Sunday, February 8, 2015

In Japanese, Ohio means good morning

American children used to sing songs when sitting around campfires on evenings when they were camping in the woods with their parents or Boy Scout troops or Campfire Girls organizations. Sometimes they would sing “We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” or “Do, Lord, Oh Do, Lord, Oh Do Remember Me” or even “Kum-bay-yah” but those are not relevant to this post. Perhaps children still sing songs around campfires when they aren't gorging on S’mores or being forced by their parents to play Mexican train dominoes or sulking because they can’t recharge their electronic devices, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Here is a song I remember that used to make us chuckle:

What did Delaware, boys,
What did Delaware?
What did Delaware, boys,
What did Delaware?
What did Delaware, boys,
What did Delaware?
I ask you now as a personal friend,
What did Delaware?

She wore her New Jersey, boys,
She wore her New Jersey
She wore her New Jersey, boys,
She wore her New Jersey
She wore her New Jersey, boys,
She wore her New Jersey
I tell you now as a personal friend,
She wore her New Jersey

What did Idaho, boys,
What did Idaho?
What did Idaho, boys,
What did Idaho?
What did Idaho, boys,
What did Idaho?
I ask you now as a personal friend,
What did Idaho?

She hoed her Maryland, boys,
She hoed her Maryland
She hoed her Maryland, boys,
She hoed her Maryland
She hoed her Maryland, boys,
She hoed her Maryland
I tell you now as a personal friend,
She hoed her Maryland

What did Ioweigh, boys,
What did Ioweigh?
What did Ioweigh, boys,
What did Ioweigh?
What did Ioweigh, boys,
What did Ioweigh?
I ask you now as a personal friend,
What did Ioweigh?

She weighed a Washington, boys,
She weighed a Washington
She weighed a Washington, boys,
She weighed a Washington
She weighed a Washington, boys,
She weighed a Washington
I tell you now as a personal friend,
She weighed a Washington

How did Wiscon-sin, boys,
How did Wiscon-sin?
How did Wiscon-sin, boys,
How did Wiscon-sin?
How did Wiscon-sin, boys,
How did Wiscon-sin?
I ask you now as a personal friend,
How did Wiscon-sin?

She stole a New-brass-key, boys,
She stole a New-brass-key
She stole a New-brass-key, boys,
She stole a New-brass-key
She stole a New-brass-key, boys,
She stole a New-brass-key
I tell you now as a personal friend,
She stole a New-brass-key

What did Tennessee, boys,
What did Tennessee?
What did Tennessee, boys,
What did Tennessee?
What did Tennessee, boys,
What did Tennessee?
I ask you now as a personal friend,
What did Tennessee?

She saw what Arkansaw, boys,
She saw what Arkansaw
She saw what Arkansaw, boys,
She saw what Arkansaw
She saw what Arkansaw, boys,
She saw what Arkansaw
I tell you now as a personal friend,
She saw what Arkansaw

How did Flora-die, boys,
How did Flora-die
How did Flora-die, boys,
How did Flora-die
How did Flora-die, boys,
How did Flora-die
I ask you now as a personal friend,
How did Flora-die?

She died in Missouri, boys,
She died in Missouri
She died in Missouri, boys,
She died in Missouri
She died in Missouri, boys,
She died in Missouri
I tell you now as a personal friend,
She died in Missouri

Where has Oregon, boys,
Where has Oregon?
Where has Oregon, boys,
Where has Oregon?
Where has Oregon, boys,
Where has Oregon?
I ask you now as a personal friend,
Where has Oregon?

She took Oklahom, boys,
She took Oklahom
She took Oklahom, boys,
She took Oklahom
She took Oklahom, boys,
She took Oklahom
I tell you now as a personal friend,
She took Oklahom

Why did Califon-ya, boys,
Why did Califon?
Why did Califon-ya, boys,
Why did Califon?
Why did Califon-ya, boys,
Why did Califon?
I ask you now as a personal friend,
Why did Califon?

She phoned to say Hawai-ya, boys,
She phoned to say Hawai-ya
She phoned to say Hawai-ya, boys,
She phoned to say Hawai-ya
She phoned to say Hawai-ya, boys,
She phoned to say Hawai-ya
I tell you now as a personal friend,
That’s why Califoned.

What did Mississip, boys,
What did Mississip?
What did Mississip, boys,
What did Mississip?
What did Mississip, boys,
What did Mississip?
I ask you now as a personal friend,
What did Mississip?

