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Jokes turned into songs...

lamarca 23 Nov 99 - 04:27 PM
dick greenhaus 23 Nov 99 - 04:29 PM
Liz the Squeak 23 Nov 99 - 04:39 PM
MMario 23 Nov 99 - 04:47 PM
MMario 23 Nov 99 - 04:55 PM
A. Non 23 Nov 99 - 04:58 PM
Art Thieme 23 Nov 99 - 05:49 PM
Susanne (skw) 23 Nov 99 - 07:19 PM
Melbert 23 Nov 99 - 07:58 PM
Melbert 23 Nov 99 - 08:03 PM
ddw 23 Nov 99 - 08:52 PM
MAG (inactive) 23 Nov 99 - 09:23 PM
Bruce O. 23 Nov 99 - 10:03 PM
Sandy Paton 23 Nov 99 - 11:06 PM
Bruce O. 23 Nov 99 - 11:09 PM
Sandy Paton 23 Nov 99 - 11:43 PM
Bruce O. 23 Nov 99 - 11:51 PM
annamill 23 Nov 99 - 11:53 PM
Sandy Paton 24 Nov 99 - 03:34 AM
Bruce O. 24 Nov 99 - 03:57 AM
DonMeixner 24 Nov 99 - 08:19 AM
Jack (who is called Jack) 24 Nov 99 - 12:24 PM
Bruce O. 24 Nov 99 - 02:30 PM
lamarca 24 Nov 99 - 05:33 PM
Art Thieme 25 Nov 99 - 08:48 AM
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Subject: Jokes turned into songs...
From: lamarca
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:27 PM

Click for the 'PermaThread™: List of all joke threads'


Seeing yet another thread on "Why Paddy's Not at Work Today" (under all its various names), I started thinking of other jokes or comedy routines that have been turned into songs. Of course, there's the classic "Arkansas Traveller" stringing together of one-liners, but I thought we could have fun listing songs that started out as old (or new) jokes.

One classic is Mike Cross' song, The Scotsman's Kilt

And John McCutcheon and friends put an old urban legend to music in The $65 Sportscar

I've recently heard this classic re-told about Bill Clinton and a nubile young lady...The Vicar and the Frog

Then there's Matt McGinn's setting of the old tale of the defeat of Rome by the canny Scot, Grigaloo

I've heard Ed Miller sing a song version about the old lady, the genie, and her beloved cat, the punch line of which is "Boy are YOU going to be sorry you took me to the vet..." - doesn't seem to be in the DT, and I haven't got the words or the tune.

Any others that folks like? Enter them in if you know them and the DT doesn't have them yet!


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:29 PM

As long as you're not discussing how some performers turn songs into jokes...


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:39 PM

Martin Carthy does a good one about a lady who is abused by her drunken husband, until finally she snaps, and sews him into the bed. He wakes up thinking he has been paralysed, and then proceeds to get soundly whupped by the wife with a frying pan. Can't remember it all, just like Martin when he did it at Towersey 3 years ago....

LTS

A STITCH IN TIME

link added by a Joe clone


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:47 PM

the joke about the old lady and her cat is "The dundee Cat" - see here for old thread with lyrics and tune


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: MMario
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:55 PM

ANGUS AND THE KILT (Wench Works)

VIRTUE - Brian Leo

Drunken Suitor

THE CRAYFISH

Lady Beverly


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: A. Non
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:58 PM

An example is given and many others cited from 'The Greater Book of the Bawdy Celts' in the article available in the thread BS: Galore of Celtica. Non-Celtic is "The Dumb Maid", or "Dumb, Dumb, Dumb". We have also "The Burning of Old Simon", (Widow of Ephesus modernized) "The Devil and the Farmer's Wife", "The Friar in the Well", "The Wee Cooper of Fife" (Wife wrapt in Morrel's Skin), "The Boy and the Mantle", and on and on.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 05:49 PM

I heard a joke about a guy who took his shoes in to be repaired---came back 10 years later after finding the claim ticket. He was told that the shoes wouldn't be ready until next Thursday.

I took this basic joke, made a broken token song out of it and Emily Friedman named it "THAT'S THE TICKET" even though she says she didn't. I gave it to her to print in Come For To Sing Magazine with no title 'cause I'd never named it. When the magazine was issued, the song was printed under this title. No matter, as I've said, it's a stupid little hairball of a song. I think it's in the DB.

Art


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WIDOW AND THE FAIRY (Fred Wedlock)^^
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 07:19 PM

This comes from The Corries' 'The Dawning of the Day' album (1982) - 'The Widow and the Fairy', credited to Fred Wedlock.

In a crumbling ruined hole condemned for years
There lived a woman, such a kind old dear
For forty years in a basement flat
No friend had she but her old tomcat.

One Christmas Eve she sat cold and glum
When a blinding flash lit up her lonely slum
And there stood a fairy saying, Have no fear
To grant three wishes they have sent me here.

With trembling hands she held forth her purse
A widow's pension don't go far, of course
The fairy waved her wand around
And on the floor lay ten thousand pounds.

A gorgeous figure and a face divine
Oh all my life have I wished them mine
Hold tight, said the fairy, And I'll have a go
And made her look like Brigitte Bardot.

This gorgeous figure, in the chair she sat
When she chanced to spy her old tomcat
He's my only friend, so if you can
Make him my handsome young fancyman.

This handsome youth to the girl drew near
And whispered softly all in her ear
Oh the night is young - but you'll regret
The day you took me to see the vet.

Remarkably close to 'The Dundee Cat' mentioned above, isn't it? And not the only example I've heard of Fred Wedlock managing to write a song very close to what someone else had written (but neglected to copyright) before him.

About 'The $65 Sportscar': I've heard it credited to Charlie King. Help, someone, please?

And Liz, the song you are thinking of is 'A Stitch In Time' by Mike Waterson, who indeed wrote it after reading about it in a Hull newspaper. I think it was posted to a thread some months ago, maybe last year.

Two more examples of jokes turnd into songs are the one about the man who drinks his whole collection of miniature whisky bottles (from the Hamish Imlach thread) and 'Paddy and the Bricks', also discussed in a recent and a less recent thread. - Susanne


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RABBI AND THE PRIEST(?)^^
From: Melbert
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 07:58 PM

I got these lyrics from an old Paddy Roberts album, though I usually use the same tune as "the sick note".
You've heard about the rabbi and the Irish priest
who in things ecclesiastic were opposed to say the least.
They found themselves together at the closing of the day
and got in conversation in a friendly sort of way.

Good rabbi said the padre 'tis inquisitive I am
have you never had a sample of the bacon or the ham?
for I'm prepared to wager that from Tel Aviv to Cork
there's nothing like the flavour of a side of pickled pork.

The rabbi looked around him and he murmured soft and low
He said I will confess to you that many years ago
I had a slice of bacon, though I knew I never should.
Confidentially, the rabbis said, it tasted pretty good.

An now that I have satisfied your curiosity
I wonder, said the rabbi, would you do the same for me?
For though I know, the rabbi said, that you may never wed
Have you never known the sweetness of a woman in your bed?

The old priest whispered softly and he said I'll tell the truth.
It happened many years ago when I was but a youth.
Her hair was black, her lips were red, her eyes were starry bright
and 'twas she said he who led me to the devil for the night.

The rabbi smiled a little smile and slowly winked his eye
he said I'll keep your secret and on that you can rely.
There's just one thing I'd like to say before we end our talk.
You must admit it's nicer than a slice of pickled pork!

(well----- I thought it was funny, anyway!)


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Melbert
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 08:03 PM

On reflection, and having now considered the prospect of another night with my missus, I might just give my vote to the pork!


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: ddw
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 08:52 PM

Joel Mabus does a great song on his Short Stories CD called THE PREACHER AND THE FLOOD that I heard as a joke about 35 years ago. But Mabus's version still makes me laugh.

david


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 09:23 PM

Here's mine, for what it's worth: (no tomatos, please)

There's a bike in the middle of the room

There's a bike in the middle of the room

There's a bike, there's a bike, there's a bike inthe middle of the room

There's a shed for the bike, in the middle of the room,

Therea shed for the bike in the middle of the room, ...

Busted door on the shed for the bike in the middle ...

Leaves blocking busted door on the shed for the bike ...

Shredder's plugged for the leaves blocking door on ...

My song is ended, and I think that's good ...


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 10:03 PM

About half a dozen songs labeled 'Folktale' are in the Scarce Songs 1 file on my website. Some have the reference numbers of the Arne-Thompson 'Types of the Folktale' attached (This I have). However, Arne-Thompson steered as clear as possible from the bawdy ones, ignoring those most likely to be found in folksong and ballad versions. G. Legman in 'The Hornbook' noted that Ernest Baughman had prepared an index of English and German jestbooks as part of a Ph.D thesis, at that time unpublished. Does anyone know if that's been published, or if it's included in Baughman's 'Type and Motif-Index of the Folktales of England and America' (which I don't have)?


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 11:06 PM

What about a song turned into a joke (Greenhaus' comment, above, aside)? Bruce Phillips (U. Utah, Golden Voice of the Great Southwest) heard the song "MOOSE TURD PIE" -- the same one that Kendall Morse recorded for us on his Seagulls and Summer People album/cassette -- and, not knowing the song, turned it into the joke he made into a national catch-phrase.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 11:09 PM

That 'Motif-Index' bit in Baughman's title rather scared me off his published book, which may actually be quite worthwhile. That motif business is sometimes nothing but a long list of euphemisms, e.g.:

Penis: pin, needle, pen, knife, dagger, rapier, sword, spear, lance, arrow, bow, canon, gun, rifle, bayonet, poker, and other tools of various types, etc.
Vagina; her black; black joke; ink well, 'xyz' hole; quiver, sheath, scabbard, purse, pin cushion, fiddle, portal, gates, fortress, keep (as opposed to breastworks), powder room, etc.

