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Lyr Req/Add: Tom Padget

mikefule@aol.com 24 Sep 98 - 07:08 PM
Joe Offer 24 Sep 98 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,Johnny R. 13 Nov 09 - 07:35 PM
Stower 13 Nov 09 - 08:06 PM
Anglo 14 Nov 09 - 04:02 AM
Artful Codger 14 Nov 09 - 04:29 AM
Dave Sutherland 14 Nov 09 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Johnny R. 14 Nov 09 - 05:53 AM
Artful Codger 14 Nov 09 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Jon Boden 14 Nov 09 - 11:27 AM
Mark Dowding 14 Nov 09 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,Johnny R. 14 Nov 09 - 03:14 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Nov 09 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,padgett on lap top 15 Nov 09 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Johnny R. 15 Nov 09 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Jon Boden 15 Nov 09 - 08:34 AM
Steve Gardham 15 Nov 09 - 10:49 AM
Steve Gardham 15 Nov 09 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Jon Boden 15 Nov 09 - 01:50 PM
Steve Gardham 15 Nov 09 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,Jon Boden 15 Nov 09 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Johnny R. 15 Nov 09 - 06:23 PM
Artful Codger 15 Nov 09 - 08:24 PM
Artful Codger 15 Nov 09 - 10:34 PM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 09 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Jon Boden 16 Nov 09 - 10:25 AM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 09 - 10:39 AM
Artful Codger 16 Nov 09 - 05:50 PM
RoyH (Burl) 17 Nov 09 - 04:23 PM
Folkiedave 17 Nov 09 - 07:30 PM
tzirtzi 12 Dec 09 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Peter 06 Jul 10 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Jon Boden 07 Jul 10 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,shane 15 Jul 10 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,muzza 31 Jul 10 - 02:45 AM
GUEST,Jon Boden 31 Jul 10 - 10:01 AM
Artful Codger 31 Jul 10 - 07:00 PM
mikesamwild 01 Aug 10 - 12:16 PM
GUEST 09 Aug 10 - 04:31 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Feb 11 - 06:44 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 11 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,Gill Blanchard 08 Aug 13 - 04:18 AM
RoyH (Burl) 08 Aug 13 - 06:38 AM
GUEST 10 Aug 13 - 03:28 AM
GUEST,Gill Blanchard 13 Aug 13 - 09:23 AM
Phil Edwards 14 Mar 14 - 05:17 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 14 - 03:38 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 14 - 10:30 AM
Phil Edwards 24 Mar 14 - 05:06 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Mar 14 - 04:21 AM
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Subject: tom padget
From: mikefule@aol.com
Date: 24 Sep 98 - 07:08 PM

Does anyone have the words to Tom Padget. It starts:
    Of all tha trades going, it is in begging I take most delight,
    For my rent is all paid, as I lay my head down for the night,
    And my rent is all paid, as I take a long stick in my hand,
    And at night I do please the fair maidens as best as I can.

It goes on about ploughing the small furrow that lies at the foot of her hill, etc.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Sep 98 - 09:31 PM

Hi - I didn't find that exact song, but we have many related songs in the database. Use the search box on this page and search for @beggar (the @ sign marks off categories). You might also try entering trades beggar and abeggin
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: TOM PADGET
From: GUEST,Johnny R.
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 07:35 PM

Okay - I learned this some years ago from listening to a recording by the late Harry Boardman:

TOM PADGET

Of all the trades going it's in the begging I take great delight.
For my rent it is paid as I lay down my bags for the night.
And my rent it is paid as I take a long stick in my hand.
And at night I will please the fair maidens as best as I can.

Oh, I walked the long day 'til I came to some rich farmer's house;
and I knocked on the door like some poor fool left lately without -
without eating or drinking, for twenty long hours or more.
And I said, 'Kind madam, will you pray for and remember the poor?'

'If it's alms that you want, you shall get them old man,' she said.
But before she gave pennies, she ran to her mother upstairs.
'Oh mammy, oh mammy! There is a strange man in the hall!
Stay close to your chamber, for I fear he will ravish us all!'

But her mother did scuff her, and call her a silly young fool.
To have any such notion, about that poor man in the hall.
For his clothes were in tatters, and his britches torn behind and before.
And his doldrums (sic?) hung down a good foreteen long inches or more.

'Oh Tom Padget,' she said, 'Why don't you go and work for your bread?
For some rich farmer and be decently clothed and fed.'
'To plough and sow madam, I'm afraid I have but little skill.
But I'll plough that small furrow that lies at the foot of your hill.'

'Oh Tom Padget!' she said, 'Now if you and I could but agree;
I would make you the steward, of all of my lands for to be.
And we'd eat at one table, and we'd sleep on a soft bed of down.
If only I could have you, Tom Padget of Killaloe town.'

