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Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)

DigiTrad:
THE FACTORY LAD


Related thread:
Tune Req: Colin Dryden's Factory Lad (19)


GUEST,Bob Bolton 31 Jul 13 - 08:02 PM
Bob Bolton 31 Jul 13 - 09:15 PM
Bob Bolton 04 Aug 13 - 08:45 PM
Jon Bartlett 05 Aug 13 - 06:27 AM
dbranno 05 Aug 13 - 07:38 AM
Sandra in Sydney 05 Aug 13 - 11:14 AM
Andrez 05 Aug 13 - 06:47 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Aug 13 - 06:50 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Aug 13 - 07:05 PM
dbranno 05 Aug 13 - 11:06 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Aug 13 - 11:43 PM
Noreen 06 Aug 13 - 05:52 AM
Andrez 06 Aug 13 - 07:56 AM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Aug 13 - 09:53 AM
Andrez 06 Aug 13 - 06:39 PM
Sandra in Sydney 06 Aug 13 - 07:14 PM
Bob Bolton 06 Aug 13 - 11:33 PM
Joe Offer 06 Aug 13 - 11:42 PM
Bob Bolton 07 Aug 13 - 12:02 AM
Andrez 07 Aug 13 - 01:42 AM
GUEST 07 Aug 13 - 01:55 AM
GUEST,Gerry 07 Aug 13 - 09:09 AM
Joe Offer 07 Aug 13 - 05:46 PM
Joe Offer 08 Aug 13 - 05:43 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 13 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Gerry 08 Aug 13 - 07:24 PM
Bob Bolton 08 Aug 13 - 09:17 PM
Joe Offer 09 Aug 13 - 01:05 AM
dbranno 09 Aug 13 - 10:59 AM
dbranno 10 Aug 13 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,Dodsworth 10 Aug 13 - 12:26 PM
dbranno 10 Aug 13 - 12:56 PM
MoorleyMan 08 Aug 16 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Gerry 08 Aug 16 - 11:06 PM
MoorleyMan 09 Aug 16 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,LynnH 09 Aug 16 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Gerry 09 Aug 16 - 08:23 PM
GUEST,LynnH 10 Aug 16 - 03:56 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) FACTORY LAD (Colin Dryden)
From: GUEST,Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 08:02 PM

G'day Joe & the elves ...,

I happened to look at the Digitrad version of Colin Dryden's evocative British factory-working song The Factory Lad. What we have there is several continents away from the song I learnt from the author Colin Dryden ... around when I returned to Sydney in 1970 ... and I was photographing in a range of Sydney pubs' folk clubs. This is about a close as I can get to my memory from Colin's singing ... and maybe(~) slight 'tweaking' over 4 + decades of assorted sessions!

From Joe Offer, 6 August - for comparison, here are the Digital Tradition Lyrics (in brown)
THE FACTORY LAD
(Colin Dryden)

You wake up in the morning, sky's as black as night
Your mother's shouting up the stairs, you know she's winning the fight
So you stumble to the breakfast table … grab a bite to eat,
And it's out the door and up the road and through the factory gate.

Chorus:
   Turning steel how do you feel,
   as in the chuck you spin?
   If you felt like me, you'd roll right out
   and never roll back in.

Cold and dark the morning, as you squeeze in the gate
As you clock in, the bell will ring; eight hours is your fate.
Off comes the coat, up go the sleeves and "right, lads" is the cry,
With one eye on the clock and the other on your lathe, you wish that time could fly.

But time can't fly as fast as, a lathe and it's work you must,
The grinding, groaning, spinning metal, the hot air and the dust …
And many's the time I'm with me girl and we're walking through the park,
While gazing on the spinning steel or the welder's blinding spark.

Well, old Tom, he left last week: his final bell did ring -
His hair was white as the face beneath his oily sunken skin
But he made a speech and he said farewell to a lifetime working here
As I shook his hand, I thought of hell – at a lathe for forty years.

When my time comes, as come it must, then I will leave this place -
I'll walk right out past the charge-hand's dock and never turn my face
Up through the gates into the sun, and I'll leave it all behind -
With one regret, for the lads I've left, to carry on the grind.

As remembered (~) by Bob Bolton from the singing of Colin Dryden
- (~ early 1970s in various Sydney Folk Clubs ..
and busy photographing!)
THE FACTORY LAD
(Colin Dryden)

You wake up in the morning and dawn's as black as night
Your mother shouting up the stairs and you know she's winning the fight
So you'd best venture out of your bed, me lad, for you know it's getting late
And it's down the stairs and up the road and through the factory gate

Chorus
Turning steel how do you feel
As in the chuck you spin?
If you felt like me you'd roll right out
And never roll back in

It's wet and bleak, the morning as you squeeze in through the gate
As you clock on, your bell will ring, eight hours is your fate
Off comes your coat all wet and cold and "Right, lads" is the cry
With an eye on the clock and the other on your lathe, you'll wish that
time could fly

