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Lyr Req: The Old Armchair

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Granny's Old Armchair (from Frank Crumit) (25)
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Irish tune about grandmother's chair (answered)^^^ (5) (closed)


Andy Leader leaders@i-100.net 26 Oct 98 - 04:03 PM
bigJ 26 Oct 98 - 05:39 PM
Liam's Brother 26 Oct 98 - 10:14 PM
Art Thieme 26 Oct 98 - 10:23 PM
Joe Offer 27 Oct 98 - 02:26 AM
Joe Offer 27 Oct 98 - 02:56 AM
Andy Leader 28 Oct 98 - 02:17 PM
Joe Offer 27 Sep 01 - 04:15 PM
IanC 28 Sep 01 - 07:21 AM
GUEST 11 Apr 08 - 02:53 AM
mayomick 11 Apr 08 - 11:35 AM
GUEST 12 Jun 08 - 06:12 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jun 08 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Bill the sound 12 Jun 08 - 09:11 PM
Gene 13 Jun 08 - 10:24 AM
Jim Dixon 17 Jun 08 - 12:24 AM
Jim Dixon 17 Jun 08 - 08:28 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Jun 08 - 01:01 AM
GUEST 23 Jul 09 - 01:18 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Jul 09 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,John Muir 24 Apr 10 - 08:36 AM
GUEST 07 Sep 11 - 06:37 PM
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Subject: The Old Armchair
From: Andy Leader leaders@i-100.net
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 04:03 PM

I'm looking for the lyrics to an old time country song, probably based on an older folk ballad, which has a chorus ending with "Granny only left to you her old armchair." (The chair, which at first seems a poor gift, later is well used and, finally, collapses to reveal it is stuffed with money.) The song was recorded by Harry and Jeannie West around 1960. The tune is similar to "Grandfather's Clock". A reply would be greatly appreciated. Andy Leader, Worcester, Vermont 05682

Alternate lyrics here
most importantly here
Old Brown Pants parody here


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Subject: Lyr Add: GRANNY'S OLD ARM CHAIR^^^
From: bigJ
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 05:39 PM

GRANNY'S OLD ARM CHAIR

Now, my grandmother she,
At the age of 93,
One day in May was taken sick and died;
And after she was dead,
The will, of course, was read
By a lawyer as we all stood by his side.
To my brother it was found,
She had left a hundred pounds,
The same unto my sister I declare,
But when it came to me,
The lawyer said, 'I see,
She's left to you the old arm chair'.

CHORUS: How they tittered, how they chaffed,
How my brother and my sister laughed,
When they heard the lawyer declare,
'Granny's gone and left to you the old arm chair.'

Well, I thought it wasn't fair,
But I said I didn't care,
And in the evening took the chair away.
My sister laughed
And my brother he chaffed,
Saying, 'It will come in useful, John, some day.
When you settle down in life,
Take unto yourself a wife,
The chair will come in handy, I declare.
On a cold and windy night,
When the fire's burning bright,
You can snuggle in your old arm chair.'

What my brother said was true,
For in a year or two,
Sure enough I settled down to married life.
I first a lass did court,
Then the ring I bought
And I took her to the church to be my wife.
My wife and me
We were as happy as could be,
And in the evening when my work was done,
I never abroad would roam;
I'd prefer to stay at home,
Sitting in my old arm chair.

Now one night the chair fell down.
When I picked it up, I found,
The seat had fallen out upon the floor,
And there to my surprise,
Lying right before my eyes –
A bunch of notes - five hundred pounds or more.
When my brother heard of this,
The fellow I confess,
Went nearly mad with rage and tore his hair,
But I only looked at him,
And said unto him, 'Jim,
Don't you wish you had the old arm chair'.

I thought that this might have been a Frank Crumit song, but with the mention of 'pounds', it seems too English. Any offers, Joe?^^^


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Subject: RE: The Old Armchair
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 10:14 PM

Funny that your name is Leader, Andy. This was recorded, to the best of my memory, on a Leader or Trailer LP by Bob Davenport.

All the best.


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Subject: RE: The Old Armchair
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 10:23 PM

GALE HUNTINGTON had this song on an LP (10 inch).Sandy & Caroline Paton's is the only place I ever saw/heard it.

