Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafehuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: When This Old Hat Was New

Moira Cameron 13 Jul 98 - 01:28 AM
Bruce O. 13 Jul 98 - 11:21 AM
Bruce O. 13 Jul 98 - 12:53 PM
Joe Offer 17 Jul 00 - 06:36 PM
Susan of DT 17 Jul 00 - 07:35 PM
Bill D 17 Jul 00 - 07:38 PM
Bill D 17 Jul 00 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,Storyteller 26 Sep 02 - 08:03 AM
Dave Bryant 26 Sep 02 - 10:30 AM
nutty 26 Sep 02 - 11:17 AM
Jim Dixon 06 Jan 07 - 07:52 AM
Jim Dixon 06 Jan 07 - 08:25 AM
Jim Dixon 06 Jan 07 - 09:34 AM
Jim Dixon 06 Jan 07 - 01:11 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Jan 07 - 02:41 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Jan 07 - 03:12 PM
AlanG 07 Jan 07 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,nostalgicboy 13 Dec 11 - 11:38 PM
GUEST 19 Feb 17 - 10:44 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 13 Jul 98 - 01:28 AM

The other thread about hats reminded me of this beautiful sentimental song sung from the point of view of an older man reminiscing about what it was like in the good old days "when this old hat was new."

Does anyone have the lyrics for this? I kniw it was recorded by the Toronto duo, County Vaudeville.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: Bruce O.
Date: 13 Jul 98 - 11:21 AM

I can't remember the title of the old thread with versions of the song. I think I gave a version of c 1630 there. Subsequently, I've run across a Scots traditional version of the 1820's (without tune) in Emily Lyle's 'Andrew Crawfurd's Collection of Ballads and Songs', I, p. 134, 1975. Ms. Lyle points out other versions in her notes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: Bruce O.
Date: 13 Jul 98 - 12:53 PM

Old thread was 'Songs about getting really old'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 06:36 PM

I hear that somebody sang this song on HearMe last night. We've only got partial lyrics and no tune. I'll paste in the lyrics we have below. Can somebody furnish complete, correct lyrics and some background information? Thanks.
-Joe Offer-
From LaMarca:
When This Old Hat Was New
(trad, from Chris Foster)

I am a poor old man
Come listen to my song
Provisions now are twice as dear
As when that we were young
The poor are quite done o'er
We know this to be true,
But it was not so when Bess did reign
And this old hat was new,
When this old hat was new
I'll post the rest for the database next week when I can bring the correct words from home
From Bruce Olsen:

Ref. LeMarca, Oct.10
"When this old hat was new" is in Whitaker's 'North Countrie Ballads', 1921 (and nowhere else?). I once saw this book, (where?) but, unfortunately, did not copy this song. What may be an earlier version is:

Time's Alteration; Or,
The Old Man's rehearsall, what brave days he knew,
A great while agone, when his Old Cap was new.

To the tune of Ile nere be drunke againe.

When this old cap was new,
'Tis since two hundred yeere;
No malice then we knew,
But all things plentie were:
All friendship now decayes
(Believe me, this is true),
Which was not in those dayes
When this old cap was new.

Twelve more verses contrasting old times with the new, with the burden 'When this old cap was new' throughout. 'New' being c 1618-29. By Martin Parker. Broadside Index- ZN2893.

Some other 17th century ballads about some of the problems of old age- [first line/ref #/title]:

All you that fathers be/ ZN131| A Ballad Intituled, The Old mans complaint.
An old song made, of an old aged pate/ ZN183| An Old Song of the old courtier. By T. Howard [See DT under "Old Soldiers of the Queen"]
He that is a clear Cavalier will not repine/ ZN1113| The Old Cavalier.
If I live to grow old/ ZN1387| The Old Mans Wish.
O that I was now a marry'd wife/ ZN2045| An Answer to the Old Man's Wish.
If I was young, as now I am old/ ZN1388| A New Song, Call'd The Old Mans Wish.
In Nineve old Toby dwelt/ ZN1446| A Pleasant new Ballad of Old Toby [Tobias].
It was an old man which with his poore wife/ ZN1526| A most excellent ballad, of an old man and his wife.

There are also many ballads about old people, including some who wouldn't act like others expected (i.e, bawdy). There is also one about the Dutch Miller who put old wives and harlots into his mill and ground out tender young virgins (adapted from an earlier German illustrated broadsheet). A cheap print of a large engraving of this mill was a very popular wall decoration in English county cottages in the 18th century).



Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: Susan of DT
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 07:35 PM

Bill D sang it at Hearme last night


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 07:38 PM

I will type in the other 'modern' verses soon...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 09:31 PM

well, I did a quick search, ans wouldn't you know it, the song is on The amazing Ingreb pages a few words may be different than what I do..(which came from the singing of Chris Foster)..but is all there...have fun!^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: GUEST,Storyteller
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 08:03 AM

I was looking in the DT and in the Forum for information about a different song with a similar title as this which goes:

This Old Coat of Mine

Now this old cap of mine, the inside is quite new,
The outside has seen some very fine weather,
So I throw this cap of mine to the ocean wild and wide.
(Chorus)
Roll on the boat that takes me home.

repeat for:-
"Now this old coat of mine..."
"Now this old shirt of mine..."
"Now this old vest of mine..."
"Now these old shoes of mine..."
"Now these old socks of mine..."
"Now these old pants of mine..."

As sung by George Collinson of Hull, 1982, and included in the cassette issued by Veteran Tapes "What A Lovely War!" VT121, 1990.

In his book of the same name, Roy Palmer gives the text as "Oh this old hat of mine..." and quotes one soldier's account of a performance of the song:

"[It] was delivered by a singer who gradually stripped off as he sang one verse about each article of clothing and the scenes it had witnessed. When he threw off his pants he was seized by his drunken mates and subjected to various indignities."

Palmer notes this as having been a popular WWII song but which has been reported from earlier on in the 1920's,and probably originated with sailors on the Atlantic packet ships in the mid-nineteenth century, and that a version was cited by Cyril Tawney in his book Grey Funnel Line from a midshipman's logbook of 1860.

As a query - the cassette states that George Collinson's song was recorded by Jim Eldon, while Palmer's book credits Steve Gardham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 10:30 AM

I know a singer in his eighties (Den) who sings a version of the song above and strips - he usually ends up mooning to the audience. He's never been "seized by his drunken mates and subjected to various indignities" as far as I know though - although if the "mates" were female I think he'd enjoy it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: nutty
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 11:17 AM

The Bodleian Library has this version .....printed circa 1820

When This Old Hat Was New

And also this different version .....no date given I'm afraid
This Old Hat version2


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN MY OLD HAT WAS NEW (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 07:52 AM

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 28(56), with spelling and punctuation modernized by me:

WHEN MY OLD HAT WAS NEW
^^
I am a poor old man in years. Come listen to my song.
Provisions now are twice as dear as when I was young.
It was when this old hat was new, and stood upon my brow.
O what a happy youth was I when this old hat was new!

It's almost fourscore years ago, the truth I will declare,
When men could take each other's word and thought it very fair.
No note or bond they did require; men's words they were so true.
It was so in my youthful days, when this old hat was new.

Brotherly love it did abound. Oppression ne'er was heard.
But now the people are so poor, they scarcely can get bread,
Which makes them wander up and down not knowing what to do.
Such times did not abound when this old hat was new.

Upon the time of harvest when we went out to shear,
How often have we been merry made with brandy, ale, & beer;
And when the corn was got and thrown into the mow,
The shearers danced it well, when this old hat was new.

The master at the board-head sat, the table for to grace.
The servants as they all came in, each took his proper place;
And the dame with cheerful face gave to each man his due.
Such plenty aye did then abound when this old hat was new.

But now the times are altered to pinching of the poor.
They now receive their wages quite coldly at the door.
Into their houses we do not go, though we be e'er so few.
It was not so when Queen Bess did reign, or this old hat was new.

The commons they are taken in, and cottages pulled down,
And Moggy has no wool to spin a linsey-woolsey gown.
The winter's cold, the clothing's thin, and blankets very few.
We were well clothed, both bed and skin, when this old hat was new.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN THIS OLD HAT WAS NEW (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 08:25 AM

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 11(4138), with spelling and punctuation modernized by me:

WHEN THIS OLD HAT WAS NEW
^^
This old hat was new once, but I cannot tell you when,
And there's no one here can say how plenty things were then.
There was good cheer in the rich man's house, for then they kept no small,
But now the times are altered for they give no cheer at all.

[CHORUS] No doubt there are many here who know what I say's true.
How different must the times have been when this old hat was new!

