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Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker (F W Leigh)

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Sam got a job on the railroad (32)
Thank you for making my Grandad happy! (15)


GUEST,Tracey 17 May 00 - 01:04 PM
MMario 17 May 00 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Tracey 17 May 00 - 01:33 PM
MMario 17 May 00 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Tracey 19 May 00 - 12:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 May 00 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Tracey 21 May 00 - 04:57 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 May 00 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Tracey 22 May 00 - 02:52 AM
GUEST,Minstrel 22 May 00 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Tracey 23 May 00 - 04:39 AM
Jim Dixon 13 Apr 03 - 06:20 PM
Nigel Parsons 13 Apr 03 - 08:44 PM
Hrothgar 14 Apr 03 - 07:24 AM
gnomad 14 Apr 03 - 09:04 AM
Jim Dixon 16 Apr 03 - 01:38 AM
cobber 19 Apr 03 - 04:40 AM
Jim Dixon 25 Apr 08 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,merry 16 May 08 - 12:56 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 16 May 08 - 04:56 PM
Uke 18 May 08 - 08:43 PM
TRUBRIT 18 May 08 - 08:57 PM
Uke 19 May 08 - 09:18 PM
Uke 19 May 08 - 11:53 PM
Herga Kitty 20 May 08 - 01:01 PM
GUEST 31 May 08 - 03:12 AM
Azizi 19 Oct 08 - 07:22 AM
Azizi 19 Oct 08 - 07:31 AM
Azizi 19 Oct 08 - 07:35 AM
Azizi 19 Oct 08 - 08:00 AM
Azizi 19 Oct 08 - 09:13 AM
GUEST 11 Nov 08 - 01:44 AM
GUEST,Matt 04 Aug 09 - 08:52 AM
open mike 04 Aug 09 - 10:55 AM
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Subject: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: GUEST,Tracey
Date: 17 May 00 - 01:04 PM

Hi! Still searching for "songs that Grandad used to sing", to surprise him with a printed songbook for his birthday... Does anyone else remember a song with the chorus : "More work for the undertaker, 'nother little job for the gravestone-maker, ...... maybe a line forgotten? ...... On his tombstone you will see- Sambo(?) V.C" I'm sure there was something in there about "a bar of Marley soap", too... whatever that is!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: MMario
Date: 17 May 00 - 01:20 PM

The Yale glee Club sings a medley of football songs that includes most of those words...and a web search shows a "More work for the Undertaker" recorded by a Dan W. Quinn on Edison Cylinder 1901. Couldn't find any more information


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: GUEST,Tracey
Date: 17 May 00 - 01:33 PM

Aha - I found that Yale song. But it goes like this : "Oh! More work for the undertaker, 'Nother little job for the casket maker In the local cemetary they are Very very busy with a brand new grave: No hope for Harvard, No hope for Harvard!" The first couple of lines fit nicely into the tune I know, but sadly the rest won't go at all...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: MMario
Date: 17 May 00 - 01:45 PM

Judging by the way the rest of the medley reads, it was probably a parody of a popular song. The edison cylinder recording is probably the song you want, but I can't find lyrics...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: GUEST,Tracey
Date: 19 May 00 - 12:41 PM

I've been corresponding re the Edison Cylinder, but sadly can't get lyrics from the owner... Oh, well, such is life!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 May 00 - 02:20 PM

This is all I have:

Now listen to the tale I'm going to tell you.
You'll laugh until you feel you want some breath,
For people often think it very funny
When you tell them of a vi-hi-o-lent death!

More work for the Undertaker,
Another little job for the Tombstone Maker,
At the local cem-e-tary they've
Been very, very busy on a brand new grave:
He won't be cold this winter!

"Music Hall song sung by the late T.E. Dunville, circa 1890."

-Quoted, with the above comment, by Marjorie Allingham in her 1949 novel of the same name.

I've long wanted the tune for this one, and any further text there may be...

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: GUEST,Tracey
Date: 21 May 00 - 04:57 AM

I'm not sure that's the same song as the one my Grandad knows - I'll keep you posted if I find out any more!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 May 00 - 09:06 AM

Your Grandad's looks to be a later version, but I should think there's a good chance that the tune is substantially the same; do you remember it at all?

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: GUEST,Tracey
Date: 22 May 00 - 02:52 AM

Yes, and I could sing it to you now, (well, try to!) but sadly I can't read/write music and don't have MP3 facilities to capture my croaking!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: GUEST,Minstrel
Date: 22 May 00 - 05:45 PM

This is a song my Mum sang to me when I was a little nipper; she had learned it when she was young. Unfortunately, this is all I can remember (it was a long time ago). Hope it is the one you are looking for.

By the way, for those of you not from the UK, two-and-six refers to two shillings and sixpence - a lot of money back when Mum was a young girl.

Sambo had an auntie, an auntie very rich,
One day she said to Sambo, "I'll give you two-and-six."
Sambo feeling thirsty, went inside a shop;
Six Lemonades, Two Ginger Beers
And Sambo went off, Pop!

