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Lyr Req: Chamber Lye / John Harloson's Saltpeter

DigiTrad:
CHAMBER LYE


Related thread:
Dirty Civil War songs about chamberpots (12)


GUEST,ajanus 05 Aug 00 - 11:51 PM
Bud Savoie 06 Aug 00 - 05:43 PM
Sorcha 06 Aug 00 - 05:45 PM
catspaw49 06 Aug 00 - 06:18 PM
Sorcha 06 Aug 00 - 06:25 PM
catspaw49 06 Aug 00 - 06:38 PM
Sorcha 06 Aug 00 - 06:42 PM
Greg F. 06 Aug 00 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,equalrice 06 Aug 00 - 07:31 PM
Giac 06 Aug 00 - 09:04 PM
Giac 06 Aug 00 - 09:10 PM
Giac 06 Aug 00 - 09:15 PM
gillymor 06 Aug 00 - 10:43 PM
Sorcha 07 Aug 00 - 12:10 AM
Les B 07 Aug 00 - 12:16 AM
GUEST,Mickey191 07 Aug 00 - 01:32 AM
Mrrzy 07 Aug 00 - 10:40 AM
catspaw49 07 Aug 00 - 11:38 AM
Sorcha 07 Aug 00 - 11:47 AM
Charlie Baum 07 Aug 00 - 12:22 PM
Charlie Baum 07 Aug 00 - 12:24 PM
kendall 07 Aug 00 - 12:41 PM
Joe Offer 07 Aug 00 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,winterhorse290 07 Aug 00 - 07:21 PM
Sourdough 07 Aug 00 - 07:36 PM
John Hindsill 07 Aug 00 - 07:57 PM
Sourdough 07 Aug 00 - 08:40 PM
ddw 07 Aug 00 - 08:55 PM
Elise 07 Aug 00 - 08:58 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 00 - 09:39 PM
catspaw49 07 Aug 00 - 10:18 PM
Charlie Baum 07 Aug 00 - 10:54 PM
CamiSu 07 Aug 00 - 11:17 PM
MarkS 07 Aug 00 - 11:24 PM
catspaw49 07 Aug 00 - 11:28 PM
Joe Offer 08 Aug 00 - 12:07 AM
Stewie 08 Aug 00 - 01:52 AM
catspaw49 08 Aug 00 - 02:30 AM
Joe Offer 08 Aug 00 - 02:37 AM
catspaw49 08 Aug 00 - 02:40 AM
Sorcha 08 Aug 00 - 09:15 AM
Giac 08 Aug 00 - 09:25 AM
Burke 08 Aug 00 - 12:10 PM
catspaw49 08 Aug 00 - 12:49 PM
paddymac 08 Aug 00 - 03:29 PM
Bert 08 Aug 00 - 03:44 PM
Sandy Paton 08 Aug 00 - 04:31 PM
SINSULL 08 Aug 00 - 05:15 PM
ol'troll 08 Aug 00 - 07:09 PM
Bill D 08 Aug 00 - 07:35 PM
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Subject: A Curious Civil War Song
From: GUEST,ajanus
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 11:51 PM

I'm trying to track down a Confederate song for a friend - he swears it truly exists. It seems that Southern women were asked to save their urine for the production of nitre, or saltpeter, and a song was composed about the situation. The song is said to be unabashedly bawdy and apparently describes the process quite graphically.

Ring any bells?

Allan Janus


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 05:43 PM

No, but I'd be interested in songs of that kidney.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Sorcha
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 05:45 PM

How would one go about searching for this? Any clues/snippets at all? I guess I could go looking for Southron piss..........or Lady Pee.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 06:18 PM

Seeing some new posts made me hopeful, but no help yet, nor from here. I like CW music and have a couple of decent tune sites, but no luck at all.

Very curious.........Got any more info??? Where did your friend learn of this song? Book or what? Maybe there are some references there that might point us in the right direction.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Sorcha
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 06:25 PM

I sent an e mail to a CSA song site, maybe we'll get a response, but I don't have high hopes. Interesting, though. I DO know (CREEP ALERT) that urine is used in cloth making,(waulking)because of the ammonia in it. BTW, urine is sterile when it leaves the body. I bet you always wanted to know that, huh?


