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Recitation: Absolute Knowledge

DigiTrad:
DECK OF CARDS
JIM
RINDERCELLA
STORY OF PETEY, THE SNAKE
THE PEE LITTLE THRIGS


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GUEST,Taliesin 21 Jun 11 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Grishka 21 Jun 11 - 03:37 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Jun 11 - 08:18 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 21 Jun 11 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Taliesin 02 Dec 13 - 03:44 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Absolute Knowledge
From: GUEST,Taliesin
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 10:33 AM

In 1958 our senior class held the last black face minstrel show in the south. Blacks were still required to sit in a different part of the theatre than whites, two water fountains and all that.

My grandfather had appeared in a minstrel show around 1917 so he volunteered to teach me two poems. (my aplogies to anyone of color or different nationality)

Absolute Knowledge

Absolute Knowledge I have none
But my aunts brothers sisters son

met a policemen on his beat
who received a letter just last week
written in the finest Greek

From a Chinese coolie in Timbucktu
who said the niggers in Cuba knew
of a colored man in a Texas town
who got it straight from a circus clown

That a man from the Klondike got the news
From a gang of South American Jews

That a man from Borneo claimed to know
of a swell female society rake
whose mother in law will undertake to prove

that her seventh husbands sisters niece
has stated in a printed piece
that she has a son who has a friend
who knows when this wars goin to end.

It was Late in December

It was late in December
as well as I can remember
I was walking down the street
In gay and middling pride

My head grew all aflutter
So I lay down in the Gutter
And a Pig came along and lay down by my side

As I lay there in the gutter
With my noodle all a flutter
I heard two passing ladies sadly say

You can tell the one who boozes
by the company he chooses
And that damn pig got up and walked away

Just wanted to record for posterity (sp)

Bill Wheeler


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Absolute Knowledge
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 03:37 PM

Bill, thanks for the history, very interesting.

The first song is a no-go in language, but its funniness does not depend on that, so that I allowed myself to smirk.

The second song of course is a version of The Famous Pig Song. I fail to recognise any racial innuendo in this one, but then I am neither American nor "of color".


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN THE WAR IS GOING TO END
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 08:18 PM

From Our Paper, Volume 34, Number 51 (Concord Junction, Mass.: Massachusetts Reformatory, December 22, 1917), page 608:


WHEN THE WAR IS GOING TO END

Absolute knowledge I have none,
But my aunt's washer-woman's son
Heard a policemen on his beat
Say to a laborer on the street
That he had a letter last week
Written in Latin, or maybe Greek,
From a Chinese coolie in Timbuctoo,
Who said the niggers in Cuba knew
Of a colored man in a Texas town,
Who got it straight from a circus clown,
That a man from the Klondike heard the news,
From a gang of South American Jews,
About somebody in Borneo
Who heard of a man who claimed to know
Of a swell society dame at a lake,
Whose mother-in-law will undertake
To prove that her seventh husband's niece
Has stated in a printed piece,
That she has a son who has a friend
Who knows when the War is going to end.

[Several other publications printed copies of the same poem around the same time. The wording varies somewhat.]


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Absolute Knowledge
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 08:51 PM

Delightful

This is a WONDERFUL addition to the DT>

THANK YOU for the history.

Do you have a city, and an approximate year you might guess that your grandfather memorized this?

It is a classic.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

It appears the Mudcat is worthy ....


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Subject: RE: Recitation: Absolute Knowledge
From: GUEST,Taliesin
Date: 02 Dec 13 - 03:44 AM

My grandfather was in his 50s when he taught them to me..I was 17...the date that i memorized them was May 1958. We think that was the last authentic minstrel show in the US...I was an end man..."Rastus" and there were singers...and much monolog....my girlfriend at the time had the name "shortnin bread" I remember "mammy" asking me (not in the script) "Rastus do you like shorten bread" and I leaned over and looked at the actors at the center of the stage and leered and said "Yeaaaaaaaa" Everyone laughed and thought we had planned it.


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Mudcat time: 25 June 6:43 AM EDT

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