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Kid mudcateers...

25 Jan 99 - 08:40 PM (#55689)
Subject: Kid mudcateers...
From: Laurel

Are there any other kid mudcatters? How old are you?


26 Jan 99 - 08:19 AM (#55720)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Gearoid


I don't know if I qualify for Kid status but I'm younger than most of the crowd in here. I'm 22.


26 Jan 99 - 09:09 AM (#55732)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Big Mick

Do you know how cool it is that you are here? I am so happy to see this thread. I promise not to butt in any more, but I am going to follow it. Gearoid, I have enjoyed your posts immensely. And Laurel, you are a pearl of great worth. Please keep contributing and lettin' us old fogies and fogettes when we are just completely out of touch.

All the best,

Mick Lane.

26 Jan 99 - 01:10 PM (#55748)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Cara

I guess I'm a kid too. I just found this place, and it is proving to be the ruin of my productivity at work. I'm 23.

26 Jan 99 - 01:30 PM (#55754)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Liam's Brother

There were a number of kids at the Shanty Sing at South Street Seaport last Saturday night... at least 4, with the oldest being about 10. He brought a limberjack. If I ever see that limberjack again, that kid will not see 11!

Ok, maybe we can make a deal and have him check it at the front door.

All the best,

26 Jan 99 - 01:34 PM (#55755)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Bill in Alabama

Dan-- it could have been worse--he might have brought a big, loud pair of spoons!


26 Jan 99 - 01:56 PM (#55759)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Bill D

my twisted mind is imagining a kid trying to do a limberjack to a pumping shanty (*evil grin as I also contemplate a kindling making shanty*)

26 Jan 99 - 02:28 PM (#55764)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: The Shambles

Please excuse my ingnorance but what is a limberjack?

Is it starting out by chopping down small trees before attempting the bigger ones?

26 Jan 99 - 02:28 PM (#55765)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Maelgwyn (inactive)

Well I'm younger than the lot of you. I'm only 19.

26 Jan 99 - 02:41 PM (#55770)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Ireland O'Reilly

Nice to see that 22 and 23 year olds consider themselves kids... I'm not alone! (I'm 22) I'm a kid's mind trapped in an adult's body... *grin*

26 Jan 99 - 02:52 PM (#55773)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Richk


Oh, no. I'm over the hill at 33 and I didn't even see the slight grade.

I'm consoled that at least my wife still says I'm worse than our baby... I'm assuming it's an endearing expression!


26 Jan 99 - 03:16 PM (#55775)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Liam's Brother

Hi Shambles!

With a "handle" like "Shambles," I assume you are from York. I'm trying to forget what a limerjack is and you'd like to know about it!!!

Seriously, it's a wooden toy one-half of which looks like a 12-inch long person with a stick coming out of his back. Maybe it's a spear that stuck in very well! This person has arms and legs that rotate 360 degrees. All of that would be ok if it were not for one-half #2 which is kind of like a diving board. Part #1 dances (make that clack-clack dances) on part #2 and makes a hell of a racket.

This is a great little guy for people to accompany their own singing but to inflict such a loud thing on singers and audience when the operator is just developing a sense of timing is a shame.

Hey, that's a limberjack. I've said my piece (or is it peace).

All the best,

26 Jan 99 - 03:36 PM (#55779)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Pete M

Hi Dan, well I didn't know what a limberjack was either, so thanks for your explanation. I had one of those things when I were a lad, I've never heard of it being used to accompany a song though. Glad it was you not me ;-)

Pete M Ps I still haven't decided what I want to do when I grow up, so does that make me a kid mudcatter?

26 Jan 99 - 03:53 PM (#55781)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: The Shambles


Thank you for that, another piece of wisdom to add to all rest that I have gathered since I have been here.

As to York. Full explanation HERE.

Now I will leave this thread to Pete M and the other 'MudKittens'.

26 Jan 99 - 06:23 PM (#55792)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Laurel

Maelgwyn- I am 12. Younger yet. Laurel

26 Jan 99 - 06:43 PM (#55801)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Tim Jaques

Limberjacks, under a name I cannot recall, are sometimes used to accompany fiddle music in French Canada. They tend to be lumberjacks, sailors, soldiers, or Habitants, although I once owned one shaped like a horse. I was never very good at keeping time with them, as I couldn't get the knack of getting the limberjack's feet and the kneeboard co-ordinated to the time of the music. In skillful hands they work well and it is amusing to see the limberjack dancing furiously to the fiddle music, legs and arms flailing away like it was step-dancing.

