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Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa

DigiTrad:
THE GALLANT FORTY TWA
THE STOUTEST MAN IN THE FORTY TWA
WHA SAW THE COTTON SPINNERS


Related threads:
Req:More lyrics to 'Stoutest man in the Forty-Twa (3) (closed)
Lyr Req: The Gallant Forty-Twa (21)
Lyr Req: Wha Hae the Forty-Twa (6)
Lyr Req: The Stoutest Cheil o' the Forty Twa (5)


Peter Cash 01 Jun 99 - 12:46 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Jun 99 - 12:54 PM
Bert 01 Jun 99 - 01:36 PM
Jon W. 02 Jun 99 - 11:36 AM
John Moulden 03 Jun 99 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Bud Savoie 20 Feb 00 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Bud Savoie 21 Feb 00 - 09:08 AM
Jon W. 21 Feb 00 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Bud Savoie 21 Feb 00 - 03:33 PM
Timehiker 21 Feb 00 - 03:43 PM
Jon W. 21 Feb 00 - 04:49 PM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 03 - 03:42 AM
GUEST 20 Nov 03 - 07:49 AM
NH Dave 20 Nov 03 - 08:16 PM
Big Tim 21 Nov 03 - 10:04 AM
Jim McLean 21 Nov 03 - 02:04 PM
LadyJean 22 Nov 03 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 22 Nov 03 - 04:28 AM
Big Tim 22 Nov 03 - 10:35 AM
Jim McLean 22 Nov 03 - 11:07 AM
Big Tim 22 Nov 03 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,Jonty (Melbourne) 17 Dec 04 - 08:45 PM
Kenny B 17 Dec 04 - 09:19 PM
Big Tim 18 Dec 04 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Auldtimer 18 Dec 04 - 12:20 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Dec 04 - 12:34 PM
Big Tim 18 Dec 04 - 01:17 PM
Snuffy 19 Dec 04 - 10:36 AM
Big Tim 19 Dec 04 - 11:18 AM
NH Dave 19 Dec 04 - 06:11 PM
Scabby Douglas 19 Dec 04 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,T. Mac 14 Oct 08 - 09:33 AM
Jim McLean 14 Oct 08 - 10:12 AM
GUEST 06 Oct 12 - 11:35 PM
John MacKenzie 07 Oct 12 - 10:45 AM
GUEST 18 Feb 13 - 02:39 PM
robinia 11 Jun 17 - 04:37 PM
Joe Offer 12 Jun 17 - 12:22 AM
Joe Offer 12 Jun 17 - 01:08 AM
Joe Offer 12 Jun 17 - 02:25 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jun 17 - 01:40 AM
GUEST,Wee Jock 13 Jun 17 - 06:23 AM
Joe Offer 13 Jun 17 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,Chris Simmons 04 Jan 18 - 11:34 PM
Tattie Bogle 05 Jan 18 - 09:45 AM
Steve Gardham 05 Jan 18 - 03:13 PM
Tattie Bogle 05 Jan 18 - 04:49 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Jan 18 - 04:53 PM
Jim McLean 29 Jan 18 - 12:43 PM
Jon Bartlett 29 Jan 18 - 02:15 PM
Tattie Bogle 29 Jan 18 - 03:40 PM
Jim McLean 01 Feb 18 - 07:51 AM
Jim McLean 01 Feb 18 - 09:08 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Feb 18 - 11:02 AM
Jim McLean 01 Feb 18 - 12:02 PM
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Subject: Jock McGraw
From: Peter Cash
Date: 01 Jun 99 - 12:46 PM

Does anybody know of a commercially available recording of "Jock McGraw" ("The stootest man in the Forty-Twa")?


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Jun 99 - 12:54 PM

Don't have the details right now but I learned it from a Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor recording. Hope that's a start. If all else fails, I can tape me doing it and send it to you.
rick


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: Bert
Date: 01 Jun 99 - 01:36 PM

Is that the one that goes "My name is Jock McGraw and I dinna care a straw, for there's somethin' in the bottle for the morning" ??

