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Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)

GUEST,Peter Scott (Portsmouth) 21 May 00 - 03:43 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 May 00 - 08:51 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 00 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,bigJ 21 May 00 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,bigJ 21 May 00 - 04:28 PM
Stewie 21 May 00 - 07:25 PM
Stewie 21 May 00 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,Peter Scott 22 May 00 - 05:19 AM
wysiwyg 22 May 00 - 02:23 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Nov 09 - 07:51 PM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Nov 09 - 08:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Nov 09 - 08:30 PM
Jack Blandiver 09 Nov 09 - 06:08 AM
Dick The Box 09 Nov 09 - 06:42 AM
Geoff the Duck 09 Nov 09 - 08:12 AM
gnomad 09 Nov 09 - 09:15 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Nov 09 - 09:29 AM
theleveller 09 Nov 09 - 09:49 AM
Dave Roberts 10 Nov 09 - 03:39 AM
Jack Blandiver 10 Nov 09 - 10:01 AM
Dave Roberts 10 Nov 09 - 12:03 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 10 Nov 09 - 02:19 PM
Jack Blandiver 10 Nov 09 - 02:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 09 - 02:29 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 10 Nov 09 - 03:03 PM
Paul Burke 10 Nov 09 - 03:38 PM
Anglo 10 Nov 09 - 05:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 09 - 05:45 PM
Dave Hunt 10 Nov 09 - 06:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 09 - 07:15 PM
Dave Hunt 10 Nov 09 - 07:23 PM
Dave Hunt 10 Nov 09 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,baz parkes 11 Nov 09 - 05:24 AM
Jack Blandiver 11 Nov 09 - 06:32 AM
Dave Roberts 11 Nov 09 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Edthefolkie 11 Nov 09 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,watcher 11 Nov 09 - 09:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 09 - 02:00 PM
Paul Burke 11 Nov 09 - 03:20 PM
Crane Driver 11 Nov 09 - 05:15 PM
Crane Driver 11 Nov 09 - 05:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 09 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,Ray Cantrell 27 Apr 10 - 01:49 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Apr 10 - 10:20 PM
rich-joy 28 Apr 10 - 12:03 AM
GUEST,GtD 28 Apr 10 - 05:04 AM
Mo the caller 28 Apr 10 - 08:41 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Apr 10 - 09:57 AM
Paul Burke 28 Apr 10 - 01:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Apr 10 - 01:26 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Apr 10 - 02:19 PM
MikeL2 28 Apr 10 - 02:24 PM
Mo the caller 28 Apr 10 - 05:35 PM
Herga Kitty 28 Apr 10 - 05:39 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Apr 10 - 11:52 PM
Geoff the Duck 29 Apr 10 - 06:16 AM
RamblinStu 29 Apr 10 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Georgina Boyes 29 Apr 10 - 09:24 AM
Luggage 06 Jul 10 - 04:17 PM
Luggage 08 Jul 10 - 04:44 PM
GUEST 13 Oct 14 - 10:13 PM
Ross Campbell 13 Oct 14 - 10:16 PM
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Subject: Captain Webb the swimmer
From: GUEST,Peter Scott (Portsmouth)
Date: 21 May 00 - 03:43 AM

Does anyone know the ballad and a tune for it? I have been told it's from "A Shropshire lad" by John Betjeman. I can't imagine JB pinching an A E Housman title, but that's what the singer said. It's a great tale, especially the training sessions for the Channel crossing,in the Darlaston Cut. P


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Subject: RE: Captain Webb the swimmer
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 May 00 - 08:51 AM

Betjeman's poem is at www.jbetjeman.freeserve.co.uk:  A Shropshire Lad.  He recorded an album back in the early '70s, Betjeman's Banana Blush, on which he recited poems over musical accompaniment.  Possibly the singer you heard extracted a tune from that, though the way I remember it he would have had to use some ingenuity!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Captain Webb the swimmer
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 00 - 09:35 AM

I'm pretty certain it's John Kirkpatrick made the tune to it and recorded it. It matches the song brilliantly. He was the first person to swim the Channel, and later got drowned trying to swim the Niagara Falls. There used to be boxes of matches with pictures of him swimming. But he's a bit forgotten now.

