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Lyr Req: Back and Sides Go Bare

DigiTrad:
BACK AND SIDE GO BARE
LET YOUR BACK AND SIDES GO BARE


John J 11 Dec 01 - 12:42 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Dec 01 - 02:53 PM
Herga Kitty 11 Dec 01 - 07:17 PM
Anglo 11 Dec 01 - 08:11 PM
Joe Offer 10 Dec 10 - 01:20 AM
The Doctor 10 Dec 10 - 05:31 AM
Brian Peters 10 Dec 10 - 06:00 AM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 10 - 05:23 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 10 - 06:21 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Dec 10 - 10:29 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Dec 10 - 10:31 PM
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Subject: Back and sides
From: John J
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 12:42 PM

There is a version of 'Back and Sides' listed in the DT,but it isn't the one I've heard. Does anyone know of any other versions?

Also there are two versions of 'A-begging I will go' listed, but again these aren't the ones I've heard. Does anyone know of any other versions?

Thanks loads,

John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back and sides
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 02:53 PM

There are two sets of Back and Sides Go Bare in the DT; one from literary sources, the other from oral tradition.

LET YOUR BACK AND SIDES GO BARE  With tune; Dick Greenhaus comments, "Popularized, as far as I know, by RAF pilots in WWII".  The text is virtually the same as that noted by Cecil Sharp from Robert Parish of Exford, Somerset, in 1907, which he called The Beggar.  It's not impossible that that may have been the original source of the set in the DT, though if it was, the tune has been changed a fair bit.

BACK AND SIDE GO BARE  A book is cited as source, but no other information is given.  There is a reference, however, to JOHN DORY,   which is the tune used; that file refers to Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time (1859), which places Back and Sides (as I cannot eat but little meat) in the play Gammer Gurton's Needle (1575), though Chappell considered it older.  He quotes only four of eight verses; the DT file has all eight, but apparantly in the wrong order.  Chappell wrote:

"I CANNOT EAT BUT LITTLE MEAT.  This song was sung "in a right pithy, pleasant, and merry comedy," called Gammer Gurton's Needle, which was printed in 1575, but the Rev. Alex Dyce has given a copy of double length from a manuscript in his possession, and "certainly of an earlier date than the play."  It may be seen in his account of Skelton and his writings, vol. i., p.7...  Warton calls it "the first drinking song of any merit in our language."

The tune is printed in Stafford Smith's Musica Antiqua, and in Ritson's English Songs.  Ritson says: "Set, four parts in one, by Mr. Walker, before the year 1600."  And Smith, not knowing, I suppose, who Mr. Walker was, seems to have guessed Weelkes; but it is the old tune of John Dory in common time."

Claude M. Simpson (The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music, 1966) adds:

"The famous drinking song in William Stevenson's Gammer Gurton's Needle, I can not eate but lytle meate, has been set as a four-part round to a common-time version of John Dory, but on what authority remains a mystery."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back and sides
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 07:17 PM

John J

There was a thread going on this last month - Pills to Purge Melancholy, Bedlam Boys, Mad Tom of Bedlam etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back and sides
From: Anglo
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 08:11 PM

"I cannot eat but little meat" is sung by Robin Dransfield on the "Tale of Ale" CD.

Since "Pills" was mentioned in this thread, I'll add the information that there's a recent reprint done by Higginson Books of Salem, MA. Not cheap, but it is at least available.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back and sides
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 01:20 AM

This is the song for December 10 in the Properganda Alternative Christmas Calendar. I see 12 entries in the Roud Index, and here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

    Let the Back and Sides Go Bare

    DESCRIPTION: Beggar sings of the pleasures of his life -- drinking, starving, sleeping in filth, etc.
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1916
    KEYWORDS: drink begging starvation humorous nonballad
    FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland,England)
    REFERENCES (2 citations):
    Sharp-100E 78, "The Beggar" (1 text, 1 tune)
    DT BCK&SID2*

    Roud #1573
    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "A-Begging I Will Go" (theme)
    cf. "Jolly Good Ale and Old (Back and Sides Go Bare)" (chorus)
    ALTERNATE TITLES:
    The Beggar's Song
    NOTES: The chorus, "Let the back and the sides go bare, go bare/let the hands and the feet grow cold/but give to the belly, boys, beer enough/whether it be new or old" appears in Gammer Gurton's Needle (1575), but the verses are quite different. -PJS
    The themes are rather similar, though; I suspect the dependence is literary. - RBW
    File: ShH78

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibiography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back and sides go bare
From: The Doctor
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 05:31 AM

There is a fine version of this song, under the title 'The Beggar', on Dave Burland's first LP 'The Dalesman's Litany'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back and sides go bare
From: Brian Peters
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 06:00 AM

Roy Harris did a great version of the Sharp 'Beggars Song' on the 'Champions of Folly' LP. A. L. Lloyd's sleeve notes state that additional verses were added from a version collected in Devon by Baring-Gould. And Harry Boardman used to sing 'Jolly Good Ale and Old'.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BACK AND SIDES GO BARE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 05:23 PM

From Wit Restor'd (London: R. Pollard, N. Brooks, and T. Dring, 1658), page 277.

Note: Wit Restor'd seems to be one of three reprinted works bound together in one volume. The title page for Wit Restor'd is on page 102 of this volume.

The volume as a whole seems to be called Facetiae and the 3 parts of it are called Musarum Delicae, Wit Restor'd, and Wit's Recreations. The publication date on the title page for Facetiae is 1817.


AN OLD SONG.

Back and sides go bare, go bare,
And feet and hands go cold,
But let my belly have ale enough
Whether it be new or old,
    Whether it be new or old,
    Boyes, whether it be new or old :
But let my belly have ale enough,
Whether it be new or old.


