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Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid

Related thread:
Lyr Req: Keep Your Legs Together Coming Home (7)


GUEST,Guest 29 Mar 00 - 08:31 PM
GUEST 29 Mar 00 - 09:56 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 00 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,Guest 30 Mar 00 - 11:29 PM
GUEST,Guest 31 Mar 00 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 31 Mar 00 - 04:15 PM
KT 31 Mar 00 - 06:46 PM
Jim Dixon 11 May 05 - 01:07 AM
Snuffy 11 May 05 - 08:50 AM
Jim Dixon 13 May 05 - 12:13 AM
GUEST,Lighter 13 Jun 09 - 09:46 AM
Andy Jackson 13 Jun 09 - 08:57 PM
12-stringer 14 Jun 09 - 12:48 AM
Lighter 14 Jun 09 - 08:56 AM
Anglo 23 Sep 09 - 03:16 AM
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Subject: lyrics for Comin' Home From the Wake
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 08:31 PM

I'm looking for the lyrics to an Irish song...the refrain contains the phrase..."Comin' home from the wake, comin' home fron the wake...." Anybody ever hear of it


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lyrics for Comin' Home From the Wake
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 09:56 PM

Is that "Nelly coming home from the wake"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lyrics for Comin' Home From the Wake
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 07:09 PM

You surely couldn't mean

'Keep your legs together coming home from the wake'

If so here is a blue clickety thing which will get you there if I know my HTML from my HTMLbow!!

Click Here

(If the blue clickety thing doesn't work put 'together' in the Filter and set the days to 3 for the lyrics.)

Paddy(1)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lyrics for Comin' Home From the Wake
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 11:29 PM

Thanks so much for your replies.....Neither of those is the right one. The refrain .....

Comin' home from the wake, comin' home from the wake Sure we'll all be together comin' home from the wake!!

Might have been recorded by Maggie Berry (sp?) Thanks again for any assistance!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lyrics for Comin' Home From the Wake
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 02:22 PM

Has anyone ever heard of Maggie Berry? I think she may be one who recorded this song. I am actually looking for these lyrics for Tommy Sands.....Thanks again for your help.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lyrics for Comin' Home From the Wake
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 04:15 PM

That'll be Margaret Barry, a well-known traditional singer who died some years ago. She was a member of what is now termed the "traveller" community in Ireland - formerly called itinerant, tinker and a lot more besides, I'm afraid. I don't know the song, off hand. Mind you, I'd be surprised if Tommy couldn't lay hold of a copy. You might suggest he try the irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin - or perhps John Moulden.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: lyrics for Comin' Home From the Wake
From: KT
Date: 31 Mar 00 - 06:46 PM

Thanks so much Martin. I'll pass that message on to Tommy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 May 05 - 01:07 AM

COMING HOME FROM THE WAKE is sung by Harry Cox on his album "The Bonny Labouring Boy: Traditional Songs & Tunes From a Norfolk Farm Worker," Topic 2-CD set #512, 2001.

I listened to a sound sample, and here's what I think I heard:

Now the wake bein' over and Nelly goin' away,
He dragged poor Nelly along to some new-mown hay.
He laid poor Nelly down and her promise she did break,
And he kissed his pretty Nelly comin' home from the wake,
And he kissed his pretty Nelly comin' home.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 May 05 - 08:50 AM

Young Roger looked so handsome I could weep,
With his hair of brown and eyes of blue so deep.
At the wake I got excited,
But my lust went unrequited.
On the way back from the wake he fell asleep.

by the Kipper Family - in the DT twice as SATISFY ME and again as THE UNLAID MAID


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Subject: Lyr Add: COMING HOME FROM THE WAKE (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 May 05 - 12:13 AM

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 40(3):

COMING HOME FROM THE WAKE
[printed by Nugent, J.F. and Co.? (Dublin?), between 1850 and 1899.]

Young Nelly, the milkmaid, so buxom and gay,
Did always delight with young Roger to play.
One evening, resolved a dance for to take,
She asked of her mother to go to the wake.

