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Seeking the Pitman's Bible

01 Dec 98 - 11:26 AM (#47493)
Subject: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Rich Kaufman

Looking for monologues from the Pitman's Bible. The bible tales as told to Scottish coal workers.

All useful help appreciated.

sumney1@aol.com

Go Eagles!


01 Dec 98 - 05:46 PM (#47537)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Art Thieme

I've always thought these were created/collected by the amazing Mr. Lou Killen and were about the Newcastle area and not Scotland. Either way, Lou sure does do 'em well!!!

Art


01 Dec 98 - 06:10 PM (#47541)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: allan .S

John and Tony always made reference to "THe Pitmans Bible" I always thought it was from the midlands Some where in the back of my mind I believe it was a real book.


12 Aug 04 - 03:31 PM (#1246090)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: GUEST

Just browing through and did a search for Pitman's bible stories. I noticed a thread from 1998 but no leads. Six years later, does anyone have a written or published source or has anyone (Louis Killen included) recorded any?


12 Aug 04 - 04:28 PM (#1246129)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca

The only thing I have found is this:

Midnight Special Playlist
   26. Lou Killen: The Nativity from The Pitman's Bible (trad) (Old Town School 12/2/79) WFMT recording


12 Aug 04 - 04:40 PM (#1246141)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: TheBigPinkLad

More here: http://www.centrohd.com/biogra/k1/lou_killen_b.htm


12 Aug 04 - 09:59 PM (#1246370)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: GUEST,Leadfingers

There were some 78rpm records made in Glasgow dialect of Bible stories - I heard several done by a serviceman is Singapore in the late Sixties round the Singapore Folk Clubs - VERY Funny . These I am sure predated the Louis Killen and High Level Ranters sstuff by a long way .


13 Aug 04 - 01:07 PM (#1246904)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Hollowfox

Well, at Old Songs Folk Festival this year, I seem to recall himsaying something to the effect that he has recorded them for archival purposes, but does not intend to publish a cd at this time.


10 Mar 18 - 09:48 PM (#3910434)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: GUEST,ccder1024

I have access to Lou Killen's early and late shows on 1980-Nov-01 from McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. One of those shows has Killen telling the story of the nativity from a Northumbrian perspective -- is this what is being sought? Not yet digitized, but can be.

-Fred


11 Mar 18 - 03:10 PM (#3910533)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Richard Mellish

I too have a recording of Killen telling the Nativity story; in fact two recordings, from evenings at different folk clubs. One I digitised a few years ago; the second I am digitising right now, as I write this (prompted, as you might guess, from the revival of this thread).

I recall him reciting part of another tale, where the authorities come to capture Jesus, but I think he may have recited only an excerpt of that one rather than the whole episode from the Pitman's Bible. That may be on the tape that is running now.

On the first one, before launching into The Nativity, he says "I just got another one from Jimmy (unclear surname, sounds like Neuru, and some further unclear words) at South Shields (last?) night, but I haven't worked that one up yet. That's about Nebuchadnezzar, the great trade union leader, and naturally them three strappin' lads from one of the Stanley pits, Meshak (any more names drowned by audience laughter). Never mind, you haven't heard the one about that famous lad from Bedlin'ton -- Beowulf. He used to guard the leek (mumble) Well he used to guard the allotments, just about leeks. He was called away to Denmark to fight that great leek-slashing monster; Denmark then being of course the country for growin' leeks".

Given at least my two recordings of The Nativity and the abovementioned one, but (so far) none of any other stories, it may be that he seldom or never recited any of the others.

One not-exactly Bible story on a recording is The Parable of the Lost Shekels as told by Jack Elliot.


11 Mar 18 - 04:40 PM (#3910541)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: FreddyHeadey

There is apparently a recording of Geordie Christmas at the British Library
"Killen, Louis (male)

Description
Recording notes: Very low recording level, noticable tape hiss..."

https://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Keith-Summers-Collection/025M-C1002X0082XX-1300V0#volume
[it wouldn't play on my android tablet]


11 Mar 18 - 06:06 PM (#3910551)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Richard Mellish

I've now captured my second recording, which is from Reading University Folk Club, 26th Feb 1970. It is of better quality than my first one and very much better than the one linked to in the previous post, so I suppose I ought to make it available. Watch this space.


