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Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array

Ken the Tech 18 Sep 98 - 06:50 PM
Barbara 18 Sep 98 - 09:13 PM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 98 - 01:45 AM
Bill D 19 Sep 98 - 10:19 AM
gargoyle 19 Sep 98 - 12:29 PM
catspaw49 15 Aug 00 - 10:38 AM
Jacob B 15 Aug 00 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,bigJ 15 Aug 00 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,afriend 25 Nov 05 - 10:10 PM
biglappy 26 Nov 05 - 01:47 AM
Peace 26 Nov 05 - 01:55 AM
Peace 26 Nov 05 - 01:57 AM
Artful Codger 26 Nov 05 - 03:44 PM
Tannywheeler 26 Nov 05 - 04:59 PM
michaelr 26 Nov 05 - 10:32 PM
GUEST,umkclag0 13 Dec 06 - 03:14 AM
catspaw49 13 Dec 06 - 03:34 AM
Geoff the Duck 13 Dec 06 - 04:51 AM
Bat Goddess 13 Dec 06 - 09:40 AM
mrdux 13 Dec 06 - 04:08 PM
Bill D 13 Dec 06 - 04:45 PM
GUEST 01 Jan 09 - 01:20 PM
Bill D 01 Jan 09 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Hattie Love 08 Jul 09 - 12:39 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Jul 09 - 09:59 AM
Bill D 30 Jul 09 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Susan K 21 Aug 09 - 09:44 PM
Bill D 21 Aug 09 - 10:30 PM
GUEST,landers 23 Jan 10 - 09:18 PM
michaelr 23 Jan 10 - 10:55 PM
GUEST,Leslie Rez 27 Aug 10 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,DownSouthNow 31 Dec 10 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Jerry age 70 28 Feb 11 - 10:10 PM
GUEST,Larry 21 Oct 11 - 12:24 PM
GUEST 05 Nov 11 - 12:24 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Nov 11 - 11:18 PM
RoyH (Burl) 06 Nov 11 - 01:56 AM
RockClimber 15 Nov 11 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,nariebarie 08 Feb 12 - 01:26 AM
GUEST 15 May 14 - 10:05 PM
GUEST,Anne Leone aka "holly" 18 Dec 14 - 11:50 AM
Jim Dixon 21 Dec 14 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,John Milton 21 Aug 15 - 12:38 PM
Bill D 21 Aug 15 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,Big Al 13 Dec 16 - 02:57 AM
GUEST,bigJ 13 Dec 16 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Challca 10 Mar 18 - 04:53 AM
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Subject: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Ken the Tech
Date: 18 Sep 98 - 06:50 PM

I am looking for the title, lyrics, and a source for a novelty song that received air play back in the late fifties or early sixties. The song starts out with: "One hen, two ducks, three geese, four porpulent propoises" and at one point: "7 thousand Macedonians in full battle array" is sung.

It was a favorite of my brother who is gone now and my sister would like to have a copy or at least the lyric sheet to this song.

Please contact me at belboz@vci.net if you get any hints as to where or what this song is.

Thanks 09/18/98


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Barbara
Date: 18 Sep 98 - 09:13 PM

My brother and I used to say this to the disgust/amusement of most adults present. I b'lieve we learned it off a Steve Allen or Johnny Carson show. Somebody's monologue, anyway, and as I recall, and the point was to find a sucker who would repeat the whole thing back to you, starting with the one hen, and then repeating each additional line. It went:
One hen,
Two ducks
Three squawking geese
Four Limerick oysters
Five corpulent porpoises
Six pairs of Dr. Visser's tweezers
Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array
Eight (something) octapi (something)
Nine sympathetic apathetic diabetic old men, each with a marked propensity for procrastination and sloth.

It went on from there, but this was the place where practically everyone wiped out, and I forget the rest.
Probably Joe Offer has looked this up and found it somewhere by now, but I'll ship it anyway.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 98 - 01:45 AM

Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who swim to and fro about the quo and the quay and the queasy at the very same time.


Gee Barbara, am I giving you a complex or something? Click here, Barbara, for your very own link to Hotbot.com. You, too, can find information you can post without typing....


Click here to get to where I found the information, which doesn't give much more than we have here.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 98 - 10:19 AM

I heard Pete Seeger do this in about 1962...and, as you might imagine in things like this, it was slightly different....one of his lines ran:

"Seven sailing ships sailing from Orinoco to Madagascar on Prince Thegar's wedding day"

I guess people folk-process this as necessary...a few lines remain basically the same and others change wildly...except that, with the 'copy and paste' ability of the WWW, there is going to be less 'processing'...folks are gonna find pieces...post them...and most of the rest are just going to 'look it up'...and databases like DT will serve to slow, if not quite stop, the process...(wonder if Pete still remembers his routine...and where he got it?)


