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Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown

DigiTrad:
THE DEATH OF POOR BILL BROWN


Matthew Edwards 23 Mar 04 - 07:34 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Mar 04 - 07:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Mar 04 - 08:13 PM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Mar 04 - 08:27 PM
The Walrus 24 Mar 04 - 07:54 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Mar 04 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,padgett 25 Mar 04 - 04:15 AM
Matthew Edwards 25 Mar 04 - 06:55 AM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Mar 04 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Chris 01 Apr 04 - 05:18 PM
The Walrus 02 Apr 04 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,padgett 11 May 06 - 06:31 AM
nutty 11 May 06 - 03:50 PM
r.padgett 11 May 06 - 04:26 PM
Artful Codger 16 Oct 10 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 17 Oct 10 - 06:14 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DEATH OF POOR BILL BROWN
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 07:34 PM

THE DEATH OF POOR BILL BROWN^^

(As sung by Arthur Howard)

Come all you men, both great and small,
Gamekeepers, poachers, sportsmen all,
Come listen to my simple song,
I'll sing you the death of poor Bill Brown,
I'll sing you the death of poor Bill Brown -
Right fol the dol laddie i-o.

One starry night, as you shall hear,
All in the season of the year.
We went to the woods to get a fat buck,
But eh! that night we had bad luck,
Bill Brown got shot, and his dog got stuck -
Right fol the dol laddie i-o.

We went to the woods, our sport began,
I saw the gamekeeper projecting his gun,
I called t' Bill to climb the gate,
To get a fat buck, but it was too late,
For there he met his untimely fate -
Right fol the dol laddie i-o.

As dying he lay on the ground
In this sad state poor Bill I found;
When he saw me poor Bill did cry
'Revenge my fate', 'I will' said I,
'For many a hare we've caught here by -
Right fol the dol laddie i-o.

Next night I dressed myself in time,
I went to the wood as the clock struck nine,
The reason now I'll tell you why,
To find the gamekeeper I will try,
Who shot my friend, and he shall die -
Right fol the dol laddie i-o.

I ranged the woods all round, and then,
I looked at my watch, and it was just ten;
I heard a footstep on the green,
And lay me down for fear I'd be seen,
For I plainly saw that it was Tom Green -
Right fol the dol laddie i-o.

I know the man that shot Bill Brown,
I know him well and can tell his [gown?]   
And to describe him in my song -
Black jacket he had and red waistcoat on,
I know him well and they call him Tom -
Right fol the dol laddie i-o.

I took my fowlpiece in my hand,
Resolved to fire if Tom should stand;
Tom heard a noise and turned him round,
I fired and brought him to the ground,
My hand gave him the deep death wound -
Right fol the dol laddie i-o.

And now to conclude and finish my song,
I shot the man that shot Bill Brown.
Poor Bill; no more his eyes will see,
Farewell, dear friend, farewell said he,
For I've crowned the last hopes of his memory
Right fol the dol laddie i-o.

This is a well known song in Yorkshire commemorating an incident in Brightside, near Sheffield, in 1769.

Arthur Howard (1902-1982), who was born in Holmfirth, learned the song from his father and recorded it on an LP Merry Mountain Child (Hill and Dale, HD006) in 1981 for Ian Russell, and it was subsequently included in the CD A Century of Song EFDSS CD02 issued by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in 1998.

A similar text with a tune is given by Frank Kidson in his Traditional Tunes, 1891, where he states that the tune was noted by his informant Charles Lolley in Goole, and that it was the same tune which another of his correspondents had found in the Leeds district. Kidson's said that the text he gave had come from a broadside.

Kidson noted another broadside beginning "In seventeen hundred and sixty-nine.." on the same subject, and there are several copies in the Bodleian:-
printed by C.Croshaw, York
Harkness, Preston
Such, London
and Wright, Birmingham


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 07:55 PM

For copies of the broadside used by Kidson, see:

Poor Bill Brown

Number 609 in the Roud Folk Song Index.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 08:13 PM

The broadside seems the better for the lack of the 'right fol de lol' etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 08:27 PM

I neglected to mention that the In Seventeen hundred and sixty-nine song, which Kidson considered originally to have been set to The Mill, the Mill O, is credited in The Sheffield Mercury, October 22, 1836, to the blind fiddler Johnny Gibbons of Darnall, near Sheffield. Information from The South Riding Song Book, Paul Davenport, 1998.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: The Walrus
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 07:54 PM

The version of this song that I know is almost exactly that in the broadsides in Malcolm Douglas' link, with a slight difference in the first verse:

You gentlemen, both great and small,
Gamekeepers, poachers, sportsmen all,
Come listen to a simple clown,
I'll sing you the death of poor Bill Brown,
Come listen to a simple clown,
And I'll sing the death of Bill Brown.

the last line serving as chorus until the last verse when it becomes:
"And I've sung the death of Bill Brown".

