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Little Beggarman Info

DigiTrad:
BEGGARS OF COUDINGHAM FAIR
THE BEGGAR MAN (4)
THE BEGGARMAN (3)
THE BEGGARMAN (6)
THE BEGGARMAN'S SONG (JOHNNY DHU)
THE JOLLY BEGGAR
THE JOLLY BEGGAR (5)
THE LITTLE BEGGAR BOY


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Lyr Req: The Little Beggarman (answered)^^^ (3) (closed)
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Les Benedict 19 Jan 98 - 10:42 PM
Elektra 20 Jan 98 - 11:23 AM
Bruce O. 20 Jan 98 - 03:58 PM
BK 20 Jan 98 - 11:14 PM
Les Benedict 21 Jan 98 - 02:35 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 21 Jan 98 - 05:52 PM
alison 21 Jan 98 - 09:48 PM
Elektra 22 Jan 98 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,thnidu 24 Mar 14 - 05:14 PM
meself 25 Mar 14 - 12:32 AM
GUEST,Eliza 25 Mar 14 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,mayomick 25 Mar 14 - 04:15 PM
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Subject: Little Beggarman Info
From: Les Benedict
Date: 19 Jan 98 - 10:42 PM

I've just recently begun to wonder about the meaning of one of the verses in the song Little Beggarman (Red Haired Boy) as done by the Clancy Brothers and many others. The line in question is: "... I'll buy a pair of goggles and I'll colour them blue, and an old fashioned lady I will make her too." - Are goggles like sun glasses, and why blue, and what is old fashioned about it ??? Also I've seen one set of words that imply the little beggarman wants to court the girl -- are there more "adult" verses out there ? Thanks for any words of wisdom.


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info
From: Elektra
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 11:23 AM

"An old-fashioned lady I'll make of you" means he's telling her he actually wants to marry her -- she's not just a passing fancy. (I presume he's kidding, of course.)


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info
From: Bruce O.
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 03:58 PM

This seems to me to be a racifimento of Child #279 and its Appendix [Gaberlunzie man (Ghiberlan in Scots Gallick)] and Child #280 (BEGARLAD is mislabeled as Child #200 in DT.) For the early ballad that Child expurgated at the end of his #279 see ZN2500 in the internet Broadside Ballad Index. (Copy on request) A rather startling newly printed song is "The Juggler" in 'The Greig Duncan Folk Song Collection', VII, #1401. My guess is that 'Juggler' is a corruption of 'Ghiberlan' = beggarman. This is unexpurgated and probably, in my estimation, the basis of ZN2500, and thence of the others.


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info
From: BK
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 11:14 PM

When I listen to that song sung by I&S, as I often still do, I think they are saying "leggings," not "goggles," and somehow wonder if the lady in question is initiating/inviting the idea of formal liason (matrimony?), starting off by suggesting that proper attire is the first step. Maybe I'm way off? I'm sure there are many versions of this song; I also know there are bluegrass instrumental versions of the tune.


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info
From: Les Benedict
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 02:35 PM

Yes there are "leggings" too, in the first part of the verse: As I hear it, the whole verse is:
"I met a little flaxy haired girl one day,
good morning little flaxy haired girl I did say,
good morning little beggarman and how do you do,
with your rags and your bags and your old rig-a-doo
I'll buy a pair of leggings and a collar and a tie,
and a nice young lady I will fetch bye and bye,
I'll buy a pair of goggles and I'll colour them blue,
and an old-fashioned lady I will make her too!"
A variant of the last line is "and that nice little lassie, I'll be her lover too!"


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 05:52 PM

"Flaxen-haired", surely, as in blonde.


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info
From: alison
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 09:48 PM

hi,

I always reckoned it was glasses with a blue-ish tint in the lenses, like little old ladies used to wear.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info
From: Elektra
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 11:45 AM

The version I have says "fleecy-haired" on the lyric sheet, but it is pronounced like "flicey" (ie rhymes with dicey).


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info ("racifimento")
From: GUEST,thnidu
Date: 24 Mar 14 - 05:14 PM

Alan of Australia wrote (23 Jan 98 - 05:20 PM)

From my 1971 (English) Encyclopedic World Dictionary:- rifacimento n., pl -ti. a recast or adaption, as of a literary or musical work. [It.: a remaking. ...]


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info
From: meself
Date: 25 Mar 14 - 12:32 AM

I always thought the little beggarman was talking about throwing together a costume to improvise an act for the "little flaxy-haired girl" - an apparently typical example of the sort of carefree frivolity he would indulge in, in the course of cadging his daily bread. No?


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 25 Mar 14 - 04:08 AM

Blue tinted spectacles were available for the very rich from the early 18th Century. It was thought the blue glass could be 'ground' more finely than the clear stuff. On the website Chirurgeon's Apprentice, one can see a photo of the very type of thing. It says there that Samuel Pepys wrote about them as being prescribed for syphilis sufferers, who found bright light painful. If this was generally known (although the site has doubts on this) then maybe the Little Beggarman was insinuating that he too was a sufferer, and would probably wink hugely when he sang this line! Anyway, such specs would cost a fortune, so the chap was listing fancy stuff he proposed to wear to seduce the flaxen-haired lass. Flaxen-haired is still a current expression for a blond person.


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Subject: RE: Little Beggarman Info
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 25 Mar 14 - 04:15 PM

to me like the flaxey-haired girl was some sort of a witch who cast a spell over the little beggarman by conjuring up a nice young lady then turning her into an old lady . This made him skidaddle


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