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Online Songbook: The Universal Songster

pavane 20 Aug 08 - 09:57 AM
pavane 21 Aug 08 - 10:29 AM
Bill D 21 Aug 08 - 12:11 PM
Joe Offer 21 Aug 08 - 12:21 PM
M.Ted 21 Aug 08 - 02:00 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Aug 08 - 03:12 PM
Bill D 21 Aug 08 - 06:45 PM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Aug 08 - 11:09 PM
pavane 22 Aug 08 - 02:36 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Aug 08 - 08:38 AM
pavane 22 Aug 08 - 09:26 AM
Nigel Parsons 22 Aug 08 - 08:54 PM
Bill D 22 Aug 08 - 09:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Aug 08 - 12:03 AM
Ron Davies 23 Aug 08 - 12:10 AM
Ron Davies 23 Aug 08 - 12:11 AM
Ron Davies 23 Aug 08 - 12:15 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Aug 08 - 06:13 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Aug 08 - 06:48 PM
Ruth Archer 03 Dec 08 - 09:49 AM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Dec 08 - 10:00 AM
Ruth Archer 03 Dec 08 - 10:01 AM
Folkiedave 03 Dec 08 - 10:06 AM
Steve Gardham 03 Dec 08 - 10:29 AM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Dec 08 - 10:33 AM
Ruth Archer 03 Dec 08 - 10:35 AM
Steve Gardham 03 Dec 08 - 10:39 AM
pavane 03 Dec 08 - 10:45 AM
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Subject: The Universal Songster
From: pavane
Date: 20 Aug 08 - 09:57 AM

I thought this book, found at Google books, might be of interest to someone:


The Universal Songster


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: pavane
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 10:29 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 12:11 PM

The link shows me only control links in Dutch on the right...no pages or content.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 12:21 PM

Try this link, Bill. Just change google.nl to google.com

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 02:00 PM

It worked for me. Thanks Pavane! It's a very interesting find.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 03:12 PM

"The Universal Songster" or "Museum of Mirth" was issued in three volumes, an amazing compilation, I think issued c. 1825-1828.
Vol. 1-448 pp., vol. 2-448 pp., vol. 3-448 pp., rather fine print.
Thousands of songs!
I found a copy of v. 3 minus cover in a bookstore, and started a search for the rest. I found vol. 1 rebound (1828 date), and then vol. 2, in (late?) 19th c. cloth, a reprint I think. All at reasonable price, many sets must have been printed.

All three have humorous illustrations by Robert Cruikshank.

A good set to read on a sleepless night, or when the wife has politics on the TV.
The songs are put into categories, so one may select 'amatory,' 'naval,' 'military,' 'Yorkshire,' 'comic' or whatever.

I haven't checked out pavanne's link beyond a quick look, but if all three volumes are there, that is quite a bagful.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 06:45 PM

Yep...that worked! I did try changing the URL earlier, but it still got a blank...maybe it was in my cache wrong.

Downloaded the PDF and perusing.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Aug 08 - 11:09 PM

It's an indispensible resource for anybody seriously interested in popular song of the early to mid 19th century. It was enormously popular in its day and reprinted several times; volume 3 is the easiest to find at lowish prices, so like Steve Gardham I wound up with two copies of that. Print copies are easier to use than digital ones, but of course digital copies (only volume 1 is available online as yet) are often free nowadays.

Although the three volumes do include texts of some songs later 'collected' from oral tradition, the proportion is fairly small. The Roud Folk Song Index lists 157 (search for (precisely) 'universal songster' in the Source field).

For anyone who isn't familiar with the books, music is not included; though tune names are sometimes given.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: pavane
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 02:36 AM

Google books is a wonderful resource, but a bit disorganised. It has several copies of some book, lots of items where there is only one volume of a multi-volume work, and plenty of cases where the description has been attached to the wrong book! As the scanning is ongoing, I hope that more gems will be available in time.

Microsoft did try to set up in competition, but abandoned its own version earlier this year.

They have copies listed there of Kidson, Bronson, etc, but none of them browsable as far as I can see. Several editions of Pills to Purge Melancholy are there and some are fully viewable:

Pills to purge melancholy

You can also find some jokes from 1850 which are still current!

Repository of wit and humor


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 08:38 AM

We were lucky enough to find 2 - 3 volume sets of Univ.Songster over the years, first an extremely tatty one for £4.00 then an immaculate one for (I think) £10.00.
It is, as Malcolm said, "an indispensible resource for anybody seriously interested in popular song of the early to mid 19th century", but what fascinated me is the thousands of songs that never made it into the 20th century and died a death.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: pavane
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 09:26 AM

Looking at some of them, I can understand why.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 08:54 PM

"The Universal Songster" (apolgies to Donovan)

He's Five foot two, and Four foot fourteen
He plays a bodhran or guitar.
At major gigs and folkfests, he always can be seen,
And if not, you will find him at the bar!

