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Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes

Azizi 12 Jul 06 - 08:38 PM
Azizi 12 Jul 06 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,Dale 12 Jul 06 - 08:51 PM
Azizi 12 Jul 06 - 08:54 PM
Bob the Postman 12 Jul 06 - 08:59 PM
Bob the Postman 12 Jul 06 - 09:00 PM
Azizi 12 Jul 06 - 09:02 PM
Azizi 12 Jul 06 - 09:06 PM
Mr Happy 12 Jul 06 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Dale 12 Jul 06 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 12 Jul 06 - 09:34 PM
Bob the Postman 12 Jul 06 - 09:40 PM
Ferrara 12 Jul 06 - 09:50 PM
Gorgeous Gary 12 Jul 06 - 10:00 PM
Janie 12 Jul 06 - 10:17 PM
Janie 12 Jul 06 - 10:22 PM
Janie 12 Jul 06 - 10:29 PM
Rapparee 12 Jul 06 - 10:49 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jul 06 - 11:02 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jul 06 - 11:05 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jul 06 - 11:08 PM
SharonA 12 Jul 06 - 11:42 PM
Mo the caller 13 Jul 06 - 01:12 AM
SharonA 13 Jul 06 - 01:33 AM
Joe Offer 13 Jul 06 - 01:46 AM
Doug Chadwick 13 Jul 06 - 02:54 AM
Azizi 13 Jul 06 - 07:52 AM
GUEST 13 Jul 06 - 08:07 AM
Azizi 13 Jul 06 - 08:13 AM
GUEST 13 Jul 06 - 08:15 AM
Mo the caller 13 Jul 06 - 08:27 AM
Snuffy 13 Jul 06 - 09:11 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 Jul 06 - 09:16 AM
GUEST 13 Jul 06 - 09:18 AM
Paco Rabanne 13 Jul 06 - 09:27 AM
Scrump 13 Jul 06 - 09:30 AM
webfolk 13 Jul 06 - 09:37 AM
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dick greenhaus 13 Jul 06 - 10:46 AM
Azizi 13 Jul 06 - 03:37 PM
katlaughing 13 Jul 06 - 03:57 PM
Azizi 13 Jul 06 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,ClaireBear 13 Jul 06 - 05:34 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Jul 06 - 05:41 PM
katlaughing 13 Jul 06 - 05:42 PM
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Azizi 13 Jul 06 - 05:46 PM
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Subject: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 08:38 PM

This is not a copy-cat thread. But I admit that this thread Lyr Req: Oscar Brown's 'Forbidden Fruit' got me my categorization jones going again.

For some time I've been thinking about the whats and whys and wherefores of children's rhymes & children's songs that I've read or heard that mention snakes. And I figure there's probably also a number of adult songs that mention snakes.

So if you wanna you can blame that other thread for prompting me to ask this question:

What children and/or adult songs & rhymes do you know that mention snakes?

****

Btw, in No way is this Snake thread an attempt to rip off that "Forbidden Fruit" thread. Though that thread contains examples and information about songs that mention snakes, in my opinion this thread's intent is broader.

Also, it seems to me that if people post songs about snakes on this thread, then because of this thread's title, folks seeking songs about snakes will be better able to find them here then on a thread that is named "Forbidden Fruit". Again, no disrespect to that title or to that thread...

****

Having said that, I'll start with some examples I've found and hope that you join in.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 08:49 PM

There's a number of versions of this children's rhyme that mentions snakes [among other things]:

Coca Cola .. Came to town
Diet Pepsi ... Come on down

Theres a place on mars where the women smoke cigars
Every puff they take is enough to kill a snake
When the snake is dead they put roses on its head
When the roses die . they put diamonds in its eyes
When the diamond break .. they begin to make a cake
When the cake is done ... it'll be 1991
http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php posted by heather at March 18, 2006


****

theres a place on mars
where the women smoke cigars
and the men wear bikinis
and the babies drink martinis
every step you take
is enough to kill a snake
when the snake is dead
you put diamonds on his head
when the diamonds crack
you put mustard on its back
when the mustard dries
its year 1969.
then you tell the king
and the king says FREEZE!
http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php posted by September at July 11, 2006

****

[Also, a version of this rhyme was given in a Mudcat thread. I'm reposting that entire comment. I hope it is alright to do so]:

In The Land Of Oz
Some dim fragments from my far-off childhood.. "Say say my playmate, come out and play with me" was popular for both skipping, clapping, and elastic games. And finally, there was "In the land of Oz" which was also multipurpose.


