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August 17, 2005

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

Funny story about the Ballad Of Davy Crockett. For the longest time i thought the line in the first stanza went: "Killed in a bar when he was only three." Never mind the question of why a three year old got into a bar fight, i couldn't figure out how Davy Crocket got to be so famous when he died at such a young age.

Anyways, the ballad being a traditional form of poetry, i bring you the politically incorrect, not to mention historically incorrect, but always fun Ballad Of Davy Crockett by Tom Blackburn.

The Ballad Of Davy Crockett

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
greenest state in the land of the free
raised in the woods so's he knew ev'ry tree
kilt him a b'ar when he was only three
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!

In eighteen thirteen the Creeks uprose
addin' redskin arrows to the country's woes
Now, Injun fightin' is somethin' he knows,
so he shoulders his rifle an' off he goes
Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who don't know fear!

Off through the woods he's a marchin' along
makin' up yarns an' a singin' a song
itchin' fer fightin' an' rightin' a wrong
he's ringy as a b'ar an' twict as strong
Davy, Davy Crockett, the buckskin buccaneer!

Andy Jackson is our gen'ral's name
his reg'lar soldiers we'll put to shame
Them redskin varmints us Volunteers'll tame
'cause we got the guns with the sure-fire aim
Davy, Davy Crockett, the champion of us all!~

Headed back to war from the ol' home place
but Red Stick was leadin' a merry chase
fightin' an' burnin' at a devil's pace
south to the swamps on the Florida Trace
Davy, Davy Crockett, trackin' the redskins down!

Fought single-handed through the Injun War
till the Creeks was whipped an' peace was in store
An' while he was handlin' this risky chore
made hisself a legend for evermore
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!

He give his word an' he give his hand
that his Injun friends could keep their land
An' the rest of his life he took the stand
that justice was due every redskin band
Davy, Davy Crockett, holdin' his promise dear!

Home fer the winter with his family
happy as squirrels in the ol' gum tree
bein' the father he wanted to be
close to his boys as the pod an' the pea
Davy, Davy Crockett, holdin' his young'uns dear!

But the ice went out an' the warm winds came
an' the meltin' snow showed tracks of game
An' the flowers of Spring filled the woods with flame
an' all of a sudden life got too tame
Davy, Davy Crockett, headin' on West again!

Off through the woods we're ridin' along
makin' up yarns an' singin' a song
He's ringy as a b'ar an' twict as strong
an' knows he's right 'cause he ain' often wrong
Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who don't know fear!

Lookin' fer a place where the air smells clean
where the trees is tall an' the grass is green
where the fish is fat in an untouched stream
an' the teemin' woods is a hunter's dream
Davy, Davy Crockett, lookin' fer Paradise!

Now he's lost his love an' his grief was gall
in his heart he wanted to leave it all
an' lose himself in the forests tall
but he answered instead his country's call
Davy, Davy Crockett, beginnin' his campaign!

Needin' his help they didn't vote blind
They put in Davy 'cause he was their kind
sent up to Nashville the best they could find
a fightin' spirit an' a thinkin' mind
Davy, Davy Crockett, choice of the whole frontier!

The votes were counted an' he won hands down
so they sent him off to Washin'ton town
with his best dress suit still his buckskins brown
a livin' legend of growin' renown
Davy, Davy Crockett, the Canebrake Congressman!

He went off to Congress an' served a spell
fixin' up the Govern'ments an' laws as well
took over Washin'ton so we heered tell
an' patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell
Davy, Davy Crockett, seein' his duty clear!

Him an' his jokes travelled all through the land
an' his speeches made him friends to beat the band
His politickin' was their favorite brand
an' everyone wanted to shake his hand
Davy, Davy Crockett, helpin' his legend grow!

He knew when he spoke he sounded the knell
of his hopes for White House an' fame as well
But he spoke out strong so hist'ry books tell
an' patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell
Davy, Davy Crockett, seein' his duty clear!

When he come home his politickin' done
the western march had just begun
So he packed his gear an' his trusty gun
an' lit out grinnin' to follow the sun
Davy, Davy Crockett, leadin' the pioneer!

He heard of Houston an' Austin so
to the Texas plains he jest had to go
Where freedom was fightin' another foe
an' they needed him at the Alamo
Davy, Davy Crockett, the man who don't know fear!

