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Nonsense songs to dance tunes

Ian 27 May 99 - 08:44 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 27 May 99 - 10:17 AM
Bert 27 May 99 - 10:26 AM
Jon W. 27 May 99 - 10:35 AM
Tom May 27 May 99 - 01:10 PM
musicman 27 May 99 - 01:42 PM
Frank Maher 27 May 99 - 09:24 PM
alison 27 May 99 - 10:47 PM
Philippa 28 May 99 - 08:50 AM
Cuilionn 28 May 99 - 09:51 AM
Ewan McVicar 29 May 99 - 05:50 AM
Ewan McVicar 29 May 99 - 06:07 AM
Penny S. 29 May 99 - 06:24 PM
30 May 99 - 05:55 AM
Philippa 30 May 99 - 12:10 PM
John in Brisbane 30 May 99 - 07:32 PM
Ian 02 Jun 99 - 07:32 AM
Philippa 02 Jun 99 - 01:55 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 02 Jun 99 - 11:11 PM
Ian 07 Jun 99 - 08:33 AM
Barry Finn 08 Jun 99 - 11:35 PM
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Subject: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Ian
Date: 27 May 99 - 08:44 AM

Does anyone know any of the "nonsense songs" which people used to sing when they were dancing to well known dance tunes. They often seem to have given the tune its name. My mother used to sing "Chase me Charlie, Chase me Charlie / Lost the leg of my drawers" to "Cock of the North" (locally called "Chase me Charlie") and my in-laws used to use "Auntie Mary had a Canary / Up the leg ...".

I know one or two more but not very well. Might start a small project on these if I get enough info.

Thanks Ian


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 27 May 99 - 10:17 AM

I've heard several variations to 'Oh dear mother what a fool I've been' which are found in the Shepherd's Hay - probably not quite what you meant. Any Morrismen out there?


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Bert
Date: 27 May 99 - 10:26 AM

and the next line went...

Chase me Charlie, Chase me Charlie /please will you lend me yours


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Jon W.
Date: 27 May 99 - 10:35 AM

There's WEEVILY WHEAT in the DT, tune and all.

Some would argue (and I wouldn't disagree) that most of the words that cite "Charlie" are remnants of Jacobite lyrics referring to Bonny Prince Charlie. I saw a show on PBS several weeks ago where a lady was teaching a group of girls the Weevily Wheat dance. She also interviewed Jean Ritchie and had her play and sing the song. One or the other of them mentioned that it went back to those times.


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Tom May
Date: 27 May 99 - 01:10 PM

I heard another version for "Cock o' the North"

"My Auntie Mary, had a canary "It whistled Cock o' the North, "It whistled for hours and frightened the Boers "And won the Victoria Cross".

No prizes for guesing the vintage of that one.

Regards

Tom


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: musicman
Date: 27 May 99 - 01:42 PM

there's the fiddle tune "redwing" which has words for the song, but also there is a set of words featuring 'Charlie Chaplin'. I think those are in the DT.

Couple of Irish tunes as well:

"Love will you Marry me" "The Frost is all Over" "Cunla"


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Frank Maher
Date: 27 May 99 - 09:24 PM

The one I know is.. Auntie Mary had a Canary up the Leg of Her Drawers, While She was Sleepin' I was Peepin' up the Leg of Her Drawers.....


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: alison
Date: 27 May 99 - 10:47 PM

Another one for "Cock of the North"

Fill the oval, Fill the oval, shout come one the Glens
Fill the oval, Fill the oval, shout come one the Glens

Glentoran (the Glens) being one of the Belfast football teams, The oval being their home ground.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Philippa
Date: 28 May 99 - 08:50 AM

Soldier's Joy -I am my mother's darkling pet(3x)/I won't get married for a long while yet

I am my mother's darling boy(3x)/singing that Soldier's Joy

mrs McLeod's - Did you ever go to meeting uncle Joe, uncle Joe(3x)Don't mind the weather when the wind don't blow

Scots English lyrics [NOT translation] to Gaelic puirt a' beul "Brochan Lom": Oh the broon coo's gotten oot and eaten a' the corn(3x) What it eats the day, it cannae eat the morn

Oh, a-tower the bed, a-tower the bed, and up against the wa'
He couldna dae it, couldna dae it, couldna dae it at a'
He tried it on the sofae and the tried it on the chair
the only place that he could dae it was lying on flair

not so nonsensical:Old Zip Coon, Daniel O'Connell (making babies by steam, Rollicksome Boys of Tandragee, I am a Little Beggarman, a pioneer song to 'the Irish washerwoman', sample verse: Oh how happy I am when I crawl into bed and the rattlesnake rattles his tail round my head
and the dear little bedbug with tacks on his toes
Plays why don't you catch me wherever he goes

Oh hurrah for Lane County, the land of the free
the home of the bedbug, the louse and the flea
[?]Where the sun is so hot that if in it you remain
'twill burn you quite crisp on your government claim

and let me know if you want clickable links to some such songs in Gaelic...


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Cuilionn
Date: 28 May 99 - 09:51 AM

Philippa--

Th' Scots lyrics tae Brochan Lom are pure deid brilliant! What a way tae stairt th' day...laughin' sae haird I nearly chokit on ma breakfast. Are there ither Scots "renditions" o' Gaelic puirt-a-beul sangs aroond? I'd love tae hae some for singin' tae th' stuffit shirts at th' A'-Gaelic ceilidhs back hame. I can jist imagine th' luik on their faces when I say, "och, I've been studyin' th' puirt SAE haird...I can sing ye ane I jist lairnit special..."

anxiously awaitin' more...

