Can you identify these old lyrics or doggerel verses?
January 5, 2006 1:38 AM   Subscribe

My late grandfather (1916-2000) wrote a couple dozen pages of memoirs which he preceded with some untitled & unattributed verses which I suppose are either song lyrics or lines from a doggerel poem. No-one in the family recognizes them, and the subsequent pages cast no light on them. I'm curious to know their origin, but have had no success in finding them on-line.

Here are the lines in question:
Still upon my recent marriage
I am thinking mother dear,
But the fatal step I’ve taken,
Cannot now be helped, ’tis clear.
She was such a duck I told her,
That to eat her, I’d be glad, and
Now, between ourselves dear Mother,
Don’t I only wish I had.
posted by misteraitch to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Best answer: Might be this song?
posted by Ervin at 1:43 AM on January 5, 2006

Response by poster: Indeed it well might: many thanks, Ervin: now I’ve got a songwriter’s & a composer’s name to work with…
posted by misteraitch at 1:57 AM on January 5, 2006

Hmm -- could the lyrics by Green (as noted in Ervin's post) be sung with this particular song by Root? Note the title similarity, and the words do seem to fit. Here's a midi version of the song.
posted by litlnemo at 3:32 AM on January 5, 2006

Best answer: Ah, here's another parody of the same song (warning, auto-playing midi -- but not as awful as the last one), and here's a circa 1910 cylinder recording (RealAudio, Windows Media),
found via this page in Google's cache.

Anyway, I think this is likely to be the melody of your grandfather's song.
posted by litlnemo at 3:50 AM on January 5, 2006

Response by poster: I was just guessing the same thing litlnemo, that Green’s song (which was published in London in 1874) was some comic rehash or parody of Root’s 1864 Civil War standard, which, apparently, had attained considerable popularity in England. The amazon record that Ervin turned up led me to look at the British Library, from whom I've now requested a copy of the score...
posted by misteraitch at 3:51 AM on January 5, 2006

Root's song was definitely popular, all right -- here are two more parodies: 1 (scroll down for the parody version) and 2. It seems as if it was a song that everyone knew well.

Thanks for posting this question; I've been having a lot of fun learning about this song!
posted by litlnemo at 4:01 AM on January 5, 2006

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