Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


Origins: Sam Hall

DigiTrad:
AIKENDRUM
CAPTAIN KIDD
CAPTAIN ROBERT KIDD
NOBBY HALL
SAM HALL
SAMUEL SMALL (SAM HALL)
TALLOW CANDLES or SONG OF A DOOMED MAN
VAN GOGH
WONDROUS LOVE


Related threads:
Lyr/Tune Req: Ballad of Sam Hall (28)
(origins) Origins: Damn your eyes (41)
Lyr Req: Tom the Cat (9)
(origins) Origins: Sam Hall (37)
(origins) Origins/Info: Tallow Candles (34)
Lyr Req: Sam Hall / Chimney Sweep (Oh my name...) (12)
Lyr Req: Sam Hall (Dubliners, etc.) (27)
Lyr Req: Jack Hall (6)


steve t 20 Apr 98 - 04:46 PM
Barry Finn 20 Apr 98 - 05:18 PM
steve t 20 Apr 98 - 06:11 PM
Bill in Alabama 20 Apr 98 - 06:33 PM
Bruce O. 20 Apr 98 - 08:28 PM
steve t 21 Apr 98 - 09:08 AM
Bert 21 Apr 98 - 09:48 AM
Bert 21 Apr 98 - 09:49 AM
Bert 21 Apr 98 - 09:50 AM
Bruce O. 21 Apr 98 - 01:11 PM
Joe Offer 21 Apr 98 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,david@davidkidd.net 23 Oct 03 - 07:19 PM
InOBU 23 Oct 03 - 07:49 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Oct 03 - 07:52 PM
LadyJean 24 Oct 03 - 12:29 AM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Oct 03 - 12:57 AM
Nerd 24 Oct 03 - 12:07 PM
Joe_F 24 Oct 03 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,Big Jim from Jackson 25 Oct 03 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Jimmy 02 Jan 04 - 07:56 PM
Mark Clark 02 Jan 04 - 08:14 PM
LadyJean 02 Jan 04 - 11:45 PM
IanC 03 Jan 04 - 03:29 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 03 Jan 04 - 05:23 PM
Joybell 03 Jan 04 - 05:41 PM
Gareth 03 Jan 04 - 07:03 PM
Don Firth 03 Jan 04 - 07:28 PM
Joybell 03 Jan 04 - 07:35 PM
masato sakurai 03 Jan 04 - 10:53 PM
Fiolar 04 Jan 04 - 07:59 AM
Abby Sale 04 Jan 04 - 11:57 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jan 04 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Lighter 06 Jan 04 - 03:10 PM
Joybell 06 Jan 04 - 11:24 PM
Joybell 06 Jan 04 - 11:38 PM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Jan 04 - 11:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jan 04 - 01:00 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 07 Jan 04 - 02:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Jan 04 - 05:31 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jan 04 - 03:33 PM
Joybell 07 Jan 04 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,katie 14 Jul 04 - 01:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 04 - 01:57 PM
Billy Weeks 14 Jul 04 - 05:08 PM
GEST 14 Jul 04 - 05:17 PM
sian, west wales 14 Jul 04 - 05:49 PM
Billy Weeks 15 Jul 04 - 05:20 AM
Dave Bryant 15 Jul 04 - 05:59 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 04 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,zweig@earthlink.net 28 Jul 04 - 03:11 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Sam Hall
From: steve t
Date: 20 Apr 98 - 04:46 PM

In the "objectionable material" thread, someone afraid to identify themselves to our extremely gestapo-like community of mudcateers said:

...In fact watering down a gritty song like the ballad of Sam Hall so it is acceptable to all goes against my grain...

And I got to wondering: that fantastic song is watered down? So I checked the DT. I found a grittier song called Samuel Small. It doesn't look any better or worse to me, just different -- better if you're in an angry mood. Could this be the lyric that the nameless one was referring? What lyrics came first?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Barry Finn
Date: 20 Apr 98 - 05:18 PM

Go to the forum search & enter Jack Hall, there's a bit in there that may interest you. Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: steve t
Date: 20 Apr 98 - 06:11 PM

Interesting stuff.

Just wondering why it might be called a "goodnight" tune now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 20 Apr 98 - 06:33 PM

I'm in the midst of something else and am just stealing a minute to visit mudcat, so that I haven't checked the song in the DT. Songs supposedly composed by criminals facing execution are generally known as "Criminals' Goodnight" songs, and folklorists define a whole genre as goodnight songs. Another good example is "the Willow Garden," sometimes known as "Rose Conally."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Bruce O.
Date: 20 Apr 98 - 08:28 PM

I guess I fouled up agin. I though I had added something right after Barry's note, but it's not there.

