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DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)

DigiTrad:
HOT ASPHALT


Related thread:
Tune Req: What tune is Hot Ashphalt (29)


Joe Offer 05 Nov 02 - 05:39 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Nov 02 - 10:25 PM
Steve Parkes 06 Nov 02 - 05:28 AM
GUEST 06 Nov 02 - 07:49 AM
Micca 06 Nov 02 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 06 Nov 02 - 08:28 AM
sharyn 06 Nov 02 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Q 06 Nov 02 - 03:27 PM
John MacKenzie 06 Nov 02 - 04:32 PM
Joe Offer 06 Nov 02 - 06:40 PM
Bob Bolton 06 Nov 02 - 09:34 PM
weerover 07 Nov 02 - 01:39 AM
GUEST 07 Nov 02 - 08:45 PM
Ballyholme 08 Nov 02 - 08:52 AM
Snuffy 08 Nov 02 - 08:56 AM
vectis 08 Nov 02 - 01:57 PM
Susanne (skw) 08 Nov 02 - 06:40 PM
Bob Bolton 09 Nov 02 - 07:13 AM
Snuffy 09 Nov 02 - 09:05 AM
MartinRyan 28 Jun 04 - 11:16 AM
Dave Sutherland 28 Jun 04 - 03:58 PM
MartinRyan 02 Jul 04 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,robert 04 Aug 06 - 07:07 AM
Richard Bridge 04 Aug 06 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,some bloke in the pub 15 Mar 07 - 02:22 PM
Jack Campin 15 Mar 07 - 04:18 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Apr 09 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Guest 31 May 09 - 08:58 PM
Jack Campin 01 Jun 09 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,Arfur 25 May 17 - 06:47 AM
GUEST 09 Feb 18 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,henryp 09 Feb 18 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 09 Feb 18 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 09 Feb 18 - 12:39 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Feb 18 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,henryp 09 Feb 18 - 02:59 PM
GUEST 09 Feb 18 - 04:13 PM
Steve Gardham 09 Feb 18 - 04:36 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: HOT ASH-PELT / HOT ASPHALT
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 05:39 PM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads



HOT ASPHALT

Ah, it's likely gone six months ago I came to Dublin town,
Where I joined a gang of lab'ring men who laid the ashpelt down;
Sure, now I wear a Guernsey and around me waist a belt
I'm the gaffer of the boys that make the hot ashpelt.

Well one day a copper comes up to me and he says to me, "'McGuire,
Will you kindly let me warm myself, around your boilin' fire?"
Then he turned around to the boiler, and upon the edge he knelt,
And he toppled right into the boiler full of hot ashpelt.

Well we quickly pulled him out of it and we put him in a tub,
And with soap and lots of heated water we did rub and scrub.
But the divil a bit of tar came off; it was stuck on just like stone,
And every time we gave a rub you could hear the poor man groan.

With the boilin' and the wettin', he caught a bloomin' cold,
And for scientific purposes his body has been sold.
Inside the National Museum now, he's a-hanging by the belt,
As an example of the dire effects of the hot ashpelt.


Note: In a poorly-remembered version, the policeman mouthed off at McGuire, and was pushed in the boiler. RG

Tune: Napoleon Crossing the Rhine
@work @Irish @police
filename[ HOTASPLT
TUNE FILE: HOTASPLT
CLICK TO PLAY
RG


HOT ASPHALT (Digital Traditionn Lyrics)

Ah, it's likely gone six months ago
I came to Dublin town,
Where I joined a gang of lab'ring men
Who laid the ashpelt down;
Sure, now I wear a Guernsey and around me waist a belt
I'm the gaffer of the boys that make the hot ashpelt.

Well onc day a copper comes up to me
And he says to me, "'McGuire,
Will you kindly let me warm myself,
Around your boilin' fire?"
Then he turned around to thc boiler,
And upon the edge he knelt,
And he topplcd right into the boiler full of hot ashpelt.

