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Martin Said to His Man

DigiTrad:
WHO'S THE FOOL NOW or MARTIN SAID TO HIS MAN


Related threads:
Lyr Req: I know a Milk maid - Napoleonic folk song (10)
who's the fool now (33)
martin said to his man couplets (14)
Lyr Req: Martin Said to His Man (35)


Phil Edwards 19 Jul 17 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Phil Edwards 19 Jul 17 - 06:37 AM
Lighter 18 Jul 17 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,CJB 18 Jul 17 - 04:09 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Jul 17 - 02:50 PM
Lighter 18 Jul 17 - 01:53 PM
BobL 18 Jul 17 - 02:44 AM
GUEST,CJB 17 Jul 17 - 12:17 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 17 - 10:51 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Jul 17 - 09:47 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Jul 17 - 09:45 AM
Tootler 17 Jul 17 - 09:31 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Jul 17 - 09:22 AM
Snuffy 17 Jul 17 - 06:51 AM
vectis 17 Jul 17 - 06:19 AM
Snuffy 17 Jul 17 - 05:25 AM
Greg F. 16 Jul 17 - 09:36 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Jul 17 - 06:25 PM
GMGough 16 Jul 17 - 03:52 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Jul 17 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Senoufou 16 Jul 17 - 01:20 PM
Lighter 16 Jul 17 - 01:01 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Jul 17 - 07:53 AM
sapper82 16 Jul 17 - 07:07 AM
Steve Howlett 16 Jul 17 - 06:43 AM
GUEST 09 May 10 - 06:28 PM
Phil Edwards 09 May 10 - 05:48 PM
Les in Chorlton 09 May 10 - 08:58 AM
Phil Edwards 09 May 10 - 08:52 AM
Leadfingers 09 May 10 - 06:16 AM
CapriUni 09 May 10 - 03:10 AM
GUEST,barely barley 14 Feb 07 - 09:38 PM
Padre 30 Jul 04 - 11:21 PM
Rozza 30 Jul 04 - 02:21 PM
Leadfingers 30 Jul 04 - 01:55 PM
muppett 30 Jul 04 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Ann Brady 30 Jul 04 - 10:51 AM
Bentley 29 Apr 04 - 03:58 PM
LadyJean 29 Apr 04 - 12:59 AM
Charley Noble 28 Apr 04 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,Melani 28 Apr 04 - 01:52 PM
Lil Dog Turpy 28 Apr 04 - 12:35 AM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Apr 04 - 10:20 PM
Barbara 27 Apr 04 - 08:04 PM
Les in Chorlton 27 Apr 04 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,Kate 27 Apr 04 - 01:47 PM
Pied Piper 27 Apr 04 - 06:38 AM
alanww 27 Apr 04 - 06:23 AM
Dave Bryant 27 Apr 04 - 05:48 AM
Dave Hanson 27 Apr 04 - 02:23 AM
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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jul 17 - 06:47 AM

Oops - blue clicky gone weird.

How's this?

Who's the fool now?


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: GUEST,Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Jul 17 - 06:37 AM

I saw Les Jones debate with Diane Easby,
Saw Malcolm Douglas correct them both...

I can't actually make out Les's voice, but he's in here somewhere (as is Ged Gaskell, who left us last year). Absent friends...

https://philedwards.bandcamp.com/track/whos-the-fool-now


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jul 17 - 07:03 PM

CJB, my hare/bear couplet is clearly an ex. of the "folk process," furthered by me,since I was trying to recall something I'd heard decades ago.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 18 Jul 17 - 04:09 PM

Saw a hare chase a hound ...

50 (or 20) miles above the ground ...

===

Saw the man in the Moon ...

A cloutin' of St.Peter's shoon

====

Saw the cheese eat the rat ...

And a mouse chase a cat ...

===


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jul 17 - 02:50 PM

Saw Great Harry smoking dope,
Said his dealer was the Pope.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jul 17 - 01:53 PM

Saw a hare chase a bear,
Twenty miles in the air.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: BobL
Date: 18 Jul 17 - 02:44 AM

This will probably be lost on anyone under 50:
    I heard a swan loudly call
    Channel one-four, wall to wall


And again a touch of history:
    I saw **** buy a round
    and get change from a pound


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 12:17 PM

I saw a ram butt a dam - fi man fi
I saw a ram butt a dam - whose the fool now?
I saw a ram butt a dam - and a bee swim in jam
Thou hast well drunken man - whose the fool now?

