OLD DAN TUCKER

Album version


One, two, three, four

Now old Dan Tucker was a fine old man
Washed his face in a fryin' pan
Combed his hair with a wagon wheel
And died with a toothache in his heel

Get out the way old Dan Tucker
You're too late to get your supper
Get out the way old Dan Tucker
You're too late to get your supper

Now old Dan Tucker come to town
Riding a billy goat, leading a hound
The hound dog barked and the billy goat jumped
And landed old Tucker on a stump

Get out the way old Dan Tucker
You're too late to get your supper
Get out the way old Dan Tucker
You're too late to get your supper

Now old Dan Tucker got drunk and fell
In the fire and kicked up holy hell
A red-hot coal got in his shoe
And oh my Lord the ashes flew

Get out the way old Dan Tucker
You're too late to get your supper
Get out the way old Dan Tucker
You're too late to get your supper

Come on!
Let it go!

Now Old Dan Tucker come to town
Swinging them ladies all round
First to the right then to the left
Then to the gal that he loved best

Get out the way old Dan Tucker
You're too late to get your supper
Get out the way old Dan Tucker
You're too late to get your supper
Get out the way old Dan Tucker
You're too late to get your supper
Get out the way old Dan Tucker
You're too late to get your supper


Info

OLD DAN TUCKER is a traditional American song (see the "Traditional Version" section below for more details). Bruce Springsteen recorded the song with The Seeger Sessions Band during the second of the three Seeger Sessions (see the "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions" section below for more details) and released it on his 2006 album We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. The above lyrics are for Springsteen's album version of OLD DAN TUCKER as released in 2006.

Traditional Version

OLD DAN TUCKER's origins remain obscure; the tune may have come from oral tradition, and the words may have been written by songwriter and performer Daniel Decatur Emmett. His group the Virginia Minstrels popularized the song in 1840's. The first sheet music edition of OLD DAN TUCKER was published in 1843. Sheet music editions from that year, such as the below from Charles H. Keith of Boston, name no composer.

1843 sheet music from Charles H. Keith of Boston
1843 sheet music from Charles H. Keith of Boston

Pete Seeger's Version

Pete Seeger, who inspired Springsteen's We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions album, recorded OLD DAN TUCKER and first released it on his 1957 album American Favorite Ballads. The album was reissued on CD in 2002, titled American Favorite Ballads Vol. 1.

Pete Seeger -- American Favorite Ballads
Pete Seeger -- American Favorite Ballads

LP - Folkways Records (FA 2320) - USA, 1957
Pete Seeger -- American Favorite Ballads Vol. 1
Pete Seeger -- American Favorite Ballads Vol. 1

CD - Smithsonian Folkways (SFW CD 40150) - USA, 2002

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions is Bruce Springsteen's fourteenth studio album, released in 2006. It is his first and so far only album of cover material, and his second consecutive non-E Street Band and non-rock music project. The album contains Springsteen's interpretation of thirteen folk music songs associated with Pete Seeger.

The project began in late 1997 when Springsteen agreed to contribute a recording for an upcoming Pete Seeger tribute album on Appleseed Recordings. "Growing up a rock n' roll kid I didn't know a lot about Pete's music or the depth of his influence," Springsteen later wrote in the liner notes of his 2006 album. He headed to the record store, came back with an armful of Pete Seeger records, and proceeded to investigate and listen to his music. On 29 Oct 1997, activist attorney and Appleseed founder Jim Musselman sent Springsteen a tape containing 14 Pete Seeger songs: JESSE JAMES, MY OKLAHOMA HOME, WE SHALL OVERCOME, HOBO'S LULLABY, I COME AND STAND AT EVERY DOOR, JOHN HENRY, MRS. MCGRATH, IF I HAD A HAMMER, ROUTE 66 HIGHWAY BLUES, TALKING UNION, TIMES ARE GETTING HARD, WAIST DEEP IN THE BIG MUDDY, WALKING DOWN DEATH ROW, and WORDS WORDS WORDS.