"Now, Nell you may go, but I'll have you take care,
And of Roger's delusions, acushla, beware.
For unless this my counsel you rightly do take,
By my soul you'll remember coming home from the wake."

So dressed in her best, away Nell did steer
With pleasure, expecting young Roger was there.
They danced and they played like a duck and a drake,
So that was the sport they had at the wake.

The pastime being over, they home took their way,
Until they had come to some cocks of new hay,
Where he led her a dance, and says she, "For your sake,
My soul, I'll ne'er forget coming home from the wake."

In some short time after, poor Nell grew unwell,
And her mother says, "Tell me the reason, dear Nell."
Says Nell, "I can't tell, if my life was at stake,
Unless it was that cursed dance coming home from the wake."

Now, Nell, being a maiden of beautiful charms,
Always had a right to be aware of alarms.
So girls, by Nelly a warning pray take,
And take care how you dance coming home from a wake.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 09:46 AM

This guy does a great job with the version collected by Gardiner in 1907. Unfortunately, you can hear only the first half:

http://ralfweihrauch.de/54504.html

I believe that Shirley and Dolly Collins recorded this long ago, but if so the album has not been re-released. And if so, it should be.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 08:57 PM

Like many of the Hammond and Gardiner collection this is available on an early LP Folk Songs of Dorset. Now thankfully re-released as a two CD issue Songs of Hampshire and Dorset.
This version, sung by Cheryl Jordan is titled " Nelly the Mikmaid.


Unashamed Plug here but a great source of authentic style recordings.

Andy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: 12-stringer
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 12:48 AM

See also the c1960 Folkways album "Irish & British Songs from the Ottawa Valley," where the majestic Ontario traditional singer O J Abbott performs a great version of the song, much revised from the broadside text.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 08:56 AM

Tom Kines also recorded Abbott's version for Folkways in 1962 on "An Irishman in North Americay."

But I like Gardiner's better.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: Anglo
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 03:16 AM

I remember John Pearse singing the Gardiner version, but I don't remember what the recording was. Sorry. (But I don't think this was the song originally called for at the top of the thread. Ah well, that's mudcat.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Dec 11 - 09:25 PM

On another thread, MtheGM thinks that Sandy Paton learned his version, which Sandy then recorded in 1958/59.

M - where and when did you learn it?

It had rarely been in print back then.

It reminds me of Harry Cox's version, but I haven't heard that in years.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 12:03 AM

At my mother's restaurant, Lighter ~ Chez Cleo, Kensington, where I used to sing Caviare & Foggy Dew, &c, & a semi-impromptu customer-participatory cabaret would often happen ~ Ustinov's Love Of 3 Colonels was running in London & one night I recall none other than Theo Bikel taking the guitar off the wall & singing! This about mid-50s.

The version of Home From Wake that one customer sang & taught me was called Roger Of Kildare. As you say, I then passed it on to Sandy at the Troubadour Old Brompton Road, 1958, & I think he put it on, was it his Many Faces album?.

Can you give a link to the previous post of mine re this that you ref above, please?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 12:09 AM

In fact, Sandy's 1959 Elektra album #148, The Many Sides of Sandy Paton, track 12 ~~ title Coming Home From The Wake.

I have never actually seen a copy of this. Has anyone got it?   Did he acknowledge me as source on it, anyone know? Just curious.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 12:15 AM

In fact, I have tracked down that ref on the Handsome Sandy Paton thread. Thanks for the reminder, Lighter.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 10:25 AM

M:

Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=2882617


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 10:51 AM

Many thanks, Lighter.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FAGAN'S WAKE (Sean McCarthy)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 03:04 PM

Irish Singer Delia Murphy recorded a version she called "The Wake in Kildare" in 1950 and may have influenced a few versions. The sheet music can be purchased from musicnotes.com which claims "Words and Music Delia Murphy" for $5.95. She would have been fairly popular at that time.

Sean McCarthy from Kerry updated the song in the late sixties,when the use of contraceptives was causing heated debates in Ireland.
He recorded it under the title "Fagan's Wake".