And of all the trades going it's in the begging I take great delight.
For my rent it is paid as I lay down my bags for the night.
And my rent it is paid as I take a long stick in my hand.
And at night I will please the fair maidens as best as I can.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Stower
Date: 13 Nov 09 - 08:06 PM

It's on the latest Spiers and Boden album, Vagabond. Well worth buying.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Anglo
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 04:02 AM

I learned it years ago, I think from Roy Harris. In fact I'm sure from Roy Harris. Wonderful little song, I don't sing it enough. You there, Burl?


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Artful Codger
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 04:29 AM

Louis Killen recorded this on the LP Old Songs, Old Friends (Front Hall Records, 1977) as "Tom Paget". He said he got the song from Brian Blanchard of the Brighton Folk Club.

Killaloe is an Irish town on Lough Derg and the river Shannon. It was the home of Brian Boru.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 04:50 AM

As I recall both Roy and Lou obtained it from the same source - Brian Blanchard.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: GUEST,Johnny R.
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 05:53 AM

I don't visit many folk venues now, but I've rarely heard this song performed live. I noticed the Spiers and Boden version, but they've cleaned it up slightly to remove the sexual innuendo of 'plough your small furrow.' Fair enough. We all know that folk songs can be altered to suit the singer.

I recorded Harry Boardman (from Lancashire in the UK) singing it from a Radio 2 broadcast years ago. I loved the tune and the words so I learned it for myself, and both have stayed with me. I would like to hear this song more widely performed because I think it's superb!

Best wishes - John


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Artful Codger
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 07:35 AM

I don't want to hear it more widely performed because then it wouldn't be as special when I sing it. ;-}

BTW, "doldrums" is correct, but "foreteen"--is that like "pre-teen"? (Did S&B shorten his doldrums as well? I dread to think what else they've done to "arrange" it, as if it weren't a fine song already.)


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: GUEST,Jon Boden
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 11:27 AM

I learnt it from Louis, who still performs it. I agonised over cutting the 'furrow' section (i'm certainly not in the habit of cutting out rude bits for the sake of it) but in the end decided that it was jarringly puerile in what is otherwise such a dignified, weighty song. I now sing 'for I plough my own furrow and others may do what they will' which I hope follows the sense of the verse.

I'm still not 100% sure what the 'doldrums' are, Think I may have lengthened them though... Jon


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 12:46 PM

Harry Boardman recorded it on his final cassette "Personal Selection" in 1985. Although Harry was known for his singing of Lancashire material, he had a fine repertoire of other songs that he regaled us with at his club when I was there in the early 80s. The cassette has been cleaned up and released on CD with a couple of extra bits and pieces. More details HERE

Johnny R - I don't suppose you still have the radio recording you made have you? I'm collecting anything I can of Harry's performances. A copy would be appreciated if you can please. If not, can you remember what the programme was and when it was broadcast?

Cheers
Mark


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: GUEST,Johnny R.
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 03:14 PM

Ah - apologies for the rather silly typo 'foreteen'; I knew something was wrong after I typed it, but my late night addled brain couldn't figure out what that was. I wrote it from memory anyway.

Jon: 'jarringly puerile'? I don't see it that way - I think the song has a saucy subtext which those words help to bring out. I reckon it's jaunty rather than dignified or weighty. That's just my point of view though - possibly enhanced by a recent visit to Ireland...

Mark - if I still have that tape it will be in my parent's garage and my guess is it's not playable by now. I could take a look over Christmas though. I recorded it from an edition of Folk on 2, back when Jim Lloyd was the presenter. I can't remember the date, but my guess is mid to late 80s. Harry also sang 'I means to get jolly well drunk' and another song about the weaving trade - one verse went, "There's worse trades nor weaving when times is 'ard" (in a broad Lancs. dialect). I bet the Beeb has it in an archive somewhere.

Thanks for replying folks: I wasn't expecting any feedback.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 04:52 PM

By happy coincidence I was in the BL last week cataloguing various collections of broadsides and garlands. I came across 2 18thc versions of this in the same volume. Unfortunately, whilst I was partly looking for songs containing sexual euphemisms for a future publication, this particular book of Irish garlands was right at the end of my list and though it contained lots of examples of the aforesaid I didn't have time to copy down all of them. (It all has to be taken down by paper and pencil-not a euphemism!)

