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Recitations Anyone?


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Deckman 07 Jan 03 - 04:55 PM
alanabit 07 Jan 03 - 05:04 PM
SINSULL 07 Jan 03 - 05:37 PM
Don Firth 07 Jan 03 - 05:37 PM
Deckman 07 Jan 03 - 05:49 PM
brid widder 07 Jan 03 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,ClaireBear 07 Jan 03 - 07:30 PM
kendall 07 Jan 03 - 07:40 PM
Deckman 07 Jan 03 - 07:41 PM
kendall 07 Jan 03 - 07:43 PM
Deckman 07 Jan 03 - 07:48 PM
SINSULL 07 Jan 03 - 07:59 PM
SINSULL 07 Jan 03 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,vrdpkr 07 Jan 03 - 08:34 PM
Amos 07 Jan 03 - 08:39 PM
Bert 07 Jan 03 - 09:03 PM
Cluin 07 Jan 03 - 09:43 PM
Cluin 07 Jan 03 - 09:43 PM
GUEST,guest 07 Jan 03 - 09:48 PM
katlaughing 07 Jan 03 - 10:04 PM
GUEST,guest 07 Jan 03 - 10:48 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Jan 03 - 12:02 AM
Deckman 08 Jan 03 - 02:18 AM
Stephen L. Rich 08 Jan 03 - 02:43 AM
mouldy 08 Jan 03 - 02:44 AM
Deckman 08 Jan 03 - 02:55 AM
Micca 08 Jan 03 - 03:09 AM
Dave Bryant 08 Jan 03 - 07:02 AM
Aidan Crossey 08 Jan 03 - 07:24 AM
alison 08 Jan 03 - 07:51 AM
katlaughing 08 Jan 03 - 11:12 AM
Declan 08 Jan 03 - 11:59 AM
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GUEST,ClaireBear 08 Jan 03 - 12:41 PM
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clueless don 08 Jan 03 - 03:48 PM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Jan 03 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,ClaireBear 08 Jan 03 - 04:06 PM
Deckman 08 Jan 03 - 04:09 PM
Bill D 08 Jan 03 - 04:35 PM
SINSULL 08 Jan 03 - 04:51 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: YARN OF THE NANCY BELL (W.S. Gilbert)
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 04:55 PM

I've been thinking about starting this thread for some time. Now that the holidays are over, I'm wondering if anyone enjoys performing recitations. Though recitations are not music, they do require many of the same performance skills.

I will start the thread with a story of one performer I well remember from the late 50's. His name was Dave McCollum (sp?). Occasionally during an intermission at one of the many coffee houses we all sang at in Seattle, Dave would come on stage and cast his spell. He could hold the audience in his hand. (If anyone knows where Dave is today, would you please PM me?) Here is just one recitation I remember that Dave did so well:

(W.S. Gilbert)

Twas on the shores that round our coast,
From Deal to Ramsgate span,
That I found alone, on a piece of stone,
And elderly naval man.

His hair was weedy, his beard was long,
And weedy and long was he,
And I heard this wight on the shore recite,
In a singular minor key.

"Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captains gig."

And he shook his fists and he tore his hair,
Till I really felt afraid,
For I couldn't help thinking the man had been drinking,
And so I simply said:

"Oh, elderly man, it's little I know
Of the duties of men of the sea,
And I'll eat my hand if I understand
How you can possibly be

"At once a cook, and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captains gig."

Then he gave a hitch to his trousers, which
Is a trick all seamen larn,
And having got rid of a thumping quid,
He spun his painfull yarn:

"'Twas in the good ship Nancy Bell
That we sailed to the Indian sea,
And there on a reef we came to grief,
Which has often occurred to me.

"And pretty well nigh o' the crew was drowned
(There was seventy seven o' soul),
And only ten of the Nancy's men
Said 'Here!' to the muster roll.

"There was me and the cook and the captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And the bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig.

"For a month we'd neither wittles nor drink,
Till a-hungry we did feel,
So, we drawed a lot, and accordin' shot,
The captain for our meal.

"The next lot fell to the Nancy's mate,
And a delicate dish he made;
Then our appetite with the midshipmite
We seven surivors stayed.

"And then we murdered the bo'sun tight,
And he much resembled pig,
Then we wittled free, did the cook and me,
On the crew of the captain's gig.

"Then only the cook and me was left,
And the delicate question, 'Which
Of us two goes to the kettle?' arose,
And we argued it out as sich.

"For I loved that cook as a brother, I did,
And the cook he worshipped me;
But we'd both be blowed if we'd either be stowed
In the other chap's hold, you see.

"'I'll be eat if you dines off me,' says Tom,
'Yes, that,' says I, 'you'll be'-
I'm boiled if I die, my friend,'quoth I,
And 'exactly so, quoth he.

"Says he, 'Dear James, to murder me
were a foolish thing to do,
For don't you see that you can't cook me,
Wile I can - and I will - cook you!'

"So, he boils the water, and takes the salt
And the pepper in portions true
(Which he never forgot), and some chopped shalot,
And some sage and parsley too.

"'Come here, says he, with a proper pride,
Which his smiling features tell,
'T'will soothing be if I let you see
How extremely nice you'll smell.'

"And he stirred it round and round and round,
And he sniffed at the foaming froth;
When I ups with his heels, and smothers his squeals
In the scum of the boiling broth.

"And I eat that cook in a week or less,
And - as I eating be
The last of the chops, why I almost drops,
For a wessel in sight I see.

"And I never larf, and I never smile,
And I never lark nor play,
But I sit and croak, and a single joke
I have - which is to say:

"Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig!"

