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Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)

DigiTrad:
SUZANNA'S A FUNICLE MAN
THE OLD SOW (2)
THE OLD SOW SONG


Related threads:
Help: 'One day I met a wee little pig' (14)
Susannah's a ? man (30)
lyr/info req: Old mother sow (4)
Lyr Req: Suzannah was a mighty fine ham (10)
Lyr Req: Suzanna's a Funniful Man (36)
Help: The Old Sow (3)
Lyr Add: Sow Song / Oor Little Pigs (2)


Bert Hansell 08 May 97 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,c.beney@ntlworld.com 21 Feb 04 - 02:09 PM
breezy 21 Feb 04 - 04:15 PM
Celtaddict 22 Feb 04 - 01:36 AM
GUEST,Jim Ward 22 Feb 04 - 03:24 AM
breezy 22 Feb 04 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Razz 02 Jan 05 - 08:24 AM
Tradsinger 02 Jan 05 - 09:31 AM
Herga Kitty 02 Jan 05 - 07:10 PM
Lighter 02 Jan 05 - 10:30 PM
Tradsinger 03 Jan 05 - 04:01 AM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Jan 05 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 03 Jan 05 - 08:23 AM
erinmaidin 03 Jan 05 - 09:03 AM
Tradsinger 03 Jan 05 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,MCP 03 Jan 05 - 09:56 AM
Tradsinger 03 Jan 05 - 10:00 AM
MMario 03 Jan 05 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 03 Jan 05 - 10:42 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 03 Jan 05 - 10:43 AM
Tradsinger 03 Jan 05 - 11:51 AM
Bert 03 Jan 05 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 04 Jan 05 - 08:58 AM
Flash Company 04 Jan 05 - 10:27 AM
Mrs_Annie 04 Jan 05 - 10:56 AM
Lighter 04 Feb 05 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 05 Feb 05 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 05 Feb 05 - 05:15 PM
Lighter 05 Feb 05 - 08:42 PM
Bert 05 Feb 05 - 09:01 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 06 Feb 05 - 12:51 PM
Lighter 06 Feb 05 - 12:52 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Feb 05 - 12:06 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 09 Feb 05 - 04:43 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Feb 05 - 05:50 PM
Bert 09 Feb 05 - 06:18 PM
Lighter 09 Feb 05 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,anonanonanon 10 Feb 05 - 01:05 AM
GUEST,John Constance 27 Jul 07 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,meself 27 Jul 07 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Darren Giddings 01 Aug 07 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Darren Giddings 01 Aug 07 - 08:21 AM
stallion 01 Aug 07 - 01:10 PM
Herga Kitty 01 Aug 07 - 01:42 PM
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Big Al Whittle 01 Jan 08 - 02:40 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: SUZANNA'S A FUNICLE MAN
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 08 May 97 - 02:41 PM

Here is another version of the Sow song; which is a farrowing song from Somerset. I learned this with the title 'Suzanna's a funicle man'.

In the dark ages of folk before the sixties revival (which started in the fifties) The torch of folk music in England was carried by a group of well to do, elderly ladies.

Every year they held (and still do) a folk festival at the Royal Albert Hall.
One year, in the forties I think, legend has it that a group of singers from Somerset performed this song and the ladies were most upset. Not recognizing it as a TRUE folk song, they thought that the group were making fun of folk music.

It is worth spending a little effort perfecting the great sound effects.

Enjoy,
Bert.

