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Lyr/Chords Req: The Wonderful Crocodile

DigiTrad:
WONDERFUL CROCODILE


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Dashing Steam Loom Weaver (6)


Steve Gardham 16 Nov 15 - 02:04 PM
threelegsoman 16 Nov 15 - 03:15 AM
EBarnacle 15 Nov 15 - 08:20 PM
gecko 14 Nov 15 - 09:50 PM
GUEST,Lina 14 Nov 15 - 06:43 PM
EBarnacle 19 Oct 07 - 09:12 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Oct 07 - 08:45 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Oct 07 - 02:18 PM
Joe Offer 17 Oct 07 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,Judy Suszek 16 Oct 07 - 03:10 PM
Joe Offer 11 Oct 04 - 03:20 AM
Joe Offer 11 Oct 04 - 03:03 AM
GUEST 29 Apr 02 - 04:37 PM
John MacKenzie 29 Apr 02 - 04:32 PM
John MacKenzie 29 Apr 02 - 04:29 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Wonderful Crocodile
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 02:04 PM

The earliest broadside I have copies of is by Pitts of London but it's his 1818 to 1844 address.
At least one broadside gives the air as 'End for End Jack' which I know nothing about.
It might also be worth posting that apart from oral tradition the song appears to have been retained in the repertoires of light opera singers possibly from printings based on the version in Lucy Broadwood and Fuller Maitland's 'English County Songs'


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Wonderful Crocodile
From: threelegsoman
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 03:15 AM

I uploaded a version of this song in June 2012. I found it on the Contemplator site under Songs of the Sea. As well as the verses presented by others above, there is a 'doggerel' chorus:

The Wonderful Crocodile (Including lyrics and chords)


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Wonderful Crocodile
From: EBarnacle
Date: 15 Nov 15 - 08:20 PM

Another version I have heard ends: And there you'll find the tail of this wondrous crocodile.
Obviously "tail" is a play on "tale."


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Wonderful Crocodile
From: gecko
Date: 14 Nov 15 - 09:50 PM

Is this it?

"The Crocodile Song" by Roger Green
First verse
Come gather around me children to tell the truth I'm bound
Here's a story when I went to sea and the wonders that I found
Ship wrecked was I one lonely day and cast upon the shore
Now I decided to wonder way the country to explore, explore the country to explore
So I sang, toddle oddle oddle oddle oo I ey, toddle oddle oddle oddle oo I ey
Now, I decided to wonder way the country to explore

Second verse
Well, I had not long walked when there beside the ocean
I saw something move, like all the world in motion
Now I creep up beside the thing, it was a great big crocodile
From the end of his nose to the tip of his tail was about 500 miles, yes about 500 miles
So I sang, toddle oddle oddle oddle oo I ey, toddle oddle oddle oddle oo I ey
From the end of his nose to the tip of his tail was about 500 miles

Third verse
Now I could plainly see this was none of the common race
For I had to climb a tall tall tree before I could see his face
The wind was blowing so hard up there, it blow with a gale form the south
and I lost my grip on the big tall tree and fell smack dab in the crocodile's mouth, yes smack dab in the crocodile's mouth
So I sang, toddle oddle oddle oddle oo I ey, toddle oddle oddle oddle oo I ey
I lost my grip on the big tall tree and fell smack dab in the crocodile's mouth

Fourth verse
Now I could see this crocodile was going to nab a victim….. me !
so I ran down his throat you see, and that's the way I tricked him. see?
Now I wandered around for a year or two, until I reached his craw (that's his stomach)
There was a rum case, not a few, and a thousand pullets (little chickens) in store in store, a thousand pullets in store
So I sang, toddle oddle oddle oddle oo I ey, toddle oddle oddle oddle oo I ey
There was a rum case, not a few, and a thousand pullets in store"

Final verse
Now the crocodile grew very very old and at a great long last, he died
It took him about six months to catch a cold he was so long and wide
His skin was about 10 miles thick, I think, or some where there about
For I was fully six months digging my way out, yes digging my way out
So I sang, toddle oddle oddle oddle oo I ey…, toddle oddle oddle oddle oo I ey
For I was fully six months digging my way out
and I got out just in time to come here and sing this song for you!

