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Lyr Req: Kitty Alone

DigiTrad:
HURRAH, LIE!
WHO'S THE FOOL NOW or MARTIN SAID TO HIS MAN


Related thread:
Kitty Alone -- meaning? (36)


GUEST,Al Secen 05 May 00 - 12:58 PM
wysiwyg 05 May 00 - 01:04 PM
Charlie Baum 05 May 00 - 02:21 PM
Charlie Baum 05 May 00 - 02:31 PM
Charlie Baum 05 May 00 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Matt S 05 May 00 - 02:41 PM
AoifeO 05 May 00 - 03:04 PM
Sandy Paton 05 May 00 - 04:15 PM
Joe Offer 06 May 00 - 03:58 AM
Barbara 06 May 00 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,JackieB 06 May 00 - 04:00 PM
katlaughing 27 Sep 00 - 10:20 PM
Robby 28 Sep 00 - 01:58 PM
katlaughing 28 Sep 00 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 28 Sep 00 - 04:11 PM
katlaughing 30 Sep 00 - 12:52 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 02 - 03:56 PM
Hawker 16 Jul 02 - 04:57 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 02 - 05:14 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 16 Jul 02 - 06:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 02 - 06:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 02 - 08:08 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 17 Jul 02 - 07:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 02 - 08:30 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 17 Jul 02 - 09:27 PM
Mrrzy 18 Jul 02 - 04:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 02 - 04:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 02 - 04:09 PM
Bearheart 28 Apr 04 - 05:30 PM
Charlie Baum 28 Apr 04 - 05:48 PM
Joybell 28 Apr 04 - 07:01 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 28 Apr 04 - 10:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Apr 04 - 11:07 PM
dick greenhaus 29 Apr 04 - 01:37 AM
Bearheart 29 Apr 04 - 02:33 PM
Joybell 29 Apr 04 - 06:47 PM
LindsayInWales 29 Apr 04 - 07:52 PM
michaelr 08 Feb 11 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,CanadaAmanda 24 Nov 13 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 24 Nov 13 - 03:49 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Nov 13 - 05:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Nov 13 - 12:26 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Nov 13 - 09:42 PM
Susan of DT 28 Nov 13 - 07:35 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Nov 13 - 10:48 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Nov 13 - 12:44 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Nov 13 - 01:15 PM
Richard Mellish 28 Nov 13 - 06:13 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Nov 13 - 01:25 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Nov 13 - 01:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Nov 13 - 02:03 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Nov 13 - 04:56 PM
Airymouse 29 Nov 13 - 05:37 PM
Jim McLean 30 Nov 13 - 04:15 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Nov 13 - 11:53 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Dec 13 - 04:03 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Dec 13 - 06:08 AM
Jim McLean 01 Dec 13 - 10:03 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Dec 13 - 02:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Dec 13 - 09:18 PM
Airymouse 02 Dec 13 - 12:37 AM
AmyLove 02 Apr 17 - 05:33 PM
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Subject: Kitty Alone
From: GUEST,Al Secen
Date: 05 May 00 - 12:58 PM

I have a cassette tape of tune used in Beatrix Potter stories. One story, the Tailor of Glocester, contains a tune that is not included in the original text. It appears to be a variant of the "Frog went Courting" tune. I have a guess at the words, but can't be sure. My five year old daughter is desperate to know what's being sung and doesn't trust my interpretation. Can anyone help?

The words as I hear them are:

"There was a frog lived in a well,
kitty alone, kitty alone,
A merry mouse in the mill
Cock me carry, kitty alone, kitty alone."

"The frog he went a wooing ride,
kitty alone, kitty alone,
a sword and buckler by his side,
cock me carry, kitty alone, kitty alone"

"When he was on his high horse set,
kitty alone, kitty alone,
his boots they shone as black as jets
cock me carry, kitty alone, kitty alone"


Am I close to a proper interpretation? They singers seem to have a very heavy cockney accent so I'm just not sure.

Thanks for your help!

Al (al.secen@lmco.com)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 May 00 - 01:04 PM

I've heard Kitty Alone as a refrain on what I recall as a whole different topic. If I can dig up the tape.... And I think the rhythm must be different too..... And I think she's singing, Kitty Alone, Kitty Alone, Kitty Alone and I.... Jenny Armstrong on a fiddle instruction tape??? (Hogeye Music, Evanston, IL, distributor.)

Hey, does that Kitty prowl around Alone through the whole genre like the Whack Fol Diddle fiddles around wherever it can?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 05 May 00 - 02:21 PM

There are at least three versions of "Kitty Alone" I can think of. The "Froggie Went A-Courtin" version noted above in the first post--which can also be found on the Smithsonian Folkways "Mountain Music of Kentucky" and in this diary excerpt form 1798, which certainly means that this version has been around for at least two centuries. (There are many dozens, probably many hundreds, of variants of the "Froggie Went A-Coutrin'" ballad, though F.J. Child ignored it, somehow.

