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Lyr Req: Silvest / My Brudda Sylvest

DigiTrad:
MY BROTHER SYLVESTE


Related threads:
Lyr Req: My Brother Sylvest / Sylveste (3) (closed)
Lyr Req: Me Brother Sylveste (3) (closed)
Lyr Req: Big Strong Man / Sylvest (3) (closed)


24 Dec 96 - 07:07 AM
Ian 26 Dec 96 - 07:01 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Dec 96 - 09:34 PM
Ian 27 Dec 96 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Steve 25 Oct 00 - 05:50 PM
Richard Bridge 25 Oct 00 - 06:12 PM
The Walrus 25 Oct 00 - 06:45 PM
Snuffy 25 Oct 00 - 09:14 PM
DonMeixner 25 Oct 00 - 09:20 PM
Robby 26 Oct 00 - 08:02 AM
MartinRyan 26 Oct 00 - 08:11 AM
Robby 26 Oct 00 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,guest, dec 05 Dec 00 - 05:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Dec 00 - 09:21 PM
AndyG 06 Dec 00 - 07:11 AM
Steve Parkes 06 Dec 00 - 08:04 AM
Mrrzy 06 Dec 00 - 09:23 AM
Mrrzy 06 Dec 00 - 09:25 AM
AndyG 06 Dec 00 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,NSC 06 Dec 00 - 07:11 PM
RoyH (Burl) 07 Dec 00 - 12:38 PM
RoyH (Burl) 07 Dec 00 - 12:42 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Dec 00 - 03:07 PM
Snuffy 07 Dec 00 - 05:51 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Sep 03 - 08:09 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 17 Sep 03 - 07:09 PM
Lighter 13 Feb 04 - 01:03 PM
Splott Man 18 Feb 04 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,ROD WOOD 06 Jan 08 - 05:01 PM
Willa 06 Jan 08 - 05:24 PM
Jim Dixon 07 Oct 10 - 08:46 PM
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Subject: Silvest
From:
Date: 24 Dec 96 - 07:07 AM

He's my brother, Silvest, got a row of forty medals on his chest...etc


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIG STRONG MAN / SYLVEST
From: Ian
Date: 26 Dec 96 - 07:01 PM

Dear Unknown Lyric Requestor,

Here are the words to 'Sylvest' (a.k.a. 'Big Strong Man') as I know them.

There are a number of audience responses which are typically shouted out between lines. (listed here in parentheses) These are, of course, optional; but, I think they add a lot of fun to the song - especially when performed live.

Enjoy! - Ian

---------------------

BIG STRONG MAN / SYLVEST

Have you heard about the big strong man,
Who lived in a caravan?
Have you heard about the Jeffrey Johnston fight?
Lord, what a hell of a fight!
You can take all the heavyweights you got. (What 'cha got?)
We gotta lad who can beat the whole lot.
He used to ring the bells in the belfry,
Now he's gonna fight Jack Dempsey.

CHORUS:
He was me brother Sylvest (What's he got?)
A row of forty medals on his chest (Big chest!)
He killed fifty bad men in the West; He knows no rest
Think of the man, Hell's fire, Don't push, just shove,
Plenty of room for you and me.
He's got an arm, (Got an arm) Like a leg (Like a leg)
And a punch that would sink a battle ship (Big ship)
It takes all the army and the navy to put the wind up Sylvest.

VERSE 2:
He thought he'd take a trip to Italy;
And he thought that he'd go by sea.
He jumped off the harbour in New York,
And he swam like a great big shark.
He saw the Lusitania in distress (What'd he do?)
Put the Lusitania on his chest, (Big chest)
Drank all the water in the sea
And he walked all the way to Italy.
CHORUS

VERSE 3:
He thought he'd take a trip to old Japan,
So they brought out the big brass band.
He played every every instrument they'd got.
What a lad, he played the whole lot,
The old church bell will ring, (Hell's bells)
The old church choir will sing. (Hell's choir)
They all turned out to say farewell,
To my big brother Sylvest.
CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Dec 96 - 09:34 PM

Hi- Thanx. I had only the first two verses. They (along with your third verse will show up in the April 1997 edition of the database.


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: Ian
Date: 27 Dec 96 - 03:46 PM

Dick,

You're quite welcome! I have searched the database from time to time and am happy to return the favor/contribute when I can.

BTW - This forum is a great idea and I hope you continue it as time goes on.

Sincerely, Ian O'Donnell


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 05:50 PM

Thanks for posting these lyrics. My father recently died but it was one of his favourite songs and he would always sing it on family occasions. Does anyone know of a song about golf which includes the line "The dirty little pill went rolling down the hill and roolled right over and over and there from the green I took 16 and then by jove I .........." or something like that?


