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Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?

DigiTrad:
WOAD


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Parody on Woad (11)
Lyr Req: Better Far Is Woad (15)
Lyr Req: Song about Woad (35)
Folklore: woad. Caesar. Celts (44)
(origins) Origin: Woad (23)
woad (3)


Kim Hughes 21 Feb 01 - 05:40 PM
Bert 21 Feb 01 - 05:44 PM
Midchuck 21 Feb 01 - 06:16 PM
Sorcha 21 Feb 01 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,leeneia 21 Feb 01 - 07:03 PM
Amos 21 Feb 01 - 09:58 PM
Amos 21 Feb 01 - 10:01 PM
Liz the Squeak 22 Feb 01 - 02:13 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Feb 01 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 22 Feb 01 - 04:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Feb 01 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,mandar 22 Feb 01 - 05:18 AM
Hollowfox 22 Feb 01 - 09:14 AM
LR Mole 22 Feb 01 - 12:10 PM
JohnB 22 Feb 01 - 12:32 PM
Keith A of Hertford 22 Feb 01 - 12:58 PM
Kim Hughes 22 Feb 01 - 05:53 PM
Dave Wynn 22 Feb 01 - 06:06 PM
Mr Red 22 Feb 01 - 06:15 PM
Bill D 22 Feb 01 - 06:15 PM
Amos 22 Feb 01 - 09:49 PM
Bill D 22 Feb 01 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Johnny 22 Feb 01 - 11:26 PM
Lonesome EJ 22 Feb 01 - 11:29 PM
Micca 23 Feb 01 - 07:51 AM
Steve Parkes 23 Feb 01 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,JohnB 23 Feb 01 - 12:18 PM
Art Thieme 23 Feb 01 - 12:23 PM
Bert 23 Feb 01 - 12:27 PM
GUEST 23 Feb 01 - 10:42 PM
GUEST 23 Feb 01 - 10:48 PM
Amos 23 Feb 01 - 11:39 PM
John Moulden 24 Feb 01 - 05:52 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Feb 01 - 09:52 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Feb 01 - 10:46 PM
Amos 24 Feb 01 - 10:58 PM
John Moulden 25 Feb 01 - 01:07 PM
Steve Parkes 26 Feb 01 - 03:24 AM
LR Mole 26 Feb 01 - 01:01 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Feb 01 - 03:43 PM
cowboypoet 26 Feb 01 - 04:41 PM
Kim Hughes 26 Feb 01 - 06:26 PM
Amos 08 Nov 03 - 09:46 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Nov 03 - 11:24 AM
Herga Kitty 08 Nov 03 - 03:10 PM
Deda 08 Nov 03 - 09:39 PM
Barbara 08 Nov 03 - 11:09 PM
Amos 08 Nov 03 - 11:22 PM
Hrothgar 09 Nov 03 - 01:09 AM
Leadfingers 09 Nov 03 - 10:24 AM
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Subject: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Kim Hughes
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 05:40 PM

Hi --

I've been trying to find out who wrote "The Woad Song." I'm fairly sure it's not Flanders and Swan, as I've seen in a couple of places. The only other reference I found was "The Royal Canadian Army Cadet Song Book." (Really. That's what it said.)

Anyone know?

thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Bert
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 05:44 PM

I don't know but judging by the mention of spats, I would assume it predates Flanders and Swan by a few decades.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Midchuck
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 06:16 PM

The one that uses the tune to "March of the Men of Harlech?" It's in the 1959 IOCA Song Fest. I think that would make it pre-Flanders and Swann. Not certain.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Sorcha
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 06:29 PM

It would, but all I can find is F & S. Bob Kanefsy at Songworm (parodies) attributed the lyrics to them, and the tune to Mr. Trad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 07:03 PM

Who are Flanders and Swan?

I heard this at a concert by an English fellow, Tony Somebody, and he said he learned it it camp as a kid. He looked to be in his mid-forties, if that's any help.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 09:58 PM

I learned it ages ago from a fellow Yank -- who thought Flanders and Swan(n) had done it. And it certainly matches the style of "I'm a Gnu" and others of their wacky ilk.

A


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SONG OF THE ANCIENT BRITONS
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 10:01 PM

Another source says 1926. Then there's this one:

We have been sent the words to a song, sung by Mrs Louise Wilkinson, now of Frinton & District Trefoil Guild, to the tune of Men of Harlech when she was a Girl Guide in Sheffield in 1928:

THE SONG OF THE ANCIENT BRITONS C.1927.

What's the use of shirts of cotton
Studs that always get forgotten,
These affairs are simply rotten,
Better far is Woad.