====

I saw a whale chase a snail ...

Faster than by British Rail

====

I saw a sheep shearing corn ...

And a cuckold blow his horn

====


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 10:51 AM

i just sing it for fun! Learned it from Pete Quinn back in the old "Tipperary Pub" days in Detroit.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 09:47 AM

Century!


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 09:45 AM

In previous centuries along with riddle competitions, singing competitions, drinking competitions, lying competitions were common forms of entertainment. Nowadays we put the whole lot together and just call it politics.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 09:31 AM

My Aberdonian grandmother sometimes used to refer to clothes as "clouties" (pronounce "ou" as "oo") and where my wife comes from there's a saying "Ne'er cast a clout till May be out"

In both cases "clout" basically means cloth so the reference to Field of the Cloth of Gold seems quite feasible.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 09:22 AM

BUT, the rest of the song doesn't refer to Henry VIII. The original song might well have had political referents but as it came down to us it's just a bit of fun.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Snuffy
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 06:51 AM

If the rest of the song refers to Henry VIII, then that verse could well refer to the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: vectis
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 06:19 AM

This verse is seldom sung
The red rose he went to France
To teach the lily how to dance.

I think it refers to either Crecy or Agincourt.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Snuffy
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 05:25 AM

"Come put your wine in glasses, put your cider in an old tin can, put John Barleycorn in a nut-brown bowl and he'll prove the strongest man"


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 09:36 PM

Think you'll find that "can" or "cann" is an 18th century term for a tankard-like drinking vessel but without a lid.

Nowt to do with pissing in the corner.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 06:25 PM

Or not! Interesting piece of conjecture but the 4 standard verses are all simple impossibilities. Chappell thought it simply 'a satire on those who tell wonderful stories' (possibly about Henry and the Pope) and this is more likely to happen when the storyteller is a drunken fool.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: GMGough
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 03:52 PM

> Clouting' means 'mending'.
> So the Man in the Moon was mending St Peter's shoes.

If the Man in the Moon was Henry VIII, then does "clouting off"
mean dissociating with the catholic church; or does it mean
mending the church in order that it will accede to Henry's demands.

Some years ago I asked Maddy Prior about this verse after a Steeleye
Show. Maddy said come back later. The band and audience stragglers
including me adjourned to the bar. Later in a more quiet moment I
asked again. Maddy said that it referred to Henry VIII and the Pope.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 03:24 PM

Similar 'impossibilities' songs and rhymes have been common in all ages since the 16th century and probably well before that. 'Paddy Backwards' is another which has been running for nearly 3 centuries. They overlap somewhat with nonsense songs. Rhymes like 'I went to the pictures tomorrow'.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 01:20 PM

'Clouting' means 'mending'. So the Man in the Moon was mending St Peter's shoes.

'Fie' is an expression of disgust or disapproval. I'd translate, "Fie man, fie!" as "Don't be so bloody daft mate!"

We hollered this song out in the folk club in Edinburgh in the early sixties. Everyone was a Scot, but we definitely sang, "Who's the fool now?" and not "Wha's fu' the noo?"

I did often hear the word fu' (meaning drunk), especially among those from Fife.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 01:01 PM

> 1609, when folks were lewder and songs were ruder.

Probably not true.

See any collection of rugby songs.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 07:53 AM

In another recent thread I was reminded of my very first experience of folk singing, as a student at the Buck Inn, Malham, in 1970. This thread has reminded me that this was another of the songs sung there. Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: sapper82
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 07:07 AM

The Oyster at Butley, near Woodbridge in the summer of 1972 comes to mind.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Steve Howlett
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 06:43 AM

I'm thinking of reviving this at my local folk club. The new landlord is called Martin, and last Friday he got drunk and landed on his a**e. It usually takes them a few months to settle in before they do that, but he's only been in the job a week!

Anyway, the way I interpret the words is that Martin is telling his servant to fill the cup with wine, while he p1sses in the can in the corner. I may even do a gesture suggesting this. After all, the song dates from 1609, when folks were lewder and songs were ruder.

