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Bert Lloyd's word 'Disobliging'


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MGM·Lion 10 Apr 16 - 08:10 AM
Lighter 10 Apr 16 - 10:55 AM
Newport Boy 10 Apr 16 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 10 Apr 16 - 12:10 PM
The Sandman 10 Apr 16 - 12:56 PM
MGM·Lion 10 Apr 16 - 12:58 PM
MGM·Lion 10 Apr 16 - 01:21 PM
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Subject: Bert Lloyd's word 'Disobliging'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Apr 16 - 08:10 AM

"Disobliging" was the word Bert Lloyd would use to describe songs with amorous content of a sort which might offend the prim or prudish -- much of his, or any folksinger's, repertoire, in fact!

Was this usage peculiar to him, or did he get it from any traditional informant, or from any other source? I remember a story told by the early collector Priscilla Wyatt-Edgell, of the man reluctant to sing her a certain song, as it was, in his words, too "outway rude" for a lady's ears. But I can't remember anyone except Bert using "disobliging" as euphemistic descriptor for such songs. Has anyone come across it in anyone else's usage apart from Bert's, or was it an expression peculiar to himself? — Or, possibly, a term in use dialectally in his native Suffolk?


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Subject: RE: Bert Lloyd's word 'Disobliging'
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Apr 16 - 10:55 AM

The OED includes as a supposedly "obsolete" nuance, "inconvenient; annoying."

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Subject: RE: Bert Lloyd's word 'Disobliging'
From: Newport Boy
Date: 10 Apr 16 - 10:55 AM

The Free Dictionary gives "give offence to; affront" for disoblige. Mainstream UK dictionaries don't include this definition.

Bert picked up words from all over and I suspect the use is from something other than dialect.


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Subject: RE: Bert Lloyd's word 'Disobliging'
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 10 Apr 16 - 12:10 PM

Michael, you use the words "in his native Suffolk" for Bert. Funny, but, for some reason or other, I also used to think that he was from Suffolk and I only discovered that he was actually from London after he died.

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Subject: RE: Bert Lloyd's word 'Disobliging'
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Apr 16 - 12:56 PM

he lived in blackheath or greenwich ,when i was a small child my brother and i used to play with his chldren

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Subject: RE: Bert Lloyd's word 'Disobliging'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Apr 16 - 12:58 PM

True -- he spent much time in Australia after being unemployed round Wandsworth, his birthplace, & then came back to haunt the British Museum Library. When I interviewed him for Folk Review in 1974 he was living in Greenwich. The Suffolk connection -- he sang a lot of Suffolk songs like The Farm Servant &c -- was probably more cultural than residential: I think there was some Suffolk connection in his family a generation or two back. And his spoken accent always sounded more E Anglian to me, than cockney or Oz.

When I wrote his obit for the Guardian, the Arts Editor, to my fury, inserted the non-fact that both his parents were traditional singers, & when I protested, said he had found the fact in Grove's Dictionary. I replied that whoever was the ignorant idiot who wrote the Grove entry had obviously confused Bert with Ewan MacColl, and Bert's father had been a regular soldier & then an AA patrol man, & his mother a cockney former housemaid who had died young; but alas no correction ever appeared, so that solecism remains perpetuated on file over my byline, sod·it!. Even so, when I met his widow & daughter at the memorial concert, they were kind enough to say that they liked my obit best of all that had appeared, as I obviously had known him & his work better than the other obituarists.


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Subject: RE: Bert Lloyd's word 'Disobliging'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Apr 16 - 01:21 PM

We cross-posted, Dick. The - by then almost middle-aged - daughter that I mentioned having met after the memorial concert had probably been one of your early playmates, at that!


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