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Origins: Dunderbeck

DigiTrad:
DUNDERBECK
JOHNNIE VERBECK


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Johnny Von Beck/Rebek/Verbeck/Vorbeck (22)
Lyr Req: Oh Mr. Johnny Rubeck How could you be so (6)
Lyr/Chords Req: Mr. Johnny Trebeck...how coul (27)
Lyr Req: Dunderbeck (23)
Dunderbeckian News Story (15)
Dunderbeck (4) (closed)
Lyr Req: Johnny Ver Beck / Dunderbeck / etc. (6) (closed)
Lyr Req: Donna Rebeck / Dunderbeck (19)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Johnnie Verbeck (Dunderbeck) (from The Boy Scout Songbook (USA, 1963) - not the usual "Rambling Wreck"/"Gambolier" tune)


GUEST,Champagne Carol's Secret Santa 19 Dec 04 - 06:14 PM
MartinRyan 19 Dec 04 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS 19 Dec 04 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS 19 Dec 04 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS 19 Dec 04 - 06:57 PM
Joe Offer 19 Dec 04 - 07:00 PM
Joe Offer 20 Dec 04 - 01:14 PM
Joe Offer 20 Dec 04 - 01:18 PM
Joe Offer 20 Dec 04 - 01:53 PM
Joe Offer 20 Dec 04 - 02:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Dec 04 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS at work 21 Dec 04 - 02:05 AM
Joe Offer 21 Dec 04 - 02:25 AM
GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS 21 Dec 04 - 09:55 PM
Lighter 21 Dec 04 - 10:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Dec 04 - 12:54 AM
Joe Offer 22 Dec 04 - 01:58 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Dec 04 - 04:49 PM
Gorgeous Gary 22 Dec 04 - 09:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Dec 04 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS 23 Dec 04 - 05:00 PM
dick greenhaus 24 Dec 04 - 12:21 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Dec 04 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,Tres1234@comcast.net 18 Feb 05 - 08:07 PM
Joe Offer 19 Feb 05 - 02:22 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Feb 05 - 01:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Mar 05 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 04 Mar 05 - 08:38 PM
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Dave'sWife 31 Mar 05 - 07:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Mar 05 - 08:16 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 01 Apr 05 - 05:58 AM
GUEST,Mrr 01 Apr 05 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 01 Apr 05 - 04:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Apr 05 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,Matt 22 May 05 - 12:44 AM
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GUEST,Joe Offer 22 May 05 - 11:52 AM
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Charley Noble 15 Aug 06 - 01:26 PM
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Vincent van - GO! 29 Nov 06 - 11:50 AM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Dec 06 - 03:25 PM
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Rapparee 10 Feb 07 - 10:58 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Feb 07 - 01:06 PM
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Subject: ADD Version: Dunderback's Terrible Machine
From: GUEST,Champagne Carol's Secret Santa
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 06:14 PM

Dunderback's Terrible Machine

This one isn't in the Digitrad and I was just listening to my Grandpa's tape of him singing it. I was making a tape for my darling Santee with this on it. I had wanted to tell her more about this colourful song but there's precious little on the net to aid me. I was wondering if other Mudcatters know anything about the Origins of this song and any additional Lyrics. There are various spellings of the name: Dunderback, Donderback, Dunderbeck, Dundleback...Etc., Etc.

It's mostly a song that Eastern Americans know although it is sung at some Midwestern Summer camps with long histories and rich songbooks.

   I have some old research notes from a performer who had the most verses I'd ever heard and they state that the singer believed the song to be of Ozark Mountains origin. However, some sources say it is an old New Orleans Rag from about 1910. I can't find ANY web reference to support that other than the Urban Legend entry mentioning new Orleans as a source for one version. My grandfather was of the belief that it was relatively recent in origin to him that is, and he first heard in a logging Camp in the St. Lawrence River Valley in about 1920.

His version went something like this:


Dunderback's Terrible Machine
^^^
There was a man a long time ago
His name was Dunderback
He was very fond of sauerkraut and spat
One day he invented a terrible sausage machine
And all the cats and long-tailed Rats would never more be seen!

CHORUS:
Oh, Mr. Dunderback
How could you be so mean?
I told you that you'd be sorry for inventing that terrible machine
Now all the cats and long-tailed rats will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausages in Dunderback's machine!

One day a little boy came walking into Dunderback's
for to buy himself a pound of the famous sausage meat
as he laid it on the floor The boy began to whistle up a tune
And all them little sausages went dancing 'round the room!

CHORUS

One day the machine was broke
The darn thing wouldn't go
So Dunderback he climbed inside
to see what had made it so
His wife was having a nightmare, and walking in her sleep
She gave the crank a terrible yank and Dunderback was meat!

There are other verses about him putting people into the machine but I can't find them.

Do any Mudcatters have verses to add or oirgins to offer other the common beliefs on the Net?

I collected this Version in 1992 In Upstate New York. After secret santa is over, I'll append the name and exact location to the thread as well as my own name. Having mentioned this song in the secret santa thread, it'd be a dead giveaway if I listed anything more than this.

I'm genuinally interested in this, I'm not just posting a new thread for the hell of it nor am I being lazy. I spent an entire day searching for info on this and found about twenty citations which are all bits and pieces of eachother - nothing particularly helpful.

Helloooooo Champagne Carol! Hope you are feeling better!
Your Loving SS.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 06:28 PM

"DunderbEck" turns up rather more versions of the same, on Google. Mind you - I'm impressed that "dunderbAck" turns up the SS posting of just two days ago.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine
From: GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 06:37 PM

Yes that surprised me too. Be careful what you post in silly BS threads, eh?

I spent most of the day looking at:
Dunderbeck
Dunderback
Donderback
Donderbeck
Dondlebeck
Dondleback
Dundlebeck
Dundleback
Doodlebeck (believe it or not, there is a reference to that spelling of the name in the song in my field notes, collected from a Catholic Girls camp in New Hampshire in 1979 when I was but a weee folkie already running around with a notebook)

Now, at least in theory, anyone typing ANY of those, will be led here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine
From: GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 06:48 PM

Nevermind..it IS in Digitrad as Dunderbeck. It figures doesn't it.

You may all slap me now. Still...

Any additional Lyrics or musings about origins are welcome.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine
From: GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 06:57 PM

The Johnnie Verbeck version in Digitrad is credited as being from Quebec. The Version I posted of my grandfathers is from St. Lawrence River valley...not so far from Quebec.

Could this be Canadian in origin? Or Acadian in origin given the references to this song being from New Orleans as well?

doesn't it just drive you bonkers that you typed in all but one spelling variant and came up empty. you type on one more..and you hit the proverbial jackpot?

Maddening.

Interesting that the bad guy is either Dutch or German. I buy Dutch as the original ethnicity of the madman given the name and all its varients.

Champagne Carol's foolish SS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 07:00 PM

We have lots of versions of this song posted. I learned it as "Johnny Verbeck" in Wisconsin, but I think "Dunderbeck" is the most common title. My 1963 Boy Scout Songbook calles it "Johnny Verbeck" - it gives no attribution. The earliest reference to the song in the Traditional Ballad Index is 1922, but it could be earlier than that.

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Dunderbeck

DESCRIPTION: The German Dunderbeck invents a steam-powered machine to turn any sort of meat into sausages. Thus vanish all the rats and cats of the town. When Dunderbeck's machine breaks down, he tries to fix it; his wife accidentally starts it with him inside.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1922 (Randolph)
KEYWORDS: technology disaster animal humorous food
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Randolph 488, "Donderbeck's Machine" (2 texts)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, p. 90, "Dunderbeck" (1 text, tune referenced)
Silber-FSWB, p. 239, "Dunderbeck" (1 text)
Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 139-140, "The Sausage Meat Machine" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuld-WFM, pp. 515-516, "Son of a Gun -- (Son of a Gambolier; Dunderbeck; and Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech)"
DT, DUNDER*

Roud #4461
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Son of a Gambolier" (tune & meter) and references there
cf. "O Where O Where Has My Little Dog Gone" (theme)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Johnny Rebeck
Johnny Rebec
Johnny Robeck
File: R488

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Dunderbeck in the Digital Tradition is a combination of the versions from "Folk Songs for Fun" and "101 plus 5 Folk Songs for Camp".

Johnnie Verbeck in the Digital Tradition is taken from two messages from Metchosin in the Trebeck thread (click). It may well be the biggest collection of Johnny Verbeck verses ever broght together in one place.

Lots of versions in this Dunderbeck thread


The Son of a Gambolier is one tune used for this song. The tune is also used for "I'm a Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech." Spaeth says you can also sing The Young Oysterman to these tunes.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: ADD Version: Donderback's Machine (Randolph 488a)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 01:14 PM

Here's #488A from Vance Randolph's Ozark Folksongs (Volume III)

Donderback's Machine

There was a good old German man,
His name was Donderback,
He was very fond of poodle-dogs
And sauerkraut and ........
He had a great big butcher-shop
The finest ever seen,
He fixed him up a patent
To make sausages by steam.

CHORUS
Oh Mister Donderback,
How foolish you have been,
And ain't you awful sorry
You invented that machine?
The long-tailed rats and pussy-cats
No more can they be seen,
All ground into sausage-meat
In Donderback's machine.

Then something got the matter,
The machine it would not go,
So Donderback he climbed inside
To find it out, you know.
His wife she took the nightmare,
And walking in her sleep
She gave the crank an awful yank,
And Donderback was meat.


sung by Mr. Robert Eddy, Joplin, Missouri; May 1, 1922. Mr. Eddy learned the song in Joplin about 1900.

No tune provided, but Randolph says Spaeth says it's sung to "The Son of a Gambolier." Randolph says that Randolph says the tune is "I'm a Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech."
...or at least that's my interpretation of what Randolph says.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 01:18 PM

Here's Randolph's #488B

Johnny Berbeck

There was a little Dutchman
His name was Johnnie Berbeck,
He used to deal in sausages
And sauerkraut and speck,
He made the finest sausages
That ever had been seen,
And one day he invented
A sausage-grinding machine.

CHORUS
Oh Mister Johnnie Berbeck
How could you be so mean?
I told you you'd be sorry
For making that machine,
Now neighbors' cats and dogs
Will nevermore be seen,
For they'll be ground to sausages
In your dog-gone machine.

One day a boy came walking
Came walking to his store,
He bought a pound of sausages
And set them on the floor,
The boy he whistled merrily
Till he whistled up a tune,
Then all the little sausages
Went dancing round the room.

