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Origins: Man of Double Deed

DigiTrad:
SANDIE TOY


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Man of Double Deed (2)


Ian HP 29 May 99 - 12:27 PM
Alice 29 May 99 - 02:21 PM
Ian HP 29 May 99 - 06:37 PM
svenne 30 May 99 - 10:07 AM
Ian HP 30 May 99 - 11:15 AM
Susanne (skw) 30 May 99 - 06:05 PM
Alice 31 May 99 - 12:40 AM
Ian HP 31 May 99 - 02:57 PM
Susan of DT 31 May 99 - 05:20 PM
Lil Dog Turpy 26 Oct 04 - 02:23 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 26 Oct 04 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,Seaking 27 Oct 04 - 01:54 AM
GUEST 27 Oct 04 - 02:48 AM
GUEST,jennifer 27 Oct 04 - 02:56 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Oct 04 - 03:21 AM
GUEST,Marco 17 Mar 06 - 12:02 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Mar 06 - 06:19 PM
stallion 18 Mar 06 - 02:55 AM
stallion 18 Mar 06 - 05:28 AM
GUEST 31 Jul 06 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Douglas (at large) 31 Jul 06 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 31 Jul 06 - 08:32 PM
Hamish 02 Nov 06 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Cashane 30 Oct 10 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Grishka 30 Oct 10 - 02:25 PM
Bill D 30 Oct 10 - 03:28 PM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 10 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,David 18 Mar 18 - 05:19 PM
Mrrzy 19 Mar 18 - 09:29 AM
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Subject: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: Ian HP
Date: 29 May 99 - 12:27 PM

I am looking for the words of the trad. song The Man of Double Deed. I have a recording but can't make out all the words, especially in the refrain. Ta.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A MAN OF DOUBLE DEED
From: Alice
Date: 29 May 99 - 02:21 PM

I posted the lyrics on an earlier thread, called Dark Irish Kid Tunes.

Here is another one the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem recorded (as well as Weela Wallia).

The comment in their songbook: "A beautiful mystic poem created by children to frighten themselves."
------

A MAN OF DOUBLE DEED

There was a man of double deed
Who sowed his garden full of seed,
When the seed began to grow,
'Twas like a garden full of snow.
When the snow began to fall,
Like birds it was upon a wall,
When the birds began to fly,
'Twas like a shipwreck in the sky.
When the sky began to crack,
'Twas like a stick upon my back.
When my back began to smart,
'Twas like a pen knife in my heart.
And when my heart began to bleed,
Then I was dead, and dead indeed.

alice in montana
^^


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MAN OF DOUBLE DEED
From: Ian HP
Date: 29 May 99 - 06:37 PM

Thanks, Alice. The words I have are slightly different. I wonder if anyone can fill in the gaps, especially the two refrain lines?

THE MAN OF DOUBLE DEED

1. There was a man of Double Deed / refrain: Hey ho in green O / And he sowed his garden full of seed / refrain: The man [of dreams again?] O
2. When the seed began to grow / It was like a garden full of snow
3. When the snow began to melt / It was like a [shoe?] without a [?]
4. When the [shoe?] began to sail / It was like a bird without a tail
5. When the bird began to fly / It was like an eagle in the sky
6. When the sky began to [lower?] / It was like a [lion?] at my door
7. And when the door began to crack / It was like a stick across my back
8. When my back began to smart / It was like an arrow through my heart
9. When my heart began to bleed / I was like the man of Double Deed


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Subject: Tune North Americay
From: svenne
Date: 30 May 99 - 10:07 AM

I'looking for the lyrics to the tune "North Americay" as recorded by the Chieftains on the album An Irish Evening. Anybody who knows the lyrics please e mail me ulf.svensson@mbox344.swipnet.se

Regards Ulf Svensson Sweden


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Subject: RE: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: Ian HP
Date: 30 May 99 - 11:15 AM

Svenne, you should really start a new thread - no one will have their attention drawn to what you're looking for by looking at the title of my thread. Any clues on the bits of Double Deed I can't get, anyone?


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Subject: RE: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 30 May 99 - 06:05 PM

Alice - which Clancy album do your words above come from? I have the song on a compilation album but would be grateful for the info. - Thanks, Susanne


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Subject: RE: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: Alice
Date: 31 May 99 - 12:40 AM

Susanne, I got the lyrics out of their songbook ©1979 called The Irish Songbook 75 Songs. I also have a much older one, smaller, printed in the 60's. The big songbook lists two albums they recorded with this song "The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem", and "Clancy Children".


