Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???

DigiTrad:
WHY PADDY'S NOT AT WORK TODAY (Excuse Note)


Related threads:
Sick note / Paddy's not at work today (38)
the sick note (11)
The Bricklayer's Lament (The Sick Note)-on BBC (7)
(origins) Origins: the sick note/ murphy and the bricks (103)
Lyr Req: Fränkische Krankmeldung (The Sick Note) (6)
Review: The Sick Note, Bricklayers Song, et al, (24)
Lyr Req: Bricklayer's Lament (12)
(origins) Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today (46)
Lyr Req: The Barrel (Sick Note) - discography (36)
Lyr Req: The Sick Note (15)
(origins) Origins: The Sick Note Song (9)
Bricklayer's Song, The (29)
Folklore: Murphy and the Bricks by Noel Murphy. (9) (closed)
happy? – Dec 4 (The Bricklayer) (5)
Lyr Req: Dear Boss (Clancy Brothers) (8) (closed)
Sick Note/Bricklayer/ Proved!! (76)
Story behind 'Paddies Bricks' (4) (closed)
(origins) Lyr Req: Sicknote (23)
The Sick Note (11)
Lyr Req: Bricklayer's lament? / The Sick Note (6)
Help: The Sick Note (7)
Lyr Req: Why Paddy's Not at Work Today (Cooksey) (5)
Lyr Add: The Sick Note (9)
Noel Murpheys Murphys Bricks (3)
Lyr Req: Sick Note / Why Paddy's Not at Work Today (8)
Why Paddy's not at work today. (1)
Bricklayer/Sicknote song (3)
The Bricklayer's Song (26) (closed)
(origins) Lyr Req: The Bricklayer's Lament (33)


AKS 22 Nov 99 - 08:21 AM
katlaughing 22 Nov 99 - 08:28 AM
paddymac 22 Nov 99 - 08:29 AM
jeffp 22 Nov 99 - 08:31 AM
Bill in Alabama 22 Nov 99 - 08:43 AM
a13pearl@aol.com 22 Nov 99 - 10:48 AM
sophocleese 22 Nov 99 - 11:01 AM
Bugsy 22 Nov 99 - 07:13 PM
Susanne (skw) 22 Nov 99 - 07:26 PM
Jon Freeman 22 Nov 99 - 07:29 PM
stoddard19@aol.com 22 Nov 99 - 07:51 PM
stoddard19@aol.com 22 Nov 99 - 07:53 PM
Eric the Viking 23 Nov 99 - 01:49 PM
23 Nov 99 - 05:12 PM
Bill D 23 Nov 99 - 07:56 PM
AKS 24 Nov 99 - 04:28 AM
Roger the skiffler 24 Nov 99 - 04:54 AM
AndyG 24 Nov 99 - 09:47 AM
NSC 24 Nov 99 - 12:20 PM
Susanne (skw) 24 Nov 99 - 06:51 PM
NSC 26 Nov 99 - 09:41 AM
Susanne (skw) 26 Nov 99 - 04:54 PM
Abby Sale 27 Nov 99 - 11:15 AM
AKS 07 Oct 03 - 08:19 AM
John MacKenzie 07 Oct 03 - 09:01 AM
Dave Bryant 07 Oct 03 - 12:37 PM
Don Firth 07 Oct 03 - 01:55 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: AKS
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 08:21 AM

Sean Cannon of the Dubliners says about 'The Sick Note' (in the DT I think it's under title 'Excuse Note' by Pat Cooksey) that "it was written eight or nine years ago by a friend of mine". Does anybody have an idea when that 8/9 y's is?

You see, I met that very same story - tune being something completely different - about the poor labourer between heaven and hell nearly 40 years ago in a songbook representing lyrics by a Finnish songwriter (quite popular at that time and still, though dead since 1965).

My second and third questions are: what is the real age and perhaps location of origins of the piece of joking tale (as I presume it is) here? Any suggestions? (My guess would be some building site in the last century US.)

AKS Joensuu, Finland


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 08:28 AM

In my 1989, 1992 version of "Rise Up Singing" it is attributed to Pat Cooksey and says the melody is trad. Also says is is published world-wide by Celtic Music. It also notes it was published in Sing Out 30-3, the Furey's Songbook, and was on one of their albums, as well as the Dubliners' 25th anniversary album.

