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Lyr Add: One of the Has-Beens/Polly Perkins

DigiTrad:
CUSHIE BUTTERFIELD
PRETTY POLLY PERKINS OF PADDINGTON GREEN


Related threads:
Who Was Cushie Butterfield?. (71)
(origins) Origin: Cushie Butterfield (38)
Lyr Add: Cushie Butterfield (George Ridley) (8)
Lyr Req: Cushie/Cushy/Coushy Buttercup (29)
Chords Req: Cushie Butterfield (3) (closed)


Helen 12 Sep 98 - 05:51 PM
Helen 12 Sep 98 - 05:57 PM
13 Sep 98 - 08:53 PM
Bob Bolton 14 Sep 98 - 02:51 AM
Jerry Bryant 14 Sep 98 - 12:47 PM
Jerry Bryant 14 Sep 98 - 12:54 PM
Jon W. 14 Sep 98 - 01:25 PM
Art Thieme 14 Sep 98 - 01:53 PM
Joe Offer 14 Sep 98 - 02:03 PM
Barry Finn 14 Sep 98 - 03:32 PM
Bill D 14 Sep 98 - 04:21 PM
Bob Bolton 14 Sep 98 - 06:54 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Jul 06 - 01:32 AM
Jim Dixon 06 Jul 06 - 11:50 AM
Joe Offer 10 Feb 11 - 08:35 PM
gnomad 11 Feb 11 - 06:15 AM
Jim Dixon 17 Aug 17 - 04:28 PM
Sandra in Sydney 19 Aug 17 - 02:24 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: ONE OF THE HAS-BEENS
From: Helen
Date: 12 Sep 98 - 05:51 PM

One of the Has Beens

Notes

Printed in Stewart and Keesing Old Bush Songs with the note: "From Mrs G.L.Ginns, of Merrylands, NSW". (Written by Robert Stewart) From the singing of A.L.Lloyd, who writes on the notes for Across the Western Plains that he heard it in Cowra, NSW when he was working there in the 1920's. Tune 'Pretty Polly Perkins'

The tune is PRETTY POLLY PERKINS OF PADDINGTON GREEN, and this tune and lyrics are in the DT database, if you search for [Polly Perkins].

One of the Has-beens

I'm one of the has beens a shearer I mean
I once was a ringer and I used to shear clean
I could make the wool roll off like the soil from the plough
But you may not believe me for I can't do it now

Chorus
I'm as awkward as a new chum and I'm used to the frown
That the boss often shows me saying keep them blades down

I've shore with Pat Hogan, Bill Bright and Jack Gunn
Tommy Leighton Charlie Fergus and the great roaring Dunn
They brought from the Lachlan the best they could find
But not one among them could leave me behind

It's no use complaining I'll never say die
Though the days of fast shearing for me have gone by
I'll take the world easy shear slowly and clean
And I merely have told you just what I have been


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From: Helen
Date: 12 Sep 98 - 05:57 PM

I found these lyrics at:

http://www.chepd.mq.edu.au/boomerang/songnet/069.html

There is also a copy of the sheet music on that page.

Helen


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From:
Date: 13 Sep 98 - 08:53 PM

A truer song has never been written. Substitute "folksinger"...


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 02:51 AM

G'day Helen and all,

You do need to be a bit careful where you sing the song. Some friends were doing a music spot at a historic village/working old town venue and sang "One of the Has-beens" just after a shearing demonstration.

I'm afraid the old chap, who had just given an excellently paced demonstration of both hand and machine shearing techniques ... one where everyone could clearly see techiques and fine points instead of a blur of action ... took it personally and thought the band was having a shot at him for not shearing at the cracking pace that prevailed in the old time sheds, where a sheep could be completely shorn by a 'gun' shearer in less than 90 seconds!

The world shearing record, for an 8-hour day, averages something like 85 seconds per sheep, including grabbing them, getting them positioned and propelling them down the chute, right through an 8-hour day.

A bloke I was drilling with, on the Tasmanian Hydro, in 1966, tried to talk me into taking on a learners' pen ... I reckon if I had, I would have a back like a pretzel by now!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From: Jerry Bryant
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 12:47 PM

Great to have the background on the lyrics to this song. I'd never come across Polly Perkins before. The same tune is used for a Tynside ballad about Cushy Butterfield, of which I can recall only the chorus:

She's a big lass, she's a bonny lass, and she likes her beer/ I calls her Cushy Butterfield, and I wish she was here.

