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Help: houlihan? - Old Paint

DigiTrad:
GOODBYE, OLD PAINT
I RIDE AN OLD PAINT


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Rebel Soldier (cf. Old Paint) (25)
(origins) Origins: I Ride An Old Paint (100)
I ride an old paint - houlighan? fiery & snuffy? (35)
Old Paint: What's a hoolian? (60)
Hoolian??????? (44)
old paint and goodbye old paint lyrics (3)
Lyr Req: Goodbye Old Paint (6)
Song Title please ?-I Ride an Old Paint (21)
Lyr Req: Riding Old Paint and Leading Old Ball (22)


Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jun 13 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Sheila 29 Jun 13 - 08:38 PM
Rapparee 18 May 13 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 May 13 - 10:16 AM
NormanD 18 May 13 - 04:33 AM
Lighter 11 May 13 - 08:38 AM
Rapparee 10 May 13 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,miguel obrien 10 May 13 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,Lighter 14 May 12 - 03:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 May 12 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Lighter 13 May 12 - 07:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 May 12 - 04:48 PM
GUEST 13 May 12 - 07:23 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 11 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Akuhn 18 Feb 11 - 02:27 PM
Sorcha 29 Jul 06 - 01:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Jul 06 - 12:47 PM
katlaughing 29 Jul 06 - 11:35 AM
Mark Ross 29 Jul 06 - 10:16 AM
Barry Finn 29 Jul 06 - 02:12 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Jul 06 - 12:56 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Jul 06 - 12:45 AM
GUEST,Nerd 28 Jul 06 - 11:29 PM
katlaughing 28 Jul 06 - 11:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Jul 06 - 04:40 PM
Slag 28 Jul 06 - 03:49 AM
GUEST,coberly@peak.org 17 Jun 06 - 02:17 AM
GUEST 30 May 06 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Lighter 06 Sep 04 - 03:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Sep 04 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,Lighter 05 Sep 04 - 09:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Sep 04 - 08:24 PM
Louie Roy 05 Sep 04 - 07:00 PM
Louie Roy 05 Sep 04 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Lighter 05 Sep 04 - 03:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Sep 04 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 01 Sep 04 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Q 11 Feb 03 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,Q 10 Feb 03 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,Q 10 Feb 03 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,VRDPKR 10 Feb 03 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Q 10 Feb 03 - 01:52 PM
Barry Finn 10 Dec 01 - 06:52 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Dec 01 - 10:18 AM
Airto 30 Oct 00 - 06:03 AM
Sorcha 27 Oct 00 - 06:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 00 - 03:49 PM
Áine 27 Oct 00 - 01:44 PM
Airto 27 Oct 00 - 01:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 00 - 01:55 PM
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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jun 13 - 12:28 PM

Both are hosses. Or Dan may be a mule.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Sheila
Date: 29 Jun 13 - 08:38 PM

What's a "Paint"? A "Dan"?


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 May 13 - 11:07 AM

The language of the "cow business" contains, as does the language of so many other occupations, references which are obscure to those not in the profession.

In my own, librarianship, we might make reference to a "marc record" or to "Sears," both of which might convey information to someone but which information would have little or even incorrect meaning. A "marc record" would mean one in "MAchine Readable Cataloging format" and "Sears" would refer not to the retailer but the the "Sears List of Subject Headings" -- depending, of course, on the context. "I'm going to Sears" could be an equivocal statement!

Likewise, a rancher or cowboy (yes, they still exist, but they're hard to see from the Interstates) might use the terms "sucker rod" (part of a windmill, not a bad car sold to a teenager), "A-fork" (a type of saddle), "wheel line" (a type of irrigation), or "Brangus" (a Brahma/Angus cross-breed of cattle).

Worse, the lingo in every living profession is in constant change or might have multiple meanings. A "throw" in ranchland could mean the toss of a rope or to be tossed off a horse (yes, they're still used).

So if you're spooked or thrown by some term in a genuine Western song -- for explain, when the Devil is headed to a blackjack oak after the guys took their dallies in "The Sierry Petes" -- it's best to look it up. Remember though that the jargon can be different in different parts of the country: an arroyo, a coollee, and gulch may or may not refer to the same thing.

Check out the references in the song "Zebra Dun." Then try to convince yourself to ride a horse.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 May 13 - 10:16 AM

Thanks for the link, Rap.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: NormanD
Date: 18 May 13 - 04:33 AM

I just came across the second ever reference to "houlihan". Cormac McCarthy uses the word in "The Crossing", the second novel in his "The Border" trilogy. It's used as described extensively above - about a rider throwing a rope over his horse.

McCarthy does use a lot of arcane and obscure language - a lot technical - to fill his wonderful writing.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Lighter
Date: 11 May 13 - 08:38 AM

GUEST, too many lit crit courses?

