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

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?

DigiTrad:
COCK O' THE MIDDEN
I'LL HAE NAE MAIR O' YER CHEESE
SAILOR HOME FROM THE SEA
TOCHER, THE


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Auntie Mary Had a Canary (45)
Lyr Add: Cock of the North (54)
(origins) Lyr/Tune Add: Sailor Home from the Sea (D Hewett) (13)
Cock of the Morning/North (17)
Lyr Req: Cock of the North (8)
Lyr Req: Cock o' the North / Hi fer Geordie (8)


Ewan McVicar 28 Jun 99 - 12:20 PM
Doctor John 28 Jun 99 - 03:32 PM
Bob Bolton 28 Jun 99 - 06:36 PM
Murray on Salt Spring 29 Jun 99 - 03:01 AM
Ewan McVicar 29 Jun 99 - 05:22 AM
Den 29 Jun 99 - 06:36 PM
Bob Landry 29 Jun 99 - 06:49 PM
Captain Swing 29 Jun 99 - 06:59 PM
Ewan McVicar 30 Jun 99 - 04:19 AM
Doctor John 30 Jun 99 - 04:53 PM
gargoyle 01 Jul 99 - 07:39 AM
Bert 01 Jul 99 - 09:56 AM
Captain Swing 01 Jul 99 - 02:49 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 01 Jul 99 - 05:37 PM
Steve Parkes 02 Jul 99 - 03:11 AM
Ewan McVicar 02 Jul 99 - 05:09 AM
Ian 02 Jul 99 - 07:36 AM
Steve Parkes 02 Jul 99 - 07:40 AM
Bob Bolton 05 Jul 99 - 03:08 AM
the plumber 23 Jan 00 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 23 Jan 00 - 04:31 PM
Mary G 23 Jan 00 - 04:44 PM
Jo Taylor 23 Jan 00 - 07:21 PM
Stewie 23 Jan 00 - 07:54 PM
GUEST 12 Jan 04 - 05:32 PM
akenaton 12 Jan 04 - 05:58 PM
ard mhacha 13 Jan 04 - 11:41 AM
Dave Bryant 13 Jan 04 - 12:02 PM
Herga Kitty 13 Jan 04 - 02:35 PM
RoyH (Burl) 13 Jan 04 - 03:02 PM
gary213 13 Jan 04 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,Purtisha fae Glesca 06 Jul 04 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Purtisha, fae Glesga 06 Jul 04 - 04:09 AM
John MacKenzie 06 Jul 04 - 04:22 AM
Billy the Bus 06 Jul 04 - 05:15 AM
Snuffy 06 Jul 04 - 09:12 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Jul 04 - 09:48 AM
Flash Company 06 Jul 04 - 10:28 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 Jul 04 - 10:50 AM
Billy Suggers 06 Jul 04 - 10:58 AM
Big Jim from Jackson 06 Jul 04 - 11:21 AM
Jim McLean 06 Jul 04 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Brooke 20 Aug 04 - 02:47 AM
The Walrus 20 Aug 04 - 05:32 AM
RoyH (Burl) 20 Aug 04 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 22 Aug 04 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,dunc 20 Jan 07 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,Andyval 21 Jan 07 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Jim I 22 Jan 07 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,meself 22 Jan 07 - 06:37 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 28 Jun 99 - 12:20 PM

Here's another one I believe to be pretty exclusively Scottish, but I'd be content to be proved wrong. For a start, Ken Dodd sang it the other night on TV, clearly expecting his Scouser audience to know the next - rude line.
I have collected many variants.
Most usual first line is
Aunty Mary had a canary, up the leg of her drawers
But older versions have
Aunty Mary had a canary, whistled the Cock of the North
or even
Barnum and Bailey had a canary
The tune I've almost invariably found used is indeed The Cock of the North.
After the first line things go many ways. In older versions the Canary wins the Victoria Cross for noble or rude deeds. Santa Claus sometimes falls into the act. Peeing and farting abounds in versions I have.
What I now seek is - if you are not Scots, what version do you have of the song, and when and where did you hear it? Has it travelled to the USA? (I have one version from Australia, from Scots emigres.)
Please help me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Doctor John
Date: 28 Jun 99 - 03:32 PM

Yes I heard the "Aunty Mary had a canary up the leg of her drawers, when she f...etc" on the streets forty years ago in South Lancashire. It began:

"We keep hens in our back yard we feed 'em on Indian corn,
One's a bugger for raggin' the other and that's how they were born."

