(A wandery sort of entry that goes nowhere in particular and ends abruptly.)
Cindy Kallet is going to be performing in half a dozen places in northern California in the first half of November, mostly house concerts. I'm not sure whether I'll go to any of them, but if the schedule fits I probably will.
I first encountered Kallet's music in college; a pair of student folksingers, Gabby & Joanna, regularly sang a couple of Kallet's songs, "Out on the Farthest Range" and "Shores of Africa" (which later turned out to be two of my favorites of Kallet's). But the Gabby & Joanna song that's been running through my head lately, for no clear reason, is a song that appears to have been popularized by the Kingston Trio: "To Morrow," by Bob Gibson. (It was also performed on the Muppet Show at some point.)
It's a song about a traveller who wants to go to a town called Morrow, and who has trouble interacting with the ticket-seller:
Said he to me, "Now let me see if I have heard you right.
You'd like to go to Morrow and return tomorrow night.
You should have gone to Morrow yesterday and back today
for the train that goes to Morrow is a mile upon its way."
As usual, I imagine it doesn't work as well without music as with (the tune is bouncy and catchy), but you can get the general idea.
Despite the various cute twists of phrasing, the song's not all that hard to follow if you're paying attention. But there are a couple of somewhat archaic words in it that I hadn't encountered before, and that's the real point of this entry.
I think G&J used to sing the beginning of the second verse as:
I went down to the station for a ticket and a ride;
For tips regarding Morrow I stepped up to the guide.
Or at least that's the way I remember hearing it. Turns out it's really:
So I went down to the station for my ticket and applied
for tips regarding Morrow not expecting to be guyed.
To guy someone, it turns out, is to make fun of them.
And then near the end of the song, I think they used to sing:
He had no right in telling me I was a howling jay
I always wondered about that; why a jay? Why howling? Turns out the original line (if the Internet, it is right) goes:
That man was right in telling me that I was a-howling jay.
which was just oddly enough punctuated to make me go look up jay, which turns out to serve as either a noun or an adjective referring to a rube or a hick.