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Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions

Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 14 - 02:29 PM
GUEST 31 Jan 14 - 02:38 PM
GUEST 31 Jan 14 - 02:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 14 - 02:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 14 - 03:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 14 - 03:32 PM
Lighter 31 Jan 14 - 05:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 14 - 07:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jan 14 - 09:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Feb 14 - 01:00 PM
Lighter 01 Feb 14 - 01:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Feb 14 - 01:50 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Feb 14 - 02:21 PM
Lighter 01 Feb 14 - 08:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Feb 14 - 12:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Feb 14 - 02:19 PM
Lighter 02 Feb 14 - 07:46 PM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 14 - 08:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Feb 14 - 10:53 AM
Lighter 03 Feb 14 - 12:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Feb 14 - 12:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Feb 14 - 01:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Feb 14 - 11:23 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Feb 14 - 11:49 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Feb 14 - 12:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Feb 14 - 01:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Feb 14 - 02:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Feb 14 - 12:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Feb 14 - 01:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Feb 14 - 12:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Feb 14 - 12:36 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 02:29 PM

Lyr. Add: ROOT, HOG, OR DIE
George W. H. Griffin, arranger, 1856

I'm right from the south, with a pocket full of news,
I'm worth twenty shillings as I stand in my shoes,
Don't make a bit o' diff'rence between you and I
Big pig or little pig must root, hog or die.

Chorus-
Chief Cook and bottle washer
Captain of the waiter
Stand side my love while I peel the bag o' taters
do jog along.

I'm the greatest darkey that ever you did see
I'm like a sassy monkey up a sour apple tree
When I die there let me lie
Down in Old Virginia boys
Big pig or little pig must root, hog, or die.

I'm the sweetest darkey on the top of the earth,
Sweet as any pumpkin at the time of the dearth
Darkey in the tater patch dere let him lie
Darkey will be darkey Boys, Root, hog.r die.

Broadway dandies getting mighty grand
Shanghai coats close on the hand
Great standing collars which reach up to the sky,
That's the way to go it boys, Root. hog, or die.

Sung by J. H. Budworth, Geo. Christy & Wood's Minstrels.
Sheet music pub. E. A. Daggett, NYC, 1856.
American Memory.

Earliest date I have found. More versions of the minstrel song were published in the same year.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 02:38 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_hog,_or_die

Might wish to see that, Q.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 02:48 PM

'Associated with the verb sense of root (n.). Extended sense of "poke about, pry" first recorded 1831. Phrase root hog or die "work or fail" first attested 1834, American English (in works of Davey Crockett, who noted it as an "old saying").'

from

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=root


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 02:59 PM

Lyr. Add: ROOT, HOG, OR DIE B
Ordway's Aeolians, Minstrels, c. 1856

1'I'm right from old Virginny wid my pocket full ob news
I'm worth twenty shillings right square in my shoes
It doesent make a dif of bitterness to neider you nor I
Big pig or little pig
Root, hog, or die.

I'se de happiest darkie on de top ob de earth
I get fat as possum in de time ob de dearth
Like a pig in a tater patch dar let me lie
Way down in old Virginny whar its
Root, hog, or die.

De Boston dandies dey look so very grand
Old clothes hand me down gloves upon de hand
High heel boots moustaches round de eye
A perfect sick family ob
Root, hog, or die.

De Boston gals dey do beat dem all
Dey wear high heel shoes for to make demself's tall
If dey don't hab dem de Lor how dey's cry
De boys hab got to get dem or else
Root, hog, or die.

Chorus-
I'm chief cook and bottle washer, cap'n ob de waiters
I stand upon my head when I peel de Apple dumplins.

Sheet music, Oliver Ditson, Boston. c. 1856.
The sheet music contains the text of another version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 03:26 PM

Lyr. Add: ROOT, HOG, OR DIE, C
Patriotic version, 19th C.

I'll tell you of a story that happened long ago,
When the English came to America, I spose you all know,
They couldn't whip the Yankees, I'll tell you the reason why,
Uncle Sam made 'em sing Root, Hog or Die.

John Bull sent to Boston, as you shall plainly see,
Forty large ships loaded clear up with tea,
The Yankees wouldn't pay the tea tax, I'll tell you the reason why,
The Yankee boys made 'em sing Root, Hog or Die.

They first met our armies on the top of Bunker Hill,
When it came to fighting I guess they got their fill,
The Yankee Boys chased they off, I'll tell you the reason why,
The Yankee Boys made 'em sing Root, Hog or Die.

Then they met our Washington at Yorktown,
There the Yankees mowed 'em down like grass from the ground,
Old Cornwallis gave up his sword, I'll tell you the reason why,
General Washington made 'em sing Root, Hog or Die.

Then they came to Baltimore forty years ago,
They tried to take North Point, but found it wouldn't go,
The Baltimoreans chased them off, I'll tell you the reason why,
The Yankee Boys made 'em sing Root Hog or Die.

Then they marched their armies down to New Orleans,
That was the place, I think, that Jackson gave 'em beans,
They couldn't take our cotton bales, I'll tell you the reason why,
General Jackson made 'em sing Root Hog or Die.

Now Johnny Bull has been kicking up a fuss,
He'd better keep quiet or he'll surely make it worse,
We're bound to have Cuba, I'll tell you the reason why,
For Uncle Sam will make 'em sing Root Hog or Die.

