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Tune Req: The Gipsy King / The Gypsy King

GUEST,jebaker@airmail.net 10 Jun 04 - 12:00 PM
Sorcha 10 Jun 04 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,jennifer 10 Jun 04 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,jebaker@airmail.net 10 Jun 04 - 05:52 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Jun 04 - 07:06 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Jun 04 - 07:33 PM
Sorcha 10 Jun 04 - 09:38 PM
GUEST,jebaker@airmail.net 11 Jun 04 - 12:05 AM
LadyJean 11 Jun 04 - 12:28 AM
Jim Dixon 17 Apr 10 - 12:04 AM
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Subject: 'I am a Gypsy King' ??
From: GUEST,jebaker@airmail.net
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 12:00 PM

Does anyone know this song? I do not have a melody, just words. Is it possibly from a variant of Black Jack Davey that I can't find?

"Oh, I am a Gypsy King!
I come and go as I please!
I pull my old nightcap down
And take the world at my ease."

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: 'I am a Gypsy King' ??
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 01:00 PM

On this page I found the following:

I am A Gypsy King!
When the Ingalls family met Edward in the prairie again, Pa sang this:
"Oh I am a gypsy king!
I come and go as I please!
I pull my nightcap down,
And take the world at my ease!
Oh I am a gypsy king!!!"

So it's possible that Laura Ingalls Wilder made it up. This was the only hit on Google for the quote.


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Subject: RE: 'I am a Gypsy King' ??
From: GUEST,jennifer
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 03:14 PM

Laura's books are bedtime stories of choice at the moment in this house - did she make the songs up or are they historical?


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Subject: RE: 'I am a Gypsy King' ??
From: GUEST,jebaker@airmail.net
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 05:52 PM

Well, I knew it was in L.I.Wilder's book. THat's why I was trying to find it somewhere else. Most of the other songs she mentions in the books, I have sources or composers. But not this one...


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Subject: RE: 'I am a Gypsy King' ??
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 07:06 PM

It was a popular English stage song of the 19th century, and certainly no relation of Black Jack Davy! I don't know the date of composition, but you can see broadside copies at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

The Gipsy King

... and sheet music (published in the USA) at the Levy Collection:

The Gipsy King


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Subject: RE: 'I am a Gypsy King' ??
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 07:33 PM

The example at Levy notes that the song was performed by Mr Ransford, to music by S Nelson (likely Sidney Nelson, the prolific composer of popular songs who also provided the music for The Rose of Allandale, Mary of Argyle and many others).

A look at the British Library catalogue shows an example of 1861 naming Edwin Ransford as lyricist, "The words translated from the German of Goethe." Rough dates given for the broadside copies might suggest that it originally came out in the 1830s. Ransford (1805 - 1876) evidently also wrote the lyric for In the Days when we went gipsying, another favourite which has turned up a lot in oral currency.


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Subject: RE: 'I am a Gypsy King' ??
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 09:38 PM

THANK YOU MALCOLM!!!


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Subject: RE: 'I am a Gypsy King' ??
From: GUEST,jebaker@airmail.net
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 12:05 AM

Malcom, thank you soooo much for solving this mystery! I have a friend who will be delighted to hear your info!

Jan


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Subject: RE: 'I am a Gypsy King' ??
From: LadyJean
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 12:28 AM

Somewhere out there there is a Little House songbook. I know Laura didn't make up the songs. A couple of them come from Bobbie Burns, and a couple I heard from family members growing up.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GIPSY KING
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Apr 10 - 12:04 AM

From the sheet music in the Levy collection. I have corrected (or modernized) the spelling of a few words, but I have left "Gipsy" as is.


THE GIPSY KING
Sung by Mr. Brough. Music by S. Nelson.
New York: Endicott, [no date]

1. I am the Gipsy King,
And where is the King like me?
No trouble my dignities bring.
No other is half so free.
In my kingdom there is but one table.
All my subjects partake in my cheer,
We would all have champagne were we able;
As it is, we have plenty of beer,

CHORUS: And 'tis I am the Gipsy King. Ha! Ha!
I am the Gipsy King.

2. A king, and a true one, am I;
No courtiers nor ministers here.
I see ev'ry thing with my own eye,
And hear ev'ry thing with my own ear.
No conspiracies I apprehend.
Among brothers and equals I rule.
We all help both to gain and to spend,
And get drunk when the treasury's full.

3. I confess that I am but a man.
My failings who pleases may know.
I am fond of my girl and my can,
And jolly companions arow.
My subjects are kind to me.
They don't grudge me the largest glass,
Nor yet that I hold on my knee
At this moment the prettiest lass.

4. Ne'er a king do I envy nor Kaiser
That sits on a golden throne,
And I'll tell you the reason why, sir:
Here's a scepter and a ball of my own.
To sit all the night through in a crown
I've a notion mine ears 'twould freeze,
But I pull my old nightcap down,
And tipple and smoke at my ease.


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