You'll find it here and song notes too.
http://www.rogerogreen.com/2010/09/25/the-crocodile-song/

YIU
gecko


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Wonderful Crocodile
From: GUEST,Lina
Date: 14 Nov 15 - 06:43 PM

I'm not sure anyone is reading this old thread, but I'm searching for the version of the song that Judy described. My father sang this song (and played it on the guitar) to me when I was a child in the 1970s. And the melody is completely different from the version linked to above. The opening of the melody leaps up a fifth and then goes down (g'-c''-c''-a'-g'-e'-c for "come gather round me children").

I remember the lyrics almost exactly as Nancy described them.
"Now gather around me children, to tell the truth I'm bound.
Here's a story 'bout when I went to sea, & the wonders that I found.
Shipwrecked was I one wintry day, & cast out on the shore.
I decided I'd wander away, the country to explore, The country to explore"

The end of the song "Digging my way ou-ou-ou-ou-ou-out" is a scalar ascent, and the final word "out" is held over several chord changes.

Is there anyone out there who knows of any versions of this song, or recordings, etc.? I feel like my Dad must have learned this from a recording while he was in college in the 1960s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Wonderful Crocodile
From: EBarnacle
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 09:12 AM

The version Jim posted was recorded several years ago in OZ. I am not sure of the exac citation.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WONDERFUL CROCODILE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 08:45 PM

From Modern Street Ballads by John Ashton, London: Chatto & Windus, 1888.

I believe the text is very close to the broadsides at the Bodleian site.

THE WONDERFUL CROCODILE.

Now list, ye landsmen, all to me,
To tell you the truth I am bound,
What happen'd to me, by going to Sea,
And of the wonders which I found.
Shipwrecked I once was off Perouse,
And cast upon the shore,
So I resolved to take a cruise,
The Country to explore.

But far I had not scudded out,
When close alongside the ocean,
I saw something move, which at first I thought,
Was all the earth in motion.
But steering up alongside,
I found 'twas a Crocodile,
And from his nose to the tip of his tail
He measured five hundred mile.

This Crocodile, I could plainly see,
Was not of a common race,
For I was obliged to climb a very high tree
Before I could see his face.
And when he lifted up his jaw,
Though perhaps you'll think 'twas a lie,
It reach'd 'bove the clouds for miles three score,
And his nose nearly touched the sky.

Whilst up aloft, and the stream was high,
It blew a gale from the south,
I lost my hold, and away did fly,
Right into the Crocodile's mouth.
He quickly closed his jaws on me,
And thought to grab a victim,
But I ran down his throat d'ye see,
And that's the way I tricked him.

I travell'd on for a month or two,
Till I got into his maw,
Where I found of rum kegs not a few,
And a thousand bullocks in store.
Of life I banish'd all my cares,
For in grub I was not stinted,
So in this Crocodile I lived ten years,
Very well contented.

This Crocodile being very old,
One day, alas! he died,
But he was three years a getting cold,
He was so long and wide.
His skin was ten miles thick, I'm sure,
Or very near about;
For I was a full six years or more,
Cutting a hole for to get out.

But now once more I've got on earth,
And resolv'd no more to roam,
So in a ship that pass'd, I got a berth,
And now I'm safe at home.
And lest my story you should doubt,
Should you ever travel the Nile,
Just where he fell, you'll find the shell,
Of this wonderful Crocodile.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Wonderful Crocodile
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 02:18 PM

It's closer to the broadside texts than the Lomax set, but neither have departed far from the wording of the original song, which seems to have its roots in the London 'supper clubs' that preceded the music halls. It was probably written a little before or after 1830, and was an early example of the mid-19th century vogue for songs about monstrous animals and other things. 'The Great Meat Pie' (Roud 8092), for instance, begins 'You've heard of the wonderful crocodile', and was frequently sung to the same tune; as, apparently, was 'The Wonderful' (sometimes 'Christmas') 'Sucking Pig' (Roud 1615). There were others, not all of which survived in oral currency as well as this one, which has turned up from time to time in most English-speaking countries.

There was at one time a tendency to lump all these 'songs of lies and marvels' together and imagine that they represented some sort of survival of pre-Christian magical beliefs, but, although the 19th century vogue reflects similar fashions in the popular song of previous centuries (and there does seem to be some influence from older songs like 'The Derby Ram') 'The Crocodile' and its like were very much products of the commercial song industry. A later echo of the same theme was R P Weston's 'What a Mouth!' (1906), popularised by Harry Champion and revived in the 1960s by Tommy Steele.

