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This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?

DigiTrad:
JOE BOWERS
MASTER MCGRATH
SWEET BETSY FROM PIKE
THE POKEGAMA BEAR
VILLIKINS AND HIS DINAH


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Sweet Betsy from Pike (25)
Help: Origin of Villikins&Dinah tune (16)
(origins) Origins: Master McGrath (60)
Lyr Req: Villikins & his Dinah: songs using tune (68)
(origins) Origins: They Died as they Lived (1)
Lyr Add: Little Dame Crump (2)
Where is Pike (as in 'Sweet Betsy from.. (22)
Lyr Req: Dinah and Villikens (23)
Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain??? (50)
Info on: Master McGrath (14)
SFTD-Pokegama Bear-11/17 (16)


pavane 27 Jun 01 - 07:14 AM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 07:21 AM
Noreen 27 Jun 01 - 07:33 AM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 07:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jun 01 - 07:51 AM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 07:53 AM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 07:55 AM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 08:17 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 Jun 01 - 08:18 AM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 12:26 PM
Noreen 27 Jun 01 - 12:59 PM
pavane 28 Jun 01 - 03:19 AM
IanC 11 Mar 03 - 12:05 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: OH I'M AS HAPPY AS A YOUNG SPRING CHICKEN
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:14 AM

From the Levy Sheet Music Collection It struck me that the story was very similar to Villikins and Dinah. I have read that Villikins was a parody of a (dire) music hall song, but I don't know what it was. Not sure if this song is the sort of thing you want in the database.


OH I'M AS HAPPY AS A YOUNG SPRING CHICKEN
(Composed by T.E.N No more details Published 1868)

The object that you now behold,
  once loved a darling fairy,
In the shape of a blue-eyed darling child,
  whose father keeps a dairy,
Not far from the site of the Clayton road
  How well I knew it; rather!
She lived with her daddy, a cross old cove,
  and my loved one's name was Martha.

CHORUS: Oh, once I was as happy as a young spring chicken
Or the pretty little fishes in the water.
Those days are gone, and now I mourn
For Martha, the milkman's daughter.

She served out milk to all her friends
  from the bottom of a nice tin pail.
The only cow her father kept
  Was the one with an iron tail.
And that was kept in an old back yard
  Up against the white washed wall.
It always yielded plenty of
  Well I mustn't tell you all.
  (spoken) I don't like water by itself.

When the old boy used to go from home
  It was then that I'd call on Martha.
Tho' I loved the very ground she trod
  I'd objections to her father.
Unexpected he one day returned
  And upon me placed a check,
For he nearly shook me inside out
  And almost broke my neck.
  (spoken) I couldn't see it that way.

Then I used to wander by the house
  In hopes my love to see.
She'd take a survey from the third story front
  In hopes that she'd see me.
One day she threw a billet doux
  Which made my blood run cold.
Her daddy demanded that she should wed
  A fellow with a lot of gold.
  (spoken) The root of all evil.

In time the wedding day arrived
  When she was to be bound
To a rich old fool she couldn't love,
  But the bride could not be found.
They searched and searched and scanned the town,
  When at last they did discover
A note to say she'd gone away
  To die for her true lover.
  (spoken) And that's me.


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:21 AM

I forgot to say, I wonder what the description 'a cow with an iron tail' means? And what did she serve her friends with, I wonder? Is it a hidden meaning?
In the second verse, it's not that I left out a word, there was no word following 'plenty of' on the original sheet music.


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: Noreen
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:33 AM

'a cow with an iron tail' sounds like a old fashioned water pump with a long iron handle, that yielded plenty of water (I don't like water by itself).

Not sure I understand -her father keeps a dairy but no cows?

Would this refer to Clayton in Manchester?

And I thought Villikins was a music hall song?


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:47 AM

The song was published in the USA, but there is no indication of where it was written! I had wondered whether there was a hint of double-entendre in the words. And yes, Villikins was a music hall song, but it was said to be a comic parody of a SERIOUS music hall song, possibly even with the same name. I will look up the reference, but I think it might have been in 'The Seeds of Love', a collection edited by by S Sedley.


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:51 AM

He'd have bought the milk, then watered it down and sold it to the customers. Nice little earner.

A tune that'd fit it might be The Girl I Left Me. Or Coortin in the Kitchen.


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:53 AM

Found some information here including the following extracts:
In its early days the music hall relied heavily on folksongs and their tunes, and many early performers made a speciality of folksong parodies - some of which have lasted better than the originals. [...] Among them was Villikins and His Dinah (Toorali oorali oorali ay) by the Cockney comedian Sam Cowell. This had started life as a broadside based on the murder of Maria Marten in 1827, William and Maria, which, Stephen Sedley has written, 'was so awful in itself that the text barely had to be changed to achieve a handsome send- up'. But Villikins and Dinah went on to live its own broadside life, and it is in this form that the song is known today. [...]

