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Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)

DigiTrad:
WAL, I SWAN (Git Up, Napoleon)


black walnut 13 Nov 03 - 11:34 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Nov 03 - 05:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Nov 03 - 05:45 PM
Joybell 13 Nov 03 - 06:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Nov 03 - 06:43 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Nov 03 - 07:18 PM
black walnut 13 Nov 03 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,arnie 13 Nov 03 - 11:29 PM
Jim Dixon 16 Nov 03 - 02:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Nov 03 - 03:18 PM
Stewie 16 Nov 03 - 07:45 PM
kendall 16 Nov 03 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Old Shake 07 Feb 04 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Jack Conaway 30 Aug 04 - 10:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Aug 04 - 10:25 PM
Mark Cohen 31 Aug 04 - 03:04 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 31 Aug 04 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,kinkaju 06 May 05 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,HTB33 28 Nov 06 - 02:33 PM
Tradsinger 28 Nov 06 - 06:47 PM
black walnut 29 Nov 06 - 09:28 AM
Jim Dixon 08 Dec 06 - 07:55 PM
Helen 08 Dec 06 - 10:29 PM
Bill D 08 Dec 06 - 10:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Dec 06 - 11:21 PM
Helen 09 Dec 06 - 01:41 AM
Jim Dixon 09 Dec 06 - 02:05 AM
GUEST,gumpuddin 17 Jan 08 - 09:35 PM
GUEST,Bailey 05 May 08 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,BobEL 04 Jan 09 - 10:44 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Jan 09 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,J Edwards 27 Apr 10 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,Speedy Arnold 23 Sep 10 - 06:33 PM
GUEST 19 Aug 11 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Bill D 19 Aug 11 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Sam I Am 02 Sep 12 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,TommyK 16 Oct 12 - 07:43 PM
nickp 23 Dec 17 - 03:51 PM
nickp 26 Dec 17 - 05:19 PM
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Subject: Gitty Up Napoleon - anything?
From: black walnut
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 11:34 AM

I found this children's song in The Book of Bounces by John M. Feierabend. Does anyone know anything about it? I can't find it anywhere else.

Gitty up Napoleon, it looks like rain
Gitty up Napoleon, it looks like rain
I'll be durned if the butter ain't churned
Gitty up Napoleon, it looks like rain

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 05:26 PM

The song is in the DT, the title is "Wal, I Swan."
A couple of threads mention the song, but its origin??
Called a Pennsylvania song, but Boston also mentioned in the lyrics.

Anyone have information on it?


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 05:45 PM

The author is Benjamin Hapgood Burt, sheet music issued in 1907 by M. Witmark and Sons, NY.
Recorded in 1926 by Riley Puckett and by Al Bernard, and by Tanner and the Skillet Lickers as "Giddap Napoleon" in 1931 (Trad. Ballad Indexcufresno). A copy at the Levy Collection is not shown (subtitle Ebenezer Frye); performed in the play, "The Yankee Tourist."

Everyone seems to have copied the song from Pious Friends, Shay, even with the same mis-spelling of Reubensville (As ReubensviUe) in the first line (sheet music had Reuben's ville(?)).


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Joybell
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 06:05 PM

Sigmund Spaeth has it in "Read 'em and Weep" Lyrics only. It's sometimes called "Joshua Ebeneezer Fry". My true-love says it was well known in the Midwest during the 1940s.


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 06:43 PM

"Wal, I Swan," under the title "Giddap, Napoleon," as played by the Skillet Lickers, 1931, can be heard on Honking Duck (Col. 15695, side B).
http://www.honkingduck.com/BAZ/baz_one.php?req=TITLE&pg=6&tuig=484&combo=1201&cuid=20194B
Napoleon


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 07:18 PM

The Double Decker String Band recorded a wonderful version of this...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: black walnut
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 10:02 PM

Wow - thanks! Feierabend doesn't include notes with his (very popular) collection. I wouldn't have had a clue that this came from a longer song.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: GUEST,arnie
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 11:29 PM

Ian Bell sings this song.


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 02:56 PM

The Folk Music Index attributes GIDDYAP NAPOLEON to Jacob Kaufman. It also mentions 2 printed sources: Traditional Music in America and My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions and More Pious Friends; and 2 recordings, one by the Double Decker String Band, titled GIDDYAP NAPOLEON, and one by Riley Puckett, titled WAL, I SWAN. (Puckett was, for part of his career, a member of the Skillet Lickers.)