One day the thing got busted,
The blamed thing wouldn't go,
So Johnnie went and crawled inside
To see what made it so,
His wife she had a nightmare
And walking in her sleep,
She gave the crank an awful yank,
And Johnnie he was meat!


from Miss Kathleen Ollinger, Fayetteville, Arkansas; December 21, 1941.
no tune provided


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Subject: ADD Version: Johnnie Verbeck (Boy Scouts)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 01:53 PM

OK, so now here's the official U.S. Boy Scout version, which isn't a heck of a lot different from other versions - but it has a different tune, the tune I learned with it.

Johnnie Verbeck

There was a little Dutchman, His name was Johnnie Verbeck.
He was a dealer in sausages And sauerkraut and spec.
He made the finest sausage That ever you did see.
But one day he invented A wonderful sausage machine.

Chorus
Oh, Mister Johnnie Verbeck,
How could you be so mean?
I told you you'd be sorry
For inventing that machine.
All the neighbors' cats and dogs
Will never more be seen;
For they'll be ground to sausages
In Johnnie Verbeck's machine.

One day a boy came walking, came walking in the store,
He bought a pound of sausage and piled them on the floor;
The boy began to whistle and he whistled up a tune,
And all the little sausages went dancing 'round the room.
Repeat chorus

One day the machine got busted and the blamed thing wouldn't go,
So Johnnie Verbeck, he climbed inside to see what made it so;
His wife, she had a nightmare and walking in her sleep,
She gave the crank an awful yank and Johnnie Verbeck was meat.
Repeat chorus


source: Boy Scout Songbook, Boy Scouts of America, 1963
The notation in the Boy Scout book is a little clumsy, but it produces a tune that sounds more-or-less like the one I learned.

Click to play


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Subject: ADD Version: Dunderbeck (Spaeth)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 02:41 PM

More than once, Susan of DT has asked me why some of us post so many versions of a song that's already in the Digital Tradition (and I amy well be the biggest offender). I agree that there's no need to have 43 versions of a song in the DT, but I find it fascinating to see them together here in the forum. I think this version is particularly interesting. It's from Sigmund Spaeth's Read 'Em and Weep: The Songs You Forgot to Remember (1927).


DUNDERBECK

There was a man named Dunderbeck invented a machine,
It was for grinding sausage meats and it did go by steam,
Those kitten cats and long-tailed rats no more they will be seen
They're all ground up in sausage meats by Dunderbeck's machine.

Chorus:
Oh, Dunderbeck, oh, Dunderbeck, you was so very mean!*
Oh, don't you was so sorry you invented that machine?
Those kitten cats and long-tailed rats no more they will be seen,
They're all ground up in sausage meats by Dunderbeck's machine.

Now one fine day a boy came into Dunderbeck's store,
There was a pound of sausage meat a-lying on the floor,
And while he was a-waiting, he whistled up a tune,
The sausage meat began to yump and skip around the room.
(Chorus)

Now something was the matter, that machine he wouldn't go,
So Dunderbeck he scrambled inside to find him out, you know;
His wife she had the nightmare, she walked right in her sleep,
She grabbed the crank and gave it a yank and Dunderbeck was meat.
(Chorus)

*or, "How could you be so mean?"


Spaeth's notes:
    Outside of the original, the best-known song to the music of the Gambolier is probably Dunderbeck (or Dunderbach), a curious jumble of dialects, mostly Germanic, celebrating one of those gruesome jokes that would be a riot at the stockyards.
There's no tune printed in Spaeth's book.


When I visited Ireland, I was informed that all songs have their roots there. When I visited England a couple years later, I was told that the Irish were wrong about that, and that even Irish-language songs had their beginnings in England - and that of course, there are actually no songs that originated in the U.S. OK, so here's a dare - can anybody find a European version of this song?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Dec 04 - 03:08 PM

"Son of a Gambolier" was published in 1870, and the music was used for "Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech." Composer known by initials L M on sheet music. Haven't tried to trace him down yet. Copy at American Memory.
I will post it if it hasn't been done already- a good drinking song (lager bier rather than whiskey clear).

As far as I can find out, it is Amurican, published in Nu Joisey.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS at work
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 02:05 AM

yes, I know it's late here.

Wow, Joe Offer..what a treasure you have handed to me!

That last one was especially nice since it appears to coincide more with the lyrics that my Great Uncle sang, him being the brother of my Grandfather. They both worked in logging camps in the teens and twenties of the last century in and around Quebec and in The St. Lawrence River Valley in New York.

I have multiple recordings of my grandfather singing it and his version became more and more modern and simplified as he got older. Most likely that was due to the influence of his Grandchildren who brought home the song in books from Camp. I know, because I was one of them. A recording made when I was still in the 9th Grade (by me - budding young Folkie that I was - always had a pen, paper and cassette!) shows that he was more faithful to the Dunderbeck of your last post then. That would have been mid-1970's.

I very much appreciate you cobbling all the diverse versions and spellings into one thread. Now the next time some dumb bunny such as myself types in 'Dunderback' they'll get it ALL in one place.

So..what's with this song anyway? Is it an ethnic slur? A mistrust of certain Immigrants? It reminds ome of bad urban legends about Koreans serving you dog meat at those BBQ restaurants. Brunvand has a whole section on ghastly food UL's and this song seems to fit.

That date you have of 1927 is interesting too. My grandpa said he first heard the song in 1920.

Many, many thanks. I have much to work with now. I'll try and be more careful next time and post within an existing thread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 02:25 AM

Hi, CCSS - you have to get used to the dating system used by the Traditional Ballad Index. Their "earliest date" is the earliest date of a song in the books covered by their index - but note that Randolph's source says he learned the song in 1900. If we keep looking, I wouldn't be surprised if we found an even earlier copy - but with such a variety of titles, it may be hard to find.

Is it an ethnic slur? I suppose that in today's climate, it might be viewed as such. Such songs and jokes were certainly common when I was a kid in the Midwest U.S. in the 1950's and 1960's. Oftentimes, it wasd a matter of "young moderns" making fun of their ethnic elders. I think of most of this stuff as harmless, but I suppose a person could read all sorts of animosity into it.

And yeah, when I was a kid in Detroit and in Wisconsin, I knew ethnic butchers who were fascinated with gadgets, people who might have invented just such a machine - or maybe the donut machine in the Homer Price story. I come from a long line of Rube Goldbergian engineers, and any one of them might have created such a machine. My dad is 84, and he's still coming up with crazy, complicated inventions. He has 17 patents to his name. He invented one of the first PCV valves - and if you remember the pollution control devices of the 1970's, you might recall how complicated they were.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 09:55 PM

Joe Offer..again...a thousand thanks.

By mentioning the dates, I wasn't suggesting that Grandad heard it before the person who collected it, by no means. I have been collecting long enough to know that actual dates are always hard to pin down and that the dates given are merely when they were first collected.

I just find it interesting that the sources for some of the earlier versions are more Northward. I have two articles that refer to this as an Ozark mountain song and yet that seems silly to me. A steam powered sausage machine in the Ozarks? uh-huh.

There is a collected version contemperanious with my Granddad's learning it. It comes from Quebec and Granddad did, of course, speak French and work in largely French-speaking camps. I've the idea now to ask one of the surviving widows of the men in the family if they ever heard a version in French. I'm also going to ask a relative of mine to poke through some handwritten chord & tab books that yet another one of the brothers kept of their repertoire.

He started writing them out in the late 1960's to satisfy the growing number of grandkids that all 12 brothers were starting to accumulate. As I recall, he was in the habit of noting when and where he could first recall hearing the songs. Until now it never crossed my mind to ask for copies of those. He was one of the few of the 12 who could read music and he would spend hours writing out Tabletures for mandolin in the hopes that our generation would keep up the traditional songs. There are a host of Pop songs mixed in that mostly date from the teens through the thirties. They might be worth looking at as well.

Truly I am in your debt. I asked a somewhat casual question and after communicating with family about this, we are wll now digging through our tapes, books and notebooks. In the past, We've found some lovely songs we had fogotten, some of them original compostions by the brothers or friends of theirs. Now that we are motivated, who knows what gems there are in those books!

Sometimes you just get sidetracked from the music and onto other family concerns such as Geneaology. We often forget that while we have no material family legacy to speak of, we have a body of priceless music notes and performances to catalogue. Then, we'll hear a song or someone will mention something that rings a bell and we head back to the family "archives."

I so wish Granddad had been able to write tabletures down since he was one of the most gifted when it came to Fiddle. His older brother was the best and they often played unusual arrangements of tradtional tunes I've never heard repeated elsewhere. Thankfully the bunch of us grandkids followed them around with Tape recorders when we were younger. We are working on burning CDs of those tapes before they all rot away.

Thank you again Joe Offer. I've a wonderful base to start from now.

As for the purpose of the song... I'm inclined to believe its ethnic humor as you stated. I'm enough younger than you I suppose to find that stuff distasteful on the whole, but Grandad's Generation thought nothing of it. The one type of song he would not sing in public, however, were Minstrel songs which went by quite another name. He knew them all and if you asked out of curiosity, he'd play them for you privately, but always with a speech. He was a dear man who is sorely missed.

I just read the 'what song at your funeral" thread and I have to laugh thinking of him now. He insisted on having a big Jam session-style funeral and got his wish.

In your debt,
Champagne Carol's SS.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 10:32 PM

Theer have been several songs on the theme of "steam technology gone mad." Besides "Dunderbeck," there's the bawdy ballad of "The Bloody Great Wheel" (not for the faint of heart). In that one too the inventor is usually destroyed by his own machine - but only after destroying (supposedly inadvertently) his insatiable wife.

Perhaps the earliest such song was that of "The Steam Arm," first printed no later than 1835 (broadsides viewable at Bodleian ballad website, and also at American Memory). That one involves a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo (1815)who pays a blacksmith to make him an artificial arm run by steam. The results are predictable. R. W. Gordon received a version of the song in the 1920s as sung by a man who'd learned it just before or during the Civil War, and Charles K. Wolfe picked up a fragmentary version in Tennessee in the 1940s or '50s. (A sequel, "Steam Boots," seems not to have been as successful.)

Besides playing off a then-familiar ethnic stereotype, "Dunderbeck" expresses fears of technology out of control. Compare Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" (1819). Twentieth-century examples are legion, of course, but few are as hilarious as Nick Park's animated tale of "The Wrong Trousers" (1993).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 12:54 AM

The tune has been used for a number of bawdy parodies, some of which are given in Ed Cray, "The Erotic Muse."