In the land of Oz
where the ladies smoke cigars
Every puff they take
is enough to kill a snake
When the snakes are dead
they put roses in their head
When the roses die
They put diamonds in their eye
When the diamonds break
It is nineteen-(sixty)-eight!

This of course had its own risque variant: "In the land of Oz / where the ladies don't wear bras / but the men don't care / cause they don't wear underwear!"
Mudcat; "Child's Game: Elastics", posted by Bard Judith, 26 Sep 05

[I tried to find the thread URL by putting "children's games elastics" in the search engine-without apostraphes-but got 'no results']


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Subject: Lyr Add: SNEAKY SNAKE (Tom T. Hall)
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 08:51 PM

SNEAKY SNAKE
Words and music by Tom T. Hall (c&p, not checked)

[G] Boys and girls take [G7] warning
If [C] you go near the [G] lake
[C] keep your eyes wide [G] open
And [A7] look for Sneaky [D7] Snake
Now [G] maybe you won't [G7] see him
And [C] maybe you won't [G] hear
But [C] he'll sneak up behind [G] you
And [D7] drink all of your Root [G] Beer.

CHORUS:
And then [G] Sneaky Snake goes [C] dancin'
[G] wigglin' and a-[C] hissin'
[G] Sneaky Snake goes dancin'
[A7] gigglin' and a-[D7] kissin'
I [G] dont like old [G7] Sneaky Snake,
He [C] laughs too much, you [G] see
When [C] he goes wiggin' [G] thru the grass
It [D7] tickles his under-[G] neath.

Well, Sneaky Snake drinks Root Beer and he just makes me sick
When he is not dancin', he looks just like a stick
Now he doesn't have any arms or legs, you cannot see his ears
And while we are not lookin', he's stealin' all of our beer.

CHORUS


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD BILL THE ROLLING PIN
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 08:54 PM

Here's an example that I shared in this Mudcat thread:
African American Secular Folk Songs


OLD BILL THE ROLLING PIN

Bessie Jones, Bess Lomax Hawes,"Step It Down" {University of Georgia Press, 1972, p. 208}

Now, Old Bill the Rolling Pin this morning.
Now, Old Bill the Rolling Pin this morning.
Now, Old Bill the Rolling Pin,
He's up the road and back again.
Big eyes and double chin this morning.

I geed to the mule but the mule wouldn't gee this morning.
I geed to the mule but the mule wouldn't gee this morning.
I geed to the mule but the mule wouldn't gee.
I knocked him side the head with thes singletree this morning.

Now Old Bill, etc.

I hawed the mule but the mule wouldn't haw this morning.
I hawed the mule but the mule wouldn't haw this morning.
I hawed the mule but the mule wouldn't haw,
He wouldn't do nothing but the pssum-la this morning.

Now Old Bill, etc.

Mister Frog went swimming down the lake this morning.
Mister Frog went swimming down the lake this morning.
Mister Frog went swimming down the lake.
But he got swallowed by a big black snake this morning.

Now Old Bill, etc.

[sung to the chorus melody]
Mrs. Duck went swimming down the lake this morning.
Mrs. Duck went swimming down the lake this morning.
Mrs. Duck went swimming down the lake.
But she got struck by a big black snake.
Poor thing, her neck got breaked this morning.

Note from book:
"When the mule wouldn't do nothing but the possum-la, that means he'd back around and cut up and like that-like he was dancing...*

Mrs Jones say that Old Bill was a "patterroller" and that people made this song up to make fun of him. During slavery, when Negroes were not allowed to leave their home plantation without a pass, "patterollers" were armed guards, hired to patrol the roads at night, enforcing the pass system. This particular 'patteroller' had "big eyes and a double chin", apparently reminding the singers of Mister Frog {the same one who went a-courting and who got "struck by a big black snake"}. The mule,who dances instead of working,is not as extraneous as he may seem either."

-snip-


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 08:59 PM

The first snake I thought of was the one at the end of the play-party song Froggy Went A-Courting


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 09:00 PM

Darn that cross-posting.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 09:02 PM

That's a good one, Dale. Thanks for posting it.

