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Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.

DigiTrad:
LIEWER HEINDRICH (DEAR HENRY)
THERE'S A HOLE IN THE BUCKET


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: 'There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza' (38)
Folklore: Henry & Liza (5)
Lyr Req: There's a Hole in my Bucket, Dear Liza (26)


Penny S. 06 Jul 09 - 06:29 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Jul 09 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Jul 09 - 10:52 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jul 09 - 11:07 PM
wysiwyg 06 Jul 09 - 11:23 PM
Rafflesbear 07 Jul 09 - 01:58 AM
Newport Boy 07 Jul 09 - 03:19 AM
Eric the Viking 07 Jul 09 - 11:17 AM
Eric the Viking 07 Jul 09 - 02:33 PM
Rafflesbear 07 Jul 09 - 03:36 PM
MMario 07 Jul 09 - 03:43 PM
Penny S. 08 Jul 09 - 04:22 AM
Eric the Viking 08 Jul 09 - 05:47 AM
Newport Boy 08 Jul 09 - 06:12 AM
Dead Horse 08 Jul 09 - 06:45 AM
Eric the Viking 08 Jul 09 - 10:47 AM
Rafflesbear 08 Jul 09 - 06:25 PM
Eric the Viking 08 Jul 09 - 06:44 PM
Snuffy 09 Jul 09 - 08:25 AM
Mysha 09 Jul 09 - 09:36 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Jul 09 - 10:27 AM
Penny S. 30 Jul 09 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Startoker 03 Jul 15 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Kampervan 03 Jul 15 - 11:30 AM
EBarnacle 03 Jul 15 - 12:54 PM
Uncle_DaveO 03 Jul 15 - 02:19 PM
Uncle_DaveO 04 Jul 15 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,Eddie1 - Sans cookie as ever 05 Jul 15 - 05:21 AM
GUEST 12 Sep 15 - 04:09 PM
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Subject: Question for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Penny S.
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 06:29 PM

My singing "There's a hole in my bucket" this evening at the Foresters raised the question of just wehat sort of bucket could be mended with straw (or even odder, A straw) and just how this repair could be effected.

Any ideas?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 08:54 PM

Wood...n't you like to know... :-0 (caulk it dear henry...)

or leather...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 10:52 PM

Take a wooden bucket that has a small hole in it. Jam a piece of wheat straw (not a drinking straw) into the hole. It'll do for a little while.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:07 PM

With a straw, dear Penny, dear Penny, dear Penny;
With a straw, dear Penny, dear Penny, Have faith!!!


Oh, these young people! They question folk songs, rather than singing them. Everybody knows you can fix a bucket with a straw. It says so right in the song....

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Jul 09 - 11:23 PM

Expands when wet. Highly absorbent, straw-- why they use it to soak up horse piss.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 01:58 AM

Isn't it being a bit fussy to say that your straw is too long - certainly for presentation purposes a long straw might look untidy but the excess would not cause a problem with regard to holding water

Therefore a temporary repair with a long straw and a bit sticking out would suffice to fetch the water necessary to wet the stone before sharpening the knife to cut the excess off

Sounds to me like a pretty poor excuse for inaction


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Newport Boy
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 03:19 AM

Henry's whole part in the song is to make poor excuses for inaction. Don't criticise him - you'll lose the song altogether.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 11:17 AM

If someone doesn't have an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry.An axe.(rpt) I'd put my finger in the hole dear liza, dear Liza.The hole.(rpt) And carry the straw,dear Henry, dear Henry etc.

Then having obtained sufficient water in my finger plugged bucket, I'd wet my stone and soak some straw. Putting several cut pieces of straw, having used my newly sharpened axe,into the hole. Then, again using my newly sharpened axe, I'd cut a wooden plug tappered to fit in the hole from the inside out and stuff that in my bucket forcing the straw and wood together to form a reasonable seal under presure to allow for even modest shrinkage as the plug dries out.

However, I'd make sure the bucket never dried out completely but always having a covering of water.