Bert


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: Jon W.
Date: 02 Jun 99 - 11:36 AM

No, it's the one that goes "Behold I am a soldier bold, and only twenty five years old." The version I have is from a commercial tape called "25 Scottish Favorites" which I've never been able to find despite due dilligence (I copied it from a public library tape). The tape featured a lot of Ewan MacColl/Peggy Seeger and most of the other performers (particularly the singer of "Jock MacGraw") were amateurs or at least the recordings were quite primitive but still great stuff.


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: John Moulden
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 07:47 AM

Ossian Cassette OSS-62 "Heather and Glen" has the original singer of this song John Strachan. Available from me - "Ulstersongs"

This is probably the best comilation of 1950/60s recordings of Scottish Traditional singers.


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Subject: Jock MacGraw
From: GUEST,Bud Savoie
Date: 20 Feb 00 - 02:37 PM

Some months ago, soneone was trying to find a recording of "Jock MacGraw". I have an old recording of it somewhere, but I could never get the words quite straight. The chorus goes "The wind may blaw, the cock may craw, the rain may fa' and the snaw may snaw, But ye winna frechten Jock MacGraw, He's the stootest mon in the Forty-twa." Anyone have the lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jock MacGraw
From: GUEST,Bud Savoie
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 09:08 AM

Refresh. C'mon, now, you folks. I know ther are just zillions of Tcheltic music enthusiasts out there. Suppose I give you the first verse: "Behold, I am a sojer bold and only twenty-five years old. A braver warrier never was seen Frae Inverness tae Gretna Green."


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOCK MACGRAW
From: Jon W.
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 12:12 PM

One version in the DT is here.

The version I have heard differs but little:

Jock MacGraw

Behold, I am a soldier bold,
and only twenty five years old,
a braver warrior never was seen,
frae Inverness tae Gretna Green.

When I was young, my father said,
he would put me tae a decent trade,
but I did na' like the job at a',
so I went and joined the Forty-Twa.

Chorus:
The wind may blaw, the cock may craw,
the rain may rain and the snaw may snaw,
But you wid'na frighten Jock MacGraw,
he's the stoutest man in the Forty-Twa

The sergeant, when he 'listed me,
he winked his e'e and then says he:
A man like you sae stout and tall,
Can ne'er be killed by a cannonball

The captain then, when he cam round,
he looked me up and looked me down,
Then turning to the sergeant, "Why you scamp,
you've 'listed the bleachfield, out 'n' tramp."

Chorus

At our last fecht, across the sea,
the general, he sends after me,
When I get there, and my big gun,
Of course, the battle, it was won.

The enemy all run awa',
they were feared at the likes o' Jock MacGraw,
A man like me, sae tall and neat,
Ye ken yoursel' he could never be beat.

Chorus

The King then held a grand review,
we numbered a thousand and sixty two,
The Kilty lads come marchin' past,
and Jock MacGraw come marchin' last.

The royal party grab their sticks,
and a' began to stretch their necks,
Crys the king to the colonel, "Upon my soul,
I took that man for a telegraph pole."

Chorus

From "25 Scottish Favorites" (Cassette)
Singer unknown

The most obscure part of this is the line about the bleachfield. A bleachfield is a field where linen was laid out to bleach in the sun, therefore the line simply alludes to a large object.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jock MacGraw
From: GUEST,Bud Savoie
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 03:33 PM

Thanks, Jon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jock MacGraw
From: Timehiker
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 03:43 PM

Jon, The recording I have has the same lyrics. The version I've heard around campfires is a little different in one verse.

The officer, when he came 'round He looked me up then looked me down. Then said to the sergeant, well I guess, You've 'listed the beastie o' Loch Ness.

