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Tune Req: When the Goose Hangs High

Joe Offer 09 Jun 03 - 05:41 PM
Joe Offer 09 Jun 03 - 05:47 PM
Joe Offer 09 Jun 03 - 05:53 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Jun 03 - 05:54 PM
Joe Offer 09 Jun 03 - 05:57 PM
Joe Offer 09 Jun 03 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Q 09 Jun 03 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Q 09 Jun 03 - 07:01 PM
Joe Offer 09 Jun 03 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Q 09 Jun 03 - 08:32 PM
masato sakurai 09 Jun 03 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,Q 09 Jun 03 - 11:10 PM
GUEST,Q 10 Jun 03 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,Q 10 Jun 03 - 11:31 PM
GUEST,Q 10 Jun 03 - 11:39 PM
Artful Codger 24 Oct 06 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 16 Sep 09 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Claudia Vivanco 20 Oct 11 - 05:06 PM
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Subject: ADD: When the Goose Hangs High (Civil War)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 05:41 PM

This morning, my mother-in-law was paging through my copy of Belden's Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society and she came across this song and wondered what "when the goose hangs high" means. What I found was that geese fly high when the weather is good, so "when the goose hangs high" means when things are going well.
Stephen Foster's The Song of All Songs includes a mention of "The Goose Hangs High," but I don't think the song has been posted here.
I found that in the 1930's, a song called "The Goose Hangs High" was recorded by Louis Prima and by Woody Herman. Click here to find a clip of an instrumental recording of the song by Eddie Lockjaw Davis. It's a great tune, but I can't imagine it's the sme one mentioned in the Stephen Foster song - or is it? Oh, and there was a 1924 Broadway play called The Goose Hangs High, by Lewis Beach.

I found lyrics for two songs called "The Goose Hangs High." Here's the one from Belden:

THE GOOSE HANGS HIGH

In June of sixty-three, I suppose you all know,
General Lee he had a plan into Washington to go;
For Lincoln's men are going home, and then, my boys, we'll try,
While everything is lovely and the goose hangs high.

They started on the road, my boys, with Stuart in the van,
For forage it was getting low, poor rations had his men;
But our Union boys had seen the game, and here's the reason why:
They had watched the rebel tactics while the goose hung high.

They Stuart whipped with heavy loss, his F. F. V's so brave,
And back to old Virginia his command now flew to save;
And as they did not get this goose, you ask the reason why
They don't like Yankee cooking, and the goose was up too high.

But Lee he was not satisfied to leave this goose alone.
He said, 'My boys, we'll fix them yet; to Pennsylvania come,
Across Potomac's fords advance; let us these Yankees show,
And in spite of Hooker's army into Washington we'll go.'

Brave General Meade than took command of the true Union sons,
And soon they found their veteran boys were serving Yankee guns.
At Gettysburg we routed them; Lee says, 'To Richmond go;
We've missed the route to Washington, for they've hung our goose low.'

Jeff Davis now was getting scared, and sent for Lee to come,
As Richard* was in danger now instead of Washington;
But Meade he followed up so close, and made the Rebels fly;
They left ten thousand prisoners, while the goose hung high.

Now, Davis, light your pipe with us, our Yankee boys have won,
Lee has not got to Harrisburg nor into Washington;
Now Grant has taken Vicksburg, you never need to try,
You cannot whip the Yankee boys while the goose hangs high.

*Miswritten, evidently, for 'Richmond.'


    notes from Belden: This is not of Missouri or the west, but of Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania and the battle of Gettysburg. It perhaps should not be included at all, since it is from print and I do not know that it was sung at the time it came into the collection. I have two copies of it; one through Miss Hamilton, in 1909, from Inez Leathers of the West Plains High School, who copied it from 'the pamphlet sold by blind Jasper Kinder, fiddler, and his wife;' the other through Miss Newell, in 1912, 'copied from an old book of ballads and songs, some new, some old, owned by Mr. T. B. Chandler, Farmington, Missouri. The book was bought by him from a blind man selling them through that town about ten years ago.' Although West Plains, Howell County, is something like a hundred miles from Farmington, St. Francois County, the 'blind man' and the 'blind fiddler' are very probably the same person. The texts are so closely alike that I give only the first.
As explained in Belden's notes, he did not have a tune for the song.
Here is the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index. Note that the Ballad Index found the song only in Belden.

