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Origins: Hunt / Chase / Shoot the Buffalo

DigiTrad:
BANKS OF THE PLEASANT OHIO
HUNT THE BUFFALO


GUEST,Andrew 17 Oct 00 - 09:42 AM
rabbitrunning 17 Oct 00 - 10:01 AM
radriano 17 Oct 00 - 01:44 PM
radriano 17 Oct 00 - 02:03 PM
mousethief 17 Oct 00 - 02:14 PM
radriano 17 Oct 00 - 02:58 PM
mousethief 17 Oct 00 - 03:05 PM
radriano 17 Oct 00 - 03:41 PM
MartinRyan 17 Oct 00 - 06:56 PM
radriano 18 Oct 00 - 01:10 PM
radriano 19 Oct 00 - 07:36 PM
radriano 20 Oct 00 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Andrew 25 Oct 00 - 05:23 PM
radriano 26 Oct 00 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Andrew 09 Mar 01 - 08:22 PM
Gene 10 Mar 01 - 08:17 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Mar 01 - 08:22 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 02 - 11:08 PM
Louie Roy 19 Jul 02 - 10:50 PM
masato sakurai 20 Jul 02 - 03:47 AM
masato sakurai 20 Jul 02 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Jon 22 Dec 16 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Pat Sheridan (Press Gang, Garland and Warp F 14 May 18 - 12:09 PM
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Subject: Shoot the Buffalo
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 09:42 AM

I'm looking for tune and lyrics for Shoot the Buffalo

The chorus goes:

Oh we'll shoot the buffalo We'll shoot the buffalo We'll ramble in the canebrake And we'll shoot the buffalo.

Any help appreciated, Andrew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 10:01 AM

Well, I didn't find the lyrics, but there seem to be a couple of CD's with it out there, so you can use the "help the mudcat" link to one of the on-line sellers and probably find it.

And I found one website with a Square Dance move called "Shoot the Buffalo"... interesting!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: radriano
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 01:44 PM

I know a version called "Chase the Buffalo." Different song, though, because "canebrake" isn't in it. Lemme look it up.


Radriano


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Subject: Lyr Add: HUNT THE BUFFALO
From: radriano
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 02:03 PM

Andrew, there is one version of this song in Digitrad. Man, I've got to learn the blue clicky thing business but until I do, here's the version in the database:

HUNT THE BUFFALO

Come all you brisk young fellows, who have a mind to roam,
Unto some foreign country, a long way from home,
Unto some foreign country, a long with me to go,
And we'll settle on the banks of the lovely Ohio.

cho: Sweet and shady groves!
Through the wild woods we'll wander and we'll hunt the buffalo,
And we'll hunt the buffalo,
Thro' the wild woods we'll wander and we'll hunt the buffalo!

Come all ye pretty fair maids, and spin us some yarn
To make us some nice clothing, to keep ourselves warm;
For you can knit and sew, my loves, while we do reap and mow
When we settle on the banks of the lovely Ohio.

There are fishes in the river just fitted for our use
There's tall and lofty sugar cane that yields us some juice;
There is all kind of game, my boys, beside the buck and doe,
When we settle on the banks of the lovely Ohio.

From Treasury of Mississippi River Folklore, Botkin


Radriano


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: mousethief
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 02:14 PM

For some reason I thought "shoot the buffalo" was a euphemism for sitting around and talking.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: radriano
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 02:58 PM

That's shoot the bull, mousethief.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: mousethief
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 03:05 PM

I know that. I just thought "shoot the buffalo" meant the same thing.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: radriano
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 03:41 PM

I knew you know that, I just didn't think you knew that I knew you knew, you know?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 06:56 PM

Now , what is the Irish version called...? Frank Harte sings it. Aaaagh!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: radriano
Date: 18 Oct 00 - 01:10 PM

Well, I turned the house upside down last night and could not find a copy of "Chase the Buffalo."

I did find a number of lumbering songs that are variants of "Chase the Buffalo" - actually the lumbering songs may have come first. Check out "A Lumbering We Go" which is in the Digitrad collection. It doesn't have a chorus but there is another song called "Once More A-Lumbering Go" which does have a chorus and is very similar in format to "Chase the Buffalo." Since that one is not in Digitrad I post it in it's own thread.