Take care, Timehiker


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jock MacGraw
From: Jon W.
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 04:49 PM

The Loch Ness lyric is the one in the DT and I suppose it would be a lot more intelligible to the modern audience.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FOU THE NOO (Harry Lauder)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 03:42 AM

Here's the song Bert mentioned. I found it here (click).
-Joe Offer-


- Fou the Noo



This song, written by Gerald Grafton and Sir Harry Lauder, is sub-titled "Something In The Bottle For The Morning". Like a number of Lauder songs, it contributes to the not inaccurate picture of the Scots as a hard-drinking race.

The words here have been sourced via a Web site dedicated to Sir Harry Lauder where you will find a a lot more of his songs and can order sheet music of Lauder songs.

Fou the Noo

I just come frae a weddin', or a fun'ral,
A christ'nin' or somethin' of the kind,
And the stuff that I've been drinkin' took my noodle,
And to what or where I've been I canna mind.
I feel as brave as any highway robber;
I've the courage of a dozen men the noo;
I'm a miserable devil when I'm sober
But I'm very, very happy when I'm fou!

Chorus
And I'm fou the noo! absolutely fou!
But I adore the country I was born in.
My name is Jock McGraw and I dinna care a straw
For I've somethin' in the bottle for the mornin'
And I'm fou the noo! Absolutely fou!
But I adore the country I was born in.
My name is Jock McGraw and I dinna care a straw
For I've somethin' in the bottle for the mornin'!

If ye take a Five Pound Note to light your pipe with;
If ye think a bassinette's a motor car;
If ye lift the doormat up to wipe your nose with,
If you're in your hoose and don't know where you are;
If you kiss a policeman and say "Hoo dearly,
My dearest darlin' pet hoo, I love you"
Well then that denotes conclusively and clearly.
That, like me, ma freen's, yer absolutely fou!

Chorus

I felt quite mad when coming roon the corner,
A lamp post struck me richt between the eyes!
Ma blood got up I wanted to be fighting,
Because the thing did not apologize.
Just after that I tumbled oe'r a doorstep,
"Thieves!" "Murder!" and "Police!" I cried,
But I'm goin' to make the owner compensate me,
For his negligence in leaving it outside.

Patter (spoken) Yes, but at the same time the burnin' question is , when is a man fou? Eh? Of course, the cheaper the whisky, the greater the burnin' question. The wife will swear whe I go home that I've been drinkin'. Would you notice I've been drinkin', eh? As I was comin' along the street th' noo, I met a half-cousin of the wife's : you "know one of these Dr. Dowie-chaps". Said he "John! I'm surprised at you. are you aware the wicked stand on slippery places?" "Well!" said I, "you should be just like me - keep slidin' along, and there's no fear of you" Said he, "You are not fit for any society!" Said I, "That's a lie. The wife has me in the Prudential." Ya see th' bird I've got in ma hand? (holding chicken up by the neck). D'ye know the way I got it? Ma hat blew off and I chased this for half-an-hour!

Chorus

Meaning of unusual words:
fou=drunk, tipsy
noodle=head
bassinette=a hooded wicker cradle or perambulator


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 07:49 AM

There's a fella named Alex Beaton does a fine job on Jock MacGraw on one of his albums. He does a lot of traditional Scot music.
AlexBeaton.com

O'Meara


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: NH Dave
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 08:16 PM

As I recall this was one of many songs sung on a multi-record set of Scottish music sold by the UK version of Reader's Digest. some years back. I suppose by now these sets are available on CDs rather than vinyl or cassettes. The songs may not have been 100% accurate or the definitive (?) version of the song, but there were 4-8 records in each set so they could cover a wide range of the specific type of music.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: Big Tim
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 10:04 AM

Rick Fielding is right: the song, "The Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa", was recorded by Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor in the 60s. I can recall some of it:

The wind may blaw, the cock may craw,
The rain may rain and the snaw may snaw,
But ye winnae frichten Jock McGraw,
The stoutest man in the Forty-Twa.

I have a feeling that Alistair McDonald may also have recorded the song.


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 02:04 PM

I produced and recorded an LP with McGregor and Hall (Highlands and Lowlands, Nevis 003)over 30 years ago and Jock Mcgraw was one of the titles. I also produced 5 LPs with Alastair McDonald but he didn't record Jock McGraw ... although maybe he has since!


