Question about Howl's Saucepan Song

Philip.Belben at pgen.com Philip.Belben at pgen.com
Tue Aug 3 08:05:19 EDT 1999



>> Does anyone know the origin of Calcifer's "silly saucepan song"
>> in Howl's moving castle?  Is it in Welsh?  Is "they think so much
>> about me that they always play without me" that Howl sings when
>> drunk from the same song?
>
> I don't know about its origin, but yes, it's in Welsh and it's what
> Welsh rugby fans sing at matches. Howl's text is obviously not *from*
> the song; he's just upset because he's a Welsh rugby player and the
> team doesn't invite him to play.

[Text of the song snipped - many thanks Irina!]

> I can sing it, but I don't think that comes over well in ASCII :-)

I should very much like to see a copy of the music.  Is there an easy way you
could post that?


To say that Howl is "just upset because he's a Welsh rugby player and the team
doesn't invite him to play" I think may be oversimplifying it slightly.  I would
hypothesise _at least_ three families of versions of the song:

1.  The official version and minor variants - what the fans sing at matches.

2.  Somewhat ruder versions, that the fans sing at the pub afterwards.

3.  Versions that the players sing, mainly similar songs that go to the same
tune.

I would guess that Howl's line actually comes from a genuine song in group 3,
probably one they were singing at the Rugby club reunion that night.  But I
don't know.

To give an example of this phenomenon - unfortunately I don't know any rugby
songs - I cite "Rule Britannia".  The official version is found in many song
books, and is simply a celebration of the power of the British navy (those were
the days!).

However, there is a quite different version that was (is?) sung actually _in_
the navy - after all, the navy all knew that Britannia ruled the waves! - and
this version tells a silly story about a sailor who married a mermaid.

The point being that the song you sing to support your team, and the song the
team sing themselves, may be quite different, although ostensibly versions of
the same song.

Just my two penn'orth

Philip.





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