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Lyr Add: Beaver Cap

Goose Gander 30 Sep 05 - 07:37 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Sep 05 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 01 Oct 05 - 09:08 AM
Goose Gander 07 Oct 05 - 02:35 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Oct 05 - 11:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Oct 05 - 11:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 05 - 11:44 PM
Goose Gander 16 Nov 05 - 08:38 PM
Goose Gander 16 Nov 05 - 08:52 PM
Goose Gander 16 Nov 05 - 08:56 PM
GLoux 17 Nov 05 - 07:59 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Aug 17 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 23 Aug 17 - 07:13 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: Goose Gander
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 07:37 PM

"The Beaver Cap"

I'll sing you a song, I'll sing you a song
About myself concerning
The beaver cap I used to wear
Before my locks' returning.

Tirry ol y fol y dol, tirry ol the day, sir.

I went to town, I bought me a cap
I never wore a hat, sir
The best old friend I ever had
Was that old beaver cap, sir.

I took it home that very same night
I laid it on the bed, sir
And every time I waked up in the night
I popped it on my head, sir.

I went out to work the very next day
You bet I felt quite flat, sir
And when I came in I set an old hen
In that old beaver cap, sir.

I took the eggs out one by one
You bet I had some fun, sir
I threw them at my mother's head
And I banged her as she run, sir.

My father came home that very same night
You bet he made me hop, sir
He raised great blisters on my back
With that old beaver cap, sir.

I've sung you a song about myself
About myself concerning
The beaver cap I used to wear
Before my locks' returning.

Printed in Henry Belden's Songs and Ballads Collected by the Missouri Folk-Lore Society (Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Studies, 1940), p. 435.

Notes:
"This is reported by Henry from the southern Appalachians, SSSA 32; beyond that I have found no trace of it."

"No title. Communicated in 1920 by Miriam Thurman of Wichita, Kansas, who said she learned it in her childhood."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 11:50 PM

Roud 6366. Belden, as usual, provides no tune. Examples with music are in Randolph, Ozark Folk Songs III, 45; Browne, Alabama Folk Lyric 412-14 (two sets); Moore, Ballads and Folk Songs of the Southwest 375-376.

There are recordings from tradition at Voices from the Dust Bowl:

Beaver Cap, Sir

and at the John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection:

My Old Beaver Cap


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 09:08 AM

First commercial recording: the Allen Brothers of Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1927, unissued.

Georgian Riley Puckett recorded it in 1930. Don't know if it came down in his family or what. Somebody needs to do an investigation of Puckett's song repertoire; he was a phenomenal songster, good guitarist too, did everything from obscure southern folk songs to country music and even pop songs like "Margie" and "Isle of Capri."

If Riley got somebody to read it to him (he was blind) and learned it that way, it was most likely off a "ballet" in somebody's possession. The major printed sources like Randolph and the Frank C. Brown North Carolina collection were not printed until later.

Great song, and a real rarity.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: Goose Gander
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 02:35 PM

From the Ballad Index....

Beaver Cap, The

DESCRIPTION: "I went to town the other day To buy myself a hat, sir, I picked upon this beaver cap, With bill so broad and flat, sir." The song may detail the exploits of the boy with the cap -- e.g. letting a hen roost in it, throwing the eggs at his mother, etc.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1920 (Belden)
KEYWORDS: clothes commerce bird
FOUND IN: US(Ap,So)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Belden, p. 435, "The Beaver Cap" (1 text)
Randolph 355, "The Beaver Cap" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #6366
File: R355

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2005 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.
I hope to have more about this song soon....


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Subject: Lyr Add: BEAVER CAP, SIR
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Oct 05 - 11:07 PM

Here are the lyrics copied from Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940-1941 at the Library of Congress:

BEAVER CAP, SIR
Collected from Bill Jackson, Arvin, California, 1941

I went to town the other day
To buy me a hat, Sir
And everything that they put down
It was a beaver cap, Sir.
Too la loller whack a loller
Too la loller day, Sir.


I went home that very night
I laid it on my bed, Sir
Every time that I woke up
I tried it on my head, Sir.
Too la loller whack a loller
Too la loller day, Sir.


