A Ditty and Some Old School Songs


Monteen and Reinette are trying to say a ditty that Opla used to say--it ended with "penny royal" and covered a lot of herbs from the garden. Anyone remember it?

Max has come up with an answer to the above---

"Ginseng, Pink-root, Poke-root, Little-oak, Dill-dock---Penniral Tea!! (penny royal)"

Says Max:
I'm fairly certain of the lyrics, and the melody runs thru my mind, but-- alas!! I just don't know how to get it into e-mail. Mother would sing it to us, over and over and faster and faster. It was a sort of game, to see how fast we could sing it.

In that region (The Blue Ridge area) of N.Georgia, eastern Tennesee, and N.& S Carolina, hunting and collecting roots and herbs was a very common activity, it was a good way to get "cash money." Ginseng root was the most sought after, it has great, almost magical restorative qualities according to folklore. It was scarce and hard to find so it always brought a high price. Some people say the mandrake of Genesis (30:14-16) and Song of Solomon (7:13) is closely related. I understand there is a thriving export market to China for Ginseng grown in the southeastern U.S.

I think Dale Elliott might be a more credible authority than I when it comes to this area of folk-lore. He had some really interesting stories about when he was small, riding in a small wagon with Buell to a rail stop where they put the bartered goods, brought to their Dad's store, on the train to be taken to Atlanta for sale. People brought their eggs, chickens, produce, whatever--including "sang"and other herbs to Uncle Jim"s store to trade for sugar, salt, coffee or whatever other staples they might need. (End of Max's message).

Peggy sends along the words and music for two songs from grade-school days (sorry, but I cannot show the music, only the words):

Poppy Song

Poppies golden poppies, gleaming in the sun
Closing up at evening, when the day is done
Pride of California, flower of our state
Growing from the mountains, to the Golden Gate.

Vacation Song


Anything you want to know, Just ask and we can tell
We studied hard for nine long months, And we know our lessons well.
But now we're looking for the days, when we can have some fun
for JUNE always stands for Vacation!