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The Big Strong Man
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Taditional Crowd interactive song
Creative Commons license
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World - Traditional Irish
Previous peak charts position #27
Previous peak charts position in subgenre #1
Trad. PD.
1999, Darby O'Gill
January 02, 2007
1 version uploaded:
MP3 3.1 MB  •  320 kbps  •  3:21
On 17 playlists
Story behind the song
Farcicle song about Sylvest, that gets the crowd involved. Notes: This song was written, (or at the least it was re-derived), in or about 1928. The Jeffries-Johnson fight was held in 1910. The Lusitania was sunk in 1915. The movie, “The Big, Strong Man”, was released in 1922. Jack Dempsey, (mentioned in the first verse instead of George Forman), lost his crown in 1926. Mae West was most popular in 1928 and a bit later. I am often dumbfounded at the liberties singers will take with lyric. Whereas I agree that lyrics need to be altered to reflect the style and sensibilities of the performer and the audience, some perfectly good, even clever bits are missed through ignorance or inattentiveness. As an example I offer one word from this song: of. In the second verse, my brother, Sylvest’ is going to swim from New York to Italy. He jumps off the harbor and swims like a man “of” Cork. Some versions have: like a man from Cork. Others have: like a man made of cork. “He swam like a man of Cork” maintains the double entendre, but very few versions include it.
Lyrics
The Big, Strong Man E Have you heard about the big, strong man? (What man?) B7 He lives in a caravan (Caravan?) Have you heard about the Jefferies-Johnson fight E Oh Lord, what a hell of a night You can take all the heavyweights you got (What you got?) We’ve got a man who can beat the whole lot (Whole lot?) He used to work here as a doorman Now he’s goin’ to fight George Foreman That’s me brother, Sylvest’ (What’s he got?) He’s got a row of forty medals on his chest (Big Chest!) He killed fifty vermin in the west He knows no rest Hell of a man (Hell’s fire!) Don’t push (Just shove) Plenty room for you and me He’s got an arm like a leg (Ladies’ leg) And a punch that could sink a battleship (Bullshit!) 1: It takes all the army and the navy to put the wind up Sylvest’ 2: It takes all the army and the navy to knock the block off Sylvest’ 3: It takes all the army and the navy to take the bra off Mae West He thought that he’d go to Italy (Italy?) And he thought that he’d go by sea (I see) So he jumped off the harbor in New York And he swam like a man o’ Cork He saw the Lusitania in distress (What’d he do?) He put the Lusitania on his chest (Big Chest!) Then he drank all the water in the sea And he walked all the way to Italy He thought that he’d go to old Japan (Old Japan) So they brought out the whole brass band (Brass band) He played every instrument they got Like a lad he beat the whole lot The old church choir did sing (Sing song) And the old church bells did ring (Ding dong) And they all turned out to say farewell To my big brother, Sylvest’
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