The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57689   Message #908670
Posted By: GUEST,Q
12-Mar-03 - 08:57 PM
Thread Name: Looking for US handloom songs
Subject: RE: Looking for US handloom songs
Always thought it was a cobler's song.
Round and round the cobbler's bench, The monkey chased the weasel. But it ain't.
The song is English and the weasel is a metal tool used by hat-makers in England. The weasel was often popped (pawned- old cant). Randolph in Ozark Folksongs cites Gomme, Traditional Games, II, 1898, p. 63. I
am not sure he is right- see verse below.

In Roll Me in Your Arms, Randolph provides some pretty good "unprintable" lyrics for the song.
Versions in the Bodleian Collection go back to the late 18th century.
It was also a dance tune (may be the origin).
Old versions in the Bodleian Collection concern a dance:

Now all the girls are going mad,
For- Pop goes the weasel!
And the finest tune we ever had,
Is- Pop goes the Weasel!
It is danced by Albert and the Queen,
Chummies done it round the green,
And many girls have ruined been,
By Pop Goes the Weasel!

Firth b.25(206), J. Evans, London, 1780-1812 (date obviously wrong for this printing). Several others shown, all use Pop goes the weasel as a euphemism.

So- one of Randolph's verses:
A shilling for a spool of thread,
A penny for a needle,
A dollar gold for a piece of cock,
Pop goes the weasel.