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 06:38 PM

Which is one resaon its effective in treating cuts.......betcha' didn't wanna' know that.......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Sorcha
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 06:42 PM

nah, ya put maggots on cuts to keep the gangrene out. Hey, 'spaw, ever heard of AIU therapy? 10 drops under the toungue..............


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 07:08 PM

Dunno about the song, but the situation descibed did indeed exist- saltpetre was used in the manufacture of black powder (gunpowder)- hence the strategic importance as the Confederacy had difficulty importing it thru the Union blockade.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: GUEST,equalrice
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 07:31 PM

Supposedly, fresh urine is a suggested first aid treatment for severe jellyfish stings. There's an amusing fictionalized account of this treatment in Peter Dexter's "The Paperboy."


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Giac
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 09:04 PM

Nothing yet about the song, but did find this rather terse comment about urine and gunpowder:

"... These ingredients are coarsely ground, and put in an iron pot, then moistened with water, alcohol, vinegar, or urine. Which liquid matters very little, since the objective is to extinguish any sparks. ..."

This is a quote from a discourse on gunpowder by an American "honorary fellow" at Exeter, Dr. James B. Calvert. His website, which is extensive, is a wealth of words on a mixture of subjects. If you want to get lost for awhile, try this:

clicketh thou here


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Giac
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 09:10 PM

Wooops! See, tried to be a smarta** and instant karma got me. I don't understand how mudcat got into that link, but we'll try again:

humble clicky


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Giac
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 09:15 PM

just shoot me now

one more time and if it doesn't work, i don't care.

click?


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: gillymor
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 10:43 PM

This could shed new light on the origin of Yellow Rose of Texas.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 12:10 AM

Well, I'll be blessed, would you look at this:

The song is called "John Harrolson." I have a CD/tape by Bobby Horton, Songs of the CSA Vol. 5 for sale which contains the song if you are interested.

Saltpetere is an important ingredient in the manufacturing of gun powder. Nitre is a key ingredient in saltpeter. One source of of nitre is human waste. John Harrolson, a nitre agent from Selma, Alabama, sent wagons around toen to collect the contents of chamber pots from the ladies to be used in making nitre. That is where it comes from.

Hope this helps,

Pro Rege, Jeffrey Todd McCormack

Apologia Book Shoppe c/o Post Office Box 1031 Wiggins, Mississippi 39577 http://www.pointsouth.com/apologia Mastercard/Visa orders: 601-928-5218 Monday through Saturday 9AM to 8PM


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Les B
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 12:16 AM

For what it's worth - a friend of mine who was in the Marines claims they learned in field first aid that male urine is sterile but female is not. Something about the length of the duct.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War SongM
From: GUEST,Mickey191
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 01:32 AM

There is a fertility drug (made by a Vatican owned co.)which has female urine in it. Here's the kicker-It must be urine from menopausal,Vatican nuns. I kid you not. The source of this info. Is Al Roker,who's wife became pregnant with this product. He is an NBC NY weatherman.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 10:40 AM

I knew it was sterile, I'll check on the gender diff... I guess no Marine would have to worry about his duct being too short, right?


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 11:38 AM

GOOD JOB SORCHA!!!!!!

We'll have another look now!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 11:47 AM

I can't find the lyrics posted anywhere on the web, but several sites offer a CD for sale, here, as well as the above Apologia Store. Amazing stuff, huh?


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 12:22 PM

I've got a recollection of this song being in one of the printed collections--whether it was Folk Songs of Mississippi or Texas or Folk Songs from the South escapes my mind at present. Of course, I'm at work now and can't look it up in the book, which is at home. I'll try to find it tonight, unless someone with those books gets to it first.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 12:24 PM

NB--the song in the collection might or might not be "John Harrolson"--I just remember reading the notes to some song about such a subject in one of those books.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: kendall
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 12:41 PM

At last, an informative, yet interesting thread!


