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Lyr Req: Buckeye Jim - other odd lullabies

CapriUni 12 Feb 02 - 01:40 AM
masato sakurai 12 Feb 02 - 02:41 AM
M.Ted 12 Feb 02 - 01:13 PM
annamill 12 Feb 02 - 01:19 PM
Mary in Kentucky 12 Feb 02 - 02:11 PM
CapriUni 13 Feb 02 - 11:33 AM
CapriUni 13 Feb 02 - 02:41 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Feb 02 - 03:01 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Feb 02 - 03:59 PM
Sorcha 13 Feb 02 - 05:12 PM
Rolfyboy6 14 Feb 02 - 12:07 AM
Desdemona 14 Feb 02 - 08:33 AM
Mrrzy 14 Feb 02 - 12:35 PM
Desdemona 14 Feb 02 - 12:42 PM
masato sakurai 14 Feb 02 - 12:46 PM
CapriUni 14 Feb 02 - 03:11 PM
CapriUni 14 Feb 02 - 03:28 PM
Uncle_DaveO 14 Feb 02 - 08:48 PM
CapriUni 14 Feb 02 - 11:34 PM
CapriUni 15 Feb 02 - 12:16 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 15 Feb 02 - 12:16 AM
CapriUni 15 Feb 02 - 01:04 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 15 Feb 02 - 04:03 PM
CapriUni 15 Feb 02 - 11:09 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 16 Feb 02 - 12:25 AM
CapriUni 16 Feb 02 - 03:06 PM
RoyH (Burl) 17 Feb 02 - 11:33 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 17 Feb 02 - 11:40 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 17 Feb 02 - 11:49 AM
CapriUni 17 Feb 02 - 12:08 PM
Sandy Paton 18 Feb 02 - 12:40 AM
GUEST,Billy 18 Feb 02 - 02:33 PM
CapriUni 18 Feb 02 - 03:15 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Feb 02 - 03:27 PM
CapriUni 18 Feb 02 - 05:13 PM
CapriUni 18 Feb 02 - 05:19 PM
CapriUni 19 Feb 02 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,KB@work 19 Feb 02 - 10:42 AM
CapriUni 19 Feb 02 - 11:37 AM
MMario 19 Feb 02 - 11:45 AM
MMario 19 Feb 02 - 11:48 AM
CapriUni 19 Feb 02 - 01:47 PM
MMario 19 Feb 02 - 02:11 PM
CapriUni 19 Feb 02 - 10:07 PM
CapriUni 19 Oct 10 - 04:28 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Oct 10 - 04:43 PM
CapriUni 19 Oct 10 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Seonaid 19 Oct 10 - 08:17 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Oct 10 - 12:44 AM
CapriUni 20 Oct 10 - 12:44 AM
Crowhugger 20 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM
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Subject: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 01:40 AM

I first heard this song sung by Ann Mayo Muir, on a Bok/Muir/Tricket album (the name of which not only escapes me -- it has run hell-for-leather over the hills) The version she sang is very close to the version in the Kids DT here.

The subject matter is far from soothing as lullabies go -- especially in the last two verses, what with with old women keeling over into water troughs and dying, and birds spitting at each other.

Then, I found another version in the Grown-ups' DT, here. A little more conventional, as it promises a future life in paradise, and the wonderful freedom of dreams. But still, the imagery is very 'abstract' and other-worldly...

"Blue jay rests in the green bird's eye" is almost as weird as "Blue jay spits in the bluebird's eye" (if not weirder).

Does anybody have any history and or/context for this song?

I'm assuming that the Kids DT version is a spoof of the paradise version. Kids have a wonderful way of poking fun at all the adult sacred cows, and high-blown sentiment.

...Maybe I'll start a thread just for kids' spoofs of adult folk music. But I'll do that tomorrow when I am more awake...


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUCKEYE JIM
From: masato sakurai
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 02:41 AM

I don't know if this may help, but there's another version with a comment.

BUCKEYE JIM

1.
'Way up yonder above the sky,
A bluebird lived in a jay-bird's eye.

