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Lyr Req: I Wish I Was in Manchester/The Irish Girl

Lucy Wright 26 Oct 09 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 26 Oct 09 - 12:57 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Oct 09 - 12:59 PM
greg stephens 26 Oct 09 - 01:27 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Oct 09 - 07:57 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Oct 09 - 11:01 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Oct 09 - 11:02 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Oct 09 - 11:04 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Oct 09 - 11:05 PM
Folkiedave 28 Oct 09 - 11:16 AM
RWJ 28 Oct 09 - 02:16 PM
Dave the Gnome 28 Oct 09 - 06:51 PM
Lucy Wright 30 Oct 09 - 04:56 AM
Jim Dixon 31 Oct 09 - 03:29 PM
Helen Jocys 31 Oct 09 - 04:59 PM
Spleen Cringe 31 Oct 09 - 05:37 PM
Joe Offer 31 Oct 09 - 06:00 PM
Joe Offer 31 Oct 09 - 06:21 PM
weerover 01 Nov 09 - 03:16 PM
Lucy Wright 03 Nov 09 - 05:24 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: Lucy Wright
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 12:46 PM

Afternoon all,

I'm looking for the lyrics to the song, 'I wish i was in Manchester' (unofficial subtitle: 'god only knows why!') as sung by Ken Hall, and any info whatsoever about its provenance...

I've just moved to Manchester myself and thought it might be a good one to learn...

Thanks in advance :-)

Lucy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 12:57 PM

Not after yesterday's game, you don't.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 12:59 PM

Some Mancs thought 2 - 0 was quite good

L in C


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: greg stephens
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 01:27 PM

I hasve the words and tune for "Manchester's Improving Daily"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 07:57 PM

I found these:

I WISH I WAS IN GLASGOW (Billy Connolly)
I WISH I WAS IN ENGLAND (Christy Moore)
I WISH I WAS IN PEORIA

Maybe you could write your own version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 11:01 PM

Ken Hall sings I WISH I WAS IN MANCHESTER on an album made with Peta Webb called "As Close as Can Be", Fellside CD #155, 2000.

Now I've listened to a sound sample and I realize you're referring to a traditional song:

...She wrung her hands and tore her hair crying Alas! What shall I do?
I'm going home, I'm going home, I am going home" said she.
Oh would you go a-roving to slight your own Pollý?

The very last time I saw my love he seemed to be in pain.
With his...


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE IRISH GIRL (from C Sharp, J Reeves)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 11:02 PM

The following appears in The Idiom of the People: English Traditional Verse by Cecil James Sharp, James Reeves (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1976, ©1958), page 131:

THE IRISH GIRL

I wish I was a butterfly. I would fly to my love's breast.
I wish I was a linnet. I would sing my love to rest.
I wish I was a nightingale. I'd sing till the morning clear.
I would sit and sing to you, Polly, to the girl I love so dear.

I wish I was in Manchester all seated on the grass
With a bottle of whisky in my hand and on my knee a lass.
We'd call for liquors merrily and pay before we go.
I'd roll her in my arms once more let the winds blow high or low.

[There might be more in the book that I was unable to view with Google Books.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE IRISH GIRL (from Broadwood)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 11:04 PM

From English Traditional Songs and Carols by Lucy E. Broadwood (London: Boosey & Co., 1908), page 60:


THE IRISH GIRL

1. Abroad as I was walking down by the river side,
I gazèd all around me, an Irish girl I spied.
So red and rosy were her cheeks, and yellow was her hair,
And costly were the robes of gold my Irish girl did wear.

2. Her shoes were of the Spanish black, all spangled round with dew.
She wrung her hands, and tore her hair, crying "Love! what shall I do?
I'm going home, I'm going home, I'm going home," said she.
"Why will you go a-roving, and slight your dear Polliè?"

3. The very last time I saw my love she seemed to lie in pain.
With sorrow, grief and anguish her heart was broke in twain.
"Oh! there's many a man that's worse than he, then why should I complain?
Oh, love is such a killing thing! Did you ever feel the pain?"

4. I wish my love was a red rose, and in the garden grew,
And I to be the gardener; to her I would be true.
There's not a month throughout the year, but love I would renew.
With lilies I would garnish her, sweet William, thyme, and rue.

5. I wish I was a butterfly. I'd fly to my love's breast.
I wish I was a linnet. I'd sing my love to rest.
I wish I was a nightingale. I'd sing till morning clear.
I'd sit and sing to you, Pollie, the girl I love so dear.

6. I wish I was at Exeter, all seated on the grass,
With a bottle of whiskey in my hand, and on my knee a lass.
I'd call for liquor merrily, and pay before I go.
I'd hold her in my arms once more, let the wind blow high or low.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE IRISH GIRL (from Kenedy)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 11:05 PM

From The Universal Irish Song Book by Patrick John Kenedy (New York: P. J. Kenedy, 1904), page 31:

THE IRISH GIRL.

1. One evening, as I strayed down the river's side,
Looking all around me, an Irish girl I spied.
So red and rosy were her cheeks, and yellow was her hair,
And costly were the robes which my Irish girl did wear.