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: gargoyle
Date: 19 Sep 98 - 12:29 PM

A "mnemonics" (i.e. memory) book, published in the late 70's cited this piece. They claimed that it was used as a portion of an "aptitude" test for radio announcers. One line is read and the "testee" repeats it back, the second line is read and the "testee" repeats back both lines, a third line is read and the "testee" repeats back all three lines...etc.

Actually, it is a fun game. Try it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Hen, Two Ducks
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 10:38 AM

The trick here folks, is NOT in the knowing, but in the ability to do all ten in under 12 seconds as Jerry Lewis does.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Hen, Two Ducks
From: Jacob B
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 10:42 AM

Nine sympathetic apathetic diabetic old men on roller skates, with a marked propensity for procrastination and sloth

Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who haul, stall, crawl around the about the quai of the quay of the quivvy at the very same time

My source is not Jerry Lewis, but a recording that some Boston radio station had a professional chorus make.

Jacob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Hen, Two Ducks
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 03:55 PM

Pete Seeger recorded it some long time ago and from nine it went:

Ten tipsy tailors timidly torturing a terrified tit-mouse.

Eleven corinthian columns careening cautiously, closely contiguous to the covered catacoombs(sp?) of a catholic convent.

Twelve turbulent tom-tits, twittering tumultuously in the top of a tall tamarac tree.

and

Thirteen thirsty thespians thriftily thumbing through thirty-thousand theological theses.


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,afriend
Date: 25 Nov 05 - 10:10 PM

8 thousand monkeys from the ancient sacred cripts of Egypt


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: biglappy
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 01:47 AM

One hen
Two ducks
Three squawking geese
Four limericking oysters
Five corpulent porpoises
Six pairs of Don Alverzo's tweezers
Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array
Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt
Nine sympathetic, diabetic, old men on roller skates with a marked
   propensity for procrastination and sloth


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Peace
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 01:55 AM

"One Hen, Two Ducks"
One Hen, Two Ducks

This is a repeat after me song
Are you ready?
All right!
Here we go!

Two ducks
Three squawking geese
Four limerick oysters
Five corpulent porpoises

Six pairs of Don Alverso's tweezers

Seven thousand Macedonians in full dress battle array

Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt

Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic old men on roller skates with a
marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth
Ten Conical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who haul,
stall around the corner of the quo, of the quay, of the quivey
all at the same time!-->

One hen.
One hen, two ducks.
One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese.
One hen . . . four limerick  oysters.
One hen . . . five corpulent porpoises.
One hen . . . six pairs of Don El Verzo's tweezers.
One hen . . . seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array.
One hen . . . eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt.
One hen . . . nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic  old men on
roller skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth.
One hen . . . ten  Conical, spherical,  diabolical denizens of the
deep who haul squall around the corner of the quo, of the quay, 
with a quiver all at the same time.

Alternatively (not from down under (I think)) is the following,
"based on some sort of radio broadcaster's test and it goes up to,
so I have heard-21 or so"

One hen . . . ten   lyrical, spereical, dyibolical denons of the
deep who haul stall and fall around the quo, quivy and qay
One hen . . . eleven neutramatic synsthesizing systems owned by the
seriously cybernetic marketing division shipped via relatavistic space
flight through the draconian sector seven.

 

Another Version

One hen.
Two ducks.
Three squaking geese .
Four limerick oysters.
Five golden rings.
Six pairs of Don Alverzo's favorite tweezers.
Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array.
Eight brass monkeys from the ancient, sacred,
secret crypts of Egypt.
Nine apathetic, sympathetic diabetic old men on
roller skates with a marked propensity towards
procrastination and sloth.

Ten spherical, lyrical diabolical demons of the
deep who consistently quiver on the quarry
of the key constantly.

