My Dog and I
DESCRIPTION: The singer and his dog are inseparable. He loves no woman who doesn't love his dog. They conspire to seduce maidens and pimp whores. They consult on politics and go to war together. When he dies they will be buried beneath the tap, "cheek by jowl"
EARLIEST DATE: efore 1680 (broadside, Bodleian 4o Rawl. 566(108))
LONG DESCRIPTION: The singer and his dog are inseparable, comparable to Prince Rupert and his virtual(?) familiar. He loves no woman who doesn't love his dog. They can cure any woman from 5 to 50 of "the green sickness ... [that is to say, troubled] with over-grown virginity"; they don't bother with 60 year old women. Together, they search out feasts and games. They consult on politics and go to war together in 1642. They pimp the whores near Hatten-wall, though they "are fitter for my dog than I" He claims, "My Dog is caterer and cook, for he at every game can fly ... Whilst many thieves are hang'd on high, No Law can touch my Dog and I" When he dies they will be buried beneath the tap, "cheek by jowl"
KEYWORDS: seduction sex Civilwar poaching hunting party bawdy nonballad dog rake whore
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
GreigDuncan2 254, "My Dog and I" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: S. Baring-Gould, English Minstrelsie (Edinburgh, 1896 ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. VI, pp. 118-120, xiii, "My Dog and I" (2 texts, 1 tune ["Bobbing Joan"])
Bodleian, 4o Rawl. 566(108), "My Dog and I" ("You that are of the merry throng"), F. Coles (London), 1674-1679; also Firth c.23(109a)[some words illegible], Douce Ballads 3(67a), "My Dog and I"
EngBdsdBA 21889, Pepys 4.229, "My Dog and I" ("You that are of the merry Throng, Give good attention to my Song "), F. Coles (London), no date, accessed 08 Dec 2013. [see note]
cf. "Bobbing Joan" (tune, per Bodleian and EngBdsdBA broadsides, Baring-Gould and Simpson)
cf. "Lavender Blue" (some verses)
cf. "George Ridler's Oven" (some verses) and references there
NOTES: From the spelling of "doged" in the second verse it appears that broadsides EngBdsdBA Pepys 4.229 and Bodleian Firth c.23(109a) are duplicates. Bodleian dates Firth c.23(109a) as 1678-1680.
Two verses refer to the English Civil War (1641-1651): "When Mars commanded we did go, Unto the wars in forty two, We'd never fear in field to die, But out we'l go, my Dog and I ... There was a time when Rebel rout, Did fear Prince Rupert and his Dog, 'Tis dangerous when two heads comply, Especially my Dog and I." See Wikipedia "Prince Rupert of the Rhine": "... Prince Rupert of the Rhine, (17 December 1619-29 November 1682) ... was a younger son of Frederick V, Elector Palatine and Elizabeth Stuart, and the nephew of King Charles I of England, who created him Duke of Cumberland and Earl of Holderness.... In 1642, aged 23, Rupert was appointed by King Charles to lead the Royalist Cavalry during the English Civil War, and he largely deserves credit for their early successes.... He took a white standard breed poodle dog named 'Boye', into battle with him on several occasions. Throughout the Civil War the soldiers of Parliament feared this dog, claiming that it had supernatural powers .... This poodle was Prince Rupert's constant companion until the dog's death at the Battle of Marston Moor (2 July 1644)."
The broadside versions are seventeen stanzas of four lines, excluding the chorus. The GreigDuncan2 text is three verses. GreigDuncan2 has only two lines close to the broadsides. Pepys has "But if the weather prove foul and wet, My Dog he shall not wet his Feet; But if the weather prove fair and dry, Then a whisting [whiffing?] goes my Dog and I"; GreigDuncan2 has "In winter when the weather's wet, My dog and I we warm our feet, In summer when the weather's dry, To the hunting goes my dog and I." GreigDuncan2 is about a poacher and his hunting dog. Poaching and petty thievery does not seem beyond the pair in the broadsides (see also the next paragraph).
The entry for "George Ridler's Oven" discusses stanzas shared by that song and "My Dog and I." One verse shares only two lines but may give a clue to a petty thievery connection. "George Ridler's Oven" (Dixon) has -- apparently imitating Gloucestershire dialect -- "My dog is good to catch a hen; A dug or goose is vood for men; And where good company I spy, O thether gwoes my dog and I." Pepys has "We night and day can take no rest, If we can hear of any feast, And where good fellows I espy, There go in my dog and I ... My living lies in every nook, My dog is caterer and cook, For at every game can flie, No fellow to my dog and I."
Williams-Thames "George Ridler's Oven" adds another verse that fits "My Dog and I": "Of furren tongues let travellers brag, Wi ther vifteen neams vor a puddin-bag; Two tongues I knows neer towld a lie, And ther wearers be my doag and I."
At least a few verses of the broadside versions overlap "Lavender Blue"; for example, "Lavender Blue" "My hostess's maid, her name was Nell, She was a lass that I loved well; But if she die, by some mishap, Then she shall lie under the tap" compares to Pepys "I lov'd a maid, her name was Nell, A bonny lass, I lov'd her well, And if you'd needs know the reason why, Because she lov'd my dog and I .... If death do come, as it may hap, My grave shall be under the tap. With folded arms there we will lie, Cheek by jowl, my dog and I."
Simpson, among others, notes that "Bobbing Joe" or "Bobbing Joan" has a bawdy background of its own, making it an appropriate tune for "My Dog and I"; specifically, "... 'bobbin jo' is equivalent to the 'green gown,' a euphemism for the sexual act. (source: Claude M. Simpson, The British Broadside and Its Music (New Brunswick, 1966), p. 47) - BS
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