Other sources say there were versions recorded by Zeke Winters (a.k.a. Big Bill Campbell), and by The Pennsylvanians, both titled WAL, I SWAN.

Barnes&Noble has a sound sample of GIDDYAP NAPOLEON recorded by The Sons of the Pioneers.

Barnes&Noble also has a sound sample of GIDDAP NAPOLEAN (sic) by the Skillet Lickers.

Oscar Brand recorded EBENEZER FRYE.


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 03:18 PM

What is the basis for the attribution to Kaufman in "Folk Music Index"?
The sheet music at Levy, 1907, Benjamin Hapgood Burt, and the existence of the comedy, "The Yankee Tourist," the venue for the song, is established. "Wal I Swan" is the original title.

The audio at Honking Duck of the complete song by the Skillet Lickers (1931) is linked in a previous post.


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 07:45 PM

Meade et alia "Country Music Sources' indicate that the Skillet lickers actually recorded it on 29 October 1929, but it was not released until October 1931 as Columbia 15695-D. They also reference Burt as author, but no mention of any Kaufman. They reference also earlier non-country/folk recordings than those mentioned above: Raymond Hitchcock (1910) and Byron G. Harlan (1911).

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: kendall
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 09:55 PM

My pal, Smokey Green recorded this gem.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WAL, I SWAN (EBENEZER FRYE) (Benj H Burt)
From: GUEST,Old Shake
Date: 07 Feb 04 - 04:41 PM

Thanks to everyone for their posts on this topic.
I have been trying to find information on this song for my grandpa.
I was able to find the original songbook at the library.
Here are the words for anyone else who is interested...

Transcribed from the original songbook:

COVER:

Git-Dap Napoleon
WAL, I SWAN (EBENEZER FRYE)

sung by Raymond Hitchcock
in Henry W. Savage's production of
THE YANKEE TOURIST

--Words and Music by Benjamin Hapgood Burt--

(this song to be recited, more than sung.)

1. I run the old mill over here to Reubensville.
My name's Joshua Ebenezer Frye.
I know a thing or two. you bet your neck I do.
They don't ketch me for I'm too darn sly.
I've seen Bunco men, allus got the best o' them.
Once I met a couple on the Boston train.
They says, "How be you!" I says, "That'll do!
Travel right along with your darn skin game."

CHORUS 1: Wal, I swan! I mus' be gittin' on!
Git-dap, Napoleon! It looks like rain.
Wal, I'll be switched! The hay ain't pitched.
Come in when you're over to the farm again.

2. I drove the old mare over to the County Fair,
Took first prize on a load o' summer squash.
Stopped at the cider mill coming over by the hill.
Come home "tighter" than a drum, by gosh!
I was so durn full, I give away the old bull,
Dropped both my reins clean out on the fill.
Got hum so darn late, couldn't find the barn gate.
Ma says, "Joshua 'taint possibil."

CHORUS 2: (Same as 1.)

3. We had a big show here 'bout a week ago
Pitched up a tent by the old mill dam.
Ma says let's go in to the sideshow,
Jus' take a look at the tattooed man.
I see a cus' look, sharp at my pocket book,
Says "Gimme two tens for a five.
I says, "You durn fool! I be the constabule!
Now you're arrested sure as yer live."

CHORUS 3: Wal, I swan! I mus' be gittin' on!
Git-dap, Napoleon! It looks like rain.
Wal, I'll be durned! The butter ain't churned.
Come in when you're over to the farm again.

4. I drove the old bay into town yesterday
Hitched by the track to the railroad fence.
Tied her good and strong, but a train came along,
And I ain't seen the "hoss" or the wagin sence.
Had to foot it home so I started off alone,
When a man says, "Hurry! yer barn's on fire."
But I had the key in my pocket you see,
So, I knew that the cus' was a fool or a liar.

CHORUS 4: (Same as 1.)

5. My son Joshua went to Philadelphia
He wouldn't do a day's work if he could.
Smoked cigarettes too, way the city folks do.
What he's a-coming to, ain't no good.
He didn't give a darn 'bout stayin' on the farm,
Keeps writin' hum he's a-doin' right well.
It seems sort of fun'ny that he's allus out o' money,
And Ma says the boy's up to some kind o' hell.

CHORUS 5: (Same as 1.)

-
copyright MCMVII by M. Witmark & Sons


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: GUEST,Jack Conaway
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 10:06 PM

My Dad who was born in DE in 1898, sang a sanitized version of this song to me when I was a little boy in the 1940's. Is there a children's version of it or do you think he made it up.

