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Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe

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DonMeixner 08 Jul 04 - 01:03 PM
MoorleyMan 08 Jul 04 - 01:12 PM
Leadfingers 08 Jul 04 - 06:31 PM
DonMeixner 08 Jul 04 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,sandra in sydney still @ work 09 Jul 04 - 04:05 AM
Dave Bryant 09 Jul 04 - 07:20 AM
Joe Offer 25 Jul 06 - 03:39 PM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Jul 06 - 07:05 AM
Joe Offer 27 Jul 06 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 27 Jul 06 - 04:49 PM
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Subject: Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 01:03 PM

What exactly is The Midnight Mail?

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 01:12 PM

It's not a song! It's the title of Jez's newsletter, one of the best of its kind as it happens, lots of news and gig dates and such. It's available either by snail-mail or email. Just go to www.jezlowe.com and see.
Happy trails!
Martin


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 06:31 PM

The Midnight Mail referred to in the song is the old time outside toilet cleansing operation . From the days before flush toilets , the effluent was taken away over night and disposed of elsewhere . Not the
work that your average university graduate would be too keen to be offered .


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Jul 04 - 06:48 PM

Thanks Lead,

I suspected such but you know, Ya never know.

Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
From: GUEST,sandra in sydney still @ work
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 04:05 AM

here in Oz we call/called them the Dunny Men (dunny = outside toilet)

One of the best ever descriptions of dunny emptying I know is in the satirical 1970's book 'Outcasts of Foolgarah' by the same bloke, Frank Hardy, who wrote 'Power without Glory' 'Power' was was judged to be a libel of a powerful man (Wren or West, I never can remember who was who) when the man successfully sued the author.

The outcasts were the garbos, street sweepers, dunny men, etc. & they went on strike leaving Foolgarah (Sydney) awash in everything. The characters were thinly disguised persons like Billy Bigears, a politician who had married a socialite who had been on the shelf for years. Strangely enougth no one sued him here - perhaps no-one wanted to say they were the character concerned?

My favourite character was Darcy Meanswell (based on Billy Wentworth the latest in a long line of Darcy Wentworth's descendants). Darcy loved publicity so decided to show the world how easy it was to remove a full tin. The dunny men were among the watchers, & commenting on the fact that he hadn't fastened the lid properly. The author said something like "all his political life people had wanted to tip s*** on Darcy & here he was doing it himself" . I love that line cos Billy had a similar effect on folks of a non-Conservative political hue.

He used to come to our office to get data & take away publications & even tho I was the little wig here, I charged him for one when all my bosses bowed down & gave him stuff. Sometime later someone read the regulations & realised he was not entitled to free stuff & he had to pay like the rest of humanity.

I really must find 'Outcasts" & read it again.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 07:20 AM

They were often known by names such as "the Honey Waggon" or "the Lavender Cart". At Canal Boat Rallies, we often have a "Lavender Boat" which makes a morning trip past the moorings - usually with someone ringing a handbell and shouting "Bring out your Dead !". Elsan/PortaPotti containers are then handed across to be emptied into the large tank carried onboard.

I can remember a canalside concert that took place at a Peterborough National Rally, using the tank of the Lavender Boat (n.b. Hesperus) as a stage. It has often been described as one of the best events "On a load of old sh*t".


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 03:39 PM

I guess we never got full lyrics posted for this one. Can anybody oblige us?
-Joe-


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Subject: ADD: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 07:05 AM

Well I'm always being accused of posting shite,
so here goes.
(Chords as supplied by leadfingers)





MIDNIGHT MAIL (Jez Lowe)

       C         Em             Am                   C
When the stars all glitter and the streets are dim and dead
       Dm                  G                  
And all decent people are a sleeping in their bed
            C                  Em       Am            C
With their prayers and their 'Goodnight,Sleep well' s said
      
Dm                  
And the moon's up and in full sail
          Dm                         Em               Am
There's a banging in the alley and a whistling on the breeze
F                            G
A churning and a burning and a turning of the wheels
    C          Em          Am               C
They all roll over in their bed and think of me
         Dm                G    C
When I'm working on the Midnight Mail

Ch.

C                        Am   Dm                      Am
Working on the Midnight Mail Working on the Midnight Mail
      C                            Am   
In my boots with my shovel and my pail
         Dm            G         C
I'll go working on the Midnight Mail


MIDNIGHT MAIL
(Jez Lowe)

When the stars all glitter and the streets are dim and dead
And all decent people are a sleeping in their bed
With their prayers and their 'Goodnight,Sleep well' s said
And the moon's up and in full sail
There's a banging in the alley and a whistling on the breeze
A churning and a burning and a turning of the wheels
They all roll over in their bed and think of me
When I'm working on the Midnight Mail

Chorus
Working on the Midnight Mail Working on the Midnight Mail
In my boots with my shovel and my pail
I'll go working on the Midnight Mail

Don't tell me your life's a devil and a drudge,
Well there's times when I wish you'd let me be the judge,
When I'm up to me middle in the slurry and the sludge,
You could soon see your troubles turning pale,
I could have been a farmer,
A driver of a train,
I could have been a policeman but I knew me father's name,
So I thought I'd better follow,
In his footsteps (and his stains),
And go working on the midnight mail.

Ch.

I walk around the houses when the night is black as pitch,
Well there's some folks poor, and some folks rich,
Believe me when I say that I can reckon which is which,
But you won't hear me tell tales,
There's no need to worry about your secrets in the least,
Though I've seen things of which I could have made a feast,
Trust in me like a doctor or a priest.
When I'm working on the midnight mail.

Ch.

One night a fine young lady caught me eye,
But every time I spoke to her she always passed me by,
'Till my old dad said "perhaps you'd better try,
To be a bit more fresh than stale,",
So he hosed me, he scrubbed me, he tied me to the chair,
He put a bowl upon me head and tidied up me hair,
But she still walks past me with her nose up in the air,
When I'm working on the midnight mail.

Ch.

So I turned my attention to another likely lass,
And as time went on, I thought I'd make a pass,
Me mother said she'd even light a candle after mass,
'Cause she knew that that could never ever fail,
And when I finally summoned up the courage for to speak,
She said that I could come and pay a visit once a week,
So you'll find us every Tuesday evening cheek to cheek,
When I'm working on the midnight mail.

Ch.

Then before you know it, it's the rising of the sun,
And I know by then it's time that I was gone,
Because a job in the hand is surely worth a job well done.
If you want to hit the head upon the nail,
It's a fine occupation and I try to do it well,
But there's one secret that perhaps I'd better tell,
You need a sense of humour, but not a sense of smell,
When you're working on the midnight mail.

Ch.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 02:36 PM

What an interesting song! Thanks a lot, Keith.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 04:49 PM

It sure is an interesting song.

Fun to do in a coffee house or house concert. I did it in a pub once a put the usuals to sleep. It is just too long for drunks.

I think it is one of the best written tunes I've heard tho'.

Don


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