Then when frosty winter came with cold and piercing storm,
The rich then gave out food and coals to keep the poor folks warm;
But the good old times are quite forgot, unless by very few.
How different must the times have been when this old hat was new!

When this old hat was new, the poor did never want.
They had all their bellies full, although their means were scant;
Though now they have their bellies full of sorrow and distress,
And if their means were scanty then, they've now a great deal less.

When this queer old hat was new, our tars were never pressed,
For they did boldly volunteer, and that, you know, was best.
The foe then ran before them, and glad to do so, too.
The foe'd as soon be d—— as fight when this old hat was new.

Another thing I have to say: when this old hat was new,
They willingly did labor and had plenty work to do.
Then husbandmen, old England's pride, did work both soon and late,
But now the pride of England are forced to emigrate.

When this rummy old hat was new, the workhouse they did dread.
Then every peasant had good clothes, a shelter, and a bed;
But now, though workhouses are large, they fill them o'er and o'er,
And hundreds now that can't get in do starve outside the door.

With coaches and with horses then their travels they did make,
And though their journeys were but short, a good long time they'd take;
But now long journeys are so short, they seem but as a dream,
For they travel in hot water, and they melt long miles by steam.

For going over the river then a sturdy bridge they found,
But now they can go under it, and yet they don't get drowned;
And now humane societies will almost save the dead,
And yet we see some hundreds starve for want of a bit of bread.

Now whether this be polity, or be it war or peace,
'Tis certain both the people and their troubles do increase;
But I hope that things may mend again and folk may better do,
And that we may have times as good as when this old hat was new.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD MAN'S SAYINGS (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 09:34 AM

This version doesn't mention a hat, but general idea is the same.

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Douce Ballads 2(172a) "between 1682 and 1703", with spelling and punctuation modernized by me. There are some places were the text was illegible, which I marked with an ellipsis, or doubtful, where I marked with brackets.

THE OLD MAN'S SAYINGS
^^ Concerning the Alterations of the Times
Being an account of an Ancient Man of Fourscore and ten Years of Age, that gave this Relation to a Friend, of the difference of the times since his Remembrance, and desired that it might be Printed for the satisfaction of all people.
Tune is, The two English travellers.

When I was a young man, as some of you be,
Brave flourishing days in the land I did see;
But now the time's altered, my neighbour and friend,
Which now is the reason these lines I have penned;
For men to turn antics is counted a toy,
But the times they were better when I was a boy.

Men was not so wicked then in all their ways
For they loved one another then in the old days.
Rich men they scorned then to wrong the poor,
But rather was willing to ... their store;
But now pride and envy it is all their joy;
But the times they were better when I was a boy.

Trading was quicker and money was free,
And neighbours in every town lived lovingly;
But now they had rather for to scold and brawl,
And doth not seem willing upon God to call;
For baseness and wickedness now is their joy;
But the times they were better when I was a boy.

Poor tradesmen lived better far than now they do.
Where they have a shilling now, then they had two;
But now times are altered; since money grew scant,
They hardly can get enough to pay their rent;
For landlords their tenants doth sorely annoy;
But the times they were better when I was a boy.

Hatred and malice then was not so rife.
No lawyers to fee'd for to end a great strife;
For brotherly love did in most men remain;
But now all such doings [are] held in disdain.
To ... one another, [they] make it their joy;
But the times they were better when I was a boy.

... commandments ... fear
... king ... country so dear
... so treacherous ... [ways]
There [were] no such rebels as is nowadays;
For to practice all goodness they made it their joy;
But the times they were better when I was a boy.

All wicked actions men seemed to hate,
Which will be too tedious for [me] to relate,
As whoredom and drunkenness was not so rife;
For more men in those days lived a civil life;
But now such debaucherous tricks is their joy;
But the times they were better when I was a boy.

The husband and wife then enjoyed their peace,
And God gave a blessing unto their increase.
Then children were dutiful; now they're not so;
For they learn for to swear when they newly can go;
And the parents that bear them count it but a toy;
But the times they were better when I was a boy.

Men were not so fickle to turn with the wind,
To laugh in your face and to kill you behind;
For truly the times they are altered so,
'Tis a hard thing to know a man's friend from his foe;
For flattery and falsehood is many a man's joy,
But the times they were better when I was a boy.

