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Pop Goes the Weasel

DigiTrad:
A RIPPING TRIP
LONG AND THIN
POP GOES THE WEASEL
POP GOES THE WEASEL (2)
SARAH JANE.


Related threads:
(origins) Pop Goes the Weasel - Meaning? (92)
Pop Goes The Weasel (13)


Earl 29 Oct 97 - 12:11 AM
Bill in Alabama 29 Oct 97 - 08:16 AM
Bert 29 Oct 97 - 09:01 AM
dani 29 Oct 97 - 10:16 AM
rosebrook 29 Oct 97 - 10:52 AM
Jon W. 29 Oct 97 - 11:01 AM
alison 29 Oct 97 - 09:39 PM
Murray 30 Oct 97 - 04:12 AM
Earl 30 Oct 97 - 05:08 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 30 Oct 97 - 06:37 PM
rich r 30 Oct 97 - 07:13 PM
Royo Klinolio 30 Oct 97 - 11:05 PM
Jerry Friedman 31 Oct 97 - 05:49 PM
Bert 31 Oct 97 - 11:10 PM
Jerry Friedman 05 Nov 97 - 06:47 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 05 Nov 97 - 06:56 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 11 Nov 97 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,CrackerJackLee 30 Oct 11 - 10:17 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Oct 11 - 11:38 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Oct 11 - 11:45 AM
r.padgett 30 Oct 11 - 12:05 PM
Crane Driver 30 Oct 11 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Rhban 28 Oct 16 - 12:52 AM
Jack Campin 28 Oct 16 - 03:29 AM
Nigel Parsons 28 Oct 16 - 04:48 AM
keberoxu 28 Oct 16 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,SEAN O'SHEA. 29 Oct 16 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,padgett 29 Oct 16 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,padgett 29 Oct 16 - 03:00 PM
Mrrzy 20 May 18 - 11:30 PM
keberoxu 22 May 18 - 03:25 PM
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Subject: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Earl
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 12:11 AM

I was watching NYPD Blue and one of the detectives was bothered by the fact that he sang "Pop Goes the Weasel" to his child but had no idea what it meant. It became sort of a running gag and they asked everyone they met what the song meant. In the last scene they sort of resolved it with a fax from the library saying there were many possible interpretations. But they didn't disclose any of them.

I knew Mudcat would have the answer.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 08:16 AM

I am sure that someone will give you a definitive answer before I get a chance to check it out; as I recall, the weasel is the name given to a device which was used in the manufacture of shoes ("All around the cobbler's bench--") back when shoes were made by hand. I can't find a citation in my office at the moment, but I know that I have read an explanation somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Bert
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 09:01 AM

The way I heard it yonks ago a "weasel" is some gadget used for ironing clothes *** and to "pop" is to pawn.

***This makes the "The Cotton Row" line seem more logical although I have also been told that "Cotton Row" was a street in London

When my Dad was a boy they used to sing...

Every time your Mother goes out
The monkey's on the table
Get a stick and Knock him down
Bang goes your umble.

I have never been able to figure out what the last line of that meant either.

Bert :-)


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: dani
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 10:16 AM

I have a copy of GO IN AND OUT THE WINDOW, a gorgeous illustrated songbook that the Metropolitan Museum of Art published. It lists this second verse:

Rufus has the whooping cough, poor Sally has the measles

And that's the way the doctor goes - Pop! goes the weasel!

And the accompanying notes say, "The song evokes a household that remains cheerul in spite of measles and the whooping cough, and a simpler world, long ago, when a needle and a spool of thread cost only a penny each."

Myself, I've thought just the opposite, that these words, and the first verse, evoke a sense of impending doom.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: rosebrook
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 10:52 AM

After watching the show, I just KNEW I'd awaken to a Pop Goes the Weasel thread! Thanks for not letting me down. Actually, I thought Andy Sipowitz would have started the thread....


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Jon W.
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 11:01 AM

Wow. You guys all learned it different than I. I thought it was "All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel..."


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: alison
Date: 29 Oct 97 - 09:39 PM

Hi

Up and down the City Road,

In and out of the Eagle (name of a pub)

that's the way the moey goes...............

didn't see NYPD blues and even if I had I think we're a few series behind, so I don't know if they sang this verse.

slainte

alison


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Subject: Lyr Add: POP GOES THE WEASEL
From: Murray
Date: 30 Oct 97 - 04:12 AM

It's not in the Opies' book of nursery rhymes, oddly enough; but it is included in Baring-Gould, The Annotated Mother Goose, #872:

Up and down the City Road,
In and out of the Eagle,
That's the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel!

Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle,
Mix it up and make it nice,
Pop goes the weasel!

Every night when I go out
The monkey's on the table;
Take a stick and knock it off,
Pop goes the weasel!