Another version of "Kitty Alone," which I learned from Howie Mitchell on his Folk Legacy recording, associates the refrain with the "Saw a crow flying low/and a cat spinning tow/Way up yonder, above the moon, bluebird sits in a silver spoon." children's rhyme.

Yet another version, with a different tune, gets sung by the likes of Ed Trickett and Dave Para/Cathy Barton.

The refrain sure does get around, but a couple of centuries of folk processing will do that to a good refrain.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 05 May 00 - 02:31 PM

Here's another set of lyrics to Kitty Alone.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FROG'S WEDDING (from Dick Hogan)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 05 May 00 - 02:40 PM

Arrgh! the html went bad. Here it is, a version from Dick Hogan at http://mp3ireland.com/dickhogan/lyrics/The%20Frogs%20Wedding%20lyrics.html:


Now there was a frog lived in a well
With a ring-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me
And a merry mouse lived in a mill
With a ring-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me,

Chorus

Coy-me nero kill-to-car-o
Coy-me nero coy-me
Plim-strin slammer-diddle,
laddle-bull-a-ring-ting
A-ling-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me.

Now this merry frog he caught a snail
With a ring-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me
This merry frog he caught a snail
And rode between his horns and tails
With a ring-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me.

Chorus

Lady mouse, a will you me
Kitty alone, kitty alone
Lady, mouse, a will you marry me
Kitty alone, and I am
Lady mouse, a will you marry me
Ask my uncle rat she said
To my cax-my-carey, duck-in-i-dill,
Kitty alone, and I am.

Uncle rat, will you marry Lady Mouse?
Kitty alone kitty alone
Uncle rat, will you marry Lady Mouse?
Kitty alone, and I am
Uncle rat, will you marry Lady Mouse?
Yes, kind sir, and half my house
To my cax-my-carey, duck-in-i-dill
Kitty alone, and I am.

Lady Mouse, where will the wedding be?
Kitty alone, kitty alone
Lady Mouse, where will the wedding be?
Kitty alone, and I am
Lady Mouse where will the wedding be?
Up in the top of a hollow tree
To my cax-my-carey, duck-in-i-dill
Kitty alone, and I am.

Then the first to come was a great big bear,m-hm
The first to come was a great big bear,
And he filled up the ole armchair, m-hm.
The second to come was a great big snake
And he ate up al the wedding cake, m-hm

Oh wasn`t that a catastrophe, m-hm
Oh wasn`t that a catastrpohe
To happen in the ole oak tree, m-hm.

Then whilst at dinner they all sat
Heigh ho, heigh ho
Then whilst at dinner they all sat
In came the kitten and the cat
With a rowley powely,
gammon and spinach
Heigh ho, said Anthony Rowely.

Well says he; Mister rat, will you give us a song?
Heigh ho, heigh ho
Says he, Mister rat will you give us a song?
And I hope you won`t detain us long
With a rowely powely, gammon and spinach
Heigh ho: said Anthony Rowely.

Then the cat she collared the blooming great rat
Heigh ho, heigh ho
The cat she collared the blooming great rat
And the kitten she collared the poor little mouse
With a rowley powely, gammon and spinach
Heigh ho, said Anthony Rowely


Then this little frog went down the hill
Witha ring-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me
This merry frog went down the hill
Witha ring-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me
Coy-me nero-to-care-o
Coy-me nero coy-me
Plim-strin slammer-diddle, laddle-bull-
a-ring-thing
A-ling-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me

And there he met this little white duck
Witha ring-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me
And there he met this little white duck
Who swallowed him up with a quack,
quack, quack!
And a ring-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me
Coy-me nero kill-to-care-o
Coy-me nero coy-me
Plim-strin slammer-diddle, laddle-bull-a-
ring-thing
A-ling-dum bull-a-dum-a-coy-me.


Copyright:Dick Hogan


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Subject: Lyr Add: KITTY ALONE (Howie Mitchell)
From: GUEST,Matt S
Date: 05 May 00 - 02:41 PM

I also love the Howie Mitchell recording,

Saw a crow flying low... And a cat spinning toe...

Saw a possum in a log... Looking like a big groundhog...

Big ol' owl in a tree... Just as sleepy as he can be...

Way up yonder above the moon... Bluebird sleeps in a silver spoon...

