The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #108622   Message #2267580
Posted By: Joe Offer
20-Feb-08 - 01:15 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Away, Away with Rum, by Gum
Subject: ADD Version: Temperance Song
Never say "die," Les. I'm still of the opinion that the song must come from the "North Atlantic Squadron" series of songs. I don't think we've found the missing link to trace the origins of this song, though. The Chad Mitchell Trio recorded the song as I know it in 1961 on their Mighty Day on Campus album, and Theodore Bikel recorded a version with what sounds like a Brooklyn accent on A Folksinger's Choice in 1964. It was published in Sing Out! Reprints in 1963.
Dick Greenhaus remembers "Demon Fruitcake" from the late 1940's, so that takes it back a good bit. Googling for "Demon Fruitcake" brings up lots of entries, but I think they all come from the Digital Tradition, with its spelling "immagine" (an occasional spellling error can have advantages).

Thern there's this from Randolph's Ozark Folksongs (Volume 2, #317):

Temperance Song

We're coming, we're coming, our brave little band,
On the right side of temperance we loyally stand,
We don't use terbacker, for this is what we think,
Them that does use it most always does drink.

Sung by Miss Rose O'Neill - Day, Missouri, Sept 2, 1941. Learned about forty years ago.

That fragment is all Randolph got. Frustrating, eh?

Click to play

At St. Francis Seminary and School of Pastoral Ministry (my Alma Mater) we used to chant this at the end of "Rum By Gum":