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Lyr Req: I Can't Change It (T. W. Connor)

irishjh@nbnet.nb.ca 14 Mar 99 - 04:12 PM
Bill in Alabama 14 Mar 99 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,Jan 05 Jul 00 - 02:46 AM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 00 - 03:10 AM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 00 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Jan 05 Jul 00 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Bill Foster 06 Jul 00 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,Jan 06 Jul 00 - 02:36 PM
wysiwyg 06 Jul 00 - 04:04 PM
katlaughing 06 Jul 00 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Jan Toomer 06 Jul 00 - 09:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jul 00 - 09:34 PM
katlaughing 06 Jul 00 - 09:50 PM
GUEST,JD aka Jan Toomer 06 Jul 00 - 10:31 PM
katlaughing 06 Jul 00 - 11:15 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jul 00 - 04:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jul 00 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,irishjh@nbnet.nb.ca 08 Jul 00 - 11:09 PM
JD 10 Jul 00 - 07:47 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Nov 06 - 12:55 AM
Jim Dixon 22 Feb 10 - 05:32 AM
Rozza 11 Mar 11 - 07:54 AM
Jim Dixon 15 Mar 11 - 05:59 PM
Rozza 16 Mar 11 - 09:23 AM
Rozza 18 Mar 11 - 05:44 AM
Rozza 29 Mar 11 - 03:07 PM
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Subject: I can't change her
From: irishjh@nbnet.nb.ca
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 04:12 PM

"I can't change her"(it) is very old folk song about a man a sixpence he can't change cheating a blind man in the by and by. gets married to a woman who has false teeth wooden leg. Can't remember much of it. Anyone know what it is called or the lyrics I would appreciate it.Thanks. June.
This is a very old folk song possibly from England or Ireland. It speaks of having a shilling and not being able to change it and cheating a blind man in the sweet by and by.
I was taught this song as a very young child. It has a verse like I know a lot of lazy folk, I meet them every day. they haven't got a shilling in their pocket so they say. ??????? I don't remember much else but they Can't change the shilling but will cheat a blind man sometime or other.haha! If anyone has the lyrics would appreciate them. Regards JUNE


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 09:23 PM

I learned that song from an old fellow in the Tennessee mountains; I even performed it for a year or so--and now I can't remember a single verse! My version will be Appalachian-American, but if I can find it in one of my old ballet books I'll get it to you.


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: GUEST,Jan
Date: 05 Jul 00 - 02:46 AM

I noticed no activity since March - have you found the song? My grandmother is searching for it also - via me. All she can remember is: A man visiting a woman - he's driving a horse and buggy, there's an accident, buggy turns over. When the dust settled, he saw false teeth and a wooden leg. Golden trusses mussed, and he picks up the attachments and brings her home once more. My grandmother is 87 yrs old and remembers this song being sung to her as a child. She would like to hear this song once more. Any word?
From Guest Jan July 5, 2000

Any luck on finding that song? I am posting on each thread I can find. My grandmother is looking for that song. All she can remember is: A man visiting a woman - he's driving a horse and buggy - there's an accident and the buggy turned over. When the dust settled, he saw false teeth and a wooden leg. Golden tresses mussed. He picks up the attachments and brings her home once more. Please let me know if you've found this song. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 00 - 03:10 AM

Hi, Jan - I saw in another thread that you're posting on every thread you can find on this subject. Please don't - multiple threads will only confuse matters. A better idea would be to post a new message to this one thread every few days to keep it alive. I'm going to delete your other messages and send those other threads back to 1999. I'll send a message to Bill in Alabama and see if he has remembered the song.
Thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 00 - 01:42 PM

Hi, Jan - keep watching this space. Bill in Alabama e-mailed me, and he's working up a response. If the thread has no messages posted to it for 24 hours, it will disappear from the Forum Menu, but you can always bring it up by putting a word from the thread title like change, and setting the "date" to an appropriate length of time.
I'm glad you posted your request. Looks like we'll finally have an answer to a question I've been tracking for a long time.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: GUEST,Jan
Date: 05 Jul 00 - 08:44 PM