Cray, citing Fuld p. 516, comments that the tune (Gambolier) appeared in "Carmina Yalensis" in 1873, and "three years later was borrowed by vaudevillian Ed Harrigan for a textually unrelated comic stage song, "Dunderbeck.""

This would place the origin of the song in 1876.
Harrigan (died 1911)was part of the famous team, Harrigan and Hart. They joined forces in 1870 and in 1873, with David Braham, produced the first of the very popular "Mulligan Guard" series, a one-act vaudeville burlesque presenting a caricature of New York life with such racial groups as Irish, Germans and Negroes, playing on their speech patterns, behavior and mannerisms. David Braham contributed songs, Harrigan the lyricist. The Mulligan shows were prominent in New York, especially from 1879-1885, ending when the team broke up.
www.theatrehistory.com: Musical Theatre
The article extracted above was published in "The Complete Book of Light Opera," Mark Lubbock, New York, Appleton Century Crofts 1962, pp. 753-756.
Also see: Braham

(Now will someone go to the NY public library and check specifically for the song "Dunderbeck" in the Mulligan plays)

"The Pioneers," in Cray p. 228-230, and also in Randolph-Legman, sung to the tune "Son of a Gambolier," is in the DT. It has the memorable first verse:

The pioneers have hairy ears,
They piss through leather britches.
They wipe their ass on broken glass,
Those hardy sons-of-bitches.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 01:58 AM

Hey, I should have looked sooner at Fuld's Book of World-Famous Music. Here's what it says:
    The words (of Dunderbeck) appeared in Our Own Boys Songster (New York, NY, 1876), p. 6, under the title "Dunderbeck's Machine," to the "Air-Thomas's Machine." "Dunderbeck's Machine" is there said to be "By Ed. Harrigan," but this might also mean "sung by" Ed. Harrigan... The music and words of "Dunderbeck" appear in Carmina Princetonia...the book was copyrighted May 16, 1894
So, as Q says, this takes us back to at least 1876. Wish I could see the lyrics and tune from that date.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 04:49 PM

Tons of stuff on Harrigan's Irish Mulligan plays and songs, but nothing much on the German and African-American.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 09:06 PM

I was very amused to find a restaurant called "Dunderback's" at a local mall a year or two back. I never did eat there...

Joe: "Carmina Princetonia"...OK, you've got me intrigued! My grandparents lived in Princeton for almost 30 years and one of our close friends is a Princeton grad.

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Dec 04 - 10:31 PM

"Carmina Princetonia" went through reprintings and revisions from 1879 (114 pp.) to 1968 (185pp.), and I believe later (haven't checked thoroughly). I haven't looked at them, so don't know which ones include "Dunderbeck."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Champagne Carol's SS
Date: 23 Dec 04 - 05:00 PM

You guys are really amazing! This is wonderous information!

I suppose my biggest stumbling block all along was the spelling. I kept searching for info on 'Dunderback' or 'Donderback' and there's enough there to fool you into thinking you have a handle on the song. Having never heard of "Johnny Verbeck" and having it never ocurr to me at first to look up every possible spelling...I never hit on the treasure trove of sources for 'Dunderbeck.' Incidentally, this thread comes up now when you search on any of the spelling which will be helpful to future searchers. It's nice to have all this in one place.

Q's info certainly solves a lot of the mystery for me. Doesn't Stilly River Sage live in NYC? Do you think we can bribe him with Chocolate to go and check up on this at the Central Library? How much Chocolate would it take or would we need something stronger?


I'm waiting with bated breath for the next development! I told my Sis about this thread and she wants a print-out for her references. She was stunned to hear how old it was. This was one of those slightly creepy songs that we always demanded from the elders but also were completely appalled by as children! We figured it was no earlier than 1900.

Speaking of bawdy..somewhere I have my grandfather's racy and bawdy parody of 'the Animal Faire" which I must dig out.

Many Thanks to ALL of you. and Q...I am in awe of your scholarly prowess!

Champagne Carol's Secret Santa
sorry to keep signing posts this way, but until Cllr and I do the big reveal, it's best to stay as CCSS in THIS thread. I'm working on a CD of my Grandad's work for her as a Twelfth Night gift and having mentioned Dunderback..well..the jig would be up if I used my Nick.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Dec 04 - 12:21 AM

To me the inresting thing is how little variation exists among the varios versions posted.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Dec 04 - 12:36 AM

Little variation is typical of a widely disseminated composed piece, but I have to agree in this case- why is there little evidence of this? The composers are well-known and their major work (Mulligan Guard series) discussed but nothing of the names of their German and African-American pieces in the internet that I can find; mention only.
Why no sheet music found? Harrigan and Hart were important in the history of vaudeville.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Tres1234@comcast.net
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 08:07 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 02:22 AM

I wish somebody could find copies of "Our Own Boys" Songster (1876) and Carmina Princetonia (1894) and see what those early versions looked like.
Any volunteers?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Feb 05 - 01:28 PM

The songster is exceedingly rare.
I knew a Princeton professor, I will check and see if I can locate him (he is retired). He was interested in the school's history and may have a library.


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Subject: RADD Version: dunderbeck (1894)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 03:23 PM

DUNDERBECK
(Carmina Princetonia, 1894)

There was a fat old Dutchman and
His name was Dunderbeck,
He was very fond of sausages,
And sauerkraut and *speck;
He kept a great big butchershop,
The finest ever seen,
And he got him out a patent
For a sausage machine.

Chorus:
O Dunderbeck! O Dunderbeck!
How could you be so mean;
(5)I'm sorry you ever invented
That wonderful machine;
For pussy cats and long-tailed rats
will never more be seen,
For they'll all be ground to sausage meat
In Dunderbeck's machine.

One day a very little boy
Came walking in the store
To buy a pound of sausage meat
And eggs a half a score,
And then while he was standing there,
He whistled up a tune,
And the sausages began to (1)dance
And hop about the room.

But (2)something got the matter,
The machine it would not go,
So Dunderbeck, he crawled inside,
The (3)reason for to know;
His wife she had the nightmare,
And, walking in her sleep,
She (4)gave the crank a h--l of a yank,
And Dunderbeck was meat.

* speck = bacon. Penciled notes (1) yump and skip (2) another day (3) trouble (4) gaf dot (5) I told you that you'd be sorry ---

Sheet music provided. Song copyright 1894 Martin R. Dennis & Co. No attribution. "Carmina Princetonia." The University Song Book Eighth Edition Supplementary. 178 pp. including Index, plus advertisements.
Martin R. Dennis & Co., 1894, Newark, NJ.

Still need "Our Own Boys Songster," 1876.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 04 Mar 05 - 08:38 PM

Thanks, Q. I'll bet that text from that source has never been "reprinted" before.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,GUEST John L in The Netherlands
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 04:14 PM

Great that you've traced Dunderbeck back to 1876! I've traced two copies of the 1876 book: Library of Congress (Washington DC) and Brown University Library, Harrison Collection (Providence, Rhode Island). Can someone near one of those give us the complete 1876 text? Anyone with access to the Research Libraries Database may be able to locate other copies. The details of the book are:

"Our Own Boys" Songster (25 cent song book no. 15)
New York: Robert M. De Witt 1876
192 pp., 17 cm

In 1976, a friend's father sang the version he learned in working-class Boston ca. 1935. My friend wrote it down and I printed about 15 copies (hand-set letterpress at the Pierson College Press, Yale University). Quite close to the 1894 version. Once I see the 1876 version, I will pass on any information that seems useful. I traced it back only to 1927 when I tried in the 1970s.

The name Donderbeck (modern Dutch Donderbek) is a Dutch joke, roughly translating as "Thunder Maw", suggesting he belches loudly. Speck can be Dutch (now spek) or German. Sauerkraut is German, but was anglicized before 1876.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 07:12 PM

Jo Offer:

would "Our Own Boys" Songster (1876) and Carmina Princetonia (1894) likely be in the Princeton University Library?

If so, I have a friend who is a Princeton Alum and I can bribe him with Chocolate or something equally enticing to take a walk over there and look for us. I am having him look some things up in another Library in NJ regarding the Boxing and prize fighting songs. and since he lives a 10 minute drive away from the Campus, he might be willing to help usout. Just tell me where to direct him and I shall. He's going over to there later this week anyway to see the Man Ray photograph collection currently on display so maybe chocolate bribes will be not be necessary!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:16 PM

Anyone who can get library access to "Our Own Boy's Songster," 1876, might answer a question that both Joe and I have. Is the author named? Is the text the same as in the 1894 "Carmina Princetonia? Fuld says that the song was written by Ed Harrigan, but we haven't seen any other reference. Access in a major library to books about Harrigan and Hart and/or David Braham could answer the question.

I have a copy of "Carmina Princetonia," 1894, and I copied this text of the song in my post of 04 Mar 05.

I will put the index to the book in a separate thread; several well-known songs had their first or an early appearance in print there, including "The Levee Song" (I've Been Working on the Railroad), as posted by Masato in another thread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 05:58 AM

Hmm... As to the tune... In basic training Fort Dix NJ, 1960, I met a guy from Lowell MA, near where I now live, who sang me Johnny Verbeck as he'd learned it in his French-Canadian household. (He looked approximately like Henry Winkler, so you can picture it.) His tune was quite different. It strongly reminds me of some song, but can't place it. Great tune, though, used for both verse and chorus. In alpha notation, key of C, for the chorus as Oh, Mr. Johnny Verbeck etc.:

G E G 'E 'E 'E 'C, 'C 'D 'E 'D 'C A,

A B B B B B B B B A G G A G,

G E G 'E 'E 'E 'C, 'C 'D 'E 'D 'C A, (same as line 1)

'C B B B B B B B A G G G A B 'C

I love this tune, have sung it ever since, and can any of you tell me--assuming my notation is sufficiently comprehensible--what song it comes from?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 03:22 PM

And I'll chime in with the version I have by Oscar Brand:
There was a man named Dunderbeck invented a machine
For grinding things to sausagemeat and it was run by steam
Now kitchen cats and long-tailed rats will never more be seen
They've all been ground to sausagemeat in Dunderbeck's machine

O Dunderbeck, O Dunderbeck, how could you be so mean
For ever having invented the sausagemeat machine
Now kitchen cats and long-tailed rats will never more be seen
They've all been ground to sausagemeat in Dunderbeck's machine

One day a little boy came into Dunderbeck-'s store
A little piece of sausagemeat was lying on the floor
While the boy was waiting, he whistled up a tune
The sausagemeat got up and barked and ran around the room

O Dunderbeck...

