The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54707   Message #1953062
Posted By: GUEST,Ridin' right
30-Jan-07 - 09:05 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Molly and Tenbrooks
Subject: RE: Origin and Lyr: Molly and Tenbrooks
Great Thread! I too am a big fan of this song, which first introduced me to bluegrass music. A friend of mine, a fellow DJ at my college radio station and big fan of Bill Monroe, brought the song to my attention when he thought I might have the key to unlocking the (still) mysterious identity of the jockey "Kuiper" who is mentioned in the song (see the above messages from Neighmond dated 25 May 06 and from Guest dated 29 July 06). He thought this because my last name is "Kuipers," a variant of a common Dutch surname that translates into English as "Cooper," the trade name for a barrelsmith. I haven't been able to make any connection between this Dutch surname and the name of the Jockey in the song. The explanation offered that it is an accidental derivation of "Walker", the historical DJ of the actual race, makes the most sense to me of the interpretations I've read so far.

I've read the McSweeney article, which confuses me, because it suggests that "Kyper" might be a Dutch ethnic "slur" directed at Molly's jockey (anybody out there know who that was?). To my knowledge, the surname "Kuiper" has never been part of any Dutch ethnic slur, but I could be wrong about that. Also, if "Kyper" is not ridin' right, then wouldn't that make him Tenbrooks' jockey (who is losing the race at that point in the song)? And how could this "Kyper" give ol' Tenbrooks the bridle, if he's Molly's jockey?

It's also interesting to note that the name "Ten Broek" is also of Dutch origin.

I suppose I'm still left wondering after all this if there is any real connection between the "Kuiper" mentioned in the song and any historical figure, real or fictional, or if the name "Kuiper" found its way into the song through an accidental series of mutations of the name "Walker". Anybody have any other ideas or speculations about this?