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Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)

Genie 15 Oct 11 - 09:18 PM
Genie 15 Oct 11 - 09:29 PM
Genie 15 Oct 11 - 09:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Oct 11 - 09:39 PM
Gurney 15 Oct 11 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,SteveG 16 Oct 11 - 09:57 AM
MartinRyan 16 Oct 11 - 10:04 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Oct 11 - 10:41 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 11 - 02:56 PM
Lighter 16 Oct 11 - 03:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 11 - 03:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 11 - 03:40 PM
Joe_F 16 Oct 11 - 04:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 11 - 04:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 11 - 05:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 11 - 05:22 PM
MartinRyan 16 Oct 11 - 06:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Oct 11 - 08:00 PM
Lighter 16 Oct 11 - 08:12 PM
MartinRyan 17 Oct 11 - 02:58 AM
MartinRyan 17 Oct 11 - 03:53 AM
Charley Noble 17 Oct 11 - 09:31 AM
Charley Noble 17 Oct 11 - 01:23 PM
MartinRyan 18 Oct 11 - 06:14 AM
Nigel Parsons 18 Oct 11 - 06:50 AM
Lighter 18 Oct 11 - 06:55 AM
Lighter 18 Oct 11 - 08:03 AM
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MGM·Lion 18 Oct 11 - 08:27 AM
Charley Noble 18 Oct 11 - 08:51 AM
Lighter 18 Oct 11 - 08:59 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Oct 11 - 09:53 AM
MartinRyan 18 Oct 11 - 11:45 AM
Genie 18 Oct 11 - 11:59 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Oct 11 - 12:12 PM
Jack Campin 18 Oct 11 - 12:51 PM
MartinRyan 18 Oct 11 - 12:59 PM
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Jack Campin 18 Oct 11 - 02:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Oct 11 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,SteveG 18 Oct 11 - 03:07 PM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Oct 11 - 05:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Oct 11 - 05:24 PM
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Joe_F 18 Oct 11 - 06:36 PM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Oct 11 - 06:57 PM
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Genie 19 Oct 11 - 12:17 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Genie
Date: 15 Oct 11 - 09:18 PM

I know there are a couple versions of this song in the DT under the title "She Was Poor But She Was Honest" and one under the title "It's the Same the Whole World Over," but the more I search for lyrics for this song, the more different versions I find.

The one I do I learned from a Theodore Bikel album of folk songs from around the world. (The album appears to be out of circulation now, as I can't find a reference to it online, even though I still have the album but just can't recall the exact title.)

Here is Bike's version:

SHE WAS POOR (BUT SHE WAS HONEST)

She was poor but she was honest,
Victim of the squire's whim.
First he loved her, then he left her
And she lost her name again.

Then she went away to London,
There to hide her grief and shame,
But she met another squire
And she lost her name again.

See her riding in a carriage
In the park and oh, so gay,
Where the nooks (?) and nobby persons
Come to pass the time away.

See the little old-world cottage
Where the aged parents live
Drinking the champagne she sends them -
But they never can forgive.

In the rich man's arms she fluttered
Like a bird with a broken wing,
Then callously he lhe left her,
But she hasn't got a ring.

See him in the House Of Commons
Making laws to put down crime,
While the girl that he has ruined
Toils away through muck and slime.

See her on the bridge at midnight
Crying, 'Farewell, blighted love!'
Then a scream, a splash, good 'eavens!
What is she a doing of?

When they dragged her from the river,
From her clothes the water wrung,
And they thought that she had drownded,
But the corpse got up and sung:

"It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor what gets the blame,
It's the rich what gets the pleasure,
Ain't it all a blooming shame?"

"It's the same the whole world over.
It's the poor that gets the blame.
It's the rich that gets the pleasure.
Ain't it all a bleeding shame?"





Here's the first version in the DT:

She Was Poor But She Was Honest (DT - 1) performed by Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)



And here's the second one in the DT:
She Was Poor But She Was Honest (DT - 2)    (sts. 4 & 5 learned in the Royal Navy, 1953)


I'm wondering what other variations folks have on this song.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Genie
Date: 15 Oct 11 - 09:29 PM

In the British Music Hall Songs workshop at this year's Getaway, I sang this song (the Bikel version, as above) and was surprised that, while nearly everyone joined in on the chorus (which that version does only at the end), almost no one sang along on any of the rest of the song.
Now, after searching the Mudcat forum, the DT and Google, I realize why.   There must be umpteen eleventy variations on this song, at least, and probably the workshop participants knew at least 2 or 3 of those.

