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Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'

Lighter 20 Jun 07 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Jun 07 - 05:09 PM
SharonA 22 Jun 07 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Jun 07 - 07:23 AM
Joe Offer 24 Jun 07 - 02:41 AM
Joe Offer 24 Jun 07 - 02:48 AM
Sorcha 24 Jun 07 - 09:14 AM
Sorcha 24 Jun 07 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Jun 07 - 12:25 PM
SharonA 25 Jun 07 - 03:43 AM
Joe Offer 25 Jun 07 - 03:46 AM
SharonA 25 Jun 07 - 03:57 AM
SharonA 25 Jun 07 - 04:19 AM
SharonA 25 Jun 07 - 04:47 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Jun 07 - 10:10 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jun 07 - 02:49 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jun 07 - 01:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Jun 07 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Lighter 27 Jun 07 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 28 Jun 07 - 08:19 AM
and e 01 Jun 20 - 09:11 PM
Joe_F 02 Jun 20 - 06:10 PM
Lighter 17 May 21 - 10:11 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the Field....'
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 08:58 PM

There's a song or rhyme that begins that way but I don't know any more of the words. I think Mike Seeger sings a verse about "the panther," but there are a number of others, some of them bawdy.

Anybody know anything about this? The Net hasn't been of much help.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the Field....'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 05:09 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the Field....'
From: SharonA
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 07:07 PM

There's an Aesop's Fable about this. Perhaps someone set it to music? Here's the story...

Fine Words Are Not Equal To Fine Deeds

The beasts of the field and forest had a Lion as their king. He was neither wrathful, cruel, nor tyrannical, but just and gentle as a king could be. During his reign he made a royal proclamation for a general assembly of all the birds and beasts, and drew up conditions for a universal league, in which the Wolf and the Lamb, the Panther and the Kid, the Tiger and the Stag, the Dog and the Hare, should live together in perfect peace and amity. The Hare said, "Oh, how I have longed to see this day, in which the weak shall take their place with impunity by the side of the strong." And after the Hare said this, he ran for his life.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the Field....'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 07:23 AM

Thanks for the help, SharonA. The song is very different, though. For example, Mike Seeger's version starts off something like,

Of all the animals in the world
I'd rather be the panther.
I'd [something or other]
[Something something] in Atlanta.


I've seen other verses somewhere. They all follow the same pattern.


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Subject: ADD: It's All Night Long
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 02:41 AM

Not much on this song in the Traditional Ballad Index:

It's All Night Long

DESCRIPTION: "Of all the animals in this world, I'd rather be a squirrel, I'd climb up on a telephone pole And peep all over the world. It's all night long. It's all night long."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1952 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: animal nonballad
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
BrownIII 170, "It's All Night Long" (1 text)
Notes: This song may be a version of one of the other "All Night Long" pieces, but I haven't seen the verse anywhere else, so it lists separately. - RBW
File: Br3170

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2007 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



Here's song #170 from the Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore (Volume 3):

It's All Night Long

Of all the animals in this world,
I'd rather be a squirrel,
I'd climb up on a telephone pole
And peep all over the world.
It's all night long.
It's all night long

Singer: Miss Kate S. Russell

No tune for this one.


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Subject: ADD: Of All the Beast-es
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 02:48 AM

Here's the version in Ruth Crawford Seeger's Animal Folk Songs for Children:


Of All the Beast-es
(I'd Rather Be a Panther)


Of all the beast-es in the world,
I'd rather be a panther,
I'd crawl upon some lonesome hill,
And cry for Susianna.

Of all the beast-es in the world,
I'd rather be a panther,
Eat all the chickens down the line,
And turkeys in Atlanta.


Crawford Seeger says "panther" is pronounced "panner" in this song.
I couldn't find a Mike Seeger recording, Lighter - what album is it on? Mike Seeger doesn't do the vocals for this song on the Animal Folk Songs for Children CD - it's sung by Rufus Cohen, grandson of Ruth Crawford Seeger and nephew of Mike. Oh - and Rufus pronounces "beast-es" just as it's spelled, with a short "e." It sounds more like beast-is than beasties.

-Joe-
Sound sample here (click) - disc 2, track 9



Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the Field/Worl
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 09:14 AM

What I found said Peggy Seeger did it....but I forget where I found that....JUSTOR maybe? brb......


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the Field/Worl
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 09:21 AM

Nope...it was JSTOR, but Ruth, not Peggy. My mind is going. Costs money unless we can figure out a way round that.