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 08:24 PM

Do you remember where you got that?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 04:15 AM

This song if I am not mistaken also appears in Bert LLoyds Folk Songs of England ~which pre dates Ian Russell's collected version
Whilst Arthur had the 'Right fol do rol' chorus, I among others have a chorus 'I'll sing the Death of Bill Brown'after each verse

Perhaps Malcolm, you might be able to help me access some more of Arthurs recordings and also those of Frank Hinchliffe?
I have Arthur's record and sing one or two from it, (I upset Will and John by singing Rolling on the grass before John learnt it)I knew Arthur and know that he recorded his songs on a big tape recorder
I have done a lot of work on one two of Franks songs not heard such as 'The Old Wooden Rocker' and 'Forging of Scales' any suggestions
Ray Padgett (TSF member when I pay the subs ~ where the L is Doc Rowe nowadays?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 06:55 AM

Ray, if you've got more of Frank's songs (and which Frank would that be?) then I'm sure there's a few people who'd love to hear them. But do you mean that you've got recordings of Frank singing, or that you sing them yourself?

I think you will find news of Dr. Doc here; Traditional Song Forum, and on the same site there is news of a very interesting publication Folk song: Tradition, Revival, and Re-creation.

The version Bert Lloyd gave comes straight from Kidson, not from any contemporary performance, so it looks as if Arthur Howard's is the only recently collected version. So the versions you and The Walrus sing could be "new discoveries"!!!!!!!!

Will Noble sings pretty much the same version as Arthur Howard on the Veteran cassette In that beautiful dale VT124, but with a few minor differences.

Malcolm, thanks for the link to 'Kidson's' broadside in the Bodleian.

By the way while I was looking around for this song I came across a request for this song: Long Tom, The Old Yorkshire Gamekeeper. Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 11:25 AM

Roud currently lists two examples only from oral currency: Arthur Howard and Will Noble. The song attributed to Johnny Gibbons is known only from print. It would be interesting to know whether the variant form mentioned earlier derives from local tradition or is a modern adaptation.

Can't help with recordings of Arthur or Frank, I'm afraid (beyond what you already have); Ian Russell is the man to speak to.

I saw Doc briefly last week. He nearly has the collection sorted out sufficiently for volunteers to start work on it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 05:18 PM

At the ECMW last year I bought a video of Arthur Howard published by "Garland Films" from Barry Callaghan. It includes "The Death of Poor Bill Brown" plus "The Dogs' Party"; "The Bonny Grey"; "Piddling Pete"; "The Christmas Goose" and "Paul and Patience". The cover mentions a record called "Merry Mountain Child" from 1981 - but no other info on that, I'm afraid.

Frank Hinchliffe can be heard on at least one of the excellent CDs produced by Musical Traditions Magazine (mustrad.org.uk ). I'm pretty sure he's on one called "Up in the North... " but I haven't got it here at the moment. Check out their catalogue and buy the whole series - they are astoundingly good value with lots of tracks; superb notes and all the lyrics.

Chris.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: The Walrus
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 09:34 AM

Malcolm,

"...Do you remember where you got that?..."

If that question was directed to me, I *think* it was from a version by Roy Harris but I can't remember the source (memory like a Swiss cheese).

Regards

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 11 May 06 - 06:31 AM

Re Frank Hinchliffe I do have a number of cassette recordings of Frank H including Forging of Scales and the Old Wooden Rocker

The Yorkshire Garland is now up and running interms of collating and recording people such as Roger Hinchliffe and Ken Hinchliffe, Gordon Holgate Will Noble ect and we had a session at Holmfirth F of Folk on May 6th 2006

Anyone any info re Forging of Scales as Roger and Ken cant throw any light on its origination?

Also there is a song called 'A Difficult Riddle' anyone know this one?

Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: nutty
Date: 11 May 06 - 03:50 PM

Ray ... there are a number of broadsides in the
Bodleian of this song.... It may be the one you are looking for.

Where theres a will there's a way ("This life is a difficult riddle ...") / Written and Sung by Harry Clifton
Author: Clifton, Harry Performer: Clifton, Harry
Subject: Perseverance

CLICK HERE


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: r.padgett
Date: 11 May 06 - 04:26 PM

Hazel well done again this is indeed the very song which Frank Hinchliffe sang and which is currently being sung by Roger (his son) and taken up by Gordon Holgate

Many Thanks

Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: Artful Codger
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 08:06 PM

The tune and lyrics for the "difficult riddle" song ("Where there's a will there's a way," by Harry Clifton) may now be found in this thread:
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=129610

My apologies for contributing to the thread drift.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Death of Poor Bill Brown
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Oct 10 - 06:14 AM

Here's Peter Bellamy singing it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIDkhEIUveQ


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