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Lyr Add: The Proper English Gentleman

DigiTrad:
HIGH-TONED SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN
THE PROPER ENGLISH GENTLEMAN


Stu Shiffman 23 Feb 97 - 06:00 AM
MMario 27 Jul 01 - 02:12 PM
Hollowfox 27 Jul 01 - 02:44 PM
MMario 27 Jul 01 - 02:47 PM
Hollowfox 27 Jul 01 - 03:22 PM
MMario 27 Jul 01 - 03:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jul 01 - 04:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jul 01 - 12:47 PM
Snuffy 29 Jul 01 - 07:18 PM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Jul 01 - 10:37 PM
MMario 30 Jul 01 - 08:41 AM
MMario 03 Dec 02 - 01:49 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Dec 02 - 01:57 PM
MMario 03 Dec 02 - 02:06 PM
MikeofNorthumbria 04 Dec 02 - 08:00 AM
Jim Dixon 24 Dec 03 - 07:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Dec 03 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,Gary Sill 28 Nov 04 - 05:39 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Nov 04 - 10:14 PM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Nov 04 - 10:23 PM
GUEST 30 Nov 04 - 12:37 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Nov 04 - 11:13 PM
Tattie Bogle 25 Aug 09 - 08:43 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Aug 09 - 09:57 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 Aug 09 - 07:15 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jun 14 - 07:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jun 14 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,Lupus BadWolf 21 Feb 18 - 06:18 AM
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Subject: ADD: The Proper English Gentleman^^
From: Stu Shiffman
Date: 23 Feb 97 - 06:00 AM

Hello folkies!

Here's a song that I came across in a historical novel set in 1919 (A Test Of Wills by Charles Todd, St Martin's 1996, with its shell-shocked Scotland Yard inspector), thought it would be of interest. Anybody knows who wrote the damn thing, or when it was first performed, please let me know.

He's a proper English Gentleman who never spills his beer.
He dines with all the ladies and never shows his fear
Of picking up the wrong fork or swearing at the soup
When it's hot enough to burn him, or jumping through the hoop
Of English Society, and all it represents.

But he's a damned good soldier in front of all the troops
And marches like a gentleman in his fine leather boots
And eats in the reg'lar mess and calls the men by name
And shares the dirty work with 'em, what's called the killing game
Of English Imperialism and all it represents.

But by his own hearthside he's a different sort
And he beats his tenants quarterly and no one dares retort,
He takes their wives and daughters, and never stops to think
That a man might someday shoot him when he's had enough to drink!
Of English duplicity, and all it represents.

He's the finest of examples, and there's others of his kind
Who keep their secrets closely and never seem to mind
That the man who sits at table and his their deepest trust
Might carry in his bosom the foulest kind of lust,
Not English respectability, and all it represents.

So watch you step, my laddies, keep your distance, ladies dear,
Watch out for English gentlemen and don't ever let them near.
Their faces won't betray them, their deeds are fine and true,
But put them near temptation and it really will not do --
For certain English gentlemen and all they represent.^^

Stu Shiffman
roscoe@halcyon.com
http://www.halcyon.com/roscoe/
Line Breaks <br> added.
-Joe Offer-

Added to Digital Tradition
April 99


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Subject: RE: info sought on
From: MMario
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 02:12 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: info sought on
From: Hollowfox
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 02:44 PM

It could have been written by the author in the style of the time period. Check in the front of the book, to see if he gives credit/acknowledgment to someone for the poem.


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Subject: RE: info sought on
From: MMario
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 02:47 PM

sorry HF - I should have pointed out I refreshed this from 4 years ago. I like the ditty - and curious myself.


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Subject: RE: info sought on
From: Hollowfox
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 03:22 PM

No problem, Mm. My library has the book, just not at the branch where I'm working today, so I can check for you next week, if you like.


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Subject: RE: info sought on
From: MMario
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 03:24 PM

please. Wonder if it says what the tune is?


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Subject: RE: info sought on
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 04:18 PM

Reads as if it was written by someone who appreciates Kipling's style, while deploring his politics. I think that would be something a lot of Mudcatters would agree on.

Unless there's something in the book that's specifically says he didn't write it, I'd have thought the author would be the most likely one. (And even if he says he didn't write it, I'd have my doubts - unless it's turned up earlier of course.)

If it actually does date from 1919, I'd suspect an Irish source.


