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Lyr Req: Bold Doherty

Related threads:
Chord Req: Bold Doherty (guitar chords) (14)
Lyr Req: Bold Doherty (7) (closed)
Lyr Req: Bold Docherty / Bold Doherty (5) (closed)
Lyr Req: Bold Doherty (2) (closed)


Aldus 11 Mar 98 - 07:45 AM
Martin Ryan 12 Mar 98 - 03:56 AM
Wolfgang 12 Mar 98 - 04:18 AM
Martin Ryan 12 Mar 98 - 06:08 AM
Wolfgang 12 Mar 98 - 06:35 AM
Jon W. 12 Mar 98 - 11:15 AM
Garry Gillard 03 Aug 00 - 08:31 AM
Ed Pellow 03 Aug 00 - 01:39 PM
MartinRyan 10 Mar 01 - 05:31 PM
John Moulden 11 Mar 01 - 02:28 PM
MartinRyan 11 Mar 01 - 04:53 PM
John Moulden 12 Mar 01 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Milton Shoup 23 May 01 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 26 May 01 - 06:48 PM
Chanteyranger 19 Aug 01 - 05:37 PM
Mudcatter 19 Aug 01 - 05:47 PM
Frank Maher 19 Aug 01 - 10:06 PM
Chanteyranger 20 Aug 01 - 01:14 AM
MartinRyan 20 Aug 01 - 06:36 AM
Chanteyranger 20 Aug 01 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,chemcat83@yahoo.com 14 Feb 02 - 08:46 PM
lamarca 26 Mar 02 - 02:53 PM
MMario 26 Mar 02 - 03:09 PM
MartinRyan 28 Mar 02 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Milton Shoup 23 Nov 02 - 07:05 PM
Julie 29 Feb 04 - 01:51 PM
MartinRyan 29 Feb 04 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 02 Mar 04 - 05:59 AM
Wolfgang 02 Mar 04 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 02 Mar 04 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,guest 09 Dec 06 - 08:34 AM
MartinRyan 09 Dec 06 - 09:53 AM
Lighter 09 Dec 06 - 11:42 AM
GUEST 09 Dec 06 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Padraig Mac Carthaigh 03 Mar 07 - 07:29 AM
MartinRyan 31 Mar 12 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,BigTom 11 Mar 17 - 07:41 AM
Gutcher 11 Mar 17 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 11 Mar 17 - 06:07 PM
Gutcher 12 Mar 17 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 12 Mar 17 - 11:21 AM
GUEST 12 Mar 17 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,gutcher 12 Mar 17 - 01:09 PM
GUEST 13 May 17 - 12:01 AM
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Subject: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: Aldus
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 07:45 AM

I am looking for the words to bold doherty as sung by Norma Waterson. Thanks aldus

(copied from a thread with an unspecific title, Wolfgang)


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOLD DOHERTY
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 12 Mar 98 - 03:56 AM

BOLD DOHERTY

My name is Bold Doherty from the North Country where there's a still upon every stream
Landlady be quicker and bring us more liquor and fill us a pitcher that's stronger than cream
If I had you Molly so pleasant and jolly, although it's a folly to ask it at all
Oh if I had a glass and a mile to the bottom I'd drink to you Molly in old Donegal

Chorus
With me folderoldol, with me folderol dariddy, folderol dol, raddly folderol dee

I'd a new pair of brogues I'd brought home from the market, I wanted an excuse for to go back to town
So I told me old mother the seams they were ripped and I needed some nails for to rivet them round
She clothed me hand with a bright silver shilling and said the remainder it would be me own
"When you go to town you may buy a full naggin - beware you bring none of your fancy girls home"

Chorus

When crossing the hills of me brave Enniskillen, I went into an alehouse for to take a dram
There I saw two tinkers dividing a saucepan, although they were arguing about a tin can
Then one of them took a great blow at the other and said" Me old villain I will take your life
For your saucepans are leaking and can't hold the water since ever bold Doherty spoke to your wife!"

Chorus

And when I got home sure the door it was bolted, I rapped up me mother for to let me in
Begone from this place were the words that she mentioned, for inside that door you will not venture in
You may go away to wherever you came from, for to lock you out now I think 't is no sin
Says I, "Me good woman you may hold your temper for I can get lodgings with Norah McGlynn!"

