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Folk songs of disease

DigiTrad:
INFLUENZA


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INFLUENZA (30)


SeaCanary 17 Jul 20 - 12:00 PM
Jeri 17 Jul 20 - 12:24 PM
EBarnacle 17 Jul 20 - 12:48 PM
Michael 17 Jul 20 - 01:14 PM
Jack Campin 17 Jul 20 - 05:04 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 17 Jul 20 - 07:39 PM
allanwill 17 Jul 20 - 09:44 PM
Susan of DT 17 Jul 20 - 09:44 PM
Mrrzy 17 Jul 20 - 11:22 PM
Reinhard 18 Jul 20 - 12:53 AM
Mrrzy 19 Jul 20 - 09:38 AM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 20 - 10:34 AM
Felipa 17 May 21 - 08:30 PM
Monique 18 May 21 - 02:53 AM
GerryM 18 May 21 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,matt milton 18 May 21 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,henryp 18 May 21 - 06:38 AM
Jack Campin 18 May 21 - 08:48 AM
Dave Sutherland 18 May 21 - 02:02 PM
GUEST 18 May 21 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 May 21 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 May 21 - 06:14 PM
BrooklynJay 18 May 21 - 07:12 PM
Tattie Bogle 18 May 21 - 08:28 PM
Felipa 18 May 21 - 08:40 PM
Felipa 18 May 21 - 08:43 PM
Mrrzy 18 May 21 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,henryp 19 May 21 - 01:19 AM
GUEST,henryp 19 May 21 - 01:29 AM
Tattie Bogle 19 May 21 - 06:23 PM
John C. Bunnell 23 May 21 - 05:01 AM
rich-joy 23 May 21 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 23 May 21 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 28 May 21 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 28 May 21 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Ray 28 May 21 - 07:00 AM
Jack Campin 28 May 21 - 11:39 AM
Joe_F 28 May 21 - 08:56 PM
Jim Dixon 31 May 21 - 08:23 PM
Jim Dixon 31 May 21 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,henryp 01 Jun 21 - 01:38 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 01 Jun 21 - 03:41 AM
Jack Campin 01 Jun 21 - 08:52 AM
Felipa 01 Jun 21 - 11:44 AM
Pamela R 19 Jun 21 - 09:26 PM
Pamela R 19 Jun 21 - 09:27 PM
Felipa 25 Jul 21 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,Ray 26 Jul 21 - 04:16 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Folk songs of disease
From: SeaCanary
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 12:00 PM

Aside from Peter Bellamy’s CHOLERA COMP are there other folk songs of plague and disease?


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 12:24 PM

That's Rudyard Kipling's Cholera Camp, set to music by Peter Bellamy.

Songs of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: EBarnacle
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 12:48 PM

Streets of Laredo
Saint James Infirmary


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Michael
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 01:14 PM

Plenty of 'pox' songs eg "I think her little fire-bucket burned my bobstay through" - Rambling Sailor.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 05:04 PM

Ebola in 19th century Hull


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 07:39 PM

Roy Palmer's A Touch On The Times has The Cholera Morbus (if I've remembered the right book of his).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: allanwill
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 09:44 PM

Not exactly folk - or a song - but Eric Burdon and the Animals monologue with it's "spooky" backing The Black Plague fits.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Susan of DT
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 09:44 PM

see the keywords in the Digital Tradition for disease and doctor


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Jul 20 - 11:22 PM

In Streets of Laredo/St James hospital, I thought the cowboy was shot, not ill.

Ahem! Ahem!
Me mother has gone to church!
She told me not to play with you
Because you're in the dirt!
And tisn't because you're dirty
And tisn't because you're clean
It's because you have the whooping cough and eat margar*ine*

And then there's the one that ends

...in walked the doctor
In walked the nurse,
In walked the lady with the alligator purse!

Measles said the doctor
Mumps said the nurse,
Chicken pox said the lady with the alligator purse!

Out walked the doctor
Out walked the nurse,
Out walked the lady with the alligator purse!

