Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?

DigiTrad:
CUCKOO SHE'S A PRETTY BIRD
CUCKOO'S A BONNY BIRD
CUCKOOS NEST
CUCKOO'S NEST
THE CUCKOO
THE CUCKOO (4)
THE CUCKOO IS A FUNNY BIRD
THE CUCKOO'S NEST
THE CUCKOO's NEST (2)
THE CUCKOO'S NEST (3)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Cuckoo (Hans Theessink) (8)
Cuckoos (47)
Lyr Req: Cuckoo Waltz (35)
The Cuckoo Bird question (35)
Tune Add: Come all you pretty maidens, wherever yo (8)
Lyr Req: Cuckoo's Nest (3)
version of 'the cuckoo' (5)
Lyr Req: Cuckoo's nest - climb a tree (21)
cuckoos all awry? (13)
Lyr Req: Cuckoo's nest (7)
Chord Req: The Cuckoo Is A Pretty Bird (4)
Tune Req: The Cuckoo Bird (Merle Watson) (1)


Paul Dickfoss 16 Jul 98 - 11:46 AM
16 Jul 98 - 01:31 PM
dickfoss@enc.org 16 Jul 98 - 04:21 PM
Murray on Salt Spring 17 Jul 98 - 12:23 AM
dick greenhaus 17 Jul 98 - 12:39 PM
Phil Edwards 14 Nov 08 - 04:29 AM
Will Fly 14 Nov 08 - 06:09 AM
Lighter 14 Nov 08 - 10:28 AM
Lighter 14 Nov 08 - 10:41 AM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Nov 08 - 11:11 AM
Phil Edwards 14 Nov 08 - 11:20 AM
Will Fly 14 Nov 08 - 02:34 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Nov 08 - 02:57 PM
Rowan 14 Nov 08 - 09:14 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Dec 08 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Niels 31 Dec 08 - 04:15 PM
Malcolm Douglas 31 Dec 08 - 04:28 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 01 Jan 09 - 03:37 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Paul Dickfoss
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 11:46 AM

I searched the OSU library for the words to the Cuckoo's Nest but was unable to find them. I did find the tune on a CD of medieval summer fair songs. What I am interested in is when was this song first published or any information about it's history. Can you refer me to some primary documentation.

I am also interested in The Ranger Fight Song although it appears as though it's origins are unclear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From:
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 01:31 PM

Which one. There are 3 in DT.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: dickfoss@enc.org
Date: 16 Jul 98 - 04:21 PM

The one I am refering to is: As I was a walking one morning in May


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Murray on Salt Spring
Date: 17 Jul 98 - 12:23 AM

If that's the "Cuckoo's Nest" in the DT beginning like that, Dick should be able to tell you where he got it (I'd like to know myself, Dick!). Grit Laskin's amusing song is a parody of this, as comparison will show. A bit of the song is in Kenneth Peacock's "Songs of the Newfoundland Outports", 258, collected in 1960, as a specimen of "chin music" or diddling ("Da dal la da da" etc.), with a stanza [just the one] very close to the 2nd in the DT text ("Oh some love the girls who are pretty in the face" etc.). The tune in Peacock is a version of the Scots one in Buchan and Hall, from the great Jeannie Robertson. The air is sometimes called merely "Sailor's Hornpipe" (as in Allan's Collection of Reels, 39), but more usually "Jacky Tar," which is in the Scots Musical Museum IV (1792), no. 321, to Burns' version of Ayton's "I do confess". The commentator Stenhouse calls it "The Cuckoo," which has a Jacobite song in Hogg. Another version, in the major this time, is in Rutherford's Complete Collection of the most celebrated Country Dances III (ca. 1770). Later, it's in the minor, as in Aird's Selections I (1782), titled "Come "Ashore, Jolly Tar and your trowsers on", from another set of words. Bunting claims it as Irish [which it might well be], finding it in a music book of 1723. O'Neill, Music of Ireland (1903), 322, gives two sets of The Cuckoo's Nest -- #1733 is the more familiar one, #1734, more or less the same, but with 3 strains *in the major*.

That any help?

