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Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol

Casetone 12 Aug 09 - 03:57 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 12 Aug 09 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Gordon Tyrrall 12 Aug 09 - 05:45 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 12 Aug 09 - 05:54 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 12 Aug 09 - 08:19 AM
Jim Dixon 13 Aug 09 - 01:29 PM
Artful Codger 13 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Aug 09 - 05:16 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Aug 09 - 05:43 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Aug 09 - 06:23 PM
Casetone 17 Aug 09 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Gordon Tyrrall 17 Aug 09 - 06:32 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 17 Aug 09 - 07:04 AM
Steve Gardham 17 Aug 09 - 12:02 PM
Artful Codger 22 Aug 09 - 11:49 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 23 Aug 09 - 05:36 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Aug 09 - 06:22 PM
Casetone 24 Aug 09 - 05:17 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Aug 09 - 09:15 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Aug 09 - 10:53 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Aug 09 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Varley 31 Dec 15 - 09:21 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Jan 16 - 05:27 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Jan 16 - 06:48 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Casetone
Date: 12 Aug 09 - 03:57 AM

I was looking at doing an arrangement for The Gaol Song in The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs and in the notes it mentions a sequence of related song including a broadside called The Ballad of Wakefield Gaol.

I have never heard this and have been unable to locate it anywhere. Does anyone know this song or where I can find a recording, music and/or lyrics?

Tony


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 Aug 09 - 04:16 AM

The Bodleian seems to have 3 copies of Broadsides of Wakefield Gaol for two songs:

Wakefield Gaol or Face The Wall (Harding B 11(3501)), A New Song on Wakefield Gaol (Firth c.26(19)) and A New Song on Wakefield Gaol (Firth c.17(73)).

The Roud broadside index lists a copy of Face The Wall from Leeds and of a New Song... from Harkness of Preston, which may be further copies.

The Roud index lists no versions as a song and Simpson lists no tunes under these titles, so there may be no known tunes for the two songs.


(If you're new to the Bodleian broadside collection, you can use the 1st link I gave and click Browse/Search on the left of the page to do searches of the broadside collection. Click a link in the returned list to see a small version of a sheet, click the large plus button at the top left of that page to get the large versions - like the ones I linked to for you).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: GUEST,Gordon Tyrrall
Date: 12 Aug 09 - 05:45 AM

There's a version of Wakefield Gaol in Roy Palmer's "A Touch On The Times", and another,much better,version in Leeds public Library's archive of broadsides collected by Frank Kidson - you'd have to go there to see that though - and there's no tune.Palmer has a rather dull tune for his version - not sure where he got it from, but its a little like the tedious tune to the Gaol Song in The Penguin book of English Folk Songs.The best you can say for this tune is that its appropriate for the subject - listening to it seems like a life sentence ;-).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 Aug 09 - 05:54 AM

Gordon - thanks for that; I'd forgotten it was there. The one in Palmer is the from the Harkness broadside I referred to above (and the Leeds/Kidson one is the other entry from the Roud list).

Roy Palmer's notes give the tune he uses as "Kirtle Gaol in W.R.Mackenzie Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia, Harvard U.P. 1928".

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 Aug 09 - 08:19 AM

Another of Roy Palmer's books The Sound of History - Songs And Social Comment has a section on gaol songs with references to the Wakefield songs:

"One, recalling the use of thieves' argot in the eighteenth-century songs, uses such expressions as 'faking' (thieving), 'skilly and whack' (gruel and bread), and 'bone the trout' (hit the policeman). It evokes life in the new Victorian prisons opened in the middle decades of the nineteenth century, and copies are largely identical save for the names: Belle Vue (which succeeded the New Bailey in Manchester), Kirkdale (now Walton, Liverpool), Wakefield or Warwick gaol, or even simply County Gaol.

'Wakefield Jail, or Face the Wall' is quite different, though its subject is still the oppressive discipline and grim labour. Apart from the treadwheel, it mentions oakum-picking (unravelling ropes and separating the fibres) and shot drill (picking up and putting down cannon-balls, by numbers). The resilience of the piece is far removed from the fatalism and despondency of many of the transportation and murder ballads


<... Song text quoted ...>

The prison at Wakefield is incongruously situated in Love Lane. It was opened in the 1840s, and the ballad probably dates from soon after that time. It seems to have gone into the oral tradition, for Fred Kitchen (1891-1969) recalled singing it in the carrier's cart on the way to Doncaster Martlemas fair."

