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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
Re: Worker
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0226  Friday, 7 February 2003

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 6 Feb 2003 16:21:29 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0216 Worker

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 6 Feb 2003 12:14:37 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 14.0216 Worker

[3]     From:   Nancy Charlton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 06 Feb 2003 08:54:49 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0216 Worke

[4]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Thursday, 06 Feb 2003 19:45:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0216 Worker


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Thursday, 6 Feb 2003 16:21:29 -0000
Subject: 14.0216 Worker
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0216 Worker

>I wonder if SHAKSPERians could help me with a reference. There is a
>British song from the Second World War sung from the perspective of a
>worker who makes the cog that works the engine that runs the tank that's
>going to win the war.

"Arthur Askey song from WWII
THE THINGUMMY-BOB
You've heard of Florence Nightingale, Grace Darling and the rest ..."

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=56362

[As a matter of mild interest, it was less than a minute from my posting
the query on Mudcat before someone popped up with the answer.]

Robin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Thursday, 6 Feb 2003 12:14:37 -0500
Subject: Worker
Comment:        SHK 14.0216 Worker

For Gabriel Egan:

The song is 'The Thing-Ummy-Bob (That's Going To Win The War)". The
singer is Gracie Fields. It isn't a patch on "The Biggest Aspidistra In
the World".  And Tillyard will be turning in his grave.

T. Hawkes

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy Charlton <
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Date:           Thursday, 06 Feb 2003 08:54:49 -0800
Subject: 14.0216 Worker
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0216 Worker

Gabriel Egan asked for the song about the cogs etc that run the engines
of war. Can't help there, but Richard III's "My kingdom for a horse"
always reminds me of the nursery rhyme (isn't it?) ". . . for want of a
nail the shoe was lost/ for want of a shoe the horse was lost"  and so
on through rider, message, battle, war, king & country--"and all for the
want of a three-penny nail."

Nancy Charlton

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Thursday, 06 Feb 2003 19:45:20 -0500
Subject: 14.0216 Worker
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0216 Worker

I turned this question over to the "piffle" list (offshoot of the Lord
Peter Wimsey list), and got a response almost at once from Iain Archer
<
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"The Thing-ummy-bob (That's Going to Win the War)", performed by Gracie
Fields and by Arthur Askey.  See http://www.opuscds.com/cd/30381, or
http://www.emusic.com/cd/10746/10746920.html.  The songwriter, David
Heneker, died only recently; there's a collection of obits at
http://www.mellor48.freeserve.co.uk/DavidHenekerBMM.htm.

An excerpt transcribed from the Arthur Askey recording:

   She's the girl that makes the thing
   That drills the hole that holds the spring
   That drives the rod that turns the knob
   That works the thing-ummy-bob.

   She's the girl that makes the thing
   That holds the oil that oils the ring
   That takes the shank that moves the crank
   That works the thing-ummy-bob.

   It's a ticklish sort of job,
   Taking a thing for a thing-ummy-bob,
   Especially when you don't know what it's for.

Unfortunately, the 30-second sample ends at this point.

A decade ago, the song was used for a Toshiba ad in the UK, which is
archived in all its video glory at:
http://www.completeshite.com/davethewave-adverts/1992/toshiba.wmv.  It
sounds like another portion of the same recording, but I'm uncertain of
its complete authenticity.

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