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Lyr Req: Bunch of Damned Whores (Ted Egan)

GUEST,Frances 10 May 05 - 05:18 PM
Peace 10 May 05 - 05:26 PM
Peace 10 May 05 - 05:30 PM
Peace 10 May 05 - 05:31 PM
GUEST 10 May 05 - 05:42 PM
Peace 10 May 05 - 05:48 PM
Bob Bolton 10 May 05 - 07:28 PM
Peace 10 May 05 - 08:09 PM
Margret RoadKnight 10 May 05 - 09:17 PM
Bob Bolton 10 May 05 - 11:37 PM
Bob Bolton 11 May 05 - 05:52 AM
Bob Bolton 11 May 05 - 08:34 AM
Peace 11 May 05 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,bigJ 11 May 05 - 04:08 PM
Bob Bolton 11 May 05 - 07:51 PM
Bob Bolton 12 May 05 - 06:19 AM
Bob Bolton 12 May 05 - 07:10 AM
Diva 12 May 05 - 07:18 AM
GUEST,Frances 12 May 05 - 08:23 PM
GUEST, Sunbeam 13 May 05 - 08:26 AM
*daylia* 13 May 05 - 08:59 AM
Bob Bolton 13 May 05 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,bigJ 13 May 05 - 05:41 PM
Margret RoadKnight 13 May 05 - 08:24 PM
Les B 14 May 05 - 12:55 AM
Bob Bolton 14 May 05 - 07:31 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: GUEST,Frances
Date: 10 May 05 - 05:18 PM

Hi folks
I heard a great song, it goes
We 're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers
and they say we're the cause of dessention
but none of your fuss and before you judge us there's
a few thing that I'd like to mention.

I would like to get the lyrics of same, I believe the story is based in Australia, of women convicts.
thanking you,
Frances.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Peace
Date: 10 May 05 - 05:26 PM

"Women of the same era are remembered with a completely different tone in "A Bunch of Damned Whores". It's amazing that this raucous, hard-hitting, feminist ballad was written by a man. But the material is perfect for Egan who has an eagle-sharp eye for hypocrisy: "So if I'm one of them whores / And I never wear drawers, / It's simply that I can't afford 'em. / But it seems plain to me / That the English gentry / Is the baskets what causes the whoredom."
The song is recorded by Margaret Roadknight, Margot Moir, Geraldine Doyle and Nerys Evans and is one of my favourites."

Found the above here:

www.alicespringsnews.com.au/1037.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Peace
Date: 10 May 05 - 05:30 PM

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:rF29pm8exDMJ:www.tedegan.com/page.asp%3Fpid%3D3+%22A+bunch+of+damned+whores%22,+lyrics&hl=en

www.tedegan.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Peace
Date: 10 May 05 - 05:31 PM

Frances,

I am sure that when the Aussies are awake they'll provide words for you. I can't find any on the 'net at present. I'll keep looking.

The title is "A Bunch of Damned Whores".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 05 - 05:42 PM

Hi folks,
thanks for the promt reply, I look forward to hearing all the lyrics,
Frances


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Peace
Date: 10 May 05 - 05:48 PM

ted@tedegan.com.au

You could e-mail Ted Egan and ask him where you might find the words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 10 May 05 - 07:28 PM

G'day Frances (& Brucie),

Ted might be a bit busy being Administrator (~ = Governor) of the Northern Territory ... and fighting off the legalists, whose view is that people who actually know about the real problems should not be allowed to advise the legal fraternity ... who know nothing about problems (... ¿...?) but a lot about their own set of laws.

If nobody has produced the words beforehand, I'll post them from home, tonight.

BTW: Nothwithstanding Brucie's quote, above, I have always understood that Ted's partner, Nerys Evans, had a pretty big input into this one!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Peace
Date: 10 May 05 - 08:09 PM

Hi, Bob. I don't know who wrote the song. (I guess I implied that I thought Ted Egan did.) I've never heard it before--and have no idea who the author is. However, I am looking forward to the words. Seems like a great song. And, g'day mate.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 10 May 05 - 09:17 PM

Song definitely written by Ted Egan, based on hypocrisy of English bureauocrats & churchmen towards convict women sent to Australia.

