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Lyr Req: Six Jolly Miners

GUEST,Shanty Kees 09 Jun 01 - 03:01 AM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Jun 01 - 07:00 AM
Shanty Kees 09 Jun 01 - 09:00 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Six Jolly Miners
From: GUEST,Shanty Kees
Date: 09 Jun 01 - 03:01 AM

Is there anyone who can help me to the words of the Yorkshire song "Six Jolly Miners". The song is recorded by Coope, Boyes and Simpson on their CD "Hindsight".


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Subject: Lyr Add: SIX JOLLY MINERS
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Jun 01 - 07:00 AM

SIX JOLLY MINERS

Here come six jolly miners
We're not worth a pin
But when we get a bit of coal
We'll make the kettle sing

Chorus:

So we'll riddle and we'll fiddle
And we'll make the earth go round
If you don't mind your troubles
You will have a motty down.
If you don't mind your troubles
You will have a motty down.


Two came from Derby
And two from Derby town
The others came from Oughtibridge
And they all came firing down

We've travelled all of England
Scotland and Ireland round
And all of our delight
Is in working underground

All our delight, boys
Is to split the rocks in time
Our pleasure it is more than that
In working underground

We'll call for liquors plenty
And let the drinks go round
Here's health to the jolly miner lad
That works down underground.

Sometimes we have money
But now we've none at all
And since you have good credit
It's upon you we do call

This set of the song came from Louis Wroe of Wortley near Sheffield; it was recorded from him by Peter Kennedy in 1959.  It appears in Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (1975, re-issued by Oak Publications 1984) together with the following comments from Mr. Wroe:

"As kiddies we used to get a pick, an old shovel, bit of coal, and if we could get some motties [numbered metal pierced tallies which evert collier had to exchange for his coal allowance] knee-pads, and black faces, and back-sides-out trousers and shirt pulled through.  We used to go singing from door to door and they would have us singing in the public houses, gathering coppers at Christmas time."  He added that even if only two colliers went round they still sang Six Jolly Miners.

Roy Palmer (English Country Songs, Dent, 1979) gives a shorter version from Mr. I. H. Baxter of Ecclesfield (Sheffield),

Six jolly miners,
We're not worth a pin
So gi'e us a bit o' coil
And we'll make the kettle sing.

Chorus:

So we'll riddle and we'll fiddle
And we'll make the earth go round
If you don't mind your troubles
We'll have a motty down.
If you don't mind your troubles
We'll have a motty down.


Two came from Derby
And two from Derby town
The others came from Oughtibridge
And they all came rolling down

Come on you jolly colliers
And put your jackets on
We work for Newton Chambers
And he's a gentleman.

Final chorus:

Chambers in his chariot,
Newton's in his gig,
Hairs on a donkey's back
And bristles on a pig.
Hairs on a donkey's back
And bristles on a pig.


Recorded at the Black Bull in Ecclesfield in 1973.  Though so far as I know, local children no longer go in for "Jolly Minering", the song has found a new lease of life as part of the local Carol tradition in the north of Sheffield.  "Coil" is the local pronounciation of "Coal"; Newton Chambers were mine-owners.

The song is known in mining areas of Scotland, and may originally have come from there; a great many Scottish miners moved to England to work in new pits, and South Yorkshire certainly got its share.  In fact, the song was also found in tradition over most of Southern England, too -not just in mining areas- and was probably spread by broadsides, which were also issued in Ireland.  There are copies at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

Six Jolly Miners  Printed c.1867 by P. Brereton of 1 L[owe]r Exchange Street, Dublin.

Six Jolly Miners  Printer and date unknown.

The place-names referred to vary depending on where the song was found, but it seems only to have been in Yorkshire that it was used for a quête tradition.  It has also turned up in Pennsylvania and Nova Scotia.

A midi of the tune as noted from Louis Wroe goes to the  Mudcat Midi Pages;  until it appears there, it may be heard via the  South Riding Folk Network  site:

Six Jolly Miners

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Six Jolly Miners
From: Shanty Kees
Date: 09 Jun 01 - 09:00 AM

Malcolm,

Thank you very much for helping me to the words of this song and the extra info about it. I would never have known what "motty" means. Thanks again and I hope I can help you someday.

Kees (Holland)


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