The chapter 'Toward a Motif-Index of Erotic Humour' in Legman's 'The Hornbook' provides several example of joke/song versions.
He noted there that Arne-Thompson assigned numbers X700-799 the title "Humour Concerning Sex", but left it blank.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 11:43 PM

Bruce: Did you find out whether or not Baughman's work was published? No response from Bookfinder, but it might have been titled in a less-academic manner for popular consumption. It's not listed in the bibliography of Blow the Candles Out, which is probably Legman's most recent and most complete list of published sources. I don't have his two Limerick books up here (and I'm too lazy to go down and look), but I assume you've already looked there.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 11:51 PM

Sandy, the one by Baughman whose one whose title I quoted was taken from the bibliography of Randolph's 'Pissing in the Snow'. I tried www.booksfinder.com and found only a different work that Baughman had collaborated on, but not, as best as I could judge, related to our topic here.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: annamill
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 11:53 PM

Hey, what happened to my posting here?? Did my mentioning Reader's Digest cause a problem? I read that story about the $65 dollor sports car years ago there. Only it was $50 dollars. Hey!!!

L,A.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 03:34 AM

Inflation, AnnP! As the old story said "Now we're just dickering over the price!"

I'm gonna have to do more looking, Bruce. I have the Randolph book, which I will use to make sure my search is based on the right spelling of everything. I checked Bookfinder, too; now I'll try half a dozen other sites. That's my favorite recreation, since I got old and fat.

Sandy


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FRIAR AND THE NUN^^
From: Bruce O.
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 03:57 AM

Jokes/tale to song - oldies. ZN numbers locate the songs in the broadside ballad index on my website.

A. C. Mery Talys, 1526 = ACMT
Rowland's Godson (mistress and apprentice convince foolish husband he didn't seen them in bed) ACMT #3 and Heptameron; ZN2546
Of the maid washing clothes and answered the friar, ACMT #23; "Stow the Friar" in Pills to Purge Melancholy
Of the gentleman that base the siege board around his neck, ACMT #26; tale and song recent "Bonnie Wee Window" thread and DT's WEEWINDO
Cuckold Cap, ACMT #28; song version in The Merry Medley, and broadside in Holloway and Black's 'Later English Broadside Ballads', I, #78
The dumb maid, ACMT #62; ZN143, DT file DUMBDUMB
Butcher and the Taylors wife, ACMT #76 & Les Cent Nouvelles, Nouvelles, #4
Man with two sons, ACMT #96; miller's will adds another son
Burning of old John, ACMT #100, broadside on my website.

From Tales and Quick Answers, c 1535, T&QA, the following twist on the Widow of Westmorland's daughter"

There was a man upon a time which proffered his daughter to a young man in marriage, the which the young man refused her, saying that she was too young to be married.
"I wis," quoth her foolish father, "she is more able than ye ween. For she hath borne three children by our parish clerk"

There's a variant where the smarter father admitted his daughter had borne a child, "But it was only a very little one". An analogue in later jokes is that the daughter is 'slightly pregnant' [more direct Widow's Daughter below]

Of the merchant that lost his budget between Ware and London, T&QA #16; [Solomon and his jester Marcolf] Percy Folio MS and broadside, ZN1528
Of the jealous man T&QA [Carvel's Ring] song versions with tunes on my website
Of him that sought his wife against the stream, T&QA, #55, song in Merry Medley, 1744 [Tale from 1001 nights]
Of the young man of Bruges and his spouse, T&QA #73, and Les Cent Nouelles Nouvelles; "Widow of Westmorland's daughter".

There are some good jokes that would make good songs, but for which I've found no song version, e.g.,

Wits, Fits and Fancies, 1614:

A man had a shrewd wife, and one dy broke her head, the cure wherof cost him dear expense afterwards; insomuch that his wife in regard thereof said on a time unto her Gossips, "Faith, my husband will not dare give me no more broken heads in haste, considering how dear he finds them in the cure."
Her husband, hearing of such her braves [boasts] sent the next day for the Surgeons and Apothecaries, and in her presence paid them all their bills and gave each of them twenty shillings over and above, saying, "Hold this, Sirs, against the next time."

Legman, in 'The Hornbook', gives the modern erotic version:

A Jewish rabbi temporarily replaces a Catholic priest in the confessional, and deals out identical penances to the women who present themselves for absolution; telling the last woman (who had sinned only once) to say there paternosters and put three dollars in the poor-box, and the church will owe her two more acts of intercourse.
This stumped Legman, who couldn't figure out if it was anti- Jewish, or anti-Catholic.

Errant friars, and women's (including nuns) confessions are common in old stories [Decameron, Heptameron, Tales of Alfonse and Poge, Les Cent Nouvelles] too many to keep track of. See the bawdy Fryar and the Nun on my website for such an English song, and its remarkable reoccurance in a book of Christmas carols.

Here's one of c 1710 that's been widely reprinted, but seems to have escaped the DT so far. This was also called "The Friar and the Nun" which occassionally leads to confusion about its tune, which appears under both titles in the Irish tune index on my website, but isn't the old tune called "The Friar and the Nun"

A Lovely Lass to a friar came
To confess in the morning early,
In what, my dear, are you to blame?
Come tell me most sincerely."
"I have done, sir, what I dare not name,
With a lad that love me dearly.

"The greatest fault in myself I know
In what I now discover."
"You for that fault to Rome must go
Or discipline would suffer."
"Lack-a-day, sir, if it must be so,
Pray send me with my lover."

"Oh, no, no, no, my dear, you dream;
We'll have no double dealing.
But if with me you'll repeat the same
I'll pardon your past failing."
"I own, sir, but I blush with shame,
Your penance is prevailing."

[ABC of tune for this is B296 on my website]

There's another song I can't find at the moment: Nun Jane had confessed that she had slept with a man, and got a very light penance. Two other nuns, knowing they would get a penance no matter what they did, decided to follow Jane's example.

But it didn't do to over-do that sort of thing, as two nuns discovered in another tale. The fair young nun who slept with a young man only once got a light penance, but the older nun who slept with an old friar twice, only God could forgive, the confessor couldn't.

Unfortunately we do not have the song of tune of another piece of 1614:
A gentleman that played very well on the Bandore [roughly bass guitar] and had but a bad voice, played and sung in an Evening under his Mistress's window, and when he had done, asked her how she liked his music. She answered, "You have played very well, and you have sung too." [Politically Correct is nothing new]

There's a common tale, in Gargantua and Pantagruel, one of Andrew Borde's joke books (last two by Drs. that had been friars), and later, 1583, in the Mirror of Fancies. It's the one of the friar that always answered all questions in a single word of one syllable. That's not easy to put in a song.

The "Song of the Cobbler of Romny" in 'The Tinker of Turvy' (mostly drawn from cuckolding tales of the Decameron, 1630, is taken from Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles. [Friars often played a role in cuckolding tales.]

"The Crossed Couple", c 1660, which is on my website (with tune and notes of some more song versions) and a tale version in Randolph's 'Pissing in the Snow' appears as a tale in Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles.
"The Lusty Friar of Flanders" and "The Cowardly Clown of Flanders Cuckolded" in my broasdide index are probably both from tale versions, but I have looked for them. Also there are now less than 3 versions (cross-referenced) of "A Cuckold by Consent", on my website, that undoubtably springs from a tale ["There was an X, he had a fair wife, the Y he loved her, as dearly as his life" is a common beginning for a song of a cuckolding.]

Maybe some more if I get ambitious.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: DonMeixner
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 08:19 AM

I seem to recall a bunch of songs by Lord Invader and His Twelve Penetrators that were very double entendre-ish and had the sounds of an old joke in them. Calypso music seems rife with them. Mainly I'm recalling the story of the boy who wants to marry a girl whom his father claims is his and the boys mother don't know. What the father doesn't know is he is not the sons father.

I also believe that I'M MY OWN GRANDPA began life as a joke. But I've also heard that it has very old British Isles ancestors. Which to believe? Maybe it's an old English joke.

Don


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jack (who is called Jack)
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 12:24 PM

Check out Tim Wallace's "COWBOY SONG" in the DT.


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: TO CURB RISING THOUGHTS^^
From: Bruce O.
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 02:30 PM

That "Cowboy Song" is one of those 'Any port in a storm/ Necessity is the mother of invention' pieces. A cowboy version of "The Crossed Couple", noted above, is in Logsden's 'The Whorehouse Bells are Ringing'

[From Pills to Purge Melancholy. Earlier broadside version (ZN1361) 1686-8, is rather different and longer but shares some verses. ZN1361, in the web broadside ballad index, is to the tune of "The Country Farmer" (King James's Jig, B262 of the broadside ballad tunes), or "The Devonshire Damsels" (same tune, diff. title, but not the tune below.) I've forgotten on which night Scherazade told this as a tale.]

To curb rising Thoughts

There was an Old Woman that had but One Son,
And he had neither Land nor Fee;
But got little Gains,
Yet fain a Landlod he would be,
With a fadariddle la, fa la da riddle la, fa la la fa la la re.

And as he was a going Home,
He met his Old Mother upon the Highway;
O Mother, quoth he,
Your Blessing grant me,
Thus the Son to the Mother did say,
With a fa, &c.

I ha' begg'd Butter-milk all this long Day,
But I hope I shan't be a Beggar long;
For I've more Wit come into this Pate,
Then e'er I had when I was Young.
With fa, &c.

This Butter-milk I will it sell,
A Penny for it I shall have you shall see;
With that Penny I will buy me some Eggs,
I shall have Seven for my Penny.
With a fa, &c.

And those seven Eggs I'll set under a Hen,
Perhaps Seven Cocks they may chancc for to be
And when those Seven Cocks are Seven Capons,
There will be Seven Half-Crowns for me.
With a fa, &c.

But as he was going Home,
Accounting up all of his Riches all;
His foot it stumbled against a Stone,
Down came Butter-milk Pitcher and all.
With a fa, &c.

chorus His Pitcher was broke, and his Eggs were dispatch'd.
This 'tis to count Chicken before they are Hatch'd.
With a fa da, &c.

X:1
T:To curb rising thoughts
S:in Pills to Purge Melancholy, from 1700 edition
Q:1/4=120
L:1/4
M:6/4
K:G
(e/f/)|g3/2f/edcB|B3/2A/GG2B|B2BB2B|B2Be3|\
g3d2e|d2dd2e/d/|d3B3/2c/d|d2dd2G|\
G2G/G/G3/2G/ G/G/|G2AB3/2B/ c/c/|\
d3g2f|e2d(c3/4B/4)A2|(G3G2)|]


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: lamarca
Date: 24 Nov 99 - 05:33 PM

Art,

How could I have forgotten your song? KathWestra hosted a workshop at NOMAD this year called "The Infamous Broken Token" and specifically asked my husband, George, to sing "That's the Ticket" - and it still gets laughs!