Song sheet printed by Horace Partridg, Boston.
American Memory (no tune).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 03:32 PM

The above patriotic version was also printed by J. H. Johnson, Philadelphia.
Correction- the Boston printer was Partridge.
Both are undated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 05:15 PM

A Confederate version is in Silber's "Songs of the Civil War."


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GREAT POLICE FIGHT
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 07:36 PM

Lyr. Add: THE GREAT POLICE FIGHT
Air: Root Hog or Die.

"Which took place June 15, at the City Hall in the Park"

It was in the month of June, upon the fifteenth day,
In the city of New York they had a dreadful fray,
They fought with clubs and daggers, , some on the ground did lie,
'Twas big pig and little pig, Root hog or die.

Chorus-
O go it Tom and Jerry, yes, go it while you're young,
'Twas big pig and little pig, Root hog or die.

The Mayor of the City and the Governor of the State
About the loaves and fishes got at loggerheads of late,
I saw their troops were marshalled as I was passing by,
'Twas big pig and little pig, Root hog or die.

Within the park enclosure I heard a thrilling fife,
Soon like a flash of lightning they rushed into the strife,
Some thousands of spectators the battle did espy,
'Twas big pig and little pig, Root hog or die.

Some were wounded in the belly, and some upon the head,
And others from the nostrils perhaps a gallon bled,
And numbers got a valley somewhere about the eye,,
'Twas big pig and little pig, Root hog or die.

Some think the brave Fernando will surely win the day,
Whilst others of opinion are 'twill go the other way.
The Appeals the farce will shortly knock into a ginger pie,
With big pig and little pig, Root hog or die.

Fernando Wood was elected Mayor of New York, 1854. The NY legislature shortened Wood's second term and created a Metropolitan Police Force. In a fight, the Municipal Police Force routed the Metropolitans. Fifty-two policemen were injured.
Read the story in Wikipedia.

Nineteenth C. Song sheet, printed by J. Andrews, New York.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jan 14 - 09:27 PM

Lyr. Add: JEFF DAVIS AND HIS UNCLE
Air: Root Hog or Die.

I'll tell you of a story that happened in its day.
Davis tried to whip his uncle but found it wouldn't pay.
He tried to whip his Uncle and I'll tell you the reason why
He hadn't the courage for to Root Hog or Die.

Chorus-
Floyd head devil, Davis rebel master
I'm standing on my head and enjoying your disaster,
The troops are in the valley and you thought to make us fly,
But now we're here before you singing Root Hog or Die.

The first time we met the rebels 'twas on a gay rough road
They tried to turn us back again, but couldn't make it good
They tried to turn us back again, and I'll tell you the reason why,
'Twas a hazardous experiment to Root Hog or Die.

The next time we met the rebels they tried it on again,
They commenced their shooting and got little for their pains;
They commenced their shooting, and I'll tell you the reason why
They tried to turn us home again, for to Root Hog or Die.

Now all you foolish rebels take the President's advice,
Vamoose from these diggings and save your necks at any price,
Vamoose from these diggings and I'll tell you the reason why,
For ropes and trees are plenty for to Root Hog or Die.

By Isadore Leopold. Song sheet No. 797, by J. Wrigley, New York, n. d.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 01:00 PM

ROOT HOG OR DIE D
Jimmy Denoon, singer.

Well, I went to California in the year of Seventy-six [sic],
When I landed there, I was in a terrible fix,
Didn't have no money for vittles for to buy.
And the only thing for me was to- Root hog or die.

Well, I went from there down to Berloo, [sic]
I met with a feller who said he'd put me through,
'Twas in a game of poker that he gave the cards a sly,
And he took all my money, saying- Root hog or die.

Well, I got mad, and I begin to swear,
Poured down the corn juice till I got on a tear,
Marshall of the city he was standing there near by,
Took me to the calaboose to- Root hog or die.

Well, they took me to court next morning just at ten,
There stood the judge and a dozen other men,
They fined me twenty dollars, that I thought was rather high,
But there's no use a-whining, it was- Root hog or die.

Now come, young fellers, and take my advice,
Don't go to shooting poker, go to playing any dice,
For if you do, you'll get too much of rye,
And you land in the calaboose to- Root hog or die.

Recorded from the singing with guitar of Jimmy Denoon, Missouri, 1941, by Vance Randolph.
P. 572, no musical score.
Duncan Emrich, 1974, "American Folk Poetry, An Anthology," Little, Brown and Company.
    Note from Joe Offer: in Ozark Folksongs, Vance Randolph listed this as #422 D, but included only the first verse from the singing of Jimmy Denoon. In Randolph, the first verse is:
      "Well I went to California in the month of seventy-six.
      When I landed there I was in a terr'ble fix.
      Didn't have no money my victuals for to buy
      And only one thing for me was to root hog or die.

    Emrich apparently corrected the word "month" in his text, because it's clear on the recording that Denoon sang "month." The Denoon recording is on Songs of the Mormons and Songs of the West, a CD from the Library of Congress.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 01:29 PM

Surely "Berloo" is "Berdoo" (San Bernadino).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 01:50 PM

Put a [sic] by "Berloo."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 02:21 PM

Lyr. Add: RUN YANKS, OR DIE!
By T. W. Crowson. Air: Root Hog or Die.

Now if you all will listen while I relate
About the cause of Freedo you're here to calculate;
Old Abe tried to enslave us, but soon it was the cry,
O Liberty for Southern boys! run Yanks, or die!

