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Origins: Man that Waters the Workers' Beer

DigiTrad:
MAN THAT WATERS THE WORKERS' BEER


Related thread:
Lyr Add: The Man Who Brews The Beer (9)


Amaranth 07 Jul 99 - 02:42 AM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 99 - 03:09 AM
Susanne (skw) 07 Jul 99 - 07:18 PM
Wotcha 08 Jul 99 - 05:22 PM
marion in manchester 17 Jul 99 - 06:32 AM
Susanne (skw) 17 Jul 99 - 07:17 PM
Susanne (skw) 18 Jul 99 - 05:58 PM
Amaranth 27 Jul 99 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,Raggytash 15 Feb 05 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 15 Feb 05 - 04:51 AM
s&r 15 Feb 05 - 04:53 AM
ossonflags 15 Feb 05 - 04:55 AM
ossonflags 15 Feb 05 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Feb 05 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Blowz at work 15 Feb 05 - 07:52 AM
Charley Noble 15 Feb 05 - 09:30 AM
IanC 15 Feb 05 - 10:49 AM
Charley Noble 15 Feb 05 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 15 Feb 05 - 11:41 AM
Les in Chorlton 15 Feb 05 - 12:38 PM
GUEST 29 Jun 05 - 09:02 PM
GUEST,Mike of Hessle 03 Sep 09 - 08:38 AM
Terry McDonald 03 Sep 09 - 08:43 AM
IanC 03 Sep 09 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Peace 03 Sep 09 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Mike of Hessle 03 Sep 09 - 10:25 AM
Joe_F 03 Sep 09 - 08:56 PM
MGM·Lion 03 Sep 09 - 09:37 PM
Les in Chorlton 04 Sep 09 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,z 13 Jun 10 - 01:27 AM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Jun 10 - 04:26 AM
GUEST 26 Feb 14 - 01:11 PM
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Subject: the very fat man who waters the worker's beer
From: Amaranth
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 02:42 AM

I remember only this little bit of this song... i would like the rest of the words., th eproper order would help.

I'm the man, the very fat man who waters the workers' beer

...

something something something

...

What do I care if it makes them ill, or makes them terribly queer, so I reaches me hand for the water tap and I waters the worker's beer.

...something more...

?


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Subject: The Man That Waters the Worker's Beer
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 03:09 AM

Hi, Amaranth - put [very fat man] in square brackets in the search box on this page, and you'll get this (click). It's always best to check the database first - we have over 7,000 songs there. To search, put a few words from the song into the search box - or put an exact phrase in square brackets, like I did above. Have fun, and welcome to the Mudcat Cafe.
-Joe Offer-
There's a more British version of the song at http://www.chelmsford-tuc.org.uk/article68.html#a8


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Man that Waters the Workers' Beer, The

DESCRIPTION: "I am the man, the very fat man, that waters the worker's beer." The man waters the beer to make more profit (he admits to having "a car, a yacht, and an aeroplane") and to keep the workers in subjection. To this end he even uses poison
AUTHOR: Words: Paddy Ryan / Music: Traditional
EARLIEST DATE: 1937
KEYWORDS: drink poison worker humorous
FOUND IN: Britain(England)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Silber-FSWB, p. 29, "The Man That Waters the Workers' Beer" (1 text)
DT, WATRBEER*