(note, I have done my best to copy the exact spelling and punctuation that I have in my copy of W.S. Gilbert's "The Bab Ballads." And yes, he is the Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan fame.)

How well I remember when Dave would launch into this drama. He would draw out all the ghastly lines like the fine actor he was.

CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 05:04 PM

"Eskimo Nell" (which is not suitable for nice old ladies and small children) is usually done as a recitation. My mum used to do one which she learned from her mother, called "I couldn't help it could I?" which was about the misadventures of a small girl. It's written down somewhere - I think my brother has it, although doubtless some other Mudcatter will produce it for us. Good idea for a thread. These things are as worth preserving as any other part of the oral tradition.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 05:37 PM

At our last shanty sing, a lady named Pat recited one of Ruth Moore's poems/stories about a fisherman who had a bit too much to drink. Wonderful images; wonderful humor...and fit for old ladies and children. He crosses swords with Neptune at one point and Kendall chimed in right on key with his newly DEEP voice.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 05:37 PM

Love it!! The church I attend has an annual bash a few weeks before Christmas, giving all those staid Lutherans a chance to go crazy and let it all hang out. Which they DO! In many otherwise quiet folk, there is a singer, poet, stand-up comic, or other bizarre critter trying to claw its way out. Actually, there is a lot of talent around that rarely gets exercised.

For the first several years, I'd sing a few songs, and then one year, just for the heck of it (really, just after taking an acting course from Pat French), I did a dramatic reading of Robert Service's "The Cremation of Sam McGee." Now, I'm kinda stuck with it. Along about September, people start asking me if I'm going to do it again this year. Fortunately, I love doing it, but I would like to branch out a bit. Recitations and readings are a BLAST!

Bob, seems I recall you once doing a magnificent job on Go Down, Death from "God's Trombones." I've tried doing it a couple of times, but I can't get through it without getting choked up.

We ought to do a lot more of this kind of thing. After all, it's well within the purview of minstrels and troubadours.

Don Firth

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 05:49 PM

Hi Don, I'm pleased that you remember my first attempt at James Weldon Johnson's "Go Down Death." Of course, if you'll remember that that was at the Nightengale, and it was a special evening for Elmar. I still have a very hard time getting through it! Next hoot, I want to hear you tell ... again ... of the "Tawny Tiger"! CHEERS, Bob

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: brid widder
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 06:28 PM

A monologue I remember hearing in the sixties... about someone who has married ...that's good... is miserable...that's bad... she is rich...that's good she dies ... that's bad... etc....goes something like... That's good sez I no not so good sez he ... then later....Thats bad sez I... no not so bad sez he...I would love the words... is this familiar to anyone?

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 07:30 PM

Although it was almost 30 years ago, I've never forgotten the English music hall veteran named Norah who used to recite Marriott Edgar's "Albert and the Lion" and "Albert's Return" at San Francisco's Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Pickwick Comic Annual. (BTW these are both in DT in the kids' section).

Another fond memory is a wonderful fellow named Ed Griggs, I think, who used to come to the Hyde Street Pier chantey sings and recite not only the above-posted Bab Ballad but also one called "Etiquette" that I find screamingly funny. But then I'm odd.


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From: kendall
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 07:40 PM

I used to start my Maine humor programs with this piece by Ruth Moore.

(Ruth Moore)

I once see a whale with a gold tooth, he riz right out of the sea,
And opened his mouth in the morning sun, and showed that tooth to me,
And, once, I was fishin' the deep ground with nigh six pounds of lead,
And, I caught a cod as big as a man, and it had a man's head.

Oh, there ain't no end to what I'd tell,
Once I was well begun;
Like seein' the devil rise from the sea
Instead of the risin' sun;
Like sea snakes lashin' the moonlit sea,
With their terrible lollopin's,
And little mermaids with their diamond eyes
And solid silver fins.

For some have eyes to see strange sights,
And such a one I be,
But, I ain't known as an honest man
      And, nobody harks to me.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 07:41 PM

I'm NOT surprised that "Albert and Lion" and also "Albert's Return" surfaced so quickly. These, as well as others in the "Albert" sagas are legion! How well I remember the late David Spence, from Ireland, perfoming these in San Francisco, at "The Drinking Gourd", in the early 60's. CHEERS, Bob

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: kendall
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 07:43 PM

I also do the one Sinsull mentioned. I have always loved Ruth Moore's poetry. She also wrote a very good story. Years ago a movie called Deep Waters was based on one of her books.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 07:48 PM

Hi Kendall ... would you please honor us by posting it? CHEERS, Bob

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 07:59 PM

For some have eyes to see strange sights,
And such a one I be,
But, I aint known as an honest man
And, nobody harks to me.

Very appropriate, Captain.

Now, what did you recite at the Getaway to introduce the song (of yours) that Ken (?) Schatz sang. I can't keep those two staright! Sorry.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 08:00 PM

No. Staright is not an obscure nautical phrase. I meant straight.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: GUEST,vrdpkr
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 08:34 PM

This is exactly what makes cowboy poetry gatherings so much fun. Note that they are never competition, contests or battles. They are GATHERINGS. Like minded people gathering together to enjoy the beauty of the spoken word. There is always a lot of music at the programs, but the centerpiece is always poetry or stories. If you ever get a chance to go to one, do.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 08:39 PM

I love it, skipper, and I can just hear ya drawling it out!!

My BBW and Barky --when she was a child -- used to recite a lengthy piece called "The Antispetic Bunny and the Prophylactic Pup", which had me in stitches. I can't remember a line of it right now, though!


