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Any songs on The Witchfinder General?

27 Nov 03 - 02:12 AM (#1061810)
Subject: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: The Shambles

Can anyone help with songs in particular about Mathew Hopkins - who was known as The Witchfinder General - or indeed any songs about witch-hunts generally? The latter not confined to hunts for actual witches but to the process we call witch-hunting.


27 Nov 03 - 02:23 AM (#1061814)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: The Shambles

I have found this one.

http://www.shartwell.freeserve.co.uk/humor-site/witches.htm


27 Nov 03 - 02:27 AM (#1061816)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Shambles - this message indicates there is a song titled "Matthew Hopkins" or "Mathew Hopkins," but I don't think the person who posted the message is a regular Mudcatter.
Vincent Price starred in a 1968 film called Matthew Hopkins-Witchfinder General.
This Google Search will lead you to lyrics for several rock songs on Old Matthew, but I didn't see anything in the folk genre.
-Joe Offer-


27 Nov 03 - 02:34 AM (#1061818)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: The Shambles

Thank you Joe.

In the USA the film was retitled after the Edgar Allan Poe poem The Conqueror Worm, even though there are no worms in the film. It was clearly an effort to capitalize on the name of Vincent Price and sell it as another of the Edgar Allan Poe films that came into vogue following the success of Roger Corman's The House of Usher (1960).


27 Nov 03 - 03:28 AM (#1061829)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: GUEST,Elfcall

There is an excellent song about Matthew Hopkins called Witch Finder General on Shave the Monkey's first album 'The Unseelie Court' (1992) on Percheron Musique
Catelogue Ape 3001/cd.

They did have a website but I am not sure if it is still current.

Elfcall


27 Nov 03 - 07:56 PM (#1062287)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Folkiedave

The only thing I remember about the film was Hilary Dwyer. Soon afterwards she was in Sheffield appearing in Midsummer Night's Dream......I would have gone every night.......where is she now?

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


27 Nov 03 - 08:39 PM (#1062307)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Col K

Shave the Monkey are in the process of splitting up/retiring as a group.Not sure if the CD is still available but I think the web site will still be there.
They are based in East Anglia and certainly have a booking at Ely folk club in December which I think is their farewell.It is a great pity that they are retiring as a group, I always found them to be very entertaining and talented and lovely people as well.
If any of them read this Good Luck to you all and thank you for 15 years of pleasure.


17 Jan 09 - 12:10 PM (#2541412)
Subject: ADD: Witchfinder General (Shave the Monkey)
From: Joan from Wigan

Shave the Monkey's myspace site is still there, and includes the track "Witchfinder General" - listen to it here: http://www.myspace.com/shavethemonkey

I have tried to transcribe the words, but as always, there are some I just can't make out. Can anyone fill in the blanks or correct where I've misheard please?

WITCHFINDER GENERAL
(Carolyn Sheppard & Bryan Causton)

We will find you, we'll come searching, innocent or guilty yet
We will ask and you must answer, condemned to die by Pyewackett

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
We are                         we are weed and west
We are                         and our souls cannot rest

Lizzie Clark was just the start, many more hung by her side
For not bleeding when you pricked us with a knife that cut no hide

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
We are four hundred strong, we are dead by you
We are lost to the church, to the devil we are due

Torturing the weak and feeble, townsmen paying you in gold
Feeding fever in the fearful, murdering the poor and old

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
You're the witch finder general, you are bold and strong
You are rich and respected, but of all you are wrong

We will find you, we'll come searching, innocent or guilty yet
We will ask and you must answer, condemned to die by Pyewackett

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
We are                         we are weed and west
We are                         and our souls cannot rest

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
You're the witch finder general, you are bold and strong
You are rich and respected, but of all you are wrong


17 Jan 09 - 01:22 PM (#2541472)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Sleepy Rosie

I live not far from where the pederast himself would rape and torture his victims. Even seen his grave, and the rooms where he would hold court. Stunning that he got away with indulging his evil sadism for so long under the guise of doing Gods Good Work!
I'll be following this thread, and may even steal one or two song suggestions for myself. Fascinating stuff.


17 Jan 09 - 01:44 PM (#2541486)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: wyrdolafr

Sleepy Rosie wrote: "the pederast himself would rape and torture his victims".

Can you expand on the pederasty charge? I've read a fair bit of material on Hopkins over the years but not heard anything about accusations of pederasty/paedophilia.


17 Jan 09 - 01:58 PM (#2541500)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Sleepy Rosie

I'm afraid it's a faded second-hand reference Wyrdolafr, so may be unfounded...?
But some time ago, I heard someone speaking on a television programme about Hopkins. They stated that he would rape children and then accuse them of witchcraft if they spoke out.
Apologies for not being able to support my statement any better than that.


17 Jan 09 - 04:35 PM (#2541648)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: wyrdolafr

I must admit it's a new one on me - not that I'm claiming to be a Matthew Hopkins expert or anything.