Goose Hangs High, The

DESCRIPTION: "In June of '63, I suppose you all know, General Lee he had a plan into Washington to go." Stuart loses a battle, but Lee invades Pennsylvania; Meade replaces Hooker; the Union wins: "You cannot whip the Yankee boys while the goose hangs high"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1909 (Belden)
KEYWORDS: Civilwar battle
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
June 9, 1863 - Battle of Brandy Station. Union cavalry attack Stuart's rebel horse, but are driver off
July 1-3, 1863 - Battle of Gettysburg. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac holds off Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Belden, pp. 372-373, "The Goose Hangs High" (1 text plus mention of 1 more)
Notes: Belden admits that this song may not have been traditional; both texts were copies sold as pamphlets, probably by the same blind man, Jasper Kinder.
After the Battle of Chancellorsville, northern Virginia was largely denuded of supplies, which made it hard for Lee to provision his army. In addition, the North's Army of the Potomac was, for nearly the only time in the war, shrinking; a number of regiments had volunteered in early 1861 for two years, and now were mustering out. With the Union forces weak and defeated, it seemed like time to invade the North.
The Union had a bit of a surprise waiting: Until this time, Jeb Stuart's cavalry had been much superior to the Federal forces. But Joe Hooker, the Union commander, had reorganized the union horse as a single corps (as opposed to un-unified brigades and divisions). For the first time in the war, they came looking for Stuart at Brandy Station -- and fought on fairly even terms.
In the end, contrary to the song, the Union troopers were driven off, and took more casualties. But they had shown they could stand up to the Confederates -- which would stand them in good stead at Gettysburg, where they beat off an attack by Stuart. Plus they had learned a lot about Rebel movements.
As the rebel forces moved north, Lincoln and his cabinet became more and more worries about Joe Hooker, the loser of Chancellorsville, who was still in command. Finally, on June 28, they induced Hooker to resign, replacing him with George Gordon Meade (1815-1872). It was Meade who held off Lee's attack at Gettysburg. The song is again too optimistic about the aftermath, though; while Lee failed to drive Meade off his position, Lee was not routed, and Meade pursued very slowly, inflicting very little additional damage on Lee's forces.
The day after the end of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 4, 1863, Grant captured the city of Vicksburg. It was the single best week for Union arms in the entire war.
I cannot for the life of my guess what the significance of a goose hanging high might be. I would note that a "Goose Hangs High Songster" was published in 1866 -- but I haven't seen it. - RBW
File: Beld372

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: DTADD: When the Goose Hangs High
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 05:47 PM

There are several mentions of songs with this title at The American Memory collection of the Library of Congress. I especially liked this one. Is is a parody of the Civil War song?

GOOSE HANGS HIGH

Now good folks I will sing you a song,
The tenor of my rhymes
Shall be a hit on the notions,
And a joke upon the times.
When things go well in these hard times.
The people loudly cry,
Everything is lovely and the goose hang's high.

There are the Politicians,
A class which I despise;
The Robbers of our Country,
And the shutters of our eyes;
They grasp you firmly by the hand,
And treat you on the sly,
Cause everything is lovely, and the goose hang's high.

But when they get elected
They assume a haughty air;
You can see them buzzing politics,
In Independence square.
And when you meet them in the street,
They rudely pass you by,
Cause everything is lovely, and the goose hang's high.

There are the female doctors,
A subject of my song,
They're getting rather plenty,
And they go it mighty strong.
They feel your pulse and test your lungs.
And tell you on the sly,
That everything is lovely and the goose hang's high.

And then there is the maiden,
The darling little dear,
Oh, when I get beside her,
It makes me feel quite queer.
She blushes and she hesitates,
And then she think's she'll try,
For everything is lovely, and the goose hang's high.