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Subject: RE: info sought on
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jul 01 - 12:47 PM

First posted in Feb 1997, revived in July 2001, and dying away. I'm curious.

Here is an interview with the author I found on the web. I haven't read the books, but if I come across them I think I will.

There's nothing here that really relates to it. But I'd bet that the song is written in the 1990s rather than the 1920s. The stance feels like that a detective story writer might take - hidden guilt exposed, the least likely suspect, that kind of thing.


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Subject: RE: info sought on
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Jul 01 - 07:18 PM

looks like a parody of the Fine Old English Gentleman or the HIGH-TONED SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: info sought on
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Jul 01 - 10:37 PM

So far as I can tell, the original Fine Old English Gentleman was written by Charles H. Purday (1799-1885), who in the 1840s was Conductor of Psalmnody at Crown Court Scots Church in Covent Garden, London.  He also wrote one of the tunes (Sandon) to which Lead Kindly Light is sung.  There are several broadside texts at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.

The original song was of the sentimental kind, celebrating the tradition of benevolent paternalism.  It very quickly lent itself to parodies, both topical and political, and appears to have spawned at least one "Ethiopian" song, The fine old coloured gemman.  By no means all reactionary parodies; Such of Union Street published a broadside (The fine old English labourer, between 1865 and 1885) celebrating the growth of agricultural Trades Unions.  All these may be seen at the Bodleian site.

At the  America Singing  site, you can see a song-sheet including both   The Fine Old English Gentleman and The Fine Old Irish Gentleman   Published by J. H. Johnson of No. 7 North Tenth St., 3 doors above Market, Philadelphia.

There are also a couple of copies of  The Fine Old Dutch Gentleman  -this one published by H. De Marsan of 60 Chatham St., New York, and set to the same tune; though I haven't so far seen notation, I expect it's out there somewhere.

If the text in question is a recent parody, it belongs to a long line of parodies -which will certainly include others not so far mentioned- based on what, to have attracted so much attention, must have been a very popular song in its day.  Certainly the original would pre-date Kipling (who was by no means as reactionary as many people today, using hindsight, might suppose) by quite a long time.


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Subject: RE: info sought on
From: MMario
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 08:41 AM

Thanks Malcolm (I seem to be saying that a lot lately!)


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Subject: RE: info req: THE PROPER ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
From: MMario
Date: 03 Dec 02 - 01:49 PM

tune for 'Fine Old English Gentleman' located at Levy - midi coming soon


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Subject: RE: info req: THE PROPER ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Dec 02 - 01:57 PM

Ah, but which one?

The information I gave earlier, incidentally, was woefully incomplete. See The Old Courtier etc. at Bruce Olson's website for more.


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Subject: RE: info req: THE PROPER ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
From: MMario
Date: 03 Dec 02 - 02:06 PM

*grump*

You're gonna shame me into going back and comparing the tunes, aren't you? I took the one with the clearest music "as sung by Mr. H. Runnell" - but suppose I should go check out the one Including the Old Courtier (etc) from which it derived


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Subject: RE: info req: THE PROPER ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 08:00 AM

Just for the record, no less a person than Mr Charles Dickens also wrote a parody of the "Fine Old English Gentleman" - it's very bitter about the sufferings of the poor, and the indifference of the wealthy, during the hungry 1840s. I have it in a verse anthology at home, and will try to dig it out and post it tomorrow.

Wassail!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FINE OLD ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Dec 03 - 07:36 PM

Transcribed from The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music:

THE FINE OLD ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
A Popular English Ballad,
As Sung by
Mr. H. Russell.
New York, Published at Atwill's Music Saloon, 201 Broadway.
[no date]

I'll sing you a good old song that was made by a good old pate,
Of a fine old English gentleman who had an old estate.
He kept up his old mansion at a bountiful old rate,
With a good old porter to relieve the old poor at his gate,
Like a fine old English gentleman, one of the olden time.

His hall so old was hung about with pikes, and guns, and bows,
And swords, and good old bucklers that had stood some tough old blows.
'Twas there His Worship sat in state, in doublet and trunk-hose,
And quaffed a cup of good old sack, to comfort his old nose,
Like a fine old English gentleman, one of the olden time.

His custom was, when Christmas came, to bid his friends repair
To his old hall, where feast and ball for them he did prepare;
And though the rich he entertained, he ne'er forgot the poor,
Nor was the houseless wanderer e'er driven from the door
Of this good old English gentleman, one of the olden time.

