Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: songs about girl w/ promiscuous father

DigiTrad:
ELMA TURL
JOHN ADAIR
JOHNNY BE FAIR
MADAM LA MARQUISE
SHAME AND SCANDAL


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Shame and Scandal (Odetta) (35)
Lyr Req: I Was a Gay Spark in my Time (H Imlach) (14)
Song title needed-Shame & Scandal, etc. (13)
(origins) Lyr Add: Red Neck Love Poem (7)
Tune Req: Johnny Be Fair (Buffy Sainte-Marie) (10)
(origins) Origins: Johnny Be Fair (12)
Tune Req: Very vague, but help if you can (7)
Lyr Req: Johnny Be Fair (4) (closed)
Lyr Req: A ballad about illegitimacy? (15)
Lyr Add: Mixed Up Family (Jimmy Driftwood) (4)
Father oh Father - looking for related songs (5)
Lyr/Tune Req: Scandal in the Family (8)


northfolk 06 Jul 98 - 11:43 PM
Bob Bolton 07 Jul 98 - 02:31 AM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 98 - 03:31 AM
Roger Himler 07 Jul 98 - 06:58 AM
Andre 14 Jul 98 - 12:04 AM
Marion 03 Jun 99 - 11:43 AM
Wolfgang 03 Jun 99 - 11:50 AM
Roger in Baltimore 03 Jun 99 - 12:21 PM
MMario 03 Jun 99 - 01:00 PM
catspaw49 03 Jun 99 - 01:12 PM
The Shambles 03 Jun 99 - 02:08 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Jun 99 - 02:14 PM
Marion 04 Oct 00 - 03:33 PM
mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 03:39 PM
Wavestar 04 Oct 00 - 03:52 PM
mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 03:58 PM
MMario 04 Oct 00 - 04:03 PM
Joe Offer 04 Oct 00 - 04:08 PM
Sapper_RE 04 Oct 00 - 04:20 PM
Joe Offer 04 Oct 00 - 05:57 PM
ddw 04 Oct 00 - 10:27 PM
CamiSu 04 Oct 00 - 10:46 PM
Joe Offer 05 Oct 00 - 05:07 PM
Wavestar 05 Oct 00 - 06:26 PM
Joe Offer 09 Oct 00 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,Arkie 12 Oct 00 - 12:00 AM
Keith A of Hertford 12 Oct 00 - 03:36 PM
Joe Offer 12 Oct 00 - 03:54 PM
Keith A of Hertford 13 Oct 00 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Terry Wessling 14 Oct 00 - 02:46 PM
Joe Offer 14 Oct 00 - 03:02 PM
richlmo 14 Oct 00 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,MJB 20 Feb 10 - 05:34 PM
Joe Offer 01 Mar 12 - 01:59 AM
Felipa 20 Sep 14 - 06:45 PM
Felipa 20 Sep 14 - 06:49 PM
Felipa 20 Sep 14 - 07:18 PM
Felipa 20 Sep 14 - 07:24 PM
meself 20 Sep 14 - 09:45 PM
GUEST,merlynn 21 Aug 15 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,Arkie 21 Aug 15 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Folkie7 26 Apr 16 - 03:09 PM
Joe Offer 26 Apr 16 - 04:04 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Apr 16 - 05:07 PM
Joe Offer 03 Aug 16 - 10:42 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Correct name and publisher for
From: northfolk
Date: 06 Jul 98 - 11:43 PM

A couple days before fathers day, on a public radio station that will remain unnamed,(but highly appreciated) I heard a series of songs that were identified as having been recorded on what I think was titled "The Family Album" I was driving much too fast to be writing this down. One of the songs on same was the Randall Knife, another was a song that a great old friend of mine used to sing about a son who was unable to marry any of the girls he loved, because his father took him aside and explained... they were "related". Then when his mother got wind of it, she explained that they weren't!!! I searched the D.T. with the info available and came up with naught. Help.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Correct name and publisher for
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Jul 98 - 02:31 AM

G'day Northfolk,

I remember that plot in a calypso format, during the 1960s.

