Thursday, July 10, 2008

1882 (McCartney)



Good morning, young master, it's 1882
And your mother is hungry, what will you do?
There is bread in the kitchen of the big house upstairs
But I warn you, don't take it from them
You'll be tarred, you'll be feathered, you'll be hung like a ham
And I warn you, don't do it, young man

Your mother is calling, she wants you by the bed
So get ready, young master, well, go shake your sleepy head
"Darling son, I am dying and I leave it to you
As I'm leaving, tell me what did I do?"

"I'm dying, tell me what did I do?"

Well, boy steals the bread, now that's enough, heads for the door
Man sees you coming, said "Boy, you won't be running no more"
Boy gets arrested and the case it gets tested that day
Judge finds him guilty and the jailer takes him away
Yeah, whoa

Good morning, young master, it's twenty-five to nine
They'll be coming to get you, well, in twenty minutes time
You'll be drawn, you'll be quartered, you'll be hung like a ham
But I warn you, get ready, young man
Said the boy, "I am dying and I leave it to you
As I'm leaving, tell me what did I do?
As I'm dying, tell me what did I do?"




This unusual song has never been officially released although it was performed by Paul McCartney and Wings in concert several times. Several versions have appeared on bootlegs over the years, but as far as I can tell, the version that has served as the soundtrack in a couple Iamaphoney alias channels is unique. I suspect it is an Iamaphoneyized version, but it is arguably the most musically satisfying to my ears.

The lyrical content of the song is quite unusual. Some would fault McCartney's lyrics because of the way he separates common expressions in order to fit the melody, but there is every reason to believe that this was intentional. Saying "You'll be tarred, you'll be feathered" and "You'll be drawn, you'll be quartered" is like saying, "You'll be fine, you'll be dandy."

Unlike many McCartney songs, this one does have a cohesive story. McCartney sings about an impoverished boy and the consequences he faced for stealing a loaf of bread from the big house upstairs. Many impoverished boys flooded into London in 1882. Jewish refugees from Russia emigrated to London after the 1881 assassination of Tsar Alexander II. The murder was linked to Jewish revolutionaries and resulted in horrible atrocities against Jews in Russia, who had fled Poland for the same reason. The influx, which resulted in increasing poverty in the Whitechapel district of London, included a fatherless Jewish boy in his late teens named Aaron Kosminski. In 1888, the Whitechapel area of London was terrorized by a series of murders. The killer, who was never caught, was believed to have been behind several disturbing letters that were sent to Scotland Yard and media outlets. One postcard was responsible for the killer being dubbed Jack the Ripper. Studies of the troubled life and bizarre behavior of Aaron Kosminski has led many to believe that he was the infamous serial killer.



I don't know what the song is really about, but I'll bet if they ever had caught that Jack the Ripper guy, they would have had him tarred and feathered, drawn and quartered, and hung like a ham.



Here is the latest from grandfatheraleister - Paul is Dead - 28 - Yesterday's Dead Man

UPDATE: Fireman from sonofwhom

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, taf. Just wow.

Nick said...

Cool Post!

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo529rzSkcQ in this video it seems like PIDgame found the suitcase.

Anonymous said...

Vince here,
YOU ARE such a 'hot-bed' of knowledge......
are you looking all this up as we go along??

Tafultong said...

anonymous,

He claims he found the suitcase and then put it back.

Tafultong said...

Hey Vince,

This one did sort of unfold on me. When I thought about the line in the song that says, "Your mother is calling, she wants you by the bed" and then read about Aaron Kosminski's strange relationship with his mother and sisters, something clicked just a little bit. But the historical information is sketchy to say the least.

Felipegcs said...

"You'll be tarred, you'll be feathered, you'll be hung like a ham"

Piggies?

Anonymous said...

The troubled mother/son relationship bit makes me think of the movie "Harold and Maude" all of a sudden. Bud Cort has a sort of McCartneyesque charm to him and his character in the film is obsessed with staging his death over and over again. I'm actually kind of surprised the interim IAAP crew hasn't used footage from it in their little clips yet.

MikeNL said...

This one did sort of unfold on me. When I thought about the line in the song that says, "Your mother is calling, she wants you by the bed" and then read about Aaron Kosminski's strange relationship with his mother and sisters, something clicked just a little bit. But the historical information is sketchy to say the least.

----------
When i find myself in times of trouble, mother mary comes to me.

Joel Brinkerhoff said...

if you add : &fmt=18
to the end of all youtube addresses, you will see a higher quality stream.

Anonymous said...

"back in the USSR" may relate then

Tafultong said...

Joel Brinkerhoff said...
if you add : &fmt=18
to the end of all youtube addresses, you will see a higher quality stream.


Thanks, Joel. It's great to have another celebrity with us. And thank you for the plug on your blog.

http://joelbrinkerhoff.blogspot.com/


I have considered adding that extension to all of the YouTube links, but I think it takes a little while after the video uploads for the higher quality version to be available.

Anonymous said...

Jack the Ripper appears in a drawing Klaus Voorman did of The Beatles.

In the song, Hey, Bulldog, John sings, "jacknife in your sweaty hands". Given some of the other lines, I always thought this song was about Paul.

What gives?

Anonymous said...

All of the releases of Hey Bulldog are all different mixes. I'm thinking that is from the Mark Lewisohn book... Why would they change it up? And the guitar riff is in Lady Madonna on the Love album... Again another mother reference... Which fits in well with Taf's post on love....
F

Tafultong said...

I don't want to carry this too far (remember the starting point was a bit over the top) but, in the song "Don't Be Careless Love" Paul sings:

Saw Your Face In The Morning Paper
Saw Your Body Rolled Up In A Rug
Chopped Up Into Two Little Pieces
By Some Thug