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Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)

Artful Codger 25 Mar 12 - 04:01 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 12 - 04:14 PM
Artful Codger 25 Mar 12 - 06:01 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Mar 12 - 06:36 PM
Artful Codger 26 Mar 12 - 06:19 AM
Steve Gardham 26 Mar 12 - 10:53 AM
Steve Gardham 26 Mar 12 - 10:58 AM
Steve Gardham 26 Mar 12 - 11:12 AM
Steve Gardham 26 Mar 12 - 11:20 AM
Artful Codger 26 Mar 12 - 09:39 PM
Artful Codger 28 Mar 12 - 10:05 PM
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Subject: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 04:01 PM

I found the lyrics to this song in J.E. Carpenter's collection Later Lyrics (1878, p. 10), when I was searching for songs with a codgeresque theme. It was written by W.T. Wrighton, who largely wrote or set sentimental songs, judging from other compositions I've located. But I presume from the text that it was written more for the music hall than the parlor. I've tried to give it a "period" tune which is light-hearted, if not jovial, though in period I may be off by a decade or so.

For a score and MIDI, you can pop the ABC transcription into the folkinfo.org ABC Converter; a MIDI link should also appear on this page anon.

You can find more of my settings and such through this thread: Artful Codger


THERE IS LIFE IN THE OLD DOG YET!
   W.T. Wrighton, by 1878

They call me "old fellow" and only because
   My beard has some patches of grey;
I am well on the road I admit, but you'll own
   We must all of us travel that way ;
I often look back to the scenes of my youth,
   But not with a sigh of regret,
And to cheer me along, I can sing an old song,
   Yes ! there's life in the old dog yet.

If I am an old fellow, why so let it be,
   'Tis the maxim of age to speak truth,
And the reason I'm happy and hearty is this,
   I was merry and wise in my youth ;
I have many old friends, and I never lost one
   That kind Heaven has spared, since we met,
And to cheer them along, I can sing them a song,
   Yes! there's life in the old dog yet.

My maxim has always been live and let live,
   And life to enjoy by the way,
If I've saved a few pounds, I have spent many more,
   What I owe I can manage to pay;
I can still take my glass, I've an eye for a lass,
   All my cares I contrive to forget,
While to cheer me along, I've my friends and my song,
   Yes ! there's life in the old dog yet.


Source: Later Lyrics (p. 10), ed. Joseph Edwards Carpenter, London, 1878. Originally published by R. Cocks and Co.
First line index (with authors): p. 265
http://books.google.com/books?id=lXQCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA10


ABC:

X:1
T:Life in the Old Dog Yet
C:Text by W.T. Wrighton, by 1878
C:Music by Robert Wahl, 2012
%%writefields S
S:Text: Later Lyrics (p. 10), ed. Joseph Edwards Carpenter, London, 1878.
%%printparts 0
P:AAA
%%MIDI program 1 0   % Acoustic grand piano
%%MIDI gchord fzczczfzczcz
M:6/8
L:1/8
Q:3/8=72
K:Eb
P:A
"^(A)"(B/A/) | "Eb"G>^FG "^(B2)"c<BG | "C7"=E>^DE A2 G/C/ | "F"FGF E>FE | "F7"C3z^CC |
w: They* call me "old fel-low" and on-ly be-cause* My beard has some patch-es of grey; I am
"Bb7"D>FD (C<C)(E/E/) | D>FD B,>CD | "Eb"EDE "Cm"G<cG | "Bb7" B3 zBA |
w: well on the road* I ad-mit, but you'll own We must all of us trav-el that way;* I
"Eb"G>^FG B>BB | "C7"=E^DE G2C | "Fm"F>=EF AGA | c3 "B7"_c2c |
w: of-ten look back to the scenes of my youth, But not with a sigh of re-gret, And to
"Eb"BGF E=D_D | "Fm"C/F/ A2 "D7"cHLd3/c/ | "Eb/Bb"BzB,/B,/ "Bb7"G2F |
w: cheer me a-long, I can sing an old song, Yes, there's life in the old dog
"Eb"B3 "Ab6"G2F | "Eb/Bb"B,2=A,/B,/ "Bb7"G2B, | "Eb"E3 z2 ||
w: yet. Yes, there's life in the old dog yet.
%
%%vskip .25in
%%center Copyright \251 2012 by Robert Wahl. All rights reserved.
%%abc-copyright Copyright \251 2012 by Robert Wahl. All rights reserved.
%%leftmargin 2.5in
%%begintext

2. If I am an old fellow, why so let it be,
    'Tis the maxim of age to speak truth,
And the reason I'm happy and hearty is this,
    I was merry and wise in my youth;
I have many old friends, and I never lost one
    That kind Heaven has spared, since we met,
And to cheer them along, I can sing them a song,
    Yes! there's life in the old dog yet.

3. My maxim has always been live and let live,
    And life to enjoy by the way,
If I've saved a few pounds, I have spent many more,
    What I owe I can manage to pay;
I can still take my glass, I've an eye for a lass,
    All my cares I contrive to forget,
While to cheer me along, I've my friends and my song,
    Yes! there's life in the old dog yet.
%%endtext
%%vskip .25in
%%leftmargin 1.25in


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Subject: RE: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 04:14 PM

Hi Rob
Yes, it's quite Cliftonesque. He might have written something like this had he lived long enough to grow grey. Wrighton, like Clifton, was more parlour than Music Hall, and his other pieces were also rather up-market. Some of his stuff turns up in later folk collections and I've heard it sung on the folk scene.