We also used to play a variant of Tag called Yellow Fever, requiring lots of children over a large urban territory. Starts with one person being It and anyone they tag becomes It too and you don't know who is It and who is safe. Sorry, not music, but germane. Like the measles. Rue, bella! Ok, stopping now.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Reinhard
Date: 18 Jul 20 - 12:53 AM

Betsy Bell and Mary Grey


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Jul 20 - 09:38 AM

At first I thought lesbianism was the disease but then read further, and there was the plague. (Why doesn't ague, a symptom, rhyme with plague? I only found out it didn't in grad school. But that is an aside.)

Ring around the rosy is *not* about the plague.

I remembered where the lady in the alligator purse was from, a hand-clappy thing, Miss Lucy had a baby, she named it Tiny Tim.

George Collins rode out one wintry night, was taken sick, and died.

Two little chil'n layin' in bed, one was sick and the other 'most dead
Sent for the doctor, the doctor said
Feed them chil'en some shortnin' bread!

Then there are LOTS about depression, and other *mental* illnesses...


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 20 - 10:34 AM

Reposting the Hull thing here since Goggle search couldn't find it.

From a broadside now in the National Library of Scotland:

A FULL ACCOUNT OF TWELVE YOUNG WOMEN, Who were smothered on TUESDAY, in the infirmary at Hull, being effected with and incurable disease.

A German ship arrived in this port on the 23rd of june, 1829 having 30 hands on board, and when the vessel got into harbour, immediately a number of unfortunate females went on board, to barter both their souls and bodies for a trifling sum of money.

It is the nature of sin to carry with it its own punishment, and the awful denunciation of God's displeasure commences in this, and terminates in the terrors of an other world: for the foreigners infested a disease of such an infectious and dreadful nature, that it baffled the skill of the most eminent and experienced of the faculty, and proved too stubborn for any antidote to cure.

After every means had been used without producing the desired effect, the symptoms of this dreadful malady became more and more alarming: the flesh turned yellow, then spongy as a honey comb, and afterwards black and began to drop from their bones.

So offensive was the stench that arose from their bodies that no person, however desirous, could approach their beds or give them any relief.

On Saturday, a consultation of the medical gentlemen, connected with the infirmary was held, when after a long conference, they came to the awful decision, that these wretched women should be smothered with nitre and sulphre, the easiest and most effectual method of putting a stop to the raging infection.

THE NAMES OF THESE UNFORTUNATE WOMEN ARE Jane Williams, aged 19, and Mary Williams 16, of Newcastle; Eliza Watson, 15, of Leeds; Mary Evans, 20, of North Shields; Maria Sager, 29, and Sarah Rich, 17, of Halifax; Catherine Howell, 17, of Salford; Ann Lloyd, 19, and Eliza Bennet, 18, of Sheffield; Mary Parry, 18, of Wrexham; Sarah Jones, 19, and Ellen Davis, 18, of Chester.

Verses on their melancholy End.

Lament, lament, the woeful fate
       Of twelve young females dear,
Who suffer'd a sad death of late,
       Most painful for to hear.
Now let all those young women know,
       Who stray from Virtue's ways,
That vice did prove their overthrow,
       And shortened their days.

A foreign ship in port arriv'd,
       Of thirty hands or so,
And twelve gay damsels young and blythe,
       Straight on board did go.
And their a loathsome vile disease,
       Infectious and foul,
Did on these twelve young women size,
       And rag'd beyond control.

Their flesh did rot upon their bones,
       Spungy, like honey comb,
Their dismal cries, and sighs, and moans,
       Would pierce a heart of stone.
The doctors to their pain and grief,
       Beheld their sufferings great,
But could afford them no relief,
       The plague for to abate.

All human means being tried in vain,
       But could not mend the case,
To put the sufferers out of pain,
       An awful scene took place.
The dread infection to destroy,
       Which through the town might spread,
Their precious lives were sacrific'd.
       They smother'd were in bed.

Printed by Kay and Simpson, for J. Robson.

What next? Hartlepool holds a Be Nice to Monkeys Day?

(I haven't found any corroboration of this event, though the symptoms correspond to a haemorrhagic virus like Ebola so well that the disease itself might not have been made up).