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Son of a Gambolier" (tune & meter) and references there
NOTES: I was hesitant about including this song, but it is narrative, more or less, and it does seem to have entered tradition. - PJS
Reading this, I can't help but think of the charges filed against the founder of chemistry, Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794). According to Brock, p. 123, Lavoisier was charged with "having mixed water and other 'harmful' ingredients in tobacco." He was charged based on the testimony of a man whose early scientific work he had shown to be inadequate (Jaffe, p. 70). He went to the guillotine.
To be sure, he was a stockholder of a tax farming company (he had, at age 28, married the 14-year-old daughter of a tax farmer; Porter, p. 414), and this was his real crime (though he did not himself collect taxes, and his wife helped his experiments, according to Porter, p. 414). But it was a terrible loss for France, and an even greater loss for chemistry; as Laplace (himself one of history's greatest mathematicians) said at the time, "It required only a moment to sever that head, and perhaps a century will not be sufficient to produce another like it" (Porter, p.415). Much as I sympathize with the British working class, charges such as these are usually oversimplified.
The song lists three poisons placed in the beer: Strychnine, methylated spirits, and kerosene. Kerosene is a highly unlikely contaminant, since it is a hyrdrocarbon and does not dissolve in water. It is true that, during prohibition, some bootleg compounds were found to contain kerosene (Blum, p. 51). But this was clearly accidental contamination, and it didn't happen in publicly-sold beer. Still, there were a lot of rumors about the matter (Blum, p. 153), which might have helped inspire this song.
Strychnine, which is a natural biological alkaloid, is a more plausible contaminant -- and the same reports which put kerosene in spirits also said that some contained brucine, which is similar to strychnine (Blue, p. 153).
Methylated spirits are even more likely -- methylated spirits usually refers to ethyl alcohol contaminated with methyl alcohol to make it undrinkable, but in this case probably is intended to mean pure methyl alcohol.
Methyl alcohol gives the drinker the impression of consuming "regular" alcohol, but methyl alcohol is in fact a poison (Emsley, p. 110, says that methylated spirit is more poisonous than bleach; Blum, p. 41, adds that it derives much of its effect from the fact that it is very hard to metabolize). Plus its buzz didn't last very long (Blum, p. 161), tempting the drinker to consume more sooner, adding to the danger of overdose.
But methyl alcohol is cheap (Blum, p. 40) -- and was commonly used as an adulterant during Prohibition in the United States.
Ironically, the more ethyl alcohol, the less poisonous the methyl alcohol; the ethyl alcohol soaks up the enzyme which otherwise converts the methyl alcohol into lethal formic acid (Timbrell, pp. 196-197). The main effect of methyl alcohol in small doses is to make hangovers far worse, but it can also damage the kidneys and eyes, and if consumption reaches about 70 ml, death will generally follow.
It strikes me as unlikely that a boss would have methyl alcohol placed in his workers' beer; blindness was too likely to result (Blum, p. 49). It would be more likely that a dishonest manufacturer, who doesn't care about the drinkers' health, would do so.
The inclusion of strychnine is much more complicated. For starters, the workers might well notice it -- it is one of the most bitter-tasting substances in existence (Timbrell, p. 227).
Although now known as a poison, it was not always so. Buckingham, pp. 35-47, has notes on the discovery of vegetable alkaloids (which is what strychnine is). It began when it was noted that "Jesuit bark" is effective against malaria (Buckingham, p. 35). It would eventually turn out that "Jesuit bark" contains quinine, the first effective anti-malaria medication (now pretty useless, but it worked fine in the nineteenth century). The incompetent chemistry of the time figured out that a bitter agent was responsible for the curative effect -- but not which bitter agent. It was assumed that most bitter vegetable products -- the vegetable alkaloids -- were active against fevers. One such alkaloid was from the Strychnos nux-vomica tree (Buckingham, p. 36). This was strychnine.
The symptoms of strychnine perhaps explain why it was initially considered a useful drug: Timbrell, p. 155, notes that it heightens awareness, and can be used as a purgative. But it also leads to violent and exhausting convulsions. These are what lead to death -- a painful and terrible death, because the victim remains aware the whole time. Respiration often halts during the convulsions; it can restart several times before finally failing. Death usually comes within three hours of the onset of symptoms; a victim who lasts three hours will often survive.
Apparently it began poisoning people very early on, but it took a century and a half before apothecaries ceased to supply it (Buckingham, p. 46). In the Sherlock Holmes novel The Sign of the Four, near the end of chapter four, we see Watson discuss it in a way which implies it was part of his medical kit. MacInnis, p. 79, tells of an Olympic runner in 1904 who tried to use strychnine as a restorative -- and nearly died of it. Even in 2001, there was a report of a weightlifter testing positive for strychnine (which means, yes, doping agencies test for it!).
It is ironic to note that, if someone really wanted to dose the workers' beer with strychnine, the stronger the beer, the less effective it would be. The reason strychnine causes convulsions is that it opens pathways for especially strong and repeated nerve impulses, leading to convulsions (Timbrell, p. 156). The treatment is to isolate the victim from external stimuli (to prevent the nerves from firing in the first place) and applying a sedative to calm the nerve impulses. Timbrell says that barbiturates are now the preferred sedative, but alcohol would certainly be better than nothing.
If the statement that strychnine was added to workers' beer is based on an actual news report (which I doubt, but I don't know), it *might* have been added in an attempt to keep workers healthy -- it was actually used as a tonic (MacInnis, p. xv). The effect, of course, would have been the reverse. And even if it hadn't been a poison, mass use of alkaloids would have had the same effect as the mass use of antibiotics has had more recently: The bugs would have developed immunity.
I do think adding it to beer at this early date would have been unlikely. It was not until the 1920s that Robert Robinson began to research the structures of the alkaloids; he managed to determine the chemical composition of strychnine (and even, by 1946, to synthesize it; Porter, pp. xxix, 585); until then, getting precise dosages would have been difficult.
To be sure, it was not unusual for pub owners to water beer and then add adulterants. MacInnis, p. xiii, notes the case of levant nut, which caused the consumers to go to sleep. In a place where the company also owns the bars, this might be very popular -- the workers would drink a little watered beer and go to sleep, thus eliminating the need for all that expensive beer and also reduced the number of drunken workers. On p. 46, MacInnis mentions a law case against a man who made a pseudo-beer out of ingredients including opium and vitriol. Bad beer was common -- but not for the reasons in this song.
It is ironic that the song does not mention arsenic, implicated one of the largest bad-beer stories of all time. According to Timbrell, p. 119, in 1900 a batch of glucose used to make beer was accidentally contaminated with arsenic. 6000 people in Birmingham were sickened; 70 of them died. - RBW
Bibliography
  • Blum: Deborah Blum, The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, Penguin, 2010
  • Brock: William H. Brock, The Chemical Tree: A History of Chemistry (originally published in 1992 as The Norton History of Chemistry), Norton, 2002
  • Buckingham: John Buckingham, Chasing the Molecule, Sutton Publishing, 2004
  • Emsley: John Emsley, Molecules at an Exhibition: The Science of Everyday Life, Oxford, 1998 (I use the 1999 Oxford paperback)
  • Jaffe: Bernard Jaffe, Crucibles: The Story of Chemistry, from ancient alchemy to nuclear fission, fourth revised edition, 1948 (I use the 1976 Dover paperback)
  • MacInnis: Peter MacInnis, Poisons (originally published as The Killer Bean of Calabar and Other Stories), 2004 (I use the 2005 Arcade paperback)
  • Porter: Roy Porter, consultant editor, The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists, second edition (first edition published in six volumes, 1983-1985, as The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists with volumes on Biologists, Chemists, Astronomers, Physicists, Engineers and Inventors, and Mathematicians), Oxford, 1994
  • Timbrell: John Timbrell, The Poison Paradox: Chemicals as Friends and Foes, Oxford, 2005
Last updated in version 2.6
File: FSWB029

