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Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man (Mike Canavan)

brumfolk 16 Mar 05 - 05:53 PM
Big Jim from Jackson 16 Mar 05 - 06:53 PM
Sorcha 16 Mar 05 - 07:23 PM
Peace 16 Mar 05 - 07:33 PM
rich-joy 17 Mar 05 - 04:40 AM
rich-joy 17 Mar 05 - 04:42 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Mar 05 - 07:46 AM
GUEST, Sminky 18 Oct 07 - 07:39 AM
Charley Noble 18 Oct 07 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,PMB 18 Oct 07 - 09:14 AM
GUEST, Sminky 18 Oct 07 - 09:41 AM
Santa 18 Oct 07 - 10:35 AM
Lowden Jameswright 18 Oct 07 - 11:27 AM
Charley Noble 18 Oct 07 - 04:00 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Oct 07 - 04:00 AM
The Doctor 19 Oct 07 - 05:06 AM
GUEST, Sminky 19 Oct 07 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,AlanG at work 19 Oct 07 - 07:27 AM
GUEST, Sminky 19 Oct 07 - 07:47 AM
open mike 19 Oct 07 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,AlanG at work 19 Oct 07 - 07:41 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Oct 07 - 07:52 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Oct 07 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,Peter Stockport 21 Oct 07 - 07:13 AM
Davie_ 21 Oct 07 - 07:25 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Oct 07 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Peter Stockport 21 Oct 07 - 12:52 PM
Dave the Gnome 22 Oct 07 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Yvonne B 23 Oct 07 - 06:15 PM
Zany Mouse 23 Oct 07 - 06:40 PM
GUEST, Sminky 24 Oct 07 - 07:19 AM
Jim Dixon 19 Oct 17 - 02:39 PM
rich-joy 19 Oct 17 - 07:56 PM
rich-joy 19 Oct 17 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,henryp 20 Oct 17 - 06:44 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: The Knocker up
From: brumfolk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 05:53 PM

Does anyone remember a song called " the knocker up" i think possibly by gary and vera aspey,. The last line of the chorus ( if i remember ) is " to work you must be going". Be interested to find it


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker up
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 06:53 PM

You are right, it is by Gary and Vera Aspey. It's on one of their albums---I can't recall just which one, and I don't have them available to me just at this moment. They have a number of songs about mining and other industrial-themed material. Gary and Vera are one of the best duets anywhere.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker up
From: Sorcha
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 07:23 PM

Couldn't find much, it's NOT on the album From the North, and it looks like most of their albums have been discontinued. Sorry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker up
From: Peace
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 07:33 PM

Lancashire Sings Again - Kershaw, Mary & Harvey

They do a song entitled "Song of the Knocker-up".


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE KNOCKER-UPPER MAN (Mike Canavan)
From: rich-joy
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 04:40 AM

^^
THE KNOCKER-UPPER MAN ~ Mike Canavan

THROUGH COBBLED streets so cold and damp
The Knocker-Upper man goes creeping
Tap-tapping at the window pane
To wake the town from sleeping.

chorus :
He said : "Hey thee up and stir th'self
The factory hooter's blowin'
So get up from your nice warm bed
To work you must be goin'."

DAY IN, day out, the year about
Though snow and rain are falling
You'd hear his clogs along the street
You'd hear his voice a-calling.

ALL THE EARLY-rising working folk
The Knocker-Upper's call they heeded
But times go by, old customs die
Now he's no longer needed.

THROUGH STREETS of quiet suburbia
The Knocker-Upper's ghost goes creeping
Now listening to the ringing sound
That wakes the town from sleeping.



Cheers! R-J
(the first song that Poor Misery and I sang together, all those years ago!!!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker up
From: rich-joy
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 04:42 AM

sorry, not sure how to change thread titles to "Lyr Add" ...


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker up
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 07:46 AM

According to this Topic Discography, Gary & Vera Aspey recorded KNOCKER UPPER MAN on their album "Seeing Double," Topic 12TS407, 1981.

It also lists SONG OF THE KNOCKER-UP, recorded by Mary and Harvey Kershaw on their album "Lancashire Sings Again!" Topic 12TS302.

A duo called Hanky Park (Tony Downes and Pete Martin) performs THE KNOCKER-UPPER MAN (by Mike Canavan) on their album "Rough & Ready." You can hear a sound sample on that web page.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 07:39 AM

I found this fragment whilst searching a Lancashire genealogy site. The person remembers it being sung by her father:

"Every morning at 'alf past five
Thowt knocker-up comes round
Tic, tic, tic, wi' a big long stick
When I were sleeping sound
And if it weren't for the little bit 'o brass I had to earn
To keep myself alive
I'd se'at yon man at the bottom o' th' pit
'Fore I'd wake up at 'alf past five!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 09:01 AM

Does this phrase have an alternative meaning in the UK as it surely would have here in the States?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 09:14 AM

I'm sure most of his victims thought he was a complete f***er. They had to pay him though. And no, say "knock me up at half seven" and you won't get any raised eyebrows here.

