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Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?

DigiTrad:
WE NEVER MENTION AUNT CLARA


Related threads:
Help: 'We Never Mention Aunt Clara' origin? (26)
Lyr Req: We Never Mention Aunt Clara (44)
(origins) Origin: We Never Mention Aunt Clara (6)


Susanne (skw) 19 Sep 99 - 07:59 PM
Joe Offer 20 Sep 99 - 02:09 PM
Philppa 20 Sep 99 - 02:20 PM
Joe Offer 20 Sep 99 - 02:36 PM
Joe Offer 20 Sep 99 - 04:03 PM
Bat Goddess 20 Sep 99 - 04:53 PM
Joe Offer 20 Sep 99 - 05:00 PM
Susanne (skw) 20 Sep 99 - 06:25 PM
Joe Offer 20 Sep 99 - 06:32 PM
Susan of DT 20 Sep 99 - 07:19 PM
Joe Offer 20 Sep 99 - 07:36 PM
Jeri 20 Sep 99 - 09:44 PM
Bat Goddess 21 Sep 99 - 07:58 AM
dick greenhaus 21 Sep 99 - 02:29 PM
peter sailer 21 Sep 99 - 11:44 PM
Susanne (skw) 22 Sep 99 - 07:42 PM
Peter Sailer 22 Sep 99 - 09:08 PM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 99 - 03:32 AM
dick greenhaus 23 Sep 99 - 11:53 PM
Joe Offer 24 Sep 99 - 12:18 AM
dick greenhaus 24 Sep 99 - 01:33 PM
Susanne (skw) 24 Sep 99 - 06:38 PM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 99 - 07:36 PM
Susan of DT 28 Sep 99 - 07:53 PM
Susanne (skw) 29 Sep 99 - 06:25 PM
MMario 01 Apr 03 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,mmckayABQ 29 May 03 - 12:53 PM
Acme 29 May 03 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,aapostolina@aol.com 27 Nov 04 - 07:50 PM
GUEST 07 Jun 10 - 10:01 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Jun 10 - 10:37 PM
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Subject: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 07:59 PM

Both songs are in the DT, but the authors don't seem to be known. Does anyone know better?


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 02:09 PM

Hi, Susanne - I guess first the song you mentioned is also known as Can You Type, Mary Alice? (click). This is really getting me frustrated, because I know I've got that song around here somewhere, and that there should be explanatory notes with it. Can anybody think who recorded it, or what songbook it might be in, or what other titles the song might have? I was thinking it was Peggy or Pete Seeger who recorded it, but I haven't found the song yet. It's the one about the woman with a law degree who wants a decent job, but Mister Johnson is interviewing her and is most concerned about whether she can type. The song tells a great story. If you haven't seen the lyrics, be sure to take a look at it.

I think I've heard We Never Mention Aunt Clara once. I'd like to know more about it, to. sure is a funny song.

If the rest of you folks don't click on these links I've provided, you're missing a couple of good songs. Sure would be nice to know some background information.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Philppa
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 02:20 PM

WE NEVER MENTION AUNT CLARA!
I hope the link is right this time


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 02:36 PM

Good Old Max gave me an edit button, and I think he did it mostly out of pity, so I could avoid making a fool of myself. It's not working very well today. Jerry Friedman caught me first, and now however-she-spells-her-name did it.
I can catch a few, too.... I didn't just fall off the turnip truck, ya know(grin)

But I'm sure Blessings Barbara knows these songs and can give us a treatise on them. If she doesn't post here by tonight, pester her.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 04:03 PM

Darn! I was sure that Blessings Barbara would have an answer for us by now.
I'm getting really frustrated, Barbara - HELP!!!
If I just plain didn't know, it wouldn't be so frustrating. But I know there's an answer stuck there in the back of my foggy memory.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 04:53 PM

I learned the song (and it's rather turned into my theme song) years ago from an older friend who learned it in the '40s from her college roommate's father.

Ed Cray (author of _Erotic Muse_ and eminant biographer) called me a few years back when he was working on _Chief Justice_ and told me it was Chief Justice Earl Warren's favorite *recitation*; don't think he knew it as a song. We speculated it's from somewhere between 1900 and the 1920s, but haven't a clue as to who wrote it.

I run into people occasionally who hear me sing it and get all nostalgic because they'd only heard their mother/father sing it.

Linn, the Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 05:00 PM

Linn - which of the two songs are you talking about? I guess it must be "We Never Mention Aunt Clara" that Earl Warren would recite - right?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 06:25 PM

Joe - thanks for trying to help, but this seems to be one of the rare cases where the Mudcat is speechless! (More or less.) Still, even without knowing who wrote them they're both great songs. Could 'Aunt Clara' be classified as music hall? 'Mary Alice' must surely be much more recent - the 70s at the earliest, I'd think.
Another problem: Does the fact that we can't find out the authors make these songs traditional? :-))


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 06:32 PM

Well, Susanne, don't give up quite yet. BMI (click) lists a song called "Mary Alice" by Seth Andrew Gordon and Anthony James Leventhal. Is that the one? I doublt it.
But we haven't heard from Blessings Barbara yet. Unless she comes on and says she donesn't know them, there's still hope....


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 07:19 PM

Can You Type Mary Alice was around in the early 70s - that's when I heard it from someone in a singing circle and that's how it got to the Digital Tradition. I don't remember that Leslie mentioned who wrote it, but at the time, I would not have paid much attention if she did.