Here are two other versions, under the title "It's the Same (Syme) The Whole World Over":



This one is a sweet little variant:
IT'S THE SAME THE WHOLE WORLD OVER (DT 3)

She was just a poor man's daughter,
Victim of the rich man's whim,
For he fucked her and he left her,
With a sore and bleeding quim.

CHORUS:
It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor that get the blame,
It's the rich that get the pleasure,
Ain't it all a bloody shame.

Oh, she went up to the city,
For to hide her bleeding shame,
But a Labour leader fucked her,
(But the landlord up and fucked her,)
Put her on the street again.

See him in the House of Commons,
Passing laws to combat crime,
While the victim of his evil,
Walks the streets at night in shame.

See him with his hounds and horses,
See him strutting at his club,
While the victim of his whoring,
Drinks her gin inside a pub.

See him riding in his carriage,
Past the gutter where she stands,
He has made a stylish marriage,
While she wrings her ringless hands.

See him at the fine theater ("thee-ay-ter"),
In the font row with the best,
While the girl that he has ruined,
Entertains a sordid guest.

See her on the bridge at midnight,
Throwing snowballs at the moon,
She said, "Sir, I've never had it,"
But she spoke too fucking soon.

Standing on the bridge at midnight,
Picking blackheads from her crotch,
She said, "Sir, I've never had it,"
He said, "No, not fucking much."

See her standing in Picadilly,
Offering her aching quim,
She is now completely ruined,
It was all because of him.

See him seated in his carriage.
Riding homeward from the hunt,
He got riches from his marriage,
She got sores upon her cunt.

Standing on the bridge at midnight,
Throwing cunt-rags at the moon,
First a scream, a splash, Oh goodness!
Has she done a fucking swoon?

When they dragged her from the river,
Water from her clothes they wrung,
And they thought that she had downed,
Till her corpse got up and sung:

(Chorus)


Then there came a wealthy pimp,
Marriage was the tale he told,
She had no one else to take her,
So she sold her soul for gold.

(Chorus)

?????
Then there's this one from a "traditional Irish music" website:

It's The Syme The 'Ole World Over


It's The Syme The  Whole World Over
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/irish-folk-music/irish%20songs/its_the_syme_the_whole_world_over.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Genie
Date: 15 Oct 11 - 09:30 PM

Oh, and my query above, about other 'catters knowing (and posting) other variations, was not supposed to look like a blue clicky.

----------------Fixed. JoeClone----------------


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Oct 11 - 09:39 PM

It was a favorite in my high school but I haven't thought of it in some time. I don't think we varied much from Crays text.
Ed Cray has a bawdy version in his The Erotic Muse and the Sandburg and H. L. Mencken version is in An American Songbag.
Dunno if they have been posted in one of the threads but they should have been.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Gurney
Date: 15 Oct 11 - 11:05 PM

Another.

She was poor, but she was honest,
pure, unstain-ed was her fame
'till a country squire came courting
and the poor girl lost her name
Ch
It's the same the whole world over,
it's the poor what gets the blame,
While the rich has all the pleasures.
Now, ain't that a bloody shame!

So she went away to London
just to hide her guilty shame
There she met an army chaplain
Once again she lost her name

Hear him as he jaws the Tommies
Warning of the devil's flame
With her whole heart she had trusted
but again she lost her name

So she settled down in London
sinking deeper in her shame
'till she met a labour leader
and once again she lost her name

Now he's in the House of Commons
making laws to put down crime
while the victim of his pleasures
walks the street each night in shyme (Well, it rhymes)

Then there came a bloated Bishop
Marriage was the tale he told
There was no-one else to take her
so she sold her soul for gold

In that rich man's arms she fluttered
like a bird with broken wing,
first he lovedher, then he left her
and the poor girl got no ring

See the girl outside the poorhouse
selling matches by the box
while the swell from high society
hands out doses of the pox

In a cottage, down in Sussex
Live her parents, old and lame
and they drink the wine she sends them
but they never speaks her name

In their poor and humble dwelling
there her grieving parents live
sipping champagne that she sends them
but they never can forgive


Fron Jerry Silverman's '62 Outrageous Songs.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 09:57 AM

I'm sure there's an earler thread on the origins somewhere. Didn't George R Sims write the original, or some other well-known poet?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 10:04 AM

There's some discussion of it and related songs in THIS THREAD

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 10:41 AM

It is given as Anon in the Street Corner Songs section of The Penguin Book Of Comic & Curious Verse, ed J M Cohen (London 1952).