SUZANNA'S A FUNICLE MAN

The was an old farmer who had an old sow
(grunt) ow (whistle) ow (PFTHTTT) idle-e-dow
Suzanna's a funicle man

CHORUS: Sing lassy go rings below
Suzanna's a funicle man
(grunt) an (whistle) an (PFTHTTT) idle-e-dan
Suzanna's a funicle man

Now this old sow had nine little pigs
(grunt) ig (whistle) ig (PFTHTTT) idle-e-dig
Suzanna's a funicle man. CHORUS

These nine little pigs, they got out of their sty
(grunt) i (whistle) i (PFTHTTT) idle-e-di
Suzanna's a funicle man. CHORUS

They went in thefield and they ate all the beets
(grunt) eet (whistle) eet (PFTHTTT) idle-e-deet
Suzanna's a funicle man. CHORUS

They got in the barn and they ate all the corn
(grunt) orn (whistle) orn (PFTHTTT) idle-e-dorn
Suzanna's a funicle man. CHORUS

These nine little pigs, grew big and grew fat
(grunt) at (whistle) at (PFTHTTT) idle-e-dat
Suzanna's a funicle man. CHORUS

That's the end of this little song
(grunt) ong (whistle) ong (PFTHTTT) idle-e-dong
Suzanna's a funicle man. CHORUS


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: GUEST,c.beney@ntlworld.com
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 02:09 PM

Hi where can i download this old song?


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: breezy
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 04:15 PM

Geoff Hudd of Padstow, retired Barclays bank manager can do it, every time I sees him I insist.

It requires great skill which only comes with years of practice,

Thanks Bert

BTW can you perform it?, I think it would be a fun project to record those who can, I know I cant!!


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: Celtaddict
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 01:36 AM

So, what is a funicle man?


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: GUEST,Jim Ward
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 03:24 AM

Listening to my 1928 Zonophone 78 of Albert Richardson (from Sussex)he definiteley sings "Suzanna's a funny-full man.


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: breezy
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 07:54 AM

Aha!


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: GUEST,Razz
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:24 AM

Ken Dodd can do it!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GALLOWAY MAN (from Wisdom Smith)
From: Tradsinger
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 09:31 AM

This is sometimes referred to as the grunting-farting-whistling song. I have recorded several singers in Gloucestershire who could sing it, usually based on the Albert Richardson 1928 recording above. There is a recording on "All Brought up on Cider" on the Folktrax catalogue (Peter Kennedy). It's a version I recorded from the late Bill Cooper of Witcombe, Gloucestershire, in the 1970s. There was also a good but different version called the Galloway Man from the Smith family of Gloucestershire travellers - the notes from the MT Band of Gold CD say:

The Galloway Man (sung by Wisdom Smith) (Roud 1737)
(Recorded by Mike Yates at the Cat and Fiddle pub, Whaddon Road, Cheltenham, in 1970)

See once on a farm they grabs 'n ol' sow
(grunt)-ow, (fart)-ow, (whistle)-idle-y-dow
With a-lee, with a-lyre, with a-lee an' me poor go round
We poor the bouncing Galloway man
(grunt)-an, (fart)-an, (whistle)
Over the bouncing Galloway man

See, this old pig larned the young'uns to grunt
(grunt)-unt, (fart)-unt, (whistle)-idle-y-dunt ...

See, three little pigs went into the straw ...

See three little pigs 'ad six months in gaol
One one to the t'other he don't give a suller [bugger]
So long as they gettin' the best o' swill ...

I suspect that the song is much older than the 1928 recording. Can anyone out there enlighten us?

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:10 PM

Tradsinger - so presumably you have a recording of Ken Langsbury singing it?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 10:30 PM

There are broadside copies in the Madden Collection at Cambridge and (on-line)at the Bodelian Ballad site: search the latter for "Little Pigs."

None of the broadside versions indicates sound effects, unfortunately.

Vol. 8 of the Greig-Duncan Collection, p. 196, offers a Scottish version collected nearly a century ago, beginning, "Little Pigs Sit with their Backs All Bare."

The earliest allusion to the song I know of occurs in Tobias Smollett's "Peregrine Pickle," ch. 56 (1751), concerning "that celebrated English ditty, the burthen of which begins with, The pigs they lie with their arses bare."


