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Origins: Arthur McBride - What's the background?

DigiTrad:
ARTHUR McBRIDE
ARTHUR McBRIDE AND THE SERGEANT


Related threads:
Paul Brady's version of Arthur McBride (144)
Lyr Req: Arthur McBride (Planxty) (26)
Lyr/Chords Req: Arthur McBride (from Paul Brady) (46)
Lyr Req: Arthur McBride (33)
Guitar Tab for Arthur McBride (15)
Lyr Req: Parody of Arthur McBride (15)
Lyr Req: To the tune of Arthur McBride (2)
Help: 4-1-1 on 'Arthur McBride??? (8)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Art Mac Bride ( midi made from notation in the Petrie Collection [Stanford-Petrie (1902-05) number 846]. )
Arthur Le Bride ( from Samuel Fone of Blackdown, Mary Tavy, Devon; noted by Mr Bussell in 1892. Midi made from notation Sabine Baring Gould's Songs of the West (1905). )


English Jon 29 Jun 01 - 07:00 AM
Jim Cheydi 29 Jun 01 - 08:05 AM
The Walrus at work 29 Jun 01 - 08:15 AM
Les from Hull 29 Jun 01 - 08:20 AM
GeorgeH 29 Jun 01 - 08:57 AM
English Jon 29 Jun 01 - 10:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jun 01 - 12:44 PM
The Walrus at work 29 Jun 01 - 01:06 PM
Art Thieme 29 Jun 01 - 10:46 PM
Den 29 Jun 01 - 11:07 PM
GUEST,Arturius 30 Jun 01 - 10:27 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Mar 02 - 11:06 PM
Murray MacLeod 05 Mar 02 - 11:53 AM
IanC 05 Mar 02 - 12:08 PM
Mr Red 05 Mar 02 - 09:13 PM
IanC 06 Mar 02 - 08:03 AM
Gareth 06 Mar 02 - 02:45 PM
Mr Red 06 Mar 02 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,muaz 08 Jan 05 - 01:44 PM
Susanne (skw) 08 Jan 05 - 06:47 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Jan 05 - 05:00 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jan 05 - 11:20 AM
Jimmy Twitcher 10 Jan 05 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Out 'Toon 31 Mar 14 - 01:19 AM
GUEST,Out 'Toon 31 Mar 14 - 11:45 PM
Lighter 01 Apr 14 - 11:47 AM
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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: English Jon
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 07:00 AM

Oh bugger it. I'm off for a pint of Harp.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Jim Cheydi
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 08:05 AM

Mmmm....suddenly thirsty


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: The Walrus at work
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 08:15 AM

Les,

Fourpence a day was the rate of pay for a (not embodied)reservist after Cardwll ( circa 1881) and, I believe was the pension for a discharged private soldier.

Hope this is of use Walrus


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 08:20 AM

Yes, the pension makes more sense. Fourpence a day full pay must've been yonks ago. Ta!

Les


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 08:57 AM

And if (as I believe but I'm too lazy to check) the song was popular in the ranks of the army then that would hardly have hindered its distribution . . .

(Some of the songs Sharpe collected, even within the UK, SEEM to have been found "a long way from home" . . )

Fascinating discussions, nevertheless . .

G.


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: English Jon
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 10:43 AM

Oi, you lookin at me? Got a problem, mate? Right. Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough. Burp.

Englngisgshj Jhjonn.

(back from the pub)


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 12:44 PM

The Harp that once in Tara's halls...


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: The Walrus at work
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 01:06 PM

Les,

>Fourpence a day full pay must've been yonks ago.

No, fourpence a day wasn't full pay, it was the "reserve allowance", the daily ammount paid to a reservist while he was "on reserve" but not active, for example, Frank Richards joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1902 with the standard terms of 6 years "With the Colours"(as an active soldier) and six years "in the reserve" when he worked as a miner. During this period, he was paid 4d per day and was expected to return to his regiment for a fixed time each year (one or two weeks, I believe) or if called upon in time of national emergency (as in August 1914). When a reservist rejoined the colours, he came back with full rank and seniority and on full pay.

Regards

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 10:46 PM

Folks, my friend, Britisher David Jones does a definitive version of this song. I do hope you'll get to hear him do it. David is in New York now and a mainstay of the New York Pinewoods folk organization.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Den
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 11:07 PM

I don't know Art...I think you would have arguements from the Paul Brady camp. It never ceases to amaze me how trible we are...its a great song , a brilliant song where-ever it came from. Den


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: GUEST,Arturius
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 10:27 PM

Anglicised as "Arthur", the Latin is a Romanised form of the Celtic name based on the word "art" meaning "a bear". The famous Ulster king, Cormac Mac Airt, kidnapper of Deirdre and murderer of the Sons of Uisneach testifies to the age of the name in Ireland. It continues in use to the present day in both its original Irish form and the Anglicised form "Arthur".
Arturius


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 11:06 PM

Since the subject has come again elsewhere, perhaps I should post the Devon set referred to earlier.

