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Lyr Req: Ballad of Joe Brown (Tom Patey)

Rob Naylor 09 Apr 10 - 04:30 AM
Rob Naylor 19 Apr 10 - 05:25 PM
Ross Campbell 19 Apr 10 - 06:19 PM
Rob Naylor 19 Apr 10 - 06:28 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Apr 10 - 09:39 AM
Rob Naylor 22 Apr 10 - 11:50 AM
GUEST 10 May 10 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,peter pearson 02 Jun 15 - 08:44 AM
Rob Naylor 12 Jul 15 - 10:26 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Ballad of Joe Brown
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:30 AM

Looking for the lyrics (and tune) of Tom Patey's "Ballad of Joe Brown" (The climber). I know the lyrics are in "One Man's Mountains" but I lent my copy to someone years ago and never got it back.

There used to be a clip of someone performing it on YouTube but that seems to have been pulled now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Joe Brown (Tom Patey)
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 05:25 PM

OK, I've got the first 3 stanzas. Can anyone supply/ recall / point me at any more?

Ballad of Joe Brown    by Tom Patey

Many tales are told of climbers bold
Who perished in the snow
But this is the song of the rise to fame
Of a working lad named Joe

He came from good old Manchester
That quaint, old-fashioned town
But his name became a legend
The legend of Joe Brown

He first laid hand upon a crag
In the year of '49
He'd nowt but pluck, beginner's luck
And his mother's washing line


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Joe Brown (Tom Patey)
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 06:19 PM

One Man's Mountains
(ISBN: 0575038780 / 0-575-03878-0 )
Tom Patey

Paperback version available through Abebooks from £1.92 + £2.30 postage if you want to replace your long-lost copy. (Or you can spring £150 for a first edition!) Just ordered one (paperback). A keen climber friend lent me his copy of Tom Patey's book sometime in the '70s (and I'm sure I returned it!) and I seem to recall it had many other songs about climbing and climbers. Could be a week before the book gets here. I'll try to remember to post any more lyrics.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Joe Brown (Tom Patey)
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 06:28 PM

Thanks Ross! Mine WAS a first edition...you've just upset me quite a bit as I had no idea it might be worth so much :-(

Yes...there were loads of climbing songs and poems in it. If I can locate the bugger who I lent it to words will be said!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE JOE BROWN SONG (Tom Patey)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 09:39 AM

From One Man's Mountains: Essays and Verses by Tom Patey (Seattle: Mountaineers Books, 1997), page 270:

THE JOE BROWN SONG
[Words: Tom Patey] Tune: NORTH TO ALASKA

1. Many tales are told of climbers bold
Who perished in the snow,
But this is a rhyme of the rise to fame
Of a working lad named Joe.
He came from good old Manchester,
That quaint old-fashioned town,
And his name became a legend—
The legend of Joe Brown.

CHORUS: We've sung it once. We'll sing it twice.
He's the hardest man in the Rock and Ice.
He's marvelous. He's fabulous.
He's a wonder man, is Joe.

2. He first laid hand upon a crag
In the year of forty-nine.
He'd nowt but pluck, beginner's luck,
And his mother's washing line.
He scaled the gritstone classics
With unprecedented skill.
His fame soon reached the Gwryd,
Likewise the Dungeon Ghyll.

3. In the shadow of Dinas Cromlech,
Where luckless leaders fall,
The corner it was towering high
And Joe uncommon small;
But his heart was as big as the mountain
And his nerves were made of steel.
It had to go, or so would Joe,
In a monumental peel.

4. He crossed the sea to Chamonix,
And to show what he could do,
He knocked three days off the record time
For the west face of the Dru.
On the unclimbed face of the Blaitiere,
The crux had tumbled down,
But he cracked the crux by the crucial crack
Now known as the fissure Brown.

5. When Evans raised his volunteers
For faraway Nepal,
'Twas young Joe Brown that hurried down
To rally to the call.
On mighty Kanchenjunga
His country's banners blow,
And the lad that raised the standard
Was known by the name of Joe.

