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Roller Bowler meaning

radriano 27 Jun 16 - 11:48 AM
DaveRo 27 Jun 16 - 01:14 PM
Mr Red 28 Jun 16 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,JeffB 28 Jun 16 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,In good company 29 Jun 16 - 06:54 AM
Mo the caller 29 Jun 16 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,radriano 11 Jul 16 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Senoufou 11 Jul 16 - 01:14 PM
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Subject: Roller Bowler meaning
From: radriano
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 11:48 AM

I'm referring to the shanty Roller Bowler here. Anyone know the meaning of the phrase?


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Subject: RE: Roller Bowler meaning
From: DaveRo
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 01:14 PM

There's a possible origin here:
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/roller-bowler.html
which suggests it was originally 'Roley, Boley'.


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Subject: RE: Roller Bowler meaning
From: Mr Red
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 04:02 AM

in the context that the sailors would have taken it
could it be:
1) a pulley block
2) the ship- as in rolling and bowling them over as it does.
2) waves as in rollers - ditto

Just musing

Jim Mageean or Tom Lewis might have an opinion.


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Subject: RE: Roller Bowler meaning
From: GUEST,JeffB
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 05:19 PM

The origin on the music hall stage seems to me very probable. The song was later published in 'The Negro singer's own book' of 1843. For sailors the change from Roley Boley to Roller Bowler (i.e someone who bowls or speeds across the rollers or waves) would have been very natural.


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Subject: RE: Roller Bowler meaning
From: GUEST,In good company
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 06:54 AM

The music hall song about a lovely bunch of coconuts contains the line "Roll or bowl a ball, a penny a pitch".

Did that come from Roller Bowler or were they both derivative?

Not adding anything. Just confusing the issue further still as is my wont...

:D


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Subject: RE: Roller Bowler meaning
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 07:48 AM

That song came to my mind too, reading the thread title.
Except I always heard (misheard) the line as "roll a bowl a bowl a penny a pitch". Which could give rise to odd ideas for anyone not familiar with coconut shies.


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Subject: RE: Roller Bowler meaning
From: GUEST,radriano
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 12:17 PM

Thanks to all who responded to this. I found the music hall reference and that seemed a pretty good one.


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Subject: RE: Roller Bowler meaning
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 01:14 PM

I was brought up in W London, and always took this to be 'roll or bowl a ball'. When I was a girl (early fifties), the coconuts were on quite small stands and you could either roll the hard wooden bowl along the (bumpy grass) pitch or throw it underarm, attempting to knock a coconut off its stand.
This was notoriously difficult and we always suspected foul play (as in a bit of glue)
The fairgrounds had nothing to do with sailors or shanty stuff. And the whole song is typical Cockney banter. Billy Cotton used to sing it (it's on Youtube) The innuendo of "I've got a luvverly bunch of coconuts!" would make everyone giggle. Rather like the Marrow Song (same era) "Oh, what a beauty! I've never seen one as big as that before!" We were rather a smutty-minded lot in those days!


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