The last, regarding the song in oral tradition, is interesting, though my copy of the Roud index has no record of any. The quote, of course, didn't say that Mr.Kitchen sang the song, only that he remembered singing it, so it's possible there is no record. (I should also check the online Roud index - my copy hasn't been updated for a while!).

Mick


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Subject: Lyr Add: A NEW SONG ON WAKEFIELD GAOL (Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 01:29 PM

From the Bodleian Library ballad collection, Firth c.26(19). I have also compared this text with Firth c.17(73) and put variant text from that copy in brackets. I have ignored some obvious typos. As usual, I have added punctuation.

A NEW SONG ON WAKEFIELD GAOL.
J. Harkness, Printer, 121, Church-Street, Preston. [between 1840 and 1866]

1. Good people all, give ear I pray,
And mark you well what I say.
To my misfortunes great and small,
O list and I will tell you all.
I used to lead[live] a joyous[jolly] life,
Devoid of care, devoid of strife,
Could go to bed and fall asleep.
No ugly sprites did round me creep.
But O the touts and cupid—'gad!
They nearly drove me romping mad.
From the Town Hall they did me trail,
And whipped me into Wakefield Gaol.

2. Now when we got to the end of the route,
The Turnkey turned my pockets out
To see if I had got such stuff
As blunt, grub, tobacco, or snuff.
They took me then to try my size,
Color of hair, color of eyes,
The length of my nose from root to tip,
Or if I'd more than one top lip.
Then straight with me in a yard they goes,
And offered me a suit of clothes.
The kids came out and did me hail
With "Another new cock[kid] for Wakefield Gaol!"

3. Then one of them said with a roguish leer,
"My fakin kid, what brought you here?"
Says I, "Now who do you think, you lout,
Would bring me here that wasn't a tout?"
Then all came round like so many fools,
And one of them spoke about the rules,
That each new cock must sing a song,
Or tell them a tale, Bob knows how long,
Or break his wind, or give them a whack,
Or else to be tied up to black Jack,
And there they'll wallop him tooth and nail,
With a large wet towel in Wakefield Gaol.

4. I trotted and walked about the yard.
Thinks I, my case is wondrous hard,
When all at once I heard a din.
The deputy yards man shouts "Fall in",
Then blowing down the yard they go,
Like brutes[beasts] turned out of a wild beast show,
Some cracked in skin, some in mind,
And some through cracks showed their behind.
Then one by one went round the tub,
To get the county 'lowance of grub,
And blow'd our ribs out like a sail,
With skilly and whack in Wakefield Gaol.

5. When half-past four came, one of them said
'Twas nearly time to go to bed,
And truth I found from him to creep,
For soon we all fell in two deep.
The turnkey shouts as stiff as starch,
"Right—face—then quick march".
We did, and caused a curious rush,
Like monkeys marching round a brush.
Such clinking of clogs and shaking of keys,
Croaking of bellies and shaking of knees,
And cursing of beds as hard as a nail,
Oh! 'twould starve the devil in Wakefield Gaol.

6. At seven next morning up we got.
Each stoned his cell and cleaned his pot,
And then about the yard did lurch,
Till all fell in to go to church,
And there such dresses met the view:
One arm was red, the other blue;
One leg was yellow, the other was grey.
The parson came to preach and pray.
He said Elijah went up in a cloud,
And Lazarus walked about in a shroud,
And Jonas lived inside of a whale.
'Twas better than living in Wakefield Gaol.

7. When service was over, all came back,
At eight, fell in for skilly and whack.
Like pigs were crouched all as a lump.
At nine, each took a turn at bump.
At ten, we raised a glorious mill.
They fibb'd each other with right good will.
At twelve, we got a quiet house,
Then all fell in for cans of scouse.
But if there's a row, no matter how droll,
They pop the kids in Pompey's hole,
Where whack and water cocks their tail.
Oh! there's glorious doings in Wakefield Gaol.