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0027-4380(195103)2%3A8%3A2%3C388%3AAFSFCT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-S

Or, CLICK


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the Field/World..'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 12:25 PM

That's it, Joe. I got Mike mixed up with Rufus. The "All Night Long" chorus in Brown is a surprise.

Thanks, Sorcha. That ref. is to a review of "Animal Folksongs," not a text. But it's a year earlier than the Ballad Index date.

A lot of older Southern folks say "beastes" and "waspes."

I know there are more verses. Somebody on Mudcat must know a few.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: SharonA
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:43 AM

Oh, beastes! Why didn't you say so? ;^)

Here's a verse (emphasis in boldface by me) from this site: MARY ELIZABETH BARNICLE - TILLMAN CADLE COLLECTION

Info about the disk that the song is on:

Subgroup II, FIELD RECORDINGS,
Series B, BAHAMAS RECORDINGS, 1935, Box 8, disk BC-68, Lucerne Hotel, Nassau, the Bahamas, August 1935.
[performed by] Unidentified Group
Side A: (1) Jumping Dance
            (2) "Rub My Belly With -Uh Vaselene"
Side B: (1) "Of All the Beastes in the World, I'd Rather be a Bull,
                   I'd Cock my Tail up on my Back And Eat my Belly Full,
                   in the Lowlands, in the Lowlands
"
             (2) "All Day, All Night Lawd I Gon' Give You Sweet Jellyroll"
             Jumping Dances
             Quadrilles
             Sexually Explicit Song
Recorded by Mary Elizabeth Barnicle and Alan Lomax

"Contained in this series are Bahamian folk songs, game songs, children's songs and dance music recorded by Barnicle and Lomax in 1935. Barnicle and Lomax traveled to the Bahamas in 1935 at the conclusion of their Florida-Georgia trip. There the two continued to make field recordings. The entire Bahamas series consists of almost 150 discs (AFS 386-535). According to Smyth, Lomax deposited his set in the AAFS, while Barnicle kept her set. Presumably, Barnicle's set is that contained in this collection. The detailed list notes who recorded the song, as well as the AAFS number.

"Various types of African-American Bahamian music are included in Series B. Among these are ring plays, rushing songs, hymns, spirituals, working songs, Haitian voo-doo songs, and different types of dance music."


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Subject: ADD: Of All the Beasts (bawdy)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:46 AM

Lighter, I'm glad you kept on this. Something you said inspired me to check Randolph/Legman, Roll Me In Your Arms: "Unprintable" Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (Volume 1).
Here's #116:

Of All the Beasts

A. Sung by Mr. A.b., Manhattan, Kansas, April 12, 1935 - learned in Missouri in the 1890's.
    Of all the beasts that roam the fields,
    I'd rather be a bull,
    I'd get right upon some old cow's back
    And frig my belly full,
    And frig my belly full.

    Of all the beasts that roam the fields,
    I'd rather be a boar,
    I'd get right up on some old sow's back
    And frig forevermore --
    At ever frig I'd fetch a pig,
    And sometimes three or four.



B. Sung by Mr. G.P., Reeds Spring, Missouri, in the 1920's
    Of all the animals that live in the woods,
    I'd rather be a coon,
    I'd climb up on some old dead limb
    And jack off all afternoon.

    Of all the birds that live in the woods,
    I'd rather be a martin,
    I'd fill my craw with navy beans
    And blister my ass a-fartin'.



C. Sung by Mr. J.C., Chicago, Illinois, September 6, 1948 - heard in Missouri some 25 years before.
    Of all the beasts that roam the woods,
    I'd rather be a coon,
    I'd climb the highest 'simmon tree
    And jack off at the moon.

    Of all the beasts that roam the woods,
    I'd rather be a boar,
    I'd curl my tail up over my back
    And fuck forever more.

    Of all the beasts that roam the woods,
    I'd rather be a squirrel,
    I'd hang around that old schoolhouse
    And screw some pretty girl.



D. A related "tease" from a lad in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, November 28, 1948 - often publicly printed in collegiate humor magazines, as "cute":
    Of all the fish that swim the seas,
    My favorite is the bass,
    He climbs up on the weeds and trees
    And slides down on his hands and knees.



E. from a gentleman in Eureka Springs, November 28, 1948:
    Of all the fish that swim the seas,
    I'd rather be a bass,
    He slips among the cypress knees (trees)
    And slides around on his ass.