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



Here are the lyrics we have in the Digital Tradition Folk Song Database:

MAN THAT WATERS THE WORKERS' BEER
(Paddy Ryan)

I am the man, the very fat man,
That waters the workers' beer
I am the man, the very fat man,
That waters the workers' beer
And what do I care if it makes them ill,
If it makes them terribly queer
I've a car, a yacht, and an aeroplane,
And I waters the workers' beer

Now when I waters the workers' beer,
I puts in strychnine
Some methylated spirits,
And a can of kerosine
Ah, but such a brew so terribly strong,
It would make them terribly queer
So I reaches my hand for the watering-can
And I waters the workers' beer

Now a drop of good beer is good for a man
When he's tired, thirsty and hot
And I sometimes have a drop myself,
From a very special pot
For a strong and healthy working class
Is the thing that I most fear
So I reaches my hand for the watering-can
And I waters the workers' beer

Now ladies fair, beyond compare,
Be you maiden or wife
Spare a thought for such a man
Who leads such a lonely life
For the water rates are frightfully high,
And the meths is terribly dear
And there ain't the profit there used to be
In watering the workers' beer

@drink
Copyright Workers Music Association
filename[ WATRBEER
TUNE FILE: SONGAMB
CLICK TO PLAY
BR


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Subject: RE: the very fat man who waters the worker's beer
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 07:18 PM

A version of this song can be found on 'The Tale of Ale'. Incidentally, the tune was later used by Enoch Kent for a Sixties song, 'The Man with the Terrible Knob', about the goy who guards the red button for starting the nuclear war. It doesn't seem to be in the DT. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: the very fat man who waters the worker's beer
From: Wotcha
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 05:22 PM

Roberts and Barrand sang it on their "Live at Holstein's" album (available only on cassetter tape from Andy's Front Hall records). Apparently collected from a popular 30s or 40s song -- anti-capitalism stuff.

