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Seth Davey

DigiTrad:
WHISKEY ON A SUNDAY or COME DAY, GO DAY


Related threads:
(origins) Origin: Ballad of Seth Davy / Whiskey on a Sunday (72)
Chord Req: Whiskey On A Sunday (32)
Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday (45)
Seth Davy info please (30)
Lyr Add: Whisky on a Sunday (19)


GUEST,Ade 01 Jun 00 - 05:43 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 01 Jun 00 - 07:09 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 01 Jun 00 - 09:02 PM
alison 01 Jun 00 - 09:11 PM
alison 01 Jun 00 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,Russell Wood 19 Apr 09 - 02:53 PM
greg stephens 19 Apr 09 - 05:50 PM
Noreen 19 Apr 09 - 06:06 PM
GUEST 22 Dec 12 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,Mike 17 Mar 13 - 06:50 PM
GUEST 21 Oct 14 - 05:52 PM
GUEST 22 Oct 14 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 22 Oct 14 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,henryp 22 Oct 14 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Raggytash 22 Oct 14 - 03:10 PM
banjoman 23 Oct 14 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,henryp 23 Oct 14 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,henryp 23 Oct 14 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 23 Oct 14 - 03:30 PM
Noreen 23 Oct 14 - 03:42 PM
Brakn 24 Oct 14 - 03:11 AM
GUEST,henryp 24 Oct 14 - 06:57 AM
banjoman 24 Oct 14 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,henryp 13 Apr 15 - 11:09 AM
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Subject: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,Ade
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 05:43 PM

Any Scousers out there who might know who is Seth Davey in the song of the same name. Did he really exist?? Also, where did he sit on the corner of. I have heard Bebbington Bush - is this correct?? I would like to give some background info. next time I inflict it on my local folk club in Deal. Ta.


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 07:09 PM

Bevvington Bush... You can fing the song as "Whiskey On a Sunday" in the DT search engine... The Dolls were thrown in a "Jowlah bin" (Liverpool name for a garbage bin)The words I learned were that he died in 1905 but some say it was 1906 or later... Hope this is usefull to you.. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 09:02 PM

Sorry Guest, Ade. Yes Seth Davey was a real person and "the plank went to mend a back door" as per the version I learned.. Sung by a group called the "Spinners" in the sixties...Shouled have taken more time to post but was called in to work in a hurry... Yours, Aye. Dave (not an ancient scouser but close expat, Rochdale, Lancs.)


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: alison
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 09:11 PM

we had a big thread on this before.. I'll try to find it.... it had info on Seth Davey...

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: alison
Date: 01 Jun 00 - 09:15 PM

Here you go

info on Seth Davey

whiskey on a Sunday

lyrics in the database

all of the above were found by putting the word "seth" into the"digitrad and forum search box).... welcome to Mudcat....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,Russell Wood
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 02:53 PM

I learned this song from the Spinners in the 60's, but I asked my Gran (who was born in the late 19th century) if she knew anything about Seth Davey. She said that she vaguely remembered the "dancing nigger-man" (pardon the archaism) with a puppet or something.


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 05:50 PM

Was Seth Davey black, then? Or did he perform blacked-up?


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: Noreen
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 06:06 PM

Probably Jamaican, greg.
Several threads here make finding info confusing, best seems to be on the following- Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 11:09 AM

My Granddad told me he was from Jamaica, an ex-slave who came off a ship...Although not the only "Black" in Liverpool, his ability to entertain the children made him well known & popular...Granddad would have been one of them...he passed away in the 1970s aged 84


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,Mike
Date: 17 Mar 13 - 06:50 PM

If you search Seth Davy on google, then go to Wikipedia, you'll see a pic of Seth Davy in Bevington Bush, Liverpool, with a group of kids around him.


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 14 - 05:52 PM

"The Ballad of Seth Davy" by Glyn Hughes (ca.1959) of Liverpool, England [1932-1972].

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/gerry.jones/lpllyrics1.html#sethdavy

====

Pictures of Scotland (Scotty) Road, Liverpool - mentioned in some versions of the song - have just come to light:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29518319

====

It is otherwise known as "Whiskey on a Sunday." [http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/04/whiskey.htm] Seth Davy is mentioned by Ray Costello in Black Liverpool: The Early History of Britain's Oldest Black Community 1730-1918 [http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Liverpool-Britains-Community-1730-1918/dp/1873245076] as "another black street entertainer...a West African often seen in the Scotland Road area of the city accompanying his cheerful songs with a dancing puppet show."