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 02:56 PM

Steve Parkes posted a version from singing by Billy Bennett, thread 59918: While the rich man


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 03:06 PM

It was popular in bawdy versions in the British Amy during World War I.

So it must be older than ca1915 at the absolute latest. I don't know how that effects Bennett's claim.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IT'S THE SYME THE WHOLE WORLD OVER
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 03:28 PM

Lyr. Add: IT'S THE SYME THE WHOLE WORLD OVER
Carl Sandburg, H. L. Mencken and Anon. The American Mercury

1
It's the syme the whole world over,
It's the poor what gets the blyme,
While the rich 'as all the plysures.
Now ain't that a blinkin' shyme?
2
She was a parson's daughter,
Pure, un-styn-ed was 'er fyme,
Till a country squire come courtin',
And the poor girl lorst 'er nyme.
3
So she went aw'y to Lunnon,
Just to 'ide 'er guilty shyme.
There she met an Army Chaplain:
Ornst ag'yn she lorst her nyme.
4
'Ear 'im as 'e jaws the Tommies,
Warnin' o' the flymes o' 'ell.
With 'er 'ole 'eart she had trusted,
But ag'yn she lorst her nyme.
5
Now 'es in his ridin' britches,
'Untin' foxes in the chyse
Wi'le the wictim o' 'is folly
Makes 'er livin' by her wice.
6
So she settled down in Lunnon,
Sinkin' deeper in her shyme,
Till she met a lybor leader,
And ag'yn she lorst 'er nyme.
7
Now 'es in the 'Ouse o' Commons,
Mykin' laws to put down crime,
W'ile the wictim of 'is plysure
Walks the street each night in shyme.
8
Then there cyme a bloated bishop.
Marriage was the tale 'e tole.
There was no one else to tyke 'er,
So she sold 'er soul for gold.
9
See 'er in 'er 'orse an' carriage,
Drivin' d'ily through the park.
Though she's myde a wealthy marriage
She still 'ides a brykin' 'eart.
10
In a cottage down in Sussex
Lives 'er payrents old an'lyme,
And they drink the wine she sends them,
But they never, never speaks 'er nyme.
11
In theur poor an' 'umble dwellin',
There 'er grievin' payrents live,
Drinkin' champayne as she sends 'em
But they never, never can forgive.
12
It's the syme the whole world over,
It's the poor what gets the blyme,
While the rich 'as all the plysures.
Now ayn't it a bloody shyme?

Carl Sandburg, 1927, The American Songbag, pp. 200-201, with musical score. Harcourt, Brace & Co.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 03:40 PM

In a note, Carl Sandburg says "It was a favorite in The Black Watch and among the Canadian and Anzac contingents during the World War" (WW1). "The melody... from Paul Boston, John Lock and Bert Massee of Chicago."
Edward Arthur Dolph, 1928 and 1942, "Sound Off", Soldier Songs, says "I first heard this song sung by an officer who had served in England during part of the war. It is said to have been a favorite with the Black Watch and with the Anzacs."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Joe_F
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 04:37 PM

A version (with nothing new here) is in The Oxford Book of Light Verse (W. H. Auden, Ed.) The version in The New Oxford Book of Light Verse (Kingsley Amis, ed.) is credited to that one, but is "supplemented by oral collection", including the following digression on her pleasures while the second affair lasts:

See them at the gay theAter
    Sitting in the costly stalls;
With one hand she holds the programme,
    With the other strokes his hand.

See him have her dance in Paris
    In her frilly underclothes;
All those Frenchies there applauding
    When she strikes a striking pose.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 04:42 PM

Joe F, any comment on the age of the song in those two collections?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 05:02 PM

Ed Cray, The Erotic Muse, p. 131, says "This song seemingly began life in English music halls, probably during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and must have acquired bawdy verses early in life."
A text given by Cray (A) was given to Robert W. Gordon in 1923, No. 246 in the Gordon Collection at the University of Oregon and the Library of Congress. This is the earliest collection known to Cray when his book was first published in 1969.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHE WAS POOR BUT SHE WAS HONEST
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 05:22 PM