They translate *treacle* as "molasses", and explain the weasel as a cobbler's tool of some sort, which would be *popped* or pawned on a Friday to get the money to go up and down the road and in and out the pub. [The word, BTW, is not in the Oxford Dictionary.] That third stanza I don't know; maybe we should get other folks' versions, like Bert's Cotton road etc.I mean, we might find an American [or Transatlantic] version of its own.[RG!! where did you get yours??] There are a few versions in the DT, the Scottish ones contributed by me.-- in which the "theevil" is a stick for stirring porridge.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Earl
Date: 30 Oct 97 - 05:08 PM

I learned it as:

All around the cobbler's bench
The monkey chased the weasel
The monkey thought t'was all in fun
Pop goes the weasel

A penny for a spool of thread
A penny for a needle
That's the way the money goes
Pop goes the weasel

The weasel explanation makes sense but what does the monkey refer to?


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 30 Oct 97 - 06:37 PM

I thought the "weasel" was a tailor's term, referring to the irons that they have attached to long arms that could fold up. (My local tailor has such a device) Neither it nor monkey are in my OED defined as cobbler's or tailor's terms, but I don't have the giant OED.

I thought that The Mulberry Bush was a pub.

"Treacle" is the word Brits use to describe what we North Americans call molasses or blackstrap. ( What the Brits call molasses is apparently something different -- uncrystallized syrup drained from raw sugar)


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Subject: Lyr Add: POP GOES DE WEASEL
From: rich r
Date: 30 Oct 97 - 07:13 PM

I have a feeling that this song may have more tall tales and legends of its origin than facts. Here's a summary of a couple I've found so far.

From: "Folk Songs of Old New England" by Eloise Linscott (1939). She includes "POP" in the country-dance section and gives some instructions for the contra dance. She also says that the dance was an old English singing game and was popular with children back into the 17th century. She does say "the dance" which might only refer to the tune not any lyrics, but she also says "Singing game" in the same sentence which suggests more than just the tune. She said it was introduced to New England as a contra dance and is fairly terse in stating that "the origin is unknown" (So that didn't really clarify things much, did it?)

From: "Popular Songs of Nineteenth-Century America" by Richard Jackson (1976) Jackson supports Linscott by saying that "not a great deal seems to be known about the origins of this famous song" He claims published editions appeared both in England and the US in 1853. The first English edition had no text and was described as an old English dance. The first American edition, published by Berry & Gordon, had a rather unusual text. Jackson reprints an 1859 edition published by S T Gordon which was very similar to the 1853 version. The text contains a mix of comedy verses in dialect typical of the minstrel stage, some satire of English society and politics, some directions for dancing, and some topical references to the temperance movement and the World's Fair. Jackson claims that more familiar versions with the phrase "all around the mulberry bush (cobblers bench et al.) the monkey chased the weasel did not appear until the 20th century.

"POP GOES DE WEASEL" 1859 arranged by Charley Twiggs, published by S. T. Gordon

When de night walks in as black as a sheep
and de hen and her eggs am fast asleep
Den into her nest with a sarpent's creep
Pop! goes de weasel

Oh all de dance dat ebber was plann'd
To galvanize de heel and hand
Dar's none dat moves so gay and grand as
Pop goes the weasel

De lover, when he pants t'rough fear,
To pop de question to his dear
He joins dis dance, den in her ear
Pop goes de weasel.

John Bull tells, in de ole cow's hum
How Uncle Sam used "Uncle Tom"
While he makes some white folks "slaves" at home,
By Pop goes de Weasel

He talks about a friendly trip
To Cuba in a steam war-ship
But Uncle Sam may make him skip
By Pop goes de weasel

He's sending forth his iron hounds
To bark us off de fishin'-grounds
He'd best beware of Freedom's sounds
Ob Pop goes de Weasel

De temperance folks from Souf to Main
Against all liquor spout and strain
But when dey feels and ugly pain
Den Pop goes de Weasel

All New York in rush now whirls
Whar de "World's Fair" its flag unfurls
But de best World's Fair and when our girls
Dance Pop goes de Weasel

Den form two lines as straight as a string
Dance in and out, den three in a ring
Dive under like de duck, and sing
Pop goes de Weasel

By the way the dance instruction in the last verse are compatible with the mopre detailed instructions given by Linscott

rich r


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Royo Klinolio
Date: 30 Oct 97 - 11:05 PM

The father of an old buddy of mine grew up in Tucson & remembers singing, instead of Pop Goes the Weasel, Pan Y Chorizo. ( ie. bread and a southwestern style of homemade hot sasuage)


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 31 Oct 97 - 05:49 PM

I don't know whether this is what you're asking, Bert, but "your umble" is "your 'umble servant", that is, me or I. ("But you'll tumble as your 'umble knows a bit about the Boer/ When they calls me nibs 'the Bore o' Bethnal Green'!") I have no more idea about the monkey in your verse than about the monkey that chased the weasel.

There was a thick-headed Marine
Whose musical sense was not keen.
He said, "It is odd,
But I cannot tell 'God
Save the Weasel' from 'Pop Goes the Queen.'"


