Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 42 > Page 61 - "George Alfred Beckett": Story & Song

Page 61 - "George Alfred Beckett": Story & Song

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1 (240 reads)

traditional phrases--instead of the origin? al and specific detail he knew and might have used--informed the making of this song about Beckett. We are suggesting, simply, that Phil Pen? ney can be seen as a conservative songwrit? er. His song is part of the social mechan? isms that help keep people in place moral? ly. Ray Penney told us of another song by his father, "Dirty Danny," which worked to keep people in their place socially in much the same way the Beckett song had its moral role, Ray told us: "And he made a little ditty of his own, he called it 'Dirty Danny.' "Sandy, what's wrong? Are you hurt?" "No, Dad, I'm fine." "Where are you?" "At Pat's. We all came over here to celebrate after the game." "It's almost 12:30. Isn't it time you called it a night?" "That's just it. Remember you always told me if I was out never to drive with anyone who's had too much to drink? And not to be afraid to call you if I had no other way of getting home? Well, tonight I'm taking you at your word." "Stay right there. I'm coming to pick you up." "Thanks, Dad. Oh, and something else." "Shoot." "Are you angry with me?" "Angry? No, Sandy. Not on your life." And I'll tell you what happened. Two of them were working on the pit bottom, and Dan later got on the Coal Company Police. But he had worked with them for years on the bottom. And every day they used to take up kindling. And they'd take the kind? ling home to chop up for wood, for the fire. So when he worked with my father he used to take it up every day. So then when he got on the Coal Company Police, my fa? ther was coming up one day with a bundle of wood and he was standing at the shaft. Asked him, 'Where you going with the wood?' And my father said, 'Same place as you went with it. I'm taking it home for the fire.' He said, 'Well, you're under ar? rest. ' So after he was getting on the Coal Company Police, he didn't know his bud? dies . "So my father took it home. And, oh, a- bout two or three hours' time, one of the Coal Company Po? licemen came to the door. Danny was af? ter laying a charge against him. For stealing. From the c omp any. Th e s ame thing that he did, for years and years-- taking the wood up. Was no value to the company. They used to take it home, the men. It was all stoves in those days, you know. "So anyway, my fa? ther had to appear before the magis? trate in town. He paid $7.50. So he came home. He said, 'By God, that was an awful trick Dan pulled on me.' He said, 'So I must pull one on him now.' So he made this song up and he sold hun? dreds and hundreds of copies around Glace Bay. A lot of people got a good laugh out of it, you know." youVe got to nelp me " Seagram We believe in moderation and we've been saying so since 1934 How much alcohol can you safely handle? Write for a free chart on drinking limits. P.O. Box 847, Station H, Montreal, Quebec. H3G 2M8 SONG ON NEXT PAGE
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download