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Lyr Add: Gaffer Gray

Artful Codger 07 Nov 09 - 02:44 AM
GUEST,baz parkes 07 Nov 09 - 06:26 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Gaffer Gray
From: Artful Codger
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 02:44 AM

In 1794, Thomas Holcroft published the first part of a novel called Hugh Trevor which contained a satirical "song" he wrote called "Gaffer Gray". It seems to have gained immediate popularity and shortly was turned into a song in fact (1795?).

[from Hugh Trevor (part 1, 1794) by Thomas Holcroft]

Ho ! why dost thou shiver and shake,
   Gaffer Gray ?
And why does thy nose look so blue ?
   ' 'Tis the weather that's cold,
   'Tis I'm grown very old,
And my doublet is not very new,

Then line thy worn doublet with ale,
   Gaffer Gray;
And warm thy old heart with a glass.
   'Nay, but credit I've none,
   And my money's all gone ;
Then say how may that come to pass ?

Hie away to the house on the brow,
   Gaffer Gray;
And knock at the jolly priest's door.
   ' The priest often preaches
   Against worldly riches,
But ne'er gives a mite to the poor,

The lawyer lives under the hill,
   Gaffer Gray;
Warmly fenced both in back and in front.
   ' He will fasten his locks,
   And will threaten the stocks
Should he ever more find me in want,

The squire has fat beeves and brown ale,
   Gaffer Gray;
And the season will welcome you there.
   ' His fat beeves and his beer,
   And his merry new year,
Are all for the flush and the fair,

My keg is but low, I confess,
   Gaffer Gray;
What then ? While it lasts, man, we'll live.
   ' The poor man alone,
   When he hears the poor moan,
Of his morsel a morsel will give,
   Well-a-day !'

The text of Holcroft's novel can be found at Project Gutenberg and Google Books. Google Books also lists several song sheets dating shortly after the novel, including one with music by the Hon. J. Spencer (1805). None of these entries are viewable, and I haven't located any music from this period or the following decades, though I've found some other song texts and parodies which cite the air "Gaffer Gray".

Much later (1857), L. Marshall wrote a duet and piano score for the song; you can view this at the Library of Congress Music for the Nation site (reachable through an American Memory search). I haven't been able to determine whether Marshall based his score on the by-then "traditional" tune or composed a new tune. The only other music I've located for this song copies Marshall's score.

I've rendered the vocal lines from Marshall's score into three ABCs below. The song is structured as a dialog, with parts for "Friend", "Gaffer Gray" and then "Both" (the duet section). The scoring is a bit confusing: Friend is written on a treble staff in the soprano range. Gaffer is written on the same staff in the same range. The duet section is written on separate staves, one treble and one bass. But I suspect that the song is intended for a tenor (Friend) and baritone (Gaffer), and that the treble staff bits should be sung an octave lower than written throughout. Since writing male voice parts portably in ABC is a pain in the patootie, I've opted to render the treble staff as written and raise the bass staff bits an octave; in other words, the ABCs will sound an octave higher than I believe they should be sung.

Many ABC programs and converters choke on multiple voices, so the first two ABCs are restricted to single lines. The first gives the Friend, Gaffer and upper duet part. The second gives the lower duet part, beginning at "And my doublet"; this means that the lower voice is split between the first and second ABCs. The third ABC merges both parts using the chord feature, which is more widely supported than other multi-voice features; but you may have to move (or remove) the fermata marks (H) to get things to work. Barfly required the H's to be placed inside the square brackets, separately for each note.

T:Gaffer Gray (Duett) [Friend, Gaffer and upper duet parts]
S:Sheet music at the American Memory site
C:L. Marshall; published by Oliver Ditson & Co, Boston, c.1857
A:Thomas Holcroft, from his novel _Hugh Trevor_, 1794
Z:Artful Codger
% Conversation section
% The Gaffer Gray part should probably be sung by the baritone, an octave lower,
% but it's scored as shown, in the treble clef.
"^Friend" A/B/ | c>BA BA^G | A2A,/A,/ A,zA/B/ |
cde ddd | G3 z2 "^Gaffer Gray" c/d/ | e>dc {e}d2c/B/ |
c2B/A/ {A}E2E/D/ | CDE E2E/E/ | Hc2 B/A/ A2 "^Both" c/d/ |
% Duet section, treble part
e>dc d2 c/B/ | cBA {A}^G2 E/D/ |
CDE E2 E/E/ | Hc2 B/A/ HA3 |]

T:Gaffer Gray [duet section, lower part]
% Baritone part, transposed up one octave from bass clef
A/B/ | c>BA B2 A/^G/ | AGF E2 E/E/ |
A,B,C C2 C/C/ | HE2 E/A,/ HA,3 |]

T:Gaffer Gray [combined vocal parts]
% Chords may not be handled properly by some programs and converters
"^Friend" A/B/ | c>BA BA^G | A2A,/A,/ A,zA/B/ |
cde ddd | G3 z2 "^Gaffer Gray" c/d/ | e>dc {e}d2c/B/ |
c2B/A/ {A}E2E/D/ | CDE E2E/E/ | Hc2 B/A/ A2 "^Both" [cA]/[dB]/ |
% Duet section
[ec]>[dB][Ac] [dB]2 [cA]/[B^G]/ | [cA][BG][AF] {A}[^GE]2 E/[ED]/ |
[CA,][DB,][EC] [EC]2 [EC]/[EC]/ | [HcHE]2 [BE]/[AA,]/ [HAHA,]3 |]

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Gaffer Gray
From: GUEST,baz parkes
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 06:26 AM

Sadd that I am, I thought this was going to be a recent humorous ode to evry muso's friend, gaffer tape (although the grey does seem to have gone out of fashion to be replaced by black...)


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