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Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady

DigiTrad:
LYDIA, THE TATTOOED LADY
ONLY SEVENTEEN


Related threads:
Lyr Req: That Old Tattooed Lady (42)
Lydia the Tatooed Lady-info (21)
Tune Req: Lydia, The Tattooed Lady (12)
Lyr Req: Lydia, the Tattooed Lady (62)
Lyr/Tune/Chords Req: Lydia the Tattooed Lady (12)
Sorta BS: Tattoos & Piercings (142) (closed)
Lyr/Chords Req: Tattooed Lady (14)


Gern 05 Sep 00 - 09:08 AM
JedMarum 05 Sep 00 - 09:57 AM
Gern 05 Sep 00 - 12:03 PM
Robby 05 Sep 00 - 12:21 PM
Brendy 05 Sep 00 - 12:54 PM
Robby 05 Sep 00 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Gene 05 Sep 00 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Rob 22 Feb 05 - 11:19 PM
Flash Company 23 Feb 05 - 06:28 AM
Charley Noble 23 Feb 05 - 08:11 AM
SINSULL 23 Feb 05 - 07:27 PM
SINSULL 23 Feb 05 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,Tiger 23 Feb 05 - 08:28 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 23 Feb 05 - 09:00 PM
Charley Noble 24 Feb 05 - 09:11 AM
Crane Driver 25 Feb 05 - 11:08 AM
Charley Noble 25 Feb 05 - 11:54 AM
Charley Noble 25 Feb 05 - 01:42 PM
Nigel Parsons 25 Feb 05 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,scottlrc@btinternet.com 01 Mar 05 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Chris Murray 01 Mar 05 - 03:18 PM
SharonA 01 Mar 05 - 04:42 PM
Arkie 02 Mar 05 - 03:21 PM
Arkie 02 Mar 05 - 09:55 PM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Mar 05 - 11:01 PM
Charley Noble 15 Feb 06 - 08:42 AM
Janie 15 Feb 06 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Lori Spring 28 May 10 - 01:52 PM
Charley Noble 28 May 10 - 03:53 PM
Smokey. 29 May 10 - 02:34 PM
GUEST 16 Jan 12 - 12:11 AM
Nigel Parsons 16 Jan 12 - 04:13 AM
Micca 16 Jan 12 - 04:36 AM
Gda Music 16 Jan 12 - 12:08 PM
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Subject: Tattooed Lady
From: Gern
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 09:08 AM

Not exactly highbrow stuff here, but a clever song nonetheless. This is not Groucho's "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady," but one I seem to remember from Homer and Jethro, roughly to the tune of "Back Home Again in Indiana." I'll refresh memories with an excerpt: "Her back was Brazil, her chest was Bunker Hill, and way down below was dear old Mexico... Just then I saw my wife, and to avoid future strife, I let the rest of the world go by."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: JedMarum
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 09:57 AM

There is a version of this song in the DT here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Gern
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 12:03 PM

No, that is the Groucho Marx classic from "A Day at the Circus," or some such lunacy. Mine was more of a snappy Western swing ditty, with various geographical wisecracks like "on her knee was Tennessee/ in them hills I'm longing to be..." and "when I saw the moonlight shining on the Wabash."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Robby
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 12:21 PM

Gern: I remember those lyrics from The Smothers Brothers. It was on one of their LPs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Brendy
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 12:54 PM

Here are Cowpie's entries for Homer and Jethro lyrics. A useful page for background on 'America's Song Butchers', I think, is here

B.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Robby
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 01:43 PM

I forgot to mention earlier that The Kinston Trio had a song called Tattooed Lady. It began: "We came to town to see, That old Tattooed Lady. She was a sight to see, tattooed from head to knee", and so on.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 05:44 PM

TATTOOED LADY by HOMER & JETHRO is on
SONGS MY MOTHER NEVER SANG
1961 RCA LP-2286


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: GUEST,Rob
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 11:19 PM

If I can remember it right, something like this

(strum on the ones)
C                F       C
Once I married a tattooed lady
       G                         C
It was on a cold cold grey winter day
    F                      C
and tattooed all around her body
      D                   G
was a map of the good ole usa
    F                            C
and every night before I'd go to sleep
    D                                 G
I'd lift the covers and take myself a peek

Well good God almighty *(spoken)

(sung with rythum)
            A          D          G             C
Down on her leg was arizona on her knee was tennessee
A                     D                  
tatooed on her back was good ole hacken sack
          G                     C
thats the place where I long to be
          A                      D
down on her (whistle) was west virgina
            G               E
and in them hills I love to roam
    A                               D
when I saw the moonlight on her mississippi
G                        C
I recognized my home sweet home


