DESCRIPTION: "In Carmel Bay the people say we feed the lazzaroni On caramels and cockle-shells and hunks of Abalone." The virtues of this mollusk are extolled: It cures pain, tastes better than the finest foods, and can be transmitted faster than electricity (?!)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (Sandburg)
KEYWORDS: nonsense nonballad animal
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Sandburg, p. 333, "Abalone" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 32, #4 (1987), p. 90, "Abalone" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #10113
NOTES [98 words]: The anonymous Book of Vulgar Verse credits a version of this to George Sterling. But the book is apparently some five decades newer than Sandburg, and does not list a more detailed source. In support of this claim, K. LaRoe writes, "I had recently read a reference to The Abalone Song, written by the poet George Sterling in the early 1900s while staying in an artist's colony in Carmel California."
There seems to be a strong tendency for singers to rewrite this; I suspect Sandburg's hand in his version, and Sam Hinton confesses to adding four verses to the Sing Out! version. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.4
File: San333

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.