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Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale

DigiTrad:
GLORIOUS ALE
GLORIOUS BEER
GLORIOUS ICE


Related thread:
Lyr Req: good and glorious ale songs (18)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Good English Ale (from Roy Palmer, English Country Songbook)


alanww 22 Oct 08 - 12:29 PM
RTim 22 Oct 08 - 01:54 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Oct 08 - 02:13 PM
Little Robyn 22 Oct 08 - 02:52 PM
Dave Hanson 23 Oct 08 - 02:52 AM
Tradsinger 23 Oct 08 - 03:47 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 23 Oct 08 - 06:03 AM
Barbara 23 Oct 08 - 11:59 PM
Barbara 24 Oct 08 - 12:01 AM
Dave Hanson 24 Oct 08 - 03:17 AM
Joe Offer 24 Oct 08 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Oct 08 - 03:48 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Oct 08 - 04:10 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Oct 08 - 05:10 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Oct 08 - 06:22 AM
Marje 24 Oct 08 - 06:41 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Oct 08 - 06:44 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Oct 08 - 07:00 AM
r.padgett 24 Oct 08 - 07:32 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Oct 08 - 10:47 AM
Marje 24 Oct 08 - 12:35 PM
alanww 28 Oct 08 - 02:12 PM
Newport Boy 02 Nov 08 - 05:33 PM
alanww 05 Nov 08 - 12:41 PM
Little Robyn 05 Nov 08 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Biddy Hen 05 Nov 08 - 10:24 PM
Joe Offer 05 Nov 08 - 10:36 PM
Rowan 06 Nov 08 - 01:11 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Nov 08 - 05:12 AM
BB 06 Nov 08 - 02:28 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Nov 08 - 03:34 PM
Joe Offer 06 Nov 08 - 03:48 PM
greg stephens 06 Nov 08 - 04:32 PM
BB 06 Nov 08 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,Biddy Hen 07 Nov 08 - 01:32 AM
Joe Offer 07 Nov 08 - 02:22 AM
DG&D Dave 07 Nov 08 - 03:20 AM
Artful Codger 07 Feb 09 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,Janus 22 Mar 09 - 06:55 AM
Joe_F 22 Mar 09 - 09:06 PM
TenorTwo 23 Mar 09 - 10:36 AM
Mr Happy 08 Dec 13 - 06:50 AM
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Subject: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: alanww
Date: 22 Oct 08 - 12:29 PM

In my song book I have this down as "Trad English". How's about that for a cop out?
Does anyone know any more about its origins?
The only thing I can find in searching the web is the view that "the verse about the MP ... suggests that it dates from the late 19th or early 20th century, as an employed person in a rural area ? which the singer evidently is ? would almost certainly not have had a vote before the 3rd Reform Act of 1884 at the earliest and, maybe, not until 1918." See Triangle Music.
Thanks for any help.
"... it tells its own tale!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: RTim
Date: 22 Oct 08 - 01:54 PM

I always thought it came from Headington in Oxfordshire via Jim Phillips of the morris team. Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Oct 08 - 02:13 PM

It smacks very much of the 1920s Albert Richardson/Ernest Butcher style. I'd guess it appeared on a 78 round about then. Roy Palmer printed the only version I have seen in print in his Everyman's Book of English Country Songs, under the title 'Good English Ale'. He says 'collected by Mike Yates in 1964 from the Cantwell family, Standlake, Oxon. I picked my version up from other folk club singers. I recorded a fragment in the 60s myself in Yorkshire which rather suggests a 78 as the source. The dialect being very different to Yorkshire!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Little Robyn
Date: 22 Oct 08 - 02:52 PM

Free Reed put out a record in 1993 with it on, 'A tale of ale'.
Danny Spooner sang it in 1978, but we were singing it in 1968.
We can't remember where we learnt it - maybe from Richard Doctors. Where are you now Dickon?
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 02:52 AM

Professor Vic Gammon [ The Tale Of Ale ] cites it as a music hall song.

eric


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Tradsinger
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 03:47 AM

Bob Arnold of Oxfordshire used to sing it as 'Good English Ale', like the Cantwell family.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 06:03 AM

"Glorious Ale" was one of a handful of songs which Jim Phillips - Squire of the Headington Quarry Morris men ? made his own. In the early 1960s it was a regular crowd-pleaser at the occasional sing-arounds which he ? along with Dennis Manners of Oxford City Morris men - presided over in the Mason's Arms. (An appropriate location, since Jim was a stonemason by trade.) A fair few people learned it from Jim, directly or indirectly, but where he got it from I don't know.

