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Lyr Req: poor old man of 60? / Ungrateful Son

GUEST 31 May 04 - 08:38 AM
Joe Offer 31 May 04 - 02:56 PM
Joe Offer 31 May 04 - 05:00 PM
Sorcha 31 May 04 - 05:39 PM
Malcolm Douglas 31 May 04 - 06:12 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jun 04 - 12:08 AM
Dave Bryant 02 Jul 04 - 10:23 AM
Jim Dixon 17 Jul 04 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,999 17 Jan 10 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,999 17 Jan 10 - 08:23 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Jan 10 - 04:26 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Jan 10 - 04:46 PM
GEST 15 Jan 16 - 07:12 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: poor old man of 60
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 04 - 08:38 AM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: poor old man of 60
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 May 04 - 02:56 PM

...and his wife of 62.

It's listed at folktrax.org, but the only information in the citation is Williams #674. If I could understand these Folktrax citations, I could be Malcolm Douglas...

Alas, I am not Malcolm Douglas, and I am completely befuddled.

-Joe Offer, older, greyer, paunchier, and less clear-thinking than Malcolm Douglas-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: poor old man of 60
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 May 04 - 05:00 PM

Darn...I thought we'd have an answer on this by now. Maybe England is sleeping...
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: poor old man of 60
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 May 04 - 05:39 PM

I can't decipher it either, Joe.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOBBLING OFF TO THE WORKHOUSE DOOR
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 May 04 - 06:12 PM

The Folktrax reference is explained in Roud: "Williams #674" is Alfred Williams MS No.Mi.674 (Bathe/Clissold Index). The first line is given as "It's a poor old man of sixty and his wife of sixty-two" ... that's all. There isn't a Roud number because he hadn't seen the MS example itself. Williams didn't collect any tunes.

It's possible that it's a version of a song listed at Roud 13679, You never know what time may bring to you ("A poor old man of seventy and his wife of sixty-two"...). Only two texts in the index (I haven't seen the new version just out, yet): a single verse noted by Steve Roud himself in 1982, and a two-verse fragment recorded by Gwilym Davies and Paul Burgess from Wiggy Smith, who had it from his grandfather, Nathaniel "Nattie" Smith. That one is available on Band of Gold (Musical Traditions MT CD 307, 2000) as Hobbling off to the Workhouse Door, and goes as follows:

There's a dear old man of seventy
Dear old woman of seventy-two
And they're hobbling off to the workhouse door
Because they're low and poor.

"Now you think yourself above we, son
Because you have some gold
But you'll never know what time
Will always bring you to."


And that's all I can tell you. Perhaps our guest could help by saying just a few words?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: poor old man of 60
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 12:08 AM

Thanks a lot, Malcolm. You sure gave us a good start.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: poor old man of sixty(text &origins)
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 10:23 AM

Are you referring to me ?


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Subject: Lyr Add: WORKHOUSE DOOR (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 05:39 PM

I searched for "workhouse door" and found this. Not the song asked for, but a similar theme.

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Firth c.16(308):

WORKHOUSE DOOR

One day as I was walking through streets, not knowing where to go,
My eyes fell on a little boy close to the workhouse door.
He was crying, so I went to him, and scarcely could speak,
And I thought that every moment his little heart would break.

He said his mother she was dead; his father could not work.
No shoes had he upon his feet, nor had he got a shirt.
So I took him to the governor and he thanked me o'er and o'er,
And some strange sights I saw as I stood by the workhouse door.

The next I saw was a woman. For relief she's come to look.
Two children she had in her arms, wrap'd in a ragged cloak;
And she turned round as though she knew not which way to go in.
My heart it bled to see her in the state that she was in.

She said she had lost her husband. He'd been kill'd upon the line;
And now she had to beg her bread, or else to starve and pine.
As the tears were rolling down her cheeks, I said, "God help the poor!"
She turned and then went in, as I stood by the workhouse door.

The next I saw was an old man who could neither crawl nor stand,
And he looked to me as though his time was very close at hand.
He asked me, could I spare a coin? I gave him all I had,
And he thanked me many times for it and seem'd so very glad.

He said he had been a soldier, had fought for country and Queen,
But now the times were very hard. He brighter days had seen.
He had served for twenty years and now he's old and sadly wore.
It was a disgraceful sight to see him standing by the workhouse door.

The last sight that I saw was much worse than all the rest.
It was a poor old woman shivering with cold and in distress.
She ask'd me, would I be so kind to show her the way in?
As I look'd upon her care-worn face, my heart beat fast within.

She said she brought a family up, of children numbering nine,
But now they'd all deserted her and left her for to pine,
And sooner than beg from her own, she'd perish on the floor.
'Twas a shame she had to end her days inside the workhouse door.