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Subject: RE: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: Ian HP
Date: 31 May 99 - 02:57 PM

I would LOVE to do this song. Does anyone know the missing bits? Pretty please?


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Subject: RE: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: Susan of DT
Date: 31 May 99 - 05:20 PM

Ian and Alice - The words were there under the title Sandy Toy. I searched for [double deed] and found them. No help on the variant, tho.


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Subject: RE: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: Lil Dog Turpy
Date: 26 Oct 04 - 02:23 PM

Rather an old thread this but ....

The version I have, sung by Chris Woods accompanied by Andy Cutting, has a refrain that sounds more like

...
Hey, Ho and Green Oh
...
Man of Greens and Yellow


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Subject: RE: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 26 Oct 04 - 08:52 PM

My Mother's version begins,
A man of words and not of deeds,
Is like a gardenful of seeds...


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Subject: RE: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: GUEST,Seaking
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 01:54 AM

'Man of Double Deed' is on the 'Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem Live at Carnegie Hall' Album.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MAN OF DOUBLE DEED
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 02:48 AM

Lyrics as I hear them sung by Coope Boyes and Simpson on their 24/7 album, attr trad/Wood

THE MAN OF DOUBLE DEED

1. There was a man of Double Deed / refrain: Hey ho in green O
Who sowed his garden full of seed / refrain: The man (silly as it sounds I think this is "the man who greens again Oh" or is it dreams)
2. When the seed began to grow / It was like a garden full of snow
3. When the snow began to melt / It was like a shoe without a welt
4. When the shoe began to sail / It was like a bird without a tail
5. When the bird began to fly / It was like an eagle in the sky
6. When the sky began to lower / It was like a liar at my door
7. When my door began to crack / It was like a stick across my back
8. When my back began to smart / It was like an arrow through my heart
9. When my heart began to bleed / I was like the man of Double Deed
who sowed his garden full of seed
and sat around and smoked the weed
the man who (??)

Jennifer


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Subject: RE: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: GUEST,jennifer
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 02:56 AM

And the sleeve notes to the CBS album add "Chris Wood who adapted this version of Man of Double Deed from a traditional text in I walk by night, Lilias Rider Haggard's book about the King of the Norfolk Poachers."


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Subject: RE: MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 03:21 AM

Roud 2103. See Opie, Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes no. 322 for reference to an example of 1784 (Gammer Gurton's Garland), beginning

A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds

... which couplet was known proverbially at least as early as 1659 (and see Kytrad's post above).

DT: SANDIE TOY

The Clanceys probably recorded an arrangement of a Scottish set (see DT above); the song/rhyme was equally known in England, and Roud also lists American examples.


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Subject: Lyr Req: Man of Double Deed
From: GUEST,Marco
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 12:02 PM

I have a recording of Chris Wood singing the Man of Double Deed. I can't quite make out all the lyrics. Does anyone know of this song and/or its background please?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man of Double Deed
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 06:19 PM

A job for the onsite search engine (see link at the top of every page).

MAN OF DOUBLE DEED - words please   includes some background information, plus source of Chris Wood's text and a partial transcription of it from a Coope Boyes & Simpson recording.

Sandie Toy   DT file: three Scottish texts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man of Double Deed
From: stallion
Date: 18 Mar 06 - 02:55 AM

The Oxford Book of Light Verse (Edited by W H Auden) has a version " A Man of Words not Deeds", it has some variations in it that I haven't heard and I think returning to a source closer to the original text freshens them up a bit. reworks of reworks of reworks makes a song a bit tired. The first reference I know to the "man of double deeds" title is the version that Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers recorded in the sixties, it may well be that " A Man of Words not Deeds" may be a lot earlier.
regards
Peter


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Subject: Lyr Add: A MAN OF WORDS AND NOT OF DEEDS
From: stallion
Date: 18 Mar 06 - 05:28 AM

A Man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds
And when the weeds begin to grow
Its like a garden full of snow
And when the snow begins to fall
Its like a bird upon the wall
And when the bird away does fly
Its like an eagle in the sky
And when the sky begins to roar
Its like a lion at the door
and when the door begins to crack
Its like a stick across your back
and when your back begins to smart
Its like a penknife in your heart
and when your heart begins to bleed
You're dead and dead and dead indeed

Anon. Gammer Garton's Garland c. 1783


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Subject: ADD: Man of Double Deed (Clancy Brothers)
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 07:59 AM

