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Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?

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BUTTERCUP JOE


GUEST,Gadaffi 07 Apr 05 - 11:21 AM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Apr 05 - 11:56 AM
Peace 07 Apr 05 - 10:21 PM
GUEST 08 Apr 05 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Gadaffi 08 Apr 05 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,Malcolm Douglas 08 Apr 05 - 10:40 AM
GUEST 08 Apr 05 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Bramley Family, Notts. 18 Sep 05 - 06:06 PM
Joe Offer 18 Sep 05 - 09:32 PM
Barbara 18 Sep 05 - 09:55 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Sep 05 - 10:36 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 18 Sep 05 - 10:54 PM
Artful Codger 19 Sep 05 - 07:02 AM
Billy Weeks 19 Sep 05 - 12:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 05 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Gadaffi 20 Sep 05 - 11:39 AM
Billy Weeks 20 Sep 05 - 02:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Sep 05 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,Gadaffi 21 Sep 05 - 05:58 AM
Billy Weeks 21 Sep 05 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Gadaffi 21 Sep 05 - 10:58 AM
Tradsinger 21 Sep 05 - 02:43 PM
Billy Weeks 21 Sep 05 - 03:13 PM
Billy Weeks 21 Sep 05 - 03:17 PM
Billy Weeks 21 Sep 05 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Gadaffi 22 Sep 05 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,Jim Ward 22 Sep 05 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Gadaffi 22 Sep 05 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Jim Ward 22 Sep 05 - 10:52 AM
Billy Weeks 22 Sep 05 - 12:44 PM
Billy Weeks 24 Dec 05 - 01:35 PM
Billy Weeks 28 Nov 06 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Tom.doc 28 Nov 06 - 09:07 AM
eddie1 28 Nov 06 - 01:23 PM
Ruth Archer 01 Dec 06 - 06:54 AM
Fidjit 01 Dec 06 - 03:34 PM
Ruth Archer 01 Dec 06 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,squeezeboxhp 02 Dec 06 - 11:05 AM
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GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 27 Jul 09 - 09:41 AM
Artful Codger 27 Jul 09 - 02:22 PM
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Subject: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 11:21 AM

I'm on a quest. Does any catter know how old the song Buttercup Joe is? Best guess is that it's a music hall song, known to have been once sung by Harry Garratt (of whom I know nothing), with lyrics appearing in a book in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library dated 1872. Any advance on 1872?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 11:56 AM

That's probably reasonably close. There's an undated broadside edition at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads which also has a song by Fred Alberts, who was active in the 1870s:

Buttercup Joe

Gwilym Davies will know more about the song than I do (it's still to be found in the wild out there, though mostly deriving from Albert Richardson's famous recording, perhaps) and Billy Weeks will probably know about Harry Garratt. With luck, they'll spot the thread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Peace
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 10:21 PM

"Buttercup Joe - a music hall song once sung by Harry Garratt, which entered the family repertoire via Brian Levett (Howard's brother-in-law and Don's father); also via Dave Wickens (Howard's father-in-law). Howard heard one singer of it described as the 'singing Saxon (sexton) of Burwash': Albert Richardson from Sussex, who recorded it for Zonophone in 1928. Other Kentish singers who had it in their repertoire include Charlie Bridger, who had a fourth verse, Len Pierce from Goudhurst, and Charlie Sloman from Aldington. Frank Collinson also noted down the song from Tim Fidler, one time landlord of 'the George' in Bethersden."

From

www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/millens.htm


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 05:13 AM

There's actually a Yorkshire song, collected in the East Riding, which has a couple of verses in common with BJ, including...

"Some folks they laugh and jeer at us to see us eat fat bacon
They would not taste our Sunday treat but that's where they're mistaken
Our pies and puddings steaming hot, we eats 'em at our ease
Then gi' me a pint of home brewed ale and a lump of bread and cheese"

Other verses are completely different, as is the chorus


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 06:37 AM

Thanks everybody for the enlightenment. It's a pity the broadside gif couldn't be blown up any further to render it legible. The reference to Harry Garratt goes back to Rod Stradling who inserted the clause into the text I submitted referring to the Millen Family and other Kentish singers (see above) and also the double-CD of Sussex singers put out fairly recently. In both cases, I suspect the Vaughan Williams Memorial library source I quoted was his source. Nor was there an obvious candidate for Harry (or Henry) Garratt in any genealogocal source I'm aware of which might otherwise have helped.