8. But all young persons be ruled by me:
Don't let your passions act too free.
Keep from each blue Lobster's claw,
Or, shun each thief-catcher's paw.
But if the fates should me increase,
And make me deputy of Police,
And this blue bottle turned about,
Oh! would not I serve him nicely out!
I'd bone the tout in half a crack,
And feed him well on skilly and whack.
Oh! would I not make him droop his tail!
He should hunt for his dinner in Wakefield Gaol.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Artful Codger
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM

"A New Song of Wakefield Gaol" ("Good people all give ear I pray") may neither have been so new nor originally about Wakefield Gaol. The same song appears in other broadsides with roughly similar dating (1840-1866), as "A New Song of Preston Gaol" (published by the same printer, J. Harkness of Preston), "County Gaol/Jail", "Kirkdale Gaol" and "Bellevue Goal" [sic]; also "Duke St. Gaol", with a later dating [1860-1874]. It was in existence at least by "c. 1850", the estimated dating for "Kirkdale Gaol". In all of these versions, the only substantive change is the name of the gaol. The text also appears as "The Humours of Cork Jail", so no doubt the Irish will claim the English stole this "fine Irish song."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:16 PM

An oral version can be listened to on the Yorkshire Garland website,
Hedon Road Gaol, about 50 miles down the road from Wakefield. It's a lot shorter but the tune's a good one. Mick will be able to post a link direct to it as he worked on the website.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:43 PM

And here it is: Hedon Road Gaol

Mick


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Subject: Lyr Add: WAKEFIELD JAIL, or FACE THE WALL
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:23 PM

For completeness, here's the other one.

Mick



WAKEFIELD JAIL or Face The Wall

Kind friends if you listen unto my little rhyme,
A verse or two I'll try and sing to pass away the time.
It's about the Wakefield Prison I'm going to relate
The treatment that the prisoners get up to this present date.
And when they get you there they drive you to despair,
They put you in a suit of plaid and cut off all your hair,
And give you oakum for to pick, and put you through your drill,
And send you for a week on what they call the mill.

Chorus
It makes you feel so sad, when you were a suit of plaid,
And a pair of buckle shoes upon your feet.
They feed you on the best, clap a number on your chest,
And don't they tug you up so blooming nest, face the wall.

Now, every morning at half-past five the bell begins to toll,
And every prisoner has to rise his bed to fold.
There's another one rings soon after that, but for that you need not care,
There another one rings at six o'clock and to work you must prepare.
That bell is for the treadmill, they'll have you out in time,
Along with a lot more prisoners they place you in a line,
They call your names out one by one as you stand in a row,
And shout get out, to the left about, and the mill you have to go.

Chorus.

The diets they are different, and they all stand in a line,
There is number one and number two according to your time
There's a pint of skilly night and morn, as sure as I'm a sinner,
And a pint of soup three times a week, you cop that for your dinner.
You do not get so fat there on what you get to eat,
With half a pound of potatoes and a little Australian meat.
And mind that you do cop that, for they often stop your bread,
And you're sure to be reported if you chance to turn your head.

Chorus


Source: Bodleian broadside collection: Harding B 11(3501)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Casetone
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 04:04 AM

You guys are fantastic!

I will certainly be going to Leeds to check out their broadsides - I had no idea that they were there.

I wasn't familiar with the Bodlean online collection but my eyes are now opened and my horizons broadened.

Thank you for posting the lyrics and all the information.

Tony


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: GUEST,Gordon Tyrrall
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 06:32 AM

leeds public library broadsides are listed under Frank Kidson in the reference library catalogue.He collected them.They may have others scattered about too.I'm doing a workshop kind of thing at Whitby next week on Frank Kidson, so I've been delving into his past.I've a feeling the leeds song is similar to the second one here - but I'm curious now, so I'll go back and have a look.
Wakefied Gaol does have the odd address 5 Love Lane (there are no other buildings on Love lane - the prison is huge!) but its a lot older than the 1840s because inside they list governors going back to the 17th century or before.Its now one of a handful of maximum security prisons, and is known among other prisoners as the "monster mansion" because of a certain class of prisoner it tends to hold.
There's also another folk tradition associated with it.Its meant to be the original of the nursery rhyme "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush",which is meant to refer to prisoners tramping round this for exercise - and even to this day they have a mulberry tree in the exercise yard.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 07:04 AM

Gordon - according to the Roud index the Kidson/Leeds copy should be a version of Wakefield Jail or Face the Wall - the second song above, as you suspect.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 12:02 PM

Yes I think the Bodl and Leeds copies are the same, no imprint, together with the song 'The Ship went up then went down' by J E Buckle. Can't find a J E Buckle in Kilgarriff but the song was in the repertoire of Charles Deane 1866-1910 so I'd say c1890 at the earliest. The style of the broadside type, layout etc would suggest about this time.