The song title was something very like "Scandal in the Family", which was also used as a refrain.

Find ... Enjoy!

Rob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Correct name and publisher for
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 98 - 03:31 AM

The database has at least two songs on the "she's your sister/he's not your father" theme. If you search under SHAME AND SCANDAL, you will also find another song on the same theme called JOHNNY BE FAIR. I swear we have come up with other songs like these, but I couldn't find them.
-Joe offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Correct name and publisher for
From: Roger Himler
Date: 07 Jul 98 - 06:58 AM

Michael Cross does of version of this song, which he calls Elma Turl.

Elma Turl was a beautiful girl and I'd like to have her for my wife.
She's just the kind of a woman to make me happy for the rest of my life.
My Dad said son there's something you don't know, and it's something that I think you oughter,
Elma Turl is a beautiful girl, but son, she's my daughter.
More words if you want them.

If you are also looking for the Randall Knife, it was written by Guy Clark. I could probably dig up the album and the publishing info. if you want it.

Roger in Baltimore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Correct name and publisher for
From: Andre
Date: 14 Jul 98 - 12:04 AM

For a new slant on the "can't marry her" theme try the poem "Madame La Marquise" by Robert Service, in The Complete Poems of Robert Service, Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1945. Great Stuff. Somebody should put a tune to it.

Andre in Seattle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Marion
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 11:43 AM

Hello folks. I recently heard Penny Lang sing an Irish sounding song that sounded great and made us laugh. If anyone recognizes it and can point me to lyrics, chords, or even a title that would be great.

Plot synopsis:

Johnny is a good man who wants to marry me. I would marry Johnny, but my father up and said: "I never told your mother this, but Johnny is a son of mine, so he is kin to you."

(that verse is repeated a few times with other boys' names.)

I'm the most unfortunate girl in the town, and my father is the cause; I'm related to every boy in town and cannot find someone to marry. So I told my mother and she said, "He's not the one who sired you, so marry at your will."

Hmm... it seemed funnier with the real lyrics. Anyone?

Thanks, Marion


Related threads: Also see "Shame and Scandal" and "Johnny Be Fair" in the Digital Tradition Database.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 11:50 AM

Hi Marion,
look at the old thread scandal in the family

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 12:21 PM

Marion,

This "joke" seems to have spawned several songs. Mike Cross from North Carolina, USA wrote one called "Elma Turl". Only when the "Shame and Scandal" thread came up did I realize that Mike was not being all that original. It's still a good song though.

Roger in Baltimore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: MMario
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 01:00 PM

you can see a version at this url:
http://www.chivalry.com/cantaria/lyrics/johnny_be_fair.html
blue_clickie

MMario


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 01:12 PM

Somehow I see this relating to the "Bone of My Bone" thread, but I will reserve comment at this time as all of this is beginning to inspire an "over the top" response.......and,uh.........I gotta' go take a pill.....calm,catspaw,calm................

catspaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 02:08 PM

ERR?

I think you just did comment.

They say that "great minds think alike", but I don't know how much comfort it is (to either of us) that I was thinking on the same lines as you.

It is also said that "fools seldom differ."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Jun 99 - 02:14 PM

Johnny Be Fair is in DigiTrad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Marion
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 03:33 PM

Can anyone tell me if Johnny Be Fair is traditional or recently composed? I hope to perform it in a couple of weeks, and want to know how to introduce it.

I would just like to add that this thread was my very first post on Mudcat, right after I stumbled in here, so now I'm getting warm fuzzy feelings about cycles being completed... I'd also like to point out that I had the sense from the beginning to use a specific thread title and put as much detail as possible in the first post, though there were no FAQs or "Common Prefix" options back then.

"I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T! I mean, S-M-A-R-T!" (Homer Simpson)

Thanks, Marion


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 03:39 PM

Anybody have music to "Johnny Be Fine"?