THE MAN OF DOUBLE DEED

There was a man, a man indeed
who sowed his garden full of seed
when the seed begin to grow
it was like a garden full of snow
when the snow began to melt
it was like a ship without a belt
when the ship began to sail
it was like a bird without a tail
when the bird begin fly
it was like a needle in the sky
when the sky began to roar
it was like a madman at my door
when my door began to crack
it was like a stick upon my back
when my back began to smart
it was like a penknife in my heart
when my heart began to bleed
it was time for me to die indeed


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man of Double Deed (Clancy Brothers)
From: GUEST,Malcolm Douglas (at large)
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 08:05 PM

That would be from where?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man of Double Deed (Clancy Brothers)
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 08:32 PM

B. Franklin retorted: A man of deeds and not of words Is like a garden full of ---.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: The second mouse gets the cheese. :||


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man of Double Deed (Clancy Brothers)
From: Hamish
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 02:15 PM

So, a search on the Mudcat archive having failed me, I e-mailed Chris who says:

" 'Hey Ho in green oh..
The man of green's again oh.'

It's all about the apostrophe.

Good luck,

PS. I wrote the refrains so as to fit the tune. They are not trad or
anon."

So there you have it. And so do I ~8^)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man of Double Deed (Clancy Brothers)
From: GUEST,Cashane
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 12:49 PM

I don't know the song from the Clancy Brothers, but here is the original text of the poem (anonymous author) :

THE MAN OF DOUBLE DEED

There was a man of double deed
Who sowed his garden full of seed
When the seed began to grow
'Twas like a garden full of snow
When the snow began to melt
'Twas like a ship without a belt
When the ship began to sail
'Twas like a bird without a tail
When the bird began to fly
'Twas like an eagle in the sky
When the sky began to roar
'Twas like a lion at my door
When my door began to crack
'Twas like a stick across my back
When my back began to smart
'Twas like a penknife in my heart
And when my heart began to bleed
'Twas death and death and death indeed.

The version posted by Alice is an alternate version of it (they're both sung as a song for children).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man of Double Deed (Clancy Brothers)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 02:25 PM

If you know any oboist, you may find the following version more adequate:

There was a man of double reed
Who sowed his garden full of seed ...

Oboists often have hallucinations due to the high pressure in their lungs. The seed is of course Arundo donax cane. The penknife is used to carve the reed. In the end the man despairs when not a single piece of the whole harvest produces a satisfactory sound.

Other experts will find allusions to sex or drugs or ethnic conflicts in the text, that's always a good bet.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man of Double Deed (Clancy Brothers)
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 03:28 PM

Just as an aside, it was also used as title of a science-fiction novel by Leonard Daventry


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Subject: ADD: A Man of Words and Not Deeds (recitation)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 03:34 PM

Here's a Clancy Family recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQOdlZxE69I

A Google Search for "Man of double deed". brings up a lot of spooky stuff, just right for Halloween.
I'm wondering who has recorded versions of this song that have a chorus or refrain.

I see lyrics posted above from the Twenty-Four Seven album from Coope, Boyes, and Simpson - but I haven't found a good source for that album here.



Mudcatter Monique and works with her friend Lisa on Mama Lisa's World which has this poem:
    A MAN OF WORDS AND NOT DEEDS

    A man of words and not of deeds
    Is like a garden full of weeds
    And when the weeds begin to grow
    It's like a garden full of snow
    And when the snow begins to fall
    It's like a bird upon the wall
    And when the bird away does fly
    It's like an eagle in the sky
    And when the sky begins to roar
    It's like a lion at the door
    And when the door begins to crack
    It's like a stick across your back
    And when your back begins to smart
    It's like a penknife in your heart
    And when your heart begins to bleed
    You're dead, and dead, and dead indeed.

    This rhyme can be found in A History of Nursery Rhymes (1899) by Percy B. Green. Green wrote about this rhyme, "In a copy of rhyming proverbs in the British Museum, written about the year 1680, occurs the following Puritan satire on Charles II.'s changeability"...
    Charles II ruled from 1660 until 1685, during a time known as the Restoration (after the Puritans ruled England under Cromwell). At the beginning of his reign Charles promised religious Dissenters freedom of conscience. But later he began to persecute them. His words did not translate into deeds.