Well we quickly pulled him out of it
And we put him in a tub,
And with soap and lots of heated water
We did rub and scrub.
But the divil a bit of tar came off,
It was stuck on just like stone,
And every time we gave a rub
You could hear the poor man groan.

With the boilin' and the wettin',
He caught a bloomin' cold,
And for scientific purposes
His body has been sold.
Inside the National Museum now
He's a-hanging by the belt,
As an example of tlhe dire effects of the hot ashpelt.

Note: In a poorly-remembered version, the policeman mouthed
off at McGuire, and was pushed in the boiler. RG

tune: Napoleon Crossing the Rhine
@work @Irish @police
filename[ HOTASPLT
TUNE FILE: HOTASPLT
CLICK TO PLAY
RG



PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST acquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.


There's a version of this song in the Digital Tradition, but I thought this one was also quite interesting.
-Joe Offer-



HOT ASH-PELT (Hot Asphalt)

1. 'Tis lately gone six months ago since I left sweet Bandon town
Where I helped me Uncle Barney for to cut the harvest down
But, sure, now I wear a Guernsey and around me waist a belt
I'm the gaffer o'er the boys that makes the hot ash-pelt

CHORUS: So you may talk about your soldiers and your sailors and the rest
Your tailors and your shoemakers to please the ladies best
But the devil a one of them has got their graisy hearts to melt
Like the boys around the boiler making hot ash-pelt


2. Now one day a peeler came to me and says he to me: McGuire
Would you kindly let me light my duidin at your boiler fire?
Then he turns round to the boiler with his coat-tails up so neat
Now says I: My decent man, you'd better go and mind your beat
O sure, says he, that'll do for me, for I've got me blooming marks
And I know you for a dirty pack of Tipperary barks
Then I drew out from me shoulder and I gave him such a belt
That I knocked him into the boiler full of hot ash-pelt

3. Well we quickly pulled him out again and put him in a tub
And with soap and warm water, sure, how we did rub and scrub
But the devil a bit of tar came off, it stuck on just like stone
And every rub that we did give, you should hear the peeler groan
And out of the wetting he did get, he caught a blooming cold
And for scientific purposes his body has been sold
And now in the National Museum he's hanging by the belt
As an example of the dire effects of hot ash-pelt



Good evening all me jolly lads, I'm glad to see you well
If you gather all around me, boys, a story I will tell
For I've got a situation and begorra 'tis a fancy job
I can whisper: I've the weekly wage of eighteen bob


This was the introductory verse sung by an Irish travelling tinker, at Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland. John McLaverty omitted this introduction and sang only three refrains, but the tinker had a refrain after each of his six verses. 'Peeler' is a slang term for a policeman and 'duidin' is Irish for a small tobacco pipe.

A considerable number of Irish street ballads have been composed to this tune, perhaps the best known ballad being "Let Mister Maguire Sit Down." There is also a march called "Napoleon Crossing the Alps."

John McLaverty, Belfast, N. Ireland, rec. P. Kennedy and S. O'Boyle, 1952: BBC 18310

from Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (Peter Kennedy, editor, 1975)

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Hot Ash-Pelt, The

DESCRIPTION: Singer McGuire leaves the farm for the asphalt crew. A peeler insults the men, and the singer knocks him into the boiler. They pull him out but the tar won't come off; now he hangs in the National Museum, "an example of the dire effects of hot ash-pelt"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1952 (collected from John McLaverty)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Singer McGuire leaves the farm to be boss of the asphalt crew. A peeler (policeman) asks to light his pipe on the boiler fire; he insults the men, and the singer hits him, knocking him into the boiler. They pull him out and scrub him, but the asphalt won't come off; now he hangs by his belt in the National Museum, "an example of the dire effects of hot ash-pelt"
KEYWORDS: fight violence work humorous boss worker police technology
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland) Ireland
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Kennedy 225, "The Hot Ash-Pelt" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacColl-Shuttle, pp. 26-27, "Hot asphalt" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, HOTASPLT

