Songs and Tunes

I sang this song on the coach when the Toronto Women’s Sword Team visited. It’s a song I wrote some years ago when Andy Kershaw asked me for a contribution to a programme he was making about English songs. He used it as the trailer piece for the programme. I forget what the programme was called. The song was called –

It’s Only England

It’s only England. I’m living in it,
Here in the cosmos in Westcott Street;
Only the cosmos; it’s got some ripples;
It’s got some sparrows. I hear them tweet.

It’s only Europe. I’m living in it,
Here in the cosmos in Westcott Street;
It’s got some lawmen; it’s got some outlaws;
The word is ‘human’ in Westcott Street.

Call it Humberside or space-time,
Call it Desolation Row,
Call it God’s little country,
Call Ayers Rock in the snow,

It’s only England. I’m living in it;
Here in the cosmos in Westcott Street;
Only the cosmos; it’s got some ripples,
It’s got some sparrows. I hear them tweet.

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Here’s the dots for the way I am playing Bill Pennock’s Corn Riggs. Click on Corn_Riggs.  to see it. Mr. Pennock sang the little roll on the F sharp in the 7th and 15th bars but my fingers aren’t nimble enough to play it.
My playing of this tune had its first public performance at Darlington Britannia on April 11th, 2017.

Another item that had its first public showing there was Mr. Waterson’s Clock.
Mike Waterson told me a droll story he had heard. He said it wanted making into a song and that it ought to be to the Grandfather’s Clock melody. I think he may have made a tentative few lines to it himself. I don’t know. Mike died in June, 2011.
I worked on the song idea and found myself putting Mike as the character in the tale.

Mr. Waterson’s Clock                                    (To the tune of Grandfather’s Clock)

Mr Waterson’s clock gave a tick, then no tock
After keeping perfect time since it was bought.
Some people would rejoice at so durable a choice
But poor Michael, being quite tight, was distraught.
He set off down to Bay on a snowy, frosty day
To the shop that had sold it long before
And he stopped short of paying a carrier’s fee
To deliver the clock from door to door:-

So…..On his back, the clock he strapped  –
No tick, no tick; No tock, no tock   –
His leather belt around them wrapped  –
No tick, no tick; No tock, no tock   –
His foot slipped; onto his back he flipped
And down the hill a clock toboggan tore.

Man, clock and leather belt and gravity conspired
And, down the hill, the hapless combo flew;
The unfortunate Miss Pidd crossed the road where they slid
And she froze as they hurtled into view;
She shot up in the air when collision did occur
Then landed, square astride the strange skidoo;
She cried, “Next time we meet, young man, grasp convention if you can
And wear your timepiece on you wrist like other folk do!”

“Next time we meet, young man, grasp convention if you can
And wear your timepiece on you wrist like other folk do!”

Corona Smith and Jim Eldon worked on duets for their Two Straylarkers gigs at Beamish Museum in December. This is the duet, with a simple and straightforward second violin part, that they developed for Cuddle In, Cuddle In. Jim learnt the tune from Mae Hayley at High Spen in about 1971. High Spen is just a stone’s throw from Beamish.

cuddle-in-hand-written

Mae and George Haley sang –

My lass said to me, Come to bed and cuddle me,
My lass said to me, Cuddle in my darling.
Cuddle in, cuddle in; the neets are ca’ad, the blanket’s thin;
Cuddle in, cuddle in; cuddle in my darling.

Here are a couple more songs:

I Wish There Was No Prisons                       

I wish there was no prisons, I do, don’t you?
And the old treadmill makes me feel ill
I only steal, my belly for to fill
With my hands, with my fists, with my maulers.

I met a woman with a perambulator,
She had twins and each had a tater
In his hands, in his mits, in his maulers
I leaned into the perambulator,
Kissed one twin and I took the other’s tater
In my hands, in my fists, in my maulers.

Chorus: I wish there was no prisons, I do etc.

Now oakum picking gives me a licking
But still I like to do a bit of nicking
With my hands, with my dukes, with my maulers.
The probation officer was giving me a rocket,
Whilst he was at it, I was into his pocket
With my hands, with my fists, with my maulers.

Chorus: I wish there was no prisons, I do etc

I’ve twice been to church – once was to wed –
The other was at night; I came home with some lead
In my hands, in my fists, in my maulers.
I sold that lead to a kid called Fenner
But he robbed me with his scales so I only got a tenner
In my hands, in my dukes, in my maulers.

Chorus: I wish there was no prisons, I do etc.

There’s a Puffin in My Pint

A puffin looked over his shoulder;
He thought he knew the way;
He didn’t look where he  was going;
He hit the triatic stay.
A passenger sitting on foredeck
Thought it very queer
When a puffin dropped out of the sky
And landed in his beer.

There’s a puffin in my pint;
There’s a puffin in my pint;
He’s never made a squeak
But I know him by his beak;
There’s a puffin in my pint.

A woman was up at wheel house;
She said she was disgusted,
“I’ve paid to see the puffins;
You sailors can’t be trusted;
I’ve never seen one at all;
You’ll hear more of this, don’t fear.
Skipper Pete said, “Look down there;
There’s one in that chap’s beer.”

Chorus: There’s a puffin in my pint etc.

When the puffin got back to the cliff,
Where his mate was sitting on the egg,
He said “I’ve been for a trip on the Yorkshire Belle.”
She said, “You’re pulling my leg;
You’ve been all day in pub.
He said, “No, really dear …”
She said, “Don’t you try that with me
‘Cause I can smell it from here.”

Chorus: There’s a puffin in my pint etc.

Lynette has been working out a stepping routine to Stottlebink. To see the music for the tune, click on Stottlebink

I’ve been writing out the tune for Burton on Stather Broom Dance Tune too, in connection with the work Lynette has been doing across at Scunthorpe. It’s here: Burton Stather Broom Dance

Thankyou to Robin Garside for explaining to me how to link tunes to my site this way.

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