Chorus:
Hurrah for slavery, for Southerners are the boys
For singing and fighting, and stopping Yankee noise!
The young Confederacy is getting quite spry,
Ho!- big Yank!- little Yank! run Yank or die.

2
The finest looking mortal that ever I did see,
He tied John Brown to a white oak tree;
To see him tie the rope you ought to 'ave stood by,
'Twas done with Carolina Cotton- Run Yank or die!
3
Now old Andy Johnson, of East Tennessee,
He's gone and join'd Lincoln to set the negro free;
Bu when he undertakes it, he's sure for to sigh,
He'll back from Southern boys- Run Yank or die!
4
The little Northern Yankees are getting very sick,
They don't like our medicine because it is so thick;
And when they go to take it, it's sure to hurt their eye-
They don't like the Southern pills- Run Yank or die!
5
We're going out to Richmond to get all the news,
We're coming back by Washington to get old Lincoln's shoes;
And as we walk the streets, the Yankees they will fly,
They'll holler out- it's Southern boys- Run Yank, or die!
6
Old General Scott is a mighty great sinner,
He never comes to fight us but he's sure to bring his dinner;
When he saw the boys coming, it was time for to fly,
For JEFF was after him- Run Yank, or die!
7
The little Northern Yankees are getting very grand,
They bro't down their dinner, and eat it on our land;
They had all kind of spices mix'd up in pie,
But the Southern boys ate it up- Run Yank, or die!
8
There were the Northern ladies (No doubt they looked fine)
Standing 'round the table with demijohns of wine;
But when they saw us coming, they made their hoops fly,
'Twas no place for women folks- Run Yank, or die!
9
Old Abe's head is now a getting gray
He ask'd General Davis for a ninety days' stay;
He had to have money- he wanted time to try,
But JEFF wouldn't grant it to him- Run Yank, or die!

Pp. 35-36.
Francis D. Allan, 1874, Allan's Lone Star Ballads. A Collection of Southern Patriotic Songs Made During Confederate Times. Reprint 1970, Burt Franklin, New York.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Feb 14 - 08:05 PM

Not the one I was thinking of.

This looks like it:

http://www.civilwarpoetry.org/confederate/songs/doodles.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 12:11 PM

Lyr. Add: SONG OF THEE CONVALESCENT CAMP
Air: Root Hog or Die. Camp near Alexandria, VA; 1860s

Pray give me your attention, until I sing a song,
It's all about the convalescents, and I won't detain you long,
They are from every State and County, from every City too,
They are of every color, but the most of us true blue.
2
The most of us are Veterans of many a hard fought field,
But to our wounds and sickness we have been compelled to yield,
They have stuck us in the mud-hole to wear our lives away,
O Lord, had I but shoulder straps how quick I'd be away.
3
We are a jolly set of fellows as ever you did see,
But would feel a great deal better if we were only free,
We're in Uncle Sam's clutches, and he's got an awful grip,
There's been more than one amongst us that has given him the slip.
4
They feed us here on swine flesh until we grunt and squeal,
We are getting fat as shingles on government square meals,
We are drummed out in the morning and we are drummed to bed at night,
And it's truly our opinion it ain't exactly right.
5
We have a great big Sutler's shop, but we haven't any dust,
His motto is "No East, no West, no North, no South, no Trust,"
We'd drown our troubles if we could, but whiskey can't be found,
And every bottle in the camp gives out a hollow sound.
6
All of us have quit chewing, for tobacco can't be had,
And smoking is quite played out, which makes it mighty bad,
We wander round the camp all day, not knowing what to do,
With our pockets full of nothing, while our hearts are full of woe.
7
But the worst of our troubles, to you I will relate,
It's the lice, the worst of vermin, are chasing us for bate,
I hate to speak about it, for it makes me crawl and itch,
The cursed little vermin will let us have no sleep.
8
They're in our boots, they're in our clothes, they're in our every track,
They skirmish round our legs and arms, and skedaddle up our back,
It's hard to keep them off while in you there's a breath,
There's one consolation, they are almost starved to death.
9
We are guarded night and day by a lot of new recruits,
The Eleventh of Rhode Island, they treat us all like brutes,
They stand with their guns well loaded, all eager for a fray,
They keep the rebels out, but us from going away.
10
They are very patriotic you will all allow,
For they fight for five hundred and a cow,
We hope they will soon be off to fight, if they are not afraid,
For we are excepting Horace Greeley with his negro brigade.
11
So cheer up, ye convalescents, and let us drink a toast,
Fill up your cups with muddy coffee, for whiskey we can't boast,
We'll try and keep our spirits up, although we can't pour any down,
We'll try and be contented, if here it can be found.
12
Now my song is ended, I'll bid you adieu,
To all the lice be merciful, if pork and beans prove true,
We'll stick to one another, until from here we tramp,
So three cheers for the convalescents and convalescent's camp.

Printed by Johnson, Philadelphia.
Song sheet in American Memory.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 02:19 PM

One of several numbered versions published by De Marsan and other printers.

