Mudcat Café message #1640810 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53794   Message #1640810
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
03-Jan-06 - 09:27 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The One Horse Open Sleigh / Jingle Bells
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
Digression-
'Go' has several old uses that are seldom heard now. I just looked in "Historical Dictionary of American Slang," by J. E. Lighter, and found these:
'He (it) is all the go.'
Broad-brim hats are all the go.'
a 'go-shop' - a place where gin and water is sold.
'It's a go.' A bargain, an agreement, let's do it.
'Go.' A prize-fight.
'I just can't go that cold slop.' I can't abide, or can't stand.
'I am disposed to go it,' 'go it strong.' To do it exuberantly or forcefully.
'go,' or 'goes.' Says or answers.

Plus a whole passel we still use- go the limit, go for it, go down, no-go, etc., etc., etc.

Getting back to lie and lay, sit and set.
A style manual I have says "These two pairs of irregular verbs are often bothersome." Further, it says "the distinction between the verbs in the two pairs continues to be carefully observed in written English, though not always in speech."
"Lie and sit are always intransitive, which means that they cannot take objects or occur in the passive voice. Lay and set are always transitive and therefore must either have objects or be in the passive.

Problems with folk- correct the grammar or sing what was sung?

Set yo' selves down, boys, an' listen to me-

Lay(?) down little dogies, lie(?) down.

Lay (lie) up nearer, brother, nearer, for my limbs are growing cold, ("The Dying Californian")

"Lay your head over, hear the train blow." (almost always sung correctly.)