In honor of Bruce Springsteen's excellent new album "The Seeger Sessions," and Kate Nepveu's recent poll about the Erie Canal, I give you...



[Poll #755271]

From: [identity profile] rayechu.livejournal.com


We learned This Land during elementary school. And I know maybe a line or two of Darling Clementine. As for the Casey's there was an animated movie/show about american legends I had when I was younger, and it had both Casey's stories on it. (As well as Jhonny Appleseed and Paul & Babe the ox, and possibly Davey Crockett)

From: [identity profile] loligo.livejournal.com


Darn it! I can't remember what Little Bunny Foo-Foo gets turned into, but it wasn't either one of those. But I do remember all the hand motions and everything.

From: [identity profile] rayechu.livejournal.com


I can't remember either! Though I want to say I learned a blob of "goo"?

From: [identity profile] jinian.livejournal.com


I only heard the punchline years after learning the song, so I bet some people haven't encountered it at all. (Regional propagation error? I grew up in rural Washington State.)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


You need to teach Chuckles and Chuckles' upcoming brother all these songs. I think you should use "gnu" when you teach them "Bunny Foo-Foo," so I won't be the only one in the world who knows that version.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

PS


Am I correct in thinking that you like Nick Cave, or is that someone else? He does an obscene version of "Stagger Lee" on Murder Ballads.

From: [identity profile] loligo.livejournal.com

Re: PS


Yeah, I'm the one who likes Nick Cave but owns hardly any.

What is up with only three votes for "In The Pines"? I thought the entire country owned the Nirvana Unplugged album? Other than that one, the others I knew from either a big piano book of American folk songs we had when I was a kid, or from the Smithsonian American Folk Anthology (there is some weird, weird shit on those CDs...).

From: [identity profile] faithhopetricks.livejournal.com

Re: PS


I have the Nirvana CD, but I'm going with "folk songs I learned in childhood," which is probably screwing with the numbers, cause I didn't learn "Little Bunny Foo-Foo" til a v annoying person insisted on singing it to me in college freshman year.

From: [identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com


MIne eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
He's driving down the valley in a green and yellow Ford.
With one hand on the throttle and the other on a bottle
Of ------- beer.

The '-------' is because I did not, in fact, encounter this on the playground - I doubt my peers would have known the original song anyway - but in Iona and Peter Opie's _The Lore & Language of Schoolchildren_, which is where I got most of my playground rhymes. I have always suspected it's meant to be Budweiser, but I can't be sure. It scans to what I've always thought of as the tune if you go "bu-hud-weiser'

From: [identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com


* I'm probably responsible for teaching a whole generation of Texas schoolchildren counting-out rhymes and songs from mid-century or earlier England, just because I found that book in the A&M bookstore at the age of seven or so. It probably also partly fueled my love for social science.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

The version I learned


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is wearing pink pajamas and is driving a green Ford
He is fiddling with the dashboard where the grapes of Wrath are stored
His pants are falling down.

Glory, glory, how peculiar...

From: [identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com

Re: The version I learned


Oh - and a chorus that had nothing to do with the "Mine eyes..." verse that I knew:

Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, what's it to ya?
Balmy breezes blowing through ya
With nothing on at all.

And I think I may have picked that one up at Girl Scout camp.

From: [identity profile] likeadeuce.livejournal.com


I know for sure that Little Bunny Foo Foo came up in an English Lit class I was teaching. For the life of me, I can't remember the context. Possibly it was used to demonstrate the concept of irony? Or poetic justice?
the_rck: (Default)

From: [personal profile] the_rck


I've heard Little Rabbit Foo Foo done with him getting turned into a goose. I think that was in Girl Scouts or possibly from one of my cousins. That particular version omitted the final pun entirely.

From: [identity profile] jonquil.livejournal.com


Goon. Because when you say "goon" you make gibbery noises.

Weirdly, "Little Bunny Foo Foo" is now something you learn in nursery school, along with the Eensy Weensy Spider.

From: [identity profile] flemmings.livejournal.com


Because "the moral of this story is, hare today, goon tomorrow." (me = daycare worker. Kids learn it before they can talk, actually.)

Glory glory how peculiar
Teacher hit me with a ruler
So I met her at the door with my trusty .44
As the class goes marching on.

I learned it as 'The night was clear, and the moon was yellow, and the leaves came tumbling down.' First haiku of my life. Really. ('Blue blue windows behind the stars/ Yellow moon on the rise' was the first Chinese poem, even if it wasn't in Chinese.)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


"The night was clear" is correct, I apparently was contributing to the folk process when I wrote the poll.

I know the "Teacher hit me with a ruler" version too, but had forgotten it, and also "Solidarity Forever," an old leftie version which isn't much sung today due to pompous lyrics:

When the union's inspiration through the worker's blood shall run
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun.
But what force on Earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one?
For the union makes us strong!
Solidarity forever, solidarity forever, solidarity forever,
For the union makes us strong!

From: [identity profile] flemmings.livejournal.com


Ahah! So that's where 'the onion makes us strong' comes from. I always wondered. (My father's joke, possibly trad, possibly his own.)
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter


Ah, the joys of Wee Sing Folk Songs! Or, why I know more Americana than Chinese folk tales.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


What is Wee Sing?

I can hum Vienna Teng's lullabye from Taiwan, but I can't sing it.