Lyr. Add: ROOT HOG OR DIE No. 5
By a Blue Jacket, U.S. Gunboat Com. Barney

Come listen to my story, and a good one I'll relate,
Bout the Burnside Expedition, in North Carolina State;
We've whipped the Southern Chivalry, and blowed their forts sky high,
Colonel Hawkins and his red caps made 'em sing Root Hog or Die.
2
First at Roanoke, when we hove in sight,
The Rebels thought they'd have us sure, before the ensuing night;
But Wise he was mistaken, and Floyd he heaved a sigh,
And left, like Hell, for Norfolk, singing Root Hog or Die.
3
Then we went up to a City, Elizabeth by name,
The rebels thought to whip us there, but didn't know our game;
The Perry run the sea-bird, and the rest they tried to fly,
But only one reached Norfolk, singing Root Hog or Die.
4
At Newbern shortly after, the river being chuck
Full of Torpedoes and Fired-Machines to blow the Yankees up;
They thought they'd surely whip us there, but found out 'twas all my eye!
When Burnside nailed 'em in the rear, singing Root Hog or Die.
5
Oh, they fought about two hours, and then they turned and ran, And some of the forts on the River, they left without firing a gun;
Oh they left in such a hurry that they could not say good-bye,
To the girls they left behind 'em, singing Root Hog or Die.
6
Now we are safely moored at Newbern, and I guess we are going to stay,
'Till we take a trip to Raleigh, there's some rebels there they say;
We'll show 'em another yankee trick, or show 'em how to die,
They'll find that we are in earnest now, singing Root Hog or Die.

After the battle at Newbern.

From a song sheet, printer name clipped; and the same printed by De Marsan. Also printed by Andrews.

American Memory.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 07:46 PM

THE FLIGHT OF DOODLES

I come from old Manassas with a pocket full of fun,
I killed forty Yankees with a single barrelled gun;
It don't make a niff-a-stifference to neither you nor I,
Big Yankee, little Yankee, all run or die.

I saw all the Yankees at Bull Run;
They fought like the devil when the battle first begun:
But it don't make a niff-a-stifference to neither you nor I,
They took to their heels, boys, and you ought to see 'em fly!

I saw Old Fuss-and-Feathers Scott, twenty miles away,
His horses stuck up their ears, and you ought to hear 'em neigh;
But it don't make a niff-a-stifference to neither you nor I,
Old Scott fled like the devil, boys; root hog or die.

I then saw a "Tiger" from the Old Crescent City;
He cut down the Yankees without any pity:
Oh! it don't make a diff-a-bitterence to neither you nor I,
We whipped the Yankee boys, and made the boobies cry.

I saw South Carolina, the first in the cause,
Shake the dirty Yankees till she broke all their jaws;
Oh! It don't make a niff-a-stifference to neither you nor I,
South Carolina give 'em ----, boys, root hog or die.

I saw old Virginia, standing firm and true,
She fought mighty hard to whip the dirty crew;
Oh! it don't make a niff-a-stifference to neither you nor I,
Old Virginia's blood and thunder, boys; root hog or die.

I saw old Georgia, the next in the van,
She cut down the Yankees almost to a man;
Oh! it don't make a niff-a-stifference to neither you nor I,
Georgia fought the fight, boys; root hog or die.

I saw Alabama in the midst of the storm;
She stood like a giant in the contest so warm:
Oh! it don't make a niff-a-stifference to neither you nor I,
Alabama fought the Yankees, boys, till the last one did fly.

I saw Texas go in with a smile,
But, I tell you what it is, she made the Yankees bile:
Oh! it don't make a niff-a-stifference to neither you nor I,
Texas is the devil, boys; root hog or die.

I saw North Carolina in the deepest of the battle;
She knocked down the Yankees and made their bones rattle:
Oh! it don't make a niff-a-stifference to neither you nor I,
North Carolina's got the grit, boys; root hog or die.

Old Florida came in with a terrible shout;
She frightened all the Yankees till their eyes stuck out:
Oh! it don't make a niff-a-stifference to neither you nor I,
Florida's death on Yankees, boys; root hog or die.



From "Poetry, Lyrical, Narrative, and Satirical, of the Civil War," edited by Richard Grant White. (N.Y., 1866).

I don't know why the Louisiana stanza has "diff-a-bitterence," but it don't make none.


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Subject: Origins: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 08:51 PM

The Traditional Ballad Index has a number of entries on this song because the songs bearing this title are so varied:

Root, Hog, or Die [Laws B21]

DESCRIPTION: The singer arrives in California broke and takes a job making hay. He soon gambles his pay away, gets drunk, and lands in jail. A friend pays his fine; he warns against the dangers of playing poker
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1910
KEYWORDS: poverty drink gambling prison reprieve
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Laws B21, "Root Hog or Die"
Randolph 422, "Root Hog or Die" (5 texts, mostly short and perhaps excerpted, 3 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 347-349, "Root Hog or Die" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 422C)
Silber-FSWB, p. 57, "Root, Hog, Or Die" (1 text)
DT 598, ROOTHOG3

Roud #3242
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Root, Hog, or Die (II)"
cf. "Root, Hog, or Die (III)"
cf. "Root, Hog, or Die (IV)"
cf. "Root, Hog, or Die (V)"
cf. "Root, Hog, or Die (Confederate Version)"
File: LB21

Root, Hog, or Die! (II)