The song's words aren't in the conventional music-hall parody of rustic dialect (as in "Oi comes up from Zummerzet"), and the tune has something of a parlour-piano feel about it, with a gentler flow than the usual rumpty-tumpty music hall beat. But since there was a lot of cross-over between the two genres, it may well have featured in both kinds of environment. Anyhow, a number of songs of this type were issued on 78 rpm recordings in the 1920s and '30s. Some of them ? "Buttercup Joe" for example ? became very popular and eventually worked their way into the oral tradition. It therefore seems quite probable that Jim got it by that route.

Whatever the source, it's a fine song - good luck to all those who sing it.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Barbara
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 11:59 PM

I had it in a Copper Family songbook that I photocopied in the 60s. Not sure when the book was published.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Barbara
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 12:01 AM

No, wait, I'm wrong. I was thinking of "Jones Ale" (when Jones Ale was New... Sorry.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:17 AM

Jones' Ale is also a fine English drinking song.

eric


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Subject: ADD Version: Good English Ale
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:45 AM

I don't know where the Digital Tradition song came from, but it's quite different from this version:


GOOD ENGLISH ALE

When I was a little 'un, my father did say,
"Whenever the sun shines, that's time to make hay:
And when hay is carted, don't never you fail
To drink farmer's health in a pint of good ale."

CHORUS
Ale, ale, good English ale,
Filled up in pewter, it tells its own tale.
Some folks like radishes and some curly kale,
But give I boiled parsnips and a great dish of taters,
And a lump of fat bacon and a quart of good ale

I pities tee-totallers, they drinks water neat;
It must rot their stomachs and give 'em damp feet.
I allus did say, a man couldn't get stale
On broad beans and bacon and pots of good ale.
CHORUS

When men goes to parliament their pledge for to keep,
They does nothing else but just sit there and sleep.
The next that I vote for will be a female,
If she'll keep me awake with a pot of good ale.


page 200, #120, English Country Songbook, Roy Palmer (1979, 1986)
Sung by the Cantwell Family, Standlake, Oxon.; collected by Mike Yates 21.6.1964

I think the tune in Palmer is different enough to warrant posting a MIDI:

Click to play


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Subject: ADD: Food, Glorious Food (Lionel Bart)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:48 AM

So...from the musical "Oliver" - some in the audience would already be familiar with the Glorious Food song???

Food, Glorious Food
(Lionel Bart)


Is it worth the waiting for?
If we live 'til eighty four
All we ever get is gru...el!
Ev'ry day we say our prayer --
Will they change the bill of fare?
Still we get the same old gru...el!
There is not a cust, not a crumb can we find,
Can we beg, can we borrow, or cadge,
But there's nothing to stop us from getting a thrill
When we all close our eyes and imag...ine

Food, glorious food!
Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood --
Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloys!
What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys --
In-di-gestion!

Food, glorious food!
We're anxious to try it.
Three banquets a day --
Our favourite diet!

Just picture a great big steak --
Fried, roasted or stewed.
Oh, food,
Wonderful food,
Marvellous food,
Glorous food.

Food, glorious food!
What is ther emore handsome?
Gulped, swallowed or chewed --
Still worth a kin's ransom.
What is it we dream about?
Wat brings on a sigh?
Piled pieahes and cream , about
Six feet high!

Food, glorious food!
Eat right through the menu.
Just loosen your belt
Two inches and then you
Work up a new appetite.
In this interlude --
The food,
Once again, food
Fabulous food,
Glorious food.

Food, glorious food!
Don't care what it looks like --
Burned!
Underdone!
Crude!
Don't care what the cook's like.
Just thinking of growing fat --
Our senses go reeling
One moment of knowing that
Full-up feeling!

Food, glorious food!
What wouldn't we give for
That extra bit more --
That's all that we live for
Why should we be fated to
Do nothing but brood
On food,
Magical food,
Wonderful food,
Marvellous food,
Fabulous food,
Beautiful food,
Glorious food

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 04:10 AM

The song's words aren't in the conventional music-hall parody of rustic dialect (as in "Oi comes up from Zummerzet")

There would appear to exist a convention of singing but give I boiled parsnips in a parody of a rustic dialect, one observed in at least two of the singarounds where I've heard this song, and now perpetuated in my own renderings. How many others have encountered this?

