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Lyr Add: Invitation to a Funeral

DigiTrad:
FUNERAL PARTY


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Funeral Song / Invitation to a Funeral (12)
Lyr Req: Funeral Party (from Martin Carthy) (15)
Lyr Req: Irish comic song-Invitation to a Funeral (7)


Kiwi 07 Jul 98 - 01:12 PM
dick greenhaus 07 Jul 98 - 09:38 PM
Chet W. 07 Jul 98 - 10:16 PM
Kiwi 07 Jul 98 - 10:42 PM
dick greenhaus 08 Jul 98 - 10:53 AM
Kiwi 08 Jul 98 - 11:32 AM
Susan-Marie 24 May 00 - 04:00 PM
Turtle 24 May 00 - 04:40 PM
Susan-Marie 24 May 00 - 04:44 PM
Turtle 25 May 00 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,liz the squeak 25 May 00 - 06:19 PM
michaelr 19 Jan 02 - 10:40 PM
michaelr 20 Jan 02 - 02:06 PM
Little Hawk 20 Jan 02 - 02:35 PM
michaelr 23 Jan 02 - 08:34 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 12 - 01:35 AM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 12 - 01:43 AM
Jim Dixon 07 Jul 12 - 09:13 AM
Jim Dixon 07 Jul 12 - 09:16 AM
michaelr 07 Jul 12 - 04:27 PM
GUEST 29 Sep 15 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,kenny 30 Sep 15 - 05:52 AM
keberoxu 09 Mar 16 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Myrtle's cook 10 Mar 16 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,JeffB 10 Mar 16 - 08:23 AM
GUEST 10 Mar 16 - 01:26 PM
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Subject: Invitation To a Funeral
From: Kiwi
Date: 07 Jul 98 - 01:12 PM

Heyla,

I was puttering around in the Database and found a copy of 'Invitation To a Funeral' that's slightly different from the one that I have. Would you like me to post the version that I've got, just for comparison's sake?

Slán, Kiwi


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 07 Jul 98 - 09:38 PM

Kiwi- Please.Variants are interesting.


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: Chet W.
Date: 07 Jul 98 - 10:16 PM

Do you mean the one that is sung to the tune of the Temperance Reel? If so I'll send it.

Chet W.


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Subject: Lyr Add: INVITATION TO A FUNERAL
From: Kiwi
Date: 07 Jul 98 - 10:42 PM

Chet - In fact, on the tape that I have of it, Mike Agranoff sings it and segues right into a concertina version of the Temperance Reel.

Dick - alright, since you asked so nicely. :) (Goes to fetch the tape to type it from)

INVITATION TO A FUNERAL

I received an invitation to go to a funeral,
But to my sad misfortune now the fellow didn't die.
Of course the man was vexed at disappointing all the mourners,
But then he apologized and so we let the thing go by.
To make up for disappointing us, he took us out and treated us.
He bought a pint of porter for a company of ten;
Until somebody asked him just whose money was he squandering?
He put the fellow's eyelids into mourning there and then.

Well, the owner of the beer shop, observing we were riotous,
Gave orders to evict us, but of course we all refused;
So he whistled up some loungers who were loafing in the corner,
And for ten or fifteen minutes we were thoroughly abused.
And then we left the beer shop and down the street did stagger,
Where a gang of corner boys commenced at pelting us with mud.
We asked for them to chuck it and they told us they were doing so,
And so we turned on them and left them lying where they stood.

Well, the next that we encountered was a company of Salvationers
Who rifled all our pockets 'till we begged that we be saved,
And little Mac MacGinty got invited to the station
For inquiring of a policeman how his ancestors behaved.
To make MacGinty's bail, every man took off his undershirt,
And down to the pawnshop we brought the jolly lot.
We told the man we wanted only ten and sixpence on 'em.
"There's enough on them already" was the answer that we got.

Well, we got the ten and sixpence and went off to free MacGinty,
But the devil take the beer shop that attacked us on the way.
We couldn't pass it by without accepting some refreshment,
And we drank up every penny of the fine we had to pay.
We bought a concertina for to make the high hilarity,
Though none of us could play it, though we tried our best - and worst.
We knocked a lot of noise from it, if that's of any consequence.
We handled it so gently that the bellows it did burst.

Well, we got a boiled potato for to mend the concertina with,
When someone hit Maloney with the carcass of a cat.
He buttoned up his whiskers and began to read the Riot Act.
He swore he'd put two heads upon the fellow who did that.
Then Maloney hit Mahoney and Mahoney hit some other man,
And everyone hit anyone to whom he'd owed a spite;
And the crippled McNamara who'd been sitting saying nothing
Got a kick that blacked his eye for not indulging in the fight.