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Subject: Chamber Lye
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 12:53 PM

Well, the Traditional Ballad Index (click) says it's called "The Chamber Lye," sung to the tune of "O Tannenbaum." It's supposedly in Randolph-Legman, and in the first edition of Erotic Muse. I've got the second edition, and it ain't there.
Dang.
-Joe Offer-

    Chamber Lye

    DESCRIPTION: In the original text -- the song was updated to the first world war -- a Confederate agent asks the ladies of Montgomery, Alabama, to save their night water, so that saltpeter necessary for the manufacture of gunpowder might be extracted.
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE:
    KEYWORDS: scatological bawdy Civilwar derivative
    FOUND IN: US(So,SW)
    REFERENCES (2 citations):
    Randolph-Legman II, pp. 659-662, "Chamber Lye" (1 text)
    Cray, The Erotic Muse (1st edition ), pp. 140-141, 17, "Chamber Lye" (1 text)

    Roud #8391
    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree)" (tune) and references there
    ALTERNATE TITLES:
    John Harloson's Saltpeter
    Notes: Said to date from 1864 and a request made in either Selma or Montgomery, Alabama.
    By the later portion of the 20th Century, this ballad had apparently fallen out of oral currency. - EC
    In earlier editions of the Index, I questioned the truth of the report about the song coming from Alabama, simply because Union troops were so late in reaching central Alabama. But the request need not have been local to that area. Saltpeter (needed to make black powder) was not available in many parts of the south, and Isaac M. St. John (1827-1880), chief of the Mining and Nitre Bureau, did appeal to southern women to save the contents of their chamber pots.
    Saltpeter had always been a useful product. Even in ancient times, it was used by fullers and dyers; it helped fix colors, and also helped create some otherwise hard-to-achieve hues. We still use it today for things such as reducing the pain of sensitive teeth (see Simon Quellen Field, Why There's Antifreeze in Your Toothpaste, Chicago Review Books, 2008, p 171), although it is now possible to produce it artificiially.
    It appears that saltpeter in ancient times was not a precise term. It seems to have been used most often for potassium nitrate, KNO3, but other nitrates such as sodium nitrate (NaNO3, sometimes called "Chile saltpeter" or "caliche") were sometimes used before chemistry became more precise. For many purposes, the difference between nitrate types was rather minor; it was the nitrate that gave the "bang" -- and also contained the nitrogen which made waste materials a good fertilizer. (Note that ammonium nitrate, NH4NO3, which might have been considered a saltpeter by the ancients, is still used as a fertilizer and as the basis for explosives! Sodium nitrate does not make as good a gunpowder as potassium nitrate, since it is more likely to absorb water and degrade, but the two are relatively easy to convert; see Stephen R. Bown, A Most Damnable Invention: Dynamite, Nitrates, and the Making of the Modern World, Dunne, 2005, p. 148)
    But natural saltpeter was rare. Early on, it was discovered that it could be manufactured from animal wastes. Mammal urine contain urea (CO(NH2)2), and bird droppings contain uric acid (C5H4N4O3), both of which could be reacted with alkalis to produce saltpeter. The usual method was to place the droppings on an alkaline soil and then going through various purifying steps (see Bown, pp. 28-33).
    As early as Roman times, then, we see dyers collecting their own urine, plus whatever others wanted to donate. This was adequate for cloth manufacture, but it left no excess.
    And then the demand skyrocketed. The reason is simple: Black powder (gunpowder) consists of sulfur, charcoal (carbon), and saltpeter.
    From the start, saltpeter was the largest component; Roger Bacon's formula in the thirteenth century was five parts charcoal, five parts sulfur, seven parts saltpeter (so John Emsley, Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements, corrected edition, Oxford, 2003, p. 412). But it was quickly found that more saltpeter was better; Charles Henry Ashdown, European Arms & Armor (I use the 1995 Barnes & Noble edition, which appears to be a reprint though no information is given on the original publication), p. 361, says that "Schwartz, a German Frank, perfected it about a century [after Bacon]." This would mean that Edward IV, for instance, would use the more modern formulation -- and, indeed, when he invaded France in the 1470s, we find that he had need to carry with him "hundreds of shot of stone, barrels of gunpowder, sulphur, brimstone, saltpetre" (see Elizabeth Jenkins, The Princes in the Tower, Coward McCann, & Geoghan, 1978, p. 104). It's not clear why sulfur is mentioned twice and charcoal not at all (perhaps the English expected to make the charcoal on the spot?), but it is clear that no one expected local supplies of saltpeter or sulfur to be adequate.
    By the time the use of gunpowder was widespread, the saltpeter made up two-thirds to three-quarters of the total (the modern formulation is 75% saltpeter, 15% charcoal, 10% sulfur, according to Field, p. 177), yet it was the hardest component to find and to purify. With limited natural supplies. saltpeter had to be manufactured on a large scale.