The gaffer's walking down the shop and so it's work you must
The grinding, groaning, spinning metal hotter than the dust
And I'm often dreaming of me girl as we're walking through the park
Whilst I'm gazing on that blueing steel and a million flying sparks

Now old Tom Black, last Friday his final bell did ring
With his hair as white as his face beneath and his oily sunken skin
Now he's made a speech and he's bid farewell to a lifetime working here
And as I shook his hand I felt I'd labored forty years

So when my time it comes and at last I leave this place
I'll walk out past the charge-hand's desk, never turn my face
Up to the gates into the sun, and I'll leave it all behind me
With one regret, for the lads I have left to carry on their grind

@work
filename[ FACTRYLD
MC

I see that there is a version - slightly different from my 40+ years memory of learning fron Colin's performance … and singing wherever and whenever … posted at UnionSong.com supplied by my old friend (.. and fellow musician in several bands, &c ) the late Chris Kempster.

Chris's version, posted on the Union Song site, is pretty close to mine ... whilst what's in the DigiTrad seems to have dog-paddled across several major oceans ... and language shifts!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 09:15 PM

G'day again,

Hmmm ... now I have besought and gained re-admission to the hallowed ranks ... I can get around to including the (Australian) Union Songs site URL:
http://unionsong.com/u069.html - where you can check Chris Kempster's hearing / learning of The Factory Lad against my ( mumblety many decades ) ~ memory!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Aug 13 - 08:45 PM

G'day yet again,

I see no response from "north o' Britain ... Industrial belt ..." British singers who might have Colin Dryden's beautiful sketch of factory life in finer 'native' detail than what I remember of Colin's performance out here in the Antipodes. I think I remember at least as accurately as my late good friend Chris Kempster ... but I had only ears (... and a 35 camera loaded with up-rated Ilford FP4 ...) back then!

One point I forgot to emphasise, in my earlier posting, needs to be underlined with the audience in strongly "chorus-oriented" venues, (like Sydney's Loaded Dog ...) - the chorus IS NOT SUNG between stanzas 2 and 3! The image shared by those two stanzas isn't helped by chucking one more chorus for those who listen to themselves ... not the author's song!

This is a beaut song - written from Colin's personal experience ... and still sung here ... despite the automation ... or outsourcing ... of such skilled industrial work.

We should not forget what formed our society and the history that will only be handed on by those of us that believe in a "folk culture" ... and this song deserves a reasonably accurate publication ... not the strange mishearings and wild guesses of the version in the DT!

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 05 Aug 13 - 06:27 AM

Aside from a few um's and ah's, Bob's got pretty much what I've got, except for:

1.3 So you'd best venture out of your bed, me lad, for you know it's getting late
2.3 Off comes your coat, all wet and cold...
3.1 The gaffer's walking down the shop, and so it's work you must

A Grand song! Thanks for posting, Bob.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: dbranno
Date: 05 Aug 13 - 07:38 AM

Hi Bob. Here's a link to Dermott Ryder's website, where you'll find "Echoes of a North Country Trilogy" which (you may already be aware) is a 'life and times' essay on Colin written not long after his death.
The words of his three known songs are here: Sither, Factory Lad and Pit Lad. There is STILL no definitive version of 'Turning Steel', as it is more commonly titled, in print (minor quibbles I have with all of them!) though I do have two recordings of Colin himself singing the song.
It's way past time that I made a CD of these recordings (sorry people, I was talking about this several years ago - life overtook me a bit...)
   
http://www.folkodyssey-themagazine.com/

Thanks Andrez for alerting me to this thread! The song in question has been abused a bit over the years in my opinion. Bob makes some salient points above.
Harry Robbo's "Wee Pot Stove" is another victim of serious serial abuse by boozy bellowers and other self-important songsqueezers.
Let's lift our game shall we chaps!
Cheers Davo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 05 Aug 13 - 11:14 AM

Dave - it's been more than "several years' since you talked about the Colin Dryden CD

sandra


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Andrez
Date: 05 Aug 13 - 06:47 PM

Actually, the word 'decades' comes to mind :-)

Cheers,

Andrez

PS: Go Pies!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Aug 13 - 06:50 PM

G'day Jon Bartlett,

Those three lines you quote are also found in the version (from "MC" .. ) already in the DT ... and, like much of what's there, barely reconisable as the song I learned from Colin Dryden's singing - in Sydney / early 1970s.

The link I posted to the Australian UnionSong site has virtually the same words I posted ... taken down by my late friend Chris Kempster ... also compiler and notator of the definitive collections of songs from the poetry of Henry Lawson ... and meticulous in such details.

I can only presume that there is a decidedly 'feral' version of Colin's Factory Lad that represents a lot of aural/folklore transmission: ... folk clubs / song sessions / scrawled texts ... and probably American, in the main, and so, influenced by a completely different vocabulary ... and industrial / work / housing ethos!