I sang it at a recent gig at the Bare Arts Brewery in Todmorden. Anyone in the area with a yen for Glorious craft-brewed Ale, yet yourselves thither!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 05:10 AM

I think this line reveals the dodgy origins of the song. Anybody with any sense would roast a parsnip!

L in C


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 06:22 AM

Agreed! Can there be any finer thing in the word than roast parsnips? In fact - better roast any vegetable than boil it. There's bound to be a few exceptions to that, but the persistence of boiling in English cooking I find alarming in the extreme. Roast ingans are my favourites right now...

How would it be to sing bring I roast parsnips though? What do we value most - culinary perfection or fidelity to the tradition? Just as long as no one takes us too literally of course.

Any other good vegetable / beer related folk songs out there, or do we need another thread for that?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Marje
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 06:41 AM

As I understand it, parsnips were the staple root vegetable in the British diet before the potato found its way to our shores. Common people in centuries past would not have had the means to roast them, so boiling would be how they were cooked much of the time. Ovens were found only in the homes of the better-off, or at the local bakery.

I should think the song is alluding to this in an attempt to suggest that it's older than it is.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 06:44 AM

Well Sean, I am all with the living tradition so roast it will be when I get round to learning it,

Lots of good ale songs - they could be massaged:

Oh roast veg thow art my darlin'
Thow art my joy both night and morning

But, who's that at the door?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 07:00 AM

That's an interesting point Marge. I guess before the Industrial Revolution most people worked on the land and lived in tied dwellings - very small and probably unpleasant. But using wood as fuel would some things be "grilled"?

Chiz

L in C


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: r.padgett
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 07:32 AM

I had this one from Derek Elliot a favourite at Christmas.

Derek was a member of Barnsley Longsword team and he had ~ "Some folks like radishes some curli kale but give I boiled parsnips and a good dish of tattas and lump of fatty bacon and a pint of good ale",

I thought perhaps the Yetties had recorded this at some stage?

Ray


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Subject: ADD Version: Glorious Ale
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 10:47 AM

Yeah, Ray, Yetties could easily have been my source. They were regular guests at the Bluebell.

Here's my twopennorth

GLORIOUS ALE

When I was a young lad my father did say,
'Summer's nigh over let's go and make hay,
And when the hay has been carted don't you never fail
To drink gaffer's health in a pint of good ale

Ale, ale, glorious a-a-ale
Served up in pewter it tells its own tale
Some folk like raddishes, some curlie Kale,
But give I boiled parsnips and a gurt dish of taters
An' a big lump o' fatty ba-acon and a pint of good ale.

Now take all teetotallers who drinks water neat,
It must rot their guts out and give 'em damp feet,
I've allus thought lads that you'll never fail,
On broad beans and cabbages, and a pint of good a-a-ale. ch

Our MPs in parliment we're anxious to keep,
We 'opes now we've gorrem there they don't sit an' sleep.
They'll allus get my vote if they never fail
To bring down the price of a pint of good a-a-ale. ch

I have a nasty suspicion the writer had flatulence on his mind as well as drinking, taking into account the combination of consumables and the possible hazards of combining the drinking with singing line 3!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Marje
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 12:35 PM

To get back to the culinary aspects - Les, I think any "grill" in a simple house would be more like a griddle that could be hung over the fire. You could make scones and some sorts of bread like that, and no doubt cook other smaller items. But I don't think it would do much for parsnips.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: alanww
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 02:12 PM

Thanks for your interesting thoughts Everyone
So, prior to the 1960s, I guess that nobody has much more firm info, except suggestions gleaned from the words in the song.
It certainly sounds like a music hall song to me but we don't seem to have any evidence in support of that.
Any further thoughts?
"... and a lump of fatty bacon ...!"
Alan
PS
I agree with Les: parsnips should be roasted!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Newport Boy
Date: 02 Nov 08 - 05:33 PM

Catching up after a couple of weeks away.

Steve's version is pretty much as printed in The Yetties book Out in the Green Fields (1974: Wise Publications).

No detailed information given - just the general "Traditional, arr Yetties"

Phil


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: alanww
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 12:41 PM

Any final thoughts before I give up on this?
"... it tells its own tale!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Little Robyn
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 01:26 PM

If you can find a Yettie and ask him......
Are there any Yetties still out there?
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: GUEST,Biddy Hen
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 10:24 PM

Marge you are wrong regarding most people would not have had the means to roast them. The fire came before the boiling pot. Perhaps you are familar with "chestnuts roasting on an open fire." Most werzels prefer roasting over boiling because there is no pot to clean.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 10:36 PM

Can somebody give me tips on roasting vegetables? I do carrots, potatoes, and onions quite well, with rosemary and olive oil in a medium oven (350 degrees F) for about an hour. How about beets and other vegetables? I suppose one wouldn't want to roast the more delicate vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts and peas and corn, but what can be roasted, and what are good ways to do it?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Rowan
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 01:11 AM

The version presented by Steve is the one I heard sung around Melbourne in the late 60s and early 70s.

