Thursday, July 6, 2017

Did You Know? Some Impressive Facts

Did you know? Some impressive facts

Q. Do you know what part of the plant a potato is?

A. It is actually the stem, since it has buds (the eyes).

Q. How many years does the century tree live?

A. Contrary to its’ name, about 25 years

Q. Which of these are technically vegetables.. Corn, Green Beans, or Tomatoes?

A. None of the above. A vegetable has to be a part of a plant without seeds.

Q. About how deep can a trees’ taproot grow?

A. About 50 feet

Q. Guess how many of these questions that an interviewed adult got wrong?

A. 4 questions were wrong. However, interviewed persons did know that Green Beans and Tomatoes were not technically vegetables.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Immigration and Ballads

Immigration and Ballads

When people move from place to place, one thing they take with them is their culture, including their songs, and ballads. Many old ballads from different countries have been learned by the descendants of immigrants and have been passed from word of mouth until they come here into the Ozarks.

One such song is called “Robin Hood.” It is an old English song that came into America, and despite the years some of the old Cornish pronunciation is still in the song.

The words go like this:

Robin Hood and Little John they both are gone to fair, oh.

And we will to the greenwood go to see what they do there, oh.

And for to chase the buck and doe, to chase the buck and doe,

And for to chase the buck and doe with a ha lan too sing merry-oh.

The part about the ha lan too is not a nonsense word as it seems, but is the Cornish pronunciation of heel and toe, a dance refrain.

Another ballad that immigrated is called Georgie, or Geordie originally. It originated in Scotland, one verse of the song being:

Will ye gang tie the heelands

My bonnie, bonnie lass,

Will ye gang tie the heelands

Wi’ Geordie,

An I’ll tahk the hee road,

An you’ll tahk the low,

An I’ll be in Scotland afore ye.

(Some words were intentionally misspelled to mimic the accent)

This song came from England, and as it was sung there changed to Georgie, along with many other differences. By the time “Georgie” came to the Ozarks the tune had changed drastically, extra feathering had been added, and the words to the song were:

As I was crossing London’s bridge,

One misty morning early,

‘Twas there I spied a pretty fair miss,

A lamenting for her Georgie.

She said go saddle me my black,

Twas in the morning early,

And I will ride this live-long night,

And plead for the life of Georgie.

She rode, she rode til she came there,

Twas in the morning early,

And on her bended knee she fell,

Saying spare me the life of Georgie.

Georgie’s lawyer he rose up,

Said I’ve nothing at all against him,

By his own confession he must die,

Oh the Lord have mercy on him.

The judge looked over his left shoulder,

He looked both sad and sorry,

Said my pretty fair miss you’ve come too late,

Georgie’s to be hung tomorrow.

Georgie walked up and down the hall,

Bidding adieu to many,

But when he came to his own true love,

That grieved him worse than any.

Georgie was hung with silken rope,

Such ropes there were not many,

Georgie was of a noble race,

And was loved by a virtuous lady.

Georgie was buried in Holland state,

And over him grew a willow,

With a marble stone to his head and feet,

And his true loves’ arm for a pillow.

This Irish song is a song that is actually about immigration, since it tells about a young lady who ran away from Ireland to find her love, who was driven off by her father. However, this song is not a traditional Ozark ballad, like the rest of these songs.

Come all ye lovers both great an’ small, who dwell in Ireland.

Oh, I pray you pay attention as I my pen command

It was my fathers anger that drove my love away,

But I still have hopes we’ll meet again in North Americay.

My love was fair an handsome, an to him I gave my heart.

Ah, but little was our notion that we would ever part,

It was my fathers’ anger that drove my love away,

But I still have hopes we’ll meet again in North Americay.

Well I did not want for money, kind fortune on me shone.

So out of my fathers’ castle I stole three hundred pounds,

It was in the town of Belfast my passage I did pay,

An then set sail across the sea to far Americay.

Now the Captain’s wife was kind to me as you may understand,

And she kept me in her cabin until she reached dry land.

It was in the town of Quebec we landed on the cay,

But I knew not where to seek my love in all Americay.

Now I being sick and sore and tired, well I went into an inn,

And twas there I found my William, the lad I loved within.

He took me gently by the hand and to me he did say,

Oh, I never thought I’d see your face in all Americay.

Well I hear this couple has got wed, as you may understand.

And I hear they live quite happily in a town they call St. Johns,

And the money that she took from home well in gold they paid it down,

An’ they think no more of Ireland, nor Eneskillen town.

An Irish song that did not retain the accent when it came to the Ozarks is called Brennan on the Moor. However, it does mention the Irish place names of Calvert Mountain, Tipperary and Clonmore, and we can tell how old the song is by mention of a blunderbuss in one of the lines.

Here are the first three verses of the song.

It is of a fearless highwayman, a story I will tell.

His name was Willie Brennan, in Ireland he did dwell,

It was high on Calvert Mountain, he began his wild career,

And many a wealthy gentleman before him shook with fear.


Brennan on the Moor, oh Brennan on the Moor,

Bold and undaunted was Brennan on the Moor.

Bold Brennan’s wife she came to town, provisions for to buy.

She saw her Willie captured, she began to scream and cry,

He told her cease her tempers, and as soon as Willie spoke,

She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her coat.


In the county of Tipperary, near the place called Clonmore,

Willie Brennan and his comrades, they did suffer sore,

The jury found him guilty, the judge passed his reply,

For robbing on the Kings’ Highway you are condemned to die.