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Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens

Related threads:
ADD: The Love Token / Down by the Seaside (23)
(origins) Origins: What comprised a broken token in ballads (13)
Lyr Req: Parodies of broken token songs (44)
Lyr Req: Broken Token Songs (19)
broken token sailor maid walkikng (2)


McGrath of Harlow 17 May 00 - 06:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 May 00 - 12:22 PM
Bill D 18 May 00 - 07:16 PM
DADGBE 18 May 00 - 07:40 PM
Bev and Jerry 18 May 00 - 07:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 May 00 - 07:53 PM
DADGBE 18 May 00 - 09:24 PM
Bill D 19 May 00 - 12:17 AM
Margaret V 19 May 00 - 12:27 AM
Joe Offer 19 May 00 - 03:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 May 00 - 07:08 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 May 00 - 01:15 PM
MMario 19 May 00 - 01:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 May 00 - 02:09 PM
Bev and Jerry 19 May 00 - 02:17 PM
KathWestra 19 May 00 - 04:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 May 00 - 05:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 May 00 - 05:33 PM
karen k 19 May 00 - 06:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 May 00 - 06:43 PM
MMario 26 Jun 02 - 11:14 AM
MMario 26 Jun 02 - 11:18 AM
Joe_F 26 Jun 02 - 11:36 AM
8_Pints 26 Jun 02 - 04:06 PM
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Subject: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 May 00 - 06:50 PM

The song I'm after is a Broken Token song - at one point the fella back from sea reaches into his pocket, pulls out a handful of broken tokens, and asks the lady if she recognises any of them.

It might be Irish, it might be English. It possibly could be American. It's funny enough and well crafted enough to be Sid Kipper, but I don't think it is.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 May 00 - 12:22 PM

Sinking fast and no response,
someone must have heard this once!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: Bill D
Date: 18 May 00 - 07:16 PM

yep...I know a lady who sings it...I can 'almost' remember it...will work it out & post it...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: DADGBE
Date: 18 May 00 - 07:40 PM

Hi McGrath,

Holly Tannen, (mistress of folklore, and her entities from the half-astral plane) sings it. Holly was the question and answer person for Sing Out! magazine for many years. She can be found at (click to e-mail). Tell her Ray Frank sent you and she'll include several useless pieces of information and a secret decoder ring at no extra charge.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 18 May 00 - 07:43 PM

We've heard it, too. It's hilarious. We've E-mailed the person who sang it and if he responds, we'll post the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 May 00 - 07:53 PM

Right, it took a bit of time getting started, but we're off now...

And while we're about it, if there's are other funny broken token songs around, post away.

Actually I've always wondered with the broken token songs if it's really the original fella come back, or another lad with an eye to the main chance, like Martin Guerre...

And are there any with the boot on the other foot, so to speak, where he doesn't recognise the girl he left behind till she pulls out the token?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: DADGBE
Date: 18 May 00 - 09:24 PM

Damn, I thought there was going to be an e-mail address in my other message but it got et. What the hell, I'll write her and post what she sends. It'll be fun to compare her version with Bev and Jerry's


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: Bill D
Date: 19 May 00 - 12:17 AM

well, if Kath Westra is around, she sings one about ripping the leg off the grand piano as a token....haven't heard it in years


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: Margaret V
Date: 19 May 00 - 12:27 AM

I suppose "Sovay" could be considered one where the boot's on the other foot," but the token isn't broken, it's stolen, and she's only unrecognized when dressed as a man (robber). Margaret


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 May 00 - 03:19 AM

The Digital Tradition has a @brokentoken category. Alas, there is but one song in it - click here.
@token comes up with a respectable 28 - click here.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 May 00 - 07:08 AM

And one of them turns out to be PIANO LEG that BillD mentions above. Thanks!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TOKEN REVERSED
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 May 00 - 01:15 PM

I've been thinking about thay=t idea of the broken token in reverse, and here's a song I just wrote as a result:

THE TOKEN REVERSED

The moon it was hidden,
And the night it was still
As a tired weary figure,
Trudged over the hill.
And he came to a window,
"Are you wakin', my dear"
And a voice came like thunder
"We'll have none of that here!"
Be off now, young stranger,
I swear I've never seen yer,
Do not think about stayin' ere
So you'd best cut and run.
You're dancin' with danger
I've a brick and I'll brain yer
I've got you in range here,
And me hand's on me gun.


