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Origins: Spanish Lady

DigiTrad:
DUBLIN CITY
GALWAY CITY
SPANISH LADY (2)
WHEEL OF FORTUNE or DUBLIN CITY


Related threads:
Wheel of Fortune (Dublin City) (18)
Lyr Req: The Spanish Lady (59)
Lyr Add: Wheel of Fortune/Rolling Home (Tams) (10)
Lyr Req: Rolling Home (not all at sea!)(Tams) (35)
Lyr Req: The Wheel of Fortune (16)
(origins) Origins: Spanish Lady, et al (8)
Lyr Req: Spanish Lady alt version (ambush) (10)
Lyr Add: Spanish Lady (2)
Lyr Req: Rolling Home (Tams) - hand jive (4)


MARINER 05 Jan 03 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Q 05 Jan 03 - 05:54 PM
GUEST,Judith Judson 02 Jun 10 - 10:44 AM
Charley Noble 02 Jun 10 - 12:35 PM
JB3 16 Mar 11 - 10:52 PM
Charley Noble 28 Jul 21 - 03:50 PM
Lighter 29 Jul 21 - 10:22 AM
Jack Campin 30 Jul 21 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,Charlie Ipcar 31 Jul 21 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 31 Jul 21 - 11:45 AM
GUEST 31 Jul 21 - 02:44 PM
GUEST 02 Aug 21 - 09:37 AM
Charley Noble 02 Aug 21 - 09:54 AM
Lighter 02 Aug 21 - 03:48 PM
GUEST 02 Aug 21 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 03 Aug 21 - 06:23 AM
DonMeixner 03 Aug 21 - 09:35 AM
Lighter 03 Aug 21 - 12:05 PM
Lighter 03 Aug 21 - 12:07 PM
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Subject: Origin ; Spanish Lady
From: MARINER
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 05:20 PM

Can anyone tell me of the origin of the Irish song Spanish Lady?. That's the one that begins "As I roved out through Dublin/ Galway/Belfast city.(Which ever town takes your fancy) I thought I had it in Colm Ó Lochlainn's book of street songs but can't find it.


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Subject: RE: Origin ; Spanish Lady
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 05:54 PM

Origin apparently English, 17th century See: Galway City for a start and chick on the English version as well.
The two versions in the DT are both of the later Irish song. See thread 44796 for more on Irish versions Irish-Spanish
Mention of the English version, dating to 1624, at 11158: Spanish Lady (ies)

The Bodleian Library has about ten broadsides of the older English version, at least one dating to the 17th century. Put Spanish Lady in Search.

Can't find the English original in Supersearch. It is a rather long ballad.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: GUEST,Judith Judson
Date: 02 Jun 10 - 10:44 AM

Burl Ives recorded this with variants, for instance

Round, round the wheel of fortune,
Where he stops it with his knee
Fair maids they are so deceivin'
Sad experience teaches me.

and the line: in all my life I ne'er did see,
such a fine young girl, 'pon my soul.

(which takes us to the soles of her feet, as in one version)

Ives' version has no mention of Spanish ladies, just the fair young girl


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jun 10 - 12:35 PM

Richard Dyer-Bennet also recorded a version of this ballad.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: JB3
Date: 16 Mar 11 - 10:52 PM

We had an old 78 record that had Burl Ives singing this song. As I remember them, I believe the words in the second line are:

'Where it stops worries me"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jul 21 - 03:50 PM

In Maine a Civil War major John Mead Gould composed a ditty inspired by Spanish Lady/Dublin City which celebrates a lady who ran a grog shop/brothel on the Portland waterfront in the 1860s. She called herself Kitty Kentuck but her legal name was Margaret Landrigan (1810 to 1866).

I only have access to a portion of the ditty. The bawdy verses may still be out there somewhere:

New words by Civil War Major John Mead Gould, circa 1863
Tune: traditional “Spanish Lady/Dublin City”
A bit of rewording by Charlie Ipcar, 7/28/21

Kitty Kentuck

If you goes down to Portland City
At the hour of twelve at night,
There you’ll see my charming Kitty,
Washin’ her feet by candlelight.

Chorus:

Kitty, won’t you larrow, laddy,
Kitty, won’t you larrow-lee;
Kitty don’t be lazy or I’ll go crazy,
Come to the railway and have a spree.

I went down to Kitty Kentuck’s,
I gets my whack* three times a day;
Lay my digbats** on the table
Four and six the bummers pay. (CHO)

Four and six for a pound of ‘bacca;
Two and six for a pound of tea;
How can we poor railroad racks***,
E’r come to the bush and have a spree? (CHO)

* Whack is sailor slang for ration of rum
** Dingbats is also 19th century slang for money
*** Racks may be slang for workers similar to referring to them as "stiffs"

Cheerily,
Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Jul 21 - 10:22 AM

Hi, Charlie.

A "whack" was just a portion - of anything, if you get the idea here.

You're right about "dingbats," coins mainly.

"Bush" is odd, unless it's the name of the, um, establishment.