George says he learned more about good guitar playing for accompanying songs from your records than from almost anywhere else. We think we've got them all...

One of my very favorite songs by you is "The Shanty Boy from the Big Eau Claire", being a Wisconsin girl myself...But I digress.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 08:48 AM

lamarca,

Thank you so very much for your digression ! And certainly, a wondrous Thanksgiving to you and to all!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Melbert
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 12:55 PM

Don,
I'M MY OWN GRANDPA may well have English origins. It does kinda sound like the kind of inbreeding which the British "nobility" is known for........


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 03:14 AM

No, I've heard it Don, and it was definiotely sung by two Americans!


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Bert
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 02:50 PM

Just discovered this thread while searching for something else.

When we first moved to Alabama we were surprised by the quantities of plastic flowers in the graveyards. We had a sick joke in our family "You plant people to grow plastic flowers"

Eventually I had to write a song about it: PLASTIC FLOWER SEEDS.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Willie-O
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 03:23 PM

Well Bert, we saw a cemetery in the Adirondacks recently with a sign prohibiting the leaving of plastic flowers (I don't think it was for aesthetic reasons, I guess they strangle lawnmowers...).

Steve Goodman was a great writer of joke songs, especially when he got together with John Prine. Remember "Turnpike Tom", "Death of a Salesman" and others too dreadful to name.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 03:33 PM

On our old Bloody Ballads album (Dean Gitter?) were several which ended in punch lines: Pearl Bryan is decapitated by her lover and his friend, and only the body is found, not the head, and the killers refused to divulge its location. The final verse is So you girls who fall in love / you still may be misled / don't take any hasty actions / oh girls, don't lose your head!

Then there is the one where boy gets girl pregnant, boy takes girl out on a pretext, boy kills girl, boy is caught, girl's sister testifies, boy is hanged... and this one ended with Her sister swore my life away, I'm hellbound without doubt / She swore I was the very man who took her sister out!


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,Tom DeVries
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 09:17 AM

Hi! I've been reading some of these postings and wondering if some of the good jokes and lyrics of the Arkansas Traveller are posted anywhere?


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Morticia
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 09:46 AM

Well I've heard this told as a joke many times.


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Subject: Lyr Add: AUSTRALIA
From: GUEST,fleetwood
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 08:44 PM

Here's an old joke based on a quote from Shakespeare which I turned into a very bad poem.

AUSTRALIA

In a single seater airplane across the sky he flew,
Over vast Australia, enamored by the view,
But, sad to state, the plane it crashed, and from the wreck he crawled,
And gathering up what he could save, he sat awhile and bawled.

Then setting forth on foot to find some succour and some aid,
Across the burning sand he strode. A desolate sight he made.
The sun it seemed it hotter got. His water it diminished.
By the time the sun it had gone down, he thought that he was finished.

But crawling through the dawn's cold light, a signpost banged his head.
It pointed to Mercy Town which lay two miles ahead.
He willed his failing body on into this one-horse town,
And at the other end of it was an arrow pointing down.

"Bar" it said, so there he went and enquired for a drink,
But the story that he then heard, well, it made him stop and think,
For the beer and lager had run out. No spirits could be had,
And all the drinking water there had recently gone bad.

"What have you got?" the pilot cried. "I've got to have a brew."
The barman took a bottle down. From it the dust he blew.
"A local concoction made," he said, "by a local aborigine
From koala bears and local herbs—a drink that they call tea."

The barman handed him a glass and from the bottle poured,
And lumps of green and rotting flesh into his glass sprung forth.
"I can't drink that!" the pilot said. "Why don't you serve it strained?"
To which the barman then replied: "the koala tea of mercy is not strained."

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 29-Sep-01.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: kendall
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 10:31 PM

Guest fleetwood, you will find that one in the puns thread.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IVOR THE DRIVER (Dave Goulder)
From: kendall
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 10:53 PM

There is an old joke that Dave Goulder made into a song.

IVOR THE DRIVER

One night at the church I was stealing the coal.
Over the ground and under the ground
And what did I see? Well, I’ll tell you it all.
Over and under the ground

A sleepy old miner was walking alone,
Over the ground and under the ground
And he nipped through the graveyard to find his way home.
Over and under the ground

He was thinking of only the time he could save
Over the ground and under the ground
When he tumbled into an unoccupied grave.
Over and under the ground

He picked himself up and he scrambled about, Over the ground, etc.
But try as he might he just couldn’t get out. Over and under, etc.

Not being the kind who would whimper and weep, Over, etc.
He laid down in the corner and went off to sleep. Over, etc.

The miner was sleeping, not caring at all, Over, etc.
When Ivar the driver nipped over the wall. Over, etc.

The night it was dark and Ivar was full, Over, etc.
And he tripped and fell in that very same hole. Over, etc.

He ranted and raved and he cursed and he swore, Over, etc.
And he wakened the miner asleep on the floor. Over, etc.

Now Ivar was sure there was no one about, Over, etc.
When a voice from the dark said, "You'll never get out." Over, etc.

The grave it was dark and exceedingly deep, Over, etc.
But Ivar the driver was out in one leap. Over, etc.

Now the sleepy old miner he scratched and he spat, Over, etc.
And he said to himself, "Now, how’d he do that?" Over, etc.

The miner remembers his night with the dead, Over, etc.
But Ivar the driver is strapped in his bed. Over, etc.

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 30-Sep-01.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: The Walrus
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 05:35 PM

Roseberry tae his lady said,
"My Hinny and my succour
"Now shall we dae the thing ye ken
"Or shall we hae our supper?"

With a riddle-come-a ra
With a fol-come-a-ra
With a riddle-come-a-ranty

Wi' modest face, sae full o' grace
Replied his noble lady,
"My Noble Lord, do as you please
"But supper is nae ready"

From McColl & Seeger "The Wanton Muse" (IIRC)

It just seemed to fit here.

Good Luck.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Lanfranc
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 07:09 PM

Jake Thackray's "THE BANTAM COCK" comes to mind.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 29 Apr 01 - 07:17 PM

Then there's THE BALLAD OF WILLIAM BLOAT, on which we had some discussion a while ago. Here's the thread.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DRUNKS SAY THE DAMNEDEST THINGS
From: Songster Bob
Date: 30 Apr 01 - 02:14 PM

I can't help but post a lyric of my own composing. I wrote it to get the second joke into song, but padded it with one of my own and another that some of the fans of "hip" comedians might just barely recognize. Here it is:


DRUNKS SAY THE DAMNEDEST THINGS

He fell in front of the subway car as it sped down the track.
The wheels rolled over bones and flesh and broke his aching back.
A drunk gazed from the platform at the red and gory parts,
Then offered his opinion, saying, "Boy, I bet that smarts!"

CHORUS: Drunks -- say the damnedest things.
Their thoughts take flight on fancy's wings.
Unfettered by the bonds of sense that sober living brings,
Drunks -- say the damnedest things.

The bar was filled with sweet young things, all coos and curves and curls,
When the drunk on the end-most stool heard a line to pick up girls:
A British gent said to a girl, "Tickle your arse with a feather?"
Then repeated it more "clearly" as: "Typical narsty weather." CHORUS

The drunk saw that this line had worked, despite its startling brass,
So he said to the woman on his left, "Stick a feather up your ass?"
The outraged woman turned on him, -- "What's that you said again?"
The drunk in triumph played his card and said, "Think it'll rain?" CHORUS

He cursed the cop arresting him, of that there is no doubt.
He called him every name in the book, and some that were edited out.
It was "Son-of-this," and "Mother-that," and more that were not so fine;
Then he tipped his hat to the officer, saying, "Hope I'm not out of line!" CHORUS


Copyright © 1991, Bob Clayton. All rights reserved.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: pastorpest
Date: 30 Apr 01 - 09:13 PM

THE CHIVALROUS SHARK" is in the digitrad, words and music, though the melody I know is somewhat different from what appears here. The song dates from around 1900 and brings a laugh where ever I sing it.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Grab
Date: 01 May 01 - 07:26 AM

"LITTLE RABBIT FUFU", with the final line of "Hare today, GOON tomorrow", has to be in there somewhere.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 11:34 PM

I had often wondered about the origin of JOHNNY BE FAIR. I e-mailed Buffy Sainte-Marie, and said she wrote the song after hearing the story as a joke.

The "$65 Sports Car" is called A TRUE STORY in the Digital Tradition, attributed to Kate Clinton, John McCutcheon, & Betsy Rose - but is that the first sung version?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Kenny B
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 12:05 AM

A joke about the people who work F'Cunard
"UNCLE WULLIE"


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Boab
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 01:21 AM

Don't ask me who owns the copyright--
Dan--
"'Twas in our local public house one evening late in June,
Piano it was playin' and it was a groovy tune,
When bursting thro' the bar-room door came a giant of a man--
"Fill me a pint--for I've come to fight wi' a man that you call Dan!"

"He drank a pint o' whisky--and then ate fifty pies;
He must have measured seven feet--an' that's between the eyes!
"I've searched around this whole wide world, each corner of this land--
But tonight I'll fight, for in this room there is a man called DAN!"

Then up steps this wee fella with red ginger hair-
He couldn't have made but four feet six--with his hands up in the air;
"Well, I'm yer man, my name is Dan--hit me, if ye can!"
--And a big black boot it left the floor and blootered him on the pan!

The wee lad hit the ceiling, and then began to drop;
Was met by an uppercut, and three karate chops--
His blood was all around the walls, his false teeth on the floor--
And the big man trampled over them as he walked out the door.

The bar-room door had hardly closed when the wee chap shook his head--
He starts to roar and laugh then , and here is what he said--
"Oh I've just made a fool o' him, I've just had a ball!--
For I'm wee Willie McCann--I'm not Dan at all!!"


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 07:31 AM

I'd heard (and used) the line "If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me" long before it became a song by the Beallamy brothers.