With a name like that, thouigh, he ought to be back in vogue now, what with the Internet.

Here's another site with the poem


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Subject: RE: Captain Webb the swimmer
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 21 May 00 - 10:10 AM

Certainly, the poem/song is on 'Banana Blush' by John Betjeman with musical accompaniment by that splendid musician Jim Parker. The recording originally appeared in 1974 but was released on CD in 1995 on Virgin Records VCCCD19.7243 8 40569 2 6. Its name is'A Shropshire Lad' but it has nothing to do with A.E. Houseman's poem of the same name.


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Subject: RE: Captain Webb the swimmer
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 21 May 00 - 04:28 PM

P.S. It's also on Damien Barber's 1991 recording 'Blass Me' NOFOLK 001


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Subject: RE: Captain Webb the swimmer
From: Stewie
Date: 21 May 00 - 07:25 PM

The John Kirkpatrick version of 'A Shropshire Lad' was on John and Sue Harris 'Among the Many Attractions at the Show Will Be a Really High Class Band' Topic LP 12TS259 1976. In his note Kirkpatrick mentions Betjeman reciting it to the music of Jim Parker on the LP referred to by bigJ above. Tony in Darwin sings it wonderfully.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Captain Webb the swimmer
From: Stewie
Date: 21 May 00 - 07:30 PM

I should have mentioned also that the label on the LP indicates that the music on Kirkpatrick's version was by Jim Parker.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Captain Webb the swimmer
From: GUEST,Peter Scott
Date: 22 May 00 - 05:19 AM

Thank you all. Now to work it into my own (very private) repertoire, What a Forum! Thanks P


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Subject: RE: Captain Webb the swimmer
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 May 00 - 02:23 PM


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Subject: Lyr Add: A SHROPSHIRE LAD (John Betjeman)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 07:51 PM

From The great Modern Poets by Michael Schmidt (London: Quercus, [2006?]), page 111:


A SHROPSHIRE LAD
John Betjeman

The gas was on in the Institute,
The flare was up in the gym,
A man was running a mineral line,
A lass was singing a hymn,
When Captain Webb the Dawley man,
Captain Webb from Dawley,
Came swimming along the old canal
That carried the bricks to Lawley.
Swimming along—
Swimming along—
Swimming along from Severn,
And paying a call at Dawley Bank while swimming along to Heaven.

The sun shone low on the railway line
And over the bricks and stacks
And in at the upstairs windows
Of the Dawley houses' backs
When we saw the ghost of Captain Webb,
Webb in a water sheeting,
Come dripping along in a bathing dress
To the Saturday evening meeting.
Dripping along—
Dripping along—
To the Congregational Hall;
Dripping and still he rose over the sill and faded away in a wall.

There wasn't a man in Oakengates
That hadn't got hold of the tale,
And over the valley in Ironbridge,
And round by Coalbrookdale,
How Captain Webb the Dawley man,
Captain Webb from Dawley,
Rose rigid and dead from the old canal
That carries the bricks to Lawley.
Rigid and dead—
Rigid and dead—
To the Saturday congregation,
Paying a call at Dawley bank on the way to his destination.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 08:03 PM

I keep assuring myself that I'm understanding this, but then I lose it.

Incidentally, what's "running a mineral line" mean? If anything.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 08:30 PM

A railroad to transport iron ore, West Somerset Mineral Railway, was called the mineral line, but the reference in the poem is meaningless to me, too.
Captain Webb was the first man to swim the English Channel, he was from Dawley, but the point of the poem is a bit beyond.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 06:08 AM

Thanks for reminding me of this. A real old favourite, having bought ATMAATSWBARHCB when J&SK played in Shiremoor back in - 1976 (??) Still got the original vinyl; must dig it out later & give it a spin.

