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

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


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
Joe Offer 02 Mar 18 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Gerry 02 Mar 18 - 09:41 PM
Joe Offer 02 Mar 18 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 03 Mar 18 - 08:44 AM
Lighter 03 Mar 18 - 09:43 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Mar 18 - 11:10 AM
Steve Gardham 03 Mar 18 - 03:44 PM
Jackaroodave 04 Mar 18 - 06:35 AM
Lighter 04 Mar 18 - 10:55 AM
Steve Gardham 04 Mar 18 - 10:58 AM
Jackaroodave 04 Mar 18 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 05 Mar 18 - 04:39 AM
Steve Gardham 05 Mar 18 - 10:29 AM
Lighter 05 Mar 18 - 10:41 AM
Steve Gardham 05 Mar 18 - 04:25 PM
clueless don 06 Mar 18 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 13 Mar 18 - 11:24 AM
Lighter 16 Mar 18 - 07:40 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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 ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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

Wot ? No rude version ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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 !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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 . . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: Old King Cole (military)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 09:28 PM

I've heard this before, but not in the Army. I can't find it posted at Mudcat:

OLD KING COLE (CADENCE COUNT)

Old King Cole was a merry old soul and a merry old soul was he
He called for his pipe and called for his bowl
And he called for his privates, three
Beer, Beer, Beer said the privates
Merry men are we
But none so fair that they can compare to the airborne infantry (alt: fighting infantry)

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 corporals, three
I need a three-day pass said the corporals
Beer, Beer, Beer said the privates
Merry men are we
But none so fair that they can compare to the airborne infantry

Additional Verses:
Sergeants three–“File from the left, column right said the Sgts”
Lieuues three–“I’ll lead the way said the lieuies”
Captains three–“Charge that hill said the captains”
Majors three–“Who’s gonna shine my boots said the majors”
Colonels three–“Where’s my star said the colonels”
Generals three–“War, War, War”

Source: https://www.armystudyguide.com/content/Prep_For_Basic_Training/Prep_for_basic_general_information/common-marching-cadence.shtml

Any other versions?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 09:41 PM

The Yiddish song, Der Rebbe Elimelech, is often said to be a version of Old King Cole, but whether there is any actual historical connection between the two songs, I know not.

Let me add the lyrics. -Joe Offer-

Der Rebbe Abimelech

Az der rebe elimelekh
iz gevorn zeyer freylekh,
iz gevorn zeyer freylekh elimelekh,
hot er oysgeton di tfilen
un hot ongeton di briln
un geshikt nokh di fidlers di tsvey.

Un di fidldike fidlers
hobn fidldik gefidlt,
hobn fidldik gefidlt hoben zey.(x2)

Un az der rebe elimelekh
iz gevorn nokh mer freylekh,
iz gevorn nokh mer freylekh elimelekh,
hot er opgemakht havdoleh
mitn shames rav naftali
un geshikt nokh di payklers di tsvey.

Un di paykldike payklers
hoben paykldik gepayklt,
hoben paykldik gepayklt hoben zey. (x2)

Un az der rebe elimelekh
iz gevorn gor shtark freylekh,
iz gevorn gor shtark freylekh elimelekh,
hot er oysgeton dem kitl
un hot ongeton dos hitl
un geshikt nokh di tsimblers di tsvey.

Un di tsimbldike tsimblers
hobn tsimbldik getsimblt,
hobn tsimbldik getsimblt hobn zey. (x2)

Un az der rebe elimelekh
iz gevorn gor shtark freylekh,
iz gevorn gor shtark freylekh elimelekh,
hot er geton a gutn genets
un gezogt: me darf shoyn meyn nit!
un geshikt di kapelye aheym.

Di shikere kapelye fun raben melekh-elieh,
hot oysgeshtelt dem dales a fayg.
Di freylekhe kapelye
hot gehopket biz der stelie
un zikh farbitn mitn klaper-getsayg:

Di fidldike poyker
hobn tsimbldik gefidlt,
un bronfndik gegosn zikh mit vayn.
Di lustike klezmorim
mit flesher untern orem,
hoben geholiet biz in heln tog arayn.