More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker,
There in the local cemetery, on a tombstone you will see;
"Sambo the Brave and Free."

Sambo had an auntie, an auntie very poor,
One day she said to Sambo, "Go and clean the floor."
Sambo feeling tired tried to go to bed,
Tried to climb the banister and fell down on his head!
Crash! Bang!

More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker,
There in the local cemetery, on a tombstone you will see;
"Sambo the Brave and Free."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: GUEST,Tracey
Date: 23 May 00 - 04:39 AM

You got it! That's the one, definitely! You're a star! Thanks so much...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Apr 03 - 06:20 PM

According to this page, "More Work for the Undertaker" was recorded by Dan W Quinn on an Edison Cylinder in 1901.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 13 Apr 03 - 08:44 PM

Minstrel gave one version (from memory). My version differs (Also from memory)

Sambo had an auntie, an auntie very rich,
One day she said to Sambo, "I'll give you two-and-six."
Sambo feeling thirsty, went into a shop;
Ten Ginger Beers and ten lemonades
And Sambo went off, Pop!

More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker,
Down in the local cemetery, on a tombstone you will see;
"Sambo CC"

Sambo had an auntie, an auntie very poor,
One day she said to Sambo, "I'll make you clean the floor."
Sambo didn't like it, went upstairs to bed,
Sliding on the bannister he fell and cracked his head!


More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker,
Down in the local cemetery, on a tombstone you will see;
"Sambo CC."


Another verse which I can't fully recall was about Sambo working as a cleaner on the railways. Something about cleaning the lines with "a bar of Sunlight soap" Again he comes to a sticky end.

The last line of the chorus is decidedly 'non-PC' as I was told that the inscription on the tombstone was "Sambo CC" where the 'CC' stands for 'Chocolate Coon'.


Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: Hrothgar
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 07:24 AM

I learned the chorus (can't remember where) as:

More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker,
More work for the government men
Digging out a brand new grave.
Oi!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: gnomad
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 09:04 AM

Sambo joined the railway, with very much good hope,
He tried to polish the railway lines, with a piece of mouldy soap.
When he saw the train, come along the railroad track.
He rolled his sleeves, slapped his knees,
And pushed the engine back.

As sung by my long dead Grandmother, who preceeded each chorus with a shouted "Crash, Bang!"


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Subject: Lyr Add: MORE WORK FOR THE UNDERTAKER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 01:38 AM

Go to this page:
The Antique Phonograph Hour with MAC
Playlist for January 12, 2002

...and click on "Hear this show!" You can hear an hour-long program of old popular music from the period 1901 to 1924. (And there are many more programs at that site.) "More Work for the Undertaker" begins at about 35:30. Here's my transcription. It still contains a few holes, indicated by ellipses:

Listen to a song I'm going to sing you.
You may laugh till you haven't any breath.
People nowadays seem to think it very funny
When they hear of violent death.
Poor little Solomon Levi
To heaven has got a pass.
He searched round the house the other night
To find a big escape of gas.

More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the casket maker!
At the local cemetery they've
Been very, very busy on a brand new grave.
Solomon blew himself!

Ruben he was standing on Broadway.
A cable car ... an awful lot.
He wanted to see how the old thing worked
So he looked down in the slot.
A car came up behind him,
But he didn't hear the bell.
The ... car changed his address
From Broadway down to--to--[crash!]--whooee!

More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the casket maker!
At the local cemetery they've
Been very, very busy on a brand new grave.
Only ... by cable.

A boy named Jack was playing football.
He was what you call a center rush.
They picked him up in pieces when
It ended in a crush.
His father quickly ...
What was left of Jack.
When he opened the box, they suddenly exclaimed,
"Why, they've only sent a quarterback!"

More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the casket maker!
At the local cemetery they've
Been very, very busy on a brand new grave.
Football and that's all!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'More work for the undertaker'
From: cobber
Date: 19 Apr 03 - 04:40 AM

I used to sing the version that minstrel posted when we were kids in England in the early fifties. It was used as a skipping song as in those pre-car days groups of us would get out in the street with a long rope and chant while someone turned the rope and we took turns at skipping. The words we used were almost the same except the last line of the chorus was "Sambo pegged out". In those days, the favourite school reader for five year olds was a book called "Little Black Sambo" and it was the closest any of us got to knowing anything about black people as there were very few living in England then. The book was withdrawn for a long while because it was considered racist as Sambo was considered a derogatory name (so I believe). I saw it again recently though here in Australia so I guess we've either become more racist or more tolerant - I'm not sure which.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 08:39 PM

You can listen to MORE WORK FOR THE UNDERTAKER, sung by Daniel W. Quinn circa 1902, at The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project. I listened again, and I think I can fill in the gaps now:

Verse 2, line 2: "Of cable cars he'd heard an awful lot."

Verse 2, line 7: "The bump of the car changed his address"

Chorus 2, line 5: "A message by cable."