SHE WAS POOR BUT SHE WAS HONEST
Coll. by Robert Gordon, 1923

1
She was poor but she was honest,
Victim of a village crime,
Of the squire's guilty passion
And she lost her own good nyme.
2
Then she went right up to Lunnon
For to hide her ghastly shyme,
And she met another squire,
And she lost her nyme agayne.
3
She was poor but she was foolish,
Victim of a rich man's whim,
He seduced her, then he left her,
She'd a little child by him.
4
You'll find her in the theayter,
See her sitting in the stalls,
And at home an hour lyter,
Plying with some strynger's balls.
5
You'll see her in her limoosin
In the park, and people say
All the squires and nobby people
Stop to pass the time of day.
6
In a quiet country cottage,
There her aged parents live,
Drinking the champagne that she sends them
But they never can forgive.
7
You will find her in the gutter
Selling matches by the box.
For a tanner you can up her
Ten to one you get the pox.
8
See him passing in his carriage
With his fyce all wreathed in smiles.
See her sitting on the pyvement
Which is bloody bad for pyles.
9
See him passing to the Commons,
Making laws for rich and pore.
See her walking of [sic] the pyvements,
Nothing but a bloody whore.
10
It's the syme the whole world over,
It's the poor they always blyme,
And the rich, they takes their pleasures.
Isn't it a bloody shyme?

Pp. 129-130, with brief musical score, Ed Cray, Second Edition, The Erotic Muse, American Bawdy Songs, Univ. of Illinois Press.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 06:23 PM

Maurice Willson Disher (great name!) in a 1955 book called Victorian Song: from Dive to Drawing Room says the following:

"Rather than bowderlize I omit obscenity. My respect for the authentic is shocked by texts of "She Was Poor but She Was Honest" which would have their readers believe they are enjoying the worst. The original, which possessed literary merit as a burlesque of poetic solemnity, is unprintable. My memories of it belong to the Grey Brigade of London volunteers after the South African War, memories which helped me to enjoy an inspired spy story of a thousand secret Germans disguised as a British regimental reunion who gave themselves away: when they sang they sang."

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 08:00 PM

Many references refer to "She was poor...." as a "Victorian Music Hall song," but I haven't found a reference to a Victorian performer or contemporary citation.
Should be one, because this song was much sung and copied.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Oct 11 - 08:12 PM

Disher's placement of the song roughly between the years 1905-1910 is quite the earliest.

Extensive searches reveal no obvious "Victorian" or even "Edwardian" stage model or original. It is a genuinely anonymous folk song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 02:58 AM

I reckon it will go back a little further yet. Wonder if there are any specialist publications/articles on Army songs of that period?

I would suspect there is also evidence of musichall use/origin out there somewhere. Will keep looking.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 03:53 AM

Roud's index gives a reference to : Waites & Hunter, Illustrated Victorian Songbook (1984) pp.62-63 Can anyone check it out?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 09:31 AM

I'm counting 27 unique verses in Bawdy Ballads & Dirty Ditties of the Wartime RAF, edited by Harold Bennett, p. 229. However, he doesn't provide any notes on how far this song goes back. Likely, it goes back to the Pleistocene. I'm also not finding any trace is Read 'Em & Weep, volume 1 or 2, or any of my music hall books.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Oct 11 - 01:23 PM

The version my family used to sing was closest to what can be found in the Sandburg and H. L. Mencken version in An American Songbag.

Someone should be able to dredge up some earlier clues to such a popular old ditty.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 06:14 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 06:50 AM

From my school (and rugby playing) days, there were many other verses. Although no suited to mixed company!

She stood on the bridge at midnight,
Flicking snot-balls at the moon.
She said "Sir, I've never had it"
But she spoke too f****** soon.

She stood on the bridge at midnight
Youthful face, and chest quite flat.
She was quite the winsome virgin.
But I soon took care of that.

We also reversed two lines of the chorus:

"It's the same the whole world over.
It's the rich that gets the pleasure.
It's the poor that gets the blame.
Ain't it all a bleeding shame?"

It seemed to scan better!

Cheers

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 06:55 AM

The earliest full text to appear seems to be one sent in by Bruce Lancaster of Worcester, Mas.., to "The American Mercury" and published in April, 1926.

It is virtually identical to that published by Sandburg and may well have been his source (though no tune is given).

Lancaster writes,

"Some time ago, I learned the song, 'She was poor but she was honest,' from an inebriate Eli [student at Yale], who in turn learned it from a still more inebriate Limey. The sodden Sassenach told the Eli that this song was a favorite in the Black Watch, and that verses were added from time to time as the War progressed. From a simple ballad, it developed into an epic, dealing with the wandering's of the parson's daughter, who follows the troops all over the world, and in each new billet we are told, 'onst ag'in she lorst 'er nyme.' I have never been able to discover any of the verses dealing with the progress of the unfortunate lady, but the original ballad, as sung by the Black Watch, goes as follows:"

What made the writer or the Eli or the Limey believe this was the original text is probably not knowable. The prominence of the "army chaplain," however, certainly suggests a British army origin, which fits with Disher's recollection.

