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Lyr Req: Ballad of the Soiled Snowflake (Swanson)

Joe Offer 05 Jan 10 - 04:52 PM
bradfordian 06 Jan 10 - 05:02 PM
Joe_F 06 Jan 10 - 05:42 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Jan 10 - 01:38 PM
Charley Noble 08 Jan 10 - 06:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Jan 10 - 08:31 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jan 10 - 08:36 PM
bradfordian 09 Jan 10 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,mary 09 Apr 10 - 12:27 AM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Apr 10 - 10:35 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: The Madam Stood in her Parlor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 04:52 PM

Art Thieme posted this in another thread, and there were a few typos and some questions about stanza spacing. Art, I wonder if you could copy this and paste it into another message with corrections.
-Joe-

Thread #55428   Message #881997
Posted By: Art Thieme
03-Feb-03 - 10:38 PM
Thread Name: Recitations Anyone?
Subject: Lyr Add: THE MADAM STOOD IN HER PARLOR WHEN A ...
I don't know where I got this---but it's in my file along with stuff I brought back from trying to drive to Alaska over thirty years ago. We lost 2 of our 4 cylinders near Whitehorse and had to turn around.------------
Art Thieme
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Title???

The Madam stood in her parlor when a knock was heard at her door,
The girls all gathered 'round her to display their stock and store,
She peered through the panel grill like a panther stalks a deer,
And with a quick respond to the cute little blonde she whispered in her ear,

"He is fresh from the hobo jungles, dear, with a great big roll of hay,
So stick right close beside him and make the sucker pay,
I sent my spotter down last night to watch the boats arrive,
And my taxi driver picked him up in an east-end bootleg dive.

He'll be my guest while you get dressed in your finest evening frock,
His tonsils anoint in a cocktail joint but bank his roll in your sock,
Offer your charms to lure him---make sure of your feminine wit,
But get his jack and then come back. It's a 50-50 split."

"Hello, dis place!" said Micky O'Shea, as the Madam ushered him in,
"I'll down me sum of the good ol' rum 'cause I know you're drinkin' gin,
Here's to the ladies--bless 'em--and here's to the rum---drink her down,
Skol! Fill 'em up! Bottoms up you Wobs. There's plenty more liquor in town.

Now trot out the girls for my choosin' for my flesh is seared with the flame,
That has burned in man since the world began. (O, need I mention its name?)"
Now dearie," the Madam intruded, I know you're rarin' to go,
That roll you pack of the hard-earned jack is a mighty big wad o' dough.

Just be advised by one who is wise to the ways of the huntress clan,
Steer clear of the harlot, the woman in scarlet, she is out to fleece you, man.
So let me make you acquainted with the right kind of gal to squire,
She's honest and true---she'll see ya through. Shake hands with Molly McGuire."

"What a woman! My God! What a woman."--thought the man from the log-jammed streams,
I'd follow her track to hell and back, she's the girl of my fanciful dreams.
I've lain all alone in the forest with boughs for a bed,
With the towering pines up above me and the murmuring winds overhead.

And I've heard her voice in that stillness, and she has come like a nymph before dawn,
To soothe my soul with her fondness. With the stars and the night she'd be gone.
And often I fancied I'd seen her in those big deep pools of blue,
Where the cataract leaps in the river, I've heard her laughter there too,
And now, just to think she's beside me, God it's hard to believe,
"Come honey, let's head for a nightclub," said the blond little daughter of eve.

Ten thousand drums and a big brass band, strange animals purple and red,
Were climbing the walls with ten-pound mauls and a-thumping 'em down on his head,
A circus of serpents performing in a bathtub full of champagne,
They were long---they were lean, they were purple and green and writhing around in his brain.

A woman---a marvel of beauty--a form like a sculptor's dream,
With rippling laughter in her eyes like the moon on a mountain stream,
Was calling him close to her bosom, was enticing him to her embrace,
But always her image would vanish and the floor would wallop his face.

Now, was it a horrible nightmare, or the jims from the liquid fire,
Had the Madam not made him acquainted with a girl named Molly McGuire?
He seemed to remember a roadhouse where the twinkling bright lights shone,
Then, sudden, he ran through his pockets---his roll---my God--! It was gone.

