[Ads-l] a little more on ejaculatory pop, etc.

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 16 17:57:04 EDT 2017


The monkey does not appear in the earliest versions and does not, I believe, appear in any of the traditional British versions.  Nonsense versions proliferated soon after the dance and tune premiered in late-1852, and by late-1853, there were said to be versions about Queen Victoria's measles, the war with Turkey and Gladstone's nightly escapades.


The monkey came later, and not necessarily with any literal meaning related to purses or actual weasels.


Most of the early American sheet music is instrumental, with no lyrics.  There are a few with lyrics from 1855-1857, but none of those have monkeys.  The lyrics are also not similar to the traditional British verses; the most common verses are about actual weasels sneaking around in the dark of night and about the movements of the dance.


The monkey appears in an American version as early as 1858, chasing a weasel "all around the cobbler's house".  Another American version from as early as 1863 has a monkey chasing a weasel "all around the vinegar jug."

Peter
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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2017 11:54 AM
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Subject: Re: a little more on ejaculatory pop, etc.

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
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Subject:      Re: a little more on ejaculatory pop, etc.
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Why would a monkey chase a purse around a bench?

JL



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