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Lyr Req: See That Coon in a Hickory Tree (Delmore)

GUEST,Spoutnik 13 Jun 13 - 08:23 PM
Bill D 13 Jun 13 - 09:02 PM
Midchuck 13 Jun 13 - 09:04 PM
GUEST 13 Jun 13 - 09:26 PM
GUEST,Spountik 13 Jun 13 - 11:31 PM
GUEST 14 Jun 13 - 12:48 AM
GUEST 14 Jun 13 - 12:51 AM
Mr Happy 14 Jun 13 - 04:49 AM
Lighter 14 Jun 13 - 09:23 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jun 13 - 12:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jun 13 - 12:43 PM
Airymouse 14 Jun 13 - 04:38 PM
MGM·Lion 14 Jun 13 - 04:55 PM
Jeri 14 Jun 13 - 05:52 PM
Lighter 14 Jun 13 - 06:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jun 13 - 06:58 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Jun 13 - 01:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jun 13 - 04:58 AM
Jim Dixon 15 Jun 13 - 04:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jun 13 - 04:48 PM
Lighter 15 Jun 13 - 06:59 PM
GUEST 15 Jun 13 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Spoutnik 15 Jun 13 - 10:31 PM
MGM·Lion 16 Jun 13 - 12:24 AM
Lighter 16 Jun 13 - 07:17 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Jun 13 - 07:21 AM
GUEST 28 Oct 14 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,crazy little woman 28 Oct 14 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Oct 14 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Oct 14 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,gillymor 29 Oct 14 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,gillymor 29 Oct 14 - 12:35 PM
Mrrzy 29 Oct 14 - 10:44 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST,Spoutnik
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 08:23 PM

Does anyone have the lyrics of See That C**n in a Hickory from the Delmore Brothers? Can't find it anywere...

Best

Martin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 09:02 PM

Perhaps there's a good reason why no one wants to publish it. If you have to put in **, I'd guess at the reason.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Midchuck
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 09:04 PM

Interesting question...If you don't have the lyrics, do you know, for certain, whether the word that you partially asteriskicised (hey, I made up a new word!) was actually used as a now-obsolete derogatory slang term for an African-American person, or simply as a contraction of "raccoon?" The latter is more likely to be up in a tree. If it is the latter, what's wrong with spelling it out in full?

Another descent into absurdity in hopes of achieving an adequate level of political correctness?

Peter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 09:26 PM

The correct title is 'See That Coon in a Hickory Tree'. It is available on Youtue and a few other places. Most of the lyrics are easy to make out. Post what you can and I'm sure people will fill in the blanks if no one comes with the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST,Spountik
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 11:31 PM

I just wrote down what's the title of that song on Itunes. Didn't mean to do wrong. English his not my primary language. Sorry if there something i didn't understand with the word coon. For me, it's a abbreviation for raccoon, nothing more. I just missing some lyrics.

I when down to see my girl, walking mighty straight
Thinking about it's pretty little curls i forgot to close the gate
Shoo fly, don't you fly, don't you bother me
By the light of the moon i can see that coon sitting on a hickory tree

... .... i walk up the stairs
He made me do a little dance, he surely have the......
Shoo fly, don't you fly, don't you bother me
By the light of the moon i can see that coon sitting on a hickory tree

Farmer Brown got a violin, i fiddle out of tune
He likes is moonshine plenty fine but it don't come from the moon
Shoo fly, don't you fly, don't you bother me
By the light of the moon i can see that coon sitting on a hickory tree

Daddy had a old gray mule, how that mule could kick
He name him after his mother-in-law and whipped him with a stick
Shoo fly, don't you fly, don't you bother me
By the light of the moon i can see that coon sitting on a hickory tree

Shooting dice the other night i rolled out a three
The police came, broke up the game now i wish.......
Shoo fly, don't you fly, don't you bother me
By the light of the moon i can see that coon sitting on a hickory tree


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 12:48 AM

"Didn't mean to do wrong."

You haven't done any wrong. The word coon has been used in America's past to refer to African-Americans (Black people), and it was never used in a nice way.

