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Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes

Stevebury 20 Feb 20 - 01:52 PM
cnd 20 Feb 20 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Starship 20 Feb 20 - 02:59 PM
Stevebury 20 Feb 20 - 04:05 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Feb 20 - 06:02 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Feb 20 - 06:07 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Feb 20 - 11:05 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 20 - 04:05 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 20 - 04:08 AM
GUEST 21 Feb 20 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Starship 21 Feb 20 - 08:36 AM
Jim Dixon 21 Feb 20 - 08:33 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Feb 20 - 02:57 PM
Stevebury 25 Feb 20 - 04:34 PM
cnd 27 Feb 20 - 05:37 PM
Stevebury 01 Mar 20 - 05:01 PM
cnd 01 Mar 20 - 05:25 PM
cnd 03 Mar 20 - 01:01 AM
cnd 18 Apr 20 - 11:28 PM
cnd 27 Aug 20 - 11:37 PM
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Subject: My Nellie's Mince Pies
From: Stevebury
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 01:52 PM

My dad used to sing a nonsense song about 'My Nellie's Mince Pies'. I'm wondering whether anyone else has heard of it.

My Nellie's mince pies,
Oh it's my Nellie's mince pies.
   They use 'em in France
   To hold up their pants.
My Nellie's mince pies.

. . .
They use 'em in Spain,
To keep off the rain.
. . .

And clearly you can make up your own verses from there. But I'm curious: who else has sung this song? and what verses did you learn?

A Google search turns up a single reference, from 'The Wrinkle of the University of Michigan' vol. 9, issue 3 (1901).
"Keep up the singing meetings! They are the best yet. We shall need them all the more after the football season is over. Sing poplar songs; learn the 'Yellow and Blue'; get acquainted with the other good ones; trill that one about “My Nellie’s Mince Pies,” if necessary. But Sing!"

-- Stevebury


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Subject: RE: My Nellie's Mince Pies
From: cnd
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 02:22 PM

Pretty clearly a parody of the song "My Nellie's Blue Eyes" - you can hear that here.

I couldn't find much other reference to it, save this newspaper ad in the June 8th, 1886 San Francisco Examiner which wrote the following:

HAVERLY'S THEATER

....

"LEE HAWKINS' New End Song, "My Nellie's Mince Pies."

Lee Hawkins was a vaudeville and blackface performer in the late 1800s/early 1900s. So it seems entirely possible to me to credit the song to him, but I've ordered a book from the library that may hopefully be able to confirm this.


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Subject: RE: My Nellie's Mince Pies
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 02:59 PM

It's possible that the Examiner misspelled his name. Here's a reference to Lew Hawkins that fits the bill.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=qv0CWuFSxDoC&pg=PA170&lpg=PA170&dq=lew+hawkins,+vaudeville&source=bl&ots=MCu96V2Uqx&sig=ACfU3U2

(Info at #6, just a wee bit down the page.)


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Subject: RE: My Nellie's Mince Pies
From: Stevebury
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 04:05 PM

'My Nellie's Blue Eyes' (chorus) is definitely the tune my dad sang.   Has anyone else come across the parody?


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Subject: RE: My Nellie's Mince Pies
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 06:02 PM

Wor Mary's blue drawers,
Wor Mary's blue drawers,
A hole in the middle,
For Mary to piddle,
Wor Mary's blue drawers!

Bob Davenport I think?


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Subject: RE: My Nellie's Mince Pies
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 06:07 PM

Kilgarriff
My Nellie's Blue Eyes (Scanlon: Air, Vieni Sul Mar arr. Forman) 1883, performers: Tom Costello, J Fuller (Mohawk Minstrels), William Scanlon (Christy Minstrels)
Vieni Sul Mar is a Venetian ballad, famously recorded by Caruso.

In 1886 the tune was used again for Charles Coburn's more famous 'Two Lovely Black Eyes'.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY NELLIE'S BLUE EYES / ...NELLY'S...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 11:05 PM

From the sheet music at Johns Hopkins University:


MY NELLIE'S BLUE EYES. [Title on cover.]
MY NELLY'S BLUE EYES. [Title at top of page 1]
Waltz song and chorus
"Written and sung by Wm. J. Scanlan in his new drama 'The Irish Minstrel'" ©1883.

1. My dear Nelly's eyes are blue,
Hair of bright and golden hue.
Like her heart, her eyes are true,
My Nelly my own.
Never lived a queen so fair.
With my Nelly, life I'd share.
By her side I know no care,
My Nelly my own.
Ne'er was cull'd from nature's bower
Half so rare or sweet a flower,
Tho' we've culled them hour by hour,
My Nelly my own.

CHORUS. My Nelly's blue eyes,
My Nelly's blue eyes,
Brighter than stars that shine at night,
My Nelly's blue eyes.

