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Lyr Req: I Wonder What It Feels Like to Be Poor

ToneDeafDave 26 Jun 05 - 09:47 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Jun 05 - 08:40 AM
Billy Weeks 29 Jun 05 - 04:28 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Jun 05 - 12:23 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 30 Jun 05 - 09:20 AM
GUEST 01 Jul 05 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,Terry K 01 Jul 05 - 03:15 AM
Billy Weeks 01 Jul 05 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,JTT 01 Jul 05 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 01 Jul 05 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,JTT 01 Jul 05 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 02 Jul 05 - 02:03 PM
ToneDeafDave 09 Jul 05 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,Pat Cooksey. 10 Jul 05 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Jul 05 - 02:03 AM
GUEST 21 Aug 16 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,GUEST HP 08 Aug 17 - 11:28 AM
Anglogeezer 08 Aug 17 - 12:59 PM
Rapparee 08 Aug 17 - 10:13 PM
Rapparee 08 Aug 17 - 10:21 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: ToneDeafDave
Date: 26 Jun 05 - 09:47 AM

"I wonder what it feels like to be poor (bis)

To have the wolf a'knockin at the door(knock, knock, knock)

....

As we sat down to tea, Lord Rothschild said to me,

"I wonder what it feels like to be poor"

These are all the words that my brother remembers of a song he used to sing when young. This probably makes it folk song by dint of age, if nothing else, since he is among the small percentage of the world population who are older than me...

Anyway, it sound like something I would like to learn myself...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 08:40 AM

The song is mentioned in Graham Greene's 1938 novel "Brighton Rock". A generous extract from the novel is given at the publisher's website. Here's the quote:
    'Give us another, Lily,' one of them said and she began, 'One night—in an alley—Lord Rothschild said to me.' She never got beyond a few lines. She wanted to laugh too much to give her voice a chance, but she had an inexhaustible memory for ballads. Hale had never heard one of them before. With his glass to his lips he watched her with nostalgia: she was off again on a song which must have dated back to the Australian gold rush.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 29 Jun 05 - 04:28 PM

Michael Kilgarriff, as usual with this kind of song, gives details of publication: - by Murphy, Lipton and Magine, published by Lawrence Wright, 1913. It is a beautiful, poignant portrayal of a down and out with dreams of wealth. It was sung by Tom E Hughes, who never recorded it, but it shouldn't be too difficult to track down a copy. The tune is quite haunting and the words are best sung with no hint of irony.

Only last night over tea
Baron Rothschild said to me
-Ah, Tom...
I wonder what it feels like to be poor?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 12:23 AM

An article in The Guardian mentions a music hall song called I WONDER WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE POOR. They attribute it to Tom Hughes.

I found this quote in an interview. (I inserted linebreaks; not sure if I got them in the right places.)

Oh, I wonders what it feels like to be poor,
To 'ave the wolf for ever at your door.
There are thousands of poor men who only earn ten pound a week,
Who only 'ave four meals a day and nothing else to eat.
How my heart aches when I see the shabby clothes they wear!
A life like that I never could enjoy.

Only last night after tea,
Baron Rothschild says to me,
Oh, I wonder what it feels like to be poor.
'Alf of London's population suffer hunger and starvation
Through nothing else but food to eat, they say.
'Ow can they expect any 'elp,
'Ow can they expect any wealth,
When they wash theirselves in water twice a day?
I never go to bed at night but I say a prayer
For those poor souls who hang their lives all around about Mayfair.

Oh, I wonder...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 30 Jun 05 - 09:20 AM

According to references I've found, this was a fairly popular items in the early 20th century London music hall. It has even been cited in a discussion in the Irish Parliament.

Tom Hughes is either its author or its performer, or both.

Note the following, from http://homepage.ntlworld.com/oxfordtours/fred/

Life in the Trenches - Personal Recollections of the First World War by Fred Cox

"Oh I wonder" - 'ee come out dressed in rags –

"Oh I wonders what it feels like to be poor… [repeats same chorus and verse as posted above]

"I see you got the other verses to it. Oh this 'ere man who was at the Palais 'ee's a past master at that. 'Ee used to take it 'orf (sing the song) in a old rag cloth hat, a high hat 'ee used to 'ave, rag coat right down to here, and that. Everybody asked him to sing 'cos, you know (it had) sentiment."

Alas, he does not repeat "the other verses to it!" Nor is it in my copy of "British Music Hall Songs."

By the way, John Roberts (see thread on his surgery) was delving deep into the Music Hall a while back and if he's well enough, he might have this song at his fingertips.

Meanwhile I'm searching Levy, American Memory etc. and will report results if any.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 03:12 AM

Blatant name-drop alert!!! - I've met the present Lord Rothschild. We shared a handshake and some pleasantries, but I don't recall what "Lord Rothschild said to me....".