And so for conclusion, I now make an end,
And hope that this song will no person offend;
But say all what you will, the truth is the truth:
There was better living when I was a youth;
Then to love one another let's make it our joy,
But the times they were better when I was a boy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: ALTERATION OF THE TIMES (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 01:11 PM

Another in the same vein, also without a hat. You might enjoy (or be annoyed by) the outrageous rhymes.

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 17(4a) "between 1802 and 1819", with spelling and punctuation modernized by me.

ALTERATION OF THE TIMES
^^
Come listen, my neighbours, and hear a merry ditty
Of a strange alteration in ev'ry town and city.

I'll tell you of the times when Queen Bess ruled the nation,
And take a view of things in their present situation.

O what an alteration is now to be seen
Since the happy times when Elizabeth was queen!

Then the ladies wore their pleated ruffs in a neat and pretty order,
With close-eared caps as white as snow all crimped around the border.

But now the ladies' head-dress would frighten ye to stare at.
They've a long head of hair behind, frizzed, curled and greased with bear's fat.

No perfume about their dresses then, nor no foreign tawdry.
No frippery of chintzes then, or the spangles of embroidery.

But now in every gaudy fashion, the ladies dress in that they can wish,
Feeding other foreign nations to starve their own native English.

They eat bread and milk for breakfast out of a wooden noggin.
The ladies' stomachs were not delicate; they never it clogging.

But now twenty-shilling tea and fine sugar, how they swallow down
With hot buttered rolls and the roll must be a French one!

Mechanics then and tradesmen there were few that what were able
On Sunday to provide a good hot joint upon the table.

A plum pudding for their children, to please their little creatures,
But now many hungry children fill their bellies with potatoes?

Then good clothing was provided for the poor in winter weather,
For the rich and the poor were hand in hand together.

But now the poor's degraded and if ragged their clothes is,
The rich keep at a distance and turn up their noses.

Good ladies then twice a day kept the Sabbath with decorum,
Walked to church with a Bible and their family before 'em.

But now they're drove in coaches and when the church they push in,
Instead of Bibles, carry lap-dogs and shock must have a cushion.

Then good friendship it was found in every neighbour's dwelling.
The whispering of slander was their pride to be dispelling.

But now everybody's business some people make their own,
And if they see sobriety, they'll strive to pull you down.

Thus happy they did live, sir, as you may plainly see,
And lived a bright example to their posterity.

May we follow their steps till we happily attain
And then restore the King to his throne again.

And long may he reign with glory and success,
And may he reign hereafter in heaven's happiness.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: TIMES ARE ALTERED (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 02:41 PM

Hey, I keep discovering more songs on the same theme. I hope others are enjoying these.

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 17(314a), London, "between 1828 and 1829", with spelling and punctuation modernized by me.

TIMES ARE ALTERED
or the
GRUMBLING FARMERS*
^^
Come, all you swaggering farmers, wherever you may be.
One moment pay attention and listen unto me.
It is concerning former times, as I to you declare,
So different to the present times, if you with them compare.

CHORUS: For lofty heads and paltry pride, I'm sure it's all the go
For to distress poor servants, and keep their wages low.

If you'd but seen the farmers' wives about fifty years ago,
In homespun russet linsey were clad from top to toe;
But nowadays the farmers' wives are so puffed up with pride.
In a dandy habit and green veil to the market they must ride.

Some years ago the farmers' sons were learnt to plough and sow,
And when the summertime did come, likewise to reap and mow;
But now they dress like squires' sons. Their pride it knows no bounds.
They mount upon a fine blood horse to follow up the hounds.

The farmers' daughters formerly were taught to card and spin,
And by their own industry, good husbands they would win;
But now the card and spinning wheel are forced to take their chance,
While they're hopped off to a boarding school to learn to sing and dance.

In a decent black silk bonnet to church they used to go,
Black shoes and handsome cotton gown, stockings as white as snow;
But now silk gowns and coloured shoes they must be bought for them;
Besides they are frizzed and furbelowed just like a Friesland hen.

Each morning when at breakfast, each master and each dame
Down with the servants they would sit and eat and drink the same;
But now with such good old things they've done them quite away.
Into the parlour they do go with coffee, toast and tea.

At the kitchen table formerly the farmer he would sit,
And carve for all his servants both pudding and good meat;
But now all in the dining room so closely they are boxed in,
If a servant was only to peep, it would be thought a sin.

