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Entries Related To: humour

Bungle Rye

 Anthony Power

Bungle Rye / Anthony Power

Bungle Rye, song (As I went a-walking a fair London Street …) This early 19th-century broadside ballad is a warning about the dangers of female wiles. The protagonist is tricked into paying 20 shillings for a basket that he thinks contains a bottle of liquor. Instead it contains a baby, whom he christens John Bungle Rye.  In many versions of this song, the phrase “Bung yer eye” appears instead of “Bungle Rye.” Indeed, Kenneth Peacock includes this song in Songs of the Newfoundland Outports 3, under the title “Young Bung-’er’eye,” noting that “bung-yer-eye” is an old sailing term for strong rum or hard liquor (1965:895–6).

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Cock-a-doodle-doo

Frankie Nash

Cock-a-doodle-doo / Frankie Nash

Cock-a-doodle-doo, song (One morning after breakfast taking a bit of the walk …) This comic song about a rooster is full of sexual innuendo. It tells the story of a man who buys a cock while out for a walk, and the variety of encounters that ensue.

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Lobster salad (Paddy Kelly's dream), recitation

John Joe English

Lobster salad (Paddy Kelly's dream), recitation / John Joe English

Lobster salad (Paddy Kelly's dream), recitation (Last Saturday night I was invited …) This comic recitation describes the queue to get into heaven. Each new arrival is assessed by Saint Peter and is rejected from heaven for a variety of reasons. The last person to approach Saint Peter, Paddy from Ireland, plays a trick on St Peter in order to get into heaven.  John Joe English was known throughout the Cape Shore for his skills in drama and in performing dialogues. This performance of “Lobster Salad” demonstrates the flexibility of his voice and his capacity to enact different characters.

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Me and me chum Johnny Riley

Frankie Nash

Me and me chum Johnny Riley / Frankie Nash

Me and me chum Johnny Riley, song  (One day as we went out for a walk …) Written by Newfoundland songwriter Johnny Burke (“The Bard of Prescott Street”), this song tells the story of two friends who share everything. While songs about a character named Reilly/Riley are popular in Ireland, England, and throughout North America, this song originates in Newfoundland (Partyka in Narváez 2006:11).

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Paddy in New York

John Joe English

Paddy in New York / John Joe English

Paddy in New York, song (Of an elderly man I'm going to tell you …) This comic song tells the story of an Irishman who goes to live in New York. Outraged when a barman overcharges for whiskey, he starts a fight, kills the barman, and is supported by other Irishmen in New York.

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The broken-hearted milkman

Tom Murphy

The broken-hearted milkman / Tom Murphy

The broken-hearted milkman, song (I’m a hard-working milkman in grief I’m arrayed …) Originally published as “Polly Perkins of Paddington Green” during the mid-19th century, this song was composed by Harry Clifton (1832–1872), a London-based music-hall songwriter. The version sung by Tom Murphy replaces the references to the London locality with references to Ireland.

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The days of the week

Stan McGrath

The days of the week / Stan McGrath

The days of the week, song (On Monday morning as I roved out …) Also known as “A week’s matrimony” or “The woeful marriage,” this comic broadside ballad tells the story of a whirlwind courtship and marriage that ends in violence and mental instability.  Stan McGrath learned this song while working away from the Cape Shore in the lumberwoods.

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The scolding wife

Caroline Brennan

The scolding wife / Caroline Brennan

The scolding wife, song (I got married to a scolding wife about twenty years ago …) This broadside ballad is well known on both sides of the Atlantic (Guigné 2016:326). Though typically received as a comic song, it treats of a difficult theme: an abusive wife and the misery she brings on her husband.

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Transcript of '[Cock-a-doodle-doo]' as sung by Frankie Nash / Aidan O'Hara

Cock-a-doodle-doo, song (One morning after breakfast taking a bit of the walk …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.

Transcript of '[The scolding wife]' as sung by Caroline Brennan / Aidan O'Hara

The scolding wife, song (I got married to a scolding wife about twenty years ago …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.

Transcript of 'John bungle rye' as sung by Anthony Power / Aidan O'Hara

John bungle rye, song (As I went awalking out fair London Street …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.

Transcript of 'Paddy Kelly's dream' [Lobster salad] as recited by John Joe English / Aidan O'Hara

A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.