mudcat.org: Threshing songs
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Threshing songs

Amaranth 02 Aug 98 - 08:35 PM
Art Thieme 02 Aug 98 - 11:28 PM
Cuilionn 03 Aug 98 - 02:23 AM
Bert 03 Aug 98 - 01:12 PM
Mick Lowe 03 Aug 98 - 06:10 PM
Bert 22 Feb 99 - 06:13 PM
Liam's Brother 22 Feb 99 - 11:37 PM
Philippa 23 Feb 99 - 07:20 AM
John in Brisbane 23 Feb 99 - 06:39 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Feb 99 - 06:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Sep 01 - 06:16 PM
Ringer 20 Sep 01 - 09:27 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Sep 01 - 01:35 PM
Bev and Jerry 20 Sep 01 - 03:15 PM
The Walrus 20 Sep 01 - 06:50 PM
MMario 20 Sep 01 - 09:05 PM
IanC 21 Sep 01 - 05:02 AM
Michael in Swansea 21 Sep 01 - 08:59 AM
The Walrus 21 Sep 01 - 10:03 AM
Bev and Jerry 21 Sep 01 - 01:25 PM
DMcG 21 Sep 01 - 01:58 PM
pavane 21 Sep 01 - 04:15 PM
Amaranth 08 Dec 01 - 11:52 PM
Genie 09 Dec 01 - 11:34 AM
breezy 09 Dec 01 - 02:01 PM
Snuffy 09 Dec 01 - 06:41 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: Threshing gang songs
From: Amaranth
Date: 02 Aug 98 - 08:35 PM

I worked for a farmer in the late 60's who introduced me to an old man that used to work on the old threshing gangs. After suitable lubrication, he would sing old threshing gang songs.

Both the farmer and the old man are long dead, and I have never come across these songs anywhere else.

One of the bits I remember was about a farmer's wife who was a terrible cook and the uses they put her biscuits to.

Does anyone have suggestions for following this up?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE BIG COMBINE (Jock Coleman)^^
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Aug 98 - 11:28 PM

THE BIG COMBINE
(a great song)

A song from the days of horse power--before steam! A graphic depiction of something long gone! Written by Jock Coleman when he worked on a threshing crew at the McDonald Ranch in Pilot Rock, Oregon--1919. It was printed in Charles Wellington Furlong's ___Let Her Buck--The Passing Of The Old West___(1923) I learned it from Glenn Ohrlin. He recorded it on an LP___The Hellbound Train___ for the University of Illinois folksong club back in the early 60's. I recorded it on ___ Art Thieme---That's The Ticket__ FSI-90---the first LP I did for Folk Legacy (still available on cassette).
TUNE: Casey Jones

Come all you rounders if you want to hear,
The story of a bunch o' stiffs a-harvesting here,
The best bunch o' workers ever come down the line,
It's the harvesting crew on the big combine.

There's travelin' men from Sweden in this grand old crew,
Canada and Scotland and Oregon too,
I've listened to their twaddle for a month or more,
Never seen a bunch o' harvest stiffs like this before.

CHORUS)
Oh, you ought to see this bunch o' harvest pippins,
You ought to see, they're really something fine,
You ought to see this bunch of harvest pippins,
The bunch o' harvest pippins on the big combine.

Oscar, he's from Sweden--as stout as a mule,
He can jig and dance and peddle the bull,
He's an Independant Worker of the World (sic) as well,
Says he loves the independence but the work is hell!

Well, he hates millionaires and he wants to see 'em,
Blow up all the grafters in the land of liberty,
Says he's gonna leave this world of politics and strife,
Stay down in the jungle with a stew can all his life.

CHORUS)
Casey Jones, he knew Oscar Nelson,
Casey Jones he knew Oscar fine,
Casey Jones, he knew Oscar Nelson,
He kicked him off the boxcars on the S.P. line.

The next one I'm to mention--the next in line,
The lad that punches horses on the big combine,
He's the man that tells the horses just what to do,
But the things he tells the horses, well, I can't tell you.

It's Limp and Dude and Dolly, you get out of the grain.
Get over there, Buster, you're over the chain,
Pat & Pete & Polly, you get in there and pull,
Get over there, Barney, you durned old fool.

CHORUS)
You out to see---you ought to see our skinner,
You ought to see our skinner, he's really something fine,
You ought to see--you ought to see our skinner,
You ought to see our skinner on the big combine.

Well, I'm the header-puncher, you can bet that's me,
I do more work than all the other three,
Workin' with my hands and my arms and my feet,
Pickin' up the barley and the golden wheat.

I gotta pull the lever and turn the old wheel,
Got to watch the sickle and the draper and the reel,
And if I hit a badger hill and pull up a rock,
They'll say, "Now he's done it--the damn fool jock!"

CHORUS
I'm that man, I'm the header puncher,
I'm that man,though it isn't in my line,
I'm that man, I'm the header puncher,
I'm the header puncher on the big combine!