She sipped a Minnisota, boys,
She sipped a Minnisota
She sipped a Minnisota, boys,
She sipped a Minnisota
She sipped a Minnisota, boys,
She sipped a Minnisota
I tell you now as a personal friend,
That’s what Mississipped.

(end of song)

If there are other verses, I don’t know them. But I do wonder whether any of you outside the U.S. can recall similar songs from your childhood that featured your own locales, you know, like “There’ll Be Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs Of Dover” (England) and “I Always Blubber When I Think Of New South Wales” (Australia).

If that last one is not an actual song, it ought to be.

10 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I remember camp fire songs - stolen from the UK or the USA.
None, fortunately, playing on our sometimes weird place names. Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree is as patriotic as our songs got. Or as patriotic as I remember them anyway.

All Consuming said...

Ha! I knew the first two verses and had no idea there were so many other ones. So thank you for that, I'll be humming it all day I suspect.

rhymeswithplague said...

My apologies to Yorkshire Pudding, whose comment was inadvertently deleted. He had written:

Ha! Ha! I love your song of the states but I wonder what the songwriter was thinking when he talked of hoeing Maryland. Sounds rather rude to me. Also why isn't Georgia in the song? Surely with your creative talents you could invent an extra verse for Georgia.

Snowbrush said...

As Paul Harvey used to say, "Now you know the rest of the story."

"My apologies to Yorkshire Pudding, whose comment was inadvertently deleted."

Surely, you don't mean to imply that you've become so used to deleting comments that you do it automatically.

rhymeswithplague said...

Snowbrush, you are correct; surely I don't mean to imply that at all. What happened was kind of crazy. I read YP's comment on my iPhone, "published" it, and then "deleted" it from the iPhone. It did appear to have been added to the blog because a second message appeared on the iPhone just as it always does. Up until now it hasn't mattered if I deleted something on the iPhone because it still appeared in my desktop PC's email. This time, however, for reasons I don't understand, somethink cuckoo happened with the computer email and YP's comment wasn't there. When I checked my blog, his comment had not been published. I don't know what I did or didn't do but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. It doesn't matter to me whether you believe me because I know I am telling the truth. Now you DO know the rest of the story.

rhymeswithplague said...

somethink = something

A Lady's Life said...

Wow I really like this one Never heard of it.

Hilltophomesteader said...

I remember parts of this one from my grade school days.....

Washington, My Home
Written by Helen Davis
Arranged by Stuart Churchill

This is my country; God gave it to me;
I will protect it, ever keep it free.
Small towns and cities rest here in the sun,
Filled with our laughter, "Thy will be done."

Washington my home;
Where ever I may roam;
This is my land, my native land,
Washington, my home.
Our verdant forest green,
Caressed by silvery stream;
From mountain peak to fields of wheat.
Washington, my home.

There's peace you feel and understand
In this, our own beloved land.
We greet the day with head held high,
And forward ever is our cry.
We'll happy ever be
As people always free.
For you and me a destiny;
Washington my home.

rhymeswithplague said...

Lady's Life, I'm glad to have introduced it to you. Way back when, Perry Como recorded it, but the tune he used was not the same one we sang.

Hilltop, I really like your Washington song! Back in the day, when my family moved from Rhode Island to Texas just before I entered second grade, schoolchildren sang the following song every single morning. In the third line of the first stanza, the word "boldest" was “largest” before Alaska entered the union in 1959:


Texas, Our Texas! All hail the mighty State!
Texas, Our Texas! So wonderful so great!
Boldest and grandest, withstanding ev'ry test
O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.


(chorus)

Texas, O Texas! your freeborn single star,
Sends out its radiance to nations near and far,
Emblem of Freedom! it set our hearts aglow,
With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo.


(chorus)

Texas, dear Texas! from tyrant grip now free,
Shines forth in splendor, your star of destiny!
Mother of heroes, we come your children true,
Proclaiming our allegiance, our faith, our love for you.


(chorus)

…and this was the Chorus:

God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.
God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.


This certainly helps to explain George W. Bush and Governor Rick Perry (it does not in any way explain me), but I like your song about Washington far more.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I was born in Texas (I don't know a word or the melody of the Texas state song.) I have lived in Arkansas since 1950 and have absorbed the melody and a few words of our state song and, sorry to say, they mean nought. My home was in New Mexico from 1940-1950. I will spare you the recounting of the beautiful state song of New Mexico, the melody and all the words of which are forever etched into my brain and soul.

It is what it is.