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Origin: Do Your Ears Hang Low?

GUEST,Dan Keding 20 Jan 00 - 11:39 PM
Midchuck 20 Jan 00 - 11:41 PM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 20 Jan 00 - 11:53 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 00 - 01:49 AM
p.j. 21 Jan 00 - 02:00 AM
Midchuck 21 Jan 00 - 07:27 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 21 Jan 00 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Jacob Bloom 21 Jan 00 - 02:08 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 00 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 21 Jan 00 - 02:30 PM
MMario 21 Jan 00 - 02:35 PM
MMario 21 Jan 00 - 02:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Jan 00 - 02:51 PM
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Subject: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: GUEST,Dan Keding
Date: 20 Jan 00 - 11:39 PM

Neighbors, I am looking for the background to that old song "The Continental Soldier" sometimes known as "Do Your Ears Hang Low, Do They Wobble to and Fro?" I need to know its history and origin. Thanks for your help. Dan


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: Midchuck
Date: 20 Jan 00 - 11:41 PM

What do Ears have to do with it? You've been listening to the kiddie version.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 20 Jan 00 - 11:53 PM

Like most folksongs, especially the rude ones, this has several versions, and two or three tunes. I think there was a thread about this a while ago; but meanwhile here's the one I know, got from an English public school boy from Yorkshire in the Royal Navy, 1952:
Do your balls hang low?
Can you swing them to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you swing them to the ceiling
with that free and easy feeling,
Did you ever catch your ballocks
In a rat-trap, O?
Tune is "The College Hornpipe".


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 01:49 AM

Uh-oh - Midchuck, do you mean that there's an earlier "Continental Soldier" that doesn't have the "ears"? Can you give us those lyrics?
-Joe Offer

The version I learned at Scout camp was:
Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them over your shoulder like a Continental soldier?
Do your ears hang low?


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: p.j.
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 02:00 AM

Word from my Gramma was that the geriatric version of this song involves pendulous mammaries, ("do your boobs hang low, etc.") but was otherwise substantially the same as in Joe's version. Come to think of it, Gramma probably threw a Continental Soldier or two over the shoulder in her day as well...

We're not helping, are we Dan?

pj


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: Midchuck
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 07:27 AM

I still have some of Oscar Brand's Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads vinyls from the late 50's/early 60's, and as I recall, he dodged the issue by singing it as:

Do they hang too low, do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie 'em in a knot, can you tie 'em in a bow?
Can you throw 'em o'er your shoulder, like a continental soldier?
Do they hang too low in the morning?

His melody was Turkey in the Straw, which I guess you can't call Old Zip Coon any more.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 08:24 AM

Do you get a funny feeling
when you bounce em on the ceiling
Oh you'll never make a sailor if you're
Ears hang low????? come on it's Balls...not ears... Yours, (no I dont know any other version) Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: GUEST,Jacob Bloom
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 02:08 PM

The chorus to that Oscar Brand version went:

Any old storm
Any old port
Life is long
Love is short
Better get a woman, get a woman if you can
If you can't get a woman, get a clean old man.

I'm not going to type in additional verses unless someone really wants them. I hope someone comes up with information about the history of the song. I'd like to know too!


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 02:25 PM

But Dave, was it the balls that came first, or the ears? Sometimes, it's the children's version that is derived from the "adult" one, but I think it's more often the other way around.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 02:30 PM

Ed Cray gives a text and tune of "Do Your Balls Hang Low", and a history of collected versions in 'The Erotic Muse', 2nd ed., 1992.


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 02:35 PM

The version *I* learned at scout camp was "balls" - the version I learned in chorus was "ears" (had to pay attention....we all found ourselves singing the wrong version in chorus occasionally)

my personal suspicion is the "balls" version came first...."hang low" and "wobble" aren't descriptions normally assigned to ears....


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 02:44 PM

out on the web (http://www.web.co.za/scouts/songs/silly.html)found these verses.....which sound more like what I would excect had "ears" come first....

Do your ears stick out,
can you waggle them about?
Can you flap them up and down
as you fly around the town?
Can you shut them up for sure
when you hear an awful bore?
Do your ears stick out?

Do your ears stand high,
do they reach up to the sky?
Do they hang down when they're wet,
do they stand up when they're dry?
Can you semaphore your neighbor
with the minimum of labor?
Do your ears stand high?


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Subject: RE: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 02:51 PM

"Do your balls hang low?
Can you swing them to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Do you get a funny feeling
when you catch them on the ceiling
Oh you'll never be a bugger if your balls hang low."

Sung, perhaps fittingly, to the tune generally known as "The Sailor's Hornpipe".

Could this be related to THE BASTARD KING OF ENGLAND which is of course in the DT. (One that I can't see Harry Fox chasing us for.)


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