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Funny, Traditional Songs

thespionage 22 Jun 06 - 01:37 PM
Georgiansilver 22 Jun 06 - 01:40 PM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Jun 06 - 01:50 PM
Don Firth 22 Jun 06 - 01:57 PM
The Borchester Echo 22 Jun 06 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,Russ 22 Jun 06 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Russ 22 Jun 06 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Russ 22 Jun 06 - 02:21 PM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Jun 06 - 03:14 PM
The Borchester Echo 22 Jun 06 - 03:22 PM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Jun 06 - 03:37 PM
The Borchester Echo 22 Jun 06 - 03:46 PM
Steve Benbows protege 22 Jun 06 - 03:52 PM
The Borchester Echo 22 Jun 06 - 04:01 PM
Johnhenry'shammer 22 Jun 06 - 04:07 PM
The Borchester Echo 22 Jun 06 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 22 Jun 06 - 04:42 PM
The Borchester Echo 22 Jun 06 - 04:51 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 22 Jun 06 - 05:24 PM
Georgiansilver 22 Jun 06 - 05:52 PM
Don Firth 22 Jun 06 - 06:04 PM
The Borchester Echo 22 Jun 06 - 06:05 PM
captainbirdseye 22 Jun 06 - 07:11 PM
Herga Kitty 22 Jun 06 - 07:19 PM
Amos 22 Jun 06 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 22 Jun 06 - 09:44 PM
GUEST,Gerry 22 Jun 06 - 09:51 PM
Dave Hanson 23 Jun 06 - 01:09 AM
Dave Hanson 23 Jun 06 - 01:47 AM
Bunnahabhain 23 Jun 06 - 06:06 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 23 Jun 06 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,HipflaskAndy 23 Jun 06 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,saulgoldie 23 Jun 06 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 23 Jun 06 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Ned at work 23 Jun 06 - 10:40 AM
thespionage 23 Jun 06 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 23 Jun 06 - 11:12 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 Jun 06 - 11:14 AM
Briagha 23 Jun 06 - 11:23 AM
michaelr 23 Jun 06 - 11:50 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 Jun 06 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Russ 23 Jun 06 - 05:37 PM
Tannywheeler 23 Jun 06 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 23 Jun 06 - 09:34 PM
Artful Codger 23 Jun 06 - 09:47 PM
Elmer Fudd 24 Jun 06 - 03:03 AM
captainbirdseye 24 Jun 06 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 24 Jun 06 - 09:21 PM
GUEST,Thameside OttO 25 Jun 06 - 05:29 AM
Bat Goddess 25 Jun 06 - 02:09 PM
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Subject: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: thespionage
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 01:37 PM

What are some favorite traditional songs with a humorous edge, broadly defined?

Russ


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 01:40 PM

The sick note, The moose song, The threshing machine...there's a start. Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 01:50 PM

Soldier Oh Soldier (Will you marry me?)
The Frozen Logger (don't know if that's traditional)
The Swapping Song (Wing Wong Waddle)
Eggs and Marrowbone
Riding Down From Bangor
Blow the Man Down
The Young Man Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn
Three Jolly Rogues of Lynn
Sweet Little Window
Beans, Bacon and Gravy
Kansas Boys
Divil and the Farmer's Wife (The Farmer's Curst Wife)
Jan's Courtship
The German Musicianer
The Grey Mare
Phyllis and Her Mother
Hi Ro Jerum
Jan's Courting

That's a few that come readily to mind from my own repertoire.
Enjoy!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 01:57 PM

My sweetheart's the mule in the mine.
I drive her without reins or lines.
On the bumper I sit
And I chew and I spit
All over my sweetheart's behind.

(Learned from Walt Robertson).

