Backward, Turn Backward (I)
DESCRIPTION: "Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight, Bring back my ability if just for tonight. Bring back that riding ability of mine, Don't let the bull buck my ass off this time."
AUTHOR: Joe Cavanaugh?
EARLIEST DATE: 1954
KEYWORDS: parody cowboy animal humorous
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Ohrlin-HBT 55, "Backward, Turn Backward" (1 short text, 1 tune)
cf. "Rock Me to Sleep Again, Mother" (tune)
cf. "Cowboy Again for a Day" (tune, lyrics)
NOTES [217 words]: Ohrlin believed that Joe Cavanaugh made up this parody on the spot at a competition in 1954. (The original is "Rock Me to Sleep Again, Mother," by Elizabeth Akers Allen, and begins "Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight, Make me a child again, just for tonight"; it is quoted by Laura Ingalls Wilder in chapter 19 of Little Town on the Prairie). This parody however is probably derived from "Cowboy Again for a Day." But while Cavanaugh's authorship is likely, it cannot be absolutely proved, so it goes into the Index.
The Allen piece seems to have been a popular source for parodies. Granger's Index to Poetry cites one that begins "Backward, turn backward, O time with your wheels," and J. S. Ogilvie, One Thousand Popular Quotations Comprising the Choicest Thoughts and Sayings of Eminent Writers of All Ages, Together With Nearly Three Hundred Original and Choice Selections, Suitable for Writing in Autograph Albums, J. S. Ogivie, Publisher (New York & Chicago), 1884 (available on Google Books), p. 101, has a piece, "Speed slowly and gently, oh Time, in thy flight, Let thy bounties be great and thy afflictions light. Deal out full measure from thy store of wealth, Give peace and plenty, success and good health."; another variant is on p. 24 of the second part of Ogilvie. - RBW
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