Certainly, the "MC version" in the DT would be nearly unrecognisable to singers around here ... many singing from the lyric remembered by those of us who heard it around Sydney folk venues in the early '70s - sung by Colin Dryden!

Regards,

BobB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Aug 13 - 07:05 PM

G'day Davo,

I've been aware of Dermott's site for a long time ... but I never actively chased anyone else's memory of the Factory Lad.

Dermott's posting is a lot closer to my memory ( and Chris Kempster's) ... than the DT lyrics, and it may be from some reworking by Colin Dryden ... but not one from the era I remember!

There may also be "language difficulties" between:

North of England / industrial ...

Australian / working class ...

American / vernacular ...

Anywhere / post pub sessions memory ...

Have we reached the point where we are examining the folklore transmission within the very ranks of those seeking to record / refine / define the tradition(al materials) ... ?

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: dbranno
Date: 05 Aug 13 - 11:06 PM

Less than ten years Sandra (and Andrez). The Declan Affley CD was launched at the 2003 National. Colin's CD was (and still is) to be the next essay. I'm working on it OK!? How dare I keep it to myself!
As a great man said "Life is what happens to ya when you're busy making other plans." And the last few years have been a time of big changes in my little life. Settled now in Tasmanistan, looking to be more productive in the music dpartment. (Watch this space?)

And dear Bob, I'm not quite sure what you mean in your last question. Regarding the transmission process - Graham Dodsworth and I have exchanged views on this subject in reference to this very song.
The Dods' webpage is well worth a look BTW.
My own practise with especially but not exclusively 'traditional' songs is to shape them to my own taste, and accent, while maintaining their authenticity. All very subjective of course!
Early 1973, Andrez, Colin and meself shared a house in Nth Carlton, where Colin and I both got stuck into the fiddle (while the other residents locked themselves away, or went out...)
Colin also wrote several good sounding songs, which alas, came and went. I remember one line of one of them.
As he's no longer here, it's up to those of us who knew him to help keep the 'authenticity' of his songs alive, I think.
Dermott makes the point about the northern english 'were' rather than 'was' for example, a small but important detail.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Aug 13 - 11:43 PM

G'day again dbranno,

I'm not quibbling about the inevitable fact that songs will change to suit the time, place, person and audience of their performance. I just happened to open the digitrad version of Factory Lad ... and it seemed to me that quite a lot of change had taken place ... in other times and places than my personal experience. I'm taking it as a atarting point that the gulf between English and American is vast ... as well as hard to nail down.

Because I had my acquired version from listening to Colin Dryden quite a few times around the Sydney scene of the day ... and singing in my local ambient over the decades ... I thought it worth posting - as something that stays a lot closer to Colin's original.

Chris Kempster's recollection ... posted on Labour Songs reinforced my feeling that my memory was about as close as "folk music" runs. It doesn't chew up too much of the ozone layer to post a set of lyrics that I hope is much closer to the original than the one on the DT.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Noreen
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 05:52 AM

Jez Lowe just posted the following on facebook, which seems appropriate to add here:

I had a song by Colin Dryden on my very first record, learned from the great Gerry Hallom. I never met the man himself. Here's his story...

Colin Dryden - not your average uncle

It includes links to Colin singing a few of his songs, including "Factory Lad".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Andrez
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 07:56 AM

Thanks so much for this link to the audio for these songs Noreen, just sensssational! Ye've quite made me night.

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 09:53 AM

Colin Dryden singing Reading Gaol - magic!

sandra (who owns both the Extradition LP & the CD)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Andrez
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 06:39 PM

Ahem, errrr Sandra, so you say you own a copy of the Extradition CD? Hmmmmmm, could we have a little private chat about that?

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 07:14 PM

Rumour has it's worth a fortune - well a very good copy would be.

I bought mine second-hand sometime in the 70s (cost $2! if I remember correctly & I haven't time to dig it out of the bottom shelf of my bathroom cupboard, got a bus to catch in 45 mins & I really must have brekkie & pack lunch)

It was in decent condition & I looked after it in the days I had a record player - now I look after it by keeping it in the cupboard with a few other LPs I liked. Maybe I'll pop into Mojo Records & visit Nigel one day to see what the current value is.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 11:33 PM

G'day Joe / Joeclone / Elf ...

Thanks for putting up that nice 2-column comparison of the DT / MC version ... and my personal memory!

By now, I'm a bit more adjusted to finding that others hear / heard differently from my 1970s experience ... and torn between sticking firmly to the song ... as "delivered" in my experience ... and coming to terms with the discovery that ... in the wide world out there ... there's more to quibble about (or not ... ) than simply trying to stop over-enthusiastic chorussers from chiming in with the normally omitted chorus between stanzas 2 and 3 .. !