    Which meant -- let's face it -- that a lot of waste had to be gathered and processed. According to Bown, pp. 33-34, it was Charles I of England who in 1626 made what was apparently the earliest proclamation ordering people to collect the contents of their chamber pots. (It almost makes you wonder if that's why they rebelled against him.) The result was the institution of the "saltpetermen" or "petermen" (Bown, pp. 36-38) -- people whose intrusive behavior hardly endeared them to the population. It's interesting to note that, in later usage, the word "peterman" came to mean a thief.
    Bown, p. 47, goes so far as to argue that France lost the Seven Years' War in part due to saltpeter shortage. I have not seen this claim advanced in any of the usual histories of the period, however.
    After a time the dirty business was exported, mostly to India (Bown, p. 40), where there were lots and lots of people -- which meant both lots of human waste and lots of unemployed people to process it. Later, an even more concentrated source was found in the bat and bird guano found in Latin America (Floyd L. Darrow, The Story of Chemistry, Chautauqua Press, 1928, p. 216, says that Chilean saltpeter began to be exported in 1830; see also "Tommy's Gone to Hilo"). Bown, p. 149, implies that caliche was in use even before that, being used to make gunpowder during the Napoleonic Wars. It wasn't until the twentieth century that the Haber process made it possible to extract atmospheric nitrogen. Until then, a country had to either import nitrates or make them.
    A nation at war burned through its supplies quickly. During the Napoleonic Wars, Britain is said to have imported 20,000 tons of saltpeter a year (Bown, p. 48).
    The Confederacy probably needed even more. The standard charge of a Civil War rifle musket was 60 grains, or 4 grams. So that's 3 grams of saltpeter. A typical infantryman carried 40 rounds when going into battle -- 120 grams. (He would often fire far more rounds than that, to be sure.) Let's say that there were 75,000 Confederate soldiers at Gettysburg (which is about right). The typical soldier probably fired about 65 rounds. So that's 75,000 soldiers times 65 rounds times 3 grams, or 14,625,000 grams. 14,625 kilograms. 15 tons of saltpeter just for the *infantrymen* in one single battle. Artillery, which took much larger charges, would have required even more.
    And the Confederacy spent the entire war under Union blockade. Importing by land was impossible; whatever they had had to come in by sea. Initially blockade runners could bring in some. But the blockade tightened as the war progressed. By 1863, the blockade was pretty tight. That left domestic manufacture as the only source of saltpeter. Hence the collection of slops from Confederate bedrooms -- and hence this song.
    Incidentally, even the replacement of gunpowder with smokeless powders did not eliminate the need for nitrates. Nitroglycerin and its successors required nitric acid, and this too was derived from saltpeter and its relatives. Cordite, for instance, the propellant in British firearms, consisted of nitroglycerin and guncotton (both of which required nitrates to manufacture) plus vaseline. During World War I, therefore, nitrates once again became an issue -- Germany had the Haber process, but the Entente powers were still using Chilean saltpeter, according to Darrow, p. 215.
    (As a matter of fact, some historians, cited by Bown, p. 218, speculate that Germany did not dare start World War I until the Haber process guaranteed their nitrate supply. I grant that, until 1914, the Germans hadn't pushed diplomatic crises so hard -- but World War I came about largely because of the ineptitude of Wilhelm II of Germany and Franz Joseph of Austria, and what are the odds that either of them made such calculations?)
    (Haber's work would earn him the Nobel Prize in chemistry, and it was surely deserved. The award had to be given almost in secret, however, because he had spent the bulk of the Great War working on poison gas. He was not someone you would want to know; his role in gas warfare actually led his first wife to commit suicide -- Bown, p. 226.)
    There was a brief time after the Battle of Coronel when Graf Spee's German fleet had driven the English away from Chile.Britain moved instantly to crush Graf Spee's fleet (which they would do at the Battle of the Falkland Islands). Most histories of World War I viewed this as an issue of prestige, but Darrow, p. 216, argues that the saltpeter was needed for the war effort, and Bown, p. 192, thinks this was a reason for the swift British response, though he admits there is no evidence for this. Bown, p. 198, argues that the infamous "shell shortage" of 1915 was also due to nitrate bottlenecks, though most histories simply assert "manufacturing difficulties." My guess is, British factories had enough nitrates for the amount of shell they actually were able to provide but would not have had enough to make all the weapons the generals wanted -- note that, according to Bown, p. 200, nitrate exports from Chile increased 50% during the War even though Germany was completely cut off from the market. At one time, according to Bown, p. 201, there was a 300% price premium during the war.
    Even in the period after the Great War, Darrow (p. 229) notes that the United States maintained a Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory. As late as the 1920s, Chile was still supplying almost a third of the world's nitrates (Darrow, p. 230), though refinements of the Haber process were rapidly making more available, and new research also allowed nitrogen to be extracted from coal as it was converted to coke. It wasn't until 1926 (according to the numbers in Darrow, p. 233) that the nitrate business really began to decline -- the stocks of the companies fell by more than 50% in that year. - RBW
    File: RL659