(REFRAIN)
Buckeye Jim, you can't go,
Go weave and spin, you can't go, Buckeye Jim.

2.
'Way up yonder above the moon,
A blue-jay nests in a silver spoon.

3.
'Way down yonder in a wooden trough,
And old wo-man died of the whoopin' cough.

4.
'Way down yonder on a hollow log,
A red bird danced with a green bullfrog.

"The folk-stuff of all lands is peopled with charming animals that dance and dine and are otherwise animated with human and superhuman qualities. American animal songs, however, are ordinarily either broadly comic or deeply pathetic. In 'Buckeye Jim' there is a feeling of otherworldliness, the sense of things seen through the mirror of fantasy. Hum 'Buckeye Jim' and then sing 'The Grey Goose,' 'Frog Went a-Courtin',' 'Mister Rabbit,' 'The Boll Weevil,' 'Old Blue,' 'The Ground Hog,' and other American songs about animals. Then it will be clear that 'Buckeye Jim' has a special unearthly quality, a child's imagining wrapped round with the haze of sweet blue hills. Everybody wonders about the birthplace and condition of 'Buckeye Jim,' but not a trace has been found, not even far up the deepest hollow or across the highest hill of the Southern mountain country." (John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax, Best Loved American Folk Songs, Grosset & Dunlop, 1947, p. 4)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 01:13 PM

The adult version actually sounds like a retrofit--that is, someone took a song and tried to finish it up and tie it all together--I like it the other way better, though--


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: annamill
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 01:19 PM

"Hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle. The cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon."

This other ditty, Buckeyed Jim, reminded me of this childrens rhyme. It has the same sort of feeling to me. Possibly game playing songs? Interesting.

L.A.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 02:11 PM

I don't mean to thread creep too much here...but all this bird and animal talk reminds me of a post I made nearly two years ago here. Several thoughts:

1) the "Bird Song" tune in Roy Harris' Amercan Symphony.
2) lots of bird references and tunes in the Opera, Susannah, an American Opera taking place in the mountains. (Appalachia?)
3) the enitire collection of Uncle Remus tales where the animals talk.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 11:33 AM

M.Ted and Masato (and, now that I've read it, I think it was version that Masato posted that Muir sung on that album):

As I said in the first post, I was starting with the assumption that the maudlin version came first, with the kids coming along later and bringing it back down to earth, at least emotionally.

But the Lomax quote about nobody knowing precisely where it comes from suggests to me that the children's version came first, since the folklore of children passes by word of mouth from one generation to the next, almost completely below the radar of adults (can anyone here remember where they first heard hand rhymes such as "Miss Mary Mack" or "Miss Lucy had a tug boat" except from your peers on the playground or schoolbus?).

Now, I suspect that some adult overheard kids singing it, and decided it was "inapropriate" and so "cleaned-up" the lyrics to remove references to death and anger. ... I agree with M.Ted that I like the first version better, though I wonder if it was ever meant to be a lullaby. As Pete Seeger often points out in his introduction, after a certain age, lullabies are seen as propaganda.

annamill: The book is out of reach, right now (I'll look up the details later) but in The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (edited by Peter and Iona Opie, two of the rare adults who study Children's folklore), there are some literary references to "Hey diddle, diddle" beginning its life as a fiddle/dance tune for adults, which makes sense, considering the subject matter (the date and type of literary reference is one of those things I have to look up later ;-))


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 02:41 PM

The motif of talking animals is wide-spread in many cultures, from Aesop's fables, to Native American myths, to folktales such as the three little pigs, modern children's picture book stories such as Sylvester and the Magic Pepple.

In the folktales, fables and modern stories, the animals act as "stand-ins" for humans -- the dominant trait of each animal resprenting the personality or foible illustrated by the story. This can also be said of the Native American myths, I suppose, but here, the characters are also sacred in their own right, and the stories often explain the origin of a ritual, or instruct the listener in proper behavior toward the sacred.

"The Bird Song", to which you provided a link above, seems to fit the form of a fable. I could easily see human males being substituted for the birds, having an almost identical conversation at the bar while they nurse their beers and whiskeys. ;-). (I particularly liked the verse where the crow tells the hawk to go grab a hen, with the hope that the farmer will then shoot him, since hawks are just as likely to eat a crow...)