Carl Sandburg has a lot of pretty funny stuff in The American Songbag. The first one that pops to mind is "Horse Named Bill."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 02:02 PM

The Sick Note ain't traditional. Pat Cooksey wrote it. Not sure about The Threshing Machine though it doesn't seem to be an Adge Cutler composition (I use the word loosely). As for The Moose Song, I've never heard of it but expect this is a Good Thing.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 02:15 PM

The Devil and the Farmer's wife/The Farmer's Curst Wife
Eggs and marrowbones
Little Tom Clark


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 02:16 PM

The Darby Ram
Get up and Bar the Door


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 02:21 PM

The Preacher and the Bear
Oh Suzannah


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 03:14 PM

Oh, oh! Not Oh, Suzannah. That's not only from an identifiable writer but a commercial-market song. Unless you're speaking more of the manner of dissemination it assumed rather than the source.

And frankly, I don't see it as all that humorous.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 03:22 PM

Derby Ram funny? I don't think so. What's funny about sheep murder?


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 03:37 PM

It's not about "sheep murder". It's about exaggeration, which is a stock-in-trade item for humor.   Killing the ram is incidental.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 03:46 PM

Oh, sorry. Reports of the ram's death are 'exaggerated'.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Steve Benbows protege
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 03:52 PM

The mole catcher. Makes me smile anyway!!


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 04:01 PM

'Geld Him, Lasses, Geld Him'. Makes me smile anyway.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Johnhenry'shammer
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 04:07 PM

Old Dan Tucker was a fine old man/washed his face with a frying pan/combed his hair with a wagon wheel/and died with a tooth ache in his heel...

Funny stuff


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 04:26 PM

Dan, Dan the dirty man
Washed his face in a frying pan
Combed his hair with a rusty nail
And scratched his belly with his big toe nail.

North-East England children's street song.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 04:42 PM

For sure, "The Tune the Old Cow Died On."


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 04:51 PM

Good grief, first dead sheep and now dead cows. Not funny.

Just listening to Anahata and Mary Humphreys doing The Cuckoo & The Nightingale which is really funny (in a Geld Him, Lasses Geld Him sort of way, i.e. witty, not blokish stupid).


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 05:24 PM

Queen Eleanor's Confession (assume it's traditional?)

The Basket of Eggs (from the Penguin book of EFS so it must be! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 05:52 PM

Countess Richard...and how old does a song have to be to be traditional or how does it qualify as traditional....there are many contemporary songs which are becoming traditional...not because of age but because of usage. Perhaps we should have a debate on the true meaning of tradition. For three years, the barbecue has come out on Christmas eve and chestnuts are roasted on it...it has already become a family tradition if you get my drift.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 06:04 PM

Not to worry. Not only is Queen Eleanor's Confession traditional, it's Child 156.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 06:05 PM

A song's age doesn't come into it; if it has known authorship, it's not traditional. So a C16 William Byrd madrigal or motet isn't trad. There's many a 'contemporary' or composed (or trad. arr song or tune) that gets listed as trad, not so much because of 'usage' but through laziness in attribution or else to avoid paying copyright.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: captainbirdseye
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 07:11 PM

the cunning cobbler,the crabfish,our gudeman or seven nights drunk the bald headedend of the broom,the rest of the days your own,my husbands got no courage in him.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 07:19 PM

One person's humorous song is someone else's tragedy,
The Tailor's Breeches, Won'tyou come down to Yarmouth Town,the Poor Lonely Widow, the Widow of the West Moorland, Compliments returned, Shepherd oh shepherd won't you come home, Butter and Cheese and all, Wop she ad it, the Christmas Goose,three jolly sportsmen, Gossip Joan


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Amos
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 07:55 PM

SIx Nights Drunk
The Eddystone Light
Finnegan's Wake
The Irish Rover
Soldier, Oh, Soldier
The Lock-Keeper's Lament
A Very Unfortunate Man

All side-splittingly funny in their day.

A


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 09:44 PM

King John & the Bishop (Child 45)

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Investing is not the same as gambling, and downtown is not the same as uptown. :||


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 09:51 PM

Nine Times a Night.

Does searching the Digital Tradition for "keyword: Humor" work?


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 01:09 AM

Killkelly Ireland, it brought a tear to my leg.

eric


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 01:47 AM

Yes I know it's not traditional.

eric


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 06:06 AM

Well, one tham most women seem to find rather amusing is a french song 'Petit Homme' It's listed as traditional on the Eliza Carthy CD.

