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Resources: Robert W. Service

DigiTrad:
MADAM LA MARQUISE
THE CREMATION OF SAM MCGEE
THE SHOOTING OF DAN MCGREW


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Shooting of Dan McGrew (Robert W Service) (20)
Lyr Req: Dangerous Dan McGrew-naughty version (8)
Lyr Add: The Whistle of Sandy McGraw (R W Service) (11)
Tune Req: The Face on the Bar-room Floor (45)
Lyr Req: In Praise of Alcohol (Robert W Service) (24)
Ottawa Folk Fest. Robt Service Collection (1)
Cremation of Sam McGee (Robert W. Service) (59)
Tune Req: Michael (Robert Service, Greg Artzner) (6)
Lyr Req: Face on the Barroom Floor (37)
Lyr Add: The Shooting of Dan's Guru (15)
Lyr Add: Accordion (Robert Service) (18)
Lyr Req: Dangerous Dan McGrew (35)
Lyr Req: The Quitter (Robert Service) (9)
Add: How MacPherson Held the Floor (Robt. Service) (1)
Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew (15)
Rhymes of a Red Cross Man (13)


murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 26 Oct 00 - 05:33 AM
Jon Freeman 26 Oct 00 - 05:49 AM
Dan Calder 26 Oct 00 - 06:13 AM
wysiwyg 26 Oct 00 - 08:27 AM
L R Mole 26 Oct 00 - 08:45 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 26 Oct 00 - 02:00 PM
radriano 26 Oct 00 - 04:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 00 - 07:19 PM
Don Firth 26 Oct 00 - 08:00 PM
wysiwyg 26 Oct 00 - 08:27 PM
Snuffy 26 Oct 00 - 08:43 PM
Anglo 27 Oct 00 - 12:42 AM
Amergin 27 Oct 00 - 03:43 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 27 Oct 00 - 05:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 00 - 06:08 AM
CarolC 27 Oct 00 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,John Leeder 27 Oct 00 - 11:12 AM
Geoff the Duck 27 Oct 00 - 02:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 00 - 03:46 PM
Don Firth 27 Oct 00 - 08:24 PM
Ebbie 27 Oct 00 - 11:10 PM
Gypsy 28 Oct 00 - 09:07 PM
robd 15 Nov 01 - 05:10 PM
Art Thieme 16 Nov 01 - 10:20 PM
katlaughing 16 Nov 01 - 10:35 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 16 Nov 01 - 10:41 PM
Art Thieme 16 Nov 01 - 10:59 PM
Joe Offer 17 May 16 - 01:17 AM
Megan L 17 May 16 - 01:35 AM
GUEST,henryp 17 May 16 - 04:45 AM
Ross Campbell 17 May 16 - 08:56 PM
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Subject: Robt. W. Service
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 05:33 AM

Some time ago there someone posted a site for Robert W. Service. I tried it and got a message that the site cannot be found. Does anyone know if there is a new site?

Thanks,

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 05:49 AM

Murray the only site I can find by doing a forum search for Robert W. Service is http://www.inch.com/~kdka/public_html/r~service.html and that site is still active.

A google search yeilds many more sites.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Dan Calder
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 06:13 AM

The Original Home Page of Robert W. Service : http://www.robertwservice.com

This has everything--photos, Bio, and all the poems.

Another is : http://www.artdamage.com/service.htm

Enjoy,

Dan


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:27 AM

Goody!

It's amazing how many of Service's poems are singable. In fact I think they work better as songs than as poems. Debby McClatchy has a great one for Blasphemous Bill McKie, and of course we have her to thank for the tune on Cremation of Sam McGee. I think sometimes that his poems are like a complete songwriting workshop-- it's all there: characters, story, rhyme, internal rhymes, images, great consonants. Awful lotta verses though! (Maybe why my songs often tend to be so long.) Melodies seem to fit them just right.

I did not know his work was available online-- I'm still an internet newbie, and usually think first of books. "One of these days" I was going to xerox what I have and work out chords-- this will be much better. Thanks!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: L R Mole
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:45 AM

Yeah! "The Haggis of Private McPhee"! Oh, there's fun to be had here, cats.