I can however at the moment offer the following

BL 11622 df 34

Garland 3 = The Connaughtman's Visit to Dublin
Printed by W Goggin, Limerick, to which are added
2 The Happy Beggarman
'Of all the trades a going, begging is my delight,
My rent is paid when I lay down my bags every night.' 32 lines

Garland 6 = A friendly caution to the Break-a day Men and Defenders.
Newry. printed in the year 1785. To which are added
2 The Jolly Beggar-Man
'I am a bold Beggar and Begging it is my Delight.
And my Rents they are paid when I lay down at night.

I live about 200 miles from the BL but in the New Year I intend to return and copy out these ballads, if I'm not too doldrummed.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: GUEST,padgett on lap top
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:06 AM

I seem to recollect hearing Colin Cater sing this one years ago!

Not to be confused with Lord Paget (in Constant Lovers), or indeed with Padgett MP (rascal according to Kipling!!)

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: GUEST,Johnny R.
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:57 AM

I can't help asking Ray - are you related? ;-)


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: GUEST,Jon Boden
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 08:34 AM

Johnny - as I say I was a bit torn and a totally see your point of view on that line. I sometimes revert to the original if I'm singing it unaccompanied in a rowdy pub!

Steve - any clues on use of 'doldrums' euphemistically? One other suggestion (http://forums.spiersandboden.com/index.php?topic=228.15) was that it refers to tails on a tail coat. Or long scruffy hair?

jon


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 10:49 AM

Jon,
It's a new one on me, but there are thousands of pet names for these appendages and most euphemistic songs are very loose in their analogies. Excuse me while I scratch me analogies.
I can't draw any analogy with Doldrums, the areas in the atlantic with little or no trade winds, or even the offshoot of this, being in a state of retarded progress. Being knackered and in the doldrums don't really mean the same either.

The word 'dildo' springs to mind, but that's something else entirely.

In the English language relatively taboo words have a great habit of attracting pet names which can vary even from family to family, generation to generation even.

If I can get back to the BL soon I'll check what words are used in the 2 versions I've mentioned.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 10:56 AM

Jon,
Don't forget this is an IRISH offshoot of the Beggar-man story, so the most useful dictionary would be an Irish slang one. I have half a dozen slang dictionaries from various periods which only give the usual definitions, dullard, down in the dumps, morose etc.
I haven't got a copy of Roger's Profanisaurus to hand though. The latest edition might throw up something useful.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: GUEST,Jon Boden
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 01:50 PM

Thanks Steve, I look forward to that.

Pure speculation but the more I think about it, the more 'crusty dreadlocks' seem a likely candidate, both in the context of the verse (a description of his shabbiness, not of his physical prowess) but also because 'doldrums' would be a very sensible slang term for dreadlocks, given that they are the product of inactivity (in the hair-washing department).

Also 18 inches seems a reasonable length for dreads, unlike the potential euphemistic meaning...

jon


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 02:48 PM

Sorry Jon,
Having seen the broadside versions the euphemisms are definitely sexual as with most variants of the beggar-man/tinker story. It is part of a sizable body of ballads remade and remade ad-nauseam on the tinker/beggar who comes to the farmhouse and has his wicked way with the daughter/wife. Sometimes it's even the daughter who instigates it and in these she often runs off with the beggar. Sometimes the beggar is a lord/king in disguise. Part of the same family is the tinker who comes to block em all! The theme is very old and likely goes back before print.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: GUEST,Jon Boden
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:01 PM

Familiar with the archetype but don't recall any other versions that refer to the size of his todger! Maybe I've led a sheltered life. J


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: GUEST,Johnny R.
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:23 PM

I don't think the meaning of the word matters. It would be nice to know, but it's unlikely you'll reach a conclusion, though looking at other versions sounds like a great idea. IMO all that's important is that we enjoy the song.

I like it because it's quirky and has an interesting feel to it. I think it's definitely bawdy: even the line, 'as I take a long stick in my hand' potentially has a double meaning.

I looked in an etymological dictionary (yeah, another librarian I'm afraid) and there were no clues there. Doldrums is related to the word 'dull', but I mean... 18 inches!!? Long hair (dull and shabby looking) sounds like a good interpretation to me.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Artful Codger
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 08:24 PM

I was going to make the same point, Steve, (for instance, see "The Jolly Beggar", Child 274(?)). A beggar is seldom happy in song unless he's sleeping indoors, with pleasant company. From first hearing it was my reading that the man's "trade" was more that of itinerant gigolo than of beggar. The song doesn't hold up logically without the suggestive subtext. Cleaning up this song is like leaving all the feathers on the alouette, particularly when the subtext is already sufficiently veiled to avoid shocking innocent, young ears.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Artful Codger
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 10:34 PM

On the surface, I take "doldrums" to mean he wore a long, sad face; measuring his expression is just comic exaggeration. But we were already told his clothes were all ragged, so to go into detail about the trousers being "torn behind and before" is not only redundant but suggestive in its own right, and when followed by anything hanging down "a good fourteen long inches", the implication is inescapable, whatever it's applied to. "Doldrums" has the advantage over an article of clothing in that it sounds funny and lends itself more easily to euphemistic misconstruction, especially by those who don't know its meaning.