I first recorded it, with Margot & Geraldine & Nerys as mentioned above, for Ted's "Drover's Boy" album (that version currently available on his "The Land Downunder" CD).

Subsequently I recorded a version with Mara Kiek & Jarnie Birmingham & Moya Simpson for my own "Fringe Benefits" CD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 10 May 05 - 11:37 PM

G'day Margret,

Thanks for the clarification ... I may (being a bit fuzzy with an annoying head cold!) have got a bit confused with Nerys's direct input on one of the "ANZACs" songs, which was based on her own family history. I still suspect that Nerys's hand isn't far away when Ted works on his songs.

I spent some time looking around other source books and references to womwn convicts ... particularly those this song is inspired by: the Class 3 women at Tasmania's Cascades Female Factory ... for a friend who is working up material for her role guiding in the restored buildings (now a factory making sumptuous fudges!) up Mt Wellington, above Hobart. The Class 3 women probably reckoned the authorities couldn't downgrade them anymore - and they were game to make their feelings known, particularly about sanctimonious humbug.

The incident specifically behind the song was when the women were assembled for a church service, attended by the Governor, Sir John Franklin and his wife Lady Jane (who were not disliked by the convicts) ... but the clergyman's platitudes did - and the Class 3 women hoisted their skirts and bared their buttocks at him! (sans cullotes!).

Ted's song examines the way the system and society brought these women to such a pass. I hope he draws some comfort from the fact that the convicts weren't "mooning" the Governor (a position uncomfortably close to his present role) but the Parson.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUNCH OF DAMNED WHORES (Ted Egan)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 11 May 05 - 05:52 AM

G'day again,

OK ... I didn't have the words nicely processed - so I transcribed then from Ted's The Convicts theme CD. I had some trouble with one verse ... but picked up the right words from Margret's Fringe Benefits CD. (Thanks Margret ... and Moya Simpson!)

(Errr ... I didn't note down the dots ... I should do that ... some time ... soon ... )

BUNCH OF DAMNED WHORES
Words & Music: Ted Egan

We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


Cockney:
Me name's Molly Brown and the beak sent me down,
For nickin' a gentleman's watch in the Strand.
So I'm sailin' away, from Southampton today -
Transported for life to Van Diemen's Land.
So if I'm one of them 'ores and I never wear drawers,
It's simply that I can't afford 'em,
But it seems plain to me that the English gent'ry-
Is the baskets what causes the 'oredom.
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


Scots
I'm Morag MacDonald, born in the Gorbals
And raised in the brothels since I was aged twelve (ten)
And now I'm transported, for life, for me sins
- And they've handed me over to the Government men.
I wonder how just it all is for I must now
Submit to the evils of this cruel lot.
They'll flog us and rape us and tell us we're evil,
But they are the sinners - we're not!
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


Irish
I'm Bridget O'Rourke and I'm from County Cork -
I'm a prisoner for life, just for stealing a sheep,
To feed me old parents, who were squealing with hunger
Oh! Jaysus, these old times are so hard I could weep
For I'm here in the Factory - out at Parramatta
And I'm sold to the soldiers and guards,
By a dirty old harlot, who takes all the money
And spends it on liquor and cards.
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


Welsh
My name's Megan Rhys I got nabbed by the p'lice,
In the back streets of Cardiff for pinching a dress.
I'm only eighteen and I've been treated mean
My life's been a story of unhappiness.
Drummed out of my Parish for having a child,
Whose father was killed in the war -
I was driven to vice - so, to be precise,
It's your system that made me a whore
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


All:
So lift up your skirts, girls, and show your bare bums
And slap on your buttocks, me whorey old chums.
Let's show 'em we know 'em for just what they are:
They're the world's greatest baskets by far!
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


(Reprise:)
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us … (pause):
… There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A Bunch of Damned Whores
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 11 May 05 - 08:34 AM

G'day yet again Frances,

I'm back from the meeting to which I was committed ...

