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Lyr Req: The Family Ointment

Related thread:
randelum fandelum (2)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Family Ointment


Veuze 26 Apr 03 - 08:49 PM
katlaughing 26 Apr 03 - 09:15 PM
Veuze 27 Apr 03 - 07:57 AM
Jim Dixon 28 Apr 03 - 10:05 AM
MartinRyan 28 Apr 03 - 06:16 PM
katlaughing 28 Apr 03 - 07:13 PM
Wolfgang 29 Apr 03 - 05:01 AM
Veuze 29 Apr 03 - 09:13 PM
Wolfgang 30 Apr 03 - 11:36 AM
Wolfgang 30 Apr 03 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,MCP 30 Apr 03 - 05:21 PM
Veuze 01 May 03 - 06:40 AM
RoyH (Burl) 02 May 03 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,lighter 03 May 03 - 02:53 PM
Joe Offer 03 May 03 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,lighter 03 May 03 - 03:36 PM
GUEST 04 May 03 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,lighter 04 May 03 - 02:34 PM
Wolfgang 05 May 03 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,MCP 05 May 03 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Genuine Paddy 05 May 03 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,MCP 06 May 03 - 02:37 AM
Wolfgang 06 May 03 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 06 May 03 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,MCP 06 May 03 - 03:39 PM
Wolfgang 06 May 03 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,MCP 06 May 03 - 03:57 PM
AmyLove 18 Mar 16 - 08:42 PM
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Subject: The Family Ointment
From: Veuze
Date: 26 Apr 03 - 08:49 PM

Hello all you Cat People!

On the LP "The Minstrel from Clare", Willie Clancy sings a comical song called "The Family Ointment". I've tried to transcribe it, but had difficulties hearing what the man was actually singing, especially as English isn't my first language and especially in the fourth verse. It doesn't seem to be available anywhere on the web, either...
If anybody has access to the lyrics, I'd be grateful for any help.

Yours truly, Veuze


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Subject: RE: The Family Ointment
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Apr 03 - 09:15 PM

From what I read in this thread, it looks as though the Mudcatter known as "Burl" might be able to answer this. I expect he, or one of the others will be along in a bit.

Sounds like a fun one!

kat


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Subject: RE: The Family Ointment
From: Veuze
Date: 27 Apr 03 - 07:57 AM

Yes, I see now that in the thread "Randelum Fandelum" one (extra!) verse of this song is quoted. Martin Ryan appears to know this song(?)
It is about a man who, to cure infertility, buys a "family ointment" that his mother's old family nurse endorses. The ointment proves a wee bit over-effective...!
It is indeed hilarious; and you can actually hear punters' choked laughter in the background in the recording! :-)


Regards, Veuze


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Subject: Lyr Add: 'BLESSED BABBIES!'...THE FAMILY OINTMENT
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 10:05 AM

"The Family Ointment" was recorded by Willie Clancy on "Minstrel from Clare," (first issued by Topic in 1967, reissued by Green Linnet in 1994, and now out of stock). The Green Linnet site has a sound sample:

...family ointment try
With me randelum fandelum hi diddle dandelum
Randelum fandelum hi diddle dee

Being pleased with the news, away he went
And bought a bunk (?) of this ointment.
Home he came without any delay.
His wife took some the very same day.
With me randelum fandelum hi diddle dandelum
Randelum...

It was also recorded by Tim Lyons on "Easter Snow: Traditional Irish Songs," (Green Linnet LP 1978)

I also found, at the Indiana University website Wright American Fiction 1851-1875 a poem from the book "The Harp of a Thousand Strings, or, Laughter for a Lifetime ... the whole engraved by S[amuel] P[utnam] Avery", New York, 1858. I wonder if this poem could have inspired the song--

"THE BLESSED BABBIES!"
OR,
THE FAMILY OINTMENT.
AN ORIGINAL TALE OF DEEP DOMESTIC INTEREST.

   
ALTHOUGH your lot be care or strife,
Be this your maxim e'er through life,—
Content and patience, resignation,
Whate'er your fate, whate'er your station;
And so, the same to illustrate,
A simple story I'll relate:

In a snug house, not far from town,
Resided Mr. Abraham Brown,
Who'd all the comforts of this life;
But chief of all, a charming wife—
A gentle partner, loving mate—
A being formed to captivate.
They loved each other fondly, truly,
    Though sometimes they would both complain,
And tantalize and quarrel duly,
    For th' joy of making it up again.
       Now, 'tis a rule,
       We're taught at school,
'Tis heaven's decree, who will deny?
       Man's sent below—
       Who'll gainsay, No?—
When wed, to increase and multiply,
This truth I hardly need to mention;
    But that the cause of all the strife
    Between our hero and his wife,—
The mainspring of the whole contention,—
'Bout which they quarrell'd like two tabbies
    Three years they'd Hymen's fetters borne,
    Yet with regret their minds were torn,
Because they had no "blessed babbies!"