Thank you for the lyrics you have so far. If no one beats me to it I will try to supply the missing words tomorrow. It is late here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 12:51 AM

PS Many of the sites I checked do the title as "See That C**n in a Hickory Tree" so I certainly understand why you posted that as the title instead of spelling out the word 'coon'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Mr Happy
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 04:49 AM

Why not re-write the offending line to make it more acceptable?

Many songs of the 19th c were 'cleaned up' this way in UK to make them more suitable for singing in schools.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 09:23 AM

The robot editor at iTunes needs a tune-up.

When "coon" means raccoon - as it did originally - it is not and never has been offensive. Of course, there are single-minded people who've convinced themselves that "niggardly" and "the jig is up" are also racist, so I suppose they might object to "coon" no matter what it means.

In the 19th century, "coon" could also refer to anybody who was considered sly or tough. (Like a raccoon.) The old Whig party even had a raccoon mascot, and Whigs were also called "Coons."

Nobody said language has to make sense.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 12:34 PM

"The Coon Song," with the first lines

As I walked out last Saturday night
I saw an old coon wag his teail...

had to do with the campaign of Henry Clay in 1844.

Boswell/Wolfe, 1997, Folk Songs of Middle Tennessee (not seen).
Roud no. 11021. Song coll. 1950.

The animal is still often called a coon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 12:43 PM

Author should be Wolfe. He used much from a Ms. by Boswell.
I was a mite confused with the references in EDFSS.

Haven't read about Henry Clay for a coon's age. (school history lessons?)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Airymouse
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 04:38 PM

AS derogatory American slang "coon" started out as a political slur in the campaign of Andrew Jackson. The idea was that Jackson's supporters were "hayseeds". It devolved in to a racial slur, so that around 1900 Edison Records was selling "coon songs' and the Tribune was publishing a cartoon of a "coon" in the White House (when T. Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dine with him). My sense is that both derogatory meanings of "coon" have died out, but that's just a guess on my part.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 04:55 PM

"Nobody said language has to make sense."
.,,.

They did, actually, Lighter. Or what would be the use of it?

But what nobody can enforce by any kind of argument or legislation is that everybody will always use every word in that language consistently.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 05:52 PM

"Coon" is still often used to refer to raccoons. It doesn't bother me and never did. One can usually tell from context whether they should tell the speaker to fuck off or not. People who aren't capable of figuring stuff like that out are the ones who get anal about NEVER using a word. Personally, if I imagine seeing a coon in a moonlit hickory tree, I'm going to assume it's a critter. At some point, attributing racist meanings to these innocent words actually does seem racist, because who the hell really thinks that way?

Jimmy Kimmel "Unnecessary Censorship": the visual, as well as the aural asterisks, can make things a whole lot worse.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 06:24 PM

A common misconception, M.

First languages evolved. Fifty thousand years later they started writing grammars and dictionaries to try to explain them and make them "consistent."

Meanwhile, the languages changed and kept changing. French was in, Latin was out. Middle English was out, current English was in. Tokharian was out and stayed out.

In a truly "consistent" language, each word would have just one meaning, which would never change. There would be a particular, unambiguous syntactical formula to express each and every possible idea and combination of ideas.

No known language fills the bill, though some would say that written language does somewhat better than the spoken kind. Computer languages come even closer, but their expressive capacities are extremely limited. So far.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 06:58 PM

Still got a coonskin cap around someplace. Dan'l Boone or Davy Crockett style, I ain't sure.

Buy one here:
www.furhatworld.com/coonskin-caps-c-42_46.html

Only $129.95 (and up).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 01:35 AM

Yes, yes, Lighter. I see all that. But it had better make sense if it's going to fulfil its function, communication, at all. We all know it is by nature a slippery concept; but, pace Dear Old Professor Joad, we can't spend our entire lives going around saying "it all depends what you mean by...". (Tho of course it often does. Oh dear! Did I say 'slippery'?)

Your postulation can in any case be disproved by the very fact that MtheGM SAYS language has to make sense; & he ain't 'nobody' -- unless you are some sort of solipsist: but let's not go there.

I hope this post has made some sense to you. It is written in language, you know.

But we are drifting, I fear.
(Does that make sense?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 04:58 AM

If it's got a tail and is sitting up in a tree it sounds like a raccoon to me.

