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"The Rose Tree" comes from a song, "The Rose Tree in Full Bearing," which became popular after it was heard as part of the 1782-3 comic opera "The Poor Soldier." We considered the lyrics to be just a little too sappy, and opted for an instrumental version.

"Kangaroo" is a later version of the song "Carrion Crow," which dates back to the time of the Restoration. Some historians have supposed that the Carrion Crow was King Charles, and the song veiled political commentary on his persecution of Puritan clergy (among others).1 However, by the time the song had emigrated to America, the allegory had been forgotten, and the words "carrion crow" had been corrupted into "kangaroo." We cannot help but wonder if anyone ever questioned the presence of a kangaroo up in an oak tree, but such nonsense is the lifeblood of folk songs. The tune is from an old English Morris dance called "LondonPride."

A rant is a dance tune similar to a reel, but with a four-bar, rather than an eight-bar phrase. "Morpeth Rant" was named for the town of Morpeth in Northumbria and has been attributed to William Shield (1748-1849). It has had at least two dances written specifically for it and is still a popular tune in contra dance repertoire.


A kangaroo sat on an oak,
To my inkum kiddy kum kimo,
Watching a tailor mend his coat,
To my inkum kiddy kum kimo.

Kimi neero kiddy kum keero.
Kimi neero kimo
Ba ba ba ba billy illy inkum,
ikum kiddy kum kimo.

Bring me my arrow and my bow,
To my inkum kiddy kum kimo,
Till I go shoot that kangarow,
To my inkum kiddy kum kimo,

The old man fired; he missed his mark,
To my inkum kiddy kum kimo,
He shot the old sow through the heart,
To my inkum kiddy kum kimo

Bring me some 'lasses in a spoon,
To my inkum kiddy kum kimo,
So I can heal that old sow's wound,
To my inkum kiddy kum kimo,

Oh, now the old sow's dead and gone,
To my inkum kiddy kum kimo,
Her little ones go waddling on,
To my inkum kiddy kum kimo.