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Flash Company
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 06:28 AM

My sister's a famed tattoo'd lady,
With pictures all over her skin,
For ten bob she'll show you her etchings,
My word, how the money rolls in!

also;-

Rollup, roll up, see the tattoo'd lady,
See the lovely lady with the pictures on her skin,
We went in, we all gave a cheer,
For tattooed on her body were the towns of Lancashire.
There was Oswaldtwistle, Manchester City,
Wi' a picture of the Town-hall in the square,
There was Burnley, Oldham, Ashton under Lyne,
The coal tips up at Bury were looking mighty fine,
Then someone shouted 'DADDY! Dont go down the mine!'
At the Rawtenstall annual fair.

I'll go home now!!!

FC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 08:11 AM

Well, at least two versions of this song that I've never run across. Amazing!

There is, of course, the early 1940's Rudy Vallee version, the chorus of which runs:

C------------------------G
Shame on the man that pur-sued her,
----G7------------------C
That villain who viciously wooed her;
------------C7-----F
She fell in a faint, he pulled out his paint,
--------G-----------------------G7---C
And the next thing she knew he tat-tooed her!

Do a search in the threads and you'll find the rest of it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 07:27 PM

As I remember it. Please feel free to edit or correct. The dandelion bit can't be right.

We came to town to see
That old tattooed lady
She was a sight to see
Tattooed from head to knee.
My uncle Ned was there
He came to guide us there
"I've never" he declared
"seen such a freak so fair."

And on her jaw was the Royal Flying Corps
And on her back was a Union Jack
Now could you ask for more.
All up and down her spine
Ran bees and dandelions (?)
And all around her hips
Sailed a fleet of battleships.
And over her left kidney was a birdseye view of Sydney
But what we liked best was upon her chest,
A little home in Waikiki.

What did you say?

Repeat from beginning.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 07:47 PM

Corrected version in other "Tattoed..." thread from katlaughing.


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Subject: SINSULL
From: GUEST,Tiger
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 08:28 PM

Your questionable line should be:
    "Marched the Queen's own Guard in line"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 09:00 PM

I always thought it was:
   My uncle Ned was there
   He came to gape and stare etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Feb 05 - 09:11 AM

We'll never really know what the "official" version is but I am intrigued with the " Ran bees and dandelions" line. And I thought I'd heard them all!

Maybe we should take a vote.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: ADD Version: Only Seventeen
From: Crane Driver
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 11:08 AM

According to Cyril Tawney, this version was current in the Royal Navy during his time in service:-


ONLY SEVENTEER

I was only seventeen,
When first I went to sea,
I was shipwrecked just off the coast of France,
And just by chance -

A woman in a boat
Grabbed me by the coat,
And laid me out upon the shore to dry.

And then to my distress,
She started to undress,
She'd a map of Bonny Scotland tattooed upon her chest,

And further down,
To my surprise,
I found the spot where Nelson lost his eye -

She had the Portuguese
Tattooed across her knees,
Japan and Singapore upon her thigh,

I was looking for Hong Kong,
When her old man came along,
I let the rest of the world go by.

Obviously the 'Folk Process' at work here ....

Andrew
Only Seventeen in the Digital Tradition


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 11:54 AM

Andrew-

That is the 3rd version of the "Tattooed Lady."

We have:

Groucho Marx's "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady" (tattooed lady at the circus or fair)

Cyril Tawney's "Tattooed Lady" (shipwrecked sailor on beach)

Rudy Vallee's "Tattooed Lady" (wife seduced by tattoo artist)

There are probably more versions of the first floating around and Rudy Vallee is also usually credited with the version that Groucho came up with. But contrary to some record notes "Lydia" is not the version on his 1934 recording (which I erronously described above as an early 1940's recording).

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 01:42 PM

And Rudy Vallee definitely recorded the Marx's version "Lydia" as well from their film AT THE CIRCUS on the Decca label, back to back with "You Took Me Out of This World." At least that's what I turned up on e-Bay!

Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TATTOOED LADY (Paddy Roberts)
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 25 Feb 05 - 02:02 PM

Thanks 'Cheerful Charley' for the summary.

Looking back I think I've so far failed to put this on with a 'Lyrics Add' tag.
So, one more try!