And then one day something went wrong, the machine it wouldn't go
So Dunderbeck he stepped inside the reason for to know
His wife she had a nightmare, she was walking in her sleep
She gave a yank and turned the crank and Dunderbeck was meat!

O Dunderbeck...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 04:32 PM

Brand's tune was "Son of a Gambolier" (alias "Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech").


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 06:07 PM

The music in Carmina Princetonia, 1894, is essentially "Son of a Gambolier."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Matt
Date: 22 May 05 - 12:44 AM

I first heard Dunderbeck from my mother, in the 1930's; essentially as cited above.

However, I thought that there was a final "redeeming" or "moral" verse at the end, in which the "dogs and rats and pussy-cats" were happy now that old man Dunderbeck was dead.

Any thoughts on this?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 22 May 05 - 12:58 AM

Can you remember the verse?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Joe Offer
Date: 22 May 05 - 11:52 AM

I bought a copy of the Sixth edition of Carmina Princetonia (1887) so that I could have my very own early copy of "Dunderbeck" - nice book, but no "Dunderbeck."
Darn.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 22 May 05 - 01:04 PM

The 1894 printing was the first C. P. to have the song. Than little 25-cent songster of 1876 is probably several hundred dollars now, but none listed by any book dealer that I can find.

The New York Public Library does not have a copy, but the Library of Congress has it. "Our Own Boys" songster.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Jonny Joe . . .
Date: 24 May 05 - 12:17 AM

While I was the second born in a family with five children and Dunderbeck was the only lullabye I can remember. My Dad sung me to sleep, and for the next 16 years sung my each of my sisters to sleep in turn.

The result . . . All five kids raised perfectly disfunction families.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Guest, Jim
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 01:26 AM

I heard this as Johnny McBeck.

The first verse was:

Johnny McBeck, a Scotsman,
a thrifty man was he.
He built himself a big machine
to make his sausage free.

With wheels and reels and lots
of cogs, a sight it was to see.
As it bumped, and churned and the
wheels turned, McBeck would
laugh with glee.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Silvercat
Date: 26 Sep 05 - 07:01 PM

I learned this song at a scout camp, and I've been looking for a midi file of it, but not the Original tune. I'll be checking back later to see if anyone has it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 05 - 08:24 PM

Hi, Silvercat-

Look at our version of the song in the Digital Tradition, and you'll find two tunes:

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: Bard Judith
Date: 26 Sep 05 - 08:35 PM

How odd and how delightful!

I heard this one from my parents as "Gunderbeck"... which may open up another whole can of wiggly mispellings, but hey... here are the few fragments I remember(oral transmission strikes again!)


There was a fat old German and his name was Gunderbeck,
He liked to eat his sausages with sauerkraut and speck...
(missing two lines)

Oh Gunderbeck, oh Gunderbeck, how could you be so mean?
Now pussy cats and long-tailed rats will nevermore be seen,
They're all ground up for sausage meat
In Gunderbeck's machine!

... (missing lines)
His wife came by and shut the door, her vision it was dim.
She gave the crank a heck of a yank, and that was the end of him!



Note that here he is called 'Gunderbeck' and is specifically German. The three foodstuffs seem to have hung on tenaciously throughout the variants, as well as the sausage ingredients, though!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 27 Sep 05 - 11:33 AM

This (to the 2nd tune Joe O. posted for us from MIDI) became a camp song. I went to a camp near Keene, NH in 1953, '54. The 1st yr. we had a boys 1 counselor ("boys 1"=oldest boys group; 14-17yrs old approx.)named Dick Dran, who was sweet on the girls 2 (next younger group) counselor, Gerda. There was also a male counselor who supervised woodworking named Thornberry, so he became Thorny.

cho: Oh Mr. Dran, oh Mr. Dran-
    How could you be so mean,
    To ever have invented the childrensmeat machine??
    Now all the Glenbrook campers
    Will never more be seen.
    They'll all be ground to childrensmeat
    In Mr. Dran's machine!!!
I've forgotten the 1st verse, but something about Mr. Dran going on a mechanical spree and turning out the machine. Then we got:

v.2: Thorny went out walking--
    He walked into a store.
    He bought a pound of childrensmeat
    And set it on the floor.
    Thorny started whistlin'.
    He whistled up a tune--
    And all the Glenbrook campers
    Went dancin' round the room!
      (cho)
v.3: One day the darn thing busted.
    It wouldn't work at all.
    And out came Mr. Durango(seemed to fit the timing better)
    To give it an overhaul.
    Gerda was having nightmares--
    A-walkin' in her sleep--
    She gave the crank a helluva yank,
    And Mr. Dran was meat!!
    (cho.)
This camp had a drink; clear red liquid, fruity flavor, some sweetness. It went by the name of "bug juice". We loved it. We used to go blueberry picking on a hill called "Pack Monadnock", because it was close to Mt. Monadnock, I think.

Oh, the memories and faces swimming in my mind. God bless whoever brought this song up. Gotta go for the kleenex.       Tw


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,kathyozark
Date: 02 Dec 05 - 10:24 PM

I was curious about this song's history. I just started singing this song to my 3 year old daughter,its her favorite this month, my grandmother taught it to me from her front porch rocking chair. As I got older it seemed funny she would teach me such a morbid song. She was born 1916 and lived in Columbia, MO., she was orphaned at about 7 and lived around the state with several families and in an orphanage, so who knows where she learned it.

   These are the lyrics she taught me.

Mr. Jonnamabek (John M. Mcbeck?) how could ya be sa mean, I told ya you'd be sorry for inventin' that machine, now all the neighbor's cats and dogs will never more be seen, they'll all be ground up sausages in Jonnamabeck's machine.

Oh--One day a boy went walking, he walked into the store, he bought a pound a sausages and laid em on the floor, the boy began to whistle and he whistled up a tune and all those little sausages went dancin round the room --- hay!!

I always thought it sounded like a vaudeville tune making references to meat packing plants using questionable meats.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,JP Merzetti / Canada
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 01:02 PM

Howdy folks -
I've been doing this song since 1993 - found it in a library book.
Modified the verses somewhat, and the tune I use is entirely my own.
In actual fact, I have never heard this song sung by anyone other than myself. Although a boy scout back in the '60's - had no idea the song even existed until 1993.
Apparently -from the researchers here, this song dates back at least as far as 1876. (that's Custer's last stand, folks!)
My big question: Is this song a public domain item? (I plan to record it)...or is there a big bad publisher lurking somewhere?
Does anyone have any idea who originally wrote it? Would there be some semblance of an actual original melody somewhere? (I'm actually kinda partial to my melody now...)
Seems to me this song is a bit of folklore that's managed to survive for some time - handed down through generations, perhaps (long before folks who wrote silly stuff for kids ever though of recording it.)

Well - here's my version of it. (you'll notice it's been smoothed out somewhat.)

Dunderbeck's Machine

There lived a man in Pleasantville
a man named Dunderbeck
He sold a lot of sausages,
and sauerkraut, by heck
He made the greatest sausages
that you had ever seen
until the day he did invent
a sausage-meat machine
[ch]
Oh Dunderbeck, oh Dunderbeck
how could you be so mean?
to ever have invented
such a terrible machine -
now alley cats, and long-tailed rats
will never more be seen
they'll all be ground to sausage meat
in Dunderbeck's machine

One day a little shy boy
came walkin' in his store
he bought a pound of sausages, yeah
and he laid them on the floor
then he began to whistle,
he whistled up a tune
those sausages meowed and barked!
chased each other 'round the room!
[ch]
So if you own a cat or dog
you keep them under lock
'cause if you don't, I'm telling you
you're in for a big shock!
If you buy them sausages
from Dunderbeck, right now
you'll hear those little sausages
meow, and bow-wow-wow!
[ch]
One day the thing got busted
the darned thing wouldn't work
and Dunderbeck, he crawled inside
to see what made it jerk
his wife came walkin' in just then
('cause she walked in her sleep)
she gave the crank - a heck of a yank!
and - Dunderbeck was bleep!
[ch]

Well, there it is.
Being a ragtime guitar player, I've given this thing a ragtime tune and motif, although interestingly - when it was first written, ragtime had not been invented yet.

Incidentally - being a student of history, I'm awful curious as to what happened to this song in America through the two world wars -
(strange I never heard it as a boy scout - we sang anything and everything back then, and some of it was pretty gruesome!)

cheers, folks!

jp


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 01:33 PM

As noted above by Joe, it appeared in at least one Boy Scout songbook.
I vaguely recall a cartoon based on it, probably 1930's. Anyone else recall this, or is my brain creating pictures?

It is safely PD, unless you copy someone's particular version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,kansas girl
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 09:34 AM

This is the version I heard.

There once was a little Dutchman, his name was Johnny McBeck
He was a dealer in sausages and saurkraut and speck
He made the finest sausages the world has ever seen
And one day he invented the wonderful sausage machine

(Chorus)
Oh, Mr. Johnny Mcbeck, how could you be so mean?
I told you you'd be sorry for inventing that machine.
Now all the neighbor's cats and dogs will nevermore be seen.
They'll all be ground to sausages in Johnny McBeck's machine.

One day a boy came walking, came walking in the store.
He bought a pound of sausages and piled them on the floor.
He whistled up a whistle, he whistled up a tune,
And all the little sausages were dancing around the room.

Chorus

One day the thing got busted, the darn thing wouldn't go,
So Johnny Mcbeck crawled inside to see what made it so,
Then his wife came walking, came walking in her sleep,
She gave the crank an awful yank and Johnny Mcbeck was meat!

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Joe Ryan
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 12:33 PM

As song by my grandfather in 1971 - California He learned it in south dakoate from his father.

Oh Mr. Mr. Jenneraback how could you be so mean
I told you you'd be sorry for inventing that machine
for all the neighbors cats and dogs will never more be seen
they'd all be ground to sauages in jennerabacks machine

One day a little fat boy
went walking into the store
he baught a pound of sausages and layed them on the floor
the boy began to whistle, he wistled up a tune
and all the little sausages wnet dancing around the room

One day the thing got busted
the darn thing wouldn't go
so jenneraback climbed inside to see what made it so
his wife was haivng a nightmare, she was walking in her sleep
she gave the crank a heck of a yank and jenneraback was meat


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 01:26 PM

Someday we'll get to the bottom of the barrel with this poignant old ditty,

It certainly was also a favorite in our household when I was supposed to be growing up. Our source was probably the family copy of READ 'EM & WEEP which has been cited above.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,OMAR
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 03:21 PM


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Subject: Lyr Add: DUNDERBECK
From: Vincent van - GO!
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 11:50 AM

I am just about to finally get around to releasing an album with this song on it, and I'm having a delightful time trying to figure out if the darned thing is public domain or if there is in fact, an estate it belongs to.

