ADD: King of the Ditch Diggers (Graeme Miles) To Thread - Forum Home

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ADD: King of the Ditch Diggers (Graeme Miles)

24 Mar 12 - 05:03 AM (#3328038)
Subject: Lyr Add: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Young Buchan

One of Graham Miles'.
Begins somewhat after this fashion:

When I was a lad I was told by my dad
That I'd had enough now of learning.
It was out of the school and onto the tools,
For it's time that a wage I was earning.

The dole office man with his cards in his hand
Said, 'There's no place for plumbers or fitters.
You're a big strapping lad with a good pair of arms:
So I'll set you to digging the ditches.'

Can anyone supply the rest please?

(If anyone's in contact with Robin Dale, he'll know!)


24 Mar 12 - 07:38 AM (#3328047)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Young Buchan

Sorry. Can a Service Elf please retitle this as Re. Lyr REQ.
Thanks


25 Mar 12 - 05:50 PM (#3328799)
Subject: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Young Buchan

I'll try this again with the right heading this time!

Can anyone help with this.
One of Graham Miles'.
Begins somewhat after this fashion:

When I was a lad I was told by my dad
That I'd had enough now of learning.
It was out of the school and onto the tools,
For it's time that a wage I was earning.

The dole office man with his cards in his hand
Said, 'There's no place for plumbers or fitters.
You're a big strapping lad with a good pair of arms:
So I'll set you to digging the ditches.'

Can anyone supply the rest please?

(If anyone's in contact with Robin Dale, he'll know!)


25 Mar 12 - 06:16 PM (#3328817)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: GUEST,999

KING OF THE DITCH-DIGGER'S TRADE

(Just leaving that there while I go look, else I shall forget.)


25 Mar 12 - 06:19 PM (#3328822)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: GUEST,999

KING OF THE DITCH-DIGGER'S TRADE - comp by Graeme Miles of Middlesbrough - FOLKSONG TODAY #3 1970

from folktrax org


25 Mar 12 - 06:45 PM (#3328836)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: GUEST,999

I am finding nothing immediate. However, given that the language still argues with itself about the use of hyphens to create compound nouns or for times when two or more words need to be used as an adjective, we need to check the permutations. I gotta go eat spaghetti. Back in a while.

I just looked. Didn't find it. I haven't tried under the Graham spelling of his name. The spaghetti is cold.


26 Mar 12 - 08:11 PM (#3329393)
Subject: Lyr Add: King of the Ditch Diggers Trade
From: Hoblander

From two sources of Graeme Miles' own recording from the 1970s/80s
Cassette entitled Songscapes 78
and
Cassette entitled Volume 12

King of the Ditch Diggers Trade
1.
WeŚll when Ah was a lad, Ah was told by me Dad
It's time that a wage you was earning
It out o' that school and on to the tools
It's now to a trade you'll be turning

Chorus
With a dirrum durham daa
With a dirrum durham day
Me tools are a shovel and spade
With a dirrum durham daa
With a dirrum durham day
Ah'm king of the ditch diggers trade.

2
We ľ ll the labour exchange man with forms in 'is 'and
Said there's nothing for joiners or fitters
But you're a strappin' fine lad with a good pair of 'ands
I'll put ya to the digging of ditches

Chorus

3
Ah've bin up to ma knees in the waters of the Tees
When working on land reclamation
Ah've bin up to ma lugs ( ears ) in gravel and mud
When working on roads for the nation

Chorus

4
Ah've travelled the land with me spade in me 'and
From John O'Groats right down to Dover
Ah drink breathe and eat cement and concrete
An' when Ah sleep then Ah dream of bulldozers

Chorus

5
Ah've often bin rich like a king in ma ditch
When Ah've bin on good piece work and bonus
But when Ah've nowt left for grub Ah've scrounged for a sub
Saying Gaffer ken ten bob you loan us

Chorus

6
Now when Ah'm out dead and cold lower me into a hole
There's one for that purpose Ah'm keeping
On me grave lay me spade and engrave on the blade
The King of ditch diggers is sleeping

Chorus


26 Mar 12 - 08:15 PM (#3329396)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Hoblander

Hello Young Buchan and 999
you will find a Lyric Added thread with the full lyrics and chorus posted 26.03.2012
Cheers
Kevin


26 Mar 12 - 08:40 PM (#3329408)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: GUEST,999

Wow. Thank you, Kevin.