For this one blessing, how they sigh'd!
But still to them it was denied;
And how they envied the hard lot
Of those who'd half a dozen got!

Thus time roll'd on from year to year
Without one hope to crush despair;
And Brown and wife, both feared, alas!
They childless to their graves should pass.

Now, it so happened, Mrs. Brown,
One day, the stairs in passing down,
Slipp'd, and you will not be amaz'd,
That she her shin severely graz'd.

'Twas very bad, each day grew worse,
    She tried to walk about, in vain;
She kept her bed, and hired a nurse,
    And felt excruciating pain.
The doctor's skill is quite defied,
Various remedies they tried,
    But all in vain.

Poor Mr. Brown was craz'd, or nigh,
    When scanning the Daily —— one day,
An "Ad.," conspicuous, met his eye,
    So he perus'd it then straightway.
'Twas one of HOLLOWAY'S, and it held,
    For wounds or sores
    Each one deplores,
    Rheumatic gout,
    Without a doubt,—
His "Family Ointment" all excelled.

The "Ad." flashed hope upon Brown's brain,
Again he read it, and again;
There was a charm about the name,
Which to his soul like balsam came.
"The Family Ointment!" he'd try its use
Who knew the effect it might produce?
Elate with hope, he went straightway
(Fearful of any more delay,)
Unto the patient's room, and then,
To her the advertisement read again.
Now Mrs. Brown, with pain half-mad,
At prospects of relief was glad;
    So off went Brown
    By rail to town,
And with all haste unto the Strand,
For he was given to understand,
    There was the ointment to be had,
A dozen boxes there he bought,
Because he very wisely thought,
Its qualities he'd fairly try,
By laying in a good supply.

Without delay, his wife applied
    Th' remedy to th' affected part,
Rubb'd it well in; 'tis not denied
    It caus'd the wounded shin to smart;
And a sensation, (she declared,)
All through her system, as appeared.

Six times a day, for a week or more
She used the ointment to the sore;
Its good effects were soon reveal'd,
She felt relief, the wound was heal'd.

To Holloway both grateful were,
And spoke his praises far and near;
But Mrs. B. was stunned, you'll guess,
    When, with a blush and smile of glee,
    His lovely wife, sweet Mrs. B.,
One morning did to him confess—
    We'll not repeat her words,—
Let it suffice, howe'er, that she
Was in a way "that ladies wish to be,
    Who love their lords!"

Brown was delighted and astounded;
His spouse, though pleased, not less confounded,
Time placed the fact beyond a doubt.
    Their cares and sorrows all were past—
    Their hopes would realiz'd be at last—
The leg got well, and Mrs. B. got stout.

Then, how affectionate was B.
    Unto the partner of his joys!
No man was half so kind as he!
    Fond visions haunted both their brains
Of half-a-dozen girls or boys
    To soothe their pains.
The doctor and the nurse were hired
Long ere their services were required;
And baby linen, too, prepared,
Which females, young and old, declared,
    Its value to enhance,
That for taste, elegance, and value,—ay,
'Twas not too much to say,
And everybody coincided,—
It equall'd that which was provided
    For the imperial babe of France;—
That is, the same they would have vow'd
But then, of course, it must be allow'd
They couldn't do so then, 'tis flat,
    For one good reason why,
    Which no one can deny,
    They hadn't a chance:
    The Prince of France
Was not born till a long time after that.
However, I've no wish to bore ye,
So 'thus proceed I with my story.

The weeks and months so quick take wing.
And now appears sweet smiling Spring
When nature looks so fresh and gay,
Clothed in its newest, best array,
And various budding flowers are seen
To deck the hills and valleys green;
And song-birds, from each leafy spray,
All carol forth their sweetest lay.
Balmy fragrance fills the air,
And Nature's smiles are ev'rywhere—
Those heaven-wrought smiles, that shine and glow,
And life, and health on man bestow.

