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Single man's warning

DigiTrad:
I WAS A YOUNG MAN
WHEN I WAS A YOUNG MAN
WHEN I WAS A YOUNG MAN (2)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: The Bachelor (Battlefield Band) (20)
Lyr Req: When I Was a Young Man (Albion Band) (4)


Wolfgang 28 Aug 01 - 04:46 AM
IanC 28 Aug 01 - 07:37 AM
Snuffy 28 Aug 01 - 09:11 AM
Snuffy 28 Aug 01 - 09:32 AM
Malcolm Douglas 28 Aug 01 - 11:27 AM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 01 - 02:07 PM
Wolfgang 29 Aug 01 - 03:28 AM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Aug 01 - 10:00 AM
Wolfgang 29 Aug 01 - 10:20 AM
IanC 29 Aug 01 - 10:43 AM
Wolfgang 29 Aug 01 - 10:58 AM
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Subject: Single man's warning
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 04:46 AM

Right now I'm doing a transcription of Single man's warning as sung by 'Young Tradition'. It is not too difficult so I'm not asking for help with the lyrics (unless someone has it already in computerised form). If I'm finished I'll post them here. But there is one question that bothers me:

I'm fairly sure that I have seen a similar or close version of these lyrics under another title and I can't find it. Yes, I know that 'Poor man's labour' or '(When) I was a young man' describe the same marital situation but I'm thinking of something even closer. Please help my memory. Here's a bit of the lyrics so you know what I'm talking about:

Single man's warning

Come all you young men that are going to be wed
don't be caught like a bird with a small piece of bread
I will have you being careful in choosing a wife
for when you are trapped you'll remember it for life.

verse 2 a squallor is born

verse 3 breakfast is not made when man comes home

verse 4 wife lies snoring 'like a pig in the sty' and says go make breakfast yourself

verse 5 same happens 'when dinnertime comes'

verse 6 Oh if I could be but single again...
how happy is he that avoided a wife.

I've tried a couple of phrases but haven't found yet under which other title I have heard basically the same song.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Single man's warning
From: IanC
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 07:37 AM

Wolfgang

As you say, different versions of "A Poor Man's Labour"/"When I was a Young Man" fit pretty well. Here's Martin Carthy's version with most of the verses as you describe. There may be even closer versions around ... Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Single man's warning
From: Snuffy
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 09:11 AM

verse 2 a squallor is born - I've always heard it as "swallow".

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Single man's warning
From: Snuffy
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 09:32 AM

(BTW that's Schwalbe, not Schluck!)


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Subject: RE: Single man's warning
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 11:27 AM

As you probably know, this song was noted by Cecil Sharp from Tom Sprachlan at Hambridge in 1903.  Sharp found no other versions, and did not publish the song; the text first appeared, so far as I know, in James Reeves' The Idiom of the People (1958).  Reeves was not at that time aware of any other text, though of course one or more may well have turned up since then.  The Young Tradition omitted two verses, and made the usual minor textual alterations; I don't know whether or not they used Sprachlan's tune.  Squaller is correct; that is to say, "one who squalls"; a baby.


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Subject: RE: Single man's warning
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 02:07 PM

Yes, is that SQUALOR or SQUALLER?


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Subject: RE: Single man's warning
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 03:28 AM

I thought I had it heard somewhere else, but that might only be a wrong déjà entendu.

'Squallor' was but my invention when I listened to the first verse. I heard 'squall*' and found the verb 'squall' in a dictionary. I thought 'squallor' might be a fine noun to that verb matching the phoneme. Last night, with a much bigger dictionary, I found 'squaller' as Malcolm has already pointed out to be correct.

Wolfgang


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Subject: Lyr Add: SINGLE MEN'S WARNING
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 10:00 AM

Since the Young Tradition didn't record the whole song, I hope that Wolfgang won't mind if I give it here.  As I mentioned earlier, their recording varies textually in some small details from this, their source:

SINGLE MEN'S WARNING

(noted by Cecil Sharp from Tom Sprachlan at Hambridge, Somerset, in 1903)

Come all you young men that are going to be wed
Don't be trapped like a bird with a small bit of bread
I'd have you be careful in choosing of a wife
O, for when you are trapped you remember it through life
With fol di diddle di do, fol di diddle day

O when that you are wed and a squaller it is born
A poor man may work his fingers to the bone
He hears a midwife and a nurse, and a gossiping crew
And a poor man can hardly pull himself through
With fol di diddle di do, fol di diddle day

When I go home to breakfast, to breakfast at eight
The devil of a spark of a fire in the grate
And the turk of a sign of a breakfast for me
And my wife she lay a snoring like a pig all in the stye
With fol di diddle di do, fol di diddle day

If I asked her to rise, she'd fly in a pet
And bawl out by God there's time enough yet
Get the breakfast thee self and be off to thee work
Don't bide here for to idle and lurk.
With fol di diddle di do, fol di diddle day

When dinner time come to home I repair
And a hundred to one if I find my wife there
She's gossipin' about with the child upon her knee
And the turk of a sign of a dinner for me.
With fol di diddle di do, fol di diddle day

When I go home at night sadly tired from my work
When I open the door she'll let fly like a Turk
Take the squalling young brat and get him off to sleep
For all the day long no peace I can get.
With fol di diddle di do, fol di diddle day

O but if I should offer the job to refuse
With the tongs and the poker she will me abuse
And if these are the comforts attending of our life
Good luck to the man that has got such a wife
With fol di diddle di do, fol di diddle day

And O if I could be but single again
The finest of ladies should never me trepan
Single I'd remain all the days of my life
Good luck to the man that has got such a wife
With fol di diddle di do, fol di diddle day

Printed without music in The Idiom of the People (James Reeves, 1958).  Punctuation as given.  Heather Wood got the song and tune from the microfilm copy of Sharp's notes at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.


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Subject: RE: Single man's warning
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 10:20 AM

Malcolm,
I don't mind at all, rather I'm grateful, for last night when transcribing I had the distinct impression that I should not have bragged that it's 'not too difficult'. I didn't post it today for I thought I should give it one more try. I still had five unclear bits.

The funny thing is that I actually had the main two bits which prevented me from posting today correct, namely the two lines 'and the turk of a sign....', but didn't believe the two lines to be correct. 'Turk' was just my transliteration, for I couldn't see any sense in these lines from my dictionaries.

I'm still puzzled by them. Well, I see what they mean, that's more or less obvious, but what is 'turk'? Slang for another word or does it get its meaning from the usual dictionary meaning of 'turk' by some unknown way?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Single man's warning
From: IanC
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 10:43 AM

Wolfgang

"The Turk" was often used interchangeably with "The Devil" as the great Turk was regarded as the chief infidel. In this case, that is exactly what the words are doing ... substituting for "The devil of a ..." which is commonplace for "None".

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Single man's warning
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 10:58 AM

Thanks, Ian, it makes sense (once it is pointed out)

Wolfgang


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