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: Tradsinger
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 04:01 AM

Reply to Kitty Herga. Yes I do have a recording of Ken singing it. He was kind enough to come along to my CD launch and sing it there, so I now have his rendering on video. Ken learnt it from a local traveller, Wisdom Smith, whom I never met, but I did record a lot of songs from Wisdom's son Wiggy. However, Wiggy never sang the Galloway Man.

Reply to Lighter - I searched the Bodleian Ballad site for little pigs but couldn't find it. Suggestions?

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:22 AM

Use the "browse index" option, not the "search", and you'll find them. Interesting to see that puzzling line given as "my dad was a bonny wee man."


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:23 AM

It's there. Enter "little pigs" in the browse field, browse, then click on the link.


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: erinmaidin
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:03 AM

<--smiling broadly
My uncle Nocky used to disgust my mother, thoroughly , by singing this song to us children. I remember the joy I felt when I heard him singing it to my daughter. Uncle Nockye had spent his life being a merchant marine and we (the kids) found him absolutely charming!
Thanks for the memory


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: Tradsinger
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:45 AM

Thanks to Malcolm Douglas and 'Lighter at work' I have now found the broadside (the one headed 'Knocking at Door') but the writing is too small to read, and when I save it and enlarge it, it is still illegible. There just aren't enough pixels in the world. Hate to be a bore, but what I am still doing wrong?

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:56 AM

When you get to the page, what you see is a small version of the sheet. At the top left of the display you'll see a plus (+) sign on a blue button. If you click that you'll get the large version of the sheet, which you can read easily.

Mick


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: Tradsinger
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:00 AM

Chaps - ignore my last. I have just spotted the enlarge icon on the Bodleian page and can now read the broadside. Cool! Many thanks and a Happy New Year.

Incidentally, Steve Roud's index notes the song as only having been collected 25 times, and 8 of those entries are from my collecting! Is this a case of a song being ignored by folksong collectors as being too common to note or even not worthy of being noted? Cecil Sharp never made a note of it, but I guess it was around in his day. I have in manscript a version called "The Little Pigs" with the note "Sung by Sgt Wilcox, no 66 coy, R.G.A.. in Jamaica between 1909 and 1912" which is well before the Albert Richardson recording, so it was in oral tradition pre-1928. The chorus of this version has the line "Here comes the cannibal man" - spooky!

Gwilym


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE PIGS
From: MMario
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:09 AM

LITTLE PIGS

Little pigs lie on the best of straw
    straw, straw, shan diddle daw
Little pigs lie on the best of straw
    straw, straw, shan diddle daw
Lillepirluri My Dad was a boony wee man

Our Little pigs eat the best of potatoes
    praties, praties, shan diddle daties (etc.)

The old sow taught the yung'uns to grunt
    grunt, grunt, shan diddle brunt (etc)

Our little pigs make the best of bacon
    bacon, bacon, shand didlle dacon (etc)

Our sow's got the hooping cough
    cough, cough, shan diddle boff (etc)

Now here's and end to our go(o)d song
    song, song, shan diddle dong (etc)


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:42 AM

Tradsinger, if you'll post your Jamaica version I'll post the one from the Madden collection.

Collectors may have ignored the song because some versions contained the word "arse" and/or because it was too trivial,too hard to notate, and sounded like a music hall piece anyway!


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:43 AM

Australian John Williamson has a great version of this song on his albums "J.W.'s Family Album No. 1" and "For Aussie Kids". All the grunts, whistles, etc. He doesn't use all the verses in some of the above posts, but it's a great version, none the less.


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: Tradsinger
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 11:51 AM

Here are the words of the "The Little Pigs":

Oh the little pigs lay in a farmer's yard
(grunt) -ard (splutter) -ard (whistle) -ard and a diderli-ard
Oh the little pigs lay in a farmer's yard
(grunt) -ard (splutter) -ard (whistle) -ard and a diderli-ard
And they go, with a lilligerlie ger lee
Here comes the cannibal man
(grunt) -an (splutter) -an (whistle) -an
Here comes the cannibal man
And they go, with a lilligerlie ger lee
Here comes the cannibal man
(grunt) -an (splutter) -an (whistle) -an
Here comes the cannibal man.

