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Origins: In These Hard Times (Weston/Barnes)

Stewie 12 May 11 - 10:56 AM
Stewie 12 May 11 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,Tony in Darwin 13 May 11 - 02:28 AM
GUEST 13 May 11 - 02:46 AM
Stewie 13 May 11 - 03:03 AM
Stewie 13 May 11 - 03:07 AM
Stewie 14 May 11 - 12:49 AM
Ross Campbell 14 May 11 - 03:24 PM
Stewie 14 May 11 - 09:55 PM
Ross Campbell 14 May 11 - 10:22 PM
Stewie 26 May 11 - 10:04 PM
SPB-Cooperator 27 May 11 - 10:37 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 May 11 - 06:10 PM
SPB-Cooperator 28 May 11 - 05:10 AM
SPB-Cooperator 28 May 11 - 05:18 AM
Stewie 28 May 11 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Tony in Darwin 01 Jun 11 - 10:53 PM
Stewie 02 Jun 11 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,Guest George Nabbs 20 Sep 17 - 04:41 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: IN THESE HARD TIMES (Weston/Barnes)
From: Stewie
Date: 12 May 11 - 10:56 AM

I have been trawling though the Net in a fruitless attempt to find the complete lyrics of the WWI song 'In these hard times'. The best I could find was a fragment from some unknown poster. It seems that the person had heard the recording that Jack Norworth made for Pathe some time between 1917 and 1919. It reads:


By no means always separate; one of my favorites is a WWI song by vaudevillian Jack Norworth, "In These Hard Times," which he recorded himself for Pathe.

Things are bad, awfully bad,
In fact they've never been worse before.
But everything, though, chappy,
Can make your girlie happy!
Food is dear, rent is dear,
But love is cheap for the time of year,
So grab the nearest miss,
And whisper while you kiss:

In these hard times, you've got to put up with anything,
In these hard times, you mustn't pick and choose.
And if you're nice and squeeze her tight,
She'll ask you 'round tomorrow night,
If you don't mind sitting without a light,
In these hard times!

And so it goes for 3 or 4 lively minutes, with verses about a girl marrying an old geezer because her beau marched off to the war, a woman buying a fish that's been torpedoed, and even Adam and Eve's sartorial problems ("go out behind the barn/your fig leaf you must darn"), among other things. I imagine in the theater it could have gone on much longer, with topical verses thrown in to keep it fresh, much to the delight of any audience.

The record has one endearing quirk. Norworth and his his (alas, unnamed) piano accompanist just rip off verse after verse, each followed by the "in these hard times" refrain (with a different punch line each time, of course) connected to the next verse by a jaunty little 9-note bridge passage, until the last one they do. They pause for a moment between the refrain and bridge at that point, and I have this image in my mind: the performers looked up at the recording engineer, who looked at how much space was left on the recording blank and nodded "go ahead." And they did.

Norworth, by the by, also wrote a much-better-remembered little ditty called "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (or at least the lyrics; I think someone else may have been responsible for the tune).


On his album 'Hard Times' {Fuse CF 382, 1982}, Roy Bailey recorded a version of 'In these hard times' which is attributed to R.P. Weston and F.J. Barnes. A google search reveals that there is sheet music of that title, composed by Weston and Barnes, as sung by Whit Cunliffe, an English comic music hall singer. The Bailey recording has:

Things are bad, awful bad,
In fact, they've never been worse before
But every single chappie
Can make a girlie happy!
Food is dear, rent is dear,
But love is cheap for the time of year
So grab the nearest miss
And whisper while you kiss

In these hard times, you've got to put up with anything,
In these hard times, you mustn't pick and choose
And if you're nice and squeeze her tight,
She'll ask you 'round tomorrow night
If you don't mind sitting without a light
In these hard times!

Mrs Green, rather mean
Went out one Saturday marketing
She saw out in the gutter
A cod fish on a shutter
She felt its gums, poked her thumbs
All round the fish, and said, 'Oh crumbs'
'It don't look nice at all
And the cod seller had to bawl

In these hard times, you've got to put up with anything,
In these hard times, you mustn't pick and choose
That cod fish there's a sacrifice
And I ask your mum would you look nice
If you'd a-been torpedoed twice
In these hard times!