Art



(click)


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Subject: RE: The Old Armchair
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 02:26 AM

There's a songbook I'd love to have called "just a song at Twilight." The song index at the U of Tennessee Knoxville says it has a song by Eliza Cooke & Henry Russell called, "The Old Arm Chair." I have that in another book, and it's not the one we're looking for here. However, that "Justa a Song at Twilight" has another song by J. Reed called "Grandmother's Chair" and I'm guessing that might be the one. Is there anybody who can tell us?
-Joe Offer, off to the Levy Sheet Music site-


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Subject: RE: The Old Armchair
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 02:56 AM

I shoulda known. It's at the Levy Sheet Music Site. Search under chair and you will find 67 entries. Most of the entries are various of "the Old Arm Chair," by Eliza Cooke and Henry Russell. Two are this song, although one, Grandmother's Chair, claims to have been written, composed, and sung by John Read in 1880 (As Sung With Great Applause By Tony Pastor). The other, Grandma's Old Arm Chair (Known as Granny's Old Arm Chair) is purported to have been Composed and Sung by Frank B. Carr, America's Motto Vocalist, also in 1880.
Hmmmm. The plot thickens. Something sinister here....
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Old Armchair
From: Andy Leader
Date: 28 Oct 98 - 02:17 PM

Thank you so much for the information. I've now got the lyrics. I plan to sing The Old Armchair at a retirement party for a probate judge (Lois White, an accordianist and contra dance enthusiast) in St. Johnsbury, Vermont a week from Friday. Andy


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Subject: RE: The Old Armchair
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 04:15 PM

Somebody posted a fascinating parody called Old Brown Pants.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr Add: GRANDMOTHER'S CHAIR (John Read))
From: IanC
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 07:21 AM

Following on from Joe's earlier post (27-Oct-98 - 02:56 AM), the Levy entries are - in fact - both correct!!! I checked these, and the Bodleian broadsides as well as the British Library catalogue.

Here's the gen.

Bodleian is not helpful. The two entries in song collections were both published during periods spanning 1880.

The John Read copy in Levy credits words & music to John Read. This is confirmed by an earlier copy catalogued in the British Library as follows.

Title: Grandmother's Chair. Ballad. (Written and composed by J. Read.)
Composer: Read. Composer of comic songs. John
Publication details: London. C. Sheard. [1879]
Notes: No. 5958, 9 of the Musical Bouquet

Later copies of the sheet music catalogued in The British Library also credit Read.

Careful inspection of the Levy copies reveals that Frank B. Carr's credit as composer is also correct as the tunes are different.

Though I'm not sure that either are the tune we use today, the Carr version looks more similar. I'm not so hot with written music, so perhaps someone more talented could look at both versions and give us an opinion.

Search on CHAIR and READ then on CHAIR and CARR to get the two versions.

Here's the text from 19th Century American Popular Music (probably transcribed from the text in Levy).

"Grandmother's Chair" (1880)
As Sung with great applause by Tony Pastor.
Written, Composed and sung by John Read.
Arranged by Dr. W. J. Wetmore.

My grandmother she at the age of eighty-three
One day in May was taken ill and died;
And after she was dead, the will of course was read,
By a lawyer as we all stood by his side;
To my brother it was found, she had left a hundred pounds,
The same unto my sister I declare,
But when it came to me, the lawyer said, "I see,
She has left to you her Old arm chair."

CHORUS
And how they titter'd! how they chaff'd!
How my brother and sister laugh'd,
When they heard the lawyer declare,
Granny had only left to me her Old arm chair.

I tho't it hardly fair, still I said I did not care,
And in the ev'ning took the chair away;
The neighbors they me chaff'd my brother at me laugh'd
And said "It will be useful John some day;
When you settle down in life, find some girl to be your wife,
You'll find it very handy I declare,
On a cold and frosty night, when the fire is burning bright,
You can then sit in your old arm chair."

What my brother said was true, for in a year or two,
Strange to say I settl'd down in married life;
I first a girl did court, and then the ring I bought,
Took her to church and when she was my wife;
The old girl and me, were as happy as could be,
For when my work was over I declare,
I ne'er abroad would roam, but each night would stay home,
And be seated in my old arm chair.

One night the chair fell down, when I pick'd it up I found,
The seat had fallen out up[-]on the floor;
And there to my surprise I saw before my eyes,
A lot of notes, two thousand pounds or more;
When my brother heard of this, the fellow I confess,
Went nearly mad with rage, and tore his hair,
But I only laugh'd at him, then said unto him
"Jem, Don't you wish you had the old arm chair?"

