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Origins: Rigs of the Time / Rigs of the Times

DigiTrad:
RIGS OF THE TIME


Related threads:
Honesty's All Out of Fashion (22)
The Rigs of the Time (8) (closed)


JesseW 16 Aug 06 - 12:02 AM
Artful Codger 16 Aug 06 - 01:08 AM
JesseW 16 Aug 06 - 01:13 AM
Joe Offer 16 Aug 06 - 01:56 AM
JesseW 16 Aug 06 - 02:10 AM
Anglo 16 Aug 06 - 02:10 AM
The Vulgar Boatman 16 Aug 06 - 03:29 AM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Aug 06 - 03:42 AM
JesseW 16 Aug 06 - 03:46 AM
pavane 16 Aug 06 - 02:12 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 16 Aug 06 - 06:10 PM
dick greenhaus 16 Aug 06 - 08:22 PM
JesseW 17 Aug 06 - 12:44 AM
pavane 17 Aug 06 - 06:03 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Jul 07 - 11:24 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jul 07 - 12:58 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Jul 07 - 05:51 PM
JesseW 13 Oct 09 - 12:58 AM
LizRuth 07 Apr 17 - 04:38 AM
Dave Hanson 07 Apr 17 - 09:25 AM
Steve Gardham 07 Apr 17 - 01:45 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: JesseW
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 12:02 AM

While we do have a entry for this in the DT ( SongID=4966 ), I have various bits to add to it, and there doesn't seem to be a existing thread devoted to it, so... here's one.

More verses, from Rise Up Singing! (1992 edition, p. 185)

And next there's the lawyer, you plainly will see
He'll plead for your case for a very large fee
All day he will talk proving all wrong is right
He'll make you believe that a black horse is white

And next there's the parson, he'll soon have your soul
If you stick to the Book you will keep off the dole
He'll give you his blessing and likewise his curse
Put his hand in your pocket and walk off with your purse

And next there's the doctor, I nearly forgot
I believe in my heart he's the worst of the lot
He'll tell you he'll cure you for half you possess
And when you are buried he'll take all the rest

(These verses go just before the last verse, which has a variation not listed in the DT yet. It follows.)

Now the best plan I know to bring this to an end
Is to pop them all up in a high gale of wynd...

(RUS has "to bring this to an end" in square brackets after the standard line; I guessed at what was meant)

The metadata in RUS is as follows:

In SO! 29-3 & P Kennedy FS of Britain & Ireland On Martin Carthy "Out of the Cut" (Topic), Michael Cooney "The Cheese Stands Alone" & "Still Cooney"

The entries about this tune in: http://www.ibiblio.org/folkindex/r06.htm are:

   1. Blood, Peter; and Annie Patterson (eds.) / Rise Up Singing, Sing Out, Sof (1992/1989), p185
   2. Carthy, Martin. Out of the Cut, Rounder 3075, LP (1982), trk# 6
   3. Cooney, Michael. Michael Cooney or: "The Cheese Stands Alone", Folk Legacy FSI-035, LP (1968), trk# 5
   4. Salmons, "Charger". World Library of Folk and Primitive Music. Vol 1. England, Rounder 1741, CD (1998), trk# 12 [1947]




I loved this song, and so I added a more modern additional verse:

Then there's the CEO, I must bring him in
Gives himself some stock options and thinks it's no sin
Plays with the market to make it go down
The poor lose their savings, and he goes to town, Singing...

I release my additional verse under a Creative Commons Attribution license, version 2.0 : http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ ; i.e. do whatever you like with it, but credit me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: Artful Codger
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 01:08 AM

Don't forget Peter Bellamy's terrific recording (on his eponymous album.) He may have sung some of these verses - they sound familiar, but I haven't checked.

And for your verse, whom should they credit? Or is JesseW like Madonna, Cher and Liberace? ;-}

Think I recall hearing a parody, "Pigs of the Slime".


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Subject: My name
From: JesseW
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 01:13 AM

You can credit "Jesse W of Mudcat", or "Jesse Weinstein", as you wish.

