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Chastity Belt - Missing Verse

DigiTrad:
CHASTITY BELT
HE THAT WILL AN ALEHOUSE KEEP (round)
PROMUSICA ANTIQUA


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Harold Atkinson 16 Jan 00 - 03:18 PM
Liz the Squeak 16 Jan 00 - 04:54 PM
Bugsy 16 Jan 00 - 06:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jan 00 - 07:57 PM
johnp 16 Jan 00 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,Penultimate verse 07 Jun 19 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,Jerry 07 Jun 19 - 04:54 PM
Gurney 07 Jun 19 - 05:35 PM
Thomas Stern 07 Jun 19 - 10:26 PM
GUEST,Jerry 08 Jun 19 - 06:09 AM
Nigel Parsons 10 Jun 19 - 03:44 PM
Nigel Parsons 10 Jun 19 - 03:47 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Jun 19 - 04:21 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Jun 19 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Jerry 11 Jun 19 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Spot 11 Jun 19 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,Spot 11 Jun 19 - 04:19 AM
Richard Mellish 12 Jun 19 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Jerry 12 Jun 19 - 08:17 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 19 - 10:06 AM
BobL 14 Oct 19 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,Starship 14 Oct 19 - 10:12 AM
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Subject: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Harold Atkinson
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 03:18 PM

Greetings: There seems to be a verse or so missing just before the last verse of this old bawdy song (Check out the song in the Digitrad list) I'm wondering if anyone can help me track it down. It's still a good song, but I like these ballads to hang together as a story. Any help muchly appreciated.

Harold Atkinson


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 04:54 PM

That is all that I have, it really does start with Oh say (or pray) gentle maiden.

Unless that isn't the verse you are thinking of....

Funny thing about this song, Of the two great university cities, Oxford and Cambridge, neither will own up to writing it, Oxford say it was Cambridge and Cambridge say it was Oxford. What is certain is, that it came from one of those cities!! (Makes you wonder what else they write, it certainly isn't a thesis!)

LTS


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Bugsy
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 06:11 PM

That's all I remember from the dark recesses of my old and addled brain too.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 07:57 PM

Hangs together quite well as a story (if you'll forguive the language).

And I can't remember any other verses, and I can't see a need for any. I suppose you could have one with Sir Oswald coming home and seeing off the would-be-errant errant.

It used to be sung in Oxford Heritage Society (the university folk music society) back in the early 60s. I can't remember anyone claiming to have written it, but my impression was then that it was an Oxford song. Perhaps later generations got nervous about being taken to task for it.


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: johnp
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 08:38 PM

A slightly different version as sung in Rugby clubs(a version of football for those in US)Add nonny nonnies etc I am unaware of missing verses, perhaps the alt version may explain it

O pray gentle maiden let me be your lover Condemn me no longer To mourn and to weep Struck down like a hart I lie bleeding and panting Let down your drawbridge I'll enter your keep

enter etc

Alas gentle errantI am not a maiden I'm married to Sir Oswald The cunning old Celt He's gone to the wars For twelve months or longer And taken the key To my chastity belt

Fear not gentle maiden for I know a locksmith To his forge we will go On his door we will knock And try to avail us Of his specialised knowledge To unpick your lock

Alas Sir and Madam To help I'm unable My technical knowledge It is of no avail I can't find the secret Of your combination The cunning old bastard Has fitted a yale

I'm back from the wars With sad news of disaster A terrible mishap I have to confide As my ship was a-passing The Straits of Gibraltar I carelessly dropped the key Over the side

Alas and alack, I am locked up for ever Then up steppthe pageboy Saying leave this to me If you will allow me To enter your chamber I'll open it up with me duplicate key


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Penultimate verse
Date: 07 Jun 19 - 09:27 AM

Then back from the wars came the wicked Sir Oswald,
With tales of disaster he had to confide,
"As I was traversing the Straits of Gibraltar,
I carelessly dropped your key over the side!"


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 07 Jun 19 - 04:54 PM

There is a seventh verse, something cautionary about not wearing steel drawers, but I forget it now. The story needs a better punchline to finish on Iíve always felt.


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Gurney
Date: 07 Jun 19 - 05:35 PM

Oh say, gentle maiden, may I be your lover. Condemn me no longer to...

Alas, gentle errant, I am not a maiden. I'm married to Sir Oswald,...