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Subject: RE: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 06:01 PM

That confirms my impression of Wrighton--this song strikes me as being a departure from his usual parlor style. Can you provide a sketch about Wrighton (or even his full name), and titles for some of the songs which you've encountered on the folk scene? From my brief research, his other songs didn't strike me as the type that would have much longevity, especially among the folk crowd, being too maudlin and "arty". Some can be found in the Lester S. Levy Collection and the Library of Congress American Memory collection; the Oxford U. Library catalog lists a few others.

[BTW, by "Clifton", Steve means Harry Clifton; Steve and I have made a number of transcriptions of his songs available on this site; see this thread: Help: Harry Clifton songwriter]


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Subject: RE: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Mar 12 - 06:36 PM

I seem to remember he had a hand in 'The Beating of my own heart'. I haven't got my sheet music to hand and I wouldn't have kept anything by him when I was downsizing except for the bits that entered oral tradition.

I may have got the wrong person here, as Kilgarriff has him down for 2 songs, both with more of a Music Hall look. His dates were 1816-1880, and he attributes 'The Postman's Knock' to him as score writer, words by L M Thornton, 1855. Now this was sung by some folkies on a recent period soap tv programme the name of which escapes me, but I'll ask my wife tomorrow. The other is 'You Need Na Come Courting O' Me' words by A Trail, 1857.

BTW I came across a pristine copy of Clifton's On Board the Kangaroo recently for £20 and was tempted. That was near Leicester Sq tube. Then bugger me, in Camden Market later on that day, I came across a whole box full with several Clifton sheets but I already had them all. They were still a bit pricey at £7.50 apiece. 2 copies of Paddle yoc.


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Subject: RE: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 06:19 AM

For the time being, you can download a MIDI file from my Mudcat folder on SkyDrive.


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Subject: RE: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 10:53 AM

The TV programme was 'Lark Rise to Candleford'. And I was wrong, he had nothing to do with 'The Beating of my own Heart/As I wandered by the Brookside.'

Got it! The song I was thinking of was 'Her bright smile haunts me still' which has a similar embossed cover to 'Beating' and I've got the original sheet music from 1870 which is words by J E Carpenter and music by Wrighton. This is what made me think more of parlour songs. But I also have the sheet for 'Postman's Knock' and that's definitely Music Hall. Both are published by Robt. Cocks.

More anon. I'm still going through my card indexes.


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Subject: RE: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 10:58 AM

The Liquid Gem, 1875 Music by WTW Arr Brinley Richards. Robt Cocks 14251


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Subject: RE: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 11:12 AM

And on the card directly behind Postman's Knock is 'Prayer, Sacred Song W&M by W. T. Wrighton, Pub Robt. Cocks 11602. Not dated. I wonder why I kept this one when I was downsizing. thought I'd discarded all the religious ones.

And another religious one
Thy Voice is near 1875 M WTW Arr W Smallwood
Robert Cocks. 15745


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Subject: RE: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 11:20 AM

And 'The Wishing Cap' for which I have 2 different editions
Words by Charles Mackay (presumably the famous poet)
Music WTW
Robt Cocks 14662

Thge other is Cocks 14799 dated 1874 and is arranged by Brinley Richards.

Looks like he was in good company. It also appears he was employed by Robert Cocks so it may well be worthwhile following that up.

No others have survived in my current collection.


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Subject: RE: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 26 Mar 12 - 09:39 PM

"Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still" seems to be quite a popular song still--lots of clips on YouTube, including several of a setting quite different from Wrighton's. My favorites:
Walter "Salty Walt" Askew (solo unaccompanied)
Hughes Macklin and David Brazell (from an Edison cylinder)
As well as:
Mudcat thread: Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still
DigiTrad entry: Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still
Sheet music in the Lester S. Levy Collection

The Levy collection also has these songs set by Wrighton:
Sing Me and English Song
Oh! Chide Not My Heart
Dearest Spot of Earth to Me Is Home
Bright Star of Eve, Arise

Library of Congress American Memory collection has:
She Sang Among the Flowers (Wrighton; piano arr. by Hartl)
You Need Na Come Courting Me (Wrighton; piano arr. by Hartl)
Her Bright Smile...
Dearest Spot...
The Heart Should Have Some Tuneful Strings

Indiana University has
Her Bright Smile...
Norah, Sweet Norah

And they give his full name and dates: William Thomas Wrighton (1816-1880)


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Subject: RE: Life in the Old Dog Yet (Wrighton)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 28 Mar 12 - 10:05 PM

Major oops: The lyrics to "There's Life in the Old Dog Yet" were written by J.E. (Joseph Edward) Carpenter, as were all the songs and poems in his book Later Lyrics. W.T. Wrighton set the song originally. Carpenter also wrote the lyrics to "Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still."

To correct the author credits in the ABC, please use these replacement lines:

C:Text by Joseph Edward Carpenter, by 1878
S:Text: Later Lyrics (p. 10), by Joseph Edwards Carpenter, London, 1878.

I've updated the PDF in my repository.


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