I Don't Think Much of You
DESCRIPTION: An entertainer sings embarassing or suggestive remarks about people in the room, each ending "I don't think much of you." He criticizes appearance or assumes the target to be simple-minded. The final verse usually claims "it's all in jest"
EARLIEST DATE: before 1855 (broadside, Bodleian Firth b.25(396))
LONG DESCRIPTION: An entertainer sings embarassing or suggestive remarks about people in the room, each ending "I don't think much of you" The singer says I can "reckon you up with half an eye": "why didn't you wash your face?" ... no soap -- why not then make water do; a young man is buying plenty of drinks for a woman while he owes his washerwoman for last week's washing; the singer finds a pawn ticket in a pocket book and a bustle in a lady's shopping bag; a shabbily dressed man "thinks himself a swell"; some verses critique hats, shirts and other articles of clothing. Other verses are about simple-minded targets: "you made the pigs two wooden legs, for you broke the poor thing's two Because your pig would not lay eggs"; "you bought a cow to suck a calf, and set two fleas to fight"; you lit a carrot in a candlestick "to give light." The final verse usually claims "it's all in jest."
KEYWORDS: clothes humorous nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
GreigDuncan3 673, "I Don't Think Much of You" (3 fragments, 2 tunes)
Bodleian, Firth b.25(396), "I Don't Think Much of You" ("Ah! you may chaff and wink your eye, and laugh and make a rout"), E.M.A. Hodges (London), 1846-1854; also Bodleian, Harding B 11(4003), Harding B 18(269), Firth b.26(385), "I Don't Think Much of You"
LOCSinging, as105830, "I Don't Think Much of You," H. De Marsan (New York), 1861-1864; also sb20193a, "I Don't Think Much of You"
There Is a Man Sittin' There
NOTES: GreigDuncan3 entries are fragments; The broadsides are the basis for the long description.
The broadsides are more varied than other sets of broadsides of one song than I have seen. Verses float among broadsides with words changing -- pigs vs hogs, flies vs fleas, .... Introductory verses may be entirely different and no two choruses, where there are choruses, are the same. Nevertheless, the broadsides have the same general format and do share lines, including the tag line, "I don't think much of you."
Broadside LOCSinging as105830: H. De Marsan dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
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