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Lyr Req: Country Carrier / My Rattling Mare and I

DigiTrad:
JIM, THE CARTER LAD


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Jim the Carter lad (12)
Chord Req: Joe the Carrier Lad chords (2)
Lyr Req: Joan the Leather Queen (R. Shuttleworth) (11)


GUEST,daystar 06 Jul 01 - 06:18 PM
vindelis 06 Jul 01 - 09:32 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Jul 01 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,daystar 07 Jul 01 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,padgett 08 Jul 04 - 07:43 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Jul 04 - 10:23 PM
GUEST,padgett 13 Jul 04 - 09:25 AM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Jul 04 - 12:01 PM
nutty 13 Jul 04 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,padgett 14 Jul 04 - 08:18 AM
Artful Codger 07 May 10 - 08:31 PM
Artful Codger 09 May 10 - 02:21 AM
Artful Codger 20 May 10 - 02:42 AM
RTim 20 May 10 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,leeneia 21 May 10 - 12:10 AM
Artful Codger 21 May 10 - 12:44 AM
Steve Gardham 21 May 10 - 04:33 PM
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Subject: country carrier
From: GUEST,daystar
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 06:18 PM

Can anyone point me to a source for the words of this song?

I think it starts:

I'm just a country carrier, a noble chap am I I whistle and sing from morn to night...

and includes the phrase:

So clear the way when Joseph comes, you crawlers all take care

The chorus starts:

Round goes the wheel...

and finishes:

...me and me old grey mare.

I'd appreciate any info, especially about the origins of the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: country carrier
From: vindelis
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 09:32 PM

The Yetties recorded it on one of their early (vinyl) records. They have a website but I don't think it lists lyrics, only the names of songs and tunes to be found on each record/CD. I can have a look through the records I have got and see what I can find.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: country carrier
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 09:33 PM

Often also called My Rattling Mare and I.  Frank Purslow reckoned that it was probably from a 19th century stage show.  There are several broadside copies, all from the mid to late 19th century, at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads; here is one, with a set of The Trees They Do Grow High on the same sheet (note: large image):

My rattling mare and I  Printed between 1840 and 1866 by J. Harkness of Preston.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: country carrier
From: GUEST,daystar
Date: 07 Jul 01 - 04:59 PM

Thanks for the help! This looks near to what I remember


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: country carrier
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 07:43 AM

I have just found this thread as I am currently learning this one, my version from either Marrowbones or Constant lovers EFDDS (I'm not at home at the moment)

I am a country carrier a jovial soul am I ~ see link above to Broadside from Malcolm Douglas


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY RATTLING MARE AND I
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 10:23 PM

Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 11(2522).

MY RATTLING MARE AND I

I am a country carrier. A jovial soul am I.
I whistle and sing from morn till night and trouble I defy.
I've one to bear me company. Of work she does her share.
It's not my wife, upon my life, but a rattling old bay mare.

CHORUS: Round goes the world. Trouble I defy,
Jogging along together, my boys, my rattling mare and I.

Up and down the countryside the mare and I we go.
The folks they kindly greet us as we journey to and fro.
The little ones they cheer us, and the old ones stop and stare,
And lift their eyes with great surprise at Joe and his rattling mare.

And when the loads are heavy, or travelling uphill,
I'm by her side assisting her; she works with such good will.
I know she loves me well enough because the whip I spare.
I'd rather hurt myself than hurt my rattling old bay mare.

And when the town we reach, she rattles over the stones.
She lifts her hoofs up splendidly, not one of your lazy drones.
It's "Clear the road" when Joseph comes. "My crawlers, all take care
Of the carrier's cart, the driver smart, and the rattling old bay mare."

I would not change my station with the noblest in the land.
I would not be Prime Minister or anything so grand.
I would not be an alderman to live in luxury
And state if it would separate the old bay mare and I*.

[*"I" (sic) – but "me" would be both better grammar and a better rhyme.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: country carrier
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 09:25 AM

Thanks for this mirrors the words I have, sung it last night at Barnsley FC
Re the I, I sung luxuri, then it works out ok!

A lovely little song and gets a good feel of the wheels turning, I think
Other horsey songs include "I am a donkey driver, I'm the best one on the line___" or Jerusalem Cuckoo

Also "Jim or Joe the Carrier lad"
Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: country carrier
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 12:01 PM

The song seems to have been written by the music hall star Harry Clifton, incidentally (see other threads on him and his songs).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: country carrier
From: nutty
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 12:53 PM

The last two lines of the Firth Broadside in the Bodleian are different to the version above.

