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Review: Damn Your Eyes Doctor (Peter Taylor)

19 Jun 11 - 06:39 AM (#3172779)
Subject: DamnYour Eyes Doctor by Peter Taylor
From: The Sandman

I enjoyed this cd very much.
14 tracks of traditional material accompanied by Peter on acoustic guitar.
Peters singing is tuneful and his diction is very good, every single word can be understood, his accompaniments never distract from his singing, they are unobtrusive but perform the function of accompaniment as it should be, that is to accompany the song sympathetically.
The tracks that stood out in my opinion were The Black cook[ an unusual song about body snatching]which is rarely heard in Folk clubs these days, and StowBrow.
Peter cites his influences as Dave Burland, TonyRose and Martyn Wyndham Read, three excellent revival singers, who are good models for all singers.
This is an excellent album of traditional folk songs well sung and well played.
Peter is a member here[so much talent on mudcat] and can be contacted here as The Doctor. well done Doctor,damn your eyes.

19 Jun 11 - 07:26 AM (#3172799)
Subject: RE: DamnYour Eyes Doctor by Peter Taylor
From: stallion

Haven't seen Peter for a couple of years, must catch up

19 Jun 11 - 08:20 AM (#3172812)
Subject: RE: DamnYour Eyes Doctor by Peter Taylor
From: Dave Hanson

Dave Burland recorded ' The Black Cook ' on his album ' Dalesmans Litany ' many many years ago, and a fine song it is too.

Dave H

19 Jun 11 - 01:03 PM (#3172921)
Subject: RE: DamnYour Eyes Doctor by Peter Taylor
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss

Exdellent news. Peter lives in my street and I in his. I'm not surprised it's good, he's a fine singer (he guested on my last album). I look forward to hearing it when I get home frim home. Well done Peter.

19 Jun 11 - 03:09 PM (#3172983)
Subject: RE: DamnYour Eyes Doctor by Peter Taylor
From: Dave Sutherland

Agreed Dave Burland does do an excellent job on "The Black Cook". It is worth checking his sleeve notes to see whom he cites as his source for that song. Everyone that I know who sings it reckon that they got it from Stefan Sobell ;-)

19 Jun 11 - 03:21 PM (#3172991)
Subject: RE: DamnYour Eyes Doctor by Peter Taylor
From: The Sandman

It is a broadside probably between 1860 and 1880.
Peter Taylor sings it very well.
I booked at Ryedale last year along with Dave Burland he did not sing it then, so it may or may not be still in his repertoire.

19 Jun 11 - 03:26 PM (#3172996)
Subject: RE: DamnYour Eyes Doctor by Peter Taylor
From: The Sandman

Verse 1 begins: 'I will tell you a trick, that was played the other night, / Tis concerning a Doctor that dwells in this town.' There are no publication details given, but this is one of two songs - printed by James Lindsay - on this sheet.

It is not clear in this song whether the 'black cook' refers to the cook's skin colour or his professional grade. Chefs were awarded a black band to wear around the bottom of their hat if they attained excellence and this sort of staff accolade may have been sought after by the gentry. Black household staff, on the other hand, are a literary motif which were used to best effect during the nineteenth century, where they often held white households together.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

19 Jun 11 - 04:51 PM (#3173036)
Subject: RE: DamnYour Eyes Doctor by Peter Taylor
From: The Doctor

I got it from Dave's LP of course. When we lived in Kent in the early 70s I saw and heard him a number of times at The Coach House Folk Club at Farningham. I've seen him quite a few times more recently, but not heard him do it. Nor can I remember whether I've asked him about it. However, I did sing it once in the hearing of Martyn Wyndham-Read, who asked me where I got it, and then told me he had given it to Dave, but not where he got it from.
I also have a copy in Roy Palmer's book Everyman's Book of British Ballads, where it goes under the title of 'The Doctor Outwitted by the Black', and my version specifically says 'his colour was black'. Roy says it seems to have originated in Ireland but could be found in oral circulation in North America under such titles as 'The Black Cook' and 'The Black Devil' until as recently as the 1950s.
Stallion, I believe our last meeting was at Scarborough Seafest the year before last. Are you going to the fundraiser this coming Sunday? (In the Sea Cadet Hall at 2:00pm for anyone who's interested).
Finally thanks to GSS for bringing this up in the first place.

19 Jun 11 - 04:53 PM (#3173038)
Subject: RE: DamnYour Eyes Doctor by Peter Taylor
From: The Doctor

I forgot to add that I believe it will be one of the tracks on the forthcoming Mudcat CDs.

19 Jun 11 - 07:26 PM (#3173110)
Subject: RE: DamnYour Eyes Doctor by Peter Taylor
From: bradfordian

And the genial Doctor has also been kind enough to donate a couple of his tracks to the NEW MUDCAT 5 volume CD set --due for release in November.
PM me for further info

And I also can highly recommend his CD!


07 Nov 11 - 02:22 PM (#3252247)
Subject: ADD Version: The Black Cook/Doctor Outwitted
From: Mysha


Beside the words the good soldier added above, shows this text (except maybe for some added typo's; please check):

The Black Cook
The Doctor Outwitted

I will tell you a trick, that was played the other night,
Tis concerning a Doctor that dwells in this town,
By a sailor so bold, he was nicely outwitted,
And fifty white shillings he had to pay down.

Some Jolly Jack tars, its they had got groggy,
Their cash it was spent, and their credit was done,
Down through Glasgow, to the Broomielaw they did ramble
Being bent for to raise either money or fun.

The cook of the vessel being one of the party,
He was a smart lad, though his colour was black,
For wit and contrivence he never yet wanted,
He found out a way to rise cash in a crack.

He says my shipmates, I hear people saying,
A corpse could be sold very readily here,
So take me alive, roll me up in my hammock,
And sell me to get either whiskey or beer.

The sailors agreed and accepted his offer,
And off to a shop where a Doctor did dwell,
In the ear of the Doctor, they slowly did whisper,
Kind sir we have got a corpse for to sell.

A corps said the Doctor, like me in amaze,
Tell me now where you have got it I say,
If you bring it safe here, I will buy it quiet ready,
And fifty white shillings to you I will pay.

They rolled up the black, with his hammock about him,
He was a fine fellow, both sturdy and strong,
And into his pocket by way of protection,
They stuck a knife with a blade, that was half a yard long.

Ten o'clock it was struck, and the town it was silent.
The sailors set out with the black on their back,
And into the Doctor they slowly did venture,
Where in a back room they laid down the black.

The doctor he paid the bold seamen their money,
They told him it was their cook, he had died out at sea,
And rather than have his dead body be buried,
We've sold it to you and its out of the way.

The Doctor he went for a knife to dissect him,
And quickly came down with the tools in his hand,
When he entered the room where he left the corps lying,
The black with his gully there ready did stand.

when he entered the room, where he left the corps lying.
He thought that the cook was a very rich prize,
With a voice loud as thunder the black did assail him,
And said d__n my eyes Doctor I'll dissect you alive

O the Doctor was glad to run in a hurry,
And unto his wife the news he did bring,
Saying dear, oh dear, where will you hide me,
For surely the devil is in the back room.

The coast being clear its off the black did start
And along the Broomielaw so quickly he went,
Until he did join with the rest of his party,
And the fifty white shillings they have merely spent.

White shillings being silver shillings, and Broomielaw being Glasgow's port area. This version has less duplicate lines then the version we already have, but it doesn't clear them all as in the line before "rich prize" we see one duplication replaced by another. I doubt this is the original, but combining the two should allow for improving the lyrics.