Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Sick note / Paddy's not at work today

DigiTrad:
WHY PADDY'S NOT AT WORK TODAY (Excuse Note)


Related threads:
the sick note (11)
The Bricklayer's Lament (The Sick Note)-on BBC (7)
(origins) Origins: the sick note/ murphy and the bricks (103)
Lyr Req: Fränkische Krankmeldung (The Sick Note) (6)
Review: The Sick Note, Bricklayers Song, et al, (24)
Lyr Req: Bricklayer's Lament (12)
(origins) Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today (46)
Lyr Req: The Barrel (Sick Note) - discography (36)
Lyr Req: The Sick Note (15)
(origins) Origins: The Sick Note Song (9)
Bricklayer's Song, The (29)
Folklore: Murphy and the Bricks by Noel Murphy. (9) (closed)
happy? – Dec 4 (The Bricklayer) (5)
Lyr Req: Dear Boss (Clancy Brothers) (8) (closed)
Sick Note/Bricklayer/ Proved!! (76)
Story behind 'Paddies Bricks' (4) (closed)
(origins) Lyr Req: Sicknote (23)
Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh??? (27)
The Sick Note (11)
Lyr Req: Bricklayer's lament? / The Sick Note (6)
Help: The Sick Note (7)
Lyr Req: Why Paddy's Not at Work Today (Cooksey) (5)
Lyr Add: The Sick Note (9)
Noel Murpheys Murphys Bricks (3)
Lyr Req: Sick Note / Why Paddy's Not at Work Today (8)
Why Paddy's not at work today. (1)
Bricklayer/Sicknote song (3)
The Bricklayer's Song (26) (closed)
(origins) Lyr Req: The Bricklayer's Lament (33)


Betsy 14 Aug 10 - 05:13 AM
Little Robyn 14 Aug 10 - 05:18 AM
Georgiansilver 14 Aug 10 - 06:01 AM
The Borchester Echo 14 Aug 10 - 06:09 AM
Dave Roberts 14 Aug 10 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Betsy 14 Aug 10 - 07:06 AM
Murray MacLeod 14 Aug 10 - 07:10 AM
Terry McDonald 14 Aug 10 - 07:27 AM
Dave Roberts 14 Aug 10 - 07:32 AM
Tug the Cox 14 Aug 10 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Name 14 Aug 10 - 07:34 AM
Dave Roberts 14 Aug 10 - 07:34 AM
The Borchester Echo 14 Aug 10 - 07:49 AM
terrier 14 Aug 10 - 08:16 AM
CupOfTea 14 Aug 10 - 08:19 AM
Dave Roberts 14 Aug 10 - 08:48 AM
Gurney 14 Aug 10 - 07:25 PM
JohnInKansas 15 Aug 10 - 01:20 AM
GUEST,jens 15 Aug 10 - 08:07 AM
Murray MacLeod 15 Aug 10 - 09:09 AM
Dave Roberts 15 Aug 10 - 09:25 AM
Murray MacLeod 15 Aug 10 - 11:00 AM
Herga Kitty 15 Aug 10 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Pete Daniels. 15 Aug 10 - 06:21 PM
Tug the Cox 15 Aug 10 - 06:59 PM
Tug the Cox 15 Aug 10 - 07:01 PM
Gurney 16 Aug 10 - 01:54 AM
Tug the Cox 16 Aug 10 - 08:40 AM
Gurney 17 Aug 10 - 01:21 AM
GUEST,KEITH WALKER 09 Nov 13 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,Musket being startled 10 Nov 13 - 05:16 AM
Leadfingers 10 Nov 13 - 06:52 AM
GUEST 14 Apr 17 - 03:48 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Apr 17 - 06:58 AM
Will Fly 15 Apr 17 - 07:25 AM
FreddyHeadey 08 Aug 18 - 10:20 AM
vectis 11 Aug 18 - 12:49 AM
FreddyHeadey 11 Aug 18 - 07:23 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Betsy
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 05:13 AM

Can any one tell me the proper Title so I can find it in DT ? Tried "P" "S" and "T"

Cheers,

Betsy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Little Robyn
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 05:18 AM

It's here:
Why Paddy's not at work today.
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 06:01 AM

On Cantaria it is represented as 'The Sick Note' but they suggest it has several other names.. take a look (and listen if you want) Best wishes, Mike.

