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Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday

DigiTrad:
WHISKEY ON A SUNDAY or COME DAY, GO DAY


Related threads:
(origins) Origin: Ballad of Seth Davy / Whiskey on a Sunday (72)
Seth Davey (24)
Chord Req: Whiskey On A Sunday (32)
Seth Davy info please (30)
Lyr Add: Whisky on a Sunday (19)


Forsh 30 Apr 06 - 02:05 PM
Peace 30 Apr 06 - 02:44 PM
Forsh 30 Apr 06 - 03:19 PM
Nigel Parsons 30 Apr 06 - 03:58 PM
Peace 30 Apr 06 - 04:08 PM
Peace 30 Apr 06 - 04:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Apr 06 - 04:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Apr 06 - 04:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Apr 06 - 05:09 PM
Leadfingers 30 Apr 06 - 06:17 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Apr 06 - 06:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Apr 06 - 07:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Apr 06 - 07:49 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Apr 06 - 07:55 PM
Azizi 30 Apr 06 - 08:22 PM
Big Jim from Jackson 30 Apr 06 - 08:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Apr 06 - 08:54 PM
Leadfingers 01 May 06 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 01 May 06 - 08:06 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 May 06 - 02:21 PM
Little Robyn 01 May 06 - 06:02 PM
Leadfingers 01 May 06 - 06:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 May 06 - 09:04 PM
Seamus Kennedy 01 May 06 - 10:41 PM
Forsh 02 May 06 - 03:03 PM
Forsh 02 May 06 - 03:10 PM
Azizi 02 May 06 - 09:05 PM
Leadfingers 02 May 06 - 09:39 PM
Azizi 02 May 06 - 11:01 PM
ard mhacha 03 May 06 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 09 May 06 - 03:59 PM
Little Robyn 10 May 06 - 02:08 AM
gnomad 10 May 06 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Elektra 10 Aug 06 - 05:31 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Aug 08 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,machree01 24 Aug 08 - 09:21 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Aug 08 - 03:09 PM
Matthew Edwards 24 Aug 08 - 08:22 PM
Mr Happy 08 Jan 09 - 11:00 AM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Jan 09 - 08:58 AM
Noreen 11 Jan 09 - 07:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Jan 09 - 09:14 PM
Matthew Edwards 12 Jan 09 - 05:25 AM
Matthew Edwards 12 Jan 09 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Don Meade 12 Jan 13 - 10:37 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Forsh
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:05 PM

Actually, I have the lyrics; FOUR versions to date, and 3 of them atributing the song to one 'Glyn Hughes'. Got them from Mudcat, Max Boyce's pages, and a couple of Irish & Celtic music sites. Can anyone actually tell me the true lyrics to this, ie the Definitive Version? And who is Glyn Hughes? I found some stuff relating to a poet of that name from Yorkshire. Anyone for enlightening?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 02:44 PM

It is also known as "Come Day, Go Day".


I hope this is he whom you seek.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Forsh
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 03:19 PM

I dunno, is this who I seek? No mention on the site of the song.. hmmph!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 03:58 PM

Someone contacted Glyn Hughes (novelist) before in This Thread and got a reply stating that this is not the Glyn Hughes we seek

CHEERS
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 04:08 PM

My apologies then.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 04:24 PM

OK, one site so far

myweb.tiscali.co.uk/gerry.jones/writers.html

has him as a Liverpool writer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 04:53 PM

The expression "Come day, go day, God send Sunday," is an old one in the Border region of England-Scotland. It also was common in North America. It is found in an article by the Mormon elder, John Taylor, JD, vol. 24, pp. 166-169, May 19, 1883 (BYU website, http://education.byu/edlf/archives/prophets/schools1878.html).

Origins of the song are obscure. The poem by Glyn Hughes was called "Seth Davy." See Liverpool Lyrics

Books that might help:
Edward Sheehy, "God Send Sunday," 1939
John Maguire, ed. Robin Morton, 1973, "Come Day, Go Day, God Send Sunday," The songs and life story, told in his own words, by John Maguire, traditional singer and farmer. Co. Fermanagh, pub. by Routledge and Kegan.
The song is called traditional, the best known recording by the Irish Rovers, 1970's.