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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Bert
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 09:03 PM

I used to do a bit of Chaucer years ago.

Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
the droghte of March hath pierced to the rote...

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Cluin
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 09:43 PM

I have clinched and closed with the naked north,
I have learned to defy and defend.
Shoulder to shoulder we have fought it out,
Yet the wild must win in the end.

Some words by Robert W. Service that I learned from a whisky ad in Field & Stream when I was a kid and it's always stuck in there.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Cluin
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 09:43 PM


There was an old man from Nantucket...

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 09:48 PM

try    monologues,org

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 10:04 PM

We grew up doing this and with our parents and grandparents doing this in our family. Mom used to take long baths and let me drag my chair and book in to practice while she soaked. What a patient woman! Some favourites included Kipling, Service, the Hon. Mrs. Norton who wrote Bingen on the Rhine:

A soldier of the Legion lay dying in Algiers
There was lack of woman's nursing, there was dearth of woman's tears;
But a comrade stood beside him, while his life-blood ebbed away,
And bent, with pitying glance, to hear what he might say...

There's another posted with that one called Napoleon and the British Soldier.

Then, The Cremation of Sam McGee was a big hit with my daughter's classmates in middle school one year. Then there's my granddad's cowboy/rancher story-poems. I used to read them on HearMe sometimes. I've done some of my own stuff, too. I love nothing more than to bring the words to life through voice and drama!:-)

Another one I've done in there quite often was written by Lonesome EJ, in Song Challenge #12! Click for Bullwinkle's Revenge.

Micca does a fabulous job of recitation. We had an all poetry session once on HearMe. We ought to do that sometime on PalTalk. It'd be a lot of fun.


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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 10:48 PM

Sorry should have been

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 12:02 AM

I have probably 100 or more....short quips from OgdenNash and long recitations from R.W.Service, LewisCarol, and of course Anonymous...Eskimo Nell - falls in the later.

There are teachers that can change your life. For me, it began in 4th grade and the memorization of "Tom Twist" from a McGuffy's 4th Grade Reader of my grandfathers. This wonderous teacher sent me throughout the school giving the recitation...and having experienced a captive audience...I was hooked to the life of being a performer.


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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 02:18 AM

I clearly remember a magical night the first time I was in the army. I don't even remember where the heck I was. We were a medical unit ... Doctors and enlisted men. I was being supply Sargent,which meant that I had controll of the medicinal alcohol. One morning the Company Commander came to me and said that we all needed a party. We'd been operating a field combat hospital for far too long, and everyone needed a break. He suggested that I inventory the supply of medicinal alcohol and get rid of the "old stock!" (we used grain alcohol in field to sterilize instruments as we often didn't have electricity to run autoclaves). That afternoon I dispensed the old stock, about 35 O.D. colored pint cans as I remember, to a long line of Officers and enlisted men. That evening we all gathered in a tent, and we had a party!

As I sit here, 45 years later, I can still see a performance one Captain gave. I don't remember his name, but I sure do remember his performance. It was GUNGA DIN! His performance was perfect. All the elocution. All the words. All the gestures. OH ... IT WAS SWELL! Of course, the earlier dispensing of the medicinal alcohol didn't hurt matters much! CHEERS, Bob

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 02:43 AM

For years I've had great fun with Robert W. Service's "The Cremation of Sam McGee". I add my own little twist by diong Sam's lines in dialect.

Stephen Lee

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Subject: Lyr Add: ERNIE DUNN
From: mouldy
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 02:44 AM

Rick Scollins used to do Derbyshire dialect recitations. One is in a series of books he wrote on the dialect, and was given to him by a couple he met. I often do it:


When Ernie Dunn wor still alive
folks sed 'e wor no good.
But nah 'e's dead, they changed their tune:
'e's called "misunderstood".

But Ernie Dunn can 'ear 'em not -
'e's climbed the gowden steer.
At last 'e's come to't'gowden geet
and thunders, "Oppen theer!"

"What dost tha want?", St. Peter sez,
"Why dost tha mek that din?"
"Ah'm Ernie Dunn," Owd Dunn replies,
"Tha'd better let mey in!"

St. Peter shook 'is 'oary 'ead,
and tonned as if ter go:
"No Dunn can enter 'ere, me lad.
Thee 'op it - dahn below."

"'ark 'ere, owd chap," sez Ernie Dunn,
"Thi face is nice and kind.
Thee tek a lowk in t' gowden bowk:
ah'm sure tha'll change thi mind."

"Well just to please thee," Peter sez,
"ah'll go and look in t' book.
But goin' be what ah've 'eard o' thee,
ah'm 'fraid tha's aht o' luck."

St. Peter went to look in t' book -
'e thowt owd Dunn'd weet.
When 'e com back, owd Dunn wor gone:
and so were t' gowden geet!

There's another one about a guy with a tattooed nose, but it's much longer.
I have two original monologue books from the Stanley Holloway stable, with the famous Albert and other tales in them. They are in pristine condition, and I treasure them.


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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 02:55 AM

Andrea ... thank you for all the work ... and it does take a lot of work to post recitations. I posted the W.S. Gilbert recitation direct from a copy of the "Bab Book" that I have. Recitations are perhaps a unique form of writing, in that most of the performance tecniques, clues, are there in the puncuation marks. As such, they are very detailed. And it even gets more challenging when dealing with dialects ... and we are a world of dialects. CHEERS and BLESSINGS, Bob

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Micca
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 03:09 AM

Ah, but for sheer Drama, Try G.K. Chestertons " Lepanto" the most wonderful alliteration and use of English
".. Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far
Don John of Austria
is going to the war"....