I would not be Earl Russel and be ranked among'st the high
Because nothing here could part my old bay mare and I

CLICK


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: country carrier
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 08:18 AM

last line probably ~ "there's not an estate could separate my old bay mare and I"
and "trolling up the hill"

Why an Alderman would live in luxuri,and not the Prime Minister? but perhaps a slurr on the wealth accorded to local dignitaries

Not surprising that the song probably started life as a Music Hall song


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Subject: Tune Add: MY RATTLING MARE AND I (Harry Clifton)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 07 May 10 - 08:31 PM

Here is a melody transcription of "My Rattling Mare and I" from scans of original Clifton sheet music which Steve Gardham sent me. For the full lyrics, Steve referred me to the Bodley broadsides; see Jim Dixon's transcription above, which is for the entry with the earliest date range. Let me just add some information for that entry:

Harding B 11(2522); dated between 1840 and 1866
Printer: J. Harkness, Preston
On same sheet: My Bonny Boy Is Young, But He's Growing


X:1
T:My Rattling Mare and I
C:Words and music by Harry Clifton (p.d.)
Z:Transcribed by Artful Codger from sheet music scans from Steve Gardham.
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:D
% Intro
a | d'2d' c'2b | (baf d2)d | e2d B2c |
d3-dz A | (dFG AEF | GDE F2)B | (AFD) F2E | D3-D2 ||
%
% Song
"^In a playful style." A | d2d c2B | B2A F2D | ED2 B,2C | D3-Dz A |
w:I am a coun-try car-ri-er, A jo-vial soul am I._ I
B B c d2 B | (ce) c (AB) c | d2B F2G | A3-Az A |
w:whis-tle and sing from morn* till night,* And trou-ble I de-fy._ I've
B2c d2B | (ce) c A2c | d2c B2A | d3-dz A |
w:one to bear me com-* pa-ny Of work she does her share._ It's
d2d c2B | (BA) F D2D/D/ | E2D B,2C | D6 ||
w:not my wife u-pon* my life But a rat-tling old bay mare.
|: "^CHORUS." d3 c2e | d3-d2z | B2c d2e | c3-c2z |
w:Round goes the world._ Trou-ble I de-fy._
d d c (ed) B | A A F D2D | (EG) E B,2C |1 D3-D2 z :|2 D3-HD2 ||
w:Jog-ging a-long* to-ge-ther my boys, My rat-*tling mare and I._ I._
%
% Finale
A | (A/B/c/d/e/f/) e2d | (B/c/d/e/f/g/) f2e | (^d/e/f/g/a/b/ b/a/g/f/e/=d/ | \
c/B/A/g/f/e/) Hd2 y ||
% Note: Corrected (2nd) D# to D natural in next to last measure.

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: country carrier (My Rattling Mare and I)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 09 May 10 - 02:21 AM

Steve Gardham send me this additional information:

My Rattling Mare and I
Gorgeous litho of HC on cover as a carrier sat on his cart. The cart bears the legend, 'H. Clifton, Carrier'. The litho is by Maguire. Maguire didn't really pay attention to the song wherein the carrier is called Joseph!

Published by Edwin Ashdown, Hanover Square, Stock Number A&P 10,670 (A&P stands for Ashdown and Parry) If I was pushed I'd say this was one of his later pieces after 1872 as it has Geoghegan's 'Down in a Coal Mine' listed on the back which is 1872.

[Given the 1866 latest date from the broadside above, it may be that Steve's copy was a reprinting with updated back matter.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY OLD WIFE (Harry Clifton)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 May 10 - 02:42 AM

In the thread "Help: Harry Clifton songwriter", Steve Gardham posited that Clifton based "My Rattling Mare and I" on another song of his, "My Old Wife". It turns out that the two not only have a similarity of chorus, but the tune is the same. What put Steve on the scent was this telling line ending the first verse of "Rattling Mare":
   It's not my wife, upon my life, but a rattling old bay mare.