Cheers

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Jul 98 - 12:39 PM

Murray_ I'll have to check sources with Susan. I suspect it came from Cole, but I'm not sure.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 04:29 AM

Hearing this song last night (ten years on!) made me wonder about the same thing. It's on Morris On (1972), sung by Barry Dransfield - but where did he get it from?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 06:09 AM

I'd also be interested in more info on the origins of The Cuckoo's Nest. I do an instrumental version of it on YouTube and I can't now remember where I got it from - or even whether I'm playing a proper version of the thing.


The Cuckoo's Nest

Any info and constructive criticism welcomed...

Will


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 10:28 AM

OK, second try. Sorry if I'm repeating myself, but the first seems to have vanished.

The Bodleian Library at Oxford has a broadside of the words dated to "between 1846 and 1854."

Different lyrics in the same spirit appear in a garland called "The Entertaining Companion" dated to "ca1780" by The British Library.

The version generally sung at Ren Faires and on albums was evidently written by Oscar Brand in the 1950s from a traditional version sung in Scots by Jeannie Robertson.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 10:41 AM

Will, your "Cuckoo's Nest No. 2" is beautifully played. A variant of it was in print by 1782. (My two cents: 18th Century musicians would have played it more slowly.)

Check out Andrew Kuntz's "Fiddler's Companion" for more than you ever wanted to know. Go here and keep scrollin':

http://www.ceolas.org/cgi-bin/ht2/ht2-fc2/file=/tunes/fc2/fc.html&style=&refer=&abstract=&ftpstyle=&grab=&linemode=&max=250?cuckoo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 11:11 AM

The Brand re-write of the Scottish song is quoted in the DT: THE CUCKOO's NEST (2)

The tune link is to the obsolete version of the Fiddlers Companion at Ceolas. In spite of repeated requests from Andrew Kuntz that they allow him to update it, they refused to do so; he therefore moved it to http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/. The old version remains at Ceolas, unfortunately.

The new link would be http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/CS_CZ.htm. Note that the collated information, drawn from numerous sources, is at times contradictory.

So far as the song originally asked about is concerned (the English form, we might call it, though how far the English and Scottish songs are related is worth more investigation), it seems to be a product of the early 19th century, appearing in Fanny Hill's Bang-Up Songster (1835) and on broadsides. See Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

Cuckoo's nest

No source of any kind is acknowledged for the DT file CUCKOOS NEST. My guess would be that it derives from the 'Morris On' record, but it isn't a direct transcription; the words have been muddled in places, and 'me' has as usual been substituted for 'my' throughout. My guess would be that the 'Morris On' text was a slight adaptation from a broadside edition, set to the obvious tune, rather than a form received from tradition.

Also at the Bodleian is a broadside edition of THE CUCKOO'S NEST, presumably based upon the earthier song. The DT file is a transcription from a performance by Frank Harte, who said that it was written by John Shiels of Drogheda.

Heaven knows what that cd of 'medieval summer fair songs' was that the original questioner -ten years ago, now- mentioned. I assume that he meant that they were songs performed at modern mock-medieval fairs, presumably in the USA, rather than that anyone might seriously imagine this to be a medieval song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 11:20 AM

Great stuff. What made me curious about the version I heard last night (basically this one) was the last line of the chorus -
"At the bottom of the belly lies the cuckoo's nest."
Spelling it out like that seemed very unlike a real bawdy ballad - once they've set up a conceit like that they usually keep it going more or less forever. And it turns out that the chorus (which was originally the last verse) has been jazzed up - from

But give me a girl with a wriggle and a twist:
That is pleasant and good-temper'd with a cuckoo's nest

to

But give me a girl that will wriggle and will twist:
At the bottom of the belly lies the cuckoo's nest.

Now, who's Oscar Brand?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 02:34 PM

Lighter:
Will, your "Cuckoo's Nest No. 2" is beautifully played. A variant of it was in print by 1782. (My two cents: 18th Century musicians would have played it more slowly.)

Many thanks. I'd always assumed that the tune was played for dancing, e.g. Morris, and so set it at that tempo. It does lend itself to a much slower tempo - the sorts of tempos that I hear "The Blackbird" played at. If I recall, Dave Swarbricks' 1967 version from the "Rags, Reels and Airs" album was also at a much more moderate rate. Mmm..perhaps I ought to have a crack at version #3...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 02:57 PM

Oscar Brand,
One of the earlier prolific American singers and recording artists of bawdy songs and sea shanties, 50s I think. His LPs are constantly available on eBay. The book from the LPs 'Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads' 1960 is scarcer.