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 02:00 PM

There is a lot of poetry on line--in fact, for one reason and another, I look for poems quite a lot, and I have seldom failed to find what I was looking for on-line--Poetry, being what it is, translates really well to the internet, and is probably the one art form that works on the internet without having to be changed around--Find a Poetor, if you like, Find a Poem,Or if you want to broaden your horizons:Archive of Urdu Poetry

On occasion, you can find audio files of the poet, reading, or in the case of the Urdu, singing their own verses--


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: radriano
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 04:09 PM

Marla Fibish, one of the best Irish mandolinists to be found in northern California, who is also a fine tunesmith, wrote a melody for Robert Service's poem "Song of the Wageslave." It's the title cut for her former band's second cassette. She also wrote melodies for poems of Don West and Ted Hughes.


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 07:19 PM

People always think of Robert Service just in terms of his gold rush verse, essentially funny, thoughnthe humour is pretty balck at times.

But there are a couple of interesting later books of verse stories (which I think is the best way of defining them) - Ballads of A Bohemian, set in Paris just before the First World War, with a second hald set in the war itself, pubished in 1921;and Rhymes of a Red-Cross man, about the war again, and published in 1916. Some great stuff in there. Not much of it funny.

I koiw people do sing some cut down versions of some Service verse stories - Debbie McClatchy does a great Sam Magee - but I thinkthe serious ones would work best as recitations at fuill length. Or read them aloud to yourself of nobody else wants top hear them.

It's a genre that flourished for a generation, and then suddenly died, or became invisible - in Auastraia there was Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson; in India/England there was Kipling; and in Canada Robert Service. And there were others. Temperance monologue short stories in verse "The Gordon League Ballads"; some of the verses of Peader Kearney, who wrote The Soldier's Song. And I'm sure lots more.

And then it seems to have stopped. Until a couple of generations later in the folk revival songs that have a family kinship started appearing again, like some of Eric Bogles, or Vin Garbutt.


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:00 PM

(Thread creep maybe? Or maybe not)

Wow! Decades ago, before I became actively involved in folk singing, I heard someone at a party sing "When the Ice-Worms Nest Again." That's the only time I've ever heard it, and I've been looking for it ever since. Several people have told me they thought it was by Robert W. Service, but they weren't sure. It's in the DT database (so I have the words), which also says it may be by Service. I can almost piece the tune together from hearing it years ago, but not quite. Does anyone have any idea where I could find the tune?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:27 PM

And! They make GREAT bedtime reading!

Wild dreams! Like a vacation!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:43 PM

Don

There was a midi of the tune sent to Alan Of Australia's Mudcat Midi Site in July, so I would assume that it is now available there.

Click in Mudcat Links to find the Mudcat Midis

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Anglo
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 12:42 AM

The late David Parry (English expat member of Friends of Fiddlers Green, latterly of Ottawa) was a great fan of Service, and did an absolutely fantastic CD of Service called "The Man From El Dorado." I can't recommend it enough.

Info at:

http://www.borealisrecords.com/Recordings/man_from_eldorado.htm


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Amergin
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 03:43 AM

Alot of of Ballads of A Bohemian and/or possibly Rhymes of a Red Cross Man ( I can't remember which, since I don't have my copy of the Complete Works of Robert Service at my side at the moment) seem to be written in the years of readjusting after the war....

I do remember that Utah Phillips recited Michael, Was It You, and Victory Stuff on his I've Got To Know album....


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 05:30 AM

Thanks Dan. That was the site I was looking for, and the URL was different from what I had bookmarked. For anyone who hasn't seen it, it is a great site!

McGrath, I knew he wrote other types of poems; but I had forgotten. I might spend some time getting familiar with them. At our local folk society (in Blackheath, NSW.) there is a lot of Henry Lawson poetry put to music. A little less of Banjo. But hearing those songs made me think of Service. I might read them my favorite--The Ballad of the Northern Lights.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 06:08 AM

"Rhymes of a Red-Cross" man came out in 1916, "Ballads of a Bohemian" after the war, even though half of themm are set(and I imagine were written) before the war). Confusing.