I did not know we had Mudcatters as young as 12. I must watch my language.

26 Jan 99 - 09:55 PM (#55847)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

And although Sandy probably refuses to do anymore shameless commercialism, Folk Legacy does sell limberjacks -c'mon Uncle Sandy, tell us kids how it all started!!

27 Jan 99 - 12:59 AM (#55870)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Sandy Paton

Animaterra and all:

Caroline and I have ben selling Limberjacks for well over thirty years. At first they were made for us by a young model-maker in Vermont, using a design he and I worked up that could be efficiently turned out in quantity. When he took a straight job down in Rhode Island, we had them made by a sheltered workshop, also in Vermont. When that became too much for them to handle, we turned the job over to a commercial woodworking outfit, still in Vermont, and they make them for us still.

George and Gerry Armstrong introduced us to the toy, but Gerry now tells me that they didn't know the name "LimberJack" until I started using it. I really don't know where I got it. A cousin of mine in south-central Pennsylvania told me that her father used to get wooden cigar boxes from the local pharmacist (this was during the depths of the depression) and made the toys for them at Christmas. They called it a "Soople-Jack," although she says they knew the real word was "supple." We have since found very early examples from New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut, and have seen large, hand-painted "blackface" models from Louisiana that dated back to the popular minstrel shows.

When Peter Kennedy sent me a photograph to accompany our recording of the great East Anglian singer, Harry Cox, I was delighted to see the old farmworker dancing a LimberJack in front of his cottage, a lovely, carved one, too, with what appeared to be wooden clogging shoes. Since then, we have found models from Ireland, Scotland, and Germany. The German one was actually made from sheet metal and clanked out a very noisy rhythm. Liam's brother would have found it unbearable!

When I was collecting traditional songs in North Carolina, I met Jack Guy, mountain entrepreneur, who had all of his family fashioning folktoys which he then marketed -- such winners as "Gee-Haw Whimmydiddles," "Flipper-dingers" and "Flykillers." He had never seen a LimberJack, so I drew a sketch of one for him and he ended up deciding that it was a native Appalachian toy. Probably was, even before I gave it to him, but most of our examples have been from northern states.

While we were in Vermont, we saw one rigged up on a sort of a scaffold, with a fulcrum under the board, allowing a fiddler to tap one end of the board and the LimberJack, suspended over the board would then be activated by the other end. We made a few of these, and gave one to Theo Bikel as he was on his way up to Canada to film My Side of the Mountain (I think that was the name of the movie). He used it in the film, playing his harmonica and dancing the LimberJack by tapping his foot. Nice touch!

A lot of people started making them after we introduced them to the "folk revival" audience at Fox Hollow in the early 60s. Many have chosen to elaborate on the idea, making fancy LimberChickens, LimberHorses, etc., probably very like the one TJaques used to have.

In a book of maxims, etc., I once read a quote from a French politician, dated about 1730: "(so-and-so) is as useless as a puppet without the board he dances on!" Sounds like our little man, doesn't it?

Well, that's a damn' sight more than any of you wanted to know. Sorry 'bout that!


27 Jan 99 - 05:36 AM (#55897)
Subject: Lyr Add: SETH DAVEY
From: AndyG

From the singing of The Spinners, Jackie and Bridie and some other Liverpudlians late 60's early 70's.
This is all I remember, I think there's a bit more plot in the middle and a ghosty final verse.
Any more anybody ?

Seth Davey

He sat on the corner of Bevington Bush
Astride an old packing case
And the two dancing dolls on the plank went dancing
As he crooned with a smile on his face

Come day, go day
Wishing my heart for Sunday
Drinking buttermilk all the week
Whisky on a Sunday

But in 1902 Seth Davey died
His song could be heard no more
The two dancing dolls in a jower bin* ended
And thew plank went to mend a back door

Come day, go day
Wishing my heart for Sunday
Drinking buttermilk all the week
Whisky on a Sunday

*trans: jower = alley
bin = been = have


27 Jan 99 - 07:38 AM (#55908)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Steve Parkes

Mike Billington in England used to (and may still!) sing a touching song from, I think, the American Civil war with the chorus
Break the news to Mother
And tell her that I love her
And tell her not to weep for me, for I'm not coming home.
Tell her that no other
Can take the place ...

well, you get the idea. He would then whip out his kazoo and his limberjack and go straight into I want a gal just like the gal that married dear old Dad. 'Course, I was just a little lad of 20-something then, which is my excuse for joining this thread.


