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Origins:Ain't/Isn't It Grand Boys? (Clancy/Sarony)

DigiTrad:
AIN'T IT GRAND, TO BE BLOOMIN' WELL DEAD
ISN'T IT GRAND, BOYS


Related thread:
Lyr Req: Don't chuck a brick (3)


GUEST,Lauren 02 Sep 03 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Steve 02 Sep 03 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Steve 02 Sep 03 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Lauren 02 Sep 03 - 06:18 PM
masato sakurai 02 Sep 03 - 09:25 PM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Sep 03 - 09:49 PM
GUEST 03 Sep 03 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,Lighter 04 Sep 03 - 08:19 AM
Snuffy 04 Sep 03 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,Lighter 04 Sep 03 - 09:29 AM
Joe Offer 04 Sep 03 - 04:37 PM
Snuffy 04 Sep 03 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,Steve 04 Sep 03 - 07:45 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Sep 03 - 12:06 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 27 Mar 10 - 06:50 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Apr 11 - 08:52 AM
GUEST 21 Apr 11 - 08:14 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Nov 14 - 11:09 PM
Midchuck 12 Nov 14 - 08:08 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Nov 14 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Rahere 12 Nov 14 - 12:24 PM
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Subject: Chord Req: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bros
From: GUEST,Lauren
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 05:22 PM

I have the lyrics, but does anyone have the chords for "Isn't it Grand Boys" by the Clancy Brothers? It's a traditional song, so it doesn't have to be by the Clancy Brothers, the chords for any version of this song will do. Cheers!


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Subject: Chords Add: ISN'T IT GRAND BOYS (Clancy Brothers)
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 05:36 PM

Long time since I heard the Clancy Brothers sing it, but this will work. (chords in brackets are optional)...

C                        (C7)    F
Look at the coffin with golden handles
          C                              G (G7)
Isn't it grand, boys, to be bloody well dead?
                  C   (C7) F                        C (C7)
Let's not have a sniffle, let's have a bloody good cry
      F                  C          Am       G
And always remember the longer you live, the sooner you'll bloody
      C
well die.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bro
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 05:38 PM

Hasn't posted quite the way I wrote it...probably my HTML incompetence! The order's right, though, so if it doesn't make sense let me know!!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bro
From: GUEST,Lauren
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 06:18 PM

Thanks Steve, the chords are perfect! Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bro
From: masato sakurai
Date: 02 Sep 03 - 09:25 PM

The chords (key: D) given in Clancy & Makem's The Irish Songbook (Oak) are:

Look at the [D]coffin, with [G]golden handles.
Isn't it [D]grand, boys, to be [E7]bloody well [A7]dead?
Let's not have a [D]sniffle; [G]let's have a bloody good [D]cry
And [G]always remember; the [D]longer you live,
The [Em7]sooner you'll [A7]bloody well [D]die.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bro
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 09:49 PM

There was a BBC TV series set in a funeral parlor which used this song as the title music.

I think it was from the 1970's. It was very funny, with all of the obvious things going wrong...

It was played in Australia on ABC TV. Never heard of it again, would the Beeb have tapes/CD's available?

Anybody remember the name, and who did the song?

Robin


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bro
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 10:20 PM

Steve, you need to have <pre> before your set of words/chords and <pre> to get things to line up right. That will force a fixed width font to be used.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bro
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 08:19 AM

Does anybody know where the Clancys got this song ? They first recorded it in the early to mid '60s.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bro
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 08:54 AM

It appears to be an adaptation of this old music hall song. I have a recording of Leslie Sarony, and have been known to sing it myself.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bro
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 09:29 AM

Thanks, Snuffy.


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Subject: ADD: Ain't It Grand, To Be Bloomin' Well Dead
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 04:37 PM

Here are the lyrics Snuffy linked to. I've wondered about this song for a long time. It seems that Snuffy has given us the key.
So, who's Leslie Sarony?
-Joe Offer-

AIN'T IT GRAND TO BE BLOOMING WELL DEAD!
(Leslie Sarony)

Lately there's nothing but trouble, grief and strife.
There's not much attraction about this bloomin' life.
Last night I dreamt I was bloomin' well dead.
As I went to the funeral, I bloomin' well said:

Look at the flowers, bloomin' great orchids.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
And look at the corfin, bloomin' great 'andles
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead.
I felt so 'appy to think that I'd popped off.
I said to a bloke with a nasty, 'acking cough:
Look at the black 'earse, bloomin' great 'orses
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!

Look at the bearers, all in their frock coats
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
And look at their top 'ats, polished with Guinness
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
Some people there were prayin' for me soul
I said, 'It's the first time I've been off the dole'
Look at the mourners, bloomin' well sozzled
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!