Glyn Hughes recorded the song for one Fritz Spiegl about 1959, and amazingly, some years later, Fritz Spiegl discovered some old lantern slides of Liverpool scenes one of which featured a group of children watching a black man in a bowler hat making some wooden dolls dance on a plank. The scene can definitely be identified as being near outside the Bevington House Hotel in Liverpool.

All this information comes from the late Fritz Spiegl's Liverpool Street Songs and Broadside Ballads published by the Scouse Press. [http://www.amazon.co.uk/Liverpool-Packet-Street-Ballads-Broadsides/dp/0901367117]

There are some threads about 'Seth Davy' on Mudcat: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4, and here FSC Notes

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=58094
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=8911
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=91115
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=14342

http://homepage.mac.com/bothways/Sites/fsc/whiskynotes.htm

1. He sat on the corner of Bevington Bush[1],
Astride an old packing case,
And the dolls on the end of the plank went dancing,
As he crooned with a smile on his face.
CHORUS: "Come day, go day. Wish in me heart it was Sunday.
Drinking buttermilk[2] all the week; whisky on a Sunday."

2. His tired old hands drummed the wooden beam,
And the puppet dolls they danced t'gear[3].
A far better show then you ever would see,
At the Pivvy[4] or New Brighton Pier.
CHORUS: Come day go day........

3. But in nineteen-o-two old Seth Davy died,
And his song it was heard no more.
The three dancing dolls in a jowler bin[5] ended,
And the plank went to mend a back-door.
CHORUS:"Come day, go day........

4. But on some stormy nights, down Scotty Road[6] way,
When the wind blows up from the sea,
You can still hear the song of old Seth Davy,
As he croons to his dancing dolls three.
CHORUS: "Come day, go day........

[1] Bevington Bush = an area of Liverpool, a formerly thickly wooded area between Bevington Hill and Everton Hill which at one time had a pub called "The Bush" outside which Seth Davy busked.
[2] buttermilk = the tart liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream.
[3] t'gear = the gear, a Liverpudlian expression for fashionable clothing; Seth Davy's dolls were fully clothed
[4] the Pivvy = the Pavilion Theatre on Lodge Lane in Liverpool [thanks to Gwil Jones, Liverpool for this] (See: The Pivvy [http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Liverpool/PavilionTheatreLiverpool.htm)
[5] jowler bin = simply a refuse bin, normally located in the alley at the back of the house.
[6] Scotty Road way = refers to Scotland Road in Liverpool.

====

CJB


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 03:59 AM

4. Surely the Pavilion theatre referred to is the Pavilion Theatre ON New Brighton Pier, now known as the Floral Pavilion Theatre.

The Pavilion Theatre on Lodge Lane, Liverpool was not built until 1908, years after Seth Davey died(see Arthur Lloyd referred to above)


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 06:40 AM

Sorry the above was me!


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 02:03 PM

Wikipedia says; Davy sang 'Massa is a stingy man', from the repertoire of Dan Emmett, one of the stars of American minstrelsy, which contains the lines:

"Sing come day, go day
God send Sunday
We'll drink whiskey all de week
And buttermilk on Sunday"


This has been turned around to make the new chorus:

"Come day, go day
I wish in my heart it was Sunday
Drinkin' buttermilk through the week
And whiskey on a Sunday"


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 22 Oct 14 - 03:10 PM

Astonishing!!


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: banjoman
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 05:50 AM

I did contribute to previous threads on this topic. My Grandmother who died in 1953 once told me that her father once took her to see a man with dancing dolls somewhere near the top of Scotland Road which fits nicely with Bevington Bush. The pub ( I think) is still there.


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 08:39 AM

From a 1972 programme of The Spinners;

The three dancing dolls in a jowler bin ended

jowler - entry, back passageway.

And the puppets danced d'gear

d'gear - great! smashing! A Liverpudlian expression of approval.


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 09:13 AM

From: Raggytash Date: 08 Feb 02 - 03:03 PM I would like to find who wrote the Ballad of Seth Davy and definitive words if possibly

I haven't got my folder of Fritz Spiegl's Liverpool Packet to hand, but here are the words from The Spinners programme of 1972. A little late, I know.