The wife and husband often fight,
And tear each others' clothes,
She pulls him by his wiskers,
And he jerks her by the nose.
But when bed time approaches,
They sneak off rather sly,
For everything is lovely, and the goose hang's high.

PUBLISHED BY DOYLE.


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Subject: DTADD: When the Goose Hangs High
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 05:53 PM

Here's another one from the American Memory Collection - another one without a tune.

GOOSE HANGS HIGH

The fast young man of fashion, how he spreads upon the street,
And gazes at the ladies and their pretty pink feet;
He curls up his mustachios and winks upon the sly,
Crying "every thing is lovely, and the goose hangs high."

The soft romantic lady, when she feels the singe of love,
She thinks her dear Augustus is an angel from above;
"With my 'Gustus,' in a cottage," says she, "I'd live and die,
For every thing is lovely, and the goose hangs high."

Sensation politicians, when they mount the boards,
They tickle up the voters, calling them creation's lords;
Crying out, "Dear fellow-citizens, for you I'm here to die,"
For they see a good fat office, and the goose hangs high.

A lover sits a courting with a cautious maid,
He asks her to sit closer, but she seems to be afraid;
She says, "My mother tells me of lovers to be shy,
When they all get too loving, and the goose hangs high."

A lady and her husband in a "secession" row
They both "coerce," talk of divorce, and split the padlock vow.
She has a fit, they pout a bit, then at each other sigh,
Till every thing looks lovely, and the goose hangs high.

I've sung to you about the goose, on that thing and this,
I hope she'll clap her good old wings, but not upon me hiss,
And if I've proved a good egg, and a smile brought to your eye,
Why every thing is lovely, and the goose hangs high.

Johnson, Song Publisher, Stationer & Printer, No. 7 N. Tenth St., 3 doors above Market, Phila.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 05:54 PM

Actually (no joke here) this refers to hanging game, to let it season (read 'rot') a little. And "high" doesn't mean vertical distance ub this application.

When the hunter brought the pheasant, duck, or goose home, it wouldn't normally go into the pot or oven; it would be hung by the feet from the rafters (I presume after disembowelment), so that the bacteria could work on it for a while(although the home folks didn't know that was going on). I'm talking about room, or maybe cellar, temperature, not refrigerated.

After a while, as you might expect, it would get "high". In some areas, it was not said to be ready to cook and eat until one could reach up and pull on the goose, and it was "ripe" enough to pull the body away from the feet, which were tied to the rafter.

Only a difference in degree from aged beef, which commands a premium price. My grandfather, an old-time butcher, maintained that beef wasn't ready to eat until it had aged long enough to develop a half inch of mold on the outside.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GOOSE HANGS HIGH
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 05:57 PM

Here's another one from the American Memory collection, this one more closely related to the civil War. All of these songs are undated.

THE GOOSE HANGS HIGH.
No. 2. -- As sung, with great success, by Wm. JENNINGS.

Come, listen to my rhyming, and I'll not detain you long;
'Tis all about the Country, as I'll tell you in my song.
We all do love our Country, and for Freedom cry,
And everything goes lovely, and the goose hangs high.

Now, there's our Southern Brethren, they're feeling very ill
They always got fat offices, but couldn't get their fill;
They want to rule the Country, too; but they can't, although they try:
For, every thing goes lovely, and the goose hangs high.

So then, they took to stealing, 'twas the best that they could do;
They stole our Forts and Arsenals, and all the money, too;
They did not leave a dollar, but to steal it did try:
For, every thing was lovely, and the goose hung high.

Until they came to PICKENS, and they thought to get it, too;
But brave Lieutenant Slemmer said: that would never do.
So, he sent old BRAGG a warning that made him rather shy;
For, our guns they stuck out boldly, and our Flag hung high.

