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LimberJim/Buck-eye Jim History

DigiTrad:
DING DANG DONG GO THE WEDDING BELLS
FROG WENT A-COURTIN' 8
MISTER FROG WENT A-COURTING
PUDDY AND MOUSE 2
PUDDY AND MOUSE 3
THE BULL FROG
THE FROG'S COURTSHIP (4)
THE FROG'S WEDDING
THE PUDDY AND THE MOUSE
THERE WAS A FROG WHO LIVED IN A WELL 7


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Lyr Req: Keemo Kimo/Possum in a Simmon Tree (15)
Lyr Req: Way Down Yonder on Beaver Creek (19)
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(origins) Origins: Froggy Went A-Courtin' (61)
Lyr Req: frog went a courtin (Cheshire) (37)
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Lyr Req: Frog in the Well (20)


GUEST,Richie 17 Nov 02 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Stevie 21 Oct 09 - 01:16 AM
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Subject: LimberJim/Buck-eye Jim History
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 12:50 PM

I wanted to share this with you.

There's been some extensive research on Buck-eye Jim and Limber Jim in several threads. I'm posting my notes on Limber Jim for Turtle
Old Man and others that are interested. Any comments or additional info would be appreciated.

NOTES: The Limber Jim Songs originated from and combined with various 1800 minstrel song adaptations of the "Froggie Went a Courting/Martin Said To his Man" songs including the "Kemo Kimo" songs, "Kitty Alone" songs and "Goodbye Liza Jane" songs.

Some titles of the "Kemo Kimo" songs are "Keemo Kimo" "Sing Song Kitty (Won't You Ki-Me-O);" "King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O;" "Kyman-I-Doe;" and "Beaver Creek" which are variants of the old "Froggie Went Courting" songs.

Here are some excerpts from two "Kemo Kimo" songs:

King Kong Kitchee:

Ki-mo, kemo, ki-mo, kee
Way down yonder in a holler tree
An owl and a bat and a bumblebee
King kong kitchie kitchie ki-me-o

Sing Song Kitty:

Way down yonder and not far off,
Sing song kitty can't ya kime-e-o.
A jaybird died with the whoppin' cough,
Sing song kitty can't ya kime-e-o.

Way down yonder on Beaver Creek,
Sing song kitty can ya kime-e-o.
The gals all grow to be six feet,
Sing song kitty can ya kime-e-o.

The Limber Jim Songs are also related to the "Kitty Alone" songs which are variants from the "Martin Said to his Man" and "Froggie Went a Courting" songs. "Limber Jim" relates to the "Martin Said to his Man" branch of "Kitty Alone." In a long note on this song, Professor G. L. Kittredge shows that the "Old Blind Drunk John" songs derive from "a famous old English song, 'Martin Said to His Man,' and entered in the Stationers' Register in 1588." It is a lying song—"I saw a louse run a mouse.... I saw a squirrel run a deer.... I saw a flea kick a tree..., in the middle of the sea." One Scottish version cited says, "Four and twenty Hilandmen chasing a snail," etc. Other names for "Kitty Alone" are "Who's the Fool Now?," "Old Blind Drunk John," "Johnny Fool," and "Fooba-Wooba John."

Here's an example of the Martin Said to His Man- Kitty Alone:

Saw a crow a-flying low
Kitty alone, kitty alone.
Saw a crow a-flying low,
Kitty alone, alone.
Saw a crow a-flying low
And a cat a-spinnin' tow.
Rock-a-bye baby bye, rock-a-bye baby bye.

There are also Froggie variants that introduce the "weave and spin" line commonly found in Limber Jim/Buck-eye Jim.

FROGGIE: From Mrs. Ford Kent of New York

A frog he would a-wooing go
A-too-re-lal, a-too-re-lal,
He went into Miss Mouse's hall
And there he loudly rapped and called,
He said, Miss Mouse, are you within?
She said, I sit and spin.

BUCK-EYE JIM:
Chorus: Buck-eyed Jim, you can't go
Go weave and spin, you can't go
Buck-eyed Jim

From Children Of The Levee, published by the University of Kentucky Press in 1957. It is a reprint of the original articles written by Lafcadio Hearn in 1874-1877 for the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Cincinnati Commercial. Hearn: "But the most famous songs in vogue among the roustabouts is "Limber Jim," or "Shiloh." Very few know it all by heart, which is not wonderful when we consider that it requires something like twenty minutes to sing "Limber Jim" from beginning to end, and that the whole song, if printed in full, would fill two columns of the commercial! The only person in the city who can sing the song through, we believe, is a colored laborer living near Sixth and Culvert streets, who "run on the river" for years, and acquired so much of a reputation by singing "Limber Jim," that he has been nicknamed after the mythical individual aforesaid, and is now known by no other name.

Here's an excerpt of Limber Jim from Hearns, March 17, 1876:

Chorus: Limber Jim,
[All.] Shiloh!
Talk it agin,
[All.] Shiloh!
Walk back in love,
[All.] Shiloh!
You turtle-dove,
[All.] Shiloh!

Went down the ribber, couldn't get across;
Hopped on a rebel louse; thought 'twas a hoss,
Oh, lor', gals, 't ain't no lie,
Lice in Camp Chase big enough to cry,--

Bridle up a rat, sir; saddle up a cat,
Please han' me down my Leghorn hat,
Went to see widow; widow warn't home;
Saw to her daughter--she geve me honeycomb.

Jay-bird sittin' on a swinging limb,
Winked at me an' I winked at him.
Up with a rock an' struck him on the shin,
G-d d--n yer soul, don't wink again. (posted by Masato)

The origin of the closely related "Buckeye Jim" song is obscure. According to the Library of Congress, Fletcher Collins collected "Buckeye Jim" (aka "Limber Jim") from Mrs. J.U. (Patty) Newman in 1939, at Elon College, in North Carolina, which is the first documented version.

The "Limber Jim" group of songs includes "Buck-eye Jim" and "Shiloh". There are connections with other fiddle tunes such as "Seven Up". The "Seven Up," "Charlotte Town is Burning Down," "Shiloh," and "Goin' Down to Cairo" are all related to the large body of "Goodbye Liza Jane" songs.

This fiddle tune has floater verses and many variants. There are two distinct versions: the "Way Up/Down Yonder" versions (see also: Jim Along Josie), and the "Weave and Spin" (Limber Jim) versions. There are also versions that include "Shiloh" which appears to be a slang word for a type of dance or dance step in connection with the tune.

-Richie


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Subject: RE: LimberJim/Buck-eye Jim History
From: GUEST,Stevie
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 01:16 AM

Way down yonder on beavers creek,
sing song kitty wont you ki-me-o,
froggies grow to be ten feet,
sing song kitty wont you ki-me-o.
Ke-mo ki-mo nero's ark,
mah he mah hi mah humdrum piddi winkle,
pit pat piddy pat blue eyed pussy cat,
sing song kitty wont you KI-me-OHHH.

Thats the song my dad sang me when i was a baby, no clue what it is or where it came from. just typed in some of the words to see if it was a song and found this post. Thought id add

-Steven


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