Horse v. mule

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 29 03:30:41 UTC 2005

I've been wondering about this a while. In blues songs, there often occurs a
line referring to mules kicking in stalls.

Hear my telephone ringin'
Soun' like a long-distant[sic] call
When I picked up my receivo[sic]
The party said,
_"Another mule kickin' in yo' stall"_

Well, a long way from home
And can't sleep at all
You know
_Another mule is kickin' in yo' stall_
That's evole[sic]

I have an extremely vague memory of reading somewhere or other that there's
a similar motif, but of a horse, rather than a mule, kicking in someone
else's stall,
in British folk music. IOW, this motif originated in the British Isles and
was borrowed
by bluesmen (and -women, since are there blues sung by women with lines
like, "Back
yo' mule up out of my stall.") Does this ring a bell with anyone?
-Wilson Gray

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