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Lyr: I Had a Little Overcoat / Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl

22 Apr 00 - 03:46 AM (#215985)
Subject: Lyr Add: I HAD A LITTLE OVERCOAT (from Yiddish)
From: Joe Offer

There's one in the database with the mistaken title of I Had An Coat (now corrected). Could that be the one, Mary? On her recording of the song, Sally Rogers says it was by Paul Kaplan, written in 1985.

I guess it's probably not the one Mary wants, but It's a great song and fits this thread, so what the heck?

The "I Had a Coat" song has the same story line as a Yiddish song called "I Had a Little Overcoat"

I HAD A LITTLE OVERCOAT
(traditional Yiddish, English by Teddi Schwartz & Arthur Kevess

1.I had a little overcoat, as old as can be
Tralala lalalala lalala
What I'd ever do with it, I just couldn't see / Tralala...
So I thought a little while
And made myself a jacket in the very latest style
Tralalala lalala (2x) / Made a jacket in the very latest style

2. I had a little jacket, it was old as can be...
What... / So I thought a little while
And made myself a vest in the very latest style
Tralala. . .made a vest in the very latest style

3. I had a little vest / . . & made myself a tie
4. tie / button
5. button / nothing
6. nothing / song


1. Hob ikh mir a mantl fun fartsaytikn shtof / Tralala...
Hot dos nit in zikh kayn gantsenem shtokh / Tralala...
Darum, hob ikh zikh batrakht
Un fun dem mantl a rekl gemakht
Tralala... / Fun dem mantl a rekl gemakht

2. Hob ikh mir a rekl... fun dem rekl a vestl gemakht
3. vestl / shnipsl
4. shnipsl / knepl
5. knepl / gornitl
6. gornit / dos lidele

trad (Yiddish), Eng words Teddi Schwartz & Arthur Kevess

JRO
Separated from this thread to avoid confusion with "Take Off Your Old Coat."
-Joe Offer-


22 Apr 00 - 09:18 AM (#216026)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: GUEST,mcclinto@shaysnet.com

Joe Offer does it again!!!! Good job, Joe! The song is "I had an (old) coat" as listed in the database. Thanks for the lead to Paul Kaplan. Now I'll work on finding the publisher! HOORAY FOR THE MUDCAT DISCUSSION FORUM!

Mary


22 Apr 00 - 04:36 PM (#216178)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Coat Song
From: GUEST,mcclinto@shaysnet.com

Mystery solved! I decided to try searching for Paul Kaplan via a Hotbot search since my old computer at home can't cope with the fancy/java'd ASCAP/BMI sites. . .and the first place listed in my search was the Pioneer Valley Folklore Society--right in my backyard in western Massachusetts! So, I followed the links and found a website for Paul Kaplan, saying he wrote "I had an old coat" and recorded on his album, King of Hearts. . .and then it had his contact information. . .

HE'S IN AMHERST, MA, 20 minutes from my home! AMAZING! I called and after some phone tag, we had a very pleasant conversation. He published the song himself as Paul Kaplan Music, his address is 203 Heatherstone Rd, Amherst, MA 01002.

Another great song with a nice songwriter!

Hooray for this discussion forum and all of your help!

Thanks!

Mary


11 Nov 02 - 02:26 AM (#823145)
Subject: Tune Req: Old Coat Song
From: Genie

Anyone got a MIDI of this song?


08 Nov 03 - 01:38 PM (#1050193)
Subject: ADD Version: I Had a Little Overcoat
From: Joe Offer

I love this story. At the library last week, I sang I Had and Old Coat and read Simms Tabak's Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, which tells the story in a different way. Jerry and Bev Praver tell the story to elementary schools in yet another way, a story about a little tailor who has a coat, and he wore it and wore it, and wore it, until it was all worn out. Here's how Tabak translates the story into song at the end of his book.
-Joe Offer-


I HAD A LITTLE OVERCOAT (Hob Ich Mir a Mantl)

I had a little overcoat, much too old to sew
La La La La La La La La La La La
Whatever could I do with it, I just didn't know
La La La La La La La La La La La
So I thought what I could do
And made myself a jacket that was almost new
La La La La La La La La La La La La La La
Made myself a jacket that was almost new