I agree about the stick, which is taken out after he lays his bags down for the night. Granted, the two thoughts are ostensibly separate--he could be rising the next day--, and the snippets of earlier versions I've found use wording that weakens the coupling. But versions which survive in print tend to be expurgated to some extent.

The line following--"at night I will please the fair maidens as best as I can"--makes the focus of his rambles quite explicit, and it's highly unlikely that by "fair maidens" he means beggar lasses. I even suspect that "my rent is all paid" refers not only to living debt-free but to being recompensed for services rendered. When the first verse is repeated at the end of the song, it's like a musical "nudge, nudge", since by this time the true nature of his trade is all the more apparent.

Also consider the mother's reactions. Why scuff her daughter for her prudent response to such a raggle-taggle presence, if not for her own recognition of Tom and delight at the prospect of being ravaged by him? And why would she later all but propose marriage to such a one if not for his ability to please. When she laments, "If I only could have you," I've no doubt she's already had him plenty, and only regrets that he wouldn't make a suitable husband with his work-averse, philandering ways.

As to ploughing the small furrow, given the times, this would have been little more explicit than the other euphemisms in the song. Sure, it was a popular euphemism, as other songs show, but it's modern minds that automatically associate ploughing with sex, since for us the euphemism has become the primary meaning.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 09:56 AM

Having heard Harry Boardman sing this many a time, I always thought that the ploughing of the the furrow was the crux of the song. And harry left little doubt as to what he thought 'doldrums' meant...


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: GUEST,Jon Boden
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 10:25 AM

I can totally see how you could perform it that way, but personally I think it's a more interesting song if you don't. I suppose it depends whether you see it more as a Jolly Beggar song or a Begging I Will Go song. Textually it's a bit of both but if you turn everything into sexual innuendo you risk burying the latter element, whereas there's not much chance of burying the sexual subtext! Each to their own though. j


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 10:39 AM

Sure, Jon - different interpretations are what make this stuff fun; Harry had a kind of sly, understated way of bringing out the sexual element.

'A Begging I Will Go' is open to some interpretive license as well, come to that!


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: Artful Codger
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:50 PM

The innuendo is strong enough that it doesn't need gestures or other bits of emphasis to carry it; when you connect all the dots, listeners don't appreciate it as much and a song just becomes boorish.


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Subject: RE: tom padget
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 04:23 PM

It's nice to be reminded of this merry song. I used to sing it a lot. I learned it from Ian Stewart of the old NTMC, and I believe that he learned it from Brian Blanchard. The last I heard of Brian he had been in a traffic accident, suffered a lot of injury,and is not around the scene any more, though still alive. I'd be pleased to know if anybody has any info on his whereabouts. As for the song, I see it as Tom Paget's boast about his sexual successes, and how much more pleasant his life is than anyone else's, definitely a 'Jolly Beggar' piece. 'Plough the small furrow' seems to me to be a clear reference to sex, hardly even a euphemism, but 'doldrums', your guess is as good as mine, but mine is that it refers to his wedding tackle. Incidentally he has only 13 inches in my version. A bloke in an audience once told me that he thought 'Doldrums' refered to the bag of gear hanging over the beggar man's shoulder. Whatever, it's a grand song with an excellent tune. Iwouldn't be surprised if Louis Killen sings it on Dec 6th when he and Mike Waterson guest at The Tiger Inn, Long Eaton, a few minutes off exit25 of the M1.


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: Folkiedave
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 07:30 PM

Can I just add what a fascinating discussion - and not an ounce of rancour.


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: tzirtzi
Date: 12 Dec 09 - 05:20 AM

I hope I'm not reviving too old a thread - sorry if I am.

On a slight tangent, I was just wondering if anyone knew of sheet music or tab for this tune anywhere online? It's my favourite track on Spiers & Boden's Vagabond album and I'm trying to work out an english concertina accompaniment for singing it, but I'm really very bad at working things out by ear!

Thanks,
tzirtzi


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 08:17 AM

The first time I heard this was on Saturday when Spiers and Boden opened their set at the Lemon Tree with it. I was particularly impressed with the fiddle part played against the tune carried on the vocal.

On listening to it again I think the mother certainly knew Tom and wondered if the daughter was in fact Tom's.

