What's Going On? (In Modern Texas Folklore) Page: 180
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The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Oh the bugs crawl in and the bugs crawl out,
They do right dress and they turn about,
Then each one takes a bite or two,
Out of what the War Office used to call you.
Oh, your eyes drop out and your teeth fall in,
And the worms crawl over your mouth and chin,
They invite their friends and their friends' friends too,
And you're all chewed to Hell when they're through
It seems likely that the troops adapted an older number
which was, as it is today, a children's song.'0 The tendency
to parody and adapt "Hearse Song" has continued; in a
laborite version, "The scabs crawl in and the scabs crawl
out/... They crawl in early, they crawl in late,/They
crawl in under the factory gate.""
A glance at the text reveals that not much from the lyrics
of the early printed forms survives in the modern chil-
dren's versions. The opening couplet is clearly recogniz-
able, and the line from Sandburg's A-Text, "The worms
crawl in, the worms crawl out," has remained unvaried,
though the memorable rhyming line recounting the vermi-
nous pinochle game seems to have been introduced some-
time after the war. The textual situation may resemble the
case of the old farmer who bragged of possessing the
hatchet owned by George Washington-which had in the
meantime gotten five new handles and two new heads.
Such, of course, is the nature of genuine folk transmission
over several decades: even though the constituent parts
change radically, the whole remains the same item. On the
other hand, if the World War I versions are simply adapta-
tions of an earlier children's song, then that prototype may
well resemble the current oral forms more closely than do
the printed texts.
Unlike the doughboys, whose fondness for "Hearse
Song" must have thinly masked a justified terror of immi-
Charles Clay Doyle
Here’s what’s next.
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Volume of "a collection of essays by contemporary folklorists who are writing about the customs and traditions and the songs and the stories that are going on now" (inside the front cover). It includes information about the folklore of cowboys, rodeos, chain letters and marijuana, as well as information about country, swing and gospel music. Index begins on page 301.
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Abernethy, Francis Edward. What's Going On? (In Modern Texas Folklore), book, 1976; Austin, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38877/m1/198/?q=pinochle: accessed July 6, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.