Wal I Swan (Giddyap Napoleon, Ebenezer Frye)
DESCRIPTION: Singer's adventures as he wanters and meets various crooks. He takes a prize at a fair, gets drunk, gives away his bull. A sharper asks him for "two tens for a five." Etc. Chorus: "Wal I swan, must be getting on/Giddyap Napoleon, it looks like rain..."
AUTHOR: Benj. Hapgood Burt
EARLIEST DATE: 1907 (sheet music)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Singer meets two bunco men on a train, sends them packing. He goes to a county fair, takes a prize, gets drunk and gives away his old bull. At a tent show, a sharper asks him for "two tens for a five"; the singer arrests him. His horse runs off at the sound of a train. He has suspicions that his son, off in Philadelphia, is "up to some kind of hell." Chorus: "Wal I swan, must be getting on/Giddyap Napoleon, it looks like rain..."
KEYWORDS: crime theft farming drink humorous animal police
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Shay-BarroomBallads/PiousFriendsDrunkenCompanions, pp. 64-65, "Wal, I Swan" (1 text)
John Bennett, "Wal I Swan" (Madison 1928, 1928)
Al Bernard, "Wal I Swan" (Vocalion 15262, 1926) (Harmony 154-H, 1926)
Byron G. Harlan, "Wal, I Swan!" (Victor 17263, 1913; rec. 1912)
Riley Puckett, "Wal I Swan" (Columbia 15078-D, 1926)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "Giddap Napoleon" (Columbia 15695-D, 1931; rec. 1929)
NOTES [46 words]: Spaeth (Read 'Em and Weep, p. 234) does not print this song, but does mention that it is "in constant demand both as a solo and as a rural quartet number. The interpretation is traditionally in a high-pitched, nasal voice, with a facial expression indicating toothlessness." - RBW
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