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Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom

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LISH YOUNG BUY-A-BROOM


Dave the Gnome 06 Dec 21 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 05 Dec 21 - 07:06 PM
GUEST 05 Dec 21 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 05 Dec 21 - 03:16 PM
Dave Earl 05 Dec 21 - 12:13 PM
leeneia 05 Dec 21 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 04 Dec 21 - 03:23 PM
leeneia 04 Dec 21 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 04 Dec 21 - 12:21 PM
meself 04 Dec 21 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 04 Dec 21 - 05:34 AM
Reinhard 04 Dec 21 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 04 Dec 21 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 04 Dec 21 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 04 Dec 21 - 03:52 AM
meself 04 Dec 21 - 01:00 AM
RunrigFan 03 Dec 21 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 03 Dec 21 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Oz Childs 09 Aug 14 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,Jonnette 11 May 08 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,crucialmusic 22 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM
Matthew Edwards 10 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 09 Jan 07 - 08:46 AM
Matthew Edwards 09 Jan 07 - 07:25 AM
Anniecat 06 Jan 07 - 07:52 PM
Betsy 06 Jan 07 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 06 Jan 07 - 12:21 PM
greg stephens 08 Nov 06 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Peter Taylor 08 Nov 06 - 06:01 PM
Matthew Edwards 08 Nov 06 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 11 May 04 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Keith Cunningham 11 May 04 - 01:23 AM
GUEST,You Got It Right 27 Jan 04 - 11:16 PM
Emma B 12 Jan 04 - 06:26 PM
Jim Dixon 28 May 03 - 01:57 AM
nutty 25 May 03 - 03:56 AM
Malcolm Douglas 24 May 03 - 09:22 PM
GUEST,Ray Black, Harrogate 24 May 03 - 07:39 PM
greg stephens 02 Dec 02 - 09:38 AM
AKS 02 Dec 02 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 02 Dec 02 - 05:34 AM
Lynn W 01 Dec 02 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 01 Dec 02 - 07:02 AM
Lynn W 30 Nov 02 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 30 Nov 02 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 30 Nov 02 - 04:36 PM
greg stephens 03 Jul 02 - 09:37 AM
AKS 03 Jul 02 - 06:07 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 02 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,greg stephens 02 Jul 02 - 10:45 AM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Dec 21 - 04:44 AM

Interesting, Sue. In Northumberland, Newcastle in particular where I worked for a good while, "lush" is used for good looking as in "Wor lad's propa lush, like". Or to describe something pleasant as in "Why aye, that pie were lush". Confused this Lancashire lad no end at first as lush, for me, meant someone who liked their booze a bit too much. Same root I guess.

And thanks for the explanation of "slap ", Nick. It never made sense to me before so I substituted it with "sack". I now know better. Mind you, it would also be better if I wasn't always tempted by "I was right, she was tight..." :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 05 Dec 21 - 07:06 PM

No I wasn't suggesting Lish was of Gypsy origin, just letting you know that that is where I heard it used, and it's still used, as are numerous dialect words, somewhat uneasily against the Romany language.
However that's a different thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Dec 21 - 06:14 PM

Lish is definitely Cumberland and Westmorland dialect for lithe, agile, fit. And the song is set in Kirkby Stephen and Kendal, both in Westmorland (now Cumbria) I don’t see any reason to look for Gypsy sources for the word when it’s in common usage here.
Sue Allan (in Cumbria)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 05 Dec 21 - 03:16 PM

Too harsh! I do hope your disqualification didn't stop you singing the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Dave Earl
Date: 05 Dec 21 - 12:13 PM

I got disqualified from the Landlubbers non shanty session (no mention of Sea, Ships Sailors etc) at a Lancaster Maritime Festival for singing this song. I was alright until I got to the penultimate line.
Claiming that it was by no means a sea song didn't help. Rule said "no mention of" so that was me disqualified.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: leeneia
Date: 05 Dec 21 - 10:16 AM

Thanks for the info, Nick.

