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Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare

Related threads:
Lyr Add: Parodies of 'The Old Gray Mare' (17)
Lyr Req: The Old Grey Mare (She Ain't What She...) (17)
Lyr Req: Old Yeller Dog (5)
Req: Old Gray Mare is Back Where She Used to Be (6)
Lyr Req: The Old Grey Mare (3) (closed)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Old Gray Horse Came Tearing Through The Wilderness (Source: Thomas W. Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes, 1922, 1949, 1991 )


Pooh 1210 24 May 99 - 12:32 AM
BGC 24 May 99 - 02:10 AM
Joe Offer 24 May 99 - 04:35 AM
Joe Offer 24 May 99 - 06:49 PM
rich r 25 May 99 - 12:21 AM
Jon W. 25 May 99 - 01:47 PM
Dick Wisan 25 Jun 99 - 10:34 AM
Dick Wisan (erratum) 25 Jun 99 - 10:41 AM
Jim Dixon 26 May 05 - 12:46 AM
Goose Gander 26 May 05 - 02:11 AM
kendall 26 May 05 - 07:57 AM
GUEST 26 May 05 - 08:50 AM
Abby Sale 26 May 05 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 26 May 05 - 09:44 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 May 05 - 02:27 PM
Franz S. 26 May 05 - 10:51 PM
Goose Gander 27 May 05 - 06:33 PM
Stewie 27 May 05 - 09:25 PM
Stewie 27 May 05 - 09:37 PM
Goose Gander 27 May 05 - 11:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 May 05 - 12:30 AM
GUEST 28 May 05 - 12:41 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 May 05 - 12:57 AM
Goose Gander 28 May 05 - 01:36 AM
Goose Gander 28 May 05 - 01:49 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 May 05 - 01:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 May 05 - 09:35 PM
chico 29 Jul 05 - 05:16 AM
Jim Dixon 31 Jul 05 - 11:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Nov 08 - 04:51 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Nov 08 - 12:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Nov 08 - 02:36 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Nov 08 - 06:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Nov 08 - 08:49 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Nov 08 - 10:32 PM
Azizi 11 Nov 08 - 02:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Nov 08 - 04:05 PM
Azizi 11 Nov 08 - 04:50 PM
Azizi 11 Nov 08 - 04:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Nov 08 - 05:29 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Nov 08 - 12:04 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Nov 08 - 12:07 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Nov 08 - 12:44 PM
Azizi 13 Nov 08 - 01:20 PM
Azizi 13 Nov 08 - 02:05 PM
Azizi 13 Nov 08 - 02:10 PM
Azizi 13 Nov 08 - 02:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Nov 08 - 06:13 PM
Azizi 13 Nov 08 - 06:37 PM
Azizi 13 Nov 08 - 06:47 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Nov 08 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,Lisa Ritchey (Fred Ritchey) 04 Dec 11 - 09:57 PM
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Subject: Lyrics to Old Gray Mare
From: Pooh 1210
Date: 24 May 99 - 12:32 AM

Need lyrics to old gray mare. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Old Gray Mare
From: BGC
Date: 24 May 99 - 02:10 AM

Ok, I hope this is some help. If you're a Simpsons fan you may remember an episode in which that song is sung on the "Gabbo" show-if you're not a fan please stick with me.

The only lyrics in the show are "Old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be, ain't what she used to be, ain't what she used to be". To find the original artist and composer you could try looking at the credits at the end of that Simpsons episode as they are usually thorough with respect to that sort of thing. If I have that one on tape, I'll check it out and get back to yoy.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD GRAY MARE
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 99 - 04:35 AM

Well, BGC, you missed three words from the first verse:
1. Oh, the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be,
Ain't what she used to be, ain't what she used to be
The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be,
Many long years ago.

Many long years ago. Many long years ago.
The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be,
Many long years ago.

2. The old gray mare, she kicked on the whiffletree, etc...
The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be,
Many long years ago.
Here are the notes from Carl Sandburg's 1927 American Songbag:
Before the horseless carriage came, in the years when people went buggy-riding, there were more songs about horses than now. Oats for Dobbin was an expense then as gas is at the filling station now. Fodder for the mare and her foal cost money the same as oil, water, and new wind shields do today. The horse doctor earned his living as the crack mechanic at the garage does, voicing the sentiments of an Arab to his steed, "My beautiful, my beautiful, thou standest so meekly by." The following poem is in a different vein and mood. It is keyed rather to the homely philosophy of an Iowa editor who was asked by a Kansas editor what he wanted on his gravestone. The answer was they could write, "He et what they sot before him." It is not as lofty in manner as the reply of an Iowa farmer asked about his first horse, a two-year-old given him by his father. "How was she? Well, she was stylish but she couldn't stand grief." The melody here is directly appropriated from the negro spiritual, 'The Old Gray Mare Came Tearin' Out the Wilderness.'
I have to say that in this instance, the great Mr. Sandburg's words, while entertaining, are less than informative. anyboy know the real skivvy on this song? Apparently, the song isn't in our database.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THE OLD GRAY HORSE CAME TEARING ...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 99 - 06:49 PM

Ah, now it's beginning to make sense:

The Old Gray Horse Came Tearing Through The Wilderness

The old gray horse came tearing through the wilderness
Tearing through the wilderness
Tearing through the wilderness
The old gray horse came tearing through the wilderness
Making for de road

Ho, Dinah, ho,
Ho, Dinah, ho, my gal,
Ho, Dinah, ho!
Oh, don't you hear him blow?

(for 2)
Ho, Dinah, ho,
Ho, Dinah, ho, my gal,
Ho, Dinah, ho!
His bridle do rattle so!

(for 3)
Ho, Dinah, ho,
Ho, Dinah, ho, my gal,
Ho, Dinah, ho!
Say, don't you want to go?


Source: Thomas W. Talley's Negro Folk Rhymes, 1922, 1949, 1991

Talley says the song has been labeled, variously, as a Negro spiritual. A play-party song, and a lullaby. It was popular with white fiddlers in the 1920's.

In other versions, "Down in Arkansas" or "Down in Alabam is used instead of "Making for de road."