So then, we called for Volunteers the Country for to save,
And show the Southern Chivalry that Northern men were brave.
Then, we sent them down our New-York boys who swore to conquer or die.
And make every thing look lovely, and the goose hang high

And then, our gallant Fire-men formed a regiment of Zouaves,
And, under Colonel Ellsworth, espoused the Country's cause,
But they lost their young Commander, for the Union he did die;
But they'll make the South pay dearly, and the goose hang high

Now, there's Mc Clellan at the head of our forces on the land,
And gallant Commodores on the seas to make the rebels stand.
They will crush out this rebellion: for, the Union shall not die.
Then, every thing will go lovely, and the goose hang high

H. DE MARSAN, Publisher.
Songs, ballads, toy books, &c.
54 Chatham Street, N. Y.


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Subject: ADD: Antietam (When the Goose Hangs High)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 06:05 PM

I'm not done yet. Here's another one from the American Memory collection.

ANTIETAM
By Col. MAX LANGENSCHWARTZ.
(Air: While everything is lovely, and the goose hangs high).

On the 17th of September eighteen hundred sixty-two
We've shown on the Antietam what's the red, white and blue.
The Rebels loudly boasted, but we've given them the lie,
Wherever our old Banner goes, the goose hangs high.

Repeat.

At Hagerstown and Sharpsburg, at Millers and Snaveleys Farm
They felt our blows, and recognised the strongness of our arm.
And when they trembling run away, we hear'd the anxious cry:
Wherever George McClellan is, the goose hangs high.

Repeat.

They found their "Pleasant Valley" very unpleasant on that day.
They could not find much pleasure there, and took another way,
As soon as they saw Hooker's Corps, they quickly said "good bye."
Their appetite was stirring, but the goose hung high.

Repeat.

Our gallant Mansfield falling, they rejoiced about his fall.
But Barlow, Green End Sedgwick came, whom they didn't like at all
They drove the Rebels back like sheep, and they began to sigh:
Those Yankees got the best of it! Their goose hangs high!

Repeat.

We took friend Puffenbergers house, and with Canist' and Shell.
Made our respectful Compliment, and gave the Rebels hell.
They're answering our Compliments but timidly and shy.
The reason why was very clear. Our goose hung high.

Repeat.

Our raw troops even, not yet used to such a dreadful fight
With gallant Col'nel Morris drove'm down from ev'ry hight.
They found it very difficult to boast or to defy.
They wiped their bloody nose, and said: the goose hangs high

And then came Gen'ral Meagher with his Irish bold Brigade.
They'd drive the devil out of hell, and n ver retrograde.
They dashed upon the Rebels like a Whirlwind on the rye,
And cries of victory announced: Our goose hangs high!

Repeat.

We'll never forget Antietam! Yes, it was a glorious day!
It's there for all eternity, whatever foes may say.
Three cheers for Mac! To his renown our own fame we will tie.
Wherever George McClellan is, our goose hangs high.

Repeat.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, By CHARLES MAGNUS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 06:47 PM

Hanging game to let it ripen and develop the full flavor, as Uncle dave says, is still recommended by some Italian and English cookbooks, and is practiced by some hunters in North America. Most Americans and Canadians nowadays consider the flavor to be too strong.

I remember a restaurant in Austin, Texas, with windows from the dining area into the aging and storage area, where diners could inspect the beef and see the mold on the carcases. I wonder if it is still there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 07:01 PM

"All's well and the goose hangs high" means fair weather- the geese flying high. This old phrase developed independently of the practice of hanging game, so we have confusion of the two ideas.

This phrase seems to be anonymous and goes back a fair ways in time. It is mentioned in a US Dept. Agriculture site on the goose. Geese


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 07:04 PM

Well, Dave - one source I read said that "when the goose hangs high" is interepreted two ways:
  • Optimistic people picture a good flying free and happy, high in the sky, and think the phrase means that all is well.
  • Pessimistic people picture a dead bird.
Dave and Q, is this something we need to talk about? Is there something troubling you? [grin]
In this case, I think it's clear that the phrase implies that things are going well when the goose is hanging high (although I suppose that from the perspective of the hunter, a dead goose is cause for optimism) - but I note that the Traditional Ballad Index didn't venture a guess as to the meaning of the phrase.
Now, I would be flying even higher if I could only find the tune.
-Joe Optimist-


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 08:32 PM

How old is the phrase, "All's well and the goose hangs high"? So far, I can't find it before 1855, in a history of Kansas, not long before the Civil War.

