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Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore

GUEST,sledge@ka2qhd.de.com 29 Mar 01 - 10:10 PM
Bert 29 Mar 01 - 10:17 PM
Joan from Wigan 29 Mar 01 - 11:57 PM
Ship'scat 30 Mar 01 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,micca at work. 30 Mar 01 - 05:34 AM
Mr Red 30 Mar 01 - 07:10 AM
MARINER 30 Mar 01 - 04:50 PM
Joan from Wigan 31 Mar 01 - 03:08 AM
Inukshuk 26 Mar 05 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 26 Mar 05 - 08:51 PM
Inukshuk 26 Mar 05 - 08:59 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 26 Mar 05 - 09:24 PM
HiHo_Silver 27 Mar 05 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Toenails john 28 Mar 05 - 09:34 AM
Snuffy 29 Mar 05 - 04:13 PM
John M. 28 Apr 05 - 11:01 AM
Rapparee 28 Apr 05 - 11:18 AM
paddymac 28 Apr 05 - 09:43 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 06 - 09:45 AM
Joe Offer 10 Aug 06 - 02:24 PM
John M. 10 Aug 06 - 02:42 PM
Jim McLean 10 Aug 06 - 05:51 PM
Snuffy 10 Aug 06 - 07:50 PM
Jim Dixon 04 May 10 - 08:45 PM
Lighter 04 May 10 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 05 May 10 - 12:10 PM
Jim Dixon 07 May 10 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,pokipsy 03 Sep 10 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,Colin Borsay 15 Dec 10 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,dblock 08 Sep 11 - 01:32 AM
GUEST,dblock 08 Sep 11 - 01:35 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 13 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,Angelica Devilyn 05 Dec 15 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,John Dickerson 22 Sep 16 - 07:36 PM
GUEST 01 Aug 17 - 07:46 PM
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Subject: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: GUEST,sledge@ka2qhd.de.com
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 10:10 PM

Anyone know the words and meoldy to "The Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore?" I found a reference to a 78 by Frank Foeba named "The Old Red Flannel Dawers' but I'm not sure if it is the same song.

Any help finding it is greatly appreciated.

sledge


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: Bert
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 10:17 PM

The Old Red Flannel Drawers Grandma Wore,
Oh, the Old Red Flannel Drawers Grandma Wore,
They were baggy at the knees and were full of bugs and fleas
The Old Red Flannel Drawers Grandma Wore.


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: Joan from Wigan
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 11:57 PM

This is the "rugby" version of 'Maggie May'. The part of the chorus that I remember goes:

They were tattered, they were torn, they were battered, they were worn,
Those old red flannel drawers that Maggie wore...

By coincidence, someone was inspired to sing part of this song at the folk club last night. I'm not sure if he knows the complete song, but I'll try and find out.

Joan


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: Ship'scat
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 05:22 AM

"Maggies Drawers" were also what soldiers called the square red flag tied to the end of a bamboo pole and waved back in forth across a big frame target that the [non]marksman had missed completely. These along with other marking "paddles" were employed on the old (pre-1960) KD or known distance marksmanship ranges. As I recall, these ranges had various firing points out to 300 yards but I'm not certain.

KC


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: GUEST,micca at work.
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 05:34 AM

*******Vulgarity alert******
all I can remember of the rude(rugby)version
" they were tattered they were torn
round the a***hole they were worn
those old red flannel drawers that Maggie wore

hey were stained with gin and beer
they were split from c*** to rear

She hung them on the line
the sun refused to shine
those old red flannel drawers that Maggie wore

They were rucked in,they were tucked in
they were ones that she had F***ed
those old red flannel drawers that Maggie wore


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 07:10 AM

My kind of song.
but as the old saying(s) go "red hat (or shoes) no draws"
so we can be sure she went bareheaded and barefoot.


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: MARINER
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 04:50 PM

The only version I've ever heard is the vulgar one, but it was coupled with the old Scouse anthem "Maggie May". I don't mean the one recorded by Rod Stewart.The one that goes "Oh Maggie Maggie May, they have taken you away, and you'll never walk down Lime Street anymore. For the judge he guilty found her of robbin' a homeward bounder. That dirty rotten whore called Maggie May, is the one I refer to.


