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'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]

DigiTrad:
THE BURY NEW LOOM


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Bury New Loom [Words traditional, tune by Harry Boardman] (from Folk Songs and Ballads of Lancashire, compiled and edited by Harry & Lesley Boardman)


Girl Friday 21 Jan 10 - 03:59 PM
Snuffy 21 Jan 10 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,leeneia 21 Jan 10 - 04:59 PM
GUEST 21 Jan 10 - 05:08 PM
GUEST 21 Jan 10 - 05:20 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Jan 10 - 05:38 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 10 - 05:46 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 21 Jan 10 - 06:08 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Jan 10 - 06:39 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Jan 10 - 09:46 AM
Charley Noble 22 Jan 10 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,JohnB 22 Jan 10 - 10:28 AM
Bernard 22 Jan 10 - 11:46 AM
Bernard 22 Jan 10 - 11:48 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Jan 10 - 12:13 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jan 10 - 09:51 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jan 10 - 02:41 AM
Girl Friday 24 Jan 10 - 06:11 PM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Jan 10 - 10:19 AM
GUEST, Sminky 25 Jan 10 - 11:04 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 25 Jan 10 - 12:50 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 25 Jan 10 - 01:15 PM
JohnB 25 Jan 10 - 03:20 PM
Paul Burke 25 Jan 10 - 03:29 PM
GUEST, Sminky 26 Jan 10 - 08:47 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 26 Jan 10 - 09:04 AM
GUEST, Sminky 27 Jan 10 - 04:32 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 27 Jan 10 - 05:42 AM
GUEST, Sminky 27 Jan 10 - 06:17 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 27 Jan 10 - 06:28 AM
GUEST, Sminky 27 Jan 10 - 08:45 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 27 Jan 10 - 09:10 AM
GUEST, Sminky 27 Jan 10 - 09:24 AM
GUEST, Sminky 28 Jan 10 - 04:30 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 28 Jan 10 - 06:48 AM
GUEST, Sminky 28 Jan 10 - 08:41 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 28 Jan 10 - 08:57 AM
GUEST, Sminky 28 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM
Matthew Edwards 28 Jan 10 - 04:15 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 28 Jan 10 - 07:17 PM
GUEST, Sminky 29 Jan 10 - 04:37 AM
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Subject: 'Jerry' - meaning
From: Girl Friday
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 03:59 PM

I have the words to The Bury New Loom.
What does the word "jerry" refer to in the last line..
"I'll square up your jerry and loom."


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning
From: Snuffy
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 04:08 PM

It's Jenny not Jerry


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 04:59 PM

There was a machine called the spinning jenny. Or jenney. I'll bet that's what it is.


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 05:08 PM

I've just been re reading the traditional lyrics to this song in 'Folk songs and Ballads of Lancashire' etc and compiled by Harry and Lesley Boardman

I can't find any reference to a jerry or jenny in any verse - the last line is 'Can you get up and square my new loom?' or the reply 'All the time I was squaring her loom' etc.....

There is an amusing tale about this song, which is deep in double entendre, told by Harry

A teacher himself he received a letter from another teacher after the the book was published asking for a 'technical' explanation of the lyrics as the young people in his class kept asking him searching questions about the 'meaning' :)

I bet :)


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 05:20 PM

btw the last verse in the DT is not given in the book quoted above.
    Here's the last verse from the Digital Tradition:
      But when she let go her four loom poles it flew out of order again,
      She said bring your rule and your level and help me to square it again,
      I said my dear lassie I'm sorry for I must be in Bolton by noon,
      But when I come back in this way lass I'll square up your jerry and loom


    By the way, please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 05:38 PM

The DT version is almost the same as Lloyd printed in Folk Song In England, where he has the last verse:

  But when her foreloom post she let go, it flew out of order again
  She cried: Bring your rule and your level and help me to square it again.
  I said: My dear lassie, I'm sorry, at Bolton I must be by noon,
  But when that I come back this way, I will square up your jerry-hand loom

Note that Lloyd has foreloom post cf DT's four loom posts. He does, however, have jerry-hand loom, which unless Lloyd got it wrong, would suggest jerry in the same sense as jerry-built ie not very well built and consequently why he'd need to square it!

Lloyd doesn't give an exact source for his version, noting only that it was first issued by Swindells of Manchester in 1804 and then often reprinted by other North-Western printers.

Here's Mark Dowding's version: Bury New Loom with the same last line.