Seth Davey by Glyn Hughes

He sat on the corner of Bevington Bush
'stride an old packing case
and the dolls on the end of the plank went dancing
as he crooned with a smile on his face

CHORUS: (Hum) Come day go day wish in me heart for Sunday
(Hum) drinking Buttermilk all the week whiskey on a Sunday

His tired old hands drummed the wooden beam
And the puppets danced d'gear.
A better show than you ever will see
At the Pivvy or New Brighton Pier.

But in nineteen-o-two old Seth Davy died
And his song it was heard no more.
The three dancing dolls in a jowler bin ended
And the plank went to mend a back door.

But on some stormy nights down Scotty Road way
With the wind blowing up from the sea,
You can still hear the song of old Seth Davy
As he croons to his dancing dolls three.

Pivvy - Pavilion Theatre :formerly a well-loved music hall, - now (alas !) a Bingo Palace.


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 03:30 PM

Ta Henry, I've been singing this song for a lot longer than 12 years, but I always try wherever possible to sing the words as written by the composer not necessarily the one's I have picked up along the way.


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: Noreen
Date: 23 Oct 14 - 03:42 PM

For banjoman-

Bevington Bush, a vestigial end of a street, is still there off the top of Scotland Road.
However the pub / Hotel became Arden House, a mission to seamen/Salvation Army hostel in its latter days and was demolished in 1986 (I remember it and have seen pictures of it on the internet somewhere, just before demolition).

Lovely article about the area and its history here, from 2010: liverpools-ghost-streets-bevington-bush
I'm sure I've posted that link before, in an earlier thread on the topic!


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: Brakn
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 03:11 AM

And still "No-one of the precise name of Seth Davy is recorded in public records."(Wikipedia)

You would've thought that he may appear in a census or that his death would've been recorded. I can't find anything.


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 06:57 AM

There is so little information about Seth Davy that I assume Glyn Hughes had seen the old slide and based his song on it.

The slide shows Seth Davy sitting at the junction of the street called Bevington Bush with Scotland Road. In the background is a large building bearing the legend Bevington House Hotel.

The 1891 Ordnance Survey shows that there was also a public house standing on the corner. It isn't named, but perhaps it was the pub called The Bush. The buildings fronting Scotland Road have been demolished.

Bevington Bush


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: banjoman
Date: 24 Oct 14 - 10:22 AM

Noreen - thanks but I thought that Arden House was a lot nearer the city than you describe. The pub was definitely there just before I left Liverpool in 1980 because I went for a farewell drink there, although that pub was I think called simply The Bush.
Anyway, its good to revive memories of that great city.


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Subject: RE: Seth Davey
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Apr 15 - 11:09 AM

Liverpool Packet No.1 - A Picture History of Liverpool & Merseyside

Liverpool Street Songs & Broadside Ballads

Seth Davey of Bevington Bush

He sat on the corner of Bevington Bush
Astride an old packing-case;
And the dolls on the end of the plank went dancing
As he crooned with a smile on his face;

CHORUS: Come dey, go dey,
Wishin' me 'eart it wuz Sunday!
Drinkin' buttermilk all de week
Whisky on a Sunday.

He sat on the corner of Bevington Bush
Amid the old wooden beams
And the puppets were dancing "the gear".
A better show than ever you'd seen
In the Pivvy or on New Brighton Pier.

But in nineteen-hundred and two Seth snuffed it,
His song was heard no more;
The darkie-dolls in a jowler-bin ended,
And the plank went to mend the back door.

But on some stormy nights down Scottie Road way
With the wind blowing up from the sea,
You can still hear the song of Old Seth Davy
As he croons to his darkie-dolls three;

Fritz Spiegl writes:

I had heard about this song, and took it down when Glyn Hughes recorded it for me on tape, in about 1959, with the words given above (which, incidentally, have since been annexed by commercial entertainers together with an approximation to Glynn's tune, entertainers who have never been near Liverpool, and whose copyright claims to it should be ignored!)

* Even now there is a mystery - the second verse is indeed printed with five lines rather than four! It isn't obvious how these lines could be sung to the well-known tune.

Ten years later, in 1969, Fritz Spiegl discovered an old lantern slide showing an old man sitting on the corner of Bevington Bush and making some wooden dolls dance on a plank. henryp


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