The song iS descended from a ballad about Jach Hall, a London Chimney sweep. The original broadside version is lost, and the best text we have is a traditional one in Cecil Sharp's 'One Hundred English Folksongs' (still available). The burden of it is "Coming down" and that the tune direction on the original braodside ballad on "Cptain Kidd", and they are in the same "Digger's Carol meter (see that thread for some others in the same meter and some ABC'). J. W. Ebsworth, someplace in Roxburghe Ballads, said that the "Sam Hall" version came from a singer named Sam Cowell. I don't know the exact date, a little after the middle of the 19th century, as best I can remember, and I don't think I have a copy of Cowell's version. The curses may or may not be in that version; I don't know and won't speculate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: steve t
Date: 21 Apr 98 - 09:08 AM

So I checked the forum under "Digger" and found Bruce's article: ... 'The Diggers' Song' is the title of a short article by E. A. White in JEFDSS, IV, 1940, where the song (Gerard Winstanley's?) is given along with a long list of other songs with the same meter. White gives only the 'Pills' version of "Put in all" for a tune...

But still I wonder -- what a wonderful cadence Sam Hall would have for grave-digging.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Bert
Date: 21 Apr 98 - 09:48 AM

Here is a watered down version that I think is quite good. A watered down version


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Bert
Date: 21 Apr 98 - 09:49 AM

Where did it go???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Bert
Date: 21 Apr 98 - 09:50 AM

Uh Oh! it's gone again. You'll just have to cut and paste this one.

http://www.mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=3826


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Bruce O.
Date: 21 Apr 98 - 01:11 PM

'Alas poor Yorick' was obviously a last minute subsititute in the play when Shakepeare couldn't get a singer who would act the part of a grave-digger.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Apr 98 - 04:02 PM

You writing in invisible ink, Bert? You left out the second angle bracket (>) at the end of the URL. I fixed the first one for you, but left the second mistake so you could see the difference. Right-click and choose "view source." Does it make sense to you now?
Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,david@davidkidd.net
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 07:19 PM

I read that Sam Hall was written by an English music hall comedian C.W. Ross in 1850. He added the cursing and swearing to the "Jack Hall" of 1700. He also made the tune more boring. The words may seem mild to you young folk, but on http://www.smsu.edu/folksong/maxhunter/0552/index.html
you can hear a live performance in 1960 by a lady who was so embarrased that "May told Halpert to do the cussing for her".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 07:49 PM

I remember a version in Dublin in the sevnties, maybe from Johnny Keenan, which was more modern vile language, and great, I remember I verse
They say I kilt a man, says sammy hall, sammy hall
they say I kilt a man... and I did
I koshed him on the head with a lump of poxied lead
now the buggers dead, says sammy hall says sammy hall
now the buggers dead says sammy hall

now they say I'm going to swing says sammy hall sammy hall
from a lenght of poxied string says sammy hall


the first verse was,
Me name is sammy hall, f* youse all F* youse all...
me name is sammy hall F* youse all
me name is sammy hall and I've robbed from great an small

I wished I'd recorded it. It was great, a line about the hanging where the line was,
the judge will be there too, for he's f* all else to do...

Cheersm'dears Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 07:52 PM

It may be that this has been dealt with in more recent discussions than this resurrected one, but I'll just mention that the most comprehensive examination of this song and tune family is Bertrand Bronson's Samuel Hall's Family Tree (California Folklore Quarterly, I (1) 1942, and The Ballad as Song, University of California Press, 1969 18-36). G. W. Ross certainly popularised the song between 1845 and 1850, but whether he himself re-wrote it is not, I think, known. Sam Cowell was also associated with it at around the same time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: LadyJean
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 12:29 AM

Now, I have this from the back of a Steeleye Span tape, but Sam Hall was a teenaged chimney sweep, who was hanged for stealing some silver and jewelry. It's horribly easy to picture a skinny kid standing on the gallows and cursing the crowd.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 12:57 AM

As I thought, there are quite a few other threads on this. See the new links above, and also discussions on Jack Hall (the original, historical character). Casual visitors here seem to have a remarkable talent for unearthing very old, forgotten discussions; generally those which contain the least information. Note the gap of five-and-a-half years between Joe's post and David's. A little water has flowed under the bridge since then.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: Nerd
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 12:07 PM

One weird version of this is Johnny Cash's Sam Hall. He made all the curses into "dad blame yer eyes" and such. He proceeds from the assumption that Sam Hall was rolling drunk because someone smuggled him a bottle of whiskey in his cell, and he chews the scenery pretty good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: SAM HALL
From: Joe_F
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 07:22 PM

Here is a version that I have accumulated from various live sources over the years, beginning about 1950. It contains some embellishments I not found here:

Oh my name it is Sam Hall, it is Sam Hall.
Yes, my name it is Sam Hall, it is Sam Hall.
Yes, my name it is Sam Hall, and I hate you, one and all,
You're a bunch of muckers all,
God damn your eyes.