Way up yonder above the sun... Eagle flies when his work is done...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: AoifeO
Date: 05 May 00 - 03:04 PM

The song is also on Malcolm Dalglish and the Ooolites album, "Pleasure" same lyrics as "saw a crow flying low....kitty alone kitty along." This version includes Jenny Armstrongs daughters singing as Ooolites!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 05 May 00 - 04:15 PM

Howie Mitchell added the verse with the "groundhog" reference when he recorded the song for us. This was done in honor of Frank Proffitt, with whom we all exchanged a series of humorous letters suggesting such things as a chain of franchised "groundhog restaurants" (built underground, of course) to take advantage of all the groundhog meat he was wasting when all he wanted was the animal's hide for making fretless-banjo heads.

The song circulated quite widely after Howie introduced it at an early Fox Hollow Festival.

Sandy


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Subject: Lyr Add: KITTY ALONE (from C Mangsen & A Hills)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 May 00 - 03:58 AM

You'll find a nice recording of the song on an album called Never Grow Up, by Anne Hills and Cindy Mangsen. Lots of good stuff on this album.
-Joe Offer-
KITTY ALONE
(as sung by Cindy Mangsen & Anne Hills)

As I came in by Bandyrowe
Kitty alone, kitty alone
Saw a crow flyin’ low
Kitty alone alee
Saw a crow flyin’ low and a cat spinnin’ tow
Kitty alone a lee, rockama-rye-ree

First came in was little John
One shoe off and one shoe on

Way up yonder above the moon
Bluebird nests in a silver spoon

Way up yonder above the sun
Eagle flies when his work is done

Big old owl in a tree
Just as sleepy as he can be


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Barbara
Date: 06 May 00 - 04:30 AM

Do any of these include a sort of throat-clearing noise in the repeating line? I've heard Ed Silverman in SF sing a version with an odd noise in the middle of the "kitty alone, alone a-chm-chm ...[a word or two more, I forget]". Highly entertaining to try to get the sound into the middle of the line, sort of like the African language that includes tongue clicks.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: GUEST,JackieB
Date: 06 May 00 - 04:00 PM

The Frog's Wedding is a Child Ballad, Dick Hogan's CD 'The Wonders Of The World, has three versions of this ballad (of which there are many)within the one song accompanied by The Voice Squad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 00 - 10:20 PM

Joe, thanks for having posted the version from the Cindy Mangsen and Anne Hills CD. It's the first one I am learning from that one. Double thanks. :-)

kat


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FROG IN THE WELL
From: Robby
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 01:58 PM

Alas, I don't know the tune to Kitty Alone. However, the structure of the verses reminds me of a childrens' song I learned, which we called The Frog In The Well. IIRC, the first verse went like this:

There was a frog lived in the well
Heigh Ho, said Rollie.
There was a frog lived in the well
And a merry mouse in the dell
With a rolly polly, cabbage and spinach
And Hi, Sir Anthony Rollie.

Only you who can read notes and perhaps know this one can tell if the two are the same or share the same tune. I would be curious to know if they do.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 03:15 PM

Robby,

If you PM me with an email addy, I could send you a sound file of the tune which goes with the one Joe Offer posted,which I am just learning.

OR, you could join us in HearMe, sometime, and hear one of us sing it. Heck, you could even just tell me what is a convenient time for you and we could meet in there so you could hear it. I could play the cd which has it on it. If you aren't familiar with HearMe, please go look it up on the Mudcat FAQs thread and holler if you have any problems with it. It really is a beautiful tune.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 04:11 PM

Some of the "Kitty Alone" songs above seem to be versions of "Martin said to his man" rather than "Froggie went a courting".

The "Hey ho, say Rowley" version is "The Frog in the cock'd hat" which you can see on the Bodley Ballads website. The song has been around since November of 1580. It's ZN3249 in my broadside ballad index, and you can see the earliest known version on the SCA Minstrel website (in Mudcat's Links) in 'Melismata', 1611.

I counted up traditional texts of it Steve Roud's folksong index (Roud #16) and came up with 425. Some collectors published their texts in more than one place, so there aren't quite that many, but it appears to be one of the best known of folksongs in English. One most often can't tell what the chorus is from Steve Roud's entries, but one can see enough to know that the "Kitty alone" chorus isn't limited to American texts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 12:52 AM

Thanks for the intriguing information, Bruce. It is much appreciated. I find this to be quite a lovely tune; it certainly sticks with me!

kat


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Subject: Lyr Add: KITTY ALONE (Nursery rhyme)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 03:56 PM

Lyr. Add: KITTY ALONE (Nursery rhyme)

Saw a crow a-flying low
Kitty alone, kitty alone.
Saw a crow a-flying low,
Kitty alone, alone.
Saw a crow a-flying low
And a cat a-spinnin' tow.
Rock-a-bye baby bye, rock-a-bye baby bye.