Verse 3, line 5: "His father quickly sent for"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: GUEST,merry
Date: 16 May 08 - 12:56 AM

i learnt a song very similar this when i was growing up, it went

"sambo had an uncle,an uncle very poor,
one day he said to sambo,
'i'll make you scrub the floor'
now sambo didn't like it, he went upstairs to bead,
he tried to climb the bannister and fell down on his head
POP! BANG!

more work for the tombstone maker,
7 and 6' for the tombstone maker,
off to the local cemetry,
and on his tombstone you will see
"sambo, that's me, i'm free"

there was another verse about his rich uncle who gave him either 7 and 6' or 2 and 6', he then goes to the local/candy/lolly stor, but i can't remeber what he brought. there were other verses about where he worked but i can't remember any of them, all verses ended with "POP! BANG!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 16 May 08 - 04:56 PM

It's evident from the above that there is most likely a later British "coon song" version of "More Work for the Undertaker," which spawned the "Sambo" verses ... that is, if "two-and-six" is part of those lyrics.

On the other hand there is also an American version, its lyrics unfortunately not available to me yet. It seems what happened was that a couple of enterprising American hoofers in New York named Burton & Brookes created a new lyric to Fred Leigh's original tune, publishing it in the same year as Leigh's "original" -- if Margery Allingham's memory of an earlier, c. 1890 T.E. Dunville version is accurate, it seems to hint that this song goes back even further than Fred Leigh.

Possible sequence of events:

c. 1890   T.E. Dunville performs "More Work for the Undertaker" in the British music halls.

1895   Fred Leigh composes his version, the source for Dan W. Quinn's 1901 Edison cylinder (which doubtless sold well on both sides of the Atlantic, especially in the Irish community, as Quinn was then a prominent "Irish specialty" performer).

now comes the American part, that same year ...

1895   Burton & Brookes set new lyrics to Leigh's original tune, perform it on the New York stage, and publish sheet music with T.D. Harms, Inc., New York 1895.

1901? (cited as 1902 in one source)   Dan W. Quinn records it for the first(?) time for Edison. That full lyric, with corrections, is cited above in this thread.

19--? A new British lyric is devised with "Sambo" verses ... unless this may possibly be derived from the Burton & Brookes song if that scored well in Britain as well as America.
This is the lyric generally remembered by contributors above.

My source for the Burton & Brookes info is a sheet music copy in the New York Public Library, available on their website. Frustratingly, they seem to regard it only as an image, and show only the cover ... no access to the contents.

Any mudcat readers of this thread in NYC care to pursue getting the Burton & Brookes lyric from the NY Public Library?

Moreover, for British readers, it's asserted in one of the forums drawn upon for lyrics above that Max Tyler, Historian of the British Music Hall Society, 76 Royal Close, Chichester, West Sussex P019 2FL, maxt@hist.freeserve.co.uk, is willing to send on the verses he knows to "More Work for the Undertaker" about Little Freddie Figgleton and Sammy Shutter, among others, if you send him a postal address --

And please do be sure to enclose return postage. Mr. Tyler is said to be amiable and willing to help but he won't want to bear postage costs!

So these are two solid research opportunities that should turn up both the missing English (or Irish?) and the missing American lyrics to the song.

Happy hunting, folks.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: Uke
Date: 18 May 08 - 08:43 PM

Here is a version from 'New Zealand Folksongs - Song of a Young Country', ed. Neil Colquhoun, 1972. Has a similar tune to that sung by Quinn. Collected from Dorothy Hueston in the early-1950s:


'Little Tommy Pinkerton'

Little Tommy Pinkerton the fat boy
Went to see his uncle Brown,
And when he was leaving his uncle gave him
A brand new half-a-crown.
Tommy felt very thirsty,
He went to the very first shop,
Had six lemonade and a dozen ginger beer.
Then there came a great big pop!
More work for the undertaker.
Another little job for the tombstone maker.
At the local cemetery they are very very busy
With a brand new grave for Tommy's fragments!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 18 May 08 - 08:57 PM

There is a wonderful novel called More Work for the Undertaker by Marjorie Allingham and her detective Albert Campion who was very poorly played on public tv ---- I believe she quotes the song in that novel. One of my favorites.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: Uke
Date: 19 May 08 - 09:18 PM

Another version or perhaps just a fragment appended to another song: 'The Hoochie-Koochie Dance'. From 'Roll Me in Your Arms - Unprintable Ozark Folksongs and Folklore', Vance Randolph / ed. Gershon Legman, vol.1, p.525:

Always a-mind your Paw,
An' always a-mi-i-ind your Maw;
You'll never split your pants
At the hoochie-koochie dance.

Little job for the undertaker,
Little job for the casket-maker,
And a li-i-ittle ride
With the (wooden) box - inside!

"Sung as above by Mr. H.A., Joplin, Missouri, September 4, 1933. He heard it in Jasper County, Missouri, about 1900."


