Monday, 11 April 2016

Paper of Pins - join in if you know the words

You may have noticed that currently I'm rather into the origins of old
songs and nursery rhymes with even the most tenuous of connections
to the Gentle Art (who incidentally make very find hand-dyed threads
- see below) of Needlework.

Gentle Art Sampler Threads (GAST to you 'n me)

Paper of Pins is one of those songs that would crop up now and again in
the sixties when folk clubs were all the rage and Aran clad youths clutching
acoustic guitars and banjo's would cup one ear as they leaned into a
microphone to rail loudly about the injustices of life both past and present
or love lost, found or coming rather nicely to the boil (preferably tonight).

Those were the days.  His Aran's in the wash.

I must admit that I don't always pay proper attention to the actual meaning of
the words being sung.  For years I thought the hymn "Gladly My Cross I'd Bear"
was not all about personal suffering, pain and redemption but instead a cheery
ditty about a cuddly, cross-eyed bear by the name of Gladly.

So the first verse, sung by the ardent young swain goes:  I'll give you a paper of
pins, If that's the way that love begins, If you will marry, marry, marry, marry.
If you will marry me.

His first offer!

It's small wonder that she turns him down.  A screw of paper with a load of pins 
in it is most certainly not the way love begins.  I wonder if that's where
that charming old expression "Fancy a quick screw darling" originated.
I know how it ended up.  How dare he, the cheapskate.
A few Vodka shots and a fish supper at the very, very least my lad!

Always check silver love spoons for
hallmarks girls.

It's all too easy to let the words slip by with no thought for what's actually going 
on.  So not being one to give up our young Jack the Lad up's the ante a bit and
sings:  I'll give to you a silver spoon, Feed the baby in the afternoon, If you will
marry etc.  Still not good enough.  Doesn't he know you have to clean silver
and who said anything about kids?  On your bike mister.

The golden balls of "Uncle's".  I wonder if they'd
advance him anything for his silver spoon?

Now at this stage it is unclear if the youth has been smoking illegal substances 
but forgive me for being suspicious of his next offer:  I'll give to you a golden
ball, To bounce from the kitchen to the hall. If you will marry etc.  Well something
should certainly bounce at this juncture.  Probably a pair of them and not
necessarily golden ones unless he's a footballer.

In one last desperate bid to hook up with the young lass he decides to go for broke
and offers her:  The keys of the chest and all the money that he possesses.  And
wouldn't you just know it, she says YES!  Crafty little baggage.  But here comes
the sting in the tail.  He says:  You love my money but you don't love me.
Withdraws his offer.  End it.

Well if it isn't Sally Free and Easy.

That is until now as I've just written a post script to this tale.  The swain (or should
that be swine?) spots little Sally Free 'n Easy (but that's another song for another
day) across the meadow, puts his paper of pins back in his pocket (also for another
day) and sets off in hot pursuit as he knows a winner when he sees one.

The moral of this tale is that a paper of pins in the hand isn't always necessary for a
quickie in the bush.  Happy stitching and beware of boys bearing pins.

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