Query: "A high tuck a-haw" in "Turkey in the Straw"

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sat Jun 12 13:38:53 UTC 2004

In a message dated Fri, 11 Jun 2004 16:45:15 -0500,    Gerald Cohen
<gcohen at UMR.EDU> asks:

>  A colleague has asked me about the meaning of "A high tuck-a-haw" in
>  the lyrics of the song "Turkey in the Straw."  Would anyone know?
>  The relevant verse is:
>          Turkey in the straw,
>          Turkey in the straw,
>          Roll 'em up and twist 'em up
>          A high tuck a-haw
>          And hit 'em up a tune called
>          Turkey in the Straw.
>  Also, what does "Roll 'em up and twist 'em up" refer to?

I vaguely recall the line as "And high tuck a-haw" which, if correct, means
that "tuck a-haw" might not be a noun phrase.  I suspect however that it is
simply a nonsence line added to create a rhyme for "straw".

Also I recall the first two lines as "Turkey in the straw/Turkey in the hay".
 Whether or not hay is involved, "roll 'em up etc." could refer to collecting
straws into whatever farmers of that age used to put straw into piles or
rolls or whatever.

          - Jim Landau

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