DESCRIPTION: A bull-whacker recalls good times in Salt Lake City when his Chinese whore could roll her hog eye, and he would root hog or die.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE:
KEYWORDS: bawdy whore foreigner
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Randolph-Legman I, pp. 576-582, "Root, Hog or Die!" (4 texts, 1 tune)
Fife-Cowboy/West 11, "Root Hog or Die" (2 texts, 1 tune, with the "A" and "B" texts being different forms of the song. "A" appears to be a cleaned-up version of this form.)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Root, Hog, or Die" [Laws B21] and references there
NOTES: The supplemental texts supplied by Legman in Randolph-Legman I are more interesting than the one stanza fragment that Randolph collected. - EC
[Note: Randolph actually collected five "clean" versions of this piece, but all -- except that listed as "Root Hog or Die (Confederate Version)" -- are quite fragmentary. - RBW]
I am not entirely sure that the Fife "A" text is a variant of this piece (though it starts in the same way). But if it isn't, it needs its own entry -- and I'm tired of the proliferation of "Root Hog or Die" versions.... - RBW
File: RL576

Root, Hog, or Die! (III -- The Bull-Whacker)

DESCRIPTION: A "Western" "Root Hog" version, with the singer herding cattle and keeping an eye out for local wildlife. He complains about the hard life and bad food, but also talks about the pretty girls
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1934
KEYWORDS: work travel animal whore
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Lomax-FSNA 171, "Root, Hog, or Die" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 430-432, "The Bull-Whacker" (1 text)
Fife-Cowboy/West 11, "Root Hog or Die" (2 texts, 1 tune, of which the "B" text, "The Philosophical Cowboy," appears to belong here)
DT, ROOTHOG1*

Roud #4292
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Root, Hog, or Die" [Laws B21] and references there
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Philosophical Cowboy
NOTES: The final verses of this version resemble the bawdy text (Root, Hog, or Die II), and one wonders if this version might not have been cleaned up. But the lead-in is completely different. - RBW
File: LoF171

Root, Hog, or Die! (IV)

DESCRIPTION: "I'll tell you all a story that happened long ago, When the English came to America... The Yankees boys made 'em sing 'Root hog or die.'" The singer describes various English defeats: the Tea Party, Bunker Hill, Yorktown, Baltimore, New Orleans
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1909 (a text reported by Belden to be this was found in the 1859 Dime Song Book)
KEYWORDS: battle patriotic
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Dec. 16, 1773 - Boston Tea Party. Americans protest the British tax on tea by dumping a shipload into Boston Harbor
June 17, 1775 - Battle of Bunker Hill (fought on Breed's Hill, and won by the British, though at heavy cost)
Oct 19, 1781 - Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown (not really as a result of being defeated; his supply line had been cut by the French navy)
Aug 24, 1814 - A British force under Robert Ross captures Washington, D.C. after brushing aside the incompetent defenders. (Madison's administration had already fled). Two days later the British leave for Baltimore.
Sept 13, 1814 - Battle of Fort McHenry, which saves Baltimore from the British attack.
Jan 8, 1815 - Battle of New Orleans. Although a peace had already been signed, word had not yet reached Louisiana, which British General Pakenham sought to invade. Andrew Jackson's backwoodsmen easily repulse Pakenham.
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Belden, p. 334, "Root Hog or Die" (1 text)
Roud #4734
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Root, Hog, or Die" [Laws B21] and references there
File: Beld334

Root, Hog, or Die (V)

DESCRIPTION: Minstrel song? "Root, Hog, or Die," with some "Walkin' in the Parlor" verses: "The greatest ole nigger that I eva' did see, Looked like a sick monkey...." "I come from Alabama with a pocketful of news..." Cho: "Chief cook and bottle washer...."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1931 (Allsopp)
KEYWORDS: cook work nonballad floatingverses food
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: Fred W. Allsopp, Folklore of Romantic Arkansas, Volume II (1931), p. 161, ("Root, Hog, or Die")
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Root, Hog, or Die" [Laws B21] and references there
cf. "Walkin' in the Parlor" (lyrics)
File: FWA161A

Root, Hog, or Die (VI -- Cowboy Bawdy variant)

DESCRIPTION: The singer heads to Arizona to punch cattle. He takes a holiday in Phoenix, where was pretty girl says she will "see what I can do for your root, hog, or die." He contracts a venereal disease; "that's why I lost the head of my root, hog, or die."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1976 (collected by Logsdon from Riley Neal)
KEYWORDS: bawdy cowboy sex disease disability
FOUND IN: US(SW)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Logsdon 22, pp. 140-142, "Root, Hog, or Die" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud #3242
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Gay Caballero" (theme of disease destroying sexual organs)
cf. "The Fire Ship" (plot) and references there
File: Logs022

Root, Hog, or Die (VII -- Sailor version)

DESCRIPTION: "'twas on the 24th of March we got underway, Bound to the Western Bank on a bright and sunny day." The sailor complains about his work, about getting wood from a fellow named Carter, and about the cook
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1957 (Beck-Maine)
KEYWORDS: sailor hardtimes derivative
FOUND IN: US(NE)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Beck-Maine, pp. 215-217, "Root, Hog, or Die" (1 text)
Roud #4732
File: BeMe215

Root, Hog, or Die (Confederate Version)

DESCRIPTION: Various cracks about the incompetence or cowardice of the Yankees, ending by saying "We'll make the Dutch (or Old Abe, or any other tempting target) root hog or die." Also praises the confederate armies in extravagant terms
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1864 (various Confederate songsters, according to Silber-CivWarFull)
KEYWORDS: Civilwar parody patriotic
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Aug 10, 1861 - Battle of Wilson's Creek
FOUND IN: US(So,SE)
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Belden, pp. 361-362, "Root, Abe, or Die" (1 text)
Randolph 248, "Root Hog or Die" (1 text, with an element of "The Bonnie Blue Flag" mixed in)
BrownIII 372, "Root Hog or Die" (1 short text, perhaps mixed)
Silber-CivWarFull, pp. 240-242, "Flight of Doodles"; p. 243, "Root Hog or Die (Southern Version)" (2 texts, 1 tune)
DT, ROOTHOG2*

