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Lyr Req: a song from Eston??

Trev Davies 14 Jul 09 - 07:20 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 07:31 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 07:37 AM
Peace 14 Jul 09 - 07:40 AM
Trev Davies 14 Jul 09 - 07:47 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 08:02 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: a song from Eston??
From: Trev Davies
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 07:20 AM

I have a vague half memory (from about 30 years ago)of hearing someone sing a song about an old lady dying in Eston. Can't remember who sang it (possibly Vin Garbutt) or much about the lyrics, I think it started with "old Sissy Reed" and there was a line in it about the baker sending a wreath. Can anyone please help me out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: a song from Eston??
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 07:31 AM

The song is one of Vin Garbutt's - Sissy Lee is the name. You'll find the song in this thread: Lyr Req: The Ballad of Cissy Lee (Vin Garbutt) (go down the thread for the complete set).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: a song from Eston??
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 07:37 AM

Sorry - just realised I copied your spelling there - it should be Cissy Lee - the full title as given on the King Gooden Lp is The ballad of Cissy Lee.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: a song from Eston??
From: Peace
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 07:40 AM

The lyrics were posted by Malcolm Douglas. I sure do miss that guy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: a song from Eston??
From: Trev Davies
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 07:47 AM

Cheers guys, that's the one. I was beginning to think I'd inagined it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BALLAD OF CISSY LEE (Vin Garbutt)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:02 AM

The version given in the thread I linked above is from King Gooden, but I think there are a few minor corrections:

And knitting a cardigan...

I worked all my life but I feel that it's time...

(And, in spite of Malcolm Douglas' belief in using standard spelling at all times, I can't hear the song without Vin's pronunciation as Ould Cissy Lee!).


As an interesting aside on the way songwriters work, I have in one of my song folders a transcription of the song from a recording I made of Vin at Dingles Folk Club in London in May, 1975 - the year before King Gooden was recorded. While the King Gooden should be taken as the definitive version, it's interesting to see the changes made leading up to it. Here's my transcription with the changes italicised:


THE BALLAD OF CISSY LEE
(Vin Garbutt)

Ould Cissy Lee was in Eston Square sitting,
And knitting a cardigan, never to wear;
At seventy-nine with her memory failing,
The joys of this life she'd forgotten, and nobody cared.

Ould Cissy Lee, through the baker's shop window,
Was just an old widow, no money to spend.
They bade her move on, but they gave no reduction;
Yet all in that window was thrown to the pigs at day's end.

Ould Cissy Lee gazed up at the statue
Of the unknown soldier who died long ago,
When food it was cheap, ah, but life was the cheaper;
And her son he fought for his country and fell to the foe.

Ould Cissy Lee passed the baker's shop window;
She saw the fresh cream cakes being thrown in the bin.
"What madness is this? Oh what sadness it brings me;
I've worked all my life, but I feel that it's time to give in."

At home by the fire, Cissy brewed up a cuppa;
She read the newspaper while sipping her tea.
The headlines declared "No more free milk for children"
She wept at the thought for each year they dump tons in the sea.

Ould Cissy Lee, blurry eyed, feeling weary,
Ascended the stairs for some much needed sleep.
She never woke up, she was found three days later.
Though few at her grave stood, the kind baker sent her a wreath.

Source: Vin Garbutt, recorded Dingles Folk Club, London, May 1975


Mick


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