Pardon, kind readers, this digression,
    I fear I'm getting too poetic;
       Still the description I've essay'd,
       You'll all agree, I'm not afraid,
Though rather romantic in expression,
    Is not too grave or too pathetic.
Well, it was spring—you'll understand,—
    And from certain symptoms it was clear—
    To doctor and nurse it did appear,—
    And so they said to Mr. B.,
    To quiet his anxiety:
The all-important moment was at hand.

'Twas evening. Rack'd with hopes and fears,
Pensively Brown sat himself down-stairs;
Anxiously watching nurse to appear,
That the result he then might hear.
    And Mr. B.
    Was fidgetty.
He tried to think, but all in vain,
Then his cigar he smok'd again,
And sipp'd his wine—took up a book,
And fix'd on the title a vacant look.

The subject was not mirth-inspiring,—
       To some of interest, to be sure;
    And one they'd be admiring,
       "Treatise on the Cold-Water Cure!"
"Damn the cold-water cure!" cried B.,
"Brandy-and-water, hot, for me!"
    He might have said more,
    Had not the parlor door,
Just at that moment open'd in great haste;
And, no longer the reader's time to waste
    (No doubt our prolix style he'll curse),
       Not much to his surprise,
       Before Brown's anxious eyes,
    Stood the nurse;—
With smiling face, and glistening eye,
Which seemed glad tidings to imply.

Up jumped Brown,—"Now, nurse, quick—pray,
How's the dear patient? tell me,—say?"
"Sweet, blessed lady, it's all over;—"
"All over"
"Yes; and you may think yourself in clover,—
I give you joy,
       Missus has got,—"
    "What, nurse, what?"
"A bootiful little boy! "
"Good!—good, by Jupiter!" cried B.;
And then he laugh'd and wept with glee.
"The blessed,—darling little babby!—
Here, good nurse, I'll not act shabby,—
I'm not a man of wealth,
    But here's a pound—
To drink the little new-come's health!"

With many thanks, nurse left the room,
And Brown his seat did then resume.
    Anxiously waiting,
    'Tis as well to be stating,—
Indeed, it should not be omitted,
    Nurse's return,
    That he might learn
    How his lady was progressing,
    Likewise their little blessing,
And when to her chamber he might be admitted.

Nurse came again, and you might trace
Nothing but smiles all o'er her face.
"Well, nurse, what news? how's my little queen?"
"I give you double joy, sir,—"
    "What do you mean?—"
"It's all over again, sir,—charming! prime!
Missus has got a little girl this time!"
"Good
again! by jingo!—" shouted B.,
"Was ever such a lucky fellow as me?
Here's another pound, nurse,—no oration,
This is an extraordinary occasion;—
Of cash I can afford to stand some,
I like to do the thing that's handsome!"

Nurse curtsey'd, and then walk'd away,
Wishing, if that was to be the pay,—
That Mrs. B.,—the truth I speak
    (Though such a thing would be uncommon,
    For any woman),—
Would keep the game alive for a week!—
Brown felt delighted, boundless was his joy,
The happy father of a girl and boy!—
But ere he had time to give his feelings vent,
    Open flew the door,
    The nurse appear'd once more!
Brown wondered what this meant.
"Now, nurse; now, nurse,—how goes it, eh?"
"Bootiful!—couldn't be better, I say.
A third time, sir, I have to wish you joy,
Missus has got another little boy! "
"Good again!—keep the game alive!—
This is the way to live and thrive!—
Beat this, my Trojans, if you can,
HOLLOWAY, you're a wonderful man!—
Here's food for gossip for old tabbies;
God bless the blessed little babbies!
There nurse!—another pound, away!
And see to your tender charge without delay."
The nurse quick vanish'd at the door,
Brown thought the business now all o'er;
Not so,—for to his great surprise,
Nurse stood a fourth time 'fore his eyes.
He was astounded, you'll be sure,
    When, with a wicked leer,
    Thinking his soul to cheer,
She announced the birth of number four!
"Damn'd bad!
" this time, cried Brown,
    Reseating himself with a fling;—
"I wanted brats, I own,
But this with my fancy don't exactly chime,
    I did not bargain for four at a time,
    It's rather too much of a good thing!
I must see my wife,—nurse, don't scoff,—
I must remonstrate, or, curse me, she'll ne'er leave off!"
"Lawks, sir," cried nurse, "how can you wonder so?
It's all owing to the Family Ointment you know."

Brown did not offer to say nay,
But to his lady went straightway;
And Mrs. B., you may be sure,
With pride presented babbies four.
They form'd a little juvenile party,
Fine children too and well and hearty.