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 07:02 AM

I think that "Lepanto" would be rather too long and heavy for most of my audiences - even though it is one of my favourite poems.
"White founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run"

"The Yarn of the Nancy Bell" was my party piece as a child. Many years ago I set it to music and still sing it in folk clubs now and then.

I also perform "Sweeney Todd the Barber" (in the DT HERE) in which the whole centre of the piece is spoken. I find that the mixture of singing and recitation is even more fun than either on their own.

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Subject: Lyr Add: HOW COULD REAVY DIE! and ME AN' ME DA etc
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 07:24 AM

Try these three for size:

A Tribute to Reavey
Ed Reavey was a fine fiddler and composer of tunes - some say he wrote as many as 500 tunes over the course of his life - cracking tunes they were too. Pay The Reckoning's attention was drawn recently to the poem which follows, by "Father Michael". We know nothing else about it. However we were arrested by it completely. As tributes go, this is a fine piece of work. And Reavey deserved, if anybody did. If there's an afterlife, let's hope they don't give him one of those silly harps. A good fiddle and a well-rosined bow's what he'd need.

By Father Michael

The plumber of the hornpipes is dead.
The old diviner with the hazel bow,
That found the Shannon's source
And made its magic waters flow across the world.
"No" she said "he's not dead,
How could Reavy die!"
And who are you to say!
"I am the Wind: The Wind
That drove the clouds in herds
Above the Cavan hills and Drexel too
And whispered to the oats in Barnagrove.
I am the breeze that kissed O'Carolan's face
With moisture on my lips
'Til notes danced within his mind
Like flames behind a blind.
I am the breath in Reavy's body
I used to whistle in his mouth
Merely oxygen upon arrival
But virgin music coming out.
He would hold me in the evenings
And we'd play within his soul
He tamed me with his reverence
But I always had to go . . .
So I bore him sounds of sweetness
Some were sad and some were glad
And he composed half a thousand tunes
About the happy time we had."
Hush! I whispered. Did you see his fiddle
On the altar - silent as a stone
And his body on the grave in Drexel Hill?
Clamped on the hole in a final salute
Like an old finger frozen on a flute.
Did you see the people in a circle
Standing sadly in the snow,
When the pipes refused to play in the cold?
"I was there" she said
I am the Breath of the earth.
Every mouth is a wisp of my prayer
Breathing blessings of incense on the bites of the air
Because life has the edge on the ice.
Listen my friend, to the lad with the whistle
With his finger tips timid and cold.
See the life that he brings to the old man's tune
And the leaks that he brings to the eyes.
See Reavy arise from the holes in the tin . .
And announce on his grave "I'm alive!"

Me And Me Da (Livin' In Drumlister)
I remember there was rarely a social event in the Seven Derrys without someone giving the asembled multitudes the benefit of the following "recimitation". I used to cringe when someone trotted out the first few words. But age, time and distance have worked a certain magic and now the charms of the poem have overcome all resistance.

I'm livin' in Drumlister,
An' I'm gettin very oul',
I have to wear an Indian bag
To save me from the coul'.
The de'il a man in this townlan'
Wos claner raired nor me,
But I'm livin' in Drumlister
In clabber to the knee.

Me da lived up in Carmin,
An' kep' a sarvint boy;
His second wife wos very sharp,
He birried her with joy:
Now she wos thin, her name was Flynn,
She come from Cullentra,
An' if me shirt's a clatty shirt
The man to blame's me da.

Consarnin' weemin, sure it wos
A constant word of his,
`Keep far away from them that's thin,
Their temper's aisy riz.'
Well, I knowed two I thought wud do,
But still I had me fears,
So I kiffled back an' forrit
Between the two, for years.

Wee Margit had no fortune
But two rosy cheeks wud plaze;
The farm of lan' wos Bridget's,
But she tuk the pock disayse:
An' Margit she wos very wee,
An' Bridget she wos stout
But her face wos like a gaol dure
With the boults pulled out.

I'll tell no lie on Margit,
She thought the worl' of me;
I'll tell the truth, me heart wud lep
The sight of her to see
But I wos slow, ye surely know,
The raison of it now,
If I left her home from Carmin
Me da wud rise a row.

So I swithered back an' forrit
Till Margit got a man;
A fella come from Mullaslin
An' left me jist the wan.
I mind the day she went away,
I hid wan strucken hour,
An' cursed the wasp from Cullentra
That made me da so sour.

But cryin' cures no trouble,
To Bridget I went back,
An' faced her for it that night week
Beside her own turf-stack.
I axed her there, an' spoke her fair,
The handy wife she'd make me,
I talked about the lan' that joined
- Begob, she wudn't take me!

So I'm livin' in Drumlister
An' I'm get'tin' very oul'
I creep to Carmin wanst a month
To try an' make me sowl:
The de'il a man in this townlan'
Wos claner raired nor me,
An' I'm dyin' in Drumlister
In clabber to the knee.

By "The Bard of Tyrone", The Reverend William Marshall

Bagpipe Music by Louis MacNiece

It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw,
All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
Their knickers are made of crepe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison.

John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa,
Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker,
Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whisky,
Kept its bones for dumb-bells to use when he was fifty.

It's no go the Yogi-Man, it's no go Blavatsky,
All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi.

Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather,
Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna.
It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture,
All we want is a Dunlop tyre and the devil mend the puncture.

The Laird of Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober,
Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over.
Mrs Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion,
Said to the midwife "Take it away; I'm through with over-production."

It's no got the gossip column, it's no go the ceilidh,
All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby.

Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage,
Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage.
His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish,
Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish.

