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Looking for forgotten song-men from Drumnadrochit

Related thread:
Lyr Req: Can anyone help with these two songs (34)


Joe Offer 20 May 24 - 04:02 PM
Johnny J 19 May 24 - 04:25 PM
Johnny J 15 May 24 - 09:00 AM
cnd 15 May 24 - 08:43 AM
Johnny J 15 May 24 - 07:43 AM
Helen 10 May 24 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,Johnny J 10 May 24 - 08:03 AM
Helen 09 May 24 - 01:21 PM
cnd 09 May 24 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Johnny J 09 May 24 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Johnny 07 May 24 - 05:01 PM
FreddyHeadey 07 May 24 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,Johnny J 07 May 24 - 01:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Looking for forgotten song-men from Drumnadrochit
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 May 24 - 04:02 PM

I asked Johnny for the song title, and here's what he wrote:

    Hi Joe,

    It's called "Recipe For Life".

    Originally on the album "Watt is a Four Letter Word" by Watt Nicoll and credited to Watt as the composer.

    I found it on the compilation CD which includes 4 albums and bonus tracks. All for £^ which suits my pocket. ;-))

    As I mentioned in my posts, there may be one or two words which are incorrect as the vocals were a little indistinct in parts. I've made a good guess though and the meaning of the song is the same.

    All the best for now,

    John


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Subject: Lyr Add: RECIPE FOR LIFE (Watt Nicoll)
From: Johnny J
Date: 19 May 24 - 04:25 PM

As promised, here is a transcription of the lyrics.
There maybe one or two small errors as some of the words aren't too clear. However, it still makes sense......


RECIPE FOR LIFE
(Watt Nicoll)

In Drumnadrochit Village seated in the village square,
Come Hail, rain, or sunshine, you'll find the old men there.
While sharing with the tourists, they'll close their eyes and tell
Of the great tales of their childhood and their parents where they dwell.

They dwell, oh they dwell, oh they dwell me lads they dwell.
Oh great tales of their childhood and their parents where they dwell.

The first old lad said "Since I was born some ninety years have gone".
"Oh tell me" said the tourist "Why have you lived so long?"
"I've never smoked nor drank, Sir, Whisky I have spurned,
You live to be a hundred when the simple things you learn."

"You learn, Aye You learn, You learn, me lads, you learn. You live to be a hundred once the simple things you learn."


Another nice old fellow just further up the bench
"In all of 97 years, I've never kissed a wench.
Alcohol has never passed my lips or smoke into me lungs
It's a recipe for long life and a way of staying young.

So young, so young, so young me lads, so young.
My recipe for long life and a way of staying young"

The third old man just cackled and shook a wizened head
"I never could remember how many maids I've had in bed
My glass is never empty and my pipe is always lit
That proves his recipe for life is just a load of shit.

Instrumental break

The tourist showed admiration and said he was impressed
"Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Sir, it's your way that's the best.
But tell me just how long that you've lived in this way?"

"Well, I've lived man and boy, Sir, 23 years to the day."

The day, the day, the day me lads, the day. Well, I've lived man and boy, Sir, 23 years to the day.."

There is a more toned-down verse from the third old man which was sung on the radio programme, as I said. As I recall, it goes something like this..

The third old man just laughed. He shook his head and gloated
"In all my years I can't recall how many girls I've courted
My glass is never empty and I enjoy a smoke
That proves his recipe for life is nothing but a joke..."

"A joke, a joke, a joke me lads a joke. That proves his recipe for life is nothing but a joke..."


So, you can sing whichever verse you like. According to taste and/or the company.... ;-)))


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Subject: RE: Looking for forgotten song-men from Drumnadrochit
From: Johnny J
Date: 15 May 24 - 09:00 AM

I've still to work out the lyrics myself. There's a couple of "indistinct" words here and there. Once I'm sure, I'll post them.

The version on CMF seemed to have been "toned down" slightly too with some subtle changes in the lyrics... e.g. last verse doesn't talk about "bedding women" but "courting".

CMF did have live perfromances but some would have been "studio sessions" as was quite normal in those days to get around the issue of limited "needle time".


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Subject: RE: Looking for forgotten song-men from Drumnadrochit
From: cnd
Date: 15 May 24 - 08:43 AM

Huzzah! Glad to hear, Johnny. If it's not too much to ask, I'd love to read the rest of the lyrics, if you could transcribe them. If not, I can always take a stab at it, but would need to be sent the recording.