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Subject: Lyr Add: V'LÀ LE CHOLÉRA (Aristide Bruant)
From: Felipa
Date: 17 May 21 - 08:30 PM

V'là le choléra Aristide Bruant, 1880
now they sing V'là le Corona

lyrics on screen, Riton la Manivelle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmW6-_QPReY

recording by Marc Ogeret https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmW6-_QPReY

original lyrics as posted in a comment to this recording by Aristide Bruant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIuXYI6oOzQ

Paraît qu'on attend l'choléra
La chose est positive
On n'sait pas quand il arriv'ra,
Mais on sait qu'il arrive.

V'la l'choléra ! V'la l'choléra !
V'la l'choléra qu'arrive !
De l'une à l'autre rive
Tout le monde en crèv'ra !
V'la l'choléra ! V'la l'choléra !
V'la l'choléra qu'arrive !
De l'une à l'autre rive
Tout le monde en crèv'ra !

2. Les pharmaciens vont répétant :
Il vient !... la chose est sûre ;
Ach'tez-nous du désinfectant...
Du sulfat', du chlorure.

3. Les sacristins et les abbés
Répètent des cantiques
Pour attirer les machabé's
Dans leurs sacré's boutiques.

4. On rassemble des capitaux
Pour fabriquer des bières
On vendre des cercueils, en gros
À la port' des cimetières.

5. Tous les matins, avant midi
Dans une immense fosse,
On apport'ra les refroidis
Qu'on empil'ra par grosse.

6. L'bon Dieu, du haut du Sacré-Coeur,
Chante, avec tout' sa clique,
Et les cagots reprenn'nt en choeur :
Crève la République !!

Re Aristide Bruant (1851-1825) see http://plug-inn.fr/uncategorized/aristide-bruant-a-man-about-montmartre/


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Monique
Date: 18 May 21 - 02:53 AM

Here is what it means:

They say that we're waiting for the cholera
The thing is positive
We don't know when it will arrive
But we know it's coming.

Here's the cholera! Here's the cholera!
Here comes the cholera!
From one bank to the other
Everyone will die of it!
Here's the cholera! Here's the cholera!
Here comes the cholera!
From one bank to the other
Everyone will die of it!

2. Pharmacists keep on repeating:
It's coming! ... the thing is certain;
Buy us some disinfectant ...
Sulfate, chloride.

3. The sacristans and abbots
Repeat hymns
To attract corpses
In their sacred* shops.

4. We raise capital
To make caskets
We sell coffins, wholesale
At the door of the cemeteries.

5. Every morning, before noon,
In a huge pit,
We will bring the iced ones
That we will stack by the gross.

6. God, from the top of the Sacred Heart,
Sing with all his clique,
And the pharisees sing along in chorus:
Let the Republic croak!!

*pun: "sacré" means "sacred" but also "damned"


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GerryM
Date: 18 May 21 - 03:32 AM

I Got It From Agnes by Tom Lehrer. Lyrics


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 18 May 21 - 04:32 AM

TB Blues by Jimmie Rodgers (covered by numerous others)

There must be tons of blues songs about diseases of various kinds and there must surely be songs about the Spanish flu in the US.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 18 May 21 - 06:38 AM

THE ORIGINAL BBC RADIO BALLADS - THE BODY BLOW - First transmitted on 27 March 1962

The Body Blow was originally conceived as an exploration of the psychology of pain, but the project eventually focused on the subject of poliomyelitis, a disease prevalent at the time. The programme is a journey into the minds of five polio sufferers, two partially and three totally disabled.

The new Radio Ballads - THE ENEMY THAT LIVES WITHIN - Tuesday 26 December 2006 21:00-22:00

The second of the new Radio Ballads concerns people living with HIV/AIDS. Six women and men talk candidly about life with the virus


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 May 21 - 08:48 AM

Not really folk, but doubtless could have been sung. Robert Henryson around 1500.