Verse from North Carolina Folklore, The Music of the Folk Songs, vol. 5, p. 82, with music. Coll. 1921-1925.
See earlier posting by Howie Mitchell


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Hawker
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 04:57 PM

On the CD 'Dead Maid's Land' - Traditional Songs From Devon & Cornwall from the collection of Sabine Baring Gould, recorded by the Wren Trust,
http://www.wrentrust.co.uk
It is listed as Frog and Mouse - sleevenotes:"Delighting children and adults alike for centuries, here is the full story of Froggie went a-courting/Anthony Rowleythat Sam Fone of Lewdown gave to Baring Gould. The tune is very complete and beautiful and the song has resonancees of the Elizabethan England in which it was published."

First verse words:
There was a frog lived in a well
Crock-a-ma daisy, Kitty alone
There was a frog lived in a well
Kitty alone and I
There was a frog lived in a well,
And a merry mouse that lived in a dell
Crock-a-ma daisy Kitty alone,
Kitty alone and I

can transpose rest if required....... Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 05:14 PM

Hawker- Lucy please give us the rest of it. A lot of fun comparing the variants. Some came across to North America, some did not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 06:10 PM

Joe Offer- hello! You've been about as scarce as I have, here. Welcome back. The version used by Cindy and Ann seems to be the one I have sung much in the past. At least the first two verses are. The use of the word "Bandyrowe" is mine, and the verse about "little Jon" is mine...when I was rocking my little boys, I made up a verse for each:

Next come in was little Jon
Kitty alone, kitty alone,
Next come in was little Jon
Kitty alone-alye,
Next come in was little Jon,
One shoe off and one shoe on!
Kitty alone-alye, rocka-ma-rye-ree.

Next come in was little Pete
Kitty alone, kitty alone,
Next come in was little Pete
Kitty alone-alye,
Next come in was little Pete,
Fixin around to go to sleep!
Kitty alone-alye, rocka-ma-rye-ree.

"Fixin around to go to sleep" refers back to an earlier verse about two little ants, "Fixin around to have a dance," so Pete's verse would end the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 06:53 PM

But why Kitty?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 08:08 AM

And there's another fine variant, written by Leslie Haworth, a fruit farmer from Cheshire, which is in the DT, though without any mention of Leslie Haworth. The Spinners used to sing it.

The chorus is

Here's to Cheshire, here's to Cheese
here's to the pears and the apple trees
and here's to the lovely strawberries
Ding! Dang! Dong! go the Wedding Bells

And the rest of it is here. As they nearly say in the old songs "If you want any more, you can find it yourself." But Kitty has gone missing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 07:02 PM

"Kitty" probably because it's good song-poetry, rings well, or however said. Perhaps she was a kittycat? Or maybe the first person who ever sang that refrain was rocking a little person named "Kitty." Does it matter? My sister Kitty used to love to sing it because that was her name...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 08:30 PM

And your Mudcat name is pretty close too isn't it?

No, it doesn't matter, but it's good to know, and sometimes the Mudcat can come up with the most surprising stories about stuff like that. I love the name, which is why we called our daughter Kitty, many years ago.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY FOOL (trad. Ozarks)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 09:27 PM

A number of songs are put into the pile with "Martin Said to His Man," in which animals perform unlikely activities. See The Traditional Ballad Index. Included are Kitty Alone, Johnny Fool, Hurrah, Lie!, The Bed-time Song, Who's the Fool Now?, Old Blind Drunk John, and Fooba-Wooba John. The earliest date is 1609 for "Martin Said To His Man" (but registered in 1588).

"I saw a crow flying low," mentioned by Joe Offer, Matt S. and Dicho, appears in "Johnny Fool," Randolph vol. 3, pp. 200-201. A few verses:

I saw a crow flying low,
Hooey, hooey, hooey, hooey,
I saw a crow flying low,
Hooey, hooey, John.
I saw a crow flying low,
It was eight miles under snow,
It was the last time
For old blind Joe

I saw a louse chase a mouse, etc.
From the kitchen to the house, etc.

I saw a sow weaving silk, etc.
And her pigs were stripping milk, etc.,

I saw a flea wade the sea, etc.
And it struck him to the knee, etc.

Also, in another variant:
I saw a sow weavin' silk,
While six pigs was churnin' milk,
Johnny Fool, Johnny Fool.

Saw two geese makin' cheese,
One would hold and the other would squeeze, etc.

Saw a mule teachin' school,
To the bullfrogs in the pool, etc.

