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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jimmy C Obit: Tommy Makem has Passed Away (1932-2007) (229* d) RE: Obit: Tommy Makem has Passed Away- 1 Aug 2007 02 Aug 07



Most of Tommy's version is the same as my grandfather's song except for the chorus. Also Tommy sang "My name is Dick Darby", my grandfather used his own name " John Simpson". I don't know what the original name should be. Probably Dick Darby.

Grandfather's chorus had these words.

" With an inting of an inting and an Idoh
With an inting of a inting of an iday
Ould wax-end and heel-ball you're boozing again
and your lapstone keeps beating away.

ps: "Waxend was a small piece of amber coloured wax, about the size of a cube of billiard chalk. It was used to coat the twine befiore the stitching. The cobbler waould draw the twine through his fist which held the waz-end."
Heelball was a larger piece of hard wax, it came in black and brown. It had to be heated and then applied to the rims of the heels in a burnishing motion, forcing the wax in between the layers of leather thus caulking the soles and the heels. It dried to a hard shellac finish, very durable.
My grandfather also glued a small piece of wood (matchstick) in the centre of the sole, this attracted water, thereby making the soles not waterproof but water resistant, The piece of wood collected a lot of moisture.
A lapstone was used in the older days as a sort of anvil to soften the leather to be used for the toes, so that it was pliable. Later on they were able to purchase pre-softened leather for this purpose. My job was to go downtown Belfast to Lower Donegal street and buy a rolled up side of leater from Donaghy's shop. I carried it home on my shoukder. I loved helping my Grandfather and also the smell of new leather, plus Mrs. Donaghy used to give me a bar of chocolate as a tip.
In future when I sing this song I will think of Tommy.

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