Sung as a "Repeat after me" chant.
Leader chants one line and the group repeats it

 

Another Version:

This is a repeat after me song
Are you ready?
Al right!
Here we go!
And a couple of ducks
Three baby brown bears
Four rabit running hares
Five fat figgity froggies
Six simple Simon selling salt in Siam
Seven slimey sailors sippin' sleuce
Eight elongated elephants being elevated in an elevator
Nine nasty nosed nibbly "O"s nibbeling on nine nasty nosed nibbly oughts
Ten two-tone two-ton transcontinental trucks, with trailers, traveling
from Talahassie Tennessee to Tyler Texas-->
One fat hen.
One fat hen and a couple of ducks.
One fat hen and a couple of ducks, three baby brown bears.
One fat hen and . . . four rabit running hares.
One fat hen and . . . five fat figgity froggies.
One fat hen and . . . six simple Simon selling salt in Siam.
One fat hen and . . . seven slimey sailors sippin' sleuce.
One fat hen and . . . eight elongated elephants being elevated in an elevator.
One fat hen and . . . nine nasty nosed nibbly "O"s nibbeling on nine
nasty nosed nibbly oughts.
One fat hen and . . . ten two-tone two-ton transcontinental trucks,
with trailers, traveling from Talahassie Tennessee to Tyler Texas.


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Peace
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 01:57 AM

http://www.jerrylewiscomedy.com/announcer.htm
The Announcer's Test

  • One hen
  • Two ducks
  • Three squawking geese
  • Four limerick oysters
  • Five corpulent porpoises
  • Six pair of Don Alversos tweezers
  • Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array
  • Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt
  • Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic, old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth
  • Ten lyrical, spherical diabolical denizens of the deep who hall stall around the corner of the quo of the quay of the quivery, all at the same time.

This is called the announcer's test. It originated at Radio Central New York in the early 1940's as a cold reading test given to prospective radio talent to demonstrate their speaking ability.

Del Moore, a long time friend of Jerry's, took this test at Radio Central New York in 1941, and passed it on to him. (Del Moore is best remembered as Dr. Warfield in "The Nutty Professor," 1963)

Jerry has performed this test on radio, television and stage for many years, and it has become a favorite tongue twister of his fans around the world.


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Artful Codger
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 03:44 PM

Do seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array agree?


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 04:59 PM

God--Jerry Lewis in folklore!!!!!!!! Who'd a thunk.....Tw


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Nov 05 - 10:32 PM

I first heard this on Flo & Eddie's 1975 album "Illegal, Immoral and Fattening". They call it "The Tibetan Memory Trick", and the label credits Lewis-Moore as authors.

Flo & Eddie are, of course, Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, erstwhile lead singers for The Turtles (celestial harmonies), then for Zappa's Mothers of Invention, appearing in the "200 Motels" film. Their inimitable shtick appears on the Mothers' "Just another Band from LA" and "Live at Fillmore" albums, but their own "Illegal, Immoral etc" takes the cake. They goof on Elton, Joni, the Stones, George Harrison, and more.

"The pop star massage unit. It's a dildo is what it is. It starts out like a regular dildo, but the top, ladies and gentlemen... the top clips on with the size and proportions of the pop star of your choice!
And we have `em in all sizes, shapes and colors, from the little white emaciated shrivelled-up John Denver model..."

"How do you know?"

"How do you know?"


Check them out here.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,umkclag0
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 03:14 AM

Version I learned many years ago:

One hen, .....
ten lyrical, spherical diabolical denizens of the deep who haul stall and pray on the quo of the quay of the quivey all at the same time.


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 03:34 AM

With minor changes in a couple of verses, we all learned pretty much the same thing. I heard it first from Jerry Lewis, god forbid, but moreso after that from a friend's father who could do it clearly in under 10 seconds quite consistently. I realize that over the years I have somehow swapped the denizens of the deep (now 10th) with my old men on roller skates (now 9th).

I was immediately troubled by this which shows just how stupid we can be and still live.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 04:51 AM

7000 Macedonians in full battle array.













And a partridge in a pear tree...
Sounds like a hell of a countdown to Christmas!!!
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 09:40 AM

Actually, it reminds me of the "poem" --

An Austrian army awfully arrayed
Boldly by battery besieged Belgrade.
Cossack commanders cannonading come
Dealing destruction's devastating doom.
Every engineer's something, something essayed..
For fame, for fortune, fighting furious fray...

Etcetera. Damned if I can remember any more.