2. Her shoes, of Spanish leather, were bound round with spangles gay.
The tears came down her crystal eyes, and she began to say:
"Och, hone! and, alas! Astore Areen Machree,
Why should you go and leave me, and slight your only Molly?

3. The first time that I saw my love, I was sick and very bad.
All the request I asked was that she might tie my head.
I asked her if one as bad as me could ever mend again—
For, love's a sore disorder—did you ever feel the pain?

4. My love, she'll not come nigh me, for all the moan I make,
Nor either will she pity me, if my poor heart should break—
But was I of some noble blood, and she of low degree,
She would hear my lamentation, and come and pity me.

5. My only love is fairer than the lilies that do grow.
She has a voice that's clearer than any winds that blow.
She's the promise of this country, like Venus in the air,
And let her go where'er she will, she's my joy and only dear!

6. Be it so or be it not, of her I take my chance.
The first time that I saw my love, she struck me in a trance.
Her ruby lips and sparkling eyes have so bewitchèd me
That, was I king of Ireland, queen of it she should be!

7. I wish I was a butterfly; on my love's breast I'd lie—
Or was I but a linnet, how I would sing and fly—
Or if I was a corn-creak, I'd sing till morning clear.
I would sit and sing for Molly—for, once I loved her dear!

8. If my love was a red rose in yonder garden fair,
And I to be the gardener, of her I would take care.
There's not a month throughout the year but my love would renew.
With flowers fine I'd garnish, with sweet-William, thyme and rue.

9. If I was in Monaghan, and sitting on the grass,
And in my hand a bottle, and on my knee a lass,
I'd call for liquors plenty, and I'd pay before I go.
"Come on," they say, "my brave boy, let the wind blow high or low!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: Folkiedave
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 11:16 AM

I seem to think Ken got it from Walter Pardon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: RWJ
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 02:16 PM

There is a song by that name on a Gary '& Vera Aspey LP but i cant remember which one.
Ron


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 06:51 PM

I think you may be thinking of the Cicely Fox-Smith poem 'From the North' RWJ, although I could be wrong. The album, by the same title, By Gary and Vera, does contain the same poem, put to music and starting

"I wish I was in Lancashire; a-hunting of the hare"

I would be interested to see the "I wish I was in Manchester" one although I suspect it will be one of the generic songs that can have any town with a suitable mumber of sylables!

"As I was out a-walking down a London/Bristol/Salford Street..."

etc...

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: Lucy Wright
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 04:56 AM

Ah, i see... well Manchester works just fine for me.

Thanks for the help with this :-)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE IRISH GIRL (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 03:29 PM

The following is a composite of 3 versions found at the Bodleian collection: Harding B 11(1226), Harding B 11(3934), and Harding B 26(272). Those versions vary only slightly in wording; in each case I chose the phrase that scanned best. The same collection also has versions that mention different places, rather than Manchester, and these vary considerably.


THE IRISH GIRL

As I walked out one evening down by a river side,
And gazing all around me, an Irish girl I spied.
So red and rosy were her cheeks and curly was her hair,
And costly were those robes of gold this Irish girl did wear.

Her shoes were of the Spanish black, all spangled round with dew.
She wrung her hands and tore her hair. "Alas! What shall I do?
I'm going home. I'm going home. I'm going home" said she.
"Why would you go a-roving and leave your dear Polly?"

The very last time I saw my love, oh! he was very bad.
The whole request he asked of me was for to tie his head.
There's many a man that's worse than he; then why should I complain?
O love it is a killing thing; did you ever feel the pain?

I wish my love was a red rosebud and in that garden there,
And I to be the gardener; of her I would take care.
There's not a month in all the year but my love I'd renew.
With lilies I would garnish her, sweet William, thyme, and rue.

I wish I was a butterfly; I'd fly to my love's breast.
I wish I was a linnet; I'd sing my love to rest.
I wish I was a nightingale; I'd sing till the morning clear.
I'd sit and sing for my Polly, my joy and only dear.

I wish I was in Manchester and sitting on the grass,
With a pint of wine all in my hand, and on my knee my lass.
We'd call for liquor merrily, and pay before we go.
I'd roll her in my arms once more; let winds blow high or low.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: Helen Jocys
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:59 PM

Could it have been 'I wish I was in Lancashire, A hunting of the hare'? That's all I can think of.

HelenJ.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish i was in Manchester
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:37 PM

There's a version on Walter Pardon's "World Without Horses" CD.

Anyway, Lucy, when you have found it you could always sing it at the Beech Singaround, 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at The Beech, Beech Road, Chorlton, 8.00pm... not that I'm advertising or anything...


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Subject: ADD Version: The Irish Girl
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 06:00 PM

Jim Dixon posted an excerpt of the version in The Idiom of the People. Here's the whole thing:

48 THE IRISH GIRL

As I walked out one morning fair down by some river side
I gaz-ed all around me an Irish girl I spied
So red and rosy were her cheeks and curly was her hair
And costly were those robes of gold this Irish girl did wear

Her shoes were of the Spanish black all sprinkled o'er with dew
She wrung her hands in terror saying Alas what shall I do?
I'm going home, I'm going home, I'm going home says she
What makes you go a roving and slight dear Pollee.