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Cuilionn
Date: 03 Aug 98 - 02:23 AM

Are you only interested in English/American threshing songs? There's a Scots Gaelic song called, strangely enough, "Latha dhomh 's mi buain a' choirce" (One day when I was harvesting oats). We use it as a tweed-waulking song, but all the words are about helping with the harvest and catching a sweetheart's eye out in the fields. Can't remember who has recorded it...maybe Sileas or Capercaillie? If you want lyrics and translation, I'd be happy to provide them. The only English-language harvest-related song I know is the old "Bringing in the Sheaves", and somehow I don't think that's quite what you're looking for!

Gabh spòrs,

--Cuilionn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE THRASHING MACHINE^^
From: Bert
Date: 03 Aug 98 - 01:12 PM

I'm surprised that I couldn't find this bawdy old number in DT. The tune is Villikins & his Dinah

'twere way down in Dorset or so I heerd tell
There lived a young maiden and her name it were Nell
Her were fair wide and handsome and sweet seventeen
and her longed for a ride on me threshing machine

Chorus
I 'ad 'er, I 'ad 'er, I 'ad 'er, I ay
I 'ad 'er, I 'ad 'er, I 'ad 'er, I ay
I 'ad 'er, I 'ad 'er, I 'ad 'er, I ay
and I ups and I shows 'er the way

'twere one summer's morning in the merry month of May
when most of the farmers were out making hay
I cocked up me ear'oles and heard a girt scream
I says "Ah there goes Nell on thick threshing machine"

Chorus....

'twere one summer's evening in the merry month of June
when most of the farmers were a lookin' at the moon
I said "come to the barn Nell where us won't be seen
and I'll show 'ee the works of me threshing machine"

Chorus....

I opened the barn door and there stood my dream
'er worked on the oilcan whilst I worked up the steam
'twere wondrous to see both the thrust and the drive
and when 'er come out 'twere more dead than alive

Chorus....

The flywheels and the pistons were a going around
when from out the steam whistle came an 'orrible sound
I puts down me hand for to cut off the steam
but the chaff had been blown from me threshing machine

Chorus....

Now nine months later this baby she bore
the pride of his Mother he was to be sure
and under his napkin could plainly be seen
a bran' new two cylinder threshing machine.
Chorus....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 03 Aug 98 - 06:10 PM

If you're looking for English "Harvest" songs then you ought to try "Hopping Down in Kent", well known especially amongst Cockney's (Long Story) and "Reaphook and Sickle"
Then if you're looking for a different type of harvest, there's always "The Nutting Girl". The majority of morris music deals with "earth" related topics.
Cheers
Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Bert
Date: 22 Feb 99 - 06:13 PM

Mick,

You wouldn't by any chance happen to have the words for "Hopping down in Kent" would you?

Bert.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 22 Feb 99 - 11:37 PM

TO: ART THIEME

"The Big Combine" (per Glenn Ohrlin) was the first song I ever learned on the guitar. Thanks for bringing it again to mind.

All the best, Dan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Philippa
Date: 23 Feb 99 - 07:20 AM

John Barleycorn (see database)
Corn Rigs (Robbie Burns)
Pastures of Plenty (Woody Guthrie)
An bhfaca t£ mo Sh‚amais¡n (traditional)
The last named I submit as a bilingual Irish-English joke, a pun, to be explained on request


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 23 Feb 99 - 06:39 PM

Gentle Annie (in the DT) might also qualify as an Australian contribution. I submitted the tune some time back.

Regards
John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Feb 99 - 06:48 PM

I suppose Phil Ochs' "The Thresher" doesn't count.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 06:16 PM

I thought I'd stick in a song since there don't seem too many music threads at the moment, for good enough reasons. Anyway, I fancied posting "Hopping Down in Kent", which doesn't seem to be in the DT - and when I checked back in the forum I found Bert's unsatisfied request. So here it is:

Now some say hopping's lousy, I don't believe it's true.
We only go a-hopping to pick a hop or two
With me tee-aye-o, tee-aye-o, tee-ay-ee-ay-o.

Now when I went a-hopping, hopping down in Kent
I saw old Mrs Riley a-sweeping out her tent.

Now Sunday is our washing day, don't we wash it clean,
We boil it in our hopping pots and hang it on the green.

Now do you want any money? Yes sir if you please
To buy a hock of bacon, a pound of mouldy cheese.

Now here comes our old measurer with his long nose and chin
With his ten-gallon basket, and don't he pop 'em in.

Now when our old pole-puller he does come around
He says "Come on you dirty ol' hop-pickers, pick 'em all off the ground.

Now hopping is all over, all the money spent
And don't I wish I never went a-hopping down in Kent.

Included in a collection called Thgev English Foksinger, edited by Sam Richard and Tish Stubbs, published Collins, 1979.

"Sung by Louey Saunders/Fuller, Lingfield, Surrey. Collected by Ken Stubbs, 1967.