Roud #2134
BROADSIDES:
NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(70a), "Hot Ashfelt," unknown, c. 1890
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Napoleon Crossing the Alps" (tune)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Hot Asphalt
NOTES: Although we tend to think of paved roads as a modern contrivance (with, perhaps, the exception of the Roman roads), paving has been around for quite a while. The first modern paved roads were built by John Loudon McAdam (1756-1836), who as paving commissioner of Bristol from 1806 began using crushed rock to build solid surfaces ("macadam").
The idea caught on quickly; by the mid-nineteenth century, most "turnpikes" in the United States were paved. (A fact which could have important historical effects, e.g. during the Civil War. It's often stated that the Battle of Gettysburg took place where it did because it was a road center -- which is true, but there are plenty of road centers in Pennsylvania. Gettysburg was especially noteworthy because no fewer than three turnpikes -- the Baltimore, Chambersburg, and York Pikes -- met there.)
The earliest macadamized roads were made simply of rock, but by the end of the century, bitumen was being used as a binder, requiring a device to keep the asphault hot. - RBW
File: K225

Go to the Ballad Search form
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Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



Also see Mick McGuire and related threads.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 10:25 PM

Number 2134 in the Roud Folk Song Index. Apart from the set recorded by Kennedy from John McLaverty, it's also listed as having been recorded from Ben Baxter (Cromer [or Southrepps if you prefer Kennedy's reference], Norfolk, 1956) by Seamus Ennis, and from William Miller (Stirling, no date) by Ewan MacColl (William's son). That's it. Not much material for a study...


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 05:28 AM

On a technical note ... the MacAdam road (named for its engineer inventor) was composed (simpistically speaking) of layers of stone of diminishing size laid with a camber to make water run off. The impact of horses' hooves and iron wheel tyres crushed and compacted the top layer to make a fine-grained smooth water-repellant surface which was resistant to pot-holes; the more use it got, the better it became. The advent of wide rubber tyres, especially those on "high speed" motor-cars was bad news: the tyres sucked the finer particles from between the coarser stones, creating great clouds of choking dust, and causing the surface to break up. (That's why early motorists wore goggles and scarves.) Tarmacadam was the solution: the bitumen bound the stones together, giving a dust-free and more flexible surface to the road.

Steve


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 07:49 AM

Surely it's Hot Ashfelt (or ashphelt) in over 50 years I've never heard of "ashpelt".


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Micca
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 08:17 AM

I am sure I heard the the Tipperary line as
" I know you for deserters from the Tipperary Ranks"(cant remeber the line before with the rhyme.
and the last 2 lines as
"in the National museum he's standing in his pelt(ie Nude,in his skin)
as a monument to the Irish and the Hot Asphalt"
It might have been from the singing of Noel Murphy


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 08:28 AM

There's another song that I haven't heard for years, that seems to be a close cousin of this one. It's about a bloke who had a foreman name O'Rourke, slave driver type. The guy goes for a crap, O'Rourke follows him to the bog, and ends up with his head stuck down it... I only remember the very end..

I'll pray for O'Rourke as they give me the tog,
For they hang me tomorrow for puliing the plug.

Anyone fill me in?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: sharyn
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 03:08 PM

This may not be much help to scholars: I sing a version of this and can no longer remember where I learned it -- I lived in Dublin in 1977-1978 and may well have heard it there, or learned it off some recording that I no longer remember. I'm not much for songbooks, keeping these things in my head, but it has a variation on the first verse someone mentioned and the words to the last verse are somewhat different, too. For what it's worth:

The Hot Ashphelt

Good evenin' to you fellas, and I'm glad to see you well,
If you gather all around me then a story I will tell,
For I've a situation and a very pleasant job
And I'm tellin' you that my weekly wage is nineteen bob.
It's twelvemonths come October since I came to Camden town
And I dearly wish my boots could walk on decent Irish ground:
I wears a gansey sweater and around me waist a belt,
I'm the gaffer of the boys that makes the hot ashphelt.