Good discussion

Thanks

Peter


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: GUEST,Jon Boden
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 09:43 AM

Just been reading Golding's 'Sea Trilogy' and there's a section in it about being literally stuck in the Doldrums. One of the big problems with it was apparently that you accumulated a lot of seaweed on the hull because you were moving so slow, which would then slow you down further. Pure conjecture but you could sea how 'doldrums' could easily become slang for dreadlocks, or for rags hanging down off a coat. jon


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: GUEST,shane
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 04:32 AM

I love the idea of doldrums being dreadlocks,but I susspect it refers to that which can be seen through his ragged clothing the size growing with the retelling of the tale as is wont to happen.
I would also love to find a copy of the chords or tabs for this song if anybody can help it would be much appriecated. If you're still following this thread Jon thanks for that fantastic performance at the Folkstation last sunday,I'm still ringing the sweat out of my shirt.


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: GUEST,muzza
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 02:45 AM

A scruffy old man..clothes in tatters,smelly and unwashed...why on earth would a farmer's wife or any fair maiden fancy him over over the other men around? ...perhaps they would overlook this because of his unusual doldrum! ...perhaps she already knew him(said his name) and knew he would scrub up well, as previously noted.


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: GUEST,Jon Boden
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 10:01 AM

I'm quite prepared to accept that 'doldrums' might have a euphemistic implication, but in order for it to be a euphemism it would still need an alternative primary meaning, otherwise it would just be slang (rather bizarre slang at that) .

Thinly veiled euphemism is a common feature of folk song ('long peggin awl' etc) but direct sexual slang is much more uncommon is it not? Only example of sexual slang that springs to mind is 'quim' in Firelock Stile. (There's also the Bastard King of England but that's not really a folk song.)

So 'doldrums' as slang for 'tattered rags from a coat or trousers' is not incompatable with the euphemistic reading, in fact it makes a lot of sense. Dreadlocks is more incompatable, which perhaps makes it a less likely meaning given the clear use of euphemism in the 'small furrow' verse.

Really annoying that there don't seem to be any other slang or euphemistic uses of 'doldrums' anywhere else. You'd think it might crop up in Irish literature somewhere.

jon


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: Artful Codger
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 07:00 PM

It may also be a sort of mondegreen (though I can't think of what).

Consider that Tom is putting on the pathetic act, so the overt reading of doldrums (indicating drooping expression, drooping shoulders/stoop) suffices. Applying a measurement points out his exaggeration, and serves to clarify the secondary meaning, critical to explaining his welcome. As you suggest, it would not have done to say, "britches torn behind and before, exposing his prodigious dangler." But, for me at least, to find a merely prosaic meaning of "doldrums" would take away from this song.

Direct sexual slang is much more common in the living tradition than the records of it indicate, particularly with songs of this nature; consider the countless filthy lyrics people make up to any popular song. Many songs live double lives, coexisting in both expurgated and nixpurgated versions (the latter circulating only orally). Songbooks and recordings present only a pale reflection of the living tradition. The very oddity of a word like "doldrums" sometimes suggests a clean substitution made to stick out as a substitution--no need to look further.


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: mikesamwild
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 12:16 PM

In the mucky rugy club version of The Ball of Kirriemuir the Highland Tinker had a yard and a half of foreskin hanging down below his knee. Doldrums just sounds like a euphemism.


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 04:31 PM

From Golding again '..we were at last approaching, if we had not reached it, the southern spring! If this continued, I thought, we should find ourselves wearing "doldrums" rig again!'


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Subject: RE: req/ADD: Tom Padget
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 06:44 PM

More thoughts on the doldrums.

1) I am working on an anthology of songs that use sexual euphemisms and whilst I can't put my hands on an example at the moment the exposure that results from torn clothing is fairly common and the item implied is invariably the sex organs.

2) However, another possibility similar to Jon's dreadlocks is something that occasionally crops up in scatalogical pieces of earlier centuries. 'Dorothy draggletail' is another example. The great unwashed of earlier centuries with no access to toilet paper often had 'clags' of excrement dangling from their nether regions sometimes adhering to their clothing. Allowing also for exaggeration which is common in such pieces, this then is not beyond the realms of possibility.

BUT, I still think in keeping with the rest of the song the sexual meaning is far more likely.

Jon, I know you have led a relatively sheltered life but do check out something like Roger's Profanisaurus. There are literally thousands of pet names for the sex organs. Most families have their own pet names that are unknown to anyone else. Surely you've heard of John Thomas!

Going to BL in next couple of weeks so might be able to solve the puzzle anyway.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE JOLLY THRESHER OF WHICKHAM
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 11 - 06:04 PM

Just in case Jon is still in any doubt about the meaning of the nonsense word 'Doldrums' here we have the equivalent use of another nonsense phrase 'Whim Wham' used in almost exactly the same situation,
the main difference being Tom is 'ploughing the furrow' whereas Jack is threshing.

