Twenty-One Years (Ryan's Fancy) MIDI, videos
See also: Answer To Twenty-One Years (Max Hunter)
#115: YouTube video by quickaccent2006
©2007 ~ Used with permission ~

midi file   alt: midi file

The judge said stand up, lad, and dry up your tears,
You're sentenced to Dartmoor for twenty-one years;
So dry up your tears, love, and kiss me goodbye,
The best friends must part, love, so must you and I.

I hear the train coming, she'll be here at nine,
To take me to Dartmoor to serve out my time;
I look down the railway and plainly I see,
You standing there waving your good-bye to me.

Six months have gone by, love, I wish I were dead,
This dark dreary dungeon and stones for my bed;
It's hailing, it's raining, the moon gives no light,
Now won't you tell me, love, why you never write.

I've counted the days, love, I've counted the nights,
I've counted the footsteps, I've counted the lights;
I've counted the raindrops, I've counted the stars,
I've counted a million of these prison bars.

I've waited, I've trusted, I've longed for the day,
A lifetime so lonely, now my hair's turning grey;
My thoughts are for you, love, and I'm out of my mind,
For twenty-one years is a mighty long time.
For twenty-one years is a mighty long time.

####.... Bob Miller [1895-1955] ©1930/1931 Mills Music Inc; renewed 1958/1960 MCA Music, Inc. Original recording by Bob Miller and Barney Burnette, March 21, 1930 (Gennett 7220). Also recorded by Woody Guthrie, Apr 19, 1944. [Laws, E16, p.184] (Native American Balladry, G Malcolm Laws, 1950/1964) ....####
From The Marx Brothers Marxology - Chico Marx Orchestra: Bob Miller was born in Memphis, Tennessee, where he obtained a close acquaintance with southern melodies. In the early twenties, Miller played the piano for a dance band called the Idlewild Orchestra, which performed on the steamer Idlewild on the Mississippi River. In 1928, he moved to New York where he worked as an arranger for the Irving Berlin Company before establishing his own musical concern, the Bob Miller Publishing Company. In the decades following the 1920s Miller produced scores of lucrative and lastingly popular compositions, including the well-known Eleven Cent Cotton And Forty Cent Meat, Twenty-One Years, a prison song which has inspired countless others, and the Second World War hit There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere.

This variant was recorded by Ryan's Fancy (Newfoundland Drinking Songs, tk#9, 1973, Audat Records, Oshawa, Ontario); and (Curraghs, Minstrels, Rocks & Whiskey, trk#2, 1971, Gunn Records).

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

A variant was also arranged and recorded by Percy Cutler (Our House Is A Home, trk#14, Independent, Churchill Falls, NL, 2007).

Other variants have also been recorded by the Newfoundland Showband, 1972; Jean Pardy, 1973 & 2001; Dick Nolan, 1974; Eddie Coffey, 1978; Tony Sexton, 2000; and the Deckers, 2004.

From Welcome To Devonshire - Dartmoor Prison was originally intended to house Napoleonic prisoners-of-war but was later used - as it still is - for civilian prisoners. Perhaps because of its position high in the middle of the bleakest part of the Moor, swept by winds and often shrouded in mist, Dartmoor Prison has acquired a sinister reputation second to none in Britain.

The video below features a variant recorded by Harry Hibbs (Somewhere At Sea, trk#7, 1971, Arc Sound Ltd, Toronto, Ontario. In 2002 a digitally remastered CD was released by Unidisc Studios, Montreal by Robert Matichak).

See more songs by Harry Hibbs.

#1357: YouTube video by quickaccent2006
©2010 ~ Used with permission ~

The video below features a recording by John White (All Around The Circle, trk#2, 1975, Audat Records, Oshawa, Ontario, recorded at MUN Studios, St John's, NL).

See more songs by John White.

#1464: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2010 ~ Used with permission ~

The video below features an excellent cover performance of a variant arranged by Sean Kenny of Port au Port East, NL, ©2011.

See more songs by Sean Kenny.

#1543: YouTube video by drivermciver
©2011 ~ Used with permission ~

The video below features an excellent 12-string guitar performance of a variant arranged by Tony Archibald from Port St Mary on the Isle Of Man.

#938: YouTube video by threelegsoman
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~


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