Fear not, gentle lady, for I know a locksmith. To his forge we....

Alas, sir and madam, to help I am unable. My technical knowledge....

I'm back from the wars with dread news of disaster. a terrible ....

Alas and alack! I am locked up forever! Then up spake a pageboy...


Those are the six that I used to sing, 50something years ago. If the lost one is there, that might trigger a memory. Or just ask.

Then there was the variant all sung in Spoonerisms......


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 07 Jun 19 - 10:26 PM

https://rec.music.filk.narkive.com/MY2xCETJ/chastity-belt-more-information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wait_a_Minim!

https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1968/5/17/wait-a-minim-pbibf-there-is/


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 08 Jun 19 - 06:09 AM

This is the final verse that Iím aware of....

So all you young valets who seek satisfaction
From other menís ladies whilst theyíre at the wars
Remember to keep tucked away in your jock strap
A key that is suited to stainless steel drawers.

(A limp ending, in more ways than one probably.)


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 10 Jun 19 - 03:44 PM

I hadn't heard that additional verse, but it's a possibility.
In line 1 should it be (as shown) 'valets', or possibly 'varlets'?


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 10 Jun 19 - 03:47 PM

Similarly, going back to a post in 2000:
Alas Sir and Madam To help I'm unable My technical knowledge It is of no avail I can't find the secret Of your combination The cunning old bastard Has fitted a yale
I've heard it as "secret of your combinations", being a double meaning of lock style, and underwear.


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Jun 19 - 04:21 PM

'Twas just three months after, the hall filled with laughter,
This lady gave birth to a beautiful child
Lord Oswald astounded at the mirth that abounded,
The lady just blushed and the pageboy just smiled.


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Jun 19 - 04:35 PM

Ye ladies take warning, ye lords make no scorning,
Thy chastity belt it may work for a while,
Where a duplicate key is one way to be free,
Persistence may work with an old bastard file.


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 11 Jun 19 - 03:14 AM

Yes, I meant varlets, and combinations is also as I remember it.


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Spot
Date: 11 Jun 19 - 03:32 AM

Definitely 'combinations', this being a sort of pun on 'combinations' as underwear and the combination of a safe. And the word ideally should be sung with a mock folk style extra syllable for 'tions', sort of 'ay see ons', preferable with finger in ear. Try to do the different voices for the characters?


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Spot
Date: 11 Jun 19 - 04:19 AM

Also we sang 'count' not 'bastard', it was nicely alliterative. The character was introduced as a 'cunning old celt' I have heard a mock stammer on the c before 'count' which hinted at a rather rude alternative with comic effect.

I also heard the mock folk pronunciation on 'spess ee a lised knowledge'. In our version it was 'see if he's able to unpick your lock'.

We never heard the extra verse but didn't miss it. Bound to be various versions though?


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 12 Jun 19 - 05:18 AM

For what it's worth: I think I too encountered this song in Oxford in the 60s, a little later than McGrath of Harlow and from a friend who had only very recently moved there from London.

Although folk songs in general don't have "right" or "wrong" versions, one word in the DT version is definitely wrong. "Struck down like a hawk" does not make sense. johnp's 16 Jan 00 - 08:38 PM wording "Struck down like a hart" is what I remember.

In the line "The cunning old bastard has fitted a yale" I recall the singer hesitating at "ba..." as if going to sing "bastard" and then instead singing "baron".


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 12 Jun 19 - 08:17 AM

Yes, quite. Since this is essentially a one joke song, most of the laughs would come from the hurried substitution of words where rude words were expected by the listener - like George Formby and musical hall songs before him, where the comedy is in the delivery rather than the narrative of the song.


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 10:06 AM

I vaguely remember another verse, in the narrative gap before Sir Oswalds verse. The punchline was 'Entered Sir Oswald on a knackered old steet', followed by 'Knackered old stee! nonny, nonny' etc.

Something like

There was weeping and wailing and much lamentation
On their knees they did pray, in their hour of need.
Just at that moment back from his crusading
Enters Sir Oswald on a knackered old steed.


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: BobL
Date: 14 Oct 19 - 03:32 AM

The extra verses don't seem to have survived the folk process though.

"In matters of taste, the court of final appeal is Time, but we have to wait for its verdict."


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Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 14 Oct 19 - 10:12 AM

A humourous presentation of the song.

https://genius.com/Wyldefyre-chastity-belt-lyrics


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