A search of DT using the young lady's name turned up nothing. Anyone know more about this song?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From: Jerry Bryant
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 12:54 PM

Helen,

Forgot to thank you for your help with this one. I've sung the song for years, but had never found any background on it.

Sorry about the duplicate entries above. Don't know how that happened.

JB


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From: Jon W.
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 01:25 PM

Jerry, duplicate entries are frequently the result of using your browser's Reload button to refresh the threads. The "Show threads" button works okay for that function. Joe Offer will no doubt be along shortly to clean up the mess.


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 01:53 PM

I can hear Lou Killen singing "Cushie Butterfield" in my mind's ear!

Louie, if you're lurking out there, we could use the lyrics.

Sorry I missed you at Fox Valley.

Art


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 02:03 PM

Lou stops in now and then. Anybody got an e-mail arress for Lou? If you do, can you ask him to drop in on this thread?
-Joe Offer, who also dropped in and did a bit of housecleaning-

My considered opinion on the subject of duplicate messages is: It happens, but nobody really knows why. It's no big deal to fix, so don't worry about it. If you'd like, send me a personal message to make sure I don't miss it.


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 03:32 PM

Art, Cushie Butterfield is already in the DT under Cushie Butterfield. Barry


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 04:21 PM

Dick G. posts a warning about once a week about the dangers of doing a search when the spelling is not clear!!

"Cushy Butterfield" does NOT work "Cushie Butterfield" does.. some spellings are arbitrary, but you STILL must choose the one that appears in the DT....the real key is to choose words that should not change...in this case, Butterfield, would be enough...I have suggested to Max a couple of times that he create a 'how to' page for newcomers of instructions for all the wonderful features at Mudcat..with a clearly marked button on both the main page and the forum page. Perhaps the new features he says are coming in October will include this.....


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: One of the Has Beens
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 06:54 PM

G'day Jerry,

'Polly Perkins' is shorthand for Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green and is in the DT under that name. I sort of cheated - I searched for Paddington, but that amounts to prior knowledge. I guess Pretty Polly would get you a bunch of murder ballads as well, but you would also get 'Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green' - if you recognised it by that title.

I have always taken it that Cushy Butterfield was an English (Geordie?) parody of the music hall song 'Polly Perkins'.

Regards, Bob Bolton Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: POLLY PERKINS OF ABINGTON GREEN (Clifton)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Jul 06 - 01:32 AM

Transcribed from the sheet music at Indiana University Sheet Music Collections:

POLLY PERKINS OF ABINGTON GREEN
Harry Clifton, 1864.

1. I am a broken-hearted milkman; in grief I'm arrayed
Through keeping of the company of a young servant maid
Who lived on board wages, the house to keep clean,
In a gentleman's family near Abington Green.

CHORUS: Oh! She was as beautiful as a butterfly and as proud as a queen,
Was pretty little Polly Perkins of Abington Green.

2. Her eyes were as black as the pips of a pear.
No rose in the garden with her cheeks could compare.
Her hair hung in "ringerlets" so beautiful and long.
I thought that she loved me, but found I was wrong.

3. When I'd rattle in a morning, and cry, "Milk below,"
At the sound of my milk cans her face she would show,
With a smile upon her countenance and a laugh in her eye.
If I thought she'd have loved me, I'd have laid down to die.

4. When I asked her to marry me, she said, "Oh what stuff!"
And told me to drop it, for she'd had quite enough
Of my nonsense. At the same time, I'd been very kind,
But to marry a milkman she didn't feel inclined.

5. "Oh, the man that has me must have silver and gold,
A chariot to ride in, and be handsome and bold.
His hair must be curly as any watch-spring,
And his whiskers as big as a brush for clothing."

6. The words that she uttered went straight through my heart.
I sobbèd, I sighèd, and straight did depart
With a tear on my eyelid as big as a bean,
Bidding goodbye to Polly and Abington Green.

