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Tune Req: Benjamin Bowmaneer

DigiTrad:
BENJAMIN BOWMANEER


Related threads:
(origins) History of Benjamin Bowmaneer (18)
(origins) Origins: Benjamin Bowmaneer (19)
Help - Benjamin Bowmaneer: Britten arrangement? (2)
Lyr Req: Benjamin Bowmaneer (11)
Tune add: Benjamin Bowmaneer (1)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Benjamin Bowlabags
The Proud Tailor


GUEST,ezmeralda 20 Jan 02 - 11:16 AM
Jeri 20 Jan 02 - 11:34 AM
swirlygirl 20 Jan 02 - 01:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Jan 02 - 01:19 PM
swirlygirl 20 Jan 02 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,Martin Graebe (still no cookie!) 20 Jan 02 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Martin Graebe 20 Jan 02 - 06:26 PM
Snuffy 20 Jan 02 - 06:36 PM
GUEST 20 Jan 02 - 07:25 PM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Jan 02 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,Martin Graebe 21 Jan 02 - 01:58 AM
English Jon 21 Jan 02 - 04:24 AM
Dave Bryant 21 Jan 02 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Martin Graebe 21 Jan 02 - 04:37 PM
GUEST 22 Jan 02 - 10:53 AM
PaulM 22 Jan 02 - 11:18 AM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Jan 02 - 11:50 AM
PaulM 22 Jan 02 - 12:00 PM
Dave Bryant 22 Jan 02 - 12:31 PM
Herga Kitty 22 Jan 02 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,Martin Graebe 22 Jan 02 - 05:52 PM
Noreen 22 Jan 02 - 05:53 PM
JudeL 23 Jan 02 - 05:49 AM
Sandy Paton 23 Jan 02 - 11:44 PM
Mo the caller 07 Jul 06 - 05:00 AM
IanC 07 Jul 06 - 05:40 AM
GUEST 07 Jul 06 - 06:30 AM
Mo the caller 09 Jul 06 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Benjamin Bowmaneer 09 Jul 06 - 09:43 AM
IanC 10 Jul 06 - 04:19 AM
IanC 10 Jul 06 - 05:24 AM
GUEST,someone else 21 Mar 07 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,someone else 21 Mar 07 - 10:18 PM
HipflaskAndy 22 Mar 07 - 06:00 AM
Kosmo 03 Sep 09 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,BBP at work 04 Sep 09 - 08:13 AM
HipflaskAndy 05 Sep 09 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Alice 04 Sep 10 - 09:59 AM
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Subject: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST,ezmeralda
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 11:16 AM

Does anyone know a different tune for Benjamin Bowmaneer other than the usual (Digitrad)one?


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 11:34 AM

The one in the DT is the only one I've ever heard.

A search will pull up "another" tune (from the Penguin Book of English Folksongs) at the Mudcat Midi page, but it's the same tune.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: swirlygirl
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 01:03 PM

Eliza Carthy's version is "slightly" different..

check it out here

Garry Gillard

Think I've got the linkey thing right but we'll see..

:)

xxx


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE PROUD TAILOR
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 01:19 PM

At the time Benjamin Bowmaneer was published in the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs (1959), only one version of this song was known; it had been noted by Mary E. Spence from her great-aunt Sarah Foster of Sedburgh, Yorkshire (via family members), and was first published in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (vol.I, no.2, 1933). Mary Spence wrote:

"She (my great-aunt) learned it from a travelling tailor who came to mend her father's clothes, probably between 1804 and 1807. The story she told her nephew (my father) was that she listened outside the window of the room where the tailor worked, ran away to practice what she had heard, and then returned for more. I learned the song by hearing my father and eldest sister sing it, who both had it from the fountain-head, so to speak. I am sure both copied the great-aunt faithfully, as it was performed with a rather nasal twang and several little kinks and turns, especially before the last note; also a cousin who had it from his mother makes no variation in his rendering. Some years ago I wrote it down for the interest of it."

A.L. Lloyd's comments from the Penguin Book are here: History of Benjamin Bowmaneer. The DT file derives from Joe Hickerson, who learned the song from the book, as did Eliza Carthy; I wouldn't consider either recording to be a distinct variant in its own right.

