Goodbye Girls I'm Going to Boston

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GOODBYE GIRLS I'M GOING TO BOSTON. AKA and see "Going to Boston (2)." Old-Time, Breakdown. A Major ('A' part) & A Mixolydian ('B' part). AEae tuning (fiddle). AB (Silberberg): AABB (Phillips). Source Art Stamper's father, Hiram Stamper of Hindman, Kentucky, also had a version of the tune, albeit a 'crooked' one different from his son's. A song by this title is associated with Jean Ritchie, whose version is nearly identical to the one collected by Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles in Hindman, eastern Kentucky, around 1917. Lyrics begin:

Goodbye girls, I'm going to Boston
Goodbye girls, I'm going to Boston
Goodbye girls, I'm going to Boston
Early in the morning

Chorus:
Won't we look pretty in the ballroom (x3)
Early in the morning

Fiddler Suzy Thompson believes the song may be related to the sea shanty "What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor," pointing out the second parts of the tunes are very similar, and that the chorus refrain of "Ear-lie in the Morning" is the same. A culture that inhibited dancing, necessitating the convention of "play party songs," Suzy reasons, might also have required a change of lyric from drunken sailors. A version was recorded with clawhammer banjo by Joel Mabus who called it "Goin to Cairo."

Source for notated version: Kentucky fiddler Art Stamper [Phillips]; Bruce Reid [Silberberg].

Printed sources: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; p. 100. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 54.

Recorded sources: County CD2712, Art Stamper - "The Lost Fiddler" (c. 1982. Taught to him by his father, Hiram Stamper). County CO-CD-2729, Art Stamper - "Goodbye Girls I'm Going to Boston" (2000). See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]




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