Ane Prayer for the Pest

by Robert Henryson
O eterne god, of power infinyt,
To quhois hie knawledge na thing is of obscure
That is, or was, or evir salbe, perfyt,
in to thy sicht, quhill that this warld indure;
Haif mercy of us, Indigent and peure;
Thow dois na wrang to puneiss our offens:
O Lord, that is to mankynd haill succure,
Preserve us fra this perrelus pestilens.

We the beseik, o Lord of lordis all,
thy eiris inclyne and heir our grit regrait;
We ask remeid of the in generall,
That is of help and comfort desolait;
bot thow with rewth our hairtis recreat,
We ar bot deid but only thy clemens:
We the exhort, on kneis law prostrait,
Preserf us fra this perrellus pestilens.

We ar richt glaid thow puneiss our trespass
be ony kind of uthir tribulatioun,
Wer it thy will, o lord of hevin, allaiss,
that we sowld thus be haistely put doun,
and dye as beistis without confessioun,
That nane dar mak with uthir residence.
O blissit Jesu, that woir the thorny croun,
Preserve us frome this perrelus pestilens.

Use derth, o lord, or seiknes, and hungir soir,
and slaik thy plaig that is so penetryve.
Thy pepill ar perreist: quha ma remeid thairfoir,
bot thow, o lord, That for thame Lost thy lyve?
Suppoiss our syn be to the pungityve,
Oure deid ma nathing our synnys recompens.
Haif mercy, lord, we ma not with the stryve:
preserve us etc.

Haif mercy, lord, haif mercy, hevynis king!
Haif mercy of thy pepill penetent;
Haif mercy of our petouss punissing;
retreit the sentence of thy Just Jugement
Aganis us synnaris, that servis to be schent:
Without mercy, we ma mak no defens.
Thow that, but rewth, upoun the rude was rent,
preserve us frome this perrellus pestilens.

Remmember, Lord, how deir thow hes us bocht,
That for us synnaris sched thy pretius blude,
Now to redeme that thow hes maid of nocht,
That is of vertew barrane and denude;
Haif rewth, Lord, of thyne awin symilitude;
Puneiss with pety and nocht with violens.
We knaw it is for our Ingratitude
That we ar puneist with this pestilens.

Thow grant us grace for till amend our miss,
And till evaid this crewall suddane deid;
We knaw our syn is all the cause of thiss,
for oppin syn thair is set no remeid.
The Justice of god mon puneiss than bot dreid,
for by the law he will with non dispens:
quhair Justice laikis thair is Eternall feid,
of god that sowld preserf fra pestilens.

Bot wald the heiddismen that sowld keip the law
Pueneiss the peple for thair transgressioun,
Thair wald na deid the peple than owrthraw:
bot thay ar gevin so planely till oppressioun,
That god will not heir thair intercessioun;
bot all ar puneist for thair Innobediens
be sword or deid withowttin remissioun,
And hes Just cause to send us pestilens.

Superne/ Lucerne/ guberne/ this pestilens,
preserve/ and serve/ that we not sterve thairin.
Declyne/ that pyne/ be thy Devyne prudens.
O trewth/ haif rewth/ lat not our slewth us twin.
Our syt/ full tyt/ wer we contryt/ wald blin.
Dissiver/ did never/ quha evir the besocht.
Send grace/ with space/ and us Imbrace/ fra syn.
Latt nocht be tynt that thow so deir hes bocht.

O prince preclair/ this cair/ cotidiane,
We the exhort/ distort/ it in exyle.
Bot thow remeid/ this deid/ is bot ane trane,
for to dissaif/ the laif/ and thame begyle.
Bot thow sa wyiss/ devyiss to mend this byle
Of this mischief/ quha ma releif/ us ocht
for wrangus win/ bot thow our syn ourfyll?
Latt not be tynt etc.

