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Lyr Add: The Old Alarm Clock (The Dubliners)

DigiTrad:
DOLLAR ALARM CLOCK


Related thread:
Lyr Add: Ould Alarum Clock (8)


Wolfgang Hell 29 Sep 98 - 06:56 AM
Wolfgang 29 Sep 98 - 07:19 AM
Martin Ryan 29 Sep 98 - 07:50 AM
Wolfgang 29 Sep 98 - 08:27 AM
Martin Ryan 29 Sep 98 - 09:59 AM
Ewan McV 30 Sep 98 - 06:53 PM
skw@ 03 Oct 98 - 10:38 AM
Martin Ryan 05 Oct 98 - 10:50 AM
Martin Ryan 06 Oct 98 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Jon 15 Nov 16 - 03:52 PM
Dave Hanson 16 Nov 16 - 03:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 16 Nov 16 - 10:20 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Nov 16 - 02:40 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE (OLD) ALARM CLOCK (from Dubliners)
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 06:56 AM

As an offshot from the Corries thread here's a song I know from a Dubliners LP. I think I got the lyrics nearly correct but I can't be 100% sure. It's a song from bygone days when the Anglo-Irish conflict was fought with wrong sentences, guns and bombs, means of conflict management we haven't heard of for at least four weeks.

Wolfgang

THE (OLD) ALARM CLOCK

(Tune: The garden where the praties grow
Author: ?)

1. When first I came to London in the year of '39
The City looked so wonderful and the girls were so divine
But the coppers got suspicious and they soon gave me the knock.
I was charged with being the owner of an old alarm clock.

2. Oh next morning down by Marlborough street I caused no little stir,
The IRA were busy and the telephones did burr.
Said the judge, "I'm going to charge you with the possession of this machine
And I'm also going to charge you with the wearin' of the green."

3. And said I to him, "Your honour, if you give me half a chance,
I'll show you how me small machine can make the peelers dance.
It ticks awake politely till you get an awful shock
And it ticks awake the gelignite of the old alarm clock."

4. Said the judge, "Now listen here, me man, and I'll tell you all me plan.
For you and all your countrymen I do not give a damn.
The only time you'll take is mine ten years in Dartmoor dock
And you can count it by the ticking of your old alarm clock."

5. Now this lonely Dartmoor city would put many in the jigs.
The cell it isn't pretty and it isn't very big.
Sure I'd long ago have left the place if I'd have only got,
Ah, me couple of sticks of gelignite and the old alarm clock.


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Subject: RE: ADD: The old alarm clock
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 07:19 AM

There's one more song using this tune I know of. It's called "The pigeon". I know it from the Scottish group The Exiles but I do not understand enough of it to do a decent transcription. But one verse should give you an idea of the story and perhaps someone else can add more:

...At the court on monday morning I faced the magistrate
who said to me, "me feathered friend, you're in a dreadful state.
You're charged with messing on the Force, and truly that's no lie,
and for causing active fall-out come a dropping from the sky."...


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Subject: RE: ADD: The old alarm clock
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 07:50 AM

On a minor geographic point: Marlborough Street is in Dublin. "Marylebone Street" is in London - and has a courthouse! Its pronounced, roughly, "Mar-i-bon" street, curiously enough. (See other threads for French-English_French migration of words!)

Regards


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Subject: RE: ADD: The old alarm clock
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 08:27 AM

Martin, thanks for the correction. (Smiling:) I see, there's still room for the improvement of my transcription abilities.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: ADD: The old alarm clock
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 09:59 AM

Wolfgang

You should have seen my attempts at German, many years ago!

Regards


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Subject: RE: ADD: The old alarm clock
From: Ewan McV
Date: 30 Sep 98 - 06:53 PM

Dominic Behan recorded the Old Alarm Clock back in about 1957, by the way, and indeed sang Marylebone. As I recall the associated story, in 1939 the IRA were hampering the British war effort as best they could. Germany had a lot of Eire sympathisers then, on the basis that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.


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Subject: RE: ADD: The old alarm clock
From: skw@
Date: 03 Oct 98 - 10:38 AM

Ewan, is there more to the 'associated story'? Was the song written about a particular incident? And is it true it was written by Dominic Behan? - Thanks, Susanne


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Subject: RE: ADD: The old alarm clock
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 05 Oct 98 - 10:50 AM

Skw@

Ewans mejssage put it very neatly! Also: It may well be true that Dominic Behan wrote it - I'll check later.

Regards


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Subject: RE: ADD: The old alarm clock
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 06 Oct 98 - 02:52 PM

I expecterd to find this in Behan's "Ireland Sings" book - but it ain't there!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Old Alarm Clock (The Dubliners)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 15 Nov 16 - 03:52 PM

Thanks for the transcription! I've never heard of gelignite before, and so I was confused as to why anyone would be arrested for owning an alarm clock.

For anyone who find this thread in the future, the IRA were making improvised explosives from alarm clocks and gelignite (a high explosive made from a gel of nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Old Alarm Clock (The Dubliners)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Nov 16 - 03:55 AM

You don't make explosives from alarm clocks, the clock was used as a timer to detonate the bomb.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Old Alarm Clock (The Dubliners)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 16 Nov 16 - 10:20 AM

Gelignite is the English name for dynamite.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Old Alarm Clock (The Dubliners)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 02:40 PM

From Wikipedia:
Gelignite (/ˈdʒɛlɪɡnaɪt/), also known as blasting gelatin or simply jelly, is an explosive material consisting of collodion-cotton (a type of nitrocellulose or gun cotton) dissolved in either nitroglycerine or nitroglycol and mixed with wood pulp and saltpetre (sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate).

It was invented in 1875 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, who had also invented dynamite.[1] Unlike dynamite, gelignite does not suffer from the dangerous problem of sweating, the leaking of unstable nitroglycerine from the solid matrix.


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