What's strikes me as being peculiar though is, if this has any foundation at all or was even widely believed to be true, I'm fairly sure the 'oh noes! Never again the Burning Times!!!1' crowd would have been all over it. Hopkins had some serious detractors towards the end of his career, I'm pretty sure that they'd similarly jumped at the chance to point the finger. I'm sure in the God-fearing environment that Hopkins exploited, accusations of child buggery were frowned upon as much as witchcraft.

Also, the idea that he'd rape young boys and threaten accuse them of witchcraft if they spoke out - which appears to a pretty vile variation on what appears to be a common paedophile tactic - creates a weird problem.

I'm happy to stand corrected but I'm not aware of Matthew Hopkins actually accusing young boys of witchcraft, which perhaps suggests they didn't speak out denouncing Hopkins. However, if they didn't speak out, how do people know he was having sex with young boys in the first place?


17 Jan 09 - 04:48 PM (#2541657)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Sleepy Rosie

I think I was mistaken in using the term 'pederast' - indicating specifically 'male children' rather than simply 'children'. But I also recall a further instance of Hopkins being referred to as a 'Nonce' - a term I had to look up in order to discover it's meaning.
Again, I make no case for these accusations, which are merely vague second-hand recollections of documentaries.


17 Jan 09 - 04:57 PM (#2541667)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Big Al Whittle

sounds like a great idea

Witchfinder General - the musical!

opening number - full cast ensemble
Ain't Life a bitch, when you can't burn a witch!

Song for female romantic lead
I'm crazy about Matt, and I've got a black cat

Song for male romantic lead
When i pull your nails out Bess, You little devil won't you just confess!

Comic song for character bass
Baby! look what i bought yer, the instruments of torture!

Ensemble piece with dance routine
Looking cool, in the ducking stool

2nd Male romantic lead - the hangman's song
I don't know how to hang her

closing number whole ensemble - singers and dancers
people, people who burn people....


17 Jan 09 - 05:13 PM (#2541673)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: wyrdolafr

LOL! And it's not often I literally laugh out loud at something I read on the internet.

The final should have all the cast wearing Vincent Price masks. The production could have merchandising in the form of soft toys of Vinegar Tom and Sacke & Sugar.

Actually, that gives me an idea for a craft project...


17 Jan 09 - 06:04 PM (#2541718)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1

Someone contact Andrew Lloyd Webber....*immediately*...and book me a ticket..'cos I know ALL about witch hunts! ;0)

Excellent, Al, a piece of sheer genius there. 10/10


18 Jan 09 - 03:11 AM (#2541946)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Helen Jocys

One or two corrections : -

HE will find you.
We are REID and West.
WE ARE CLARKE AND MILLS.

Helen Jocys


18 Jan 09 - 03:06 PM (#2542428)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Joan from Wigan

Many thanks for those corrections, Helen. That makes the first part of the song:

He will find you, he'll come searching, innocent or guilty yet
He will ask and you must answer, condemned to die by Pyewackett

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
We are                         we are Reid and West
We are Clarke and Mills and our souls cannot rest

And I'm also unsure whether "but of all you are wrong" is wrong, as it's not grammatically correct, and the "all" could possibly be "old", although that doesn't really make sense either.

As for the suggestions of paedophilia, I recently read the book "Witchfinders", which is more or less a biography of Matthew Hopkins. The author Malcolm Gaskill had researched the subject in depth, and there were no suggestions in the book about this. Not that that's any sort of proof, but I would have expected at least a mention if there had ever been any serious accusations of untoward behaviour.

Love the idea of a musical - those song suggestions could be worked on to excellent effect!

Can anyone fill in the remaining blanks in the Shave the Monkey song please?

Joan


20 Jan 09 - 11:28 AM (#2544055)
Subject: Lyr Req: Witchfinder General (Shave the Monkey)
From: Joan from Wigan

refresh


20 Jan 09 - 07:02 PM (#2544502)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: GUEST,Dave

Check out Paul Roland, whose psych-folk-rock song 'Witchfinder General' is a very nice piece of work. Not sure if it's on You-Tube or anywhere but he's a good songwriter albeit with a less impressive voice. I play one or two of his more folky songs live, really recommend a listen to him.


20 Jan 09 - 07:36 PM (#2544537)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Suegorgeous

There's biographical info on Matthew Hopkins here , which gives references to a few songs on the subject.

And if you google "witchfinder general lyrics", you'll find the lyrics to those songs.


20 Jan 09 - 07:49 PM (#2544550)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Suegorgeous

Also there's a note on the above link which may explain the discussed paedophilia issue:

"The BBC3 adult cartoon series Monkey Dust featured a character called the "Paedofinder General", an updated version of Hopkins based on the popular moral panic and tabloid hysteria surrounding paedophilia ."