Their chorus is a bit different:

" For I reaches me hand for the watering can, and I waters the workers beer For I've got a car, a yacht, an aeroplane, And I waters the worker's beer."

Cheers, Brian


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Subject: RE: the very fat man who waters the worker's beer
From: marion in manchester
Date: 17 Jul 99 - 06:32 AM

Not re the workers beer but the terrible knob as per Suzanne, wow, that brought back some memories but I can't remember all of it but it goes

1. I'm the man, the terrible man, in charge of the terrible knob.
The most pleasing thing about it is it's almost a permanent job.
When the atom war is over and the world is split in three,
A consolation I've got, or maybe it's not, there'll be nobody left but me.

2. If me wife denies me conjocular rights or me breakfast milk is sour,
From eight to nine in the morning, lads, you're in for a terrible hour;
For the button being so close to me, it really is a joke;
A butt of me arse as I go past, and we'll all go up in smoke.

Try as I might I can't remember anything else! Does anyone else know the rest ...just to put me mind at rest?


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Subject: RE: the very fat man who waters the worker's beer
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 17 Jul 99 - 07:17 PM

Marion - give me a little time. I thought I just needed to cut and paste, but I've to copy the words from the Dubliners Song Book. I'll post them in a separate thread soon. OK? - Susanne


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Subject: ADD: The Man With the Terrible Knob
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 18 Jul 99 - 05:58 PM

Here you are, Marion:

^^ THE MAN WITH THE TERRIBLE KNOB
(Enoch Kent)

Chorus:
I'm the man the well-paid man in charge of the terrible knob
The most pleasing thing about it it's almost a permanent job
When the atom war is over and the world is split in three
A consolation I've got or maybe it's not there'll be nobody left but me

I sit at my desk in Washington in charge of this great machine
More vicious than Adolf Hitler more deadly than strychnine
And in the evening after a tiring day just to give myself a laugh
I hit the button a playful belt and I listen for the blast

If Brezhnev starts his nonsense and makes a nasty smell
With a wink and a nod from Nixon I'll blast you all to hell
And as for that fellow Castro him with the sugar cane
He needn't hide behind his whiskers I'll get him just the same

If my wife denies me conjugular rights or my breakfast milk is sour
From eight to nine in the morning you're in for a nervous hour
The button being so terribly close, it's really a dreadful joke
A bump of me arse as I go past and you'll all go up in smoke

Now I'm thinking of joining the army - the army that bans the bomb
We'll take up a large collection and I'll donate my thumb
For without it I am helpless and that's the way to be
You don't have to kill the whole bloody lot to make the people free



This is the Dubliners version. The names rather date the song, of course - not much longer now and we'll have to explain who Nixon and Brezhnev were! Not Castro yet, though.
I've just watched Stanley Kubrick's 'Dr Strangelove' for the first time, and the song seems to me to be the musical equivalent of that film - funny, because it deals with an inconceivable event, but it does leave an uncomfortable feeling, and India, Pakistan and China have just reminded us that nobody so far has donated their thumbs, metaphorically speaking. (And even if they had, the third verse makes clear they'd need to donate much more than that to remove the threat to us all ...)
The tune was also used for an Australian bush ranger song, 'Dunn, Gilbert and Ben Hall'.


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Subject: RE: the very fat man who waters the worker's beer
From: Amaranth
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 10:17 PM

Thanks....appreciate the effot...and Joe Offer thanks for the square bracket tip...i tried both single and double quotes to no avail


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Subject: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 04:47 AM

Does anyone one have the words for The Man that water's the workers beer, I would like to learn it for my dear friend John Butler

The chorus is

I'm the man the very fat man that waters the workers beer
I'm the man the very fat man that waters the workers beer
and what do I care if it makes them ill, if it makes them terribly queer
I've a house a yacht and an aeroplane and I waters the workers beer


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 04:51 AM

S'all right, I found it on Google, though it's not in the DT


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Subject: ADD Version The Man That Waters the Worker's Beer
From: s&r
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 04:53 AM

THE MAN THAT WATERS THE WORKERS' BEER
(Paddy Ryan)

Now, I'm the man, the very fat man, that waters the workers' beer.
Yes, I'm the man, the very fat man, that waters the workers' beer,
And what do I care if it makes them ill, if it makes them terribly queer?
I've a car and a yacht and an aeroplane, and I waters the workers' beer.

Now, when I makes the workers' beer, I puts in strychinine,
Some methylated spirits and a drop of paraffin,
But, since a brew so terribly strong might make them terribly queer,
I reaches my hand for the water tap, and I waters the workers' beer.

