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meaning? 'My father would have paid the smart'

DigiTrad:
RECRUITED COLLIER


Related threads:
Lyr Add: The Recruited Collier's Tale (4)
Lyr Add: Recruited Collier (50)
Chord Req: The Recruited Collier (Kate Rusby) (15)


Feebar 30 Jan 03 - 08:42 AM
Fiolar 30 Jan 03 - 09:01 AM
nutty 30 Jan 03 - 09:10 AM
Liz the Squeak 30 Jan 03 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Q 30 Jan 03 - 05:29 PM
David Ingerson 30 Jan 03 - 08:29 PM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Jan 03 - 07:39 AM
Liz the Squeak 31 Jan 03 - 05:57 PM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Jan 03 - 07:09 PM
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Subject: Origins: What does it mean? 'My father would have
From: Feebar
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 08:42 AM

In Recruited Collier, the lyrics of the second verse go, 'My father would have paid the smart, and he ran for the golden guinea. But the sergeant swore he'd kissed the book and now they've got young Jimmy'.

I just hate singing songs I don't understand! (though this song is so gorgeous I'd sing it in Yoruba)


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Subject: RE: Origins: What does it mean? 'My father would h
From: Fiolar
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 09:01 AM

"My father would have paid the smart and he ran etc.." The meaning is basically as follows. "Smart" means "smart money" which was money paid by a person to obtain exemption from some disagreeable office or duty. It was applied to to money paid by an army recruit to obtain release before being sworn in. (info from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable). The father obviously learned of his son's recruitment and went to get the money to release him i.e the guinea but the army wanted him more and obviously refused. Hope that is of help.


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Subject: RE: Origins: What does it mean? 'My father would have
From: nutty
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 09:10 AM

"Kissing the book" (The bible) was a way of pledging oneself
.
Like taking an oath in a court of law.

Once having done that there was no going back.


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Subject: RE: meaning? 'My father would have paid the smart'
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 04:41 PM

Kissing the book was the equivalent of signing on the dotted line, the book in question being the bible, he was promising by God to serve.

There's a Recruted Collier's lament in the Mudcat Songbook written as a reply to the song if you're interested.

LTS


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Subject: RE: meaning? 'My father would have paid the smart'
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 05:29 PM

A variation on the meaning posted by Fiolar is given in "A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," by Frances Grose, 1811 edition.
Smart money- money allowed to soldiers or sailors for the loss of a limb or other hurt received in the service (better known as smart ticket).

Another is given in the Military Dictionary, James, 1802, quoted in the OED:
"Smarts: The different sums which are received by recruiting parties under the heading of smart money are frequently so called."

The definition posted by Fiolar and the meaning in the song is also in the OED, from Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary, Supp., 1887: "He listed... but paid the smarts and wan hame."


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Subject: RE: meaning? 'My father would have paid the smart'
From: David Ingerson
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 08:29 PM

Thank you Feebar for posting that question. I've never seen the words but learned the song from a tape of someone singing it in a pub. I mondegreened it to "this much". Now I'll have it better.

David


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Subject: RE: meaning? 'My father would have paid the smart'
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 07:39 AM

Liz, I could not find the reply song and I would like to. Can you help?


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RECRUITED COLLIERS' LAMENT
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 05:57 PM

It should be in the Mudcat songbook rather than the DT, but snce you asked...

THE RECRUITED COLLIERS' LAMENT: by Liz Draper
[Tune: Four Loom Weaver.]

I was once a collier with a wife new wed,
My name was once Jimmy, and she were Susanne
But now I'm just Private, or Matey, or Man
And I'm wishing I'd never left home.

Well I thought the dust of the coal pit were bad,
I thought it were hotter than any could bear
I reckoned it terrible working down there,
But I'm thinking it different now.

I have to admit I was fond of my drink,
And sometimes I had just a couple too far
But it's weeks since I saw any sign of a jar,
And it's glad that I am it's that way.

For the drinking and rousing took me from my home
The sergeants, they saw I was out of my mind,
They flattered and pampered and acted so kind,
And recruited I was for the wars.

They marched me to London, and gave me a gun.
They beat me, half starved me, and taught me to kill.
Then sent me to Spain, though it might have been Hell.
And they told me to die for my King.

The heat made the pit seem like heaven above.
The dust and the flies nearly drove me insane,
We starved in the mountains, and burned on the plain,
And the cannons, they never stopped once.

So now here I lie, in some nameless ravine,
So far from the coal pit, I'll not see again,
No riches or glory for me here in Spain,
And Susannah a widow will be.


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Subject: RE: meaning? 'My father would have paid the smart'
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 07:09 PM

Thanks Liz. That's probably just how the story would have ended.
Beautifully spun together.
I did look thru. Aine's song book.

And it's glad that I am it's this way.
Keith.


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