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Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today

DigiTrad:
WHY PADDY'S NOT AT WORK TODAY (Excuse Note)


Related threads:
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the sick note (11)
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(origins) Origins: the sick note/ murphy and the bricks (103)
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Jon Baade 19 Jul 97 - 08:54 PM
Barry Finn 19 Jul 97 - 10:29 PM
Bobby O'Brien 19 Jul 97 - 10:38 PM
Joe Tully 21 Jul 97 - 11:40 AM
dick greenhaus 21 Jul 97 - 01:17 PM
GUEST 23 Apr 04 - 12:12 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 23 Apr 04 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,val williams - val@williams2003.freeserve.co 14 Nov 04 - 03:34 AM
George Papavgeris 14 Nov 04 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,Eammon. 14 Nov 04 - 05:41 PM
Shanghaiceltic 14 Nov 04 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Paul Lyons. 15 Nov 04 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,John Barden 15 Nov 04 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,Pat Cooksey. 15 Nov 04 - 06:32 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 15 Nov 04 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,Gerry. 16 Nov 04 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,kevin@plant7690freeserve.co.uk 20 Nov 04 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Paul King, Sussex. 20 Nov 04 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,GUEST 11 Feb 05 - 11:00 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Feb 05 - 02:08 AM
Snuffy 12 Feb 05 - 09:42 AM
Leadfingers 12 Feb 05 - 10:57 AM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Feb 05 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,Leadfingers(back door again) 13 Feb 05 - 07:49 AM
GUEST 13 Feb 05 - 09:43 AM
Murray MacLeod 13 Feb 05 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Kos 05 Sep 06 - 02:52 PM
Don Firth 05 Sep 06 - 04:02 PM
alanabit 05 Sep 06 - 04:03 PM
alanabit 05 Sep 06 - 04:05 PM
Chris Green 05 Sep 06 - 04:46 PM
Don Firth 05 Sep 06 - 05:25 PM
Rumncoke 05 Sep 06 - 06:06 PM
Amos 15 Jan 07 - 07:32 PM
Anglo 15 Jan 07 - 08:34 PM
Lighter 16 Jan 07 - 10:26 AM
Mrrzy 16 Jan 07 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Pilgrim 16 Jan 07 - 11:03 AM
danensis 16 Jan 07 - 04:27 PM
Leadfingers 16 Jan 07 - 04:32 PM
Abby Sale 16 Jan 07 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,chords for murphy and the bricks 04 Nov 07 - 08:17 AM
Mo the caller 04 Nov 07 - 11:33 AM
Brendy 05 Nov 07 - 12:46 AM
Brendy 05 Nov 07 - 12:51 AM
GUEST 05 Nov 07 - 12:45 PM
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Subject: Why Paddy isn't at Work Today / Paddy's Work Song
From: Jon Baade
Date: 19 Jul 97 - 08:54 PM

Anybody got the words and chords to this song?

Thanks in advance,

Jon


Thread #47508   Message #708772
Posted By: GUEST,Pat Cooksey.
11-May-02 - 08:16 AM
Thread Name: the sick note/ murphy and the bricks.
Subject: Origins: the sick note/ murphy and the bricks.

Over a long number of years there has been much speculation concerning this song. I wrote this song under it's original title Paddy and the Barrell in 1969, and first performed it in The Dyers Arms in Coventry at this time, and in 1972 Sean Cannon, later to become a member of the Dubliners began to perform it in the folk clubs under the title The Sick Note. The song was based on Gerard Hoffnung's wonderful address to the Oxford Union, but the story in a more simple form dates back to the English music halls in the 1920's and appeared in the Readers Digest in 1937. I personally gave the words of this song to Noel Murphy in a night club in Coventry in the early seventies and his only contribution to this song was to change the title to Murphy and the Bricks, and when this song was recorded Noel Murphy was obliged to remove his name from the writers credits, I still have a letter from Misty River Music to this effect. The song under more than 20 alternative titles has since been recorded more than 100 times worldwide, and in every version the words are identical. This song under all alternative titles has always been the exclusive copywright of myself, Pat Cooksey, and is registered with The Performing Rights Society in London. This includes Dear Boss by The Clancy brothers, The Bricklayers Song by The Corries and Ray Stevens, The Sick Note by The Dubliners, etc,etc, and also Murphy and the Bricks. No other artist had any input into this song nor is any claim for arrangement valid. Pat Cooksey, Nuremberg, Germany.
Click for lyrics in the Digital Tradition


