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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
GUEST,GUEST John L in The Netherlands 17 Mar 05 - 04:14 PM
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
GUEST,Q 22 May 05 - 12:58 AM
GUEST,Joe Offer 22 May 05 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Q 22 May 05 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Jonny Joe . . . 24 May 05 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,Guest, Jim 22 Aug 05 - 01:26 AM
GUEST,Silvercat 26 Sep 05 - 07:01 PM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 05 - 08:24 PM
Bard Judith 26 Sep 05 - 08:35 PM
Tannywheeler 27 Sep 05 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,kathyozark 02 Dec 05 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,JP Merzetti / Canada 08 Mar 06 - 01:02 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Mar 06 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,kansas girl 07 Aug 06 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Joe Ryan 15 Aug 06 - 12:33 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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