Go Get the Ax

My grandfather had a very vivid imagination. He was a superb story-teller who was constantly making up stories about creatures in the forest around our ancestral home in northern Michigan (subsequent posts will highlight some of them).

When my brother and I were about ten years old, grandpa taught us the following song:

Peeping through the knothole in father’s wooden leg
who’ll wind the clock when I am gone?
Go get the meat ax, there’s a fly on baby’s bean
a boy’s best friend is his mother.

This is another set of lyrics for the same verse, which grandpa called “The Harvard Version”:

Peering through the aperture in father’s artificial appendage
who’ll tighten the chronometer when I cross the bar?
go procure the viand dissector, there’s an insect on baby’s cerebellum
one of the greatest sociological factors of the development of the male of the species Homo sapiens is his immediate maternal ancestor.

Anderson (in Cognitive Psychology and Its Implications the textbook for my current TC course) would call this song a semantically “anomolous” specimen, but it was always fun to sing a cappella with grandpa.

Update: Hal Beeby’s song is a variation of “Go Get the Ax” by Lesley Nelson-Burns (which according to contemplator.com dates to the early 1900’s). That site had a midi file, which is an approximation of the tune that he taught us (Go Get the Ax – midi).