Posted by ESC on September 04, 2001
In Reply to: Cottoneye joe posted by Nan on September 03, 2001
: 1)A cottoneye joe is ...
: 2)Nobody leaves til the fat lady sings?
1. cotton-eyed - "Eyes prominently white, as in the folk song 'Cotton-eyed Joe.'" From the Whistlin' Dixie: A Dictionary of Southern Expressions section of Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalisms by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 2000). Cottoneyed Joe is a fiddle tune and a dance. I looked for the words online and discovered a a song about a horse. But that isn't the song I was looking for. From memory, the song goes: "If it wasn't for Cottoneyed Joe, I'd been married a long time ago."Also, on Andrew's Home Page (an Englishman who came to America because he didn't know he was allergic to cheese.??) there's this information on the dance:
Cotton Eyed Joe
Pairs around the room, progressing counter-clockwise. Man stands on inside, woman on outside. Both face line-of-dance. Cape position: man's right hand holds woman's right hand just outside her right shoulder, man's left hand holds woman's left hand in front of his left shoulder.
With weight on right foot:
1. cross left foot over right
2. kick out with left foot
3. polka steps going backwards left-right-left
4. cross right foot over left
5. kick out with right foot
6. polka steps going backwards right-left-right
7. cross left foot over right
8. kick out with left foot
9. poika steps going backwards left-right-left
10. cross right foot over left
11. kick out with right foot
12. polka steps going backwards right-left right
13. polka steps going forward left-right-left
14. polka steps right-left-right
15. polka steps left-right-left
16. polka steps right-left-right
17. polka steps left-right-left
18. polka steps right-left-right
19. polka steps left-right-left
20. polka steps right-left-right
Dance begins again
Note: in some areas of the country instead of crossing over you may stomp instead.
2. "The opera ain't over till the fat lady sings. The outcome of any contest isn't known until the final results are in. Thus, don't make premature judgments or give up too soon. Often associated with Wagnerian opera, specifically Brunhilde's 'Fire Song,' in 'Die Walkure,' and the fact that Wagner may seem interminable to nonaficionados. Thus one's impatience would be relieved when 'the fat lady sings.' Originated in the United States in the 1970s. Bartlett's 'Familiar Quotations' attributes the coinage to San Antonio TV sports commentator Dan Cook. Ralph Graves claims in the August 1991 issue of 'Smithsonian' that it has its roots in Southern proverbial lore: 'Church ain't out till the fat lady sings. There are still other attributions, but nobody really knows who coined this popular saying." From Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).
For more discussion, type in "sings" in the Discussion Page archives.