Since that time, another version has emerged. It was noted by James Madison Carpenter from Sam Bennett (1865-1951) of Ilmington in Warwickshire, some time between 1928 and 1935. The tune is closer to the putative ancestor-tune, -Spanish Ladies, according to Anne Gilchrist- than the (more interesting) Yorkshire set.

THE PROUD TAILOR

(Noted by James Madison Carpenter from Sam Bennett (1865-1951) of Ilmington in Warwickshire, some time between 1928 and 1935.)

I can tell you how the world begun,
Benjamin Boglegun,
Tell you how the world begun,
Low cast away,
I can tell you how the world begun,
Nine tailors make a man.
Still the proud tailor went prancing away,
And still the proud tailor went prancing away
.

The tailor were sat at work
Picked a louse off his shirt.

With his needle he made a sword
Stabbed the louse on the board.

With his bodkin he made a gun
Shot the louse as he run.

With his scissors he made some shears
Snipped off the louse's ears.

With his thimble he made a bell
Rung the louse into hell.
^^

This was first published in Roy Palmer's Everyman's Book of British Ballads (1980, re-issued by Llanerch Press in 1998 as A Book of British Ballads). A midi of the tune will go to The Mudcat Midi Pages; meanwhile it can be heard via the South Riding Folk Network site:

The Proud Tailor (midi).

There may be some relationship between Benjamin Bowmaneer and The Tailor and the Louse; this latter is a modernisation of The War-Like Taylor, which in turn derived from a mock-heroic piece by John Taylor, A Dreadful Battle between a Taylor and a Louse (c.1655: information from Claude M. Simpson, The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music, 1966). The tune originally prescribed was I am the Duke of Norfolk; Simpson gives two examples; the second one in particular seems to show some similarities to the Bowmaneer tune, but that could just be my imagination.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: swirlygirl
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 04:47 PM

Well I didn't say it was a distinct variant...just that it was "slightly" different...

:o)

xxx


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Subject: Lyr Add: BENJAMIN BOWLABAGS
From: GUEST,Martin Graebe (still no cookie!)
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 05:17 PM

I don't want to appear a smart-arse but I can add another source. 'BENJAMIN BOWLABAGS' was sent to Sabine Baring-Gould Dec 26th 1896 by Rev J Hale Parlby. The writing in the manuscript is a bit difficult but I think he was from Manadon (Plymouth). The words are a bit different - this time we have a mouse:

Would you know how the wars began
Benjamin Bowlabags
Would you know how the wars began
Cast threads away
Would you know how the wars began
Nine tailors make a man
And so the proud tailor went prancing away

With his needle he made a spear
And ran the mouse through the ear

With his bodkin he made a gun
And shot he mouse as he run

With his scissors he dug a pit
And shoved the mouse into it

With his thimble he made a bell
And toll'd the mouses funeral knell
^^
The inclusion of the line 'Nine Tailors make a man' is interesting. There is a tune - at first glance it looks quite close to the Yorkshire one. I'll have a play with it.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST,Martin Graebe
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 06:26 PM

So I did look at the tune - 'tis a bit different and quite nice. I've put a PDF of words and tune in the songs section of my Baring-Gould website. Go to www.greenjack.btinternet.co.uk/songs.htm

Martin


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Snuffy
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 06:36 PM

Sam Bennett was the fiddler for various revivals of the Ilmington morris between the 1890s and 1950s. I believe he also played for Bampton Morris at some time in the 1930s when "Jinky" Wells was unavailable. Local legend has it that he would find out what the visiting folklorist wanted then tell him, "You come back in a couple of weeks, Sir, and I'll have it all ready for you". Which of course would involve a further "treating" in the local hostelry.

If Mary Spence's version was published in 1933, it is just conceivable that Bennet might have "tailored" a version specially for someone collecting from him in 33-35.

Or it may be genuinely traditional in Warwickshire.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 07:25 PM

A wonderful thread!

Thank you everyone

Something good amongst the flotsam

Maybe mudcat has life yet!


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 07:54 PM

Of course it has!  Many thanks for that additional set, Martin; I take it that it's unpublished prior to your PDF?  I've made a midi from the notation you gave; the staff isn't entirely obvious in places, so if I've made any mistakes please do let me know and I'll modify it.

