Song Lyric Sunday: ‘Tis Truly Scrumptious

Jim Adams is the host for Song Lyric Sunday. This week’s theme is Country Music.

Welcome to the world of Country Music, but not as you know it. Forget Stetsons and slide guitar because today we are embracing Scrumpy and Western.

This is a style of music from the West Country of England, which is my neck of the woods, and I was raised on it. Rousing choruses of Blackbird were often heard emanating from our house.

And when I got to the (legal) age of buying alcohol, Drink up Thy Cider became my new anthem.

Cider (or scrumpy, as it is fondly known) is not a gentle apple drink in the UK, but a weapon of mass destruction that renders most humans immobile. I haven’t touched a drop in over twenty years: I value a functioning liver.

But here’s a rural treat with Adge Cutler and his Wurzels singing a naughty little number about going there twice daily.

Live from the Royal Oak, Nailsea on 2nd November 1966.

When I were a lad I were so glad to go out in the daytime
With me fork and a bottle and a cork to help out in the hay time
While tossin’ hay upon the mound met young Lucy Bailey
And I said my dear, are you often here, she said, yes sir, twice daily

We had such fun in the summer sun, Lucy were so thrillin’
Sweet and pure but I weren’t sure that young maid were willin’
Till one day among the hay we was working gaily
She up’s and slips and zummut rips and I went there twice daily

(Oh Ah Oh I did too)

She said dear I do feel queer think I outa tell ee
Tant new bread she sadly said that swelling up me belly
Told her go to Doctor Joe off she went so gaily
He gave a dollop of a gurt thick jollop and said take this twice daily

(Orrible stuff twere )

Now Lucy’s dad were very mad, chased I ’round the hay mound
Said my son you’ve had your fun, the time has come to pay now
My girl you’ll wed, the old man said as he waved his shotgun gaily
If you don’t, he says, I’ll put some lead and you won’t go there twice daily

(Ow painful that)

Well the very next day in the month of May held the ceremony
Paid off the vicar with a gallon of liquor, rode to church on a pony
And the village folks from miles around waved and shouted gaily
There’s no doubt you’ll get found out if you goes there twice daily

(They were right too (I did)

Now to Lucy’s joy she had a boy, what a little darlin’
Round and fat as a Cheshire cat, perky as a starlin’
Skin were smooth as a cider jar and they called him Buster Bailey
Fed him on swedes and charlock weeds and a pint of scrump twice daily

(Fat little bleeder too)

Now weem old, our story’s told, forty years together
And we often stray where we tossed the hay in that old time summer weather
Kids we’ve got full ten or more, we goes on quite gaily
Tho’ I’m old and grey when I’ve gets me way I still go there twice daily

Songwriter: Adge Cutler
© EMI Records

Discover Prompts: Music

The Rhythm of Life: Part 1

None of my immediate family is particularly musical. Not one of us plays an instrument with any skill or possesses a singing voice of virtuosic beauty, but I was raised with music.

My father was in charge of bath time. And I must have been the only kid in the street who didn’t run and hide when she heard the water running. He would fill the tub to almost overflowing, and I would dive in like a baby seal released from SeaWorld. A gallon of bubble bath followed, and I would thrash about until the foam crept up the walls and spilt out of the bathroom window.

But the best part came when Dad played nursery rhymes on his harmonica, badly, and I would sing along, just as badly. Our aquatic concert always ended, with him singing You are my Sunshine to me, and I would serenade him with Where be that Blackbird to. Well, I am from the West Country.

With this background, is it any wonder that my favourite LP was my brother’s old copy of The Muppet Show album? I played it to death until my eldest brother sold it to Dicky Dikes, who ran a second-hand shop. However, my ire was nothing compared to my father’s wrath when he discovered his Frank Sinatra records were also missing.

My mother had a narrow escape because Dicky wasn’t in the market for movie soundtracks. Her collection stayed intact for us both to enjoy. When a musical film appeared on television, Mum and I hogged the telly and wouldn’t move until the final credits rolled. Dad would sigh and pretend to read his newspaper, but would soon become wrapped up in the plot.

Only my brothers would disappear, sneaking off to their bedroom to play their rock and punk albums. The ones bought with the proceeds from their dealings with Dicky Dikes.