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GUEST,Joe_F Origins: 'The Country Vicar' can be dated to 1888 (8) RE: Origins: 'The Country Vicar' can be dated to 1888 30 Aug 06

See thread 7742. It seems odd that the title "Ring the Bell, Verger" has gotten attached to a song that has no verger in it. Here is a song more deserving of that name:


As sung at St Andrews University, 1958

       D                s    l       t    D

CHO.:   Ring the bell, verger, ring the bell, ring.

       D R             M D         l    R       t

       Perhaps the congregation will condescend to sing.

       t R       F       M    D    t       R      D

       Perhaps the village organist, sitting on his stool,

       D                   s    l       t      D

       Will play upon the organ instead of on his tool.

Up in the belfry the verger stands,

Jerking his gherkin with his fucking big hands.

Voice from the pulpit shouts "Bloody hell!

Stop jerking gherkin -- start jerking bell!"

Time for collection soon came round.

No one told me what was found.

This is the rumour that I heard:

Four French francs and a fucking big turd.

Down the aisle the choir passes,

Vicar's eye upon their arses.

They have got a lot to lose:

Which one will the vicar choose?

Ocean liner ten days late,

Stoker stoking stoker's mate.

Captain's voice comes down the wire:

"Stop stoking stoker -- stoke fucking fire!"

There in the garage the chauffeur lies,

Vicar's wife between his thighs.

Master's voice comes from afar:

"Stop fucking woman -- start fucking car!"

Down in the kitchen, in a nook,

Cook and chef lie, having fuck.

Vicar's wife from the dining-room squeals:

"Stop fucking cooks -- cook fucking meals!"

I have given the tune in sol-fa above the chorus, with the lower octave in lowercase. The tune to the stanzas is the same. In "Strike the Bell, Second Mate" -- from which the chorus & first stanza of this song probably derive -- the chorus is slightly differentiated, which is a point in its favor. On the other hand, the tune to "Ring the Bell, Verger" has more harmonic interest, esp. in the invitation to use a relative-minor chord at the end of the 3rd line; perhaps, indeed, it is actually a hymn tune.

In the dialect used, "fuck" does rhyme with "nook". In the last three stanzas, the last line was shouted rhythmically rather than sung.

The wit in this song wears rather thin by the end, unless one appreciates it in the proper context:

"...I attended last Tuesday a student-union 'gaudie' (= a sing, from 'Gaudeamus') that degenerated into a fine raunchfest. They know most of our songs & a few more, and have better tunes, & a fine collection of limericks; tho I was able to supply them with a few imports, and -- incredibly -- 'The Bastard King of England' is unknown here. The room was packed; there was much beer; someone put his fist thru a window to let in the night air; and when the whole thing broke up we all paraded down to the pier, singing 'The Wheel' (= 'The Fucking Machine') to the tune of the Doxology while little old ladies peered out of lighted windows...." (From a letter home, October 1958)

--- Joe Fineman

||: ***k: The most important kind of marital intercourse. :||

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