F. from a nameless singer near Green Forest, Arkansas, February 9, 1951:
    Of all the bugs that fly in the air,
    I'd rather be a tumble-fly,
    I'd find out where some pretty girl shit,
    And roll and roll until I die.




Click to play


Will we find more?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: SharonA
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 03:57 AM

Mike Seeger version, with 30-second sample of recording, here: "Of All the Beast-es"
    That's not Mike, Sharon - it's the same Rufus Cohen recording I linked to - although the principal performers on the CD are Mike and Peggy Seeger (and it's a terrific CD).
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: SharonA
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 04:19 AM

A slight variation on the "boar" rhyme that Joe posted is here listed as a "Vermontism" (look under Beasts): Vermontisms by Della Richmond Warning: Profanity.

Other verses and versions are on a Mudcat thread entitled "Lyr Req: Bile Them Cabbage Down": from Amos and from Joe F


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: SharonA
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 04:47 AM

From "With a Whoop and a Holler: A Bushel of Lore from Way Down South" by Nancy Van Laan; ISBN number 068981061X:

THE BEE (page 60)
The bee he is an insect small,
And cunning like a weasel;
And when he lands upon you-all,
He leaves a little measle.

THE SQUIRREL (page 26)
Of all the beasts that roam the woods,
I'd rather be a squirrel.
Curl my tail upon my back,
And travel all over the world.

(Apparently this is a children's book, so perhaps the verses have been cleaned up a bit. I imagine that, in its original form, the bee didn't land on "you-all"...)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 10:10 PM

http://www.thumperscorner.com/discus/messages/11221/13683.html?1154359652
"Of all the animals in the world, I'd rather be a squirrel,
To climb up to the highest mountain and shit all over the world!"

http://www.eurweb.com/interact/commentview.cfm?id=30727
"Of all the animals in the world, I'd rather be a mosquito,
Climb up on the highest mountain, and exercise my tweeter."

http://haveawhinge.com.au/forum/index.php/topic,8204.new.html
"Of all the fishes in the sea, I'd rather be a bass.
Then I could climb the seaweed trees, and slide down on my...."
[Attributed to Spike Milligan]

http://forums.adoption.com/bedtime-baby/157370-my-grandmothers-song-her-grandkids.html
"There were two men in Darbytown. These two men were rich.
One was the son of a millionaire the other was the son of a....
Hocus bocus deedle dum docus, if you think I lie,
Go down to Darbytown and see the same as I.

"Of all the insects in the woods, I'd rather be a mosquito.
I'd fly down to grandpa's house and light up on his....
Hocus bocus deedle dum docus, if you think I lie,
Go down to Darbytown and see the same as I"

http://www.jayquan.com/whodini.htm
"Of all the insects in the world, I'd rather be a fly,
So I could get between your momma's bra, and suck her titties dry."

http://www.weatherunderground.com/blog/tomargh/comment.html?entrynum=15&tstamp=200705&page=1
"Of all the birds in the world, I'd rather be a duck.
I'd fly along the beaches low, and watch the people ... swim"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Fiel
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 02:49 AM

The Randolph/Legman book also makes reference to a related song on page 156 of White's American Negro Folk Songs (1928). Anybody have that book? Can you check and see what it has?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 01:42 PM

White (1928) gives this song as a variant of "Massa Had a Yaller Gal."

Lyr. Add: Massa Had a Yaller Gal 'G'

Ole marster bought a black man,
He bought him in de north;
The only fault I find with him
He cut his moustache off.

Ole marster bought a yaller gal,
He bought her from the south,
She wrapped her hair so hellish tight,
She could n't shut her mouth.

Times gittin' hard, money gittin' scarce,
Time I make my cotton and cohn, I'm gwine to leave this place.

Of all the beasts that roam the woods,
I'd rather be a squir'l,
Curl my tail upon my back
And travel all over this worl'.

Wish I was a Jersey bull
In some shady place,
Every time I'd smell a cow
I'd wrinkle up my face.

If I had ten thousand bricks, I'd build my chimney higher,
I'd take little Sally by the hand and sit down by the fire.

Reported from Auburn, AL, 1915-1916, MS. of B. A. Wooten as heard in Marengo Co., AL.

"Various stanzas of this song are still widely current in the South." ... "Some of its descriptive details are frequently carried over into the "I Wouldn't Marry Yaller Gal" song...."
See Talley, Scarborough, Odum, etc., etc.

