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does anyone know a wife-selling song?

Related threads:
Wife selling - songs, poems etc (12)
Folklore: Auctioning Off Wives (15)


GUEST,Susie 03 Dec 10 - 07:22 PM
tritoneman 03 Dec 10 - 07:49 PM
Charley Noble 03 Dec 10 - 08:14 PM
meself 03 Dec 10 - 08:52 PM
Stewie 03 Dec 10 - 09:02 PM
Leadfingers 03 Dec 10 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,mg 03 Dec 10 - 10:45 PM
Maryrrf 03 Dec 10 - 11:11 PM
MGM·Lion 04 Dec 10 - 01:06 AM
LadyJean 04 Dec 10 - 01:13 AM
GUEST 04 Dec 10 - 01:51 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Dec 10 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,^&* 04 Dec 10 - 04:16 AM
Leadfingers 04 Dec 10 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick Cookieless 04 Dec 10 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,SteveT 04 Dec 10 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 04 Dec 10 - 09:01 AM
oldhippie 04 Dec 10 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Doug Saum 04 Dec 10 - 02:22 PM
Cuilionn 04 Dec 10 - 07:19 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Dec 10 - 03:29 AM
Abdul The Bul Bul 05 Dec 10 - 05:59 AM
blinddrunkal 05 Dec 10 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,^&* 05 Dec 10 - 08:03 AM
Genie 05 Dec 10 - 09:13 AM
Leadfingers 05 Dec 10 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Doug Saum 05 Dec 10 - 02:05 PM
Fred McCormick 05 Dec 10 - 02:50 PM
pavane 05 Dec 10 - 03:33 PM
pavane 05 Dec 10 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,^&* 05 Dec 10 - 04:30 PM
GUEST 05 Dec 10 - 06:08 PM
dick greenhaus 05 Dec 10 - 10:55 PM
MGM·Lion 06 Dec 10 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,susanc 06 Dec 10 - 11:35 AM
MGM·Lion 06 Dec 10 - 11:44 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 06 Dec 10 - 03:28 PM
Gurney 06 Dec 10 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,guest holleran 22 Dec 10 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,^&* 22 Dec 10 - 05:55 PM
Bobert 22 Dec 10 - 06:04 PM
Bobert 22 Dec 10 - 06:18 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Dec 10 - 12:43 AM
LadyJean 23 Dec 10 - 01:15 AM
GUEST,^&* 27 Dec 10 - 01:57 PM
Cool Beans 27 Dec 10 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,JillyBee 13 Jan 18 - 01:25 PM
Joe_F 13 Jan 18 - 09:51 PM
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Subject: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,Susie
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 07:22 PM

We are trying to find what mayn't exist - is there such a thing as an historical song about the ancient [maybe not SO ancient] custom of selling one's wife in the marketplace [usually by prior arrangement]? Now THAT one should tax all you mudcatters!


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: tritoneman
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 07:49 PM

I heard a programme on the radio about his a few months ago. It would appear that it wasn't uncommon, up until the mid-nineteenth century. to 'sell" a wife at a market. The point was also made that the women were often very glad to get away from the man in question! So it seems that Thomas Hardy didn't dream up this idea.

There must have been some songs about this and I bet someone will come up with one.

The only thing that I can offer is a verse from the old Scottish song, Johnny Lad:

I bought a wife in Edinburgh for a bobee
And sold her back in Glasgow to buy tobacco wi'


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 08:14 PM

If I had a scolding wife, sure as you are born,
I'd tote her down to New Orleans and sell her off for corn.

From traditional "Lynchburg Town."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: meself
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 08:52 PM

The Boys of the Loch recorded a trad. song on this topic. I can't recall the name of the song or the title of the album.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Stewie
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 09:02 PM

Jon Raven recorded 'Wife for Sale' about an auction of a woman in the Black Country in the 1820s. It is on 'Kate of Coalbrookdale' on the defunct Argo label [ZFB 29, 1971].

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:33 PM

Here's one for you Susie

John Hobbs !

A Jolly Shoe Maker was Hobbs , John Hobbs
A Jolly Shoe Maker was he
He married Jane Carter , no damsel looked smarter
But he got a Tartar , Yes he caught a Tartart
John Hobbs Did he

Well he tied a rope to her did Hobbs , John Hobbs
He tied a rope to her did he
To 'scape Carter's Daughter to Smithfield he brought her
But Nobody bought her , they all were afraid of
Jane Hobbs were they

"Oh Who'll buy a wife" cried Hobbs , John Hobbs
"A sweet little wife" criedc he
But somehow , they tell us , those wife dealing fellowa
Were all of them sellers , and none of them wanted
Jane Hobbs did they

"OH Where is the rope" cried Hobbs John Hobbs
"Come give me the rope" said he
"I'll not stand to wrangle , myself I will strangle"
"I'll hang , Dingle Dangle" He Died in a Tangle
John Hobbs Did He .