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 07:36 PM

Oh, NO! Susan, if Barbara failed me, I was going to call on you, the Goddess of the Unfailing Memory... still, we haven't exhausted our resources.
-Joe, who hasn't given up hope-


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Sep 99 - 09:44 PM

Joe, Linn was talking about Aunt Clara. I'm familiar with the song only because I've heard her sing it.


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 07:58 AM

Yes, I was definitely talking about "Aunt Clara." It's a music hall-style song, but American, I think, rather than English.

Linn, Goddess of the Bat Nursery


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 02:29 PM

A Washington DC group, singing at a retirement home encountered a gentleman who claimed authorship of Aunt Clara.. If anyone is in touch with members of the Cathedral Avenue Cacophony, you might ask them. I learned it in 1947, and it paid for a significant portion of my college costs. The lyrics date it to the early 1930's.


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: peter sailer
Date: 21 Sep 99 - 11:44 PM

Dick Rodgers and I learned "We Never Mention Aunt Clara" from Dick Greenhouse at a Folklore Society of Greater Washington Getaway. Our group (The Cathedral Avenue Cacaphony) performs it frequently. Back in ancient history (the 1980's), we performed it at the Thomas House, a retirement home in Washington DC. As we sang, a figure from the audience slowly joined us at the front of the room, and began singing with us. At the end, he introduced himself as Bud Willis, lyricist of the song. He said the melody we were singing was not the one a friend of his had originally written to go with his lyrics. He also claimed that he had once successfully sued Carl Sandburg for including this song in "I hear America Singing" without attributing the lyrics to him (Mr. Willis). I cannot verify any of this. At a subsequent performance at the Thomas House, we were informed that Mr. Willis had passed away.


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 07:42 PM

Thanks to you all! A livelier response than I'd dared hope for, even though hard facts seem hard to come by. I'll keep hoping for someone to corroborate (or otherwise) Peter's story, but it certainly is intriguing. (BTW, is the Mr Greenhouse mentioned OUR Dick Greenhaus?)


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Peter Sailer
Date: 22 Sep 99 - 09:08 PM

Sorry, I meant the one and only Dick Greenhaus--yours, ours, the folkie world's Dick Greenhaus. I also mis- spelled Cacophony. Does this web-site have as spell check? (I can't write without one.)


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Subject: Mudcat spellchecker
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 03:32 AM

Yes, Peter, this site has a spellchecker. I'm it.
I checked your spelling, and I'll grade you at a "Gentleman's C." Be glad I didn't flunk you.
Seriously, though, if it's a really horrible mistake and your children and parents and spouse will suffer horrible embarrassment for the rest of their lives, send me a personal message and I'll change it. We [the Editors Who Prefer to Remain Anonymous and I (the only person actually known to have an edit button)] prefer to be very conservative about changing things. Mostly, we fix bad HTML and delete duplicate messages. On rare occasions, we'll fix spelling. I hate misplaced apostrophes with a passion, so I give in to temptation at times and delete 'em.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 11:53 PM

Joe- Have you ever considered what you're doing to folk orthography? d'i'c'k


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 12:18 AM

Well, Dick, I usually dont do nothin I dont think youd be proud of.

But I can't STAND it when people use apostrophes to form the possessive of pronouns, as in:
He used hi's ax to deprive the cow of it's tail.
In such cases, I delete apostrophes. Otherwise, I refrain. I want you to be proud of me, Dick.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 01:33 PM

Joe, Like the legendary (and ficticious) Sir Thomas Crapper, I'm flushed with pride.


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 06:38 PM

Joe, you're a soulmate! Still, I'm glad you refrain most of the time (though sorely tempted sometimes, I've no doubt). Trust me with an edit button and the Mudcat would look an entirely different place! My other hobby is spotting the misspellings in restaurant menus...


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 07:36 PM

I'm still looking for more information about "Can You Type, Mary Alice?" I swear I've heard it on a recording somewhere, and just can't remember where. Can anybody direct me to a recording?
Otherwise, is there somebody who can sing it for me at the FSGW Getaway?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 07:53 PM

Joe - if no one else has it, I will. I am not real strong on staying on tunes and I only sorta remember it, so preferably anyone else, but I can be a last resort.


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 06:25 PM

Sorry, Joe. I meant to say it is on Hamish Imlach's last CD, 'More and Merrier', sung by him and his then musical partner, American singer and fiddler Kate Kramer. It came out on Lismor, I think. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: MMario
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 01:00 PM

Joe! Did you ever get a tune for Mary Alice?
Nope!
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: GUEST,mmckayABQ
Date: 29 May 03 - 12:53 PM

I just came across your thread about the authorship of "We Never Mention Aunt Clara" and was especially interested to read the note from Peter Sailer (21 Sept 99) about Bud Willis. I think he's absolutely right... we (The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes) have a link to the song and its history on our website that makes all the connections.

Here's the link:
http://www.ash-nyc.com/AuntClara.History.htm


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Acme
Date: 29 May 03 - 01:03 PM

Here's that link.


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: GUEST,aapostolina@aol.com
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 07:50 PM

where can I obtain the sheet music for We never mention Aunt Clara?

                              alex


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 10:01 PM

was looking for the origin of "We never mention aunt clara" too
It seems to have been evolved
heres a fun version of its history
http://www.ash-nyc.com/AuntClara.History.htm


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Subject: RE: Aunt Clara / Mary Alice Jones: Authors?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 10:37 PM

Guest, that's the site linked by Stilly River Sage in 2003.

My parents used to sing this with friends from the New York Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club (in the 50s and 60s).

~ Becky in Tucson


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