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Sam Hall - 'one ball'?

Phil Edwards 04 Sep 13 - 07:55 AM
Bert 04 Sep 13 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 04 Sep 13 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Lighter 04 Sep 13 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Lighter 04 Sep 13 - 03:19 PM
Acorn4 04 Sep 13 - 04:27 PM
Vic Smith 04 Sep 13 - 05:27 PM
Bert 04 Sep 13 - 07:10 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Sep 13 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 05 Sep 13 - 05:46 AM
Will Fly 06 Sep 13 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 06 Sep 13 - 07:35 AM
Will Fly 06 Sep 13 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 06 Sep 13 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 06 Sep 13 - 05:02 PM
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Subject: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 04 Sep 13 - 07:55 AM

John Brophy and Eric Partridge's _The Long Trail: Soldiers' Songs and Slang, 1914 to 1918_ includes this song:

The squire had a daughter, so fair and so tall,
She lived in her satins and silks at the hall,
But she married a man who had no balls at all.
No balls at all,
No balls at all,
She married a man who had no balls at all.

The editors say:
"Almost certainly a pre-War folk-song turned to Army use and profit. The verse tune is faintly reminiscent of Bonnie Dundee. It may be related to, or derived from, an old civilian song about Sammy Hall who 'only had one ball' ... Originally it was a scoundrel's funeral oration, Sam Hall, or The Body Snatcher, but its military popularity caused it often to be known as Captain Hall. Each verse ended with

Damn your eyes, blast your soul,
Damn your eyes."

Well now. I know "Sam Hall", and I know about the verses ending with "Damn your eyes" (never heard "Blast your soul"), but the rest of this is a complete mystery. Can anyone shed any more light on:

- the alternative title "The Body Snatcher"
- the alternative title "Captain Hall"

and, most of all
- "Sammy Hall who 'only had one ball'"

Is it the same song as "Sam Hall"/"Lank Hall" etc? A totally different song? A wild mutation?

(We know about Hitler's proverbial under-endowment. It can't be relevant to what they were singing at this period, though.)


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: Bert
Date: 04 Sep 13 - 11:50 AM

Nobby Hall


D                         G                D
His name was Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall
                               A7
His name was Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall

His name was Nobby Hall and he only had one – arm

His name was Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall

They say he killed his wife, killed his wife, killed his wife
They say he killed his wife, killed his wife
They say he killed his wife, but it wasn't with a knife
They say he killed his wife, killed his wife

They sent him to the quad, to the quad, to the quad
They sent him to the quad, to the quad
They sent him to the quad 'cos he was a wicked - man
They sent him to the quad, to the quad

The judge's name was Hunt, name was Hunt, name was Hunt
The judge's name was Hunt, name was Hunt
The judge's name was Hunt and he was a silly - fool
The judge's name was Hunt, name was Hunt

The jailer's name was Jock, name was Jock, name was Jock
The jailer's name was Jock, name was Jock
The jailer's name was Jock and his keys hung from his - belt
The jailer's name was Jock, name was Jock

The parson came at last, came at last, came at last
The parson came at last, came at last
The parson came at last, with his prayer book up his - sleeve
The parson came at last, came at last,

So they hung poor Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall
they hung poor Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall
they hung poor Nobby Hall, by his one remaining - arm
they hung poor Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 04 Sep 13 - 12:21 PM

The song to which you refer I believe is called No Balls At All.
The chorus is as you state
             'No Balls At all
               No Balls At All
               She Married A Man
               That Had No Balls At All'

I don't have time at present but believe I have it down somewhere.

Sam Hall, Samuel Hall, Nobby Hall all originate from My Name Is Samuel Hall Chimney Sweep a common song at smokers and early music hall.
Ronny Drew recorded it Spike Milligan performed it on TV and I am sure many others know one or more versions. Ilerned Nobby Hall at school.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 04 Sep 13 - 01:00 PM

Mudcat went offline in the middle of my post, so once again a page of valuable information must be reduced to a few lines.

The version of "Sam Hall" you speak of is, in principle, the common "Damn your eyes!" version with colorful alterations.

One way of beginning is:

Oh, my name is Sammy Hall, Sammy Hall.
Oh, my name is Sammy Hall
And I've only got one ball,
But it's better than fuck-all.
God damn your eyes!