There were a few things that I ought to have mentioned:

As I mentioned, in my 10 May 05 - 11:37 PM post, above, the event that inspired the song actually occurred in the Female Factory (a residential prison/workhouse for female convicts), Hobart Tasmania ... but Ted has set the song (e.g: verse 3 "For I'm here in the Factory - out at Parramatta") in the better-known Female Factory that was situated at Parramatta, west of Sydney. It doesn't affect the power of the song.

The second point probably only bothers me ... I keep thinking that Margret's "Cockney" doesn't sound like a Cockney of (say) 1810 would have ... on the basis of (slightly later) phonetic renditions of street Londoners' speech in Dickens and Mayhew ... but then - if it did sound authentic ... nobody would recognise it as such! Oh well ...

Frances: Were you also after the tune? This will take longer ... neither words nor tune are in any books I can turn up. I would like to have the song fully transcribed - to persuade some of my Workshops' singers to add to their repertoire - but it will take a while ...

Oh - and I should have headed the last posting "Lyr Add", to help the Mudcat/DT harvesters!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Peace
Date: 11 May 05 - 12:43 PM

That is a great song. Thank you Bob, very much.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 11 May 05 - 04:08 PM

See Ted's book "The Land Down Under" ISBN 0-9545726-0-2 where the words are on p37. He quotes Ann Summers' book "Damned Whores and God's Police" as "arguably the most important book about Australia"
From that book he says "From 1788 until the 1840's almost all women were categorized as whores or 'damned whores' as Lt. Ralph Clark called them.
Dr Summers attributed Clark's remarks to a sighting of the Lady Juliana, a ship of the Second Fleet which brought over 200 female convicts to Sydney on the 2nd of June 1790. Clark continually ranted about the actual or alleged morals of female convicts in his journal, which he dedicated to his beloved wife in England, Betsy Alicia. He neglected to record that a convict, Mary Branham, bore his illegitimate child on Norfolk Island.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 11 May 05 - 07:51 PM

G'day bigJ,

!*¿%±...! I knew I should have Ted's words ... somewhere ... and I do have his book The Land Down Under!

(Well ... it's somewhere ... on one of my dozen bookshelves ... somewhere among (~) 2999 other books ... or in one of the piles that haven't yet found a gap in the shelves ... )

BTW: For anyone puzzling over Anne Summers' full title Damned Whores and God's Police, the book deals with the two opposing views (and realities) of women in colonial Australia - Lt Clark's uncharitable (and hypocritical) characterisation and that of Caroline Chisholm, the philanthopist and welfare worker who promoted immigration of free women, to be "God's police" among the lawless men.

Oh well, I'll check my hearing of the song against the "official" version - and, maybe post corrections.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUNCH OF DAMNED WHORES (Ted Egan)
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 12 May 05 - 06:19 AM

G'day again,

I found the book ... and there are a few minor mishearings in the text ... and an entirely optimistic attempt to hear the latter part od the second last line of the Welsh convict's verse in English! I also seem to have bowdlerised the ensemble's last line (admittedly, in line with the Cockney verse!)

Here's a corrected version:

Bunch of Damned Whores
Words & Music: Ted Egan

We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


Cockney:
Me name's Molly Brown and the beak sent me down,
For nickin' a gentleman's watch in the Strand.
So I'm sailin' away, from Southampton today -
Transported for life to Van Diemen's Land.
So if I'm one of them whores and I never wear drawers,
It's simply that I can't afford 'em,
But it seems plain to me that the English gentry-
Is the baskets what causes the whoredom.
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


Scots
I'm Morag MacDonald, born in the Gorbals
And raised in the brothels since I was aged ten
And now I'm transported, for life, for me sins
- And they've handed me over to the Government men.
I wonder how just it all is for I must now
Submit to the evils of this cruel lot.
They'll flog us and rape us and tell us we're evil,
But they are the sinners - we're not!
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


Irish
I'm Bridgid O'Rourke and I'm from County Cork -
I'm a prisoner for life, just for stealing a sheep,
To feed me old parents, who were squealing with hunger
Oh! Jesus, these times are so hard I could weep
For I'm here in the Factory - out at Parramatta
And I'm sold to the soldiers and guards,
By a dirty old harlot, who takes all the money
And spends it on liquor and cards.
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


