DESCRIPTION: "Oh, 'twas over on Hof Hogan one day, down by the riverside," the singer sees Kitty Grause arrive on a steamship. Although she is watching for a lover, he tries to talk to her. She threatens to punch him out. Her lover arrives and takes her away
EARLIEST DATE: 1941 (Peters)
KEYWORDS: courting beauty reunion violence
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Peters, pp. 46-47, "Kitty Grause" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: There seems to be only version of this, from Peters, which makes it hard to reconstruct the history of the song. The one specific reference is to the "Douglas Steamboat Line." I have never heard of such a line, and a search of my library (checking both books on the North Atlantic passenger service and on Great Lakes shipping) did not reveal anything. Internet searches revealed no line of steamships which served North America, although there seems to have been such a line in Asia for a time.
My speculation -- and it is only that -- is that "Douglas" refers not to the line but to its destination. I suspect the song refers to Douglas County, Wisconsin, the county which contains the town of Superior. This would fit with steamers, and emigrants, and a river (the St. Louis River). Admittedly Douglas County is far from Hancock, Wisconsin, where this song was collected; Hancock is in the middle of the state, a bit south of Wisconsin Rapids and due west of Manitowoc. It's slightly closer to Lake Michigan than Lake Superior -- but only slightly. The nearest major river is the Wisconsin, and even it is some miles away, and the Wisconsin isn't really navigable that far upstream. So any conclusion is really just a guess. - RBW
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