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: LadyJean
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 12:46 AM

I had a record of Gaelic Waulking songs that included "Jock McGraw". But I don't remember the name.


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 04:28 AM

The John Strachan version is now available on his Rounder Portrait CD, Rounder 82161-1835-2.

For me the finest compilation of Scottish 1950s Scottish song is the Rounder CD number 1743, a reissue of 1951 Lomax recordings of Scots and Gaelic singers as the Scotland album of the World Library of Folk and Primitive Music. Stuffed with gems. I cannnot recall for sure [although I have been told] if this is the Heather and Glen material under the older title, or if Heather and Glen was a 'followup' -I think it is the latter.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GALLANT FORTY-TWA
From: Big Tim
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 10:35 AM

THE GALLANT FORTY-TWA (or, The Stoutest Man in the Forty Twa)

You may talk about your Lancers and your Irish Fusiliers,
Your Aberdeen Militia and the Dublin Volunteers,
Or any other regiment that's lyin far awa,
But give to me the tartan of the Gallant Forty-Twa.

Chorus
Strolling through the green fields on a summer's day,
Watching all the country girls working [or forking] at the hay,
I really was delighted till he stole my heart awa,
Then left for me the tartan of the Gallant Forty-Twa

Oh I never shall forget the day his regiment marched past,
The pipes they played a lively tune but my heart was aghast,
He turned around and smiled farewell and then from far awa,
He waved to me the tartan of the Gallant Forty-Twa

Once again I heard the music of the pibrochs [bagpipes] from afar,
The tramp, tramp, tramp of weary men returning from the war,
And as they nearer drew, I brushed a a tear awa,
As I spied my Hielan laddie o' the Gallant Forty-Twa.

This version is from "Songs of Belfast" edited by David Hammond, 1978. It differs a fair bit from the Hall/McGregor one. Hammond's note is "Hugh Quinn contributed verses 2 and 3. The first verse and chorus is a relic of Oiny Boak [yes], a travelling man with one song in his repertoire and only the clothes he stood in. A song is by no means the worst legacy, even if it's only one verse".


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: Jim McLean
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 11:07 AM

They are two different songs. The Stoutest Man in the Forty Twa, (you quoted a verse from it previously) is another title for Jock McGraw.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: Big Tim
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 02:26 PM

Jim, I just realised that after I posted. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: GUEST,Jonty (Melbourne)
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 08:45 PM

I've got the Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGregor Vinyl with the stoutest man in the Forty twa on it - Its called "Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGroger wuth The Galliards - Scottish Choice" its a yellow cover with the two of them playing guitar and singing on the front, if that helps anyone to find it - i imagine there'd still be a few copies of it floating around if it made its way to New Zealand where my mum bought it 30 odd years ago.


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Subject: RE: Jock McGraw
From: Kenny B
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 09:19 PM

Just for the record??? or should it be CD
The Stoutest Man in the Forty Twa has been recorded on CD by:-
Ian Bruce on the CD "Hodden Grey" and
Alex Beaton on the CD "Twenty Hits of Scotland"


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Subject: RE: lyr: Jock McGraw
From: Big Tim
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 11:39 AM

I have a recording by some old guy with a strong north east accent singing "Jock McGraw". Unfortunately, the CD, called, "Scottish Drinking and Pipe Songs", does not give the names of the singers. I suspect that this may be another form of the album referred to above by John Moulden. The only singer that I recognise on the album is Ewan MacColl, the others all seem to be non-professional singers. In addition to "Jock", titles include,

Johnny Lad (MacColl),
Johnny O' Braides-Lee,
He Widna Wint His Gruel,
My Rovin Eye,
Elfin Knight,
Aikendrum (MacColl),
Maid Gaed Tae the Mill (MacColl),
False Lover Won Back,
Never Wed An Old Man,
MacPherson's Lament.

It's an excellent compilation: can anyone identify the sings?


