Get along little dogies or Dogie's Lament

Whoopee ti yi yo, git along little dogies
It's your misfortune and none of my own
Whoopie ti yi yo, git along little dogies
You know that Wyoming will be your new home
Do you know this American folk song? Little dogies means the cattle or more specifically a motherless calf which was sometimes referred to as a dogie, (pronounced with a long "o")  In this traditional song, Dogie's Lament, also known as Git along little dogies, the "dogies" meant cattle strong enough to be herded from Texas to Wyoming, including  young, non-orphaned animals. 

"In Western Words Ramon F. Adams gives one possible etymology for dogie, whose origin is unknown. During the 1880s, when a series of harsh winters left large numbers of orphaned calves, the little calves, weaned too early, were unable to digest coarse range grass, and their swollen bellies "very much resembled a batch of sourdough carried in a sack." Such a calf was referred to as dough-guts. The term, altered to dogie according to Adams, "has been used ever since throughout cattleland to refer to a pot-gutted orphan calf." Another possibility is that dogie is an alteration of Spanish dogal, "lariat." Still another is that it is simply a variant pronunciation of doggie." THE FREE DICTIONARY

You can hear different versions of the song on:
Cisco Houston Sings Songs Of The Open Road, 1960 ALBUM
Woody Guthrie Sings Folk Songs Volume 2,
Creek Nickel Little Cowpoke, 1998 ALBUM

Have you heard this song before? I originally thought Woody Guthrie wrote it but have learnt that he often takes traditional songs and changes them around. Do you know any other cowboy songs?

1 comment:

Diane said...

My Dad sang this song to us all the time! What a great memory! Hearing the background made my day. I'm going to give him a call. I bet he doesn't know . . .

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