"Buckeye Jim" is unusaul (to my mind) because the images in the lyrics stand alone, and seem to exist solely for the surrealistic quality alone. There's no 'lesson', here... no satirical comment on human behavior, etc, except maybe the old woman dying by the water trough.

Whether or not the song originates in Apalachia, it sure has that "feel" to it... maybe it's the melody, and maybe it's the refrain of "Weave and spin"...

Anyway, I like it!


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 03:01 PM

Similar form here.
De raccoon up a gum stump, de possum in de holler,
De squirel in de pine stump, As fat as he can wallow.

Possum in gum stump, Cooney in the hollow,
Work snake and juny bug and I'll give you half a dollar.

Chicken in the bread tray, scratching out dough;
Sally will your dog bite? No, child, no.

Away down yonder in the forks of the branch
The jaybird whistled and the buzzard danced.

De old cow died in de head of the branch,
De jay birds whistled and de buzzards danced.

'Way down yonder and a long way off,
Jaybird died wid der whoopin' cough.

Way down yonder in Pasquotank
Bull frog jumped from bank to bank.

Way up yonder on the old green lake
The bull frog died with the belly ache.

Banjo goes, "Ker-blank, kerblank"
Spring frog holler "Yankete-yank."
Bull frog jump from bank to bank
Skinned his nose on a hick'ry plank.

Some of the little rhymes from N. I White, American Negro Folk Songs. A lot of resemblance to the nonsense verses of Old Dan Tucker, and some of the rhymes in Joel Chandler Harris Bre'r Rabbit books and songs.


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Subject: Lyr Add: REDHEAD WOODPECKER (from Talley)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 03:59 PM

Also verse similarities with "Sally, git your hoe cake done."
This little rhyme has a similar meter as well:

REDHEAD WOODPECKER

Redhead woodpecker; "Chip! Chip! Chee!"
Promise dat he'll marry me.
Whar shall de weddin' supper be?
Down in de lot, in a rotten holler tree.
What will de weddin' supper be?
A liddle green worm an' a bumblebee,
Way down yonder on de holler tree.
De redhead woodpecker, "Chip! Chip! Chee!"

T. W. Talley, 1991 rev. ed, Negro Folk Rhymes, no. 275.
Some of these rhymes come out of old minstrel songs.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 05:12 PM

It's totally of the subject of talking animals, but Rosalie Sorrels (sp?) has a very odd lullaby--Rocking My Baby to Sleep. She smiles and rocks, and chops up the trailer house as she rocks the baby...........been there.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:07 AM

Masato, thanks for printing that version, it's the one I learned as a kid. When I became an adult I found it mysterious. Now as a parent I see the place where it came from in my kids--you should hear the terrible songs they sing about killing Barney the Dinosaur and other similar folklore. One of these days I'll post the send-up on Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer the elementary school kids around here sing. I'll have to get them to hold still long enough to transcribe it.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Desdemona
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 08:33 AM

I think the above mention of "Sylvester & The Magic Pebble" is highky apposite in this conversation; all of William Steig's books for children have an inherent darkness in them, and while everything turns out all right in the end, the characters have to face some unpleasantness in order to get there. Older songs that are associated ion the modern mind with children didn't all necessarily start out that way; in fact, probably the majority didn't!

It's worth noting that most of the "classic" children's music/rhymes/literature of the 19th & 20th centuries are higly sanitised revisions of older versions(Grimm's tales, traditional songs, etc.), cleaned up for Victorian children. It's really not until the 19th centuryu that childhood as a concept becomes this soft-focus, romanticised idyll in the popular imagination; aand even then, it was the socio-economically fortunate few for whom this ideal bore any resemblance to reality!


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:35 PM

My only question is why did you call this a lullaby?


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Desdemona
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:42 PM

One of my mother's favourite to sing to us as children was "The Farmer's Curst Wife"; I sing it to my own kids & they like it, too!


