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Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver

DigiTrad:
POLLY OLIVER


Related thread:
REQ: Polly Oliver variant - Old Pretender? (4)


harpgirl 05 Apr 00 - 12:29 AM
Penny S. 05 Apr 00 - 06:01 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Apr 00 - 09:41 AM
Penny S. 06 Apr 00 - 02:44 PM
Bert 06 Apr 00 - 02:50 PM
GUEST 06 Apr 00 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Penny S. (at school) 07 Apr 00 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 07 Apr 00 - 08:14 AM
harpgirl 11 Apr 04 - 06:40 PM
Gareth 11 Apr 04 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 11 Apr 04 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 11 Apr 04 - 08:04 PM
Gareth 12 Apr 04 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 12 Apr 04 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,Train Guard 13 Apr 04 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Train Guard 13 Apr 04 - 12:40 PM
Gareth 13 Apr 04 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,dave 01 Dec 07 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Big Bad Nige 04 Mar 11 - 08:21 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: PRETTY POLLY OLIVER
From: harpgirl
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 12:29 AM

PRETTY POLLY OLIVER
As sung by Ollie Gilbert

Way down in a lonesome valley pretty Polly did dwell,
Who was courted by a captain who loved her so well.
Her father and mother came this for to know,
And they parted pretty Polly and her own true love.

One night she was musing on the bed
A very strange notion came through Polly's head.
She went to her father's stable and viewed them all around,
And picked out a horse could travel the ground.

Then first a vest coat she put on.
In every degree she seemed like a man,
With a brace and pistol swung by her side.
Like a United States soldier pretty Polly did ride.

She rode, she rode, till she came to the town,
And there she put up at the sign of the Crown.
The first one she met with was an English lord.
The next one was a captain, pretty Polly's true love.

What news from your country, what news do I hear?
She handed him a letter from Polly-o dear.
He opened the letter. Ten pennies he found,
Saying, "Polly is a soldier with the men all around."

Pretty Polly being weary, she hung down her head.
She called for a candle to light her to bed.
The captain replied, "Have a bed at my ease,
And you may lie with me, kind sir, if you please."

"To lie with the captain is to lie with a king
I'm a United States soldier. From George Washington I came.
I'll fight for my liberty, by sea and by land.
If you be my captain, I'll be your command."

Now Polly is married, she lives at her ease.
She goes when she get ready, returns when she please.
She left her old parents to grieve and to mourn,
Saying "Polly, O Polly, when will you return?"


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Subject: Lyr Add: POLLY OLIVER
From: Penny S.
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 06:01 PM

I've checked out the DT and it doesn't have quite the version I know, which I thought was generally known, being from, I think, one of the Community Songbooks published when such things were published. It is, therefore, a "decent" version!

As sweet Polly Oliver lay musing in bed,
A sudden strange fancy came into her head,
Nor mother nor father shall make me false prove,
I'll list for a soldier and follow my love.

So early next morning young Polly arose,
And dressed herself up in her dead brother's clothes,
She cut her hair close and she stained her face brown,
And went for a soldier to fair London Town,

Then up spoke the sergeant one day at his drill,
"Now who's good at nursing, a captain lies ill?"
"I'm ready. said Polly, to nurse him she's gone,
And finds 'tis her true-love, all wasted and wan.

(I can't quite recall the next two lines, or part of the third, concerning what the doctor said.)
.......when Polly Oliver had nursed back his life,
He said "You have cared for him as if you were his wife."

At this Polly Oliver she burst into tears,
And told the good doctor her hopes and her fears,
And very soon after, for better, for worse,
That captain he married his pretty soldier nurse.

I will look for the missing part and post it sooner or later, depending whether I find it in a copy of Singing Together, or at my father's house over Easter.

The tune differs from that in the DT, and when I've got it in a postable form - at present I'm trying it by ear in Noteworthy, I'll post that, too.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 09:41 AM

Here's the missing verse.

The first week the doctor kept shaking his head:
"No nursing, young fellow, can save him," he said.
But when Polly Oliver had nursed back his life,
He cried,"You have cherished him as if you were his wife!"

A.P. Graves wrote the lyrics for this version of the song, which I too remember from "Singing Together".  Penny: if you don't find the book, I can send you a copy of the notation if that would be useful.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: Penny S.
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 02:44 PM

Thanks Malcom, those two lines had started to work their way up from wherever, but with great difficulty. The gist was there, but not the actual words. I have the tune in my head. I thought the DT might like the variant, if I can MIDI it. I also thought it would be good training to do it by thinking out the intervals instead of picking it out on a keyboard.

penny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: Bert
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 02:50 PM

Penny,
I seem to recall, back when the earth was young, that there was a BBC childrens hour serial program which used that as it's theme song.

Bert


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 00 - 03:53 PM

Laws' N14. Numerous copies of the broadside "Polly Oliver's Rambles" may be seen on the Bodley Ballads website.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: GUEST,Penny S. (at school)
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 07:35 AM

Bert, I think you're right - a succession of serials about Polly and Oliver who were two children with the army in the Peninsular War, with adventures with spies and so on. Very exciting. I've seen books based on them over the years, too, I think. The tune was played with fife and drum - was Oliver a drummer boy? And how did Polly get out there?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 08:14 AM

Yes, Bert, you've stirred the old grey cells here, too. I think Penny is right, I knew I'd known the song as a child, I was trying to think if I'd learned it at school but now I'm sure it was from the "wireless"
RtS (still stuck in the '50s I guess!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: harpgirl
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 06:40 PM

an Ollie Gilbert version


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: Gareth
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 07:10 PM

Interesting - Those of you who have read the Terry Pratchet "Monsterous Regiment" will note that for once he does not send up Folk Musicians, Morris Dancers, and us from LLamedos.

