[Ads-l] cotton-picking

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jun 26 14:06:03 EDT 2018

> On Jun 25, 2018, at 6:41 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> "If the river was whiskey and the branch was wine
> You could see me in bathin' just any ol' time ..."
> Charlie Poole 1930, 0:33 - 0:38
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL4J-XIAKvw
This explains a lot.  I have the Charlie Poole recording on a CD and iTunes—haven’t watched the youtube—but was never able to successfully decode this verse.  I missed “the branch was wine” completely (not surprisingly, since for me, until a week ago, branches just grew on trees) and always processed “see me in bathin’ any old time” as the more easily parsed but far less plausible “see me in Vegas any old time”.  If the river really was whiskey and the branch wine, the fixin's for bourbon and branch would be easier to come by, but the taste would be somewhat different.  At last, a boilermaker for winos!


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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