We used to dance to the tune at the village hall and sing the words after too much Tetleys.
DrJohn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 28 Jun 99 - 06:36 PM

G'day Ewan,

Here in Australia, I seem to have always known (and therefore probably learned from my ex-Lancashire Grandfather, who was in the Australian Army in both World Wars) a version that ran:

Aunty Mary had a canary,
Up the leg of her drawers.
For 'oors and 'oors, it cursed the Boers
And won the Victoria Cross.

When we we putting together a set of dance tunes for the Bush Music Club (in the 1970s) a Scouser lass, married to a local fiddler, was helping and she half-remembered another variant. This was probably:

Aunty Mary had a canary,
Up the leg of her drawers.
When it came down, it's beak was brown
And it said "I'm the Cock of the North".

but she didn't remember the last line and none of us could remember the name of the the tune we used at a certain point - so it was published as "Aunty Mary" ... which is now a common Australian synonym for Cock of the North.

Incidentally, this song must be slightly related to one (obviously to Comin' Thro' the Rye) that ended up in the first Australian Scout Songbook, which my father worked on.

Sister Mary bought a canary
From the butcher boy
Sister Mary bought a canary
It was her pride and joy
But the bird would never whistle
And she wondered why;
'Till she saw the sparrow's feathers
Comin' thro' the dye

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Murray on Salt Spring
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 03:01 AM

Rwan, you'll have seen the version in Barke's essay on "pornography & Bawdry in Literature and Society" [a very pompous title, that!] in the Smith-Barke-Ferguson edition of The Merry Muses of Caledonia (1959 etc.), which is the same as Bob's above. The "Barnum & Bailey" version is in Nicht at Eenie (1932), 33, with music, whence Montgomerie, Scottish Nursery Rhymes (1946), 95.[This has no mention of unmentionables.] Nicht at Eenie has another, ibid., which may be the original of that one, namely

"Sister Mary had a canary
Whustled "The Cock o' the North."
It whustled for hoors & frightened the Booers,
And won the Victoria Cross.

A long time since I heard just a fragment of what may be another version,:-

"Auntie Mary had a canary
Up the leg o' her breeks"
[Leslie, Fife, circa 1940 maybe].

But I don't see what the ensuing rhyme would be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 05:22 AM

I am developing a theory that the most efficient way of collecting folklore is to use the Net.

First three responses are all gold dust.

Doctor John – you and Bob Bolton both locate versions in Lancashire, suggesting a drift south from Scotland. Plus, is 'oor' for hour Lancashire pronunciation? [I assume it is, but know not. If so, how much further south would such a pronunciation run, think you?]

Was your (great) quoted verse to the first strain of the tune, or to the same strain as Aunty Mary? (I had by the way an initial image of dancehall teabag abuse, then recollected other brown liquids.)

Bob – thank you for two new variant lines – 'cursed' instead of 'frightened', and the "When it came down" line. Incidentally, which version of the song known is maybe a fair indication in some areas of when the pronunciation shift from Boer (boor) to Boer (bore) happened. Maybe.

Your Sister Mary song is brilliant as a possible source [or indicator of shared origin] for the fist line of Aunty Mary.

Murray – I know the Nicht at Eeenie and Montgomerie sources, [since music in both is by the same hand, I wonder if the Montgomeries had a hand in Nicht at Eenie?] but not the Barke one – thanks for that. Aunty Mary is in JRR Ritchie, but I've not found her in the Opies or Frank Shaw's You Know Me Aunty Nellie? She turns up in Scottish single person recollections a lot.

I'd assumed from Nicht at Eeenie's version that Sister Mary was a nurse in the Boer War, but as always in this game the more information I get the less I know for sure.

Most likely rhyme for breeks that occurs to me, because of the double meaning, is 'leeks', as in say

Aunty Mary had a canary,
Up the leg o' her breeks
It whistled for oors among the floors,
And piddled among the leeks.

There was a Mudcat thread at the end of May on 'Nonsense songs to dance tunes' which produced a possible source for the entry of the drawers to what can be polite enough:

To the tune of Cock of The North:

Chase me Charlie, Chase me Charlie,
Lost the leg of my drawers
Chase me Charlie, Chase me Charlie,
please will you lend me yours?