THE TATTOOED LADY
(Paddy Roberts)

Well I was a bit of a lad I admit,
My past was a trifle shady.
Until in the end I went right round the bend
And married a tattooed lady.
I immediately saw there were pictures galore,
On ev'ry available corner
As I studied her frame, very soon I became
An expert in flora and fauna
On one of her feet, you were liable to meet
A Master of Hounds in his habit.
While right round her waist, in impeccable taste,
Was a python devouring a rabbit.
On the back of each knee was a small chimpanzee,
On her thigh was a Knight of The Garter
And just for a laugh they had put on her calf
Eight bars of the Moonlight Sonata

One evening I found as I ambled around
I was feeling an absolute Charlie
'Cos I couldn't be sure if the sketch on her jaw
Was Picasso or Salvador Dali
I loved all the ships on one side of her hips
The view in Peru on the other.
But I was struck dumb when I found on her tum
A caricature of her mother
Well this was much more than a man can endure,
Though I made the most earnest endeavour.
So I scuttled away, and I'm happy to say
It was Ta ta tattoo for ever,
Ta ta tattoo for ever,
Ta ta tattoo (2 bar run) for ever

Paddy Roberts' "Tattooed Lady" (from memory)


Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: GUEST,scottlrc@btinternet.com
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 12:01 PM

thank you very much!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 03:18 PM

I've got Paddy Roberts' version on vinyl. I don't know whether it's the same as any other of the versions. It ends, "Tata tattoo forever". Tata as in goodbye.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: SharonA
Date: 01 Mar 05 - 04:42 PM

I found the folowing version, which seems to be the one Gem was looking for back in 2000, on a website about a man from Poole, Nebraska, USA who's memorialized in cyberspace by his children. According to the site, the man learned the song "from the Ramseys, a traveling medicine show that came to Kearney (Poole?) when he was just a kid in the 1920s."

Link to the site:
http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~stovpipe/Pipeline/GCS_latter_days.html

"Let the Rest of the World Go By" (parody)

To a dance I did go,
Where the gowns were cut low,
Held up only by a strap.
One girl wore a dress,
That was odd I'll confess,
It was made out of a map.

On her back there was Brazil,
Her chest a Bunker Hill,
And just a little below was Mexico.
Her shoulder blades were Japanese,
On her bosom there was Greece.

Her hips were Hindustan,
Her lap was No Man's Land,
I couldn't quite make out her thighs.

For just then I saw my wife,
And to save a lot of strife,
I let the rest of the world go by!

----------------------------------------------
This, of course, was a parody of the original "Let the Rest of the World Go By" by J. Keirn Brennan & Ernest R. Ball, 1919, which goes:

Is the struggle and strife we find in this life
Really worth while, after all
I've been wishing today I could just run away
Out where the west winds call

With someone like you, a pal good and true,
I'd like to leave it all behind and go and find
A place that's known to God alone,
Just a spot to call our own.
We'll find perfect peace, where joys shall never cease,
Somewhere beneath the kindly sky;
We'll build a sweet little nest somewhere out in the west
And let the rest of the world go by.

Is the future to hold just struggles for gold
While the real world waits outside
Away out on the breast of the wonderful west
Across the Great Divide

With someone like you, a pal good and true,
I'd like to leave it all behind and go and find
A place that's known to God alone,
Just a spot to call our own.
We'll find perfect peace, where joys shall never cease,
Somewhere beneath the kindly sky;
We'll build a sweet little nest somewhere out in the west
And let the rest of the world go by.

(Guitar chords for the refrain are here: http://www.theguitarguy.com/letther2.htm )


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Arkie
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 03:21 PM

Wouldn't you know. The Record Lady just posted this song to her site. Anyone interested can listen in living color.

Go to "Requests Page Fourteen" and scroll down to the bottom.

Tattooed Lady


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Subject: Lyr Add: TATTOOED LADY (Homer & Jethro)
From: Arkie
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 09:55 PM

Here is the Homer and Jethro version transcribed from the Record Lady site. Their version is actually a combination of the Indiana Home and Let the Rest of the World Go By parodies, with some lyric changes. There was one line I was not sure about and it is in italics.

TATTOOED LADY
Homer & Jethro version

Now once I married a tattooed lady
It was on a sunny day
And tattooed on her body
Was the map of the USA
Now every night when she would go to sleep
I'd flip them kivvers back and take a peek

Upon her neck was Louisiana
On her chest was old Tennessee
Up on her back was ole Hackensack
In the state of you joined me
And just below was old Kentucky
In those hills I love to roam
But when I saw the moonlight shining on the Wabash
Then I recognized my Indiana home

On her back was Brazil,
On her chest was Bunker Hill,
And jist a bit below
Was dear old Mexico.
Upon her knee was Tennessee
That is where I long to be.