FAGAN'S WAKE

Oh! daughter, dearest daughter there's a wake in Kildare
And the lodger, the lodger he's sure to be there
You know he's hansome and you know he's tall and straight,
Ah! but keep your legs together comimg home from the wake.

Oh! Mother, dearest mother what an awful thing to say,
Sure I'll keep away from Fagan until my wedding day
He can kiss me and caress me, he can love me for my sake,
But I'll keep my legs together coming home from the wake

When Mary reached the waking house, it was young and gay she felt,
Fagan sat her down by the fire and drank the dead man's health
Oh! gra mo chroi 'twas sad to see the poor man on the bed
A mean old craiter when alive, he's a fine man now he's dead.

And at 4 o clock next morning, walking down the boreen,
She kept admiring Fagan, the finest she'd ever seen
Temptation proved too much for her. she let him have his way,
As Fagan says the best of friends get parted every day.

Nine months have been and gone since Fagan rang the bell,
The anxious weeks have been like years for fear of any swell
Young and foolish though they were of them I won't speak ill
There was no cause to fret you see 'cause Mary takes the Pill.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Coming Home from the Wake
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 06:13 PM

Thanks, Guest. That looks very much like the version sung (later?) by Foster and Allen.

The first half of Murphy's tune is a lot like that of "Drink it Down."


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Subject: Lyr Add: NELLY THE MILKMAID
From: RTim
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 06:35 PM

The version below was sung by Cheryl Jordan on Folk Songs from Dorset, on the Forest Tracks Label - LP recorded in 1974 or 5, but now re-issued on cd by Forest Tracks.

Tim Radford


NELLY THE MILKMAID
(Mrs Russell, Upway, Dorset 1907)

Nelly was a milkmaid bonny brisk & gay
Always took delight with young Roger for to play
One day she decided some pleasure for to take
And asked her misses leave for to go to the Wake
      Nelly-too-ra-loo x 2, Fairr lovely Nelly
      To the Wake she did go.

Oh Nelly said her mistress I'd have you take care
And of that young rogue Roger I'd have you beware
So Nelly you may go But this promise you must make
Do not frolic with young Roger coming home from the Wake.

So dressed all in her best, young Nelly did repair
And as she expected young Roger he was there
They danced & they sang, they beer ale & cake
And many were the pleasures that they had at the Wake.

The Wake being over they homeward when their way
Until that they came to some new cocks of hay
There young Roger kissed young Nelly and her promise she did break
She froliced with young Roger coming home from the Wake.

When eight months were over & nine coming on
Young Nelly was the mother of a fine lovely son
I will call it she said, I will call it for its sake
I will call it Young Roger coming home from the Wake.


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Subject: ADD: The Wake in Kildare
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 03:51 PM

Lighter requested this song in the Irish Songbook Indexing thread.

THE WAKE IN KILDARE
(D. Murphy)

There's a wake darling mother, there's a wake in Kildare,
And Roger, dear Roger, oh dear Roger he'll be there,
He is kind and he is true and great care of me he'll take,
And we'll all be home together comin' home from the Wake,
Comin' home from the Wake,
Comin' home from the Wake,
And we'll all be home together,
Comin' home from the Wake.

You may go darling Nellie, to the wake in Kildare
If Roger, dear Roger, if dear Roger will be there,
For I know that he is true and great care of you he'll take,
And you'll all be back together comin' home from the Wake,
Comin' home from the Wake,
Comin' home from the Wake,
And you'll all be back together,
Comin' home from the Wake.

The road was long and twisty, all the way to Kildare,
And Roger, dear Roger, oh dear Roger he was there,
He was kind and he was true and great care of her did take,
And he told her he did love her comin' home from the Wake,
Comin' home from the Wake,
Comin' home from the Wake,
And he told her that he loved her
Comin' home from the Wake.

The night was dark and windy all the way to Kildare,
But Roger, dear Roger, oh dear Roger, he was there,
He was kind and he was true and great care of her did take,
And he asked her if she'd marry comin' home from the Wake,
Comin' home from the Wake,
Comin' home from the Wake,
And he asked her if she'd marry,
Comin' home from the Wake.

