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Lyr Add: Rap Tap Tap (Matt McGinn)

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GUEST,Guest: JPN 27 Feb 11 - 11:26 AM
Rank 27 Feb 11 - 11:44 AM
Anne Neilson 27 Feb 11 - 12:55 PM
Little Robyn 27 Feb 11 - 01:41 PM
Anne Neilson 27 Feb 11 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Eliza 27 Feb 11 - 06:17 PM
Anne Neilson 27 Feb 11 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,Eliza 28 Feb 11 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,JPN 12 Mar 11 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 12 Mar 11 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 12 Mar 11 - 05:57 PM
alanabit 12 Mar 11 - 06:22 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Mar 11 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,JPN 18 Mar 11 - 04:06 PM
Susanne (skw) 18 Mar 11 - 09:17 PM
Joe Offer 19 Mar 11 - 03:33 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: RAP TAP TAP (Matt McGinn)
From: GUEST,Guest: JPN
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 11:26 AM

I've been looking for information on the following song (my transcription and my title), which I recorded from the Folk Roots radio programme, in 1992 while I was in Bournemouth for the year.

I suspect it was written between 1970 and 1990, but I don't really know. I'd like to know who wrote it as well. Thanks for any info.
JPN

THE TEACHER'S SONG (RAP TAP TAP)

When I first became a teacher
I was gentle I was sane
Then they gave me fifty young'uns
And a yard and a half of bamboo cane

Chorus
Rap Tap Tap the old'uns told me
Rap Tap Tap that's what you do
Rap Tap Tap Come lay it on lads
Get 'em first 'fore they get you!

A cane, says I, I'll never need it
Young'uns all respond to talk
I turned to write upon the board
And a lad left fly with a box of chalk

Chorus

The lad that threw that chalk, says I,
Will never live to be a man
He's far too scared to show himself
But he stood, and threw another one

Chorus

To cane a lad's a dreadful shame
'Cos everyone's a mother's son
Take the cane away from teachers, …
Issue every one … A GUN!

Final Chorus
Then a-rap tap tap with your old Lee-Enfields
Hand grenade or blunderbuss
With the Coldstream Guards on playground duty
We'll get 'em 'fore they get us!

Folk Roots, James Bodwyn?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: Rank
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 11:44 AM

Written by Matt McGinn and published in "McGinn of the Calton", copyright 1962. Words more or less the same with some variation.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RAP TAP TAP (Matt McGinn)
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 12:55 PM

Matt McGinn's words:-

Cho   Rap, tap, tap, upon yer fingers,
          Rap, tap, tap, upon yer palm,
          Rap, tap, tap, upon yer hand,
          And I'll leave you with a blister like a Belfast ham,

Before I ever took to teaching I was a fairly decent chap,
Then they gave me fifty weans (children) and a lovely length of leather strap.

'Och!' says I, 'I'll never use it; weans can all respond to talk.'
I told them that, then turned aroond and a boy let fly a cake of chalk.

'The boy that threw that chalk,' says I, 'he'll never grow tae be a man.
He's far too feart (scared) tae show himself.' But he did, and he threw another one.

Tae strap a boy's an awfy business -- every one's a mother's son.
Take the strap frae a' the teachers -- issue every one a gun!

This was copyrighted in 1962, when corporal punishment still prevailed in Scottish schools, but the method used was not the cane but the strap (or tawse, in Scots dialect) -- 24-30 inches of thick leather split into 2 tongues for the final 6 inches or so. These were manufactured in Lochgelly, Fife by a firm called John D. Dick, which offered various lengths and weights, and the strap was known in many places as a Lochgelly (even after the makers moved to Cowdenbeath).
Can't quite remember when corporal punishment was banned (early 1970's?) but I do remember the heated discussion and arguments in staffrooms about the efficacy of punishment exercises etc. compared to the immediate impact of the strap. (Mind you, the teachers who were most concerned had often most reason to be worried! And there were also many pupils who regarded getting the belt as a rite of passage, and the number of strokes as a badge of honour -- 6 being the maximum for one offence.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: Little Robyn
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 01:41 PM

A friend used to sing it in the 60s but his chorus was slightly different:
Cho       Rap, tap, tap, upon yer fingers,
          Rap, tap, tap, upon yer palm,
          Rap, tap, tap, upon yer bottom
          And I'll leave you with a blister like a Belfast ham.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 02:51 PM

While I can quite believe that this was what was sung, I would have to point out that corporal punishment -- even when it was permitted in classrooms -- was regulated!
The belt could only be applied to the palm of the hand, and not the wrist or any other place...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 06:17 PM

