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Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?

John M. 13 Jan 05 - 05:18 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jan 05 - 06:15 PM
Joybell 13 Jan 05 - 06:38 PM
Joybell 13 Jan 05 - 06:55 PM
Joybell 13 Jan 05 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,Snuffy 14 Jan 05 - 08:34 AM
Folkiedave 14 Jan 05 - 04:00 PM
Joybell 15 Jan 05 - 06:36 PM
greg stephens 16 Jan 05 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,richard Craven 23 Jan 05 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 23 Jan 05 - 10:30 AM
John M. 02 Feb 05 - 04:00 PM
John in Brisbane 07 Feb 05 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,STEVE 15 Jun 07 - 06:52 AM
Steve Shaw 15 Jun 07 - 09:31 AM
GUEST 13 Dec 07 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Russ 10 Feb 08 - 06:50 AM
Mr Happy 10 Feb 08 - 07:22 AM
Mr Happy 10 Feb 08 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,Mark 19 Jun 08 - 08:50 PM
GUEST,Prof 23 Jul 08 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Ben Sinclair 22 Aug 08 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Jock Kutylowski 17 Jan 09 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Miranda M---r 02 Apr 09 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Deedub93 07 Oct 09 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Nick Avery 20 Jan 10 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Tim 23 Jul 10 - 03:02 PM
JHW 24 Jul 10 - 05:42 AM
Old Vermin 25 Jul 10 - 07:07 AM
greg stephens 25 Jul 10 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Rich the Rhino 10 Feb 11 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Stephen Thomas 25 Mar 13 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,mark Hardaker 28 Mar 15 - 09:10 AM
GUEST 09 Oct 18 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,ripov 11 Oct 18 - 10:11 PM
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Subject: ADD: Craven A
From: John M.
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 05:18 PM

Hello everyone,

If you are easily offended, please STOP READING.   This thread is for mature audiences only.  Please don't post "dreadful song" or "worst song written" as you are not helping. 

Below is a traditional bawdy song titled: "Craven A"  

Do you sing this song?  If so when/where did you learn it?

If you know this song -- or any bawdy songs -- would you please consider doing a telephone interview with me for folkloristic purposes?   If you would like more information, you can send me an email me at john@mehlberg.com

Any help is appreciated.

Sincerely,

John Mehlberg
~
My, mostly traditional, bawdy songs, toasts and recitations website: www.immortalia.com
~

                     CRAVEN A

Now gather round you fellows and if you'll be still [???]
I'll tell you of a bastard born at Bellevue Hill, [???]
Born at Boswell Hill, but raised in Camberwell, [???]
And the first three words he uttered were "Bloody Fucking Hell"

Chorus:

Craven A, never heard of fornication,
Craven A, never has wet dreams,
Craven A, quite content with masturbation,
Fooling with his foreskin in the school latrines.

When he went to Geelong Grammar there was much ado, [??; HELP...muddled.]
He buggared all the masters and the prefects too,
They finally expelled him, so the records say,
For tossing off the Duke of York on Founder's Day.

Chorus.

His entrance to University was quite grotesque
He went and laid his penis on his tutor's desk,
Said his tutor "If it falls of at a later date
Please inform me and I'll use it as a paper weight!"

Chorus.

While rowing for the Varsity on boat race day
He lost his oar and masturbated all the way
They won by half a length but were disqualify
For rogering the women on the Middlesex side.

Chorus.

The landlady's daughter, Millie, was as nice as can be,
She always brought her cunt up with a cup of tea,
She'd been through her so often that the courts declare
Her vagina constitutes a legal thoroughfare.

Final Chorus:

Craven A, never heard of fornication,
Craven A, now he has wet dreams,
Craven A, not content with masturbation,
Gets his urges as regular as you and me.


Note: This version is transcribed from the Boulevard Records LP titled STAG PARTY.  This traditional bawdy song is quite rare and has only been recorded twice commercially.  Ron Edward has this collected in his Australian Bawdy Ballads by Rams Skull Press pg 45-6.  He lists the tune as "Steamboat Bill".  The Fleet Air Arm Song Book [ca 1979] has it and so the 2003 book Bawdy Ballads and Dirty Ditties of the Wartime R.A.F.

