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Lyr Add: For Sale – A Baby (Charles K. Harris)

Dale Rose 26 Jul 98 - 03:32 AM
Joe Offer 28 Jul 98 - 09:00 PM
GUEST,mary 26 Jun 11 - 06:25 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Jun 11 - 03:56 PM
GUEST 18 May 12 - 11:09 AM
GUEST 18 Dec 12 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,Lynne 16 Feb 14 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Doris Pearson 07 Apr 14 - 03:25 PM
Jim Carroll 07 Apr 14 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Lynne Hourn 11 May 17 - 03:34 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: FOR SALE, A BABY (Chas. K. Harris)
From: Dale Rose
Date: 26 Jul 98 - 03:32 AM

I think you have to be in just the right mood to do something like this. Back in December as a part of the saccharine overload thread, I mentioned that while working with the sheet music at the Ozark Folk Center, that I ran across the song, For Sale-A Baby. Then Joe Offer said that I ought to post it. Well, you asked for it, Joe! Now don't say I didn't warn you! This one certainly should go right to the top of the list on the Mother/tearjerker thread. It was written by Chas. K. Harris, who also wrote Hello Central, Give Me Heaven (contributed by Greg on the tearjerker thread) and After The Ball. He also wrote a couple of songs that later became Charlie Poole standards, Fallen By The Wayside and There'll Come A Time.

Chas. K. Harris 1903

In a cheerless room there sits a sad young mother,
Holding in her arms a babe so fair and sweet,
In the pantry there's no food to give the baby,
There's no shoes to cover up its tiny feet,
As she gazes on her child the tears are falling,
And she sobs "My darling, I must part from you,"
Then she paints a sign and hangs it in the window,
And it reads "A baby in this house for sale,"

For sale, a baby, with golden hair,
For sale a baby, so sweet and fair,
For sale a baby, who'll smile and coo,
For sale a baby, with eyes of blue.

Days passed by, but no one came to buy the baby,
And it seem'd each day to slowly droop and pine,
No one cared that babe and mother both were starving,
And they only smiled as they gazed at the sign,
But one morning on the doorstep clasped together,
They had found the peace they could not find on earth,
For the angels up above had claimed the baby,
And had seen the sign and taken her above.


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Subject: RE: lyric add: For Sale-A Baby
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jul 98 - 09:00 PM

You're right, Dale - my tears have been jerked.....
....or something like that. I like those sentimental oldies. Thanks.
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: For Sale-A Baby (Chas. K. Harris)
From: GUEST,mary
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 06:25 AM

My mother sang this to me when I was a little girl. She would sit me on her knee and sing and cry. Has this ever been put on CD?

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: For Sale-A Baby (Chas. K. Harris)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 03:56 PM

Byron Harlan recorded FOR SALE – A BABY on the Victor label in 1904. You can hear the recording at the University of California Santa Barbara web site.

Bradley Kincaid also recorded FOR SALE – A BABY in 1930. It was released as Melotone 12262 and as Vocalion 2705.

You can see the sheet music at Mississippi State University or at Indiana University

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: For Sale-A Baby (Chas. K. Harris)
Date: 18 May 12 - 11:09 AM

I remember this song. My mother would sing the first part and the refrain I'm glad she never sang the last verse:( that is to sad.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: For Sale-A Baby (Chas. K. Harris)
Date: 18 Dec 12 - 10:13 PM

My grandmother would sing us the song. She also sung it to my aunt almost a hundred years ago. Would love to get a recording of it.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: For Sale-A Baby (Chas. K. Harris)
From: GUEST,Lynne
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 04:19 PM

Thanks so much for the lyrics to this song - my mother received the recoord when she was around 10 years old (in 1938 or thereabout) and she played and sang it to us when we were young - always made me cry. Lost the record and now I found the lyrics - thanks a lot all YOU made my day!

A similar very old song ... Please Mr Conductor.. anyone heard of this one?

Gratefully yours

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: For Sale-A Baby (Chas. K. Harris)
From: GUEST,Doris Pearson
Date: 07 Apr 14 - 03:25 PM

My Mother used to sing this to me and my twin Sister when we were little. She had all the old songs in a candy box for us to keep. Someone lost the box with all the songs in it so I am trying to get them all together again for my Daughter. I had a hard time finding this one so thank you for helping me.