Look at the children, bloomin' excited
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
Look at the neighbours, bloomin' delighted
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
'Spend the insurance', I murmered, 'for alack
'You know that I shan't be with you going back.'
Look at the Missus, bloomin' well laughing
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!

Look at me sister, bloomin new 'at on
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
And look at me brother, bloomin' cigar on
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
We come from clay and we all go back they say
Don't 'eave a brick it may be your Aunty May
Look at me Grandma, bloomin' old haybag
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!


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Subject: Lyr Add: AIN'T IT GRAND TO BE BLOOMIN' WELL DEAD!
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 07:22 PM

Leslie Sarony was a British music hall performer from (IIRC) approx 1880s to 1930s (the version I have was recorded 2 April 1932)


Lately there's nothing but trouble, grief and strife.
There's not much attraction about this bloomin' life.
Last night I dreamt I was bloomin' well dead.
As I went to the funeral, I bloomin' well said:

Look at the flowers, bloomin' great orchids.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
Look at the corfin, bloomin' great 'andles.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
I felt so 'appy to think that I'd popped off,
I said to a bloke with a nasty, 'acking cough:
Look at the black 'earse, bloomin' great 'orses.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!

Look at the bearers, all in their frock coats.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
Look at their top 'ats, polished with Guinness.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
Some people there were praying for me soul.
I said, 'It's the first time I've been off the dole.'
Look at the mourners, bloomin' well sozzled.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!

Look at the children, bloomin' excited.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
Look at the neighbours, bloomin' delighted.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
Spend the insurance on merriment, for alack,
You know I shan't be with you going back.
Look at the Missus, bloomin' well laughing.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!

Look at me sister, bloomin new 'at on.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
Look at me brother, bloomin' cigar on.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!
We come from clay and we all go back they say.
Don't aim a brick. It may be your Auntie May
Look at me grandma, bloomin' old haybag.
Ain't it grand, to be bloomin' well dead!


When I sing it, in V1 I usually have the coffin before the flowers, and I prefer to sing V4 before V3, finishing with the wife laughing, but that's just my personal preference.


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Subject: RE: Chords: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bros
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 07:45 PM

I actually remember hearing the music-hall version on a 78 rpm record played on a gramophone... wind-up variety!!
Thanks, Guest, for the HTML tip. I'll get into it properly when I have a bit more time!


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Subject: RE: Chords: 'Isn't it Grand Boys' by the Clancy Bros
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 12:06 AM

I have the version above in a modern book of old songs, but can;t see it now.

I also have it in one of those small Irish song books about A5 size printed in tiny size on what seems like toilet paper with blurry old photos of horses and carts and people in old style clothes in which every song is listed as "Traditional" (even the ones I know aren't!) but in a different arrangement, perhaps more like the way the Clancy's do it.

I can't find it either at the moment.

Any joy on the BBC TV Series? It might have even been late 60's.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Isn't It Grand Boys? (Clancy Brothers)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 06:50 PM

Leslie Sarony also had another of the same Ilk.

I believe the title was "Why build a wall round a graveyard, when nobody's trying to get in".

Don T.


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Subject: Lyr Add: AIN'T IT GRAND TO BE BLOOMING WELL DEAD
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Apr 11 - 08:52 AM

The original recording covered both sides of a 78-rpm record. The lyrics given above by Joe Offer and by Snuffy come from Part 1. You can hear both parts (sides) at YouTube. Note that it really needs both parts to be complete, since it starts with "Last night I dreamt..." and ends with him waking up.


AIN'T IT GRAND TO BE BLOOMING WELL DEAD, Part 2
Words and music by Leslie Sarony, ©1932.
As sung by Leslie Sarony, 1932.

OTHER VOICES: Where oh where has our Leslie gone?
Oh where oh where can he be?
He promised to be on the other side.
Ha-ha, ho-ho, hee-hee!

LESLIE: I've got me eye on ya! You're the blokes that told me to learn to play the bloomin' 'arp. I 'aven't played a bloomin' note since I've been 'ere.

Look at the florists countin' their profits.
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!
Look at the lawyers readin' the will out.
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!
Taxes an' rent I'll 'ave no need to pay.
I've dodged 'em by bloomin' well snuffin' it. Hooray!
Look at the landlord, bloomin' ol' shylock!
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!

Look at the bulldog (arf!) bloomin' well barkin'.
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!
Look at the tomcat (meow!) bloomin' well flirtin'.
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!
People said 'e was so good to the poor.
I said as I thought what they called me before:
Look at the sexton. Bloomin' great shovel!
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!