Mick


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Subject: ADD Version: The Bury New Loom
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 05:46 PM

Here's the Boardman version.

THE BURY NEW LOOM
(words Traditional, tune by Harry Boardman)

As I walked between Bolton and Bury,
It was on a moonshiney night,
I met with a buxom young weaver
Whose company gave me delight.
She says, Young fella come tell me
If your level and rule are in tune.
Come give me an answer correct,
Can you get up and square my new loom?

I said my dear lassie believe me,
I am a good joiner by trade,
And many a good loom and shuttle,
Before in my time I have made,
Your short lams and jacks and long frame,
I quickly can put them in tune,
My rule is now in good order,
To get up and square a new loom.

She took me and showed me her loom,
The down on her warp did appear,
The lamjacks and healds put in motion,
I levelled her loom to a hair.
My shuttle was well in her lathe,
My tread it worked up and down,
My level stood close to her breastbone,
The time I was reiving her loom.

The chords on my lamjacks and treadles,
At length they began to give way,
The bobbin I had in my shuttle,
The weft in it no longer would stay.
Her lathe it went bang to and fro,
My main treadle it still kept in tune,
My pickers went nickety nack,
All the time I was squaring her loom.

My shuttle it still kept in motion,
Her lams she worked well up and down,
The weight in her rods they tremble,
She said she would weave a new gown,
My strength now began for to fail me,
I said it's now right to a hair,
She turned up her eyes and said Tommy,
My loom you have got pretty square.

Source: Folk Songs & Ballads of Lancashire, Compiled and edited by Harry & Lesley Boardman (Oak Publications, 1973) page 16


Click to play


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 06:08 PM

By way of background to the song Martha Vicinus in The Industrial Muse has this to say:
    "At this time the new Dobbie looms, permitting the weaving of elaborate patterns, were widespread in Lancashire. They needed frequent and skilful attention, so an itinerant joiner was usually called upon to 'square' or fix these looms. Like so many picaresque figures he was soon characterized as a free-and-easy blade who attracted the village women...The familiar form of sexualizing the implements of one's craft has here a new emphasis on its technicalities. The special knowledge needed to understand the poem must have been relished by the Lancashire weaving community...'The Bury New Loom' combines highly specific details with complete impersonality, partially because it deals with sexual intercourse and not individuals, but also because the writer speaks in complete confidence that his audience will understand the world he describes, and the nature of the symbols used".

One of the references I have suggested that a broadside was at the Bodleian, but I didn't find it from the search engine there. (Had some problems with it too; but I've always found it a bit temperamental).

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 06:39 AM

I did eventually find the Bodleian versions last night, just in time for Mudcat to be placed offline!.

There are three copies there under the title of (The) New Bury Loom, all with no stated printer or dates:

New Bury Loom - Harding B 16167b)

The New Bury Loom - Johnson Ballads 2351

The third - Johnson Ballads 2697a - doesn't come up with a proper link.

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 09:46 AM

And with regard to the original question, the copies I have available (Lloyd and 2 at Bodleian - Vicinus is one of the Bodleian copies I think and Roy Palmer in The Sound Of History only quotes 3 verses, not including the last) all have the last line ending as jerry hand loom (note I mis-hyphenated my quote from Lloyd earlier - it should have hyphenated hand-loom not jerry-hand as I gave it). The DT version gives (what I assume to be) a mishearing of hand as and. I'm pretty certain that the original author, who was obviously familiar with the terminology, did deliberately write jerry hand loom. I suspect that jenny and loom is a more recent mondegreen.

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 10:15 AM

Well, one way or the other the lass was well satisfied with the "squaring."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 10:28 AM

Could it have anything to do with a common statement for a temporary fix or repair, that something is "jerry or Jury rigged"??
JohnB


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Bernard
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 11:46 AM

The verse as sung by Harry on 'Deep Lancashire' definitely refers to 'Jerry hand loom' - referring to the cottage industry before steam looms. Dropping the initial 'h' of 'hand' is typical in Lancashire dialect (my native tongue!).

So... back to the question... What does 'jerry' mean?! Was it a maker, or the type of loom?


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Bernard
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 11:48 AM

Sorry, JohnB - crossed post!


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 12:13 PM

Bernard - I suggested in my post of 05:38 (and guest JohnB just reiterated, presumably not having read the earlier post), that it means not very well built, or as the OED puts it Constructed unsubstantially of bad materials.

