The Deadwood Stage (Whip-Crack-Away!)

Album: Calamity Jane (1953)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • "The Deadwood Stage" is the opening song from the 1953 Warner Brothers musical Calamity Jane. Written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster, it was performed by Doris Day (with chorus) in the lead role. The real Calamity Jane was poles apart from Day, whose wholesome screen image propelled her to box office super stardom.

    Martha Jane Cannary Burke (1852-1903) was a frontierswoman and scout, among her other claims to fame. She lived in Deadwood, South Dakota for a time, and the reference in the song to "Injun arrows" being thicker than porcupine quills is no invention. On one occasion, while she was riding the stage it was attacked by Indians, and when the driver was killed, she drove it to Deadwood.

    The last verse too is, sadly, grounded firmly in historical fact: "Set 'em up Joe, Set 'em up Joe, Set 'em up Joe"; Jane had a weakness for the demon drink, and this undoubtedly contributed to her early death. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs

Richard Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Psychedelic Furs lead singer Richard Butler talks about their first album since 1991 and explains what's really going on in "Pretty In Pink."

Country Song Titles

Country Song TitlesFact or Fiction

Country songs with titles so bizarre they can't possibly be real... or can they?

Yacht Rock!

Yacht Rock!Song Writing

A scholarly analysis of yacht rock favorites ("Steal Away," "Baker Street"...) with a member of the leading YR cover band.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino EditionMusic Quiz

Whether he's splitting ears or burning Nazis, Quentin Tarantino uses memorable music in his films. See if you can match the song to the scene.

Ian Astbury of The Cult

Ian Astbury of The CultSongwriter Interviews

The Cult frontman tells who the "Fire Woman" is, and talks about performing with the new version of The Doors.

Loreena McKennitt

Loreena McKennittSongwriter Interviews

The Celtic music maker Loreena McKennitt on finding musical inspiration, the "New Age" label, and working on the movie Tinker Bell.