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Lyr Req: Way Out West in Kansas

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OVER THERE
THE FAMINE SONG (Praties They Grow Small)
ZAMBOANGA


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Over There (15)
Lyr Req: In Mobile / In Kansas (28)
Lyr Add: Way Out West in Kansas (5)
Lyr Add: In and around Nashville (1)


Whitedog 21 Oct 01 - 06:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 21 Oct 01 - 06:27 PM
Whitedog 22 Oct 01 - 09:47 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 22 Oct 01 - 05:50 PM
Art Thieme 24 Oct 01 - 03:09 PM
Fortunato 24 Oct 01 - 03:22 PM
MMario 24 Oct 01 - 03:35 PM
MMario 24 Oct 01 - 03:56 PM
kendall 24 Oct 01 - 04:18 PM
MMario 24 Oct 01 - 04:22 PM
kendall 24 Oct 01 - 09:39 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Oct 01 - 11:47 PM
Whitedog 13 Nov 01 - 07:50 PM
Stewie 14 Nov 01 - 09:30 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Nov 01 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,Kathy 04 Mar 10 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Mar 10 - 12:28 PM
Artful Codger 04 Mar 10 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Mar 10 - 08:16 PM
GUEST 10 Apr 11 - 03:26 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Apr 11 - 10:46 PM
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Subject: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: Whitedog
Date: 21 Oct 01 - 06:12 PM

My Uncle has been singing a little ditty about the mule that froze to death in the popcorn patch.

I am familiar with this as a folktale, about the mule that saw all the popcorn around him, thought it was snow, and froze to death. But, now I need to know if anyone else has heard this tale being sung? The last line he repeats is: Way out West in Kansas. I am aware there is a song with this title or maybe Way out West in Texas, so wondered if the popcorn song is sung to the same tune.

Again, thanks for any help. judy malone


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Subject: Lyr Add: WAY OUT WEST IN KANSAS
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 21 Oct 01 - 06:27 PM

Hi, Judy:

The version of the song that I know has several verses.
The one that you're remembering is:

The sun's so hot that eggs will hatch
    Way out west in Kansas.
It popped the corn in the popcorn patch
    Way out west in Kansas.
An old mule coming down the path,
Saw the corn and lost his breath.
He thought it was snow and froze to death
    Way out west in Kansas.

The other verses I know are:

Folks don't stay up very late
    Way out west in Kansas.
They roll the sidewalks up at eight
    Way out west in Kansas.
The town's so small that I declare,
You can stand in the old town square,
And knock on every front door there
    Way out west in Kansas.

I knew a man who loved his wife
    Way out west in Kansas.
They must have had a peaceful life
    Way out west in Kansas.
And there's a reason why each night,
They hold each other's hands so tight.
If one lets loose, they start to fight
    Way out west in Kansas.

I knew a man named Cross-Eyed Pat
    Way out west in Kansas.
You can't tell who he's looking at
    Way out west in Kansas.
He cries because he's such a wreck,
And the tears roll down the back of his neck,
And he don't look right to me, by heck,
    Way out west in Kansas.

I knew a man that grew so tall
    Way out west in Kansas,
That if that man should ever fall,
    He'd be out of Kansas.
The town's so small, that I repeat,
He's as long as our Main Street
With the lots turned up for feet
    Way out west in Kansas.


It's been a while since I've sung this song, so I may have changed a word or two here and there. Chalk it up to lousy memory, or more kindly to the "folk process."


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: Whitedog
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 09:47 AM

Thanks Jerry,

My Uncle will sing just a verse or two--just out of the blue—and he gets impatient when he is asked to sing it a second time, so I have learned to grab what I can. He only sang a couple of verses, but I'm glad to know the other verses you provided.

He also sang a little song that went something like this,

I went walking through the graveyard to see folks fine
But when a black cat crossed my path, I changed my mind.
A fool is a fool...
A mule is a mule until he dies.

I missed some of the words on a fool is a fool, but think he was implying even a fool can change his mind about going places (the graveyard) when a mule is a mule and wouldn't. It could be a separate little lyric; I just don't know for sure.

His other song ends with "You can't stop me from dreaming." I am trying to find it, but haven't posted it in a New Thread where all can see it yet. The song was about a man that told his girlfriend/lover that she may not let him kiss her, etc. and she was the boss tonight, but he would win the fight as she couldn't stop him from dreaming.

If you have ever heard any tidbits on the above, please let me know. You seem to have a good collection OR know where to find these obscure songs!!

