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Rocking the Cradle

DigiTrad:
ROCKIN` THE CRADLE
ROCKING THE CRADLE
SPORTING BACHELORS
WHEN I WAS A YOUNG MAN


Related threads:
Chord Req: Town of Kiandra (27)
Lyr Req: Old Man's Lament (B Sainte-Marie?) (7)
Lyr Req: Rocking the baby to sleep (11)
Lyr Req: Cuckolded lullaby (14)
Rockin The Cradle vs The Wee One (11)


Alan of Oz 05 Jun 97 - 12:13 PM
Susan of DT 12 Jun 97 - 08:08 PM
Andy Geliher 29 Aug 97 - 05:39 AM
dick greenhaus 29 Aug 97 - 01:03 PM
Joe Offer 30 Aug 97 - 02:03 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jun 11 - 05:45 PM
MGM·Lion 08 Jun 11 - 05:45 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Jun 11 - 05:48 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 08 Jun 11 - 06:08 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Jun 11 - 06:05 PM
Steve Gardham 08 Jun 11 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,warren fahey 08 Jun 11 - 09:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Jun 11 - 09:36 PM
MGM·Lion 08 Jun 11 - 11:48 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Jun 11 - 12:12 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Jun 11 - 01:35 AM
MGM·Lion 09 Jun 11 - 02:09 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Jun 11 - 02:00 PM
GUEST 09 Jun 11 - 03:56 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Jun 11 - 03:58 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Jun 11 - 04:01 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Jun 11 - 09:16 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Jun 11 - 09:21 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Jun 11 - 09:30 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Jun 11 - 10:56 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Jun 11 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,SteveG 10 Jun 11 - 04:01 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Jun 11 - 05:05 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Jun 11 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Desi C 12 Jun 11 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,mg 12 Jun 11 - 01:08 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jun 11 - 03:55 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Jun 11 - 07:19 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jun 11 - 03:54 PM
MGM·Lion 13 Jun 11 - 06:12 PM
Steve Gardham 14 Jun 11 - 05:53 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 23 Jun 11 - 06:55 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Jun 11 - 04:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Jun 11 - 04:48 PM
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Subject: Rocking The Cradle
From: Alan of Oz
Date: 05 Jun 97 - 12:13 PM

Came across this song in the DT and it looked strange with the town of Ciandra (sic). This is the Aussie version of the song (different tune) and the correct spelling is Kiandra. An alternative title is "The Wee One".

Cheers,

Alan


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Subject: RE: Rocking The Cradle
From: Susan of DT
Date: 12 Jun 97 - 08:08 PM

Thanx Alan. It is hard to get spelling for towns from records.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROCKING THE CRADLE
From: Andy Geliher
Date: 29 Aug 97 - 05:39 AM

At the risk of pre-empting Alice, and in response to Joe's request some lyrics for Rocking the Cradle are here .

AndyG


Rocking The Cradle

It was the other night, sure I chanced to go roving,
Down by the clear river I wandered alone,
I heard an old man making sad lamentation,
About rocking the cradle and the child not his own.

Oh the day, rue the day, Laddie lie easy,
Perhaps your own daddy will never be known,
I'm seein' and sighin' and rocking the cradle,
And nursin' the babbie that's none of my own.
When first that I married your inconstant mother,
I thought myself happy to be blessed with a wife,
But for my misfortune, sure I was mistaken,
She proved both a curse and a plague on my life.

Every night she goes out on the Ran-tan,
Leaves me here rockin' the cradle alone,
The innocent Laddie, he calls me his daddy,
But little he knows that he's none of my own.

Come all you young men that's inclined to get married,
Take my advice leave the women alone,
For by the Lord Harry, if ever you marry,
They'll give you a babbie and swear it's your own.


Trad: Irish ?
Steve Mayne


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 29 Aug 97 - 01:03 PM

They're also in the database. Not a bad place to look first.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Aug 97 - 02:03 AM

Ah, yes, and there are two versions and a parody in the database. Oh, fer dumb.
-Joe Offer, still learning-


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROCKING THE CRADLE
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 05:45 PM

Lyr. Add: Rocking the Cradle
Bodleian Collection

As I roved out on a fine summer morning
Down by a clear river I walked alone
I heard a man making a most sad lamentation
And this he began to make his sad moan.