A beggar's a thing as good as a king,
If you aske me the reason why
For a king cannot swagger
And drink like a beggar
No king so happy as I:

Some call me knave and rascall slave,
But I know, how to collogue
Come upon um, and upon 'um;
Will your worships and honour um,
Then I am an honest rogue, then I
Come upon um, and upon 'um will your worships:

If a fart flye away where he makes his stay,
Can any man think or suppose?
For a fart cannot tell, when its out where to dwell,
    Unlesse it be in your nose,
    Unlesse it be in your nose boyes,
    Unlesse it be in your nose.

For a fart cannot tell, when its out where to dwell,
    Unlesse it be in your nose.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BACK AND SIDE GO BARE (Gammer Gurton's...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 06:21 PM

From Gammer Gurton's Needle (Forgotten Books), page 14:

[The original was produced as a play around 1553 and first printed in 1575. This edition from 1906 seems to have had its spelling modernized.]


CHORUS: Back and side go bare,
Both foot and hand go cold;
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
Whether it be new or old.

1. I cannot eat but little meat.
My stomach is not good;
But sure I think that I can drink
With him that wear a hood.
Though I go bare, take ye no care;
I am nothing a-cold;
I stuff my skin so full within
Of jolly good ale and old.

2. I love no roast but a nut-brown toast
And a crab laid in the fire.
A little bread shall do me stead;
Much bread I not desire.
No frost or snow, no wind, I trow,
Can hurt me if I would;
I am so wrapt, and thoroughly lapt
Of jolly good ale and old.

3. And Tib, my wife, that as her life
Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinks she till ye may see
The tears run down her cheek;
Then doth she trowl to me the bowl,
Even as a malt-worm should;
And saith, sweet heart, I took my part
Of this jolly good ale and old.

4. Now let them drink till they nod and wink,
Even as good fellows should do;
They shall not miss to have the bliss
Good ale doth bring men to;
And all poor souls that have scoured bowls,
Or have them lustily troll'd,
God save the lives of them and their wives,
Whether they be young or old.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BACK AND SIDE GO BARE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:29 PM

This version is of interest because it has the original spelling, as well as more verses than the last version.

From The Poetical Works of John Skelton, Volume 1 edited by Alexander Dyce (London: Thomas Rodd, 1843), page vii:

I [Alexander Dyce] take the present opportunity of giving from a MS. in my possession a much fuller copy than has hitherto appeared of the celebrated song which opens the second act of Gammer Gurtons Nedle, and which Warton calls "the first chanson à boire or drinking-ballad, of any merit, in our language." Hist. of E. P. iii. 206. ed. 4to. The comedy was first printed in 1575: the manuscript copy of the song, as follows, is certainly of an earlier date:

[CHORUS] backe & syde goo bare goo bare
bothe hande & fote goo colde
but belly god sende the good ale inowghe
whether hyt be newe or olde.

[1] but yf that I
maye have trwly
goode ale my belly full
I shall looke lyke one
by swete sainte Johnn
were shoron agaynste the woole
thowthe I goo bare
take yow no care
I am nothynge colde
I stuffe my skynne
so full within
of joly goode ale & olde.

[2] I cannot eate
but lytyll meate
my stomacke ys not goode
but sure I thyncke
that I cowde dryncke
with hym that werythe an hoode
dryncke ys my lyfe
althowgthe my wyfe
some tyme do chyde & scolde
yete spare I not
to plye the potte
of joly goode ale & olde.

[3] I love noo roste
but a browne toste
or a crabbe in the fyer
a lytyll breade
shall do me steade
mooche breade I neuer desyer
Nor froste nor snowe
Nor wynde I trow
Canne hurte me yf hyt wolde
I am so wrapped
within & lapped
with joly goode ale & olde.

[4] I care ryte nowghte
I take no thowte
for clothes to kepe me warme
have I goode dryncke
I surely thyncke
nothynge canne do me harme
for trwly than
I feare noman
be he neuer so bolde
when I am armed
& throwly warmed
with joly good ale & olde.

[5] but nowe & than
I curse & banne
they make ther ale so small
god geve them care
& evill to faare
they strye the malte & all
sooche pevisshe pewe
I tell yowe trwe
not for a c[r]ovne of golde
ther commethe one syppe
within my lyppe
whether hyt be newe or olde.

[6] good ale & stronge
makethe me amonge
full joconde & full lyte
that ofte I slepe
& take no kepe
frome mornynge vntyll nyte
then starte I vppe
& fle to the cuppe
the ryte waye on I holde
my thurste to staunche
I fyll my paynche
with joly goode ale & olde.

[7] and kytte my wyfe
that as her lyfe
lovethe well good ale to seke
fall ofte drynkythe she
that ye maye se
the tears ronne downe her cheke
then dothe she troule
to me the bolle
as a goode malte worme sholde
& saye swete harte
I have take my parte
of joly goode ale & olde.

[8] They that do dryncke
tyll they nodde & wyncke
even as good fellowes shulde do
they shall notte mysse
to have the blysse
that good ale hathe browghte them to
& all poore soules
that skowre blacke bolles
& them hathe lustely trowlde
god save the lyves
Of them & ther wyves
wether they be yonge or olde.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Back and sides go bare
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:31 PM

Musical notation for one voice and piano for BACK AND SIDES GO BARE (but here titled I CANNOT EATE BUT LYTYLL MEATE) can be seen in The McGill University Song Book, Volume 1 by Students' Council, (Montreal: McGill University, 1921), page 150. It has the notation "Arr. by W. H. M."


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