The English writer A. M. Burrage also connected the song to the time when he was in school, which would have been around 1905.

Can anyone find an early printing of the distinctive melody as part of a different song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 08:03 AM

Except for the chorus, Nigel's stanzas (which frequently appear tacked on at or near the end) sound like a different song - or at least irrelevant to the story, which originally seems to end with the heroine ridiculously wealthy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 08:09 AM

FWIW, the rags-to-riches-via-sexual-immorality theme was immortalized by Thomas Hardy in his once shocking poem, "The Ruined Maid" (1866).

Unfortunately, there are no further similarities between the two.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 08:27 AM

originally seems to end with the heroine ridiculously wealthy··············.

No, surely not ~ the story used to end with her on the bridge at midnight, singing farewell blighted love; a scream, a splash, good 'eavens, what is she a doing of! So they dragged her from the river, water from her clothes they wrung; and they thought that she was drownded, but the corpse got up and sung ~~~ OOOOhhhh I't the syme....

(I too admire The Ruined Maid ~~ fine sardonic, ambivalent piece of work.)

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 08:51 AM

I wonder if this ditty also inspired "Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl" which has this lovely verse:

You can tempt your upper classes
With your willful demitasses,
But Heaven will protect the working girl!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 08:59 AM

It obviously would require inclusion in any future overhaul of Child's "English and Scottish Popular Ballads." Along with "The Bloody Great Wheel" and perhaps others of a similar nature.

If they're not "E&SPBs," what are? (Perhaps I should add "unfortunately.")

In one story line, the heroine sinks further and further into poverty and disease, and ends as a singing corpse after being rescued from the river.

In the other, which is the earliest explicitly referred to in print, she winds up sending her bottles of champagne to her parents.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 09:53 AM

The champagne in the version I know best {Penguin Comic & Curious Verse} occurs earlier.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 11:45 AM

I see a student essay for sale online comparing/contrasting "She was poor..." with "The Ruined Maid"!

Can nobody lay hands on "The Illustrated Victorian Songbook" mentioned earlier in the thread?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Genie
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 11:59 AM

Yes, in the version I learned from Theodore Bikel (posted above), as in the story line of the Penguin Comic & Curious Verse version, early on in her "losing her name" to men in high places the lass is living the high life as a 'kept woman' and sending champagne to her aged parents (who, like "Aunt Clara," is not forgiven). She starts out well-off because of her dalliances but ends up cast off and poor again and throws herself off the bridge (then sings the chorus after she's pulled from the river).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 12:12 PM

A 1980 record on the Forest Tracks label, The Mellstock Quire ( a W Country group) [FT 3016] contains a setting, to one of Hammond's Dorset tunes for The Bold Grenadier, of The Ruined Maid.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 12:51 PM

I've got The Illustrated Victorian Songbook here in front of me, what do you want to know?

The editor says his version is a collated one, assembled by David Wykes in 1984.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 12:59 PM

Thanks, Jack - does he give or imply a date? Copy of sheetmusic? Anything to suggest contemporary popularity or perceived age?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 01:37 PM

It seems to me that the transition from wealth to being "on the bridge at midnight" is far too sudden and perverse to be anything other than an addition (or, if the song was originally bawdy, a remnant).

Either way there are two seemingly opposite climaxes.

If she's a millionaire, what's she doing on the bridge in the first place? Besides, the switch from the subtlety of "they never can forgive" to the "blackheads" business doesn't seem plausible as the work of a single brain. telling a coherent story.

But mind you, I'm only talking about the supposed original. If the verbally tame "champagne" version is a rewrite, anything becomes possible.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 02:24 PM

There's not a lot of information at all. No specific references and it's described as "anonymous".

Seems to me the tune might be distantly related to "Red River Valley".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 02:52 PM

No relation, but the late Victorian "She is More to be Pitied than Censured" by Willia B. Gray, words in the DT, came to mind.
In it, "a girl who had fallen to shame" because "....a man was the cause of it all." Youtube has the Beatrice Kay rendition (with correct words) and the Stanley Bros. version which is a hash, but with good 'pickin'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 03:07 PM

Apologies for misleading with the Sims reference earlier. Now I've had a chance to check Disher and Kilgarriff the latter seems convinced that Sims is not the author, although in order for him to make this statement, he must have seen similar references to what I vaguely remember.