Glyn Hughes, novelist and poet of Yorkshire, is discussed in "Ramblings with Clare Balding, Walking with a purpose 3": www.bbc.co.uk.education/. He has published some seven volumes of poetry.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 04:57 PM

Peace, we cross-posted.
The lyrics of "Seth Davy" by Glyn Hughes are given at the linked website. Without seeing them in the book of poetry, however, I am not sure that they haven't been edited by some folksinger.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 05:09 PM

One website notes that Seth Davy was a Jamaican.

Where did the melody come from? Did the Irish Rovers compose it or was it adapted from an older melody?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 06:17 PM

That lyric in the 'Liverpool' link is more or less what I have been singing for more than thirty years ! The setting is by The Liverpool Spinners (as opposed to The Detroit lot) with most credit going to Tony Davis , I think !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 06:41 PM

The "Irish Rovers" simply recorded an arrangement of Glyn Hughes' song. It is neither traditional nor Irish, and the books Q mentions don't relate to it.

There is a pretty good search engine here, and it's a pity that so few people bother to use it. See, for example:

WHISKEY ON A SUNDAY or COME DAY, GO DAY (Glyn Hughes) (DT file)
Chord Req: Whiskey On A Sunday
Whisky on a Sunday
Who Wrote The Ballad of Seth Davy
Seth Davy info please
Seth Davey
Who is/was Glyn Hughes

Whether any provide accurate lyrics, I don't know. Many certainly contain misinformation. Q's link to that "Liverpool Lyrics" site may be as good as you'll get, though with various mis-spellings.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 07:06 PM

Glyn Hughes is the author of the poem, but where did the music come from?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 07:49 PM

The song makes it clear that the chorus - "come day go day etc" is being quoted, and was there before the full poem/song was written. I think that would go for the tune of the chorus as well as the words, I'd nazard.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 07:55 PM

Listen to the midi in the DT file, and tell us how old you think it is.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Azizi
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 08:22 PM

Q, you wrote that "The expression "Come day, go day, God send Sunday," is an old one in the Border region of England-Scotland. It also was common in North America"

I remember these two lines in a song as "Go day come day/God send Sunday" but my memory could be faulty or the lines could have been transposed when I first learned {heard} them. There is definitely a tune that goes with this song that I thought assumed was a "Negro" [African American] spiritual, but I can't remember any other lines to it. Has anyone else ever known these lines to be associated with a "Negro" African American spiritual?

I "always" thought that the expression referred to the yearning of enslaved people for Sunday, usually their only day of rest. But I have no documentation that this saying refers to that.

If, as noted above that "come day/go day" is found in an 1883 text, it could have been used much earlier-and thus could have dated from mid 19th century slavery...

Q, you also wrote that "One website notes that Seth Davy was a Jamaican". Is there any mention of his race? Not that the Seth Davy lines are part of my memory. I only have the slow tune, and those first two lines. The other lines in that Whiskey On Sunday song are not at all familiar to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Big Jim from Jackson
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 08:45 PM

John Roberts and Tony Barrand do a nice version of the song on one of their recordings.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Apr 06 - 08:54 PM

The earliest melody I can find reference to is the one used by the "Spinners" (1960's). The earliest I have heard is on the Irish Rovers recording (1970s). Is the melody for the Hughes poem "Seth Davy" by one of these groups?

The chorus, as Malcolm says, looks like a quote, so may be older. The old saying was "Come day, go day, God send Sunday" (no mention of whiskey or buttermilk).

The only reference I found to Seth Davy's singing said it was a monotone, which doesn't help. Did Davy sing the chorus, or did Hughes compose the song chorus as one which would likely have been sung by Davy?

