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Lyr Req: A Knave Is a Knave (Alan Arkin)

DigiTrad:
A GOB IS A SLOB
KNAVES WILL BE KNAVES
THE KNAVE


Related thread:
Lyr Req: A Gob is a Slob, Wherever He May Be (10)


Lighter 20 Dec 06 - 04:30 PM
Deckman 20 Dec 06 - 04:39 PM
Little Robyn 21 Dec 06 - 12:08 AM
Joe Offer 21 Dec 06 - 01:31 AM
Little Robyn 21 Dec 06 - 03:02 AM
Deckman 21 Dec 06 - 04:44 AM
Deckman 21 Dec 06 - 05:26 AM
oldhippie 21 Dec 06 - 07:28 AM
Lighter 21 Dec 06 - 08:40 AM
oldhippie 21 Dec 06 - 08:34 PM
Joe Offer 22 Dec 06 - 12:58 PM
Little Robyn 22 Dec 06 - 03:09 PM
Lighter 22 Dec 06 - 03:12 PM
Deckman 22 Dec 06 - 03:28 PM
Lighter 22 Dec 06 - 04:53 PM
Paul from Hull 23 Dec 06 - 05:17 AM
Deckman 23 Dec 06 - 06:58 AM
Jim Dixon 20 Feb 09 - 10:24 AM
Deckman 20 Feb 09 - 05:56 PM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Feb 09 - 06:51 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 04:30 PM

Back in 1955 when actor Alan (Yossarian) Arkin was a folk songster, he recorded an album called "FolkSongs (and 2 1/2 that Aren't) Once Over Lightly."

The opening number was "A Knave is a Knave." Can anybody supply the lyrics as he sang them ?


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Subject: Lyr Add: A KNAVE IS A KNAVE (Alan Arkin)
From: Deckman
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 04:39 PM

I have that album, but at the moment, I do not have a machine to play it on.

But, be of good cheer! Here's the words from the liner notes:

A KNAVE IS A KNAVE

I went to the alehouse, as an honest woman should,
And a knave followed after, as you know knaves would.

REFRAIN: Oh, knaves will be knaves, in every degree.
I'll tell you, by and by, how this knave served me.

I called for my pot, as an honest woman should,
And the knave drank it up, as you know knaves would.

I went to my bed, as an honest woman should,
And the knave crept in, as you know knaves would.

I proved with child, as an honest woman should,
And the knave ran away, as you know knaves would.

Oh, knaves will be knaves, in every degree,
And thus I have told you how this knave served me!



Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Little Robyn
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 12:08 AM

That sounds like a song I remember on the radio in my younger days -
A guy is a guy. I don't remember the words, just the pattern of them...
I went to the ..... like a good gal should,
He followed me .... ..... ..... like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be.
And now you've heard the story ...... this fellow did to me.

Or something like that.
So which came first, the clean one or the dirty one?
Robyn


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Subject: Lyr Add: A GUY IS A GUY (Oscar Brand)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 01:31 AM

I found the lyrics to "A Guy Is a Guy" at Lyrics World. Interesting to see an Oscar Brand/Doris Day connection here.

A GUY IS A GUY
- words and music by Oscar Brand
- adapted from the naughty World War II soldiers' song "A Gob Is A Slob".
Brand cleaned up the lyrics. "A Gob Is A Slob" was based on the 1719
British song "I Went To the Alehouse (A Knave Is A Knave)"
- lyrics as recorded by Doris Day in 1951

I walked down the street like a good girl should
He followed me down the street like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be
So listen and I'll tell you what this fella did to me

I walked to my house like a good girl should
He followed me to my house like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be
So listen while I tell you what this fella did to me

I never saw the boy before
So nothin' could be sillier
At closer range his face was strange
But his manner was familiar

So I walked up the stairs like a good girl should
He followed me up the stairs like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be
So listen and I'll tell you what this fella did to me

I stepped to my door like a good girl should
He stopped at my door like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be
So listen while I tell you what this fella did to me