It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible,
All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle.

It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium,
It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections,
Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.

It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet;
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever,
But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.

Louis MacNiece 1966

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: alison
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 07:51 AM

yep as guest said above Monologues UK is a great source of them



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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 11:12 AM

Here's another which I posted a while back: Irish Astronomy.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Declan
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 11:59 AM

This is one I found here a while back with some help from Jim Dixon. I first heard it recited in McGann's pub in Doolin by a well known character called "The Hacksaw".

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Declan
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 12:12 PM

Messed up the clicky again. This should be OK.

Kerrigan Brothers

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 12:41 PM

This morning I recalled the name of the fellow who liked to recite at SF chantey sings: Ed Dobbins, not Ed Griggs. Sorry, both of you!

Recitations are what you make of them. While great writing can make great reading, it's by no means a requirement.

I have had great success reading recipes (or, as I called them, "Stirring Recitations") from the native cuisine section of a flea-market find called "The Northern Cookbook." Wish I still had it.

I can't recall any of the recipes -- though I do recall that one involved dropping a porcupine into the firepit to loosen the quills -- but I do remember that nearly every recipe ended with "This is good to eat with muk-tuk."

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Subject: Lyr Add: LORD CHANCELLOR'S SONG (Gilber & Sullivan
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 02:05 PM

Since we're posting some of these critters, here's a real tour de force. In high school, back in the mists of antiquity, I knew a kid named Ted Poole. Ted was tall and skinny, with dark hair, piercing dark eyes, and a totally off-the-wall sense of humor. He performed in most of the high school drama productions. I wouldn't necessarily call him a "folk singer," but he sang a variety of songs and played the guitar a bit, picking up a few bucks here and there by singing for various clubs and organizations. He did a particularly graphic version of Blood on the Saddle. Every time he sang the word "blood," he sounded as if he were about to barf, and he really emphasized and dragged out the word "mashed." He sang it once for a Rotary Club luncheon, and for some strange reason, most of the plates were returned to the kitchen untouched, and they never asked him back.

One of the songs Ted did that brought the house down and, at the same time, left his audiences exhausted, was the Lord Chancellor's song from Act II of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe. It has a tune, of course, but it doesn't really need to be sung. Just stick to a sort of chant, following the usual Gilbert and Sullivan "buckety-buckety" rhythm.

(Enter Lord Chancellor, very miserable.)

(Plaintively, but not emphasizing the meter)
Love, unrequited, robs me of my rest:
Love, hopeless love, my ardent soul encumbers:
Love, nightmare-like, lies heavy on my chest,
And weaves itself into my midnight slumbers!

(Begin a relentless "buckety-buckety" rhythm)
When you're lying awake with a dismal headache,
        and repose is taboo'd by anxiety,
I conceive you may use any language you choose
        to indulge in, without impropriety;
For your brain is on fire--the bedclothes conspire
        of usual slumber to plunder you:
First your counterpane goes, and uncovers your toes,
        and your sheet slips demurely from under you;
Then the blanketing tickles--you feel like mixed pickles--
        so terribly sharp is the pricking,
And you're hot, and you're cross, and you tumble and toss
        till there's nothing 'twixt you and the ticking.
Then the bedclothes all creep to the ground in a heap,
        and you pick 'em all up in a tangle;
Next your pillow resigns and politely declines
        to remain at its usual angle!
Well, you get some repose in the form of a doze,
        with hot eye-balls and head ever aching.
But your slumbering teems with such horrible dreams
        that you'd very much better be waking;
For you dream you are crossing the Channel, and tossing
        about in a steamer from Harwich--
Which is something between a large bathing machine
        and a very small second-class carriage--
And you're giving a treat (penny ice and cold meat)
        to a party of friends and relations--
They're a ravenous horde--and they all came on board
        at Sloane Square and South Kensington Stations.
And bound on that journey you find your attorney
        (who started that morning from Devon);
He's a bit undersized, and you don't feel surprised
        when he tells you he's only eleven.
Well, you're driving like mad with this singular lad
        (by the by, the ship's now a four-wheeler),
And you're playing round games, and he calls you bad names
        when you tell him that "ties pay the dealer";
But this you can't stand, so you throw up your hand,
        and you find you're as cold as an icicle,
In your shirt and your socks (the black silk with gold clocks),
        crossing Salisbury Plain on a bicycle:
And he and the crew are on bicycles too--
        which they've somehow or other invested in--
And he's telling the tars all the particulars
        of a company that he's interested in--
It's a scheme of devices, to get at low prices
        all goods from cough mixtures to cables
(Which tickled the sailors), by treating retailers
        as though they were all vegetables--
You get a good spadesman to plant a small tradesman
        (first take off his boots with a boot-tree),
And his legs will take root, and his fingers will shoot,
        and they'll blossom and bud like a fruit-tree--
From the greengrocer tree you get grapes and green pea,
        cauliflower, pineapple, and cranberries,
While the pastrycook plant cherry brandy will grant,
        apple puffs, and three corners, and Banburys--
The shares are a penny, and ever so many
        are taken by Rothschild and Baring,
And just as a few are allotted to you,
        you awake with a shudder despairing--

(The next seven lines very quickly, and try to do them all on one breath)
You're a regular wreck, with a crick in your neck,
and no wonder you snore, for your head's on the floor,
and you've needles and pins from your soles to your shins,
and your flesh is a-creep, for your left leg's asleep,
and you've cramp in your toes, and a fly on your nose,
and some fluff in your lung, and a feverish tongue,
and a thirst that's intense, and a general sense
(Pause, then, slowly, with feeling)
that you haven't been sleeping in clover.