Sen for our Vyce/ that Justyce/ mon correct,
O king most hie/ now pacifie/ thy feid:
Our syn is huge/ Refuge/ we not suspect;
As thow art Juge/ deluge us of this dreid.
In tyme assent/ or We be schent with deid;
We us repent/ and tyme mispent forthocht:
Thairfoir/ Evirmoir/ be gloir/ to thy godheid
Lat nocht be tynt that thow sa deir hes bocht.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 18 May 21 - 02:02 PM

"The Roses of Eyam" reasonably contemporary but bang up to date with the present situation.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 21 - 03:41 PM

Search for the Mudcat thread on Geisslerlieder - the songs sung by wandering bands of flagellants in Europe at the time of the Black Death. Some of the earliest ever recorded vernacular songs, some noted by a German priest called Hugo von Reutlingen. The songs aren't specifically 'about' plague, illness or disease, but they were certainly borne out of those things.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 May 21 - 06:08 PM

The "rugby/hash" song Leprosy is a classic.

Two decades ago, a "visitor" interrupted the Hash "circle" and whined, "I have a friend that has leprosy, and it is a VERY serious disease, this is not funny!" .

The circle quickly switched to "F her/him.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle



EMPATHY

and

A quick wit and a thick skin are important.


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Subject: Lyr Add: STRICTLY GERM-PROOF (Arthur Guiterman)
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 May 21 - 06:14 PM

A family favorite of both my parents, was....

STRICTLY GERM-PROOF
(Arthur Guiterman)

THE Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup
Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gamboled up;
They looked upon the Creature with a loathing undisguised;—
It wasn't Disinfected and it wasn't Sterilized.

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap.

In sulphurated hydrogen they steeped its wiggly ears;
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of hard-boiled shears; 10
They donned their rubber mittens and they took it by the hand
And elected it a member of the Fumigated Band.

There's not a Micrococcus in the garden where they play;
They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day;
And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic Cup—
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic Pup.

2science @animal
filename[ GRMPRF
RG
Feb07

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

OF COURSE - in the DT....under disease.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 18 May 21 - 07:12 PM

There's always Woody Guthrie's Dust Pneumonia Blues.

Jay


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 18 May 21 - 08:28 PM

Pills of White Mercury which were used to treat syphilis before penicillin was discovered.

He Fades Away, by Alastair Hulett, re asbestosis in Australian miners.

Roll on the Day by Allan Taylor - miners’ pneumoconiosis.

? Mellow yellow - for anyone with jaundice?


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Felipa
Date: 18 May 21 - 08:40 PM

SILICOSIS BLUES
Trad./New music and words by Josh White

Silicosis, you made a mighty bad break of me
Silicosis, you made a mighty bad break of me
Robbed me of my youth and health
All you brought poor me was misery.

Silicosis, you're a dirty robber and a thief
Yes, silicosis, you're a dirty robber and a thief
Robbed me of my right to live and all you brought poor me is grief.

I was there diggin' that tunnel for just six bits a day
I was diggin' that tunnel for just six bits a day
Didn't know I was diggin' my grave — silicosis was eatin' my lungs away.

Six bits I got for diggin' — mmm, diggin' that tunnel hole
I got for diggin' — six bits for diggin' that tunnel hole
Takes me 'way from my baby and sure done wrecked my soul

I says Mama, Mama, Mama, please cool my fevered head
I says Mama, Mama, Mama, cool my fevered head
Going to mee my Jesus, God knows I'll soon be dead.

Now tell all my buddies, tell my friends you see
Tell all my buddies, tell my friends you see
I'm going 'way up yonder and please don't grieve for me.

------------------- Previously posted in Mudcat discussion songs of Josh White

SILICOSIS

They're Steppin' abite at Fave o'clock,
Theer Snappin' in theer hand.
Dine by the Stop 'till the speshul comes arind,
They works each day a ten har shift,
And earns a couple a pind,
And live 'til they die o' Silicosis.

Me Mother, she's a Dippers Mate,
Me Fayther packs the ware.
We're areet for chaner as we duuner know nor care.
As lung as hays got a fag in his mith,
und hafe a pint a beer,
He lives till he dies o silicosis.

But things are gerrin better na that Clowes is the Lord Mayor,
They're openin' up the winders, they're lerrin' the air.
They're painting up owd Boslem, It's enough to mek thee stare.
And you may not have to die o Silicosis.

-------------------- Previously posted in Mudcat discussion North Staffordhire songs

Related thread songs about health
From: dick greenhaus - PM
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 05:57 PM

"If you try a search for @doctor {or} @illness {or} sick*
you'll come up with 21 hits."