Oh I killed a man, 'tis said, so 'tis said,...
I shot him in the head, just to fill his mind with lead,
And I left him there for dead,
God damn his eyes.

They put me in a cell, in a cell,...
They put me in a cell, and the jailer treats me well --
I'll be seeing him in hell,
God damn his eyes.

Oh, the parson he did come, he did come,...
And he looked so bloody glum, as he talked of Kingdom Come --
He can kiss my ruddy bum,
God damn his eyes.

Oh, the sheriff he came too, he came too,...
With his little boys in blue, Lord, they were a bloody crew --
Well, now, he can kiss it too,
God damn his eyes.

Saw my Nellie in the crowd, in the crowd,...
She was looking stooped and bowed, so I hollered, right out loud,
"Hey, Nellie, ain't you proud?
God damn your eyes."

Saw my Nellie dressed in blue, dressed in blue,...
Says my Nellie, dressed in blue, "Your trifling days are through;
Now I know that you'll be true,
God damn your eyes."

Now up the rope I go, up I go,...
And those bastards down below, thinking it's a bloody show,
They'll say, "Sam, we told you so!"
God damn their eyes.

And now in heaven I dwell, in heaven I dwell,...
And the truth it is to tell, that it is a bloody sell --
All the whores are down in hell,
God damn their eyes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 10:05 AM

The Vipers had a nice version of "Sam Hall" on one of their albums. The album that was released in the USA was titled "Soho Skiffle Group" and didn't mention the Vipers' name. In the liner notes it says that Sam Hall goes back to a hanging that occured in 1702.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Origins: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,Jimmy
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 07:56 PM

Can someone tell me the propper story behind he song Sam Hall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Mark Clark
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 08:14 PM

Jimmy, If you'll just type the words "Sam Hall" in the little search box at the top of the page, you'll be greatly rewarded.

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: LadyJean
Date: 02 Jan 04 - 11:45 PM

Sam Hall was a teenage chimney sweep, who was hanged for stealing some small items, (I think it was some silverware) from one of the houses where he was working. Steeleye Span said, "He was probably like one of the old time rock and rollers, looked dangerous, but not an ounce of harm in him."
I keep picturing a skinny kid on his way to a nasty end cursing the crowd with all the force he can muster. It isn't a happy picture.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: IanC
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 03:29 PM

Not quite so easy, LadyJean. He was clearly an inveterate rogue, which is what he was hung for. Here's his entry in the online version of The Newgate Calendar.

:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 05:23 PM

At Lesley Nelson-Burns, Contemplator Site:

Jack Hall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Joybell
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 05:41 PM

Of course the reason this song was so well remembered was because of W G Ross who performed it for years at the "Coal Hole". He terrified grown men with his eye-rolling and his aggressive manner. There is a wonderful account of his performance told by an eye witness on the 10th of March 1848. I found it at the "The Voice of the People" site but my attempts at adding links have so far been depressingly unsucessful. Easily found though. "Sam Hall" + "voice of the people" will find it. Cheers Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Gareth
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 07:03 PM

Hmmm ! Was not the 'fore runner' of Sam Hall the ballad of William Kidd ?

Was Wm Kidd adapted as a broadside for 'Sam Hall' ?

I ignore the "rugby Club" version.

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 07:28 PM

I posted the following on a previous thread some time back, but any time Sam Hall is mentioned, I can't help but think of a story I heard about him. Authentic? Who knows? But anyway, here it is:--

Sam Hall and his parting oration have gone down in history, at least in song form. But he might have swung unremembered had it not been for the large crowd that had gathered to see hanged, not Sam Hall, but a handsome, dashing highwayman whose exploits had made him something of a popular hero.