Chorus-
Crying ochone that I ever was married
Leaves me in sorrow alas to bemoan
Weeping, wealing and rocking the cradle
Pleasing the child that is none of my own.
2
I listen awhile to his sad lamentation
Perhaps that his story might be my own
So fondly he hugged and dandled the baby
And thus he began to make a sad moan.
3
When first I met with your inconstant mother
I thought myself happy and blessed with a wife
But to my relexation sure I soon was mistaken
She was a torture and plague to my life.
4
My wife comes in, in the heel of the evening
She says to her concert the kettle put down
For she sits to her table, and to tea drinking
Saying you old cuckold rock the child round.
5
Every evening 'tis true she walks with her bullies
And leaves me the cradle to rock all alone
The innocent baby it calls me its dady
But little it knows its none of my own.
6
If I was single once more to my glory
No element of pleasure would e'er me invoke
I'd rather be a slave in wild Guinea
Then to any drunkard or deceit be a cloak.
7
So now to conclude and to finish my story
All men that are single ne'er take a wife
For if you do they will surely torment you
Likewise be a torture all the days of your life.
8
Crying ochon that I ever was married
Leaves me in sorrow alas to bemoan
Hush a-by baby be still and be easy
I fear that your father will never be known.

Nugent, J. F. & Co. (Dublin) between 1850 and 1899, a.o.
Bodleian Collection, 2806 b.9(282), Harding B 19(65) and 2806 c.15(202).

Sings easily to the same tune as "Streets of Laredo," etc.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 05:45 AM

On none of the threads re this song [it has even just cropped up on the Brownskin Girl thread also] that I have so far managed to access have I found the suggestion of an ancient source of this song being that, supposedly ~~

~~ the "Old Man" was Joseph, the baby was the Infant Jesus ~~ who was, indeed, according to Holy Writ, "none of his own". I remember this suggestion being made many years ago [late 1950s], IIRC by Peter Kennedy at a monthly EFDSS Sunday afternoon singaround at C#Hse, and repeated in various other venues by Sandy Paton; but I might have misremembered that.

Has anyone else come across this anywhere as a possible interpretation of this song's origins? It sounds a bit fanciful to me, but with just enough of a crazy sort of analogical sense to suggest there might just possibly be something in it.

Any comment or enlightenment from anyone?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 05:48 AM

... or it might have been Seamus Ennis, who used sometimes to come to those gatherings, and certainly often sang this song.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 06:08 AM

Yes, MtheGM, it did crop up on the "Brownskin Girl" thread- I was asking about a West Indian version. Does anyone know about a West Indian version? About it being a religious song, most threads suggest that it "goes back to the Erse "Christ Child Lullaby", so your idea may have something to it.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 06:05 PM

Seamus Ennis sang "Christ Child Lullaby," an abbreviated and simplified translation of a Gaelic song written by Father Ranald Rankin, Outer Hebrides, who emigrated to Australia in 1855.
"Taladh Chriosta." Originally 29 verses and a longer title.

No relation of this hymn to either "Rocking the Cradle" or to Brownskin Girl."


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 06:52 PM

Michael, shame on you for even contemplating this sort of mushy scholarship! This strikes me as a good example of the worst sort of fakelore.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: GUEST,warren fahey
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 09:11 PM

The Australian version was collected from Sally Sloane who called it The Wee One. A L Lloyd fashioned his own version as The Young Man From Kiandra (it's a small village in the Snowy Mountains of NSW). I recorded it as The Young Man from Nerandra (another NSW country town). see iTunes for sample.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WEE ONE
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 09:36 PM

Thanks, Warren, for reminding me that I might have the Australian version. It is in John Meredith & Hugh Anderson, 1967 and reprints, Folk Songs of Australia, Ure Smith.

Lyr. Add: The Wee One

I am a young man cut down in my blossom,
I married a young girl to comfort my home.
She goes out and she leaves me
And falsely deceives me
And leaves me a wee one that ne'er was my own.

Oh, dear, oh, the day that I got married,
I wish I were single again.
With my weeping and wailing
And rocking the cradle
And nursing a wee one that ne'er is my own.

While I'm at work, my wife's on the rantan,
On the rantan with another young man.
She goes out and she leaves me
And falsely deceives me
And leaves me a wee one that ne'er is my own.
Oh, dear, oh, etc.

