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Lyr Req: I Am an English Navvy

GUEST,Colin Bargery 26 Nov 08 - 06:09 AM
Joe Offer 26 Nov 08 - 01:26 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Nov 08 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,Colin Bargery 02 Dec 08 - 11:37 AM
Ian Hendrie 18 Dec 08 - 07:45 AM
Jim Dixon 19 Dec 08 - 07:42 PM
Ian Hendrie 20 Dec 08 - 01:53 PM
Joe Offer 14 May 09 - 09:27 PM
Jim Dixon 18 May 09 - 11:52 AM
MartinRyan 18 May 09 - 11:58 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: I am an English Navvy
From: GUEST,Colin Bargery
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 06:09 AM

I am looking for a complete set of the words to a temperance song published in the 'Quarterly Letter to Navvies' about 1885. The chorus starts "Yes, I am an English Navvy; but, oh, not an English sot". The chorus is referred to by several authors and repeated on many websites but I can't find a full set of words. Can anybody help ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I am an English Navvy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 01:26 PM

Hi, Colin - a Google search for "english navvy" "english sot" comes up with a bit:


from Churching the Ungodly (victorianweb.com):
The Letter (Quarterly Letter to Navvies from the Navvy Mission Society) also printed what must be history's least sung anti-booze ballad, so appalling it could only damage sobriety's reputation. (To make it worse it was written by a Scot but attributed in the chorus to an Englishman.) It went to the tune "The Days We Went A-Gipsying":
    Chorus:
    Yes, I am an English navvy, but, oh, not an English sot,
    I have run my pick through alcohol, in bottle, glass, or pot,
    And with the spade of abstinence, and all the power I can,
    I am spreading out a better road for every working man.
...but maybe you had this chorus already. If you're requesting a song, it's best to give us what you have already. That way, if we don't get an answer, at least we have something - and sometimes years later, somebody does come up with an answer.
-Joe-


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ENGLISH NAVVY
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 09:24 PM

From Our Navvies: A Dozen Years Ago and To-Day by Elizabeth Garnett (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1885):

THE ENGLISH NAVVY.
A NEW TEMPERANCE SONG.

Tune:—"The days we went a-gipsying."

1. I AM an English navvy, and I tell the tale with glee,
Tho' thousand curl their lips in scorn, and mock at chaps like me;
But round and round our kingly isle, on meadow, glen, and hill,
Ten thousand mighty monuments proclaim our strength and skill.

CHORUS:
Yes, I am an English navvy; but, oh, not an English sot.
I have run my pick through alcohol, in bottle, glass, or pot;
And with the spade of abstinence, and all the power I can,
I am spreading out a better road for every working man.

2. We have set the light-house on the rock, the harbour on the strand,
And run the tunnels through the hill, that commerce might expand;
But while Britannia holds aloft her flag of old renown,
This cruel drink, with crushing might, keeps British workmen down.



Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Am an English Navvy
From: GUEST,Colin Bargery
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 11:37 AM

Thanks Jim. I think that you have helped me in the past. I beleive that Leicester University has a run od the quarterly letter to navvies so I am going to try to get a look at them. thanks again. colin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Am an English Navvy
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 07:45 AM

I have acquired the 'Our Navvies' book from BiblioBazaar who run a print-on-demand service for out of print books. Their service and quality of product was very good so I am happy to give them a plug here. Unfortunately Elizabeth Garnett who described the song as 'very good' chose to quote only the two verses. I have taken the liberty of adding the two verses plus chorus to my 'Songs of the Inland Waterways' website. The song may well have been written after the canal boom but never mind.

I would also be interested in hearing about any additional verses or to have the tune 'The days we went a-gipsying'. Googling it comes up with recording by British army regimental bands!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Am an English Navvy
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 07:42 PM

See this thread: Lyr Add: In the Days We Went a-Gypsying


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Am an English Navvy
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 01:53 PM

Thanks Jim,
I've looked at all the references on that thread and note that 'In the days We Went a-Gypsying' was a well-known tune used for many songs.
Does anyone know where there might be an abc file for this tune? - Or any other form of it!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Am an English Navvy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 May 09 - 09:27 PM

Check this thread (click) for Laurel Swift's request for the tune to "Ghosts" by Colin Bargery.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Am an English Navvy
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 May 09 - 11:52 AM

The sheet music to IN THE DAYS WHEN WE WENT GYPSYING by J. N. Sporle can be seen at the Library of Congress web site.

An ABC transcription of the tune has been posted here.

I don't know what Joe Offer was talking about. Maybe he posted that message in the wrong thread!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Am an English Navvy
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 May 09 - 11:58 AM

I don't know what Joe Offer was talking about. Maybe he posted that message in the wrong thread!

Jim

I think he was just casting his float among the ditch-crawlers on a related matter!

Regards


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