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:45 PM

Certainly it was done in slavery days, but by the "owner"..Nelly Gray comes to mind. mg


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 11:11 PM

Have a listen to "In Praise of John Magee" at This Link . This is the one the earlier poster was talking about that was recorded by Boys of the Lough.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:06 AM

Yes, In Praise Of John Magee was sung by Robin Morton on The Boys Of The Lough's 1st vinyl, called simply 'The Boys Of The Lough'. It is A side, track 2, IIRC.   Not sure if it has been reissued on CD, but would imagine so.

It begins, "I sing in praise of John Magee, who was auctioning his wife"; and contains the lines "It was on a fair day morning she gave him some old jaw, So he said 'now I can auction you according to the law'." Exactly what OP is seeking, it would appear.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: LadyJean
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:13 AM

Katherine Briggs tells the story of a man who sold his wife at auction, as, supposedly, people did in England at one time. (Thomas Hardy uses it in "The Mayor of Casterbridge".)

In the Briggs story, the man sells his wife, then she pulls a bag of gold out of her pocket and gets the last laugh, since the gold goes with her.

The husband is serenaded by the locals with "Oh ---(Don't remember the name) You are a cure. You sold your wife and you live on cuckold's moor."


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:51 AM

I'm away from my references right now, but I think Ewan MacColl published a song in Singing Island of a man selling his wife to a sea captain, to ship to America.

There lived a man unto this town
An honest man and a weaver
He had a wife and a scolding wife
And could not live beside her

And he's gone down to a sea captain
Saying, Buy you any women?
I have a fine Italian wench
Just fitting for a sailor

...is what I remember (and may well be wrong). Alex Campbell recorded it.

The Jon Raven song, mentioned above, started

This is to give notice that bandy;legged Lett
Will sell his wife Sally for what he can get
At 12 in the morning this sale will begin
So all you young fellows, be there with your tin

(At least, that's what I remember, from long, long ago)

Leadfingers, what's the source of the one you quoted?


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 04:08 AM

From the singing of John Maguire of Fermanagh.

IN PRAISE OF JOHN MAGEE
It's in praise of John Magee who had auctioned out his wife,
She was such a damned old villain, she had plagued him all his life,
Ah! no ease nor contentment with her he could find;
How to get rid of her came into his mind.

CHORUS
Diddly-di-addle-dum, diddly-doodle-eedle-dum,
Di-ad-a doodle diddly-dum diddly-da.
Tar-ri-ar-a-ri-iddly-diddly-dump,
Diddly-di-a-da-diddle-e-e-dum--diddly-da.

When the chimley-sweeper's wife heard the auctioneer roar,
With a stone in her stocking she gave him a blow
He up with his crutch and he knocked this woman down
The sweep with the broom, came crack upon her crown.
CHORUS

The first that came up was a jolly roving tar,
And he on his way from the Indian war.
He waited till he heard the auctioneer roar
No matter what the bidding would be he'd bid a shilling more.
CHORUS

Oh a jobber from Killarney for the auction he did wait,
With his mouth wide open like a Newton-gate.
Oh! he took a look upon and he said that she would do
'She's a damn nice figure and well rigged too.'
CHORUS

Well the next that came up was a farmer riding by,
He bought this old woman aye at shillings twenty-five.
Now he being a widow and a friend of her own,
He stuck her up behind him and they both drove home.
CHORUS

It's now for to finish and end all my strife,
John Magee has got home but he hasn't got a wife.
'Well the devil run along with him,' the auctioneer did say;
And 'Amen', said the women, 'sure we'll all buy away.'
CHORUS


THE SCOLDING WIFE
(From MacColl and Seeger's Singing Island – and The Greig Duncan Collection)

There lives a man in to this town,
An honest man and a weaver.
He had a wife and a scolding wife,
And he could not live beside her

He's done him doon to a ship's captain,
Says: "Buy ye any women?
I ha'e a fine Italian wench,
Just fitting for a seaman.

"It's fifty pounds I ask for her,
And not a penny lacking."
"Ye'll bring her doon to me this nicht
And ye'll receive your asking."

He's done him doon to his scolding wife,
"My sweetheart and my honey,
I've bargained wi' a ship's captain
For the lands o' brave Virginny.