All you young men that is fond of the lassies
Take my advice, leave those flash girls alone,
For by the Lord Harry
If one you should marry,
They'll bring you a wee one that ne'er is your own.
Oh, dear, oh, etc.

Pp. 168-169, with brief musical score.

"The song was learned [by Sally Sloan] from Bob Vaughan, of Aberdeen, New South Wales.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Jun 11 - 11:48 PM

As I said, Steve, it sounds somewhat fanciful [i.e. "fakelorish"] to me too. I was just trying to recall whom I had heard it from, and whether anyone else had come across the suggestion. Someone on here might just have been at that C#Hse session in 1957/8 & heard Peter Kennedy or Seamus Ennis; or known Sandy Paton too & heard it from him [he was I recall much intrigued by the suggestion, I think in the same 'dubious but hmm just maybe' way as me] ~~ hope you don't think of any of those as fakelorists; a dangerous assertion to make on Mudcat, I should think...

So, as my cousin Michael Winner sez in a commercial, calm down, dear; it's only a fumbling to recover a distant recollection.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 12:12 AM

BTW, have just tracked this down on another early thread --

"The song words come from a long and forked line of songs/parodies/re-works that go all the way back to "The Christ Child Lullaby", in the Erse and, at least as far forward across America as "Get along Little Dogey".-
Bob Bolton, 1998 Thread 'Rocking the cradle v The Wee One' July 1998

So get over your fit of galloping prescriptiveness, Steve, & open your mind up a bit. 'Shame on you' right back to you.

Regards

~M~


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 01:35 AM

MtheGM, what about Q's post of the "Christ Child Lullaby" from the Hebrides? Or is there another song called "Christ Child Lullaby?"


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 02:09 AM

Not sure, Morwen. My comments are reminiscent/speculative. Not sure what poor old Steve is getting his knickers in such a twist about: see my last two posts.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 02:00 PM

The two are the same. The "Erse' (unless referring to 19th C. Gaelic)is incorrect or speculation without foundation.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 03:56 PM

Apologies if it came across as a serious comment, Michael. I should perhaps have added 'LOL'.

I think there's an article of mine on Mustrad on the history and evolution of the 'Rocking the Cradle' songs, but as a genre 'cuckoldry ballads' are numerous and to try to relate them to the religious story to me sounds like cloud cuckoo land but if anyone can provide any sort of feasible link I'm all ears.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 03:58 PM

Almost certainly so, Q ~~ but that not the view of those that I recall from 1958 as instanced above [names like Peter Kennedy, Seamus Ennis, Sandy Paton]; nor of Bob Bolton in post from 1998 I copied above. I simply ask if anyone else knows more of this theme. Where can Steve Gardham, who purports to know so much better that he regards it as shameful even to raise the topic, have got to?, I ask myself.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 04:01 PM

Why, I seem to hyave crossposted with him, indeed ~~ assuming him to be above Guest. Oh, well then; LoL right back 2U!

Not too sure of Cloud Cuckooland, tho: cuckoldry common enough indeed; but "a baby that is none of one's own" ~~ hmm! Suggestive?


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 09:16 PM

Can anyone give a link to the Mustrad article?


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 09:21 PM

never mind. I found the article.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BROWN SKIN GIRL (Lord Invader)
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 09:30 PM

Pretty interesting article, Steve. I knew there had to be nothing relating this song to Jesus- there is nothing in the hymn about caring for a baby that isn't the parent's. I'll add a similar song which although unrelated has a reversed theme:

Brown Skin Girl
(Lord Invader)

1. What's wrong with you, Miss Ivy, girl?
Why are you trying to trap me with that baby?
What's wrong with you, Miss Ivy, girl?
Why are you trying to trap me with that baby?
We only got friendly in September,
And the baby was born in November.

Girl you can't fool me like that,
Tell me how a monkey can make a cat!
(So we singin' bout)

Cho: Brown skin girl, stay home and mind baby,
Brown skin girl, stay home and mind baby.
I'm going away on a sailing boat,
And if I don't come back
Stay home and mind baby

2. Now this is something that a blind can see,
That the baby ain't belong to me,
You know that I am a fellow with a funny face,
And the baby don't belong to the Negro race.
If she go to America,
She compelled to find the right father.
So girl, don't worry with me,
You can't tie me up with that blue-eyed baby.
(chorus)

3. Yes, Ivy, girl, you made an error,
To be in love with that Yankee feller.
You thought he really come here to live,
It is better you had met a native.
You said they come here for ninety-nine years,
And they leave you with that baby shedding tears,
And now you want me to pay the tax,
Go cut down the tree where you grind your axe.
(Chorus)


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 10:56 PM

I know it as I am a young man from the town of Kiandra..

almost same words as Australian version. I heard it was Welsh in origin. I think I got it from an Ian Campbell record.