ARTHUR LE BRIDE

(Samuel Fone of Blackdown, Mary Tavy, Devon; noted by Mr Bussell in 1892)

I once had a cousin called Arthur Le Bride,
And he and I wandered adown the sea side,
For our pleasure and pastime a watching the tide;
O the weather was pleasant and charming.
O the weather was pleasant and charming.

So gaily and gallant we went on a tramp,
We met Sergeant Napier and Corp'ral Demant,
And the neat little drummer that tended the camp,
To beat the row-dow in the morning.
To beat the row-dow in the morning.

Good morning young fellows, the sergeant did cry,
And the same to you sergeant we made a reply,
There was nothing more spoken, we made to pass by.
'Twas all on a Christmas day morning.
Twas all on a Christmas day morning.

Come! come my young fellows, I pray you enlist,
Ten guineas in gold I will slap in your fist,
And a crown in the bargain to kick up a dust,
For to drink the king's health in the morning.
For to drink the king's health in the morning.

O, no! Mr. Sergeant, we are not for sale
We make no such bargain - your bribe won't avail,
Not tired of our country we care not to sail,
Tho' your offers look pleasant and charming.
Tho' your offers look pleasant and charming.

Hah! if you insult me, without other words
I swear by the king we will draw out our swords,
And thrust thro' your bodies, as strength us affords,
And leave you without further warning.
And leave you without further warning.

We beat the bold drummer as flat as his shoe,
We made a football of his row-de-dow-do,
And the sergeant and corporal, knocked down the two,
O we were the boys in the morning.
O we were the boys in the morning.

The two little weapons that hung at their side,
As we trotted away we threw into the tide,
May old Harry be with you, said Arthur Le Bride
For staying our walk in the morning.
For staying our walk in the morning.

This set appeared in Sabine Baring Gould's Songs of the West (1905).  "Sam told us that this was his father's favourite song.  He had learned it from his father when he was quite a child.  There was one more verse in the original, omitted to reduce the lengthy ballad to singable length."

No indication was given, unfortunately, as to what the other verse might have been.  Reference has been made earlier to broadside texts at the Bodleian, and a number of versions were noted in the Northeast of Scotland in the first decade of the 20th. century (Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection)

Sam Fone's tune can be heard, for now, via the  South Riding Folk Network  site:

Arthur Le Bride (midi)

I may as well add the tune from the Petrie collection, which I assume was first published c.1855, though in this case noted in Donegal (no text or date given, but there seems a decent chance that it may pre-date Sam Fone's father's set ); Stanford-Petrie (1902-05) number 846; it is quite close to the tunes well-known today from revival performers.

Art Mac Bride (midi)


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 11:53 AM

I have always bbeen skeptical about the "ten guineas in gold ye shall have in your fist, and a crown in the bargain to kick up the dust".

Ten guineas was a sizeable fortune to a working class lad in the nineteenth century, and my gut feeling is that the real bounty offered to a potential soldier would be nearer to "a guinea in gold" with possibly a "shilling to kick up the dust".

I am, however, as always, open to correction.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: IanC
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 12:08 PM

Murray

Eighteen Pence a Day, I think, up until WW1. (half a guinea a week). I don't think they'd pay 20 weeks in advance up front, but they probably got an advance of some sort. Just poetic license, no doubt (and maybe exaggeration on the part of the Sergeant).

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 09:13 PM

POW
Just a thought but we had a "Dainty Davey" thread where "curly pow" was a point of discussion and the pow wow centred on the meaning of pow which seemed to be hair or forehead. My point is it was a Scots dielect discussion.
Is "pow" a good Irish dielect word too? Is is particularly a Donegal word?
Don't wish to create a POWer struggle mind!!!

of course the folk process and plagiarism, and the lottery that is folk collecting rather diffuses any definitive discussion.

I have heard a very learned musical historian state that "Molly Malone" was not a 15th c Dub, so she wasn't. The author was reckoned Scottish (Glasga) and even given name. With the usual caveat - "most probably"

ard mhacha
A far more contentious subject but relevant to some points above.


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: IanC
Date: 06 Mar 02 - 08:03 AM

Mr Red

re: Molly Malone

If you had read the original thread more thoroughly (as you admitted in it that you didn't), you would have found out that there is very little "most probably" about it. Here's my reference from the British Library.

"Cockles and Mussels" Comic Song. (Written and composed by J. Yorkston, arranged by E. Forman.) Yorkston. James 1884."

The original article's here>/a>, and very well researched.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Gareth
Date: 06 Mar 02 - 02:45 PM

Without being Dogmatic on the subject of a Soldiers pay during the Napoleonic Wars. A shilling a day equated to 18.00 near enuf - After deductions for Neccessaries, The Chelsea fund (Hospital support), Laundry etc Bernard Cornwell puts the actual pay of a private Solidier in a line regiment at 7. 7/7d per year ( or 7.38p) in New money.

I believe bounties were paid to encourage recruitment. Wether Money was recieved and not defrauded is another matter.

