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Lyr Add: Crooked Jack (Dominic Behan)

22 Apr 05 - 06:05 AM (#1467778)
Subject: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack by Dominic Behan
From: Jim McLean

CROOKED JACK:        Dominic Behan, 1965, Coda Music Ltd.

(Notes by Dominic: Eamonn Smullen, a good Republican Socialist, worked on the Hydro' Electric scheme in Inverary, Scotland. He described conditions under which the men worked as appalling.)

Come Irishmen both young and stern
With adventure in your soul,
There are other ways to spend your days
Than working down a hole,

CHORUS:
I was tall and true, all of six foot two
Till they broke me across the back,
By a name I'm known that's not my own
For they call me Crooked Jack.

The ganger's blue eyed pet I was,
Big Jack could do no wrong,
And the reason simply was because
I could work hard hours and long.
CHORUS:

I saw men old before their time,
Their faces drawn and grey,
I never thought so soon would mine,
Be lined the selfsame way.
CHORUS:

I cursed the day I went away,
To work on the hydro' dams,
Our sweat and tears, our hopes and fears,
Bound up in shuttering jamms.
CHORUS:

They'll say that honest toil is good
For the spirit and the soul,
But believe me boys it's for sweat and blood,
That they want you down that hole,
CHORUS


22 Apr 05 - 11:51 AM (#1468045)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack by Dominic Behan
From: belfast

To the tune, if I remember rightly, of "Are You There, Moriarty".


22 Apr 05 - 12:04 PM (#1468057)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack by Dominic Behan
From: RobbieWilson

I know the tune as Star of the County Down, only much slower


22 Apr 05 - 12:24 PM (#1468081)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack by Dominic Behan
From: MartinRyan

Star of the County Down, alright. Moriarty is yet another take on the same tune.

Regards


22 Apr 05 - 12:33 PM (#1468092)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack by Dominic Behan
From: Jim McLean

Yes, it's a slight variant of Star of the County Down, I reproduced the spelling from Dom's book but the correct spelling is 'jambs' not 'jamms'.


22 Apr 05 - 02:28 PM (#1468170)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack by Dominic Behan
From: belfast

So I've spent about an hour looking for my copy of Ireland Sings. You would think I have no life. It's too early to go to the pub.

I finally found it. Price 10/6. Them were the days. Anyway,as far as I'm concerned the music given there is basically Are You There etc. But of course Star of the County Down would work as well.

The name of the writer is given as Wolfe Stephens, presumably a pseudonym of Dominic's. Another presumed pseudonym is Fintan Connolly.
Does anyone have any idea why he needed these pseudonyms? Was he trying to hide what a prolific songwriter he was?


22 Apr 05 - 06:06 PM (#1468382)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack by Dominic Behan
From: Jim McLean

Dominic had (has) two sons, Stephan and Fintan. He was a great admirer of Wolfe Tone and James Connolly and the juxtaposition of the names was a bit of a game.


23 Apr 05 - 08:28 AM (#1468747)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack by Dominic Behan
From: belfast

Thank you. Another of life's little mysteries solved.


23 Apr 05 - 09:29 AM (#1468772)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack-Behan ** DT amend?**
From: Jeri

Crooked Jack in the DT, but there's no author attribution/copyright. Perhaps that as well as Jim's notes could be added?


11 May 19 - 01:37 PM (#3991834)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack (Dominic Behan)
From: GUEST

Think it should be ‘shuttering jambs’, like the jamb of a door.


11 May 19 - 02:33 PM (#3991837)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack (Dominic Behan)
From: meself

(As Jim mentioned, above).


12 May 19 - 04:05 AM (#3991885)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack (Dominic Behan)
From: Daniel Kelly

Not 'Shuddering' jambs? Being the bracing in the dam wall.


14 May 19 - 04:01 AM (#3992276)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack (Dominic Behan)
From: Jim McLean

The building/technical term for this type of device is called 'shuttering'.


14 May 19 - 08:17 AM (#3992313)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack (Dominic Behan)
From: Daniel Kelly

Thanks Jim,

I'll sing it properly and know what I'm singing about now!

Looks like this was discussed back in 2005.

Cheers,

Daniel,


14 May 19 - 11:06 AM (#3992320)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack (Dominic Behan)
From: Tattie Bogle

The tune, or variants of it, is a lot (100s of years!) older, and has been used for a good few other songs and hymns:
Dives and Lazarus
Van Diemen's Land (Come all ye gallant poachers)
Star of the County Down (as mentioned above)
Kingsfold
My Love Nell
Led By the Spirit
The Seven Rejoices of Mary (Loreena McKennitt)


15 May 19 - 04:18 AM (#3992469)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack (Dominic Behan)
From: Jim McLean

I spoke on tune families at Edinburgh Uni and took the roots of this tune right as far back as a French monks' chant.
Gilderoy, various spellings, is another branch of the family.


15 May 19 - 03:59 PM (#3992551)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack (Dominic Behan)
From: Tattie Bogle

Ah yes, Jim: there is an old score of Gilderoy on display in the John Muir museum in Dunbar!


15 May 19 - 04:51 PM (#3992561)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Crooked Jack (Dominic Behan)
From: GUEST

Bodega did a fine version of this on their first album.

Still sad that the band went their separate ways.