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."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1917 (Cecil Sharp collection)
KEYWORDS: animal nonsense supernatural hunting talltale paradox
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 159, "Sally Buck" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 70, "The Sally Buck" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 681, "Venison" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Jones-MinstrelOfTheAppalachians-Bascom-Lamar-Lunsford, p. 217, "On a Bright and Summer's Morning" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax/Lomax-OurSingingCountry, pp. 102-103, "The Crooked Gun" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ritchie-SingingFamilyOfTheCumberlands, pp. 107-109, "[I Went Out A-Hunting, Sir]" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fife/Fife-CowboyAndWesternSongs 4, "A Hunting Tale" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thorp/Logsdon-SongsOfTheCowboys, pp. 58-60, "A Deer Hunt" (1 text)
Thompson-BodyBootsAndBritches-NewYorkStateFolktales, p. 154, "(As I Rode Out)" (1 text)
NorthCarolinaFolkloreJournal, John Forbes (transcriber), "Songs Collected by Mr. Bascom,'" Vol. XXV, No. 1 (May 1977 -- special issue for Bascom Lamar Lunsford), pp. 15-16, "On a Bright and Summer's Morning" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #3607 and 8053
Bascom Lamar Lunsford, "On a Bright and Summer's Morning" (LOC AAFS 104/AAFS L21) (Rounder LP 0065, 1957) (on BLLunsford01)
NOTES [145 words]: The variation in this song is immense; of the first four versions I saw, 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." The variation is such that Roud files it under two numbers, 3607 and 8053, but I can't see much difference between the two except that #3607, often called "The Sally Buck," seems to be Appalachian and #8053, "A Deer Hunt," is more western.
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
Last updated in version 6.1
File: SKE70

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