Saturday, September 28, 2019

When I Was On Horseback

Catch the similarity of some later verses of "The Streets of Laredo," 5,000 miles away.

""Let six jolly cowboys come carry my coffin
Let six pretty gals come to carry my pall
Throw bunches of roses all over my coffin
Throw roses to deaden the clods as they fall"

"Oh, beat the drum slowly, and play the fife lowly
And play the dead march as you carry me along
Take me to the green valley and lay the earth o'er me
For I'm a poor cowboy and I know I've done wrong"

No large surprise.  They both are versions of an 18th C song "The Unfortunate Rake." It is one of many examples of Scots-Irish music in America.  We tend to think of that as an Appalachian phenomenon, but those were the same restless people who settled South and West.  Lots of cowboy songs were Scots-Irish in origin. Engaging in and preventing cattle rustling was big with those crowds as well - same as with the Celtic tribes back in Europe.

"St James Infirmary" is as well.


Sam L. said...

We ARE a fractious bunch.

Grim said...

“Wasn’t I pretty?” has as different a meaning in context as “wasn’t I gay?” A pretty man, in the era, was a strong man good at swordplay.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I wonder if the complimentary and insulting adjectives are the words that change most quickly? Think of words like awesome, terrible, wonderful, fantastic.