So- what are the origins of the music? Not that it matters to most interpreters, but I enjoy impaling butterflies and mounting them in a frame.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 May 06 - 06:11 AM

Does No One read previous posts in here ? To the best of my knowledge the melody setting as sung by the Spinners was done by Tony Davis .
And the lyrics in the Link by Q at 04.53 are almosr identical to those sung by the Spinners - Variation - The three dancing dolls in a jowler bin landed , a jowler bin being a dustbin . If any one can find a previous setting to Tony Davis , let us all know !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 01 May 06 - 08:06 AM

Glynn Hughes used to have a column in the old BMG magazine. I always understood that Seth Davy was black. I must have got that from The Spinners - or maybe the BMG. By the way, I think it's a great song, but, unfortunately, The Spinners connection with the song has probably resulted in the song not being rated has highly as it should be.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 May 06 - 02:21 PM

Leadfingers, Tony Davis did the melody arrangement for the Spinners; but was he the composer of the tune? If so, he should be credited, but either no composer for the music is listed or it is called traditional (which I doubt). I don't doubt that he was the composer; I have seen no credible prior reference to the song based on Glyn Hughes poem.

Tunesmith and Azizi, a couple of websites refer to Seth Davy was Jamaican. From this, it is assumed that he was Black. Without getting into some of the books about Liverpool, this remains an assumption.

Azizi, the expression "Come day, go day, God send Sunday" is well known from English and Scottish writings of the 18th c. (and, I think, 17th c.). It appears in collections of old Scottish sayings. It became used, disparagingly, in sermons and articles, to speak of lazy people. It is in a list of Newfoundland sayings, and was well-known in America.

Slaves probably understood the saying in its original meaning, which was a sort of prayerful wish for Sunday, a day mostly free of hard labor.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Little Robyn
Date: 01 May 06 - 06:02 PM

If Seth Davy died in 1905, he could have been an emancipated and slave and he could very well have known the song Azizi mentions.
Were Limber Jack dancing dolls known in Britain or did he bring them from the US?
The speculative evidence is mounting!
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 May 06 - 06:18 PM

Jig Dolls are a part of the English tradition as far as I know !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 May 06 - 09:04 PM

Go day Come Day is on an Otis Spann recording, which I have somewhere. I must dig it out. It dates from 1950 or later, however.
There is no record of the song from the 19th c., either in UK or American song. The Spinners recording is the oldest I can find.

The jig doll certainly is English traditional but it must be universal in western Europe. The French brought them to Canada as early as the 17th c. French-Canadian dolls are more two-dimensional than the English dolls but the actions are similar. The name 'limber Jim' for these dolls seems fairly recent. They are also called Dutch dolls in the southeast States.
English jig dolls are very well made, and are three-dimensional as far as I know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 01 May 06 - 10:41 PM

I think Danny Doyle did this one back in the '60's, and had a hit with it in Ireland.
The Rovers did his version if I'm not mistaken (which I am, frequently).

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Forsh
Date: 02 May 06 - 03:03 PM

WOW! THIS WAS A GREAT READ, THANKS!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Forsh
Date: 02 May 06 - 03:10 PM

BY THE WAY The site was spot on, liverpool lyrics
This set of lyrics was very similar to the ones I remembered, and also quite like the one's Max Boyce uses. here is the info:
SETH DAVY was a real person, he really existed, and he died a couple of years into the 20th century. There was a street and a pub, both called "Bevington Bush" just north of Liverpool City Centre, and Seth Davy did do a "busking" act outside.

In his book 'Liverpool: Our City - Our Heritage', Freddie O'Connor tells us that in 1760, half a mile from Marybone ("St Patrick's Cross") along Bevington Bush Road was a hamlet named Bevington Bush which had an inn called simply the 'Bush', which became a favourite haunt for folk to travel 'out into the country', to the 'Bevy Inn' as it became fondly known. The Liverpool slang for 'bevvy' ...may have derived from this old inn.
With the opening of Scotland Road, the ancient Bevington Bush Road became a minor road amidst the massive slum district that would soon engulf it. As the district was built up it also lost its original name.
Please do not be taken in by any Irish versions of this song, or any reference to "Bebbington". Bebington is "over the water" - not in Liverpool at all. I know the truth for a fact because, when I was a brand-new teacher in the Dingle in 1963, our old lollypop man told me that he had actually seen Seth Davy doing his stuff. So I have spoken to a first-hand witness.
I have heard that Seth Davy's own singing was a non-too-wonderful monotone, and not the pleasant melody that was written about him in the 60s folk boom.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Azizi
Date: 02 May 06 - 09:05 PM

Forsh, in your last post you wrote " our old lollypop man".