Prince Charles' party piece, learned from his Scots granny I expect, is

Aunty Mary had a canary,
whistled the Cock of the North
It whistled for hours, and frightened The Boers,
and won the Victoria Cross.

One other point in what is rather long for a posting – the final line of Sister Mary is shared by another squib which begins "Jean McPherson is a person with bonny yellow hair".

Thanks again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Den
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 06:36 PM

Ewan we had a version in N. Ireland that went

Auntie Mary had a canary
Up the leg of her drawers.
When she was sleeping we were peeping
Up the leg of her drawers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Bob Landry
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 06:49 PM

Before this thread, the only times I ever heard "Auntie Mary Had a Canary" was from Newfoundland singers. Great Big Sea incorporated part of this tune in one of their instrumentals which receives a lot of airplay in Canada. I don't know the name of the tune or of the CD.

My father played Cock of the North as I grew up in Nova Scotia while, at the same time, my buddy Garry learned it in 3000 miles away in Alberta. Based on this, I would guess it's played all over North America.

Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Captain Swing
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 06:59 PM

My Mum used to sing

We had three chickens in our back yard,
We fed them on Indian corn,
We had three chickens in our back yard,
Now we've got none at all.
Chase me Charley, round the barley,
I've lost the leg of me drawers.
Chase me Charley, round the barley,
will you lend me yours?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 30 Jun 99 - 04:19 AM

Den - got that one - but you're my first Northern Ireland report so far [which is astonishing considering the interaction between the North and Scotland).
Bob - you might know it would be Newfies - I was telling stories at a festival in Prince Edward Island last Sept and met a few.
Captain Swing - where where where did your mum come from, and when did you hear the song from her? [I need to try to establish chronologies as best I can.]
If it was sung to the Cock of The North tune it seems undoubtedly a source for the drawers element. Even if not it fits the bill so neatly. (It could be the other way, but the neat nature of your verses maeks that very unlikely.)
All contributors - I should have explained before now that at the age of 57 years I'm working on a doctorate on Scottish Children's Song, the working title of which is Auntie Mary Had A Canary. I'm working over my first chapter, using this song as an exemplar on how such songs are so often cut-and-paste remakes and reassemblies.
Thanks again for help.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Doctor John
Date: 30 Jun 99 - 04:53 PM

Ewan, The first verse I gave was to the first part of the tune. Dr John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: gargoyle
Date: 01 Jul 99 - 07:39 AM

By any chance, do you folk know of a site which has the tune "Cock of the North." To all of you it appears to be a standard. In the States I am not familar with it by that name.

Thanks


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Bert
Date: 01 Jul 99 - 09:56 AM

Here 'tiz

http://www.leeds.ac.uk/music/Info/RRTuneBk/RRtunes1/01/00000100.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Captain Swing
Date: 01 Jul 99 - 02:49 PM

Ewan, my mum was born and brought up in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, UK. She sang those words to me when I first started playing the mandolin around 1971/72. The 'Cock of the North " was one of the first tunes I learned and she heared me practising it. I guess she picked it up at school between 1925 and 1935.

Captain Swing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 01 Jul 99 - 05:37 PM

If I am not mistaken there is also a song called Cock of the North which is not to the same tune. I think that was discussed here or on the Scots Music list some time back. The tune to Auntie Mary is the fiddle tune known as Cock of the North.

Figgy Duff from Newfoundland recorded the version Bob mentions, and I suspect GBS got it from their recording. Figgy Duff called it Auntie Mary, not Cock of the North.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:11 AM

I seem to recall (v-e-r-y slowly!) that the "Auntie Mary" tune was called "The dashing white sergeant" when I were a lad - or is that just the dance?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 05:09 AM

To thicken the plot, I've just found the statement in Emmerson's Rantin' Pipe and Tremblin String that "The jig Cock o' the North became the Irish Auntie Mary or the English Joan's Placket." Emmmerson transcribes Jaon's Placket, published 1817. On another Mudcat thread I learned that Irish fiddler Denis Murphy called the tune Chase Me Charlie.
Can any Irish tune person help re Auntie Mary as a tune? It is not in O'Neill's 1001 Irish Tunes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Ian
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 07:36 AM

More info in an earlier thread - here

Nonsense songs to dance tunes

Auntie Mary is probably chasing Charlie!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 07:40 AM

There was a show or music hall song "Chase me Charlie" which was not unlike AMHC in the opening bar or two:
Chase me Charlie, chase me Charlie,
Over the garden wall!"
is all I can remember.