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Jul 97 - 10:29 PM

search the DT for 'Why Paddy Not At Work Today' or Excuse Note. Barry


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Bobby O'Brien
Date: 19 Jul 97 - 10:38 PM

The proper name to this song is "The Bricklayer" and as soon as I get a second, I will type out the words :)


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHY PADDY'S NOT AT WORK TODAY^^^
From: Joe Tully
Date: 21 Jul 97 - 11:40 AM

Dear Boss.

Dear Boss I write this note to you, to tell you of my plight and at the time of writing I am not a pretty sight. Me body is all black and blue and my face a deadly gray. So I hope you'll understand, why I'm not at work today.

I was workin' on the 14th floor, some bricks I had to clear. And throwin' 'em down from such a height, was not a good idea. The foreman wasn't very pleased, he bein' an awful sod, he said I'd have to take them down the ladder in me hod.

Now shiftin' all those bricks by hand seemed so awful slow. So I hoisted up a barrel and secured a rope below. But in my haste to do the job, I was too blind to see, that a barrel full of buildin' bricks was heavier than me. So when I untied the rope the barrel fell like lead and clinging tightly to the rope, I started up instead. I shot up like a rocket and to my dismay I found that halfway up, I met the bloody barrel comin' down.

The barrel broke me shoulder, as to the ground it sped And when I reached the top, I struck the pulley with me head I still clung on though numbed with shock, from this almighty blow. Then the barrel spilled out half the bricks some 14 floors below.

Now when the bricks had fallen from the barrel to the floor, I then outweighed the barrel and I started down once more. Still clinging tightly to the rope, I headed for the ground and I fell among the broken bricks that were all scattered 'round

As I lay there moaning on the floor, I thought I'd passed the worst. But the barrel struck the pulley wheel and then the bottom burst. A shower of bricks came down on me, I didn't have a hope and as I was losing consciousness, I let go the bloody rope.

Now the barrel it being heavier, it started down once more and it landed right across me, as I lay there on the floor. I broke three ribs and my left arm and I can only say; That I hope you'll understand, Why I'm not at work today!


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Jul 97 - 01:17 PM

If the words are in the database, you don't HAVE to re-post them.


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 12:12 AM

I'm looking for the chords for this song. Dpes anyone have them or knows where to find them


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:40 PM

From thread #560

Subject: RE: The Sick Note

From: GUEST,weerover

Date: 18 Aug 03 - 03:13 PM

The chords should be readily available as the tune (as I have heard it) is the same as "The Garden Where the Praties Grow"

Now, I don't know the tune, but usually I've heard it as a recitation rather than a song with guitar.


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,val williams - val@williams2003.freeserve.co
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 03:34 AM

Where can I buy a C.D of this song.


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 03:46 AM

On Pat Cooksey's website here you can get a download of "The Sick Note", or alternatively buy it through CD Baby (link on the same page); it's in the album titled "Words".


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,Eammon.
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 05:41 PM

I heard Cooksey himself sing this right at the end of his show last
night, a huge crowd were totally silent as he sang it, he is a great
showman, and also a billiant singer.


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 14 Nov 04 - 06:47 PM

Paul Curran our lead on vocals sings this quite often but allways unacommpanied.


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,Paul Lyons.
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 08:04 AM

Cooksey usually sings this unaccompanied, but I also heard him do it with guitar backing, Ronnie Drew of the Dubliners also does a great job on this song.


