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Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?

GUEST,Carmel 23 Dec 08 - 04:58 AM
Snuffy 23 Dec 08 - 09:28 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Dec 08 - 09:08 PM
NightWing 29 Dec 08 - 09:31 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 29 Dec 08 - 09:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Dec 08 - 10:41 PM
Snuffy 30 Dec 08 - 04:01 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 30 Dec 08 - 07:01 AM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Dec 08 - 07:24 AM
maeve 30 Dec 08 - 08:11 AM
Snuffy 31 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,Carmel 04 Dec 11 - 04:06 PM
Mo the caller 05 Dec 11 - 06:55 AM
Mo the caller 05 Dec 11 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Catherine O'Dwyer 23 Dec 14 - 08:34 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: GUEST,Carmel
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:58 AM

It's tradition in our family to sing a rhyme on Christmas Eve - this has been passed down from generation to generation. I'm desperately trying to track the full lyrics down (if they exist?) as it would make my Dad very happy. Here goes...

Get up ye wives, and bake ye pies, it's Christmas Day in the morning.

The bell's will ring, and the cats will sing and the dogs will go to church. Some in rags and some in tags and some in ruffle shirts!

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 09:28 AM

Sounds like two songs/rhymed welded together:

Dame, get up and bake your pies,
Bake your pies, bake your pies;
Dame, get up and bake your pies,
On Christmas-day in the morning.

Dame, what makes your maidens lie,
Maidens lie, maidens lie;
Dame, what makes your maidens lie,
On Christmas-day in the morning?

Dame, what makes your ducks to die,
Ducks to die, ducks to die;
Dame, what makes your ducks to die,
On Christmas-day in the morning?

Their wings are cut and they cannot fly,
Cannot fly, cannot fly;
Their wings are cut, and they cannot fly,
On Christmas-day in the morning.


To which has been added part of the following:

Hark hark the dogs do bark
The beggars are coming to town
Some in rags and some in jags
And one in a velvet gown.


Apparently Jags are slashes or slits in a garment exposing material of a different color (especially popular during the Tudor period.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 09:08 PM

Lancashire Folk-Lore by John Harland and Thomas Turner Wilkinson (London: Frederick Warne and Co., 1867) contains these words:

Early, long before dawn, on Christmas morning, young voices echoed through streets and lanes, in the words of the old song—

Get up old wives,
And bake your pies,
'Tis Christmas-day in the morning;
The bells shall ring,
The birds shall sing,
'Tis Christmas-day in the morning.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: NightWing
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 09:31 PM

Snuffy,

I had always recalled that second bit as a Mother Goose rhyme going:

Hark! hark! the dogs do bark
The beggars are coming to town
Some in rags and some in bags
And some in velvet gowns.

(Not saying that you're wrong and I'm right; merely saying I had heard it differently. :-)

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 09:41 PM

The first song Snuffy quotes is essentially the version of Christmas Day In The Morning (minor differences only) as printed in Bruce & Stokoe's Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Dec 08 - 10:41 PM

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter-

"It refers to the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-1540) including, of course, St. Nicholas Priory, perpetrated by King Henry VIII and his chief minister Thomas Cromwell, when Egland broke from the Catholic religion. Their objective was to loot the monasteries and seize the monastic lands (which they promptly sold) thus increasing the wealth in the coffers of England. This resulted in monks begging in the streets and reflected in the lyrics of 'Hark, hark, the dogs do bark...'"

Tudor rhymes


Snuffy is correct re. 'jags.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: Snuffy
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 04:01 AM

NightWing

I also remember the last line as And some in velvet gowns. I just didn't spot that the website I cut and pasted the words from was different.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 07:01 AM

That's interesting, because I did learn it as "one in a velvet gown". (Mine wore tags rather than jags or bags, both of which make more sense.) I even have an old View-Master picture reel (remember those?) of illustrated nursery rhymes for children, with the verse printed at the bottom. This was in central California rather than Britain, if that makes any difference.