To answer the first question posed. A metal bucket of galvanised iron, a leather bucket, a canvas bucket and maybe a polypropylene bucket. Not a rigid plastic one, nor a bucket made of pottery unless it was maybe just non glazed earthernware.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 02:33 PM

On the other hand..nobody has given a clear indication of the size of the hole.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 03:36 PM

If there is a single hole in the bucket as the song relates then I think two things stem from that -

firstly the hole must be in the bottom of the bucket otherwise it could contain some water, certainly sufficient to wet the sharpening stone

secondly that the water is to be drawn from a well, otherwise by tilting the bucket away from the hole you could again get some water in it - this would also negate the finger in the hole solution

We can therefore gather that there is no running water in the household, and no stream or lake in the vicinity - and that it isn't raining - I am getting visions of the American mid-west here - the lack of water does not suggest the UK

Henry (or Georgie for you Penny) is obviously laid back and I can quite picture him sitting in front of a wooden shack somewhere on the prairies while his spouse (is that too big an assumption to make) gets frustrated at his demeanour

They are probably not wealthy nor do they live near a town and are not on the internet - otherwise you might get -
There's a hole in my bucket dear Liza dear Liza etc
Then buy a new one dear Henry dear Henry

are the names Liza and Henry more popular in one region than another and do they give a clue to the ethnicity of the subjects?

That they own a blunt axe would indicate that they live near woodland and that either Henry or more likely Liza has been using it a great deal

can we glean any more from the song?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: MMario
Date: 07 Jul 09 - 03:43 PM

I always figured Henry was a layabout teenager and Liza was his older sister trying to keep the homestead going.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Penny S.
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 04:22 AM

Rafflesbear's comment about Georgie is because he heard me sing my family version, with no Henry, and a knife, not an axe - which really pushes the whole thing into the truly surreal, doesn't it?

Both the male and female are stupid, with narrowly focussed intelligence - Liza focusses on making the complainer look stupid with her responses, and he focusses on exposing hers in not seeing where he is going - and she must know how his mind works by now. It took me a long time to notice how idiotic she was.

Caulking a split wooden bucket seems most likely - but is a split a hole? Or is the straw as ridiculous as the axe?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 05:47 AM

Perhaps they are not stupid. Perhaps they both have, to a greater or lesser extent, learning difficulties that are not fully understood and therefor are misjudged as being fully functioning people. Pehaps with some adult intervention and learning support they may be able to work out a better solution? It might be that lack of formal education, given that someone is suggesting them isolated in midwest, and the missed opportunities for an educator to either develop their skills or recognise their personal difficulties has led to a complete misjudgement of their social competency.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Newport Boy
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 06:12 AM

Eric, I think that once again the apparently slow and stupid country folk are taking advantage of the gullibility of the sophisticated city folk. Follow your line of reasoning and you'll be suggesting training in bucket making and repair - which they can't pay for, so you will.

It won't be long before they've convinced you that it would be a good idea to invest in a bucket factory - on their land, of course. They won't need to repair leaking buckets then - they probably won't need to buy them.

Never trust an apparently poor farmer!

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Dead Horse
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 06:45 AM

A pump connected to a suitable plumbing system would soon make this song redundant.
Then they could leave the well alone, huh?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 10:47 AM

Phil. I hadn't considered that. Being a gullible country dweller myself, living on an island, it did not occur to me that it could be so. I have seen examples of such myself living in a small community now that I come to think about it. However, what if there was gold or oil in undiscovered huge quantities on their piece of land? The investment would be quite a good one. Unless you suggest that they have already investigated the possibility and drawn a blank or kept it quiet. It could explain why there is a hole in the bucket from carrying gravel and trying to pan with it.

I do agree there is no such thing as a poor farmer even though many walk around with their arses hanging out.

The suggestion of alternative technology using a wind driven pump and plumbing is admirable. If these two lacklustre souls could be persuaded to buy a wind turbine (using their secret gold reserves which they have already acquired), not only could they pump water by the electricity generated, but they could also use an electric grindstone to sharpen the axe for future use.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 06:25 PM

Don't forget that the tinker couldn't mend his pots and pans without John Barleycorn

That could have been different as well if 'they hired men with the scythes that needed sharpening...'


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 06:44 PM

Ah, but Joihn Barleycorn must die !


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 08:25 AM

When I spill some, he dyes my shirt for me!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Mysha
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 09:36 AM

Hi,

The German versions speak of straw, not a straw. The reason to use straw is that it will follow the shape of the hole, where rigid materials wouldn't, and it then absorbs water to fill available space. The German also has Beil, which could be an axe, but could equally well be a hatchet. Any tool with a wooden handle and a blade, used for cutting by hitting force would probably be a Beil.