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Felipa
Date: 18 May 21 - 08:43 PM

earlier on, this discussion was mainly about infectious diseases affecting large numbers of people; it was more focussed, inspired by the present pandemic.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 May 21 - 11:34 PM

Molly Malone:

She died of a fever
And no one could save her

[Rhymes in a brogue]


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 19 May 21 - 01:19 AM

Van Morrison: T.B. Sheets

"It’s no surprise that Morrison fell apart after recording “T.B. Sheets,” so distraught after revisiting that dark place that he cancelled the remaining sessions." Paste Magazine


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 19 May 21 - 01:29 AM

'Whippin' That Old T.B.' JIMMIE RODGERS (1932)

Listen all you rounders, you ought to be like me
Don't worry about consumption, even if they call it T.B.

T.B., T.B., some say tonic is fine
You take all your medicine you want, I'll take good liquor for mine

Rodgers died of tuberculosis at 35.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 May 21 - 06:23 PM

Going back to the mental health aspect raised last year on this thread:
Mad Tom of Bedlam
And the time when HIV/AIDS was a death penalty spawned quite a few songs.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: John C. Bunnell
Date: 23 May 21 - 05:01 AM

From performer/songwriter/novelist/mad-science expert Seanan McGuire, there's the long but disturbingly well-researched Schoolhouse Rock explanation of "The Black Death".

Probably because it's an eight-minute song, I don't find a full non-commercial audio version anywhere online. There is, however, a YouTube video of Seanan giving a reading and talk at Google in her literary identity as Mira Grant, author of semi-dystopian science fiction, in which the song comes up about 20 minutes in and she sings a couple of verses off the cuff.

It develops that Seanan had phoned the Centers for Disease Control for research advice on how to create medically plausible zombies - and was in the process of being politely blown off when the receptionist realized that "you're the Black Death girl", put her on speaker, and got her to sing the entire song for the secretarial pool, at which point she suddenly had eight CDC doctors willing to talk to her.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 May 21 - 06:10 AM

"Here's To the Last to Die" (cholera in British Army in India) - Martin Wyndham-Read

(we bring) "More Than a Paycheck" (to our loved ones and family) - Sweet Honey in the Rock

Sorry I don't have time to check/elucidate right now!!

Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 23 May 21 - 06:56 AM

Ring-a-ring o'roses
A pocketful of posies
A-tishoo ! A-tishoo
We all fall down.

From the BBC Bitesize education articles for 4-14 year olds :

Some people claim the nursery rhyme 'Ring-a-ring-o'-roses' is about the plague:

The 'roses' are the red blotches on the skin.

The 'posies' are the sweet-smelling flowers people carried to try to ward off the plague.

'Atishoo' refers to the sneezing fits of people with pneumonic plague.

'We all fall down' refers to people dying.

Others believe that it's just a nonsense rhyme. The fact that people are willing to believe that the nursery rhyme is about the plague shows how much importance it is still given today.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 28 May 21 - 06:04 AM

I learnt this round at a singing course

She died, she did, she died of a broken rib, she did

She died, she did, she died of a broken rib, she did

She died, she did, she did, she died

Of a broken rib, she did, she died

She died of a broken rib, she did.


soryy cant reproduce the tune easily


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 28 May 21 - 06:06 AM

Another round I learnt on a singing weekend

There was a young woman of Ryde who ate too many apples and died. The apples fermented inside the lamented and made cider inside her inside.


Again, not easy for me to reproduce the tune.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 28 May 21 - 07:00 AM

Jake Thackray must have written something but I can’t think of one.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 May 21 - 11:39 AM

For "medically plausible zombies" - thanks to the Working Class History FB page I just found out what Jeffrey Dahmer did to his victims (with the help of the Milwaukee police). Not an infectious disease, but, urgh.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Joe_F
Date: 28 May 21 - 08:56 PM

Rheumatism, rheumatism,
How it pains, how it pains!
Up and down the system, up and down the system,
When it rains, when it rains.