The poem is simple enough - the ghost of Captain Webb, having died in Niagara Falls, pays a call to his home town on his way to heaven whilst the ordinariness of Dawley life, circa 1883, goes on. Could this be based on actual folklore? Though one would have thought if JB was privvy to such he would have made use of The Pig on the Wall legend! A lovely poem. Must say, can't understand the bafflement.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Dick The Box
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 06:42 AM

Maybe "running a mineral line" is an early euphemism for snorting cocaine.......


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 08:12 AM

I have always assumed that "running a mineral line" referred to the set-up for dispensing fizzy "mineral water" or carbonated drinks from an electric pump. I may be wrong. Let's face it - Betjeman was a poet, and I seldom understand anything they write.

As for the title - people who think they are cleverer than you tell us that A Shropshire Lad is a poem by A.E.Houseman. That isn't actually true. Houseman's work "A Shropshire Lad" is the name of a collection of poems, some of which have titles, but most are simply numbered by their place in the sequence.
The complete text of the book can be found at Project Gutenberg.

Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: gnomad
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 09:15 AM

It is also the title of a great double CD by Fred Jordan (Veteran Label)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 09:29 AM

The point of Betjeman using the title, taken from Houseman's book, was that Captain Webb was a Shropshire Lad, born in Dawley. Here's a BBC feature about him, including a picture of the memorial to him they have in Dawley.

I've always assumed the same as Geoff about the mineral line meaning soft drinks in the Institute, probably at a Temperance Meeting.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: theleveller
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 09:49 AM

"A railroad to transport iron ore,"

Coalbrookdale was one of the first places to have a mineral line that used iron rails. Before the advent of steam power the trucks were probably pulled by mules. It ran across a famous bridge over Ketly Brook that is now a Grade 2 listed monument. Maybe Betjeman intended the line in his poem to be enigmatic.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 03:39 AM

You've all got me wondering now about that 'mineral line'. I've always assumed it meant a mineral railway, one of Sir John's favourite
themes.
Now I'm not so sure, as the 'soft drink' theory sounds as plausible, and makes more sense. Still, as theleveller says, perhaps the line is meant as symbolic rather than literal.
In the Betjeman Collected Poems, JB himself includes a kind of 'stage direction'for this poem:
'N.B. This should be recited with a Midland accent'.
When Sir John recited it himself on 'Banana Blush' (with a musical setting by the always excellent Jim Parker) he did it in a kind of generic Northern Stage-Yorkshire which is completely wrong, but very engaging.
Not a criticism, you understand; Sir John could do no wrong in my eyes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 10:01 AM

With the best will in the world I can't see a mineral line as being anything else but a small industrial railway and makes perfect sense in the context of the poem, literal or otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 12:03 PM

And as Sir John has shunted off to the mineral line in the sky, it's a little late to ask him what he meant, so we may not ever know for sure.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 02:19 PM

Strange! I'd never considered in any sense other than a soft drinks line, fitting in with everything else mentioned for the meeting.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 02:22 PM

Okay - but what class of a flare was up in the gym?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 02:29 PM

"Minerals" is a pretty standard term for soft drinks, perhapsm less commoin these days.   It seems pretty likely you'd find these being sold in the Dawley Institute during an evening meeting with hymns - a lot more likely than having a train running through the room...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 03:03 PM

SOP - the gaslight. OED: Flare - to burn with a dazzling but unsteady light.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 03:38 PM

You'd have to know the Oakengates/ Ironbridge/ Wellington/ Dawley / Donnington Wood area, very heavily industrialised from an early date- a railway is on record as having been built in the area as early as 1605. It's all subsumed in the egregious Telford new town now, but in the late 19th century it would have been a maze of industrial railways (mineral lines), derelict canals and factories both active and defunct. So Betjeman's verse is a wonderful bit of compression- evening, the lights coming on, people going about their daily business.

BTW the canal probably never went to Lawley, though it's not possible to be certain- it was a tub- boat canal, with the small boats hauled in trains by horses, and instead of locks it had inclines worked by ropes. It was gradually abandoned from the early 19th century onwards, and only a stub remained by Webb's time.

Betjeman also took a little liberty with the geography- Ironbridge is the same side of the valley as Dawley Bank.