Strange situation:
The tune is mine / the arrangement is mine - and the lyrics have been somewhat modified to fit my style and sensibilities....
(trad. arr. I'd suppose...)
but I have no intention or inclination of claiming it as an orig.

Now here's what's real strange: Although a boyscout back in the 60's (in Ontario's northland) I never ever heard a version of this song.
In fact, knew nothing of its existence until I found a copy of the lyrics in a library book back in the fall of '93.
Loved the lyric, took it, modified it somewhat, wrote my own tune and arranged it, and there it is.
To this day, I STILL haven't actually ever heard anyone else sing this song...in any of its prolific incarnations.
The reason I finally decided to put it on an album? (It's got a pretty good tune, actually.)

My modified lyric:

There was a man from Pleasantville
his name was Dunderbeck
he sold a lot of sausages
and sauerkraut, by heck
he made the greatest sausages that you had ever seen
until the day he did invent
a sausage-meat machine
(ch)
Oh Dunderbeck, Oh Dunderbeck
how could you be so mean?
To ever have invented
such a terrible machine...
Now alley cats and long-tailed rats
will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausage-meat
in Dunderbeck's machine.

One day a little shy boy
came walkin' in his store
and he bought a pound of sausages, yeah
and he laid them on the floor
Then he began to whistle
he whistled up a tune...
Those sausages meowed and barked
-chased each other 'round the room...
(ch)
One day the thing got busted
The darned thing wouldn't work
And Dunderbeck, he crawled inside
to see what made it jerk.
His wife came walking in just then -
'cause she walked in her sleep
She gave the crank a heck of a yank
-and Dunderbeck was bleep!
(ch)

(a 4th verse that I left out...)

So if you have a cat or dog
you keep them under lock
'cause if you don't, I'm warning you
you're in for a big shock!
'cause if you buy some sausages
from Dunderbeck, right now!
You'll hear those little sausages
meow, and bow-wow-wow!


.........I always have been kinda curious to hear anyone else's tune for this - I'm sure the tune has trans-migrated and modified itself to death over the decades - given the age of the song.
My tune is sort of a 20's/30's ragtime styling - a bit like the carnival-calliope things we used to hear on old carousels - the kind with hand-carved horses. That's what seemed to fit, anyhow.

Joe Ryan's great-grandfather's version seems to be the one that fits the version I found the closest - and that has to go back to at least the 1880's or so.........perhaps this is close to what the original actually was.

I've always had a lot of fun finding lyrics and refitting them to roll off the tongue in a comfortable way.
'tho purists frown, I like to think of it in the grand old blues lyrics tradition - blues artists for divers' decades have been a-modifyin' and switchin' stuff to suit their own particular styles and figures of speech.

Incidentally - I remember back about 6 years ago wandering into a west coast kids' music website, and happening upon a forum where folks came looking for versions of old songs they'd heard as kids.
It was the most amazing thing - when I realized that the majority of this material had probably never been recorded.
I was incredibly moved - and somewhat sobered by how haunted these folks were - by the simple beauty of what they were trying to remember, and the way that the stuff brought back memories of their own childhoods (now long-gone) and certain loved ones they connected the tunes to.
It struck me right there - that this was a time, an era - long before the structured and commercialized commodification of a simple art, that belonged to the people, that existed very much in an oral tradition, and was handed down not to earn million$ in royalties and all-star status - but out of love that passed between generations.

Nice to know that in our Mc-Wally World - this can still happen.

cheers all -

jp


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 04:03 PM

The Harrigan papers, scripts, songs, etc. are archived at the New York Public Library. "Dunderbeck" is attributed to Harrigan and Hart and Braham, but not with certainty; the papers should be examined for the song. I doubt that any copyright still is valid, but they should be able to tell you at the NY Library.

As posted above, music was printed in Carmina princetonia, 1894, music essentially "Son of a Gambolier." The text had appeared in a Songster in 1876. Copyright Martin R. Dennis, 1894, in the Carmina sheetmusic, but he was a publisher of Carmina princetonia and other songbooks and the copyright would cover just his arrangement and printing.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Dec 06 - 03:25 PM

E. J. Kahn, 1955, "The Merry Partners," (The Age and Stage of Harrigan and Hart), mentions their play, "The Major" (p. 69).

In this production, "he introduced an immigrant couple from Ireland who had felt impelled to make the long trip across the Atlantic simply because their son, who had previously come to America, was on the verge of marrying a Dutch [German] sausage-maker."
This is the only comment on the content of this production (which was revived a couple of times). Production date not given.

The book is a meandering flow of unorganized anecdotal excreta, absolutely useless to one interested in the productions and songs of the Harrigan-Hart group. There is no complete list of their productions, little or no mention of the content of the productions, no index.
Many pages are devoted to gangs and immigrant groups of New York, stealing of a merchant prince's body, Hart's paresis (third stage syphilis), etc.; in other words background setting and color.

"The Major" is mentioned again near the end of the book (p. 200) in connection with the opening of Harrigan and Hart's (second) Theatre Comique in 1881.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Leslie
Date: 01 Jan 07 - 02:37 PM

My grandmother sang this song when I was a child - the only part I recall is
"oh, Mr. Dunderback how could you be so mean?
I'm sorry you invented such a wonderful machine.
The pussy cats, and long tailed rats, will nevermore be seen.
They grind them up for sausage meat - in Dunderback's machine!"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Ira
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 11:33 PM

I believe I heard Oscar Brand at the 1970 (?) Philadelphia Folk Festival (?) sing "To ever have invented the Sausage meat machine; The dogs, the rats, the pussycats, will never more be seen, for ..."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: voyager
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 07:57 AM

Learned this song in an ORAL TRADITION way....
Sung by a group of Boy Scouts while riding bicycles on the C&O canal.

It was the ONLY TIME (in 10 years) we ever heard our BOY SCOUTS voluntarily sing a Folk Song.

voyager


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 10:58 AM

Louisa was the murdered wife of "Sausage King" Adolph Luetgert, a German meat packer who came to the city in the 1870's....

After finding that his German sausages were well-liked in Chicago, Adolph Luetgert built a sausage plant at the southwest corner of Hermitage and Diversey Parkway in 1894. He was so taken with his own success that he also built a three-story frame house next door to the factory, which he shared with his wife Louisa.

Louisa Bicknese was an attractive young woman who was ten years younger than her husband. She was a former servant from the Fox River Valley who met her new husband by chance. He was immediately taken with her, entranced by her diminutive stature and tiny frame. She was less than five feet tall and looked almost child-like next to her burly husband. As a wedding gift, he gave her a unique, heavy gold ring. Inside of it, he had gotten her new initials inscribed, reading "L.L.". Little did he know at the time that this ring would prove to be his undoing.         

According to friends and neighbors, Luetgert's fascination with his beautiful, young wife did not last long. The couple was frequently heard to argue and their disagreements became so heated that Luetgert eventually moved his bedroom from the house to a small chamber inside of the factory. Luetgert soon became involved with a girl named Mary Simerling, Louisa's nice and a household servant. This new scandal also got the attention of the people in the neighborhood, who were already gossiping about the couple's marital woes.

Then, on May 1, 1897, Louisa disappeared. When questioned by his sons, Luetgert told them that their mother had gone out the previous evening to visit her sister. After several days though, she did not come back. Finally, Diedrich Bicknese, Louisa's brother, went to the police. The investigation fell on Captain Herman Schuettler, who author Richard Lindberg describes as "an honest but occasionally brutal detective".

The detective and his men began to immediately search for Louisa. They questioned neighbors and relatives and soon learned of the couple's violent arguments. They also talked to Wilhelm Fulpeck, an employee of the sausage factory, who recalled seeing Louisa enter the factory around 10:30 in the evening on May 1. Frank Bialk, a night watchman at the plant, confirmed his story. He also added that he saw both Luetgert and Louisa at the plant together. Apparently, Luetgert sent him out on an errand that evening and gave him the rest of the night off.

Schuettler also made another disturbing and suspicious discovery. Just a short time before Louisa's disappearance, the factory had been closed for ten weeks for reorganization. However, the day before Louisa vanished, Luetgert ordered 378 pounds of crude potash and fifty pounds of arsenic. The circumstantial evidence was starting to add up and Schuettler began to theorize about the crime. He became convinced that Luetgert had killed his wife, boiled her in acid and then disposed of her in a factory furnace. With that in mind, he and his men started another search of the sausage plant. They narrowed the search to the basement and to a twelve-foot-long, five-foot-deep vat that was located next to the furnaces that smoked the meat. The officers drained the greasy paste from the vat and began poking through the residue with sticks. Here, officer Walter Dean found a small piece of a skull fragment and two gold rings. One of them was engraved with the initials "L.L.".

On May 7, Adolph Luetgert, proclaiming his innocence, was arrested for the murder of his wife. No body was ever found and there were no witnesses to the crime, but police officers and prosecutors believed the evidence was overwhelming. Luetgert was indicted for the crime a month later and details of the murder shocked the city, especially those on the northwest side. Even though Luetgert was charged with burning his wife's body, local rumor had it that she had been ground into sausage instead. Needless to say, sausage sales declined substantially in 1897.


There were continual rumors about the content of sausages prior to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act -- and afterwards, of course.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 01:06 PM

Rapaire, thanks for posting the story. There are many articles, and at least one book, "Alchemy of Bones," that look at Louisa's disappearance and the trial of Luetgert.
I am not sure that the discovery of the rings and bone in the vat are part of the evidence brought forth in the trial, or added myth, but is does add to the story.
The poem was written long before the disappearance, so it is not a result of the Luetgert case.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 08:40 PM

When I was in the Army I had a buddy from Lowell, MA, a French-Canadian himself, who swore the song was "Johnny Babec."

Babec, Babeque or Babecque does indeed sound more like French. Verbeck sounds German. And as for Dunderbeck, which seems to be the earlier spelling, neither of us had ever heard it that way, or, at that time, ever seen it in print ourselves at all.

To this day I hear and sing it as "Johnny Babec."

Oh, and its tune isn't "Son of a Gambolier," either, though there are some superficial points of resemblance. Altogether sprightlier.