What's a lollypop man?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 May 06 - 09:39 PM

Lolly Pop Man is the guy who helps the kids cross the road to get to/from school - Has a Round 'STOP' sign on a pole - looks like a six foot long lollypop !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Azizi
Date: 02 May 06 - 11:01 PM

Thanks for that interesting information, Leadfingers.

I take it this is a British colloqualism and that it has nothing to do with Millie Smalls's hit UK & USA ska record
My Boy Lollipop.

Hee's some biographical information regarding Millie Small:

"Date of Birth (DOB): 10/6/46
From: Jamaica
Best Known for: singer of the best selling ska record of all
time "My Boy Lollipop"

Bio: Born Millicent Small in Clarendon, she was the daughter of an overseer on a sugar plantation and she was one of the very few female singers in the early Ska era in Clarendon. She was already recording in her teens for Sir Coxone Dodd's Studio One label with Roy Panton (as the duo Roy & Millie), together they produced the hit "We'll Meet." She was brought her [sic] to England in late 1963 by Chris Blackwell who would later discover Bob Marley. Her fourth recording, "My Boy Lollipop," cut in London by a group of session musicians including guitarist Ernest Ranglin and featured Smalls childlike, extremely high-pitched vocals became of the few international ska hits reaching number two in the U.S. and number one in the U.K. in 1964. It remains one of the biggest-selling reggae or ska discs of all time with more than seven million sales.

She was perceived as a one-hit wonder novelty artist and she only made the Top 40 one more time, with the "My Boy Lollipop" sound-alike "Sweet William." She released an entire album with these two hits. In a trivial piece of information legend has it that popular British singer Rod Stewart played the Harmonica on "lollipop", more significantly the earnings from the sales of "lollipop", Chris Blackwell's first hit helped him to secure a strong firm hold in the music industry to later cultivate the likes of Reggae legend Bob Marley and Rock groups such as U2."

Source: http://caribbean.halloffame.tripod.com/Millie_Small.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: ard mhacha
Date: 03 May 06 - 07:29 AM

Seamus, You are right Danny Doyle sang this on an LP 1962?, it is listed on the record as,"Whiskey on a Sunday".which is also the name of the LP.
A great LP.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 09 May 06 - 03:59 PM

In an Oxfam shop, today, I bought an old Jackie and Bridie song book - for 59p! They were popular Liverpool folk music singing duo; indeed, Jackie used to be in an early line-up of The Spinners. Seth Davy is one of the songs in the book, and both words and music are attributed to Glyn Hughes. I'll be seeing Hughie Jones ( of The Spinners ) in the next week or so, and I'll quiz him about Glyn Hughes - and Seth Davy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Little Robyn
Date: 10 May 06 - 02:08 AM

And it's on their record too. I just love that record.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: gnomad
Date: 10 May 06 - 01:01 PM

The Dubliners recorded this too, 1966, and credited to Glyn Hughes.

If Seth was an emancipated Jamaican slave he would have been quite an old one, the Jamaican Emancipation Proclamation of 1834 freed all slaves then aged 6 or less immediately, and all others with effect from 1838.

The UK Slavery Abolition Act came in at the same time, though in the States slavery lasted rather longer.

I have a dancing doll which I suspect was made from a turned table leg or similar, it was given to a relative when he was a child in India around 1910. His decoration suggests 19th century army uniform, except for an earring and a bare midrif. He's a bit of a puzzle really, but it seems clear that such dolls were been around in "Empire" circles at the time in question.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: GUEST,Elektra
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 05:31 PM

Refresh --

Hoping Tunesmith comes back with an answer from Hughie soon! ;-)

*Elektra*


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Subject: Lyr Add: COME DAY GO DAY or MASSA IS A STINGY MAN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Aug 08 - 06:02 PM

Marsh, Richard. Marsh's Selection, or Singing for the Million, Containing the Choicest and Best Collection of Songs Ever Embodied in One Work, New York: Richard Marsh, 1854, page 92:

COME DAY, GO DAY.
OR
MASSA IS A STINGY MAN.