27 Mar 12 - 05:53 AM (#3329543)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Hoblander

Hello 999 et al,
I have about 350 - 360 of Graeme's songs as recordings or manuscript. We have been endeavouring to get as many of his recordings as possible digitised, with a view to producing some more song books and maybe a cd with a verse and a chorus. As the Ironopolis Singers we have produced a double cd of Songs of Ironopolis and we are in the middle of producing another show Purple Acres which is a collection of Graeme's songs based on the North York Moors.
Get in touch if there are any other songs you need lyrics for, I haven't worked out how to get the tunes up on the computer. We need a web site where we can offer mp3s. Just a matter of time.
Kevin


27 Mar 12 - 11:02 AM (#3329675)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: GUEST,999

Kevin, are you a Teessider?


27 Mar 12 - 11:08 AM (#3329679)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: GUEST,999

Young Buchan, here's a link to the new thread started by Kevin.

thread.cfm?threadid=144077&messages=1


27 Mar 12 - 12:36 PM (#3329712)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Young Buchan

Many thanks indeed.
I had no idea there was a chorus! The version I heard many years ago didn't.


27 Mar 12 - 02:30 PM (#3329735)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Hoblander

Hi Young Buchan
depends who you heard sing it. For some of Graeme's songs I have him singing 3 or 4 versions as it progressed.
Contact me for more info if you need it
Kevin


27 Mar 12 - 06:29 PM (#3329831)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Young Buchan

I'm convinced there is another verse about drinking ******
******* with Geordies and Micks in a thousand and one public houses
And fighting **************** with Cockneys and even with Scousers


27 Mar 12 - 06:44 PM (#3329839)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Carol

Y B perhaps memories of your ill-spent youth?


27 Mar 12 - 06:50 PM (#3329844)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Young Buchan

Carol - you know very well that:
a I don't drink
b I'm no use at fighting and
c I stay out of the way of scousers!

Derek


27 Mar 12 - 06:56 PM (#3329846)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Carol

Ah but that's now Derek, it doesn't follow that you were perfect in your youth. Where are you now by the way?


27 Mar 12 - 06:57 PM (#3329847)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Young Buchan

Bristol


27 Mar 12 - 06:59 PM (#3329848)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Carol

I'm up in Greatham now


28 Mar 12 - 06:45 PM (#3330346)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Hoblander

Hello 999
missed the post where you asked if I was a Teessider. Yes born in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire and proud of it. Both parent's sides of the family iron and steel and chemical workers. Great- grand and grandfathers, me Dad and uncles, cousins. I worked in the construction industry in the steelworks and petro-chemicals. Dad was a foundryman at Cochranes, until he saw sense and got a pub. However I've lived in Saltburn by the Sea since 1974, nearly a native.
Cheers
Kevin


28 Mar 12 - 06:58 PM (#3330349)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King of Ditch Diggers
From: Hoblander

Young Buchan or Derek
I haven't been able to find the verse you quote part of, but I will see Graeme next week and ask him if he remembers it.If he does I will post it here and in the Lyric Add thread. As I mentioned he did do a lot of revising of songs. What Graeme defines as the final versions of songs now, differs a lot from the originals. Along the Guisborough Road in Songscapes is a good example of the final printed version being so different to the 60's version. And of course what the folk process does to the originals, and what folks " remember". There are even instances when individuals have written their own verses because they felt the song was incomplete or too short. I don't think Graeme has ever written an incomplete song, and if it was short he intended it to be short.
Cheers
Kevin