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 06:12 PM

Chords to Sylvest would be really nice!


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: The Walrus
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 06:45 PM

Steve,

I'm afraid I only know the same snippet as you (to the tune Brighton Camp)

"Oh that dirty little pill went rolling down the hill
and landed up in the bunker,
From there to the green, I took sixteen,
And then, By George, I sunk 'er.

Good luck

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 09:14 PM

It's part of "Right Down The Middle" by Bing Crosby, but the rest of it is sung to a different tune.


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 09:20 PM

Actually it was the Jeffries-Johnson fight. Jeffries was the great white hope to beat Jack Johnson, nite black prise fighter for the world heavy weight crown at the beginning of the century.

The chords are just G and D7 at the obvious breaks.

Don


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: Robby
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:02 AM

I have come across some variations to the ending of the chorus. Unfortunately, at the moment, I can only recall

It takes all the army and the navy
To take the bra off Mae West.


If I remember any of the others, I'll add them here.

But, in the meantime, what exactly does put the wind up mean?


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: MartinRyan
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:11 AM

"put the wind up" means "frighten". Now as to why...

Regards


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: Robby
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 08:27 AM

Thanks for the info, Martin. That was certainly better than some strange scatological explanation I was half expecting to receive.


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Subject: re: lyrics search
From: GUEST,guest, dec
Date: 05 Dec 00 - 05:36 PM

steve, any luck with your search for the rest of "The dirty little pill went rolling down the hill and roolled right over and over and there from the green I took 16 and then by jove I .........." ? my mother is looking for the same song but cant find it. any further information would be helpful, as i am irish and have never heard the song

thanks, dec


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Subject: Add: Straight Down the Middle (Cahn-Van Heusen)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Dec 00 - 09:21 PM

No particular reason why you should have; it's an American song, though set to an old Anglo-Irish tune.  In an earlier thread here, ( Frank Crumit?  ), "The Dirty Little Pill" is attributed to Frank Crumit, born in Jackson, Ohio in 1889, died l943.  "Straight Down the Middle" (written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen) didn't, so far as I know, have anything to do with this other song, but it appears that Bing Crosby recorded it with the verse Walrus quoted included.  It's not entirely relevant, but I may as well quote this, just in case it's of any interest:

STRAIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE

(Sammy Cahn / Jimmy Van Heusen)

Fore!

Straight down the middle
It went straight down the middle
Then it started to hook just a wee wee bit
That's when my caddie lost sight of it
That little white pellet has never been found to this day
But it went straight down the middle like they say

Whack down the fairway
It went smack down the fairway
Then it started to slice just a smidge off line
It headed for two then it bounced off nine
My caddie says long as you're still in the state you're okay
Yes it went straight down the middle quite a ways

The sun was never brighter
The greens were never greener
And I was never keener to play
I heared it came down the middle
It went zing down the middle
Oh the life of a golfer is not all gloom
There's always the lies in the locker room
And I'm in my glory when wrapped in a towel I say
That it went straight down the middle today

Oh the life of a golfer is not all gloom
Though they should charge just for listening in the locker room
But I'm in my glory when wrapped in a towel I say
That it went straight down the middle
Where it wound up is a riddle
But it went straight down the middle far away


Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: AndyG
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 07:11 AM

Robby, Martin,

re: Wind-up:

Brophy/Partridge give this account in The Long Trail:

WIND-UP: Fear. Used with have, not feel. To have the wind-up implied no disgrace, and could be mentioned casually in conversation, though usually in the past tense. The term appears to be a 1914-18 creation, although it is just possible it harks back to the days when felons were transported. Wind-up then would mean the end of their last hope, for the ship could sail. Perhaps the gulping and other sensations in the throat which are extreme symptoms of 'wind up' reminded some fathers of a baby's 'wind' troubles. A later variation was wind vertical. Another development was 'to put the wind up', meaning 'to make afraid', e.g. "Those minnies fairly put the wind up me."
My Notes:
Minnie = minenwerfer (trench mortar)
Also appeared as Breeze-up
I personally favour the 1914-18 derivation.

Andy "Roll on Duration" G


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 08:04 AM

Wasn;t "minnie" from "Moaning Minnie", alluding to the sound shells made? (A sort of drawn-out falling "woosh".)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 09:23 AM

I have a second version, slightly different lyrics, which do include the Mae West bit:

Where you have Have you heard about the Jeffrey Johnson fight I have Have you heard about the chap he's going to fight; where you have He used to ring the bells in the belfry, now he's gone to fight Jack Dempsey I have He used to work here as a doorman, now he's gone to fight George Foreman; also, he kills 50 vermin in the West, and they shout (A baby's leg!) after Like a leg. And it takes all the army and the navy to take the fall off George vest is what I hear, not put the wind up Sylvest (which is in the Wolfe Tones version I also have). Then when he goes off to Italy, he swam like a man from Cork (which I assume to be a pun, after all, corks float), and when he saw the Lusitania in distress he stuffed the Lusitania up his dress but then the rest is the same. They do the Mae West chorus after the Italy verse, and do not sing the third verse at all. I like this song a lot.


