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Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler

DigiTrad:
DICK DARBY THE COBBLER
FAGAN THE COBBLER
HABEN A BOO AND A BANNER
JIM SWAGGART, THE PREACHER
THE COBBLER


Related threads:
Lyr Req: The Cobbler (27)
Dick Darby the Cobbler: songs with same tune (26)
Lyr Req: The Cobbler (from Sam Henry) (7)
Lyr Req: Wingo Wang Wingo (Applachian Ditty) (6)
req only: The Cobbler (Clancy/Makem) (4) (closed)


Connacht Rambler 10 Mar 08 - 07:26 PM
Peace 10 Mar 08 - 07:33 PM
MartinRyan 10 Mar 08 - 08:37 PM
Peace 10 Mar 08 - 08:42 PM
Arkie 10 Mar 08 - 09:10 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Mar 08 - 09:16 PM
Seamus Kennedy 11 Mar 08 - 01:19 AM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Mar 08 - 03:46 AM
Richard Bridge 11 Mar 08 - 04:28 AM
Les in Chorlton 11 Mar 08 - 04:56 AM
Peace 11 Mar 08 - 11:34 AM
Connacht Rambler 11 Mar 08 - 12:04 PM
Rog Peek 11 Mar 08 - 02:32 PM
GUEST 11 Mar 08 - 02:59 PM
GUEST 12 Mar 08 - 01:49 AM
gnu 12 Mar 08 - 06:03 AM
pavane 23 Sep 08 - 08:09 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Sep 08 - 03:00 PM
Snuffy 23 Sep 08 - 06:34 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Sep 08 - 06:36 PM
Snuffy 23 Sep 08 - 07:02 PM
Art Thieme 23 Sep 08 - 11:47 PM
Greg B 24 Sep 08 - 03:27 PM
gnu 24 Sep 08 - 03:31 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Oct 08 - 10:09 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Nov 08 - 10:27 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Nov 08 - 10:37 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Nov 08 - 10:58 AM
Lighter 22 Nov 08 - 11:14 AM
MGM·Lion 08 May 11 - 01:21 AM
gnu 08 May 11 - 09:46 AM
MGM·Lion 09 May 11 - 02:40 PM
gnu 09 May 11 - 02:59 PM
MGM·Lion 09 May 11 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Grace Buzik 27 May 11 - 12:49 AM
MGM·Lion 27 May 11 - 07:08 AM
gnu 27 May 11 - 02:11 PM
voyager 29 Aug 14 - 10:47 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Aug 14 - 11:08 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Aug 14 - 03:45 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 11:52 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Aug 14 - 12:16 PM
MGM·Lion 30 Aug 14 - 03:01 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 03:07 PM
MGM·Lion 30 Aug 14 - 03:34 PM
MGM·Lion 30 Aug 14 - 03:36 PM
Jim Carroll 31 Aug 14 - 02:34 PM
Lighter 31 Aug 14 - 03:03 PM
Tradsinger 31 Aug 14 - 03:58 PM
MGM·Lion 01 Sep 14 - 01:06 AM
MartinRyan 02 Dec 14 - 11:53 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Dec 14 - 01:13 PM
gnu 02 Dec 14 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,Vin2 03 Dec 14 - 04:35 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Dec 14 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,fuligorubin 03 Dec 14 - 05:55 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Dec 14 - 06:10 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Dec 14 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Vin2 14 Dec 14 - 02:02 PM
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PHJim 15 Dec 14 - 12:48 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Dec 14 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,Dave Hunt 16 Dec 14 - 12:27 AM
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Subject: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Connacht Rambler
Date: 10 Mar 08 - 07:26 PM

In the opening lines:
"Oh me name is Dick Darby, I'm a cobbler
I served me time at the old camp"

What does "old camp" mean?


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Mar 08 - 07:33 PM

CR: I just sent you a site to google. It seems the song is also called "Dick German the Cobbler". It is the story of John Hewson, a shoemaker who aided Cromwell in the Irish campaign of 1649-50. I think from that that it might be a reference to one of the camps he was in at some point. I'd post a link directly to the site but it's pdf of Google books and I don't understand how to link it.


