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Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover

DigiTrad:
HELL'S ANGEL (WILD BIKER)
WILD ROVER (NO NAY NEVER)


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Gary T 23 Dec 99 - 11:12 PM
Captain Swing 24 Dec 99 - 01:02 PM
Gary T 25 Dec 99 - 12:51 AM
Martin Ryan 25 Dec 99 - 11:06 AM
Gary T 25 Dec 99 - 07:30 PM
Susan of DT 25 Dec 99 - 09:00 PM
Ferrara 26 Dec 99 - 02:43 PM
Hagbardr 27 Dec 99 - 01:16 AM
Martin _Ryan 28 Dec 99 - 09:15 PM
Gary T 02 Jan 00 - 09:19 PM
Bob Bolton 03 Jan 00 - 09:51 PM
Gary T 03 Jan 00 - 11:57 PM
Bob Bolton 04 Jan 00 - 06:00 PM
Gary T 05 Jan 00 - 09:01 AM
Martin _Ryan 05 Jan 00 - 12:36 PM
Gary T 05 Jan 00 - 09:17 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Jan 00 - 09:57 PM
Martin _Ryan 06 Jan 00 - 04:23 PM
Gary T 09 Jan 00 - 10:33 PM
Margo 10 Jan 00 - 01:13 AM
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Subject: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Gary T
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 11:12 PM

I had the pleasure of hearing "The Drunk Driver" only once, and I would love to get the words and learn it. It's to the tune of "The Wild Rover", sort of a parody, and the only thing I recall besides the chorus is a line or verse referring to a breathalyzer test. Can anyone help me with this? Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Captain Swing
Date: 24 Dec 99 - 01:02 PM

I can't see that there is anything funny about drunk driving.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Gary T
Date: 25 Dec 99 - 12:51 AM

There's nothing funny about the act of drunk driving. There's also nothing funny about plane crashes, terrorist bombings, married heads of states getting sexual with young assistants, heart attacks, or dying. But the DISCUSSION of these and other serious concerns of life need not be limited to the grim, stern, matter-of-fact approach. Expressions of humor help balance our outlook on life, and are necessary for good mental health. A light-hearted treatment of a topic is often an excellent alternative or complement to a straightforward one; in some cases, a joking statement can be much more effective in showing absurdities and making the point than a somber one. In a nutshell--lighten up! (Said with a friendly smile)

The song in question is not so much funny (your word, not mine) as clever. I think it would do a good job of raising awareness of the problem in those who heard it, without risking a defiant reaction by being preachy, boring, etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 25 Dec 99 - 11:06 AM

I have it at home - learned from a policeman, as it happens. To be exact I swapped it for the "Hell's Angel" version of the same song! I have a vague memory of posting it before . If not - I'll do it when I get back to base in a week or so.

Happy Christmas!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Gary T
Date: 25 Dec 99 - 07:30 PM

And a happy Christmas to you, Martin. I looked at the list of your postings, and clicked on a few that sounded promising, but didn't find it. Rather than click on all forty kazillion posts (BG), I'll be glad to wait for your kind assistance. Thank you.

Just curious--"back to base"--are you in the military?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Susan of DT
Date: 25 Dec 99 - 09:00 PM

This is really dick greenhaus--

Check out [Sodden Clods] in DigiTrad


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Ferrara
Date: 26 Dec 99 - 02:43 PM

Martin, Can we also have the hell's angels version? - Rita F


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Hagbardr
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 01:16 AM

Search for [hell's angel] in the digitrad. It should be the second listing.

Hagbard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 28 Dec 99 - 09:15 PM

Gary

No! Just moving about over Christmas! What's more - having arrived home - I can't find the damn words on the Mac! I know they're in there somewhere...

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Gary T
Date: 02 Jan 00 - 09:19 PM

I'm refreshing this in the hopes that Martin, or perhaps someone else, has found the lyrics. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 09:51 PM

G'day,

This thread must have started just after I departed for the office Christmas Party - thence to a 10-day break.

I know of a parody of Wild Rover called Wild Driver written by the late Janet (Sheila) Wakefield when she was secretary of the Bush Music Club, in Sydney in the 1960s. She wrote it after getting a lift home from one of our less able (or more adventurous) drivers. I don't think she actually accuses the driver of being drunk, but some scary things happen.

I will check my records (including Singabout - Reprints, which I edited and published in 1985) and get back with these words - which may or may not be those requested by Gary T. (And if it is the Gary T I suspect ... he can ring me direct.)

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Gary T
Date: 03 Jan 00 - 11:57 PM

Thank you, Bob, we appreciate your helpfulness and look forward to seeing "Wild Driver".

I'm afraid I don't recognize your name, so it may be a different Gary T you're thinking of. I gather you're in Australia from the reference to Sidney and the use of "ring" where I'm accustomed to "phone" here in the U.S. (I'm in Kansas City, Missouri). Now if it turns out I do know you, boy am I going to be embarassed!

The particular song I heard was pretty much all about driving while under the influence. I heard it from an Irish lady whom I met while canoeing and camping on the Eleven Point River in southeastern Missouri in September '98. She and her companions (1 person, 2 dogs) were kind enough to join our group's campfire sing one evening when we had stopped to camp (on the riverbank, carrying gear in our canoes) rather closer to them than one would normally like. People camping this way are generally looking for a bit of isolation, and try to keep a certain amount of space between each other's campsites, but our group was tired and feared not finding another good spot before dark, so we squeezed their "space" a bit. I think it turned out all right, though, as everyone seemed to enjoy the conversation and music that evening. I remember we were all cracking up at the song. I assumed it came from Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 04 Jan 00 - 06:00 PM

G'day again Gary T,

I see you are not the Gary T I suspected might have heard an Australian song and been chasing it. An Aussie singer, Gary Tooth, has crossed my path at odd moments from when I first met him at the "Folk Centre" in Brisbane, 1965, and I thought this might be another ... Anyway - on to the song (and a few running corrections).

