John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

Poet's Corner: The Raggedy Man

The Raggedy Man

O THE Raggedy Man! He works fer Pa;
An' he's the Goodest man ever you saw!
He comes to our house every day,
An' waters the horses, an' feeds 'em hay;
An' he opens the shed---an' we all ist laugh
When he drives out our little old wobble-ly calf;
An' nen---ef our hired girl says he can---
He milks the cow fer 'Lizabuth Ann.---
    Ain't he a' awful good Raggedy Man?
        Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

W'y, The Raggedy Man---He's ist so good
He splits the kindlin' an' chops the wood;
An' nen he spades in our garden, too,
An' does most things 'at boys can't do.---
He clumbed clean up in our big tree---
An' shooked a' apple down fer me---
An' nother'n too, fer 'Lizabuth Ann---
An' nother'n, too, fer The Raggedy Man.---
    Ain't he a' awful kind Raggedy Man?
        Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

An' The Raggedy Man one time say he
Pick' roast' rambos from a' orchurd-tree,
An' et 'em---all ist roast' an' hot!---
An' it's so, too!---'cause a corn-crib got
Afire one time an' all burn' down
On "The Smoot Farm," 'bout four mile from town---
On "The Smoot Farm"! Yes—an' the hired han'
'At worked there nen 'uz The Raggedy Man!---
    Ain't he the beatin'est Raggedy Man?
        Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

The Raggedy Man's so good an' kind
He'll be our "horsey," an' "haw" an' mind
Ever'thing 'at you make him do---
An' won't run off---'less you want him to!
I drived him wunst way down our lane
An' he got skeered, when it 'menced to rain,
An' ist rared up an' squealed and run
Purt' nigh away!---an' it's all in fun!
Nen he skeered ag'in at a' old tin can ...
    Whoa! y' old runaway Raggedy Man!
        Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

An' The Raggedy Man, he knows most rhymes
An'n tells 'em ef I be good, sometime;
Knows 'bout Giunts, an' Griffuns, an' Elves,
An' the Squidgicum-Squees 'at swallers therselves!
An', wite by the pump in our pasture-lot,
He showed me the hole 'at the Wunks is got,
'At live 'way deep in the ground, an' can
Turn into me, er 'Lizabuth Ann!
    Ain't he a funny old Raggedy Man?
        Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

An' wunst, when The Raggedy Man come late,
An' pigs ist root' thue the garden-gate,
He 'tend like the pigs 'uz bears an' said,
"Old Bear-shooter'll shoot 'em dead!"
An' race' an' chase' 'em, an' they'd ist run
When he pint his hoe at 'em like it's a gun
An' go "Bang!---Bang!" nen 'tend he stan'
An' load up his gun ag'in! Raggedy Man!
    He's an old Bear-shooter Raggedy Man!
        Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

An' sometimes The Raggedy Man lets on
We're little prince-children, an' old King's gone
To git more money, an' lef' us there---
And Robbers is ist thick ever'where;
An' nen—ef we all won't cry, fer shore---
The Raggedy Man he'll come and "splore
The Castul-halls," an' steal the "gold"---
An' steal us, too, an' grab an' hold
An' pack us off to his old "Cave"!---An'
    Haymow's the "cave" o' The Raggedy Man!---
        Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

The Raggedy Man---one time when he
Was makin' a little bow-'n-'orry fer me,
Says, "When you're big like your Pa is,
Air you go' to keep a fine store like his---
An' be a rich merchunt---an' wear fine clothes?---
Er what air you go' to be goodness knows!"
An'nen he laughed at 'Lizabuth Ann,
An' I says, "'M go' to be a Raggedy Man!
    I'm ist go' to be a nice Raggedy Man!"
        Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916)

Earlier today I was over at my sister's watching the Wisconsin-Indiana game--and talk about a shellacking, UW beat 'em like a rented mule, 83-20--which got my nephew wondering what the heck a Hoosier is. I explained that it just meant a person from Indiana. But then he wanted to know why people from Indiana are called Hoosiers. So I looked into it, and the answer seems to be, "because mumble mumble mumble Hey look over there!" *runs away* The term has been in common use since the 1830s, and apparently people have been debating its origin ever since. Anyway, thinking about Hoosiers reminded me of the great Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, whom you may remember as the author of the Heaton family favorite "Little Orphant Annie." This, like "Annie," is written in the Hoosier dialect he was famous for.

Tags: family, in, poet's corner, sports: football

  • My tweets

    Sat, 16:42: Aaaaand I'm told signage is now up at that location announcing its closure as of this coming Monday. Congratulations Ald. Rummel et…

  • My tweets

    Fri, 21:02: RT @ RepDanielRiemer: Foxconn announces they will now shift to making golden shovels for photo-ops of losing politicians, dishonest…

  • My tweets

    Thu, 12:47: It's not just me happily assuming that's a MAGA hat. Thu, 12:49: RT @ DickKingSmith: Are looking for…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.