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Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)

04 Sep 07 - 01:13 PM (#2140691)
Subject: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (C. Tawney)
From: Wolfgang

I had looked for this song for a while and have now found a version on a website. I have no idea how good the transcription is. Can someone please check my explanations of the terms below?
OD (ordinary seaman ??)
CTC, Chemtec Chemicals high concentration cleaner, usable in salt water, e.g. used for tank cleaning
oppo (A close friend. The ‘opposite number’ of a two man team),
RNBT rep (Royal Navy Benevolent Funds representative?)

Wolfgang

NOBBY HALL
(C. Tawney)

Nobby Hall a young OD
Cleaned his suit in CTC
He hung it in the Mess to dry
His oppo lay asleep nearby
And all night long the fumes arose
And drifted up his oppo's nose.

When the Shaker's voice was heard
There was one that did not stir,
Nobby wept and whaled no end
To think that he'd killed his best friend!
The funeral was a grand affair
the RNBT rep was there.

So sailors please be ruled by me,
If you clean you suit in CTC,
Always take the greatest care
To hang it in the open air,
But MUCH BETTER if you can
Hang it by a WARDROOM FAN!!!


04 Sep 07 - 01:29 PM (#2140701)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (C. Tawney)
From: Wolfgang

whaled must be a typo on that site: wailed makes more sense

Wolfgang


04 Sep 07 - 02:19 PM (#2140731)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (C. Tawney)
From: Zany Mouse

I can't remember what OD means, although I remember asking Cyril a long time ago - pity I can't remember the answer though (senior moment).

He used to sing "... MURDERED his best friend.

RNBT is TRUST not Fund

You're right about the wailed bit as well

Rhiannon


04 Sep 07 - 03:15 PM (#2140787)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (C. Tawney)
From: gnomad

Notes from Cyril's record sleeve (Navy Cuts, 2001):

"Though intending it as a refill for fire extinguishers, the Navy turned a blind eye to the unofficial use of carbon tetrachloride (CTC) as a cleaning fluid, while taking good care to warn of the hazzards. A po-faced instructor's cautionary anecdote later launched me into this piece of fancy."

I think the words may have developed a little with the passage of time, in the version I have verse 2 has your lines 3&4 swap places with your lines 5&6, and the friend is described as being poisoned rather than murdered. It works either way.


04 Sep 07 - 03:54 PM (#2140816)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (C. Tawney)
From: Rumncoke

Grief - I used Carbon tet for washing down the lab and getting oil out of my lab coat any number of times, then went on to use triChloro Ethane when the Health and Safety bloke insisted on something less lethal.

Maybe the high ceilings and leaky windows were some use after all.


04 Sep 07 - 03:58 PM (#2140823)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (C. Tawney)
From: Leadfingers

When i was in the R A F , the Carbon Tet fire extinguishers ( For Electrical fires) had a red dye added , just to stop them being misused as a cleaning agent !!


04 Sep 07 - 07:50 PM (#2141037)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (C. Tawney)
From: Gurney

I've never seen it written down, but I heard Cyril sing it plenty of times.
As I remember it, the second verse was:

When the shakers' voice was heard,
one there was who never stirred.
The funeral was a grand affair,
the R.N.B.T. rep was there.
Poor Nobby wept for(4?) days on end
to think he'd poisoned his best friend.

And "warned by me"
And "utmost care"
And "even better"
He slowed down to emphasize the "wardroom fan."

Cyrils lyrics didn't seem to be cast in concrete, even by him. I have an early LP, and there were slight differences to his later versions.


04 Sep 07 - 09:14 PM (#2141080)
Subject: Lyr Add: NOBBY HALL (Cyril Tawney)
From: Joe_F

Here is the text from _Songs of Cyril Tawney_:
^^
Nobby Hall, the young O.D.
Cleaned his suit in CTC
Hung it in the mess to dry
His oppo lay asleep nearby
And all night the fumes arose
And drifted by his oppo's nose.

When the shaker's voice was heard
One there was who never stirred
The funeral was a grand affair
The R.N.B.T. rep. was there

Poor Nobby wept for days on end
To think he poisoned his best friend.
So, sailors all, be warned by me,
If you clean your suit in CTC

Always take the utmost care
To hang it in the open air
Or even better if you can,
Hang it by a wardroom fan.

O.D. means "ordinary seaman" -- nobody seems to know why.

In my childhood (1940s, U.S.), carbon tetrachloride was the most commonly used spot remover, sold in bottles for consumer use and also (IIRC) used by many dry cleaners. It is poisonous, but over other common volatile solvents it has the great advantage of being nonflammable.

I had never heard of its being used in fire extinguishers. It must have been pretty effective in putting out firefighters as well as fires, especially when used in confined spaces.


05 Sep 07 - 08:28 AM (#2141382)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (C. Tawney)
From: Wolfgang

Thanks all for the corrections to the lyrics and to my explanation guesses.