20 Jan 09 - 07:51 PM (#2544552)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Suegorgeous

In the Sheppard/Causton song, the missing lyrics in the first chorus are:

We're a widow and a wife, we are.... etc


21 Jan 09 - 02:59 AM (#2544743)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: GUEST,Elfcall

Joan from Wigan

regarding the line "but of all you are wrong" - I have always heard it as "but most of all you are wrong".

Which makes slightly more sense.

Elfcall


21 Jan 09 - 04:36 PM (#2545424)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Helen Jocys

bove all, you are wrong.

HelenJocys.


21 Jan 09 - 06:30 PM (#2545491)
Subject: Lyr Add: Witchfinder General (Shave the Monkey)
From: Joan from Wigan

Many thanks for everyone's help with these lyrics. The Wikipedia article references several songs including the Shave the Monkey one, but with no lyric link for it. There are lyrics to a number of other witchfinder general songs on Google, but the only Google link to these particular lyrics is to this thread. So for the sake of completeness, here's the consensus lyrics:

WITCHFINDER GENERAL
(Carolyn Sheppard & Bryan Causton)

He will find you, he'll come searching, innocent or guilty yet
He will ask and you must answer, condemned to die by Pyewackett

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
We're a widow and a wife, we are Reid and West
We are Clarke and Mills and our souls cannot rest

Lizzie Clarke was just the start, many more hung by her side
For not bleeding when you pricked us with a knife that cut no hide

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
We are four hundred strong, we are dead by you
We are lost to the church, to the devil we are due

Torturing the weak and feeble, townsmen paying you in gold
Feeding fever in the fearful, murdering the poor and old

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
You're the witch finder general, you are bold and strong
You are rich and respected, most of all you are wrong

He will find you, he'll come searching, innocent or guilty yet
He will ask and you must answer, condemned to die by Pyewackett

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
We're a widow and a wife, we are Reid and West
We are Clarke and Mills and our souls cannot rest

Are you listening Matthew Hopkins, are you sleeping sound
Can you hear us scratching from our graves in the ground
You're the witch finder general, you are bold and strong
You are rich and respected, most of all you are wrong


21 Jan 09 - 07:31 PM (#2545555)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Suegorgeous

who or what is/was Pyewackett?


21 Jan 09 - 07:48 PM (#2545575)
Subject: Lyr Add: Witchfinder General (Paul Roland)
From: Joan from Wigan

Guest Dave, thanks for the pointer to Paul Roland, he has some interesting titles in his discography. Can't find his "Witchfinder General" song on youtube, but there is a soundclip of it at: http://bitmunk.com/media/6457846
He has a myspace site with other interesting tracks at: http://www.myspace.com/paulrolandmusic

WITCHFINDER GENERAL
(Paul Roland)

Where the plague has scourged no crops will grow,
Even ravens feed from the gallows pole,
A fallow land bled by civil war,
Where all are prey to the inquisitor.

He comes to carve to cure the beast,
With the burning zeal of a perverted priest,
His pageant like a funeral cortege,
Heralding a grim and new dark age.

From the churchyard to the village square,
Where the priest intones a mocking prayer,
Innocents are dragged screaming through the streets,
To teed the flames and Puritan conceit.


21 Jan 09 - 08:04 PM (#2545586)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Joan from Wigan

Suegorgeous, Pyewackett was the name of a "familiar" (probably a household pet) which Matthew Hopkins famously declared was "a name no mortal could invent". The possession of a "familiar" was one of the "proofs" that the accused was a witch.


01 Feb 09 - 12:50 AM (#2554189)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: GUEST

Hi, not sure if anyone mentioned but the band Cathedral has a song on their album 'The Carnival Bizarre'. The song is titled "Hopkins (The Witchfinder General)" Check out the lyrics here:

http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/cathedral/thecarnivalbizzare.html#2


01 Feb 09 - 10:29 AM (#2554450)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Joan from Wigan

Very imaginative lyrics, although none of Hopkins' victims ever "melted at the stake" - all were hanged.


23 Feb 09 - 10:32 AM (#2573748)
Subject: RE: Any songs on The Witchfinder General?
From: Sleepy Rosie

The Spriguns: Witchfinder

Witchfinder
(Mandy Morton)

"They're going to hang a witch"

Shall we build the scaffold high
To stretch their necks until they die?
Shall we build the fire up to send them straight to hell?
Oh it doesn't matter how they go
As long as we can make a show

Down through the mist comes the rider
The death bell tolls a warning to his prey
He'll see us all in hell the witchfinder
By torturing our life and souls away
And what kind of man is this the witchfinder
Who calls himself a holy man of the cloth?
His wretched form a constant reminder
Of all the night black hags that he's turned off

He'll seek out all our covens and destroy them
And cruelly send our sisters to their deaths
And rid our lands of powers that defy him
Until our dark lord has no servants left
And when he sees the marks of his destruction
He'll think that he rests easy in his bed
But we'll come in the night to instruct him
In the rules of the land of the living dead

(Magic Lady 1978)