The only thing against that is that my copy of Shorter OED lists no sense of jerry as early as 1804, giving 1882 for the sense I suggest. There was also jerry (from Jeremy/Jeremiah) - a machine for shearing cloth 1834, but still late. My dictionary of historical slang also gives no likely meaning as early as 1804 (there are some uses from late 18C).

Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, Dobbie looms didn't appear until 1843, so Martha Vicinus' comments about it being widespread was obviously not true at the first appearance of the song in 1804.

It would be nice to know exactly what the early Swindells 1804 copy says on the last line; it's not clear that any of the version so far is that one.

Perhaps someone who knows about weaving might have a better idea.

Mick


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Subject: ADD Version: The New Bury Loom
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jan 10 - 09:51 PM

Well, this what I get from the two broadsides Mick found at Bodleian:

THE NEW BURY LOOM

As I walked between Bolton and Bury,
It was on a moon shiny night,
I met with a buxom young weaver
Whose company gave me delight.
She says, my young fellow come tell me
If your level and rule are in tune.
Come give me an answer correct,
Can you get up and square my new loom?

I said, (my) dear lassie believe me,
I am a good joiner by trade,
And many a good loom and shuttle,
Before in my time I have made.
Your short lams and jacks and long lame,
I quickly can put them in tune,
My rule is now in good order,
To get up and square a new loom.

She took me and shewed me her (new) loom,
The down on her warp did appear,
The lamjacks and healds put in motion,
I levelled her loom to a hair.
My shuttle run well in her lathe,
My treadle it did (worked) up and down,
My level stood close to her breast-beam,
The time I was squaring (rieving?) her loom.

The cords of (as) my lamjacks and treadles,
At length they began to give way,
The bobbin I had in my shuttle,
The weft on it no longer would stay.
Her lathe it went bang to and fro,
My main treadle (it) still kept in tune,
My pickers went nickety nack,
All the time I was squaring her loom.

My shuttle it still kept in motion,
Her lams she worked well up and down,
The weight in her rods they tremble,
She said she would have (weave) a new gown,
My strength now began for to fail me,
I said it's now right to a hair,
She turned up her eyes and said Tommy,
My loom you have got pretty square.

But when the fore-loom post she let go,
It flew out of order again
She cried, bring your rule and your level
And help me to square it again.
I said, My dear lassie, I'm sorry,
At Bolton I must be by noon,
But when that I come back this way,
I will square up your jerry hand loom.


As you can see, there is some disagreement between the two versions - but together, they agree more with the DT than with the Boardman book.

And both broadsides have "I will square up your jerry hand loom" as the last line.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 02:41 AM

Well, I figure we ought to have a tune posted.


Click to play


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Girl Friday
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 06:11 PM

Can't open your tune Joe. We use a variant of "Sweet Betsy from Pike."
Thanks to all contributors. We thought it might be jerry as in jury.
We had only the lyrics that were in Bert Lloyd's Book, from which I quoted.For sure it's not jerry bullt as the expression didn't come into use for another 50 years after this song was written.


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 10:19 AM

A couple of thoughts:

If "Bury" is pronounced "berry" or "barry", as I do, then a mishearing or folk-processing could possibly come up with a line using "Jerry".

"Square" rhymes with "Jerry", and could possibly be the source of "Jerry".

And "hand" loom implies a distinction from a power (water or steam) loom. How early were those power sources applied to weaving?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 11:04 AM

A GLOSSARY OF THE LANCASHIRE DIALECT by John H. Nodal and George Milner (1875)

lists:


JERRY, v. to cheat.

JERRY, adj. bad, defective, and deceptive ; i.e. a jerry building is
one that is badly built, although it may look well outwardly.


If Jerry truly is a dialect word, as it appears to be, then discovering the date of its first use might prove to be a problem. Such words only tended to appear in print when used by dialect writers, or when somebody compiled a glossary, as above.


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 12:50 PM

Sminky - it is possible the word was used in this sense earlier that OEDs 1882 date; my dictionary of historical slang says of jerry-builder that it was recorded in Liverpool in 1861, but was in use ca 1830. But that's still later than Lloyd's date of 1804 for the earliest copy of the song (can anyone verify that?). This sense of the word fits the song, which was why it was my first choice until I looked at the dates. Your dialect dictionary is late enough for the dates given by OED to have come into use, so it's not definitive for that sense of jerry in 1804.

There is also a sense of jerry cognate with gerry = excrement from C18, but I think it unlikely here.

I await further developments!

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 01:15 PM

Incidentally the next but one entry after the one you quote is for JIDDY ...(Heard in Bolton and Bury) Coll Use 1880 (odd for 1875 date for the book!), but suggests they were including quite recent material.

