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PostPosted: Wed October 15th, 2008, 23:58 GMT 
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In the minstrel sketch Box and Cox: In One Act by Edwin Byron Christy, George N. Christy & George W. Wilson, published in 1856, the character Mr. Box states, "So if you's no dejections, I'll just remark dat your presence is obnoxious to me — I wants to go to bed."

The following line also appears, "I've had too much of your company already. Vamose !"

Perhaps Tweedle-dee Dum was familiar with the sketch.


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 00:46 GMT 

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fantastic work. this stuff is fascinating! how did you find that one may i ask?

scottw, do you have a document or site where you have all of the L&T/MT/soundtrack appearances noted all in one place?

i've been thinking about doing an in-depth essay on the later trilogy at some point. of course, you would be fully credited.

let me know.


-justin


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 02:12 GMT 
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notdarkyet2 wrote:
how did you find that one may i ask?


I got lucky while doing a Google book search. Toss it enough lines and phrases and once in a while you'll get a hit.

Here's some more background:

According to the article Nelson Kneass: Minstrel Singer and Composer by Ernst C. Krohn which appeared in the journal Anuario Interamericano de Investigacion Musical, Vol. 7, (1971), pg. 29, "In the summer of 1854 an 'africanized' version of the popular play Box and Cox was put in rehearsal. The new text was written by E. Byron Christy...The original cast consisted of three actors and the parts were taken by Nelson Kneass, George Christy and S. A. Welles."

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable explains that, "Box and Cox has become a phrase which can only be explained by the story. Box and Cox were two lodgers who, unknown to each other, occupied the same room, one being out at work all day, the other all night."


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 02:46 GMT 
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Poet Robert Polito, in a fascinating essay available here, http://www.poetryfoundation.org/journal/feature.html?id=178703 wrote, "So pervasive and crafty are Dylan’s recastings for “Love and Theft” that I wouldn’t be surprised if someday we learn that every bit of speech on the album—no matter how intimate or Dylanesque—can be tracked back to another song, poem, movie, or novel."
I guess to this we can add 'minstrel sketch'. Nice snoopin!


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 02:56 GMT 
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AndoDoug wrote:
Poet Robert Polito, in a fascinating essay available here, http://www.poetryfoundation.org/journal/feature.html?id=178703 wrote, "So pervasive and crafty are Dylan’s recastings for “Love and Theft” that I wouldn’t be surprised if someday we learn that every bit of speech on the album—no matter how intimate or Dylanesque—can be tracked back to another song, poem, movie, or novel."


Probably true. Reminds me a bit of William Burroughs' cut-up technique. (Great find scottw!)


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 03:15 GMT 
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why do you think it was called "Love And Theft" ?


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 03:26 GMT 
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oldmanemu wrote:
why do you think it was called "Love And Theft" ?


I know. But it hadn't occurred to me that potentially EVERY line was lifted.


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 09:28 GMT 
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John B. Stetson wrote:
Probably true. Reminds me a bit of William Burroughs' cut-up technique. (Great find scottw!)


Except WB was doing it with his own words, not with snatches from other sources, magpie-like ( Eliot/Pound/Joyce-like).


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 09:45 GMT 
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Scott, have you considered starting a site with all these references?


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 11:36 GMT 
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Pockets wrote:
John B. Stetson wrote:
Probably true. Reminds me a bit of William Burroughs' cut-up technique. (Great find scottw!)


Except WB was doing it with his own words, not with snatches from other sources, magpie-like ( Eliot/Pound/Joyce-like).


True, true. So then in a sense here, Dylan is an original. :)


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 12:22 GMT 
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twood50785 wrote:
Scott, have you considered starting a site with all these references?


I was thinking the same thing. That would be marvellous!


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 13:38 GMT 
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It is fascinating isn't it.....it does tickle one's curiosity to find out more of the theft end...I would certainly visit the website or blog or whatever....


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 16:04 GMT 
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There used to be a great little site that covered all this stuff, but I haven't been on it for ages. I think it shut down, was a shame. Is always interestng IMO.


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 16:38 GMT 
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twood50785 wrote:
There used to be a great little site that covered all this stuff, but I haven't been on it for ages. I think it shut down, was a shame.


The Internet Archive Wayback Machine has a copy of the site, you can check it out at
http://web.archive.org/web/200611262038 ... ublika.pl/


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PostPosted: Thu October 16th, 2008, 16:56 GMT 
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Christy's Minstrels
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christy's Minstrels, sometimes referred to as the Christy Minstrels, were a blackface group formed by Edwin Pearce Christy, a well-known ballad singer, in 1843, in Buffalo, New York. They were instrumental in the solidification of the minstrel show into a fixed three-act form. The troupe also invented or popularized "the line", the structured grouping that constituted the first act of the standardized 3-act minstrel show, with the Interlocutor in the middle and "Mr. Tambo" and "Mr. Bones" on the ends.