Around her waist was Greece
And down the road a piece
I saw the West Virginny sky
Just then I saw my wife,
And to save future strife,
I let the rest of the world go by!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Mar 05 - 11:01 PM

No it isn't!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 08:42 AM

Maybe this is my FINAL update on the 1934 Rudy Vallee version of "The Tattooed Lady." I finally found our family copy of the Victor 78 rpm recording with "The Drunkard" (Victor 24739A) and "The Tattooed Lady-Fox Trot" (Victor 24739B). Unfortunately the record is broken but it does mention on the label that the lyrics are credited to Walter O'Keefe who had a long association with Rudy. Rudy and his chorus are credited with the refrain.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Janie
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 08:52 AM

I always thought the "bees and dandelions" was "ran a string of valentines"

Queens line makes more sense...to the extent there is any sense

Janie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: GUEST,Lori Spring
Date: 28 May 10 - 01:52 PM

I learned this back in the 60's, from Paul Sykes.

Here is his version:

To a dance I did go, where the gowns were cut low
Held up only by a strap
There was one startling dress that intrigued me, I confess-
It was made out of a map

Her back was Brazil, her chest was Bunker Hill
And just a little bit below was Mexico
Her shoulder blades were Nipponese,
And on her bosom, there was Greece

Her waist was Siam, her hips were Hindustan
I'm not quite certain of her thighs
Because just then I saw my wife, and to avoid a lot of strife
I let the rest of the world go by.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 May 10 - 03:53 PM

Lori-

That's a creative variation. a dress rather than a tattoo.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Smokey.
Date: 29 May 10 - 02:34 PM

A bit of semi-relevant trivia:

The same man (E. Y. "Yip" Harburg) who wrote the lyrics to "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" also wrote "Brother can you Spare a Dime", and all the lyrics in "The Wizard of Oz" and "Finian's Rainbow". (and much more that escapes my memory) He was also the first person to put a mixed race chorus line on Broadway and was blacklisted by McCarthy.

Does anyone know the parody of "Galway Bay" about a map of Ireland tattooed on a woman's back?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 12:11 AM

"Let the Rest of the World Go By" (parody)
To a dance I did go,
Where the gowns were cut low,"

My late father, born in 1906, told me he'd heard this parody when he attended vaudeville shows. I'll assume he was at least a teen, so that probably would have been the early part of the 1920s. He was delighted when I found the lyrics on the internet.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 04:13 AM

Kermit The Frog also performed Lydia


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Micca
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 04:36 AM

Smokey, to the best of my memory (which int too good)

" Oh Maybe someday I'll go back to Ireland
If my only wife should ever pass away
for I'll never forget the way she always nagged me
she has a mouth as big as Galway bay

In my dreams I see her in the Public houses
and the barman says your drunk you'll have to go
and she answers in a desperate sort of language
a language that the clergy didn't know

Then she'll put away ten pints of Arthur Guiness
and walk it home and wouldnt even sway
If the sea was beer instead of salty water
she would live a happy life in Galway Bay

On her back she had tattood a map of Ireland
and when she had her bath on Saturday
she would rub the Sunlight soap around by Claddagh
Just to watch the suds run into Galway Bay

Repeat verse one

That is from the singing of my Uncle Neddy when I was quite small In Limerick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tattooed Lady
From: Gda Music
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 12:08 PM

A Caribbean version (Talbot)
The Mighty Sparrow - *Tattooed Lady* NATIONAL NLP 5515 c.1966

Now listen to my story boys, I need your sympathy
That big fat Tattooed gal in the circus, fell in love with me
And to prove her love was sweet as sugar cane... Tralee!
She had my picture tattooed on her body.

She had the landing of the pilgrims on her shoulder
And on her back she had the sunset of the west
And right beside her dimpled knees is the great big apple trees
And the pyramids look lovely on her chest
When she decided that she`d like to add my picture
She simply couldn`t find a vacant spot you see
So she tattooed my poor face in the most peculiar place
Now whenever that gal sit down she sit down on me
Whenever that gal sit down she sit down on me

She has a lovely blue gardenia by her elbow
And on her hips she has the lovely queen of may
And right beside her shapely spine if you see that pal of mine
You will see the famous road to Mandalay
She has a rusty hinge that`s tattooed on her knee cap
It looks so real it squeaks each time she bends her knee
But she filled me with disgrace where she tattooed my poor face
Now whenever that gal sit down she sits on me...poor me!
Whenever that gal sit down she sit down on me

Now do you wonder why I look so sad and worried
Do you wonder why I`m feeling mighty low
I would like to take a chance and give her one kick in the pants
But if I do I`ll only kick myself I know
Only time that anyone can see my picture
Is when that big fat tattoo gal take a bath ...oh gee!
I get black and blue of course any time she rides a horse
For whenever that gal sit down she sits on me
Oh, whenever that gal sit down she sits down on me.

GJ


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