2. When I first saw Nelly's home,
Where the moonbeams softly shone,
From mine heart a lover's moan,
My Nelly, my own.
Fairer seemed this world to me
Whilst the wind blew o'er the lea,
Words and kisses sweet for me,
My Nelly, my own.
Like a rose refreshed with dew.
My sad heart when won by you,
Angel words said: "Thou art true,"
My Nelly, my own.

- - -
Another copy can be seen in The McGill University Song Book, compiled by a committee of graduates and undergraduates (Montreal: Wm. Foster Brown, 1896), page 22.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 20 - 04:05 AM

THE THINGS YOU LEARN ON THIS FORUM NEVER CEASES TO SURPRISE ME


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 20 - 04:08 AM

Walter Pardon sang a full version of the latter which is about a fight between supporters of several political parties - all ending in 'black eyes'
Never realised that
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 20 - 08:07 AM

Starship, you're right, I read it as Lew but somewhere in the process of going from mind to keyboard I slipped up


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 21 Feb 20 - 08:36 AM

No problem, cnd. Been there and done that ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Feb 20 - 08:33 PM

Lyrics to TWO LOVELY BLACK EYES by Charles Coburn posted in an old thread.

The sheet music can be seen at
Johns Hopkins University.

YouTube has recordings by
Charles Coborn – a studio recording
Charles Coborn – on film
Stanley Holloway
Roy Hudd
Cosmotheka
And, for comparison, here's VIENI SUL MAR, Neapolitan song sung by Tito Scipa


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Feb 20 - 02:57 PM

Wonderful, Jim! Love the presentation on Vieni Sul Mar.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: Stevebury
Date: 25 Feb 20 - 04:34 PM

Wow! An impressive amount of history on the song parodied by "My Nellie's Mince Pies", and some early citations.
But has anyone ever heard (or heard of) this parody in more recent oral tradition -- besides the version sung by my dad (b. 1920) ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: cnd
Date: 27 Feb 20 - 05:37 PM

Just to keep you updated, the book I ordered (Lew Hawkins In Black and White, pub. 1905 by Will Rossiter, had nothing to offer in regards to the song based on my first look, but I should note it's partially incomplete; it has all of the pages from 3 (the start of the book) to 122, but is missing 123 and 124, and 127-128. So there is a chance it's in a full copy of the book, but it seems unlikely.

Other than the link you shared and the newspaper article I shared earlier, I couldn't find anything. The promising note is that Lew Hawkins did include a cover or two of songs in the book, so it does help at least attribute the (plausible) origins, if not any more words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: Stevebury
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 05:01 PM

I was a summer camp counselor in the mid-1969's, and learned "Dead Dog Rover" (gained / Coco Puff Train) from one of my campers on a canoe trip.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: cnd
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 05:25 PM

Was this meant for the "I'm Looking Over a 4 Leaf Clover" parodies thread?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: cnd
Date: 03 Mar 20 - 01:01 AM

Well, I haven't made any more progress in finding "My Nelly's Minced Pies" but here (https://archive.org/details/parodiesofworkso04hami/page/152/mode/2up/search/%22blue+eyes%22 is a book published 1884 with a few parodies of My Nelly's Blue Eyes, mostly political in nature - one titled Two Lovely Black Eyes and another Oh What a Surprise, plus a French and German version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: cnd
Date: 18 Apr 20 - 11:28 PM

I did find a version of "My Nellie's Mince Pies" but it's not exactly similar to the version shared by Stevebury

My Nellie's mince pies
My Nellie's mince pies
My Nellie's mince pies
Are all covered with flies
My Nellie's mince pies

From Arizona Daily Sun, Dec. 7 1939, p. 10


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Nellie's Mince Pies / ...Blue Eyes
From: cnd
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 11:37 PM

Stevebury, I found what you're looking for! It doesn't appear to be exactly the same, but it is quite similar. This story actually comes with a sort of exposition and gives a bit more set-up, but I'm not going to worry about typing it up. The only important piece of information is that a girl named Nellie had a mother named Mrs. Meng. Early on in the story they have a little girl sing it as Nellie Meng's pies but I've gone ahead to change it all to be Nellie's mince pies.

Found in The Record (SUNY Buffalo State Student Newspaper) Vol. VIII No. 3 (March 1920), pp. 22-25 (pages are numbered incorrectly; they read as 18, 23, 24, 25 but the story runs in order) [pages 89-90 in the PDF]

MY NELLIE'S MINCE PIES

My Nellie's mince pies.
My Nellie's mince pies.
They use them in Rome
For keeping a home.
My Nellie's mince pies.

...
They use them in Spain,
For wheels on a train.
...

...
They use them in France,
For buttons on pants.
...

...
They use them in Greece,
For bribing police.
...

...
But up in the sky,
They use them for pies.
...

Maybe based off this we can find some more?
I never was able to check if those two (front & back) pages of the Lew Hawkins book I was missing. Perhaps that could definitively answer the question, but not of the universities who have the book were willing to scan the pages.


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