JRO


Click to play

ABC format:

X:1
T:Old Gray Horse
M:4/4
Q:1/4=120
K:G
DD2E2G2G|-GB2B3/2B/2B3/2A/2G|-GA2A3/2A/2A3/2G/2E|
-EG2G3/2G/2G3/2E/2D|-D/2B,/2D2E2G2G|-GB2B3/2B/2B3/2A/2G|
-GA2G2E2D|-DG7|-Gg4d2e|-eB7|-BB4G2A|-AG2E2D3|
-Dg4d2e|-eB7|GB3GE2D|-DG13/2||


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD GREY HORSE CAME TROTTING DOWN ...
From: rich r
Date: 25 May 99 - 12:21 AM

The Frank C Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore lists a variant of the lyrics Joe posted, but not much in the way of explanation except that it was described as a lullaby by the source of this version.

The old grey horse came trotting down the wilderness
Trotting down the wilderness
Trotting down the wilderness
The old grey horse came trotting down the wilderness
Down in Alabam.

Roll, Riley, roll
Roll, Riley, roll
Roll, Riley, roll
Oh, Lord, I'm bound to go

VAnce Randolph's "Ozark Folksongs" contains some other verses:

Little black bull come down in the wilderness....
Long time ago.

Was an old mule and he come from Jerusalem..
Down in Alabam

Barnum caught him, put him in his museum....

Ain't you mighty glad to get out o' the wilderness...

Fifteen cents to get out o' the wilderness....

Randolph also indicated that a related religious marching song called "Go in the Wilderness" appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in 1867.

Then there is the version that goes :

The old grey mare went Ptthhft! down the Delaware ...
Many long years ago.

The old grey mare went Ptthhft! on the whiffletree...
(The Ptthhft! is a sound commonly called a "raspberry")

Parodies from WWI era:

1. The poor old Kaiser ain't what he used to be... Many long years ago.

2.Oh we don't have to hike like the infantry,
Ride like the calvary
Shoot like the artillery
Oh, we don't have to fly over Germany
We're the Q.M.C.

We're in the Q.M. C.
We're in the Q.M.C.
Oh we don't have to hike......

3. Oh Uncle Sammy, he pays the infantry
He pays the calvary,
He pays the artillery,
And then, by gosh, he closes the treasury
To hell with the engineers.

4. Oh, Uncle Sammy, he needs the signal corps,
Wigwag and semaphore
He gets them by the score,
And then, by jing, we're off for a foreign shore,
Good-by, Kaiser Bill!

From the University of Minnesota:

I don't give a damn for the whole state of Iowa....
'Cuz who the hell likes corn.

Finally (for now) there is the scholastic medley of "Row your boat" and "Old Grey Mare"

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Throw the teacher overboard
And listen to her scream.

Five days later she couldn't find her underwear
Couldn't find her underwear,
Didn't have a thing to wear*
Ten days later she was eaten by a polar bear
And that was the end of her

*could this refer to a blue clicky thing that she was lacking?

rich r


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD GRAY MARE CAME ... (parody)
From: Jon W.
Date: 25 May 99 - 01:47 PM

I've posted this before but here goes again:
    The old gray mare came floatin' down the Delaware
    Looking for her underwear
    Couldn't find 'em anywhere
    The old gray mare she had to buy another pair
    Many long years ago.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Old Gray Mare
From: Dick Wisan
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 10:34 AM

rich r's WWI version:

Oh we don't have to hike like the infantry,
Ride like the calvary
Shoot like the artillery
Oh, we don't have to fly over Germany
We're the Q.M.C. [et al]

looks like a re-work on a (Confederate) US Civil War version, parts of which go like this:

If you wanna have a good fight,
Jine the cavalry [3 times]
Rally, boys, around. [3 times]
If you wanna have a good fight,
Jine the cavalry,
Rally boys, around.

Oh, we are the boys who
Rode around MacClellian...

Stuart's people, no doubt.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Old Gray Mare
From: Dick Wisan (erratum)
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 10:41 AM

Ooops!. Bungle. Should have been:

If you wanna have a good fight,
Jine the cavalry [3 times]
If you wanna have a good fight,
Jine the cavalry,
Rally boys, around.

THEN

Rally boys around [bis] If you wanna have a good fight
Jine the Cavalry
Rally boys around.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD GREY MARE (THE WHIFFLE TREE)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 May 05 - 12:46 AM

From Indiana University Sheet Music Collections:

THE OLD GREY MARE (THE WHIFFLE TREE)
Frank Panella, 1915.

1. Oh! the old grey mare was
Fighting at the front,
Fighting at the front,
Fighting at the front.
The old grey mare was
Fighting at the front
Many long years ago,
Many long years ago,
Many long years ago.
The old grey mare was
Fighting at the front,
Fighting at the front,
Fighting at the front.
Oh! The old grey mare was
Fighting at the front
Many long years ago.

2. Oh! The old grey mare ain't
What she use to be,
What she use to be,
What she use to be.
The old grey mare ain't
What she use to be
Many long years ago,
Many long years ago,
Many long years ago.
Oh! The old grey mare ain't
What she use to be,
What she use to be,
What she use to be.
Oh! The old grey mare ain't
What she use to be
Many long years ago.

Similarly:
3. The old grey mare she
Kicked at the whiffle tree....

4. The old grey mare stood
Under the apple tree....

5. Oh! The old grey mare was
Burning up the track....

6. Oh! The old grey mare she
Lost a tooth or two....

7. Oh! The old grey mare she
Carried Uncle Sam....

8. Oh! The old grey mare she
Liked her applejack....

8. Oh! The old grey mare she
Chewed tobacco too....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Goose Gander
Date: 26 May 05 - 02:11 AM

And then there's all this, courtesy of the Ballad Index....


