The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #115488 Message #2473514
Posted By: MikeofNorthumbria
23-Oct-08 - 06:03 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
"Glorious Ale" was one of a handful of songs which Jim Phillips - Squire of the Headington Quarry Morris men – made his own. In the early 1960s it was a regular crowd-pleaser at the occasional sing-arounds which he – along with Dennis Manners of Oxford City Morris men - presided over in the Mason's Arms. (An appropriate location, since Jim was a stonemason by trade.) A fair few people learned it from Jim, directly or indirectly, but where he got it from I don't know.
The song's words aren't in the conventional music-hall parody of rustic dialect (as in "Oi comes up from Zummerzet"), and the tune has something of a parlour-piano feel about it, with a gentler flow than the usual rumpty-tumpty music hall beat. But since there was a lot of cross-over between the two genres, it may well have featured in both kinds of environment. Anyhow, a number of songs of this type were issued on 78 rpm recordings in the 1920s and '30s. Some of them – "Buttercup Joe" for example – became very popular and eventually worked their way into the oral tradition. It therefore seems quite probable that Jim got it by that route.
Whatever the source, it's a fine song - good luck to all those who sing it.