Ah well, life is a song ... but there's little agreement on which one ... or which ... or whose 'version'!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Colin Dryden's Factory Lad
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Aug 13 - 11:42 PM

Hi, Bob -
I'm guilty. 'Twas I that did the side-by-side. Most of the time, I'm the one who does the editing in the music section. I wonder if I can ask you to check both threads and all other information available to you, and then post a "definitive" version of the song from the best sources you have. That's the version I'll send in to Dick and Susan to correct what's in the DT.
Thanks a lot.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 12:02 AM

G'day Joe,

... Err ... after singing the song as I believe I heard it ... nearly 45 years ago ... I'm pretty well convinced that mine is the 'definitive' version ... even if I "know" that's not really so!

I have the rather tardy next issue of the Bush Music Club's Mulga Wire to prise from the backs of myself / Sandra in Sydney ... and sundry other hard workers ... before I can focus the remaining grey cells on resolving an issue that is probably more convoluted than I recogised when I decided to drop in my 'recalled' version!

... I might be back when the magazine has gone to post!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Andrez
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 01:42 AM

Errrrr, how about going to the source for the 'definitive' version?

Listen to Colin singing the song at the link that Noreen posted above rather than relying our our collective imperfect memories? Hearing that version surprised me because my 'memory' of Colin's singing the Factory Lad was that it was significantly faster than the version posted online and I heard it many times in clubs, pubs and in the house we shared in Melbourne as noted by dBranno.

I suspect going for a 'definitive' version might be a trickier proposition than it first appears unless we want to classify the song in terms of regional versions i.e. the Sydney version, the Melbourne one, the International one etc. Thats what we call the folk process innit?

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 01:55 AM

I recognize that Colin made the song, but when something passes into the oral tradition (as this song seems to have, more so than, say, "Blue Suede Shoes"), it seems somehow a bit logically perverse to talk about a "definitive" version. Yes, there is the maker's intention, but there is also the social vector to consider. Change in a song seems to me to be a sign of real life. My 2c

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 09:09 AM

Seems to me that at Noreen's link, Dryden does the chorus at the end of each verse, no omissions.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Aug 13 - 05:46 PM

Point well taken, Jon....not that I agree [grin]


If we have a soul willing to attempt a transcription of the Colin Dryden recording, you'll find a link on this page. I find it very hard to understand - but then, I'm from Wisconsin....


-Joe-


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Subject: DT Correction: Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Aug 13 - 05:43 AM

OK, I guess I shamed myself into doing a transcription of the song. But hey, I'm from Wisconsin and I don't catch all this stuff - so could the rest of you listen to the recording and gently offer corrections? In deference to Jon Bartlett, we seek not a "definitive" version - just a reasonably good transcription....

THE FACTORY LAD
(Colin Dryden)

You wake up in the morning, the morn's as black as night
Your mother's shouting up the stairs, and you know she's winning the fight
So you venture out of the bed, my lad, for you know it's getting late
And it's down the stairs and up the road and through the factory gate.

Chorus:
    Turning steel how do you feel,
      as in the chuck you spin?
    If you felt like me, you'd roll right out
      and never roll back in.

Sleet and dark the morning, as you squeeze in through the gate
As you clock in, aye yon bell will ring; eight hours is your fate.
Off comes the coat, up go the sleeves and "right, lads" is the cry,
With an eye on the clock and t'other on your lathe, you wish that time could fly.
CHORUS

But time can't fly as fast as a lathe, and it's work you must,
With the grinding, groaning, spinning metal, the hot air and the dust …
And it's many the time I'm with me girl and I'm walking through the park,
While gazing on the turning steel or the welder's blinding spark.
CHORUS

Old Tom, he left last week, and his final bell did ring -
With his hair as white as the face beneath his oily sunken skin
Well, he made a speech and he bid farewell to a lifetime working here,
But as I shook his hand, I thought of hell – at a lathe and forty years.
CHORUS

So when my time comes, as come it must, I'll leave this place -
And I'll walk right down past the charge-hand's dock and never turn my face,
Up through the gates into the sun, and I'll leave it all behind -
With one regret, for the lads I've left, to carry on the grind.
CHORUS


The last two lines are missing from the recording in the link. Luckily, Bob and the DT more-or-less agree on those lines. Is there a chorus at the end?

-Joe-

Spotify has a very nice recording of this song by the Fagan Family. It agrees more closely with Bob's transcription.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 13 - 04:10 PM

http://www.folknow.com/folknow-dox/dodsworth.txt

About an inch down on that thingy on the right of the page that opens.


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Subject: ADD Versions: Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 08 Aug 13 - 07:24 PM

I believe anonymous guest, above, wishes to draw our attention to this part of Graham Dodsworth's Master's thesis from 2000:

It is important to note that the issue of altering existing songs, whether authorship is known or unknown, can attract heated debate, as discussed in Jill Stubington's entry 'Folk Music in Australia: The Debate' in The Oxford Companion to Australian Folklore (Stubington, 1993, 139). I was told on separate occasions by acquaintances of the deceased author of a workplace related song, The Factory Lad by Colin Dryden, that I should not vary from the original text when performing the song. They held this view despite reluctant agreement that I had not altered the meaning of the song. They also felt disinclined to make concessions when I explained that the author, whilst living, had no compunction as regards making changes when arranging other people's songs for his performances whether that author was alive or deceased.