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Mar 08 - 08:37 PM

Verrrry interesting.... as they used to say on the Rowan and Martin Laugh-in . My understanding was that this was essentially a 19C. American vaudeville song - which is not to say it didn't have broadsheet antecedents.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Mar 08 - 08:42 PM

Martin: I have no idea how closely the songs are connected--that is, how much one is like the other. Ah, the folk process . . . .


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Arkie
Date: 10 Mar 08 - 09:10 PM

I wish I could help with this. I have it on an LP somewhere in my garage and it was among my favorite tracks on the record. I am looking forward to seeing more information.


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Mar 08 - 09:16 PM

The similarity of the tune to "Botany Bay" had led me to assume it was English.


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 01:19 AM

It was one of Tommy Makem's great bits, where he pantomimed a cobbler repairing a shoe, complete with spitting on his hands while singing the song. In fact, it's on YouTube somewhere.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 03:46 AM

Number 872 in the Roud Folk Song Index. It has many names and can incorporate all sorts of stuff. See the DT file Dick Darby the Cobbler for a text (no source acknowledged) and links to further material; some of it relevant. See also

Max Hunter Collection:   Dick German, The Cobbler

Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:   Dick Darling the cobbler

America Singing:   Dick Heuston, the cobbler   and   Dick darlin' the cobbler

None of this will tell you what was meant by 'camp', but in the circumstances the chances are that it didn't mean anything in particular. It may just have been a corruption of the earlier 'Kent'.

How far 'My Name is Old Hewson the Cobbler', cited by Chappell (PMOT II, 450-1) is ancestral to the numerous later songs (many of them parodies of each other) is hard to say, as we don't have the original words.


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 04:28 AM

Hmm. That's making it look as if it's Irish then. Oh well, another one bites the dust.


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 04:56 AM

I bet much of it's recent life is connected to Tommy.


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Peace
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 11:34 AM

Song and Story.: Song and Story: An Anthology of Irish Folk Songs - Google Books Result

Google the above.

I went to a site that gave the lyrics to a version of "Dick German, the Cobbler" but the lyrics are quite different.

From the Max Hunter Collection


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Connacht Rambler
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 12:04 PM

Me again. There are a few Camp Roads in Ireland. There's one in Oughterard. When I enquired if it was used by squatters in Famine times, I was told it was named after a British army campsite.


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: Rog Peek
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 02:32 PM

I have just put an old LP onto cd called The Clancy Bros. & Tommy Makem with their families, on which Tommy and his mother Sarah sing this song. It is listed simply as 'The Cobbler'.

Rog


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Mar 08 - 02:59 PM

Yes Rog

I got thatun too

Dave

And when I get my new turntable USB connected into my network I may make a CD out of it too!!


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 08 - 01:49 AM

There's a great version on "Isn't It Grand Boys" by Tommy Makem. The whole album is one of my favorites by The Clancy Bros. and Tommy Makem.


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Subject: RE: Help with 'Dick Darby the Cobbler'
From: gnu
Date: 12 Mar 08 - 06:03 AM

The camp at Dolla, Tipperary? That's the way my old man sang it.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: pavane
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 08:09 AM

I don't know how far back "Hewson the cobbler" really goes, but there is a reference to him in a verse of this song from around 1670

"She lookt with one eye just like Hewson Ye Cobbler"


Newes from Hide-Parke

A later and more legible copy is here:

News from Hide-Park


Also interesting is the story, in which a man hires what he thinks is a young lady, but by the time she takes off her wig, takes out her glass eye, removes her false teeth and her makeup, he has lost interest.

"She drew out her handkerchief as I suppose
To wipe her high forehead, and off dropt her nose"




I seem to recall versions of this story much more recently!


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Subject: Lyr Add: DICK HEUSTON THE COBBLER
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 03:00 PM

If you want some of the history of the 'Spare Parts' theme in song form try my article at

www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/dungheap.htm

Dick Heuston, The Cobbler.