Thanks for mentioning Bellamy's version and "Pigs of the Slime"(I've got to find that).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 01:56 AM

I'm surprised we haven't explored this song more thoroughly. The previous thread just had Dan Keding's message (above) and a discussion of how to search the Digital Tradition. It's an interesting song, but I have to say that I've had trouble getting the tune down. There's something about it that give me fits. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

Rigs of the Times, The

DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "Honesty's all out of fashion; These are the rigs of the times...." Detailing all the sharp business practices of the day, e.g. the butcher who charges two shillings a pound "and thinks it no sin" -- while placing his thumb on the scale!
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1905 (Belden)
KEYWORDS: hardtimes poverty lie money landlord
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South)) US(MA,MW,NW,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Newf) Australia
REFERENCES (22 citations):
Kennedy 237, "The Rigs of the Time" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-ECS, #25, "The Rigs of the Time" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-Painful, #13, "The rigs of the times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Belden, pp. 433-434, "Song of the Times" (1 text)
BrownIII 332, "Hard Times" (2 texts plus a fragment and mention of 1 more)
BrownSchinhanV 332, "Hard TImes" (2 tunes plus text excerpts)
Hudson 89, pp. 215-216, "Hard Times" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering ,184 ""Hard Times (1 text, 1 tune)
Welsch, pp. 51-53, "Hard Times" (1 text)
Hubbard, #186, "Hard Times" (3 texts)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 332-334, "Hard Times" (1 text)
Fahey-Eureka, pp. 14-16, "The Rigs of the Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 206-208, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune -- a Canadian adaptation created by William James Emberly in 1936 to describe conditions in the Great Depression)
Peacock, pp. 57-59, "Hard Times" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Fowke/MacMillan 17, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 183, "Hard Times" (1 text, the first six verses being "Courting the Widow's Daughter" and the last seven being a reduced version, minus the chorus, of "The Rigs of the Times")
Owens-2ed, pp. 113-114, "Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Blondahl, pp. 13-14, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle3, pp. 28-29, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle4, pp. 46-47, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle5, pp. 24-25, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, RIGSTIME*

Roud #876
RECORDINGS:
Omar Blondahl, "Hard, Hard Times" (on NFOBlondahl01,NFOBlondahl02)
Ken Peacock, "Hard Times" (on NFKPeacock)
Ned Rice, "Hard Times" (on PeacockCDROM)
J. W. "Charger" Salmons & friends: "The Rigs of the Time" (on Lomax41, LomaxCD1741)
Pete Steele, "The Song of Hard Times" (on PSteele01)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Don't Come to Michigan" (lyrics)
cf. "Old David Ward" (lyrics)
cf. "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" (subject)
cf. "The Steam Doctor" (lyrics)
cf. "Fine Times in Camp Number Three" (lyrics)
cf. "Here's First to Those Farmers" (theme)
cf. "The Mare and the Foal" (theme)
NOTES: Most scholars (e.g. Belden, Cox, Kennedy) assume that "The Rigs of the Times" (with chorus "Singing, Honesty's all out of fashion, These are the rigs of the times, times, me boys, These are the rigs of the times") is the same as "Hard Times" (with a short chorus such as "these times, these (hard/queer) times").
Personally, I'm not convinced, as the two seem to fall into very distinct groups. But because the equation is so common, I've followed it in the index. - RBW
Blondahl: "This ... was sent in by Paul Emberly, who informs that the lines were written by his late father." - BS
Last updated in version 4.1
File: K237