****

Speaking of a Sneaky Snake goin dancin' wigglin' and a-hissin',
here's a children's taunting rhyme that mentions a snake:

skip skip snake in your hips
wiggle around and break ur lip.

http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php posted by j-mil at April 9, 2005

****

Here's another example from that Octoblog website:

ok ok ... its bad but its not 4 your lil kids .. of course ... yes i am a bad lil gurl hehe...

I was dreamin of genie
With a ten foor weinie
And I showed to the girl next door.

She though it was a snake
And she hit it with a rake
And now it's only five foor four i dont realli care tho ...

http://blog.oftheoctopuses.com/000518.php posted by Cassi at April 17, 2004

[Note: the Octoblog examples are used with permission from that blog's members]


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 09:06 PM

Hey Bob the Postman!

We didn't post the exact same song and even if we did, that's the Internet for you-not the mention the fact that it would serve as an example of great minds thinking alike

:o}


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Mr Happy
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 09:28 PM

@displaysong.cfm?SongID=2592


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 09:28 PM

Wendy Bagwell was a comedian/gospel musician who died about 10 years ago. Sometime in the long ago Wendy (Wendell) recorded a song called "Here Come The Rattlesnakes". I believe it was released under other names as well, Maybe the Rattle Snake Song?

Anyway, in the song, more recitation really, Wendy talked of being at a church in I think West Virginia. Turned out it was a snake-handling church. Wendy and his backup singers started looking for an exit. When he asked somebody where the back door was, he was informed that there wasn't one. So Wendy sez something like, "Where do you reckon you'd like one?"

A member of the congregation chided Wendy for not taking kindly to snakes. The exchange went something like this:

Brother so and so: You mean if the Lord asked you to take up a snake that you wouldn't do it?

Wendy: Yes, I would . . . but he didn't and I ain't!

Sorry I don't have it. I had a Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters album years ago. Probably still do, just don't know where.

This is the sort of thing that might be right down Gene's alley. I'll check in with him.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 09:34 PM

Springfield Mountain.

Lord Randall (not actually mentioned, but implied).

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Men are luckier than women: they marry later & die sooner. :||


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 09:40 PM

And of course bluegrass has its awful Dreadful Snake


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Ferrara
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 09:50 PM

Here's a thread on Rattlesnake Mountain/Springfield Mountain.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 10:00 PM

How 'bout "I'm Being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor".

The only rhymes I remember from it tho' are "...oh gee, it's up to my knee..." and "...oh heck, it's up to my neck..." (usually followed by *gulp*)

-- Gary


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Subject: Lyr Add: WOODY KNOWS NOTHING
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 10:17 PM

Bluejay pulled the 4 horse plow
Sparrow why can't you?
Because my legs is little and thin
And they might get broke in two.

Redbird sittin' on a sycamore limb
Singin' out his soul
Big black snake crawled up that tree
And swallowed that poor bird whole.

Wild geese flyin' thru the air
Thru the sky of blue
They're now a floatin' where the north wind blows
So why not me and you.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 10:22 PM

And a verse from 'Groundhog'...

Rattlesnake, oh rattlesnake
Tell me why your bite so bad?
I been crawlin' on the ground so darn long
Lucky I ain't dead, dead.
Lucky I ain't dead.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 10:29 PM

And one verse from "Dem Bones Gonna Rise Again" that I can't remember and both the search and refresh functions are too screwed up to take me to.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 10:49 PM

All I could think of off hand was "Here, Rattler, here" and that ain't it.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 11:02 PM

Doc Watson's version of Froggy Went A-Courtin' ends in "and he got swallered up (gulp, gulp) by a big black snake" ...and there is a poem about Texas and how the devil put all kinds offawful stuff there and that mentions rattlesnakes, I'll look that one up.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 11:05 PM

In seeking that poem I found this line from a gRATEFUL dEAD SONG: Here there may be rattlesnakes, to punch you in the eye...


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BEGINNING OF TEXAS
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 11:08 PM

Found it:

THE BEGINNING OF TEXAS

The Devil in Hell, we are told, was chained.
Ten thousand years he there remained.
He didn't complain nor did he groan,
But he swore he would have a Hell of his own,

Where he could torment the souls of men
Without being chained in a prison pen.
So he asked the Lord if he had on hand
Anything left when He made this land.

The Lord said, "Yes, I have plenty of land,
But it's down in Texas on the Rio Grande.
The fact is, old boy, the stuff is so poor
I don't think you could make a Hell anymore."

