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

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


Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)

GUEST,Dan 19 Jan 16 - 01:08 PM
michaelr 19 Jan 16 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Dan 19 Jan 16 - 03:49 PM
michaelr 20 Jan 16 - 01:58 AM
Joe Offer 20 Jan 16 - 06:53 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Jan 16 - 07:22 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Jan 16 - 10:01 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jan 16 - 11:02 AM
Steve Gardham 21 Jan 16 - 01:28 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Jan 16 - 01:50 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Jan 16 - 02:02 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 01:08 PM

I have this song from an old acetate disc, circa 1949-51.
I tried googling pieces of lyrics but there's nothing about the song on the net and this seems like the best site so ask for more information.

I posted the song here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNS13R2a3xE

It's a home recording by someone who owned their own disc cutter, so it'd be what you call a field recording... but there were other discs among the collection that were copies of commercial discs (recorded by putting the microphone next to a gramophone) so that's a possibility also but I think because of the acoustics it's more likely to be a field recording.

Does anyone recognise the singer or have any information about the song itself. Are the lyrics documented in a book perhaps?


A Tinker's Life

Now a Tinker's life's a jolly one a tinker's life is gay
He drives his cart to many a part a different place each day
Takes his fun with many a one deny it if you can
Wherever I go the girls all know I'm a regular handyman
Yes wherever I go the girls all know I'm a regular handyman

I was jogging along to Salisbury just after break of day
There I spied a pretty young gal a walking by the way
As I overtook she give me a look which caused me for to say
There's room beside if you'd like to ride with a handyman today
Yes there's room beside if you'd like to ride with a handyman today

So up she jumps and down she bumps beside me with a laugh
She'd such a dainty ankle and she'd such a pretty calf
And blow me eyes to my surprise I couldn't help but see
That her garter wide had come untied and slipped below her knee
Yes her garter wide had come untied and slipped below her knee

Now would you be so kind sir would you be so free
As to fasten up me garter one inch above me knee
When we get to yonder bank I'll fasten it up for thee
For a tinker is a handyman as handy as can be
Yes a tinker is a handyman as handy as can be

Now upon the bank the maiden sank to do what was required
And swelt me bob I did the job the same as she desired
But when the job was over and done we noticed with a laugh
That the garter on the other leg had slipped below her calf
Yes the garter on the other leg had slipped below her calf

Now a tinker is the kind of cove who's never known to shirk
He makes a stand and puts his hand to every kind of work
To keep his reputation up he tries you may be sure
So I fixed the other garter as I fixed the one before
Yes I fixed the other garter as I fixed the one before

Oh tinker dear I greatly fear it was very wrong of me
To let you be so frolicsome to let you be so free
I was a maid but I'm afraid I'll never be the same
So if you'd like to marry me I'm ready to change me name
Yes if you'd like to marry me I'm ready to change me name

Now a tinker likes a bit of fun he likes a bit of sport
But when it comes to marriage well he's not the marrying sort
But if you'd like to stay with me and be me fancy gal
You can jog along beside me with a tinker for a pal
You can jog along beside me with a tinker for a pal

For a tinker's life's a jolly one a tinker's life is prime
I'll repeat it's hard to beat a tinker every time
And jogging about without a doubt is a thing that gals adore
So we'll jog along together as we jogged along before
Yes we'll jog along together as we jogged along before


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: michaelr
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 03:19 PM

This appears to be a version of "The Ups and Downs".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 19 Jan 16 - 03:49 PM

Thanks. Yes it's obvious one song seems to be derived from the other.

I just found this page: https://mainlynorfolk.info/steeleye.span/songs/theupsanddowns.html
where it mentions "Chris Willett sang As I Was Going to Salisbury in 1962 on the Willett Family's album The Roving Journeymen."

I listened to that (incomplete) version, it's similar to verses 2,3 & 4 of the version I posted and has the same tune. It's a closer match than the Steeleye Span version.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 01:58 AM

A previous thread, none too enlightening. I'm sure someone here must know more.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 06:53 PM

refresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 07:22 PM

Sandra Kerr sang a London version of this entitled 'The Maid of Tottenham' on one of the Critics Group London albums - bit different from the sanitised version here.

THE MAID OF TOTTENHAM

As I was going to Tottenham, upon a market day,
There I met with a pretty young maid a-clothed all in grey.
Her journey was to London, with buttermilk and whey.

WITH ME FAL THE LAIRY, FAL DE HAIRY, FAL DE ME LAIRY O.

'Good morning pretty damsel, you are well overtook.'
With that she cast her head aside and gave to me a look.
She was as full of lechery as letters in a book.
CHO

We both jogged on together, even side by side,
Until this young man was aware her garter was untied.
For fear that it would trip her, 'Your garter's down,' he cried.
CHO

'Kind sir, I do entreat you for to take the pain
To do me such a favour as to tie it up again.'
'That will I do,' quoth he, 'when we come to yonder plain.'
CHO

And when they came on yonder plain, upon a pleasant green,
The young girl spread her legs abroad and the young man fell between;
Such a tying of a garter I think was never seen.
CHO

She made to him low curtsies to thank him for his pain;
The young man is to Highgate gone and the maid to London came,
To sell off her commodity, she thought of it no shame.
CHO

And when she'd done her marketing and all her money told,
When she thought on the matter, it made her heart grow cold.
'But that which will away,' quoth she, 'is very hard to hold.'
CHO

The tying of her garter cost her her maidenhead,
She said 'It is no matter; it stood me in small stead,
And oftimes it has troubled me as I lay in my bed.'
CHO

Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 10:01 AM

Yes, a very interesting rewrite using some quite sophisticated internal rhyming not present in the usual versions which can be traced back to the 17th century. It appears to have been in oral tradition for most of this time at least also.