Would it be considered offensive to police to refer to a real pig as a pig?


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Subject: Lyr Add: SEE THAT COON IN A HICKORY TREE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 04:29 PM

My transcription from Spotify:


SEE THAT COON IN A HICKORY TREE
As sung by The Delmore Brothers on "Greatest Hits" and "Hillbilly Boogie Best."

1. I went down to see my girl, walkin' mighty straight.
Thinkin' about her pretty little curls, I forgot to close the gate.

CHORUS: Shoo, fly; don't you fly; don't you bother me.
By the light of the moon I see that coon sittin' in a hickory tree.

2. Bulldog grabbed me by the pants as I walked up the steps.
He made me do a little dance; he surely had the pep.

3. Farmer Brown's got a violin; he fiddles out o' tune.
He likes his moonshine plenty fine but it don't come from the moon.

4. Daddy had an old gray mule; how that mule could kick!
He named him after his mother-in-law and whipped him with a stick.

5. Shootin' dice the other night, I rolled out a three.
The police came, broke up the game; now I wish I was free.


[In this song, there is no reason to think "coon" means anything other than "raccoon," and therefore it shouldn't be treated as an impolite word. Raccoons were once often hunted for fur or meat, and therefore were frequently mentioned in folk songs, like bears, rabbits, possums, etc.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 04:48 PM

Possum! No! Please treat North America's only marsupial with respect! Opossum!

Coons are quit common in eastern Canada. Recently they have been sighted in Alberta. Baby raccoons have been pictured on a Canadian postage stamp.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 06:59 PM

"O'possums" originated in Ireland.

BTW, a recent TV special should that coons (in Canada, IIRC) are getting coonier. I mean "cannier." Urban living has has made them smarter and more resourceful, better able to evade humans and perform important tasks like getting into human homes and food.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 08:06 PM

I've eaten them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST,Spoutnik
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 10:31 PM

Thank you for the lyrics!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jun 13 - 12:24 AM

Semantic drift ~~

If the racoon is idiomatically sometimes a 'coon', and the opossum most often a 'possum', as in eg the well-known children's song floater --

Racoon have a ringaround tail
Possum tail go bare
Poor rabbit got no tail at all
Just a little old hunk of hair
--

then why is the rabbit never a 'bit', eh?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Jun 13 - 07:17 AM

Nobody said language has to make sense.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jun 13 - 07:21 AM

LoL, Lighter. Never give up. That's the spirit!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 01:29 PM

In this song, coon means raccoon!!! It's obsurd to automatically think it means African American or black folks. We go coon huntin all the time in Oklahoma. We have coon dogs. Everyone in my home town, white, black, or red is a bunch of hillbillies. Furthermore, in some way or another, we're all kin in some way or another. I have black, white, and Choctaw kinfolks. I love this song. The delmores are one of my musical influences. Don't be afraid of this song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 10:21 PM

MGM Lion: a rabbit is never a bit, but a bunny rabbit is a bun rab.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 11:32 AM

Now to get back to music.

You can hear the Delmore brothers singing 'Coon in the hickory tree'
here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRItf2mrkzA

Siblings often sing well together, because their voices are similar, and they blend. You can hear that in this song. Reminds me of the Everly Brothers later on.

This is clearly a square dance tune that somebody put words to. The words were not important, really, they merely helped the fiddler remember the tune. Later, people kept adding verses, all of them silly. Spountik, if you are still with us, and you thought you had tapped a deep well of meaning in American folk culture - sorry!

The video is worth listening to. There are interesting variations to be heard. It seems to be from 1933.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 11:40 AM

Plus, how can you not feel fond of country boys who named an album 'Truth is Stranger than Publicity'?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 12:02 PM

"Truth is Stranger than Publicity" is the title of a memoir written by Alton Delmore, a very good read. Is there an album out there by the same name as well?


Here is a blicky for the performance Leenia mentions above. Love them Delmore Brothers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That C**n in a Hickory Tree
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 12:35 PM

Should read "Leeneia". Apologies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: See That Coon in a Hickory Tree
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 10:44 PM

I like the song, and I find it odd that certain online word games won't recognize coon as a word.

Spoutnik, what language are you coming from?


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