6. In the cold, cold Karakorum,
Where crags are five miles high,
The best in France had seen the chance
To pass us on the sly.
You may talk of Keller, Contamine,
Magnone, and Paragot.
The man of the hour on the Muztagh Tower
Was known by the name of Joe.

7. With Colonel Hunt on the Russian front
He paved the paths of peace
And helped to bridge the gulf that lay
Between the west and east,
That climbers all might brothers be
In the kingdom of the snow,
And the lad who led the summit talks
Was known as Comrade Joe.

8. He's happy as an eagle
Soaring up the face,
Swinging his étriers
On a thousand feet of space.
You should see him grin where the holds are thin
On an overhanging wall.
He's known to every nig-nog
As the man who'll never fall.

9. He's like a human spider
Clinging to the wall—
Suction, faith and friction,
And nothing else at all;
But the secret of his success
Is his most amazing knack
Of hanging from a hand-jam
In an overhanging crack.

10. But now Joe Brown has settled down
To raise a family.
He's wedded to a local lass
By name of Valerie;
But he sometimes takes his exercise
On Cloggy's gentle heights
When he isn't exercising
His matrimonial rights.

11. Some say Joe Brown is sinking down
To mediocrity.
He even climbs with useless types
Like Dennis Gray and me.
He's lost the pace to stay the race
And keep up with the van,
And Baron Brown, that tragic clown,
Is now an also-ran.

CHORUS: They sung it once; let that suffice
For the faded flower of the rock & ice.
What's he doing? He's canoeing!
Old long-gone hand-jam Joe.

12. Thus said Martin Boysen
And young Bas Ingle, too,
Ranting Allan Austen,
And Peter "Motley" Crew,
When from the outer darkness
A voice like thunder spake,
As Baron Brown, with troubled frown,
From slumber did awake.

CHORUS: He showed 'em once. He'll show 'em twice,
The grand old man of the rock and ice.
He's marvelous. He's fabulous.
He's a wonder man, is Joe.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Joe Brown (Tom Patey)
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 11:50 AM

Thanks VERY much, Jim! I need to learn it for a trip in August, so I think I'll have enough time.

Sad that Tom's no longer with us, but Joe's still around...and certainly not sunk in mediocrity!

I met him in Llanberis Pass about 5-6 years ago while I was gearing up to climb "Crackstone Rib". He just ambled up the slope (already geared up), had a chat, and started off up the adjacent "Shadow Wall", which is a solid Very Severe. He just flowed up it like a ballet dancer, and he must have been 74 or 75 at the time. Amazing.

I'd forgotten that the song mentions Martin Boysen...I was at a party with him a couple of weeks ago to celebrate the ownership of Harrison's Rocks finally and formally transferring to the British Mountaineering Council.

Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Joe Brown (Tom Patey)
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 10 - 08:24 AM

Progress:

Tune's not bad, but getting the words sorted, and not stumbling over them, is proving quite a challenge!

Phrases like:

"But he cracked the crux by the crucial crack"

just DON'T trip off my tongue!!!

But thanks again, Jim, for the full version. I've now acquired a CD issued by Dennis Gray (mentioned in the song) and Paul Cherry called "The Bar Room Mountaineers" which features a number of Patey's climbing songs, and a couple of restored (if that's the word...they still sound pretty rough!) sections of Tom himself performing "Joe Brown", "Onward Christian Bonington" and others.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Joe Brown (Tom Patey)
From: GUEST,peter pearson
Date: 02 Jun 15 - 08:44 AM

yo Rob Naylor   If you're still lookong for a copy of 'One Man's Mountains',Grant Jarvis has a copy of the 4th impression for a tenner!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ballad of Joe Brown (Tom Patey)
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 10:26 PM

Peter,

Only just seen the latest reply to this 5 year old thread!

Thanks for the heads-up, but I finally re-acquired a copy about 3 years ago, so happy.

Also managed to find a CD of several of Patey's songs via Dennis Gray, also mentioned in the Ballad Of Joe Brown. Somewhat inaudible in places as I believe it was originally recorded on an early cassette player in a bothy somewhere and probably played several hundred times before being transferred to CD.


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