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Origins: Coachman's Whip

Joe Offer 22 Nov 21 - 05:12 PM
Joe Offer 22 Nov 21 - 05:14 PM
Joe Offer 22 Nov 21 - 10:53 PM
Joe Offer 22 Nov 21 - 11:38 PM
The Sandman 23 Nov 21 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 23 Nov 21 - 05:09 AM
Lighter 23 Nov 21 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,JohnH 23 Nov 21 - 10:24 AM
Felipa 23 Nov 21 - 03:50 PM
cnd 23 Nov 21 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 25 Nov 21 - 12:01 AM
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Subject: Origins: Coachman's Whip
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Nov 21 - 05:12 PM

I don't see any discussion on this one.

https://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=1225

The DT lyrics are almost the same as #172 in Peter Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland. Differences are shown in italics.
COACHMAN'S WHIP


I once took a job as a coachman
My money was paid in advance
I then took a trip down to London
From there I crossed over to France
There I met a charming young lady
Who 'dressed me and said with a smile
"Young man, I'm in need of a coachman
To drive me in old fashioned style"

CHORUS
Oh she was such a charming young lady
All in the height of her bloom
[or: And a lady of highest renown]
And I being a dashing young coachman
I drove her ten times 'round the room
[or: I drove her ten times 'round the town]

She then took me down to the cellar
She filled me with whiskey so quick
I hadn't been there many moments
When she asked for a look at my whip
She held it, she viewed it a moment
She then laid it down with a smile
"Young man, by the look and the length of your slash
We could drive the best part of ten mile"

She bid me get up to the Chaise-box
So I climbed right up to the seat
Three swishes I gave with my cracker
And drove her straight down the high seat
I handled my whip with good judgment
Until I was up to her ways
But the very first turn that I gave on the wheel
I broke the main spring of her chaise

When my mistress grew tired or grew weary
She'd call me to stop for a rest
She'd shout for her serving maid, Sally
The girl that I loved second best
"Sally, we've got a fine coachman
He understands driving in style
While the spring on the chaise is repairing
I'll let him drive you for a while"
COACHMAN'S WHIP (Kennedy)

I once took a job as a coachman
My money was paid in advance
I then took a trip down to London
From there I crossed over to France
There I met a charming young lady
Who 'dressed me and said with a smile
"Young man, I'm in need of a coachman
To drive me in old-fashioned style"

CHORUS
O she was such a charming young lady
And a lady of highest renown
And I being a dashing young coachman
I drove her ten times 'round the town.



She then took me down in the cellar
She filled me with whisky so quick
I hadn't been there many moments
When she asked for a look at my whip
She held it, she viewed it a moment
She then laid it down with a smile
"Young man, by the look and the length of your slash
We could drive the best part of ten mile"

She bid me get up to the chaise-box
So I climbed right up to the seat
Three swishes I gave with my cracker
And drove her straight down the High Street
I handled my whip with good judgment
Until I was up to her ways
But the very first turn that I gave on the wheel
I broke the main spring of her chaise

When my mistress grew tired or grew weary
She'd call me to stop for a rest
She'd shout for her serving maid, Sally
The girl that I loved second-best
"Sally, we've got a good coachman
He understands driving in style
While the spring on the chaise is repairing
I'll let him drive you for a while"


@bawdy @work
Printed in Peter Kennedy Folksongs of Britain and Ireland
Recorded by John and Tony
filename[ COACHMN
TUNE FILE: COACHMN
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF

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Subject: ADD: The Coachman
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Nov 21 - 05:14 PM

The Coachman
The symbolism of the coachman's "whip" is rarely lost on listeners. The song is traditional and a popular one in English folk clubs.


THE COACHMAN

I once took a job as a coachman
My money was paid in advance
So I traveled first down to Dover
And then I crossed over to France
I was met by a charming young lady
Who clothed me in breeches so tight
Said, I see I have got a fine coachman
To drive me by day and by night:

CHORUS
          She was such a charming young lady
          All in the height of her bloom
          And me being a dashing young coachman
          I drove her ten times 'round the room

She first took me down to the cellar
And filled me with liquor so quick
She told me to drink in a hurry
Then she asked for a look at my whip
She held it, viewed it a moment
And then laid it down with a smile
Said, I can see by the length and the look of your slash
You can drive in the old-fashioned style:

She bade me get into position
So I climbed right up in the seat
Three swishes I gave with my cracker
And drove her right down the High Street
I handled the whip with good judgment
Until I was sure of her ways
But the very first tug that I gave on the brakes
I broke the main spring of her stays:

When my mistress grew tired or grew weary
And wanted to take a short rest
She'd call for her servant maid, Sally
The one that I loved second best.
She'd say, Sally, we've got a fine coachman
He understands driving in style
While the spring on my chassis's being strengthened again
I'll let him drive you for a while:


http://www.goldenhindmusic.com/lyrics/COACHMN.html

Roberts and Barrand recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtNe2_irWdc


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coachman's Whip
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Nov 21 - 10:53 PM