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Subject: Lyr Add: SAMBO / MORE WORK FOR THE UNDERTAKER
From: Uke
Date: 19 May 08 - 11:53 PM

A further version, similar to the 'Sambo' ones above. This was printed in a mimeographed mountaineering song book that my father has - mid-1950s, probably British. The theme of arbitrary fatal mishaps perhaps appealed to the climbing mindset:


SAMBO

Sambo had an Aunty, an Aunty very poor.
One day she said to Sambo, "I'll have you scrub my floor."
Sambo didn't like it, and he went upstairs to bed,
Came sliding down the banisters and landed on his head,
BANG.

More work for the undertaker
Another little job for the tombstone maker
In our local cemetery,
Ibe a tombstone you will see,
SAMBO, R.I.P.

Sambo had an Uncle, an Uncle very rich.
One day he said to Sambo, "I'll give you two and six."
Sambo feeling thirsty, went into a lemonade shop,
Bought ten lemonades and ten ginger beers and Sambo went off pop!
BANG.

[etc.]

Sambo had a sister, a sister very thin.
One day she said to Sambo, "I'll prick you with a pin."
Sambo didn't like it, 'cause he was very fat,
And when she pricked him with a pin he went off bang like that.

[etc.]

Sambo went to the railway station, without a hat or coat.
He tried to slide on the railway line on a moldy bar of soap.
'Long came a run-away engine, right in Sambo's track,
And would you believe it, he rolled up his sleeves and he pushed that engine back,
BANG.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 20 May 08 - 01:01 PM

I just found this thread and found myself singing the chorus to C (more) C (work) C (for) D (the) E (un) C (der) A (ta) G (ker) (twice) up an octave to g (there) g (in) g (the) g (lo) g (cal)a (cem) g (et) g (ry) (twice) g g E D C.

I've absolutely no recollection of where I heard the song, but I think I did, somewhere....

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 08 - 03:12 AM

sambo joined the railway, for him there was no hope
he tried to scrub the railway line with a bar of sunlight soap
along came an engine, now what do you think of that
he rolled his dirty shirtsleeves up and tried to push it back

more work for the undertaker
'nother little job for the tombstone maker
in the local cemetry, on his tombstone you will see
sambo paid out


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 07:22 AM

I found this thread as a result of reading the Mudcat thread thread.cfm?threadid=84511#1560425 "Bang Bang Rosie".

On that thread, Sorcha had posted a link to a Google Questions & Answer discussion about "More Work For The Undertaker". I'm aware that a couple of examples from that Google thread are included either on this thread or on another Mudcat thread about this rhyme whose link is provided here. However, those examples are posted without their comments.

As a means of helping to preserve & study those examples, I'm going to post the examples in this thread along with their comments. I'll do so because I believe that not only are the comments interesting reading, but they may also be valuable to present and future folklorists and other researchers.

However, first, I feel the need to "talk" about the name "Sambo".

"Sambo" was and still is a perfectly good, non-judgmental West African word {Foulah sambo "uncle," or a similar Hausa word meaning "second son"; see Online Etymology Dictionary. "That name became "a common personal name among U.S. blacks in the slavery days (first attested 1704 in Boston)".

-snip-

I'd also add that along with "Cuffee" and "Rastus" by at least the 19th century, among many White people in the USA, and the Caribbean, Europe, and elsewhere, "Sambo" was a name that capsulized White people's contempt for and derisive attitude toward Black men.

That said, although I have a considerable amount of concern about the contemporary use of these rhymes for public entertainment, I recognise the importance of preserving and studying rhymes & songs as folkloric and historical/sociological artifacts.

To that end, I believe these rhymes should be added to Mudcat's collection. I also think that the comments about those rhymes that were posted with these examples could be as important to some researchers as the lyrics themselves. For example, the comments may reflect the informants' recognition that certain words in a rhyme or the rhyme itself is racist, and the informant may reveal some concern about that fact, and desire to change the "racially offensive" referent. That is reflected in at least one of the comments about this rhyme as found in the Google Question & Answers website.

Also, with regard to folkloric research, the more I read examples of "More Work For The Undertaker", the more I think that verses of this rhyme are related to "Bang Bang Lulu". I also believe that more directly through the "Bang Bang Lulu" rhyme, versions of "More Work For The Undertaker" are related to at least two children's playground rhymes- "Miss Susie Had A Steamboat" and "Miss Lucy Had A Baby".

I'm interested in finding out if folks who are familiar with "Bang Bang Lulu" and those playground rhymes that I mentioned think that they are related to "More Work For The Undertaker" rhymes.

And with that preface, I'll post the examples and comments from that Google Q&A website in my subsequent posts to this thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 07:31 AM

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=15316

[Note: my comments in brakets and italic]

Subject: school song
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: mickey_one-ga
List Price: $15.00 Posted: 12 May 2002 04:34 PDT
Expires: 11 Jun 2002 04:34 PDT
Question ID: 15316

I used to have a school song, here in England about 40 years ago!!!