My name is Dick heuston, the Cobbler,
The people of London do tell--
They say I'm a very good workman,
And that I do know very well,
   With my too re diddle, lol de lol
   da, whack fol de diddle, fol de dol da.

When I was a 'prentice in London,
I lived at the Royal Exchange;
The girls all fell in love with me--
You might think it was very strange.

When I was a 'prentice in London,
I lived at the sign of the boot;
I earned ten guineas one morning,
A fitting Queen Charlotte's neat foot.

When I was a 'prentice in London,
I lived at the sign of the last;
My true love gave me a gold ring,
To remember the days that were past.

With my pegs, hammers, nails and lasts,
I set at the fire and sing
When i think of the girls in London,
Where my first shoemaking began;

My name is Dick Heuston the cobbler,
(Hic) the people (hic) of London (hic) do tell (hic)
they say (hic) I'm a very good (hic) workman,
And that (hic) I do know (hic) very well;
For I can (hic) work as well (hic) drunk as sober.

printed and sold Wholesale at
George harris'
CARD & JOB PRINTING OFFICE
S.E. Corner of Fourth and Vine Sts.,
Philadelphia. 296

from the American Memory 19thc Street Songs Collection, online.

Queen Charlotte reference would surely help to date this version. Didn't one of the Stuarts have a Charlotte or am I getting mixed up with Charlotte the harlot.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 06:34 PM

One of the Georges, actually, not the Stuarts. Queen Charlotte, apparently adressed by her husband as "Mrs King"


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 06:36 PM

Which George and what about dates?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 07:02 PM

Quite a wide spread of dates, I'm afraid: she is the longest-serving consort in British history, having served as such from her marriage to George III on 8 September 1761, to her death on 17 November 1818, a total of 57 years and 70 days. (Prince Philip is only months away from ousting her, though).

It may not help much with the dating, but I wouldn't think her foot would be referred to as "neat" in her later years


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Sep 08 - 11:47 PM

I saw a show in 1959 at Chicago's Eighth Street Theater with Tommy Makem and Bob Gibson. Each did separate sets. But when Tommy simply walked out on stage, sat down in a single chair, and then went into this song, well, it was pure magic! I felt instantly that this was the real thing---this is what folk music was all about---taking a moment and a place, and personally, causing a time warp that caused the listener to be gone from the concert gall and instantly transported to another historical reality where you knew you were privileged to witness, for the duration of the song's performance, an actual slice of what was. It was, as I said, real magic, and that was what I usually strove to achieve in my own performances.

I always thought that the extent to which I was able to achieve that fantasy, determined the success or failure of any given folk presentation of mine. Writing this out right now, I am finally seeing and acknowledging what an effect Tommy Makem's performance had on me that long ago night.

It's about time...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Greg B
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 03:27 PM

Art, Pete Hamill has invoked that selfsame image of Tommy on at least
one occasion.

It's worth remembering that he and a large portion of the
Clancy Brothers set out to be actors initially.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: gnu
Date: 24 Sep 08 - 03:31 PM

Yes, I agree.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DICK DARLING THE COBBLER (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 10:09 AM

From the Bodleian Ballads catalogue: Harding B 20(38):

DICK DARLING THE COBBLER

My name is Dick Darling the cobbler,
I served my time out in Kent;
Some call me an old fornicator,
Which causes me much to relent.

    With my twing, twing, &c.

These thirty years I've been a rover,
With all the contents of my pack;
With my hammer, my awl and my pincers,
I trudge them away on my back.

Now there was a fellow came into my shop one day:—Darling, says he, Sir, says I. I'll hold five shillings to three maqueens, that I sole five pair of shoes to you three.—Done says I. Done says he. So away we fell to work: I bate the poor devil in a clean and dacent manner, as an Irishman ought to do! but after that the dirty bogtrotter refused to pay me, so he did, so I fell to and beat him till I broke every bone in my own body, and after that they had to carry me home on an old shutter: but it's now past 10, and I must have these shoes sol'd & heel'd by 11, so here goes.

    With my twing, twing, &c.