The Jolly Thresher of Whickham.
                         1
You farmers all, I pray draw near
Unto me now a while,
And when you do this Ditty hear,
I'm sure it will make you smile,
    Fal, la, &c.
                         2
It's of a Thresher bold, they say
Whose name was honest Jack,
He unto Whickham took his Way.
For Threshing he did lack.
                         3
So Jack he went to a Farmer's House
And they did invite him in,
And for to thresh all kinds of Grain,
The Farmer he hired him.
                         4
Young Jack he rose all in the Morn,
And to his Work did go,
And for to thresh all kind of Grain
Great Pains he did bestow.
                         5
Jack's Mistress rose all in the Morn,
To see her Servant work;
He being ignorant of the same,
Jack wrought like any Turk.
                         6
Jack's breeches being rent and torn,
And his Whim Wham hung out,
Like a Clapper to a Bell,
They were both large and stout.
                         7
O what is that Jack's Mistress said,
That hangs dangling down so low;
It's my marking Irons, jack reply'd.
I mark both young and old.
                         8
What must I give you Jack, she said,
To mark me but one Time:
Five shillings just, then Jack reply'd,
For they are in their Prime.
                         9
Five shillings she gave, and that he took,
And to their Work did go:
She said, that it was the best five shillings,
That ever she did bestow.
                         10
O mark me once more Jack, she said,
And th' other five shillings I'll give;
By thrashing Corn, and marking Maids,
I see how a Man may live.
                         11
So to conclude, you Wives and Maids,
If marking you do lack:
You need but go to Whickham Town,
You know his Name is Jack.
    Fal, la, &c.

Item 1 in The Jolly Thresher's Garland Beautified with 4 delightful New Songs. Late 18th century.
British Library 11621 b 5. Garland 6 in a bound volume of 17 garlands containing in the front cover the signature of Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Tom Padget
From: GUEST,Gill Blanchard
Date: 08 Aug 13 - 04:18 AM

I met someone last night at Sidmouth who told me that Jon Boden sings Tom Padgett, from the singing of Louis Killen and collected by my dad, Brian Blanchard. Brian died in November 2012. From memory I believe he collected it in County Clare (not Cork), where my mother came from. We went to several festivals in Clare when visiting family as well as Lenas Bar in Feakle, which is in the next town to where my mother came from and where Brian would sing and play whilst we stayed at my grandmothers. The original singer could well be from Cork though. I was quite young but can remember my father learning/practising it. I also heard Louis Killen perform several times.

I always thought Brian taught it to Louis on a journey from Crawley, where we lived, to Brighton Folk club. But that is not very far so I could be wrong. If it was from Sidmouth back to Sussex then it would have been in our camper van and our whole family (mum and 4 children) would all have been in the van too. We usually had a van full of friends and family and anyone else who needed a lift somewhere. Brian did still tell that story in recent years but as he had brain damage after a stroke in 1990 could have been misremembering slightly. Or he just said a journey and I assumed it was from our home to Brighton. I have his song collection at home so should have the original words as he wrote them dowon so will check when I get home and see what note he has on them.

I have heard Spiers and Boden lots of times but not performing that song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Tom Padget
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 08 Aug 13 - 06:38 AM

Dear Gill Blanchard, I am very sad to read the news of Brian's passing. I remember him well, a good singer, and a good bloke too. May he rest in peace. My condolences to you and the rest of the Blanchard family.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Tom Padget
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 13 - 03:28 AM

Thank you. I should have said November 2011 not 2012. You mentioned his car accident. He had the stroke the day after so they were all connected. I have not heard the song sung for a long time so will check the Jon Boden version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Tom Padget
From: GUEST,Gill Blanchard
Date: 13 Aug 13 - 09:23 AM

I have found a sheet of music in my dad's song collection entitled 'Tom Padget draft' but not the words. However, I haven't finished going through all the files and some are not in alphabetical order.

I did find two other songs Bryan collected in Ireland dated 1970 and 1971. 1970 is when Louis Killen says he learnt Tom Padget from Bryan and the song dated 1970 was collected in Miltown Malbay, County Clare. This fits with my memory as there is a festival there every year which I recall going to, so I believe this is where Tom Padget was also collected. The other song from 1971 was collected in Gort, County Galway.

I spoke to Sandra Goddard at Sidmouth who was a regular at Brighton folk club (and still goes to Lewis) as she was a friend of the family back then and stayed in touch with my Dad after his accident. She also learnt Tom Padget from my dad and clearly recalls it as being collected in County Clare. She keeps good records of songs she has leant so probably has a note from when she learnt it from Bryan. If there is any record of who he learnt it from I am sure she would also have that.

