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Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher

Jeri 09 Sep 00 - 09:32 AM
Jeri 09 Sep 00 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 09 Sep 00 - 02:08 PM
Jeri 09 Sep 00 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 10 Sep 00 - 03:40 PM
Bat Goddess 11 Sep 00 - 12:22 PM
radriano 11 Sep 00 - 12:57 PM
p.j. 11 Sep 00 - 01:45 PM
Joe Offer 11 Sep 00 - 02:34 PM
Jeri 11 Sep 00 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 11 Sep 00 - 02:53 PM
Jeri 11 Sep 00 - 04:16 PM
Joe Offer 11 Sep 00 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,RiGGy 11 Sep 00 - 11:36 PM
Jeri 12 Sep 00 - 09:45 AM
radriano 12 Sep 00 - 10:55 AM
twag 24 Jan 01 - 03:36 PM
Barbara 25 Jan 01 - 02:37 AM
michaelr 19 May 02 - 04:01 PM
bill kennedy 20 May 02 - 04:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 20 May 02 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Buille Kennedy 21 May 02 - 09:11 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 May 02 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Paul Bellamy 22 Jun 02 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Siochain 23 Apr 13 - 12:02 PM
RiGGy 23 Apr 13 - 10:46 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Apr 13 - 07:27 AM
Jim Dixon 24 Apr 13 - 08:02 AM
Jim Dixon 24 Apr 13 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Mayberry 25 Apr 13 - 10:58 AM
Jeri 25 Apr 13 - 11:43 AM
Bill Brown 25 Apr 13 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Molly 18 May 13 - 08:20 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: JOKE AND PUSH ABOUT THE PITCHER^^
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 09:32 AM

AKA "It's Not Yet Day."

Joke and Push About the Pitcher

The silver moon that shines so bright
I swear with reason is my teacher,
And, if my midnight glass runs right,
There's time to drink another pitcher.

Chorus: It's not yet day. It's not yet day.
Why should we forsake good liquor?
Until the sunbeams round us play
Let us joke and push about the pitcher.


I dearly love a hearty man —
No sniggering milk-sop Jimmy Twitcher —
That loves a lass, and loves a glass,
And loudly calls for another pitcher.

They say that we must work all day,
And sleep at night to wake much richer;
But what is all the world does say
Compared to mirth, my friend, and pitcher.

Though one may boast a handsome wife,
Yet strange vagaries may bewitch her;
Unvexed I'll lead a cheerful life,
And boldly call for t'other pitcher



The above text is from Folk-Songs of the Upper Thames
Morrison & Gibb, Ltd. Edinburgh 1923. From Alfred Williams
who described it as "A very old song; obtained of David Sawyer"

I learned the song from Jeff Warner, who sings "Let us joke and pass around the pitcher." ^^


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher ^^
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 09:43 AM

Note: I tried to at least get close with this tune. The ABCs appear to be a mess. I could try to figure them out, but I had enough trouble with the MIDI. (I'm in the "See Spot Run" phase of musical literacy.) If you want the tune, send me a PM with your e-mail address, and I'll send the MIDI.

MIDI file: pitcher.mid

Timebase: 120

Name: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
Text: Traditional
TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Key: G
Tempo: 100 (600000 microsec/crotchet)
Start
0000 1 67 100 0120 0 67 000 0000 1 67 100 0180 0 67 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 67 100 0120 0 67 000 0000 1 69 100 0120 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0120 0 74 000 0120 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 67 100 0120 0 67 000 0000 1 72 100 0180 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0120 0 69 000 0000 1 67 100 0120 0 67 000 0000 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 67 100 0120 0 67 000 0120 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 67 100 0180 0 67 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 67 100 0120 0 67 000 0000 1 69 100 0120 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0120 0 74 000 0180 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0180 0 71 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0120 0 69 000 0000 1 67 100 0120 0 67 000 0000 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 67 100 0120 0 67 000 0240 1 74 100 0120 0 74 000 0000 1 72 100 0240 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0240 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0360 0 69 000 0000 1 74 100 0120 0 74 000 0000 1 72 100 0240 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0240 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0360 0 69 000 0060 1 67 100 0240 0 67 000 0060 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0180 0 69 000 0120 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 67 100 0180 0 67 000 0000 1 62 100 0060 0 62 000 0000 1 67 100 0120 0 67 000 0000 1 69 100 0120 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0180 0 74 000 0180 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0180 0 71 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0120 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0120 0 69 000 0000 1 67 100 0120 0 67 000 0000 1 66 100 0060 0 66 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 67 100 0240 0 67 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Joke and Push About the Pitcher
M:4/4
Q:1/4=100
K:G
G2G3DG2|A2B2c2d2|-d2dcB2G2|c3BA2G2|FGG4GG|
-G2DG2A2B|-Bc2d5|dcB3Gc2|B2A2G2FG|G6d2|c4B4|
A6d2|c4B4|A7G|-G4ABc2|B2BA5|BAG3DG2|A2B2c2d2|
-d4dcB2|-BGc2B2A2|G2FGG4||

^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 02:08 PM

From a single sheet song with music, and in songbooks from about 1770.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 05:01 PM

Bruce - do you have the music?!?! Where might I find it, please?