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 09:25 AM

Rackin frackin html! Let's try again:

And it takes all the army and the navy to take the fall off George vest is what I hear, not put the wind up Sylvest (which is in the Wolfe Tones version I also have). Then when he goes off to Italy, he swam like a man from Cork (which I assume to be a pun, after all, corks float), and when he saw the Lusitania in distress he stuffed the Lusitania up his dress but then the rest is the same. They do the Mae West chorus after the Italy verse, and do not sing the third verse at all. I like this song a lot.


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: AndyG
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 09:43 AM

Steve,

Er...

If it is WWI slang, where's the Minnie from in 'Moaning Minnie' ?

Actually I think Moaning Minnie is WWII slang for Nebelwerfer rounds (Rocket artillery) from the sound the incoming rounds made.

Andy "San Fairy Ann" G


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Subject: Lyr Add: SYLVEST
From: GUEST,NSC
Date: 06 Dec 00 - 07:11 PM

I know this will bring about more remarks about racism but this is the way I collected the song. I do not condone the use of racist language but in true collectors spirit I feel it should be recorded the way it was originally written. I actually sing "bad men" but, as I say, this is the way the song was written and, at that time, it was not intended to be disrespectful to anyone.
Sylvest.

Have you heard about the big strong man.
Who lives in a caravan,
Have you heard about the Johnstone Jeffrey fight,
When the big black nigger fought the white.
You can bring all the heavyweights you've got,
I've a one that will beat the whole lot,
He plays the organ in the belfry and He wants to fight Jack Dempsey,

That's my brother (WHO) Sylvest, (WHAT'S HE GOT)
He's got a row of forty medals on his chest. (BIG CHEST),
He killed forty niggers in the west,
He takes no rest,
Pick of the man,
Hell fire,
Son of a gun,
Don't push,
Just shove,
Plenty of room for you and me.
What's yours,
Mines a pint.
He's got an arm, (LIKE A LEG! A LADY'S LEG?),
And a punch that would sink a battle ship (BIG SHIP)
It takes the army and the navy,
To put the wind up (WHO) Sylvest.

Well he thought that would go to Italy,
And he thought that he'd go by sea,
He dived off the harbour in New York,
And he swam like a man made of cor - ork,
He came on the Lusitania in distress, (WHAT'D HE DO),
He swallowed all the water in the sea (BIG SWALLOW)
He put the Lusitania on his chest, (BIG CHEST),
And carried the whole damn lot to Italy.

That's my brother (WHO) Sylvest, (WHAT'S HE GOT)
He's got a row of forty medals on his chest. (BIG CHEST),
He killed forty niggers in the west,
He takes no rest,
Pick of the man,
Hell fire,
Son of a gun,
Don't push,
Just shove,
Plenty of room for you and me.
What's yours,
Mines a pint.
He's got an arm, (LIKE A LEG! A LADY'S LEG?),
And a punch that would sink a battle ship (BIG SHIP)
It takes the army and the navy,
To put the wind up (WHO) Sylvest.

He thought he'd take a trip to old Japan,
They brought out the whole brass band,
He played all the instruments they'd got,
Then he blew up the whole damn lot.
All the girls and the boys they were singing,
And the church bells they were a ringing, (DING DONG),
They were ringing out a welcome
To my great big brother Sylvest.

That's my brother (WHO) Sylvest, (WHAT'S HE GOT)
He's got a row of forty medals on his chest. (BIG CHEST),
He killed forty niggers in the west,
He takes no rest,
Pick of the man,
Hell fire,
Son of a gun,
Don't push,
Just shove,
Plenty of room for you and me.
What's yours,
Mines a pint.
He's got an arm, (LIKE A LEG! A LADY'S LEG?),
And a punch that would sink a battle ship (BIG SHIP)
It takes the army and the navy,
To put the wind up (WHO) Sylvest.


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 07 Dec 00 - 12:38 PM

Ref 'Silvest'- this was a very popular song at our family parties when I was a boy in the 1940's. We all sang the 'nigger' reference but without any thought od it being offensive. It was part of the terminology of the time. We had no idea that it could offend, not ever having seen any black people, it was just what people said in those days. In the verse about 'an arm like a leg' our response was 'A lady's leg'. Ref 'The Dirty Little Pill' we used to sing that too, having learned it from our Frank Crumit record. It's proper title is 'Donald The Dub', all about the misadventures of a very bad golfer. It goes to the tune of 'The Girl I left behind Me'.