Old Gray Mare, The (The Old Gray Horse; The Little Black Bull)
DESCRIPTION: Concerning an old gray mare (old gray horse, little black bull) that came out of the wilderness (down the meadow, etc.) in Alabam/Arkansas/A long time ago/On to Galilee. Other animals may also be involved. May be used as a playparty
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1858 (sheet music)
KEYWORDS: horse animal nonballad
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Randolph 271, "The Old Gray Horse" (1 text plus 2 fragments, 1 tune); 559, "Out of the Wilderness" (1 short text, 1 tune); also possibly 429, "John the Boy, Hello!" (1 text, 1 tune, so short that one cannot tell whether it is the same piece or a different one)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 231-232, "The Old Gray Horse" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 271A)
BrownIII 174, "The Old Grey Horse Came Tearing Through the Wilderness" (3 short texts; "A" adds an unusual chorus, "Roll, Riley, roll (x3), Oh, Lord, I'm bound to go")
Sandburg, pp. 102-103, "Old Gray Mare"; 164-165, "Hoosen Johnny" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
RJackson-19CPop, pp. 65-68, "Down in Alabam' or Ain't I Glad I Got Out de Wilderness"" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 45, "In the Wilderness" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 336-338, "Tearin' Out-a Wilderness" (2 texts plus a fragment, 2 tunes)
Silber-FSWB, p. 397, "Hoosen Johnny"; p. 398, "The Old Gray Mare" (2 texts)
Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 63, "The Old Grey Mare" (1 text, tune referenced)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 408-409, "The Old Gray Mare -- (Get Out of the Wilderness)"
Roud #751
RECORDINGS:
Gene Autry, "The Old Grey Mare" (Conqueror 8686, 1936)
Milton Brown & his Brownies, "The Old Grey Mare" (Decca 5260, 1936)
Fiddlin' John Carson & Moonshine Kate, "The Old Gray Horse Ain't What He Used to Be" (OKeh 45471, 1930)
[Arthur] Collins & [Byron] Harlan "Old Grey Mare" (Victor 18387, 1917) (Emerson 7298, c. 1917)
Vernon Dalhart, "The Old Grey Mare" (Perfect 12421/Conqueror 7071, 1928)
Earl Johnson & his Dixie Entertainers, "Old Gray Mare Kicking Out of the Wilderness" (OKeh 45183, 1928; rec. 1927)
[?] Jones and [Ernest] Hare "The Old Grey Mare" (Edison 51618, 1925)
Elmo Newcomer, "Old Grey Mare" (Cromart 101, n.d. but prob. mid-1930s)
Land Norris, "Old Grey Mare" (OKeh 45047, 1926)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "The Old Gray Mare" (Columbia 15170-D, 1927)
University Quartet, "The Old Gray Mare" (Pathe 20267, 1917)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Old Abe Lincoln Came Out of the Wilderness" (tune)
cf. "Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts" (tune)
cf. "The Big Black Bull"
cf. I Ain't a-Scared of Your Jail (tune, structure)
cf. "Horsie, Keep Your Tail Up" (lyrics)
cf. "Go in the Wilderness" (tune, structure)
SAME TUNE:
Old Abe Lincoln Came Out of the Wilderness (File: San168)
Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts (File: PHCFS133)
Flaotin' Down the Delaware (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 157)
I Don't Give a Darn for the Whole State of Iowa (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 251)
I Ain't A-Scared of Your Jail (on PeteSeeger35)
Notes: The 1858 sheet music credits this to "J. Warner," but no information about Warner has been recovered, and there are indications that the song was in the Black traditional repertoire before the 1850s.
A common bit of folklore claims that this is based on the exploits (?) of an animal that took fright during the Second Battle of Bull Run in 1862. The date of the sheet music, of course, proves this false. - RBW
Sam Hinton traces this to an African-American spiritual, "I Wait Upon the Lord" ("If you want to get to heaven go in the wilderness... and wait upon the Lord"). - PJS [See now the Index entry for "Go Into the Wilderness." - RBW]
Are you sure this is the same ballad as "Little black bull come down the meadow/Hoosen Johnny, Hoosen Johnny"? I think they're part of the same family, but maybe we should split them. By the way, there's a great bawdy version of "Hoosen Johnny" called "Houston, Sam Houston", with sound effects. - PJS
It's another case of the extremes being different but the intermediate versions being too mixed to clearly distinguish. Easier to lump the whole family here. If we don't, we WILL mess up. Or, at least, I will. The versions of this song are so diverse that it gets to the point of parodying itself.... - RBW
File: R271

The degree to which all of these are variants of the same song is open to debate, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: kendall
Date: 26 May 05 - 07:57 AM

The way I heard it as a boy, the old gray mare she "SHAT" on the wiffle tree. The wiffle tree of course was a part of the rigging for a wagom, the wooden cross piece that the stouters attached to.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD GREY MARE (from Leroy Troy)
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 05 - 08:50 AM

leRoy Troy's version is as follows:

The old spare tire ain't what it used to be,
Ain't what it used to be, ain't what it used to be.
Can't even tell where the retread used to be,
Many long years ago.

The old grey mare is back where she used to be,
Back where she used to be, back where she used to be.
The old grey mare is back where she used to be,
Many long years ago.

She might be old and lean, but she don't need no gasoline.
Yes, the old grey mare is back where she used to be
Many long years ago.

The old grey mare is gettin' more attention, gettin' more attention,
Gettin' more attention, than a widow with a pension.
Yes, the old grey mare is getting more attention,
Than she did long years ago.

And, with all that attention, she's gettin' quite a temperament,
Gettin' quite a temperament, gettin' quite a temperament,
Why they bobbed her tail and gave her tail permanent,
Like they did long years ago.

The farmer hurries home, and grabs the curry comb.
The kids all rush out to the barn, give her oats and hay,
Didn't mean no harm.
Yes, the old grey mare is gettin' more attention
Than she did long years ago.

The farmer and the old grey mare,
They stand by the side of the thoroughfare,
And they make more money standing there, than they did long years ago

The cars a go a speeding right pass, going mighty fast
As they go a whizzin' right past.
A few more miles down, they a'run out a gas,
And the farmer pulls them home.

The farmer gets ten bucks, for towin' cars and trucks.
He's the one they all called a boob, called him a hick,
Called him a rube.
But he ain't got no flat inner tube.
He and the old grey mare.

The garage of yesterday, is full of oats and hay,
And, stead of talking about oil and gas,
They're talking oats and hay, corn and grass.
Yep. The old grey mare is back where she used to be,
Many long years ago.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Abby Sale
Date: 26 May 05 - 09:38 AM

Hmmm. I never connected Old Gray Mare and Little Black Bull (Sam Houston) until now. Obvious when it's pointed out to me! Thanks.

For what it's worth, I'll post the version I learned from Cyril Tawney. He sang it in his "mock rustic" style and declared the version was collected in England - but didn't much into where/when. I was taken with the pronounciation of Houston as "hoos-ton." The all-but-the-same DigTrad version is at Click

Sam Houston

1. There was an 'eifer in a medder   [meadow]
           Houston, Sam Houston
   There was an 'eifer in a medder
           A long time ago.

        CHO:        It was a long time ago-o-o,
                A long time ago-o-o,
                There was an 'eifer in a medder
                A long time ago-o-o,

2. There was a fence adound that medder
           Houston, Sam Houston
   There was a fence adound that medder
           A long time ago.

