Here's Your Mule
DESCRIPTION: "A farmer came to camp one day, With milk and eggs to sell, Upon a mule that would often stray." The animal disappears, and "ev'ryone he met in camp [said] 'Mister, here's your mule.'" Various tricks are used to prolong his search
EARLIEST DATE: 1862 (sheet music published by C. D. Benson, according to Silber-CivWarFull)
KEYWORDS: farming animal trick Civilwar
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Silber-CivWarFull, pp. 223-224, "Here's Your Mule"; p. 224, "How Are You, John Morgan?" (1 text plus a parody, 1 tune)
How Are You, John Morgan? (Silber-CivWarFull, p. 224)
NOTES: The phrase in this song, "Mister, here's your mule," is best-known from its use in "Goober Peas"; it is usually treated as a joke about the fancy horses ridden by some officers, but E. Lawrence Abel, Singing the New Nation: How Music Shaped the Confederacy, 1861-1865, Stackpole, 2000, pp. 162-163, has another explanation. A sutler (called "Pies" of all things) worked near Jackson, Tennessee, and had a mule which drew his wagon. On one occasion, the soldiers hid the mule, then pretended to search for it, occasionally shouting out, "Mister, here's your mule." Supposedly they eventually returned it, and the phrase went into the soldiers' lexicon. Possible, of course, but it really sounds like an explanation after the fact.
Clearly this song is either the source or another version of the story. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
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