Tag Archives: animal

Springfield Mountain

TITLE: Springfield Mountain AUTHOR: Unknown CATEGORY: Public Domain, Traditional KEYWORDS: death, animal, lover, injury, 19th Century, US History, Massachusetts EARLIEST DATE: 1836 HISTORICAL REFERENCES: Aug 7, 1761 – Death by snakebite of Timothy Myrick, often considered the inspiration for this song. There are many versions of this songs ranging from serious to comic. I first learned this read more »

Away in a Manger

TITLE: Away in a Manger AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: religious, Jesus, animal, Christmas EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1885 (“Little Children’s Book: for Schools and Families”) HISTORICAL REFERENCES: Away in a Manger is a purely American creation, although rumored to be written by Martin Luther. Most current publications of Away in a Manger indicate that the read more »

Frog Went A-Courtin’

TITLE: Frog Went A-Courtin’ AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: animal, courting, love, marriage, request EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE:  There is a reference in the Stationer’s Register of 1580 to “A Moste Strange Weddinge of the Frogge and the Mouse” This great old story song has quite a history. Some people claim that it goes read more »

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

TITLE: Old MacDonald Had a Farm AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: animal, farming, cumulative EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1917 in Tommy’s Tunes There are numerous songs in history that are similar to the present day Old MacDonald. The earliest recorded member of this family of songs may be a number from an opera called The read more »

King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Kimeo

TITLE: King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Kimeo AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: animal, courting, love, marriage, request EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: There is a reference in the Stationer’s Register of 1580 to “A Moste Strange Weddinge of the Frogge and the Mouse.” SOME CONSIDER THIS SONG OFFENSIVE: Some consider the interspecies marriage offensive. King Kong Kitchie read more »

Erie Canal

This one is for my friend John Marshall TITLE: Erie Canal AUTHOR: Thomas S. Allen CATEGORY: Public Domain, Debated KEYWORDS: canal, animal, work EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1905 HISTORICAL REFERENCES: 1825 – Erie Canal opens (construction began in 1817) The Erie Canal Song, as it is commonly known, was written in 1905 under the title Low Bridge, Everybody read more »

One More River

TITLE: One More River to Cross AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: Bible, animal EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1897, College Songs This song seems to be a fragment of a longer song known also as Old Uncle Noah. The Traditional Ballad Index says, “the account of Noah and the ark occupies Genesis 6-8. . read more »

Turkey in the Straw

TITLE: Turkey in the Straw AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: travel, animal, bird, dancetune EARLIEST DATE: 1896 (recordings, Billy Golden) HISTORICAL REFERENCES: Turkey in the Straw was very popular during Andrew Jackson’s presidency, Turkey in the Straw is one of America’s oldest folk songs for which its origins are unrecorded. It’s likely that the lyrics and read more »

Mister Rabbit

TITLE: Mister Rabbit AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: animal, questions, dialog EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (Scarborough) In slavery, African-Americans developed a whole cycle of animal tales whose heroes symbolized for him his problems as a slave. The principal figure in these tales was “Br’er Rabbit” born and bred in a briar-patch, who could always out-smart “Br’er Fox,” read more »

I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground

TITLE: I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Public Domain, Traditional KEYWORDS: animal, money, hardtimes, dancetune EARLIEST DATE: 1921 (Brown) Bascom Lamar Lunsford on “I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground”: The title of this mountain banjo song is “I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground.” I’ve known it read more »

I Had a Little Rooster

TITLE: I Had a Little Rooster AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: animal, cumulative, farming, humorous, donkey, cow, cat, pig, baby, dog EARLIEST DATE: 1849 (Halliwell) Another cumulative songs which keeps adding lines with every verse. The difference between this and other cumulative songs I’ve done, you do animals sounds with each additional animal. While recording, read more »

Hopalong Peter

TITLE: Hopalong Peter AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: nonsense, animal, chickens, drink, wordplay EARLIEST DATE: attributed to 1875 Frank Dumont; First recorded in 1937 by J. E. Mainer’s Mountaineers. Such songs are often humorous, sometimes bawdy, sometimes dependent on wordplay. (You need something to keep the listener’s attention, after all, when the song doesn’t have read more »

Farmer in the Dell, The

TITLE: The Farmer in the Dell AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: animal, family, playparty EARLIEST DATE: Games and Songs of American Children (William Wells Newell) 1883  The Farmer in the Dell was probably taken to North America by German immigrants, where it next surfaced in New York in 1883 much in its modern form and using a melody read more »

Fox, The

TITLE: The Fox AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: public domain, traditional KEYWORDS: animal, food, hunting EARLIEST DATE: 1810 (Gammer Gurton’s Garland) The earliest version of this piece appears to have been a Middle English poem found in British Museum MS. Royal 19.B.iv, and is thought to date from the fifteenth century. About as old is a strange version in read more »

Crawdad Hole, The

TITLE: The Crawdad Hole AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: animal, fishing EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (Cecil Sharp collection) Folksong originating in the southern United States and first published in a collection of songs in 1917 by Cecil Sharp. This song is apparently a variation of an older traditional work, “Sweet Thing”, which is of African-American origins. read more »

All the Pretty Little Horses

TITLE: All the Pretty Little Horses AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS:  lullaby, animal EARLIEST DATE: 1918 (Cecil Sharp collection) In the liner notes to “At the Gate of Horn”, Odetta says of this song, “A woman crooning a lullaby to a baby while she leaves her own unattended in order to earn money for bread. In read more »

Bile Them Cabbage Down

 TITLE: Bile Them Cabbage Down AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: fiddle, dancing, nonballad, animal, food, floatingverses EARLIEST DATE: 1924 (recordings, Uncle Dave Macon, Fiddlin’ John Carson) Boil Them Cabbage Down is a classic folk song usually played with a fiddle. “Some historians say that the origins of this song can be traced back to read more »

Sow Took the Measles, The

TITLE: The Sow Took the Measles AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: animal, talltale, technology, disease, children EARLIEST DATE: 1931,  Ballads of the Kentucky Highlands, Harvey H. Fuson Alan Lomax in  Folk Songs of North America includes this song as part of the colonial period of the United States. According to Lomax the song read more »

Get Along Little Dogies

TITLE: Get Along Little Dogies AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: cowboy, animal, work EARLIEST DATE: 1893 (journal of Owen Wister) This is probably the best known cowboy song. The rhythm is taken from the movement of a horse. It dates back to then early trail-drive days, and is adapted from the Irish ballad “The Old read more »

Bear Went Over the Mountain, The

TITLE: The Bear Went Over the Mountain AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: animal, nonballad, humorous EARLIEST DATE: 1939 (Linscott) The authors of the Traditional Ballad Index say this about The Bear Went Over the Mountain, “This is another of those songs you never find in folk song books. But I’m pretty sure I learned read more »

Cat Came Back, The

TITLE: The Cat Came Back AUTHOR: probably Henry S. Miller EARLIEST DATE: 1924 (recording, Fiddlin’ John Carson); the Miller text is dated 1893 KEYWORDS: animal separation return comic The Cat Came Back is a comic song written by Harry S. Miller in 1893. The first recording I heard of it was Bill Harrell’s western swing version. read more »

A-Hunting We Will Go

TITLE: A-Hunting We Will Go AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: hunting, nonballad, animal EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: English Folk-Rhymes: A Collection of Traditional Verses Relating to Places and Persons, Customs, Superstitions, etc, G. F. Northall – January 1, 1892, K. Paul, Trench, Trübner – Publisher (Available as a Free Download from Google Books.) This is read more »