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    The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: GUEST,winterhorse290
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:21 PM

try to find the civilwar song series by"boddy horton" i had the tape but wore it out. think the song your looking for may be " john harolson" and yes it does exist, and it was a song from the war. good line "every time a lady lifts her shift she shoots another yankee" my kind of southern belle


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Sourdough
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:36 PM

I came across this song reprinted, in all places, in an old medical journal among regular serious articles.

I don't have any details but I know that it was the Permanente Journal circa 1950. I have access to a collection of these journals, but they are fifty miles away. I can tell you that I have read the words. It was presented as a poem, though, not a song.

I do get in there from time to time and may be able to locate it.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: John Hindsill
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 07:57 PM

In the early 1950s I had a chemistry set which had a bottle of urea crystals. Upon finding out what it was, I left it alone in disgust until....a few years later we (that old gang of mine) began experimenting in making our own July 4 fireworks and skyrockets. It came in handy then. BTW, by the late 70s/early 80s, that compund was not to be found in chemistry sets: too dangerous; a kid might try to make his/her own fireworks!---John


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Sourdough
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 08:40 PM

If you want to go looking for urea in daily life, try your toothpaste! I think the Mongols introduced urine as a teethcleaning material when they brushed their teeth in horses' urine. Now we use synthetic urea in our toothpaste so as not to upset the USDA and maybe us, too.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: ddw
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 08:55 PM

For what it's worth — during our first-aid training in the USAF we were told "put an antiseptic on the wound before you bandage it. If you don't have any antiseptic, piss on it."

The explanation was that urine is high in ureic (sp?) acid, which is a good antiseptic. I don't remember any discussion of it being sterile when it leaves the body or of any gender difference. I'll have to ask my wife when I get home. She's a nurse and just full of such trivia.

david


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Elise
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 08:58 PM

In case anyone really wants to know, urine is also used in dying. Certain colors required the urine of pre-pubescent boys. The really lovely part is that it has to be saved up for a few days, and fiber soaked in it. I'll stick to Rit, thanks.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 09:39 PM

Wow! Thanks to everyone who contributed, and especially to Sorcha - we're tracking the CD doen now.

Allan Janus


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 10:18 PM

While I was looking, I got a real education in "chamber Lye".......Some very interesting usages TODAY!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 10:54 PM

I had a chance to look through the songbooks and jog my memory--alas, what I recalled was a song about women contributing to the Southern war effort by not buying fabric from the North, but wearing homespun dresses. "The Homespun Dress" can be found in Randolph's Ozark collection, and Hudson's Folksongs of Mississippi, Belden's Ballads and Songs (Missouri) and probably elsewhere.

Lisa Null recalled the saltpetre song as being in the repertoire of David Jones of New Jersey.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: CamiSu
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 11:17 PM

My husband tells me his grandfather told him that during WWI the food the soldiers were given was laced with saltpeter to "keep them home at night". Apparently it causes erectile dysfunction...


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: MarkS
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 11:24 PM

As long as we are on the subject, there used to be a custom in northeast Pennsylvania years ago. In the coal region here, the men would urinate on the hands of the boys to toughen the skin so they could do the hard manual work in the coal breakers, sorting out the coal from the rock in the tipples. Glad time has changed for that custom!