Regards to all,
Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: radriano
Date: 19 Oct 00 - 07:36 PM

Well, I did some snooping through Digitrad. On a whim I searched for "wild woods" and hit pay dirt. There's a song in Digitrad titled "Banks of the Pleasant Ohio" that's very close to a song I used to know which I thought was called "Chase the Buffalo." The song I'm remembering is essentially the verses of "Banks of the Pleasant Ohio" with the chorus of "Hunt the Buffalo."

In fact, you'll notice that most of the verses to "Hunt the Buffalo" end with the line

"And we'll settle on the banks of the lovely Ohio"

To tie it all together, the last line of the third verse in "Banks of the Pleasant Ohio" is

"And we'll range thro' the wild woods and hunt the buffalo"


The song I was remembering has that ugly verse about the "blood-thirsty Indians...we'll march them through the town and deal the fatal blow" which I ended up re-writing.


Regards to all,
Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: radriano
Date: 20 Oct 00 - 02:49 PM

Hey, Andrew

Did you ever get lyrics to what you orginally started this thread for?

I've got a lead on someone out my way who supposedly has the words to "Chase the Buffalo" but it may as well turn out to be "Shoot the Buffalo." I'll let you know what I find.


Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 05:23 PM

Thanks Radriano and others,

Nope, never did find the lyrics I'm looking for. One verse goes:

Well the girls will . . . The boys'll plow and hoe. We'll all work together, And we'll shoot the buffalo. Lovely song, can't find it anywhere, might have to buy a CD of cowboy songs.

Andrew


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BUFFALO and THE BANKS OF OHIO
From: radriano
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 11:47 AM

There are a number of version at the Bodleian Library of Broadside Ballads of a song called "The Buffalo"

THE BUFFALO

Come all you young fellows that have a mind to range
Into some foreign country your station for to change
Into some foreign country away from her to go
We lay down on the banks of the pleasant Ohio
We wander thro' the wild woods and chase the Buffalo

There is fishes in the river that's fitting for our use
And fine lofty sugar canes that yield us fine juice
And all sorts of game my boys besides the buck and doe
We lay down on the banks of the pleasant Ohio
We wander thro' the wild woods and chase the Buffalo

Come all you young maidens spin us some yarn
To make us some clothing to keep ourselves warm
For you can card and spin my girls and we can reap and mow
We lay down on the banks of the pleasant Ohio
We wander thro' the wild woods and chase the Buffalo

Supposing these wild Indians should chance to come near
We will unite together our hearts free from care
We will march down into the town my boys and give the fatal blow
We will lay down on the banks of the pleasant Ohio
We wander thro' the wild woods and chase the Buffalo



There is also a much more complete version of "The Banks of Ohio" at the Bodleian site. Some of the words are hard to make out as the bottom of the broadside is badly smudged.:


THE BANKS OF OHIO

Come all you young fellows that have a mind to range
Into some foreign country your stations to change
Into some foreign country we'll altogether go
And we'll settle on the banks of the pleasant Ohio

This land it is good which no one can deny
Besides it is well guarded by the North of America
So come all you young lads that has a mind to go
We will guard you from all dangers on the banks of Ohio

Those wild savage Indians we need not to fear
For we are all united boys our hearts are free from care
We'll advance into their farms and we'll give the fatal blow
We will drive them far away from this pleasant Ohio

This river that murmurs and [empties] to the main
It carries glad tidings down to Old Spain
Where all sorts of grain there's in great plenty of tea do grow
We'll gain the Spanish gold from the south of Mexico

There's all sorts of fishes in the river for your use
Besides the lofty sugar cane which yields us sweet juice
There's all sorts of game, my boys, besides the buck and doe
Through the wild woods wander and hunt the Buffalo

If our girls they need clothing to keep themselves warm
We'll put them to the spinning wheel it will do them no harm
And if they'll card and spin for us for them we'll reap and mow
And we'll fold them in our arms on the pleasant Ohio

Here's adieu to Old England where I have always been
Now I am forced to part in anger but in love I do maintain
Come all you brisk and lively lads that have a mind to go
To enjoy your wives and sweethearts on the pleasant Ohio

You brave English [mechanics?] that labour here in vain
That keeps your wives and children lingering here in pain
For if you will be advised by me along with me to go
We will settle on the banks of the pleasant Ohio


I would guess that "The Banks of Ohio" is the original song


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHOOT THE BUFFALO
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 08:22 PM

I just found these lyrics. It's the same song, but had slightly different (and better) lyrics as I heard it as a child. Anybody remember this? Did Tex Ritter do it, perhaps? I'd like to find the better lyrics, and the tune.

