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Lyr Req: Buy Broom Besons?/Besoms/Buzzems

DigiTrad:
BUY BROOM BESOMS
BUY BROOM BESOMS (2)
BUY BROOM BESOMS (3)


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Buy Broom Buzzems / Buy Broom Besoms (44)
Lyr Add: Broom Buzzoms II (Purvis) (1)


robinia 03 Sep 18 - 01:35 PM
Backwoodsman 03 Sep 18 - 01:39 PM
John MacKenzie 03 Sep 18 - 01:49 PM
robinia 03 Sep 18 - 02:01 PM
Gordon Jackson 03 Sep 18 - 04:11 PM
The Sandman 04 Sep 18 - 01:58 AM
robinia 04 Sep 18 - 02:24 AM
Gordon Jackson 04 Sep 18 - 04:57 AM
Rob Naylor 04 Sep 18 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 04 Sep 18 - 08:13 AM
Gordon Jackson 04 Sep 18 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 04 Sep 18 - 11:04 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Sep 18 - 12:59 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Sep 18 - 01:12 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Sep 18 - 01:51 PM
Tattie Bogle 05 Sep 18 - 04:06 AM
Gordon Jackson 05 Sep 18 - 04:52 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 05 Sep 18 - 07:37 AM
Steve Gardham 05 Sep 18 - 05:34 PM
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Subject: Broom Besons, lyrics
From: robinia
Date: 03 Sep 18 - 01:35 PM

Hi, can anyone fill out the words to this song, which I think maybe comes from around Aberdeen.   It starts "I maun hae a wife ..." and has a chorus of "Buy broom besons (?) better never grew, fine heather ringers .....
Thanks


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Subject: RE: Broom Besons, lyrics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Sep 18 - 01:39 PM

Besoms


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Subject: RE: Broom Besons, lyrics
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Sep 18 - 01:49 PM

It's from the North East of England

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broom_Buzzems


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Subject: RE: Broom Besons, lyrics
From: robinia
Date: 03 Sep 18 - 02:01 PM

Thanks! Now for the full text.. {Sorry for the double posting}


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUY BROOM BUZZEMS (William Purvis)
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 03 Sep 18 - 04:11 PM

Buy Broom Buzzems


If you want a buzzem
For to sweep your hoose
Come to me maw hinnies
You can hae your choose

Buy broom buzzems
Buy them when they’re new
Fine heather bred ’uns
Better never grew

Buzzems for a penny
Rangers for a plack
If you winnot buy
Aw’ll tie them on my back

Buy broom buzzems
Buy them when they’re new
Fine heather bred ’uns
Better never grew

If aw had a horse
Aw wad hev a cairt
If aw had a wife
She wad tyek me pairt

Buy broom buzzems
Buy them when they’re new
Fine heather bred ’uns
Better never grew

Had aw but a wife
Aw care not what she be
If she’s but a woman
That’s enuf for me

Buy broom buzzems
Buy them when they’re new
Fine heather bred ’uns
Better never grew

If she liked a droppie
Her and I’d agree
If she didn’t it
There’s the mair for me

Buy broom buzzems
Buy them when they’re new
Fine heather bred ’uns
Better never grew


Composed by William (Blind Willie) Purvis (1752-1832).
In Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882/1998).


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 01:58 AM

i have always been under the impression this was a street sellers song


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: robinia
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 02:24 AM

Just what I wanted! Thanks again


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 04:57 AM

Hi Robinia et al,

This is what the Northumbrian Minstrelsy has to say about Blind Willie Purvis:

'This unique little ballad, quaint and simple alike in music and words, is popularly attributed to William Purvis, commonly called “Blind Willie”, one of the most noteworthy and famous of the Newcastle eccentrics. He was the son of John Purvis, waterman, and born about the beginning of 1752, having been baptized at All Saints Church on the 16th February of that year.

This eccentric character never enjoyed the faculty of sight, and many still living remember the sonsy, contented, and sightless face of Willie as he trudged along the streets without a covering on his head. Several attempts were made by presenting him with a hat to induce him to wear one; but after having borne the affliction for a day or two, it was thrown aside, and the “Minstrel,” as he was called, again appeared uncovered, preferring the exposure of his hoary but well-thatched pate to the pelting of the pitiless storm. Blind Willie was perfectly acquainted with all the streets, lanes, and chares of his native town, and made his way everywhere without a guide, using only a long stick. His happy, contented nature made him a universal favourite with all ranks of society; and he had his regular places of call, where he was always welcome and duly served. At the inns and public houses of the town Blind Willie’s presence in the taproom was a sure attraction, and his voice and fiddle in harmony, singing some quaint and local ditty, gave never failing delight to his appreciative audiences.

“Buy Broom Buzzems” was usually considered to be Willie’s chef-d’oeuvre, and he was in the habit of adding new verses, either made by himself or made for him, having no connection with the original theme. They have, therefore, been omitted here. Blind Willie died in the All Saints’ Poorhouse on 20th July, 1832, upwards of eighty years of age.'


So, a few things come to my mind. First, Bruce and Stokoe (the authors/compilers) call the song a 'ballad', but I'm not sure I would, but that's no big deal. Second, 'popularly attributed' is not definitive. Third, Blind Willie is described as eccentric, but there is nothing in this passage that would merit this description. Perhaps Bruce and Stokoe knew more about him, and chose not to include it, perhaps being blind and/or not wearing a hat was considered eccentric in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, or perhaps describing him in this way somehow added to his mystique and attractiveness; I really don't know. Perhaps someone out there in the Mudflats has access to other info on the song and its composer?