Kilgarriff refers to the Billy Bennett (1887-1942) repertoire, but also gives it in Elsa Lanchester's repertoire (1902-1986) alongside such pieces as The Old Dun Cow and Your baby has gorn dahn the plughole. He dates it as c1901, presumably after Disher. It might have some relevance in dating the other 2 Cockney songs in Lanchester's repertoire. The fact that it doesn't appear on broadsides would favour a later rather than earlier date around that put forward by Kilgarriff. The c1900 equivalent of broadsides was booklets of 30-40 popular songs and it may well turn up in one of these.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 03:12 PM

We know the name of at least one person who is said, on apparently good authority, to have added stanzas to the song. Unfortunately we don't know what they were.

Referring to the period right after the First World War, the journalist George Slocombe writes in "The Tumult and the Shouting" (1936) that

"The Morning Post was then represented in Berlin, and subsequently in Paris, by the late Lester Lawrence, a timid and scholarly man with an unsuspected quality of wit, who surprised his friends once by writing additional stanzas, in perfect verse of the period, to the ancient London ballad which begins, 'She was Poor but she was Honest.'"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 03:25 PM

Steve, any version that might have appeared in a booklet of "popular songs" around 1901 would have had to be pretty tame. Tamer even than Sandburg's, I'd think.

And tamer than that might mean merely the original of a later parody.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 05:15 PM

As posted by guest Steve G., neither Bennett nor Lanchester could have performed the song before 1900. Adding to Steve G's post, Kilgarriff notes that "M. Wilson Disher declared the original unprintable though not without literary merit, and that his memories of the song 'belong to the Grey Brigade of London volunteers after the South African War' (Victorian Song. 46)."
He also notes that a version was published in Bawdy Ballads (MSL.) and lists the song as 'anon.'

It doesn't sound like a soldier's song, and probably was from at a music hall or saloon performance, but nothing definite so far.

Not in Fuld.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 05:24 PM

For those who might be interested in Disher's book:

Disher, Maurice Wilson, 1955, Victorian Song: From Dive to Drawing Room, Phoenix House, London. Reasonable cost from used book dealers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 06:04 PM

I've found a slightly earlier publication of a complete text, also in the American Mercury (Dec., 1925), sent in by Sarah Halm of New York with the note, "I don't know who wrote the ancient Cockney song of 'She was poor but she was honest,' but here is the version given me by an Englishman who visited America last year."

There are six stzs., all (again) rather like Sandburg's; there's no bishop or chaplain, however. Stanza 6 is "It's the sime...," which is not indicated as a chorus.

Some of Sandburg's stanzas more or less duplicate each other. In this case that suggests conflation rather than "incremental repetition."

Halm titles her stanzas "The Song of Shime."

A reader had inquired after the name of the author in the September issue. He gave the opening lines only.

Frank Shay's "My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions" (1927) prints seven stanzas and the chorus, "As sung by Harrison Dowd, Provincetown, Mass., 1925." Again like Sandburg, no bishop or chaplain. In the final stanza (after the "wealthy marriage" and the unforgiving, champagne-sipping parents)the girl kills her child.

That too sounds to me like an addition.

Dowd (1897-1964) was an American actor, musician,and poet. He was a close friend of Edna St. Vincent Millay.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 06:36 PM

Q: In Auden's collection (1938) the attribution is: "Victorian ballad. Orally collected." The title there is "Poor but Honest". In Amis's collection (1978), it is: "Anon. 'She Was Poor But She Was Honest.' Auden (ed.), _The Oxford Book of Light Verse_ (1938), supplemented by oral collection."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 06:38 PM

Vance Randolph says: "Usually performed in exaggerated (Cockney) accent to its heavily rubato British tune, "It's the Syme the Whole World Over," Leisy, pp. 95-95. As is seldom recognized, this famous music-hall travesty (which has a bawdy parody of its own, in England, "She was Standing on the Bridge at Midnight"), is intended as a take-off on the almost equally lachrymose "The Gypsy's Warning," of which the author is unknown- prpbably on purpose, though the copyright was claimed in the name of DD. S. Holmes- first published "with music arranged by Henry A Coord" in 1864. This is given in Randolph's Ozark Folksongs, No. 743A (ed. Norm Cohen, 1982) pp. 525-26, with the tune, and with lines of a pathos too heart-rending to quote.
Randolph notes: "The famous Cherry Sisters from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who convulsed Broadway in 1896, sang the song as part of their soul-stirring dramatic sketch entitled "The Gypsy's Warning," Coard's tune is even more languorous and hysterical than the rather muted one now used, but both feature the same wild, sudden upward vocal swoops at the least .....expected places ..... by way of extravagent cockney or hillbilly pathos and unconscious humor."