I have suffered similarly.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 May 13 - 08:58 PM

Here's how to throw a houlihan from the ground. It's the same from a horse, only a bit more difficult. Practice it from the ground first -- and use a good cow pony. When you get the houlihan down you can try a figure-eight catch.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,miguel obrien
Date: 10 May 13 - 07:55 PM

Just had a thought about 'an old Dan'   A very old term for the debil was 'Dan Patch'. Another way of saying 'a rough bronc'? Might also imply 'dun', a color, with suggestions of 'buckskin' :tough, rugged caballo.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 14 May 12 - 03:54 PM

I once assumed that too. But I can't find any pre-Larkin examples in Google Books.

I'm not saying the sense is imaginary or "wrong," just that it may have originated in error and have been popularized only through "I'm Riding Old Paint." Certainly the song hasn't been found in print before the late 1920s - though a million times since.

Ramon F. Adams (1889-1976) was a musician, writer, and businessman. Though he became an authority on cowboy life, he wasn't a cowboy. He took copious notes about Western lingo, but as far as I can tell he wasn't very critical of his slang sources. The mere presence of a word or phrase in "Western Words" is no guarantee that it was widely known.

More about Adams: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fad22


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 May 12 - 01:51 PM

Widely known, I thought. No specific published origin for this and other western expressions.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 May 12 - 07:22 PM

See upthread, Sept. 2004.

After nearly eight years, Adams's authority for the definition "paint the town red" is as mysterious as ever, unless he deduced it from the song.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 May 12 - 04:48 PM

As our knowledgeable guest says, a "celebration at the end of a cattle drive" or other excuse for a wingding, unfortunately confused with the rope maneuver (hooleyann), even by some who should know better.

Some New Mexico cowboys, Hispanic and Anglo, shied over to make a few bucks and made the drives north as well. Several cattle drives aimed at feeding the hungry Indians who had been herded into reservations in Montana and the Dakotas were paid for by the benevolent(?) government.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 12 - 07:23 AM

Houlahan is the celebration at the end of the cattle drive. They were going (trailing ) to Montana. Which at the time of the song was the trailhead for the distribution of cattle ( meat ) to the west coast.
they were probably driving from Colorado or Wyoming as New Mexico was driving into California and old Mexico. In case you were wondering "fiery and snuffy " refers to Lightening and Thunder!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 02:59 PM

Akuhn- good for you! A fun topic students can relate to.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Akuhn
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 02:27 PM

Thanks to all who commented on this thread. My students have enjoyed cowboy poetry and songs along with the historical research on the Old West way of life. It has been fun. A great way to knock off the poetry, research, public speaking, response to literature standards! Their projects were fantastic- comic strip interpretations of current country music, chuckwagon cookbooks, wanted posters for some of the Old West's most colorful characters, history of cowboy apparel, women of the Old West...on and on. Really was a fun unit to do with sixth graders. I appreciate having this information to read and relate to them.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 01:10 PM

What have I been saying all along?????? See about a gazillion posts up.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 12:47 PM

Many cowboys couldn't spell, leading to confusion among non-cowpokes. Among themselves, words were used in context, so it made no never mind- they understood each other. I think al this has been covered before, but Here, in their entirety are the definitions (from "Western Words," Ramon F. Adams, 1944, Univ. Oklahoma Press).

"Hooley-ann- [mis-spoke as hooligan, hoolihan, etc.- see post by Mark Ross; in common lingo the original term is becoming lost].

A roping term. This throw can be made either from the ground or on horseback. The roper carries the loop in his hand, and when the chance presents itself, he swings one quick whirl around in front of him toward the right, up over his head, and releases the loop and rope in the direction of the target. As it comes over, it is turned in a way to cause it to flatten out before it reaches the head of the animal to be roped. It lands straight down and so has a fair-sized opening.
"It is a fast loop and is strictly a head catch, being especially used to catch horses in a corral. It is thrown with a rather small loop and has the additional virtue of landing with the honda* sliding down the rope, taking up the slack as it goes." (W. M. French, "Ropes and Roping," Cattleman XXVI, no. 12, May 1940, pp. 17-30.
(*Honda- From Spanish Hondon, the hole or slip ring end of the rope used to catch the animal. Gilbert y Chavez, Ch. 9, Vaquero/Cowboy Lingo, http://www.unm.edu/~gabbriel/chap9.html. (or from the publication- see post above.)

Additional on Hooley-ann - "The rope has not been slung over the horse's head, for to sling it would cause even the steadiest old horse to become excited. Using the hooley-ann, half a dozen men can rope mounts at the same time without exciting the horses." John M. Hendrix, "Roping," Cattleman, XXII, no. 1, June 1935, pp. 17-17.

"Hoolihaning- The act of leaping forward and alighting on the horns of a steer in bulldogging in such a manner as to knock the steer down without having to resort to twisting him down with a wrestling hold. This practice is barred at practically all recognized rodeos

"Also to throw a big time in town- to paint the town red."

"Hooligan wagon- A wagon used on short drives to carry fuel and water in a country where these commodities are scarce."


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 11:35 AM

Thanks, Q.

What's the matter, Greg. Didn't you have a happy birthday?