Chorus


Learned from the singing of Barry Gleeson - its almost identical to Norma's version. She's going to a small festival in the (real) North of Ireland (- which is actually in the Republic) at the end of this month. Looking forward to hearing her.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Mar 98 - 04:18 AM

Thanks a lot for posting this, Martin. However, I can't say I understand all of the story, though I understand each word. But I like it.
Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 12 Mar 98 - 06:08 AM

Wolfgang

Its not supposed to make much sense! Its a great song to a nice jig-tune.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Mar 98 - 06:35 AM

how about listening to a tiny bit(e) of it? go here and when the page is loaded (might take some time), click on "Track 1" and you hear Norma Waterson Carthy singing it.
Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: Jon W.
Date: 12 Mar 98 - 11:15 AM

Is there another name for the jig tune or better yet can someone post MIDI and/or ABC for it?


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 03 Aug 00 - 08:31 AM

I have transcribed what Norma Waterson sings and put it here. It's just a few words different from Martin Ryan has kindly given us.

Garry


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 03 Aug 00 - 01:39 PM

I think that Martin and Garry have pretty much got the lyric right.

I would however disagree with the "fill us a pitcher that's stronger than cream" line

To me that always sounded nonsensical, so I once asked some people from Donegal. They both thought that it was "stonger than creed" that being a fairly common expression in the locale, and perfectly acceptable to be used in the context.

Always ready to be proved wrong, though

Ed


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 05:31 PM

Ed (if you're still around!)

Just saw your comment tonight while looking for this thread for another reason. I agree about "stronger than cream" - though it is in fact sung. I find I use "stronger than steam" , which makes more sense and holds the rhyme.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: John Moulden
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 02:28 PM

This song was re-introduced to the Irish repertory by Sean Corcoran who learned it from the singing of Mary Ann Carolan. Barry Gleeson probably learned it from Sean, while Norma almost certainly has it from the Topic record of Mary Ann. However, both Sean and Mary Ann sing "stronger than cream."

There is a version, printed by J&M Robertson, Saltmarket, Glasgow and dated 1804, in the British Library - 11606 aa 23 (87). It's considerably longer - 18 four line verses and the first of them is:

My name is bold Dougherty from the north country
Where there's a still upon every stream
Drawer be quicker and come in a minute
And fill us a pitcher far stronger than cream.

There is evidence of some textual confusion but "stronger than cream" appears to have more sanction than modern understanding would allow it. I must say I have no difficulty with Mrs Carolan's text.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: MartinRyan
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 04:53 PM

John

As you might guess, I'd be very interested to see the long version!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: John Moulden
Date: 12 Mar 01 - 04:41 PM

Remind me to bring a photocopy to Ballyliffin; if Foot and Mouth doesn't intervene. Otherwise I'll be in Galway sometime and give it to Josephine


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST,Milton Shoup
Date: 23 May 01 - 10:53 PM

Ever since hearing the Dervish version, I've been checking around for a more extensive set of lyrics, and found the Waterson-Carthy, Niamh Parsons, and Josephine Marsh recordings, but your post is the first I've seen with a hint of the longer set. Any chance that you might post the full lyric or e-mail them?

Thank you, Milton Shoup shoupjm@acd.net


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 26 May 01 - 06:48 PM

John Moulden transcribed a set for me. I'll post them here when I get a chance.

Regards


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Subject: Bold Doherty
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 05:37 PM

Can anyone provide lyrics or a link to lyrics for Bold Doherty? I checked the DT, but it's not yet there. I've heard the Waterson/Carthy recording of it (thanks, Radriano for the loan) and a video with an Irish singer, Mary Anne Carolan singing it, (thanks, Radriano, for the loan!)but am not getting all the words. Thanks for any help.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: Mudcatter
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 05:47 PM

Take a look at this thread


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOLD DOHERTY
From: Frank Maher
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 10:06 PM

My name is Bold Doherty from the north country,
Where there's a still upon every stream.
Lady be quicker and pour me more liquor
And fill me a glass of the stronger than cream.
If I had you Molly so pleasant and jolly,
Although it's a folly to ask you at all,
I'd fill up me glass with a mile to the bottom
And I'd drink to you Molly beside Donegal.

CHO: With me fol the dol do, fol the dol do with me,
Fol the dol do with me, fol the dol day,
Fol the dol do, fol the dol do with me,
Fol the dol do with me, fol the dol day.

I've a new pair of clogs I brought home from the market,
I craved an excuse to get in to the town,
I told me old mother the seams they were ripped
And I needed some nails for to rivet them down.
She clothed me hand with a bright bit of shilling,
She thought the remainder would be her own
Saying, "when you go to town you can buy the full nagan,
But beware you bring none of your fancibles home".

