Appendix C — Mom’s Poem and Dad’s Song

The Woodticks–written by Ben King — (A Poem Often Recited by Ruth Bond Randolph)

There’s things out in the forest
That’s worse than an owl,
That gets on naughty boys and girls
That always wear a scowl.

There’s things out in the forest,
That’s worse than a lion;
And they get on wicked boys and girls
Who’re quarreling and a cryin’.

There’s things out in the forest, mind;
And if you don’t take care,
The woodticks! The woodticks!
Will be crawling through your hair.

And they say, if boys are naughty,
And their hearts are full of sin,
They’ll crawl out in the night time,
And get underneath the skin.

And then a doctor’ll have to come,
And cut them out–just so;
For if one bit of them is left,
Another one will grow.

And maybe you won’t feel them, too,
Or ever know they’re there.
But by and by, they’ll multiply
And crawl out in your hair.

The chigger bugs get on you,
And the thousand-legged worms
Make you wreath and twist and groan
And cry and yell and squirm;

But the worst thing that’ll get you,
if you lie or steal or swear,
Is the woodticks! The woodticks!
A crawling through your hair.

The Poodle Dog Song — (Often Sung by Ashby Randolph)

I’m a broken-hearted fellow, as I’ll tell you in my song.
I loved a pretty maiden, and her name was Lucy Long.
It wasn’t “Rock-the-Cradle Lucy,” but you’ll think it worse, I fear.
She had a ski-oodle doodle dog; she called him “Little Dear.”

Bow-wow-wow; Ki Yi Yi;
Pretty little doggy-woggy; handsome as a dolly, polly.
Bow-wow-wow; Ki Yi Yi;
Don’t you bruise my darlin’ little poodle.

We started for a walk one day, the poodle by her side.
We stepped up to a peanut stand, which she by chance did spy.
I gave a boy a dollar bill to steal the dog away.
But as he turned the corner, I heard by darling say,

“A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.
That boy has stolen my poodle dog.
Run! Run for your life, and never show your face again
Until you bring me back my–”


I made all sorts of love to her and tried to quiet her down,
But she said she’d ne’r be happy ’til her poodle dog was found.
So I went down to the dog pond, and there I had to pay
Five dollars to get the dog; I paid a dollar to steal away.

You should have seen them!
She laughed and the dog laughed. She cried and the dog cried.
They wound their arms around each other, and in one voice they both
cried out–


Now every dog must have his day, and his day came at last.
A dog shooter shot him one day when driving past.
When my darling heard the news, she turned her head–head–head.
When we found her in the garden, she was dead–dead–dead.

Dead drunk. Shot through the neck with a whiskey bottle.
And now, since my darling ceases to survive, I must learn to love another.
But let me state right here–I’ll never have another thing to do with a girl who has a—


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