I'm also pretty sure that the tune came from a record of Betjeman reciting his poem, with a brass band playing in the background.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Anglo
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 05:30 PM

If "mineral line" refers to a railway, it would have to be a very small railway for one man to run it. Especially in an indoor location. A model train set, perhaps?

I've always assumed it do dispense fizzy mineral water, as several suggest above. I see absolutely no reason to change my mind. The album by JK & SH was one of their best.

I'd like to hear the Jim Parker music sometime, to hear what JK did with it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 05:45 PM

Trains come in in the second verse.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 06:09 PM

Why all the puzzlement - it's just a list of things happening in Dawley - ( which incidently is where I have lived for the last 30 years and about 200 yards from Dawley Bank! )not to be taken literally, but just to paint a 'background picture'if you like, of everyday occurances. Mineral railways/lines WERE often run as a one man operation - there were an enormous number of small scale industrial workings - many of the coal pits were worked by just two or three men. [And - it really is nothing ot do with fizzy water!] I was also going to point out the geographical error of 'over the valley in Ironbridge'. The nearest 'Institue' is probably in Madeley - the Anstice Memorial Hall - probably the first ever working mens club in the country, or in Coalbrookdale (now the YHA hostel) and I don't think there ever was a Congregational Hall in either Dawley or Dawley Bank - but it doesn't matter - it's the essence of the thing which is important - It's a poem for Gods sake, not a history lesson!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:15 PM

There was in fact a Congregational Chapel in Dawley, according to British History Online - Dawley Social and cultural activities:

"The former Congregational chapel off High Street was used as an assembly room in the early 20th century."

And an Institute as well: "A library and reading room in High Street, recorded from 1856, was known by 1870 as the Literary Institute."

And I wouldn't dismiss the mineral water out-of hand - "the strength of Methodism in the area was associated with the growth of a temperance movement in the late 19th century (fn. 38) and there was an Anglican mission to combat drunkenness in the Dawley Bank area in 1882." (And Captain Webb's drowning occurred in 1883.)

Betjeman wouldn't necessarily have worried about whether the details of his picture were precisely in keeping with the details on the ground in Dawley. But I'd not be surprised if he had in fact done a bit of research, because he was interested in that kind of stuff. Not so much to get the poem right, but for the sake of it, and the poem might have come out of that.

More interesting though is the question raised earlier, and not picked up - were there in fact any stories about Captain Webb making a postumous appearance in his native town?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:23 PM

Just another little correction - from McGrath above 'he ..later got drowned trying to swim the Niagara Falls' it ws actually the rapids below the Falls that he was trying to swim in. - We were in Niagara last summer and there is a boardwalk alongside the rapids -which are wonderful but absoulutely fearsome! I was told that rapids are internationally graded 1-5 in order of severity and the Niagara ones are uniquely grade 6!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 07:29 PM

Thank you SO much for the link to 'British history on Line' -I had never even heard of it before and what a wonderful resource it is. I can see hours of very useful reading ahead!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: GUEST,baz parkes
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 05:24 AM

Those who worry about such things might care to do what I did when I used to sing said song...initially through mishearing...reverse..

If one's "lad" runs the mineral line and one's "lass" sings the hymn it would seem to make more sense for those who must have it so.

I'm sure Mr Betjeman would have approved of the folk process...

Must go...can hear a distant band and have a wall in need of swinish decoration...

Baz


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 06:32 AM

The opening image is that of a small industrial town in Shropshire, circa 1883. It is a summer's evening, but even so the gas is on in the institute and the lights are on in the gym; a man is driving a steam engine and a young girl (wandering home, or playing in the street) sings a hymn. Into this quaintly idyllic charm comes the ghost of Captain Webb, swimming along the canal, even as the low summer sun shines over the railway lines, and over the brick piles and chimneys, shining in at the upstairs back windows of the terraced houses. The frightful water-drenched spectre proceeds to the Congregational Hall where he promptly vanishes.

So far so good.