Oh Nancy, my bonny,
Can't you se that it's me
Your handsome young Johnny
Who is home from the sea.
Now I've tried you and tested you
And you passed very well
But now I am wet right through
And it's raining like hell.
Give over your jokin',

this rain's got me chokin'
can't you see that I'm soakin,
I'm wet to the skin.
Take a look at this token,
you can see that it's broken
so would you just open
and let me come in.


Oh Johnny, be easy now,
I've bad news and good,
For I'm not your lady-o,
That's quite understood.
She's married, is Nancy-o,
She's wed to the squire,
But laddie, I fancy you,
So come in by the fire.
Give over your jokin',
this rain's got you chokin'
I can see that you're soakin,
You're wet to the skin.
Forget that ould token,
Sure, the bloody thing's broken,
so just wait while I open
and I'll let you come in.

But Johnny he stood solemnly,
And he cried out "Oh No -,
If Nancy's been false to me,
Back to sea I will go."
Oh Johnny, says Nancy,
Two can play at that game
And what's sauce for the gander
For the goose is the same.
Let's be done with the jokin',
this rain's got you chokin'
I can see that you're soakin,
You're wet to the skin.
Let's just mend the old token, And join what was broken
so just wait while I open
and I'll let you come in.


Kevin McGrath May 19th 2000


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: MMario
Date: 19 May 00 - 01:21 PM

!!!!!!!

tune? please?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 May 00 - 02:09 PM

The tune is still being evasive, Mmario. I'm still trying to reach a civilised agreement with it and the words (which are still moving around a bit). When we're all happy together I'll let you know...

Still looking forward to the pocketful of tokens song...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 19 May 00 - 02:17 PM

Alas, our attempt to get the lyrics has failed, at least for the time being. Hope someone posts them, they're great.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHN 'BROKEN TOKEN' REILLY (Newcomb/Ajemi
From: KathWestra
Date: 19 May 00 - 04:43 PM

I have a small collection of broken token parodies I'm fond of singing. One is the "Piano Leg" song by Biggs Tinker, and another is "John 'Broken Token' Reilly" by Sarah Newcomb and Shari Ajemian. The latter may be the one McGrath is searching for, and it's not yet on the DT. The final verse involves multiple tokens. The song goes:

John "Broken Token" Reilly
by Sarah Newcomb & Shari Ajemian

Here comes John Reilly along the road
Oh no, say no
Approaches the maid like the wind that blowed,
Oh no, say no.
He says, "pretty maid would you marry me,
For I've just come off of the raving sea,
And I wouldn't mind such a maid as thee."
Oh no, oh no, oh not again!

This maid fix-ed him with a steely eye,
Oh no, say no
Says, "I have a love, if he did not die,
Oh no, say no
And he's been gone for seven long years,
And left me here with naught but tears,
And have you come to found my fears?"
Oh no, oh no, oh not again!

"Well what if your love has been drowned at sea,
Oh no, say no
Or is married, or living in Kentucky?
Oh, no say no
Or what if he's shot, or run over, or maimed,
Or living in France with a different name?
Oh then would you ever be glad that I came!"
Oh no, oh no, oh not again!

"If he's maimed, or in France, or in Kentucky,
Oh no, say no
He still would be able to write to me,
Oh no, say no
But if he's killed, I'm so sorry," she said
" 'Cause he was the guy who I wanted to wed,
In another three weeks he'll be legally dead!"
Oh no, oh no, oh not again!

Then he picked her up in his arms so strong,
Oh no, say no
And she kicked his shins 'cause he done her wrong,
Oh no, say no
He said: "I'm your own, I'm your long-lost John"
She said: "If that's true, you've deceived me, begone!
Besides, you're the seventh to say he's the one!"
Oh no, oh no, oh not again!