Thanks Joe - You don't know how excited I was to find remotely anything close to what she is seeking. This searching - as well as the internet - is new to me. Tickled to find someone else looking. I'll keep watching.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CAN'T CHANGE IT^^
From: GUEST,Bill Foster
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 07:20 AM

Good Morning, Ms. Jan--

Joe Offer has written me to way that you're interested in lyrics to a song called "Can't Change It." I learned the song as a boy from an old fellow who lived near our farm in the Tennessee mountains; as I recall, his name was Claudie Stewart. I have since heard a recording of the song, done in the early 'thirties by a string band the name of which I've forgotten. I hope this helps. If you have questions, you can email me [cwfoster@hiwaay.net].

CAN'T CHANGE IT

I never was a proud young man as all you folks can see,
I never cared too much for clothes, and styles don't bother me;
I never was a dandy, but I'm satisfied, you know--
I've got but one shirt to my back, and I can say although
I can't change it; Can't change it
I've got but one shirt to my back; it fits me like an old tow sack
But I can't change it, and there ain't no use to try--
I have to lay in bed while my shirt hangs out to dry!

My relatives came to see me and they thought they'd stay awhile,
Let me tell you, fellers, on their faces was a smile;
My friends they had a baby --it was their pride and joy--
They had a darling little girl and they wanted a boy.
But they can't change, it, Can't change it--
They told the doctor what they wanted and he only smiled and said,
"Friend, I can't change it, and there ain't no use to try--
But I hope you have a dozen boys in the sweet by and by".

I thought that I'd get married like most young foolish men,
I found a girl, I bought a ring, I got married there and then;
But when the job was over I was taken down a peg--
Her eye and her hair and her teeth was false, and she had a wooden leg!
But I can't change it, Can't change it--
It was a great surprise to me; she was half a woman, half a tree--
But I can't change it, and there ain't no use to try--
So I'll hack that leg for kindlin' wood in the sweet by and by.

Give Ms. Grandma my fond regards; If she thinks of additional songs, I'll try to locate them for her.

Bill Foster^^


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: GUEST,Jan
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 02:36 PM

Mr. Joe Offer and Mr. Bill Foster -- I can not thank you both enough! I was so excited to see the lyrics here. As I type, I am printing the lyrics to give to my grandmother. Thank you both for your hard work, patience with my inexperience and your support! THANKS! JAN TOOMER


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 04:04 PM

And thank you all for a most entertaining song and a fine example of Mudcat helpfulness at its finest, as well as being a fine example of how new people can jump right into this place.

Jan! Join us!

~S~


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 06:53 PM

What a wonderful thread! Thanks to you all, as Praise says. Joe, will you do a thread to enter the lyrics so Dick or Susan see them, or I can if you'd like.

Also, BillinAL - Spaw and I were just talking about you the other day..wondering how you were doing. If you ever feel like it...it sure would be neat to have you join us in HearMe (the virutal song circles we have on Sunday nights) and sing this song for us sometime, then maybe Jan could listen in, too. If you have any questions about it just ask, one of us will help you out.

Thanks, agains!

kat


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: GUEST,Jan Toomer
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 09:01 PM

I passed along a copy of what transpired here to a friend who is interested what you all did for me. I don't know what a virtual song circle is - can imagine -but would be interested in checking it out. Just from looking in on the various topics, I have come to the decision you all are very interesting - and fun - people. Send me intructions on how to "tune in"? Please remember - I may have the years, don't have the experience! Ha. Thanks again - Jan


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 09:34 PM

And that is what the Mudcat is really about, and I doubt if there's anywhere else you could get that happening!


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 09:50 PM

You've got it Jan. Are you at the email listed in the first emssage? Actually, if you put "HEarMe" in the Super Search box at the top of the threads, and set the filter date back about 180 days, several threads about it will come up. Look for the earlier ones, from last Dec. and January when JAB first started it.

