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Lyr Add: Dust to Dust (John Kirkpatrick)

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rich-joy 13 Feb 03 - 05:29 AM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Feb 03 - 12:10 PM
RolyH 13 Feb 03 - 03:40 PM
rich-joy 13 Feb 03 - 05:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Feb 03 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,Q 13 Feb 03 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,Q 13 Feb 03 - 08:15 PM
Auxiris 14 Feb 03 - 05:40 AM
rich-joy 14 Feb 03 - 08:46 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Feb 03 - 09:13 PM
Joe Offer 29 May 17 - 02:09 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: DUST TO DUST - John Kirkpatrick
From: rich-joy
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 05:29 AM

DUST TO DUST ~ John Kirkpatrick
(The Grave Digger's Song)

1. Digging graves is my delight, a-diggin' graves for you to lie in
    Digging graves from morn 'til night, I earns me livin' from the dyin'
        Diggin' graves the whole day long and as I dig I sing this song
        To anybody that comes along
        Dust to dust and ashes to ashes - and thus I sing my song.

2. Rich and poor all come the same, I'll bury you all there's none has favour
    Don't spend your time in seeking gain, no gold from death
will ever save yer
       Mighty men with wealth and riches, beggars too
in rags and stitches
       All end up in the wooden britches
       Dust to dust and ashes to ashes - and so my sing goes on.

3. Some we bury with foul diseases, some will die still young and pretty
    Death will take just who it pleases, for in death there is no pity
        Men, good men, with sightless eyes, babes in arms
and maids likewise
        Fit or foolish, weak or wise
        Dust to dust and ashes to ashes - and thus my song goes on.

4. You might be dancing in the street, you might be gay,
you might be grievin'
    You might be singing a song so sweet, but you'll not cheat death,
there's no deceiving
       In the streets or in the hall, whether you skip or
whether you crawl
       Death could come anytime at all
        Dust to dust and ashes to ashes - and so I sing my song.

5. Death come early, death come late, it takes us all there is no reason
    For every purpose under heaven, to each a time, to each a season
        A time to laugh and a time to sigh, a time to love
and a time to cry
        A time to be born and a time to die
        Dust to dust and ashes to ashes - and thus I end my song.



from the singing of Roy Bailey (album c. 1971)...

Top little number!! Bits of this song have been quoted in a number of other threads, so I figured we needed the whole thing.

Cheers! R-J


John Kirkpatrick recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3rj1xV30Zs


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DUST TO DUST - John Kirkpatrick
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 12:10 PM

John Kirkpatrick noticed that there were almost no English language songs in the Locrian mode, so he wrote one. As a rule, I'd avoid all that elision of final -g unless it's essential to the song; here, I think it's just one person's pronounciation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DUST TO DUST - John Kirkpatrick
From: RolyH
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 03:40 PM

John K sang this himself on his first album 'Jump at the Sun' (LER 2033),alas locked away by Mr Bulmer at the moment as is the Roy Bailey version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DUST TO DUST - John Kirkpatrick
From: rich-joy
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 05:50 PM

Aaahh ... I was wondering why I'd never seen that early Roy Bailey offered on CD!!

Sorry Malcolm, I'd been copying Roy, not the Good Grammar Guide!! (he obviously felt Grave Diggers were not likely to be Public School edumucated!!)

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DUST TO DUST - John Kirkpatrick
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 07:49 PM

If my memory isn't completely off-track here, I think that John entered this song for some sort of competition that Jim Lloyd was running on "Folk On Two", or whatever the programme was called in the late '60s, and either won or came close to it. It was the first time I'd heard of him, but I never forgot that "Locrian Mode" business.

The point about transcription probably deserves its own discussion, but I'd just make a few points here. When transcribing a song text from a traditional singer, there may be a case for reflecting as accurately as possible the way in which it is sung; that's about being true to the source, though it should be remembered that it's virtually impossible to reflect individual pronounciation without descending into bizarre "mummerset", and that most of the old singers considered that they were singing in "normal english", and would have been mortified to see their words represented in a mutilated form that reflected an ousider's perception.

Transcribing from a record made by a professional performer is an entirely different matter. People like Roy Bailey are not traditional singers (and don't claim to be), so their personal pronounciation of words is irrelevant, particularly in the case of a modern song like this one. If you insist on writing "digging" as "diggin'", and so on, you are in effect establishing a spurious authority for that form; people will learn the text as you have given it, and many will believe that they have to sing it like that.

For what it's worth, the only grave-digger I've ever known at all well was public-school educated, but that's beside the point (as is the story about the skull he took home). I can assure you that Roy won't have moderated his pronounciation in order to reflect the educational background (real or perceived) of the fictional narrator of this song; that's just the way he sings. It has nothing whatever to do with grammar, but everything to do with ease of communication, and the intent of the writer.

Of course, if John actually wrote diggin, grievin and so on, then I'll go and get my coat. Meanwhile, though, I really do think that it's best to present a lyric in straightforward form, with as little subjective moderation as possible. It's fine to reflect dialect in transcription (when you really know what you're doing), but in cases like this, pronounciation is quite another matter, and really has nothing at all to do with the song.

Not a personal criticism in any way, I should add; just something that I've long felt the need to comment on here, as so many song transcriptions in the Forum and DT are made from recordings by Revival performers, whose personal approaches to phrasing and pronounciation are usually irrelevant to the songs under discussion.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DUST TO DUST - John Kirkpatrick
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:07 PM

There are a number of grave digger songs and poems, most of them picturing the digger as an honest, hard-working man who is performing a necessary and noble service. Not one of them seems to be about the crafty, greedy seller of corpses to the Resurrection Men.
Through their interpreters, the song writers, all of the diggers seem to be stable, healthy, long-lived men who speak good, standard English and who would regard folk singer language as beneath them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DUST TO DUST - John Kirkpatrick
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 08:15 PM

Oh, well- just found a couple about the resurrectionists in the Bodleian.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DUST TO DUST - John Kirkpatrick
From: Auxiris
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 05:40 AM

I have checked the John Kirkpatrick songbook just to be sure, to be sure and Malcolm is right: the text is indeed written with the final g on words like digging, dying and so on.

cheers,

Aux


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DUST TO DUST - John Kirkpatrick
From: rich-joy
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 08:46 PM

Humble apologies to all Grave Diggers, Malcolm, Q, John, Roy, and EVERYONE.


I'll get back in my Colonial box now,
Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: DUST TO DUST - John Kirkpatrick
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 09:13 PM

Not your fault. It's an issue that I've been wanting to bring up for quite some time (because I think it's important), and this was the perfect opportunity. Sorry that you copped for it; an awful lot of people do exactly the same thing, and I wish they wouldn't; unless they really know what they're doing.

Auxiris: is there any chance you could post the tune here?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dust to Dust (John Kirkpatrick)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 May 17 - 02:09 AM

John Kirkpatrick recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3rj1xV30Zs

The Roy Bailey recording is at 5:17 on this recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJs-hkLZci0

I was getting instruction from Robert Rodriquez about the Resurrection Men of Edinburgh, and this song came up in my searching. Robert brought up the Burke and Hare songs.

-Joe-


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