Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fractured Fairy Tale Flog

Once upon a time there was a farmer named MacDonald and apparently he was old.  So they called him "Old MacDonald" and somebody composed an eponymous tune in his honor.  A version of the song is on a disc I keep in my car for my brilliant 6 year old granddaughter, Izzy, and we listen to it ad nauseam  
There are other wonderful little ditties on the disc, but recently a television ad campaign for an insurance company featured Old MacDonald in a spelling bee.   Old Mac spells cow “c-o-w-e-i-e-i-o” and promptly gets booted from the spelling bee.
This prompted Izzy to ask me who, exactly, was Old MacDonald.  I promised I would research the complete and authentic account of Old MacDonald’s origins, certain that Old MacGoogle and MacWikipedia would have a definitive answer. Wrong!!!

My first Google search told me that, “No one wrote Old MacDonald Had a Farm.  It is a traditional folk song from Ireland that has been edited!”
A second search revealed, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm was composed and edited by Mr. H.F. Walker and his hit is published in a book that was called Ozark Folksongs in 1980. The song is primarily a children's song and it is about a farmer who was called MacDonald.”

I didn’t believe #2 because my daughters and I moo-mooed here and quack-quacked there long before 1980.
I discovered various other versions which included lyrics like,

·       Old Missouri had a mule, he-hi-he-hi-ho

·       Old MacDougal had a farm in Ohio-i-o

·       Up I was on father’s farm on a May-day morning early

I contemplated selling Izzy the story that Old MacDonald was a visionary who hated farm life and thought cows belonged on a plate next to his fried potatoes.  He believed everyone at some time or another, would like to go grab a reasonably priced quick meal without having to change into Sunday overalls.  Maybe … he could even throw in a little toy for the tots… 

Izzy’s Bubba has a FLOG
As you all well know
And on that FLOG he writes some stuff
Disam-big-u-ous-ly so
With a Wiki-search here
And a Google-search there
All day long a search
From his perch
Praying to the Internet Church
But Old MacDonald’s mystery
May forever re-main so



  1. One of my most favorite Flogs yet. I'd like to hang it in my home-e-o! XoLisa

    1. I'll have it needlepointed on a pillow for you for Christmas! :)