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 03:08 AM

G'day Ewan,

Since you are using the information on Aunty Mary's peripatetic canary in an academic context, I should caution against putting too much trust in the regional origins of my grandfather's songs. Although he was born in Lancashire, at Haslingden, in 1897, he went away to Grammar School in 1908 and would have had two or three years of Grammar Schooling before his father died and his mother migrated to Australia with the two boys.

In Australia, he served an appenticeship as a carpenter, in a country district and, as soon as his apprenticeship was complete (and his mother allowed him) he enlisted in the Australian Army to fight in World War I. He fought in Europe with the Artillery and was demobbed under the description of "driver" - presumably of horse-drawn artillery. He met my grandmother in the south (Titchfield) in this period.

He returned to Australia and worked as a carpenter until the great depression, when he spent a period on the 'Susso' - sustenance employment on government projects around the countryside - before he got a job as a carpenter on the Sydney Harbour Bridge construction and then work in building, as the economy picked up.

When the Second World War broke out, he re-enlisted and spent the early part of the war in training, then the latter part, as a Warrant Officer One (Regimental Sergeant Major), in charge of guards at Hay Prison Camp.

The point to all this is; Grandfather had a reasonably good start to his education and then was widely-travelled ... and spent a good decade, in two slices, in the army. He was a good singer and my memory is of a taste for 'parlour' songs and the repertoire of singers like Peter Dawson. It is possible that he could have learnt songs from many places and people (or printed sources) and it is not safe to assign a definite regional provenance to any of his songs ... but he did have a fondness for the Lancashire he was torn from as a lad.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: the plumber
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 12:44 PM

Aunty Mary had a canary
Up the leg of her drawers
It widnae come doon for half a croon
It was caught on the leg of her drawers.

This is the version we sang in Glasgow as children
--The Plumber


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 04:31 PM

"Joan's Placket Is Torn", 1685, is given as an ABC, B248 on my website.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Mary G
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 04:44 PM

I heard another verse...maybe in Newfoundland along with Auntie Mary..

Uncle Charlie had some barley
Up the leg of his drawers.
If you don't believe you can feel me
Up the leg of my drawers.

mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 07:21 PM

Steve
Different tunes, different dances -
Dashing White Sergeant
Cock o' the North

Jo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Jan 00 - 07:54 PM

Here in Australia, there was a children's rhyme that went along the lines of:

Aunt Mary had a canary
She also had a duck
She took it behind the kitchen door
And taught it how to
Fry the eggs and bacon
Leave it alone and play with your own
And paddle your own canoe

There may have been another line after 'fry the eggs and bacon'. I think the ditty may have been included in Ian Turner's collection of Australian children's rhymes: 'Cinderella Dressed in Yella', but I have not seen that book in years.

Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 05:32 PM

we came from an irish/scottish family and had an auntie mary to whom we as children would sing;

auntie mary had a canary
up the leg o' her drawers
she pulled a string
and made it sing
and it whistled the cock o' the north

Don't know which the side of the family we learnt this from but our auntie mary was irish.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: akenaton
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 05:58 PM

Believe it or not this was used as a childrens play song in the West of Scotland,in my byhood (when our parents wern't around).
Iv since discovered a dark side,as the third line refers to prostitution,andthe last to menstruation

Aunty Mary had a canary, up the leg o her drawers.
It widna come doon for half a croon ,
but doon came Santa Clause...Ake


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:41 AM

Captain Swing the last time I was in Grimsby it was in Lincoln, just over the River Humber from Hull.
And Den`s version of this lovely melody is the same in all other parts of the North.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:02 PM

I've always sung (to the "A" part of Cock of the North) -

Aunty Mary had a canary
Up the leg of her draws,
First it farted, then it departed
To a round of applause.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 02:35 PM

Dave

I think the version I heard was similar, but "When she farted it departed" - which would be understandable in the circs...