I'd say from internal evidence and language this piece probably dates from the late 19th century, but could be later.

If I hadn't seen the recording date I'd have guessed it was a rewrite by someone on the current folk scene.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 11:02 AM

"If I hadn't seen the recording date I'd have guessed it was a rewrite by someone on the current folk scene."
In his note to 'Tottenham Fair' (37b pp 163-168) in 'Roll Me Over' "Unprintable Folksongs and Folklore from the Vance Randolph collection, Gershon Legman gives an almost identical version with a different chorus from 'Choyce Drollery Songs and Sonnets' - never before printed (London 1656)
Maybe not a re-write!
This is the note to this particular version - will do the other pages if they are of interest.
Jim Carroll

But often times it troubled me as I lay in my bed.
To fall down, down, derry down, down, down,
Derry down, deny, derry dina.
This charming and forthright pastourelle of wayside seduction has been popular for over three centuries, and has a record number of variant titles: "Maid of Tottenham" (or "Totnam Fair"), "Tottingham Frolick, " "Jockey the Rover, " "The Lost Garter, " "To Market, to Market, " "Butter and Eggs, " "The Ups and Downs, " "Lily-White Thighs, " and others. Various localities vie for this unrepressed young woman, with her fine thighs and sad lack of business sense. Aside from her original Tottenham, just northwest of London (now fallen away to fame only for the Hotspur Football Ground), she is claimed as "The Aylesbury Girl, " "The Happisburgh Girl, " "The Salisbury Girl, " and especially the "Hazelbury Girl" in Somerset where Cecil Sharp collected two versions, there being a Hazelbury-Plucknett in the vicinity, though its full name fits rather poorly into the melodic line. The latest texts recovered in America are as "Roseberry" or "Osbury" (which are either town names or that of the hero's horse) and "Derby Town, " from Canada, not to be confused with "The Ram of Darby. " Note that the reference in stanza 7, to the girl coming to London "To sell off her commodity, she thought it for no shame, " alludes to seduced country girls becoming prostitutes in London, where the "commodity" they sell is their lost maidenhead, like Fanny Hill.
An early broadside (unidentified, but probably seventeenth century, as the girl comes from Tottenham) is mentioned by Kennedy, p. 428, who also notes the next known recoveries, all early twentieth century in England, in the Spar, Hammond, and Gardiner manuscripts. Reeves published one of Sharp's, in Idiom of the People, p. 123, and the other is now in Sharp's posthumous Collection, No. 179; while the Gardiner manuscript version is in Purslow's Marrowbones, p. 97. However, Kennedy's own version, No. 176, which he collected and recorded from a well-known old reprobate shepherd singer, Harry Cox, in Catfield, Norfolk, 1953, omits the crucial erotic stanza, though leading up to it obviously with the line: "Whilst tying up her garter, such a wonderful sight did I see, My hand did slip right up to her hip, " (now to chorus: ) "Sing, Fal-the-ral, etc. " and then going on with the girl saying reproachfully,
"Now since you've had your way to-day, pray tell to me your name... "
Wot!? just for a hand on her hip? —Come, come, come, Messrs. Cox and Kennedy!
American collectings include: Gordon manuscript 3918; Louis Chappell, p. 87—this being the very first erotic ballad openly published in America in 1939, without (too much) expurgation; Cazden, vol. II: p. 62; Larson manuscript 40 (collected, with a rather worn-down tune, from the collector's father, in Malad, Idaho, about 1900, as recollected 1932); and in Thomas R. Smith's anonymous Immortalia (New York, 1927) p. 123, as "The Lost Garter" reprinted in The Wrecks, p. 140; plus Randolph's present version, in a changed metre, collected from a retired woman physician in Missouri, whose informant learned it about 1897.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 01:28 PM

'Gershon Legman gives an almost identical version with a different chorus from 'Choyce Drollery Songs and Sonnets' - never before printed (London 1656)'

Jim, I'm confused here. Not difficult I know, but what is identical to what? Are you saying you have seen something that resembles 'A Tinker's Life' above? If so, can you point us to it please? I don't have that particular Randolph volume of which I presume you mean 'Roll me in your Arms' not 'Roll me Over' which is another book. I have the second volume.

Better still could you post the text here please?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 01:50 PM

No - I was referring to Sandra's text - thought you were - my mistake
I think 'A Tinker's Life' is probably pastiche - not unlike Leo Maguire's 'Whistling Gypsy'.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A Tinker's Life (old disc, info needed)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 02:02 PM

Okay,
I've now had a good listen to the recording. Contrary to what it says on the site this is a seasoned, possibly semi-pro performer from the Thames Valley area, though his quite distinct diction and slightly posh voice make that difficult to be certain. The guitar playing is quite basic but tuneful and of its time, c1950. Taking this into account I'd say the rewrite could easily have been recent at the time.

He reminds me very much of a local sea captain I recorded in the 70s who sang shanties to a banjo accompaniment. His intonation, diction and accent are very similar. The captain was a Londoner originally.


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

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


Mudcat time: 24 June 12:38 PM EDT

[ Home ]

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