Git Along, Little Dogies

Posted by Smokey Stover on December 27, 2004

In Reply to: Git Along, Little Dogies posted by Smokey Stover on December 27, 2004

: : : : : : what do you mean by "get a long little doggy"?? or "get along little doggy"? and could you tell me the origin! thanx!

: : : : :
: : : : : I think it should be 'dogy' or 'dogie' (what in the UK would be called a heifer). It comes from cattle ranching, presumably, and I assume is just a phrase used to move the dogies along; something like 'shoo' or whatever.

: : : : : DFG

: : : : A dogie is a motherless calf.

: : : :
: : : : Dogies Lament
: : : : As I was out walkin' one mornin' for pleasure
: : : : I spied a cowpuncher a-ridin along
: : : : His hat was throwed back and hie spurs were a-jingling
: : : : And as he approached, he was singin' this song
: : : : Chorus:
: : : : Whoopie-ti-yi-yo, get along you little dogie's
: : : : It's your misfortune and none of my own
: : : : Whoopie-ti-yi-yo, get along you little dogie's
: : : : You know that Wyoming will be your new home

: : : : It's early in the spring when we round up the dogies
: : : : We mark 'em and brand 'em and Bob off their tails
: : : : We round up the horses, load up the chuck-wagon,
: : : : Then send the dogies out on the long trail.

: : : : Chorus

: : : : Your mother was raised away down in Texas,
: : : : Where the gipsom weed and the 'sanders grow
: : : : We'll feed you up on prickly-pear and choya
: : : : And then send you loapin' to old Idaho

: : : : Chorus

: : : This song was first noted down by Owen Wister in his Journal, February, 1893, at Brownwood, Texas. "I have come upon a unique song... and I transcribe it faithfully. Only a cowboy could have produced such an effusion. It has the earmark of entire genuineness."

: : : As I walked out one morning for pleasure,
: : : I met a cowpuncher a-jogging along.
: : : His hat was thrown back and his spurs was a-jingling,
: : : And as he advanced he was singing this song.
: : : (Chorus)
: : : Sing hooplio get along my little dogies,
: : : For Wyoming shall be your new home.
: : : It's hooping and yelling and cursing those dogies,
: : : To our misfortune but none of your own.

: : : It's pronounced doe-gies.

: : For over half a century I thought "a long little doggy" was a dachshund.

: Thanks to Word Camel for a rendering of the text which is more complete and possibly more accurate than the version that I posted to this site a few months back. In the third verse, which I did not post, perhaps gipsom = jimson. (Gypsum is not a plant, although I once had a friend who worked at a gypsum plant.) Jimson weed or dattura is a poisonous plant considered dangerous to animals and humans. Because its poison is a mood-altering drug, it is sometimes deliberately ingested by humans. A CSI episode graphically expounded its dangerous effects. Naturally I have some in my garden. Choya is sometimes spelled cholla. I have no idea what 'sanders refers to. There are different versions of the text, but with only minor variations. There are at least two very different tunes to which the text has been set. In the U.S., heifers and calves are not precisely synonymous, although the categories overlap. Heifers, of course, are always female, which calves are not. I like the sentence, "Get a long little doggie," with its suggestion of humor based on a pun. Saying "Git along, little dogie" is not actually meant as the equivalent of "Shoo!" since the calves are not expected to be moved by whatever you might say. There may be some Greek name for an exhortation spoken but not intended to be heard, let along understood, but I don't know one. SS

One last remark: I expect that loapin' is the same as loping (or lopin'). I can't easily, however, picture these calves as loping very much of the way to Idaho. I'm sure that everyone reading this page knows that Idaho and Texas are at opposite ends (or edges) of the so-called "lower 48," and therefore a very long way away from each other. SS