As they sheltered from the weather comin' home from Kildare
And Roger, dear Roger, oh dear Roger, he was there,
He was kind and he was true and great care of her did take,
And he slipped a kiss to Nellie comin' home from the Wake,
Comin' home from the Wake
Comin' home from the Wake
And he slipped a kiss to Nellie
Comin' home from the Wake.

So they all came home together from the Wake in Kildare,
And Roger, dear Roger, oh dear Roger he was there.
He was kind and he was true and great care of her did take,
And they all came home together coming home from the Wake
Comin' home from the Wake,
Comin' home from the Wake,
And they all came home together,
Comin' home from the Wake.

Source: Walton's New Treasury of Irish Songs and Ballads (1968, Walton's Musical Instrument Galleries, Dublin)
pp. 144-145


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Subject: ADD Versions: Nellie/Nelly the Milkmaid
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 04:33 PM

I found a somewhat different version at http://www.ralfweihrauch.de/8.html:

    NELLY, THE MILKMAID

    Nellie was a milkmaid bonny, brisk and gay,
    She always took delight with young Roger for to play.
    One day she decided some pleasure for to take
    And asked her missus leave for to go to the wake.
    Nellie toraloo, Nellie toraloo,
    Fair lovely Nelly, to the wake she did go

    "Nelly," said her missus, "I'd have you to take care
    And of that young Roger I'd have you to beware.
    So Nellie, you may go but this promise you must make,
    Don't frolic with young Roger coming home from the wake."

    So dressed in her best, young Nellie did repair
    And as the expected young Roger he was there.
    They danced and they sang, they had wine, beer and cake,
    And many were the pleasures that they had at the wake.

    The day being over, they homeward went their way,
    Until they had come to the new cocks of hay.
    And Roger kissed young Nell and her promise she did break,
    She froliced with young Roger coming home from the wake.

    When seven months were over and nine being come,
    Young Nellie was the mother of a fine lovely son.
    "I will call it," she said, "I will call it for his sake,
    I'll call it young Roger coming home from the wake.


    ....and a recording: http://www.ralfweihrauch.de/resources/Nelly.mp3


    And one more, from http://nostromo.pte.hu/english/rouse/simply/cd/storylyr.html#nellie

    NELLIE THE MILKMAID

    Nellie was a milkmaid, bonnie, brisk and gay
    She always took delight with young Roger for to play
    One day she decided some pleasure for to take
    And asked her missus' leave for to go to the wake
    Nellie tooraloo, Nellie tooraloo
    Oh, sweet lovely Nellie to the wake she did go.

    "Oh, Nellie," said her missus, "I'll have you to take care
    And of that young rogue Roger I'd have you beware
    So Nellie you may go but this promise you must make
    Don't frolic with young Roger coming home from the wake"
    Nellie tooraloo, Nellie tooraloo
    Oh, sweet lovely Nellie to the wake she did go.

    So dressed in her best young Nellie did repair
    And as she expected, young Roger he was there
    And they danced and they sang, they had beer, ale and cake
    And many were the pleasures that they had at the wake.
    Nellie etc.

    The day being over, they homeward went their way
    Until they'd come to the new cocks of hay
    And Roger kissed young Nell and her promise she did break
    She frolicked with young Roger coming home from the wake.
    Nellie etc.

    When seven months were over and nine being gone
    Young Nellie was the mother of a fine lovely son
    "I will call him," she said, "I will call him for his sake,
    I'll call it Young-Roger-Coming-Home-From-The-Wake
    Nellie etc.

Both of these versions are very similar to that posted by RTim above.