Wolfgang


28 Dec 07 - 02:44 PM (#2223840)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
From: dundivin

With regard to OD

It does sort of refer to Ordinary Seaman, but the real meaning is more colloquial. An OD is a "bit of a lad", or a "jack the lad". Usually the one who always did something daft on a run ashore and "dropped himself in the s**t". I make the distinction as there are plenty of Senior Rates around who are OD's, and having been a Mess President on several occasions can vouch for that personally. People can be an OD for a whole career, or merely be a big OD on isolated occasions. If anyone witnessed me fall over the wall following Ulverston Beer Festival last year, that was a perfectly good example of such !! OD is usually accompanied by the descriptor Big, as in old "Sharky is a big OD"

Yours Aye

JBN
RN


28 Dec 07 - 06:28 PM (#2223993)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
From: dick greenhaus

Carbon tet used to be very popular in fire extinguishers. Its main problem, aside from it being carcinogenic and fairly toxic, was that when you sprayed it on hot metal, you generated phosgene gas, which was lethal enough to make the other drawbacks less fearsome.


29 Dec 07 - 09:54 AM (#2224266)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
From: adventure

From a strictly military point of view....OD is a standard term for "Officer of the Day"...thus OD. Person responsible for deck watches, tasks and activities during that time period.
This would be my take on what OD refers to .....this would seem to me to be a better fit than ordinary seaman.
doryman


29 Dec 07 - 10:04 AM (#2224274)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
From: Bert

Not to be confused with this Nobby Hall


29 Dec 07 - 01:19 PM (#2224427)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
From: bubblyrat

Beg to differ Adventure, but for the 11 years that I was in the Royal Navy, the Officer of the Day was always the " OOD ", the abbreviation "OD " being only used to denote the rating of Ordinary Seaman, and being, I think ,just a further contraction of " ORD" ,which was also much used. As to the song, I have always sung " Nobby Hall the BIG OD " , as that's what he ( Nobby ) was !! ( ie a total twat ! ).And what was I for those 11 glorious rum-soaked,Tiger-tangled, Commander"s Table visiting,punishment-serving years ?? Yes !! ---A Big OD !!    cheers ! Roger ( HMS EAGLE, 1966-1969 and RAF Changi, of course ).


03 Sep 10 - 01:33 AM (#2979026)
Subject: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall
From: Gurney

Nobby Hall.                            Cyril Tawney


Nobby Hall, the young O.D.
Cleaned his suit in C.T.C.
Hung it in the mess to dry
His oppo lay asleep nearby,
And all night long, the fumes arose
And drifted by his oppo's nose.

When the shaker's voice was heard
One there was who never stirred!
The funeral was a grand affair.
The R.N.B.T. rep. was there!
Poor Nobby wept for days on end
To think he'd poisoned his best friend.

So, sailors all, be warned by me
If you clean your suit in C.T.C.
Always take the utmost care
To hang it in the open air.
-Or even better, if you can,
Hang it by a wardroom fan.

O.D.: Ordinary seaman, the lowest rank.   
C.T.C.: Carbon Tetrachloride, which extinguishes fires (and cleans clothes.)
Oppo: Opposite number, friend.
Royal Naval Benevolent Trust.
Wardroom fan: One which ventilates officers quarters.

Inspired by a lecture given in training, which may have been from a factual accident.

From the LP 'Between Decks.'


19 Mar 12 - 04:41 PM (#3325345)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
From: GUEST,Bald Runner

I was RN from 77 - 86

OD stood for 'ordinary duty' which meant 'jack the lad'. It certainly does not refer to Officer of the Day in the context of the song.


19 Mar 12 - 04:51 PM (#3325351)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
From: MartinRyan

Jackspeak , a guide to British naval slang and usage glosses OD as follows:

Abbreviation of Ordinary Deckhand, a non-existent rate considered to be one lower than the basic rate on entry for Jack, which is Ordinary Seaman, in turn one lower than the Able rate or AB.

Basically a term of mild abuse or pity!

Regards


19 Mar 12 - 08:30 PM (#3325455)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
From: Joe_F

The OED (s.v. O) renders "O.D." as "ordinary seaman", tout court. It evidently needs to be enlightened.


20 Mar 12 - 01:58 PM (#3325818)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
From: Charmion

OD has achieved the fate of many traditional abbreviations: plenty of people can't believe it is as simple as it is. Yes, it just means "ordinary seaman" and nothing else; later glosses such as "Jack the lad" are just that: glosses.

English is a very plastic language, taking whatever form a generation of users find comfortable. Our ancestors, especially those who inhabited the British Isles, were comfortable with some very odd and variable forms, especially in non-standard language such as abbreviations.


10 Jan 20 - 03:48 PM (#4027551)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Nobby Hall (Cyril Tawney)
From: Folkie Frank

Back in the 1960's, as a teenager, I was given an electric train set. My Mom told me the following cautionary story she had read:

A youngster cleaned the tracks of his train set with Carbon Tet (as we called it) in his bedroom with the door and windows shut. He went to sleep and never woke up.