The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152225   Message #4062995
Posted By: GUEST,Nick Dow
05-Jul-20 - 07:54 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Row Dow Dow / Shooting Goshen's Cocks Up
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Row Dow Dow / Shooting Goshen's Cocks Up
Lord Goshun was director of the Bank of England so obviously he couldn't afford to lose any pheasants.
The song is evidently a true story, and refers to Harry Holman who wrote it upon release from Holloway, which was a male prison before it was a female one.
Holman would copy out the song a knock it out for the price of a pint, or a loaf of bread in his local pub, which is how the song spread in the area. Both Holman and Maynard were well known in the the Gypsy community. Narkie is a slang word for dangerous or unlucky. The Gypsy community use a lot of 19th century (or earlier) slang as well as Romany. As an example the Gypsy word for a young woman is Rackly, however if she were a non Gypsy she would be called a Bewer which is 18th/19th century slang.
It's the same with Narkie. It's entered into English as bad tempered.
So I know the song as 'Inspector Harris' and Holloway Prison. I think that's what Pop Maynard sings. I sing it when to mood strikes me. When I sing it with the Gypsy Folk I tend to use a few more of their words Starry (starripen) for prison, Bori Rye for Magistrate etc. I love the idea of Harry Holman selling the story of his imprisonment and starvation. Its two fingers up to the system, and surviving against the odds. Sing on!