There are various examples from London and provincial printers at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

The Wonderful Crocodile


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The Wonderful Crocodile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 04:30 AM

Hi, Judy. I moved you over here from the FAQ-I hope you can find this thread. Your song is quite different from what I posted above, but it looks like both songs come from the same roots.
Anybody familiar with Judy's version and where it comes from?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat FAQ - Newcomer's Guide
From: GUEST,Judy Suszek
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 03:10 PM

Just found this site. LOVE IT! When my kids were little, 40 years ago, we used to listen to a different version of the Corcodile song than the ones listed. I thought it was recorded by Jimmie Rodgers , the folk singer who did Honeycomb, but I can't find the recording anywhere. The words went like this:

Now gather around me children, to tell the truth I'm bound.
Here's a story 'bout when I went to sea, & the wonders that I found.
Shipwrecked was I one wintry day, & cast out on the shore.
I decided I'd wander away, the country to explore, The country to explore
Well I had not long walked about, when there beside the ocean,
'twas there that I saw something move, like all the earth in motion.
Well I steered close beside the thing, & I saw it was a great big crocodile,
From the end of its nose to the tip of its tail
'twas about 500 miles, 'twas about 500 miles.

Well this crocodile I could plainly see was none of the common race,
and I had to climb a big tall tree before I could see its face.
But the wind was ablowing so hard up there,
It was blowing a gale from the south, that I lost my hold on the big tall tree, and I fell right into the crocodile's mouth,
Smack dab into the crocodile's mouth.

Well the crocodile closed his jaws on me, he was going to have a victim.
But I ran down his throat you see, & that's the way that I tricked him.
And I wandered around for a year or two, till I finally reached his craw,
And there were rum kegs, not a few & a thousand pullets in store, in store, a thousand pullets in store.
And I wandered around for a year or more,
for grub I wasn't stinted, & I lived in the crocodile 10 years,
very very well contented, very very well contented.

Well the crocodile was very very old and at late long last he died.
And he took nine months to catch a cold, cause he was so long and wide.
And his skin was 10 miles thick I think, or somewhere's thereabouts, cause I was fully 6 months boys in a-digging my way
ou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ou-out


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Subject: ADD Version: The Rummy Crocodile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 03:20 AM

THE RUMMY CROCODILE

Come landlubbers all both great and small
To tell you I am bound
What happened to me when I went to sea
And the wonders there I found

Shipwrecked I was off Peru
And there was cast ashore
Resolved I was to take a view
And the country to explore

I traveled east I traveled west
I traveled to the ocean
There I saw a wondrous sight
"Twas like the earth in motion

Quickly I drew up long side
I saw 'twas a crocodile
From the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail
He reached five hundred mile

This crocodile as you can see
Was not of the common race
I had to climb a tall tall tree
To look into his face

I was aloft, the seas ran high
There came a breeze from the south
I lost my hold and down I fell
Right into the crocodile's mouth

Quickly then he shut his jaws
He thought he'd claim a victim
But I trod so nimbly down his throat
That's the way I tricked him

I traveled on a month or two
'til I cam to his maw
There I found rum kegs, quite a few
And a thousand dollars in store

This crocodile being very old
Alas one day he died
He was six months a-growing cold
He was so long and wide

His skin was ten miles thick I'm sure
Or somewhere near about
It took me two and twenty years
To dig my way out

Now if you doubt the story I tell
Just go to the banks of the Nile
And where he fell you'll find the shell
Of the Rummy Crocodile

as sung by Frank Tracy of Brewer, Maine

from the CD booklet, Margaret MacArthur: Ballads Thrice Twisted.