The Devil went down to look at the tract,
Said, "If I get if for nothing, I surely am stuck,"
But in order to get the stuff off his hands,
The Lord promised the Devil to water the lands.

He had lots of water for which there which there was no use:
'Twas the Rio Grande River and stinks like the deuce;
So the bargain was made and the deed was given,
And the Lord went back to His seat in Heaven.

"Now," said the Devil, "I've all that is needed
To make a good Hell," and he nearly succeeded.
He put thorns on all the trees,
And filled up the sand with millions of fleas.

He put thorns on the cactus and horns on the toads,
And scattered tarantulas along the road,
Made the rattlesnake bite and the scorpions sting,
And the mosquitoes amuse you with the buzz of their wings.

He covered the country with millions of ants,
So when you sit down, they eat holes in your pants.
He lengthened the horns on the Texas steers,
And built two additions on the jackrabbits' ears.

The wild boar roams through the black chaparral.
What a hell of a place he got for his Hell!
The heat in the summer is two hundred and ten,
Too hot for the Devil and too hot for the men.

Red peppers grow wild on the banks of the brook,
And the Mexicans use them in all that they cook.
Just dine with a Mex, and no more will you doubt,
That it's hell on the inside as well as the out.

But now things have changed, for the soil was so rich,
They could feed the whole world by the side of that ditch.
The finest legumbers and fruit in the land,
Are grown in Texas by the Rio Grande.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SAINT PATRICK WAS A GENTLEMAN
From: SharonA
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 11:42 PM

What, no songs about Saint Patrick yet??? Let's fix that right now. I've copied this version of "St. Patrick Was a Gentleman" from The Session website (there's more info there, on the tune and so forth, also). It differs a bit from the Mudcat DT version...


SAINT PATRICK WAS A GENTLEMAN

words by Henry Bennett and John Tolekin (?)

Saint Patrick was a gentleman, and he came of decent people,
In Dublin town he built a church, and he put a'-pon't a steeple,
His father was a Wollogan, his mother was a Grady,
His aunt she was a Kinnigan, and his wife the widow Brady.

CHORUS (repeat after each verse):
Then success to bold Saint Patrick's fist,
For he was a saint so clever,
He gave the snakes and toads a twist
And banished them forever.

There's not a mile in Ireland's isle, where the dirty vermin musters,
Where-e'er he put his dear forefoot, he murder'd them in clusters,
The toads went hop, the frogs went flop, slap dash into to water,
And the snakes committed suicide to save themselves from slaughter.

Nine hundred thousand reptiles blue, he charm'd with sweet discourses,
And dined on them at Killaloe, in soups and second courses,
When blind worms crawling in the grass, disgusted all the nation,
He gave them a rise, which ope'd theier eyes to a sense of their situation.

No wonder that those Irish lads should be so gay and frisky,
For Saint Patrick taught them first the joys of tippling the whisky,
No wonder that the saint himself to taste it should be willing,
For his mother kept a she-ban shop, in the town of Enniskillen.

The Wicklow hills are very high, and so's the hill of Howth, sir,
But there's a hill much higher still, ay, higher than them both, sir;
'Twas on the top of this high hill Saint Patrick preached the sarment,
He drove the frogs into the bogs, and bother'd all the varment.

Oh! was I but so fortunate as to be back in Munster,
'Tis I'll be bound that from that ground I nevermore would once stir.
For there Saint Patrick planted turf, and plenty of the praties,
With pigs galore, ma gra, ma store, and cabbages -- and ladies.

(According to a comment on the site, 'a gradh mo stor' means 'My love, my treasure')


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 01:12 AM

An English version of the one Azizi posted at 09.02pm
My friend Billy had a 6 foot willy
And he showed it to the girl next door
She thought it was a snake and she hit it with a rake
And now it's only 5 foot 4
(of course I didn't know what it meant, when I heard it at school!)

"I'm Being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor".
I'm Being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor and I don't like it one bit (twice)
Oh no, its up to my toe (twice)
I'm being...
Oh gee it's up to my knee
Oh fiddle, it's up to my middle
You've guessed, it's up to my chest
Oh heck, it's up to my neck
Scream
Ther may be more, that's all I can remember. I heard it at a Hobby Horse club at Litchfield Folk Festival about 10 years ago.

Then of course there's the tune called Morgan Rattler.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOA CONSTRICTOR (Shel Silverstein)
From: SharonA
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 01:33 AM

Here's the original (Shel Silverstein) version of...