Roud #7829
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Root, Hog, or Die" [Laws B21] and references there
cf. "The Jolly Union Boys" and references there (concerning Battle of Wilson's Creek)
NOTES: Randolph's version of this song is very specific to Missouri; see his notes.
Belden's version, at first glance, has almost nothing in common with Randolph's brief and mixed-up version. But both are from the Ozarks, and both involve the Missouri campaigns of Nathaniel Lyon and the Battle of Wilson's Creek. If they aren't the same piece, they are communal efforts on the same theme. Close enough.
Brown's short text is another matter; it seems more generically Confederate, and refers to Fort Sumter. But it's too short to file separately. And Silber's two texts are both clearly Confederate adaptions of "Root, Hog...."; they all seem to be one-shots, not worth separating out.
For the complex background to the Battle of Wilson's Creek, see the notes to songs in the cross-references, notably "The Jolly Union Boys" and "Joe Stiner." - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
File: R248

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 10:53 AM

Lyr. Add: BULL-WHACKER ON THE RED CLOUD LINE
(original, D. K. Wilgus from Lomax Papers

I'm a lonely bull-whacker on the Red Cloud line,
I can lick any son-of-a-bitch that will yoke an ox of mine,
And if I could catch him, tou bet I will or try,
I'd lick him with an ox yoke, root hog or die.
....
There was good ole times in Salt Lake that never can pass o'er,
It was there I first spied my little China hoar,
She could fuck and she could suck and she could roll her hog-eye,
Then it's whack the cattle on, boys, root hog or die.

Oh! I'm going home, bull-whacking for to quit,
I ain't got a nickel nor I don't give a shit,
It's when I meet a pretty girl, you bet I will (or) try,
To slip it up her water-works, hoot hog or die.

Sung by Tom Hight, Oklahoma.
Page 579, from Vance Randolph, "Roll Me In Your Arms, " Volume I, 1992, Folksongs and Music, University of Arkansas Press.

I think this is a fragment. I would like to see the Lomax Papers in the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Collection, Univ. Texas, Folder 2-E-397, where the MS resides. Expurgated in Lomax publications.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 12:16 PM

Tom Hight was one of John Lomax's best singers from before 1910.

Among many other songs, he also sang "Starving to Death on a Government Claim."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 12:27 PM

Lyr. Add: ROOT, HOG OR DIE (Arizona)
Sung by Riley Neal

I was born in Indiana, a state you all know well,
But I moved to Arizona, that country hot as hell;
I had a notion in my head, cowpunching I would try,
Never thinking what I'd do about my root, hog or die.
2
I got a job upon a ranch, one hundred miles away,
Up north from old Phoenix, and there I had to stay,
Until the next spring came around, and then we had to go
And drive those steers to market, on a journey long and slow.
3
When we got to Phoenix, and the cattle were all sold,
The cowboys spread out over town to buy themselves some clothes;
We got our shaves and baths, and then struck out to try
To see if we could find release for out root, hog or die.
4
I met a fair young maiden; her glances were so sly
That I thought I'd make a try for my root, hog or die;
She said, "Go get some lemons and some good old rock and rye,
And then I'll see what I can do for your root, hog or die."
5
We went up to her room, and my prick it quickly rose,
Before I got it in the bitch, I shot it all over her clothes;
I took her in my arms, "Now, baby, don't you cry,
I'll get another hard on, and we'll root, hog or die."
6
About nine days from this date, my prick began to swell;
If cursing would have sent the bitch, she would have surely been in Hell;
When I went to piss, my asshole was on fire,
And I had a dozen shankers on my root, hog or die.
7
I went to see a doctor, saying, "Docror, I am sick."
The first damn thing he said to me was "Let me see your prick."
He pulled it out and twisted it, my God, he made me cry.
He says, " You've got a case of root, hog or die."
8
He gave to me some medicine, the stuff it stank like hell,
He says, "If you'll only take it, it will surely make you well."
-------
-------
9
For six long weeks I taken it- the bastard how he lied!
That's how I lost the head off my root, hog or die;
Come all you young punchers and listen to me,
Don't be so quick to stick your prick in everything you see.
10
For if you do you'll surely rue, and you will be like I,
You'll have to go to the hot springs with your root, hog or die;
The way had been long and weary, that's why I was so quick to try;
That's why I lost the head off my root, hog or die.

Lomax (Mss.), Folder 2E397 (bawdy variant), University of Texas.

Pp. 140-142; with musical score.
Guy Logsdon, 1989, ""The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing" and other songs cowboys sing;" University of Illinois Press.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 01:08 PM

Similar to version D, above, but variations widespread.