From: [identity profile] literaticat.livejournal.com


Wee Sing does a series of audio songbooks for kids. So, for example, there will be a collection that is all nursery rhymes, one for folk songs, one for driving songs, one for hand-clapping songs, etc., and they come with a cd or tape + a book. There are approximately one trillion of these collections available, though I rather think their heyday has passed.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter


Wee Sing was a brand or something that produced a whole bunch of tapes with songbooks ("Wee Sing," "Wee Sing America," "Wee Sing Christmas," "Wee Sing Around the Campfire," which is the actual name of Wee Sing Folk Songs). My sister and I had a ton of them, and we used to listen to them all the time and sing along with the books.

From: [identity profile] azdak.livejournal.com


Here via [livejournal.com profile] cija.

I hardly know any of these, but I think that's because I'm English. Little Bunny Foo Foo I've heard of, but only up to the point where s/he picks up all the field mice and bops them on the head - I had no idea there was any turning into anything involved. Also, the school playground version of Glory, Glory, Hallelujah that I know begins "They took the flying fortress up to 40,000 feet" and ends up with "my teacher" landing on the runway like a lump of strawberry jam, because the man who packed the parachute forgot to pack the strap. So they packed him in a matchbox and they sent him home to mum. Hooray, a happy ending!

I know Jesse James thanks to the Pogues, and Sixteen Tons thanks to the radio, but Clementine is the only one that's truly part of popular culture in the UK (my mother even taught me a verse in Latin, but since my Latin is effectively non-existent and I'm probably misremembering how she pronounced it, I can't vouch for the accuracy of my transcription - O divina Clementina, o meae deliceae, occidisti periisti, unde meae lacrimae)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

From: [personal profile] kate_nepveu


Stagger Lee is a character in _The Last Hot Time_. I think.

I can only hum the first three songs thanks to Bruce.

And I HATE _My Darling Clementine_. Hate hate hate.

(Oh, sweet Internet, how I missed you yesterday . . . )

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


I remember Ford's Stagger Lee! He bore no resemblance to the mythical one whatsoever, as I recall, unless he wore a hat.

"My Darling Clementine" has stupid lyrics, but a rather haunting tune that was used to good effect in High Noon.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

From: [personal profile] kate_nepveu


"Clementine" is an earworm to end all earworms and is used throughout the second-to-most-recent Diana Gabaldon book. With the horrible lyrics.

Hate hate hate.
ext_12911: This is a picture of my great-grandmother and namesake, Margaret (Default)

From: [identity profile] gwyneira.livejournal.com


This is why I like the Tom Lehrer version of "Clementine", because at least I can usually get my brain to derail into his Gilbert and Sullivan or Mozart bits, rather than the dreadful original lyrics.

From: [identity profile] mistressrenet.livejournal.com


You forgot Casey Jones from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I had a professor who believed very strongly in public singing, and had the entire freshman class of the college sing "Goodnight Irene."

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


...there's a Casey Jones in the Turtles?

One of my most indelible memories of college was a bunch of us waiting in the cool night air to watch a midnight show (the theatre students always did one show at midnight, so people doing other plays at the same times could see theirs) and spontaneously singing "You Send Me," in harmony, all the way through.

From: [identity profile] mistressrenet.livejournal.com


There is! In the movies he was played by Elias Koteas, one of my favorite b-list actors, best known recently as the guy who shot House. Depending on whether it's the first cartoon, the second cartoon, the movies or the original b/w comic it was based on, he's a goofy, slightly screwed up twentysomething, a borderline psychopath, or somewhere in between.

Oh, "You Send Me." I love Sam Cooke.

From: [identity profile] wildgreentide.livejournal.com


Also, there's the Casey Jones who was ridin' that train, high on cocaine. (Grateful Dead)

I'm surprised at how few of these I know, actually, despite (a) growing up with parents who sang to me all the time; (b) going to a super-folky summer camp; and (c) being in the folk scene for years. I feel like I should hand in my guitar pick and my copy of Rise Up Singing!

From: [identity profile] veejane.livejournal.com


Funny you should mention him. My family listened to his children's albums all the time (probably 1/3 folk and 2/3 original in the folky style), and I was really surprised to grow up and realize that not everybody had listened to him.

Those albums are where I get half my doggerel!

For a while, I could tell my own version of Sam the Whaler, complete with embedded lyrics from that old song "Blow ye winds in the morning." (I've forgotten some of it.)

Most of the rest of the songs I'd call folk songs turn out to be by Stephen Foster, or other obvious 19th C. sources: Red River Valley, Camptown Ladies, etc. We had a songbook when I was a kid, and would plow through pages and pages of it with little toy that played chords like an electronic concertina.

From: [identity profile] khavrinen.livejournal.com


( Here via [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu )

What, no ticky box for "Do you know all the lyrics to 'We are the Folk Song Army'?" Ready, Aim, Sing!

From: [identity profile] od-mind.livejournal.com


A few variations:

1. I originally learned it as "Little Rabbit Foo-Foo", though I've since learned that 'Bunny' is more common by far.

2. I also know some of the Canadian version of Woodie Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" ("...from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island...")

3. I also learned (Boy Scout summer campe) a "Glory, glory halllujah" variant that goes
"I wear my pink pajamas in the summer when it's hot
And I wear my flannel nightie in the winter when it's not.
And sometimes in the springtime, and sometimes in the fall..." etc.

4. I knew the *words* "...but the dirty little coward that shot Mr. Howard has laid poor Jessie in his grave", but not the tune. Probably from browsing an old Burl Ives songbook.

From: [identity profile] hokelore.livejournal.com


I recently read a book about Stagolee. He and Billy Lyon were real people. Stagolee was a pimp, and Billy dissed him by knocking off his hat in public. They argued, Billy pulled a knife, and Stagolee shot him.
.

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags