Wednesday, June 28, 2006


as much as I do read this post at Left In Aboite. If so moved, post your thoughts on it there please.

I also like folk music. On one of his other posts John reminded me of the song "Blue Tail Fly"(some people think it's entitled "Jimmy Cracked His Corn"). Like a lot of songs that we sang when we were children the meaning was not fully understood or lost like so many childhood memories. This was a Burl Ives classic(and what isn't a Burl Ives Classic?).
I tried to find an online version you could hear, but the lyrics will have to do.

When I was young I used to wait
On my master and hand him his plate
And Pass the bottle when he got dry
And brushawaythe blue-tail fly

CHORUS:Jimmy crack corn, and I don't care
Jimmy crack corn, and I don't care
Jimmy crack corn, and I don't care
My master's gone away

And when he’d ride in the afternoon
I'd follow after with my hickory broom
The pony being rather shy
When bitten bythe blue-tail fly


One day he ride around the farm
Flies so numerousthey did swarm
One chanced to bite him on the thigh
The deviltake the blue-tail fly


The pony run, he jump, he pitch
He threw my master in the ditch
He died and the jury wondered why
The verdict was the blue-tail fly


He lay underthe 'simmon tree
His epitaph is there to see
"Beneath this stone I'm forced to lie
The victim ofthe blue-tail fly"

The Masters gone away

Okay now just what comes out of the back of a horse? Would you like the job of following with a broom to shoo a way the flies? Of course if you were the shooer(is that a word?) in the song you would not have a choice, because you would be a slave.
No choice. Except if you didn't shoo away a particular horsetail fly that was bound to bite the shy horse, that was bound to throw your Master Jimmy, that stood a good chance of cracking his corn. If you didn't, now you know why the singer didn't care that Jimmy cracked his corn.After all the Masters gone away.

note - there are other versions. For a history(and who doesn't like history?)I think in this case Wikipedia is a good start. Be sure to scale down to the History and interpretation part.

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