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: Joan from Wigan
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 03:08 AM

Mariner, that's the one I meant when I said before about 'red flannel drawers' being the rugby version of it. I've occasionally heard someone sing the original 'Maggie May' and then tack the rugby chorus on as a finisher.

And unfortunately my friend hasn't got the complete set of words. On doing a search on Google, I came across an article on Soldiers' Songs (rude, of course!) that mentions 'Old Red Flannel Drawers' but doesn't give the words - but it does give the words to a number of other rude songs. Sorry about the lack of blue clicky, but the URL is www.buffalostate.edu/~fishlm/folksongs/les01.htm

Joan


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: Inukshuk
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 07:02 PM

Here's a couple more verses or variations thereof. The versions we sang started:

I was standing by her side
The day poor Maggie (Nellie) died
She handed me her little red flannel drawers
They were buttoned at the top
For two bits they always drop
Those little red flannel drawers that Maggie wore.

They were baggy at the knees
The crotch was full of cheese
Those little red flannel drawers that Maggie wore
I put them on the shelf
And they walked off by themself
Those little red flannel drawers that Maggie wore.

I've searched the net for a definitive version of this classic to practically no avail. Come on Mudcatters, let's round out a decent selection of verses.


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 08:51 PM

The melody I know is the verse part of "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder."


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: Inukshuk
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 08:59 PM

Yes, that's the melody I remember too. Slightly different rhythm.


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 09:24 PM

We buried them in the ground
cause they stunk for miles around
the old red flannel drawers
that Maggie wore
now the daisies in the dell
give off a different smell
cause Maggies drawers are underneath the ground


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 06:48 PM

It was the night that Maggie Died
She called me to her bedside
She said I leave you my old woolen drawers
She said they're in my trunk
Holy Jesus how they stunk
Those old woolen draws that Maggie wore.

They were baggy at the knees
And the crotch was full of fleas
Those old woolen drawers that maggie wore
I laid them on a shelf
But thy walked off by theirself
Those old woolen drawers that Maggie wore.

So we washed them in the sink
But could not get rid of the stink
In them old woolen draws that Maggie wore
Then we hung them on the line
But the sun refused to shine
on those old woolen drawers that Maggie wore

So We laid them on the grass
but the crows picked out the ass
Of those old woolen drawers that Maggie wore.
We finally buried them in the ground
Cause they stunk for miles around
Those old woolen drawers that Maggie wore.

Have Fun!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: GUEST,Toenails john
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 09:34 AM

Last verse i heard, slight variation

Well we buried in the ground
And the grass for miles around
Refused to grow around old maggies drawers
Spurned by bugs and beetles
Those drawers were bloody lethal
Them ol' flannel frawers that maggie wore


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Subject: RE: The Old red flannel drawers maggie wore
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 04:13 PM

Never heard it sung to "When the roll ..." in UK, always to "Maggie May"

And like many verses of "Cosher Bailey" they ended with a clean non-rhyme instead of the expected obscenity:

They were pulled in,they were tucked in
They're the drawers that she that she was ..... wed in
Those old red flannel drawers that Maggie wore


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: John M.
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 11:01 AM

Below are two field recordings and one commercial recording of 'The Old Red Flannel Drawers that Maggie Wore' (recording).  Compare this song with the children's song 'Willie's Underwear' (recording and text below).  


                 1.  Do you sing 'The Old Red Flannel Drawers that Maggie Wore' or 'Willies Underwear'? 
                 2.  If yes, when and where did you learn the song?
                 3.  Would you be willing to sing it for folklore purposes over the phone?


Any help is appreciated.

Sincerely,

John Mehlberg
john@mehlberg.com
~
Afternoons:  314.647.3883
Evenings:     314.381.0492
~
My website: www.immortalia.com
~
 

  • Field Recording - John Mehlberg Collection - See Notes.
  • Field Recording - John Meridith / Rob Willis Collection - See Notes.
  • Summit Records


     

    WILLIE'S UNDERWEAR  (recording)

    On the night that Willie died
    He called me to his side
    And he gave me his dirty underwear.