I will have another look and see if the words to Tom Padget turn up but a lot of stuff got lost after my dad's accident and various moves. I don't read music but if anyone wants to see the sheet I found I can scan or photograph it and email it.

It is all very deja vue as I have not heard that song for many many years. In case anyone doesn't know who Bryan Blanchard was, he got involved in folk music in the early to mid 1960s when we lived in Yorkshire. He was a regular at Sheffield folk club before we moved to Sussex where he helped run Horsham folk club until 1976 - when my parents divorced - as well as being a regular at Crawley, Brighton and Lewis folk clubs. I remember a regular procession of folk artists (many of the big names now) sleeping on our sofa whilst performing at local folk clubs. He regularly sang at folk clubs across the country until his accident. He had a wide repertoire of songs and was a fine ballad singer as well as playing English Concertina and Dulcimer. Bryan was also one of the founder members of Broadwood Morris side in Sussex and played concertina for them as well as other sides after he moved away from Sussex. We as a family were regulars at many folk clubs and festivals in the 60s and early 70s. He was very keen on collecting songs but learnt mostly by ear so there is very little music in his files. I also found some instructions/guidelines on how to go about collecting amongst his files.

I think I am going to suggest my daughter learns Tom Padget so as to keep it going in the family. She will be thrilled to think Boden and Spiers and others perform a song collected by her granddad.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HAPPY BEGGARMAN
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 05:17 PM

Steve Gardham wrote (in 1999!)

BL 11622 df 34

Garland 3 = The Connaughtman's Visit to Dublin
Printed by W Goggin, Limerick, to which are added
2 The Happy Beggarman
'Of all the trades a going, begging is my delight,
My rent is paid when I lay down my bags every night.' 32 lines


Thanks to an online copy at one of the libraries I have access to, I can complete this. Spelling unchanged except for shortening long Ss.

The HAPPY BEGGARMAN

Of all the trades a going, begging is my delight,
My rent it is paid when I lay down my bags every night.
I'll throw away care and take a long staff in my hand,
I'll flourish each day courageously looking for chance.

Like one in an ague shiv'ring and shaking I'll stand,
I'll seem to be lame, quite useless of one of my hands,
Like a pilgrim I'll pray each day with my hat in my hand,
And at night the fair maids I'll please as well as I can.

My belts round my shoulders and down my bags they do hang,
With a push and a jolt I quickly will have them yoaked on,
My horn by my side likewise my skiver and can,
My staff and long pike to fight the dogs as I gang.

My breeches is broke and down my linen does hang
The girls for sport, surround me all in a throng,
They treat me to beer, good cheer and the sup of a dram,
They would follow me, though my beard was seven foot long.

Down comes the house-keeper, saying here is an alms poor man,
To pray for my welfare now and the world to come:
I'll lay down my bags, and with her I'll take a sweet row,
That's what she'd rather have ten times than to pray for her soul.

To patters and fairs each day I will merrily gang,
Like a pilgrim I'll pray each day with my hat in my hand,
I've plenty of good wives I'm seldom trusting to one,
At every stage a fair maid to carry my can.

To taverns all round, I'll sound for collections along,
And for to get more, my beard I'll let grow very long,
That girls would say as they'd cram meal into my bags,
If this fellow was shaved he'd make a handsome young man.

The ale-wives do teize and seize me with sorrow and grief,
When I go to bed, they're stealing to me like a thief,
If I owe a crown or a pound the good women do say,
Begone honest man, go away, there's nothing to pay.


Bits of that have certainly found their way into Tom Padget (apparently it was his underwear that was hanging down). But the story at the heart of the song isn't there at all & must have come from somewhere else - possibly the "Beggarman" sung by Robert Cinnamond?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Tom Padget
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 14 - 03:38 AM

Thanks for that Phil
I have transcribed the Cinnamond text - four verses; I'll put it up later
I don't suppose there is any indication of a printing date?
It's interesting that the 'beard' in the broadside version has become a 'tadger' in the tradition - or vise versa of course.
I have become convinced that broadside hacks took songs from the tradition and 'dunghilled' (to borrow Child's phrase) them for urban audiences - it would certainly go a long way to explaining the discrepancy between the dreadful unsingable 'broadsidese' that most of the broadsides were written in compared to the compact economy of the tradition.
We know from interviewing a county Kerry 'ballad seller' that this was definitely the case in the first half of the 20th century in rural Ireland - he was able to describe in detail how he- a non-literate Traveller, went into a printer's shop and recited his father's songs over the counter to the printer, who then ran them off into ballad sheets fro selling around the fairs and markets.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BEGGERMAN (Robert Cinnamond)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 14 - 10:30 AM

The Beggarman, Robert Cinnamond,   BBC, recorded by Sean O'Boyle 1955

It was in Ballinderry the beggar man first gathered his meal,
Said the ma to the daughter "did you see the Beggarman's trail"
I'll go out on Monday morning and I'll take a long staff in my hand,
And the world I'll parade, so courageously I'll go along.