"Railroad rack" is a mystery to me - unless it's "railroad hacks."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jul 21 - 06:03 AM

There's a version set in Edinburgh too. Any city with two or three syllables will do. (I suppose Hull doesn't have one).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: GUEST,Charlie Ipcar
Date: 31 Jul 21 - 10:34 AM

Lighter,

I've transcribed the song from a hand-written letter but it's clear that "railroad racks" is "rack" rather than "hacks." the "rs" are quite consistent. Of course the correspondent may have misheard the word or even mis-remembered it by 1922.

"Bush" may just be a reference to the wilds of Maine, once one strays out of the streets of old Portland.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 31 Jul 21 - 11:45 AM

In context, a rack would be an 'itinerant' worker.

Hack in the sense of taxi labour still works though.

Both are drudgery.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 21 - 02:44 PM

"Any city with two or three syllables will do. (I suppose Hull doesn't have one)."
Yes, Hull does have one!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 09:37 AM

Phil,

"In context, a rack would be an 'itinerant' worker."

That makes sense.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 09:54 AM

Actually, Phil, I mistranscribed the last verse which should read:

Four and six for a pound of ‘bacca;
Two and six for a pound of tea;
How can we poor railroad rackers,
Come to the bush and have a spree? (CHO)

So "rackers" are most certainly railroad laborers.

Cheerily,
Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 03:48 PM

"Four and six" and "two and six" are UK expressions and not used in the U.S., so far as I know.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 21 - 04:56 PM

I'm thinking they were just borrowed from the traditional song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 06:23 AM

From the Frisky Songster of 1776 - see Jack Horntip's Collection - as I quote it in a shortly to be published (on-line) chapter, "The best Irish-English poetry before Yeats" in "The Oxford Handbook of Irish Song, 1100 - 1850.

Song LXXXIII

As I went through London city,
Twas at twelve o’clock at night,
There I saw a damsel pretty,
Washing her joke by candle-light
When she washed it then she dried it,
The hair was black as coal upon’t,
In all my life I never saw,
A girl that had so fine a c—--t.

My dear said I what shall I give thee,
For a touch at you know what,
Half a crown if you are willing,
Two shillings or you shall not,
Eighteen pence my dear I’ll give you,
Twenty pence or not at all,
With my heart it is a bargain,
So up she mounts the Cobler’s stall

My dear said I how shall I ride you,
The gallop amble or the trot,
The amble is the easiest pace sir,
With all my heart so up I got.
The Cobler hearing of our parley
Through a hole he thrust his awl;
Pe prick’d the girl into the a----e,
Which threw the rider from the stall.

The chapter also indicates an origin in 17th or 18th century bawdry for "The Comber Ballad" (The next market day), "The stuttering lovers", and "The Dublin jack of all trades"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: DonMeixner
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 09:35 AM

The Corries sang this as The Ettrick Valley

As I gang doon the Ettrick Highway at the hour o' 12 at night
Who did I see, but a handsome lassie
Combin' her hair by candlelight?
Lassie, I hae come a-courting, your kind favors for to win
And if you'd but smile upon me, next Sunday night I'll call again


Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum rhu-u-dhum
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum-day
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum rhu-u-dhum
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum-day!

So to me you came a-courting, my kind favors for to win
But 'twould give me the greatest pleasure if you never would call again!
What would I do, when I go out walking, walking oot in the Ettrick view?
What would I do when I go out walking, walkin' oot wi' a laddie like you?

Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum rhu-u-dhum
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum-day
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum rhu-u-dhum
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum-day!

Lassie, I hae gold and silver, lassie I hae houses and land
Lassie, I hae ships on the ocean, they'll be all at your command
What do I care for your ships on the ocean?
What do I care for your houses and land?
What do I care for your gold and silver
When all I want is a handsome man?

Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum rhu-u-dhum
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum-day
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum rhu-u-dhum
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum-day!
Did you ever see the grass in the morning, all bedecked with jewels rare?
Did you ever see a handsome lassie, diamonds sparkling in her hair?
Did you ever see a copper kettle, mended up wi' an old tin can?
Did you ever see a handsome lassie married up tae an ugly man?

Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum rhu-u-dhum
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum-day
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum rhu-u-dhum
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum-day!
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum rhu-u-dhum
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum-day
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum rhu-u-dhum
Fallah-tallah rhu-dhumma, rhu-dhum-day!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 12:05 PM

"Bud"is a common nickname and term of address. Same as "buddy." Gaelic has nothing to do with it.


https://www.openculture.com/2013/03/hear_zora_neale_hurston_sing_the_bawdy_prison_blues_song_uncle_bud_1940.html



"The song comes from experiences with the infamous Chief Transfer Agent for the Texas prison system, 'Uncle Bud' Russell, whose dreaded wagon, 'Black Betty,' was possibly the reference for a work song immortalized by Lead belly, no stranger to Texas prisons (Russell also gets a name-check in Lead Belly’s 'Midnight Special')."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Aug 21 - 12:07 PM

Sorry. Got my threads mixrd up. That was for the "Uncle Bud" thread.


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