    They were baggy at the knees
    And they smelled like liver cheese
    Oh the dirty underwear that Willie wore.

    Oh I threw them in the sky
    And the birds refused to fly
    Oh the dirty underwear that Willie wore.

    Oh I threw them in the well
    And the rats they ran like....heck
    Oh the dirty underwear that Willie wore.

    Now Willie's dead and gone
    But his underwear live on
    And they're hangin' on the line for all to see.

    Now remember and remember well
    For you can't avoid the smell
    Of the underwear that's Willie's memory.

    Now Willie's dead and gone
    But his underwear live on
    And they're hangin' on the line for all to see.

    Now remember and remember well
    For you can't avoid the smell
    Of the underwear that's Willie's memory.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie W
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 11:18 AM

We too called the red flag on the rifle range "Maggie's Drawers." This was in the late 1960s/early 1970s. I understand that the term (and that type of range) is still used by the US Marines (at least at Camp Pendleton).


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: paddymac
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 09:43 PM

When I saw this thread title, my first thought was the ranges at Camp Matthews where MCRD boots went for rifle training in the late 50's. Happy to see others with the same kinds of thoughts. There were days when "Maggie's Drawers" really got a workout, and there were often characters who "accidentally" fired at them. It's a hoot to now have a sense of where the label came from. Now, if anyone can come up with a plausible explanation of how the pits came to be known as "the butts"---.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 09:45 AM

I'm just back from a weekend in Shetland, where my sister in law gave me a rendition of this song. The lyrics had a similar theme, but were slightly different. Oh what we laughed! Thank you for posting them!


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie W
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 02:24 PM

Now, if somebody would like to go to John's site and listen to the song, and transcribe a MIDI for me, I'd like to post it.
-Joe Offer-
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie W
From: John M.
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 02:42 PM

Joe & others,

Here are links to every recording of "Red Flannel Drawers (That Maggie Wore) on my website.  If you want to make a MIDI, the best field recording I have is by Les Cleveland and is here.  Les learned this in the New Zealand army during WWII.

Yours,

John Mehlberg

Field Recordings:

 

Commercial Recordings:


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 05:51 PM

The melody I know is a variant of 'Keep you feet still Geordie hinney' the Newcastle song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Aug 06 - 07:50 PM

There are many variants of the tune: almost every single one of John Mehlberg's recordings is slightly different but they are all basically the same tune. Maggie May or Darling Nellie Gray or Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinny (usually just the first half of the tune) are as close as you need to get. MAGGIMAY in DT is too slow; NELLGRAY is more like the tempo it's usually sung at.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 May 10 - 08:45 PM

G. Legman says THE DIRTY OLD RED DRAWERS THAT MAGGIE WORE is a parody of THE LITTLE OLD RED SHAWL MY MOTHER WORE (by Charles Moreland, 1885).


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: Lighter
Date: 04 May 10 - 09:29 PM

Sigmund Spaeth, from whom Legman may have taken this information, says it was 1886.

The chorus as sung at Harvard ca1900:

                        Oh, that little old red shawl,
                        That little old red shawl,
                That little old red shawl my mother wore;
                        It was tatter'd, It was torn,
                        It showed signs of being worn,
                That little old red shawl my mother wore.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 05 May 10 - 12:10 PM

"Ship's cat" gave me a deja vu attack. I remember "Maggie's drawers," waved at the rifle range for any poor soul who couldn't hit the broad side of an outhouse while locked up in it. For the record, I fired expert.

As to the song, the Sigmud Spaeth attribution rings true. I thought I saw this in the old Song Fest collection.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LITTLE OLD RED SHAWL MY MOTHER WORE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 May 10 - 01:45 PM

From Canada Sings for SATB (Alfred Publishing, 1997), page 42:


THE LITTLE OLD RED SHAWL MY MOTHER WORE
Charles Moreland

1. It now lies on the shelf. It is faded and torn,
That dear old shawl my mother wore (mother wore).
'Tis all that is left for this heart to adore,
To bring to mind those happy days of yore.
How often the hands to these folds have been pressed,
That now beneath the daisies are at rest (at rest).
The tears come unbidden and silently fall,
To gleam like gems on mother's old red shawl.

