Calomel

DESCRIPTION: The singer describes how the doctor makes regular visits and with equal regularity prescribes Calomel. He comments, "I'm not so fond of Calomel," and asks, "How many patients have you lost? How many patients have you killed Or poisoned with your Calomel?"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1911 (Belden); Brewster's manuscript copy was dated 1832
KEYWORDS: doctor medicine humorous disease
FOUND IN: US(MW,SE)
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Belden, pp. 441-442, "Calomel" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownIII 334, "Calomel" (1 text)
Hudson 91, p. 217, "Calomel" (1 text)
Brewster 69, "Calomel" (2 texts)
Stout 79, pp. 100-101, "Calomel" (1 text)
Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 203-204, "Calomel" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 54, pp. 126-127 "Calomel" (1 text)
DT, CALOMEL(*)

Roud #3770
NOTES: Calomel (Hg2Cl2, or Mercury (I) chloride) was one of the first tools in the physician's repertoire that actually did what it was supposed to do. Of course, given what it was used for (a purgative), it is questionable whether it was often needed. In addition, it contains mercury, which is poisonous. David L. Heiserman, Exploring Chemical Elements and their Compounds, TAB Books, 1992, p. 280, notes that it is now used as a fungicide and insecticide -- and yet it was used on (or, rather, in) human beings! - RBW
Bibliography Last updated in version 3.2
File: SWM203

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