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Chastity Belt - Missing Verse

16 Jan 00 - 03:18 PM (#163910)
Subject: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Harold Atkinson

Greetings: There seems to be a verse or so missing just before the last verse of this old bawdy song (Check out the song in the Digitrad list) I'm wondering if anyone can help me track it down. It's still a good song, but I like these ballads to hang together as a story. Any help muchly appreciated.

Harold Atkinson


16 Jan 00 - 04:54 PM (#163944)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Liz the Squeak

That is all that I have, it really does start with Oh say (or pray) gentle maiden.

Unless that isn't the verse you are thinking of....

Funny thing about this song, Of the two great university cities, Oxford and Cambridge, neither will own up to writing it, Oxford say it was Cambridge and Cambridge say it was Oxford. What is certain is, that it came from one of those cities!! (Makes you wonder what else they write, it certainly isn't a thesis!)

LTS


16 Jan 00 - 06:11 PM (#163969)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Bugsy

That's all I remember from the dark recesses of my old and addled brain too.

CHeers

Bugsy


16 Jan 00 - 07:57 PM (#164002)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: McGrath of Harlow

Hangs together quite well as a story (if you'll forguive the language).

And I can't remember any other verses, and I can't see a need for any. I suppose you could have one with Sir Oswald coming home and seeing off the would-be-errant errant.

It used to be sung in Oxford Heritage Society (the university folk music society) back in the early 60s. I can't remember anyone claiming to have written it, but my impression was then that it was an Oxford song. Perhaps later generations got nervous about being taken to task for it.


16 Jan 00 - 08:38 PM (#164016)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: johnp

A slightly different version as sung in Rugby clubs(a version of football for those in US)Add nonny nonnies etc I am unaware of missing verses, perhaps the alt version may explain it

O pray gentle maiden let me be your lover Condemn me no longer To mourn and to weep Struck down like a hart I lie bleeding and panting Let down your drawbridge I'll enter your keep

enter etc

Alas gentle errantI am not a maiden I'm married to Sir Oswald The cunning old Celt He's gone to the wars For twelve months or longer And taken the key To my chastity belt

Fear not gentle maiden for I know a locksmith To his forge we will go On his door we will knock And try to avail us Of his specialised knowledge To unpick your lock

Alas Sir and Madam To help I'm unable My technical knowledge It is of no avail I can't find the secret Of your combination The cunning old bastard Has fitted a yale

I'm back from the wars With sad news of disaster A terrible mishap I have to confide As my ship was a-passing The Straits of Gibraltar I carelessly dropped the key Over the side

Alas and alack, I am locked up for ever Then up steppthe pageboy Saying leave this to me If you will allow me To enter your chamber I'll open it up with me duplicate key


07 Jun 19 - 09:27 AM (#3995516)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Penultimate verse

Then back from the wars came the wicked Sir Oswald,
With tales of disaster he had to confide,
"As I was traversing the Straits of Gibraltar,
I carelessly dropped your key over the side!"


07 Jun 19 - 04:54 PM (#3995570)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Jerry

There is a seventh verse, something cautionary about not wearing steel drawers, but I forget it now. The story needs a better punchline to finish on Iíve always felt.


07 Jun 19 - 05:35 PM (#3995576)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Gurney

Oh say, gentle maiden, may I be your lover. Condemn me no longer to...

Alas, gentle errant, I am not a maiden. I'm married to Sir Oswald,...

Fear not, gentle lady, for I know a locksmith. To his forge we....

Alas, sir and madam, to help I am unable. My technical knowledge....

I'm back from the wars with dread news of disaster. a terrible ....

Alas and alack! I am locked up forever! Then up spake a pageboy...


Those are the six that I used to sing, 50something years ago. If the lost one is there, that might trigger a memory. Or just ask.

Then there was the variant all sung in Spoonerisms......


07 Jun 19 - 10:26 PM (#3995592)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Thomas Stern

https://rec.music.filk.narkive.com/MY2xCETJ/chastity-belt-more-information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wait_a_Minim!

https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1968/5/17/wait-a-minim-pbibf-there-is/


08 Jun 19 - 06:09 AM (#3995619)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Jerry

This is the final verse that Iím aware of....

So all you young valets who seek satisfaction
From other menís ladies whilst theyíre at the wars
Remember to keep tucked away in your jock strap
A key that is suited to stainless steel drawers.

(A limp ending, in more ways than one probably.)


10 Jun 19 - 03:44 PM (#3995859)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Nigel Parsons

I hadn't heard that additional verse, but it's a possibility.
In line 1 should it be (as shown) 'valets', or possibly 'varlets'?


10 Jun 19 - 03:47 PM (#3995860)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Nigel Parsons

Similarly, going back to a post in 2000:
Alas Sir and Madam To help I'm unable My technical knowledge It is of no avail I can't find the secret Of your combination The cunning old bastard Has fitted a yale
I've heard it as "secret of your combinations", being a double meaning of lock style, and underwear.


10 Jun 19 - 04:21 PM (#3995863)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Steve Gardham

'Twas just three months after, the hall filled with laughter,
This lady gave birth to a beautiful child
Lord Oswald astounded at the mirth that abounded,
The lady just blushed and the pageboy just smiled.


10 Jun 19 - 04:35 PM (#3995868)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Steve Gardham

Ye ladies take warning, ye lords make no scorning,
Thy chastity belt it may work for a while,
Where a duplicate key is one way to be free,
Persistence may work with an old bastard file.


11 Jun 19 - 03:14 AM (#3995910)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Jerry

Yes, I meant varlets, and combinations is also as I remember it.


11 Jun 19 - 03:32 AM (#3995913)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Spot

Definitely 'combinations', this being a sort of pun on 'combinations' as underwear and the combination of a safe. And the word ideally should be sung with a mock folk style extra syllable for 'tions', sort of 'ay see ons', preferable with finger in ear. Try to do the different voices for the characters?


11 Jun 19 - 04:19 AM (#3995923)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Spot

Also we sang 'count' not 'bastard', it was nicely alliterative. The character was introduced as a 'cunning old celt' I have heard a mock stammer on the c before 'count' which hinted at a rather rude alternative with comic effect.

I also heard the mock folk pronunciation on 'spess ee a lised knowledge'. In our version it was 'see if he's able to unpick your lock'.

We never heard the extra verse but didn't miss it. Bound to be various versions though?


12 Jun 19 - 05:18 AM (#3996060)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: Richard Mellish

For what it's worth: I think I too encountered this song in Oxford in the 60s, a little later than McGrath of Harlow and from a friend who had only very recently moved there from London.

Although folk songs in general don't have "right" or "wrong" versions, one word in the DT version is definitely wrong. "Struck down like a hawk" does not make sense. johnp's 16 Jan 00 - 08:38 PM wording "Struck down like a hart" is what I remember.

In the line "The cunning old bastard has fitted a yale" I recall the singer hesitating at "ba..." as if going to sing "bastard" and then instead singing "baron".


12 Jun 19 - 08:17 AM (#3996062)
Subject: RE: Chastity Belt - Missing Verse
From: GUEST,Jerry

Yes, quite. Since this is essentially a one joke song, most of the laughs would come from the hurried substitution of words where rude words were expected by the listener - like George Formby and musical hall songs before him, where the comedy is in the delivery rather than the narrative of the song.