My wife she is blinky and blary,
My wife she is humpy and black,
She's the deuce all over for prating,
For her tongue it keeps going click clack.

The devil a know I know at all, at all how it is that woman's tongues are hung; but men's tongues are hung by the one end; but by my own soul my wife's tongue is hung by the middle, for no sooner does the one end strike the upper part of her jaw then the other hits the lower, till I'm forced to give her a slap on the one side of the jaw to stop her. Then she runs out of the house crying out: Watch! Watch! have an eye down in the cellar upon that dirty ould brute, who has been after knocking me down with the flat-iron, and breaking the collar bone of my jaw with his last: but it is now past 10, and I must have these shoes sol'd & heel'd by 11, so here goes.

    With my twing, twing, &c.

So now we are parted for ever,
This morning before it was light,
The old woman fell into the river,
So politely I bid her good night.

So here I am, Dick Darling O'Gallagan Mc. Thussle, O hone! a single married man, at the service of any young lady, maid, or wife, who has got plenty of money and love to spend, and would be after joining her delicate hand to mine for life; then should any dirty bog-trotting ould thief dare to say that black is the white of her eye, it is myself that would give them the molly-groggins, so it is. But it is now past 10, and I must have these shoes sol'd and heeled by 11, so here goes.

    With my twing, twing, &c.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY NAME IS DICK DARLING (from Tony Pastor
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 10:27 AM

--from Tony Pastor's Complete Budget of Comic Songs by Tony Pastor, John F. Poole (New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1864).

MY NAME IS DICK DARLING.
Air—"The Tail ov me Coat"
As sung by TONY PASTOR.

MY name is Dick Darling, the cobbler.
My time I served down there in Kent.
They say I'm an old, funny creature,
But now I'm resolved to repent

CHORUS: With my twank fol de rol de rol liddie,
My whack fol de rol de rol lay!

For twenty years I'd been a rover,
And wasted the prime of my life.
One day I resolved to give over,
And settle myself down to a wife.

My wife was the divil for swearing.
She was both humpy and black,
The divil, all over, for swearing,
And her tongue kept going click-clack!

I resolved to get rid of this creature:
One morning, before it was light,
I shoved the old hag in the river,
And cautiously bade her good-night!

Now, my troubles of wedlock being over,
This country I thought I would try;
And once more I became a free rover,
And single I'll stop till I die.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DICK DARLIN' THE COBBLER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 10:37 AM

--from Wehman Bros.' Pocket-Size Irish Song Book, No. 2 (New York: Wehman Bros., 1909).

DICK DARLIN', THE COBBLER.

Och! my name is Dick Darlin' the cobbler.
My time I served down there in Kent.
Wid de wimmin I was always a squabble,
But now I'm resolved to repent.

For twenty years I'd been a rover,
An' wasted the prime of my life.
One day, I resolved to give over
An' settle myself down to a wife.

My wife she was blinkin' an' blearin'.
My wife she was humpy and black,
The worst all over for swearin',
And her tongue is kept goin' click clack.

But now we are parted for iver.
One mornin' before it was light,
I shov'd the old jade in a river,
And cautiously bid her good-night.

My troubles of wedlock bein' over,
This country I thought I would try.
Once more I've become a free rover.
An' single I'll stop till I die.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DICK THOMPSON THE COBBLER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 10:58 AM

From Pioneer Life in Zorra by William Alexander MacKay. (Toronto: William Briggs, 1899):

My name is Dick Thompson, the cobbler.
I served my time at Percant.
I know I'm an old depredator,
But I am resolved to repent.

Twenty long years I've been roving.
I've spent the prime of my life,
But now I'm resolved to gie over
And cuttle myself to a wife.

My wife she is ugly, she's lazy,
She's dirty, she's towsie, she's black.
She's the de'il for brawling and scolding.
Her tongue is forever click-clack.

And now we'll be parted forever.
This morning before it is light,
I doused her three times in the river.
I cursed her, and bade her good-night.

[Zorra is a township in Oxford County, Ontario. I haven't identified Percant, except that perçant is a French word meaning "sharp, piercing".]


