I am from Morriston, born and brought up. I now live in New Zealand and have done so for 58 years. I learnt this song from my father in1947 or 1948 when I was 9 or 10 years old and used to go from house to house singing it to neighbours and relations because many of them lived in the same street. Sixpence was the normal reward.
And it must have worked because since then I went on to sing with The Morriston Orpheus Male Choir before emigrating to New Zealand, and have since sung roles for 21 years for Opera New Zealand. Currently I train a male voice choir in Auckland - The North Shore Male Choir. I sang the song to my wife (a New Zealander) early this morning, and, only by chance, sent the words and the recollection of childhood to the men in the choir, because it was New Year’s Day morning!
Then to my astonishment, one of them (Drew, an Irishman) found your site and sent it on to me. I thought it was a local song but didn’t know that for sure until you confirmed it. Thank you for that.
My learnt child-version was
“Happy New Year’s morning, the cocks are all a-crowing,
Rise up, rise up, look at the stars and moon.
The stars and moon are shining and we are all a-fighting
Rise up, rise up, look at the stars and moon."
My word Lynn you keep your self busy.
Sixpence would have been a good result.
You are of the “fighting” school but not the “ If you think...” couplet. I would guess you lived west of Pentrepoeth Road and North of Woodfield Street with that version!
Two to have sung with The Morriston Orpheus contributing to this thread about a local folk song which brings back memories of childhood.
There are some old photos of the choir in the Morriston of Yesteryear part of this Morriston Camera Club website (found via menu and home)The only person I recognise in the 1957 photo is John James ( second row seventh from the right) but remember his tTV appearance.
Thinking about it Ray and Lynn this could be small collaboration between New Zealand and Morriston choirs. One of those done on Zoom and recorded. An arrangement of the agreed lyrics and tune would be needed first. Quite something to try to do for 2021 in lockdown here.
Your brother Raymond is quite correct about us bein in Martin Street school together. I was in the school choir and I think Raymond may have been in it as well.
After our time in Martin Street we we both went to Pentrepoeth and I remember that we were very good mates.
I seem to recall that Raymong lived in the lower end of Chemical Road and lived not far from John James, who Lynn John recognised from an Orpheus photo.
I went on tour with the Orpheus to New Zealand in 1999 and 2003, so it is very likely that Lynn would have attended at least one of the concerts and met many of the choristers.
I would so pleased if you would remember me to your brother and I would love for him to get in touch with me for old time sale.