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    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

    Shanoah Alkire is our Discordian at large. "Born in Santa Cruz, I grew up in Grass Valley and the Bay Area, and now lurk in Las Vegas. My literary influences include Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams. I also program as a hobby, and currently maintain the Gtk port of Angband. You can find a rather old bio of me here."

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6-14-08 Hallelujah I’m a Bum

Posted by Sean on June 15, 2008

Well, in the vein sorta kinda not really of drunkeness and its beneficial effects on health and humanity, I offer the old bum song Hallelujah I’m a Bum.

Now, as you may have guessed, my music lore isn’t all that great. Shanoah’s the one with the deep and wide musical collection. The only reason I know Hallelujah I’m a Bum is because NPR announced the death of Utah Phillips a couple of weeks ago, and I just happened to be listening.

Here’s Utah Phillips at the 2007 Strawberry Music Festival singing Hallelujah I’m a Bum. This is the final bit of an eight-part video courtesy of Venice Artists.

According to Wikipedia (so you know it’s got to be wrong), Hallelujah I’m a Bum is of uncertain authorship, though it may have been written as early as 1897 by Harry McClintock; I’ve also seen the the title as Halleluia On The Bum. Best of all, it’s sung to the tune of Revive Us Again, a Christian hymn, so it’s a sacrilegious paean to laziness.

Can it get any better? O mais oui; it’s also a drinking song with wonderfully filthy lyrics, courtesy of John Patrick, here (gives new meaning to the words “Give me that old-time religion”).

This next video – one of the best-looking that I’ve see on YouTube, by the way – is Arthur Fields singing Hallelujah I’m a Bum on a Brunswick-106 Victrola. If I’m reading the notes right, the record (“Daddy, what’s a record?”) was released around 1928 by Grey Gull. Courtesy of fuzzbear6240.

Not exactly what you’d call hi-fi, is it? So it’s off to find some modern interpretations. Here’s Lew Dite on the banjo ukelele (can’t get more 1920s than that) with Hallelujah I’m a Bum.

And here’s R. Stevie Moore (Web site here) on Oct. 29, 2003 at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. And whaddya know, that’s Irwin Chusnid from WFMU on the tambourine (I think)!. Jesus Kerist, can’t we have just one post without WFMU somehow sneakin’ its way in?

Courtesy of Moore at rsmko.

Getting late, so I’m going to wrap this post up with this curious footage from a group called Boozehound Gandy Dance, singing Hallelujah I’m a Bum live at the Birdhouse on April 18, 2008. Gotta love their style; hope they swing out Las Vegas way sometime.

Courtesy of nighthawksfilm.


4 Responses to “6-14-08 Hallelujah I’m a Bum”

  1. […] 6-14-08 Hallelujah I’m a Bum […]

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