Just why a woman complaining about her very small husband being no use for anything, and that she keeps losing him in bed could be funny is beyond me....


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 07:54 AM

Ahh, that reminds me of The Man Who Was So Small - though the verses (particularly some of the rhymes) sound as though they were consciously written rather than evolving out of an oral process. It's sung to the tune of a catchy Welsh hornpipe which I recognise but can't name, it's in the DT under "The Little Husband" and was recorded by John the Fish. The story is fun, if a bit wince-making, and it would certainly fit into all but the most sombre and strait-laced trad environments.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,HipflaskAndy
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 08:23 AM

Farming Servant - I like that one (check out Carthy version on that Free Reed 4 CD set! marvellous)
Coachman's Whip (Kennedy Book FS of GB & I)
er, must stop coming up with the bawdy ones!
Don't want a wrong impression!
Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,saulgoldie
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 09:56 AM

"Travelling Man" as done by Dave Bromberg, also "Did You Ever Wake Up With Bullfrogs on your Eyes?"

"White Collar Holler" by Stan Rogers, a work song for this era, although some of the tech references are now quite dated. (I have it transcribed, if anyone cares.)

And "Whoopa, Whoopa, John" done by (I think) Lee Hays

"Odd Man Out" by Lou and Peter Berryman is a RIOT, and lots more by them.

Other'n WCH being in a trad style, these are all modern. I hope that is OK.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 10:26 AM

Wait wait. A song of known authorship's not traditional? Usually not, I agree, but what about, say, Alfred Williams' 1907 "A Man Without a Woman" (Roll a Silver Dollar)? William S. Hays' "Curtains of Night" (I think), Tucker's "When This Cruel War Is Over," Dan Smith's "De Boatmen Dance," Samuel Lover's "Bold Sojer Boy," Keith's "Go 'Way Old Man," Tyte's "My Mary Anne?" All these have been collected in various places from impeccably traditional singers and communities. And then there's Ben Jonson's "Drink To Me Only," which has passed into tradition with three different tunes...

(Not the best examples, I know, but it serves. I'm sure I could think of better ones if I wasn't in a rush. I'm just not sure "traditional" excludes known authors.)

Bob


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Ned at work
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 10:40 AM

Wait a minute! if a song had to have no known authorship to be traditional why do they need to write trad. anon?
The General.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: thespionage
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 10:48 AM

"Travelling Man" is a great song and the kind of song I looking for, but it was written by Pink Anderson.

Russ


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 11:12 AM

"Traveling Man," if it's the one I'm thinking of:

Come and let me tell you 'bout a traveling man,
His home was down in Tennessee...

CHO He was a traveling man, God knows he was a traveling man,
          Travelin'est man ever was in this land...

It goes way back before Anderson. Was recorded by both blacks and whites in the 1920s, including Prince Albert Hunt. Probably not traditional, but composed: an early (excuse the term) "coon song" whose origin, as far as I know, is untraced.

Or is Anderson's a different song?

Bob


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 11:14 AM

General, Sir!

If a song or tune is accredited to "Trad/Anon" and it's still in copyright, the composer or his/her heirs get no royalties. Nowadays you can PRS/MCPS-register your work who will try and recover what's due to you but many still slip through, as in the scores of Irish singers who claim something called Shores Of Erin (y'know, that one about sailing round the coast of Ireland) has been in their families for centuries and no. they've never heard of Ewan MacColl and Shoals of Herring). And then there are all those which musicians have researched from disuse and obscurity and arranged that chancers pick up, usually with inaccuracies, record and pass off as 'Trad' instead of 'Trad. Arr'. The (Monde)Black family is especially notorious for failing to acknowledge secondary sources and arrangers.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Briagha
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 11:23 AM

Maids When You're Young Never Wed an Old Man
The Rattlin' Bog


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 11:50 AM

"if it has known authorship, it's not traditional"

Oh really? And here I was thinking that Raglan Road, Down by the Sally Gardens, My Lagan Love, Boys of Barr na Sraide were considered traditional, even though their authors are known. Silly me.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 11:59 AM

silly me

Indeed. None of the above are especially funny, though 'lovesick lennonshees' and 'beetles horns' sound as if they might be if we knew whatever they were.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 05:37 PM

Tough crowd.