I am intrigued by the genuine antiquity of this song. Doubtlessly, many country singers learnt it from Albert Richardson's record on Zonophone recorded in 1928. Cecil Sharp largely chose to ignore it, although I believe there were references to it in the Hammond and Gardiner collections at the VWML from the early 20th. century.

Now, who's Fred Alberts?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 10:40 AM

To see full-size images at the Bodleian site, click on the magnifying glass symbol.

I think that there's one example in Sharp's MSS, but he didn't publish it; and there's a set from Hammond/Gardiner in Frank Purslow's Wanton Seed.

Fred Alberts I know nothing about, beside an example of another of his songs I came across yesterday which was printed in the later 1870s; a useful date comparison, but no more than that.

Are you George Frampton, then? I hate internet psudonyms; like to know who I'm "talking" to!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 05 - 10:44 AM

Oh, I forgot; Purslow mentioned a reference he'd come across (and subsequently lost) which suggested that the song might have been written for one of Garrick's shows, perhaps by Garrick himself. It seems likely enough that "Garrick" was really "Garratt", and that some confusion had arisen somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Bramley Family, Notts.
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 06:06 PM

We've recently unearthed an old Zonophone record by Albert Richardson entitled Buttercup Joe.
Does anyone have any idea if this is worth anything?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 09:32 PM

Gee, there's certainly not much on this song at the Traditional Ballad Index - only a reference to the recording by Tony Wales:

Buttercup Joe

DESCRIPTION: Singer prides himself on his plain tastes. In summer the girls like to romp and roll with rustic lads in the hay. His ladyfriend, Mary, a dairymaid, makes fine dumplings; he plans to "ask her if she won't supply/A rustic chap like I am."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1957 (recording, Tony Wales)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Singer prides himself on being rustic with plain tastes; the gentry laugh at him, but he laughs at them in turn. In summer the girls like to romp and roll with rustic lads in the hay. His young woman, Mary, a dairymaid, makes fine dumplings; he plans to "ask her if she won't supply/A rustic chap like I am." Cho: "Now I can guide a plow, milk a cow, and I can reap and sow/Fresh as the daisies in the fields/and they calls I Buttercup Joe"
KEYWORDS: courting love sex food
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
Roud #1635
RECORDINGS:
Tony Wales, "Buttercup Joe" (on TWales1)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Husbandman and the Servingman" (subject, a few phrases)
cf. "Harmless Young Jim" (innuendoes)
cf. "Blackberry Grove" (innuendoes)
Notes: Wales's informant told him the words were being sung in Sussex in 1889, but offered no evidence, so I remain conservative in assigning an earliest date. I strongly suspect a music-hall origin. - PJS
Nonetheless, the song is fairly well established in English tradition, though it hasn't been printed much. I suspect there may have been one or two rewrites along the way; some of the versions vary a great deal. - RBW
File: RcButJoe

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2005 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Here's the entry from folktrax.org:
    BUTTERCUP JOE - "Now I be a true-bred country chap and I do come from Wareham" Text & tune from Wm Warmington, Wareham - ROUD#1635 - WILLIAMS #540 (w/o) - PURSLOW WS (Wanton Seed) 1968 p22 Gardiner: Richard Hall, Itchen Abbas, Hampsh 1905 - ED&S 33:2 1971 p61 Tony Wales: P Laker, Brighton, Sussex -- DANDY HUSBAND -- (Albert RICHARDSON: ZONOPHONE (?) "The Old Sow" on reverse side) - Tony WALES (with gtr) 7"RTR-0089 dub from FOLKWAYS FG-3515 1957 from P.Laker, Brighton - (Harry UPTON rec Mike Yates, Balcombe, Sussex 1975-77: TOPIC SP-104) - CASS-0330 Tommy CHAPPLE rec Michael Feist at "The Stag" Rackenford 1972 & Hare Down, Knowstowe 1973 (see letter file) - YETTIES: ARGO ZFB-38 1972/ Radio 2 8/8/90 "War" CASS-60- 1033 - Charlie JOSE, rec by PK, Boscastle, Cornwall 1975: 096 - Carolyne HUGHES (gypsy) rec by PK, nr Blandford, Dorset 19/4/68: 7"RTR-0120/ CASS-45-1245/ 143 - Gwen HANNIS, rec by Gwylim Davies, Cranham, Glos 1987: 417 -- NEIL LANHAM NL-01 Jack TARLING rec by Neil Lanham, Haverhill, Suffolk 30/4/95 (gift) CASS-1357

