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What's a mechanical twitch?

RonU 25 Apr 98 - 01:33 AM
Barbara 25 Apr 98 - 04:07 AM
dick greenhaus 25 Apr 98 - 08:03 PM
RonU 25 Apr 98 - 11:13 PM
RonU 25 Apr 98 - 11:17 PM
Bruce O. 26 Apr 98 - 01:12 PM
Bert 27 Apr 98 - 09:18 AM
RonU 27 Apr 98 - 10:29 AM
Bruce O 27 Apr 98 - 10:28 PM
Whippoorwill 28 Apr 98 - 10:47 AM
W. Pint 30 Apr 98 - 09:28 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Oct 10 - 11:10 AM
Fergie 27 Oct 10 - 11:22 AM
Bill D 27 Oct 10 - 11:38 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Oct 10 - 12:25 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Oct 10 - 01:00 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Oct 10 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,^&* 27 Oct 10 - 01:59 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Oct 10 - 02:04 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Oct 10 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 27 Oct 10 - 06:20 PM
Tootler 27 Oct 10 - 06:28 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Oct 10 - 01:38 AM
Tootler 28 Oct 10 - 11:53 AM
mayomick 28 Oct 10 - 01:00 PM
Art Thieme 29 Oct 10 - 09:11 AM
mikesamwild 29 Oct 10 - 09:18 AM
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Subject: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: RonU
Date: 25 Apr 98 - 01:33 AM

What is a mechanical twitch ? ...and I'm a mechanical twitch.


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Barbara
Date: 25 Apr 98 - 04:07 AM

Well, if you're Dick Darby the Cobbler, I think you're a mechanical *switch*, doesn't that make *lots* more sense? Barbara


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Apr 98 - 08:03 PM

Actually, if you're Dick Darby, and there's a censor listening, it's a "mechanical switch". In other circumstances, it's a "son of a bitch".


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: RonU
Date: 25 Apr 98 - 11:13 PM

Thanks guys. When my favorite troubado sings Dick Darby, I always hear "Twitch". I've been too close to too many Browning 30 Cal, Air cooled, tripod mounted mini-explosions, and my hearing aids don't always discriminate as well as they should. Does that sound like a reasonable alibi ? Anyhoo, is "mechanical switch" still in use, I wonder ?


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: RonU
Date: 25 Apr 98 - 11:17 PM

I forgot to mention, one of the lines ol' Bill Arthur uses is "Me brother's a street corner preacher. He saves little girlies from sin. He'll save you a blond for five dollars. My God, how the money rolls in." Did he just make that up or have others heard it, also ? Thanks, RonU


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 26 Apr 98 - 01:12 PM

Still don't know if "My name is Old Hewson the Cobbler" (Dick Darby, Dick German, etc) is in a book at Yale, 'The Vocal Miscellany', Dublin, 1738, p. 338. Any Yalies here with access to the Music (or Main) Library there? (No other copies known) An open appeal on a list with people at Yale on it got no response.


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Bert
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 09:18 AM

Ron,

The way I heard it, back in England in the Fifties was....

My brother's a poor missionary,
He saves fallen women from sin,
He'll save you a blond for a guinea,
My God how the money rolls in.

Bert


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: RonU
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 10:29 AM

Bert

Thanks for the missionary version (probably the original), I like it. I still laugh out loud every time I hear that line. RonU


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Bruce O
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 10:28 PM

According to G. Legman the original was the Scots "My daddy's a delver of Dykes" in Tea Table Miscellany and Orpheus Caledonius, but I'm not inclined to agree. See his comments at "My Father Was Hung (for sheep stealin)", #45, 'Roll Me in Your Arms', 1992. Dick and Susan have "Haben a Boo and a Banner" on a cassette tape, so maybe we'll have that version with tune on the next DT release.


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Whippoorwill
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 10:47 AM

Would a mechanical twitch be a robot hooker? :)


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: W. Pint
Date: 30 Apr 98 - 09:28 PM

My horse riding music partner has mentioned that a twitch is a device for calming or controlling a feisty horse by pinching its lip. I don't know if that makes any more sense than 'switch' in the song, but I thought I'd toss it out to help complicate the issue.