The boys the image of papa,
The girls the picture of mamma!
"But, my dear," said Brown, "you're rather fast,
I think our prayers are heard at last;
I wish'd for children, it is true,—
One at a time, or even two,
Nay, three, p'rhaps, might not be amiss,
But I bargain'd not for a lot like this!"
"My dear," she said, with a kiss of love,
Meant at the same time to reprove
    "Do not complain,
    For that is vain,
The proverb says, and well you know it,
So, there's no occasion, perhaps, to show it,
Although it should never be forgot,
You must be contented with your lot!
But then, at one time, to be sure,
Rather too many, perhaps, is four!
Mind not," she cried, and him caress'd,
"Dear Abraham!—now you're four times blessed!
"Five hundred times, my angel, true!
I'm bless'd, in having these and you!"
Cried Brown, as with a loving kiss,
Upon her lips he seal'd his bliss.
"Go on!—a go, don't ever call,
Damme! there's room enough for all!
Dear HOLLOWAY!—your Ointment's praise
I'll gladly speak in, all my days.
For, I believe, howe'er 't may be,
It's made a family man of me!"

He ceas'd, with joy embraced his wife,
    Then kiss'd the "blessed babbies" round,
    And I'll be bound,
    That from that day,
    So all who know them say,
They're the happiest couple to be found in life.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 06:16 PM

I've heard the song, alright - including from John Lyons! Not sure if I have a set of words.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for posting the poem, Jim. 'Twas bootiful!:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 05:01 AM

I don't have time to post this week, but if I have a transcription of that song (I know I have but don't know whether it is from Clancy's beautiful version) I'll post it here next week.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: Veuze
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 09:13 PM

Thanks Wolfgang - much appreciated.
I think Willie sings "box", though with his accent it sounds like "bonx" or something. I loved seeing the poem, too, Jim - obviously it's a first cousin, or indeed ancestor!

Will B back soon
Veuze


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Subject: ADD: The Family Ointment
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 11:36 AM

I have a transcription of Willie Clancy's version on 'The minstrel from Clare'. It is not my work for this would be far beyond my ability. I think this is the work from Alison, the Fair One, who once did some transcriptions for me in exchange for a set of pipes. This Australian Irish lass is bound to be quite close to what Willie actually sings.

THE FAMILY OINTMENT

In a neat little cottage not far from the town
There lived a man called Marcus Brown
He was well to do had a neat little wife
But the want of a family caused great strife
With me randilum, fandilum, hi-diddle dandilum
Randilum, fandilum, hi-diddle day.

Things every day grew worse and worse
He consulted his mother's old family nurse
"Kind Sir, don't fret" was her reply
"Why don't you the family ointment try."

Being pleased with the news away he went
And bought a box of this ointment
Home he came without any delay
His wife took some the very same day.

Next morning to Mr. Brown's surprise
His wife was ill and she could not rise
She lay in the bed and the midwife came in
She threw away two that did image of him.

"Oh, Lord," says he, "will she have another?"
when a drop of the ointment fell on his mother
"Oh, Lord," says he, "will she have more?"
in less than an hour she had twenty four

And where he kept his cows and grass
Someone gave a drop* to the big jackass
He lay by the ditch and they thought he was stole
He psuhed at his sides, and he's striving to foal.

* the transcriber had here ?dob. 'Drop' is my contribution more from semantics than from actual phonetics.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 11:37 AM

'psuhed' should be 'pushed'


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Subject: Tune Add: THE FAMILY OINTMENT
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 05:21 PM

Wolfgang - I have a few minor differences in transcription:

In the chorus I think he sings "hi-diddle daddle-um" (rather than dandilum)

In v4 I think the last line is "She threw away two that they'd the image of him"

And the the last line you've just corrected the typo in is "He's bustin' his sides..." (rather than He pushed at his sides).

I've appended the tune below (something like tune I've heard The Comforts Of Man sung to, I think).

Mick



X: 1
T:The Family Ointment
M:6/8
L:1/8
Q:3/8=70
S:Willie Clancy - LP: The Minstrel From Clare
K:C
G,/G,/|C> C C D> C D|E> D E C2
w:In a neat lit-tle cot-tage not far from the town
G,|E2 E (F> E) F|G2 G E>
w:There lived a man_ called Mar-cus Brown
E E|G2 G G> G ^G|A> c A D>
w:He was well-to-do, had a neat lit-tle wife
D D|F> E F F> E F|G2 G E>
w:But the want of a fa-mi-ly caused great strife.
"Chorus:"
E D|C> C C D> C D|G> A G E> D C|
w:With me ran-dle-um, fan-dle-um, hi-did-dle-dad-dle-um
C> C C D> C D|F> E D C2||
w:Ran-dle-um, fan-dle-um, hi-did-dle-day.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: Veuze
Date: 01 May 03 - 06:40 AM