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Subject: Origins: The Wonderful Crocodile
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 03:03 AM

I think it might be time to study this song a little more thoroughly. Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Wonderful Crocodile, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer, shipwrecked at (La Perouse), encounters the crocodile. He describes its immensity: Five hundred miles long, etc. Blown into its mouth, he lives well on the other things lost inside. At last the beast dies; the singer spends six months escaping
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1845 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(4288))
KEYWORDS: animal talltale monster sailor
FOUND IN: Australia Ireland US(MW,NE) Britain(England(South,Lond),Scotland(Aber)) Canada(Mar,Ont)
REFERENCES (13 citations):
Meredith/Anderson, pp. 134-135, "The Wonderful Crocodile" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 157-159, "The Crocodile" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering 196, "The Wonderful Crocodile" (1 text, 1 tune)
GreigDuncan8 1700, "The Crocodile" (1 text)
Greig #14, p. 1, "The Crocodile" (1 text)
SHenry H231a, p. 28, "The Crocodile" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Kennedy 292, "The Crocodile" (1 text, 1 tune)
Broadwood/Maitland, pp. 184-185, "The Crocodile" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 168-170, "The Rummy Crocodile" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 230-232, "Crocodile Song" (1 text, probably this, 1 tune)
Creighton-NovaScotia 60, "Crocodile Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 498-500, "The Wonderful Crocodile" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, WONDCROC

Roud #886
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 11(4288), "The Wonderful Crocodile," J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also 2806 c.16*(150), Harding B 11(1317), Harding B 11(1141), Harding B 11(4289), Harding B 11(4290), Firth c.12(412), "[The] Wonderful Crocodile
NLScotland, RB.m.143(134), "The Crocodile," Poet's Box (unknown), c.1890

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Derby Ram" (theme)
cf. "The Grey Goose" (theme)
SAME TUNE:
End for End Jack (per broadside NLScotland RB.m.143(134))
A Tough Yarn ("Ladies and gents' if you will listen a little while to me") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 158)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Rummy Crocodile
NOTES: The similarity to "The Derby Ram" should be obvious. It is also noteworthy that most versions show very little variation; one must suspect a broadside ancestor somewhere. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
File: MA134

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


The version in the Digital Tradition is from American Ballads and Folk Songs, Lomax:
WONDERFUL CROCODILE (DT)

Come list ye, landsmen, all to me,
To tell the truth I'm bound-
What happened to me by going to sea
And the wonders that l found.
Shipwrecked l was one sappy rouse
And cast all on the shore,
So I resolved to take a cruise,
The country to explore.

cho: To my ri tol tooral loralido,
Ritol looral lay,
To my ri tol lol fol liddle lol de fol
To my tol looral lay.

Oh, l had not long scurried out,
When close alongside the ocean,
'Twas there that I saw something move,
Like all the earth in motion.
While steering close up alongside
l saw it was a crocodile;
From the end of his nose to the tip of his tail
It measured five hundred mile.

This crocodile I could plainly see
Was none of the common race,
For I had to climb a very high tree
Before l could see his face.
And when he lifted up his jaw,
Perhaps you may think it a lie,
But his back was three miles through the clouds
And his nose near touched the sky.

Oh, up aloft the wind was high,
lt blew a hard gale from the south;
l lost my hold and away l flew
Right into the crocodile's mouth.
He quickly closed his jaws on me,
He thought to nab a victim;
But l slipped down his throat, d'ye see,
And that's the way l tricked 'im.

l traveled on for a year or two
Till l got into his maw,
And there were rum kegs not a few
And a thousand bullocks in store.
Through life I banished all my care
For on grub l was not stinted;
And in this crocodile lived ten years,
Very well contented.

This crocodile being very old,
One day at last he died;
He was three years in catching cold,
He was so long and wide.
His skin was three mi!es thick, l'm sure,
Or very ncar about;
For l was full six months or more
In making a hole to get out.

So now l'm safe on earth once more,
Resolved no more to roam.
ln a ship that passed I got a berth,
So now I'm safe at home.
But, if my story you should doubt,
Did you ever cross the Nile
'Twas there he fell---you'll find the shell
Of this wonderful crocodile.

From American Ballads and Folk Songs, Lomax
@animal @liar @talltale
filename[ WONDCROC
TUNE FILE: WONDCROC
CLICK TO PLAY
RG




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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The crocodile ?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 04:37 PM

In DT as "Wonderful Crocodile". Many copies or text on Bodleian Ballads website.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: The crocodile ?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 04:32 PM

Try again, sorry folks.

Come list ye landsmen all to me to tell a tale I'm bound
Of what happened to me by going to sea, and the wonders that I found


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Subject: The crocodile ?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 04:29 PM

Looked in the digitrad under this heading with no luck, first lines are? What happpened to me by going to sea, and the wonders that I found.
Giok


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