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 11:14 AM

"Haben A Boo And a Banner" in the DT is a bawdy parody of this song.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 May 11 - 01:21 AM

"MtheGM, your pedantry is legendary," wrote a dear friend on another forum.

So ~ a minor point, I suppose; but I think the word in the last line of the chorus given in DT as "lab stone" {which is not in Chambers Dict} would be better rendered as "lapstone" {which is}.

Begorrah

~Michael O'theGM~


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: gnu
Date: 08 May 11 - 09:46 AM

Good point.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 May 11 - 02:40 PM

And note following well-known [ to Sherlock Holmes students] story of Dr Bell, one of Conan Doyle's university teachers from whom he is said to have derived inspiration for Sherlock Holmes:~

···The year was 1877, Dr. Joseph Bell, a brilliant surgeon and lecturer at Scotland's prestigious Edinburgh University Medical School, was standing next to one of the hospital's patients. His students – including an 18-year-old named Arthur Conan Doyle – stood around him as he motioned to the patient and systematically ticked off his first observations about the case. "You'll notice, gentlemen," Dr. Bell began, "that the man is clearly a left-handed cobbler."
How could Dr. Bell tell a man's occupation, and the fact that he was left-handed, from a single glance at someone he had never met before? Doyle and the rest of the students were amazed. And this wasn't the first time, either. Bell made these amazing deductions every time he examined patients in front of the class.
Dr. Bell continued with his observations, this time pointing to the man's pants. "Notice the worn places in the corduroy breeches where a cobbler rests his lapstone." It was the pants! Dr. Bell read the man's life story from a patch of worn corduroy. It was amazing, and Arthur Conan Doyle would never forget it.···

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: gnu
Date: 09 May 11 - 02:59 PM

Elemetary my dear M.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 May 11 - 03:54 PM

You know my methods, Gnu...


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: GUEST,Grace Buzik
Date: 27 May 11 - 12:49 AM

I just happened by your thread as I was searching for any way to identify (composer, year, melody, etc) a song my mom sang as a grade school child in Northern Saskatchewan 1938-1940. Unfortunately, this cobbler song doesn't seem to bear enough similarity to any of the above variations to be considered a re-arrangement or anything else. Frustrating, as I am typing the lyrics to 7 songs so far, from my mother's childhood handwriting; and to this point, the only one I've been able to identify is "Some Folks Do" by Stephen Foster 1855. Here is what I have.

The Busy Cobbler

VERSE 1
As he hammer all day long
The busy cobbler sings a song
All goes playing through and through
To make the shoes as good as new

CHORUS
Ratatat, Ratatat,
Tap tap tap tap tap tap
Ratatat, Ratatat,
Tap tap tap tap

VERSE 2
At his bench, the busy cobbler
Makes the bits of leather fly
Though the shoes seem past all mending
Still, he sings as all go by

*REPEAT CHORUS
Ratatat, Ratatat,
Tap tap tap tap tap tap
Ratatat, Ratatat,
Tap tap tap tap


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 May 11 - 07:08 AM

Another variant, that Henry {aka Hyam} Morris, singer-guitarist and skiffle-group leader of the mid-50s used to sing, with actions on the chorus not unlike Tommy Makem's, was ~~

I sit and mend shoes for a living
My wife drinks whisky and gin
And as fast as I makes any money-i
She spends it down at the Sun Inn

To my rye-tie-diddle-i
My rye-tie-a-dooral-i-day
To my rye-tie-a-dooral-i-diddle-i
My rye-tie-a-dooral-i-day


My wife has become a teetotaller
She doesn't drink whisky no more
So now when I makes any money-i
I saves it up by the galore

Chorus

Has anyone else come across that version, or does anyone know any more of it?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: gnu
Date: 27 May 11 - 02:11 PM

Interesting.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: voyager
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 10:47 AM

My wife she is blue-eyed and pretty
My wife she is blue-eyed and black(?)
She calls me a rotten potato
And my heart it goes clickety clack