His land is biggest an' his land is best
from grassy plains to the mountain crest
He's ahead of us all meetin' the test
followin' his legend into the West
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!

Posted by annika, Aug. 17, 2005 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Poetry


Ah, Mr. Crockett - interesting & admirable fellow. The ballad is cute even if historically inaccurate but there is something of Mr. Crockett's that's even more interesting. This is the tale of his experience with congressional spending. There are versions of it which give a more complete background (the biography it first appeared in for example) but that was the quickest link I could find for it. While it is prose when you consider what goes on (& has been going on) in D.C. it's possibly the most poetic thing to come out of that wretched hive of scum & villany.

Posted by: Publicola on Aug. 17, 2005

WOW! That brought back memories. (Fess Parker who also played Daniel Boone). Of course since I am part Indian, I got both sides of the story.
Publicola is correct as is true so much of the time, the true history is more interesting than the hollywood fables. Crokett was a strange guy, who did have a better sense of honor than most of his fellows at the time.

Posted by: Kyle on Aug. 17, 2005

Thanks for the link P. Very interesting. Damn that Crockett was a long winded bastard, though.

Posted by: annie on Aug. 17, 2005

well if i may, part of the reason for my circumnavigation of brevity is that in the South taking the long way round the barn is not always seen as undesirable. I'd think Col. Crockett was exposed to the same cultural toleration of verbosity. Besides, if we don't talk slow & drawn out those damn furiners (i.e. Yankees) might not catch what we're a tryin' to say. :D

Sad though - Crockett had more of a correct notion than anyone in D.C. (with a few possible exceptions) about the constitution & what it meant. Maybe he figurd that since the constitution ws simple simple & it was getting isunderstood he'd have some success with talkin' a piece about it.

Posted by: Publicola on Aug. 17, 2005

Be happy the NCAA isn't all over you for this post.

Posted by: Mark on Aug. 18, 2005

Bad news for fans of Col. Crockett. I'd have thought at least Tenessee would have had more since, but anything involving firearms, even the antique kind that we started a shooting war with & over, are simply not acceptable in some circles. If they get there way they'll one day wonder why their infesta...er I mean manifestation of society produces no great individuals, when the reason will be that they do everythign they can, including removing banners & icons not PC enough, to smother any greatness or individuality.

Miss Annika, Tenessee is a decent state. Subject to idiocy as I'm afraid every state is now, but overall decent. I'd still offer my unsolicited advice to get the hell out of Cali whilst you can. If something so assinine can happen in a decent state I'm pretty sure it's already happened in Cali & I'd have to describe my prediction about Cali's future as more pessimistic than cynical. Your decision but if nothing else start working on an escape route just in case I start to make sense to you one day (on this - if I start to make sense in general then you obviously haven't drank enough that day :P )

Posted by: Publicola on Aug. 18, 2005

i always liked tennessee's uniforms, but hated syracuse's. go figure.

Posted by: annie on Aug. 18, 2005

You knew August 17th was not just Poetry Day, but Crockett's birthday, right? Seems like too much of a coincidence you would choose to feature "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" on his birthday. Next time August 17th rolls around, you might want to feature "Farewell to the Mountains," a poem Davy is supposed to have written. (Of course one assumes there was a ghost writer involved, but I don't find it impossible that Davy might have contributed something to it even if someone else made it pretty.) Disney had it put to music and used it in "Davy Crockett at the Alamo," with Fess Parker singing the night before the final battle. To those of us who were Baby Boomer kids and watched it when it was first aired on the "Disneyland" tv show, it was a poignant moment, when we all got verklemnt realizing our beloved Davy had come to the end of his trail. Both "The Ballad"--in its full, "American Pie"-length version--and "Farewell" are included in a very enjoyable Riders in the Sky album devoted to Crockett.

Posted by: Bilwick on Aug. 18, 2005

Wow. i love my commenters, i learn so much. Errr, i mean... of course i knew it was Davy Crockett's birthday. Yah, that's the ticket. What, did u think it was a coincidence?

Posted by: annika on Aug. 18, 2005

btw, that is really freaky. i had no idea it was his birthday. And i can't even remember why i picked it that morning.

Posted by: annika on Aug. 18, 2005