Verse three appears to hit a bit of a problem with its account of how Webb rose rigid and dead from the canal, thus suggesting more of a Romero-style zombie rather than the quaintly English ghost suggested in the preceding verses. However, here JB is talking of folkloric consequence, how the people got hold of the tale and of the Chinese Whisperings that spread throughout the region and take hold of people's imaginations as the nature of the event changes in the telling of it. So I'm sure JB would have approved of the folk process, as this is exactly what he is describing here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 07:37 AM

An excellent reading of the poem,if I may say so.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: GUEST,Edthefolkie
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 08:39 AM

Yes, a good reading by Suibhne. JB's using a lot of impressionistic touches as usual rather than being literal minded.

The "mineral line" in A Shropshire Lad is beyond doubt an industrial railway, maybe narrow gauge, maybe hand worked. The term was used on some maps to distinguish industrial railways from main line ones.

Betjeman was a big railway fan although maybe not a gricer! I love the story of the "Great Northern Jolly". JB was invited by Dick Hardy, British Railways Divisional Manager, Kings Cross. W O Bentley (of Bentley cars) also came along. Apparently the two got on like a house on fire and the jolly concluded with a trip by JB in the cab of a "Deltic" from Peterborough to Kings Cross.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: GUEST,watcher
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 09:24 AM

A flare was a very crude form of lighting - just a large flame, not with a mantle which gave a more intense white light and were no doubt safer.
Indoors they were probably gas.
Outdoors they could be paraffin - my dad when he was a kid had a job on a market stall which was lit by paraffin flares when it was dusk; he put one in the wrong place and set the stall on fire!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 02:00 PM

Alternatively, there's a temperance meeting in the Congregational Hall on a Saturday night. A lass is singing a hynn. Temperance drinks are available. And who should turn up but the ghost of Captain Webb, rising out the canal outside next to the railway line, wafting up past the astonished rows of people, and vanishing through the wall...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Paul Burke
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 03:20 PM

When Webb died in 1883, the bright incandescent gas mantles were very uncommon indeed. In fact, they'd only just been invented, as a riposte to the growing competition from the electric light bulb, and the prevalent method of gas lighting was the batswing burner, which spread the gas flame out like it says on the tin, and which were horribly dangerous by modern standards. These lights were still in use in my mother's childhood, in the early 1920s.

There were many Methodist and other nonconformist chapels in almost all areas- very often small corrugated iron churches which arose, flourished, and vanished without leaving a trace. There's a preserved example of one at the Blist's Hill industrial museum, along with the only remaining stretch of the very canal that Webb travelled along- he had to face a rope- worked incline (also partly preserved) to get up from the river Severn, but having swum the Atlantic to get there, he doubtless found it only a minor problem.

As for the mineral line, no doubt the man "running" it was driving something like this engine, made at Lilleshall at the far end of the canal some fifteen years before Webb's death. Easily handled by one man, with perhaps a boy to help him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Crane Driver
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 05:15 PM

I too also understood the 'mineral line' as a light railway. There's absolutely nothing in the first verse to suggest that the mineral line is inside a room - wherever did that come from? It doesn't even say whether the girl singing a hymn is in the Institute or outside in the street (or whether the gym is in the Institute building or elsewhere). And no-one is suggesting that the canal is indoors, so why should the mineral line be?

However, I don't visualise the mineral line as anything so sophisticated as in Paul's link - something more like this. The photo clearly shows the line being run by one man (and two horses). Apparently the line was horse-drawn until 1899.

But as an earlier poster said, it's poetry not a history lesson.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Crane Driver
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 05:27 PM

And the idea of mineral water being dispensed via an electric pump in the 1880's (when the Institute doesn't even have electric lights) seems somewhat unrealistic in itself. I'm sure they'd have used those bottles with the marble in the neck.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 05:27 PM

Webb in a water sheeting,
Come dripping along in a bathing dress
To the Saturday evening meeting.
Dripping along—
Dripping along—
To the Congregational Hall


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: GUEST,Ray Cantrell
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 01:49 PM

It is also on Spotify


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 10:20 PM

==="As for the title - people who think they are cleverer than you tell us that A Shropshire Lad is a poem by A.E.Houseman. That isn't actually true. Houseman's work "A Shropshire Lad" is the name of a collection of poems, some of which have titles, but most are simply numbered by their place in the sequence." Geoff the Duck===