Chorus:
You may talk about your soldiers and your sailors and the rest,
Tinkers, tailors and shoemakers, but we please the ladies best,
For the devil a one can always make their greasy hearts to melt
Like the boys around the boiler making hot ashphelt

Then by and come a polisman -- I think he's called McGuire --
And without so much as a by-your-leave he sits down at our fire
Says he, "You Tipperary ones, you always play the goat"
So we shoved him into the hot ashphelt and scrubbed him down with soap.
With the rubbin' and the scrubbin' sure, he'll catch his death of cold
For scientific purposes his body will be sold
In the Birmingham Museum he'll be hangin' from a belt
As a monument to the Irish makin' hot ashphelt.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 03:27 PM

Asphalt usu. pronounced as-phalt in the States. In Canada it is often ash-felt. Always wondered where that pronunciation came from.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 04:32 PM

In the Kelvingrove Museum, he'll be hanging by his pelt.
As a monument to the Irish, and to the hot ashphalt.

Can't remember all the rest but this is part of the chorus I learnt, in Scotland

Giok


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 06:40 PM

I did a Google search, and the only mention of found of "ashpelt" was in connection with this song. Nonetheless, that's the way Kennedy's book reported it.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Nov 02 - 09:34 PM

G'day Joe,

In respect of GUEST's complaint and GUEST,Q's comment,it ought to be kept in mind that the word is deliberately misspelt and mis-pronounced. I remarked, in the revival of an old thread on Mick McGuire, that Mick McGuire seemed to be a domestic Irish song but Hot Asphalt is typical of the English Music Hall songs that painted then Irish as a bunch of homocidal thugs.

It would be well in the Music Hall character to deliberately make the key word as mangled and "illiterate" as possible.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: weerover
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 01:39 AM

Guest Paul,

I think the song you mention is "The Foreman O'Rourke" by Matt McGinn. I have it on record at home and words/music in a book (62 Outrageous Songs) - can post later if you want.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 08:45 PM

the Hot Ashfelt song I used to hear had a chorus somewhat like:

"Sure we laid it on the narrow and we laid it on the flat/
And if it doesn't last for ever, sure I swear I'll eat me hat/
Now I wandered up and down the world and sure I've never felt/
And surface that is equal to the hot ashfelt."


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Ballyholme
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 08:52 AM

Sharyn:

It's interesting that you should use the word "gansey" for sweater instead of Guernsey. That's the way I'd always heard it but earlier this year we had a debate on uk.music.folk about which was correct and popular opinion came down on the side of "Guernsey" on the basis that fishermen from the Channel Islands wear a particular kind of sweater, commonly referred to as a "Guernsey". I always assumed that the word "gansey" was possibly Irish in origin. Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 08:56 AM

Jersey and Guernsey are the correct terms, but my parents always referred to a Gansey (they are English).

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: vectis
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 01:57 PM

Isn't it amazing how many different versions of one song you can get. This is the one I learned 30+ years ago on the Isle of Wight, or home as I used to call it.

Hot Ashphelt

CHORUS
Oh! We laid it on the hollows and we laid it on the flat.
If it doesn't last forever, lads I swear, I'll eat my hat.
I've travelled the wide world over and never have I felt
Any surface that is equal to the hot asphalt...

Oh! Good evening everybody sure it's nice to see you well,
Come in and gather round me and a story I will tell,
'Tis of a situation and begorra and begob,
I can whisper I've a weekly wage of nineteen bob.
'Tis twelve months gone October since I left my native home,
After helping in Killarney for to get the harvest home,
And now I wear a Guernsey and around my waist a belt,
I'm the gaffer of the squad that lays the hot asphalt.