OR, for a quick intro, just pick the latest HearMe thread posted for the day you are here, i.e. July 6th, click on the Link, and join us. HearMe is a program which we go into, very short (few seconds) download the first time, then click on where it says Join Song Cirlce. All you need is a sound card in your computer, which you have if you listen to any sound files on the Internet or CD's via your computer. You also have one, usually, if your computer has speakers. Anyway, when you get in there, you can click on where it says Text Chat and we all carry on a lively converstaion and comment while each of us takes a turn singing or playing a tune, by depressing our F9 key and using a microphone.

Some people don't have mics, but they still enjoy coming in to listen and to text chat. It is a very simple program to use and whenever any of us go in there we usually start a thread with a link, but you can also bookmark the site and just go directly in. I think there are people in tehre right now, so if you'd liek come give us a listen. Also, when you go in the first time, you will show up as Guest with a number. When you join in and see the names listed of all of us who are in there, you can then click on where it says Options, below our names, and opt to change your name to whatever you want to be known as. The it prompts you to reconnect to the chat box, etc.

If you join the Mudcat, it's free!, you can send and receive personal messages and I can help you out if this all seems a but thicker than mud!**BG**=Big Grin

Welcome to the Wonderful World of The Mudcat Cafe! Where Mud Is Thicker Than Water!

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: GUEST,JD aka Jan Toomer
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 10:31 PM

Okay, took your advice and joined Mudcat! Thanks for the instructions - I'll try to pop in on the song circle. Do have a mic - won't use it. Cats think I'm yowling in pain and kids grumble - know good music when I hear it - can't sing it... The top email add is not mine. I am at rocknwood@msn.com. Thank you all for the warm reception and detailed instructions! JAN


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 11:15 PM

Glad you made it! Now think on getting your grandma to come in and sing that song for us someday? What a treat that would be, or have call Mudcat Radio and have her sing it over the phone! That is broadcast every Wednesday night at 7pm, EST and is wondeful. The shows are archived. Just click on Radio Show on the top menu bar and read all about it. Bert's dad and my dad have both sung songs for us over the phone.

Thanks for joining in!

kat


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 04:29 AM

No need for an additional "add lyrics" thread, Kat. All that's needed is "ADD" in the subject title, for the song to be found for harvesting. As you can tell by the birdie ^^ marks, the song has already been harvested for the database.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 06:23 AM

"Harvesting" - that's a good term. There was athread rcentlyFolk song collecting, good or bad?, and analogies like egg collecting came into it. I think the term "Folk Song Harvesting" is much better.


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Subject: RE: I can't change it
From: GUEST,irishjh@nbnet.nb.ca
Date: 08 Jul 00 - 11:09 PM

Hi I now have my beloved song Can't Change It! I also have a verse to it that Bill and Joe didn't have. i am posting it now.
I know a lot of Lazy folk I meet them every day,
They haven't got shilling in their pockets so they say.
For me it is the other way I am a man of Biz,
I always have shilling in my pocket, Here it is.
But I can't change it. Oh no I can't change it.
No matter how I try, I hope to cheat some blind man in the sweet by and by.


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Subject: RE: I can't change her
From: JD
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 07:47 PM

Thanks for the extra verse, and since it was your request that I found - thank you June.


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Subject: Lyr Add: YOU CAN'T CHANGE IT
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 12:55 AM

Here's another version, from the web site of Chloë & Jason Roweth, two Australians:

YOU CAN'T CHANGE IT
Composed by Arthur "Spendlow" Baulch, and learned from a recording of Arthur's sons, "The Baulch Brothers", made by John Meredith and Rob Willis (John Meredith Collection – National Library of Australia).

Oh, I know a lot of lazy men, meet them when you may,
They've never got a penny, always stony broke they say.
For me it's just the other way, I'm a man of biz,
I've always got a shilling in my pocket - here it is.
Well I can't change it, I can't change it,
The reason why I'll let you know, it's one I made myself and so
I can't change it, I don't intend to try,
But I hope to cheat a blind man in the sweet by and by.