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 11:10 AM

Old thread refreshed ~~ because it doesn't seem to answer the thread question in either its 'twictch' or 'switch' version:

I've just been listening to the late great Tommy Makem on youTube singing The Cobbler: "Me father was hung for sheep stealing, Me mother was burned for a witch, Me sister's a dandy housekeeper [presumably euphemism for "bawdyhouse keeper"?] And I'm a mechanical switch".

OK - even allowing a euphemism for "son of a bitch", WHAT does "mechanical switch" mean in the context. We are surely meant to understand something by it!

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Fergie
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 11:22 AM

As far as I'm aware a mechanical switch is a lever with a latching device to hold it in a specific position. An example of a mechanical switch is the lever that you see in a railway switchbox that is used to activate or change the points at a railway junction. Having said all that, it has no meaning in the song except as polite rhyming slang to denote 'son of a bitch'

Fergus


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 11:38 AM

I 'suspect' it was just a convenient rhyme with 'mechanical' added for scansion.....but that's not a very interesting answer, is it?


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 12:25 PM

Is his "lapstone" that keeps "beating away" rude too? I always assumed it was.


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 01:00 PM

A lapstone was a part of a shoemaker's equipment; but it probably has some sort of double-entendre in this context, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 01:53 PM

Although not exactly a universally accepted terminology, since it's seldom needed, in the science of mechanics and dynamics the rate at which an object changes position (dx/dt if x is position and t is time) is called velocity.

The rate at which velocity changes (dv/dt = d2x/dt2) is called the acceleration.

The rate at which acceleration changes (da/dt = d2v/dt2 = d3x/dt3) is called the jerk value.

The rate at which the jerk changes (d4x/dt4) is called the zing value.

The rate of change of the zing ((d5x/dt5) is called the twitch.

And the rate of change of the twitch (d3x/dt3) is called the snap.

Position, velocity, acceleration, jerk, zing, twitch, snap.

The "higher derivative" terms are seldom encountered, since once an observable jerk is present something nearly always breaks and the experiment is over.

("(s)he's got a lot of zing" means the person is "unpredictably jerky" but is not usefully used except in small and usually isolated "cliques" of narrowly specialized pseudo-mathematicians. Describing a person as "twitchy" in such a group would likely not be deemed complimentary.)

Obviously this is not the "mechanical twitch" found in the subject song though, so the thread should continue with the more applicable discussion.

John


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 01:59 PM

You pleading the Fifth Derivative? ;>)


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 02:04 PM

Critical typo in prevous post.

And the rate of change of the twitch (d6x/dt6) is called the snap.

Apologies to all. The peer reviews on this technical note have not been received and analyzed for comment, or such a careless error would not have survived beyond the draft publication.

John


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 02:08 PM

GUEST,^&*:

Gosh what a "snappy" comment! (Ref op. cit. ;<)

John


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 06:20 PM

Eh?


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 06:28 PM

So if you integrate a jerk you get his acceleration.

Hmmm .... interesting. The mind boggles!


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 01:38 AM

Since "integrating" means "combining parts" I suppose there could be something about "if you combine enough jerks ... "

- - - - - but I can't think what might happen.

When I first saw this thread, I thought it asked

      whats a mechanical twit.

I was going to go with the obvious, "the guy that works on my truck every time I take it to a dealership service shop."

But I won't suggest that, since it's pretty lame compared to most of the cleverness here.

John


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Tootler
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 11:53 AM

Yes, sum all the little jerks and you get........?


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: mayomick
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 01:00 PM

There's something of the jerky and mechanical to the songs rhythm , isn't there ?


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 09:11 AM

It, as always, and like the song, comes, eventually, to the desired climax! Good bottom line.

Art


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Subject: RE: What's a mechanical twitch?
From: mikesamwild
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 09:18 AM

So, if stuck for a line, invent any old rubbish that rhymes, it'll keep folkies on Mudcat busy for hours in harmless fun. Beats working for a living.

And my bones will be thrown in a ditch.   So it's a potato famine song


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