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Lyr Add: A New Song on the Rise of Porter

Fergie 15 Mar 08 - 06:35 PM
Jack Campin 15 Mar 08 - 06:51 PM
michaelr 15 Mar 08 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,JohnB 15 Mar 08 - 07:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 15 Mar 08 - 09:48 PM
Fergie 15 Mar 08 - 10:07 PM
Fergie 15 Mar 08 - 10:44 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Dec 10 - 09:41 PM
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Subject: ADD: A New Song on the Rise of Porter
From: Fergie
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 06:35 PM

Hi all
At Christmas time I was browsing the internet and I came across a site on which there was lyrics for a "A New Song on the Rise of Porter".
I transcribed the lyrics and the details of the site. I began to put an air to the words I found and as I fooled about with it I changed some of the words to make it more accessible. I also tried to date the song from some of the details mentioned and by my reckoning it was written circa 1880.
Eventually when I was happy with my version I began singing it in the Goilin Club in Dublin and it was received well. Now my problem is this, in January I spilled a glass of wine over my laptop and I destroyed the drive and also the address of the site where I had found the original lyrics.
Well I have scoured the internet in every way I know and I cannot find the site where I found the song in the first place. I want to find it again so I can ascribe a source to the song.
So that is where my Mudcat pals come in, can you please help me find that site. Below is the version of the song that I sing.
Oh and by the way the song has become topical because Diageo have in the past week increased the price of Guinness by 30 cents per quart (15c a pint)

Fergus

A NEW SONG ON THE RISE OF PORTER

Oh! What is the world a-coming to boys?
There's strange things every day,
It's hard to know what we will do,
If things go on this way,
If Arthur Guinness gets his way boys,
'Tis very hard to think,
That fippence we must pay, me boys,
For every quart we drink.

Now what do you think of the beer boys,
What do you think of the beer?
Fippence a quart is breaking me heart,
And everything so bloody dear.

Now I hear that Guinness's porter,
His XX and stout,
Is going to be boycotted,
Without any manner of doubt,
When it comes to the end of the quarter,
He'll find he's taken short,
For we'll all drink Darcy's Porter,
The man that won't extort.

Now what do you think of the beer boys,
What do you think of the beer?
Fippence a quart is breaking me heart,
And everything so dear.


Now the peelers they may walk the streets,
From early dawn till late,
Before they meet a drunken man,
To cross them on their bate,
There won't be so many prisoners
Each morning fined ten bob
No black eyes nor bloody noses,
No split heads nor broken gobs,

Now what do you think of the beer boys,
What do you think of the beer?
Fippence a quart is breaking me heart,
And everything so dear.


Now there's Billy Snipes the tailor
And his wife auld drunken Bette,
Went into Byrnes the corner shop,
Two pewters for to get,
When he heard the porter it was riz,
He unto her did say,
By every feather upon me goose,
Fivepence I'll never pay.

Now what do you think of the beer boys,
What do you think of the beer?
Fippence a quart is breaking me heart,
And everything so dear.

Now all the grocer's curates sure
Their brains is nearly cracked,
As for the want of business
They think they'll all be sacked,
When the price ofporter rises
Those unfortunate spalpeens,
Must join the hungry army,
Or else the horse marines.

Now what do you think of the beer boys,
What do you think of the beer?
Fippence a quart is breaking me heart,
And everything so dear.


Now the wimminns they is really
Going mad both one and all,
They cannot get a small pint,
from master John at all
They say instead of porter,
They'll drink cordial now for spite
Or join with the teetotallers,
And I think they're bloody right.

Now what do you think of the beer boys,
What do you think of the beer?
Fippence a quart is breaking me heart,
And everything so dear.


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Subject: Tune Add: MAGGIE'S TOCHER
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 06:51 PM

Looks to me like it needs a 9/8 tune like "Fy let us a' to the bridal" (which, at least in Scotland, was often used for satirical songs like that).

This is another tune that was used in Scotland for songs about hard times and being skint. This version is rather elaborately instrumental, but strip out some of the twiddles and it'll fit your words perfectly (start with the chorus). I presume there's an Irish version of it.