The little pigs lay with their tails turned up -up etc

The little pigs makes the best of pork -ork etc

The old sow learns the young 'uns to grunt - unt etc

And now that I have sung you my song -ong etc
I hopes I haven't detained yer too long - one etc

I don't know anything more about it apart from the fact that it was given to me by the late Bob Arnold of Asthall, Oxfordshire.

By the way 'Lighter at work' - who are you really and do I know you?!

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: The Sow song
From: Bert
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 01:02 PM

It's on my CD "Plastic Flower Seeds" if anyone's interested./


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE PIGS: A GLEE
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 08:58 AM

The Madden copy is close to that posted by MMario, but lacks two stanzas. Published by "John Harkness, Printer, Preston," it dates, to judge from its position, from within a year or two of 1850 (I neglected to note the catalogue number). Here it is anyway, for comparison.

LITTLE PIGS

A GLEE

Our little pigs lie on very good straw,
Straw, straw, shan diddle daw !
             Our little pigs, &c.
Lillipuleri, my dad was a bonnie wee man !

Our little pigs eat the best of pratees,
Pratees, pratees, shan diddle datees !
             Our little pigs, &c.

Our little pigs made the best of bacon,
Bacon, bacon, shan diddle daken !
             Our little pigs, &c.

And there's an end to our little song,
Song, song, dan diddle dong !
             And there's an end, &c.


A "glee," of course, is a part song, sung unaccompanied by three or more voices. One wishes one had the melody for one of these early versions ! If they were sung straight-faced as three- or more part glees with pig noises added - as seems probable - the overall effect must have been hilarious.

The word "Lillipuleri" appears to have been inspired by the well-known "lillibulero," and with a little adjustment the stanzaic words can be fit to the first half of that tune. The refrain is another story, though.

Gwilym, I doubt we have met. I'll PM you when I'm back at my own computer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Flash Company
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 10:27 AM

I once produced 'There was an old farmer who had a mad cow' during the BSE panic.

FC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Mrs_Annie
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 10:56 AM

My husband's Dad (unfortunately I never met him) used to sing this song to his kids. He (husband) was surprised and delighted to find it on one of the Topic 'Voice of the People' CDs (can't remember which one). I thought it was 'funny-full' too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 06:44 PM

The truth may be out there, but trust no one. I now have Greig-Duncan to hand and, despite what I learned from a reputable website not to named here, the Scottish text begins rather differently from what I said above. Here are the lyrics in full:


1. Our little pigs lies wi' their backs aye bare, bare (grunt) -are,
   Sing dah reeedle ah,
   Oh, my dad was a bonny wee man, man (spoken shrilly) (grunt) -an
   
2. The little pigs lies wi' their tails half cocked, cocked (grunt),
                                                             ocked.
3. Oor old soo maks the finest o' pork, pork (grunt) -ork.

4. Oor old soo maks the finest o' bacon, bacon (grunt), -acon.


This was collected by Dr. James B. Duncan from Mrs. Margaret Gillespie in N.E. Scotland, between 1906 and 1917. It may be the oldest text to record the sound effects.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 05:10 PM

I imagine a certain generation of Yanks (I include myself) first heard of this song via a 50s recording by Richard Dyer-Bennet, no doubt suffering from folk attrition and perhaps D-B's rewrite for propriety or other reasons. Still, I did learn this from him (along with my first reasonably difficult guitar licks), and it's interesting to speculate where and how he got his variant. This is, verbatim, how the liner notes to the record had it:

LITTLE PIGS

Little pigs lie on the best of straw,
With an oink, snore, oink, snore, oink, she nan little dog. (repeat couplet)

Cho:   Lillie bolay, oh lillie bolay, oh lilly bolay, oh lilly bolay,
            Oh, my daddy's a bonny wee man.
            With an oink, snore, oink, snore, oink, she nan little dog.

