no oil paintings - John Hardy

Pennsylvania Log Barn (location 32)

Song

John Hardy tells the story of a gambling railroad worker who killed another man during a drunken brawl in West Virginia. He was tried, found guilty and sentenced to death for his crime. Appearently the huge crowd that gathered to witness his hanging in January 1894 were dumbfounded at his relaxed manner as he approached the scaffold – he’d made his peace with the Lord the previous day and had been baptised in a nearby river. A very considerable number of Ulster and Scots emigrants ended up in and around West Virginia and over years their indigenous music both influenced and subsumed elements of other folks music, resulting in the unique genres of bluegrass and hill-billy.

John Hardy was a desperate little man
He carried two guns every day
He shot down a man on that West Virginia line
You oughta seen John Hardy getting away
You oughta seen John Hardy getting away

John Hardy stood in that old barroom
So drunk that he could not see
And a man walked up and took him by the arm
He said Johnny, come and go along with me
Poor boy, Johnny, come and walk along with me

John Hardy stood in his old jail cell
The tears running down from his eyes
He said I've been the death of many a poor boy
But my six-shooters never told a lie
No, my six-shooters never told a lie

The first one to visit John Hardy in his cell
Was a little girl dressed in blue
She came down to that old jail cell
She said Johnny, I've been true to you
God knows, Johnny, I've been true to you

The next one to Visit John Hardy in his cell
Was a little girl dressed in red
She come down to that old jail cell
She said, Johnny, I had rather see you dead
Well, Johnny, I had rather see you dead

I've been to the East and I've been to the West
I've traveled this wide world around
I've been to that river and I've been baptized
So take me to my burying ground
So take me to my burying ground

John Hardy was a desperate little man
He carried two guns every day
He shot down a man on the West Virginia line
You oughta seen old John Hardy getting away
You oughta seen old John Hardy getting away

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Location

The Pennsylvania Farmhouse is an exact replica of the six-room dwelling in which Thomas Mellon and his family lived. The original house still stands the town of Export, Pennsylvania.

This log farmhouse is typical of those constructed by permanent settlers in the New World. Thomas Mellon wrote about his family’s early years in America. He describes them as years of ‘all work and no play’, but within four years the hard work had paid off and the family had started to prosper.

The log cabin which had given so ‘much satisfaction and contentment’ when they first settled in America had begun to seem too small and cramped so in its place they built ‘as fine a six-roomed dwelling as the best of our neighbours’.

The construction is similar to the log cabin. However the logs are completely hewn or 'squared' and are tightly fitted to prevent rain from seeping in.

The greater size and more finished appearance of the farmhouse was a sign of the increasing prosperity of the Mellons. More and better household furnishings replaced the crude and largely homemade furniture of the cabin.  The presence of even a few bought clothes and shoes was sign of a more comfortable lifestyle.

However, even though the family were prospering, daily life still entailed hard work. The tasks of ploughing, tending crops, looking after livestock, repairing fences and land clearance were time consuming and strenuous. Women noticed little change in their life of toil with their days filled with an endless routine of baking, cooking and cleaning, sewing, spinning and weaving.

Look at the overall construction of the house and how different it is from the log cabin. It shows how quickly the family prospered in America. In Ulster similar families faced a fall in living standards.

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Artist

No Oil Paintings is a vivacious, dynamic alternative-folk band from Belfast that includes the musical synergy of Chris Kelly (lead vocals, guitar), twin brothers Sean (vocals, guitar, 5-string banjo), James Doone (vocals, bass guitar), and George Sloan (vocals, drums). With a variety of influences from rock to outlaw country, they have grown together and developed the No Oil Paintings sound – raucous alternative guitar & banjo-driven folk, with an edge of darkness. The band strive to use typical folk instrumentation accompanied with strong four-part male harmonies to create something a little more wild than the music often associated with the genre today. You can expect to hear everything from swampy blues rock to straight-up country waltzes. The band’s powerful original set have seen them headlining festivals such as Open House, Stendhal, Sunflower, Campfire, Ards Guitar Festival and Atlantic Sessions, and they are part of Hannah Peel’s Mix the City Belfast. They have also collaborated with Grammy award winner Joss Stone during her world tour, with their song ‘God Only Knows’. Their most recent album, ‘Too Close to the Sun’, received critical acclaim across the UK and Ireland. They have a rare intuition for bluegrass, folk and country, are musically tight as a whiskey barrel and may as well come with a warning: incites hollering and foot stomping.

https://facebook.com/nooilpaintings

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