And the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Coachman's Whip


DESCRIPTION: Singer takes a job with young lady who needs a coachman to "drive her in style." He drives her "ten times round the room"; she asks for a look at his whip. He takes her riding, but on the first turn breaks a spring; her maid takes the next ride
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1957 (Pinto & Rodway, from a Nottingham broadside)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Singer takes a job as coachman; his employer is a young lady who informs him that she needs a coachman to "drive her in style." He drives her "ten times round the room"; she takes him to the cellar and feeds him whisky, then asks for a look at his whip. After holding it, she says, smiling, that by the look and length of it they could go ten miles. He takes her riding, but on the first turn breaks a spring; she calls for her serving maid, saying that while her spring is being repaired "I'll let him drive you for a while"
KEYWORDS: sex work drink bawdy humorous servant
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South,West))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 172, "The Coachman's Whip" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, COACHMN*

Roud #862
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Chandler's Wife" (plot)
cf. "The Farm Servant (Rap-Tap-Tap)" (plot)
cf. "The Jolly Barber Lad" (plot)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Coachman
The Jolly Driver
File: K172

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2021 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: ADD: I Am a Coachman
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Nov 21 - 11:38 PM

Note the similarity with the first verse of this song:



68 I AM A COACHMAN

I am a coachman out on the high road,
A—kissing and courting is all my mode.
I kiss them, I court them, I lie by their side,
And When I am tired I get up and ride.
    Derry down
    Down down derry down.

I am a blacksmith, the king of good fellows,
I work at the anvil while the man blows the bellows
My iron is good and so are my coals,
And all my delight is in stopping of holes.
    Derry down
    Down down derry down.

I am a fisherman, fisherman Ann
Shall I fish in your fish—pan?
I fished for a roach but I did get a tench,
I tried for a boy but I did get a wench.

Collected by H.E.D. Hammond, singer John Hallett at Mosterton, June 1906

Probably incomplete, since the catalogue of trades, each with its metaphorical sexual significance, may be extended indefinitely. I have not seen this elsewhere, but ribald songs on similar lines are in current circulation.

From The Everlasting Circle (James Reeves, 1960)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coachman's Whip
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Nov 21 - 05:06 AM

I have not heard this song sang in the uk folk revival for 35 years the last person i heard sing it was Tim Laycock


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coachman's Whip
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 23 Nov 21 - 05:09 AM

A couple of recordings from two Gypsies. Chris Willett (Folktracks FSB017) and Jasper Smith (incomplete version on Topic LP 'Travellers' TSDL395).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coachman's Whip
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Nov 21 - 08:52 AM

Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger recorded the now-standard version on their
1968 LP, "The Wanton Muse."

MacColl was presumably the effective source of all later folkie versions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coachman's Whip
From: GUEST,JohnH
Date: 23 Nov 21 - 10:24 AM

Sam Larner sang an incomplete version and the words are in "The Common Muse" by Da Sola Pinto.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coachman's Whip
From: Felipa
Date: 23 Nov 21 - 03:50 PM

John Roberts and Tony Barrand used to sing this song often (my recollection from early 1970s)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coachman's Whip
From: cnd
Date: 23 Nov 21 - 07:39 PM

I was swinging by my local library tonight, which happened to have this book, so I went ahead and followed up on JohnH's lead.

Found in The Common Muse by Vivian De Sola Pinto and Allan Edwin Rodway (1957), pp. 290-291 (song cxliii), transcribed as printed.

THE JOLLY DRIVER

I am a jolly young fellow,
 My fortune I wish to advance,
I first took up to London,
 And I next took a tour to France,
I understand all kinds of servitude
 And every fashion so tight,
If you hire me as your coachman,
 I am a safe driver by night.

Chorus
So my darling I'll go along with you,
 Stick to you while I have life,
I Would rather ten times be your coachman
 Than tie<d> to a drunken old wife.

Up came a lady of fashion,
 And thus unto me did say,
If I hire you as my coachman,
 You must drive me by night and by day,
Ten guineas a month I will give you
 Besides a bottle of wine,
If you keep me in plenty of drink,
 I will drive you in a new fashion style.

She brought me into the kitchen,
 Where she gave me liquors so quick,
She told me drink that in a hurry,
 She wish'd to see my driving whip;
O when that she seen it
 She eyed it with a smile,
Saying, I know by the length of your lash,
 You can drive in a new fashion style.

She bid me get into her chaise box,
 And drive both mild and discreet,
And handle my whip with much judgment,
 And drive her quite through the street,
Three curls I gave to my cracker,
 And then I was up to her rigg, [rigg=ridge(?)
And the very first turn the wheel got,
 I broke the main-spring of her gig.

She brought me into the cellar,
 And gave me a bottle of wine,
She told me drink that in a hurry,
 As I had to drive her three miles;
She being a nice little young thing,
 And just in the height of her bloom,
And I being a dashing young fellow,
 I drove her nine times round the room.

My mistress being tired and weary,
 In order to take a rest,
She call'd for her waiting-maid, Sally,
 The maid that she loved the best,
Saying, Sally, we've got a good coachman,
 That understands driving in style,
And while my gig wheel is repairing,
 I'll let him drive you for a mile.

So now to conclude and finish,
 Driving I mean to give o'er,
Carriages, cars, gigs, and coaches,
 I ne'er will drive any more;
When the Ladies of honour all heard it.
 The truth they did declare,
They ne'er could meet with a coachman,
 That understood driving so fair.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coachman's Whip
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 25 Nov 21 - 12:01 AM

John and Tony, on Spencer The Rover is Alive and Well and Living in Ithaca, NY on Swallowtail Records. A favorite of mine for The Coachman as well as Creeping Jane and Rambleaway.

Don


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