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Dark Irish kid tunes

Armand (inactive) 24 Jan 99 - 08:16 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 24 Jan 99 - 08:23 PM
Armand (inactive) 24 Jan 99 - 10:22 PM
Barry Finn 24 Jan 99 - 11:17 PM
alison 25 Jan 99 - 03:16 AM
Liam's Brother 25 Jan 99 - 09:04 AM
Philippa 26 Jan 99 - 06:18 AM
Philippa 26 Jan 99 - 06:31 AM
Armand (inactive) 26 Jan 99 - 11:01 AM
alison 26 Jan 99 - 07:21 PM
alison 26 Jan 99 - 07:34 PM
Martin _Ryan 26 Jan 99 - 07:48 PM
Alice 26 Jan 99 - 08:34 PM
rich r 26 Jan 99 - 08:51 PM
alison 26 Jan 99 - 11:46 PM
dick greenhaus 26 Jan 99 - 11:53 PM
alison 27 Jan 99 - 02:45 AM
Liam's Brother 28 Jan 99 - 10:42 PM
Bruce O. 28 Jan 99 - 11:26 PM
Dani 29 Jan 99 - 03:48 PM
rois 30 Jan 99 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,kira.seaton@tri-c.cc.oh.us 12 Jun 00 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,sadie damascus 11 May 06 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,JTT 11 May 06 - 07:49 PM
GUEST 11 May 06 - 07:51 PM
Azizi 11 May 06 - 07:59 PM
Azizi 11 May 06 - 08:28 PM
NH Dave 12 May 06 - 01:26 AM
GUEST 09 Apr 15 - 06:25 PM
Thompson 09 Apr 15 - 07:33 PM
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Subject: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Armand (inactive)
Date: 24 Jan 99 - 08:16 PM

On a thread that vanished while I wasn't looking, someone mentioned a recording of Irish kid songs called "Glasgow Street Songs" by Jimmy McGregor and Robin Hall. I couldn't find anything on the recording. One of the songs that was listed on the post was "You cannae shover Grannie From the Bus". So, does anyone out there happen to know where I can find similar recordings?

Armand


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 24 Jan 99 - 08:23 PM

There is also the one about sticking knives in babies' heads, which I think was done by the Dubliners although IIRC their version leaves out the verse with the moral.


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Armand (inactive)
Date: 24 Jan 99 - 10:22 PM

There's a musician in my area (Portland, OR, US) that does that one. I think that it is called "Down by the River Sawyer", but I'm lookin' for more of the like. Thanks though,

Armand


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Jan 99 - 11:17 PM

Enter in the search box Shove Bus & you'll come up with your Grannie song. Barry


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: alison
Date: 25 Jan 99 - 03:16 AM

Hi,

Crooked Jack do a great kids tape, (I don't think they ever made it a CD), has "you cannae shove your granny...." and various other kids songs. My kids love it. ... and so do I.......

Crooked Jack

OK.. I admit they're Scottish..... but they do a lot of songs I learnt as a kid in Belfast.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 25 Jan 99 - 09:04 AM

Hi Alison!

There was a Topic, I believe, lp of Glasgow street songs, by various artists. I have it but, because our apartment is so tiny, I keep it in storage. I will look this up and give you the details. I have a similar book as well but that is at my "fishing camp."

At least one other recording would be of interest to you. That's a Folkways lp of Dominic Behan & Ewan MacColl of children's songs and childhood remembrances. It's absolutely excellent. Will get details on that too.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: Lyr Add: WEELA WALLIA
From: Philippa
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 06:18 AM

What about "the wren, the wren, the king of all birds, St Stephen's day was cutting the furze"? The children go around with a dead wren, collecting money for the funeral. Presumably, they killed the bird, "I followed the wren three miles or more, three miles or more, three miles or more;/I followed the wren three miles or more at 6 o'clock in the morning"
(tune She'll be coming round the mountain)"...ye can shove your other granny, 'cos she's your Daddy's mammy, Ye can shove yer other grannie off the bus!" tjacques and Armand's suggested song goes like this:

1)There was an old woman who lived in the woods, weela, weela, wal-ya
There was an old woman who lived in the woods, Down by the river side-a
2)She had a baby 6 months old, weela...
3)She had a penknife long and sharp
4)She stuck the knife in the baby's head...
The more she stuck, the more it bled
5)Two big knocks come a-knockin' at the door...Three policemen standing there
6) Are you the woman what killed the child...
7) I am the woman what killed the child...
8) The rope went up and she got hung..
9) The moral of this story is...
Don't stick knives in babies' heads

The black humour is in the very coarseness of the song. But I much prefer the more subtle adult versions; look up the Cruel Mother in the database.


