looking for music, authentic American music, to fill the air and their catalogs. Fill in what amounted to niche music since the radio’s range back then was mostly local and if you wanted to sell soap, perfume, laundry detergent, coffee, flour on the air then you had to play what the audience would listen to and then go out and buy the advertiser’s products once they, the great unwashed mass audience, were filled into how wonderful they smelled, tasted, or felt after consuming the sponsors' products. The Seegers and Lomaxes and a host of others, mainly agents of the record companies looking to bring in new talent, went out into the sweated dusty fields sweaty handkerchiefs in hand to talk to some guy who they had heard played the Saturday night juke joints, went out to the Saturday night red barn dance with that lonesome fiddle player bringing on the mist before dawn sweeping down from the hills, went out to the Sunday morning praise Jehovah gathered church brethren to seek out that brother who jammed so well at that juke joint or red barn dance now repentant if not sober, went out to the juke joint themselves if they could stand Willie Jack’s freshly brewed liquor, un-bonded of course since about 1789, went down to the mountain general store to check with Mister Miller and grab whatever, or whoever was available who could rub two bones together or make the rosin fly, maybe sitting right there in front of the store. Some of it pretty remarkable filled with fiddles, banjos and mandolins.

But back to the answer to my haunting question. The thing was simplicity itself. See my father, Prescott, hailed (nice word, right) from Kentucky, Hazard, Kentucky, tucked down in the mountains near the Ohio River, long noted in song and legend as hard coal country. When World War II came along he left to join the Marines to get the hell out of there, get out of a short, nasty, brutish life as a coalminer, already having worked the coal from age thirteen, as had a few of his older brothers and his father and grandfather. During his tour of duty after having fought and bled a little in his share of the Pacific War against the Japanese before he was demobilized he had been stationed for a short while at the Portsmouth Naval Base. During that stay he attended like a lot of lonely soldiers, sailors and Marines who had been overseas a USO dance held in Portland where he met my mother who had grown up in deep French-Canadian Olde Saco. Needless to say he stayed in the North, for better or worse, working the mills in Olde Saco until they closed or headed south for cheaper labor in the late 1950s and then worked at whatever jobs he could find. (Ironically those moves south for cheaper labor were not that far from his growing up home although when asked by the bosses if he wanted move down there he gave them an emphatic “no,” and despite some very hard times later when there wasn't much work and hence much to eat he never regretted his decision at least in public to this wife and kids)

All during my childhood though along with that popular music, you know the big band sounds and the romantic and forlorn ballads that got many mothers and fathers through the war mountain music, although I would not have called it that then filtered in the background on the family living room record player and the mother’s helper kitchen radio.

But here is the real “discovery,” a discovery that could only be disclosed by my parents. Early on in their marriage they had tried to go back to Hazard to see if they could make a go of it there. This was after my older brother Prescott, Junior was born and while my mother was carrying me. Apparently they stayed for several months before they left to go back to Olde Saco before I was born since I was born in Portland General Hospital. So see that damn mountain music and those sainted hills and hollows were in my DNA, was just harking to me when I got the bug. Funny, isn’t it.            

[Sometimes life floors you though, comes at you not straight like the book, the good book everybody keeps touting and fairness dictates but through a third party, through some messenger for good or ill, and you might not even be aware of how you got that sings-song in your head. Wondering how you got that sings-song in your head and why a certain song or set of songs “speaks” to you despite every fiber of your being clamoring for you to go the other way. Some things, some cloud puff things maybe going back to before you think you could remember like your awestruck father in way over his head with three small close together boys, no serious job prospects, little education, maybe, maybe not getting some advantage from the G.I. Bill that was supposed lift all veteran boats, all veterans of the bloody atolls and islands, hell, one time savagely fighting over a coral reef against the Japanese occupiers if you can believe that, who dutifully and honorably served the flag singing some misbegotten melody. A melody learned in his childhood down among the hills and hollows, down where the threads of the old country, old country being British Isles and places like that. The stuff collected in Child ballads back then in the 1850s that got bastardized by ten thousand local players who added their own touches and who no longer used the song for its original purpose red barn dance singers when guys like Buell or Hobart added their take on what they thought the words meant and passed that on to kindred and the gens. The norm of the oral tradition of the folk so don’t get nervous unless there had been some infringement of the copyright laws, not likely.  

Passed on too that sorrowful sense of life of people who stayed sedentary too long, too long on Clinch Mountain or Black Mountain or Missionary Mountain long after the land ran out and he, that benighted father of us all, in his turn sang it as a lullaby to his boys. And the boys’ ears perked up to that song, that song of mountain sadness about lost blue-eyed boys, about forsaken loves when the next best thing came along, about spurned brides resting fretfully under the great oak, about love that had no place to go because the parties were too proud to step back for a moment, about the hills of home, lost innocence, you name it, and although he/they could not name it that sadness stuck.

Stuck there not to bear fruit for decades and then one night somebody told one of the boys a story, told it true as far as he knew about that father’s song, about how his father had worked the Ohio River singing and cavorting with the women, how he bore the title of “the Sheik” in remembrance of those black locks and those fierce charcoal black eyes that pierced a woman’s heart. So, yes, Buell and Hobart, and the great god Jehovah come Sunday morning preaching time did their work, did it just fine and the sons finally knew that that long ago song had a deeper meaning than they could ever have imagined.]         


(A.P. Carter)

The Carter Family - 1932

Come all ye fair and tender ladies

Take warning how you court young men

They're like a bright star on a cloudy morning

They will first appear and then they're gone

They'll tell to you some loving story

To make you think that they love you true

Straightway they'll go and court some other

Oh that's the love that they have for you

Do you remember our days of courting

When your head lay upon my breast

You could make me believe with the falling of your arm

That the sun rose in the West

I wish I were some little sparrow

And I had wings and I could fly

I would fly away to my false true lover

And while he'll talk I would sit and cry

But I am not some little sparrow

I have no wings nor can I fly

So I'll sit down here in grief and sorrow

And try to pass my troubles by

I wish I had known before I courted

That love had been so hard to gain

I'd of locked my heart in a box of golden

And fastened it down with a silver chain

Young men never cast your eye on beauty

For beauty is a thing that will decay

For the prettiest flowers that grow in the garden

How soon they'll wither, will wither and fade away



Come all ye fair and tender ladies

Take warning how you court young men

They're like a star on summer morning

They first appear and then they're gone

They'll tell to you some loving story

And make you think they love you so well

Then away they'll go and court some other

And leave you there in grief to dwell

I wish I was on some tall mountain

Where the ivy rocks are black as ink

I'd write a letter to my lost true lover

Whose cheeks are like the morning pink

For love is handsome, love is charming

And love is pretty while it's new

But love grows cold as love grows old

And fades away like the mornin' dew

And fades away like the mornin' dew