Mudcat Café message #313038 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11337   Message #313038
Posted By: Joe Offer
05-Oct-00 - 05:07 PM
Thread Name: Origins: songs about girl w/ promiscuous father
Subject: Mixed Up Family - Jimmy Driftwood
I got the following message from Arkie, who gave me permission to post it.
-Joe Offer-
I heard Jimmy do this song many times, but never asked him where he got the idea. Before moving to the Ozarks in 1971, I had learned the "Shame and Scandal" version from a teenager at a Methodist youth workshop where I was a counselor. Again I did not inquire of the source. Here in Driftwood country, I quit singing the calypso version.

I am curious about the known versions, as to which came first, etc. I am sure that Mike Cross' song is the most recent. Probably Buffy Ste. Marie adapted Jimmy's version. They did some festivals together in the 1960s. The story around here is that Buffy learned the picking bow from Pat Sky who learned it from Driftwood. Through the years I have learned to question the veracity of some of Jimmy's stories, and he may have heard Buffy do her version which sounds as though it may have its origins in the British Isles. Which brings up another possibility. A new member on our staff here at the Ozark Folk Center has a vague recollection of hearing some British singer, possibly Martin Carthy sing a version of the song. Of the versions identified so far, I would guess that the Service poem would be the oldest. While Driftwood did write some original songs, a large portion of his repertoire were rewrites of older songs. I am reasonably certain that "The Mixed Up Family" is such a rewrite. Jimmy attempts to explain the the old man was a liar not a philanderer. That is certainly more acceptable to Ozark folk, who do not consider themselves lying when they speak an untruth to an outsider.