Well, the liquor being into us, the sense was nearly out of us,
So for a bit of rioting we straightway did repair.
We battered one another 'till we all weren't worth three ha'pence,
And you couldn't see the carpet on the floor for skin and hair.
We battered one another 'till the police separated us
And marched us off to jail with bloody noses and black eyes.
They marched us off to jail - and to me it's proved a lesson:
One should never go to funerals unless somebody dies.

Slán,
Kiwi


YouTube Video


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Jul 98 - 10:53 AM

Many thanx.


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: Kiwi
Date: 08 Jul 98 - 11:32 AM

You're quite welcome. :)

Slán, Kiwi


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:00 PM

Kiwi - Sorry if this seems like a stupid question but are the words you posted actually sung to the Temperance Reel, or is that just a good seg-way?


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: Turtle
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:40 PM

Alistair Russell also sings this, on his album Getting to the Border, and yes, it's sung to the tune of the Temperance Reel, and then he segues into that tune.


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 24 May 00 - 04:44 PM

Thanks, Turtle, I'm off to learn it!


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: Turtle
Date: 25 May 00 - 01:12 PM

You're welcome. It's a great one, isn't it? The lyrics Alistair Russell sings are a little bit different from the ones posted above, as well as from the ones in the DB. I always thought he wrote it--in fact I'm almost sure that's what the liner notes say, but it's been a long time since I've looked at them. (I actually have it on LP, which tells you something about *how* long!) He also mis-identifies the tune as the Silver Spear. I'm just learning both those tunes on the fiddle, and they are both a lot of fun to play.

Turtle


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: GUEST,liz the squeak
Date: 25 May 00 - 06:19 PM

Yes, my version has differences too, usually in local colloquialisms, like the last line - don't be going to a funeral until the bugger dies..... That's the point of folk songs, they change subtly every time they are passed on....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: michaelr
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 10:40 PM

Does anyone know if "Invitation" is trad or, if not, who wrote it?
Also, since it's obviously in the database, why did my search turn up no result?
Michael


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 02:06 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 02:35 PM

Sounds like a past life experience that Blind DRunk in Blind River might have had...given the ethnic overtones.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Invitation To a Funeral
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 08:34 PM

refresh


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Subject: ADD Version: Temperance / Invitation to a Funeral
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 12 - 01:35 AM

Here's a version I found at the Website of the Arizona Irish Music Society. I don't know if the title "Temperance" or the attribution to Bob Cockerall are accurate.

TEMPERANCE
Bob Cockerall
(tune: Temperance Reel)

Just the other day I was invited to a funeral
But to my disappointment, the fella didn't die
He said he's very sorry then for havin' disappointed us
And seein' as he apologized, we let the thing go by
To ease our disappointment, he took us out and treated us
He bought a quart of porter for a company of ten
And when we asked th' fellow whose money he was squanderin'
The fellow took his wallet out; we didn't ask again!

We got a concertina out all for to make some merriment
And none of us could play it tho we tried our best and worst
We made an awful noise on it, and if it's any benefit,
We played the thing so carefully that all the bellows burst
We got a boiled potato for to mend the concertina with
When someone struck Maloney with the carcass of a cat
He bundled back his whiskers, and he read out the riot act
And said he'd put two lumps upon the bugger who done that!

The owner of the beershop, when he saw us all a-riotin'
He ordered us to leave at once, but this we flat refused
So he whistled up some loafers who was standin' round the corner
And for ten or fifteen minutes we was bodily abused
We gathered up our dignity, and down the road we started,
A bunch of hungry urchins, well, they pelted us with mud
We told 'em they could chuck it, and they said they was a doin' that
And then they all run off and left us there a-standin' where we stood!

Well, just around the corner we ran into some Salvationers
Who rifled all our pockets, and inquired if we was saved
And poor old John McGinty got escorted to the station-house
For the song that he was singin', and the way that he behaved.
Well, for to free McGinty we all stripped off our undershirts
And to the local Pawnshop we marched the bloomin' lot
We told them that we only wanted ten-and-six on them
There's enough on them already, was the answer that we got!

We got ten-and-six on them all for to free McGinty with
Bad luck to the beershop we passed along the way!
Of course we couldn't pass it without havin' some refreshment
And we squandered every penny of the fine we had to pay....
The liquor bein' in us, well, the sense it went all out of us
And for a bit of riotin' we quickly did repair
We battered one another as we re-arranged the tables
Keepin' track of lighter objects that was flyin' thru the air!