I had never felt inspired to sing the song with the original text and only warmed to performing it when I perceived the changes that to my mind would improve the listenability of the song. Being able to change the song gave me the desire to perform it. The criticism I received for having the audacity to change it rendered me disinclined to perform it in certain venues thereby, if not killing the song, then slowing its chances of survival. The following is the version of The Factory Lad that I currently perform at festivals and other venues. The version was arranged and adapted between 1993 and 1996 from words supplied by Jenny Simpson of whom Dryden was a family friend. Dryden sometimes stayed with the Simpson family in the New South Wales town of Wagga Wagga.

(Version 1) 'The Factory Lad' by Colin Dryden (Adaptations by Graham H. Dodsworth).
1st.   
I wake up in the morning, the sky's as black as night,
My mother's shouting up the stairs, I know she's won the fight,
I stumble to the table, for a moment at my plate,
Then it's out the door and down the road and to the factory gate.
2nd.   
Cold and grey in the morning light as through the gate I squeeze,
As I clock in the bell will ring and I'll roll back my sleeves,
One eye on the clock and the other, the lathe, and it's right lads is the cry,
A turners fate is an eight hour day and I wish that time could fly.
Chorus:
Turning steel, how do you feel, as in the chuck you spin?
If you felt like me, you'd roll right out and never roll back in.
3rd.   
But time can't fly like the spinning wheel and so 'tis work I must,
With the grinding, groaning, spinning steel, the hot air and the dust,
And it's many the time I'm with my girl, a'walking in the park,
While gazing on the grinding steel and the blinding welder's spark.
(Insert chorus)
4th.   
When my time comes as come it will and I must leave this place,
I'll walk on by the charge hand's door and never turn my face,
Out through the door into the light and I'll leave it all behind,
With one regret for the lads I've left to carry on the grind.
(Insert chorus twice).

The major objection, held mainly by close acquaintances or friends of the author, was my exclusion of the original fourth verse (included below). A common argument used to justify this opinion was that I should not change anything at all because changing the song was obscuring the memory of the author. Their point is valid enough for us to assume this viewpoint has, and will continue to have, its influence over arrangements of existing songs where the author is known to either the arranger or the arranger's friends and acquaintances or audience. I continue to perform my version of the song despite these events and therefore we may also assume that some of the arrangers who fall into the above category and a great many others will alter the songs as they see fit regardless of the degree to which they respect the memory of the author. It should also be noted that I also knew the author very well and also treasure my memories of him and particularly his performances which I consider to be among the best of all performances I have personally experienced.

Examination and comparison of the two sets of lyrics reveal that the essence and main sentiment of the song remain intact despite the changes and the omission of the original 4th verse.

Note that the second version of lyrics below, which also includes this particular verse, and which would be more acceptable to preservation advocates, has ironically used a title taken from within the chorus rather than the original title given the song by the author. Words and phrases which vary from my own are shown in italics. Transpositions of text are indicated below with arrows and demonstrate how differences of text are often extremely minor, a trait of transmission which is demonstrated in further detail in chapter four.

(Version 2) 'The Factory Lad' by Colin Dryden
1st.   
You wake up in the morning, the sky's as black as night,
Your mother's shouting up the stairs, you know she's winning the fight,
You hurry to the breakfast table and grab a bite to eat,
Then out the door and up the road, and through the factory gate.

Chorus:
Turning steel how do you feel, as in the chuck you spin.
If you felt like me you'd roll right out and never roll back in.
2nd.   
Cold and dark the morning as you squeeze in the gate.
As you clock in, the bell will ring - eight hours is your fate.
Off comes the coat and up go the sleeves and "right lads" is the cry.
With one eye on the clock, the other on your lathe, you wish that time could fly.
(Insert chorus)
3rd.   
But time can't fly as fast as a lathe, and work you must - The grinding, groaning spinning metal, the hot air and the dust.
And many's the time I'm with me girl and we're walking through the park,
While gazing down at the spinning steel or the welder's blinding spark.
(Insert chorus)
4th.   
Well, old Tom, he left last week - his final bell did ring.
His hair as white as the face beneath his oily sunken skin.
But he made a speech and he said "good-bye" to a life time working here,
As I shook his hand, I thought of hell - a lathe for forty years.
(Insert chorus)
5th.   
When my time comes, as come it must, why then I'll leave this place.
I'll walk right out past the charge hand's desk and never turn my face.
Out through the gates, into the sun, and I'll leave it all behind,
With but one regret for the lads I've left, to carry on the grind.
(Insert chorus)
(Radic, 1989)

The folk status of 'The Factory Lad' is established because it has been taken up by several people in various regions and performed by them as portraying values that they believe to be true and important. The folk status of the song is not affected by the fact that the author of the song is known to most of the people who sing it, nor that many of these performers may have learnt the song either from a recording of the song or written word.