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,John Barden
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 09:49 AM

Hi Mudcatters,

This appears to be a good time for me to come in here on this subject. Like Pat Cooksey, I am living in the southern part of Germany. However I have been living in Germany for more years than I may want to admit.

Still Germany has been very good to me as a singer/songwriter. I first met up with Pat about 2 years ago after having recorded his very beautiful song "The reason I left Mullingar". He was most kind with his comments about my recording and felt that my version was one of the best he had heard. Please remember that I am competing here with big names like "The Fureys" and many other very well known names on the Irish folk scene.

This very weekend past, I had the pleasure of playing two excellent gigs alongside Pat. We shared the bill and I have to say that Pat is a pure professional. On the Friday evening Pat started the show and after a small break I played my set. I have to say that we both have very different styles of playing and singing, but that`s what makes things interesting for the audience I feel.

We both played the last set together which gave me the chance to sing some harmonies and accompany Pat on Bouzouki and Mandolin. We really had great fun.

On the Saturday night we did a similar kind of show, however this time I started the show and Pat came in after some excellent scottish piping from Thomas.

Again like myself, Pat is planning to introduce a new live CD early in the New Year.

Pat also does quite a lot of touring with Sean Cannon of the "Dubliners" and they should be touring again soon. Check out his website for the tour dates.

Once again, I had a great and funny weekend with an excellent musician. Thanks Pat and hope to see you soon again.

If anyone is interested, please visit my website at:

www.john-barden.de

You can click on the MP3 page and listen in to some samples of my CDs. I also have a guestbook where you can pay a compliment or insult me, depending on how you are feeling.

Bye for now

John


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,Pat Cooksey.
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 06:32 PM

Hi John.

It was indeed a great weekend, a pleasure to play with you, I'm sure
there will be more of the same in the future.


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 07:30 PM

I've always done this song unaccompanied. But, I heard a guitar accompanied version on "Thistle & Shamrock" the other night and realized that there is an advantage to having accompaniment.

The whole point of the song is to make people laugh, right? Well, if you're singing unaccompanied and a part of the song gets a good laugh from the audience, it breaks the rhythm if you wait for the audience to finish laughing before starting the next verse. So, you have to plow right on into the next verse and the audience may miss part of the song. Accompanying yourself on guitar gives you the option of doing an extra little four-beat strum (or two) to allow the audience to "catch up with you".


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Subject: RE: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,Gerry.
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 05:22 AM

I have heard this song done with a fiddle backing, with the last few notes repeated between each verse, which allowed the laughter to subside before the next verse.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,kevin@plant7690freeserve.co.uk
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 05:35 PM

can anyone help me a lady in a charity shop asked if i knew how she could get hold of a copy of why paddy isnt at work today as this would remind her of her husband as this was a favourite of his


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,Paul King, Sussex.
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 08:17 PM

You can download the song from the master himself at www.patcooksey.com
There are hundreds of recorded versions but to hear the man who wrote
the song is something special.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 11:00 PM

So nobody here actually knows the chords, or has seen a guitar TAB of this song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 02:08 AM

The Myth Busters had a go at this - didn't mention the Cooksey song at all, but claimed it originally went back to nearly WWI.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 09:42 AM

The tune is The Garden where the Praties Grow, slowed down. You should be able to find tab for that quite easily


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Subject: Chords Add: WHY PADDY'S NOT AT WORK TODAY
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 10:57 AM

C                               G             C
Dear Sir I write this note to inform you of my plight
    F               C            D7            G
And at the time of writing I am not a pretty sight
    F          C                  D7             Am
My body is all black and blue, my face a deathly gray
   C                                  G          C
I write this note to tell why Paddy's not at work today

There's a basic chord run that seems to fit , but if any one wants to correct it , feel free - I've only ever done it on whistle backing Noel Murphy !


