Date: Fri, 18 Nov 1994 13:00:07 -0500
From: Ron Rabin RABINRL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]SNYBUFAA.CS.SNYBUF.EDU
Subject: song lyrics
I'm not sure what kind of natural language evidence a song lyric is, or even
if it is natural language evidence. But I've heard this Judy Collins song
titled Someday Soon for some time and have always been curious about two
items in a particular verse. I'd be delighted to hear your comments and
observations and whatever relevant citations you can provide.
The lyric: (the song's narrator sings of her boyfriend whom she would follow
anywhere but her parent "cannot stand him 'cause he hides the rodeo")
When he comes to call
My pa ain't got a good word to say.
Guess it's cause he's just a wild
In the younger day.
1) The was contraction in "he's just as wild." In that we don't (I don't)
say *He's here yesterday, is there a dialect and rule for this locution?
2) The definite article instead of possessive "the younger day." While
the normal (for me) possessive here is redundant information, given the
context, this usage sounds to my ears more like French for Yiddish/German
than English. Could this be archaic syntax preserved somewhere?
BTW, the supposed locus of the singer is not identified in the song. Her
boyfriend is "driving in from California" so that she may follow him but
we're never told where he's driving to. Perhaps someone knows a variant of
the song that locates the narrator geographically and so provides a clue
to word origins and families here.
Dept of Communication
Buffalo State College