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Lyr Req: Didn't He Ramble (Bob Cole)

DigiTrad:
DALBY RAM
DERBY RAM
DERBY TOWN
DIDN'T HE RAMBLE
THE DERBY RAM (4)
THE DERBY RAM (6)
THE DERBY RAM (sailor's)


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Darby's Ram (Grandpa Jones) (1)
Lyr Add: The Ram Song (1)
Tune Req: The Derby Ram (3)


Haruo 17 Apr 01 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,Arkie 17 Apr 01 - 08:17 PM
toadfrog 17 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM
Haruo 17 Apr 01 - 08:31 PM
Joe Offer 17 Apr 01 - 08:33 PM
Joy Bennett 17 Apr 01 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 17 Apr 01 - 10:51 PM
Abby Sale 18 Apr 01 - 09:38 AM
Mudlark 18 Apr 01 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 18 Apr 01 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 18 Apr 01 - 10:51 PM
Jacob B 19 Apr 01 - 10:17 AM
RWilhelm 20 Apr 01 - 01:11 AM
Jim Dixon 25 Jan 14 - 02:55 PM
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Subject: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him Down
From: Haruo
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:00 PM

There was a goat named William, he rambled all around,
He rambled into everything, he rambled into the town,
Oh, didn't he ramble?

He rambled till they had to cut him down.

stanzas? MIDI or other tune format? attributions? etc.?
We always sang billions of verses of this when I was a kid on cross-country driving trips. It fits in with Bill Grogan's Goat, McNamara's Band, Hush Little Baby and Ragtime Cowboy Joe in my consciousness.

Liland


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:17 PM

Charlie Poole recorded a version of this which is available on County Records.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: toadfrog
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM

On DT, there are variations called HE RAMBLED, DIDN'T HE RAMBLE, and DERBY RAM. Will those do, or are you looking for something specifically about a goat?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: Haruo
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:31 PM

They may do; I tried a search of the DT and they didn't come up; I may just have added a letter or something.

I was brought up with it being a goat, though.

Liland


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:33 PM

I take it that the song is a version of "Derby Ram." Search the database for #312 and you'll find lots of related songs.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: Joy Bennett
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 10:25 PM

some places actually have "Darby Ram" instead of Derby


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 10:51 PM

Joe, I take it to be a parody of the "Derby Ram". Derby is pronounced Darby, and one sees both, e.g. the Irish "Pretty Peggy of Darby, O" (Scarce Songs 1 on my website). There's also an early copy of "Ram of Derby" there, with tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: Abby Sale
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 09:38 AM

Rather than a version, this is one of those cases that a full new "species" - a new song family - has evolved from the original. Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers, New Lost City Ramblers, most "old timey" artists have performed "Didn't He Ramble." It takes only the chorus of "The Derby Tup" - none of the verses or bawdry or sense if it and produces a whole new song. I'm generally a "lumper," liking to call the same song anything related lineally but I think this one really does go its own way.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: Mudlark
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 11:13 AM

My folks used to sing that song...if it's the same one...only the chorus line read He rambled til the butchers cut him down... The only verse I remember is

He rambled into an Irish wake, one fine St. Patrick's night.
They asked him what he'd have to drink. Oh, they meant to treat him right.
But just like the old Kilkenny cats, their backs began to arch
When he asked for an orange phosphate on the 17th of March.
Oh didn't he ramble...etc.

But maybe it's not the same song...I don't remember a goat having anything to do with it...

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 10:14 PM

Well, as to Derby or Darby, neither is correct for the oldest version of the song. It's "The Tup of Dirram" (Durham). More if I can find a certain reference book I'm supposed to have someplace. I've got to find who and where published the history of the Derby Ram that Joe Hickerson mentioned to me once. "Tript of Dirram" in the Straloch Lute MS, 1627, was probably the tune, but the MS has been missing for about 150 years, and that's not one that G. F. Graham copied from the MS (See Scots tune MS file on my website)['tript' in English is a just a variant of 'tripe'. Maybe Abby or someone can come up with the meaning in Scots.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 10:51 PM

PS: Margaret Dean-Smith's 'A Guide to English Folk Song Collections' lists a number of books and articles which tell about and discuss the Old Tup ritual and the song, but none of them seemed to me to have much real history of "The Tup of Dirram/ Derby Ram".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: He Rambled Till They Had to Cut Him
From: Jacob B
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:17 AM

I have seen Michael Cooney perform a medley of songs, explaining the history of how one song mutated into another as it moved from one place to another. He started with Derby Ram, went to Wasn't That A Ram, and then to Didn't He Ramble.