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 11:17 AM

Don referred to "Shame and Scandal" which was recorded by Trini Lopez and a host of others, Joe to "Johnnie Be Fair", and there are a couple of other songs on the same theme, Jimmy Driftwood's "Mixed Up Family" and Mike Cross' "Emma Turl". All supposedly originating from an old joke.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 11:22 PM

There will be a song I wrote and sing on the Mudcat CD---STRAWBERRY----called "CHICAGO TOWN BLUES". Each verse in it was formerly a joke I heard somewhere. I'd love to hear what you folks think about it !!???
It got kind of popular in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin ----- for a while ---- twenty-five years ago----------...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 09:27 AM

See THE LORD'LL PROVIDE by Larry Reynolds, recorded by Mike Cross.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: frogprince
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 01:05 PM

Steve Gillette has one that, so far as I know, isn't on record. Can't give it to you as the lyric, but the joke goes something like:

Most people only think they know the first words Neal Armstrong said when he stepped on the moon. Just before the "giant step" line, he turned off the outside broadcast and said, "This one's for you, Mr. O'Reilly. Those who heard it asked about it later, and he explained.

As a boy, his family lived next door to the O'Reillys. One day he was playing softball with friends in his yard. The ball landed just under a window of the O'Reilly house. Just as Neal stooped to pick it up, he heard Mrs. O'Reilly's angry voice saying, "You want me to do WHAT? ... I'll do that when the kid next door walks on the moon...


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN POSSESSION OF THE TOOL TO DO THE JOB
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 01:25 PM

This is something of a specialty of mine. Try the two below.

IN POSSESSION OF THE TOOL TO DO THE JOB.

1). Now, to look at Ernie Hook, you'd never take him for a crook,
And it's true; he's never broken any law,
But poor Ernie came a cropper, when an enterprising copper,
Caught him out, and now he's not an honest citizen, no more,
For it seems he had a break-in, and the copper was just makin'
Out a list of all the gear the burglar took,
In the shed he found a still, and poor old Ernie felt quite ill,
He cried out "I never used it", and the copper said "Now look,

CHORUS: "In possession of the tool to do the job,
You're in possession of the tool to do the job.
You can't be innocent, you see, if, when picked up, you're found to be
In possession of the tool to do the job."

2). So Ernie said "Before yer get a statement, call me lawyer,"
His solicitor was happy to attend,
After Ernie'd paid him double, he said "Tell me, what's the trouble?"
And when Ernie'd told his story, the lawyer said "My friend,
You don't have a leg to stand on, and all hope you should abandon,
Of securing an acquittal on the day.
You did have the apparatus, and that must affect your status,
A plea in mitigation is your only chance, I'd say." CHORUS

3). They committed him for trial, and he made a strong denial.
He tried hard to put across his point of view.
He said "Sir, I've never used it, and as for making booze, it
Is a thing, your honour, I would never want to do."
Well, the judge deliberated, and finally he stated,
"Prisoner rise, and then my judgement I'll commence.
You have no defence in law, and I must convict you, for
Just having the equipment is a criminal offence." CHORUS

4). "Now, before you're put away, have you anything to say?
You've the right to make a plea in mitigation."
Ernie said "Now is the time, to confess me life of crime,
And offer two more cases for the court's consideration:
An assault upon the person of an unsuspecting nun,
And flashing at some pretty girls as well."
The judge said, with a glare, "Come tell me when and where?"
And Ernie answered, "Well it hasn't happened yet, BUT WHAT THE HELL!"

CHORUS: "In possession of the tool to do the job,
I'm in possession of the tool to do the job.
I can't be innocent you see, if, when picked up, I'm found to be
In possession of the tool to do the job.
"IN POSSESSION OF THE TOOL TO DO THE JOB."

© Don Thompson December 1998


TWO POLICEMEN RODE OUT.

1). Two policemen rode out in their panda one night,
On the lookout for villains and vandals,
Orange stripes on the sides, positioned just right,
Showed them both where to find the door handles,
Through street after street these two limbs of the law
Stopped all who aroused their suspicions,
And between times, while driving, they showed respect for,
The road, and the weather, conditions.

2). As they made their way down a dark country lane,
The headlights revealed a parked Roller,
And beside it, relieving himself 'gainst a tree,
A portly old gent, in a Bowler.
"Aha", said the sergeant. "We'd better find out
If this rich old devil's been drinking.
From the way that he's swaying, there's really no doubt.
This'll add to our tally, I'm thinking".

3). So they screeched to a halt, and jumped out of the car,
Crying "Allo, and what's all this 'ere?
Stand still while we ascertain whether you are
The worse for the wine or the beer.
Come blow into this till I tell you to stop.
Keep blowing—keep blowing—O.K. then.
Oh look, a red light! Now, well that's a fair cop.
Oh, we're going to take you away then.

4). You're under the influence, under arrest,
And you're coming with us to the station.
So, really, I think it would be for the best
If you show us your documentation."
The old man looked puzzled, and said "Dearie me,
I don't know what I had to blow for,
But my licence, insurance, and my M.O.T.,
Are there, in the car, with my chauffeur".

© Don Thompson April 1999.


All my own work. Sorry if the line breaks don't come out right.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 03:00 PM

Sorry for the typos too.

"hoNest citizen"
"The headlights"
Scratch the "Oh", It's We're going to take you away then.

OOPS!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Severn
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 03:08 PM

Johnny Sands/Old Woman From Wexford
Get Up And Bar The Door
Burglar Man

And which came first-Jumpin' Gene Simmons' "Haunted House" or Brother Dave Gardner's similar comedy routine?


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Skipper Jack
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 03:27 PM

I wrote this song based on a joke that I'd heard and the nursery rhyme, "Old Mother Hubbard".

There was an old man who had a little dog
And the little dog's name was Boozo.
And he was fond of a little drop of grog
And thereby hangs his tail O!

Boozo wanted to quench his thirst,
But the cupboard, it was bare O!
Because the old man had got there first
And not a drop was there O!

So Boozo he went down to the bar
And there he drank his fill O!
As he came out, he got jammed in the door
And left behind his tail O!

Poor Boozo died and to heaven he went
But St Bernard wouldn't let him in O!
Being tail-less was his punishment
For a night out on the binge O!

Boozo he went back to the pub
'Twas past the hour of twelve O!
But he howled 'til he got the landlord up
And he played merry Hell O!

"Please, can I have my tail", said the dog,
"If you would be so kind O'"
But the landlord looked at him all agog!
"You must be out of your mind O!"

"Don't you know that it is a crime?"
Poor Boozo, he turned pale O!
"To retail spirits after time
Would land us all in jail O!"

The last two line of each verse were repeated thus:
Jail O! Jail O!
Would land us all in jail O!
To retail spirits after time
Would land us all in jail O!


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Subject: Lyr Add: DEATH OF A SALESMAN
From: just john
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 03:40 PM

A good song and a good twist on the old jokes:

DEATH OF A SALESMAN
(Steve Goodman, Steve Burgh, Jeff Gutcheon, Jim Rothermel, Lew London, Saul Broody & Ken Kosek)

The traveling salesman stopped for gas as it was getting late.
He sure was feeling tired and it was snowing on the interstate.
He said, "Won't 'cha fill 'er up with gas and see if my oil's alright,
And do you know a place where a tired-out traveling man might spend the night?"

The attendant winked at him and said, "I'll bet you been around.
The man who puts up lodgers here is known as Farmer Brown.
You'll find him in that old stone house just at the edge of town,
And he's got a 15-year-old daughter who likes to fool around."

The salesman winked right back at him and a smile came to his lip.
He paid for the gas and oil and then he gave that man a tip.
He started up and pushed that old gas pedal to the floor,
Went off like a hat, and in nothing flat, he was at the farmer's door.

The door opened up and a beautiful girl said, "won't you come on in?"
The traveling salesman's tongue was hanging out like Rin-Tin-Tin
"That old gas station attendant said I would find you here,
And do you have a suitable room to rent to me, my dear?"

She said, "Kind sir, I'm sorry, but the last one's gone, you see,
So if you want to spend the night, you'll have to sleep with me."
He said, "How fortuitous, my pretty little miss!"
And he throws his arms around her and he gives that girl a kiss.

Her warm and tender ruby lips he scarcely could believe.
He never saw the hammer she had hidden up her sleeve.
She said, "I'm getting sleepy, why don't we go to bed?"
And as they turned to climb the stairs, she whopped him on the head.

The very next day the salesman's car with brand new license plates
Was sitting at Farmer Brown's Super Service 'bout a mile from the interstate.
So all you traveling salesmen who might be passing through,
You better watch your step or that traveling salesman joke might be on you.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 07:42 PM

Oscar Brown Jr's "The Lone Ranger" ("....what you mean WE, white man?")


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 04:29 AM

The late great Vivian Stanshall wrote one that goes I wish the summer was here I could stand up in my wheelbarrow and pretend the summer was here..


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Flash Company
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 04:32 AM

Two I seem to recall, though I am not sure from where,
The Travelling Salesman's Tale.
Story line is the salesman who breaks down near a lonely farmhouse occupied by an elderly farmer with a beautiful wife. They say he must stay the night and after a supper described in great detail,(especially the apple pie) they retire to the only bed in the house, the old man sleeping in the middle. In the middle of the night the old man has to get up to attend to a calving, and at that point come the only two lines I remember clearly:-

She whispered 'Stranger, now's your chance!'
So I went and finished the pie!!!

The other one was the greenhorn in Alaska woo misunderstood the manhood ritual ' Make love to an Inuit woman and shoot a Polar bear',
ending with' Now where's this woman I've got to shoot?'

FC


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 06:21 AM

In the Bad Old Days of (UK) Folk Entertainers there were a string of good jokes turned into songs by people like Dave Paskett , Bob Williamson and the OTHER Alan White ,as well as the established writers like Miles Wootton


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: pavane
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 06:36 AM

What about all those songs which turned into jokes?


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 09:37 PM

There's the song about the kid who falls into a well and his name is so long that by the time it's been said and/or repeated countless times (in aid of getting him rescued), it's too late. Here's one version; the version Ilearned as a kid ("Edddie Gootchagatchagammanohsimaranohsitohka- sammakammawakkee Brown") is slightly different.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Celtaddict
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 11:08 PM

Don't miss Mick Ryan's "The Widow's Promise" about the lonely widow who promises her soul to the devil if he can satisfy her; he makes it to ninety-nine times, and she is still begging for more ("I can see just how your husband died") and he gives up and goes limping back to hell. She tries to summon him to try one more time and he does not respond, saying "Of all the pain and torment I've witnessed here in hell, I never knew what pain was 'til I rang her front door bell."