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Mark Ross
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 10:16 AM

Hoolihan is a thrown flat loop, thrown clockwise, with minimal twirling, used to catch a horse in a corral. Otherwise the spinning loop would spook the animal. Got this from Glenn Ohrlin, who would know.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 02:12 AM

Subject: RE: Hoolian???????
From: Barry Finn - PM
Date: 15 May 98 - 10:23 PM

Had an old copy of Goodbye Old Paint as sung by Sloan Mathews, (also playing a lone fiddle-that's by himself-all alone) in the notes (don't know where they came from) I have "Hoolian" a form of bulldogging, where the snout of the calf or steer is seized & pressed, forcing the head to the ground & thus throwing it, rather than twisting it's head in the common practice of todays rodeos.

Dogies; "an orphan calf, whose mammy had died & whose daddy had run off with another cow, sick & feeble, their young bellies would swell from to early a diet of grass & be left with a gut full of dough (the short definition, a young or small yearling). Barry


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 12:56 AM

DAMN! These broken threads.

It appears that Gargoyle is asking for HELP and answering his own request.

Come on folks cough up a little of that mid-western phlem to help keep the Mudcat's server cool again.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 12:45 AM

Nerd, Gilbert y Chavez (link above) would agree with you. Also Ramon F. Adams ("Western Words"), who adds the perversions baquero, buckhara and buckayro from "The Cowboy," by Phillip A. Rollins.

Kat, that is the way we (in my family) understood 'cow men'.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 11:29 PM

Also, Vaquero, with the characteristic hard V in Spanish (sounds much like a B), became Buckaroo. (Although some do claim descent from an African word, which sounded much like "buckra," any oldtime Nevada Buckaroo will tell you it's from Vaquero.)


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 11:11 PM

And then there were ranch owners like my granddad and my dad who called themselves "cow men." I wonder did it have more to do with them owning land and livestock instead of being men for hire. Certainly they had nothing against being called "cowboys" and hired plenty of them to help with roundup, etc.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 04:40 PM

Interesting speculation, Coberly, but 'cowboy' goes way back. In the UK it literally means a boy who tends cows (Oxford English Dictionary) and is in print from 1725.
The name 'cowboy' was applied to some barbarous tory partisans during the Revolutionary War (in print in 1775).
In 1849, Jenkins, in "Hist. of the War U. S. and Mexico," wrote of Texas cow-boys attacking Mexican 'rancheros' who crossed the Rio Grande, perhaps the first reference in print to the 'cowboy' as we know him in America (OED), thus indicating earlier use of the term.

In Spanish used in North America, vaquero (cowman) is the word for a cowboy.
Donald Gilbert y Chavez, in his excellent "Cowboys - Vaqueros, Origins of the First American Cowboys," (Univ. New Mexico Press, and internet- http://www.unm.edu/~gabbriel/index.html )- says "Cowboy - a transliteration of the Spanish word vaquero (cowman) into the English cowboy, widely applied term used to refer to men who tended livestock..., also cowhand, cowpoke, or cowpuncher." He doesn't believe that American usage of 'cowboy' is descended from English and British Isles usage.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Slag
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 03:49 AM

What an interesting read. My Dad always wanted to know what throwing the hoolihan meant and now I can tell him authoritatively that I don't have an idea. Near as I can figure the word here is really "Hooligan" and the cowboy riding Old Paint (obviously a horse that was vandalized by said hooligan) is tracking him down to somewhere in Monatana. He decided to ride Old Paint even though the hooligan tagger defaced him because he says his dogies was barking. Well, that his misfortune and none of my own. Nonetheless, when he catches the hooligan I imagine he WILL throw him.. I would!


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,coberly@peak.org
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 02:17 AM

what an amazing site. since it's all about etymologies of cowboy words i wonder if you would put up with my speculation that "cowboy" has nothing to do with cows or boys. you have to imagine someone from new england going out west in the early 1800's where he would encounter mexicans who called themselves caballeros. since that sounded like cah - bay with -ero tacked onto the end like a lot of spanish words, our gringo greenhorn just naturally assumed it meant cow boy, rather than horseman or even gentleman.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 06 - 11:57 AM

Thanks all for your information. I loved the Linda Ronstadt version of Old Paint but had no idea what the song really meant ( apart from being about horses). Much clearer now.
Thanks again!
Yvonne


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 06 Sep 04 - 03:17 PM

And if "doney" lacks appeal, you can sing, "Ride around them dogies, ride around 'em slow," which also makes good sense.

Q, thanks for the tip on the "big party" sense. As we know, one "throws" a big party and one "throws" the hoolihan. Connection? Beats me!

Novelist Kathleen Ann Goonan spoke for many in "Mississippi Blues"   (1997): "Oh, the music that bubbled through me.... What's a dan? What's a hoolihan? And where the hell was Montana? I didn't care."


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 10:00 PM

Ride aronnd, little doney, makes more sense than Ride around little dogies. That line has always bothered me.
More than one singer has sung 'throw the hooleyan (not sure of their spellings); one was Johnny Cash. Not a cowboy, but through time he probably knew several and got the word from them.