Wingo Wang Wingo Wang Wingo (Dick Darby previous thread)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 11:08 AM

What does "old camp" mean.
Possibly Camp in West Kerry.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 03:45 PM

But he has "served his time" there. It thus suggests either some sort of military service or a term of imprisonment. So "Old Camp" may be either a military establishment or a prison, as I understand.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 11:52 AM

Not necessarily Mike - I've always though he might have been an apprentice shoemaker - common enough term.
Kerry and Cork were two of the great rebel counties from 1867 onwards.
I've always been surprised that there aren't more source examples of the song.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 12:16 PM

But has he not been in some sort of trouble for political activities -- "an ould agitator" — which he has now given up - "resolved to repent"?

There is the sort of partial account of background, lacunae in the info, that one gets in this sort of song; but such phraseology seems suggestive to me of a deviant background that Mr Darby feels himself now to have outgrown. I wouldn't want to overstress this aspect, as it's not that sort of song. But it does seem to me to make sense of my impression of the nature of "Ould Camp" where he has "served his time".

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 03:01 PM

... and he comes of a criminal family, what's more!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 03:07 PM

Don't want to labour this Mike - not committed enough to the song, but in Ireland "ould" often has little to do with age or time .
The nice thing about some songs is that they leave you with a multi-choice of interpretations.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 03:34 PM

In England also, good old Jim. I am not aware of having suggested that 'ould' has much temporal significance in the song. It's the fact of his having 'served his time' in some sort of institution called "Ould Camp", and that he describes himself as being called by some "an ould agitator", to which I drew attention. I don't think I suggested that the adjective was more than phatic in the latter instance; but I do maintain that there is a history of agitation in his record which seems to have brought him into some sort of trouble or obloquy; and that he undoubtedly comes of a family of persons at odds with society -- sheep stealers, witchcraft practitioners, brothel keepers...

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 03:36 PM

What, btw, does he mean here by "a mechanical switch"?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 02:34 PM

""a mechanical switch"?
Again - I've always believed it to be a euphemism for 'son of a bitch'
Can't guarantee any of this Mike - I've never been sure I even like the song.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 03:03 PM

Similarly, isn't "old agitator" a euphemism for "old fornicator"?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Tradsinger
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 03:58 PM

Isn't there a link to a bawdy song which ends "My God, how the money rolls in"? I can't remember many of the words, but there is a similar theme to it.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Sep 14 - 01:06 AM

'My God How The Money Rolls In' is to the tune of 'My Bonny Lies Over The Ocean'; of which quite big 'tune family' Dick Darby is a somewhat distant member, but far from an identical twin, as it were. The shared theme of dysfunctional relations is quite widespread.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 11:53 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 01:13 PM

My mother's a bawdy-house keeper,
My father makes illicit gin,
My sister gives out for the soldiers,
By Christ, how the money rolls in

The don't make them like that anymore
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: gnu
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 04:55 PM

Never heard that verse, Jim. Thanks. Who wrote it?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: GUEST,Vin2
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 04:35 AM

Wow ! thanks for the responses folks.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 04:49 AM

It's in DT under title "My God How The Money Rolls In". Good version, containing several alternative lines &c.

≈M≈

"[This is a compilation from several sources. Alternate words in brackets.]"
it sez at the top.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: GUEST,fuligorubin
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 05:55 AM

I have heard Tommy Maken perform this song back in the 60s, and I always thought he sang "served me time on ould calf" ie the leather.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Dec 14 - 06:10 AM

No -- just played Tommy Makem on youtube yet again. Distinctly sings "Ould Camp".

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 05:59 AM

More on a semantic point rehearsed above. There is a village in NSW called Lapstone. According to Wikipedia, "It has been suggested that Lapstone was named by early explorers who found smooth stones in the area which reminded them of the lapstones used by cobblers."

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: GUEST,Vin2
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 02:02 PM

Brilliant MGM. Thanks, Vin


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 14 Dec 14 - 07:23 PM

Sorry I can't give chapter and verse on this version I've been singing for years. I only have a note that says it came from New York (probably the state, not the city). The tune's nothing like Tommy Makem's. The nature of his crime, verse 1, line 3, I'll match against any.