This song is not very popular. I have a few people who say they learned the song in England at "Rugger-Bugger" universities but have been informed that the tune is different than the one in the Stag Party recording.

  • Sportsdic Records
    • Medical Students Sing Rugby Songs [1970]
  • Boulevard Records [1972]


 


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 06:15 PM

We have the MIDI for "Steamboat Bill" here (click). From the lyric structure, I'd say it seems to be a parody of Casey Jones. The Digital Tradition says "Bil" is derived from Casey.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: Joybell
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 06:38 PM

Hello John, Lots of our neighbours went to Geelong Grammar. I'll carefully ask around. Seems I've heard the landlady verse somewhere, but my schooling was of the Melbourne working class variety.

Speaking about shools here - Bit of a drift but for your records, the poem called "The Lovers' Alphabet" was circulating in the Melbourne suburban primary schools during the 1950s. I read it at my desk, as it went around the room, in about 1955. Was quite impressed I can tell you. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: Joybell
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 06:55 PM

John, True-Love tells me that you may not necessarily know about "Craven A". It was a brand of cigarettes - English, but popular here in Australia. One of my first cousins was featured on their advertisments in newspapers and magazines during the 1950s-60s. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: Joybell
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 07:53 PM

John, Just ran the song past a friend who went to a prestigious boarding school similar to Geelong Grammar but a bit lower on the social scale. He was educated around the time that this song seems to have been set (using "Craven A" cigarettes as a guide). He hasn't heard it but he has a few comments about some of the words:

1. Now gather round you fellows and if you'll be still
    I'll tell you of a bastard born at Bellevue Hill,

Bellevue Hill is a very posh suburb of Sydney. Many upperclass Sydney boys attend Geelong Grammar as boarders even though Geelong is in Victoria, South of Melbourne.

Born at Boswell Hill, (could this be a missprint? Should it be Bellvue Hill again?) but raised in Camberwell,

Camberwell is a posh suburb of Melbourne. No Boswell Hill he knows of. Friend thinks maybe this is just a way of lumping together a few well-known upperclass locations.

2. "Duke of York" = rhyming slang for "pork" along with, maybe, a double meaning based on the fact that Royals were/are often sent to Geelong Grammar. (never the Duke of York actually though.)

3. While rowing for the Varsity on boat race day
   He lost his oar and masturbated all the way
   They won by half a length but were disqualify (disqualified surely?
   For rogering the women on the Middlesex side.

"Varsity" used rarely in Aus. but not impossible.
"Rogering" not used much here. Used in England. Possible though.
"Middlesex" = no school of that name here in Victoria. Friend thinks it's used because it fits and has the word "sex" in it.

4. The landlady's daughter, Millie, was as nice as can be,
    She always brought her cunt up with a cup of tea,
    She'd (must be a mistake - they'd/we'd surely) been through her so often that the courts declare
    Her vagina constitutes a legal thoroughfare.

Friend sighed a lot and waffled on a bit about a landlady called Ivy. They did/do have landladies at boarding schools here.

Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Snuffy
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 08:34 AM

The boat race verse refers to the Oxford vs Cambridge boat race on the Thames. The word "Varsity" usually (but not absolutely always) refers to these two, which before 1830 were the only two universities in England.

The captains toss a coin for choice of "station" - Middlesex is the county on the North bank, while Surrey is the county on the southern shore


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 04:00 PM

And Prince Charles went to Geelong Grammar didn't he? Perhaps you should ask him!!


Dave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: Joybell
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 06:36 PM

Yes Folkiedave, he did indeed. Anyone know him well enough to ask about this song?

My thinking is that this was an adopted English song that aquired some local references here in Aus. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 12:39 PM

Thi song was popular in Oxford(England) in the early 60's(in rugby circles). The chorus was slightly different from the one used above


Craven A never heard of fornication
Craven A never dipped his tool
Craven A satisfied with masturbation
Thought a cunt was something you were called at school


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,richard Craven
Date: 23 Jan 05 - 06:06 AM

I am the second son of Aidan Craven who was at Sidney Sussex College Cambridge from 1928 to 1931.

