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Lyr Add: Minnie Dyer (from Kenneth Williams)

Jim Dixon 14 Dec 04 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,John 13 Oct 14 - 10:41 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 14 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Pismotality 14 Aug 16 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Pismotality 14 Aug 16 - 02:23 PM
leeneia 15 Aug 16 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Pismotality 15 Aug 16 - 05:06 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: MINNIE DYER (Dicks/Rudge;Kenneth Williams
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 08:44 AM

I ran across this song while searching for something else. It has a lovely complex tune (which you can hear at this page). But it mystifies me. It seems to be lacking a punch line. How exactly did Minnie die? What was the one thing that Minnie couldn't manage on a bike, and how did it (presumably) lead to her death?


MINNIE DYER
Words and music by Ted Dicks and Myles Rudge
As sung by Kenneth Williams on "On Pleasure Bent", Decca LP #LK4856, 1967.]

She were dewy, Minnie Dyer, as a soft September morn,
With 'er cheeks as red as apples, an' 'er 'air as gold as corn,
But the wanderlust was in 'er and it caused a lot of talk
When 'er bought an old bicycle so 'er wouldn't have to walk.
Toll the bell for Minnie Dyer.
Tell the organist to play.
'Ad 'er not 'ad that flat tyre,
She'd be 'ere today,
She'd be 'ere today.

'Er went ped'lin' round the village and 'er travelled near an' far,
And 'er lifted up 'er saddle and 'er dropped 'er 'andlebar,
So when she was comin' at you, it was not so bad at all,
But as soon as 'er went past, you 'ad to turn and face the wall.
Toll the bell for Minnie Dyer.
Fill the church from end to end.
Ev'ry member of the choir
Feels he's lost a friend,
Feels he's lost a friend.

'Er 'ad trouble with 'er steerin' but 'er didn't pay no mind,
Up in front 'er little basket and a big red lamp be'ind.
All night long 'er bell would tinkle and the old uns used to chat:
"Hark, my ducks, 'tis Minnie Dyer; us do know what 'er be at."
Toll the bell for Minnie Dyer
While the lads sing loud and clear.
Both the parson and the squire
Wipe away a tear,
Wipe away a tear.

'Twas a wonder and a marvel how her tyres stood the pace,
And 'er kept 'er puncture outfit in an unexpected place.
'Er could stand up on the saddle sort of acrobatic-like,
But there's one thing even Minnie couldn't manage on a bike.
Toll the bell for Minnie Dyer.
Tell the verger pull the rope.
'Er have gone to someplace 'igher,
Or at least we 'ope,
Or at least we 'ope.


[I have made some corrections in the above lyrics as suggested in some later comments.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Toll the Bell for Minnie Dyer
From: GUEST,John
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 10:41 AM

The (?) line should read "Hark, my ducks, 'tis Minnie Dyer, us do know what 'er be at"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Toll the Bell for Minnie Dyer
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 14 - 11:18 AM

Thanks for posting this one. I agree with Guest John's correction. Your "While the lads..." sounds right.

Something went funny with the link. I believe this one will function:

http://www.bazboothzone.co.uk/music.php?item=295


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Toll the Bell for Minnie Dyer
From: GUEST,Pismotality
Date: 14 Aug 16 - 11:03 AM

In answer to "Jim Dixon" I have written a blog post about Toll the Bell for Minnie Dyer. It's part of a series about David Bowie's early influences, and he talked of that particular song fondly in 2001. By sheer coincidence there is a reference to the fictional Jim Dixon's nemesis, Professor Welch, in the post, which can be found here:
http://sweetwordsofpismotality.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/gnome-thoughts-38-toll-bell-for-minnie.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Toll the Bell for Minnie Dyer
From: GUEST,Pismotality
Date: 14 Aug 16 - 02:23 PM

PS: A couple of minor corrections after listening carefully to the recording:

"as a soft September morn"
" 'er went peddlin' round the village ..."

Both are more logical, apart from anything else. And I agree with the other suggestions.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Toll the Bell for Minnie Dyer
From: leeneia
Date: 15 Aug 16 - 12:14 PM

Not peddling, pedaling.

I went in search of the lovely, complex tune mentioned in the OP. Here's a new URL:

http://www.bazboothzone.co.uk/music.php?item=295

It's a silly, smarmy song, and the tune is interesting. But what I really like is the intricate, wafting accompaniment played by flute and oboe. Or maybe clarinet. I think it took real skill and training to write that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Toll the Bell for Minnie Dyer
From: GUEST,Pismotality
Date: 15 Aug 16 - 05:06 PM

Whoops ... but still better than "paddlin'".

Not sure that "smarmy" is an apt description. I don't think the lyrics can be separated from the music and the arrangement, and there is a kind of dignity about it, I think.


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