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Lyr Req: Cats Couldn't Kitten

GUEST,GeneJ 02 Dec 01 - 09:33 AM
Joe Offer 02 Dec 01 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,GeneJ 02 Dec 01 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,999 14 Sep 12 - 08:39 PM
kendall 15 Sep 12 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,Guest TF 15 Sep 12 - 08:33 AM
Jim Dixon 15 Sep 12 - 09:36 AM
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Subject: CATS COULDN'T KITTEN
From: GUEST,GeneJ
Date: 02 Dec 01 - 09:33 AM

While I'm at it, there's another little ditty I used to hear in my native New Brunswick. The Miramichi was blamed as the source. It becomes quite colourful. It starts
    "Oh, the cats couldn't kitten and the doggies couldn't pup,
    and the old man couldn't get his rhubarb up.
    He tried all day and he tried all night...."
That's all I can remember. Anyone know the rest? GeneJ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: CATS COULDN'T KITTEN
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Dec 01 - 11:19 AM

Hmmm. This sounds like a good one, but I can't find it. Sounds like it would fit the tune of Turkey in the Straw (click). Remember any other snippets of the of the lyrics, or is it a one-verse song?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: CATS COULDN'T KITTEN
From: GUEST,GeneJ
Date: 02 Dec 01 - 07:32 PM

Joe,I've been following up on your reply. Yes, the tune is Turkey in the Straw. Sorry, but I can't remember any more of it. Like "Oh, the cow kicked Nellie etc," it's probably a one-verse song as you suggest. I did a Google search using "louise manny" as the subject. I found 80 or so hits but no mention of the song.

I'll explain why I searched Louise Manny. As I said in my original posting, I'm pretty sure the song came from the Miramichi River area of New Brunswick, Canada. Dr. Manny, a native of Maine, was a great collector (in the Lomax tradition) of folk music on the Miramichi. It's probably in one of her collections. I'll have to visit the NB Archives next time I'm in Fredericton.

But, I just know there are some Miramichiers out there who check in at Mudcat. And I know they will have heard the song. Just as all Miramichiers know about all the strange and secretive animals that frequent their spruce forests - the Sevogle Pounder, the Dungarvon Whooper, the Side Hill Gouger. This little fellow gets his name from the very curious habit of always walking around the side of a hill in a clockwise direction. Thus, he evolved so as to have his two right legs considerably shorter than his two left legs. So, his breed is forever doomed to walk in that direction around a hill. If they tried to go the other way, they would surely tumble to their death. I know about these animals. In my career as a geologist, I heard them as ate my lunch beside one of the many streams that feed the Miramichi, or as I slept in one of its countless old log cabins. GeneJ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cats Couldn't Kitten
From: GUEST,999
Date: 14 Sep 12 - 08:39 PM

"the cat couldn't kitten and the slut couldn't pup"

Google that as is; that is with the quotation marks. That will go to a Google book site--you'll see it in the first few headings.

Read from p.132 to about p. 136. There is an Ozark version of the song there which is much like the OP's request. (NB: slut was a term for female dog (bitch).)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cats Couldn't Kitten
From: kendall
Date: 15 Sep 12 - 06:48 AM

I heard this as a boy in eastern Maine.

another verse, I came to a river and I couldn't get across, I paid 5 dollars for an old white horse...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cats Couldn't Kitten
From: GUEST,Guest TF
Date: 15 Sep 12 - 08:33 AM

Most people accept this version comes from the Aberdeenshire area of Scotland.
Oh the cattie wouldna kittle and the doggie wouldna pup
And the auld man coulnae get his rhubarb up,
The firey wouldna burn and the pannie wouldna fry
And the black cat skittered in the fyte(white) cats eye.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cats Couldn't Kitten
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Sep 12 - 09:36 AM

From "Unprintable Ozark Folksongs and Folklore: Roll Me In Your Arms, Volume 1" by Vance Randolph (University of Arkansas Press, 1992), page 418:

"Collected by G. Legman in New York City, 1951, from an old-time vaudeville entertainer who said he remembered it from "the old days on the burlesque circuit," about 1925."

Oh, the cat couldn't kitten and the dog couldn't pup,
And the old man couldn't get his rhubarb up.
Oh, he diddled it and fiddled it and twiddled it with lard,
But the GOD DAMN THING! just wouldn't get hard!

So he bought him a ticket to the burlesque show
And he got him a seat in the very last row,
With his hand on his pecker and his pecker in his pants,
He watched the little girlies do the hoochy-koochy dance.

Well, out came the end-men and out came the coons,
and out came the peanut vendor selling toy-balloons,
And out came the naked girls and started to dance,
And POP went the buttons on the old man's pants.

Shave an' a hair-cut—BAY RUM!
Girl with a rag on—NO GOOD!

[The text includes some interesting notes which I don't have time to type out.]


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