THE RABBI ELIMELEKH

So the Rabbi Elimelekh
had become very happy
had become very happy Elimelekh,
he took off the tefilin
and put on his glasses
and sent after the two fiddlers.

And the fiddling fiddlers
had fiddled fiddlingly,
had fiddle fiddlingly, they had. (x2)

And then the Rabbi Elimelk
had become a bit more happy
had become a bit more happy Elimelekh,
he made havdalah ceremony
with the help of Rabbi Naftali
and sent after the two drummers.

And the drumming drumemrs
had drummed drummingly
had drummed drummingly, they had. (x2)

And then the Rabbi Elimelekh
had become totally happy
had become totally happy Elimelekh,
he took off the Kitl (suit)
and put on a hat
and sent after the two cymbalists.

And the cymbaling cymbalists
had cymballed cymballingly
had cymballed cymballingly, they had. (x2)

And then the Rabbi Elimelekh
had become totally happy
had become totally happy Elimelekh,
he made a great yawn
and said "no more is needed!"
and sent the band home.

The drunk band from Rabbi Melekh Elieh
gave poverty the fig-finger gesture
the happy band
had hopped to the ceiling
and traded with paraphernalia.

The fiddling drummer
had fiddled cymballingly
and liquor-flowed himself with wine
The cheerful musicians
with bottles under their arms
caroused brightly till the next day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvEW7u-lsr0


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: Old King Cole (Military)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 10:02 PM

This version is from the album titled An Evening With Harry Belafonte

OLD KING COLE (MILITARY)

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
Called for his pipe
And he called for his bowl
And he called for his privates three

"Beer, beer, beer", said the privates
Merry men are we
There's none so fair as can compare
With the Fighting Infantry

Shout: "Hut, two three four; Hut, two, three, four."

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
Called for his pipe
And he called for his bowl
And he called for his corporals three

Hup two said the corporals
Beer, beer, beer said the privates
Merry men are we
There's none so fair as can compare
With the Fighting Infantry

Shout: "Hut, two three four; Hut, two, three, four."

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
Called for his pipe
And he called for his bowl
And he called for his sergeants three

Yeahhhhh, said the sergeants
Hup two said the corporals
Beer, beer, beer said the privates
Merry men are we
There's none so fair as can compare
With the Fighting Infantry

Shout: "Hut, two three four; Hut, two, three, four."

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
Called for his pipe
And he called for his bowl

And he called for his shavetails three
We do all the work said the shavetails
Yeahhhh, said the sergeants
March you dump watch (???) said the corporals
Beer, beer, beer said the privates
Merry men are we
There's none so fair as can compare
With the Fighting Infantry

Shout: "Hut, two three four; Hut, two, three, four."

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
Called for his pipe
And he called for his bowl
And he called for his captains three

Oh don't be late for the dance said the captains
We do all the work, said the shavetails
Yeahhhhh said the sergeants
March to the guardhouse said the corporals
Beer, beer, beer said the privates
Merry men are we
There's none so fair as can compare
With the Fighting Infantry

Shout: "Hut, two three four; Hut, two, three, four."

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
Called for his pipe
And he called for his bowl
And he called for his chaplains three

Oh what a bloody mess, amen amen hallelujah
Oh don't be late for the dance, said the captains
We do all the work, said the shavetails
Yeahhhh said the sergeants
Put it in a bucket said the corporals
Beer, beer, beer said the privates
Merry men are we
There's none so fair as can compare
With the Fighting Infantry

Shout: "Hut, two three four; Hut, two, three, four."

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
Called for his pipe
And he called for his bowl
And he called for his colonels three

Oh what a lovely war, said the colonels
Oh what a bloody mess, amen, amen hallelujah
Oh don't be late for the dance said the captains
We do al the work said the shavetails
Yeahhhhh said the sergeants
March to the end said the corporals
Beer, beer, beer said the privates
Merry men are we
There's none so fair as can compare
With the Fighting Infantry

Shout: "Hut, two three four; Hut, two, three, four."

