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'Traditional songs' on The Archers

Phil Edwards 09 May 15 - 12:17 PM
The Sandman 09 May 15 - 02:56 PM
The Sandman 09 May 15 - 03:02 PM
MGM·Lion 09 May 15 - 03:19 PM
Steve Gardham 09 May 15 - 04:52 PM
peregrina 09 May 15 - 05:26 PM
Phil Edwards 09 May 15 - 06:02 PM
r.padgett 10 May 15 - 03:17 AM
The Sandman 10 May 15 - 03:36 AM
Michael 10 May 15 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Peter from seven stars link 10 May 15 - 01:35 PM
GUEST 10 May 15 - 03:08 PM
Leadfingers 10 May 15 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 11 May 15 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 11 May 15 - 08:13 AM
Jim Carroll 11 May 15 - 08:20 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 11 May 15 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 11 May 15 - 11:07 AM
The Sandman 12 May 15 - 02:34 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 12 May 15 - 06:04 AM
The Sandman 12 May 15 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 12 May 15 - 07:33 PM
The Sandman 13 May 15 - 05:35 AM
r.padgett 13 May 15 - 03:23 PM
Phil Edwards 14 May 15 - 12:35 PM
Phil Edwards 01 Jun 15 - 09:00 AM
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Subject: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 May 15 - 12:17 PM

On Friday's episode of The Archers - which you can hear here, starting at about 3:45 - Joe and Eddie* sing a couple of traditional songs from Borsetshire. (Joe's occasionally been heard to sing folk songs before now as well as telling local ghost stories, but Eddie (his son) is a country & western man & has never shown any interest in anything traditional AFAIK.)

But what of the songs? There's no such place as Borsetshire, so obviously these were made up by the scriptwriter. But he was obviously quite pleased with himself, because we heard a fair chunk of both of them. Here's the opening of The Fair Maid of Edgeley:

There once was a maiden in fine Borsetshire
So pure and so fragrant [inaudible]
All swains of the country upon her would call
But the fair maid of Edgeley would have none at all.
[last line sung to the tune of "And the larks they sung melodious", etc]

For up at the big house there lived this girl's love
A man of high [fades out]

And here's the end of the Borchester Cobbler:

So if you are seeking some boots or some shoes
Be guided by me on which cobbler to choose
Seek not in Borchester or you will pay
I guarantee you will hobble away
Hobble away, hobble away,
I guarantee you will hobble away.


I wondered if these were based on anything. The first one has a bit of the Golden Glove about it, but it's a stretch. The second is a bit Coppers-ish, from the Wop she 'ad it/Corduroy end of their repertoire, but I can't think of any songs actually about cobblers, if you'll pardon the expression.

Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 May 15 - 02:56 PM

THE CUNNING COBBLER, recorded by george spicer of sussex, this was the first song i ever sang in public


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 May 15 - 03:02 PM

This is just a little story, but the truth I'm going to tell,
It does concern a butcher who in Dover town did dwell.
Now, this butcher was possessed of a beautiful wife,
But the cobbler, he loved her as dearly as his life.
Singing: fol-tbe-riddle-i-do, fol-the-riddle-ay.

Now this butcher went to market for to buy an ox,
And then the little cobbler, sly as any fox,
He put on his Sunday coat and courtin' he did go;
To the jolly butcher's wife, because 'e loved her so.

Now when the little cobbler stepped
into the butcher's shop,
The butcher's wife knew what he meant
and bade him for to stop.

"O," says he, "Be my darling,
haw you got a job for me?"
The butcher's wife, so cunning,
says, "I'll go up and see."

Now she went to the bedroom door
and gave the snob a call,
"I have got an easy job,
if you have brought your awl,

And if you do it workmanlike,
some cash to you I'll pay."
"O thank you," said the cobbler
and began to stitch away.

But as the cobbler was at work,
a knock come on the door.
The cobbler scrambled out of bed
and laid upon the floor.

"O," said she, "me darling,
what will me husband say?"
But then she let the policeman in,
along with her to play.

But the butcher came from market
in the middle of the night.
The policeman scrambled out of bed
and soon got out of sight.

