Horse v. mule

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 29 04:46:34 UTC 2005

Yes, that's what I had in mind, especially if it contains the phrase, "Fie
on thy cuckold face," by which the wife introduces her explanations of what
her husband thinks he sees. Actually, there are two other blues songs that
are closer than the two that I previously cited. In one, the man starts out
by asking, "Whose muddy shoes under my bed where my shoes used to be?"
There's another one that 's almost a rewrite  of the Brit original, but I
can't track it down at the moment.

However, while searching for it, I heard "peach tree" pronounced as [piC@
tri]. As a child, I used this very same pronunciation. I've always thought
of  this as a back-formation from "peaches" [piC at z] with input from
"preacher  preachers" [priC@  priC at z].


On 11/28/05, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
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> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter < wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Horse v. mule
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I don't know if there's a direct connection, but you're probably thinking
> of the once very well-known ballad that goes by the innocuous title of "Our
> Goodman" in F. J. Child's still-standard 1890s collection, but is now more
> often referred to as "Seven Drunken Nights" after a '60s hit by the Irish
> group, The Dubliners. (They only sang about the first five nights, however.)
>   On the first night, the drunken cuckold comes home and wants to know,
> "What's this horse a-doing here where my old horse should be?" Or words to
> that effect.  His wife tells him he's drunk as drunk could be. It's nothing
> but a milking cow that her mother sent. "Miles have I traveled, a thousand
> miles or more, / But a saddle on a milk cow I never have seen before!"
>   Coley Jones recorded a short but punchy version for Columbia in 1929
> which he called "Drunkard's Special."  IIRC, that one features a Model T in
> the garage, not a horse.
>   This site shows you how excruciatingly dull it all can be made to seem:
>   JL
> Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>   ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Wilson Gray
> Subject: Horse v. mule
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've been wondering about this a while. In blues songs, there often occurs
> =
> a
> line referring to mules kicking in stalls.
> E.g.:
> 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
> ---------------------------------
> Yahoo! Music Unlimited - Access over 1 million songs. Try it free.

-Wilson Gray

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