The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34525 Message #1908729
Posted By: Goose Gander
13-Dec-06 - 04:29 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
"My point, which I thought was obvious, is that some of the singing and play party games, which seem to have sprung up in the period 1850-1900, although mentioning themes of their forbears, developed in North American schoolyards and community halls and should not be considered direct descendants of old country forms."
Fair enough, though it brings up the question of what exactly are 'direct descendants of old country forms.' Songs, ballads, singing games, melodies, etc. if they are alive at all and not museum pieces exist and have existed in a state of ongoing evolution. Recall Kytrad's comments that perhaps "everybody who sings these songs 'improves' on them, to make them funnier maybe, or to make them his/her own." Without a narrative to hold it together, Pretty Little Pink / Fly Around / Charlie lend themselves to improvisation and constant reworking. So there is no clear division between 'survivals' and 'products of the times', it's a this-and-that-at-the-same-time rather than an either/or.
And I did miss the tone of your post and I apologize, but that's what happens when I post first thing in the morning without taking a minute to reflect . . . .
Finally, bringing the discussion back to Pretty Little Pink, the verses from Burns (which I also have within arm's reach but never noticed) do seem to be the earliest form, much earlier than the late nineteenth century versions we've discussed above.