How cold were the streets of the city, how barren and friendless, how bare,
How lightly the now it fluttered, pure white, on that turbulent air,
How soon were the flakes soiled in the gutter, their emblem of purity stained,
Like the maiden whose visage he'd conjured in the forest where solitude reigned.

He was heading right back to his little log shack on the north-bound boat that night,
How he's spent that day it was hard to say, but he seemed to remember a fight,
Battered and bruised and badly used and nursing a big blackened eye,
While many a dame of skidroad fame was waving her love good bye.

When the steward tapped him on the shoulder and beckoned him on with a sigh,
"If you're Micky O'Shea, then follow me. You're wanted in stateroom nine."
It was Molly McGwire, his heart's desire, that opened the stateroom door,
She said with a grin, "Come on right in, you're blocking the corridor.

You'll think I'm tricky, but listen, Micky," said the blond as she opened her purse,
"Last night on a spree we saw a J. P. and you took me for better or worse.
And here's the whole of your hard earned roll that you gave me to hold for you,
And now I'm your wife you can bet your life I'll always be honest and true."

There's a house in the city that's built on the sins of the Devil ordained,
Where the snowflakes drift in the gutter, their emblem of purity stained,
There's a little log shack in the forest where these two kindled a light,
And snowdrifts gleam in the valley, untrodden, untarnished and white.

Some obvious typos corrected. --JoeClone, 26-Feb-03.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Madam Stood in her Parlor
From: bradfordian
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:02 PM

verse 8 "Where the cataract leaps in the river"
what are CATERACTS in this context?

verse 4 "Bottoms up you Wobs."
what are WOBS in this context (or any context for that matter?

Brad


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Madam Stood in her Parlor
From: Joe_F
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:42 PM

Cataracts: Probably waterfalls.

Wobs: The only place I have seen it, it was short for Wobblies = members of the IWW. Conceivable, but not likely.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BALLAD OF THE SOILED SNOWFLAKE (R Swanson
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 01:38 PM

From Glory Days of Logging by Ralph Warren Andrews (New York, Bonanza Books [©1956]; reprinted Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub., ©1994.), page 31:

[I have boldfaced the words that are different from the above post.]

"As a youth of Vancouver Island's East Wellington, Bob Swanson went into the woods pulling whistle for John Coburn in 1919. He became in turn sawmill engineer, chief engineer, civil engineer and mechanical superintendent at Victoria Lumber Company in Chemainus.

"Since 1940 he has been inspector of railways for British Columbia—borrowed for the war years by the Crown in the airplane spruce program. His personal friendship with Robert W. Service may or may not have helped develop his aptitude for writing verse, the fact remaining that Robert E. Swanson is noted as Canada's rhymster of the woods. The following is this author's selection of one of his best, a second appearing on another page."


BALLAD OF THE SOILED SNOWFLAKE
From "Bunkhouse Ballads" by Robert E. Swanson

The Madam stood in her parlor when a knock was heard on the door.
Her fairies then gathered around her to display their stock and store.
She peered through the grill in the panel like a panther stalks a deer,
And with a quick respond to the cute little blond she whispered in her ear:

"He's fresh in from the jungles, dear, with a great big roll of hay,
So stick right close beside him, and make that sucker pay.
I had my spotter down last night to watch the boats arrive,
And my taxi driver picked him up in an east-end bootleg dive.

"He'll be my guest while you get dressed in your finest evening frock.
His tonsils anoint in a cocktail joint, but bank his roll in your sock.
Offer your charms to lure him. Make sure of your feminine wit,
But get his jack, and then come back. It's a fifty-fifty split."

"Hello, dis place!" said Mickey O'Shea, as the Madame ushered him in.
"I'll quaff me some of your good old rum 'cuz I know you're drinkin' gin.
Here's to the ladies—God bless 'em, and here's to the rum—drink her down;
Skol! Bottoms up; best o' luck; fill the cup, there's plenty more liquor in town.

"Now, trot out your girls for my choosin' for my flesh is seared with the flame
That has burned in man since the world began. (O, need I mention its name?)"
"Now, dearie," the Madame intruded, "I know you're a-rearin' to go.
That roll you pack, of hard-earned jack, is a mighty big wad of dough!

"Just be advised by one who's wise to the tricks of the Huntress Clan:
Steer clear of the harlot, the woman in scarlet. She's out to fleece you, man.
So let me make you acquainted with the right kind of gal to acquire.
She's honest and true and she'll see you through. Shake hands with Molly Macquire."