Little pigs maketh the best of pork,
With an oink...


That's all there was to it. "Lillie bolay" = Lilliburlet or equavalent, "bonny wee man = "funniful/funicle" man, "she nan little dog" = "shan diddle dong" I guess.

By the way, what's "funicle" mean? Certainly not funicular??? My daddy's an elevated railroad? Oh, my sainted aunt, as Mr. Campion would say. No, I'm not seriously proposing that. Scratch it. (It itches.)

In estatu gaga,   Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 05:15 PM

...No, not quite verbatim. Correction as follows:

Oink, snore, oink, whistle, oink, she nan little dog.

There! Wouldn't have wanted that whistle left out for anything.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 08:42 PM

Thanks, Bob. Jacket transcriptions can be sloppy, though.

My guess is that "funniful" came first as word play on "funny," and "funicle" was originally a mishearing. But who's to say?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Bert
Date: 05 Feb 05 - 09:01 PM

What is funicle. Well now, I just don't know. That's how I first heard it on the radio, I would guess around 1946.

I have always assumed it was West Country dialect or humour. They're a funny lot out there in Somerset and Dorset. I have heard it, recently, sung "funny old man" which sounds more sensible. But trying to assign SENSE to such a song it probably futile.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 12:51 PM

Lighter, just to clarify: while my transcription of "Little Pigs" is as listed on the jacket copy, I should have mentioned it was also aurally as accurate as my ear can distinguish, based on the Dyer-Bennet warblin' in the grooves.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Lighter
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 12:52 PM

Thanks, Bob.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 12:06 AM

Whence "funicle"? Let's see what we can figure out.

My CD-ROM edition of the American Heritage Dictionary—which offers some neat search functions—lists 405 words or terms ending in "–ical," from "acoustical" to "zoological." Most, if not all, of them are adjectives. It lists only 31 words or terms ending in "–icle," from "air-cushion vehicle" to "vesicle." Most, if not all, of them are nouns. Therefore, I conclude the ending should be spelled "–ical."

Now, if you examine the words ending in "–ical," you can see that in a large number of cases (but not all), the root is a noun ending in "y", and that the "y" was replaced by "ical" to convert the noun to an adjective:

Astronomy - Astronomical
Biography - Biographical
Category - Categorical
Economy - Economical
History - Historical
Philosophy - Philosophical
Symmetry - Symmetrical
Tyranny - Tyrannical
...plus all the words ending in "–ology":
Biology – Biological,
Criminology – Criminological, etc.

Now, the expected root, "funy" doesn't exist—but we would expect that only if we assume "funical" is the correct spelling. What if it were "funnical"? Then the root would be "funny." At last we have arrived at a plausible explanation of "funnical": it is derived from, and apparently means, "funny." The derivation is irregular only in that "funny" doesn't need to be converted to an adjective because it already IS an adjective. But that's logical enough, I think, for a word that was meant to sound funny in the first place.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 04:43 PM

Here's the skinny, at last.

fun-i-cle, v.t. to funnel something (as a fluid) through a hollow-stemmed icicle, esp. hot grog on really dead-end ski trips, as a : "Drink that funicle before it melts, big guy," or,   b : "Hey, suck up that groggicle, would you, Susanna, and let's get out on the slopes?"

