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Lyr Req: Tuppence on the Rope (Aspey)

Mr Happy 20 Sep 02 - 03:32 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 02 - 02:09 PM
Gareth 22 Sep 02 - 04:17 PM
Stewie 24 Sep 02 - 11:22 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Sep 02 - 01:02 AM
Mr Happy 25 Sep 02 - 03:05 AM
Stewie 25 Sep 02 - 03:21 AM
GUEST,Tomsk 25 Sep 17 - 07:04 AM
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Subject: Tuppence on the rope
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Sep 02 - 03:32 AM

i used to have the words to this one but they were lost. it was sung by gary & vera aspey + bernard wrigley.

the song's about the workhouse system in england.

anyone have the words, please?

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tuppence on the rope
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 02 - 02:09 PM

"Tuppence on the Rope" is in the repertoire of Mappamundi, though they haven't recorded it.

It also appears in the album "From the North" by Gary & Vera Aspey, Topic LP 255, 1975; and CDNOW says there is a soon-to-be-released CD.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tuppence on the rope
From: Gareth
Date: 22 Sep 02 - 04:17 PM

Mmmm ! I've not got the words before me but as an educated guess this might well be more orientated towards the "Tuppeny Leanovers", very bottom line itinerant 'lodging houses', were you paid a penny, or two penies to sleep leaning on a rope or netting.

Fair description in "Mayhew's London Poor" Unfortunately me very old battered copy is somewhere in the attick so I can't post the general description.

Any thoughts, and can somebody post the words please ??


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Subject: Lyr Add: TUPPENCE ON THE ROPE (Graney/Aspey)
From: Stewie
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 11:22 PM

Here is my transcription of the Gary and Vera Aspey recording.
Cheers, Stewie.

Words by Paul Graney, music by Gary and Vera Aspey
As recorded by Gary and Vera Aspey on 'From the North' (Topic LP 12TS255, 1975)

1. A hobo's life is brave and free, I've often heard folks say,
But I know better now I've trudged all through a winter's day.
I've slept in barns and garden sheds and in the haystacks too,
Tramped the road from coast to coast in ragged clothes and shoes.

CHORUS: But when you're down and nearly out, impossible to cope,
You can shelter from the long, hard night for tuppence on the rope,
Tuppence on the rope, me boys, tuppence on the rope

2. I've been in spikes the country round, met workhouse masters many.
Most of them are harsh and stern, and kind ones hardly any.
In dosshouse I've had many a kip, a sixpence for a bed,
But in these days of poverty, a tanner's hard to beg. CHORUS

3. In Glossop spike, there's bread and scrape, but oh, their work is hard!
It's five hours spent just breaking stones out in the workhouse yard.
In Rochdale I was given a shirt, in Backup got new boots,
But Blackburn's beds are hardwood boards and full of hungry coots. CHORUS

4. Oh, evil day when a man cannot get to a spike in time,
And in a dosshouse spend his pence to wind up on the line.
When workhouse masters disappear, it's not too much to hope
That we shall never see again those men hung on the rope. CHORUS

Note on record sleeve:

During the depression of the 1930s, thousands of unemployed men were obliged to take to the roads. At this time, attached to every parish workhouse was a casual ward or 'spike' which gave shelter for one night, after which the tramp would have to move on to the next town. In exchange for a meal of cocoa and bread and scrape (margarine), he was expected to work for a few hours. Because of this, he often found there was too little time to reach the next spike and so, unless he slept under a hedge or in a barn, he could try to beg a few coppers to go into a dosshouse and obtain a bed for about sixpence. If he failed to raise this sum, he could sleep on the rope for tuppence or, in some places, a penny. The rope was stretched across the width of the room and a man could hang with his arms over it for support. It was customary to untie the rope in the morning, and the whole row of men would collapse to the ground. [Vera Aspey]

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tuppence on the rope
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:02 AM

I don't get it. Wouldn't it be more comfortable to sleep flat on the floor?

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tuppence on the rope
From: Mr Happy
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 03:05 AM


all! the words!

many thanks,

mr h

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tuppence on the rope
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 03:21 AM

My pleasure, Mr H.

I dunno, Jim, but I suspect it was a matter of space saving. You could get many more punters strung out vertically along the rope - at least they would be sheltered from the elements. Sounds most unpleasant, to say the least. Wouldn't the blood supply to the arms become restricted by the dead-weight pressure?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tuppence on the Rope (Aspey)
From: GUEST,Tomsk
Date: 25 Sep 17 - 07:04 AM

They slept on the line to avoid the rats scurrying round at night and biting faces ..
It was dry indoors and out of the cold .
In 1800's Liverpool uk - the immigrants / refugees from Europe en route to America via the ships in port -
used this method as they could not afford lodgings overnight.

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