The butcher's wife so nimbly
locked the bedroom door,
But in her fright, she quite forgot
the cobbler on the floor.

But the butcher soon found out,
when he laid down in bed.
"Something here is very hard,"
the butcher smiled and said.

She says, "It is me rolling pin."
The butcher he did laugh,
"How came you for to roll your dough
with a policeman's staff?"

Now the butcher threw the truncheon
underneath the bed.
There he cracked the pepper pot
and hit the cobbler's head.

The cobbler cried out, "Murder!"
Said the butcher, "Who are you?"
"I am the little cobbler who goes mending ladies' shoes."

"If you are the little cobbler,
come along with me
I'll pay you for your mending,
before I've done with thee."

He put him in the bull pen — the bull began to roar.
The butcher laughed to see the bull
a-rolling o'er and o'er.

Now early in the morning just as people got about,
The butcher mopped his face with blood,
and then he turned him out.

He pinned a ticket to his back and on it was the news:
The cobbler to the bedroom goes mending ladies' shoes.

But the people all got frightened
when they saw the cobbler run;
His coat and breeches were so torn,
he clearly showed his bum.

He rushed up to his wife
and he kicked her on the floor,
Says he, "You brute, I'll never go a-mending any more."


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 May 15 - 03:19 PM

Also, of course, the Makem family's Dick Darby the Cobbler. & one that I remember Henry [aka Hyam] Morris used to sing, with hammer & stitch actions a bit like Tommy Makem's on Dick Darby --

I sit and mend shoes for a living
My wife drinkes whisky and gin
And fast as I makes any money-i
She'll spend it down at the Sun Inn
[Rye-tie-tiddlum chorus with actions]

Now my wife has become a teetotaller
She doesn't drink whisky no more
So fast as I makes any money-i
I saves it up by the galore
[chorus]

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 May 15 - 04:52 PM

Was the tune anything like 'Young Rambleaway'? That's what the chorus seems to be based on.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: peregrina
Date: 09 May 15 - 05:26 PM

FIrst song seems to have just a whiff of the theme of John Jacob Niles's Lass from the Low Country--esp if the man is 'of high [degree]--but I didn't hear it so don't know if there's any connection to the tune


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 May 15 - 06:02 PM

Steve - definite family resemblance, I think. If you follow the link you can hear for yourself.

As far as I could make out the first song was about a girl who's betrothed against her will & marries her true love at the last minute. So it's in the Golden Glove/Green Wedding area, but without any tune to speak of until the last line (which was nicked from Pleasant & Delightful). The second song seemed to be about a cobbler who wasn't very good at his job and... er, that's it, which doesn't sound like any traditional song I know of (including the two just cited).


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 May 15 - 03:17 AM

Tom Forest was a character on there and I seem to recollect his alter

ego (the guy that played him, I mean) made a record (I have it

somewhere), whether he sung on the Archers I do not know

Ray


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 May 15 - 03:36 AM

bob arnold[ now dead but used to be uncle tom forrest] did indeed sing on the archers many years ago , he sang the lincolnshire poacher, to the then eddie grundy.. in the back ground came the sound of a fire engine,as someones house burned down, which rather stole his thunder.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: Michael
Date: 10 May 15 - 12:27 PM

Tom Forrest was famous for singing 'The Village Pump'.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: GUEST,Peter from seven stars link
Date: 10 May 15 - 01:35 PM

Don't know ouwt about the songs and I only looked in as I remember my dad listening to it ....that is , the show...when I was a child. Did,nt even know it was still going. I might well give the link a listen later. Excuse the thread drift.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 15 - 03:08 PM

"Did,nt even know it was still going"
It's the world's longest running soap


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 May 15 - 07:42 PM

When I was serving with RAF in the Middle East I has a half hour weekly programme on Aden Forces Broadcasting Association . In the Record library were Four 78 rpm record of Bob Arnold recorded under the auspices of the EFDSS . I wish I had the nerve to bring them home with me
















i


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 11 May 15 - 06:56 AM

The EFDSS stuff (Bob Arnold) should be relatively easy to locate.

Any ideas Steve?