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 07 Dec 00 - 12:42 PM

sorry about posting that twice. Just a bit heavy on the clicking finger. I could have added that the tune to 'Donald |The Dub' is also known as 'Brighton Camp'


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Subject: RE: Silvest
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Dec 00 - 03:07 PM

To return briefly to the original question, Dick Greenhaus mentioned in another discussion about the song a couple of years ago that "Sylvest" was first published in 1908 as "MY BRUDDA SYLVEST, a stage-Italian dialect number that referred to the Spanish-American War": I'd add that sheet-music of what is presumably the original song is available at  The Lester Levy Collection of Sheet Music;  details are:

MY BRUDDA SYLVEST; Words by Jesse Lasky. Music by Fred Fischer; Fred Fischer Music Pub. Co., 1431-33 Broadway, 1908.  Three pages of score, with illustrated cover: MY BRUDDA SYLVEST.

Malcolm


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Subject: Lyr Add: SYLVEST
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Dec 00 - 05:51 PM

Here's a version (only one verse, but an expanded chorus) collected in Suffolk in the 1980's from the singing of Doddy Thorndyke.

Well he thought he'd take a trip to Italy
And he thought he'd travel by the sea,
He dived off the pier at New York
And he swam like a bloomin' cork.
He saw the big ship Lusitania in distress (So what did he do?)
Swallowed all the water in the sea (Big swallow!)
Put the big ship Lusitania on his chest (Big chest!)
And took the whole damned lot to Italy.

For he's my brother Sylveste
And what has he got?
He's got a row of forty medals on his chest (Big chest!)
Killed a thousand niggers in the West,
He takes no rest,
Bigger the man, stronger the push,
Stand around, don't shove,
Plenty of room for you and me,
Can't swim, shove him in,
And let him drown.
He's got an arm like a leg,
And a fist that would sink a battle ship. (Big ship!)
Takes all the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines
To put the wind up Sylveste.

Wassail! V


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY BRUDDA SYLVEST (Lasky/Fischer)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Sep 03 - 08:09 AM

Here's my transcription of the sheet music from The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music:

MY BRUDDA SYLVEST
(Words, Jesse Lasky. Music, Fred Fischer. 1908.)
[Performers: Mabel Hite and Mike Donlin]

Oh, you heard about the greata stronga man,
Oh, the greata biga Johna Sullivan.
Oh, you heard about the Jeffriesa fight.
He'sa strong, all right.
He whipa fifty men in onea night.
But I got a brudda got the buncha beat.
Got a chesta measure forty sev'na feet.
Got a peanut stand on Mulberry Street.
He's a tough man to beat.

CHORUS: My great big brudda Sylvest
Takea greata biga ship on the chest.
Killa fifty thousand Indians out west.
He no takea no rest.
He gota one stronga grip.
Witha onea puncha sinka da ship.
Oh, it take a wholea army to whip
My brudda Sylvest.

Upa town there was a firea lasta week.
P'licea mana calla firea engine quick.
Firea engine makea root-tootie-toot
The fire out to put
A ev'rybody tried, nobody could.
Oh, Sylvesta he then came along and shout,
"I will show you justa how to go about."
Oh, he swell his chesta big an'a stout
And he blow the fire out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Silvest
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 17 Sep 03 - 07:09 PM

Just 25 posts (OK, 26) in six years and nine months. Is this a record?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Silvest
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 01:03 PM

There's a text & tune in Anthony Hopkins, "Songs from the Front and Rear," as sung in the Canadian armed forces during WWII. Words are pretty much the same as those from the '40s given here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Silvest
From: Splott Man
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 07:57 AM

Back to GUEST: Steve

"Oh that dirty little pill went rolling down the hill
and landed up in the bunker,
From there to the green, I took sixteen,
And then, By George, I sunk 'er. "

Bing Crosby was quoting a Frank Crummet song. Sorry no other details except he did a few songs about golf.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Silvest
From: GUEST,ROD WOOD
Date: 06 Jan 08 - 05:01 PM

URGENT - Going to family funeral on Friday 11th. January 2008 .Need recording of My Brudda Sylvest . Can anyone suggest CD by any artist which includes such a recording and where I can obtain same.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Silvest
From: Willa
Date: 06 Jan 08 - 05:24 PM

Found this by the pubcrawlers http://www.podsafeaudio.com/jamroom/bands/270/Another_Night_On_The_Floor.php


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Silvest / My Brudda Sylvest
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Oct 10 - 08:46 PM

For some reason, The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music now has only a 1-page set of lyrics. To see the full sheet music, go to Baylor University's web site.


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