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Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie

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The Great Meat Pie


Joe Offer 13 Oct 03 - 05:34 PM
Snuffy 13 Oct 03 - 07:49 PM
Joe Offer 13 Oct 03 - 08:37 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Oct 03 - 09:13 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Oct 03 - 09:21 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Oct 03 - 11:44 PM
Sonnet 14 Oct 03 - 02:27 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Oct 03 - 03:04 PM
TheBigPinkLad 14 Oct 03 - 06:24 PM
Jim Dixon 16 Oct 03 - 09:23 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Oct 03 - 11:44 AM
Fliss 18 Feb 04 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Laird in USA 30 Sep 09 - 07:54 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Oct 09 - 11:42 PM
GUEST,donna 27 Oct 11 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Guest, Marion 21 Dec 11 - 07:31 AM
gnomad 21 Dec 11 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,William 08 Jan 13 - 03:50 PM
GUEST 26 Aug 14 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Andrew Holt 03 Jan 17 - 04:22 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 05:34 PM

I came across this song in James Leisy's The Good Times Songbook (Abingdon, 1974), which identifies this as a "British Folk song." I found the lyrics on a number of UK Boy Scout Websites. Can anybody tell me more about the song?
-Joe Offer-

The Great Meat Pie

The great meat pie was a tidy size,
And it took a week to make it,
A day to carry it to the shop,
And just a week to bake it.
And if you'd seen it,
I'll be bound,
Your wonder you'd scarce govern.
They were forced to break the front wall down
to get it to the oven.

It took full thirty sacks of flour,
It's a fact now that I utter,
Three hundred pails of water, too,
And a hundred tubs of butter.
The crust was nearly seven feet thick,
You couldn't easily bruise it,
And the rolling pin was such a size
It took ten men to use it.

There were twenty-five spareribs of pork,
I'm sure I'm not mistaken,
With two and thirty hams for York,
And twenty sides of bacon.
The pie was made by fifty cooks,
And all of them first raters,
And then they filled up all the nooks
With a ton of kidney 'taters.

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 07:49 PM

I think it was Denby Dale in Yorkshire that claimed to have made the biggest pie in the world in the 70s(?), but that's just from memory. Don't take my word for it.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 08:37 PM

I make things bigger by memory, too. I once saw a rattlesnake swimming toward my canoe. Every time I remember it, it gets a little bigger.
It's eighteen feet long now....
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 09:13 PM

Roud lists it at no. 8092; all but one example at present (The Fremington Great Meat Pie, a localised Devon variant recorded from Phoebe Birch in the mid 1970s) are 19th century broadside editions. Some can be seen at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

The great meat pie

Peter Kennedy got a set from Tom Brown of Yarmouth in 1979. During the 1960s and early '70s, though, the song as posted by Joe above had considerable currency around the folk clubs and on those radio programmes that played such things; and on childrens' television, I think (I'm pretty sure I remember Wally Whyton singing it, along with songs like the Derby Ram, accompanied by cute but simple animations). An edited and re-made version of the broadside song, it seems, and set, so far as I can remember, to a fairly well-known American tune that I can't quite seem to pin down at the moment.

Giant Meat Pies were a real issue at one time, and quite a focus of community pride. They were only produced for very special occasions, though, and preparation wasn't always all it might have been. I read once about one case where the filling went off before it could be properly cooked; it apparently took almost as much trouble to dispose of the wreckage as it would a beached whale.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 09:21 PM

Oh, I didn't spot the midi link. (I wish someone would re-set the MIME types on this server so that I could play the things as I used, instead of having to save them to disk first, or open external media players!)

Oh well. Not the tune I remember, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 11:44 PM

This reminds me of the Goon Show Episode - The Giant Xmas Pudding -

where the Navy Destroyers sailed back and forth across the giant dry dock dropping depth charges to stir the raisins to the surface, and the Army Engineers came in with flame throwers to cook it...

Spike was probably parodying the current craze....

The Chinese Mall Tourist Trap in Fortitude Valley (Brisbane) bake a giant Moon Cake for their Moon Festivals...

Maybe I've got a twisted mind, but the phrase "Moon Festival" conjures up something like a huge line dance festival, people all lined up in rows, paitently waiting for the command "Moon Now!"

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: Sonnet
Date: 14 Oct 03 - 02:27 PM

The Denby Dale Pie that went sour had to be buried in the woods. The chef, having realised that he might be in a touch of bother(!)legged it before the discovery was made. Denby Dale has a long tradition of making huge pies, the latest being for the millenium. Around the walls of the Denby Dale Pie Hall (a community building where I've danced at many ceilidhs)are murals depicting the previous bakes. There is a book about the pies on sale at the Tolson Memorial Museum in Huddersfield, but I don't have details of author, publisher etc. to hand.

I look forward to the first vegetarian pie :-)

Jay McS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Oct 03 - 03:04 PM

The Denby Dale Pies: a Brief History


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 14 Oct 03 - 06:24 PM

Malcolm, thank you for the URL. It fair warms the cockles to know that nutters of this high calibre still exist. Wonderful stuff, may their crusts never sag.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GREAT MEAT PIE (1856 broadside)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Oct 03 - 09:23 AM

Here's my transcription from the image at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads [Firth c.19(250)]

THE GREAT MEAT PIE

PRICE ONE PENNY

The Poet is proud in publishing this very popular song, which was presented to him by his worthy friend Mr Charles Watson, late of the Shakspere Saloon here, and presently and important member of the company of the Theatre Royal in Dover. It is creating an immense sensation throughout the three kingdoms, and the Poet is happy in now being enabled to supply the millions with copies, which can only be had in the Box, [No. 6 St. Andrew's lane, Glasgow].