(Actually to be fair he gave the culture of South Llamedos a fair crack in "The Fith Elephant")

Nice to now that I now have the full text of "Polly Oliver"

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 07:37 PM

Ah another Pratchet fan?

Pity the title gave away a huge chunk of the plot.

What do you mean send up?

some of the most factually correct facts I know about folk singers morris dancers and Llamedians seem to be written down in the disc world books - except maybe about looking a bit Elvish.

I learned the Sweet Polly Oliver version at school in South Yorkshire, along with songs about frogs getting eaten and mermaids telling their woes.

I do wonder just how many female soldiers/drummer boys/sailors there actually were.

I do take my drum to Sidmouth each year to join in the seafront motley morrising, but there would be no way I'd ever pass as non female. Maybe it is all the hormones they feed the farm animals on, but there are very few of the female persuasion over ten years old who could ever pass as a man these days - well - normal man - there are some web pages that I just don't believe -

Anne


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 08:04 PM

Post Scriptum

Pratchet only really gives any detail of one song in his discworld stories - as far as I remember - it is 'all the little angels' in Night Watch
- it has to be called a folk song because it pretty powerful.

There are Nanny Oggs songs concerning wizard staffs and hodgehegs but they are described more by their effect than their content.

A.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: Gareth
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 03:21 PM

True Anne - but the references in "Monsterous Regiment" are worth following up.

But BTW, knowing T P's idioms, pray tell us, how that particular title gave the plot away.

And I'am still awaiting Blouse's digital Claks developement - This could be interesting !

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 07:22 PM

John Knox - (now there is a mysogenist of the first water) in 1558 published "the first blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of women" it was therefore always going to be the case that Polly's comrades would turn out to be of the female persuasion.

At least - that is what I thought.

I delight in realising TP's allusions such as echo gnomics and in sewerance, and the features of the Lyke Wake Dirge incorporated into the gnarly land, in his other books.

I was pleased that the women in MR were depicted as picking up the slang and the behaviour of common soldiery, including the liberation of various items. The intrusion of another war through Maledict's lack of coffee induced halucination was a definite plus. I did think the lack of underwear a bit odd.

TP seems to have quite a thing about organisations - the military, the watch, guilds, Unseen university, the opera, Cage Bird Societies, Morris men - though it could be that they provide a writer with ready made images without much need of explaination.

Anne


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Subject: Lyr Add: POLLY OLIVER
From: GUEST,Train Guard
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 12:24 PM

This is the version that I learned in school in the 1950s....

As sweet Polly Oliver lay musing in bed,
A sudden stange fancy came into her head.
"Nor Father nor Mother shall make me false prove,
I'll go for a soldier and follow my love!"

So early next morning she softly arose,
And dressed herself up in her dead brother's clothes.
She cut her hair short, and she stained her face brown,
And went for a soldier to fair London town.

Then up spake the sergeant one day at his drill,
"Now who's good for nursing, a captain lies ill?"
So sweet Polly Oliver to nurse him she's gone,
And finds then her true love, all wasted and wan.

The first week the doctor kept shaking his head.
"No nursing, young fellow, can save him," he said.
But when Polly Oliver had nursed back his life,
He cried,"You have cherished him as if you were his wife!"

At that poor Polly, she burst into tears,
And told the good doctor her hopes and her fears.
Then, after some weeks had passed, 'for better or worst',
The captain, he married his pretty soldier nurse.


This song features in a 1930s Hollywood film set in Victorian times. A young soldier (played by an equally young David Niven, no less) comes across his future sweetheart singing it at the piano.

Regards,

Train Guard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: GUEST,Train Guard
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 12:40 PM

The film in wich the song is (partly) sung is, I think, 'Enchantment' (aka 'A Fugue in Time' in the U.S.), made in 1948.

Regards,

Train Guard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: Gareth
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 07:09 PM

Ahhh ! Pratchett - BTW "Knocker" in "5th Elephant" Comes from the same industrial history as "Fireman" or "Penitant" (Alt) in "The Gresford Diasaster" q.v. Click 'Ere .

Still as the "Igor's" say - "What goes around comes around"

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: GUEST,dave
Date: 01 Dec 07 - 02:53 PM

Worth a read;
Warrior Women and Popular Balladry
by Dianne Dugaw 1989
University of Chicago Press

This Polly is a victorian
in the 1700's women cross-dressed and went to battle frequently.
They were a lot fiercer and independant than this stereotype of victorian gender construction.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pretty Polly Oliver
From: GUEST,Big Bad Nige
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 08:21 AM

I also remember this from Radio in my childhood, It was about Polly who had taken the personna of a boy and enlisted in the Army, somehow she got involved with Drummer Crow and that certainly is where I recall the song from, did it not go:-
Sweet Poly Oliver and Dear Drummer Crow.


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