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Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'

Bat Goddess 03 Jun 15 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,# 03 Jun 15 - 12:25 PM
Bat Goddess 03 Jun 15 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,# 03 Jun 15 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,# 03 Jun 15 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,# 03 Jun 15 - 02:47 PM
Bat Goddess 03 Jun 15 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,# 03 Jun 15 - 03:00 PM
Dave Hanson 04 Jun 15 - 02:27 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 04 Jun 15 - 06:53 AM
Bat Goddess 04 Jun 15 - 07:45 AM
Dave Sutherland 04 Jun 15 - 08:11 AM
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Subject: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 09:25 AM

I've been badgered (actually hasn't taken much!) by Curmudgeon's (Tom Hall's) long time banjo playing musical partner into learning more of the songs Curmudgeon sang and they performed together for forty years.

Tom learned "Celebrated Working Man" from a recording (probably "The Iron Muse" on Topic, of which I have the LP) by A.L. Lloyd, which is dramatically different than the one in the DT.

I like to know about what I'm singing. I've already figured out that what I had down as "Dollival to York" is actually "Delaval to York" and done a lot of reading on Seaton Delaval, the pits, and the surrounding area and commerce.

But there's another reference to "and the trouble at the Chowting Pits I can elucidate" and I haven't been able to track down "Chowting Pits" or the trouble.

Can anyone help me? (Oh, I've left myself open on that -- I'm beyond help!)

Linn


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: GUEST,#
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 12:25 PM

http://www.richard-grainger.com/index.php?option=com_muscol&view=song&id=25&Itemid=73

Second to last stanza. Grainger's take anyway.


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 01:41 PM

Richard Grainger's words are very similar to what I've got and he has "Chow Dean pits"...but I can't find any reference online to them by that name or what the "trouble" was that needed explaining.

So far, so good. Thanks, Guest, #!

Now if I can snag a little more info...

Linn


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: GUEST,#
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 02:12 PM

It's no help, Bat Goddess. Sorry. I have looked for Chow Dean and it comes up only on Grainger's lyrics and Mudcat.

I'm wondering if the original term might have been Chaldean pits. They mined copper once upon a time and maybe the reference in the song is poetic licence rather than historic accuracy in terms of the song.


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: GUEST,#
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 02:35 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateshead_Fell

Look at the Religion section.


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: GUEST,#
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 02:47 PM

The problem isn't that the place doesn't (didn't) exist. Rather it is misspelled. The name is Chowdene. The 'trouble' likely was a reference to many people being bone idle and causing trouble.

You can check Youtube and hear Bert Lloyd singing the song. At about 1:04 he says the word.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDsw4oh5qdM


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 02:51 PM

"...he observed a little village called Chowden [now Chowdene], which they told me consisted of colliers only. ..."

That makes sense. One of the problems with so many songs is place names evolve and then, thanks to the folk process, they evolve some more.

Thanks again!
Linn


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: GUEST,#
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 03:00 PM

Welcome, Linn.


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Jun 15 - 02:27 AM

The version in ' 100 Songs of Toil ' [ Karl Dallas ] it also has ' Chow Dean Pit.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 04 Jun 15 - 06:53 AM

Interesting- am fairly sure the source in UK anyway was Jack Elliott of Birtley, Co Durham, although he did use some of the material collected by Bert Lloyd. Anyway, I also recall that Jack said it was an American (Canada/US?) song originally & he got it from a marra at the Cotia pit where he worked.
Chow Dene sounds like a Durham name, although I've never heard of it- have been away a long time..


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 04 Jun 15 - 07:45 AM

I know there's an American version, but I'll have to go to my desktop computer to access the notes. (Later.)

Before Tom (Curmudgeon) died, I asked him his source for many of the songs he sang. And I'm primarily interested in keeping Tom's repertoire alive in our musical circle. (Thirty-two years of his guidance and influence at the Press Room (Portsmouth, NH), for example.)

Tom had been performing in the Boston, MA area and NH Seacoast since the early 1960s. His was originally influenced (when he'd indicated an interest in British folk) by two LPs his father bought him -- A.L. Lloyd's "English Drinking Songs" and Ewan MacColl's "Bad Lads and Hard Cases".

Linn


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Subject: RE: Places In 'Celebrated Working Man'
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 04 Jun 15 - 08:11 AM

As has been mentioned in previous threads this version of "Celebrated Working Man" is widely suspected to be a Bert Lloyd "creation" although it does run along parallel lines to the version made famous by Jack Elliott who learned it from, as Jim points out, Yankee Jim Roberts. The Elliott Family held Bert in huge affection but always suspected him of "wangling" when it came to this particular song.


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