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Subject: LYR ADD: You'll Never Know What Time Will Bring
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 08:21 PM

YOU'LL NEVER KNOW WHAT TIME WILL BRING
(A Poor Old Man Of Seventy)


A poor old man of seventy and his wife of sixty-three,
One day in winter as the snow was falling fast,
They were making for the workhouse for they were too old to toil,
Yet they knew their span of life was closing fast.

Some loving words were uttered by the poor old weary lass,
As her eyes that moment drifted on their son,
Who thought for to avoid them and pass on the other side,
But the old man spoke these words ere he was gone.

"You quite forget your father now he's feeble, old and grey,
You quite forget your dear old mother, too;
You think yourself above us now you're worth a lot of gold,
But you'll never know what time will bring to you.

"You quite forget the time, my lad, you were so dear to us,
When the other five by death were torn away;
When we spent all our wealth on you, our only living child,
Just to make you what you're in this world today.

"We pinched and saved for you my lad and tendered thee for years."
Till at last the old man bent beneath the strain,
And the mother, too, with bended head, while shedding bitter tears
And in saddened tones I heard these words again.

"You quite forget your father now he's feeble, old and grey,
You quite forget your dear old mother, too;
You think yourself above us now you're worth a lot of gold,
But you'll never know what time will bring to you."

Their son stood listening for a time, then uttered with a curse,
"I cannot keep you now," he said, "I have no time to stay;
I told you what I meant so don't bother me no more."
And with these words he went along his way.

The man and wife drew closer and then, taking hand in hand,
They trudged along with head and heart bowed down;
And as the workhouse door was closed upon that old-aged pair,
I think I heard the breeze bring back the song.

"You quite forget your father now he's feeble, old and grey,
You quite forget your dear old mother, too;
You think yourself above us now you're worth a lot of gold,
But you'll never know what time will bring to you."

####.... Author unknown. Original Newfoundland song ....####

Sung by Annie Whalen [b.1913] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was recorded as Poor Old Man Of Seventy by Ed Power (Kitchen Songs: A Selection Of Newfoundland/Irish Music, trk#10, 1999, at Soundscape productions, Grand Falls-Windsor, arranged, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mark Bishop).


That's from

http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/12/time.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: poor old man of 60
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 08:23 PM

It seems the 'correct' title of that song is

"You'll Never Know What Time Will Bring". (I think: however, it's subtitled "A Poor Old Man of Seventy".)


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Subject: Lyr Add: 'A poor old man of seventy and his wife..
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 04:26 PM

From "I Sat on Her Grave and Sang" by Philip G. Hubert, Jr. in Belford's Monthly, Volume 3, No. 14 (New York: Belford Company, July, 1889), page 187:

[No song title or author is given.]

A poor old man of seventy and his wife of sixty-two,
One day in winter, when the snow fell fast,
They were making for the workhouse, for they were too old to toil,
And they knew their span of life was closing fast;
He loving words was speaking to the poor old weary lass,
When his eyes that moment rested on his son,
Who then tried to avoid him and pass on the other side,
But the old man spoke these words ere he was gone:

CHORUS. "You have quite forgot your father, now he's feeble, poor, and old,
You have quite forgot your poor old mother, too;
You think yourself above us, now you're worth a lot of gold,
But you never know what time may bring you to."


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE UNGRATEFUL SON (John Walsh, 1886)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 04:46 PM

This song can be found at the Lester S. Levy Collection. Click to view the PDF file.


THE UNGRATEFUL SON
(John Walsh)
New York: Willis Woodward & Co., 1886

1. A poor old man of seventy and his wife of sixty-two,
One night in winter when the snow fell fast,
They were making for the workhouse, for they were too old to toil,
And they knew their span of life was closing fast.
He, loving words was speaking to the poor old weary lass,
When his eye that moment rested on his son;
Who then tried to avoid him and pass on the other side,
But the old man spoke these words ere he was gone:

CHORUS: "You have quite forgot your father, now he's feeble, poor and old.
You have quite forgot your poor old mother too.
You think yourself above us, now you're worth a lot of gold,
But you never know what time may bring you too, you too."

2. "You quite forget the time, my lad, when you was so dear to me,
When the other five by death were torn away,
And we freely spent our wealth on you our only loving son,
To make you what you are in the world today.
We pinch'd and saved for you, my lad, and tended thee for years."
Just then the old man bent beneath the strain,
And the mother too with bended head was shedding bitter tears,
And in sobbing tones these words were heard again: CHORUS

3. The son had listen'd for some time, then he answer'd with a curse,
"I cannot keep you. I've now no time to stay.
I have told you what I mean and now don't bother anymore,"
And with those words he pass'd upon his way.
The man and wife drew closer and both taking hand in hand,
They trudged along with head and heart bow'd down,
And as the workhouse door was closed upon this poor old aged pair,
I seem'd to hear the breeze bring back the sound: CHORUS.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: poor old man of 60? / Ungrateful Son
From: GEST
Date: 15 Jan 16 - 07:12 AM

http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/12/time.htm was edited to reflect findings in the Library of Congress.


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