These songs seem to depart pretty far from the "Kitty Alone" group.
I couldn't find lyrics for "Martin Said To His Man."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 04:03 PM

Sounds a lot like Sing Song Kitty Kitche Kime-O, or however you spell that... it's in the Trad, I think, but I can't get the search function to work right now. There was a frog lived in the spring ... he was so hoarse he could not sing...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 04:09 PM

It occurred to me that it could go back to making a frog sound, if the Kitty was pronounced more like Kirry, which it would be in some places.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 04:09 PM

It occurred to me that it could go back to making a frog sound, if the Kitty was pronounced more like Kirry, which it would be in some places.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Bearheart
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 05:30 PM

I was doing a search for this song and found this thread, but the version I'm looking for is the one recorded by Altan and also by Danu.
The frog is never mentioned in their versions, but it is clearly the the courting song.
The chorus is the part I need.
First verse goes:

Uncle Rat went out to ride
Kitty alone, kitty alone
Uncle Rat went out to ride
Kitty alone and I
Uncle Rat went out to ride
Sword and buckle by his side
(to me cax ma kerry ..... can't really make out any of this chorus!)

Other verses:
Lady Mouse will you marry me
Ask my Uncle Rat said she

Uncle Rat will I marry Lady Mouse
Yes kind sir and half my house

Lady Mouse where will the wedding be
Ask my Uncle Rat said she

Uncle Rat where will the wedding be
Up at the top of a holly tree.

Any help would be appreciated.
Bekki


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Subject: Lyr Add: UNCLE RAT (from Altan)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 05:48 PM

From Altan's website at http://www.altan.ie/theblueidol/track2.htm:

Uncle Rat: song
Trad. arr. Ní Mhaonaigh, Curran, Kelly, Byrne, Tourish

This funny little ditty was learned from the singing of the great Elizabeth
Cronin of Ballyvourney, County Cork. There are many variants on this theme ("The Frog's Wedding", "Froggie went a-courting") and it is still sung in many parts of the English-speaking world. A version of the song was first published in "The Complaynt of Scotland" in 1549, making it very old indeed!

Uncle Rat went out to ride,
Kitty alone Kitty alone,
Uncle Rat went out to ride,
Kitty alone and I.
Uncle Rat went out to ride,
Sword and buckle by his side,
Ma cax macari duck and a dil,
Kitty alone and I.

Lady Mouse, will marry me?
Kitty alone Kitty alone,
Lady Mouse will marry me?
Kitty alone and I.
Lady Mouse will marry me?
Ask my uncle Rat, says she,
Ma cax macari duck and a dil,
Kitty alone and I.

Uncle Rat, will you marry Lady Mouse?
Kitty alone Kitty alone,
Uncle Rat will you marry Lady Mouse?
Kitty alone and I.
Uncle Rat will you marry Lady Mouse?
Yes, kind sir, and half my house,
Ma cax macari duck and a dil,
Kitty alone and I.

Lady Mouse, where will the wedding be?
Kitty alone Kitty alone,
Lady Mouse, where will the wedding be?
Kitty alone and I.
Lady Mouse, where will the wedding be?
Ask my Uncle Rat, says she,
Ma cax macari duck and a dil,
Kitty alone and I.

Uncle Rat, where will the wedding be?
Kitty alone Kitty alone,
Uncle Rat, where will the wedding be?
Kitty alone and I.
Uncle Rat, where will the wedding be?
Up at the top of a holly tree,
Ma cax macari duck and a dil,
Kitty alone and I


Additional musicians:

Jim Higgins.....................................bodhrán
James Blennerhassett.......................bass


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Joybell
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 07:01 PM

Here in Australia, during the 1860s, a performer I've been studying sang a song he called "Jenny Alone and I". "Froggy Went a-courtin'" was particularly popular at the time as sung by Sam Cowell. Has anyone found a version of "Kitty Alone" with Jenny substituted for the name? I'd be very interested in a link. Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 10:49 PM

Charlie, Mrs. Cronin sang the song for me in 1952, and definitely it was "Mister Frog went out to ride..." and he was the one courting Mistress Mouse. "Ask my Uncle Rat, says she," comes later, and it's Uncle Rat who makes the wedding. So someone has got the song all mixed up- is that the folk process? Maybe so!

Anyway, we got the song again later from Seamus Ennis, and it now reposes in our Archive at the James Hardiman Library in Galway. Seamus also got it from Elizabeth Cronin, as he and Peter Kennedy visited her a year or two earlier. Seamus' song goes like this:

Mister Frog went out to ride,
Kitty alone, Kitty alone;
Mister Frog went out to ride,
Kittle alone and I.
Mister Frog went out to ride,
Sword and buckles by his side-
To me tat, me tear, me ditt'n O dill,
Kitty alone and I!(tear is pronounced tare, as in "tear your clothes"

It's a lovely lilting tune. Makes one want to skip, and I bet many a child has done so when singing it!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 11:07 PM

Not pertinent, but 'Jenny alone' reminds me of a line from Burns- "Where are the Joys?"
A' that has caused the wreck in my bosom
Is Jenny, fair Jenny alone!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 01:37 AM