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Subject: Coming Home from the Wake/Nelly the Milkmaid
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 04:52 PM

Here's what the Traditional Ballad Index says about this song:

    Nelly the Milkmaid

    DESCRIPTION: Nelly, coming home from the wake (a country dance, not a funeral), is seduced, her ravisher, sometimes named Roger, assuring her he was merely "shooting at the cat." In some versions she gives birth to a son whom she names Shoot the Cat.
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1885 (GreigDuncan7)
    KEYWORDS: bawdy sex seduction childbirth
    FOUND IN: Canada(Ont) Britain(England,Scotland(Aber)) US(So)
    REFERENCES (4 citations):
    GreigDuncan7 1481, "Coming Home from the Wake" (2 texts plus a single verse on p. 534, 1 tune)
    Randolph-Legman I, pp. 169-172, "Nelly the Milkmaid" (2 texts, 1 tune)
    Fowke/MacMillan 62, "Nellie Coming Home From the Wake" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Fowke-Ontario 12, "Nellie Coming Home from the Wake" (1 text, 1 tune)

    Roud #1606
    RECORDINGS:
    O. J. Abbott, "Nellie Coming Home from the Wake" (on Abbott1)
    BROADSIDES:
    Bodleian, Firth b.34(178), "The Milkmaid Coming from the Wake" ("Young Nelly the milkmaid right buxom and gay"), H. Such (London), 1863-1885; also Harding B 40(3), "Coming Home from the Wake"; Firth b.33(47), "Nelly the Milk Maid"
    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Mossie and His Meer" (tune, per GreigDuncan7)
    ALTERNATE TITLES:
    Young Helen
    NOTES: Bodleian broadside Firth b.33(47), printed by Thornton at Kenilworth, which Bodleian does not date, would seem by its font (non-final long "s," some arbitrary capitals but no italics), to be older than either of the dated broadsides [c.1770?-c.1830?]. - BS
    Last updated in version 2.6
    File: RL169

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibliography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2011 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Reinhard Zierke's Website


Roud Index Search


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 05:30 PM

Thanks, Joe. Compared with every other known version, Murphy's is clearly bowdlerized for genteel consumption.


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Subject: ADD Version: The Wake in Kildare
From: zozimus
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 06:34 PM

It's interesting to see that the only recorded version noted above is by O.J. Abbott. He recorded this in 1961, and I must agree it's a great version. However, Delia Murphy was in Ottawa in 1960, so the question is whether her version stirred his memory of his version, or whether he recomposed his version based on hers. While I really enjoy O.J, he does tend to re-arrange songs to a different air.
Meanwhile, to show this song is continually going thru the folk process,
I have added the lyrics I recently got from a person asking me to research the song. Many thanks to all you Mudcatters for your help.
The Wake in Kildare.


THE WAKE IN KILDARE
author unknown.

"Oh Mother, Dear Mother, There's a Wake in Kildare
And Roger the Dodger has promised to be there
He'll love me and caress me,he'll love me for my sake
Oh mother dear mother, can I go to the wake.

Oh daughter, dear daughter, be wise and beware
Beware of 'oul Roger the sod from Kildare
He'll love you and caress you and He'll love you for your sake
But keep your legs together coming home from the wake.

Now poor little Nellie, she was just seventeen
With white silken stockings and petticoats of green
He stuffed her up with chocolates, and he stuffed her up with cake
And he stuffed it up poor Nellie, coming home from the wake.

'Twas three months from the Kildare wake, her Cassanoa gone
That poor little Nellie wasn't feeling very strong
Her legs began to quiver, and her knees began to quake
It was all because of Roger coming home from the wake.

Nine months awaitin'. yes nine months have passed
And poor little Nellie has had her child at last
She'll love it and caress it it and she'll love it for it's sake
And she'll call the bastard Fagan coming home from the wake.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 09:24 PM

What's a Cassanoa? And why would she "call the bastard Fagan"? Fagan must be an intruder from another version.

Edith Fowke recorded Abbott's song in 1957. He knew about eighty songs, most of them learned before 1900.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 11:01 PM

Cassanoa? How 'bout "Casanova"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid
From: GUEST,matt
Date: 25 Mar 14 - 06:20 PM

The Carlton Showband (from the Toronto, ON area) did a version based on Delia Murphy's song called "The Wake at Kildare". It's pretty catchy and I wouldn't be surprised if this is the version you are referring to. Here's a link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzFroRQQ3RQ


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid
From: meself
Date: 25 Mar 14 - 10:08 PM

Here are the O.J. Abbot lyrics, from memory:


Pretty little Nellie, the milkmaid so gay,
Being fond of going on a ball or a spree;
Says the missus unto Nellie, Sure, I'd have you to beware,
When you go to the wake, Joe Rogers, he'll be there;
He will take you in his arms, and he'll keep you from all harm,
And perhaps you might be sorry coming home in the morn.
Mush-an-ah, fol the day.