As someone has already mentioned,there was an earlier 'Wakefield Gaol' (Roud 794) on broadsides that was applied to just about every gaol in the country at one time or another. Its more common title is just 'County Gaol'. There are lots of copies in the Bodl under various titles, but they all start with the same first line 'Good people all give ear I pray' so if you put that in the search box you'll get at least 5 different versions. It was also printed in New York and there are Irish and Scottish printings. Any problems finding these and I can post the individual titles.

Of course there are lots of prison songs in oral tradition and many of them are interrelated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Artful Codger
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 11:49 PM

Ahem, that someone was me, and I already gave at least five other titles in my post above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 05:36 AM

Artful - I think Steve was pointing the reader to the texts of the other versions and offering the Irish and American texts if anyone was interested. Alternative gaols used in the song were listed not only by you, but in the earlier quote I gave from Roy Palmer (I removed the actual references, but the places are mentioned).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 06:22 PM

Okay just to add to Artful's list for the sake of more to go at.
Jackson of Birmingham printed 'Warwick Gaol' There is also 'Humours of Limerick Gaol(No imprint but probably Nugent or Brereton or Birmingham of Dublin. Ilford Gaol (no imprint) and an oral version in the Alfred Wiiliams Upper Thames collection is 'In Devizes Gaol'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Casetone
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 05:17 AM

Does anyone know the tune to which the Bodleian broadside collection: Harding B 11(3501)posted above is sung or can be sung?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 09:15 AM

Okay, the most commonly published version by far is that sung by W Davy and recorded by Hammond at Beaminster Dorset in 1906. This version was published in Penguin BoEFS and its new edition Classic English FS, Bert Lloyd's FS in England, Marrowbones and its recent new edition, among lots of others. Come to think of it the only other tune I have is the one I sing on the YG website Mick posted above. The ABC for this and the song recording are on the website. If you ask Mick nicely he might post you the ABC notation for the Dorset version. For any other possible tunes I would check out the Roud Index (Roud 1077) on the EFDSS website. I would imagine that seeing as the song was widely printed and relocalised many times it would have had as many different tunes as versions. Unless the broadside song was extremely popular and well-known, the ballad sellers tended to use their own tunes of which they would have a stock in their heads and they would just choose one that fitted best.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 10:53 AM

The midi for the Gaol Song (from Penguin) is here in the Mudcat Midis; you'll find a link to that on the DT Song Page for the song: Gaol Song. I can post the abc if you want it.

I don't think it would fit the Face The Wall version, which is the one casetone is looking at. The chorus pattern of that - 4 rhymed lines (AA/B/CC/B) - that nest in the chorus above should be neat - plus coda tag (Face the wall) reminds me of some song, but at the moment I can't place it. If I think of anything I'll post it later.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 12:38 PM

The tune 'The little old log cabin' seems to go very nicely here. aka 'Keep yor feet still Geordie Hinny'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: GUEST,Varley
Date: 31 Dec 15 - 09:21 PM

I just found this one at the Bodleian and being Bradford-born but living over the pond I'm interested. Does anyone know the meanings of 'Pompey's hole' or 'blue lobster's claw'. I'm guessing it's 'the hole' and the law, but I'd love a source if anyone has one.
Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Jan 16 - 05:27 AM

'Pompey' is used as cant in all sorts of contexts and is worth Googling. It's meaning in the song is quite obvious. 'Blue Lobster' must surely be one of the 'boys in blue' or whatever form of policeman was on the go at the time. The other analogy similar of course is 'the long arm of the law'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wakefield Gaol
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Jan 16 - 06:48 AM

I think Steve may well be right about "Blue Lobster". A lobster has for long meant a soldier [as in eg Nic Jones's song 'Oh Jenny Where Are You Going?'], on account of the red coats which soldiers wore for formal parade or walking-out dress up to WW1 -- and do still in eg Guards regiments for formal guard duties: tho khaki in battle tended to replace it from the mid-C19 Afghan campaigns onward.

—— So "Blue Lobster" might well mean a man in a military-style uniform, but one which was blue rather than red -- such as a policeman, say.

≈M≈


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