Alex
O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Wavestar
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 03:52 PM

Although I know it as "Jimmy be Fair", it's a wonderful song, and though I'm sorry I don't have music, Alex, I'd be happy to teach you the tune of you came to Scotland! This is one of the songs my 'wench group' sings regularly. We need more, if anyone's up for suggestions.

-Jessica


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 03:58 PM

I can't make it to Scotland this year, I'm afraid -- I really would love to!

Somebody must have the tune who can get it onto the web somehow. It's a really cute song.

Alex
O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: MMario
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 04:03 PM

alex - check out my clickie above, you can at least HEAR it.

marion - cantoria list it as a "contemporary" song


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: MADAM LA MARQUISE (Robert W. Service)^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 04:08 PM

The following is presented as a public service...
-Joe Offer-

Madam La Marquise

by Robert W. Service

Said Hongray de la Glaciere unto his proud Papa:
"I want to take a wife mon Père," The Marquis laughed: "Ha! Ha!
And whose, my son?" he slyly said; but Hongray with a frown
Cried, "Fi! Papa, I mean - to wed, I want to settle down."
The Marquis de la Glaciere responded with a smile;
"You're young my boy; I much prefer that you should wait awhile."
But Hongray sighed: "I cannot wait, for I am twenty-four;
And I have met my blessed fate: I worship and adore.
Such beauty, grace and charm has she, I'm sure you will approve,
For if I live a century none other can I love."
"I have no doubt," the Marquis shrugged, "that she's a proper pet;
But has she got a decent dot, and is she of our set?"
"Her dot," said Hongray, "will suffice; her family you know.
The girl with whom I fain would splice is Mirabelle du Veau."

What made the Marquis start and stare, and clutch his perfumed beard?
Why did he stagger to a chair and murmur: "As I feared?"
Dilated were his eyes with dread, and in a voice of woe
He wailed: "My son, you cannot wed with Mirabelle du Veau."
"Why not? my Parent," Hongray cried. "Her name's without a slur.
Why should you look so horrified that I should wed with her?"
The Marquis groaned: "Unhappy lad! Forget her if you can,
And see in your respected Dad a miserable man."
"What is the matter? I repeat," said Hongray growing hot.
"She's witty, pretty, rich and sweet... Then- mille diables!- what?"
The Marquis moaned: "Alas! that I your dreams of bliss should banish;
It happened in the days gone-by, when I was Don Juanish.
Her mother was your mother's friend, and we were much together.
Ah well! You know how such things end. (I blame it on the weather.)
We had a very sultry spell. One day, mon Dieu! I kissed her.
My son, you can't wed Mirabelle. She is... she is your sister."

So broken-hearted Hongray went and roamed the world around,
Till hunting in the Occident forgetfulness he found.
Then quite recovered, he returned to the paternal nest,
Until one day, with brow that burned, the Marquis he addressed:
"Felicitate me, Father mine; my brain is in a whirl;
For I have found the mate divine, the one, the perfect girl.
She's healthy, wealthy, witching, wise, with loveliness serene.
And Proud am I to win a prize, half angel and half queen."
"'Tis time to wed," the Marquis said, "You must be twenty-seven.
But who is she whose lot may be to make your life a heaven?"
"A friend of childhood," Hongray cried. "For whom regard you feel.
The maid I fain would be my bride is Raymonde de la Veal."

The Marquis de la Glaciere collapsed upon the floor,
And all the words he uttered were: "Forgive me, I implore.
My sins are heavy on my head. Profound remorse I feel.
My son, you simply cannot wed with Raymonde de la Veal."
Then Hongray spoke voice that broke, and corrugated brow:
"Inform me, Sir, why you demur. What is the matter now?"
The Marquis wailed: "My wicked youth! Ah! how it gives me pain.
But let me tell the awful truth, my agony explain...
A cursed Casanova I; a finished flirt her mother;
And so alas! it came to pass we fell for one another:
Our lives were blent in bliss and joy, The sequel you may gather:
You cannot wed Raymonde, my boy, because I am...her father."