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Bert
Date: 31 Oct 97 - 11:10 PM

That's it Jerry, of course.
It's amazing how obvious it is when someone tells you.
The monkey I think is just what it says " a pet monkey"
I sounds like you have a bit of Kipling there in parentheses.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 05 Nov 97 - 06:47 PM

I don't think "You'll tumble..." is Kipling. It's quoted as a music-hall song in one of Michael Moorcock's Cornelius Chronicles, which everybody should read (okay, only people who like that sort of thing).


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 05 Nov 97 - 06:56 PM

The thread has mysteriously re-appeared.

I doubt if there is one correct version of the song, and probably different versions were composed to the well-known tune as occasion warranted. I have heard both the "City Road" version, and the "Mulberry Bush" versions.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 11 Nov 97 - 07:21 PM

An article in yesterday's Toronto Globe and Mail stated that a "weasel" is a kind of tailor's iron, and to "pop" something is to pawn it.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: GUEST,CrackerJackLee
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 10:17 AM

well if it's in the tyrannah stah it must be true...


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 11:38 AM


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 11:45 AM

Sorry ~ don't know how that happened; must have clicked on submit when I hadn't put in anything to submit.

I submit...

Actually: the London version begins Up & down the City Road, which is in the Islington area ~~ Catters might be interested that Liverpool Road, where the famous firm of Crabb's Concertinas was situated, is nearby. The Eagle is certainly a local pub. A weasel I have always understood to be some sort of tailor's iron, but could probably refer to some sort of shoemaker's kit also. Pop is certainly a well-known synonym here for pawn: a pawnshop is generally called, idiomatically, a pop-shop ~ tho not presumably when it stands on a corner in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania!.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 12:05 PM

Pop Goes the Weasel ~ my view is that "Weasel and Flute" is rhyming slang for suit. So Pop is pawn the suit on Monday til pay day Friday and the weekend wear!

Ray
Yes the Weasel is/was a large iron heated in the fire or whatever and used to press among other things, the suit.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Crane Driver
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 12:33 PM

It's usually whistle and flute for suit, but I guess weasel could be a corruption of that.

A 'monkey', by the way, was apparently London slang for a money note - the term originated with the Army in India, where the 500 rupee note had the picture of a monkey on it. The meaning of that verse seems to be that the day's takings are lying on the table, until the young man with his stick 'knocks it off' and goes down the pub.

Makes as much sense as anything, I suppose.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: GUEST,Rhban
Date: 28 Oct 16 - 12:52 AM

When I was a kid, I was told a weasel was a hat - much the same as "beaver", which was, I believe, used in Ireland even in the last century. So "Pop goes the weasel" meant the hat was pawned (again). This seems to go against all the other explanations here, and not only is it the one I have believed all my life, it also make a lot more sense than some of the other far-fetched theories.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Oct 16 - 03:29 AM

Re Bert's post from 19 years ago - "umbles" means offal (liver, kidneys etc) which might sorta make sense in the context.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 28 Oct 16 - 04:48 AM

Weasel for "Whistle & flute" = Suit seems a bit of a stretch.

I was told it was the topcoat which was pawned when times were hard. To be redeemed on payday (normally Friday) in time to be worn for 'best' on Sunday.

For this you'd need the cockney rhyme to be "Weasel & stoat = coat"


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Oct 16 - 02:32 PM

Flanders & Swann, on the Great Train Robbery

Two and a quarter million pounds
Knocked behind the diesel
That's the way the money goes
Stop! Where's the "Weasel"?


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: GUEST,SEAN O'SHEA.
Date: 29 Oct 16 - 02:32 PM

The song is about working in the mill and supplementing wages with poaching activity,leading to transportation.The weasel is a part of the weaving machine which,every thousand or so spins,gave a popping sound.
Apart from the known verses,the song continues..
My mother taught me how to sew,and how to thread the needle,
Every time I pricked my hand,pop goes the weasel.

You may try and try to spin and never make anything regal,
Roll it up and throw it away,pop goes the weasel.

I went hunting with my dog,I knew it wasn't legal,
The warden caught me with the goods,pop goes the weasel.

I swore I'd never hunt nor sport,but the warden looked at my beagle,
You can tell that to the court,pop goes the weasel.

They put me on a transport ship and fed me on black treacle,
Mouldy rice and weevily bread,pop goes the weasel.

So half a pound of tuppeny rice,half a pound of treacle,
That's feeding for a convict girl,pop goes the weasel.


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 29 Oct 16 - 02:53 PM

plausible Sean ~ do you a provenance?

Weasel and Stoat I have also seen ~ rhyming slang for coat of course

Yes Whistle and flute is suit

Rau


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 29 Oct 16 - 03:00 PM

It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 5249.

apologies Sean ~ see above for fuller explanation etc

Pop is still "pawn" though ~ I think!

Ray


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 May 18 - 11:30 PM

Ok, I learned this as All around the mulberry bush, which was the version in today's funnies, but then they went The monkey stopped to pull up his socks. Anybody ever hear it that way? Either the mulberry bush or the socks?


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Subject: RE: Pop Goes the Weasel
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 May 18 - 03:25 PM

Yes, Mrrzy, to the mulberry bush.

You lost me, though, with the monkey and his socks.


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