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Subject: RE: lyr: Jock McGraw
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 12:20 PM

I don't know this recording but the chances are that the singers include Jimmy McBeath, He Widna Wint His Gruel, Johnny O' Braides-Lee, Jock McGraw; Auld Davie Stewart (The Galloot),MacPherson's Lament, My Rovin Eye; John Strachan,False Lover Won Back, Elfin Knight. All great singers and well worth seeking their recordings.


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Subject: RE: lyr: Jock McGraw
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 12:34 PM

It appears to be a re-titled reissue of material from Tradition TLP 1015 (Classic Scots Ballads), mixed with material recorded by Alan Lomax.

What are the catalogue details? The references I find are to Legacy International (USA) and Bescol (UK): CD 346.

Ewan MacColl Discography


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Subject: RE: lyr: Jock McGraw
From: Big Tim
Date: 18 Dec 04 - 01:17 PM

The Galloot, I like it!

The CD is by Delta Music, Orpington, Kent, CD 6327: "Licensed from Bescol".


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Subject: RE: lyr: Jock McGraw
From: Snuffy
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 10:36 AM

"old guy with a strong north east accent"

Is that North-East England, Scotland or Ireland?


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Subject: RE: lyr: Jock McGraw
From: Big Tim
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 11:18 AM

Scotland.

For example: the "a" in McGraw is pronounced as in "cat". (and "Jock" as "Joke").


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOCK MACGRAW
From: NH Dave
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 06:11 PM

I don't know if you're still looking but here's one set of lyrics from: http://ingeb.org/songs/beholdia.html

Dave


JOCK MACGRAW

Melody -

Behold, I am a soldier bold,
And only twenty-five years old;
A braver warrior never was seen
Fae Inverness tae Gretna Green.
When I was young my father said
He would 'prentice me a decent trade,
But I dinna like that job at a',
Sae I went and joined the Forty-Twa.

Chorus:
The wind may blaw, the cock may craw,
The rain may rain and the snaw may snaw
But ye winna frichten Jock MacGraw,
The stoutest man in the Forty-Twa!

The sergeant when he 'listed me,
He winked his e'e and then says he,
"A man like you sae stout and tall
Can ne'er be killed by a cannon ball!"
The captain then when he cam' 'roon,
He looked me up and he looked me doon,
And said, said he, "I'l1 tak' a guess ---
Ye must be the beastie o' Loch Ness!"*
Chorus:

At oor last fecht across the sea
The general, he sends efter me,
Fan I gaed there and my big gun,
0' coorse, the battle it was won.
The enemy a' ran awa',
They were feart at the legs o' Jock NacGraw;
A man like me sae tall and neat,
Ye ken yersel' he could niver be beat.
Chorus:

The King then held a grand review,
We numbered a thousand and sixty-two;
The kiltie lads cam' marchin' past
And Jock MacGraw cam' marchin' last.
The royal party grabbed their sticks
An' a' began tae stretch their necks.
Cries the King tae the Colonel, "Upon my soul,
I took that man for a telegraph pole!"
Chorus:

*[Var.:]
Then turning tae the sergeant, "Why, ye champ,
Ye've blasted the wheat-field oot on tramp!"


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Subject: RE: req/add: Jock McGraw
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 08:03 PM

*[Var.:]
Then turning tae the sergeant, "Why, ye champ,
Ye've blasted the wheat-field oot on tramp!"

The version I know has:

*[Var.:]
Then turning tae the sergeant, "Awa ye scamp,
Ye've listed the bleach-field oot tae tramp!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jock MacGraw
From: GUEST,T. Mac
Date: 14 Oct 08 - 09:33 AM

The bleachfield line appears to refer to the power of the such a "field," or works, which were extremely common in various parts of Scotland in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. The idea, then, would be that in enlisting Jock (the "tramp"), the sergeant enlisted the power not just of a man but of a bleachfield. It's like saying he got an industrial works or hydro plant.