Springsteen had heard about a New York City roots/bluegrass band called The Gotham Playboys via future E Street Band violinist Soozie Tyrell who occasionally played live gigs with them. The band included Jeremy Chatzky, Sam Bardfeld, Larry Eagle, Will Holshouser, and Red Suydam. On 23 Sep 1997, Springsteen organized a private birthday party at his residence in Colts Neck, NJ, and hired The Gotham Playboys for the event. He allegedly joined in on some songs during the party. The band would later be invited to perform at two more birthday bashes at Springsteen's house, on 11 Oct 1998 and 14 Oct 2000.

When time came to record the Pete Seeger track, Springsteen decided to hire four members of The Gotham Playboys: Jeremy Chatzky, Sam Bardfeld, Larry Eagle, and Will Holshouser. Charles Giordano, an associate of The Gotham Playboys, substituted for Holshouser when a scheduling conflict prevented him from attending the recording sessions. This group, in addition to other friends and acquaintances, would eventually become "The Seeger Sessions Band", later renamed "The Sessions Band". Giordano would also join the E Street band in 2008.

The album was recorded over the course of nine years at Thrill Hill East, Springsteen's home studio in Colts Neck, NJ: a one-day session on 02 Nov 1997, a one-day session on 19 Mar 2005, and a one-day session on 14 Jan 2006. During these sessions, all of the album's songs were cut live in the living room of Springsteen's farmhouse – they were not rehearsed and all arrangements were conducted by Springsteen as he and the band played them. "We were doing trapeze without a safety net," Sam Barfeld told Backstreets magazine. "He plays the song for you once, a couple of arrangement ideas. Have enough time to scrawl out a chord chart, and then boom! You record." Six songs were recorded during the first session (02 Nov 1997): JESSE JAMES, MY OKLAHOMA HOME, WE SHALL OVERCOME (eventually selected for the Pete Seeger tribute album), HOBO'S LULLABY, I COME AND STAND AT EVERY DOOR, and PRETTY BY FLOYD.

Seven years later, soon after the conclusion of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's short Vote For Change Tour, Springsteen was liaising with manager Jon Landau regarding material for a potential future second volume of the Tracks boxed set. Some of the leftover material from the 02 Nov 1997 session was being evaluated and out of those discussions came the idea of releasing this session material as a stand-alone album project. "Thanks to Jon Landau for another one of his 'I think we've got something here...' phone calls," Springsteen later wrote in the liner notes of the 2006 album.

There were not enough songs recorded on 02 Nov 1997 to fill an album, so the original 1997 musicians were contacted again and an additional recording session took place on 19 Mar 2005, just prior to Springsteen embarking on his Devils & Dust Solo Acoustic Tour. Nine songs were recorded during the second session (19 Mar 2005): ERIE CANAL, JOHN HENRY, O MARY DON'T YOU WEEP, PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN, OLD DAN TUCKER, FROGGIE WENT A COURTIN', SHENANDOAH, MRS. MCGRATH, and MICHAEL ROW YOUR BOAT ASHORE. Eight of the songs recorded during this second session ended up on the album.

Springsteen undertook a third and final studio session on 21 Jan 2006 following the Devils & Dust Solo Acoustic Tour. There were eight songs recorded during the third session (21 Jan 2006): JACOB'S LADDER, BUFFALO GALS, EYES ON THE PRIZE, HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING?, AMERICAN LAND, BRING 'EM HOME, IF I HAD A HAMMER, and WORRIED MAN BLUES.

For the first recording session, recording engineer Toby Scott and Springsteen's assistant Kevin Buell set up a video camera on a tripod to document the occasion. For the second and third recording sessions, Thom Zimny brought down a camera crew. Footage from the last two sessions was included as DVD bonus material with some editions of the 2006 album.