Farmer Brown came to town
He spent the day at the cattle show
Then went to wet his whistle
Inside the Hotel Cecil
A lady fair, near him there
Had all her neck and her shoulders bare
Said farmer Brown, 'Alack'
As he saw her dainty back

In these hard times, you've got to put up with anything,
In these hard times, you mustn't pick and choose
That fancy kind of dress you wear
Leaves all your neck and your shoulders bare
But you're lucky to be dressed up to there
In these hard times! (x2)

The Bailey version has a similar beginning as the excerpt from the anonymous poster and also includes a torpedoed fish stanza. The 'farmer brown' stanza sounds very English to me and possibly does not appear in the Norworth recording.

Is the original song by the American, Norworth, or by the English pair? I believe Weston was also the composer of 'I'm Henery the Eighth, I am'.

Can any 'Catter supply the complete lyrics to the Norworth recording or know where they can be obtained? I'd love to see the 'Adam and Eve' stanza. Is the Bailey version the same as that sung by Whit Cunliffe? Any assistance in getting to the bottom of this would be greatly appreciated.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Stewie
Date: 12 May 11 - 10:24 PM

My friend, Tony from Darwin, an occasional poster to Mudcat, has just purchased the sheet music for the Cunliffe version attributed to Weston & Barnes. It is the same as Bailey's recording except that Bailey reverses the order of stanzas 2 and 3. Thanks, Tone.

From the sheet music, a couple of corrections to my transcription above: 'cod seller' should read 'coster' and 'And I ask your mum would you look nice' should read 'I ask you, ma'am, would you look nice'.

The question still remains as to whether or not Weston and Barnes nicked stanzas from a Norworth original. Can anyone supply the lyrics for the Norworth recording?

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: GUEST,Tony in Darwin
Date: 13 May 11 - 02:28 AM

Found a copy of the Whit Cunliffe 78 on eBay:    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360349235316    which gives composer as RP Weston and a release date of 1915!


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 11 - 02:46 AM

...and I've found a reference to Jack Norworth's recording for Pathe, #29246 released 15.1.1919

http://musiktiteldb.de/musiktitel/titel_IMIT_Inte.html   

and scroll down a loooong way...

Sadly, there's no date on the sheet music I bought, but from the evidence so far it looks like Mr Weston beat Mr Norworth to it.   :)

However, we'd still like the lyrics for the Norworth version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Stewie
Date: 13 May 11 - 03:03 AM

Many thanks, Tony.

Here is a blue clicky for the ebay record: Ebay item

This site gives a date of 15 January 1919 for the Norworth recording. [You need to scroll down or do a search].
Norworth record.

On this evidence, it appears that the poms composed the original and the yank did the nicking and added verses.

We would still love to see the complete lyrics for the Norworth record.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Stewie
Date: 13 May 11 - 03:07 AM

We cross-posted, Tony. Never mind, all the the info available from Net searches is now there.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Stewie
Date: 14 May 11 - 12:49 AM

Refresh for one last throw at the stumps. We live in hope.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 14 May 11 - 03:24 PM

Pete Coe used to sing this (and may still do), I think in the days of the New Victory Band (but it's not one of the songs on their LP "One More Dance and Then").

Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Stewie
Date: 14 May 11 - 09:55 PM

Ross, thanks for you input.

As far as I know, New Victory Band made only one record - 'One More Dance and Then' in 1978 and this was reissued on CD with 6 extra tracks - and, as you indicate, does not include 'In these hard times'.

According to this discography - Click - Pete did not record it on any of his albums. It is most probable that the version he sang was the Weston and Barnes rather than the Norworth.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 14 May 11 - 10:22 PM

There's a line I seem to remember slightly differently from the Weston/Barnes version used by Roy Bailey -

"That long, revealing dress you wear
That leaves your neck and your shoulders bare -
You're lucky to be dressed up to there
In these hard times"

Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Stewie
Date: 26 May 11 - 10:04 PM

The plot thickens: as a result of further sleuthing, Tony has found entries in the Bodleian database that Weston and Norworth collaborated in the writing of 'Molly Malone' and 'Now that the lights are low', the latter recorded by Cunliffe. It is reasonable to surmise that they collaborated in the writing of 'In these hard times'.

We are still seeking the lyrics for the Norworth recording.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 27 May 11 - 10:37 AM

When I get home I'll look up the definitive publishing info from my copy of Killie.

