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Down in the Coalmine / Down in a Coal Mine

DigiTrad:
DOWN IN THE COAL MINE


VIN 07 Apr 04 - 04:12 AM
IanC 07 Apr 04 - 04:32 AM
IanC 07 Apr 04 - 04:35 AM
Wilfried Schaum 07 Apr 04 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,MCP 07 Apr 04 - 05:33 AM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Apr 04 - 06:29 AM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Apr 04 - 08:42 AM
Susanne (skw) 07 Apr 04 - 05:04 PM
GUEST 08 Apr 04 - 04:42 AM
VIN 08 Apr 04 - 04:49 AM
Little Robyn 08 Apr 04 - 07:18 AM
VIN 08 Apr 04 - 07:53 AM
Little Robyn 08 Apr 04 - 08:11 AM
Grimmy 20 Apr 07 - 05:16 AM
Grimmy 20 Apr 07 - 05:58 AM
r.padgett 20 Apr 07 - 01:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Apr 07 - 02:26 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Apr 07 - 06:31 AM
Grimmy 24 Apr 07 - 06:49 AM
GUEST 27 Dec 08 - 11:32 PM
Les in Chorlton 05 Jan 09 - 12:17 PM
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Subject: Down in the Coalmine
From: VIN
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 04:12 AM

Help!

In the song 'Down In The Coalmine', there's a line in the last verse i.e. 'And always let your Murphy's such as best befits a man'

Errrr, any ideas on the meaning?? Does it refer to that nice refreshing dard drink or something pertaining to the mining industry or colliers themselves.


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: IanC
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 04:32 AM

Just the standard DT mondegreen, I think. The word is probably Mirth.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: IanC
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 04:35 AM

There's a more accurate version in MySongbook.DE

:-)


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 04:57 AM

Murphy Mine in Colorado ruled out, the miners of the song are British.

I'm an honorary miner, but of a German mine, and over here a "murphy" isn't known. So I had a look at Oxford Reference Online.

Murphy   This now distinctly passé slang term for the potato seems to have originated around the beginning of the nineteenth century (it is first recorded in the Lexicon Balatronicum, A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Elegance, 1811). It is perhaps most familiar to recent generations through the 'stunning murphies' baked by Sally Harrowell in Thomas Hughes's Tom Brown's Schooldays (1857). It is, of course, a would-be jocular reference to the predominance of the potato in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish diet, Murphy being a common Irish surname. ("Murphy" An A-Z of Food and Drink. Ed. John Ayto. Oxford university Press, 2002.)

murphy   •n. (pl. murphies) informal a potato.
- ORIGIN C19: from Murphy, an Ir. surname.
("murphy" The Concise Oxford Dictionary. Ed. Judy Pearsall. Oxford University Press, 2001)

Murphy bed   A bed that can be raised and folded into a wall is called a Murphy bed, after its inventor. This once-common folding bed provided more usable daytime living space, and allowed a living room to double as a bedroom. The added space that this bed created, after it swung into a closet, was a real boon during the days of small apartments.
The inventor of this useful piece of furniture was an American, William Lawrence Murphy (1876–1959). The usefulness of this bed disappeared when sofa convertibles came into vogue.
("Murphy bed" A New Dictionary of Eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. Oxford University Press, 1997) [But this seems to be a more American contraption]

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 05:33 AM

I agree with Ian - I've always know it as

"Always let your mirth be such as best befits a man"

(as give in MySongBook above, with be inserted).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 06:29 AM

Susannah's Songbook quotes comments to the effect that J B Geoghegan was "a Durham miner"; this seems to be a groundless assumption made by Ian Campbell or whoever wrote his sleevenotes, and is quite incorrect. Joseph Bryan Geoghegan was born in Barton upon Irwell, Lancashire in 1816 and died at Bolton on 21 January 1889, aged 75; he was a prolific writer of songs for the music hall (including The Girls of Glossop Road, set in Sheffield), and managed several halls during his career. Some of his pieces were re-makes of existing songs (his John Barleycorn would be one such, I expect) and Lloyd (Come All Ye Bold Miners, 1967, notes, 341-2) states that Down in a Coalmine (1872) is one such. Lloyd quotes a slightly earlier broadside example, and a collated text, with tune, from oral currency (Doncaster and Aberavon). There are further broadside editions at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

Down in a coal mine

The texts Lloyd quotes do not contain the verse in question here.


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 08:42 AM

Charlie Chaplin struggles with a Murphy Bed in "Three O'Clock in the morning"

Robin


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 05:04 PM

Thanks to Mick and Malcolm! I'll try and include that info asap.


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 04:42 AM

Thanks for that folks. Some good info there!


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: VIN
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 04:49 AM

Eeek! Sorry, i went all un-together and anonymous then - had to re-set me cookie, doh! Back now tho, phew!!