This ol' potboiler really has gotten around. I always figured it had to have been based on something out of Cincinnati,but then Cincinnati's an old joke. W.C. Fields would certainly insist it happened in Philadelphia, another good old German town.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Well here's another version circa 1900
Date: 20 Feb 07 - 02:03 PM

This was sung to us by our grandfather 45 years ago...I'd love someone who knows THIS version to fill in the rest...Thank you. Kathy

There once was a Dutchman, his name was Doodleybeck,
He was fond of sausages and sauerkraut and spec
He had the greatest butcher shop, the finest ever seen,
???? Two lines missing

Chorus:
Oh, Mr. Doodleybeck, oh, how could you be so mean
to invent such a terrible machine
All the cats and dogs and rats, no more can they be seen
They're all ground up into sausage meat in Doodleybeck's machine

One day the machine got busted and Doodleybeck crawled in,
just, to see, what the matter been,
and Mrs. Doodleybeck, while walking in her sleep,
she gave the crank a heck of a yank and Doodleybeck was meat!

Chorus:
Oh, Mr. Doodleybeck, oh how could you be so mean,
to invent such a good for nothing machine
All the cats and dogs and rats no more can they be seen,
They're all ground up into sausage meat in Doodleybeck's machine


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,old camper
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 09:57 AM

I learned this song in day camp in Michigan in the mid - 60's. I used to know it all, but now I only remember the chorus and the gist of the story told in the verses:

Oh, Mr. Johnny LeBec, how could you be so mean?
We told you you'd be sorry for inventing that machine.
Now all the neighbor's cats and dogs will never more be seen.
He'll grind them up into sausages in Johnny LeBec's machine.

The story ran something like this:

Johnny LeBec created such a wonderful sausage-making machine, and needed meat for it. He killed his wife and ground her up, and then used the neighborhood pets, and then started using neighborhood children, when he could get them. Finally, the locals caught on to him and pushed him in his own machine. I, too, remember a verse saying the neighborhood cats and dogs were happy again.

Now that I think of it, it was a strange song to teach 7 and 8 - year olds!

I've been trying to find the song to teach it to my sons. Thanks for all the leads!

I also found reference to the story and song in the book, More Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark, by Alvin Schwartz, copyright 1984, ISBN 0-06-440177-4, if anyone is interested.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Istra
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 07:43 PM

We used to tease my grandmother since she loved to play the old computer game "Lemmings" and one of the levels had a cute rendition of that song. We changed the words to

Oh Dunderback, Oh Dunderback
How could you be so mean?
I'm sorry you invented
that terrible machine
Now all those Lemmings
will never more be seen
'cause they've all been turned to sausage meat
by Dunderback's machine

and she'd say, "My poor Lemmings! No, it was pussy cats and mousie rats!"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 10:31 PM

Mrs. Haag, my grade school janitor, used to sing this version to our class in the halls during recess. Listening to her stories was one of my best memories from childhood.
Once there was a little boy his name was Dunderback
And all he ever lived upon was meat, sauerkraut, and spec
One day he invented a machine to grind his sausage up by steam
One day the machine it wouldn't go, so Dunderback climbed in to see what he know
Along came Mrs. Dunderback a walking in her sleep
She gave it a crank, one great big yank, and Dunderback was meet.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DUNDERBECK
From: GUEST,azansvan
Date: 27 May 07 - 12:38 AM

Just read over two years of posts on this song and no one has quite hit the version I knew so I'll throw this into the mix. I learned this from my father--not at home, but in our Boy Scout troop, or actually, our Cub Scout Pack, when he was a Pack leader. This was in the late 1950s, in a town on Long Island, just outside New York City.

My father learned it in his Boy Scout troop when he was growing up in the Ridgewood section of Brooklyn/Queens in the 1920s/30s. He and most of his troop mates were of German origin so whether they were ridiculing their elders or celebrating their heritage is for more analytical minds than mine to decide.

There was a big fat German, his name was Dunderbeck,
And he was very fond of sauerkraut and speck.
He opened up a butcher shop, the worst you've ever seen,
And he invented and patented the sausage meat machine.

[chorus]
Oh, Dunderbeck, oh, Dunderbeck, how could you be so mean!
Why'd you invent the sausage meat machine?
The rats and dogs and pussy cats will never more be seen
'Cause they'll all be ground to sausage meat in the sausage meat machine.

One day a little boy came walking in the store
To buy a pound of sausage meat and eggs a half a score.
And while he was a waiting he whistled up a tune,
And the sausage meat began to hop and dance around the room.

[chorus]

Something was the matter, the machine it didn't work.
So Dunderbeck climbed into it to try and have a look.
His wife was having a nightmare, and walking in her sleep
She gave the crank a heck of a yank and Dunderbeck was meat.

[chorus]

A few notes and observations:
I'm not sure of the proper spelling of "speck" (German for bacon) but I know that we always sang it as "schpeck."

Most other versions say that Dunderbeck's shop was the "finest." This one says "worst" which seems more honest, considering.

I like the fact that it's a "little boy" who comes into the store while it's Dunderbeck who is described as "fat."   That it is a little boy who can animate the slaughtered sausage meat with his whistling seems a wonderful tribute to the power of music, even in the hands (or mouth, should I say) of one of the least powerful in society. And the alliterative quality of the line "And while he was a waiting he whistled up a tune" just knocks me out.

I also like that he's buying egg by the "score," (or "half a score" in this case). Who even knows what a score is these days?!! Unless you're parsing the Gettysburg Address it's not something you're likely to be familiar with. It's 20 of course, and half a score is 10. How very decimal of him. And when and by whom was it decided that eggs always had to come by the dozen?

Something that always bothered me tho--the flow of the story make you think that the last verse takes place during the day while the shop is open and Dunderbeck is serving customers. So what is Mrs. Dunderbeck doing sleeping and having a nightmare right then that she should go out sleepwalking in the middle of the day???   

I know, I know--I'm looking for too much logic and meaning in a simple, silly folk song. But this is the kind of thing you think about when you're an 8 or 9 year old kid trying to puzzle out the code, understand the significance of these wacky songs that the grownups are teaching you.

And finally, of course, I know that everyone is most partial and devoted to the version of the song that they learned when they were a kid from their father/grandfather/grandmother/great uncle/etc. And I make no claim of ultimate authority for my version of the song. It clearly wasn't the first version, and may not be the last. But I have my reasons for liking it.

Meanwhile, doesn't seem that anyone has been able to find a copy of "Our Own Boy's Songster," 1876, yet. I work near Library of Congress, will see if I can find the version they have there.

A. H. Haeberle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 May 07 - 01:03 PM

Those old songsters are hard to find.

Someone interested in old theatre routines might find the song among the Harrigan-Hart papers at the NY Public Library. Might be a tedious search.

Let us know if you find the songster at the Library of Congress. Good luck!


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Subject: Lyr Add: DUNDERBECK
From: GUEST,azansvan
Date: 27 May 07 - 11:12 PM

On further reflection, and after consulting with my father (who can't remember what he did this morning but can remember songs he sang 80 years ago) I have a couple of small corrections to make in the version I posted the other day.

In the first verse, the last line "And he invented and patented..." should be "And he took it out and patented...." (This really fits the rhythm of the tune much better.)

And in the chorus, the last line " 'Cause they'll all be..." should be "For they'll all be...."

These changes don't add any sense or meaning, but they are, in fact, the words we sang.

For the record then, my corrected version of Dunderbeck and the Sausage Meat Machine.

There was a big fat German, his name was Dunderbeck,
And he was very fond of sauerkraut and speck.
He opened up a butcher shop, the worst you've ever seen,
And he took it out and patented the sausage meat machine.

[chorus]
Oh, Dunderbeck, oh, Dunderbeck, how could you be so mean!
Why'd you invent the sausage meat machine?
The rats and dogs and pussy cats will never more be seen
For they'll all be ground to sausage meat in the sausage meat machine.

One day a little boy came walking in the store
To buy a pound of sausage meat and eggs a half a score.
And while he was a waiting he whistled up a tune,
And the sausage meat began to hop and dance around the room.

[chorus]

Something was the matter, the machine it didn't work.
So Dunderbeck climbed into it to try and have a look.
His wife was having a nightmare, and walking in her sleep
She gave the crank a heck of a yank and Dunderbeck was meat.

[chorus]

AHH


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,azansvan
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 04:44 PM

I requested "Our Own Boys Songster" from LC but it seems to have been misplaced. They are conducting a search of the stacks and other likely hiding places but haven't heard from them yet. Will let you know if it shows up.

AHH


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jun 07 - 04:56 PM

Hmmmm... Now who has it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 02:29 PM

This is the way I learned it from Dad and Grandpa:

Chorus
Dunderbeck, oh Dunderbeck
How could you be so mean?
To ever have invented the sausage-meat machine.
Now all the neighbors cats and dogs
Will never more be seen
Cause they've been ground to sausage meat in Dunderbeck's machine.

One day a little fat boy
Came walking to the store.
He bought a pound of sausages
And placed 'em on the floor.
Then he began to whistle,
He whistled up a tune,
And all the little sausages went
Dancing raound the room.

Chorus

Now if you have some cats and dogs
You better keep them locked.
Cause if you don't, I'm warning you,
You're in for one big shock!
If you go buy some sausages from Dunderbeck right now
You'll hear the little sausages meow and bow-wow-wow

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,vzla
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 01:53 PM

Right, I remember my mom singing this to me when I was younger. She was born in Alabama and learned from riding on the school buses when they would go on trips. It went something like this.
    OOHHHH dunderback, oh dunderback, how could you be so mean,
    to ever have invented a sausage meat machine,
    now all neighbors cats and dogs will never more be seen,
    'cuz they'll be ground to sausage meat in dunderback's machine.

    One day a little fat boy, came walking through the door,
    he bought a ring of sausages and put them on the floor,
    And then he began to whistle, he whistled up a tune,
    then all the little sausages were dancing around the room.

    OOHHHH dunderback, oh dunderback, how could you be so mean,
    to ever have invented a sausage meat maching,
    now all neighbors cats and dogs will never more be seen,
    'cuz they'll be ground to sausage meat in dunderback's machine.

    One day the thing got busted, the darn thing wouldn't work,
    so dunderback climbed inside to see what made a twerk,
    his wife she had a nightmare, she walked in her sleep,
    she gave the thing a wickedy-whack and dunderback meat.

    OOHHHH dunderback, oh dunderback, how could you be so mean,
    to ever have invented a sausage meat maching,
    now all neighbors cats and dogs will never more be seen,
    'cuz they'll be ground to sausage meat in dunderback's machine.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,sarafina
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 11:19 PM

my dad, a Californian, taught this to me in the early 60's and he had learned it from him mother, who was from an immigrant Sicilian family that landed in Los Angeles around 1912. I don't know when she learned it, but she never left the west coast so it was here in Ca by the early 40's at least.

