P Stands For Paddy I Suppose


Jon has this one down as “Possibly the first folk song I ever ‘performed’ – in a campfire scene in a school play. Basically a version of Verdant Braes Of Skreen and as before learnt from Planxty.”

I’ll refer you straight back to May 4th and the other version of this. There are several variants with T For Thomas as another and even J For Johnny, although the P For Paddy variant became the popular version amongst some of the revival singers and is thus probably more widely performed today, although it isn’t necessarily the original. It was printed as a Broadside in the 1820s, and Cecil Sharp collected a version from a Gypsy singer in Gloucestershire.  In some versions the words get a bit muddled, but this seems more to be about a total lack of spelling ability than anything else. I’ll give you the Mainly Norfolk link that it shares with Verdant Braes… Aside from that there’s little I can add, except that I’m wiser about the whole ‘birds nest’ business!!!



18 Responses to “P Stands For Paddy I Suppose”

  1. the_otter says:

    I remember Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy singing T stands for Thomas on Radio 4 a few years ago. Has Jon made some adjustments to the chorus or is the spelling usually better than in T stands for Thomas (W E and N stands for my sweet William…)?

    Anyway, nice song, well sung.

  2. Mike New says:

    Hi all. I have a feeling Dando Shaft ( Kevin Dempsey) may have covered this. I will investigate my collection and let you know idc.

    🙂 Music Mike

  3. Mike New says:

    Found it on an old cassette! on the other side of a Dando Shaft recording I must have made. Released in 1977 on the EMERALD GEM Label GES 1189 … the 1st album from Montreal’s Barde. A French-Canadian gem.

    🙂 Music Mike

  4. Phil says:

    The ‘voyeuristic’ element you referred to on May 4th is just framing, I think: a lot of the “lover’s conversation” songs seem to be written in this sort of form, “I went for a walk and I heard a woman talking, and she said…” and cue the song proper. These days, what with folk singing being a fairly specialist activity, nobody thinks too much about a man singing “When I was in my prime” (or a woman singing “When a man’s in love”), but when it was more of a popular art-form it made sense for the ballad-writers to hedge their bets.

  5. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Jon: Wonderfully delivered song that I like more each time I hear it.

    @ Skyman: Ref your “I’m wiser about the whole ‘birds nest’ business!!!” under ‘Verdant Braes of Skreen’ – I’m guilty as charged – lol!

  6. Diana says:

    I thought it sounded familiar. Still one can never have too much of a good thing.

  7. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    Of the two songs, I prefer The Verdant Braes of Skreen, but this song has a certain charm. I was perplexed by the title, ‘P. Stands for Paddy I Suppose’, but have now decided that the person in the song is gazing at the trunk of an old tree where the initials of past lovers have been carved in the bark. I am sure someone will tell me that I am ‘barking up the wrong tree’ entirely and will give me the real meaning, but, hey ho !

    Talking of barking, those kind people who commiserated with me over the loss of my old dog, will be pleased to hear of our new arrival. We have just obtained from a nearby rescue centre a black and tan collie, about 18mths old, who is wonderful. So full of life and pleased to be with us, he was one of a batch of strays brought over from Ireland so has been named “Murphy’.

  8. Diana says:

    That’s good especially getting a dog from a rescuecentre where there are so many unwanted animals. Bully for you John. A really appropriate name for an Irish dog too.

  9. Diana says:

    @ Linda I hope you and Colin enjoy your evening out in Bury on Sunday. I am sure that you will, because if Spiers and Boden are as good as they were in Leeds then you are guaranteed to have a good evening out. I am writing this early just in case the computer conks again.

  10. Muzza (N.W Surrey-UK) says:

    M…..stands for Muzza I suppose
    U…..for up at crack of dawn
    Z…stands for sleeping all the time
    Z….for where’s his love life’s gawn

  11. Diana says:

    Jolly good Muzza. Not wake up!

  12. OldMuzza (N.W Surrey-UK) says:

    D stands for Diana I suppose
    J for Janey and her cats
    L for Linda and Colin with his thumb
    I for Ilkley moor baht ‘at

    Oh well…it’s another ‘Drop the dead donkey day’!

  13. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    Well as I seem to be the only one here these days so I can’t possibly cause offence with my juvenile schoolboy humour……….
    it just struck me…listening to the song again….that the lady should stick with Paddy as verse two lets you into the secret that John has a false willy…..or am I missing something here!

  14. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    Yep ….I was right……….24 hours have passed and neither the Yorkshire cat botherer nor the ‘pics of old Blackpool’ lady rose to the bait!…..so the AFSAD site is MINE ALL MINE ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha….socks and vest…..fry, roast and set fire to it!

  15. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey.UK) says:

    …forget 24 hours…………365 days have passed and nairy a sniff of a comeback
    as the song says…….”I’ll go climb the tall tall tree and rob the wild birds nest……..and then I might as well jump off”

  16. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey.U) says:

    Still hanging on there

  17. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    Oh….missed 2018!!!!…….listening again I realise I had a moldegreen……..the correct words in the chorus are….Double U stands for False Willyam…..I heard it as “False willy on”
    ……a different kettle of fish entirely….and a different website !!!!!!

  18. Bellamy in evidence again


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