Kitty


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 03:02 PM

Growing up in Nottingham through the 1930s and 40s I learned from my parents,

'We've got chickens in our backyard
We feed 'em on Indian corn,
Some lay eggs and some lay pegs
And some lay nothing at all.
Chase me Charlie, Chase me Charlie,
Lost the leg of me drawers.
If you find it, never mind it,
Stitch it on to yours'.

They also sang,

'I wish I was a bobby,
Dressed in bobby's clothes.
With a big top hat, and a bellyful of fat,
And a pancake on my nose'.

And,

'We've got a baby, we've got a baby.
The neighbours know it's true.
In the middle of the night,
We have to strike a light,
And smack its little bottom 'til it's blue'.

(Sung to the tune of an old pop song called 'We're in the Navy', not to be confused with the Village People song.)

Other gems from the family repertoire include 'I like Pickled Onions', May the moon shine bright on Charlie Chaplin', 'I'm looking for the Ogo Pogo'. 'You are my sunshine, My double Woodbine'. And several more that I can't quite remember just now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: gary213
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 04:17 PM

This is the version i know

Auntie mary had a canary up the leg o' her dra'ers
she pulled a string, Her bra went ping
and doon came santa claus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: GUEST,Purtisha fae Glesca
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 03:48 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: GUEST,Purtisha, fae Glesga
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 04:09 AM

Oops! Lost my message. The gist of it was that my grandmother's maid taught my father and uncles a relatively innocuous version, but still considered very rude by my grandmother's standards, and it went like this:

          Auntie Mary had a canary
          Up the leg o' her drawers,
          And when it came down,
          It danced on its crown
          And won the Victoria Cross.

My, what strange stuff one comes across in the middle of the night!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 04:22 AM

To pick up on the thread drift on the words to the tune of Coming through the Rye. Alex Campbell used to sing these words.

Jean MacPherson is a person
Wi lang yella herr
We went thegither doon the watter
Last Glesca Ferr
The rain cam poorin oot the sky
Her herr she couldnae keep dry
And oh the day the streaks o' grey
Kept comin through the dye.

I also remember a snatch of another set of nonsense words, and that was to the tune Blaze Away. That started off,

When all of a sudden a great mealie pudden
Cam fleein' through the air

Giok


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 05:15 AM

G'day Ewan (if you are still with us),

Going backi to your original post from a half-decade back...

"Aunty Mary" was sung by kids in New Zealand in the 1950s, with verses much like those above - especially those from Bob Bolton. Some verses were NEVER sung in front of our parents, Akenaton!!! Despite having learned the Vowdlerised version from Mum and Dad.

Gary213 - Thanks for reviving the thread, I haven't thought of the song in a half-century. I haven't caught it before.

Burl - your contri from a half-year back mentioned a song about the moon and Charlie Chaplin, that was in your family song-fest...

That's taken me back to the 50s too (with a different tune to Aunty Mary and her Canary) - but with similar sentiments. The chorus went something like....


Oh, the sun shone down on Mrs Porter,
And on her daughter, who was a snorter,
Yes, the sun shone down on Mrs Porter [and on her daughter]
And it threw their shadows on the sh*t-house door


Or somesuch...

Can't remember any more at the moment. Must follow it up and start a new Fred....

Cheers - Sam


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 09:12 AM

Sounds like that was the Redwing tune, Billy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 09:48 AM

I marriesd a bonny wee Yorkshire lass
She wore a utility frock
the only thing that she could say
is
Stop your tick-e-ling Jock
I tickled her here
I tickled her there
I tickled her ev'rywhere
I tickled her here
I tickled her there
I tickled her ev'rywhere


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Flash Company
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 10:28 AM

Blaze Away always came out as:-
Aint it a pity she's only one t---y
To feed the baby on!

FC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 10:50 AM

Stewie posted several years ago from Australia:

Aunt Mary had a canary
She also had a duck
She took it behind the kitchen door
And taught it how to
Fry the eggs and bacon
Leave it alone and play with your own
And paddle your own canoe

This reminds me of Essex singer, dancer and box player extraorinaire Simon Ritchie's repertoire of cock-a-doodle-doo songs ("Me cock's me own so leave it alone, sing cock-a-doodle-doo").