I had a little jacket, Made myself a vest
I had a little vest, Made myself a tie
I had a little tie, Made myself a button

I had a little button, wherever did it go
La La La La La La La La La La La
Whatever did I do with it, I just didn't know
La La La La La La La La La La La
So I thought what I could do
But all I had was nothing, neither old nor new
La La La La La La La La La La La La La La
But all I had was nothing, neither old nor new

(-) All I had was nothing, and nothing much to sew
La La La La La La La La La La La
What could I do with nothing, I just didn't know
La La La La La La La La La La La
So I thought what I could do
And sang my-self a song and I sing this song to you
La La La La La La La La La La La La La La
Sang my-self a song and I sing this song to you

From Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, a children's book by Simms Taback, 1999

Click to play


09 Nov 03 - 08:52 AM (#1050584)
Subject: RE: I Had a Little Overcoat / Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl
From: Jen M

There have been several children's stories based on this folk tale--including "Something From Nothing" by Phoebe Gilman. When I tell this story (Which starts with a beloved blanket) I start with a piece of paper colored to look like the fabric and I cut it to resemble each item in the story. I'll have to learn the song to add when story telling.


31 Oct 04 - 05:47 PM (#1312488)
Subject: RE: I Had a Little Overcoat / Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl
From: Haruo

Joe provided the MIDI link for the Yiddish song, but not for the one in the DT (I don't think it fits). Anybody have it, or instructions for fitting the new (Kaplan) text to the traditional tune?

Haruo


29 Nov 04 - 01:02 PM (#1342240)
Subject: RE: Lyr: I Had a Little Overcoat / Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl
From: GUEST,Paul Kaplan

Here is the story of "I Had an Old Coat:" Marcia Lane sang me the song "I Had a Little Overcoat." I loved the song, and immediately set about to write an "American" version. In a few days I had my song, with a tune influenced by "Froggie Went a Courtin'" and "The Crawdad Song." Marcia was the first to record it.

Anyone who wants to hear me sing it on recording can contact me through www.paulkaplanmusic.com.


18 Apr 07 - 10:37 AM (#2028895)
Subject: RE: Lyr: I Had a Little Overcoat / Hob Ikh Mir a M
From: GUEST,Paul Kaplan

I would be happy to email an audio file of "I Had an Old Coat" to anyone who requests it. At this point, all I have is an m4a from iTunes. I don't know how to convert that to mp3.

Paul Kaplan


27 Sep 07 - 03:14 AM (#2158286)
Subject: RE: Lyr: I Had a Little Overcoat / Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl
From: GUEST,Allie

We would love a copy of the song. My son's preschool teacher has been looking for a copy to let the kids hear it.


10 Jul 09 - 01:32 PM (#2676737)
Subject: RE: Lyr: I Had a Little Overcoat / Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl
From: GUEST,Paul Kaplan

"I Had an Old Coat" is on my CD "The Folk Process," (2008) available from me or CD Baby. The song can be downloaded from iTunes or Amazon.
http://www.paulkaplanmusic.com


10 Jul 09 - 02:48 PM (#2676829)
Subject: RE: Lyr: I Had a Little Overcoat / Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl
From: Joe Offer

Thanks for the reminder, Paul. I bought my copy of The Folk Process through amazon.mudcat.org. For some reason, CDBaby didn't have your album available for MP3 download.
For good measure, I bought After the Fire, too. There are some very interesting (and singable) songs on both albums. I learned "I Had an Old Coat" from the Sally Rogers recording, and I've been singing it for years. I figured it was time to hear Paul sing it himself.

-Joe Offer-

P.S. For those of you who are a littly rusty on your folkie hagiography, Paul was co-author (with Mudcatter Dan Milner) of the well-loved 1983 Oak Publications book, Songs of England, Ireland, and Scotland: A Bonny Bunch of Roses. The book is still in print.
See this thread (click) for other songs by Paul Kaplan.


03 Mar 10 - 04:37 PM (#2855302)
Subject: RE: Lyr: I Had a Little Overcoat / Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl
From: wysiwyg

Just the song I needed for the gift I'm sending a friend.

~Susan