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Armchair
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 02:53 AM

burl ives did this


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Armchair
From: mayomick
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 11:35 AM

I find these sort of songs interesting in a detestable sort of way. There are a bunch of them : popular sentimental stories ,with an infuriatingly Victorian sense of morality , set to shmaltzy music . Could they all have been written by the same smug person I wonder.
Others I can think of are Scarlet Ribbons , My Grandfathers Clock and Two little Boys .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Armchair
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 06:12 PM

I heard that song fairly often on the radio fifty years ago or more when I was a child growing up in Ireland and always thought it was an Irish song
Jim Sullivan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Armchair
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 06:30 PM

Grandfather's Clock is Henry Clay Work, therefore American. Some say he wrote it while visiting Yorkshire, but this is a piece of local folklore.
MayoMick, these songs are certainly of their time, BUT Granny's Old Armchair has long been popular in English Folk Clubs. The late great Fred Jordan sang it regularly, and one of our Yorkshire source singers, Roger Hinchliffe, sings it. I have been known to warble it myself. Fred also sang Grandfather's Clock. One man's meat!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Armchair
From: GUEST,Bill the sound
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 09:11 PM

I like this song too--Could someone please add the chords?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Armchair
From: Gene
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 10:24 AM

also here...

http://maxhunter.missouristate.edu/songinformation.aspx?ID=1288
http://maxhunter.missouristate.edu/songinformation.aspx?ID=0233


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Subject: Lyr Add: GRANDMA'S OLD ARM CHAIR (Frank B. Carr)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 12:24 AM

Here's my transcription of the sheet music at The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music:

GRANDMA'S OLD ARM CHAIR
(KNOWN AS GRANNY'S OLD ARM CHAIR)
"Composed and sung by Frank B. Carr, America's Motto Vocalist"
Boston: White, Smith & Company, 1880.

    1. My granny, do you see,
    At the age of eighty-three,
One day was taken ill and soon she died;
    And after she was dead,
    The will to us was read
By a lawyer as we stood side by side.
    To my brother then I found,
    She had left a hundred pounds,
And the same unto my sister, I declare;
    But when he came to me,
    "Ah", the lawyer says, "I see,
She's but left to you her old arm chair."

CHORUS: How they tittered! How they chaffed!
How my brothers and my sisters laughed
When they heard the lawyer declare:
Granny only left to me her old arm chair!

    2. Now I thought it hardly fair,
    Yet I said I did not care,
And in the evening took the chair away.
    The neighbors at me laughed,
    And my brother at me chaffed,
And he said, "It will come handy, John, some day.
    When you're settled down in life,
    Take some young girl for your wife,
And then you will be happy, I declare;
    And when at home at night,
    And your fire is burning bright,
You can sit down in your old arm chair."

    3. What my brother said came true,
    For in about a year or two,
I soon was settled down in married life.
    I first a girl did court,
    And then the ring I bought,
Took her to church, and soon she was my wife.
    Now, the old girl and me,
    We're as happy as can be,
And when my work is over, I declare,
    Abroad I never roam,
    And at night I stay at home,
And sit down in my old arm chair.

    4. Now, one night the chair I found
    Had fallen to the ground,
And the bottom had dropped out upon the floor;
    And there to my surprise,
    And right before my eyes,
Laid some bank-notes of ten thousand pounds or more.
    When my brother heard of this,
    Now the fellow, I confess,
And mad with rage, he almost tore his hair
    When I said, "Now, brother Jim,
    Don't you think it is a sin
That you didn't get the old arm chair?"


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD ARM CHAIR (E Cook, H Russell)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 08:28 AM

Do you suppose the funny song was meant as a parody of this sentimental one? This song was immensely popular, judging from the fact that the Levy collection has 17 copies of various editions and various publishers, two of them marked "twentythird edition." Some editions omit the second verse.

THE OLD ARM CHAIR.
Words, Eliza Cook. Music, Henry Russell. 1840.

1. I love it, I love it, and who shall dare
To chide me for loving that old arm chair?
I've treasured it long as a holy prize.
I've bedew'd it with tears, and embalm'd it with sighs.
'Tis bound by a thousand bands to my heart.
Not a tie will break, not a link will start.
Would ye learn the spell? A mother sat there,
And a sacred thing is that old arm chair.