He asked me for a good-night kiss
I said, "It's still good day"
I would have told him more except
His lips got in the way

So I talked to my ma like a good girl should
And Ma talked to Pa like I knew she would
And they all agreed on a married life for me
The guy is my guy wherever he may be

So I walked down the aisle like a good girl should
He followed me down the aisle like I knew he would
Because a guy is a guy wherever he may be
And now you've heard the story of what someone did to me

And that's what he did to me


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Rogue, The

DESCRIPTION: The girl walks down the street "like a good girl should" followed by a rogue, a sailor, a knave or some such. She rather coyly seduces him. (He coyly gets her pregnant.)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1620 (in Bishop Percy Folio Manuscript as the fragmentary "A Dainty Ducke")
KEYWORDS: bawdy sex seduction pregnancy
FOUND IN: US(So) Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Kinloch-BBook XXVII, p. 82-83, "The Knave" (1 text)
Randolph-Legman I, pp. 187-190, "The Rogue" (2 texts, 1 tune)
DT, KNAVEKN NAVENAVE*

Roud #8156
ALTERNATE TITLES:
A Gob Is a Gob
Knaves Will Be Knaves
File: RL187

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2006 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Little Robyn
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 03:02 AM

That's what I remembered! 1951 huh? About the same time as the Weavers were being played on our radio too.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 04:44 AM

Some years ago a had a book that I have since given away. It's basically the history of so called "Dirty Songs." I remember that that song goes back at least to the mid 1800's. Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 05:26 AM

I think I sold that book as a MC auction item and sent the money to Max. It might have been "Songs To Purge Meloncoly," (sp?) or "Bawdy Songs And Backroom Ballads." Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: oldhippie
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 07:28 AM

Oscar Brand discusses this in his book "The Ballad Mongers" (pg 99-100). The ancient bawdy song came first. Oscar learned it as "A Gob is A Slob" in 1942. Mitch Miller asked Oscar to include the bridge part which became "I never saw the boy before.....But his manner was familiar". Doris Day recorded it, and it remains Oscar's biggest single moneymaker! Anyone know any other recordings???


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 08:40 AM

Thanks, Deckman ! IIRC, that's the same text as what's in "Pills to Purge Melancholy." I guess that's where Arkin got it.

BTW, after all these years I've never run into a version of "A Gob is a Slob." Has anyone actually heard one - or is Brand the lone witness ?


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Subject: Lyr Add: A GOB IS A SLOB (Oscar Brand)
From: oldhippie
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 08:34 PM

A Gob is a Slob

A Gob is a Slob
(Oscar Brand)

My mother told me not to talk to strangers in the street.
As the years went by, remembering, I was never indiscreet.
But girls are girls and boys are boys and boys and girls are fools.
We're all the same, so who's to blame when it's nature makes the rules?

Well, I walked down the street like a good girl should.
He followed me down the street like I knew he would,
Because a gob is a slob wherever he may be.
Listen and I'll tell you what this sailor did to me.

I walked to my house like a good girl should.
He followed to my house like I knew he would,
Because a gob is a slob wherever he may be.
Listen while I tell you what this sailor did to me.

I ran up the stair like a frightened hare.
I even locked my bedroom door.
I turned to the bed, almost fell over dead.
Somehow, he sneaked right in before.

I got into bed like a good girl should.
He followed me into bed like I knew he would,
Because a gob is a slob wherever he may be.
Listen and I'll tell you what this sailor did to me.

I pursed my lips. I tried a frown, but frowning's not my style.
I tried a pout, but what came out was a coy, inviting smile.
I knew he would have had me even if I had refused.
He didn't need encouragement, but what he got he used.

I got into bed like a good girl should.
He followed me into bed like I knew he would,
Because a gob is a slob wherever he may be.
Listen while I tell you what this fellow did to me.

I got me a time like a good girl should.
He got him a time like I knew he would,
Because a gob is a slob wherever he may be.
Listen while I tell you what this sailor did to me.