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: JohnB
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 03:20 PM

I did post earlier but it seems to have disappeared.
I did read all the posts Mick but I seem to have missed your earlier posting.
I always considered "jerry" and "jury" as having a similar meaning, they do seem to be cross referenced a lot.
If you go to the wikipedia site for "jury" it gives references for 1788 and 1616 usage. (with and OED footnote ref.)
If the references and usage are true, that could mean that the interchangeability of the words is earlier than the first usage of "jerry"
JohnB


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Paul Burke
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 03:29 PM

Try this as the tune- it seems to play all right, though ABC Explorer seems to have rather buggered up the bar lines:

X:1
T: Bury New Loom
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
Q:1/4=120
K:G
DDG GGA| \
G2 cBA GDG| \
FG4-G/2x/2|
DDG GGA| \
G2 cBA GDG| \
FG4-G/2x/2|
dd3/2x/2 ddc| \
B2 ccB AFA| \
FD4-D/2x/2|
DDG GGA| \
G2 cBA GDG| \
FG4-G/2


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 08:47 AM

How about this:

Jerry: A finishing machine that removed rough surface of cloth

From the Huddersfield dialect!


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 09:04 AM

OED 1834 - see my post of 12:13.

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 04:32 AM

Mick - the simple explanation may be that here we have an instance of a dialect word being recorded in 'literature' before it was harvested by the dictionary/glossary compilers.

We've already seen that the badly constructed definition in OED (taken from a Lancashire glossary) gives a date of 1882, but we know from Nodal and Milner that it was in use before then. What we don't know is for how long.

Since it appears that the dictionaries relied on glossaries, and that glossaries were rather few and far between back then, it does not surprise me that dialect words could have been in local circulation long before they were recorded.


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 05:42 AM

Sminky - I don't think that you can assume from Nodal and Milner that the word was in use long before 1882; in the copy I looked at there were several definitions given for words with dates only slightly before that. They don't provide any evidence that the word was in use 70 years earlier in the sense we're thinking about. It doesn't mean that it wasn't - as I've said earlier, that was my first choice sense - but it provides no evidence that it was so. (If it could be shown to definitely that sense we could get the OED updated with the broadside as evidence).

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 06:17 AM

Mick - I agree about the lack of evidence (either way). I was merely pointing out that the OED's 1882 source was a local glossary, but they had plainly not used the earlier source of Nodal and Milner. And if the OED can't get it right then there's no hope for any of us!

Nodal and Milner say, in the introduction, that their work seeks to include:

"All dialectal words known to have currency in the county, and all archaisms the use of which at any period can be verified, have been comprehended in the Glossary, without reference to the fact that some of them may be in use in other parts of England."

The fact that 'Jerry' is not given a specific date may imply that it had been in use for some time previously. I think we can both agree that that might be difficult to prove.

I'd be interested to know how Bert came up with 1804!


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 06:28 AM

Yes. I'd like to verify that 1804 Swindells date too; I did ask earlier if anyone could verify it, but no takers so far. My copy of the Roud broadside index has no entry for that and neither does the (newer) online version at EFDSS.

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 08:45 AM

I hope Bert's not up to his old tricks. If the song was "often reprinted by other North-Western printers" then I've not come across any copies.


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 09:10 AM

Roud lists one of the copies by Harkness, the other two with no information. Martha Vicinus repeats the 1804 date and Roy Palmer the 1804 Swindells attribution (though the version he gives (Sounds of History) says no imprint but released by Harkness). The three at the Bodleian (one of which is Vicinus' source) have no imprint.

I don't know if there's any more information on release of the ballad. Perhaps Steve Gardham can help out?

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 09:24 AM

I'll check the Harkness Collection in Preston when I get the chance.


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 04:30 AM

A bit more progress...

In her introduction to 'Broadsides of the Industrial North', Martha Vicinus states "'The Bury New Loom', first published around 1800, is a good example of an early industrial ballad about sex based on the technical terms involved in weaving.".

The source of her information, given in a footnote, is "John Swindells, Printer" Manchester City News Notes and Queries, V (19 December 1883), 178-179.

A scan of a broadside of the song, (plate 7), bears no imprint, so it's impossible to tell if it is indeed the Swindells version. The verses are the same as Lloyd's, but there are individual word differences. Bert may have done some 'tidying up'; eg 'Lamb' (Vicinus) becomes 'Lam' (Lloyd). Both end with 'jerry hand loom'.