The Little Piecer is another song on the same subject of having to go to t' mill in t' morn.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 09:41 AM

Charley - mercifully it does, though we also use the 'other' definition.

Guest PMB - if someone were to bang on my bedroom window at 5am, he would soon be chewing on the contents of my chamber pot!

I love the Dave Brooks version of The Little Piecer.

I've been trying to find photos of the knocker-upper on the web, without success (I know I've seen one somewhere). The nearest thing is this sketch.

Question is - who got the knocker-up up?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Santa
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 10:35 AM

Jez Lowe has a song on the same theme called "Cursed be the Caller" (with his knock, knock, knock.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 11:27 AM

Many years ago my brother-in-law went to the US and asked a young lady on reception in a hotel if she wouldn't mind knocking him up at 7:30, then wondered why she reacted as she did. His ignorance of US custom & practice also landed him in a sticky situation when he booked in on another night at the YMCA - rather naive my brother-in-law!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 04:00 PM

Thanks for the clarification, gang. Language practice can be a minefield as one travels from one fair land to another.

Keep your pecker up!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 04:00 AM

It is written, as said in the above lyrics, by Mike Canavan. Mike can still be found in the pubs and clubs around Manchester either with his Celidh band, 'LegPlaiters' (sp?), with various other bands and, occasionaly, on his own.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: The Doctor
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 05:06 AM

There is also a one verse song on the same subject, as follows:
A mate of mine once said to me,'Will you knock me up at half past three?'
And so, promptly at half past one, I knocked on his window and I said,'Oh John,
I've just come round to tell you,
I've just come round to tell you,
I've just come round to tell you, you've got two more hours to sleep.'


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Subject: Lyr Add: COAL-HOLE CAVALRY
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 06:21 AM

Finally managed to track down a photo of the man himself.

There's also this song by the Houghton Weavers (I detect some little pieces of The Little Piecer in this):


Coal Hole Cavalry

Early mornin' dreaming is shattered
One clitter clatter on't cobbles outside
Th'owd knocker upper's rat tattin' on't window
Makin' sure nobody's 'oer lied

CHORUS
Clitterin' clatterin' coal hole cavalry
Gallopin' rain or fine
Clitterin' clatterin' coal hole cavalry
Gallopin' down t'mine

Father yawnin' drizzle on't window
More clitter clatterin' comin down'thill
Stairs are creakin' th'oven doors bangin'
Father a'waitin' for uncle bill

CHORUS

Mam is fillin' his bottle wi' waiter
Clatter clitter clatterin' rattle on't latch
Clogs in't lobby and talkin' quiet
Arguing toss abeawt satday's match

CHORUS

Come on billy lad best get going
Clatter clitter clatterin' front door bang
Going deawn t' mucky owd coal pit
Hear t'pit hat and snap tin clang

CHORUS

Colliers ridin' a million horses
Clatter clitter clatter all over the word
Beggar off injuns cavalry's comin'
Picks and shovels and banners unfurled

CHORUS

Buzzer's blowin' out t'sound o't'victry
Clatter clitter clatterin's over and done
All goes quiet and sleep is comin'
I wish I was a collier it must be fun



Then it gets bizarre...

There was a UK TV advert for Mother's Pride bread in the late 60s, featuring Dusty Springfield singing the following ditty:

I'm a happy knocker-upper and I'm popular beside
'Cos I wake 'em with a cuppa ... and tasty Mother's Pride,
Then they're up in a flash and a rush (it's the bread)
And a dash and a push (it's the bread)
With a flash and a dash and a rush and a push (I can say it's the bread).
It's the Mother's Pride bread! It makes them love work!
They're going berserk to get off to work!
It's in the way I wake 'em by bringing to their side —
The bread (we freshly bake 'em!)....
Fantastic Mother's Pride!


Words and music by one Malcom Mitchell, ca. July 1968


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: GUEST,AlanG at work
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:27 AM

Sminky
You forgot to say that the words and music to Coal 'Ole Cavalry are by Ted Edwards.
Ted is still writing excellent songs and can be seen (and heard) every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at the "songs in the Snug"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:47 AM

AlanG

Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
There were no details on the lyrics page I found. I assumed it was by the HW themselves. My apologies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: open mike
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 12:17 PM

yes i once was travelling with a british woman who offered to come
knock me up in the morning...she had no idea that "knocked up" meant "to get pregnant".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: GUEST,AlanG at work
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:41 PM

Yes, but here in the UK he gets paid for knocking people up EVERY MORNING!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Oct 07 - 07:52 PM

and...

