DESCRIPTION: The singer's donkey is smart but, best of all, he is fast. The singer races him in the Derby. "The signal it was given me boys and off the horses flew." His donkey is "the last one out but the first one in"
EARLIEST DATE: 1929 (for USBallinsloeFair, according to site irishtune.info, Irish Traditional Music Tune Index: Alan Ng's Tunography, ref. Ng #2616)
KEYWORDS: pride racing animal
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond)) US(MA)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Korson-MinstrelsOfTheMinePatch, p. 123, "Jerusalem Cuckoo" (1 text)
Murty Rabbett and Dan Sullivan, "The Donkey" (on USBallinsloeFair)\
Harry Upton, "I Am a Donkey Driver" (on Voice14)
Bodleian, Firth c.26(204), "Jerusalem Cuckoo" ("I am a donkey driver, I'm the best that's in the line"), unknown, n.d.; also Firth c.26(296), "Jerusalem Cuckoo"
NOTES [92 words]: Why do I get the feeling this isn't really about a donkey? - RBW
Rabbett's version on USBallinsloeFair, as well as Upton's on Voice14, and the Bodleian broadsides, name the donkey "Jerusalem Cuckoo." Yates, Musical Traditions site Voice of the People suite "Notes - Volume 14" - 8.9.02 notes that "Jerusalem" is cockney rhyming slang for "donkey": Jerusalem artichoke = moke = donkey. - BS
"Jerusalem Cuckoo" or a variant in fact seem to be the most common title for the piece, but it wasn't the first to go in the index, so the title wasn't used. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.2
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 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.