"And a' that I do ask of thee,
Is to go to shipboard wi' me,
And a bottle o' good liquor strang,
I shall bestow upon thee."

He set his foot upon the deck,
"Come here to me, my honey."
He set his foot upon the pier,
"Goodnight, and joy be with ye."

When she did see that she was betrayed,
"My sweetheart and my honey,
Gin ye but tak' me back again,
I never shall offend thee."

"Fare you well, my scolding wife,
I wish you wind and weather,
And nine months sailing on the sea
Before ye find a harbour."

The captain's ca'd this man aside,
And paid him doon his money;
She got another husband there,
In the lands of brave Virginny.

It's a' that I do say to you,
Don't nag your husband, honey,
For fear they tak' the fifty pounds,
When they grow scant o' money.

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 04:16 AM

The John Maguire one quoted above by Jim reminds me of "The Ships Carpenters Wife" (which I first heard from Tony Holleran of East Galway, about 40 years ago) which starts:

A ships carpenter lived a few mile out of here
And he was rather too fond of the beer!
Bein' hard up for cash, sure as sure as me life
For ten shillins be auction he sold off the wife!


I'm sure there's a copy around here or in the DT but can't find it...


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 05:53 AM

Re John Hobbs - I 'collected' that a LONG time ago , but cant remember where - Possibly a Cassette recording live at a lub or festival . IF any one wants a tune I can E Mail an MP3 of me murdering it !


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick Cookieless
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 06:51 AM

I've just got to dash out, so I'll try and deal with this more fully when I get back.

The Ship Carpenter's Wife was also recorded from Eddie Butcher of Magilligan, Co. Derry by Hugh Shields and is in his book, Shamrock Rose & Thistle. Also, it's included in the Eddie Butcher LP, Shamrock, Rose and Thistle. The text below is basically Eddie's version, although doubtless somewhat modified by me.

The Ship Carpenter's Wife

Come all you young fellows, you flourishing folk
tis truly a fact I will surely invoke.
Tis truly a fact I will surely unfold,
Tis concerning a woman by auction was sold

A ship carpenter lived a few miles out of here.
He was little or rather too fond of the beer.
Being hard up for cash, tis a fact as my life
For ten shillings by auction he sold his own wife.

He called for the bellman announcing the sale
Up in the high market where he could not fail.
When the auctioneer came with his hammer so smart
While the carpenter's wife she stood up in the cart.

And now she's put up without grumble or frown
The first was a tailor, he bid half a crown.
He swore he would make her a lady so spruce.
He would fatten her well up on cabbage and goose.

The next was a cobbler, he gave a loud bawl
Nine shillings I'll bid for her, muscles and all.
I'm blowed, says a sailor, she's one in ten score.
But ten shillings I'll give you - and damned a screw more.

Oh thank you, oh thank you, says the bold auctioneer.
She's going, she's going, is there nobody here
To give any more, I'm afraid it's no job.
And she's going, she's going. She's away for ten bob.

Then with a loud rap he concluded the sale
And the sailor he paid down the cash on the nail.
Shook hands with his Bessy and gave her a smack.
And straight straddle legs he did jump on her back.

They called for a fiddler and fife for to play.
They sang and they danced there until it was day.
Then Jack with his Bessy to their hammock did go
While the fiddler and fifer played Rosin the how.

Now Bessy is happy at home in the croft.
Jack boxes the compass and goes up aloft.
In all kinds of danger he ventures his life
And he sings as he thinks of his ten shilling wife.
And long may they prosper and venture through life.
The young sailor who bought the ship carpenter's wife.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 06:56 AM

The words of the Jon Raven song as I sing them (originally learned from Adrian West but modified by time and forgetfulness) are :

MAN SELLING HIS WIFE

Chorus
We wish to give notice that bandy-legged Lett,
Will sell his wife Sally for what he can get.
At twelve in the morning this sale will begin,
So you that want splicing be there with your tin.


Now Sally's good looking and sound as a bell
And if you had seen her you'd know that right well:
She brews beer right handy and drinks it all up,
Bakes bread like a good-un and eats it all up.

Now she wears men's britches, or so some do say,
And Lett shouldn't have let her have all her own way:
She swears like a trouper and fights like a cock,
She's given her old fellow full many a hard knock.

So come all you young fellows that's wanting a wife,
Come and bid for young Sally, the plague of Lett's life,
At twelve in the morning this sale will begin,
So you that want splicing be there with your tin.

From the singing of Adrian West.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 09:01 AM

A search for wife-selling among 'subjects' in the Bodleian Ballads site finds 20 references, most of which point to 'The ship's carpenter's wife' or about Will Putty (a glazier, surprisingly).