I'm more than pleased! Thank you, Wolfgang and Mick. The end of stanza 4; "that did image of him" was quite infuriating to try and decipher... :-)
Wolfgang, are you an Uilleann Pipes maker? I play them! (As well as the tin whistle, mandolin, mandola + various bagpipes)

Greetings, Veuze


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 02 May 03 - 06:31 AM

I think the line is ' And drew away two, the dead image of him'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: GUEST,lighter
Date: 03 May 03 - 02:53 PM

Horace Beck collected a text of this or a very similar song in Maine in the 1940s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 May 03 - 03:26 PM

Hi, Lighter - has the Horace Beck been published? Where?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: GUEST,lighter
Date: 03 May 03 - 03:36 PM

Joe: In his doctoral dissertation at U. of Pennsylvania, ca. 1953. Will check my notes further.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 03 - 01:54 PM

From Horace P. Beck, Jr., "Down-East Songs and Ballads," Ph. D. diss.
University of Pennsylvania, 1952, pp. 411-18 (no melody indicated):

                      THE FAMILY OINTMENT

          There was an old farmer, his name was Brown.
          He lived in a cot not far from town.
          He had a snug little home, and a neat little wife,
          But the want of a family has caused him much strife.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: GUEST,lighter
Date: 04 May 03 - 02:34 PM

What happened? Most of the text disappeared! Will try again when time permits. Beck's Maine version is similar overall to Clancy's.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 May 03 - 04:48 AM

Thanks for the corrections, much appreciated.

No, I'm not a pipe maker (just a former pipe owner)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 05 May 03 - 01:09 PM

Been away for a few days, so just saw burl's definitive version of that line. Thanks Roy.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: GUEST,Genuine Paddy
Date: 05 May 03 - 07:51 PM

Drop should be "daub"

Last line:
"He's bushting his arse and he trying to foal..."

His wife she took sudden the very same day...."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 06 May 03 - 02:37 AM

GP - Daub I agree with - I'd meant to include that with my minor corrections above.

Much as I love bushting his arse Willie definitely sings sides on the recording (though he may of course have used arse when not recording).

I'm also fairly certain he sings his wife took some rather than sudden.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 May 03 - 03:31 AM

'daub' instead of 'drop' at both instances?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 06 May 03 - 10:50 AM

"took sudden" actually makes sense in Hiberno-English, as does "dead image of him".

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 06 May 03 - 03:39 PM

Wolfgang - daub only for the jackass!

Martin - I agree that took sudden has sense (although the continuity with the following verse isn't so good, I think - he wouldn't need to wait till the next day to be surprised by her illness), but on the record it does seem to be some that he's singing.

Mick


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FAMILY OINTMENT
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 May 03 - 03:49 PM

With those corrections I think I'd post an improved version (hoping not to have overlooked a correction)

Wolfgang

THE FAMILY OINTMENT
As recorded by Willie Clancy

In a neat little cottage not far from the town
There lived a man called Marcus Brown
He was well to do had a neat little wife
But the want of a family caused great strife

CHORUS: With me randilum, fandilum, hi-diddle daddle-um
Randilum, fandilum, hi-diddle day.

Things every day grew worse and worse
He consulted his mother's old family nurse
"Kind Sir, don't fret" was her reply
"Why don't you the family ointment try."

Being pleased with the news away he went
And bought a box of this ointment
Home he came without any delay
His wife took some the very same day.

Next morning to Mr. Brown's surprise
His wife was ill and she could not rise
She lay in the bed and the midwife came in
She drew away two the dead image of him.

"Oh, Lord," says he, "will she have another?"
When a drop of the ointment fell on his mother
"Oh, Lord," says he, "will she have more?"
In less than an hour she had twenty four

And where he kept his cows and grass
Someone gave a daub to the big jackass
He lay by the ditch and they thought he was stole
He's busting his sides, and he's striving to foal.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 06 May 03 - 03:57 PM

That looks good to me Wolfgang.

(For what he sings on the record, though I'll keep that arse in mind for future use perhaps!).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Family Ointment
From: AmyLove
Date: 18 Mar 16 - 08:42 PM

Though "drew" makes more sense, it sounds like he's singing "She threw away two the dead image of him."


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Mudcat time: 20 November 3:26 PM EST

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