I've done a quick Google and the 'Notes and Queries' for 1883 doesn't seem to be online.


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 06:48 AM

Sminky - I think these are the pages she refers to: Manchester City News Notes and Queries - 1983. The article starts at bottom of column 2 on P178 and seems to be details of John Swindells and a list of the penny histories he published. As far as I can see there is nothing specifically about the New Bury Loom.

(And, btw, the three copies at the Bodleian all have the title New Bury Loom; where did Bury New Loom come from?).

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 08:41 AM

Sorry, same mental aberration as you when you typed '1983' ;-)

So, not much help there, then. Both Lloyd and Vicinus state early 1800's without supporting evidence, and we don't know if Martha got the info from Bert or if she had her own source.

Swindells broadsides are notoriously difficult to date. Very occasionally one comes across the initial 'A', which stands for Alice, the widow of the founder George. George died in 1796 so Alice was in charge between then and about 1828, when the sons took over.

If Lloyd/Vicinus are correct then NBL was printed during the Alice period. We need an NBL broadside with an 'A'!


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 08:57 AM

Sminky - the btw comment wasn't aimed at you - I'd just been rechecking Lloyd and Vicinus, who both use BNL and was wondering if someone had switched it round like that or if some other broadside uses this as the title. On the other hand my 1983 clearly was an abberation!

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM

I must confess I hadn't even noticed the word switching until we started using abbreviations - duh! Guess my aberration's bigger than yours. I'll check again but I'm sure the Vicinus scan in BOTIN is BNL.

I still don't understand how Lloyd could be so precise about the date.


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 04:15 PM

The trouble with reading "jerry" as meaning bad, defective, and deceptive is that is doesn't make any sense in the context of the song! The male protagonist certainly doesn't seem to be complaining that he has been cheated or let down by one that is badly built, although [she] may look well outwardly.

I just had a look in Lloyd's Folk Song in England; he claimed that 'The Bury new loom' was first printed by Swindells in 1804, and then by Shelmerdine in 1818 and by other north-western printers. These dates, as Sminky and Mick have already observed, are unjustifiably precise; there is no supporting evidence for such exact dating.

I can't find any collections whose online catalogues list any examples of the song being printed by either Swindells or Shelmerdine, but perhaps the Chetham Library in Manchester might have something.

According to the British Book Trade Index members of the Swindells family were active in printing at Hanging Bridge, Manchester from c.1780-1828, while the firm of W & J Shelmerdine operated from Hanging Ditch in Manchester from c.1798-1866. So the NBL (or BNL!) could date from a lot later than 1804 - although the song's portrayal of a confident and prosperous handloom weaving trade belongs more to the very early 19th century before factories with the new power looms destroyed the independent local economy.

Matthew

NB On one site the list of songs printed by Shelmerdine inludes a version of 'The Exile of Erin' where the first line is quoted as;-

"Here came to the beech a poor exile...

Sounds like a good theme tune for Les in Chorlton!


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 07:17 PM

I was just looking at Farmer - Slang and its Analogues Past And Present, v4, 1896, where he gives: jerry Adj - As an adjectival prefix JERRY is frequently used in contempt: eg JERRY-GO-NIMBLE, JERRY-SHOP, JERRY-BUILDER (all of which and other see) [An abbreviation of Jeremiah: perhaps a Restoration jibe upon the Puritan use of Old Testament names; but see JERRY-BUILDER]

While jerry-shop and jerry-builder are mid 19C, words such as jerrycummumble (to shake, tumble, tousle) are 18C. If jerry in this context is merely an intensifier of contempt I think that might do. Despite Matthew's argument to the contrary, I think the offer to square her jerry hand loom, fits in well with this meaning - the protagonist is not complaining of being cheated or let down, but (without wishing to labour the metaphor) his excuse is that he sees a jerry hand loom in need of squaring, and he's the man to do it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: 'Jerry' - meaning [The Bury New Loom]
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 04:37 AM

I agree Mick, if you interpret Jerry as 'in need of attention' then it's perfect in both contexts.

In 'Music and Tradition in Early Industrial Lancashire, 1780-1840', Roger Elbourne states that the song appeared 'at the turn of the century', but he quotes extensively from Lloyd and I suspect that's his source.

Matthew - Manchester City Library houses the bulk of the Swindells broadsides.

Alice Swindells (George's widow) was printing until 1828, but son John was still in business at Hanging Bridge until his death in March, 1853.


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