This specific reference, no doubt obscure to most contemporary listeners, has the virtue of historic significance. It's also funnier than the Loch Ness beastie alternative, which relies on an unfortunate, very tired cliche.

Cheers,

T. Mac


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jock MacGraw
From: Jim McLean
Date: 14 Oct 08 - 10:12 AM

I think the 'beastie o' Loch Ness' was a Jimmie Macgregor innovation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jock MacGraw
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 11:35 PM

Harry Lauder sang, "I've just come brae a weddin', a chrsistenin'",a funeral, or a somethin" o" the sort, and the stuff that they were servin's got me noodle. Oh, me name is Jock Mcgraw, and I dinna care a straw, for there's somehtin' in the bottle for the mornin'"

And I'd dearly like to get a recording of Lauder's songs. I somewhat learned a few of them back in the thirties as a kid.

"Over in the trenches up to their eyes in clay, jimmy and john are fighting there and shouting every day, Keep your head down, Fritzy Boy, Keep your head down, Fritzy boy. late last night in the pale moonlight I saw you, I saw you,if you want to see your father in the fatherland, Keep your head down, Fritzy boy!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Jock MacGraw
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 10:45 AM

Ye aw ken ma wee brither a his name is Jock McGraw.
He's lately jined a fitba' club, fir he's mad aboot fitba.
He's got twa black een already, an teeth knocked frae his gub*.
Since oor Jock becam a member o', that terrible fitba club.

*gub. Glasgow slang for mouth.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Jock McGraw
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 13 - 02:39 PM

Barley juice a Celtic band has jock McGraw on their skulduggery street album


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Subject: Lyr Req: More lyrics to 'Stoutest man in the Fort
From: robinia
Date: 11 Jun 17 - 04:37 PM

Looking for more verses; my songbook only has four: "Behold I am soldier bold ... The sergeant when he 'listed me . . . At our last fecht across the sea .. . . The king then held a grand review . . . Anyone know any more?    Thanks.


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Subject: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jun 17 - 12:22 AM

Hi, Robinia -
I moved your request over here, because part of it has already been answered. The song is not listed in the Traditional Ballad Index, but it is Roud Number 1877 (click). Roud has a number of entries, including many titled "The Fattest Man in the Forty-Twa." The Digital Tradition version is from The Scottish Folksinger by Norman Buchan and Peter Hall, page 130. The Scottish Folksinger version is quite different. I've put the major differences in bold:

THE STOUTEST MAN IN THE FORTY TWA

Behold, I am a soldier bold, and only twenty-five years old;
A braver warrior never was seen fae Inverness tae Gretna Green.
When I was young my father said he wid pit me tae a decent trade,
But I didnae like that job at a', sae I went and joined the Forty-Twa.


CHORUS
The wind may blaw, the cock may craw,
The rain may rain, and the snaw may snaw
But ye winna frichten Jock McGraw,
He's the stoutest man in the Forty Twa

The sergeant when he 'listed me, he winked his e'e and then says he,
"A man like you so stout and tall can ne'er be killed by a cannon ball!"
The captain then when he cam' roon, he looked me up and he looked me doon,
Then turning tae the sergeant said, "Awa' ye scamp, ye've 'listed the bleachfield oot on tramp.

At oor last fecht across the sea, the general he sends efter me
Fan I gaed there and my big gun, of course the battle it was won.
The enemy a' ran awa', they were feart at the legs o'Jock McGraw
A man like me so tall and neat, ye ken yersel' he could niver be beat.

The King then held a grand review, we numbered a thoosand and sixty-two;
The kiltie lads cam' marchin' past and Jock McGraw cam' marchin' last
The royal party grabbed their sticks an' a' began tae stretch their necks
Cries the King tae the Colonel, " Upon my soul, I took that man for a telegraph pole."

