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Lyr Add: Old King Cole

Jim Dixon 05 Mar 09 - 09:09 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Mar 09 - 09:11 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Mar 09 - 09:12 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Mar 09 - 09:15 PM
Bryn Pugh 06 Mar 09 - 08:54 AM
Mr Happy 06 Mar 09 - 10:06 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Mar 09 - 11:31 AM
Mr Happy 06 Mar 09 - 11:35 AM
Snuffy 06 Mar 09 - 06:42 PM
Joe_F 06 Mar 09 - 09:17 PM
Mr Happy 07 Mar 09 - 01:24 PM
Leadfingers 07 Mar 09 - 02:58 PM
Snuffy 07 Mar 09 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,JimP 22 Aug 11 - 12:00 AM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Aug 11 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,JimP 22 Aug 11 - 07:16 PM
Peter the Squeezer 23 Aug 11 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,kath 06 Aug 16 - 05:13 AM
GUEST 06 Aug 16 - 11:07 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:09 PM

As a kid, I learned a short version of this as a nursery rhyme, and only recently learned that there's more to it.

From The Nursery Rhymes of England By James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps (which was published as part of "Early English Poetry, Ballads, and Popular Literature of the Middle Ages" by The Percy Society, 1841:

Old King Cole
Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
And he called for his pipe,
And he called for his glass,
And he called for his fiddlers three.
And every fiddler, he had a fine fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
"Tweedle dee, tweedle dee," said the fiddlers.
Oh there's none so rare,
As can compare,
With King Cole and his fiddlers three!

[Alternate versions:]

I.
Old King Coel
Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
Old King Coel,
He sat in his hole,
And he call'd for his fiddlers three, &c.

The first, he was an Irishman;
The second, he was a Scot;
The third, he was a Welshman;
And all were rogues, I wot.

The Irishman lov'd usquebaugh;
The Scot was drown'd in ale;
The Welshman had like to be chok'd by a mouse,
But he pull'd her out by the tail.

II.
Old King Coel
Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
Old King Coel,
He sat in his hole,
And he call'd for his pipers three.

The first, he was a miller;
The second, he was a weaver;
The third, he was a tailor;
And all were rogues together.

The miller, he stole corn;
The weaver, he stole yarn;
The little tailor stole broad-cloth,
To keep these three rogues warm.

The miller was drown'd in his dam;
The wearer was hung in his loom;
And the devil ran away with the little tailor,
With the broad-cloth under his arm.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF OLD KING COLE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:11 PM

From In Praise of Ale by W. T. Marchant (London: George Redway, 1888):


THE LIFE AND DEATH OF OLD KING COLE.
The last new Version.

Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He call'd for his pipe, he call'd for his glass,
And he call'd for his fiddlers three.
There was Paganini and Spagnioletti,
And to make up the three, Mori;
For King Cole he was fond of a tri—
—O, fond of a trio was he.
For old King Cole, &c.

Old King Cole kept court at the "Hole
O' the wall" in Chancery—
—Lane, near the street, which is termèd "Fleet,"
(A queer name for Chanceree,)
So his subjects to cloak, from the very provok—
—ing bills of an attornee.
Old King Cole turn'd his eyes to Coke,
And a very good lawyer was he.
For old King Cole, &c.

Old King Cole, though a merry old soul,
Not read nor write could he;
For to read and write, 'twere useless quite,
When he kept a secretaree.
So his mark for "Rex" was a single "X"
And his drink was ditto double;
For he scorn'd the fetters of four and twenty letters,
And it sav'd him a vast deal of trouble.
For old King Cole, &c.

Old King Cole, was a musical soul,
So he call'd for his fiddlers three;
And he serv'd 'em out a dozen pounds of best German resin,
And they play'd him a symphony.
Spagnioletti and Mori, they played an oratori,
While the great Paganini
Play'd "God save the King" on a single string,
And he went twelve octaves high.
For old King Cole, &c.

Old King Cole lov'd smoking to his soul,
And a pipe, hard, clean, and dry;
And Virginny and C'naster from his baccy-box went faster,
Than the "Dart," or the "Brighton Fly."
With his fiddlers three, and his secretaree,
He'd kick up such a furious fume,
You'd think all the gas of London in a mass,
Had met in his little back-room.
For old King Cole, &c.

Old King Cole was a mellow old soul,
And he lov'd for to lave his clay,
But not with water, for he had in that quarter,
An hydrophobia.
So he always ordered hemp for those that join'd a temp—
—erance society;
And he swore a drop too much, should always finish such
As refuse for to wet t'other eye.
For old King Cole, &c.

On old King Cole's left cheek was a mole,
So he call'd for his secretaree;
And he bade him look in a fortune-telling book,
And read him his destiny.
And the secretary said, when his fate he had read,
And cast his nativity:
A mole on the face, boded something might take place,
But not what that something might be.
For old King Cole, &c.

Old King Cole, he scratch'd his pole,
And resign'd to his fate was he;
And he said it is our will, that our pipe and glass you fill,
And call for our fiddlers three.
So Paganini took Viotti in by,
And his concerto play'd he;
But at page forty-four King Cole began to snore,
So they parted company.
For old King Cole, &c.

Old King Cole drank so much alcohol,
That he reek'd like the worm of a still;
And while lighting his pipe, he set himself alight,
And he blew up like a gunpowder mill.
And these are the whole of the records of King Cole,
From the Cotton Library,
If you like you can see 'em at the British Museum,
In Russell Street, Bloomsbury.
For old King Cole, &c.