11 Mar 18 - 06:58 PM (#3910560)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Susan of DT

When this becomes available, I will alert Rich Kaufman (the original poster 20 years ago) if he does not see it himself. He is still around and in my neighborhood. And he is still interested in this.


11 Mar 18 - 07:19 PM (#3910561)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Richard Mellish

OK, it's now here.


12 Mar 18 - 09:08 AM (#3910640)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: FreddyHeadey

:-)
Thank you Richard.


13 Mar 18 - 07:17 AM (#3910833)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Richard Mellish

I've now remembered that I also have (or had) a recording of someone, probably Killen again, telling the Exodus story. But dunno whether I can find it.

Off hand I can recall a snippet: "They piled their wives and their bairns and their duds back on the bogies, and aweea they aal went, tappie-lappie across the desert."


13 Mar 18 - 07:28 AM (#3910839)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Richard Mellish

Found it!

I'll put it up shortly.


13 Mar 18 - 07:43 AM (#3910843)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Dave the Gnome

Pitman's bible?

Was it written in shorthand?

I'll get my coat...

DtG


13 Mar 18 - 09:39 AM (#3910862)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Richard Mellish

The recording of Killen telling the tale of Exodus is now here.

I think my recording is a copy of a friend's made on mediocre equipment (an upright recorder taking 3 inch spools on the top, for anyone who remembers those) and the quality is poorer than my recording of The Nativity, but I've done what I can to improve it. At the 9 min 48 sec point there's a glitch where a bit got missed. I think my friend may have had to change his tape at that point.

Anyway it is what it is.

As with the other one I've used ogg vorbis format as that is reputedly better than mp3, but if anyone can't read that let me know, preferably by PM.


15 Mar 18 - 02:41 PM (#3911239)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge

I'm pretty certain that Louis got the Exodus story from Jim Irvine, MC of the Marsden Inn folk club in South Shields in the mid sixties.

I had got it from my pal John Greenwell (who much preferred Ray Charles to folk music) in the Grey Hen pub in Harton about 1963 and I gave it to Jim in written form- he made a great job of it, and often recited it on Marsden Rattlers bookings- we did not do GIGS!

We were often favoured by visits from Louis in those days & I expect that's how Louis got it.

nb this is not a claim that it was the original version, just a comment which may be of interest


16 Mar 18 - 03:30 AM (#3911338)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Dave Sutherland

I was going to suggest that the Jim that Lou Killen mentioned would be Jim Irvine as I have heard him tell the story of The Fiery Furnace and King Nebby (but you didn't call him Nebby to his fyece).
You wouldn't like The Grey Hen these days Jim B - cold, barren and run down; not the jovial welcoming place back the time you quote.


16 Mar 18 - 10:26 AM (#3911410)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge

Yes Dave, many a Sunday night playing fives and threes & three card brag were superseded by the wonderful Sunday nights at the Marsden- sorry to hear the Grey Hen has gone downhill. Was once warned by the police about making tunnels in a haystack which was on the site, before the pub was built - changed times! Built by Rowell's brewery of Gateshead- also long gone

On the subject of Bible Stories, the Newcastle publisher Frank Graham put out lots of thin publications (64pp?) on local culture. My memory told me that one of them was of Geordie Bible Stories?

I've just confirmed this- it's avaiable on Amazon for £3.50 or one penny if a used one will do! (plus p&p)

..so Moses clashed the watter & it parted asunder or was it a Monda'-    or something like that...      

gan canny as Jim Irvine would say


16 Mar 18 - 10:50 AM (#3911416)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: GUEST

In a not unsimilar vein : Give up your aul sins

Bible stories told by Dublin schoolchildren   during the 1950s


18 Mar 18 - 02:17 PM (#3911712)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: GUEST,Trevor Sheridan

You're right Jim on the booklet. I have one published 1971 and called The Geordie Bible written and composed by Andrew Elliott but it is just nine stories wth biblical titles. They are not the classic stories that Jim Irvine used to recite but I'm sure there was another booklet or pamphlet produced in the 70's
Gan canny


19 Mar 18 - 06:59 AM (#3911832)
Subject: RE: Seeking the Pitman's Bible
From: Little Robyn

Danny Spooner used to do the Moses one - 'the lads were workin' on the pyramids....' and they went on strike because there was 'no more Newcastle Broon!' I don't know if he ever recorded it.
Robyn