Castration of the Strawberry Roan, The
DESCRIPTION: The roan's owner, tired of it siring equally stubborn offspring, decides to put an end to the matter by gelding the beast. They rope it down, and a cowboy commences the operation. Before it can be completed, the roan bites off the owner's own equipment
AUTHOR: probably Curley Fletcher
EARLIEST DATE: 1964 (Legman, _The Horn Book_, cites the Sons of the Pioneers recording)
KEYWORDS: horse humorous bawdy injury derivative
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Logsdon 13, pp. 86-96, "The Castration of the Strawberry Roan" (3 texts, of which "A" is this, 1 tune)
Anonymous [Sons of the Pioneers], "Strawberry Roan" (no label, number 204-A, n.d. but probably late 1940s)
cf. "The Strawberry Roan" [Laws B18] (tune, character of the Roan)
The Emasculation of the Strawberry Roan
NOTES [184 words]: The story of this song apparently begins in a fit of pique.
According to Logsdon, Curley Fletcher wrote the original "Strawberry Roan" as a poem, to which a melody was later added. But Fletcher didn't write the chorus/bridge, which was the work of Fred Howard and Nat Vincent. So he produced this extremely anatomical parody to get back at them.
How traditional it is is an open question. The Sons of the Pioneers recorded it, anonymously, and Baxter Black sang Logsdon a variant on that. Legman, on p. 404 of The Horn Book, considers it one of the few genuine songs on a "private party" 78. But I suspect the Sons of the Pioneers recording is the source for nearly all of the few versions collected.
Logsdon's entry on this song includes two other Strawberrry Roan variants that could not be sung in polite society. One was simply a more detailed saga of riding the roan; the other is about a visit to a whorehouse and is basically "Kathusalem (Kafoozelum) (II)" adapted to cowboy circumstances. These two might be traditional, but until I find additional collections, I'm merely going to note them.- RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.