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Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman

Related threads:
Obit: Allan Smethurst, Singing Postman (1927-2000) (28)
Lyr Req: Farmer on a Bike (John Crisp) (21)
Lyr Req: Farmer on a Bike (John Crisp) (22)
Lyr Req: Hev Yew Gotta Loight Boy? (A Smethurst) (29)
Return of the Singing Postman (15)
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Lyr Req: Ave You Gotta Loight Boy (SingingPostman) (2) (closed)


The Sandman 18 Mar 18 - 07:16 AM
Senoufou 18 Mar 18 - 07:47 AM
leeneia 19 Mar 18 - 12:48 PM
Tattie Bogle 19 Mar 18 - 02:25 PM
Senoufou 19 Mar 18 - 02:42 PM
Dave Hanson 20 Mar 18 - 03:47 AM
The Sandman 20 Mar 18 - 05:02 AM
The Sandman 20 Mar 18 - 05:08 AM
Senoufou 20 Mar 18 - 05:24 AM
Long Firm Freddie 20 Mar 18 - 05:26 AM
Senoufou 20 Mar 18 - 07:00 AM
Senoufou 20 Mar 18 - 07:01 AM
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Subject: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 07:16 AM

was this man a folk song writer?I think he was ,I think he was a cronicler of rural community conditions of that time, mor popular than MacColl and IMO as important, CAN WE DISCUSS AMICABLY


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: Senoufou
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 07:47 AM

I think it's not easy to say, Sandman. I'm familiar with all his songs (as I said on the other thread) and they fall into many categories in my humble opinion. They're:-

-comic songs (eg 'I Wear Horn-Rimmed glasses')
-chronicles of rural life (eg 'Following the Binder Round')
-social commentary (eg 'Oi Can't Get a Nice Loaf of Bread')
-nostalgia (eg 'The Old North Walsham Line')

But principally I think, they're celebrations of Norfolk life and the Norfolk accent and dialect. (eg 'Hev the Bottom Dropped Out?' 'Hev Yew Gotta Loight Bwoy?' 'Moind Yer Hid' and so on) I think this category is the most important one.

Taking all this into account however, I'd say he was a folk song writer.
Having lived in Norfolk in the sticks for forty years now (and I love the place), I find his songs enchanting and poignant.


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 12:48 PM

You can find his songs on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 02:25 PM

I think Senofou has nailed it with her definitions of his various types of song. But even though he made the "Top Twenty" with "Hev yoo go' a Laight, boiy" his singing and accompanying style was also very folkie. So, yes, folk singer-songwriter, undoubtedly.
I was brought up in Suffolk, where the accent is somewhat similar to the Norfolk one (Norfolk is just more so!), so I loved the fact that someone was singing in that accent (also The Kipper Family were among my favourites for the same reason).
As was said in the Obit thread about Smethurst, it is quite hard to copy either Suffolk or Norfolk accents, and people who try to usually end up sounding as if they come for 200 miles further west! Very long vowels, and they DON'T roll the rrrs!


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 02:42 PM

Smethurst's mother was from Stiffkey, and he was brought up in Sheringham, so his accent was very 'North Norfolk'. My adorable neighbours have the same way of speaking, totally different from the Norwich accent.
On Youtube, there's a recording of a monologue by him called 'The Great Train Robbery' (not a song) and the most fascinating thing about it is the way his voice rises an octave then drops down low, very typical of North Norfolk speech. It's delightful, and he sounds just like my neighbour's husband!


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 03:47 AM

To compare Alan Smethurst to Ewan MacColl is ludicrous, as good as his hit song was, he was a one trick pony.

Ewan MacColl was a giant among songwriters, an actor, a fine singer and a playright.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 05:02 AM

Well I DISAGREE Smethurst was not a one trick pony,he had two other very good songs his songs and singing were from his own background[something Ewan was often banging on about]Ewan was a fine song writer, his plays have been forgotten and he was IMO a good singer but there are quite a number who IMO WERE LESS CEREBRAL and better, however i was only comparing their songwriting, Smethurst did not write any real bummers MacColl wrote two that were very iffy, so my comparison was as songwriters.


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 05:08 AM

Smethurst was different fromEwan in that he could write comic songs , he had a sense of humour something the the earnest Ewan did not IMO appear to have, I agree that his songs were not as serious as Ewan, but his songs were excellent social chronicles of norfolk at that time, yes he was different but IMO as a chronicler of NORFOLK AND EAST ANGLIA AT THAT TIME VERY IMPORTANT.


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 05:24 AM

Smethurst was not 'a one-trick pony'. He made several albums of his songs (I have them all on CD) One doesn't evaluate the worth of a songwriter merely from his global fame or number of 'hits'.
I think he's equally as important as McColl from a regional point of view.
The problem is, Norfolk itself is not very well-known. I bet many English people would be hard put to place it on a map. We're a bit of a backwater, so a local songwriter/singer wouldn't generate as much interest as, say, a Yorkshire person or a Scot.

I love Smethurst's quirky, wry humour and his observations of human behaviour. His lyrics fit beautifully into the tunes; so much so that I often find myself singing the whole song while cooking or doing housework. And he's very, very funny!


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 05:26 AM

Just spent a very entertaining time listening to snippets from the Singing Postman's songs on Anglian Music's site (and bought a CD).

Googling the odd dialect word led me to F.O.N.D. - the Friends of Norfolk Dialect.

There's a handy glossary.

F.O.N.D.

LFF


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 07:00 AM

Ah yes Freddie, I know F.O.N.D. Keith Skipper was associated with them.
And they have competitions for people to demonstrate their accent with public recitations etc.
The late Michel Brindid (from Horning) won a while ago. I have both his little books ('I Din't Say Nothin' and 'I Din't Say Nothin' Ag'in')

Keith Skipper wrote a compilation of Norfolk yarns called 'Broad Smiles', I have that too.
And Old Barney's broadcasts in book form ('Dew Yew Keep A-Troshing')

In fact, my bookshelves are crammed with all sorts of books about accents and dialect, including 'Let's Talk Strine' (Australian accent)
I know it's important to keep the old ways of speech alive, but in fact one just can't. Language evolves and it can't be forced to remain in aspic.
That's where folk song is important, because that DOES continue, and in my view is a repository for all sorts of traditions and oral history.


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Subject: RE: Alan Smethurst, the Singing Postman
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 07:01 AM

Michael, not Michel! He wasn't French!


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