Now a drop of good beer is good for a man who's thirsty and tired and hot,
And I sometimes has a drop for myself from a very special lot;
But a fat and healthy working class is the thing that I most fear,
So I reaches my hand for the water tap and I waters the workers' beer.

Now, ladies fair beyond compare, and be it maid or wife,
O sometimes lend a thought for one who leads a wandering life.
The water rates are shockingly high, and meths is shockingly dear,
And there isn't the profit there used to be in watering the workers' beer.

Stu (sent for completeness)


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Subject: ADD: The Man That Waters the Workers' Beer^^^
From: ossonflags
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 04:55 AM

Drat! Yer beat me to it any way here it is:

The Man That Waters the Workers' Beer^^^
(Paddy Ryan)

CHORUS: I am the man, the very fat man, that waters the workers' beer.
I am the man, the very fat man, that waters the workers' beer;
And what do I care if it makes them ill, if it makes them terribly queer?
I've a car, a yacht, and an aeroplane, and I waters the workers' beer.

1. Now when I waters the workers' beer, I puts in strychnine,
Some methylated spirits, and a can of kerosene.
Ah, but such a brew so terribly strong, it would make them terribly queer,
So I reaches my hand for the watering can and I waters the workers' beer. CHORUS

2. Now a drop of good beer is good for a man when he's tired, thirsty and 'ot,
And I sometimes have a drop myself, from a very special pot;
For a strong and healthy working class is the thing that I most fear,
So I reaches my hand for the watering can and I waters the workers' beer. CHORUS

3. Now ladies fair, beyond compare, be you maiden or wife,
Spare a thought for such a man who leads such a lonely life;
For the water rates are terribly high, and the meths is terribly dear,
And there isn't the profit there used to be in watering the workers' beer. CHORUS
^^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: ossonflags
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 04:56 AM

By gum, we are quick of the mark this morning ain't we?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 04:57 AM

"The man that waters the workers' beer" is in the DT (DigitalTradition archive on Mudcat)
also at this thread you can find words to the Button Pusher, newer song to same tune (I am the man, the very fat man in charge of the terrible knob..." about "the Bomb".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: GUEST,Blowz at work
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 07:52 AM

I seem to recall hearing that this was the very first song that Topic recorded in field conditions - I can't remember who sang or where it was recorded though. ...and I'm not putting any money on it being true what I heard, so don't jump on me if it's wrong...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 09:30 AM

Any clue about the composer "Paddy Ryan"? It would be nice to learn some more about this wonderful composer. Unfortunately, the name is too common to sift through the Goggle hits, and it probably isn't even his real name, given the political climate of the time.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: IanC
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 10:49 AM

The song was written by Paddy Ryan (Dr. R. E. W. Fisher) in 1938 and recorded by him, with The Topic Singers on Topic Records TRC1 in 1939. Fisher appears to have been a member of the Unity Theatre at the time and it's quite possible that he wrote the song for a performance by them. The cong is copyright (c) the Workers' Music Association.

Mustrad has a Topic discography here, which shows details of the recording.

Topic Records
1939/40?
TRC1
The Man Who Put The Water In The Workers' Beer (Paddy Ryan; arr Alfred Roberts). Paddy Ryan (of the Unity Theatre) with guitar accomp. CP 889. 1CS0020192.
The Internationale (Degeyter; arr. A. Bush). The Topic Singers & Band cond. Will Sahnow. CP 892.

Internationale 1b / Soviet Fatherland Song (Land of Freedom) TRC 1a

Internationale / Salute to Life (English text by Nancy Head; music by Shostakovitch). Topic Singers & Unity String Orch. Arr. and cond. by Will Sahnow. CP 983. TRC 1c

There appear to have been three versions. On the 2nd record the Internationale was accorded the number 1b whilst on the other 2 records it just gets TRC 1. We think that must be all of the variants. We can guess that they were released in this order from the obvious clues. The Internationale was obviously the most important song in the WMA's repertoire and this was a way of selling the 'hit song' with varying different songs. Thus on TRC 23 'The Internationale' was issued again, this time with 'The Red Flag'.


:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 10:58 AM

Ian-

Thanks!

I wonder if Dr. Fisher also wrote "Pity the Downtrodden Landlord" which is attributed to a mysterious B. Woolf also affiliated with the Unity Theatre and WMA. I've been trying to run that one down for over 25 years.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 11:41 AM

I have heard it with "fat cigar" instead of "aeroplane" -- a better rhyme and, IMO, a more comical image. Is that perhaps the original?