'The Sick Note' on Cantaria!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 06:09 AM

When Pat Cooksey wrote these lyrics in the late 60s he called it The Sick Note. The tune is trad Irish Garden where the Praties Grow.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 06:28 AM

I've always thought that the 1950s Oxford Union spoken version by Gerard Hoffnung was much funnier. Just my opinion, mind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 07:06 AM

Many thanks all - some mates of mine were Emailing on the back of the recent programme on the Normans and were marvelling at the height of some of the Monasteries etc and how they erected some of these large stones to their final positions hundred(s) of feet in the air and are still standing.
One person remarked it was (obviously)by rope and imagine what it would be like if one snapped .
Idecided to search for the Subject Song and as Little Robyn has shown I should have looked under "W" - but it never occurred to me.

Many thanks again.

Betsy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 07:10 AM

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Dave Roberts - PM
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 06:28 AM

I've always thought that the 1950s Oxford Union spoken version by Gerard Hoffnung was much funnier. Just my opinion, mind.

We're all entitled to our opinions, Dave, but I think you would find yourself in a minority of one with this particular opinion !

Noel Murphy v Gerard Hoffnung ? No contest. Just my opinion, mind :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 07:27 AM

Not a minority of one - the Hoffnung version pre-dates Murphy's and is, in my opinion, far superior.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 07:32 AM

Yes indeed. Each to his own. I've had the Hoffnung version on a 7 inch vinyl EP since I was a lad and still find it achingly funny. Of course which particular incarnation of this tale you like best might simply be a matter of which you heard first. It's often the way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 07:33 AM

Agree, I've always seen the song as a pale imitation of the monologue...Hoffnung got such good timing into his rendition, which is difficukt with a tune to follow.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: GUEST,Name
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 07:34 AM

Gerald Hoffnun first performed this at the Oxford union long before it became a song and the origin dates back to the Music Hall days when it was performed as a humerous letter. The most common title is The Sick Note, Also Why Paddy's Not Tt Work Today. Various other titles including The Bricklayers Song, The Barrel Song. Pat Cooksey has never claimed to have written it, in fact is quoted as being "fed up denying it. But while involved with a Folk Club in Coventry in the late 60's he set it to music and recorded it. And thanks to him ths very funny somg reached folk audiences. I always think its best done Acapella. Sean Cannon of The Dubliners for me does the best version

Desi C
The Circle Folk Club
open mic every Wed
WV14 9JH


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 07:34 AM

Actually, it's a ten inch vinyl EP, which probably makes it even rarer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 07:49 AM

This is what Pat Cooksey said about its composition and origins in 2002:

Thread #47508   Message #708772
Posted By: GUEST,Pat Cooksey.
11-May-02 - 08:16 AM
Thread Name: the sick note/ murphy and the bricks.
Subject: Origins: the sick note/ murphy and the bricks.

    Over a long number of years there has been much speculation concerning this song. I wrote this song under it's original title Paddy and the Barrell in 1969, and first performed it in The Dyers Arms in Coventry at this time, and in 1972 Sean Cannon, later to become a member of the Dubliners began to perform it in the folk clubs under the title The Sick Note. The song was based on Gerard Hoffnung's wonderful address to the Oxford Union, but the story in a more simple form dates back to the English music halls in the 1920's and appeared in the Readers Digest in 1937. I personally gave the words of this song to Noel Murphy in a night club in Coventry in the early seventies and his only contribution to this song was to change the title to Murphy and the Bricks, and when this song was recorded Noel Murphy was obliged to remove his name from the writers credits, I still have a letter from Misty River Music to this effect. The song under more than 20 alternative titles has since been recorded more than 100 times worldwide, and in every version the words are identical. This song under all alternative titles has always been the exclusive copywright of myself, Pat Cooksey, and is registered with The Performing Rights Society in London. This includes Dear Boss by The Clancy brothers, The Bricklayers Song by The Corries and Ray Stevens, The Sick Note by The Dubliners, etc,etc, and also Murphy and the Bricks. No other artist had any input into this song nor is any claim for arrangement valid. Pat Cooksey, Nuremberg, Germany.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: terrier
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 08:16 AM

Glad I saw this thread, it reminded me I'd not heard the speech for so many years. If you've got half an hour to spare, here is the whole speech on YouTube. I still think it's worth a listen.
Hoffnung at Oxford Union


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: CupOfTea
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 08:19 AM

My first experience of this was an airing of Gerard Hoffnung on WCLV's Saturday Night, captured off the radio on cassette tape and cherished ever after. Don't we tend to imprint on the version we heard first? Recitation performance isn't something that suits everyone's skill set, so it's a lovely thing to have as a song for those of us who aren't Gerard Hoffnung. I've only heard a couple people perform this as a song, and each time I enjoy the delight of the people who've never heard it before. And each time I think "ah, but you should hear the Gerard Hoffnung version..."

