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Lyr Add: Work, Boys, Work and Be Contented

Artful Codger 10 May 10 - 07:33 PM
Leadfingers 10 May 10 - 08:13 PM
Artful Codger 10 May 10 - 08:13 PM
Jim Dixon 14 May 10 - 11:53 AM
Artful Codger 14 May 10 - 10:20 PM
Artful Codger 14 May 10 - 11:47 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: WORK, BOYS, WORK AND BE CONTENTED
From: Artful Codger
Date: 10 May 10 - 07:33 PM

A song by the great music hall performer, Harry Clifton.


WORK, BOYS, WORK AND BE CONTENTED
  Words by Harry Clifton, between 1864 and 1867
  Music by George Frederick Root, 1864
    from "Tramp! Tramp! Tramp (the Boys Are Marching)," or "The Prisoner's Hope"

[1]
I'm not a wealthy man, But I've hit upon a plan,
That will render me as happy as a king;
And if you will allow me I'll tell it to you now,
For time you know is always on the wing.

        CHORUS:
    Work, boys, work and be contented,
    As long as you've enough to buy a meal.
    The man you may rely, will be wealthy by-and-bye,
    If he'll only put his shoulder to the wheel.

2
Will fretting make you fat? No there's nothing gain'd by that,
assist yourselves and fortune will help you;
tears are only vain, If defeated try again,
You'll find it all the better if you do.

3
Discontented people say, All work and little play,
Will make a boy a blockhead as a rule:
You can answer them and say, "Never work" and "always play",
Will make him both a blockhead and a fool.

4
You'll enjoy a "quiet crust," more by "rubbing off the rust,"
It's a maxim that should never be forgot,
Whilst labour leads to wealth, And will keep you in good health,
So it's best to be contented with your lot.


Lyrics transcribed by Steve Gardham and Artful Codger from the original sheet music. Steve's notes on the sheet music:
Beige, Black and white litho of full body pose of Clifton in smart suit framed in arch.
Publisher, Hopwood and Crew, 42, New Bond Street, W. Stock Number H&C 995
[On the first page:] Written and Sung by Harry Clifton. Arranged by M. Hobson.

I have 2 copies, one without cover, different editions.

Tune is George F Root's 'The Prisoner's Hope' often known as 'Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching' still greatly in use today for folk rhymes and football chants, etc.
Steve sent me sheet music scans to transcribe from, but as the changes to the melody are slight (viz., predictably splitting notes to accommodate a few more syllable, evening out the syncopation in spots and replacing a couple jumps with stepwise runs), I haven't thought it worthwhile to create a music transcription. Instead, refer to Root's original music; see the links below.

In Clifton's sheet music, it appears as if the chorus is sung twice after each verse; in fact, the chorus is printed superfluously for a third time after the page of additional verses! In Root's music, however, the chorus is printed once as a solo and once as a vocal quartet, with instructions to the effect that one or the other should be sung, but not both. Clifton's music is notated in C; Root's, in B-flat.

Links for Root's "Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!":
  Original sheet music, in the Lester S. Levy collection: PDF
  DigiTrad entry: Tramp Tramp Tramp" (with MIDI, melody only)
  www.pdmusic.org: MIDI, lyrics

Note: At pdmusic.org, I found the song entry on the George Frederick Root page, but misfiled under the year 1865. If you refer to the song titles on the same page for his 1856 collection The Sabbath Bell, you will see an earlier song titled "Tramp, Tramp". Was the later song perhaps a reworking of this earlier one?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Work, Boys, Work and Be Contented
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 May 10 - 08:13 PM

God Bless the Squire and his relations
And keep us in our proper stations !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Work, Boys, Work and Be Contented
From: Artful Codger
Date: 10 May 10 - 08:13 PM

More information on this and other Harry Clifton songs in thread 51212: "Help: Harry Clifton Songwriter"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Work, Boys, Work and Be Contented
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:53 AM

Sheet music for WORK, BOYS, WORK AND BE CONTENTED can be seen in The Weston and Hussey Minstrels' Book of Songs at the National Library of Australia.

The music is made to fit on one page in that book; it has only the melody line, and no chords or piano accompaniment. The lyrics are exactly the same as those posted by Artful Codger above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Work, Boys, Work and Be Contented
From: Artful Codger
Date: 14 May 10 - 10:20 PM

A great find, Jim!

The Weston and Hussey book also has these songs of Clifton's:
*Bear It Like A Man (p. 14)
A Motto for Every Man (p. 34, but see the score at the Levy)
*My Old Wife (p. 36)
*Pulling Hard Against the Stream (p.31)
Wait for the Turn of the Tide (p. 22, but score at the Levy)

We've previously had no pointers to tunes (and possibly not to lyrics) for the starred items. Of them, Steve Gardham has original sheet music for "Bear It Like a Man" and "My Old Wife", which at some point Steve and I should be able to transcribe and post in the form of lyrics, MIDIs and full ABCs (for generating scores).

As it happens, I was just today searching for a song popularized by The Great [Alfred] Vance, "Walking in the Zoo" (p. 40), which supposedly contains the first recorded usage of "O.K." in the modern sense; it's in this collection.

BTW, this book is No. 1 (link to TOC); the NLA also has No. 2, though it contains no Clifton songs whose titles I recognize.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Work, Boys, Work and Be Contented
From: Artful Codger
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:47 PM

Correction: Jim Dixon's link is to "Work, Boys, Work" on page 7 of No. 2 (the only Clifton work in that book). The other songs I listed are in No. 1.


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