The 2 Cuckoo's Nest ballads I have on broadside are the traditional one 'As I was a walking one morning in May' printed by J Paul and then C Paul, both successors of Catnach, and Hodges who I think was Pitts successor so these 3 would have been about the same time as Malcolm's songster version.

And in Madden 'As I ranged the bowers one evening in May' 5 double stanzas, no imprint.

I'm sure I have other CNs in my other indexes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Rowan
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 09:14 PM

And
But give me a girl that will wriggle and will twist:
At the bottom of the belly lies the cuckoo's nest.


became
But give me a girl that will wriggle and will twist:
And shove it right home into the cuckoo's nest.

in "Navvy on the line" in Oz.
Sung in the major key it has only the one verse and chorus;

I'm a nipper, I'm a ripper, I'm a navvy on the line
I get four and twenty bob a week beside my overtime
All the ladies love a navvy and the navvies love the fun
There'll be plenty little babies when the railway's done.

Chorus as above

Cheers, Rowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: CUCKOO'S NEST (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 01:20 PM

From the broadside at the Bodleian collection – see Malcolm Douglas' link above.
(Firth b.25(339), Firth b.34(76), Firth b.34(77) are identical)


E. Hodges, printer, from Pitts, Wholesale Toy and
marble Warehouse, 31, [Dudley] Street, Seven Dials [London]

CUCKOO'S NEST

[1] As I was a walking one morning in May,
I met a charming fair maid and unto her did say
To love I am inclin'd, to you I tell my mind,
I am deeply engaged with your cuckoo's nest.

[2] Oh my darling, said she, I am innocent and true,
And how can I believe your false deluding tongue,
I can see it in your eyes, it gives me much surprise,
That your inclination lies in my cuckoo's nest.

[3] Oh my darling, said I, if you see it in my eyes,
Believe me it is fondness and do not be surprised,
I will marry you I swear, and make you my dear,
If you let me slip my hand in your cuckoo's nest.

[4] Oh my darling, says she, I can do no such thing,
For my mammy often told me it was committing sin
My m——d[*] to lose and then to be abused,
So have no more to do with the cuckoo's nest.

[5] Oh my darling says I it is not committing sin,
Your common sense must tell you it is a pleasing thing.
You're sent upon the earth to increase and do your best
And to help a man to heaven in a cuckoo's nest.

[6] Oh my darling says she I cannot you deny.
You've fairly won my heart by the rolling of your eye,
It will not me surprise if your courage it should rise,
So gently put your hand upon my cuckoo's nest.

[7] This couple they were married and quickly went to bed,
And now this poor girl she has lost her m——d[*],
In a small country cottage they do each other bless,
And he gently claps his hand upon her cuckoo's nest.

[8] Now some likes a girl that is pretty in the face,
And others likes a girl that is slender in the waist,
But give me the girl with a riggle and a twist,
That is pleasant and good temper'd with a cuckoo's nest.


[*maidenhead, I presume. –JD]
[Nowadays, verse 8 typically serves as a chorus, but the broadside doesn't indicate this.]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: GUEST,Niels
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 04:15 PM

Hi -
An interesting discussion.
Someone said that a variant was in print in 1782... but where? I've been looking for a long time, with no luck. Anyone know?

The Convivial Songster (1782) doesn't have it - nor any other songsters that I am aware of from that time - and it really doesn't seem to show up until rather more modern folksingers start to play it...

Looking in Playford's English Dance Master (1651) I see no song that looks similar.

Any help would be VERY appreciated, by both I and (I am sure) Paul Dickfoss, the original poster.

Happy New Year!
cheers,
Niels Hobbs


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 Dec 08 - 04:28 PM

Murray on Saltspring was referring to the tune, not the song. See his post earlier in this thread, dated 17 Jul 98, for source information.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When was Cuckoo's Nest first published?
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 03:37 PM

"The Cuckoo" song has surely done some flying- I know four for five melodies to which it can be sung, and Isuppose there are dozens more. I usually sing, with dulcimer accompaniment, the minor tune learned at home, but often when the family gathered of an evening, one of the boys would start it with the easier major-key version (same words, different tune). Strange- we never sang harmonies to this one- I wonder why. My own feeling is just that none of us wanted to clutter that simple melody- one you could lean into, one that was somehow part of the evening.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 July 4:30 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.