Roud Index Search


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Barbara
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 09:55 PM

I learned this song from the Michael Cooney recording "Singer of Old Songs", that I think dates back to the 1960s (as did a number of US singers). The version I sing is the one posted in the DT, and seems to have strayed a bit afield of the original Bodelian broadsheet.
In particular, it [mis]uses verbs/pronouns: "Do I be..." "Now her can cook..." Is this structure characteristic of any English dialect? Or is it a spoof?
Also, listening to the Cooney recording, I think in the last verse he is saying
"Now marryin' her means family,
And I will not propose it,
But she's got one of them on the way,
And I don't think that she knows it."

instead of

Now Mary, her was family,
And I will not propose it.
She's got one of them on the way,
And I don't think that she knows it.

Because it goes on to say:

So we'll get married in yonder church
Before it's lambing ti-em,
And settle down to raise some girls
And country boys like I am.


Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 10:36 PM

The "dialect" is basically Mummerset: for the uninitiated, a general-purpose cod-rural form favoured by urban musical entertainers, bad actors, romantic novelists of the bucolic school and so on. See Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm for some wonderful examples of the form as used in satire.

We already have better information on the date in this thread than the Traditional Ballad Index has managed, but I remain hopeful that Billy Weeks will show up with more precise details.

How much is a copy of the Richardson 78 worth? Probably not much unless it's in very good condition, in the original sleeve and so on. A lot were issued. A nice thing to have, mind.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 10:54 PM

I have it from Michael Cooney's singing as well. Think I'll e-mail him to look in here if he will.

Art


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 19 Sep 05 - 07:02 AM

My transcription, prepared umpteen years ago from Cooney's LP, runs:

"Now Mary, her wants family..."

I just verified this by relistening to the album, with all three variants in mind. The recording's pretty clear.
Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 19 Sep 05 - 12:27 PM

Can't think how I managed to miss this thread until now. Not that I have much to offer. But for what it's worth:

First the records: The Richardson Zonophones must have sold in their thousands. In the not-so-long-ago days when every junk shop had a pile of old 78s 'The Old Sow', 'Sarey', 'The Farmer's Boy' and 'Buttercup Joe' turned up regularly. I'm pleased to say I have all of them, but even in immaculate condition they are far too common to be of much resale value. The Richardson songs were, incidentally, regularly played on the wireless in the thirties by early disc jockeys like (were there any others?) Christopher Stone.

Harry Garratt I don't know of - and I really can't believe that 'Buttercup Joe' had anything to do with Garrick. To me this song has the flavour of earlyish music hall - say 1860s or 70s. Fred Albert (not, I think, Alberts) would certainly be a 'possible'. Michael Kilgarriff's great book (always the point of first reference for the Victorian and Edwardian music hall repertoire) lists well over thirty songs by this singer and remarks that he 'claimed to sing only his own songs'.

'Buttercup Joe' is not in the Kilgarriff list and it doesn't appear under that name in the BL catalogue, but until we know more, Fred Albert (1844-1886) seems as good a guess as any. Wouldn't be impossible, though, for Harry Clifton.