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Philippa
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 06:31 AM

In the 1970s I worked for a short while with children's playgroups in Belfast. I heard the "Granny" song then, and I also heard a lot of political and sectarian ditties.
"Georgie Best [soccer football player] super star/He wears frilly knickers and a padded bra", a parody itself, became
IRA superstars, how many Para's {paratroopers]have you shot so far
a hundred and one,with a Thompson gun
Two were lucky, they got shot in the bum.

A sample of a sectarian verse is:
The Pope was in the German tank, Parley-vous
The Pope was in the German tank, Parley-vous
The Pope was in the German tank, reading a 'Beano' and having a wank
Inky-pinky Parley-vous

I don't think that qualifies for the "Macarónachas" thread. I have chosen to remember the more repeatable of these ditties! Folklorists and ethnomusicologists missed an excellent opportunity for field research in song transmission. If you had your ear to the ground, you could follow how some songs were adopted from one area of the city to the next: "Have you heard of the battle of Ballymurphy/Where most of the fighting was done?..." became "...the battle of the Markets..." became "...the Battle of the Shankill...". The first two are Nationalist, the latter Loyalist. We took mixed groups away on holidays, they got on fine, and then we heard "UDA superstars...".


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Armand (inactive)
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 11:01 AM

Phillipa

In the version that I'm familiar with, 3) She had a pen knife three feet long...

Mostly looking for more of the same for some of variety. My friend's kids heard that one at a concert, and I would like to give my friend some respite.

Armand


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: alison
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 07:21 PM

Hi,

What about another Belfast favourite... (tune "in and out the windows, as we have gone before... I'm sure this has another name but I can't remember it.)Used to be a favourite on the bus for many a school outing..... picture this sung by 50 Belfast kids with strong Belfast accents.........

Wee Willie's lost his his marley
Wee Willie's lost his his marley
Wee Willie's lost his his marley
Down by the (insert road name with 2 syllables depending on area you live in...)Antrim /Grosvenor /Shankill Road.

(A marley..... is a marble)

He lost it down a grating ........

so he went and got a big stick........

and he rammed it down the grating.......

but he couldn't get his marley..........

so he went and got a wee dog........

and he tied it to the big stick.......

and he rammed it down the grating.....

but he couldn't get his marley......

so he went and got his brother.....

and he rammed him down the grating...

but he couldn't get his marley......

so he went and got some dynamite....

and he rammed it down the grating.....

and he blew up all the houses.........

but he couldn't get his marley.......

Wee Willie's very stupid...........

Wee Willie's found his marley.......

It was in his trouser pocket.........

Slainte

alison

P.S. looking forward to that info Dan....... I think we have a lot of the Scottish ones in common..... I certainly remember my mum and dad singing "Ally Bally Bee" (in the database as "Coulter's candy",)to me as a small child. Heard Crooked Jack sing it last year when they were out here in Oz......... brought a tear to my eye..... lots of happy memories.


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: alison
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 07:34 PM

Phillipa,

Here's another for your collection.

The Pope he had a pimple on his bum
and it nipped, nipped, nipped very sore
he sent for King Billy to rub it with a lily
and it nipped, nipped, nipped no more.

There is a great book called "Keep the kettle boiling, (rhymes from a Belfast childhood,)by Maggi Kerr Peirce. Published by Appletree Press in 1983 (0 86281 116 3).

It's got lots of the stuff I remember, rhymes for playing ball, skipping rhymes, some "rude" ones(very tame... we probably thought they were very bad when we were young.). Good book... even has a line drawing of my old primary school. If it's still in print it's well worth checking out.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 07:48 PM


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Alice
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 08:34 PM

Here is another one the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem recorded (as well as Weela Wallia).