Yet all, at length, must bend to fate; so like the ebbing tide,
Declining gently to the last, this fine old man he died.
The widows' and the orphans' tears bedewed his cold grave's side,
And where's the scutcheon that can show so much the worth and pride
Of a fine old English gentleman, one of the olden time?

But times and seasons, though they change, and customs pass away,
Yet English hands and English hearts will prove old England's sway;
And though our coffers mayn't be filled as they were wont of yore,
We still have hands to fight, if need, and hearts to help the poor,
Like the good old English gentleman, all of the olden time.


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Subject: RE: info req: THE PROPER ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Dec 03 - 09:19 PM

"The Fine Old Southern Gentleman" Lyrics and sound recording at- http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/Songs/taylorthefineoldsouthern.html- Southern Gentleman


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Subject: RE: info req: THE PROPER ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
From: GUEST,Gary Sill
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 05:39 PM

Hi Mike of Northumbria,

We are doing a dramatisation of Dicken's 'A Christmas Carole' and thought it would be nice to presentsomething of his music. The thoughtwas that maybe his parody of "The Fine Old English Gentleman" would be a great choice but I am having no luck tracking down his lyrics (I have the music from the Levy site).

I did find your post from December 2002- Did you ever find it?

Cheers!

Gary


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD ENGLISH GENTLEMAN (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 10:14 PM

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 11(1767):

THE OLD ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
London:--H. P. Such, Machine Printer & Publisher
177, Union-street, Borough, S.E.
[between 1863 and 1885]

I'll sing you a good old song made by a good old pate,
Of a fine old English gentleman who had an old estate,
And who kept up his old mansion at a bountiful old rate,
With a good old porter to relieve the old poor at his gate,
Like a fine old English gentleman, one of the olden time.

His hall so old was hung about with pikes, and guns, and bows,
And swords, and good old bucklers that had stood against old foes,
And 'twas there His Worship sat in state in doublet and trunk hose,
And quaffed a cup of good old sack to comfort his old nose,
Like a fine old English gentleman, one of the olden time.

When winter old brought frost and cold, he opened house to all,
And though three-score-and-ten his years, he featly (?) led the ball,
Nor was the houseless wanderer e'er driven from his hall,
For while he feasted all the great, he ne'er forgot the small,
Like a fine old English gentleman, one of the olden time.

But time though sweet is strong in flight, and years roll swiftly by,
And autumn's falling leaf proclaimed the old man he must die;
He laid him down right tranquilly—gave up his latest sigh,
And mournful friends stood round his couch and tears bedimm'd each eye,
For the fine old English gentleman, one of the olden time.

Now surely this is better far than all the vain parade
Of theatre and fancy ball, 'at home' and masquerade,
And much more economical when all your bills are paid,
Then leave your new vagaries off, and take up the old trade,
Of a fine old English gentleman, one of the olden time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Proper English Gentleman
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 10:23 PM

I don't know yet where Dickens' parody appeared (in a magazine, I expect) but I came across a (non-specific) reference to it today, and will look further.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Proper English Gentleman
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 12:37 AM

Ah- ha, Zounds!

I found the Charles Dickens parody lyrics on this site:

http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/dickens/pva/pva352.html

Thanks for taking the time to look into this. Here it is.

I'll sing you a new ballad, and I'll warrant it first-rate,
Of the days of that old gentleman who had that old estate;
When they spent the public money at a bountiful old rate
On ev'ry mistress, pimp, and scamp, at ev'ry noble gate,
In the fine old English Tory times;
Soon may they come again!


The good old laws were garnished well with gibbets, whips, and chains,
With fine old English penalties, and fine old English pains,
With rebel heads, and seas of blood once hot in rebel veins;
For all these things were requisite to guard the rich old gains
Of the fine old English Tory times;
Soon may they come again!


This brave old code, like Argus, had a hundred watchful eyes,
And ev'ry English peasant had his good old English spies,
To tempt his starving discontent with fine old English lies,
Then call the good old Yeomanry to stop his peevish cries,
In the fine old English Tory times;
Soon may they come again!


The good old times for cutting throats that cried out in their need,
The good old times for hunting men who held their fathers' creed,
The good old times when William Pitt, as all good men agreed,
Came down direct from Paradise at more than railroad speed. . . .
Oh the fine old English Tory times;
When will they come again!