Linn


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: mrdux
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 04:08 PM

linn --

i found this lurking in an old file.

michael

The Siege of Belgrade

      An Austrian army, awfully arrayed,
      Boldly by battery besieged Belgrade.
      Cossack commanders cannonading come,
      Dealing destruction's devastating doom.
      Every endeavor engineers essay,
      For fame, for fortune fighting - furious fray!
      Generals 'gainst generals grapple - gracious God!
      How honors Heaven heroic hardihood!
      Infuriate, indiscrminate in ill,
      Kindred kill kinsmen, kinsmen kindred kill.
      Labor low levels longest, lofiest lines;
      Men march 'mid mounds, 'mid moles, ' mid murderous mines;
      Now noxious, noisey numbers nothing, naught
      Of outward obstacles, opposing ought;
      Poor patriots, partly purchased, partly pressed,
      Quite quaking, quickly "Quarter! Quarter!" quest.
      Reason returns, religious right redounds,
      Suwarrow stops such sanguinary sounds.
      Truce to thee, Turkey! Triumph to thy train,
      Unwise, unjust, unmerciful Ukraine!
      Vanish vain victory! vanish, victory vain!
      Why wish we warfare? Wherefore welcome were
      Xerxes, Ximenes, Xanthus, Xavier?
      Yield, yield, ye youths! ye yeomen, yield your yell!
      Zeus', Zarpater's, Zoroaster's zeal,
      Attracting all, arms against acts appeal!

          -- Alaric Alexander Watts (1797-1864)(attrib.)


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Dec 06 - 04:45 PM

We did NOT "all learn this the same way"...*grin*


*I* heard it from Pete Seeger, as I said above, about 1961-62, with the line about "7 sailing ships..."

I still wonder if he wrote part of it..here is another version with 'suggestions' of the version I heard.

"A good fat hen.

Two ducks and a good fat hen.

Three plump partridges, two ducks and a good fat hen.

Four squawking wild geese, three plump partridges, etc.

Five hundred Limerick oysters.

Six pairs of Don Alfonso's tweezers.

Seven hundred rank and file Macedonian horsemen drawn up in line of battle.

Eight cages of heliogabalus sparrow kites.

Nine sympathetical, epithetical, categorical propositions.

Ten tentapherical tubes.

Eleven flat bottom fly boats sailing between Madagascar and Mount Palermo.

Twelve European dancing masters, sent to teach the Egyptian mummies how to dance, against Hercules' wedding day. "


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Hen, Two Ducks
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 01:20 PM

Nine nurse-assisted nanny's, numchucking naughty little ninjas on their fannies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: One Hen, Two Ducks
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 02:09 PM

Pete Seeger's 7th was:

"Seven sailing ships sailing from Orinoco to Madagascar on Prince Thegar's wedding day"

Pete recited the whole thing for me last year. He says it was published in some issue of SingOut a number of years ago. I haven't found it yet.


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,Hattie Love
Date: 08 Jul 09 - 12:39 AM

ONE hen
TWO ducks
THREE squawking geese
FOUR limerick oysters
FIVE corpulent porpoises
SIX pairs of Don El Vera's tweezers
SEVEN thousand Macedonian soldiers dressed in full battle array
EIGHT golden monkeys from the sacred crypts of Egypt
NINE sympathetic apathetic diabetic old men on rollerskates bent towards procrastination and sloth
TEN ticklish tom turkeys sipping iced vinegar and water, listening to Stanley Turrentine on their rickety front stoop.


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 09:59 AM

It's in Wikipedia under Announcer's test.

I seem to remember a brand of cigar named Don Alverzo, but I am unable to confirm this with Google. Maybe I have the wrong spelling?


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Subject: RE: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 01:04 PM

Okay... I just looked up the index to songs in Sing Out magazine. It says the words to "One Big Fat Hen" are in Vol.9 #2. (page 0, whatever that means)

If anyone has access to that VERY old issue, it would be interesting to compare Pete's version to those posted here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,Susan K
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 09:44 PM

One hen
A couple of ducks
Three Brown Bears
Four Running Hares
Five Fat Females Fixing for a Fight
Six corpulent porpoises
Seven Thousand Macedonian Warriors in Full Battle Array
Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt
Nine sympathetic diabetic old men on roller skates with a marked tendency toward procrastination and sloth
Ten fig pluckers plucking figs; I'm not the fig plucker nor the fig plucker's son but I can pluck figs as well as anyone can.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 10:30 PM

Susan K... obviously a shortened, recent version with substitutions made in place of lost verses Where did you learn it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,landers
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 09:18 PM

Here's how I learned it:
One hen
Two ducks
Three squaking geese
Four corpulent porpoises
Five limerick oysters
Six pairs of Don Alverso's tweezers
Seven thousand Macedonians dressed in full battle array
Eight brass monkeys from the secret, sacred, ancient crypts of Egypt
Nine apathetic, diabetic old men on rollerskates with a propensity toward procrastination and sloth
Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens from the deep whose whole thing is just around the corner from the quo, quivy and quay.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 10:55 PM