The song has nothing that might suggest the rider was going to throw a big drunk other than the word, which originally could have been hooleyann (hoolian, other sp.)as Lighter suggests.

Adams, for houlihan, has the preferred meaning of a barred type of bulldogging in addition to 'painting the town red.' However, I remember the word houlihan used for a big party as far back as just before WW2 in New Mexico-Colorado, when lots of us quit whatever we were doing and started painting the town when war seemed inevitable and before the army caught us in 1941-1942. It has to be older thn that (I don't think any of us got it from Sandburg- no one I knew had heard of him at that time).


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 09:23 PM

I punched the wrong key and probably 1000 words of carefully prepared commentary on "Old Paint" went up in smoke! Damn these machines!! But Mudcat wins because now I have to summarize....

John Lomax's claim that he first heard an "Old Paint" song at Cheyenne in 1910 (from his old college chum Boothe Merrill) is borne out by the fact that "Goodbye, Old Paint" first appears, not in the 1910 first edition of "Cowboy Songs" but in the 1916 revised edition.
The closest John and Alan came to publishing the song "I Ride an Old Paint," first printed by Sandburg in 1927, was when they boldly tacked all the stanzas of that song (with a couple o verbal alterations) onto the end of 1916's "Goodbye, Old Paint." Maybe a contributor sent them in anonymously sometime after 1916. Yeah, maybe.

Anyhow, this all means that the earliest known appearance of "throw the hoolihan" was not in 1910 but in 1927. (Sandburg spelled it "hoolian"; in her own book in 1931 Larkin spelled it "houlihan.")
That date makes it even less likely that the word was well-known on the trail as much as fifty years before. I like Q's suggestion that the word may well come from (nearby) Hooleyann Co., Texas rather than from the Irish surname "Hoolihan" or "Houlihan." eary info that this style of roping was somehow associated with that county would pretty much nail down the derivation; perhaps the same area was responsible for the "hoolihaning" of steers, as described by Louie Roy and other cow folks. We may never know, but the hypothesis haas the triple-threat appeal of culture, phonetics, and geography.

As Q also suggests, and as I am now persuaded by new research, "hoolihan" (however you spell it) is primarily a roping term, secondarily a bulldogging term. Ramon Adams's 1944 definition of "throw the hoolihan" as "paint the town red" now begins to seem like a somebody's SWAG to explain the phrase in - guess where? - "I Ride an Old Paint."

Without going into detail, let me say that the song makes the best sense to me when the words are rendered,

             A-ridin' old Paint, a-leadin' old Dan,
             I'm bound to Montan' for to throw the hoolian....

And,

             They're fiery and snuffy and rarin' to go.

That is, of course, to stompede.

IMO, the refrain makes little sense at is usually sung,

               Ride around, little dogies,
               Ride around them slow....
                  

I prefer to think the original word was not "dogies," but "Doney," another commonly given name for a horse, with the original meaning of "sweetie," as established, IIRC, in some far distant thread. The rider urges his horse to ride around the drowsy dogies slow so as not to spook them.

Woody Guthrie and the Almanac Singers seem to have added the stanza beginning "I've worked in the town and I've worked on the farm, And all I got to show is the muscle in my arm."   

Two interesting recordings of the other song, "Goodbye, Old Paint," are, first, the very influential one that Texas fiddler Jess Morris recorded for the Library of Congress about 1950 but said he learned from puncher Charley Willis before 1890 (Jess thought Charley had picked it up about 1870); and, second, a 2001 recording by Artie Morris - who says he's Charley's great-grandson.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 08:24 PM

Some cowboys mistakenly use the term houlihan (hoolihan) in place of hooley-ann, the head catch with a loop. Some spell it hoolihan and pronounce it hooley-ann.
Adams, "Western Words" (1936), and Hendrix in his "Roping" (1935), as previously noted, properly define hooley-ann.

The name hooleyann, some Texans claim, may come from the town Hooleyan (formerly Hooleyann), Texas, which was founded in the 1890s. It is four miles south of the Red River in extreme northwest Hardeman County, northwest Texas. The County was covered with prairie, and the western half is still ranching country. See the Handbook of Texas, on line: Hardeman County

There's a bit of western poetry somewhere on the web that has this verse. I just have a piece of it; if I find it again I will give the website:

'Cause he'd duck an' dodge an' roll back on his hocks like Peppy San,
While I'm snaggin' air an' fence posts with my handy hooleyann,
An' if by chance he tripped my snare, he'd rear an' pitch an' paw,
An' leave me plowin' furrows with my nose an' bottom jaw.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Louie Roy
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 07:00 PM

One other thing I forgot to mention in my other message.In bulldogging steers you will hear the announcer refer the steer to a houlihan and what he is refering to is the steer is running with its head down and 9 out of 10 times the cowboy will miss the steer especilly if he is going for the horns and if he lands farther back and slides up to the neck and horns the steer will set up and all he'll get is a arm full of air


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Louie Roy
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 05:13 PM

I wrangled quite a few horses in my younger day and if you were going to catch horses in a corral you didn't lasso them you used the rope toss called the houlihan for if you didn't all you got was the back of their neck because horses in a corral run with their head down and this is why you used a catch loop called a houlihan which is throwed from the side and from the ground up similar to roping the hind feet of a steer.The term houlihan probably came from somewhere in Europe with the 1st settlers that arrived here


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 03:56 PM

Seems like there are two or maybe three "Old Paint" songs, though they are related in meter and (to a lesser extent) in melody.

"Goodbye, Old Paint" is the song John Lomax first printed in the 1916 (not the 1910) edition of "Cowboy Songs." It characteristically features the chorus, "Goodbye, Old Paint, I'm (a-)leaving Cheyenne."
The version performed by Texan Jess Morris (well presented in Tinsley's book, based on Morrisss recording for the Library of Congress)is presumably the earliest in substance, since Morris said he'd learned it from Charlie Willis around 1870. How much, if anything, Morris may have altered the "original" text over the years is, naturally, unknown.

Morris's version may vary just enough in text and tune from the 1916 Lomax version to be considered a "different song." But this is an entirely subjective judgment.

A clearly different song is generally called "I Ride an Old Paint."
Sandburg's "American Songbag" of 1927 provides the first known printing. As Q and others have noted, Sandburg says he got this song from Margaret Larkin, who got it from Lynn Riggs. Riggs was the ranch-bred Oklahoma author of the hit Broadway musical "Green Grow the Lilacs," which provided the acknowledged basis for Rodgers' and Hammersteins' '40s show (and '50s film) "Oklahoma!" Though not a professional composer, Riggs was undoubtedly capable of creating "I Ride an Old Paint" all by himself, based on his familiarity with Western themes; Sandburg's report that Riggs and Larkin had both learned it from an unknown "buckaroo...heading for the Border" is best taken with a grain of salt. It might be true or not, or partially true; Larkin and Riggs together may have fleshed out some cowboy's refrain.

We'll probably never know about that, but the significant point is that "I Ride an Old Paint" can't be firmly dated before 1926 or '27, and is first reported from Santa Fe, N.M.

I'll pick up this thread later this evening. Gotta go!


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 03:46 PM

Perhaps I should quote the full explanation of the term hooley-ann.

Hooley-ann:
"A roping term. The throw can be made either from the ground or on horseback. The roper carries the loop in his hand, and when the chance presents itself, he swings one quick whirl around in front of him toward the right, up over his head, and releases the loop and rope in the direction of the target. As it comes over, it is turned in a way to cause it to flatten out before it reaches the head of the animal to be roped. It lands straight down and so has a fair-sized opening.
It is a fast loop and is strictly a head catch, being especially used to catch horses in a corral. It is thrown with a rather small loop and has the additional virtue of landing with the honda sliding down the rope, taking up the slack as it goes." W. M. French, "Ropes and Roping, 1940, "Cattleman" vol. 26, no. 12 (May), pp. 17-30; quoted in Ramon F. Adams, 1946, "Western Words," p. 79.
"The rope has not been slung over the horse's head, for to sling it so would cause even the steadiest old horse to become excited. Using the hooley-ann, half a dozen men can rope mounts at the same time without exciting the horses." John M. Hendrix, 1935, "Roping," "Cattleman" vol. 22, No. 1, (June) pp. 16-17.

Houlihan has already been satisfactorily explained.

"Hooligan"- Sometimes mistakenly put in the song. Throwing one would be difficult, since this is a wagon used on short drives to carry fuel and water.

Honda- A knotted or spliced eyelet at the business end of a rope for making a loop. A Spanish term meaning 'eye.'

In Gargoyle's post- Cannon, the 'cowboy poet," seemingly has never thrown a hoolihan (or a hooley-ann).
Will James was an French-Canadian writer (Ernest Dufault) and illustrator of western stories (from Quebec) who had a little experience as a cowhand as a teenager.

Lighter's "Dictionary of American Slang" has errors resulting from poor selection of 'authorities' (such as Cannon and James). Overall a good work, but with flaws (this can be said of most references that try to "cover the waterfront"). For details, more specific references must be used.

"Thrown the hoolihand"- Reference for the additional 'd'? Certainly seldom heard.

The origin of the terms is unknown, although some speculate that Hoolihan comes from the Irish name. Neither term seems to have antecedents in Vaquero or Texas Spanish.
The definitions are lacking in Gilbert y Chavez, Vaquero/Cowboy Lingo, Chap. Nine. Lingo
Or click on to the beginning of this fascinating booklet (on line) Cowboys Vaqueros


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 01:47 PM

hoolihan

From: Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang - Vol 2, H-O J.E. Lighter Editor, Random House New York, p 147.

n. West 1. (among cowboys) (see 1985 quot.), 1910 in Lomax and Momax Amer. Ballads 384: I am a-riding old Paint, I am a-leading old Dan,/I'm goin' to Montan' for to throw the hoolihan. 1985 H. Cannon Cowboy Poetry 138: Hoolihan backhand thrown loop for roping horses.