--Cuilionn


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 29 May 99 - 05:50 AM

Having just recently done a bunch of research work on Scots kids' song I have a bundle of such lyrics.
Look out next year for Volume 8 of the Greig Duncan Collection which has 20 or 30 of them. Many many more in the School of Scottish Studies archives.
Plus new ones are made all the time, by kids and adults - often as ways of rememebring fiddle / pipe tunes you are teaching or learning, and more often by applying a verse you like to a tune you like.
E. g. a family group came up to me one time, people from Kingussie, and sang me thir family song, to the tune of Brochan Lom
Jock White, Jock White, far'd ye get the bairn x3
Ah got it fae a tinkie wifie comin fae the Nairn
I've found versions of this to other tunes and linked to other placenames.
Ian, Bert and Frank - I'd be mightily grateful if you can tell me, either here or direct to me at [EwanMcVicar@compuserve.com]where (country / town) and when (year/decade) you heard your versions of Charlie / Aunty Mary. My PhD thesis title is Aunty Mary Had A Canary. I have some 40 variants, split into 7 or 8 families, going back to Barnum and Bailey had a canary, plus Piper Findlater (who won his VC for fearlessly playing -perhaps - The Cock of The North at the Battle of Dargai) and Sister Mary of the Boer War. I've had no previous clues as to how the drawers came in, till Ian's and Bert's lines. Tell me more, please!
Another element that now occurs to me is
Chase me Charlie, chase me Charlie, over the garden wall
which I think of as an English 'music hall' song, but which now clearly is related to Auntie Mary in some manner.


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 29 May 99 - 06:07 AM

Phillipa
I should also have added the following for Brochan Lom.

From Dingwall in the 1940s,

Oh, the black bull's broken oot and buggerit aa the kye x3 He och oh och ee och oh och ee och oh och aye

From I think Greig Duncan, so Aberdeenshire turn of the century :
The black bull's broken oot an eaten aa the corn
Ah canny wait till Saturday, so I'll away the morn

From my own making for a song project in Paisley
Broken lum, tummled lum, broken lum in New Street x4
Broken, tummled, tummled, tummmled, broken lum in New St etc

From a TV documentary some 8 years ago on music in the North of Scotland
Broken down, broken down, broken down in Beauly x3
Tow me back, tow me back, tow me back to Dingwall

Jon W.
The notion that all or most references to Charlie in song are about BPC is a pleasant romantic notion. For example, his lack of ability in hoeing corn is omitted by most of the accounts of the '45 Rising, is it not? We are of course on surer ground when we contemplate him looking up the legs of drawers.


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Penny S.
Date: 29 May 99 - 06:24 PM

One that sticks in my head, probably from the Opies, probably from Liverpool, but only in a fragment, is :

Oh, them golden kippers, O them golden kippers,

And I wish I could remember some more.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From:
Date: 30 May 99 - 05:55 AM

My younger son came home from school with a vaersion of 'The Rattlin Bog', which goes something like There's a flea on the bird, and the bird on the egg, egg on the nest ...twig, limb, branch, tree, way down in the rattlin bog. That's the extent of my knowledge, but it rang a tiny bell when I heard his incomplete version. Couldn't find it in the DT.

Regards
John


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Philippa
Date: 30 May 99 - 12:10 PM

John, although i know the song, I thought it would be easier to refer to the database than to type it out. Rattlin won't find it for you, but Rattlin' will; anyway I did a search under 'bog'. THE RATTLIN' BOG


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 30 May 99 - 07:32 PM

Thanks Philippa - I am very pleased to have the complete set of lyrics, but I might remove a few references (such as eye and gleam) in order to get the rendition time down to 10 minutes.

Regards
John


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Ian
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 07:32 AM

Thanks

There seem to be quite a lot of "Cock of the North" variants.

In Cambridgeshire, they sing "Shave the donkey" to one part of "The Triumph" and this tune (either with a second part or another tune) is often called "Shave the donkey". Anybody know more words? or any other words to parts of "Triumph"?


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Philippa
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 01:55 PM

see also the Rakes of Mallow


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 11:11 PM

There are a lot of Scottish Gaelic, and I'm sure Irish Gaelic Puirt-a-beul, which literally means Tunes of the Mouth.

These are songs, some of them actually make sense too, which are used with tunes for dancing. It was thought some of them come from the time when Scottish music, in the form of fiddles, pipes, etc was banned by their English overlords. Thus songs like this were created.

Some of them are availeble at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Zone/6338/port_gae.html


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Ian
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 08:33 AM

Looking at one or two of the longer lists, I remembered that we used to sing

1-2-3-4-5-6-7 / All good children go to heaven / Penny on the water, twopence on the sea / And threepence on the roundabout, so round go we

when we danced the "Italian Schottische" (I only found out it was called this a few years ago). John Tether used to also sing "I want to be near you" to a quadrille on his radio dance lessons during the '60s, and I found that my dad also knew this. Anyone know any more about these?


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Subject: RE: Nonsense songs to dance tunes
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 11:35 PM

The Sailor's Hornpipe

"We'll have another drink fore the boat shoves off
We'll have another drink fore the boat shoves off
We'll go to Mother Racket's & we'll pawn our monkey jackets
And we'll have another drink fore the boat shoves off

Not really a nonsense song, matterof fact it makes great sense to me, can really relate, just a few things about it that doesn't make sense, just don't get why there's a dance by the same name that's danced to this song & why the song's so short when the dance's so long & for for such a nice song & dance routine, don't even need an instrument just a hoof & a mouth. Barry


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