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Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin

DigiTrad:
MICHAEL FINNEGAN


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Michael Finnegan


Joe Offer 20 Jun 03 - 02:53 AM
Lanfranc 20 Jun 03 - 03:32 AM
Schantieman 20 Jun 03 - 04:21 AM
Joe Offer 20 Jun 03 - 04:30 AM
masato sakurai 20 Jun 03 - 08:59 AM
Rapparee 20 Jun 03 - 09:04 AM
Jim Dixon 21 Jun 03 - 12:25 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jun 03 - 01:31 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Jun 03 - 02:25 PM
Night Owl 21 Jun 03 - 03:05 PM
Penny S. 22 Jun 03 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,SomeOne 11 Jun 04 - 07:32 AM
Celtaddict 08 Nov 05 - 11:28 PM
RobbieWilson 09 Nov 05 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Paris, France 18 Jan 06 - 02:12 PM
GUEST 28 Jan 06 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,me 06 Apr 07 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Emily and Corynne 27 Jan 08 - 03:35 PM
banjoman 28 Jan 08 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,alexis finnigan 18 Feb 08 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,ash 22 Nov 08 - 10:06 AM
banjoman 25 Nov 08 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,Me 12 Feb 10 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,michael macdonell 22 Apr 10 - 11:32 PM
GUEST,Barbara 12 Mar 12 - 04:49 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 02:53 AM

I got a desperate message from Mmario last week, looking for this tune. He says Noreen sent the tune to me, but I may have lost it when I switched computers. So I transcribed it. Please don't beat me too severely, MMario and Noreen. Heck, I even found some additional lyrics.

Here goes:

MICHAEL FINNIGIN

There was an old man named Michael Finnigin
He had whiskers on his chinigin
The wind came up and blew them in ag'in
Poor old Michael Finnigin
Begin ag'in

There was an old man named Michael Finnigin
He got drunk through drinking ginigin
That's who he wasted all his tinnigin
Poor old Michael Finnigin
Begin ag'in

There was an old man named Michael Finnigin
He grew fat and then grew thin ag'in
then he died, and had to begin ag'in
Poor old Michael, please don't
Begin ag'in

Source: 1002: The Complete Children's Songbook (Hansen House, 1975, 1986)



Click to play

(the tune is my adaptation of what I found in the two songbooks, since I didn't like either one completely)


Here's what Norman Cazden has:

MICHAEL FINNIGIN

There once was a man named Michael Finnigin,
He grew whiskers on his chinnigin,
The wind came up and blem them innigin,
Poor old Michael Finnigin. (Beginnigin)

There once was a man named Michael Finnigin,
He got drunk from too much ginnigin
So he wasted all this tinnigin,
Poor old Michael Finnigin. (Beginnigin)

There once was a man named Michael Finnigin,
He went fishing with a pinnigin,
Caught a fish but he dropped it innigin,
Poor old Michael Finnigin. (Beginnigin)

There once was a man named Michael Finnigin,
Climbed a tree and barked his shinnigin,
Took off several yards of skinnigin,
Poor old Michael Finnigin. (Begirinigin)

There once was a man named Michael Finnigin,
He kicked up an awful dinnigin
Because they said he must not sinnigin,
Poor old Michael Finnigin. (Beginnigin)

There once was a man named Michael Finnigin,
He grew fat and he grew thinnigin,
Then he died, and we have to beginnigin,
Poor old Michael Finnigin. (Beginnigin)

New words and music by Norman Cazden
Source: Merry Ditties (Norman Cazden, 1958)


Any other versions/verses?

There's even an entry in the Traditional Ballad Index:

Michael Finnegan

DESCRIPTION: Of the exploits of Michael Finnegan, constantly urged to "begin again" after a variety of escapades such as the wind blowing his whiskers back into his chin, or growing fat and then growing thin
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1971
KEYWORDS: nonballad nonsense humorous
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Silber-FSWB, p. 242, "Michael Finnigan" (1 text)
Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 201, "Michael Finnigan" (1 text, tune referenced)
DT, MIKFINEG

Notes: It perhaps says something about the American education system that this song was forced upon me in grade school, but the schools would never have even contemplated a serious ballad with something resembling actual content.... - RBW
File: FSWB242B

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Lanfranc
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 03:32 AM

OK, my Colonial brethren, 1971 may be the earliest date on that side of the pond, but I can remember singing the song in Primary School in the 1950s - a likely date would be 1955.

I'll dig out my collection of booklets from "Singing Together", a BBC Radio programme for schools that provided the first exposure to folksong for many young Brits, and get back to you!

Alan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Schantieman
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 04:21 AM

I, too, learned it at primary school - in the sixties and I've just started singing it with my seven year old daughter. The tune you have, Joe, is the one I know.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 04:30 AM

Hi, Alan - people always question the dating system used by the Traditional Ballad Index, but it makes sense. The date is the earliest publication date of books that have been indexed that contain the song in question. The song may be much older, and there may be older books that contain the song, but those books have not yet been indexed by the Traditional Ballad Index.
The date does come in handy, because it sets a solid date for the first known time that the song appeared in print (within the limitations of the indexing process). This can affect a performer's need to pay royalties.
My Cazden book takes it back to 1958, but I'm sure it's much older than that. Apparently, it's also in the Oxford Songbook, published in 1927 - but I don't have access to that book and would be reluctant to swear by any source I can't look at.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 08:59 AM

One verse (without music) is found in John Brophy and Eric Partridge, eds., Songs and Slang of the British Soldier: 1914-1918, 2nd ed. (Eric Partridge Ltd. at the Scholartis Press, 1930, p. 83):
                Michael Finnigan
                   (Chant)

      Poor old Michael Finnigan,
      He grew whiskers on his chinnigan.
      The wind came out,
      And blew them in again,
      And that's the end of poor Michael Finnigan.