That's the Flo & Eddie version, except I'm not too sure about the last line.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,Leslie Rez
Date: 27 Aug 10 - 11:11 AM

Susan K - you have it almost EXACTLY how I learned it from my brother's friends as a drinking game:

One hen
A couple ducks
Three Brown Bear
Four Running Hare
Five Fat Females Fixing for a Fight
Six corpulent porpoises
Seven sheet slitters: I slit sheets upon a slitted sheet I sit
Eight ??
Nine ?
Ten fig pluckers plucking figs; I am not a fig plucker nor a fig plucker's son but I'll pluck figs until the fig plucker comes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,DownSouthNow
Date: 31 Dec 10 - 12:24 PM

Learned this as a drinking game in the 1970s driving from NC, PA to a concert in Pittsburgh with my girlfriend. Her older sister's boyfriend was driving, and we were messed up by the time we got to the concert. I used it many times in college at parties. It is played as a round robin, adding one line at a time till you get to ten. Mess up, and you drink.

Enjoy Responsibly as they say....
What I remember, and how I've been passing it along:

One hen
Two ducks
Three squawking geese
Four glimmering oysters
Five porpuline (sic) porpoises
Six pairs of Don Alverso tweezers
Seven thousand Macedonians dressed in full battle array
Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt
Nine lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep
Ten apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic old men on roller skates, who all stall around the corner of the quo, of the quay of the quivy all at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,Jerry age 70
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 10:10 PM

This is the way I heard it at age 10:
One good hen
Two ducks
Three squawking geese
Four plump partridges
Five limerick oysters
Six pair of Don Alphonso tweezers
Seven hundred Macedonian horsemen in full battle array
Eight sympathetic, apathetic, diabetic old men on crutches
Nine brass monkeys from the sacred sepulchers of ancient Egypt
Ten heliotropic, heliotrophs from the eelemosanary institute.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,Larry
Date: 21 Oct 11 - 12:24 PM

I'm amazed by all the different versions posted here...incredible! The title of this thread is "7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array." However, my dad's version reads, "7 Thousand Macedonian Horses, fully equipped, drawn up in line and ready for battle." Evidently, over the years, lyrics get transposed and changed. Knowing my dad, he probably enjoyed embellishing the lyrics a bit. My dad had his version memorized and would recite it for friends or family anytime I would ask him...this began when I was a kid in the mid 40's. I would truly like to know the original version.

My dad's version:

One big fat hen.
Two ducks.
Three squawking wild geese.
Four plump partridges.
Five hundred limerick oysters.
Six pairs of Don Alphonso tweezers.
Seven thousand Macedonian Horses, fully equipped, drawn up in line and ready for battle.
Eight cages of Polly O'Gabbit parakeets.
Nine bottles of Dr. J. H. Skeppadine Snap Cough Syrup used in hospitals and like situations for the Son's of Moan.
Ten thousand Egyptian mummies carefully wrapped and preserved in ancient Sarcophagus of Rome.
Eleven little women out in the garden picking cabbages; along came a wolf and said, "What, no soap today?" and rolled over and died! All the hobgoblins, even to the big Banshee, danced at the funeral until the gunpowder ran over their boot tops.

Larry


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 12:24 PM

ten:....something about totey fields ten tiny tattoed toes


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 11:18 PM

That's a reference to Totie Fields (1930-1978), one of the first female stand-up comedians. It may also be an oblique (and bad-taste) reference to the fact that she had a leg amputated in 1976.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 06 Nov 11 - 01:56 AM

Pete Seeger's version began, 'One Big Fat Hen'


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: RockClimber
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 12:53 PM

Wow. I was trying to find out if it was "queue", "quay", and "quivvy" (all unresolved). Not unusual to find a zillion different versions, but I am surprised that so far all of them have the old men as "diabetic". My stepfather taught me to say "apathetic, sympathetic, PERIPATETIC old men on roller skates". (I grew up in the 1970s; I think he learned it in the late 50s.)

Also I think I've heard it (mistakenly?) with the lyrical spherical denizens in the ninth place, and the old men in the tenth, but in that case their propensity for sloth falls by the wayside.