The title of this thread, and perhaps of the song, should be punctuated. Lish, Young Buy-a-broom. When I first saw it the title, I thought Lish Young was probably the singer, and Buy a Broom was the name of the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 03:23 PM

Gypsy Folk use it as thin but strong. (Lish underworks to a Gypsy Wagon) I was asked to paint lish scrolls, thick to thin signwriting 20mm to 5mm thick thin.
Lish for a woman is slim and willowy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: leeneia
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 01:23 PM

According to my unabridged dictionary, 'lish' is from Scotland and the north of England, and it means "active, agile, quick."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 12:21 PM

Take a look at the original broadside for rigs of London Town. It's in heavy Cant and deals with similar story lines.
With respect I think that the modern usage of the 'Brush' motif may have been rationalised from the 'Pick Pocket Eloquence' that sired it.
This is not always the case of course. The word Peter, is still used to represent a box, but mainly used as a slang word for a Prison Cell.
The 'Buy a Broom' song was certainly rationalised by any number of singers. Taken at face value, there is no problem, but further investigation suggests the story was a darker one. Despite Tim and Maddie's album notes the song has nothing to do with Gypsies by the way. Gypsy Folk do not sleep around then or now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: meself
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 11:43 AM

"a brush with the law should be a fight with the law (officer)"

So far, no indication that that idea is the origin of the expression "a brush with the law", or that it's related to the "brush/broom" cant usage -just speculation. An historical example would be more convincing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 05:34 AM

Thanks Reinhard. So you can see the Brush' Broom, motif works on a number of levels within the song. Take a look at 'Slap' used in the broadsheet version above.
I am planning an article for LT on the inner meanings of some well known songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Reinhard
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 04:55 AM

The whole entry in the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue:

TO BRUSH. To run away. Let us buy a brush and lope; let us go away or off. To have a brush with a woman; to lie with her. To have a brush with a man; to fight with him. The cove cracked the peter and bought a brush; the fellow broke open the trunk, and then ran away.

So, 'bought a brush' is confirmed as 'ran away', and a brush with the law should be a fight with the law (officer).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 04:55 AM

Sorry did that by accident. I meant to finish by saying that the 'Buy a Broom' line is more a signal of her availability within the ranks of the 'Canting Crew'. Somewhere above a 'Doxie'. All interesting stuff.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 03:52 AM

Wrong. Check 'Dictionary of the Vulgar tongue' , Senate Press. under B Brush to run away. On line references as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 03:52 AM

Wrong. Check 'Dictionary of the Vulgar tongue' , Senate Press. under B Brush to run away. On line references as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: meself
Date: 04 Dec 21 - 01:00 AM

Seems to me a 'brush with the law' simply uses the common meaning of the verb 'brush': "a quick light touch or momentary contact in passing" - no more obscure origin required.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: RunrigFan
Date: 03 Dec 21 - 10:25 PM

As I went a-walking in the North Country
Down by Kirby Steven I happened for to be
As I was a-walking up and down the street
A pretty little buy-a-broom I chanced upon her to meet

For she was right, I was tight, everybody has their way
It was the lish young buy-a-broom that led me astray

She kindly then invited me to go a little way
Yes was the answer to her I did say
There was me with me music walkin' down the street
And her with her tambourine was beatin' hand and feet

For she was right, I was tight, everybody has their way
It was the lish young buy-a-broom that led me astray

Straight way out for Kendal town we steered her and I
Over young green mountain the weather being dry
We each had a bottle filled up to the top
And whenever we were getting dry we took a little drop

For she was right, I was tight, everybody has their way
It was the lish young buy-a-broom that led me astray

The night was coming on and good lodgings we did find
Eatables of all kind and plenty of good wine
Good bed and blankets just for we two
And I rolled her in me arms me boys, and wouldn't you do too

For she was right, I was tight, everybody has their way
It was the lish young buy-a-broom that led me astray

Early the next morning we arose to go our way
I called unto the landlord to see what was to pay
Fourteen-and-sixpence, just for you two
Four crowns upon the table, my darling then she threw

For she was right, I was tight, everybody has their way
It was the lish young buy-a-broom that led me astray

Well, the reason that we parted, I now shall let you hear
She started off for Germany, right early the next year
But me being unwilling for to cross the raging sea
As sung by Clannad. The lyrics is wrong


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 03 Dec 21 - 09:57 AM

Please forgive me for reviving this decade old thread, but I would like to share some information that has come my way from the Gypsy Folk, and researches into the 18th 19th Century Cant language, some of which is still in use today.
To 'Buy a Brush' (broom) is to abscond with someone else's property. To this day we talk of a 'Brush' with the law.
Secondly guineas in a 'Slap' refers to a 'Slap Bang Shop'. This is somewhere to buy or fence items. A sort of early money laundering.