There's many a one so bad as he and why should I complain?
For love it is a killing thing did you ever feel the pain?
I wish my love was a red red rose and in some garden grew
With lilies I would garnish her, Sweet William, thyme and rue

I wish I was a butterfly I would fly to my love's breast
I wish I was a linnet I would sing my love to rest
I wish I was a nightingale I'd sing till the morning clear
I would sit and sing to you Polly to the girl I love so dear

I wish I was in Manchester all seated on the grass
With a bottle of whisky in my hand and on my knee a lass
We'd call for liquors merrily and pay before we go
I'd roll her in my arms once more let the winds blow high or low.

[1310 Robert Parish at Exford 1907. Five other English and three American versions]

2.2 She wrung her hands and tore her hair Good lord! what shall I do? [1908 Mr Edward Harrison at Langport 1909]

2.3 I'm going: 1310 We're going. Most other versions have 'I'm'. 'Going home' is a common euphemism for 'dying'.

3.1—3 These two lines, which occur in most versions, are supplied from
1908. 1908 has 'as bad as me', but other versions have 'he', which
is obviously better sense.

3.3—4 Another version has
I wish my love was a red ripe rose that in the garden grows
And I to be the gardener that's my love I would know

Other versions have minor variants, as 'coal black' for 'curly'; 'Exeter' for 'Manchester'; 'wine' for 'whisky'.

This song was widely popular; there are broadside versions and versions noted by collectors such as Lucy Broadwood (English Traditional Songs and Carols, 1908) and others (Journal of the Folk-Song Society, No. x, 1899). There are numerous minor variations, but there is substantial agreement about the main elements of this somewhat confused narrative. This would suggest that all the versions have a common origin in the broadside issued by Such under the title The New Irish Girl. This title implies that there was an older Irish Girl, which may have been an earlier original. The author of this broadside may have combined elements from several songs without regard for logic. There appears to be an unexplained transition from one protagonist—the girl, to another—her lover.
No one, so far as I know, has reduced the narrative to order, and I have been unable to do so. The following points, however, are worth noting: the gold dress and shoes of Spanish leather imply wealthy heroine (compare the heroine of The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies). I wonder if 'Irish' is a corruption of 'heiress'. The heroine is also connected with that of The Foggy Dew (No. 33). See 2.2 of The Irish Girl.


source The Idiom of the People, by James Reeves, 1958 (page 130-131 of the 1965 Norton paperback edition).
No tune available.

All of the songs in this book were collected by Cecil Sharp.


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Subject: ADD Version: I Wish I Was In Manchester
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 06:21 PM

I suppose since it was the version originally requested, I ought to try transcribing the Ken Hall recording. I shouldn't grumble, but it's much easier to do an OCR from a printed songbook.

I WISH I WAS IN MANCHESTER

One evening as I rambled down by the riverside,
Gazing all around me when an Irish lass I spied;
Red and rosy were her cheeks, lovely coal-black was her hair,
Costly were those lovely robes this Irish lass did wear.

Her shoes were black, her stockings white, all sprinkled o'er with dew
She wrung her hands and tore her hair, crying, 'Alas what shall I do?
I'm going home, I'm going home, I'm going home,' said she;
'Oh, would you go a roving to slight your own Pollee?'

The very last time I saw my love, he seemed to be in pain,
With his heartfelt grief and bitter woe, his heart seemed broke in twain;
There's many a lad more true than he, so why should I complain?
Oh, love it is a killing thing, did you ever feel the pain?

I wish I was a butterfly, I would fly to my true love's breast;
I wish I was a linnet, I would sing my love to rest;
I wish I was a nightingale, I would sing to the morning clear;
I'd sing my song for you Polly, to the girl I love so dear.

I wish was a red rosebud that in the garden grew,
And I to be the gardener, to her I ever would be true;
There's not a month in all the year, but my love I would renew;
Those lilies I would garnish with Sweet William, thyme and rue.

I wish I was in Manchester all lazing on the grass,
A bottle of whisky in my hand and on my knee a lass;
I'd call for liquor merrily and I'd pay before I go;
I'd roll my love all on the grass, let the wind blow high or low.

transcribed by ear from the Ken Hall and Peta Webb CD, As Close as Can Be


By the way, this is a terrific CD.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish I was in Manchester/The Irish Girl
From: weerover
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 03:16 PM

We also have Loudon Wainwright's I Wish I was a Lesbian, Carrickfergus and Fisherman's Blues, each of which begins "I wish I was…", but being the outrageous old pedant I am I can't help but point out that all of these SHOULD begin "I wish I were…" (subjunctive mood).

OK, someone fetch my coat…


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I wish I was in Manchester/The Irish Girl
From: Lucy Wright
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:24 PM

That's amazing - thanks all :-)


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