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Origins: 'Never Go To Work'

DigiTrad:
ON MONDAYS I NEVER GO TO WORK


MGM·Lion 21 Aug 10 - 01:16 AM
Gurney 21 Aug 10 - 01:22 AM
Joe Offer 21 Aug 10 - 01:48 AM
Joe Offer 21 Aug 10 - 02:09 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Aug 10 - 03:28 AM
Joe Offer 24 Nov 10 - 12:56 AM
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Subject: Origins: 'Never Go To Work'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 01:16 AM

I learned a song that I call 'The Working Week' ["On Monday I never go to work"] from the English merchant seaman and folksinger Redd Sullivan in about 1956. Redd died about the 1980s/90s. I have sung it ever since, and have never heard it sung by anyone else for many years. I put it a few days ago on my YouTube channel

http://www.youtube.com/user/mgmyer

thinking it might appear something of a novelty. But I now find that the rock group They Might Be Giants included it on a children's CD called 'Here Come The 123s' in 2008; so obviously my song is better-known than I have always thought.

Anyone else know it? Sing it? Have any idea of its provenance? Etc...

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Never Go To Work'
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 01:22 AM

In his songbook, Jerry Silverman credits it as 'As sung by John Hasted.'

That takes your search back beyond 1966.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Never Go To Work'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 01:48 AM

As MtheGM says, the quirky and always-interesting rock group, "They Might Be Giants," did a very nice recording of this song. They titled it "Seven Days of the Week (I Never Go to work)." There's also a very nice recording of this song (and many others) on a 2007 album called The Aunties' Song Kettle, by Dianne Dugaw, Amanda Powell, and Dorothy Attneave - an excellent album, by the way.
Sandy Paton recorded this on his one and only Elektra album, The Many Sides of Sandy Paton. Sandy's recording is 21 seconds long. All of these recordings are available on Spotify.
Here's Sandy's post on the song:
    Thread #13088   Message #106060
    Posted By: Sandy Paton
    18-Aug-99 - 12:20 AM
    Thread Name: Amusing Work Songs??
    Subject: Lyr Add: On Mondays I Never Go to Work^^
    I learned it this way:

    On Mondays I never goes to work,
    On Tuesdays, I stays at home,
    On Wednesdays, I never feel inclined,
    Work is the last thing on my mind!
    Thursday's an 'oliday, (shops all closed on Thursday afternoons)
    And Fridays I detest.
    It's too late to make a start on Saturday,
    And Sunday is the day of rest.

    London, 1958


There's nothing on this song in Roud or in the Traditional Ballad Index. I wish Sandy were around to tell us the story behind this one.

I found the song in Jerry Silverman's Folk Song Encyclopedia, but that's the only printed source I found.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Never Go To Work'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 02:09 AM

Also note this post from Steve Parkes:
    Thread #10279   Message #70227
    Posted By: Steve Parkes
    12-Apr-99 - 12:06 PM
    Thread Name: Norf and Sarf - cockney songs
    Subject: Lyr Add: NINE-INCH NAILS
    "What a Marf" is a Harry Champion song. There ought to be a website devoted to him, but I haven't looked. Let us know if you find one! Chas & Dave may have recorded this, and Cosmotheka certainly have. There's a website somewhere with a lot of their songs printed out, but I'm damned if I can find it. Someone's sure to oblige.

    "NINE-INCH NAILS" (if this is the one you want!) used to be performed by Martin Winsor and Redd Sullivan - and I mean performed! It's two songs stuck together. If I remember aright, they used to say they learned it off someone who didn't know anything about its origins. That makes fofive of us, 'cos the man I learned it from got it from them. Here are the words:

    We don't not know no-one what don't want no nine inch nails!
    We don't not know no-one what don't want no nine inch nails!
    Do they go in? They don't 'alf!
    Will they come out? They won't 'alf!
    We know the King and we know the Queen
    And we know the Prince of Wales, but
    We don't not know no-one what don't want no nine-inch nails!

    On Monday I never go to work;
    On Tuesday I stays at 'ome;
    On Wednesday I never feel inclined,
    Work is the last thing on my mind;
    On Thursday it's an 'oliday,
    And Fridays I detest;
    It's too late to make a start on Saturday,
    And Sunday is a day of rest!


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Never Go To Work'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 03:28 AM

Many many thanks for all this. I knew John Hasted at same time as Redd Sullivan & Martin Winsor, on the London fc scene in late-50s. And so did Sandy Paton, who was part of our same circle when he was in London in 1958; so he will have learned it from same source as I did. Joe sez Sandy's version on his Many Sides album is 21 secs; mine on YouTube is 22, so he sang it faster than me!

Wonder how & where Jerry Silverman acquired it for his collection.

Delighted to have all this info, esp that which seems to link it to great cockney music-hall singer Harry Champion, of Any Old Iron and A Little Bit Of Cucumber [which was my Uncle Dave's party-piece in the 40s & early 50s (he died in 1954)]. So this was one of his (Champion's) songs. Hurrah-rah-rah-rah-rah!

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Never Go To Work'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 12:56 AM

On the album titled Sam Hinton Sings the Songs of Men, Hinton calls the tune for this song "Hog on the Mountain." Follow the link for a terrific sample of the recording, and you can also download background notes with notation for the tune.
-Joe-


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