Our 'lish young Buy a broom', needs a young man to give her an air of respectability to get her into a lodging house wherein she steals all she can lay her hands on, gets rid in a 'slap house' and offers him a job to do the same abroad. By the way 'Beat my little drum, refers to her rear quarters. No need to explain. Notice the change of Clothes with the ribbons etc. All bought in the 'slap shop' with no questions asked. I think I may have cracked the meaning of this song but my mind is wide open.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Oz Childs
Date: 09 Aug 14 - 07:10 PM

What a wonderful lot of research on one of my favorite Tim Hart/Maddy Prior songs! I just assumed that the buy-a-broom was a local product. Women who made brooms and sold them along their road are mentioned in Northumbrian song ("buy broom besoms"). But my assumption had been that most sellers of besoms (brooms) were *old* women, not "lish" at all.

Now I know about the Bavarian girls. That is clearly what prompted the song Hart and Prior sang, which first appeared in print circa 1860 -- maybe earlier, for all I know.


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Subject: For Sue Allan -RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Jonnette
Date: 11 May 08 - 04:32 PM

Dear Sue Please contact me on jonnette@magicmail.co.za. I am most interested in your interest of Cumbria and it's music. The Denwoods of Cockermouth are the ancestors of my husband. Kind regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,crucialmusic
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 04:20 AM

There is now the CRAIG DUGGAN version to add. A CD called Songs of Cumbria to be found on iTunes and http://cdbaby.com/cd/craigduggan.
I hear Craig is planning a Volume 2 so anyone with suggestions can email him via the CDBaby website as I don't have any current contact details


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM

Sue, thats excellent news that you are planning to publish your material on Cumbrian music. I can appreciate that it will take a lot of time, but it will be well worth waiting for.

I rather hoped Greg would come by to add something to this thread, but perhaps there isn't a great deal more to say on the subject of Lish Young Buy-a-Broom.

However as Sue has mentioned Frank Warriner's collection in the VWML its worth pointing out that the version of the song there is so different from any of the other printed or sung versions that it would have to be described as a creative remaking.

Out of interest though, here is an unflattering description of Buy-a-Broom sellers from around 1825, (scroll down the page) in the Electronic Edition of William Hone's Every-Day Book, 1825-1826.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 08:46 AM

IN reply to you Matthew, there's actually been a lot of research done by me into Cumbrian music and song: it's just that not a lot of it has been published. I have, over the years, published a bit in local publications including Cumbria Life magazine and a local folkie publication, plus the odd article in English Dance & Song and other national folk mags ... but none of those recently. Bands such as Greg Stephens' Boat Band (and his former band Crookfinger Jack) have also kept alive the tunes by playing and recording them, as have the late-lamented Ellen Valley Band, Cumbrian band Striding Edge ... and undoubtedly others too.

It is my intention to pull all my thirty years worth of research together within the next few years in order to publish a book on Cumbrian folk music, dance, song, folk plays etc. There's certainly more than enough material, it's just that I have to spend so much time earning my living as well!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 07:25 AM

My apologies to Sue Allan for spelling her name incorrectly - I must have been thinking of the Ellen Valley Band! 'Pass The Jug Round' is one of the best recordings of traditional singers I've ever heard, and Sue's role in discovering, researching and issuing them deserves the gratitude of all lovers of such music.

Thanks also to Sue for posting the copy of the 'New Song on William Graham the Poacher' at Musical Traditions (William Graham). It looks well worth singing.