Again sore-stricken Hongray fled, and sought his grief to smother,
And as he writhed upon his bed to him there came his Mother.
The Marquise de la Glaciere was snowy-haired and frigid.
Her wintry features chiselled were, her manner stiff and rigid.
The pride of race was in her face, her bearing high and stately,
And sinking down by Hongray's side she spoke to him sedately:
"What ails you so, my precious child? What throngs of sorrow smite you?
Why are your eyes so wet and wild? Come tell me, I invite you."
"Ah! if I told you, Mother dear," said Hongray with a shiver,
"Another's honour would, I fear, be in the soup forever."
"Nay trust," she begged, "My only boy, the fond Mama who bore you.
Perhaps I may, your grief alloy. Please tell me, I implore you."

And so his story Hongray told, in accents choked and muffled.
The Marquise listened calm and cold, her visage quite unruffled.
He told of Mirabelle du Veau, his agony revealing.
For Raymonde de la Veal his woe was quite beyond concealing.
And still she sat without a word, her look so high and haughty,
You'd ne'er have thought it was her lord who had behaved so naughty.
Then Hongray finished up: "For life my hopes are doomed to slaughter;
For if I choose another wife, she's sure to be his daughter."
The Marquise rose. "Cheer up," said she, "the last word is not spoken.
A Mother cannot sit and see her boy's heart rudely broken.
So dry your tears and calm your fears; no longer need you tarry;
To-day your bride you may decide, to-morrow you may marry.
Yes, you may wed with Mirabelle, or Raymonde if you'd rather...
For I as well the truth may tell...Papa is not your father."


Return to The Original Home Page of Robert W. Service
^^
I'm not sure I believe that Robert W. Service was the author of this. does anybody have proof, one way or another? Supposedly, this was in his 1940 book, Bar-Room Ballads.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Sapper_RE
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 04:20 PM

The version I recall was by Lance Percival sometime in the late '60s!!! The last lines of each verse were in the style of:-

"That girl is your sister, But your mama don't know"

With the last one being from mama herself:- "Your papa's not your papa, But your papa don't know" Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: ELMA TURL (Mike Cross)^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 05:57 PM

ELMA TURL
(Mike Cross)

Elma Turl is a beautiful girl, and I'd love to have her for my wife,
She's just the kind of woman who could make me happy for the rest of my life
My daddy said, "Son, there's something you don't know, and it's something I think you oughter
Elma Turl is a beautiful girl; but son, she's my daughter."

Alice Green is a beautiful thing, and I'd love to have her for my wife,
She's just the kind of woman who could make me happy for the rest of my life
My daddy said, "Son, there's something you don't know, and it's something I think you oughter
Alice Green is a beautiful thing; but son, she's my daughter."

Well, I've been all around the whole durn county, like a buck huntin' for a doe,
But it seems every girl I'd like to marry is a wild oat Daddy sowed
So I went to my mama with my head hung down, and she asked me what the matter could be,
I told her my problem and she took my hand and said, "Son, now listen to me."

"You see, your daddy was such a good-lookin' young man, and like an eager young stallion horse
His blood ran hot, so you can't blame him for lettin' Mother Nature take her course
But you got no reason to be upset; don't you worry, don't fret, don't bother
You see, your daddy ain't your daddy, he only thinks he is; so you can marry whomever you wanter.

Transcribed from "Mike Cross: The Best of the Funny Stuff – Crème de la Cross"
(Copyright Vic Ray Publishing, ASCAP)

(a version of "Johnny Be Fair")
Also see "Shame and Scandal" and "Mixed Up Family"

@bastard @family @marriage @courting
filename[ ELMATURL
JRO
Oct00

^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: ddw
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 10:27 PM

Harry Belafonte did a calypso version of this tale back in the '60s. I don't remember the name of it, but I'm sure somebody could furnish that.

david


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: CamiSu
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 10:46 PM

OK, So Jessica, will thee teach it to ME?

