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