2. an exciting or extraordinary event.

1973 E. Carter Outlaw Wales 182: Seen him take on five pistoleros. He got three of 'em before they cut him down….It was a real hoolihan.

P/ In phrase:
P/ thrown the hoolihand [fr. sense of 9a), above] (among cowboys) to celebrate riotously.

1944 R. Adams Western words: Hoolihan, throw the. to paint the town red.

hoolihan v. [perh. obscurely fr. Houlihan Irish family name] West to buldog (a steer) by bringing it to the ground without twisting its neck.

1925 W. James Drifting Cowboy 105: I hoolyhanned him on the jump and busted him right there. 1933 J.V. Allen Cowboy Lore12: Hoolihaning is the act of leaping forward and alighting on the horns of a steer in bull-dogging in a manner to knock the steer down without twisting the animal down with a wrestling hold. Hoolihaning is banned at practically all recognized contests. 1936 Mc Carthy Mossburn (unp) Hoolihaning. The old-time practice of bulldogging.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I believed I had posted this before...but it appears not...sorry for being slow.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 12:29 AM

The order of verses in "Old Paint" is uncertain.
In the 1910 version (Lomax), is this verse:

Old Paint's a good pony, he paces when he can;
Goodbye Little Annie, I'm off for Cheyenne.
In the other verses, the singer is leaving Cheyenne.
In 1938, Lomax set the words in 4-line verses. To this one he added the next verse;
Oh, hitch up your horses and feed 'em some hay,
And seat yourself by me so long as you stay.

Lomax added sixteen unattributed lines in 1938 to those printed in 1910, and said that they all came from a "friend of college days" whom he met in Cheyenne as they were attending the 1910 Frontier Days; the song said to have been collected in Oklahoma.

The Cheyenne Frontier Days began in 1897 near old Fort Russell. I have wondered if this is a song about going to and returning from the rodeo. Probably no more unlikely than the Jesse Morris tale.

Lomax says the song was used for the last dance. For a later date, I can verify that from my own 1930s childhood in New Mexico.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 11:14 PM

Reading back through this thread, I find that it is the one in which Richardw defined and explained the terms hooley-ann and hoolihan, 26 Oct. 00.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 11:05 PM

Two terms need to be defined here. These from "Western Words, 1944, Ramon F. Adams, p. 79:
1. hooyey-ann- "A roping term. This throw can be made either from the ground or on horseback. The roper carries the loop in his hand, and when the chance presents itself, he swings one quick whirl around in front of hi, toward the right, up over his head, and releases the loop and rope in the direction of the target. Asd it comes over, it is turned in a way to cause it to flatten out before it reaches the head of the animal to be roped. It lands straight down, and so has a fair sized opening."
"It is a fast loop and is strictly a head catch, being especially used to catch horses in a corral."

2. hoolihaning- "The act of leaping forward and alighting on the horns of a steer in bulldogging in such a manner as to knock the steer down without having to resort to twisting him down with a wrestling hold. This practice is barred in practically all recognized rodeos.
Also to throw a big time in town- to paint the town red."

Donald Gilbert y Chavez, author of "Cowboys-Vaqueros, Origins of the first American Cowboys," has an extensive glossary of Vaquero/Cowboy Lingo, but does not include either term, so it is likely neither is of vaquero origin.
His booklet has been put on line by the University of New Mexico: Vaquero Lingo

Most of this is in another thread, but not certain which one.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: GUEST,VRDPKR
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 10:33 PM

It is not a rope trick. It is a rope throw. Check out Jim Bob Tinsley's "He was a'singin' this song". The song goes back to Charlie Willis, a black cowhand working for the Stadler Bros ranch in Texas shortly after the Civil War. He was a wrangler for the outfit and made some eight or ten trips from Texas to another ranch the Stadler Bros owned in Montana. It is common on the range for the wrangler to "catch out" whichever horse will be used by a cowboy on a given day. The cowboy will call out the name of the horse he is planning on riding that day and the wrangler will rope him out. The wrangler's job is to "Throw the hoolihan". One of the interesting verses given by Jesse Morris, as recorded by Lomax in 1950 (he was an 70 year old Texas fiddle player who knew Charlie when Jesse was a young boy and Charlie worked for Jesse's father) explains leaving Cheyenne, off to Montana, which seems a short trip.

Old Paint had a colt, down on the Rio Grand
The colt couldn't pace, they called her Cheyenne
Goodbye, Old Paint, we're leaving Cheyenne

Old time cowboys didn't like to start breaking colts until they were 4 or 5 years old. They wern't thought strong enough to carry a person til then. If Cheyenne was only 1 or 2 years old she would have been left at the home ranch while the herd was trailed North.

It is well know that most Anglo cowboy terms for gear and methods came from vacqueros of Mexico. I wonder if the original rope technique came from someone named Julian so the lariat (org. la riata, the rope) was thrown like Julian does it?