Greg mentioned above how little research has been done into Cumbrian music and song, which is odd considering that it has to be nearly the most visited part of Britain over the last two hundred years. But in some ways the songs have stayed alive without the attention of the folk song movement.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Anniecat
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 07:52 PM

I have an LP recorded by Jackie and Bridie in 1970 and one of the songs is called "Lish Young Biar". I can't remember how they introduced it at the folk club in Turville where I saw them, but don't remember any mention of broom sellers!
PS Weren't they great!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Betsy
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 01:30 PM

I remember Geoff Woods from the Grove - he was known affectionately as the Professor.I got the song from him in the 60's and have been singing it regularly ever since - I don't think he ever made any great claims to "collecting" - probably "resurrecting" the song would be a better word, and there was a great shortage of English / Northern English songs in those days.
I sing (in relation to the 14/6d) "a Sovereign on the table she threw ", looking at some versions /comments above - a Fiver would have been an enormous amount of money in those days.
Also, a lot of reference to Cumberland regarding this song in this thread - surely Kirby Stephen was Westmoreland and a long way for poachers to venture, but I also appreciate that Westmoreland has been absorbed into Cunmbria these days.

As for foreign tradesmen/women coming to the North of England, up to the 1960's , French onion sellers were frequent visitors to Newcastle - apparently called Onion Johnnies ( absolutely true you dirty minded so and so's ) so selling brushes was just part of the same scene.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 12:21 PM

Following this thread after reading the article on William Graham, the Poacher on Musical Traditions website - and Matthew Edward's further comments about Len Irving on Pass the Jug Round album - I thought I might as well add my own two penn'orth. I was responsible for getting the archive recordings which make up Pass the Jug Round made into commercial recordings in the first place, first in vinyl in 1983 and then as a Veteran CD a couple of years ago. I did the sleeve notes for both (and please note Matthew, that my surname is Allan not Allen!) The insert with notes on songs and singers in the vinyl recording uses the picture of a man with a gun copied from the broadside of A New Song on William Graham which is in Carlisle library, by way (if anyone wants a photo of that ballad, I have one I can email).

Transcriptions of both Lish Young Buy a Broom and William Graham can also be found in the Frank Warriner collection in Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. The transcriptions were made by the late Stuart Lawrence of Dalton in Furness from Frank Warriner's own notebook, apparently dating from c.1930, of songs he got from variety of sources including the Denwood family of Cockermouth - and Folk Song Journals! Warriner later became more involved with dialect than folk song. He was one of the founders, with the late Lance Porter, of the Lakeland Dialect Society in 1939. Stuart Lawrence also transcribed a couple of broadside ballads in Porter's posssion, which included the one on William Graham (Bodleian version rather than Carlisle one, interestingly), the chap alleged by Len Irving to have written Lish Young Buy a Broom. Nice story if he did. Born in 1899, Irving lived at Wreay and was stationmaster there for many years.
      
I found on Veteran's website a transcription of the words of the Lish Young Buy a Broom (http://www.veteran.co.uk/VT147CD%20songs.htm)transcribed by John Howson, with song notes by Will Noble & John Cocking. It says 'Will first heard it sung years ago, by an old singer in the Lake District called Esme Smith, and then later heard the 'Pass the Jug' recordings which rekindled his interest in the song.'

I well remember Esme! A fantastic singer who was a fixture at the Blencathra Hunt annual shepherd's meets in the 1970s when I occasionally attended. It certainly seems to have been sung in many a pub in Cumbria over the years, whatever its provenance.

As an indigenous person of these parts myself, and one who has been singing, playing, learning, collecting and writing about Cumbrian folk music for over thirty years (greatly helped along over the years in the fiddle music research by one Greg Stephens - good on yer Greg!) I can also verify that the word 'lish' is still in use in Cumbria today, and does mean lithe and sprightly, as in the reply to the dialect question 'Hes t' ivver seen a cuddy lowp a five-barred yat?' which has it that:'It mun a been a gey LISH cuddy or a gey la'al yat!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 07:20 PM

Interesting your mention of Geoff Wood and "collecting" this song. The terms "collecting" and "traditional" are being discussed elsewhere on Mudcat, and it is intriguing in this context. The Lish young Buy-a Broom was a universal pub song in the northwest of England, sung everywhere by the aboriginal population till at least the seventies(and still is in enclaves were the indigenous population congregate). So, in view of the universal populatity of the song, I am not all sure that "collecting" is a relvant term. I think "learnt" is the word. I learnt the Lish Young Buy-a-Broom singing it in pubs in the 60's. I am not sure that "collected" is the right term. I learnt Blowing in the Wind at the same time. I would not say "collected".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Peter Taylor
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 06:01 PM

