Digital Tradition Mirror

The Folksingers' Ball

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

The Folksingers' Ball

cho: Wha do you lassie?
     Wha do you noo?
     The one wha do you last time,
     He canna do you noo!

1. The Clancy Brothers they were there,
   Along with Tommy Makem.
   They waved their Finnegans in the air,
   But, alas, they could not wake 'em.

2. And Peter with his banjo,
   Was pickin' until dawn.
   Next morning all the lassies asked,
   "Where have all our flowers gone?"

3. Oh, Ed McCurdy he was there,
   But not the least obscene.
   Compared to all the songs he sings,
   This was exquisite clean.

4. Then Jan Ian she came in,
   Her behavior was quite mild,
   Although she is a grown-up now,
   She's still "Society's Child."

5. Professor Child he came in,
   But just to take a look,
   And every variation,
   He wrote down in his book.

6. Then next came Alan Lomax,
   With his microphone,
   He spent the night recording,
   Every squeal and moan.

7. And the Earl of Scruggs he was there,
   What do you think of that?
   He had a little breakdown,
   That left his Lester Flatt.

8. And Old Man Guthrie he was there,
   He made the lassies coo,
   "Oh, Woody, you are so long,
   It's been good to know you, too!"

9. Oh, Huddie Ledbetter he was there,
   He made the lassies squeal,
   For his belly 'twas said was made of lead,
   But his pride was tempered steel.

10. And Ewan MacColl he was there,
    Explaining to a lass,
    "I sing about the workin',
    And not the firkin' class."

11. And McGuinn the Byrdie joined the fun,
    He made the lassies yearn.
    They stood in queue and one by one,
    Each took her "Turn, Turn, Turn."

12. But little Arlo, I pray tell,
    He didn't do no firkin',
    'Cause he spent the night with A.O.L.,
    On the Internet a-lurkin'.

13. And old Josh White he went bare,
    A-prancin' through the hall,
    Asking all the lassies there,
    To taste his "One Meatball."

13. The Carter Family's drinking beer,
    They were on a spree,
    And every fifteen minutes,
    They stopped to take A.P.

14. The singer-songwriters we saw,
    Cavorting with their lovers,
    Were singin' 'til their throats were raw,
    But wouldn't do no covers.

15. Ed Cray had on a costume,
    Inspired by the blues,
    He dressed up as an old tomcat,
    And gave erotic mews.

16. Said Berryman to Berryman,
    "What _are_ they doing, dear?"
    "Words fail me," answered Berryman,
    "I see some mothers here."

17. If you went into the back room,
    You might see Oscar Brand,
    Working on a ballad,
    With whatever came to hand.

18. Oh, Joanie Baez she was there,
    Of non-violence she did speak,
    So when a laddie bumped her rump,
    She turned the other cheek.

19. Don Laycock joined the company,
    His face was rather red,
    For when they'd introduced him,
    There was no more to be said.

20. Tom Lehrer gave a lecture,
    That had everybody scared.
    He stood on the piano,
    And shouted, "Be prepared!"

21. "I've madeira on my waistcoat,"
    Poor Flanders said to Swann.
    "It worked so well the first time!
    Well, let's be getting on."

22. And Robert smiled aboon the crew,
    And doun his voice cam ringin',
    "For a' that, there are some owre fou,
    But wha's owre fou for singin'?"

23. Well, Louie Killen he was there,
    His back agin' the wall,
    He squeezed and squeezed and squeezed and squeezed,
    But it wouldna go in at all.

24. And Ali Anderson he was there,
    But he knew what to do.
    His 'tina wouldna fit, so,
    He's usin' his chanter noo.

25. The Kingston Trio they came in,
    The night was very young,
    When each one dropped his pants to show,
    How Tom Dooley hung.

26. Jean Ritchie she spent the night,
    A-ticklin' on her zither,
    And all the lads who watched her there,
    Couldn't help but shake and shiver.

27. Paul and Mary they came in,
    In private he did meet her,
    They had a "Puff" of some magic stuff,
    And then brought out his Peter.

28. The traditional singer's wife,
    Was sighin', "Dear, oh dear!
    He never performed a' his life,
    Wi'out his finger in his ear."

29. No one was shocked when Cecil Sharp,
    Winked at Lester Flatt.
    It scarcely seemed unnatural,
    They they should have a chat.

30. Richard Dyer-Bennet,
    Surprised everybody,
    For his stones were like a baritone's,
    But his voice a true castrati.

31. Bob Dylan kept his britches on,
    So one would never know,
    If his hung "Forever Young,"
    Or on "Desolation Row."

32. But when he finally took 'em off,
    How old Bobby grinned,
    For all the gas that he passed,
    Was "Blowing in the Wind."

33. Sid and Henry they were there,
    A-makin' fast and free,
    Though could not do that proper like,
    But only parody.

34. Now Gordon Bok he came on down,
    From Nor'east on the go.
    When they asked him for his pleasure,
    He answered, "Isle au Haut!"

35. Stan Rogers he was quick and sure,
    And strong with what it takes,
    But he wouldna take the lassies at a',
    Not even "Between the Breaks."

36. Now k.d. lang she came and looked,
    And said, "There's naught to fear,
    From all these swinging blades afar,
    If I can keep my Holly Near."

37. Lovely Hedy West was there,
    Observin' with dismay,
    After one quick peek she wished she were,
    "Five Hundred Miles" away.

38. Dar Williams she stopped to give,
    The older folkies hell,
    But when they all exposed themselves,
    Said, "My, you're aging well!"

39. Crystal Gale was at the ball,
    And her old lover, too.
    He sighed and said, "It's been a while,
    Since I was 'Blue Bayou.'"

40. The Kingston Trio soon came in,
    And everyone was keen,
    To know amonst the three of them,
    Which one slept in between.

41. And Cecil Sharp was taking notes,
    While watching all the fun,
    He's never tried himself but he,
    Knows all the way's it's done.

42. Stephen, Stephen, he was limply,
    Trying harder than most,
    To get us all to write a verse,
    But couldn't get a post.

By mutual agreement of the authors, this song is now and forever in
the PUBLIC DOMAIN. No copyrights are claimed. Among those who
contributed or polished up verses are: Joseph C. Fineman, Eric Berge,
Sean Smith, Ada M. Prill, Donald Nichols, Abby Sale, Robert Derrick,
Justan O. Thereditor, Leslie Evers, Barrie McCombs, and Stephen L.

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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