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Abby Sale Dick Darby the Cobbler: songs with same tune (26) RE: Dick Darby the Cobbler: songs with same tune 28 Aug 14


A little glossing fer yiz. (This may be in related thread.) I did some work on it though.

I've had "Haben Aboo and a Banner" on Argo's Wee Thread o' Blue" for years and once heard him sing it. The above is about as close as you'd get by ear alone but... and with good help from Murray Shoolbraid

2.        O ma granny she fartit a fytin, will I hae a feast or a fish,
        O ma sister's came doon the stair draytthin, may the deil set a cork up her erse.

fartit a fytin = farted a whiting
draytthin; Drite = shit

3. Fan I was a cobbler in London
An' lived in the Royal Exchange
O I shaved my wifie's commission
Tae mak birse to ma rosity ends.

Murray gives : "I shave my wife's commission to make bristles for my rosened threads. 'Commission' has to be a nonce-word for "pubic hair"

That made good sense to me in 2005 until an hour ago. I'm reading "Musa Pedestris" Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes, [1536-1896] by John S Farmer; 1896. (But I just found it a Project Gutenberg as well.) On page 7 it defines commission as 'shirt'. I suppose it's the same word as 'camisole'. I never woulda thought of that. Farmer's 1896 research is excellent and I accept it.

I've already found several other phrases from currently sung songs that go back to early 17th c. English beggers' cant.

BTW, Per James Dick in "Burns," Old Hewson the Cobbler was a real person and was actually knighted c.1650.


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