The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95164 Message #1851010
Posted By: GUEST,Bob Coltman
05-Oct-06 - 10:33 AM
Thread Name: Origin: This Morn, This Eve, Right Now
Subject: RE: Origin: This Morn, This Eve, Right Now
Thinking about the geography involved in "Tell Ol' Bill"... St. Louis being a Mississippi River city, the song could have traveled on the steamboats.
But it need not have originated in St. Louis, especially if Nancy Barnhart was from Texas herself.
Occurrence in east Texas (Hinton, Walker County) opens up the possibility that the song could have come from Dallas (home of fiddling Prince Albert Hunt, if I remember aright, and a pretty fierce whorehouse scene), Ft. Worth, Houston, Shreveport, LA or some smaller town. I'll keep looking for a capsule biography of Barnhart, have found none yet.
On the other hand, information at
says Hinton learned his version "ten years later" than Sandburg's 1920s version. So the Texas link may be tenuous at best.
Googling Nancy Barnhart turns up some work she did as a children's illustrator for a book by Mildred Criss McGucken, also for a Kenneth Grahame book...assuming it's the same one. There are various other modern Nancy Barnharts.
Getting near the bottom of the barrel on this one. Sure would like to trace it to an actual place and event, though. -- Bob