Date: Mon, 30 Sep 1996 13:41:10 -0500


Subject: Re: Katie bar the door -Reply

Grant Barrett gbarrett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]JERRYNET.COM 0930.0539

I remember a poem or verse about it. It is a rural, older couple arguing

about who's going to get up and bar the door. I seem to remember the

main refrain is the man saying to the woman, "Katie, bar the door!"

[details clipped]

While interesting, I don't think this is relevant to the primary use of the

expression. I'm not knowledgeable about country music, but I get the

sense that there's a long tradition of country songs that take a familiar

phrase and give it a twist, setting up a situation in which the phrase

either has a different interpretation from the ordinary one or is modified in

a weird way.

The only such song I can think of offhand is one I just heard mentioned,

though I haven't heard it. The conceit and key phrase is "I'm only half a

man [since you walked out the door]", and it's full of lines like "I drove my

nine-wheeler down the road to the Motel Three and bought a three-pack

of beer" (halving all the numbers). Anyway, this "Katie bar the door"

song seems to be something similar.

Mark A. Mandel : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200

320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :