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Origins: Damn your eyes

DigiTrad:
AIKENDRUM
CAPTAIN KIDD
CAPTAIN ROBERT KIDD
NOBBY HALL
SAM HALL
SAMUEL SMALL (SAM HALL)
TALLOW CANDLES or SONG OF A DOOMED MAN
VAN GOGH
WONDROUS LOVE


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Sam Hall (65)
Lyr/Tune Req: Ballad of Sam Hall (28)
Lyr Req: Tom the Cat (9)
(origins) Origins: Sam Hall (37)
(origins) Origins/Info: Tallow Candles (34)
Lyr Req: Sam Hall / Chimney Sweep (Oh my name...) (12)
Lyr Req: Sam Hall (Dubliners, etc.) (27)
Lyr Req: Jack Hall (6)


Ellenpoly 30 Nov 04 - 10:42 AM
Midchuck 30 Nov 04 - 10:46 AM
Ellenpoly 30 Nov 04 - 11:05 AM
Ellenpoly 30 Nov 04 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,CET (on lunch hour) 30 Nov 04 - 12:43 PM
belter 30 Nov 04 - 06:16 PM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Nov 04 - 06:57 PM
mack/misophist 30 Nov 04 - 07:05 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Nov 04 - 08:34 PM
Midchuck 30 Nov 04 - 09:12 PM
John Routledge 01 Dec 04 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Jon 01 Dec 04 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Jon 01 Dec 04 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Billy Weeks 01 Dec 04 - 11:57 AM
IanC 01 Dec 04 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,hairEcairE 09 Dec 04 - 10:38 PM
GUEST 06 Apr 05 - 04:45 AM
dianavan 06 Apr 05 - 11:55 PM
GUEST 07 Apr 05 - 02:30 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 07 Apr 05 - 07:32 AM
cincoquince 23 Nov 05 - 12:04 AM
Charley Noble 23 Nov 05 - 09:17 AM
Lighter 23 Nov 05 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Janice in MA today 23 Nov 05 - 11:22 AM
EBarnacle 23 Nov 05 - 12:09 PM
Big Jim from Jackson 23 Nov 05 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Janice in MA today 23 Nov 05 - 01:36 PM
kendall 23 Nov 05 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 23 Nov 05 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,Nancy King at work 23 Nov 05 - 04:32 PM
Lighter 23 Nov 05 - 05:49 PM
Amos 23 Nov 05 - 07:18 PM
The Walrus 23 Nov 05 - 08:33 PM
Janice in NJ 23 Nov 05 - 09:42 PM
Stephen R. 23 Nov 05 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Nov 05 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,mick 25 Nov 05 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 25 Nov 05 - 01:03 PM
Charley Noble 18 Dec 05 - 09:13 PM
Max.Headroom 18 Sep 06 - 10:10 AM
Jim McLean 30 Jun 17 - 06:53 AM
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Subject: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 10:42 AM

I wasn't sure where to put this, but I'm pretty sure that it's part of a song. The words I remember are these:

"And you're all a bunch of fuckers, damn your eyes"

It's old, but that's as much as I know. Does anyone recognize which song this is from, or if it's from a song, and the rest of it?

Thanks!

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Midchuck
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 10:46 AM

Sam Hall

The proper wording is:

"You're a bunch of fuckers all, God Damn your eyes."

Often changed to "muckers" for public performance.

Never forget Josh White (Sr.) doing it in the Middlebury College chapel my freshman year, fall of 1959. It was quite a few years before the college authorities would let them use the chapel for folk concerts again.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 11:05 AM

THANK YOU! Boy! That was quick! I tell you, only on Mudcat!

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 11:09 AM

Now that I know the name of the song, I've just found a load of threads, and posts about it.

And I say again...I LOVE MUDCAT!

;-D

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,CET (on lunch hour)
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 12:43 PM

Sam Hall was one of the very first songs I learned by heart, from the singing of Alistair Brown. (Canadian Catters might remember Alistair from Friends of Fiddler's Green. He also has two good solo albums.)

Ì'm not sure that "fuckers" is necessarily more authentic than "muckers". I haven't seen too many broadside ballads from the Sam Hall era that used obscenity, even if the themes are "adult". Even the bawdy songs often use veiled, rather than explicit, language. It's just as likely that some modern folk singers have used "fuckers" because they think it sounds more authentic. That being said, I know there are plenty of modern bawdy songs that use extremely explicit language (Army and rugby songs in particular).

Any way, I sing "muckers" or "beggars" (or sometimes "bastards") without feeling that I am bowdlerizing the original.

Edmund


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: belter
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 06:16 PM

I've heard it sung as "buggers", wich has more of a british ring to it, but may not be anymore authentic


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 06:57 PM

Back in the 1950's "buggers" was perhaps considered extremely bad, because of the very common homophobic associations.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: mack/misophist
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 07:05 PM

I learned it from some Aussie sailors who were certain he was a bush ranger. We all want to be related to the interesting ones.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 08:34 PM

I learned that as "And I hate you, one and all".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Midchuck
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 09:12 PM

Verses from the old Josh White version that I don't find in any of the ones in the DT:

I saw Molly in the crowd, in the crowd
I saw Molly in the crowd, in the crowd.
With her head all stooped and bowed
So I hollered, right out loud:
"Hey Molly, ain't ya proud?
God Damn your eyes."

Now in heaven do I dwell, do I dwell
Now in heaven do I dwell, do I dwell.
And the truth it is to tell
That it is a bloody sell.
All the whores are down in Hell,
God Damn their eyes.


Peter.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: John Routledge
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 04:46 AM

"And he damned our eyes with every single word" From Boston Harbour.

Line from an uncharitable sea captain about his men - wishing them blind!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 05:28 AM

G (or C?) W Ross is credited with adapting Jack Hall and changing the name to Sam Hall in the 1840s. I suppose if you were to look for "the authentic version" of Sam Hall if there is such a thing, it would be his assuming it does exist written down somewhere. To quote Kidson, he sang it "with a very blasphemous chorus". I'm not sure whether that balsphemous chorus included the f word - my guess is it didn't.

Coming back to Jack Hall, Bruce Olson noted in one of the many Sam Hall threads here:

"The original broadside version is lost, and the best text we have is a traditional one in Cecil Sharp's 'One Hundred English Folksongs'"

Going by Contemplator, Sharp believed the song to have been written before 1719. Hall was executed in 1701.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 05:47 AM

hmm I'm confused... I've just read Bruce O's post I quoted from again as well as reading a little more of the thread. Bruce also says...

"J. W. Ebsworth, someplace in Roxburghe Ballads, said that the "Sam Hall" version came from a singer named Sam Cowell. I don't know the exact date, a little after the middle of the 19th century, as best I can remember, and I don't think I have a copy of Cowell's version. The curses may or may not be in that version; I don't know and won't speculate "

It seems either Ross or Cowell could have written it at around the same time.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,Billy Weeks
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 11:57 AM

Sam Cowell gets credited with songs he never sang and 'Sam Hall' is one of them. W G Ross sang it night after night from about 1848 to 1850 at the Cyder Cellars in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden. The Cyder Cellars, the Coal Hole and one or two other 'caves of harmony' were notorious in an earlier time, particularly around the 1820s/30s and late at night, for songs of a really dubious character with titles like 'The Widow Who Keeps the Cock Inn' and 'There's No Shove Like the First Shove' but by Ross's time explicit obscenity was becoming far less common.

'Sam Hall' certainly had a reputation for being blasphemous (not quite the same thing as obscene) but I doubt very much whether Ross's version was remotely as 'blue' as the current rugby football club and armed services versions. It is a song that lends itself to the addition of all the common sexual and anatomical street words, but in none of the contemporary references I have seen was it suggested that Ross adopted such a vocabulary. His performance was reported in 'Punch'(a widely read humorous journal) on more than one occasion with no hint that there was anything really unsavoury about it.

Ross was,in fact, a dramatic performer of some accomplishmentwho was one of the fore-runners of what was to become music hall entertainment - but he made the mistake of becoming completely identified with this one song. As soon as his name was announced around midnight, the Cyder Cellars singing room would be packed to sufffocation and you could have heard (as they say) a pin drop. But when the song's popularity was finally spent, Ross became practically invisible.

It is true, of course, that the song was given a bad name by people who genuinely found it shocking. But the shock came from Ross's skill in presenting the image of a condemned man facing his last hours of life with furious defiance against God, the law and makind in general. This was the 'blasphemy' that stuck in the throats of good and pure souls (many of whom had never actually heard the song).   Ross's 'Damn yer eyes!' and his address to Mollie in the crowwd ('Well, ain't you bleedin proud') made the flesh creep.

It was said that a verse was added on occasion about the prison chaplain:

The parson he will come
And he'll talk of Kingdom Come
But he can kiss my bloody bum
Damn his eyes!

but the manager of the Cellars denied that Ross ever sang these words. They seem pretty innocent now, anyway.

Whatever Ross actually sang (and although there are many sets of words in print no one seems to have noted the song down 'as performed') 'Sam Hall'is a terrific number. Delivered witth passion it doesn't actually need the coarser expletives commonly added today.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: IanC
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 12:08 PM

The 1701 date seems to keep being repeated from "folk" textbooks. Jack Hall was executed in 1707.

Captain Kidd was executed in 1701 and the same tune appears to have been used for both broadsides. Perhaps the cause of the confusion.

See the online copy of The Newgate Calendar.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,hairEcairE
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 10:38 PM

well, I only know the Johnny Cash version and he doesn't sing the Fword at all. I do wonder what damn your eyes means?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 04:45 AM

I was listening to Peter Sellers singing it and found this thread. Don't think fuckers would have been used, what was really shocking was all the swearing. Back then it was against God today it's sex, so muckers am sure is more appropriate.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: dianavan
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 11:55 PM

I immediately thought of Billy Holiday and Strang Fruit.

Damn that dream. I dream each night
You say you love me, and hold me tight,
But when I awake, you're out of sight.

Damn your lips, damn your eyes.
They lift me high above the moonlit sky,
then I tumble out of paradise...

I guess thats not the song you're looking for tonight.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 02:30 AM

Reminds me of the Mark Steel lecture on Billie. One biography claims she wasn't into politics and didn't understand what the song was about. Mark Steel says this was a woman who had to go in through the service lift, sit in the back of buses and came from the south. You can't tell me she saw it and thought how lovely a song about pomegranates.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 07:32 AM

The song was unlikely to be in Josh White's musical song tree.

I first heard it on a record by Carl Sandburg, who was the principal reviver of "Sam Hall" in the 1940s; his version was mild, but sung in a wonderful brooding husky dreamlike voice he used for a number of his more visionary performances.

My guess is that that's where Josh, and much of the 50s folk community, learned it too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: cincoquince
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 12:04 AM

hmm..so does Sam Hall recorded version of this song actually exist? and who else has?

also-
does anyone have a copy of "damn your eyes" (doesn't matter whose version) availible to somehow be transferred through email...or something...that they'd perhaps send to me? i'm dying to hear it!


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Subject: Lyr Add: SAM HALL
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 09:17 AM

Tony Kraber also recorded a robust version of this song on The Old Chisholm Trail album (Keynote #104, 78 rpm) in the early 1940's. I believe he sang:

My name it is Sam Hall, it is Sam Hall;
My name it is Sam Hall, it is Sam Hall;
My name it is Sam Hall, and I hates you one and all,
You're a bunch of muckers all, God damn your eyes!

The parson he did come, he did come;
The parson he did come, he did come;
The parson he did come, and he looked so bloody glum,
As he talked of Kingdom Come, God damn his eyes!

The sheriff he come too, he come too,
The sheriff he come too, he come too,
The sheriff he come too, with his yellar boys in blue,
Lord, what a bloody crew! God damn their eyes!

I saw Nellie in the crowd, in the crowd;
I saw Nellie in the crowd, in the crowd;
I saw Nellie in the crowd and I hollered right out loud,
"Hey, Nellie, ain't you proud? God damn your eyes!

It's up the rope I go, up I go,
It's up the rope I go, up I go,
It's up the rope I go, while them bastards down below
Say, "Sam we told you so!" God damn their eyes!

Let this be my parting knell, parting knell;
Let this be my parting knell, parting knell;
Let this be my parting knell, I'll see you all in Hell,
And I hope you sizzle well! God damn your eyes!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 09:42 AM

Tex Ritter's first recordings were "Sam Hall" and "Get Along Little Dogies" in 1935.

He'd sung both of them in the Broadway production of Green Grow the Lilacs, a big hit in those days, later transformed into Oklahoma! by Rodgers & Hammerstein.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,Janice in MA today
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 11:22 AM

Oh, you've come to see me dance, see me dance,
Oh, you've come to see me dance, see me dance,
Oh, you've come to see me dance,
And now you've got your chance,
To see me soil my pants,
You're a bunch of buggers all,
God damn your eyes!

I'll get the bloody noose, bloody noose,
I'll get the bloody noose, bloody noose,
I'll get the bloody noose,
Damn! I hope my bowels are loose,
And I shit just like a goose,
You're a bunch of buggers all,
God damn your eyes!

Give Molly my cock and balls, cock and balls,
Give Molly my cock and balls, cock and balls,
Give Molly my cock and balls,
She can hang them on her walls,
And say they were Sam Hall's,
You're a bunch of buggers all,
Goddamn your eyes!

Let me piss down on your face, on your face,
Let me piss down on your face, on your face,
Let me piss down on your face,
And mark the bloody place,
Where I ran my final race,
You're a bunch of buggers all,
God damn your eyes!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: EBarnacle
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 12:09 PM

Oscar Brand also recorded one of the milder versions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 01:24 PM

The Vipers had a nice version of the song, back in the days of skiffle's domination. It was released in the USA under the title "The Soho Skiffle Group".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,Janice in MA today
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 01:36 PM

You should hear Oscar Brand in person at a private party. Compared to him, my verses are the mild version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: kendall
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 03:27 PM

I often wondered, why Damn your eyes. Why not damn your soul?