Chorus

When crossing the fields of me brave Enniskillen
I went in to an alehouse for to take a dram
When I saw two tinkers dividing a saucepan,
Although they were arguing about the ten can.
One of them then made a blow at the other one,
He said you young villain I will take your life
Saying "your saucepans are leaking and won't hold the water
Since 'ere the Bold Doherty spoke with your wife".

Chorus

Oh when I got home the door it was bolted,
I rapped up my mother for to let me in,
"Be gone ore the place" was the words the words that she mentioned,
"For inside this house you'll not enter in.
You may go away to where ever you came from,
For to keep you out now I'm sure it’s no sin.”
Says I "me gay woman you may keep your temper,
'Cause I can find lodging with Nora McGlynn.”


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 01:14 AM

Thank you Mudcatter and Frank! Most helpful!

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:36 AM

I sang this at a session one night and as I reached the line "...I rapped up me mother for to...", the piper sitting beside me whispered - "Oh! She was your mummy, then, was she?"!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:27 PM

LOL!


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Subject: Niamh Parsons
From: GUEST,chemcat83@yahoo.com
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 08:46 PM

Is there an archive somewhere of Niamh Parsons lyrics? I want to sing some of her songs, but can't really understand various words here and there... I'm looking in particular for Blackbirds & Thrushes, and the song in (Welsh/Gaelic???) on that same album (don't know the name). Sarah Adkins


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: lamarca
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 02:53 PM

I'm glad this song thread re-surfaced - there's another line I have a question about. In the transcription above, the third verse starts:

"When crossing the hills of me brave Enniskillen, I went into an alehouse for to take a dram
There I saw two tinkers dividing a saucepan, although they were arguing about a tin can... "

Julie Henigan taught me "although they were arguing about it in cant", cant being the tinker's language. Does anyone know which is correct?


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: MMario
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 03:09 PM

I don't know which is "correct" - but "argueing about it in cant" makes a heck of a lot more sense to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 05:49 PM

I've always read it as implying that the tinkers eponymous efforts didn't bear much resemblance to a real saucepan! The "in cant" reading seems quite plausible, mind you, apart from the fact that the only words quoted from the tinkers are standard English. The long broadside version I referred to (and still haven't transcribed) doesn't have that verse.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyrics req.: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST,Milton Shoup
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 07:05 PM

Any new progress on the transcription, yet? I like the "arguing about it in cant" line, fits extremely well!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty/Correct Words?
From: Julie
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 01:51 PM

Dear Lamarca:

I've never participated in a list-serve, so don't know exactly how this works (e.g., whether everyone will receive a copy of the posting), but here goes.

I came across this old posting quite by accident, but wanted to add to what everyone else has said about the matter that as far as I know I'm the only person I know who sings "in cant" instead of "tin can." Any doubts about Mary Ann Carolan's words can be removed by watching her performance of the song in the video "Come West Along the Road." My own change was, I think, originally unconscious (that is, I can't remember thinking about it)--an example of what folklorists call "rationalization," i.e., changing a lyric to make it make sense in the terms the singer is familiar with. I do this rather a lot (as well as making small melodic changes)--and am then surprised to find it out when I listen to my source at some remove. (Of course, this happens all the time in oral tradition, so I suppose I shouldn't be that surprised.) The question of what is "correct" here is rather academic: as Martin Ryan has pointed out, in the 1804 broadside version the lines containing these words do not even figure; beyond that it depends on how free you feel to alter words received from the song version's ultimate source (in this case Mary Ann Carolan), whether oral or written, consciously or unconsciously.

Meanwhile, since you said I taught the song to you, I'm curious to know your identity! You can write me privately if you like at jhenigan@nd.edu.

All the best,
Julie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 06:27 PM

Coincidentally, I came across my photocopy of John Moulden's transcription of the broadsheet, just this morning. I might try to decipher it tomorrow - his handwriting is almost as bad as mine!

Regards

p.s. Sorry John...