The grammatical transposition of 'her' and 'she' to represent country speech would have been happily embraced by a music hall lyricist of the time, but it is an adopted rather than invented form. You can still hear it in the West country, for example.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Sep 05 - 01:45 PM

It is difficult to get a print of many of the Bodleian sheets. Click on their 'print' symbol, and often only a part of the sheet shows up in the print. The sheet with "It's Not Easy to Do" and "Buttercup Joe" is one.
The only way that works for me is to save the image to disk and then enlarge, crop or otherwise treat before making a print. Any other suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 20 Sep 05 - 11:39 AM

Memo to Billy Weeks: Could you give me the catalogue number for 'A Farmer's Boy'/'Sarie' as I am doing a project on Albert Richardson. Neither the NSA nor CSH have it, and my recording comes from a reel-to-reel tape of Tony Wales at the CSH Sound Library.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 20 Sep 05 - 02:46 PM

The green label Zonophones are in a miscellaneous pile somewhere and make take a time to find, but I can give you the red label Regal Zonophone details. Master numbers on the left. Catalogue numbers on the right:

X5 42454 Buttercup Joe      T.5178
X5 42453 The Old Sow       T.5178
30 8012   The Farmer's Boy    T.6060
30 8013   Sarey             T.6060

Tony Barker tells me that Richardson also recorded 'The Fly be on the Turmut' and 'The Old Sow' for the Eclipse label, but I have no further details. Hope this is of some help.


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Subject: LYR. ADD: BUTTERCUP JOE (2)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Sep 05 - 07:56 PM

This version from a sheet at the Bodleian Library, mentioned by Malcolm, differs in part from the one in the DT. There probably were as many versions as comics doing the routine.

Buttercup Joe (2)
As "sung by Harry Garratt"

Now I'm a flysome sort of chap.
Father comes from Sparham,
Mother's got some warlike boys.
She well knows how to rear 'em.
Some chaps they call me bacon fists,
And other turnip *yed, (*head)
But I'm quite as sharp as other chaps,
Although I'm country bred.

Chorus:
I can guide a plough, and milk a cow
Or I can reap or sow;
I'm as fresh as the daisy in the field,
And they call me Buttercup Joe.

You hearty swells may laugh and chaff,
To see us eat fat bacon,
But you would not touch our country beer
But that's where you're mistaken.
On Moet and Shandon you regale,
And drink it at your ease,
But give me a glass of home-brewed ale,
And our crust of bread and cheese.

Baint it prime in summer time,
When we go out in hay-making,
The lads and lasses, we us chaps,
Freedom will be taken.
Don't they giggle, and make us laugh,
Of course its harmless play,
They like to get us country chaps,
And rolls us in the hay.

Now you should see my young woman,
They calls her our Mary,
She works as busy as a bee,
At farmer Johnson's dairy.
And baint her suet dumplings nice,
By gosh! I mean to try,
And ask her, if she'd like to splice,
A rustic chap like I.

Buttercup Joe. [657.
Bodleian Library, Firth c.26(161), 19th c. (nd)

Without the comic's pantominic actions and accent, songs of this kind are very dull.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 05:58 AM

Thanks, Billy

I found a reference to Albert Richardson recording 'Farmer's Boy' in the Sussex Express in January 1932, but it doesn't appear in any of the listings in 'The Gramophone' from then up to around 1936. Pity that!

I interviewed Den Giddens at his home near Oxted last December, and he sings 'The Fly Be on the Turnip' which, he told me, he got from a 78 "with the Old Sow on the other side". (Den sings the former on his Wild Goose CD 'A Little Bit Off the Top') I leapt to conclusions and thought it might be Albert - it could have been Leslie Sarony. However, I am assured in Burwash that Albert "only did the two" although he was known to have sung 'the Fly'.

Thanks Q for the second version of 'Buttercup Joe'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 07:57 AM

Gadaffi, Tony Barker told me quite firmly that he had a cracked and unplayable copy of the Eclipse version of 'Old Sow' and 'Fly be on the Turmut'. As an Eclipse, it would probably be a 7" disc, though they did issue 10" as well. I'll ask Tony for further details.

Incidentally, 'Sarey', too, has a strong music hall flavour:

She's big and she's beautiful
She's fat and she's fair
Like the buttercups and the daisies
That grow in the air...

- and with the deliciously unacceptable:

Oi'd rather have Sarey than farmer's fat pig.

