> Folk Music > Songs > Swing and Turn / Jubilee

Swing and Turn / Jubilee

[ Roud 7403 ; Ballad Index LoF122 ; trad.]

Iona Fyfe sang the Appalachian song Swing and Turn on her 2019 EP Dark Turn of Mind. She noted:

An Appalachian song from the singing of Jean Ritchie, I first heard Swing and Turn (Jubilee) from Laura Cortese at Orkney Folk Festival in 2017. The song can be found in Jean’s own book Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians as Sung by Jean Ritchie, reissued by the University of Kentucky Press in 1997. The song features on Mudcat Café, an online discussion group and song and tune database. Jean stated on the forum: “Jubilee is a Ritchie family gamesong, but I never did a copyright on it because it was collected from another source in the community—everyone around knew it. A lady named Marian Skein wrote it down at Ary, Kentucky and it was published by Lynn Rohrbough, Cooperative Recreation Service, Delaware, Ohio in 1939.” Lorraine Lee Hammond states that the tune for Swing and Turn (Jubilee) is a common tune of choice for the ballad, Gypsy Davy. In Jeannie Robertson’s “distinctly Scottish version” of The Gypsy Laddies, the opening line of the verse is again the familiar musical phrase used by Jean Ritchie and Woody Guthrie.

Lyrics

Jean Ritchie sings Jubilee Iona Fyfe sings Swing and Turn

S'all out on the old railroad,
All out on the sea,
All out on the old railroad,
Far as I can see.

It's all out on the old railroad,
All out on the sea,
All out on the old railroad,
As far as I can see.

Chorus (after each verse):
Swing and turn, Jubilee
Live and learn, Jubilee

Chorus (after each verse):
Swing and turn, Jubilee
Live and learn, Jubilee

Hardest work I ever done,
Working on a farm,
Easiest work I ever done,
Swing my true love's arm.

The hardest work I ever done,
Workin' on a farm,
Easiest work I ever done,
Swingin' my true love's arm.

If I had a needle and thread,
As fine as I could sew,
I'd sew my true love to my side
And down the creek I'd go.

If I had a needle and thread,
As fine as I could sew,
I'd sew my true love to my side
And down the creek I'd go.

Coffee grows on a white oak tree,
Sugar runs in Brandy,
Girls as sweet as a lump of gold,
Boys as sweet as candy.

Coffee grows on a white oak tree,
And sugar runs in Brandy,
Girls are sweet as a lump of gold,
Boys as sweet as candy.

In some lady's fine brick house,
In some lady's garden,
Let me out or I'll break out,
Fare Ye well my darlin'.

Some will come on Saturday night
Some will come on Sunday
And if you give them half a chance,
They’ll be back a-Monday.

Some will come on Saturday night
And some will come on Sunday
If you give ‘em half a chance,
They’ll be back on Monday.

If I had no horse to ride,
I’d be found a-crawlin'
Up and down this rocky road,
Lookin’ for my darlin.

If I had no horse to ride,
I’d be found a-calling
Up and down this rocky road,
Lookin’ for my darlin.

Saddle up the old gray horse,
Who will be the rider?
Ride him down to the old still house
And get a jug of cider.

(repeat first verse)

I won't have no widder man,
Neither will my cousin,
You can get such stuff as that,
Fifteen cents a dozen.

Wished I had a big fine horse,
Corn to feed him on,
Pretty little girl to stay at home
And feed him when I'm gone.