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
Called for his pipe
And he called for his bowl
And he called for his generals three

Thuh, thuh, Oh come on fellahs, give a fellah break
Uh what's my next command said the generals
Oh what a lovely war said the colonels
Oh what a bloody mess, amen
Oh what a bloody mess said the captains
Oh what a bloody mess, said the shavetails
Oh what a bloody mess, said the sergeants
Oh what a bloody mess said the sergeants
Beer, beer, beer said the privates
Merry men are we
There's none so fair as can compare
With the Fighting Infantry


Source: https://genius.com/Harry-belafonte-old-king-cole-lyrics

Corrected according to this recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiSGTvXIDCI


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 08:44 AM

There is a very good version on the new Freda Palmer double CD "Leafield Lass" (Musical Traditions CD MTCD375-6), which should be available in the next week or so.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 09:43 AM

The military version (with somewhat different dialogue) was known in the U.S. Army in WW1 - according to Edward Arthur Dolph's "Sound Off!" (1929).

With words closer to Belafonte's, I believe it was first recorded on Oscar Brand's "G.I. Songs" around 1956.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 11:10 AM

St Mary's Catholic club, Swinton, used to finish the verses with 'and no one here can drink their beer like the boys from St Mary's ' instead at the compare line.

DtG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Mar 18 - 03:44 PM

Going back to the W.C.

Old King Cole was a merry old soul and a merry old soul was he.
He called for a light in the middle of the night to go to the W.C.
The wind it blew the light out, his valet had a fit,
And Old King Cole fell down the lavvy hole and swallowed a lump of s...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 06:35 AM

The shortest one I know goes

"Old King Cole was a merry old fart"

Folklore pedantry: Among pubescent males in the late 1950s/early 60s (Western NE, NY, NJ) there was a spate of jokes or catch phrases consisting of rudely truncated nursery rhymes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 10:55 AM

You mean like,

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider,
And sat down beside her,
And said, "What's up bitch?"

Jack be nimble!
Jack be quick!
Jack, jump over the candlestick!
Jack burnt his prick.

Jack and Jill
Went up the hill.
But not to get water.

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children she didn't know what to do.
Use birth control!

The British army in WW2 had a song about Robinson Crusoe that was somewhat similar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 10:58 AM

There's a bawdy version that starts
'OKC was a bugger for his hole and a bugger for his hole was he' but I can't remember any more....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 04 Mar 18 - 11:13 AM

Yeah, Lighter, like that. Part of the "humor" was the rhythmic wrong-footing of the abrupt ending.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 04:39 AM

Re: There was an old lady who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children she didn't know what to do.
Use birth control!

My favourite version has the same first two lines, but the third is "But the Pope wouldn't let her".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 10:29 AM

Jon, re Robinson Crusoe, are you thinking of the verse in 'When there isn't a Girl About'?

Poor Robinson Crusoe, all on his ownio,
He sat upon a rock, a winding up his clock,
When up came Friday and sat down beside him,
He whipped his old bazooka out and this is what he said,
Get hold o' this, get hold o' that,
When there isn't a girl about you do feel lonely
When there isn't a girl about you're on your only
Absolutely on the shelf
Nothing to do but play wi' yourself
When there isn't a girl about.

Original clean version 1906, Harry Castling and Charles Collins.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 10:41 AM

Yes, Steve, that's it. Subsequent stanzas are mostly nursery rhymes with each one ending, "So he whipped his old bazooka out and this is what he said:"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 04:25 PM

Little Miss Muffet/Little Jack Horner.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: clueless don
Date: 06 Mar 18 - 08:12 AM

I realize that I'm not adding anything to the discussion, but just for completeness:

When I was a boy, I learned

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

And that was it - that was all I ever heard as a boy. But years later my wife supplied these additional lines

and every fiddler had a fiddle
and a very fine fiddle had he
tweet
tweetly deet
tweetly deet
tweetly deet
went the fiddler three

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 11:24 AM

Here is Freda Palmer's text - from the new Musical Traditions double CD:
Old King Cole (Roud 1164)

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 light
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Now every fiddler has a fiddle
A very fine fiddle has he
“Oh fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee”
Said the fiddler “Oh what harmony
There’s none so rare as can compare
With boys of harmony