Stephen Sedley in 'The Seeds of Love' says of the song that it derived from 'a serious street ballad called William and Dinah which was so awful in itself that the text barely had to be changed to achieve a handsome comic send-up'. (Mick Pearce, uk.music.folk, 27 Sep: )


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:55 AM

The tune is actually published in the Levy collection as sheet music - I didn't transcribe it! See link above, and search on the title.


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 08:17 AM

A link to the original Catnach text of the William and Maria song at Gaslight. Verses are in a different order to the text in the DT.

--- Link fixed (opening url quotes added) ---
---Jeff (PA)---


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 08:18 AM

OH, I'M AS HAPPY AS A YOUNG SPRING CHICKEN at The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music.

In the DT and Forum:

VILLIKINS AND HIS DINAH With tune.

Dinah and Villikins Two-and-a-half texts, one with suggested guitar chords. Some discussion.

There are a number of broadside examples of the song on which Vilikins was based at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, including:

William and Dinah Printed between 1819 and 1844 by J. Pitts, Toy & Marble Warehouse 6, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials.

William and Diana Printed between 1789 and 1820 by G. Thompson of Liverpool.

Entry at the Traditional Ballad Index:

Vilikens and his Dinah (William and Dinah) [Laws M31A/B]

There are also, of course, many examples of Vilikins itself at the Bodleian, together with sequels and other songs to the tune. I see no connection to Maria Marten.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 12:26 PM

Yes, I couldn't see one either. And since it appears that it was published before 1820, and Maria Marten was murdered in 1827, there couldn't really be one! That does look like the answer I wanted - William and Diana (or Dinia in one place!) It does seem that editors may have quoted each other without going back to the source, because they all seem to say DINAH.


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: Noreen
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 12:59 PM

Thanks, McGrath, that makes sense.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WILLIAM AND DIANA
From: pavane
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 03:19 AM


WILLIAM AND DIANA

Printed between 1789 and 1820 by G. Thompson of Liverpool
It's of a Liquor Merchant in London did dwell
He had but one daughter, a beautiful girl
Her name was call'd Diana scarce 14 years old
But she had a large portion in silver and gold

Besides a large portion when her mother did die
Which caus'd many sweethearts to ride & draw nigh
As Dinia was walking in the garden one day
Upstep't her old father & thus to her did say

Diana go and dress yourself up fine and gay
For I've met with a young man gallant and gay
I've met a young man worth 10,000 a year
And he says he make you his bride & his dear

Dear honoured father I am but a child
And to marry so early I cannot abide
Dear honoured father, your will I adore
But let me live single for three years or more

Begone you bold strumpet, her father replied
Since you've denied to be this young man's bride
I'll give thy Portion to the next of thy kin
You shall ne'er reap the benefit of one single pin

She went to seet William with all haste indeed
And told to her true love what her father had said
And their parting that night was mournful to tell
Fare you well, dearest William, forever farewell

Early next morning he saerch'd the groves round
And found his dear Diana laid dead on the ground
With a cup of strong poison & a note laying near
It was my cruel father caus'd my death here

Then he kissed her cold lips above once twice o'er
And he called her his Jewel 10,000 time more
He drank of the poison like a true lover brave
So Diana and William were laid in one grave
NHJ

Apparently the earliest version of the song on which Villikins and Dinah was based.
(I have included the spelling mistake Dinia from the original text)


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Subject: RE: BS: This remind you of Villikins & Dinah?
From: IanC
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 12:05 PM

There is what appears to be an earlier version in The Bodleian. It is The Cruel Father Harding B25(450), being one of the Cruel Father and Constant Lover variants.

It begins

In Cambridge fair city a rich damsel did dwell,
For wit and beauty few could her excel.
Her name was Diana, scarce fifteen years old,
Her portion was twelve thousand pounds in gold.


Jennings almost certainly printed this before 1819, when Pitts took over his distribution. According to the source above, it was probably printed between 1790 (when Jennings started printing broadsides) and 1810.

At that time, many of the broadside ballad printers were sending large numbers of their employees into East Anglia to collect both songs and their associated tunes from people in the villages (East Anglia being both heavily rural and easily reached from London). The area around Cambridge was - in fact - heavily "mined" from the mid 17th Century. It was, however, also popular to alter the words of printed ballads to use generic "West Country" references at that time so that references to East Anglia in songs are quite rare.

:-)


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