The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #25209   Message #3508877
Posted By: Bill Brown
25-Apr-13 - 05:57 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
This is fascinating!

I got this song from fellow morris-dancer John Mayberry (who comments above) in 2002. I've been singing it regularly since then. It's a great chorus song. The chorus and music are easy to pick up and harmonize to. So it encourages participation, and the resulting sound is impressive. Nice one to draw newbies in.

The only deficit to it is that you can only sing it late in the evening. Which is too bad because it would good song to start a session with - if it wasn't all about finishing the session (after another pitcher).

I'm amused to revisit the words as John Mayberry sent them to me. I have unconsciously changed a lot of them. Here it is as I sing them, with John's lyrics in parentheses:

As silver moonbeams 'round us play (As silver moonbeams 'round me shine)
I swear that reason is my teacher. (I swear with reason as my teacher)
And if my midnight cup runs dry, (That if my midnight glass runs right)
I'll boldly call for another pitcher. (I will surely call for another pitcher)

CH: It's almost day, it's almost day,
Why should we forsake good liquor,
Until the sunbeams 'round us play, (Until the sunbeams 'round us shine)
We joke and pass around the pitcher

They say a man must work each day, (They say that we must work each day)
Then go to bed to rise much richer, (And, go to bed . . .)
But what is that to you, say I, ( . . . I say)
Compared to mirth, good friends, and liquor? (. . .mirth, my friends, . . .)

How well I love a handsome lad,
No simpering milk-sop Jimmy Twitcher, ( . .. sniveling . . . )
Who loves a lass, and loves a glass,
And boldly calls for another pitcher.

A man may take a handsome wife, (A man may boast a handsome wife)
But strange spirits may bewitch her, (And yet strange presence may . . . )
Tonight, I'll lead the single life (Unyoked, I'll lead a single life)
And boldly call for another pitcher.

I think I prefer most of the changes that have slipped in. I have NO idea how I changed "shine" to "play" in BOTH instances.

It occurs to me that the nature of this song - sung late at night in a state of high intoxication - may be why we see so much variation. Both the singer and the collector are more apt to get it "wrong."

There's a dissertation subject for you - is there a higher rate of 'folk process" for drinking songs?

The "beer process!" You read it here first!