Early years

In 1846 they first performed in Polmer's Opera House in New York City. From March 1847, they ran for a seven-year stint at New York City's Mechanics' Hall (until July 1854).

After performing at a benefit performance for Stephen Foster in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 25, 1847, the group specialized in performances of Foster's works. Foster sold his song, Old Folks at Home, to Christy for his exclusive use. The troupe's commercial success was phenomenal: Christy paid Foster $15,000 for the exclusive rights to the song.[1]

Besides Christy himself, the troupe originally included Christy's stepson George Christy, often considered the greatest blackface comic of the era. Christy then retired from the group in 1855, and the company soon disbanded. Christy was emotionally affected by the Civil War, and committed suicide in 1862.

Christy Minstrels in Britain

J. W. Raynor and Earl Pierce formed a new troupe, using many of the former Christy Minstrel members. It opened in London, England as "Raynor & Pierce's Christy Minstrels" at the St. James's Theatre on 3 August 1857. They then performed at the Surrey Theatre and later the "Polygraphic Hall" on King William Street, where they appeared for ten months. "Nellie Grey" by Michael Balfe, as sung by Raynor, became popular. In 1859, the troupe moved to the St. James's Hall (Liverpool), performing for another four months and then touring the British provinces. It then returned to Polygraphic Hall, disbanding in August 1860. The success of this troupe led to the phrase "Christy Minstrels" coming to mean any blackface minstrel show. Soon, four new companies were formed, each claiming to be the "original" Christy Minstrels, because they each boasted one or two former members of the old troupe. One group played in Dublin at the Chester Theatre in 1864, moving to London at the Standard Theatre in Shoreditch in 1865. Three months later, it moved to St. James's Hall, where it began a run of 35 years until 1904. Eventually, the original members of that troupe retired or died, leaving only “Pony” Moore and Frederic Burgess surviving into the 1870s. Therefore, the troupe changed its name to the "Moore & Burgess's Minstrels". Other groups continued to use the title "Christy", but historian Frank Andrews describes their quality as poor. Some of them continued to perform into the twentieth century.[2]

****

Note that "Mr. Tambo" was a stock minstrel character. I never really connected Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man with minstrelsy before.


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PostPosted: Fri October 17th, 2008, 06:45 GMT 
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I've been considering where Dylan might have seen the Box and Cox play. There was the original 21 page 1856 publication, but I think that would be unlikely.

The play also appeared in the 1890 book Wehman's Minstrel Sketches, Conundrums and Jokes by Henry J. Wehman. I do not think that was the source either.

I bet that Dylan was looking at "Gentlemen, be Seated!": A Parade of the Old-time Minstrels by Dailey Paskman & Sigmund Gottfried Spaeth. The 1928 book is "Profusely illustrated from old prints and photographs and with complete music for voice and piano" and is still easily located today, you can find copies for under $20 on amazon.com.

The Paskman book is in the bibliography of Eric Lott's Love & Theft while the Wehman book is not.

I have found some additional source material for a number of other lines in "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum," including some of the more bizarre phrases that appear in the song.

They come from a contemporary non-fiction book. What I have found so far astounds me, but I need to do some more research before I post my findings. I believe that there are still a few more things to tease out of this book. More to come...


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PostPosted: Fri October 17th, 2008, 13:28 GMT 

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scott, i'm anxiously awaiting your post! please consider compiling all of your work together. you'd be doing the world (or at least Dylan scholars) a great service!

-justin


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PostPosted: Fri October 17th, 2008, 15:28 GMT 

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My understanding is that Burroughs used plenty of other sources. Newspapers, magazines, books, etc.


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PostPosted: Fri October 17th, 2008, 16:31 GMT 
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scottw wrote:
I have found some additional source material for a number of other lines in "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum," including some of the more bizarre phrases that appear in the song. More to come...


This ought to be good, as this song has always preplexed me.....I too, look forward to more from you, Scott...


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PostPosted: Fri October 17th, 2008, 17:35 GMT 
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dmooney wrote:
My understanding is that Burroughs used plenty of other sources. Newspapers, magazines, books, etc.


After a little research--you are correct. Here's a cut and paste 101:
http://www.legendsmagazine.net/104/william.htm


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PostPosted: Fri October 17th, 2008, 21:52 GMT 
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In the end does it matter the songs on the album are wonderful. and they have helped people such as the posters on here discover the references etc.
Dylan has been bringing music and expressions from other sources to us for many years . I feel he sees it as his task to preserve and pass on these things .
Such has been the role of the folk singer from ancient times


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PostPosted: Fri October 17th, 2008, 21:59 GMT 
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oldmanemu wrote:
In the end does it matter the songs on the album are wonderful. and they have helped people such as the posters on here discover the references etc.
Dylan has been bringing music and expressions from other sources to us for many years . I feel he sees it as his task to preserve and pass on these things .
Such has been the role of the folk singer from ancient times


Indeed. I love L&T--and knowing the references makes it even richer--I will visit your website/blog as well should you create it scottw.


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