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 12:41 AM

THE GREATEST, written by Don Schlitz, recorded by Kenny Rogers.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IF YOU HAD A BRAIN YOU'D BE DANGEROUS
From: Sooz
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 02:54 AM

OOPS

Jez Lowe's song "High Part of the Town" has aa old joke in each verse as does Bernard Wrigley's "Silly Old Bugger".
Or what about this one from His Worship and the Pig (a great collection of one liners)

IF YOU HAD A BRAIN YOU'D BE DANGEROUS

You think that Sherlock Holmes is a local block of flats
And circumnavigation is what they do to cats
You think that crazy paving's only done by psychopaths
If you had a brain you'd be dangerous

        If you had a brain you'd be dangerous
        If you had a brain you'd be dangerous
        I tell you to your face you're a total waste of space
        If you had a brain you'd be dangerous

Well you think that ratatouille must have two rats in the pan
You think that best lambruscos only use New Zealand lamb
And you say you dread to think what they must put in coq au vin
If you had a brain you'd be dangerous

You think that Motte and Bailey were solicitors of old
That a gargoyle is a mouthwash for a medieval cold
You think a flying buttress is an all-in wrestling hold
If you had a brain you'd be dangerous

When they said you had a cute angina you just stood and blushed
You think that Humpty Dumpty didn't fall but he was pushed
And you think it's time that Tony Blair stopped beating round the Bush
If you had a brain you'd be dangerous

You think to dip your headlights you'd need a lot of water
You think that a vendetta is a type of motor scooter
You're convinced that Joan of Arc was Noah's eldest daughter
If you had a brain you'd be dangerous

You think that Human Bondage is a book packed with advice
And you think a condominiums a contraceptive type device
You think a sixty nine is battered prawns and egg fried rice
If you had a brain you'd be dangerous


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 05:18 AM

I'd hoped to fing a mention of Bernard Wrigley and Sooz finally did it. The Bolton Bullfrog sang "Plastic Pies" (mentioned in two threads if you enter that in the search box) but Chris Seymourt gave only the words to the chorus. One verse describes a drunk who found a small tortoise and, thinking it a pie, ate it. He went to the pie seller and compliments him but asks if he can have another with a less crunchy crust. The same story has been told as a joke for many years but I don't know which came first.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,Bruce Baillie
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 06:40 AM

How about this one I wrote a few years ago to the tune of Kenny Rogers 'Coward of the County' I once had an argument with a barman in a pub in Huddersfield called the County Bar, he gave me five pounds worth of change when I'd given him a ten pound note...

Everyone considered him the Bastard of the County,
of all the barmen in the pub he was the nasty one.
His mom had named him Billy but the folks all called him 'Shithead'
and as he worked behind the bar he'd sing this little song!

CHORUS
"I promise to do all the things I shouldn't do,
I'll walk right into to trouble if I can,
I've such a bloody cheek, I like to pick on them that's weak,
and if everything turns out as I have planned,
'll end up with half yer change left in me hand!"

One day a poor old tramp came in with not a penny on him,
half dead from exhaustion well he staggered to the bar,
"Oh for Christ's sake give us a packet o' crisps,
and a pint o' brown and bitter, I've not eaten since last Friday,
and it's nearly Thursday now!"

As Billy listened to the tramp his mind was ticking over,
he'd make this poor old worn out guy look like a right buffoon,
he said, "Alright then Grandad well I'll do just as you ask me,
...if you can drink one mouthful from that dirty olf spittoon!"

The tramp he looked from Billy's face to the cuspidore a - standing,
all green and slimy on the floor, it was brimful to the top!
the tears streamed down his tired old face, and the pangs of hunger stabbed him,
and Billy's voice came to him saying, "Go on lad, just a drop!"

H e wor t'centre of attention, all eyes were fast upon him,
as he picked it up with trembling hands, and he put it to his lips!
and as he gurgled softly all the customers started leaving,
and a customer in the corner, brought back his pie & chips!

"Look stop it now!" said Billy "This jokes gone far enough like!
Me customers are leaving, look here don't be such a chump!"
But the strain showed on the tramps face as these words he tried to gurgle,
"I'm sorry lad, I just can't stop, IT'S ALL IN ONE BIG LUMP!!!"

Well Billys face contorted as he dashed off to the bathroom,
he wasn't holdin' nuthin' back, he got rid of it all!
When he came back to the bar room, the carpet was all textured,
and the tramp had buggered off wi' t' till, and he'd left this little note

(And it said)

"I promised to chew, everything you told me to!
I got in there and sucked it like a man!
now I'll cut quite a dash, cos I've run off with yer cash, things didn't quite work out as you had planned, cos I ended up with your change in my hand!"


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 10:01 AM

Actually this is not a bad way to write songs. All it takes is the wish to do it. If the joke appeals the only rule is not to make it so boring that the punchline is wasted, and that usually means establishing the facts and throwing in puns and pithy wit along the journey. Or making it short.

Though as GBS said - the golden rule is that there is no golden rule.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 11:14 AM

This was a humourous poem written by a neighbour of my Dad's. I have sung this as a folk song.....use your own tune.......


I was shopping in the high street, when a man came passing by.
He handed me a leaflet, which said "The end is nigh".
It was terribly convincing. I was sure it must be right.
It even specified the date, and gave the time of night.

This meant, of course, my shopping list was suddenly all wrong.
A month's supply of anything was twenty days too long.
I wouldn't need the batteries to put in all my clocks,
And when I bought detergent, only chose the smallest box.

In fact there was no point in doing washing after that.
Likewise I cared no more about the thoughts of getting fat.
Instead I just ate sweets and stuffed on curries like a pig,
And the time appointed found me smelly, bored, depressed and big.

But when the time appointed came, life went on as before,
Except I'd cleared my bank account, and weighed a whole stone more.
So now I spend my weekends on the treadmill at the gym,
And if I see that man again, the end will come for him.


Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Crane Driver
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 06:22 PM

Well, I wrote this a while ago - each verse is based on a food joke I found on the net - the chorus came to me in a hotel room when I was away from home on business. The tune is sort of music hall style.

(Chorus)
Oh, it's nice to go out for an evening
Of fine food and good company,
For laughter and chat, about this thing or that,
And music, and hilarity.
And we all like to praise Mr Bottle,
With the napkin tucked under his chin,
But I'd rather stay home, singing "No more to roam"
To the tune of an old violin.


Well, a man sauntered into a restaurant,
Where he ordered the best food and wine.
And when he had fed, to the waiter he said,
"Last year, when I came here to dine,
My luck it was down, and my wallet thin,
You threw me out in the cold and the rain!"
The waiter said "Sorry."; the man said "Don't worry,
You can just throw me out once again."
(Chorus)

One night I arose from my table,
As the room was beginning to sway
I put on my coat, and prepared to go out,
When this old fellow stood in my way.
He said "Are you Dr Fernackerpan,
That eminent medic of note?"
Then when I shook my head, the old fellow said,
"Well, I am him, and that is my coat!"
(Chorus)

We lived all alone by the railway yard,
My poor old daddy and me,
I was seven years old when first I was told
We had somebody coming to tea.
My Dad took a cake, then he passed it on,
To this lady in a flowery hat.
I said, "Dad, don't bother to look for another,
Cakes don't come any bigger than that!"

(Chorus)
Oh, it's nice to go out for an evening
Of fine food and good company,
For laughter and chat, about this thing or that,
And music, and hilarity.
And we all like to praise Mr Bottle,
With the napkin tucked under his chin,
But I'd rather stay home, singing "No more to roam"
To the tune of an old violin.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Sooz
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 04:07 AM

John Conolly must deserve a mention here. He has written several hilarious songs based on English seaside post cards, a couple of which had us in stitches last night at Market Rasen Folk Club.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 05:13 AM

Yea and particularly the one about 'Grumpy Old Men'. Get to hear it .....and moreso John.... as and when you can folks.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Bert
Date: 16 Jul 06 - 01:18 AM

The last verse of "Lively" by Lonnie Donnegan was stolen from a Goon Show joke.

We'd rehearsed for weeks and weeks
a smash and grab to do
We'll throw the brick the others said
and leave the grab to you
the brick went through the window
now "Grab" the cried "and quick"
It wasn't 'till we got away
I found I'd grabbed our brick.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 16 Jul 06 - 01:53 AM

Here's a link to a learned discourse on comic, or as German scholars call them, schwank ballads:

schwank

Enjoy!

LFF


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE PRINCE AND THE MAIDEN
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 16 Jul 06 - 10:51 AM

Her's another from the Wysiwyg repertoire.

Don T.


THE PRINCE AND THE MAIDEN

A young prince who went walking in some woods near Hampton Wick,
Discovered that he'd lost his way, well he bein' rather thick,
He came across a clearing, and he said "What's this I see?
It is a fair young maiden, tied tightly to a tree".

Ch. Fol de rol de diddle-O, Fol de rol de dee,
It is a fair young maiden, tied tightly to a tree.

He said "Fair maid, how come you to be in this parlous state,
What wicked, nasty, evil villain's left you to your fate?"
She said "Kind Sir, if you will only deign to set me free,
I'll tell you of the wicked squire, and what he did to me".

Ch. Fol de rol de diddle-O, Fol de rol de dee,
I'll tell you of the wicked squire, and what he did to me".

The prince was all agog to hear the essence of her tale,
But as she was quite naked, other thoughts came to prevail,
He said "Hold hard young maiden, there's the question of me fee,
If I comply with your request, pray what's in it for me?"

Ch. Fol de rol de diddle-O, Fol de rol de dee,
If I comply with your request, pray what's in it for me?"

The maiden, now, was quite dismayed, "I can't believe", she said,
"That you're as wicked as the squire, Oh! I were better dead",
The prince was quite unruffled, as the maid began to pray,
He said, as he took his doublet off, "This ain't your lucky day".

Ch. Fol de rol de diddle-O, Fol de rol de day
He said, as he took his doublet off, "This ain't your lucky day".

The maiden stopped him with a glance, "If that's how it is", said she,
"'Twere better I enjoy meself, and join in willingly,
Remember that hereafter, for your crime you'll have to pay,
Now cut me loose you scurvy knave, and you shall have your way".

Ch. Fol de rol de diddle-O, Fol de rol de day
Now cut me loose you scurvy knave, and you shall have your way".

He drew his sword, and lashed out, and the rope fell down in coils,
She threw her arms about his neck, said, "Come, collect your spoils",
Then fervently, and ardently she kissed the dirty dog,
And all he said was "Rivet!", for he'd turned into a frog.