But the darkness has passed, and it's daylight at last,
and the night has been long--ditto ditto my song--
and thank goodness they're both of them o-o-o-o-o-over!

(Lord Chancellor falls exhausted on a seat.)

I think everybody has had nights like this, so it goes over pretty well with most crowds. Universality. If you want to sing it, there are MIDIs for it that can be found by googling with "Advanced Search," but fitting the words to the tune can be a bit of a chore. Easier to check the operetta out from the library and listen to the song. And God only knows what chords to use. I've never tried to work it out. I've never been able to memorize this, but reading it off works pretty well if you can get through it without chipping a tooth.

Don Firth

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MOO COW MOO
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 03:47 PM

It's funny how these threads and rememberances happen! When I started this thread, I did NOT remember my very first performance, which was a recitation! I was five (5) years old. I was dressed to the nines, and I was placed on a dining room chair and I stood at proper attention, my arms at my sides. The occasion was a large dinner party that my Aunt hosted for some Seattle sailors ... this was in 1942 during WW2. At the signal, I can still remember my fear as I spoke this piece:


My papa held me up to the moo cow moo,
So close I could almost touch,
And I fed him a couple of times or so,
And I wasn't a 'fraidy cat ... much.

But if my papa goes in the house,
And my mamma, she goes in too,
I keep still, like a little mouse,
For the moo cow moo might moo.

The moo cows tail is a piece of rope,
All raveled out where it grows,
And it's just like feeling a piece of soap,
All over the moo cow's nose.

And the moo cow moo has lots of fun,
Just switching his tail about,
But if he opens his mouth, why then I run,
For that's where the moo comes out.

The moo cow moo has deers on his head,
And his eyes stick out of their place,
And the nose of the moo cow is spread,
All over the moo cows face.

And his feet are nothing but fingernails,
And his mama don't keep them cut,
And he gives folks milk in water pails,
When he don't keep his handles shut.

But if you or I pull his handles, why
The moo cow moo says it hurts,
But the hired man sits down close by,
And squirts and squirts ... and squirts.

I plugged "moo cow moo" into google and got several hits. One of them says that this was written by "Evelyn George", I guessing around 1910.

Finally, I think I just realised why I've been a 'performer' since I was five! CHEERS, Bob

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: clueless don
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 03:48 PM

My first exposure to recitations (or at least, the first time that I "realized what I was listening to") was at John and Tony concerts back in the early '70's, when Tony Barrand would occasionally do "Albert and the Lion", "The Battle of Hastings", "Three Ha'pence a Foot", and such like. On a couple of occasions I have repeated "Albert and the Lion", affecting a very bad british accent. Later on I added to my store through the purchase of a couple of Stanley Holloway LP's.

There was a recent CD, by Irish flute player Kevin Henry (the CD is called "One's Own Place" or "My Own Place", or something like that), that featured a very eclectic selection of recitations. Recommended!

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Subject: Lyr Add: REINCARNATION (Wallace McRae)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 03:52 PM

My great favorite recitation is the following (given in a "cowboy twang, no surprise):


"What is reincarnation?" the Cowpoke asked his friend.
His pal replied, "It happens when your life has reached its end.
They comb your hair and wash your neck and clean your fingernails
And lay you in a padded box away from life's travails,
And the box then goes in a hole that's been dug in the ground,
And reincarnation starts in when you're planted 'neath the mound.
Then clods melt down, just like the box, and you who is inside
And then you're just beginning on your transformation ride.
Meanwhile the grass will grow upon your rendered mound
And soon upon your lonely grave a single flower is found;
And then a horse will wander by and graze upon the flower
That once was you and now become your vegetative bower.
The posy that the horse done eat along with his other feed
Makes bone and fat and muscle essential to the steed
But some is left that he can't use and so it passes through
And finally lays upon the ground, this thing that once was you.
And say by chance I wanders by, and sees this on the ground,
And I ponders and wonders at this object that I've found;
And I thinks of reincarnation and life and death and such
And I come away concluding ... 'Joe, you ain't changed all that much.'"

Dave Oesterreich

Excess line breaks removed. --JoeClone, 26-Feb-03.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 04:06 PM

Ooh! I just remembered -- the absolute funniest recitation I ever heard was at a Twelfth Night party years ago when Robin Williamson declaimed Burns's "Ode to a Haggis" in his broadest Scots, with an actor friend doing simultaneous translation into BBC English.

Picture 60 or so party guests rolling on the Persian carpet while the dignified and gracious hostess (who was clutching to her bosom a haggis on a platter) tried to maintain her decorum.

Dear me, the tears come e'en now.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 04:09 PM

Keep 'em coming folks ... this is getting fun! YIPPEE! Bob

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From: Bill D
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 04:35 PM

well....we had a previous thread on recitations, and I posted pieces of one my father did ,,,,but I had lost the only copy I had...but clever Joe Offer changed the spelling of one word and,,,,

so here is a recitation ABOUT recitations!::

by Carolyn Wells (1869-1942)

There was once a little boy whose name was Robert Reese;
And every Friday afternoon he had to speak a piece.
So many poems thus he learned, that soon he had a store
Of recitations in his head... but he still kept learning more.

And now this is what happened: He was called upon one week
And totally forgot the piece he was about to speak.
He brain he cudgeled. Not a word remained within his head!
And so he spoke at random, and this is what he said:

"My beautiful, my beautiful, who standest proudly by,
It was the schooner Hesperus--the breaking waves dashed high!
Why is this Forum crowded? What means this stir in Rome?
Under a spreading chestnut tree, there is no place like home!