SHOOT THE BUFFALO

Rise you up, my partner dear,
And present to me your hand,
'Cause I know you want to marry
And I'd like to be the man.
And I'll take you out to Texas,
Where I know you want to go,
And we'll rally round the canebrake
And shoot the buffalo.

Chorus:
Shoot the buffalo,
We will shoot the buffalo,
We'll ramble through the canebrake
And shoot the buffalo.

Rise you up, my partner dear,
And present to me your hand,
And we'll take a little journey
To a fair and distant land.
Where the boys will scrap and rassle
And the girls will sit and sew,
And we'll rally round the canebrake
And shoot the buffalo.

Chorus

Well, the buffalo is dead;
We've done shot him in the head,
So let's all form a circle
And we'll have a dance instead.
And the hawk will chase the buzzard,
And the buzzard chase the crow,
And we'll rally round the canebrake
And shoot the buffalo.

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: Gene
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 08:17 PM

Jimmie Driftwood recorded a version of SHOOT THE BUFFALO

will dig it out and post his version later...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 08:22 PM

Does anybody recall the play-party "dance" that this was used for?


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHOOT THE BUFFALO
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 11:08 PM

Lyr. Add: SHOOT THE BUFFALO (DANCE)

"All couples form a ring and dance about the room, singing at the top of their voices. When they come to the third line in each verse they change partners, and then promenade back to their original places in the circle. At some parties, the stanza which begins "We'll Shoot the Buffalo" is used as a chorus, being repeated after each of the succeeding verses."

Rise ye up, my dearest dear,
Present me to your paw,
An' we'll all march together
To the state of Arkansas.

Where the hawk shot the buzzard,
An' the turkey stumped his toe,
We'll rally through the cane-brakes
An' shoot the buffalo.

I had an old saddle,
An' I hung it in the loft,
Along come a cowboy
An' cut the pockets off.

Yes, he cut the pockets off,
He cut the pockets off,
Along come a cowboy
An' cut the pockets off.

The buffalo is dead,
Cause we shot him in the head,
We'll rally through the cane-brakes
An' shoot the buffalo.

Other stanzas:

Rise you up, my dearest dear,
An' present to me your hand,
An' I'll march you in possession
Of a far and distant land.

Where the hawk shot the buzzard,
An' the buzzard shot the crow,
We'll rally through the cane-brakes
An' shoot the buffalo.

A buzzard stumped his toe,
An' a crow ketched a beau,
Rattle up the cane-brake
An' shoot the buffalo.

We'll shoot the buffalo,
And we'll swing the calico,
And we'll travel this world over
And shoot the buffalo.

Al verses from Missouri except the last, which is from Arkansas. Vance Randolph, Ozark Folksongs, vol. 3, # 523, pp. 306-309, with music.
@dance @folksong @playparty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: Louie Roy
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:50 PM

There is a song Shoot The Buffalo that came out on a 78 about 1949 maybe 1950 and I had it at one time and my two oldest boys nearly drove us crazy playing it.I have no idea who recorded it I hated it to the point that I erased it from my mind.I do believe it related to history of when the indians years ago drove the herds of buffalo over the cliff near Helena Montana so they could survive aand have meat and buffalo hides for the long cold winter nights in Montana.Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Shoot the Buffalo
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 03:47 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index: Shoot the Buffalo:

Shoot the Buffalo

DESCRIPTION: Playparty/dance tune: "And it's ladies to the center and it's gents around the row, And we'll rally round the canebrake and shoot the buffalo." Tales of courting and spitting tobacco
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1911 (JAFL 24)
KEYWORDS: playparty dancing animal nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South)) US(Ap,MW,So)
REFERENCES (13 citations):
Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 334, "We'll Chase the Buffalo" (1 text)
Randolph 523, "Shoot the Buffalo" (2 texts plus 4 excerpts, 1 tune)
Hudson 149, pp. 297-298, "Shoot the Buffalo" (1 text)
Fuson, p. 165, "Chase the Buffalo" (1 text)
Cambiaire, p. 143, "Hunting Ballad (We'll Shoot the Buffalo)" (1 text)
SharpAp 262, "Chase the Buffalo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Peters, p. 129, "Rise, My True Love" (1 short text, 1 tune, with some unusual lyrics about "Where Jim Hawkins shot Jim Buzzard, and Jim Buzzard shot Jim Crow"; these may come from some other lost song)
Wolford, pp. 29--30=WolfordRev, p. 225, "Chase the Buffalo" (3 texts)
Lomax-FSUSA 32, "Shoot the Buffalo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 296-297, "Shoot the Buffalo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fife-Cowboy/West 98, "Shoot the Buffalo" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Arnett, p. 96, "Shoot the Buffalo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-MRFolklr, p. 563, "We'll Hunt the Buffalo!" (1 text, 1 tune, with the chorus of "Shoot the Buffalo" and lyrics from "The Lovely Ohio")

