"Mighty Lak A Rose"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon May 31 00:27:37 UTC 2010

I believe I heard it sung by Paul Robeson
(possibly in live concert; my memory of childhood
events has faded).  It appears to be available by
Robeson on 4 or 5 CDs.  See


At 5/30/2010 04:11 PM, Paul wrote:
>Paul Johnson
>I'\'m with Wilson on this, born in '35 in Chicago this song has always
>been there for me. I Had the feeling it would have been in some 30s/40's
>musical but much to my surprise it was a hit in 1903 and last big hit
>was 1916 with Geraldine Farrar, an opera singer who had appeared with
>Caruso; her recording by the way was accompanied by Fritz Kreisier!

Wikipedia says:
The tune became a Tin Pan Alley hit, and it was a
perennial of traditional pop music for generations.[1]

Deanna Durbin sang it as a lullaby in the 1943
feature film The Amazing Mrs. Holliday.[2] Other
notable recordings include those by Lillian
Nordica, Geraldine Farrar, Vincent Lopez, Paul
Robeson, Art Tatum, Wilbur DeParis, Frank
Sinatra, Nina Simone, and Roger Whittaker.[3]

>On 5/30/2010 2:24 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>Whoa! That is surprising! My memory is that it was a national hit or,
>>at least, nationally popular. I heard recordings of it by various
>>singers, black and white, when I was a child living in Saint Louis. As
>>a consequence, I've never connected the song with the *real* South or
>>even with East Texas, but, rather, with some Tin Pan Alley hack
>>looking for an easy buck.
>>On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 3:04 PM, Bill
>>Palmer<w_a_palmer at bellsouth.net>  wrote:
>>>---------------------- Information from the
>>>mail header -----------------------
>>>Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>Poster:       Bill Palmer<w_a_palmer at BELLSOUTH.NET>
>>>Subject:      Re: "Mighty Lak A Rose"
>>>Wilson, my late mother-in-law (b. 1908, Moultrie GA) and now you, are the
>>>only ones I've ever known to sing/recite that little verse.
>>>I wonder if anyoneoutside the southern US is familiar w/ it.
>>>Bill P
>>>----- Original Message -----
>>>From: "Wilson Gray"<hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>>>Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2010 2:44 PM
>>>Subject: "Mighty Lak A Rose"
>>>>---------------------- Information from the mail
>>>>header -----------------------
>>>>Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>>Poster:       Wilson Gray<hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>>>>Subject:      "Mighty Lak A Rose"
>>>>Some of the more readers may recall that popular "Negro-dialect" song
>>>>from the '40's.  Personally, I found the song rather pleasant.
>>>>Hooever, I was never able to make any sense out of the opening verse,
>>>>refrain, or whatever it was:
>>>>Sweetis' little feller
>>>>Ev'rybody knows
>>>>Don't know what t' call 'im
>>>>But he's _mighty lak a rose_
>>>>After dekkids of thought, I've conclded that the title/phrase in question
>>>>"... very much resembles or is very similar to, in some unspecified
>>>>sense, a rose."
>>>>Analyzing it as "strong like a rose," which makes no kind of sense,
>>>>had been driving me nuts.
>>>>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"--a strange complaint to
>>>>come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>>>>-Mark Twain
>>>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>No virus found in this incoming message.
>>>Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
>>>Version: 8.5.437 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/2906 - Release Date: 05/30/10
>>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"­­a strange complaint to
>>come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>>­Mark Twain
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>It's like trying to slip a sunrise past a rooster
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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