The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #29514   Message #373729
Posted By: raredance
12-Jan-01 - 11:34 PM
Thread Name: old mister rat took a notion for wife
Subject: RE: old mister rat took a notion for wife
That was real annoying. I wasn't anywhere near the send button and then I got booted off line on top. As I was trying to say about the nonsense refrains an example from the recorded "Anthology of American Folk Music" has the song called "King Kong Kitchie" and the refrain is:

Ki-mo, kemo, ki-mo, kee
Way down yonder in a holler tree
An owl and a bat and a bumblebee
King kong kitchie kitchie ki-me-o

The "King kong kitchie kitchie ki-me-o" line is also interpolated within the verses where the "uh huh" is in the other forms. Randolph lists some other nonsense lines including:
Turn-a-row tum a-tiddy natty day
and
Poom-a-latchey poom-a-latchey la

The Frank C Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore has several nonsense refrains.

A. Hello naro he's my caro,
Hello caro narrow,
Ring ting bottom ditty boat around
Ring ting bottom and a kymo

B. Kero kiro gilt and garo
Kero kiro karo
Rap jack pennywhinkle flammydoodle yellow buckle
Rain down bonny mish ki-me-oh

C. Tim a rang tang bottom tim a kimo come a nedro
Keep my caro rum a tum bum stumpy tum dido bodey
Round tim a rang tang bottom a my kimo.

You can see some of the sound elements of the version you remember in the version "B". The "kimo refrain may have had it's origin (or at least was popularized) on the minstrel circuit by the comic singer Sam Cowell. Once the nonsense lyrics slipped into oral transmission almost any combination of syllables and sounds became possible.

rich r