Mum


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Mixed Up Family - Jimmy Driftwood
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 05:07 PM

I got the following message from Arkie, who gave me permission to post it.
-Joe Offer-
I heard Jimmy do this song many times, but never asked him where he got the idea. Before moving to the Ozarks in 1971, I had learned the "Shame and Scandal" version from a teenager at a Methodist youth workshop where I was a counselor. Again I did not inquire of the source. Here in Driftwood country, I quit singing the calypso version.

I am curious about the known versions, as to which came first, etc. I am sure that Mike Cross' song is the most recent. Probably Buffy Ste. Marie adapted Jimmy's version. They did some festivals together in the 1960s. The story around here is that Buffy learned the picking bow from Pat Sky who learned it from Driftwood. Through the years I have learned to question the veracity of some of Jimmy's stories, and he may have heard Buffy do her version which sounds as though it may have its origins in the British Isles. Which brings up another possibility. A new member on our staff here at the Ozark Folk Center has a vague recollection of hearing some British singer, possibly Martin Carthy sing a version of the song. Of the versions identified so far, I would guess that the Service poem would be the oldest. While Driftwood did write some original songs, a large portion of his repertoire were rewrites of older songs. I am reasonably certain that "The Mixed Up Family" is such a rewrite. Jimmy attempts to explain the the old man was a liar not a philanderer. That is certainly more acceptable to Ozark folk, who do not consider themselves lying when they speak an untruth to an outsider.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Wavestar
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 06:26 PM

Mum:

Sure :) But thee knows my grasp of tunes...

-J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Info: Johnny Be Fair
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 05:29 PM

I just got a very interesting e-mail just now. I asked ahead of time whether I could post the information in the reply, so I guess it's OK.

Hi,
When I was a kid, somebody told me a joke, which was essentially the story as retold in my song "Johnny Be Fair" song. I'm glad to see you wondering about the origins of the story. When I first wrote the song, so many people were taken by surprise, I realized that not everybody had "heard that one". Very few people have ever told me that they'd heard it as a joke or story.
I've often heard that true folk songs are like antiques: they are preserved and reused because they continue to be useful and appreciated, generation after generation; and their themes are cross cultural and make a sort of "ring true" sense in lots of communities.
But I don't know any more than the rest of you guys who first came up with this particular story, but I'd like to. Thanks for including me in the quest.
Buffy Sainte-Marie

Thanks, Buffy.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: MY MADONNA and PICTURE AT ST. HELENE^^
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 12:00 AM

Joe, thanks for your contributions to this thread. Really nice to get a response from Ms St. Marie. My friend who manages the Driftwood collection at the Univ. of Central Arkansas is of the opinion that Jimmy was inspired to write his version by a joke. And that may well be the case. Or he may have had Robert Service's poem as well. He must have read some of Service's poetry. Since his song "The Picture At St. Helene" bears a close similarity to "My Madonna".

MY MADONNA
by Robert W. Service

I haled me a woman from the street,
Shameless, but, oh, so fair!
I bade her sit in the model's seat
And I painted her sitting there.
I hid all trace of her heart unclean;
I painted a babe at her breast;
I painted her as she might have been
If the Worst had been the Best.

She laughed at my picture and went away.
Then came, with a knowing nod,
A connoisseur, and I heard him say;
"'Tis Mary, the Mother of God."
So I painted a halo round her hair,
And I sold her and took my fee,
And she hangs in the church of Saint Hillaire,
Where you and all may see.

THE PICTURE AT ST. HELENE
Jimmy Driftwood

I met a girl in a cheap hotel
With features oh so fine.
She said, "Hello," and we sat a spell
While I painted her form devine.
I took away all her sins,
Put a babe in her arms, you see,
And I painted her as she would have been
If the devil had let her be.

She walked away with a cigarette
And I thought is strangely odd
When a gambler came and said, "I'll bet
You've painted the mother of God."
So I added a halo to the scene,
It brought ten thousand pounds.
She hangs on the wall at St. Helene
In the biggest church in town.