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 06:19 AM

This seems to be yet another song that's become "Oirishised". Most of the times I've heard it in the south of the UK, it's been attributed as being "an old Irish besom seller's song" and the Chorus has gone:

Buy broom besoms
Besoms fine and new
Castleblaney heather
Better never grew

We always sang the Northumbrian lyrics when I was at school "up North", but for the last 30 years all I've heard is "Casteblaney heather"!


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 08:13 AM

Wherever it was originally from, it was known in Scotland early enough for Burns to make a version of it. I'd guess Blind Willie was following in Burns's footsteps, both of them adapting a traditional original.


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 08:51 AM

Perhaps. Blind Willie was seven years older than Burns, so that doesn't really tell us much.


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 11:04 AM

Johnny Handle has a few extra verses- no doubt Willie Purvis was quite OK with a bit of early product placement while singing- one verse went, I think..

'If ye want an orange for te taste yer mooth
Gan te Handy Walker, he's a bonny youth'....

there's ome about oysters as well


Willie Purvis lived a bit longer than Burns- by the way, there is no doubt that Burns did a tour of the northern counties of England & also that he heard a street singer in Newcastle singing a song using the words 'auld lang syne'
Don't want to start any trouble about the border, we have enough here in Ireland- never heard the Castleblayney version here, either?


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 12:59 PM

Bell's Rhymes of the Northern Bards has come different verses.

Catnach also printed a copy (text in Holloway & Black) with essentially the same chorus but totally different words, I suspect chorus taken from oral sources and new words added for verses. Steve?

I haven't time now but I'll post the texts tomorrow if I can.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 01:12 PM

Should have checked first. The Rhymes version is posted in the first thread in the links above (44 posts) Rhymes version.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Sep 18 - 01:51 PM

Blind Willie possibly rewrote it and might have even added the chorus, but the verses were printed in upmarket songsters in the second half of the 18thc and by 1800 there were widely differing versions being printed with as many as 10 verses. Willie's version only appears to have 5.

Here's a 5 verse version from the Bacchanalian Songster printed by B. Wickes of Winchester in 1783.

I'll have a wife,
Whatso'er she be;
If she be but woman,
That's enough for me.

If she should be handsome,
Oh! what a delight;
If she should be ugly,
What matter in the night?

Should she be good humour'd,
Oh! what joys are there;
Should she be ill-natur'd,
Hang me if I care.

If she should be barren,
Then the less my care;
If she should be fruitful,
Then I'll have an heir.

Should she be an angel,
Then I shan't be curst;
Should she be a devil,
Hang her do her worst.

(No ref to besoms)

Burns had 2 versions, one obviously from tradition but the other looks to have come from his own pen.


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 05 Sep 18 - 04:06 AM

Must confess I had thought it was a Scots song, but probably because I've mainly heard Scottish singers perform it. The possibilty of more than one version is good enough for me.


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 05 Sep 18 - 04:52 AM

For what it's worth (not much, I know), my favourite recording of the song is by Jack the Lad. For you young 'uns out there, Jack the Lad was a 1970's folk-rock band from Newcastle. IMHO when they played trad, they were superb; when they played their own material they were pretty dire. The live recording on YT is a different setting to what was on the album The Old Straight Track. The latter was a really wonderful, happy sound; they paired it with an instrumental version of Dance to Your Daddy: sheer bliss!


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUY BROOM BESOMS (from Catnach)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 05 Sep 18 - 07:37 AM

The Catnach version I mentioned is actually a version of I Am A Besom Maker (Roud 910) as opposed to Buy Broom Besoms (Roud 1623). There are plenty of broadside versions at the Bodleian and it was collected by several collectors (Baring-Gould, Sharp, Vaughan-Williams at least). Looking at the some of the collected tunes, the verse is usually different from Buy Broom Besoms, but the chorus has a similarity. All examples seem to be later than Buy Broom Besoms; I still suspect that the chorus of BBB was adapted to the new song - any opinions, Steve?

Here's the text from Holloway and Black.

Mick


Buy Broom Besoms

Printed and sold by J. Catnach, 2, Monmouth Court, 7 Dials.

Sold by T. Batchelar, 14 Hackney Road Crescent; Bennett, Brighton, and Pierce, Southborough

I am a besom maker, listen to my tale,
I am a besom maker, lives in yonder vale,
Sweet pleasures I enjoy both morning, night and noon,
Going over the hills so high a gathering of green broom.

CHORUS
Come buy my besoms, besoms fine and new,
Bonny green broom besoms, better never grew.

One day as I was roving, over the hills so high,
I met with a rakish squire, all with a rolling eye,
He tipt to me the wink, I wrote to him the tune,
I eas'd him of his jink, a gathering of green broom

One day as I was turning to my native vale
I met Jack Sprat, the miller, he asked me turn tale
His mill I rattled round, I ground the girls so clean
I eas'd him of his jink in gathering broom so green

One day as I was turning to my native cot,
I met a buxom farmer, happy was his lot,
He plough'd his furrows deep, & laid his corn so low
He left it there to keep her, like green broom to grow

When the corn grew up to its native soil,
A pretty sweet young baby soon on me did smile,
I bundled up my besoms and took them to the fair,
And sold them all by wholesale nursing now's my care.


(jink=money)


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Subject: RE: Broom Besoms, lyrics
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Sep 18 - 05:34 PM

Yes, I think the link is far too obvious for it to be a coincidence. Without checking on earliest dates which don't actually prove anything anyway, I'd say the most likely direction is 1623 to 910 which has more a feel of art to it and is more carefully crafted. 910 is, if I remember correctly, pretty rare in oral tradition anyway, which is what I would expect.


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