Mudcat Café message #296756 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #25358   Message #296756
Posted By: Joe Offer
13-Sep-00 - 07:12 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Go Tell Aunt Rhody
Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Go Tell Aunt Rhody'
Well, a great place to start research is in Fresno, at the Traditional Ballad Index. Here's their entry for this song.
-Joe Offer-

Go Tell Aunt Rhody


DESCRIPTION: "Go tell Aunt (Rhody) (x3) The old gray goose is dead. The one she'd been saving (x3) to make a feather bed." The cause of death varies; "a pain in the head"; "somebody... knocked it on the head"; "from standing on its head"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1925
KEYWORDS: bird death mourning
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE,SE,So)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Randolph 270, "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" (4 texts, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSUSA 3, "Go Tell Aunt Nancy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 305-306, "The Old Gray Goose" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnett, p. 39, "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chase, pp. 176-177, "The Old Gray Goose is Dead" (1 text, 2 tunes)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 45, "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 404, "Aunt Rhody" (1 text)
DT, AUNTRODY

Notes: Randolph quotes Chase to the effect that this tune was used in an opera by Jean Jacques Rousseau in 1750. This does not seem to have been independently verified, and the opera is not named. However, Jackson (again quoted by Randolph) says that the tune "Grenville/Rousseau's Dream" was published as a piano solo around 1818. - RBW
Seeger also credits the Rousseau story, but his date is 1752. - PJS
File: R270

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