The song Aidan Craven, to the tune of Steamboat Bill, was written about him by four undergraduates. How do I know? Dad told me and one of the authors, Harold cooper, used to stay with Dad very regularly.

I believe it was adpoted as the RAF marching song [one of] during the second world war.

Richard Craven


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 23 Jan 05 - 10:30 AM

Richard, your father must have been an extremely good sport! Can you post a definitive copy of the original words ?


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Subject: ADD: Little Jim
From: John M.
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 04:00 PM

Here is the oldest version of "Craven A" that I have yet found.  It is from the 4th printing of the 1956 book titled Count Palmiro Vicarion's Book of Bawdy Ballads
 

LITTLE JIM

Now here's a pretty little song so listen if you will
About a little fellow born on night on Tooting Hill,
He was Born on Tooting Hill my boys, but spawned in Camberwell,
And when he popped out he gave a shout: "My Old Man fucked her well!"

Little Jim, content with masturbation,
Little Jim, playing with his tool,
Little Jim, content with simple frigging,
Thought a cunt was something you were called at public school,

Now down a Egham Manor there was a great ado,
For he buggered all the prefects and all the masters too,
But finally he was expelled or so the records say,
For tossing off the Prince of Hales on Coronation Day.

Now Jenny was a whore in good old Cambridge town,
Who had gamahuched the Proctor while he wore his cap and gown;
SO his Uncle wrote to Jimmy saying "Quick, and pack your things,
For the cunting seasons opens at the Twelfth at Kings!"

His arrival at the 'Varsity was really quite grotesque,
For he laid his penis down upon his tutor's desk;
Said his tutor, "If the beastly thing drops off at an early date
Please send it.  I should like it as a special paperweight."

Then he went to live with Milly where he began to find
That all his pals were queuing up of what they called a "grind,"
So down beneath the bed he lay despite the awful smell,
And every time a client came, young Jimmy came as well.

And Milly's all a landlord's daughter will or ought to be,
She rubs her Aunt each morning while she drinks a coup of tea;
He's been through her so many times, the magistrate declares,
That her vagina constitutes a legal thoroughfare.


Note: This text is from Count Palmiro Vicarion's Book of Bawdy Ballads (1956. Fourth printing 1962).  Unpaginated. Song XXIX.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 08:44 PM

Hi John, have you been in contact with Ron Edwards of Cairns, North Queensland? Ron is probably Australia's most prolific living collector. Not surprisingly I've not seen the limited edition below:

Title:        Australian bawdy ballads / by Ron Edwards         
Main Author:        Edwards, Ron, 1930-         
Publication:        Holloway Beach, Qld. : Rams Skull Press, 1973         
Description:        55 leaves : music ; 33 cm         
Notes:        Limited ed. of 100 copies.
Rare Books holds copy no. 68, signed by the author
Hardie Collection holds copy no. 92 signed by the author
Includes index.         
Series:        Australian folklore - occasional paper ; no. 2         
ISBN:        0909901104 (pbk.)         
Subject(s):        Ballads, English--Australia
Bawdy songs--Australia         
Other Author(s):        Rams Skull Press         
Record no:        90235         
Location        Held at Cannon Hill. To request, phone 3840 7829, Mon-Fri         
Call Number:        RB A821.04408 1973         
Holdings note:        c1
Rare Books holds copy no. 68, signed by the author
Hardie Collection holds copy no. 92 signed by the author         
Status:        Check Location information above

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,STEVE
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:52 AM

craven "A" Well sung song , actually an English song re the boat race part, sung extremely well by Harlequinsveterans team.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 09:31 AM

I learned this song in the then male-only Union Bar at Imperial College, part of the University of London, at the end of the 60s. There are a few differences, the main ones being: "born on Muswell Hill but lived in Camberwell," "tossing off the Prince of Wales," "they won by half a length but were disqualified, For splashing the spectators on the Surrey side" (nasty when you think about it!), "He slapped his massive penis on the tutor's desk, His tutor said 'now save it for a later date, Or I'll chop it off and use it for a paperweight." We didn't have the verse about Millie. The chorus went:

Craven A, never heard of fornication,
Craven A, always pulled his tool,
Craven A, quite content with masturbation,
Thought a c*nt was something you were called at school."