It began "Sambo had an uncle, an uncle very rich, one day he said to
sambo, I'll give you 2 and 6"

i would love to find a fuller version of this

****

[Examples given that relate to "Bang Bang Lulu" and other rhymes; see linked discussion]

****
Subject: Re: school song
From: tim4444-ga on 06 Jun 2004 15:12 PDT   
Hi Micky_One et al,

I know exactly the song you mean and know two complete verses and a
third verse, which I can't quite remember. The text of the verses and
chorus are as below. Hope it answers your question. If you have any
extra inspiration for the third verse or any extra verses, then please let me know. Enjoy:

Sambo had an uncle, an uncle very rich
One day he said to Sambo "I'll give you two and six"
Sambo feeling thirsty, went in to a shop
Ten lemonades and ten ginger beers, and then he went off pop

Bang....
More work for the undertaker
Another little job for the tombstone maker
In the local cemetery, on the tombstone you will see
"Sambo the brave and free pegs out"

Sambo had an auntie, an auntie very poor
One day she said to Sambo "Get down and scrub that floor"
Sambo feeling tired went upstairs to bed
He tried to climb the banisters, but fell down on his head

Bang....etc

Sambo joined the railway, at this he had no hope
He tried to scrub the railway line with a bar of mouldy soap
Along came a runaway engine ......
He just rolled up his mouldy sleeves and tried to push it back

Cheers,

Tim

**

Subject: Re: school song
From: mickey_one-ga on 07 Jun 2004 00:17 PDT   
to Tim4444- what a pleasant surprise to get such an answer 2 years
after I posted. and its particularly good as we have a first school
reunion next month!

I think we should fill in your 3rd verse gap with something like "and
pushed him on the track"

btw did you know this from a London school?

thanks

michael

**

Subject: Re: school song
From: tim4444-ga on 07 Jun 2004 13:43 PDT   
Michael,

I am glad that my comment got to you in time for the reunion, I had
noticed that the request was really quite old. I was singing the song to my son at the weekend and couldn't think of the last verse - your suggestion sounds about right. I went to prep school in Sevenoaks, but think that I learnt it from my parents whilst on long car journeys. I have now also asked them and my sister for the last
verse...[Discussion about school reunions]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 07:35 AM

[Continuation of postings from http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=15316]

Subject: Re: school song
From: luxton-ga on 04 Jul 2004 19:13 PDT   
This is the the one verse I remember from Govt.-run school camps in
the late fifties in NSW Australia.

Sambo joined the railway
His heart was full of hope
He tried to scrub the railway line
With a bar of Sunlight soap
Up came a big express train
Right in Sambo's face
And would you believe it
He rolled up his sleeves
And he pushed that engine back.
Chorus:
-------
Slap bang, more work for the undertaker
7/6 for the tombstone maker
Off to the local cemetary
On his tombstone you will see
Sambo that's me, I'm free.

[ poster shares another {in my opinion} unrelated rhyme]And

****

Subject: Re: school song
From: luxton-ga on 19 Jul 2004 17:14 PDT   
I think I half remember another verse..........

Sambo joined the army
He marched among the ranks.....

He probably joined the navy as well. I wish I'd kept my old
songbooks. A lot of songs we sang at camps were from the scouting
movement. I'd love to know how "Sambo" was introduced.

****

Subject: Re: school song
From: tim4444-ga on 07 Sep 2004 13:40 PDT   
OK, so here is another request for school song details, and thanks to
those who have helped to build up the "Sambo has an uncle..." songs.

This one, has an Army theme and goes like this:

I left my wife and 48 children, alone in the kitchen in starving
condition with nothing but gingerbread left, left, left right left

I left my job for 40 bob......left, left, left right left

Can anyone build on that for a few more verses?

Michael - hope the school reunion went well.

Tim

****

Subject: Re: school song
From: bbakerman-ga on 25 Oct 2004 16:34 PDT   
I learnt the song at an Autralia primary school in the 1970's. I
loved it but didnt understand the racial slur overtones it contained.

I remember parts of another verse that went something like.

Sambo went for a swimg one day, in his overcoat
He climbed aboard the diving board, and kicked off his left boot.
Suddenly the board it broke and Sambo gave a yell,
In his overcoat, without let boot and into the water he fell.

Bang... more work for the under taker
7/6 for the tombstone maker
off the local cemetery, on a tombstone you'll see
Sambo thats me.

****

Subject: Re: school song
From: bbakerman-ga on 25 Oct 2004 16:38 PDT   
..
.. continued rfom above...

Also my recollection of the railway verse is :.

Sambo joined the railway, his heart was full of hope,
He tried to scrub the railway line with a bar of mouldy soap
A train came around the bend, screaming down the track
Would you beleive, he rolled up his sleeves and push that engine back!

Bang...