One evening this copper comes and says to me "McGuire,
Wont you kindly let me light me pipe around your boiler fire?"
He sits himself right down in front with his hobnails up 'till eight,
I says "I'm a decent man! You'd better go and mind your beat."
He turns and yells "I'm down on you! I'm up to all your pranks!
And I know you for a traitor from the Tipperary ranks!"
I hits him from the shoulder, boys, and gave him such a belt,
That I knocked him in the boiler full of hot asphalt.

Well we quickly pulled him out again and threw him in a tub,
And with soap and boiling water we began to rub and scrub.
But the devil a bit of tar came off and it turned as hard as stone,
And with every other rub you could hear that copper groan.
"I'm thinking" Says O'Riley "That he's looking like Old Nick,
And burn me if I'm not inclined to clean him with my pick."
"Oh!" Says I "It would be easier to boil him 'till he melts
And to stir him nice and easy in the hot asphalt."

You may talk about your soldier boys your sailors and the rest,
Your shoemakers and tailors that do please the ladies best.
But the only ones that know the way the flinty heart to melt,
Are the boys around the boiler stirring hot asphalt.
With the rubbing and the scrubbing sure I caught my death of cold,
And for scientific purposes my body it was sold.
In the Kelvin Road Museum lads I'm hanging by the belt,
As a monument to the dire effects of hot asphalt.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 08 Nov 02 - 06:40 PM

vectis, yours is more or less the version the Corries sing, apart from leaving out the eight lines before the last four, reducing the verses to three. Three discrepancies, though: I hear them singing "My decent man ..."; it is the copper, not "me" who catches his death of cold, and he goes on show after that in the Kelvingrove Museum (and Art Galleries), Glasgow.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 09 Nov 02 - 07:13 AM

G'day Vectis (and GUEST of 07 Nov),

That first quatrain is from Ewan McColl's rewriting of Hot Asphalt as part of the Radio Ballad Song of a Road (1959). In rewriting the song and giving it a more 'honest' character and "celebrating" the work of the road builders, Ewan was very musch in character as a mamber of the (~) "Workingman's Song" group in the EFDSS.

He (and AL Lloyd) would have seen what they did as 'redeeming' the song and giving it back to its rightful owners. (And I can't disagree that they made a good song of it.) I have a particular affection for Song of a Road, despite Ewan's reservations (eg - they let themselves get snowballed by the Motorways PR people, &c) because:

(a) it was the only Radio Ballad I actually first heard on radio (re-broadcast, around 1968, by the ABC - the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, as it was then) and

(b) because I had just been working in the big construction game - Tasmanian Hydro dams, Water supply dams and the Snowy Mts Hydro Scheme ... and many of the characters I knew were clearly identifiable with those in the Radio Ballad.

Certainly, Ewan's Fitter's Song from this Radio Ballad immediately calls up, for me, the image of 'Big Dave' - a Pommy (English) fitter I worked with in Tasmania - and gives me a deeper dimension to the song.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Nov 02 - 09:05 AM

Vectis' version is nearly identical to the Dubliner's version: there are differences in almost every single line, but overall none are significant. The folk process seems to have been quite active with this song.

HOT ASPHALT

Good evening all my jolly lads. I'm glad to find you well,
If you'll gather all round me now the story I will tell,
For I've got a situation and begorra and begob,
I can whisper I've a weekly wage of nineteen bob.
'Tis twelve months come October since I left my native home,
After helping in Killarney, boys, to bring the harvest home,
But now I wear a Gansey and around my waist a belt,
I'm the gaffer of the squad that makes the hot asphalt.

CHORUS
Well we laid it in the hollows and we laid it in the flat.
And if it doesn't last forever, sure, I swear I'll eat my hat.
Well, I've wandered up and down the world but sure I've never felt
Any surface that was equal to the hot asphalt...

The other night a copper comes and he says to me "McGuire,
Would you kindly let me light me pipe down at your boiler fire?"
Well, he planks himself right down in front with hobnails up 'till eight,
Well, says I "Me decent man, you'd better go and mind your beat."
He ups and yells "I'm down on you! I'm up to all your pranks!
Don't I know you for a traitor from the Tipperary ranks!"
Boys, I hit right from the shoulder, and I gave him such a belt,
That I knocked him into the boiler full of hot asphalt.

