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Waiting for the Booger-boo

The Lazy Goat Stringband

I’ve been listening to various versions of a tune called Sandy Boys because I’m learning to play it on fiddle. I came across this odd, slow, haunting version on YouTube performed by the Lazy Goat Stringband. Often you hear Sandy Boys as an instrumental but it does have an interesting set of lyrics. What we play as Sandy Boys is usually attributed to West Virginia fiddler Edden Hammons. After some Googling though, I’ve learned there is a similar melody that goes back to minstrel shows. I don’t know the origin of the lyrics.

There are a lot of different lyrics kicking around. They’re all somewhat strange and I find them very compelling. Here is one set:

Somebody stole my old black dog
I wish they’d bring him back
He run the big hogs over the fence
And the little ones through the crack

We all had a picnic lunch
Dinner all over the ground
Possum meat was nine-foot deep
Green flies a-walkin’ around

Sixteen miles of mountain road
Chickens are crowin’ for day
We are lookin’ for the big boss man
Tryin’ to get our pay

Mama, she lies sick in bed
Papa’s gone to town
Charlie wears them high-top boots
I wish he’d come ’round

Chorus:
Do get along, Sandy Boys
Do get along, do
Do get along, Sandy Boys
Waiting for the boogger-boo

Most sets of lyrics I’ve come across mention the booger-boo or the bugger-boo or the boogie-boo or even the buggy-boo. I think it perhaps refers to what we might call today the boogie-man. Is it an evil spirit, or maybe the devil?

I really like this fiddle version of Sandy Boys from the Old Time Fiddle Session YouTube channel…




1 Comment so far

  1. Pingback: The call of the murderbird, a comely feathered lass. | Memo Of The Air

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