A children's skipping song from North-East England:

One two three o'leary
I saw my Auntie Mary
Sitting on the lavatory
Eating chocolate dainties.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Billy Suggers
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 10:58 AM

.. in a cage indoors
it whistled & sang
and went off "bang"
and blew the leg off her drawers

(E Suffolk .. 1950s)

goes with

There was a bonny scotsman
at the battle of Waterloo
the wind blew up his petticoat
and shew his kangaroo

His kangaroo was dirty
so he showed it to the queen
who gave to him some Sunlight soap
to wash the bugger clean

(Lowestoft .. 1930s or before as me mum-in-law sang it as a girl)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 11:21 AM

On one of Gary and Vera Aspey's recordings Gary sing a quick verse (pretty much already covered in the comments)of "Aunti Mary". Of course, they are both Lankeys, clean to the bone!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 03:19 PM

One, two three O'leary,
I saw Wallace Beery,
Sittin' on his bumbleerie,
Kissin' Shirley Temple
(showing my age now!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: GUEST,Brooke
Date: 20 Aug 04 - 02:47 AM

I'm from Australia and the version I know is:

Aunty Mary had a canary; she also had a duck.
She took them behind the kitchen door to teach them how to...
Fry eggs for dinner, fry eggs for tea.
The more you eat, the more you drink, the more you want to...
Peter had a boat; the boat began to rock.
Up jumped Jaws and bit off his...
Cocktails, ginger ales, 40 cents a glass.
If you don't like it, shove it up your...
Ask no questions; tell no lies.
I saw a copper doing up his...
Flies are bad; mosquitoes are worse.
This is the end of a clean country verse.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: The Walrus
Date: 20 Aug 04 - 05:32 AM

Returning to 'Aunty Mary'

The version I grew up wth as a child was similar to Dave Bryant's:

My Aunty Mary had a canery
Up the leg of her drawers
When she farted, down it darted
Out the leg of her drawers.


as for 'One, two, three o'leary', one that lurks in the memory is:

One, two, three o'leary
My ball's gone down the airy
Please give it back to Mary
Not to Charlie Chaplin.

The 'airy' was the 'area', the 'light well' in front of a basement, where the dustbins are kept and which gives access to the coal celler.

Thinking back, I must have picked this up from friends and/or family in the early 1960s - but as, by then we were living on a suburban estate with never the breath of an 'airy' for miles...
(we moved out of Battersea in about 1962, during the great clearance/rebuild, before that there were airies a-plenty, as I recall).

Walrus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 20 Aug 04 - 01:18 PM

Yes, my tune, (and everybody elses I think), to 'Charlie Chaplin' was 'Pretty Redwing'.    We also had 'One, Two, Three Alaira, I saw my Auntie Sara, Sitting on a German aira, Eating chocolate biscuits. My wife used to skip to that one. Burl.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 22 Aug 04 - 07:26 AM

This thread continues to produce great versions of Aunty Mary!
Re 'Down the airy' I've heard that from someone recalling it in London in the 1940s.
The Scots version of 1 2 3 aleary links back to the poem Piers Plowman!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: GUEST,dunc
Date: 20 Jan 07 - 10:46 PM

Interesting that Billy Suggers remembers a version from Lowestoft...
I learnt it there as a kid in the 60s, and it's taken me years to remember the last line.

For us it went:
Auntie Mary had a canary
Up the leg of her drawers.
When she farted it departed
Never to sing any more.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: GUEST,Andyval
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 03:32 PM

Very similar to the version I remember;

Auntie Mary had a canary
Up the leg of her drawers
Whan she farted it departed
Through the patio doors


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: GUEST,Jim I
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 05:04 PM

Giok had
"When all of a sudden a great mealie pudden
Cam fleein' through the air"

FC had
Blaze Away always came out as:-
Aint it a pity she's only one t---y
To feed the baby on!

I seem to recall

"Mrs McVitty
had only one t**ty
To feed the baby on.
The poor little fu**er
Had only one sucker
to gnash his teeth upon.

When all of a sudden
a great mealie pudden
Cam fleein' through the air
It hit poor auld Nelly
A shot in the belly
And knocked her tae the flair."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Aunty Mary Had a Canary - where?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 06:37 PM

A couple of summers ago, my otherwise thoroughly proper mother shocked us all - not least of all my father - by singing:

Help me, Charlie, I've got barley,
Up the leg of me drawers;
Help me, Charlie, I've got barley,
Up the leg of me drawers.


This was from her childhood on Prince Edward Island ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

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


Mudcat time: 27 November 12:34 PM EST

[ 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.