The following version, taken from the posthumous release of a compact disc featuring the singing of David Alexander, would also be classed as acceptable to those who advocate preserving the author's version and is in fact a version of the song arranged and sung by one such advocate. Compare the variations between the two 'authentic' versions of Dryden's song (above or below).

(Version 3) 'Turning Steel' by Colin Dryden (Adaptations by David Alexander).
1st.   
You wake up in the morning, the morn's as black as night,
Your mother's shouting up the stairs, you know she's winning the fight,
So you then shed out of your bed me' lad for you know it's getting' late,
Then it's down the stair and up the road, and through the factory gate.

Chorus:
Turning steel how do you feel, as in the chuck you spin.
If you felt like me you'd roll right out and never roll back in.
2nd.   
So Cold and dark the morning as you pass the factory gate.
As you clock in, yon bell'll ring - eight hours is your fate.
Off comes the coat, off go the sleeves and "right lads" is the cry.
With one eye on the clock, and t'other on your lathe, you could wish that time would fly.
(Insert chorus)

3rd.   
But time can't fly as fast as the lathe and work you must,
With the groaning, grinding, spinning metal, the hot air and the dust.
And its many's the time I'm with my lass and we're walking through the park,
While gazing on the turning steel or the welder's blinding spark.
(Insert chorus)
4th.   
Well, old Tom, he left last week - his final bell did ring.
His hair as white as the face beneath his oily sunken skin.
But he made a speech and he said "good-bye" to a life time working here,
As I shook his hand, I thought of hell at a lathe for forty years.
(Insert chorus)
5th.   
When my time comes, as come it must,             I'll leave this place.
I'll walk straight out past the charge hand's desk, I'll never turn my face.
Out through the gates, into the sun,             I'll leave it all behind,
          but one regret             the lads I've left, to carry on the grind.
(Insert chorus)
(Alexander, 1997)
The straight arrows above indicate where words were omitted from the verse during the performance of the song compared with other versions. One contextual reason for this, particularly as it appears to be confined to the final verse, could be that Alexander became short of breath by this stage of this particular performance and skipped the words in order to steal extra breath as he was known to do on occasion.

We can assume the altering of existing songs has always been an issue for debate among those who believe they are familiar with an earlier version. Although one sometimes gets the impression the objection to the change is merely to demonstrate the objector's belief that they have a superior knowledge of the song, a conviction gained by their strong familiarity with the first version they came into contact with ¾ often mistakenly referred to as the original.   During previous centuries when long distance travel was slower, more difficult, more dangerous and more usually a one-way permanent trip, that songs would travel and not only change singers but also authorial claimants along the way, with respect for authorship far less policed.

Regardless of which point of view one favours in the above example, a deep feeling for the song is clearly demonstrated and therefore its folk status is established and increased almost as much by the controversy as by the emergence of rogue versions themselves.

Songs with a substantial degree of 'folk status' deserve more kudos than such songs are currently afforded. Songs which command high folk status are less likely to be tainted or continuously encumbered by controls from 'above', or individually motivated political aspirations, either religious or governmental, such as might exist in a published article about an event or circumstance. A group of such songs may be considered more genuine if not accurate at reflecting the attitudes of the common people of an era, region and culture than a lofty offering of prose written by an academic or ecclesiastic residing outside the culture. Such works however can allow perspective when used in conjunction with a group of songs of high folk status.

We may therefore conclude that although all songs have the potential to become folk songs, this potential will remain dormant in many cases, the folk status of others will grow to varying degrees depending on the life they lead, and the songs we generally refer to as excellent specimens, will be those that have found a warm place in the hearts of one group of people or another. It won't matter if we know who the author is, or if it was learnt from a recording or published article any more than a traditional folk song would cease to be so if it were recorded or published.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Aug 13 - 09:17 PM

G'day Gerry (... Joe ..., sundry other singers &/or folklorists) ...

I think the turning of this tale has clearly shown that there is a whole compass card of different directions in which his song has gone over a few decades (- compared to the body of folk song).

I raised my differences from the initial DT version because it seemed to me that many of the changes in the DT version came from either lack of familiarity with the regional accent ... or vernacular vocabulary ... of Colin Dryden ... but, as Gerry's posting shows, many more versions pivot arrange deeper levels of the interpretation of original intent - and the perceptions of communicating to one's presumed, present & local audience.