I wonder if Liland's version is an adaptation of Didn't He Ramble for children, or if it might be an intermediate version that came before Didn't He Ramble, which changed the ram to a goat.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DIDN'T HE RAMBLE^^^
From: RWilhelm
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 01:11 AM

It must be related to "The Darby Ram" but I think it is an American version. It was popular at the turn of the century and became a standard in both jazz and country.

In a book I read about nineteenth century saloons there was a story about a goat who lived in the alleys of Chicago. He was fed by the saloon owners and petted by the hookers and when he butted someone the police looked the other way. He had a perfect life until he saw a herd of sheep going down the street and joined them figuring they must be going to a party. Of course they were on their way to the slaughterhouse. This, said the book, was the origin of the song.

Anyway, here is Charlie Poole's version:

DIDN'T HE RAMBLE

Mother raised three grown sons, Buster, Bill and I
Buster was the black sheep of our little family
Mother tried to break him of his rough and rowdy ways
Finally had to get the judge to give him ninety days

Chorus:
Didn't he ramble, ramble,
He rambled all around
In and out of town
Oh, didn't he ramble, ramble
He rambled till the butchers cut him down

He rambled in a gambling game, he rambled on the green
The gamblers there showed him a trick that he had never seen
He lost his gold and jewelry, he like to lost his life
He lost the car that carried him there and someone stole his wife

Chorus

He rambled in a swell hotel, his appetite was stout
When he refused to pay the bill the landlord kicked him out
He reached a brick to smack him with and when he went to stop
The landlord kicked him over the fense into a barrel of slop

Chorus ^^^


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Subject: Lyr Add: OH! DIDN'T HE RAMBLE (Bob Cole/Will Handy
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Jan 14 - 02:55 PM

I transcribed this while Mudcat was down, and I couldn't verify whether it had already been posted. Now I see a nearly identical copy is already the DT but, curiously, the verses are in a different order.

My transcription from the sheet music at The Maine Music Box. Other collections also have copies:


OH! DIDN'T HE RAMBLE
"The latest fad in town, introduced by the famous minstrel George H. Primrose."
Words and music by Will Handy*
Adaptation by Bob Cole*
New York: Jos. W. Stern & Co., ©1902.

1. Old Beebe had three full-grown sons, Buster, Bill and Bee,
And Buster was the black sheep of the Beebe family.
They tried their best to break him of his rough and rowdy ways.
At last they had to get a judge to give him ninety days.

CHORUS: Oh, didn't he ramble, ramble?
He rambled all around, in and out the town.
Oh, didn't he ramble, ramble?
He rambled till the butchers cut him down.

2. This black sheep was a terror, oh, and such a ram was he,
That every "copper" knew by heart his rambling pedigree;
And when he took his ladder out to go and paint the town,
They had to take their megaphones to call the rambler down.

3. He rambled in a swell hotel; his appetite was "stout."
When he refused to pay his bill, the landlord kicked him out.
He reached to strike him with a brick, but when he went to stoop,
The landlord kicked him in the pants and made him loop the loop.

4. He rambled in a gambling house to gamble [sic] on the green,
But there they showed the ram a trick that he had never seen.
He lost his roll and jewelry, and nearly lost his life.
He lost the car that took him home and then he lost his wife.

5. He rambled through the tunnel once on board a moving train.
Another train came rumbling in and rammed him out again.
It rammed him just a block, and then they caught him on the fly,
And with a ton of dynamite they rammed him to the sky.

6. He rambled to an Irish wake on one St. Patrick's night.
They asked him what he'd like to drink; they meant to treat him right.
But like the old Kilkenny cats, their backs began to arch
When he called for orange phosphate on the seventeenth of March.

7. He rambled to the races to make a gallery bet.
He backed a horse named Hydrant, and Hydrant's running yet.
He would have had to walk back home; his friends all from him hid.
By luck he met old George Sedam; it's a damn good thing he did.

- - -
* Wikipedia says:
[Bob] Cole left the production company [Black Patti's Troubadours, after a pay dispute], taking away his own written scripts and songs. His fame and reputation soon plummeted as he was denounced as a thief and troublemaker by the company's white managers, Voelckel and Nolan; thus, he bore a disgraceful image that no future production manager would hire. In just a short period of time, Cole transitioned from a successful, popular comedian and show manager to a mere nobody left to suffer amongst others in the unemployment line. Due to his impure reputation in society, Cole was forced to publish songs under an alias that masked his identity – he used the name Will Handy for his later works soon after his own name was tainted.
Instrumental versions of this song have been a staple of New Orleans jazz bands, but the lyrics are rarely sung. Jelly Roll Morton recorded a version in which he sang only the chorus. Also recorded by Al Hirt, Kid Ory, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and many others. It crossed over a bit into old-time country music, and was recorded by Charlie Poole, Fiddlin' John Carson, and Pete Seeger.


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