From kimler@social.chass.ncsu.eduThu Oct  3 07:39:26 1996
From: "Dr. William C. Kimler, History" 
Subject: Re: 'Evolution' diffusing into the arts (Blues)

Jeremy Ahouse asked about "other examples of evolution moving into
popculture".  For novels and poetry, start with David Oldroyd's
_Darwinian Impacts_ (1983).  In music, there are a number of modern
rock songs with lyrical reference to biological origins and thus
human nature.  But I figured Darwin-L members would be more
interested in this gem from 1874:

"Too Thin. Or Darwin's Little Joke. A humorous Song."
Words by Grace Carleton.  Music by O'Rangoutang.
Published by Wm. A Pond & Co., New York.
1.  Upon my life the strangest things
   Now come to pass each day;
   One Darwin to a fellow brings
   Our ancesters [sic] so gray!
   It's very funny, odd and queer,
   He says this manly shape,
   This form to all the girls so dear
   Descended from an Ape!

Chorus:  It certainly is most absurd
    The fact can never be!
    My great grand daddy never was
    A "Monkey" up a tree!

2. He tells us, years and years ago
    That we were only Fleas!
    That ev'ry fellow had to grow
    From wretched bugs like these.
    Then we were Ostriches and Rats
    When this old world was new.
    And Elephants and Thomas-cats,
    Likewise a Kangaroo!

3.  Now if it should be true that we
     Were "Croton Bugs" and "Flies,"
     One may be a "Managerie" [sic]
     Before a fellow dies! --
     A "Lapdog" for the girls to pet,
     A "Porpoise" or a "Frog;"
     Who knows that I may not be yet
     A festive "Polliwog!"

4.  What Darwin says may all be true,
     Though very rough on us;
     Who wants to be related to
     A "Hippopotamus?"
     I choose to be a daisy bright,
     And I'll be that alone;
     All other relatives, in spite
     Of Darwin I disown!

The cover illustration to the sheet music is priceless, with dancing 
monkeys encircling a Lincoln-esque figure in a position of prayer 
[Lincoln was often called a monkey in the press]; and off to the side 
is a caricatured African in ruffed shirt, cut-away, and yet no shoes, 
and he's holding hands with a chimp. You can take a look at a scan of 
a weak photocopy.


Dr. William Kimler
Department of History - Box 8108
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-8108
(919) 515-2483   FAX 515-3886