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Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher (Leonard Barras)

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Geoff the Duck 23 Sep 01 - 03:45 PM
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Mrs.Duck 24 Sep 01 - 01:18 PM
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Geoff the Duck 20 May 03 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Wordless Woman 20 May 03 - 03:44 PM
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Geoff the Duck 18 Jan 07 - 04:56 AM
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Subject: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 23 Sep 01 - 03:45 PM

Years back I used to know an idiosyncratoic monologue concerning a butcher who came from Wallsend. I have been looking for the sheet of paper upon which I had the words written, but cannot find it anywhere. Does anybody out there know it?
I got my words from a 1970's BBC Regional radio show called The Northern Drift (Later transferred to TV as Get The Drift). The programme contained songs, poems and witty words. The songs were all written by Alex Glasgow and the words read by Henry Livings (although not written by Henry).
As some clues:-
Although he was a butcher, he was also a humane man, but he reasoned that if people wanted to eat scorched animals' corpses, then he might as well supply them as anyone else.
His wife was called Blanche, and at some point in the tale she gets kicked by a chicken.
It is very sureal, and I would like to resurrect the tale as it always bemused me.
Can you help???
Geoff the Duck!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 12:14 PM

Geoff, I found several things by Alex Glasgow, but not the one you are looking for. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 01:18 PM

The monologue was not by Alex Glasgow only the songs on the same show.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 06:15 PM

No luck at all. Could you write to the station and ask?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 08:29 AM

It is peretty obscure, but I am hoping that somebody on theis side of the pond has also chanced upon it. I doubt that it ever travelled as far as the USA. I also think it unlikely that it will have reached anywhere searchable on the Internet. That is why I am asking Mudcatters - they have obscure and idiosyncratic connections.
I may at some time find a cassette with it still on, but even then I didn't get the first couple of lines on the tape.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Ritchie
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 08:36 AM

Through this thread I just discovered that Alex Glasgow had indeed died, I was n't aware of that. In Alex's memory I'll endeavour to get the words for you, even if I've got to drink in Wallsend !

Ritchie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 30 Sep 01 - 12:45 PM

Just refreshing the thread in case anyone out there knows the tale, but missed it before it dropped off the board.
Geoff


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Ritchie
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:34 AM

Drat, thought someone had found the answer ! I still have nt had any luck but I'm still trying ( well that's what the wife say's anyway)

Ritchie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 05:36 PM

Thanks for the concern. It is definitely a VERY obscure one. As I said previously, only the songs were by Alex Glasgow. The poems and readings were from a variety of sources, but not individually credited to anybody specific. Henry Livings, read or recited them, but didn't necessarily write them. He did write plays, and also appeared as an actor in other circumstances.
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 20 May 03 - 02:07 PM

I just found this old request of mine.
Perhaps there is somebody reading Mudcat these days who wasn't about when I originally asked!
Anybody got the words???
Quack!
Geoff


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: GUEST,Wordless Woman
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:44 PM

Have you tried posting your request at www.monologues.co.uk ? Sorry I can't do blickies. When you do find your monologue, will you share it with us?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Helen
Date: 20 May 03 - 06:12 PM

Hi Geoff,

Have you tried contacting The Beeb? They may have archival material on it, or know who to contact about it.

There is a suburb called Wallsend here in Newcastle, Oz, so I'd be interested to know the words. There is a butcher there who is well known and may appreciate them.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: GUEST,J Bridgeman
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 09:31 AM

Dear Geoff the Duck

I have just been looking at your 23 Sep 2001 request for the words for the Wallsend Butcher. I don't know if you have now located words (hopefully you have), but if not, I have a recording I made directly off the radio (decades ago) of 'Adrift at the Fringe', which includes this monologue. I transferred it from one audio cassette to another, so the quality isn't very good, but if you wanted it I could transcribe and send to you.

I've no idea what these 'Threads' are, but I have e-mail address below.