Jeff said he'd learned the tune (and song) from a man in California, but that he'd never been able to find any information on where the tune came from.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 10 Sep 00 - 03:40 PM

Sorry, I don't seem to have a copy of the original tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 12:22 PM

Jeri --

I have the photocopy of the page in the book (Folksongs of the Upper Thames) that Jeff gave me. I can't remember if it's got the dots or not. (My mental imaging software need upgrading/more memory.) I might even be able to find it if you remind me to look.

Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: radriano
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 12:57 PM

This is one of the songs Riggy is known for here in California. Hey, Riggy, you still out there?

Riggy's presence at Mudcat has been missed in recent time but I can assure you that he was at his best at the Festival of the Sea this past weekend. We both participated in a drinking songs workshop and Joke and Push About the Pitcher is one of the songs he sang. By the way, Riggy sings "joke and push about the pitcher."

Radriano


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: p.j.
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 01:45 PM

This is a GREAT song, and RiGGy does it beautifully. If he doesn't show up here I'll get in touch with him and see if I can find out some more background on it for you. Thanks for adding this gem to the 'Cat, Jeri.

pj


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 02:34 PM

Hi, Jeri - Thanks for posting the song, and for pointing it out to me in a personal message. I was in San Francisco over the weekend (having a wonderful time), and might have missed it. I have a bit of a problem with this:
They say that we must work all day,
And sleep at night to wake much richer;
But what is all the world does say
Compared to mirth, my friend, and pitcher.
I can't quite figure a way to make sense of that underlined line. Are all the words correct?
I e-mailed the tune to Alan of Australia, and the tune should appear in Mudcat MIDIs.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY FRIEND AND PITCHER (from Bodleian)
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 02:43 PM

So what's the probablility that RiGGy is the guy Jeff got the song from? I'd love to hear where he learned it, both words and tune.

BG, he gave me a photocopy, too, and it didn't have the dots. Now if I can just find it...

I found the following at the Bodleian Ballads Website. This song is in the Johnson Ballads, No. 35, and was published in 1828 or 1829. Maybe it's just me, but is sounds a lot like the joking and pushing song.
-------------------------
MY FRIEND & PITCHER

[1] The wealthy fool with gold in store
Will still desire to grow richer,
Give me but these, I ask no more; -
My charming girl, my friend & pitcher

[Chorus] My friend so rare, my girl so fair,
With such what mortal can be richer,
Give me but these, a fig for care,
With my sweet girl, my friend & pitcher

[2] From morning sun I'd never grieve,
To toil a hedger or a ditcher,
If that when I came home at eve,
I might enjoy my friend and pitcher.
---My friend so rare, &c.

[3] Tho fortune ever shuns my door,
I know not what can thus bewitch me
With all my heart! Can I be poor,
With my sweet girl, my friend & pitcher
---My friend so rare, &c.
-------------------------
If you can get this link to work, the broadside is here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 02:53 PM

That last is by John O'Keefee, from The Poor Soldier, 1784. The tune can be found in several places, e.g., Riley's Flute Melodies I, #227, New York, c 1815.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 04:16 PM

Joe, think of it like "what is (this) compared to (that). "This" is "all the world does say." Not as in what the entire earth is saying, but "all the world" as in "everything the world says."
"That" is mirth, my friend, and pitcher.

In other words, what is everything the world says compared to mirth, my friend, and pitcher.

Clearer or muddier? Just think "everything" when you sing "all."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 04:26 PM

Si, senorita Jeri. Yo comprendo. Gracias.
-Jose-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: GUEST,RiGGy
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 11:36 PM

Yo, Muddies !!

Thanks to all for enjoying this song.

In the early eighties I hung out with Redmond O'Colonies [ WHY is he not a 'catter, I ask ?? ] and he gave me a wonderful tape by a group called THE GALLEY FOLK GROUP. And there it wuz, like low hanging fruit.