fun-i-cle, n. congealment into a social chill after having a high old time, as "We were partying out of our minds when Susanna laid a fart and cleared not only the room, but the house. It was ten below zero outside. Wotta funicle! Needless to say, the party broke up early."

~~~~~ No, no, no, just kidding. ~~~~~

But wait, seriously now. The fun is just getting started. No hoax, really. Because Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary gives:

fun-i-cu-lus, n. (NL, fr L, dim. of funis rope) 1 : a bodily structure suggesting a cord: as a : a bundle of nerve fibers   b : SPERMATIC CORD   2 : the stalk of a plant ovule

Well, it's easy to see how THAT applies.

Susanna, having found that she's a man (and a funicle man at that), discovers to her horror that she now has, among other novelties, a spermatic cord, which much resembles the stalk of a plant ovule.

Never in her career as a young woman has she ever had, or wished to have (Freud to the contrary notwithstanding) any such thing. But now that she's a man, she's stuck with it.

So, naturally enough, Susanna's a bundle of nerves.

        Lyr Add SUSANNA'S A BUNDLE OF NERVES

Susanna's a bundle of nerves,
(Snort) -erves (fart) -erves (whistle) -erves diddle derves---
Susanna's a bundle of nerves.

Wouldn't you be?

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 05:50 PM

YES BUT the word in the dictionary spelled "funicle" is pronounced "FYOO-nick-l". Y'all don't pronounce it that way when you sing it, do you?

Doesn't "funnical" do a better job of representing how the word in the song is pronounced?

I don't think I've ever heard anyone sing the version that has "funicle" in it. I've been assuming it's pronounced "funnical."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Bert
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 06:18 PM

Yup funnical is probaly a better spelling


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 07:31 PM

Of course, it might just be funny + comical.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,anonanonanon
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 01:05 AM

Ken Langsbury singing this has to be seen to be believed! The facial expressions are everything! I'm glad to hear, Tradsinger, that you have the video, not just a sound recording. Brings back great memories.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,John Constance
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 06:04 PM

Wonderful memories ! My father who was from a Kentish Gypsy family,
sang this to me as a child in the 60's. .

JC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 27 Jul 07 - 07:33 PM

This song was in oral tradition in an area I lived in in Manitoba in the 1980s. Slightly different lyrics, although still about pigs and farms. The refrain there was, "Your daddy's a very fine man (snort)", etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man
From: GUEST,Darren Giddings
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 08:18 AM

Can anyone shed any light on what is actually being sung in the first line of the chorus? None of the lyrics I've seen written down quite capture what either Richardson or Sarony seem to be singing on their recordings. The former sounds like "Sing lasical rings relaw!" and the latter, even more crammed into the rhythm, like "Sing lasses le rings lerelaw"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man
From: GUEST,Darren Giddings
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 08:21 AM

... Thinking about it, Sarony is better transcribed as "Sing lasses luh ring luhrelah" . Which doesn't really help any!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man
From: stallion
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 01:10 PM

I learnt it from my Grandad who had learnt it from his father who had been a music hall performer (and sung it in the music halls), silent movie pianist and ended his performing days in Will Catlin's Peirots on the beach in Scarborough. It all comes out when I have a few too many but I am blowed if i can remember it sober, well, other than the line " the little pigs sit with arses bare ...." and he used to sing funicle man


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 01:42 PM

The song was sung at the Herga folk club the evening before yesterday - and when I mentioned having heard Ken Langsbury sing it, George Papavgeris informed us that Ken is booked to appear at Herga next January! I think, anonanonanon, there might be a request in the offing....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,John Gibb
Date: 31 Dec 07 - 06:03 AM

I can remember my fatherand grandfather "singing" this to me and my sisters over 60 years ago. Now I've rediscovered the words I'm looking forward to attempting to give my grandchildren a traditional "English nonsense" experience.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Martin Graebe
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 03:46 AM