Nellie she got ready and away she did steer,
Praying all the time that Joe Rogers, he'd be there;
That he'd take her in his arms and he'd keep from all harm,
Then she knew she wouldn't be sorry coming home in the morn.
Mush-an-ah, etc.

When she got there, she got brandy rum and cake,
She never got such usage before at a wake;
Rogers took her in his arms, and he kept from all harm,
Saying, I know you won't be sorry going home in the morn.
Mush-an-ah, etc.

Early in the morning, just at the break of day,
Rogers laid Nellie down, beside the stack of hay;
Says Rogers unto Nellie, Sure, I'll lay you down so neat,
Sure, I'll play you Shoot the Cat, coming home from the wake.
Mush-an-ah, etc.

Eight months being over, and nine coming on,
Nellie, she gave birth to a darling young son;
Says the missus unto Nellie, Sure, we'll christen him for your sake,
Sure, we'll call him Shoot the Cat Coming Home From the Wake.
Mush-ah-ah, etc.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid
From: meself
Date: 25 Mar 14 - 10:12 PM

Corrections:

v.2, l. 3: ... keep HER from all harm

v.3, l. 1: ... brandy, rum and cake
       3: ... kept HER from all harm


Mudelf?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Mar 14 - 09:13 AM

Norfolk singer Harry Cox sang this
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid
From: meself
Date: 26 Mar 14 - 10:25 AM

Btw, I've always thought that 'Shoot the Cat' must be the name of a fiddle tune - does anyone know different? I just did a Google search and found a definition at TheFreeDictionary: "to empty one's stomach; to vomit." I somehow doubt that that's the meaning in the song ....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 05 Jun 18 - 08:44 AM

My father picked up a version of this whilst in the army during the second world war. He would refuse to sing some of the verses, claiming that he could not remember them - though I suspect that they were bawdy and he could not sing them to me (!) Most of the men that he was with in North Africa and Italy were from Scotland (Fife) and he said that he heard it from a Scot, and not from an Irishman (as I had first suspected).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Coming Home from the Wake/Nellie Milkmaid
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Jun 18 - 10:31 AM

NELLY THE MILK MAID
        
        Young Nelly the Milk-Maid brisk buxom and gay,
        Of't times with young Roger she'd watonly play,                              [sic; sic]
        One evening of late at a dancing they met,
        And she asked her Dame leave to go the wake.
        She said she might go, but wo'd have her take care
        For Roger she knew was but a flatterer.
        Least you should have reson my counsel to take                     [sic
        And remember the day that you went to the wake.
        She put on her best clothes & away she did steer,
        She went to meet Roger, when she came he was there.
        They danc'd at the feast, & had good beer & cake,
        And the best of fine dainties found out at the wake.
        The pastime being over then we went away,
        They went till they came to some new cocks of hay,
        There he learned her a dance she did entreat,
        I'll remember the dance coming home form the Wake.
        Next morning her dame says to her Nell,
        What sort of pastime had you yesterday tell?
        She laught till her sides began for to shake,
        'Twas a delicate dance coming home from the wake.
        She kept it a secret till her strength it did fail,
        And her red Rosy cheeks began to look pale,
        She oftentimes sigh'd till her heart it did ach                            [sic
        When she thought of the dance coming home from the Wake.
        Her dame quickly spy'd it, and said to her Nell,
        I pray what's the matter, I think you do swell.
        The truth I cannot tell you if my life was at stake,        
        But it was done by the fall coming home from the Wake.
        Your credit is blasted, your glory is gone.
        You surely will have a young daughter or son;
        So Milk-Maids by Nelly pray warning take,
        And remember the dance coming home from the Wake.
        
                          Kenilworth, Printed by Thornton.


This is the broadside that the Ballad Index dates (above) to before 1830.


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