        CHO:

3. A big black bull came down from the mountain.

4. He jumped that fence and he oofed that 'eifer.

5. He missed his mark and he phttt in the medder.

6. The big black bull went back to the mountain.

7. His head hung low but his balls hung lower.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 26 May 05 - 09:44 AM

In Vermont, when I was little, she merely pissed on the whiffletree.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: If you are sitting 5 feet from me, you are seeing me as I was 5 nanoseconds ago. :||


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Subject: ADD: The Old Gray Mare (Perrow)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 May 05 - 02:27 PM

Many versions. Perrow collected this one in 1906 from Tennessee whites.

Lyr. Add: The Old Gray Mare (Perrow)

Ole Turkey-Buzzard come a-flyin' a-by, (3X)
Says, "Ole man, yore mare's gon die."

Ef she dies, I'll tan her skin; (3x)
Ef she don't, by doggies!(1) I'll ride 'r agin'.

She got so pore I couldn't ride; (3X)
Bones stuck up right thoo her hide.

Then I hooked 'r to the plough; (3X)
Swore by doggies! she didn't know how.

Then I skinned some pop-paw(2) lines; (3X)
Swore by doggies! she'd take her time.

Then I turned her daown the creek; (3X)
For her to hunt some grass to eat.

Then I follerd daown the track; (3X)
Found 'r in a mudhole flat uv 'r back.

Then I felt so devlish stout, (3X)
Grabbed her by the tail en' puller 'r out.

Then I thought it weren't no sin; (3x)
Took out my knife en' begun to skin.

Refrain
Yankty doodle dum, yankty dee,(3)
Yankty doodle dum, yankty dee.

With music. (1) a common expression in East Tennessee. (2) paw-paw tree. (3) Imitation of the sound of a banjo-string.
Collected from East Tennessee mountain whites; 1906.
E. C. Perrow, 1911, "Songs and Rhymes from the South," II. Songs in which animals figure, 1., JAFL, vol. 25, pp. 137-155. On line, www.immortalia.com

A related song from whites; "I Had a Little Mule and His Name Was Jack."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Franz S.
Date: 26 May 05 - 10:51 PM

Song I remember from sunday school about 57 years ago, to the same tune as "The Old Gray Mare" which we also sang 57 years ago:
I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery,
I may never zoom o'er the enemy,
But I'm in the Lord's army.

I always chose to interpret this as a sort of pacifist song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Goose Gander
Date: 27 May 05 - 06:33 PM

I remember this from when I was about 10 years old....

Old Gray Man he...
Ate all the gopher guts
Ate all the gopher guts
Ate all the gopher guts


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Stewie
Date: 27 May 05 - 09:25 PM

The ballad index entry above for Earl Johnson (OK 45183) should have read 'Earl Johnson & His Clodhoppers'. At this session Lee 'Red' Henderson had replaced Byrd Moore on guitar. The earlier Dixie Entertainers line-up was Johnson, Emmett Bankston (bjo) and Moore. The Clodhoppers line-up of Johnson, Bankston and Henderson also later recorded under the name 'Earl Johnson & His Dixie Entertainers'.

Johnson's 'Old Grey Horse Kicking Out of the Wilderness' seems to be mainly the vehicle for some wildly exuberant dance music and manic fiddling. Apart from the 'Old grey horse kicking ...' chorus, it has a couple of floaters like:

My wife died on Thursday evening
Friday she was buried
Done my courtin' on Saturday evening
On Sunday I got married

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Stewie
Date: 27 May 05 - 09:37 PM

My apologies, the title of the Johnson side referred to in my previous post should read 'Old Grey MARE Kicking Out of the Wilderness'. I put 'horse' because I was listening to the side whilst typing. Although 'mare' is the word in the title, Johnson sings 'horse' all the way through - no mention of 'mare'!

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TEARIN' OUT-A WILDERNESS (from J&A Lomax)
From: Goose Gander
Date: 27 May 05 - 11:10 PM

I don't think these have been posted:

TEARIN' OUT-A WILDERNESS

De old gray hoss come tearin' out-a wilderness
Tearin' out-a wilderness
Tearin' out-a wilderness
De old gray hoss come tearin' out-a wilderness
Down in Alabam'

chorus: Hoe, boys, Hoe (4X)

A little black bull come down from de mountain
Down from de mountain
Down from de mountain
A little black bull come down from de mountain
Long time ago

He stuck his horn through a white oak sapling
White oak sapling
White oak sapling
He stuck his horn through a white oak sapling
Long time ago

He threw dirt in de heifer's faces
Heifer's faces
Heifer's faces
He threw dirt in de heifer's faces
Long time ago

Twenty more black bull calves come that season
Come that season
Come that season
Twenty more black bull calves come that season
Long time ago

From John and Alan Lomax's American Ballads and Folk Songs (p.336-337).

The Lomax's offer no source, but they note it is "A Cotton-Chopping Song," and it's certainly African-American.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN IN ALABAM
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 May 05 - 12:30 AM

Lyr. Add: Down in Alabam
(or: Ain't I Glad I Got Out de Wilderness)
Melody by J. Warner, 1858

Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!
My old massa he's got the dropser, um,
he's got the dropser, um,
he's got the dropser, um,
He am sure to die 'kase he's got no doctor, um,
Down in Alabam'.

Chorus:
Ain't I glad I got out de wilderness,
Got out de wilderness,
Got out de wilderness,
Ain't I glad I got out de wilderness
Down in Alabam'.

Old blind horse come from Jerusalem,
Come from Jerusalem,
Come from Jerusalem
He kicks so high dey put him in de museum,
Down in Alabam'.

Dis am a holiday, we hab assembled, um,
We hab assembled, um,
We hab assembled, um
To dance and sing for de ladies and gentleum,
Down in Alabam'.

Far you well to de wild goose nation,
Wild goose nation,
Wild goose nation,
I neber will leab de old plantation,
Down in Alabam'.

"Ethiopian Refrain as sung by Bryant's Minstrels. Melody by J. Warner
harmonized and arranged by Walter Meadows."
Published by Wm. Hall & Son, New York. 1858.

This seems to be the original that spawned many parodies and folk variants, both black and white.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: GUEST
Date: 28 May 05 - 12:41 AM

See thread 31024, post by Ebbie, "Brave Boys Died, Down in Alabam'; and "Old Abe Lincoln Came Out of the Wilderness," posted by Sorcha.