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Here's the entry from folktrax.org:
    RIGS OF THE TIME(S), THE - "Ye men of high and low degree" "Tis of an old butcher I must bring him in" - Ch: "Honesty's all out of fashion - these are the rigs of the time" - ROUD#876 - BS in Madden Coll Univ Lib Cambridge "Riggs of the Times" "Ye men of high and low degree come listen to my song" - BSs inbl BG 1.1#6 (Research Publ Index) - Carnell: Ballads in C.H.Firth Coll in Sheffield Univ Lib #C84 - KENNEDY AS 1829 "Adulterations" to tune of "Denis Bulgruddery" (see WORDFILE) - JFSS 35 p277 coll Moeran "The Publican" m/o - WILLIAMS FSUT 1923 p104 6v "Here's first to these farmers" - PALMER Painful Plough 1972 - KENNEDY FSBI 1975 p523 "Charger" Salmons, Stalham, Norfolk 1947 - PALMER EBECS 1979 pp53-54 Moeran: from Salmons - Cf - ALTERATION OF THE TIMES - DODGIN SONG - STATE OF GREAT BRITAIN - tune of LITTLE DUN MARE (Mary Ann Hayes) --- American & Canadian counterparts go under title: "Hard Times" - LOMAX Cowboy 1910/38 p176/ ABFS 1934 p138/ FSNA 1960 p438 from 1934 - BELDEN Mo 1940 p433 - BROWN 1952-62 p419 - PEACOCK NFL 1965 p57 2var -- "Charger" John W Salmons, rec "Windmill" Sutton, Norfolk 27/10/47: RPL 13864/ COLUMBIA SL-206 1952 (Assigned to FOLKTRAX by Mr Salmons 1951)/ FTX-021 (vs 3 & 5 omitted)/ FTX-517 - Harry COX rec by Sheila Park 1967: TOPIC TSCD-512 (D) 2000 Disc 2 #4 - Shirley COLLINS (& ch): TOPIC 12-T-170 1967 - Vic HARRUP rec Ship Inn, Blaxhall, Suffolk: TRANSATLANTIC XTRS-1141 1974


And, for the record, here are the lyrics we have in the Digital Tradition, which come from Kennedy:

RIGS OF THE TIME

O, 'tis of an old butcher, I must bring him in.
He charge two shillings a pound, and thinks it no sin.
Slaps his thumb on the scale-weights and makes them go down,
He swears it's good weight yet it wants half a pound. Singing..

chorus: Honesty's all out of fashion
These are the rigs of the time,
Time, my boys
These are the rigs of the time.

Now the next is a baker, I must bring him in.
He charge fourpence a loaf and thinks it no sin.
When he do bring it in, is not bigger than your fist,
And the top of the loaf is popped off with the ye'st, Singing..

No wonder the butter be a shilling a pound
See the little farmer's daughters, how they ride up and down.
If you ask them the reason, they'll say: "Bone', alas,
There's a French war and the cows have no grass, Singing..

O the next is a publican, I must bring him in.
He charge fourpence a quart, he thinks it no sin.
When he do bring it in, the measure is short
The top of the pot is popped off with the froth, Singing..

Here's next to the tailor who skimps with our clothes,
And next the shoemaker who pinches our toes.
We've nought in our bellies, our bodies are bare
No wonder we've reason to curse and to swear, Singing..

Now the very best plan that I can find
Is to pop them all off in a high gale of wynd
And when they get up, the cloud it will bu'st
And the biggest old rascal come tumbling down first, singing..

From Kennedy, Folksongs of Britain and Ireland.
Recorded by Cooney, The Cheese Stands Alone, Folk-Legacy.
@bitching
filename[ RIGSTIME
TUNE FILE: RIGSTIME
CLICK TO PLAY
RG


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Subject: Lyr Add: HARD TIMES (trad. Nebraska)
From: JesseW
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 02:10 AM

Here's a facinating mention of the connection between this and Hard, hard times:

http://www.nebraskahistory.org/museum/teachers/material/nebdata/book3.pdf (google HTMLized copy):

Quoting the relevant part:


Hard Times

The cynical ballad, "Hard Times," was recovered by L. C. Wimberly, Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, and editor of Prairie Schooner, from Miss Ruby Beaty of Wilcox, Nebraska. While widely sung in other states it belongs and is a part of Nebraska's early pioneer atmosphere.