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOLD DOUGHERTY (from broadside, 1804)
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 05:59 AM

In fact, I had already transcribed it - and forgotten! Either that or I decided it was unsingable anyway. Here goes:

Bold Dougherty (Broadsheet version)
From J Moulden

Printed Robertson, Edinburgh, 1804
**********

My name is bold Dougherty from the north country
Where there's a still upon every stream
Drawer, be quicker and come in a minute
And full us a pitcher far stronger than cream

If I had my Molly, she is pleasant and jolly,
Although that her folly does grieve me withal
If I had a glass and a mile to the bottom
I would drink it to Molly beside Donegal

A pair of new shoes I bought in the market
I got an excuse for to go to the town
I says, my old mother, the seams are all ripped
And I want some nails to rivet them round

She enclosed my hand with a bold British shilling
Perhaps the remainder it may be your won
When you go to town you may drink a naggin
Be sure that you bring me my fancibles home

I walked on the road like a hearty gay fellow
My eyes they did skelly (???) just viewing my dame
One if them lived on the road as I passed
Among all the rest she proved the true game

I asked my Molly, had she any money
She showed me her yarn she'd tossed of the reel
She pledged her hank for a bold British shilling
No forgetting the peg that drop't out of my heel

When I came home the doors were all locked
My mother began for to rattle and scold
I says my old mother put on a good fire
For all my whole bones were aching with cold

My mother began for to rage and to rattle
She says my house you will not enter in
I said my good woman your house I don't value
For I will get lodging with Roddy Mginn

My father he wore a long staff and a farell ???
A pike in the end for to hold the floor
I depended my life on this fellows halberd
A terrible road to Mic Collin's door

I was suffocated with tumbling and toffing
With a mortification I took in my skin
The ground being moist, I held by the sidewall
I made a bold push but missed getting in

A party of tinkers they made a travelly
The noise they made caused my whole house to ring
One got a bat and his budget fell off him
And all that he said was "God Save the King"

The tinker he ranged in a terrible fury
With that he fell down on the broad of his back
The wife she ran to him and gave him assistance
The buckle and straps to loose from his neck

I came down the stairs in a terrible hurry
The tinker he lay just as he was dead
A terrible burthen I bore in my arms
And safely landed him into his bed

The wife she did say "you're a right roving fellow"
With that she did call for a shake of my hand
She called for six measures than ordered them double
And pledged the landlady a handsome new pan

A party of tinkers went over the mountains
All carelessly walking for to take a dram
One began for to rage at the other
And they did fall out about a new pan

One of them lifted a rasp to the other
Saying "you villain I will have your life
A kettle or saucepan you never could fodder
Since ever Bold Dougherty cruised your wife"

A pair of old stockings I wear that were darned
I'm grown so nice that I powder my hair
I'm like the old woman that ate without license,
A nice feather bed and a fine little chair

My father and mother they always do jeer me
For keeping the company of the fair maids
Now to conclude they can make no more of me
I bade them adieu and took the cockade


Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 06:46 AM

Thanks a lot, Martin, the song makes much more sense now than the short version from Waterson/Carthy.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 02 Mar 04 - 09:14 AM

I'll have another look at John's transcript to see if I can clear the ambiguities.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 09 Dec 06 - 08:34 AM

Hi,

I'm Daniel (Germany). For quite some hours i've been trying to understand what this story is about. I looked up all the vocabularies, but still i don't get it. And the fact that until yesterday i only knew a short version of the story makes it even worse because some sentence seem to have changed to the opposite :
"But beware you bring non of your fancibles home"

the old version: but be sur you bring me my fancibles home"

Are "girls" and what does his mother want: bring or not to bring?

why didn't his mother want to let him in the house again?
who is Roddy MCginn?
Why appears his fahter in the followong verse?

What is the sence of all whats happening then
and what does this mean:
"A kettle or saucepan you never could fodder
Since ever Bold Dougherty cruised your wife"
i can translate it word by word but don't get the meaning

I know i ask a lot. The thing is , i don't like to sing a song i dont understand, nor do i like it when the singer of our band does... so
if any body can answer all these questions or at least just roghly explain the story and what is happening to bols doherty i'd be very thnakful(amazing i Studied english for primary school teaching, i was in ireland for half a year, i can read english bools but i don't get these lyrics)

thanks, daniel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: MartinRyan
Date: 09 Dec 06 - 09:53 AM

Good question, Daniel.

The "fancibles" bit isn't too difficult to explain:

1. In the old version, the mother has given the narrator a list of odds and ends (needles, threads, buttons etc. at a guess) and wants to be sure he brings them back.