Can't recall exactly but it went something like;

Gitty up Napolio
Looks like rainio
All in the barn yard come this way.

My son Joshuay went to Philadelphiay
Smokin cigarettes as young folks do
Well I'll be switched if the the hay ain't pitched

Regards,

Jack


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 10:25 PM

Guest Jack, I guess a lot of dads and grans sang versions of it. Hope you can remember a little more. It was sung by my grandfather, but I have lost it all.

The Joshuay version was asked for back in 1997 (thread 2210) but no response.


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 03:04 AM

I heard it as a kid in the late 50's on a set of 45RPM's called "Golden Funny Songs". Probably based on the version posted, though much shorter, of course. I remember the chorus as:

Well, I swan, I must be gettin' on
Giddyap, Napoleon, it looks like rain
Well I'll be switched, the hay ain't pitched
(Well I'll be durned, the butter ain't churned)
So come down to the farm again some fine day.

And the tag for the verse went:

You can't fuel [fool] me 'cause I'm too durn sly

[Thread creep alert] That collection also included "Eatin' Goober Peas", "There's a Hole in the Bucket", and the following medley, of which I'm sure there are dozens of variants:

Boom! Boom! Ain't it great to be crazy?
Boom! Boom! Ain't it great to be crazy?
A horse and a flea and three blind mice
Sat on a curbstone shooting dice
The horse he slipped and fell on the flea
Whoops! said the flea, There's a horsey on me
Boom! Boom! Ain't it great to be crazy!

Way down South where bananas grow
A grasshopper stepped on an elephant's toe
The elephant said with tears in his eyes
"Pick on somebody your own size"

A peanut sat on a railroad track
His heart was all a-flutter
Along came the 6:13
Toot! Toot! Peanut butter!

Ooey Gooey was a worm
A mighty worm was he
He sat upon a railroad track
The train he did not see
Ooey Gooey...

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 06:45 AM

Old Shake, Conaway, Cohen - what a grand set of work and recollections. Black Walnut - thankyou for a facinating thread.

WELL DONE!!!! All AROUND!



Sincerely, Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: GUEST,kinkaju
Date: 06 May 05 - 03:30 AM


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: GUEST,HTB33
Date: 28 Nov 06 - 02:33 PM

I sure am glad to see that others out there (like me) had granpas that sang this song to them and they too remember! I have asked a ton of folks if they recall it, including my own mother and they all had no clue what I was talking about. I can't wait to send her a link to this thread! Thanks All for the lyrics!


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: Tradsinger
Date: 28 Nov 06 - 06:47 PM

You'll be interested to know that the tune at least has passed into tradition in the UK as Napoleon's retreat. I'm sure that most people here don't realise it's a comic song about a horse.

I got it from someone who learnt it in Chipping Campden (Gloucestershire), and our band, the Green Willow Band, recorded it in 1980 as a hornpipe - just the tune. Such is the stuff of folk.

Cheers

Gwilym (Tradsinger)


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Subject: RE: Gitty Up Napoleon
From: black walnut
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 09:28 AM

Thanks Gwuilym.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Dec 06 - 07:55 PM

You can see the sheet music at The Archive of Popular American Music at UCLA.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H B
From: Helen
Date: 08 Dec 06 - 10:29 PM

So, what does "well, I swan" mean? I've always wondered.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Dec 06 - 10:41 PM

"swoon, swăn, swān"

Why, it means "I am extremely nonplussed, I'll have you know!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Dec 06 - 11:21 PM

The same thing as "I'll be a monkey's uncle!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H B
From: Helen
Date: 09 Dec 06 - 01:41 AM

So it's related to the word "swoon"? That was the bit I didn't understand. I kind of worked out what it meant, I just wasn't sure where the word came from, in this context.