Springsteen toured with The Seeger Sessions Band throughout 2006. During a break in the tour in mid-2006, and then in late 2006 shortly after the tour's conclusion, he recorded several other songs. Some of these later session details are now known and others may emerge over time. A new vocal track was recorded for BRING 'EM HOME on 18 May 2006 at Disclab Studios in Oslo, Norway. A second version of AMERICAN LAND, with Springsteen solo, was recorded at his home studio sometime in 2006.

The album was recorded with a large ensemble of musicians, and more were added for The Seeger Session Tour.

  • Bruce Springsteen (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, B-3 organ, and percussion).
  • Sam Bardfeld (violin) is a member of The Gotham Playboys and he played at the 23 Sep 1997 birthday bash. He participated in all three recording sessions and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Jeremy Chatzky (upright bass) is a member of The Gotham Playboys and he played at the 23 Sep 1997 birthday bash. He participated in all three recording sessions and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Larry Eagle (drums and percussion) is a member of The Gotham Playboys and he played at the 23 Sep 1997 birthday bash. He participated in all three recording sessions and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Charles Giordano (B-3 organ, piano, and accordion) often played with The Gotham Playboys. He participated in all three recording sessions and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Soozie Tyrell (violin and backing vocals) often played with The Gotham Playboys and became a member of the E Street band in 2002. She participated in all three recording sessions and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Patti Scialfa (backing vocals) is Springsteen's wife and a member of the E Street Band since 1984. She participated in all three recording sessions and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band on selected dates.
  • Frank Bruno (guitar) is Bruce Springsteen's cousin. He participated in all three recording sessions and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Ed Manion (saxophone) is a member of The Miami Horns and he toured with the E Street band in 1988. He participated in all three recording sessions and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Mark Pender (trumpet and backing vocals) is a member of The Miami Horns and he toured with the E Street band in 1988. He participated in the last two of the three recording sessions, recorded studio overdubs, and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band in the United States only.
  • Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg (trombone and backing vocals) is a member of The Miami Horns and he toured with the E Street band in 1988. He participated in all three recording sessions and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band in the United States only.
  • Mark Clifford (banjo) met Springsteen by chance and he participated in all three recording sessions, but did not tour with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Lisa Lowell (backing vocals) has been singing backup vocals on several Springsteen albums since 1992. She participated in the last of the three recording sessions and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Art Baron (tuba) was recommended by the band. He recorded studio overdubs and toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Greg Liszt (banjo) did not record on the album, but he toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Marty Rifkin (pedal steel) did not record on the album, but he toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Curtis king Jr. (vocals) did not record on the album, but he toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Cindy Mizelle (vocals) did not record on the album, but she toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Mark Anthony Thomson (guitar) did not record on the album, but he toured with The Seeger Sessions Band.
  • Clark Gayton (trombone) did not record on the album, but he toured with The Seeger Sessions Band in Europe only.
  • Curt Ramm (trumpet) did not record on the album, but he toured with The Seeger Sessions Band in Europe only.

The album was critically acclaimed. When asked about what he thought of it, Pete Seeger said, "It was a great honor. He's an extraordinary person, as well as an extraordinary singer." The album won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album at the 49th Grammy Awards held in February 2007.

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions was produced by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Landau and was released on Columbia Records on 25 Apr 2006. The album was issued in DualDisc format in the United States and Europe and a two-disc set (audio CD + DVD) in Europe and Japan. The CD (or CD side) contains the full album, while the DVD (or DVD side) features the entire album and two bonus tracks in PCM Stereo, in addition to a 30-minute film about the recording of the album. A 2-disc vinyl LP edition was also pressed in the U.S. and Holland.

On 03 Oct 2006, when the tour had just hit Europe for the second swing, the album was reissued as We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions - American Land Edition. This time it was only issued as a two-disc set (separate CD and DVD). The CD contains the same 13 tracks found on the initial release in addition to five more, including the bonus tracks from the initial release's DVD (or DVD side). The DVD contains a 40-minute extended version of the original film plus new videos for four songs. The album booklet's liner notes were also expanded.