Now, what is interesting is that Jon Bartlett knows a song that takes off from this and is midway between Town of Kiandra and Whoopi Ti yi ho get along little dogies..it absolutely went into that song..you have to see the song in between to see it though. mg


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 11:01 PM

"I am a young man" is the Australian version.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 04:01 PM

Thanks, Morwen
An interesting relatively modern twist to the tale, and I also like the twist in the tail here. In almost all of the early variants of the tale the cuckold simply rolls over and moans about his lot.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 05:05 PM

Steve, are you referring to the "Brown Skin Girl" lyrics I added? There's something funny about all the British versions. If the man in the song cares so much about the fact that he is caring for a baby that isn't his and complains about it, why doesn't he say something to the woman?


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 04:59 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROCKING THE CRADLE (Ian Campbell Folk Gro
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 07:20 AM

I learned a version of this song from The Ian Campbell Folk Group's first album 'Presenting The Ian Campbell Folk Group' 1964
Not sure I can remember it off the top of my head but here goes

I am a young man from the town of Kianra (?)
I married a young woman for to comfort my home
She goes out and she leaves me and cruelly deceives me
And leaves me with a baby that's none of my own

CHORUS: Oh dear rue the day ever I married
How I wish I was single again
For it's weeping and wailing and rocking the cradle
And rocking a baby that's none of my own

(might be missing a verse here?)

Now all you young men with a fancy to marriage
Be sure to leave all those flash girls alone
She'll go out and she'll leave you, and cruelly deceive you
And leave you with a baby that's none of your own

And CHORUS

I think it was the late John Dunkerly who sang it on the album though I have heard Lorna Campbell sing it too


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 01:08 PM

When I'm at home? work? my wife's on the rantan?
On the rantan with another young man
She goes off and she leaves me and cruely deceives me
And leaves me with a baby that's none of my own


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 03:55 PM

Morwen,
Yes I was referring to your text.

'Why doesn't he say something to the woman?' Why do many women put up with domestic violence? These things do happen. Some cuckoldry ballads are written for fun and others out of a genuine sense of injustice.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 07:19 PM

As a matter of fact, if you want a song that shows a woman that doesn't put up with domestic violence, have a listen to "Stone Cold Dead In De Market." (Then again, you may already heard it).


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 03:54 PM

Then there's also Frankie and Johnny/Albert.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 06:12 PM

In that one, Steve, it is surely infidelity rather than domestic violence that is at issue.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 05:53 PM

Yes, Michael. I was harking back to the OP, but of course Frankie is anything but passive in her response.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 06:55 AM

Refresh. If the first printing of a song with this theme was in the 17th century and has an author listed, does that mean the author of this song is known?


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 04:19 PM

Hi Morwen,
Certainly not. There could be thousands of songs with the same theme but each would have its own separate author. The confusion has arisen over time in that some less discerning scholars sometimes refer to different songs with the same theme as though they were variants of each other. For instance 'The Bramble Briar/Bruton Town/Murdered servantman/Bridgwater Merchant, itself based on the Decameron 'Isabella', was rewritten as 'The Constant Farmer's Son' but they have no text in common, just the plot, and so quite rightly are considered two separate songs.

It is a difficult choice when studying songs if 2 or more songs have material in common yet each has its own autonomy. Personally, whilst taking other factors into account, if 2 songs have 50% of material/text in common I usually count them as variants of each other,
but this can be compounded by hybridisation and overuse of commonplaces.

Another aspect of the 'themed' approach is when over several centuries ballads are rewritten over and over and sometimes use the same tunes and refrains as the ballads they're imitating or being inspired by.


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Subject: RE: Rocking the Cradle
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 04:48 PM

Well-explained, Steve.

Moreover, one must be careful in reading a discussion; careless or non-discerning readers often mistakenly equate "similarity" with "relationship," or take a speculation as fact.


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