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Lyr Req: Billy Bones

GUEST,Karen 04 May 02 - 10:57 AM
Sorcha 04 May 02 - 11:13 AM
DMcG 04 May 02 - 11:30 AM
DMcG 05 May 02 - 02:46 AM
GUEST,Karen 05 May 02 - 08:03 AM
Malcolm Douglas 05 May 02 - 10:55 AM
vectis 06 May 02 - 05:18 PM
radriano 07 May 02 - 11:27 AM
Rollo 07 May 02 - 07:21 PM
MartinRyan 07 May 02 - 08:29 PM
GUEST 10 May 02 - 06:30 AM
vectis 11 Jun 02 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 12 Sep 02 - 11:46 AM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Sep 02 - 01:30 PM
EBarnacle1 12 Sep 02 - 02:07 PM
Melani 12 Sep 02 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 18 Sep 02 - 09:23 AM
Maurice Mann 18 Sep 02 - 10:58 AM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Sep 02 - 12:17 PM
IanC 18 Sep 02 - 12:27 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Sep 02 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 20 Sep 02 - 09:04 AM
DMcG 20 Sep 02 - 09:15 AM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Sep 02 - 09:48 AM
GUEST 13 May 19 - 08:16 AM
MoorleyMan 13 May 19 - 11:18 AM
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Subject: Billy Bones
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 04 May 02 - 10:57 AM

Does anyone have the lyrics to a song called Billy Bones? It's about a man and a grey cat who dance around the world for a silver shilling. Last line of chorus is 'and they danced the world all around'.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 May 02 - 11:13 AM

I found a lot of songs with that title, but none have to do with a grey cat..........


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: DMcG
Date: 04 May 02 - 11:30 AM

I learnt this song in primary school in the early sixties. If no-one can track it down, I will try to extract it from by memory. Here's the last verse, anyway:

I'm Billy Bones, and my feet are sore
And I never want to dance no more
But I've come to claim my silver pound
For I've danced the world around


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: DMcG
Date: 05 May 02 - 02:46 AM

Oh, dear it looks like it might be down to my fading memory. For some reason, this is one of those songs I can only remember slowly and backwards. I have dug up most of the preceeding verse now. I will keep trying!

But when twenty years had passed away
Came an old, old man and his cat so grey
And they'd come to claim their silver pound
For they'd danced the world around

Then the Mayor got up, and the council too
And they quickly asked "Now who are you?
With your ..
And your battered(?) hat?
And your ragged clothes
And your dancing cat?

====== There's another stray bit floating around as well

And the ju-ju men ran away in fear
As the twirling man and his cat drew near


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 05 May 02 - 08:03 AM

Thanks for the fragment. Can you remember any more? It doesn't seem too likely I will find the lyrics anywhere else.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 May 02 - 10:55 AM

Naggingly familiar. A Charles Causley poem, perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: vectis
Date: 06 May 02 - 05:18 PM

Dick Richardson sings it. I have looked for it several times but never found the lyrics written down.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: radriano
Date: 07 May 02 - 11:27 AM

Skip Henderson, one of the shanty singers at San Franisco's Hyde Street Pier has a cd out titled "Billy Bones" but I don't know if it's the same song. I lent my copy to a friend so I can't look it up right now.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: Rollo
Date: 07 May 02 - 07:21 PM

Isn't Billy Bones a character from "Treasure Island"? That pirate that tries to hide in the inn in the beginning?


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: MartinRyan
Date: 07 May 02 - 08:29 PM

Rollo

That's what I was thinking! Was he marooned on the island?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 02 - 06:30 AM

Because he couldn't remember the words to his song????????


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: vectis
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 07:45 PM

Bill Caddick wrote the version you're after. Jim Glover also sings it.


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Subject: Billy Bones
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 11:46 AM

Does anyone know a sing that someone used to sing at the Wessex folk clib in Bournemouth in the 70s. The singer claimed to have learned it from his little sister and its chorus went:

'For to win the prize of a silver pound,
He danced the world all round.'
Messages from multiple threads combined.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 01:30 PM

Refresh: someone else has just asked for this song.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 02:07 PM

Ben Gunn was the marooned guy on the island.


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Subject: RE: Billy Bones
From: Melani
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 03:55 PM

Skip Henderson's "Billy Bones" is definitely not the song about a cat. It's about pirates. It's on his CD "Billy Bones and other Ditties". Great picture on the front of Skip having a beer with a skeleton.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy Bones
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 09:23 AM

Thanks - I didn't know it had already been discussed. The fragments supplied by DMcG are definitely from the song I asked about.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy Bones
From: Maurice Mann
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 10:58 AM

Redbornstoke Morris sing the first verse as a once-to-yourself at the start of the Ampthill dance that goes with the tune. They got the song from an old BBC 'Singing Together'songbook
"On a harbour wall in a sailor's hat
is an old grey man with an old grey cat
and he dreams all day of the time he twirled
in a sailors hornpipe round the world
it was many a weary year ago
that he started off on nimble toe
for to win the prize of a silver pound
he must dance the world around"
They were going to sing the last verse at the end of the dance but you need to be able to breathe to do that

Mo


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Subject: Lyr Add: BILL BONES' HORNPIPE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 12:17 PM

Aha! Thankyou, Maurice; that was the clue I needed to place the thing. Here it is:

BILL BONES' HORNPIPE

(Tune: traditional German. Words: Alfred H. Body.)