Contemporary satirical verses are always welcome:

I heard Ms Theresa May
Saying that she's here to stay.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: GUEST
Date: 09 May 10 - 06:28 PM

Memories of the Horse and Jockey, Waddington (near Lincoln) in the early 1970's. It became almost a tradition that the guest of the night would do this as their final encore with the floorsingers adding verses.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 May 10 - 05:48 PM

Indeed 'twas. I'd never heard anything like it, never mind started anything like it. A very fine night, & the first of many for me.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 May 10 - 08:58 AM

I seem to remember it was the first or possibly second song you sang at the Beech - and a grand song with great choruses rang out

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 May 10 - 08:52 AM

This is probably of no interest to anyone but me, but this was the first folk song I ever learned from another singer. The year was 1976, the singer was this guy called Rob who was a mate of my friend Steve & ran a close-harmony unaccompanied équipe with the awful name of Eyesteel Span, and I picked up most of the tune OK but had terrible trouble getting the extra drop down to drun-ken, man. That did for my career as a young folkie - that, and my inability to sing harmony, and the fact that he wasn't actually auditioning me so much as filling in time before Steve turned up. The following year punk happened, and I cut my hair and forgot all about the Eng. Trad.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 May 10 - 06:16 AM

Very true C U - Why be sensible when you have a chance to be VERY silly


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: CapriUni
Date: 09 May 10 - 03:10 AM

Refreshing this thread after a coon's age, I know.

The tune to this song (as gathered from the midi in the DT) was in my head early, as I was just waking from a dream. ...It's been stuck there as an earworm, ever since.

One could certainly have a much worse fate.

Elizabethans thought really silly, impossible stuff was funny (especially when drunk).

I've been witness, on several occasions in my life, to drunken 20th and 21at Century Americans (and Brits), and can say with confidence that the same holds true for them, as well.


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Subject: RE: Martin Said to His Man
From: GUEST,barely barley
Date: 14 Feb 07 - 09:38 PM

Can anyone help me with the chords to this tune?


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Subject: RE: lyrics required..please (Martin said to his man..)
From: Padre
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 11:21 PM

An old verse from the FSGW Getaways:

I saw [here fill in the name of a person at the session] buy a round
Saw [yet another name here] turn it down

Thou hast well drunken man, who's the fool now.


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Subject: RE: lyrics required..please (Martin said to his man..)
From: Rozza
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 02:21 PM

I rather liked the verse that went:

I saw a bottle in front of me
Fie man fie
I saw the bottle in front of me
Who's the fool now?
I saw the bottle in front of me
Better than frontal lebotomy!
Thou has well drunken man
Who's the fool now


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Subject: RE: lyrics required..please (Martin said to his man..)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 01:55 PM

If you put Martin Said To His Man in the search box you will find all the verses that matter . Then Add Muppets couple and this one :-

I saw a Butterfly Flutter By
And A Dragonfly Drink a Flagon dry

And you have more than enough for one song , even in Ireland .


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Subject: RE: lyrics required..please
From: muppett
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 11:11 AM

A couple of verses I sing in this song,

I saw a Bull milk a maid ...............
Should have heard the commotion they made ..........


I saw a man dead in bed ..................
Cause he'd bin supping Watney's Red ..................


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Subject: lyrics required..please
From: GUEST,Ann Brady
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 10:51 AM

Hi, there is a song driving me mad....... I need to know if I have all the words. I know 3 verses but am sure there are more. I have heard it sung many years ago here in ireland, but feel it may be of english origin. Any info. lyrics, recordings etc appreciated.
This is how it starts;
    Old Martin says to his wan, fi man fi,
    Old Martin says to his one who's the fool now?
    Old Martin says to his wan(one) fill up a cup and I'll have some,
    Thou art a drunken fool who's the fool now.

    I saw the flea hurl the tree............
    45 miles out to sea thou art a .......

    I saw the maid milk the bull.........
    Fill up a cup til it was full, thou art etc.
Thanks for your interest,
Happy singing!!


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: Bentley
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 03:58 PM

I sometimes sing this one and often add a verse or two relating to an article of topical news.e.g. I saw Prince Charles on the dance floor;repeat;repeat;dancing with a Brazilian whore.Get the idea?


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: LadyJean
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 12:59 AM

The traditional version says "I saw a snail drive a nail from Penzance up to Hale" I was delighted to discover, when we were in Cornwall, that Hale is the next town on the line after Penzance. Though I didn't see any snails driving nails.

