The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #7123   Message #3245068
Posted By: GUEST,leeneia
26-Oct-11 - 11:22 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Kentucky Babe (Buck, Geibel, 1897)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kentucky Babe (Buck, Geibel, 1897)
I agree. If we actually spelt out the subtle changes in vowels as we listen to English all around the world, it would take forever to type it and nobody would want to read it.

The song has its weaknesses. I mean, when you're a mother singing your baby to sleep, do you care which state of the union you're in? No, you don't. The whole 'Kentucky babe' theme was stuck in the song because for a while there was a fad for songs about black people and the South.

Not that Kentucky is that far south, but to people in Boston (where the song was published) it probably seemed that way.

Daddy in the canebrake? In Kentucky? I don't think so. If you want cane, go to Louisiana.

The song lives on because it has its joys - the image of skeeters in the honeysuckle and a bobolink singing. (Are there bobolinks in Kentucky?) And as I mentioned, a lovely melody.

PS I'm a bird-watcher, and I've never even seen a bobolink. I think they're a New England bird.