Now in these good old-fashion times, the truth I do declare,
The rent and taxes could be paid and money for to spare;
But now they keep the fashions up, they look so very nice,
Although they cut an outside show, they are as poor as mice.

When Bonaparte was in vogue, poor servants could engage
For sixteen pounds a year, my boys, and that was handsome wage;
But now the wages are so low, and what is worst of all,
The masters cannot find the cash, which brings them to the wall.

When fifty acres they did rent, then money they could save,
But now for to support their pride, five hundred they must have.
If those great farms were taken, and divided into ten,
Oh! we might see as happy days as ever they did then.

[*I infer that "farmer" here means farm-owner or squire, in contrast to the hired farm-labourer, or "servant".]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: TRADESMAN'S LAMENTATION FOR THE LOSS ...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Jan 07 - 03:12 PM

The meter and syntax of this one leave much to be desired, but the internal rhyme is interesting;

From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 12(159), Nottingham, "between 1797 and 1807", with spelling and punctuation modernized by me.

THE TRADESMAN'S LAMENTATION FOR THE LOSS OF TRADE
^^
Now the times altered among us many ways
To what they were, good people, in our forefathers' days,
When there was a thriving trade, but now it is decayed.
In town and city, love and pity do like flowers fade.
Pride and ambition to much height is grown.
The rich have many friends, but the poor few or none.
Consider this, I pray: Live thrifty while you may.
Trust not to any. Save a penny for a rainy day.

The poor aye are full of poverty; the fops are full of pride.
The town is full of harlots who do in coaches ride
To taverns, balls and plays; how we can see good days
While wanton harlots, knaves and varlets by unlawful ways
Feed on the very fat of the land,
Having very gay apparel and all things at command,
While honest people, they who labour day by day,
Are overpowered and devoured by the wolf of prey.

Some do clothe their harlots in silks and satins fine,
Feed them with costly diet and wash it down with wine,
While wife and children dear doth feed with grief and care,
Their stomachs craving, yet not having food or clothes to wear.
[Such as those doth ruin families,
Not only wives and children, but dealers too likewise.]*
Alas! it is in vain to boast of thy birth and state,
How rich are thy parents, how rich they are and great,
For if thyself be poor, and need knock at their door,
Though father, mother, sister, brother, may have riches more.

[Thou thyself in vain of their charity do boast
Then happy is the man that has something of his own.
In the heat of summer, think on the winters cold,
And in thy youth remember that thou may live to be old.
In which such things provided that thou must be satisfied
Who begs and borrows, his hedge with sorrows is hedged on every side.
We must not too much on charity depend,
For in old age and sorrow, it is hard to find a friend.]*

Now to conclude, this kind word of advice:
Keep from wanton harlots, drinking, cards and dice,
From unlawful ways; then we may see good days.
Both now and ever, all endeavour, whilst in health you [are**]
For to lay up which doth some comfort breed;
For friends will fail you most when most you friends need.
Consider this, I pray: Live thrifty while you may.
Trust not to any. Save a penny for a rainy day.

[*If you want to try to sing this song, I recommend omitting these lines since they don't match the overall meter or rhyme scheme. I can't explain their inclusion in the original broadside.

[** The rhyme scheme seems to demand a word here that rhymes with "ways" and "days" but I can't think of a good one, and the original here is barely legible—to me at least. Can anyone do better?]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr. Req: When this old hat was new
From: AlanG
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 12:01 PM

The last vers that I have always sung is:

When the Romans ruled this land, the commons thay did give
To the poor in charity to help them for to live
But the poor are quite done o'er, we know that it is true
And it was not so when Bess did reign and this old hat was new

'Though the thought of the Romans being a benevolent society seems to stretch the imagination a little too far


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When This Old Hat Was New
From: GUEST,nostalgicboy
Date: 13 Dec 11 - 11:38 PM

My Father-in-law used to sing a song as he stripped down to his underpants,at this point his wife would drag him of the 'floor'. it went a little like this,

This old coat of mine the inside is quite new,
the outside has seen some stormy weather.....

I hav'nt heard anyone else sing it,anyone know it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When This Old Hat Was New
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 17 - 10:44 AM

"This old coat of mine the inside is quite new,
the outside has seen some stormy weather.....

I hav'nt heard anyone else sing it,anyone know it?"

See the post earlier in this thread: 26 Sep 02 - 08:03 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 September 12:26 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.