I don't think he really knows what it's like to be poor either.

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: GUEST,Terry K
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 03:15 AM

Oh yes, back door. That was me - is that the first ever instance of anonymous name-dropping?

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 11:17 AM

At the risk of repeating myself, as this is a British song it would be better to look in Kilgarriff's great catalogue, rather than Levy or American Memory and if you do so you will get the details of authorship, date, original singer etc quoted above.

This thread has already provided a good half of the words. Sadly my collection of sheet music doesn't include this song. If it had,would it have been possible to put a scanned image on Mudcat(bearing in mind that I have limited computer skills) or would the whole thing have to be laboriously keyed in?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 01:56 PM

A few hits online, including Lemass quoting the song in the Dail in 1930... but not the complete words.

What a quintessentially Cockney rhyming of 'elp and welf it has, though! Gorgeous!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 03:09 PM

Note the following, found on Amazon UK. It appears not to be in stock, but the publication data may make it possible to find a copy.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000D09DY/qid%3D1120244549/026-9604760-5259666

I wonder what it feels like to be poor! [Song.] Written and composed by C. W. Murphy, Dan Lipton and Magini. [Staff and tonic sol-fa notation.] (Lawrence Wright's 6d Edition)
Clarence Wainwright Murphy

Edition: Unknown Binding

Product Details:
*        Unknown Binding 3 pages (1920)
*        Publisher: The Lawrence Wright Music Co
*        ISBN: B0000D09DY

Incidentally, it might seem kind of baffling why this song, so popular once, and evidently still ringing in people's memories--a reviewer talks about it as if it was common--is so hard to find.

My guess: themes this political don't find favor among corporate bodies, still less among those who think there is no such thing as class war--even as the rich wage class warfare on the poor and middle class to a degree not seen since the 1920s. It's "just not mentioned."

Too bad. We could use a song like this right now. Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 01 Jul 05 - 03:12 PM

And a nice Lafite to wash it down and oil our gullets as we sing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 02 Jul 05 - 02:03 PM

It is IMO a great blessing to American Jews that Americans who are famous for being rich are never Jews. Where a European would say "You'd have to be richer than Rothschild", we, over the years, have had to make do with "richer than John Jacob Astor, Jay Gould, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Donald Trump, Bill Gates". Goyim all! God be praised!

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: I have an open relationship with the world. :||


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: ToneDeafDave
Date: 09 Jul 05 - 08:08 PM

I'd like to thank everyone who contributed! My brother's machine has been down, or else he would have answered for himself. I was not quite expecting so much erudition - perhaps I don't visit Mudcat enough!

It's fascinating how a much-sung song can sort-of fade away like that and be hard to recover - my brother can remember singing it...

I'm really glad I asked - an eye-opener for me....

Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: GUEST,Pat Cooksey.
Date: 10 Jul 05 - 10:09 PM

I sing this as part of a medley of music hall songs there are many different verses to keep it topical the first verse was pretty standard

I wonder wha it feels like to be poor
To have the world forever at your door
there are thousands of poor men
who only earn a hundred pounds a week
who only get ten meals a day
and never dare to speak
Oh my heart bleeds when I think about
those shabby boots and clothes they wear
a life like their's I never could endure
only last night over tea
Baron Rothchild said to me
Oh I wonder what it feels like
to be poor.

ssung in a cockney accent.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 02:03 AM

What do they mean by "only ten meals a day"?

Let's see. There's breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, tea, tiffin, dinner and possibly a late supper if one's been dancing all night. That's only seven.

What is tiffin, anyway? I mean, besides an Iowa town on I-80, next to What Cheer??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lord Rothschild said to me...
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Aug 16 - 09:27 PM

My mother used to sing "I wonder what it feels like to be poor
To have the wolf forever at your door
They say there are some men who only earn ten pounds a week
They only get four meals a day
And never dare to speak"

That's all i can remember


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Wonder What It Feels Like to Be Poor
From: GUEST,GUEST HP
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 11:28 AM

Hello - Id love to know if any one has a recording of this song? Or could point me in the direction of some sheet music to play it?
Thank you


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Wonder What It Feels Like to Be Poor
From: Anglogeezer
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 12:59 PM

Written by C.W. Murphy, Dan Lipton & Magini and published in 1920, a copy of this is available at the British Library, St Pancras, London.

see here for details ... library link

Jake


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Wonder What It Feels Like to Be Poor
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 10:13 PM

If you find the lyrics I'd like to know as well. I'd drop by the British Library for it, but it's a trifle far from Idaho, USA.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Wonder What It Feels Like to Be Poor
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Aug 17 - 10:21 PM

There does not seem to be a copy of the music, recorded or otherwise, in the Library of Congress.


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