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Lyr Add: Bartender's Song / Bartender's Polka

10 Jul 04 - 06:25 PM (#1223032)
Subject: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Uke

Came across these lyrics in an old songbook - looks like a rollicking drinking song of yesteryear. Have searched on Mudcat and elsewhere and can't locate any info on the melody - though I imagine it's well-known. Can anyone help with the tune or background? Cheers


The Bartender's Song

Oh! the bartender, the bartender,
He's a jolly good scout.
He'll serve you till your money's gone
And then he'll turn you out.

Ch- Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
    It's time we had one on the house.

Oh, the bartender, the bartender,
He's a man's best friend.
Until you want one on the house,
And that's where friendship ends.

Oh, the bartender, the bartender,
Always jolly and gay.
He'll listen to your tale of woe
As long as you can pay.

Oh, the bartneder, the bartender,
It's a crying shame,
The way he measures out your beer,
You'd think it was champagne.

Oh, the bartender, the bartender,
Sometimes he's alright.
For when the wife calls up he says,
"He ain't been here all night."


10 Jul 04 - 10:57 PM (#1223113)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Joe Offer

What songbook is it from, Uke? Does the book say anything else about it?
-Joe Offer-


10 Jul 04 - 11:03 PM (#1223117)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

SPEAK OR SQUEAK?

Are you ... a man or a mouse?

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Per-chance, is this related to the 1950's "MIGHTY MOUSE" cartoon?????


10 Jul 04 - 11:32 PM (#1223129)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: The Fooles Troupe

No Gargoyle, it isn't - I was a great fan of that cartoon....


11 Jul 04 - 03:03 AM (#1223172)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Uke

Don't think Mighty Mouse comes into the picture here - unless its some kind of parody, who knows, maybe?

Joe - The songbook is called "Tramper's Song Book", it was anonymously produced here in Wellington, New Zealand, probably in the 50s. Its got 67 sets of words in it - lots of the usuals: Clementine, Tavern in the Town, Web-footed Friends - but about half a dozen oddities like this Bartenders Song.

There's a few WW2 Army songs like Parachutist's Lament (Gory gory what a hellava way to die), so I think this guy was ex-Army.

Cheers
Mike


11 Jul 04 - 03:14 AM (#1223173)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Mike - I hope you'll post more of the oddities. I like this one.
-Joe Offer-


11 Jul 04 - 07:21 AM (#1223214)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Uke

Will do, Joe - but I'm kinda surprised no one knows the tune to this one - it's got the ring of classic drinking number.

If nothing turns up soon, I might start to make some local enquiries...

Mike


11 Jul 04 - 11:55 PM (#1223572)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Bob Bolton

G'day Uke,

I reckon you might have to push those local enquiries ... you Kiwis are good at running your own game - so there may be a lot of local input into the book!

(With any luck, 'Billy the Bus" will fire up the wherewithal to log in from Stewart Island and bring his mind to bear on those service-leaning songs.)

I will run this one past an old friend I'll see tonight, at my Monday Night Session, here in Sydney. He has a lifetime experience of bushwalking and work as a NP&WS Ranger around Sydney and New South Wales ... and is a multi-instrument musician ... so he may have heard this one. There is, of course, a lot of toing & froing between Aussie and KiwiLand - particularly in the keen walker category.

Regards,

Bob Bolton (2 hours west)


12 Jul 04 - 02:00 AM (#1223619)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Uke

Thanks Bob - Yes, I also think there's a shared Trans-Tasman love of the amber liquid, so this wee number might well have one foot in Aussie.

Regards
Mike


16 Jul 04 - 02:50 AM (#1226721)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Uke

Refresh


16 Jul 04 - 09:03 AM (#1226875)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Bob Bolton

G'day Uke,

My friend John, mentioned above, doesn't know this one from personal hearing ... but has set off to pore over a few collections published of the songs of Bushwalkers. I'll get back if he comes up with anuthing.