My model attracted a wealthy guy,
He offered her gold for a kiss.
She turned him down and I wondered why
She would miss a deal like this.
So I followed her to the marble hall,
There I saw her stand serene
Before the picture on the wall
In the church at St. Helene. ^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 03:36 PM

I have heard a song where the child tells the story of her father's funeral. The chorus begins " Then all his other wives came in..." and ends "and they brought a lot of kids with them that looked a lot like me" If this is your song I can find the lyric.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 03:54 PM

I dunno if it's the source of the other songs, Keith, but please post the song. It's a good idea to keep things together and post it in this thread here. You can find it by putting promisc in the "filter" box.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 02:59 PM

Joe, thanks for the very welcome help on the filter function. I know this song from a singer at a once a month session locally,so getting the lyrics would take time. It does not seem to be the one in the original question. Keith


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: GUEST,Terry Wessling
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 02:46 PM

I heard the song mentioned in the initial inquiry sung this summer at the Minnesota Renaissance festival. It is indeed the story of a sad young Irish lass with a promiscuous father. If you'd like, I will contact the young lady who sang it for us and see about obtaining the music and lyrics.

Oddly enough, the young singer was portraying the daughter of King Henry at our festival. What does that say about our Queen?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Johnny Be Fair
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 03:02 PM

Yes, Terry - please do obtain the lyrics and post them, and try to find out whatever you can about the history of the song. It's possible that the song you heard was Buffy Saint-Marie's Johnny Be Fair (click), which we already have - it sounds very Irish. If it's anything else, I'd sure like to see the lyrics.
This song must have an origin farther back than the 1940 poem by Robert W. Service, but that's the earliest version we've been able to verify so far.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: richlmo
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 09:38 PM

This one's not funny ,but there is a great version of " Silver Dagger" on Dolly Parton's, The Grass Is Blue .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: seeking song about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: GUEST,MJB
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 05:34 PM

IMHO (and limited knowledge) I learned about this song when a band called Morphine did a version in the 90s. I've heard since (I believe from American Routes) that there are many versions of this song with long roots in Jamaican music and that there are many, many blues versions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD: All the Lads in Town (songwriter?)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 01:59 AM

I cam across yet another version of this story. I found it on an album titled Here's to the Men by the Merry Maids of Windsor, and then I found the lyrics at one of "those" Websites, http://lyrics.wikia.com/The_Merry_Wives_Of_Windsor:All_The_Lads_In_Town
I've corrected the lyrics as I hear them on the recording. I don't know the name of the songwriter.

ALL THE LADS IN TOWN
(songwriter?)

Johnny is a handsome lad
And asked me for to wed.
And I would marry Johnny
But me father up and said,
"I am sorry to tell you, daughter,
What your mother never knew,
But Johnny is a son of mine
And so is kin to you."

The boy that I will marry will be handsome, strong, and tall,
And he will sing my praises and be at my beck and call.
The boy that I will marry will keep me satiated,
And every night in bed I'll pray that we are not related.

William is a handsome lad
And so is Pat O'Brian.
So too is Mickey Grady
And his younger brother Ryan.
But father was a busy man.
His seed so far did spread.
He told me they're my brothers all.
So safe my maidenhead.

The boy that I will marry will be handsome, strong, and tall,
And he will sing my praises and be at my beck and call.
The boy that I will marry will keep me satiated,
And every night in bed I'll pray that we are not related.

Ye never saw a lass so sad
And sorry as I was.
The lads in town were all my kin
And me father was the cause.
If I should die a single maid
For that adulterer's sport,
I think I'll go to mother for
His wanderings to report.

"Now, daughter, didn't I teach you
To forgive and to forget?
Himself he sowed his wild oats,
But that you needn't fret.
Your father may be father
To all the lads but still,
He's not the one that sired you
So marry who you will."

The boy that I will marry will be handsome, strong, and tall,
And he will sing my praises and be at my beck and call.
And since my mother twiddled with a sailor come from sea,
I'll find myself a handsome lad who'll not be kin to me.