Benjamin Bowlabags (midi)

Sam Bennett probably didn't read the Journal (and was likely visited by Carpenter before the Spence/Foster set was published in any case) so it seems reasonable to consider his set to be a quite separate variant.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST,Martin Graebe
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 01:58 AM

Well done, Malcolm. Unfortunately my PC seems to have temporarily lost the power of song - well, midis anyway so I'll catch up later when I figure out what happened when I reloaded Media Player last week. When I put it into Capella it sounded a bit jerky but better than most of 'The Firm's' notations. Presumably a straight copy from what Hale-Parlby put in the post.

The song is, I should have said, previously unpublished and comes from the 'Personal Copy' of his manuscripts. And if anyone is bursting to know what I'm talking about return immediately to the aforementioned web-site where much will be revealed (including an index of the songs in the MS)

Martin


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: English Jon
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 04:24 AM

I take it the "nine tailors make a man" is ref. to the practice of ringing the great bell nine times at a man's funeral? (as opposed to seven for a woman?) - that would strangely tie in with "of his thimble he made a bell" etc?

EJ


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 04:41 AM

Two more verses I've heard (I can't remember who from, but I think it was up on teeside). They fit in the DT / "English book of Penguin Folk Songs" version.

From his pin box he made a cell wherein that flea might dwell.

From strong thread he made a noose if e'er that flea got loose.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST,Martin Graebe
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 04:37 PM

Jon, you've touched on the thing that interested me. I remember that Dorothy L Sayers wove a lot of bell-lore into her Lord Peter Whimsey novel 'The Nine Tailors' but I don't have access to the book any more. I am always suspicious of these things and haven't been to enough funerals (Thank God!) to know if they really do ring the great bell nine times. Is there an expert in the house?

Elsewhere SBG talks about the way in which tailors were seen as 'less than manly' and the nine tailors make a man could be taken in that context. Certainly the tailor gets a pretty raw deal in folk song.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 10:53 AM

A couple of extra verses I sing sometimes...

From His Shear Board he made a horse
All for him to sit across

and

From his scissors he made Bridle Bits
To keep his horse all in its wits

tho these may be modern additions


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: PaulM
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 11:18 AM

Can someone explain how the 'old' verses might have greater veracity than newly composed ones, if indeed they do.

Thanks

Paul


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 11:50 AM

Traditional songs have been assimilated by a culture and modified by it, sometimes over quite a long period of time; modern verses added by people who may not necessarily be part of that tradition may be interesting and may in time enter tradition; to distinguish between traditional and contemporary forms is not to apply a value-judgement, but simply to be accurate and to respect the material and its past transmitters. After all, a modern accretion would usually be irrelevant to a consideration of a song's prior history.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: PaulM
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 12:00 PM

Malcolm,

I have to say that I completely disagree with you.

You appear interested in 'Benjamin Bowlabags' Fine.

It's a varient, certainly.

It doesn't however have any more validity than any verse I might make up of the cuff...

...apart from being over 100 years older than mine...

Paul


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 12:31 PM

Tailors were always rather suspect (and probably envied) for the access that they enjoyed to women's chambers. Added to that the fact that their job required them to do a lot of sewing, which was very much a ladies job - you can understand why they were rather reviled.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 04:47 PM

I've been looking at my ancient and battered 5/- copy of the Penguin book of English Folk Songs - Guest, you may be interested to know that the shear board and scissors verses were both included in the version collected from Sarah Foster of Sedbergh. The notes on the songs say "In folklore, the poor tailor seldom plays a noble part, perhaps because his profession does not call for lustihood. 'Nine tailors make a man' says the proverb, and a popular children's rhyme tells of four and twenty tailors frightened by a snail. The amusing Benjamin Bowmaneer seems to perpetuate the folks' injustice to men of an honorable trade. Perhaps the song has a secondary, satirical meaning that eludes us?"

Of course cobblers got a similar treatment in folk songs too...


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST,Martin Graebe
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 05:52 PM

I now have the midi on my PC working again. Capella spits out something very slightly different to what Malcolm gave so I have added that to my website as well. To save you looking halfway up this lot again go to www.greenjack.btinternet.co.uk/songs.htm

I am going to resist the temptation to get into the new lyrics vs old debate again - well, almost. It does matter, to me at least, that you know whether you are dealing with traditional singers or 'folkies' - but I'm not going to assign one or the other a higher 'value'. If it's fun, do it!

Martin


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Noreen
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 05:53 PM

PaulM, you are the only one who is making value judgements over this issue. It will be obvious that 100-year old versions are less common than newly created ones, and so create interest when they show up, in people who are interested in the history of song.

