Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Pop Goes The Weasel – A Folk Song's History

All around the Cobbler's bench,
The monkey chased the weasel,
The monkey thought t'was all in fun
Pop Goes the weasel!

A penny for a spool of thread,
A penny for a needle,
That the way the money goes,
Pop Goes the weasel!

I've no time to sit and sigh
No patience to wait till bye and bye
Kiss me quick, I'm off, good-bye
Pop Goes the weasel!

Nothing is as it seems. Especially a folk song. One of the variations of the song refers to folks pawning (popping) work tools for money for Saturday night at the Eagle Tavern in London. Their work tools were called weasels. To get you up to speed, visit the Straight Dope and read a Cecil classic at http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a990402a.html

Michael Quinion site is geared to international English speakers. What good is English if you can't toss in some history. He tracks down the meaning of British lyrics (of which there are many) of the song. http://www.quinion.com/words/qa/qa-pop1.htm

And if you can't get that damn tune out of your head then sing along with a MIDI version at

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