By the by, Redmond [ then O'Connell - & nephew of the late, great Tom Savage ]was then part of a trio called ISLES OF PRADAIN [sp?] with RADRIANO, and the lovely Suzanne Friend. Great schtuff, they did.

I sing: "and what is all the world thus say" Thanks an oodle to Jeri for best verses I've seen !!

Riggy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Sep 00 - 09:45 AM

Thanks RiGGy, for more history, even if the source of the tune is still a mystery.

Bruce, thank you. I don't have the book you mentioned, but perhaps I'll find it (or someone who has it) one day, or run across the tune elsewhere.

José, I had to stare at that line and talk to myself for a while before I understood it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: radriano
Date: 12 Sep 00 - 10:55 AM

Allright! From the depths of Daly City, RiGGy emerges!

Just to clarify, the trio was the Isles of Prydain, with the lovely Radriano and Suzanne Friend.

Radriano


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: twag
Date: 24 Jan 01 - 03:36 PM

Thanks Jeri, RiGGy, et al.! I posted a request for these lyrics and tune a ways back and just noticed this response --if it is a response. It looks like a separate thread. Still slowly getting the hang of the Mudcat interface, but hopefully this will get through. Working on an a cappella arrangment of this for OAT, maybe it will make it on the next CD. I doubt we'll ever get it as clean and sweet as RiGGy's delivery, but then...there's more of us and collectively fewer little grey cells to co-ordinate it all;-)

Cheers! =tew=


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Barbara
Date: 25 Jan 01 - 02:37 AM

FYI, RiGGy's got it on a CD he made and is selling... I bought one this NY's at Camp Harmony, as well as getting to hear RiGGy do it in the John Barleycorn/Pubsing workshop... at least, I think it was then... after an hour or two of beer "tasting" I'm a leetle fuzzy as to what was sung. I do remember getting the raz for mis-singing one of the verses of "Thousands or More" when I was leading it *blush*.
I suppose I could have a go at transcribing his tune if yawl still want it. I should load and check Jeri's version first tho.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: Lyr Add: IT'S NOT THE DAY
From: michaelr
Date: 19 May 02 - 04:01 PM

Here's the version I sing:

IT'S NOT THE DAY (trad. I)

A fitful sleep the landlord had
The din and chat not of his choosing
His daughter `til the morning light
Abusing those who sat there boozing

CH: It's not the dawn, it's not the day
It's not late night or morning early
It's not the dawn of day at all
It's only now the moon is rising

Come landlord, join us in the snug
All drowsy thoughts of slumber scorning
There's not one drop in jar or jug
That we won't drain before the morning

There is the cock, I hear it crow
The morning comes, there's no more beer now
And though you don't have to go home
You know damn well you can't stay here now

This tavern has my socks and shoes
The landlord has my coat and britches
By morning I've no more to lose
And I'll go snooze among the ditches

I've money still to treat a friend
Here's my last guinea on the table
Let's tilt the barrel on its end
And let's be drinking while we're able

Pretty close to what Cathal of the Boys of the Lough sings on his latest solo album, with some changes by myself.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: bill kennedy
Date: 20 May 02 - 04:51 PM

As stated in other thread, how is the chorus related to Poc ar Buile? and should be somehow linked to the other threads on 'There's the Day' and 'It's the Day' and maybe 'Poc ar Buile'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 May 02 - 07:51 PM

Didn't Michael post that lyric to this thread by mistake? The songs are surely not related beyond a coincidence of subject matter and a phrase or two?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: GUEST,Buille Kennedy
Date: 21 May 02 - 09:11 AM

I think the similarity in tune is somewhat important, obviously lyrics get added and changed, but P. W. Joyce #693 is titled 'It is not day, no, nor morning: A Drinking Song, Also called Poc Buille, or Poc air Buille, the Mad Buckgoat'

I can't do the notes here, but obviously(?) at one time a well known dance tune, later given lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 May 02 - 11:47 AM

What I mean is that the English song Joke and Push About the Pitcher, which is the subject of this thread, is not related to the Irish It is Not Yet Day. Michael accidentally posted his text for the latter here, when he had actually intended to post it to the Tune Req: It's Not Yet Day thread; that was originally a discussion of the English song, too, but crept onto Nil Na La somehow. It might be best to discuss possible connections between that and Poc air Buille there, rather than duplicating posts here also, where it is not really relevant.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: GUEST,Paul Bellamy
Date: 22 Jun 02 - 11:30 AM

RiGGy mentions hearing a group called Galley singing Joke and Push. I was a member of that group and I wrote the tune for it. The words were from Folksongs of the Upper Thames. The Album it was on, namely "Hail Smiling Morn" was later released on the Continent re-titled "Joke and Push about the Pitcher".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: GUEST,Siochain
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 12:02 PM

I want to share a lyric observation about "Joke and Push About the Pitcher". All the sources I have used to learn the song indicate the chorus as this:

"It's not yet day. It's not yet day.
Why should we forsake good liquor?
Until the sunbeams round us play,
Let's joke and push about the pitcher."