Note.--A pre-war folk-song which the soldiers resuscitated and gave a new life much more vigorous than that which it had in its early days.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 09:04 AM

Sang it in the Cub Scouts back around 1953.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Jun 03 - 12:25 PM

I think the tune is the same as PAW-PAW PATCH. The words to that song are given in this old thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jun 03 - 01:31 PM

I'd say the tune is similar, Jim, but not quite the same - it's the last line that's different.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Jun 03 - 02:25 PM

You're right, Joe. When I was mentally comparing the two songs, I never got as far as the last line. And Masato correctly pointed out, in the other thread, that "One little, two little, three little Indians..." belongs to the same family.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Night Owl
Date: 21 Jun 03 - 03:05 PM

Joe-the midi you "adapted" is exactly the way I learned the tune, I think at camp......back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Good job with it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 01:49 PM

We had this banned at school - can anyone explain why? It was a good little girls' private school, and I think we learned it from the BBC. It may simply be that it was out favourite, and we requested it too often, but that hint about the war might be a clue, I suppose. Rather like our student teacher of French being forbidden to continue to teach us "Il etait un petit navire" - the one where the little cabin boy actually gets et, as dfar as I can discover.#

Thanks for posting the full set of words - I've wanted to know them for ages.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: GUEST,SomeOne
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 07:32 AM

I like this song and I'm trying to find it somewhere on the internet.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: Celtaddict
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 11:28 PM

I learned this in the fifties, from my grandmother, in Kansas City, Missouri. We sang only "There was an old man named Michael Finnegan, had long whiskers on his chinnegan, the wind came along and blew them innegan, poor old Michael, POOR old Michael, poor old Michael Finnegan. Beginnegan. There was an old man..." and it ran on until someone at least was discouraged. The tune was about the same as "Ten Little Indians" but in the last line, the middle "poor old Michael" has the "poor old" moved up I believe a fifth.
Our family skis and we call that wind that is so strong that, when you get off the lift or turn a corner into the wind, it pushes you back, a "Finnegan's Wind" for this song.
My grandmother was of Scot family; this was a couple of generations back but there have been some family expressions we used that I did not hear from anyone else in Oklahoma that Oxford English Dictionary describes as "archaic Scots" so we could well have some random throwbacks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 09 Nov 05 - 11:01 AM

surely the whole point is that it is a song whch instructs you to begin agin, so you do. That's why there is only the one verse, you begin agin. Whoever added the later verses missed the point all together. It's like " There's a hole in the bucket dear Liza, only gets to the point quicker


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: GUEST,Paris, France
Date: 18 Jan 06 - 02:12 PM

Bonjour mah breeteesh frawnds,
we in fransh have a seemeelart song, we call eet "Michel Finnigrande"

eet goest,
"Il y une fois avait homme Michel Finnigrande nommé, Il a grandi des moustaches sur son chinnigin, Le vent est
monté et blem les innigin, vieux Michel Finnigrande Pauvre. (Beginnigin)"

eet was from befor Napoleon, parhaps circa 1760s?

-Jean Baptiste


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 06 - 05:50 AM

I remember my late father (in Northern Ireland) singing the words of this song (I can remember the verses about Growing whiskers on his chin and climbing up a tree and barking his shin. This would probably have been in the late 1950s (I was born in 1953) or possibly early 1960s, but as my father was born in 1916 and I see from above that the song was published in the 1920s and 1930s in Britain/USA (though it may date back to before the 1st World War), and hence it may have been popular when he was growing up. The name Michael Finnegan is certainly of Irish orgin as is John Brophy, who co-wrote (with Eric Partridge) the 1930 book on songs of the 1st World War.

A pity that there are now so few people left alive from the 1st World War, who might oteherwise be able to throw some light on this subject.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: GUEST,me
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 08:24 AM

i love that rhyme its so understanding becuase of Michael Finnigin we all no not to do any of those things!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: GUEST,Emily and Corynne
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 03:35 PM

in 5th grade we learned this song and now corynnes sister in 5th is learning it. In her class, there is a girl named Alexis Finnigan and her dads name is Michael so when they sang the song in music, Alexis started crying.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: banjoman
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 06:26 AM

I have awkward memories of this song as my surname is very close to that of the aforesaid Michael Finnegan (Finnegan is probably a corruption of the original name which I have). I also have a brother named Michael who hated this song whenever it was sung.
I remember it being sung in the scouts in the late forties and fifties and as a sort of round in shool where I tried hard not to look embarrased

Pete


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: GUEST,alexis finnigan
Date: 18 Feb 08 - 09:10 PM

you people are mean!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: GUEST,ash
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 10:06 AM

my grandad was called michael and was Irish he took up boxing because the English kids would taunt him with this song.That was back in the 1930's


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: banjoman
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 06:22 AM

My Dad sang this to us in the 1940's but only the one verse. Having a surname very close to that of the songs subject, I always felt it was about my brother Michael till someone put me right. My dad claimed to have learnt the song at school in the 1920's.
pete


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: GUEST,Me
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 06:30 PM

I am singing this song tomorrow for contest. I hope that I can remember all of the words. The song version that i am singing is a little different than this is. (We are singing the soprano, base, tenor, and alto parts, so it might differ in some parts!!)
This is an awesome song!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: GUEST,michael macdonell
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 11:32 PM

i though it when like this,

there once was a man names michael finnegan
he had some wiskers on his chinaging
the wind blew them off and they grew in agign
poor old michael finnagen begin agign.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Michael Finnegan / Finnigin
From: GUEST,Barbara
Date: 12 Mar 12 - 04:49 PM

Yes, you all, but who wrote the tune? Was it pinched from a Grieg piece? Sounds like it!!


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