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Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew

DigiTrad:
MADAM LA MARQUISE
THE CREMATION OF SAM MCGEE
THE SHOOTING OF DAN MCGREW


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Dangerous Dan McGrew-naughty version (11)
Lyr Req: Shooting of Dan McGrew (Robert W Service) (20)
Resources: Robert W. Service (31)
Lyr Add: The Whistle of Sandy McGraw (R W Service) (11)
Tune Req: The Face on the Bar-room Floor (45)
Lyr Req: In Praise of Alcohol (Robert W Service) (24)
Ottawa Folk Fest. Robt Service Collection (1)
Lyr Req: The Cremation of Sam McGee (R W Service) (59)
Tune Req: Michael (Robert Service, Greg Artzner) (6)
Lyr Req: Face on the Barroom Floor (37)
Lyr Add: The Shooting of Dan's Guru (15)
Lyr Add: Accordion (Robert Service) (18)
Lyr Req: Dangerous Dan McGrew (35)
Lyr Req: The Quitter (Robert Service) (9)
Add: How MacPherson Held the Floor (Robt. Service) (1)
Rhymes of a Red Cross Man (13)


Sandi 11 Mar 98 - 01:41 AM
Bojangles 11 Mar 98 - 02:45 AM
R_Kline 11 Mar 98 - 07:29 AM
Sheye 11 Mar 98 - 10:28 AM
Richard 11 Mar 98 - 05:50 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 11 Mar 98 - 06:26 PM
Richard 12 Mar 98 - 08:15 PM
Amos 19 Nov 01 - 12:04 PM
Llanfair 19 Nov 01 - 04:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Nov 01 - 07:02 PM
nutty 19 Nov 01 - 07:25 PM
katlaughing 19 Nov 01 - 07:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Nov 01 - 08:04 PM
Jeep man 19 Nov 01 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 19 Nov 01 - 09:02 PM
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Subject: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: Sandi
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 01:41 AM

Am looking for the words to Dangerous Dan McGrew. I caught a short version of it on PBS Guy Lombardo. It's about a man in Alaska. Glad I found your website. My Mom is 78 years old and she has given me a whole list of Ballads to try and find.

Any info on Dangerous Dan will be appreciated. Email is:

ashby.tena@mcleodusa.net


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: Bojangles
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 02:45 AM

It appears that you are referring to the poem by Robert Service about the barroom brawl in which, if I remember correctly, the lights go out...gunshots resound and Dangerous Dan gets wasted. The"Lady that's known as 'Lou'" comes out the big winner for she apparently"pinched his poke."


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: R_Kline
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 07:29 AM

also see current thread "Sam McGee" [see too if you can find a copy of the old book, "A Treasury of the Familiar" which is an extraordinarily fun compilation of the marvelous and mundane, includes a number of R. Service poem...]


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: Sheye
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 10:28 AM

Trivia Tidbit: Robert Service was a bank teller in the Yukon. Story goes that he went to the bank late one night to write (sleep??) or something, was mistaken for a robber and was shot at. The line: "the lights went out; two guns blazed in the dark" was supposedly inspired by said incident.


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: Richard
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 05:50 PM

It should not be too hard to find the poem in any library and most book stores. There are several collections of Service's poem out there in inexpensive editions. Also try to find the late David Perry of Ottawa Ontario's tapes of Service material, much of which he put music too. He did agreat job.

The there is the wonderful bawdy version which I heard recited around a campfire on the Tatshenshini River in the Yukon/Alaska some years ago. I remember it was only recited after liberal quantities of cheap read wine flowed. The only line I remember is the last: "And there on the floor with his arsehole tore lay Dangerous Dan McGrew." Anyone know of this version?

Richard.


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 06:26 PM

You can find the words, lots of information, and links to even more information at.

http://www.top.monad.net/~artude/service.html

Murray


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: Richard
Date: 12 Mar 98 - 08:15 PM

Murray;

Great site. Thanks. Still can't find my rude version, howedver.

Richard


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Subject: ADD: The Shooting of Dan McGrew
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 12:04 PM

The Shooting of Dan McGrew


               A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
              The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
              Back at the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
              And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.

              When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare,
              There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog dirty, and loaded for bear.
              He looked like a man with a foot in the grave, and scarcely the strength of a louse,
              Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks on the house.
              There was none could place the stranger's face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;
              But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

              There's men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell;
              And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell;
              With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done,
              As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.
              Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he'd do,
              And I turned my head -- and there watching him was the lady that's known as Lou.

              His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze,
              Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his wondering gaze.
              The rag-time kid was having a drink; there was no one else on the stool,
              So the stranger stumbles across the room, and flops down there like a fool.
              In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
              Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands -- my God! but that man could play!

              Were you ever out in the great alone, when the moon was awful clear,
              And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
              With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
              A half-dead thing in the stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
              While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars --
              Then you've got a hunch what the music meant ... hunger and night and the stars.

              And hunger not of the belly kind, that's banished with bacon and beans;
              But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a home and all that it means;
              For a fireside far from the cares that are, four walls and a roof above;
              But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowned with a woman's love;
              A woman dearer than all the world, and true as Heaven is true --
              (God! how ghastly she looks through her rouge, -- the lady that's known as Lou.)