Sung with everlasting shouts of applause by the
renowned old Dan Emmit.


1. Oh, massa is a stingy man,
And all his neighbors knows it,
He keeps good whiskey in his house,
An neber says, here goes it.

CHORUS: Sing come day, go day,
God send Sunday,
We'll drink whiskey all de week,
And buttermilk o' Sunday.

2. A stray dog come to town,
'Pon a bag of peaches,
De horse run off an he fell down,
And mashed 'em all to pieces.
Fala du, fala du da du da la,
Fula du fala du lala du la du la.

3. Hoe cotton, dig corn,
Den we feed de niggies,
An oh, lord Moses,
What a luscious time for niggas.

4. Black Jen's got a holler tooth
An says it's always aching,
But when she puts de hoe cake in,
Den it stops a plaguing.

5. Oh, missus says we eat too much.
An wear out too much trowses.
She'll make us feed on atmosphere.
And dress in nature's blowses.

6. She sent consumption Joe one night.
Tobacco leaf to kiver,
It made him sneeze out de moonlight.
An cough away his liver.

7. Oh, massa loves to hug de gals,
And missus doesn't knows it.
But as I like de angels too,
I believe I won't exclose it,

8. Oh, missus says we shouldn't eat,
Kase we don't work a Sunday,
But natur keeps digestion's mill,
A-goin as well as Monday.

9. Massa sich a stingy man,
I no more ketch him possum.
I roast and eat him in de wood,
And den I swear I loss him.

10. Old Jake went out to shoot,
And when de gun it go off,
It kick his right ear out o' joint.
Den fall and smash his toe off.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: GUEST,machree01
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 09:21 AM

I have Whiskey On A Sunday - Danny Doyle 1968 LP, Danny
is great at singing it, a briiliant album 12 songs in all.


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Subject: Lyr. Add: MASSA IS A STINGY MAN (minstrel, 1841)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 03:09 PM

"Massa Is a Stingy Man," composed and sung by R. W. Pelham and pupil Master G. W. Pelham (The Little Ace of Spades). Firth & Hall, NY, 1841. Indiana Univ. Sheet Music Collections.

Lyr. Add: MASSA IS A STINGY MAN
G. W. Pelham, 1841

Old master is a stingy man and ebry body nowes it,
He keeps good brandy in his house and neber sez here goes it.

(Dance inserted by the Pelhams)
2
Mr.: Unkel John he came to toun he had a load of Peaches
Masr.: The wagon broke down he slipt and mashed dem all to pieces,
3
Mr.: A strayed dog he come to town and had on calaco trouses
Masr.: He swore he could not see the town dar was so many houses.
4
Mr.: My sister sal she dremt a dream she dremt she was a jumping
Masr.: She tort she eat a musharoon as big as any pumpkin.
5
Mr.: And then she went to climb a tree and two or three to boost her
Masr.: And dar she sot a flinging corn on our bob tail rooster.
6
Mr.: Now far you well my sally dear and far you well my honey
Masr.: Far you well my dearest love I am going to make some money.

The changes in these songs seem capricious, but they were constantly modified to suit different audiences and to avoid repetition at succeeding performances, and when they were 'borrowed' by different troupes.

In 1943, Firth and Hall included it in a folio of Ethiopian Quadrilles, with Lucy Long, Old Dan Tucker, De Boatman Dance, and Ginger Blue. (Virginia Minstrels given on the title page). Musical scores only, no lyrics. In the Lester Levy collection.

Also in 1843, "Come Day, Go Day" was the title used by Buckley's Minstrels. http://www.circushistory.org/Cork/BurntCork3.htm

"Massa Is ..." appears in a MS of 48 tunes collected by Dan Emmett, dating c. 1845-1860. They are discussed in a paper by Hans Nathan, "Early Banjo Tunes and American Syncopation," The Musical Quarterly(/i>, vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 455-472 (not seen, first page at jstor.org).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 08:22 PM

Its nice to see this topic revived, and the discovery by Jim Dixon of the Daniel Emmit song confirms that the chorus is a lot older than the Ballad of Seth Davy, as Greg Stephens suggested on another thread about the song.