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Subject: Lyr Add: OH LILY, DEAR LILY and MY FOOT IS IN...
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 01:52 PM

Related Songs

OH LILY, DEAR LILY
(fragments- anyone have a complete song?)

A. My foot is in the stirrup, my bridle's in my hand,
I'll go court another, an' marry if I can.
Oh Lily, oh Lily, my Lily fare you well,
I'll sorrow to leave you, for I love you so well.

B. One foot in the stirrup, My rein in my hand,
So fare you well, Molly, My donky won't stand.

So fare you well Molly, I'll bid you adieu,
I'm ruined forever By the lovin' of you.

Tune shown (may also be sung to Old Paint or Jack O' Diamonds).
Vance Randolph, "Ozark Folksongs," No. 731, p. 205 vol. 4.

MY FOOT IS IN THE STIRRUP

My foot is in the stirrup,
My prick is in my pants,
I'll go hunt a new cunt,
And take another chance.

Oh Molly, oh Molly,
You better let me pass,
I'm glad for to leave you,
And you can kiss my ass.

My money's in my pocket,
My pistol's in my hand,
I'm going to do my plowing
In some cleaner, greener land.

Oh Molly, oh Molly,
You better let me pass,
I am through with the likes of you,
And you can kiss my ass.

Sung by H. C., Harrison, AK, 1950, but he said it dated back to 1898.
Vance Randolph, 1992, "Roll Me in Your Arms," "'Unprintable' Ozark Folksongs and Folklore,' Vol. 1, Folksongs and Music, p. 275, with music, Univ. Arkansas Press.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan? - Old Paint
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 06:52 PM

Always found this a strange verse for this song.

In the middle of the ocean there grows a tall tree
I'll never prove false to the gal (or girl) that loves me.
Barry


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOOD-BY, OLD PAINT
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 10:18 AM

Lyr Add:
GOOD-BY, OLD PAINT I

My foot in the stirrup, my pony won't stan',
Good-by old Paint, I'm a-leavin' Cheyenne,
I'm a-leavin Cheyenne, I'm off for Montan';
Good-by old Paint, I'm a-leavin' Cheyenne. (1)

I'm a-ridin' old Paint, I'm a-leadin' old Fan;
Good-by, old Paint, I'm a-leavin' Cheyenne.
With my feet in the stirrups, my bridle in my hand;
Good-by, old Paint, I'm a-leavin' Cheyenne.

Old Paint's a good pony, he paces when he can;
Good-by, little Annie, I'm off for Cheyenne.
Oh, hitch up your horses and feed 'em some hay,
And seat yourself by me as long as you stay.

My hosses ain't hungry, they won't eat your hay;
My wagon is loaded and rollin' away.
I'm a-ridin' old Paint, I'm a-leadin old Dan, (2)
I'm a-goin' to Montan' to throw the hoolihan. (3)

They feed in the coulees, they water in the draw,
Their tails are all matted, their backs are all raw.
Old Bill Jones had two daughters and a song;
One went to Denver, the other went wrong.

His wife died in a pool-room fight,
And still he sings from morning till night.
I'm a rambler and a gambler and far from my home,
And those that don't like me can leave me alone.

Oh, whiskey and beer, they are nothing to me,
They killed my old Dad, now they can try me.
I'll tell you the truth, not lyin' or jokin',
I'd rather be in jail than to be heart-broken.

Oh, when I die take my saddle from the wall,
Put it on my pony, lead him from the stall,
Tie my bones to his back, turn our faces to the west,
And we'll ride the prairie that we love the best.

As published in Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads, John A. and Alan Lomax, 1910 revised 1938, p. 12-14, with music.
(1) "The final line of each stanza may be repeated ad libidum as a refrain." (2) "Or, with a pack on old Baldy and riding old Dan." (3) "hoolihaning- the act of leaping forward and alighting on the horns of a steer in bulldogging in such a manner as to knock the steer down without having to twist him with a wrestling hold. This practice is barred in practically all ... rodeos. Also to throw a big time in town- to paint the town red." Ramon F. Adams, Western Words, 1944, p. 79. Not to be confused with hooley-ann, a roping term. See posting by RichardW, above, in this thread for a more complete explanation.

In the later American Ballads and Folk Songs (1934), changes were made. Two-line, rather than 4-line stanzas were employed. Some stanzas were re-written and others left out. Lomax says Boothe Merrill "gave me this song in 1910, in Cheyenne, Wyoming..." A definite refrain was added.

GOOD-BY, OLD PAINT II

My foot in the stirrup, my pony won't stan',
I'm a-leavin Cheyenne, I'm off for Montan'.
Cho.
Good-by, old Paint, I'm a-leavin' Cheyenne,
Good-by, old Paint, I'm a-leavin' Cheyenne. (1)

I'm a-ridin' old Paint, I'm a-leadin' old Fan,
Good-by, little Annie, I'm off for Cheyenne.