Oh, I never was a proud young man - anyone can see,
Fashions I don't care about - clothes don't trouble me.
I never was a masher, for I'm satisfied to know,
I've got but one shirt to my back I can say that although.
I can't change it, I can't change it,
I've got but one shirt to my back and it fits me like a bloomin' sack,
I can't change it, I don't intend to try,
So while it's being washed I lie in bed until it's dry.

Oh, I thought that I'd get married like a lot of foolish men,
I found the girl and bought the ring, got married there and then.
When the job was over I was taken down a peg,
Her hair and eyes and teeth were false and she had a wooden leg.
Well I can't change it, I can't change it.
It was a great surprise to me – a half a woman and half a tree!
Well I can't change it, I don't intend to try,
So I'll chop her up for firewood in the sweet by and by.

Oh when I came home the other night, the nurse was at the door.
She said "You've got another one, it makes you just a score,
Such a pretty little girl - I hope you'll wish her joy"_
I wished her to old Nick, for what I wanted was a boy.
Well I can't change it, I can't change it.
I asked a lot, who ought to know, I asked the nurse and she said "no",
She can't change it, she doesn't intend to try,
But she hopes I'll have a dozen in the sweet by and by.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Can't Change It
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 05:32 AM

It sure would be nice to trace this song back to its source.

The Online 78-rpm Discographical Project lists the following recordings:

Otto Gray & His Cowboy Band
    * I CAN'T CHANGE IT - Vocalion – 5337 - 1929

Tune Wranglers
    * I CAN'T CHANGE IT - Bluebird – 6365 - 1936
    * I CAN'T CHANGE IT - Montgomery Ward – 4764 – 1936

There is a CD available of the Tune Wranglers, called "1936-1938" (Krazy Kat Records, #28, 2000) which contains I CAN'T CHANGE IT. Allmusic.com credits it to Buster Coward, a member of the group (but I have my doubts). I transcribed this from a sound sample:
    ...I am a man of biz.
    I've got a dollar in my pocket and here the money is,
    But I can't change it; I can't change it.
    The reason why I'll let you know: It's one I made myself and so
    I can't change it no matter how I try.
    I hope to meet [sic] a blind man in the sweet by and by.

    Now I am not a proud young man as anyone can see,
    For fashion I don't care about; my clothes....
There is a more recent recording by Paul Clayton, on "Unholy Matrimony" (Collectors' Choice Music CD #682, rereleased 2006, original LP 195?).
    ...Oh, I never was a proud young man, as anyone can see.
    I never did care much for clothes, and style don't bother me.
    My shoes are worn, my coat is torn, but I will have you know
    I've got but the one shirt to my back, but I'm satisfied although
    I can't change it, can't change it.
    Got but a one shirt to my back and it fits me like a coffee sack,
    But I can't change it....


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Subject: Lyr Add: I CAN'T CHANGE IT (T. W. Connor)
From: Rozza
Date: 11 Mar 11 - 07:54 AM

My Great Auntie Jessie Kydd knew two verses of this song and I have found the original. A photocopy of the original sheet music is in front of me. The full title is "I Can't Change It!", written and composed by T.W.Connor, sung by George Beauchamp, published by Francis, Day and Hunter in London and by T.B. Harms in New York. It may be sung in Public without fee or licence except at Music Halls and Liverpool and Birmingham theatres. The Copyright date is 1894. There are five verses:

1.
Oh, I know a lot of lazy men,
And meet them when I may,
They've never got a penny-
Always stony broke they say;
With me it's just the other way,
For I'm a man of "biz,"
I've always got a shilling in
My pocket - there it is.
(Producing shilling)

CHORUS,
But I can't change it, I can't change it!
The reason why I'll let you know, it's one I made myself and so
I can't change it, no matter how I try,
But I hope to cheat a blind man in the sweet by and by.