For more on Albert Richardson and 'The Old Sow' see George Frampton's article in Folk Music Journal 2007 (V9 No 2). This describes the 1928 concert and recording of the song and suggests that Richardson had learned it 'from the tradition'. These recordings together with his work with Jack Hylton and Lesley Saroney and his radio and TV appearances brought the song into the repertoire of many country singers, including, as George describes, Jim Copper. I think we sometimes underestimate the influence that recordings and radio had on singers growing up in the thirties who went on to be the 'traditional singers ' of the sixties. Somewhat like the way that songs in the Nineteenth Century drifted between print and oral passage.

This is also true of the other songs that Richardson recorded: 'The Farmer's Boy' and 'Buttercup Joe'. My father learned Farmers Boy and The Old Sow from old 78s in the family home. I never asked him for details (dammit), but I think it is safe to assume that, as a Sussex boy, he would have been a Richardson fan (though he also loved Lesley Saroney and sang some of his songs as well).

Now, I wonder if I can persuade Ken to sing it tomorrow evening?

Happy New Year!

Martin Graebe


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 02:40 PM

The Yetties sing this song, I've got a video of Bonnie and the lads singing this one. Its in the loft as I'm trying to sell my house, but if there are interested parties I could sort you out a dvd copy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,SteveGardham
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 03:10 PM

Got a book for Christmas called 'Tavern Singing in Early Victorian London: The Charles Rice Diaries. He is out singing in the BL area every night for which he is paid. He is usually the comic turn. His diary from Jan 1st 1840 to Oct 12th gives the title of every song he sang each night. Billy Taylor, the burlesque version of William Taylor is an ever-present but 'Little Pigs' is up there with the best.

Happy New Year,
Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Inukshuk
Date: 01 Jan 08 - 03:43 PM

There's a couple of decent renditions on UTube. Search "funicle" to get started.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 02 Jan 08 - 06:16 AM

My two penn'orth -

I heard it from a Traveller as

'Sing lassicle rings all a row -
The sow had three little pigs . . . '


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man
From: GUEST,Caroline, Dartmoor
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 07:20 AM

My Grandad used to sing this as his party piece at Christmas time
and I'll never forget the sight of his false teeth shooting across
the top of the Baby Grand piano whilst in full song! Treasured memories...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,GM
Date: 10 Oct 08 - 04:07 PM

My mum in 90 and has always entertained the family and others with her version of the "Piggies Song" handed to her by her grandmother. She comes from the NE of Scotland.

Her version is as follows:

The auld sow lies on her backside bare
Bare (Grunt)(Whistle) (Rasp)
Shi Dant Ickal Dah

Oh my faither he was a fine young man
Man (Grunt)(Whistle) (Rasp)
Shi Dant Ickal Dah

The piggies are made of the finest of bacon
Bacon (Grunt)(Whistle) (Rasp)
Shi Dant Ickal Dah

The piggies they lie on the finest of straw
Straw (Grunt)(Whistle) (Rasp)
Shi Dant Ickal Dah


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,craig marley
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 12:34 PM

I was born in Winnepeg in 1943. My father was also born in Winnepeg in 1916. He sang this song to me and my sister once or twice a year until we were young adults. After that, we had to beg him to do it.
He is now 93 and unable to even recall the words.
I would love to send him a CD or digital. Anyone out there who can email a copy? craigmarley@verizon.net


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Sep 11 - 06:56 AM

Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njZxuT--Dgo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: LadyJean
Date: 03 Sep 11 - 12:42 AM

I heard Anna Russell sing it on television.

She sang, "Suzanne is a funny old man." It was beautifully funny with her deadpan sort of humor.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,Davey
Date: 16 Sep 11 - 03:46 PM

I first heard this song on an episode of Three's Company where Jack and his father sang it. It got me interested in the song and I found different versions of it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 11 - 06:42 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIwoa6HlSnM

One of the best versions you will hear


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: stallion
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 06:15 AM

