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The Monks of Altrugga/Monks of St. Bernard

Uncle Tone 21 Apr 13 - 08:22 AM
BillE 21 Apr 13 - 12:11 PM
Uncle Tone 22 Apr 13 - 07:10 AM
BillE 22 Apr 13 - 12:18 PM
Uncle Tone 22 Apr 13 - 05:22 PM
Effsee 22 Apr 13 - 10:23 PM
Van 23 Apr 13 - 02:38 AM
Uncle Tone 23 Apr 13 - 03:23 AM
doc.tom 23 Apr 13 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,Nick Collis Bird 19 Oct 16 - 08:33 AM
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Subject: The Monks of Altrugga
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 08:22 AM

I've just been contacted by a boating friend who remembers Cyril Tawney singing a song that he wrote called:

'The Monks of Altrugga' or something similar. It was a private rendition, being too 'Sods' Opera' to be sung in public.

I also recall Cyril singing something similar, when well oiled, but can remember nothing of lyrics or tune, except it was a good laugh.

Anybody any clues?

Tone


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Subject: RE: The Monks of Altrugga
From: BillE
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 12:11 PM

Could this be The Monk's of St Bernard?

I have no idea Cyril wrote it. Mervyn Vincent used to sing one verse of it and I learned it from him. Once I sang this one verse in Cyril's presence and he asked if I knew the other verses, which I didn't, and he offered to give me them. Sadly I never had them from him, but now I do have them from a recording of Mervyn.

The first verse goes:

The Monks of St Bernard, St Bernard, St Bernard,
They don't give a bugger at all.
They rise up right early,
And pee through a hole in the wall…
The green leaves are yellow, (x3)
And so is the hole in the wall!

I can look up the rest if you like, but I do not recall a verse with anything like Altrugga!

Bill


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Subject: RE: The Monks of Altrugga
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 07:10 AM

Yes please! I reckon this is the song that I heard Cyril sing. Does Mervyn's tune sound something like this?:

Tune

Tone


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Subject: RE: The Monks of Altrugga
From: BillE
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 12:18 PM

Tone,

Yes, tune differs only in fine detail. The words I have are as follows:


MONKS OF ST BERNARD

The Monks of St Bernard, St Bernard, St Bernard,
They don't give a bugger at all.
They rise up right early, right early, right early
And pee through a hole in the wall…
The green leaves are yellow,
The green leaves are yellow,
The green leaves are yellow,
And so is the hole in the wall!

The Monks of Tintagel were so small and fragile,
They couldn't reach the hole in the wall.
They went to King Arthur and had a palaver.
He built them a hole in the floor.
The green grass is yellow,
The green grass is yellow,
The green grass is yellow,
And so is the hole in the floor!

The Monks of Boscastle, they don't give a hassle,
They don't give a hassle at all.
They rise up right early, right early, right early,
And pee on the old harbour wall.
The green seas are yellow,
The green seas are yellow,
The green seas are yellow,
And so is the old harbour wall!

The Nuns of Hitchin played hell in the kitchen,
They couldn't reach the hole in the wall.
They lifted their habits and piddled like rabbits,
Over the old garden wall.
The green peas are yellow,
The green peas are yellow,
The green peas are yellow,
And so is the old garden wall!

Bill


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Subject: RE: The Monks of Altrugga
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 05:22 PM

Many thanks. That does sound like something I heard him sing in my living room. I reckon Cyril might have had something to do with the authorship of that. It certainly has his stamp musically.

He had a thing about pissing in the wrong place. Take the Pig's Ear song for example, and piddling in the skippers hat.

Tone


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Subject: RE: The Monks of Altrugga
From: Effsee
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 10:23 PM

Canalwheeler..."He had a thing about pissing in the wrong place. "...

He certainly did the night he stayed in my flat in Aberdeen!

He woke up and wandered into the next door flat to do his business...much to the alarm of a bunch of students who were the tenants.

It took a bit of diplomacy to calm them down!


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Subject: RE: The Monks of Altrugga
From: Van
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 02:38 AM


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Subject: RE: The Monks of Altrugga
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 03:23 AM

Luckily on the occasions he stayed with us he had Rosemary with him to keep control.

But your story doesn't surprise me. In my early RN days, sleeping on a mess deck with a bunch of other lads, we frequently had a phantom pisser who would do it in someone else's boot!

Years later, when ashore in the Chief's mess at Lossiemouth, we had one who crept into another Chief's cabin and pissed into his wardrobe!

Neither of these would have been Cyril. Too late for him. But it shows that the problem is not unknown in the Navy, and probably elsewhere too. Perhaps there is a song or two about it not written by Cyril?

Tone


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Subject: RE: The Monks of Altrugga/Monks of St. Bernard
From: doc.tom
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 05:21 AM

Not written by Cyril. Not sure of the true origin, but certainly Mervyn sang it - ofen. Additional verses were contrived (sometimes collectively) by Mervyn, John Dawes, regulars at the Ring O Bells and regulars at The Swan. BillE's words above are most of them (they tended to vary according to location and level of beer consumption), although the Monks of Boscastle, they don't give a (H)arse-'ole - and the Monks of St. Breock were too small and we-ock, etc. One famous addition was when the Ring O Bells got so full of folkies that the verse arose:

The Monks of St. Issey were too bloody busy
To pee through the hole in the wall
And the bogs at The Ringers was full of folk-singers
So we watered the plants in the hall
The green leaved turned yellow
The green leaves tuirned yellow
The green leaves turned yellow
And so did old Charlie Carlisle

Charlie was the landlord at the time - about 1969. There's also the wonderful tale of one of Mervyn's daughters (Remember, boy, it takes a man to make a maid!), during her first year at school, when the class were asked by the teacher "does anyone know a song" volunteered, stood up and started:-

Old Johnny Bugger he lived by himself...


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Subject: RE: The Monks of Altrugga/Monks of St. Bernard
From: GUEST,Nick Collis Bird
Date: 19 Oct 16 - 08:33 AM

Oh the Ringers, how well I remember it. I was there it would have been around May Day.


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