(I hope yo teach my little baby daughter this song but maybe I will
remove the racial name Sambo and replce it maybe with something like
Banjo.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 08:00 AM

Sorry. Obviously that "Sound Off" example from tim4444-ga on 07 Sep 2004 13:40 PDT isn't an example of "More Work For The Undertaker."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: Azizi
Date: 19 Oct 08 - 09:13 AM

For what it's worth, I posted a few examples of what I consider to be similarities between verses of "More Work For The Undertaker", and/or "Bang Bang Lulu", "Miss Susie Had A Steamboat", or "Miss Lucy Had A Baby" in this Mudcat thread:

thread.cfm?threadid=84511&messages=35#2469827
Bang Bang Rosie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 01:44 AM

Poor old Solomon Sneezer,
Polishing the metal on a locomotive track.
When along came a runaway engine,
Thundering down the line,
So he held up his hand for he thoroughly believed,
that he could hold a locomotive back.

Ah tiddle iddle om pom pom pom,
Ah tiddle iddle om.
Nice little job for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker.

(I can't remember any more)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: GUEST,Matt
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 08:52 AM

This is a song we have been singing at Scout camp fires in the UK for many many years but the version that has been passed on across the decades has ended up as:

"Sammy worked on a railway,
without a hat or coat;
he tried to polish the railway line
with a mouldy piece of soap.
Along came a railway engine,
stood right in his tracks.
Up with his sleeves and down on his knees
to push that engine back.

Oh, more work for the undertaker,
another little job for the tombstone maker;
up in the local cemetery,
on his tombstone you will see:
Solomon, that's me.

Now, Sammy had an auntie,
an auntie very poor.
One day she said to Sammy
"Get down and scrub that floor".
Sammy feeling tired,
went upstairs to bed.
Tried to climb the banister
and fell down on his head!

Oh, more work for the undertaker,
...

Sammy had an uncle,
an uncle very rich.
One day he said to Sammy:
"Here's two pounds ten and six".
Sammy feeling thirsty
went into a shop.
Ten lemonades and one ginger beer
and Sammy went off pop!

Oh, more work for the undertaker,
..."

I always did wonder where the 'Solomon' part came from - I guess our version has been altered over the years as people have misheard it. Also our version doesn't include a 'Bang!' after each verse. Its been great to read other versions on this page to see how ours differs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: open mike
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 10:55 AM

the book "little black sambo" originally depicted
dark-complected characters from india, not africa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Black_Sambo

but it has been criticized as being racist
especially by Langston hughes, (in 1932)
and has been withdrawn or re-made due to this

there used to be a restaurant chain called Sambo's
started by Sam Battistone and Newell Bohnett
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambo%27s

the local one changed its name to Cornucopia


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: GUEST,John K
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 02:18 AM

I just tried to find rthe words of the song and came across this.

My father used to sing this song. Character was Solomon Snooza he worked on the railway and cleaned the railway line with a great bid lump of fat.

He also had a new job as a steeplejack which came to the inevitable end

And he came to his end with a Splat.

There were other verses which I can not remember.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Apr 10 - 04:18 AM

Learned through the oral tradition of Scout Campfires 1960s onwards

L in C


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: GUEST,Lorna Green
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 01:11 PM

Oh, Sam was a worker on the Railroad
His work he was very clever at
One day he was polishing the track
With a lump of mouldy fat
When along came a runaway engine
While Sam was on the track
He thoroughly believed
He could shove the locomotive back.
Well there's a little more work for the tombstone makers
Down at the local cemetery gate
Very very busy at a brand new grave
Sambo - he snuffed it!
He's gone to the golden shores
He's gone where they don't play billiards
He's gone where they don't eat fish and chips
And he's gone where they don't grease railroad tracks!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: open mike
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 02:06 PM

is the act of putting grease or soap on the tracks
some sort of childhood prank like putting a penny on
and picking up a squished coin after the train passes?

while looking for this i found this song....
this "kid" Ben has performed this song live
on David Letterman...here his amazing 82 year
old grandma dances to the song...what a mover!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvuRN-mfM4g&feature=related


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 09:05 AM

When we were children (50's - 60's) we used to sing this song. My brother is currently in ICU and these words keep coming into his head - but not all of them. Thanks very much for all the replies to the initial question - I have been able to piece together what we used to sing
Sambo had an auntie, an auntie very rich,
One day she said to Sambo, "I'll give you two-and-six."
Sambo feeling thirsty, went inside a shop;
Ten Lemonades and Ten Ginger Beers
And Sambo went off, Pop! Bang
More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker,
Down at the local cemetery, on his tombstone you will see;
Sambo that's me
Sambo had an auntie, an auntie very poor,
One day she said to Sambo, "Go and clean the floor."
Sambo feeling tired. tried to go to bed,
Tried to climb the banister and fell down on his head!
Crash! Bang!
More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker,
Down at the local cemetery, on his tombstone you will see;
"Sambo that's me
Sambo joined the railway, for him there was no hope
he tried to scrub the railway line with a bar of sunlight soap
along came an engine, now what do you think of that
he rolled his dirty shirtsleeves up and tried to push it back

More work for the undertaker
Another little job for the tombstone maker
Down at the local cemetery, on his tombstone you will see
R. I. P

thanks so much
sheila


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 11:26 AM

If Sambo is liable to offend you could always use "Jimbo" instead.