I'm not so sure the solutions were intended as silly, in a time when cost of material still gave objects value.

                                                                                                                                                          Mysha


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 10:27 AM

More objections:

1. An axe that was too dull to cut a straw would be very dull indeed. In fact, I doubt that such an axe could exist and still be called an axe.

2. Even if the axe wouldn't cut the straw, you could cut or break the straw some other way, such as by biting it.

3. If you really needed to sharpen the axe, you could use a dry whetstone. What's the point of wetting a whetstone anyway? I have sharpened many a tool with a dry whetstone, and it worked just fine.

4. If you really needed a wet whetstone, you could spit on it, or carry the stone to the well and wet it there. All it takes is a few drops, not a bucketful. Even without a bucket, you could dip a rag into the well and get enough water to wet a whetstone.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Penny S.
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 12:18 PM

The version I learned used a knife, not an axe. And don't forget that cereal stalks are covered with silica - ancient flint sickle blades are identified by the polish goven them from this. I doubt a dentist would approve of the damage done to teeth by "cutting" the straw. And how do you do that, anyway, if the straw is already in the hole?

I can think of other ways of wetting the stone.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: GUEST,Startoker
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 10:48 AM

You're all wrong. In the old days, the bottoms of wooden buckets were made from multiple slats of wood instead of a single piece of wood. If you left the bucket out in the cold with a little water in it and it froze, the spaces between the slats would expand and comprise a leak or "hole". Wedging a single wheat straw (horizontally) into the gap would repair the leak for reasons (expands when wet etc.) stated above. You would need the straw to be the proper length to fill the entire "crack". If too long it would need to be cut to the proper size.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: GUEST,Kampervan
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 11:30 AM

Wow!!

That actually sounds logical and sensible.

What are you doing posting on Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: EBarnacle
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 12:54 PM

In the era the song was created, the real bucket repair would have been to replace the ill-fitting stave, preferable with a new, dry oaken stave. This would absorb water and seal itself into place. Using this approach, over time eventually the whole bucket would be replaced but still be the same bucket.

I've got my grandpa's ax. It's had several new handles and a couple of new heads but it's still grandpa's ax.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 02:19 PM

Then they could leave the well alone, huh?

That reminds me of the old folk tune (song?) called
The Old Doctor Fell in the Well.

To which the answer is, "The doctor should tend to the
sick, and leave the well alone."

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 10:47 AM

Rafflesbear had a couple of questions:

I am getting visions of the American mid-west here - the lack of water does not suggest the UK
and
are the names Liza and Henry more popular in one region than another and do they give a clue to the ethnicity of the subjects?

I've always (mis?)understood or felt this song to be from the
southern Appalachian mountains. Mainly this is because of the names of the characters, Liza and Henry. Liza is a short or pet version
of Elizabeth, with great historical and cultural connections to England, and Henry is, likewise.

The southern Appalachians were mainly settled from England. While I haven't done or even read of a name census of the US, I expect that
one would find Elizabeth or Liza and Henry disproportionately
represented there. Hardly conclusive evidence, of course, but
that's my impression, and I'm sticking with it.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: GUEST,Eddie1 - Sans cookie as ever
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 05:21 AM

Back in my childhood days, when you could buy a 3-piece suit, a three-course meal and a 3rd-class railway ticket AND get change out of thruppence, you could buy a thingy (a technical engineering term) for mending saucepans although it could obviously be adapted to mend buckets. It was basically two washers and a nut and bolt. You put your left washer in and your right washer out then put the bolt through the middle, affixed the nut and tightened everything up. The washers could be bent to cover holes where the vertical bit met the horizontal bit and that's what it's all about!
I am now endeavouring to fit this into a new verse for the song.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Tech: Q for ancient order of bucket menders.
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 15 - 04:09 PM

Amazing but true
My mum taught herself how to make a straw skep
That is an old fashioned Bee Hive
She recently had an article written about her in Country Life Magazine
Subsequently she recieved a letter from an Austrian Lady whose father had made buckets from straw
Think thatch it keeps out rain and snow for many years!


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