2.
Oh, I never was a proud young man,
That anyone can see,
Fashions I don't care about,
For clothes don't trouble me.
I'll never be a masher, for
I'm satisfied to know,
I've got a shirt upon my back,
I can say that although-

CHORUS
I can't change it! I can't change it!
It fits me like a bloomin' sack, I've got but one shirt to my back
I can't change it, no matter how I try,
So when it's being washed I lie in bed until it's dry.

3.
I got an invitation to
A wedding down our way;
So went into a shop to get
A new hat yesterday;
I soon got what I wanted, and
The premises did quit;
Now since I've tried it on my nut,
I find it doesn't fit!

CHORUS
But I can't change it! I can't change it!
For when the shopman turned his back, I sneaked the cadie off the rack
I can't change it, and never mean to try,
Or I might be picking oakum in the sweet by and by!

4.
When I came home the other night,
The nurse was at the door;
She said "You've got another one-
That makes you just a score,
Such a pretty little girl,
I know you'll wish her joy"_
I wished it to old Nick, for what
I wanted was a boy!

CHORUS
But I can't change it, I can't change it.
I asked a lot, who ought to know, I asked the
nurse and she said "No!"
She can't change it, and she doesn't intend to try,
But she hopes I'll have a dozen in the sweet by and by

5.
I thought that I'd get married-
Like a lot of foolish men,
I found the girl, bought the ring,
Got married there and then.
When the job was over,
I was taken down a peg-
Her hair, her eyes and teeth were false,
And she had a wooden leg!

CHORUS
But I can't change it! I can't change it!
It was a great surprise to me, half a woman and half a tree;
I can't change her, I wish she'd do a guy.
But I'll put her up for auction in the sweet by and by.

Auntie Jessie knew verses 1 and 3, learnt from the Pierrots on Cleethorpes beach in about 1905. Her last line was different- "chop her up for firewood" instead of "put her up for auction".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Can't Change It (T. W. Connor)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Mar 11 - 05:59 PM

Thanks, Rozza!

I like it when we can get the authentic words from the sheet music. Transcribing from old recordings is less reliable and often ends up with mistakes or gaps where the words were unintelligible. Also, the sheet music often has extra verses that were never recorded.

I can't find an on-line recording of this song, though, so I don't know what it sounds like.

Rozza, do you have the ability to transcribe the tune into abc notation? (That's a skill I've never learned myself, since I have plenty of work to do, just finding lyrics.) That would be a bonus, since there are people here at Mudcat who can convert abc to a MIDI file and upload it so anyone can download it.

I've added George Beauchamp to my list of music-hall performers. One of these days I might get around to looking up more songs that he performed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Can't Change It (T. W. Connor)
From: Rozza
Date: 16 Mar 11 - 09:23 AM

Yes, I can do .abc notation. I've transcribed a lot of folk dance tunes from Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. I'll have a go at converting the tune from the original in the next day or two. I'd be interested to hear how it compares with the tune I know.


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Subject: Tune Add: I CAN'T CHANGE IT! (T. W. Connor)
From: Rozza
Date: 18 Mar 11 - 05:44 AM

Here's the tune from the sheet music:

X:01
T:I CAN'T CHANGE IT!
M:6/8
L:1/8
C:Written and composed by T.W.Connor 1894
N: Sung by George Beauchamp
Z:Transcribed from original sheet music by Ruairidh Greig 2011
K:F
c|c2FF2A|d2cA2F|A2GB2G|D3-D2 D|!
E2Gc2c|E2Gc2c|c2BA2G|F3-F2zG|!
G2ec2A|A2GG2G|F2G=B2A|G3-G2G|!
G2ec2A|A2GG2G|A2GA2=B|c3-c||!
c A|:F3-F3|(c2-A)F2F|G3-G3|(d2B)G2F|!
E2dd2d|d2EE2E|F2dd2d|d2cA2G|!
F3-F3|cA2-A2A|G2AB2c|d3^c2d|!
e2dB2G|d2cA2F|D3E2c|F3-F2|]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: I Can't Change It (T. W. Connor)
From: Rozza
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 03:07 PM

Courtesy of reference from Dan Quinn, another version of the song is at:

Veteran CD VT154


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