My grandpa used to sing us this song and claimed that his grandpa had written the song. It could be plausible since his father moved to Scarborough and joined Catlins Pierots on the beach prior to that had moved from the music hall to play piano in cinemas in Leeds, he was supposed to have started in the music halls at a very young age with his father who was a performer. Trouble is they were called Smith and used Stage names and or ran away to Scarborough and used the name Smith cos he was always referred to by my mother as Grandad Clarke ie that used to belong to Grandad Clarke, mainly to old framed photo's of show girls in costume around the edwardian era, Mum used to say they were relatives but for the life of me I can't remember just who. Trouble is everyone and his dog (including my family) would lay claim to stuff!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 01:14 PM

I heard this Cyril Smith song when I was young on a 78 record. Are you sure the words aren't
"Suzanne is a funny old man"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,Mary Llewellyn
Date: 12 Dec 17 - 01:54 PM

FWIW, I first heard this song in a video of Anna Russell's farewell tour, and I thought she was singing "Susanna's a funny old man".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 12 Dec 17 - 02:09 PM

"there was an old man
and he had an old sow ...
...non-verbal noises "

Would you believe, an improvised quote
from Marlon Brando, of all people,
in Last Tango in Paris?

I think it might be the scene
with the dead rat.

Which of course is adorned later with
"Rat's - ******** with mayonnaise!"

That's the only place I've encountered it.
I don't get out near enough.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Dec 17 - 03:06 PM

I ought to lodge my grandad's version which I still sing and I'm 70.

There was an old farmer had an old sow
(snort)ow, (raspberry)0w, (whistle) i-diddly-dow
Sussana's a funniful man
(snort)an, (raspberry)an, (whistle) i--diddly dan
Susanna's a funniful man
Sing lassie go rings-oo-ray
Susanna's a funniful man.

Now this old sow had 3 little pigs....i-diddly-digs

These little pigs they all got stuck.....i-diddly-duck

These little pigs they all made good bacon.....i-diddly-dacon

These little pigs they all went to heaven....i-diddly-devon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Dec 17 - 03:07 PM

For Sussana please read Suzanna. Silly me!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 04:22 AM

The seldom rendered (and reserved for pub sessionss only back in the day) last verse, from jim Copper was the wordily challenging -
'and these little pigs they shat in the farmer's hat
(snort) at, (raspberry) at, (whistle) at'
etc, etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 04:43 AM

Here's a version from the film Shipmates o' Mine. By the way, "Lilliberlero" as in the Orange anti-Catholic song, comes from the Irish 16th-century war cry Líle ba léir ó - "Let the lily be plain before us", the lily being a symbol of Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 03:26 PM

Have you got the wrong thread, JTT? Just tried to sing 'Old Sow' to Lilliburlero and struggled.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 03:57 PM

Went back through and see the Lilliburlero connection. Seems to be connected pretty tentatively though. Anyone sing it to something that resembles 'Lilliburlero'?

The Albert Richardson tune and all the versions I've heard all use the same tune which is a variant of the ubiquitous 'Dumble Dum Deary' aka 'Richard of Taunton Dean' used by many country ditties. I also hear some resemblance to the Scots comic song 'The Lum-hat wanting a croon' (The stovepipe hat without a top).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 04:00 PM

A great rendition on the film JTT. I could be wrong but I'd say the actor was miming to Albert Richardson's 78 recording. I have a copy somewhere but not to hand.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 04:01 PM

I should add, thanks for posting it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 04:06 PM

I'm with Mudcatter Bob Coleman on this one:
the Richard Dyer-Bennet interpretation
was my intro to this song, as well.

No farting or shitting whatever in his version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 04:29 PM

Ah but what was the tune like? Is it in Dyer-Bennet's book (currently for sale on Ebay)?

As for farting and shitting these are essential parts of life and ordinary country people of past ages hadn't the airs and graces and we city dwellers put on.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sow Song (Suzanna's a Funicle Man)
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 15 Dec 17 - 07:16 AM

Being very careful not to stray too far in the direction of another (lengthy) thread, Bob Copper noted that in one of Frank Bond's notebooks (bearing in mind Frank was a stickler for covering every square inch of paper), in a space at the bottom of one page he wrote "hold on you chaps, I wants to fart"...as you say, countrymen of yore weren't quite as sensitive as are we...


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