Look at me schoolmates bloomin' well gigglin'!
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!
Look at the earthworms bloomin' well wrigglin'!
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!
All my old Chinas* I saw them standin' round.
I said as they slowly lowered me in the ground:
Look at the tombstones, granite with knobs on.
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!

Now it's all over. Look at them scarpering.
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!
Look at the weather bloomin' well raining.
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!
Then I awoke with a really shocking start.
I found me in bed with the missus of me 'eart.
I got the milk in. Baby was screaming.
Ain't it grand to be bloomin' well dead!

[* Chinas = China plates = mates (I think)]


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Subject: RE: Chords Req: Isn't It Grand Boys? (Clancy Brothers)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Apr 11 - 08:14 AM

Nice to get the story behind this old song. Of course now the Clancy Brothers are all "bloody well dead" along with some of my "immortal" college friends who enjoyed singing this song. Something to muse over?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: IT MUST BE SWELL (TO BE LAYING OUT DEAD)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Nov 14 - 11:09 PM

This song is obviously related:


IT MUST BE SWELL (TO BE LAYING OUT DEAD)
As recorded by Alex Bartha and His Hotel Traymore Orchestra, 1932

INTRO: Ev'rything is topsy-turvy with the world today.
All the world is restless since depression came our way.
So last night I went to sleep and dreamed that I had died.
My weary body felt at ease, and to myself I cried:

1. Look at the flowers; they're certainly sweet.
It sure is swell to be layin' out dead.
And look at the people all linin' the street.
It sure is swell to be layin' out dead.
There's a lot of consolation riding peacefully
Past the guy that stole my wife; I know he envies me.
And look at the horses; oh, boy, what a treat!
It sure is swell to be layin' out dead.

2. Look at the mourners; oh, don't they look grand?
It sure is swell to be layin' out dead.
That elegant music that's played by the band,
It sure is swell to be layin' out dead.
There's the butcher and the baker standing in their door.
I won't have to worry how to dodge them anymore.
And look at the landlord just shakin' his head.
It sure is swell to be layin' out dead.

3. Look at my sweetheart; she's classy in red.
It sure is swell to be layin' out dead.
And look at her boyfriend, that big empty head.
It sure is swell to be layin' out dead.
There's the boss I used to have; I see his ingrown face.
Gee, I'm glad he's worried 'cause no one can take my place.
And look at the chis'lers; they're goin' to starve.
It sure is swell to be layin' out dead.

4. Look at the neighbors; they keep blabberin' on.
That's why it's swell to be layin' out dead.
And look at the kinfolks; they'll starve when I'm gone.
It sure is swell to be layin' out dead.
I won't have to worry 'bout a job or food to eat.
I won't have to worry whether shoes are on my feet.
And look at the poor folks that's beggin' for bread.
Oh, boy, it's swell to be layin' out dead.


- - -
This recording appears on 2 CDs:
"Halloween Classics: Songs that Scared the Bloomers Off Your Great Grandma"
"Poor Man's Heaven: Blues and Tales of the Great Depression"


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Subject: RE: Origins:Ain't/Isn't It Grand Boys? (Clancy/Sarony)
From: Midchuck
Date: 12 Nov 14 - 08:08 AM

There's a version in "The New Song Fest" (the 1958 edition) as well.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ISN'T IT GRAND, BOYS (Clancy Bros & Makem
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Nov 14 - 10:11 AM

Here are the complete lyrics:


ISN'T IT GRAND, BOYS
As sung by the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem on "Reunion" (1984).

1. Look at the coffin with golden handles.

CHORUS: Isn't it grand, boys, to be bloody well dead?
Let's not have a sniffle; let's have a bloody good cry.
And always remember, the longer ya live, the sooner ya bloody well die.

2. Look at the flowers, all bloody withered.

3. Look at the mourners, bloody great hypocrites.

4. Look at the preacher, bloody sanctimonious.*

5. Now look at the widow, bloody great female.


* These subsequent albums have "a bloody nice fella":
1992 "Luck of the Irish"
1995 "Ain't It Grand Boys: Unissued Gems"
2001 "The Best of the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem"
2005 "Live in Concert"

The only other variation I noticed is that sometimes verses 2 and 3 are switched.

I listened to all these albums on Spotify, and none of them matches the lyrics in the DT. This line sounds especially dubious:

"Look at the choir boys, bloody young faggots"

I wouldn't sing that, and I doubt the Clancys did.


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Subject: RE: Origins:Ain't/Isn't It Grand Boys? (Clancy/Sarony)
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 12 Nov 14 - 12:24 PM

It got worked on in the rugby circuit. There are several takes on it, and I've never learned any!

Follow it with Ilkley Moor...


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