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: A little of what you fancy does you good. :||


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 12:38 PM

Please feel free to add:

My friends inside the government in 1989
Privatised the reservous so I could make them mine
So now I own the waterworks and I have nothing to fear
Their is even more money than ever their was in watering workers beer


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I'm the man, the very fat man
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 09:02 PM

http://www.workersmusic.co.uk/


Had a scan through here- seems, like 'New Labour', to have lost it's way: Summer Schools at Independent Schools??
    Threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: I'm the man who waters the workers beere
From: GUEST,Mike of Hessle
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 08:38 AM

I have tried searching for the words to this song but cannot find ir.

Can anyone help.

Many thanks


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Subject: RE: I'm the man who waters the workers beere
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 08:43 AM

Mike Harding played it last night - use the BBC's Listen Again feature.


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Subject: RE: I'm the man who waters the workers beere
From: IanC
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 08:50 AM

The version in the DT here is a bit Americanised (kerosine instead of paraffin for example) but is pretty close to what I sing.

:-)


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Subject: RE: I'm the man who waters the workers beere
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 09:58 AM

British wording here.
Lyrics copied from link -Joe Offer.

The Man that Waters the Workers’ Beer

Paddy Ryan

Chorus:

I’m the man, the very fat man, that waters the workers’ beer.
Yes, I’m the man, the very fat man, that waters the workers’ beer.
What do I care it makes them ill, or it makes them terribly queer?
I’ve a car, a yacht, and an aeroplane and I water the workers’ beer.

Now when I makes the workers’ beer I puts in strychinine;
Some methylated spirits and a drop of pariffine.
But since a brew so terribly strong might make them terribly queer;
I reaches my hand for the water tap and I waters the workers’ beer!

Chorus:

Now, ladies, fair, beyond compare, and be ye maid or wife.
Oh, sometimes lend a thought for me who leads a wand’ring life.
The water rates are shockingly high, and the ’meth’ is shockingly dear.
And there isn’t the profit there used to be in wat’ring the workers’ beer!

Chorus:


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Subject: RE: I'm the man who waters the workers beere
From: GUEST,Mike of Hessle
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 10:25 AM

Many thanks Guys

A friend of mine has just taken over the running of a pub.

I thought it would be a surprise for him if I sit in the corner at the week-end and sing it just has he is serving.

Thanks again


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Subject: RE: I'm the man who waters the workers beere
From: Joe_F
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 08:56 PM

I have always thought "a car and a yacht and an aeroplane" should be "a yacht and a car and a fat cigar". Better rhyme, funnier picture. I believe I have heard it sung that way.


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Subject: RE: I'm the man who waters the workers beere
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 09:37 PM

Agreed — I always sing the 'fat cigar' version...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man that Waters the Workers' Beer
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 06:15 AM

I made up this verse:

Please feel free to add it:

My friends inside the government in 1989
Privatised the reservoirs so I could make them mine
So now I own the waterworks and I have nothing to fear
Their is even more money than ever their was in watering workers beer

because the last verse of the original Paddy Ryan version has:

Water rates are terribly high and meths is terribly dear
And their isn't the profit their used to be in watering workers beer

Si this is plainly untrue I felt the living tradition should pass a comment

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man that Waters the Workers' Beer
From: GUEST,z
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 01:27 AM

I love tripping over old threads....

FWIW, the San Francisco area group Brass Farthing sings the chorus as "I've a mistress, a bride, and a girl on the side" in place of the car/yacht/aeroplane.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man that Waters the Workers' Beer
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 04:26 AM

The original version is included on "Three Score and Ten : A Voice to the People", Topic TOPIC70 (7 CDs).

Unfortunately, composer credits are given as on the original pressings. eg "Sixteen Tons" is described as Traditional.

Otherwise a great compilation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Man that Waters the Workers' Beer
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Feb 14 - 01:11 PM

and a couple more verses I've written if anyone wants them:

I'm the man the very fat man who bought the NHS
it needed someone just like me, it really was a mess
not good enough for friends nor I, it really was a sin
but since it's all been privatised the money's rolling in.

Yes I'm the man the very fat man dismantling the States
the profits just keep mounting up for me and my rich mates
the NHS, utilities, banks and railways too
ensure that I have all I want and bugger all for you.


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