MacColl sang (on Matching Songs_

There lived a puggie in the well
   Kitty alone, kitty alone
There lived a puggie in the well
   Kitty alone and i
There lived a puggie in the well
And a moosie in the mill
   Tip ma lay-ley, count 'em down
   Kitty alone and I


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Bearheart
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 02:33 PM

Thank you!
Bekki


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Joybell
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 06:47 PM

Q, Thank you. Might be a trail worth following. If I don't return I'll be lost in the 19th Century somewhere. "Where is the Joy?" They'll say. Joy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: LindsayInWales
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:52 PM

the only place I have ever heard the song is on the video of Beatrix Potter's "The Tailor of Gloucester"


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Subject: Lyr Add: Tidy Ann
From: michaelr
Date: 08 Feb 11 - 07:40 PM

From the album Idir an Da Sholas by Mighread and Triona Ni Dhomhnaill (Hummingbird, 1999)

There was a frog lived in a well
Fall aye linkum laddie
And a mouse that kept him ill
Tidy Ann, tidy Ann, ditherum di dum dandy

One day says the frog, I'm going to court
With my shoes as black as soot

The horse he rode was a big black snail
Saddle and bridle in under his tail

Frog rode up to the mouse's hole
Rapped the door stout and bold

Arrah missie mouse are you in?
Yes I am, I sit and spin

Arrah missie mouse will you wed?
Will you come into my bed?

Now uncle rat is not at home
Without his leave I'll marry none

Uncle rat he then came down
In his silk and muslin gown

Bring in the table til we dine
Change a farthing and bring in wine

Just as the talk was getting slack
In walked a kittling and a cat

Cat seized uncle by the crown
Kittling knocked wee mousie down

Horsey snail rode up the wall
Says the devil is among you all

Frog he then rode round the room
Just like any sporting groom

In came a flock of neighbour's ducks
Soon devoured the backelors up

Now this whole family went to rack
Between the kittling, ducks and cat

(From the singing of Annie McKenzie, Boho, Co. Fermanagh, recorded by Sean Corcoran)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: GUEST,CanadaAmanda
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 03:14 PM

Here to resurrect an old thread I guess! I have been looking for information on a song that has been passed down for generations in my family. The version I learned is obviously some variant of "Kemo Kimo" but we were only taught the chorus and it's similar in some ways but seems to make less sense in English. My grandma said she had heard it was Irish Gaelic, but I can't find anything at all that is exactly like it. Does anyone know of an Irish Gaelic version? I'm starting to think our family has just mixed up the lyrics through the years...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 03:49 PM

There's no Gaelic versions that I ever heard of and I doubt any of the choruses are Gaelic or corruptions of same. Just nonsense syllables, as with many another song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 05:33 PM

Hi Amanda,
Why not post what you can remember and then we will hopefully be able to tell you how the chorus fits into the general stock of variants?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Nov 13 - 12:26 PM

Version collected in Arkansas, Wolf Collection.

Lyr. Add: THE FROG AND THE MOUSE (KITTY ALONE)

There was a frog lived in the well,
Kitty lone, kitty lone,
And a mouse lived in the mill,
Kitty lone and I.
There was a frog lived in the well,
And a mouse lived in the mill.
Rock ma rarey kitty lone, kitty lone and I.

Gentleman frog got up to ride,
Kitty lone, kitty lone,
Gentleman frog got up to ride,
Kitty lone and I.
Gentleman sword got up to ride,
Sword and pistol by his side.
Rock ma rarey kitty lone, kitty lone and I.

He rode till he came to the lady mouse hall,
Kitty lone, kitty lone,
He rode till he came to the lady mouse hall,
Kitty lone and I.
He rode till he came to the lady mouse hall,
There he gave one knock and call.
Rock ma rarey kitty lone, kitty lone and I.

Lady mouse came stepping down....
In her silk and satin gown....

Pray kind miss will you have me....
Answer the question I ask thee....

Oh, kind sir, can't tell you that....
Till I ask my uncle rat.

Uncle rat came stepping home....
Who's been here since I've been gone....

A nice young man with a red coat on....
Long legs, crooked thighs, bald head and big eyes.

Saddle and bridle he hung on the shelf....
If you want any more you can sing it yourself....

Sung by Mrs. Claude Collie. The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection, Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas.
http://web.lyon.edu/wolfcollection/songs/colliefrog1232.html


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FROG AND MOUSE (1810)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Nov 13 - 09:42 PM

This is the oldest version I can find that has the "Kitty alone" refrain.

From Gammer Gurton's Garland by Joseph Ritson (London: R. Triphook, 1810), page 1:


THE FROG AND MOUSE.