7. In six months, she married, this hard-hearted girl,
But it was not a 'Wicount' and it was not a 'Nearl'.
It was not a 'Baronite', but a shade or two wuss.
'Twas a bow-legged conductor of a twopenny 'bus.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: One of the Has-Beens
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Jul 06 - 11:50 AM

From Wikipedia:

"Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green" is the title of a famous English song, composed by the London music hall and broadside songwriter Harry Clifton (1832-1872), and first published in 1864. It was almost universally known in England until around the mid 1980s, and was commonly taught to school children. The title refers to the district of Paddington in London. The song gained a place in the canonical Oxford Book of Comic Verse, and the original manuscript of "Polly" is now held in the Bodleian Library.

It was adapted for the USA by Clifton during the American Civil War, re-titled "Polly Perkins of Abington Green". Presumably the new title referred to Abington Green, Georgia, in the USA.

Most of Clifton's songs adapted their tunes from old folk songs, and it is possible that a folk tune is also the origin of the tune for Polly. A folk song in the English county of Northumberland, called Cushie Butterfield, is sung to the same tune as "Polly" - although the "Cushie" tune was always claimed by one Geordie Ridley (1834-1864), a Tyneside comedian and miner. Ridley and Clifton's death dates mean that both the song and its tune are now firmly in the public domain.

The tune, with new lyrics, found its way into the Australian bush culture, among outback farmers and sheep shearers, in the song "One of the Has-beens".

[Note: the original text at Wikipedia contains several imbedded links that I haven't bothered to reproduce.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: One of the Has-Beens/Polly Perkins
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 08:35 PM

This is John Thompson's Australian Folk Song of the Day for January 30. I'm not familiar with "Polly Perkins," but the melody is nonetheless very familiar. It almost sounds like "Pleasant and Delightful." Any other songs that use this melody?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: One of the Has-Beens/Polly Perkins
From: gnomad
Date: 11 Feb 11 - 06:15 AM

Well there's Cushie Butterfield, Joe. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that there were more. It's here in the DT


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: One of the Has-Beens/Polly Perkins
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 04:28 PM

The original British sheet music for POLLY PERKINS OF PADDINGTON GREEN, by Harry Clifton, published in London in 1865, can be seen at The British Library's Online Gallery of Victorian Popular Music.

I haven't made a thorough comparison to the American version that I posted on 06 Jul 06 - 01:32 AM, but I have looked at a couple of verses, and they seem the same, except for the change from "Paddington" to "Abington."


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Subject: Lyr Add: One of the Has-Beens-parody-DonHendeson
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 19 Aug 17 - 02:24 AM

One Of The Has Beens by Don Henderson

I'm one of the has-beens
A folksong I mean.
In oral tradition
I once was serene.
Illiterate agrarians my worth would avow,
but you may not believe me
'cause they don't do it now.

Chorus
I'm as awkward as a new one,
much more cap and gown
than a blithe air of arcadia;
I've been written down

Eluding the Banjo,
Vance Palmer, Bert Lloyd,
Jones, Durst and O'Connor
I did likewise avoid.
Manifold, Mredith, Tate, de Hugard,
both Scotts, all found
finding me was too hard.

chorus

One day while engrossed
in making a whip,
my current custodian
let his version slip.
Ron Edwards was on hand
and wrote down all that,
while feigning description
of the sixteen strand plait.

chorus

Oh, it's no use complaining,
I'll never say die,
though the variant days
for me have gone by.
Now captured in MS,
stave and magazine,
I merely have told you
just what I have been

chorus.

Don Henderson (Australian Dictionary of Biography) folk-singer, composer, poet, and musical-instrument maker & a lot more

All the names are of collectors - poet Banjo Paterson put out the first collection of Australian songs in 1905.

Bert Lloyd was collecting in the 20s, and most of the others started collecting in the 50s, with John Meredith getting 2 Orders of Australia for his collecting, publishing & disseminating.

Percy Jones collected songs in the 1940s.

Widespread collecting started in the 50s. Norm O'Connor & Joy Durst collected in Victoria, John Manifold & Bill Scott in Queensland, John Meredith, Alan Scott, & Brad Tate (60s onward) & Dave de Hugard (60s onward) in New South Wales.

Ron Edwards was a collector and publisher of folk songs, yarns and bushcraft. One of his many books was on leather!

Brad Tate & Dave de Hugard are still performing.


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