              Then all of a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear;
              But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear;
              That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil's lie;
              That your guts were gone, and the best of you was to crawl away and die.
              'Twas the crowning cry of a heart's despair, and it thrilled you through and through --
              "I guess I'll make it a spread misere," said Dangerous Dan McGrew.

              The music almost died away ... then it burst like a pent-up flood;
              And it seemed to say, "Repay, repay," and my eyes were blind with blood.
              The thought came back of an ancient wrong, and it stung like a frozen lash,
              And the lust awoke to kill, to kill ... then the music stopped with a crash,
              And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned in a most peculiar way;
              In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;

              Then his lips went in in a kind of a grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm;
              And, "Boys," says he, "you don't know me, and none of you care a damn;
              But I want to state, and my words are straight, and I'll bet my poke they're true,
              That one of you is a hound of hell ... and that one is Dan McGrew."

              Then I ducked my head, and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark;
              And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark;
              Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew,
              While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the Lady that's known as Lou.

              These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know;
              They say that the stranger was crazed with "hooch," and I'm not denying it's so.
              I'm not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two --
              The woman that kissed him -- and pinched his poke -- was the lady that's known as Lou.

              By Robert Wm. Service (1874-1958).


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: Llanfair
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 04:48 PM

There's a fabulous part-rendition of this in the classic film "Murder most foul", an adaptation of an Agatha Christie story, and the wonderful Margaret Rutherford recites it as her audition piece so she can go undercover in a theatrical company.
Classic stuff!!!!
Cheers, Bron.


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:02 PM

That link murray gave didn't work for me. But this one did - http://www.ude.net/service/index.html

The version people sing is a lot shortened. Debbbie McClatchy does it doesn't she? She definitely sings the shortened Cremation of Sam M'Gee.

I like Ballads of a Bohemian and the Red Cross Man ones as well, where he's not feeling he has to be funny.

I always feel it's curious how the taste for this kind of stories in verse just died out. You'd had Kipling, and Chesterton, and Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson and Robvert Service, and others as well, all over the English speaking world (and I suspect in other countries - in fact I know it was, notably for example in Argentina.)

And then silence, in English anyway. Or rather, it's still going on in the folk world, but out of sight and out of mind.


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: nutty
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:25 PM

Folk poetry flourished in England in the late 1800 but then snobbery crept in
Some people regarded Kipling as "a writer of verse" rather than "a poet in the ilk of Byron and/or Wordsworth
The closest we've had to Service/Lawson etc, in recent years was the poetry of Sir John Betjamin.


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 07:36 PM

McGrath, somewhere there are students from my daughter's 7th grade class from the late 1980's who all got a good dose of Service from my reading him to them in class. They esp. loved the Cremation of Sam McGee. My kids were raised on him and Kipling etc., and I hope there are a lot of others who've done the same, so maybe there is some hope. Things tend to come full circle, so I expect there is another generation coming up just about ready to discover these great writers, at least I hope so!

The moive, The Man From Snowy River did wonders for interesting kids in Banjo Patterson's stuff, too.


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 08:04 PM

Yes, it'll come round, some time, some way. The puzzle is why it why it died away.

This'll annoy some people, but in a sense rap has demonstrated that there is still an appetite for a type of verse that is grounded in storytelling and real events. I wouldn't take the parallel much further, but maybe it's a precursor of something better.

And, in the folk world, the idea that we are still entitled to listen to and to write ballads and monologues , and songs telling stories and so forth has never died.


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: Jeep man
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 08:08 PM

There is a really good Robert Service website. I have lost the address. Not hard to find. Jeep


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Subject: RE: Ballad of Dangerous Dan McGrew
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 09:02 PM

Guy Lombardo lyrics.....Posted in a previous forum.

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=41018

Guy Lombardo vocals Kenny Gardner

Dangerous Dan McGrew

A bunch of the boys were whoopin it up at the Malamut Café
And the ragtime kid at the musicbox was a jazzin a tune that was gay.
And back of the bar in a poker game sat a man that everyone knew
He was grim and cold, he was bad and bold, he was Dangerous Dan McGrew

Now while Dangerous Dan, was a playin his hand, and keeping his mind on his game
You could see standing by, with a gleam in her eye, and her hair just as red as a flame
A gal who was tall, with a face like a doll, and her fingernails painted blue
A gal who was tall, with a face like a doll, the lady who is known as Lou

When out of the night which was fifty below and into the din and the glare
A man staggered in, who was haggard and thin, and his face was filled with dispair.
Now he looked all around, until he had found, the lady that is known as Lou
Then the stranger turned and his eyes they burned, on Dangerous Dan McGrew

Then suddenly wham, all the lights went out, and a voice cried "Die you must!"
And then a woman screamed, and a shot rang out, and somebody bit the dust.
And then the lights flashed on, and the Nortwest Mounted police came a crashin in
They drew their guns and then said which one, is Dangerous Dan McGrew?

…..

And then somebody said, "Ooww, they're so big" and then skipped across the floor.
A one, two, skip, a hand on hip, right out through the open door.
Now was it the stranger a taken his leave, or the lady that is known as Lou?
It was nobody else, in this whole wide world, than Dangerous Dan McGrew


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