BOA CONSTRICTOR
Shel Silverstein -
Tro-Hollis Music, Inc. BMI

I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor
And I don't like it very much!

Oh no, oh no,
He swallowed my toe, he swallowed my toe
Oh gee, oh gee,
He's up to my knee, he's up to my knee
Oh fiddle, oh fiddle,
He's reached my middle, he's reached my middle
Oh heck, oh heck,
He's up to my neck, he's up to my neck
Oh dread, oh dread,
He swallowed my.... schlirppp!

----------------
Note: the version I learned from my older brothers included a bit of the "folk process"; they added:

Oh my, oh my, he swallowed my thigh, he swallowed my thigh

and

Oh darn, oh darn, he swallowed my arm, he swallowed my arm


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 01:46 AM

I was just telling somebody today how John in Brisbane used to torment me with snake stories and e-mail snake photos to me. I think he actually liked the 8-foot boa constrictor that lived under his house. He said it kept the bad snakes away.
I hate snakes.
-Joe Offer, in Rattlesnake Country-


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 02:54 AM

This song, Henry My Son (also known as Green and Yella), tells the sad tale of someone, who eats snakes, mistaking them for eels.

DC


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Subject: Lyr Add: SAMMY THE SNAKE (Jeffrey Moss)
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 07:52 AM

You know things are bad* when you wake up with a song on your mind from an early 1970 Sesame Street television show.

That song is demanding to be posted on this Mudcat thread so here it is:

SAMMY THE SNAKE
sung by Sammy the Snake (Jim Henson)
Written by Jeffrey Moss

(spoken)
Sssss! Say hey! I'm Sammy the snake, and I'm here to tell you people something about the letter "S".

(sung)
Oh, I'm Sammy the snake
And I look like the letter "S"ssss.
Oh, yes.

I'm all wiggly and curvy,
And I look like the letter "S"ssss.
I confess.

But do you know the sound
Of Sammy the snake?
Well, the sound of the letter "S"
Is the sound I make.

(spoken)
I say "Sssssss!"
Let me tell you about it. Out of sight.

(sung)
I say "Sssss!" in the morning,
"Sssss!" in the afternoon.

(spoken)
Yes, I do to all my snake friends.

(sung)
I say "See you later, Slinky."
She's my sister.
I say "See you soon."

(spoken)
Yeah, she's super slick.

(sung)
Yeah, I'm Sammy the snake,
And I have to confess
That I look and I sound just like the letter "S".

(spoken)
Now come on, all you children, and make that "S" sound with me. Here we go.
Ssssssssssss! Yeah, that's fine.
That's the sound you hear in the beginning of a word like "sing" or "storytime."
Let's do it again. Ssssssssssss!
Yeah, you hear that sound in the beginning of a word like "seesaw," "silly," "super," "star," or "seven."

(sung)
Yeah, I'm Sammy the snake,
And I have to confess
That I look and I sound just like the letter "S".

(spoken)
Ssssssssssss! So long.

-snip-
Online source for the transcription http://members.tripod.com/Tiny_dancer/sammy.html

****

* But then again, sometimes 'bad' means 'good'.

And I think that many Sesame Street segments were very good ['good' meaning 'creative']. I haven't seen that show for years. I hope the segments are still good.

Btw: is this show seen outside of the USA?


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 08:07 AM

I adder, I adder, I adder I aye,
I ups and I shows her the way....


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 08:13 AM

One of the things I like best about Mudcat is that it provides opportunities for folks around the world to share their versions of songs and rhymes.

And Mudcat also provides the opportunity for folks with that interest to ponder about and exchange thoughts about the origin and meaning of songs and rhymes.

And-no it's not of heavy duty importance, but it is interesting and fun for folks like me...so in that spirit, I'd like to take a station break [sorry, a discussion break] from examples of rhymes to return to add some thoughts on the "I was dreamin of genie' rhyme found in my 12 Jul 06 - 09:02 PM post:

I'm wondering if this was the original American version of that rhyme was the same as the English version that Mo the Caller posted "My friend Billy had a 6 foot willy"? If so, the "I Dream of Jeanie" television show probably accounts for the USA change.
Re-runs of that show are probably still on tv, but the show was first seen in 1965 and filming ended in 1970.

Click http://www.tv.com/i-dream-of-jeannie/show/608/summary.html for a summary of that show and some clips from that show.