McPherson hit McCannlesh and McCannlesh hit another man
And another man, another man, and any man was right
And poor old crippled MacNamara, sittin' doin' nothin'
Got a kick that broke his jaw for not indulgin' in the fight
We fought around like Turks until the police came and parted us
And carted us away with broken noses and black eyes
I got thirty days in prison, but to me it was a lesson
That I'll go no more to funerals...until the fella dies!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FUNERAL (from Alistair Russell)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 12 - 01:43 AM

Click here for a YouTube recording by Alistair Russell, along with these lyrics:

THE FUNERAL

Last night I got an invitation to a funeral
But to me disappointment well the fellow didn't die
Of course he told the mourners he was sorry for disappointing them
And after the apologies, we let the thing go by.
Then after the apologies he took us out and treated us
And called a pint of porter for a company of ten
But when somebody asked him whose money he was squanderin'
That fellow got his eyebrows put in mourning there and then.

Now, the owner of the beer shop he saw that we were rioting
He said he would evict us, but to go we all refused;
And he called a bunch o' loafers who were standing in the corner
And for more than twenty minutes we were terribly abused
Then out of the beershop, into the streets we staggered
Where a bunch of ragamuffins started pelting us with mud
And we asked them for to chuck it and they said that they were doin' so
Then they battered us severely and they left us where we stood

Now the next that we met it was an army of Salvationers
They rifled all our pockets till we begged that we'd be saved
And Little Mick McGinty got escorted to the station house
For asking a policeman if his appetite was shaved.
Then to pay McGinty's fine, every man took off his undershirt
Off to the pawnshop we drove the bloody lot.
And we told them the man we only wanted ten and sixpence on them.
"There's enough on them already" was the answer that we got

Then we got the ten and sixpence was the price to free McGinty.
But the Devil damn the whisky shop we met upon the way.
Of course, we couldn't pass it without taking some refreshment,
Till we squandered every penny of the fine we had to pay
Then the whisky bein' in us, and all the sense bein' out of us,
Its for a bit of rioting every one of us did repair.
And we battered one another till we weren't worth three ha'pence
And ye couldn't see the carpets on the floor for skin and hair.

Then we bought a concertina for to keep up the hilarity,
But none of us could play it, though we tried our best and worst;
And it made an awful noise, if that was any benefit,
And we handled it so gently that the bellows it did burst.
Then we bought a boiled potato for to mend the concertina,
And someone hit Maloney with the carcase of a cat
And he buckled up his eyebrows and began to read the riot act,
And said "I'll put two headbutts on the bugger who did that."

Then I hit McCusker and McCusker hit some other man
And every man hit any man to whom he had a spite.
And Johnny MacNamara who was sittin' sayin' nothin'
Got a kick that broke his jaw for not indulgin' in the fight.
Then we fought like Turks till the police the separated us
Drove us off to prison, broken noses and black eyes
I got forty days in prison and to me it was a lesson:
Never more to go to funerals until the people die.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IINVITATION TO A FUNERAL (from B Behan)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Jul 12 - 09:13 AM

An excerpt from the song is sung in the play Richard's Cork Leg by Brendan Behan (London: Eyre Methuen, 1973), page 15:

The other night I got an invitation to a funeral,
But much to my discomfort sure the fellow didn't die,
Of course he was dissatisfied at having disappointed us,
And as soon as he apologised we let the thing go by,
The night of the misfortune, he took us down and treated us.
He called a quart of porter for a company of ten,
When some poor chap enquired to know whose money he was squandering,
The poor chap got his two eyes put in mourning there and then.

Then Mulrooney struck MacCusker and MacCusker struck some other one,
And everyone struck anyone, of whom he had a spite,
And Larry Doyle, the cripple, that was sitting doing nothing,
Got a kick that broke his jaw for not indulging in the fight.

[Please note that the meter of this version is very regular, and better than the other versions posted here, indicating, I suppose, that either this version is closer to the original, or else Behan improved it.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Invitation to a Funeral
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Jul 12 - 09:16 AM

Another version is given in Sing Out!, volume 23 (New York: Sing Out, Inc., 1974), page 36:

THE FUNERAL

The other night I got an invitation to a funeral
But to me disappointment the fellow didn't die
He said that he was sorry for having disappointed us
And seeing he apologized we let the thing go by
To ease our disappointment he took us out and treated us
He bought a quart of port for a company of ten
When some of us asked him whose money he was squandering
The fellow took his wallet out, we didn't ask again.