White, Newman I., 1928, "American Negro Folk-Songs," Harvard Univ. (facsimile Folklore Associates, Inc., 1965). Pp. 152-156, lyrics only. Version 'G' on p. 156.

"In the old minstrel books... [1854-1857]... the song was known as "The Gal from the South,"..." From White's comments, p. 153.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 02:56 PM

In the song he collected as "She Roll Dem Two White Eyes," Odum reported the following verse:

Of all de beastes in de woods,
I'd rather be a tick;
I'd climb up 'roun' my true love's neck,
An' there I'd stick,
Jes' to see her roll dem snow-white eyes.

Probably inspired, as many verses, by the popular song, "Goo-goo Eyes."
Howard W. Odum, 1911, "Folk-Song and Folk-Poetry as Found in the Secular Songs of the Southern Negroes," Jour. American Folk-Lore, vol. XXIV, no. 94, Oct.-Dec., 1911. Song No. 90, p. 374


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 05:41 PM

Thanks, guys! I knew you'd come through!

BTW, that "Vermontisms" cite is altogether fascinating.

I know of one other published reference to the song, but I just can't seem to call it to mind. It wasn't in a music book, though.

The Seeger melody is very close to being a nonmodal "Old Joe Clark."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 08:19 AM

The Randolph/Legman sample tune, though, is quite different, and somewhat less varied (The four-line verse's two couplets are each sung to the identical tune). Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: and e
Date: 01 Jun 20 - 09:11 PM

Pg. 386, Barnyard Folklore of Southeastern Idao by James Kenneth Larson.

OF ALL THE BEASTS
St. John, Idaho, 1918(?)

Of all the beasts that roam the fields,
I'd rather be the cow;
I'd stand upon my two hind legs
And show the old bull how!

Of all the beasts that roam the fields
I'd rather be the bull;
I'd stand upon my two hind legs
And pump the old cow full!

Of all the beasts that roam the fields,
I'd rather be the dog;
I'd lift my hind leg in the air
And piss on every log!

Of all the beasts that roam the fields,
I'd rather be the cat;
I'd shit in every pile of dirt
And smooth the place out flat!

Of all the beasts that roam the fields,
I'd rather be the whale;
I'd swim the whole world over
To find a piece of tail!

Of all the beasts that roam the fields,
I'd rather be the bird;
I'd fly down on some woman's hat
And shit a juicy tird!

Of all the beasts that roam the fields,
I'd rather be the buck;
I'd climb upon the old ewys back
And fuck and fuck and fuck!

Of all the beasts that roam the fields,
I'd rather be the mare;
I'd back right up, and lift my tail,
And show the old stud where!

Of all the beasts that roam the field,
I'd rather be the sow;
I'd streton my belley on the grass
And let the old boar plow!

Of all the beasts that roam the fields,
I'd rather be the skunk;
I'd piss on every passer-by
To show him how I stunk!

Of all the beasts that roam the field,
I'd rather be the goat;
I'd steal my master's underwear
And cram them down my throat!

Of all the beasts that roam the field,
I'd rather be a man;
And then I'd get it whole lot oftener
Than the other animals can!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Jun 20 - 06:10 PM

A smoother version of the bass, heard in conversation long ago:

Of all the fishes in the seas,
The strangest is the bass.
It climbs into the tops of trees
And slides down on its hands and knees
To frolic in the grass.

SharonA: In _archy and mehitabel_ by Don Marquis we read:

the honey bee is sad and cross
and wicked as a weasel
and when she perches on you boss
she leaves a little measle

May be older than Ms Van Laan's version. The archy poems started coming out in 1916 and continued till 1926. archy was a cockroach who wrote by jumping on the keys of Mr Marquis's typewriter; he could not manage the capital shift.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Of All the Animals in the World/Field..'
From: Lighter
Date: 17 May 21 - 10:11 AM

Stillwater [Okla.] Democrat (May 27, 1915), p. 4:

NEW VERSE TO "RYE STRAW."

Of all the fowls that roam the air
I had rather be a peckerwood;
I would fly upon some tall dead tree,
And there I would peck, and peck,
As long as the pecking was good.

Compare Gove County Leader (Gove City, Kans.) (July 16, 1897), p. 2:

“Yesterday a woodpecker flew and lit on the courthouse door, and he pecked and he pecked until – continued next week.”

The full version (not printed in the paper) is "till his pecker was sore."


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