There was a frog liv'd in a well,
    Kitty alone, Kitty alone,
There was a frog liv'd in a well,
    Kitty alone and I.
There was a frog liv'd in a well,
And a farce* mouse in a mill,
    Cock me cary, Kitty alone,
    Kitty alone and I.

This frog he would a wooing ride,
    Kitty alone, &c.
This frog he would a wooing ride,
And on a snail he got astride.
    Cock me cary, &c.

He rode till he came to my Lady Mouse hall
    Kitty alone, &c.
He rode till he came to my Lady Mouse hall
And there he did both knock and call,
    Cock me cary, &c.

Quoth he, Miss Mouse, I'm come to thee,
    Kitty alone, &c.
Quoth he, Miss Mouse, I'm come to thee,
To see if thou can fancy me,
    Cock me cary, &c.

Quoth she, answer I'll give you none,
    Kitty alone, &c.
Quoth she, answer I'll give you none,
Until my uncle Rat come home,
    Cock me cary, &c.

And when her uncle Rat came home,
    Kitty alone, &c.
And when he/ uncle Rat came home,
Who's been here since I've been gone?
    Cock me cary, &c.

Sir, there's been a worthy gentleman,
    Kitty alone, &c.
Sir, there's been a worthy gentleman,
That's been here since you've been gone,
    Cock me cary, &c.

This duck she swallow'd him up with a pluck,
    Kitty alone, Kitty alone,
This duck she swallow'd him up with a pluck,
So there's an end of my history book,
    Cock me cary, Kitty alone,
    Kitty alone and I.

* Merry.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Susan of DT
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 07:35 AM

Back in 2000, Jackie B said that Froggie went A-Courting is a Child ballad. It is not. We gave it DT #306 (there are 305 Child ballads), since we think Prof Child should have included it.

Mr Frog
Frog's Wedding
Bull Frog
Ding Dang...Bells
Frog 4
Frog 7
Frog 8
Puddy 1
Puddy 2
Puddy 3


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 10:48 AM

Interesting thought, Susan!

Under what criteria should Child have included it?

It is narrative and it has a long pedigree in somewhat different forms, but so have thousands of other songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 12:44 PM

It is interesting how little change occurred in the "Kitty Alone" version between 1810 and some versions found in the 20th C.
I wonder, did the version Jim Dixon posted also occur in the earlier 1784 booklet, or was it one of the later additions?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 01:15 PM

The 'Hey ho says Roly' version has also changed very little over the centuries. I'd say a lot of the variety experienced in the whole family is mainly down to rewriting and publishing. The strain with the most variety in oral tradition seems to be the 'Rigdum' one with the long tongue-twister chorus.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 06:13 PM

Steve Gardham asked

"Under what criteria should Child have included it?

"It is narrative and it has a long pedigree in somewhat different forms, but so have thousands of other songs."

Child himself never declared definite criteria, possibly changing his mind over the years, and certainly admitting that some of the ballads that he DID include had a very poor claim.

I presume that the thousands that you have in mind are the outpourings of the broadside presses, which Child evidently didn't think much of. But there are surely not that many narrative songs that go back as far as The Frog and the Mouse AND have remained current for so long. Unless he was totally unaware of it, which seems unlikely, there must have been something about it that made him reject it, but it's not obvious what that might have been. Perhaps the anthropomorphising? Some of the ballads that he did include have animals that talk, but not that behave like humans.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Nov 13 - 01:25 PM

'Child himself never declared definite criteria, possibly changing his mind over the years, and certainly admitting that some of the ballads that he DID include had a very poor claim.'

Absolutely, Richard. I'm pretty certain he became more dejected at what he felt obliged to include as he went along. We know he had misgivings about some of the material before he started on ESPB.

There are plenty of ballads that go back at least to the 17th century and have been found recently in oral tradition. I'm giving a presentation on these in a couple of weeks' time in London. I've split them into 3 groups for convenience, well-known folk songs, scarce folk songs, Child Ballads. Child might not have thought very well of broadside ballads but the fact is that the earliest known version of at least a third of them came from a broadside or similar cheap print. In fact most of the Robin Hood ballads only existed in cheap print and have never been known in oral tradition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Nov 13 - 01:26 PM

I ought to add, apologies for thread drift!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Nov 13 - 02:03 PM

Steve, a new thread listing your three groups and members found in oral tradition might be the start of a worthwhile discussion.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Nov 13 - 04:56 PM

I feel a little uncomfortable starting such a thread myself (rather blowing one's own trumpet) but if you want to start one I'll gladly contribute. I will be offline for a while from Monday but I will gladly put lists up with Roud numbers. It would take me too long to list all of the sources and their titles on broadsides but I could easily list the folk songs as they are now. The Child ballads are almost all well documented in Child anyway.
The A list is fairly short though the B list is quite long. It is the A list I will be presenting at the TSF meeting at C# House on the 14th. I haven't started copying the images of the B list yet. I hope to have this done by the TSF meeting at Sheffield in June.