"It's Not Yet Day" is sometimes listed as an alternate title. The sentiment of that line seems to coyly suggest "Don't stop now, because IT'S NOT YET DAY - not even close! - we've got HOURS to go!" :)

I've heard a few singers replace "It's NOT YET day", with "It's ALMOST day", which, to my ear sounds much less playful - the end of the party is clearly in sight. :(

Contrast these two statements:
"I'm not dead yet!" with "I'm almost dead!"

Which speaker are you going to pass the bottle to?

Please do share your thoughts! Perhaps someone can speak to how/where/why "ALMOST" has bumped "NOT YET" in some repertoires.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: RiGGy
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 10:46 PM

Is it recorded by anyone as "Almost" ?


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Subject: Lyr Add: PUSH ABOUT THE PITCHER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 07:27 AM

From The Bird: Containing a Choice Collection of Love, Hunting and Bachanalian Songs... (London: A. Richardson, 1781), page 38:

1. The silver morn that shines so bright,
It's not yet day I swear by nature;
And if my minute glass goes right,
We have time to take the other pitcher.

CHORUS: It's not yet day, it's not yet day,
Then why should we part o'er good liquor;
Until the sun beams round us play,
We'll merrily push about the pitcher.

2. They tell me if I'd work my days,
And sleep my nights, I might grow richer,
But what is all the world's delight,
Compar'd to friend, to mirth and pitcher.

3. Dick, poor soul, has got a wife,
And he has nought to do but kiss her;
I envy not his happy life,
While I enjoy my friend and pitcher.

4. I could labour in the field
All day a plowman or a ditcher,
If those toils to me would send
At night, a lass, a friend, and pitcher.

5. John, they say, is an honest man.
And he was ne'er esteem'd a flincher,
Then all of us, who loves a can,
Let's merrily push about the pitcher.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PUSH ABOUT THE PITCHER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 08:02 AM

From The Busy Bee, Or, Vocal Repository, Vol. 2, (London: J. S. Barr, [1790]), page 109:


1. The silver moon that shines so bright,
I swear with reason is my teacher;
And if my minute glass runs right,
We've time to drink another pitcher.

CHORUS: It's not yet day, it's not yet day,
Then why should we forsake good liquor;
Until the sun beams round us play,
Let's jocund push about the pitcher.

2. They say that I must work all day,
And sleep at night, to grow much richer;
But what is all the world can say,
Compar'd to mirth, my friend and pitcher.

3. Tho' one may boast a handsome wife,
Yet strange vagaries may bewitch her;
Unvex'd I live a chearful life,
And boldly call for t'other pitcher.

4. I dearly love a hearty man,
No sneaking milksop Jemmy Twitcher;
Who loves a lass, and loves a cann,
And boldly calls for t'other pitcher.


[It's easy to see how "jocund" could be transformed to "joke and."]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 01:52 PM

WorldCat.org shows that several libraries have copies of the sheet music for THE FRIEND AND PITCHER. Some copies are marked "a favorite song sung by Mrs. [Margaret] Kennedy in The Poor Soldier" and [composed] "by William Shield, libretto by John O'Keefe, opened 4 November 1783."

Lyrics to THE FRIEND AND PITCHER, along with a melody and bass line, can be found in The Musical Cyclopedia by James W. Wilson (London: Parry & Co., 1825), page 121.

Numerous copies of the lyrics can be found, and there is one crucial difference between them and the lyrics posted by Jeri above, from the broadside. Verse 3 line 2 should read: "I know not what can thus bewitch her." This fixes the rhyme. I think "her" refers to "Fortune" which is usually capitalized in the previous line, indicating "Fortune" is being personified, as if it referred to a goddess or spirit of Fortune.

Some copies of the lyrics to PUSH ABOUT THE PITCHER are marked 'Air--"My Friend and Pitcher" ', thus confirming the connection that Jeri suspected.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: GUEST,Mayberry
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 10:58 AM

I learned this from Jeff Warner, probably 20 years ago, on hearing him sing it at a concert, scrawling the words on a piece of brown paper bag and talking with him about the song after the concert.
The scrap of paper is long gone, but I've been singing it ever since. I'm very happy to learn the tune's origin, and will be sure to credit Paul Bellamy whenever possible.