In those rare days, the press was seldom known to snarl or bark,
But sweetly sang of men in pow'r, like any tuneful lark;
Grave judges, too, to all their evil deeds were in the dark;
And not a man in twenty score knew how to make his mark.
Oh the fine old English Tory times;
Soon may they come again!  


Those were the days for taxes, and for war's infernal din;
For scarcity of bread, that fine old dowagers might win;
For shutting men of letters up, through iron bars to grin,
Because they didn't think the Prince was altogether thin,
In the fine old English Tory times;
Soon may they come again!


But Tolerance, though slow in flight, is strong-wing'd in the main;
That night must come on these fine days, in course of time was plain;
The pure old spirit struggled, but Its struggles were in vain;
A nation's grip was on it, and it died in choking pain,  
With the fine old English Tory days,
All of the olden time.


The bright old day now dawns again; the cry runs through the land,
In England there shall be dear bread -- in Ireland, sword and brand;
And poverty, and ignorance, shall swell the rich and grand,
So, rally round the rulers with the gentle iron hand,
Of the fine old English Tory days; Hail to the coming time!  


(Written and published in 1841)

Cheers!

Gary


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Proper English Gentleman
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 11:13 PM

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:
Harding B 11(1877) is similar to Harding B 11(1767), shown above, but it has one more verse:

Those good old times have pass'd away, and all such customs fled,
We've now no fine old gentlemen, nor young ones in their stead,
Necessity has driv'n hope and charity away,
Yet we may live to welcome back that memorable day
Which rear'd these fine old gentlemen.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Proper English Gentleman
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 08:43 PM

I was looking for the words to a song that Hamish Imlach sang, called "The Fine Old English Tory Times" and after a bit of Googling it turns out they are the words of the Dickens parody as shown above.
Hamish sang it to the tune of "Glory Hallellujah" or "Mine Eyes have seen the Glory".

Some more info from another website:

.............a series of radical squibs that he had written for the Examiner, the most memorable of them being his new version of "The Fine Old English Gentleman," "to be said or sung at all Conservative dinners." In this lampoon--and I think it is worth our while to take a glance at it--his demeanor towards the past is uncomplicatedly satirical:


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD ENGLISH GENTLEMAN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:57 AM

From Burton's Comic Songster, edited by W. E. Burton (Philadelphia: James Kay Jun. & Brother, 1837, page 124:

THE OLD ENGLISH GENTLEMAN.
Sung by Mr. Rowbotham.—Air, Queen Anne's Courtier.
WITH EXTRA VERSES NOW FIRST PUBLISHED.

[The first 5 verses are nearly the same as those posted above, from the Bodleian Library]

ADDITIONAL VERSES.

6. His library he kept quite full of good old learned books,
And a reverend old chaplain, you might know him by his looks;
With a good old buttery hatch quite worn off the old hooks,
And a good old kitchen where he kept some famous good old cooks.
Like a fine old, &c.

7. He kept a fine old huntsman, besides a pack of hounds,
With which he never hunted, except on his own grounds;
And then he always kept himself within his income's bounds,
So when he died he left each child a good old thousand pounds.
Like a fine old, &c.

8. Then to his eldest son, his house and all his land assign'd,
Charging him that he would be of the same bounteous mind;
But this young English gentleman for that was ne'er inclined,
So in a trice, left good advice, and precepts far behind,
Of this fine old, &c.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Proper English Gentleman
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 07:15 AM

Thanks Jim.
So if you add on the verse you posted on 30.11/04, you've now got 9 in al!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Proper English Gentleman
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jun 14 - 07:26 PM

I would like to know when the version that begins this thread (and is in the DT) was written, and if possible by whom.
Charles Todd, in his novel "A Test of Wills," says "But the ballad had been popular enough in the trenches during the war."
(He is speaking of WW 1)

Some five years have gone by since the last post to this thread, and perhaps more information is available.

The version also is printed in www.traditinalmusic.co.uk, with the same request for attribution.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Proper English Gentleman
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jun 14 - 07:27 PM

That's www.traditionalmusic.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Proper English Gentleman
From: GUEST,Lupus BadWolf
Date: 21 Feb 18 - 06:18 AM

Hi, Firstly, did you know that Charles Todd is actually a mother & son team from USA.
They do say that the song was written by a contempory of Kipling, but so far my researches have lead nowhere.

Good luck in your search, I for one will not give up till I've exhausted all avenues.


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