There is ... clearly ... no such thing as "THE CORRECT VERSION". Perhaps all I can say about the word choices / grammar / chorus frequency - placement / choice of terms / phrases that might be appropriate to working in a factory environment as I have used in my initial posting is that they are ... to me ... true to my recollection of Colin's performance / my experience of working in analogous envirements over my formative years / my personal ( ... or perceived ... ) feeling for when it is or isn't appropriate to sing the chorus - whatever the chorus brigade in front of me reckons!

All I can really say for my original posted version is:

"Transcribed from Bob Bolton's mid 1970s to early 2013 recollections of early 1970s Sydney performances by Colin Dryden ... " and admit that this allows for the possibility that this doesn't definitively derive from how Colin sang HIS song before ... or after that ...time or to different audiences - let alone how other singers of different singing (or working) experience / nationality / ethos / accent or vocabulary / audience perceptions have perceived / recalled / reworked it."

It certainly sounds ... to me ... like the "right way" to sing it - but ...

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Aug 13 - 01:05 AM

...and it certainly was enjoyable to explore this powerful song.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: dbranno
Date: 09 Aug 13 - 10:59 AM

Hello Gerry. A very long time since I saw or heard you. How are those Aussie songs these days?

Re the Graham Dodsworth thesis: he pluralises the objectors to his 'reworking' of Factory Lad, but in essence, the culprit is singularly me myself.
Story: Some years ago I stood at the back of the venue where Graham was introducing his first ever performance of the song: he then forgot the first line (as one does sometimes). I had my mouth open and breath drawn to sing out to him "You wake up in the morning..." when he recalled the line. He then went on to omit the 'old Tom' verse: when I saw him later I mentioned this (sympathetically I thought). His somewhat brusque reply was "I didn't think the song needed it." Later encounters led to more (sometimes heated) discussion - "Colin wasn't god!" "No he wasn't. He wrote the song though!" - sort of thing. After something like three years, Dodsy relented; "I think you might be right Branno."

And then he publishes his excuses! I'm quite angry here and now at the sideways remarks he makes in his paper, even though I've read it previously. Colin would have thumped him! I've managed to avoid the impulse myself, though seeing his argument (and the personal remarks as I take them to be unless he can demonstrate otherwise) brings it back to me.
Hey Graham! (if you're out there) Please either explain or apologise...

To Joe and Bob and others - please excuse the rant, but this goes way back and way deep. I wish Colin had written down or recorded his other songs, the ones he wrote in the kitchen ay Garton St.
I wish the man was still here to state his own views about who does what and with which to his songs. "Ah'm the fookin' best!" and he was, easily, one of the best singers and musicians I've known, heard or played with.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: dbranno
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 11:08 AM

Small amendments section for JoeElf.
Verse 2, line 1, "Sleet and dark..."
         line 4, a northern English "...t'other (pronounced t'oother) on your lathe..."
Verse 3, line 4, "... as a lathe and 40 years."   

"Some of the people in this town, enough to bring a poor boy down.
Never reap, never sow, never take the time to grow."
- and that's all I remember of one of the good handful of songs that Colin wrote in 1972/3.

And as to my last post: more in sorrow than anger.


    I made the changes in my post that you suggested. Thanks. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: GUEST,Dodsworth
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:26 PM

There used to be quite a few conservative folkies about (it wasn't just you, Branno, I'd almost forgotten that). As specified in my thesis, I felt Colin Dryden was one of the best singers, guitarists, voice there was.
When Folksongs get altered, the best bits, the reason we like the song and want to sing it, stay pretty much the same. The essence remains. There's no reason to get too excited about changes (although people do), especially when we have so many examples preserved in print and actual recordings of the author. If we want to speak of definitive versions, or originals etc., then transcripts of Dryden's recordings have to be a starting point.
If people feel they want to tweak the lyrics or tunes to keep the song alive through another era or region, well that's what makes it a folksong. The more versions, the greater the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: dbranno
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 12:56 PM

Graham - I honestly think that's fairly flimsy reasoning given that you've virtually re-written another man's well-known song.
A mutual acquaintance of ours who has in the past claimed a familiarity with pelagic whaling was treated with icy politeness by the author of a modern whaling song he sang one time, in the author's hearing, said singer introducing the song with glaring errors and outright lies. You know who I'm referring to, no doubt?
The great man Hamish Henderson made observations on ownership, along the lines of how much of a compliment it is to a songwriter to realise his song is no longer his own, that it may perhaps becoming a 'folksong'.
This cannot possibly mean that we have license to deliberately reshape another's work to our own ends/tastes. That seems to me unethical.
If you like it, sing it and let it evolve naturally in the (folk?) process. If you don't like it, write a new one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 08 Aug 16 - 06:52 PM

An absolutely fascinating thread, which I've only just discovered after singing the song for a few years!
Particularly interesting to hear Colin himself singing the song (even if it's cut off abruptly midway through the final verse - I wonder, does the complete recording still exist somewhere?).
Can anyone supply a date (even approximate) for the song's composition please?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 08 Aug 16 - 11:06 PM