In the same thread is the spiritual "Go in the Wilderness," from Slave Songs, 1867, posted by rich r. Brave Boys Died


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 May 05 - 12:57 AM

Guest above, referring to thread 31024, is Q.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN THE WILDERNESS (play-party song)
From: Goose Gander
Date: 28 May 05 - 01:36 AM

IN THE WILDERNESS

First little lady in the wilderness, in the wilderness
In the wilderness, in the wilderness
First little lady in the wilderness
On to Galilee

Chorus:
Hands up, round the lady,
Round the lady, round the lady,
Hands up, round the lady,
On to Galilee

Swing that lady out of the wilderness (etc.)

Next married lady down the wilderness (etc.)

Next old maid go down the wilderness (etc.)

Swing all the ladies out of the wilderness (etc.)

First old hobo in the wilderness (etc.)

First old soapstick in the wilderness (etc.)

(toothpick, slopbucket, gentleman)

From B.A. Botkin's American Play Party Songs (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1937), cited by Alan Lomax in Folk Songs of North America (p. 91-92).

The various forms of this song run the gamut from sincere to parody, from sacred to secular. I like how this version combines secular and sacred themes and becomes progressively more ridiculous.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Goose Gander
Date: 28 May 05 - 01:49 AM

"My old massa he's got the *dropner, um,
he's got the dropner, um,
he's got the dropner, um,
He am sure to die 'kase he's got no doctor, um,
Down in Alabam'."


I wonder if this refers to dropsy....


DROPSY (contracted from the old word hydropisy, derived from the Gr. 6pw~ ii&op, water, and ~, appearance), the name given to a collection of simple serous fluid in all or any of the cavities of the body, or in the meshes of its tissues. Dropsy of the subcutaneous connective tissue is termed oedema when it is localized and limited in extent; when more diffuse it is termed anasarca; the term oedema is also applied to dropsies of some of the internal organs, notably to that of the lungs. Hydrocephalus signifies an accumulation of fluid within the ventricles of the brain or in the arachnoid cavity; hydrothorax, a collection of fluid in one or both pleural cavities; hydropericardium, ~in the pericardium; ascites, in the peritoneum; and, when anasarca is conjoined with the accumulation of fluid in one or more of the serous cavities, the dropsy is said to be general (see also PATHOLOGY).

http://35.1911encyclopedia.org/D/DR/DROPSY.htm

DROPSY

SYLLABICATION: drop·sy
PRONUNCIATION:   drps
NOUN: Edema. No longer in scientific use.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English dropesie, short for idropesie, from Old French ydropisie, from Medieval Latin ydrpisia, from Latin hydrpisis, from Greek hudrpisis, from hudrps, dropsy, a dropsical person : hudro-, water; see hydro? + ps, face; see okw- in Appendix I.
OTHER FORMS: dropsi·cal (-s-kl) ?ADJECTIVE
dropsi·cal·ly ?ADVERB

http://www.bartleby.com/61/79/D0397900.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 May 05 - 01:34 PM

"In the Wilderness" is an interesting one.
Botkin, p. 288, say the game is also called "On to Galilee." He gives directions for the game:
"The lady in the center. You keep going round her. Then hands up and go the other way. Then you swing her if it's your partner. Repeat until all the girls have been swung. Then the boys get in the center with- 'first old soapstick (toothpick, slopbucket, gentleman,'), etc."
B. A. Botkin, 1937; 1963, "The American Play-Party Song," University Studies Univ. Nebraska vol. 38, no. 1-4; reprint Frederick Ungar Pub. Co., NY.

Botkin refers to "Below Galilee" in Newell, but this is part of a game called "Swine-herders" or "Hog-drivers." Although possibly the verse is related, the game is quite different. Pp. 232-233, no. 164, North Carolina; with music, mountain whites.

Come under, come under,
My honey, my love, my heart's above-
Come under, come under,
Below Galilee.
W. W. Newell, 1883, 1903; Dover reprint 1963, "Games and Songs of American Children," Harper & Bros.; Dover.

"Dropner"- Could be dropsy, but minstrels used invented words and the composer may have had nothing specific in mind.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 May 05 - 09:35 PM

I have found two copies of "Down in Alabam'" in which the word is 'dropser,' not 'dropner.' The sheet music is difficult to read (Levy Sheet Music) and 'dropser' sounds better, so a correction is probably needed.
This also is closer to 'dropsy.'


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Subject: Lyr Add: AIN'T I GLAD I GOT OUT DE WILDERNESS
From: chico
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 05:16 AM


G   D7   G D7
Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!

G                     
My old massa he's got the dropser, um,
D7                         G
He'd got the dropser, um, he'd got the dropser, um,
(C)    G
He am sure to die 'kase he's got no doctor, um,
D7          G
Down in Alabam'.

Aint I glad I got out de wilderness,
Got out de wilderness, got out de wilderness
Aint I glad I got out de wilderness,
Down in Alabam'.

Old blind horse come from Jerusalem,
Come from Jerusalum, come from Jerusalum
He kicks so high dey put him in de museum,
Down in Alabam'.

Dis am a holiday, we hab assembled, um,
We hab assembled, um, we hab assembled, um
To dance and sing for de ladies and genbleum,
Down in Alabam'.

Far you well to de wild goose nation,
Wild goose nation, wild goose nation,
I neber will leab de old plantation,
Down in Alabam'.

["Down in Alabam'; or, Aint I Glad I Got Out De Wilderness" (1858) Ethiopian Refrain as sung by Bryant's Minstrels Words and Music by J. Warner Arranged by Walter Meadows]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 11:43 PM

The sheet music for DOWN IN ALABAM or AIN'T I GLAD I GOT OUT DE WILDERNESS can be found at The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 04:51 PM

Lyr. Add: THE OLD GRAY HORSE
Three old verses from Perrow

A
Went to the river at break uv day,
Couldn't get across, en' uh had to stay;
Paid five dollars fer un ole gray horse,
Wouldn't go erlong, en' 'e wouldn't stand still,
But jumped up en' daown like un ole flutter-mill.
(TN, mountain whites, 1908)
B
I went to the river and couldn't get across;
Paid five dollars for an old gray horse,
Horse wouldn't ride, horse wouldn't swim,
And I'll never see my five dollars agin.
(MS, country whites, MS of Miss Reedy; 1909)
C
I went to the river and couldn't get across;
Jumped on a toad-frog and thought he was a horse*
VA, mountain whites, 1912)
*In college song books, included in "Polly Wolly Doodle."