Here, then, is the precursor to "My Rattling Mare and I":


My Old Wife
   [Written and composed by Harry Clifton, 1866 or earlier]
   [Tune also used for Clifton's "My Rattling Mare and I"]

[1] I merrily sing from morn till night,
   And misery I defy,
And I've a wife who, with delight,
   Sings just as happy as I.
She is the comfort of my life,
   My darling and my pride,
For twenty years together, my boys,
   We've travell'd it side by side.

        CHORUS.
   Round goes the world,
      Trouble I defy,
   Jogging along together, my boys,
      My dear old wife and I.

[2] When homeward I'm returning, why,
   She'll greet me with a smile;
Her dear old face beams with delight
   In such a happy style.
"Sit down by the fireside,"
   She'll say, "and take your tea."
She laughs and jokes on t'other side,--
   A picture, boys, to see.

[3] In winter, when the snow is down,
   She'll meet me at the door,
With :Come in, lad, and warm yourself,
   You must be cold, I'm sure."
She brings my slippers, warm and dry,
   And lays them by my side;
I never could find her equal, though
   I search the world so wide.

[4] I smoke my pipe, and sing my song,
   Content to stay at home,
As happy as the day is long,
   And ne'er inclined to roam.
There's many talk of single bliss,
   And for their freedom sigh;
But that will never be the case
   With my old wife and I.


Source: The Bodleian Library ballads site: Harding B 11(2576); between 1840 and 1866.
Printers: J. Harkness, Preston; Hopwood and Crewe, London.
Imprint: Words and Music published by Hopwood and Crew, 42, New Bond-st., London. Sec. 28.

Some information about Clifton's break with his wife (in order to take up with his co-performer Fanny Edwards) is posted in the Clifton thread. Dating information we have so far puts the writing of both songs in 1866.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE COUNTRY CARRIER
From: RTim
Date: 20 May 10 - 08:15 AM

The version below was collected from William Randall of Hursley, Hampshire by Dr. George Gardiner in June 1905 (Roud 1400). The tune was collected from Henry Norris of Farnham again by Gardiner in 1909 and it appears in Frank Purslow's book Wanton Seed.
I recorded way back in 1974? on Forest Tracks - Folk Songs from Hampshire, now re-released on CD.
You can even hear the track from the Cd at the link below (Sorry I can't seem to create Blue Clicky things!!)
http://www.forest-tracks.co.uk/folk_music_pages/folk_music_Hantstracks.html

Tim Radford

THE COUNTRY CARRIER.
I am a Country Carrier and a jovial soul am I
I whistle & sing from morn til night & troubles I'll defy,
I've one who bears my company & of work she does her share,
She not my wife upon my life
She my rattling old Bay Mare.
Chorus:
Then round goes the wheels
And trouble I'll defy
It's jogging al;ong together my boys
Me rattlling mare & I.

It's up & down the countryside my mare & I do go
The folks they kindly greet us as we journey to & fro
The cildren they all cheer & the old ones stop & stare
They lift their eyes with great surprise
To Joe & his old bay mare

Now when the loads are heavy & she's trolling up the hill,
I by her side assist her she works with such good will
She knows I love her well because the whip I spare
I would rather hurt myself than hurt
my rattling old bay mare.

Now when the town we reaches & she clatters over the stones
She lifts her hoofs so splendidly, she's not one of your lazy drones.
So clear the road for Joseph comes
You crawlers all take care,
With a driver smart a carriers cart,
It's Joe & his old bay mare.

I would not change my station for the noblest in the land,
I would not be Prime Minister or anything so grand.
I would not be an alderman to live in luxury
There's not an estate would separate
My rattling mare and me. (or I)


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: country carrier (My Rattling Mare and I)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 May 10 - 12:10 AM

It's a good song, and an interesting one.

Would the 'country carrier' be someone like the postman, or more like United Parcel (a private carter)? What do we know of deliveries in the countryside at the time?


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Subject: My Old Wife
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 May 10 - 12:44 AM

I should have mentioned that I found the tune (with lyrics) for "My Old Wife" in Weston & Hussy Minstrels' Book of Songs, No. 1 [1880-1889], available online at the National Library of Australia. That's how I was able to confirm that the tunes were the same.


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: country carrier (My Rattling Mare and I)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 May 10 - 04:33 PM

Leeneia,
More like United Parcels. They carried anything and everything that would fit in the cart, from town to country and country to town. By the time Clifton wrote this they were rapidly being overtaken by river traffic and the railways.


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