Sam, a chimney-sweep by trade before he ran a-foul of the law, cowered in the corner of the cart that was hauling him and the highwayman to the gallows. As the crowd lining the streets cheered the highwayman on to his doom, the highwayman stood tall and proud, acknowledging the cheers and blowing kisses to the ladies. At one point, a wheel of the cart hit a loose cobblestone and the cart lurched, throwing Sam against the highwayman. The highwayman shoved him back into the corner and, ostentatiously brushing the soot off the sleeve of his doublet, he said, "Stand off, varlet, stand off!"

Sam crouched in the corner and snarled, "Stand off yerself! I've as much right to be here as you 'ave!"

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Joybell
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 07:35 PM

Thanks Don. What a great story. Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: masato sakurai
Date: 03 Jan 04 - 10:53 PM

SAM HALL is in the DT. And there have been two threads on the same subject:

Origins: Sam Hall

Origins: Sam Hall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Fiolar
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 07:59 AM

Try listening to the Oscar Brand recording of the song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Abby Sale
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 11:57 AM

One of the old (mostly gone) courtesies of the news groups was that the original asker of something complex like this was "required," and generally did, summarize the various posts to make a coherent essay on what it was all about. S/he was pleased to do this in thanks for all the trouble All had gone to answer the question.

0h well, Times have changed. So now we have 5 posts on this unless a Joe Offer is willing to go to the considerable trouble of concatenating them.

So without looking up even my own prior posts (the citations are in there somewhere), the Happy File notes that the historical Sam/Jack Hall and Robert/William Kidd were hanged about the same time and their respective songs appeared about the same time a few years later. It thus becomes impossible to say which was the chicken or if they were both eggs of some other unknown chicken.

I believe the "stronger" the version of Sam Hall, the better. The character portrayed was certainly objecting to the festivities - deeply scornful, if fact. It "should" be clear he resents it.

I sing a nice version from Tommy Macem with the refrain:

Oh my Name is Sam Hall, and I hate you one and all,
You're a bunch of buggers all.
God Damn your eyes... (pause)
        Blast your souls... (pause)
        Bloody hell.......... (long pause)
        Shit!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: SAM HALL, CHIMNEY SWEEP (Bodleian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 03:32 PM

I woild appreciate it if someone could fill in the missing two words in this poorly printed version of "Sam Hall, Chimney Sweep," from the Bodleian Collection. It is short, sharp and to the point.

Lyr. Add: SAM HALL, CHIMNEY SWEEP

Oh, my name it is Sam Hall,
Chimney sweep!
Oh, my name it is Sam Hall,
Chimney sweep!
My name it is Sam Hall
I have robbed both great and small,
And now I pay for all,
Damn my eyes.

My master taught me flam-
Taught me flam.
My master taught me flam-
Taught me flam.
My master taught me flam,
Though he know'd it for b-----(bram??)
And now I must go hang,
Damn my eyes.

I goes up Holborn Hill in a cart,
In a cart.
I goes up Holborn Hill in a cart,
In a cart.
I goes up Holborn Hill,
At St. Giles I take my gill*,
And at Tyburn makes my will,
Damn my eyes.

Then the sheriff he will come,
He will come.
Then the sheriff he will come,
He will come.
Then the sheriff he will come
And he'll look so gallows glum,
And he'll talk of kingdom come,
Blast his eyes.

Then the hangman will come too,
Will come too.
Then the hangman will come too,
Will come too,
Then the hangman will come too,
With all his bloody crew,
And he'll tell me what to do,
Blast his eyes.

And now I goes up stairs,
Goes up stairs.
And now I goes up stairs,
Goes up stairs,
And now I goes up stairs,
Here's an end to all my cares,
So ---- (say? send?) up all your prayers,
Blast your eyes.

* gill- Four fluid ounces.
Harding B15 (274b)
Hodges, printer, London, c. 1846-1854, Bodleian Collection.
Browse-Search insert Sam Hall.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 03:10 PM

Q:
The irst queried line appears to run "Though he know'd it all for bam," meaning "sham" (which, conveniently, rhymes).

The missing word in the final stanza should, I think, be "tip," meaning "offer" (as in "The Wild Missouri," "He winked his eye and tipped his flipper"): "Offer up your prayers."

