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Origin: William Bloat

Branwen23 02 Nov 00 - 11:27 AM
Mrrzy 02 Nov 00 - 02:19 PM
Branwen23 02 Nov 00 - 02:31 PM
Robby 02 Nov 00 - 03:21 PM
Seamus Kennedy 02 Nov 00 - 04:05 PM
Branwen23 02 Nov 00 - 04:10 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Nov 00 - 05:38 PM
Jimmy C 02 Nov 00 - 06:18 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 02 Nov 00 - 09:14 PM
John Moulden 03 Nov 00 - 04:52 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 03 Nov 00 - 10:22 PM
paddymac 04 Nov 00 - 02:59 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 12 Nov 00 - 07:25 PM
Irish sergeant 13 Nov 00 - 10:43 AM
Branwen23 13 Nov 00 - 11:13 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 13 Nov 00 - 06:35 PM
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Subject: William Bloat - background
From: Branwen23
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 11:27 AM

Looking for backgroud / origin info for "William Bloat".

Every version I've found, the same as the one in the DT, attributes the tune to a Raymond Calvert. But I've been told that that version is different from the original tune, that the original tune was just the story and not an advertisement.

I'm told that the tune is pretty old. I'd be interested to know the background and original author, if it was in fact only modified by Calvert to be an advertisement.

Anyone know anything about this? Any truth to the "Whitman wrote it" story?


-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 02:19 PM

VERY interesting question, Branwen, am also very interested in the answer... this is such a great song!


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Branwen23
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 02:31 PM

as it is rather popular, I'm surprised there hasn't been more of a response to the thread....
we'll see... maybe everyone's digging for info.


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Robby
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 03:21 PM

It does make for an interesting commercial, does it not? Promoting the home industry, while disparaging foreign goods.


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 04:05 PM

Look over on the Ulster-Scot thread. Seamus


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Branwen23
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 04:10 PM

got a blue clicky, Seamus?


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 05:38 PM

As for the tune it sounds the same tune as Raglan Road with one section cut out.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Jimmy C
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 06:18 PM

The tunes for both Raglan Roag and William Bloat are the same tune as The Dawning of the Day. I do not know if this tune is known by an older name ?. As afr as the author of William Bloat goes I do not know but will make inquiries.


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 02 Nov 00 - 09:14 PM

I'll try a blue clicky for that other thread: Ulster Scots Music.

The Ballad of William Bloat was written by Raymond Calvert (1906-1959). Calvert was born at Helen's Bay, County Down (about five miles from where I am right now), and educated at Queen's University, Belfast. He wrote the ballad as a recitation for some bash at Queen's.

As I said in the other thread, any version that has "Dublin" instead of "German" in the penultimate line has got it wrong. In the last line, "Belfast" rather than "Irish" is also wrong. Our own Digital Tradition is wrong on this latter count: I think this mistake probably got its enormously wide currency when the poem was rendered into a song - by, I believe, David Hammond. The Oxford University Press is wrong on both counts, and for good measure has the poem as anonymous.

I am away from home at present and have been able to put my hands on only one correct version. This was in Rich and Rare, a magnificent anthology - surely the best - of Irish songs. poems, recitations, all authoritatively edited by Sean McMahon. He thanked Irene Calvert for permission to reproduce William Bloat. I have a feeling the ballad was first published by Blackstaff Press.


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: John Moulden
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 04:52 PM

Further to my posting on that other thread. The first publication was in an anthology called Brave Crack published only shortly after Calvert wrote it. Blackstaff published it with illustrations recently.

One thing has not been made clear: it was not originally a song. It may have been David Hammond who first put a tune to it but that's not clearly known.


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 03 Nov 00 - 10:22 PM

John, I thought I put it fairly clearly in the post before yours! (And also in the other thread) I don't have much evidence for "blaming" Hammond, except that his name seems to be credited on several recordings of the song version. The Clancys were among the first to record it as a song, and that again points the finger of blame towards Hammond.


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: paddymac
Date: 04 Nov 00 - 02:59 PM

One thing seems certain - poor old Willy had a pretty poor outlook on life. Perhaps with good reason. The question the poem-song always leaves in my mind is whether it is anywhere near to expressing a wide-spread sense of bleakness in the lives of the working class folks living along the Shankill Rd. "back then"? I'm not hypothesizing here, just asking.


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 07:25 PM

Well it looks like we were right to finger David Hammond. I've just found a little collection he published called "Songs of Belfast" published by Gilert Dalton (Dublin) in 1978. He has "Belfast" instead of "Irish" and also changes "steady drip" to "drip, drip, drip."

Calvert's idiosyncratic punctuation and dialectic spelling is tidied up, and in at least one instance replaced with Hammond's. (From which I assume that he didn't have a printed copy to work from.) He gives no copyright credit or acknowledgement but does give Calvert as the author.


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 13 Nov 00 - 10:43 AM

Great thread. I heard the song by the Clancy Brothers and I sing it on occassion. My former mother-in-law loathed the song and I can't saw my current mother in law is real fond of it (Both being catholic as I am) but hey, a good song is a good song. I did avoid singing it in my first mother-in-law's presence as she is a native of Belfast. But still, a good thread. I had assumned Hammond wrote the tune. Thanks for the correc info1 kindest reguards, Neil


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Branwen23
Date: 13 Nov 00 - 11:13 AM

So, there's nothing behind the statement that a shorter version of the poem was written by Whitman before Calvert got hold of it and made it an advertisement?


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Subject: RE: Help: William Bloat - background
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 13 Nov 00 - 06:35 PM

Branwen, while I was in Belfast (I'm back in Sherwood Forest now) I meant to chase up some press cuttings from when a dear old chum of mine, Gregg Coulson (now dead), took the Oxford University Press to task over its mauling of the ballad. Just didn't get time. They'd be useful, because he and I think the Belfast Telegraph were in touch with Irene, who I think was/is? Calvert's widow. If and when I catch up with the cuttings I'll revive the thread.

I'm pretty dead certain Calvert had nothing to do with Bloat being an advert, and that he wrote it in the circumstances John described. Maybe John might know if there was a Whitman antecedent?


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