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Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc

GUEST,dave Robinson 19 Nov 10 - 09:31 AM
Micca 19 Nov 10 - 12:32 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Nov 10 - 02:26 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Nov 10 - 05:47 AM
Jim Dixon 23 Nov 10 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,pismotality 23 Nov 10 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,Christian 09 Dec 10 - 03:28 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Dec 10 - 06:29 PM
MGM·Lion 10 Dec 10 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,Eliza 10 Dec 10 - 07:38 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Dec 10 - 03:39 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Dec 10 - 01:24 AM
GUEST,Eliza 11 Dec 10 - 02:01 PM
Steve Gardham 11 Dec 10 - 06:14 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Dec 10 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,Eliza 12 Dec 10 - 10:38 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day
From: GUEST,dave Robinson
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 09:31 AM

I remember an old parody of the recitation ....Twas Xmas Day In The Workhouse ...
Twas Xmas Day in the harem
And the eunuchs were standing around
When in strode the big bad sultan
And gazed arounnd his marbelled halls
"What do you want for Xmas boys ?"
And the eunuchs replied
"Balls!"
does anyone know it's origins???

more lyrics to it ??

Thanks

David Robinson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day
From: Micca
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 12:32 PM

It is AFAIK a WW1 song the version I have always sung goes


Christmas day in the Cookhouse

It was Christmas day in the Cookhouse,
The happiest day of the year,
Mens' hearts were full of gladness,
And their bellies full of beer,
Then up stands Private Shorthouse,
His face as bold as brass
Saying "We don't want your Christmas pudding
you can stick it up your..
Tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy


It was Christmas day in the harem,
the eunuchs were standing 'round
And hundreds of beautiful women
were stretched out on the ground
Then in walked the bold, bad Sultan
and gazed on his marbled halls
Saying "What do you want for Christmas Boys?"
And the eunuchs answered...
Tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 02:26 PM

Lyrics have been posted 7 times at Mudcat:

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

This thread makes eight.

I suppose people enjoy the challenge of typing it out from memory.

Me, I enjoy the challenge of finding where it's already been posted.

Hmmmm.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 05:47 AM

The original Xmas Day in the Workhouse is actually a very poignant piece of versification: I recently posted a link to it on the "Real Tearjerkers' thread. It doesn't IMO deserve the widespread scorn which has made it the butt of so many facetious travesties & parodies.

Click here

by George R Sims 1847-1922

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 07:48 PM

And at four places at Mudcat: one, two, three, four.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: GUEST,pismotality
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 07:56 PM

A related Benny Hill parody of Bob Dylan entitled What a World opens with:

Now it was Christmas Day in the jailhouse,
The old man sat in his cell,
"Put out your pudding, for treacle,"
He heard the warden yell,
"If you want treacle on your pudding,
Put it out without delay."
The old man put out his pudding,
And the warden took it away.

You can find the whole lyric here - not much of a Dylan parody, more Hill's usual excuse to cram in a lot of old jokes, although his delivery is pretty good.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: GUEST,Christian
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 03:28 PM

The version we chanted at school:

Twas Xmas day at the workhouse
and the paupers' hearts were glad
For the thought of the of the Christmas pudding
Nearly drove them raving mad.
Then out stepped the workhouse master from its grim and grimy walls,
They wished him "Happy Christmas"
But he only answered "Balls!"
Then up stood a brave old pauper, his face as bold as brass;
"We don't want your Christmas pudding,
You can stick it up your arse!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 06:29 PM

Michael,
Parodies don't always intend scorn or make butts of the original pieces. They are valid works of art in their own right. And they tickle simple folk like me!

What's the rest of?

'Twas Christmas Day in the workhouse,
The snow was raining fast,
A bare-footed man with clogs on
Stood sitting in the grass.....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 06:48 AM

You have read the whole of the original then, Steve? And you still think these unfeeling travesties amusing, do you?

Oh, well···


~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 07:38 AM

MtheGM I entirely agree with you. In fact, George R Sims wrote several tragic monologues, I read them in a book entitled "Prepare to Shed Them Now". I did indeed 'shed them'. They give a poignant insight to the terrible life of deprivation and poverty endured by many Victorians, including children, and anyone who has a grain of tenderness in their soul couldn't fail to be moved by these accounts. I do enjoy the parodies, but you are right, the original is truly tragic.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 03:39 PM

The point I was making was the parodies don't have to be taking the p**s out of the original, merely using their format in some way. Lighten up.
The ever-politic Eliza managed to agree with both of us! Hi, Eliza.
Yes, I've read the Sims books.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 01:24 AM

Trouble is, Steve, that the parodies have pretty well entirely replaced the originals, by a sort of Gresham's Law*; so that practically everybody assumes that "It was Xmas Day in the Workhouse" is simply the first line of a series of comic poems, rather like "There was a young fellow of...", I consdier this such a pity, and so disrespectful of the poignant and effective original by Sims, that, if it's all the same to you [or even if it isn't], I should prefer not to 'lighten up' in this instance.

~M~

*Hands up anyone reading this thread who can honestly claim to have read the original: come on, let's be hearing from you...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 02:01 PM

Hi to you Steve! I believe that George Sims wrote "'Twas Christmas Day in the Workhouse" to highlight the stupidity and heartlessness of the new Union Laws, which put a stop to the practice of 'out-relief'. Originally, a pauper could apply for help with food and firing from a Board, who could arrange for him/her to receive goods and stay in their own home. Couples could therefore stay together in their poverty. The new system amalgamated several local areas in a Union, with a large and forbidding Workhouse. Families admitted were separated, often never to see eachother again. Aged couples were parted, and so elderly people were reluctant to ask for help. The man in the original poem relates his desperate struggle to find food for his sick wife. She dies alone from starvation and he is eventually admitted to the Workhouse. His bitterness at Christmas time erupts in the heartfelt monologue. This is not funny, and no-one pretends it is. But the parodies ARE, and tend to mock the pompous tone of many Victorian verses. I do like to hear them, I love a good laugh, but I also have pity for the poor people who suffered so much in those days.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 06:14 PM

Me too, Eliza.
The shorter parodies, if such they can be called, merely utilise the well-known first line. The slightly longer ones with a bawdy streak have humour but also have an underlying heartfelt tone. I repeat, I don't think they are being disrespectful to the original, or at least not deliberately so.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 04:20 AM

A v good old thread has been refreshed on "When did Morris dancing become a joke?". Predictably, it includes an injunction from someone-or-other to "lighten up" ~~ always a pathetically desperate cop-out to my mind.

FWIW, people who can only be facetious about Christmas Day In The Workhouse {especially ones who really do know the original] occupy my same mental space as those who think the Morris is funny.

Sorry.

And I do not propose to "lighten up".

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Twas Xmas Day (in the cookhouse/harem/etc
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:38 AM

I have almost an obsession with Morris and go to every festival possible. I'm always amused by the reactions of passers-by. They sneer a bit, stop to watch 'just for a minute' and usually become entirely engrossed and impressed. They definitely aren't laughing or mocking after actually seeing Morris and feeling the strange energy, which always affects the audience. I have 2 CDs called 'The Magic of Morris' and the title just describes this dance form, it is truly magic. I don't know where this idea of 'nerds' dancing in a Morris side comes from. At the Morris Ring grand assembly in Weston-Super-Mare a few years ago, there were over 100 sides, and ALL types of men were represented, old, young, even a sikh in a turban. There's no stereotype as far as I can see. Do you think the sneerers are secretly a bit envious, as they maybe aren't fit enough or motivated enough to join a side themselves? Mockery often accompanies an underlying jealousy.


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