I went to work the other day
A-feelin' mighty flat, Sir
When I come in my Mother'd set
A hen in my old beaver cap, Sir.
Too la loller whack a loller
Too la loller day, Sir.


I picked them eggs up one by one
You bet I had some fun, Sir -
Threw them at my mother's head,
They fanned her as she run, Sir.
Too la loller whack a loller
Too la loller day, Sir.


My wife got mad the other day
She took me by the nap, Sir
Threw me right out in the yard
And stomped my beaver cap, Sir.
Too la loller whack a loller
Too la loller day, Sir.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Oct 05 - 11:57 PM

This song is very suggestive of music hall form. Here is a verse from a 19th c. sheet printed by Catnach in London (from American Memory). It possibly is one base for the much changed "Beaver Hat."

When Billy Bounce went home, he surely was a flat, sir,
His wife began to bawl, oh, what a shocking Hat, sir,
He flew into a rage it is true, depend upon it,
He tore her cap and shawl and massacred her Bonnet.

"Oh, what a Shocking Bad Bonnet," Air- Bob and Joan

Go to American Memory Index and type in the title:
Index
(Not located at the Bodleian Collection)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 11:44 PM

weird song!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 08:38 PM

"The Beaver Cap"

Oh, when I was a great big lad,
I never wore a hat, sir;
The greatest friend I ever had
Was my old beaver cap, sir.

Le tul da rol la tol dol day,
La tul da rol de day.

I thought so much of my old cap
I took it to bed, sir;
And every time that I woke up,
I popped it on my head, sir.

I went to town the other day
To try to buy a hat, sir;
When I came home, my mommy
Had a hen setting in my cap, sir

I took them eggs out one by one,
You bet I had some fun, sir;
I threw them at my mommy's head,
I hit her as she run, sir.

My poppy come home that very day,
You bet he made me jump, sir;
Made great big blisters on my rump,
With my old beaver cap, sir

Sung by Mrs. Allen Jenkins, Salina (n.d.; from Ethel and Chauncey Moore's Ballads and Songs of the Southwest (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964), 375-376.

"Although no early recordings of this song have been found, an 1860s composition, 'Sammy Slap the Bill Sticker,' shares a very similar meter format." From Guthrie Meade, ed. Country Music Sourcebook (Chapell Hill, 2002), 439.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 08:52 PM

But I just don't see "Sammy Slap" having much of anything in common with "Beaver Cap."

Sammy Slap the Bill Sticker

From....

Bodleian Library

But maybe there's something here I'm missing....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 08:56 PM

But I suppose you could sing "Sammy Slap" to the "Beaver Cap" melody and it would work, with the 'Sir' and all that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: GLoux
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 07:59 PM

Georgian Riley Puckett recorded it in 1930. Don't know if it came down in his family or what. Somebody needs to do an investigation of Puckett's song repertoire; he was a phenomenal songster, good guitarist too

Bob,

You are a master of the understatement, in my book.

Thanks,
-Greg


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Subject: Lyr Add: BEAVER CAP (Riley Puckett)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Aug 17 - 08:53 AM

BEAVER CAP
As recorded by Riley Puckett, 1930.

1. I went to town the other day to buy me a hat, sir.
They throwed me down a beaver cap with the brim all broad and flat, sir.
[After each verse:] True-la-la, fa-la-lay, true-la-la-la-lay [yodel]

2. I wore it home that very same night; I hung it on the head o' my bed, sir,
An' ev'ry time that I woke up, I tried it on my head, sir.

3. I woke up the very next morning feeling kind o' flat, sir.
I went out and set a hen in my beaver cap, sir.

4. Then my wife got mad at me; she took me by the knap, sir,
Throwed those blisters on my back with my beaver cap, sir.

5. I went out the very next morning, feeling kind o' frisky.
I filled my cap up to the brim with that good old whiskey.

6. I went down in the field the other day a-feeling kind o' punk, sir.
I pitched my cap upon the stump and pitched to a happy clog(?), sir.

[I can't make any sense out of the last half-line.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Beaver Cap
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 23 Aug 17 - 07:13 AM

Hello Jim,

For that last half-line, I hear

"And pitched a happy drunk, sir."


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