"'And everything is lovely and the goose hangs high,' John Buford and the Hanging of Confederate Spies During the Gettysburg Campaign," Gettysburg Magazine, no. 18, Dec. 1997, pp. 5-14.

"The old Army of the Potomac is pretty sore-footed; but everything is moving and the goose hangs high." Excerpt from letter, J. H. M. to his mother, July 9, 1863. Civil war letters, edited by William J. Miller. www.pabucktail.com.

One of those trivia sites says the phrase originally was "The goose honks high," but most trivia sites are full of bunkum.

"Oh, everything is lovely and the goose hangs high." Saying of a Thadeus Prentice, 1855. History of Lawrence, Kansas, Chap. 6.
hangs High


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOW ARE YOU OFF FOR ILE?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 09:34 PM

HOW ARE YOU OFF FOR ILE? Air; Yankee Doodle. Written and sung by Fred Rouse. H. De Marsan, Publisher, No. 54 Chatham street, N. Y. [n. d.] (at American Memory):
HOW ARE YOU OFF
FOR ILE?

Air; Yankee Doodle. Written and sung by Fred Rouse.

Strange sayings now are all the go,
And some will make you smile, sir.
The last new one I'll have you know,
Is: How are you off for ile, sir?
Some fellows say : Does your goose hang high?
Give him plenty of rope, sir..
Does your mother know you're out?
How are you for soap, sir?
Chorus : Strange sayings, &c.

Now, when you go to take a walk,
Some friends you chance to meet, sir:
And, after having a little talk,
You think about a treat, sir.
You don't say : Come and take a drink,
Nor yet : Come and take a smile, sir ;
It's : Boys, let's go and grease,
I'll stand a round of ile, sir...........Chorus.

Now, a married man feels rather queer,
When things they don't go right, sir;
And, though a sober do you see,
He is often a little tight, sir.
He, then, goes home, unto his wife..
She meets him with a smile, sir;
She says : Never mind, my duckey dear..
We'll go and bore for ile, sir...........Chorus.

The other day, I went to take a walk,
When a girl I chanced to meet, sir.
Says she : You are a good-natured dear :
Come to my place, in Mercer street, sir.
She, then, began to fool with me,
And on me cast a smile, sir.
Says she : Come home, and trim my lamp..
It wants a little ile, sir...........Chorus.

I, straight-way, went home with her,
I felt just like a brick, sir ;
I, soon, inserted lots of ile,
But, first, I raised the wick, sir.
Oh! then, the flame so bright did burn!
It caused us, both, to smile, sir.
Says she : You had better raise the wick again,
And don't forget the ile, sir...........Chorus.

Now, with her wish I did comply :
What better could I do? sir ;
I fill'd her lamp up to the brim..
Then, gave an extra-screw, sir.
An explosion did then take place,
And a lesson soon I learnt, sir :
Never to trim strange ladies' lamps ;
If you do, you may get burnt, sir...........Chorus.

H. DE. MARSAN, Publisher of
Songs, ballads, toy books, &c.
No. 54 Chatham Street, N.Y.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 11:10 PM

Too bad we don't have a date for "How are you off for ile?" I remember when some still pronounced oil "ile". The name of the performer, Fred Rouse, might help to date it. Sounds mid-19th century, but?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Jun 03 - 10:00 PM

Excerpt from letter ("Letters From Exile") addressed to Angus M. Cannon, from his wife, Martha Hughes Cannon. Letters

"The gallant ship is under weigh
To bear us off to sea.
And yonder floats the streamers gay
That says she waits for "we"
The seamen dip the ready oar
As rippling waves oft tell
They bear us swiftly from the shore
Our native land farewell."
Everything is lovely, and the goose hangs high."

Uncertain whether this is a quotation from a poem, or original.