He'a a singer, a punster, a parodist, a pain,
Of rugby songs he knows more than a few.
And he knows he needs control,
But that just isn't in his soul.
If you pause, then he will jump in before you!

And he's singing his parodies,
He's singing his new song,
It may make you want to slit your wrists!
So now you must decide,
Does it warrant suicide,
If not, how can we get him off the lists?

But without him,
How would anybody dare sing "Danny Boy"?
Without him there would be no "Athenry",
He's the one keeps on singing
While we all go to the bar,
And without him many folk clubs would just die.

He's the Universal folker and he really is to blame,
His songs they come from song books and the 'Cat,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can't you see,
This is not the way we get rid of this prat!


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 09:45 PM

I am debating whether to print the downloaded PDF of "Universal Songster". I think I can easily do it by printing 2 sided sheets....still, it's 200+ pages. I probably will, as Malcolm makes the point it's easier to browse.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 12:03 AM

It looks like volumes are much more expensive than they were a year ago and putting together a set more difficult, $US196. for three unmatched vols. at Abebooks. The cheapest complete set listed is $375.
Download vol. 1 linked here and print at leisure on a cheap laser printer would be a good start.

There have been many songsters put out in UK and US, now most are quite rare. One of Stone's from Gold Rush days has been reproduced here at Mudcat, and much of another can be found here, but there were more; one hopes that they will eventually be reproduced.
The songster with the first printing of Dunderbeck's sausage machine can't be located; it might settle the authorship of this often quoted, misquoted and revised poem.

As pavanne notes, many of these poems deservedly have been forgotton, but as a whole they paint a picture of their time period.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Ron Davies
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 12:10 AM

Having been through the list, I feel the same as Jim Carroll--I'm amazed at how few of these songs I've ever heard of. By far the category of songs which has the most survivors seems to the "Scotch" (Scots) songs. Obviously Burns plays a role here, but it seems that the Scots wrote the most lasting--hence best?--songs.

Or does anybody recognize a lot of others in another category? If so, which songs do you recognize?


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Ron Davies
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 12:11 AM

"seems to be"


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Ron Davies
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 12:15 AM

Or if the Scots didn't write them, it's the songs with a Scottish theme which have survived.

Example: Charlie Is My Darling--words are just about exactly as I've always heard them. Anybody know what the tune would have been? Would the current familiar tune be the one used then?


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 06:13 PM

I recognized some of the Irish. Many Scot(ch) and Irish immigrants to N. Am, probably one reason for their survival. The poems by the Dibdins and other marine poems because I have looked at several books of them lately.

Not much that would make the hit list today. Someone in the UK might recognize a lot more; events such as the Civil War, slavery, opening of the west, etc., strongly influence American song.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 06:48 PM

Most of those listed by Roud (the majority English, followed by Scots, with some Irish) were minor 'art' songs principally transmitted through print and frequently taught in schools; hence their tendency to remain unchanged. Roud lists songs found in the repertoires of traditional singers, but that doesn't necessarily imply that they were all learned from oral tradition, though of course some were.

'Charlie is My Darling', for instance (not in Roud), has always been sung to the same tune; just like 'Come into the Garden Maud' and 'Home Sweet Home'. Those songs owe their survival to commercial publishing rather than to tradition.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 09:49 AM

I missed this thread the first time round - I bought my copy of Vol II a couple of years ago from a reputable dealer in second-hand folk books who frequents these pages... :) Although it was re-bound, it was a very good price compared to some of those quoted on line,and indeed some of those quoted on this thread. I'd like to pick up the other two volumes at some point, because I really love it.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 10:00 AM

Volume III can be found at significantly cheaper prices than the others, though the best overall deals are usually for full sets. That tends to lead to people winding up with spare copies of vol III.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 10:01 AM

Well, if anyone would like to sell me one... :D


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 10:06 AM

reputable dealer in second-hand folk books who frequents these pages... :)

awwww............................. that's nice. I take back what I wrote about you Archers in the morris bag thread.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 10:29 AM

I have one of the vols for sale. It's either 1 or 3. I'll check. My own set is falling apart but that doesn't matter to me. The content is all I'm interested in. I can't remember how much I put on it but it won't be any more than £15


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 10:33 AM

Steve's spare is vol III.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 10:35 AM

Steve - I'll PM you. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 10:39 AM

Sorry, yes it's vol 3 and it's down at £20. Sorry for misleading anyone. Boards are intact and it's got the gilt engravings on the red boards. A little fraying at the edges. First one in gets it + postage of course. I'll send it then you send me PayPal or checque when received. It's a better copy than my other one which has detached boards and plain brown covers.


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Subject: RE: The Universal Songster
From: pavane
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 10:45 AM

Folkiedave, do you deal in other s/h books as well, or just folk?


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