Air—The Wonderful Crocodile.

You've heard of the wond'rous Crocodile,
    And the thund'ring great Sea Snake—
No doubt, it's often made you smile,
    And caused your sides to ache.
Now I've a tale that will make you laugh,
    For a month to come or nigh—
So listen, while I tell you about,
    A stunning great meat pie.
               Tol, lol, &c.

As through the country I did stroll,
    On business rather pressing,
I stopped at the sign of the Toad in the Hole,
    To give my stomach a dressing.
I'd scarcely poked my nose in when,
    Without a word of a lie,
There was just three hundred and fifty men
    Going to pitch into a pie.
                Tol, lol, &c.

It was a stunner, out and out,
    To describe I'm scarce able—
It took about sixty ploughmen stout,
    To serve it up to table.
It was a tidy weight, 'tis clear—
    It's a fact not worth disowning—
For half a mile off you might hear
    The tables actually groaning.
                Tol, lol, &c.

You may guess it was a tidy size—
    It took a week to make it ;
A day to carry it to the shop,
    And another week to bake it.
Oh, had you seen it, I'll be bound,
    Your wonder you'd scarce govern—
They were forced to knock the front wall down,
    To get it into the oven.
                Tol, lol, &c.

It took about thirty sacks of flour,
    It's a fact now what I utter,
Three hundred pails of water too,
    And a hundred firkins of butter.
The crust was nearly seven feet thick,
    You couldn't easily bruise it ;
And the rolling pin was such a size,
    It took twelve men to use it.
                Tol, lol, &c.

This pie contained as much rump steak
    As would supply the navy—
And bullocks' melts enough to make
    Full ninety gallons of gravy—
With fifty ducks, two stone a piece—
    Enough for any glutton ;
Twelve fillets of veal and forty geese,
    And thirty legs of mutton.
                Tol, lol, &c.

There were twenty-five spare ribs of pork,
    I'm sure I'm not mistaken—
Two and thirty hams from York,
    And twenty sides of bacon.
The pie was made by fifty cooks,
    And all of them first-raters,
Who finished the filling up, odzooks,
    With a ton of kidney taters.
                Tol, lol, &c.

When word was given, a general rush
    Took place to hack and hew it—
They began to clamber up the crust,
    To get their knives into it.
When all at once, the crust gave way,
    They thought it was much thicker,
And ninety-five poor souls, they say,
    Were completely drowned in the liquor.
                Tol, lol, &c.

This took away their appetites,
    They took it as a warning,
And after that Pie-ratic night,
    They went in general mourning.
So ever since, the village folks,
    Although they live like good uns,
The pie stuck so fast in their throats,
    They eat nothing now but puddings.
                Tol, lol, &c.

——

SONGS, PARODIES, and EPITAPHS of all kinds, written by the Poet, on the shortest notice, from 2s 6d and upwards.

Saturday morning, January 5, 1856.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Oct 03 - 11:44 AM

Hard Working man - "SONGS, PARODIES, and EPITAPHS of all kinds, written by the Poet, on the shortest notice, from 2s 6d and upwards."

Love it !

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: Fliss
Date: 18 Feb 04 - 06:29 PM

Hey this solves a search for the rest of the lyrics. Ive looked several times over the past few years but only come up with 3 verses. We sang this song at school and I seem to remember the lyrics "ninety five poor souls they say were drownded in the gravy!"

I seem to remember it was the mayor and corporation climbing onto the crust... ah well its a long way from junior school to now.

cheers
fliss


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: GUEST,Laird in USA
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 07:54 PM

I sang this ballad for a recital as a relief from all the "high" music while I was studying music back in the 70's. It was a treat to stumble across the original words again after all these icyears.
BTW, yes I can still sing the entire song, and yes everyone truely enjoyed the song. It was a refreshing light note to an otherwise night of typical classical operatic music.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Oct 09 - 11:42 PM

You can see musical notation for THE GREAT MEAT PIE arranged for one voice and piano, in Songs of Britain by Frank Kidson and Martin Shaw (London: Boosey & Co., 1913), page 47.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: GUEST,donna
Date: 27 Oct 11 - 02:36 PM

Found it now in a Faber and Faber Piano lesson book. It is delightful.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: GUEST,Guest, Marion
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 07:31 AM

I recall a version with a chorus:
The great meat pie, oh the great meat pie,
It took six months to eat it, from January to July,
The great meat pie, oh the great meat pie,
I'll never see another one like it, if I live till the day I die.

Can't remember much else except that 96 poor souls, they say, were drownded in the gravy. It may be an American version?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: gnomad
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 08:38 AM

Malcolm's 2003 link seems to have changed, so here are a couple of links to stuff about the 2000 Denby Dale Pie, including pictures. I made the mistake of getting stuck behind the parade for the previous one, but made good and sure to be elsewhere in 2000.

BBC page

A Flickr page (not mine)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: GUEST,William
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 03:50 PM

Just watched a re-enactment of the Denby pie which went sour on UK TV and remembered the song which would have been sung in schools around New Zealand in 40's and 50's as it appeared in one of the Dominion Song Books - at that time the staple resource for class singing. The 'drownded in gravy' verse was included in that publication so source probably English


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 12:15 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Great Meat Pie
From: GUEST,Andrew Holt
Date: 03 Jan 17 - 04:22 AM

When I was young in the 1960's my father bought a record by Owen Brannigan called A Little Nonsense which featured this song. I have just discovered that you can listen to it on this link if you register with Deezer:
http://www.deezer.com/album/10696800

It is a great version of the song so I hope you enjoy it!


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