Lyr. Add: ROOT, HOG OR DIE (Kansas)
Newpaper clipping, Hendren Collection 488

1
I left old Indiana in the year of eighty-two,
And when I got to Kansas I was feeling rather blue;
I hadn't a cent of money a meal's victuals to buy,
The only thing for me to do was root, hog or die.
2
My kinfolks all asked me and begged me not to roam
And wander into Kansas so far away from home;
I think of what my sister said when she bade goodby,
When I left old Indiana to root, hog or die.
3
I went out in the country and went to making hay,
The wages that I got was a dollar and a half a day;
Had cold supper every night, but there was no use to cry,
The only thing for me to do was root, hog or die.
4
I went to Kansas City and stayed a day or two,
'Twas there I met some strangers, who helped to put me through;
'Twas a nice game of poker, they handled the cards so shy,
They soon got all my money and said, "Root, hog or die."
5
This made me very angry and I began to swear,
I swallowed down the corn juice till I got on a tear;
The marshall of the City, who happened to be standing by,He took me to the calaboose to root, hog or die.
6
They took me to the courtroom, next morning just at ten,
There sat the judge and a dozen other men;
They fined me twenty dollars, which I thought was very high,
But it was no use of kicking, it was root. hog or die.
7
Then just as I was beginning to repent,
My fine was twenty dollars and I didn't have a cent.
As good luck would have it, a friend was standing by
He paid that twenty dollars and said, "Root, hog or die."
8
Come all you jolly young fellows, pray take my advice,
Never play poker, or go shaking dice,
For if you do, you'll get too much old rye,
And they'll land you in the cooler to root, hog or die.

No date given for the clipping. The Hendren collection comprises seven volumes, Stella M. Hendren, Kooskia, Idaho.
Pp. 65-66, lyric only.

Austin & Alta Fife, 1970, "Ballads of the Great West," American West Publishing Co., Palo Alto, CA.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 11:23 AM

Lyr. Add: A PHILOSOPHICAL COWBOY
Air: Root, Hog od Die.
1
On the Double Circle Range where the grass grows green,
The cattle get wild and the broncs get mean,
And the calves get bigger as the days go by,
So we get to keep a-rimming, boys, it's root hog or die.
2
If you ride them out of horses you've got to keep them shod,
If you can't shoe them standing then lay them on the sod,
You can tack the iron on them if you're a mind to try,
So get busy, boys, for it's root hog or die.
3
In the morning after breakfast about daylight,
Throw your saddle on a horse and pull your cinches tight,
Your bronc may jump crooked or he may jump high,
But we got to ride them. boys, it's root hog or die.
4
Oh, the hills are rough and rocky but we got to make the drive,
When you start a bunch of cattle you better come alive,
If you ever get a maverick you must get him on the fly,
So you better take to them, boys, it's root hog or die.
5
When the long day is over you'll be glad to see the chief,
With a pot of black coffee and another full of beef,
And some sour dough biscuits to take the place of pie,
When he hollers, "Come and git it," it's root hog or die.
6
In the middle of the night it is sometimes awful hard
To leave your warm blankets when you're called on guard,
And you pass the weary moments while the stars are in the sky
Humming to the cattle, boys, it's root hog or die.
7
Sometimes it's dreadful stormy and sometimes it's pretty clear,
You may work a month and you might work a year,
But you can make a winning if you'll come alive and try,
For the whole world over, boys, it's root hog or die.

Printed in Out West, April 1911, p. 336.

No. 11, pp. 30-31, with musical score.

Austin E. and Alta S. Fife, 1969, "Cowboy and Western Songs; A Comprehensive Anthology. Bramhall House, New York


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 11:49 AM

"A philosophical Cowboy" is in the DT.

"Root Hog or Die 5 in the DT is printed with musical score, pp. 142-144, is apparently a very early version, cited from the Omaha Times, Feb. 17, 1859, and printed in 11943 by Levette Jay Davidson in California Folklore Quarterly, vol.II, No. 2, in the article "Songs of the Rocky Mountain Frontier."
The lyrics by A. O. McGrew.

Verse 1
Way out upon the Platte, near Pike's Peak we were told,
There by a little digging, we could get a pile of gold,
So we bundled up our duds, resolved at least to try
And tempt old Madame Fortune, toot hog, or die.

Gold was later mined in the area with modern heavy machinery, but it was not in concentrations that could be obtained by pick and shovel.
"Pike's Peak or Bust" was a "bust."

From Irwin Silber and Earl Robinson, 1967, "Songs of the Great American West," Macmillan Co., NY; Pp. 142-144, with musical score.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 12:26 PM

Correction- 1943 by Levette... (not 11943)

"Root Hog, or Die 5" in the DT also was posted in thread 6228, Lyr. Req. Gold Miners' Songs (American).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 01:03 PM

Lyr. Add: THE BULL-WHACKER
From J. A. Lomax, his revision, 1910

I am a lonely bull-whacker
On the Red Cloud line,
I can lick any son of a gun
That will yoke an ox of mine,
And if I can catch him,
You bet I will or try,
To lick him with an ox-bow,-
Root hog or die.
2
It's out on the road
With a very heavy load,
With a very awkward team
And a very muddy road,
You may whip and you may holler,
But if you cuss it's on the sly;
Then whack the cattle on, boys,-
Root hog or die.
3
It's out on the road
These sights are to be seen,
The antelope and buffalo,
The prairie all so green,-
The antelope and buffalo,
The rabbit jumps so high;
It's whack the cattle on, boys,-
Root hog or die.
4
It's every day at twelve
There's something for to do;
And if there's nothing else,
There's a pony for to shoe;
I'll throw him down,
And still I'll make him lie;
Little pig, big pig,
Root hog or die.
5
Now perhaps you'd like to know
What we have to eat,
A little piece of bread
And a little dirty meat,
A little black coffee,
And whiskey on the sly;
It's whack the cattle on, boys.-
Root hog or die.
6
There's hard old times on Bitter Creek,
That never can be beat,
It was root hog or die
Under every wagon sheet;
We cleaned up all the Indians,
Drank all the alkali,
And it's whack the cattle on, boys,-
Root hog or die.
7
There was good old times in Salt Lake
That never can pass by,
It was there I first spied
My China girl called Wi,
She could smile, she could chuckle,
She could roll her hog eye;
Then it's whack the cattle on, boys,-
Root hog or die.
8
Oh, I'm going home
Bull-whacking for to spurn,
I ain't got a nickel,
And I don't give a dern.
'Tis when I meet a pretty girl,
You bet I will or try,
I'll make her my little wife,-
Root hog or die.

