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  1. #1

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    This afternoon my wife had to drive to Boca for a work errand and I rode along. On the way back we stopped in Boynton Beach at Casa Linda for sizzling fajitas. Soccer matches were on the TV but the sound was down. But music played from a radio. All songs were sung in Spanish. One song came on and I got a strange look on my face. I know because my wife looked at me and said, "What?" And I told her: "That song they're singing. I heard that growing up. It's 'Cotton Fields.'"

    When we got home I found versions in English so she could hear it. (She didn't know the tune.)

    But first, a Spanish version. This isn't the one I heard in the restaurant but one need not understand a word being sung to recognize the tune.



    LeadBelly wrote it but I first heard it sung by country musicians, though off hand I can't say who it was.



    Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) did a good version of the song.



    I don't care as much for Johnny Cash's take on the song.



    There are over 100 others, including one by the Beach Boys and another by Boots Randolph.

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  3. #2

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    I used to play it live when I was in a CCR tribute band. A blast.

  4. #3

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    Hi, M,
    It has nothing to do with cotton fields but rather "looking for love . . . nothing but love." They must have liked the melody.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  5. #4

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    Surreal!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, M,
    It has nothing to do with cotton fields but rather "looking for love . . . nothing but love." They must have liked the melody.
    Play live . . . Marinero
    I knew they didn't mention the names Louisiana and Texarkana but I had no idea they had changed the entire subject matter. Thanks!

  7. #6

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    Harry Dean Stanton plays and sings it in Cool Hand Luke. We play the song in one group I'm in.

  8. #7

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    One of the first songs I learned in my teens and I learned it from CCR's recording.

  9. #8

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    There used to be a lot of cotton fields in the north GA and AL area when I was a kid growing up. There were also chain gangs, though I think they did mainly road construction, not cotton picking in those days.

    These days that whole area is completely developed. I haven't seen a cotton field in like forever.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    There used to be a lot of cotton fields in the north GA and AL area when I was a kid growing up. There were also chain gangs, though I think they did mainly road construction, not cotton picking in those days.

    These days that whole area is completely developed. I haven't seen a cotton field in like forever.
    BB King said the best cotton was in Arkansas and that's where he went to pick it. Even after he had a radio show in Memphis, he would periodically go back to Arkansas to pick cotton sometimes because he was very good at it and evidently it paid better than having a daily 15-minute radio show and gigging around Memphis. (Pay was by the pound picked, not the hour spent.)

    My folks came from Mississippi and I've seen cotton growing there, but never vast fields like BB would have worked in. My mom picked cotton as a girl for about 15 minutes. A worm crawled on her hand and she went home and promptly told her mother, "You can kill me if you have to, but I am NEVER picking cotton again." Her mother said, "From what I hear, you never started."

  11. #10

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    Today I drove just about a mile from where this song took place

  12. #11

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    [QUOTE=blille;1126428

    Today I drove just about a mile from where this song took place [/QUOTE]

    I've never been there. I've lived in most states in the South, some only for a summer (NC and Georgia) and others (Florida, SC, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana) for years, but I've only spent a few hours in Arkansas.

  13. #12

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    Well, we drove through Arkansas on our way to Memphis from Texas so I think we’re in the same boat