We quickly dragged him out again and we threw him in the tub,
And with soap and boiler water we began to rub and scrub.
But divil a thing of tar came off and it turned as hard as stone,
And with every other rub sure you could hear the copper groan.
"I'm thinking," says O'Riley "That he's looking like Old Nick,
And burn me if I'm not inclined to clean him with my pick."
"Now," Says I "It would be easier to boil him 'till he melts
And to stir him nice and easy in the hot asphalt."

You may talk about your sailor lads, ballad singers and the rest,
Your shoemakers and your tailors what do please the ladies best.
The only ones who know the way the flinty heart to melt,
Are the lads around the boiler making hot asphalt.
With rubbing and with scrubbing sure I caught my death of cold,
And for scientific purposes my body it was sold.
In the Kelvingrove Museum, my boys, I'm hanging in my pelt,
As a monument to the Irish making hot asphalt.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 11:16 AM

This one has been around for a surprisingly long time. There's a 19 C. ballad sheet version in the Irish Traditonal Music Archive.

There's also a set in Harding's Dublin Songster which probably dates from around 1880-1900. It contains some interesting diffrences from the above versions, so I might transcribe it when I have a chance.

Regards


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 03:58 PM

Bob Davenport recorder a version on his "Wor Geordie" EP in the very early sixties and it was the "copper" who caught his death of cold.
Bob had transported the song to Gateshead as the victim was hanging in the Saltwell Park Museum. He refered to having his "fustians"(trousers)on rather than a gansey although the term was well known in the North East.
The significance of a Gurnsey sweater is that the particular pattern of stitching on the shoulders determines from which particular Parish a fisherman hailed, should he have been drowned at sea


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 05:27 AM

Here's the version from Hardings's Dublin Songster

_____________________-

The Hot Asphalte

Oh, good evening to you, boys, I'm glad to see you well
I'm conceiter myself to-night than any tongue can tell
For I'm in a situation, oh begorrah, a fancy job
And my weekly wages is eighteen bob.
'Tis a twelvemonth last September since I left Balbriggan town
Where I helped my Uncle Barney for to cut the corn down
Oh, but now I wear a gansey and around my waist a belt
For I'm gaffer o'er the men that makes the hop Asphalte

Chorus
You may talk about your soldiers, your sailors and the rest
Your shoemakers and tailors for to please the ladies best
And the only boys that have a chance to their flinty hearts to melt
Are the boys around the boilers making hot Ashphalte

The boys that I have under me outside and in the yard
Have the nerve to turn about and say I work them rather hard
Oh, but when they rise my dander up I give a murdering shout
You should see those lazy shaughrauns how they stir the tar about
You may do a bit of sculptory or painting at your ease
Sure any of those fine arts are as easy as your please
But it takes a power of generalship those hard lumps to melt
You must be born a genius for the hot asphalte.

The other day a bobby came and says he, M'Guire
Would you kindly let me light my pipe at your boiler fire
He plants himself before the fire, his coat fills up so nate
When, says I, my decent man, you had better mind your bate
Then he turned and said I'm down on you, I have your blooming marks
And I know you for a set of lazy Tipperary larks
So I hit him from the shoulder and I gave him such a belt
That I knocked him into the boiler among the hot Asphalte

We quickly pulled him out again and threw him in a tub
And with soap and warm water we began to scrub
But the devil a bit of tar came off, it turned as hard as stone
And at every scrape they gave him you could hear the bobby groan
With the water and the scrubbing, faith, he caught his death of cold
SO for scientific purposes the bobby has been sold
In the museum on Merrion Square he's hanging by the belt
An example of the dire effects of hot Asphalte

So I'll bid you all good evening for I must now away
As our job of work is just done I can no longer stay
I hear they are recruiting, that a war ahs just begun
And the lame the halt the crippled will have to take a gun
Our boiler it will be, me boys, our noble man-of-war
And for shot and shell and powder we've the red hot boiling tar
And like the Greeks of old, my boys, we'll strip them in their pelt
And we'll scald the dirty varmint with our hot asphalte.