2. In the "modern" version, the song is loaded with sexual innuendo and the "fancibles" are stray women!

It's hard to imagine singing the older version - some parts fit awkwardly to the tune and, as you say, the story is confused. The "modern" version simply leaves gaps for the overactive imagination to fill! Much more satisfying!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Dec 06 - 11:42 AM

What are "fancibles" anyway? The word isn't in any online dictionary, including the Oxford.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 06 - 11:44 AM

thanks a million

well, and it is good know that it is not only me who let confused. But does it really even leave native speakers high and dry?

regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST,Padraig Mac Carthaigh
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 07:29 AM

I came across this thread just now, and am thrilled to see the
lyrics of the 1804 broadside - thanks so much, Martin Ryan, for posting it. I have been singing the song with pleasure for 10 years or more (having learned it from the Mary Ann Carolan recording) and it's always well received. Some observations on the MAC (standard) version:

For those who are struggling to make sense of
"There I saw two tinkers dividing a saucepan, although they were arguing about a tin can"
I believe that "dividing a saucepan" means drinking a saucepan of
porter (one presumes) between them, the good stuff having been dispensed in less convenient containers in those times.

"about it in cant" is clever and of course makes much more sense,
but having tried it out a few times to myself, I'm not gone on
the plosive -nt ending.

To a recent query about "fancible", it seems to be a local word
based on the noun fancy as in "she's my fancy" i.e. the girl I desire.

I have no difficulties associating "pitcher" with cream (or milk)
i.e. a pitcher may be used for holding other than alcoholic liquids!

Someone mentioned out to me that instead of "beside Donegal"
"beside Cushendall" (a picturesque north Antrim village) has also been heard.

Padraig


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: MartinRyan
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 04:44 PM

refresh...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST,BigTom
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 07:41 AM

Starting to get into Dervish and stumbled across this song. Interested in the 1804 full lyrics and hoping to find a recording. Anyone able to help?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: Gutcher
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 09:57 AM

Anent one of the words with a question mark in Martin Ryans post of 2/3/04. V5.                                                            

Here in Scotland we still refer to people who are cross-eyed as skelly-ee"d. Maybe not very PC but as we say, what"s bred in the bone will come out in the flesh.

Would also use--taking a skelly at something for taking a look at something.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 11 Mar 17 - 06:07 PM

Thanks, Gutcher.

To GUESTBigTom: I've never heard that 1804 version sung - nor, I think had John Moulden. As I remarked at the time, parts of it would be difficult to squeeze into the familiar tune.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: Gutcher
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 06:06 AM

Now here is a longshot:---
Verse nine:--"My father he wore a long staff and a farell" Now if we take bore for wore and like for and as a mishearing by someone writing from an oral source the clue is in the last word farell---to this day we still use the word farle, for a piece of scone or shortbread, this being a quarter of the whole as baked.
Could the obscure line be referring to a quarterstaff the preferred weapon of the lower classes
See Frank Docherty--"A brief history of the quarterstaff"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 11:21 AM

My father he wore a long staff and a farell ???
A pike in the end for to hold the floor
I depended my life on this fellows halberd
A terrible road to Mic Collin's door

The writers and printers of ballads were no more literate than the populace. How about this:

My father he bore a long staff with a ferrule
A pike on the end for to hold the floor
etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 01:03 PM

No doubt about it the pike [spike] part could be fixed to the wooden staff with a ferrule, or a metal ferrule [ring] could be applied to the staff to prevent splitting the timber if the spike were to be forced into the end of it.   We used to drill holes in timber with a red hot poker, due to the lack of an auger, when we were children.

----hold the floor??   door not suit better.

"It"s fare ye weel ma pikestaff"

Were pikestaffs and quarterstaffs not two different weapons, the latter with no metal parts being more accessable to ordinary folk.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST,gutcher
Date: 12 Mar 17 - 01:09 PM

Something gone astray in last post.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Bold Doherty
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 17 - 12:01 AM

I just came across this thread while looking for confirmation of the lyrics as Dervish performs them, because they're sort of outrageous even for an old broadsheet (though Dervish gleefully sings Robert Burns' "The Ploughman," which is so dirty that if anyone modern knew what it meant, it'd be banned off the radio for sure - absolutely crack up every time I hear them sing it). I think it's awesome that this discussion has apparently been going on since 1998!

"Bold Doherty" is another one of my favourite of Dervish's repertoire, so I thought I'd add some speculation to the discussion.

First, I'm under the impression that the difference between the long and short versions is because the later one is an intentional parody. I don't have direct evidence, but compare it to "Twa Corbies" and "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye." There's a whole industry of parody ballads out there that rivals the original broadsheet corpus. The parodies are often wittier and better-composed than the originals; they stick around long after anyone forgot they were a response to an original work.

