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Origins/ADD: The Tommy Note

RWJ 12 Nov 02 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,martin Ryan 12 Nov 02 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 12 Nov 02 - 10:02 AM
MMario 12 Nov 02 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Rhiannon 12 Nov 02 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,MCP 12 Nov 02 - 12:56 PM
Dead Horse 13 Nov 02 - 11:40 AM
MMario 13 Nov 02 - 11:46 AM
Dead Horse 13 Nov 02 - 05:14 PM
RWJ 13 Nov 02 - 05:15 PM
Stewie 13 Nov 02 - 08:59 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 12 - 05:21 AM
Mr Red 14 Feb 12 - 05:42 AM
Bounty Hound 14 Feb 12 - 06:01 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Feb 12 - 06:35 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Feb 12 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,BH Fanatic 14 Feb 12 - 03:56 PM
GUEST,Ian 14 Feb 12 - 04:55 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Feb 12 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,Ian 14 Feb 12 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,Ian 14 Feb 12 - 07:14 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Feb 12 - 08:06 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 14 Feb 12 - 08:11 PM
Ian Hendrie 15 Feb 12 - 05:31 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 15 Feb 12 - 06:08 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 15 Feb 12 - 06:10 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 17 Feb 12 - 06:29 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: RWJ
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 09:49 AM

Looking for words to tommy note starts ; you boatmen and coliers all . I dont know who wrote it


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: GUEST,martin Ryan
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 10:00 AM

A quick Google search shows some recordings and background notes to this canal song - but no words yet.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 10:02 AM

There's a mention in This Thread and some of the guys surely have the words!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: MMario
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 10:13 AM

This liner note taken from www. folkwise.cok.uk/cd/cd.html is interesting:

The Tommy Note.
Jon Raven's book "The urban and industrial songs of the Black
Country and Birmingham" suggests that this song is unique. It
is the only known song that describes the details of the canal
people's lives and it is the only song in the British industrial
song tradition to deal at length with the "truck" system. Given
the bitterness and resentment which most workers regarded
"truck" it is remarkable that no similar song has yet been
discovered. Jon Raven wrote the tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: GUEST,Rhiannon
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 11:38 AM

Although I no longer have a copy, I know this song is in a book called "Victoria's Inferno". Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 12 Nov 02 - 12:56 PM

If it doesn't get posted I'll post it when I get my books unpacked, but that may be a couple of weeks yet!

Mick


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TOMMY NOTE
From: Dead Horse
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 11:40 AM

As scanned from Victoria's Inferno.

THE TOMMY NOTE

You Boatsmen and colliers all, Come listen to my ditty,
I'll sing you a song before its long. It is both new and pretty;
It is concerning Tommy Shops, And the high field ruffian
He pays you with a tommy note; You must have that or nothing.
Fal de ridle ral.

With the colliers I begin 'How they pay each other,
Nothing have they but a tommy note, From one week to the other,
On Saturday when a week's work is done. And to receive their money,
The high field devil has learned a trick, To pay them off with tommy,

The boatsmen now I bring in, That sails from high fields to runcan;
The boatsmen and their wives, They curse him at the junction.
And all belonging to the branch That know the art of boating,
Wishing the tiller down his throat, It would be a means to choak him.

When they have done their runcan voyage And go to receive their money,
One half stops for hay and corn The other half for tommy,
Then to the tommy shop we go, To fetch our week's provision,
Their oatmeal, sugar, salt and soap, Short weight and little measure.

Saying if we had money instead of this, Provision we could have plenty,
The profit they get out of us, Is nine shillings out of twenty,
Then we jump on board the boat, And the children look so funny,
The voyage we so cheerful go, Till we have eat all our tommy.

There is one amongst the rest, That knows the art of boating,
He vows and swears a wive he'll have So long he has gone a courting.
He vows he will married be, Come listen to my joke sir,
And when the parson's done his work, I will pay him with a tommy note sir.

