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Lyr Req/Add: Free and Easy

19 Jul 98 - 02:30 PM
Bigj 26 Jul 98 - 11:38 AM
Barbara 26 Jul 98 - 04:19 PM
Artful Codger 09 May 07 - 10:40 PM
Rowan 10 May 07 - 03:50 AM
GUEST,padgett 10 May 07 - 03:57 AM
Artful Codger 10 May 07 - 05:20 AM
masato sakurai 10 May 07 - 07:37 AM
nutty 10 May 07 - 03:12 PM
Artful Codger 11 May 07 - 04:51 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Free and Easy
From:
Date: 19 Jul 98 - 02:30 PM

I'm looking for the words to this song, I have heard it is by, or sung by Dave Weber.
The chorus goes:
    So let the world chug along as it pleases
    I'll be free and easy still,
    Free and easy, free and easy
    I'll be free and easy still.
Or else the last line is "For they call me Honest John."
Blessings
Barbara


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Subject: Lyr Add: FREE AND EASY
From: Bigj
Date: 26 Jul 98 - 11:38 AM

I'm a lad that's free and easy
Wheresoe'er I chance to be,
And I'll do my best to please ye,
If you will but list to me.

CHORUS: So let the world jog as it will
I'll be free and easy still.

Some there are who meet their troubles
Others drown their cares in drink
All one's trials are but bubbles,
Fretting forges many a link.

The great have cares I little know of,
All that glitters is not gold;
Merit is seldom made a show of,
And true worth is rarely bold.

Then why waste our time in fretting,
The longest lane must have an end;
Industry strives hard in getting
Stores, for knaves and fools to spend.

I care for all, yet care for no man,
Those who mean well should not fear.
I like a man, I love a woman,
What else makes this life so dear.

That's a version from the book 'Victorian Street Ballads' published in 1937 - reproductions of street ballads. However, while I haven't heard Dave's version - a fine singer - I suspect it is probably similar to the version sung by Johnny Collins, remembered thus:-

I'm the lad that's free and easy
Though but a simple country man.
But I'll do my best to p[lease you
For they call me Honest John.

Chorus
So let the world jog on as it pleases,
I'll be free and easy still.
Free and easy, free and easy,
I'll be free and easy still.

There's a girl that I could fancy
Oh that she would fancy me
Then I'd call her Lovely Nancy
Still I'd free and easy be.

If this girl she should prove civil
I would true and constant be.
If she's saucy as the Devil
Still I'll free and easy be.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Free and Easy
From: Barbara
Date: 26 Jul 98 - 04:19 PM

That's it, the second one, but all the words are wonderful Thanks ever so much Bigj.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Free and Easy
From: Artful Codger
Date: 09 May 07 - 10:40 PM

The following version is as Bill Spence sings it on the LP Fennigmania by Fennig's All-Stars (1981). It's basically the same as the second set above (diffs emboldened) with an additional verse (the second).

Free and Easy

1. I'm the lad that's free and easy,
Oh, but a simple country clown,
And I'll do my best to please you
For they calls me Honest John.

Chorus:
Oh, let the world jog on as it pleases,
I'll be free and easy still;
Free and easy, free and easy,
I'll be free and easy still.

2. If a king should sit beside me,
I'll drink my cup with the usual glee.
When paupers laugh and fools deride me,
Still I'll free and easy be.

3. There's a lady that I fancy;
Oh, that she might fancy me!
Then I'd call her "Lovely Nancy"
And I'd free and easy be.

4. If this lady should prove civil,
True and constant I would be,
But if she's saucy as the devil,
Still I'll free and easy be.

(Reprise of first verse:) I'm the lad...


In the liner notes, Bill says he learned it from a Topic LP by The Broadside From Grimsby, who got it from Bryan Cooper of Barrow-on-Humber, 1906.

My simplified transcription of the tune follows. I give two versions of the chorus: a solo and a trio. The solo duplicates the tenor line of the trio, except at the end of second line (the first "easy still"), where I opted to stay around F# instead of going up to B. I'm sure I've made other unintentional alterations; caveat emptor.