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: paddymac
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 08:29 AM

AKS - Thanks for starting what I hope will be a productive thread. In addition to the Dubliners, the Scottish group "The Corries" recorded this song, but with an additional verse. I do it often, and always get a good response from the audience. I have no idea who wrote it, but believe it is so well received because most anyone who has ever earned a paycheck by the sweat of their brow can identify with it. The melody used is basically that of "In The Garden Where The Praties Grow", though I have heard it done to other tunes as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: jeffp
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 08:31 AM

It's on Robbie O'Connell's "Humorous Songs" album with the title of "Dear Boss" and attributed to Pat Cooksey, Celtic Music PRS/MCPS.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 08:43 AM

An Englishman whom I met after a performance told me that a British comedian had enjoyed great success with this as a spoken piece in music halls during the '30's or '40's. Within the past twelve months, I have heard Garrison Keillor use a Minnesota-flavored version in his 'News from Lake Woebegone'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: a13pearl@aol.com
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 10:48 AM

10TH verse IN 1800 AND FORTY TEN IF YOU LIKE MY SONG I'LL SING IT AGAIN, IF YOU LIKE MY SONG I'LL SING IT AGAIN, WORKIN ON THE RAILWAY.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: sophocleese
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 11:01 AM

Gerard Hoffnung used the story and read out the letter in a peformances in the early 50's. I first heard it as a letter not a song on a record of his years ago.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Bugsy
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 07:13 PM

I always thought it was Gerard Hoffnung too.

After hearing his version of the letter, the numerous versions of the song all seem rather lame.

Cheers

Bugsy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 07:26 PM

There was an earlier thread on it:

http://www.mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=62642

(Cut and paste please! Every time I find I need blue clicky things I've forgotten where I parked the prototype so thoughtfully provided by Joe Offer. Sorry ...)

AKS, Sean Cannon's words are from the notes of their 1987 album, I think. That would date it to c. 1978. I have five different versions of it, the earliest one by Seamus Creagh in 1977, the best one IMHO by Noel Murphy in 1979. - Susanne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 07:29 PM

I'm another who believes that Gerad Hoffnung worte it - I thought it stareted as an after dinner speach.

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: stoddard19@aol.com
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 07:51 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: stoddard19@aol.com
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 07:53 PM

The song you are referring to is actually an old poem put to music. The title of the poem is BRICKS.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 01:49 PM

Also known as Murphy and the bricks, excellently performed by Noel Murphy copyright to BMG music ltd. I have no idea of the origional author but there have been quite a few versions over the years. An Irish comedian used to tell it many years ago. Noel Muprhy's version can be found on; noel Murphy and the mahogany gaspies in a "session". Fine Hairy records. "The bricks" Cove Road. Mullion. Cornwall. UK TR12 7DQ Cheers. Eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From:
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 05:12 PM

Eric
Gas pies is that an up country name for Cornish Pasties?
Noel will love that I'll show him in the morning he lives round the corner to me.
Rergards Baz


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 07:56 PM

I saw it published in a magazine..(like Readers Digest?) saying it 'had happened' to an apple farmer in Nova Scotia...and involved apples...

This one is worse than the alligators in the sewer story, or the Jeeps packed in cosmoline rip-off...or the iron lungs for cigarette packs tale....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: AKS
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 04:28 AM

I did some background digging and found out that the songbook I was referring to in my question, was printed in 1948. So, at least the plot of the story has been known - to some extent globally - by then.

AKS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Roger the skiffler
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 04:54 AM

Gerard Hoffnung was, of course, primarily a (classical) musician, as well as an artist and humourist. So it is entirely possible that his famous Oxford Union speech recorded in the late '50s or early '60s, that we old UK farts fondly remember ["Half way down he met the barrel coming up..."], was based on an earlier song he came across. There has been an earlier thread on this that I haven't had time to check on.
RtS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: AndyG
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 09:47 AM

Here's an updated (ie working) link to The Sick Note, as the URL has changed since I posted it in the earlier thread.

AndyG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: NSC
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 12:20 PM

Pat Cooksey wrote this song, based on the lecture given by Gerard Hoffnung in 1969.

Pat actually wrote it for Sean Cannon before he joined the Dubliners and the first performance was intended to be in Birmingham folk club. On the night in question the Americans decided to land on the moon and the only people present at the club were Pat Cooksey and Sean Cannon.

This story is directly from the lips of Pat Cooksey who is currently enjoying huge success in Germany.

He advises that this song is his pension scheme as he is regualarly enjoying royalty cheques.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 06:51 PM

NSC - where in Germany? I'm quite familiar with the scene but I haven't heard about any Pat Cooksey appearances. Would like to know. - Thanks, Susanne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: NSC
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 09:41 AM

I ama not sure but he appeared with The Dubliners when they were their earlier this year.