The comment in their songbook:"A beautiful mystic poem created by children to frighten themselves."
------

A Man Of Double Deed

There was a man of double deed
Who sowed his garden full of seed,
When the seed began to grow,
'Twas like a garden full of snow.
When the snow began to fall,
Like birds it was upon a wall,
When the birds began to fly,
'Twas like a shipwreck in the sky.
When the sky began to crack,
'Twas like a stick upon my back.
When my back began to smart,
'Twas like a pen knife in my heart.
And when my heart began to bleed,
Then I was dead, and dead indeed.

alice in montana


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: rich r
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 08:51 PM

I remember the Clancy Brother's & Tommy Makem "Live at Carnegie Hall" recording had a medley of children's songs, among them "A man of double deed" which may be in the DT but I couldn't get the search function to work tonight, so here it is (again?)

There was a man of double deed
Who sowed his garden full of seed
When the seed began to grow
'Twas like a garden full of snow
When the snow began to fall
LIke birds it was upon a wall
And when the birds began to fly
"Twas like a shipwreck in the sky
When the sky began to crack
"Twas like a stick upon my back
When my back began to smart
'Twas like a penknife in my heart
And when my heart began to bleed
Then I was dead and dead indeed.

They also did a 2 part response song:

Are you ready for a war, for we are the English
Are you ready for a war, for we are the English soldiers

O yes we're ready for a war for we are the Irish
Yes we're ready for a war for we are the Irish soldiers.

Now we only have one arm.....English

Now we have no arms at all...Irish

Now we only have one leg...English

Now we have no legs at all...Irish

Now we are all dead and gone...English

Now we're all alive again ...Irish.

There may be more body parts that could be dispensed with in a tit for tat fashion.

Tommy Makem also did a nursery rhyme from the north:

Up the long ladder and down the short rope
To hell with King Billy and God bless the pope
If that doesn't do we'll tear them in two
And send them to hell with their red white and blue.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: alison
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 11:46 PM

Come on Martin,

Give us the gory details on Willie McCrae, (does he still play the accordian?... and make records.)

There used to be a shop called Grahams on the main street in Portrush where you could buy postcards of the Paisley family and the McCrae family, (and if I remember rightly.... there were ones of Peter Robinson too)...... can't imagine people wanting to send postcards of them..... I've since told people over here about them and they don't believe me.......

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 Jan 99 - 11:53 PM

If your interest extends to Scottish kid's songs (mostly dark, as I recall), try a search for @Scots @kids

Murray at Saltspring has made an extensive collection, and we're working them igradually into the DT. For that matter, a search for @Irish @kids might come up with something.


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: alison
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 02:45 AM

tried to Dick, but the search engine stil isn't working. I think Max is working on it.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 10:42 PM

Well, Armand, I was down in the dungeon and and I looked at some recordings of kids songs.

MacColl & Behan is called "Streets of Song." It was originally issued by topic but issued by Folkways in the USA under license. "Glasgow Street Songs" was also on Topic.


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Bruce O.
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 11:26 PM

The excellent contributions from Murray on Saltspring can be found by searching for his initials, MS, just skip the ones where MS stands for 'manuscript'.


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Dani
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 03:48 PM

Oh, boy, Rich, do I remember THAT ditty. Got in trouble singing it at school. Where does that little postscript about King Billy come from? We were brought up singing it with such RELISH!


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: rois
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 09:18 AM

Anyone offer any insight on the tune - Jane McWilliams about a mother who drowns her child?

Jane McWilliams it is my name I have brought myself for to sin and shame for the murdering of my baby dear there was never a mother so severe

SOMEONE ELSE SURELY HAD A GRANNY THAT SANG THIS DITTY TO THEM AS A GOODNIGHT LULLABY!!!!!

Thanks for any help - Rois


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: GUEST,kira.seaton@tri-c.cc.oh.us
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 04:22 PM

I am looking for anyone familiar with IRA or Irsh folk songs that might have beenused by Brendan Behan in his book/play "Borstal Boy"


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: GUEST,sadie damascus
Date: 11 May 06 - 06:42 PM

Is anyone familiar with "The Gratton Murders," a song my mother got from her father, and used to sing to us? The family is dispatched one by one, and when he gets to the baby, after murdering him, the killer "spits tobacco jee-uice all on 'is golden 'ead."


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 11 May 06 - 07:49 PM

What, you mean Eela Weela Waulya isn't sung to *everyone* as a lullaby?