I have Excel spreadsheets of the 3 lists but I don't know how they would copy to Mudcat format.

I ought to also add that the project is only based on folk songs found in oral tradition in England and therefore doesn't cover Scotland, Ireland or America where there are such songs from 17th century English broadsides.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Airymouse
Date: 29 Nov 13 - 05:37 PM

Saw an eagle in the sun
Kitty Alone, Kitty Alone
Saw an eagle in the sun
Kitty Alone am I
Saw an eagle in the sun
Making circles when his work is done
Kitty alone am I
Pull my ring

Off topic: Tailor of Gloucester was my favorite Beatrix Potter story. I recall "no more twist" and "paduasoy." Spell checker is telling me I'm misspelling "paduasoy", but it was on about the second page, and it's a pretty tough word for a six-year old: try it on an adult after you find out how it's really spelled.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Jim McLean
Date: 30 Nov 13 - 04:15 AM

I posted a Scottish version of this some time ago. It was from a recitation I have by Duncan MacRae and was called The Puddock, the Scotish word for a frog. The chorus, I think, was something Cuddy alane. I must try and find the previous posting. (Not the "a Puddock sat by the lochan's brim ....)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Nov 13 - 11:53 AM

There are three "Puddy" (Scottish) versions (Cuddy alone) in the DT. Neither paddock nor Duncan MacRae show up.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 04:03 AM

"earliest known version of at least a third of them came from a broadside or similar cheap print."
Hate to be the elephant in the room (again), but can I point out that the "earliest known versions" are merely those that have made it into print and that there is no evidence whatever to confirm that these originated in print.
After thirty odd years of field research among traditional singers I have come to the unavoidable conclusion that 'the folk' were not only capable of producing songs without the aid of professional song-makers, but that they did so in huge quantities in the form of anonymous local songs which never made it into the national repertoire because of their parochial nature.
Our field work includes a thirty year association and close friendship with a many who spent a section of his youth selling ballad sheets around the fairs and markets of rural Ireland in the 1940s and 50s.
He went to a printer and recited his father's songs or those he'd learned from his Travelling community over the counter - the printer then ran them off in the required number.
As our friend said - "why bother to write songs when there were so many about to just pick out of the air.
Humanity, by their very nature, are natural song-makers and until somebody proves beyond any doubt that our folk songs were the product of the broadside presses and not poetic expressions of everyday life and observation.
Sorry to interrupt, but I find this somewhat illogical drift towards 'broadside origins' more than a little disturbing - not quite ready to empty my shelves of more than a century's worth of folk song scholarship on the say-so of a very-much unproven theory.
Carry on!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 06:08 AM

Cuddy = donkey, also simpleton
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 10:03 AM

The version I have is an EP Scottish Records SR. 4517EP, probably mid seventies.
It a series if recitations by Duncan MacRae, including his well known Wee Cock Sparrow.
His The Frog and the Mouse is very Scottish and has the repeated lines " Cuddy alang, Cuddy alang, cock ma Cary, Cuddy alang, Cuddy alang and I " and "sing kinkum Kerrie con dum down, Cuddy alang and I".
After the wedding the drake takes the frog and the mouse runs up the wall.
There are some lovely scotch lines like "Fye gar busk the bride alang " is Uncle Rat's reply to his neice's suitor meaning "quickly dress the bride for the wedding".
We know a Cuddy in Scotland generally means a horse but in this poem the words are meaningless, adding only to its music and rhythm.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 02:25 PM

Airymouse: I never heard of paduasoy until you mentioned it (or maybe I had forgotten it) and I was sure you had misspelled it, but Project Gutenberg has the text of "The Tailor of Gloucester" on file, and there it is, in the first sentence:
    In the time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets—when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta—there lived a tailor in Gloucester.
I suppose your spell-checker doesn't recognize it (neither does mine) because it's just too obscure a word.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 09:18 PM

paduasoy = peau de soie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: Airymouse
Date: 02 Dec 13 - 12:37 AM

Jim Dixon: What a joy to see the book again thanks to your selecting Project Gutenberg. My copy, I hope, is with my grandchildren. Although Gibson is a precocious reader, he seems more interested in dinosaurs than the rabbits, mice and squirrels that Beatrix Potter wrote about.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kitty Alone
From: AmyLove
Date: 02 Apr 17 - 05:33 PM

Recording of Uncle Rat by Elizabeth Cronin (and the lyrics are exactly as posted by Charlie Baum)

Uncle Rat (Kitty Alone) - Elizabeth Cronin


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