Randolph makes these comments with his pseudonymous Big Joe Clipper, pp, 286-288, 1992, Roll Me in Your Arms, Volume I, Folksongs and Music; University of Arkansas Press.

I will post the text later.
Gargoyle, thread 51881, gave the texts of "The Gypsy Warning" included by Randolph in Ozark Folksongs, vol. 4, no. 743, pp. 219-222.
Tune reg The Gypsy's Warning


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIG JOE CLIPLER
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 06:57 PM

Lyr Add: BIG JOE CLIPLER
anon.
She was poor, but she was honest, she was honest,
Victim of a rich man's whim !
She took a ride with Lou'siana's Christian Gov'nor,
And she had ay child by him !
2
Now he sits in legislature, legislature,
Making laws for all mankind,
While she walks the streets of N'Orleans, Lou'siana,
Selling grapes from her grapevine.
3
Now the moral of this story, of this story,
Is don't ever take a ride
With Lou'siana's Christian Gov'nor, Big Joe Clipler,
And you'll be a virgin bride.
4
It's the rich who gets the glory, gets the glory,
It's the poor who have to pay,
It's the same the whole world over, over, over,
It's a low-down dirty shame !

Sung by a girl student at the University of Arkansas... as part of a collection of college and sorority songs...."
"The name of the Gov'nor and his state of the Union have been changed to avoid libel."

(Now why did that make me think of a certain Christian governor who is running for the White House?).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 07:07 PM

Genie and Gurney posted versions of "She Was Standing on the Bridge at Midnight." Does anyone have another, or the first version?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 08:45 PM

Except for the perfectly ordinary meter (like that of "Clementine"), I don't see any similarity in text or tune or theme between "The Gypsy's Warning" and "Poor but Honest."

What am I missing?

According to Ed Cray, the "Clipper" song is much more recent parody of "Poor but Honest."

Auden's claim that "PBH" is a "Victorian ballad" seems to be based on intuition alone.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 09:20 PM

Lighter, I am missing the same connection you are between G. W. and P.b.H. I printed Randolph's comments without remark, but I agree that it is a far stretch to connect the two songs.
The Clipler parody is, of course, very late, not collected until 1957.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Oct 11 - 10:13 PM

Randolph is a useful reference but it's not clear when he dates the ditty in question. "The Gypsy's Warning" may have inspired or provoked this ditty but the ditty doesn't appear to me to be a parody of "The Gypsy's Warning."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Genie
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 12:17 AM

Lighter,
I don't think the transition from being (accepted by the) high class to being down and out and jumping off a bridge in despair is hard to understand, in the version I posted above.

She's poor (and honest). She meets a wealthy squire (or two) and for a while is a "kept woman" living the high life (riding in carriages, sending champagne home to her aged parents). (Nowhere does it say she, herself is rich.) Then the (second) squire "callously" leaves her (presumably penniless) without a ring. So she's back to being poor but has "lost her name" as well and is despondent. Why could that not have been the original story?
Not saying it is - I don't know - but it makes perfect sense to me.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 04:35 AM

A closer possible candidate for inspiring PBH would be 'The Alderman's Lady' Roud 2533 starting 'A nobleman lived in a mansion, he courted his own servant maid.' I think this goes back to the 18th century on street lit.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 08:25 AM

Genie, I was thinking of versions - perhaps cobbled together - that logically end with the very clever irony of having "made a wealthy marriage" and sending champagne to her parents, who hypocritically enjoy   it even though "they never can forgive."

Some of these then pick the story up again on the bridge. Either conclusion makes poetic sense, but not both together.

It's also unclear whether the "bridge" stanzas were originally printable or otherwise. In fact, that goes for the entire song, though what evidence there is suggests that it was considerably tidied up for wider circulation.

A tune that bears a close similarity is "In and Out the Window," which is used for other British bawdy songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 08:29 AM

Lighter ~ In the coherent Penguin version I refer to above, she sends champagne home to her unforgiving parents while still kept by her seducer; but goes downhill when replaced in his favours, and eventually ends up on the bridge at midnight. Makes perfectly good sense.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 09:38 AM

To each his own.