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 11 May 15 - 08:13 AM

I'm not sure the recordings were anything to do with EFDSS.... Bob Arnold recorded 5 songs for the BBC folk music recording scheme in 1952. And 5 for HMV, released on 78s in 1954 (2 songs in common with the BBC ones). Then there was the 1972 Argo LP, Mornin' All (named after his opening greeting when the Sunday omnibus edition of the Archers had an introductory chat from Tom Forrest).

All this information from Traditional Music magazine no. 1 1975.

I think Bob Arnold may have deposited some papers in the VWML.

Derek


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 May 15 - 08:20 AM

Note to Bob Arnold from the BBC catalogue
Jim Carroll

ARNOLD, Bob
Singer. Asthall, Burford Oxfordshire. 16.10.52
A professional dialect entertainer and actor, who performed at functions in Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties before becoming well known as Tom Forrest in 'The Archers'. Francis Collinson wrote of him in JEFDSS 1946: "He has a good knowledge of 'folk songs, which he acquired as a boy from his father and from local traditional singers, and knew personally some of the Oxfordshire men from whom Cecil Sharp collected songs".
Section 1:
Bell ringers: 18686; Mallard (1); Penny Wager (1): 18687; When Jones's Ale was new (2); Widdicombe Fair (2): 18686.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 11 May 15 - 10:45 AM

Derek
I suspected as much.
There seems to quite a lot of history these days being written from (hazy) memory - but don't get me started on that!


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 11 May 15 - 11:07 AM

Well, I quite enjoyed that blast from the past. Seems the groom was a bit reticent to have traditional song at his traditional wedding !.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 May 15 - 02:34 AM

Malcolm, nothing hazy about my memory , particularly of you as a cricketer,


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 12 May 15 - 06:04 AM

Cheers Dick.

I'm retired now by the way.

Don't forget though - "the older you get the better you were"


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 May 15 - 07:26 PM

Malcolm, that makes me useless.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 12 May 15 - 07:33 PM

I would never think of you as that.

Your ability to find musical gems and push events other than as well as your own gives you a worth others might aspire to.

I see we lost Packie this evening.

I have a few memorable personal memories of the man and feel a mixture of sadness and gladness this evening.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 May 15 - 05:35 AM

yes,Packie was a fine performer and a great raconteur and great company. Malcolm,my comment was related to my lack of cricketing ability, I might bump into you at Saltburn festival


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: r.padgett
Date: 13 May 15 - 03:23 PM

Bob Arnold, Mornin' All ~ Argo vinyl my copy from Rosemary Tawney in Leeds

Jim the Carter, Jolly Waggoner, Postponed, Stow Fair, Needle Cases, Poor Old Horse, As I was going to Banbury

Turmut Hoeing, Where the violets are blue, Three maidens a milking, When Jone's Ale was new (Jones'?), The rest of the days your own, Richard of Taunton Dene, The Bell Ringers

1972 ~ Accompanied by the Yetties. loads of notes too

Ray


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 May 15 - 12:35 PM

Jones's Ale was originally "Jone's Ale" - Jone being the contemporary spelling of Joan - so that may not be a typo.

There's also this EP from 1958, featuring Bob's Jones's Ale (usual spelling this time) plus renderings of Barbara Allen and When We Are Married; not sure who sings those two, though.


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Subject: RE: 'Traditional songs' on The Archers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 09:00 AM

Keri Davies, the soon-to-be-departed Archers scriptwriter, has claimed ownership of these two; the clicky will take you to the full lyrics of both. He acknowledges the 'Rambleaway' borrowing - a point to Steve G.

Keri D's obviously listened to a few traditional songs, but I don't think he's really got the feel for them. The Fair Maid of Edgeley, for instance, turns out not to be a "star-crossed lovers" story at all, but more a case of "she pined away and died - the idiot, she should have found someone else instead". Can't think of anything like that in the tradition, although I'll probably remember something really well-known in five minutes' time.

Keri Davies shares one distinction with Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and Chris Difford - an author credit on . Discogs doesn't know about it, but it did come up with this earlier incarnation of Eddie Grundy singing something called "Lambs to the Slaughter" in 1980. The actor (who joined The Archers in 1979) would have been 23 at this point & appears to have been going for an image that was less comedy-based and more... um.


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