From E. C. Perrow, Songs in which Animals Figure. E. C. Perrow, 1911, "Songs and Rhymes from the South," JAFL, vol. 25, pp. 137-155.

A version of "Old Gray Mare, 1906, Perrow, was posted above, 26 May 05. From mountain whites.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 12:32 PM

On the other hand:

Good fellows all that's straight and tall,
Take counsel and be wise   
Attention pay to what I say,
My lecture don't despise?
Let patience guide you on ev'ryside
Of traitors now beware
There's none but men would glory win
Can ride my old Grey Mare.

In Erin's Isle in ancient times,
She was rode by Brian Boru,
Phelim O'Neill with sword of steel,
Owen Roe and Sarsfield, too,
Brave Michael Dwyer not long ago
Ranged Wicklow and Kildare
Tone, Tandy, Sheares, and other peers
Rode on my old grey mare.

Brave Bonaparte on her did start
He rode too fast, 'tis true.
She lost a shoe at Moscow fair
And fell lame at Waterloo.
When she comes o'er to Erin's shore,
She'll have good farriers' care
At the very next 'chase she'll win the race,
My sporting old grey mare.

Here's to the man that's six foot one,
And more then if you choose,
That stands up straight without deceit,
In Spanish leather shoes.
Likewise the youth that tells the truth
That he may have Liberty fair
And to every man in Ireland
That rides my old grey mare.

Seems far more interesting to me.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Nov 08 - 02:36 PM

Not bad for a furrin nag. But she didn't carry General Washington or Lee or Grant or Crazy Horse or Oñate or Villa or me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 06:18 PM

On Leroy Troy's album, THE OLD GREY MARE is attributed to Carson Robison. However, I can't find any evidence that Carson Robison recorded it.

The Online 78 rpm Discographical Project lists recordings called

(THE) OLD GRAY/GREY MARE, by
Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan, 1917.
Earl Fuller's Famous Jazz Band, 1917.
Prince's Band, 1917.
University Quartet, around 1917.
Carl Fenton & His Orch, 1925.
Land Norris (banjo), 1926.
Al Bernard, around 1927.
Gid Tanner's Skillet Lickers, 1927.
Vernon Dalhart, 1927 (attrib J Warner) & '28 (attrib Frank Panella)
Lew Childre, 1930.
Gene Autry, 1936.
Milton Brown & His Brownies, 1936.
Freddie Fisher & His Orch, 1941.
Bob Gregory and his Cactus Cowboys, date unknown.

and other songs called:

OLD GREY MARE KICKING OUT OF THE WILDERNESS by Earl Johnson & His Clodhoppers, 1927.

TIM KELLYS OLD GREY MARE by Jack Murphy, 1927.

OUR OLD GREY MARE by Johnny Marvin, 1932

HARNESS THE OLD GREY MARE by Gillis Serenaders, 1934.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 08:49 PM

Are the 1917 recordings similar to each other? It would be interesting to see the lyrics of one or more of them.

OLD GRAY HOSS

Old gray hoss come a-tearin' out o' the wilderness,
Tearin' out o' the wilderness, tearin' out o' the wilderness,
Old gray hoss come a-tearin' out o' the wilderness,
Down in Alabam'.

Verse, with the usual score, "The Missouri Play-Party," Mrs. L. D. Ames, p. 311. JAFL, 1911, vol. 24, no. 93, pp. 295-318.
------------------------------------
Fuld says the phrase "ain't what she used to be" appeared in a 'song' version published Oct. 4, 1917 by Morris Music Co., the arranger Frank Panella(?);
pp. 408-409, James J. Fuld, 1966, "The Book of World-Famous Music," (Dover reprint).

Fuld also says claims have been made that the words of "The Old Gray Mare" were written by Gus Bailey about an animal at the Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas). Bailey was a soldier in Gen. Hood's Texas Brigade and later became a circus showman and musician.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 10:32 PM

THE OLD GREY MARE as recorded by Earl Fuller's Famous Jazz Band, is purely instrumental?no lyrics. You can hear it at The Red Hot Jazz Archive.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 02:55 PM

I'm curious about what was "the wild goose nation" as found in the song "The Old Gray Mare".

I seem to vaguely remember reading somewhere that "wild goose nation" was either a nation of Indians {Native Americans} or maroons {runaway slaves}which might have also included some Native Americans}. I've read that some enslaved people would run away from the plantation but might come back there {perhaps because loved ones were there, or because of the scarcity of food in the maroon camps etc}. If "the wild goose nation" meant the Indian and or runaway slave camp, does this verse mean that the person singing it has rejected the idea of permanently leaving the plantation?

"Far you well to de wild goose nation,
Wild goose nation,
Wild goose nation,
I neber will leab de old plantation,
Down in Alabam'."

-snip-

It should be noted that I googled "the wild goose nation" and found a wikipedia page on "De Wild Goose Nation" that included this information:

"De Wild Goose-Nation" is an American song composed by blackface minstrel performer Dan Emmett.

The song is a parody (or possibly an adaptation) of "Gumbo Chaff", a blackface minstrel song dating to the 1830s; the music of most closely resembles an 1844 version of that song.[1] Musicologist Hans Nathan sees similarities in the introduction of the song to the later "Dixie".[2]"

-snip-

I suppose that it's possible that this phrase could have more than one meaning. Does anyone have any information or documentation about what this phrase or referent means? If so, thanks in advance for posting it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 04:05 PM

No significance can be attached to 'wild goose nation.'
It also appears in sea chanteys, esp. "We'll Ranzo Way." Hugill commented-
"Most versions (the chantey) refer to the "Wild Goose Nation." This mysterious race of people often crops up in shantydom and also in nigger minstreldom, and many theories have been put forward regarding the origin, none, I'm afraid, very convincing. Doerflinger maintains that in minstreldom the phrase refers to Southern or Indian-inhabited country. Miss Colcord rather fancies Ireland as the source, since she has discovered that the phrase 'Wild Goose Nation' was used as a poetical name for the Irish, in particular for the Irish Guards who fought for the French in the wars of 1748."
See Kipling's poem, "The Irish Guards."
In history, Irish who refused to fight for the British crown or deserted to opposing forces, went into exile, and are often referred to as "wild geese."

But all this is speculation.
See Stan Hugill, "Shanties from the Seven Seas," pp. 181-182; reprint edition (2003 printing) by Mystic Seaport (Museum), Mystic CT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 04:50 PM

Thanks for that information, Q, though I flinched when I read your that "n word" in that quote.