Glyn Hughes was a folk singer in Liverpool in the late 50's and 60's who died quite young, and it seems that he wrote this song about 1959 after hearing stories about Seth Davy from older people who remembered seeing him. Glyn Hughes recorded the song for Fritz Spiegl about 1959, and amazingly, some years later, Fritz Spiegl discovered some old lantern slides of Liverpool scenes one of which featured a group of children watching a black man in a bowler hat making some wooden dolls dance on a plank. The scene can definitely be identified as being outside the Bevington House Hotel in Liverpool. All this information comes from the late Fritz Spiegl's Liverpool Street Songs and Broadside Ballads published by the Scouse Press as Liverpool Packet No 1.

Seth Davy is also mentioned by Ray Costello in Black Liverpool: The Early History of Britain's Oldest Black Community 1730-1918 as "another black street entertainer...a West African often seen in the Scotland Road area of the city accompanying his cheerful songs with a dancing puppet show."

The Black community in Liverpool has made a substantial contribution to the musical and cultural life of the city (and the world) which is only belatedly being acknowledged. Seth Davy, like Billy Waters earlier on in London, was a street entertainer who deserves celebrating. Some other Liverpool black musicians include the jazz musician Gordon Stretton, the 60's soul singers Joe and Eddie Ankrah of the Chants, and the great Cavern singer Derry Wilkie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 11:00 AM

So clearly, the DT version is off the mark as it mentions strings being pulled to work the dolls.

The plank or wooden beam isn't referred to at all


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 08:58 AM

The recent resurrection of another thread on this song reminds me that the information Matthew mentions isn't in my copy of Liverpool Packet No 1: is the attribution wrong, or is there a sheet missing from mine? Is the photograph reproduced anywhere?

Also, Matthew quotes Ray Costello as describing Seth Davy as 'West African': was 'West Indian' (for 'Jamaican') meant, or is there some dispute as to his place of birth?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Noreen
Date: 11 Jan 09 - 07:55 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Jan 09 - 09:14 PM

Anything factual about Seth Davy anywhere?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:25 AM

>>>>Anything factual about Seth Davy anywhere?

As a street entertainer Seth Davey/Davy must have led a fairly marginal existence, and I haven't been able to trace him so far in Census or other official records. I'd expect there to be a death certificate from around 1900-1905, but he might have been recorded under a different version of his name.

Given that the historian of Liverpool's Black community, Ray Costello, has described Seth as a West African in Black Liverpool: The Early History of Britain's Oldest Black Community 1730-1918, while other accounts have descibed Seth as Jamaican, Malcolm asked if there is a dispute about his birthplace. To which I can only say that there is as yet no firm evidence to go on for either place; we are relying on people's memories of what they heard from their parents and grandparents and other older people. All the same I expect Ray Costello's information has some substance to it.

Glyn Hughes, who wrote the song in the first place, never knew Seth Davey but only learned the story from the memories of older people so some of the 'facts' in the song may be wrong.

Its possible that there are some more facts to be uncovered in the Liverpool archives, or that the local papers may contain some other memories, but it may take some time before they turn up.

Matthew Edwards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 12:32 PM

According to the Scouse Press website copies of Liverpool Packet No.1 Liverpool Street Ballads, Broadsides and Sea Songs etc are still on sale for the very reasonable price of £2.45 plus postage.
Since Malcolm's copy was missing the text of Seth Davey with the illustration of the Bevington Bush street scene, I'm not sure whether the current edition includes this, but the Packet is still good value for money.
In the meantime I have emailed the Scouse Press to ask if the original lantern slide depicting Seth Davey is still in their possession. I'll report back here if and when I get a reply.

Matthew Edwards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Whiskey on a Sunday
From: GUEST,Don Meade
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 10:37 AM

Here's the photo of Seth Davey:

http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.com/2011/08/21-seth-davy.html


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