He has released a CD over there but we donn't correspond very much.

He normally makes contact through the Ennis Singers Club of which he was a founder member.

He left Ennis for Germany about 2 years ago.

Sorry I can't help more.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 04:54 PM

All news to me - thank you very much! - Susanne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Abby Sale
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 11:15 AM

Some notes by Sam Hinton, posted Dec 1997.

By the time Gerard Hoffnung read his incomparably funny "sick letter", [to The Oxford Union Society on 4th Dec 1958 - ajs] the story was well-established as a sort of urban legend. It was generally cited as an actual letter that had been received by some government agency, and I remember reading it somewhere around 1937. In 1940 it appeared in READER'S DIGEST as an actual letter supposed to have been received by a naval officer from an enlisted man who was explaining why he had overstayed his leave;. this story had the victim working on a silo on his parents' farm. Some of the versions have the victim asking for compensation for 6 accidents--1. Striking the barrel as it descended and the bricklayer ascended; 2. Hitting the pulley wheel; 3. Hitting the barrel again on the way down; 4. Falling onto the broken bricks; 5. Hit by bricks falling from the barrel when its bottom burst against the pulley wheel; and 6. Hit by the free-falling barrel. In any event, the story itself originated with neither Gerard Hoffnung nor Pat Cooksey, but both deserve a tremendous amount of credit for putting it into succinct form. The Cooksey version, by the way, is sung to a traditional Irish tune, "In the Garden Where the Praties Grow". Hoffnung's delivery, pretending that this was a letter received by the national health service, is a magnificent example of perfect timing, and I practically roll on the floor every time I play my tape of it. In my own concerts, the Cooksey version is one of my most-requested numbers. Sam Hinton La Jolla, CA

===

I favor the song as a deep challenger for "the most-titled song in folkdom" (that is, having essentially only one main version.) I know of: The Sick Letter; The Barrel Song; The Sick Note; Why Paddy's Not at Work Today; Why Yassir's Not at Work Today; The Excuse Note; Paddy's Excuse; A letter from a bricklayer in Golders Green to the firm for whom he worked; Bricklayer's Accident Report.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: AKS
Date: 07 Oct 03 - 08:19 AM

I'll refresh this one hoping that someone might remember (or succeed to dig out) something new on the matter. It seems to be up again, you see ... :-)

AKS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Oct 03 - 09:01 AM

Baz no link for a PM came up on your post, so a short message follows.
Next time you see Murph tell him that Jock MacKenzie sends regards from Scotland, and the same goes for Sue and Siobhan.

Cheers......Giok


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 07 Oct 03 - 12:37 PM

I'm glad that Abby corrected NSC's date for Gerard Hoffnung's Oxford Union speech as he sadly died in 1959 as the age of only 34. For anyone who has never heard of Hoffnung try this site to learn more about this remarkable man.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Paddy's Excuse Note; who when wh???
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Oct 03 - 01:55 PM

Abby Sales' post of Sam Hinton's comments sound pretty accurate as far as they go. The story of the multiple encounters with a barrel of bricks has been around for a very long time, and I suspect it may have been old when the pyramids were being built.

I first encountered it in 1950 when an organization I belonged to put on a group of skits. This scenario was one of them. I played the part of the unfortunate victim of his own lack of foresight. The scene was a courtroom and I was suing the contractor for getting me into the situation in the first place. They wrapped my up like a mummy and carried me in on a stretcher, and I delivered my lines while lying on my back on the floor. I got most of the laughs as I described the sequence of events as they got worse and worse.

A friend of mine named Ansel Butterfield found the skit and put it together. He got it from a book entitled The Desert Island Decameron, published 1945, a collection of funny stories (short pieces by Ring Lardner, Mark Twain, etc.), humorous monologs, gags, that sort of thing, compiled by H. Allen Smith. Marvelous book. (In fact, this thread prompted me to look it up on bookfinders.com, and it seems there are plenty of used copies around. I ordered one.) The book said it was a script from the old Fred Allen Show that ran on the radio during the Thirties and Forties (background of the Fred Allen Show and a typical "Allen's Alley" script). And I'm pretty sure that Fred Allen got it from a prior source.

The first time I heard it as a song (to the tune of I Met Her in the Garden Where the Praties Grow) was in the late Seventies at one of the many parties that accompanied the Northwest Folklife Festival. One of the singers from Vancouver, B.C. sang it. Once I heard it sung, it was obvious that it was great song material. I promptly learned it.

I wonder if anyone can trace it back to a source before the Fred Allen Show.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 27 November 10:02 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.