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: masato sakurai
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:46 PM

Again, from Lomax. "Here is a lullaby from the Appalachians, a bright pattern of color out of the ragbag of the past, to be sung softly and with tenderness."

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 03:11 PM

Well, Mrrzy, it's listed as a lullaby in the DT, and on that Bok/Muir/Tricket album I mentioned (think I read somewhere since that it was "Water over stone"), AMM sang it coupled with the Scottish lullaby "Hush ye, my Bairnie".

Why it's a lullaby rather than a dance tune (which it could be if the tempo were sped up), I don't know...


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 03:28 PM

Rolfyboy6 --

Major thread drift, here, but it warms my heart no end to know that kids are singing songs about the demise of Barney.

Two things that just grate on my nerves about that show:

1) they have early- and pre-teen actors responding to everything with the sophistication of toddlers, and

2) during the singing portions, the children's voices are so 'engineered' in post-production that all the natural roughness and edge of the voices are smoothed over.

Both these things speak down to the intelligence of their young audience, imnsho.

I remember being in that target age, and I had much joyful time in the company of my teen-aged babysitter, who while engaging me one-on-one in conversation, never stopped being herself for my sake, so I don't believe that #1 is necessary to avoid alienation. And #2 just creeps me out. It's like they dubbed in entirely different voices for the singing -- it's jarring.

Yet Barney remains popular with the 0-2 set because their growing minds crave music of all sorts, and this is one of the only shows available where music is the centerpiece.

But it doesn't take long for kids to grow past that and see how patronizing the show is.

:::Stepping down from my soapbox:::

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion of "Buck-eye Jim" -- already in progress.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 08:48 PM

CapriUni said:
..(can anyone here remember where they first heard hand rhymes such as "Miss Mary Mack" or "Miss Lucy had a tug boat" except from your peers on the playground or schoolbus?)" Frankly, I've never heard _OF_ either of those songs. Where are they current? And when?

Now it may just be that this is my advanced age (71)speaking, and these songs came along after my time in the appropriate age bracket. Or maybe they're not from the US. I'd be interested to know.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:34 PM

Uncle Dave_O:

It might be your advanced age, or these rhymes might just be a "girl thing" (or both), but I learned them way back in the first grade -- as soon as I started riding to school on the school bus... The older kids sitting in the back would sing them, along with the apropriate sniggers at the risque lyrics. That would have been back in 1970-71, or so... But I had the impression even then that they were "standards" among my peers -- not a new invention to get up the nose of the teacher or bus driver at all.

(I just checked the Kids' DT, and they're not there ! ... I think I'll start a new "lyrics add" thread, and post them there)


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 12:16 AM

Miss Mary Mack and Miss Lucy are now sharing a thread of their own here.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 12:16 AM

CapriUni, where did you attend first grade? I have never heard them either (also in my 70s). My first two children were brouht up in Oklahoma, and there were some of the songs sung there, but living in suburbs, play was only with the neighbor's kids next door. I was raised in a 50% Spanish-speaking area, so none of the usual songs. Now I am in western Canada. The kids here are too organized on the school grounds (everything carefully supervised) and out of school many organized games so little chance for exposure to songs not on TV. Central city neighborhoods here are largely Asiatic and the apartment or condo blocks there have occupants with very few children (no free association in parks).
I am under the impression that the songs are dying out among the younger children.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 01:04 AM

I attended elementary school in a bedroom community about 60 miles north of NYC. So these may be eastern songs. I don't know. Maybe someone else will remember them and post info in "the girls' thread" ;-)

What you say about the lack of unsupervised play really disturbs me and saddens me. If kids can't learn songs from each other, than maybe folk music really is on the way to becoming a relic of the past.

After all, they are a subculture without much power to determine their own destinies, and they (at least until they are 8 or 9 or so) are not fluent readers, so they, too, like the miners and farmers of Apalachia whom Lomax studied, must pass their culture on by word of mouth...