JACK GERMAN THE COBBLER

My name is Jack German the cobbler,
I've serv-ed me time out in Kent,
Some called me an old fornicator
Before I had time to repent.

CHO
With me twing, ing, ing, ing, ing, ing yaddy,
Me twing, ing, ing, ing, ing, ing ay,
With a too, boo, boo, too, boo, boo, baddy,
Sing fol de dol, dol de dol day.

For seven long years I was roving,
The happiest days of me life,
And many's misfortune I had in,
I got myself hitched to a wife.

My wife she was humpty and dumpty,
Oh Lord, she was ugly and black,
And when I came in to my dinner,
She gave me the devil's gin-whack!

But now all me troubles are ended,
Since I put an end to her life,
I gave her three dips in the river,
And kindly I bade her goodnight.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Dec 14 - 12:35 AM

Re the tune [the Tommy Makem one] -- as well as not a million miles, as already remarked, to My Bonny, surely a close relative of the Botany Bay family.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: PHJim
Date: 15 Dec 14 - 12:48 AM

In the early nineties I played in a group called The Piper's Hut. The group leader sang this song and his chorus went:

With me intwing of an ingthing of an iday
With me intwing of an ingthing iday
With me roo boo boo roo boo boo randy
And me lap stone keeps beating away

About five years ago I was in the band for a show called Fowke Tales about Canadian folksong collector Edith Fowke. This song was sung by one of the actors and his chorus went:

With me intwing of an ingthing of an iday
With me intwing of an ingthing of an iday
With me roo boo boo roo boo boo randy
And me lab stone keeps beating away

-making the second line a little bit irregular.
I like both versions, but find myself doing the first version.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Dec 14 - 02:27 PM

BTW, nobody seems to have made the point that it would not be the lapstone that went "beating away", but the hammer on the lapstone.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt
Date: 16 Dec 14 - 12:27 AM

If you have access to the film made by Kennedy in the 1950s,of the singers at Blaxhall Ship (Suffolk) there is a splendid version sung by Wickets Richardson (who was always 'Chairman'and called for order by banging a crib board on the table)And he does the actions too. The continuity in the fim is haphazard,e.g. a shot of Cyril Poacher singing...pan to audience and there's Cyril ! back to Cyril singing in totally different clothes...wonderful!Lots of good stuff including some great step dancing


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 16 Dec 14 - 10:23 PM

Wow - all this is cool, but I must be the only person who really couldn't stand this song and would actually leap up and lift the needle to skip it on our clancy brothers records... but it's still fascinating to read all this cool stuff.

Sure and don't using the name Darby make it sound Irish now...


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: gnu
Date: 17 Dec 14 - 12:41 PM

"but I must be the only person who really couldn't stand this song"

Quite possibly. >;-)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: GUEST,Wellsy
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 10:28 AM

That chorus kills it for me. Luckily, there's not much of worth to kill. My apologies to all fans of the song ( both of you)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Dick Darby the Cobbler
From: Tradsinger
Date: 14 Sep 18 - 04:58 PM

Here's what glostrad has to say on the song:

Many will be familiar with the song “Dick Darby, the Cobbler” as sung by Tommy Makem, but this is one version of many. An early broadside “Dick Darling, the Cobbler” is half sung, half spoken. In the song, the eponymous cobbler is clearly Irish, and an “old fornicator”. The story then details how he beat up a customer who would not pay him and then goes on to complain about his devil of a wife and how she eventually fell in a river. Finally, he appeals for a new young wife. Collected versions have shown a remarkable variety and our Dick Darling/Darby has become Fagin, Kibosh, Dick German or Jed Hobson and in this variety of forms it has been found all over the English-speaking world.

There is a distant relation to this song, in lyrics anyway, to the bawdy “My God, how the money rolls in.”

Harry Brazil’s version (I started my life as a cobbler) has changed a lot from broadside days, but still contains the appeal for a new wife and has an added feature of adding a critique of the government.

Tradsinger


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