The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63103   Message #2884974
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
12-Apr-10 - 03:09 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Fire Maringo / Fire Marengo
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fire Maringo / Fire Marengo
Charley--

Nor am I convinced! However, no one yet has explained "maringo" or "the ringo" (or "my kingdom"!), and I think the coincidences are striking.

Why do you think the cotton-stowers would not be influenced by a popular song? (Mind, there were supposed to have been numerous songs eulogizing Ringgold, not just this one.) Given that the other songs from that area and time period eulogized, first, General Jackson (Battle of New Orleans) and then --on that model?-- Mexican-American War characters Santa Anna & General Taylor, along with "the Plains of Mexico," the precedent is there. And given that the "fire away" part has also not been explained in relation to cotton-screwing, one must admit that the "fire away" in the song I've cited --related to Ringgold's profession-- is conspicuous. (Were Ringgold's artillery advancements known before the Mex-Am War?)

As I said, I too am bothered by the alleged hearing by Gosse of "fire the ringo" in 1838 (i.e. before Ringgold's death in 1846). However, to play Devil's Advocate: Gosse's text was not *published* until 1859, as were the other references to ma/ringo not appearing until after '46.

In the least, this discussion might suggest that the "fire away" chorus originally had something to do with artillery fire.