From The Scottish Folksinger, Buchan and Hall - from the singing of John Strachan.


for comparison, here are the lyrics from the Digital Tradition, which omits the first verse. Note the Loch Ness monster line:

THE STOUTEST MAN IN THE FORTY TWA

cho: The wind may blaw, the cock may craw,
The rain may rain, and the snaw may snaw
But ye winna frichten Jock McGraw,
He's the stoutest man in the Forty Twa

The sergeant when he 'listed me, he winked his e'e and then says he,
"A man like you so stout and tall can ne'er be killed by a cannon ball!"
The captain then when he cam' roon, he looked me up and he looked me doon,
And said, said he, " I'll tak a guess--Ye must be the beastie o' Loch Ness!"

At oor last fecht across the sea, the general he sends efter me
Fan I gaed there and my big gun, of course the battle it was won.
The enemy a' ran awa', they were feart at the legs o'Jock McGraw
A man like me so tall and neat, ye ken yersel' he could niver be beat.

The King then held a grand review, we numbered a thoosand and sixty-two;
The kiltie lads cam' marchin' past and Jock McGraw cam' marchin' last
The royal party grabbed their sticks an' a' began tae stretch their necks
Cries the King tae the Colonel, " Upon my soul, I took that man for a
telegraph pole."

From The Scottish Folksinger, Buchan and Hall
@Scottish @Army
filename[ STOUT42
TUNE FILE: STOUT42
CLICK TO PLAY
RG



Recording by Robin Hall & Jimmie MacGregor:Hall & McGregor sing of the "Beastie o' Loch Ness," which makes a lot more sense to me than "Awa' ye scamp, ye've 'listed the bleachfield oot on tramp.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jun 17 - 01:08 AM

This Catalog of Copyright Entries sayd "John Macraw: the fattest man in the Forty Twa" was written and composed by Harry Linn, arranged by Charles W. Curtiss. Publisher: Frank Simpson, Glasgow, Scotland, 24 Sept 1908.

Another source says "The Fattest Man in the Forty-Twa" was music hall entertainer Harry Linn's "most celebrated number."

Robinia, it looks to me like we've found the whole thing: four verses, plus the Loch Ness alternative.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jun 17 - 02:25 PM

If anybody could find and post Harry Linn's original version of this song, we all would be duly impressed....


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jun 17 - 01:40 AM

refresh - anybody find sheet music or another transcription from Harry Linn?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: GUEST,Wee Jock
Date: 13 Jun 17 - 06:23 AM

You can find the words and music of The Stoutest Man in the FORTY Twa in The Scottish Folksinger Song Book collected and edited by Norman Buchan and Peter Hall. A great source of modern and traditional folk songs. I got my copy from Amazon.

Cheers

Wee Jock


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jun 17 - 07:16 AM

I posted that one above, Jock. I'm looking for the original, called "The Fattest Man in the Forty-Twa" - by Harry Linn.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: GUEST,Chris Simmons
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 11:34 PM

I have heard (but cannot remember the source now) that Jock Mcgraw was originally sung by Scots Music Hall comedian W.F. "Wullie" Frame. Never been able to find the original sheet music for his version.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 09:45 AM

No nearer finding the full text, but this archive maybe clears up the Linn/Frame thing. Bill Frame was another Glasgow Music Hall artist and an admirer of Harry Linn, and writes about Linn while describing his own life story. There is a heck of a lot to read here, but a fascinating insight if you've the time for it. If not, fast forward to Chapter V, last paragraph of p42, down to bottom of p43. Frame only quotes the last 2 lines of the song. Frame and Linn

And another snippet of info from the Spiers family website: Tom sings the usual "Stoutest Man" version, as sung by Jimmy McBeath, but came across "The Fattest Man" in his research: says Harry Linn was a stage name, real name Andrew Crawford. That info was from Adam McNaughtan who has a huge knowledge of Scottish music hall songs. I occasionally see him at events in Glasgow, so will ask him if he has the full lyrics somewhere, next time I see him!