For those who are to young to remember pre decimalisation money in the UK. 12 pennies (d) = 1 Shilling (1/). 20 shillings = 1.

Oh my God - Youve reminded me of the days when you could buy a pint of beer for less than 2 shillings (2/-) or 10p in decimalised funny money.

A very depressed Gareth


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Mar 02 - 03:45 PM

IanC I will follow the blickie. I heard it on Radio 4 which is quite erudite at times.
If I surf at the library I don't have the benefit of searching the whole thread for things and I only get an hour (buy it is free). I go blickie now..........


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: GUEST,muaz
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 01:44 PM

hey
i want the arabic background music of the mummy the return
can you help me that .plz send me the lnk at choudrymuaz@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 06:47 PM

Was Arthur MacBride in that film?


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM

I don't have my AL Lloyds Folk Song in England readily to hand ( got the decorators in - everywheres upside down) but I'm pretty sure there is mention in there of it being sung by a Glasgow school caretaker - when discussing its origins.

Anybody out there who could clear up that vague memory?


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Jan 05 - 05:00 PM

Alexander Robb (school caretaker) of New Deer, Aberdeenshire; noted by Gavin Greig in 1908. Mr Robb's set appears, with others, in The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, vol I pp 180-182. The text Lloyd printed wasn't from Robb but from an unnamed singer "from Walberswick, Suffolk, recorded ... [by] the BBC early in 1939".


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 11:20 AM

Thankyou Malcolm - Aberdeen - Glasgow, how many miles was I out? Such a big country for somewhere with reputation of being a small country! I remember thinking at the time of reading, how romantic that people like this should be the ones responsible for Planxty's set list.


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Subject: RE: Arthur McBride- What's the background?
From: Jimmy Twitcher
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 02:29 PM

Well, to put a further slant on it, does anyone think that Eric Bogel chose the name "Willie McBride" for "No Man's Land" in reference to this song?

I'm probably reaching.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Arthur McBride
From: GUEST,Out 'Toon
Date: 31 Mar 14 - 01:19 AM

some uneducated commentary

I have nothing factual to add to this conversation, all of the following is merely opinion and conjecture

(1) The scene of the song appears to be a place where conscription is not in place.
(2) The writer may well be more eduacted than the broader audience it was written for
(3) Much harvest migration between the North of Ireland and Scotland would have given shared lingo, Even Donegal Irish dialect is quite a bit different to the rest of the country. Come to think of it the textbook crap now taught is more like English every year.
(4) It may well have been written in England or Scotland by an Irish immigrant and even if so; who knows what they thought of their primary nationality after migration (if its written by an Irish man while in Scotland, is it an Irish song or a Scottish song?...very subjective and i dont think we will ever know. though seems more logical (to me)to think it was written in an area where conscription did not occur & for this reason, I feel Donegal or Scotland (migrant entertainment) are the most likely origin.
(5) my perception of this is that it is not an anti war song, if written (or set) in Ireland, it would be more an affront to the arrogance of British recruiting Irish under the carrot and stick of pay lure and economic suppression. The distain for the uniform would suggest to me a nationalistic element to the affront rather than just the socialist element of the military taking advantage of the poor.
The author may well not have been anti war or anti recruitment...if it was for the right cause; either a social cause or a national one.
(6) Harvest migration may also explain how the song may have travelled quickly across the isles.

My conclusions are that it is likely written by an Irish person or by an artist appealing to that community, the location of its writing being the least important element to understanding the meaning of the the original author.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the reading in this thread and thank all the contributers. It has added an extra level of romanticism to the song with the mystery surrounding its origins, and may do the song better service to remain that way. I am delighted to have learned through all the links you have given that the lyrics by and large are completely unchanged over nearly two centuries. Which makes this song even more of an absolute gem.

before I die i would dearly love to be able to play the guitar like Paul Brady, and the outstanding tone in his voice early in his career, He cannot even match the beauty of his late 70's recording himself later on, let alone anyone else do a better job. And he makes the entire playing and singing look so unbelievably effortless. the song the man and the age he did it at are a match made in heaven that i cannot ever see being bettered. But beauty is in the ear of the beholder, so I'm not asking anyone to agree with me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Arthur McBride
From: GUEST,Out 'Toon
Date: 31 Mar 14 - 11:45 PM

I missed the glaringly obvious.... had the author made him(her)self known; undoubtedly no different to today they would have been butchered by the powers that be for speaking out , one way or another... so it it entirely sensible to share their song & name withheld :)

Shame they couldn't have stuck a note in a time capsule

Further thoughts to the above, i realise in hindsight that both conscription and recruitment could be concurrent or subsequent actions to each other. Well oversights aplenty when u type quicker than u think


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Subject: RE: Origins: Arthur McBride
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Apr 14 - 11:47 AM

The OED can't find "shillelagh" before the 1770s, which makes an 18th century date for the broadside a little less likely. Nor so the 180,000 books and pamphlets of "Eighteenth Century Collections Online" yield any text or reference to the song.


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