Date: Fri, 18 Nov 1994 13:00:07 -0500


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.

Ron Rabin

Dept of Communication

Buffalo State College