No musical score.
The re-written version of the song collected from Tom Hight, a fragment of the original, which was posted Feb. 3, 2012. John A. Lomax did this with a number of the songs he collected.

John A Lomax, 1925 revision, "Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads," the Macmillan Company New York.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Feb 14 - 02:48 PM

root hog, or die was used by Davy Crockett, 1834.
"We therefore determined to go on the old saying root, hog, or die."
The Dictionary of American English; "A Narrative of the Life of Davy Crockett."
Some record of its usage before the 1830s should be found, if it was an "old saying."

An Iowa agricultural report for 1866 was to turn out pigs into the woods or prairies to get their own living. This practice started with early hog farmers.

John D. Wright, in "The Language of the Civil War," wrote that it meant you had to create your own shelter or die.

The first use of the phrase in song that I can find is in minstrel shows in 1856.

Additions, anyone?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Feb 14 - 12:59 PM

Lyr. Add: ROOT HOG AND DIE
Woody Guthhrie

Root hog and die, friend, root hog and die,
Gotta get to Boston, root hog and die.
Sacco and Vanzetti die at sundown tonight,
So I've got to get to Boston, root hog and die.

Train wheel can roll me, cushions can ride,
Ships on the oceans, planes in the skies,
Storms they can come, Lord, flood waters rise,
But I've got to get to Boston, root hog and die.

Niccola Sacco, a shoe factory hand,
Bartolomo (sic)Vanzetti, a trade union man,
Judge Webster Thayer swore they'll die,
But I've got to get to Boston, 'fore sundown tonight.

I might walk around, an' I might roll or fly,
Walkin' down this road shoulder, tears in my eyes.
They never done a wrong in their lives,
But Judge Webster Thayer says they must die.

Well, some come to Boston to see all the sights,
Some come to Boston to drink and to fight,
Sacco and Vanzetti told the workers, "Organize,"
So Judge Webster Thayer says they must die.

Oh, Mr. Wagon Driver, please let me ride,
That's a nice-pacin' team that you have here all right.
Did you ever hear such a thing in your life?
Judge Webster Thayer killin' two men tonight.

Hey, Mr. Engineer, lemme ride your train,
Throw in your coal and steam up your steam,
If I can't ride the shack, please lemme ride the blind,
Got to get to Boston 'fore sundown tonight,

Album "Sacco and Vanzetti," 1960.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Feb 14 - 01:09 PM

Sacco and Vanzetti were anarchists who were convicted of murdering two men during the robbery of a shoe factory. They were convicted by a jury.
Ballistics and evidence of the men being elsewhere were cited in appeals. The robbery took place in 1920, but the death sentence was not carried out until 1927.
The case generated much controversy. In 1977, Governor Dukakis of Massachusetts declared their innocence.

See Wikipedia article for details.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 12:09 PM

Lyr. Add: ROOT HOG OR DIE (Bill Jackson)
Arvin, CA, 1941 (Voices from the Dust Bowl)

Landed in Californy
In the year of Thirty-six
Didn't have no money
And in an awful fix
Didn't have no money
My victuals for to buy
Wasn't no use in runnin', boy,
It's root hog or die.

It seems to me that there should be other songs based on Root Hog or Die from the Dust Bowl years.

American Memory.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Root, Hog, or Die; versions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 12:36 PM

Lyr. Add: OUT FOR ONCE
Air: Root Hog or Die

Come listen to my story, young men and ladies fair,
Of slang terms and phrases, I hope you'll all beware,
But if you'll disregard the advice I give you here,
You'll find, before you think of it, you're "Out for Once" my dear.
2
To young girls especially this free advice I send,
Let them be particular in making a new friend,
We know it is so pleasant, a nice Beau to have near, But should the man be married, you're "Out for Once" my dear.
3
Young men, before they're Twenty, will love the pretty girls,
With hoops, rings and flounces, and black or flaxen curls,
Then courting in the twilight how happy they appear,
When the darling ducky's mammy should step "Out for Once" my dear.
4
Young men should all be cautious, a girl's true love to gain,
Don't always praise or flatter, else she soon will be quite vain,
She'll get too proud to speak to you, she cannot bear you near,
She'll have another beau, and then you're "Out for Once" my dear.
5
Young girls with prudent mothers, be careful what you do,
And if a young man courts you, find out if he is true,
But if tour Ma be present, you've little harm to fear,
He can't write underneath the clock, "Out for Once" my dear.
6
Now all who read these verses, a word I have for you,
If you are disappointed, pray do not look so blue,
If you expected something else from what I've written here,
I tell you very plainly you're "Out for Once," my dear.

H. De Marsan, Publisher, New York. Later 19th C.

American Memory.


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