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November 27, 2012 9:45 PM   Subscribe


 


Well, that's a horribly racist verse for O! Susanna I haven't heard before.
posted by zamboni at 9:59 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


From Posthuman Destinies, on the O Susanna verse:

De bullgine bust, de horse run off
I really thought I’d die
I shut my eyes to hold my breath
Susanna don’t you cry!

“Bullgine” was shipboard slang for a ship’s engine, usually used in a derogatory sense. Ships were often pulled along shallow sections of the Mississippi and other rivers by horses. Electric fluid, although associated with the telegraph was also commonly used to describe lightening, which became an increasing hazard as shipbuilding moved from wood to iron construction, with the result that lightening strikes became common occurrences on riverboats, killing in several instances hundreds of people. In Old Times on the Upper Mississippi, George Byron Merrick (1909) reports that Telegraph was such a common name for riverboats that there “was a great confusion of any one attempting to localize a disaster that had happened to one of that name in the past” These facts suggest a more straightforward reading of the enigmatic second verse. The speaker jumped on a riverboat named Telegraph, which was struck by lightening, frightening the horse pulling the boat and killing “five hundred nigger”

posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:07 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Didn't IBM have one of these?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:17 PM on November 27, 2012


I work for an opera company. All our songs are drinking songs.
posted by mollymayhem at 10:24 PM on November 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


Bebit Metafilterus! (lyrics here, scroll down for the translation)
posted by 1367 at 10:32 PM on November 27, 2012


Fuck that shit, Pabst Blue Ribbon!
(more on the retred)
posted by busillis at 10:35 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]




The company I worked for had one of these in 1980; in fact, I worked in the advertising department and had to help keyline the thing. That's how, all these years later, I happen to know the words to some musty oldies like "Mademoiselle from Armentierres" and "Be Kind to Your Web-Footed Friends" and "The Whiffenpoof Song," except I sing them with the lyrical changes that incorporated our company name.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:49 PM on November 27, 2012


I love how they have somehow managed to come up with an English translation of "La Marseillaise" that is neither accurate nor remotely possible to sing with the tune.
posted by rongorongo at 12:57 AM on November 28, 2012


Be Kind to Your Web-Footed Friends

That's been updated to "Be Kind to Your Web-Fooled Friends".
posted by Elmore at 2:07 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


MUST RECTIFY LACK OF DRINKING SONG BOOKLET IMMEDIATELY.
posted by gomichild at 2:19 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


rongorongo, it gets especially bad at the repeated line. Good thing they kept the real article below.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:54 AM on November 28, 2012


an English translation of "La Marseillaise" that is neither accurate nor remotely possible to sing with the tune.

That's not a bug, it's a feature. The point at which the song becomes singable is also the point at which the barkeep should cut you off for the night.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:28 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


My company has an unofficial one. Employees are well known to break in a chorus of "Fuck [CompanyName]" after a beer or two. Sometimes after just one.
posted by tommasz at 5:35 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


What "Here's to Good Old Beer" lacks in subtlety it makes up for in, um, well, I'll get back to you on that. In the mean time I'm considering having it stitched on something I can hang in the kitchen.
posted by mollweide at 5:43 AM on November 28, 2012


I think what's funny is that "The more we get together" was not just a song for children's parties, but a drinking song. This is kind of amazing. I'm thinking of burly men singing this together.
posted by corb at 5:56 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Boy, there sure are a lot of songs about John Labatt that I had never heard of. Anyway, I am pleased to see that the songbook includes Vive la Compagnie, which is to my mind an almost cartoonishly jolly song of such sincere good fellowship that my irony-ridden Gen-X brain can barely comprehend it.

And my organization has a song: it was written in the thirties when the org was founded and if people then knew it, it vanished without a ripple. It come to light again in the eighties when a truly atrocious book celebrating fifty years of the association was published and a photograph of the handwritten sheet music was included with no further elaboration. A few years ago, when we hit seventy-five years, the marketing person decided we should record the song and post it on Youtube. Having been a professional musician at one point, I rounded up a couple of old bandmates and went into the home studio of one and knocked it out in an evening. Despite the thing being written in a style that puts one immediately in mind of raccoon coats and goldfish-swallowing, the head of marketing insists that because it appeared in a book in the early eighties, we must therefore conclude it was written in the early eighties.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:53 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does singing our smash hit "Everybody Needs To Eat A Dick" while eyeing the liquor on top of the studio fridge count?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:56 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, your company doesn't have an official employee drinking song booklet?

Well, to be fair, I don't work at a brewery.

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims
That they regret taking up arms against us!
posted by mrgrimm at 12:04 PM on November 28, 2012


Does singing our smash hit "Everybody Needs To Eat A Dick" while eyeing the liquor on top of the studio fridge count?

Yes, and you get bonus points if you sing it to the tune of Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World."
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:59 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


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