Friday Five: Alligator Revenge
Probably because they’re just plain tired of being turned into boots and handbags, alligators aren’t always so kind in song. They frequently are the culprit in many mysterious tales of the swamp and backwater down in Louisiana. Those old reptiles have been upset ever since the Great Depression ended. When the nation got back on its feet, they got hungry because a lot fewer people had a hand out for help (rimshot).
Amos Moses is trapping alligators with the one hand he has left when the sheriff gets wind that he’s illegally trapping skins. He goes into the bayou and never comes back again. Crikey.
Floyd is a long-bearded moonshiner and after the G-men who come to arrest him disappear into the swamp, Sheriff Boudreaux comes in to investigate. Floyd’s neighbors say he’s been eaten by a gator. Believe it. Or not.
The CDB provides their view of justice on how do deal with folks that abuse their kids: “Just take them rascals out in the swamp/Put ‘em on their knees and tie ‘em to a stump/ Let the rattlers and the bugs and the alligators do the rest.” This performance is from the Opry in 2007.
In this song from his 2007 album, Electric Rodeo, Shooter tells the tale of how alligators, crocodiles, toads and frogs can’t get along in the swamp. When Martin Luther Frog Jr. (see the symbolism?) sees that some trees have fallen and that it’s cutting off water to the swamp, he stands up on a stump to let everyone know we have to work together. That’s right before he’s eaten by the alligator to the cheers of the toads and crocs with his secret knowledge gone forever. That bites.
The Americans battle the British Army using the first real use of “Gatorade.” Well… more like gator aid. While the alligator loses his head after being used as a cannon, he does extract good revenge on those redcoats.
- bob: Thanks Barry. Just reserved the Adam Gussow book. Sounds interesting.
- Barry Mazor: It may be over-stated, in arriving at practically a single explanation of everything, but Adam Gussow's book on lynching and …
- Leeann: Wow! Heavy topic and horrifying indeed! "Beer for My Horses" was all fun and games until that reference, I'll have …
- Barry Mazor: Everything else aside, the way that reporter fills us in, with must-have, pointless generational snark included, about who this "Little …
- luckyoldsun: "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia" seems to be about a lynching--even if there's something about a judge …
- Arlene: Sorry. I meant to give the link for "Supper Time." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ58Kfe41kI
- Arlene: Another song sung by Ethel Waters: Irving Berlin's "Supper Time"
- bob: Powerful songs. I read the book "A Lynching in the Heartland" by James H. Madison about a dozen years ago. …
- Ron: Sky Above, Mud Below by Tom Russell is another.
- Jack Williams: Another Othis Taylor song from White African is "My Soul's in Louisiana."