I see up the thread there a Solomon Levi version. I suppose you could do it in an equal opportunities offensive style, switching names each verse - Paddy for the Irish, maybe Pommy or Limey for the English, Brucie for the Ozzies...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 09:05 PM

I have a copy of the Fred W. Leigh sheet music somewhere in my collection. Unfortunately I can't get to the relevant folder without risking the contents of my shelves coming crashing down on my head.

I recall there being five verses, I can remember four at the moment.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MORE WORK FOR THE UNDERTAKER (F W Leigh)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Sep 11 - 11:24 AM

Publication information from WorldCat.org:

MORE WORK FOR THE UNDERTAKER
Words and music by Fred. W. Leigh
London: Francis, Day & Hunter, [1895]
"Sung by Chas. Bignell."


From a broadside at The University of Mississippi:

MORE WORK FOR THE UNDERTAKER
Sung by Chas. Bignell

1. Listen to the song I'm going to sing you— You'll laugh till you haven't any breath—
People, as a rule, now seem to think it funny when they hear of a violent death.
Poor little Solomon Snoozer, he behaved like an ass—
He search'd round the house with a candle t'other night, to find a big escape of gas.

CHORUS: more work for the undertaker—
Another little job for the tombstone maker—
At the local cemetery they've
Been very, very busy on a brand new grave—

Snoozer's snuffed it!

2. Billy Buck by nature was a "moucher"— Hard work didn't suit him, it appears—
He had never done one single bit of "graft" for nine-and-thirty years.
Lately he had a bad nightmare. Bill at once got the "knock."
He dreamt he had been out looking for a job— He couldn't stand the terrible shock. CHORUS

Billiams "blewed it"!

3. Sammy Shuter laboured on the railway— His work he was very clever at—
Sam, the other day, was polishing the metals with a lump of mouldy fat.
Up came a runaway engine. Sam stood upon the track—
He held up his hands, for he thoroughly believed he could push the locomotive back. CHORUS

Shuter's "shunted"!

4. Peter Piper visited a circus. He saw what he never could forget—
One of the performers jumped from the ceiling of the house into a net.
Peter, a day or two after, tried a similar drop—
He leapt from a housetop fifty-seven feet, and fell upon a big fat "slop." CHORUS

For Peter and the p'liceman.

5. Little Freddie Figgleton, the fat boy, last week called upon his Uncle Brown.
Just before he left, young Freddie was presented with a bright new half-a-crown.
Then, as he felt a bit thirsty, he went into a shop—
Drank ten lemonades, a dozen ginger-beers, and then there was a big loud pop! CHORUS

For Frederick's fragments!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker (F W Leigh)
From: GUEST,Jerry Dorber
Date: 04 Jan 12 - 11:49 AM

When I was a small lad - in about 1945 - my Dad used to sing a song to me that had had learnet from his father. My Grandfather had, as a young man, frequented the Music Halls in Manchester - this was one of the songs that he, apparently, learnt from there. The song was called "Poor Old Solomon Snoozer" and the lyrics went as follows:

Poor Old Solomon Snoozer,
He behaved like an ass.
He got a lighted taper,
To find an escape of gas
BANG
Another little job for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker.
At the local cemetry
They're all getting ready with a brand new grave,
For Solomon,
Has snuffed it.
They drew his Club Money this morning,
And no more he'll play the drum,
For he's gone to Kingdom Come,
And they drew his Club Money this morning.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker (F W Leigh)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 04 Jan 12 - 11:58 AM

Sang this song in the Brownies in the fifties. The Railway verse went:-

Sambo joined the railways, for him there was no hope, He tried to scrub the railway lines with a bar of Sunlight soap. Along came an express engine, thundering down the track. Sambo rolled his shirtsleeves up and tried to push it back. BANG! etc

The chorus ended:- On his tombstone you will see, "Sambo the Brave and Free"
I might add we never thought of Sambo as a black man, more as a young white spotty apprentice type!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker (F W Leigh)
From: GUEST,Jimbo
Date: 14 Jun 12 - 06:34 AM

My Mother-in-law from London sang the chorus this way:
Up in Highgate cemetery on his tombstone you will read Sambo pegged out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker (F W Leigh)
From: GUEST,Yesima
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 12:30 PM

My Grandma used to sing a version very similar to this.

Little Billy Binks the fat boy went to his uncle Brown's
Yesterday he came back with a brand new half a crown.
Little Billy Binks got thirsty and went to his local shop
a dozen lemonades and a dozen ginger beers
and then there was a big loud pop.

More work for the undertakers etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker (F W Leigh)
From: GUEST,Dianne
Date: 21 Sep 13 - 04:21 PM

Here is the version I learnt from my father in the 1950s.


Listen to the song I'm going to sing you
You'll laugh till you haven't any breath
People seem to think it very funny
When they hear of a violent death
Poor little Solomon Snoozer behaved just like an ass
He searched the house with a candle
Looking for a big escape of gas.
Chorus: And there was more work for the Undertaker
Another little job for the tombstone maker
At the local cemetery they've been very busy
On a brand new grave - Snoozer's snuffed it.