-Joe-



Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

There Was a Man of Double Deed

DESCRIPTION: "There was a man of double deed Sowed his garden full of seed" (or) "A man of words and not of deeds Is like a garden full of weeds." After many similes, the rhyme may well end, "When my (heart/back) began to bleed, Twas death and death and death indeed"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1784 (Gammer Gurton's Garland), with a high probability that it is at least related to much older materials
KEYWORDS: playparty farming
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond),Scotland(Aber,High)) US Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Opie-Oxford2 322, "There Was a Man of Double Deed" (1 text)
Opie-Game, pp. 442-443, ("San-tee-ti, San-tee-ti") (1 text)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #75, p. 81, "(A man of words and not of deeds)"
DT, SANDYTOY
ADDITIONAL: James Orchard Halliwell, The Nursery Rhymes of England (London, 1842), #166 pp. 100-101, ("A man of words and not of deeds") (1 text)
James Orchard Halliwell, "Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales" (London, 1849 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 17-18, ("Double Dee Double Day, Set a garden full of seeds") (1 text)
Robert Craig Maclagan, The Games and Diversions of Argyleshire (London, 1901 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 131, "Sandie Toy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Edward W.B. Nicholson, editor, Golspie: Contributions to its Folklore (London, 1897 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 190-192, "There Was a Man" (2 texts, including Halliwell's 1849 text)
Helen Creighton, _A Folk Tale Journey through the Maritimes_, edited by Michael Taft and Ronald Caplan, Breton Books, 1993, p. 48, "There Was a Man Who Had a Double Deed" (1 text)

Roud #2103
NOTES [522 words]: The form of the song is a couplet chain. Each couplet except the first is a simile: the first line "'twas like" the second line. Either the noun following "like" or the noun object of the following prepositional phrase becomes the subject of the next simile. For example "...'Twas like a *ship* without a belt. When the *ship* began to sail ..." or ... "'Twas like a *bird* without a tail. When the *bird* began to fly ...." The chain makes no sense -- is a rigmarole -- and may end "'Twas like a stick upon my back," or may go further until the singer's heart begins to bleed; then, it may be time for him to die indeed, or the chain may continue until ..." the oil began to settle, Like our Geordie's bloody battle." Halliwell finds the text of "A man of words and not of deeds" in a 1659 collection and says -- for the version ending "Geordies bloody battle," which is the text he quotes -- it was converted in the 18th century "into a burlesque song on the battle of Culloden."
The Opie and Nicholson texts seem derived, primarily by omitting couplets, from Halliwell's 1849 text. Halliwell 1849: "The earliest copy of the saying, 'A man of words and not of deeds,' I have hitherto met with, occurs in MS. Harl. 1927, of the time of James I. Another version, written towards the close of the seventeenth century, but unfitted for publication, is preserved on the last leaf of MS. Harl. 6580." - BS
This is a complex puzzle. The Opies call it a "rhyme of strange fascination," with which I agree; it is very hard to get out of the head once one thinks of it. The Baring-Goulds call it a ball-bouncing song. Roud lists many versions under titles such as "Sandy Toy" and "The Other Side of Jordan"; I am far from convinced these are in fact all the same. And while many collected versions have tunes, the "Double Deed" versions all seem to lack them.
But what does it mean? The Opies mention many parallels with topical significance, but they are all clearly rewrites. There is a certain thematic similarity in the "A man of words and not of deeds" to the New Testament book of James, which declares (2:17) that "faith... if it has no works, is dead" and also says (3:6) that "the tongue is a fire," inflaming controversy. Yet there is no hint that the poem is quoting the Bible.
It is interesting to note that, in the reign of King Edward IV, a bit of propaganda (perhaps in ballad form?) called England "a garden full of weeds," according to the description in Charles Ross, Edward IV, 1974 (I use the 1997 paperback edition in the Yale English Monarch series with a new introduction by R. A. Griffiths), p. 300. If this is so, then the man of words and not of deeds is presumably the inept Lancastrian King Henry VI, whose government lost all English territories in France and went bankrupt along the way. On the other hand, Henry VI was overthrown in 1461, and eventually killed and his dynasty ended in 1471. That is obviously long before the first collection of the rhyme. There is no reason, other than the similarity of words and Henry VI's general ineptness, to link the poem with the events of the Wars of the Roses. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: OO20322

Go to the Ballad Search form
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Man of Double Deed (Clancy Brothers, et al.)
From: GUEST,David
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 05:19 PM

My father (born in 1904) always quoted the poem with the line,
"'Twas like a needle in the sky, not "an eagle".


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Subject: RE: ADD: Man of Double Deed (Clancy Brothers, et al.)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 09:29 AM

The Clancy version is on the Carnegie Hall album, hidden within the Children's Games.


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