There was a little Dutchman, his name was Johnny Rebeck,
He made the finest sausages, sauerkraut and speck.
This little Dutchman invented a machine,
to grind up all the sausages, and it was run by steam.

(Chorus) Oh Johnny, oh Johnny, oh Johnny Rebeck,
How could ya be so mean?
I told ya you'd be sorry for inventing that machine.
Now all the neighbours' cats and dogs will never more be seen,
they've all been ground to sausages in Johnny Rebeck's machine.

One day a fat boy walked in the grocery store,
he bought a pound of sausages and laid them on the floor,
now this little fat boy whistled up a tune,
and all the little sausages went dancing round the room.

(Chorus)

Now one day the darned thing, it wouldn't work at all,
so Johnny Rebeck climbed inside to see what made it stall,
His wife was having nightmares, walking in her sleep,
She gave the crank a heck of a yank and Johnny Rebeck was meat.

(Chorus)

   I never heard this song anywhere outside my family circle until a few years ago when a friend heard me singing it with my daughter and offered up the above first verse to begin the song with; He learned it in Vermont in the 50's. I was just tickled to learn that someone other than my family knew this song.

The version of music I learned with it was jaunty and not at all like the Gambolier tune, our version is closer to the Boy Scout Songbook version. Our friend from Vermont knew the same tune we know.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 05:03 AM

My brothers and sister were sung this song by mother in the 40s and 50s.
She's 89 now. Our family is Dutch, but our ancestors emigrated here from Germany. We know it as Johnny Verbeck. Friends in Milwaukee know the song too, but with a German name, I think Dunderbeck.

One Google search yielded a Verbeck Machine Company in California.
Maybe it isn't just fiction?


Greybeard - West Michigan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 05:04 PM

No doubt "Our Own Boys Songster" 1876 was shreaded by the library, an oddly appropriate fate for a book containing this song.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 07:18 PM

Will it ever be found?
No, never be found,
Its fate is still unlearned,
It is lost forever in stacks of ephemera,
etc. etc.



Harrigan and Hart? or our old friend anon.? Only the ghosts of dead librarians of the Library of Congress would know.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Dec 07 - 08:38 PM

Live & learn. (Die & forget it all.) I always supposed "The Pioneers" went to the tune of "O Tannenbaum".

*My* favorite stanza of it is

Great joy they reap from tupping sheep
In sundry bogs and ditches,
Nor care a damn if it's a ram,
Those hardy sons of bitches!

There is, IMO, a lamentable scarcity of polymorphous perversity in folk song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,K-La
Date: 13 Dec 07 - 06:15 PM

Hey all,

   I heard it as 'Gunderbeck' as well, we used to sing it in Elementary School in music class. This is how the one I know goes:

There was a fat old Dutchman,
And his name was Gunderbeck
He used to like his sausages
With sauerkraut and speck
He opened up a butchershop the finest ever seen
And in it he did put, a Gunderbeck machine!

OH Gunderbeck oh Gunderbeck,
How could you be so mean?
For ever have invented such a horrible machine.
Now all the neighbours cats and dogs will never more be seen
They're all ground up for sausage meat in Gunderbeck's machine.

One day there was a fellow,
Came walking in the shop.
He ordered up some sausages and half a case of pop.
While he was waiting, he whistled up a tune
And all the little sausages went dancing around the room.

OH Gunderbeck oh Gunderbeck,
How could you be so mean?
For ever have invented such a horrible machine.
Now all the neighbours cats and dogs will never more be seen
They're all ground up for sausage meat in Gunderbeck's machine.

One day he had some trouble,
The machine it would not go.
He climbed inside to see what was wrong,
He had the right to know.
Hif wife she had a nightmare and went walking in her sleep,
She gave the crank an awful yank and Gunderbeck was meat.

OH Gunderbeck oh Gunderbeck,
How could you be so mean?
For ever have invented such a horrible machine.
Now all the neighbours cats and dogs will never more be seen
They're all ground up for sausage meat in Gunderbeck's machine.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Dec 07 - 09:08 PM

So when Dunderback got to St. Peter's Gate, what did he say?
















"Did we ever meat?"

Cheerily,
Charley Ignoble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,Chris in Saskatchewan
Date: 21 Feb 08 - 12:42 AM

Just to complicate things further, the version I learned had "Gunderback" in the starring role! The only lines I remember are the chorus and the second verse:

Oh Gunderback, oh Gunderback how could you be so mean?
To ever have invented such a horrible machine
For pussy cats and long-tailed rats will never more be seen
They're all ground up for sausages in Gunderback's machine

One day some little boys
Came walking in the shop
They ordered up some sausages and half a case of pop
And while they were a-waiting, they whistled up a tune
And all the little sausages went dancing round the room!

***

I get a kick out of this song because we have both pussy cats and long-tailed rats as pets in our house! I wish I could remember the rest of the lyrics. My mother-in-law was a substitute teacher and she (and I) remember this as one of the songs in the songbooks we had in second grade. And we both remember it as "Gunderback"!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,Jeremy Boggs
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 01:27 PM

my grandad played the song but he past away but my aunt has the lyrics and ill see if i can get the whole song


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Feb 08 - 02:21 PM

Chris and Jeremy, these versions are all interesting, in that they show how a popular song or poem can get changed in different hands or when it is passed down verbally.
The more the better!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 06:44 AM

"Carmina princetonia: the Princeton song book," 9th edition*, can now be viewed online at Google Book Search. Here's a link to the page that contains DUNDERBECK.

*1900 according to the title page; 1898 according to the copyright page.

This book has gone through many editions and printings. According to WorldCat, the 1940 edition is designated "25th issue."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: GUEST,moody
Date: 14 May 08 - 12:15 PM

I learned it as a boy in WIsconsin in the 50's and it was "Johnny McBeck"and what got ground up were "all the neighbor's cats and dogs"


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Subject: Lyr Add: DUNDERBECK
From: GUEST,justine
Date: 17 Jul 08 - 12:50 AM

I have loved looking at all the slightly different versions of this very favorite song of mine.
I posted the version I learned because the second verse is a little different than the others, with the man coming into the store, and the head-cheese... I grew up in Montana.

There was a good old Dutchman, his name was Dunderbeck,
He was very fond of sauerkraut and poodle-dogs, I'd 'pect
He wanted to make sausage, and make it very fine,
So he got himself a patent on a sausager machine,

Oh Say, Mr. Dunderbeck, How could you be so mean?
To grind up all those cats and dogs in your sausager machine,
The long-tail rats and pussycats will never more be seen,
For they're all ground up in sausage meat in Dunderbeck's machine.

One day there cam a runnin' into the little store,
A man to see about some head-cheese, a standin' on the floor,
And as he was a waitin' before his very eyes,
The sausage head got up and began to dance around the room.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,MrMojo
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 09:37 PM

I love these priceless diddys. I heard this one from an old fellow that I was chatting with in the grocery store beer section. I'm pretty sure he was in the early stages of sillyness, because his wife escorted him away when she saw him talking and singing to a perfect stranger. All that I could remember was "rats and kitty cats", so I began to Google and research. Also, I drive a school bus, and sometimes encourage silly behavior from my little ones - this seemed to fit the bill... It seems the chorus is perfectly acceptable as;

"Alley Cats and Long Tailed Rats"
"Long Tailed Rats and Pussy Cats"
"Rats and Dogs and Cats"
"Rats and Dogs and Kitty Cats"

The first go at it was very successful, the kids loved it and begged for more.
I modified it some to make it easier to understand and sing by modern American children and this is what I came up with;
_____________________________

There was a strange old butcher, whose name was Dunderbeck
His specialty was sausage meat, and saurkraut, and speck.
Then Dunderbeck invented, a terrible machine,
That ground things into sausage meat, and it was run by steam.

Oh Dunderbeck, oh Dunderbeck, how could you be so mean
To ever have invented that terrible machine?
Now all the Rats and Dogs and Cats, will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderbeck's machine.

He had the finest butcher shop,the finest ever seen!
And that's where he invented, that terrible machine.
But people began to think, that something wasn't right,
When the Rats and Dogs and Kitty Cats went missing in the night.

Oh Dunderbeck, oh Dunderbeck, how could you be so mean
To ever have invented that terrible machine?
Now all the Rats and Dogs and Cats, will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderbeck's machine.

One day a little fat boy, walked into the store
He brought a pound of sausages, and threw them on the floor.
The boy began to whistle, and he whistled up a tune.
And all the sausages stood up and danced around the room.

Oh Dunderbeck, oh Dunderbeck, how could you be so mean
To ever have invented that terrible machine?
Now all the Rats and Dogs and Cats, will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderbeck's machine.

One night the machine got busted, the darned thing wouldn't go.
So Dunderbeck, he climbed inside to see what made it so.
His wife, she had a nightmare and walking in her sleep
She gave the crank an awful yank and Dunderbeck was meat.

Oh Dunderbeck, oh Dunderbeck, how could you be so mean
To ever have invented that terrible machine?
Now all the Rats and Dogs and Cats, will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderbeck's machine.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderbeck)
From: GUEST,emily
Date: 02 May 09 - 11:50 AM

the words are almost exactly like Mister Johnny Rebeck which I sang at church camp in Montana 1959. My husband heard it before 1948 on a record in South Dakota.


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Subject: Comprehensive Lyrics
From: GUEST,Saiph
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 11:51 PM

I haven't heard this song in years, I plowed through most of the discussion pages about the song and sorted out what I feel is a comprehensive list of all the verses. I tweaked some words here and there to suit the rhyme, meter, cadence, and memories I have of the song. Some of the obscure verses needed a complete rewrite, but the theme is still unchanged. There was one I just couldn't figure the meaning of, and consequently omitted. I can't wait to use this at camp next week.
I hope you all approve.

There was a strange old butcher, whose name was Dunderbeck
His specialty was sausage meat, and saurkraut, and speck.
Then Dunderbeck invented an incredible machine,
That ground things into sausage meat, The Dunderbeck Machine.
    Oh Dunderbeck, oh Dunderbeck, how could you be so mean?
    To ever have invented the sausage meat machine?
    All the dogs and rats and pussy cats, will never more be seen
    for They'll all be ground to sausage in the Dunderbeck machine.

He had the finest butcher shop, the finest ever seen!
And that's where he invented, that terrible machine.
But some began to think, that maybe something wasn't right,
When dogs and rats and pussy cats went missing in the night.