He grabbed me tight and he switched off the light
And he settled down to stay.
I would have said, "Please leave this bed,"
But who the hell is built that way?

So had me a child like a good girl should,
And he went off to sea like I knew he would,
Because a gob is a slob wherever he may be.
Now you heard the story what this sailor did to me.

Recorded by Oscar Brand on "Bawdy Songs & Backroom Ballads, Vol. 2," 1949.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 12:58 PM

Deckman e-mailed me and boasted that he must be far older than I (implying that he must be wiser) because he clearly remembers "A Guy Is a Guy" being played over and over again on the radio. I was born in 1948, and the Doris Day recording came out in 1951. It feels like I've known this song all my life. I wonder if I heard it when it first came out, or if my memory of it is more recent.
It would be interesting to study folk songs that made it to the charts as pop songs - "A Guy Is a Guy," "Sugarbush," "The Fireship," "Lavender Blue." Lots of others, I'd bet - Click here for a discussion.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Little Robyn
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 03:09 PM

I was born at the tail end of 1945 and I remember lots of music that was played on the radio - maybe because my Mum used to sing along. Things like Tzena Tzena, Wimoweh, So long, it's been good to know you, Irene goodnight, The fireship etc. and then Kisses sweeter than wine from young Jimmy Rogers. Later there was Lemon tree, and Wimoweh was revived by a different group. After that came the Kingston Trinity and the rest, as they say, is history.
This was on a New Zealand commercial radio station, before I ever heard anyone talking about 'Folk Music'.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 03:12 PM

Thanks for the song, oldhippie. Brand recorded it on one of his "Bawdy Songs" albums in the mid-fifties, after "A Guy is a Guy" was already a big hit.

I'm still wondering if there's any corroborative evidence that a pre-Brandian song like this with the words "a gob is a slob" in it ever really existed.

It could have, but did it ? Or did Brand merely splice the phrase (which he may have heard from some jokester) into "A Knave is a Knave," which he then turned into "A Guy is a Guy" ?

The reason I suspect the latter is simply that the words "gob" and "slob" don't seem to appear in any other trad song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 03:28 PM

My dim memory (I am older by years, Joe) reminds me that I heard somewhere that he "Gob" in Brand's song refers to an earlier term for a sailor.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 04:53 PM

That's right.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 05:17 AM

Interesting....one of my favourite actors. I didnt know he'd been a folk performer!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Alan Arkin's 'A Knave is a Knave'
From: Deckman
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 06:58 AM

I've often thought about giving him this record. It's gotta be a collector's item. And, there's several other great songs on it. Bob


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Subject: Lyr Add: I WENT TO AN ALEHOUSE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 10:24 AM

From Merry Songs and Ballads, Prior to the Year 1800, Volume 1 by John Stephen Farmer, "privately printed for subscribers only", 1897.

I WENT TO THE ALEHOUSE

[A Broadside Song; also with music in Pills to Purge Melancholy (1707), i. 118].

1. I Went to the Alehouse as an honest Woman shou'd,
And a Knave follow'd after, as you know Knaves wou'd.

CHORUS: Knaves will be Knaves in every Degree.
I'll tell you by and by how this Knave serv'd me.

2. I call'd for my Pot as an honest Woman shou'd,
And the Knave drank't up, as you know Knaves wou'd.

3. I went into my Bed, as an honest Woman shou'd,
And the Knave crept into't, as you know Knaves wou'd.

4. I proved with Child as an honest Woman shou'd,
And the Knave ran away, as you know Knaves wou'd.

LAST CHORUS: Knaves will be Knaves in every Degree,
And thus have I told you how this Knave serv'd me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Knave Is a Knave (Alan Arkin)
From: Deckman
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 05:56 PM

Very Interesting.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Knave Is a Knave (Alan Arkin)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 06:51 PM

Essentially identical to the texts quoted at the beginning of this thread and in the DT.

For a recent discussion with links to a number of online transcriptions and facsimiles of forms of this song from the early C17 to the late C20, see  Lyr Req: Roguey.


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