This broadside should be very close to what Ross was singing in the 1850s: the date is right. I don't believe it has ever been alluded to or reprinted. Bully for you!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Joybell
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 11:24 PM

That's W G Ross! The performer who popularised Sam Hall. His full name is never given as far as I can find out, but it's W G Ross! Amazing performer. We should get his name right. Cheers Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Joybell
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 11:38 PM

There is a wonderful eye witness account of Ross as Sam Hall, NB. that's W G Ross, here
Oh dear the link tells me I can't "access it from this server" I can from Google though. It's at
http://www.mustard.org.uk/vop/notes178htm
Worth the trouble trust me. Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Jan 04 - 11:58 PM

The link is only forbidden because you have inadvertently spelled it wrong. "mustard.org.uk" is anoher animal entirely. You want http://www.mustrad.org.uk/vop/notes178.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: JACK HALL (variant of SAM HALL, Bodleian)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 01:00 AM

Thanks, Lighter. I should have checked Francis Grose and his Dictionary. Bam- humbug, etc. I agree with your suggestion of tip up; now that I look at the broadside again, I see the letter p at the end of the word.

The Bodleian has another broadside on the chimney sweep, same time period- might as well fill it in here as well.

JACK HALL

My name it is Jack Hall, chimney sweep, chimney sweep,
My name it is Jack Hall, chimney sweep,
My name it is Jack Hall,
And I rob both great and small,
But my life must pay for all,
When I die, when I die.
But my life must pay for all,
When I die.

I've furnished all my room, that's no joke, that's no joke.
I've furnished all my room, that's no joke.
I've furnished all my room,
Both with shovels and birch brooms
Besides a chimney pot that I stole,
That I stole, that I stole,
Besides a chimney pot that I stole.

I sold candles in the Jail short of weight, short of weight,
I sold candles in the Jail short of weight.
But the candles that I sold,
They would light me to the hold,
They would light me to the hold,
Where I lay, where I lay,
They would light me to the hold
Where I lay.

They told me in the Jail, I should die, I should die
They told me in the Jail I should die,
Oh! they told me in the Jail
I should drink no more brown ale,
But the ale will never fail
More shall I, more shall I,
But the ale will never fail,
More shall I.

As we goes up Holborn Hill in a cart, in a cart,
As we goes up Holborn hill in a cart;
As we goes up Holborn Hill,
At St. Giles we did fill,
Then for old Tyburn
We depart, we depart,
Then for old Tyburn,
We depart.

The ladder and the rope went up and down, up and down.
The ladder and the rope went up and down,
Oh! the ladder and the rope,
My collar bone they broke.
And a devil a word I spoke come down,
Coming down, coming down,
And a devil a word I spoke
Coming down.

Bodleian Ballads, Harding B 15(145a), printed by Birt, London, c. 1833-1851.
Although this was the time of W. G. Ross, I wouldn't swear that either ballad is the one used by Ross; undoubtedly, however, his performance inspired these broadsides.
Note on Jail- The Oxford English Dictionary places its entry under J, jail, gaol, and proceeds to show that both are equally old in English (ME, one Old Norman French (g), the other Old French (j). "Though both forms gaol, jail, are both written, only the latter is spoken." In the U. S., jail is the official (and legal) spelling.
In the brief OED entry under gaol, note is made that "in British official use forms with G are still current..."
I put this note here because the spelling of the word always seems to raise uninformed comment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 02:31 AM

Interesting to note, the word Gaol in Scottish Gaelic means Love.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 05:31 AM

Note of potential historical interest. The period when Jack received his 'suspended sentence' was one of the busiest for the hangmen of England and Wales. Scotlands laws were different and the death sentence not used anything like as much. It is also unlikely that the 'Tyburn tree' was used as the hangings had been moved from Tyburn to Newgate late in 1783.

In the mid 1800s the number of captal crimes on the statute books exceeded 200. Oddly enough though, although there were literaly thousands of death sentences handed out it appears that only (!) about 10% of these were carried out. If the convicted felon had any money or the slightest influence there was usuauly a petetion to the home office to commute the crime to transportation or gaol, depending on its nature.

Poor old Jack must have had very little of either to end up dancing the Newgate jig:-(

An interesting study of the prison and it's executions can be found here. During the period in question, btw, the punisment for high treason was to hung drawn and quartered (men) or burned at the stake (women). Although H,D&Q was usualy symbolised by beheading the body already dead from hanging, three women were actualy burnt at the stake in Old Bailey!

Eeeeeh, them were the good old days...

Cheers

DtG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 03:33 PM

Gaol= love- not in the Mudcat Glossary of Scottish words.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Joybell
Date: 07 Jan 04 - 05:08 PM

Thanks Malcolm. I'm always good at anagrams. I wonder what's on the forbidden tise no! esti no! seti no! site!? Why can't we see? Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: SAM HALL (trad. Newfoundland)
From: GUEST,katie
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 01:31 PM

In Newfoundland, a province of Canada, there's a version of Sam Hall accepted as a traditional Folk song.