Also-you probably figured this out- but the words 'i dont realli care' are not part of the rhyme, but are Cassi's statement about folks' opinion of her for reciting such a risque rhyme.

Btw, Cassi has other entries & witty comments on that Octoblog thread. I wish I knew more about her. I'm assuming that she's from the USA. In one of her posts she says she's a pre-teen [or was it a teenager?]. At any rate, she's a delight!


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 08:15 AM

"The Laily Worm and the Machrel of the Sea" - in Child's collection. Recently anglicised, recorded and released as 'The Loathsome Worm and the Mackerel of the Sea" by young English singer and guitarist James Raynard on his 'Strange Histories' LP.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Mo the caller
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 08:27 AM

Yes we had Sesame Street in England.
The last time I overwatched it (if there isn't a word like overheard that means seeing something accidentally, there should be) was 6 years ago, while caring for my Mother-in-law. She was chair bound with Arthritis and Parkinsons, so had nothing much to do but listen to tapes and watch TV. She found Sesame Street highly amusing.
Didn't I read somewhere that the puppet makers were English?


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 09:11 AM

The Shakespeare Mummers have been singing "Not for Joe" including a variant of that verse at the end of our plays for many years:

My Uncle Billy had a ten foot willy
And he showed it to the girl next door.
She though it was a snake, so she hit it with a rake
And now it's only five foot four

We've never changed that verse, but we did change the first verse:

We had a little N***** and he grew no bigger
So we put him in the Wild West Show
He fell through the window and broke his little finger
And he couldn't play the old banjo

This is now
We had a little mummer and he was no strummer etc


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 09:16 AM

and one from Lancashire

My brother Billy's got a ten foor willy
and he showed it to the girl next door
She thought it was a snake and she hit it with a rake
and now it's only five foot four

Had to come down to it didn't it?

:D (tG)


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 09:18 AM

What about:

Rattlesnake Rock - Pete Atkin (lyrics by Clive James)
The song about Hissing Sid from Captain Beaky (don't know the song title) - Keith Michell
Trust in Me (from the Disney animated movie Jungle Book)


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 09:27 AM

'Snakes on everything' by Little Feat.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Scrump
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 09:30 AM

Oops! That last GUEST was me. Sorry, my cookie must have been deleted or something.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: webfolk
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 09:37 AM

The Lambton Worm could be thought of as being about a snake, or a dragon. I think of it as a sort of 'Geordie' verion of 'George and the Dragon' really seeing as how Lord Lambton (Sir John) goes off to fight in the crusades in it.

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: webfolk
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 09:38 AM

Letterland, the tool used in may schools to teach the alphabet, has a set of songs with it for each charachter and there is one for Sammy Snake.

Geoff


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 10:46 AM

Y'know-
This is the kind of thing that DigiTrad is especially handy for. Just look for "snake", then "snakes", then "serpent" etc. and you get a very healthy start to a list.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 03:37 PM

Dick, I agree that the Digitrad is a Great start.

But that list doesn't appear to include any children's rhymes.
Also, I started this thread because I'm curious what examples folks would share [examples that may or may not yet be in the DigiTrad].

And besides, I was hoping that there might be some discussion of the origin/source materials/meanings of some of these songs.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 03:57 PM

That "list" is a song database of many, many years of work on the part of Dick Greenhaus and Susan of the DT, long before the Mudcat even came into being. Not every song which gets listed on Mudcat makes it into the DT; it's up to Dick and Susan what gets included.

Also, IF you have already posted a song/rhyme/whatever elsewhere on Mudcat, save the space and just post a link.

kat


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 05:25 PM

katlaughing -

I very much appreciate the effort and dedication that went into the creation of the Digitrad. I recognize that every song posted on Mudcat won't be added to the Digitrad. And I also recognize it was/is not meant to be a source for children's rhymes.

As to my providing a link to a song/rhyme/post that I [or presumably] anyone else has written on Mudcat, I don't know how to post a link to a specific post on a thread. I'm technologically challenged, and just learned how to post to a specific thread a little more than a year ago. I'd appreciate it if you or someone else could share those instructions with me.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 05:34 PM

Here's a "toast" version of St Patrick Was a Gentleman. I seem to recall getting it from the 1950s Penguin book of Folk Songs:

Saint Patrick was a gentleman
Who through strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland
Here's a bumper to his health.