J Bridgeman

jude.bridgeman@tiscali.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 04:56 AM

Thanks very much. Yes I would like a new copy of the words if you can manage it. I am sure that there are other visitors to the Mudcat who would also enjoy it.
I will get in touch by e-mail as you do not appear to be a regular visitor to Mudcat.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 12:24 PM

Aye!! Aah wad like a copy becoz aah'm aksherlly a Waalsend lad mesel'. Brought up on The Holy Cross estate (soonds more religious than it reaaly wez)

Alex Glasgow wrote some stunning stuff but hed one of the worst Geordie accents when recording - Put on with a trowel! - His real accent was Geordie enough and it was really lovely to listen to him speak 'live' - Really brought 'home' back te this peripatetic geordie.

Sadly missed nevertheless


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: GUEST,Jude B
Date: 25 Jul 07 - 05:37 PM

Dear Geoff the Duck

I've managed to transcribe the words from the Wallsend Butcher Monologue. Do you have an e-mail address that I can send it to? Please reply to me by my e-mail: jude.bridgeman@tiscali.co.uk

Sorry it's taken me so long to get round to it, but I've had a rather hectic year so far!!

Jude


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 07:56 AM

I know about hectic.
Pleased to hear back after such a long gap.
I will send an e-mail right now.
Thanks,
Geoff
(Quack!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 11:40 PM

Jude B or Geoff: If you have the words, please post them here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 07:12 PM

E-mail has arrived, but just back from holiday so haven't had time to properly read it yet.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Bainbo
Date: 10 Aug 07 - 07:40 PM

It was written by Leonard Barrass, and collected together with a number of his other tales of a fictitious, surreal version of Wallsend in the book Up The Tyne In A Flummox.

I was lucky enough, many years ago,, at Durham Folk Festival, to see Alex Glasgow and Henry Livings performing Northern Drift. I subsequently bought their LP (now gone the way of all my vinyl), and was given the book by someone who didn't know anything about it, didn't know I'd heard of it, but thought I might like it! I wish I knew what had happened to that, too.

As well as the humane butcher Arbuthnot Wutherfoot, I remember there being a fierce conflagration at a local factory, an uncle who was a communist anti-royalist (when it suited him), and some business with bicycles and policemen.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 06:59 PM

Interesting info., Bainbo. There are copies in Amazon. I might buy one to see what other stuff he wrote.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WALLSEND BUTCHER (Leonard Barras)
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 05:17 PM

Okay, folks - e-mail checked and copied. Here it is!

***************************

THE WALLSEND BUTCHER Written by Leonard Barras

Arbuthnot Wutherfoot was a butcher.

He was a fairly humane man, in spite of his grisly trade, arguing that if people wanted to eat scorched corpses, he might as well supply them as the next man.

However, his humanity fought a constant battle with his butchery. In the end, in a torment of compensation, he founded the Wallsend Butchers' Poetry and Tulip Society.

Presently he was obsessed with poetry and tulips, and took to reciting Wordsworth's 'Tulips' to his wife, Blanche.

She would ask him if he wouldn't rather go out and get drunk.

He was a fairly self-important butcher, given to sententious pontification.

"We pass this way but once," he would say, "and you're a long time dead."

His wife would ask him if he wouldn't rather recite Wordsworth's 'Tulips'.

He was also obsessed with death: "Mind you, I don't want to be cremated", he frequently insisted over his dinner of scorched pigs' corpses. "When the Great Reaper calls, take care to have me covered with muck."

He would then go on to catalogue the merits of decent burial.

His wife would ask him if he wouldn't rather do some sententious pontification.

"I want you to plant tulip bulbs on my grave," he instructed, "while the massed butchers of Wallsend recite Wordsworth's 'Tulips'."

"I think you mean Wordsworth's 'Daffodils'", his wife murmured.

"Pass the gravy, woman!" he shouted, for he hated to be contradicted.

However, his wife's amendment had sown some doubt in his mind, and he fell to wondering why 'Floats on high o'er vales and hills' didn't rhyme with 'tulips'.