Interesting that it's a different recording, though. Did CMF do live shows? Perhaps Nicoll or others worked up an arrangement. Or if Nicoll performed with other bands later on down the line, maybe they made a cover. Many options, but curious.


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Subject: RE: Looking for forgotten song-men from Drumnadrochit
From: Johnny J
Date: 15 May 24 - 07:43 AM

To CND and Helen,

Thanks for all your help.

The CD arrived today. It is indeed the same song.... "Recipe For Life" by Watt Nicoll.

Although it's the first time I've heard it in over 50 years, I instantly recognise the lyrics and the tune(Same as Whitby Tailor...I'd be interested in finding out a little more about the origins of the melody too. Maybe, The Session might help there?)

It was not the same recording as played on "Country Meets Folk" however and, as I recall, it was a band performance.

As I say, a good fun song to sing in a session and I can elaborate on the tune too and even add something on the end.

Thanks once again.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a long forgotten song
From: Helen
Date: 10 May 24 - 02:04 PM

Thanks, Johnny J. Yes, please let us know if it is the same song.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a long forgotten song
From: GUEST,Johnny J
Date: 10 May 24 - 08:03 AM

Thanks folks.

"Recipe for Life" could be the one as this line was mentioned a few times throughout the song.

I thought it was a band who performed it on the radio show but it's quite possible that Watt could have composed it.

I've also traced a copy of the compilation CD via Amazon which will cost me £6 inc postage. I've never had any albums by Watt, believe it or not. So nothing will be lost.

I'll let you all know if it's the same or very similar song.

Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a long forgotten song
From: Helen
Date: 09 May 24 - 01:21 PM

I just looked up the album on an online supplier site which I have been using for a couple of decades and found this for $AU5.78, ships from the UK:

It is 4 of Watt Nicoll's CD's including

Watt Is A Four­ Letter Word


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Subject: RE: Looking for a long forgotten song
From: cnd
Date: 09 May 24 - 11:57 AM

Could it be Watt Niccoll's "Recipe For Life" from Watt Is a Four Letter Word (XTRA 1073, 1968)? The liner notes read, in part: You might imagine a RECIPE FOR LIFE should read "Take one man and one woman mix liberally with gin and time etc.", but no, it starts "Take three dirty old men…"

Sadly, I couldn't find a recording to confirm.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a long forgotten song
From: GUEST,Johnny J
Date: 09 May 24 - 10:20 AM

A quick wee bump for this one.

I'll just keep the momemtum for a few days just in case.
;-)


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Subject: RE: Looking for a long forgotten song
From: GUEST,Johnny
Date: 07 May 24 - 05:01 PM

Thanks Freddy,

That's a shame that nobody could answer.

I'd actually heard the subject of the song told as a joke too about that time too.

It was a very catchy song but, of course, it's a great melody.

Although the location was in Drumnadrochit, I don't think the band was Scottish. I may have been mistaken but they sounded English as I recall.

The radio programme in question, "Country Meets Folk" could be heard on Radio Two and was presented by Wally Whyton. The other folk programme was "Folk on Two" with Jim Lloyd which continued into the 70s and early 80s but both of them were on the air for a while in the early seventies.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a long forgotten song
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 07 May 24 - 04:47 PM

;)same question five years ago

mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=165802

:( without a result


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Subject: Looking for a long forgotten song
From: GUEST,Johnny J
Date: 07 May 24 - 01:54 PM

Hi,

Logging on as a guest as I'm not sure if my password is secure here.

Maybe some Scottish folkies will help me with this one.

I heard a song on Country meets Folk back in 1971 and had it on cassette tape for a while but I've forgotten the title and name of the band.

The song melody was the same as that of "The Whitby Tailor" which seems to have been used for a few songs.

It was quite a humorous ditty about 3 or 4(?) old men from Drumnadrochit who were asked about the secrets of their longevity.
Answers involved not smoking, refraining from alcohol, and staying clear of women.
However, the last man stated that all this was nonsense. He drank, enjoyed a smoke, and lost count of the women he had courted. When asked how old he was, he replied "I've lived man and boy, Sir, 24 years to this day" ;-))

I wouldn't mind getting a hold of the words for this one as it would be a "fun song" for a singaround or similar.


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