When freedom from her mountain height cried, "Twinkle, little star,"
Shoot if you must this old gray head, King Henry of Navarre!
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue castled crag of Drachenfels,
My name is Norval, on the Grampain Hills, ring out, wild bells!

If you're waking, call me early, to be or not to be,
The curfew must not ring tonight! Oh, woodman, spare that tree!
Charge, Chester, charge! Oh, Stanley, on! and let who will be clever!
The boy stood on the burning deck, but I go on forever!"

His elocution was superb, his voice and gestures fine;
His schoolmates all applauded as he finished the last line.
"I see it doesn't matter," Robert thought, "what words I say,
So long as I declaim with oratorical display."

from The Best Loved Poems of the American People Hazel Felleman, 1936
JRO ^^

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 04:51 PM

This is fun! Thank you all. My only recital that I can recall was in the third grade - Barbara Fritchie and I have done that one to death in another thread.

Catch Kendall on a snowy day and hear him do "Winter Is A Comin' In". By the last "DAMN!" I was very nervous and Seamus disappeared.

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From: GUEST,Kendall
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 04:53 PM

Ok, I'll see if I can remember THE NIGHT CHARLIE TENDED WEIR.

A weir is a huge herring trap which is tended at low tide.
A "bight" is a cove.
A dory is a double ended boat.
A bailing scoop is a dipper to remove water from the boat.
A "painter" is the piece of rope used to tie up a boat.


Charlie had a herring weir down to Baileys Bight,
He got up to tend it in the middle of the night.
Late October, midnight, black as tar,
Nothing out the window but a big cold star.
House like a cemetary, kitchen fire, dead,
I'm damn good mind says Charlie, "To go back to bed."
"A man who runs a herring weir, even on the side,
Is nothing but a slave to the Goddamn tide."
Well, a man feels meager, a man feels old,
In pitch black midnight lonesome and cold,
Chills in his stomach like 40 thousand mice,
The very bottons on his pants, little lumps of ice.

At times he gets to feeling it's no damn use,
So, Charlie had a pitcher full in his orange juice.
Then, he felt better than he had before,
So, he had another pitcherfull to last him to the shore.

Down by the beach rocks under a tree, Charlie saw something
He never thought he'd see;
Sparkling in the lanturn light as he went to pass,
Were three big diamonds in the frosty grass.
"H'mm," he said, "Diamonds, where'd they come from?
I'll pick them up later, I always wanted some."

He hauled in his dory, she felt light as air,
And in the dark midnight rowed off to tend weir.

Out by the weir gate Charlie found an old sea serpent
Swimming round and 'round,
Head like a washtub, whiskers like thatch,
Breath like the flame on a Portland Star match,
Black in the lanturn light, up he rose,
A great big barnacle on the end of his nose;
Looked Charlie over, surly and cross,
"Them fish you got shut up in there belong to my boss"!

Fish? says Charlie "Fish in there?
Why, I aint caught a fish since I built that damned weir"
"Well" says the serpent, "Nevertheless, there's 10 thousand bushels
at a rough guess."
Charlie moved the lanturn, gave the oars a pull,
And, he could see that weir was brim belay full!
Fish risin' out of water a trillion at a time,
And the side of each and every one like a silver dime.

"Well" says the serpent, "What are you gonna do?
They're uncomfortable, and they dont belong to you,
So, open this contraption up and let them go,
COME ON! shake the lead out, the boss says so"!
"He does," says Charlie, "And who the hell is he,
that thinks he can sit back, and send word to me"?
Sea serpent swivelled round, made a water spout,
"Keep it up brother, you'll find out."
"Why" says Charlie, "You're nothing but a lie, so old you are hoary,
So, get your dirty whiskers off the gunnel of my dory"!
Sea serpent twizzled, heaved underneath,
Scun back a set of sharp yellow teeth,
He came at Charlie with a gurgly roar,
And Charlie let him have it with his portside oar.
Right on the noggin, a hell of a knock,
And the old sea serpent sank like a rock.
"So go on back" says Charlie, "Tell the old jerk,
Not to send a boy to do a man's work!"

Then, over by the weir-gate, tinkly and clear,
A pretty little voice said "Yoo-hoo, Charlie dear!"
"Now what," says Charlie, "this aint funny,
And the same sweet voice said, "Yoo-hoo Charlie, honey."
And there on the seine pole right in the weir,
Was a little green mermaid combing her hair.
"All right" says Charlies, "I see you,
And I know who you came from, so, you git too."
He let fly his bailing scoop,
It landed with a CLUNK,
And when the water settled, the mermaid, she had sunk.

Then the ocean moved behind him,
With a mighty heave and hiss,
And a thundery, rumbly voice remarked,
And up come an old man, white from top to toe
Whiter than a daisy field, whiter than the snow,
Carrying a pitchfork with three tines on it,
Muttering in his whiskers, and, madder than a hornet.

"My sea serpent is so lame he can hardly stir,
and, my best mermaid, you raised a lump on her,
And you've been pretty sassy calling me a jerk,
So, now the old man has come to do a man's work!"
"Look" says Charlie, "Why don't you leave me be?,
You may be the hoary old man of the sea,
But, I've got a run of fish here shut up inside,
You keep friggin' around, you'll make me lose the tide!"

