What’s Wrong with the World

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MCMYCL: 1955: I Bought Me a Cat

An Old American Song, for the Fourth:

Featuring my cat Circe, my Pekin duck, my Sebright hen, an American Buff goose with whom I've lost contact, and yonder old mulberry tree. Since I have no pigs, no cows, no horses, and no wife, I've resorted to Google Images for pictures of those interesting fauna.

Comments (8)

I like it. Never heard it before. It reminds me of "Old McDonald." But what a grim wife picture. One can never picture her saying, "Honey, honey." :-)

We have a comment here from the almost-seven-year-old peanut gallery. She says, "My comment is, it's funny."

I BOUGHT me a wife? My wife pleased me? My wife says [insert animal-like] honey, honey...

Clearly, this is a cynical commentary on wives as chattel. Women are like animals, to be bought and sold...or else the farmer has a touch of demetia... :)

I know, I can suck the sweet outa sugar...

The Chicken

It's funny to see that there are more children's songs like this than just "The Farmer in the Dell." You know, "The farmer takes a wife...the wife takes a child...the child takes a dog..." etc.

(I just read a story that was meant to be funny about a beautiful female soldier during one of the Desert Storm operations who kept getting Saudi Arabs asking for contact information for her husband so they could offer to buy her from them. I tried, perhaps a little too shockingly, to bring a touch of realism to her fellow-soldier's reaction to this. Mind you, the fellow "soldier" who was telling the story was also female and thought it was hi-jinks--asked whether she ever regretted staying with her American husband rather than being sold to a Saudi. Now _that's_ a case where we need to recognize someone who thinks of women as chattel and _run_ in the other direction.)

Lydia, my thanks to "the almost-seven-year-old peanut gallery."

I really wanted somebody else to think this was funny.

I have heard the song performed live at least twice and I think the song is cute, too. My comment, above was meant to be slightly silly (taking the lyrics too lityerally), but it, apparently didn't translate into print. The tv series, Frasier, once had an episode with Frasier in a bar on Christmas eve tearing apart, T'was the Night Before Christmas. I was going for that effect.

In any case, musical humor is a topic that hasn't been studied, much.

The Chicken

I thought it was funny!

But wives are still bought and sold. It’s just that these days they sell themselves, and forego the agency of their fathers. Is this why women sell themselves so cheap these days? Is this why the wedding contract is these days in probabilistic terms worth only half its face value (since 50% of marriages end in divorce)?

I bought my wife with a contract to love, honor and cherish her, and only her, so long as we both live. She likewise bought me. That the goods we thus exchanged are not accounted for in coin at the time of the wedding does not mean that they are not a real price, and cost; and they are certainly accounted for in coin at the time of divorce!

My wife and I swore our contracts using the language of the Prayer Book of 1662, by which we threw into the bargain everything we then separately owned: “with all my worldly goods I thee endow.” And not only that. The language actually runs, “With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” Tacking on the name of the Trinity makes violating the vows a double breach of Divine Law, for it adds to adultery the sin of taking the Name in vain. It’s a way of saying, “Damn me twice if I break my promise.” “With my body I thee worship” is a pledge to sacrifice one’s body for the sake of one’s spouse. Indeed, “spouse” derives from the Proto-Indo-European “spend,” to make an offering or perform a rite. The marriage bed is a sacrificial altar. Rather puts the “til Death us do depart” into perspective.

Pekin is a cute duck.

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