Dance to Your Daddy, Cucandy-o and What Will You do if the Kettle Boils Over?

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  • Teideal (Title): Dance to Your Daddy, Cucandy-o and What Will You do if the Kettle Boils Over?.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 843901.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 2439; 5301.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): Irish and English.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Jill Linzee.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): between 1982 and 1984.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Dance to your Mammy-o
Dance to your Daddy-o
You are me Mammy’s darling.

I’ll buy my love a saucepan
I’ll buy my love a spoon
I’ll buy my love a writing desk
And send him off to school.

Dance to your Daddy-o
Dance to your Mammy-o
Dance to your Daddy-o
You are your Mammy’s darling.

Cucanandy-nandy, cucanandy-o
Cucanandy-nandy, cucanandy-o
Cucanandy-nandy, cucanandy-o
Cucanandy-nandy ‘s iníon Philib an Cheoil.

He didn’t dance, dance, he didn’t dance today
He didn’t dance, dance, today or yesterday.
He didn’t dance, dance, he didn’t dance today
He didn’t dance, dance, today or yesterday.

Throw him up, up, throw him up high
Throw him up, up, and he’ll be down bye and bye.

Throw him over over over overboard
Throw him over over, throw him overboard

Cucanandy-nandy, cucanandy-o
Cucanandy-nandy, cucanandy-o
Cucanandy-nandy, cucanandy-o
Iníon Sheáin na Coille ‘s iníon Philib an Cheoil1.

Nigh do chosa2, a Sheáinín
Nigh do chosa, a Mháir’3
Nigh do chosa, a Sheáinín
Nigh do chosa, a stór

Cucanandy-nandy, cucanandy-o
Cucanandy-nandy, cucanandy-o

Now what will you do when the kettle boils over?
What will you do but fill it again.
What will you do when you marry a soldier?
What will you do but follow his gun.
What will you do when he dies on the ocean?
What would you do but marry again.
What will you do when the cow eats the clover?
What would you do but set it again.

[lilting]

Notes

1. Seán of the Forest’s daughter and the daughter of Philip of the Music.

2. Wash your feet; presumably before going to bed.

3. Máire.

Joe often represented these pieces — especially the first two — as tunes that would be sung by women when they were engaged in carding wool. He told people that his mother and his grandmother both sang them in this sort of context.

Without wishing to contradict Joe on this point, it must be said that all three of these songs were recorded early in 1951 by Alan Lomax from Elizabeth Cronin, the renowned traditional singer from Baile Mhic Íre, Musgraí Uí Fhloínn, in mid-County Cork, and in 1955 they appeared on an LP in Columbia Records World Library of Folk and Primitive Music series (Columbia AKL 4941; Rounder 1742). It would be hard to overestimate the influence of this LP on those who participated in the subsequent folk revival, especially on those interested in singing; and it would be hard to imagine that Joe Heaney did not possess a copy of, or have access to, a copy of it at some time. In any case, Joe’s version of the songs, not to mention the association between them, is far closer to that of Elizabeth Cronin than one might normally expect, given the physical distance separating Carna from Baile Mhic Íre.

It is curious to note that a number of Joe’s other standards — including The Banks of the Roses, The Rocks of Bawn, Deoindi, The Wife of the Bold Tenant Farmer, Connla, Bean Pháidín, She Moved Through the Fair, Johnny Morrissey and the Russian Sailor, Molly Bawn, Mrs Mc Grath, The Lament for Úna Bhán, Soldier, Soldier, Will You Marry me Now?, and even a version of Tháinig Bean Cois Leasa — also appear on this LP. A number of them, of course, would have been known to Joe at home, and appear on the LP in performance by the likes of Seán ‘ac Dhonncha (Johnny Joe Phaitsín), Seán Jeaic Mac Donncha, and Joe’s second cousin, Colm Ó Caodháin (Colm Keane); in addition, several of the songs in English are performed by Séamas Ennis, who accompanied Alan Lomax for a time during his research, and who may have learned them during his fieldwork trips in the Carna district. It is nonetheless interesting that so many of the songs on this LP — twelve out of twenty-six — are found in Joe’s repertoire, almost as if the recording made them important songs to have, and to be known for having. It is also interesting to speculate that Joe himself might have sung for Lomax had he not been living in Scotland at the time of Lomax’s visit.