On the harbour wall, in a sailor hat,
Is an old, old man with an old grey cat;
And he dreams all day of the time he twirled
In a sailor's hornpipe round the world.
It was many a weary year ago
When he started off on a nimble toe,
For to win the prize of a silver pound,
If he'd dance the world around.

From the harbour wall he began his dance,
And he took the road on the way to France,
And his old grey cat, for she loved him so,
Did a hornpipe too on tail and toe!
They danced on the deck of a sailing brig
With a hornpipe first and then a jig,
For to win the prize of a silver pound,
If they'd dance the world around.

In the land of France they'd a how-d'ye-do,
For old Billy Bones couldn't parleyvoo,
And the folk all stared at his sailor hat,
And his pigtail tarred and his dancing cat.
From the coast of France to Gay Paree
The Frenchmen cried, "La, la! Oui, oui!
Oh, he'll win the prize of a silver pound,
If he'll dance the world around."

Then the weeks went by, and the months grew long,
And he danced the heathen tribes among;
And the juju men ran away in fear
As the twirling man and his cat drew near.
To the sandy wastes of Timbuctoo
They had sped along in a year or two,
For to win that prize of a silver pound,
If they'd dance the world around.

But the years went by on the harbour wall,
And there came no news of the pair at all;
And the people sighed, and they said, "That, that!"
And forgot Bill Bones and his faithful cat.
But when twenty years had passed away
Came an old, old man and a cat so grey,
For to win the prize of a silver pound
They had danced the world around.

Then the Mayor got up, and the Council too,
And they quickly asked, "Now who are you,
With your ragged clothes and your old black hat,
And your tarred pigtail and your dancing cat?"
"I'm Billy Bones, and my feet are sore,
And I never want to dance no more,
But I've come to claim that silver pound
For I've danced the world around."

From Singing Together, BBC Publications, Spring 1964. The song was quoted from Six Songs of Happiness, Set Two, Novello and Co. Ltd.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy Bones
From: IanC
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 12:27 PM

Well done, Malcolm ... knew I knew it!

:-)


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Subject: Tune Add: BILL BONES' HORNPIPE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 12:51 PM

I put an extraneous "a" in verse 1 line 6, by the way. Here is the tune in abc format:

: X:1
T:Bill Bones' Hornpipe
C:Tune trad. German, words Alfred H. Body.
B:Singing Together, BBC, Spring 1964.
L:1/8
Q:1/4=120
M:2/2
K:F
FG|A2 F2 F2 GA|B2 G2 G2 cB|
w:On the har-bour wall, in a sail-or hat, Is an
A2 F2 F2 EF|(GF) (ED) C2 FG|
w:old, old man with an old_ grey_ cat; And he
A2 F2 F2 GA|B2 G2 G2 cB|A2 F2 G2 E2|
w:dreams all day of the time he twirled In a sail-or's horn-pipe
F2 F2 F2 AB|cc cc c2 _ee|d2 B2 B2 Bc|
w:round the world. It was man-y a_ wea-ry year a-go When he
d2 d2 d2 f2|e2 c2 c2 FG|A2 F2 F2 GA|
w:start-ed off on nim-ble toe, For to win the prize of a
B2 G2 G2 cB|A2 F2 G2 E2|F6|]
w:sil-ver pound, If he'd dance the world a-round.

And here (temporarily) is a midi:

Bill Bones' Hornpipe .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy Bones
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 20 Sep 02 - 09:04 AM

Thanks Malcolm, that's the one I wanted!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy Bones
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Sep 02 - 09:15 AM

Well, as I said, I haven't sung it since the early sixties. So I don't think I did *too* badly on those last verses...

Well done, Malcolm ... now what else was in "Singing Together" of Spring '64?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy Bones
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Sep 02 - 09:48 AM

You done good. The other songs? -The Minstrel Boy (Thomas Moore/ trad.); Cotton-eyed Joe; The Mermaid; The Animals went in Two by Two; Swansea Town; Waltzing Matilda (A.B. Paterson and Marie Cowan); Cradle Song (Schubert/ Albert G. Latham); O, Will You Buy My Syboes?; The Three Huntsmen. Vintage stuff, eh. Waltzing Matilda was voted most popular song that season, it seems.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy Bones
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 19 - 08:16 AM

http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/pdf/635.pdf ... I hope that this is useful (I just had to find it, today, as the this song from my Primary School, in the early 1960's has been stuck in my mind from this morning ...

Kind Regards


William Devlin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy Bones
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 13 May 19 - 11:18 AM

FYI, there's a rather neat version on Paul Scourfield's album Freshly Squeezed.


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