I apologise to anyone reading this who googled me. :-(


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Dec 07 - 08:56 AM

We still sing this song regularly at Olney Rugby Club, England, except we change the subject of the song to John Swallow (one of our mates), and the chorus gets an extra line quickly slipped in:

John Swallow, never had a woman.
John Swallow, never dipped his tool.
John Swallow, never heard of fornication,
quite content with masturbation,
Thought a cunt was something that they called him at school.

Thanks for researching the full lyrics - just what I was looking for.

Cherry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 06:50 AM

Hey! As a student at the Royal Veterinary College we used to sing this song, along with the official student song which has since been banned because of the high number of women students. Oh well - happy days


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 07:22 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craven_A


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 10 Feb 08 - 07:42 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cunt


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 08:50 PM

This is an English rugby song adapted to include Australian quirks (Geelong Grammar, etc.) The chorus, as I remember goes:

Craven A had never heard of fornication,
Craven A had never dipped his tool,
Craven A was quite content with masturbation,
Thought a cunt was something you were called at school.

I have no idea what the original melody was, but the lyrics fit very well with 'Casey Jones'.

Incidentally, 'The Lady of the Manor' lyrics fit well with the melody to 'Ghost Riders in the Sky'. Try it!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Prof
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 08:50 AM

I new this back in college in the early 80's with a couple of changes.

It was "Sutton Grammer"

and they were disqualified for "shooing the spectators on the Surrey side" which I think works quite well with the previous lines.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Ben Sinclair
Date: 22 Aug 08 - 06:10 PM

Craven A, never heard of fornication,
Craven A, never dipped his tool,
Craven A, All he did was masturbation,
thought a cunt was something you were called at school.

His entry into Varsity was a success,
he slapped his tool down upon his tutors desk.
His tutor said "not now, but at a later date,
we'll chop it off and use it as a paper weight".

While rowing for the Varsity on boatrace day,
he dropped his oar and masturbated all the way,
they won by 20 lengths but were disqualified,
for buggering spectators on the Surrey side.

Keel URFC 1980 - 83. THOSE WERE THE DAYS.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Jock Kutylowski
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 05:58 PM

Old Windsorians 1970,s OWRFC Windsor Berkshire England

Uk version i know was being used in UK at leats in 1950's

Corus unliek Aus one was

Craven A never heard of masturbation
Craven A never used his tool
Craven A satisfied with masturbation
Thought a C*nt wa somethig he was called at school

verse i have not seen here here

A varsity profesor in a short address
"said" Craven never masturbate in acedemic dress
but craven just to show he didnt give a fucjk
tossed off into the inkwell going Phut one for luck

Note (phut is a noise you make not a word)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Miranda M---r
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 09:36 AM

Miranda M---r wrote:
> Hi John.
> I came across your version of the Craven A rugby
> song just now. When I was at school in the mid
> 70's, a lad from one of the Public Schools (dunno
> which) brought this song into our teenage repertoire,
> sung to the tune of the TV series "Casey Jones".
> Our version differed somewhat from yours, as far
> as I remember - although I am happy to say I only
> recall a few of the words ;-) The chorus (lightly
> modified in case Hotmail applies filters) was
>
> Craven A, never heard of fornication,
> Craven A, never dipped his tool,
> Craven A, satisfied with masturbation,
> Thought a c*nt was something he was called at school.
>
> When he went up to Oxford it was quite grotesque
> He slapped his massive penis on the Proctor's desk,
> The Proc said, "Save it for a later date
> Or I'll cut it off and use it as a paper weight!"
>
> I hope you now have enough recordings: I'm really not keen on singing this sort of stuff these days!
>
> Regards,
> Miranda
>
>
>


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Deedub93
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 06:54 AM

Boswell Hill and Camberwell are both in London. The song I know goes:

Whilst rowing for the Varsity on boat race day
He 'caught a crab' and masterbated all the way
They won by half a length but were disqualified
For buggering spectators on the Surry side.

Chorus

Craven A, never heard of fornication
Craven A, never dipped his Tool
Craven A quite content with masterbation
Thought a cunt was something you were called at school.