Try that on a mixed audience!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 10:58 AM

I did try this on a mixed audience! They expect it from me.

Incidentally, is this the definitive spelling of Sarey? not Sarie, or Saree? My version came from Len Pierce of Goudhurst, who told me he learnt it from Richardson when he lived at nearby Wadhurst. I'm told that Cyril Phillips from Firle also sang it but am not sure of his sources - he too would dress in a smock to sing, but he came from Dorset before moving to Sussex. Yes, I know the Yetties have it in their repertoire.

Yes, I would concur this is another Music Hall song of uncertain origin - unless you know any better. Don't start me off about the provenance of 'A Farmer's Boy': that's my next question!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 02:43 PM

Malcolm Douglas (7 April posting) flatters my scholarship! In my recording songs from source singers around here, mainly Gloucestershire, I have found that Buttercup Joe is about the most popular song. I think I have about 15 recordings of it from various singers. Most regard it as a 'local' song, in view, I suppose of the 'mummerset' dialect which can easily be adapted to the Gloucestershire/Devon/Somerset etc speech patterns. So far as I can ascertain, most versions stem from the Albert Richardson recording, but occasionally the tune or words have undergone the folk process. One of these versions is on the Folktrax CD "All Brought up on Cider" which I recorded from Gwen Hannis in Gloucestershire. I note that the version in 'Wanton Seed' was collected in Hampshire in 1905 and is the first known 'collected' version. I put 'collected' in quotes as the song was probably only about 30 years old by then.

Malcolm also mentions 'cod-rural' songs, (such as 'Farmer Giles', 'I bain't half as soft as I looks' etc. Perhaps we ought to start a thread on these.

Incidentally, our group Puzzlejug, performs the song with appropriate actions in the chorus - great fun and the audience loves it!

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 03:13 PM

I don't know what the authorised spelling of Sarey would be. I took it off the record label. For this sort of thing, though, what appears on the label is generally what the recordists thought they heard. I've always taken it to be the (once fairly common) diminutive of Sarah.

Incidentally,I see that the BL catalogue has 'The Old Sow' as a Sussex folk song by Albert Richardson, published in 1934, which suggests that he may have been advised to get it into print after the recording proved to be a best seller.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 03:17 PM

What the catalogue entry actually says is 'authentic version by A Richardson' whish is a touch more honest than claiming authorship.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 03:19 PM

Gadaffi, is your project on Richardson leading to publication? If so, don't forget to tell us where.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 04:45 AM

Billy, I'm looking at the Folk Music Journal for this one. Starting with the 'Musical Traditions' article (Enthusiasms No. 27), I am trying to place the liaisons stated on some kind of timeline, e.g. he 'met' Laurel and Hardy, but when? (not in Berlin as was stated, I suspect), he went to Berlin with Jack Hylton/Hilton, but when? (easier, there is a website which lists Hylton's continental tours with dates).

I am using the archives of the 'Sussex Express' to accrue information concerning his life locally. The story as to how he was 'discovered' in 1928 makes fascinating reading. There is also a vague Rudyard Kipling link. Curiously, none of the main song collectors were active in the area, so I cannot sraw comparisons. Any help along the way will be gratefully received and duly acknowledged.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Jim Ward
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 07:35 AM

The song usually called "Our Sairee" was actually published as "She's Proud and She's Beau-tie-ful" with the alternative title "The Ploughboy" by FDH around the end of the 19th cent. It was written by Fred W.Leigh and George Bastow and sung by George Bastow. George Bastow was a red nosed comedian who specialized in "Country Yokel" songs including "Varmer Giles". Strangely enough the original sheet music names the lady as neither Sarey, Sarie or Saree but plain Sarah.
The lines quoted above by Billy Weekes are actually "She's PROUD and she's beautiful, She's fat and she's fair" And "Oi'd rather have Sarah than master's PRIZE pig". This is also how both Cyril Phillips and George Spicer sang it although both called the lady "Sairee".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 09:20 AM

Thanks, Jim.

