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Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric

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GROUN'HOG


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Presto 28 Feb 14 - 08:45 AM
GUEST 28 Feb 14 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,gillymor 28 Feb 14 - 09:18 AM
Greg F. 28 Feb 14 - 09:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Feb 14 - 01:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Feb 14 - 03:59 PM
Bonzo3legs 28 Feb 14 - 05:19 PM
Janie 28 Feb 14 - 09:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Mar 14 - 11:54 AM
Lighter 01 Mar 14 - 12:01 PM
Nigel Parsons 01 Mar 14 - 04:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Mar 14 - 07:28 PM
Presto 23 Mar 14 - 11:49 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Presto
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 08:45 AM

One verse of Groundhog goes:

Old Joe Digger, Sam, and Dave (2X)
Went-a hog hunting, hard as they could stave

Does anyone know what "hard as they could stave" means?

presto11(a)verizon.net


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 09:00 AM

From what I have read it's a verb that implies hard work with a definite purpose in mind. Sorta cross between strive and do with great intent.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 09:18 AM

Consider another verse:
Here comes Sal with a 10' pole (2X)
Gonna twist that whistle pig out of his hole etc.


dictionary.com has a number of definitions of stave including to "burst or force a hole in something" and "a rod, stick, pole or the like" both of which might work considering the verse above.
Groundhog is one of my favorite banjo tunes but I've never heard that verse. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 09:20 AM

Dictionary of Americanisms, by John Russell Bartlett. (NY: Bartlett and Welford, 1848)::

TO STAVE. To break a hole in; to break; to burst; as, 'to stave a cask.'--Webster. This is the legitimate use of the verb; but sometimes we make it govern the instrument directly, as in the following example:

I'll stave my fist right through you, and carry you on my elbow, as easily as if you were an empty market-basket.--Neal's Charcoal Sketches.

TO STAVE. To hurry; to press forward.

A president of one of our colleges once said to a graduate at parting, "My son, I want to advise you. Never oppose public opinion. The great world will stave right on!"--Am. Review, June, 1848.

Hiloa! Steve! where are you a staving to? If you're for Wellington, scale up here and I'll give you a ride.--Mrs. Clavers's Forest Life.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 01:08 PM

"stave" is in the first verse of the version in Lomax , "American Ballads and Folk Songs," and this rather long version, collected in KY in 1915, is the one in the DT.

Elizabeth LaPrelle and other singers have continued to use this verse, usually as verse 2.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 03:59 PM

Quite a different version in Randolph; just posted in Groundhog thread 43720.

Groundhog


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 05:19 PM

I've been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet
Had my head stoved in, but I'm still on my feet and I'm still... willin'

Stoved - stave - same root work perhaps?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Janie
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 09:16 PM

That's what I was thinking, Bonzo. Search of definitions reveal similar meanings. Suspect the root is stave - as in stave of a boat hull or barrel. Bend or break a stave and serious structural damage is done. It may be that stoved in represents a past tense expression.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 11:54 AM

Oxford English Dictionary-
   To go with a rush or dash; to drive. An American 'word', first appearing in 1819 in print.
It developed a rather broad set of meanings. Mark Twain spoke of "pedestrians staving by us in a rapid gait..."

It has nothing to do with 'stave' in the sense of bashing, or stave as stave in (stove in).

Now how many of you have used another 'stave', as in he tipped me a stave? (He sang me a song or verse).

And do you know what a stave of a chair is?

I called it an "American word," in the sense it is used in "Ground-hog." which is incorrect, but it is an American use of the word.

Stave is defined under different headings Stave in the OED because a variety of meanings belong to those five letters.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 12:01 PM

"Hurry" or "press forward" seems to work just fine.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 04:01 PM

Lots of these meanings seem to be cross-related.
Stave (also staff) meaning a stick, or walking (fighting) stick, could quickly progress to meaning 'moved quickly' (from someone walking quickly with aid of a stave)
Also to stave in a barrel, presumably need to hit it firmly, with the force concentrated at one point, easier if using a firm walking pole.
"Stave off" (hunger etc.) metaphorical?, keeping something 'at bay' as if by use of a stick?
Staff/stave, lines on paper, looking like 5 sticks, one above the other.

Could 'stave' (in its many forms) be a back-formation of a singular noun? Plural of 'staff' is 'staves'(Like leaf/leaves), singular of staves might then be stave.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 07:28 PM

The OED gives no explanation of the American usage of stave, as in the verse from Ground-hog, but gives several quotations beginning with the one from 1819. None has a plural usage.


(The Merriam Webster Dictionary gives the preferred plural of staff as staffs, with alternate staves.
Ground-hog does not seem to be an old song; not known from the 19th C., when 'staves' probably was preferred.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Meaning of Groundhog lyric
From: Presto
Date: 23 Mar 14 - 11:49 AM

Thanks, all.   I've known this verse for a very long time, and always wondered, though the context sort of gets the message across.    But it's good to know there's an actual acknowledged definition (at least in the OED) that pretty much agrees.


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