So thanks, BillD & Q.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Dec 06 - 02:05 AM

I always figured it was a euphemism for "I swear"--sort of like "Gol-darn it" is a euphemism for "God-damn it."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H B
From: GUEST,gumpuddin
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 09:35 PM

I swanny! Y'all wonder what that means? It's a term I've heard my grandparents (born 1898) and parents use many times. It has almost disappeared from their vocabulary lately though. Jim Dixon is correct - a euphemism for "I swear... " . Most of the time they would say, "I swanny ..." which was apparently very "accepted," whereas at other times, they would start to say "I swear..." but turn before the 1st vowel ... so "I sw-w-anny...," or "I sw-w-an!" Thanks for the lyrics ... was trying to make out the words on a Skillet Lickers recording. He really mumbled the cider mill line.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H B
From: GUEST,Bailey
Date: 05 May 08 - 04:14 AM

A shorter version can be found on the children's album "Songs That Tickle Your Funny Bone" sung by the Golden Chorus & Orchestra.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: GUEST,BobEL
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 10:44 AM

I heard this on an old wind-up record player in my grandad's attic in Pennsylvania. This was in the 1940's and they must have got the record way before then - probably in the 1920's. I think it was on the Rooster record label.

"I swan" is as mentined above but if you consider the word to be "sworn" rather than "swear" the pronounciation makes more sense. (I'd have sworn => I swan).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 02:30 PM

From Webster's Collegiate Dictionary; Their swasivious entry:

swan vi swanned; swanning [perhaps euphemism for swear] (1784) dial : Declare, swear.

The OED says perhaps northern English dialect, is'was, literally 'I shall warrant = I'll be bound'; later changing to current usage (U. S., obsolete in England). Also a swasivious explanation.

Gosh all hemlock, I have a new word! (Swasivious means 'agreeably persuasive'). 16th c. but should be revived.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H B
From: GUEST,J Edwards
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 05:27 PM

My Grandfather sang this song to me in 1953 when I was 2 months old. My father sang it his grandchildren, and I now sing it to my grandchildren. We sing Steubenville, and have slightly different lyrics than what is posted here, but I just sang it with my 85 year old dad and his 89 year old sister, and we all remember it exactly the same way.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: GUEST,Speedy Arnold
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 06:33 PM

My Dads'cousin Russ Mulvey used to song this to us, I learned it from him & from a version from Double Decker(bought the album just to hear the song.)
Today in my grocery store, I sang it to a man named Frey, who owns "a cider mill over here by the hill"(Elf's Farm, Plattsburgh NY). How interesting things go around, eh?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 05:00 PM

I cannot begin to describe how thrilled I am to have found this thread! My grandpa and my dad used to both sing parts of this song to me as a child setting with them. I loved this song. My grandpa a full blood Swede sang the song in a very heavy Swede accent which left me with the mistaken impression the song was a Scandinavian song. My dad would also sing a much condensed version of this same song as I sat with him as a child when he would be putting me to sleep.

I was born in 1962 so even my dad is now well into his 80's with little memory of this song, or its origins, and until finding this thread I could not trace the roots of this song. Thanks to everyone so very much, having this info just means so much to me!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: GUEST,Bill D
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 05:07 PM

I didn't post above, though I think I did in some other thread, that MY father used to recite parts of this...more or less like "Old Shake" posted way above. Dad never sang, but he knew a lot of rhythmes and stories.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: GUEST,Sam I Am
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 12:28 PM

My grandfather (1900-1978), a naval officer who was also a VERY good banjo player, sang this song at all family gatherings. Over the years, it became something like the family anthem. The words he sang were pretty much identical to the lyrics in the 07 Feb 04 post on this thread. I always assumed it was a traditional folk song passed down through his New England rural roots, but from these posts, which come from all over the country with similar stories, it appears more likely it was a Tin Pan Alley song that he learned along with hundreds of others in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: GUEST,TommyK
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 07:43 PM

I'll put in my 2¢ worth.
I remember playing this from a collection of children's song on a small suitcase sized, portable record player. It had a substantial wooden box with faux alligator for a covering.

The record, I believe was an LP with this song and Boom, Boom Aint' It Great To Be Crazy.

Not being flush with money, I suspect my folks purchased the player and record on a garage sale or bazaar.

I remember the line after the "two tens for a five" line "I said ya durn fuel, I'll be the constabule, ya can't fool me 'cause I'm too durn sly."

I'm sure I wore that old record out playing it so much. Back in the mid to late 60's.

I suspect it was a re-cut of the aforementioned 45 rpm collection, just cut to an LP. Any idea who sung that rendition?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: nickp
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 03:51 PM

Hmm. Looking at the Yankee Tourist comments, although the sheet music confirms that it was in "Yankee Tourist", there is no mention of it in the (very few) lists of song contents and I'm not sure from the synopsis how it would fit.

For an example here

Any thoughts welcome.

Nick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wal, I Swan / Giddyap Napoleon (B H Burt)
From: nickp
Date: 26 Dec 17 - 05:19 PM

refresh?


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