CHORUS: It is useful no more,
Yet I fondly adore
That dear old shawl my mother wore,
And through life it shall be
A loved treasure to me,
That little old red shawl my mother wore.

2. Oh, my heart often aches with a dull throbbing pain,
When childhood visions come again (come again),
And sadly I think of the days that are past,
Too joyous and too beautiful to last.
Oh, fond, lovely childhood made bright by the smile
Of one whose love could ev'ry care beguile (beguile)!
How gladly I'd fly from the world's bitter thrall,
To seek the heart that throbb'd beneath this shawl! CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: GUEST,pokipsy
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 04:02 PM

My dad would start saying this little ditty and then mumble when anyone got near but the part we heard had the
"...Maggies little red flannel drawers
for torty years they had been worn
oh those little red flannel drawers that Maggie wore..."
I would love to find out the author or words...my dad is claiming anmesia, I think because my mom is in the room.

He also has a great delivery for Sam Magee and these types of "poems". He was a logger and fisherman so I am sure they all had some pretty ribald tales.

I am looking for something on "Fair Hannah lived on a mountain top in a cold a dreary place - there was no dwelling for miles around but the one that her father bought" or something along those lines - again mumbling seemed to take over whenever we got near


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: GUEST,Colin Borsay
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 02:59 PM

Oh maggie maggie May they have taken her away
and you wont see her in Lime street any more
She was dying when they found her
Cos some rotten homeward bounder had stolen those red flannel drawers she wore

He hung them on the line and the sun refused to shine
Those etc
they put them on the mat and they paralysed the cat
those etc
They dug them in the ground and nothing grew around


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: GUEST,dblock
Date: 08 Sep 11 - 01:32 AM

when i was a kid my parents n grandparents and my aunt n uncle sang maggie drawers in a hotel room kinda drunk they typed it. i been trying to find the tape but i remember a part of song it goes

they were flip flop at the top
one more dollar they would drop
those little old red drawers that maggie wore.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: GUEST,dblock
Date: 08 Sep 11 - 01:35 AM

i think there are many verses of the song because my family sang it years ago it went on and on!


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 13 - 03:24 AM

http://www.horntip.com/mp3/fieldwork/horntip_collection/c/les_cleveland/10_the_old_red_flannel_drawers.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: GUEST,Angelica Devilyn
Date: 05 Dec 15 - 07:43 PM

My Dad learned this version of the song in Germany where he was stationed for part of his Army service. He'd sang it to Mom, sis & I during long road trips.

Ohhhhhhhhh, The night that Maggie died
she called me to her side
and handed me a pair of ragged drawers,
Oh they were stinky, they were smelly
& they stuck right to her belly,
Oh those little ragged drawers that Maggie wore.

But she wouldn't wear no others
because they were her Mother's
Oh those little ragged drawers that Maggie wore,

I put them in the sink
& the sink went on the blink
o'er those little ragged drawers that Maggie wore.
I hung them on the line
& the sun refused to shine
on those little ragged drawers that Maggie wore,

But she wouldn't wear no others
because they were her Mother's
Oh those little ragged drawers that Maggie wore.

I tossed them in the creek
but it began to reek,
from the little ragged drawers that Maggie wore
I buried them in the ground
but you'd smell 'em for miles around.
Oh those little ragged drawers that Maggie wore.

But she wouldn't wear no others
because they were her Mother's
Oh those little ragged drawers that Maggie wore.

It was cute for a while but as I grew older he started to call ME Maggie instead of Margaret and it eventually built a wall between us.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: GUEST,John Dickerson
Date: 22 Sep 16 - 07:36 PM

Thanks for the memories .... and many new (to me) verses.

I can only add

When we put them in the sink
The water turned to ink


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Old Red Flannel Drawers Maggie Wore
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 17 - 07:46 PM

These are the lyrics I remember:

Oh those little red drawers that Maggie wore

They were baggy at the knees and the crotch was full of cheese

Those little red drawers that Maggie wore

She would wash them in the sink

Oh mein Gott how they would stink

She would hang them on the line

They would look so very fine

Oh those little red drawers that Maggie wore


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