I've got the sheet music at home somewhere too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 May 11 - 06:10 PM

Hard Times

Well, since you request it I'll sing you a song,
And tell you how people do jumble along;
But the times are so bab, that we scarcely can live,
So I nothing shall ask, if you've nothing to give,
In these hard times

(No relation, but has the title line. An old 19th C. song.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 28 May 11 - 05:10 AM

Title: In These Hard Times
Performer: Whit Cunliffe
Lyricist/Composer Fred J Barnes & Robert P Weston
Published Francis Day & Hunter 1915


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 28 May 11 - 05:18 AM

Some of the more well known songs performed by Whit Cunliffe (1876 - 1966)

Fall In And Follow Me
It's A Different Girl Again! (Hello! Hello! Hello!)
It's In A Good Cause And It Has To Be Done
There Are Nice Girls Everywhere


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Stewie
Date: 28 May 11 - 10:15 AM

Many thanks, SPB for your input and taking the trouble to confirm the details of the Cunliffe recording. For a moment, we thought you might be able to supply the lyrics to the Norworth recording. We would have loved some extra stanzas, particulary the Adam and Eve one, for our themed concert at a folk festival 10 days from now.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN THESE HARD TIMES (Weston/Barnes/Norwor
From: GUEST,Tony in Darwin
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 10:53 PM

Stop looking everybody, I found it!!!


The bloke who posted to the forum in 2006 has sent me his recollection of the verses and choruses about Adam and Eve and the young girl who marries an old bloke.

He sent me the Adam & Eve verse yesterday, but mis-remembered the chorus - so I wrote one!

Now he has sent the complete song, I'd like to put my chorus at the very end, as the repeat. Also, I think we should give the authors as 'RP Weston, FJ Barnes and Jack Norworth'.

___________________________________________________________________

IN THESE HARD TIMES                                
(RP Weston, FJ Barnes and Jack Norworth)

   
Things are bad, awful bad, In fact, they've never been worse before
But every single chappie Can make a girlie happy!
Food is dear, rent is dear, But love is cheap for the time of year
So grab the nearest miss And whisper while you kiss

In these hard times, you've got to put up with anything,
In these hard times, you mustn't pick or choose;
And if you're nice and squeeze her tight, She'll ask you 'round tomorrow night
If you don't mind sitting without a light In these hard times!


Mrs Green, rather mean Went out one Saturday marketing
She saw out in the gutter A cod fish on a shutter
She squeezed its gums, poked her thumbs All round the fish, and said, 'Oh crumbs'
'It don't look nice at all And the coster 'e had to bawl

In these hard times, you've got to put up with anything,
In these hard times, you mustn't pick or choose;
That cod fish there's a sacrifice
And I ask you, ma'am, would you look nice
If you'd a-been torpedoed twice
In these hard times!


Farmer Brown came to town And spent the day at the cattle show
Then went to wet his whistle Inside the Hotel Cecil
A lady fair, near him there Had all her neck and her shoulders bare
Said farmer Brown, 'Alack' As he saw her dainty back

In these hard times, you've got to put up with anything,
In these hard times, you mustn't pick or choose;
That fancy kind of dress you wear
Leaves all your neck and your shoulders bare
But you're lucky to be dressed up to there
In these hard times!


Johnny Gray marched away, And left behind him his sweetheart May,
And how she missed his loving And all his turtle-doving.
She couldn't wait, found a mate, His joints all creaked like a garden gate.
Though he was 62, She said "He'll have to do."

In these hard times, you've got to put up with anything,
In these hard times, you mustn't pick or choose;
When Johnny Gray came back from France,
She said, "My boy, you've lost your chance:
I had to take anything dressed in pants,
Iin these hard times!"


Long ago, years ago, Said Eve to Adam, "I want a dress."
Said Adam, "Look here, madam, As sure as my name's Adam,
The trees are bare and I can't spare The cash to pay for the leaves you wear.
Go out behind the barn; your fig leaf you must darn.

In these hard times, you've got to put up with anything,
In these hard times, you mustn't pick or choose;
So don't complain to me, my lass,
For things have come to such a pass,
You're lucky to get a blade of grass
In these hard times!

(my chorus)
In these hard times, you've got to put up with anything,
In these hard times, you mustn't pick and choose
So don't you frown and pout at me,
Things could be worse, you'll plainly see:
There's a serpent in that apple tree
In these hard times!
____________________________________________________


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Subject: RE: Origins: In these hard times
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 01:53 AM

Well done, Tony. Many thanks, and thanks also to the supplier of the lyrics for taking the trouble.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In These Hard Times (Weston/Barnes)
From: GUEST,Guest George Nabbs
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 04:41 AM

Take a look at today's Times, Ref. lyrics, as sung in the field


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