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Lyr Add: Up to Uncle Tracy's - thanksgiving ballad

*#1 PEASANT* 15 Nov 10 - 07:14 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Nov 10 - 10:12 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 18 Nov 10 - 09:27 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 18 Nov 10 - 09:36 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 18 Nov 10 - 10:01 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 18 Nov 10 - 10:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Nov 10 - 12:45 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Early Thanksgiving Ballad Uncle Tracy's
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 07:14 PM

UNCLE TRACY'S THANKSGIVING
^^
There can be no doubt but that this queer song runs back in time to the end of the first century of the colony.

It is purely traditional. I heard it as early as 1825, and I do not believe it has ever been printed until now.

I have no doubt as to its antiquity. It belongs before 1689 and after l66l.

UNCLE TRACY'S THANKSGIVING. 1675?

'T Was up to Uncle Tracy's
The Fifth of November,
Last Thanksgiving night
As I very well remember
And there we had a Frolic,

A Frolic indeed,
Where we drank good full Glasses
Of old Anise-seed.

And there was Mr. Holmes
And there was Peter Drew,

And there was Seth Gilbert
And Seth Thomas too

And there were too many
Too many for to name,

And by and by I '11 tell you how
They carried on the Game.

They carried on the Game

Till't was late in the night,
And one pretty Girl
Almost lost her Eyesight .
No wonder, no wonder

No wonder indeed,
For she drank good full Glasses
Of old Anise-seed.

p29

new england history in ballads
edward everett hale
1903


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Early Thanksgiving Ballad
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 10:12 PM

These lyrics appear in a story called "Christmas in Cooney Camp," in Our Christmas in a Palace: a Traveller's Story by Edward Everett Hale (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1883), page 145:

'Twas up to Uncle Tracy's,
The fifth of November,
Last Thanksgiving night,
As I very well remember:
And there we had a frolic,
A frolic, indeed,
And drank several glasses
Of good anise-seed.

And there was Parson Holmes,
And there was Perez Drew,
And there was Seth Gilbert,
And Seth Thomas, too;
And there were too many,
Too many for to name,
And by and by I'll tell you how
We carried on the game.

We carried on the game
Till 'twas late in the night—
There was one pretty girl
And she lost her eye-sight.
No wonder—no wonder—
No wonder, indeed,
For she drank three full glasses
Of good anise-seed.

[The narrator describes hearing it sung. The narrative also includes lots of quoted dialogue, which leads me to believe it is probably fiction rather than a memoir. Furthermore, the volume has the following preface:]

THE admirable story of "Christmas in Cooney Camp," included in this volume, is kindly given me by my friend, Mr. Collingwood, who describes in it what he has seen and heard. It has never been published before. The other stories and sketches are my own.

EDWARD E. HALE.

Roxbury, Mass., Oct. 1, 1883.

[See Eward Everett Hale at Wikipedia, which says:]

Hale first came to notice as a writer in 1859, when he contributed the short story "My Double and How He Undid Me" to the Atlantic Monthly. He soon published other stories in the same periodical. The best known of these was "The Man Without a Country" (1863), which did much to strengthen the Union cause in the North, and in which, as in some of his other non-romantic tales, he employed a minute realism which led his readers to suppose the narrative a record of fact.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Early Thanksgiving Ballad
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 09:27 PM

Yes could be a romantic....as in Irving....
But both the same source

In terms of content the popes day fifth of november equation with thanksgiving is appropriate and for the date given. In the17th century several new england governors proclaimed november 5 popes day or guy fawkes as thanksgiving

This was because the fifth of November was the only thanksgiving in the book of common prayer- national calendar so it became appropriate in the colonies to give thanks on that date.

I wonder of the significance of the names....
Thanks
Conrad


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Early Thanksgiving Ballad
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 09:36 PM

context of the above citation-even in the fiction the author wishes to convey the early origins of the ballad.....so at least he is consistant with himself....

Would be good to find another instance of the ballad

" Mrs. Frechette will favor us with a ballad."

The little woman did not flinch an instant.

" The committee had no right to ask me for an original ballad," said she. " I never write ballads, and Tom does not. But I will sing an old Yankee ballad, which I learned on Thanksgiving day from a real Mayflower girl. She says the people in Plymouth County—I think that is the place—knew what the time was some two hundred years ago or less. You must all join in the chorus."

And with great spirit she sang :

" 'Twas up to Uncle Tracy's,

The fifth of November,
Last Thanksgiving night.

As I very well remember :
And there we had a frolic,

A frolic, indeed,
And drank several glasses

Of good anise-seed.

" And there was Parson Holmes,

And there was Perez Drew,
And there was Seth Gilbert,

And Seth Thomas, too ;
And there were too many,

Too many for to name,
And by and by I'll tell you how

We carried on the game.

' We carried on the game

Till 'twas late in the night—

There was one pretty girl
And she lost her eye-sight.

No wonder—no wonder-
No wonder, indeed,

For she drank three full glasses
Of good anise-seed."

She sang the quaint old air so merrily and she commanded the rest so instinctively that they caught it quickly, and sang the last half of each verse with her.

Amid general laughing she turned to Mr. Decker, and said :

'' That is the way your Yankee ancestors kept Thanksgiving, Mr. Decker, before Nahum Barrow's


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Early Thanksgiving Ballad
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 10:01 PM

From Hale's letters- vol 2 seems he is giving what he believes is an historical citation here although he is a century off from the first version given above....where he cites 17th century....

TO CHARLES

"July 18, 1875. Judge Potter thinks the act making the presidential election uniform is thirty years old, and connects it with the New Jersey difficulty. I do not. I think it is as late as the choice of Buchanan, say 1855.

"Thanksgiving is merely a custom. In the 18th century it was earlier than with us.

" 'Twas up to Uncle Tracy's
The fifth of November,
Last Thanksgiving night
As I very well remember.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Early Thanksgiving Ballad
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 10:04 PM

must look into this one too

Nancy Hale - 1963 - 549 pages - Snippet view
UNCLE TRACY'S THANKSGIVING TRADITIONAL "Uncle Tracy's Thanksgiving" was a great favorite of my childhood, as sung by my father and his father before him. It showed that Puritan life had its convivial side. In his New England History in


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Early Thanksgiving Ballad
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 12:45 PM

Typical Victorian fancy about Thanksgiving.


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