Salt Horse Song, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer conducts a dialog with an old horse, which has been salted and sent aboard ship. He is not too thrilled about such a diet, but there is little he can do. He proves that it is horsemeat by showing a horseshoe in the meat barrel
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1851 (Journal of John Gorman of the transport ship Minden)
KEYWORDS: dialog horse ship
FOUND IN: US(MA,NE) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Flanders/Olney, p. 226, "The Salt Horse Song"; pp. 226-227, "Old Hoss, Old Hoss" (2 texts, 1 tune)
BrownIII 227, "Old Horse, Old Horse" (1 short text)
Linscott, pp. 142-144, "Old Horse" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Brown-Maine, p. 194, "Old Horse" (1 text)
Doerflinger, pp. 21-22, "Blow the Man Down (V)" (this last text combines the words of "The Salt Horse Song" with the tune & metre of "Blow the Man Down"); p. 160, "The Sailor's Grace" (2 texts, tune referenced)
Hugill, pp. 556-557, "The Sailor's Grace" (3 texts, 2 tunes) [AbEd, pp. 393-394]
Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 279-281, "Old Horse" (1 text, 1 tune)
Smith/Hatt, p. 44, "Old Hoss" (1 text)
Finger, pp. 62-63, "The Poor Old Horse" (1 text, probably this, although it lacks most of the characteristic words and might be "Poor Old Man (Poor Old Horse; The Dead Horse)"; Roud files it with that song)
ADDITIONAL: Frederick Pease Harlow, _The Making of a Sailor, or Sea Life Aboard a Yankee Square-Rigger_, 1928; republished by Dover, 1988, pp. 148-149, "(Old horse! old horse! What brought you here?)" (1 text)

Roud #3724
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Poor Old Man (Poor Old Horse; The Dead Horse)"
cf. "Blow the Man Down" (lyrics)
NOTES: Sailors referred to pickled beef as "salt horse," probably partly because it tasted so bad and partly because they suspected contractors of mixing in the occasional bit of horsemeat. From there it wasn't much of a stretch to this song. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.0
File: FO226

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