Woad's the stuff to show men;
Woad to scare your foemen:
Boil it to a brilliant blue
And rub it on your back or your abdomen.

Ancient Britons never hit on
Anything more good than Woad to fit on.
Front or back or where you sit on -
Not a nest for fleas.

Romans came across the channel
All wrapped up in tin and flannel:
Half a pint of Woad per man'll
Dress us more than these.

Romans keep your armour;
Saxons your Pyjama's.
Hairy coats were made for goats,
Gorillas, yaks, Retriever dogs and Llamas.

Tramp up Snowdon with your Woad on:
Never care if you get rained on blowed on.
Never need a button sewed on -
W! O! A! D! Woooad!!!.

Anon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 02:13 AM

Spats may predate Flanders and Swann, but then, what other clothing rhymes with hats? Apart from Cravats, which predate spats even more. Just because a song contains a word/item popular 20 years older than the singer/alleged composer, doesn't mean to say that it is evidence that they could not have written it. I've written stuff about 18th century life, which well predates me, and what about the Gladiator song?

LTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 04:07 AM

I first saw it in a boy scout camp fire song book, acquired at a jumble sale. Book was dated in the 20's if I remember rightly so if popular with boy scouts in the 20's is it safe to guess it was in popular use some time before? Or did it start off as a scout song and the scout 'jamborees' made it more famous? Thinking of songs like 'Gin-Gan-Gooly'(sp?) 'Riding along on the crest of a wave' that were popularised by the scouts I guess it could fall in the latter camp ('scuse the pun).

The opening lines (additional to the ones listed above) were

What's the use of wearing braces
Vests and pants and boots with laces
All those things you but in places
Down on Brompton Road

When was Brompton Road a popular shopping area? Where is Brompton Road? Could this help?

For the answers to all these questions and more tune in next week. Same time, same place....

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 04:12 AM

Yes I learned it from a Scout songbook as well, long before Flanders & Swann. Brompton Rd -Kensington, London I think- posh shops!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 04:20 AM

Should read buy in places of course, not but in places which has a completely different meaning...;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: GUEST,mandar
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 05:18 AM

just testing


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Hollowfox
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 09:14 AM

Since Joe Hickerson sang it on one of his Folk Legacy albums, perhaps Sandy Paton will check the libretto for his source? I would, but I'm at wotk.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: LR Mole
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 12:10 PM

We are the woad...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: JohnB
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 12:32 PM

I think that woad predates spats as apparel too. JohnB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 12:58 PM

I learned the last line as "Tailors you be blowed"
In those far off days, to be blowed was a mild expletive, with no erotic connotations.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Kim Hughes
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 05:53 PM

Thanks for all the input! At least we've dated it back to 1926, which is more than I knew yesterday.

Kim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 06:06 PM

I though it was that "a heavy woad a heavy woad" song that this thread meant....I was disappointed....

Spot


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 06:15 PM

I have it mentally associated with the review - "1066 and all that" which dates from the twenties also.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 06:15 PM

now them ancient Britons REALLY had the 'blues'..wonder if they sang the 'pinks'?

ok, ok...I'll go now


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 09:49 PM

Well of course they had the Pinks! Wasn't they all livin' in them thar COMMunes? Pinkos all over; thass why our Anglo FOREbares hadda come in an put 'em right and start them there Middle Ages so's we could have Knights and such!

Redneck Juan de Furbelow


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 11:18 PM

golly, I just finished the middle ages, is that why my (k)nights are in such disarray?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: GUEST,Johnny
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 11:26 PM

I sing with a duo that's been performing our own parody "Slap on the Woad Again" (of course to the tune of "On the road again") and we manage to cram the "real" woad song into the middle. Great to have some idea where it comes from.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 11:29 PM

Oh I thought you meant this one

The Bawwad of Pancho and Wefty

Wivvin' on the woad my fwend
Was gonna keep us fwee and cwean...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Micca
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 07:51 AM

I got the words from a copy of the Youth Hostels Asociation (UK)song book in the format which we currently sing it(which seems to be the most widespread version) dated 1938 that he had picked up at a Jumble Sale..in the 50s, this would be in keeping with the above..It is Definately not F&S...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 10:45 AM

Just to put the 'Cat among the pigeons: someone claimed to have it in a Boy Scout song book dating from before the First World War!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 12:18 PM

Please stick to the original subject matter, this is not the Long and Winding Woad thread. JohnB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 12:23 PM

This is yet another song by Woody Guthrie---#1001.
He had heard about those BLUE HIGHWAYS William Least Heat Moon Sun Stars was always writing about. (The ones where the cows got into the ink supply and mood indigo from that day on.)
Right then and there woody wrote his song about "I'm Goin' Down That Hot Dusty Woad".