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Subject: Chords Add: WHY PADDY'S NOT AT WORK TODAY
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 04:42 PM

It's clear that Leadfingers and I have a different conception of the tune, because I cannot make at least certain of his chords work with this song as I sing it. So here's MY take, which is simpler than his:

    C                         F             C
Dear Sir I write this note to inform you of my plight
    F             C             G7
And at the time of writing I am not a pretty sight
    F          C                  G7
My body is all black and blue, my face a deathly gray
C                                  F          C
I write this note to tell why Paddy's not at work today

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,Leadfingers(back door again)
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 07:49 AM

Dave - We obviously havetotallt different tunes to this - All i know is what Noel Murphy does with it ! But at least its a guide for other people , and still a cracking good song !


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 09:43 AM

Leadfingers, I see where the problem is. The chord indications don't stay where they were intended. My last post, for instance, is essentially unplayable (or I guess unsingable) as it shows up on the screen. The chords are way out of position. And yours seems to suffer the same problem. I tried using your chords and adjusting where they fell, and it's fine.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: Chords Add: WHY PADDY'S NOT AT WORK TODAY
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 02:46 PM

Why doesn't everybody adopt the convention of putting the chords in brackets within the lyrics. ?

Joe Offer is the only person who can do it correctly the other way .


Dear(C) Sir I write this (G)note to in(F)form you of my (C) plight
   
And (F) at the time of(C) writing I am (D7) not a pretty (G) sight

My(F)body is all (C) black and blue, my (Dm) face a deathly (F) grey

I (C)write this note to (G) tell why Paddy's (F) not at work to(C)day

These are the definitive chords, assuming you are singing in the key of C.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,Kos
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 02:52 PM

I first came across the words in a lesson where it was used as an example of discriptive writing. This was early in 1967.
Now this is a long time ago but I seem to remember that the author was one Leonard Cohen. I have failed to confirm this but the words are readily available if you type "the barrel of bricks" into a search engine.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 04:02 PM

My first acquaintance with this was not as a song, but as a skit.

It was about 1950 or so when I was a freshman at the University of Washington. A student organization I belonged to did a program of songs and skits, and I took part in one of the skits (this was a year or two before I became interested in folk music and took up the guitar). The fellow who was putting the thing together took one of the skits out of a book. I'm not sure, but I think the book may have been The Desert Island Decameron, compiled and edited by writer and humorist H. Allen Smith. It was a script from the Sunday night radio program "The Fred Allen Show." The skit was a "courtroom drama" with "Judge Allen" presiding. As I recall it, Instead of a sick note, the poor sod was suing the construction company that employed him because of injuries on the job.

I was cast in the role of the poor victim. They wrapped me up in bandages like a mummy and carried me in on a stretcher. I delivered my testimony lying flat on my back, going through the whole routine of the foreman's unreasonable request, my slightly less than brilliant idea, and my many unfortunate encounters with the barrel of bricks. It was one of my finer moments as an actor (I had all the good lines), and the audience was howling with laughter. Lotsa fun!

When, at an informal party during one of the Northwest Folklife Festivals a couple of decades ago, I heard one of the Vancouver B.C. singers sing the routine to the tune of "I Met Her in the Garden Where the Praties Grow," of course I immediately recognized it.

I learned the song and have since performed it (unaccompanied) a number of times, always with good effect. Many thanks to Pat Cooksey for putting this into song form.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 04:03 PM

Groan... For more information about the author (Mudcat's own Pat Cooksey) please read some of the other threads listed above this one.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 04:05 PM

Sorry Don. We cross posted. My reply was to the previous poster.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Chris Green
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 04:46 PM

It also featured (not as a song but as a monologue) in Gerald Hoffnung's address to the Oxford Union in 1959.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 05:25 PM

Hi, Alan. Yeah, GUEST,Kos should have read the thread a bit before posting, because above, Pat Cooksey explains how he came to write the song. Leonard Cohen's written some good stuff, but that one? Nope.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Rumncoke
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 06:06 PM

I'm not sure if it is the right tune, I use the same tune as for the song which begins

'It's of a gentleman soldier as a sentry he did stand.
He kindly saluted a fair maid by a waving of his hand
So boldly then he kissed her but passed it off as a joke
He drilled her into the sentry box wrapped up in a soldier's coat'

With no need for the chorus.

