One Penny A Tune Image




One Penny A Tune

One Penny A Tune Image
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One Penny A Tune
I'm scraping a living.....
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I am a poor tailor, as everyone knows
I spend all my day at the buttons and bows,
But when evening comes round, as money is short,
Soon I'm dragging a bow of a different sort.

            One penny a tune, one penny a tune,
            All they will pay me's one penny a tune.
            One penny a tune, one penny a tune,
            I'm scraping a living, one penny a tune.

Be it Saturday dance, wedding or wake,
Be they wealthy or poor, their money I'll take,
But though I'm much vaunted, I won't get rich soon,
For all they will pay me's one penny a tune

            One penny a tune, one penny a tune,
            All they will pay me's one penny a tune.
            One penny a tune, one penny a tune,
            I'm scraping a living, one penny a tune.

One penny a hornpipe, one penny a jig,
One penny a strathspey at every gig,
One penny a polka, one penny a reel,
But nobody asks how the fiddler feels.

            One penny a tune, one penny a tune,
            All they will pay me's one penny a tune.
            One penny a tune, one penny a tune,
            I'm scraping a living, one penny a tune.

Now words got around, there's new folks at the Manse,
And they want me to play for their welcoming dance,
Oh with such a patron, I'll shoot for the moon,
And I'll ask 'em to pay me three ha'pence a tune.

            Three ha'pence a tune, three ha'pence a tune,
            I'll ask 'em to pay me three ha'pence a tune.
            Three ha'pence a tune, three ha'pence a tune,
            I'll make a good living living at three ha'pence a tune.




The melody I use for the song is 'Coppertop', a waltz in mixolydian mode, which I adapted from the well known hornpipe/reel 'The Red Haired Boy' some years ago.

fiddlesizespace


© Tim Brooks August 2018

About the image

A Netherlands 'Penny' - Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands on a one cent coin!

Origin of the Song

We were being taken round 'Hindeloopen' , an old city on the Ijsselmeer in Friesland in the north of the Netherlands, by our good friends, Nanne Kalma and Ankie Van Der Meer, and Nanne told us this anecdote about a local fiddler notorious for only ever playing each tune once through before changing to another.

Supposedly the reason behind this was that he was always paid one penny for each tune he played, so naturally tried to get through as many different tunes as he could!

In response to the story Lesley commented ' Now that's what I call scraping a living' - and the idea for the song was born!

That ws October 2016, and it took until August 2018 to finish the song!

I had several attempts to set a tune to the words, but they were all dreadful, until eventually I hit on the idea of using my tune 'Coppertop', which is actually a waltz time version of 'The Red Haired Boy' (normally a hornpipe or reel in A)

Media files of One Penny A Tune

Media files marked *** are not yet available - to be added soon!

Audio files

    Here is an early mp3 recording of me attempting to sing One Penny a Tune as I work up the fiddle part.

Printable Song Sheets.

     pdf of the lyrics

Melody notation and suggested chords

     pdf copy of the melody line with suggested chords