"What a woman! My God! What a woman," thought the man from the log-jammed streams.
"I'd follow her track to Hell and back. She's the girl of my fanciful dreams.
I've lain all alone in the darkness of the forest with boughs for a bed,
With the towering pines up above me, and the murmuring wind overhead—

"And I've heard her voice in that stillness, and she's come like a nymph ere the dawn,
To soothe my soul with her fondness. With the stars and the night she'd be gone.
And always I've fancied I'd seen her in those big, deep pools of blue
Where the cataract leaps in the river, I've heard her laughing, there, too.
And now, just to think she's beside me—O God, but it's hard to believe..."
"Come, Honey, let's head for a night club," said the blonde little daughter of Eve.

Ten thousand drums and a big brass band, queer animals, purple and red,
Were climbing the walls with ten pound mauls and a-thumping them down on his head.
A circus of serpents performing in a bathtub full of champagne,
They were long, they were lean, they were purple and green and a-writhing around in his brain.

A woman—a marvel of beauty, with a form like a sculptor's dream,
With rippling laughter in her eyes, like the moon on a mountain stream,
Was calling him close to her bosom, was enticing him to her embrace;
But always her image would vanish and the floor would wallop his face.

Now, was it a horrible nightmare, or the jims from the liquid fire?
Had the Madame not made him acquainted with a girl called Molly Macquire?
He seemed to remember a road-house where the twinkling, bright lights shone.
Then, sudden, he ran through his pockets—his roll—My God! It was gone!

How cold were the streets of the city, how barren, how friendless and bare.
How lightly the snowflakes fluttered, pure white, on that turbulent air.
How soon were they soiled in the gutter, their emblem of purity stained,
Like the maiden whose visage he'd conjured in the forest where solitude reigned.

He was heading right back to his little log shack on the north-bound boat that night.
How he spent the day it was hard to say, yet, he seemed to remember a fight.
Battered and bruised and badly used, and nursing a big black eye,
While many a dame of skidroad fame was waving her love good bye...

When the steward tapped on his shoulder and beckoned him on with a sign:
"If you're Mickey O'Shea, then follow me. You're wanted in stateroom nine!"
It was Molly Macquire, his heart's desire, that opened the stateroom door,
And she said with a grin, "Come on right in, you're blocking the corridor.

"You'll think I'm tricky, but listen, Mickey," said the blonde as she opened her purse.
"Last night on the spree we saw a JP and you took me for better or worse.
And here's the whole of your hard-earned roll that you gave me to hold for you,
And now I'm your wife you can bet your life I'll always be honest and true!"

There's a house in the city that's builded on the sins by the Devil ordained,
Where the snowflakes drift in the gutter, their emblem of purity stained;
There's a little log shack in the forest where Repentance has kindled a light,
And the snowdrifts gleam in the valley, untrodden, untarnished and white.


[Also in Rhymes of a Western Logger: The Collected Poems of Robert Swanson by Robert E. Swanson (Vancouver, B.C., Lumberman Print. Co. [©1942]; reprinted Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Pub., ©1992).]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Madam Stood in her Parlor
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 06:48 PM

What a great ballad!

I do like a happy ending.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Madam Stood in her Parlor
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 08:31 PM

Wobs a term for hoboes, not necessarily members of IWW although the word is short for wobblies.
Hobo terminology,


Other meanings, but do not fit the context.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Madam Stood in her Parlor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jan 10 - 08:36 PM

Jim Dixon, I bow at your feet.
Wow!

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Madam Stood in her Parlor
From: bradfordian
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 06:28 PM

And thanks from me too, Jim.
That neatly sidesteps the issue of the Wobs!

brad


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of the Soiled Snowflake (Swans
From: GUEST,mary
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 12:27 AM

for all you Bob Swanson fans - The Other Guys Theatre Company is producing a musical theatre revue based on Swanson's logger poetry - setting the poems to music with a multi-media backdrop of archival imagery to create the environment.    Good Timber - Songs and Stories of the Western Logger will run July and August, 2010.   Royal BC Museum, Victoria, BC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of the Soiled Snowflake (Swanson)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 10:35 AM

16 verses!

It is interesting to see that the Childe Ballads do not have a monopoly on epic tales in song.


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