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Lyr Add: John Willie's Farm (from Gracie Fields)

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PUT YOUR SHOES ON LUCY


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Jim Dixon 29 Mar 11 - 07:48 PM
Splott Man 30 Mar 11 - 03:46 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Mar 11 - 11:55 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Mar 11 - 12:14 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHN WILLIE'S FARM (Gracie Fields)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:48 PM

Found at Bill Hanks' web site - Click to play an mp3 file. Here's my transcription:


JOHN WILLIE'S FARM
Words and music by Robert Hargreaves, Stanley J. Damerell & Harry Tilsley, ©1932.
As sung by Gracie Fields

Near Wigan Pier our John Willie has a farm,
Not a good farm; it's a ...(?) farm.
There's nothing right; ev'rything is simply daft.
It's a mad farm. It's a bad farm.

Where are the cows? In the woodshed.
Where is the wood? In the cowshed.
There's a place for nowt and nowt in its place
On our John Willie's farm.
Where are the fowls? In the coal-house.
Where are the coals? In the fowl-house.
There's a place for nowt and nowt in its place
On our John Willie's farm.

They walk on crazy paving in the soft and barmy air.
The barn roof has a tile lost and stable's not all there.

Where are beans? Up in the pea-sticks.
Where are the peas? Up the bean-sticks.
There's a place for nowt and nowt in its place
On our John Willie's farm.

Where is the corn? In the hayfield.
Where is the hay? In the cornfield.
There's a place for nowt and nowt in its place
On our John Willie's farm.
Where is the flour? In the dustbin.
Where is the dust? In the flour bin.
There's a place for nowt and nowt in its place
On our John Willie's farm.

The potting shed's gone potty, and believe me, it's a fact.
All the hops are up the pole, and the windows, too, are cracked.

Where are the flowers? At the dog show.
Where are the dogs? At the flower show.
There's a place for nowt and nowt in its place
On our John Willie's farm.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: John Willie's Farm (from Gracie Fields)
From: Splott Man
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 03:46 AM

The name John Willie crops up in numerous old songs (e.g. John Willie's Ragtime Band - Formby senior).
Was he a real person? Or was he a sort of Lancashire Everyman character?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: John Willie's Farm (from Gracie Fields)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 11:55 AM

Well spotted, Splott Man. I don't know the answer, butâ€"

There's also JOHN WILLIE'S FERRET, sung by the Oldham Tinkers.

The Oldham tinkers also recorded a song called JOHN WILLIE'S HORSE, but it hasn't been posted at Mudcat.

There is a brand of beer called, officially, J.W. Lees from Manchester, but it is often referred to colloquially as John Willie Lees (or incorrectly as John Willie Lee's). It has been mentioned several times at Mudcat.

George Formby (Senior) recorded a song called JOHN WILLIE, COME ON in 1908. It also hasn't been posted at Mudcat.

Gracie Fields' song OUT IN THE COLD, COLD SNOW mentions a character called John Willie Joe.

In her song WHAT CAN YOU GIVE A NUDIST ON HIS BIRTHDAY? Gracie says that her brother, the nudist, is named John Willy (or John Willie).

In 2003, there was a Mudcatter who posted once (only once!) using the name John Willie.

In another Gracie Fields song, HERBERT HENRY HEPPLETHWAITE had a friend named John Willie Pratt.

Mudcatter Rob Naylor reported that he had a great-uncle named John Willie Priestley.

Mudcatter GRex reported that his father was called John Willie

Raggytash requested chords to JOHN WILLIE'S RAGTIME BAND, but it was never fulfilled. (And the lyrics weren't posted either).

A search in WorldCat.org reveals that there are songs called
FETCH JOHN WILLIE (1910)
HAVE YOU SEEN MY JOHN WILLIE (1914)
JOHN WILLY (1927)

After reviewing the data, here's my opinion: John and William are common enough Christian names, and knowing someone named John Willie is just a natural consequence of the custom, common in some regions, of denoting people by two Christian names.

This is an interesting enough topic, I think I will start a thread about it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: John Willie's Farm (from Gracie Fields)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:14 PM

See Folklore: On having two first names


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