Before hop picking was mechanized, the Kent hopfields provided traditional seasonal work for many gypsies. As as we know this song has only been collected from gypsies and only within recent years. All the singers have been women"

Cockneys from London used to go a-hopping as well. I'd be surprised if this wasn't sung by them as well. I reckon "Old Mrs Riley" really ought to be "Old Mother Riley"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Ringer
Date: 20 Sep 01 - 09:27 AM

I think we perhaps need to "get back to the land" if we so easily confuse harvest and threshing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Sep 01 - 01:35 PM

Threshing is part of the harvesting process with grain. Harvesting I'd see as including all the processes that have to be done to bring in any kind of crop and get it ready for storing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 20 Sep 01 - 03:15 PM

Harvesting is the gathering of any crop. In most places it's commonly done in the fall. Threshing applies only to grain crops and is the process of separating the seeds from the husks, stalks, etc., commonly known as the chaff. Today, threshing is simply one of the things done by a combine in the field. In days of yore, threshing was done after the harvest as a separate step, usually in winter (when not much else could be done). The threshing barn was a long, narrow building with a large door on each of the long sides. If the building was properly oriented, it was possible to beat the grain with a flail and the wind passing through the open doors of the building would carry the chaff outside, leaving the grain, or thresh, behind. In order to assure that none of the thresh escaped, there were small ledges built at the bottom of the two doors called, you guessed it, thresholds.

This useless bit of trivia brought to you by

Bev and Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: The Walrus
Date: 20 Sep 01 - 06:50 PM

Bev and Jerry,

Surely if you lft the threshing (or threshing and winnowing) until winter you'ld lose a fair amount to pests and mildew.

As I understood it, after harvest the grain was spread to dry, then threshed (and winnowed) then bagged/stored as soon as possible.

Walrus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: MMario
Date: 20 Sep 01 - 09:05 PM

many types of grain were traditionally tied and the sheaves stacked - then threshed as time allowed over the winter. maize was often stored in the dried husks and then husked as a community effort before being stored dry on the cob.

yes - there were losses - but the main concern was to get the grain harvested and stored in some form before rain hail or other weather damaged the standing crop - or caused the grains to shatter from the stems and be lost.

Some of the grain used for feed also was fed to the livestock without threshing - those parts not eaten becoming bedding.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: IanC
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 05:02 AM

Walrus

MMario's right. Once the grain is safely stored, threshing doesn't reduce the risk of loss. With some crops, it increases it.

Cheers!
Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add The Machiner's Song
From: Michael in Swansea
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 08:59 AM

THE MACHINER'S SONG

It's all very well to have a machine
To thrash your wheat and barley clean
To thrash it and win' it and fit it for sale
Then go off to market so brisk and well

Chorus: Sing rumble-dum-dairy, flair up, Mary
Make your old table shine

The man who made her he made her so well
He made every wheel and cog to tell
While the big wheel runs the little one hums
And the feeder sits above the drum

Chorus:

AT seven o' clock we do begin
And we generally stop about nine or ten
To have our beer and oil her up
Then off we go till one o' clock

Chorus:

There's old father Howard the sheaves to put
While old mother Howard she does make up
And Mary she sits and feeds all day
While Johnny he carries the straw away

Chorus:

Then after a bite and a drink all round
The driver he climbs to his box again
And with his long whip he shouts "All right?"
And he drives them round till five at night

Chorus:

Recorded by Isla St Clair on "The Song and the Story" among others.
MJR


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: The Walrus
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 10:03 AM

I stand corrected.

Walrus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 01:25 PM

Good one Michael. We were trying to think of the name of that song so we could post it.

Bev and Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: DMcG
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 01:58 PM

Micheal's song is one from the Copper family collection and was on Bob and Ron's record in the '50s. 'Course, I don't know where they got it from .....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: pavane
Date: 21 Sep 01 - 04:15 PM

Of course, bawdy songs about threshing machines have been around since the early 1800's (just thought I'd mention it in case anyone thought they were recent). And Dame Durden was possibly a bit suggestive (Humphrey with his flail?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Amaranth
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 11:52 PM

Well I missed the resurfacing of this thread ... and it interestes me more than ever ... I would love to find the lyrics to a song that includes something about the farmer's wife baking abilities and using the baking for in a catapult ... the old guy who sang this for me is long dead now and i have no idea how to find the words


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Genie
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 11:34 AM

At a workshop at NW Folklife Festival 2 years ago, in a workshop, I participated in singing a Scots Gaelic threshing song that I really liked, but I can't remember the title. The whole song is sort of on the tip of my tongue, and it was a neat song which, I think, had some sounds like the sound of the threshing.
Anyone know any Gaelic threshing songs?

Genie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: breezy
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 02:01 PM

I think this is the penultimate verse to The Threshing Machine----- Now five months being over and all is not well>>Nelly's poor belly's beginning to swell>>for under her apron can clearly be seen>>The chaff that had blown from me thrashin' machine.,,, also the last v. as I hear starts Now nine being over a baby-boy was born>>which shows you how well I had planted my corn. ,,,,,


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Threshing songs
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 06:41 PM

Now five months are gone and all is not well
There's something the matter with our little Nell
For under her apron can clearly be seen
The works of my naughty old thrashin' machine.

Now nine months are over and all is now well
A son has been born to our little Nell
And under his nappy can plainly be seen
A brand-new two-cylinder thrashin' machine.

WassaiL! V


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 January 1:28 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.