Sally Buck, The
DESCRIPTION: The singer goes hunting "one cold and winter day." (He tracks "the Sally buck all day.") Sundry adventures follow; the singer reports "of (15 or 20), ten thousand I did kill." The singer ends "If you can tell a bigger lie, I swear you ought to be hung."
EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (Cecil Sharp collection)
KEYWORDS: animal nonsense supernatural hunting talltale paradox
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
SharpAp 159, "Sally Buck" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 70, "The Sally Buck" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownSchinhanV 681, "Venison" (1 short text, 1 tune)
JonesLunsford, p. 217, "On a Bright and Summer's Morning" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 102-103, "The Crooked Gun" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-SingFam, pp. 107-109, "[I Went Out A-Hunting, Sir]" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fife-Cowboy/West 4, "A Hunting Tale" (1 text, 1 tune)
ThompsonNewYork, p. 154, "(As I Rode Out)" (1 text)
Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "On a Bright and Summer's Morning" (on BLLunsford01)
NOTES: The variation in this song is immense; of the four versions I've seen, the only common element is the fact that the singer is a hunter and that at some point, "of fifteen or twenty" (or four-and-twenty, or some such), "a thousand (or ten thousand) I did kill."
Along the way the hunter meets various misadventures; these may be borrowed from other songs, and in any case take on local color.
The final stanza, along the line of, "The man who wrote this song, his name was (Benny Young/Bango Bang); If you can tell a bigger lie, I swear you ought (to be hung/to hang)," is characteristic but does not occur in all versions. - RBW
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