Welsh
My name's Megan Rhys I got nabbed by the police,
In the back streets of Cardiff for pinching a dress.
I'm only eighteen and I've been treated mean
My life's been a story of unhappiness.
Drummed out of my Parish for having a child,
Whose father was killed in the war -
I was driven to vice - so, "Twill dîn, pob saes"
It's the system what made me a whore
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


So lift up your skirts, girls, and show your bare bums
And slap on your buttocks, me whorey old chums.
Let's show 'em we know 'em, for just what they are.
They're the world's greatest bastards by far!
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us -
There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


(Reprise:)
We're a bunch of damned whores and we never wear drawers,
And they say we're the cause of dissension,
But none of your fuss, before you judge us … (pause):
… There's a few things that we'd like to mention.


I had hoped the book might have had the tune ... but no! (I will ... some time ... get around to capturing the dots ...)

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 12 May 05 - 07:10 AM

Err ... G'day again,

I was baffled by the Welsh ... but a Google search turned up an interview with a Welsh-American TV actor that revealed (as his sole Welsh phrase ...): Twill din bob sias means "arseholes to the English".

Well, I guess that's what the story is about!

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Diva
Date: 12 May 05 - 07:18 AM

Heard it sung last year at Girvan..wonderful song, for the moment the name of the singer escapes me but she was from Dublin (I think)and a real cracker


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: GUEST,Frances
Date: 12 May 05 - 08:23 PM

Hi Bob and all the gang who took the time to help me.
Thanks for going to all that trouble, you are a darling. I know the air and will get great pleasure out of singing it. I hope to get Teds CD.
thanks again, the story behind the song is so powerfull.
Frances


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: GUEST, Sunbeam
Date: 13 May 05 - 08:26 AM

"Bunch of slammed doors" would be an appropriate chaser, I think.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: *daylia*
Date: 13 May 05 - 08:59 AM

so what do you call 12 philosophers on a park bench?

























a bunch of crammed bores


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 13 May 05 - 09:11 AM

G'day Frances,

This song, A Bunch of Damned Whores is actually on three of ted's CDs! (Various themed sets over the past 16 years!):

The Drover's Boy: A Celebration of Australian Women, Ted Egan TE4,

The Convicts: (Faces of Australia Series), Ted Egan TE9 and

The Land Downunder:(2-CD set),Evergreen Media EVGR001

... as well as Margret RoadKnight's Fringe Benefits, Newmarket MusicNEW1021.2.

They are all great CDs, each in their own way - you can't go wrong with any of them.

The Drover's Boy title track gives you another of Ted's really iconic songs - about an Aboriginal girl kidnapped and set to work in Australia's early cattle industry - inter alia.

This is a story with such epic overtones that Ted is obsessed with the aim of getting it to the screen as a major movie ... and a bloody good song.

Anyway ... enjoy!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 13 May 05 - 05:41 PM

Diva, probably the Irish singer who you heard sing "Bunch.... " might be Rosie Stewart who's been singing it - with considerable relish - for several years.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 13 May 05 - 08:24 PM

Appreciate the thumbs up, Bob.

Btw, the song also lent itself to some amusing Ozlan (Australian sign language) interpretation & bits of mime/ choreography in past performances with the other 'whores', Mara Kiek (Irish) & Jarnie Birmingham (Scottish) & Moya Simpson (Welsh).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Les B
Date: 14 May 05 - 12:55 AM

Interesting song. While I understand the general meaning, one line has me puzzled; the English gentry being the "baskets" that cause whoredom ? Is "baskets" a slang term, or a corruption of "bastards" or what ??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: bunch of damned whores
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 14 May 05 - 07:31 AM

G'day Les B,

"Baskets" is usually heard as a euphemism in contexts such as public events/plays/concerts or broadcasts. It confused me a little to clearly hear the euphemised version in the (Cockney) 1st verse ... then to have the honest word in the (all in) final verse.

I wouldn't normally expect to find the euphemism in the same work as the honest word ... but I guess Ted saw it as in intensification ... maybe?

It's not a particularly common slang form round here (Sydney, Australia - where Ted sets the song, if not when) ... well, it's not common among people I know!

regards,

Bob


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