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CHILD IN THE BUDGET (Roud 2993)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Apr 14 - 03:51 PM

This might cheer people up:
Jim Carroll

The Child in the Budget (Roud 2993)
Martin Long, Cloontysmarra, Inagh Recorded July 1975

Come all you good people and to you I'll relate
A comical story that happened of late;
It's something that's pleasant, but not very long.
Perhaps it might come to the verse of a song.
Refrain: Rally fol the diddle ido, rally ring fol the dee.

It happened one evening in Kilkenny Street,
Where a whole batch of tinkers, they chanced for to meet.
There was some from Roscommon and some from Kildare,
And some from Tipperary, and the divil knows where.

When they all met together they began for to chat,
English and Irish and the divil knows what,
And like birds of one feather, they all did agree
To go down to Tim Lawlor's and kick up a spree.

When they all went together they crowded the hall.
For the best sort of liquor those tinkers did call.
O'Shanahan said, "'Twas for friendship we met,
And we never shall part till our whistles we whet".

They drank health around till their money ran out,
And one of the tinkers,he thought of a plan.
'Twas only the nigh before that his wife was confined,
And into the budget he hammered the child.

Than he said to his comrades, "It's from you I must part,
But when I return I will give you a quart.
With his child in his budget he never did stop
Until he went in to a pawnbrokers shop.

He said, "Mr Dunphrey, I met with a friend,
And if you're in the habit of money to lend
I'll ay by the budget, the hammers and shears,
And give me the price of a few gallons of beer".

The bargain was made then without no dispute,
He gave him the money and a ticket to boot.
The tinker walked out when the job it was done
Saying, "The boys of the village can laugh at the fun".

The tinker's old budget was laid by the wall,
And very soon after the child made a bawl.
The pawnbroker started and said to his wife,
"There's a child in the budget, I'll bet you my life".

The budget was opened without any delay;
The child, it was rolled in a small wisp of hay.
"We're fairly outwitted", said the pawnbroker's wife;
"We'll send for a nurse, sure, we won't let it die".

From laughing the pawnbroker no longer could bear;
He made a present of the baby unto the Lord Mayor.
The Lord mayor, he was laughing until he was near dead,
To think that old budget, it was but a bed.

Oh, the town it was searched and the tinker was found,
And the pawnbroker settled and gave him a pound
To take away the budget, the child and the shears;
So now, my good people, the goods are redeemed.

This good natured piece, though very popular in Ireland, has not put in a public appearance very often, the only other recorded version available being that of Mary Ann Carolan of County Louth. There appear to be no published texts.

The motif of a child being passed off to an either unwitting or unwilling recipient is a popular one in the tradition and can be found in England and Scotland for instance, in 'The Basket of Eggs' and 'The Butcher and the Chambermaid'. Kerry Traveller Mikeen McCarthy has a tale he calls 'Mikeen and the County Home' in which the recipient, himself in his version, is left holding the baby after pretending to be a woman's husband in order to get a night's lodgings at a County Home, or workhouse, not realising she is about to give birth, and having to stay there for the length of the woman's confinement. A budget is a bag or knapsack used for carrying tools.
Ref: 'And that's My Story, Tales and Yarns of Britain and Ireland', cassette and booklet, VWML005.

This recording was featured on 'Around the Hills of Clare: Songs and Recitations from the Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie Collection' (2004) Musical Traditions Records MTCD331-2/Góilín Records 005-6.

Other recordings: Mary Ann Carolan, 'Songs From the Irish Tradition', Topic 12TS362

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: For Sale – A Baby (Charles K. Harris)
From: GUEST,Lynne Hourn
Date: 11 May 17 - 03:34 AM

Please Mr Conductor, also a very sad song, made me cry. My Mother received old 78 versions of this, and For Sale A Baby from her brother when she was around 9 (1936) . She played them to us when we were children and I bawled my little eyes out, Over and over again. Another one she received was Someday Somebody's Waiting (about a young girl who fears she will never meet the man of her dreams), this one didn't make me cry.

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