Joanne in Cleveland (Ohio, not UK)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 08:48 AM

Joanne,

So do I...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Gurney
Date: 14 Aug 10 - 07:25 PM

Desi C, Pat Cooksey certainly wrote the song quoted in Cantaria. We were flatmates at the time, and he sang it to me when I came home from work, and in the folkclub that evening, as he said in the 2002 thread re-posted above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 01:20 AM

appeared in the Readers Digest in 1937

Sometime about 1947-1948 my mother decided that the Reader's Digest would be "educational" for the kids, so she began a subscription.

Although I didn't keep detailed records at that tender age, this piece appeared as a "poem" (each time attibuted to a different reader as an original work) - as I recall from reading the RD - approximately - in 1948, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1956 - and probably numerous times since.

That's about the era when I decided that "you can't trust the RD" but it did turn me on to watching the "fillers" in the newspaper.

Apparently anyone, at any paper that subscribes to a "wire" can (or could while there were still printed newspapers) post a brief snippet to "the wire" and if their posting is used by another paper they'd get a few cents back. There were a half dozen or so such "snips" that I once had in my notes showing the same "news items" reported as "new news" over spans of up to 20 years or so. I've noted somewhat similar "recyclings" on the web, and suspect that a lot of urban legends arise from similar usages.

For several years, I made a point of "training" my associates to the notion that if it didn't have a date on it I wouldn't read it. While I still think that's a very good practice - once observed by quite a few, but now forgotten by all but a very few people - I guess I'm about the only one still remembering how real news reporters always incuded source and date.

And even I have a hard time always noting when a "new thread" pops up here that's actually just a ten year old thread being recycled. Sometimes the same old old stuff is still interesting.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: GUEST,jens
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 08:07 AM

Pat Cooksey cetainly wrote the song based on an old monologue, I have heard him sing it several times in Germany. The song has been translated into numerous dialect versions in Germany and will be performed in the Dusseldorf dialectfor a carnival TV show later in the year.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 09:09 AM

As Dave Roberts and Joanne have astutely observed above, one's preference probably does depend on which version you heard first.

In my case, I first heard it sung by Noel Murphy at the Cambridge Folk Festival back in the early seventies, he already had the audience helpless with laughter, and this song was the icing on the cake.

I can see why people would champion the Hoffnung recitation, its just that I always feel ever so slightly uneasy with the sounds of plummy upper class accents waxing comedic about the working class. Don't get me wrong, I can laugh my ass off at the working class sometimes, and am no hypersensitive socialist, but it just bugs me ever so slightly when the upper echelons do it.

Flanders and Swann's song about all making work for the working man to do bugs me ever so slightly for the same reason.

Strangely enough, I loved it when Monty Python, and Peter Cook and Dudley Moore used to take the piss out of the working class, but I guess that is because they also used to take the piss out of the upper classes even more savagely, in a way which you couldn't really imagine Hoffnung or Flanders and Swann doing.

No big deal, however ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 09:25 AM

Murray,

I do take your point, and I've heard the same sort of thing said about Joyce Grenfell, with her monologues reminisicent of 'the lady of the house laughing about the quaint ways of the domestics with her chums' but I think time is seeing the likes of Hoffnung, Flanders and Swann and Grenfell into history and their style of comedy is itself quaint and old-fashioned. But still very funny.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 11:00 AM

Agreed, Dave, and I loved the bit in the beginning of Hoffnung's address to the Oxford Union, when he says something like "the president of this cinema has invited me to say a few words ..."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 05:34 PM

I thought Packie Byrne did quite a good version....

Kitty


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: GUEST,Pete Daniels.
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 06:21 PM

I think working class, upper class, or whatever, had little to do with Pat Cooksey's brilliant interpretation of this story, the fact that Pat Himself is Irish, and most of the better known versions are by major Irish bands or singers simply proves that the Irish can laugh at themselves and have great fun doing it.
The amazing thing about Pat Cooksey is that he writes, and has written songs of all generes, some very funny, and others haunting ballads, The Reason I Left Mullingar, being a prime example, a treasure in another land, but a great singer and songwiter nontheless.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 06:59 PM

'All more work for the working class to do' has always annoyed me for its smug superiority and implied idea that there is no such thing as an honest workman......Do your own bloody DIY!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 07:01 PM

And BTW, I don't even think Hoffnungs'version is about the working class, more like managerial staff....the last line....I request Sick Leave, probably gives it away.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Gurney
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 01:54 AM

Hardly DIY, Tug, it wouldn't be such a good idea for a punter to do gasfitting, structural carpentry, 240V wiring replacement, or first-floor glazing. And he shouldn't paint the putty for a month, anyway. :-)
All this, disregarding the fact that Flanders was confined to a wheelchair.
I have sung the 'Makes Work' song. It appeals because I make my living as a jobbing handyman.(-:


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 08:40 AM

I went for a job as a handyman. They asked if I could do carpentery.....no, glazing.....no, electrics....no, painting...not really. What's handy about you?, the foreman asked...I only live round the corner, says I.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Gurney
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 01:21 AM

When Sean Cannon told that story it was "Can you push that wheelbarrow?" "Ah, no, I know nothing about machinery..."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: GUEST,KEITH WALKER
Date: 09 Nov 13 - 07:49 PM

THE REASON FOR THE ACCIDENT WAS LACK OF SOMETHING


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: GUEST,Musket being startled
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 05:16 AM

Shush.. Stop shouting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Nov 13 - 06:52 AM

What IS sad is that so many people sing this song and very few give Pat Cooksey any credit


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 17 - 03:48 PM

Few years on from post but after perusing the thread and personally knowing Pat and the Dyers back in 76'8 I can only totally endorse Leadfingers thoughts


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Apr 17 - 06:58 AM

yes it was an interesting and creative little period in the folkscene. arguments about what is folk music obscure the fact that this movement we call folk music, in common parlance has many such 'islands'. and being part of thismovement, largely unknown to the folks who stay at home watching telly still makes me proud.

Coventry at that period was fascinatingly so. I first went to see Pat Cooksey at Andy Dwyers folk club. He had a guitarist called Brian Patton and I was expecting the poet Brian Patten to be there.
Out of coventry at that time was Pete Willow - amazing double jointed guitarist; Rob Armstrong, the luthier and his mate Rod Felton; the Fureyss of course; Irish fiddler Owen.....wHOSE name escapes me; Mick Stewart blues guitarist.
very working class and respectful and simultanously distrustful of the more middle class music and folkscene.
one of my first gigs was at the dyers and most of this lot turned up. i was totally overawed and freaked by the company, and simply couldn't play. they were all very nice - but i knew they were all superior in skill to myself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Apr 17 - 07:25 AM

Coincidentally, a mate of mine sang the Pat Cooksy version recently at a local session. And very well he sang it - but - like many others here, I immediately had the Hoffnung version in my head the moment he started to sing it.

Hoffnung was a wonderful raconteur and people should be reminded that, though he sounded upper-class and "plummy" (to quote a previous poster), he was an incredibly sympathetic and humane respector of his fellow-men - a prison visitor, and a wonderful devotee & spoofer of classical music - who had left Nazi Germany as a boy to escape the régime there.

So we can enjoy both versions - and all the other versions - of the Bricklayer's Story without dwelling on class.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 08 Aug 18 - 10:20 AM

As terrier's link above is now dead :

hoffnung's bricklayer
https://youtu.be/OOGfg1B3ZMw?t=9m2s 


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: vectis
Date: 11 Aug 18 - 12:49 AM

Thank you for putting up the link Freddy. I have never heard the Hoffnung version and have to say I found it better in some ways than the song. The lack of swearwords and Hoffnung's timing made to story exquisitely funny.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sick note / Paddy's not at work today
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 11 Aug 18 - 07:23 AM

from the Hoffnung video



I've got this thing here that I must read to you.
Now, this is a very tragic thing... I shouldn't, really, read it out. 
A striking lesson in keeping the upper lip stiff is given in a recent number of the weekly bulletin of 'The Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors' that prints the following letter from a bricklayer in Golders Green to the firm for whom he works.

Respected sir,

when I got to the top of the building, I found that the hurricane had knocked some bricks off the top.
So I rigged up a beam, with a pulley, at the top of the building and hoisted up a couple of barrels full of bricks.
When I had fixed the building, there was a lot of bricks left over. ...
I hoisted the barrel back up again and secured the line at the bottom and then went up (listen)and filled the barrel with the extra bricks.
Then, I went to the bottom and cast off the line....
Unfortunately,
the barrel of bricks was heavier than I was ...
and before I knew what was happening, the barrel started down, jerking me off the ground.
I decided to hang on! ...
and halfway up, I met the barrel coming down...
and received a severe blow
on the shoulder. ... ...
I then
continued to the top,
banging my head against the beam
and getting my fingers jammed in the pulley! ...
When the barrel hit the ground, it bursted it's bottom... allowing all the bricks ...
to spill out.
I was now heavier than the barrel ...
and so started down again
at high speed!
Halfway down...
I met the barrel coming up
and received severe injury
to my shins!
When I hit the ground... I landed on the bricks,
getting several painful cuts from the sharp edges!
At this point... I must have lost my presence of mind...
because I let go the line!
The barrel ...
the barrel, the barrel then came down... giving me another heavy blow
and putting me in hospital!

I respectfully request 'sick leave'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 24 October 1:18 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.