X:1
T:Free and Easy
C:Victorian broadside
S:Bryan Cooper of Barrow-on-Humber, 1906
S:By way of The Broadside From Grimsby and Bill Spence (Fennig's All-Stars)
S:Transcription from _Fennigmania_ by Fennig's All-Stars
M:4/4
L:1/8
Q:1/4=138
K:E
%%MIDI program 1 25
%
% Verse
"E"E3FG2E2 | "A"A2G2 "B"F2E2 | "E"G2GAB2A2 | "A"c2c2 "B"B3z |
w: I'm the lad that's free and ea-sy, Oh, but a sim-ple coun-try clown,
"E"B3BG2E2 | "A"c2c2 "F#7"^A2F2 | "B"B3cB2A2 | G2F2 "E"E3z |
w: And I'll do my best to please you For they calls me "Ho-nest John".
%
% Chorus (as a solo)
"E"G2GFE2B,B, | E2EFG2B2 | "A"c3c "E"B2G2 | "F#7"F2G2 "B"F3z |
w: Oh, let the world jog a-long as it plea-ses, I'll be free and ea-sy still.
"E"B2B2G2E2 | "A"c2c2"F#7"^A2F2 | "B"B3cB2A2 | G2F2 "E"E3z |
w: Free and ea-sy, free and ea-sy, I'll be free and ea-sy still.
%
% Chorus (as a trio)
% Note: The chorus is sung only once per verse, not as a solo followed by
%   harmony.
"E"[E2G2B2][EGB][DFA][B,2E2G2][G,B,E][G,B,E] | [B,2E2G2][B,EG][DFA][E2G2B2][G2B2e2] | \
w: Oh, let the world jog a-long as it plea-ses, \
"A"[A3c3e3][Ace] "E"[G2B2e2][E2G2B2] | "F#7"[^A2F2c2][F2^A2e2] "B"[F3B3d3]z |
w: I'll be free and ea-sy still.*
"E"[G2B2e2][G2B2e2][E2G2B2][B,2E2G2] | "A"[A2c2e2][A2c2e2] "F#7"[F2^A2c2][C2F2^A2] | \
w: Free and ea-sy, free and ea-sy, \
"B"[F3B3d3][Gce][F3B3d3][EAc] | [D2G2B2][C2F2A2] "E"[B,3E3G3]z ||
w: I'll be free and ea-sy still.*

And here's the chorus separated into three voices; you may find this more suitable for printing a score or hearing each line:

X:2
T:Free and Easy (3-part chorus only)
M:4/4
L:1/8
Q:1/4=138
K:E
%%MIDI program 1 25 % alto
%%MIDI program 2 41 % melody
%%MIDI program 3 33 % bass
% Uncomment the next line to suppress the chord accompaniment
% %%MIDI gchordoff
V: 1 name=Alto sname=A
B2BAG2EE | G2GAB2e2 | e3ee2B2 | c2e2d3z |
w: Oh, let the world jog a-long as it plea-ses, I'll be free and ea-sy still.
e2e2B2G2 | e2e2c2^A2 | d3ed3c | B2A2G3z ||
w: Free and ea-sy, free and ea-sy, I'll be free and ea-sy still.
%
V: 2 name=Tenor sname=T   % melody
"E"G2GFE2B,B, | E2EFG2B2 | "A"c3c "E"B2G2 | "F#7"F2^A2"B"B3z |
w: Oh, let the world jog a-long as it plea-ses, I'll be free and ea-sy still.
"E"B2B2G2E2 | "A"c2c2 "F#7"^A2F2 | "B"B3cB3A | G2F2 "E"E3z ||
w: Free and ea-sy, free and ea-sy, I'll be free and ea-sy still.
%
V: 3 name=Bass sname=B
E2EDB,2G,G, | B,2B,DE2G2 | A3AG2E2 | ^A2F2F3z |
w: Oh, let the world jog a-long as it plea-ses, I'll be free and ea-sy still.
G2G2E2B,2 | A2A2F2C2 | F3GF3E | D2C2B,3z ||
w: Free and ea-sy, free and ea-sy, I'll be free and ea-sy still.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Free and Easy
From: Rowan
Date: 10 May 07 - 03:50 AM

Was this song also recorded by Bernard Wrigley (very well, if my memory is correct) or is my memory fading?

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Free and Easy
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 10 May 07 - 03:57 AM

I got this one from an EFDSS book and from The Broadside Band from Grimsby which included Brian Dawson and John Conolly

Johnny Collins sings this but does not have the second verse which starts " If a King should sit beside me"

I have had an interesting contribution from Graeme Knights who got it from Ruariridh Gregg showing how this evolved over the years (century or two)

Interesting Victorian Street ballad I suspect had Music Hall re write

Ray


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Free and Easy
From: Artful Codger
Date: 10 May 07 - 05:20 AM

Can you post the tune from one (or more) of these earlier versions? (TIA)


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Free and Easy
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 May 07 - 07:37 AM

There're 9 editions at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.

im the lad thats free and easy [first line]


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Free and Easy
From: nutty
Date: 10 May 07 - 03:12 PM

A real collection of verses among all those broadsides .... thanks Masato


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Subject: RE: Req/ADD: Free and Easy
From: Artful Codger
Date: 11 May 07 - 04:51 AM

Thanks, Masato!

The Fennig's version is fairly close to Johnson Ballads 507, published between 1846 and 1854, making it perhaps the earliest exemplar in the set. It includes the "If a King" verse (fourth verse rather than second) and a four-line chorus. One notable word change: "puppies" instead of "paupers".

All the broadside choruses begin "So let the world jog as it will" rather than "...jog along as it pleases".

Only one other verse not yet covered appears in the Bodley's broadsides [in Harding B11(1258) and Firth b.27(497)]:

I envy neither great nor wealthy,
Poverty I ne'er despise,
Let me be contented, healthy,
And the boon I'll dearly prize.


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