So if you own a dog or cat, you keep them under lock
Cause if you don't, I'm telling you, you're in for quite a shock!
For if you buy them sausages from Dunderbeck, right now
You'll hear those little sausages go squeak and bark and meow!

One fine day a little boy came walking in the store.
He ordered up some sausages and eggs a half a score.
The boy began to whistle, and they whistled up a tune,
And all the little sausages, they danced around the room.

One day the meat inspector came a knocking at the door,
He said, "I've heard of your machine! Your bribe is gonna soar!".
Well Dunderbeck got angry and he pushed him in the meat.
Then he fired up the old machine and now there's more to eat.

One day there was a shortage, and there was no meat to grind.
So Dunderbeck he called the pound to see what he could find.
They said, "We're out of business, we can keep the strays no more."
"But we'll refer all our future finds directly to your store."

Have you ever wondered, when you go to summer camp.
Why the food is good and plentiful and never gives a cramp?
Cause early in the morning you can see the trucker go,
And the sign upon the driver door is "Dunderbeck Meat Co.."

Now, Dunderbeck, he had a wife, the sweetest ever seen,
He left her home alone to weep while working his machine
She grew morose and leaned too close, undressed her by the seams
And no one ever saw the dress come out from the machine.

One night when he was working the machine it would not go.
So Dunderbeck, he climbed inside to see what made it so.
His wife she had a night-mare and came walking in her sleep;
And she gave the crank a hell of a yank and Dunderback was meat.

She woke up when she heard her love depart through the machine,
But seeing opportunity, she threw in herbs and greens,
She had a sale and many tales of the finest sausage seen
Now there's a little bit of Dunderbeck in all the meat machined.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderback's Terrible Machine(Dunderb
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 10:30 AM

Anyone for barbeque?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: GUEST,LucieBee
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 03:31 PM

Wow, this song really got around, although I've so far seen nothing really definitive regarding it's origins. My father played and sang for many, many dances back in the 30's, 40's, and 50's, and Dunderbeck was always a favorite. Apparently it was considered to be 'danceable' back then as well as fun. Of course, back then whole families went to the dances, so he always played a couple of fun songs 'for the kids.' All this happened in Southern and South-Eastern Oregon and a few places in Northern California. It was a song he had learned while working as a young boy in the logging camps of South-Eastern Oregon in 1927. He learned a surprisingly large number of songs in the logging camps and cowboy camps, most of them repeatable, a few of them rather 'blue' by content, even by today's standards. I only heard those on rare occasion, completely by accident.

Who knew that our forbears could get rowdy? Good times...

Regards,
LB


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: GUEST,rjm
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 06:06 PM

An incidental note:

My daughter-in-law, who is of Dutch extraction and lives in a Dutch area of upstate NY, reacted to my casual mention of Johnny Verbeck (from boy scout camp song in MI in the early 1950s) by telling me of her relative of the same name who was notorious for being mean.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: GUEST,Nimzo
Date: 10 Oct 10 - 02:10 PM

I stumbled on this thread today. This song is a tradition in my wife's family. (In the version they sing, the butcher's name was "Donnerybeck"). Did anyone ever find a version of the 1876 book that first published this song?

An earlier post said there are only two libraries that have it -- the Library of Congress and Brown University -- and the Library of Congress can't find it. Did anyone try Brown University?

Nimzo

-----------Thread closed due to persistent spamming. If you need it opened again, please contact Joe Offer -------------


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: GUEST,hopkinja
Date: 02 May 11 - 02:57 PM

We sang this version in summer camp back in the '60's. It's similar to some of the others, with slight twists.

There was a fat old Dutchman, his name was Dunderbach.
He had the finest sausages, and sauerkraut and sack (I think).
He had the finest butchershop the world had ever seen,
And he took out a patent on the sausage meat machine.

OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH Dunderbach, Oh Dunderbach, how could you be so mean
To ever have invented the sausage meat machine?
The pussy cats, the dogs, the rats will never more be seen,
For they've all been ground to sausage meat in Dunderbach's machine.

One day a boy came walking into the butcher store.
He ordered up some sausages and eggs, a half a score.
And while he was a-waiting, he whistled up a tune
And the Sausages began to hop and dance around the room!

(Chorus)

One night the whole thing busted. The machine refused to go.
So Dunderback, he crawled inside, the reason for to know.
His wife she had a nightmare, she was walking in her sleep and
She gave the crank and awful YANK!!!! ...and Dunderbach was meat.

(Chorus)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: GUEST,Lindsey
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 01:38 PM

Oh Johnny Lebeck how could you be so mean
I told you you'd be sorry for inventing that machine
Now all the neighbors' cats and dogs will nevermore be seen
They'll all be grounded sausage meat in Johnny Lebeck's machine

One day the thing stopped working, the damn thing wouldn't go
Johnny Lebeck he climbed inside to see what made it so
His wife was out walking about the house in her sleep
She gave the crank a heck of a yank and Johnny Lebeck was meat


          **This is the song, as it was song to me in my childhood by my father in New Hampshire


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: GUEST,Jim Ferguson
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 12:22 PM

My Grandfather used to sing a variant of the Dunderbeck song, substituting Bitzerbeck for Dunderbeck. I've found no reference to the Bitzerbeck version on-line, so it might be a family variant.
I don't remember the verses well, but the chorus is essentially the same. His version saw the demise of "long-tailed rats and pussy cats" and called it a "horrible machine".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: GUEST,David Gerstein
Date: 07 Dec 14 - 01:38 PM

Toward the top of this thread, Joe Offer and others note that the "Gambolier" melody was first used on stage in 1873; and that Fuld's Book of World-Famous Music adds:

> "The words (of Dunderbeck) appeared in Our Own Boys Songster (New
> York, NY, 1876), p. 6, under the title "Dunderbeck's Machine," to the
> "Air-Thomas's Machine." "Dunderbeck's Machine" is there said to be
> "By Ed. Harrigan," but this might also mean "sung by" Ed. Harrigan...

Nobody on this thread seems to have looked up "Air-Thomas's Machine." There is no song by this name that I can find—but there *is* an *air* called "Thomas's Machine"! It reportedly dates from 1873:

http://monologues.co.uk/musichall/Songs-T/Thomas-Machine.htm

And here is an Amazon link for sheet music that seems to back up that date:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomass-Sewing-Machine-Song-begins/dp/B0000CZ0EM

If the date is correct, then this predates Dunderbeck and is the first song to link the "Gondolier" melody to verses about a machine. The subject matter is less unusual than Dunderbeck, so it's easy to imagine Dunderbeck as Harrigan's deliberate attempt to make the "Thomas" lyrics crazier.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Dec 14 - 02:51 PM

"Son of a Gambolier" appeared on a New Orleans broadside of 1861, presumably to some form of the familiar tune. The place names (like "Gretna Green" for "Tipper'y Town") localize it to N.O., which had a significant Irish-immigrant population.

The song must have been rather popular in the American Civil War: it was sung at Harvard no later than 1865.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Dec 14 - 06:52 PM

I always wondered whether she was really walking in her sleep...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: GUEST,Lorraine
Date: 06 May 18 - 03:09 AM

I sure have enjoyed looking at many of the recollections and fond memories of individuals about the Dunderback song. My father sang it to my sister and I when we were young, he knew a few verses and we enjoyed singing it with him. After reading many of the versions on this thread, I rearranged the order of the verses and changed some words and sang it at my father's Celebration of Life on August 27, 2013. It's taken me a few years (2018) to get back to the thread and submit it, here it is...

DUNDERBACK
There was a strange old butcher, whose name was Dunderback
His specialty was sausage meat, and saurkraut, and speck.
Then Dunderback invented an incredible steam machine,
That ground things into sausage meat, The Dunderback Machine.

He had the finest butcher shop, the finest ever seen!
That's where he invented, that terrible machine.
But there were those that knew that something wasn't right,
When dogs and rats and pussy cats went missing in the night.

CHORUS:
Oh Dunderback, oh Dunderback, how could you be so mean?
For having invented that horrible machine?
For pussycats and dogs and rats, will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderback's machine.

There was a little boy, came walking in the store.
He ordered up some sausages and eggs a half a score.
And while he was a waiting, he whistled up a tune,
And all the little sausages began to dance around the room.

One day the meat inspector came a knocking at the door,
He said, "I've heard of your machine! Your bribe is gonna soar!".
Well Dunderback got angry and pushed the man in deep.
And fired up the old machine and now that man is meat.

CHORUS:
Oh Dunderback, oh Dunderback, how could you be so mean?
For having invented that horrible machine?
For pussycats and dogs and rats, will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderback's machine.

Now there was a shortage and there was no meat to grind.
So Dunderback he called the pound to see what he could find.
They said, "We're out of business, we can keep the strays no more."
"But we'll refer all future finds directly to your store."

So if you own a dog or cat, you keep them under lock,
'Cause if you don't, I'm telling you, you're in for quite a shock!
For if you buy them sausages from Dunderback, right now
You'll hear those little sausages go squeak and bark and meow!

CHORUS:
Oh Dunderback, oh Dunderback, how could you be so mean?
For having invented that horrible machine?
For pussycats and dogs and rats, will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderback's machine.

Now, Dunderback, he had a wife, the sweetest ever seen,
He left her home alone, to clean the sausage meat machine
She grew morose and leaned too close, it undressed her by the seams
And no one ever saw that dress come out of the machine.

One night when he was working, the machine it would not go.
So Dunderback climbed inside, the reason for to know.
His wife she had a night-mare, was walking in her sleep;
She gave the crank an awful yank and Dunderback was meat.

CHORUS:
Oh Dunderback, oh Dunderback, how could you be so mean?
For having invented that horrible machine?
For pussycats and dogs and rats, will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderback's machine.

Now she awoke to the grinding, of his bones through the machine,
But seeing opportunity, she threw in herbs and greens,
She had a sale and many tales of the finest sausage seen
Now there's a bit of Dunderback in all the meat machined.

This might make you wonder, when eating your morning meal.
Where the sausage meat came from and if it is really real?
'Cause early in the morning when you see the trucker go,
The sign upon the driver's door says "Dunderback Meat Co."

CHORUS:
Oh Dunderback, oh Dunderback, how could you be so mean?
For having invented that horrible machine?
For pussycats and dogs and rats, will never more be seen
They'll all be ground to sausage meat in Dunderback's machine.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Dunderbeck
From: voyager
Date: 07 May 18 - 10:15 AM

Those that respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made - Mark Twain

My lads sang this tune in our Boy Scout Troop. Thanks to Mudcat for teasing this thread out into a great history of song.

voyager


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