His subjects duly followed the example of their King


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD KING COLE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:12 PM

This song appears with musical notation in Franklin Square Song Collection, No. 7 by John Piersol McCaskey (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1891)

OLD KING COLE
Traditional

1. Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he.
He call'd for his pipe, and he call'd for his bowl,
And he call'd for his fiddlers three,
And ev'ry fiddler had a fine fiddle,
And ev'ry fiddler had a fine fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
And a very fine fiddle had he,

CHORUS: For Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He call'd for his pipe, and he call'd for his bowl,
And he call'd for his fiddlers three.

2. Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
Nor read nor write could he,
For to read and write, 'twere useless quite,
When he kept a secretary.
So his mark for "Rex" was a single "X"—
And his drink was ditto double,
For he scorn'd the fetters of four-and-twenty letters
And it sav'd him a vast deal of trouble.

CHORUS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD KING COLE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:15 PM

From Marlborough Upper School Songs (Marlborough: Printed at "The Times" Office, 1901):

OLD KING COLE.

Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three:
Fiddle-diddle-dee, went the fiddlers,
Fiddle-diddle-dee;

But none were there who could compare
With the sons of harmony.

Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fifers three:
Twee, twee, twee, went the fifers,
Twee, twee, twee;
Fiddle-diddle-dee, went the fiddlers,
Fiddle-diddle-dee;

But none were there who could compare
With the sons of harmony.

[Similarly:]

... harpers ... Twang, twang, twang ...

... buglers ... Too, too, too ...

... drummers ... Dr-r-r-r-r-um ...

... double-basers ... Grunt, grunt, grunt ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 08:54 AM

Wot ? No rude version ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Mr Happy
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 10:06 AM

Here 'tis:

OLD KING COLE

Old King Cole was a bugger for 쳌eis 쳌eole
And a bugger for 쳌eis 쳌eole was 쳌ee
He called for his wife in the middle of the night
And he called for his fiddlers three.
And every fiddler had a fine fiddle, and a very fine fiddle had he.
Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee, cried the fiddlers,
Jolly fine men are we
There's none so rare as can compare with the Cheshire Yeomanry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 11:31 AM

OLD KING COLE

Old King Cole was a bugger for his hole
And a bugger for hole was he
He called for his wife in the middle of the night
And he called for his fiddlers three.
And every fiddler had a good fiddle, and a very good fiddle had he.
Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee, cried the fiddlers,
Jolly fine men are we
There's none so fair as can compare with the boys of the RFC (Rugby Football Club)

Old King Cole was a bugger for his hole
And a bugger for hole was he
He called for his wife in the middle of the night
And he called for his jugglers three.
And every juggler had a good juggle, and a very good juggle had he.
Throw your balls in the air cried the jugglers
Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee, cried the fiddlers,
Jolly fine men are we
There's none so fair as can compare with the boys of the RFC

There were other verses which I can't at present recall! Each verse incresed the length of the chorus by one line.

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Mr Happy
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 11:35 AM

'Lay it on the slab, on the slab said the butcher'

'Slap it up and down, up and down said the fishmonger'

'D'ye want it in the back or the front said the coalmen'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:42 PM

"Toss your balls in the air" said the jugglers

"Slap your meat on the block" said the butchers

"Lay it on the slab, on the slab" said the fishmongers

"Slap it up and down, up and down" said the painters

etc


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Joe_F
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 09:17 PM

"Do you want it in the front or in the back?" said the coalmen. (bag)
"Fill that tart with cream" said the bakers. (tart)
"Stick it in and out, in and out" said the tailors. (needle)

...Merry, merry men are we!
There's none so fair as can compare
With the boys of the varsity.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Mr Happy
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 01:24 PM

Up to now in this thread, there쳌fs a number of differing endings for the last line of each verse, as

But none were there who could compare with the sons of harmony.

Or

There's none so rare as can compare with the Cheshire Yeomanry

Or

There's none so fair as can compare with the boys of the RFC

Or

There's none so fair as can compare with the boys of the varsity.



Any more?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 02:58 PM

When I was in RAF training , it was the (Add Number) th Entry !!

For MY Lot , Eighty Eighth Entry ! (A Squadron R A F Locking !!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 04:52 PM

Or just the squadron number. A local morris musician/air traffic controller sings something like this:

Fifteen miles off course, said the navigator
Dot dash dot dot dash said the wireless op
Left left left left RIGHT said the bombardier
I don't give two ****** said the pilot
Merry merry men are we
There's none so rare as can compare
With the boys of 33


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: GUEST,JimP
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 12:00 AM

A good friend of mine sings this in a Music Hall show in San Francisco, and they sing "There's none so rare as can compare with the boys of the W.C." I don't know where they got this ending, and even the folks singing it don't really know what it might refer to. Any thoughts? Is this some sort of cockney rhyming slang? Did someone just get the lyric wrong?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 10:34 AM

"W.C." is an abbreviation of "water closet," an old name for a lavatory.

I suppose it fits.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: GUEST,JimP
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 07:16 PM

Well, sure, we discussed that kind of W.C., but that didn't seem right. Still, if there's no other guesses or opinions . . .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 23 Aug 11 - 03:10 PM

From my school bus days

"He called for a light in the middle of the night
To go for a wee wee wee."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: GUEST,kath
Date: 06 Aug 16 - 05:13 AM

none so rare as can compare with the boys from the aussie Naveeee


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 16 - 11:07 AM

Ole King Cole was merry old soul with a buckskin belly and a rubber
asshole


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