Bible Story, The
DESCRIPTION: Humorous exploits based loosely on Bible stories. The creation and Noah's flood are described. A man in heaven rejoices; even though he drowned, he's free of his wife. Some versions of the song contain references to Freemasonry
EARLIEST DATE: 1769 (Journal from the _Nellie_)
KEYWORDS: Bible humorous
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 264-266, "The Bible Story" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "Walkin' in the Parlor" (theme, lyrics)
cf. "Free Mason Song" (themes, lyrics)
cf. "Derry Down" (tune) and references there
NOTES [191 words]: In terms of concept, this is so similar to "Walkin' in the Parlor" that I seriously considered calling them one song. But this piece is in triple time, to the Derry Down tune; I decided that was enough reason to keep them distinct.
It's not impossible that one song inspired the other. It's also possible that Huntington's version (the first I've seen) is conflate; the first verse (about a Freemason) doesn't even appear to have the same form as the others, which look like "Walkin' in the Parlor." For comparison, here are the first and fourth verses of the Huntington version:
But as she bewailed in sorrowful ditty,
The good man beheld and on her took pity.
Freemasons are so tender so he to the dame
Bestowed an apron to cover her shame.
Sure never was beheld so dreadful a sight
To see this old world in very sad plight
See her in the water all animals swimming
Men monkeys priests lawyers cats lap-dogs and women.
Roud lumps this item with the larger family we index as "Free Mason Song." There has been interchange of material, but the distinct nature of the forms makes me think the Masonic references here are incidental imports. - RBW
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