Regards


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST,robert
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 07:07 AM

I don't now whats the right version. It's a bloody good song, no matter how ya sing it.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Aug 06 - 08:51 AM

In Chester in the early 70s I remember a line of the chorus as "If it doesn't last for ever sure as hell I'll F*** the cat"


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST,some bloke in the pub
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 02:22 PM

Yet another version is pretty much as snuffy's above, but the last verse is

Ah me working days are over boys, I've lost me bloody healt(h)
For with niether pick nor shovel, sure a cruel fate I was dealt,
But I never new a better way to make me old heart melt,
Than to be standing round the boiler making the hot asphalt.
But with rubbing and with scrubing sure I caught me death of cold,
and for scientific purposes my body it was sold,
In the Kelvingrove museum me boys I'm hangin in me pelt
as a monument to the Irish mking the hot asphalt.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 04:18 PM

The tune seems to be a Scottish one - it's in book 1 of Kerr's Merry Melodies (c. 1879), titled "Caledonian March".

When's the earliest occurence of the"Napoleon Crossing the Rhine" title?


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOT ASHFELT / HOT ASPHALT
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 11:57 PM

From Long Ever Ago (fiction) by Rupert Hughes (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1918):


[No title is given.]

1. Good evenin' to you, boys. I hope to see you well,
As I consider meself to-night, as anny tongue can tell.
I'm not out of employment, nor lookin' for a job;
And you know me weekly wages is over eighteen bob.
It's a twelvemonth lasht Septimber since I left Balbriggan town,
And I helped me Uncle Barney to cut the harvest down.
It's now I wear a ganzy, and around me waisht a belt,
I'm a gaffer o'er the boys that makes the hot ashfelt.

CHORUS: You may talk about your sojers, your sailors and the resht,
Your shoemakers and tailors to plase the ladies besht;
But the only boys that have a chance the colleens' hearts to melt
Are the boys around the boiler makin' the hot ashfelt.

2. A polisman steps up to me, and he says: 'Now, McGuire,
Will ye kindly let me light me dudeen at your boiler fire?'
Says I: 'Me honest polisman, you know it's gittin' late,
And if you've anny gumption you'll go and mind your bate.'
With that I drew out from 'um and I hit 'um such a welt
That I knocked 'um in the boiler among the hot ashfelt. CHORUS.

3. The boys they gathered round him and shtuck him in the tub,
With soap and warrum wather they all begun to shcrub.
In the Dub(a)lin museum he is hung up by the belt
For an example to the boys that make the hot ashfelt.


[In the novel, the verses appear interspersed with a bit of narration, which I have omitted. I have no explanation for the verses having an inconsistent number of lines.]


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 31 May 09 - 08:58 PM

I always heard it as "now i wear a geansai". 'Geansai' meaning 'jumper' in Irish.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 04:01 AM

The Irish word is presumably a borrowing from English - "gansey" is the way it's usually spelt when you want to be phonetic. (OED doesn't list it, and has "guernsey" dating only back to 1851, in Mayhew's "London Labour and the London Poor" - surely both the word and the thing are older than that?).

BTW I got the Kerrs title wrong, it's just called "March".


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST,Arfur
Date: 25 May 17 - 06:47 AM

The version I sing goes

Now its lately gone six months ago I left me native home
And to old Englands sunny shores I was inclined to roam
And now I wears a gansy and around me waist a belt
Im the gaffer of the boys who lay the hot asphalt

CHorus
you can lay it in the hollows you can lay it in the flat
If it doesnt last forever then I swear Ill eat me hat
Ive travelled all around the world and sure Ive never felt
Any surface thats the equal to the hot asphalt

We were working in the summertime we rolled it nice and hot
Two million yards or more of it we had to roll the lot
The sun was boiling down on us we thoughts our backs would melt
working on the motor highway laying hot asphalt

There were boys from Connemara County Mayo and Kildare
And Sligo Pincher kiddies sure all Ireland was there
We was working all around the clock you should have seen us belt
Working on the motor highway laying hot asphalt

So when youre riding in your motor car and speeding through the shires
And the only thing youre hearing is the humming of the tyres
Youll be riding soft an easy on a road as smooth as felt
so dont forget the boys who laid the hot asphalt


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 18 - 09:46 AM

The Irish word is "geansaí' = gansey, or guernsey.. The Irish word came first..


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 09 Feb 18 - 10:41 AM

Really? And where then does 'jersey', a more common word in English for a jumper, come from? Guernseys and jerseys both come from the Channel Islands, as do the Guernsey and Jersey cows.

Macadamised roads were initially converted to tarmac by covering them with coal tar, a by-product of the production of coke and coal gas from coal. Asphalt comes from Pitch Lake in Trinidad, the world's largest natural deposit of asphalt. It is excavated by the Trinidad Lake Asphalt company, founded in 1851.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 09 Feb 18 - 12:13 PM

My shorter OED give Jersey knitted work or worsted - 1587, jersey - wollen pullover 1836, guernsey - woolen pullover 1851.

All etymology that I can see for Irish geansai give it as derived from Guernsey, though whether that usage for a pullover is earlier than the English words in the same context is not clear, but would seem unlikely.

Mick


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 09 Feb 18 - 12:39 PM

More on the use of the word gansey in English. It's not a word I remember hearing in my childhood on Teesside, but it is listed (in Collins eg) as dialectical, but with no date and may have been used in other parts of the country (more associated with fishing perhaps).

An online Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL - gansey) gives an entry from 1886 : He rubbit aff da shute wi' da sleeve o' his gansey.

Mick


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Feb 18 - 02:38 PM

Gansey's were specific to fishing communities around the British coast.
They were knitted with a special type of oily wool, very close knit, so that they were to a degree waterproof. Each area or fishing community had its own pattern so that any drowned fishermen washed up (and there were many) could be recognised immediately as from a specific place.

They're bloody expensive as well!, but rightly so.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 09 Feb 18 - 02:59 PM

Mudcat Knitting Songs

Deni Couch wrote a lovely song called Fairisle about the wives of fishermen from that island knitting their spouses jumpers to wear whilst at sea, each one had a different design, so they could be recognised if disaster happened.

From Paul Davenport; I've written three as part of a song cycle. Here's the words to the one that's so far been recorded. The story is true by the way. Perhaps I should say that 'gansey' is a woollen sweater with a pattern knitted into it that is peculiar to a particular location, and often a particular family.

Davy Cross

The Widow Cross had but one son
And indeed he was his mother's pride and joy
So she knitted him a gansey
Cable stitched both fine and fancy
And it looked like royal robes upon the boy


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 18 - 04:13 PM

Steve - the recognition by pattern may be mythical. According to Gansey Nation - Popular Gansey Myths, which discusses this amongst other things, the pattern used in Staithes and Whitby crops up everywhere. The author also claims (probably correctly) that the pattern would be associated with a knitter rather than a place, and that the author knows of no case where someone was identified by his gansey. One o f the comments did say a stolen one was identified by initials knitted into it.

The author did say about this claim that although he is sceptical he holds an agnostic stance as the claim is widely held and people hold vehemently to it!

Mick


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Feb 18 - 04:36 PM

Well in our area the local patterns are well documented and attached to that place although they could be varied slightly. Perhaps it is a piece of folklore but it's what the fisherfolk themselves believed. The Humber Star was used by the keelmen on the Humber, and there are specific patterns for Filey and Flamborough. If it is just a myth it's a very logical one.

Nowadays of course the patterns are widely available so they will crop up all over the place. You can buy them online. Though you'd need a mortgage.


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