And I remember years ago (but not as long ago as when I learned the above songs) reading a National Geogragraphic article about the importance of play for mammals (though I did a search of Nationalgeographic.com and I can't find the article in their archives). The article started out by mentioning the somewhat startling finding that the common denominatior among people who "snap" and go into their workplace shooting off rifles wasn't poverty or even physical abuse by a parent or guardian, it was that these people were denied the oportunity for free, unsupervised play... (I wish I could find that article!)


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 04:03 PM

CapriUni, I had the thought that the centralized school may have much to do with the loss of play songs. The kids can't play on the bus, they are regimented in the school (with rising costs, music teaching is often a casualty), they have a supervised lunch period and get on the buses immediately after school to be taken to their various isolated neighborhoods or rural areas. Chances for the kids to develop any culture of their own are few.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 11:09 PM

Dicho, you wrote:

"Chances for the kids to develop any culture of their own are few."

On the other hand, knowing the basic resiliency of kids, I imagine that they can make the best of whatever few choices they do have.

At least, that is my hope.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 12:25 AM

I would like to see the one about killing Barney. I took my grandson into real dinosaur lore, and now, at 3+, he doesn't watch him any more. He likes a Jurassic Park kind of setup with models, and can name the dinosaurs in a book and knows which ones eat other animals and which are veggie-bores.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 03:06 PM

Yeah, me too, Dicho.... As long as kids can write songs about killing off Barney, children's folk culture is doin' pretty well in my book ;-)


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 11:33 AM

I loved 'Buskeye Jim' since I first heard it many years ago. Those fantastic images really got to me. They sound like something Dali would paint. I feel the same about 'Leatherwing Bat' with all those talking animals. Lovely. One question though.What is 'Buckeye'?


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 11:40 AM

The buckeye tree (horse-chestnut) has a large nutlike seed. Pure guess- large eyes? Large brown eyes??


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 11:49 AM

Ohio is the buckeye state. Was Jim from Ohio? No, it couldn't be as simple as that.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 12:08 PM

Jim had large brown eyes?
He was from Ohio?
He lived in a buckeye grove?
It sounds good?
...
All of the above?

;-)


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 12:40 AM

Caroline learned "Miss Mary Mack" in about the third grade, 1940, near Chicago (northern Indiana). "Miss Lucy Had a Steamboat" (not a tugboat) was being chanted by kids I knew in Virginia at about the same time. I heard it again a few years later, also with the steamboat, in central Kansas. We've "collected" both from kids here in Connecticut in recent years, and got a fine tape of "Miss Lucy" chanted a group of girls from the Harlem section of New York back in the summer of 1967. These things have a long shelf-life, which doesn't surprise me at all.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 02:33 PM

The oddest lullabye I ever heard was Scottish, and played on the Great Highland Bagpipes . . .


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 03:15 PM

C'mon, Billy!

Don't be such a tease! What made the lullaby so odd (besides the choice of instrument -- I love the bagpipes, but I can't imagine them putting anyone to sleep)? Can you give us a line or phrase? Anything?


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 03:27 PM

Just play the groan - 10 blocks away


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 05:13 PM

Lol, Dicho --

That's what I was thinking... but then, how would you know if the lullaby worked or not?

Unless you had someone watching over the baby in the house, communicating with the piper via walkie-talkie...

Possible. Perhaps. But very labor intensive! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 05:19 PM

Sandy:

"These things have a long shelf-life, which doesn't surprise me at all."

Doesn't surprise me, either. I expect these songs to endure as long as 7-10 year olds have a fascination with the bizzare and/or slightly subversive.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 10:16 AM

Here's a question I find even more puzzling than how Jim acquired the adjective "buck-eye":

Why couldn't he go weave and/or spin?

Annamill wondered, early on in this thread, whether this started out as a game song. It might very well of been.

I have no evidence of this, of course. But I can easily imagine a game where one child was chosen to play the role of "Jim" and the other children try to prevent him/her from reaching a destination. In the game "Dog-flea bite", for example, the child chosen to play the flea tries to break through the ring of children which are holding hands around him/her.

So here's the next question: Why did Lomax call this song a lullaby? How did he decide to catorgorize songs?