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 11:28 PM

Well, it does kinda' make you wonder why there are wash basins in restrooms doesn't it?

I wonder if brain surgeons wash up with whizz?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:07 AM

Well, so, are we gonna get the lyrics to this song? I admit that I could have bought Randolph-Legman for a song five years ago, but that was before I started collecting songbooks and I didn't know what I was passing up. Darn, again.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 01:52 AM

G.Legman gives a little information at page 378 of his 'The Horn Book' Jonathan Cape 1970:

Most other such songs surviving, or even now being written, are entirely on political and military personages, as in the humorously scatological song - on the purported use of patriotic ladies' 'chamber-lye' to make gunpowder, and the erotic results resulting therefrom - known during the Civil War as 'John Haroldson', and revised during World War I with the change simply of the satirised general's name to 'Von Hindenburg' (printed in 'Immortalia' 1927, p 101, still entitled 'Chamber-Lye'). The original Civil War version had been printed earlier in a rare contemporary booklet under the title of 'The Lay of John Haroldson', probably in Philadelphia. (Copy New York Public, and others located by the Union Catalogue, Library of Congress).

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 02:30 AM

Well Joe, I dunno, unless someone buys the recording and transcribes it or someone has access to the material Stewie referenced. I liked the use of the word "purported" use of ...chamber lye. I think we've all read enough now to be assured that the manner of use is true and not "purported."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 02:37 AM

Spaw, you give up too easily. Could it be you're becoming prudish on this subject?
Could it?
I KNOW Dick Greenhaus must know this one. I sent him a personal message, pleading with him to post the lyrics. And to hedge my bet, I sent a message to Sandy, too...
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 02:40 AM

LOL Joe......Prude??? ME??? Hey, I was the first one (way back up there) to mention it as a great cut healer! I really would like to see the words to this one.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Sorcha
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 09:15 AM

I would too!! And as for urea, go look at the labels on the stuff in your bathroom--skin lotion, some shampoos, shaving gels, LOTS of products have urea in them.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Giac
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 09:25 AM

When I was in boarding schools too far back to mention, it was common practice to put saltpetre in the food in both the boys and girls schools, to inhibit sexual urges. It had more of an effect on the boys, in that respect, but could have disastrous consequences for girls during their cycles. It was a barbaric practice and I hope it has long since been discontinued.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Burke
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:10 PM

New York Public has The Lay of John Haroldson 15p. on microfiche in its Humanities Microforms collection. Anyone in New York City who can go look at it?


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:49 PM

We need a NYC 'Catter.........Sinsull, Larry Otway (InOTB)...who else?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: paddymac
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 03:29 PM

Just to contribute to the collective edification on the myriad uses of urine, it is/was also useful in tanning hides.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Bert
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 03:44 PM

I can't believe this thread has got this far without anybody mentioning Tom Paxton's "Filling a Bottle for Ronnie".

Bert.


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 04:31 PM

I'll type in the text as it is printed in Ed Cray's The Erotic Muse (First Edition) tonight, if some one like Charlie Baum doesn't get to it first. It's there, Charlie, under the "Chamber Lye" title, p. 140. (Wanna save me some typing?) Has to be the first edition though. Joe Offer tells me it's not in his second edition. Right now, however, I've gotta fly to the post office!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 05:15 PM

I'll try to get there this weekend. Or maybe I can get them to FAX it to me.
Wasn't there an episode of Seinfeld or Friends where someone gets stung by jellyfish and the others pee on her? Nasty business.

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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: ol'troll
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 07:09 PM

Urine was used in the middle ages to clean woolen clothing.The garmets were first soaked in urine to disolve the grease and grime and then rinsed in cold water.Both human and animal urine were used.

Urine is also used by the Ituri Forest Pygmies to treat the effects of an attack by the spiting cobra which, when disturbed, spits an uneering stream of venom into the eye of its victim. Apparently the prompt application of urine neutralizes the venom, thereby saving the victims eyesight. Wonder how they figgered that one out?

troll


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Subject: RE: A Curious Civil War Song
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 07:35 PM

I have just scanned it from Erotic Muse....am uploading it now...hold on


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