The boy that I will marry will be handsome, strong, and tall,
And he will sing my praises and be at my beck and call.
The boy that I will marry will keep me satiated,
And every night in bed I'll pray that we are not related.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: songs about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Felipa
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 06:45 PM

the French language version by Maurice Tézé and recorded by Sacha Distel has words very similar to "oh woe is me", version of Shame and Scandal recorded by the Kingston Trio

but I wonder if there is any older French version of this story/song
which perhaps inspired Robert Service. Madam la Marquise is more complex and detailed and seems quite different from other songs telling this joke. Shame and Scandal, Mixed up family, Johnny be fair, etc all seem very similar to me but I wouldn't have thought Madam la Marquise was directly related if I hadnt read what other people say about Jimmy Driftwood on this thread.

And either All the Lads in Town is an embellishment of Johnny be Fair -it doesnt look to me like an old song, or I would doubt whether Johnny be Fair is really composed by Buffy St Marie (well, the wording could be very close to the wording of the joke she heard, that could explain similarity between the songs)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: songs about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Felipa
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 06:49 PM

you could ask the Merry Wives of Windsor about their song. They are in southern California http://www.mwow.net/

They mention "bawdy original songs"; probably they upgraded "Johnny Be Fair" to fit this category.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: songs about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Felipa
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 07:18 PM

looking for more info re origins of Madam La Marquise -- would want to find out if there is material here similar to the story told by Robert Service
of coure there are many madames and many marquises; I didnt find anyting about a Marquise de la Glacier

song/s http://www.worldcat.org/title/tout-va-tres-bien-madam-la-marquise-je-crois-bien-que-cest-lamour-chanson-fox-humoristique-slow-fox/oclc/477266864
recorded by Ray Ventura and colleagues

http://pleer.com/tracks/9084210UCsn (listen to the song)

It's strange, everything is okay Madam (fire, suicide, everything's fine) but nothing about marriage and incest a la Robert Service


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: songs about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: Felipa
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 07:24 PM

you tube with the French Madam Marquis song with French lyrics and translation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdLUV0hhYZY
But this song is not part of the lyric family discussed in the rest of this thread


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: songs about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: meself
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 09:45 PM

You know what I love about Mudcat? Someone of the stature of Buffy Ste. Marie can contribute first-hand information to one of our threads - and get called a liar like anyone else ....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: songs about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: GUEST,merlynn
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 03:45 PM

If you are still looking for the music to "Johnny Be Fair", I have the Buffy Ste Marie version.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: songs about girl w/ promiscuous father
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 05:57 PM

If this works you can hear Jimmy Driftwood's Mixed Up Family here:

Mixed Up Family


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Dad tells daughter that her suitors are
From: GUEST,Folkie7
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 03:09 PM

Looking for title of song about a father who tells daughter that her suitors are her step-brothers in order to dissuade her from pursuing things further. Song end when mother tells her not to be concerned, since the father is not blood-related.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dad tells daughter that her suitors are
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 04:04 PM

Oh, that's a fun one. This thread (click) is our primary thread on the subject. I've added crosslinks above to all of our related threads. I suppose the most popular song on this theme is Johnny Be Fair, written by Buffy Sainte-Marie. She told us that she heard the story as a joke, and made it into a song.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dad tells daughter that her suitors are her kin
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 05:07 PM

Ewan MacColl used to tell it as a tale in Scottish accent, of the father who would forbid his son to marry any girl he suggested because "She's ma ain natural dochter." His mother, asking son why so unhappy at one particular such warning as he was truly in love, consoled him with "Ne'er ye mind him, ma son; just ye gang aheed and wed the lass. He's no' your faither at a'!"

≈M≈


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Dad tells daughter that her suitors are her kin
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Aug 16 - 10:42 PM

Robert Rodriquez says that Vance Randolph collected a version of this song as a story called He Was Fast, But I Was Faster. I can't find it in my Randolph books. Anybody know of it?
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 27 May 4:27 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.