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 03:13 PM

Harry Linn (1846-90) info would be useful. Some of his songs spent time in oral tradition. I have some of his original sheet music but not the song here. These are some of his songs found in oral tradition
Get a Little Table
Jim the Carter Lad
When the Cock Begins to Crow
You Never Miss the Water till the Well runs dry

Most of his titles are motto songs like those of Harry Clifton. His main popularity period seems to have been c1868-75. In fact his repertoire seems to mimic the material of Harry Clifton, character pieces and motto songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 04:49 PM

Thanks Steve,
I hadn't realised that he'd also written "Jim the Carter Lad" until I read that archive of William Frame's life that I posted.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Jan 18 - 04:53 PM

Well I spoke to Adam McN today and he was pretty adamant (excuse the pun) that it is one and the same song, written by Harry Linn, just that someone changed the title from "Fattest" to "Stoutest" (who knows, maybe because "Stoutest" has the additional meaning of being stout-hearted? Just my own speculation there.....!)
He did say that he thought that copies of Harry Linn's songs were only recently made available in the British Library, so maybe that is where the original lies.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Jim McLean
Date: 29 Jan 18 - 12:43 PM

There is a sheet music copy of Harry Linn's Jock McGraw in the British Library and I'm going there on Thursday, 1st Feb, so I'll copy the original lyrics and post them here later.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 29 Jan 18 - 02:15 PM

A micro-suggestion: my memory is that the last verse (the parade) includes the line: "he royal party gat aff their sticks and a' began..." The sticks are shooting sticks, a pole with a fold-out seat used by upper class shooting parties. Nu?

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Jan 18 - 03:40 PM

Thanks Jim!


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Subject: ADD John Macraw (The fattest man in the foty-twa)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 07:51 AM

I've just been to the British Library and saw/photographed the original sheet music. I'll enter the text with spelling and punctuation exactly as printed.

                           John Macraw.
                (The fattest man in the Forty-Twa.)
Written and Composed by                            Arranged by
   HARRY LINN                                 CHARLES W CURTISS.
Key F.

Noo I'm a noble soldier bold,
And only twenty five years old,
A braver warrior ne'er was seen,
Frae Inverness tae Gretna Green,
When I was young my faither said,
He'd put me tae a decent trade,
I didna like hard work at a'
So left and join'd the Forty-Twa.
CHORUS
The wind may blaw and the cock may craw,
The rain may rain and the snaw may snaw,
Ye couldna frichten John Macraw,
The fattest man in the Forty-Twa.

2. The sergeant when he 'listed me,
   He winked his e'e and then says he,
   "A man like you sae stoot and tall,
   Could n'er be killed by cannon-ball."
   The Captain then tae me came roun'
   He looked me up and looked me doon,
   And shouts "Here sergeant, why, you scamp,
   You've found a lamp-post out on tramp."
               CHORUS The wind may blaw, etc.

3. In oor last fecht across the sea,
   The Gen'ral he sent hame for me,
   When I went there wi' my big gun
   Of course the battle it was won.
   The enemy a' ran awa'
   When they saw the legs o' John Macraw,
   A man like me sae smart and neat
   Ye ken yersel could n'er be beat.
               CHORUS The wind may blaw, etc.

4. The King then held a Grand Review,
   We mustered sixty thoosand too,
   The Kilty Lads went trotting past
   And John Macraw, he marched the last,
   The Royal Party grabb'd their spec's
   And they began to stretch their necks,
   The King cries "Col'nel!'pon my soul!
   I took that man for a telegraph pole."
                  CHORUS The wind may blaw, etc.


Theatre and Music Hall rights reserved. For permission apply to Publisher.   (on one line)

Copyright MCMV111 by Frank Simpson.


If anyone wants photo's (front cover shows a kilted soldier in colour) email me at jawmac@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 09:08 AM

The melody changes a bit too but I don't know to post that


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 11:02 AM

Thanks a lot for that Jim! Did you get a photo of the music score?


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Subject: RE: Origins:Jock McGraw/Stoutest Man in the Forty-Twa
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Feb 18 - 12:02 PM

Yes, I posted 5 pages to Joe, front cover plus four pages of score and lyrics.


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