Well ... we got a concertina for to keep up the risquality
But none of us could play it though we tried our best and
And we made an awful noise on it, and if it's any benefit
We played the thing so carefully that all the bellows burst
We got a boiled potato for to fix the concertina with
When someone hit Maloney with the carcass of a cat
He bundled up his whiskers and he read out the riot act
And he swore he'd put two heads on the bugger that done that

Well ... the owner of the beer shop when he seen us all a-riotin'
Give orders to get out, but that we all refused
So he whistled in some loafers that were standing 'round the corner
And for ten or fifteen minutes we were bodily abused
When we left the beershop down the road we started
And a bunch of hungry urchins, they pelted us with mud
We told 'em for to chuck it, and they said that they were doing that
And then they all ran off and they left us where we stood

Well . . . the next thing we saw was a bunch of Salvationers
They rifled all our pockets and they asked us were we saved
And poor little John McGinty got escorted to the station house
For asking a big policeman if his appetite was shived
All for to free McGinty, we all took off our undershirts
And off to the pawnshop marched the bloomin' lot
We told him that we only wanted ten and six on them
"There's enough already on them," was the answer that we got

Oh we got the ten and six all for to free McGinty with
Bad luck to the beer shop we met along the way
Of course we could not pass it without having some refresherment
And we squandered every penny of the fine we had to pay
The drink being in us, sure the sense it was all out of us
And for a bit of rioting we quickly did repair
We battered one another till we weren't worth three ha'pence
You could have carpeted the floor with all the akin and hair

MacGency hit McGinty and McGinty hit [...]
And any man hit any man against whom he had a spite
And poor old crippled MacNamara .who was sitting saying nothing
Got a kick that broke his jawbone for not indulging in the fight
We fought away like Turks 'til the police separated us
They took us off to jail with broken noses and black eyes
I got sixty days in prison, and to me it was a lesson
I'll go no more to funerals until the fellow dies


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Invitation to a Funeral
From: michaelr
Date: 07 Jul 12 - 04:27 PM

Ten years later, and I still don't have a clue who wrote the song! Someone out there must know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Invitation to a Funeral
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 15 - 12:56 PM

Ahhh... truely the best singing of this song is by Jim Perkins of Finvarras Wren.   Not to be missed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Invitation to a Funeral
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 30 Sep 15 - 05:52 AM

Haven't heard that version guest, but I'm surprised no-one here has mentioned the version by Jimmy Crowley of Cork, who recorded it I would think in the late 1970s, and was the first person I heard singing it. I'm fairly certain that he was the source of the song for Alistair Russell, and also Martin Carthy, whom I remember hearing sing it at Aberdeen Folk Club, maybe about 20 years ago.


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Subject: Invitation to a Funeral
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 Mar 16 - 05:22 PM

This is one of the reasons I became a Mudcat member.
When I heard Martin Carthy sing this song in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it was so long ago that there was no Internet; I was a graduate student then. And since Carthy cannily did not introduce the song, but just launched right into it a cappella and then went right on to the next one, apart from the hilarity of hearing it I was bursting to know what the heck I had just heard.
And there was nobody I could ask. Well, actually, I went backstage to ask, but I took too long getting back there. By the time I got through the door, Carthy was sitting for an interview with somebody, and no longer talking to members of the public; and there were people standing between me and Carthy looking daggers at anybody who might dare to interrupt. Even though I spoke up at one point, I was disregarded, and I went home none the wiser.
But I suppose I would have disregarded the song itself if my curiosity had not been piqued?

To have a place where I can come and find threads and posts about the very song that drove me nuts way back then, is indescribably satisfying.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Invitation to a Funeral
From: GUEST,Myrtle's cook
Date: 10 Mar 16 - 07:52 AM

In terms of the origins of this wonderful song...
Jimmy Crowley recorded it on his [excellent] 'Some things never change' LP, his notes on the back of the LP sleeve say that he learned this at a singing festival in Beleek, Co. Fermanagh from Finbarr Boyle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Invitation to a Funeral
From: GUEST,JeffB
Date: 10 Mar 16 - 08:23 AM

Another thread says it was also a track on Crowley's 1977 LP The Boys of Fairhill.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Invitation to a Funeral
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Mar 16 - 01:26 PM

Sorry, above post is incorrect. I should have first checked his discography, which shows that the song was not on The Boys of Fairhill.


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