The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #3757 Message #2165064
Posted By: GUEST,Bob Coltman
06-Oct-07 - 09:03 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Ten Little Bottles
Subject: RE: Ten Little Bottles
A bit of folklore from the oldtime hiking, camping and climbing community.
A variation on the original Henry Morgan version got a good deal of circulation in the 1950s both around the US and abroad -- notably in the Tetons and other climbing locales -- from the fine itinerant singer Bill Briggs, always known as "Brigger."
He called it "Last Night I Decided to Give Up Drinking." It seems to have been an intermediate version between Morgan's and the Johnny Bond recording. He had found it on a little card, probably one of those printer's samples that circulated (and varied) so many fine songs and poems decent or otherwise.
Near the end of a long night's singing of his other classics -- like "Willie's Rare," "Horse Named Bill" and "Cuckoo Yodel" -- at his celebrated, and now historic, campfire "Teton Tea" parties at the Jenny Lake campground (and a thousand other places indoors and out), Brigger used to pull out this chestnut and deliver a deadpan descent into drunkenness that tied his listeners in knots.
Last I heard, Bill Briggs, now in his 70s, still made his home in Jackson, WY and was appearing regularly with a singing group there. Judging by the group's current privately issued CDs, however, he seems to have discarded much of his early repertoire and his unique style that was so influential on many of us. I kind of hope he still sings the old stuff in private.