In the light of the fact it was published in 1916 it's impressive that "Rhymes" includes a piece like "The Song of the Pacifist", with such lines as:

Victory! There can be but one, hallowed in every land:
When by the graves of our common dead we who were foemen stand;
And in the hush of our common grief hand is tendered to hand.

And the prescient lines:

If by the Victory all we mean is a broken and brooding foe;
Is the pomp and power of a glitt'ring hour, andd a truce for an age or two:
By the clay-cold hand on the broken blade we have smitten a bootless blow!


My impression is that the turning away from this type of rhetorical verse was part of the mood of the post-war time, maybe a feeling that all this kind of thing was all of a piece with the pre-war time, which was a world away, and shared the responsibiity for the descent into the war.


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 07:04 AM

L R Mole,

You're right!

Carol


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: GUEST,John Leeder
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 11:12 AM

Several tunes have been used for "The Cremation of Sam McGee", including David Parry's fine one, but while driving up the Alaska Highway I realized that it goes well to "Rolling Down to Old Maui". I use the third and fourth lines as a chorus, to get a *really* long chorus song.

I don't think Robert Service wrote "When the Iceworms Nest Again" (although I could be wrong). (It's not very singable nowadays due to both racial and sexual stereotyping.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 02:09 PM

A useful resource for finding old materials which are in print is Project Gutenberg. This mammoth project is dedicates to converting books into electronic text (or E-text. Contents range from the American Constitution to Alice in Wonderland. Project Gutenberg E-books can be downloaded from a number of sites. They are in a very basic ASCII format so that thay can be read by any type of computer. I found works by Robert W. Service and Banjo Paterson there. For the more adventurous there are works by Plato, Karl Marks and Edgar Rice Burroughs (the original Tarzan novels are very readable). The home page can be found here Project Gutenberg.
It is an excelent place to do various types of research as long as the material is out of copyright.
Good reading.
GtD


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 03:46 PM

Here is another useful link for books - The Internet Public Library - lots of on-line books, also magazines and other things.


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 08:24 PM

Found it! "When the Ice-Worms Nest Again"

There's a piece of sheet music -- words and tune, complete with piano accompaniment and ukulele chords on http://www.ude.net/service/songs/ice_worm.html. It's kind of fuzzy and it's in JPEG format -- looks like it's photocopied from an old songbook. Sez "Words and Music by Robert Service." Maybe, maybe not. I haven't investigated the rest of the site yet, but I'm going to do that shortly.

Whenever all else fails, I go to Google.com and type in the title or a characteristic phrase from a song I'm looking for. It's amazing what I come up with sometimes. I frequently find the song I'm looking for and it very often leads me to other sites of interest. I found Contemplator.com that way. Give it a shot.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 11:10 PM

Don, I'm having great luck with metacrawler.com- it searches out a lot of different engines at the same time, google among them.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Gypsy
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 09:07 PM

Great sites! I grew up with my mother reciting Service poems the way other women would read mother goose to kids...mom didn't have alot of patience for cutesy kidsy stuff. Of course, she had me reading HP Lovecraft by the time i was 12, too!


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Subject: Robert W. Service
From: robd
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 05:10 PM

I stumbled on this year old thread, searching for something else, and was surprise to see that no one mentioned one particular entire album of Robert Service set to music. In fact, though I'd heard Sam McGhee many years before, it was this album, picked up in a cut-out box at Korvettes in Newport News VA for $3, that brought me into the Robert Service world. And his WWI poems are the best. I once loaned this album to Bob Zentz after hearing him read Service at his store, Ramblin' Conrad's, and was astounded that someone as connected as him, and as big a fan of Service, had never heard of this album.

The album is titled "War, War, War", after the poem of the same name, and the performer, and writer of the music, is Country Joe McDonald (remember, of Country Joe and the Fish, of Woodstock, of "Gimme an F!")

It is a tremendous album: Le'envoi "I've tinkered at my bits of rhymes.."; War, War, War; Young Fellow, My Lad; Jean Deprez; The Army of the Dead; and others, including my favorite of all, "The Man From Athabaska", which I still sing on occasion.

rob derrick


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:20 PM

I'm looking for a modern source for the FICTION of Robert Service. He wrote many great adventure books. Titles like The Trail Of '98 and The Roughneck.