Ch. Fol de rol de diddle-O, fol de rol de dog,
And all he said was "Rivet!" for he'd turned into a frog.

Now the young prince and the maiden have gone their separate ways,
She's gone home to Daddy, and the frog in the swamp he stays,
He got himself into this mess, there's nothing he can do,
Till a maid agrees to kiss him. Well I ask you girls, would you?

Ch. Fol de rol de diddle-O, fol de rol de doo,
Till a maid agrees to kiss him. Well I ask you girls, would you?

So, all who listen to me song, attention pay to me,
Ne'er take advantage of a maid you find tied to a tree,
For love and lust, according to two differing points of view,
May change a frog into a prince, and vice versa too.

Ch. Fol de rol de diddle-O, fol de rol de doo,
May change a frog into a prince, and vice versa too.


Ó Don Thompson May 1980

.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 10:55 AM

See Lyr Req: Geordie Broon / Geordie Brown


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 06:07 PM

See THE KNOCKING NELLY TRILOGY, consisting of 3 parts/3 jokes: THE BALLAD OF KNOCKING NELLY, KNOCKING NELLY AND THE SIXTY-NINER, and KNOCKING NELLY AND THE MOTHMAN—all by Bernard Wrigley.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 06:10 PM

Get up and lock the door.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: oldhippie
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 07:38 PM

"The $65 Sports Car" aka "A True Story" was indeed recorded by Charlie King. He called it "The Corvette".


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: oldhippie
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 07:41 PM

And the copyright apparently belongs to McCutcheon (1986) as "The Red Corvette".


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Joe_F
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 08:02 PM

"Come, come," said Tom's father, "at your time of life,
There's no longer excuse for thus playing the rake --
It is time you should think, boy, of taking a wife." --
"Why, so it is, father -- whose wife shall I take?"

-- Thomas Moore


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,Suffolk Miracle
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 10:28 AM

This was compiled from a series of traditional miners' jokes recorded in Dave Douglass' Pit Talk in County durham

Some men leave their sons their land, their gold and silver too;
If they have a house they leave to them the key.
But my father was a collier and he had no wealth to leave -
Instead he left this good advice to me:
CHO Never let your dingle dangle dingle-dangle down;
Never let your dingle dangle down.

The first day I worked down the pit a butterfly flew past
So I hit it with a shovel on the head;
Inside of half a minute everyone came running out
Crying 'Get out quick - the ventilator's dead!'

I must say that I've met some very small men in my time
But our Billy is the smallest I've seen yet
For when the shift is over and he goes into the shower
He has to run around to get it wet.

The Deputy who lives next doo said 'Wake me up at four
Because I've got the back-shift still to do.'
So at two o'clock I went around and woke the bastard up
And said 'You've only got two hours to go.'

A fellow got his leg trapped and the doctors went below
But they had to take it off before they'd done.
As they carried him outby the gaffer said 'You silly sod
It'll take you months to grow another one.'

Our Jimmy had to tell a lass her husband had been killed.
'Break it gently, don't just blurt it out' we said.
He went round to the house and when the lass came to the door
He said 'I bet you'll never guess who's dead!'


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jayto
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 10:56 AM

I have seen plenty of good song ideas turned into jokes thanks to bad writing :)


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Subject: Lyr Add: ELMA TURL (Mike Cross)
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 02:39 PM

Sorry if this has been mentioned, but I didn't read the whole thread.
Mike Cross was mentioned in the first post. He also did a song called Elma Turl, based on an old joke. I heard Buffy Sainte-Marie sing an entirely different song based on the same joke.

ELMA TURL
(Mike Cross)

Elma Turl is a beautiful girl, and I'd love to have her for my wife.
She's just the kind of woman who could make me happy for the rest of my life.
My daddy said, "Son, there's something you don't know, and it's something I think you oughter.
Elma Turl is a beautiful girl, but son, she's my daughter."

Alice Green is a beautiful thing, and I'd love to have her for my wife.
She's just the kind of woman who could make me happy for the rest of my life.
My daddy said, "Son, there's something you don't know, and it's something I think you oughter.
Alice Green is a beautiful thing, but son, she's my daughter."

Well, I've been all around the whole durn county, like a buck huntin' for a doe,
But it seems every girl I'd like to marry is a wild oat Daddy sowed.
So I went to my mama with my head hung down, and she asked me what the matter could be,
I told her my problem and she took my hand and said, "Son, now listen to me.

"You see, your daddy was such a good-lookin' young man, and like an eager young stallion horse,
His blood ran hot, so you can't blame him for lettin' Mother Nature take her course,
But you got no reason to be upset. Don't you worry; don't fret; don't bother.
You see, your daddy ain't your daddy. He only thinks he is, so you can marry whomever you wanter."


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,harlowpoet
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 03:20 PM

This is one of mine that I managed to put onto You Tube

A Love Story


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 05:41 PM

For them wot likes John Conolly's funny stuff, "The Grumpy Old Men of Old England" is his latest CD, and a good un, too. Available from CAMSCO, of course.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Amos
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 06:04 PM

There are SCORES of songs based on humorous incidents populating the SONG CHALLENGE threads and most of them are archived in Aine's Mudcat Songbook.

A


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: cptsnapper
Date: 01 Oct 08 - 11:45 PM

There's also Gerard Hoffnung's story, told at the Oxford Union, about the brickie who couldn't go to work, the musical equivalent of which was sung by Noel Murphy.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Arkie
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 01:54 PM

There have been several references to the songs Shame and Scandal, Mixed Up Family, Johnny Be Fair, and Emma Turl which are all based upon the same joke. R.L. Burnside has recorded a joke on the subject. Whether his joke is anywhere like the old story, I can't say. I became interested in the story behind the song after hearing Shame and Scandal and later Jimmy Driftwood singing "Mixed Up Family". Jimmy had connections with Odetta who sang Shame and Scandal and Buffy St. Marie who wrote Johnny Be Fair, and I have wondered if any of them inspired the other. The only response I ever had from inquiries was that the song was based on an old joke. I heard the Burnside recording long after having heard the various songs.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MANTRAP
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Oct 08 - 07:41 PM

In maybe 1955, I think it was, I saw a two-line wisecrack in, of all places, the The Saturday Evening Post.
A modest girl doesn't chase bachelors.
Neither, on the other hand, does a mousetrap pursue a mouse!


Aha, sez I, there's a song in there! And so there was, the first song I ever wrote that was worth keeping. We won't mention the earlier ones. The tune has a sort of calypso beat, but, more's the pity, I'm not able to submit the tune here.

The Mantrap

Come all you young maidens and listen
And gain some instruction from me.
Be modest, demure, and retiring,
And chase not the bachelor so free.

Oh, do not act bold, free, and brazen;
Be modest, retiring and shy.
Men flee from the woman who chases
And the brazen young lady pass by.

But the modest girl does not chase bachelors
As doubtless you have been aware,
For the modest girl does not chase bachelors
As the bear-trap does not chase the bear!

Alas, would that it were longer!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 09:36 AM

Englishman, Scotchman and Irishman

Unpublished song collected by Alfred Williams

(WSRO: 2598/36 Packet 5 - Miscellaneous: Williams, A: MS collection No Mi 562)


Verse 1

An Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotchman too, one day
Were walking out together and one of them did say –
'We're all so very hungry, and I see on yonder hill
A flock of sheep a-feeding boys, it's one of them we'll kill.'

Verse 2

The notion being agreed upon, to the field they went together,
And from the flock a-grazing they chose a fine fat wether;
One held its head and one its legs, while, from underneath his coat,
Pat drew his knife out of the sheath and cut the poor brute's throat.

Verse 3

Then straightway one took off its skin and hung it on a briar,
Another gathered twigs of wood and kindled up a fire,
But the farmer he came riding by, and had them sent to prison,
For stealing his fat wether and for cutting off its wizen.

Verse 4

Next day before the learned judge the prisoners he took;
With gown and wig his worship sat, a turning of his book,
Said he – 'Tis a case for hanging,' and put the black cap on his head,
Saying – 'John Bull, Pat and Sandy, you shall hang until you're dead.

Verse 5

But I'll be merciful to you, since you have not long to live,
I'll set the law's strict rules aside and this favour I will give,
To choose your place for hanging, since you are so far from home,
So anywhere you like to name you shall be all welcome.'

Verse 6

Then the Englishman spoke – 'I'll choose the old oak, the pride of our native land,
On a high oak tree you may hang me since us you are going to disband.'
'All right,' says the judge, 'Away you can trudge and sorry I am to see you such a glutton
You all had your fill and the sheep did kill, so dearly you pay for your mutton.'

Verse 7

Then up spoke bold Sandy, of Scotland h spoke –
'On Scotland's high mountain let my neck be broke!
Let me breathe my last moments in an air pure and free!
Give me one pinch of snuff and in peace I will dee.'

Verse 8

'All right,' says the judge, 'This favour I'll grant,
Now take him away and don't let him snuff want.
Let him breathe his last moments in air pure and free!'
They did, and in ten minutes up went poor Scottee.

Verse 9

'Mush Gad!' then says Paddy, 'If I'm after dying,
O on a gooseberry bush I would like to be strung.'
'Oh, no,' the judge answered, this bold Paddy eyeing,
'There's never one high enough for you to be hung.'

Verse 10

'Hold hard!' then says Paddy, 'don't be in a flurry,
There's not one high enough everyone knows,
But as for the hanging, sure, Pat's in no hurry,
If it pleases your worship, I'll wait till one grows.'


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 10:10 AM

That's wonderful, sminky!

I hadn't heard of Alfred Williams before, but there is an article about him at SwindonWeb.com. He may be the earliest folk-song collector I have heard of who was actually of the working class himself.

A database containing the songs that Williams collected, and some others, can be searched at The Wiltshire County Council web site.

This was mentioned in this earlier thread: Wiltshire Folksong Database.

Apparently no one knows what tune the above song was sung to. Can anyone think of an appropriate one?


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 10:38 AM

I just noticed the last song has an odd rhyme scheme: for verses 1-8 it's AABB, then it switches to ABAB. Has anyone noticed this kind of thing before? Would it affect what tune you would use?


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 12:00 PM

It was also known as "Dearly you must pay for your mutton" and appeared on broadsides, though I've not been able to find a copy.