X:1
T:Maggie's Tocher
Z:Jack Campin: "Embro, Embro", transcription (c) 2001
F:17riot/abc/TocherOC.abc
S:Orpheus Caledonius I xxix
M:9/8
L:1/8
Q:3/8=92
K:G Dorian
A|(BA)B (cB)A (BA)G |(^FG)A A2G   FED| BAB (cB)c d2d |DGG G2A BAG    |
   F2f (fg)f (f_e)d| c2B (AB)G ^F2D| D2g g2a (ba)g|d2g g2a b2(a/g/)|
   f2f   fgf (f_e)d| c2B (AB)G ^FED|(BA)B cBc d2d |DGG G2A BAG    |]


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Subject: RE: A New Song on the Rise of Porter
From: michaelr
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 07:23 PM

I love this song! There's a new "Irish" pub-in-a-box here, and they charge $6 for a pint of the black stuff... tis a crime, tis.

Slainte,
Michael


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Subject: RE: A New Song on the Rise of Porter
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 07:41 PM

I searched several sites which I have used in the past with absolutely no hits.
Any idea about the timeframe when Guiness was Fivepence a pint.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: A New Song on the Rise of Porter
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 09:48 PM

I can't tell you where you found your text, but a broadside facsimile can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

A new song on the rise of porter

Printer and date are unknown. Your text shows signs of oral processing: 'fippence' for 'fivepence', the substitution of 'me' for 'my' (typically a modern affectation, not much used in C19 songsheets except in parody) and so on. Presumably you remember something about the context in which you found the words? Were they a transcription from a print source, or from somebody's singing?


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Subject: RE: A New Song on the Rise of Porter
From: Fergie
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 10:07 PM

Porter was fippence a quart following the Napoleonic Wars but prices reduces after that period. I emailed Diageo to enquire about the history of the "price of porter" and I received the following reply:

Dear Mr.Russell, Thank you for your recent email. The Guinness Archive does not hold full pricing details for all the Guinness variants over the years. However, a quart was the equivalent of 2 pints. The earliest pricing information we hold by year is April 1900 3d (old pence) per pint. This would suggest that the song pre-dates 1900. I hope this is of use to you.         Kind regards, Stephanie Driscoll, Consumer Relations.

On the basis of this reply I researched further to discover that Darcy's Porter was sold in Dublin circa 1870 - 1890. The best clue is the word boycott, because this word was coined and entered the Enlish language in 1881, so I presume that the song was written
between 1881 and 1890.

Fergus


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Subject: RE: A New Song on the Rise of Porter
From: Fergie
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 10:44 PM

Thanks Malcolm, that's very near to the one I found. I transcribed it from a printed source that I found on the net. The version I posted is not exactly as I originally transcribed but is what I ended up with as I experimented and tried different tunes. I would have substituted 'me' for 'my' because I sing it in a Dublin accent and I used the "idioms" used in my native accent. You are a bit of a treasure here on Mudcat because you always seem able to enlighten me and to be so very helpful. Thank you

Fergus


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Subject: Lyr Add: A NEW SONG ON THE RISE OF PORTER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 09:41 PM

Here's the original, from the Bodleian collection, Harding B 26(577):


A NEW SONG ON THE RISE OF PORTER

1. What is this world come to, boys?
There's strange things every day.
It's hard to know what they will do,
If they're let go on this way.
If Guinness goes on this way, boys,
'Tis very hard to think
That fivepence we must pay, boys,
For every quart we drink.

CHORUS: Now what do you think of the beer, boys?
What do you think of the beer?
Fivepence a quart is rather tart,
And everything so dear.

2. Now I hear that Guinness's porter,
His XX and stout,
Is going to be boycotted,
Without any manner of doubt.
When it comes to the end of the quarter,
He'll find he's taken short,
For we'll all drink Darcy's porter,
The man that won't extort.

3. Now the policemen may walk the streets
From early dawn till late
Before they meet a drunken man
To cross them on their bate.
There won't be so many prisoners
Every morning fined ten bob,
No black eyes nor bloody noses,
No split heads nor broken gobs.

4. Now there's Billy Snipes the tailor
And his wife old drunken bet,
Went into B——s the corner shop,
Two pewters for to get.
When he heard the porter it was raised,
He unto her did say,
"By every feather upon my goose,
Fivepence I'll never pay."

5. Now all the grocer's curates sure
Their brains is nearly cracked,
As through the want of business
They know they'll all be sacked,
For when the porter rises
Those unfortunate spalpeens,
They must join the hungry army,
Or else the horse marines.

6. Now the women they are really
Going mad both one and all,
As they cannot get a small pint now
From master John at all.
They say instead of porter,
They'll drink tea now for spite
Or go and join the teetotalers,
And I think they are but right.


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