27 Jan 99 - 01:26 PM (#55936)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: dick greenhaus

Liams Brother- Maybe if you think of a limberjack as sort of a soprano bodhran...

27 Jan 99 - 03:41 PM (#55960)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Sandy Paton

By the way, Caroline and I collect names for the dancing-man toy. We've heard him called "Paddle Puppet," "Yankee Doodle Dancer," "Clogging Man," "Dancing Dan," "Dancing Sam" (blackface model from Louisiana), "Jack Limberlegs," "Soople Jack," and other names. What did you call it?


27 Jan 99 - 03:48 PM (#55962)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Max

I figure that considering the average age of the Mudcateers that I too am a kid. The man (boy) that puts it all online and makes it all work is a mere 26. I love the kids here, and I really want to see more. What can I add or do to the Mudcat to get more kids here? Laurel, I would like to here from you on this one as well as some of the 20ish folks. If we youngens can't download some of the knowledge that these old folks have before they kick, we're going lose some of the Great Knowledge of the Universe.

27 Jan 99 - 06:41 PM (#55992)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Joe Offer

....seems to me you've been "a mere 26" for a mighty long time, Max. Are you sure you're not really 80, and just fooling us?
-Joe, 50 (why are the majority of posters in this thread in my age group?)-

27 Jan 99 - 07:46 PM (#55998)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Laurel

Max- I am really not sure what you could do to get more kids here. I don't know what they want. For all I know, there might be kids here now, but not speaking up.

Good luck! Laurel

28 Jan 99 - 03:31 AM (#56047)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Steve Parkes

Max, I misread your question as "what can you do to get more kids". I was going to post a suggestion, but now I've re-read the sentence, I'd better not. Still, it's one way to spread the net ...


28 Jan 99 - 08:58 AM (#56069)
Subject: Happy birthday, Joe
From: Felipa

Last time I read a reference to your age, you were 'almost' (or was it, more ambiguously, 'close to') 50. congratulations on surviving the half-century!

28 Jan 99 - 03:04 PM (#56131)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Max

I'll be 27 in April.

28 Jan 99 - 06:27 PM (#56169)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Tim Jaques

That song was also sung by the Irish Rovers. I think the line is "The three wooden dolls in the dustbin were laid", "dustbin" being what we North Americans call a garbage can.

Fascinating history of the limberjack, Sandy. Actually I don't recall ever getting rid of mine, so it must be in a closet somewhere.

22 Sep 06 - 09:13 PM (#1841215)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: GUEST,Carl Schwing

Regarding the Seth Davey song, thanks so much for posting those lyrics... I used to sing that in my school choir and always enjoyed it... hard to believe it's almost 10 years since then

The final verse went like this:

"Now on some stormy nights, down the Scotty road way
When the wind travels in from the east
If I just close my eyes, I can hear Ol' Seth
Singing to my brothers and me"

22 Sep 06 - 09:32 PM (#1841231)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

On some stormy nights when you're passing that way
and the winds comming up from the sea
you can still hear the song of old Seth Davey
As he croons to his dancing dolls three

Da Da Da Daaaa
Come day go day
I wish in my heart for Sunday
drinking buttermilk all the week
Whiskey on a Sunday
Drinking buttermilk all the week
whiskey on a Sunday

23 Sep 06 - 05:03 AM (#1841358)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: MBSLynne

Both my children (RAT-W and ShadyLady) are Mudcatters. They are 15 and 11. They don't come on often, due to having to fight other people for computers and being restricted on time. I know quite a few other kid catters....there's Limpit, Mad Lion and her brother and sister, Robbie Wilson's daughter to name but a few.

Btw, I still consider myself a kid too!! Mentally anyway. It's all a matter of attitude

Love Lynne

23 Sep 06 - 04:33 PM (#1841589)
Subject: RE: Kid mudcateers...
From: ShadyLady

I'm a kid mudcatteer, and I've got quite a few friends that are kid mudcatteers!
I was, in case you hadn't guessed, one of the ones mentioned in the last post.