Horry White of Ringsfield, Nr Beccles, Suffolk, sang a much abridged version, substituting "a Hebrew" for the Irishman. Horry can be heard on the Double CD 'Comic Songs of the Stour Valley and East Coast Fishermen', though I don't know if it includes the above song.

The website is here (scroll down a bit to see the words).


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: MaineDog
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 12:33 PM

I am thinking of Fred Gosbee's "Great American Moose", which is seriously misunderstood by a hapless Scot who learns a lesson about comparative linguistics in a humorous manner.
MD


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Subject: Lyr Add: A GROSS ERROR (Ron Baxter)
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 02:03 AM

I'm sure I heard the joke this song is based on many years ago. Ron Baxter of Fleetwood put it into verse, with the hope that it might appeal to local hairdresser and ukulele wizard Richard Grothusen (The Amazing Dick). I put a tune to it (substantially similar to the one that accompanies "Paddy and the Bricks") ages ago, and I've been singing it occasionally ever since. Finally got performed for its intended recipient last year.

A GROSS ERROR (RON BAXTER)
Tune trad. arr. Ross Campbell

I was working down the barber's on a "Tony Curtis" crop,
When an auld lad, about eighty-four, shuffled in the shop;
I said "I'll not be long, sir!", but for a cut he hadn't come;
He said "I'd like a word wi' you - and in private, son!"

"You remember Friday evening, the last time you cut ma hair?
Just as I was leaving, you said 'One moment, sir!
Anything for the week-end?' and I said 'I think I ought
to have a few of they Johnny things - so a gross from you I bought!'"

I said, "Indeed!", I remembered him, for that many I rarely sell;
He frowned as he continued, for things hadn't turned out well;
"Although a hundred and forty-four from you I thought I'd bought -
I'm sorry, son, but you've diddled me, and I find I'm a packet short!"

"Oh!" I said "I'm really sorry, sir, you can have another pack -
Or if you would prefer it, you can have a refund back!"
He said "No, never mind, lad - but I'll tell ye as a friend -
To be more careful in future - for you spoiled a great week-end!"

The last half-line is spoken with a sigh, and more in sorrow than in anger.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 03:17 AM

SALT
Can't see it here at all, but may have overlooked it.
A song based on a folk-tale rather than a joke seems to be making a comeback here in Ireland - heard it twice at a singing festival last week-end.
Don't have the words but plot goes - like- this.
Man takes job as farm-hand which requires him to live in with the farmer and his wife, both very mean, so he is not very well fed.
One of his first jobs is to kill the pig and salt it.
After some time the farm donkey dies and he is instructed to salt it for future eating.
Later the grandmother of the house dies; when he is instructed to "Go for the salt" he takes to the road.

At the same week-end I heard a song version of an American tale I know as 'The Mountaineer's Courtship'.
Old hill farmer, on his annual visit to town bargains for a wife, sets her on the donkey and heads for home.
On the way the farmer doesn't speak until the donkey stumbles and he says, "That's once" - wife says nothing.
A few miles later the donkey stumbles again; the farmer says, "That's twice" - wife says nothing.
Halfway home the donkey stumbles a third time; the farmer takes a stick and beats the donkey to death.
The wife lets out a roar, "How can you do that to a dumb animal, what's it ever done to you, how are we going to get home now, it's coming on to rain............ etc, etc, etc, etc..........
The farmer says, "That's once".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: Lyr Add: PUB SONG (from Wounded John Scott Cree)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 06:15 PM

Transcribed from the video at YouTube, where it is reportedly sung by Wounded John Scott Cree live at Brighton in 1976.

The tune is a familiar one; it is also used for THE NIGHTINGALE or THE GRENADIER—the one with the chorus that ends: "And they both sat down together for to hear the nightingale sing."

THE PUB SONG

One night I went out to a pub for a beer.
"That's 2p," said the barman, and he wasn't a queer.
I said, "In that case, are you having one too?"
And he said, "Cheers! I'll have 1p's worth with you."

I felt a bit peckish, so I ordered some crisps.
I said, "Give us one bag; no, look: make it six."
He went under the counter and lobbed them to me.
I said, "How much is that?" He said, "Nothing. They're free."

I thought, "What's the catch?" so to clear up my doubt,
I ordered a bottle of scotch to take out.
He went and he got it and gave it to me.
I said, "How much is that?" he said, "17p."

I thought it was Christmas, and funnily, it was,
And I realized I had no booze in my house,
So I ordered his entire stock of spirits from him.
He said, "Look, I'm sorry: we've run out of gin."

So I said, "Well, worse things can happen at sea.
Give everyone a drink and charge it to me."
There was two or three hundred, but that's what he did.
He said, "Sorry, all together, I'm afraid that's a quid."

I thought something was wrong and it started to nag.
It was then that I realized I'd run out of fags,
So I ordered two hundred to Piccadilly(?),
And of course all he charged me was 17p.

I thought it was time that the landlord was there.
The bloke said the landlord was busy upstairs.
I asked him, "What doing?" He said, "Here's the rub:
What he's doing to my wife I'm doing to his pub."


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Subject: Lyr Add: DESTROYER BENSON
From: Joe_F
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 09:32 PM

RossCampbell: I heard that joke while a student at Caltech back in the '50s. It seems a certain chemist had found condoms just the thing for capping a test tube & leaving room for evolved gas. He bought them by the gross, because in his experiments he used racks of 12x12 test tubes. One Sunday he found that the box contained only 143. The following day he went to the drugstore & mentioned the matter. The young man at the counter rose to the occasion by saying "Gee, mister, I hope it didn't spoil your weekend."

*

The following story is said to be based on fact. I heard it, already much embellished, at Harvard in 1959. For a long time I thought it was the stuff of balladry, and eventually I got around to it. It is, of course, TTTO that other great ballad of concatenated disasters, "The Sick Note":

Destroyer Benson

If you will please to take your seats and turn attentive ears,
A Harvard tale I'll tell to you, from Pusey's golden years.
There was a wise professor then, a chemist known to fame --
Played golf with Eisenhower. Kistiakowsky was his name.

He had a brilliant student, name of Benson, and 'twas said
If you asked him for an orbital, he'd do it in his head,
But if he touched a test tube, it invariably broke,
And when he flipped the switch, the centrifuge went up in smoke.

It happened that the Boston Globe reported in those days
The Navy Yard had sent a warship sliding down the ways.
'Twas called Destroyer Benson, 'twas the pride of our Navee.
"Aha!" Destroyer Benson said, "That's just the name for me".

One night Destroyer Benson labored in the lab alone.
The very plumbing in the sinks could scarce suppress a groan.
He had a flask of mercury and wished to know its mass;
He put it on the balance in its little house of glass.

He loaded up the other pan with every weight in sight.
The balance never budged; the tongue hung stiffly to the right.
With sudden inspiration, to the cabinet he strode
Where he had heard that Kistiakowsky's own gold weights were stowed.

He piled them on the right-hand pan; the beam swung round at last,
And then it broke and dropped the flask, which came down hard and fast.
It shattered, and the mercury poured out and swirled around;
The steel weights floated in it, but the gold ones stood their ground.

Now if you are a chemist or a dentist, you've been told
That mercury on contact will amalgamate with gold:
The atoms walk their way into the crystal grains, and then
There isn't any easy way to get them out again.

It soon occurred to Benson the professor might be sore
To find his own precision weights now weighed a little more.
"I'll try some heat", he thought, and he assembled for the task
A clamp, a Bunsen burner, and an Erlenmeyer flask.

Alas, the weights within the flask stayed silvered as before,
Though Benson turned the flame up to a gratifying roar.
"I'll pump it out", he theorized, and so he went and stole
A pump, a vacuum hose, a tube, a stopper with a hole.

He went to throw the balance out, he heard a sucking sound,
Turned anxiously towards the bench, and this is what he found:
The flask had softened and was now completing its collapse;
The stopper melted on the weights and trickled through the gaps.

Now just imagine, if you will, that coruscating mass
Of precious weights, now shrink-wrapped under curves of gleaming glass,
Old gold and new quicksilver all entwined with threads of black:
Well, that's the way Professor Kistiakowsky got them back.

Said he, "A synthesis like this can scarcely be believed.
I hope that you took careful notes on how it was achieved.
In Arts as well as Sciences 'twill get you a degree,
And tourists in the Fogg will see your shining Ph.D.

We'll write it up this afternoon -- there is no other way.
I can't afford to have you here at Harvard one more day.
And soon in Cambridge there'll be no-one left to tell the tale:
I'll catch a plane to Washington, and you can go to Yale."

-- Joe Fineman (1998)


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:26 PM

"I'm In Love With You Baby, And I Don't Even Know Your Name" was
written about a joke. (Alan Jackson: one of his relatives would
sometimes suggest he use it in a song as a joke. Eventually, Alan made
an attempt to write it, and the song is rather humorous. It's on his
first greatest hits record).


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 12:07 AM

PAIR OF GEESE by Peter & Lou Berryman.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 12:57 PM

100


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: kendall
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 01:17 PM

I looked in the DT for Over the Ground and didn't see it.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,seth from Olympia
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 03:24 PM

JOhn Prine: The Late John Garfield Blues.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 04:04 PM

Here's a monologue I wrote after seeing the joke told on Mudcat...
(In the Yorkshire dialect of course!)

The Battle of Hastings

It wor just before t'battle of Hastings, and t'protagonists wor waiting to start,
King Harold wor giving some praise to his troops to try and cheer up their dull hearts.
They'd had a reyt week of it so far, up to York and back they'd had to gallop,
an' they'd fowt a big battle at Stamford Bridge, and given Harald Hardrada a wallop!

So his army were all bloody knackered, they'd were sore in both body and foot
and they hadn't had much to eyt neither, cos t'local McDonalds were shut!
...Still, Harold had picked a good site for the fray, on t'top of old Senlac Hill,
and he thowt if he managed to gee up his men, 'at still lots of Normans they'd kill.

He took a quick look at the Normans, they looked wicked, professional and keen,
and at t'side of his mud spattered, slovenly crew, for French folk they looked fairly clean!
He saw big William the Bastard, fannying rahnd on his horse,
and he heard him shout summat i' Norman, that despite his poor French sounded coarse!

So he turned to a man in the front rank, his big Danish axe at his side,
"how stands the shield wall with you my good man?" the dauntless King Harold he cried!"
"What can you do with that axe my good man?" so the chap puts his hands in his pocket,
pulls out some lettuce and fennel and such like, wi' some cucumber, parsley an' rocket!