------

Absolutely right, GtD last Nov. But if you are going to be so superior about 'people who think they are cleverer than you', you had better be accurate yourself. The 1896 poetry collection A Shopshire Lad was by A E Housman 1859-1936 (NOT 'Houseman'). He was, btw, a Cambridge classical academic who had probably never visited Shropshire until after the collection was published. He had failed his Oxford degree due to an unhappy homosexual undergraduate affair, but continued to write on classical subjects and acquired enough reputation to be appointed a Professor of Greek at London University, subsequently proceeding to Cambridge, where he spent the rest of his life.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: rich-joy
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 12:03 AM

BTW, Polly Bolton (Band) with Nigel Hawthorne, has a CD :
"Loveliest of Trees : from A Shropshire Lad by A.E.Housman"
1995-96 : Centenary Recording.

Cheers, R-J


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: GUEST,GtD
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 05:04 AM

MtheGM - God! You are a total prat. This web site is becoming full of small minded nasty people like you with the sole agenda of trying to find fault with anything other people write. The superscillious "I know more that all of you and you should all tug your forelock and worship every word I say" crowd.
Christ! - A stray "e" in a name, and you think you have the right to denigrate anything and everything I say? What arrogance!
I will remind you of the rules - THIS IS A FOLK SITE NOT A SPELLING SITE! Onscreen spelling happens because we copy a spelling from other comments in a thread, because we can't type, wirless keyboards only send some of the letters (as in the "wireless" I typed seconds ago), dyslexia, absent mindedness and many more... The importance of a posting is the information contained, not whether a typographic error slips through.
You are exactly the type of person my comment was aimed at, the sort who have driven away dozens of well meaning nice members by deliberate bullying and snide comments.

Don't bother replying to this post unless it is an apology for your totally out of line behaviour.

Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Mo the caller
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 08:41 AM

You may quack. But spelling is sometimes important, sometimes not.
A mistake that can be corrected from the context by the reader can be ignored. The name of a poet should be put right for the sake to avoid passing on incorrect information.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 09:57 AM

GtD Quack away. But I say again --

===But if you are going to be so superior about 'people who think they are cleverer than you', you had better be accurate yourself.===

You go on to say, in your reply to mine,

===This web site is becoming full of small minded nasty people like you with the sole agenda of trying to find fault with anything other people write. The superscillious* "I know more that all of you"===
[*I take it you meant 'supercilious', btw]

-- which strikes me as a a fair summary of your original "people who think they are cleverer than you"; who started 'finding fault with what other people write', you or me [or, if you want to be pedantic, I!]

~~As to whether this is a just comment or not I leave to other Catters to judge: Mo seems to agree with me.

But WTF, meanwhile, do you mean by daring to tell me whether I may reply or not; what has it to do with you whether or not I choose to respond to your fatuous animadversions, you silly little ~~~ ah! ~~~person!

So just quack off, why don't you? Or should that be 'duck off'?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Paul Burke
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 01:17 PM

I've often wondered what 'having a duckfit' means...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 01:26 PM

Captain Webb really should have been a duck.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 02:19 PM

& Geoff the Duck should really stay off the Web...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: MikeL2
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 02:24 PM

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: McGrath of Harlow - PM
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 01:26 PM

Hi

Well he had Webb feet....lol

Cheers

MikeL2

PS just in case anyone tries to infer that I got it wrong, I do know that the adjective should be "webbed"....!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Mo the caller
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 05:35 PM

You really shocked me there, saying that he never visited Shropshire till after the publication of A Shropshire Lad. The peoms seem to smell of fresh Shropshire air. Why would anyone write a peom with geographical references if they didn't know the area well?
I went googling for evidence, didn't find it, but a quote from wiki seems relevant "Many colleagues were unnerved by his scathing critical attacks on those whom he found guilty of shoddy scholarship".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 05:39 PM

Pedants revolt - led by Which (?) Tyler. Should there have been an apostrophe in there somewhere...?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 11:52 PM