Come listen a while and I'll sing you a song,
Concerning the times--it will not be long--
When everybody is striving to buy,
And cheating each other, I cannot tell why;
And it's hard, hard times.

From father to mother, from sister to brother,
From cousin to cousin, they're cheating each other;
Since cheating has grown to be the fashion,
I believe to my soul it will ruin the nation;
And it's hard, hard times.

Now, there is a the talker, by talking he eats,
And so does the butcher, by killing his meats;
He'll toss the steel yards and weigh it right down,
And swear it's just right if it lacks forty pounds;
And it's hard, hard times.

And there is the merchant, as honest we're told;
Whatever he sells you, my friend, you are sold;
Believe what I tell you and don't be surprised
If you find yourself cheated half out of your eyes;
And it's hard, hard times.

And there is the lawyer, you plainly will see,
He'll plead your case for a very large fee;
He'll law you and tell you the wrong side is right,
And make you believe that a black horse is white;
And it's hard, hard times.

And there is the doctor, I like to forgot--
I believe to my soul he's the worst of the lot!
He'll tell you he'll cure you for half you possess,
And when you are buried he'll take all the rest;
And it's hard, hard times.

And there's the old bachelor all hated with scorn;
He's like an old garment all tattered and torn;
The girls and the widows all toss him a sigh;
And think it's quite right, and so do I;
And it's hard, hard times.

And there's the young widow, coquettish and shy,
With a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye;
But when she gets married she'll cut quite a dash;
She'll give him the reins and she'll handle the cash;
And it's hard, hard times.

And there's the young lady, I liked to have missed
I believe to my soul she'd like to be kissed.
She'll tell you she loves you with all pretence,
And ask you to call again sometime hence;
And it's hard, hard times.

And there's the young man, the worst of the whole;
He will tell you he loves you with all of his soul.
He will tell you he loves you, for you he will die,
And when he's away he will swear it's a lie;
And it's hard, hard times.




The lawyer and doctor verses are nearly exactly what I found in RUS. The other's are simply great. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: Anglo
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 02:10 AM

Part of the trouble with learning the tune, of course, is that there are several different traditional variants, and they're often not compatible.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 03:29 AM

See also:
The old clerk of this parish I know him right well,
He often do toll the eight o'clock bell,
He went to the ale house to take a small sup
And forgot the old church for to lock-a-lock lock...

A mare and a foal ran in at great speed,
The mare from the bible began for to read,
"Oh stay," said the foal, "before you begin,
Whatever you pray for I'll answer amen...

"Let us pray for the millers that grind us our corn,
For they are the greatest rogues that ever were born,
For every bushel they'll take two for toll,
May the devil take the millers," "Amen" said the foal...

etc...

Which seems to have links both to Rigs of the Time, and the "Soldier's Prayer" type songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 03:42 AM

Perhaps; but where did you get it? You didn't say last time you posted it, either, and we need to know if it's to be of any use.


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Subject: RE: A mare and a foal ran in at great speed
From: JesseW
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 03:46 AM

Where is this from? Do you have any details? Is it in the DT yet, or elsewhere online?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: pavane
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 02:12 PM

I have seen or heard verses like it before. I will try and hunt it down when I am home.

Maybe from Phil Tanner (via Mick Tems) - worth asking Dr Price.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 06:10 PM

Joe has beaten me to it with me own link. The ref to Villikins tune in the dated post concerns the "Soldier and Sailor" series, not the mare and foal. I had the mare and the foal from another singer way back in the sixties, and I seem to remember the late John Rennard being the source. Beyond that, regrettably, not much detail. I have no idea if a recording exists, but can certainly supply the dots as I'm still singing it. Thanks Joe also for the Moeran reference.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Aug 06 - 08:22 PM

While you're comparing, take a look at the"Dodger Song"--a peculiarly American take on the same subject(2)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: JesseW
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 12:44 AM

You mean the Dodger Song? (enjoy the blue clickies...)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Trad. - Rigs of the Time
From: pavane
Date: 17 Aug 06 - 06:03 AM

I think Tony Rose recorded The Parson and the Clerk, if thats any help


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RIGS OF THE TIMES (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 11:24 AM

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 15(261a):

THE RIGS OF THE TIMES
Hillatt & Martin, Printers, 13, Little Prescot Street Goodman's Fields [London]

Ye men of high and low degree, come listen to my song.
I'll warrant to amuse you well, and not detain you long.
It is concerning these bad times, and many tricks, you know,
Are practised all the country round to cut a decent show.