My Uncle (Poppa) is still in the hospital, but doing a little better. He wants to come home, but the Drs. tell him not until lungs clear up. I am slowly getting all his songs typed up and hope to give him a copy in a couple of days. Way Out West in Kansas Thanks, Way out West in Kansas
Judy Malone


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Oct 01 - 05:50 PM

Hi, Judy: I'll have to refresh my memory and go back to Uncle Dave Macon for lyrics to the song about fools and mules. I never learned the words, so I'm not sure it's the one you're looking for. I'll check it out and get back to you, unless someone else does, first.

I'm sorry to hear about your Uncle. Give him my regards, and tell him that we'll keep you all in prayer..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 03:09 PM

Yhe wind it blew so very strong
Way out west in Kansas,
It blew away the notes to songs,
Way out west in Kansas,
The people all pushed so hard
Against the wind in that there town
That when it stopped -- they all fell down,
Way out west in Kansas.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: Fortunato
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 03:22 PM

Cool verse, Art.


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: MMario
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 03:35 PM

There is a version of Way OUt West in Kansas here attributed to Carson Robinson - 1924

regarding the graveyard/mule one - I found this:
Title: Go 'long, mule.
First Line: I've got a mule, he's such a fool
Chorus: Go 'long mule, don't you roll dem eyes, you can change a fool but a daw gone mule is a mule until he dies
Music by: Creamer, Henry, and Robert King.
Words by:
P/P/D: New York : Shapiro, Bernstein & Co, c1924. Location: SPC, KIRK PS 1923-1929


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: MMario
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 03:56 PM

NWC file ready to send to Joe


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: kendall
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 04:18 PM

I told this tale on the show "On the road with Charles Kuralt" dont think it is one of the funniest though.


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: MMario
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 04:22 PM

kendall - I doubt if you have told your funniest story yet {every time I see you you seem to top the stories you told the last time} - but it's pretty funny.


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: kendall
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 09:39 PM

Well, thank you Mate! Actually, he made up for it with an autographed copy of ON THE ROAD. I miss him, so down to earth and warm.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GO 'LONG MULE (Uncle Dave Macon)
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 11:47 PM

Hi, Judy: Here are the lyrics. I can't figure out one line, as indicated:


GO 'LONG MULE
As sung by Uncle Dave Macon

I've got a mule, he's such a fool
He never pays no heed
I build a fire right under him
And then I [made some speed?].

CHORUS: Oh go 'long mule, don't you roll them eyes
You can change a fool, but a doggone mule
Is a mule until he dies

Oh Jerry Aches and Dottie Paines
Got married on the train
And now they say those Georgie woods
Are filled with aches and pains

I drove right down to the graveyard once
For to see those pals of mine
But when that black man crossed my path
I sure, Lord, changed my mind

I bought some biscuits for my dog
And I laid them on the shelf
I slept so hard I shot my dog
And eat that bread myself

A man way down in Georgia
Pulled his gun on me
But when he fired that second shot
I passed through Tennessee


(If I were singing this song today, I'd change "black man" to "black cat."

Maybe someone else can figure out that last line of the first verse...


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: Whitedog
Date: 13 Nov 01 - 07:50 PM

Thanks for all your help. As usual, you guys have done a wonderful job. I think the Dave Macon song must have been the one that Poppa got most of his lyrics from. I was happy to learn more on the "mule is a mule" and the "going to the gravyard" also. The update is that Poppa fooled everyone and got well enough to come home. Still frail, but at home which none of us ever expected. He may very well live to be 89 on Dec. 17th after all. Main problem, and I know a common one is that he goes back in the past more than dealing with the present. He thinks he needs matches handy to light the kerosene lamp or start a fire when it gets dark. Trying to keep them away from him is a real task, but don't want to find the house on fire. This is the first time I've checked in--in a while---as you can tell, and I was delighted to see all the response. Thanks so very much. I'm sure I'll have another "Poppa" song for you to help me with soon! Thanks to a wonderful group, Judy


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: Stewie
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 09:30 AM

Jerry, I hear the line in question as 'And then I made some speed'. I posted my transcription to the Uncle Dave lyrics thread some time ago with some background info from Paul Oliver's 'Songsters & Saints'.

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Mule froze to death in popcorn patch.
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 05:40 PM

Thanks, Stewie:
I think you've got it! At least it makes complete sense. I read some of the guesses at mumbled lyrics in other songs, and they sound like that's what the singer might be singing, but it doesn't fit the meaning of the verse.