Then he took out the ring that he always wore
Oh no, say no
But the lock of her hair didn't match anymore,
Oh no, say no.
Her foot didn't fit in the same old shoe,
So off down the road he went, full of rue,
Singing "They just don't make 'em like they used to,"
Oh no, oh no, not again.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: THE TOKEN REVERSED (Kevin McGrath)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 May 00 - 05:30 PM

No,that's not it. But it's a good song. Thanks for looking, and keep digging. The more broken tokes turn up, the better.

And while we're waiting, here is a revised version of the song I wrote earlier, with a few chords. (I might stick it on my website with a Real Audio file for the sake of the tune.)

The token reversed

    

G
The moon it was hidden,
C G
And the night it was still
C G
As a tired weary figure,
D
Trudged over the hill.
G
And he came to a window,
C G
"Are you wakin', my dear"
C G
And a voice came like thunder
C D G
"We'll have none of that here!"
C
"For I've never seen you,
G
And you've nothing to gain here
C G
And you'll not be stayin' here
D
So just cut and run.
C
And be off now, young stranger
G D
You're dancin' with danger
C G
For I've got you in range an'
C G D G
My hand's on my gun."

"Oh Nancy, my bonny,
Can't you se that it's me
Your handsome young Johnny
Who is home from the sea.
Now I tried you to test you
And you passed very well
But now I am wet through
And it's raining like hell."
"So give over your jokin',
this rain's got me chokin'
can't you see that I'm soakin,
I'm wet to the skin.
Take a look at this token,
you can see that it's broken
so would you just open
and let me come in."

"Oh Johnny, be easy,
I've bad news and good,
For I'm not your lady,
Let that be understood.
You that must know Nancy,
Has wed with the squire.
But you've taken my fancy,
So come in by the fire."
"And don't think I'm jokin',
this rain's got you chokin',
I can see that you're soakin,
You're wet to the skin.
Forget that old token,
Sure, the bloody thing's broken,
so just wait while I open
and I'll let you come in."

But Johnny stood shaken,
And he cried out "Oh no -,
If my Nancy's been taken,
Back to sea I will go."
"Oh Johnny", says Nancy,
"Two can play at that game
And what's sauce for the gander
For the goose is the same."
"Let's be done with the jokin',
this rain's got you chokin'
I can see that you're soakin,
You're wet to the skin.
Let's just mend the old token,
And join what was broken
so just wait while I open
and I'll let you come in."


Kevin McGrath May 19th 2000


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 May 00 - 05:33 PM

That line in the third verse should of course be:
"You must know that your Nancy"


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Subject: Lyr Add: THEY DON'T WRITE 'EM LIKE THAT ANYMORE
From: karen k
Date: 19 May 00 - 06:24 PM

THEY DON'T WRITE 'EM LIKE THAT ANYMORE - by Jim Matthews

I'll sing you a song, it's not very long
If I can remember the words
If I can remember the words
If I can remember the words.

There was something about a bold sailor
Lately returned to the shore
He'd been sailing around the East Indies
But I don't remember no more.

There was also a fair pretty maiden
Her name it was Nancy I'm sure
She'd been waiting long years for him to return
But she couldn't wait anymore.

There were blackbirds and blacksmiths and thrushes
Singing on every green spray.
Someone wore a black shawl or was it nothing at all
And somehow I'm sure it was May.

Well, he told her of cruel privations
As they rounded the Horn in a gale
But never a word of relations
With cabin boys, male or female.

But putting his hand in his pocket
A handful of broken tokens he chose
And he said to his own darling Jewel
Do you recognize any of those?

Well, our William like all British sailors
Had silver and gold in great store
So wedding bells chimed, to Wild Mountain Thyme
They don't write 'em like that anymore.


Got this from a friend who signs onto Mudcat occasionally as KNITPICK. It's a great song that she said she got from the singing of Carla Sciaky. Hope it's the one you are looking for.

karen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 May 00 - 06:43 PM

That's it, karen, and thanks - I knew the Mudcat would come up with the goods. I think the words when I heard the song were a bit different at a couple of points, thus proving that it is now a real folk song.