Or you could sing "Captain Hall" or "none at all." Like anyone cares.

Now my question.

In his collection of sea shanties, Stan Hugill gave a censored two-stanza version in which, he said, stanza two concerned "amorous adventures" with "fancy women." His editors made him rewrite it because it was "unprintable" in 1961.

So here's what they did print:

Oh, me name is Bully Bose, Bully Bose,
Oh, me name is Bully Bose,
And me gal is Sarah Rose,
She's got jiggers in her toes.
Damn her eyes!

I can't imagine what Hugill actually heard. Can anyone? (I suppose "Billy Bunt" or "Deadeye Dick" would have been more promising heroes.)

("No Balls at All," of course, is an entirely different song.)


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 04 Sep 13 - 03:19 PM

BTW, who is "Lank Hall"? Different lyrics yet again?


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: Acorn4
Date: 04 Sep 13 - 04:27 PM

Extra verse to Bert's posting that we used to sing on the back seat of the bus:-

The jury were all crackers, were all crackers,
The jury were all crackers, were all crackers,
The jury were all crackers, they said 'hang 'im by his - neck"
And the other one's hangin' on the wall.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 04 Sep 13 - 05:27 PM

From just after the last General Election:-

Oh, me name it is Nick Clegg, it is Nick Clegg
Oh, me name it is Nick Clegg, it is Nick Clegg
Oh, me name it is Nick Clegg, and I've only got one – party
Me name it is Nick Clegg, it is Nick Clegg

But the party made me leader, made me leader,
Oh, the party made me leader, made me leader
The party made me leader though I'm such a useless – politician
The party made me leader, made me leader.

Then the voting time came round, it came round,
The voting time came round, it came round,
The voting time came round, to get rid of Gordon - Ramsey
The voting time came round, it came round.

But no party was in front, was in front.
But no party was in front, was in front.
No party was in front, so I joined another – party leader
No party was in front, was in front.

Then we started making cuts, making cuts
We started making cuts, making cuts
We started making cuts, kicked the poor folk in the – essential services
We started making cuts, making cuts.

When it's polling time again, time again
When it's polling time again, time again
When it's polling time again, watch my party down - at the bottom of the popular vote,
When it's polling time again, time again


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: Bert
Date: 04 Sep 13 - 07:10 PM

I learned it at school as well Hoot. Makes you wonder the kind of schools we went to.

Thanks for that extra verse Acorn4. I'll use that.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Sep 13 - 07:25 PM

"No Balls at All" (in the DT, by the way) bears no relation to Sam Hall

The two classic "one ball" songs are "Hitler (has only got one ball)
and "One ball Reilly" (a bowdlerized version of which appears on the DT as Reilly's Daughter.)


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 05 Sep 13 - 05:46 AM

I too got interrupted in the middle of replying to the original post.

The song No Balls At All is available in the book Bawdy Ballads compiled by Ed Cray and published by Anthony Blond 1970. It is not related to Samuel Hall. A young lady marries and discovers that her spouse has no balls at all. By co-incidence her mother had had the same problem with her marriage. Daughter seeks mother's advice which is that there are numerous young men willing and able to fill the gap so to speak. Problem solved.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Sep 13 - 04:44 AM

Sam Hall was also performed memorably by Peter Sellers as one of the turns in "The Good Old Days". I can't recall Spike M doing it, but I might well be wrong. Hoot, was it the Sellers version you were thinking of perchance?


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 06 Sep 13 - 07:35 AM

Will, the Spike Milligan version I remember seeing was performed at Wilton's Music hall down in Wellclose Square, Stepney. One of, if not the oldest of music halls still in existence although I am not sure how often it gets used currently.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Sep 13 - 08:02 AM

Ah - so they both performed it.

Lucky you to see a performance at Wilton's! I've only ever seen the inside shown on TV.


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 06 Sep 13 - 05:01 PM

Sorry Will, I should have made it clearer. It was on TV that I saw Milligan.

I was fortunate enough to see him live on several occasions two of which were in the televison studios when he had a series which featured well know poets along with some good music. I was there with who was supplying some of themusic Steve Benbow.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Sam Hall - 'one ball'?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 06 Sep 13 - 05:02 PM

Sorry for the balls up at the end. Steve was one of the acts on the show and I was there with him but not playing.

Hoot


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