Any ideas?

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:35 PM

Art, Bookfinder.com has one copy of Roughneck, one of Rhymes of the Roughneck and three copies of Trail of 98 listed. When you get there just put in the title and his name and then follow the links that come up.

kat


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:41 PM

Also look at Abebooks.com and alibris.com. Over 5000 dealers use these clearing houses, so quite often you can find a bargain, or even a dealer near you.


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:59 PM

Kat, thanks-----Dicho too.

Gypsy,

Lovecraft STILL scares the hell out of me. How did you survive him at age 12 ???

Art


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 May 16 - 01:17 AM

Ray Frank did an absolutely stunning rendition of The Ballad of Casey's Goat for us this afternoon - I guess one could say it's "Bill Grogan's Goat" on steroids. For a tune, Ray used "Whisky Before Breakfast."

The Website http://www.robertwservice.com/ is alive and well. It's a great resource.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Help: Robt. W. Service
From: Megan L
Date: 17 May 16 - 01:35 AM

thank you Joe for bringing the site to my attention I was brought up with dad reciting Robert Service poems The shooting of Dan Mgrew, the leather medal and his favourite The cremation of Sam Magee. I would spend hours immersed in the big hard back book with all his poems but when dad passed away the books disappeared.

I was therefore delighted to find my personal favourite

Bide-A-Wee
Published by Webmaster on 07/30/2003 (2949 reads)

You've heard, may be, of Maw McGee


Bide-A-Wee

You've heard, may be, of Maw McGee
    Who from Old Reckie came;
A lorn and lonely widder she,
    And sorry for the same;
Who put her scanty savings in
    A tiny shop for tea,
In Lucky Strike, that bed of sin,
And called it Bide-a-Wee.

The which is Scotch for Rest-A-While,
    But somehow no one did,
And poor Maw with a sickly smile
    Her woe and worry hid.
Her hand-made scones and cookies were
    Forever growing stale,
For sourdoughs vinously aver
    Tea's splendid - for the trail.

Then one day Montreal Maree,
    In gaily passing bye
Saw silver-haired old Maw McGee
    Partaking of a cry.
So bold she breezed into the shop:
    "I like your joint," says she:
"And every afternoon I'll stop
    To have a cup of tea."

Right there she tuckered in with toast
    And orange-pekoe brew;

Of shortbread that was Scotland's boast
    She bought a pound or two.
The to the dance-hall dolls she spoke:
    "I sink zere ess no doubt
Zat poor ol' leddy she go broke:
    We gotta help her out."

And so next day 'twas joy to see
    Them babies bargin' in,
And maw was busy as a bee
    Amid the merry din.
And then the hooch-hounds lent their aid;
    Said they: "It's jest like home."
Why, even spoonin' marmalade
    Was Black Moran from Nome.

The Nugget bar was lonesome-like
    From four to five each day,
And wondering was One-eyed Mike
    What kept the boys away.
Says he: "Where are them sons o' guns?
    I'll stroll the street to see."
When lo! he found them buying buns
    In jam-packed Bide-a-Wee.

The boys looked sheepish, I'll allow,
    As One-eyed Mike strolled in,
To see him kiss Maw on the brow
    And greet her with a grin.
"Why, bless you, dear, give me a pot,
    And make it strong," says he;
"Since   Mother died I've quite forgot
    The taste of home made tea."

So in the Camp of Lucky Strike
    Maw sure has made the grade,
And patronized by One-eyed Mike
    She plies a pretty trade.
To all the girls a mother's part
    She plays, but oh how she
Is grateful for the golden heart
    Of Montreal Maree!


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Subject: RE: Resources: Robert W. Service
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 17 May 16 - 04:45 AM

There is a blue plaque in Christian Street in Preston, Lancashire, England that says;

Robert William Service 1874-1958
Poet of the Yukon and socialist
was born in a house near this site


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Subject: RE: Resources: Robert W. Service
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 17 May 16 - 08:56 PM

Number 4, Christian Street, according to G.W. Lockhart's biography "On the Trail of Robert Service". Nice to know he's got a blue plaque!

Read the book at
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fNJqjffQjYQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Ross


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