Just noticed that Mike is on at Swinton Folk Club on November the 19th.!

Ted may be there too, which does happen quite often.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 06:38 AM

Ted was at Swinton festival yesterday, out of interest. Lovely to see him singing again - No-one does 'The coal and Albert Berry' better!

D.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: GUEST,Peter Stockport
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 07:13 AM

Eee, When I was a lad we still had a knocker up man. I'm only just 50. He must have been one of the last ones. His name was Alan and he also did something, probably cleaned, the gas lamps in the street.
Must have been some of the last gas lamps as well.
Any idea when the last of the gas lamps in general use went?
I don't mean the odd ones at the museum in Manchester!
Peter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Davie_
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 07:25 AM

Im sure I remember Mike Harding singin this one at Herford, WG in early 70`s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 07:36 AM

Probably lit the lamps, Peter. It was usualy a combined job for a man with a long pole to rattle windows in the morning and light the lamps at night:-)

D.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: GUEST,Peter Stockport
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 12:52 PM

Dave,
I wondered about that but I'm sure they would have been automated by the 60's. He didn't come round every night as I recall. I know they had clockwork timers so that's why I thought he probably just cleaned the glass. In fact I'd guess he wound up the timer and reset it etc. at the same time.
Peter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 12:02 PM

Could well be, Peter. Makes sense - Wonder if anyone has done a song about the gas lamp winder!

:D


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: GUEST,Yvonne B
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 06:15 PM

I'M looking for the words to The Little Piecer. Can anyone help, as I see its mentioned here?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 06:40 PM

Gary and Vera also recorded Coalhole Cavalry and Albert Berry.

I sing a traditional West Riding of Yorkshire song about a knocker upper but it is a funny song rather than the more serious one here.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 07:19 AM

My understanding is that the lamplighter was usually employed by the local council, the knocker-upper was either employed by the mill/pit company or was 'freelance'. However, that did not prevent one man from performing both duties. Eg this (from a nostalgia website):

"My uncle Walter was the knocker-up, lamplighter and chimney sweep! Anything to earn a bob or two I think"

Heavy sleepers would often tie string around their big toe and dangle the other end out of the window, ready for the knocker-upper to tug on if window tapping didn't work. Imagine that happening today! You'd see cars driving around with severed toes attached to their exhaust pipes.

Rochdale even had a one-armed lamplighter in 1910!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE KNOCKER-UPPER MAN (Mike Canavan)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Oct 17 - 02:39 PM

My transcription from a recording at YouTube. I have boldfaced the words that are different from rich-joy's version above--but I have no reason to think these words are more authoritative than his.


THE KNOCKER-UPPER MAN
Words and music by Mike Canavan
As sung by Pete Martin

1. Through the cobbled streets of sulphur towns
A knocker-upper man goes creepin',
Tap-tapping on the window pane
To wake the town from sleepin'.

CHORUS: He sang: "Hey thee up and stir theeself.
The fact'ry hooter's blowin',
So get up from your nice warm bed.
To work you must be goin'."

2. Day in, day out, the year about,
Though snow and rain was fallin',
You'd hear his clogs along the street.
You'd hear his voice a-callin'.

CHORUS

3. All the early-rising working folk.
The knocker-upper's call they heeded.
But time slips by, and customs die.
Now he's no longer needed.

CHORUS: No more "Hey thee up...." etc.

4. Through the streets of smart suburbia,
The knocker-upper's ghost goes creepin',
While a host of new alarm clocks
Awakes
the town from sleepin'.

CHORUS: No more "Hey thee up...." etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man (Mike Canavan)
From: rich-joy
Date: 19 Oct 17 - 07:56 PM

If my memory serves me well (hmmm, sounds like a line from a song!), I think the words I quoted in the March 2005 post, came from a Gary & Vera Aspey recording. It's a long time since I sang it, particularly as my Beloved has now left the planet.

Putting "the knocker-upper man" into Google Images, brings up a surprising amount of pics, including a lady pea-shooter doing the deed (which I had never heard of!)

Cheers!
Rich-Joy
Down Under


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man (Mike Canavan)
From: rich-joy
Date: 19 Oct 17 - 08:39 PM

Here's a link to The BrenTProduction's YT clip of Knocker-Upper footage from 1946-49 in NW England.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngegztks61Y

The song is interesting too - seems to be Mike's lyrics set to a minor key tune - doesn't credit the singer though ....

R-J


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Knocker-Upper Man (Mike Canavan)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 20 Oct 17 - 06:44 AM

Long before the dawn's first spark
Comes the tap upon the pane
And if there is no sign of life
Tap, tap, tap it comes again

He battles through the wind and rain
To make his early morning call
But who wakes him, the knocker-up?
Perhaps he never sleeps at all


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