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Lyr Add: I Saw Esau

Joe Offer 05 Oct 07 - 12:03 AM
Mr Red 05 Oct 07 - 02:47 AM
GUEST,Young Buchan 05 Oct 07 - 05:31 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Oct 07 - 07:11 AM
Brian Hoskin 05 Oct 07 - 07:34 AM
Acme 05 Oct 07 - 10:15 AM
Sean Belt 05 Oct 07 - 11:51 AM
Jack Campin 05 Oct 07 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Bob Buehler 27 Apr 13 - 04:34 PM
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Subject: ADD: I Saw Esau
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 12:03 AM

I had posted this in a thread titled What Is the Title of This Song? but then I figured it might get lost there - so I moved my message here. For the record, here are the lyrics from A Prairie Home Companion Folk Song Book:

I Saw Esau

I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw
I saw Esau with my girl
I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw
Giving her a merry whirl
When I saw Esau, he saw me
And I saw red and got so sore
So I took a saw and I sawed Esau
Off that old see-saw, hey!
So I took a saw and I sawed Esau
Off that old see-saw.


Haven't found a source for the tune yet.
-Joe-

Apparently, "Esau" is an old song, mentioned in the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder:
    "Three Blind Mice" first appears in the "Little House" books as sung by the Ingalls and Boast families during winter evenings in By the Shores of Silver Lake. In the manuscript for By the Shores of Silver Lake, Wilder wrote that in addition to "Three Blind Mice," the Ingallses and Boasts sang: "I saw Esau kissing Kate, / And in fact we all three saw. / I saw Esau, he saw me, / And she saw, I saw Esau.... Pa said that was an awful lot of sawing. They always sang a round until someone laughed. Then they stopped." Wilder's "I Saw Esau" was called "The Country Cousin;" it was published by E. Mack in 1870.

The American Memory Collection has piano sheet music for E. Mack's Country Cousin (I Saw Esau Kissing Kate). Is it the same song? I dunno. I think I remember it as part of a polka, and from the Ames Brothers recording.


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Subject: RE: ADD: I Saw Esau
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:47 AM

I dunno why but there is a tune that makes a connection with this rhyme. My mother and siblings lived in Braddock, Allegenny County for a few years as kids (WWI ish) and they used to refer to this rhyme. Maybe they sang it. The whole rhyme is longer than the bit I recall.
The tune is vague in my memory but doesn't feel like a polka.


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Subject: RE: ADD: I Saw Esau
From: GUEST,Young Buchan
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 05:31 AM

As a child, one of my father's limited repertoir of jokes was
"I saw Esau sitting on a seesaw - how many esses in that?" The answer of course being not 5 but 0 since there is no s in the word 'that'.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I SAW ESAU
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 07:11 AM

The children's band Turkey Rhubarb has a page at CD Baby where you can hear a 2-minute sound sample of them singing it. It corresponds to what I remember my mother singing to me as a kid. I have some doubts about the line "And I saw red and got so sore" though. It seems to me it ought to rhyme with "me" in the previous line. Other than that, I have no idea what the line should be.

I also listened to a sound sample of the Ames Brothers' version. Same tune, which they sing as a chorus along with verses.

So which came first? Did Cy Coben take a traditional children's song and write verses to go with it? Or did he write the whole thing, and the chorus subsequently become folklore?

Lyrics copied from http://www.top40db.net/Lyrics/?SongID=56511

I SAW ESAU
Written by Cy Coben
Recorded by The Ames Brothers

CHORUS: I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw.
I saw Esau with my girl.
I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw,
Giving her a merry whirl.
When I saw Esau, he saw me,
And I saw red and got so sore,
So I got a saw and I sawed Esau
Off that old see-saw.

I was strolling in the park.
I was as happy as a little lark.
Then I got a big surprise.
Right before my eyes-- CHORUS

My girl started in to laugh
When I sawed that see-saw right in half.
Then I knew she was really mine
Ever since the time-- CHORUS

I go strolling in the park,
Always happy as a little lark,
And from my girl, he stays away
Every since the day-- CHORUS

Off that old see-saw.


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Subject: RE: ADD: I Saw Esau
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 07:34 AM

The tune used by Turkey Rhubarb in the link Jim gives above sounds (to my ear) as if it is related (but not identical) to 'One Man Went to Mow'


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Subject: RE: ADD: I Saw Esau
From: Acme
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 10:15 AM

There is a book with a lot of old children's rhymes, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. It came out in the early 1990s I think. I Saw Esau is the title. I have a copy around here, I'll look for it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: ADD: I Saw Esau
From: Sean Belt
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 11:51 AM

The tune is the same as "Golden Slippers". Or at least, that's how I've always heard it.


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Subject: RE: ADD: I Saw Esau
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 12:50 PM

Here's the tune as I remember it.


X:1
T:I Saw Esau
Z:Jack Campin 2007
M:2/4
L:1/8
Q:1/4=132
K:D
dd    BA|d/d/d/d/ BA|dd ed|dcc2|
cc    BA|c/c/c/c/ BA|AA Bc|edd2|
dd    BA|dd       B2|dd ed|dcc2|
dd/d/ BA|dd       BA|AA Bc|d4 |]


No upbeats, and the words a bit simpler than the version Joe posted, something like

I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw
I saw Esau with my girl
I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw
Giving her a merry whirl
I saw Esau, he saw me
I saw red and got so sore
I took a saw and I sawed Esau
Off that old see-saw!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: I Saw Esau
From: GUEST,Bob Buehler
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 04:34 PM

Her is how I remember it from the schoolyard, long about 1956 or 7:

I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw,
I saw Esau with my girl,
I saw Esau sitting on a see-saw,
Giving her a merry whirl.
I saw Esau, he saw me
I got red as an apple tree
I got a saw and sawed that Esau
Off that old see-saw!

I've been looking around the net and can't find any reference that matches this memory. We lived in western Massachusetts at the time, in the Berkshires.


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