For this one they had all the jolly beggars parading down the street in a festive assortment of patches and colours, and one lone figure in an elegant red gown, holding herself with dignity and standing out from the company she was in. (These were not real-life actors but crafted 3-D figures on what looked like miniature stage-settings, quite beautifully done.) My young self used to wonder what had happened to her, whether she had come down in the world and that gown was her one remaining possession from happier days; or whether she'd stolen or been given the dress as charity and was now affecting airs & graces, trying to distance herself from her rougher companions.

That's one of the joys of pictures and poetry, that the child can imagine him/herself inside them and make up stories. It's also one of the joys of Mudcat, that it calls to mind images and recollections I had not thought of in years. What a great thread, you guys - thanks for the memory!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 07:24 AM

'And one in a velvet gown' and 'And some in velvet gowns' are both found in print sources. 'Bags' seems to be a late C19 corruption of the more usual 'tags' (cf 'rags and tags', 'rag, tag and bobtail' etc). Iona and Peter Opie (Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, number 140) print 'jags' in their 'standard' text, but it isn't clear that this is necessarily the earlier form; in any case the frequently repeated statement that the rhyme has 'Tudor' origins is mere speculation unsupported by actual evidence. The Opies refer to the suggestion without endorsing it. The rhyme itself first appears in print (Gammer Gurton's Garland) in 1784, but may have been modelled on something earlier; verses in the same metre and with the same opening line (they are otherwise unrelated) appear, for example, in the Westminster Drollery of 1672.

The document Q links to is a particularly pernicious thing, repeating all manner of baseless speculation as 'fact'. Much of it seems to derive (though probably at many removes) from publications such as Katherine Elwes Thomas, The Real Personages of Mother Goose (Boston, 1930) in which bizarre theories from the fevered imaginations of some very eccentric people are presented as established fact. The study of folk literature in general is bedevilled with such things, but the nursery rhyme in particular has ever been a playground for those who the Opies (who should always be consulted on such matters; ODNR is still the standard work) tactfully refer to as 'the happy guessers'.

Carmel's family rhyme does seem to be a collation as 'Snuffy' suggests, with some further alterations made (the church/shirts part I haven't located; perhaps it is peculiar to this example?). What part of the world is your family from? How long have they sung those words?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: maeve
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 08:11 AM

How good it is to see your informative post, Malcolm. Welcome back.

"Hark, Hark" was the first poem I learned by heart, as printed in Tasha Tudor's book of nursery rhymes. I was four or five and starting to make poems and pictures myself.

For me, her illustration for the poem is forever intertwined with the words. She used the "one" and "tags" version. I can't get to my copy to check on her source right now.

I am intrigued by the conjoined version Carmel posted and look forward to reading more about it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: Snuffy
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM

It's good to see you back in action, Malcolm, and shooting down the "happy guessers". We've missed you and your erudition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: GUEST,Carmel
Date: 04 Dec 11 - 04:06 PM

Some 3 years later I'm still searching!!

We're from East Lancashire. My Granddad used to sing it to my Dad. This year my 2.5 year old will be on the phone to Granddad first thing on Christmas Eve mumbling the words...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 06:55 AM

I think you can probably tell your Dad that it's a unique family tradition based on the verses quoted above.
As soon as you've made this authoritative statement someone will come up with another version with dogs going to church. What a shame that when they do Malcolm Douglas won't be reading it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 10:06 AM

When I was expected to produce a Nativity play at the Preschool Playgroup I supervised we used to start with a version of Dame Get Up and Bake your Pies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas - Some in rags?
From: GUEST,Catherine O'Dwyer
Date: 23 Dec 14 - 08:34 PM

In New Zealand, my father would get up on xmas eve morning and get the family sing to his mother over the phone:

Get up old wives and bake your pies it's christmas day in the morning
....(don't remember) ...and now the day is dawning (I think)

The bells are ringing, the cats are singing, the dogs are going to church,
some in rags and some in bags and some in dirty shirts.

My grandmother was from Manchester.


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