2. In childhood's home, I linger'd near
The hallow'd seat with list'ning ear;
And gentle words that mother would give,
To fit me to die, and teach me to live.
She told me shame would never betide,
With truth for my creed, and God for my guide;
She taught me to lisp my earliest prayer,
As I knelt beside that old arm chair.

3. I sat and watch'd her many a day
When her eyes grew dim, and her locks were grey;
And I almost worshipp'd her when she smil'd
And turn'd from her Bible to bless her child.
Years roll'd on, but the last one sped—
My idol was shatter'd, my earth-star fled;
I learn'd how much the heart can bear,
When I saw her die in that old arm chair.

4. 'Tis past! 'tis past! but I gaze on it now
With quivering breath and throbbing brow:
'Twas there she nurs'd me, 'twas there she died,
And mem'ry flows with lava tide.
Say it is folly, and deem me weak,
While the scalding drops start down my cheek;
But I love it, I love it, and cannot tear
My soul from a mother's old arm chair.

recording here (click)


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Subject: Lyr Add: ANSWER TO THE 'OLD ARM CHAIR'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Jun 08 - 01:01 AM

Here's yet another song about an old armchair. The sheet music may be found at the Levy Collection or at the Library of Congress.

These lyrics are copied from Public Domain Music, which also has a midi file. You can play it by clicking on the composer's name ("T. H. Bissell") on this page.


[Cover page:] ANSWER TO THE 'OLD ARM CHAIR'
[Title page:] A REPLY TO THE OLD ARM-CHAIR
Words, John H. Warland, Esq.; Music, T. H. Bissell.
Boston: Keith's Music Publishing House, 1844

1. Oh sacred thro' life be that relic to thee,
The old oaken chair with its memories dear,
It hath seen the leaves of the ancestral tree,
One by one from its boughs fall stricken and sear;
Oh shelter it kindly in the household nook,
In her vigils of love a mother sat there,
And it hath ever a dear familiar look,
Like the face of a friend, bless that old arm-chair.
Bless that old arm-chair, bless that old arm-chair.

2. She is gone, she is gone, but it stands there yet,
They have taken it not from the old fireside,
Undisturb'd be it still, in the same nook set,
Let it stand where it stood when thy mother died,
Oh she lov'd it, she lov'd it, that old heirloom,
And tho' smileth no longer her sweet face there,
The spirit of the lov'd and the lost shall come,
Ever to bless thee and guard the old arm-chair,
To bless thee and guard the old arm-chair.

3. When the family sit at their daily meal,
In its place is each chair but that vacant one,
Yet holy around them her presence they feel,
And they seem still to hear her famil iar tone;
See the little ones turn from the sacred Book,
As speaketh the father her name in his pray'r,
To her favorite seat for their mother's look,
They shall see her no more in the old arm-chair,
They shall see her no more in the old arm-chair.

4. Oh sacred thro' life be that relic to thee,
Thy mother's arm-chair with its memories dear,
For get not the day when thou sats't on her knee,
And so sweetly she smiled ere sorrow was near;
It was there, it was there she repos'd her head,
When she breath'd for her lov'd ones her dying pray'r,
Then deem, though her form in the cold earth be laid,
That her spirit still guardeth the old arm-chair,
That her spirit still guardeth the old arm-chair.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Armchair
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jul 09 - 01:18 PM

Where can I buy a CD of The Old Armchair?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Armchair
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Jul 09 - 04:48 PM

Guest: go to Allmusic.com and search for "old arm chair", you'll find 6 recordings called OLD ARM CHAIR and 7 more called GRANNY'S OLD ARMCHAIR. Try playing sound samples until you decide which version you like best, then order it from Camsco Music, amazon.mudcat.org or amazonUK.mudcat.org. Either way, Mudcat gets a cut.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Armchair
From: GUEST,John Muir
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 08:36 AM

If anyone is looking for a recording of this, the late British jazz singer George Melly recorded it and it's on his CD 'Goodtime George'. You can get it through Amazon. I've been searching for it for ages and just came across this recording.

As a kid in England in the 1950s I used to hear it on the radio. Good fun.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Old Armchair
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 11 - 06:37 PM

O my grandmother she, at the age of 83
One day took very ill and then she died.
And when she was dead the will of course was read,
by a lawyer as we all stood by his side.
To my brother it was found she had left a hundred pounds
the same onto my sister I declare
But when it came to me, the lawyer said I see
she has left to you her old armchair.


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