The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152267   Message #4009166
Posted By: Lighter
16-Sep-19 - 04:47 PM
Thread Name: Mrs. McGraw - origins
Subject: RE: Mrs. McGraw - origins
That may be, M, but if so I'd have expected a somber, not a tragicomic (or wholly comic) song. And the meaning would have been explicitly stated. That's just how pop culture worked in the nineteenth century.

Steve is right about lowbrow period humor. We know, for example, that disabled veterans of the Civil War in an old soldier's home in the 1870s thought "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye" was hilarious.

The word has also been out for at least forty years that "Casablanca" is really an allegory of U.S. isolationism, and that Frost's "Stopping by Woods" is actually an allegory of Santa Claus.