Bruce Springsteen -- We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
Bruce Springsteen -- We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
Bruce Springsteen -- We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions - American Land Edition
Bruce Springsteen -- We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions - American Land Edition

Disc 1 (CD or CD side):

  1. OLD DAN TUCKER
  2. JESSE JAMES
  3. MRS. MCGRATH
  4. O MARY DON'T YOU WEEP
  5. JOHN HENRY
  6. ERIE CANAL
  7. JACOB'S LADDER
  8. MY OKLAHOMA HOME
  9. EYES ON THE PRIZE
  10. SHENANDOAH
  11. PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN
  12. WE SHALL OVERCOME
  13. FROGGIE WENT A COURTIN'

Disc 2 (DVD or DVD side):

  • Entire album in PCM stereo
  • BUFFALO GALS [bonus track]
  • HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING? [bonus track]
  • 30-minute film about the recording of the album, includes filmed performances of JOHN HENRY, PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN, BUFFAO GALS, ERIE CANAL, O MARY DON'T YOU WEEP, and SHENANDOAH

Disc 1 (CD):

  1. OLD DAN TUCKER
  2. JESSE JAMES
  3. MRS. MCGRATH
  4. O MARY DON'T YOU WEEP
  5. JOHN HENRY
  6. ERIE CANAL
  7. JACOB'S LADDER
  8. MY OKLAHOMA HOME
  9. EYES ON THE PRIZE
  10. SHENANDOAH
  11. PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN
  12. WE SHALL OVERCOME
  13. FROGGIE WENT A COURTIN'
  14. BUFFALO GALS
  15. HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING?
  16. HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE? [Live Apr 2006 version]
  17. BRING 'EM HOME [Live 17 Jun 2006 version]
  18. AMERICAN LAND [Live 22 Jun 2006 version]

Disc 2 (DVD):

  • 40-minute film about the recording of the album, includes filmed performances of JOHN HENRY, PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN, BUFFAO GALS, ERIE CANAL, O MARY DON'T YOU WEEP, JACOB'S LADDER, FROGGIE WENT A COURTIN', and SHENANDOAH
  • HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE? [Live 05 Jun 2006 version]
  • BRING 'EM HOME [Live 06 Jun 2006 version]
  • AMERICAN LAND [Live 22 Jun 2006 version]
  • PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN

Other Official Releases

Other versions of OLD DAN TUCKER were also officially released.

Bruce Springsteen with The Sessions Band -- Live In Dublin
The live 19 Nov 2006 version of OLD DAN TUCKER was released on the Live In Dublin album and home video in 2007.

Live History

In preparation for The Seeger Sessions Tour, OLD DAN TUCKER was performed during all of the tour's four public warm-up rehearsal shows that took place in April 2006 in Asbury Park. The song is also known to have been practiced during at least 5 of the private rehearsals that took place in Mar-Apr 2006 in Asbury Park prior to the tour's first leg.

  1. 13 Mar 2006 at Paramount Theater, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)
  2. 20 Mar 2006 at Paramount Theater, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)
  3. 06 Apr 2006 at Paramount Theater, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)
  4. 07 Apr 2006 at Paramount Theater, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)
  5. 12 Apr 2006 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)
  6. 20 Apr 2006 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (public rehearsal)
  7. 24 Apr 2006 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (public rehearsal)
  8. 25 Apr 2006 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (public rehearsal)
  9. 26 Apr 2006 at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ (public rehearsal)

OLD DAN TUCKER was performed 55 times during The Seeger Sessions Tour (56 dates, April to November 2006), missing only the 12 Nov 2006 show in London, England. The live 19 Nov 2006 version of OLD DAN TUCKER was released on the Live In Dublin album and home video in 2007.

