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Origins: Go Tell Aunt Rhody

DigiTrad:
AUNT RHODY


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Aunt Rhody (31)
Lyr Req: Go Tell Aunt Rhode / ...Rhody (8)


IanC 03 Sep 01 - 04:18 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 02 Sep 01 - 08:12 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Sep 01 - 08:05 PM
Haruo 02 Sep 01 - 07:40 PM
Snuffy 02 Sep 01 - 07:38 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 01 Sep 01 - 09:25 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 01 Sep 01 - 08:36 PM
Gareth 01 Sep 01 - 07:34 PM
masato sakurai 31 Aug 01 - 11:24 PM
Art Thieme 31 Aug 01 - 06:52 PM
iamjohnne 29 Aug 01 - 08:18 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Aug 01 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Liland 29 Aug 01 - 06:07 PM
Stewie 13 Sep 00 - 09:19 PM
Stewie 13 Sep 00 - 09:13 PM
Joe Offer 13 Sep 00 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,SaxMan4Life 13 Sep 00 - 07:00 PM
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Subject: RE: Origins of: History of Go Tell Aunt Rhody
From: IanC
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 04:18 AM

Snuffy. Yes. Of course.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: History of Go Tell Aunt Rhody
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 08:12 PM

As I understand it, the libretto of Rousseau's opera has nothing in common with the lyrics of Aunt Rhoda's loss. We are accusing someone of stealing his music; that is the only connection (and a questionable one at that). He may have used an old tune (or many tunes) in the opera but they could have been about green cheese and ham or pie a la mode for all that it matters in this instance.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: History of Go Tell Aunt Rhody
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 08:05 PM

In answer to Gareth's question: almost certainly no, on both counts.  Geese are fairly common and, besides being aggressive and annoying, are, so far as I know, usually more-or-less grey.  It is extremely unlikely that there is any hidden significance here.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: History of Go Tell Aunt Rhody
From: Haruo
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 07:40 PM

One thought to pursue: Are there French lyrics of a folkie or children's song, mother-goosey variety that may predate the opera, in which case maybe all J-J did was write new lyrics to an already universally known tune. For example, doesn't Malbrouck s'a va-t'en guerre predate The bear went over the mountain by quite a ways?

Liland


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Subject: RE: Origins of: History of Go Tell Aunt Rhody
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Sep 01 - 07:38 PM

Gareth,

Is this the meaning of the verse in HAL-AN-TOW?

What happened to the Spaniards
Who once made such a boast-o?
It's they shall eat the feathered goose
And we shall eat the roast-o
.

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Origins of: History of Go Tell Aunt Rhody
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Sep 01 - 09:25 PM

Le Devin du Village is available on cd for $8 US; either it is a short opera or it is terrible (not listed in Penguin's compendium). Gedda is one of the singers and he is good. The small bit on the site found by Sakuri is not entirely convincing, since that short bit of simple melody could have been composed independently several times over.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: History of Go Tell Aunt Rhody
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Sep 01 - 08:36 PM

At present, there are no data to connect the words of the song with any event or old story, if we accept the references in the Fresno Univ. summary. Someone here may turn up something, however.


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Subject: RE: Origins of: History of Go Tell Aunt Rhody
From: Gareth
Date: 01 Sep 01 - 07:34 PM

A Question - Just what is the Origin though.

Stones tossed into the pool to disturbe the Mudcatters

1/. Any connection with the Wild Geese ? (Irish mercenaries/religious outcasts)

2/. The Goose feather, synonim for the Arrow from the Welsh Long Bow
"And we will eat of the old Grey Goose
Gareth


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Subject: RE: Origins of: History of Go Tell Aunt Rhody
From: masato sakurai
Date: 31 Aug 01 - 11:24 PM

We can hear the allegedly "original" music from Rousseau's Le Devin du Village here. Click "Pantomime."

Masato


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Go Tell Aunt Rhody'
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Aug 01 - 06:52 PM

Well, ya see, there was this aunt and this goose...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Go Tell Aunt Rhody'
From: iamjohnne
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 08:18 PM

I learned this song in kindergarten. We used to cry when we sang it because the goslings mother was dead.


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Go Tell Aunt Rhody'
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 08:04 PM

Very interesting, Liland. Only the tune from Rousseau's opera is comparable.


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Subject: RE: 'Greenville' by J-J Rousseau
From: GUEST,Liland
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 06:07 PM

I just posted a lively MIDI of what I take to be an Americanized hymnic setting of this tune, Greenville, as an alternative tune for Nin irontajn, Dio, benu (the Esperanto version of Lord, dismiss us with Thy blessing. (Scroll down to the next-to-the-last MIDI link near the bottom of the page.) My MIDI source was The Cyber Hymnal's entry for the English original, where the opera title is given in both French (Le devin du village) and English (The village soothsayer). It makes quite the lively recessional.

I would note also that one of the other tunes given, Sicilian Mariners, is a folk tune, and Viner's Dismissal may have folk antecedents, as well. The Webbe tunes and the Barnby, on the other hand, are clearly "composed" pieces, and not nearly as much fun to my ear. And hymnody ought to be fun.

Liland


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Go Tell Aunt Rhody'
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 09:19 PM

'We'll bury her ...' above should have (x3), but neither line in the 'We'll all join the chorus' stanza is repeated.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GO TELL AUNT RHODY (from Pickard Family)
From: Stewie
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 09:13 PM

The Pickard Family's recording has been reissued on Various Artists 'The Story the Crow Told Me: Early American Rural Children's Songs from the 1920s and 1930s Vol 1' Yazoo CD 2051. No recording date or source info is given. The lyrics differ from the better known version - gander, goslings etc - but has the familiar tune.

Go tell Aunt Rhody (x3)
The old grey goose is dead

She died in the haystack (x3)
With a toothache in her heel

'Twas the one she was saving(x3)
To make a feather bed

We'll bury her at daybreak
Just like Aunt Rhody said

The barnyarn is mourning(x3)
And waiting to be fed

Aunt Rhody's weeping (x3)
For the old grey goose is dead

We'll all join the chorus, the grave is before us
'Twas dug with the shovel of old Uncle Ned

We'll eat no more goose eggs(x3)
For the old grey goose is dead

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Go Tell Aunt Rhody'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 07:12 PM

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

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2000 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: History of 'Go Tell Aunt Rhody'
From: GUEST,SaxMan4Life
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 07:00 PM

I need to know the history behind the origins of the song "GO Tell Aunt Rhody". I would appriciate any info that could be provided and the sorce where you got it from.


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