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: oldhippie
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:50 PM

Step It Out Nancy - Holly Near


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,Doug Saum
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 02:22 PM

This is not a song of a wife sold in a market, but I think it might be of tangential interest in the context of this thread. The words are from W. B. Yeats, the song can be found on my CD "First Songs: Lullabies for Ireland." It's titled "going the Road."

I was going the road one day / (O the brown and the yellow beer),
And I met with a man that was no right man / (O my dear, o my dear, o my dear).

2
"Give me your wife," said he / (O the brown and the yellow beer),

"Till the sun goes down and an hour of the clock" / (O my dear, etc.)

3
"Good-bye, good-bye, my husband / (O the brown and the yellow beer),

For a year and a day by the clock of the sun" / (O my dear, etc).

4
"I know of a girl" said I / (O the brown and the yellow beer),

"Who can shorten the time by the clock and the sun" / (O my dear, etc.).

5
"And one's as good as another / (O the brown and the yellow beer),

So get you away with your no right man" / (O my dear, etc.).

Doug Saum


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Cuilionn
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 07:19 PM

There's also the old song, "I went to market" (The Watersons have a version, among others) which has several verses for various farm animals, for example,
"I went to market to buy a duck and the duck did very well please me/ And every time I fed me duck I fed it all under a tree/ and the duck said 'quack...'"

The last verse, after a long recitation of all the other critters' noises, goes like this:
"I went to market to buy a wife and me wife did very well please me/ and every time I fed me wife, I fed her all under a tree/ and me wife said, 'DAMMIT!'"

It's such a fun song to sing, and the image of that annoyed wife, surrounded by noisy livestock and swearing, gets a laugh from men and women alike at song's end.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:29 AM

Peggy Seeger used to tell a story, I think, to introduce a song called Mountaineer's Courtship, which went something like....

"A mountain man used to come into town once a year to stock up on necessities for the winter, food, likker, firin' and such, and one year he was down, after he had bought his provisions and his booze, he made up his mind and he bought him a wife.
When he was done with his shopping and his boozin' and his card playin', he set her up on the back of the mule, along with the flour and the vittles and all, and headed for home.
As they started up the mountain the mule stumbled, and the feller said;
"That's one, mule".
A few miles further the mule stumbled again and the man said again;
"That's two, mule".
Hadn't hardly got started but a short distance when the mule stumbled a third time; the feller said;
"That's three, mule"; and did no more than go round to the packs on the mule's back, took out his shotgun and shot the mule dead".
Well - the wife started up fit to bust:
"What did you do that fer, what harm's the poor critter ever done you, this here's a rocky road enough to trip a mountain goat, and how're we goin' to get home now......." and on and on with such.
"That's one, wife".

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 05:59 AM

yes please Mr Leadfingers, I'd like to put John Hobbs on the 'in progress'.
whitstable at btinternet.com.
Al


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: blinddrunkal
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 07:56 AM

Dominic Behan recorded the song "The Brown and The Yellow Ale" on his LP "Ireland Sings"


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 08:03 AM

Dominic Behan recorded the song "The Brown and The Yellow Ale" on his LP "Ireland Sings"


More of a lease/lend arrangment than a sale, in that case, I reckon!


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Genie
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 09:13 AM

Of course there are plenty of songs about unmarried daughters being 'sold' in one fashion or another or about guys winning their hands as gambling prizes. Other songs talk of wives being traded, e.g., to the Devil. But I wasn't aware of so many songs about men selling their own wives at market.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 09:46 AM

The story as I heard it was that Divorce was ONLY for the wealthy so the poor , particularly the Rural poor had no other way to sort out any Domestic situatin , such as the wife falling for amother man .
Problems might arise if , on the day of the auction the husband had set a nmate or two up to push the price up and the lover dropped out !


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,Doug Saum
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 02:05 PM

Do ye have the lyric to Behan's "Brown and Yellow Ale'? Does it tell the same story as Yeats's "Going the Road"? Doug


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 02:50 PM

Leadfingers. The problem was that in those days divorce could only be obtained by act of Parliament. V expensive. As a wife was considered part of her husband's goods and chattles, the belief was widespread that he had the legal right to sell her as his property.

A couple of interesting references.

Wives for Sale. Samual Pyeatt Menfee. Blackwell 1981.
E.P. Thompson. The Sale of Wives. In Customs in Common. Merlin 1991.
Also, if I recall correctly, there's a couple of books called News From The English Countryside, which contain newspaper reports of the sale of wives.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: pavane
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:33 PM

The Jon Raven one quoted about Bandy Legged Lett is track 6 on "Songs of a changing world,"where it is called "Wife for sale".

