AG: So… “Jolly Good Ale and Old”. Does anybody know that one? Did anybody ever sing that, Jolly Good Ale and Old?
Student: Yes. Many times.
Student: Yes. Many times.
AG: Where? Is there a song (to it)? Is there a tune? Anybody ever hear a tune to it?
Student: Yeah we sang an old tune. .
AG: You sang it? . Can you sing it?
AG: Oh come on, I never heard it sung?
Student: ..”Jolly Good Ale..”..see, where is it?
AG: Page sixty-nine
Student: Where’s the refrain, I can’t remember it?
AG: The refrain’s at the end (of the poem), at the bottom of the page, the first page, page sixty-nine – the last two lines – “I stuff my skin so full within/ Of jolly good ale and old” - how does it go?
Student: Yes. “Of jolly good ale and old..”, “Of jolly good ale and old” [offers up a melody]
AG: [takes it up] “I cannot eat but little meat/ My stomach is not good./ But sure I think that I can drink/ With him that wears an hood” – “Though I go bare, take ye no care,/I am nothing am a-cold;/I stuff my skin so full within/Of jolly good ale and old.” - Is that it? huh?..
Student: Gilligan’s Island..
AG: What? What is Gilligan’s Island? a television show?
Student: It’s an old tv show
AG; And do they have this song?
Student: They have the same tune
AG: Well..well, we just made it up on the spot...
AG: “Back and side go bare, go bare/ Both hand and foot go cold/But belly, God send thee good ale enough/Whether it be new or old” - “Whether it..” I never.. You need to know the singing of that to know how it should be pronounced.
Student: Sounds like an old sea-shanty
AG: Yeah,well, it is, yeah, do you remember how that goes? That part
Student: That part?
AG: Yeah, could you sing it?
Student: . ..if you’ve got someone to sing it with – “Back and side fgo bare, go bare” - something like that
AG: Please complete that quatrain, singing
Student: : Okay. “Back and side go bare, go bare/Both hand and foot go cold/But belly, God send thee good ale enough/Whether it be new or old”
AG: Ah – “ But belly, God send thee good ale enough/Whether it be new or old”
Student: I think it’s “belly, God send thee..”. I think we just sang it “ale enough” – that would be more natural – “And belly God send me ale enough” would be more metrical..
AG: Yeah, I .. more square , more square metrical – [sings] “But belly God send thee good ale enough/Whether it be new or old” .. No, it’d be alright. I just.. I stumble on that too, you see. I don’t know how to put it. Because it’s there, it means it really is there and there must have been some fantastic syncopated melody to deal with that “good” there
Student: …."jolly good ale". that would stretch - "Jolly good ale" – but here...
AG: “But, belly, God send thee good ale enough” – ok “But, belly, God send thee good ale enough” – ok [sings] “But, belly, God send thee good ale enough/Whether it be new or old”
Student: (I like the first)
AG; I like it that way. What’s the rest of it like?
“I cannot eat but little meat/My stomach is not good;/But sure I think that I could drink /With him that wears an hood./Though I go bare, take ye no care/I nothing am a-cold/I stuff my skin so full within/Of jolly good ale and old/I love no roast but a nut-brown toast,/ And a crab laid in the fire/A little bread shall do me stead/Much bread I not desire/Nor frost nor snow, no wind, I trow,/Can hurt me if I wold;/ I am so wrapp'd and thoroughly lapp'd/Of jolly good ale and old/ And Tib, my wife that as her life/Loveth well good ale to seek/Full oft drinks she till ye may see/The tears run down her cheek:/ Then doth she trowl to me the bowl/Even as a maltworm should,/And saith, "Sweetheart, I took my part/Of this jolly good ale and old/Now let them drink till they nod and wink,/Even as good fellows should do;/They shall not miss to have the bliss/Good ale doth bring men to/And all poor souls that have scour'd bowls/Or have them lustily troll'd/God save the lives of them and their wives/Whether they be young or old".
[Audio for the above can be heardhere, beginning at approximately seventy-one-and-three-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately seventy-six-and-a-half minutes in]