Maybe there should be a thread on most garbled folk song lines. As a matter of fact, just for fun, I think I;'ll throw a line out. My favorite comes from an old high school buddy who used to go around singing "So long, it's Fingers Gunnolia! Thinking the song was about an Italian gangster,I guess. You probably know the song as So Long, it's been good to know ya.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Way Out West in Kansas
From: GUEST,Kathy
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 07:00 AM

My dad taught me a song as a child that he sang during the depression. It is very close to the lyrics of Uncle Dave Macon.

Verse 4 was different. He taught me the following lyrics.
      I bought some biscuits for my dog
      and laid them on the shelf
      Times got so hard, I shot the dog
      and ate them up myself.

   An additonal verse was this one.
       I heard three little birdies sneeze
       Way high up in a tree
       I know why they were sneezing
       They had no BVD's.

    This is the first verse he taught me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Way Out West in Kansas
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 12:28 PM

As a person who lives dangerously close to Kansas, I thank all those who contributed towards 'Way out West in Kansas.' I have gone to YouTube and found it there, much to my amazement.

Art, I liked your verse about the wind. (It's all true, by the way.) However, there's something wrong with the rhyme scheme. Towards the end, you need three lines in a row that rhyme. I have folk processed it some, with these results:

The wind it blows so ve-ry strong
Way out west in Kan-sas,
It blows a-way the notes to songs,
Way out west in Kan-sas,
The peo-ple lean-ing toward the ground,
they buck the wind in my home town.
And when it stops they all fall down.
Way out west in Kan-sas.

=========
I have to say that the verse about the fighting couple does not ring true. I have found rural Kansans to be a pleasant and peaceful bunch, on the whole. Now if it were set in the Ozarks, it might be different...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Way Out West in Kansas
From: Artful Codger
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 04:30 PM

On YouTube, there's an Edison cylinder recording from between 1912 and 1917 of "Way Out West". This puts some question on the attribution of the song to Robison, or at least puts the 1924 origination date earlier--notably, the work is clearly in the public domain.

In that version (leeneia will be relieved to know), the couple verse is particular to a single couple--and we all know at least one such.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Way Out West in Kansas
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 08:16 PM

Oh sure. I was just commenting on the mood of the countryside in general.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Way Out West in Kansas
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 03:26 PM

I would like the words to the song


Way out west in kansas it got so hot the pop corn poped in the popcorn patch._________________________________?
I played in on the old Edason record 80 years ago


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Subject: Lyr Add: WAY OUT WEST IN KANSAS (from Billy Murray
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 10:46 PM

You can hear the following recording at The Internet Archive. I have boldfaced the words that are different from Jerry Rasmussen's version above.


WAY OUT WEST IN KANSAS
As recorded by Billy Murray & Ed Smalle, Victor 19442, 1924.

Folks don't stay out very late,
    Way out west in Kansas.
They take the sidewalks in at eight,
    Way out west in Kansas.
It's some town, by heck, I'll swear.
You can stand in the old town square
And knock on ev'ry front door there,
    Way out west in Kansas.

I know a man that loves his wife,
    Way out west in Kansas.
They must live a peaceful life,
    Way out west in Kansas.
There's a reason why each night
They hold each other's hands so tight.
If one turns loose, they'll start to fight,
    Way out west in Kansas.

There's a man that grew so tall,
    Way out west in Kansas,
If he'd ever start to fall,
    He'd be out of Kansas.
If he was straight, I still repeat,
He'd be as long as our Main Street.
There's a lot of him turned up for feet,
    Way out west in Kansas.

There's a gal in Abilene,
    Way out west in Kansas,
Says she just turned seventeen,
    Way out west in Kansas.
Folks all say she built the town.
She's so old she's muscle-bound,
So they turned the seventeen around,
    Way out west in Kansas.


Sun's so hot that eggs will hatch,
    Way out west in Kansas.
It pops the corn in the popcorn patch,
    Way out west in Kansas.
An old mule coming down the path
Saw the corn and lost his breath.
He thought 'twas snow and froze to death,
    Way out west in Kansas.

There's a man named Cross-Eyed Pat,
    Way out west in Kansas.
You can't tell who he's lookin' at,
    Way out west in Kansas.
He cries because he's such a wreck,
And the tears run down the back of his neck.
He don't look straight to me, by heck,
    Way out west in Kansas.


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