Mo ~ sorry to have shocked you. Wiki says of Housman & A Shropshire Lad, that tho he was a Worcestershire man by origin,

"The poems are pervaded by deep pessimism and preoccupation with death, without religious consolation. Housman wrote most of them while living in Highgate, London, before ever visiting that part of Shropshire (about thirty miles from his home), which he presented in an idealised pastoral light, as his 'land of lost content'." (Wiki article on A E Housman)

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 06:16 AM

Mo the Caller - as you say, sometimes spelling is important, sometimes not, but I would suggest that outside the realm of pharmacy (where giving a similar sounding, but differently named drug, could be a matter of life or death) it doesn't really matter that much. Let's face it - the TXT SPK generation don't even use words!

As for this thread, in the first posting, the Subject box says "Subject: Captain Webb the swimmer", which I suspect was originally also the title of the thread, and asked about the song of the Betjeman poem (incidentally - Firefox internal spellchecker doesn't like "Betjeman" as a spelling) and says "I can't imagine JB pinching an A E Housman title". Three postings down someone mentions "A.E. Houseman's poem of the same name". I can't say that I had even noticed that two different spellings had been used. It certainly didn't prevent me finding the complete work online.

The wibbly wobbly web is pretty good at ignoring spelling on information searches -

try typing "a shrpshire ld" into Wikipedia and it produces page asking "Did you mean: a shropshire lad".

Type "Houseman" and you will get to a page listing amongst other things, a junior doctor and around ten people (real or fiction) with that surname. Add initials and you get a different result.

Type "A E Houseman" or "A.E. Houseman" and you are automatically redirected to a page for "Alfred Edward Housman".

This fuzzy search handles bigger differences. Try a lower case germanic "a e hausmann" and you will be asked "Did you mean: a e housman".

"betjemin" produces "Did you mean: benjamin" followed by links to articles, the first of which is "John Betjeman (redirect from John Betjamin)".

I do not think we need seriously worry about a missing, misplaced or supernumerary letter preventing us finding a poet!

That said, for the sake of accuracy:

English classical scholar and poet Alfred Edward Housman, usually known as A. E. Housman, wrote "A Shropshire Lad", which is a cycle of sixty-three poems, many of the poems are simply numbered for their place in the work. Some of the poems have an individual title, but no poem in the cycle is named "A Shropshire Lad".

English poet, writer and broadcaster Sir John Betjeman, CBE, wrote "A Shropshire Lad", which is a single poem about the ghost of Captain Matthew Webb (19 January 1848—24 July 1883). Webb was from Shropshire, and in August 1875 was the first man to swim the English Channel.

Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: RamblinStu
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 08:30 AM

Shropshire lad is a nice song and living in Dover Kent, it is one that I often perform. But the history of Captain Webb is quite extraordinary, he was a bit of a Boys Own hero character

It's well worth looking him up on tinternet

Stuart Pendrill


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 09:24 AM

And I'm glad that this thread is recovering from its brief bout of tetchiness as I have the happiest memories of hearing the late Malcolm Fox of Jiggery Polkary performing the song to perfection whilst wearing an Edwardian bathing costume.

Jiggery Polkary had a clog dancing camel too, but that was for another piece.

Georgina


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Luggage
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 04:17 PM

There is a jazz album by Jacqui Dankworth (daughter of Johnny D. and Cleo Lane) and her band The New Perspectives of settings for Housemans' "Shropshire Lad" poems.
I have a copy but find it very difficult; there is very little of the folk song about it in spite of Houseman's imitating song patterns. It is a bit like the music of the jazz composer (whose name I don't recall) who wrote music for T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland".
For anyone who is interested, there is a good collected poems edition of John Betjeman, published by John Murray Publishers in which you will find "A Shrophire Lad" which was originally in the collection: "Old Lights For New Chancels" of 1940.
Some of Betjemans' poems lend well to song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Luggage
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 04:44 PM

Sorry about the spelling/typing errors.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 10:13 PM

Hear it for yourself (and give your ears a treat!)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jnT4tOl_qQ

Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Shropshire Lad (John Betjeman)
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 10:16 PM

Oops! That was me.
Ross


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