This is the version that "sounds right" to me:

One hen
Two ducks
Three squawking geese
Four limerick oysters
Five corpulent porpoises
Six pairs of Don Alberzo's tweezers
Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array
Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt
Nine lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep
Ten apathetic, sympathetic, peripatetic old men on roller-skates *[with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth?]* who haul-stall around the corner of the queue of the quay of the quivvy, all at the same time


I may have 9 and 10 switched, probably do.
side comment: I always thought those denizens of the deep sounded like some kind of stinging jellyfish.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,nariebarie
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 01:26 AM

I just learned this today..
1 red hen
2 cute ducks
3 brown bears
4 corpulant porpoises
5 limerick oysters
6 pairs of don alverzos tweezers
7 thousand macedonians in full battle aray
8 brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of egypt
9 lyrical spherical diabolical denizens of the deep around the key of the quay to the quivvy
10 apethetic sympathetic diabetic old men on roller skates, all marked with propenseties towards procrastination and sloth


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST
Date: 15 May 14 - 10:05 PM

1 good duck
2 fat hens
3 plump partridges
4 white swans
5 pair of Don Alphonso's tweezers
6 feathery fluffy featherbeds
7 thousand Macedonian horseman in full battle array
8 crates of bald headed monkeys from the holy sepulchers of ancient Egypt
9 apoplectic didactic old men on crutches
10 heliospherical hemogloboids for use in the Eleemosynary Institute of Chicago.

This was my family version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,Anne Leone aka "holly"
Date: 18 Dec 14 - 11:50 AM

I learned part of this during frat parties @ Pratt Institute (Engineering) in Brooklyn NY around 1950.
I remember Limerick oysters but don't know how many, remember something about diabetic, sympathetic old men, and also corpulent porpoises, also brass monkeys from the ancient, sacred, secret crypts, of Egypt but the ONE that really sticks out in my mind is__?pregnant penguins pushing perambulators around Palisades park----can anyone help?
NEVER ran across Don Alverzo or anyone's tweezers.
What a great illustration of the oral tradition---


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Dec 14 - 09:44 AM

I have finally been able to confirm that there was a brand of cigars named El Verso (not Alverzo); however, it doesn't have the word "Don" connected to it. (There are/were several other brands that do/did begin with "Don": Don Corello, Don Equestro, Don Gudo, Don Ovando, Don Rodrigo, etc. "Don" is a Spanish honorific.)

It now seems unlikely this has any connection to "Don Alverzo's tweezers."


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,John Milton
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 12:38 PM

I first heard this from Jerry Lewis

Rock climber's version is correct to my knowledge


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 09:53 PM

Correct??

No one version of something like this is 'correct'... and no one in all these years seems to know Pete Seeger's version... at least no one yet has managed to find the early copy of "Sing Out" where Pete's version...which just 'felt' more carefully constructed... is published. I may just start a thread asking who has a copy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,Big Al
Date: 13 Dec 16 - 02:57 AM

Wow, this thread has been going for years! The only thing I have to add to these fine comments is that the Boston DJ who made this famous in the 60's (at least for those who hadn't heard it before) was Dick Summer on WBZ. He even had a musical recording made of it - ending with "toot toot" - and I can still recite it perfectly from memory to this day. Funny the things your brain cells retain after 50 years.

Dick, "Juicy Brucey" Bradley, and Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsberg (on WMEX) were my idols as a teen, and a large part of why I got into radio in college and beyond. While I worked from "town to town, up and down the dial", as the song goes, I may have been "popular" but never "famous". That's OK. Not everyone can be a legend.


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 13 Dec 16 - 11:46 AM

What on earth am I doing still lurking here sixteen years after my original posting above?
A 12" recording that included Pete's version was issued by Doug Dobell's company - Dobell's Jazz Record Shop, 77 Charing Cross Road, London WC2 with a serial number F-LAT 1, in 1959 having been recorded at the Saint Pancras Town Hall Theatre on the 4th October 1959.
THAT recording was issued as part of a double CD called "Pete Seeger in England" by Fellside Recordings - FECD273 earlier this year - see their website - www.fellside.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr: 7 Thousand Macedonians in Full Battle Array
From: GUEST,Challca
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 04:53 AM

As I get older my memory is not what it was, but I do remember at the age of 21 in 1961 in Montreal competing in the family circle, and what I can remember of it - (but with a little prompting might remember more) is this:

A good fat hen
Two ducks
Three plump partridges
Four sqawking wild geese
Five hundred Limerick oysters
Six?
Seven?
Eight? flying flat bottomed mudscows bound from the straits of Peleponese, thence south(?!) to Alaska
Nine?
Ten?
Eleven?
Twelve prestidigators and twelve prestidigitatoesses stting in a circle giving thanks to God that this memory test is over.


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