He chucks 'em all up in to t'air like, and chops them all up ere they dropped,
and up fills his helmet wi a nice little salad as in there each piece well it plopped!
"A present my Lord!" said the warrior, "And tonight when in victory we feast,
please enjoy this gift as a starter, in the hope that my honour increase!"

Well the troops started cheering like thunder, "That went rather well!" thought the King,
and next he strode up to a swordsman, and his praises he started to sing.
"Give us a show of your skill with that blade!" so the chap he pulls out a dead rabbit!
that he'd somehow managed to keep tucked away up the left sleeve of his habit!

His sword it flashed upwards and outwards, reflecting the suns rays so hot,
and before his eyes full of startled surprise it was skinned, chopped and dressed for the pot!
"To the Victor the spoils!" said the warrior, as he lay it down by the Kings feet,
"Please remember the deeds of this warrior, as tonight you sit down to your meat!"

The troops now they cheered even louder, and started to jump up and down,
as Harold went up to a Spearman, a big man with face gnarled and brown,
"What can you do with that spear my good man, canst thou cast the thing far good and true,
"Aye that I can!" said the soldier, "Just let me show what I can do!"

He threw the spear up to the heavens, (it was lost for a while in the sky,)
but each man held his breath as it soared back to earth, then each gave a piercing cry!
for quivering there on the spearshaft, just at the Kings feet in the muck,
were there if you please, three fine fat geese, a partridge and two brace o' duck!

Each man in the force roared like madmen, as t' King then to t'Archers he strode,
and he stopped in front of an odd lookin' chap, his face it wor t'colour o't'road!
"Now then good archer!" said Harold, "why not give me a taste of your skill?"
"...summat to put t'wind up them Normans!" and t'Archer said, "Reyt then I will!"

Well he fumbled abaht in his quiver, and he nocked up an arrow to t'string,
then he sorta let go a bit quickly, and t'arrow shot off with a spring.
It shot like a bird past t'King's ear oyle, and narrowly missed his old horse,
then it ricocheted back off an axe blade, and flew through the middle of his force.

There were men ducking down all ovver, the buggers were diving in groups,
as that arrow flew back at eye level it wor parting the hair of the troops!
the thing it caused such a commotion, it wor every poor man for hissen,
then it bounced off another mans helmet! and back towards t' King once again!

That arrow it flew straight towards him, he could see it come straight from afar!
as it sailed through the air t'tension mounted, and his men wi' one voice shouted, "Aarrgghh!"
But Harold he stood there undaunted, his courage he never would yield,
and it finally landed 3 inch from his heart, where he'd thankfully just placed his shield!!!

"Bugger me!" whispered Harold in t'silence, his men were all in disarray,
and t'archer were stood looking sorry for hissen thinkin', "Christ there'll be t'devil to pay!
But just at that moment t'horn sounded, and the Normans made haste up the track,
so they hastily got t'shield wall together again, and prepared to repel the attack!


King Harold he frowned at the Archer, and his eye it wor steely and grim!
and he called one of his Lieutenants over, and said, "I'll have a quick word about HIM!"
"When this battle's over I'll tear off his ears!" he said, as up there in his saddle he sat...
,"But for now you just keep a good watch over him else,
HE'LL HAVE SOME BUGGERS EYE AHT WI' THAT!"


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Genie
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 01:57 AM

Let's not forget The Scotsman's Kilt

and the one about The Vicar And The Frog.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 04:47 AM

I didn't go all up the thread t ocheck so forgive me if this one is already there.

I heard Séamus Ennis tell this one as a joke/recitation but it's been put to music (I am not mad about the tune that was put on it though).

The Irish French Letter


I was up to me arse in the muck, sir.
With a peat contract down in the bog
When me shovel it struck something hard sir
That I thought was a rock, or a log.

'Twas a box of the finest old oak, sir
'Twas a foot long and four inches wide.
And not giving a damn for the fairies,
I just took a quick look inside.

Now I opened the lid of this box, sir,
And I swear that my story is true
'Twas an ancient old Irish French letter,
A relic of Brian Boru.

'Twas an ancient old Irish French letter,
'Twas a foot long and made of elk hide;
With a little gold tag on its end sir
With his name, rank and stud fee inscribed.

Now I cast me mind back through the ages,
To the days of that horny old Celt,
With his wife lyin' by on the bed, sir,
As he stood by the fire in his pelt.

And I thought that I heard Brian whisper,
As he stood in the fire's rosy light,
"Well, ye've had your own way long enough, dear,
'Tis the hairy side outside tonight!"


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: framus
Date: 01 Nov 10 - 08:13 PM

Dear Peter
The above song, more or less, was on an LP (BIG BLACK THING) that I bought about 35 years ago. It was called Bawdy British Ballads, but I can't remember who the singer was. It also had a lot of limericks and The Chastity Belt, inter alia. This one was called The Ballad of Brian Boru.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 06:24 PM

The Loo Song by The Corries.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 06:59 PM

The Transatlantic Anthology of Hamish Imlach has several funny songs, for me most notably the coppers' song and including the Dundee cat. It also has one which I knew as a joke for years before I ever heard as a song "I was a Gay Spark in my Time".

This was the subect of a previous thread but as far as I can see the words never made it into the DT, despite being in the thread.

previous thread


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 10:07 PM

THE TALKING DOG performed by the Oldham Tinkers.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 09:30 AM

Then there is that liar's song from Ireland, where the guy is talking about picking up some babe, and going to her place, and getting into it when home comes the husband who is Wild Bill the Wrestler, he tries to run away and falls and the guy grabs his leg...

and pulls it...

"don't believe this old yarn, don't believe this old line
For I'm pulling your leg like he;s pulling mine
Toora lay, toora lay,, wisha toorali oorali ay."


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 10:02 AM

I guess not so much a joke as just an amusing song.. anyone remember this?   

Intergalactic laxative.... Donovan


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST,old git
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 08:25 AM

Keith marsden's "Ten Pints of Tetleys" is 5 jokes masterly woven into a very funny song.
geoff t


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 07:00 PM

Joe Fineman's "Destroyer Benson" is also sung (at least in the filk community) with the names slightly changed, to "Benbow" and "Kuliakowski". I understand that he originally wrote it that way, but that since the decease of both participants he has reverted to the actual names.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 08:12 PM

I humbly submit Reggaeforce.

The joke make more sense in the live video. Kind of. The important information is the original - warning, it's loud and may be unexpected - and the live version (where I am very nervous because I've never played it live before).


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Joe_F
Date: 03 Jul 11 - 09:09 PM

GUEST: That is correct.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: saulgoldie
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 08:22 AM

I am not sure if this was first a joke. But...

Shame And Scandal In The Family

In Trinidad there was a family
With much confusion as you will see
It was a mama and a papa, and a boy who was grown
Who wanted to marry and have a wife of his own
He found a young girl, that suited him nice
And went to his papa to ask his advice
His papa said son, I have to say no
This girl is your sister but your mama don't know
Refrein:
Who, is me, shame and scandal in the family
Who, is me, shame and scandal in the family
A week went by and the summer came 'round
And soon the best cook in the island he found
He went to his papa to name the date
But papa shook his head and to him he said
You can't marry this girl, I have to say no
This girl is your sister but your mama don't know
Refrein

He went to his mama and covered his head
And told his mama what his papa had said
His mama laught, she said go, man, go
Your daddy ain't your daddy, but your daddy don't know
Refrein


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Megan M
Date: 04 Jul 11 - 04:59 PM

The Crimson Pirates turned the barrel joke into a song, lyrics (I believe) by Don Kilcoyne:

The Barrel

"Permission, sir, to come aboard." "Tis granted, come up, lad
And welcome to the Crimson Tide, you look just like your dad!"
"He sends regards, he sends his son to follow him to sea
And he asked about the barrel -- is that something I could see?"

"You've heard about the barrel, boy, in every port it's told
How sailors on the Crimson Tide fight loneliness and cold.
Just step up to our pride and joy and raise your mast on high
Now slide your dinghy into port -- a moment now -- " "Oh, my!"

Just step up to the barrel
Just step up to the barrel
Oh, in the end, it's your best friend
When you step up to the barrel

Though just a lad, he'd been around and had his lady friends
But his knees went weak, his eyes went crossed, he thought his life would end
He'd left on shore a lady fair, the sweet and lovely Carol
But nothing that she'd done to him could come close to the barrel

Could come close to the barrel
Could come close to the barrel
Oh, every day you can have your way
If you come close to the barrel

"So this is what Dad whispered of when he was drinking porter
No wonder he got giggles from the landlord's lovely daughter
A sailor's life is not so hard, I won't be missing Carol
Whenever I get lonely, I'll just step up to the barrel!"

Just step up to the barrel
Just step up to the barrel
When in your bones, you feel alone
Just step up to the barrel

"There one thing I must warn you of: you don't have use on Sunday
For six whole days, you can have your fun, you only give up one day."
"Of course -- that's when I go to church, and sing my hymns and carols."
"I'm sorry, son, you've got me wrong -- that's your day in the barrel!"

That's your day in the barrel
That's your day in the barrel
Enjoy it now, but on the seventh day,
That's your day in the barrel

That's your day in the barrel
That's your day in the barrel
Plug away, but on the seventh day,
That's your day in the barrel


The Barrel at the NY Renfaire, 2008. Don sings the captain's part.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 06:35 PM

Posted in another thread: An old joke about a Pullman porter and a passenger who wants to get off at Buffalo:

PUT ME OFF AT BUFFALO from 1895.


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Subject: RE: Jokes turned into songs...
From: Joe_F
Date: 03 Sep 13 - 11:17 PM

Linda and Her Londonderry Air.


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Subject: Turn jokes into Song Challenges
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Sep 13 - 06:25 AM

The lyricist of "Put Me Off" wasted the punchline, which must be something like "You should have heard/seen the guy I threw out at Buffalo!" - who must not be mentioned any earlier.

What about a SONG CHALLENGE with the following rules: a joke (taken from a joke thread) is given by the jury; each contestant makes a poem or song from it. To avoid any suspicion of plagiarizing, one hour, about a week ahead, can be fixed in which all submissions must take place; the thread is closed in the meantime. Submitters who are Mudcat members and cannot post at the fixed time, may PM their entries to the jury earlier.


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