gillygalou bird

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Thu Jul 5 19:17:22 UTC 2001

Regarding the life and loves of Paul Bunyan:

Looking over quickly the entries on Bunyan in The Funk & Wagnall's
Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, Maria Leach,
ed., 1949 (under PB); American Folklore: An Encyclopedia, Jan Harold
Brunvand, ed., 1996; and the Penguin Dictionary of American Folklore,
Alan Axelrod, ed., 2000 (in both under B, P), it seems that though
Bunyan has roots in Canadian folklore, the widespread familiarity with
his story, and the tales generally known about him, are the work of
several known journalists and a publicist for a lumber company, all
writing in the early decades of the 20th century, and of later writers,
including of course the Disney studio.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African
Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.

----- Original Message -----
From: "James A. Landau" <JJJRLandau at AOL.COM>
Date: Thursday, July 5, 2001 1:48 pm
Subject: Re: gillygalou bird

> In a message dated 7/5/01 11:10:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM writes:
> > My correspondent corrects my inference about the dialect in
> which she
> >  observed the phrase [gillygalou bird]:
> >
> >  >>>>>
> >  At 11:01 AM 7/3/01 -0400, you wrote:
> >  >This item apparently comes from Canadian French, but it was
> observed in
> >  >Canadian English. Does anyone recognize it or have an idea
> about it? A
> >  >correspondent asks:
> >
> >  Never Canadian English.  My g'g'g'father is the one who
> >  I believe moved from the Montreal area to the Detroit
> >  area.  That quarter of my pedigree is all French
> While I have read several collections of Paul Bunyan stories, I
> don't know
> anything significant about the ORIGIN of the Paul Bunyan legend.
> A book I
> read many years ago (it may have been entitled _Yankee Doodle's
> Cousins_)tells the story that Paul came from Francophone Canada,
> and was already
> accompanied by his blue ox, Bebe.  When they stepped over the US
> border, they
> magically became Anglophones (and Bebe was renamed Babe).
> I have never encountered any other versions of the Paul Bunyan
> legend that
> gave his origin as anything other than the USA.  Does anyone have
> additionaldata on this?
>      - Jim Landau   (who also lays square eggs)
> PS.  "Gillygalou" sounds Irish to me.  Probably I'm thinking of
> such Celtic
> phoneticisms as "Gilgarry Mountain", "gallowglass",  "gillie",
> "Gilligan",and the British Admiral "Billy Blue" Cornwallis and his
> sidekick Captain
> Pellew.

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