If anyone knows more about it, I'd be grateful. Like, who is Jim Matthews? (I've sent KNITPICK a message asking) And any suggestions for a tune? I sort of half remember it, but not the half that helps.

And any other broken broken token songs will be warmly received here...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: MMario
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 11:14 AM

refresh


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Subject: Lyr Add: BROKEN TOKEN (Mike Agranoff)
From: MMario
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 11:18 AM

You can see and hear Mike Agranoff perform this on YouTube; he changes hats to indicate a change of characters. On his album, "...Or Would You Rather Get a Job?" (2001) he is joined by 3 other singers who take the different roles.


THE BROKEN TOKEN
Words and Music, Mike Agranoff ©1993.

1. As I roved out one bright May morn, after seven years at sea,
To hear the thrush so sweetly sing and the pleasant air to see,
There I spied the most beauteous creature e'er my eyes beheld before,
And I resolved this one to wed, and make her mine forevermore,
Evermore, evermore, and make her mine forevermore.

2. I steppéd boldly up to her and asked of her her name.
"Wilt thou walk along with me and tell me whence thou came?
For I am but a poor young sailor, lately come from o'er the brine,
But all my stores and all my heart I'd give to thee to make thee mine,
Make thee mine, make thee mine, I'd give to thee to make thee mine."

3. "Stand back; stand back, you false young man, for this can never be,
For I am pledged to handsome Johnny, far away at sea."
And from the pocket of her gown drew forth a ring; 'twas broke in twain,
Saying: "I shall wed with none until the other half comes home again,
Home again, home again, till the other half comes home again."

4. Then from my breast I drew a chain on which hung half a ring,
Saying: "It is I, your handsome Johnny; this to you I bring.
For seven years I've somehow kept this half a ring upon the chain,
And by this token I do hope to win my Nancy back again,
Back again, back again, to win my Nancy back again."

5. When she beheld this broken token she began to laugh:
"Oh, Johnny, dear 'tis well for you, you kept that other half,
For seven years have not been kind; you've grown a paunch; your hair is gone,
But I suppose I'll marry you since I have waited all this long,
All this long, all this long, since I have waited all this long."

6. Just then rode up a fine young soldier, pride of all the corps,
Saying: "Nancy dear, 'tis I, sweet William, lately come from war.
Dost thou recall this coin we broke between us, our love to attest?
One half I hold before you now; the other half hangs at thy breast,
At thy breast, at thy breast; the other half hangs at thy breast."

7. "Stand back; stand back, you false young man, for this can never be,
For I am pledged to handsome Johnny, just returned from sea."
"Oh, no," cries William. "This can't be, though seven years he's been your beau.
I trow my claim doth precede his; we broke this coin eight years ago,
Years ago, years ago; we broke this coin eight years ago."

8. As we three stood there all bewildered wond'ring what to do,
Along comes I, a bold sea captain, chief of John's old crew,
Saying: "I have come to claim my Nancy; by this remembrance we had broken."
And he drew forth from out his purse a half a New York Subway token,
Subway token, subway token, a half a New York Subway token.

9. "Stand back; stand back, you false young man!" the soldier, he did say,
"For I did know thee as a maid before I went away,
And you'd cut off your long yellow hair and men's apparel put you on,
All for a sailor to become, a-following your handsome John,
Handsome John, handsome John, a-following your handsome John."

10. And so sweet William and lovely Nancy married were in June,
And I have wed my bold sea captain; we're expecting soon.
And sometimes we all get together, go eat out, and for a laugh,
We leave the waitress for a tip a dollar bill that's torn in half,
Torn in half, torn in half, a dollar bill that's torn in half.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: Joe_F
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 11:36 AM

karen k: "Female or male" would scan better than "male or female".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pocketful of Broken Tokens
From: 8_Pints
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 04:06 PM

I first heard this song only last weekend and got the singer to record it for me! I havn't had a chance to learn it yet, but once I have I'll sing it on paltalk.

Sue vG

It's amazing how coincedences like this happen, isn't it!


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