TTTO Frere Jacques.

I dare say my mother learned it about 1920.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 May 21 - 08:23 PM

SOME LITTLE BUG IS GOING TO FIND YOU


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Subject: Lyr Add: REMEMBER THE POOR SUFFERERS OF THE SOUTH
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 May 21 - 09:48 PM

My transcription from the sheet music at The Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection at Johns Hopkins University:


REMEMBER THE POOR SUFFERERS OF THE SOUTH
Words by Alice Dale. Music by George W. Morgan. ©1878.

1. When the anguished cry burst forth that informed the startled North
That the sunny South was stricken by the plague,
How each tender heart was hushed, as the fearful tidings rushed
O’er the continent, with rumors wild and vague.
From the city and the plain, from the forest’s dark domain,
From plantation, and savanna, rose the cry:
“Let our pray’rs Thy wrath assuage! oh, God! stay the fever’s rage!
Help us! help us, Northern brothers, or we die.”
Then each gen'rous heart and hand thro’out all the startled land
Nobly answer’d to the summons, and each mouth
Join’d with sympathetic zeal in the thrilling grand appeal:
Remember the poor suff’rers of the South!

2. See the ruthless fever king, with his yellow flashing wing,
Waves his demons up from swamp and marshland low;
From bayou and broad lagoon sweeps the terrible monsoon,
Bearing into ev’ry household fear and woe.
Rich and poor, the great and small, lowly cot and lofty hall
Feel the terror of that pestilential breath;
Here the maiden lifeless lies; there the strong man droops and dies.
“Help! oh! help to stop this carnival of death!”
Then from East and North and West was warm sympathy express’d,
And the noble words were pass’d from mouth to mouth.
While the tears dimm’d ev’ry eye, loudly rose the feeling cry:
Remember the poor suff’rers of the South!

3. Ah! alas! the severed ties where each loved one pulseless lies,
And the poor, heart-stricken mourners wail above;
Where the youthful and the old lie together stark and cold,
And the lover by the maiden of his love.
In their hour of woe and grief, swiftly sped the kind relief,
And humanity responded far and wide;
And though many suff’rer’s moans could be heard in grateful tones:
“God will bless you, Northern brothers,” as they died.
Then stay not the helping hand from that sorrow-stricken land;
Let the gen’rous word still pass from mouth to mouth.
In the scenes of busy life, in the hours when joy is rife,
Remember the poor suff’rers of the South!

* * *
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Mississippi_Valley_yellow_fever_epidemic_of_1878


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 01:38 AM

From Goldilox; Mad Tom of Bedlam. Dave Moran writes;

Nic [Jones] and I and mandolin/guitar player Nigel Patterson made up the Halliard. We were looking to develop some new music and we took the advice of song- writer Leslie Shepard. We decided to add tunes to Broadsides that we discovered, uncovered or collected – we checked out the Harkness Collection at Preston and the collections in Manchester etc. We also used Ashton's Street Ballads and Victorian Street Ballads ( Henderson) and on a couple of occasions we dipped into Thomas D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy. That is where we found Mad Maudlin (Tom of Bedlam or the Boys of Bedlam).

Nic and I wrote all the tunes together usually sitting in the front of the Mini and singing and working out tunes as we drove – as the mandolin was the smallest instrument and Nigel was in the back, he always played the tunes. 'Jones and Moran' wrote a heap of songs like this including Lancashire Lads, Going for a Soldier Jenny, Miles Weatherhill, Calico printers Clerk etc. We wrote the tunes to fit the words and sometimes added or altered words, as in The Workhouse Boy.

So Nic and I wrote the tune to D'Urfeys words of Mad Maudlin – audiences were confused and stunned – it was very surreal... We did a booking in the Midlands and an unaccompanied foursome called the Farriers loved the song and asked if they could sing it unaccompanied. We said sure – they were very good a bit like the Young Tradition. I believe that is how it got into the mainstream. We may well have recorded it [for a second Saga LP called Heroes & Villains] but there were royalty issues and now sadly the tape is lost. There were some good songs on it. I actually have Nigel's written top line music and chords over the top, and words, to many of our songs because we were going to put a songbook out to back up that LP.