To Antrim I'll go where the jolly old farmer does dwell,
Beggars they won't serve, and we all know that very well,
No beggars they'll serve and very few strangers they'll lodge,
I'll take off by corbeen, I'll show them where I keep my badge.

"Oh mistress, dear mistress, there stands a poor man in the hall,
Like a louse in your chamber, oh by Jove, he will ruin us all,   
His long ragged britches are torn both behind and before,
Oh mistress, dear mistress, such a beggar man I've ne'er seen before".

And the mistress came down and she did this poor man embrace,
Saying, "Where are you from, come tell me your own native place.?"
I answered, "Dear madam, I came from the sweet County of Down,
And when I'm at home my dwelling place is in sweet Kilalea Town.

"Oh, come down to the kitchen", this fair lady unto me did say,
There's ale, wine and brandy to tempt you as long as you stay.
You can eat at my table and lie in my soft bed of down,
If you'll stay with me Tom Tadger of Kilalea Town.
Kim Carroll

The BBC links it (incorrectly?) with the Child ballad, The Gaberlunzie Man, with the following note.
The beggar is given lodgings, but the daughter of the house elopes with him before dawn, A few years later he returns and is refused lodgings because of previous experience with a beggar.   He then produces the daughter and family and discloses that he is a rich man in disguise.
This ballad is frequently called 'The Gaberlunzie Man' by singers.   According to Simpson: British Broadside Ballad And Its Music (154), it was first printed with its music in William Thomson's Orpheus Caledonious, in 1725.
There is a persistent belief held by some authorities and some of the singers that the song was composed about, or even by, King James V of Scotland (1513-1542).   Professor Child asserts that this has no more plausibility than authority", but the belief is an old one and a version in The Merry Musician, c.1731 (III, 29) supplements the title thus: "The words and tune composed by King James V of Scotland, on occasion of an adventure of his in disguise after a Country Girl.   Percy, in his Reliques says that "tradition informs us" of the connection with James V and Ritson accepts the reputed authorship. (A similar belief is held about the song 'The Barley Straw'. Child's No, 279 'The Jolly Beggar' is a close parallel to the present ballad, which Child thinks may have been rewritten by Allan Ramsey, in whose Tea Table Miscellany (1724) it first appears in print. There seems to be considerable confusion as to the titling and identity of the song, but the ballad (or similar forms of it) has been widely known in Scotland and Ireland, as the BBC recordings attest. It appears in a number of printed collections: Baring-Gould: Garland; Greig: Folk-Song of the North East, xxx, xxxi and Last Leaves xcvii; Joyce: Old Irish Folk-Music p. 364, Sam Henry Collection, 810: O'Lochlainn: More Irish Street Songs, p.52.   Sedley: Seeds of Love, pp. 23-27, gives two songs on this theme, which he entitles 'The Beggar King' and 'The Jolly Beggar' respectively, both being collated versions.
(Jeannie Robertson has recorded on Caedmon (Topic): The Folk Songs of Britain, Vol. V, a version of Child 279, which she calls 'The Jolly Beggar!).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Tom Padget
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Mar 14 - 05:06 PM

Just remembered I didn't answer Jim's query about printing date. I don't think there is one, but the libraries which have copies all date it to around 1790. A while back!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Tom Padget
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Mar 14 - 04:21 AM

Thanks Phil,
I'll add it to the information I have on it
The source singer, Packie Russell, linked it to the 1798 Rebellion, a little late for your date, but it is possible he was right.
This is the note I have done on it.
Jim Carroll

Tom Tadger (Roud 3080) Packie Russell
While this is sung by several of the younger generation of singers in England and Ireland, there are very few examples of it having been found in the old oral traditions.
In 1955, the BBC recorded a version from Robert Cinnamond of Glenavy, County Antrim, with the title The Beggarman of County Down. Apart from this, there are no references to the song from a source singer either recorded or in print, though there are similarities to other songs of an amorous itinerant; see: Donnelly (Roud 836), versions of which we recorded in Miltown Malbay, Fanore, and from Tipperary Travelling woman, Mary Delaney.
Packie told us he believed the song to be connected to the 1798 uprising in Mayo, when the French sent a fleet to assist the struggle for independence; he thought it to be an allegorical reference to inviting strangers into your home. There is little, if any, information to confirm this but it's an interesting thought.


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