Oxford Town

- Oxford Town

Based on "Cumberland Gap" (the "old banjo tune" Dylan once claimed as his source). For the history of this song see The Traditional Ballad Index. and Wikipedia. The first recording was in 1924 by Uncle "Am" Stuart, then the same year also by Gid Tanner and Riley Puckett. Here is the melody from Lomax, American Ballads And Folk Songs (1934):

Pete Seeger recorded this song for Frontier Ballads (Folkways FW 05003, 1954) and for my ears that version sounds as if it was Dylan's source. Many variants of Cumberland Gap have a verse like this:

Me and my wife and my wife's pap.
We all live down in the Cumberland Gap
Bob Dylan turned it into:
Me and my girl, my girl's son
We gotta met with a tear gas bomb

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