No-one is saying that you have to agree, or even be interested.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: JudeL
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 05:49 AM

One of the things that can be interesting about traditional songs is that they are a reflection of the time in which they are written. by learning about the songs you can learn something about what life was like when it was written, what people though was important/unusual and what was so common that people took it for granted. It may not change what is sung but it can add a flavour of the time to what is heard, and put things into context.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 11:44 PM

The version from the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs is sung by Lynn Hickerson on The New Golden Ring, Five Days Singing, Volume 1, Folk-Legacy's CD-41. Let's see if I can remember how to do a blue clicky. Try clicking here. If that doesn't work, just go to the Folk-Legacy web site and click on "The Golden Ring Series" in the menu on the left of the screen.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Mo the caller
Date: 07 Jul 06 - 05:00 AM

The Dorothy L Sayers' book was first published in 1934 and has an inscription on a fictional bell in a fictional church "NINE+TAYLERS+MAKE+A+MANNE+IN+CHRIST+IS+DETH+ATT+END+IN+ADAM+YET+BEGANNE+1614
The bell was called Tailor Paul and was rung as passing bell for a man 9 strokes, then his age.
In the books foreword she asks indulgence of all change-ringers for any errorsshe may have made in dealing with their ancient craft.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: IanC
Date: 07 Jul 06 - 05:40 AM

Mo

The word "Taylers" there is a slightly odd rendering of the word "Teller" and has nothing to do with the craft of tailoring.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 06 - 06:30 AM

But may have something to do with Taylor's Bell Foundry in Loughborough...I believe there's meant to be some connection to Loughborough and the Great Central Railway in the book, though I've not read it. Taylor's was a major foundry that made bells for churches throughout the country.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Mo the caller
Date: 09 Jul 06 - 09:14 AM

The bell ringer in our band (no, he works the sound desk for the band, the bells are too heavy for our trailer) tells me that they don't ring for funerals that way nowadays.
My quick glance at the book showed that the bell was made in a pit in a field near the church. Don't know if that was usual.


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST,Benjamin Bowmaneer
Date: 09 Jul 06 - 09:43 AM

Yes I have heard 'ow the feckin wars began, now will you all go away and leave me in peace.

Ben


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: IanC
Date: 10 Jul 06 - 04:19 AM

Mo

Quite normal for the bigger bells cast before around 1800-1850. Our church still has a depression in the Glebe Field where the tenor was cast.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: IanC
Date: 10 Jul 06 - 05:24 AM

As for ringing the tellers. They were never normally rung for the funeral as far as I'm aware. At a time when most of the people worked out in the fields, the bells were used for information. The Knell Peal was rung when somebody died and would include information about the age, gender etc. of the person who had died. Usually, this would be enough for people to work out who it was.

The tradition still occurs very infrequently in a few places, I believe. There are also traditions associated with ringing for a funeral which are still upkept in a number of areas.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST,someone else
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 10:13 PM

it's quite a nice song though isn't it?
http://www.myspace.com/bagofrats1
thats quite nice


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST,someone else
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 10:18 PM

I mean
http://www.myspace.com/bagofrats1


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Subject: RE: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 06:00 AM

If anyone's interested - there's a downloadable 'live' recording
of our Folk-Rock version (in full) here on our CD/samples page
Folk-Rock Ben-Bow
Cheers - Duncan


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: Kosmo
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 07:39 AM

Can I ask what the song is actually about?

x
Kosmo


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST,BBP at work
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 08:13 AM

Kosmo - look at the "Related Threads" shown at the top of this one.

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 07:14 AM

The re-emergence of this thread after two years has highlighted
that my link (above) to our folk-rock version is no longer valid.
To hear the Duncan McFarlane Band version, click here


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Benjamin Bowmaneer
From: GUEST,Alice
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 09:59 AM

Does anyone know anything about the name Bowmaneer used in this song?

It is very close to my name and im wondering if it has any significance.
My name, Bow-mer, which comes from the English Bow-maker and came into existence in Derbyshire.

There are many Benjamin Bowmer's in my family archives living in Derby, Rotherham, Sheffield, Wakefield etc between 1700-today.

One Bowmer from 1800s began a factory tailoring red tape and another has a mill producing yarn.

Any further information about the name or how it may have mutated would be very interesting. Thanks!


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