Now 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 light
And he called for his fluters three.
Now every fluter has a flute
A very fine flute has he
“Oh flute tiddley oot ,tiddley oot” says the fluter
“Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee”
Said the fiddler “Oh what harmony
There’s none so rare as can compare
With boys of harmony

Now 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 light
And he called for his painters three.
Now every painter has a brush
And a very fine brush has he
“Oh slap it up and down, up and down” says the painter
“Oh flute tiddley oot ,tiddley oot” says the fluter
“Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee”
Said the fiddler “Oh what harmony
There’s none so rare as can compare
With boys of harmony

Now 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 light
And he called for his tailors three.
Now every tailor has a stitch, a very fine stitch has he
“Oh stick it in and out, in and out” says the tailor,
slap it up and down, up and down” says the painter
“Oh flute tiddley oot ,tiddley oot” says the fluter
“Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee”
Said the fiddler “Oh what harmony
There’s none so rare as can compare
With boys of harmony

Now 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 light
And he called for his barmaids three.
Now every barmaid has a pull, a very fine pull has she
“Oh pull it, pull it, pull it, pull it,” says the barmaid
“Stick it in and out, in and out” says the tailor,
“Oh slap it up and down, up and down” says the painter
“Oh flute tiddley oot ,tiddley oot” says the fluter
“Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee”
Said the fiddler “Oh what harmony
There’s none so rare as can compare
With boys of harmony

Now 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 light
And he called for his butchers three.
Now every butcher has a block and a very fine block has he
“Oh slap it on the block, on the block” says the butcher
Pull it, pull it, pull it, pull it,” says the barmaid
“Stick it in and out, in and out” says the tailor,
“Slap it up and down, up and down” says the painter
“Oh flute tiddley oot ,tiddley oot” says the fluter
“Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee”
Said the fiddler “Oh what harmony
There’s none so rare as can compare
With boys of harmony

Now 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 light
And he called for his jugglers three.
Now every juggler has some balls, some very fine balls has he
“Oh balls in the air, in the air” says the juggler
“Oh slap it on the block, on the block” says the butcher
“Pull it, pull it, pull it, pull it,” says the barmaid
“Stick it in and out, in and out” says the tailor,
“Oh slap it up and down, up and down” says the painter
“Oh flute tiddley oot ,tiddley oot” says the fluter
“Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee”
Said the fiddler “Oh what harmony
There’s none so rare as can compare
With boys of harmony

Now 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 light
And he called for his farmers three.
Now every farmer has a cock, and a very fine cock has he
“Oh cock-a-doodle-oo, doodle-oo” says the farmer
“Oh balls in the air, in the air” says the juggler
“Oh slap it on the block, on the block” says the butcher
“Pull it, pull it, pull it, pull it,” says the barmaid
“Stick it in and out, in and out” says the tailor,
“Oh slap it up and down, up and down” says the painter
“Oh flute tiddley oot ,tiddley oot” says the fluter
“Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee”
Said the fiddler “Oh what harmony
There’s none so rare as can compare
With boys of harmony

Now 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 light
And he called for his parsons three.
Now every parson has a book and a very fine book has he
“May the Lord have mercy on your soul” said the parson
“Cock-a-doodle-oo, doodle-oo” says the farmer
“Balls in the air, in the air” says the juggler
“Slap it on the block, on the block” says the butcher
“Pull it, pull it, pull it, pull it,” says the barmaid
“Stick it in and out, in and out” says the tailor,
“Slap it up and down, up and down” says the painter
“Flute tiddley oot ,tiddley oot” says the fluter
“Fiddle diddle dee, diddle dee”
Said the fiddler “Oh what harmony
There’s none so rare as can compare
With boys of harmony


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old King Cole
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 07:40 PM

Here are some current US Marine Corps versions, courtesy of Mudcatter Azizi:

http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/05/chesty-puller-was-good-marine-marine.html

I first encountered the Chesty Puller version in 1997; but since he died in 1971, I'll bet it's a quarter century older.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

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


Mudcat time: 20 June 5:23 PM EDT

[ 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.