It seems certain that in the "Old Gray Mare" song, "Wild Goose Nation" wasn't a referent for the Irish Guards. It may not matter what it originally meant for it does seem likely {to me} that in that "Old Gray Mare" song, at least, "Wild Goose Nation" referred to an area where Indians lived to which formerly enslaved Black people would run for santuary.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 04:51 PM

Sorry for that poor cut and paste job. The word "your" in that first sentence should have been deleted.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 05:29 PM

The 'old gray mare' didn't enter the verses of the minstrel song until half a century later.

Tying the two together like that to make a supposition is a stretch too far.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WILD GOOSE NATION
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 12:04 PM

From Marsh's Selection, or, Singing for the Million. New York: Richard Marsh, 1854:

WILD GOOSE NATION.

Here I am, as you diskiver,
All de way from Roaring River;
Here I cum, as you must know,
For to play de ole banjo.

CHORUS: Oh Lord, gals, gib me chaw tobacco.
Oh Lord, fetch on de whiskey,
Makes a man glad to get a little boosey.

Way down in de Indian nation,
Pretty little gals from de wild goose nation
My wife's dead, an' I'm a widow,
All de way from Roaring River.

Ole Massa Miller goes out a preachin',
'Bout de world coming to pieces,
An' if you want to do what's right,
Go an' join de Millerite.

No, den, if dis should happen,
Den good bye to Arthur Tappen;
But if it should fail,
We'll ride ole Miller on a rail.

Time draws near, it does by Job,
So now get ready your ascension robes;
Farewell, ladies, I must go,
To git some strings for my ole banjo.

Uncle Samel, and Massa Jess,
Dey buy a bully cider press,
De hoops flew off, de barrel buss,
An' blew 'em up in a thunder guss.


[William Miller, preacher, prophesied the end of the world in 1843. Arthur Tappen was an abolitionist. Roaring River is both a river and a town in North Carolina.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 12:07 PM

From Roger D. Abrahams, "Singing the Master: The Emergence of African American Culture in the Plantation South" (New York: Pantheon Books, ©1992), page 190:
    There are a number of songs in the Ranzo group of chanteys that mention the "Wild Goose Nation." Hugill provides a number of folk explanations of the term, none of which refers directly to the story of the wild goose shot down by Old Master given here. As this song seems to refer to a recognizable Marster-John story, in which Marster tries to kill John only to find that he is too tough and wily to be killed, it is plausible that the very term "wild goose" may have referred to an unkillable slave, and that the sea chanteys are versions which recode the meaning of the song into a sea setting. For the Marster-John tale in which Old Marster gets so mad at his slave that he attempts to kill him in any way he can, but John keeps outwitting him, see Charles Joyner's discussion in Down by the Riverside, pp. 184-85, 317. This also may explain, in some part, the origin of the song "The Gray Goose," sung by Huddie Ledbetter, printed in John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax, Negro Folk Songs as Sung by Lead Belly (New York: Macmillan, 1936), p. 108. See also the version of "Go Tell Aunt Nancy" in A Singer and her Songs: Almeda Riddle's Book of Ballads, ed. Roger D. Abrahams (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ., 1970), pp. 117-20. This text suggests that the Marster-John story might at one point have been a cante-fable, and from this emerged a work song....
[That's as much as I can get with Google Book Search.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 12:44 PM

This implies that "Wild Goose Nation" referred an actual place (although that might not have been its official name):

From Joseph H. Wenger, History of the Descendants of J. Conrad Geil and His Son Jacob Geil (Elgin, IL: [author], 1914):

[Re: Jacob Beery (1806-1885) and Catharine Stalter (1803-1890), married 1832.]

"Later they moved to Wyandot Co., Ohio, in what was called 'Wild
Goose Nation
.' Brethren in Christ. Nevada, Ohio."

[Brethren in Christ," a Mennonite sect, is evidently the name of the religious denomination they belonged to. Nevada is a village in Wyandot County.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 01:20 PM

Thanks, Jim!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 02:05 PM

Thanks to the information noted by Jim Dixon, I believe more strongly than ever that "wild goose nation" in the "Old Gray Goose" song and perhaps other songs was a referent for Indian land. I think that this referent became one for more than one place, meaning any place where Indians lived who would accept runaway slaves.

It's possible that the African Americans of those times used the term "wild geese" as a "totem" for those places which would bring to mind the song about the unconquerable gray goose.

There are a number of online references about Black people who were enslaved living with Native Americans. See, for example, this excerpt from this Wikepedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Indians


"...In South Carolina, colonists became so concerned about the possible threat posed by the mixed African and Native American population that was arising as runaway Africans escaped to the Native Americans that they passed a new law in 1725. This law stipulated a fine of 200 pounds on anyone who brought a slave to the frontier regions of the colony. In 1751 the colony of South Carolina found it necessary to issue another law, warning that having Africans in proximity to Native Americans was deemed detrimental to the security of the colony.

In 1726 the British governor of colonial New York exacted a promise from the Iroquois Confederacy to return all runaway slaves who had joined up with them. This same promise was extracted from the Huron tribe in 1764 and from the Delaware tribe in 1765.[10] Despite their promises, the tribes never returned any escaped slaves..[10] They continued to provide a safe refuge for escaped slaves. In 1763 during Pontiac's Native American uprising a Detriot resident reported that Native Americans killed whites but were "saving and caressing all the Negroes they take." He worried lest this might "produce an insurrection." Chief Joseph Brant's Mohawks in New York welcomed runaway slaves and encouraged intermarriage.[10] Native American adoption systems knew no color line and accepted the breathless fugitives as sisters and brothers.[10] Woodson's notion of an escape hatch notion proved correct: Native American villages welcomed fugitives, and even served as stations on the Underground Railroad.[10]"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 02:10 PM

Here is a repost from thread.cfm?threadid=81179#1485725 that provides the lyrics to the "Old Gray Goose" song that is mentioned above:

Subject: ADD Version: THE OLD GRAY GOOSE
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 15 May 05 - 09:04 PM

ADD: THE OLD GRAY GOOSE

Here is another version of The Old Gray Goose from Margaret Taylor Burroughs's "Did You Feed My Cow? Street Games, Chants, Rhymes" revised edition {Chicago,1969; Follett Publishing Company;p. 27-29}

{presented as found in that book}

The leader sings or chants the verse while the group gives response, keeping a definite rhythm. it may also be done with two groups. They may change roles and repeat. Children may be assigned roles of preacher, gray goose, and feather pickers.