One odd thing about this song – exactly halfway through, it switches from second person to first. It's all "you" and "your" through the first half of the verse 3 (in Joe's transcription from the Dryden recording), then it's all "I" from the second half of verse 3 to the end.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 09 Aug 16 - 06:59 AM

Answering my last question, the biog articles lead me to surmise it was written some time in (late?) 1969.
Thanks for the latest observation Gerry (are you Gerry Hallom?) - that's a good point. I think the shift comes when the memories become directly personal rather than being generic or common to every worker.
The other issue raised earlier about omitting the chorus between verses 2 and 3 is a peculiar one, especially since Colin does not do so in his own performance, and it doesn't feel right to omit it there.
I also found some unusual phrasing in Colin's own rendition, but by and large I was gratified to discover that I stick very closely to his original words with just a couple of small variations that hadn't previously occurred to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 09 Aug 16 - 01:54 PM

We perhaps need to bear in mind the song transmission process in the pre-digital era. We all sat there in folk clubs, festival concerts and singarounds, often in venues with lousy acoustics and high background noise levels, clutching our cassette recorders and recording everything that was offered. Afterwards we tried to decipher what we'd recorded and, because many singers had either enunciation problems, strong accents and dialects- or all three(!)- we inevitably had to guess some parts of the lyrics. And of course, despite all the special record labels like Leader, Topic, Fellside, Tradition etc.etc not everyone who deserved it got a chance to record at that time.

I've experienced this transmision process with one of my songs. I'd made a songsheet of it and flogged a few at 5p a throw. Years later it came to my ears that someone was asking for the words to this song because he'd taped a group singing it in the Sidmouth beach store and couldn't decipher all of it. I'd never heard of the group! Eventually a link to a beachstore recording of the group came my way and it was clear that arranging the song for the concert must have been a rush job because the singer was blatantly faking the lyrics in places!

As far as The Factory Lad goes, I've learnt it from Pete Coe, who in turn learnt it from Mick Bramich, and there are one or two differences to the lyrics given above. Unfortunately since my stereo is playing up I can't check what Pete sings but the main difference seem to be:

v1 (line 3): So you'd best get out of your bed, my boy........

v2: So dark and drear the morning as you slip through the gate......
    .........
    Off comes your coat, it's damp and cold......

v3: Now the Gaffer's walking down the shop......
    .........
    But often I'm dreaming of my girl........

v4: For old Tom Brown last Friday, his final bell did ring...
    .........
    He made a speech and he got paid off from a lifetime working here
    And as I shook his hand I felt I'd laboured forty years.

v5: And when at last the time it comes for me to leave this place
    I'll walk right out past the chargehands desk, I'll never turn my face
    Out of the darkness, into the sun, and I'll leave it all behind
    With one regret, for the mates I've left who must carry on the grind


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 09 Aug 16 - 08:23 PM

MoorleyMan, no, I'm not Gerry Hallom, nor do I play him on TV.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: (Corrected?) Factory Lad (Colin Dryden)
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 10 Aug 16 - 03:56 AM

I've just found a crumpled piece of paper with my transcription of the lyrics as Pete Coe sings them:-

When you wake up in the morning, the dawn's as black as night
And your mother's shouting up the stairs and you know she's winning the fight
So you'd best venture out of your bed, my lad, for you know it's getting late
Then it's down the stairs and up the road and through the factory gate
CH:

So dark and drear the morning as yousqueeze through the gate
And as you clock on the bell will ring, 8 hours is your fate
Off comes your coat all damp and cold and it's "Right lads" is the cry
With one eye on the clock and the other on your lathe, how you wish the hours would fly

Now the gaffer's walking down the shop and so it's work you must
With the grinding, groaning, spinning metal, the hot air and the dust
And it's often I'm dreaming of my girl as we're walking through the park
As I'm gazing on that turning steel and a million flying sparks.

Now old Tom Black last Friday, his final bell did ring
With his hair as white as the face beneath, and his sunken ,oily skin
Well, he made a speech and he got paid off for a lifetime working here
And as I shook his hand I felt I'd laboured 40 years

And when the time it comes for me to leave this place
I'll walk outside past the chargehand's desk and I'll never turn my face
Out of the the gates into the sun, and I'll leave them all behind
With one regrets for the mates I've left to carry on the grind.

'Tom Brown' must have been a temporary blackout on my side sometime in the past.

It occurs to me that almost all of this thread has been about the lyrics Colin Dryden sang down under. However, he wrote the song in the UK and it wouldn't surprise me if, after he emigrated, he changed parts of the lyrics to suit his new life - working conditions, language etc. down under. After all, whilst those of us who grew up in towns like Sheffield in the 1960s know about mornings being 'dark and drear', that's almost certainly an totally alien concept for people in sunny Sydney! Looked at this way, the version Pete Coe sings has possibly the original, pre-emigration lyrics.


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