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: Little Robyn
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 07:18 AM

A couple of fellas at our local session have started doing Down in the coalmine along with Little Beggarman, singing a verse each, first the one song, then the other. It doesn't make any sense but it's kinda fun.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: VIN
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 07:53 AM

Hmmm, interesting but i bet it confuses the hell out of those trying to join in the choruses - or praps not. Personally i have a bad enough time remembering the words to one song without interchanging, but nowt wrong wi trying something different eh?


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: Little Robyn
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 08:11 AM

Not really. If Andy has just sung a verse of Little Beggarman, there's no chorus but if Keith is the singer, then get ready....
Robyn


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN IN A COAL MINE
From: Grimmy
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 05:16 AM

DOWN IN A COAL MINE

I am a jovial collier, as jovial as can be,
But if the trade is very bad it means a lot to me.
And if I stumble with my tongue, I've one excuse to say:
It's not the collier's heart that's wrong, it's the head that goes away.

How bravely all them collier lads they toil beneath the ground,
Digging for the coal as the days and night goes round,
And anxiously their fam'lies wait; how often it is said,
You never know by nightfall how many may be dead.

How little do the rich men care who sit at home secure,
What dangers all the colliers dare, and hardships they endure,
The very fires they have at home to cheer them and their wives
Perhaps were kindled at the cost of jovial colliers' lives.

CHORUS: Down in a coal mine underneath the ground,
There a gleam of sunshine is never to be found,
Digging dusky diamonds all the season round,
Down in the coal mine, underneath the ground.


Source: A. L. Lloyd, 'Come All Ye Bold Miners', who states:

"Text is part from George Bailey, ex-miner, of Doncaster. Melody and missing fragments from James Hedley, of Aberavon. A well-known coal-miners' ballad, originally a stage song composed by J. B. Goeghegan in 1872. See G. Korson, 'Minstrels of the Mine Patch' (Univ. Penn. Press, 1938). The melody derives from an Irish Song: The Roving Journeyman."

Karl Dallas, in 'One Hundred Songs of Toil' gives the same text, but adds:

"It is often sung to the tune of The roving journeyman but I prefer the slower, more melodramatic melody noted down by George Korson."

Both Lloyd and Dallas supply the respective tunes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ten Thousand Miles Away
From: Grimmy
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 05:58 AM

....and now I've spelt his name wrong, sorry!

BTW - anybody know how it's pronounced? GEEGAN?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ten Thousand Miles Away
From: r.padgett
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 01:50 PM

gaygan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ten Thousand Miles Away
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 02:26 PM

Obviously I will never spell it correctly.
I looked up the name with the genealogy sites, and it seems descendants spell it many different ways. And some dropped it altogether and adopted Smith or Brown, etc.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN IN A COAL MINE (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 06:31 AM

The song in the DT seems to be a rewrite of this song:

Lyrics from Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 11(4304); other copies--Harding B 11(1698), Harding B 15(88b), Harding B 20(43)—are nearly identical.

DOWN IN A COAL MINE

1. In me you see a collier, a simple honest man
Who strives to do his very best to help his fellow-man.
We toil away from morn till night where hard work's to be found,
Digging dusty diamonds from underneath the ground.

CHORUS:
Down in a coal mine, underneath the ground,
Where a gleam of sunshine never can be found,
Digging dusty diamonds all the season round,
Down in a coal mine, underneath the ground.

2. In the morning when we go to toil, and down the mine we go,
Contented with our lot in life, and free from care or woe,
We often think of home and wife, and hearts that's filled with mirth,
While digging up the fuel from the bowels of the earth.

3. You often read of accidents, which happen down the mine,
How hundreds of poor colliers are shortened of their time:
Explosions they are numerous, and caused by fire-damps,
Which when the gas escapes, it comes in contact with our lamps.

4. But when the wintertime comes in, the collier's worth is found:
Old England's commerce it is spread to all the nations round.
Let those at home rejoice and sing with hearts and voices full,
For what would England do without the boys that dig the coal?


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: Grimmy
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 06:49 AM

See also this recent thread (scroll down to bottom)


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 11:32 PM

I always thought it was "always let your MOUTH be such as best befits a man" - as in "good men don't curse", which ties back to the third verse "And like the clothes upon me back my speech is rough and plain
Well if I stumble with my tongue I've one excuse to say
It's not the collier's heart that's wrong, it's the head that goes astray".


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Subject: RE: Down in the Coalmine
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 12:17 PM

So:

"Source: A. L. Lloyd, 'Come All Ye Bold Miners', who states:

"Text is part from George Bailey, ex-miner, of Doncaster. Melody and missing fragments from James Hedley, of Aberavon. A well-known coal-miners' ballad, originally a stage song composed by J. B. Goeghegan in 1872. See G. Korson, 'Minstrels of the Mine Patch' (Univ. Penn. Press, 1938). The melody derives from an Irish Song: The Roving Journeyman."

Is the source, George Bailey, ex-miner, of Doncaster, genuine is this another Bertism?

L in C


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