Last Sunday morning,
As I was going to Mass
I met a guid wee Orangeman
And I shot him....
As I passed

His body it fell down
And his soul it went to Hell

(missing a couple of lines about the Devil greeting him well)

Now there is a tree
And it grows down in Hell
And there's ne'er a leaf upon it
But the souls of old Orangemen

And if one of them should die
Och, the Devil he leaps for joy
Saying "I've a warrum corner
"For you, my Orange boy."

Rally right fol the daddy
Rally right fol the dee
Rally right fol the daddy
And bad luck unto the Queen

(or in further verses, which I unfortunately can't remember, And we'll set all Ireland free)


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: GUEST
Date: 11 May 06 - 07:51 PM

What songs from Borstal Boy would those be?


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Azizi
Date: 11 May 06 - 07:59 PM

Here's another variant of the poem that Alice posted on 26 Jan 99 - 08:34 PM:

A MAN OF WORDS
A man o' words an' not of deeds,
Is lak a garden full o' weeds.
De weeds 'gin* to grow
Lak a gwarden full o' snow.
De snow 'gin to fly
Lak a eagle in de sky.
D sky 'gin to roar
Lak a hammer o you door.
De door 'gin to crack
Lak a hick'ry on yo back.
Yo' back 'gin to smart
Lak a knife in yo' heart.
Yo' heart 'gin to fail
Lak a boat widout a sail.
De boat 'gin to sink
Lak a bottle full o' ink.
Dat ink, it won't write
Neither black nor white.
Dat man o' words an' not of deeds,
Is lak a garden full o' weeds.

* 'gin=begin

Thomas W. Talley, "Negro Folk Rhymes" {Port Washington, N.Y; Kennikat Press edition, 1968; pps. 208-209; originally published in 1922 by The Macmillan Company}

****

Some of [African American]Professor Talley's material was collected from his students at Fisk University. It's possible that this rhyme originated in Europe and was heard and transmitted to others by both White Americans and non-White Americans.


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Azizi
Date: 11 May 06 - 08:28 PM

I see that rich r - PM 26 Jan 99 - 08:51 PM quoted the same version as Alice.

Does anyone knows if there's a version of "Man of Deeds" that is documented as being earlier than 1922?


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: NH Dave
Date: 12 May 06 - 01:26 AM

Then there's The Irish Ballad, by Tom Lehrer, http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/pages/tiRICTICTN.html .

Dave


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 15 - 06:25 PM

So, I learned "you should never push your granny" as
"Yew shud never kick yer granny of d'bus,
Yew shud never kick yer granny of d'bus,
Yew shud never kick yer granny,
'Cuz she's yet mammy's mammy,
Yew shud never kick yer granny of de bus—GIVE HER A PUSH!
"Weile Weile Waile" was taught to me by my father, with the words "she stuck the knife in the baby's heart", and "Down by the River Saile". He also advised me that if I ever ended up in a pub and they started singing "Weile Weile Waile", I should get the hell out, because it's only ever sung by adults when completely, completely drunk. Both parents are from Munster, and occasionally make joking reference to a song that involved proddy-waddies and kicking, but I can't really remember any of it. A LOT of the songs of my childhood included death, dying, murder, infanticide, matricide and variations thereupon of, which probably accounts for my morbid fascination. One skipping rope rhyme I got from a book and attempted to popularise was a cheerful Victorian ditty about convicted child-killer Mary Anne Cotton, which proves that this isn't a recent thing. I can give the lyrics if anyone's interested.


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Subject: RE: Dark Irish kid tunes
From: Thompson
Date: 09 Apr 15 - 07:33 PM

The Wrenboys and their song -

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
St Stephen's day was caught in the furze…

are a version of the mummers that are traditional all over Europe. The wren was used as a scapegoat for the troubles of the year past. The boys of the area went out and hunted these very common birds (then more common than now), which are tiny and look like teenshy men in tweed coats. When they had killed one it was fastened onto a branch of furze (the gorse plant of which it's said "when gorse is out of bloom, kissing's out of fashion", because its yellow, coconut-scented blossom is virtually always in flower), and paraded around - a ridiculous parody of long-ago scapegoatings.

For some reason these mummings in Europe mostly seem to be on St Stephen's Day (December 26); they always involve men thatched all over with straw and singing rhymes from house to house, playing jokes, and rhyming requests for money for drink or for food - "so up with the kettle and down with the pan, and give us a penny to bury the wren".


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