This affected his butchery, and he began to imagine he was being persecuted.

"I was kicked by a chicken today, Hilda", he said one night.

"My name's Blanche", his wife reminded him. "Oh, you were kicked by a chicken?"

"Don't be silly, woman!" he shouted. "How could a chicken kick anybody? You know the trouble with you, Rose: you get everything wrong.”

This affected his wife, and she began to get everything wrong, and went about with an absent smile, icing the Christmas cake with toothpaste.

"You'll be the death of me", he said, sententiously.

"Merry Christmas, Oscar or Billy", his wife replied. "You know the trouble with you: you're foaming at the mouth. Why don't you catalogue the merits of decent burial?"

"I'd rather go out and get drunk", he said. And he did.

On his way back from 'The Dun Cow' he was kicked by a chicken, and being obsessed with death, he died.

At his funeral, his confused wife invited the massed florists of Wallsend to recite Lamb's 'Dissertation on Roast Pig'. Afterwards, with an absent smile, she planted three dozen bulbs.

The next time you're in Wallsend Cemetery, look for his grave: it's the one that's covered with onions.

******************************************

This monologue appeared during the early 1970's in a BBC Radio Programme, The Northern Drift (and possibly the later Television incarnation "Get the Drift") where it was spoken by Henry Livings.

The above was transcribed from the radio by J. Bridgeman and additional line breaks added by a Duck.

Quack!

Geoff the Duck (pleased to have the full words).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 12:15 PM

Thought I'd just refresh the thread, as just after I posted the above, Mudcat seemed to disappear for a big chunk of the following couple of days and it dropped off the bottom.
The text posted is much as I recall and includes the opening line, which I never had on my own long lost transcript.

It has taken just short of 6 years, but finally Mudcat has answered my question. Many thanks to Jude Bridgeman for the transcript and also to those others who have shown an interest in the subject and Bainbo for providing additional info.

Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher. Monologue
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 10:39 AM

If this is the same person who wrote "Up the Tyne in a Flummox" and several other humorous books, then the correct spelling of his name is Leonard Barras (one S).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher (Leonard Barras
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 25 Aug 07 - 12:06 PM

Jim - the name is spelt correctly in the transcript I have posted.
The "Subject" line next to where the lyrics are posted appears to have been edited by a mudclone, presumably to make indexing of submitted lyrics simpler.
Then again, as certain mudcatter maintains, this is a music site, not a spelling site.
Anyway, the thread will now bw back at the top end of the forum, so those who have shown an interest might spot it before it drops back off the bottom end.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher (Leonard Barras)
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 07:10 AM

Readers of this thread may be interested to know that I have a number of my own recordings of Leonard Barras's Radio 4 broadcasts from the 1980s and 1990s. I have converted them to mp3 files and download links are available on my blog here Phil's Concert Bootlegs - Leonard Barras


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher (Leonard Barras)
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 08:50 AM

Thanks for the link, Phil. I have found the links to download your recordings, and I look forward to having a listen some time.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher (Leonard Barras)
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 04:55 PM

Hello again.

I have now obtained copies of a couple of additional episodes
http://philsbootlegs.blogspot.com/2009/08/leonard-barras-missing-episodes.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher (Leonard Barras)
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 05:58 AM

Right!
I'll drop back there to see have another listen.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wallsend Butcher (Leonard Barras)
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 31 Oct 16 - 08:31 PM

Hello again folks.
The Wallsend Butcher is not included in Up The Tyne In A Flummox. It appears though in another collection of Barras's works "Bluebottles on My Marmalade" (Iron Press, 1982, ISBN 0 906228 16 6). Now long out of print, but second-hand copies appear from time to time.
I have since obtained copied of further Barras recordings and tidied up the collection - the original links are now dead. You can get them here http://philsbootlegs.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/leonard-barras-complete-radio-broadcasts.html although calling this collection "complete" may not quite be true. A search through the Radio Times online archive http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/ suggests there may be more.


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