I guess I should not trust so much on the crumbling remnants of my memory - even when it concerns matters in which I played a minor part. The song Wild Driver is not written BY Janet Wakefield but (sort of) ABOUT her. It was published in Singabout, Journal of Australian Folksong, volume 6, number 1, 1966 (the first issue with which I was slightly involved, doing three illustrations and writing out the music to one song).

This song comes from one of the most valuable sources of Australian traditional song and story during the heady days of the 1950s and '60s - Harold P. C. ('Duke') Tritton. 'Duke' was a thoroughly traditional singer ... meaning that he quite cheerfully wrote new words whenever necessary in a living tradition.I seem not to have selected it for inclusion my collection Singabout - Selected Reprints, Ed Bob Bolton, Bush Music Club, Sydney, 1985. I reproduce the words recorded by Janet Wakefield (and Janet's notes) below.

Wild Driver By 'Duke' Tritton
Tune: Wild Drover

(Duke wrote this in 1963 or '64 after a friend and I had driven him home several times after Club meetings. It is true that she once went through a red light and I through an orange one, but I'm sure that had nothing to do with Duke writing this song ... Janet Wakefield.)

I've been a wild driver this many a year
And always made sure I had plenty of beer
But now I must give the whole lot away
For an "on the spot copper" got me yesterday.
CHORUS:
So it's NO NO Never, Never no more
Never Never again shall I play the wild driver no more.

I had only ten schooners, which isn't a lot
And sixty was the top speed I had got
But I didn't give way to the man on the right
There was a crash and I got such a fright.

CHORUS:
:
I had swiped three cars and a two decker bus
And every one there made a terrible fuss.
They all seemed to think that I was to blame
And the way they abused me was a real shame.
CHORUS:

They threatened to lynch me, went looking for rope
Things looked pretty grim, I had given up hope
When the copper he came and he said, "Cut it out"
"Just leave it to me and I'll deal with this lout."
CHORUS:

Then the copper, he pulled out his book and did say
"It's fifty green smackers, the fine you will pay
And I'll cancel you licence for the rest of your life
And then I'll be sure that you'll keep out of strife.
CHORUS:

Perhaps some terms need explaining outside of the Australian context:
"on the spot copper" dates the song to around the introduction of . "on-the-spot fines", standardised penalties which could be paid rather than appear in court ... and trust to the mercy of the local magistrate.
"ten schooners" A schooner was (at least in NSW) a beer glass holding an alleged 15 ozs ... certainly a good half bottle. Ten schooners would have meant 5 bottles of good strong beer
. "sixty": Back then we still used miles per hour ... and the suburban limit was 30 mph.
"smackers": Pretty common worldwide English for a note of currency. The only note in Australia's old currency that was green was the pound note.

I hope this is the song that Gary T is looking for ... If not, I hope you all enjoy 'Duke' Tritton's gentle dig at his friends (and quite a few of his acquaintances).

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Gary T
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 09:01 AM

Thanks, Bob, for sharing that with us. I'm afraid it's not the song I had in mind, although there are some similarities. I especially appreciate the footnotes, I like knowing details that flesh out the meaning of songs. I notice that it would translate pretty well to American ears. The true meaning of "on-the-spot" copper would be missed (probably assumed to mean a cop who coincidentally happened to be there), but that wouldn't give much pause. "Schooners" could easily be replaced by "bottles", which in the U.S. are 12 oz.--close enough. We still use MPH. Here "smackers" means dollars, irrespective of the bill (note) size, and all of our paper money is green, so it might seem a trifle redundant but again, no pause. Might change "two decker bus" (very rare here) to "big city bus" or some such. It is a fun song, and thanks again for providing it. I still hope to see the one I was thinking of.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 12:36 PM

Gary

I will find it - eventually!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Gary T
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 09:17 PM

I appreciate your sticking with it. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 09:57 PM

G'day Gary T,

I hope the song is of interest. "Duke" Tritton was an intersting character because he was solidly a traditional folk singer - Born 1887, went out working around the outback as a shearer in 1905, worked on farms, built fences, poisoned and dug out rabbits, got the gold bug and spent a lot of time digging without ever finding a good vein, worked as a powder monkey on railway construction during the depression, boxed in a travelling fight show, busked in country towns as a singer.

He was a great source of traditional songs when collectors started working with tape recorders in the 1950s ... and some of the best didn't bother to record his own songs. Janet did ... and got great songs like Shearing in a Bar, Duke's song about the boasting in a pub, when the real work is far enough away not to intrude on a good story. Duke wrote this in his first shearing season, 1905.

Shearing in a Bar, is there (as Shearing In The Bar, from a Martyn Wyndham-Read record. I couldn't see Shores of Botany Bay, but that was the subject of a thread last year - probably with a different title (trad., collected from 'Duke', with an extra verse he wrote to round the song out). I should check to see if I can add a few.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 06 Jan 00 - 04:23 PM

Got it! Thanks to Max's new SuperSleuth, I found the thread where I posted it before. Click HERE

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Gary T
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 10:33 PM

That looks like it, Martin! Thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Drunk Driver/Wild Rover
From: Margo
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 01:13 AM

Thanks for the link to that parody thread. It's great!


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