I used the strap in Edinburgh and Glasgow in the early seventies. The 'Lochgelly' was stiffer and hurt more; it was reserved for the older pupils, mainly boys. The younger pupils got the 'Junior strap', more like liquorice. Six strokes on each palm was the maximum penalty. The Headmaster would 'strap' the bigger boys in his office. It was nearly always the same lads every morning, which shows that it wasn't very effective. If you missed the hand of the offending pupil, or he/she pulled it away, you got the belt on your own leg, and it hurt terribly! Doesn't this sound Dickensian? Parents would come up to plead with you to 'gie wor Jimmy the belt, miss, we cannae dae a thing wi'him!'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 07:30 PM

I do remember an occasion when a recalcitrant lad (13/14 years old) pulled his hands apart as I was attempting to belt him -- belt hit my shin and I instantly felt that I had opened my leg to the bone and could feel the blood pouring down my shin. But when I looked down, there was nothing to be seen!
How barbaric was that...

But I also remember what Eliza said, about demented parents pleading for teachers to belt weans because they were out of control at home.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 06:16 AM

EKanne, I was pleased to read your posting as I now feel I'm not the only cruel teacher from those days in Scotland! I regret it now, but it was the norm then, and I hardly ever used the belt, just a few times. I managed perfectly well after all corporal punishment was banned. I was strict and tough, so had no trouble. I have a horrible suspicion that caning and belting awoke a sinister pleasure in certain individuals, both users and victims, which was very unsavoury. There were numerous references to 'caning' eg in The Boys' Own Paper, Beano and Dandy, which revelled in the practice. Dodgy!


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Subject: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: GUEST,JPN
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 01:55 PM

Here are the somewhat provocative lyircs of a song I hear on Folk Roots in late 1991 or early 1992. I'm looking for info on who could have written it and when, and whether it has been recorded or not. The radio announcer says something like James Bodmin or Bodwyn. It's quite a funny song, I think. The title is mine, obviously.

THE TEACHERS' SONG

When I first became a teacher
I was gentle I was sane
Then they gave fifty young'uns
And a yard and a half of bamboo cane

Chorus
Rap Tap Tap the old'uns told me
Rap Tap Tap that's what you do
Rap Tap Tap Come lay it on lads
Get 'em first 'fore they get you!

A cane, says I, I'll never need it
Young'uns all respond to talk
I turned to write upon the board
And a lad left fly with a box of chalk

Chorus

The lad that threw that chalk, says I,
Will never live to be a man
He's far too scared to show himself
But he stood, and threw another one

Chorus

To cane a lad's a dreadful shame
'Cos everyone's a mother's son
Take the cane away from teachers, …
Issue every one … A GUN!

Final Chorus
Then a-rap tap tap with your old Lee-Enfields
Hand grenade or blunderbuss
With the Coldstream Guards on playground duty
We'll get 'em 'fore they get us!

Folk Roots, James Bodwyn?

Thanks for any info
JPN


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 05:53 PM

Not sure why this has appeared again. It's Matt McGinn's song "Rap Tap Tap", I heard him sing it in the 1960's

The attribution was also clarified on Mudcat last month.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 05:57 PM

The lyrics are also as given last month and are not the same as the ones shown above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: alanabit
Date: 12 Mar 11 - 06:22 PM

I saw the thread about this a few weeks back. I remember Fred Wedlock performing it back in 1976.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Mar 11 - 07:39 PM

Here's the original thread: Lyr Add: Rap Tap Tap (Matt McGinn), started 27-Feb-2011.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: GUEST,JPN
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 04:06 PM

Hello again

Sorry for the confusion. I posted the first thread, and then I lost track of it, and started a new one a few weeks later.

So, after reading both threads, I'd say that there is a possibility that Fred Wedlock might have used Matt McGinn's version to write his.
On Wedlock's 1975 album Home Made, there is a song called "Teacher". I don't have any of Wedlock's recordings, but I'm wondering if it could be the same. The date would certainly fit with alanabit's post above.
Has anybody heard Fred Wedlock's "Teacher"? Is it the same?

As for the subject, even though the tone is humoristic, it does refer to dark times, and many of my British friends have stories of being terrified of the cane. Dodgy indeed.

Thanks for all the clues.
JPN


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Teacher's Song (Rap Tap Tap)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 09:17 PM

It looks like Matt McGinn's song with a reworked chorus. It certainly fits Matt's tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rap Tap Tap (Matt McGinn)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Mar 11 - 03:33 PM

I combined the two threads to attempt to avoid confusion. The old thread didn't turn up on our search engine, and I don't know why. For finding threads by thread name, I usually prefer to use the Filter at the top of the list of threads. It's our fastest search engine.

-Joe-


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