Those times being what they were, another chorus became popular,
viz.

Dope, D\dope, glorious dope;
in pipes or in chillums it gives the world hope.
Some folks likes alcohol, some likes a grope,
but give I ten dimsims and a greasy hamburger,
a great block of chocolate
and an ounce of good dope!

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 05:12 AM

Joe,

"I suppose one wouldn't want to roast the more delicate vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts and peas and corn"

I have never tried broccoli or sprouts but one of the first roasted veg I came across was whilst working on a Summer Camp in Becket, Mass. a guy called Bruce, who was in charge of Camping, roasted Sweetcorn - Maize (?) in its sheaf of leaves and very tasty it was.

I guess if a vegetable has natural sugar, roasting will tend to cause "caramelization" and hence more flavour. Boiling makes tender at the price of leaching out flavour.

Now, "Glorious Ale" what's that for?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: BB
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 02:28 PM

Joe, talk about going off the subject! However, beetroot is gorgeous roasted, as are tomatoes (but tomatoes don't work so well if put with other roasting veg.) - and as so many have said above, parsnips! Sweet potatoes and celeriac are good too. Beetroot needs to be boiled in its skin, and then peeled first. And some veg. is better if it's par-boiled for 5 mins. first. Your method is fine.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 03:34 PM

I just recently discovered roasted leeks--split lengthwise, with a smidge of garlic and a light spray of olive oil. Delicious!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 03:48 PM

Hey, Barbara - am I really off-topic? Are beets really that far separated from parsnips? I'm partial to rutabagas, myself - but haven't found a suitable way to roast them. I'm good at squash, though.

This thread drove me to buy the Free Reed Tale of Ale CD. It's a real treat, almost as good as rutabagas.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 04:32 PM

I can confirm that Jim Phillipps version of the line was"give I boiled parsnips and a gurt dish of taters" in Headington in 63.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: BB
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 05:12 PM

Isn't it just, Joe? Really must transfer our old vinyl copy to CD, then we can listen to it again.

Mmm, I'd forgotten leeks - must try that way again.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: GUEST,Biddy Hen
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:32 AM

Joe Offer where in the world would you get the idea that one wouldn't want to roast the more delicate vegitables such as corn? Surely you have heard of ROASTING EARS and it does not refer to pork or little children. And since all grains can be sprouted and turned into malt corn goes with ale, glorious ale so you are still on topic.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:22 AM

Ooops - I wasn't thinking of corn on the cob - I've roasted corn on the barbecue grill and it has been wonderful. Does it roast well in the oven?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: DG&D Dave
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 03:20 AM

Nice one Joe...
This is the best case of thread creep I've seen yet!

Alan, I think the music hall theory has a lot to commend it. But, I cannot find a thread of evidence.

"Someones been roasting my potatoes, trampling on my vines..." Ouch.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Artful Codger
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 04:18 AM

Les: What's "Glorious Ale" for? Braising veg, of course. ;-}

[Braising is where you cook food in a shallow bath of liquid (like wine, stock or beer), keeping the pan tightly covered so the food simultaneously sautés, steeps and steams.]


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: GUEST,Janus
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 06:55 AM

I am currently listening to a recording of Danny Spooner, Martin Wyndham-Read, Gordon MacIntyre and Peter Dickie.. Recording date: 1966


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Joe_F
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 09:06 PM

Anglophones of all countries, beware of the word "corn"! But if you mean by it what we mean by it in the US (Indian corn or maize), then it roasts very well indeed. Roasting it on hot coals (in its husk) is the regular thing at clambakes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: TenorTwo
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 10:36 AM

As the author of the tentative speculations on the origins of "Glorious Ale" quoted in the original post, I feel slightly obliged to put in my two-pennorth:

(1d) I incline to attributing the song to the "Albert Richardson School" - it does remind me very strongly of "Buttercup Joe", but I can't prove anything.

(2d) I'll have my parsnips roasted, if it's all the same to everyone.

T2


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Subject: RE: Origins: Ale, ale, glorious ale
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Dec 13 - 06:50 AM

Buttercup Joe


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