On to the language:

The title is important: "Don't be bold" in Ireland (at least in the early 20th century and previously, I've no idea if they still say it today) means "don't be a back-talking, misbehaving, cocky idiot." It's common enough slang that there's a helpful Gaelic translation for you:
http://www.bitesize.irish/inirish/3132
So calling him Bold Doherty isn't really a compliment. Americans will parse "bold" as a positive character trait (fearlessness), but that's not what's meant in 1800's Ireland. We're to know from the title that he's ill-behaved and mostly-useless and in the song we learn that he's living off the work of women; the parodied version just distills this concept till it's a lot funnier.

"Fancibles" (in this context) are sewing bits and bobs -- fancy things. The word can describe any fancy thing, and is certainly hard to dig up in historical context, but it survives in describing fancy foods

Another example

And Joss Whedon immortalized it in Firefly dialog (long page, CTRL+f for "Fancible")


The 1804 broadsheet seems to be a rambling narrative by a hapless guy who nevertheless isn't wholly useless - his Molly left him, but he'd drink to her anyway. He cruised the tinker's wife, but only after he'd helped the man as he was injured, gaining her favor.

And some more language details: His father was a pikeman in the army - who bore the staff and "ferrule" for his living, as respectable a career as could be wanted, for his class and time. And when his mother loses patience with his lying, wenching, and spending (after she gave him money, he didn't bring her back her fancibles!) she kicks him out, but he's got enough coin or credit to get lodgings elsewhere - he names a man, implying an inkeeper, and the use of the word "lodgings" is unironic. He's literally going to hire lodgings.

Finally, he thnks does OK for himself; despite how his family is scolding him for his "bold" ways, he's got comfy lodgings (a feather bed, a fine little chair), he's becoming a dandy (powders his hair) and he thinks he can keep leeching money off his women-friends and just wear fancy things and be useless as a lifestyle (that's the "cockade" he thinks he'll be decorating himself with).

(I have no clue at all who the old woman who ate without license is -- anyone have an insight?)

The original as transcribed above rambles a bit, and isn't as compact and clever as the re-working of it that's showing up in the modern recordings. The modern four-verse version depends on knowledge of the older version for a lot of its humor, and craftily (and sarcastically) re-works most of the lines to a different meaning. The cleverness of the parody is really witty, the wordplay and puns more streamlined, and the story both more compact and a lot funnier, since Bold Doherty's character is pared down to the key elements. He's now an archetypal loser without mitigating features. It's no wonder this is the version that survives.

In the meta-ballad, he never had Molly to begin with - it's a folly to even ask her, cause she knows better! Her folly grieves me withal becomes it's a folly to ask her at all. Just a few words, and a big character difference.

As before, he lies to his mother about needing hobnails for his (brandass new, totally not ripped up) shoes. But in this version, as someone noted above, she doesn't expect anything from her useless son, though the long-suffering woman DOES want her change back now - in the original she wanted fancibles and he wanted hobnails, and he was allowed to spend the rest on himself; the parody turns the word "fancibles" into a joke - he's not to bring any stray ladies home. The do/don't bring home things (and what things to/not to bring home) interplay is funny; the play on the term "fancibles" is funny, and now she has a concrete reason for locking him out - he spent all the change from the money he was given (maybe she figured out he lied about the shoes, too).

This is personal opinion, but I read "dividing a saucepan although they were arguing about the tin can" as a layered pun - they're sharing a drink in a tinware vessel, and "dividing a saucepan" sounds like something that a tinker would do as part of tinsmithing, but "dividing a drink" means to share it - they're getting drunk together. They're not working, they're jawing about it instead. Bold Doherty's bragging that his rep with womanising is so widespread that even the traveling tinkers are talking about him having slept with one's wife. The punchline is intact from the original, because it's a good one. But if you know the original, then it's funnier because you know the original explanation why he was "speaking with" (ha ha - euphemism) the wife, but in the parody, it just comes out of nowhere - Doherty's just sleeping with everyone's wife!

The punchline to the last verse is altered as well, with one name changed - instead of saying he can get lodgings at the innkeeper's, he's saying he'll go find "lodgings" (and that's another euphemism now) with a girl. He's just bouncing from woman to woman, and at the last pathetic verse, the sap's still thinking he's bragging - but he's got to go begging a warm bed from a woman.

He's just good for nothing.


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Mudcat time: 21 August 9:37 PM EDT

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