I heard a speech from a Bush fie man fie
I heard a speech from a Bush, who's the fool now.
I heard a speech from a Bush. Every word made me blush.
Thou hast well drunken man, who's the fool now.


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 10:31 PM

Barbara-

I can't take credit for the "Saw a dragon fly drink a flagon dry." At one point I ran across a reference to the lines appropriately enough in a column by Richard Lederer, a reference that dated to the mid 19th century, but the column has gone astray.

Another verse that probably came from the same source was:

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me...
Than a frontal lobotomy...

There's a term for this kind of word game.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 01:52 PM

For the guy in our Ren faire guild who thinks it's funny to run up and down the parade grabbing at rear ends:

I thought I saw a six-foot goose,
Look out, Marty's on the loose.


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: Lil Dog Turpy
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 12:35 AM

Funny, this almost became my theme song when I started singing it about 6 months ago. Calls of "the martin song!" Here's a few verses I've added

I saw ***** drink a sprite,
He stays sober every night

I saw ***** miss a note
My mistake, of course (s)he won't

I heard ***** sing a song
But the lyrics were so suggestive I couldn't possibly sing them for you here ....
(yes I know it doesn't scan)

What is that goaty smell
With ****'s bodhran around we sure can tell


and as a Brit who's now in Quebec I can vouch for the Qubec Chip (fry). They make a fine quality product here, but then insist on covering it in curd cheese and the most disgusting gravy you've ever seen and calling it Poutine!


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 10:20 PM

Barbara,

I sympathise with you.

The SCA (when I was involved) used this song as a base to sing in public many impromptu verses about events and people that happened during its regular gatherings.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: Barbara
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 08:04 PM

Charley, I don't know about the provenance of that verse, though I could suspect yourself as the author, sounds just like your kind of silliness, and it doesn't scan. Or at least you really have to work to get three sylables per note. It is fun, though. Possibly if you drop the "Saw" off the dragonfly part, you don't end up sounding like your mouth is quite so full of feathers.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 04:51 PM

Ok, I love this song and maybe it's longevity and renewell and evidenced here, chips, fries or whatever


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: GUEST,Kate
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 01:47 PM

I just wanted to thank Lighter for mentioning the compilation CD of Folk Songs of Old England and Summer Solstice. It's called Heydays and is available from Amazon.com. I've ordered it and happily anticipate its arrival! Yay!


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: Pied Piper
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 06:38 AM

I saw PP being un-sarcastic
I saw PP being un-sarcastic
I saw PP being un-sarcastic
And wearing trousers without elastic


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: alanww
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 06:23 AM

As Malcolm Douglas says, it is a very old song. William Chappell in his "Popular Music of the Olden Time", published in 1855-1859 gives the 1588 and 1609 references that Malcolm quotes and also says that:-
"... it is alluded to in Dekker's comedy, Old Fortunatus, where Shadow says: "Only to make other idiots laugh, and wise men cry 'Who's the fool now?' " which is the burden of every verse. It is thought to be a satire upon those who tell wonderful stories."
And there are still a few of such people about today!
"I saw the man in the moon ...!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 05:48 AM

There are quite a few morris side verses:

I saw the Squire buy a round - Fie Man, Fie,
I saw the Squire buy a round - Who's the fool now,
I saw the Squire buy a round - Saw the Bagman turn one down,
Thou hast well drunken man - who's the fool now.

I saw ***** dance a jig - Fie Man, Fie,
I saw ***** dance a jig - Who's the fool now,
I saw ***** dance a jig - He looked just like a drunken pig,
Thou hast well drunken man - who's the fool now.


and for the ladies:

I saw a lass dance Shepherd's Hey - Fie Man, Fie,
I saw a lass dance Shepherd's Hey - Who's the fool now,
I saw a lass dance Shepherd's Hey - Halfway through her bra gave way,
Thou hast well drunken man - who's the fool now.


And of course you could even have one for a famous notorious catter:

I saw old Spaw hold his wind - Fie Man, Fie,
I saw old Spaw hold his wind - Who's the fool now,
I saw old Spaw hold his wind - When he let it out, God how he grinned,
Thou hast well drunken man - who's the fool now.


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Subject: RE: Martin said to his man
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Apr 04 - 02:23 AM

I saw the ' commons ' on Tv, fie man fie,
I saw the ' commons ' on TV, who's the fool now,
I saw the ' commons ' on TV, I won't renew my license fee



eric


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