April 26, 2006
"Spring is sprung; the grass is riz, I wonder where the flowers is!"
Then there is that song — "Welcome sweet Springtime, we greet thee with song." Another line is: "When the red red robbin, come a bob-bob-bobbin along..."
The boy-girl theme gets treated a hundred years ago — just imagine a school play with a (chorus) line — all the girls repeating together: "We don't smoke and we don't chew; we don't go with the boys that do! Our class won the 'Bi-bull!'"
A conundrum, or a spelling comprehensive test: "If Mississippi should lend Missouri her New Jersey, what would Delaware?" Answer: "Idaho, Alaska!" To make sense, this has to be said out loud.
A similar doggerel: "Henry Ward Beecher, the great Congregational preacher, once said of a hen, 'What a wonderful creature.' The hen upon that, laid six eggs in his hat and thus did the Henry Ward Beecher."
A joke conundrum: "Adam and Eve and Pinchme went out for a row one day. Adam and Eve fell overboard. Who was left to row?" Watch out.
Another confusing syntax — A person was lamenting someone in church. He had no shoes upon his feet nor coat nor hat!"
A ship captain was giving orders in an imminent storm. "Blow ye winds in the morning, blow ye winds sy-ho! Clear away the running gear and row boys row!"
Was this an event when the sailing boat was dismasted?
My father used to talk about his high school days — he was part of a young male chorus. There was a line in the song that had to be enunciated carefully — an S in front of "happy" — "Oh it's Happy, on it's happy." The boys' teacher had told them to be careful in this part. The boys privately agreed to "Bear down on the S." So the song came out, "Oh it's Sappy, oh it's Sappy!" I never heard about the repercussions of this. Did the boys get a passing grade?