  1. 30 Apr 2006 at New Orleans Fairgrounds, New Orleans, LA
  2. 05 May 2006 at Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 07 May 2006 at Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester, England
  4. 08 May 2006 at Hammersmith Apollo, London, England
  5. 10 May 2006 at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, Paris, France
  6. 12 May 2006 at Datch Forum, Milan, Italy
  7. 14 May 2006 at Pavelló Olímpic De Badelona, Barcelona, Spain
  8. 16 May 2006 at Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  9. 17 May 2006 at Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany
  10. 20 May 2006 at Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
  11. 21 May 2006 at Hovet, Stockholm, Sweden
  12. 27 May 2006 at Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA
  13. 28 May 2006 at Nissan Pavilion, Bristow, VA
  14. 30 May 2006 at Germain Amphitheater, Columbus, OH
  15. 31 May 2006 at Verizon Wireless Music Center, Noblesville, IN
  16. 03 Jun 2006 at Glendale Arena, Glendale, AZ
  17. 05 Jun 2006 at Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
  18. 06 Jun 2006 at Sleep Train Pavilion, Concord, CA
  19. 10 Jun 2006 at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA
  20. 11 Jun 2006 at Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN
  21. 13 Jun 2006 at First Midwest Bank Amphitheater, Tinley Park, IL
  22. 14 Jun 2006 at Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
  23. 16 Jun 2006 at Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
  24. 17 Jun 2006 at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI
  25. 19 Jun 2006 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
  26. 20 Jun 2006 at Tweeter Center At The Waterfront, Camden, NJ
  27. 22 Jun 2006 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  28. 24 Jun 2006 at PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
  29. 25 Jun 2006 at PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
  30. 01 Oct 2006 at Palamalaguti, Bologna, Italy
  31. 02 Oct 2006 at Palaisozaki, Torino, Italy
  32. 04 Oct 2006 at Villa Manin, Udine, Italy
  33. 05 Oct 2006 at Arena Di Verona, Verona, Italy
  34. 07 Oct 2006 at Arena Santa Giuliana, Perugia, Italy
  35. 08 Oct 2006 at Palamaggiò, Caserta, Italy
  36. 10 Oct 2006 at Palalottomatica, Rome, Italy
  37. 12 Oct 2006 at Color Line Arena, Hamburg, Germany
  38. 13 Oct 2006 at Sportpaleis Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  39. 19 Oct 2006 at Plaza De Toros De Las Ventas, Madrid, Spain
  40. 21 Oct 2006 at Estadio Ciutat De València, Valencia, Spain
  41. 22 Oct 2006 at Plaza De Toros De Granada, Granada, Spain
  42. 24 Oct 2006 at Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain
  43. 25 Oct 2006 at Pabellón Deportivo, Santander, Spain
  44. 28 Oct 2006 at Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
  45. 29 Oct 2006 at Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
  46. 30 Oct 2006 at Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden
  47. 06 Nov 2006 at Kölnarena, Cologne, Germany
  48. 07 Nov 2006 at Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
  49. 09 Nov 2006 at The NEC Arena, Birmingham, England
  50. 11 Nov 2006 at Wembley Arena, London, England
  51. 14 Nov 2006 at Hallam Fm Arena, Sheffield, England
  52. 17 Nov 2006 at Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
  53. 18 Nov 2006 at Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
  54. 19 Nov 2006 at Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
  55. 21 Nov 2006 at Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland

OLD DAN TUCKER was performed off-tour on 25 Apr 2006 (morning) at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ, during the taping of ABC's Good Morning America. The song was not part of the live broadcast.

  1. 25 Apr 2006 (morning) at Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ

References

Info about some of the song's history is taken from Wikipedia. Most of the above info about the studio sessions is taken from Brucebase and the Spring 2007 issue (#86) of Backstreets magazine.

Available Versions

List of available versions of OLD DAN TUCKER on this website:

OLD DAN TUCKER [Album version]
OLD DAN TUCKER [Live 19 Nov 2006 version]

Page last updated: 03 Jan 2016