Regards,

Bob


16 Jul 04 - 09:33 PM (#1227393)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Uke

Thanks Bob - Haven't had any luck myself either with local songsters, but will keep at it...

Cheers
Mike


18 Aug 10 - 10:06 PM (#2968314)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Is he a man? Is he a mouse?
From: Jim Dixon

The song is BARTENDER'S POLKA and it was written by Walt Solek. It was recorded by Big Lou on the album "Big Lou's Polka Casserole" (2001). I heard a sample at Allmusic.com that went like this:

Bartender, bartender, he's a jolly scout,
Takes your money, gets you drunk, then he throws you out.
Is he a man? (Is he a man?)
Is he a mouse? (Is he a mouse?)
It's time we had (It's time we had)
One on the house. (One on the house.)
Is he a man? (Is he a man?)
Is he a mouse? (Is he a mouse?)
It's time we had (It's time we had)
One on the house. (One on the house.)

[Hank Thompson also recorded something called BARTENDER'S POLKA, but I don't think it's the same song.]


01 Apr 13 - 09:07 PM (#3497644)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bartender's Song / Bartender's Polka
From: Uke

Checking out this thread nine years later and pleased to see that someone solved the mystery!

Thanks Jim.


06 Apr 13 - 05:16 PM (#3499747)
Subject: Lyr Add: BARTENDER'S POLKA (Walt Solek)
From: Jim Dixon

That was 2+ years ago. Now I have Spotify, which I think I didn't have then, so I can do better. I can listen to the whole song and transcribe it.


BARTENDER'S POLKA
As sung by Walt Solek & His Orchestra on "Beer Barrel Polka: Drinking Songs for Octoberfest"

1. Oh, the bartender, the bartender, he's a jolly scout.
He'll take your money, get you drunk, and then he'll throw you out.

CHORUS 1: Is he a man? (Is he a man?)
Is he a mouse? (Is he a mouse?)
It's time we had (It's time we had)
One on the house. (One on the house.)
Is he a man? (Is he a man?)
Is he a mouse? (Is he a mouse?)
It's time we had (It's time we had)
One on the house. (One on the house.)

2. The bartender, the bartender, he and I are friends.
When I ask him for a drink, that's where friendship ends.

CHORUS 2: Is he a man? (Is he a man?)
Is he a mouse? (Is he a mouse?)
It's time we had (It's time we had)
Two on the house. (Two on the house.)
Is he a man? (Is he a man?)
Is he a mouse? (Is he a mouse?)
It's time we had (It's time we had)
Three on the house. (Three on the house.)

3. The bartender, the bartender, now his name is Jack.
I spend my money in his place; he never buys one back.

CHORUS 3: Is he a man? (Is he a man?)
Is he a mouse? (Is he a mouse?)
It's time we had (It's time we had)
Four on the house. (Four on the house.)
Is he a man? (Is he a man?)
Is he a mouse? (Is he a mouse?)
It's time we had (It's time we had)
Five on the house. (Five on the house.)


07 Apr 13 - 03:56 AM (#3499931)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bartender's Song / Bartender's Polka
From: Uke

Thanks for transcribing the full lyrics, Jim,

Interesting to see the variations in the lyrics between the version in the 1950s NZ song book & and the Walt 'The Clown Prince of Polka' Solek (1910-2005) version.

Wonder if this is one of those songs which gathered in a few new verses as it spread...


31 Mar 17 - 10:17 AM (#3847808)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bartender's Song / Bartender's Polka
From: GUEST

You can hear this song by googling BARTENDER POLKA JIMMY BISHOP. It is a 45 rpm record playing. Don't know the band though. Does anybody know?


06 Jul 18 - 06:52 PM (#3935833)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bartender's Song / Bartender's Polka
From: GUEST

Bartender, bartender, he's a jolly jack. You'll buy & buy, and buy & buy. He'll never buy one back. Is he a man. Is he a mouse. I think I'll have one on the house!