De gustibus non disputandem est.

Russ the perpetual GUEST


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 08:17 PM

Double check the attribution of White Collar Holler. Stan Rogers may have made the most well-known recording, but it was written by a friend of his, Nigel Russell. I became acquainted with Nigel some 15-20 years ago. He was living in the Austin, Texas area and used to sing at Austin Friends of Trad. Music open-mike sessions. He moved out to one of the "highland lakes" near Austin, built a boat, his wife had twin boys. Somewhere among all of that he formed an OT-Bg band with several folks and was playing around various places. Tw


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 09:34 PM

Mention of French songs reminded me of "Chevaliers de la table ronde".

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Eager to please, and a nuisance. Easy to please, and a comfort. :||


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Artful Codger
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 09:47 PM

Hey, let's not beef when someone suggests a song that fits the spirit of the request but not necessarily the precise criteria. Sheesh!

"Traditional" tends to be used in several rather different senses. To debate its meaning in this thread is pointless, considering the subject has been rehashed to death so many times before. Real tradition has to do with usage and perception; there are no firm guidelines regarding attribution, copyright or age, which are at best ancillary considerations. So if you want to try to impose some strict definition based on such concepts, it's an artificial one not generally shared.

Rest assured that if someone is interested to learn a song mentioned here, he is likely to search for threads specific to the song, where he will likely encounter all he needs to know about its proper attribution. Can we move on?


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 24 Jun 06 - 03:03 AM

How about "The Eddystone Light?"


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: captainbirdseye
Date: 24 Jun 06 - 04:33 AM

a Private Still,this is particuarly funny if sung by somebody who pronunces ther R s as W s,I remember a man called Orville singing it, i could never keep a straight face wnen he sang the words the Tipperary Ranks,up CORK.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 24 Jun 06 - 09:21 PM

"Grim Grizzle" -- by Burns, but I dare say it has trad roots. A satire on the pretensions of authority 쳌à la Canute, but with no pretension of subtlety. The ending may fairly be called uproarious:



Then she 's ta'en Hawkie [a cow] by the tail, And wrung wi' might and main, Till Hawkie rowted through the woods Wi' agonizing pain. `Sh--, sh--, ye bitch,' Grim Grizzel roar'd, Till hill and valley rang; `And sh--, ye bitch,' the echoes roar'd Lincluden [a church] wa's amang.



Speaking of Burns, I see that "Holy Willie's Prayer" has not been mentioned.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Men have two heads, but only enough blood to operate one at a time. :||


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: GUEST,Thameside OttO
Date: 25 Jun 06 - 05:29 AM

How about "Me Husband's got no courage in him, oh dear oh" (or its equally famous (but not traditional, of course) parody "Me Husband's too much Courage in him . . . . " both sung very well in the County of Essex by a wonderful, all-girl harmony group called The Penny Huffers for many years.

The Huffers also sang "An Old Man Came Courting Me", just as humourous.

There's a song I do occasionally called "The Horseman" where the girl asks the horseman for the favour of what lies between his legs then when he dismounts, she jumps on his "bonnie little brown" and rides away with the last lines . . .
"Don't make such a moan
The mistake was your own
For I sought nothing but your horse!"

Another one I sing is the cumulative drinking song "he that makes one, makes two". Is it traditional? It's in Thomas d'Urfey's 18th century "Pills to Purge Melancholie", I believe.


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Subject: RE: Funny, Traditional Songs
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 25 Jun 06 - 02:09 PM

There's traditional and then there's "in the tradition" -- nothing wrong in singing a good song written in the tradition, especially if you know and acknowledge that it's been written by a known person. Useful, too (shows you know what you're singing and care enough to learn the background of the song) as well as being true to the song itself -- which, in my opinion, is what singing this material is all about..

Just my two cents' worth.

As far as other funny songs, how about "Fish and Tin and Copper" where another woman gets the best of the devil, and "Nine Times A Night" where, well, you know.

Linn


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