DESCRIPTION: German shanty. Chorus: "Upidee, Upidah! Schnalls is goot for de cholera! Upidee, Upidah"
EARLIEST DATE: 1936 (Baltzer, _Knurrhahn_), but see NOTES
LONG DESCRIPTION: German shanty. Chorus: "Upidee, Upidah! Schnalls is goot for de cholera! Upidee, Upidah." Hugill gives two versions of the verses. The first begins "In the Flying P Line, I served my time" but the rest, according to Hugill is too coarse to include. In the second version the song told by the ship's cook, describing how he rises early to work, keeps the pots clean, and cooks various dishes.
KEYWORDS: shanty foreignlanguage cook sailor
FOUND IN: Germany
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Hugill, pp. 485-488, "Upidee, Upidah" (3 texts-English & German, 2 tunes)
cf. "Julia" (similar tune)
NOTES: My German dictionary translates "schnale" as "buckles," which hardly seem likely to help with cholera. I assume "schnalls" is "snails." These hardly seem more likely to be useful, but the main trick in treating cholera is to keep the patient from dehydrating or dying of lack of salts or sugars. Perhaps the snails, if heated, could be dissolved in water and used to supply the needed nutrients.
Alternately, perhaps, the sailors thought snails caused cholera?
i would assume that this is from the same roots as the song "Upidee" found on p. 40 of Henry Randall Waite, College Songs: A Collection of New and Popular Songs of the American Colleges, new and enlarged edition, Oliver Ditson & Co., 1887, and on p. 20 of the 1876 edition. This cites an 1859 copyright for the song, but lists no author. It supposedly is sung at Harvard, with many local allusions, causing Waite to substitute words from Longfellow. Thus it is not possible to definitively establish a connection. It maybe that the word "Upidee" was simply popular at this time; Waite,pp. 41-43, also has a "Song of the Spoon" with words by P. B. Porter, with the first line "Welcome, welcome, eve of gladness, Hail, O hour of joy supreme, Upidee, upida, upidee, upidah." It's listed as a Yale song. There s another "Song of the Spoon"/"Upidee" song on p. 53; p. 56 has "Upidee (Yale Versioin)," beginning "The shades of night were comin' down swift, Upidee, Upida"; the second volume on p. 16 has "College Boys" ("Oh, we college boys have a happy life"), and on p. 78 "Our College Home" by James K. Blish ("Come, throw your busy cares away"), listed as being to the tune "Upidee." - RBW
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