Roud #3644
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Hunt the Buffalo
NOTES: Although it is hard to be absolutely sure, and the dating is not precise, there is reason to think that Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) knew this song in the 1840s. According to Stephanie Lovert Stoffel, Lewis Carroll in Wonderland; the Life and Times of Alice and Her Creator, Discoveries/Harry N. Abrams, 1997, p. 16, 'Apparently the Dodgson children had hidden away some sort of time capsule of treasures.... On a block of wood was inscribed, in what appears to be Charles's hand, this evocative verse: "And we'll wander through / the wide world / and chase the buffalo."
What's more, Dodgson made at least two references to buffalo in his later poetry -- in the White Knight's song and in the Mad Gardener's Song in Sylvie and Bruno: "He thought he was a Buffalo Upon the chimney-piece, He looked again, and found it was His Sister's Husband's Niece. 'Unless you leave this house,' he said, 'I'll send for the police!'" (see Derek Hudson, Lewis Carroll, Constable (MacMillan), 1954, p. 38. There are several other items in this "time capsule" which Hudson thinks influenced the "Alice" books, although most of the others are strained. The buffalo song in Sylvie and Bruno is in chapter 6, "THe Magic Locket") - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
File: R523

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2014 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



The Fiddler's Companion: Shoot the Buffalo:

HUNTING THE BUFFALO. AKA and see "Hunting for the Buffalo," "Gonna Go Huntin' for the Buffalo." Old-Time, Breakdown. A Major. Standard. AABB. The melody is apparently based on an old play-party song from the Ozarks, with various titles such as "Shoot the buffalo" and "Gonna Go Huntin' for the Buffalo." Source for notated version: Barb Zavon (Cincinnati, Ohio) via Helga Sermat (Vancouver, B.C.) [Songer]. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; pg. 105. Dorian Discovery DIS-80103, Helicon - "Horizons" (1992. Learned from fiddler Freyda Epstein, Charlottesville, Va.). HPV1, Ramona Jones - "Back Porch Fiddling." Shanachie 6001, Norman Blake - "Just Gimme Somethin' I'm Used To" (1991). Time and Strike #7785, Clyde Curley and Oxymorons - "Old Time Mandolin Music."

SHOOT THE BUFFALO. See "Hunting the Buffalo."

~Masato


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHOOT THE BUFFALO
From: masato sakurai
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 10:20 AM

SHOOT THE BUFFALO

1.
And it's ladies to the center and it's gebts around the row,
And we'll rally round the canebrake and shoot the buffalo.

CHORUS I:
And we'll shoot the buffalo, we'll shoot the buffalo,
We'll rally round the canebrake and shoot the buffalo.

2.
Rise you up, my dearest dear, present to me your hand,
I'll lead you in procession to a far and distant land.

CHORUS II:
And we'll promenade, you know, and we'll promenade, you know,
And we'll all meet together and we'll shoot the buffalo.

3.
Rise you up, my dearest dear, present to me your paw,
I'm sure you've got terbacker, I'd like to have a chaw.

4.
The girls will sit and spin, and the boys will sit and grin,
Rally round the barnyard and chase the old blue hen.

5.
The girls will go to school, the boys will act the fool,
Rally round the barnyard and chase the old gray mule.

6.
The girls will sew and patch, the [boys] will fight and scratch,
And we'll all meet together in the sweet potato patch.

7.
Oh, the hawk shot the buzzard and the buzzard shot the crow,
And we'll rally rtound the canebrake and shoot the buffalo.

(SOURCE: John A. Lomax & Alan Lomax, Best Loved American Folk Songs, Grosset & Dunlop, 1947, p. 103, with music)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hunt / Chase / Shoot the Buffalo
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Dec 16 - 06:38 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins: Hunt / Chase / Shoot the Buffalo
From: GUEST,Pat Sheridan (Press Gang, Garland and Warp F
Date: 14 May 18 - 12:09 PM

The Press Gang Sang it: Chase the Buffalo. The late Tom Crean called the verses.


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