An old fisherman on one of the islands in my district used to say "Damn your tripe"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 04:31 PM

Janice,

Thanks for your version. Can you enlighten us as to Oscar Brand's party verses?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,Nancy King at work
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 04:32 PM

At this year's Getaway, we had a workshop titled, "Bullies, Bandits and Badass Braggarts," at which I asked if anyone knew "Sam Hall," as he always seemed to me to be the ultimate badass braggart. Someone sang a version very close to what Charley Noble posted above, and then Lorcan Otway (Mudcat's own InOBU) sang a version that was MUCH rougher. Of course I can't remember just now how it went, but I do remember being impressed. Maybe he'd post it here, or if one were really interested, one could PM him.

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 05:49 PM

Janice, folklore qestion: did you create those verses ? If not, where'd they come from ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Amos
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 07:18 PM

The eyes have been called the windows of the soul since Greek times, and it seems poetically very punchy to damn someone's eyes. It also sort of wishes them blind, the better to hide the secrets and sins of the invoker. Seems very human to me.


A


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: The Walrus
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 08:33 PM

There was a traditional oath reported as used often by serjeants of the Foot Guards regiments in early Georgian England:

"Damn your eyes, limbs and blue breeches!"

As has been mentioned, damning someone's eyes was to wish them blind, presumably this is the 'blinding' in the term "Effing and Blinding".

W


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 09:42 PM

To answer Lighter's question: No, I didn't write those verses myself. I heard them at least 30 years ago, along with many other verses. But I did reconstruct them from memory, so maybe there is a touch of me in them. And to answer Bob Coltman: The verses I once heard Oscar Brand do at a party on Long Island were very clever as well as raunchy, with witty use of words. However, I cannot recall them. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Stephen R.
Date: 23 Nov 05 - 10:06 PM

"Damn your eyes" is more or less equivalent to "God strike you blind," and akin to "Blimey!"

Stephen


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Nov 05 - 11:19 AM

Thanks, Janice!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,mick
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 10:42 AM

So , Sam Hall is cursing from the gallows the eyes of the people looking up at him .
The same tune is given in P.W Joyce's Music of Ireland but called "MyName it is Mulhall."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 01:03 PM

"My Name It is Munhall" [sic]. Joyce says that Sgt. Munhall led a minor mutiny in the British army in the early 19th century. Is any further info available ?

BTW, possibly the best known version of "Sam Hall" these days - that recorded by The Dubliners long ago and "covered" many times since - is really a version of "Jack Hall" (with "Jack's" superior tune) coll. by Cecil Sharp.

I don't know if The Dubliners took it from Sharp (with the name chaned to "Sam") or got it from an intermediary source.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 09:13 PM

Damn, my memory is not to be depended on. In my November 23rd post I claimed it was Tony Kraber's recording that I learned "Sam Hall" from and it turns out that it was a recording by Josh White, THE STORY OF JOHN HENRY, Elektra Records. Here's what the lyrics are from the booklet:

Oh, my name it is Sam Hall, it is Sam Hall,
Now, my name it's Sam Hall, it is Sam Hall,
Yes, my name it is Sam Hall,
And I hate you one and all,
You're a bunch of muckers all,
God damn your eyes!

Oh, I killed a man 'tis said, so 'tis said,
I killed a man 'tis said, so 'tis said,
I killed a man 'tis said,
Hell, I split his bloody head,
And I left him there for dead,
God damn his eyes.

Oh, the sheriff he come too, he come too,
Now, the sheriff he come too, he come too,
Oh, the sheriff he come too,
With his little boys in blue,
Oh, Lord, what a bloody crew,
God damn their eyes.

And I saw Molly in the crowd, in the crowd,
I saw Molly in the crowd, in the crowd,
I saw Nellie in the crowd,
And I hollered right out loud,
"Hey, Molly, ain't you proud?
God damn your eyes.

Oh, the parson he did come, he did come,
Now the parson he did come, he did come,
Oh, the parson he did come,
And he looked so God damn glum,
As he talked of Kingdom come,
And he can kiss my ruddy bum,
God damn his eyes.

Let this be my parting knell, parting knell,
Let this be my parting knell, parting knell,
Let this be my parting knell,
I'll see you all in Hell,
And I hope you sizzle well,
God damn your eyes!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Max.Headroom
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 10:10 AM

Thanks Billy,

Our band sings Sam Hall at nearly every performance. The rabble won't let us go until it's sung.
We,re in a position to explain (to a degree) Arthur McBride but we all seem to have our own interpretation of Sam Hall.
Your's seem to have an historical authenticity.
I'm really pleased to have joined the Mudcat Cafe.

Regards

Max>


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Subject: RE: Origins: Damn your eyes
From: Jim McLean
Date: 30 Jun 17 - 06:53 AM

The melody sounds like a cross between She'll be Coming Round the Mountain and Sidney Carter's Down Below.


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