Geoff Wood is alive and well and attends the Grove Folk Club in Leeds, which he ran for many years. He has described how he recorded this song in the Gents' at the pub where he found the singer, this being the only place he could do it undisturbed, but even there the singer's wife kept banging on the door. Whether he was the first/only collector of this song is another matter, but certainly he has been credited with it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 08:31 AM

Malcolm and Greg have between them given pretty much all the useful information there is about this song. There is an interesting new article by Roly Brown on the Musical Traditions website about William Graham, the Cumberland poacher, who is said to have written Lish Young Buy-a-Broom. The article deals instead with the story of William Graham's 1857 trial for killing a gamekeeper, and his subsequent transportation to Western Australia. The story is told in two little known broadside ballads, which appear to celebrate William Graham as a sort of local hero. One of the broadsides can be seen in the Bodleian Allegro Catalogue of Ballads ref. Frith c.19(55), while the other as yet unpublished ballad can be found in Carlisle library.

There is nothing to prove that the poacher William Graham was the author of the song Lish Young Buy-a-Broom. In 1953 Len Irving of Wreay, Cumberland, was recorded singing the song, as Greg has already mentioned above. Len Irving had been singing the song for forty years, and introduced it by saying that William Graham the Cumberland poacher was said to have written it. This might be only a local tradition, but at least it goes to show that nearly 100 years after his trial William Graham's fame endured enough for him to be thought of as the author of one of Cumberland's best loved songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 11 May 04 - 10:09 PM

My grandmother grew up in the wilds of Derbyshire, and she called a dulcimer a 'miracle' and the things with the handle and levers - the stringed instrument with a wheel to make a drone the name of which totally escapes me - but she called that a 'music'

So - me with my music walking down the street - he played a hurdy gurdy!!

Maybe?

Anne


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Keith Cunningham
Date: 11 May 04 - 01:23 AM

She was a delicious young broom-seller. I don't see the problem....

KC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,You Got It Right
Date: 27 Jan 04 - 11:16 PM

Yes..the Lish-Young is a young woman who is blithe and attractive. The story is that the madrigal musician met her along the road...and she asked him to follow her on her journey. Only God knows how far and to where. But they did get romatically involved. She also paid for the trip and the party.

She had money....

We don't know for how long they travelled....but we do know the last lyric and that he indeed missed her.

"Well the reason that we parted..I now should let you hear,
She started off for Germany right early the next year...
But me being unwilling-for to cross the raging sea,
here's a health unto my bonnie lass wherever she may be"

by that toast he was obviously drunk....lol
and he sounded like he 'bragged' about the encounter to his friends in the pub.

this sounds like traditional songs from England and Ireland..I think the traditonals get mixed up. All were songs by madrigal musicians and roving players many, many, many centuries ago. Some from England and some from Ireland. If anyone can definativly tell me where they are from then i'm game

anyone want to interpret John Barlycorn Must Die???


Frank the musicologist from Colorado


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Emma B
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 06:26 PM

When I originally heard this song - so long ago I can't remember where or by whom- I distinctly remember however that I heard it as BLISS young buy a broom which made no sense at all and I assumed was a mishearing.
Last week, however, when persuing one of my favourite hobbies i.e. browsing in secondhand book shops I found the Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Words which included
"BLISSOM" - bleating with sexual desire
"Blissful Mr. Thimm danced blissom Miss Swint squealing over a ha-ha....    Theroux, Darconvilles Cat p.214

Well it makes sense to me!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LISH YOUNG BUY-A-BROOM (from Bodleian
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 May 03 - 01:57 AM

Since no one has yet posted the lyrics from the Bodleian collection, I will do so here. Transcribed by me with the spelling and punctuation somewhat modernized (to make it more easily found with a search engine).

THE LISH YOUNG BUY-A-BROOM

As I was travelling in the north country,
Near Kirby Stephen it happened to be,
As I was a-wandering up and down the street,
A pretty lassie I chanced for to meet.

CHORUS: She was right. I was tight.
Every one has their way.
She was a lish young buy-a-broom
That led me astray.