Brophy & Partridge's bawdy text from 1914-18 (not printed till years later) continues the sordid story after the champagne but significantly makes no mention of a "wealthy marriage."

In it, the heroine winds up back home "cracking ice for grandpa's piles," quite as in "Life Presents a Dismal Picture."

No early version includes the suicide attempt. That also persuades me that it's a later accretion.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 09:45 AM

Worth noting: in B&P's 1930 printing of the song, even the word "piles" was replaced with a dash as "unprintable."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 04:45 PM

The DT midi of "The Gypsy's Warning," from Harry Peters's "Folksongs out of Wisconsin":

http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=2462

I hear a slight resemblance between the tunes, but it may be coincidental. Randolph's tune is less similar.

Looking more closely at Randolph's text, I suppose that stanza three (and maybe four) suggests "Poor but Honest," though very indirectly:

"Lady, once there lived a maiden,
Pure and bright, and like thee fair,
But he wooed, he wooed and won her,
Killed her gentle heart with care.

"Then he heeded not her weeping,
Nor cared he her life to save,
Soon she perished, now she's sleeping
'Neath the cold and silent grave."

(Consider the line, "For he wooed and he seduced her" / "For he wooed her and he screwed her," etc., in the same third-line position in its stanza.)

The words quoted are spoken by the mysteriously protective Gypsy to a maiden about to fall for a wealthy cad.

Whether or not the creator of "Poor but Honest" was consciously parodying "The Gypsy's Warning," the "Warning" is certainly representative of the tradition he (surely not "she") was reacting to.

The British Library lists the composer of "The Gypsy's Warning"
as "Henry A. Goard," not "Coard." Its correct date appears to be "1878." It appears also that Goard's song took its cue from an 1838 opera of that name by Sir Julius Benedict. There are several sheet-music publications of Benedict's opera, or perhaps merely melodies from the opera, including one by A. Devaux in 1864, and apparently one by Goard in 1872, but what connection these might have with "PBH" remains unknown.

It's a long shot, but the possibility remains open that the "PBH" tune originated in Benedict's 1838 opera.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: BTNG
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 04:53 PM

Then there's these The Bridge at Midnight


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 05:13 PM

Such a well-traveled song should eventually be nailed down but it's not nailed down yet.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Oct 16 - 08:16 PM

I just found this, by Longfellow. Same metre and enough verbal overlaps to suggest that the bawdy/music-hall song is a parody of it.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/50463


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 18 Oct 16 - 01:50 AM

The live album, "The Truth About 1812," ends with a parody of "She Was Poor But She Was Honest."
The duo have the audience sing along on the chorus, which is the chorus everybody knows.
However the singer has written his own verses parodying the well-known version. The audience is practically weeping with laughter.

The entire show/album is present as a YouTube video.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Oct 16 - 12:52 PM

Jack, the only real similarity I see is in the first line, and without any other corresponding features, that may well be coincidental. After all, in the song the girl is "standing on the bridge"; in the poem, a narrator "stands on the bridge."

The meter may not mean much either: many songs use it, including, just for example, "Rolling Home."

Here's a 1902 recording of the poem set to music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LvnK5TRM-Q

The tune is unlike that of the song, but the date may be consistent with the song's appearance.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 18 Oct 16 - 01:33 PM

And talking of parodies, here are Flanders and Swann (the lyrics anyway)

"Ballad for the Rich"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: GUEST,aranar
Date: 17 Mar 17 - 01:07 PM

The snip I was brought up with was:
It's the syme the 'ole wheld over,
Isn't it a bleedin' shame,
It's the rich wot gets the gravy
An' the poor wot gets the blame.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: robomatic
Date: 17 Mar 17 - 05:17 PM

This song appeared on a "Perry Mason" episode where the plot turned on a Perry Mason 'ringer' hired to get the eponymous hero into trouble by making it look like he showed up where he shouldn't and did a bad thing. The plotters had the problem that the 'ringer' was a cockney sailor with a penchant for drinking and singing. He sang that very song with the gravy variant:

"It's the same the 'ole world over,
it's the poor what gits the blime,
It's the rich what gits the grivy,
'Cor ain't it a bloomin' shime!"

When faced with Perry Mason himself he referred to him as his "NEM-I-SIS"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: robomatic
Date: 17 Mar 17 - 05:22 PM

It wouldn't do to reveal the guilty party of that episode, suffice it to say that Perry Mason only ever lost one case!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: She Was Poor (Same The Whole World Over)
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 02:03 AM


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