Five Songs from Genealogy: Israel Putnam Brown
Five Songs from “Genealogy” Israel Putnam Brown
Plymouth, Vermont (1781 - 1867)

Words and music by Winfield Shaw Clark

Version A Listen: (2MB)

Israel Putnam Brown.mp3

Sheet music (68K pdf)

Israel Putnam Brown.mp3

Version B Listen: (2.8MB)
sung by Garry Johnson
Great grandfather Israel Brown
Courted the prettiest girl in town.
She was fifteen; he wasn't much older,
But good with his hands and broad in the shoulder.

Townspeople said it was a shame and a caution;
Townspeople said the two were treading thin ice.
Marrying young was just some romantic notion.
Both of their fam’lies were as poor as church-mice.

The town fathers of Plymouth, Vermont,
Called Israel in, as was their wont
if they perceived a threat to the town,
And so they admonished Israel Brown:

The town fathers said, “Young man, you'll end up a pauper.”
The town fathers said, “You’ll go on public support.”
“Why can’t you wait? Why don’t you do this thing proper?
We hope you won’t make us take this matter to court...”

Israel Brown, of Plymouth, Vermont,
Faced the town fathers, and spoke, non-chalant:
“If this town will take care of itself;
I’ll undertake to take care of myself.”

Israel Brown went on to raise a large family.
He and his wife were known for miles around.
People forgot that there was ever a question
‘Bout Israel Brown, the richest man in town.

Copyright © Winfield Clark 1994-2013

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