She kindly asked me to go with her.
"Yes" was the answer to her I did say,
And I with the music went playing down the street,
And she with the tambourine she beat both hands and feet.

I treat her with brandy. I treat her with beer.
I kissed her. I coddled her. I called her my dear.
She treat me with whiskey, both ale, gin and rum.
She says, "My bold young fellow, you shall beat my little drum."

The night now coming on, good lodgings we did find.
There was eighty beds of all sorts, and plenty of good wine.
There was good beds and bedding as need to be seen,
And I rolled her in my arms that night upon the screen.

'Twas early next morning before the break of day,
We called upon the landlady to see what was to pay.
"There is fourteen and sixpence just for you two."
A five-pound note on the table my darling then she threw.

Then as we steered for Kendal, the weather it being dry,
And over yon wild mountain, went over her and I;
We had each a little bottle that was full to the top,
And when that we grew dry, we took each a little drop.

When we arrived at Kendal, being all dressed so fine,
New velvet cap and jacket, fine buckles they did shine;
We had each a long ribbon hung down from our cap.
There was nineteen bright sovereigns my darling in a slap.

The reason why we parted, I mean to let you hear.
She wanted me to go to Germany for to remain her dear,
But I not being willing all for to cross the sea,
Here's good luck unto my darling wherever that she be.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: nutty
Date: 25 May 03 - 03:56 AM

I'm afraid I don't follow your reasoning Ray.

Why should the Bodleian Broadside be discounted???

It was produced by Harkness of Preston .... a well respected printer of broadsides (over 800 in the Bodleian and ,I believe, even more in Manchester Library) who definitely operated between 1840 - 1866.

The fact that it was printed by a Northern printer gives credence to the use of the Northern meaning of "lish" as explained above.

Add to this the evidence of another broadside about broom sellers coming from Germany (see above) and you could see how the lyrics gain credibility.

Unless you can produce evidence to the contrary, I will certainly continue to believe that this is the story of a young northern lad who is bowled over by a hard drinking, smooth talking, young German female broom seller.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 May 03 - 09:22 PM

An interesting theory, but perhaps a little contrived on the face of it and apparently supported by no evidence of any kind (as is also the case, of course, with some of the sillier guesses that people have come out with in this thread). Usually, the obvious answer is the right one; unless, of course, you have any specific suggestions as to where else, if not in documented sources, people might usefully look.

The Bodleian reference provides background information only, as I thought I had made clear.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Ray Black, Harrogate
Date: 24 May 03 - 07:39 PM

I always thought that the whole thing was based on a mishearing and the word lish has no part in the song. Imagine if you will a senario where a young lass leaves her newly found mate to go overseas at the time this song was set, then imagine the same situation with reversed gender roles. Add to this the possibility that the young man is a military person and has to go as duty called. Which is more likely? I think the original song carried the burden: It was the young militia boy who led me astray and if I was as seriously intent on proving it as some of you are your theories I'd give the Bodleian a miss and seek elsewher. Happy hunting, Ray Black


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:38 AM

I think Olga Korbut would be a very good illustration of the meaning of "lish".


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: AKS
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 07:27 AM

Sorry, Greg, I seem to have missed your request about the Finnish for 'lish' in July. But now that I read the additional information by Lynn & Martin, I can give you a better equivalent than would have back then. I certainly would use 'sorea' (or soria / sorja, dep. on dialect), since it carries practically all the faetures listed in the thread, even though - or perhaps because - it sounds somewhat oldish and poetic. In July I probably would have given 'sievä' or 'soma', both meaning 'lovely, fair, neat etc.', but neither of which have 'flexible or lissome' connotations:-)

AKS


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 05:34 AM

Lynn

Brilliant! Can I ask you to practice your new-found OCR skills and scan in that entry please? You can PM me if you prefer not to clutter up this thread.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Lynn W
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 06:28 PM

Martin
"Lishy" is in the EDD as meaning "flexible, lissome" - Wright suggests it is connected with lish. The only sources are from Kent, particularly in the sense you mentioned, of plants growing tall and lanky.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 07:02 AM

Many thanks, Lynn. I was hoping someone would have access to Wright's book - which I have often heard of but never seen.

