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Origin: Limber Jim

DigiTrad:
DING DANG DONG GO THE WEDDING BELLS
FROG WENT A-COURTIN' 8
MISTER FROG WENT A-COURTING
PUDDY AND MOUSE 2
PUDDY AND MOUSE 3
THE BULL FROG
THE FROG'S COURTSHIP (4)
THE FROG'S WEDDING
THE PUDDY AND THE MOUSE
THERE WAS A FROG WHO LIVED IN A WELL 7


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(origins) Origins: Froggy Went A-Courtin' (67)
Lyr Add: Kemo Kimo (from Ed McCurdy) (25)
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froggie went a courtin (53)
Lyr Req: frog went a courtin (Cheshire) (37)
old mister rat took a notion for wife (4)
Dylan, The Froggy Went a Courtin' (15)
Lyr Add: Chow Willy (11)
LimberJim/Buck-eye Jim History (2)
lyr req: Kemo Kimo? (23)
'A Froggy Would A-Wooing Go' (9)
Lyr Req: Froggy Went A-Courtin' (23)
Froggie Went A'Courtin': OFFICIAL (5)
Tune Req: versions of 'Froggy Goes a Courtin' (4)
challenge--swingin' 'froggie' (5)
fum fum a needle and a kimo... (11)
Chord Req: King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O (5)
Link: Froggy's Novelty Song Lyrics (3)
Lyr Req: Frog in the Well (20)


GUEST,Q 19 Jan 03 - 09:12 PM
Stewie 09 Apr 03 - 08:17 PM
John Minear 09 Apr 03 - 10:05 PM
GUEST,Q 09 Apr 03 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,Q 09 Apr 03 - 10:59 PM
masato sakurai 10 Apr 03 - 01:08 AM
John Minear 10 Apr 03 - 11:09 AM
John Minear 19 Aug 05 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,Ira 14 Apr 15 - 04:01 AM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 19 Jan 03 - 09:12 PM

"Black Them Boots" from Randolph, No. 550 in vol. 3. has been posted in this thread. Several other threads have the chorus or chorus plus one verse. The singer, Pauline Petty of Arkansas, in Randolph, couldn't remember the dance figure.
A version from W. P. Detherow of Arkansas, recorded by J. Q. Wolf in 1952 and included in the Wolf Collection, with Audio, contains a description of the figure. Black Them Boots

Lyr. Add: Black Them Boots

Mr. Detherow " ...played considerable...but they don't know that it is a play song, a ring play song."

Black them boots and make them shine;
Goodbye and goodbye.
Black them boots and make them shine;
Go see, Liza Jane.

Chorus:
Oh, how I love her.
Ain't that a shame?
Oh, how I love her;
Swing ol' Liza Jane.
Oh, how I love her.
Ain't that a shame?
Oh, how I love her;
Swing ol' Liza Jane.

River's wide and the channel deep;
Goodbye and goodbye.
The girls are pretty and I know they're sweet;
Goodbye, Liza Jane.

Chorus

Hawk got a chicken and it flew upstairs;
Goodbye and goodbye.
Hawk got a chicken and it flew upstairs;
Goodbye, Liza Jane.

Chorus

Spoken comment by Mr. Detherow: "In this they ring up and they pass right and left through, square dance style, and when they meet they swing once and a half, and then they commence to singing. 'Oh, how I love her; swing ol' Liza Jane,' and this is repeated with diffeent couples."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: Stewie
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 08:17 PM

[WARNING: Explicit sexual references in the following post may offend some people.]

Turtle Old Man

In your posting of 28 June 2002 above, you quoted comments from Hearn that included:


A great part of "Limber Jim" is very profane, and some of it is not quite fit to print. We can give only about one-tenth part of it.(!) The chorus is frequently accompanied with that wonderfully rapid slapping of thighs and hips known as "patting Juba."


I have recently obtained a copy of a fascinating book by Vance Randolph: 'Blow the Candle Out: "Unprintable" Ozark Folksongs and Folklore Volume II' (Ed G.Legman) Uni of Arkansas Press 1992. I was struck by the number of times the word 'limber' occurs in a sexual context. I quote the following to illustrate.

In section D, 'Ribaldry at Ozark Dances', Randolph talks inter alia about ribald titles for fiddle tunes that were not announced by the fiddler but were well-known to the dancers at the frolics. At #8, p759, Randolph wrote (Legman's note follows in square brackets):


Rufe Scott, an elderly attorney at Galena, Mo., was a left-handed fiddler. In the 1930s, I heard him play one very fine tune, always greeted by with grins by the villagers, because the title of it was 'Big Limber'. Allen McCord, who lived near Galena, could play the same piece. But I have not found many fiddlers who ever heard of it. [The humorous reference in the title is in the word 'limber', meaning heavy and soft, not stiff, alluding to the penis. It is an item of folk belief, and may even be true, that very large penises never can become very stiff.]