Just figured you all'd like to know the real story.
On the American scene we all pretty much learned it from Joe Hickerson's LP for Sandy.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Bert
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 12:27 PM

Yer right Liz, I didn't say it 'proved' anything. I just assumed that it was earlier, I would guess around 1900.
I first learned it in 1952 when our youth club sang it for a local Coronation variety show.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 10:42 PM

A popular rhyme when I was young went as follows; Who would woad wood? Edward Woodwood would woad wood. and it makes sense completely.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 10:48 PM

Let me try that again; Who would woad wood? Edward Woodwood would woad woo. By the way I'm no guest but Mudcat does'nt recognise me for some reason. I'm Fergie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 11:39 PM

LEJ:

Hold on tight; you're getting close to the edge.

What did the Last Snake among the Britons wear?

A long and winding woad....

And then there's Bwoo Moon.

Stop me before I pun again!!!

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: John Moulden
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 05:52 PM

Sorry to return to the point after so many flights of fancy but my copy (actually I have three of different ages) of the Hackney Scout Song Book (first edition 1921 - this one is the ninth edition (1959) and their contents may have differed) attributes the song to W Hope Jones of whom I know nothing but for whom I will look. [Note the avoidance of terminal prepositions.] The copyright acknowledgment thanks him but makes no reference to a publisher.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 09:52 PM

It seems that W. Hope Jones was a master at Eton, and wrote the song, c.1921, for the college's Boy Scout troop.  ("Gilwell Camp Fire Song Book" and comments on the web.)

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 10:46 PM

It appears that there was a W. Hope Jones in the 1905 (1st. Lent) Kings College (Cambridge) Boat Club team, which would be the right time-frame.  Just the kind of person to have become a schoolmaster once the War was over, and to have indulged in that sort of good-natured parody, I'd have thought.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Amos
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 10:58 PM

Wow! I'd give your detective work a gold star, and a high degree of probability of being spot on. Thanks!! This is really remarkable. I'm willing to bet that the ratio of those who know "Woad" to those who know W. Hope Jones is about 350:1. What a privelege!

A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: John Moulden
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 01:07 PM

Well done, Malcolm.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 03:24 AM

And did the W stand for ...?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: LR Mole
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 01:01 PM

Didn't Jethro Tull do "Songs from the Woad"?Hoo-ray for Holywoad...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 03:43 PM

The last line of the song is troublesome. "Go it! Ancient B's" appears in some songbooks, but is awkward. "W-O-A-D, woad" is ,I believe, JHoe Hickerson's contribution, but it's a weak one (doesn't rhyme with "nest for fleas" which it should.) I first heard it as "Bollocks to the breeze!" which was a bit rude for the period, but fits and feels appropriate. I was told that it was popular in the British Army in the beriod between the Wars, but I can't find an earlier reference than the early 1920's


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: cowboypoet
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 04:41 PM

Elmer Fudd?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Kim Hughes
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 06:26 PM

John, Malcolm, *many* thanks for such excellent detective work!

Kim (thread originator)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 09:46 AM

Dear lord, the Cat is on the woad again!

A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 11:24 AM

Interesting thread, Amos--thanks for reviving it. My father sang this song when I was a child, words a little different than those presented here. I'll have to go dig around in his early books. I suspect Song Fest is the source, he used that one a lot when he started singing.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 03:10 PM

Hang on, there's a thread already revived on this...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Deda
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 09:39 PM

The version in the DT seems more complete than the one above, which leaves out these lines:

Saxons, you can keep your stitches,
For making beds for bugs in britches
We have woad to clothe us which is
Not a nest for fleas.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Barbara
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 11:09 PM

I believe I learned this from the College Song Fest book with a publishing date in the fifties, and the last line then was the "Tailors, you be blowed" mentioned back at the top of the thread.
Any way to check the earlier versions?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 11:22 PM

It has been reported as far back as 1928 or so in the British Girl Guides. See above. I think that testimony is reliable (IMHO).

A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 01:09 AM

Now, somewhere I seem to remember it was written for a Boy Scout "Gang Show." My memory says early 1930s, but this seems too late for some of the evidence above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: who wrote the Woad Song?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 10:24 AM

Tyhe Brompton Road reference is,I believe ,a definate Boy Scout input
as the British H Q of the Boy Scout movement is just round the corner


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