Apr
2014

Strawberry Lane (The Elfin Knight)

TITLE: Strawberry Lane (The Elfin Knight)
AUTHOR: unknown
CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain
KEYWORDScourting, magic, bargaining, dialog, paradox, tasks
EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1673 (broadside)

images-1Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme is, of course, well known because of Simon and Garfunkel’s hit from 1966. Simon’s source is a song of many variations, The Elfin Knight, dating back to the 17th century.

Strawberry Lane is another variation. Alan Lomax, in Folk Songs of North America, categorizes Strawberry Lane as a song from American colonial times. It is a dialogue between a man and woman. In the man’s arrogance he gives nearly impossible tasks to the woman to complete, to become his true love.  Continue reading

Apr
2014

Reuben and Rachel (Parodies)

TITLE: Reuben and Rachel (Parodies)
AUTHOR: original, Harry Birch / Music: William Gooch
CATEGORY: Author Known, Public Domain
KEYWORDS: dialog, transportation, courting, love, humorous, marriage
EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: original1871 (sheet music published by White, Smith & Perry of Boston)

200Silly parodies of Reuben and Rachel.  Continue reading

Apr
2014

Reuben and Rachel

TITLE: Reuben and Rachel
AUTHOR: Harry Birch / Music: William Gooch
CATEGORY: Author Known, Public Domain
KEYWORDS: dialog, transportation, courting, love, humorous, marriage
EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1871 (sheet music published by White, Smith & Perry of Boston)

200A silly song made sillier in Reuben and Rachel parodies. Continue reading

Jun
2013

Mister Rabbit

TITLE: Mister Rabbit
AUTHOR: unknown
CATEGORY: traditional, public domain
KEYWORDS: animal, questions, dialog
EARLIEST DATE: 1925 (Scarborough)

Mister RabbitIn 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,” his white master—out-think or, at least, out-run him. Many of the secular dance songs of the slaves concerned “Old Mr. Rabbit, whose ears was mighty long.” (Alan Lomax: Selected Writings, 1934-1997)  Continue reading