Now we have finished our voyage, The children look so funny,
For here at runcan we do lie, And have eat all our tommy,
Come gear the horse and clear the line, And jump on board the boat sir,
Both night and day we'll stear our way, For another tommy note sir.
Fal de ridle ral.



In order to use the above tune minor textual modifications are required.
The chorus refrain has been omitted in this arrangement.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: MMario
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 11:46 AM

DH? Do you have access to the tune? could you scan and e-mail?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Dead Horse
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 05:14 PM

MMario, PM address and I'll have a go.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: RWJ
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 05:15 PM

Thanks for the words Dead Horse and to all others for info anny ideas of its origin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Nov 02 - 08:59 PM

The note on the sleeve of Jon Raven et alia 'The Bold Navigators: The Story of England's Canal's in Song' Tradition LP TSR 019 [1975] is brief and does not shed any additional light:


As with many of the workers of the 19thC, the music halls had a very strong influence on the songs that were in vogue among the boat people. An all-time favourite with them was 'Keep Yer 'Ands Off', but there must have been many songs made directly by themselves and reflecting their own working life. One so far discovered is 'The Tommy Note' - a song with a nice sense of irony dealing with the Truck system as it affected them. (The Tommy Note was the note used in lieu of payment of wages).



The attribution on the record label is 'Trad/Raven'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 05:21 AM

FWIW
John Kirkpatrick (touches forelock) credits the attributes to trad words and music by Jon Raven. (brother of Mike)
I knew he lived in Wolverhampton, originally, and traced him and got permission to use it on a DVD of the opening of a 200 yard stretch of the Thames and Severn (about up to where it becomes the Stroudwater).

His son was a punk musician.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 05:42 AM

that was me


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 06:01 AM

The words to Tommy Note, and numerous other canal related songs can be found here on a super site put together by Ian Hendrie.

Well worth a look!

Songs of the Inland Waterways

John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 06:35 AM

The notes in Victoria's Inferno say of the tune: structured from traditional elements, Jon Raven.

I'll put it up later today and you can see if you can spot the traditional elements!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 03:03 PM

Here's the tune as promised. Note the arrangement in the book omits the refrain line. I've also altered the key signature: in the book it is written as Dm (one flat) with all the Bs written with natural signs; I've given the key as the more sensible D dorian (no flats or sharps). Of course it sounds just the same.

Mick




X: 1
T:The Tommy Note
B:Victoria's Inferno ed Jon Raven
S:text: Ballads and Broadsides by Theo Vasner, a broadside in Birmingham Library
S:melody: structured from traditional elements, Jon Raven
M:4/4
L:1/4
N:Printed with Dm key signature and all Bs naturalised in the book
N:Refrain (Fal de ridle ral) omitted in this arrangement (as in book)
K:Ddor
"^Freely"D/|D2 A A|G A D E|F G E C|D D2
w:You Boats-men and col-liers all, Come lis-ten to my dit-ty,
A|A B/B/ c A|d d A B|c d (B/A/) G|A A3|
w:I'll sing you a song be-fore it's long, It is both new_ and pret-ty;
A//A3// B c A|d d A A/B/|c2 (B{c} G)|A/A/ A3|
w:It is con-cern-ing Tom-my Shops, And the high field_ ruf-fi-an
D//D3// A A A|G A D E|F G E C|D D2-D/|]
w:He pays you with a tom-my note, You must have that or noth-ing_


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: GUEST,BH Fanatic
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 03:56 PM

This is great! Way to go!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: GUEST,Ian
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 04:55 PM

The abc file is really useful but the music is already available at http://www.waterwaysongs.co.uk/tommy_note_tune.htm.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 06:02 PM

Ah, but Ian Mudcat doesn't like to risk linking important information to ephemeral sites ;-)

Also with the tune here with the words the song can go into the DT (on those rare occasions when updates happen).


Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: GUEST,Ian
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 07:02 PM

Thanks Mick,

I see the logic of it now. I wondered if you'd been wasting your time.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: GUEST,Ian
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 07:14 PM

If, as suggested above, this is a unique song in that it describes the working conditions of canal labourers - and I think this is correct - where did it first resurface?

It was recorded on three lp's in 1975/6 :
Straight from the Tunnel's Mouth - The Boatmen
The English Canals - John Kirkpatrick, Sue Harris and Jon Raven
The Bold Navigators - Jon Raven, John Kirkpatrick et al

It looks as though Jon Raven was the first to get his hands on it but from what source?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 08:06 PM

Ian

Jon Raven's notes suggest (included in the abc file above) that he got it from a book called Ballads and Broadsides by Theo Vasmer. The book is referred to in Jon Raven's The Folklore of Staffordshire (p207) and, from the description there, appears to be a bound collection of broadsides.

The broadside itself is probably the one by T.Bloomer of Birmingham; here's the Roud index entry for a copy in VWML in the Cecil Sharp Broadside Collection: The Tommy Note. (It's the only entry for the song in Roud, so I assume it's this one).

Jon Raven's notes say there's a copy in Birmingham Library.


++
Note to Mudelf. In my previous post, in the N: line within the abc I've typed the author's name as Theo Vasner instead of Theo Vasmer. Could you please correct and delete this message. Thanks.
++


Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 08:11 PM

It also appears on an album called "The Reluctant Sailor" by an ex Royal Navy seaman called Dolly Grey, c.1976. Dolly returned home to Hull on leaving the navy.

I still have this album and can easily E-Mail an mp3 to anybody who wants one.

PM me if you would like me to do so.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 05:31 AM

Thanks Mick for pointing me in the direction of the Roud Broadside Index. A quick search on 'canals' indicates that there may be one or two songs about UK canals that need digging out.


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Subject: ADD Version: The Tommy Note
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 06:08 PM

I've typed out the words of the Dolly Gray recording which are as follows:

THE TOMMY NOTE

Ye boatsmen and colliers all, come listen to me ditty,
I'll sing you a song and it won't take long. It is both new, aye and pretty;
Concerning of the Tommy Shops, and the Highfield ruffians
For they pays you with a Tommy note; aye, ye must take that or nothing.

Now it's of me colliers I will sing, and 'ow they pays each other,
They've little but a Tommy note, From one week to another,
On Saturday when the week's work's done, they go 'n collect their money,
But the Highfield devil's learned a trick, for he pays them off with a Tommy,

Now it's of me colliers I will sing, sails from Highfield to Runcorn;
Me boatsmen and their wives, all curse him at the junction.
And them belonging to the branch that knows the art of boating,
They wish the tiller down his throat, that would be a means to choke him.

And now we've done our Runcorn voyage, we go 'n collect our money,
For the one half stops for hay and corn, the other half for Tommy,
So it's to the Tommy shops we'll go, to get our week's provisions,
Our oatmeal, sugar, salt and soap, short weight, aye and little measure.

Aye, if we had money instead of this, provisions we'd 'ave plenty,
For the profits they makes out of us, 'tis nine shillings out of twenty,
But still we jump on board the boats, the children look so funny,
Aye, and merry on our way we'll cheerful go, until we've et our Tommy.

Ah! but there is one amongst the rest, knows well the art of boating,
He vows, he swears a wife he'll 'ave, and so he's gone a courting.
He vows that he'll a-married be, come listen to me joke sir,
And when the parson's done his job, he'll pay him with a Tommy note sir.

And now we've finished of our voyage, the children look so funny,
Here in Runcorn we do lie, And 'ave et all our Tommy,
Go gear the horse, go clear the line, and jump aboard the boat sir,
For both night and day we'll steer our way, for another Tommy note sir.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 06:10 PM

BTW, on this Workhorse Records LP, the song is attributed as Trad.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tommy Note
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 17 Feb 12 - 06:29 PM

Ian, I'll be responding over the weekend with further info.

Don T.


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