Old Paint's a good pony, he paces when he can,
Good morning, young lady, my hosses won't stand.

Oh, hitch up your hosses and feed 'em some hay,
And seat yourself by me as long as you stay.

My hosses ain't hungry, they'll not eat your hay,
My wagon is loaded and rolling away.

I am a-riding old Paint, I am a-leading old Dan,
I'm going to Montan' for to throw the hoolihan.

They feed in the coulees, they water in the draw,
Their tails are all matted, their backs are all raw.

Old Bill Jones had two daughters and a song;
One went to Denver, and the other went wrong.

His wife died in a pool-room fight,
And still he sings from morning to night.

Oh, when I die, take my saddle from the wall,
Put it on my pony, lead him from the stall.

Tie my bones to his back, turn our faces to the west,
And we'll ride the prairie that we love the best.

(1) "To be repeated until one thinks of more words or the waltz stops." Boothe Merrill told Lomax that the song "was popular at times in western Oklahoma. For the last dance all other music is stopped, and the revelers, as they dance to a slow waltz time, sing "Good-by, Old Paint." (I have seen this in New Mexico, 1930s).

I RIDE AN OLD PAINT

See posting by Gary T., above, for the words, taken from Cowpie. These are the words published by singer, poet, and song collector Margaret Larkin, 1931, in her book, Singing Cowboy, A Book of Western Songs, p. 34-35. She made no comments, but Carl Sandburg, 1927, in The American Songbag, p. 12-13 said "a song made known by Margaret Larkin of Las Vegas, New Mexico ...and by Linn Riggs... The song came to them at Santa Fe from a buckaroo who was last heard of as heading for the Border..." This tale probably originated with Linn Riggs, a playright and poet, and story teller. Sandburg used the Larkin version, but added "them" to the chorus (Ride around them slow). Sandburg comments on "the rich poetry..." I agree with RichardW, who in his posting says fiery and snuffy refer to horses.
Other singers revised the text, and regional variations sprang up. The song lends itself to the creation of new verses.
I know of no reliable mention of the song before 1910.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan?
From: Airto
Date: 30 Oct 00 - 06:03 AM

Right again, McGrath!

The Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue:

"schinnie/shinnie/shiny/shinye, n,

(schinnie,)/shinnie/ shiny/ shinye, n, [Obscure. Cf. Gaelic sinteag a skip, a pace, later Scots shinty (1769) thegame, (1773) the stick, 18th century English shinney (1794) the stick.]"

Sinteag and shindig are clearly the same word. So a shindig is a rowdy class of a hooley involving some lepping about the place. The concept of digs on the shins is purely coincidental, but may help explain how the term became popular in the English language.

I've no idea how old the Gypsy word chinda is, and whether all three words derive ultimately from the same or separate sources. Shinty matches could be very robust affairs and they were sometimes used to settle local disputes, so the adoption of the term to refer to quarrels is certainly possible. Or maybe chinda is a much older word whose similarity to sinteag/shindig is also coincidence.

Does anybody know?


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan?
From: Sorcha
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 06:30 PM

ATTN: richardw---It's Coming Back to Miltown" and it is on CD # 308 Legacy International titled Irish Traditional Fiddle Music, Reels, Jigs and Polkas/Cieli Band Music (ciele their spelling) I think I bought it from Barnes and Noble several years ago.

Or, you could PM me your surface address and I will copy it to cassette and mail it to you.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 03:49 PM

I imagine it's really the same word as "shinty" - the Scottish equivalent of the game of hurling.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan?
From: Áine
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 01:44 PM

In re 'shindig': I went to my handy OED and looked this up. Here's what it says:

shindig - U.S.

1899 Bartlett Dict. Amer. Shin-Dig, a blow on the shins.

1892 Kentucky Words in Amer. Dial. Notes, Shindig, a dance or party.

1899 Westm. Gaz. 31 Oct. 8/3, The natives . . . in a number of instances have danced a kind of 'shindig' as soon as released from torture.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan?
From: Airto
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 01:18 PM

From Brewer's:

"Shindy A row, a disturbance. To kick up a shindy, to make a row. (Gipsy, chinda, a quarrel.)"

I always took shindig to be a reference to clumsy dancing, especially Irish dancing, where you might get (or administer, in my case) an accidental dig in the shins. It's obviously an adaptation of shindy, but maybe my original thought is right as well.


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Subject: RE: Help: houlihan?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 01:55 PM

Áine's etymology sounds right to me. It'd explain why the word could mean a rope trick, and also a party - both involve confusion.

In the context of the song I'd have thought party/shindig makes more sense than rope-trick. "When this cattle trail is over, I'm going to have a high old time" seems more likely than "When I get where I'm going I'm going to practice this neat rope trick". Though I suppose they might be having somne kind of rodeo and he's planning to win the rope trick prize.

Incidentally - has anyone got any idea where that word I just used, "shindig", meaning party, comes from, and why?

(I think it was Carl Sandburg who first brought this song to popular attention, with the words given in Cowpie.)


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