Here's how I sing it. I do say "It's almost day". I absolutely see the logic of the original words, but I'm afraid I must have changed them unintentionally very early on in my singing of the song, and by now it has a life of its own in that version. I know a number of folks who learned it from me. There are a couple of other changes that have crept in, who knows how.

As silver moonbeams round me shine,
I swear with Reason as my teacher
That if my midnight glass runs right
I will boldly call for another pitcher

Ch: It's almost day, it's almost day,
    Why should we forsake good liquor?
    Until the sunbeams round us play
    We will joke and pass around the pitcher.

They say that we must rise each day
And go to work to rise much richer.
But what is that to you I say
Compared with mirth, my friends, and pitcher.

How well I love a handsome lad,
No snivelling milk-sop Jimmy Twitcher
Who loves a lass, and loves a glass,
And boldly calls for another pitcher.

A man may boast a handsome wife,
And yet strange presence may bewitch her.
Unyoked I'll lead a single life,
And boldly call for another pitcher.

Cheers,
John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 11:43 AM

Except I've heard Jeff [Warner] sing it loads of times, and he always sang "it's not yet day". I didn't hear every time he sang it though.

The difference to me is:
"It's almost day"
[Holy shit! It's almost damned day and I have to drink this stuff before the sun comes up and I have to go home.]
vs
"it's not yet day"
[Hey, people, don't go home just yet! We still have some time to have fun!]

One way is having a mini-panic because the night will soon be over. The other way, the singer is trying to persuade people to stay a little longer, which is more what the verses are about.

...which is just saying what Siochain said, differently.
I first heard Jeff sing the song in 1995-ish, and the words were mostly what were in my first post to this thread. They have since folk-processed into something quite different, and it seems they continue to evolve. Whatever sticks, sticks, but it's hard to sing choruses when those present have different versions. (The "it's not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me, but my darlin' when I think of theeyou" syndrome.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: Bill Brown
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 05:57 PM

This is fascinating!

I got this song from fellow morris-dancer John Mayberry (who comments above) in 2002. I've been singing it regularly since then. It's a great chorus song. The chorus and music are easy to pick up and harmonize to. So it encourages participation, and the resulting sound is impressive. Nice one to draw newbies in.

The only deficit to it is that you can only sing it late in the evening. Which is too bad because it would good song to start a session with - if it wasn't all about finishing the session (after another pitcher).

I'm amused to revisit the words as John Mayberry sent them to me. I have unconsciously changed a lot of them. Here it is as I sing them, with John's lyrics in parentheses:

As silver moonbeams 'round us play (As silver moonbeams 'round me shine)
I swear that reason is my teacher. (I swear with reason as my teacher)
And if my midnight cup runs dry, (That if my midnight glass runs right)
I'll boldly call for another pitcher. (I will surely call for another pitcher)

CH: It's almost day, it's almost day,
Why should we forsake good liquor,
Until the sunbeams 'round us play, (Until the sunbeams 'round us shine)
We joke and pass around the pitcher

They say a man must work each day, (They say that we must work each day)
Then go to bed to rise much richer, (And, go to bed . . .)
But what is that to you, say I, ( . . . I say)
Compared to mirth, good friends, and liquor? (. . .mirth, my friends, . . .)

How well I love a handsome lad,
No simpering milk-sop Jimmy Twitcher, ( . .. sniveling . . . )
Who loves a lass, and loves a glass,
And boldly calls for another pitcher.

A man may take a handsome wife, (A man may boast a handsome wife)
But strange spirits may bewitch her, (And yet strange presence may . . . )
Tonight, I'll lead the single life (Unyoked, I'll lead a single life)
And boldly call for another pitcher.

I think I prefer most of the changes that have slipped in. I have NO idea how I changed "shine" to "play" in BOTH instances.

It occurs to me that the nature of this song - sung late at night in a state of high intoxication - may be why we see so much variation. Both the singer and the collector are more apt to get it "wrong."

There's a dissertation subject for you - is there a higher rate of 'folk process" for drinking songs?

The "beer process!" You read it here first!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Joke and Push About the Pitcher
From: GUEST,Molly
Date: 18 May 13 - 08:20 AM

I'm sure I have heard this chorus (and thought it was from Kevin Mitchell):-

Here is the day
It's not the day, It is the day, the night is over
It's not the day whate'er you say
It's only the moon to light the rover.

Can anyone shed any light?

Molly


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Mudcat time: 25 May 12:57 PM EDT

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