But not too many bumpers
Or we'll lose ourselves and then
Forget the good St Patrick
And see the snakes again.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 05:41 PM

Springfield Mountain, there was a snake there as I remember.

Fod


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 05:42 PM

When you get the box up in which you type your post, you will see at the righthand bottom "Make a link (blue clicky)" Click on that.

Failing that, here's the html which you can put in manually, as posted in the FAQs by Joe Offer:


<a href="http://www.mudcat.org">Click here</a>



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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 05:44 PM

The addy which is in that above example, the text in RED, is just an example. You would want to replace it with whatever the addy is of the place/page you want to link to. I thought you had links on your website, no?


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 05:46 PM

Here's another version of the song "Johnny Booker" than I found on the Digitrad. The source for this version is Dorothy Scarborough
"On The Trail Of Negro Folk Songs" {Folklore Associates, Inc. edition; 1963; p.100 ; originally published by Harvard, University Press, 1925}

JOHNNY BOOKER
I went down to de back of de fiel'
A black snake cotch me by de heel.
I cut my dus', I run my bes,'
I run right into a horney's nes'.

Chorus:
Oh, do, Mr. Booker, do! Oh, do, Mr. Booker, do!
Oh, do, Mr. Booker, Johnny Booker,
Mr Booker, Mr, Booker, Johnny Booker, do!

-snip-

See Scarborough's introduction to that song:

"Dr. Wyeth performed magical tricks with a banjo, as he had been taught by old Uncle Billy in slavery times. He evoked melodies of wishful gaiety by drawing a handkerchief across the banjo strings, and lively tunes by playing it with a whisk-broom. And when he danced some of the old breakdowns for me, just to show how they went, I felt transported to an old plantation of days before the war. Another of the dance-songs he gave me was Johnny Booker."


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 05:52 PM

katlaughing,

I'm continuing this exchange here rather than by pm, because other people might also be interested in finding out how to do this.

I have used the blue clicky thingy on the bottom of these posting boxes for hyperlinking to a thread, but how do you ensure that you hyperlink to a specific post on a thread?

I'm grateful to have that easier make a blue clicky thingy because frankly the red html or whatever it is that Joe Offer has scares me. I'm not sure that I understand how to do it.

As to how I make hyperlinks on my website, my webmaster showed me how to do it and it works there, but the same thing doesn't work here. And sometimes I forget how to do it there, and have to ask him for a reminder course.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OUTRUNNING THE DEVIL
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 06:07 PM

There was a time that I tried to read something heavy duty in the line from African American folk songs about snakes biting people on the heel. But now I figure these lines reflected the worry that people had who lived in areas where there are a lot of snakes-maybe this worry was even more pronounced in people who were barefooted, because they couldn't afford shoes, but I'm not sure about that.

Here's another song I found with a line about a snake biting a person on the heel. This song also has the line about falling into a hornet's nest:

OUTRUNNING THE DEVIL

I went upon de mountain,
An' I seed de Devil comin'.
I retched an' got my hat an' coat,
An' I beat de Devil runnin'.

As I run'd down across de fiel'.
A rattlesnake bit me on de heel.
I rears an' pitches an' does my bes'
An' I falls right back in a hornet's nes'.

For w'en I wus a sinnah man,
I run by leaps an' boun's.
I wus afeard de Devil 'ould ketch me
Wid his ole three legged houn's.

But now I'se come a Christun,
I kneels right down an' prays.
An' den de Devil runs from me-
I'se tried dem other ways.

Source: Thomas W. Talley "Negro Folk Rhymes" {Kennikat Press, Inc. Edition, 1968, p. 108; originally published by The Macmillan Co., 1922}


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Subject: RE: Songs & Rhymes That Mention Snakes
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 06:25 PM

Re "Dem Bones Gonna Rise Again":

I've found some online versions of this song that have this verse:

Serpent crawling around that trunk.
Dem bones gonna rise again
At miss Eve, his eye he wunk.
Dem bones gonna rise again

Source: http://www.scoutsongs.com/lyrics/dembones.html

And other online versions that subsitute 'Satan' for 'serpent' like here:

Round that tree old Satan slunk
Dem bones gonna rise again
At Miss Eve his eye he wunk.
Dem bones gonna rise again

Source: http://ingeb.org/spiritua/dembones.html

I think that the serpent version is probably the oldest one, since a serpent 'slunking' makes more sense than Satan slunking. But it's an open question as to whether serpents can 'wink' or not...


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