The next thing Charlie knew, he was lying on the sand.
The painter of his dory was right beside his hand,
He could see across the bay, calm and still and wide,
It was full daylight, and, it was high tide.
"H'm," he said, "What am I about?"
His oars wern't wet, so, he hadn't been out.
"Oh" he thought, "Diamonds, under a tree,
Seems to me I found some, I'd better go see."
But, he couldn't find any, not one gem,
Only three little owl dungs,
With frost on them.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 05:29 PM

I think that one of the reasons that recitations attract me is that they are a very welcome relief. By that I mean, speaking as a performer, I am FREE of the guitar. To do a recitation well, you must be totally involved in it, with great voice and elocution, including facial expressions and hand gestures. In other words ... acting. As a guitarist and singer, I find the occasional recitation to be great change of pace. Up here, in the Seattle area, we have a wonderful poet by the name of Dick Gibbons. He has been a regular at our hoots for many years. He does not play an instrument, but he always brings several poems to every hoot. We are a polite crowd, and when we notice Dick standing and leaning at the wall, kinda clearing his throat, someone always asks, "Hey Dick. Whatcha got for us?" And we are always thrilled. By the way, Dick Gibbons is the writer of "Sully's Pail," as recorded by Tom Paxton. CHEERS, Bob

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: jimmyt
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 10:29 PM

I took my inlaws to A medieval Banqueti at Ruthin Castle in Wales a couple years ago, and although the entertainment was obviously created for the tourists, the local chorus and one fine actor did a rendition of Eli Jenkins'Prayer from Under Milkwood, and as the fellow recited this wonderful work by Dylan Thomas, the Chorus was humming "All through the Night" (I believe it is A Welsh hymn,) quietly behind the reading.....Quite magical

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Subject: Lyr Add: GO DOWN DEATH (James Weldon Johnson)
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 01:37 AM

So many wonderful recitations have been posted that I will post one again. This is the one that Don Firth mentioned in an earlier post: "Go Down Death", from "God's Trombones." This is a marvelous little book, written by the great playwrite, James Weldon Johnson, in 1927. It was out of print for some years, but was re-issued by Viking press in 1969.

I became aquainted with this work in the 1950's through my late friend, Keve Bray. Keve formed an acting group called "The Contemporary Players." I was invited to join the troupe and I used to tease everyone that I felt I was the token white member.

James Weldon Johnson drew upon his history and memory of Negro preachers he knew from his childhood. "God's Trombones" is a collection a seven classic negro sermons. One of the most powerful is called ...


Weep not, weep not,
She is not dead;
She's resting in the bosom of Jesus.
Heart broken husband - weep no more;
Grief stricken son - weep no more;
She's only just gone home.

Day before yesterday morning,
God was looking down from his great, high heaven,
Looking down on all his children,
And his eye fell on Sister Caroline,
Tossing on her bed of pain.
And God's big heart was touched with pity,
With the everlasting pity.

And God sat back on his throne,
And he commanded that tall, bright angel standing at his right hand:
Call me Death!
Call Death! - Call Death!
And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven
Till it reached away back to that shadowy place,
Where Death waits with his pale, white horses.

And Death heard the summons,
And he lept on his fastest horse,
Pale as a sheet in the moonlight,
Up the golden street Death galloped,
And the hooves of his horse struck fire from the gold,
But they didn't make no sound.
Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,
And waited for God's command.

And God said: Go down, Death, go down,
Go down to Savannah, Georgia,
Down in Yamacraw,
And find Sister Caroline,
She's born the burden and the heat of the day,
She's labored long in my vineyard,
And she's tired-
She's weary -
Go down Death, and bring her to me.

And death didn't say a word,
But he loosed the reigns on his pale, white horse,
And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,
And out and down he rode,
Past suns and moons and stars,
On Death rode,
And the foam from his horse was like a comet in the sky;
On Death rode,
Leaving the lightning's flash behind;
Straight on down he came.

While we were watching round her bed,
She turned her eyes and looked away,
She saw what we couldn't see;
She saw old Death. She saw old Death
Coming like a falling star.
But Death didn't frighten Sister Caroline;
He looked to her like a welcome friend.
And she whispered to us: I'm going home,
And she smiled and closed her eyes.

And Death took her up like a baby,
And she lay in his icy arms,
But she didn't feel no chill.
And Death began to ride again -
Up beyond the evening star,
Out beyond the morning star,
Into the glittering light of glory,
On to the Great White Throne.

And there he laid Sister caroline
On the loving breast of Jesus.

And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,
And he smoothed the furrows from her face,
And the angels sang a little song,
And Jesus rocked her in his arms,
And kept a-saying: Take your rest,
Take your rest, take your rest.

Weep not - weep not,
She is not dead;
She's just resting in the bosom of Jesus.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 02:58 AM

That is BEAUTIFUL! Thank you so much.

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: alanabit
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 05:11 AM

This is great, isn't it? During the World Cup last year, someone recalled and posted Richard Digance's "The Jungle Cup Final", which I had recalled seeing him perform at The Cap and Gown in Reading some twenty five years ago. He did several smashing recitations - usually animal poems/doggerel, which he had written himself.
The posting about Robin Williamson (he of the Incredible String Band)reminded me of probably the most remarkable recitation which I've ever seen. At a folk festival in Germany, back in 1979, he recited a poem about a bloke who lived to gripe every day. He had all the performing qualities which Deckman mentioned and absolutely captivated his German audience. All this in addition to playing several instruments well. Some people are just annoyingly talented!

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Subject: RE: Recitations Anyone?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 05:53 AM

Though recitations are not music, they do require a Public Entertainment Licence (PEL)to be held any place in England & Wales.

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Subject: Lyr Add: JABBERWOCKY! (Lewis Carroll)
From: GUEST,ellenpoly
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 05:58 AM

Still one of my favorites..xx..e

Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal blade in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh, Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

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