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: GUEST,KB@work
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 10:42 AM

Well if he was buck-eyed (bug-eyed??) then perhaps he couldn't see sufficiently well to weave or spin - both of which occupations need very good close-up vision.
Kris


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 11:37 AM

Interesting theory, Kris. I wonder if Buckyed (or Buck-eye) Jim was any relation to Cotton-eyed Joe ;-)


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: MMario
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 11:45 AM


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: MMario
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 11:48 AM

when I first learned this (late 50's, early 60's) my grandmother explained the lyrics as telling "Buckeye Jim" that he couldn't go see these marvelous sights (mentioned in each verse- because there was work to be done, and he had to weave and spin.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 01:47 PM

Ah... that makes sense!

So -- all this confusion over punctuation!

(let that be a lesson, kids! Getting the punctuation right is not nit-picking silliness!)

The "voice" of this this song, then, is a terrible tease!


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: MMario
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 02:11 PM

well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that Gram's interpretation is the ONLY or "the" correct one - but it is one interpretation that seems to make sense. for all I know she could have made it up on the spot to shut me up from asking "why?"


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Feb 02 - 10:07 PM

". . . for all I know she could have made it up on the spot to shut me up from asking 'why?'"

LOL! True ... that also makes sense!


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 04:28 PM

The other night, I couldn't sleep due to an earworm of a particularly annoying popular song in my head, and I tried to drive it out with this song (so far away from the offender on the musical spectrum). But I couldn't remember the words, but I remember there was a thread on it on Mudcat.

...I'd forgotten that I'd started it!

(oops?)

As for why it works as a lullaby, and why it gets cataloged in that class, is the same reason I was trying to remember it on a night of insomnia: the images it evokes are so dream-like, they distract you from the worries keeping you awake. ... The images are so bizzare, they require your attention.

Most lullabies just tell you: "Don't worry, everything will be fine."

I don't know about you, but when someone tells me not to worry, that's when I start worrying in earnest. Changing the subject works much better.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 04:43 PM

In lullabys, it's the sound, not the words that make it work.
Rockabye baby, on the treetop
When you grow up, you'll work in a shop.
When you get wed,your wife will work to
So that the rich folk have nothing to do,

Rockabye baby, on the treetop
When you grow old, your wages will stop
When you have spent the little you saved
First to the poorhouse, and then to the grave...

Shh. I think the kid's asleep.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 05:00 PM

Or this variation of "Joys are flowing like a river," from Garrison Kiellor:

"Holy quietness, blessed quietness!
May you sleep the whole night through
So your mom and dad can go up to bed,
maybe make some more, like you!"


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: GUEST,Seonaid
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 08:17 PM

A little WWII lullaby parody by the late (and unfortunately unknown) Frances Wray, as I pretty much remember it:

Sleep, baby, sleep,
Thy father tends his jeep.
Thy mother is riveting frantically,
So nought but a dream may fall on thee.
Sleep, baby, sleep.


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 12:44 AM

Or-
MAMA SINGS
(Samuel Hoffenstein)

Go to sleep, my little oaf
Mama's darling sugarloaf.
Go to sleep and stay that way
For, perhaps, a night and day.

I'm no angel up above
Don't abuse my motherlove.
I can stand so much. And then
Mama seeks maturer men.

And papa's friend is waiting now
To plant a horn on papa's brow.
So sleep, my darling. Sleep, my own
For if you bawl, you bawl alone.

Sings well to Aura Lee (Love Me Tender, to the Philistines) RG
@sex @baby @infidelity
filename[ MAMASNG
RG


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: CapriUni
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 12:44 AM

Seonaid --

That may be parody, but I also hear the ring of sincerity in there as well, as parents work and worry for their babes -- especially in a war.

What tune did Frances Wray sing this to?


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Subject: RE: Buckeyed Jim: Oddest lullaby I've heard
From: Crowhugger
Date: 20 Oct 10 - 10:37 AM

"Buckeyed Jim" was one of my absolute favourite songs as a child, probably for the syncopated feel as much as the words. My mother sang the chorus with a 3-beat measure in place of a 4-beat one for the phrase "you can't go." Is that how others know it?


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