I once attended a workshop on song collecting led by John Howson who made the comment that "they all sing Buttercup Joe" referring to people he had interviewed. Mike Yates reinforced the idea that some of his source singers learnt Music Hall songs from 78s. Len Pierce also sang Sarie (not Sarah), but as I've said, he learnt his version from Albert Richardson - as probably did Cyril Phillips and George Spicer. Len Pierce also sang/sings Varmer Giles, but I can't recall whether I asked him his source. It seems that in both these cases, the source seems to have been the 78 rpm record rather than the Music Hall original.

Re- the Old Sow. The story goes in Burwash that Albert learnt it from his father Ebenezer. When Albert sung it at Queens Hall in May 1928, one other member of the cast was Leslie Sarony who later 'claimed copyright'. That said, it was probably Sarony who introduced Albert to Jack Hylton in around 1934/5 when he found himself double-booked for a gig at the Palladium (my hypothesis based on circumstance). Does anyone know who else might have been singing this before the 78 was released in November 1928?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Jim Ward
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 10:52 AM

Leslie Sarony actually recorded "The Old Sow" twice. The first time in 1928 on Imperial 2092 as "The Farmer and His Pigs". This is sung unaccompanied. He later recorded it in 1934 on Rex 8145, this time as "The Old Sow",and with minimal accompaniment with what sounds like an organ. This version also has a male quartette introducing and ending the record with a chorus of "The Farmer's Boy".
On both these records the composer credit is given as "Traditional"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 12:44 PM

Thanks Jim -- a warning against relying on memory! If ever I get my Goldring 78 machine working again I'll probably be in for a lot more surprises of this kind, listening to songs that I think I know...

Having now noted the correct published title I see that the BL catalogue gives the Sarey song as by Leigh 1903 - but George Bastow absolutely fits the bill for singer (and is so listed in Kilgarriff) and I can believe co-author, too. Bastow's 'Mary Ann, She's After Me'and 'Never Been Courtin'Afore', which he recorded for the John Bull label about 1913, have a very similar character. The yokel was, of course, only one of Bastow's characters. He was also the original 'Captain Ginjah' and 'The Galloping Major'.

Can't wait to see your piece in FMJ, Gadaffi. I love to see the old definitions of folk fraying at the edges!

Malcolm. I've just noticed that in an early posting to this thread you question the need for pseudonyms. I don't know how others feel about this, but I am glad to appear in fancy dress. It cuts me off nicely from people who know me in another field and would hoot at my amateurish anttics here. Coward? Yup.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 01:35 PM

Anyone wanting to follow up George Bastow should note that the recently published number (45) of Tony Barker's 'Music Hall' magazine contains Part 1 of his biog of Bastow. If he follows his usual method, Part 2 will end with a complete discography.

Available from Barker for £5, from 68 Hawkes Road, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 3JG - and the other 44 issues are worth buying too (mostly at £3.50 each) by anyone with an interest in music hall songs and singers. All solid, well researched stuff.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 28 Nov 06 - 08:53 AM

Followers of this thread will wish to note that George Frampton's paper on Albert Richardson ('...and they calls I Buttercup Joe')appears in the current (Vol 9 No 2) issue of Folk Music Journal. Don't miss it. It's thoroughly readable (more than I can say of some stuff in FMJ), well illustrated, fully sourced - and a long needed tribute to this singer.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Tom.doc
Date: 28 Nov 06 - 09:07 AM

The "dialect" is basically Mummerset: for the uninitiated, a general-purpose cod-rural form favoured by urban musical entertainers, bad actors, romantic novelists of the bucolic school

and, of course, the BBC continues the tradition!- in everything from Hardy to Jam and Jerusalem.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: eddie1
Date: 28 Nov 06 - 01:23 PM

I remember Cyril Twney singing "Buttercup Joe" in the back seat of my car while en route to a gig somewhere in darkest Scotland. He also did an "Old Sow" song with all kinds of strange noises.
Cyril's devotion to the tradition was confirmed when he rounded off a gig - the last of a scottish tour, at a rather twee traditional club in Glasgow - by singing "She wears red feathers and a hula-hula skirt"!
God bless you Cyril.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 06:54 AM

There's a great piece about the song, and how Albert "Laddie" Richardson brought it to popularity, in the recently published Folk Music Journal 2007, published by EFDSS.