Oh me name it is Sam Hall, chimney sweep, chimney sweep
Oh me name it is Sam Hall, chimney sweep,
Oh me name it is Sam Hall, and I've robbed both great and small
And me neck will pay for all when I die, when I die
And me neck will pay for all when I die.

I have twenty pounds in store, that's not all, that's not all,
I have twenty pounds in store, that's not all
I have twenty pounds in store, and I'll rob for twenty more,
For the rich must help the poor, so must I, so must I
For the rich must help the poor, so must I.

Oh they brought me to Coote Hill, in a cart, in a cart,
Oh they brought me to Coote Hill, in a cart
Oh they brought me to Coote Hill, there I Stopped to make my will,
For the best of friends must part, so must I, so must I
For the best of friends must part, so must I

Up the ladder I did grope, that's no joke, that's no joke,
Up the ladder I did grope, that's no joke,
Up the ladder I did grope, and the hangman pulled the rope
Oh and ne'er a word I spoke, tumblin' down, tumblin' down
Oh and ne'er a word I spoke, tumblin' down

Oh me name it is Sam Hall, chimney sweep, chimney sweep
Oh me name it is Sam Hall, chimney sweep
Oh me name it is Sam Hall, and I hate you one and all
You're a bunch of muggers all, damn your eyes, damn your eyes
You're a bunch of muggers all, damn your eyes


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 01:57 PM

Guest Katie, thanks for posting the Newfoundland "Sam Hall." Where did you get it? Information would be appreciated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 05:08 PM

Mentions of Sam Cowell in this thread are misleading.   I have never seen any evidence that Cowell sang 'Sam Hall' and it is utterly unlike the rest of his quite seemly repertoire. The singer who made it famous was W G or G W (it is seen both ways) Ross who achieved a tremendous reputation, singing it late at night at the Cyder Cellars. There are many accounts (including in 'Punch') of his highly dramatic performance in and around 1849.

Ross's version was almost certainly rewritten by him from an older song existing under various names, including 'Jack Hall'. It was fairly closely related to 'Captain Kidd'. His performance was said to have been sprinkled with obscenities, but none of the moreor less contemporary printed versions (including in 'The Ross Song Book' itself) contain any trace of anything much rougher than a 'damn'.

Sensitivities at the time made it unlikely that Ross's performance would be noted down word for word but a parliamentary select committee in the 1860s, taking evidence concerning music hall licensing, questioned Paddy Green, the Cyder Cellars manager in Ross's time. He said that the song was not as bad as it had been painted, but some wicked person had added a verse about a parson. He didn't say that Ross sang this verse (I bet he did!) neither did he say what was so bad about it, but this thread has already contained one variant of the fearful words, namely: 'He can kiss my bloody bum'.

I suspect that the verses still current in oral tradition are closer to the Ross performance than any known printed version, but we'll never be sure.

Ross was so indelibly associated with this song that it ruined his chances of ever making the dramatic career that his talents probably merited. When the noise died down after 1850 he slipped out of sight and finished up unnoticed in the chorus line in opera boufffe. Sam Cowell, by contrast, became the first great star of the music halls. His career, too, was destroyed by popularity. In his case alcoholism.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: GEST
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 05:17 PM

The Fables apparenty arranged the Newfoundland version on their 1998 album, "Tear The House Down" except they used the word muckers vs. muggers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: sian, west wales
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 05:49 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 05:20 AM

Sian. Don't leave us in suspense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 05:59 AM

Just nitpicking Q, but a Gill is a quarter pint and there are 20 fluid ounces to a pint - so a Gill is 5 fluid ounces not 4.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 07:19 AM

To be precise- In the USA
gill= 4 fluid ounces (7.219 cubic inches)= 118.294 millimeters.
pint= 4 gills (28.875 cubic inches)=473.176 millimeters.

In the UK
gill also = one-fourth of a standard pint, but this has been Imperial measure since 1826, so = 34.66 cubic inches, which is a smidgeon larger than 1.200 of an American pint,
so there are 4.8012 and a smidgeon American gills to an Imperial pint-
which only goes to prove that people are heavier drinkers in the UK than they are in the United States providing that the drinkers in each area drink equal numbers of their respective pint measures (I think).
Dave, all this was appropos of what? Now I have a headache.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Sam Hall
From: GUEST,zweig@earthlink.net
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 03:11 AM

Look for "Sam Hall's Family Tree" in a back issue of the California Quarterly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 August 8:45 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.