Simon Shuter laboured on the railway, his work he was very clever at
One day he was polishing the railway tracks with a lump of mouldy fat
Up came a runaway engine. He stood upon the track
He held up his hands for he firmly believed
He could push the locomotive back.

Chorus: And there was more work for the Undertaker
Another little job for the tombstone maker
At the local cemetery they've been very busy
On a brand new grave – for Simon had been shunted.

Reuben he was standing on Broadway.
Of cable cars he'd heard an awful lot.
He wanted to see how the old thing worked
So he looked down in the slot.
A car came up behind him.
He didn't hear the bell.
The bump of the car changed his address
From Broadway down to...

Chorus: And there was more work for the Undertaker
Another little job for the tombstone maker
At the local cemetery they've been very busy
On a brand new grave for Reuben by cable.

Now little Freddy Fickleton the fat boy went to visit his Uncle Brown
And just as he was leaving Uncle gave him half a crown
So feeling very, very thirsty Fred went into a shop
Drank ten lemonades a dozen ginger beers
And then there was a terrible pop.

Chorus: And there was more work for the Undertaker
Another little job for the tombstone maker
At the local cemetery they've been very busy
On a brand new grave –for Freddy had busted.

Peter Pickles visited the circus and saw what he never could forget
One of the performers jumped from the top of the tent into a net.
Early the very next morning, Peter tried a similar drop
Jumped from a building twenty storeys high
And landed on a big fat cop.

Chorus: And there was more work for the Undertaker
Another little job for the tombstone maker
At the local cemetery they've been very busy
On a brand new grave –for Peter and the policeman.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker (F W Leigh)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 21 Sep 13 - 06:10 PM

I had a much-loved copy of Little Black Sambo in the early fifties. It was definitely about an Indian boy, because there were tigers in the story, who eventually whirled round in a circle faster and faster until they turned into 'ghee'. (which is clarified butter in Indian cuisine). Nobody ever felt it was 'racist'. It was only much later in the sixties that 'Sambo' became a pejorative name for black African men.


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Subject: Song of Sambo (More work for the undertaker)
From: GUEST,E.Lamont
Date: 27 Jan 14 - 10:29 AM

Song of Sambo

Sambo had an auntie, an auntie very poor.
One day she said to Sambo, I'll make you scrub the floor.
Sambo didn't like it; he went upstairs to bed.
Tumbled on the bannister and landed on his head.

Bang! More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker,
Off to the local cemetery, on his tombstone you will see;
Sambo pegged out.

Sambo had an uncle, an uncle very rich.
One day he said to Sambo, 'I'll give you two and six' (2/6d.)
Sambo feeling thirsty, went into a shop.
Ten lemonades, and ten ginger beers, and then he went off POP

Bang! More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker,
Off to the local cemetery, on his tombstone you will see;
Sambo pegged out.

Sambo joined the railway, for him there was no hope,
He tried to clean the railway lines, with a bar of Sunlight soap.
Along came and engine and what do you think of that?
He rolled up his dirty sleeves, and tried to push it back.

Bang! More work for the undertaker,
Another little job for the tombstone maker,
Off to the local cemetery, on his tombstone you will see;
Sambo pegged out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: More Work for the Undertaker (F W Leigh)
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 23 May 15 - 02:39 AM

The version we used to sing about 1945 onwards

Sambo had an auntie, an auntie very poor,
One day she said to Sambo, "Get down and scrub the floor."
Now Sambo didn't like it, he went upstairs to bed,
He tried to climb the bannisters and fell down on his head his head!

Bang!

More work for the undertaker,
Jolly good stuff for the tombstone maker,
Off to the local cemetery, on a tombstone you will see;
"Sambo that's me."

Sambo had an uncle, an uncle very rich,
One day he said to Sambo, "I'll give you two-and-six."
Sambo feeling thirsty, went into a shop;
Ten Ginger Beers and ten lemonades
And Sambo went off, Pop!

Bang!

More work for the undertaker,
Jolly good stuff for the tombstone maker,
Off to the local cemetery, on a tombstone you will see;
"Sambo that's me."

Sambo had a sister, a sister very thin.
One day she said to Sambo, "I'll prick you with a pin."
Sambo didn't like it, 'cause he was very fat,
And when she pricked him with a pin he went off bang like that

Bang!

More work for the undertaker,
Jolly good stuff for the tombstone maker,
Off to the local cemetery, on a tombstone you will see;
"Sambo that's me."

Sambo went to work one day without his overcoat
He tried to scrub the railway line with a mouldy bar of soap
Along came an express train, roaring down the track
and what do you think poor Sambo did, he tried to push it back

Bang!

More work for the undertaker,
Jolly good stuff for the tombstone maker,
Off to the local cemetery, on a tombstone you will see;
"Sambo that's me."


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