There's loads of other good stuff in there, too.

EFDSS members get it for free.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Fidjit
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 03:34 PM

And a nice picture of him and a pig on the front cover too

Chas


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 03:36 PM

Yes, I particularly enjoyed the smock and the pig. He looks oddly like George Formby, actually.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,squeezeboxhp
Date: 02 Dec 06 - 11:05 AM

the song about the old sow with noises is probably "Susannah's a funiful man this was a speciality of johnny bedford in huddersfield in the 60s


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 12:17 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 12:40 PM

Ah, that's better! I tried to update this thread yesterday but I think the list was down.

Having taken over the notes to 'The Wanton Seed' from Malcolm, I was wondering if we can lay this ghost to rest. I've tried Googling Harry Garratt with no further luck.

I can add some info to the above however.

The broadside in the Bodleian was printed by Pearson of Manchester. I have a copy of another issue of almost the same broadsheet from the Manchester Central Library Collection. Its stock number 657 is definitely Pearson's and almost certainly c1870. The Manchester collection has long runs of Pearson's issues and those of his predecessor Bebbington whose stock he took over maintaining Bebbington's sequence of stock numbers.

What this enables us to do is to approximately date the song.
Stock number 653 is Arthur Lloyd's 'It's Naughty but it's Nice' which is 1873, and stock number 699 is Lloyd's famous 'Married to a Mermaid' which is 1866.

I have emailed one of my Music Hall collector friends and asked him if he can shed any light on Garratt's career, but any help with this or further suggestions would be welcome.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Jul 09 - 06:22 PM

Up we go!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 09:41 AM

Barbara & Artful Codger,
                         Having just come across this thread I must tell you that I wrote the version to which you refer, that of Michael Cooney. As a child I had a copy of the ZONOPHONE record from my grandmother but, as so many things in this life, it just got lost. I revived the song, based on what I could remember, for our group, "FOUR SQUARE CIRCLE" in the middle to late 60`s. Dave Andrews of Clacton, Essex has a copy of the Cooney recording making reference to him hearing it in S.London, most probably us in "The Old Tigers Head", Lee Green./


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 02:22 PM

What do you mean by "wrote", exactly? What parts?

And are you Lee Green or John from "Elsie's Band"? If not Lee, who is Lee Green?

I find it hard to believe that Cooney could have learned the whole song at one hearing, without someone teaching it to him or at least writing down the words, so I'm inclined to think he got the song at greater remove.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 27 Jul 09 - 02:54 PM

"AC",
       I kid you not. Below is the version I wrote and we have it "Elsie`s Band" repertoire to this very day. I do not remember meeting Mr. Cooney but Dave Andrews tells me there is mention in his credits of how he got it. Did he record me at the time? Who knows?
   
""I be a fair born country lad my mother came from Fareham.
`er had another six just like I. By Christ `ow she could rare`m.
And did she cook her dumplings nice, I bet you`d like to try `em
I`ve yet to find a better one. Just a country boy like I am.

Now there be a pretty girl that I love, they calls `er our Mary.
And `er works busy as a bumblebee down in Old Giles`s dairy.
And `er can cook, and `er can sow and use the smoothing iron.
And I`m gonna take `er for my wife. A country boy like I am.

We`re gonna buy old Giles`s farm when I`ve put by some money.
We`ll stuff the bees in sacks of corn, they can make us bread and honey.
And I`ll `ave `ops in every field and a big oast `ouse to dry`em
And brew the best ale all around. A country boy like I am.

Now Mary `er wants family and I will not oppose it.
Cos she`s got one of `em on the way and I don`t think that she knows it.
So we`ll get married in yonder church before its lambing time
And settle down to raising girls and country boys like I am.""