In section E, 'Bawdy Elements in Ozark Speech', Randolph has at #9, p 776:


'Stiff as a young man's pecker' is natural enough and so is 'stiff as a bride's present'. And 'limber as an old man's plaything' is understandable ...


In section F, 'Obscenity in Ozark Riddles', Randolph gives the following at Nos 13 and 14, p 826:


13
Remembered by a lady in Pineville, Mo., 1933:

Goes in hard, comes out easy
Comes out limber, slick and greasy

Cabbage cooked with pork.

14
Heard in Fayetteville, Ark., 1942:

It goes in stiff and stout
Limber and greasy when it comes out

Cabbage boiled with meat.


In section G, 'Folk Graffiti from the Ozarks, Randolph quotes from graffiti in a filling station run by a woman near Crane, Mo. This is #58, at p 857:



A.

Please do not draw such pictures or write
such dirty writings in my toilet. You are
just showing your ignorance.

B. Someone has added below, in large masculine hand. [Compare the the 'Twelve (Silver) Dollar Jack' references elsewhere in this collection]

Lady I don't want to show my ignorance. But
I sure would like to show you my prick, which
it is twelve inches long limber, and never been
measured hard.


There may be other references and I have yet to receive a copy of Vol I 'Roll Me In Your Arms'. I hope the above may be of some use in your quest for the meaning of 'Limber Jim'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: John Minear
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 10:05 PM

Stewie,

   I just received my copy of Randolph's BLOW THE CANDLE OUT a week ago and I haven't had time to really sit down and look at it yet. I really appreciate your research and your references. I think you may have discovered a very important piece of this puzzle: "go limber, Jim, you can't go..." Ever since I first read Hearn's remark I suspected that there was a lot more to this particular tradition than we were turning up. It's like watching old WWII war movies about Marines in combat without a single cussword in the whole film! I wonder where Hearn's papers are and if there is any chance that he preserved more complete notes on his "Limber Jim". Sometimes it feels like we have little chips left from huge glaciers. I look forward to spending time with Randolph's book. I have looked rather extensively at his ROLL ME IN YOUR ARMS, and didn't come across anything that caught my attention, but I was looking for particular songs rather than phrases. It is certainly worth another look there as well. Again, thanks for this good work. - T.O.M.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 10:40 PM

In Randolph, Roll Me in Your Arms, the tune "In the White Oak Timber," has the lines:
Way down south in the white oak timber,
Can't get a hard-on, stick it in limber,
Look away, look away,
Look away, in Dixie land.

Nothing on "Limber Jim."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 10:59 PM

Verse from "OLd Dan Tucker" - also from Randolph, "Roll Me in Your Arms."

Old Dan Tucker
Old Dan Tucker was a fine old man,
Washed his face in a fryin' pan,
Combed his head with a hickory stick,
Layed down to die with a limber prick.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 01:08 AM

I've heard that Tulane University has a Hearn collection. Recently, Penn State professor Simon J. Bronner published a book of Hearn's writings, Lafcadio Hearn's America: Ethnographic Sketches and Editorials (University of Kentucky Press, 2002), in which the "Levee Life" essay is contained.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: John Minear
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 11:09 AM

Guest Q, Thanks for the two verses from ROLL ME IN YOUR ARMS. It definitely looks like we have another nuance on old Limber Jim.

Masato, Next time I get to the library I'll see if they have this volume on Hearn. I haven't been in a while so this will give me an excuse to go. Thanks. T.O.M.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Limber Jim: History & Lyrics
From: John Minear
Date: 19 Aug 05 - 10:57 AM

I'm a little late on this, but I just discovered this very important piece of information and I thought that it was only appropriate that it be posted here as well. Fletcher Collins was the the man who originally collected the only known version (so far) of "Limber Jim".
T.O.M.
-------------
Subject: Obit: Fletcher Collins, folklorist and scholar
From: lamarca - PM
Date: 10 May 05 - 12:09 PM

I am sad to report the passing of Fletcher Collins, Jr. on May 6, 2005, at the age of 98. Dr. Collins was an eminent scholar, teacher, and collector of folksong and folklore, who had a long, rich life. Here is his obituary from the Mary Baldwin College website:

http://www.mbc.edu/news/r_detail.asp?id=1665


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Subject: RE: Origin: Limber Jim
From: GUEST,Ira
Date: 14 Apr 15 - 04:01 AM

For what it's worth, I knew a white guy from Tennessee who used to sing the 7-Up verse in the 1980's, along with some other verses all intended to be as obscene and offensive as possible. No mention of Jim, and the refrain was "Get your finger out of it, get your finger out of it, get your finger out of it 'cause it don't belong to you."


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