From Wikipedia; "Tom o' Bedlam" is the name of an anonymous poem in the "mad song" genre, written in the voice of a homeless "Bedlamite". The poem was probably composed at the beginning of the 17th century; in How to Read and Why, Harold Bloom called it "the greatest anonymous lyric in the [English] language." The original ballad was popular enough that another poem was written in reply, "Mad Maudlin's Search" or "Mad Maudlin's Search for Her Tom of Bedlam" or "Bedlam Boys". It was apparently first published in 1720 by Thomas d'Urfey in his Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy. "Maudlin" was a form of Mary Magdalene.


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Subject: ADD: Simon the King
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 03:41 AM

SIMON THE KING
traditional

One day it entered my mind
That I should go up and down
No company could I find
'Til I came to the sign of the crown
The barman was sick with the mumps
The maid was ill at her ease
The tapster was drunk - in the dumps
And they all had one disease:

Drink shall make a man drunk
Drunk shall make a man dry
Dry shall make a man sick
And sick shall make a man die

Says old Sir Simon the king
Old Sir Simon the king
With his ale drop toes
And his mumsy nose
Sing hey ding ding-a ding ding

But if a man should be drunk tonight
And laid in his grave tomorrow
Can you or anyone say
That he died of care and sorrow?
So hang all sorrow and care
They say that it killed the cat
Let any man drink–all right!
And he's never a-feared of that

For drinking shall make a man quaff
Quaffing shall make a man sing
Singing shall make a man laugh
And laughter long life shall bring!

Says old Sir Simon the king
Old Sir Simon the king
With his ale drop toes
And his mumsy nose
Sing hey ding ding-a ding ding


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 08:52 AM

I have just been reading about a P.1 outbreak in Michigan caused by a hairdresser who refused to cooperate with contact tracing.

DetroitFree Press story

We need an update to this one:

I got it from Agnes (video)


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Felipa
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 11:44 AM

Simon the King is an interesting song if it is truly old, as it identifies alcholism as a disease. I thought that was a relatively modern concept.

It's old enough: "Words anon. from Thomas d'Urfey's Wit and Mirth: or Pills to Purge Melancholy 1719-1720. Tune anon. from The Division Violin 1685 and Humphry Salter's The Genteel Companion 1683"
https://mainlynorfolk.info/guvnor/songs/oldsirsimontheking.html


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Pamela R
Date: 19 Jun 21 - 09:26 PM

This is a written song about the Bubonic Plague vs. the Black Death, that I heard at a session and tracked down here:

http://seananmcguire.com/songbook.php?chords=117

I contacted the songwriter to see if there were any references for the epidemiological claims, and was referred to the book
The Return of the Black Death: The World's Greatest Serial Killer, by Christopher John Duncan and Susan Scott.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Pamela R
Date: 19 Jun 21 - 09:27 PM

oops, should have made a blue clicky...
The Black Death


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: Felipa
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 06:40 PM

not exactly a folksong, but ...

Subject: RE: Macaronachas / Macaronic Songs. Language mixing
From: Thompson - PM
Date: 04 Dec 16 - 12:25 PM

Sean Duffy's Medieval Ireland, an Encyclopedia has a reference to Colmán moccu Cluasaig (died around 655), abbot and fear léigind (journal-keeper?) of the Monastery of Cork, whose composition Sén De don de for don te ("God's blessing, bear us, succour us") was composed to avert the Yellow Plague of 664/5 (obviously not successfully in the case of poor Colmán +RIP+) and is referred to as "one of the earliest pieces of macaronic verse in any western European vernacular, interspersing Latin phrases into an Irish adaptation of an early liturgical ordo for the dead. The list of Old Testament saints invoked, Abel, Elias and so forth, betrays Eastern liturgical influence: nothing like it exists elsewhere in Europe at this early date", plus more about Colmán.


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Subject: RE: Folk songs of disease
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 26 Jul 21 - 04:16 AM

Does Shel Silverstein’s “Don’t Give a Dose to the One You Love Most” count?


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