I Wish I Were a....
DESCRIPTION: "Oh, I wish I were a little bar of soap, bar of soap (x2). I would slippey and I’d slidey Over everybody’s hiney. I wish I were..." Similarly with other objects, e.g. a "little hunk of mud" that is "gooey" under a "shoey'; a little bit of orange, etc.
EARLIEST DATE: 1894 (Averill-CampSongsFolkSongs, but see NOTES)
KEYWORDS: nonballad campsong
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Harbin-Parodology, #32, p. 15, "Lisping Song" (1 text, starting "I with I were a little fith [fish]," which Averill considers an ancestor of her song)
Pankake/Pankake-PrairieHomeCompanionFolkSongBook, p. 226, "Oh, I Wish I Was A . . ." (1 text, 1 tune)
Averill-CampSongsFolkSongs, pp. 111, 133, 134, 175, 228, 296-305, 346, 347, 348, 383, 431, 501, "I Wish I Were"/"I Wish I Were a Little...."/"I With I Were a Wittle Thuger Bun"/"I Wish" (and many other variant titles) (notes, with 5 texts on pp. 302-306, of which "B" is composite; bibliography on pp. 674-677)
Roud #15704 and 37844
cf. "Auld Lang Syne" (tune suggested by Harbin) and references there
cf. "I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago (Bragging Song)" (primary tune, according to Averill)
cf. "I Wish I Wuz" (theme of peculiar things to wish to be)
NOTES [110 words]: Harbin-Parodology, in addition to its #32 which is clearly this, has a similar snippet: #1, p. 9, "I Wish I Wuz (Hobo Anthem)," which opens, "I wish't I wuz a little rock A-settin' on a hill, An' doin' nothin' all day long But jus' a-settin' still"; which is similar to Averill's "D" and "E" texts, the latter of which is the 1894 text cited as the earliest date. I'm not sure they're the same song, though Averill lumps them; the form is a bit different. If those "little rock" texts are split off (as I have done; see "I Wish I Wuz"), then the earliest text known to me is Harbin's "Lisping Song" from 1927, which is effectively identical to Averill's "C." - RBW
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