All sung to the Caey Jones tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Nick Avery
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 02:18 PM

There were plenty of varients on this knocking around Oxford University rugby circles during the 1980s.

While writing out his answer in the history schools   (exams)
Craven had the largest of the exposed tools
The proctor said to Craven that you must confess..
it is wrong to masturbate in academic dress

He went to Eton College for term or two
He rogered all the masters and the prefects too
Until at last he was expelled, or so they say..
for rogering the Duke of York on founders day


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 03:02 PM

Cracking song and always a favourite at St Georges Hospital Med School RFC in the 80s.
Chorus very similar to those above but -

Craven A,never heard of fornication,
Craven A, never dipped his tool "shit",
Craven A, quite content with masturbation,
Thought a cunt was something that they called him at school.

and the verse "whilst rowing... we finsided with

" for shooting at spectators on the Surrey side"

All the best,

Tim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: JHW
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 05:42 AM

What's it got to do with fags?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: Old Vermin
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 07:07 AM

"Thought a cunt was something from a grammar school" was a variation in Surrey, England, in the 1960s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 07:55 AM

"What's it got to do with fags?" is an interesting question which I haven't seen answered. Was there an original Craven A cigarette ad(or folk rhyme about cigarettes) also to the tune of Casey Jones, before this rude version developed?


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Subject: ADD: Craven A
From: GUEST,Rich the Rhino
Date: 10 Feb 11 - 09:53 AM

Craven A was and still is a brand of cigarettes

Here's the version as sung by Reading RFC in England

CRAVEN A

Now gather round you fellows if you only will
I'll tell you about a bastard born in Muswell Hill
Born in Muswell hill but lived in Camberwell
The first words out've his mouth were "Bloody Fuckin' 'ell"

CHORUS
Craven A, he never heard of fornication
Craven A, he never dipped his tool
Craven A, quite content with masturbation
Thought a cunt was something you got called at school

Going on to grammar school was quite a to do
He buggered all the prefects and the masters, too
He got himself expelled or so the records say
For tossing off the Duke of York on Founders' Day

His entry to university was quite grotesque
He flopped his massive penis on his tutor's desk
The tutor said if it falls off at a later date
Please send it on, I'll use it as a paperweight

Now rowing for the varsity on Boat Race day
He dropped his oar and masturbated all the way
They won by twenty lengths but were disqualified
For splashing all the ladies on the Surrey side

Milly the landlord's daughter was as sweet as can be
She brought her cunt up daily with a cup of tea
He's been through her so many times, the court has declared
Her vagina constitutes a legal thoroughfare

Last Ch
Craven A, now he's heard of fornication
Craven A, now he's dipped his tool
Craven A, not content with masturbation
A cunt's more than just something you get called at school


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,Stephen Thomas
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 11:46 AM

I can confirm that lyrics very similar to those quoted above were used by rugby club members at Jesus College, Oxford in the late 1970s. I note the claim about the origin of the song above, linked to Cambridge University in the 1920s, and have no reason to doubt that. However, here is a possible alternative (or a complete red herring):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Cravan

It would fit with his (Cravan's) enigmatic life and Dadaist philosophy, but this may seem rather too high brow a suggestion for the nature of the song...

Anyway, the link to the cigarette brand is quite feasible too. It's still selling well in West Africa (at least) today, thanks to British American Tobacco.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,mark Hardaker
Date: 28 Mar 15 - 09:10 AM

the version we sang at Lincoln College, Oxford in the late 1970s has similar verses.

We definitely had this one...

While writing out his answer in the history schools
Craven had the largest of the exposed tools
The proctor said to Craven that you must confess
it is wrong to masturbate in academic dress

And the chorus was the version with "a cunt was something you were called at school"

Happy rugby night memories

Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 18 - 10:52 AM

Late sixties Sheffield swimming team "apres swim" entertainment: good times in the bar!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Craven A' Sing it anyone?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 11 Oct 18 - 10:11 PM

So - who or what was 'Craven A'? I remember it as a brand of cigarette that my dad smoked occasionally (about 1950). So it must have had some pre-existence.


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