Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Bum Song

I don't know the title of this song, but Grandma used to sing it, and Mom and I are trying to remember all the words. Also, I'm trying to see if there's any actual written version. I've found parts of it on a camp song website, but so far nothing that points me toward learning who wrote it or when. Here are the lyrics as Mom remembers them:

Bum Song

Oh, I just can remember, when I was a bum
Come strolling into Bridgeport to meet my dear old chum
We used to rob the fruit stands and holler up the street
And guarantee a female to everyone we meet

A hot day in the summer, when Officer Murphy come
He grabbed us by the collar, and this is what he sum
Come bums to the station house, and there you’ll find a home
With plenty of bums to treat you, and treat you like a bum.

Oh half past six in the morning, …..?
The coffee was tobacco juice, the bread was hard and stale
And that’s the way they treat you in the Fairfield County Jail.

Oh, Mrs. will you be kind enough to give me a bite to eat
A piece of bread and butter, a tempting slice of meat
A piece of pie and custard to tickle me appetite
For really I’m so hungry I don’t know where to sleep tonight

Oh, sleeping in the coal bin, nestling on the floor
Chewing swipes, smoking pipes, I never done before
I woke up in the morning and there upon the wall,
The cooties and the bedbugs were having a game of ball

The score was 6 to 20, the bedbugs were ahead
I got so darned excited, I rolled right out of bed.

Oh the bedbugs they were cute, they were dressed in union suits
The landlord guaranteed they’d do no harm, do no harm
They played ping-pong on your head, and played checkers on the bed
On the old Kentucky home on the farm.

I remember a few lines differently:
Oh, I can remember when I was just a bum

A hot day in the summer, a copper he did come

The beetles and the bedbugs

The beetles hit a home run and knocked me out of bed

It hasn't been easy finding information on this song. Maybe I should check that Carl Sandburg folk songs book out of the library and see if he knows anything about it.

I went to and looked at the table of contents of Carl Sandburg's book The American Songbag. He lists a song called Portland County Jail that's similar. He's got a song called We Are Four Bums listed but I can't find it on Google yet. There's another one called When I Was Young and Foolish, but there are too many songs with those lyrics out there, so I haven't found one that's similar yet.

Mom thinks she's remembered that missing line. The stanza goes:
Oh, half past six in the morning
Officer Murphy come
A piece of bread and coffee
The bread it weighed a ton
The coffee was tobacco juice
The bread was hard and stale
And that's the way they treat you
In the Fairfield County Jail.

Friday, July 13, 2007

What will we do for the rest of the year?

Mary finished watching this year's Spanish DVDs today. Then, tonight, she found an eency weency spider in the bathroom and she and Scott wanted to look at it more closely, but couldn't find a magnifying glass. (There were three of them in the pantry just a few days ago, but they've all disappeared.) So, of course, I announced, "I've got a great magnifier!" and pulled out the science box. We popped batteries into the two pocket microscopes, and they looked at the spider, my hair, the gold sparkles in our vintage-1962 kitchen counter, a chocolate milk spot on the floor, dots in a printed travel brochure, yarn, and the couch fabric. That kit was supposed to last fourteen weeks, and just about all we have left to look at is crystals and sea monkeys!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

They're Here!

Four of my curriculum orders have arrived in the past two days. La clase divertida, Brave Writer, and Elementary Greek came yesterday. BW and EG came the hard way: the postal employee who delivered them (NOT Randy, our friendly neighborhood mailman) walked partway up the driveway and threw the two boxes at the front door. Mary's already watched nearly all of this year's Spanish lessons, just since yesterday afternoon. The science kit came today. I'll be busy for a while, reading through everything and preparing for the school year.

Monday, July 9, 2007

What I ordered

Here's what I ordered for Mary for the upcoming school year:
The Writer's Jungle from Bravewriter. Mary's writing really took off last year, and we want to keep up the good work.

Right Start Mathematics Level C

Elementary Greek, Year One. She's been wanting to learn Greek. The different alphabet makes it look like a secret code.

Story of the World, Vol. 2. The updated edition of the Activity Guide won't be ready until 2008, so I bought the old edition of the book and activity guide at a discount.

The Microscopic Explorations unit from Stratton House Home Science Adventures. It's got instructions and all the equipment for 14 hands-on lessons related to teeny-tiny things. We'll add in library books and The Usborne Internet-Linked First Encyclopedia of Science.

La clase divertida Level 2. We haven't done level 1, but Mary's had some Spanish before. The crafts and activities look like fun.

Discovering the Great Artists by MaryAnn Kohl and Masterpieces Up Close by Claire d'Harcourt

We'll also continue in Music Moves for Piano and Brownies, and she's signed up for homeschool P.E. and will also take a drama class.

That ought to keep everyone busy!