Re the dropped: "h`s", to conjure up a sense of the rural yokel dialect.
Lee Green is a borough of SE London, near Blackheath where we held a folk club in "The Old Tiger`s Head" pub.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Geoff Skeet
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 04:45 PM

"Buttercup Joe" can be picked up in a number of places, like Cambbridgeshire and Essex, where I heard it. It seems to be like "Susannah's a funniful man", lots of people know it but they think their family has a monopoly. It may have been done on MusicHall butI think it yo-yoed between musichall and tradition. Some of thw lines quoted above remind me of "Cushy Butterfield". GS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 12 Nov 13 - 05:29 PM

My first marriage had its reception in the Fighting Cocks in Kingston on 25 July 1970- I was a regular at the folk club at the time- it was a grand session of music, but Reg Hall of the Rakes made my night when he turned up with his present to me- a 78 of 'Buttercup Joe' by Albert Richardson, along with 'Blaze Away' by Tony Capaldi, one by Daniel Wyper and a few others- it set me on a musical course for life- thanks Reg!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: PHJim
Date: 12 Nov 13 - 06:00 PM

Although very similar to the other postings, this is how I hear Michael Cooney's recording:

Buttercup Joe

Now do I be a fair young country boy
My father came from Fareham.
He had another six just like I,
By Christ, how he could rare 'em.
Now, do my mum make dumplings nice,
I bet you'd like to try 'em.
I've yet to find me a better one,
A country boy like I am.

CHORUS:
For I can drive a plow and milk a cow.
I can reap and mow.
I'm as fresh as a daisy that grows in the field,
And they calls I Buttercup Joe.

Now there be a pretty girl that I love,
They calls her our Mary.
She works busy as a bumblebee
Down in old Jones's dairy.
Now her can cook and her can sew
And use the smoothing iron,
And I'm gonna take her for a wife,
A country boy like I am.

Now we're gonna buy us our own farm
When I puts by some money.
We'll put the bees in sacks of corn
They can make us bread and honey.
And I'll have hops in every field
And a big oast house to dry 'em.
I'll brew the best ale in the land,
A country boy like I am.

Now Mary, her wants family,
And I will not oppose it.
She's got one of them on the way,
And I don't think that she knows it.
So we'll get married in yonder church
Before it's lambing time
And settle down to raise some girls
And country boys like I am.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,Tony S
Date: 10 Jan 16 - 08:28 PM

My father used to sing this as long as I can remember when I was a boy 60 years ago, along with Susanna's a Funniful Man. Almost certainly he learned them from Albert Richardson's recording of both as the words I learned from my father are almost identical to the Richardson version. I intend to use it in my three yearly audition as bass for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus and am looking for a bit more information on its origins.

For I be a true-bred country chap
Me father come from Fareham
And me mother she 'as some more like I
And she well knows how to rare 'em.
Some people calls I "Bacon-fat"
And others "Turniphead"
But to prove to you I beyn't no flat
Although I'm country-bred.

Chorus:
For I can milk a cow or drive a plough
For I can reap or mow
I'm as fresh as a daisy that grows in a field
And they call I "Buttercup Joe."

Now have you met my young woman
They calls her "Our Mary"
She works as busy as bumble-bee
Down in St Johns's dairy
And don't she make those dumplin's fine
One day I'm gonna try 'em
And I'll ask her if she'd like to wed
A country chap like I am.

Now some people they likes hay-makin'
Some others they like mowin',
But the job that I likes best of all
Is a job called turnip hoein'
And won't I just, when I gets wed
To my own Mary Ann,
I'll work for her and try me best
To please her all he can.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Buttercup Joe - how old is this song?
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 11 Jan 16 - 10:20 AM

I had my (first) wedding day 'knees-up at the Fighting Cocks pub in Kingston-on-Thames, and my wedding gift from Reg Hall was six 78 records, including Dan Wyper, Tony Capaldi and the Albert Richardson one of the thread title! This was in July 1970, and when I moved to Tyneside, used to sing it at various folk clubs up there.
I liked it so much that when I returned south in 1975 I carried on singing it in East Kent pubs*
near where I lived- must have been a bit confusing for the locals to hear it sung with a Geordie accent!
Jim B
* a few being the Malvern in Dover, Botolphs Bridge, near Hythe, The Honest Miller at Brook and the Royal Oak at Mersham- happy days!!!


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