With the capo on the third fret the chords I use are

C G7 C/F C G7/F C G7/C G7 C

with the general policy of starting with the first one at the beginning of a line and continuing until it is necessary to change it. My being of the female persuasion and an approximate alto, other singers will need to adjust capo and/or transpose to suit.   

I remember one of my uncles has a record of Hoffnung reading this tale and I ached with laughter on hearing it.


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Subject: An Hilarious Recitation
From: Amos
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 07:32 PM

An Hilarious Recitation is now made available of this sorry tale about Paddy's Request for Sick Leave, among other amusing anecdotes, and bon mots, in the round, pear-like tones of Gerald Hoffnung addressing the Oxford Union, producing great quantities of merriment.

It is to be found by merely clicking upon this humble but effective link and listening unto the destination thereof.

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Anglo
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 08:34 PM

Nice going, Amos. I used to own the LP, along with other Hoffnung memorabilia (remember the Concerto for Orchestra and Vacuum Cleaner?), but it took a walk (or perhaps I did) many years ago.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 10:26 AM

Our local NPR station played the recording of Hoffnung's story this past Sunday.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 10:50 AM

I have this by The Clancy Brothers, I think with Robbie O'Connel. Note that the lyrics posted above are missing one verse - he hits the barrel on the way up and on the way down.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,Pilgrim
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:03 AM

The verse you are missing goes something along the lines of

Now when the bricks had fallen from the barrel to the floor, I then outweighed the barrel and I started down once more. Still clinging tightly to the rope, My body racked with pain. And halfway down I met
the bloomin barrel once again.

The force of this collision halfway down th office block
Caused multiple abrasions and a nasty case of shock
STill clinging tightly to the the rope, I sped towards the ground and I fell among the broken bricks that were all scattered 'round


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: danensis
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 04:27 PM

If the song is based on Gerard Hoffnung's address to the Oxford Union in 1959 how can Pat Cooksey lay claim to it, or doesn't copyright work the same way as patents and "prior art"?

John


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 04:32 PM

Gerard Hofnung adapted an earlier piece as a purely SPOKEN item - Pat Cooksey took the idea and turned it into a song , which was as original as writing a song based on a joke ! More power (and ROYALTIES) to Pat's elbow !


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Abby Sale
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 04:40 PM

danensis: If you read the other threads shown at the top, the whole history will be clear; especially see Sam Hinton's comments. In short, the story goes way at least to 1937 for a sailor's woes. Hoffnung adapted it brilliantly as a recitation. Cooksey has sole and indisputable claim to its adaptation as a song. If you sing it you should always credit him and be prepared for one or to people saying, "I believe it's actually by ..." (I did only 2 weeks ago.) It's Cooksey.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST,chords for murphy and the bricks
Date: 04 Nov 07 - 08:17 AM

chord this is wat i think cause im not sure

c g c
f c d g
f c f am
c g c

the same thing over and over


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Nov 07 - 11:33 AM

I remember someone performing the monologue in a Holiday Fellowship concert in the late 60s.
He said he'd got it from a church magazine and had been performing it for years before Hoffnung.
FWIW I prefer the monologue.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Brendy
Date: 05 Nov 07 - 12:46 AM

From the first post to the thread, supposedly quoting Pat:
"The song was based on Gerard Hoffnung's wonderful address to the Oxford Union.", whereas Here, on his website, he distinctly refutes this: "It is generally assumed that I based this song on Gerard Hoffnung's wonderful address to THE OXFORD UNION in 1958. This is not correct."

B.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: Brendy
Date: 05 Nov 07 - 12:51 AM

Apologies for the bad html...
.... whereas Here, on his website, he distinctly refutes this "It is generally assumed that I based this song on Gerard Hoffnung's wonderful address to THE OXFORD UNION in 1958. This is not correct."

:-)

B.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Why Paddy isn't at work today
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 07 - 12:45 PM

Guest, I play to same chords except the D, don't know where that came from.

Rog


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