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If Texas Told What Arkansaw, ...Tennessee

07 Feb 98 - 06:30 PM (#20915)
Subject: IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, ...TENNESSEE
From: Gene

I like this one EVEN BETTER THAN "What did Delaware"? I finally found a recording of it after looking for it for almost 40 years!

IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, THEN WHAT DID TENNESSEE?
Recorded by Lonzo and Oscar

If MISS-ISSIPPI got NEW JERSEY's, what would DELA-WARE?
And if WYOMIN' started roamin' would MONTANA care?
IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, THEN WHAT DID TENNESSEE?
If you can answer that one, you're a better man than me.

Who knows the answer to this mystery?
IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, THEN WHAT DID TENNESSEE?

If OKLA- ain't a HOMA, tell me where has ORE-GON (Ora Gone)
If MINNE-SOTA (Minnie sewed) a dress then would VIRGINIA put it on
If CAROLINA went to CHINA, where would GEORGIA stay?
If WASHING- is a TON, just how much does I-O-WA (I-O Weigh)?

Who knows the answer to this mystery?
IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, THEN WHAT DID TENNESSEE?

If There were no potatoes, tell me what would IDA-HO (Ida hoe)?
If KANSAS loaned NEW YORK a dollar, who would O-HI-O (owe hi-o)?
If UTAH bothered ALABAM', then who would ILLINOIS (Ill annoy)?
Has SOUTH DAKOTA ever wrote an island in HAWAII?

Who knows the answer to this mystery?
IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, THEN WHAT DID TENNESSEE?

If FLORIDA would plant the seed, would CONNETA-CUT the grass?
Would MARYLAND a fellar, if she went to BOSTON, MASS?
And how could MASSACHUSSETS (Massa Chew-it) with a broken upper plate?
Do you give up or would you like to try for 48?

Who knows the answer to this mystery?
IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, THEN WHAT DID TENNESSEE?


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30 May 08 - 07:58 PM (#2353425)
Subject: RE: IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, ...TENNESSEE
From: GUEST,cgcg

I know the answer to the question tennessee saw arkansaw.


30 May 08 - 08:23 PM (#2353437)
Subject: RE: IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, ...TENNESSEE
From: Dancealot

Almost right. She saw what Arkan-saw.


30 May 08 - 08:47 PM (#2353447)
Subject: RE: IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, ...TENNESSEE
From: JohnInKansas

Minor quibble(?) or note on ethnology: In the version that I heard back in the '50s the main line was:

If Texas SAW what Arkan - Saw then what did Tenne - see.

I'd think it makes more sense, and scans better, with "saw" up front; but I doubt that it makes much difference, unless someone wants to research sources and evolved versions.

Sorry, but I can't tell you who played/sang it on the old 78s.

John


30 May 08 - 11:04 PM (#2353489)
Subject: RE: IF TEXAS TOLD WHAT ARKANSAW, ...TENNESSEE
From: Gene

The version I had was by Lonzo & Oscar...


31 May 08 - 12:02 AM (#2353503)
Subject: RE: If Texas Told What Arkansaw, ...Tennessee
From: JohnInKansas

I'd suspect it's old enough to have cropped up in several versions with minor variations. It probably dates back to the time before professional musicians had agents to read the words to them - hence some inevitable variability. (Although even then they may have had sweethearts to help.)

But I do remember hearing the song - more than once. It seems like it must have been mid '50s ('52 - '55 maybe?) or before. About the same era - or a little before - when Grandma's Lye Soap was a hit?

(Not that my memory is all that reliable, especially for what went on back then.)

John


18 Oct 10 - 06:28 PM (#3010149)
Subject: RE: If Texas Told What Arkansaw, ...Tennessee
From: GUEST,Casey

Definitive answer: ...I don't know, Alaska (I'll ask her)

Only problem is that Alaska probably wasn't a state back then, considering the line that goes "Do you give up or would you like to try for 48?" yet on the other hand, the song does reference Hawaii.

Either way, I like my answer.


12 Aug 11 - 01:36 PM (#3206701)
Subject: RE: If Texas Told What Arkansaw, ...Tennessee
From: GUEST

I thought the Hawaii reference was strange, too. The way I heard the line was "Has South Dakota ever Rhode an Island..."