Songs of a Changing World
Jon Raven, Nic Jones, Tony Rose
Trailer LER 2083 (LP, UK, 1973)

I have it in my collection somewhere.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: pavane
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:40 PM

She was sold by weight at twopence a pound, and must have been quite substantial, because "She cost him more than a cow would have done".

There are also some ballad sheets "Wife for sale" in the Bodleian Ballad collection,dating from about 1850.

For example Sale of a Wife by auction


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 04:30 PM

Do ye have the lyric to Behan's "Brown and Yellow Ale'? Does it tell the same story as Yeats's "Going the Road"?

Doug

The words of one version are HERE There are also several threads discussing the song and its Gaelic (Irish) origins.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 06:08 PM

Magnificent! Thank you all very much!
Susie


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 10:55 PM

Ship's Carpenter's wife is also in digitrad.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 04:14 AM

Does anyone else recall the boo-boo made by a well-known US singer {who shall remain nameless here} about 20 years ago, who recorded a song she called The Brown And Yellow Earl, together with an earnest sleevenote [it was back in vinyl days] about the heraldry involved and the history and the state of the English nation at the time of said Brown·And·Yellow·Earl. One of my very fave mondegreens.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,susanc
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 11:35 AM

How about "South Coast"? Jack Elliott has recorded it many times. "I won my wife in a card game, to hell with the lords o're the sea".


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 11:44 AM

Which Jack Elliott ~ Birtley or Ramblin'?


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 03:28 PM

There's the "Billy cocked hat" navvy song where he sells her to a ganger for four weeks pay.

Not actually a traditional song but pretty accurate.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 04:31 PM

I just Burned a copy of the LP that Parvane mentions above. The song is set to a version of 'Blow the Man Down' with a chorus of
'Cheerio, Cheerio, Oh Ar, Oh Ar, Cheerio Cheerio.'
Ar is a Midlands way of saying 'yes.'


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,guest holleran
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 05:41 PM

My father is Tony Holleran, I'll have a chat with him and see if he has the words still of that wife selling song " the ship carpenters wife.
If he has i'll post it in the next few days


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 05:55 PM

Thanks GuestHolleran!

Many years ago, your father used to write out song words for me in pages out of his pupils jotters! If he didn't remember the words in full, he could always find them in an old suitcase full of songbooks which he kept under the bed in Athlone.

Give him my regards - he'll work out who it is...


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:04 PM

Cloesest thing that I have is a *wife-givin'-away* song from the 70s entitled "Joe, I hear you been layin' my old lady"... I think it was done by James Lee Stanley... Great bar song... In the end he just gives his wife and his "4 snotty nose kids" to Joe...

B~


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:18 PM

Sorry, that song was done by Rusty Weir...


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 12:43 AM

A literary analogue perhaps worth mentioning, in addition to Hardy's 'The Mayor of Casterbridge': a short story by Guy de Maupassant, generally called in English "A Sale" or "A Deal" {can't immediately put hand on French title}, about two friends accused of attempted murder by drowning of wife of one of them. They get acquitted on the plea that, while drunk, one was only trying to sell her to the other "by the gallon" [or "litre", presumably, in the original] by measuring her displacement in a barrel of water. So the judge lets them off with a lecture on the sanctity of marriage and the wife goes amicably home with her husband..

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: LadyJean
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 01:15 AM

Katherine Briggs had a story about a man who'd sold his wife. On being sold, the wife reached into her dress and pulled out a bag of money. As it was part of her clothing, it went with her. While her ex husband was serenaded with "Oh Mr. Smith, you are a cure! You sold your wife and you live on Cuckold's Moor."


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 01:57 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 03:22 PM

It was Ramblin' Jack Elliott who sang "South Coast."


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: GUEST,JillyBee
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 01:25 PM

Someone mentioned below a song from Jon and Michael Raven:
This is to give notice that bandy-legged Lett
Will sell his wife Sally for what he can get,
At twelve in the morning the sale'll begin,
So all you gay fellows, be there with your tin.
Etc... It's on a CD (copied from the original LP) available here http://www.michaelraven.co.uk/Home/tabid/38/Default.aspx; it's a collection of traditional folk songs of the Black Country and the West Midlands.


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Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 09:51 PM

It's only in one verse, but "Johnnie Lad" has:

I bought a wife in Edinburgh for ae bawbee.
I got a farthing back again to buy tobacco wi',
And wi' you, etc.


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