What prompted the query wasn't, in fact the song - but a query in a gardening column, of all things, about plants being described as "lishy". The sense seemed to be long and lanky, as distinct from stout and strong. A possible South of England (Kent) origin was suggested. I note that Wright's reference are all North.

Thanks again.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Lynn W
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 06:26 PM

Extract from Wright's English Dialect Dictionary- may be some errors, my first go at OCR with the scanner, would have been quicker typing it out!
         
LISH, adj. Sc. Nhb. Dur. Cum. Wm. Yks. Lan. Also in forms leash Sc. (JAM.) Gall.; leesh Nhb. Cum; leeshin Nhb; leish Dmf. N Cy. Nhb.; liesh Slk. Cum. Lithe, supple; nimble, agile, active. Cf. lishy.
eSc. He was a leash lad and a leal, Blackw. Mag. (May 1820) 160 (JAM.), Rnf. Yence Marget was as lish a lass, Harp (1819) 202. Slk. Twa lang liesh chaps lying sleeping at ither's sides, HOGG Tales (1838) 7, ed. 1866. Dmf. He is a strappin' leish young fallow As e'er ye saw, Quinn Heather (1863) 37. Gall. Marle-throwing Wull, Leash Sam the Blade, MACTAGGART Encycl. (1824) 267, ed. 1876. Kcb. A fine big strappin' fallah As lish an' yal as ony deer, ARMSTRONG Ingleside,1890) 140. n.Cy. Grose (1790); N.Cy. Nhb. Whe's like my johnny, Sae leish, sae blythe, sae bonny, T.yneside, Sngsir. (1889) 66; Nhb. He's a leeshin chep. Dur. Gibson Up-Weardale Gl. (1870); Dur. s.Dur. She's a leish worker (J.E.D.). Lakel.2 Cum. A lish laughin lass ov sixteen, ANDERSON Ballads (ed. 1840) 40; CUM. Wm. They wor sae lish they seemed hardly tae tutch groond, WHEELER Dial. (1790) 99, ed. 1821; T'foke was o fair kapt ta see't ald widow trippin off an leakin sae lish, TAYLOR Sketches (1882) 6. s.Wm. (J.A.B.) n.Yks. He was a lish awd man (I.W.); n.Yks. w.Yks. HUTTON Tour to Caves (178I); He's as lish as a young 'un i' t'spite ov his seventy year (M.A.) ; w.Yks. Lan. She was as lish as a cat, EAVESDROI'PFR Vill. Life (i869) No. 25; Lan.' n.Lan. I'm pleased to see you walking so lish (R.H.H.,. n.Lan.1, ne.Lan.1
Hence Lish-like, adj'. well-made. Cum.


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 05:21 PM

This site gives it as a Yorkshire dialect term for "smooth". Any other ideas?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 04:36 PM

Greg:
Never mind the Fin(n)ish - what about the start? Can anyone give me a definition and source for "lish",please?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 09:37 AM

What's the Finnish for "lish"?


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: AKS
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 06:07 AM

As I tried to suggest earlier, our lad gets away too easily here, if the lish by-a-broom be a recruiter that is. Or have I been misled with that the British Army or Navy recruiting officers - of any kind - would have kept, and not let go, what they had 'purchased'? It's hard to believe that the 'lady sergeants' (or decoys really) would have worked alone, as is the case here. And after reading about the Bavarian connection, I certainly second the commercial traveller theory.

I did a translation of it into Finnish in that 'road song' spirit a couple of years ago (had to bring it into a bit more modern time frame though; it'll be on the list at the club opening at Kihaus Folk Music Festival in Rääkkylä tomorrow, btw).

AKS


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 06:42 PM

Dunno about work permits Peg - but I am sure you would find good friends all over the UK willing to share a roof while you have a sampling of English life. There are many ways of making a buck or two without resorting to anything immoral of course! Bar work seems a favourite and cab quite often be flexible enough to give enough free time while you find out if you realy like it.

Bee good to see you anyway

Cheers - and don't go wandering about selling brooms in Kirby Stephen;-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: Lish Young Buy a Broom
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 10:45 AM

I should have mentioned, of course, that the tune I was referring to is the "Lieber Augustin" mentioned in Malcolm Douglas' previous post.


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