Call:    It was on a Sunday morning,
Response: Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          The preacher went ahunting.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          He carried 'long his shotgun
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          When along came the gray goose.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          The gun went off booloo!
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          And down came the gray goose.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          He was six weeks afalling.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          He was six weeks afalling.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          And my wife and your wife
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          They gave a feather picking.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          They were six weeks picking.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          And they put him on to parboil.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          He was six weeks aboiling.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          And they put him on the table.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
         
          Well, the knife wouldn't cut him,
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          And the fork wouldn't stick him.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          They put him in the hogpen,
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          And he broke the hog's teeth out.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          They took him to the sawmill,
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          And the saw couldn't cut him.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          They took him to the sawmill,
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          And the saw couldn't cut him.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          And the last time I saw him,
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          He was flying 'cross the ocean.
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!

          With a long string of goslings,
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!
          And they all going quack, quack!
          Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!


-snip-

My thanks to Mudcat Cafe member, Hollowfox, for the gift of this book.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 02:13 PM

Correction:

Thanks to the information noted by Jim Dixon, I believe more strongly than ever that "wild goose nation" in the "Old Gray Mare" song and perhaps other songs was a referent for Indian land.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 06:13 PM

It seems likely that 'wild goose nation' was simply a slang term for the boondocks, whether 'injun' country or backwoods South or wherever.

There are many versions of the song, variously versed and titled. Some mention a horse, one mentions 40 horses.
"Here I Am as You Diskiver" was used on song sheets issued by De Marsan, and by Andrews. The De Marsan sheet has the same text as that of "Wild Goose Nation," posted by Jim Dixon.
The Andrews sheet dropped the verse about Arthur Tappen, and substituted these:

Summer time has come at last,
Old cold winter's gone and past;
Fourth July we'll have a lark,
And see de sojers in de Park.

Fourth July, without any flattery,
Is a great day down on de battery;
De coannon roar, and so loudly clatter,
Get your eye put out wid a fire cracker.

A song sheet from Andrews, "Way Down South in de Alabama," probably fairly close to the original "Down in Alabam."

WAY DOWN SOUTH IN DE ALABAM

'Way down South, in de Alabama,
'Twas there I left my ole Aunt Hannah;
Ole Miss Squankum she whar dere,
She wanted a lock ob dis child's hair!

Chorus.
'Way down South, in de Alabama,
Ou, auh! ou, ah!
'Way down South in de Alabama,
Ou ah! faddle um de day!

2
Before I left, we danc'd two reels,
(De holler ob her foot war back ob her heels!)
I play'd on de banjo 'till dey all begin to sweat;
Knock'd on de jaw-bone, and bust de claronet!
3
Vinegar shoes and paper stockings,
Set to me, Miss Polly Hopkins;
My missus is dead and I'm a widder,
All de way from Ravin river.
4
Dandy Jim an' ole Peter Dare,
Two best men in human natur;
De puttiest ting in all creation,
Is a little yalley gal in de wild goose nation.
5
Blow away, ye gentle breezes,
All among the cimmon tresses!
Dare I'll set 'long wid de Muses,
Mendin' my ole boots and shoeses.

These from song sheets at American Memory.

A version from Christy's Panorama Songster (1850s):

SKIDDY, IDDY, DI DO

Here we are as you diskiver,
All de way from Ole Tar River,
Here we come as you must know.
All ready for to play on de old banjo.

Chorus.
Den, oh lord gals, gib us a chaw tobacco,
Oh lord gals fotch along de whisky
Skiddy iddy iddy di dr di do,
My heasd swims when I get a little tipsy.

Father Miller goes out preachin',
About de world a comin' to pieces,
Den if you want to do what's right,
Just go and join de Millerite.

Forty horses in de stable,
Pretty gals in de wild goose nation,
My wife's dead an' I'm a sinner,
Go down to Johnny's and get my dinner.

Uncle Pete and Aunty Jess,
Dey went to buy a cider press,
De hoops flew off an' de hogshead bust,
And dey boff went up in a thunder gust.

http://www.archive.org/details/panoramasongster00chririch

As mentioned previously, 'the old gray mare' did not appear until long after the original songs had been much changed.

"Down in Alabam," music and words by J. Warner, was copyrighted Feb. 17,1858. Subtitle, "Ain't I Glad I Got Out de Wilderness."

Variant, "Go in the Wilderness," appeared in 1867 in "Slave Songs of the United States," probably the first connection with Black culture.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 06:37 PM

To switch to other lyrics from that song, I'm wondering if the phrase "Roll, Riley, roll" as found in the exrich r
s - PM
Date: 25 May 99 - 12:21 AM

The Frank C Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore lists a variant of the lyrics Joe posted, but not much in the way of explanation except that it was described as a lullaby by the source of this version.
The old grey horse came trotting down the wilderness
Trotting down the wilderness
Trotting down the wilderness
The old grey horse came trotting down the wilderness
Down in Alabam.

Roll, Riley, roll
Roll, Riley, roll
Roll, Riley, roll
Oh, Lord, I'm bound to go


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 06:47 PM

Sorry, my fingers slipped. Let me try that again=

I'm wondering if the phrase "roll Riley roll" {as found in the example that rich r posted} was originally the words "rally boys around" as posted by Dick Wisan on 25 Jun 99 - 10:34 AM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 09:25 PM

Riley-
The editor appended a footnote: "The word Riley is not capitalized in the manuscript, but one supposes that it is a man's name."
Not much point in speculating on a word in a barely remembered fragment (contributed by a Miss Mamie E. Cheek of Durham in 1923).

richr posted the spiritual "Go in the Wilderness" in thread 31024:
Brave boys


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old Gray Mare
From: GUEST,Lisa Ritchey (Fred Ritchey)
Date: 04 Dec 11 - 09:57 PM

My father used to sing this song in the car on road trips when we were children. Here are his lyrics...
After the initial refrain...

Now the farmer takes the old gray mare, sits by the side of a thoroughfare, he can make more dough just a waitin there, than he did long years ago.

Well the farmer makes five bucks, for towing in cars & trucks
Yeah, he's the old boy they all call a rube,
they give him a kick, naw, but he's got the boot,
Aw cuz he's not stuck with a flat inner tube,
him or the old gray mare.

Refrain...


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