April 20, 1886. The Cannons were well-known in Mormon history.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Jun 03 - 11:31 PM

Tony (Antonio) Pastor, 1837-1908, was a famous singer and theatre owner in New York. Lillian Russell debuted at his theatre in 1880. At some point, Pastor made "The Song of All Songs," with the line already posted by Joe Offer, "For everything is lovely, and the Goose hangs high."
A link to a Univ. California Los Angeles website, Gives the words to "The Song of All Songs," but states that it was written and sung by Tony Pastor, to the air, "The Captain with His Whiskers." The words are identical to those posted for Stephen Foster. The "Captain" appears in three versions (American Memory), one from Masran, one from Johnson, sheet music printed in Richmond and Atlanta during the 1860s. There is also an audio of Hubert Brady singing the song in the Cowell Collection. The tune is quoted in one broadside as being the same as the "Continental March."
There are other versions, all seemingly from the 1860s, but the war and its generals are not named in the Masran and Johnson versions.

So far, the earliest mention of "Everything is lovely and the Goose Hangs High" is from the 1850s (see post above) but no pre-Civil War lyrics yet.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Jun 03 - 11:39 PM

Sloppy! First lines should say Pastor made the "Song of All Songs" one of his big hits. All of his songs and papers are in a collection at the University of Texas.
The sheet music of "The Captain With His Whiskers," printed in Richmond, like the broadsides, does not mention war specifically.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: Artful Codger
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 06:30 AM

For a tune, which supposedly dates from the 19th c., see the entry on this page:
http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/GOO_GOW.htm

The entry says that the tune is also called "Everything Is Pleasant Schottische". Searching on this phrase yields only the same page. I did not try a shorter search due to the likely noise factor.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 16 Sep 09 - 09:28 PM

After looking at the broadside for the "Published by Johnson, Philadelphia" version Joe quoted above — Joe's message of 09 Jun 03 - 05:53 PM — I am pretty sure that one broadside is pre-Civil War, even though, like so many broadsides of the time, it carries no date. My reasons are:

- the general design of the sheet,
- the wording, which seems older than that in the Civil War versions, and especially
- the mention of a husband and wife arguing about secession.

While it is perfectly possible that arguments about secession continued during the war, the mention of secession, and no mention of war, seems to me to imply the verses were composed during the time secession was such a hot topic: in the year or so before Fort Sumter and the beginning of hostilities.

In other words this version may have been published c. 1849-51.

By contrast, the earliest Civil War version, titled "The Battle of Gettysburg," which became de facto "The Goose Hangs High" number one, had to have appeared after the June-July 1863 Gettysburg campaign was fought.

That would make it the earliest surviving version of "The Goose Hangs High."

That still may not be the original. Though some etymologists trace the saying "The goose hangs high" to Afro-Americans, I have a hunch — no evidence yet — that the original "Goose Hangs High" song may have been from across the water, either English or (more probably) Irish.

Partly this is because the "Everything is Pleasant Schottische," also known as "The Goose Hangs High," implies that there may once have been a song whose first line, or title, or both, was "Everything is pleasant when (or and) the goose hangs (or honks, or hawks) high." The word "pleasant" either (a) seems to imply origin in slightly more elegant prewar American songwriting, or (b) is likely to be British rather than American.

Finally, the schottische tune (part A only) is a perfect fit for the words. I propose it is very likely to be the original tune to which all these lyrics, up through the 1880s, were put.

There was a 1901 popular song "Everything is Lovely When the Goose Hangs High." I haven't seen it, but I have no reason to think anything that late, or anything more recent, has much resemblance to the "Goose Hangs High" that became so popular in the latter half of the 19th century.

All this is of course speculative, though based on careful analysis of every scrap of evidence about the songs I could find, and also about the saying itself, whose popularity endured well into the 20th century and became a cliche. It has been assigned a whole bunch of different, sometimes conflicting meanings, and is often cited as an old saw about the weather (when geese fly high, expect it to be fair; if low, foul weather—something about the humidity maybe).

Your thoughts about any of this? (The song more particularly, of course.)

Bob


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: When the Goose Hangs High
From: GUEST,Claudia Vivanco
Date: 20 Oct 11 - 05:06 PM

I have a version of the tune in an old Howe's Violin Book.
From around 1890.


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Mudcat time: 23 September 4:20 AM EDT

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