CHORUS: For the sharpers are on the alert, and puffing is the plan.
An outside show is all the go, and cheating who you can.

Some men are selling at prime cost, and 30 per cent under,
And still live by this mighty loss, which makes some men to wonder;
And if you go into their shop in clothing very fine,
To blind your eyes and rob your purse, they'll hand a glass of wine.

The auctioneer he struts about, cutting a famous swell,
Telling a budget full of lies, the poor man's goods to sell;
And when he's sold the poor man's all, you'll think it very funny:
He shuts up shop, bids them goodbye, and pockets all the money.

The landlord to his tenant goes, demanding then his rent,
And if the same he cannot pay, the bailiffs then are sent.
Then like a pack of hungry dogs, these bloodhounds sally forth,
Within the hand of violence, seize all the man is worth.

The brewer, he is in the mess, and I believe the worst.
He poisons all the ale he brews, to fill his master's purse;
And if you with a friend would go to take a cup or two,
'Tis ten to one when you come out, you stagger to and fro.

The honest miller too, we find, exerts his utmost skill
To cheat the poor man of his grain, and his own barns to fill.
The baker with him takes his share in this disgraceful way,
And both unite to rob the poor and needy every day.

Now to conclude this jovial song, let each be on the alert
To shun those men who collars show, but never wear a shirt.
From all such empty dandy blades let each for ever keep,
And ne'er expect in barren fields a plenteous crop to reap.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rigs of the Time / Rigs of the Times
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 12:58 PM

There are 3 copies shown at the Bodleian, only one dated: Ballads Cat. 2806c.17(361), printed by W. Wright, Birmingham, between 1820-1831.
The text is the same as that of the broadside copied by Dixon, except in the last verse, 1st line, the song is 'jocous' rather than 'jovial'.
There are some 20-25 songs at the Bodleian, beginning with 'rigs;' some may be related. "The Rigs of the Races" begins "Good people draw near and listen to my ditty," so has the same form (Harding B179257a, Pitts London, between 1819-1849).

The "Rigs and Sprees of London" in an English broadside is in American Memory; the 'Rigs' songs probably got to America not long after their appearance in England.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rigs of the Time / Rigs of the Times
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 05:51 PM

Try the spelling "riggs" and you'll find a couple more.


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Subject: RE: Rigs of the Time / Rigs of the Times (*bump*)
From: JesseW
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 12:58 AM

Good 'ol song, which we've gotten quite a few varients listed in the thread now...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rigs of the Time / Rigs of the Times
From: LizRuth
Date: 07 Apr 17 - 04:38 AM

Do we have any more up to date versions? I know Maddy Prior did one a while back....


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rigs of the Time / Rigs of the Times
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 07 Apr 17 - 09:25 AM

Martin Carthy's is his updated version.

here's a verse.

Absentee landlords I must bring 'em in,
With their sky high rents and they think it no sin,
The ceilings fall in and the walls run with slime,
But they're for blacks or for Irish, so no-one really minds.

Honesty's all out of fashion etc.

great version.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rigs of the Time / Rigs of the Times
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Apr 17 - 01:45 PM

What you have here is a THEME containing several otherwise unrelated songs. Some of them may have inspired others but they have different choruses and different tunes and are only related by theme. You can call them variants of the THEME but they are separate songs and to call them versions of the same song is to cause confusion. There are numerous songs throughout history that use this theme and indeed this pattern. The 2 main types are those that are describing cheating trades and those listing various tradesmen come to court a girl. The word 'next' is of course used rather a lot. They are officially 'catalogue' songs.


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