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Whoa Mule (Can't Get The Saddle On)

Azizi 17 Mar 13 - 06:01 PM
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Subject: Whoa Mule (Can't Get The Saddle On)
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Mar 13 - 06:01 PM

While the song "Whoa Mule" (Whoa Mule Whoa) is mentioned on Mudcat threads such as Lyr Req: Whoa Mule, I haven't found any reference on this discussion forum to the song "Whoa Mule (Can't Get The Saddle On").

In contrast to "Whoa Mule"'s verse/chorus pattern, "Whoa Mule (Can't Get The Saddle On)" is a song with a short varying line & a repeated refrain, a format which lends itself to it being sung using a call & response pattern. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that "Whoa Mule" was the primary source of "Whoa Mule (Can't Get The Saddle On").

However, the song that "Whoa Mule:Saddle" resembles the most in its lyric pattern, in its words, and perhaps also in its tune is the 19th century African American children's play-party/chasing game "Peep Squirrel". Initially, the performance activities for "Peep Squirrel" and "Whoa Mule (Can't Get The Saddle On") may have also been the same.

Here's an excerpt of "(Can't Get The Saddle On)

1:15 minute Mp3 sample
"Whoa Mule! Can't Get the Saddle On"
From the album Animal Folk Songs for Children by Mike, Peggy, Barbara & Penny Seeger
© 1992 Rounder

Whoa mule
Can't get the saddle on [repeat both lines 2x]

[using that same pattern]

Catch that mule

Ride that mule

Run mule
Can't get the saddle on [repeat both lines 4x]
Here are two links to posts about this song that I published on my cultural blog: Whoa Mule (Can't Get The Saddle On) Part I Whoa Mule (Can't Get The Saddle On)Part II


Any information about or examples of "Whoa Mule (Can't Get The Saddle On)" would be appreciated.

Azizi Powell

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