George Buck's Choice

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

One of the bonus tracks on the 50th Anniversary edition of Tales Of The Great Rum Runners. It generally circulates on tapes under the title "Who'll Be Left To Sing This Song".

This is the title registered by Robert Hunter in 1973, though the bonus track on the CD is titled "Buck Dancer's Choice." Robert Hunter sang a portion of this on 2 March 1997 (see below) as part of a medley with Liberty and Silvio as well as some unidentified fragments. At the end he announced it as "Buckdancer's Choice" and added "Not having played that for ten or fifteen years, I was a little rusty." It isn't clear what if any relation this song has to the instrumental Buckdancer's Choice.

It's interesting to note that Leadbelly sang a song with the lines "Old Howard he is dead and gone; left me here to sing this song."

Calm my roving, carve my pine
Say farewell to the hitching line
Comes a time to lay me down
First I'm going to sing this song

Chorus
Hey buckdancers, shout and sing
Make the halls and rafters ring
When old George Buck is dead and gone
Who'll be left to sing this song

Who'll be left to play guitar
Who'll be round to break your heart
Who's gonna fix it up once more
When I'm on that other shore

[Chorus]

Whoop that I say and the cart won't go
How can I plough when the wheels don't roll
Broke-down rigging ain't fit to ride
Do my pound in the bye and bye

[Chorus]

Play to the centre and back to the bar
Bust through the middle with a right-hand star
Promenade your lady home
George Buck is come and gone

[Chorus]

Birdie in the cage and seven hands round
Buck and wing bird all night long
Promenade your lady home
Georgie Buck has been and gone

[Chorus]
This is what Hunter sang on 2 March 1997:
[from George Buck's Choice]
George Buck is dead and gone
Left me here to sing this song
George Buck is dead and gone
Left me here to sing this song

[from Liberty]
Went to the well but the water was dry
Dipped my bucket in the clear blue sky

[Unidentified]
[?] down way buckdancer's choice
And now too [?] of hearing my voice

[from George Buck's Choice]
Georgie Buck is dead and gone
Left me here to sing this song
George Buck is dead and gone
Left me here to sing this song

[from Silvio]
Stake my future on a hell of a past
Looks like tomorrow is coming on fast
I ain't complaining about what I got
I seen better times but who has not

[from Silvio]
Silvio, silver and gold
Won't buy back the beat of a heart grown cold
Silvio, I gotta go
Find out something only dead men know

[Unidentified]
Left me here, on my own
[?] where with a back to the bones
Whole bunch of crackers and some books to read
[?] grown from a mustard seed

[from George Buck's Choice]
George Buck is dead and gone
Left me here to sing this song
Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1974 Tales Of The Great Rum Runners 50th Anniversary bonus disc Robert Hunter


 


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